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Charts & Diagrams

How a Filter Media Reactor Works

A media reactor is an aquarium filtration device that contains  filter media. It helps to increase the effectiveness of the filter media inside by forcing all water that enters the reactor to come in contact with the media. This eliminates the problem of only exposing your aquarium water to a portion of the filter media—which is what happens when media is placed inside a media bag.

Diagram: The Life Cycle of Marine Ich

Marine Ich is a common fish disease caused by an external parasite. Once a fish is infected, small white cysts on the skin, fins and inside of the gills may be visible. This parasite is difficult to treat inside an aquarium because it goes through several different life cycles. Repeat infections are common. With a little understanding of Marine Ich's life cycle, it will be much easier to effectively treat and rid your aquarium of this parasite.

Diagram: Reef Tank Pest and Remedy Guide

When keeping a reef aquarium it is quite common to encounter some really pesky organisms that can prey upon or out-compete your corals and fish. Knowing how to identify them and how to treat them is crucial to your success.

Diagram: How a Reverse Osmosis Deionization (RO/DI) System Works

Using water straight out of your tap to fill or top off your aquarium is a big no-no. Tap water contains a variety of chemicals that can harm sensitive aquatic life or fuel nuisance algae growth. Running tap water through a reverse osmosis/deionization (RO/DI) system before adding it to your tank removes most of these impurities before they ever enter your aquarium, halting many of the common issues hobbyists face before they ever start.

Diagram: How an Aquarium Chiller Works

Keeping your aquarium water temperature stable and within ideal ranges for sea life is essential. While heaters are nearly ubiquitous in our hobby, chillers are another useful piece of equipment that helps aquarium owners regulate the temperature inside their tanks. But how do aquarium chillers actually cool down water? Check out our aquarium chiller diagram to find! We've included some best practices and a how-to video so you can learn even more.

Diagram: The Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle

Have you ever wondered why you have to cycle your aquarium before you can add fish and corals? The reason you must cycle an aquarium is because it allows time for beneficial bacteria to grow inside your fish tank. Once these bacteria exist, a unique cycle begins which creates a more stable environment for fish and corals to safely inhabit. Check out our Nitrogen Cycle diagram and accompanying article to learn more.

Diagram: What is a Calcium Reactor?

Calcareous organisms like corals and clams along with calcareous algae, such as coralline, use the calcium dissolved in water as one of the components to build their skeletons or shells. To keep a constant level in our reef tanks, we need to supply calcium into the water column. One of the ways to accomplish this is by using a calcium reactor. Our diagram illustrates a typical calcium reactor setup.

Chart: Reef Tank Parameters

Maintaining proper reef tank parameters is essential to the health and well-being of fish, coral and invertebrate inside your aquarium. We created this chart so you will always know what the ideal conditions are for your wet pets. Use it while performing water tests so you will know how much supplement you need to dose your tank with.

Diagram: What is a Protein Skimmer?

A protein skimmer is a type of mechanical filter used to remove organic material from aquarium water before it can break down into phosphate and nitrate. Where do these organics in your aquarium come from? A few examples are animal waste, uneaten food, excess bacteria and toxins from corals and other organisms.

Diagram: What is a Sump?

One of the most frequently asked questions in the reef aquarium hobby is "What is a sump?" Much of this confusion stems from the synonymous use of the words sump, wet/dry filter and refugium. Technically all three are sumps by definition, which simply means a reservoir or container of water. Check out this diagram to find out the differences and similarities of sumps, refugiums and wet/dry filters.