Please email us about the lessons or tips you have learnt lately!

Dosing Vodka can decrease nitrate and phosphate but can increase ammonia and nitrite and hydrogen sulphide, because it is one carbon source. Red Sea NPX provides all 7 so is effect and safe.


I had many problems keeping coral while I was running high levels Calcium 600, Magnesium 1600, kH 12 and pH 8.3 and salt level 1.026!

I could never get my levels down and I did not supplement them over 6 months!

Once I lowered my salinity I was about to get down my other levels to normal readings an now my corals are thriving and my algae is gone!

Ray - Sutherland

Never use aluminium based phosphate removers because it creates a bad reaction with any leather corals! Stick with Ferric Iron proucts like Phosban.


If you ever get Red Slime Algae, check that the phosphate is zero, then add API Marine Algaefix. I did everything to get rid of this algae problem and lost over $500 worth of coral until I started using Algaefix! Try it!

If you ever have problems growing coralline algae, do a large spring clean of your reef and clean the sand. I tried everything and it would not grow and I was loosing many corals. You will be amazed how fast your coralline algae returns and how great your corals look when you only have a thin layer of sand that is not full of Detritus!

Alex Mei

Don`t get slack on water testing and don`t forget to add your supplements. Over a long period of time it really makes a difference.

Peter Wood

Fish that eat your corals, of which there are many, are easy to put in the aquarium, but very hard to get out unless you break down the whole tank.

Many corals and anemonies go a lot better if they are fed with organic foods and trace element supplements.

Peter Halloran

I have been keeping reefs for a long time but when I started using Easy-Life, I noticed the coral open up a lot more and the tank seems to keep cleaner and the fish seem to be healthier.

Adam McIntyre

The key to a successful aquarium is patience. Build it up slowly because the faster the fish stocks go up the faster they come down. Feel free to add the corals quickly but take it EASY with the fish.

Garth Harvey

Maintain the balance! Once you achieve your targot water quality you can`t afford to let it lackin off and thats not hard to do. The key is to make sure you are on top of your system to produce long term results. It is best to tweek it every day and try to use natural products and not chemicals!

Nick Salta

Don`t be afriad to feed your fish a lot, I find it makes the fish and corals healthier as long as you have a good skimmer and as much water flow as you can get. Food, flow and skimming is the funamentals and everything will grow.

If you get a sick coral use Revive by Julian Sprung it works amazingly! Dip corals one at a time till the problem is fixed!

Gino Ambriano

Best to keep SPS coral in 28C if you want them to grow, but soft corals don`t like it that high. Soft corals would rather 25C. Many corals die when the temperature gets to 30C.

Regal Angel can be hard to feed but mix well with other Angels.

Tony Care

You can use Vodka (1ml per 500lt daily)as an organic carbon source that will encourage bacteria that will reduce Nitrate and phosphate. Don`t dose it is your levels show zero!

When you have had high Nitrate and Phosphate it will take 6-12months to control it because the live rock and filter media will have to leech out what is soaked up before the level will drop. Continue reducing the level untill it stays down.

Tim Cahill

Keeping a reef tank is 90% knowledge 10% action. It is not what you have to do that makes it hard to keep a reef tank it is what you need to know.

Ensure that you have the Marine DVD because this is the easiest way to learn!

Joel Davis

I place a bit of polyfilter in the filter and replace it when it turns black. It will act like a skimmer and suck out all the bad stuff but not touch the good stuff!

Better than a skimmer!


Ozone is great when you have high loads of fish but it can stripe all the good stuff out of the water if you only run small loads, so be careful.

Never add sodium bicarb to your marine tank, it can make the pH crash, I learnt this the hard way!

Bob P

Make sure that your sand is not too finer grain size or too thicker layer because anoxic bacteria may form and release hydrogen sulphide, which can effect your pH and kH levels.

Nick S

Make sure you are careful where you position your water pumps to ensure that you don`t get micro bubble! Over time these can create problems for your fish and coral!

