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ORION Briefing

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Think reef snow...

Think 'Pods...

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A neglected tank: - You Say ?

Let's follow Orion and have a closer look

Not sure I'd call it neglected...

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Oh... It's alive ! Looks like minuxcule sprout...

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Besides this exoskeleton:

what can we hope to find in this tank ?

Guess it's time to start rowing

It all has to do with Tap Water & Phosphates



the basis of any Marine Biological System


Contrary to the wishes of sterile tank adepts; cyanobacteria or dynoflagellates (half alga / half animal), are the only possible basis to cycling a balanced and stable system (without chemicals or mechanical instruments). Phosphates found in tap water are one of the power sources of dynoflagellates. Forget the myth/information about contaminants (iron, lead, mercury, cadmium, etc.). They are found everywhere; including Synthetic Sea Salts. The only point to remember is that they should never exceed a certain ratio in a populated tank.
Phosphates are not only interesting but vital in cycling a Marine Biological System !! Ultimately: only traces of phopsphates will appear in a well established tank.

This picture needs a closer look.

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Copepods... what else ??

Copepods - Amphipods - Arthropods = (Crustaceans)



:(...) - and hey... Hands Off my 'Pods !!!

A few basic notions have taken us from Tap Water... to the Reproduction of Zooplankton !!!

NOT BAD... don't you think ? 

recapitulation :      - 1) Water      - 2) Dynoflagellates      - 3) Zooplankton


This simple process allows us to clear the tank of Cyanobacteria by allowing Zooplankton to eliminate it. It's simple: Dynoflagellates and Zooplankton with the SBMarine filter, convert amino acids (giant mollecules), dyes and sugars (in short, Nitrites); into NITRATES. Only true algae (Unicellular Macro Algae) can absorb Nitrates. Dynoflagellates feed on pollutants (which purifies tap water) and in turn feed the Zooplankton. It is only when residual waste is ultimately converted into Nitrates by the SBMarine Filter : that true algae can begin to grow.

Steps 1 – 2 – 3 create a BALANCED environment


Thereafter the real green algae will ensure STABILITY by eliminating phosphates and nitrates arising from Biological Filtration.

The SBMarine tank has reached a  BALANCED state

It must now become STABLE. It is at this stage that the key role of the basic SBMarine FILTER and Methodology are highlighted. From here on: we can forget about sterile systems ! It's only a matter of personal choice; there will always be an important niche for Public Aquariums, Sterile Tanks and consumer hardware.

The fact remains: SBMarine reproduction tanks work fine


What... More shoots ?


Stabilization of the

Marine Biological System


All your efforts in maintenance, nutrition and ultimately breeding, are now associated with it. These are the two pillars of a Biological System that works. Rather than fiddling with methods which, admittedly, can only be supervised by scientifics and according to strict protocols: We will use what has always worked… for centuries. Academics can still contribute to marine reproduction projects: Aquaria like science, are too complex to be the lot of a single individual. As in everything else, it is the sum of knowledge that guarantees success.


Dynoflagellates and Zooplankton, with the assistance of an SBMarine filter have begun to establish a balance… (of remarkable complexity: if all this is decomposed into chemical formulas). Let's look more closely at how these two basic principles apply in real life and not through equations.
STABILITY begins by controlling nitrates. In this regard, MACRO ALGAE are particularly effective. What you'll discover with SBMarine is how to manage interractions in a tank. The  first test that awaits us with STABILIZATION is competition. Competition for living space, competition for nutrients, light, etc. GHA will try to invade the aquarium like Cyanobacteria did and was assimilated by Copepods… It will compete with  Caulerpa (for example)…  Caulerpa will retaliate by emitting chemical toxins to neutralize the invasion (a real chemical warfare). Well you see what I mean and it's one of many reasons why a responsible aquarist must perform regular partial water changes.
I’m telling you right now: it is impossible to stop the proliferation of GHA.  We will simply control and stabilize their development. How ?? With GHA consumers. Remember: BALANCE and STABILITY! GHA are invaluable and we do not want to eliminate them but merely control their development.  
The most extraordinary with STABILIZATION is that you are doing something quite useful: RECYCLING !!  Macro Algae; CAULERPA, CHAETOMORPHA, HALIMEDA... must be pruned regularly (for several reasons) and can be used in the diet of specimens with special needs for instance.


