Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hot Nudi Action

Are you ready to see some hot nudibranch pictorials?

I know I am! recently posted a 2-part photo essay containing some beautiful nudibranch photos shot by diver/photographer Mike Bartick here in our home state of California.

We just wanted to provide you a link so you can enjoy them, too. Here's
part 1 and part 2.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009 Firefox Search Plugin Now Available

Did you know you can use the search box in the Firefox browser to search

When you download Firefox, a number of search engines are included but you can easily
add more.

Download our search plugin so you always have's search engine at your fingertips.

New this Week

Hydor Mini Aquarium Heater 15-Watt
The Hydor Mini Aquarium Heater was designed for aquariums up to 10 gallons. It measures 15.8 x 6.2 cm and is 15-watts. This heater is perfect for increasing temperature/degrees Fahrenheit/Celsius of aquarium water (compared to room temperature).

Danner Pondmaster HY-Drive Pond/Waterfall Pump
Pondmaster Hy-drive Pumps are even more versatile! With a rotating connector the pump can be placed anywhere and the tubing can be manipulated with ease. These rugged pumps are designed for use in ponds, handle long, continuous duty operatio
n, and can be plumbed inline or submerged in the pond. The motor is thermally protected and extremely energy efficient. The black color blends in to surroundings.

Current USA Hanging Arm System
Current USA's Hanging Arm System was designed for Outer Orbit, SunDial HQI, Nova Extreme Pro and SunPod light fixtures. The hanging arm system can be aquarium or wall-m
ounted. Please note the light fixture itself is not included.

Current USA SunDial HQI Pendant 1x150W 10K HQI / 2x32W Dual SunPaq Actinics w/FREE Hanging Arm System
The PowerPaq 10,000K HQI metal halide will make your corals thrive with stunning intensity and awesome color rendition. Packed with lumens, the 10,000K provides the natural shi
mmering effect found on coral reefs. Coupled with a highly efficient electronic driving system and SunPaq Dual Actinic lamps, the SunDial HQI produces more lumens per watt than any comparable lamp or fixture.

CaribSea D-Chlor-It Max Water Conditioner 16oz
D-Chlor-It™ is your one step water conditioner that does all you need to turn ordinary tap water into aquariumsafe water. D-Chlor-It™ not only neutralizes chlorine and chloramines, but also ammonia, heavy metals, even copper. At the same time, D-Chlor-It™ replaces the skin “slime coat”, adds essential electrolytes, boosts alkalinity, and reduces fish stress. D-Chlo
r-It™ even detoxifies nitrite.

CaribSea AmmoBuster Extreme Water Conditioner 16oz
AmmoBuster™ Extreme is the one step water conditioner that does it all! AmmoBuster™ Extreme will not only eliminate ammonia, chlorine and chloramine, but detoxify heavy metals, even copper, as well. At the same time, AmmoBuster™ Extreme
will replace a fishes protective “slime coat”, add essential electrolytes, boost alkalinity, and reduce fish stress. AmmoBuster™ Extreme even neutralizes nitrite!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

AquaticLife’s New Principal SKIMMER!

Flipping through television channels recently I stumbled upon an episode of The Simpsons called “Homer and Lisa Exchange Crosswords.”

At one point in the episode, Superintendent Chalmers shouts “skimmer!” and Principal Skinner leans out a window. Since this gag was probably only funny to aquarium hobbyists (I was ROTFLMAO), I immediately texted Jeff (who was, of course, already watching the episode); we had been calling him Principal “Skimmer” ever since we got into reefkeeping a year and a half ago.

Somehow this all got me thinking about my own tank. “I need a better protein skimmer,” I thought.

Confession time: I have, admittedly, cut corners (or tried to) many times by buying or building aquarium componentry with the cheapest supplies possible.

After buying several inexpensive protein skimmers (the TAAM Rio, AquaC Remora Nano and Current USA Fission Nano-Skimmer), I realized I was going to have to reach into my pockets again in order to get that thick, brown skimmate I truly desired.

My buying criterion was as follows: it’s gotta be compact, efficient … and I don’t want to pony up $150 for Tunze’s Nano DOC.

That is when the aquatic gods spoke to me. They whispered, “Stop wasting so much time watching cartoons. Oh, and check out AquaticLife’s new mini skimmer.”

The AquaticLife Internal Mini Protein Skimmer is a jewel; perfect for my nano tank in every way, namely affordability, efficiency and it’s compact and near-silent.

Setup was easy. An instructional CD is included so after watching that it only took about 10 minutes out of my Friday to get the sucker up and running. If you’ve ever tried to fine-tune a protein skimmer, you know what a hassle setup can sometimes be. Not the case here.