Peter B

When you use algaefix it can be very effective at killing algae! You must remember that algae stores a lot of organic waste to when it dies your waste levels may go up? While treating with algaefix also test ammonia, nitrite and nitrate protect your fish, so you can water change and add Prime if need be, because of this be careful with the second dose!

Andre Caval

Many corals get full of sediment and coral slim over time, so it is a great idea to regularly vigorously wave your hand over each coral to free it of sediment. If a lot is dislodged then do it more regularly. This is very important for any porus corals.

Catherine W

If you get Micro bubbles in your Red Sea Max, make sure that the inlet is totally clean and free of algae. Ensure that the sponge, carbon and bio media can easily pass the water. The bubbles are a result of the water not being able to freely pass into the pump section.

Mark Y

Over time you can start to have problems with your fish and coral even though the tank has run well for a long time. If everything tests ok and you can`t work out what to do I suggest doing a spring clean. This maybe a large water change tring to remove as much waste out of the coral sand as you can or even do a total clean!

To do a total clean you will have to remove your fish, coral and rock and vacuume the sand or replace or clean it. Then return the water that you have kept, plus the rock, corals and fish with new water the same temperature, salinity and pH as the old water.

A spring clean will distroy any dead spots that maybe producing hydrogen sulphide. Some aquariums seem to need this after a number of years to continue thriving, while other tanks don`t ever seem to need it?

This process will take a day to do but can give your aquarium a whole new life!

My tank looks great now and the corals are open and happy again!

Alex M

If you want to keep SPS dose Kalkwasser at night and feed the tank twice a week at night with Marine Snow and baby brine shrimp!

I have found that this is the secret, I have been tring to keep Acro for years and am finally growing it at an amazing rate!

Bob Popivich

If you have problems with phosphate be sure to check the drum that you hold your salt water in, because I was fighting it for years and ended up finding out that the phosphate was coming out of the drum that I was storing my water in!

Never give up until you find the answer to a problem!

Every problem has an answer!

Louise H

Hi Guys,

It is important to understand the life cycle of the Aiptasia sp., it is 45 days egg to egg. Therefore if you have a mature adult in the tank, it is likely they have already spawned their gametes into the water. The gametes float around in the water for about 3 weeks, and then settle to grow into a new adult. From the time of settling to maturity is another 3 weeks. Therefore if you already have mature adults in the tank, the way to treat it, is to kill everything in sight for 45days and be vigilant about it.

If you have buds which are hidden amongst rocks and difficult to get to you can use a combination of Aiptasia-X and a predator.

Note usually sexual mature adults are over about 2cm in height, so if you maintain all the Aiptasia at less than this height for over 45 days you should stop the cycle.

There are some good reports regards Berghia sp. as a predator, but I believe from other reports that it is hard to maintain the population of the predator in the tank.

I would use Aiptasia-X and a peppermint shrimp in conjunction and go hard for 45 days.

I hope this helps.

Paul Besant
Sales Director
Red Sea - Asia Pacific, South America & Public Aquariums

Hi Zac,
I regards to your algae problems Rowaphos will remove about 30% more phosphate than Phosban so if the hair algae was being driven by phosphates in the water then it would be more effective - see report

I am not quite sure what the customer is experiencing here.
If there is cyano then this can be removed by AntiRed and is normally skimmed out. It may release some extra phosphate to the water however if the water is allowed good contact to the Rowaphos then this will remove it quickly.

The real question is why do the tanks have cyano in the first place as adding Anti Red is just removing the symptoms and not the problem.
If there is a lot of locked in phosphate in the sand and gravel then this could be what the cyano is feeding on along with sunlight and subsequently what the hair algae is feeding on.

This phosphate will not be immediately removed by the phosphate media, regardless of the brand, and can only be removed once it enters the water column and passes through the media. As it is removed from the water then more is sucked out of the rock to bring the two into equilibrium until eventually it is practically all taken out and you have clean rock and clean water. I could understand that this could take up some Rowaphos however it would take up 30% more Phosban too.

The other problem with hair algae, especially briopsis type is that it collects its own detritus from the water and forms a soil in which to grow. You will not remove this no matter how low the phosphates go in the water column and without good water flow directed at this point or a toothbrush to clean it and starve it out then it will hang about. I have a clump near my overflow in an extremely low nutrient tank.

