A Newsletter For The Serious Reef Keeping and Saltwater Fish Hobbyist!

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From the Desk of Eric V. Van Der Hope
Sunday, September 11th, 2005 - 9:26 p.m. (PST)
Re: Volume 2, Issue #5

Website: http://www.reefkeepingbasics.com


By subscription only! Welcome to your issue of "Reef Keeping Basics - The eZine/Blog" - A Newsletter For The Serious Reef Keeping and Saltwater Fish Hobbyist.

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None at this time!

==>  1   -  Editor's Recommendation - None at this time
==>  2   -  In This Issue
==>  3   -  Comments from the Editor
==>  4   -  Feature Article - by Eric V. Van Der Hope
==>  5   -  This Month's 'Quick' Tip - Keeping a Journal
==>  6   -  Ask Us
==>  7   -  Disclaimer
==>  8   -  Privacy Policy
==>  9   -  Contact Information
==> 10  -  Subscribe and Unsubscribe Instructions



How are you?

I am doing well and trying not to allow my 'normal' work schedule dictate what I'd like to do most, spend time time "tinkering" with our 'hobby'!

It's been a while since I last published my newsletter - so I've made an extra effort to organize my time to research a topic you'd be interested in.

I assume you are extremely busy, yet interested in learning more about saltwater fish & reef keeping . . .

So - the September Issue of my newsletter is currently viewable online and can be accessed at any time.

In September's Issue, I'll be answering a question asked by one of my members at the RKB's Forum -

"What's causing my coraline algae from disappearing?"

- What's light got to do with it?

- Does strontium have a bearing on growth?

- Could changing your 'brand' of salt have an effect

- And what about calcium, magnesium and alkanity?

You can read this and more in my latest column.

This issue must be read on-line while connected to the internet.

I invite you to check it out.

Here's my newsletter:


Here's my blog:


I'm sure you'll enjoy it!

Happy Reefing!



Eric V. Van Der Hope
Publisher | Author | Editor
Reef Keeping Basics - http://www.reefkeepingbasics.com
Saltwater Fish Pets - http://www.saltwaterfishpets.com

Note: Use your REFRESH button on your browser if it looks as though the information is not up-to-date!



What Causes Coraline Algae To Disappear?
by Eric V. Van Der Hope
Copyright 2005 ReefKeepingBasics.com

The disappearing of coraline algae can be attributed to several factors . . .

Here are some of these factors which will be explained in more detail throughout this article:

Water, Magnesium, Calcium, alkalinity, lighting, strontium, salt, kalk-wasser and a variety of other things.

The first thing that's conjured up in one's mind when they hear of algae  is the undesirable kind! The stuff that 'takes over' our tanks!

However, coraline algae or macroalgae, is an attractive yet delicate species that is very useful in dissolving organic wastes within the tank and is also part of food for a variety of little critters.

This form of algae is a very desirable and provides an important part of your tank environment.

There are many types of algae - some good - some bad. They all have different functions within the closed tank environment as they do in the enormous oceans of the earth.

The simplest way I've grown to appreciate algae is that it's an excellent indicator of how 'sound' your mini ocean environment is doing.

For the most part, there are just a few simple elements that can contribute to good algae - your water, the artificial light that functions as a substitute for the sun and the nutrients within your tank.

The coralline algae is an encrusting, colorful display of reddish purple material on the various rock introduced into the tank. It provides a very eye-pleasing display that is a natural occurrence in the real ocean and provides the same kind of benefits such as being an excellent food source for a variety of fish and invertebrate.

There are however, other elements that can contribute to the growth or disappearance of this beneficial algae.

It's important to make sure that the water, magnesium, calcium and alkinity are all in check within the tank system. If tank parameters do not meet up to less than ideal conditions, the chances that the coralline algae will decline increases which could also result in certain species that are undesirable within the tank system.

