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Mad skills...

Tannin Aquatics

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Okay, you know I’m forever harping on you about getting the soul back into aquarium keeping, abhorring things like Facebook auctions and relegating expensive controllers to turning on and off the lights (nothing like an $800 light timer, huh?). I’ve prodded you to put down your test kits and stare at your tank more. Hey, I’m a bit cranky, but I admit it. You know a lot of my cranky knocks on some of the latest “trends” is because I think we’ve gotten away a bit from some of the basic skills that we need to be great aquarists. 

A lifetime in both fresh and saltwater has taught me a few things…

So, today, I’ll put my money where my mouth is and launch into a bit on just that: Skills that I think we all need to work on to be better fish geeks. I’ll start you off with my ungainly “two cents worth”, and you fill in the large swaths of missing stuff, ok? Deal.

A keen sense of smell. REALLY? You’re starting the list off telling me I need to SMELL better? Well, yeah…Think about it. As a reef person, I have a pretty good sense of it, if I say so myself! There is nothing quite like the smell of “SPS coral death”, is there? Once we’ve smelled that, we will forever be attuned to it. I can walk in a fish room, store, or my facility and tell by smell if something is wrong…Now, cut the jokes…seriously!  As a reefer, you simply have this stuff down: Those of you who frag corals will understand and know what I mean about the” dead coral tissue” smell. You’ll also become keenly attuned to the smell of a protein skimmer that needs your attention... 


I can’t use words on this family friendly site to adequately describe that one! You’ll also know the way a freshwater tank should smell when things are going well- earthy, “garden- like”, and pleasant. Bonus- you’ll learn to recognize the smell of fish food to the point where you’ll remember if you left it out of the fridge all day and rushed off to work! Bonus- if you use ozone, you’ll easily be able to discern the smell of excessive ozone, much in the way you can smell a gas leak. So yeah, a sense of smell is high underrated in aquarium keeping, but pretty important! (click to read more)

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