Monday, April 30, 2012

Unboxing and installation of the new Kessil A350

Kessil A350 LED Aquarium Light 
The new Kessil A350 LED lights have arrived!

I upgraded my ATI T5 lighting with two A350 units. I decided to go with Kessil especially after seeing how nice the Kessil A150s looked on some aquariums.

My initial thoughts were that these lights made my aquarium look a lot darker coming from the bright T5 lighting. LEDs truly are deceiving to the eyes as they have more of a focused light with the capabilities of bleaching corals even when they look much dimmer than fluorescent lighting. This is a common issue with many hobbyists when switching to new LED lighting so it is always a good idea to lower the intensity or raise the lighting temporarily. I am only running these lights at 30% and plan to gradually increase it based on the response I get from my corals. It also took my eyes some time to adjust to the intense shimmering effects.

There are no dusk-to-dawn settings, moonlights, or built-in timers that you would typically get with an advanced LED lighting fixture. What you get is a adjustable LED light equivalent to that of an metal halide light. There is no color banding or "disco" effects that you may see with some LED fixtures. It is on and off only with the option to manually adjust the intensity and color temperature to your likings. I am currently staggering my photoperiod so my left Kessil turns on first for 30 mins, then my right Kessil, and finally my third party moonlights. I found this to be acceptable so my fish don't get spooked as they did when both units turned off at the same time.

So far I am happy with my new lights. There is minimal heat coming from the unit and the fans are certainly quiet. There are multiple ways of mounting the Kessil with its included keyring mounting post that is removable, two small triangle mounts that is seen on the A150s for use with simple hooks, and then the optional gooseneck clamp mount that is coming soon.

With the light available in two models, the A350 for 24+ inches and deeper aquariums and A350W (Wide Lens) for 24+ inches and wider aquariums, this will be an economical choice for hobbyists looking to switch from their old metal halide technology to a newer energy efficient lighting system.  Here are the pictures of the unboxing and installation. I will post a follow up review with how my corals are responding in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more updates!
Standard packaging
Whats included: Kessil A350, Power Supply, Power Cord, Extension Cable, and Quick Guide Instructions. The power cord measured 18 feet with my tape measure, probably 20 feet if completely straight. Very impressive!
At the top of the unit has two channel potentiometers to adjust the whites and the blues seperately. This gives you the ability to change the color temperature and decrease and/or increase the intensity that is best for you and your corals.
Reflectors are covered to protect from splashes and moisture.
Built-in Fan is pretty quiet. Audible if you put your ear to it, but would not bother me if I had the aquarium in my bedroom.
I used conduit pipe to mount my Kessils. Two bends were made to the conduit, then it was spray painted black to match the units. The whole thing turned out great.
I placed the Kessils 12 inches apart which gave me excellent coverage in my 3 ft long aquarium. Adjusting the lights further apart still provided plenty of lighting throughout the aquarium.
When the Kessils are mounted 8 inches above the water line, I was only able to get a 20 inch light spread. Two A350s on a 4 ft long aquarium would have some shadowing in the corners. The Kessil A350W (Wide Lens) would be a better choice as they would easily cover a 24+ inch light spread. The dimensions of the aquarium shown is 36x24x20.
For more information: Kessil A350 Dimmable Special Blend LED Aquarium Light - Tuna Blue (Item Code: YH1131)

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Kessil A350 is here!

We just received our first shipment of the Kessil A350 Dimmable Special Blend LED Aquarium Lights (Tuna Blue), and one of our resident techies has already got his hands on a couple. 

All I can say is WOW! The light is modern, compact and sleek. My personal favorite feature is the separate channels (blue and white) which can be used to separately adjust the the intensity of each spectrum. By adjusting the intensity of each channel, you can also adjust the color to your taste. Not blue enough or too white? Not a problem! Your perfect color is just a turn of the dial away.

I snapped a picture of the new light. I can't wait to see how they look on our techie's tank!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ecoxotic Panorama Pro LED Light Fixture Product Demo

Ike from Ecoxotic recently stopped by MDHQ to demonstrate how the new Ecoxotic Panorama Pro LED Light Fixture works and highlight some of the many benefits it offers aquarium hobbyists. Watch the video embedded above or keep reading to learn more.

The Ecoxotic Panorama Pro LED Light Fixture is currently available in 2 sizes: 18" (57 Watt) and 24" (95 Watt). The 18" model is perfect for small tanks, like 30-34 gallon nano aquariums. The fixture is modular so you can easily add a second light for wide aquariums.

