Thursday, December 31, 2009

Deal of the Week, 12/31/09


AquaticLife Aquarium Controllers

Regularly:
$199.99 to $259.99
Now Only: $99.99 to $129.99


YOU SAVE 50%!


Learn More...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Santa Forget You? We Didn't.


We know you smiled when you unwrapped that new sweater/tie/pair of pajamas on Christmas morning. We also know you were faking it.

With the holiday season winding to a close you can put that money from Grandma to good use in our annual
After Christmas Sale. Save up to 50% on lighting, bulbs or even splurge on a new Cardiff system from Current USA.

Looking for more deals? We've gotcha covered.


We've got a
bunch of coupons (including buy 1 get 1 free offers) that expire at midnight on New Year's Eve (more coupons on different items coming in January!). Lastly, our 15 stocking stuffers under $50 sale is in effect until January 4.

And, of course, if you need assistance—tech support, recommendations—we're always
here to help.

New this Week, 12/29/09

View ALL new items >>

E.S.V. B-Ionic Seawater System Salt Mix w/ Measuring Supplies
Ionic Seawater System provides two dominant salts in their formulation in separate containers. All other major, minor, and trace elements are pre-dissolved in a highly concentrated two-component liquid system. These dry and liquid components can easily be
measured for any size batch of synthetic seawater. Available in 25, 50, and 200 gallon mixes.


AquaticLife T5 HO 6-Lamp Light Fixture w/ Lunar LEDs
AquaticLife's Six-Lamp T5 HO Light Fixtures offer 420/460 nm, 700+ nm and lunar light in one streamlined compact unit. Available in 36 inches, 48 inches and 72 inches, these new AquaticLife T5 HO fixtures feature built-in timers to control the fluorescent lamps and lunar/moon LEDs independently along with built-in fans to keep the fixtures cool and push heat away from the aquariu
m. Adjustable aquarium frame mounts are included to support the fixture above your tank. German-made reflectors maximize light by directing it into your aquarium. There are also suspension ports if you prefer to hang or mount your light in a different configuration.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New this Week, 12/22/09

View ALL new items >>

PRE-ORDER - 60 Inch 4x80W Sunlight Supply Tek Light High Output Fluorescent Lighting Fixture
- Accommodates ultra efficient, high output T-5 lamps

- 95% reflective aluminum inserts that increase output by over 300%

- The polished aluminum is bent into 4 parabolic shaped reflectors

- Durable black powder-coat finish

- Major brand, fully enclosed electronic ballasts

-
More...

PRE-ORDER - 60 Inch 6x80W Sunlight Supply Tek Light High Output Fluorescent Lighting Fixture
- 4, 6, & 8 lamp configurations

- 2 power switches on 4, 6, 8 lamp models for better lighting control—allows independent use of timers

- Cool operation and NO noise

- Complete line of German & domestic T-5 HO lamps available (purchase your choice of lamps separately)

- Easy to reach On/Off illuminated switch

-
More...

PRE-ORDER - 60 Inch 8x80W Sunlight Supply Tek Light High Output Fluorescent Lighting Fixture
- Optional easy to use adjustable cable hanging system with 8 ft cable

- Sleek profile only 2.5 inches high

- Convection vent allows maximum air flow

- Rust proof aluminum body that is lightweight and heavy duty

- Optional protective acrylic lenses are available.

- Optional mounting legs available.

-
More...

PRE-ORDER - 36 Inch 4x39W Sunlight Supply Tek Elite Light High Output Fluorescent Lighting Fixture
- Dimensions: 35” x 12” x 2.5”

- New 98% reflective European aluminum reflectors increase output by over 300%

- Active air cooling for optimum lamp performance

- Includes acrylic shield

- Aluminum body is lightweight

- Attractive graphite powder coated finish is durable and rust proof

-
More...

