Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Marine Depot Wins Circle of Excellence Platinum Award

A thank you is in order: THANK YOU, MARINE DEPOT CUSTOMERS!

We were recently honored with our first-ever BizRate® Platinum Award.

This is the first time we've received the Platinum designation and the second time we've been honored with a Circle of Excellence, recognized as a Gold Honoree in 2005.

Why are we offering you our sincerest gratitude? Because these awards are based upon feedback from shoppers like you!

Over 3000 quality, consumer-rated online merchants were considered for this year's awards and millions of customer surveys were reviewed between September 1, 2007 and August 15, 2008 to determine this year’s 81 winners.

The awards are based on the direct feedback, collected at the point-of-sale and after delivery of goods, from customers concerning seven key satisfaction metrics including:

  1. Overall Satisfaction
  2. Product Selection
  3. Ease of Finding Products
  4. Repurchase Intent
  5. Product Met Expectations
  6. On-time Delivery
  7. Customer Support
This victory is especially satisfying for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost, it is decided by customers ... and that is the greatest honor of all! Second, we've made a lot changes to our website and have been working hard to improve all facets of our business. It is humbling and gratifying to know our efforts are resonating with customers because a lot of the changes we've incorporated were based upon customer feedback collected through surveys and polls

Thanks again for all your kind (and not so kind) feedback.

It all helps us shape our business to better serve you. And don't think for a second that we're done ... we've got a lot of great new projects in the pipeline to further improve the shopping and education areas of our site so please continue to let us know how we're doing!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Deal of the Week


New this Week, 9/29/08

PFO Solaris I5 LED Aquarium Light Fixtures
The new "made in the USA" design produces PAR light output levels equal to a 250W MH 20K. It uses 40% less energy than the Metal Halide Fixtures it replaces. The life of the LED`s is
50,000 hours, so it almost eliminates metal halide and fluorescent bulb replacements. All heat is radiated up and away from the tank Therefore, it does not heat the water like Metal Halides or Fluorescents. This eliminates the need for Chillers. The room air conditioner needs to work 1/2 as much since the light fixture produces only half the heat of Metal Halides which saves even more energy over traditional lighting methods.

Tropical Science Biolabs Nitromax - Freshwater 14.5oz
Highly conce
ntrated, pure blend of nitrosomonas and nitrobacter bacteria for super-quick cycling and establishment of biological filter. Non-Pathogenic. No heterotrophic “filter” bacteria. More than four times the amount of nitrifyers than other product on the market. Nitromax gives the aquarium owner a head start in the race against ammonia and nitrite build-up. A well established aquarium takes substantial time and care to develop, and Nitromax takes the guesswork out of cycling an aquarium by supplying billions of live nitrosomonas and nitrobacter bacteria that instantly begin to process toxic ammonia into harmless nitrites.

Tropical Science Biolabs Nitromax - Marine 16oz
Nitromax Ma
rine gives you a head start in the race against ammonia and nitrite build up. A well-established aquarium takes substantial time and care to develop, and many fish could be lost in the process. Nitromax Marine takes the guesswork out of cycling an aquarium by supplying billions of beneficial live Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter bacteria that quickly begin to process toxic ammonia into less harmful nitrates.

Danner Model 2 Supreme Pumps w/ Fractionating Impellers
Danner Supreme Utility Pumps with fractionating impeller, f
ront-mounted venturi and noise-suppressor. Perfect upgrade or replacement pump for protein skimmers and ideal for use as a saltwater or freshwater aquarium pump. Unique, powerful fractionating ceramic/magnetic impeller, adjustable front-mounted venturi and an 18” vinyl aerating tube fresh air source with noise-suppressing muffler. Saltwater enthusiasts will instantly recognize the benefits of the powerful, superfine oxygenated water stream.

