Posts tagged Saltwater

The Muck At Night

The Muck At Night from Alex.Be. on Vimeo.

With this video Alex.Be. reached the 3rd place at the 30th Kamera Louis Boutan Event 2009
The German UW Photo and Video Championship

It features footage from nightdives at the Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi in Indonesia. Night diving in the muck is always exciting, as you will see. If you have the chance for a night dive in the muck go for it and you won´t be dissappointed.

Music by Greendjohn
Credits Alex.Be.

Why do My Fish Hide all the Time?

Answer: The answer to that is rather simple – the fish is scared or uncomfortable with the surroundings. The more important question is what is making the fish scared in the first place?

New Surroundings
If the fish was recently added to the tank, the most likely cause is that its simply feeling nervous about its new surroundings. Given a few days, the fish should become comfortable with its new home and spend more time out and about.

In the event your fish continues to hide for more than a day or two, there is another problem afoot. Until you correct the problem, the fish will remain hidden.

Schooling Fish
Fish that normally school with a others of its own kind will hide if kept alone, or if kept in a group that is too small. Always keep schooling fish in groups of at least four or five. If they are kept in smaller groups, they may stay hidden most of the time.

Hiding Places
Many fish do not feel comfortable unless they have a place of their own where they can hide when they feel threatened. Odd as it may seem, providing more hiding places will usually cause fish to stay out most of the time.

Stack rocks to form caves, place pieces of clay pots on the bottom, add pieces of driftwood with arches or holes, or use any structures that allow fish to hide. If each fish knows it has its own personal hiding place, it will feel safe and stay out in the open more often.

Aquarium Fish Nutrition

Most of the times, fishes are not able to get the nutrition
they need in captivity. This is because what they eat is directly dependent
on the fish keeper. If the fish keeper always feed a certain kind of food,
then it is highly possible that the fish gets a deficiently in some nutritions.

Vitamin A Poor growth, loss of appetite, eye problems, dropsy, gill problems, hemorrhage at fin base.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Poor appetite, muscular wasting, convulsions, loss of equilibrium, edema, poor growth
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Cloudy eyes, blood shot eyes, poor vision, avoidance reaction to light (photophobia), dark coloration, poor appetite, poor growth, anemia.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Nervous disorders, loss of appetite, anemia, edema, gasping, flaring of gill covers.
Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamine) Poor appetite, anemia, poor growth.
Biotin Loss of appetite, poor growth, muscular wasting, convulsions, skin and gut lesions.
Choline Poor growth, visceral hemorrhages.
Folic acid Poor growth, lethargy, fin damage, dark coloration, anemia.
Inositol Poor growth, dropsy, skin lesions.
Pantothenic acid Gill and skin problems, loss of appetite, poor growth, lethargy.
Vitamin C Dark coloration, skin problems, eye diseases, spinal deformities.

TREATMENT: Supplement the missing vitamin.
PREVENTION: Feed a variety of foods or commercially available brand foods of good quality

Can I Purchase Live Aquarium Fish on the Internet?

Answer: Not long ago few people considered purchasing fish anywhere but at their local fish shop. In recent years selling fish online and shipping them directly to the customer has become fairly common. Although there are risks when purchasing online, keeping these recommendations in mind will increase your chance of success.

The Risks
Purchasing online presents risks that aren’t encountered at a local fish shop. Not being able to select the fish ahead of time or observe the condition of the shop itself are enough to keep many people from purchasing online. An even bigger concern is stress the fish experience when shipped. Will the fish arrive alive and healthy? What happens if they are lost, or arrive dead or dying? All of these concerns are quite valid.

Reasons for Online Purchases
Before considering an online purchase think about your reasons for buying online versus a local fish shop. Price should not be the issue, as lower online prices will be offset by the addition of shipping fees. Ordering online because you are can’t find a specific species of fish locally, isn’t always necessary. Most good pet shops will order fish upon request, and if the fish dies during shipping, the cost is generally not passed on to you.

Lastly, if you order online because you live far away from a fish shop, odds are you probably just as far from a major airport. The fish may be subjected to a lengthy transit time, which is very stressful. It may be in your best interest to drive to a fish shop even if it is a few hours away, rather than ordering online and risk losing the fish during shipping. At least you can control the temperature in your car, and assure that the fish arrive at your home as quickly as possible.

