Thursday, October 4, 2018

Saltwater Reef: Live Rock Hitchhikers, the Good and Bad

As a Reefer, when we start a reef tank we start with live rock or base rock. So say that your going to start with live rock or just add some live rock to your tank. You are looking at your new purple rocks and see some critters. What the Heck is that? you ask yourself. Well here are a list of common hitchhikers that you may expect to find.

          Common Live Rock Hitchhikers- The Good and The Bad





#1    PODS!!
Copepods and anthropods!! Tiny little white bugs everywhere on your glass, on the rocks and in the substrate. Some are very tiny, and these are your copepods and some are small shrimp like crustrations, these are your anthropods. These guys are GOOD!! Fantastic little critters that love to eat diatoms and other algae and are really great for those finicky eaters such as mandarin dragonets, goby's and blennies. 








#2 Stomatella Snails
Sure these little snails aren't the cutest snails but they are extremely hard working reef safe herbivores that will help control micro algae growth. They are fast moving snails that look more like slugs with a small flat shell. They really mean business when it comes to mowing down unwanted algae, keep these guys around, they will spontaneously spawn if your reef tank is well established, and wont multiply enough to become a nuisance. 




#3 Feather Dusters
Beneficial worms, you can often buy these just about anywhere, this is a bonus if you have one of these as a hitchhiker. They feed by filtering water particles with their feather like tentacles. They are very pretty worms and if startled they will shot back into their tube.



#4 Spaghetti Worms
These guys are really great, they will eat all that left over food your fish missed, keeping it from breaking down and turning into those unwanted nitrates and phosphates. Just make sure thy aren't bothering your corals, some corals may find a spaghetti worms tentacles  irritating, you'll usually see these critters in small burrows on the rocks surface.



#5  Limpets or Keyhole Limpets
Some of these are harmless and benificail to a reef aquarium and others will feed on the flesh of your SPS corals, so be sure to look up the species, if your unsure just go ahead and remove them from your system. They are usually black and tan pattern, and do not have a mantle that covers their shell. 



#6 Tube Worm
Somewhat similar to feather dusters and are harmless in a reef tank, you will usually find them in your substrate or on the live rock. 




#7 Sponges
 These are fantastic little spongebob dudes that will gather up under a rock in little clusters. No, they don't look anything like spongebob, but they filter feed just the same. Seeing sponges in your reef tank is a great sign that your tank is on the right track. 



#8 Brittle Starfish
These guys are awesome, usually you would have to buy one of these just to get one in your tank. They are a great part of a clean up crew. You will usually see these crazy looking critters around your live rock or in your substrate.



#9 Zoa's
Beautiful Colorful polyps or SPS, but lack a calcium based skeleton. If you got some of these as a hitchhiker then you definitely want to keep it. There are many varieties of a Zoanthid Coral, and most have some pretty wild names, such as red headed kid or cherry bombs just to name a couple.



#10 Bristle Worms 
Now there is an on going contriversy about weather bristle worms are good or bad in the Reefing community. Some reefers love them and most hate them. In very small population they can be benifical, as long as they are small, once they become big they have been known to snatch up small fish. Don't attempt to grab these guys with your hands, their bristles will easily penetrate your skin, causing different reactions to different people. We usually remove them as soon as we see them, but of course that is up to you.



#11 Fire worms
Fire worms look similar to Bristle worms, but they will eat your coral, there is only one species of fire worm that are beneficial to your reef system, the Eurythoe Complanta, but again if you are unsure if it is a good one or a bad one its just best to rid yourself of the problem all together. You don't want to just grab these guys with your hands either, they have a poison in their bristles that is much more harmful than a bristle worms.



#12 Flat Worms
Every species of the flat worms is a predator and is not reef safe at all. They reproduce very quickly and can wipe out a colony quick. Remove these guys as fast as you see them.



#13 Aiptasia
This is a big pest. These guys are relentless, if threatened they will throw spores all over your tank. We usually burn them up with a laser, but make sure its a good strong one, you don't want to just harm it and cause it to reproduce more, make sure you burn him to a crisp!! Its very cool to watch them sizzle in the water, you can actually here them crackle. These guys have a nasty sting, and can harm fish and coral in your tank.





#14 Coral Eating Nudibranch
These guys are hard to spot, they will take on the color of the coral that its feasting on. They usually feed upon Soft corals such as zoas or leather corals. They can devoir a Zoa Garden in a few days.



