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This Special Issue Prepared for:


From the Desk of Eric V. Van Der Hope
Sunday, December 12th, 2004 ~ 4:57 p.m. (PST)
Re: Volume 1, Issue #4
Email: editor@saltwaterfishpets.com
Website: http://www.saltwaterfishpets.com
Subscribers: 295


By subscription only! Welcome to your issue of "The Reef & Saltwater
Fish Keeping Cheat Sheet
" -
A Newsletter For The Serious Reef Keeping
and Saltwater Fish Hobbyist.

You are receiving this ezine because you or some one using your email
address requested a subscription or you previously downloaded an ebook from my website: http://www.saltwaterfishpets.com .

This is a 100% opt-in list. If you no longer wish to remain on our list,
easy unsubscribe directions are at the very bottom of this mailing.

You have been subscribed through email address:

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone you know who may
be interested in the information I provide herein. It's easy and fr.e.e to
subscribe,  just send email with your friend's name and email address


If you prefer to view issues in a web based format which will enhance
your viewing experience, simply click on the link below for last weeks


1 - EDITOR'S RECOMMENDATION - 1st Edition Coming Soon!
Many of you are aware of my upcoming book I've talked about on my
website. Well - I'm excited! The book is coming along wonderfully well
and I'm truly looking forward to presenting it to you once complete!

I really feel this will be an excellent tool for new and intermediate reef
hobbyists alike! Actually - I feel this will benefit the whole reef keeping
community in general!

So keep your eyes open to its release! It's coming soon to a website
near you! I'll keep you informed as to its progress and its completion
==>  1   -  Editor's Recommendation - 1st Edition Coming Soon!
==>  2   -  In This Issue
==>  3   -  Comments from the Editor
==>  4   -  Feature Article - by Nathan Gaub
==>  5   -  This Month's Tip - Preparation
==>  6   -  Ask Us
==>  7   -  Disclaimer
==>  8   -  Privacy Policy
==>  9   -  Contact Information
==> 10  -  Subscribe and Unsubscribe Instructions



Welcome to all our new readers as well as a gracious thanks to my loy-
al readers who have supported me from the start. We now have 295 ac-
tive readers! Wow!  

Thanks to all of you for your continued support - I couldn't do it without

First let me apologize for not keeping up with my newsletter! I've been
extremely busy putting together a wonderful book that will be made
available soon.

I've also been working on the 'new' layout you see here as part of this
newsletter. I'm also seriously considering changing the name of it - so
you'll see as time passes that continual changes are being made to im-
prove the overall look of this newsletter!

Have some fun with this newsletter - you'll see it has great browsing
capabilities as well as quality content - which is most important!

Hopefully you've had a wonderful weekend!

As we are all aware Christmas season is upon us - another great reason
for gathering our friends and relatives together.

In this issue I've invited a special guest to share with us something all
of us are having trouble with or have had in the past! Nathan Gaub is
a friend of mine who serves on the board of the Washington DC Area
Marine Aquarist Society and who also provides articles and advice on
popular forums in this hobby. Get your cup of coffee, pull up a chair
and enjoy the article!

I sincerely hope that you benefit from the advice given through this
newsletter and website.

Remember, if you have questions or concerns or would like to contri-
bute in one way or another - I encourage you to use the Forum to get
'the word out'.

I'll talk to all of you soon!

Happy Reefing!

My warm and gracious thanks . . .


Eric V. Van Der Hope
Publisher and Author


How To Solve Algae Problems
by Nathan Gaub
Copyright © 2004

Cleaning up your tank 

Water chemistry for those of us who flunked high school
chemistry . . .

Ok, I have some algae and some kind of red junk growing everywhere.
What now?

If you are new to reef keeping and you think you think your tank is
growing stuff you don’t understand. You did a water change and the
growth got worse. What now…There is hope. You need to manage your
water chemistry.

Ok this is not going be as hard as you might think. We are going to talk
about how to keep the bad stuff that makes bad stuff grow, out of your

All of the bad stuff (Algea and Cyno) grows on fertilizers in the water.
The major fertilizers are phosphates, ammonia and nitrate / nitrite.
So we need to keep them out and get rid of the ones that are there.

First where does your water come from?

If you are using unfiltered tap water you are playing a suicide game
with your tank. Every day the water company makes changes to the
system to adjust the chemistry of the system and they use stuff that
will kill your system. Buy A filter!

RO/DI OR TAP FILTER …The problem with tap filter is the capacity of
the filter and the cost of replacing it. A tap water filter will only pro-
duce 50-100 gallons of water before it is finished. An RO/DI will make
2000-3000 gallons before you need to replace the DI cartridge. The cost
of the replacement cartridge is about the same. In a very short time
the extra up front cost of the RO/DI is met.

A good filter takes out metals and phosphates.

Next what do you feed your tank?

Most new reefers feed too much or the wrong kind of food to there
system. If the food contains high levels of pollution in its composition,
they will end up in your water. Probably as phosphates. if there is a lot
of filler in it that will go right through your fish and end up in your
water. Even if it is all eaten.

Buy good food:

I have tried a lot of commercial food and have only found a few worth
feeding to my systems.

Boyds Vita-Diet: Boyds is the company that makes Chemi-Pure and they
have sold millions of packs of that product over the years. Vita-Diet an
aquaculture fish foods infused with their vita-chem formula (made from
real marine & fresh water organisms). I checked around and a lot of
fish breeders use the Vita-Chem product, and most had good things to
say. This is a commercial food that is worth feeding to the critters.

