Thursday, October 08, 2015

Why you should join an aquarium club: a round table discussion with SCMAS members Greg and Marc

As a reef nerd, it can sometimes be difficult to make new friends. When all you want to talk about are fish, corals and aquarium equipment, holding people's interest is a real challenge.

Joining an aquarium club in your area is one of the best ways to connect with like-minded people that share your enthusiasm for reef keeping. Plus, as you'll soon discover, participating in your local club can open you to many new opportunities and ideas that will help you learn and progress in the hobby.

In today's Marine Depot video, we sit down with two Southern California Marine Aquarium Society board members to discuss the benefits of joining a local reef club. During our conversation, we cover a lot of ground—including the history of SCMAS, tank tours, workshops plus share laughs on topics only other reefers can relate to.

We also talk about Reef-A-Palooza's humble beginnings and how this annual celebration of reef keeping has evolved into one of the world's largest aquarium shows.

If you are unfamiliar with aquarium clubs or have been considering joining your local chapter, watch to find out the countless ways that a club membership can benefit you... and your tank!

We hope our fun Q&A with Greg Carroll and Marc Trimble has inspired you to join an aquarium club! You can visit the Education Center of our website to find your local chapter.

Countless thanks to SCMAS for sharing their time and knowledge with us, not to mention organizing one of our favorite events, Reef-A-Palooza! Please like, share and subscribe if you found this video helpful and until next time, take care and happy reef keeping.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Neptune Systems Apex WAV Pump: Limitless Flow Capabilities, Insightful Data and Powerful AI

For those of us obsessed with reef aquariums, it is always an exciting time of year when MACNA (Marine Aquarium Conference of North America) comes around. The annual conference offers one of the best opportunities to learn more about the hobby with all of the awesome speakers, getting chummy with product manufacturers and finding out the inside scoop on some of the latest technology and equipment being introduced into the hobby.

One of the most highly anticipated new products this year is the Neptune Systems Apex WAV pump and their new 1LINK module. This year at MACNA we got our first hands-on look at these new pumps and today we are going to share some of our insights into what is quite possibly the future of water movement in our aquariums.

The new wavemaker from Neptune Systems allows for a seamless integration the Apex aquarium controller—which is required if you intend to use these pumps in your tank. With the new 1LINK module, all you need to do is plug the module into your Apex then attach up to three WAV pumps with a single cord going to each pump. This way you are not taking up precious sockets on your EnergyBar. Plus, less cords means less hassle.

One of the most impressive facts about the WAV pump is that it is so powerful—yet so compact! Each pump is capable of moving more than 4,000 gallons per hour (GPH) and is completely controllable using Neptune Systems' cloud-based aquarium command center, Apex Fusion. They run very quietly, with quite possibly the quietest drivers found on any powerhead.

The low-profile magnetic mount is really strong. It is suitable for tanks up to 1" thick with a pivot that gives you a 40° range of motion, making it easy to mount them discreetly and aim them right where you want them.

The WAV pumps also have some ingenious flow control options via Apex Fusion. A variety of programs including standard constant, random, pulse, sync, anti-sync as well as the unique "Malibu" and "Mavericks" modes for all you big wave chasers.

Using Apex Fusion, you can get detailed real-time pump status, allowing you to monitor your current mode, RPM, temperature and status of the pump. Apex Fusion can even take corrective action using its built-in artificial intelligence to stop the pump and/or send email or text alerts in the event something goes wrong.

Neptune Systems has integrated some really intelligent sensors that help prevent damage to your pump. The pump will stop operation completely if it senses a snail or rock jamming the impeller, if the pump falls off your tank wall or if it is removed from water.

With all of these cutting edge features, all of us Apex users here at Marine Depot are excited to get these pumps up and running in our own tanks. If you are looking for an easy-to-use water flow solution with an advanced feature set, give us a call today at 1-800-566-FISH to order the Apex WAV pump for your aquarium.

Please like and share this article/video to help us spread the word about these revolutionary new aquarium pumps! Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on the latest aquarium keeping news and technology. Thanks for letting us share our knowledge with you!

Until next time, take care and happy reefkeeping.

> View Neptune Systems Apex WAV Pumps in our online store.

> Shop for Neptune Systems Apex AquaControllers in our online store.

