Aquatic Eden has posted pictures of the top 10 tanks from Aqua Design Amano's 2008 International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest. Around the office, we generally refer to these beautiful aquariums as freshwater planted tanks.
ADA founder Takashi Amano, however, prefers calling them nature aquariums, or a "beautiful underwater world of aquatic plants and tropical fish."
If you're into the freshwater planted, er, I mean ... nature aquarium side of the hobby, give Aquatic Eden a read. There's a lot of great content on everything from diffusing CO2 to aquascaping on a budget.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Carla, an angelfish at the London Aquarium, recently had a life-saving operation to cure a hernia.
The 10 inch long angelfish was laid out, anesthetized, using a scalpel, needle and some forceps as Veterinarian Sue Thornton repaired the stomach condition.
Pumping water through the Carla’s body and over her gills, the Angelfish was able to breathe during the whole operation.
Sue was quoted saying: "I must admit I didn't think the prognosis was very promising to begin with.
As soon as she was asleep we moved her on to the operating surface and fed a tube from the tank into her mouth and kept her breathing by pumping the water over her gills.
I then stitched the wound together as best I could. It was difficult because the wall tissue was very stiff, but I managed to close it.”
Carla was kept under close observation, is expected to make a full recovery.
James Oliver of the London Aquarium added: "I guess it may seem a bit extreme to operate on a small fish but Carla has been with us for 10 years and she is almost family."
Now this is only a brief summary of this amazing story. I encourage you to take a look at the full article here. Also there are lots of pics.
Imagine Gold Bio System Power Filters
The Imagine Bio System Power Filter System works in three stages. Stage 1, Mechanical: Two layers of polyester filter floss filters out suspended particles. Stage 2, Chemical: Activated carbon removes many dissolved contaminants and discoloration form the water. The even distribution of carbon throughout the polyester floss filter makes the carbon highly effective. Stage 3, Biological: Biological filtration occurs mainly in the blue sponge. Aerobic bacteria develop on the surface of the sponge, removing contaminants like ammonia and nitrites.
Captive Purity Hi-Silicate Removal Thin Film Composite Replacement Membrane 60GPD
The new Hi-Silicate Removal Thin-Film Composite Replacement Membranes from Captive Purity are interchangeable and can be used in both Kent Marine and SpectraPure reverse osmosis (RO) and reserve osmosis/deionization units.
Two Little Fishies NanoMag Magnetic Glass Cleaning Device
Two Little Fishies` NanoMag is an itsy-bitsy, lean, high-energy, window-cleaning apparatus. Its patent-pending design provides flexibility and a slender profile that slips safely between polyps and viewing windows. It’s got the umph needed for cleaning glass up to 3/8” thick. The NanoMag also glides across the curved surfaces of fish bowls, wiping off algal films with ease, and it’s so much fun to use you just might have to take turns.
EcoTech VorTech Extra Battery Backup Cable
Friday, October 24, 2008
As promised, I finally got the camera working. Now I just need to work on my picture taking skills.
As you will notice, the rock is basically void of all coralline algae. This is an unfortunate side effect of "cooking" the live rock. This was done to eradicate some problematic algae on the rock. For those that aren't familiar with the term "cooking," it actually has nothing to do with using an oven or even cooking.
Cooking in aquarium hobby terms means keeping rock in the dark to kill off nuisance algae. Most people will put their rock into a plastic trash can, like a Rubbermaid Tote container. Using a powerhead for movement and a heater to maintain a stable temperature, the rock should be kept in the dark for a few months. Water changes should be performed during this period to keep the water nitrate- and phosphate-free. The end result: rock free of unwanted algae, but also void of coralline algae.
As I mentioned in my post earlier this week, I added two "trial" corals to the tank last week. Both are doing well and I am getting excited about stocking the tank. I am, however, trying to remain patient ... not one of my strong suits. I've included a picture in this post of the orange ricordea. Presently the lights only run a few hours each day, but as I start acquiring more corals, I will begin increasing the lighting duration.
