Fishes In Focus At Cockfields Farm

Attention UK marine afishionados! If you are searching for some beautiful, healthy fishes to add to your aquarium, click the link below to continue reading and see a gallery of the fantastic selection on offer at The Aquarium at Cockfields Farm. We snapped these stunning specimens as part of a shoot on Christmas eve so there’s a good chance plenty will still be available. Continue reading Fishes In Focus At Cockfields Farm

The Digital-Reefs Black Tank – Cycling In Progress

In the last update, while we waited for our new system to fill with RO water, we took a tour brief tour of its main ‘life support systems’ and noted that certain adjustments had been made to ensure they operated both reliably and at optimal efficiency. Taking several days of intermittent running, we are happy to say that the RO fill is now complete and we’ve gone a step further by adding both salt and then a few days later, live rock. Continue reading The Digital-Reefs Black Tank – Cycling In Progress


If you read the recent update on our new test tank, you’ll already know that we’ve recently added live rock to the system. If you are anything like us, you’ll agree that this can be both an exciting, but also worrying time. New organisms appear on a daily basis and sometimes they aren’t all good news. Having said that, few will deny that the sense of wonder this period evokes is unique. In our experience, the quality of the rock used can prove pivotal to the long term success of a system and unfortunately, we’ve seen some poor rock being sold (for as much as £15 a kilo). As such, it important you put in the research to ensure you are getting the best start for your reef. In this review we share our experience of procuring live rock by mail order from online supplier Continue reading Review:

Review: ReefCrystals 25kg Bucket

There have been quite a few studies of the various salts available to hobbyists over the last few years, with each promising rigorous procedures and high levels of accuracy. The results have certainly been interesting, and sometimes controversial. The one thing that these studies have taught is that it’s important to remember that variability seems  inherent, even within the same brand of salt. The way it is tested, stored, the amount used and even the way it is added to the tank may all affect the parameters obtained. Nonetheless we thought it would be interesting to share our own casual observations as we brewed-up 100 gallons of fresh mix for the new test tank. Continue reading Review: ReefCrystals 25kg Bucket

Facebook Page Now Available

For those of you into your social media, please note that we’ve recently set-up a FaceBook page for the site which you can access HERE or by clicking the icon at the top of the column on the right hand side. We’ll be adding materials to supplement the main blog on the Facebook page, so if you are interested in keeping up-to-date with the very latest developments and activities be sure to check it out and register your interest… and don’t forget to like us!

Blue Planet To Release ‘Super Shoal’

The Blue Planet have recently issued a press release which reads ‘A ‘super-shoal’ of more than 400 tropical reef fish is set to go on display at the Blue Planet Aquarium at Cheshire Oaks.

The giant school of exotic fish is to take up residence in the aquarium’s 3.8-million-litre Caribbean Reef display, alongside three-metre-long sharks and stingrays. The shoal, which is currently in quarantine at the aquarium prior to be released into the main display, is made up of a mix of brightly-coloured yellow tang and foxface fish. Continue reading Blue Planet To Release ‘Super Shoal’

Review: Vertex RF1 Refractometer

Salinity is one of the most critical parameters to control in a reef tank, yet also one of the most frequently misunderstood. This confusion arises perhaps out of a passing similarity of the term Salinity to ‘Specific Gravity’ (SG for short) which is a measurement also often used to gauge the ‘saltiness’ of water. SG is only part of the equation needed to establish Salinity though, indeed temperature must also be taken into consideration with the SG reading to give you your final Salinity reading (take a look at the chart here). Although natural seawater can range in Salinity from 30 – 40ppt in certain seas (or even certain microhabitats), 35ppt is the average and the level that most hobbyists target. Continue reading Review: Vertex RF1 Refractometer

NOAA Corals Captured At National Geographic

As already widely reported, in November the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service announced a proposal to list 66 coral species as either endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). Fifty-nine of the coral species are found in the Pacific while seven are found in the Caribbean. The Pacific species of stony corals proposed as Endangered include a few species that are encountered in the UK trade, specifically Acropora lokani, Acropora jacquelinae and Euphyllia paradivisa (Branching Frogspawn).

While hobbyists continue to discuss the likely impact on the hobby, and questions are asked over just how certain species will be identified to species level, National Geographic has recently published some stunning images of some of the species likely to be affected. Click HERE to view a slideshow.

Review: APS WM-5000 Stream Pumps

Stream pumps are probably the most popular way to provide efficient circulation in your reef. On the back of this trend, units are now manufactured by a plethora of different companies. Design-wise, many pumps may look similar but on closer inspection offer feature-sets that are subtly different. The WM (Wave-Maker) range from our sponsors All Pond Solutions offers yet another option for hobbyists, coming in a useful range of powers from 2500l to 12000lph. What makes these pumps stand out from the crowd though is their low cost… but is this price reflected in the quality of the product? Continue reading Review: APS WM-5000 Stream Pumps