PRE-ORDER - 48 Inch 4x54W Sunlight Supply Tek Elite Light High Output Fluorescent Lighting Fixture
- Accommodates ultra efficient, high output T5 lamps (sold separately)

- Sleek profile only 2.5 inches high

- 2 power switches and cords for better lighting control – allows independent use of timers

- Cool operation and minimal noise

- Two 8 ft power cords - 120 volt

- Compatible with both of our cable hanging kits (sold separately)

-
More...

PRE-ORDER - 48 Inch 6x54W Sunlight Supply Tek Elite Light High Output Fluorescent Lighting Fixture
- 47” x 15.75” x 2.5”

- New 98% reflective European aluminum reflectors increase output by over 300%

- Active air cooling for optimum lamp performance

- Includes acrylic shield

- Aluminum body is lightweight

- Attractive graphite powder coated finish is durable and rust proof

-
More...

PRE-ORDER - 48 Inch 8x54W Sunlight Supply Tek Elite Light High Output Fluorescent Lighting Fixture
- Accommodates ultra efficient, high output T5 lamps (sold separately)

- Sleek profile only 2.5 inches high

- 2 power switches and cords for better lighting control – allows independent use of timers

- Cool operation and minimal noise

- Two 8 ft power cords - 120 volt

- Compatible with both of our cable hanging kits (sold separately)

-
More...

IceCap Reef Illuminations 21.6in LED Moonlight 420/460nm T5 Retrofit Tube w/ Power Supply + Mounting Clips
The LunarLite LED tubes have the same look of a standard T5 tube, but they are powered by a low voltage transformer, not a fluorescent ballast. The T5 form provides better spread of the light over the entire aquarium. Encasing the LED’s inside a T5-style tube protects them and their circuit boards from the harsh, salty, humid environment that is your normal saltwater aquarium. The IceCap LunarLites have an aluminum heat sink on the back side of the tube to dissipate what little heat they generate.


IceCap Reef Illuminations 33.4in LED Moonlight 420/460nm T5 Retrofit Tube w/ Power Supply + Mounting Clips
LunarLites are highly efficient and very reliable but we know the reason you’ll want them is what they will do to the appearance of the corals. They are designed to excite the green fluorescing proteins in corals. They particularly bring out yellows, oranges, and greens. If you think your corals look good under actinics, you haven’t seen anything yet! Mushrooms, Zoanthids, Ricordea, and most any fleshly large polyp stony corals look amazing under the LEDs.


IceCap Reef Illuminations 45.2in LED Moonlight 420/460nm T5 Retrofit Tube w/ Power Supply + Mounting Clips
The LunarLite retrofits ship with mounting clips to secure the LED Tubes to a canopy, commercial hood or existing fixture. The weight should not be an issue because the 2-foot unit is only 4 oz. Power connection to the LunarLite is a power tail with a quick connect to a low voltage power supply, no hand wiring required. The LunarLite LED tubes have the same look of a standard T5 tube, but they are powered by a low voltage transformer, not a fluorescent ballast. The T5 form provides better spread of the light over the entire aquarium.


UVL 22 Inch T5 V-HO Red Sun Bulb 633NM (24W/40W)
Red Sun - The 633nm Red Sun is a perfect supplemental addition for enhancing reds, yellows and orange colors from a wide variety of marine and freshwater aquatic species. The lamp provides a usable light spectrum capable of aiding photosynthesis in most plants and corals.



UVL 34 Inch T5 V-HO Red Sun Bulb 633NM (39W/60W)
Red Sun - The 633nm Red Sun is a perfect supplemental addition for enhancing reds, yellows and orange colors from a wide variety of marine and freshwater aquatic species. The lamp provides a usable light spectrum capable of aiding photosynthesis in most plants and corals.



UVL 46 Inch T5 V-HO Red Sun Bulb 633NM (54W/85W)
Red Sun - The 633nm Red Sun is a perfect supplemental addition for enhancing reds, yellows and orange colors from a wide variety of marine and freshwater aquatic species. The lamp provides a usable light spectrum capable of aiding photosynthesis in most plants and corals.



