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More pictures of my Reef Aquariums

A nice picture of the reef within my 37 gallon aquarium

 


Hello and welcome to my reef aquarium website!  I've successfully maintained a reef aquarium for the last six years and have enjoyed just about every moment of it. I do a tremendous amount of research before purchasing anything (equipment, species,e etc.) and feel that this has contributed greately to my continued success. As you are probably aware, there are a multitude of approaches toward establishing and maintaining a reef aquarium. My current aquarium setups are what has worked best for me over the years. Please let me know of your successes and failures. Communication between hobbyists is essential in order for us to provide the optimal reef environment for our aquarium inhabitants. I will try and answer as many questions as I can to the best of my abilities (or at least try and point you in the right direction). I almost never discount any idea without first trying it.

Over time I have learned that you must observe your aquarium on a regular basis to determine what techniques are work and which ones don’t. I talk with hobbyists constantly and pick their brains on problem situations that I’ve encountered and get their opinion on remedies. Most of us are not marine biologists or chemists and sometimes determine the wrong diagnosis. You, as a hobbyist should confront several counterparts prior to making conscious decisions as to how to solve problem situations. If you are fortunate enough to live close to a large metropolitian area, chances are that there is an aquarium society close to you. Take full advantage of this. I recently joined the Brooklyn Aquarium Society (one of the largest in the nation) and find this one of my main resource for information. In addition, by joining this organization, I am privy to information not commonly found in any magazine or on the internet.


Setting up and successfully maintaining a Reef Aquarium is easy! I feel that the biggest hurdle a beginner/intermediate hobbyist faces is one of CONFUSION. Confusion in that there are a lot of people (hobbyists, store owners, etc.) offering hobbyists conflicting advice as to how to successfully establish and maintain a reef aquarium. When I tell people that I have a salt water aquarium, the first thing that they normally say is that “isn’t that a lot of work” or “isn’t it really difficult to keep a salt water aquarium”. My first response is always that it is rather easy to establish and maintain a salt water reef aquarium but in order to do so, you need to understand how to properly establish and care for this type of aquarium (as any other type). Do not be intimidated! It is a lot easier than you think.

When I first started out, I never thought that I would be able to keep a wide variety of corals (both hard and soft) and fish in my aquarium. Over time, after a lot of experimentation and talking with the right people, I found that this was not the case. Do not jump into reef aquarium keeping without first doing a lot of research. Most of what you will need to know in order to successfully establish and maintain a reef aquarium can be found within this web site.

My web site is a comprehensive compilation of theories and ideas that have worked for me and other hobbyists for an extended period of time. Please e-mail me with any questions that you might have. I will be happy to promptly answer them. If you have done experimentation with reef aquarium keeping and have found things that have worked for you that are not mentioned within this web site, I would be very anxious to hear about them. In addition, I would also be interested in hearing about things that you have experimented with that have not worked for you. Over time, my goal is to include the negative approaches towards establishing and maintaining a reef aquarium within this web site so that hobbyist can avoid making mistakes.


Whether you are an expert hobbyist or just interested in reef aquarium keeping in general, you are going to want to
book mark this page since it is extremely comprehensive and is continuously being updated with the latest cutting edge reef keeping techniques. To make it easier for hobbyists to find out new information recently posted on this site, I have added this scrolling marquis. You can click directly on the marquis and it will take you to the particular section containing recently updated or new information. Share this information with your friends you may not have access to the internet.

This site includes a tremendous amount of pictures in order for hobbyists to visually see concepts and ideas that are discussed. I am constantly looking for new ways for hobbyists to save time, money, and effort in order to make their reef keeping experience a more positive one.


Coming Soon!



Building a Refugium from the Ground Up!


Learn how to build a great counter current protein skimmer!



