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Tag Archives: Coral Health

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Natural Nitrate and Phosphate Control in Marine Aquariums – Part 1 – Carbon Dosing Basics

Reef BioFuelIn the never ending fight against excess nutrients in the home aquarium, many products have come along in recent years to help aquarist win the battle.  Chief among the nutrients with which all aquarium owners struggle (especially the reef aquarium owner), are nitrates and phosphates.  These nutrients fuel algae growth, and in the case of nitrate, can jeopardize animal health as well.   In the reef aquarium, nitrates and phosphates are a serious problem, and controlling these nutrient levels are vital to the health of the living coral and invertebrates in these systems.

Phosphate absorption media, macroalgae refugiums, deep sand beds, and frequent water changes have been the methods used by most to maintain low nutrient levels in aquariums over the years.  More recently, aggressive biological methods for combating nitrates and phosphates have become increasingly popular, and several Carbon dosing methods to remove nitrates and phosphates have been developed. Read More »

Corals in Distress – Mass Bleaching Events

Healthy red and green CoralMany stories have come to light through recent years discussing the plight of coral reefs around the world; overfishing, destructive collecting methods, pollution, and ship traffic damage have taken a serious toll.  A number of new studies show that an even greater threat has emerged in 2010, extreme water temperatures.

Earlier this year, the region of Indo-pacific reefs known as the Coral Triangle (a roughly triangular area that encompasses Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste) endured record surface water temperatures. These extreme water temperatures caused a mass coral bleaching event that may prove to be the worst on record. Read More »

For the Health of Your Reef Aquarium – Dip it!

Acro Red Bug infestationWhen in doubt, dip it. Whether you are a beginner, or veteran, reef aquarium keeper, your prized corals are susceptible to a wide range of pests, parasites and infections. Acropora Eating Flatworms (AEFW), Montipora Eating Nudibranchs (MENS), Zooanthid Eating Nudibranchs, snails and spiders, and pathogenic bacteria causing Rapid Tissue Necrosis (RTN) are far too common problems we face in the hobby. Wild harvested, farm raised, or even the coral you traded with a friend for, can potentially introduce some nasty little critters into your aquarium. Read More »

Killer Algae – New Research on Creeping Caulerpas

C. taxifoliaIt is amazing how little we know about our ocean’s ecosystems! We know that corals can defend themselves against other corals, invertebrates, and to a certain extent fish, but a recent study has found that corals may have another attacker to defend against. Algae has always been a problem with coral and coral reefs as a whole. The rapid growth and expansion of some macro algae will eventually choke out specific corals, killing them in a matter of days. Taxifolia a species of Caulerpa, began invading parts of the West Coast years ago, choking out everything in it’s path as it spread. Normally, we think of the tangling tendrils of green smothering the corals in darkness as they take over, slowly starving them of vital light and nutrients. However, a recent study performed by a professor and his graduate student at Georgia Tech have found algae that can kill coral on contact. Read More »