Marc Weiss Organics Calcium Vital Plus 16 oz.
Provides high grade all natural calcium for lushgrowth of purple, pink and green coralline algaes on live rock. Returns calcium levels to those found in natural seawater. Contains Strontium and Selenium for enhanced ionic exchange. Actively works to reduce nitrates. Binds natural waste products. Natural pH buffer. Greatly reduces the need for water changes.



Marc Weiss Organics F.O.R.M. Liquid 16 oz.
Funky Old Reef Mud is a natural blend of minerals and beneficial organics. Its express purpose is to condition the water in favor of the microscopic flora and fauna contained in the aquarium. The aquarium water’s ionic potential changes and instantly the microbial populations react in an excited and beneficial manner. This product helps provide a stable supplement of electrolytes that are used by any living organism for metabolism.


Marc Weiss Organics Combo Vital 5 oz.
For aquariums with hard and soft coral. The combination of two very popular and individually dynamic products, Spectra Vital and Black Powder provide a buffering capacity of aquarium water which produce remarkable results. The synergism of both products stabilizes the aquarium in such a manner that microscopic and macroscopic species of animal and rock are optimized.



Marc Weiss Organics Garlic Boost Plus 6 oz.
Garlic Boost is a 100% USDA certified organic source of the holistic phenomenon of “Garlic”. When added to your aquarium all breeds of fish are attracted to their food supply and even problem eaters take on increased nourishment. Our organic garlic is a natural anti-fungal agent which enhances the immunology all species. The allicin component of garlic has been repeatedly proven to ward off bacterial infections by blocking the enzyme reactions in sulfhydryl (SH) groups, or thiols. The study of ancient history provides many uses of the herb “Garlic” in the treatment of disease of various types.


Eshopps S-200 Economy Cone Protein Skimmer
- Model: S-200 Dimensions:

- Diameter: 8", Height: 21"

- Footprints (L x W): 10" x 9.5"

- Rated: Up to 300 Gallon Tank

- Mesh-Wheel Impeller, Removable Base, Bubble Plate

- Quiet Operation, German Designed Pump



Eshopps S-150 Economy Cone Protein Skimmer
- Model: S-150* Dimensions:

- Diameter: 6", Height: 21"

- Footprints (L x W): 9" x 8"

- Rated: Up to 150 Gallon Tank

- Rated: Up to 300 Gallon Tank

- Mesh-Wheel Impeller, Removable Base, Bubble Plate

- Quiet Operation, German Designed Pump

Friday, December 18, 2009

Q&A with Keith, 12/18/09


QUESTION
I am starting up a saltwater aquarium once again. It is going to be a reef tank. The aquarium I
have now is only a 20 gallons so I was thinking I'd convert it into a refugium and buy a larger tank for fish and plant life. What is the largest aquarium a 20 gallon refugium can feed?

ANSWER
A refugium, as defined in the aquarium hobby, is as an area or refuge where micro-organisms can live and breed without the worry of predation from fish or other organisms. Macro-algaes are also kept in refugiums to aid in waste (nitrate and phosphate) removal from the aquarium’s water. Many people setup refugiums as part of the filtration system for their saltwater aquarium, especially with reef tanks, where nutrient control is a huge concern.

Besides the roll of a micro-organism farm to help feed corals, fish and other invertebrates in your tank, refugiums are a nutrient-control filter and help stabilize the pH of your tank. During the daytime, while the lights are on over your reef tank, the different algae will photosynthesize. The algae will take in CO2 and release 02 while producing sugars to feed themselves. But during the nighttime, they will respire, meaning they take in O2 and release CO2. The CO2 produces carbonic acid which will lower the pH. By running the refugium's light on a reverse daylight period (opposite of the main tank’s light), the algae in the refugium will help balance out the CO2 and O2 production and maintain a more stable pH level.

