How much flow can my plumbing handle?

The question comes up quite a bit on the forums, “Can my drain line handle the flow from my return pump?”  Then come the usual questions about what type of drain setup is being used, how many tees and elbows, how far the drop is, etc.  Really what most people want to know is if they’re in the right ballpark or if they’re way out of bounds.  I’ve frequently used this excellent calculator over at Melev’s Reef.  Just a few simple questions and it tells you roughly what the flow rate you can expect is for your plumbing.

Melev also talks a bit about the theory behind how the calculations are made, if you’re a big ole nerd like me you’ll enjoy that part too.

Hydraulics for the Aquarist

Weird/New Way to Frag Zoas and Palys

I think we are all familiar with the standard way to frag zoas and palys.  You cut them off a rock or cut a frag plug and glue them on another.  Pretty simple, right?  I usually wind up whacking a few polyps in the process and as a result I’ve tended to just go with “natural frags” by putting a piece of rubble next to a colony and waiting until it grows onto it.  I came across a really cool thread on Reef2Reef.com where “GoFish” talks about a new and quite possibly brilliant approach.  Just cut the top of the polyp off an glue it to a plug and you wind up with two polyps…. How could that work!?

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Bayer Coral Dip

I’m filing this one under pest treatment, although it really is more of a pest preventer!  While the best way to ensure you don’t bring any unwanted pests into your tank is to use a coral quarantine tank (QT), that isn’t always an option.  This coral dip is safe for your corals, but deadly for most of the pests we want to keep out of our tanks.  It’s as simple as can be and it is very effective.

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How to Quarantine Fish (Part 1) – Equipment

Quarantining fish has always seemed like a time consuming, expensive and complicated process.  I’ve been lucky and haven’t had any fish with ich, velvet or other parasites in my display tank in the past.  That said, there are more and more reports of fish coming in with ich and velvet from the major US importers.  I have a clownfish in my tank, Jaws, that has been with me for over 7 years as of writing this.  I’m just not willing to risk her health to take a shortcut when adding new fish so I decided to learn what quarantine is really about and what equipment it takes to accomplish it successfully.  There is a process that is entirely different for quarantining inverts and corals which I’ll talk about in a later post.  For now, let’s focus on fish.

We will start the conversation looking at the equipment needed to successfully quarantine…

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Macro Shots!

I bought myself a Tamron 90mm macro lens on a whim and I love it!  It takes pictures that are amazingly better than my kit lens.  Here are a few I took recently.  I’m still getting used to taking pictures with it, but I’m slowly getting better!  I’ll try and put a post together with details about how to set your DSLR to get great results.

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A new start!

I’ve been so bad at keeping this site up to date.  It was mostly due to using an old iWeb website which meant I needed to get on my computer and spend half an hour to make the simplest change.  I made the leap into WordPress and I’m going to be able to stay much more active with the site now.  My plan is to update this page with new things I’ve learned (quarantining, disease treatment, fragging tips, etc.) and to also keep an running log of the corals and fish in my tank.  I started to forget what some of my corals are called.