There’s Table of Contents, And Then There is What These People Had to Say

I could talk about my guides but I’d rather share with you feedback from people who have used, and benefitted from one of my several guides. Don’t miss the tips that you can use on your tank as well.

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Comments for this article (27)

  • Mark H. says:

    Good tips Mark and it is good to see your tank in the background. 🙂

  • Matt says:

    Oh goody… free extras on the guides 😀

    Thanks Mark… looking forward to seeing the extra info… Got to say when I bought the Cruise Control guide I said to myself ‘What the Hell have I been doing all this time?!?’ Now things are on track and I have more time to enjoy my tank with my kids that chasing them around trying to stop them getting into what I was doing!

  • Adam says:

    Thanks Mark, I am trying to get the rituals down with my reef tank, I find water changes are where I am worst.

  • Abdullah says:

    Hi Mark:
    I just bought this guide and I’m looking forward to read it and apply your advise in my nano reef tank. I’ll post love or hate message after I go through it.
    Just kidding 🙂
    I’m sure I’ll like it and I’ll email you some feedback.
    Saudi Arabia

  • Ethan says:

    The guides were very helpful to me when I was setting up my first saltwater tank. Even after months of heavy research before hand, I still learned a lot from the guides and it was very helpful having all the info consolidated in an easy to understand format.

    Ps. Mark I would love to see a video or two featuring exotic tanks. Similar to the jellyfish exibit you visited in a recent video, Maybe you could interview someone with an octopus or cuttlefish or sea horses and give a run down of their tanks and whatnot. Just an idea 😉 would love to see some not-so-everyday tanks with a Mr. Saltwater Tank twist!

    …pretty please haha 🙂

  • Mark H. says:

    Mark, I vote for a video on a seahore setup. After having a angelfish hatchery and a coral farm setup, I would like to dabble in the ponies alittle.

  • Jason says:

    I got the Tank Cruise Control e-book today.


    Mark’s writing style is just like on camera which makes it a fun lighthearted read. I can literally imagine him narrating it as I read.


    These are extremely hard to write as I really enjoy your videos and don’t want to be a complainer.

    I don’t think this 89 page (Actually only 64 pages as the appendixes are included in there twice) book is worth $37. I’d say it’s worth $5-10 at most.

    If I had read the Table of Contents of this book I probably would’ve gotten one of the other books instead.

    This book is useful if you can afford an aquarium controller unit but don’t want to read the technical manual. Or if you have never heard of a Clean Up Crew or “Plus One” equipment buying. The ritual idea was useful but you already covered it in the video for free. I don’t consider myself a reef expert but there wasn’t anything covered that I hadn’t heard elsewhere for free.

    After reading this book I am extremely hesitant to buy any of the other books as I don’t know if they will end up being wastes of money like this one was. Writing this review sucked as I really want to support your efforts.

  • Jason-

    Thanks for your feedback and what you wrote certainly doesn’t fall into the “complaining” category and I’m sorry you feel like it was a waste of money. Certainly everyone is entitled to their opinion and I wish yours could have been different.

    I am also going to fix the duplicate appendix error. Thanks for pointing that out to me.

    I’m curious…did you also watch the videos that came with your purchase? I’d like to know if you felt like the videos were valuable to you or not.

    I understand where you are coming from in terms of the aquarium controller unit as controllers don’t fit into everyone’s budget or list of things they want on their tank. I’ve found them so useful in getting my tank on cruise control that I just couldn’t leave them out of the book. Between running my dosing pumps and automatically turning things off like heaters or top off pumps when doing a water changes, I don’t run a tank anymore without them as they make my life so much easier. Even my quarantine tank is controlled by an aquarium computer.

    Everyone has to make their own decision if they want a controller or not and people who have purchased the Cruise Control guide have found it valuable despite not wanting to purchase a controller. To each their own and people will take different things from the guide.

    Thanks again for your feedback and your support of my show.

  • Mike Johnson says:

    Love the way you’re setting up your new tank. You’re right up with new technologies and what’s important and what isn’t. It’s almost the same as my new tank in progress. We have a couple different likes and dislikes. You know, “tank personalities”! I’m very impressed.

  • Jason Reynolds says:

    I did watch all of the videos. They illustrated your points well but I don’t think any of them were extremely necessary. I think part of the problem is that I was expecting the book to be a “magic bullet” of Reef Junkie secrets. It ended up being more like a book for newbies which isn’t bad. but when the information is something you would also learn picking up a $10 book at the pet store than $37 seems excessive.

    A video about the basic differences between Softies, LPS, and SPS or a chapter on the benefits of a Clean Up Crew were things that even a Tank Dabbler would be able to find out about in a $10 book, or DVD, at the pet store. The Dosing Pump section in the appendices is great if you have that particular controller. But otherwise its useless.

