Aquarium Maintenance’s Take on Sustainable Aquarium Keeping
Written by Joni Lawrence

Tropical fish keeping as a hobby can be a wonderful way to appreciate the fascinating creatures that live beneath the waves. But we want to see hobbyists ensure that their reef keeping practices are sustainable. And to do this, we recommend that hobbyists hold their retailers accountable for sustainable and responsible fish trading. recommends that reef keepers insist that their tropical fish retailers:

  • Support retailers with Marine Aquarium Council certification

    To be sold as a MAC Certified organism, the marine organism must pass the unbroken chain of custody from ‘Reef to Retail’; meaning collected from a MAC Certified area by a MAC Certified fisherman or cultured in a MAC Certified facility, then passed to a MAC Certified Exporter, then importer and retailer.
Arachnids and Aquariums
Written by Ava

Christopher Taylor is not your average Australian environmental biology student--in fact, he's currently studying spiders, scorpions, and other arachnids for school.  So why question him about his marine life pastimes? It seems Chris has a great knowledge of the distinct relation of crabs and crustaceans to arachnids, he writes a fun blog on all subjects, and at one time, he was an avid marine aquarist--partaking in a tropical freshwater aquarium and knows a thing or two about how to maintain one.  

Read to learn Chris's interesting views on all things arachnid and aquarist.

What kind of work/studying are you doing now?

I work on a group of animals called Opiliones, also called harvestmen or (particularly in North America) daddy-longlegs (a name that I have serious quibbles with - see here.) My particular family of interest, the Monoscutidae, is restricted to Australia and New Zealand. My research is mostly very traditional desk taxonomy – I look at countless specimens, and compare and contrast. I’m due to finish in a few months, and after that – who knows?

What To Do With Bristle Worms?
Written by Luke
Often, when I'm cleaning my aquarium, I run into bristle worms. The first time I ever found them in my aquarium, my mind ran wild with the evil things these foreign looking worms could do in my aquarium. They can be kind of freaky to run into if you've never dealt with them before, but before you panic there are a few things to consider.
First of all, what is a "bristle worm" exactly?
You might have seen pictures or heard of them before, maybe you've even dealt with them directly. "Bristle worm" is a term that casually describes many types of worms in the class of marine worms referred to as Polychaeta. They are segmented and they have bristles. Good stuff.
The bristle worms that aquarists need to watch out for, in general, are the ones referred to as Fireworms. These worms usually appear in your aquarium as red, segmented and bristle covered. They can range greatly in size, from being so small that you need a tweezer to handle them, to being several inches or more in length. You might only see them at night, at least that's the only time I see them in my aquarium.
New Ideas For The Reef Tank
Written by Josh Day
Being a blog moderator, you strike up some rather interesting conversations with the people who contribute to your blog.  One such nano reef keeper, Josh Day of Josh Day's The Aquatic Hobbyist wrote me an interesting e-mail about what's been going on with his tank and some ideas he had...and I had to post it.  
Maybe it will help someone else.
Here's Josh: 
My tanks are... eh. Freshwater all is doing okay, including my 180. I think I've finally solved the ammonia problem. New problem cropped up, however: Oscar aggression. I'm waiting on my LFS to get in some good sized silver dollars to use as dithers to hopefully break up the big guy's domination on the other fish.
Look After The Lighting
Written by John Cunningham

What is the most important part of a marine system? Lighting? Well no, it isn’t, seawater quality is the number one with both fish only and reef aquariums.
High seawater quality means there shouldn’t be any indication of ammonia or nitrite. Nitrate should be as low as possible (the guideline for a reef system is less than 10 ppm (parts per million) and for a fish only less than 30 ppm. Phosphate should preferably be undetectable. pH should be stable in the region 8.1 to 8.4. SG (specific gravity) for a fish only should be stable within the range 1.022 to 1.025, and in a reef system 1.024 to 1.025 (there are variations with SG which more advanced aquarists use for specific purposes).

Setting Up Your Saltwater Aquarium
Written by Eugene

Saltwater aquarium set up takes time but it is exciting adventure. It usually takes 4 to 8 weeks before you can add any saltwater fish safely to your saltwater aquarium.I know it is disappointing to wait too long before you can start putting fish into your saltwater aquarium, but you wouldn't want to risk losing them.

Saltwater fish are quite pricey. So I would say that patience is the key!

Before setting up a saltwater aquarium, think about these things first:

A Quick Fix to a Broken Center Brace
Written by Brett

A while back I decided to try out a metal halide system for my 46 gallon bowfront reef tank to replace my existing PC lighting.  This new lighting system was equipped with a 175 watt metal halide light right in the center of it, which was right over my aquarium’s center brace.  The new metal halide system was working perfectly and I decided to go to work for a few hours.  When I got home the metal halide had been turned off by my lighting timers and after a brief tank inspection I decided to go to bed.

The Life You Don't See In Your Aquarium
Written by Christopher Taylor

Hi, I'm Christopher Taylor, author of the blog Catalogue of Organisms. At that site, I look at the diversity of life on this planet, and I've been asked if I'd like to contribute something for you to read here.

I have to confess, the request initially put me at something of a loss - I haven't any experience of my own in keeping marine aquaria, and only a little with freshwater fish tanks. So I'm not going to talk about fish - not directly, anyway. I'm going to talk about something else that you will all have living in your tanks, in large numbers, and which you've possibly never even noticed - bacteria.

Some of the less fortunate of you may be all too aware of the vital role that bacteria play in your tank. Many people (including, I have to admit, myself), when first setting up a new aquarium, will have tried to put too many fish into the tank too quickly, and then had the absolutely heart-wrenching experience of seeing them die off in quick succession. Not a pleasant experience for you, and I'm sure an even worse one for the fish. If you were more fortunate (or better prepared), you will have learnt all about the necessity for a properly set up nitrogen cycle before you started. Fish produce nitrogen waste products in the form of ammonia, which is highly toxic if allowed to build up.



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