Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kent Marine ProScraper II Algae Scraper Demo

Every aquarium hobbyist knows the importance of regular tank maintenance. Unfortunately, for those of us with deeper tanks, it can be difficult to clean those hard-to-reach places. That's where Kent Marine's new Pro-Scraper II and Extension tool come in.

The 6-Piece Kent Marine Pro-Scraper II kit includes everything you'll need to clean the cumbersome nooks and crannies in your aquarium. A comfy non-slip rubber grip fits perfectly in the palm of your hand. Extendable, corrosion-resistant fiberglass handles are built for a lifetime of cleaning and provide the proper leverage for scraping deep-down in your tank. To lock the handles in place, just twist the red connector to the right.

The Pro-Scraper II includes three glass and acrylic-safe replacable blades, each designed for specific cleaning jobs. A fabric covered blade is used for fine cleaning and swabbing to get the inside glass as clean as the outside. The plastic blade is ideal for gently scraping algae from acrylic and glass tanks alike. The rust-resistant stainless-steel blade is recommended for removing coralline algae and calcified deposits from glass aquariums. 

Blades slide into the head and snap securely into place. To remove the head, press the button and pull it out. Once you've got your desired scraper blade locked into the head, you can plug the head into the handle. Squeeze the sides of the clip and insert it into the slot. It will making a snapping noise when it attaches. Now you're ready to clean your aquarium.

The Pro-Scraper II also includes a short handle for cleaning stubborn spots or tight areas. We find it useful for cleaning salt screep from the water line.

The JBJ Pro-Scaper II is currently available in 5 sizes, from a 5 1/2" short handle to a Goliath 24" that extends to a full 36". The model used in our demonstration was the 16" to 24" variation, perfect for our 19" deep tank.

If you have any questions about the JBJ Pro-Scraper II or any other aquarium products, give us a call at 1-800-566-FISH or leave us a comment in the comment section.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Product Review: JBJ Unibody Dimmable 54 Watt 6500K-20000K LED Fixture

Item Code: JB007721 (Blueberry Blue)

Useful information:
  • Fits up to 5/8" rim
  • Faceplates available in multiple colors
  • Gooseneck mount raises approximately 7" above the rim, and 11" over the aquarium.
  • Feels durable, clamp and gooseneck felt solid, and did not wobble when attached to the aquarium.
  • Acrylic shield built-in protects the optics from moisture and splashes
  • 3W Edison LED's, 6 cool whites, 6 royal blues, and 6 blues.
  • Manual dimmer switch adds flexibility, but can also be controlled by an aquarium controller with its 0-10v two channel ports.
  • Excellent light spread, one unit actually lit up my 36x24x20 aquarium. Sorry, no PAR meter, but I would feel comfortable putting SPS corals in the center area of the light spread. 
Nice quality box with a magnetic open/close flap
Package contents: Unibody LED Fixture, Gooseneck mounting arm, Universal clamp on mount, Duo 700 driver, Fan power adapter. Also included was a 12 month warranty card.
One of a kind - Marine Depot.com logo etched into the blue faceplate - Sexy! 
Top fan, slightly audible, but not too loud. Very similar to a regular computer fan. Using an Android App - Sound Meter, I had a 18dB increase when the fan was plugged in. Unit Dimensions: 8 x 6 x 0.92 inches
18x 3W Edison LEDs, 6 Cool Whites, 6 Royal Blues, 6 Blues and it includes an acrylic splash guard.
Gooseneck clamp mount
Will fit on 5/8", and perhaps 3/4" if the plastic and rubber bumpers removed.
Flexible gooseneck. The length of the gooseneck is perfect for aquariums up to 18 inches wide (front to back). On my 24 inch wide aquarium, if it were mounted on the back, the fixture would need to be pushed closer to the water surface extending and angling slightly for adequate coverage towards the front of the aquarium.
Approximately 12 inches from the back of the clamp to the front of the fixture.
Approximately 7 inches above the rim of the aquarium
Duo 700 2 Channel Driver Box
Manual sliding dimmer switches on the left for the white and blues. Rocker power switch for On-Off-Controller. This fixture can be controlled by aquarium controllers with 0-10v modules.
Driver box can easily be mounted
The unit will require 3 power outlets - One for whites, blues, and fan.
The LED color setup with the cool whites in the center row.
Baseline picture for comparison: ATI Sunpower 6x39W T5HO Fixture
JBJ Unibody at 100% for both channels 
Whites at 0%, Blues at 100%
Whites at 100%, Blues at 0%
Whites and Blues at 100%
Side profile with white and blues at 100%
Final Thoughts:

I was pleasantly surprised by the new dimmable light fixture from JBJ. I loved how I was able to manually dim the whites and blues seperately and get the color spectrum I wanted for my aquarium. Plus the optional 0-10v for aquarium controller functionality is definitely an added bonus. The gooseneck mount provides plenty of flexibility while at the same time feeling very solid and secured when attached to the aquarium.