Precautions to Take
If you still want to order live fish online, you can be increase your chances for success by taking a few precautionary steps. Keep the following things in mind before placing your order:

* Find an expert – Companies that specialize in shipping live fish directly to customers do a better job of packing the fish, and expediting the shipment.
* Ask about guarantees – A number of online suppliers offer ‘arrive alive’ provisions. If they make no guarantees at all, you are taking a big risk.
* Get a firm price with shipping – Don’t settle for undefined shipping costs when placing your order. Often the shipping can be far more than the cost of the fish itself.
* Go to the airport – If you live near a major airport, consider opting to pick up the package there. The cost will often be less, and there will be no risk of the fish sitting in a delivery truck for a long period of time.
* Consider the weather – If there are temperature extremes consider placing your order at another time. Keep in mind that although your weather may be good, the plane may travel through areas of not so pleasant temperatures. Fish are usually shipped in a cargo bay that is neither heated or cooled.
* Order with others – See if anyone else in your area is interested in ordering fish online. By combining your order you can save on shipping costs.
* Order Securely – Treat the order like any online purchase – very carefully. Personally I’d call my credit card or bank information in to the company if I had a choice. That way there is less chance of your information falling into the wrong hands. If you do fill out an online form, make sure it is a secure one.

I’ve personally ordered fish and plants online, and had both good and bad experiences. If you do your homework, you are less likely to have a bad outcome.
By Shirlie Sharpe, Guide

Gardening Coral in Fiji, a Video by Jonathan Clay for BBC

This is a pilot project currently underway, that is being highlighted by BBC in the documentary series “South pacific”. The film was made under the guidance of Jonathan Clay who was grateful enough to share this clip to the world.

Coral Gardening from Jonathan Clay on Vimeo.

Wonderful World – an Aquatic Interpretation by Michael AW

Acclimating Your Saltwater and Freshwater Fish – Float vs. Drip

Acclimating Your Saltwater and Freshwater Fish – Float vs. Drip
Author: Kara K.

Float Acclimation
The most commonly used method of acclimating freshwater and saltwater fish. This is when you float the bag that your fish has been placed in, in the water of your aquarium. Floating for approximately 30 minutes ensures that the temperature in the bag water slowly begins to match the temperature of your aquarium, making it less stressful on the fish. After floating for 15 minutes, double the volume of water in the bag with your aquarium water. Continue floating for another 10 minutes or so.

Just dumping them into the aquarium without acclimating is likely to cause enough shock to kill your new fish. After acclimating, the bag is opened or cut, and the fish is taken out of the bag with a net and released into it’s new home.

Pros: Temperature is most likely to cause shock in fish. The Float method ensures that the dangers of temperature change are eliminated.
Cons: Owners commonly will dump the bag water into their aquarium along with the new fish. If the water in your new fish’s bag is contaminated with whatever was in it’s previous aquarium, that bacteria will then be in yours.
Float acclimation

Drip Acclimation
Less heard of than the common float method. Drip acclimation requires:

1. A clean bowl large enough to hold your new fish and twice the water contents of its bag.
2. A net.
3. Air pump tubing.

With the tubing, create a siphon from your aquarium, into the clean bowl. Place the all contents of your new fish’s bag into the bowl. Siphon should drip 2-3 drops per second (a knot can be tied in it, and loosened/tightened to adjust the water flow) into the bowl. Let drip until the water in the bowl has doubled in volume. This process should take approximately 30-45 minutes, and definitely no longer than an hour. With a net, gently scoop your fish from underneath and place him into the aquarium.

Pros: Especially handy for saltwater fish because it gradually acclimates them to the salinity, pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels in your established aquarium.
Cons: Temperatures in the low volume of water held in the bowl can drop considerably in half an hour, increasing the risk that your fish will suffer temperature change shock.

Most Common Mistakes Made by Saltwater Aquarium Keepers

Most Common Mistakes Made by Saltwater Aquarium Keepers

By Stan & Debbie Hauter, Guide

No matter what kind of aquarium keeper you are, here is a list of the most common mistakes you may be making. These problems can be avoided if you’re aware of them before you start an aquarium.

