2017 Legislation protecting Hawaii’s reefs from the aquarium trade

According to the Humane Society of the United States, 90% of residents polled supported legislation that would cap permits required to capture reef life in Hawaii. The Department of Land and Natural Resources believes limited permits and even a “no take” policy is necessary to maintain healthy reefs. Hawaii is the third largest supplier of reef wildlife to the United States. Conservation organizations link the deteriorating health of Hawaii’s reefs to the capturing of fish for the aquarium trade. Reef life such as yellow tangs are some of the most commonly caught and traded fish. Herbivores such as surgeon fish (tangs) keep algae from over growing on the corals and help maintain a healthy reef. The removal of herbivores on a large scale allows for algae to cover the coral. It appears that the majority of residents are pushing the Governor of Hawaii to sign the legislation.

Surgeon fish and kole account for 93% of all fish in Hawaii that are captured and sold in the aquarium trade







A new build

We have received many requests for a KIS (keep it simple) system from scratch.

One of the first steps in a new build is finding the suppliers.  This step alone can be very time consuming and can add weeks sometimes months to a project.  Follow along as we identify our suppliers and build a KIS system.

Aquarium stands

Sometimes the basic mechanics of reef keeping is the difference between go/no go or continuing/breaking down.  The stand might make the difference.

Lightweight, aluminum with wood look.

Turtle population on the mend

“The findings of our research show that juvenile hawksbill turtles are thriving at Glover’s Reef– extremely good news for this endangered species,” Virginia Burns Perez, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s technical coordinator in Belize, said in a statement. “Strongholds for the species such as this one should become a model for other foraging and nesting areas that are important for the hawksbill turtle.”

MACNA 2016, lighting

LEDs continue to be the theme.  The improvements this year appear to be not in photons, but in the array of mounting options, especially on the tank.

Many reef keepers struggle to mount or hang lights in a way that doesn’t detract from the overall look of the tank.  Help is now on the way in many forms.

MACNA 2016

What a show!  The main takeaway for us:  The industry has matured. Quality products, useful products, and no one “throwing shade”.

More for the show including pics to follow shortly.

Big picture, what’s new?

Overall, in our opinion, not much.

Still fish and corals in a glass (or acrylic) box filled with water.  For the animals to survive and thrive, the goal is “clean”, balanced saltwater and the strategy as we see it remains the same, water changes.

The frequency and amount of change depends on your bio-load, your acceptable loss policy, and budget (time and money).

For us, the sweet spot was 10 to 20%, every week or two.


Do I need a skimmer?

skimmerDo I need a skimmer for my basic mixed reef tank? For our KIS system, the answer is no. The negatives include initial expense, noise, electricity consumption, heat, and possible leaks.

For us, there is no substitute for water changes, so we removed the skimmer and have not looked back.

Exactly what does a skimmer remove?  The bad stuff?  Some good stuff?

Live food

The folks at LiveBrineShrimp now have a more affordable USPS Priority Mail shipping option. For their LBS-1 (¼ pound or 25,000 ) live brine shrimp:


Live brine can often be used to help with your picky eaters.  The Copperband Butterfly for example.