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Hot Tips: Tips from Our Readers

By Advanced Aquarist's Readers Posted Jan 14, 2002 07:00 PM Pomacanthus Publications, Inc.
Tips from Advanced Aquarist's readers.

A monthly feature collecting useful miscellaneous tips and tricks for the aquarium. If you have a tip you'd you like to submit, send it to Terry Siegel.

Preventing non sessile critters from stealing food from sessile animals

When feeding an open brain or other LPS (large polyp scleractinian) coral I put a plastic strawberry basket with a small rock on top of it over the coral to keep the fish and large inverts away from the food.

Submitted by: G. Dawson

Mixing up artificial seawater

When mixing up a new batch of saltwater, always add the salt to the body of water that you are preparing. If you add water to the dry salt at the bottom of your container some of the calcium will precipitate to form relatively insoluble calcium carbonate. This is one reason that some aquarists find a significant amount of residue at the bottom of their mixing container.

Submitted by: Terry Siegel

Using an in-sump skimmer.... without a sump

Want an in-sump protein skimmer but don’t have a sump and don't want to set one up? There's an easy solution that will work with many in-sump skimmers. Purchase a hang-on refugium. Most of the commercially available ones feature a minimum 4-inch front-to-back dimension, which allows you to place many pumps directly in the refugium. Sit the skimmer on top of the refugium or set up a small shelf near to it, and make sure the skimmer’s exhaust returns the effluent into the refugium, not the tank directly. Of course, you should check the size of the pump of any skimmer you're interested in, in order to ensure that it will indeed fit.

Submitted by: Charles J DeVito

A way to remove an abalone from the tank wall

Take a sheet of saran wrap and cut a hole in the center slightly larger then the abalone. Affix the sheet around the abalone with silicon, making sure to get a good seal around the circumference of the cutout hole. You don't need to let this set, just long enough to form a halfway decent bond. With a hairdryer, gradually warm up the foot of the abalone through the tank, by playing the hairdryer (outside the tank, of course) over that section of the glass the abalone is attached to. As the glass warms, the abalone will move right onto the saran wrap. You can then peel away the saran wrap and move the attached abalone. Any silicon that remains on the glass can be quickly removed with a razor blade.

Submitted by: Charles J DeVito

Removing a fish from a reef

If you have a few days leeway in removing the fish, the easiest method is to simply place the food you'd feed your fish inside a deep-bodies fish net. Put the net into the tank so the fish can feed, walk away and leave it there for maybe 20 minutes before removing it. It will take your fish time to overcome their fear of the net, but if you don't feed them in any other manner most fish already used to aquarium life will become bold enough to feed from the net within a few days. Once that point is reached, it's an easy matter to remove the fish you're after. This trick does not work as well with shy feeders like comets, but it still is often successful if given enough time.

Submitted by: Charles J DeVito

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