> Get a thorough breakdown of the WAV on Neptune Systems' website.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Marine Depot Earns 2015 Bizrate Circle of Excellence

Bizrate® Insights, a Connexity company and one of the largest sources of consumer-generated reviews of online retailers in the United States, this week announced that was a winner in its 16th annual Bizrate Circle of Excellence Awards. The Award recognizes retailers that received outstanding online customer satisfaction scores throughout a one-year period, as rated by millions of verified online buyers.

This is the fourth time that Marine Depot has been awarded this prestigious designation.

The 2015 Bizrate Circle of Excellence Awards was earned by only 187 online retailers, representing the top 4.6% of retailers in North America utilizing the Bizrate survey.

"Looking across the last 16 years of the Bizrate Circle of Excellence Award, we are finding that online retailers are trending toward higher and higher levels of customer satisfaction each year," said Bill Glass, CEO of Connexity, Inc., parent company to both Bizrate and Bizrate Insights. "We are proud to be in the position to honor these retailers that go above and beyond when considering the customer experience. Bizrate Circle of Excellence Award winners understand that dedication to good customer service every day and with every transaction translates to more customers, more loyal customers, and ultimately, increased sales."

The Bizrate Circle of Excellence Award highlights retailers’ biggest successes and pain points in equal measure. In 2015, five of the seven Bizrate Circle of Excellence average scores increased over 2014, one remained unchanged year over year, and one, Customer Support, has decreased since 2014," said Hayley A. Silver, Vice President of Bizrate Insights. "Customer Support, which is highly influential over customer loyalty, continues to be the most difficult attribute on which to delight customers."

"At Marine Depot, we value the voice of the customer and have used Bizrate Insights to better our business for over 10 years,” said Dan Yoon, Customer Support Supervisor at "We work hard to keep our customers happy and are incredibly proud of earning our fourth Bizrate Circle of Excellence Award. We plan to showcase this Award to bring confidence to new shoppers and show them that customer service is a high priority at Marine Depot."

Among the factors taken into consideration to be named a Bizrate Circle of Excellence winner are:

Point of Sale metrics
  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Product Selection
  • On-Time Delivery
  • Ease of Finding
Post Order Fulfillment metrics
  • Repurchase Intent
  • Product Met Expectations
  • Customer Support

About Marine Depot is the world’s #1 supplier of marine and reef aquarium supplies. The one-stop online shop was founded in 1998 and has shipped over a million orders to hobbyists around the world in their 17 years of business. Marine Depot is renowned for their enormous product selection, award-winning customer support and same-day shipping. The company employs 45 full- and part-time employees in their Garden Grove, CA headquarters. Marine Depot was included in the Inc. 500|5000 List of Fastest Growing Businesses in 2011, is a Google Trusted Store, 3-time Top 500 Internet Retailer and a 4-time BizRate Circle of Excellence winner.

About Bizrate® Insights

With over 27 million surveys collected annually from over 5,000 retailers worldwide, Bizrate Insights is the largest source of verified customer-generated seller ratings and reviews, helping both retailers and consumers make informed decisions. Bizrate Insights’ core solutions cover online and mobile visitors, online and mobile buyers, as well as retail store buyers. These core solutions are free, allowing retailers of all sizes to build best-in-class customer experiences, gain competitive intelligence, and attract more qualified traffic from top search engines.

About Connexity, Inc.

Connexity leverages its 17 years’ experience with its top eCommerce destinations to help retailers and marketers sell more online. Using its retail network, proprietary technology, and advanced audience modeling, Connexity help brands find and target the right audiences on any device with programmatic media. The company also helps performance marketers get more customers with syndicated product listings on its shopping-centric publisher network, and with search marketing services that includes hands-on management of SEM, PLAs, SEO and retargeting. And with Bizrate Insights, the company helps retailers keep their customers by supplying direct consumer feedback so they can improve their customer relationships and online store experience. Connexity, Inc., formerly Shopzilla, Inc., is headquartered in Los Angeles and operates in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy. It is owned by Symphony Technology Group (STG).

Marine Depot awarded Google Trusted Stores badge was recently selected to join the Google Trusted Stores program.

To help shoppers identify online merchants that offer a great shopping experience, the Google Trusted Store badge is awarded to e-commerce sites that demonstrate a track record of on-time shipping and excellent customer service. When visiting the website, shoppers will see a Google Trusted Store badge and can click on it for more information.

