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FAQs about Cold Water Marine Systems

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Related FAQs: Chillers/Chilling & FAQsFAQs 2, & FAQs on: Cold/Cool Water System Filtration, Cold/Cool Water System Skimmers, Cold/Cool Water System Lighting, Cold/Cool Water System Stocking,   Cold/Cool Water System Maintenance & FAQs on: Chiller Rationale/Use, Selection, DIY, Installation, Maintenance, Fans For Cooling, Troubleshooting, & FAQs on: Coldwater Sharks, Leopard Sharks, Heterodontus, Fish-Only Marine Set-ups, Fish-Only Marine Systems 2, FOWLR/Fish and Invertebrate Systems, Reef Systems, Small Systems, Large Systems, Marine System Plumbing Biotopic presentations

Keeping E. Pacific (coldwater) anemones; system     4/25/20
Hi Mr. Fenner,
I have listened to a couple of your talks and used your website. I have found all the information you put out extremely interesting.
I am attempting a cold water pacific-coast setup with anemones.
I was wondering if you have any advice as to the care requirements of Anthopleura sola, A. elegantissima, or anemones the Urticina genus.
<I know a little; have kept the local anemones, studied the elegant clone in college... histologically; have friends who are coldwater keepers, and volunteered years back at the local public aquarium where we kept
Metridium, Tealia... species>
I don't have a separate system to exchange water with to allow new additions to slowly get to know one another as you have suggested.
<Mmm; okay. Do need a chiller>
I'm trying to run a lot of carbon and to match their environment in terms of temperature and flow.
Are there any specific things that you would recommend I try?
<Well, need to know a bit more re your set up... size, gear make up... Do tell>
Thanks very much,
<Glad to share. Bob Fenner>
Re: E. Pacific Anemones husbandry     4/26/20

My total water volumes consists of a 35 gallon display aquarium with 1" acrylic on all the sides and bottom.
<Good for insulation>
I have a good 1/10hp chiller and haven't had any issues maintaining 55.5-56 degrees F, which is currently
my target temperature.
<I'd let this up during the summer/warmer months... high 50's, low 60's>
In addition to the anemones I have many macroalgae and so I have strong lighting optimized for plant growth, though I've considered switching to bluer light for aesthetic purposes.
<... the strength of lighting is a relative term... 40-50 PAR, PUR for 8 hours a day is fine>
Plenty of flow between return pump, chiller pump, and two DC Tunze powerheads. Plenty of bio media. I am planning on drilling the aquarium and adding a sump to increase water volume.
<Ah, good>
My ph has stayed fairly low around 7.6-7.8- I think the chert rock and sand (common in my area) contributes to this.
<I'd be adding a commercial supplement here. SeaChem Stability is a fave>
Nitrates and phosphates have stayed high, especially phosphates (0.4mg/l, nitrates around 25mg/l).
<Not a worry>
From my discussions with other keepers of coldwater aquaria, these slightly elevated numbers are not uncommon but I would still like to get them down. When I add the sump I'll have a lot of options there, so I am not too concerned.
<Good... DSB there, RDP... BobF>

Cold Water Marine fish tank in the U.K.   9/22/08 Hi, I want to set up a cold water marine fish tank by collecting fish and invertebrates from rock pools etc. I was wondering if I can use live rock, which is suppose to be for tropical marine fish tanks as the main biological filtration as you would with a reef tank? There does seem to be a lot more information about native marines than there used to be as I think it is getting more and more press and the fact that chillers are getting cheaper. Thanks Ben <Hi Ben. Coldwater marine tanks are not especially difficult to maintain, and if you have a cool room in your house that doesn't get over, say, 18 degrees C, you can maintain a substantial diversity of animals without the need for a chiller. The "art" in that case is to choose British fish that are the northern end of their range, and are otherwise found in tide pools around the Portuguese or even Mediterranean coastlines. Any good book on local marine biology will help here. The Beadlet Anemone Actinia equina and the Snakelocks Anemone Anemonia viridis (a photosynthetic species) are classic examples, and both will do perfectly well in tropical tanks, let alone unheated coldwater tanks! Similarly the Shanny (Lipophrys pholis) and the various Sand Gobies (Pomatoschistus minutus and Pomatoschistus microps) are both more than capable of thriving at temperatures in excess of 18 C, at least for a few weeks. (That said, the Shanny will hop out of the water too cool down, usually sitting on rocks in the wild, and obviously it's at risk of escaping if the tank isn't securely covered.) While I'd never recommend them for the community aquarium, the Shore Crab Carcinus maenas is almost indestructible and will thrive indoors. Much safer crustaceans to use are the various Prawns such as Palaemon elegans and Palaemon serratus, two brackish/marine species often sold as "river shrimp" in British pet stores as food for aquarium fish. They are exceptionally hardy as well as beautiful, and make good animals to populate the tank with during its cycling phase. Asterina gibbosa is my favourite starfish for the indoor aquarium. Anyway, as for filtration, while live Live Rock won't work, clean, dead Live Rock (contradiction in terms!) will certainly operate as a filter once colonised with bacteria and algae. Putting live Live Rock won't work because the cold water will likely kill any tropical invertebrates in situ, even assuming the bacteria could acclimatise to the lower water temperature. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Cold Water Marine fish tank in the U.K  9/26/08 Thanks for that Neale am I right in thinking that, if I by uncured rock and cure it at the temp I am going to use it. It will become live rock and filter my cold water marine tank. <Correct; there is nothing specific about live rock that magically fulfils this function; rather it is huge surface area available for bacterial colonisation, plus the limited flow of oxygen through many of those holes, that allows nitrifying bacteria to colonise the outside and the denitrifying bacteria to colonise the inside. There are artificial ways to create the same environments. It just so happens live rock is (relatively) cheap and (very) decorative. Put tufa rock or any other porous rock into an aquarium in sufficient quantities and you will get essentially identical effects. Moreover, your coldwater invertebrates and algae will encrust the rock, so that long term, you'll have something visibly as well as functionally identical to cured live rock. However, do remember to use appropriate quantities, and bear in mind lower temperatures slow down bacterial metabolism, as well as those of fish and invertebrates. Cheers, Neale.>

Cold Water, SW  9/5/08 Hi there hope these words find you in good heath. <Hello there!> I live in Canada in the province of New Brunswick, a short drive from the Bay of Fundy. As I crawl throw the web gobbling up any information I can find on saltwater aquarium I have taken notes of a few things. It seem when people go looking for critters and plants to put in their tank they head for far off warm tropical places were one does not run the risk of freezing to death in the water on a hot summer day. I hope this is so because it easier to heat the water to tropical level then to cool it to cold water levels? <Broadly speaking, yes, it is easier to heat water than to cool it. But this isn't to say coldwater tanks are difficult to keep. If you know which species to pick, and put your aquarium somewhere it won't get excessively warm, you can make an attractive coldwater marine system quite easily (and cheaply).> After all who know how many breath taking critters that live in those colder waters that we will never see in our tanks. <Quite so. When in Scotland I maintained coldwater marine aquaria, and they were every bit as colourful as a reef tank. The art is picking species in your (temperate zone) area that are at the cooler end of their biogeographical range. In other words, they have the potential to adjust to warmer, indoor, conditions already. In some cases this level of adaptation is astonishing: the common Beadlet Anemone found all around the British Isles ranges far south, at least past Africa, and can adapt to conditions in tropical marine tanks just fine! I had specimens living and BREEDING in a tank set up for tropical mantis shrimps! In other words, grab a book on the marine invertebrates in your area, and read through the species entries of things that interest you. Species at the warmest end of their range in your area would be bad choices. For example fish ranging south from the Arctic along the Canadian coast would be unlikely to adapt to indoor conditions without a chiller. Migratory species that come up from the south to the Canadian coast in the summer, on the other hand, might make very good choices.> I personally think it would be nice to be able to keep native saltwater critters. OK maybe not a native lobster they tasted to good and would probably make his own exits throw the wall of my tank when he felt like leaving, that and the lobster would be the only thing one could keep in the tank.... there a reason they come with those rubber bands. <In the UK at least, collecting lobsters small enough for a fish tank is illegal because of the stress on fisheries. They don't tend to make great pets either, being sulky and aggressive. But smaller crustaceans such as shrimps and prawns are usually hardy and easy to keep. Crabs can be viable, but are great omnivores, and will treat the aquarium as a buffet, eating whatever they can catch. So you need to take very great care which species you keep.> By any change could one keep cold water seaweed that can be found growing on the rocks at low tide in a topical saltwater tank or would it just be to hot for seaweed that was made to withstand cold water? <Coldwater seaweeds tend to be brown algae, and these are notoriously difficult to maintain in aquaria. It can be done, but it isn't easy, and certainly not in a cheap-and-cheerful system. Part of the problem is light; provide enough light for them to grow and the tank warms up excessively. There's also the problem with water movement, most seaweeds in shallow water relying on strong water currents to stay healthy (not sure on the details, Bob Fenner may know more). In any case, while you can certainly allow green algae like Enteromorpha and Ulva to grow as they wish, the larger, decorative seaweeds tend to be a hassle.> Is it OK to feed tropical saltwater critters Purple Dulse or should I keep them all to myself? <Should be fine. The Sushi Nori and suchlike we feed to herbivorous fish like catfish and Tangs are made from various types of coldwater algae. Try a little at first and see what the fish think.> Thank you for your wisdom. <Most welcome, Neale.>

Re: native marines, art. by NealeM  2/9/08 It'll be the usual 2500 words, plus or minus. I think I wrote it for PFK, but they've pretty much dropped coldwater stuff apart from  goldfish/koi. Because, I think, the recent laws to stop the spread of exotic species to the UK. Anyway, I can't find the damn thing, but will look. Yes, I have photos. <Ahh, very good indeed!> By the way, I attach a photo of a pearl I found in the Perna viridis I had for my lunch the other day. Might amuse. Have no idea if Perna  often make pearls; they're not native to the UK so I haven't really looked at them much. <Have seen such encrustations in many bivalves... and a few gastropods>  Cheers, Neale <Are you keen to come out with us for Interzoo and/or diving in Jordan and Egypt in May? BobF>

Native marines    2/8/08 Hi Robert,> > My inbox has the third or fourth native marine question of the week.  Is this a regular thing, or a sudden rash? <Don't know... perhaps folks, searching for input, have found your sterling, sparkling advice, and are trying to find you specifically. We've never had such a run on the topic> In any case, I do have somewhere on my hard drive(s) an unpublished MS > on native marines. Admittedly about Northeast Atlantic stuff, but the > principles are the same. Any use to WWM? <I'd definitely like to see... Is it long? Do you have graphics?>> > Otherwise, is there a native marines section somewhere already I just > haven't seen?> > Cheers, Neale <The only prominent works on the topic (article and book) were by Dave Wrobel years back as far as I recall. BobF>

Native British Marine Aquaria.   2/5/08 Hi there, <Hello,> I have been searching the web for over six months for any real insightful information on this subject although it seems largely unpopular except for large public aquaria. I started about a year ago with a small 120l aquarium with very little knowledge but amazingly with a large amount of success. <My experiences are similar: native British marine animals, provided they are not Arctic fauna species, tend to do well. Those with a Lusitanian or Mediterranean distribution will even do well at room temperature, making them great for a low-cost system.> My original and still running aquarium consists of a Hydor Prime 10 canister filter some native live rock with nice dark purple of what I assume is coralline algae and a maxi jet 680l/h power head. <Good: the more water movement the better.> A small Resun skimmer a standard sand aquarium substrate and a Hailea HC150a chillers keeping things at 16 degrees. <Sounds ideal.> Inmates consist of a common Blenny, a Slender spider crab, a Snake lock Anemone, a Strawberry Anemone, several Beadlet Anemone's (It reproduced in a big way!) a few native Hermit crabs, Painted top shells, a common Goby, a Squat lobster and various Shore crabs which are removed and returned to the sea as they quickly outgrow the tank. <Never had much luck with Spider Crabs, but your list includes a lot of the "old faithful" species pretty well guaranteed to do well with at least a modest amount of care. Beadlet Anemones will breed in tropical tanks, too. I kept some in a mantis shrimp aquarium and they went nuts!> There are also 3 Cushion stars, 3 Portuguese oysters, common Prawns and lastly Clams which are regularly replaced as they get eaten by both the Crabs and the Starfish! <The Cushion Star Asterina gibbosa and most prawns work really well in aquaria; I tend to recommend against bivalves simply because they don't get enough to eat and once they die, they pollute the tank.> All of these have been acquired from my local shore line. (I live in Jersey Channel Islands.) <What a great locality! Lots of nice Lusitanian stray species, I expect, like "Ormers" (not sure you can collect them though).> The only real sources I have regarding native British marine are Glaucus and some aquarium books from the 1970's. <You are correct about this, and it's an issue I've been itching to get fixed. There's a native marines chapter in my brackish water fishes book, but it's mostly about the hardy stuff for beginners. For the advanced aquarist, as you say, there's nothing.> Admittedly not the most colourful of creatures but there personality more than makes up for it. <Agreed, especially Blennies!> I have lost a few fish along the way but always due to the diet of other tank members. I use natural seawater which always arrives within 20 minutes from the shoreline and is tested before being added. Information is scarce on the ground for this type of aquaria. With such a small tank Nitrates accumulate very quickly even when using a Aqua medic NR400 denitrator. <Nitrate is relatively unimportant for intertidal species at least, which tend to tolerate "poor" conditions because they have to. It's certainly less of an issue than with coral reef marines. So unless you have a major algae problem, this isn't something I'd get overly worked up over.> I recently decided to upgrade to a 350l tank. For equipment I have used a Hydor prime 30 as a filter full of Eheim sintered glass and suitable fine/course sponges but on reading your recommendations at 1000lph it seems underrated for such a tank size. (But not by the manufacturer.) <This is a common problem. Certainly, you want something around 10 times the volume of the tank in turnover per hour. Hardware manufacturers tend to quote capacity of a filter based on "best case" scenarios -- no media and with the pump level with the tank. Once you have the filter filled with media (esp. dirty media) and then placed under the tank (so it has to fight gravity) the turnover drops. So when aquarists recommend seemingly generous filter turnover rates, what they're doing is turning the "best case" recommendation into a "real world" one.> I have a 18w UV sterilizer, Halilea Ozone unit, Ozone reactor, Berlin Skimmer, another Hydor prime 10 for chemical filtrants, Hailea HC150a chiller which has been transferred across, a Arcadia marine white 30w and a Actinic Blue 30w tube with a home made moonlight kit. (Apparently enough for British Marine.) <Native algae is pretty adaptable, provided the light is at least moderately bright. We do have some photosynthetic Cnidaria of course, including the Snakelocks Anemone.> 2x Eden 1000lph rotating power heads and a Resun wave maker. Decor is Ocean Rock which I hope will seed with the piece of coralline covered native rock I've added. All the equipment is currently switched off except the chiller, the power heads and the Prime 30 canister filter. I will add the denitrator once the cycle has finished. After what seemed to be a short initial spike I added some native prawns and 2 Beadlet anemones which seem to be happy and eating well. <Ideal organisms for cycling this tank. Gobies also work very well.> I was hoping to cycle the tank with these as I did with the smaller aquarium. After over 2 months Ammonia is very low but nitrite still is at a consistent 1.00ppm. <That will need fixing.> Phosphates test nil on a API test kit. PH is at 8.2, Redox is about 160. Nitrates have risen to 15ppm and green algae has started to grow on small areas of certain rocks. <Green algae is generally OK, since everything eats it. As with any tank, algae is worst during the start-up stage, and settles down once the tank stabilises.> I know cycling takes longer at lower temperatures. Am I being impatient or is the Prime 30 insufficient? <At 16 C, cycling will likely take a couple of months, at least.> I was lucky enough to pick up a Red Sea Fluidised sand filter for peanuts at a January sale in a local LFS (75% off) who stopped selling saltwater six years ago, Would this help the situation in supplying more biological filtration? <Will certainly help.> There is such a great wealth of information on this site but I am a little unsure weather I can apply it to British native marine or not. <Pretty much, yes. The main difference is temperature and the fact relatively few temperate zone animals contain symbiotic algae. Colder water carries more oxygen of course, but for a 10-degree C temperature drop you halve the rate of chemical reactions, so things work much more slowly, including biological filtration and denitrification.> I'm thinking if the Prime 30 is insufficient maybe the fluidised will make up for the inadequate biological filtration. <Only one way to find out!> What I don't understand though is although it's rated for a 1000l aquarium with a circulation of only 700lph surely it won't comply with the circulation rule either. <As I say, the "manufacturer's rating" and the "circulation rule-of-thumb" are based on different premises, so any clashes between the two shouldn't be worried over too much. If the filtration system you have, after 8 weeks, provides good water quality, that's all you need to know. You're unlikely to ever overfilter this type of tank: one look at the force of a crashing wave will instantly dispel any ideas that you could introduce too much water current for tide pool animals. They're pre-adapted to highly mobile water conditions.> Thanks in advance for sharing your great knowledge and the wealth of information you have already made available. Ben <Hope this helps, and I for one would love to see some pictures of this system once it's up and running! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Native British Marine Aquaria   2-05-08 Hi Neale, Thanks for your very helpful advice and for showing an interest. :) I will get those pictures to you once the system is stable and stocked. Cheers Ben <Cool. Look forward to seeing the pics! Cheers, Neale.>

Pisaster disease   4/21/07 Hi,   I have a Pisaster brevispinus in a large temperate system <Yes, a coldwater species> and recently it has developed what look almost like blisters all over its skin.  I am having trouble finding information on what this could be and how to cure it.  I have others in the same system that are doing just fine.  I am attaching a picture - hopefully this will help.  Please email me back with what this could be.  Thank you.      Sincerely,   Allicia S. <Have seen, read of this sort of symptom on Asteroids... tropical and not... but no definitive "cause"/effect, nor cure... I would isolate the affected individual/s... possibly necropsy ones that perish... Maybe a call or email to folks at some of the west coast public aquariums... Fernando Nosratpour at the Birch Aquarium, folks at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, the Monterey... Likely they have seen this in other Pisaster and Patiria species. Bob Fenner>

Moving sump to basement, Increasing Bulkhead Size/Plumbing a Skimmer and Chiller - 04/15/07 Hello Crew, <<Hi Jerry>> Thanks for your help in the past on lighting, now I could use your help on planning plumbing. <<Let's see what we can do>> I want to move my sump, skimmer and pump (and new chiller) in the basement. <<Ok>> It would run through wall with 2x4 studs and 2x4 plates which limits pipes to 1.5 or less.  My current 110 acrylic reef tank has overflow 1" and 3/4 return with Little Giant 4 pump.  Can the 1" be enlarged with Roto-Zip or Dremel tool or a file to accommodate a 2" bulkhead? <<It can (using the Roto/Dremel tool), or even with an appropriately sized hole saw like those meant for cutting holes in wood (the "bi-metal" blades work the best IMO)>> Will the 3/4 return be enough for GenX Mak 4 (1200gph) after 12' lift and split for chiller and skimmer? <<It will, though I would increase this to 1", since you're recutting new holes anyway.  Also, I don't recommend "splitting" the pump to feed the skimmer and chiller.  This sort of "balancing act" just doesn't work.  It's not so much an issue with the chiller, but you will find yourself having to constantly fiddle with the skimmer to keep it "tuned" due to the almost constant variations in flow because of fluctuating fluid dynamics…best to use a dedicated pump for the skimmer in my opinion>> Would you recommend turning both bulkheads into overflow to sump and return over the tank? <<Since the sump will be located remote from the display/out of the living area and if your intent is to maximize flow through the sump to reduce the need for ancillary water flow devices...absolutely>> Thanks so much, Jerry <<Happy to assist.  EricR>>

Cold marine tank question- anemones and lighting - 03/18/07 Dear WWM denizens, <Of the deep?> I've enjoyed your FAQs quite a bit, but am finding it tricky to find information on setting up a cold marine tank. <We don't have much... yet. Do a search about for the written works of Dave Wrobel here...>   I have found the wonderful people at coldwaterfish (a yahoo group) and the occasional lurker on saltwaterfish.com knows something about cold marine tanks, but still am encountering difficulties. <Okay...> I have a 1/6 hp chiller, protein skimmer, and powerhead, in my 29 gallon tank.  I'm writing today to ask you about anemones.  My tank is going to be a sea star dominated tank- <It's kind of small...> I'll have 1 bat star and probably two ochre stars, <Patiria and Pisaster? Know them well...> but I'd also like to have a couple of anemones.  No (or maybe 1) fish, a couple of hermits, a couple of snails, that's it. <Mmm, again... wish this tank were bigger> Does anyone on WWM know about lighting requirements and Pacific NW anemones? My initial research indicates that they need less light than tropical anemones, and indeed, that even fluorescent lighting would be sufficient for a couple of small anemones. <Do need some of the same requirements... of temp., CRI as other Actinarians from the tropics... not as much intensity...> Your response is most appreciated.  Thanks again for being there on the web. Rachel <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm Scroll down to the Anemone tray, the bits on lighting... And do consider penning an article or twenty on this field! Bob Fenner>

Cold water tank  3/16/2007 I'm going to be setting up a pacific <Pacific> marine tank and the temp <temp.> is gona <going to> be 55 deg +or-  and i <I> am wondering i know I need to use acrylic to build the tank but how thick does the acrylic need to be to prevent any sweating? <Likely about half inch> I don't mind if maybe at 95 deg or higher it does a little because I live in Portland OR and it rarely gets that warm.   thank you much!!!  Eddie <Please... fix your English before writing us. You can learn how to write in your native language with the use of computer tools like spell-checkers. Bob Fenner> Chiller Fittings/Locating PVC Components - 12/20/06 I have purchased an Eco Plus 1/4 hp chiller for my 100 gallon reef tank. <<Ok>> I would like to run it in series, in my return. <<As in "in-line" after the return pump?  Doable...and is how my chiller is plumbed>> However, the fittings on top appear to be 1" hose thread. <<Not "hose thread" likely but rather is "pipe thread"...there is a difference>> I need to run 1" PVC. <<Agreed>> The chiller comes with some cheesy little fittings for vinyl hose.  I cannot find anyone that carries a 1" hose thread PVC fitting of any kind. <<...?!>> Do you know of anyone? <<Any home center (Lowe's, Home Depot, Menards) or a well stocked hardware store should have these.  If you don't have anything like this nearby, you can order on line from U.S. Plastics ( http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/variant.asp?catalog%5Fname=USPlastic&category%5Fname=13670&product%5Fid=18098&variant%5Fid=28463) Thanks for all of your help over the years.  You guys <<and gals>> are a great resource! Mike <<Happy to be of assistance Mike.  Eric Russell>> Coldwater Marines   7/18/06 Hallo Wet Web Media, <Hallo Stefan> When are you going to put articles on your site about keeping coldwater marine fish / coral / anemones / invertebrates? I'm currently busy setting up a system, any advice will be welcome. A bit different than Tropical reef though, planning to keep anemones / invertebrates off the cost of Southern Africa where I live. <Have you read here and related links?   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cold.htm  James (Salty Dog)> <<Writers! Get going! We'll pay! RMF>> Stefan

Chillers, Absolutely Quiet…..Only When Off  - 5/7/2006 I have a 75 gallon salt water aquarium in my living room. <Cool.> Would you please give me a list of chillers that are reliable and are SUPER  QUIET. <Hmmm, well my friend, chillers operate much like a refrigerator, yes some are more more reliable and quieter, better if you will, than other but none emit zero noise. My solution was to construct a cabinet for my chiller out of 2" Thick Solid Teak and line it with "weather-proofing" material, anyways here is a list of favorable chillers: **JBJ Arctica (This is what I use) **AquaLogic **Pacific Coast **Teclima **Aquanetics Check those out…> The chiller that I have had for the past six years has been  reliable but is noisy. <They are all relatively noisy, especially in larger models, another thing with chillers is that small unit are always on because their cycles last longer, larger, over sized units will stay on much shorter because they don't need as long a cycle to cool the water.> Thanks for your help.  Dennis  Rohrer. <Anytime, Adam J.> Cold water marine tank in the UK, collecting Actinia    4/16/06 Hello, <Hi there> I'm very much into tropical freshwater fish keeping and would like to start looking into keeping a cold water British saltwater tank. I haven't been able to find that much information which goes into enough detail for me. <Mmm, there are some very good books (e.g. by Dick Mills), even magazines (Marine World) that give good coverage here... and some very worthwhile articles worth pursuing by Dave Wrobel... requiring a large library/college visit likely> The tank I would be using is 33in long by 15 in wide and 18in high. I would really like to keep some /Actinia equina/ or similar with some small fish. Where would I find /Actinia equina /easily? <... Perhaps a stockist... otherwise a biological supply house> I'm not into diving etc but getting to the coast isn't a problem for me, I currently live in South end, Essex. <Do check re local laws concerning collection> The tank is lit by 2 x 20watt tubes. I currently have this tank setup as a planted tropical tank and the lower light loving plants seem to do well. Getting my hands on a aquarium chiller isn't a problem. Maybe I can speak to someone on the phone to find out more or be put in contact with someone who already keeps such a tank? thanks for your time, Graeme King. <Try some of the local hobby clubs that are nearby. Contact info. can be found re in the back of Marine World Magazine. Bob Fenner> Live rock in a cold water marine system  11/7/05 Hello crew <Hi there Patrick> I kind of have a dumb question if you don't mind; could cured tropical live rock be placed in a cold water marine setup, without affecting the beneficial bacteria? <Mmm, depends on how much cooler... will subtend metabolism... might create a physiological stop for a time... but usually some will live, prosper a few days, to weeks later> Thank you for your time, Patrick. <Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Coldwater Hermit Crabs in a tropical arrangement? 10/31/05 Hello WWM Crew, I have a 25 gallon SW tank. Currently the tank is set at 78 degrees. I was wondering if a coldwater hermit crab species could live in my tank. I live in Monterey, California where there are many local tide pools that are occupied by many hermit crabs. I've looked online and the hermit crab species is Pagurus samuelis. I figured that since they are tide pool dwelling animals they are acclimated to frequent changes in their habitat,  <Good point> such as temperature, so they may be able to be ok at 78 degrees. What is your opinion? Thanks, Taylor. <Might adjust... if tried/introduced during the warmer time of the year... but don't think these will live well or long kept in a tropical setting. Bob Fenner> 

New Coldwater Site 7/9/05 Dear Mr. Fenner, <Aric> I appreciate your article introducing the basics to coldwater marine aquarium operations. May I have permission to reproduce your information on a new MSN Groups website I'm developing with a sole focus of "coldwater"?  ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cold.htm) My interest group website, or what is there as yet is http://groups.msn.com/DivingintoColdWaters .  I will to give full credit to contributors along with direct links to associated websites. The project is just beginning, and I will be looking into "group support" as the focus of the development, seeking out others with the interest in coldwater.  It's designed for casual viewing or member involvement as the individual chooses. I'm contacting various Washington and Oregon high school teachers and college professors that specialize in marine biology to further develop good, hands-on information of successes and failures. Important note:  This project is solely hobbyist/not-for-profit driven, but will gladly sponsor quality websites that contribute information, whether "commercially based" or "individual/interest group" oriented. Thank you much for your time, and for providing your own informative website in marine aquarium interests. Sincerely, Aric Fisher (Fish-Head Aric) <Our content use policy here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMUsePolicyStmt.htm I do grant you use. Thank you for your efforts. Will post your URL on our links page. Bob Fenner> Re: Requesting Permission 7/9/05 Mr. Fenner, <Just Bob please Aric> Thank you for your prompt reply.  I am just becoming familiar with your website and, though not at all interested in "tropical" I find it all quite good.  There is much "transferable knowledge" for those that want to try coldwater but come from the tropical marine background. <Am hopeful you will be able to "translate" this to your purposes> Thank you for your support.  I wish you well. -Aric <Thank you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: Requesting Permission 7/9/05 Bob, Would you like to be on a group mailing for purposes of website developments and news?  Or would you prefer to simply observe at your own convenience? -Aric <The latter my friend. Time is short. BobF> N.E. U.S. Tidepool system Hello, I am currently attempting to setup a 125 gallon Tidepool tank using native organisms from the local area. My plan is to begin by using natural sand (collected from below mean high water) as the substrate, as it should be full of appropriate bacteria/nutrients. I am not sure whether or not to begin with seawater collected from the ocean or to use synthetic salts (instant ocean) and tap water (treated). Any thoughts? <If using the local substrate, I'd go with the local water if you'd like> The major drawback for using natural seawater is the transporting the 125 gallons of seawater. One thought is to setup the tank with synthetics and then use the local seawater for the 15% bi-weekly water changes -- may also be viewed as a feeding tool as well (invertebrates, copepods/isopods, plankton). On the other hand, using only natural seawater in the setup may speed up the maturity process of the tank parameters. <All considerations> I understand that Tidepool organisms are extremely hardy, able to deal with almost anything nature can throw at them (temp/DO/salinity/turbidity fluctuations), however, many marine aquatic plants cannot. I would like to have both in tank. I have been looking at chillers to control the temperature, but what size is most appropriate for my setup? 1/4, 1/3, or 1/2 horsepower? <Mmm, depends on the size of the system, insulation value... drawdown (temperature difference)... Look on Aquanetics site for a chart re> What type of filtration setup would you recommend for this scenario? <Fluidized bed, cartridge...> I have little purchased aside from the tank, cover, lights, and sump pump (typical garden pump-size?). <Mmm, what is this?> I have noticed many diagrams on your website, is there one that would be most fitting in my situation? <Not as far as I'm aware. Would be neat to have a "Tidepool" article, FAQs files... Our old corporation built a few of these for public aquariums> For your reference, my 125 gallon tank has two overflows, one in each rear corner of the tank, and each has a single hole pre-drilled into the glass bottom of the tank. <I'd sleeve these overflows to bring water from near the bottom...> Any information you might have would be very much appreciated. Thanks again, <Keep scheming, drawing up plans... Bob Fenner> 

Coldwater animals in warm settings. Do you know if Tidepool Sculpins, rock gunnels, three spine sticklebacks, or cunner wrasse (all coldwater marine fish) could survive at room temperature? -Curtis <Have seen all of these at cooler room temperatures (air at the mid to low seventies F.) GIVEN they start in the warmer (for them) season and are acclimated properly. Bob Fenner>

Cold marine open system Hi oh knowledgeable ones, <Don't ask me how to work on cars, about sports... most anything for that matter> I was wondering about water cycling rates provided you had an open system.  I have been doing a lot of contemplating and the most cost effective and probably healthy system I can think of is to have ocean water pumped directly from the bay through some sort of filtering system, mostly to keep out other animals, and then have the run off head right back out to the bay. <Have been part of designing, constructing and mainly trying to fix such systems.>   I figure with a setup like this, the filtering would be less than a closed system and a chiller would be unnecessary or small. <Yes to the latter, no to the former... many problems with new water... need for BIG pumps, filters... best to consider timers, switches for recirculating except during incoming tides for instance> Am I wrong in this thinking?  Anyway what sort of GPH flow rate would you deem adequate in say a 2000 gallon tank? <Mmm, depends on sorts of systems, stocking densities... but one to a few volumes per hour likely... As stated, do consider a secondary recirculating system for the eventuality that you'll have to do so. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Brian Hoyt Keeping cold water animals - 2/17/04      I was wondering of the feasibility of a remora in a tank with sharks.  are there any coldwater remoras?  do they need a suitable host (open-water, fast-moving shark) or will they be fine on their own.  what do they need to be fed? crustaceans?  brine shrimp? krill? feeder fish fortified with vitamins? are they a community fish, are they tolerant of their own kind?  what other types of coldwater, CA native fish school in large numbers, where a school of say, 15 could live in a 900, and be slowly taken out by the resident sharks (2 H. francisci)?  what are the care requirements for other native sharks?  I know that leopards are now illegal, but whatever comes up on the pier besides that I consider fair game.  if I went to a grunion run, could I keep them?  what about other coldwater sharks, like the angel shark (Squatina californica) ?  please help me, as I can not find any info on the 'net. <I have decided to work with my supervisor at the aquarium for this one. I want to note that the lack of information on the internet about coldwater fish keeping should tell you something. But in respect to our duties here at WetWebMedia, I/We will do our best to disseminate information. It is important to note, that in no way do we advocate the keeping of such fragile animals without fully understanding coldwater concepts, and maintaining a good support network of professionals to support your endeavours. Cold water animal care is not to be taken lightly. Many of the California species have protected status and require permits for collection of course their captive care is entirely difficult as well. To be honest, I would prefer that an aquarist keep to the more standard areas of aquarium keeping but can understand that pushing the limits sometimes results in some rarely known before findings on habitat and lifestyles of various marine species. So here are the answers to your questions from my supervisor at the Monterey Bay Aquarium: Hmmm...where to start.   Remoras:  There are no cold water remoras, all species are sub-tropical to tropical.  They can survive just fine without a host.  I kept one for several years in a holding tank at MBA.    If they are kept with other same sized fish, they will tend to harass the other fish, thinking that they are a host and this can be a problem with the long-term survival of the other fish.  I have fed remoras everything from large krill to chopped fish and squid.  Match the food item with the size mouth of the animal.  I wouldn't really call them a community fish, but they are tolerant of other remoras and other species.  (note: tolerant is NOT the same as agreeable) Native CA schooling fishes:  The list is quite extensive.  It would include Pacific sardines, Northern anchovy, top smelt, jack smelt, grunion, herring, California flying fish, and Longfin halfbeak.  Of this list top smelt and jack smelt might be you best choices.  Most schooling fishes are actually quite delicate, may not survive collection, often have problems associated with bacterial disease and as a result do not do well in captivity, especially in a small system.  It is not likely that the horn sharks will feed on these fishes (it may happen, but not likely).  Horn sharks are primarily benthic feeders.  You could also put surfperch in with the horn sharks.  The list of surfperch that might work would include reef, dwarf, shiner, walleye, white and barred surfperch.  I would not attempt this without making sure that you have the correct equipment to maintain these animals and the correct permits/license to collect, transport and maintain these animals. You will have to check with Cal. Fish and Game regarding what you will need.  Again I would not recommend maintaining any of these species without really knowing what you are doing.  The only other species that may survive for any length of time is the swell shark.  DO NOT try and keep an angel shark, there are significant feeding issues associated with the angel sharks and I can almost guarantee that they will not survive for very long.  Leave the angel sharks in the ocean.  Leopards, Smoothhounds, dogfish, guitarfish, etc. will all outgrow even a 900 gallon tank very rapidly.  I would highly recommend that you do not try to keep any of these sharks in a home system. ~Dave and Paul> Robert

New coldwater ideas Hi Bob! I am once again looking into a coldwater system, but on a much grander scale.  I am looking at a 900 gallon acrylic system. (I was just reading about the insulative advantages of acrylic over glass in coldwater on your site) It will be 10' long by 4' wide by 3' tall. <Neat> the stand will be a reinforced steel frame used in hardware stores, covered in wood for a more aesthetic appearance, and will also have a 220 Tidepool/bait/refugium tank in the bottom middle of the stand. It will have multiple reinforcing walls inside the stand. For filtering, I am looking at a large fluidized bed going to a wet dry (the wet-dry to help reoxygenate the water after the fluidized bed sucks out all the oxygen. the chillers will be custom made from some DIY plans off the 'net, I will probably make 2 to 4 before I get the temp at a steady 60-66 F  Its going to be outside (if/when I get it) so no artificial lighting will be used except for red bulbs for nighttime viewing. I might put 1 or 2 full spectrum bulbs on the Tidepool, for the algae. Are there any commercially available coldwater algae-eating snails? <Yes... or should I say, there are wholesalers who purchase cool/coldwater ones from the U.S. west coast and these are available, often sold as tropicals> do you know about the legalities of collecting organisms and rock from tide pools/rubble areas? <A little. Is this for California? All States have their "fish and game" groups, laws, licenses/taxes... and there are protected areas, sizes, often seasons, limits, species... contact the "fish and game" (sometimes called by other terms, e.g. Dept. Natural Resources... re what they require, limit> is it legal to purchase fish (horn/swell sharks and guitarfish especially) off the piers and keep them? <I think so. Quite a task gearing up for these moves though... but a very worthwhile adventure... need good battery operated air pumps, a 12v ("cigarette lighter") fluid moving pump... can be had from bait/tackle shops...> If you want them, I can send you some of my plans from the computer (it is not entirely exact, the refugium may need to become smaller if more chillers are required) Thank You, Robert <Send it/them along when you have them done or thereabouts. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Coldwater Tide Pool aquaria I have been interested in maintaining a temperate tide pool aquarium for some time, and have had that 'alone in the world' feeling an equal length of time.  I would gladly subscribe to your  magazine if there was good reason to believe I would find helpful articles.     <Terry, ask Sue (Steele) at FAMA to run down old article issues done by Dave Wrobel (on cool/coldwater marine aquariums). Bob Fenner> Terry

Glass or acrylic for commercial lobster store Good evening crew. <good evening> We `are adding 7 tanks to our saltwater system. 4m long, 1m wide and 600 to 900 high. We will have lobster and shellfish in plastic cases. Water temp, 13oCelsius (Fahrenheit?..) Air conditioning in the room at 21o Celsius. We have been given mixed advice about using glass or acrylic. Is glass strong enough, will it crack, will it have condensation running down it. Your thoughts please.. Regards, Cameron <lets play it safe here and consult the specs sheet for a glass and acrylic manufacturer. Glass can easily do the job (has done so for many years in public aquaria easily up to 1000 gallons). But it is a poor insulator and sweats terribly when holding chilled water. Either way, seek tolerances of "deflection" (ability of pane to bow without breaking) to confirm that your expected capture of the panes is consistent with mfg recommendations/expectations. Anthony>

Glass or acrylic for commercial lobster store 1/15/04 Thanks Anthony, Would air conditioning not prevent streaming water down it? <not likely to prevent it. Helpful though to be sure... but it will not prevent it with a 8 degree C difference in water temp from ambient room temp> Does the difference in air to water temperature have an impact on the amount of water? <yes, my friend... and the relative humidity of the air> What about if we bang a 20kg plastic case on the top of the glass one, compulsory floor washing to follow, or is glass tough? <I'm not sure what you mean by "bang a plastic case on top" - a bit of a language/dialect difference here <G>. DO you mean have the glass laminated? (like bulletproof or safety glass). If so, this will indeed improve the strength of the glass enormously as well as help with the condensation problem slightly> You have made me very nervous about glass, am I trying to do something it is not designed for? Cameron <not wrong at all my friend... but we simply cannot give you a definitive answer without material specs and tank dimensions. There are very strict tolerances for any aquarium building materials to obey with regard for the enormous weight/pressure of water in quantity. You need to calc this all out with your materials supplier and hopefully an experienced tank builder/engineer. If the vessel is to be more than 75 cm high or wide, then you will need serious reinforcements to the tank (long is not a problem though... high and wide are more stressful to the construct). There are simple charts and graphs to use for acrylic, glass, etc. No improvising though :) Best of luck, Anthony>

Cold water aquaria Hey Bob, <Kevin> You mention a bunch of articles in your web page on temperate aquariums. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cold.htm Is there some way to get a hold of any and all of those articles? <Mmm, yes... most of these articles were penned by Dave Wrobel (I think he's still associated with the Monterey Bay Aquarium) in FAMA (Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine). You could contact FAMA (they're on the Net) re: those issues (they don't have a comprehensive index...) OR (my real suggestion), get on down to a large public or college library that has a set of FAMA's (and search either Dave's name as author or cool/coldwater marine systems as the subject on a computer search database tool (like the Zoological Abstracts or BIOSIS...) and find the volumes in the stacks. Bob Fenner> Thanks,  Kevin

Keeping locals (cool/cold water marines) To all the wonderful WWM staff (especially Anthony) Please have your coldwater specialist answer this      As a So. Cal. resident, going to piers often, and seeing on an almost regular basis many pet trade specimens (sharks and rays) 2 of which I have seen at my LFS.  I have never known what they were except a famous few, but would like some care data on my locals, especially the ones I am interested in.  They are numbered an listed in the order I would like them.  As previously mentioned,  I am looking into a 220 gal tank, and cold water is still an option.  Their captures will be mentioned also.  First, Zapteryx exasperata.  Is it 'exasperating' to keep (pun intended)? <Nope. Refers to markings> I find this to have an occasional appearance at the piers.  Second is Rhinobatos productus, <Note to readers, these are Guitarfishes... dorso-ventrally flattened Elasmobranchs (shark relatives)> These are there almost every other time I go.  This is also the one at the LFS, but it was kept at 78 degrees! <Not well or for long>   Is there a similar looking species that it could have been, but then again, there was also a Urobatis halleri <I changed the spelling> in there.  What would be first, but there is the size constraint, is Triakis semifasciata. <Too big, active for such a small, rectangular system>   I found this to be much more than semifascinating. (pun again intended)  My friend hooked one of these himself, fishing for a Productus. His 180 gal was lowered to 75 pushing it for both the shark and the tangs.  Final for the locals I wish for is Urobatis halleri.  This was interesting later, as a different fish was identified as one.  That story was with a small Myliobatis californica.  One about a foot and a half wide was pulled in by my friend, and believing it to be a stinger, went to cut it off. <Yikes... this fish gets VERY big... as wide in the wild as your tank is long> Finding none, he assumed some thing had happened, and the stinger had fallen off.  He took it home, lowered the temp of his cage again, (the leopard went to 3 feet, and was released)  Now he had two rays, a blue-spotted and an eagle (unknowingly)  He took good care of it, but it succumbed to temperature poisoning (as we call it) 75 degrees wasn't good enough for it.  It lived about 16 months.  I could not find them on your site, at least not their name specifically, the sand shark.  I believe it to be either Heterodontus francisci (most likely) or Cephaloscyllium ventriosum.  Do you know about the advanced care of either of these? <Try the Google search tool on the WWM homepage (bottom left)>      Now enough with the stories.  what kind of chiller would I need? <Kind as in size? There are calculators for draw down (the diff. between ambient and desired temp.) by volume... I would look for at least a 1/2 HP unit> To take a load off the chiller, could I make ice cubes from RO water to use for evaporation top off? <You could... but this is very laborious, tiring>   What kind of lighting, substrate, etc.  would I need? <Please reference the sections on WWM on coldwater systems... the links therein>   What type of filter media would I need? Carbon, bio-balls, filter pads, etc.  Would I need a current, or a wavemaker? What type of decor is possible?  I saw your site that says little decor.  How much would they eat? <All covered on the site>   Looking at a possible placement of smaller food-sized fish or inverts for a shark or ray in a separate tank.  aka grunion and other small bait fish, or sand crabs, urchins, etc..  Would I be able to keep a water dweller (leopard) with a sand dweller (banded guitarfish)? <Could be done in a large enough system. Hundreds to thousands of gallons>   Please save me from giving the same fate as the poor eagle ray. Thanks for your time, another person named Bob <Bob, time to "hit the books". Bob Fenner>

- Cold Water Marine System - I want to set up a cold water marine system (62 - 65 degrees F).  I'm not willing to spend a fortune on a chiller and I have a likely solution that I want to run by you. <Your unwillingness to spend a fortune may leave you high and dry at some point in this project.> I intend to set up a chest freezer which will be controlled by a digital thermostat in the tank (or sump?).  My plan is to put everything inside the chest freezer except the tank. That means I want to put the following inside the airtight chest freezer: Shallow, flat sump (to allow max surface area for heat transfer to the cold air) Wet/dry box Submersible return pump and/or canister filter Protein skimmer with air pump located OUTSIDE the freezer <Sounds a little sketchy to me - much better to run the tank water through a coil of tubing placed in an immersion bath in the chest freezer.> Since I may want to keep an octopus the tank may be tightly closed and not allow much air in. I'm concerned about getting enough fresh air in contact with my water to keep things oxygenated and to remove bad gasses. <Think the skimmer outside of the tank will take care of that.> The air-stone in the protein skimmer will be about the only way that fresh air gets into the system. <I would recommend something other than a air-pump driven skimmer.> Is that enough? <With an upgraded skimmer, probably.> The freezer will be sealed except for a tiny exhaust hole about 3/8" in diameter to allow the air which is pumped in to eventually escape.   The tank will be 100 gal and contain a lot of reef dwelling animals and some fish. <Hmm... not aware of too many reef animals that live in such cold temperatures.> If I go with the octopus it will only contain things which an octopus can't/wont eat (starfish, urchins, anemones, whatever) so not much bio mass, but if I go with fish it could be significant.   So what do you think? <I think by trying to cut corners, you'll end up spending the money anyway.> How much fresh air is needed? <A good amount.> If this is a problem at all, possible obvious solutions include: Running more air-stones in the sump (more cubic feet/minute of air and more bubbles (for more surface area) Providing a fresh air feed into the top of the tank (do I need wave action there to make this work?) While we're at it.  What other problems might I face with this "everything in a chest freezer" approach? <Making plastics brittle, salt corrosion, inefficiencies of convection cooling.> Will the salt air kill the chest freezer's innards? <Eventually, yes.> Will there be insufficient heat transfer without a real radiator/heat exchanger (I could add a coil of plastic tubing) And I plan to use a glass sump because glass is a poor insulator. <Well... again, I'd like to convince you otherwise and see an immersion coil in that freezer rather than all the system components.> Should the pumps be outside the freezer so as to not add their heat to the system (except what the water picks up running through them)? <Quality pumps shouldn't add much heat, but again should be outside of the freezer for maintenance. If I were you, I'd get this system up and running and then observe for a month or more before adding the sub-tropical livestock... you want to make certain that your design is solid.> Conrad <Cheers, J -- >

Cold water marine setup and ecosystem hi bob, <Anthony Calfo in his stead> In a cold water marine setup ( 150 Gal. ) housing a few messy eaters, would an in sump deep sand bed and a separate ecosystem/miracle mud system be capable of providing proper filtration and pod life for fish consumption? (scariest part is no skimmer ) <its tough to say without knowing exactly what your intended bio-load is... but I will say that I have several serious doubts/concerns with your success here. Sand/mud alone for filtration is weak to moderate (better for anoxic faculties and excellent natural nitrate reduction... but not so much for aerobic nitrification). The lack of a skimmer on a system with an admitted heavy bio-load is not sensible at all, unless to plan to compensate with significant extra water changes (weekly minimum). Add to all of this the fact that the collection of most coldwater marines in coastal US waters is protected/banned/limited (excluding legal collections for academic institutions with permits)... you have quite a challenge here.> or would you just use a trickle filter and skimmer and supplement with a DSB and a hang on ( albeit small ) ecosystem refugium? <yes... a much better/safer and reliable choice IMO> Do you know how I could get a hold of Leng Sy? <he is an advertiser here on WWM... I'd suggest you visit his ecosystem website and contact him there via the established channel (see the link on our FAQ page)>                     Peace, Sal <best of luck, Anthony>

Cold water marine setup and ecosystem II 9/22/03 hi Anthony, <cheers> thank you for your advice on the cold water tank. My goal is to make sure I get supplemental pod life to feed the coldwater cowfish I intend to keep. <interesting... large tank needed indeed> so what do you think about this setup working ~ ecosystem/mud/algae system <I personally do not subscribe to this methodology as being a significant benefit. Novel idea though> ~ 4 inch deep sand bed <excellent... be sure to seed with good live source sand> ~ EuroReef skimmer <the best choice IMO> Now since this is a coldwater tank I was told that 10-20 % weekly water changes were needed. this will be part of my regimen. would this be workable? <you will quite possibly need to do much larger water changes in time... a solid 20-25% weekly would be a good habit> thank you very much, Sal <kindly, Anthony>

Re: copepod temp. Hi Bob <Salvatore!> Thank you for your reply. I wrote to you about the Shaw's cowfish tank. I know you receive hundreds of emails. I appreciate the time you spent answering my questions. I hope to record all of my experiences with  this  aquarium. <Ahh! And write it up for publication, posterity I hope> I have been looking for over a year and I can't find that much info on temperate aquariums or Australian cowfish. <Me neither. Outside of the Dave Wrobel efforts at popularizing "coldwater reefs" in the hobby literature about a decade back there is little specific information> Hopefully I can help out others who try it after I do. <Outstanding. Our ideas, goals are confluent here. Bob Fenner>                                                                                     Thanks a lot,                                                                                          Sal

Deep Water Bob: Just watched an amazing show on Discover Channel (Blue Planet) about deep sea life. <Yes... a factoid re the depth of water on this planet. If all land were smoothed, it would be some ten thousand feet deep (shades of Waterworld!). And though light, dissolved gas is limited there, much diversity and abundance of life to be found in other than the thin skin which is the pelagic zone>   There are truly amazing creatures down there - I especially like the luminescent variety like the anglers (use light for bait) and the shrimp the can set luminescent "depth charges" to confuse predators. Anyway, my question is: have you ever encountered a man-made environment, like a tank that displays these creatures?  (Kind of like the dark rooms at zoos for nocturnes) <Mmm, yes. There have been public aquarium and research set-ups that 1) lack light, 2) are kept very cold... to house abyssal life... types that could be hauled up as such> I would think that would really be something to see - I'm sure having a home display of these would be much too difficult.  Could these creatures survive at low pressure, or would their tank have to be pressurized or something? <Some, like Giant Isopods, are routinely kept, fishes thus far don't "make it".> Boy, you think Angels are expensive; I would hate to see prices on THESE deep-sea dwellers! <We will see this... some day soon in my estimation> Regards <Thank you for writing. Bob Fenner>

Dungeness crabs in a home aquarium? I live in Tacoma Washington and do a lot of fishing and crabbing. I was wondering if you had any ideas or pointers on keeping Dungeness crabs in a home aquarium for later consumption. I haven't been able to find anything on the internet on care and requirements for Dungeness. <Dungeness crabs are very tolerant of a wide range of salinities, as you know, they are often found in estuarine areas, I would recommend full salinity (33-35 ppt). Also, unless you are pumping in natural seawater for the system, I would foresee a chiller as being necessary. Being carnivorous, they could be pretty easily fed a ration of shellfish/shrimp/crabs and similar foodstuffs. Beyond these considerations, I would think normal good aquarium husbandry would be the only issue to their keeping.> Thank You, Morgan Moroni <Best, Chris>

Cold water marine aquarium Dear Mr. Fenner, <Mr. Farrell> Some of the following questions are probably unfair, but you have such a great website (and good site sponsors) I can't resist asking them. <Ask away> Twenty five years ago we set up a 25 gallon cold water marine aquarium for Pacific NW intertidal life in our living room. It had a beach sand filter bed laid over Tygon tubing coils circulating antifreeze cooled by a surplus brine chiller, and a homemade external filter containing floss and activated charcoal. <Quite inventive> I don't recall that we ever heard of skimmers or water testing, but it worked great for several years. The kids collected animals on the beach to stock it, and learned a lot about the law of the jungle (i.e., eat or be eaten). Eventually, the kids went off to school, the chiller broke, the equipment was scrapped, and we were just left with a lot of salt deposits in the living room. Now I've been given the challenge of setting up a similar system in our granddaughter's elementary school. Operation needs to simple, since I live several hours from the school. Also, it may be necessary to shut down each spring and restart each fall. <Ah. "Things" have improved> We have a 35 gallon glass tank, 4 feet long, and a surplus chiller. We plan to skip the undergravel filter, and just use a commercial external filter (probably Fluval or Eheim) and a skimmer. No air injection beyond that required by the skimmer. And, I assume, no wet/dry filtering to minimize heat gain? <Not essential, no> I've learned a lot about modern marine aquarium technology and chillers from your great web site, but still have several questions. Is any of the Wrobel material on cold water tanks available on the net? Our Seattle libraries, including the University, don't have anything except his text on gelatinous animals. <Not as far as I'm aware, and that's a shame> We are planning to use an inch of local beach sand on the bottom of the tank. Would it be beneficial to use maybe 1/3 crushed coral with the sand to help keep the calcium level up? <Perhaps. You can monitor this level and augment in other ways if necessary> Should I insulate at least the back and bottom to reduce heat gain? What material is best; I was thinking foil-coated building foam? Should it be sealed to the tank with caulk? <The insulation is a good idea. Your choice is excellent. Simple rubber-cement will do fine... is easily removed if wanted to later> I assume amateur double glazing the tank front and ends can lead to problems? <Yes. I would not do this... professional systems, public aquariums sometimes avail themselves of such, with a desiccant in-between... but largely unnecessary in your circumstances> But are there any successful low-cost schemes to reduce the sweating and condensate runoff? <Best to do what is practical to reduce the ambient moisture in surrounding air... in the room about the tank> Our new chiller has a copper to copper heat exchanger, so I will need to add a secondary exchanger using plastic or titanium tubing. I prefer titanium tubing over plastic because of its greater heat conductivity. But can I use common 3AL-2.5 titanium, with its 3 percent aluminum, or do I have to find the much more expensive CP commercially pure grade? <The CP... if money, time is an issue, I would elect for a vinyl immersion coil in an insulated cooler with the copper line immersed there> I assume the thin titanium oxide layer that forms on the 3AL-2.5 makes it safe for my application, but I can't find a clear reference to confirm this. <Safe enough in general> In one hour our new chiller can cool 55 gallons of 59 degree water 10 degrees F, and 35 gallons 15 degrees, for an output of just over 4,000 BTU, if I did the math correctly. I assume we are trying to maintain about 55 degree water. Is this enough cooling capacity to keep us about 25 degrees below room temperature? Even without insulating the tank? <I believe so> Minimum chiller temperature as the water flow goes to zero is about 37 degrees, so I plan to use water instead of bothering with antifreeze. <Yes. Avoid the ethylene glycol. Unnecessary and a hazard> (It's a medical surplus unit designed to cool human bodies, and includes a hot-gas bypass pressure regulator that limits the temperature to well above freezing.) Because I have the tubing, I am thinking of using a single-pass counterflow secondary heat exchanger with a 1 inch OD 0.070 wall titanium tube for the aquarium water, inside of a 2 inch ID insulated plastic tube for the chiller water. Plus a few baffle plates in each tube to minimize laminar flow. Does this sound adequate? <Yes. Even smaller diameters would work fine. But if you already possess the current materials...> Anything over 4 feet is cumbersome to mount, but what is a minimum effective length? If I shouldn't use 3AL-2.5 titanium, how much plastic tubing might be required instead? <"The longer the better", likely fifteen or more feet. You might posit your questions to the fine folks at Aquanetics(.com)> How much water flow might be appropriate for the secondary heat exchanger? <A matter of experimentation. I would hook up a small head and pressure magnetic drive fluid-moving pump and a gate valve (silicone over the metal screw in the handle) and try various flow rates. Likely 2-300 gph is what you're looking for> And would it be appropriate to get something like a Fluval 204 or 304 filter with a built in pump and plumb the exchanger in series with it, or better to use a separate pump for the exchanger? <I strongly suggest a dedicated pump. A multi-use application will suffer from inconstant flow rate (as the filter material gets "dirty")> Anything important I'm missing here? <Nothing stands out> Sincerely, Rich Farrell <Do make it known how your project progresses. Bob Fenner>

I had no problems (Southern California tide-pool animals experience) To whom it may concern,                                   I have an 18 gal. marine tank that I have maintained for 2 years now.  About 3 weeks ago I collected a few marine creatures from a southern California Tidepool. They included a green sea anemone about 4" in diameter, a limpet, two kinds of hermit crab, a tuft of some kind of algae growing on an old limpet shell and a Chiton. I keep my tank at 80 deg. since it is a tropical reef tank. When I brought the Tidepool animals home I placed them in room temperature synthetic sea water that had an air stone in it for one day. I then placed the new animals in the tank after having been in the synthetic sea water for 30 min. All the animals have adjusted to the higher temperature great. They are all feeding and one of the hermit crabs has moved into a new shell. I just thought I would share my story with you after reading the article at live aquaria on cool/cold water tanks. Maybe because I collected the animals from a warm Tidepool is why they did so well. <Thank you for your input. We live in San Diego, and know others who have had similar positive experiences, especially when the animals were collected during warmer months. Bob Fenner>

Liverock, Shaw's cowfish, and a temperate aquarium >Hi Bob, >>Good morning, Sal.  Marina is here for you this morning. >I hope you are well. >>I will make an assumption that Bob is, indeed, doing well, and I would say that I'm doing well, as well.  I hope you are well as well, too. >I'm interested in keeping a Shaw's cowfish (Aracana aurita).  He will be in a 75 gallon tank.  This tank will have to be kept cool for this cowfish.  Can I keep live rock in this tank for the main filtration device, or would 68 degrees be too cold for it?  Should I just use a trickle filter?  Thank you very much for your advice. >>Hhmm.. good questions, all of them.  Well, 68 would definitely be the low end of the temperature spectrum for *tropical* live rock, that is to say live rock that has been grown and harvested in tropical waters.  However, being as how that is so close the 70F range, I'd be quite curious to try it, even just a little bit might yield interesting results.  Generally, though, we can say with a fair degree of certainty that it would be ineffective to attempt to utilize that tropical live rock in a "temperate" setting (albeit on the high end of the scale). I would go with a deep sand bed for primary filtration, including denitrification, with copious foam fractionation.  To get it well on its way *before* I added the fish I would begin a "fishless" cycle--using shrimp or similar tossed into the tank to create a source for ammonia and so on. I hope this has helped, and best of luck!  Marina

Coldwater livestock for Tropical Tanks... no way! Hi Is there any reason that I can't get live rock and live sand off the coast of Maine to start my reef aquarium? need some answers. Thanks for your help. Gerald F. Dewey <its only suitable if you are setting up a coldwater aquarium... else, you will kill most all of the desirable fauna on and in these substrates by prolonged exposure to tropical water temperatures. Not recommended from a practical or conscientious perspective. Best regards, Anthony>

Cold water marine aquarium references/books? Dear Bob, I'm in the process of trying to set-up 2 cold water marine aquariums at the science museum I work at. Are there any books or references you recommend that would give me advice regarding the type of equipment to purchase? I'm especially interested in learning about the pros and cons of the various filtration systems available. I will be setting up two 200-gallon systems which will be primarily stocked with local invertebrates and a few fish. Thank you for your help. <Yes. Please look to the printed works of Dave Wrobel (of the Monterey Bay Aquarium) (May have to visit a college library to search). Bob Fenner> Sincerely, Ted Robertson

Thanks Dear Bob, Thanks for your tips on information regarding cold water marine aquarium references and books. --Ted-- <You're certainly welcome. Wish I could find a ready source for the books... a few articles by Dave.W were published in Freshwater and Marine Aquarium on "cold-water reefs"... Maybe David Behrens (SeaChallengers.com) can find you copies of the more "booklet" like publications. Good hunting! Bob Fenner>

Coldwater Reef Systems Do you have any advice for setting up a 160 gallon cold water marine system. <Yes. The best is to seek out the writings of Dave Wrobel on such systems. He was a staff member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and set-up cold reefs there. Are you familiar with searching printed literature? We have a few articles on this topic on WWM> I live in the northwest, (Washington) and have contacted the fish &wildlife dept about collecting along the coast. I know about needing a chiller but one question (of many) that I have no answer for is what about lighting? <Should be subdued... a watt or so per gallon, entirely up to your appreciation, not the livestock. Filtration needs to be vigorous, in particular circulation aspects. Not hard to have such systems, and quite vibrant. Bob Fenner Thanks Les Peterson  

Coldwater Reef Systems Thanks for the quick reply Bob, The system I have in mind will have a plenum bed filter in the display tank. The sump will have approximately 15 water changes per hour flowing through it.(15 changes of display tank water) Connected to the sump will be a permanently lighted refugium with very low flow, 20 GPH or so. <Sounds good thus far. Stocking plan? Bob Fenner>

Sea Anemones Aloha, <Hello from the mainland> First, I'd like to proudly introduce myself as a West Hawaii Explorations Academy-Public Charter School (WHEA-PCS) student. I am currently involved in a Deep Sea Creatures project. In this project, we visit the pipes of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii (NELH). <Ah, yes... former acronym OTEC. Have been there many times> These pipes come from a depth of about 2100 feet. Our goal in the project is to classify any dead organisms we come across, as well as try to recreate the natural habitat of these deep sea creatures, in the event we find something alive. On our first visit to the pipes, we found several dead organisms, as well as 5 living sea anemones. The staff of NELH who open up the pipes frequently told us this is common. We are working on constructing an area with a quarantine tank, and acclimation tank and a display tank. We are currently researching the best methods of  setting up these tanks. A problem we ran across so far is the temperature of the tanks. Once the freshly pumped deep-sea water reaches our WHEA-PCS campus, the temperature of the water is approximately 10 degrees colder than that of the actual deep sea water. <... Colder?> We believe this is the reason other anemones found previously were not able to survive. We are open to any suggestions and greatly appreciate anything you can come up with. <You need to arrange a system for closely matching the water quality of the animals habitat you're collecting from. A chilling mechanism. You can read about such gear on our site: WetWebMedia.com, on Ozreef.com, or most any standard marine aquarium reference book> I feel this is an exciting project, with a lot to offer as far as learning. It is my belief that with the help of others, we will be able to have a successful project for this school year, and hopefully years to come. If you are interested in learning more about our school you can see our web page http://www.whea.net/ Thank-you, Jillian Davis 11th Grade WHEA-PCS <Jillian, a large volume (a few times the size of the holding system you're using) needs to be employed with the cooling mechanism you will use... and perhaps cut-in (plumbed) with... and to save money, make the whole combined water more stable, made "semi-open"... with only some new water feeding into it... to keep the temperature about right. Is Yan War still with NELHA? He or Gerald Heslinga (in the compound) are familiar with this technology. Bob Fenner>

Temperate Tank Techniques Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. here this morning> I am trying to establish a temperate tank for this cool water species of boxfish (Anaplocapros lenticularis).I need to keep this tank between 62-67 degrees. I hear that these type of tanks need extra filtration. <Well, cool water tanks with messy eating fish require high quality water and good oxygenation, just like any other system> Here's what I plan on doing. anything you feel is wrong please correct me on. Thanks. 50 gal acrylic tank with a 20 gal sump. in the sump is a wet dry trickle filter and protein skimmer. also a large external water pump. Obviously a chiller is connected this setup. 30 lbs of live rock. I would like to use a black substrate but I don't know if it will be necessary to use live aragonite sand  for water quality. <There are some darker colored Aragonitic materials now available. Do check some of our sponsors' web sites for more information. And, keep in mind that even "dead" sand will become "live" sand over time... > Full spectrum fluorescent lighting for the beautiful temperate algae. How many watts per gal should I use? <Well- no hard and fast rule here- but macroalgae require bright light, so you should look for a lighting system that gives you the most "bang for the buck" in terms of intensity, useful spectrum, and photoperiod. Do look into VHO, PC's and even metal halides as possibilities.> What specific gravity do I need? <I'd shoot for 1.024-1.025> I have more questions but I don't know where to turn. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Sal. <Sal, do utilize the resources available on the wetwebmedia.com site, and feel free to contact us if we can be of further assistance. Good luck! Scott F.>

Native Marine Fish Use Article I recently wrote an article for the Boston Aquarium Society newsletter on collecting/keeping native marine fishes.  I have generally found very little info on this topic either online or in the glossy mag.s (Vince Brach's excellent Dipnetter column in FAMA and John Quinn's out-of-print book being the exceptions).  I've been considering "reworking" the article and submitting it to some of the aquarium magazines.  Since I have already submitted it to the BAS newsletter and posted a version online, I'd prefer to submit a longer (i.e. different) article to the magazines, but I am not sure what changes I should make - where to go more in depth, etc. (I do know I might want to make it less New England - centric) Would you be willing to take a look and critique the article for me, especially with an eye towards suitability for publishing ? If so, I can send you a copy in MS Word format, or you can view it online here:   http://www.ichthyophilia.com/columns/gc2.html http://www.ichthyophilia.com/columns/gc2.html <Read it over... about the only suggestion I have is to include some graphics (images of the fishes, catch gear, holding facilities) if you can get your hands on same. Do consider a "Quinn-like" series here... for n article series and aggregating as a text. Bob Fenner> Thank you, Rich Paulhus

Coldwater/local Marines Bob - Thanks for the quick reply and personal attention ! <A pleasure> I'm not sure I understand (just got out of a long meeting so my brain is a few cells short...) -- were you suggesting I might have this posted at WWM rather than submit to the magazines ? Was the word "here" referring to WWM or more generically ? <The last. Sorry for the confusion. I would "sell" it to a hobby magazine.... and after it's run, if you'd like we will gladly post it, giving credit to you, on WWM> Do you think they might be interested at the magazines (I'd love to "get my feet wet" in writing for the magazines ... have long dreamed of working at least part time as an author... ) or is the topic to far off the beaten track for the mainstream audience ? <Yes. Absolutely. I would send it first to FAMA (more their "style")... and if they have no time, space, interest on to TFH next, then AFM... as you gain more experience, possibly images, I'd send these works on to foreign magazines as well. Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Rich Paulhus

Sub-tropical marine species Hi Bob, <Anthony Calfo in his stead, my friend> Hope all is well with you. <and the same to you in kind> Do you know of any commercially available sub tropical species that would do well in a 44g seahorse coral kept at 71.6 degrees? <if seeking species of fishes: my advice would be to avoid most or all. Seahorses are so patently gentle and require so much food that most other fishes will be a significant burden and direct competition for food. They really fare best in species tanks only> Are there any soft corals that will do well at this temperature? <there certainly are a both soft and hard coral species that live very fine in this range, however all such invertebrates are protected in US waters and none others are imported that I know of. I recently tried to secure temperate invertebrates from CANADA and discovered that the process was somewhat complicated and the sources were too distant for safe transit> The Baensch Marine Atlas has 21 degrees celcus(71.6 F) listed as the low end of the temp range for quite a few species. I was wondering how these fish and corals would do at the low end of their recommended range,  <not recommended because aquarists don't have otherwise ideal parameters like the ocean to support such animals living "on the edge". It really is asking a bit too much IMO> as I usually keep my fish in the mid range of their temp requirements? <agreed...very wise> Thanks as always, Leslie <with kind regards, Anthony>