    I REALLY love your show and hate to complain about this. It’s not bad information. But I don’t see it as worth $37.

  • Matt says:

    Hi Jason,

    It’s great to see feedback from others that buy the guides… Not all of it applies to myself as I’m in the UK and certain things aren’t available to us here… But there are always substitutes… 🙂

    What I am interested in is that you feel the information within the guides could be covered by a cheap book or DVD… Certainly I’ve never come across one that contains all the information coupled with the vids… I’d really be interested in a couple of links to these… I like to expand my knowledge of the marine hobby information base so as to be able to recommend to friends or fellow forum users… 🙂

    More importantly is that in buying the guides you get Mark’s support with them… Any detail can be expanded upon with him and in my case several suggestions/get around’s to solve some of the UK/US differences were discussed clearly and simply via email… Such subjects included tank controllers and routines to work around some family based time constraints…. So for me I didn’t just get the guide, I also got solid and reliable advice to fine tune every aspect of my cruise control aspirations… 😀

    Most importantly… Perhaps you’d like to talk with Mark about what you were looking for in more detail… Since he likes to update and expand upon the guides regularly (they’re therefore not a static source of information like a book or DVD which can quickly become outdated as we all know) there’s no reason why some of your questions or ‘magic bullet’ prayers can’t be answered 😉

    Hope to talk more with you fella… 😀

  • Mike Johnson says:

    I’ve got to say I have many books by Julian Sprung, J. Charles Delbeek, Eric Borneman, Martin Moe, Michael S. Paletta, Phillip Hunt, Anthony Calfo, Robert Fenner, Dr. Shimek, Scott Michael and they all cost more than $40. and some over $100. My point is a lot of these guys aren’t doctors with degrees, they’re just guys with a whole lot of experience. Maybe you, Jason, should write a book; there’s certainly a market for it.

  • Jacob says:

    Hey Mark,
    I wanted to tell you that I was getting a new 93 gallon marineland aquarium and my hydor koralia smart wave pump controller well, whenever I plug in my hydor evolution into the controller it makes the propellor spin the opposite direction so it ends up pushing water bakwards my next thought was to get the Tunze nano wavebox is this a good option for my new 93 gallon or not?

  • Jason says:

    I don’t consider myself an expert by any means. I do think Mark has a lot of experience as seen in his free videos. I just felt like this book, and the accompanying videos, weren’t as informative as his free videos. I do think his point about developing a ritual is extremely important and great but he already gives it away for free in the above free video.

  • Jason says:

    Jacob – If you want the most bang for your buck get an Eco Tech Marine MP40W ES unit. It won’t take up as much real estate in your tank as a wave box would. Also since the moving parts are outside the tank it won’t heat up your aquarium.

  • BobbyReef says:

    You can’t put a price on having a successful tank. Mark has taken out all the guess work and long research hours for us. To me that is worth way more then $37

    as always, Your the man Marky Mark

  • Mike Johnson says:

    Couple things. Wow, I would have traded in most of my library (and a bribe) for that information a few years ago. Say, you bought Phillip Hunt’s book and his concepts were good ideas, but, you really didn’t want to set your system up that way; would you write him and tell him his book wasn’t worth the money? And, really, I concede; you really should write a book. My best wishes for you.

  • Jason says:

    Mike Johnson/BobbyReef – Have you read the book? I’ve seen everything in his book covered all over the place. Much of the content is already available in his free videos.

    I am not trying to bash Mark as I think he’s a great guy and I think his videos are excellent. It isn’t a matter of not wanting to set my system up his way. It’s that the majority of the content is common knowledge that is readily available elsewhere. If you have never heard that the bigger your tank is the more stable the water will be, or that SPS corals are harder than LPS Corals which are harder than Soft Corals, or that clean up crews clean up your tank go ahead and spend $37. What long hours or research did it take to figure these things out?

    I am in-between a tank dabbler and a reef enthusiast. I haven’t spent years of my life researching marine tanks and even I knew everything that was covered. I am not saying I am an expert and should write a book. I’m saying if you are going to charge money for information at least put stuff in your book that isn’t already available for free in your instructional videos.

    If you have actually read the book and disagree with me please show me where I am wrong. If you are just having a knee jerk reaction because you like Mr. Saltwater Tank TV and don’t want to see him criticized get over it. I didn’t want to criticize him. I really didn’t. I am a huge Mr. Saltwater Tank TV/Mark Callahan fan.

    I think it is better to be honest so he can improve the product, or lower the price, to make it worth the money. I’ve listed almost everything in the book (I forgot to mention his section on setting up a dosing pump). If these concepts are new to you and you want to spend $37 go for it.