So what size refugium should you put on your t
ank?
While there are many different opinions on this, I feel most people will agree a refugium should be at least 10 to 15% of the tank’s volume. So for a 55 gallon tank, for example, a refugium should be at least 5.5 to 8 gallons for it to function properly for that size tank.

But what if you don’t have the space available for something that size? Will a smaller refugium work? “Kind of” is the best answer I can respond with for that question. In my humble opinion, something is better than nothing, but you certainly can’t expect a smaller refugium to perform as well as a larger one.

What to use to light a refugium?
You will need to provide adequate lighting in the proper spectrum to keep macro-algae alive. You can
use fluorescent lighting, such as normal output bulbs, power compact, T5 and VHO bulbs or plant grow spot light bulbs. If you really want to light things up, you can even use metal halide lighting. But remember: you don’t need to make the tank look pretty, so stay away from higher Kelvin-rated bulbs. Normally bulbs under 6700K work best to achieve good growth from your algae.

Does flow rate matter through a refugium?

This again is a topic that has a lot of differences in opinions. I personally have setup refugiums with high flow rates and ones with minimal flow rates and, in my opinion, they both work … provided you don’t have a movement so slow things become stagnant in the refugium or movement so fast it literally blows the algae or sand out of the water. Generally speaking, a nice, moderate flow through the refugium will work just fine.


What should you put into your refugium?
Macro-algae should be at the top of your list. There are many different types of algae avai
lable that will work well, but most people are leaning toward using Chaetomorpha (or spaghetti algae) over Caulerpa species. The reason for this is two-fold. First, Chaeto (as it is oft-times shortened to) is fairly hardy and grows fast. It grows into a fairly dense formation that is a perfect refuge for micro-organisms like copepods, amphipods and such. The second reason is Chaeto tends to be a “non-invasive” species and can easily be removed for pruning. Caulerpa attaches itself to anything porous and, once established, can be very difficult to remove from the refugium. Also, while I have never actually witnessed this, people claim Caulerpa can go “sexual.” Basically the Caulerpa releases all of its chlorophyll and causes your water to turn green.

Sand is another possible addition to your refugium. Some people like to have a deep sand bed (DSB) located outside of their main display tank. If your refugium is large enough, the use of a DSB within the refugium can also help with nitrate reduction in your water. If you have a small refugium, you can still add an inch or two of sand in there that will give sand dwelling organisms a place to live. There are many different types of worms and other very interesting organisms that will dig through the sand bed searching for food.

Live rock can also be placed in your refugium. The live rock will not only help seed the refugium with micro and macro organisms, it will also give them places to hide as well. A few smaller pieces of what many times is referred to as “live rock rubble” can help kick start a refugium.

Snails, hermit crabs, sea cucumbers and other “non aggressive” invertebrates can also be introduced into a refugium. They can help feed off of some of the nuisance algae or diatoms that may grow as well as any uneaten food that may make its way in there. Hermit crabs are opportunistic scavengers, so you may want to be careful with them. I personally have found the scarlet hermit crabs to be one of the safer hermits out there.

Mangroves are another neat item that can be used in a refugium provided you allow space for its upward growth. Most of the mangrove will actually be out of the water with only its root system fully submerged. While they are not the best at taking up nutrients from the water, they are very neat to watch grow.


What shouldn’t go in your refugium?
Fish is at the top of that list. If you put a fish into your refugium it can, in a matter of days, wipe out the copepods and amphipods you are trying to grow. Do not put fish in there. Certain crabs, such as Arrow Crabs, are well-known for their ability to feed upon bristleworms, so many crabs should be excluded from being allowed in. Sand sifting starfish are another one to mention since these guys can decimate the life of a sand bed very quickly.


Can you make a display refugium, or does it have to be hidden?

You certainly can make your refugium on display for everyone to see, but if you are like me, you will want it to look as good as your main tank. This will create more work for you, but as long as you don’t mind that it can certainly add another topic of conversation when people are viewing your tank.


