Reef Health

Marine Parasitic Diseases

Parasitic diseases are a major problem for aquarium fishes. Almost all marine fish have parasites to some degree. Protozoan, small microscopic animals generally invisible to the naked eye, are the most serious types of parasites. There are numerous parasites responsible for diseases of marine fish; this discussion will be limited to the m...

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Treating Marine Ich and Brooklynella with Hyposalinity

I have tried many methods to treat marine ich and/or brooklynella with varying levels of success.  I have tried chemical products such as Kick Ich, copper based medicines and malachite green based medicines.  I have tried freshwater dips, malachite green dips, garlic and even cleaner shrimp.  The only tried and true method I have found thus far is to use a quarantine tank combined with hyposalinity. The ...

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Adding Reef Livestock Safely

Frustration from past experiences has motivated for me to write an article about adding live things to your tank. I have lost a lot of money because I did not understand things about my tanks bio-load capacity. This article only applies to tanks that are already past their initial cycling phase.   Every tank has a bio-load capacity. The capacity varies based on several different things. It ...

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Dealing with Cyanobacteria (Red Slime Algae)

Cyanobacteria or "Red Slime" algae are probably on every reef keeper's top-ten list of biggest problems in their systems. Stories of hobbyists breaking down entire systems, performing huge water changes or even resorting to the use of dangerous medications, only to have the slime quickly return are not uncommon.   Recently, one of my personal tanks became heavily effected so I thought I would ta...

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Treating the Reef Aquarium for Amyloodinium ocellatum (aka Ich or Oodinium)

Amyloodinium ocellatum is a single-celled Dinoflagellate which is commonly regarded as a form of algae. Most algaes are harmless to fish although this particular species is parasitic to marine fish during a single stage of its life-cycle. An adult cyst will release up to 300 free-swimming cells called dinaspores which attach to its host or lay dormant in the aquarium/ocean bottom. They can lay dormant for periods of up to 6 weeks and are re...

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Nuisance Hair Algae - Bryopsis plumosa and Derbesia

There are two types of true green algae that are commonly referred to as hair algae and are considered a nuisance in the home aquarium.  They are Bryopsis plumosa and Derbesa (sometimes confused with the cyanobacteria: Lyngbya).  Both can become major pests in the home aquarium of left unchecked in a nutrient-rich environment.  These algae have two distinct life cycles, the first being small bubble-li...

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