Overfeeding Fish and Invertebrtes

Uneaten food just lays on the bottom of the tank, creating nitrates and overloading the biological filter.
Not fully understanding the nutritional requirements of their fish, the tendency of many people is to “throw food” at fish in order to fulfill their requirements. If the fish are not accepting the food offered, many aquarists will “throw even more” at the fish, thinking that the fish just isn’t seeing the food. Feed once, twice per day, or once every 2 or 3 days? How Often Should I Feed My Fish? helps you understand a fish’s requirements.

Know what is in the food you are feeding by comparing the nutrients in commercial foods, purchase only high quality foods and feed only what your fish will consume in 2-3 minutes per feeding.

Moving Too Fast

“Patience” is a requirement with just about anything that you do with a saltwater aquarium. Far too many people report problems after they have put a tank together, because they are just moving too fast! Far too often we have read aquarists comments like, “I need test kits? What for, and what kind?” Of course this is after they have had a tank for some time. A high percentage of people do not take the time to read and study up on the hobby before getting started.

Overloading the System

A problem that goes hand-in-hand with moving too fast is craming too much livestock and/or live rock into the aquarium all at once, especially in a tank that is not fully cycled, or has just completed the cycling process. Even in a well established system, placing too many new additions into the tank to quickly can cause new tank syndrome. Slow down! Saltwater aquarium keeping is not a timed event, so take it easy, and work on your patience skills.

Inadequate Filtration and Water Circulation

Having sufficient biological filtration is a primary key to success in keeping a saltwater aquarium. There are a number of filtration methods to choose from, but not making the right filter selection for the bio-load planned for your tank can lead to a wide variety of problems. Whether it be biological, mechanical, or chemical, it’s better to have more, rather than too little filtration.

This same concept applies to circulation of the water in the aquarium as well. The lack of good water flow throughout the system can lead to problems with low DO (dissolved oxygen), the build up of slime or other types of nuisance algae, prevention of stationary animals receiving food, and more. The solution here? Add a powerhead or two, or a surge device.

Misdiagnosing Diseases

When it comes to diagnosing diseases, saltwater ich is the biggest problem. It is easy to confuse Oodinium (Amyloodinium ocellatum – a.k.a. Marine Velvet or Coral Fish Disease) with White Spot Disease (Cryptocaryon irritans). They are similar but two quite different types of saltwater ich, and each responds to different types of treatment. It is important to properly diagnose and treat these parasites, as well as other diseases.


Way too often one or more remedies are just thrown at a sick or ailing fish without knowing what the problem is. Medications should only be used when necessary, and whenever possible in a quarantine tank. The most important factor with medications is to use one that is formulated to “target” the specific disease or diseases you are dealing with.

Purchasing Animals Without Knowing Anything About Them

It never ceases to amaze us how often people select new additions for their aquarium without knowing what the animals are, how to care for and feed them. Before purchasing anything, take the time to obtain information about it first. You shouldn’t buy on impulse because you like the pretty colors a fish has, how cute or stunning it looks, or for any other “touchy-feely” reason, or if a sales person can’t provide you with critical information you need to know about a particular animal.

Livestock Incompatibility

Statements like my wrasse ate my hermit crab, my tangs just won’t get along, and similar ones are all too frequently heard. Purchasing livestock without knowing whether or not they will peacefully reside with other tankmates can lead to dead or injured animals, as well as stress related diseases. Use common sense and learn about the compatibility of animals you are considering for your aquarium, before putting them together!

Purchasing Animals in Poor Health

One of the easiest things to do when selecting a critter is to determine whether or not it is healthy. In a simple phrase, most sick fish don’t eat. Before purchasing a fish or other animal, it is best to have a sale’s person in a store show you that it is in fact eating. On your part, learn how to recognize the symptoms or outward signs of common illnesses so you know what to look for when inspecting livestock to buy.

Using a Poor Quality Fresh Water Source

Although many aquarists do so, choosing to use water straight from the tap or unpurified water of another source to make up saltwater solutions and to top off a tank can lead to many water quality issues in aquariums. Using a water purification filter, buying clean natural sea water, or prefiltered RO/DI water from a reliable supplier is an investment that will pay for itself in the long run.