This versatile LED aquarium light is powered by Panorama Pro modules. Each module produces an amazing amount of light, dazzling shimmer and stunning color rendition. The modules are fully encapsulated to protect against the elements while operating on low voltage—keeping things safe for you and eliminating harmful stray voltage. The low-profile design of the Panorama Pro Fixture passively dissipates heat away from your aquarium without sacrificing efficiency or life expectancy.

So what’s adjustable? Just about everything: intensity, penetration, brightness, color and position are all completely configurable. Inline dimmers allow you to independently control intensity of the white and blue LEDs, and fine-tuning of the color temperature. The LED modules can be moved from left-to-right, providing an adjustable spread for any aquascape. With the modular design you can install additional Panorama Pro Modules or Stunner LED Strips to add some Magenta or a RGB module for full spectrum. The patented hinged mounting system allows you to position the fixture exactly where you want it, while still providing easy access for maintenance.

If you have any questions or feedback, please leave us a comment or call us toll-free at 1-800-566-FISH (3474). You can learn more about the Ecoxotic Panorama Pro LED Light Fixture and read product reviews on our website.

Friday, April 20, 2012

AlgaGen Coral Smoothie Product Demo

Erik from AlgaGen recently stopped by to talk with us about Coral Smoothie, a non-live food specifically designed for marine and reef aquarium systems. AlgaGen, founded in 2002, has a ton of experience creating foods for marine life, including Whale Sharks at the Georgia Aquarium, Sea Dragons, Seahorses, Mandarins, Dragonettes and a whole slew of other organisms.

Coral Smoothie is a first of its kind product and is AlgaGen's version of a non-live food. It is great for hobbyists that don't like the chore of blending foods together but still want to provide their wet pets with a wide variety of nutritious and natural foods. It comes in a cool bottle you can stick right into your tank to spot feed fish, coral and invertebrate. Just cut off the applicator tip, shake the bottle, point toward your favorite coral and give it a squeeze. Coral Smoothie has a 6-month shelf life and will not need to be refrigerated until after you open it. It will last for months after you open it as long as you keep it inside your refrigerator.

Coral Smoothie contains Artemia naupliim, copepods, copepod eggs, rotifers, clam larvae, oyster larvae, oyster eggs and tissue, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, fish eggs, decapsulated artemia cysts, mussel, squid and 9 species of microalgae. Particle sizes range from 2 to 5,000 microns.

This unique product is proven to stimulate marine tanks and draw responses from coral, fish and invertebrates, like snails and shrimp. It is is formulated with everything from vegetable protein to whole zooplankton and will provide a variety of food items that can found on tropical coral reefs.

To learn more about AlgaGen Coral Smoothie or purchase a bottle to feed your aquarium inhabitants, please visit our website.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Innovative Marine Skkye Light Single Strip LED Product Demo

Skkye Light Single Strip lights are the lastest LED aquarium light fixture from Innovative Marine. They are an affordable, versatile choice for freshwater, saltwater and reef aquariums.

Innovative Marine Skkye Light Single Strip LED lights are plug and play, so you won't need to purchase any additional accessories to make them operate. Everything you need is right in the box, no assembly or DIY skills required.

The LEDs are housed in a sleek aluminum casing that is available in either black or white. The casing features sliding extension rods that you can adjust to fit perfectly over your tank. The drivers are integrated into the fixture so you won't have to hide any additional bulkiness behind your tank or inside your stand. 

Each high-brightness LEDs boasts 120 lumens per watt and has a 120° angeled optic to provide wide, uniform coverage inside your aquarium.

 The lights securely attach to rimless and framed aquariums alike or can be easily retrofitted into canopies using an optional retrofit hardware kit (sold separately).

Innovative Marine Skkye Light Single Strip LED fixtures are available in 5 sizes (12", 18", 24", 36", and 48") and 3 color spectrums (10000K, 14000K and Actinic/456nm) to meet a variety of needs. To purchase Innovative Marine Skkye Light Single Strip LEDs and read product review from hobbyists just like you, please visit our website.

Friday, April 13, 2012

"Hold on to your butts."

What happens when a Red Scooter Dragonet faces off against a swarm of hermit crabs, nassarius snails and Newman from Seinfeld? Let's put it this way: you wouldn't like him when he's angry!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Kessil A150W Special Blend LED Aquarium Light Product Demo

Kessil is dramatically changing the way LED technology is being used in the aquarium industry. Using Dense Matrix LED technology, the intense point source focused lens of the Kessil A150W is designed to use light efficiently and effectively.

