Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Tidepool Marine System

Related FAQs: Best Marine Set-Up FAQs 1, Best FAQs 2, Marine Set-Up 1, FAQs 2, FAQs 3, FAQs 4FAQs 5, FAQs 6, FAQs 7FAQs 8, FAQs 9, FAQs 10FAQs 11, FAQs 12FAQs 13FAQs 14FAQs 15, FAQs 16FAQs 17FAQs 18FAQs 19FAQs 20FAQs 21, FAQs 22, FAQs 23, FAQs 24, FAQs 25, FOWLR Set-Ups, Reef Tank Setups, Small Tank Setups, Moving Aquarium Systems

Related Articles: Marine Set-Up, Marine Planning, Getting Started with a Marine Tank By Adam Blundell, MS, Technology: Putting on the Brakes:  How much is too much? By Tommy Dornhoffer Reef Set-UpFish Only Systems, Fish and Invertebrate Systems, Small Marine Set-Ups, Large Marine Systems, Cold/Cool Water Marine Systems Moving Aquariums

Don't forget the algae!

Outdoor Saltwater Pond Heating So Cal - 5/22/10
Hi, I live in So Cal (San Diego)
<Am in Mira Mesa>
and have a 250 gallon saltwater reef tank and a large Koi pond of over 10,000 gallons. We're redoing our Koi pond this summer to make it deeper because some of our Koi are getting really big. I've thought off and on about moving the marine fish into an outdoor saltwater pond because 250 gallons just does not look as big as it used to, so it seems like it may be a good time to add the salt pond.
I've figured out about all of it except how to heat the saltwater pond.
<An "exchanger"... Have just come back, last week, from the pet-industry's largest show... Interzoo, seen Teco's offerings here... Is what I'd invest in if I were doing what you describe. http://www.tecous.com/
The saltwater pond would be about 1500-2000 gallons made out of concrete and pond liner with the sump/filter system/skimmer etc plumbed under a deck by the pond, the sump etc will be another 400 gallons. A couple mo.s of the year we have some lows of 30 degrees, and in the spring and fall the evenings can get considerably cooler than days. I want to keep the pond in the 70's consistently. Half the year the temp will be no issue and will pretty much stay that way naturally, but the other half year will fluctuate or be too cold without good heating.
Any ideas would be great. I've been looking up a lot on the net and your site but there doesn't seem to be many saltwater ponds.
<Mmm, no... Too expensive to operate; insufficient interest...>
Also electricity in So Cal is really expensive. What would be the best and most economical way to heat this?
<There are other... some quite novel means. It would behoove you to "send this out for bid" with various service companies... Maybe call Pat Hurley at one of his stores... Aquatic Warehouse... and ask him re possibilities here. There are heat pumps of various designs that are economical long/er term. Bob Fenner>

Coldwater Tide Pool -- 05/21/10
Dear Crew,
<Hello Justin,>
During a recent trip to the zoo, my wife and I were in awe at their coldwater tide pool they had (see attached picture. Honestly better in person, but it gives you an idea).
So now I find myself with another project, and want to build a 240g tide pool system. I was wondering if I could get some suggestions on hardier anemone species, sea stars, and perhaps some fish that would work well in such a system.
<Does depend on where you live. Here in the UK, some of the best species include Beadlet Anemones, Asterina gibbosa cushion stars, Pomatoschistus spp. gobies, the shanny Lipophrys pholis, and Crangon shrimps. There's a
very good summary over at the British Marine Life Study Society page, here:
I have never done anything with cold water species, and thought maybe I could get some suggestions. I included the picture to maybe help with identification purposes as well, since I would imagine these animals are a bit more hardy give they are in a "touch tank" where people of all ages can see what they feel like. This is not the case in my home system, it will not be a touch tank, rather just an interesting addition to my other 5 tanks. Just looking for a variety of colors, reds, blues, pinks, anything that can add some pop to it. Thanks all!
<When choosing coldwater livestock, putting aside obvious issues like size and predatory habits, the key thing is to review the temperature tolerances of the species in question. A chiller may be useful, but remember if the
water is more than a couple of degrees cooler than the air temperature, condensation will cloud the glass. So it's better to put the aquarium somewhere cool, and choose species that will be happy at that particular temperature. The next step is to grab a marine biology guide to the local fauna in your area. Temperate zone coldwater animals can be divided into three groups: those from warm areas at the coolest edge of their range; those that favour middling temperatures and aren't found much further north or south; and those from polar waters at the <See corr. below> coldest edge of their range.
The last category, the serious coldwater animals, rarely adapt well to indoor aquaria (without a chiller, at least). The ones that adapt best are those at the warmest edge of their range, since they're likely to tolerate indoor summer temperatures well. Many gobies and wrasses fit into this bracket. The ones in the middle have to be rejected or accepted on a case by case basis, so a bit of reading will be important. The Beadlet Anemone for example is a temperate zone specialist that is happy at middling temperatures, but is phenomenally adaptable, to the degree it has become an invasive pest in some subtropical areas. It's a very good aquarium resident, and beautifully coloured. Although originally from the NW Atlantic, it's quite widely traded online. The Horseshoe Crab (Limulus polyphemus) is another middling temperature specialist that tolerates warm water during the summer without any obvious ill effects, though if kept in a tropical system it will eventually die. Look in the marine biology book to see if the animal in question inhabits tide pools. If it does, chances are good that it will tolerate room temperature fairly well. But if the animal does so only during winter, or migrates into deep water during the summer, then that's a bad sign, and usually indicates intolerance of warm water.>
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Coldwater Tide Pool

