Thursday, June 23, 2011

New this Week, 6/23/11

Hamilton Metal Halide + T5 HO Belize Sun Light Fixture
Superior craftsmanship with extruded aluminum rust-proof housing. The compact European design features a low-profile, powder coated black finish. The durable German anodized aluminum reflectors are engineered to intensify metal halide & T5 light output. Light visors direct light downward toward your tank preventing side light loss. A dual-ball bearing fan design keeps air circulating around the lamps for maximum ventilation. The light features a combination of metal halide and T5 high output lighting that will allow you to keep any type of coral in your aquarium, from soft corals to SPS. Blue LED lights provide nocturnal viewing and gives the tank an attractive, moonlit glow. Individual high performance ballasts power your HQI and T5 bulbs and the fixture can be mounted or hung above your aquarium with the included docking legs and suspension kit. Built to order here in the USA for $479.99 to $1,199.99 each.

AquaEuroUSA Max Chill Aquarium Chiller w/ FREE Submersible Pump
AquaEuroUSA Max Chill aquarium chillers now include a FREE submersible pump! The titanium Max Chill Series are high-quality, reliable and corrosion-resistant chillers suitable for both fresh and saltwater applications. They feature digital LCD displays for precise temperature control and include fittings and instructions for fast and easy setup. Product highlights include an epoxy-encapsulated motor, ceramic shaft, oil-free design and quiet operation. The chillers run $349.99 to $1,049.99 each and include the free pump and free shipping.

Bob Smith Industries BSI Cyanoacrylate IC-Gel Aquarium Frag Glue
IC-GEL is a cyanoacrylate paste that is extremely and comes in an applicator tube like toothpaste. It can be applied to a vertical surface and will stay in place. It will not run. This is very convenient for many applications. IC-GEL can be applied at any angle with just a squeeze of the tube. It will fill any void and can be formed to many shapes. In addition to many out-of-water applications, IC-GEL is great for bonding coral to rock underwater in an aquarium. Available now for only $6.99.

H2O Life 36 Inch Handy Grab Aquarium Tongs
H2O Life's 36" tongs are economical, lightweight and useful for reaching into your aquarium to grip and move items you might have difficulty reaching on your own. Extend your reach another 3 feet and pick up stuff up to 2 lbs with these handy aquarium tongs for only $9.99.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ecoxotic EcoPico: Shopping for Fish

Acclimating fish using the Float Method.
After fertilizing, planting and outfitting my Ecoxotic EcoPico with a teeny-tiny heater from Hydor, I decided to let the tank get established for another month before adding livestock.

What secrets lie behind the driftwood?
Experienced aquarists often emphasize the importance of patience in this hobby. I am by no means an expert—I leave that to our support staff—but it felt right to take things slow in the beginning. I'd never cared for aquatic plants before, so I wanted to keep a close eye on my underwater garden for a few weeks. If I couldn't keep the plants alive, I rationalized I had no business adding animals to the tank.

And, as mentioned in previous posts, it's been a couple of years since I've had a tank of my own. I wanted to get back into the habit of visually inspecting the tank each day, spending a few minutes making sure the plants looked healthy and that the equipment was functioning properly.

Soon Stella got her groove back, so I began visiting some local fish stores in Orange County, CA to scope out their freshwater fish selection. I walked the aisles of a handful of stores. It was Slim Pickens. Tank and shelf space were mostly dedicated to reefkeeping. The exceptions were Tong's Tropical Fish in Fountain Valley and Reef Tropical Fish in Anaheim; both had a nice balance of fresh and saltwater aquarium species.

I was hoping to find some small red fish, like Cherry Barbs (Puntius titteya) or Chili Rasboras (Boraras brigitta). A striking red would stand out amongst the greens and browns in my tank—plus I thought my wife would dig the color choice. I envisioned a school of synchronized swimmers in red uniforms paddling peacefully in an aquatic Eden.

I considered buying fish online after striking out at a few local fish stores, but I'm glad I resisted. Buying the fish locally probably saved me fifty percent. Not only that, I paid less for six freshwater fish than I would for one of their saltwater counterparts.

I'd planned to purchase one type of fish, but ended up with two. I brought home three Cherry Barbs (2 males, 1 female) and three Silvertip Tetras (1 male, 2 females) and acclimated them using the float method. The tetras white-tipped fins and sleek, shiny bodies had won me over.

Cherry Barbs (2 males, 1 female) and Silvertip Tetras (1 male, 2 females).
Twenty-four hours later, I felt the familiar twinge of buyer's remorse. After a long commute, I plopped down on the couch, kicked my feet up and gazed at the newly inhabited aquarium. I expected to be tucked beneath a blanket of sheer tranquility at any moment. Yep, any second now.

A frantic frenzy of fins fervently darted, chased and swam loop-the-loops while I sat back in horror. It was as if I'd dosed the tank with caffeine. I walked over to the tank and dropped in a mixture of food pellets. The tetras gobbled up every one before the barbs even noticed dinner was served. The tetras were hanging out near the surface, so I sprinkled in some sinking pellets for the barbs circling midway down the tank. That did the trick.

