Reef Equipment

What Exactly is a Protein Skimmer and How Does it Work?

The heart of the modern reef external filter system is the protein skimmer. Make sure it is large enough to do the job. You cannot have too much skimming! Buy or make the largest one you can afford. Keep in mind: the larger your skimmer, the larger the skimmer pump will have to be. It should, however, be no larger than the main pump of the system.   I always cut the factory rating in half when planning for my skimmer. A ...

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Protein Skimmer Basics

Introduction Filtration is a key element of aquarium systems. It provides life support to the inhabitants by helping to maintain healthy environmental conditions. There are many kinds of filtration that fall into the general categories of mechanical, chemical and biological. Many of the freshwater filters available today like canister...

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Wave Maker Basics

Wave makers are not needed in every reef tank. However, some invertebrates, corals and sponges require them in order to move about the aquarium. A wave maker is a device the connects to 2 or more pumps/power heads. The wave maker will control the pumps to create various currents. They model the pulsating currents of the ocean.   Aside from providing natural-like currents, wave makers also help prevent dead spots ...

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Powerhead Basics

  Power heads are a necessity in any saltwater aquarium. Several fish and corals need some form of a current that imitates ocean currents. Power heads come in all different sizes. A general rule is to buy one that will pump 3 times your tanks volume per hour. This varies based on the type of fish. Your local fish store ...

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A Review of Swing Arm Hydrometers

In this article, I would like to talk about the reliability of common swing-arm hydrometers. Every reef aquarist has one or has used one at one time or another. But do they really work? Just how are they manufactured? Are they tested to ensure accuracy prior to shipping them out to the every day hobbyist?   I am the absolute last person to sit around writing articles only to ha...

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