Your lighting has an effect on the growth of your coraline algae. Too much light can be a hindrance and actually promote other undesirable species. The lack of light could substantially prevent further growth of the coraline algae. As this can be a source of food for some inhabitants of the tank - a noticeable disappearance of this algae will occur.

Strontium levels within the system is also important. There should be traces of it in your tank. Strontium can be found as an additive in a variety of things - most important - in salt mixtures. Oceanic salt appears to not have Strontium in it and as a result, individuals have seen a major difference when they switched to a brand that has Strontium as an ingredient.

Dosing the tank environment with kalkwasser can help the stability of your system but if not maintained at adequate or stable levels, will affect the growth of the coralline algae.

A good way of introducing coralline algae into the tank is through the introduction of premium live rock which 99% of the time will have a good amount of coraline algae. Different types of coralline algae will be introduced as a variety of colors will be evident. The algae will appear in shades of pink, dark purple, red, green and the like.

If the tank environment can be kept in a stable condition, then the chances of preventing coralline algae from disappearing will increase.

Here's a 'wrap-up' of what should be carefully monitored by the aquarist:

1. Maintain as stable an environment as you can making sure levels of magnesium, calcium, strontium, alkinity, kalkwasser and other trace elements do not alter drastically.

2. Adequate lighting - it has to be balanced, of high quality and should be "on" for the right amount of time.

3. Introduce healthy 'live' rock that has good coralline growth. This will encourage further growth of this beneficial algae.

4. Maintain a balanced yet adequate nutrient levels within the tank. Getting the right balance and being moderate will be the key to success.

Something that can often be neglected is the abundance of 'algae eaters'. Keeping these fish and invertebrate in check will limit the disappearance of the coraline algae as well.

Algae can have a proper place within the tank environment. It depends on how well balanced the tank environment is. As a result, this will ultimately determine the aquarist's success within this hobby.

Eric V. Van Der Hope is the Publisher and Author of "Reef Keeping Basics - the eZine/Blog" - A Newsletter For The Serious Reef Keeping & Saltwater Fish Hobbyist. Would You Like to Discover Exactly How to Build A Perfect Aquatic Life Environment For Your Marine Fish Pets - Without Having to Do It the Hard Way!? Then sign up to his complimentary newsletter valued at $47. For further information visit:

5 - THIS MONTH'S 'QUICK' TIP - Keeping a Journal


If you've done the proper research and constantly read books to enrich your knowledge of reef keeping, than it may come as no surprise to you that maintaining a journal is an important part of the hobby!

If you haven't started keeping your own notes/journal/diary, than you should! I cannot express how valuable a tip this could be for you!

It doesn't have to be extremely detailed or fancy, just some quick notes on some of the important aspects of maintaining your tank setup.

What should you include?

Well, there are few details to name just a few, but It's up to you how detailed you'd like to be. There is no wrong way of doing this and the more you provide, the better off you'll be.

1. Record changes in water parameters such as the nitrites, nitrates, ammonia, phosphates, calcium, etc.

2. Observations that seem unusual.

3. Water changes.

4. Record your actions and what you feel the results will be and then what actually happens!

5. Additions to your tank such as fish, corals, invertebrates, etc. and more important any loss of your tankmates.

6. Temperature fluctuations and observations to these changes.

7. How often you change the skimmer, does it have any bearing on how often and when you are feeding.

8. Record how long your lights are adequate for beneficial life within your tank.

9. How often do you have to 'top off' your tank, add additives or attend to other regular duties.

I could go on - however, I'm sure you get the point!


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:



Eric V. Van Der Hope
Publisher and Editor of the popular eZine/Blog:
'Reef Keeping Basics - The eZine/Blog'

Website: http://www.reefkeepingbasics.com

Questions or Comments, send your feedback to address below:

10 - SUBSCRIBE and UNSUBSCRIBE Information


This is where I must talk about all those things that I'm required to tell you due to stricter Internet laws . . .

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