By popular demand, it's now on-line! How to build your own dual 55 watt power compact light setup (including reflector) for under $100.00 Do it yourself for under $100.00


Now On-Line. How to propagate Colt Coral. This coral is extremely hardy and does well under under many light conditions. I have many colt coral fragments if you are looking to trade this coral for others. Propagating inhabitants is easy, fun, and can save you money. Propagated corals adapt to aquarium conditions alot better that wild corals taken from the ocean do. On-line now! Learn how to propagate Colt Coral Propagating Colt Coral


New! - Woring with Acrylic

All the do it yourself projects that i've executed over the years has involved working with acrylic in one way or another. Prior to attempting my first do it yourself project, I did not know how to cut, bond, and bend acrylic in order to successfully complete my projects. Here is an article that I wrote on working with acrylic.


Picture of some hairy mushrooms in my 37 gallon reef aquarium. Look at these mushrooms. They are doing fantastic. Look at them thriving for more light. I propagate them at least once a month. They grow so fast. I have propagated them several times over the last year. It seems as if they love being propagated! A great picture of some of the mushrooms in my tank

I am currently propagating several Reef inhabitants. Propagating inhabitants is so much fun. Pom Pom Xenia is currently my favorite. It's nice to watch these new inhabitants grow. What I like best about propagating inhabitants is that you can literally fill every square inch of your reef with inhabitants. I'm now getting to the point where I will soon need to set up a separate tank to house cuttings when I decided toprune my reef.

Be sure to check out my Propagation Page for information and techniques on how to propagate your own species.


If you want to save money on hardware and like to experiment, then you have to check my Do it Yourself page. Here you will find several projects that you can do on your own and save yourself lots of money. Unlike most web pages, where authors cannot attest to the accuracy of the plans and/or if the end result will work at all, every do it yourself project and project plan that I post on my web site I have successfully done myself and can talk about at great length.

If you have any questions regarding anything contained within this web site (or anything regarding the hobby in general), please feel free to e-mail me your question and I will be happy to try and answer it for you. Most of the do it yourself projects posted on this site are very easy to execute. You do not necessarily need to be “good with you hands” in order to successfully complete one or more of these projects. Careful planning and thinking up front about your approach is what is going to make your attempt(s) successful.

Most of the do it yourself projects that I am posting on this website (Protein Skimmer, Overflow, Aquarium Collar, etc.)I invented myself. Some are of my own thought and some are a variation of existing ideas. All of my do it yourself projects work very well on my aquariums. This skimmer that I built works extremely well for me. I set it so that it moderately skims the aquarium. I never shut the skimmer off. The skimmer that I built myself

When I say moderately skim, I mean that I keep the water lever in the skimmer between one to two inches from the intake of the collection cup tube. This makes it more difficult for foam to be expelled from the skimmer. Only the thick, dirty foam gets expelled into the collection cup.

Over time, I have realized that you can over skim an aquarium. By over skimming, I mean that you are skimming out not only the negative properties within your aquarium water but also the positive ones (such as kalkwasser, corallline algae spores, etc). Over skimming an aquarium is a theory that has been proven by hobbyists over the last couple of years. Be very conscious not to over skim your aquarium.

If you've successfully created your own piece of hardware and have plans on how to do so, please feel free to send them to me. I will try and recreate the item, use it on one of my tanks and if it performs at or above expectation, I will include it on my website and give you credit for the submission (that is if you created the plans yourself and are not submitting someone elses plans).

If you have any questions on the Do it Yourself plans that I post on my website, please feel free to email me and I will be happy to answer your questions.




On March 13, 1999, I joined the Brookly Aquarium Society (one of the largest in the nation). The speaker for the evening was the extremely well known hobbyist and author Julian Sprung. He gave a 2 hour presentation on his trip to the Solomon Islands and some of the beautiful inhabitants that live there (he brought some excellent slides) along with sharing with society members what are the current trends in the reef keeping industry and just how far the hobby has evolved over the last 5 years. The evening ended with a live stock and dry goods auction. I ended up purchasing a dual 36" VHO light strip with an Ice Cap 430 ballast for get this, $42.00. Live Stock and hardware were donated by members and went for less than what you could buy it for in any store (or even on the net).

