Thursday, December 30, 2010

Eating lionfish "a delicacy"

Florida marine conservationists have come up with a simple recipe for fighting the invading lionfish that is gobbling up local reef life -- eat them.

The Key Largo-based REEF conservation organization has just released "The Lionfish Cookbook," a collection of 45 recipes which is the group's latest strategy to counter an invasion of the non-native reddish brown-striped fish in Florida waters.

"It's absolutely good eating -- a delicacy. It's delicately flavored white meat, very buttery," Lad Akins, director of special projects for Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), told Reuters. He authored the cookbook along with a professional chef, Tricia Ferguson.

Monday, December 27, 2010

New this Week, 12/27/10

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AquaEuroUSA 34 gallon Complete HQI Metal Halide Reef Aquarium System w/ Stand
Ideal saltwater or reef aquarium. Perfect for home or office. Totaly complete HQI metal halide reef system. HQI Metal Halide 150W 14000K light produces an intense high PAR value light that closely imitates natural sunlight. Includes 6 blue LED moonlights for nocturnal viewing. Features programmable, digital, heavy duty light cycle timer and automated internal cooling fan with "intelligent" temperature control. The 5-Stage filtration system includes sponges, bio-balls, a UV sterilizer, a venturi protein skimmer and denitrator. Easy to operate unit includes two high-performance pump and a heater.

Neptune Systems Energy Bar 4 Expansion Unit
The EnergyBar 4 module features 4 independently controllable outlets. With power failure detection, active electrical current monitoring, and failsafe features make this power bar far better than any competing units. 4 independently controllable 120V Outlets (3 outlets @ 8 Amps, 1outlet
@ 12 Amps, total current must be less than 15 Amps), Plug and Play, built-in 4 Port hub so that accessories can be easily added.

Two Little Fishies MagFox Magnetic Hose and Pipe Cleaning Device
The MagFox uses magnetic attraction to propel a small brush inside aquarium hoses and pipes, allowing it to clean away algae and other deposits that block the water flow. Patent pending design by Julian Sprung. Replacement brushes are also available.

AquaMaxx Protein Skimmer Replacement Pumps
We now carry Sedra, Sicce and Shark protein skimmer pumps separately in the unlikely event your original AquaMaxx protein skimmer pumps fails. Choose from replacement pumps for the AM100, AM150, AM250, AM350, AM500, HOB-1, Cone 2 and Cone 3. $124.99 to $249.99 each with models over $175 shipping for free. We also carry Replacement O-Rings, Replacement Impellers and more.

AquaMaxx Calcium and Zeo Reactor Replacement Parts
We are pleased to offer a bevy of replacement parts for AquaMaxx Calcium and Zeo Reactors in case anything ever goes wrong with your original supplies. OEM replacement pumps, impellers, sponges and O-rings are available from $2.49 to $124.99 each.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's Getting Colder—Is Your Tank Protected?

With winter time comes colder temperatures, both inside and outside.

It’s around this time each year I begin to see threads popping up on forums discussing aquarium heater failure. Sometimes they are lucky: the heater simply did not turn on and their tank got colder. In other instances, heaters overheat or crack and the results are disastrous. I actually experienced heater failure myself this season. Fortunately, my heater only stopped working so the tank temperature dropped a bit.

Dealing with heater failure is an inevitable part of caring for a temperature-sensitive aquarium system. If we keep that in mind—that aquarium heaters can and will, eventually, fail—we can prepare accordingly to protect our precious pets from temperature fluctuations.

Here are some tips to help you safeguard your aquarium from heater failure:
  • Research the various aquarium heaters available for your tank. Nearly all the heaters on have customer written reviews about their performance. This feedback is invaluable when making a purchasing decision. Starting with a high quality heater minimizes the chance of failure.

  • Use a temperature controller (or system controller) to turn the heater on and off. While most heaters have built-in thermostats to turn the heaters on and off, many times this is precisely what causes the heaters to fail. The thermostats “stick” in the on or off position and the heater will not properly energize or de-energize. A temperature controller will turn on/off the heater independent of the thermostat built into the heater.

  • When using a temperature controller in combination with a heater, set the temperature on the controller a degree or two cooler than the thermostat on the heater. This way in case the controller fails to shut the heater off, the heaters thermostat will shut it off.

