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Publisher and Editor:  Eric V. Van Der Hope


From the Desk of Eric V. Van Der Hope
Monday, July 5th, 2004 ~ 5:37 p.m. (PST)
Re: Volume 1, Issue #3
Subscribers: 104


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

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. 

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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 sub-
scribe,  just send email with your friend's name and email address to:

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 issue:

1 - EDITOR'S RECOMMENDATION ~ Planning and Research

"This section of the newsletter will be dedicated to a recommendation
from me to you. I will only do this if I've personally used the product or
book myself. I will not recommend to you something I haven't person-
ally experienced myself and if I'm not 100% satisfied with it!

In future contributions here you will find a variety of excellent books for
reading and education purposes and maybe even certain types of tank
components that will add to the success of your enjoyment in this

It is your choice to decide if what I recommend is something that
could be of benefit to you".

Eric V. Van Der Hope
Publisher and Author

There are a few books written that are deemed the best in this awesome
hobby of Reefkeeping. 

I can gladly and without reservation recommend a book written by Robert
, one of the most respected individuals in this hobby.

If there is one thing I could give as advice to you - that's research and read
as much as you can before starting this hobby. There truly is no better place
to start than reading his book, 'The Conscientious Marine Aquarist' .

This is the first book I read before getting my 'feet wet'. It's hands down the
best book I've read in the field. 

I personally feel that this book is not for the advanced aquarist, however,
don't let that distract you. All of us no matter how much experience we
have - still can learn from his work. 

Robert Fenner has written a step-by-step reference guide that is perfect
for the beginner aquarist. If you are interested in salt water tanks and have
some knowledge of freshwater and looking at taking the next step to reef-
keeping, this is the best place to get your start!

This hobby is by far one of the most rewarding to participate in. However,
you need to get a good idea what you are getting into. Proper planning be-
fore taking the necessary steps is the most important thing you can do in
this hobby.

Purchasing your own copy of 'The Conscientious Marine Aquarist' will get
you started in the right direction. It saved me much heartache, time and

So check it out - you will not be disappointed!

For more info use this lin^k:  'The Conscientious Marine Aquarist'

If you get the book from Amazon rather than your LFS (local fish store)
you'll even save some money! Get this - there is no charge for shipping!


==>  1   -  Editor's Recommendation  ~ Planning and Research
==>  2   -  In This Issue
==>  3   -  Comments from the Editor
==>  4   -  Feature Article ~ by Robert M. Fenner
==>  5   -  This Month's Tip ~ Feeding Your Fish
==>  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 loyal
readers who have supported me from the start. We now have 104 active
readers! Wow!  

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

Grab that favorite mug of yours and fill it up! Get comfortable in your favor-
ite chair and let's begin. In this weeks edition I've decided to bring you an
informative Feature Article by a guest of mine who is spoken highly of in
this wonderful hobby. There is no better individual I could be more honored
to introduce to you than Robert M. Fenner, the best-selling author of the
most well-known book in it's field - The Conscientious Marine Aquarist' !
So keep reading - and I hope you appreciate and enjoy the article as much
as me!

I know - the anticipation is driving you crazy . . . but I wanted to mention
a few things before getting into the 'meat' of this newsletter.

Most of you know I had some major computer v^ru^s problems that I had 
to deal with . . . Thank goodness I regularly backup my computer.

Because of this - I have not been 'visible' or proactive, especially in the
Fish Forum . . . However, this has not stopped some individuals from
taking advantage of the benefits of such a forum . . . and so have been
very active in holding up 'The Fort' while I've been 'gone'.

Thanks you guys . . . !

Sound Advice:

I will always encourage you to use the Fish Forum as much as you can.
Here you can get questions answered and you can even provide your
own comments if you so desire.

The Fish Forum has gotten off to a great start. I encourage you to stop
by and sign up if you haven't already done so . . . It's a great place to get
some great feedback on this wonderful hobby!

Get Informative Feedback, Tips and Techniques from The Fish Forum:

I hope you all the success in your endeavor to have and maintain a wonder-
ful saltwater/reef environment. More importantly, I hope that you will benefit
from the advice given through this newsletter and website.

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

I hope you've had a productive weekend but relaxing!

I'll talk to you later and hopefully meet up with you in the Fish Forum.

My warm and gracious thanks . . .


Eric V. Van Der Hope
Publisher and Author

P.S. A copy of the latest ezine will be available online after each printing.
Click on the url below to access the ezine.

Questions or Comments, send your feedback to address below:

4 - FEATURE ARTICLE ~ by Robert Fenner

Frequent Partial Water Changes
by Robert Fenner
Copyright 2004

Probably the most important aspect of maintenance a keeper of an aqua-
tic system can do to optimize water quality and health of their charges is
to change some of the water is a regular basis. This Section deals with 
the reasons for, and some rules of thumb as to how often, how much and
how to make these changes.


There are several major benefits of frequent partial water changes: Dilution
of nutrient, removal of particulate matter, reduction in microbial populations
and their metabolites. Results anticipated are faster, more vigorous growth,
reduced algae growth, color and odor.