Coralife Aqualight 250 Watt HQI Pendant
The Coralife Aqualight 250 watt HQI Pendant includes a compact 10,000K double-ended HQI metal halide lamp with a retractable lamp cord. The HQI lamp emits the highest light-output-per-watt available that is preferred in most reef aquariums. The refracted light from the pendant produces shimmering, dappled-lighting effects that simulate properties of natural sunlight. This innovative pendant brings out vibrant colors and provides perfectly-balanced lighting for all types of coral and marine life.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Progress on the 54 Gallon Tank

It has been a little while since I have been able to post any updates as work has been, well, crazy for me. Between helping with the upcoming Marine Depot Catalog and writing for the Marine Depot Education Center, my time to get the tank going has been limited.

But I have man
aged to get the tank almost ready to go.

To get everyone up to speed on where I am at: the tank is finally being filled with DI water (should be done filling by this afternoon), I ordered my substrate (two 15lb bags of Caribsea Seaflor Fiji Pink Reef Sand and one 10lb bag of Caribsea Arag-alive Indo-Pacific black) and the sand arrived on Tuesday ... I even splurged and picked up the Neptune Systems Moonlights (2 bulb system).

At this point, I h
ave all the equipment needed to get the tank running and will hopefully transfer the live rock into the tank this coming weekend.

The live rock I am using came from a fellow hobbyist who was downsizing their tank. Since they had some left over rock, I decided I would pick it up from them. I actually got the rock back in June but because the tank wasn't yet ready, I ended up putting it into a Rubbermaid Brute trash can with saltwater and a couple of powerheads. The rock had some undesirable algae on it, so I figured the dark timeor as some people call it, "cooking" the rockwould help with this. While this will also affect the amount of coralline algae left on the rock, the bad algae will also (hopefully) die off.

Top Off: With our reef tanks generally being open top tanks, we tend to get a good amount of evaporation from them. I could probably keep up with this by simply dumping in some water daily, but why not automate this?

There are many different choices for auto top off systems, but I have been using the SpectraPure Power Liquid Level Controller for a few years now and have been very happy with it. It has an air-pressured sensor that senses the water level within the sump. When the water level drops, it energizes a plug that a pump is connected to. I use an Aqualifter pump to pull water out of a water jug that then pushes the water into the sump through airline tubing. The only thing I don't like about the LLC is the way the sensor mounts in the sump. It uses suctions cups and anyone who has used suction cups in their fish tanks knows they eventually fail. To prevent this from occurring, I actually super-glued the sensor to an inexpensive algae magnet, now the sensor will not fall off and if I need to move it up or down it is very easy to do.

So with that, hopefully my next posting will be able to po st some pictures of a tank that is up and running and go over some of my ideas of what I want to stock the tank with.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New "Made in the USA" PFO Solaris LED Lighting in Stock

We received our first shipment of PFO's new Solaris LED light fixtures a week ago today. This is worth noting since the new Solaris LEDs are from the I5 series. The Solaris G, H and I4 were manufacturered in China, versus these made in the states versions which are reputed to be of a much higher quality (thus costing a little more). The old models are still being sold in some LFS and online, so just in case you were looking for a price match (which we normally do) our customer service department wouldn't be able to accomodate you in this instance since all we carry now are the new I5 series. We sold out of all the others some time ago. We, of course, have these lights before anyone else so please check 'em out when you've got some time and leave a comment if you've got some info, experience or links to share.

In case you're not familiar with the Solaris, it is an LED lighting system designed to replace traditional metal halide and fluorescent lighting fixtures for reef aquariums. The current design produces PAR light output levels equal to a 250-watt metal halide 20K lamp and uses 40% less energy. The life of LEDs is somewhere in the ballpark of 50,000 hours, nearly eliminating the need for bulb replacements. Another difference between LEDs, metal halides and fluorescents is that LEDs will radiate heat up and away from the aquarium. With your water temperature unchanged, you may not even need a chiller (that is, if you ever needed one in the first place). The onboard AC works only half the time since the fixtures produce half the heat of metal halides, saving you considerable dough over time.