I've also come to a decision on which fish I'll be introducing next week. I am going to add a pair of black percula clownfish and one of my all-time favorite fish, the Orchid Dottyback. All three will be tank-raised species bred at ORA (the photo I've included is from ORA's website). In nearly every tank I've setup, I've had an Orchid Dottyback. Their color and personality make them a great addition to almost any tank and, unlike many other dottybacks, they are not overly aggressive.
Now that I have the camera working, I will post more photos next week once the new additions are happily swimming around in their new home.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Growing up, the idea of surfing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was not far fetched. I believed that somewhere in Manhattan, a sewer rat was training four turtles to fight crime.
Now 26 and growing older, my childhood cartoon heroes are nothing more than a memory that can be found on VHS in a Walmart bargin bin.
“Surfing” the internet, I found something that is totally RAT-ical.
Two rats, Fin and Tofu, love the ocean waves.
You can read the full article here, but I think the video speaks for its self
Tunze Nano RO Unit
Reverse osmosis is a natural and environmentally friendly process used to remove dissolved salts and impurities safely from the water by physical methods. TUNZE® Nano RO Station 8515 is a compact high-quality reverse osmosis unit employed for the easy production of pure water (RO water). It is especially suitable for small and medium sized marine and freshwater aquariums. It is very easy to operate and can be connected directly to a water tap using the accessories supplied by the manufacturer. The reverse osmosis unit consists of a Carbon Block filter and a thinfilm composite membrane.
Tunze RO Ion Exchanger
This additional filter can be fitted to the outgoing water outlet of the RO Station as a water hardener or silicate filter. The tank contains two screw caps with plug-type connectors for the hose of the osmosis plant and two brackets for a direct attachment on the RO Station. In order to increase the calcium content of the out-going RO water, the mixed-bed ion exchanger granulate can be replaced by the calcium carbonate granulate. The out-going RO water takes up high quantities of calcium hydrogen carbonate. In the process, the hardness of the out-going RO water is increased, i.e. the carbonate hardness is increased.
Elos Conductivity Probe COND-probe
The conductivity cells are plastic bodied cells with two parallel graphite electrodes. These cells feature a wide measuring range and a low-maintenance, rugged design for universal application in online monitoring as well as in connection with pocket and field instrumentation. Developed to be used in combination with the high precision Biotopus II controller, this model features accurate measurements, even under difficult conditions... as well as a long lifetime, excellent price to performance ratio and wide range of applications.
Precision Marine R24 Refugium w/ RL100 Protein Skimmer
Fabricated entirely of Made in the U.S.A. cast acrylic, Precision Marine's new R24 Refugium and RL100 Redline Protein Skimmer are all about performance and value. The refugium is 24" x 11.5" x 14" with interior dimensions of 6.5" x 11" and a 3.75" x 11" pump chamber. The drain size is 1" bulkhead and the RL100/125 protein skimmer chamber is 10.5" x 11". The skimmer uses 18W and includes a muffler. It is ozone compatible, includes a PM RLP1000 water pump and has a 100g capacity. The fabricator's attention to detail is apparent in each of these exquisitely crafted aquarium components.
Precision Marine SR35P Professional Series Reverse Flow Substrate Reactor
Precision Marine SR35P Professional Series Substrate Reactors are made of cell-cast acrylic tubing throughout with a 1/2" thick, full-gauge machined black PVC base and 3/4" thick heav-duty lid. The flanges are PVC welded and a unique thermoformed base redirects water upward. You can use the SR35P with the substrate/filter media of your choice (activiated carbon, nitrate & phosphate removing media and de-ion resins). Includes custom die-cut sponges and a threaded, twist-off lid.
All Brightwell Aquatics Products
Brightwell Aquatics' goal is simply to provide the absolute highest quailty, scientifically-sound products and customer service of any aquarium water care manufacturer and to do it all in a straight-forward, honorable fashion. All Brightwell Aquatics products are formulated by a published marine scientist who has been a passionate aquairum hobbyist for over 25 years. The goal in formulation is to utilize the highest purity ingredients in concentrations that provide the most use to the hobbyist. With very few exceptions, all raw materials are 99.9% pure.
