Tag Archives: reef


 Remember when we bought a baby shark egg?

Remember when it cloned itself?

 Well, we are happy to report that we have movement.

In the effort of keeping it real I will not let you believe we are little shark whisperers over here.  We bought one…it was a dud.  We bought a second and it still hasn’t moved.  So we did what any desperate wanna-be-shark-parents would do and got another.

We are really lucky to have an outstanding local fish store that stands by their products and let us bring the dud back in.  Holler for good business.

They say the third time is a charm, our fingers are crossed that you all aren’t making that up.  I will say it is like watching a little miracle when we watch it swimming in there.  Now I know how all you expectant mama’s feel at your ultrasounds….kinda…sort of….not at all.

Written by Christina and Tim

You already know when you look in a fish tank there are bound to be fishies.
If you are into this hobby, or have taken a gander at our Tank Tour tab up there, then you know that you can also find corals in saltwater tanks.

Tim and I…we are coral people.
We love our fishies, but we LUUURVE our corals.

I look at corals like the furniture of the tank.  You can add pretty curtains, move the modern sofa, and refinish the coffee table.  Maybe that is why I love this hobby so much.  I not only get to decorate my home…now I get to fuss over a fish tank too.  It all makes sense now.

Tim looks at corals like art.  Which is why he took these photos.  Secretly.
Seriously, I didn’t even know he took these.  I wonder what else he is doing secretly, hopefully wrapping presents and baking cookies.

I just found them on our hard drive….and now I want to share them.
Maybe after seeing these you will be coral peoples too.

Pretty as a peach right?  An underwater peach?

A lot of people don’t realize that when you go to aquariums, they generally use coral inserts because the maintenance is really low.
Even on the show Tanked, they rarely use live corals.

I can’t keep a plant alive to save my life, but coral growing….that’s my jam.  Not to mention, you can score deals on corals all over the place.
Then I feel all thrifty and smart.

Are you converted?  Do you lurrrve the corals?
Or will the fishies always have your heart?

Written by Christina and Tim

First thing is first….does anyone remember Fraggle Rock?

All my little cousins think I make these critters up.  Boo-yah.
Ohhh to be a child of the eighties.
Second thing second….below you will find a lot of words.
Pictures are at the bottom for you visual learners.
For those of you who are curious about this whole “fragging” thing we are always talking about.  I am going to break it down for you.
“Fragging” is short for fragmentation, it’s the process of reproducing corals.  The long story short is you break a piece off of your coral and call that it’s baby.
Fragging is usually pretty simple and a good way for you to share or sell some of your corals.  A lot of people frag their corals and hold onto the mother colony…kind of like breeders.
The best reason to frag is simple….conservation.
Corals are dying off at a remarkable rate and one day the majority of corals will be found in homes.  Sad but true friends.
Corals are almost always fragged out of the water, you generally don’t want to keep them out of the water longer than 15 minutes and no extreme temperatures people.  You think your Hawaiian pretty piece wants to visit the chilly South Pole….nope.  They are tropical peoples.

 If you want to frag a coral with large polyps, gently wave your hand over the coral before removing it from the water so that the polyps retract. Major tissue damage can occur if you lift some corals with large polyps out of the water while the polyps are fully extended.  Ouch.

How you frag depends on what coral you are fragging.  If you are wanting to split a soft coral or leather then we suggest a scalpel.  If it is a rough and tumble kind of coral, then try coral cutters or even a band saw.  Be careful please, no coral is worth being thumbless.

Here is where I will beg you to always wear safety goggles.  There is a woman from our neck of the woods who was blinded after a Zoa attacked her eyeball with it’s squirt.  Danger, please wear goggles….oh and gloves too.  Ok, now I am done preaching.  Love ya.

We always dip both the mother colony and the new frag in a coral dip containing an iodine solution after fragging. This dip will help ward off bacteria, fungus, and protozoans.  Gotta keep your babies healthy.

After you break a piece off from your mother colony, you can return the her to the water and let her relax…she had a long day. Using some aquarium-safe super glue for SPS corals and epoxy for LPS, stick the frag to a rock or plug and return it to the water. Eventually, the frag will encrust the plug or rock.

We use epoxy on most LPS corals because epoxy can handle the weight of the frag better, and it generally only comes in contact with the dead calcareous skeleton. The epoxy curing process will kill any tissue it comes into contact with, so Super Glue is really the best bet for SPS corals even if it sounds crazy.

It is important to never frag more than about 25-30% of your mother colony at one time.  Seems like common sense….but you know.

Happy Fragging my friends!




Written by Christina and Tim

Typical right, I lure (pun intended) you in with pretty fish and awesome corals and then I drop a big boring bomb on you.
I promise I will throw in some entertaining videos.

There are a ton of people who shell out big bucks for pet insurance on doggies, kittens, and horses but have you ever heard of someone taking a policy out on their guppy?