A built-in microprocessor controls the Solaris, eliminating the need for timers and allows the user to dim actinic blue LEDs, white LEDs, lunar actinic blue LEDs and lunar actinic white LEs independently from 0 to 100 percent. This dimming capability presents many opportunities: light can be adjusted from 6.5K to 22K (and anywhere in between) to set the ideal color temperature. Sunrise, daylight, cloud cover, sunset and the lunar cycle can all be set independently.

We have 6 sizes available, ranging in price from $948.00 to $3,998.00. It may seem like a lot of money up front but the time and money you'll save in the long run make these a worthwhile investment. Plus, we offer no payments for 90 days on all of these lighting fixtures if you pay with Bill Me Later.

Monday, September 22, 2008

New this Week, 9/22/08

Current USA 36" 39W T5HO 420nm Actinic SlimPaq Bulb
SlimPaq high output T5 lamps are designed to deliver the maximum amount of lumens from the shortest possible length. The result is an extremely bright lamp that can produce nearly twice the lumen
output of a standard T8 fluorescent lamp in similar length. SlimPaq T5HO lamps feature remarkable color consistency and rendition. This consistency is essential for simulating the wavelengths of natural light found on living reefs.

Kent Marine Purple Tech 16oz
Kent Marine is pleased to announce the release of our Purple Tech. Kent Marine Purple Tech is designed to provide ionically-balanced nutrients required by coralline algae and stony corals. Formulated with precise ratios of natural seawater components. Raises concentrations of calcium, magnesium, strontium, trace minerals and carbonates. Contains a natural plant growth regulator.

Tunze Nano Wavebox 6206
TUNZE® Nano Wavebox and Wavebox are suitable wave generators for all reef biotopes. They produce oscillating waves which produce water movement almost identical to reef zones. Nano Wavebox and Wavebox are controlled by means of Wavecontroller 6091, which utilizes the principal of resonance frequency to create wave motion. The resonance frequency is set on the Wavecontroller; it is the frequency, at which the waves can reach the maximum height in the aquarium. At very little power consumption, an enormous water movement is produced very efficiently. All of the water in the tank is in movement, which means that water also laps around areas behind stones.
In large tanks, a Wavebox 6212 and a Wavebox Extension 6212.50 should be fitted, the latter being a Wavebox 6212 without Wavecontroller 6091 which is used as an extension. Nano Wavebox and Wavebox can be fitted in any corner of the aquarium.

B&W Ocellaris Clownfish at 6 Months Old

We have a new video of our Black & White Ocellaris Clownfish babies to share.

If you're new to the blog or need a little background, check out this
past post to get caught up.

Visit the Bluewater Aquaculture Blog
for the full history of our B&W clown babies.

Deal of the Week


Friday, September 19, 2008

Blue Zoo Radio launches Website

Blue Zoo Radio recently launched their own website, independent from the Sports Talk Network domain where the show originated.

Not familiar with Blue Zoo? It's one of the few radio shows on planet earth dedicated to the aquarium hobby.

Listen to archived shows online or download them to your iPod to get caught up so you can dive right into the next episode tonight (and every Monday night) @ 9 PM EST.

Blue Zoo is certainly garnering a lot of buzz. Just check out this video...

Reef-A-Palooza 2008

Wow ...
Reef-A-Palooza time again already?

Can't say we mind, though. Reef-A-Palooza is one of the best aquarium-oriented events out there. Plus, it's on our home turf ... good 'ol Orange County, California.

New to this blog or the reef aquarium hobby? If so, lets get you up-to-speed on what the heck Reef-A-Palooza is!

The main purpose of Reef-A-Palooza is to provide an enjoyable, positive atmosphere conducive to the education and trade of both aquarium product and knowledge. Vendors in attendance will range from large manufacturers to local and online retailers, rounded out by small livestock sellers and rare-species coral farmers.