Kent Marine Pro-Dechlorinator 8oz
A simple, one-step solution to safely neutralize tap water. In many areas, water departments treat water using chloramine. This is a more stable complex of chlorine and ammonia. If chloramine is present, Kent Marine Pro-Dechlorinator will break that bond and neutralize it, making the water safe for aquatic life. Can be used directly in freshwater and marine aquariums to neutralize chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals. Concentrated formula-5 mL treats 50 gallons of water. Safe for sensitive hard and soft corals, anemones, other invertebrates and freshwater and marine fish and plants. Does not contain a slime coat protector that can interfere with protein skimming.
Digital Aquatics RKM-PC4
IntellaStrip Technology- Our new PC4 is the most advanced power distribution unit in the industry with the ability to keep your system up and running even if you have a device failure. Manual Override Mode - Gives you the power to control all four outlets individually at the PC4 without having to navigate a complicated menu. Breaker/Switch - The 15 Amp breaker/switch eliminates the inconvenience of finding fuses and gives you the ability to quickly shut down power if needed. LED Status Indicators - Each channel has it`s own LED status indicator for convenient feed back on its current status. There is also an indicator that will inform you of the PC4s overall state.
JBJ 4 inch 200 Micron Filter Sock
Filter socks are the most convenient form of mechanical filtration. They remove excess food, detritus, organic waste, dust, and other particulates. Removing these particulates from the water column will reduce the amount of organic matter that produces ammonia and other undesirable substances in the aquarium. Filter socks also help prevent larger objects, such as sand, crabs, snails, etc. from damaging pump motors. Regular filter sock use will lower organic levels and result in CRYSTAL CLEAR WATER!
JBJ Submariner UV Sterilizer / Clarifier
5W Reg. $69.99, On Sale $59.99 - Save $10!
7W Reg. $84.99, On Sale $74.99 - Save $10!
The Submariner is the proactive solution for eradicating harmful micro-organisms and unattractive green free-floating algae in fresh & saltwater aquariums.
Let me start by apologizing for my lack of updates. Time has not been on my side the last few weeks. But with the weather turning cold in the Northeast, it is time to start moving inside (after the leaves are all raked up) and get the tank filled with life. I am actually surprised I don't like the cold weather, as I was born in Vermont, but I guess living in SoCal for 7-8 years thinned my blood somewhat because now I don't really care for temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
So ... where is the tank at this point?
Well, it's actually up and running with saltwater and even a couple of "starter" corals. I still need to hook-up my auto top-off system so I can stop dumping water in the tank manually for top off. I have both of my Vortech Pumps running in the tank and, compared to the "old" versions without the wireless wave drivers, the "newer" versions are just incredible! I have tried a few different settings on the tank and was even able to create a nice wave action using the Short Pulse Mode. But I ended up using the Long Pulse Mode for now, but as I start to stock the tank this may change.
As I mentioned, I added a couple of small corals to the tank last Thursday (Oct. 16th). My friend let me come over and take a few pieces from his tank (he wanted me to grab more corals, but since they were the first going in, I just wanted a couple to try out). I ended up grabbing two heads of Hammer or Anchor coral (Euphyllia species, not 100% sure which one yet) and a single polyp of an Orange Ricordea. Both are doing great in the tank so far. My plan for the tank is to have a few large corals in the tank instead of lots of little ones, I just hope I can be patient enough to wait for them to grow out before I start fragging them, LOL. I am also hoping to go with all captive raised/propagated corals as well. I would like to have mainly all SPS, with a couple of LPSs (Euphyllia and Duncanopsammia sp).
I am still trying to figure out my fish wish list for the tank. I don't think I want a large "show piece" fish in the tank, rather I prefer more smaller fish. I am thinking a pair of clownfish (I really liked my pink skunks in my last tank, so I am leaning towards a pair of captive bred skunks or a pair of captive bred true percula clowns) and then some gobies and/or blennies of some type ... or maybe some type of dottyback, like an Orchid Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani).