Although I must remark regulating the skimming power with the difficult-to-grasp knob was a challenge, especially since the settings are so sensitive. But I found this to be a positive because once I discovered the perfect amount of bubbles and skimmate, I was done. The see-through body of the AquaticLife Mini allows you to see the amount of bubbles it is producing while you are twisting the knob, which is helpful.

If you’re just skimming (hardy har) this article, I’ve pulled out a few highlights and observations:

  • Can be used with aquariums up to 30 gallon tanks
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 3 x 3 inches (the body is just a little taller than a US dollar)
  • Compact size
  • Effective in eliminating organic waste
  • Needle wheel impeller (helps increases air-to-water contact)
  • Tool-less clean up (remove two brackets to open)
  • Power cord length: 4.5 ft (conveniently tucked away inside the unit)
  • Pump wattage: 8W
  • Min. Clearance Above Water Line: 3.75 inches
  • Price: $59.99

And, for the sake of objectivity, the cons:

  • No drain fitting (If you are good a drilling you can make one with an elbow fitting)
  • Small collection cup volume: 3.4 oz
  • Collection cup dimensions: 2 x 2 x 3 inches
  • You need to put your hand in the tank to replace the cup after emptying it out
  • Lots of micro bubbles (can be solved by adding a course sponge in the return section)
  • If you fill water above the venturi hole, an awful sound emerges

So in conclusion, kiddies, I recommend this skimmer to anyone searching for a compact, inexpensive and efficient protein skimmer. AquaticLife, you have done your research!

I give it 9 out of 10, 4.5 Stars and two thumbs up. OK, I’m done now.

“Homer and Lisa Exchange Crosswords”

Chalmers: SIMPSON, what in the blue blazes are you doing to my hop-scotching grids?

Lisa: [a bit worried] I made them into a crossword.

Chalmers: Oh, well ha ha, I'm a bit of a puzzlehead myself. They help me wind down after a day of dealing with SKINNER!!

Skinner: [appears in the school window] You called?

Chalmers: Made a reference.

Skinner: My mistake. [disappears back in the window]

Chalmers: Lisa, I think you may be ready for this. [gives her a flier]

Lisa: Citywide Crossword Tournament? Oh thank you!

Chalmers: Ah, you're welcome, now uh, I have to go home and make sure my pool boy is using his SKIMMER!!

Skinner: [appears in the window again] You called?

Chalmers: You misheard.

Skinner: My mistake. [disappears back in the school window]

Florida regulators ban fish pedicures

Update to Flesh-eating fish give pedicures

Fish pedicures, a novelty service in which tiny carp nibble dead skin off feet, have been banned in Florida.

At its meeting late last month, the Florida Board of Cosmetology decided that fish pedicures would not be permitted in Florida cosmetology salons, said Alexis Antonacci, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

The board determined that fish pedicures violate two previously standing rules, she said. One rule prohibits animals or pets in salons, excluding those trained to assist the physically disabled. The other sets standards for pedicure sanitation requirements. Officials are concerned because there is no way to disinfect a pool of fish between services. Several other states have banned the procedure, including Texas, Washington, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Only "about a handful" of Florida salons offer fish pedicures, said Antonacci. Among them is The Spa in Orlando's Ivanhoe Village, which introduced the service last October.

"I've heard rumors about a ban, but have had no official notification," said Andy Swart, owner of The Spa, where fish pedicures are among the most popular services. He said he is undecided whether he will cease offering the pedicures immediately, or wait for notification from a health department inspector.

The decision by the Board of Cosmetology to ban fish pedicures "is step one," said Antonacci. "Next, inspectors will be informing [salon owners] of the decision, but they should cease the service immediately."

If salons are found performing fish pedicures, the salon and the cosmetologist may be subject to fines, she said.

Early last year, when fish pedicures were first introduced to the United States, there were no regulations relating to the service in Florida, Antonacci said. Spas were simply required to follow health codes for pedicure stations. Included was a requirement that tools be sanitized after each use.

"I asked the Department of Health about the sanitation of tools," said Swart. "They said they would not consider fish tools."


Monday, February 23, 2009

Deal of the Week

AquaEuroUSA Mighty Pro 1/13 HP Aquarium Chiller (For Tanks Up To 60 Gallons)

Reg. Price
Sale Price $299.99


Learn More...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

German man arrested for smuggling rare coral into US

American authorities arrested a German man and charged him Friday in a district court in Alexandria, Virginia for having smuggled endangered coral into the United States where he sold it, the Justice Department said.

US authorities arrested Gunter Wenzek late Wednesday at the Dulles Airport outside of Washington while en r
oute for a pet exhibition in Orlando, Florida.

In July 2008, Wenzek was indicted by a grand jury in Portland, Oregon, where he had smuggled the coral from reefs off the coast of the Philippines.

Wenzek, who is reported to own a firm in the German city of Essen, had been the subject of investigation since 2007 after he tried to ship a container full of fragments of endangered coral to Portland. Agents later seized two containers with a total of over 40 tons of coral he had shipped to a customer in the city.