Update: I attended the May 16th meeting and got a Sohol tang for get this, $22.00. It was around 4 inches in length and its colors were extremely vibrant. I will soon post pictures of this tang on my Reef Inhabitants page. This tang is very hardy and is doing extremely well within my 60 gallon reef aquarium. Oh, I also bought an Australian Copper band Butterfly for $15.00. Unbelievable!

If you don't already belong to an aquarium society, I suggest that you try and find one close to where you live. You meet some truly great people, are able to share your reef keeping experiences with fellow hobbyists, and are able to obtain live stock and dry goods for far less than you would expect to pay for them in a store or even over the internet. The cost to join the society was a mere $15.00 ($20.00 for a family membership) for a yearly membership. The fliers and monthly news letters that I receive alone contain information that is worth more than the $20.00 that I spent to join the society. The society meets the second Friday of every month at the aquarium for conservation library which is located on the grounds of the Brooklyn Aquarium.

If you would like to know more about the Brooklyn Aquarium Society and the events that are taking place there , please refer to my Brooklyn Aquaruim Societyweb page.




 

Recently(April 1999), I set up new 60 gallon acrylic reef aquarium which will house both hard and soft corals. I have documented the entire process of building the aquarium from the ground up (with lots of pictures) and will keep you abreast of its progress. You will be able to read about and see visually how this reef aquarium progresses over time.

Recent picture of my new 60 gallon reef aquarium as it looks in June of 1999. Notice that the entire reef is made of Aragorock. This rock allows water to flow freely throughout the entire aquarium and prevents detitrus build up. It's extremely easy to aquascape an aquarium using this rock. Picture of the tank in June 1999
You will be amazed to see over time how drastically the reef will change from being nothing more than bare Aragorock to being completely covered with both hard and soft corals.

You can learn all about my new 60 gallon reef aquarium and its progress by reading my 60 Gallon reef aquarium page.


For the last 1 1/2 years, I have been making my very own Aragorock tm (homemade live rock). I like using Aragorock tm to build all my reefs because it was designed to have an extremely small footprint. This small footprint helps to ensure that not only do I have adequate water circulation throughout the aquarium but also that I don't have an excessive amount of detitrus building up within my live sand filter bed and/or within my reef rocks. My homemade Aragorock tm table

This rock looks extremely natural and fish love to hide and swim throughout it. Eventually, this rock will be completely covered with a multitude of reef life (including coralline algae). This rock is extremely porous, light weight, and water passes right through it. The shapes are designed in a way so that water easily flows throughout the entire aquarium and even through the rock providing your reef inhabitants with the much needed water circulation that they need in order to survive and grow.

You can learn all about this amazing new concept and how to build or buy your very own Aragorock tm by visiting my Aragorock tm web page.



Please take a few moments to sign my guestbook. It is nice to know who is visiting site and what type of aquarium (if any) you have. It also provides me with your name and e-mail address so that I can keep you abreast of new developments that are occurring with the hobby. I am always looking to save money on livestock and dry goods and will e-mail you the good deals as I find them. Within my guestbook, please feel free to make comments about this site, your aquarium setup, or anything that may be doing to your aquarium that has worked over an extended period of time. Communication between hobbyists is essential in order to provide the optimal reef environment for our reef enhabitants.

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Below are the web rings that I belong to. I've looked at many of the sites within these rings and I have to say that you can learn a lot about this hobby by surfing through these sites (along with others that are posted out on the net). I am always reading about new ideas that hobbyists post on their web sites that have benefited their aquariums. Also, it is nice to see pictures of some of the other aquariums that are out there and see in action the equipment that they are using.. It is also a great way to establish a reef keeping network if you live outside of a densely populated where an aquarium society may not exist.

If you have you own web site with a reef aquarium theme, I strongly recommend that you join these web rings. It is a great way to get your site noticed amongst hobbyists and increase the number of hits that you are getting. It is very easy to join these reef rings. If you experience any problems, please feel free to e-mail me and I will be happy to try and solve your membership problem(s). Enjoy these other sites and tell the owners that The Coral Guy sent you.



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Please e-mail me your comments/feedback on this site

joesreef@yahoo.com