If you have a frameless/rimless aquarium and don't want to suspend the light with a hanging kit, you can opt for the Pendant Gooseneck Mount (sold separately). The Kessil A150W Special Blend is available in 4 variations: Sky Blue, Ocean Blue, Deep Ocean Blue and Amazon Sun. We have all of them in stock now for $264.99 each (free shipping is included with your purchase).

In the video embedded above, we'll demonstrate how each of these lights looks over a 38-gallon Innovative Marine aquarium. The Kessil A150W is a compact, versatile and radiant choice for marine aquarium lighting. They provide the beautiful shimmering effect of metal halide lighting without the excessive heat and power consumption.

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive about Kessil A150W LED Lights are from aquarium hobbyists who are curious what they will look like when the different color variations (Sky Blue, Ocean Blue and Deep Ocean Blue) are mixed together.

In the short video below, we'll show you how each of the Kessil LED lights look individually and then you'll see what they look like when two different colored pendants are used together over the same reef aquarium.

Another oft-asked question we receive about the Kessil A150W pendant is "How big is it?" or "Is it as small as it looks?" We decided to snap a few photos of the Kessil light next to some common (and some not-so-common) items around our office to give you an idea of the size. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 05, 2012 April Giveaway!

Good news! We've teamed up with AquaMaxx for an awesome April giveaway!

There is no purchase necessary to enter for a chance to win a prize. All you have to do is sign up for our weekly email newsletter, chock full of great deals, new products and helpful tips on aquariums and reefkeeping before May 1, 2012 (here's a sample). If you're already a subscriber... awesome (and thank you)! You may still enter the giveaway by signing up again. We de-dupe our email list before each send, so you'll never receive duplicate newsletters in your inbox.

Without further adieu, here are the prizes:

AquaMaxx HOB-1 Hang-On-Back Protein Skimmer
The AquaMaxx Hang on Back Series I (HOB-1) protein skimmer features an incredibly responsive collection cup and an amazingly powerful submersible pump. It is rated up to 75 gallons in a design thin and light enough to be placed on a nano or other small saltwater aquarium.

AquaMaxx BioMaxx BioPellet Reactor w/ 8 oz. AquaMaxx BioMaxx Plus BioPellets
Controlling nutrients inside our aquariums is one of the keys to preventing nuisance algae growth. The AquaMaxx BioMaxx BioPellet Reactor is a finely-tuned fluidized filter designed to help hobbyists remove nitrates and phosphates from reef aquarium systems.

AquaMaxx Carbon One Activated Carbon and AquaMaxx Phosphate Out Granular Ferrous Oxide Filter Media (64 oz. sizes)
AquaMaxx Carbon One reduces and eliminates organic pollutants, odors and discolorations from your aquarium water. Clearer tank water allows for better light penetration into your aquarium. AquaMaxx Phosphate Out is a granular ferric oxide adsorptive filter media that removes phosphate from aquarium water. Phosphate is a fuel for algae growth and can also inhibit a coral’s ability to utilize calcium in water.

There are a few rules, of course. The main ones are that you have to be U.S. resident 18 or older. You can read all the fine print here. Good luck in the giveaway, folks!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Digital Aquatics Lifeguard Aquarium Monitor: What is it?

What is Digital Aquatics Lifeguard? Well for starters, Lifeguard is not an aquarium controller.

Lifeguard is a whole new product category for Digital Aquatics. What the company has done through all of their years of experience is identify the top 3 reasons that aquariums fail: pH issues, temperature fluctuations and water level drops. Changes in any of these can be catastrophic to your aquarium.

Digital Aquatics Lifeguard system is a self-contained unit that can monitor all of these parameters and send you an email or text message in the event of a problem. It also has long-term data tracking and trending results that help you analyze your tank's conditions. No PC connection needed, no monthly service fees.

Because Lifeguard operates independently of any other device used by your aquarium, it works perfect as a standalone monitoring system or a redundant safeguard against failure.

What's in the box? We're glad you asked:
  • 1 x Lifeguard
  • 1 x Temperature probe
  • 1 x pH probe
  • 1 x 7ph calibration packet
  • 1 x 10pH calibration packet
  • 1 x Power supply (12VDC)
  • 1 x 5` Ethernet cable
  • 1 x Quick start guide
The Lifeguard system is super easy to set up and use. With a rich HTML5 web based interface, it is compatible with any PC, Mac, laptop, tablet or smart phone. If you're wary about aquarium controllers but want a more accurate way to monitor your tank parameters, Lifeguard may be just what you're looking for.

To purchase the Digital Aquatics Lifeguard aquarium monitoring system or learn more about it, please visit our website.