"Protection of coral reefs continues to play an important role in the Department of Justice's environmental enforcement efforts both domestically and internationally," said John Cruden, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division.

"Preventing the further decline of coral reefs is of paramount importance in preserving our marine environment and fisheries," he added in a statement.

The coral fragments seized by the authorities were identified as stony corals protected by international law. The Department of Justice said Philippine law forbids exports of all coral.

"The removal of dead coral and live rock is of major concern for coral reefs, including those reefs protecting coastal communities from storms," said Andrew Bruckner, a National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration biologist. "These corals are the fundamental building blocks of the coral reef ecosystem."

SOURCE: The Local (by way of Surfrider Foundation's weekly e-newsletter, Soup)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Funny new Two Little Fishies Ad

Two Little Fishies' new pH-Balance™ advertisement pushes the envelope but the copy is genuinely apropos. Click on the image to view the full size version and let us know what you think.

Monday, February 16, 2009

New this Week, 2/16/09

AquaticLife Internal Mini Protein Skimmer 115
The AquaticLife Mini effectively removes organic waste in aquariums up to 30 gallons. The small, streamlined design and compact size is ideal for today's marine and nano reef aquariums. A needle wheel impeller increases air-to-water contact. 8 watt pump wattage, 3.4oz colletion cup and 10.5"x3"x3" footprint.

Aqua Medic Spacelight EX 10,000K HQI Pendant
Spacelight EX lights are packed with all the best attributes of the renowned Spacelight series, including the finest German bulb holders, superior reflectors and aluminum housings in a fine powd
er coat finish. They also boast the best of the Oceanlight series, with a variety of sizes and formats, competitive prices and all external ballasts. Even the T5 ballasts are externally cord mounted! All HQI lamps are powered by US made Reeflex Cube magnetic ballasts (included).

JBJ 8 Gallon Nano 180 Degree Half Moon Biotope Aquarium
JBJ introduces its’ plug-n-play 8 gallon freshwater modern aquarium. This beautiful glass aquarium offers 180 degrees of panoramic viewing with a flat back wall for spacing confining areas. This aquarium kit includes an integrated 3-stage top filter with m
echanical filter floss, activated carbon basket, ceramic ring basket, designated heater slot, and integrated pump (77 gph) that turns the aquarium over 9x an hour for a sparkling clean showroom display.

Deal of the Week

20000K Metal Halide Bulb - German Radium, Mogul Base

250 Watt:
$89.99 $71.99
400 Watt: $89.99 $71.99


150 Watt 20000K Metal Halide Bulb - Radium, Double Ended

Now $71.99


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Shark attacks diver in harbor

A navy diver punched a shark as he was being attacked in Sydney Harbor on Wednesday, fending off the predator but suffering severe injuries to his right hand and leg.

The 31-year-old man was taking part in anti-terrorism training in waters around the Garden Island Naval Base, near the Sydney Opera House, when the shark attacked.

"The attack occurred very quickly. Our diver punched the shark, I believe, a couple of times. The shark then disappeared very quickly," Australian Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Nigel Coates told reporters.

"It was all over, I'm told, in a few seconds."

There have been at least four other shark attacks in Australia this summer, one of them fatal, sparking a global media frenzy of "Jaws" proportions. Last month, there were three attacks in just two days.

In the latest case, the diver was swimming on the water surface when the attack happened. He was treated on a navy boat, before being rushed ashore and to a nearby hospital for surgery.

Coates said the man was in a serious condition.

"The patient said he saw something big and grey underneath him just before the attack," an ambulance spokesman said, adding the man had severe injuries to his right hand, buttocks and down to his knee on one leg.

SOURCE: Reuters

Whales serve as backdrop for aquarium yoga classes

There's the cobra, the cat and the downward-facing dog.

Now, the world's largest aquarium is introducing a new animal to complement those centuries-old yoga stances -- the beluga whale.

The Georgia Aquarium -- which with 80,000 animals and 8 million gallons of water is considered the biggest facility of its kind -- has begun offering yoga classes in front of the tank that holds its belugas, whose playful nature and graceful movements have made them a favorite of visitors since the aquarium opened in late 2005.

"The beluga whales are so slow and so smooth in their movements, which is indeed what this is about -- slow movements of the body," said Todd DeLaune, one of the instructors of the weekly sessions. "And I think the energy of the belugas corresponds with the practice that we do."

The classes -- billed as the first of their kind -- are part of an ongoing effort the aquarium has made since its inception to keep things fresh and keep visitors coming back, even in tough economic times. Read More...