#15 Astera Starfish
Sure these guys are pretty on the glass and floating around in your tank, but don't be fooled. These little coral munchers are a pain in the butt to get rid of. They repopulate and reproduce extremely fast. Just by scraping the glass and acceditanly cutting off a leg or two will cause one or two more. Get rid of these guys as quickly as you can.




#16 Sea Spiders
These are actually Marine Arthropods not real spiders or arachnids. There are more than 1300 specie of these guys, and not a one is good for your reef tank. They will devoir your corals, anenomes and sponges, Especially Zoanthids!! The Spider will crawl inside of a zoa polyps mouth making them extremely hard to spot, then they lay their eggs and the polyp turns to a grey melted mess. Get rid of these guys the second you spot them!!




#17 Sundial Snails 
These are Zoa Eating monsters, they look more like a flat spiral with black and white colors, a little smaller than your everyday reef snails, and should be removed as quickly as you see them!!





#18 Vermetid Snails
Vermetid Snails will slowly kill your corals by smothering them with the mucus webs they cast from the ends of their open tube shells, which are used to catch food and nutrients they need for survival, the webs often irritate surrounding corals, causing polyps to remain closed eventually ending in tissue loss. Vermetids also hurt or slowly kill corals by stealing their much needed calcium, impeding their skeletal growth! Often the Vermetids will attach their selves to a coral causing lesions that will result in tissue loss and tissue damage, eventually killing the coral if not removed.



That's for reading, be sure to check out our other post, and subscribe to our blog and youtube channel!!


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Friday, September 14, 2018

Buy Rich and Healthy Phytoplankton

Rich Phytoplankton  16.9oz bottle  only $15 Free Shipping


Phytoplankton  is a microscopic marine algae and is the base of many food webs!! Phytoplankton is widely accepted as the standard of reef keeping aquariest , and is used to promote growth and vibrancy of corals, invertebrates and other livestock such as copepods and anthropods! 

Our live Phytoplankton is cultured using saltwater made from RODI WATER and Instant Ocean Reef Crystals with a salinity of 1.021sg.

Our Phytoplankton is extremely rich and weather you are buying it as a food source or to harvest yourself, you are getting the very best phytoplankton you can find anywhere online or in any stores.

You will receive 1 16.9 oz bottle of phytoplankton shipped in a USPS flat rate 2-3 day priority envelope, for only $15 Free Shipping!! 
We only Ship to the lower 48 states.

We also offer Clean, hearty, thick, PEST FREE and healthy Chaeto for $15 free shipping as well Click here for more info On Chaeto


You can order by calling or texting Eric @ 828-748-4382 or Karen @ 828-748-6932 or by emailing us at ericsmarinelife@gmail.com 

We will send you a personalized invoice so you can make your payment!!





Buy Clean, Pest Free, Healthy Chaetomorpha AKA Chaeto

 High Quality Chaetomorpha  $15  FREE SHIPPING!



Chaetomorpha AKA Chaeto or Spaghetti Algae, is a genus of green micro algae usually used in refugiums as a biological filter, capable of removing excess nutrients from your marine system, such as nitrates and phosphates!! And it can also help keep nuisance algae from forming in your display tank!!


Our Chaeto is grown in saltwater made from RODI water and Instant Ocean Reef Crystals, and has a salinity of 1.021sg.

Our Chaeto is Very clean, hearty, thick, PEST FREE and extremely healthy. You Will receive 2 large softball size units, contained in a 1 gallon freezer bag that will be about 1/2 full of the chaeto with a small amount of water to keep it happy and healthy during shipping. 

We Ship Chaeto in a flat rate USPS 2 -3 day flat rate priority envelope. And we will include your tracking number with each shipment.

We only ship to the lower 48 states.

You can order by calling or texting Eric @ 828-748-4382 or Karen @ 828-748-6932 or by emailing us at ericsmarinelife@gmail.com 

We will send you a personalized invoice so you can make your payment!!




Saturday, August 4, 2018

New Bubble Magus Curve Elite Series


 Curve Elite Series By Bubble Magus

The new innovative space saving design by Bubble Magus is the Curve Elite Series, in addition to offering a very small footprint and a pipeless airflow, and extra padded cushion for noise control, the real notable design change is that the Bubble Magus Curve Elite Series is the only model that uses the Italian Sicce PSK series needle wheel pumps.