Overall there are really are no drawbacks to adding a refugium to your tank, whether it is a fish-only (FO) or a reef system, except for maybe the time and cost of setting one up (if you consider that a drawback). They can be very beneficial to the overall health of your tank by not only adding a food source for your fish and corals, but also by providing a very natural filtration to your tank. I have listed a few links with discussions along with a few recommended books if you want to find out more about refugiums and the benefits they can provide for your aquarium.


Macro-algae and refugium discussions

Books If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us (or leave a comment below).

--------------------------------------------------

If you would like to ask Keith a question, click here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Shipping Deadlines


Attention holiday shoppers:
tomorrow (12/17) is the last day you can order from us using standard ground shipping (orders $175 & up ship for free!) and be assured your order arrives before Christmas. Below you'll find our entire holiday shipping schedule.

Shipping Method

Last day for ground service (3-5 days): December 17th
Last day for 3-day air service: December 18th
Last day for 2-day air service: December 21st
Last day for overnight air service: December 22nd

Our third annual
holiday gift guide is chock-full of great deals from $4.99 bulbs to $189.99 RO/DI systems. If you're looking for stocking stuffers, sign up for our newsletter NOW because we're sending out 15 items under $50 as early as this afternoon.

As usual, we are here to offer free technical support and make personalized product recommendations for your aquarium system. Ring us all the way at 1-800-566-FISH (3474).

Merry Fishmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Deal of the Week, 12/14/09

Friday, December 11, 2009

Q&A with Keith, 12/11/09


QUESTION

How do you prime the filter to get the water to the top of the canister?


ANSWER
Many canister filters will come with a "pump" action primer that allows water to start flowing from the tank down into the canister filter. If your canister filter doesn't have this option there are a few other ways to get this to start.


One way is to fill the
canister with water prior to placing it under the tank. Then plug the filter in. If the flow of water doesn't start up, you may pick up the canister filter and turn it slightly on its side (not all the way over, just a little bit). This will allow the water inside the canister to come in contact with the impeller and start the water flowing.

Another way is to use a powerhead (or water pump) to push water down the inlet tube into the canister filter. Once the water starts flowing into the filter (it will start to siphon down) you can plug the filter in and that should get the water flowing for you.


Your best bet is just to contact us directly and tell us what type of filter you're setting up so we can explain precisely what to do.


If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to
contact us (or leave a comment below).

--------------------------------------------------
If you would like to ask Keith a question, click here.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

New this Week, 12/8/09

View ALL new items >>

NP Biopellets Filter Media
The positive effects of NP-reducing BioPellets on water quality are based on the principle of immobilization. Waste products from the water, mainly nitrate and phosphate, are converted into bacteria. This keeps the aquarium water clean. NP-reducing Bi
oPellets are composed of biologically degradable polymers that can be placed in a fluidized filter or filter canister. The pellets will allow aerobic growth of bacteria which consequently will consume nitrate and phosphate simultaneously. The bacteria will use up the carbon from the BioPellets, whilst nitrogen and phosphorus are taken from the water as nitrate and (ortho)phosphate. This conversion of organic BioPellets (together with inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus) into microbial biomass is called immobilization. In addition, anaerobic layers will develop, resulting in additional denitrification. Available in a 500ml pouch for $54.99 and a 1000ml pouch for $99.99.

Marco Rocks Key Largo Dry Base
An exciting new rock from Marco Rocks puts a new meaning in "Reef Safe" This product will never ever be collected from a living reef. A product of the USA, there's no more Fiji shut down getting in the way of your project. The best base rock you will find for your aquarium. Each box is hand packed by a reef tank e
nthusiast to ensure you will get what you need and want for your reef tank or salt water aquarium. Marco Rock dry base rock is the most porous, lightweight and has the greatest surface area of any rock we have seen. At Marco Rocks we believe the finest dry rock makes the finest live rock. In an average 35 pound box you will expect to find 2-3 football sized pieces and an assortment of smaller sizes to fill and round out the box for weight. (We DO NOT pack rubble rock in these boxes, however we do overpack these boxes by 1-2 lbs to make up for any breakage that may occur during shipping). The 35-pound box is $99.99 + shipping and a 50-pound box is $129.99 + shipping.

