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Fishless Cycling an Aquarium

Cycling the Aquarium

What is it? This is building a colony of nitrifying bacteria in your aquarium without the traditional use of ‘disposable’ fish providing the ammonia food that the bacteria need to grow. Why do this? Placing fish in a tank of freshwater will soon kill them within a week or less. Fish constantly pee toxic ammonia into the water and this chemical is deadly if not removed somehow or diluted like it is in a river, pond or lake. So we need to find a way to remove it from our aquariums. As luck would have it, there is a number of naturally occurring bacteria species (which is harmless to us) found on virtually every surface on the planet which can eat this ammonia and turns it into a much less toxic chemical which is easily removed at our leisure. How do we collect this bacteria and make use of it?

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Saltwater aquariums, teeming with life and color, can be a breathtaking addition to any home. But maintaining the delicate balance of a marine ecosystem requires dedication and knowledge. This comprehensive guide will equip you with the essential steps for keeping your saltwater aquarium thriving.

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Ah, the dreaded white spots. No, not your laundry, but the bane of many a saltwater fishkeeper: Cryptocaryon irritans,better known as marine ich. These tiny parasites can quickly turn your vibrant reef tank into a speckled battleground,stressing fish and leaving you scrambling for solutions. But fear not, fellow aquanauts! This blog post is your battle plan for eradicating ich and restoring peace to your underwater kingdom.

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From Pesky Guests to Vanquished Foes

Ah, the reef tank. A vibrant ecosystem teeming with colorful corals, dazzling fish, and… dinoflagellates? If you’ve encountered these unwelcome microscopic critters, then you know they can quickly turn your aquatic paradise into a murky mess. But fear not, fellow reef enthusiasts! This blog post will equip you with the knowledge and strategies to control dinoflagellates and restore harmony to your tank.

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Reef Solutions is excited to announce a new service: saltwater delivery! We know that setting up and maintaining a saltwater aquarium can be time-consuming and challenging. We want to make it as easy as possible for you with our new saltwater delivery service. Let us bring the water to you. Therefore, you can spend less time worrying about mixing and testing and more time enjoying your beautiful aquarium.

Our Saltwater is made with the highest quality ingredients and is tested to ensure that it meets the specific needs of your aquarium. Above all, we offer a variety of delivery options to fit your schedule.

To learn more about our saltwater delivery service, please visit our website or give us a call. We’re here to help you create a beautiful and thriving saltwater aquarium.

Here are some of the benefits of using our saltwater delivery service:

* Save time and hassle: No need to mix and test your own saltwater. We’ll do it for you!

* Peace of mind: Knowing that your saltwater is of the highest quality and meets the specific needs of your aquarium.

* Convenience: We offer a variety of delivery options to fit your schedule. 

Looking for a saltwater aquarium service that makes it easy to get started and keep your aquarium healthy. Reef Solutions is the perfect choice for you. Contact us today to learn more about our saltwater delivery service.

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Ozone install

Ozone installations by most aquarium maintenance companies is improperly installed. Therefore, this can be a serious health risk for people and pets. Reef Solutions uses generators, reactors and post filters. With a proper ozone installation for the aquarium. The ozone system will maintain a constant ORP and will not leak into the surrounding room.

The best way to describe the process of using ozone in an aquarium is to first understand its chemical makeup. You’re probably already quite familiar with oxygen (O2), and far less acquainted with the three-molecule makeup of ozone (O3). Ozone is highly reactive because out of those three molecules – one desperately wants to separate itself from the trio. When this particular revolt takes place, ozone produces an impressive, oxidizing effect. Fortunately for us, we have learned how to harness the power of ozone to achieve numerous goals, including improving indoor fish and reef tank maintenance.

Molecular Structure of Ozone

Ozone is a gas made up of three (3) atoms of oxygen:

O + O + O = O3

Oxygen (we breathe) is made up of two (2) atoms of oxygen:

O + O = O2

The atoms in O2 are stable – each atom “holds on” to the other.

The atoms in O3 consist of a stable pair (O2) and a third, unstable atom.

It is the unstable atom that gives ozone its power!  Ozone is generated when energy “splits” the stable O2 bond.

This can occur three different ways:

  1. Naturally occurring

–Formed when lightning strikes

–Ozone layer formed by UV energy from the sun

  1. Man made (incidental)

–Welding, copy machines

  1. Man made (deliberate)

–Corona Discharge ozone generation

–UV ozone generation

Spiny Puffer

Aquarium fish fall ill just like any other pet. The illnesses are as a result of disease. The common diseases that affect aquarium fish are mostly stress induced.

The micro-organisms which cause these diseases may be present in the water as part of the normal micro fauna and grab the opportunity to infest or infect the fish when it is stressed and its normal defense are weakened. [continue reading…]

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Our priority to keep an aquarium in our homes is the well-being of the fish and invertebrates we maintain. And the first step to note while preparing a checklist of the aquarium accessories required for the well being of aquarium occupants is to keep the aquarium room cool, especially for marine aquaria.

The ideal temperature for most fish-only aquaria is between 76 degrees and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. If you only have fish in the aquarium and the aquarium is stocked properly with aquarium supplies, then you only need about a 2 to 6 degree temperature drop. This will depend on the type of aquarium you keep and the temperature drop needed to cool the tank. [continue reading…]

African Cichlid Water Parameters


African Cichlid water parameters should be kept at the following alkaline ranges:

Malawi species:    7.4 – 8.6
Tanganyika species:    7.8 – 9.0
Victoria species:    7.2 – 8

Cichlids are sensitive to pH changes. Therefore, avoid changes in pH  greater than .3 units per day.

GH (General Hardness)

Proper African Cichlid water parameters will make them appear vibrant  in aquariums with a general hardness ranging from 160 – 320 ppm (parts per million) or 9° – 18° DH . GH levels naturally drop over time because minerals do not stay suspended in water very long therefore regular partial water changes are best.

KH (Carbonate Hardness)

Carbonate hardness is an important Cichlid water parameter, also known as “buffering capacity” or “total alkalinity,”  Without adequate buffering, the pH in your aquarium will eventually drop because the end result of the nitrogen cycle is nitrate  (nitric-acid), which slowly builds up between water changes. However, with sufficient buffering the pH remains stable. KH for Africans should be kept in the range of 180 – 240 ppm, or 10° – 14° DH.

Water parameters

I have found that the following water parameters listed below work best for reef aquariums.

Corals use calcium to form their skeletons, which are composed primarily of calcium carbonate. Corals get the calcium for this process from the water surrounding them.

Calcium – 380-450 ppm

Corals also use “alkalinity” to form their skeletons, which they compose primarily of calcium carbonate.

Alkalinity – 7-11 dKH

There is little evidence that keeping a coral reef aquarium at anything other than natural levels is preferable. However, it’s common practice to keep marine fish, and reef aquaria, at somewhat lower than natural salinity levels.

Salinity – 35 ppt or 1.026

The greatest variety of corals are found in water whose average temperature is about 83-86° F. Therefore, corals do better at the higher temperatures.

Temperature 75-86° F

The pH of natural seawater is about 8.2. Therefore, 8.1-8.3 is appropriate.

pH – 8.1 – 8.3

Magnesium has an important interaction with the calcium and alkalinity balance in reef aquaria.

Magnesium – 1250 – 1350 ppm

Phosphate causes algae growth. Therefore, elevated phosphate levels are problematic.

Phosphate – < 0.03 pp

Ammonia (NH3) excreted by  animals and other aquarium inhabitants is very toxic to all animals.

Ammonia – < .1