Before the Bubble Magus Elite series released in June of 2018, the original Curve models used the Rock pumps, designed by Bubble magus, that seemed to still hold their own, and get the job done, But now with the Curve Elite Skimmers using the powerful Sicce PSK pump in all 3 of the Elite Models, my fellow Reefers are sure to be impressed with the efficacy used to generate foam.





Bubble Magus Elite Series has a great price tag and comes in 3 sizes depending on the size of your Tank..

Bubble Magus Curve 5 Elite Series, Internal Protein Skimmer with Sicce SK200 Pump

Features:
  • High quality polished cell cast acrylic body
  • Long lasting efficient skimmer pump
  • Needle wheel impeller for optimal micro-bubbles
  • Innovative features
  • Stylish space saving design
  • Efficient venturi
  • High air suction
Technical Details:
  • Footprint = 7.3" x 7.1"
  • Height = 18.5"
  • Rated for aquariums up to 130 gallons
  • Recommended running level = 9.5" - 11" water depth
  • Pump: Sicce SK-200
    • Power: 18 watts, 120 V ~ 60 Hz / 0.6 A
    • Pump output = 375 gph
    • Air intake = 300 lph

Bubble Magus Curve 7 Elite Series, Internal Protein Skimmer with Sicce PSK-600 Pump

Features:
  • High quality polished cell cast acrylic body
  • Long lasting efficient skimmer pump
  • Needle wheel impeller for optimal micro-bubbles
  • Innovative features
  • Stylish space saving design
  • Efficient venturi
  • High air suction

Technical Details:
  • Footprint = 9.3" x 7.9"
  • Height = 21"
  • Rated for aquariums up to 240 gallons
  • Recommended running level = 9.5" - 11" water depth
  • Pump: Sicce PSK-600
  • Power: 29 watts, 120 V ~ 60 Hz / 0.33 A
  • Pump output = 661 gph
  • Air intake = 520 lph

Bubble Magus Curve 9 Elite Series, Internal Protein Skimmer with Sicce PSK-1200 Pump


Features:
  • High quality polished cell cast acrylic body
  • Long lasting efficient skimmer pump
  • Needle wheel impeller for optimal micro-bubbles
  • Innovative features
  • Stylish space saving design
  • Efficient venturi
  • High air suction
Technical Details:
  • Footprint = 11.6" x 9.3"
  • Height = 23.6"
  • Rated for aquariums up to 400 gallons
  • Recommended running level = 9.5" - 11" water depth
  • Pump: Sicce PSK-1200
  • Power: 60 watts, 120 V ~ 60 Hz / 0.9 A
  • Pump output = 1049 gph
  • Air intake = 900 lph



Sometimes the instruction manual can be a little confusing!! So here is a great Step by Step video to help you set up your Elite the correct way!!










Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Chaetomopha

CHAETOMORPHA




Chaetomorpha, Chaeto, Spaghetti Algae, or Chato is a Macro Algae that is extremely beneficial to a reef aquarium. It absorbes nitrates and phosphates from your saltwater aquarium. Keeping your parameters in check, helping your corals grow better and faster.


We sell our Chaeto for $12.00 plus $3.50 shipping for about 2 cups worth, more than you will find from anywhere else!!

Chaeto will arrive in a plastic bag with a paper towel and a small amount of water, Our Chaeto is full and Thick and extremely healthy!!



Live Chaetomorpha Chaeto Chato Marine Macro Algae Nitrate Remover.   This is one of the hardiest and most commonly used algaes. Great for introducing into marine aquariums. As a nutrient exporter, it absorbs, or feeds on dissolved organic waste. This algae thrives on fish waste, nitrates, & phosphates. This is a big contributor to maintaining a healthy aquarium system for our fish and corals. Also gives your copepods and anthropods a place to thrive and breed. This is like a natural protein skimmer and helps to purify our water. Introducing this algae is a natural way of maintaining good water quality for our corals also. This is chaetomorpha  raised grown and raised in our own marine reef system and will be hand picked at time of purchase.

Email us at Eric'smarinelife@gmail.com if you would like to purchase our Chaetomorpha we can send you an invoice right away. All shipping is done though usps with a tracking number

Monday, May 14, 2018

Vermetid Snail Pest Removal



The Vermetid Snail is a very Unwanted Saltwater Aquarium Pest, A Coral killer,  that is a stationary gastropod, often red, brown or purple in color, that has a hard shell that is cemented hard to your rocks, corals, glass, and other snail shells.

