The Complete Guide to Aquariums

Aquarium and Fish Care Tactics

Aquarium and Fish Care Tactics

Who Else Wants To Learn The Secret Tactics For Setting Up And Maintaining A Solid Aquarium Set At Home And Get The Most Exciting Information About Aquarium Fish Care In A Decade. You're about to discover the most comprehensive report on aquarium and fish care you will ever read on the internet in the next five minutes.

Get My Free Ebook


Special Purpose Aquariums

- breeding aquariums, often a simple glued glass tank with no soil, for temporary use - hospital-aquariums - large aquariums. These are large by virtue of their length, as their depth and breadth cannot exceed certain limits for technical and practical reasons. They sometimes present installation problems, due to the weight on the base and the special materials required for their construction. PUBLIC AQUARIUMS In public aquariums, fishkeeping takes on a new dimension. The general trend is to offer the public extremely large tanks, in which the behavior of the animals reflects as closely as possible what actually goes on in their natural habitat, usually beyond the reach of most people. These living museums serve not only to present aquatic animals but also to study them, as much still remains to be discovered about some biological phenomena (for example, the reproduction of marine fish). This new generation of real conditions aquariums includes among its ranks the Deep-Sea World in...

Spectacular Reef Aquariums from Around the World

In Volume One we featured some photographs of reef aquariums from around the world. This was a popular section of the book, so we decided to do it again in Volume Two. We were amused to discover that the appearance of reef tanks has markedly transformed in the few years since our first book was published. The trend lately is to have a reef aquarium full of small-polyped stony corals. Volume Two is about soft corals and anemones, so the aquarium photographs here tend to emphasize the wrong creatures for this book One of Terry Siegel's reef aquariums. G. Schiemer One of Larry Jackson's reef aquariums with a nice diversity of Part of one of the show aquariums at Biotope Aquaristik, near Cologne Germany. The aquarium features nice colonies of soft corals and corallimorphs and rare fish such as this Bodianussp. J. Sprung This 950 L (250 gal) tank contains some of the oldest corals on display at a public aquarium. The large Goniopora sp. that dominates the left side of the tank was...

Aquariums

My personal interest in saltwater aquariums goes back about thirty years. I had been fascinated with saltwater invertebrates since childhood, thanks to family trips to the beach. By the time I reached graduate school, I was on track to become a freshwater biologist. Then in 1975 I took a field course in invertebrates, and for the first time I had the opportunity to observe a tropical coral reef. Needless to say, I was hooked on saltwater. Since then, I have returned many times to the site of that first experience, the now-defunct marine laboratory on Pigeon Key, Florida. As both hobbyist and dealer, I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of tanks and thousands of fish, and to interact with dozens of wonderful people who have shared their enthusiasm and expertise. Despite all this, I have a lot more to learn, and each time I contemplate saltwater aquarium keeping, I recognize a different angle, a new possibility. I sincerely hope this book sparks your interest in saltwater...

Early Aquariums

Live Holding System Fish

Everything a natural aquarium is not a traditional marine tank with too many fishes, no invertebrates, and decorated with dead coral skeletons and plastic plants. The Saltwater Aquarium in the Home was the title of a system, but for more demanding species, better methods are popular little book written in 1959 by the late Robert required. Fortunately, many advances in marine aquarium Straughan, and it marks for us the first attempt to offer filtration have come about in recent years as hobbyists have suggestions for maintaining a marine aquarium to hobbyists surged beyond fish-only systems into the challenging world in the United States. Home marine aquariums first became of reef aquarium keeping, a possibility for the aver age consumer when the utility of biological filtration, the conversion of ammonia to nitrate via beneficial bacteria, was recognized. Although biological filtration occurs in any aquarium as a result of microorgan- In the earliest days of marine aquariums in the...

The Traditional Aquarium

For decades, the quintessential aquarium system for both freshwater and marine hobbyists in North America has been based on submerged, aerobic filtration using internal or external mechanical filters and or the undergravel filter. Oxygenated aquarium water flows continually through these filters, and biological activity occurs in the filter media or the gravel. Early versions relied on airstones to lift and circulate water, while most contemporary equipment is powered by compact water pumps or powerheads. Such filters are simple and workable for lightly stocked aquariums, but, unless carefully maintained, are prone to clogging with detritus and sometimes dramatic fluctuations

Components Of A Berlinstyle Aquarium

Aquariums had a variety of Indo-Pacific invertebrates. In centration. Wilkens was perhaps influenced by the work idea that the filter was the key to success, paying out our miniature reef aquariums based on live rock, with only perience that our aquariums were doing just fine the rock, specimens, water, and natural foods near his home, way they were. His aquariums were pictured in the popular literature of the time, but the details of his methods were sketchy he kept few notes and published little. Peter Wilkens, on the other hand, made accurate measurements, kept copious records, In the 1970s, Peter Wilkens, working in Germany, was and published his findings in the European and American approaching aquarium design from a different angle. His aquarium literature. His work has been expanded upon and systems relied on live rock for biological filtration and den- disseminated through the efforts of many people, includ-itrification there was no undergravel or wet dry filter at ing, most...

The Aquarium As Hobby

To himself as an amateur chef or an amateur scientist the word amateur can be translated as one who loves. One reason for the current popularity of marine aquariums is the deep attraction many people feel for nature and natural Some families buy an aquarium as an educational history. This is a hobby that breeds passionate amateurs with tool for the benefit of their children. Not a parent myself, I a lifelong commitment to their salty pursuits. that children of all ages are drawn to aquariums. I know that reliable performance, can be prohibitively expensive. For- est in school biology. The use of aquariums to teach children formed manually. It is important to bear in mind that no

Reef Aquarium Plumbing Scheme

120 Gallon Saltwater Aquarium Plumbing

Shop can arrange to have it drilled and outfitted with an appropriate overflow chamber. Do-it-yourselfers like acrylic aquariums because they can be drilled by any person handy should deliver at least five times the system's water volume per hour at the point of discharge into the display tank. Most pumps are rated in gallons per hour at 1 foot of head pressure. Head pressure is the distance from the inlet of the pump to the discharge point in the display tank. For most home aquarium systems, this will be about 4 feet. However, other factors affect working head pressure. Each

Tips On Coral Placement

220 Natural Reef Aquariums predictably, with the waters surrounding the reef clouded with millions of eggs and sperm. But for every larval coral that finds a suitable spot and grows into a visible colony, billions die. An idea that takes advantage of this natural fecundity is the placement of artificial substrates, such as ceramic tiles, in hopes of collecting coral larvae that will grow into aquarium-sized colonies. The seeded tiles could then be transferred to grow-out aquariums in which conditions could be adjusted to optimize the rate of coral growth. The government of Guam is reported to be interested in seeing a coral industry of this sort attempted in its waters. FISHES FOR THE OUTER-REEF HABITAT. Because they are mobile, fishes are not as restricted in their habitat preferences as are sessile invertebrates. Some rough habitat guidelines, however, are possible for the most commonly seen aquarium species. Among those species usually seen on the outer side of the reef are

Forcipiger Longirostris

250 Natural Reef Aquariums As aquarists gain more experience with maintaining marine fish and invertebrates and share their observations with each other, the importance of having a precise understanding about just which organism is being discussed can hardly be overestimated. Many times a species that is easy to keep has a relative that is similar in appearance but is challenging or impossible to maintain. The large family of butterflyfishes is a perfect example knowing and being able to use the correct scientific name can be a powerful aid in avoiding those species within a given family that are doomed in most aquariums.

Experimental Techniques

A host of marine species can probably be used as live foods. Copepods, for example, and especially their larvae (nauplii ), appear to be important components of the natural diet of marine fish larvae. Copepods and other small crustaceans may form the bulk of the diet for adult drag-onets, such as Synchiropus picturatus. These tiny crustaceans often undergo spontaneous population explosions in mature aquariums established by the methods outlined in this book. When such an explosion occurs, one can harvest a few hundred of the organisms and transfer them to a separate container in an attempt to establish a culture. Supplying them with algae, detritus, and other organic matter removed from the display aquarium should result in a successful copepod farm. Mass culture of a single copepod species is also possible, using techniques similar to those developed for Brachionus rotifers. 272 Natural Reef Aquariums dozens of plankton aquariums in quart jars on a windowsill as well. A more refined,...

Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse

290 Natural Reef Aquariums What does this have to do with reef aquariums Only that the species that usually do best in captivity are either r-selected species or those k-selected species whose habitat requirements are clearly understood. Aquarium hobbyists, particularly novices, should be aware that some species are on the market whose chances of survival in captivity are slim. Just because a specimen is swimming in a dealer's tank does not mean that it will continue to accommodate itself to an artificial habitat as readily as might another species swimming alongside it. Attempts to categorize marine aquarium fishes to identify those that typically have a high likelihood of survival and those that do not have been met with varying degrees of acceptance by hobbyists and those in the industry. While few disagree that life-history information should be made widely available, the idea of categorizing species into broad suitable or unsuitable lists is controversial. Oversimplification in...

M Acroalcae Cultivation

The major and minor nutrients required by macroalgae are nitrogen compounds, phosphate, potassium, sulfate, iron, manganese, thiamine, biotin, and vitamin B12. Nitrogen compounds and phosphate are generally always available in the aquarium, often to the extent that one must take measures to remove them. Other major elements (potassium, sulfate, and manganese) are present in seawater mixes. Iron and iodine, important trace elements for growth, are often added to macroalgae aquariums. If iron supplementation is used, test the water daily with an iron test kit and add sufficient sup 172 Natural Reef Aquariums

Fluorescent Lighting Systems

Saltwater Aquarium Solar Tube

108 Natural Reef Aquariums The nature of the phosphor coating on the inside of the white tube is what gives fluorescent lamps their spectral-output characteristics. Photosynthetic organisms have pigments that absorb strongly in the red and blue regions of the spectrum, although accessory pigments allow energy to be These are modest lighting levels, with the minimal gathered from light of many wavelengths. It is wiser to pro-wattage appropriate for fishes and nonphotosynthetic in- vide a balanced white light for shallow-water species and vertebrates. The moderate level can be sufficient for the to emphasize the blue wavelengths in aquariums for species less demanding soft corals such as Lobophytum, Pachyclavu- that come from greater depths. Most of the brand-related I aria y Sarcophyton, and even such large-polyped stony corals claims for fluorescent aquarium lamps revolve around their as Fungia, Plerogyra (Bubble Coral), Trachyphyllia (Open special spectral qualities. Hobbyists should...

Common Features of Captive Ecosystems

Frakes (1994) compared each of the methods discussed above and concluded, Several methods have been shown to be successful with certain organisms when properly applied. M artin Moe1 has pointed out to me that this is simply attributable to each approach providing an adequate substitute for the natural environment of the organisms that have been successfully maintained. The fact that these approaches all have drawbacks simply serves to demonstrate that man cannot create a perfect copy of a true ecosystem. But all types of captive ecosystems share common features. This universality of underlying principles applies not only to marine aquariums, but to freshwater aquariums and As the marine side of the aquarium hobby returns to its roots through its current fascination for aquariums dominated by invertebrates, undoubtedly among the earliest of marine tank subjects, so has the freshwater hobby seen a resurgence of interest in the oldest kind of aquarium, the planted freshwater tank....

The Dutch Style Aquarium

I call systems featuring a trickle or wet dry filter Dutch-style aquariums, and there is no doubt that these relatively complex setups ushered in a revolution in marine husbandry. The introduction by Dutch proponent George Smit of the wet dry filter, adapted from wastewater treatment technology, resulted in a new wave of interest in minireef aquarium keeping. This new filter system was much more efficient than the undergravel filter and bypassed many of the former system's drawbacks (Smit, 1986a, 1986b). The filter media, kept wet but elevated above the water level of a sump, could support large populations of Unfortunately, wet dry filter systems relied on exactly the same biological approach as the old undergravel models mineralization of nitrogenous wastes through bacterial activity. This eliminates problems with ammonia toxicity, but creates a new set of problems related to accumulation of nitrate and reduction of pH due to the generation of hydrogen ions. Fish are not...

Captive Propagated Fishes Invertebrates

This will come not only because of expansion not be the large angels, wrasses, and triggers so often seen in of the number of species that can be propagated, but also be- artificial, fish-only displays. Rather, basslets, gobies, cause hobbyists will focus more and more of their attention blennies, damsels, dwarf angels, and anemonefishes, along

Parti

One reassuring fact about a marine aquarium is that the constituents and characteristics of seawater that are of importance to invertebrates and fishes are, for the most part, constant throughout the ocean. Although physical parameters such as temperature, dissolved oxygen, and the degree of water movement may vary geographically, or even on opposite sides of a reef crest, the basic medium, seawater, is the same everywhere, or at least everywhere from which one might wish to procure specimens for display in a home aquarium.

Zoanthus Sociatus

176 Natural Reef Aquariums rock so that there are several caves near the center (or wher-Because of the abundance and diversity of life on the ever you prefer the fish to congregate), and try to obtain at fore reef, there are many potential natural aquarium themes least one large, flat piece of rock that can be used to create

Marine Invertebrates

282 Natural Reef Aquariums there is potentially a much larger market for reef aquari- extremely delicate aquariums subjects. For example, Stan A recent survey of 51 public aquariums small-scale captive reproduction by hobbyist-breeders. (Walker, 1996) shows that, for larvae produced Another aspect of captive propagation is only beginning to be explored. This approach is well suited to the home hobbyist interested in a small income from playing around with marine aquariums. It involves simply obtaining small specimens of desirable species and growing them out to a larger size. Since bigger specimens command a higher price and smaller ones are easier and cheaper to ship in large

Category

The species can he maintained only if its special requirements are met such requirements can be provided in a home aquarium setting, given sufficient effort. With these species, the problem is usually one of pro- fishes (Photoblepharon and Anomalops) seem to require dark-viding an adequate diet. The Achilles Tang (Acanthurus ness and living foods. These fishes are sometimes collected achilles) is an exception. Since it inhabits very turbulent water and grazes heavily on algae, it often fares poorly in aquariums with low water movement. On the other hand, its cousin, the Lipstick Tang (Naso lituratus), must have brown algae, such as kelp, included in its diet in order to survive long term. 298 Natural Reef Aquariums and exported to the aquarium trade because they possess luminescent organs that hobbyists find intriguing. But they require husbandry at a level more commonly found in public, rather than private, aquariums. mon rostratus (Copperband) and Chelmonops truncatus (Truncate...

Starter Reef

Ften perplexing for those who haven't tried it before, setting up a new aquarium can be simple when done in logical, unhurried steps. The accompanying photographs illustrate a straightforward sequence one might use to create a simple reef system, using the techniques discussed in this book. The theme we have chosen is a bit of Micronesian deep fore-reef habitat, which will be housed in a 20-gallon aquarium a tank size that offers enough room to create an interesting ecosystem but is small enough to fit a beginner's space and budget, with no expensive lighting or filtration equipment required. Step 1 Essential components of a basic, inexpensive, beginners natural reef system, including 20-gallon glass aquarium, simple light hood, external skimmer, small powerhead, thermometer, hydrometer, test kit, salt, and aragonite or coral sand. Rinse the tank with freshwater. Never use soap or commercial cleaners to clean an aquarium. (If you need to remove a stubborn deposit, use a little white...

The Inshore Zone

Pearly Jawfish

One of my favorite spots in the Keys is a huge, bowl-shaped tidepool just off U.S. 1. Protected from wave action by a sea wall of coral rock rubble, this pool is a giant natural aquarium. Dozens of species of macroalgae occur here. By far the most common are members of the large genus Caulerpa. C. prolif ra has a simple flat blade (botanically, the assimi-lator) that often spirals like a loose corkscrew as it grows upward. C. mexicana has a blade more reminiscent of a fern frond, that is, it is deeply notched. Less common species include C. racemosa, in which the blade looks like a bunch of grapes C. peltata, which has an upright central stem with little lollipop-shaped leaflets attached along its length C. sertularioides, with a blade that looks like a bird's feather and C. verticillata, with short blades composed of a central thread bearing tufts of side filaments arranged in whorls along its length. These species of Caulerpa are adapted to scrambling over rubble, dead coral heads,...

Continental

Imens offered for sale were illegally collected. The same holds true for Australia. Given the growing success of stony coral propagation at the hands of a number of pioneering marine aquarists, it is possible that captive-grown specimens of currently banned Caribbean species will be available. The tons of cultured live rock now being readied for harvest off the Florida shoreline will also harbor small corals that have settled out naturally during the rock-farming process. These corals are expected to be exempt from the usual regulations. In my experience, the shallow-water stony corals found in the waters around Pigeon Key and elsewhere in the Florida Keys grow abundantly under rather adverse conditions of high water temperature and heavy nutrient load. Small specimens brought into aquariums at the University of Tennessee fared well. Finger Coral (Pontes pontes), Yellow Mustard Coral (P. astreoides), Starlet Corals (As-trangia sp.) and Rose Coral (Manicina areolata) were the species...