I have always been a fan of pygmy angels (Centropyge), but I know they are not always the best choice for a reef tank. I have kept a pair of flame angels in the past in a 135-gallon mixed reef tank (they did great, but would occasionally nip at things) and, most recently, kept a Cherub Angel (C. argi) in my tank without any issues. I might consider trying an African Flameback Angel (C. acanthops) this time around, as they have always caught my eye.
One last large piece of equipment I am considering adding to the tank is a Calcium Reactor. I have always used reactors on my larger tanks, but have never used them on smaller tanks. I have always used two-part supplements, like AquaC Complete. But I have a brand new AquaC RX-1 Calcium Reactor along with all the needed equipment (CO2 tank, regulator, etc...) to get it up and running just sitting here on my shelf.
I think for now I am going to stick with dosing the two-part supplements, especially since I just ordered a new set and the demand for calcium on the tank is very low right now. But once it starts getting some corals in the tank and the coralline algae starts to take off, the demand for calcium will become greater and, whenever possible, I prefer to automate the process of adding supplements instead of manually dosing.
I have been promising some pictures of the tank, but I still have not loaded the software on my computer so I can download pictures. I am going to do that over the next few days and will take some pictures (although right now it is a pretty empty tank) and post before the end of the week. Hopefully I can get some decent shots of the tank now that it is actually running. While I am not overly happy with the liverock aquascaping (I will probably change it around a bit), at least it will give everyone an idea of where the tank is at.
Thanks for reading the latest update! Feel free to post any comments, questions or suggestions you might have for the tank.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Perusing the blogs in our blogroll this morning, I stumbled upon this cool post from Jess at Fishalicious.
The "AquaSketcher" allows you to create your dream freshwater tank within a nifty little Flash program. You can add a ton of lifelike plants, rocks and driftwood and adjust the size and placement to create the perfect aquascape.
There are other aquarium hobby-related tools on the site as well, including an Aquarium Diagnoser, a DIY Aquarium Builder and a Fertilization Calculator.
His Royal Highness General Khaled bin Sultan, founder and Chairman of the Living Oceans Foundation, announced the formal launch of "Global Reef Expedition: Science Without Borders," the Foundation's three-year coral reef study. The goals of the expedition are to:
- Map and characterize coral reef ecosystems
- Assess major habitat types
- Identify factors that allow coral reefs to resist, survive and recover from major threats
- Determine impacts of climate change
- Identify the reefs' current status and major threats
- Help develop regional and global conservation measures
Monday, October 13, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Three U.S.-based scientists won a Nobel Prize on Wednesday for turning a glowing green protein from jellyfish into a revolutionary way to watch the tiniest details of life within cells and living creatures.
Osamu Shimomura, a Japanese citizen who works in the United States, and Americans Martin Chalfie and Roger Tsien shared the chemistry prize for discovering and developing green fluorescent protein, or GFP.
When exposed to ultraviolet light, the protein glows green. It can act as a marker on otherwise invisible proteins within cells to trace them as they go about their business. It can tag individual cells in tissue. And it can show when and where particular genes turn on and off.
Researchers worldwide now use GFP to track development of brain cells, the growth of tumors and the spread of cancer cells. It has let them study nerve cell damage from Alzheimer's disease and see how insulin-producing beta cells arise in the pancreas of a growing embryo, for example. Read More...
SOURCES: Yahoo! News, CNN
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
MarineDepot.com and IceCap Inc. are partnering up to help increase awareness on the possible pollution that our hobby is adding to the environment.
While this is just a start and there are many more initiatives to come, a recycling program for old metal halide bulbs may have a big impact on preserving our environment.
- In America, one-in-six children born every year have been exposed to mercury levels so high that they are potentially at risk for learning disabilities, motor skill impairment and short-term memory loss.
- The Mercury from one fluorescent bulb can pollute 6,000 gallons of water beyond safe levels for drinking.
- 100 four-foot long fluorescent lamps contain about 4 grams of mercury. It only takes 1 teaspoon of mercury to contaminate a 20-acre lake FOREVER.
- In 1992, mercury-containing lamps were added to the United States' Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) list of hazardous substances. (The EPA's regulatory threshold of 2 mg./liter is usually exceeded by mercury-containing lamps).
