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.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Its been about a year and lighting remains an issue. The LED light panel looks good - but simply doesnt produce enough light for shallow water seaweeds unfortunately. Whilst a considerable improvement on flourescents I am struggling to get anywhere near the amount of light I think I need.

New domestic LEDs are considerably better than those on offer a year or so ago and I'll be adding a few to the light panel to beef things up a bit. Keeping wracks remains an elusive goal. They are fine for a few weeks, but have disappeared over the winter, as have many other green macroalgae species. Red macroalgaes are fine - but green and red filamentous algaes are a nuisance, possibly exacerbated by the lack of grazers due to starfish predation. Perhaps the trend can now be reversed with the removal of the starfish and the introduction of new snails.

Encrusting coralline algae is good, especially on the front of the tank where periodic removal of green algae has eliminated competition. Branching coralline algaes are smothered by hair algae at present.

I'll be watching closely for signs that snail grazing improves overall diversity within the tank, if, as I suspect, it proves to be a major factor, perhaps other macroalgaes will make a comeback.

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