Aquarium Juana Diaz

286 Natural Reef Aquariums Opened in 1996, Oceans, Reefs and Aquariums of Palm stony corals and tridacnids by growing out small individuals Beach, Florida, is planned as among the largest marine in trays placed in the lagoon. Backyard mariculture is not for the faint of heart, nor, indeed, for the lazy. The proliferation of such cottage industries, however, helps to ensure that species the big companies may ignore, including unique varieties of stony and soft corals, will remain available to aquarium hobbyists, even if wild stocks of these species become depleted or are placed off-limits. I wish them all, together with the other bold adventurers that will soon enter this new industry, the very best of luck. All marine hobbyists should recognize the importance of these ventures to the future of the home aquarium hobby, and should support

Red Sea Coral Reef

Xenia Reef Plant

276 Natural Reef Aquariums field trips to collect lab materials, and giving student help sessions that often extended far into the night, I was also expected to take a course or two myself. This afforded me the chance to sample subjects in other life sciences departments. My interest in seaweeds, for example, was kindled by a course in phycology, and soon aquariums in the biology labs contained seaweeds that students would otherwise have seen only in books. The idea of going further upstream is what encouraged me to move in new directions with the design of the aquariums back at school. I brought back numerous specimens, grouping them in tanks according to their habitat preferences, much as I had done in the water tables at the Pigeon Key lab. Students began to comment on how much more interesting these exhibits were becoming. To my pleasure, the course supervisor asked if I would like to turn an empty storeroom into a living museum, and there were more trips been held up as typical...

Reef Tank Filtration

Practicality will dictate that choices be made with a budget in mind. The relationship of the cost of the completed system to the size of the tank becomes readily apparent when one prices aquariums. Although the tanks themselves are often sold at very low margins (most dealers subscribe 4. Overfeeding the fish always leads to trouble. Few experienced hobbyists, much less beginners, have the patience and restraint necessary to provide several marine fish housed in a small aquarium with an adequate diet, while at the same time avoiding an accumulation of excess nutrients in the water. One of the characteristics of a seasoned talent is the ability to make an inherently difficult achievement appear simple. Novices would be wise to note that the most celebrated small marine reef aquariums are the creations of expert aquarists. important, their mass per unit of water volume is. (We are assuming here that the metabolic rates of the animals are the same. Say all the animals in the tank are...

Chapter Ten 235

Exquisite Butterfiyfish iChaetodon austriacus) beautiful, but an obligate coral eater, likely to die in the home aquarium. their venomous nature, careful consideration should be given to inclusion of these species in the home aquarium, despite their hardiness. Fishes Compatible with Reel Aquariums can now examine the fish species that are best suited to home aquariums. Listed below are the families of fishes 236 Natural Reef Aquariums

Anemone Conservation

Saltwater Anemones For Sale

The offspring were trans- most appropriate species for most aquarists. ferred to other aquariums, where they divided again. Thus, some of these anemones are second-generation, captive-propagated clones. The only common thread among these aquariums is that all of them are on the cooler side. Some Entacmaea specimens in other aquariums maintained by these same people have refused to divide, and many have not fared well generally.

Chapter Eight 221

The Bannerfish, Heniochus diphreutes, schools along drop-offs at 40+ feet and is one of the few members of the butter-flyfish family suitable for the reef tank. Many butterflies will decimate the live Zebra Lionfish CDendrochirus zebra) not for tanks with smaller fishes or shrimp coral population of a home aquarium,

Drop Count

Aquarium Pea Gravel

128 Natural Reef Aquariums Julian Sprung (1994) enumerated a number of benefits from adding limewater (or Kalkwasser in the parlance of German-speaking aquarists) to the aquarium, only one of which is to maintain the calcium concentration, but all of which have to do with the needs of the organisms being kept in the aquarium. Using limewater for calcium maintenance also helps to maintain the pH and alkalinity of the aquarium, because the hydroxyl ions from the limewater neutralize some of the acids accumulating in the system. In effect, this prevents the alkalinity from being used up and the pH therefore remains more stable. The ideal pH for calcification is about 8.40 to 8.45, and according to Sprung, aquariums should be maintained so that the pH does not rise above 8.45 during the day, except for a temporary rise (never more than 8.6) when a dose of limewater is added. Allowing the pH to go higher than this will, ironically, impede calcium maintenance, as calcium carbonate will...

Made simple

Microhabitat Aquariums

Ne of the most biologically rich environments on Earth, the coral reef dazzles our senses with its colors, shapes, and species diversity. Recreating living reefs in miniature is a burgeoning avocation for serious home aquarium keepers, and John Tullock here offers a radically simple new approach to producing beautiful captive microcosms. Natural Reef Aquariums includes

Water Changes

In the earliest marine aquariums, changing water was the only way to maintain water quality. Long ago, I read about a Victorian Englishwoman whose personal passion was sea anemones. (It was quite fashionable, in that era, for the upper classes to have an interest in natural history, and many a beau, apparently, was kept a-waiting by ladies too enamored of their microscopes.) She collected a specimen from a tidepool along the Cornwall coast and kept it in a bowl on a table in her sitting room. She aerated the water by stirring it with her hand after breakfast every morning. Every month, the anemone received a piece offish, shrimp, or cockle meat. Each week, she replenished the seawater in the bowl with water taken from the ocean. The anemone, according to the story, survived for so many years that the lady's friends marveled at its longevity. This lady had a lot going for her. The temperature in her home by modern standards would have been decidedly cool, providing the anemone an...

Live Food Cultivation

Species most often cultivated for this purpose is Brachionus plicatilis. Yiis organism, which is easily maintained on a diet of cultured phytoplankton such as Isochrysis, might be regarded as the foundation of the marine fish aquaculture industry. Explicit instructions for culture of Brachionus can be found in Moe (1989), and various other references. BRINE SHRIMP. The brine shrimp, Artemia salina, is a common inhabitant of highly saline environments and is available year round to aquarists, either as live adult shrimp or as resting cysts. Newly hatched brine shrimp, called nau-plii, are an old-fashioned staple food for all types of aquariums. The resting cysts, or eggs, are widely available. To hatch nauplii, place about 2 tablespoons of synthetic sea-water mix in a clean quart jar and fill with RO water. Add about Va teaspoon of cysts, then aerate vigorously. The cysts will hatch in about 24 to 48 hours, depending upon temperature. The nauplii are attracted to light, and a...

What You Can Find in This Book

Month, I'd give a presentation on some aspect of water chemistry, or a particular family of fishes, or the pros and cons of different types of filters. After these sessions, we poured free coffee and talked about fish. People often told me they appreciated the information, but could I please just tell them what fish they should keep It took quite a while for me to realize that the majority of casual aquarists were not really interested in becoming what I thought of as a hobbyist. They were not fish nuts like me they saw an aquarium not as a preoccupation for their weekends, but rather more as art, something to enhance the look and feel of their personal space. And they wanted it plug-and-play. Never mind all the water chemistry, just tell me what to do and how often to do it. As I helped more and more people design aquariums that looked good and were easy to maintain, I learned what works and what doesn't. Much of that experience has been incorporated here. Chapter 1, Caring for an...

Fishkeeping Science And Aquaculture

Keeping fish contributes to the development of scientific research into aquatic environments, and is relevant to the study of animal and plant biology, ecology, reproduction, feeding, and behavior. Researchers use some species to test the toxicity of pollutants or suspected pollutants. Aquaculture or fish farming - the production of living creatures with the principal aim of selling them as food - has features in common with fishkeeping. In both cases, it is a matter of maintaining fish in captivity and encouraging them to reproduce, always under the best possible conditions. The use of aquariums has allowed us to improve our knowledge of, for example, the breeding of marine larvae destined eventually for human consumption. It can also aid the preservation of species threatened with extinction for various reasons we can study their behavior and reproductive methods with the aim of rearing young which can be released into their natural habitats. On the other hand, aquarists are...

How Saltwater Differs from Freshwater

Not only coral reefs, but all marine habitats occur in seawater of the same composition. Thus, saltwater aquariums all share the same set of water parameters. Again, this contrasts with the wide differences in freshwater chemistry from one habitat to another. For example, an acidic South American pond might have a pH of 5.0 and a hardness near zero, while Lake Tanganyika has a pH of about 9.0 and extremely high hardness. The fish from each of these habitats are unlikely to survive for long if kept, say, under the other habitat's conditions in the aquarium. In the case of marine habitats, the water surrounding the coral reefs of Australia has about the same pH and salinity as the water surrounding Key West, Florida. The saltwater aquarist has less to worry about than his or her freshwater counterpart, in terms of water chemistry. See chapter 1, Caring for an Aquarium, for more details on saltwater chemistry. Anyone with the ability to understand the basic chemistry and biology needed...