- Mercury was number three on the 1997 list of hazardous substances as outlined by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the EPA.
- Each year, an estimated 600 million fluorescent lamps are disposed of in U.S. landfills amounting to 30,000 pounds of mercury waste.
- The Environmental Protection Agency reports that 187 incinerators nationwide emit approximately 70,000 total pounds of mercury into the environment each year.
- In the states of California, Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, it is unlawful for anyone to dispose of fluorescent bulbs as universal waste.
Bring in an old MH bulb and get a free MarineDepot.com T-shirt at Reef-A-Palooza (while supplies last). IceCap representatives will also be there to answer any questions you may have on the recycling program or their products.
Thank you for your support. We hope to see you at Reef-A-Palooza!
DATA SOURCE: FacilitiesNet
Monday, October 06, 2008
Content approx. 200 ml
Store in a cool and dry place. This package contains enough powder to make up 3.5 liters of EzeClean solution.
Keep out of reach of children. Take care when using the solution. Avoid breathing in the powder. In the event of contact with the eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of lukewarm water. If irritation occurs seek medical attention.
D-D EzeClean Equipment Cleaner formula can be used anywhere where lime deposits have formed, such as on aquarium equipment or in a domestic situation where hard tap water is present and causes problems.
EzeClean removes even the most obstinate lime deposits simply and effectively.
EzeClean formula is suitable for decalcifying pumps and pipes or any other piece of equipment that can be easily removed from the aquarium.
EzeClean is best dissolved in clean freshwater. Take 6 measuring spoons of EzeClean powder and dissolve it in ½ liter of water.
Stir the EzeClean formula in a container with the water until the powder has dissolved. After a few minutes the solution is ready for use.
Immerse the equipment to be cleaned in the solution for approximately 2 hours. After 2 hours take the equipment out of the solution and rinse it off thoroughly with clean water.
IMPORTANT: The media must never be added directly to the aquarium.
**Steve and Kira (myself) first tested EzeClean on 5/21/08. The following information and observations given is based on their personal experience. Results may vary from person to person.**On 5/21/08, Steve and I added approximately 3 liters of RO/DI water and 36 scoops of EzeClean powder formula. As a safety precaution, rubber gloves were worn by Kira to avoid any irritation.
*Advisable to avoid skin and eye contact. It is a good idea to use safety goggles and gloves.
At 10:40am we submersed a modified Algae Free + Maxi-Jet that had stopped working (one thing we noticed is, when the dirty pump is submerged in the newly mixed solution, IT FIZZES!!).
At 10:50am, we put a Mag-Drive 12 into the EzeClean and water solution.
*Be careful when removing the shaft from the pump, as we learned the hard way. Our shaft broke during removal. Words of advice: Pull the shaft straight out. And do not force the front cover off of the pump!At 11:30am, the impeller/shaft cover was completely clean. The pump body was clean, but still had a bit of debris on it. *Any debris left on it should easily wipe or brush off.
At 11:55am the purple algae started coming off of the Maxi-Jet. So far, so good! The Mag-Drive 12 is looking cleaner by the minute. It seems the calcium build up comes off easier than the purple algae. The calcium build up was off in about an hour, though the purple algae may take the full 2 hours (+) recommended, depending on the amount of algae and build up on it.
By 12:40pm the purple and all other types of algae were coming off very easily with light brushing with a toothbrush.
On 5/29/08 at about 5:50pm, we submerged a Seio M1100 pump into the old mixture of EzeClean that we had used a week ago. The water was still filthy, but somehow the EzeClean mixture was still going strong! The next day at 12:45pm we took the Seio out of the mixture and just had to lightly brush off the debris with a toothbrush. We are unsure if the EzeClean mixture was weaker, since we were reusing it, and is unknown if the pump would have been ready to brush within the 2 hours normally recommended for soaking time.