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ME...   ???...... :(--)                I RECYCLE 'Pods !!!

To conclude on Balance, Stability and Recycling:

here is a brief illustrated overview of Basic Principles

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MERLIN (Synchiropus Splendidus) arrived at SBMarine in early December 2012. His juvenile male size was: 3 cm. In April 2013, MERLIN measured 4.5cm. So it seems a normal growth rate. With a very similar diet to the one he knows in nature: copepods, amphipods, annelids and GHA. His life expectancy should be the same as it would be in nature (18 to 20 years). Which is absolutely impossible to achieve in a sterile tank. Where it would be reduced to 2 or 3 years and in appalling conditions. It’s nearly impossible to substitute commercial diets.

Immediately to the left of MERLIN, we see a clear light area ... This is the work of Merlin who maintains his kingdom fiercely and with diligence. In this tank, there are enough food resources to add one or two females. By trimming GHA, Merlin allows young Anthelia Polyps to spread without risk of being stifled.

If you have never seen anything but stunted or starved Synchiropus ... Be my guest: Merlin is in great shape and it shows !!

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Shrimp are experts in extracting every bit of food scattered in the tank. Despite their small size, they must inhabit large tanks. Anthelia in turn, feeds three ways: Symbiosis with zooxanthella (that can develop under intense lighting: not required) / Filtration of suspended Micro-Plankton / Direct absorption of phosphates. So it is very comfortable in a SBMarine tank. This is not the case in a sterile tank where the action of photosynthesis alone is not enough to provide it with all vital nutrients.

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ANTHELIA (Sansivia Flava)

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Fromia Indica: (maximum size: 15cm). Fromia Starfish kind are detritus and bacteria feeders essentially ... Needless to say they wither quickly in a sterile tank !

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ORION reminds you that: BALANCE and STABILITY

Are Synonymous with temperature and density.



This is why: an air conditioner is a pre-requisite for the room where you install your SBMarine tank.

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Some species do best in Marine Biological System. Due to the abundance of Zooplankton and Macro Algae. This Six Line Wrass shows a well rounded abdomen ... And yet he refuses all food distributions for other fish ! It's simple, Bip-Bip feeds on platyhelminthes, copepods, amphipods, marine worms and newly hatched brine shrimp. In the same way as a mandarin fish, for example. Some specimens undoubtedly prefer a natural menu and in some cases this is the only option!

We Thank You for your Visit

Sylvain Bériault
owner SBMarin:
 caretaker / breeder / nutritionist / graphic designer / photographer / writer / publisher / relations officer / webmaster
at your service

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In the center, we recognize a healthy colony of blue/green dynoflagellates. Have no fear, there are less bad bacteria here than among our own microbial fauna ... The dynoflagellates are polymorphic and adopt a color according to water conditions. They are also highly reliable pollution level indicators. From  green (acceptable), blue/green,  red (fair), to purple… (and then it becomes serious doctor) to black ... At this point, lots of ugly toxic words suddenly appear such as; Indol, Scatol, Sulphur dioxide, Carbonic gas, Ammonia, and the list goes on… Fortunately at SBMarine: we eliminate these problems rather than accumulating them.
Something is obvious on this picture. Notice the various colored zones: Green Alga (bottom left). Dynoflagellates (center). Center right, a circle appears on the glass: the zooplankton larvae that were drifting freely in the water, feeding on giant mollecules, are now settling on the glass. This is the second stage of their development; They now graze cyanobacteria. In order to develop Cyanobacteria extracted the same pollutants: phosphates / amino acids / giant molecules / sacharides as the drifting microspic zooplankton. Who in turn devour harmful algae !!! Curious thing: Copepod colonies always graze in a circle, it's their signature ... When Copepods have eliminated most of Cyanobacteria: true algae (filamentous or not) will be able to develop (bottom left). Beneficial algae (all unicellular) can not grow or survive in pollution. They are therefore also (true algae) and more positively, a good indicator of water quality!
At this stage one can easily see Copepods with a magnifying glass (5X/10X). They are whitish / silver.

Life is teeming here…

And life is precisely what interests us at SBMarine !!