Reef Tank and Fish Tank Whats the Difference

There are many different ways you can set up an aquarium depending on what you would like to keep and what interests you most in the hobby. Accordingly hobbyists tend to put names on the different types of aquariums that can be set up because they have similar general requirements depending on the classification of tank.

The Chemistry You Need

The range of optimum water conditions for a saltwater aquarium is much narrower than for a freshwater tank. In order to keep conditions in the aquarium within that narrow range, the aquarist must engage in a regular process of what I like to call test and tweak. You periodically perform some key chemical tests. If water conditions are found to be out of line, you tweak them back into place. Often, the tweak involves a partial water change at other times the addition of a supplement may be necessary. Making a judgment about what to do with a saltwater tank requires a somewhat broader background than that required for freshwater aquarium-keeping. The degree of acidity or alkalinity of a solution is expressed as pH. it affects everything from the respiration of fish to skeleton construction in corals. Natural seawater has a pH of 8.3. The pH of pure water is 7.0. Acidic solutions are lower than 7.0 on the pH scale, while anything above 7.0 is alkaline. Aquarium pH is easily measured in...

Physical and Chemical Cycles

The chemistry of the surrounding seawater varies little from one coral reef to the next. Therefore, only one set of parameters is needed for all saltwater aquariums that display reef fishes and invertebrates. Some authors recommend maintaining the temperature at a slightly higher range than recommended here. Otherwise, broad agreement exists regarding the numbers presented here. Though biofiltration is a totally natural process, most aquariums are outfitted with some kind of filtration system. Designed to maximize biofiltration capacity, aquarium filtration equipment may employ a variety of techniques to increase the surface area available for colonization by nitrifiers. The bacteria refuse to carry out the desired chemical transformations when they float freely they need to be stuck to a solid surface. Thus we have rotating bio-wheel devices, wet dry systems, and fluidized bed technology. All these filtration methods provide extremely efficient biofiltration, converting all the...

Selecting Invertebrates and Fishes

A good aquarium fish should also adapt readily to captive circumstances. This would seem obvious. Yet, plenty of fishes are doomed to an early death simply because their ecological requirements are difficult or impractical to satisfy in a home aquarium. Some species will only take live food. We have already mentioned butterflyfishes that feed exclusively on coral polyps as an example. Some fishes just do not ship well. They Bringing Out the Best in Saltwater Aquariums 47 Bringing Out the Best in Saltwater Aquariums 47 A good aquarium fish should either exhibit brilliant coloration or possess some interesting behavioral quirk to justify the effort required of the aquarist. Some marine fishes sport beautiful colors as juveniles, then grow into drab, gray adults. On the other hand, the various species of lionfish are mostly brown and white in color, but their elaborate finnage and graceful movements endear them to aquarium keepers. Behavior involving specific relationships can form the...

Acclimating New Arrivals

New fish require a gradual process of introduction into their new aquarium. Aquarists call this acclimating the fish to the new tank. You should acclimate all new arrivals to your quarantine tank as described below. Moving them to the display aquarium later does not call for another acclimation routine, provided conditions match in the two tanks. Bringing Out the Best in Saltwater Aquariums 49 Bringing Out the Best in Saltwater Aquariums 49

Making Your Aquarium Look Real

I endeavor to design aquariums that reflect nature. One basic approach I employ is to combine fish, invertebrates, and other materials that come from the same geographic regions, although I sometimes combine elements from different areas of the world that share similar biotopes. Incorporating elements from the same geographic region or biotope type is the first step in making the artificial aquarium habitat look like a genuine coral reef. Arranging invertebrates and or nonliving elements with care completes the illusion. Freshwater aquariums vary quite a bit in terms of temperature, pH, water hardness, and so forth, while coral reef aquariums all require the same water chemistry and temperature. Except for its capacity, however, one freshwater filtration system is pretty much like another. This is hardly the case with saltwater systems, though all designs share the goal of creating a satisfactory substitute for the coral reef environment. Many modern saltwater aquariums are much more...

Safety and Maintenance

Every precaution must be taken to avoid creating an electrical hazard. We all know water and electricity don't mix I'll have more to say in general about electrical safety and aquariums in the next chapter. For lighting equipment, specifically, look for units that are made of water repellent materials, that is, plastic, laminates, or properly finished wood. If the design incorporates a protective panel between the water and the lamps, check to see how easy it will be to remove this panel for cleaning. Water spots can significantly reduce the amount of light reaching the plants. No electrical connections should be exposed. When no protective panel is used, the end caps for mounting fluorescent lamps should be waterproof. Metal halide systems should always have a protective panel. The best advice regarding safety is to choose equipment made specifically for aquarium use.

Methods for Establishing Reef Aquaria

Reel aquariums were introduced to North American hobbyists as the product of superior filtration provided by a gadget called the trickle filter. However, as we have mentioned a few times already, excellent success is attained without a trickle filter, and this is how we prefer to nin our systems. This is by no means a new concept and has been practiced in Europe for more than ten years. In fact, it is a modified version of the natural system promoted by Lee Chin Eng over thirty years ago. Today many North American hobbyists have put away their trickle filters and run their aquariums with protein skimmers only.

Ceratopteris thalictroides005A

Aquariums it can grow out of the aquarium and form beautiful surface leaves. The finely branched leaves are very decorative and provide good contrast to other leaf shapes. In good light Ceratopteris thalictroides grows fast and helps prevent algae by consuming large amounts of nutrients. This makes it a good starter plant in small aquariums.

Origins and Definitions

Whatever definition one chooses, modern zoos may include a variety of facilities zoological parks, conservation parks, aviaries, herpetariums, safari parks, insectariums, butterfly parks, and endangered species rehabilitation centers. Aquariums and oceanariums are unique forms of zoological gardens and are here distinguished from the other terrestrially oriented facilities (as the aquarium profession generally prefers). All of these variations are considered in this history under the umbrella term zoological gardens. In addition, other modern institutions are merging with the zoological garden concept. National parks and wildlife reserves are becoming so intensively managed that they are becoming zoogeographic megazoos.8 Examples of this trend are presented in some of the chapters. Although they are not bona fide zoos, they do resemble the ancient royal animal parks, and as natural habitats decrease and management of the remaining park areas increases, these park areas may one day be...

Accessory Pumps and Other Devices

External dedicated circulatory pumps have the advantage of not being an obstruction within the aquarium, and not contributing as much heat to the water as submersible powerheads. When using an external pump, the location of the intake is important. We have seen many aquariums equipped with recirculating pumps with the intake plumbed through the wall of the aquarium (either a side or the bottom), and outfitted with a strainer to prevent fish from being slurped into the motor. This technique works fine for fish-only aquariums, but is a disaster in the reef tank. Don't make this mistake Wandering clownfish anemones, loose mushroom anemones, algae, sea cucumbers and other creatures end up against the strainer and often, through the pump. They become reef puree. The design of choice with this arrangement is simply to put the intake in the overflow. This arrangement can also be used for feeding the protein skimmer from the overflow.

Undemanding Or Shaded

The plants in this group are ideal for aquariums with just one or two fluorescent tubes. Some will live happily in a wide range of lighting conditions, others prefer to be in shaded areas or away from bright light. Although required in far lower quantities, micronutrients are equally important to plant health. Whereas macronutrients are usually used for structural components, such as cells, proteins, and fats, micronutrients are used for cellular functions and the activation of vital enzymes. Micronutrients can be considered as important for the correct management and control of plant biology. These trace elements can be found in many liquid fertilizers, as well as in most tap water sources, although they are often used up quickly in aquariums both by plants as nutrients and through binding to organic molecules.