My feelings of buyer's remorse faded in the weeks that followed. The tetras were fast, playful and aggressive eaters. The barbs were timid, slow-moving scavengers. Their yin yang personalities reminded of Dave and Cody from Discovery Channel's Dual Survival. Initially the fish sided with their respective tribesmen. I think once they realized there would be no shortage of food in this underwater oasis, tribal tension eased and the tetras slowed down. The fish are so intermingled now I often wonder if they remember they're different species.

Tune in next time for a look at my CO2 system and how I monitor it with Red Sea's CO2 Indicator.

Monday, June 13, 2011

New this Week, 6/13/11


Kessil A150W Special Blend LED Aquarium Lights
With its innovative design and high quality, radiant light, Kessil presents the A150W LED aquarium light. Using Dense Matrix LED technology to emulate a point-like source, A150W provides the shimmery effects of a metal halide without its excess power consumption and heat. Bring out the beauty of blue water and vivid colors of coral with the specially created spectrums of A150W. The SKY BLUE model's distinctive spectrum emits light similar to a 10000K light, emitting a natural looking light while providing coral with optimized wavelengths. The OCEAN BLUE model's unique mix of wavelengths closely resembles a 15000K light, creating a visually stunning effect for water and coral in your aquarium. The DEEP OCEAN BLUE model's special blend of wavelengths emulates a 20000K light for a deep blue color that brings water to life. All models are now available for pre-order for $264.99 and include free shipping. For additional photographs, check out the album we created on Facebook.

AquaMaxx BioMaxx Plus BioPellets Filter Media
AquaMaxx BioMaxx Plus BioPellets improve water quality for fish and other marine life in saltwater aquariums. BioMaxx Plus BioPellets initiate a more efficient denitrification process that removes nitrate and phosphate from aquarium water. High nitrate and phosphate fuels algae growth and may negatively impact invertebrate or coral. Using BioMaxx Plus BioPellets inside a fluidized filter (media reactor) will help to achieve maximum results and efficiency. Use 0.5 to 1 liter of pellets for every 125 gallons of water. Starting with a low dosage and increasing over time is preferable to beginning with a higher dosage. Be sure to rinse the media before use. AquaMaxx BioMaxx Plus BioPellets are now available for $14.99 (8oz.), $26.99 (16oz.) and $49.99 (32oz.).

Eheim Classic External Canister Filter 2211
If you've been searching for a small canister filter, Eheim's Classic External Canister Filter 2211 may be just what you're looking for. Measuring 4.3" x 11.4" and consuming a mere 5 watts, the 2211 is perfect for freshwater aquarium systems up to 40 gallons. A Permo-elestic silicon sealing ring fixed on the pump head makes it easy and safe to close after cleaning. A balanced pump output to canister volume ratio ensures optimum conditions in your aquarium. Plus Eheim's classic one-chamber design allows for great flexibility in media set up for biological, mechanical, chemical and adsorptive filtration. Outfit your freshwater planted tank with this compact little canister for only $69.99.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Introducing AquaMaxx BioMaxx Plus BioPellets

AquaMaxx BioMaxx Plus BioPellets
Item Code: UJ00138

I've chosen to use the AquaMaxx BioMaxx Plus BioPellets on my 75 gallon coral reef tank to see if BioPellets live up to their hype. I want to be able to feed my fish and corals a lot more while still being able to keep the nutrients low in my system.

I'm going to start with 100ml of BioMaxx BioPellets and then after the initial 2 weeks, I'll add 50ml each week until around 500ml. Once I've reached 500ml, I'll test my parameters and decide whether or not I will need to use more.  

I have taken my RowaPhos reactor down, but I will continue to run Carbon in my second reactor with these BioPellets. I currently have the outlet tube of the BioPellets reactor exiting at the protein skimmer pump intake for maximum efficiency.

Stay tuned for updates...
AquaMaxx BioMaxx Plus BioPellets 16oz pouch with resealable ziplock bag
Small nugget sized shape
Label on the back of the BioMaxx pouch
BioMaxx Instructions
Rinsing the BioMaxx pellets in RO/DI water before use

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Marine Depot Coupon Codes: June 2011

40% off ALL Wave Point T5HO Fluorescent Bulbs
Enter Coupon Code WAVET540OFF during checkout
Offer ends 6/30/11

25% off JBJ 1/10 to 1/3 HP Arctica Titanium Chillers
Enter Coupon Code JBJCHILL25OFF during checkout
Offer ends 6/30/11

20% off AquaMaxx Metal Halide Aquarium Bulbs
Enter Coupon Code AQMAXX20OFF during checkout
Offer ends 6/30/11

20% off API Aquarium Medications
Enter Coupon Code APMEDS20OFF during checkout
Offer ends 6/30/11