There are a few things every aquarist should have on hand, especially for saltwater and reef aquariums. Algae scrubbers, food for their fish, extra filter media…and first aid supplies. Even the most cautious of us gets scraped, stung, poked, cut, irritated and altogether abused sometimes when we work on our tanks. The supplies you may want to have depends on what you have in your aquarium (freshwater aquarists may not need many of these items) and your own medical history (if you know you are allergic to something like bee stings or salt creep or fake SCUBA diver ornaments, you may need some extra items like an Epi-pen or special medications). Keep these items in a clean, waterproof container in your aquarium stand or nearby for easy access. Read More »
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Over the last couple years, I’ve heard much debate over the use of LED lighting for reef aquariums. Has the technology really advanced to the point where LED is a viable option for lighting a reef aquarium, or is it just a fad that has no real substance? Most of the opinions on the subject are heavily influenced dependent on which side you are looking at the technology from. I have been told many times that LED cannot sustain photosynthetic corals. Some believe the light production is not of adequate quality to keep a reef tank long term. Not surprisingly, this has mainly come from manufacturers of traditional lighting sources (T5, PC, Metal Halide), and some have been highly critical of the LED technology. On the other hand, the manufacturers that have invested in LED technology are adamant about the quality and validity of LED lighting. Those on each side of the fence are understandably trying to defend their own interests in the debate between traditional vs. LED lights for use on reef aquaria. Read More »
Live rock has always been a controversial topic within the aquarium hobby. Rock harvested from oceanic reefs has been a staple for reef enthusiasts for many years. It’s hard to replicate the look of a coral reef in a closed environment without the use of natural live rock. The problem is, it takes a lot longer for the live rock beds to recover than it does for dealers to harvest it. Removing natural rock reduces the amount of locations for new corals to settle and develop, so collection threatens the existing coral reefs as corals have less suitable area to colonize. Read More »
Victorian Cichlids have to be some of the best looking cichlids, right behind those gorgeous fish from Lake Malawi. The majority of the vics that are found in the local pet shops tend to be very easy to breed, some which may rival the prolific habits of the convict cichlid. Creating a set-up that will facilitate successful spawning is not difficult, and you’ll be rewarded with beautifully colored fish and lots of babies to raise, sell, or swap.
The first thing to consider is the tank size. If you’re creating a community cichlid tank, a 55 gallon is the minimum that I would recommend. This should be enough space to house 6 to 10 four inch fish (though large tanks will give them more space to create territories). Chances are you’ll see both males and females in a group that size as well. If you’re looking specifically to breed your fish, a 29 or 30 gallon tank will work for a group of 1 male and 2 or 3 females. Read More »