Using algae treatments

Chemical algae treatments should be used only as a last resort in aquariums, especially In planted aquariums, as the chemicals involved can be harmful to both fish and plants. Many algae treatments contain high levels of copper or flocculents (compounds that bind particles together), both of which can be toxic to fish either directly or indirectly. High copper levels also build up in plants and in many cases, in a well-planted aquarium, the copper will be taken up by plants before it begins to affect algae. In this instance it is possible that copper toxicity will occur in plants before the algae are greatly affected. Chemical treatments are only a temporary measure and will not eliminate the

Additional Comments on Materials Pumps and Plumbing

We do not agree with the assertion that centrifugal pumps should not be used because they harm plankton populations. We acknowledge that the point has some merit because pressure, shear, and turbulence inside some centrifugal pumps can kill a percentage of the phytoplankton and zooplankton that actually passes through the pump. One type of centrifugal pump was demonstrated to kill 90 of Anemia salina (brine shrimp) on a recirculating experimental set-up (Adey and Loveland, 1991). Brine shrimp are not a type of plankton found in reef aquariums, however, and reef aquariums are not exactly like small recirculating systems. Reef aquariums have a great deal of substrate heterogeneity, and much of the plankton generated in the system remains in the system around the substrates. It does not pass through the pumps. If you experiment with centrifugal pumps you will discover that various sizes of plankton can be passed through them without causing any significant harm. Not all centrifugal pumps...

Understanding Invertebrates

Minireef aquariums owe much of their appeal to invertebrates. The fish may, in some designs, be secondary players. Even in a fish-only aquarium, a few carefully chosen invertebrates help solidify the illusion of a natural biotope. Invertebrates add color and interest, and in some cases reward the aquarist by reproducing themselves. Many sessile invertebrates grow and spread like garden plants. In time, the aquarium begins to take on a truly natural look that cannot be otherwise achieved.

Types of Lighting Systems

Forms of lighting that are not recommended for reef tanks include some mercury vapour and sodium vapour lights, as well as HQL and HQI-NDL lighting which have colour temperatures (4300 K) and spectrums that aren t ideal. These lights can be used successfully for reef aquariums, provided UV emissions are blocked and temperature is managed. With 4300 K light, the colours of the animals and appearance of the tank is not as good as with daylight spectrum, but most corals will still grow as long as they receive bright light. Quartz halogen lights that are inexpensive and readily available from hardware or department stores are also unsuitable because of the spectrum and the tremendous amount of heat they produce.

Other Photosynthetic Invertebrates

This group dominates minireef aquariums and includes the majority of invertebrate species sold for aquariums. Until they became commonly available from hatcheries, giant clams were rare in the aquarium trade and expensive. They grow to truly enormous size, and display spectacular coloration. The mantle, exposed through the gaping shell, bears zooxanthellae. Previously thought to subsist entirely from photosynthesis, giant clams in fact need regular feeding to thrive. Phytoplankton products have made it possible for aquarists to obtain amazing results with giant clams. Spawning sometimes occurs in home aquariums, for example. All varieties, which will be discussed separately in the design portion of the book, need bright to very bright light and may therefore not be appropriate for all aquariums.

Plants As Tools And Pests

Pistia Stratiotes Aquarium

In many situations, plants are a vital tool used both by man and in nature for ecological purposes. Fast-growing plants are often used to remove wastes from water, allowing the cleanup of polluted waterways or to prevent toxic algal blooms from occurring in nutrient-rich areas. Aquarists use plants as a form of filtration, both in aquariums and ponds. Some special pond filters are designed to house a bed of aquatic or marginal plants that remove nutrients and toxic metals from the water, preventing algae and improving the water quality for the fish. In all aquariums, you can employ four types of filtration in one way or another mechanical, biological, chemical, and sterilization. The function of filtration in the aquarium is to remove or neutralize substances that may be harmful, and to remove visible debris from the water. In nature, a combination of naturally occurring bacteria, organisms, and vegetation provide the waste disposal means to keep water quality stable and pollutants at...

Carbon dioxide fertilization

Carbonator Aquarium

In most planted aquariums, C02 fertilization is essential for good plant health and is often the limiting factor in overall growth. Without adequate levels of C02, plants cannot photosynthesize effectively and therefore cannot produce the energy needed to perform basic physiological functions. There are several ways of introducing C02 into the aquarium. It is created naturally through fish and plant respiration, but mostly by bacteria as they break down organic matter. Many soil-based and established substrates will continually release C02, which can be used by aquatic plants. However, the quantities produced by these processes are minimal and would not be enough for heavily planted tanks. This is why additional fertilization is Right Cylinders containing compressed C02 are ideal for larger aquariums and long-term C02 fertilization. The gas produced is sent to a bubble counter, where it is kept in contact with the water for an extended time. Plants can acquire the C02 they need by a...

Levels of phosphate as well though the quantity is small compared

As a side note, excessive feeding of the fish can lead to accumulation of phosphate in the aquarium, but this should not encourage the aquarist to keep anorexic fish Although some aquarists advocate minimal feedings of the fish in a reef tank, this is not always a wise practice. Unless adequate food is available, some fish will slowly wraste away. Careful, moderate, but frequent feedings of high quality foods, should be carried out several times a week, if not daily. Active fish such as Pseudanthias spp. require small feedings several times a day to maintain their health. Tangs and surgeon fish may not get enough vegetable matter to eat in a reef tank, particularly smaller aquariums, and these fish should be provided with a constant supply of vegetables such as fresh seaweeds, lea lettuce, bok clioy, zucchini or (uncooked) seaweeds such as nori, from Asian grocery stores. In larger aquariums with strong illumination and deep substrate, the growth of algae and the development of...

Completely understood

The addition of chelated iron to marine aquariums is beneficial to both plants and photosynthetic invertebrates. Only solutions made from ferric citrate or chelated with EDTA remain stable at the pH of seawater (Spotte, 1979). Additions of iron to reef aquariums achieve a number of qualitative and quantitative effects. For the corals, anemones and other photosynthetic animals, it appears to benefit their photosynthetic partners primarily, and the result is improved colouring, growth and expansion in the host animal. The free-living algae and seaweeds also benefit, and their growth is enhanced through the addition of iron. For this reason we caution the aquarist that the addition of iron or trace element solutions containing iron should be done slowly, to achieve the benefits without the risk of encouraging excessive growth of undesirable algae. Please see Synergistic effect of Phosphate and Trace Elements in chapter 9 for additional information.

Controlling Phosphate

Fish and invertebrate foods added to the aquarium are the most significant phosphate input for most systems. The fish must be fed in most small aquaria, though larger closed ecosystems produce sufficient algae and little crustaceans to provide enough, or more than enough, food for the fish. Still, most aquarists enjoy feeding their aquariums at least once in a while, and this is fine provided one doesn't feed too much. In this regard, we wish to point out again that liquid invertebrate foods that benefit non-photosynthetic organisms primarily, (don't confuse with liquid trace element supplements that are essential) are to be feci only very sparingly or not at all. Most of the cloudy water ends up as pollution that will Protein skimming removes inorganic phosphate from the water because the bubbling action blows the phosphate off into the air. Protein skimming also removes organic sources of phosphate very efficiently, depositing them in the collection cup along with the other...

Hygrophila corymbosa Siamensis053A

Hygrophila Corymbosa Siamensis Blossoms

Under water the leaves are light-green and dense. In open aquariums Hygrophila corymbosa 'Siamensis' grows easily above the water surface, where it forms blue-green leaves and small blue flowers. It grows fast and the shoots must be pinched out regularly if you want to keep the plant under water. An extremely hardy plant, suitable for beginners.

Algal Turf Filtration and Microcosm Management

Walter Adey Turf Scrubber

One filtration system that has received attention in the scientific community is the algal turf scrubber, part of the microcosm system developed by Dr. Walter Acley of the Smithsonian Institution s Natural Histoiy Museum in Washington D.C. Dr. Adey began his development of a coral reef aquarium system in 1974 (Miller, 1980). These systems have been installed at numerous public and private aquariums in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Algal scrubbers are basically shallow troughs with a plastic mesh screen illuminated by intense lighting. Water pumped to the troughs enters them by means of a dump bucket, generating a surge that helps the algae exchange gases and take up metabolites, while preventing over-illumination or over-shading. Various turf-forming algae are grown on these screens, and they remove ammonia, nitrate, phosphate, and heavy metals from the water (Adey and Lovelancl, 199 0. The screens are periodically harvested by removing them and scraping off the excess...

Glossostigma elatinoides

Glossostigma Elatinoides

Glossostigma elatinoides is much in demand in Japanese-inspired aquariums. It is one of the smallest aquarium plants, and thus a good foreground plant. A difficult plant demanding a lot of light. Grows upwards if light is poor. Make sure larger plants do not overshadow it. When planting in the aquarium small clumps (approx. 1 8 pot) should be placed at intervals of a few centimetres to help the plants grow together more quickly. CO2 addition and soft water promote growth significantly.

