SeaGrams cover a variety of topics and originally appeared in various trade publications in an effort to educate the consumer and dispel misconceptions in the hobby.


African Cichlids

The primary goal of any aquarist, be it freshwater or marine, should be habitat restoration for the housed species. This purist concept is firmly embedded in the marine hobby, but has not been prominently accepted by the freshwater hobbyist. Habitat restoration is more imperative within the Cichlid family than any other freshwater group....


Ammonia Management

Ammonia is the primary waste byproduct of protein metabolism in fish and it rapidly attains toxic concentrations in the confines of an aquarium. It exists as a mixture of free ammonia (NH3) and ionized ammonia (NH4+) in equilibrium...


Biofiltration

Biofiltration is an effective approach to the removal of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate from the marine or freshwater aquarium by percolating the water through a filter or reactor containing appropriate bacteria on a carrier or support...


Chemical Filtration

The most familiar chemical adsorbent is activated carbon. Despite the appearance of many new synthetic adsorbents on the market, carbon still remains an excellent filter material. Unfortunately, not all carbons are equal and an enormous amount of misinformation exists...


Cupramine

Soluble copper salts dissociate in water; copper then precipitates as copper carbonate and copper hydroxide. The consequently necessary repeated dosing is an inconvenience that results in a dangerous accumulation of copper in the filter bed. This copper is potentially lethal to fish, makes invertebrate culture difficult or impossible, and interferes with the biological filter’s full potential...


de*nitrate

de*nitrate&tarde; is an economical, natural porous material with a pore distribution and geometry that promotes both aerobic nitrification within the first few millimeters of depth and anaerobic denitrification at the core. The material has a high surface area and supports a high density of bacteria...


Basics of Filtration

There are five primary types of filter configurations: undergravel, wet-dry, hang-on-the-back, canister, and box. The undergravel filter has limitations, but remains a reliable and simple design. The box filter is inefficient, since water can easily by-pass the filter media. The hang-on-the-back filter is an excellent mechanical filter, but the canister filter is the most efficient chemical filter, and, overall, is probably the best design...


Control of Fish Diseases

Fish diseases are either systemic or infectious. Systemic diseases are either iatrogenic (induced by an external condition) or congenital. Nothing can be done about a congenital condition. An iatrogenic condition can usually be reversed by removing the cause...


Fresh Conditioning

There are three different types of freshwater aquarium environments: soft acid water, neutral water, and hard alkaline water. The neutral environment is the most frequently seen because it is the easiest to control, most fish adapt readily to it, and most aquarium pet stores use it. The soft, acid water environment is usually promoted by Discus and Tetra enthusiasts, while the hard, alkaline water is often selected for live-bearers and African cichlids...


Marine Conditioning

The marine aquarium environment is relatively well defined and reflects the various salt formulations on the market. The principal factors that need to be managed are pH, alkalinity, ionic integrity, trace supplementation, stress, and the avoidance of chlorine and chloramine...


MatrixCarbon

MatrixCarbon™ is a totally unique activated carbon that is shaped as a spherical bead of about 2 mm in diameter with a very uniform particle size distribution. The spherical shape is ideal for hydrodynamics that provide for maximum water flow and contact without the compacting and channeling characteristic of granular activated carbon...


PhosGuard

The removal of phosphate by interface precipitation is not only possible in sea water but is enhanced by the presence of salts. Most phosphate salts, with the limited exceptions of sodium and potassium, are virtually insoluble in water and less so in marine water...


Guidelines to Using Test Kits

Conscientious aquarists often strive for perfect water quality with the use of test kits. Not infrequently, they discover that kits do not always agree or give results that are at odds with other observations. Many test kits perform well, while some defy rational possibilities. Not even the best kits, however, can perform exceptionally well at all times and under all possible conditions...