  • Consider using multiple heaters instead of a single heater. If your tank requires around 500 watts of heating power (it is recommended to use 3-5 watts per gallon), try using two 250 watt or three 200 watt heaters. This will help in a couple of ways. First, if one heater fails, you have a back-up heating the tank. Second, if a heater gets stuck in the on position, it will raise the temperature more slowly than a single larger wattage heater (hopefully allowing you to catch it before an issue arises).

  • Heater placement is also very important. Knowing that heaters can fail, don’t hide the heater underneath a pile of rocks that could make it difficult to excavate in the event of failure or make it impossible to visually inspect it. As well you will want to provide good water movement around the heater to allow for the heated water to circulate throughout the tank. If you have a sump on your tank this can be an ideal location for the heater.

  • Protect glass heaters from falling rocks or other objects/livestock that might cause it to break. Titanium heaters can get hot enough to melt acrylic, so never put a heater directly against an acrylic tank or sump.

  • Don’t trust with 100% accuracy the dial on the heaters thermostats. It is common for heaters to heat accurately, but for the temperatures to not match the numbers on the dial. Trust the reference thermometer(s) and set to them, not the dial.

  • Use more than one thermometer to measure the temperature of your aquarium. Don’t rely on a single reading. Thermometers come in a range of styles and prices. There are even some models that will alert you when the temperature rises too high like the Lifegard Aquatics Big Digital Temperature Alert or Tom Aquatics Aquarium Temp Alert.

  • If you already own a chiller or are considering purchasing one for the warmer months, you may want to find one that has a dual stage controller that allows you to control both your heater and chiller (this can prevent them from both being on at the same time as well).

  • Have a back up heater ready to go, especially if you are only running a single heater on your system. It is a small investment to help protect your livestock.
With a little research and planning you can help prevent a heating malfunction in your aquarium. If you have any questions about what might work best for your tank, please contact us at

Monday, December 20, 2010

New this Week, 12/20/10

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Coralife Lunar Aqualight T5 Lamp High Output Fixture
The new Lunar Aqualight T5 HO series from Coralife is available in 4 sizes: 24", 30" 36" and 48". Each unit includes 4 high output T5 lamps (2 x 10,000K and 2 x actinic) and directional LED moonlights, perfect for marine and reef aquarium systems. Each type of lighting--daylight, actinic and moon lights)--has its own power cord so you can really fine-tune your light schedule. The quick disconnect ballasts include quiet-running cooling fans. Each unit features a powder-coated aluminum housing, acrylic splash guards and adjustable mounting brackets. Prices range from $205.99 to $301.99 each and all models include free shipping.

The 1.5'’ Sea Swirl Model satisfies the need for an oscillating device for large aquariums to create a broad oscillating current, not linear current like many other wavemaking devices. Sea Swirls are economically priced energy efficient, too! The 1.5'’ model is designed for aquariums 180 gallons and up and offers the truly smallest footprint seen in the aquarium (only 2-1/4'’). The 1.5'’ Sea Swirl can be combined with low-wattage, high flow pumps like the ReeFlo Snapper, Dart, Barracuda and Hammerhead along with many of the Dolphin aquarium pumps aquarists use to return water to their tank. The manufacturer is so confident in this pump they offer a generous 2-year warranty. Available now for $399.99, shipping included.

Two Little Fishies NPX Screen for 150 or 550 PhosBan Reactor
The NPX Screen prevents NPX Biopellets or other biodegradable pelletized media from passing through the dispersion plates in the PhosBan Reator 150 or PhosBan Reactor 550. Get 2 screens for only $2.49.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New this Week, 12/14/10

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Neptune Systems Apex Probe Module 3 Expansion Box
Monitor/control dissolved and temperature. 6 digital inputs for float switches, water on floor sensors, pressure sensors, etc. Full datalogging support in Apex Base module. Up to 240 AquaBus modules can be added to the Apex system. Plug & play automatically recognized when installed into the system. Two AquaBus connectors for flexible expansion via AquaBus. Comes with 3' AquaBus cable. Galvanic isolation for accurate and reliable probe readings. LED status indicator, upgradeable firmware, compatible with Apex and Apex Lite systems.