Measuring Light Intensity

Adaptation Plants Strong Light

The efficiency of a light source can be measured by the amount of lumens produced per watt. An artificial light source uses electricity (watts) and converts it into light and heat. A fluorescent tube never gets very hot, and can be touched when in use. This is because most of the electricity used is converted into light, making a fluorescent tube very efficient. On the other hand, a 60-watt household incandescent tube will get much hotter and produce less light than one 60-watt fluorescent tube (or two 30-watt tubes). However, this does not mean that the most efficient light source is always the best one. For larger and deeper aquariums, a number of fluorescent tubes may be needed to produce enough output What we can conclude from looking at different types of light is that the best type of light depends on the function it is required to perform. Household incandescent lights are inefficient and produce a lot of heat, but are very cheap and ideal for domestic use. Fluorescent tubes...

Echinodorus uruguayensis

A single plant may produce many leaves, creating an ideal specimen plant in most aquariums. The leaves are narrow (0.4-0.8 in 1-2 cm wide), start from the base of the plant, and may have a slightly ruffled appearance, The plant normally reaches a size of 10-12 in (25-30 cm), but will grow even taller in good conditions. It can be kept in colder water, but may grow more slowly and produce shorter leaves, although it will still remain healthy. An undemanding plant suitable for larger aquariums.

Chapter Four The Biology of Tridacnid Clams

In popular fiction, no picture of a coral reef environment is complete without a giant clam maliciously capturing an unwary diver in its cavernous maw. This image is based more on romanticism than fact. In truth the giant clam, Tridacna gigas, is not dangerous, but it is the largest bivalve in the world, reaching lengths greater than 1 m (3 ft.) and weights up to 400 kg (800 lbs.). It represents only one species and there are other, smaller species, that are much more suitable for the home aquarium. Tridacnid clams belong to the order Bivalvia which includes the various families we commonly refer to as clams. The family Tridacnidae currently contains eight species* in two genera, Hippopus and Tridacna Hippopus hippopus, H. porcellanus, Tridacna crocea, T. derasa, T. gigas, T. maxima, T. squamosa and T, tevoroa**.

Calloplesiops altivelis

The marine beta grouper has a majestic bearing, in keeping with its placid, rather shy nature. It cohabits with species of the same size and feeds on live prey, ground mussels, and small fish. In aquariums, it seeks out dark nooks and crannies. Its eyesight is exceptional. Size 15-18 cm.

Suitable aquarium decor

Water quality by releasing calcium and carbonates that raise the pH and water hardness. There is a simple test that you can carry out on rocks to check whether they are suitable simply put a few drops of vinegar on the rock, and if it fizzes or shows any kind of reaction do not use the rock. The fizzing is a result of the acidic vinegar reacting with the alkaline substances present in the rock. Calcareous rocks can be used in hardwater and marine aquariums, but not in planted or general community aquariums.

Callionymidae Dragonettes

The blue mandarin accepts small morsels of fish or mussels, which it will only take from the bed. Even when raised in couples, they will fight to the death, especially if the tank is too small. These fish are well suited to invertebrate aquariums. Size 10 cm. The blue mandarin accepts small morsels of fish or mussels, which it will only take from the bed. Even when raised in couples, they will fight to the death, especially if the tank is too small. These fish are well suited to invertebrate aquariums. Size 10 cm.

Passing through different types of pumps would offer more

Submersible pumps offer flexibility and freedom from plumbing, but some caution about their tise is worth noting, in addition to our comments earlier in this chapter. Submersible pumps use the water to dissipate heat, so they tend to raise the temperature of the water. This effect is of most concern in small aquariums. In large aquariums, the temperature increase is slight. Some submersible pumps are filled with oil, and could pollute the tank if a leak in the pump casing developed. Likewise, a leak in the pump casing Battery backup can provide short term continuous power supply to run the aquarium pumps in the event of a power failure. Battery backup systems have been available for years for computers, and are now becoming available for aquariums. The high density of life in reef aquariums rapidly consumes the oxygen from the water in the event of a power failure, particularly in a dark room. Battery backup can offer hours of air pumping or water pumping, depending on the system, and...

The Main Invertebrate Groups

Up until the 19th century, naturalists hesitated when classifying sponges animal or vegetable It must be admitted, however, that their field of research was extensive, as there are around 10,000 species of sponges. These very old animals were among the first to appear on earth or, more exactly, in the sea. Freshwater species are rare and are not found in aquariums, but some marine species can be kept in captivity. These animals, slightly more evolved than sponges, were also classed as vegetables for many years even now the term animal-flowers is used to describe them. The Coelenterates comprise medusas (jellyfish) - rarely seen in aquariums, apart from a few public ones - and the Anthozoa, which include anemones and corals, some of which are found in aquariums. Worms are barely evolved soft-bodied animals. They are more common in aquariums as live food than as residents, but are never found in freshwater aquariums. The crustaceans' bodies are protected by an articulated carapace. The...

Collection and Transportation

Most of the specimens kept by marine aquarists are collected from the wild. This situation is gradually changing, as more species of fish, plants, and invertebrates are being grown in aquariums each year. In fact, while the marine aquarium hobby has seen many periods of growth and subsequent decline over its history, the next decade may well see the greatest renaissance and growth ever, owing to a proliferation in discoveries making it feasible to cultivate numerous species of marinelife, in profitable quantities. It is our aim to encourage this trend, and to discourage any practices that are harmful to coral reefs and the environment. We believe this is the goal of every aquarist. Recognizing this and the fact our hobby now depends on wild collections, we have included this chapter on collecting, not for the purpose of encouraging hobbyists to collect their own, but to serve as a guide for commercial collectors and coral reef researchers, and to promote the proper, legal means of...

Maintenance Considerations

Strange as it may sound, more captive saltwater creatures starve to death than die of disease. Many a failed system could have been saved with better attention to nutrition. Suspension feeding invertebrates, in particular, may fail to receive adequate nourishment and perish within a year. Avoid needless waste by planning ahead for a continuous food supply before you commit to a tank of such species, or even a single specimen. I have provided tips on food cultivation in chapter 2,Bringing Out the Best in Saltwater Aquariums. Eric Borneman's Aquarium Corals and Ron Shimek's Marine Invertebrates provide detailed recipes for coral foods and information about feeding specifics in invertebrate groups, respectively.

Nymphaea lotus zenkeri

Nymphaea Lotus Green

A beautiful and very varied species with leaves of green to red-brown and varying numbers of purple spots. Before forming floating leaves Nymphaea lotus (zenkeri) forms many underwater leaves. If you don't want floating leaves, prune the roots and leaves. The beautiful, aromatic flowers can be fully appreciated in open aquariums. A nutritious bottom encourages growth. Often available in a red and a green variety. Recommended as a solitary plant for large aquariums.

Can also cause clams to produce copious amounts of clear mucus

Small anemones belonging to the genus Aiptasia can be a real problem in some reef aquariums. If these small anemones are allowed to grow on triclacnid clams, they can reach underneath the mantle and sting the clam. This will result in the mantle pulling away and the clam will eventually die.

Threads to hold themselves in position This species has been

Aquarium Care Tridacna crocea is probably the most delicate of the tridacnid species available for the home aquarium. This could be due to a combination of factors. Since these clams come from generally shallow waters, intense lighting is necessary to keep them in good condition and to maintain their bright colours. Although we have kept these clams for several years under fluorescent lighting, they were kept fairly close to the surface. As these clams live deeply buried in rock and have strong byssal attachments, collecting them requires extra care. Unfortunately, too often they are not collected properly and many of them anive damaged. Once the byssus gland lias been damaged they usually do not live much longer. This may be due more to subsequent bacterial infections than the actual damage. If you can obtain a specimen that is still attached to a rock, your chances will be much better. This species is relatively easy to keep, provided a healthy specimen is obtained and enough light...

Jawless Fishes Plates 1

Although not usually kept as aquarium fishes by home aquarists, hagfishes may sometimes be seen in public aquariums. They are cool- to cold-water fishes that become distressed if the water temperature rises to more than 10-13 C. The water should be marine in character, hagfishes usually not surviving well in fresh or brackish conditions. They are commonly found almost completely buried in soft mud or clay bottoms.