Odds are no, most providers won’t pay for your goldfishes triple bypass…but insurance is very important to consider.

Especially if you are having an affair with a married woman, and her best friend knows about it and confronts you…then throws a guitar at your tank and slaughters your fish.  Slide right on into 1:50 if that reference was lost on you.

Poor Channing Tatum, I will console you.

When you have a tank there are two types of insurance to consider:  Insurance for the aquarium and equipment itself, and then insurance that covers damages caused by the aquarium.  You know, like when your pretty hardwood floors get soaked and you have four inches of water in your dining room.  T was never a boy scout, but their motto is his language.

Your aquariums, their contents, and any damage caused by them may or may not be covered by your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. You need to check your specific policy to find out more but don’t forget to read the small print, because there is always small print.

Many insurance policies have a comprehensive exclusion list and it is not unusual for aquariums to show up on this list. Your insurance company might only pay for damages caused by an aquarium up to a certain amount of gallons, or only cover aquariums that live up to certain standards. It is also quite common for insurance policies not to cover the livestock of the aquarium. Some insurance companies will consider plants and corals inhabitants, while others see them as decor.  I know, we should just tell them to quit being haters but for some reason it is never that easy.

It is also common for insurance companies to have a notification limit. If for instance your policy has a $2,500 notification limit, you have to holler at the insurance company about any possessions that are worth more than that amount. Let’s say your home is burglarized by unicorns and you file a claim for a $3,000 necklace that got stolen, the insurance company may refuse to cover your baubles if you failed to notify them about you keeping such a precious piece of bling in your home. Flash back to the aquarium scene, keep in mind that if you file a claim for the entire aquarium you may hit this $2,500 ceiling even if the tank itself did not cost $2,500 to buy. Trust me, the dollars can keep piling up quite rapidly. You buy a $1,500 tank, treat yourself to some sweet LEDs, you add some nice filters and a heater and soon you’ve reached the notification limit without even realizing it.

 Take a good look around your home, because believe it or not this can be applied to darn near everything.

I remember when I was younger – and slightly paranoid of robbers – I took videos of my parent’s house so that we would have a record of everything we owned.  Now those are the funniest home movies to watch, oh hello orange shag carpet and wallpapered everything!

What crazy things do you all have insured?  I once heard of a South American reporter that had her legs insured for millions.

Written by Christina and Tim

The other day we did something a little crazy…..

We went to our local fish store and picked up a couple things.
One of those things, was a shark egg.

I do believe our fascination with getting a shark egg began while we were on our East Coast Road Trip.
We ran across these babies while at the Shedd Aquarium.

 We have been researching ever since.
Now that I re-watch that video, I feel like we should clean our egg up.
Tim will be checking in to give you an “egglet update” and give you all the specs in case you decide you need a little baby shark in your life as well. 
It is a learning experience for us and we have been told that something like one in six don’t ever hatch.  We have been holding light up and looking for some movement, T says the little guy is growing but I have yet to see him.  If you never hear about our shark egg again, you will know things didn’t go so well! 
Say a little prayer that we will soon be proud shark parents….

Written by Christina and Tim

Have you always wanted a piece of the ocean but weren’t sure how to start?

We went over how we got into the saltwater hobby in this post.
But what if you want to get into it…and find Nemo.

My first suggestion is to Google.  Learn as much as you can about saltwater aquariums.
This will help you determine what kind of tank setup you would like. For beginners, we always recommend a Biocube or Nanocube.  All of your filtration and lighting are built in, so the maintenance is lower and there is less guess work.  These tanks let you get a taste of the commitment that goes into this hobby without getting in over your head.

If you are ready for something bigger we recommend going into a fish store and talking with an expert.  There are a lot of things you have to consider, like the weight of a tank.  How to care for the tank, and what lighting you will need.  Even what fish get along together and how to care for corals.  Research can help with all of this, but sometimes you just want to ask someone what would work best for you.

To find a fish store…you guessed it. Once you have done all your research and know what tank set up you are wanting.  You can sometimes find deals on full set-ups, tanks, lights, sumps, and even live rock on Mr. Craig and his list.  We personally bought our tank from a store and bought everything else online.  EIther through retail websites or Craiglist.

Now comes the important part…you wait.

Once you get your tank setup, full of saltwater and live rock…you wait.  We will tell you more about the nitrogen cycle later this week, but you generally have to wait 3 to 6 weeks before you can start adding corals and fish to your tank.  Bummer.

Once you have your water perameters in check, you can add fish and corals.
There are a lot of great resources and forums for any tank or livestock problems that you will inevitably face.

One thing to remember is that in this hobby everyone has an opinion.  You will hear many things that work for one person that don’t work for someone else, and there is always going to be something new and exciting that you have to try.  Just do your research and know what works for you.

If you ever have any questions you can always ask us!

Written by Christina and Tim