Neptune Systems Apex Variable Speed/Dimming Module
The Variable Speed/Dimming module allows for the control of the Aqua Illuminations LED lighting systems as well as adding an additional 4 0-10V variable speed ports. Independent control of the white and blue Aqua Illumination LEDs. Simulate sunrise/s
unset, lunar cycle, clouds, and lightning with the Aqua Illumination LEDs. Adds 4 independent 0-10V variable speed ports to the Apex system. Plug and Play. Automatically recognized when installed into the system. Pumps can be dynamically added/removed from the system. Two AquaBus connectors for flexible expansion via AquaBus. Comes with 3' AquaBus cable. Fully upgradeable, LED status indicator, compatible with Apex and Apex Lite systems.

Two Little Fishies NPX Bioplastics Nitrate & Phosphate Reducing Polymer Media
NPX BioPlastics are pelletized biodegradable polymers that prov
ide a time-released source of food for bacteria that assimilate nitrate and phosphate. As bacteria develop on the pellet surfaces, excess growth sloughs off due to the tumbling in a fluidized filter, and these bacteria can be removed with a protein skimmer or serve as planktonic food for filter-feeding invertebrates such as corals, clams, and sponges. Anaerobic zones also develop within the pellets, thus promoting denitrification there. Why bother with dosing Vodka daily when you can just use NPX BioPlastics and let the bacteria work for you?

Hagen Marina Air Pump
The Marina 50 air pump combines high performance output with quiet operation. A reliable source of air for increasing water
movement and turbulence for proper oxygenation, and can also be used to operate items such as air stones, air curtains and air-actuated ornaments. Marina 50 has a single outlet and is ideal for aquariums 5 to 15 U.S. gal. (10 to 60 L). Quiet running, reliable performance and powerful airflow. Sound dampening pump cover, soft rubber feet suppress vibration and durable, long lasting diaphragm.

Hanna Instruments Low Range Phosphate Meter
Phosphates are particularly important for the growth and development of plant roots, and hence are one of the most common fertilizers used in agriculture. In addition, phosphates are us
ually utilized in detergents and are needed, in small quantities, for heating systems. However, high concentrations of phosphates can cause environmental pollution: they are for example a primary cause of eutrophication. For these reasons, it is necessary to closely monitor the phosphate levels present in both civil and industrial waste water. Range 0.00 to 2.50 mg/L (ppm). Resolution 0.01 mg/L (ppm). Precision ±0.04 mg/L ±4% of reading. Light Source Tungsten lamp. Light Detector Silicon photocell with narrow band interference filter @ 610 nm. Method Adaptation of the ascorbic acid method.

CoralVue 250 Watt Electronic Metal Halide Ballast
Coralvue® electronic ballasts are an important energy-saving unit used for metal halide lamps. Its job is to fire the lamps and
stabilize the operating current. This ballast can save energy by more than 30%. The ballast has a self-protected circuit, which is controlled automatically. If power is removed or lost from the ballast it will take approximately 7 minutes for the ballast to fire the lamp again. The ballasts are available in normal or dimmable. These ballasts will drive any 250w SE metal halide bulb or 250w DE (HQI) metal halide bulb.

ATI T5HO Aquarium Bulbs
Manufactured with high-quality phosphors and advanced manufacturing techniques to produce bulbs with higher output, better coloration and more stability than other brands, including
other German-made T5 bulbs.

Monday, December 06, 2010 2010 Holiday Gift Guide

We know a generous person such as yourself has plenty of people to buy gifts for this holiday season. Your spouse, kids, parents... maybe even your boss.

But who we are most concerned about in all this holiday hustle & bustle is YOU. That's right, you.

You see, we consider ourselves prett
y good judges of character and, to us, you've been a model citizen in 2010. Heck, you inspire us to be better. With such good behavior, we feel you deserve to be rewarded—handsomely, we might add—for your hard work.

We've put together this handy
holiday gift guide to make buying for YOU as easy as possible. If you're budget-conscience (let's face it: who isn't these days?), we've made it easy to shop by price.

If you're budget conscience but
still want to go big, you can get no payments and no interest on orders over $300 with Bill Me Later (subject to credit approval). If you've never used Bill Me Later before, you'll get $10 off a $50 or more purchase if you try it before December 15.

Gift certificates, controllable powerheads, protein skimmer and lighting specials are all available in our gift guide this year along with our holiday shipping schedule so you can ensure your presents arrive in time for the big day.

We'll be featuring more holiday offers in e-newsletters throughout December.
Click here to see previous issues and, if you like what you see, sign up (it's free)!

Happy holidays, you good looking, hard working gift to mankind you.