<Typo: Where I said "The ones that adapt best are those at the warmest edge of their range" I meant the complete opposite, "The ones that adapt best are those at the COLDEST edge of their range". Cheers, Neale.>

Rock Pool Tank 11/24/09
Dear sir
I have a chilled UK Rock Pool tank with a couple of Beadlet anemones and a few periwinkles and limpets. I was wondering if any UK members of WWM could help me with choosing an interesting and attractive British fish species to keep in this tank. The results of my rockpooling so far have just been anemones, shrimp, snails and some dull brown fish. I wanted a corkwing wrasse but upon further research I found out they would eat my periwinkles and limpets. The tank is 300L in size.
<Hello! There are several excellent fish species for an aquarium this size.
Wrasses are very hardy, but they are all carnivores that consume mobile invertebrates, so you do have to be careful with them. The best choices are the Shanny (Lipophrys pholis) and any of the small gobies such as
Pomatoschistus minutus and P. microps. These are very tolerant of room temperature conditions, and don't eat anything other than very small invertebrates. Shannies are easy to tame, and like Mudskippers, even come out of the water. The Tompot Blenny (Parablennius gattorugine) is also very hardy, but is big and aggressive and predatory towards invertebrates, so this species needs to be approached with caution. The same goes for Triggerfish (Balistes capriscus), though these are extremely fun to keep.
On the other hand, native Pipefish (Syngnathus spp.) can do very well in aquaria alongside invertebrates, though they are difficult to feed, so you will have to supply them with live food, possibly wet-frozen food, of
suitable size. It's worth mentioning that at least some species traded as "tropical marine" fish would actually do better in an unheated aquarium, so you may even consider reviewing some of these (Carolina <Catalina> gobies and
Garibaldi damsels spring to mind).
Do make yourself familiar with excellent Glaucus site, here:
This site is all about British marine fish, and includes a big section on aquaria. Cheers, Neale.>

Beach Zone Aquarium - 05/31/08 Hi Guys! <Franks> I'm going to try and create a relatively unique kind of aquarium for my next   one, but I'm a little concerned about the aquascaping involved and what problems it might cause. I'm trying to create an aquarium modeled after a tidal zone. Going to keep it fluctuating between about ¾ full to full on and off twice a day to replicate the tides (using a Tunze Osmolator to slowly raise the level and a pretty cool/simple siphon system to lower it). Given the type of biotope I'm going for and the fact that the water won't all pass through the sump/skimmer at the rate of a normal reef tank, I'm going to have a deep sand bed. What I'd really like to do is keep it at about 3-4 in. across the bottom and then about half way across the tank, start building it up till the sand comes close to the top in a slope. Part of the day that'll be submerged, and other parts it'll be out of the water (good for mangroves and fiddler crabs etc.). I'm wondering whether having the sand that deep (almost 17 in. at the one side) will cause serious water chemistry problems (assuming a fairly large amount of different sand sifting critters) and, if so, should I try something like having the guy who makes my tank add an acrylic stand that will be completely sealed (i.e. not a plenum), and will create a platform that will reduce the amount of sand used while still achieving the same effect? <Should> Kind of an odd question, I know, but I'd really like to try this. Oh, one other thing I was thinking. If not the acrylic, what about something more natural, like some large pieces of dry rock or something. <These would work as well. Base rock would be my choice> Thanks for all your help in the past! <Welcome! Bob Fenner>