HM Digital Handheld TDS Meter w/ Thermometer
The world’s most popular TDS meter, the TDS-3 is the most reliable and longest lasting meter of its kind. It has a wide range of 0-9990 ppm has a hold button to save readings until it automatically shuts off after 10 minutes of non-use. The built-in thermometer displays the temperature and also compensates TD
S for differences in temperature. The unit comes in a protective vinyl case. It takes only two batteries, which have extra long life and are very easy to change. TDS is shown in a large, easy-to-read display. It is simple to use and comes factory calibrated.

HM Digital Pocket-Sized TDS Meter w/ Thermometer
The world’s smallest and lightest TDS meter also comes with a built-in digital thermometer. It is a true pocket size meter, comfortably fitting into a shirt pocket without adding bulk. The TDS-4TM-A
comes in an aquarium-specific retail-ready packaging. Includes an internal digital thermometer, Hold Function to save measurements for convenient reading and recording, auto-off function to turns off meter after 10 minutes of non-use and more.

HM Digital Waterproof pH Meter
Very reliable waterproof pH meter measures with an accuracy: of +/- 0.02 pH. Measures pH and temperature, auto-ranging three point calibration with digital fine tuning and includes 4 pH buffer solution in a sponge embedded in a clear cap, so you can see if it's dried up. Water-proof housing, simultaneous temperature display, 0-14 pH measurement rang
e and digital push-button calibration. Auto-off function, data-hold function and low-battery indicator. Large and easy-to-read LCD screen includes simultaneous temperature reading. The PH-200 meter is three-point factory calibrated to 4, 7, and 10 pH. The meter can be recalibrated with digital calibration using the push buttons, rather than a screwdriver. Includes a cap, batteries and lanyard.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Now Shipping Key Largo Dry Base Rock from Marco Rocks


Marco Rocks, first mentioned on this blog a couple of weeks ago, are now available for sale on our website.

Marco Rocks promises to be the epitome of "reef safe." Not only are Marco Rocks safe for reef aquariums, they are never ("never ever," their website states) collected from a living reef.

Marco Rocks are natural calcium carbonate and quarried near Key Largo, Florida. The company promises to be a reliable base rock source for marine and reef aquaria.

Each box is hand packed by a reef enthusiast to ensure you get a nice variety for your own tank. Marco Rocks arrive to you pre-cycled to help speed the setup of new aquariums. They are porous, lightweight and have a large surface area.

If you have questions about
Marco Rocks or any aquarium product or livestock, don't hesitate to contact us or leave a comment.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Now Shipping: Eshopps Frag Cave


Eshopps's ├╝ber cool frag cave is now officially in-stock. Rejoice, pre-orderers (is that a word?), for your cave will be shipped out today.

For those not already in the know, Eshopps' frag cave is a live rock replica with built-in holes for the included (and matching, mind you) frag plugs.


For $29.99, you'll get the 6" x 4" x 3-1/4" frag cave and 12 matching, removable frag plugs. The frag cave is a reef-safe structure designed to blend in with your existing rockwork and supports coralline algae growth for an even more natural look.


For more information about the frag cave, visit our
online store or contact us today.

Introducing NP-reducing BioPellets


Just got word from our purchasers that NP-reducing BioPellets are now in stock and ready to ship.

Available in a 500ml pouch for $54.99 and a 1000ml pouch for $99.99, NP-reducing BioPellets are a filtration substrate for aquarists who want to supply their aquarium inhabitants with large quantities of food without negatively affecting water quality.

Reefbuilders began covering BioPellets in
October (follow-up post here) and there is some lively commentary, including a testimonial from an actual user. Even the manufacturer chimes in.

To learn more about NP-reducing BioPellets, visit our website today. If you have any questions, leave us a comment or contact us directly for one-on-one support.