Category Archives: Marine Aquarium

Choosing A New Marine Fish

If this is going to be the first marine fish in your new marine setup then there’s one of 2 roads to go down.
1. Get a damsel these are the cheapest fish you an get which are pretty hardy and easy to look after. Unfortunately this makes them a testing fish, in the means of if theres an issue they will float and die.

I’d recommend taking your water to a local Marine shop and get them to do a full water test on your water. first before you put any fish in.

The thing is with damsels is they look pretty but are little cunts they’ll fight between them selves and with other fish. So if 1 year down the line you are find these blighters hard to catch your likely to have a tank full of fish. so for this reason i’d steer clear of damsels as tester fish or even all together.

2. I got a pair of Tank bred common Clown fish, costing around £25 for a pair. I had my water fully tested my my local supplier and everything was fine and i wait around 3 weeks after setup before adding these fish.

When ever your choose a new fish there’s a few things you need to take into consideration.

1. Tank Size

If you’ve got a 90 litre nano aquarium then don’t be expecting to get a lovely Regel Tang as they need alot of room in terms of litreage easily 240 litres as a minium as they grow large a Red Sea Max 250 would be ideal.

Regal Tang

2. Compatability

Is ny new fish foing to be aggresive towards my current fish.  Picasso Trigger fish can be picked up for around £20, but they can be an agressive fish and will eat smaller smaller fish.

picaso trigger

3. Corals

Some fish such as Tangs tend to nip at soft corals so if your really worried then coral nipping fish are best avoided.

4. Toxins

Foxfaces are a lovely looking fish but they have a toxin in the spin on there fin so this cud end up in a trip to Hospital if your stung. Also Boxfish look cool due to there shape but when they feel threatened they will release a posin that in the sea quickly dissapates but in your tank will stay around and could result in a complete wipeout.


What Do I Need For a Marine Aquarium

Well for a start your going to need a few things

Do i need to buy everything new for my marine aquarium. Not really no, Just make sure no medical treats have been used with any2nd hand equipment.

1: Aquarium / Tank

There isn’t really an upper or lower limit for tank size, but if your wanting to keep fish i wouldn’t go any lower than say 50 litres. AS once you place your rock in then your already losing water capacity of the tank.

If you have a really cheap tank th that looks old then it may be wise investing in a new aquarium as this will be the base for your new marine aquarium and the last thing you’ll want is a leak the next morning.

2nd hand Aquarium’s can be picked up very cheap on the likes of eBay and marine aquarium forums like, having a £200 budget for a tank alone could easily see you walk away with a 400 litre Jewel aquarium Rio with some equipment, or a Nano like mine a D-D 24G.

I bought my first tank new but i wouldn’t, do so again unless i was getting a larger marine aquarium with a sump and all the pipe work. as 2nd hand equipment can be picked up for bargain prices.

Also When your getting your tank you need to think about what fish your wanting. If you just want 2 Common Clown Fish then a Nano Tank around 90 Litres would be fine, but if you want a Regal Tang then you’ll probably want a larger tank around 400 Litres.

2: Heater

Heaters come in varying rating from 25Watts to 300Watts, this is also the amount of Electricity that they use per hour that they are switched on.

I have a 150Watt in my D-D24G nano. Compared to my Rio 180 litre which used a 200Watt. Really the heater size is down to you but the higher the rating of heater the longer it will be.

If you have a large Marine Aquarium then you might want to think of having 1 / 2 heaters.

You can get cheaper heaters from ebay, but should it fail then your water will go could within a few hours and your live stock could then become compromised. so buying a known brand will be best InterPet or Ehiem.

If your buying a new  Marine Aquarium setup then it will probably come with a heater so don’t worry to much.

Any Marine specialist will be able to help you get the right heater for your 2nd hand Aquarium.

3: Power Heads

You need to get power heads to move the water around the tank around 40x of your tanks total litre-age is the recommended turn over, so of course power heads are rated in LPH (Litres Per Hour).

Power heads or wave makers can be bought fairly cheap again from Ebay, but you pay for what you get, buy cheap buy twice. I have only ever had New Wave power heads, but you will also see that Koralia Power heads are well known throughout the marine world.

4: Filters

Since your live rock will do the majority of your natural filtering for chemicals.  Most new aquariums will come with a filter, there’s no harm in using it. You can run stuff like rowaphos which helps remove Phosphates, in there and other things like Activated Carbon.