Vermetid Snails will slowly kill your corals by smothering them with the mucus webs they cast from the ends of their open tube shells, which are used to catch food and nutrients they need for survival, the webs often irritate surrounding corals, causing polyps to remain closed eventually ending in tissue loss. 

Vermetids also hurt or slowly kill corals by stealing their much needed calcium, impeding their skeletal growth! Often the Vermetids will attach their selves to a coral causing lesions that will result in tissue loss and tissue damage, eventually killing the coral if not removed.



The best practice is to manually remove the Vermetid Snail, using a razor of sorts to cut the snail from the rock, coral, or whatever it may be attached to from the base of the snail. The snail is not in the tip of the tube, its actually down in the base of the tube as you can see in the picture. 
Some aquarist will glue the tips of the snail closed, which will kill the snail, eventually starving it, but after doing this over a period of time, you will end up with unwanted nutrients in your system due to the dead creature still trapped in your tank. 
There is much controversy about different types of Fish, Dips or Treatments to kill these snails, but from most of the research I have done, I have come to the conclusion that its just best to manually remove them.

 


Sunday, May 13, 2018

The New YouTube Reef Tank Build

                     The YouTube Tank Build Is Underway!!

Thanks to ARC Reef, We just Received our Reef Rock to begin the Aqua scape. Our YouTube Viewers and Subscribers will be able to voice their opinions and ideas that will allow them to have a major impact on the outcome of this build!



We will be filming the progress of this build the whole way through, our viewers will not miss anything that goes on during this build!! It is so important that we teach as many people as possible about how important the reefs in the oceans are to our planet!

We owe many thanks to ARC Reef for sponsoring us and our channel. Be sure to check out their website, For every pound of live rock they sell they plant 10 pounds back into the ocean!! So by purchasing your live rock from ARC Reef, you are helping rebuild the oceans reefs!! So far they have planted over 200,000 pounds of reef material, and they have created over 43,500 sq ft. of New Coral Reefs of the Coast of Maimi Florida, Called Heart Reef!!!


Would you like to Donate to Eric's Marine Life? We have started a Go Fund Me account and all that is donated will be used to help with buying equipment and tools for the reef tanks, corals, and supplies for the reef tanks.  We will also be using money donated to help with the YouTube Tank Build!! Because the whole Tank build process will be filmed, you will get to see everything we put in to it, and you can even be a part of the build by commenting and giving your imput on our YouTube Channel, Eric's Marine Life!!

Go Here Now To Donate To Eric's Marine Life!!

Go Here to Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel!!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Copepods and Amphipods, Facts and Breeding Tips and Tricks





Copepods are extremely important to a well balanced aquarium ecosystem, not only are they extremely beneficial, but they are also an important food source required by some species to survive.


Copepods and Amphipods are a natural part of the plankton food chain, so they will naturally occur in a saltwater aquarium. If you already have a well established tank you probably see many of the little guys on the glass of your aquarium, in the substrate and even on your rocks.

If your tank has not been going long you can easily buy them from many different online vendors. If you want to breed them like we do to ensure your population never depletes check out our YouTube video above. 


Its not to hard to breed pods, just get a 10 galloon tank, have your salinity at around 1.023, temperature around 78 Degrees F, and add chaeto, they love to breed in the stuff, we even added a small amount of substrate and rubble from our live rocks, then some pinky's filter floss from our sump, they were already breeding in it in the sump so we simply transferred it over. We add phytoplankton til the water has a green tint, when the water begins to clear after a few days you just add more, giving the little guys plenty to eat. We also added a small amount of fish flakes or pellets just to ensure we have enough for them to eat. We add fresh Chaeto to their tank and only keep the lights on the pod tank about 2-4 hrs a day. To transfer our pods we will take a small bit of the water, pick up the chaeto and shake it out giving us several hundred at a time, sometimes we will use our Pod Condo, video below, it makes transferring pods extremely easy. Water Changes are very important when breeding pods, you don't want your parameters to get to crazy, and they always breed better right after a water change. 



Be sure to check out our YouTube channel, Eric's Marine Life , Like Share and Subscribe!!


Monday, May 7, 2018

The Frogspawn Coral


The Frogspawn Coral is a LPS Coral, Euphyllia Divisa, and is sometimes called a wall coral, Grape Coral, Honey Coral, Honey Coral Wall, and even a Octopus Coral.




