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 appropriate temperature for a creature from the shore of the chilly Celtic Sea. Her maintenance routine could be successfully duplicated by any modern hobbyist having ready access to the ocean, substituting a simple air-stone and pump for the lady's dainty hand. I've done this myself, even without an air pump, while camping along the South Carolina coast. I was able to maintain several Sea Pansies (Renilla mulleri) for over a week in a plastic bus-boy's tub filled with seawater and a layer of beach sand. (A colonial cnidarian of the temperate Atlantic coast, Renilla is related to the sea pens of the Tropics. It flashes with bio-luminescence when disturbed.)

Aquarium and Fish Care Tactics

Aquarium and Fish Care Tactics

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