  • Matt says:

    Jason – Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I know for fact that Mark will appreciate your comments… However in that price you missed out a lot of smaller insights and of course (which you haven’t commented on) my points in the post above…

    What Mark gives in his guide is a lot of information but also the bigger picture on how he see’s those who choose to follow his methods (however well known they are they still have to be mentioned for those that are new to the hobby as I’m sure you’re aware 😉 ) The guide is one part of all of Mark’s guides… The majority is going to have to be common sense… Sometimes we don’t apply all the pieces of what is rather a big puzzle… MSWT gives you everything spelled out and explained…

    Kudos that you have already got the info all together… 😀 I wonder if like me you got that info before finding MSWT and wished it had all been there for you like I did, rather than trawl through piles of garbage to find the good stuff over many weeks? lol

    The question is, do you follow Mark’s methods and have an amazing tank you’d possibly go to jail for if anyone dared mess with it, or are you looking for ways to improve on your tank? 🙂

  • Jason says:

    I had heard the majority of the info years before I heard of his show. Most of them were covered in intro to aquariums articles or books. I am always looking for ways to improve my tank which was why I bought the book. I am hoping the rest of the guides are phenomenal. He has offered to let me try one of the other books as a replacement and I hope to have nothing but good things to say about it.

  • Chris Kennedy says:

    i agree with everything you had said about Mark guides.they do have a lot of free info in them and you have to have common sense in this not putting a shark in with a Clownfish.Mark guides are great for someone that would think that would be ok. and it can be something to use to make sure your not over looking something if you have a problem.i do think the price on the guides is a little up there for the info but if your just starting out it is a great place to start for info. i would like to be able to download the videos and if i have a reef buddy that don’t know as much as i do and would not be able to read the guides so i don’t have to worry about them or my tank or if i miss a call from them because i can’t share the guides with them. i’m not saying post it some place but i paid $47 to $37 for each of the guides so just i can read them and so he can make money for everyone that reads his guides. i think Mark show is Great and i will stop what i’m doing to watch them.

  • Jason says:

    I feel absolutely terrible for commenting on this thread. I totally support what Mark is doing but I feel like my comments have caused him harm. I want to publicly apologize to him and ask everyone to disregard what I have said. I have asked Mark to take down my earlier comments but I haven’t heard back from him. I feel like a complete ass because I was so busy trying to explain myself that I didn’t realize what harm my comments may be doing to him and his business. If I was a complete Newbie his Cruise Control would’ve been great.

  • Matt says:

    No harm done Jason… 😉 Honest feedback is a good thing… The worst thing it can do is prompt Mark to listen, respect what’s been said and react in a positive manner… This is what he’s best at as I’m sure most folk will have noticed by now… 😀 I’m sure he’ll have contacted you with some sort of recompense regarding your thoughts on the guide by now… 🙂

    I feel the guide is suitable for newbie and intermediate and it doesn’t hurt those with experience to cover old ground, as the basics are where the important bits are as regards being successful in the hobby… It’s easy to forget the details sometimes and I’ll admit to picking up a few good tips and tricks along the way… 😀

  • Chris Kennedy says:

    Like Matt said Honest feedback is a good thing. i don’t think you was bash Mark at all.if he don’t know what people like or don’t like about his guides or something else how will he know to fix it or do things different. like adding more videos to his guides is a great thing.he does work with you if you don’t like his guides.he will try to fix a video or if something stop working for you as fast as he can.there is somethings i don’t like and a lot of things i like about his guides.i do thing $25 to $35 would be a good price for the guides but who i’m i to tell mark his work is not worth that much.i’m not saying they should be free.i think mark knows i give him a hard time so someone else will not and i say what i feel and what i think.i’m not trying to hurt Mark.i’m just a old school guy and i’m starting to set my ways but i’m willing to grow with the Mark if you or anyone took the way i worded something wrong or if i have been to hard on you i’m sorry for that but i will still stand by what i mean i just might not have worded it right.

  • Jason says:

    Mark could you e-mail me? I know I must have pissed you off and I didn’t mean to. I’ve tried e-mailing you but am getting no replies.

  • Daniel Ransom says:

    Somehow I missed this video…

    Great vid Mark and I think the cruise control guide is going to be worth a purchase 🙂

  • Louis says:

    Hi Mark,

    I’m new to saltwater tanks and I’m glad I found your videos and website. Awesome information for anyone at different levels of experience. Your writing style and video’s are funny and informative and very easy to watch.

    Could you send me an email on how I can purchase some of your guides:
    No nonsense guide, ultimate guide to tank cruise control and any other guides you offer.


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