Freezerbar Cyclopeze: This is a micro-crustacean that adds a lot of
food value and low levels of pollution to the system. It is High in Pro-
tein, High in HUFA’s, Easily assimilable High levels of color enhancing
Astaxanthin. It also remains in suspension long enough for all filter
feeders in the tank to get some. http://www.freezerbar.com/

Two Little Fishies ZOPLAN: This is a dried plankton food that is a real
low pollution and great for feeding small zo’s and polyps.

Shut off your pumps and target feed all of your critters. This keeps all
of your waste levels low.

Another option is to make your own food. I have a great recipe on my

Clean your system:

Vacuum the tank: Every time you change water. But you can vacuum
without a water change. Just get some 3/8" flex tubing....or whatever
size you want and put a fine mesh bag or a nylon on the end of it and
rubber band/tie it on. Then stick the end w/ the bag into your sump.
Start the siphon as mentioned below and vacuum away! The bag will
filter all deitritus /flatworms/ valonia/ cyno whatever and let the
water pass right thru.

Scrub the system: Take a dog toothbrush and scrub the rock while you

Clean your skimmer, your sump anywhere there is dirt.

Clean your system at least once a month

Clean your water:

This is the easiest part of the program.

Clean out the skimmer:

So it can work right. Mix 2 tablespoon’s of white vinegar with hot RO
water and let the air intake of your skimmer suck it in. This will clean
any salt creep in the venturie. Clean the collection cup and the inside
of the skimmer.

Check your carbon: 

Get a phosphate test kit. Test a small sample of fresh water. Put 10
grains of the carbon in a small sample of water. Test that water. If the
second sample has a higher phosphate level get a different carbon pro-

Switch to a better media: 

I recommend using Boyds Chemi-Pure and Polyfilter.

· 1 pac of Chemi-Pure for every 40 gal of water.

· 1 Poly-filter for every 30 gal of water.

Place them in the water path

Change the Chemi-Pure every 60 days and the poly-filter when it gets

Also if you have a sponge in your overflow, take it out. Nitrates will
grow in it. Put it in during water changes or cleaning to catch junk that
gets blown around. Take it out as soon as the water settles.

Add some macro algae:

If you don’t have a refugium, add one. Macro grows on phosphates,
metals, ammonia and nitrite. As you harvest the old growth of macro
algae out off the system, you are removing those chemicals from the
system. If your system is small get a hang on system. If it’s a large
system you should have one in the sump.

Do some water changes:

If you have not been using a RO/DI, do small water changes (10%) 
every 5 days for a month, then do 10% every other weekend. The
constant water changes will reduce the levels of nutrients in the sys-
tem. The every other week changes will help keep them low.

To recap:

1. Put good water in the system.

2. Don’t feed with junk food

3. Don’t feed too much

4. Clean your system at least once a month

5. Switch to a better media.

6. Add a refugium, and some macro algae:

7. Get a good water change schedule going.

If you follow this kind of schedule you will see most of your problems
go away. The green, red and brown algae will die off as you deplete the
nutrients it needs to grow. Also your coral and fish will get better look-
ing as the water chemistry gets better and the pollution levels drop.

Nathan Gaub is on the board of the Washington DC Area Marine Aquar-
ist Society, argueably about the largest group in the country and grow-
ing fast. He is author of reef related articles and frequents some of
the most popular forums posting his articles as well as offering his ad-
vice on many facets of the reef hobby.



Do not walk into a LFS and buy the first thing that you see that looks wonderfully beautiful! Whether it's a fish, a coral, equipment for your
tank - whatever!

Simply not having a good idea of what you want before you buy is not
a wise choose. Take the time to plan out what you need, what may be
necessary and so forth. You will save both money, time, and hardships
if you follow this simple approach.

If you carefully plan your goals - you will be highly successful at main-
taining a beautiful mini-ocean environment that many of your friends
will be simply envious of!

Do the proper research, talk to other hobbyists, participate in forums
and get as much information as possible before you make any decision.

Ultimately, if you have a clear picture of what you are getting in to,
you will not be caught off balance with unplanned surprises and end
up spending more money than you can handle!

Also - don't take LFS employees word as 'written in stone.' The are in-
stances where they can definitely give the wrong advice - keep this
in mind and tread the water carefully!

I've written an excellent article that shows the importance of what it
means to prepare and plan.  You simply cannot underestimate the value
of planning when it comes to starting a Saltwater Fish / Reef Setup . . .

Read here:


There is simply nothing more important than that! I can guarantee you
that if you follow this guidance - you will more than likely experience a
wonderful time in this fascinating hobby!

6 - ASK US


Do you have any questions about fish keeping? Contact me and I will
do my best to help you.

Send your email to:




Saltwaterfishpets disclaims any liability for the use of any contributed
information contained in this newsletter. While I will not knowingly
publish ads for questionable information, I also claim no responsibility
for the legality or accuracy of advertisements or articles submitted
and reprinted by permission.

Please use your own judgment and check out those that interest you.
It is the contributor's and/or advertiser's responsibility to abide by all
pertinent jurisdictional laws and regulations pertaining to their adver-



My subscriber list is confidential. You are a valued subscriber to this
ezine and your legitimately private details will never be sold, rented or
otherwise made available to any other entity.



Eric V. Van Der Hope
Publisher and Editor
'The Reef & Saltwater Fish Keeping Cheat Sheet'
Email: editor@saltwaterfishpets.com
Corporate Website: http://www.saltwaterfishpets.com

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