Chapter Thirteen Stony Corals

Keeping live stony corals in aquariums has been a dream for both scientist and aquarist, and that dream has been realized now to the point that we not only keep stony corals, but also grow and propagate them. For the scientist, this affords the unique opportunity to study stony coral biology in the lab. Using genetically identical specimens (fragments), coral reef biologists can manipulate environmental factors such as lighting, temperature, pH, nutrient levels, or water motion, and study their effects with numerous replicates. The scientist can also saicly the dynamics of the whole reef ecosystem by creating a living reef aquarium, microcosm, or mesocosm. For the aquarist, the creation of a living reef aquarium also provides insight into the biology and ecology of coral reefs, but the satisfaction from the beauty of these captive ecosystems is most rewarding. We hope that our descriptions of the numerous species commonly kept in aquariums, and the means of selecting and caring for...

The Fascinating Beauty Of An Underwater Universe

Most people know the feeling of being drawn In by the luminous underwater cosmos In a beautiful aquarium. Unconscious of time, It Is possible to sit and watch the background and the movements for many minutes, perhaps even for hours. It is this serenity that brings the urge to have your own aquarium as a hobby. In fact an aquarium is the combination of several different hobbies. Some people focus on the kaleidoscope of different fish, while the plants are just decorations. Others try to re-create a particular aquatic environment with fish, plants and decorations, as it exists in the wild somewhere in the world. Others again are interested in breeding a particular species of fish or growing particular plants, perhaps because they are rare or present an extra challenge. In the field of aquaculture some people want new plants and regular variation in their aquariums. Others are inspired by the Japanese photographer and aquarium artist Takashi Amano, who creates large, integrated...

Special Considerations for Small Tanks

The foregoing should immediately suggest the key to a successful small tank test and tweak on a weekly basis (or more often if possible), and perform partial water changes religiously. Common sense should also prevail in the selection of inhabitants for small aquariums they need to be small, as well. Keeping a grouper, for example, in a twenty-gallon tank guarantees problems when the grouper outgrows its surroundings. By the same token, keeping a dozen gobies in a tank better suited to a single specimen will lead to disaster. With careful planning, conscientious maintenance, and common sense, you can create an interesting and beautiful aquarium even in a tiny tank. Consider the following important points as you develop your design Provide enough light for photosynthetic invertebrates. Doing so poses fewer problems for a small tank because of the restricted surface area and depth. Compact fluorescent lighting has revolutionized small aquarium illumination. Avoid adding large...

Learning More About Your Saltwater Aquarium

Home aquarists number in the millions throughout the world. As you become more involved in aquarium keeping, you will be surprised at how many people share this exciting hobby. When I was growing up, many of my friends had aquariums and we would spend hours working with the tank and its occupants. Later, I found myself going to my local aquarium dealer just to see new fish arrivals, talk about aquarium problems, and exchange ideas with fellow aquarists. I have picked up some of the most valuable information on fishkeeping from amateurs who enjoy the thrills of this hobby.

Origin And Variety Of Plants

Contrary to what one might expect, most of the plants found in aquariums are not really aquatic. They generally live partly out of the water, with only the lower portion permanently submerged. Their leaves are sturdy, unbroken in form, and quite big. When the level of rivers and ponds rises due to rain - sometimes very heavy in tropical regions - the plants end up almost entirely, or sometimes even completely, covered by water. They develop submerged leaves, which are different from those which appear outside the water, being finer and more delicate. At the end of the rainy season, the water returns to its initial level, and the plant reassumes its previous form. Other plants are totally aquatic, with the upper part of their stems only rarely seen above the water level - usually to produce a flower. There are also amphibian or totally aquatic mosses, that are very useful in aquariums, as they provide a place for some fish to lay Different types of plants in freshwater aquariums Some...

Heliofungia and Friends

Among the most fascinating relationships in the sea, the partnership between certain gobies and certain alpheid shrimps makes a great subject for a small aquarium exhibit. The shrimp and goby (or a mated pair of gobies) live together in a burrow excavated by the shrimp. Because it is unable to construct a burrow, the arrangement permits the goby to exploit areas of the bottom that otherwise would remain unavailable to it. With real estate on the reef in high demand, this gives the goby an advantage over competitors restricted to hiding in natural crevices in the reef. The shrimp may benefit from the habitual digging by the goby, which stirs up small organisms on which both can feed. More important from the shrimp's point of view is the role of the goby as a danger detector. The shrimp is blind, giving it an obvious handicap in terms of avoiding predators. When the two venture forth from their shared quarters, the shrimp keeps one antenna perpetually in contact with the goby. When the...

Echinodorus palaefolius var latifolius076

Echinodorus Quadricostatus Care

In marshy conditions Echinodorus paiaefoiius var. iattfoiiuS has round leaves with a horizontal leaf base. Under water the leaves are narrower and longer. In the aquarium it tends to grow out of the water. This can be prevented by removing the long leaves just before they reach the water surface. The next leaves will then become shorter and the plant will remain under water. In open aquariums the plant can be allowed to grow out of the water, but the leaf margins often dry out if air humidity is low.

Vallisneria americana gigantea054

Vallisneria americana (gigantea) is an easy plant that grows fast, suitable for large aquariums. In most aquariums the leaves grow so long that they float on the surface. So the plant needs pruning to stop it taking too much light from plants growing beneath. The leaves are tough and strong, so they are not normally eaten by herbivorous fish. Vallisneria americana is easy to propagate using runners, which are prolific if the bottom is nutritious.

Common Name Brisileworms Polychaetes

Oenone Fulgida

Polychaetes can reproduce sexually or asexually depending on the species. Those that reproduce asexually can quickly multiply in aquariums, especially those with a thick bottom material. Many sabellid fanworms reproduce asexually, and multiply quickly in most reef aquariums. Polychaetes also have amazing regenerative powers and this can come into play when trying to remove them from the aquarium. If only sections of the worm are removed, the remaining section can regrow into a new individual. In aquariums with a thick substrate large populations of smaller polychaetes can multiply very quickly. These species do not usually cause much of a problem and actually help to cycle detritus, clean-up uneaten food, provide a source of planktonic larvae, and aerate the substrate through their burrowing actions. Most are desirable additions to the aquarium ecosystem. However, some species may irritate some corals such as Fungia, Heliofungia, Herpolitba and Polyphyllia that live on the substrate.

Jacks Cobia Remoras Etc Plates 182192 194

The jacks and pompanos (family Carangidae) are generally streamlined, silvery, fast-moving fishes of temperate and tropical seas of the world. The body may be deep to fusiform, and there are usually two dorsal fins, the first with 3-9 sometimes very short, detached spines, and three anaL spines, the first two usually detached from the rest of the fin. Commonly there are modified scales (scutes) along the posterior portion of the lateral line. The tail is forked and the caudal peduncle slender. A number of species are commonly in the aquarium trade and many more are normally present in public aquariums. One of the favorites is Gnathanodon speciosus with its golden color set off by black bars. Others include the deep-bodied members of the genera Alectis and Selene, some of which have long trailing filaments to the dorsal arid anal fins. Naucrates ductor is called the Pilotfish as it is normally seen in company with large sharks often swimming in the bow wave of the shark's snout. A...

Vallisneria tortifolia

This smaller vallisneria can be used in the midground or foreground of the aquarium and will spread rapidly, producing numerous daughter plants from runners. The leaves may reach up to 10 in (25 cm) in length, but usually only 6-8 in (15-20 cm) in the aquarium. This undemanding and adaptable plant is ideal for smaller aquariums. Plant it in groups of six or more individual plants, leaving space for them to grow. The moss will attach to any hard surface and spread in all directions. Regular trimming will to help to keep it in shape. It has no special requirements, although liquid fertilization does increase the growth rate. Java moss can be used in coldwater aquariums and is ideal for breeding tanks.

Scientific Name Xenia spp

Distinguishing Characteristics Encrusting or stalked, the monomorphic polyps are non-retractile. Colonies are usually quite soft, but larger, stalked varieties may be tougher. In some species, the colonies are very slimy (e.g. X. cf. mucosa) and can produce lots of m u c us (G o s 1 i ner et a1, 1996) Xen ia u m belta ta is an uncommon and very welcome guest to aquariums, with large, pulsing polyps. The color and form of Xenia species is highly dependent on environmental conditions, making visual ID difficult. Sclerites are minute platelets (Bayer, 1973).