I've got a project ahead of me'¦. Tide Pool Aquarium  4/1/08 My wife is the one in my household that really likes fish, but the engineer in me comes out sometimes. <<Sounds like something complicated is approachng.>> The other day while feeding the fish in our 50 gal saltwater tank we decided it would be pretty neat to have a tank with a tide for inverts. (my little puffer eats too many cool things on that side of the food chain) <<Tidal tanks are no doubt very interesting but they are often poorly executed as home displays (not to say your will be that is). But 'salt creep' and corrosion from the continuous splashing as well as the moving parts associated with making the tide are all very important concerns.>> A few hours later I had put together a design and ordered the parts. <<Anyway you could get a pic or schematic of this to us?>> I prototyped it yesterday on a small 3 gallon tank... and it works! I just need to work on my tidal timing (the 3 gallon tank is at 1 cycle/tide an hour), <<Sounds interesting though it's difficult to picture from this description.>> with our apartment space this probably will not be a full working model until the late this summer. <<No need to rush, do plan this slowly and methodically.>> In the "tidal tank" I plan to use some form of aquarium safe foam or something to keep the sand to one side and allow a portion of the tank to be nothing but water (necessary for sensors, and not putting a filter on my cheap under powered water pump). <<The 'Foam' concerns me; sounds like a potentially weak material that will degrade overtime or at the least become a detritus trap'¦consider something like starboard and/or acrylic for this 'barrier.'>> I have solved the possibility of over filling the "tidal tank" (and likewise over draining the main tank)... but do you know of any other problems I might run in to with this? And any clever ways to solve them? <<My only concerns at this point, since I have not seen a diagram of what you are describing, are listed above.>> And for the big question, aside from running to my local beach and snatching some small crabs and watching them die because the temperature is too high (I'm in Washington state). <<Not a good idea anyway.>> Any ideas on where I could find something that would survive being in small pools of water (or barely in water) rather than a tank full of water? <<Check this out; http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2006/2/lines '¦by a former WWM regular Adam Blundell.>> Thanks, Andy <<Anytime.>> If I need to clarify anything please let me know. <<See above'¦'¦Adam J.>>

Re: I've got a project ahead of me'¦.Tide Pool Aquarium 4/1/08 Thanks for the link, I'll work on getting a drawing together... make take a while, back burner until the space problem is solved, I think I have a rough pre-working drawing somewhere. <<No Rush.>> So this has been done before? <<Yes, though it's more common in larger public aquaria than it is in home aquaria.>> Any links, pictures, horror stories? <<There aren't to many standardized DIY formats that I am aware of, it's not common so designs are usually done on a case by case basis. For pictures, check the BB forums on the net'¦.horror stories'¦there are plenty, just like with other forms of aquaria.>> couldn't find anything on this, so I almost thought that no one had done a simple house tidal tank. <<They aren't common, not that they aren't 'worth' it'¦that is up to you.>> Salt creep from waves shouldn't be a problem, it's a pretty calm setup. <<I'll take your word for it, I'm just basing that concern over the various tidal set-ups that use dump tanks to create the tide.>> I'm using a siphon to fill from the main tanks, a few float sensors that control a fairly weak pump.... the goal being to get the siphon timed to the natural tide and the rest takes care of it self. <<Siphons concern me, sounds like an overflow waiting to happen, controlled overflows are my preference.>> So for moving parts I have a few relays, some float sensors, and a cheap low output pump.... should be simple enough. (and cheap!) <<The float/water level sensors are a very good idea indeed.>> I guess foam might be scary, I was looking at a sheet of some foam that was used for packing of all things a pistol of mine (some good quality stuff) when I came up with that. <<I would check to see what the components of said foam is before using it in marine aquaria though.>> I need a way to separate the silty sandy mess from water pump and I'd rather not add more resistance to it by adding a filter to the pump itself, I was thinking of using some of the foam that is used in filters. <<Fine/'milky' sand can make it's way through or under said foam at times, and they are notoriously bad detritus traps as well.>> I just need to design this around being replaced every so often, and come up with a way to keep the crawly things from getting over to the other side. <<Do look into my suggestions from last time.>> Any specific species (that wouldn't hurt the pocket book should they not survive too well) of crabs and such that you could recommend? <<Check out the 'advanced aquarist' link I gave you last time by Adam B, it's a much better list than I can come up with.>> And a good place to buy them? <<I honestly have not made a personal purchase of livestock from an online dealer in over a year (I'm a bit spoiled living in SoCal 10 minutes away from LAX and wholesalers) check out our new BB forum linked on the homepage of WWM, the members will be more than willing to provide their opinions re: e-tailers.>> Thanks again, Andy <<Good luck, Adam J.>> Re: Re: I've got a project ahead of me'¦.Tide Pool Aquarium 4/1/08 So here it is... there's some notes that didn't get updated as the design changed, sorry please look past that. <<Look like it has potential, still note my concerns re: the last correspondence.>> But that's is pretty much how things are going (minus crab, sand, and barrier). <<Keep working at it, plan and sit on it, don't rush.>> Thanks,

Now RMF really wishes he'd kept a larger size file to post...

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: