Native marine aquaria are pretty scarce. Little information exists on how to be successful in maintaining healthy coldwater marine systems in domestic aquaria.

Hopefully this record of my failures, triumphs and ideas will assist others interested in keeping some of our fascinating, beautiful and often little known sea denizens in aquariums.

Sunday, 29 August 2010


The few references on-line that offer any information at all on the keeping of British marine life all agree that lighting is rather unimportant and our dull waters are simply not used to light - a single tube is usually deemed sufficient.

Its my own view that most of the creatures you are likely to keep will be found in rockpools. They will be used to very high levels of light and its probable that even tropical quality halides will not be able to match the levels that may be required for the successful keeping of many algaes found near the shore.
Therefore I use as many lights as I can fit on the lid and boost them with reflectors to maximise the amount of light. Ideally I'd use metal halides but I'm hoping that I can keep algaes successfully under flourescents - time will tell.
This much light under a tight lid generates a lot of heat, I've not been able to find anything anywhere near as good as a chiller for keeping the temperature at the correct level.

I run the lights on a 12 hour cycle with a simple mechanical plug timer, make sure its rated to carry enough current for the number of lights to be used.

1 comment:

  1. Any idea Gary of the light levels that you have e.g. lux at the water surface and/or tank bottom. Reds can get away with low light but greens like Ulva spp. need high light levels and like fast water flow rates - the Ulva that grows most prolifically in my tub, grows on the filter outflow pipe, and streams in the currents produced from this up to 70 cm in length! I use a 70 W halide lamp (around 5000K) which gives me around 10 to 15,000 Lux at water surface with lamp 20 cm from water surface.