With the amount of media they have been going through I suspect that they have not been testing the water and throwing it before it is loaded but without more info it is hard to establish.

Things to check would be that the media is in good flow and I would move the media in the bag around from time to time as it does not get the same contact as when fluidised - may have a low cost reactor soon though.

Test the water and get the phosphates right down however more may be released as it is taken out.

Check that these are not new tanks as you will always get some hair algae as it cycles and stabilises.

Find out why the cyano is there - normally low pH

Let me know if you have any further info however here is an article I wrote years ago


Tim Jacobson

Be very careful what you put in your tank because I had a Nudibranch that got jammed in the powerhead and died and wiped out some of my other fish too. When they die they can release a nerotoxin!

The more you learn about each animal the better, at least I knew the risk.


If you are getting algae, use Phosban in a reactor,increase oxygen and ensure high alkalinity and get more Herbivores!

Algae problems? The reason has a lot to do with alkalinity in most cases, but it can also be lack of herbivores, phosphate in the rock and sand to a lesser extent, and also other factors such as elevated CO2 in the house or biological instability (as when an aquarium is first set up or if it is heavily disturbed, for example by gravel vacuuming). Sometimes algae are just stubborn and it takes a long time to make a change happen. ;-)

If you were having a problem with no change of phosphate level, several possibilities exist:
1. test error
2. high source of phosphate in the system (from the top-off water, from the rock or sand, from activated carbon, from food)
3. competing ions or adsorbable substances in high concentration: PhosBan also adsorbs silicate and dissolved organics. In an aquarium with extremely high silicate and or dissolved organics the phosphate adsorbing capacity may be reduced. This is rare but possible.

I suggest you use reactors! The difference with reactors is that they are upflow, so they don`t trap dirt, or can easily be flushed to release dirt, and they typically operate with much lower flow rates (60 lt per hour for example), an exception being the use with NPX Bioplastics which is much higher flow, but no chance to trap anything because the media is tumbling.

If you want to use mechanical filtration, a filter sock in the sump for the drain from the tank, changed (rotated with a fresh clean sock-- the dirty one being rinsed and soaked in bleach, then rinsed and dried) every few days, is the best way. Letting the detritus circulate instead of trapping it in a canister or sock is also a way to manage it since it will end up getting trapped in the protein skimmer or sand.

For alkalinity maintenance I recommend calcium reactors (but of course not for all customers), kalkwasser, and two-part calcium and alkalinity maintenance systems. Kalkwasser dosing has some very positive effects against algae growth too-- apparently because it improves protein skimming efficiency, and I believe it also has to do with night-time pH levels being higher. Naturally I recommend our product C-Balance for the two-part dosing system. for most customers a combination of kalkwasser and C-Balance is ideal, or if the kalkwasser is not practical for them, C-Balance alone can be used.

Phosphate problems could also be related to phosphate levels in the rocks themselves. That is a problem that will go away in time if the phosphate in the water is kept low and the alkalinity high so that coralline algae coat the rocks and essentially lock in the phosphate so that it is not available on the surface. Smaller tanks give fewer options for herbivores, but Trochus or Turbo snails may help.

There are nitrate affects on algae too. Have you tried NPX Bioplastics yet? I recommend it for tanks with nitrate problems, but you must have a good protein skimmer, and you must have a surface skimming overflow to assure high oxygen levels. The media is installed in our reactor with the NPX screens used in place of the sponges. You need a strong enough pump to keep the media tumbling. The idea is that NPX is a food for bacteria-- the bacteria eat the food and as they grow they take up nitrate and some phosphate from the water. The tumbling causes some bacteria to shed off the media and they end up in the water where they can be trapped by a protein skimmer. This way the nutrients they have removed from the water can be exported permanently. The dosage rate is about 1ml per liter, though you can start with half that amount and increase as needed. The media takes about 6 months or more to be consumed by the bacteria, so you top-off periodically.

Tips from Julian Sprung