It has been written in many fisheries, limnological and hobbyist texts that
along with temperature and photoperiod, metabolite ("wastes") build-up is 
one of the three most important factors influencing the health, growth and
reproduction of livestock. 

More specifically; in the trade, ammonia and other nitrogenous wastes are
recognized as the number one killer of aquatic life in captive conditions. Not
to say that all the "stuff" produced by the system's desirable life is toxic.
Some metabolites, like pheromones, are actually known to have calming
effects. Therefore the concept of partial, not total water changes.

In doing these water changes we are interested in a dilution-solution; that
is, keeping these so-called waste products at tolerable levels. There are
several ways this is otherwise accomplished. Most common are some
forms of biological filtration and chemical filtration like carbon and ionex-
change materials. The last are useful but often labor and money intensive.
Moreover, these chemical filtrants do remove desirable chemicals as well. 

As stated in so many previous Sections it is imperative vital that as much
extraneous materials: foods, dirt from decor, material from the immediate
outside environment be kept from getting in the system. What little does
make its way in should be removed by netting/vacuuming, diluted or remo-
ved by making partial water changes.

Some potential pollution will probably be added to your system in the way
of food and chemical additives/fertilizer. Even without over- or mis- feeding
and/or fertilizing, freshwater evaporation adds to a decided negative chem-
ical effect on an aquatic system. This "Salton Sea Syndrome" occurs as
water evaporates leaving behind its' chemical constituents. 

So enough of the reasoning for making water changes; onto the nuts and
bolts of how to do them:

How often:

Depending on your pump/filter/circulation system, stocking and feeding 
regimen et al., partial water changes about once a week to about once a 
month are about right. More frequent smaller amounts are better than in-
frequent mega-changes, with one possible exception. Some writers advo-
cate an occasional massive change (50% or more) as a stop-gap mea-
sure to dilute metabolites, nitrates in particular. I'd rather encourage you
to stick to regular, smaller volume changes; they're safer and accomplish
about the same ends.

Make a schedule/notebook for your system and keep track of what you
do and how it works for you. Patterns will emerge and give you a guide-
line for how frequent you should change water.

How much:

Five to ten percent for larger systems and twice that for smaller is generally
sufficient. The chemical/physical/biological shock from changing too much
too soon is to be avoided.

Though some marine authors state that water treatment chemicals are un-
warranted with such frequent small percentage change, I'd encourage you
"to be safe, rather than sorry", and treat to remove chlorine/choramine un-
less you're preparing water a week or more in advance of use.

How to:

However it is achieved, the part of the water and what's dissolved in it are
mainly to be found at and in the bottom. 

Solids are systematically removed from part, but never all of the bottom of
the tank and possibly sump by using a "gravel vacuum". We don't want to
vent all the beneficial microbes along with the solids, so a plan is made to
move the decor and vacuum a half, third, what have you, of the base in a
given water change period.

New water is replaced with pre-mixed synthetic of similar temperature and
specific gravity.


Regardless of how well a system is designed and constructed, there will 
always be maintenance. Frequent partial water changes are one of the
best ways of ensuring continuing success.

There are manufacturers who claim their products do away with the need 
for frequent partial water changes. Their products may well extend the a-
mount of time between changing or ostensibly eliminate it, but at what
economic cost? 

With the proper tools and materials, water changes are a breeze. Water
changing is the cheapest, easiest, most sure method of diluting wastes 
and replenishing buffering capacity, "trace materials", while concurrently
cleaning the system of undesirable solids and liquids. 

Bibliography/Further Reading:

Bauman, Edward. 1994. Water wisdom; as if changing a little water will
kill you. AFM 12/94.

Branscome, Lee. 1985. How to stop carrying those buckets of water. 
FAMA 11/85.

Dow, Steve. 1986. Heavy water. TFH 5/86.

Fenner, Bob. 1999. Frequent partial water changes. FAMA 5/99.

Hanford, Wilber L. 1969. A change of water. TFH 5/69.

Mowka, Edmund J. 1979. Water changes in the marine aquarium; 
partial water changes in the marine system are often neglected for a 
variety of reasons. Here's why water changes are essential, as well as
a method of calculating the necessary amount. FAMA 12/79.

Ostrow, Marshall E. 1981. Water changes. TFH 5/81.i

Robert Fenner is the Author of the best selling book 'The Conscientious
Marine Aquarist'
and 'A Fishwatchers guide to the Saltwater Aquarium
Fishes of the World'
. He is a marine scientist and an advid marine aqaur-
ist. Robert Fenner is a former instructor for the University of California
system and has regularly contributed to reputable aquarium publications.
Further information regarding Robert Fenner can be found at his website:

5 - THIS MONTH'S TIP ~ Feeding Your Fish

Do not Overfeed Your Fish Pets - it actually will stress them out! Another
reason to not overfeed your fishy pets is to prevent an accumulation of
waste in your tank - which could lead to other potential problems! 

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 infor-
mation 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 permis-

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 advertisements.


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'
Corporate Website:

10 - SUBSCRIBE and UNSUBSCRIBE Information

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