On 6/2/08, Steve and I took the Hydor Koralia 4 and the Tunze 6025 from our 90 gallon tank in the back of our office and decided these would be great for our next test! At 10:50am we started mixing the EzeClean in the bucket. Since it was a busy day at the office that day, we didn’t submerge the Koralia or the Tunze until 2:45pm. Within just one hour you could already see the difference in the pumps (and the water!!)! There was a “white-ish” foam floating on top of the water this time! A while later, you could see the once “white-ish” foam now had purples and browns and greens mixed with it! The water was completely murky and we couldn’t see anything below it in the water! We decided to let them soak some more overnight.
On 6/3 at 9:25am, I started brushing the pumps with a soft bristled toothbrush since they were so dirty and completely ‘caked’ with green and purple algae, anemones, calcium build up and “muck!" By this time, after soaking the pumps, I was actually able to easily remove the pump covers and impellers/shafts that we couldn’t remove before, due to them being sealed with algae and other build up.
One hour later, after a little bit of light brushing and slight scraping, the pumps were completely clean, reassembled and put back in the tank! They looked like new!
Reeflo Blackfin Pump, 4500 GPH
The Reeflo Blackfin Pump runs quietly with minimal heat transfer and is glass reinforced in polypro housing with silicon carbide seals. These low-wattage, fan-cooled units are also pre-wired with an 8-foot cord and come with a molded 115V plug. Enjoy a maximum flow rate of 4500 gph and the 5-year manufacturer warranty.
Aqua Medic Turboflotor 1000 Blue Hang-On Skimmer
The Turboflotor Blue 1000 is designed for use as a hang-on skimmer, with only the OR1200 Pump and the I/O fittings residing inside the aquarium, or as a freestanding Skimmer inside or outside the sump. At only 18.5” high, it is sized to fit nearly every standard aquarium cabinet. All the characteristic Turboflotor details are here, from the conical riser inside the foam cup and one-handed adjustable foam production to the Needle Wheel technology and Ceramic bearings for quiet operation. But this is a great new design that gives you the one-pump hang-on convenience of a T1000 Multi SL and enough "skimming power" for a 125 gallon Aquarium. The new shape creates a larger volume for more skimming capacity as well as skimmate collection. We think you are going to love this one! The T1000 Blue is manufactured using high quality acrylic.
AquaMaxx 175-Watt 14000K Metal Halide Bulb, Mogul Base
The AquaMaxx Mogul Based 14000K metal halide bulb offers excellent coloration and good intensity. It is crisp-white with a blue tint. It brings out the fluorescent pigments in corals nicely. Fluorescent supplementation is usually not necessary, but can be used for added intensity and to simulate dawn and dusk. An excellent choice for reef tanks 24" or deeper.
Precision Marine Redline Series Protein Skimmers
Precision Marine is proud to present the Redline Series of Needlewheel Protein Skimmers. Made entirely from Cast Acrylic, the Redline series cover main tank displays from 100-225 gallons. Starting as low as $209.99.
Lumen General ARO Electronic Ballasts
ARO electronic ballasts from Lumen General well-design and easy to setup. We presently offer two models: the first can run 150 or 175 watt lamps ($89.99) and the second runs 250 watt bulbs. Both are UL approved and carry a 3-year manufacturer warranty. Highlights include consistent lamp color, uniform lumen output, reduced lamp flicker, long ballast life and cool, silent operation.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Video shows dolphins trying to save the life of a member of their pod by holding the dolphin up to the surface of the sea.
Scientists from the Cetacean Research Institute filmed the amazing sight while carrying out research in the Sea of Japan.
Doctor Park Kyum-Joon, researcher at the Cetacean Research Institute, says, "We observed the scene for an hour, the dolphins trying to return their fellow dolphin to the proper posture, trying to support it from the bottom so it wouldn't sink and to make it easier for it to breathe."
The scientists spotted about 20 dolphins separated from a big group of 400.
Doctor Park Kyum-Joon, researcher at the Cetacean Research Institute,saying, "It's the world's first observation of dolphins' trying to save their fellow dolphin from dying, and it's the world's first filming of a dolphin dying at sea in natural circumstances."
They noticed the wild dolphin was upside down and could not move its pectoral flipper, after an hour the weak dolphin did go under the water and disappeared.
SOURCE: Rush Radio