New products are unveiled and showcased each year and tons of goodies are raffled off. In the past, Reef-A-Palooza has been a one-day event, but this year they'll be so much going on they've expanded it into a two-day extravaganza.

Last year upwards of 1,500 hobbyists made the trek to the OC Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, CA. It's likely that number will be even higher this year now that the event will be going on all weekend long. I would speculate that the crowd won't
appear any larger since guests will have more time to see everything.

Speakers this year will include Anthony Calfo, Bob Fenner, Charles Delbeek and Jake Adams.

For more info, visit the official
Reef-A-Palooza website. And don't forget to drop by the MarineDepot.com booth!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New this Week, 9/15/08

Tunze Turbelle® Stream 2 Controllable Pump (New Generation with Titanium Alloy Shaft) - Models 6105, 6205, 6305

The Turbelle® stream 6105, 6205 and 6305 pumps have been fitted with electronic speed controllers running on safety extra-low voltage. They are ideal for wave or tide simulation in every aquarium, and contain a new "intelligent" micro-processor controlled motor. As a standard feature, Turbelle® stream® is supplied with a magnetic holder, which enables uncomplicated attachment at any position on the aquarium pane from 19 mm (.74 in.) to 25 mm (.98 in.).

Two Little Fishies ReBorn Coarse Aragonite Calcium Reactor Media - 8.8lbs or 44lbs
Reborn™ coarse aragonite media for calcium reactors, composed of fossil skeletons of reef building corals sustainab
ly harvested from pristine sites in the Western Pacific. When dissolved, ReBorn replenishes calcium and carbonate alkalinity, strontium and trace elements. The coarse size of ReBorn allows for unrestricted water flow and easy diffusion of carbon dioxide, for maximum efficiency and easy maintenance of the calcium reactor. ReBorn dissolves completely and will not turn to mush!

Midwestern Aquatics Epoxonite Coral Frag Plugs - 25 per bag
Patent-pending epoxonite material is extremely crack resistant and will not crumble over time. The Carib-Sea Aragonite Top has a small diameter, perfect for fast coral over
growth. The plug also fits perfectly in live rock crevices or egg crates and includes a time-saving "glue pit" for maximum coral adhesion. Perfect for professionals and novices alike, Midwestern Aquatics Epoxonite Coral Frag Plugs will not affect tank pH, are priced affordably and include 25 per bag.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Deal of the Week


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New this Week, 9/8/08

Caribsea BioMagnet Clarifier 16 oz
Bio-Magnet™ Cloudy aquarium water is caused by fine suspended particles such as algae, silt, and bacteria. These particles usually carry a negative charge as does most filter media. The filter media, therefore, repels these particles, and water can remain continually cloudy. Bio-Magnet™ imparts a positive electrical charg as a bacterial attractant. This unique formula quickly seeks out and encapsulates the suspended particles, enabling the positively charged particles to be drawn to the filter. Particles caught in the filter are broken down by bacteria, and suspended bacteria are repositioned onto strata where they are more efficient. The result? Crystal clear water fast...and a better biological filter!

Caribsea BufferPlus 16 oz
Buffer Plus™ Still using the same old buffers? CaribSea`s Buffer Plus™ is the easy way to buffer an
d re-mineralize marine and reef aquariums. With both bicarbonate and time release aragonite buffer, Buffer Plus™ gives you the fast alkalinity adjustment and pH support you expect, as well as the long term stability you need for a healthy marine aquarium. Buffer Plus™ also contains calcium and trace elements such as strontium and magnesium for robust and vibrant corals, invertebrates, and coralline algae. Step up to the new technology of buffers, Buffer Plus™.

Caribsea ReefCal Ionic Calcium Solution 16oz
ReefCal is a 100,000 ppm ionic calcium solution. ReefCal will raise calcium levels by just over 5 ppm per capful (5 ml) per 25 gallons of water. Use a good quality test kit to moniter dissolved ca
lcium levels in the aquarium.