Re: Sub tropical marine species Hi Anthony, <salute> Thank you for the prompt response and info :). I am a bit bummed that my temperate tank won't be as pretty as my tropical tanks, but then again the magnificent abdominalis should make up for that what my tank will lack in the way of temperate inverts. <Ahhh.. the temperates have their own unique beauty> I understand your concern about keeping seahorses. It certainly is valid and apropos in light of what keeping seahorses meant in the not so distant past. However, I feel compelled to share with you that with the recent advent of commercially available aquacultured seahorses this has dramatically altered what keeping these truly incredible creatures means for all of us who have fallen so deeply in love with them. No disrespect intended here.  <understood and agreed> Your willingness to share your knowledge, expertise and experience is always greatly appreciated. I always look so forward to the warm, patient, gentle, caring, and humor laced way with which you and Bob respond to so many inquiries. I would like to return the gesture and share with you some of my experience keeping these incredible creatures if that would be acceptable.  <very welcome with thanks!> Just a friendly exchange of information. If you have heard this before I apologize and hope you do not misunderstand and take offense as none is intended.  <none will be taken... a re-enforcement of knowledge at least> If you have not had an opportunity to keep any of these, ever so amazing captive bred creatures, you would be very pleasantly surprised :)!! We have been blessed and are very fortunate to be able to keep these magical creatures thanks to Ocean Rider, South Australian Seahorse Marine Service and Ocean Oddities. <fine organizations... unfortunately, most queries from aquarists are from individuals that are considering already imported to already purchased wild harvested specimens. Very few people do their homework first and ask us "where to buy" seahorses. In such cases we have been eager to recommend Ocean Rider and Seahorse.org> I have been keeping captive bred seahorses for almost 4 years now. They do not present the typical problems of their WC cousins. They do very well when kept with appropriately chosen gentle tankmates and can actually be quite aggressive eaters. They are healthy, hearty and willingly accept and thrive on frozen foods. <and properly handled wild caught ones will do the same.. unfortunately, most are mishandled or starved on import. A few years or even decades has not changes the inherent physiology of the animal. We are simply blessed with properly handled and well conditioned tank-raised specimens> They are quite amazing. Believe it or not most are more aggressive eaters than you would ever expect. Mine race from all areas of the tank when those first few shrimp start to scatter about in the gentle current. They eat frozen foods one to 2 times a day depending on their size and age. The diet recommended by the breeders......Ocean Rider, South Australian Seahorse Marine Services and Ocean Oddities ....consists mainly of frozen Mysis as well as enriched frozen bs, with occasional live treats. The availability of commercially CB seahorses has made keeping these magical creatures in our homes a reality for so many more than the previously recommended advanced marine aquarists only. In fact my very first marine aquarium was set up for CB Ocean Rider seahorses. I did very well, as did the ponies. I found they were not much more difficult that many of the freshwater fish I had previously kept. I just recently lost my first pair of Ocean Riders to a tank crash. I had them 4 years or so. They were in excellent health prior to the crash. <this is very fine for aquarists with species tanks for seahorses, but I may never recommend even CB specimens for the mixed community fish tanks that most aquarists would like to put them in> Have you had the opportunity to visit www.seahorse.org.  <yes... a very fine site to be recommended> I am proud and honored to be one of 13 directors. We have over 800 members and a very active board. Jan 1, 2003 will be our 2 year anniversary. Our members are keeping seahorses very successfully in modified species tanks with the appropriate carefully chosen tankmates. They are thriving.....growing, colorful, active, courting, breeding and reproducing viable fry. We usually recommend allowing the horses to settle into the tank, get comfortable and establish an eating routine prior to adding any tankmates. Although they usually eat within hours of being acclimated if food is offered. <excellent> The tankmates we suggest are gentle fish of course, including species from the following groups.....gobies, Jawfish, dragonets, non-algae eating blennies, Firefish, assessors, Cardinalfish, and the lined, fairy or flasher wrasses.  <agreed... and not recommended with aggressive common community fishes like damsels, clowns, tangs and angels> I have found my captive bred seahorses seem to show interest in and enjoy the tankmates. In addition to the tankmates listed above, Ocean Rider actually recommends and has clients keeping them successfully with Percula Clowns, some Butterflies, Tangs and Wrasses, recommending avoidance of Damsels, Triggers, Tomato Clowns, Anemones, and any aggressive fish. <without limitations I would disagree with some of the above> Some of our members have kept the horses successfully with Fridmani Pseudochromis and I have kept them with a pair of Black Cap Basslets without any problems.  <they are actually peaceful fishes... no surprise, and what beauties they are!> As with any tankmate I always recommend adding all tankmates with caution keeping a very watchful eye, with the understanding that the fish will be removed at the first sign of any misbehavior.  <very wise> As I have found even the most peaceful fish occasionally seem to have a "roguish" bad apple requiring strict disciplinary action.......removal and relocation. <agreed> For the occasional slow eaters we get around the food competition issue by feeding the tank first and/or target feeding the slow pokes with a turkey baster. I have found this works very well. I hope what I shared was helpful and not in anyway repetitious for you or offensive <very helpful... thanks again for sharing> Thanks for listening I know how incredibly busy you must be. <a labor of love :) > With Kind Regards, Leslie <best regards, Anthony>

Mussels Hi Bob, I was wondering if adding New Jersey sea animals to my aquarium is a good idea. (Your thinking probably not???)  <Depends... on whether they're physiologically, physically, behaviorally compatible... to what you can offer> My aquarium is a 30 gallon fish and hardy invert tank set up for a few months. Its got a Prism skimmer and a Marineland Emperor filter, and 20 lbs of live rock and 3 lbs of live sand. It contains 4 blue leg hermit crabs, a damselfish, and 2 porcelain crabs. I was thinking of adding mussels, crabs of different sorts, and maybe a few other bivalves. I see many butterfly clams (Donax variabilis) on the shore especially at low tide. Is it wise to include them into my tank, or should I just find other things to put in it? Thanks much for putting up with me, Jen. <Well, this is really a small volume of water... what will you do when it's the equivalent time of winter there? Return the native animals? Get a chilling mechanism and remove the tropical animals? I encourage you to study what the shore there has to offer (much, have been to NJ numerous times), and perhaps put up a specialty tank that mimics the conditions (thermal, current, lighting...) of some part of the offshore environment and attempt to keep a few types of organisms you have a desire to study further. Bob Fenner>

Chesapeake Bay Tank Hello Reef Gurus, Greetings from Tidewater ,VA ! I already have a 70 gallon tropical reef tank, but last week I was given a 55 gallon tank & stand, which I wanted to set up as another reef, but my wife reminded that we have 2 children in diapers & reef tanks ain't cheap! (she always foils my plans- aarrgh!!). So in lieu of a reef tank, I am setting it up as a local Chesapeake Bay tank, complete with live rock & sand from the bay. Nothing like free! <I do not know if this will be much cheaper once you factor in the expensive of a chiller and electricity maintaining those cold water temperatures.> So here are my questions- The tank is being run by an Emperor 400 with bio-wheels, lighting is supplied by a 110 watt compact fluorescent, and 2 free hanging powerheads for circulation- is this enough filtration/lighting? <Seems adequate.> Right now the tank has 4 pieces of "live rock", mostly covered in green & red macro algae with some small anemones, tube worms, and barnacles. Other than small hermits and snails, the rest of the livestock will be locally caught fish- from the minnow seine of yours truly! You would be shocked to see the fish we are catching off the beach, juvenile puffers, pipefish, seahorses, lookdowns, spadefish, filefish, various jacks , and sometimes "lost pelagics"- i.e. butterfly fish & other cool stuff that swims into the bay during the summer. <Yes, I have heard many stories of Caribbean fish wandering to far North during the summer.> I am wondering if I could/should use LSB using local live sand, <Sure, but stay thin, less than 1" deep as an experiment.> do I need a skimmer for the plant rock, <It would be nice.> and is this enough light for the rock as well? <Seems ok, but your growth or lack there of will them you shortly.> Right now the bulbs are 10k. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanking you in advance, Joshua Scialdone <Please see here for some additional information, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cold.htm -Steven Pro>

Coldwater Marine Fish Flukes, Copper and Praziquantel Hello, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I have had some wild-caught vermilion rockfish (a Pacific Northwest species) undergoing copper sulfate treatment for months for monogenean gill trematodes, and it has not worked.  <yes... it seems that they bury deep enough that a fatal dose will kill the fish too.> (We have taken gill biopsies to monitor response to therapy.) The fish are still in their quarantine tank. I am considering switching to Praziquantel 1ppm for at least a week. Are there any problems doing both at the same time? Or should the copper be removed before starting the Praziquantel? Many thanks in advance, Lisa H. <Lisa, I would discontinue and remove the copper and use Formalin baths (short and long with your discretion evaluating the fish). Shown to be quite effective on gill flukes at 2-4 ml (35-45% solution) per 10l of water for 30 minutes (SHORT) and/or 1-2 drops per gallon every other day through treatment (LONG). Best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Re a coldwater marine system water Hi there, I wonder if you could help. I am planning on starting my first cold water aquarium, and wondered if the water could be passed through a water filter first (the type people use for filtering water before drinking) to remove any impurities such as chlorine. <A good idea, likely. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water4maruse.htm> Also, can ordinary rocks (such as beach rocks and stones) be used in a coldwater fish tank? What would I have to do the clean them thoroughly? <Mmm, please read over our site, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cold.htm and back to general marine set-up, on to marine substrates... Bob Fenner> Thank you for your time! Shantel Palmer

Question about cold water aquariums My name is Bryan Rabb I live in Indiana, and around here not to many people do cold water marine aquariums do you know of any recent books that would help me better understand the types of fish and tank setups that would be best for me Thanks a lot Bryan Rabb <David Wrobel, Monterey Bay Aquarium, wrote as extensively and usefully as anyone on this field. Don't know if his works can still be found. You might try the WetWebMedia.com links file to the Aquarium, seek him that way... Most recent article work I have is 8/00 AFM piece by Don Johnson... There are many European articles, works that deal with coldwater marines. Do you have Nick Dakin's "Tetra-Books" marine encyclopedias? You might check a college library, Amazon.com... for these and more. Bob Fenner>

Lights Dear Mr. Fenner, I was wondering if you could answer a question for me? I have a 20 gallon long tank (12"X12"X30") with an Eclipse hood. I have set up a temperate marine tank, (temp around 62?--65?) with a 3" deep live sand bed. I am stocking it with things I find washed up on my local beach (Northern California). I am mostly interested in the red and coralline algae, along with invertebrates (not the kind with algae in their bodies). I can only use regular fluorescent lamps; 2, 24" bulbs. Can you tell me what kind to use---I am confused about what Kelvin rating they should be. Thank you so much, Lori <Please read over the marine light, and lighting pieces archived on the www.WetWebMedia.com site. Look for 5,000 Kelvin temperature lamps (even though this is a bit unnatural for your likely charges... Some by Sylvania/Osram should be available at/through your local large warehouse (like Home Depot) outlets. And do look for the works of Dave Wrobel (associated with the Monterey Bay Aquarium) on cool/coldwater local "reef" keeping. Bob Fenner> 

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