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Dirt-Simple Chemistry Must-knows for Tank Health

Posted 08/05/2012 at 03:12 PM by Sk8r

I'm going to start very slow, very basic, and work toward the lesser known things.

1. your salt mix is not just salt. It's dry seawater. And that means not only salt, it's calcium, magnesium, iodine, selenium, boron---read the label on your salt mix.

2. evaporation never evaporates the minerals. It only evaporates the water.

3. animals and plants suck up part of the minerals. So TWO actions unbalance your tank---evaporation increases the mineral concentration---and...
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Understanding damsels: chromis, clowns, and others

Posted 04/14/2012 at 07:12 PM by Sk8r

Understanding damsels, chromis, clowns...
These are the professional 'little guys' of the reef.
They require much more space than people realize: 100 gallons is good...for most.
They're also good 'dither fish,' who reassure other fish the coast is clear.

You can see dozens of them about a reef. Let a predator swim by and---boink!---if you blinked you missed it. They've all vanished.

WHere? Each fish individually has a tiny hole somewhere in the...
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The Users' Guide to Green Hair Algae

Posted 03/10/2012 at 07:43 PM by Sk8r

The Users' Guide to Green Hair Algae
[a companion to the cyano thread]

Green Hair is actually tougher to get rid of than cyano---because it pretty well WILL run its course in a tank.

But it's a pretty straightforward algae. It loves phosphate. It grows like mad in a new tank.

A lot of new people, hearing the bit about phosphate, run out and get a phosphate test. This is pretty useless for the green hair algae period of a tank. Of course you have...
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Can I keep a mandarin or scooter?

Posted 03/03/2012 at 11:44 AM by Sk8r

A mandy should be making a successful 'kill' of a pod every 5 seconds to remain healthy. Keeping one in a well-established 50 with 50 lbs of holey rock, and a mature, year-old 20 gallon fuge with another 20 lbs of rock is very marginal. If you meet those conditions and there is no competition for pods, you can do it with caution.

To run the math, there are 86400 seconds in 24 hours...and given 12 hours of dark when it is not eating (it actually eats before the lights come on...that...
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Kalk: how to: why to: how much to

Posted 03/13/2011 at 12:39 PM by Sk8r
Updated 03/13/2011 at 12:53 PM by Sk8r

Why put lime in your ATO?
It's called 'dripping kalk', from the German word for lime. It's appropriate for anyone with clams or stony coral, ie, a tank that sucks up calcium faster than weekly water changes can supply it.

This is why stony coral keeping is a lot easier than people think it is---easy, as in, "very little work" in, "actually far less work than keeping a FOWLR."

First you need an ATO [automatic topoff]. Everyone does who...
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