Lack of Proper Tank Maintenance

Well-maintained saltwater systems seldom experience high nitrate, bacterial outbreaks, or other water quality issues. To avoid the usual pitfalls with problems in this area of aquaria keeping, set up and follow a regular maintenance routine.

Will Algae be a problem in my saltwater reef aquarium?

You should not have a problem with algae if you have followed these recommendations:

  • Purify your tap water with a triple carbon prefilter and reverse osmosis or deionizer system;
  • Use Kalkwasser regularly to keep the pH between 8.2 and 8.4;
  • Do water changes every 2 to 3 weeks;
  • With water changes, vacuum off as much as possible of the debris in the rock crevices;
  • Change your prefilter pad every week;
  • Have the lighting on for no more than 9 hours a day, using the wattage recommended
  • Do not use unnecessary additives
  • Employ herbivorous livestock (turbo snails, small hermit crabs, hard star fish, and algae-eating fish such as yellow tangs, blennies, angels, etc.).

By following the recommendations here, you should be able to manage the micro-algae in your tank. These procedures will ensure that your reef will not be overtaken by green, brown, or red algae that would cover desirable livestock and organisms (such as the hard pink coralline algae) that depend on water flow and light.

I cannot overemphasize the importance of following all the previous recommendations, as they will ensure that the undesirable algae do not have the conditions they need to survive, and undesirable algae are the scourge of reef keeping. Follow the suggested procedures, and the algae should be manageable!

Micro-algae will grow!

The growth of micro-algae is a natural occurrence and will happen in most healthy tanks. It is only when the algae become unmanageable that we have a problem. Managing the growth of micro-algae means (1) limiting the conditions they need to thrive, (2) having livestock that will eat most of the algae, and (3) removing the remainder by hand with magnets, blade scrapers, and brushes.

In my tanks, brown and some green algae form on the glass on a regular basis. They do not thrive for long in other areas; they are only a problem on the glass and overflow pipes.

The glass is easily cleaned with an algae glass-cleaning magnet. When buying such a magnet, purchase the largest one you can find. Usually the larger the size, the stronger the magnet and the better the cleaning capabilities (pull) it will have. The magnet does a nice job for weekly or twice-weekly cleaning. Little bright green patches will eventually form. These should be scraped off with a razor blade. You should only have to “blade” the glass about once a month at the most.


Keep in mind that algae will grow and will have to be removed by hand on a regular basis. Do not be deceived when you go into your favorite reef store and observe that their tanks have no visible algae. You may think, “My tank has algae, why doesn’t his?” The fact is that every morning someone cleans the glass and maintains the tanks so they will look absolutely pristine. This gives the impression that the people in the store know something about water quality that you don’t. In fact, all they are doing is daily maintenance, in addition to the procedures listed above.

Then of course, the remaining algae will be removed by hand, particularly from the glass and overflow pipes. By using a strong magnet or a razor blade for the glass, and a bottle brush for the overflow, it is not a problem to remove undesirable algae.

It is important to remember that we want to remove the algae, not just dislodge it. When using the magnet, after a few swipes you will feel the scrubber part of the magnet cleaner getting full of algae. Take this to the sink and rinse it off. Resume cleaning and repeat the rinsing process as often as needed. Rinse the scrubber when you are done. When using the bottle brush, swirl it to trap the algae in the bristles, and rinse it out in the sink.

A strong algae magnet and bottle brush are useful tools. Some algae, of course, will get away from you. This cannot be avoided. Remove as much as you can, within reason. Algae that are dislodged and left in the tank will either reattach elsewhere, decompose into food for other algae, or get trapped in the prefilter.

Summary of algae management:

If you follow the suggestions I have given, it can be done easily. Algae accumulation can be a serious threat to the enclosed reef system. Left unmanaged, it can become a problem that would test anyone’s patience and sanity; it is not something you want to battle with! However, if you select your livestock carefully and follow the other recommendations I have discussed, the naturally-occurring algae in your tank will be a good food source for the livestock, and what they don’t eat can be managed with regular maintenance.

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