As a hobbyist, you've probably come across the term "protein skimmer" quite often. This remarkable piece of equipment plays a crucial role in maintaining a thriving reef aquarium by efficiently removing organic waste and harmful substances. In this blog post, we will dive deep into the workings of protein skimmers, explore their numerous benefits, and learn how to fine-tune them for optimal performance.


How do I keep my aquarium cool in hot weather? Let's take a quick recap on some things you can do to help keep your reef cool and more importantly, at a stable temperature throughout heatwaves.

There are many things that don't go well together in this world and as aquarists one set of things I'm sure we can all agree don't go well together are heatwaves and reef tanks. Reef tanks are all about parameter stability, from nutrients to temperature we're trying our best to keep them within a set range consistently over time. Heatwaves by their very nature have the potential to cause our reef tank temperatures to fluctuate, sometimes to an extreme over a relatively small period of time which can be highly detrimental to the consistency we're trying to maintain. 

So what do we need to do? We need to manage the temperature of our aquariums throughout heatwaves to prevent any livestock losses. And how do we that? Let's look over some of the options available. 


When we talk about actions we can take to combat a heatwave then really we're looking at preventative and mitigating measures. As for preventative measures, well we can't really prevent a heatwave but we can anticipate that they will happen so if you're looking at setting up an aquarium then placement is key! Keeping aquariums out of direct sunlight will help you control the temperature in the aquarium as well as help prevent algae blooms. We can also scope out the coolest part of the house where the temperature is most consistent, this is likely to be in the north east corner of your home. This part of a building will get some sun in the morning but will mostly escape the afternoon sun. 


Now onto mitigating measures, the heatwave is already underway and we want to get control of the temperature in the aquarium. We can try to increase the airflow around the aquarium and across the water surface to increase the transfer of heat although this will also increase evaporation so expect to use more water in your RO Top-Up. There are mixed reports on how successful this method is, all in all it will probably help initially but if you want to have complete and assured control over the temperature of your aquarium then we need to look at chillers. 


Another mitigating measure is to install a chiller onto your system. Chillers are essentially refrigeration units which water is pumped through to cool before being returned to the aquarium. You can get chillers which manage the temperature themselves or you can attach them to temperature controllers such as the DD Temperature Controller which will automatically manage the chiller and heater based on a temperature which you set. 

You can also read about keeping your reef cool at this other RockNCritters blog here

And as always, come and see us in store and we can discuss what you can do to combat this heat plus you can see the chillers we have installed on our systems. 

Here in the UK we are most often concerned with heating our marine aquariums up to temperature but what happens during heatwaves like the one we've just experienced. How do we keep our aquariums at the right temperature and stable? Here are a few things you can do to mitigate the summer hot spells.


All too often on social media I see people posting pictures of 'specks' on the glass or small invertebrates with the caption 'can anyone ID these'. The answer that often comes in the comments section is 'pods' which whilst not often wrong isn't always that helpful. So, this blog is all about answering the question, What are pods?



I'll be honest, even writing about this thing gives me the creeps. I am not ashamed to admit that I am not a fan of this week's star of the show and I'm sure you'll agree that this is the thing of nightmares. The Bobbit Worm.  


Aiptasia are absolutely up there as one of the top three all-time annoying and unwanted reef tank pests. They are extremely hardy, surviving and multiplying in conditions that we would consider less than optimal for most coral to sometimes survive let alone grow makes Aiptasia so difficult to get rid of at times. The fact that they can enter our reef tanks so easily despite our best efforts and can remain undetected for some time makes them even more irritating. So, if you find yourself facing off against this common enemy of the reef tank then don’t worry, we’ve all been there and there are a number of things you can do.


Boy holding his nose because of a bad smell

Does your fish tank smell? If so, there are several possible reasons why. In general, marine fish tanks should be odour-free, except perhaps the smell of the ocean, so if you find that you can smell an unusual or unpleasant odour coming from your tank then you may have a problem that needs sorting out quickly.


Cloudy water in marine aquarium

Ensuring that your saltwater tank is filled with clean and clear water is really important if you want your marine life to thrive. If you wake up one morning and notice that your marine tank has become cloudy, you should troubleshoot the problem and seek a solution right away.

Cloudy fish tank water can be caused by various different things including:

  • Sand being moved around the tank
  • Algae or bacterial bloom
  • Microbubbles in the tank


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