Filtration setup consisting of an UGF and an outside power filter OPF

Wilkens Aquarium Filter

Wilkens and Birkholz (1986) described the disadvantages of wet dry biological filtration for reef aquariums. Our experience has shown that trickle filters are not only unnecessary for coral reef aquariums with adequate amounts of live rock, in fact, they can be detrimental in hard coral aquariums, as Wilkens and Birkholz indicated. However, we have included a discussion of trickle filters for the sake of completeness, since they are popular now in aquarium keeping in North America, and they do work as biological filters. The concept of the trickle filter is not really new to the aquarium hobby. Early aquarium designs were outlined in the popular aquarium literature in the late 1960s and 1970s (deGraaf, 1968 Siddall, 1977). However, it was not until articles by Dutch hobbyist George Smit were published in Freshwater and Marine Aquarium magazine in January 1986, that they became widely used in North America. Similar filters had already proved their efficiency in Europe 10 years earlier....

Excessive Filamentous Algae Growth Aquarium

Bolbitis Hydrophylla

Choosing the right spectrum of light is always critical to promote the plant growth. Fluorescent tubes are ideal in illuminating aquariums because they generate less heat, consume low wattage in relation to lumens output and produce the right spectrum for plant growth. The following terms are helpful to choose the right source of light. When designing naturalistic aquariums, the use of driftwood and different types of stones will become indispensible. Majority of the plants belonging to this primitive group are rather disturbing than bringing beauty to the aquarium. A few species such as Chlorella vulgaris, Chladophora aegagropila, Nitella flexilis and Rhizocbnium speices can be safely cultivated in the aquarium. However, only very few hobbyists are making any serious attempt to integrate it into their aquascape along with other popular plants. Chladophora aegagropila (commonly known as 'moss balls' but do not come under the moss group) is worthy enough for a try in planted aquariums....

Scientific Name Catalaphyllia jardinei Saville Kent 1893

Bubble Tip Anemone Stuck

Natural Habitat This extremely popular, hardy coral occupies a similar niche to Trachyphyllia. though it usually occurs in deeper water than that species. It is found in turbid water primarily. It maybe found in shallow grass flats, mud flats, or deeper sandy areas in lagoons or coastal reefs. It lives freely on the bottom, often with it's cone-shaped base stuck in the mud or sand, its tentacles giving the appearance of a large Condylactis sp. sea anemone. It is not usually as expanded in the wild as it is in our aquariums. Aquarium Care (genus Euphyllia Once established in the aquarium, all Euphyllia species are hardy. Euphyllia divisa, the Frogspawn Coral, is the hardiest while E. glabrescens is the most sensitive. The rest fall in-between these. All species require a lot of room for expansion. Allow at least 15 cm (6 in.) around the skeleton for expansion to avoid stinging neighboring corals. Sweeper tentacles are regularly formed by Euphyllia spp., and these may span 30 cm (1 ft.)...

Letters from the Authors

When I first became interested in keeping marine invertebrates, especially corals, I was very frustrated by the lack of information available about how to recognize them and how to keep them healthy in a marine aquarium. Although I was lucky enough to have access to large amounts of scientific literature that was helpful in identification and ecology, there was little available on how to keep invertebrates alive in closed systems. For this information I had to turn to Dutch, German and other European hobbyist literature. Again, I considered myself fortunate to have had access to these, and to have been able to read and understand them It soon became obvious that very few North Americans had similar opportunities. That was when the idea for this book began to coalesce in my brain. What if I could bring together the scientific literature, the European literature and the experiences of myself and others into a form that could be made available to all With this idea in mind I approached...

What Are Some Pests In Natrual Habbitats

What Are Some Pests Natrual Habbitats

This non-photosynthetic gorgonian was growing on a reef wall in the Solomon Islands, where it had ample opportunity to filter phyto-plankton and organic detritus from the passing water column. Note marine snow trapped on its surface. While such filter feeding gorgonians grow rapidly in the natural environment, the shortage of their special food makes them difficult to grow in aquariums. J. Sprung

Scientific Name Pavona spp Lamarck 1801

Sexual Reproduction Pocillopora

Natural Habitat Pocillopora damicornis has a very wide range, and lives in a variety of environments, including calm turbid bays, wave beaten, clear-water reef fronts and calmer reef slopes. It is obviously an adaptable species, well-suited to aquariums. Aquarium Care This species has been propagated for years in European aquariums, beginning in Berlin. This species has been confused with Seriatopora caliendrum (Wilkens, 1986), which it does resemble. Pocillopora damicornis likes bright light and turbulent water motion, which stimulates rapid growth, but it also does well under average lighting, as from standard output fluorescents, and it will expand nicely even in relatively still water. It is not terribly disturbed by rough handling. The polyps retract for only a matter of seconds and expand again immediately after being touched. Low oxygen levels in shipping or toxins in the water may cause portions of a colony to turn white as the polyps bail-out1. These lost polyps may settle in...

Surface Swimmers For The Planted Aquarium

Most Interesting Fish Tank

Small tetras and rasboras make excellent, lively additions to planted aquariums. They swim in groups among the plant leaves and aquarium decor, often chasing each other to establish hierarchies within a group. Most tetras also prefer slightly soft and acidic water, which suits most plants, and are often the conditions found in aquariums with C02 fertilization. Since most tetras and small rasboras remain quite small, they Dwarf cichlids display similar behavior in the aquarium, although many lay their eggs in natural caves as well as on plant leaves. These fish are ideal additions to planted aquariums with some open areas around the substrate, and display many more behavioral and personality traits than other fish.

Alternative Filtration Systems

Lee Eng Filtration System

In the late 1950s and early 60s Lee Chin Eng, an aquarist who lived in Indonesia, reported great success with a method of aquarium keeping that he called nature s system (Eng, 1961). Mr. Eng used unfiltered seawater, and circulation in his aquariums was achieved with air bubblers within the tank, either airstones or open ended air hoses for larger bubbles. The aquarium decor consisted of live rocks with attached plants and invertebrates, and live corals. His technique, now called the natural system or Lee Chin Eng method, did not receive much acceptance at the time since it was believed to depend on too delicate a balance to succeed. It was believed that since there was no filter in these aquariums, they could not support a very high population of fish. generated, and the velocity of the resulting currents. Smaller bubbles set up laminar current flow similar to that generated by pumps. Larger bubbles generate turbulence, and really big bubbles create small waves In a description of...

Rapid Tissue Necrosis RTN

Other forms of tissue necrosis have more mysterious causes. It is a general opinion (ours included) that most are caused by bacterial infections, but little is known about this. Dr. Craig Bingman (pers. comm.) recently halted the progress of a particularly virulent tissue necrosis event in one of his aquariums by administering a dose of Chloramphenicol to the water. This antibiotic, while difficult to obtain because of its recognized hazards to human health, is quite effective in the treatment of pathogenic bacteria that live in saltwater.

Scientific Name Alcyonium Parerythropodium spp

Aquarium Care Alcyonium membranaceum and A. fulvum fulvum are easy to grow and propagate in aquariums. They prefer intense light and strong water motion and will encrust rocks, glass, and anything else in their way very rapidly. They can become a problem species because of this rapid growth. Give plenty of room, as they can harm stony corals and encrust over them. Like Xenia spp., Alcyonium (Parerythropodium) does not ship well, but once it is established in the aquarium trade it should be widely available as tank raised specimens. It is curious that the branchy forms of Alcyonium (i.e Colt Corals) are very durable in shipping, while this encrusting type is not. Also, the smell of the encrusting Alcyonium (Parerythropodium) is quite like that of Xenia spp., which ship poorly, and quite unlike branchy Alcyonium,, which have a different, slight odor. They feed well on minute food particles such as brine shrimp nauplii or Daphnia (Wilkens, 1986), but do not need to be fed.

Softened water and osmosed water

Domestic softeners produce water in which the calcareous salts are trapped by a special resin but, on the other hand, they are loaded with other substances, such as sodium. Their use is not recommended for aquariums. Osmosed water, very slightly mineralized, is obtained by using an osmoser connected to a supply of drinking water. A special membrane allows this machine to retain several substances, including calcium-based salts. The water obtained in this way is of great use to the aquarist. However, it is important to calculate your individual requirements, as an osmoser represents a substantial investment which is not really essential for a hobbyist with only a few aquariums.

Nomenclature And Distribution Of Aquarium Fish

Barbus Titteya Distribution

The inhabitants of our aquariums - fish, plants, or small invertebrates- all have individual names. These, however, are often the subject of unresolved disputes a single species can, in fact, have several different names Let's try and shed some light on this As for marine fish, almost all species are caught in the wild. Aquarists are frequently accused of abetting the plundering of coral reefs the argument is that, for every fish arriving in our aquariums, nine die at the time of capture, during transport, or at various stages of handling. Without precise studies, it is extremely dif ficult to know the real effects on the natural environment of catches that are made to supply aquariums.