Monday, February 09, 2009

New this Week, 2/9/09

San Francisco Bay Brand Freeze Dried Krill 2oz (56g) Jar
Excellent for your large freshwater and marine tropicals. Contains astaxanthin, a carotenoid that brings out the color of your fish. High in essential fatty and amino acids. Recommended for all freshwater cichlids, loaches, eels, & catfish and all saltwater groupers & eels.

Deal of the Week

Taam Rio Polario Turbine Dual-Action
Programmable Aqua Pump/Powerhead

Regularly $249.99 to $299.99

Now Only $199.99 to $239.99

20% off; Ships same-day with FREE shipping

Learn More...

Friday, February 06, 2009

Red Sea Max 130D Upgrades

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Google Earth, Google Ocean: mysteries of the seafloor are mapped for the first time

Since Google Earth launched in 2006 ­millions of people have used its virtual globe to "travel" around the planet without leaving home, climbing a digital version of Mount Everest and even flying into space thanks to the program.

Now the internet company plans to take on one of the last bastions of the unknown: the depths of the ocean.

At a high-profile event in San Francisco, Google is expected to announce the addition of vast amounts of underwater imagery and seabed maps to the Google Earth project.

The move will take Google Earth closer to its aim of creating a complete digital representation of the planet.


Monday, February 02, 2009

JBJ Introduces Quad PowerCompact Nano

JBJ introduced the popular nano cube to aquarium hobbyists a few years ago. Today they are releasing the latest in their line of nano tanks perfect for your home or office: the Quad PowerCompact model.

This new tank comes with a 105-watt power compact bulb to illuminate your tank and ensure your corals get the light they need for proper growth.

What else is included, you ask? At an unheard of price of $599.99, this unit comes complete with a wavemaker, two pumps AND a chiller.

The mini Arctica included in this package features the new digital controller that displays your current tank temperature. Chillers help maintain stable aquarium water temperatures and keep your fish and corals out of harm's way.

Don’t miss out on this deal! Pre-order yours now. It’s an excellent tank for beginners and advanced hobbyists alike.

Deal of the Week

Coralife Aqualight 150 Watt HQI Pendant

Regularly $329.99

Now Only $229.99

YOU SAVE $100!

Hurry, Supplies Limited!

Learn More...

Sunday, February 01, 2009

New this Week, 2/1/09

Won Brothers D-58 LED Digital Display Temperature Controller
Max safe output: 800 watt. 2-Seperate digital display (water temperature / set temperature). Dual scale display (°F or °C). Precision (±1.8°F / ±1°C). Control range (32°F to 104°F / 0°C to 40°C). Auto electronic control. Ideal for aquarium, pond, electro-plating, industrial field.

Won Brothers 3 Prong Titanium Heater
50 watt, 5/8ΓΈ" 11". No Thermal Protector. 3 prong, 6 feet cord. Unbreakable Titanium Heating tube. Chemical resistance of titanium is very good service (no effect-excellent) against sodium chloride (NaCl) - SALTWATER. Fully submersible. Heating tub
e can be positioned in either a vertical or horizontal position in the water.

JBJ 28 Gallon Nano Cube Quad PowerCompact Bulb w/ Cabinet Stand and Arctica MINI Chiller
JBJ introduces the newest addition to the 28G family of reef biotopes. The new CF-Quad is equipped with an integrated 105 Watt Compact Fluorescent Quad Lamp and state of the art Electronic
Ballast for high intensity light output with low energy consumption. The 28G CF-QUAD definitely is the most value packed all-in-one in its class and price level. It offers almost 50% more light output than competing CF brands, 2 Powerheads, an Ocean Pulse Duo Wavemaker, removable transparent filter basket (for easy Refugium conversions), designated Heater column, designated Protein Skimmer column (sold separately), 2 Cooling Fans, and 4 Nite-Vu LED’s with their own power supply.
JBJ 28 Gallon Nano Cube Quad PowerCompact Bulb Aquarium
The revolutionary CF-QUAD boasts 105 watts of high intensity daylight light output with our 10K/7100K combo compact fluorescent lamp. It utilizes a very compact size while delivering MEGA lumens to your corals. The quick-disconnect harness mak
es changing the lamp quick & easy. Nite-Vu LED’s are strategically placed on all four corners to even distribute moonlight throughout the aquarium. All LED’s are pre-wired individually for easy replacement, consume less than 1 watt of power, but are strong enough to illuminate nocturnal behaviors.
Two Little Fishies Micro Valve Barb x Barb - (1 Per Pack)
Micro fittings for regulating air flow through standard airline tubing for devices such as air-stones, filters, protein skimmers, ornaments, etc. Also for low pressure liquid feed lines for
metering pumps, fish display holding cubicles, fertilizing systems, calcium reactors, and drip irrigation of water gardens and paludariums. Threaded fittings can be used for attaching to PVC pipe walls to build manifolds for air or water feed. Available with barb x barb, barb x thread, and thread x thread ends.