The pictures above were taken with a camera phone and they do not accurately display the colors that were seen in person. The LEDs provided a mesmerizing shimmer that added a whole new experience to the aquarium coming from T5 fluorescent lighting. The coverage that this one unit provided on a 36x24x20 aquarium was fantastic. I do not have a PAR meter, but I would feel comfortable keeping SPS corals in the center area of the fixture.

JBJ has created a great product that looks as good as it functions, I would recommend it!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fragging Mushrooms!

I've been trying to fill up real estate towards the sides and bottom of my reef, so I decided to frag some of my Red Mushrooms. I had about six heads on a single frag plug, which was making it hard to put in a lot of places in the tank, so I had no problem removing these. Not only will they attach to smaller pieces of rock rubble, but by cutting them, I will also have multiple new frags. I could potentially turn my six mushrooms into 24 mushrooms (best case scenario).

First, get your Coral Propagation Tools. For cutting mushrooms, you will really only need a scalpel, but a razor blade will work well, too. Some tweezers or tongs may also be helpful. Here's a full list of items I used today:
  • Boston Aqua Farms Soft Coral Scalpel.
  • Dissekt-Rite Specimen Forceps, 10 inch (optional, but helpful for moving small pieces).
  • Lee`s Aquarium Specimen Container Small or other container for holding water and coral. Tupperware or other miscellaneous containers will work.
  • Plastic container to put frags in. Nothing special: I used a cheese container (use what's available).
  • Netting or bridal veil. I used some netting that came with some base rock I just bought.
  • Rubber bands.
  • Crushed coral or coral rubble (for the coral to attach to). I smashed a small piece of dry base rock.
  • Safety gear: Eye protection, latex gloves, and a face mask. Remember, when fragging soft coral there are liquids that can (and will) be squirted, splashed, etc. Some soft corals can contain toxins, so it's always better to be safe than sorry.
Now to the propagation. Before I got started, I smashed a piece of dry base rock into rubble pieces. If you don't feel like smashing good rock, you can also use crushed coral media. Next, I got all of my propagation tools and supplies together. I removed the frag plug with my parent corals from the main tank and put them into a specimen container. I decided to work in my kitchen, as there is more lighting, a sink, and sturdy surfaces to work on (the floor next to my tank wouldn't due today).
  I put on the PPE (personal protective equipment), and I was now ready to work. Using the scalpel, I cut the mushrooms off the plug. Then I cut the disks (mushrooms) into quarters (four pieces) with clean, smooth cuts. When cutting mushrooms, you want to get a little bit of the mouth for each piece. I did this to all of the mushrooms on the frag. After cutting each mushroom, I put the pieces into the plastic container (in my case, a cheese container) with the rubble rock. I covered the container with the netting, and secured it with two rubber bands. I carefully submerged the whole container into my aquarium, taking caution not to drop it in so quickly that the new pieces would float out. I don't have a frag tank set up, so they're in my display aquarium. Now it's time to play the waiting game...
The pieces will eventually attach to the rubble pieces, forming many new mushrooms. Once they have attached, I can glue the small rocks to frag plugs to trade with friends, or glue the rubble to live rock to take up some of that vacant real estate.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Marine Depot Coupon Codes: January 2012

20% off Aqua Vision Aquatics Coral Dip Solution - 1 oz
Use Coupon at checkout: CORALDIP20
Valid From 1/1/2012 - 1/31/2012

20% off Zoo Med Aqua Cool Aquarium Cooling Fan
Use Coupon at checkout: ZMCOOLFAN20
Valid From 1/1/2012 - 1/31/2012

20% off JBJ NanoZapp 3 Watt Inline UV Sterilizer
Use Coupon at checkout: JBJZAPP20OFF
Valid From 1/1/2012 - 1/31/2012

10% off AquaMaxx Carbon One Activated Carbon Filter Media
Use Coupon at checkout: CARBONONE10
Valid From 1/1/2012 - 1/31/2012