The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Robert M. Fenner (2nd Edition)
A Commonsense Handbook for Successful Saltwater Hobbyists. A bestseller since it first published in 1998, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist is one of the best-respected, time-tested, hands-on marine aquarium books ever published. This indispensable guide spotlights scientific research performed by leading authorities that deals with various aspects of biology, ecology, systematics, and conservation. This wealth of information couples with captive-care techniques of nationally recognized aquarists and fascinating, never-be
fore-seen photos. A Commonsense Handbook for Successful Saltwater Hobbyists. A bestseller since it first published in 1998, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist is one of the best-respected, time-tested, hands-on marine aquarium books ever published. This indispensable guide spotlights scientific research performed by leading authorities that deals with various aspects of biology, ecology, systematics, and conservation. This wealth of information couples with captive-care techniques of nationally recognized aquarists and fascinating, never-before-seen photos.

Deltec Hose Adaptor Fitting
This hose adaptor will step down from 10mm to 6mm pipework and is ideal for stepping down pipework to feed a calcium reactor, kalkwasser stirrer or nitrate filter. Most small pumps or powerheads have a 10mm outlet and you can therefore push a piece of standard flexible hose over the outside of it. Push the hose adaptor in the other end and you will immediately step down to 6mm which is suitable for airline or the Deltec silicone hose.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The World's Largest

I didn't think it was possible. But somehow, someone did it.

There is now an ocean in the middle of downtown Atlanta, GA. I wouldn't have believed it myself, but I had the chance to see it with my own eyes during a break from this weekend's MACNA show

The Georgia Aquarium, opened in November 2005, is home to over 100,000 fish. The most amazing exhibit, Ocean Voyager, houses 3 whale sharks, a Manta Ray, and hundreds of other fish. The acrylic of the Ocean Voyager's main viewing window, measuring 2 feet thick, holds back over 6 million gallons of water. At its greatest dimensions, this exhibit is 284 feet long, 126 feet wide, and 30 feet deep. This tank is so immense that one cannot see any of the opposing walls; it really feels like being in the middle of the ocean.

Another exhibit that might interest our audience is the Pacific Barrier Reef Exhibit in the Tropical Diver Gallery. This is the largest coral reef tank in the country, holding 164,000 gallons of water. It houses an army of Tangs, Angels and Anthias, totaling 87 different species and 1,474 individuals. The live coral grows on 5 tons of live rock and gets natural sunlight through a 55’ x 65’ skylight fitted with Starphire™ glass.

During the winter, light is supplemented with 60,000 watts of metal halide lighting. Even more impressive is the tank's stunning population of corals, showcasing 69 species and 753 individual colonies, most of which were donated from hobbyists and other public aquariums.

This trip to the Georgia Aquarium really is one of the most breathtaking experiences in my life. The sheer size can only be compared to the open ocean. My words can not do it justice. You definitely need to plan a trip to Atlanta to experience it from yourself.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Video of Snail Spawning in Reef Aquairum

I was watching my 240-gallon reef tank one evening recently with the main lights off and only the actinic lights illuminated. I was hoping to video one of my wrasses burying itself in the sand as it went to bed. I think they were embarrassed because I was watching; they hung around their favorite sand patch way past their normal bedtime. While I was waiting, I noticed a small cloud in the upper corner of my tank. I realized upon closer examination that one of my snails was spawning! I zoomed in with the camera to see if I could get a shot of it. To my surprise, the snail continued to spawn for well over 5 minutes. I have no idea how many gametes were released, but it was a lot. Of course, by the time I had satisfied my voyeuristic curiosity, I had already missed my chance to catch the wrasses burrowing into the sand … but tomorrow is another night. Little things like this are reason I enjoy having a reef tank. Viewing at night, sometimes with the lights out, can prove very interesting. (Text and video courtesy of Steve from the MarineDepot.com Customer Service Department)

Deal of the Week

SpectraPure Maxpure 180 GPD RO System

Regularly $249.99
Now Only $179.99


Learn More...