The Frogspawn Coral does best when placed on the bottom half of your tank, with low water flow and moderate to high lighting.  Make sure you keep some distance between this and other corals since it has sweeper tentacles and my sting nearby corals, you can have the Frogspawn coral close to his brother, the Hammer Coral, they get along pretty good and will not harm one another, but its cousin the Torch Coral needs to be a good distance from both of these guys since they will harm one another. The Branches of this coral are not connected so therefore if one branch is hurt or dead it will not affect the other branch. The frogspawn coral is not recommended for beginners as it can be quite difficult to handle for starters. 




The Frogspawn Coral produces its food via photosynthesis. It will also accept meaty foods such as raw shrimp, Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp and silverside when placed near the oral opening. The Frogspawn Coral will grow rapidly in a marine aquarium if the tank parameters are perfect.  Adding Calcium and other trace elements to the water is important to maintain this corals good health!






  • SCIENTIFIC NAME:                         Euphyllia Divisa
  • CARE LEVEL:                                    Moderate
  • TEMPERAMENT:                            Aggressive
  • DIET:                                                 Phytoplankton, Meaty foods
  • LIGHTING:                                       Moderate to Intense
  • WATER FLOW:                                Moderate
  • PLACEMENT:                                   Bottom Half
  • TEMPERATURE:                            72  -  78 Degrees F
  • PH:                                                     8.2  -  8.4
  • SG:                                                    1.022  -  1.025
  • DKH:                                                 8  -  12
  • CALCIUM:                                      350  -  420
  • MAGNESIUM:                               1200  -  1350


Check out Eric's Marine Life on YouTube and be sure to subscribe to get notifications on the latest videos



Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Doughnut Coral Information


The Doughnut Coral is a LPS Coral, Acanthophylia sp., and is also known as the Meat Coral. 


The Doughnut Coral does best if placed on the bottom half of your tank, with low water flow and moderate lighting. Make sure you keep some distance between this and other corals since it can double its size when it expands. The Doughnut Coral can grow up to 12" in an aquarium if properly maintained. They will be very easy to keep as long as they get enough space for it to grow. This coral would be an excellent choice for beginners to expert aquarist!




The Doughnut Coral produces food through photosynthesis but will also except meaty foods as well when it is placed near the oral opening.  Adding Calcium and other trace elements to your water is extremely important for growth of this coral. 



      • SCIENTIFIC NAME:              Acanthophylia Sp.
      • CARE LEVEL:                        Moderate
      • TEMPERMENT:                     Semi-Aggressive
      • DIET:                                        Phytoplankton, meaty foods
      • LIGHTING:                          Moderate
      • WATER FLOW:                   Low
      • PLACEMENT:                       Bottom Half
      • TEMPERATURE:                 72  -  78 Degrees F
      • PH:                                          8.2  -  8.4
      • SG:                                        1.022  -  1.025
      • DKH:                                     8  -  12
      • CALCIUM:                       350 - 420
      • MAGNESIUM:                1200 - 1350



Saturday, May 5, 2018

The Bubble Coral



The Bubble Coral is a LPS Coral, Physogyra sp. 

Other names include... Bubble Pearl Coral, Pearl Grape Coral, Small Bubble Coral, and Pearleye.



Placement of The Bubble Coral is best on the bottom half of the tank, with low to mild water flow and moderate lighting.   Make sure you keep some distance between this and other corals because it tends to be aggressive and may sting other corals if nearby.  The Bubble Coral may sting aquarist as well if it is disturbed while its tentacles are open so be careful when handling it.  This coral requires careful handling and is only recommended for intermediate or expert aquarist.




The Bubble Coral gets most of its nutrients through photosynthesis.  It will also filter feed upon marine foods such as zooplankton, raw shrimp, Mysis shrimp and meaty bits of silverdale.  Adding Calcium and other trace elements to the water is necessary for proper growth of this coral.




  • SCIENTIFIC NAME:                 Physogyra sp.
  • CARE LEVEL:                            Easy
  • TEMPERAMENT:                      Aggressive
  • DIET:                                            Phytoplankton, zooplankton, Meaty foods
  • LIGHTING:                                 Moderate
  • WATER FLOW:                         Low to Moderate
  • PLACEMENT:                            Bottom half
  • TEMPERATURE:                       72 - 78 Degrees F
  • PH                                                  8.2 - 8.4
  • SG:                                                 1.022 - 1.025
  • DKH:                                             8 - 12

Check out Eric's Marine Life On YouTube for educational Videos about the Saltwater Hobby!!