You can get external filters for your marine aquarium, which will of course have more space inside them compared to internal filters. But then you have water running outside of your aquarium, which some people don’t like.

5. Lighting

New tanks will come with lighting make sure that its ok for marine use, If your getting a second hand tank then you might be able to buy the lighting aswell..

Most commonly seen are T5 lighting tubes. which work fine. but there’s also metal halide, which do cost more to run and buy but they will give better end results.

With the obvious Live rock and Substrate missing you could pretty much get up and running from here.

6: Sand

I’ve used the Cheap TMC Gravel that can be bought in pets at home for around £5 for a 5KG bag.


Rinse the gravel through with tap water first to get all the crap out and then rinse through a few times with RO water this will stop your tank instantly going cloudy when you add the sand.

7. Protein Skimmer

Not a necessity but they do help your tank especially if your heavily stocked. Ican’t explain how they work but its something to do with protein in the water which gets separated in the skimmer and ends up a manky brown colour and thew end produce is skim mate.

You can get the of places like eBay alot cheaper 2nd hand over buying new.

8. Live Rock

You can buy this from your local shop but expect to pay around £10 – £13 per KG. People say you need around 1KG per gallon of water. So 500 litres is around 109 Gallons so that around 100 KG of live, so shop prices you could easily be looking at over £100 in rock.

Second hand rock can be picked up for around £5 per KG but you’ll often find buying in bulk from people closing tanks down is cheaper.

This is only rough so you might get away with slightly less or you might need slightly more.

What do i think

If your tank is going to be the centre peice in your house by new or get a custom tank and then go for second hand gear to recoup some of the costs.

I think i’ve covered everything here but theres loads of other things that you can buy like UV Lights for water treatment and reactors to make sundries last longer.

Maxi Jet 1200 Blowing Bubbles

Every now and again my Maxi jet 1200 starts puffing out bubbles, since its in the rear chamber of my D-D24G nano marine tank I can’t easily what’s going on.

Around every 2 months it seems to clog up within the intake guard.

I cleaned mine last night but it was still puffing bubbles constantly.

On the D-D 24G there is a wier gate that alters the flow of water in the rear chambers, I’ve found that as standard there isn’t enough water filling the 3rd chamber, so I’ve tilted the wier comb slightly which allows more water in. And it seems have sorted the problem.

Nannochloropsis Phytoplankton

Nannochloropsis Phytoplankton is a great food for your marine reef.

I currently use it to help feed my Orange Fan Sponge Coral, since its a filter feeder it won’t benefit from flake or pellet. So i need to feed it another way and this is with Nannochloropsis Phytoplankton, with it been a filter feeder it gets its food from particles that pass through it. So the more Nannochloropsis Phytoplankton that is in the water the better and more likely it will be to survive.

My Nano is around 24 gallons so i feed to pipets daily. I keep it in the fridge so that it will last longer around 8 weeks. also i turn it over daily to stop Phytoplankton settling.

Since Nannochloropsis Phytoplankton is at the bottom of the food chain everything benefits from it in a way. Mysid Populations increase which in turn increases Copepods, which the fish will feed from.

So what will Nannochloropsis Phytoplankton do for my tank

Brighter Corals

Faster Than Average Coral Growth

Better Polyp Extension.

Well Ive definitely noticed better Polyp Extension and Coral Growth.

Since Nannochloropsis Phytoplankton doesn’t add any Phosphates or nitrates it will not affect your tank tests

New Era Aquaculture

I’ve had this tub of New Era Marine flake since November 2009, but since i don’t have loads of fish i don’t use much so i’m only now 13th August 2010 1/2 way through a tub.

Anyway a few months back i noticed that the lid was slowly starting to split at the top near the opening, i guess this is due to repeated opening in the same place causing a stress fracture type thing.

Anyway its now so bad that the flakes aren’t crisp anymore.

I dropped an email over to New Era Aquaculture expecting an email back in a few days, much to my suprise within minutes i was emailed back. See Below
Thank you for this feedback, we are currently looking into new packaging for our flakes and pellet which will combat this.  If you forward me your postal address i will send you a pot of marine flake to replace the one that has become too moist to use.

I think this is outstanding service from New Era Aquaculture and it will keep me using their products in the future

Thanks Guys

New Era Marine Flakes