As an added benefit, when a shopper makes a purchase at a Google Trusted Store, they have the option to select free purchase protection from Google. Then in the unlikely event of an issue with their purchase, they can request Google’s help, and Google will work with and the customer to address the issue. As part of this, Google offers up to $1,000 lifetime purchase protection for eligible purchases.

"Customers already count on us to provide them with a wide selection of products, reliable on-time shipping and excellent customer support," said Dan Yoon, Customer Support Supervisor at Marine Depot.

"With the Google Trusted Store insignia, customers can now shop at our store with even greater confidence by opting into Google's free purchase protection. Our award-winning, 2015 Bizrate Circle of Excellence team always strives for 100% customer satisfaction. I believe our participation in the Google Trusted Stores program is a testament to that commitment."

Google Trusted Stores is entirely free, both for shoppers and for online stores. The program helps online stores like attract new customers, increase sales and differentiate themselves by showing off their excellent service via the badge on their websites.

About Marine Depot is the world’s #1 supplier of marine and reef aquarium supplies. The one-stop online shop was founded in 1998 and has shipped over a million orders to hobbyists around the world in their 17 years of business. Marine Depot is renowned for their enormous product selection, award-winning customer support and same-day shipping. The company employs 45 full- and part-time employees in their Garden Grove, CA headquarters. Marine Depot was included in the Inc. 500|5000 List of Fastest Growing Businesses in 2011, is a Google Trusted Store, 3-time Top 500 Internet Retailer and a 4-time BizRate Circle of Excellence winner.

Euroquatics to Introduce New E5 Aquarium Lamps at Reef-A-Palooza October 10 & 11

Euroquatics, a wholly owned subsidiary of horticultural lighting giant Gavita Holland, and Transcend Lighting, the world leader in LED grow light technology, teamed up to announce the launch of E5 aquarium light lamps.

With numerous capabilities and features, these highly efficient new lamps can be used in place of traditional T5HO aquarium bulbs.

Euroquatics plans to introduce the E5 at the 2015 Reef-A-Palooza show next weekend (October 10 and 11) in Costa Mesa, CA. Euroquatics made waves in the industry last year when they unveiled their Angel LEDs at the 2014 show. The E5 lamp will be available first (in limited quantity) at later this year.

The E5 is designed to work in sync with your original T5HO fixtures. These unique products showcase features that create an eco-friendly, longer lasting aquarium lamp. This new spin on an old design makes T5s a product of the past. With its sleek design, the E5 is made to last over five times the life span of an average T5HO lamp while consuming about half of the power.

T5 lamps are also comprised of toxic materials that can be extremely harmful to the environment if broken. In addition to a decrease in power consumption, the E5s are made to the highest industry standard from highly recyclable materials. These custom-phosphor LED technology lamps are RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) compliant and do not contain mercury or other toxic materials.

"We are really excited to launch the E5 Retro Series," said Scott Bogner, Director and co-founder of Euroquatics. "Its incredible features make this lamp one-of-a-kind. Without any changes to fixtures, consumers are now able to swap their old T5HO lamps for a more efficient, eco-friendly and cost effective product. In addition to these new features, the E5 does not fall short of meeting the quality expectations set by the T5s that bring an aquarium to life."

E5 lamps are available in four standard sizes: 2', 3', 4' and 5' and currently have five color options to choose from. These include:
  • Tropical (6.5k)
  • Daylight (10k)
  • Cool Daylight (15k)
  • Blue Pop (~450nm)
  • Marine Pink
Bogner says Euroquatics is trying to push the industry forward in both options and quality.

"The current LED replacement lamps for T5 tubes on the market do not have the power the E5 has, which is needed to get the PAR reading to truly compare to the T5HO lamps, Bogner explains. "E5 lamps work on an electronic ballast and are meant to help hobbyists save money and maintain performance. Similar products require rewiring or have less output, or are poorly mixed LEDs which only simulate full spectrum."

Bogner continues: "Quality LEDs equals better output over the life of the lamp. We are not using these to light an office building. Our aquariums require better than simple office lamps."

Bogner says the E5 lamps are not built using off-the-shelf parts. "We actually have a custom phosphor applied to the LED chips. It's not a mix of LEDs to look like the kelvin temperature you want. By using these phosphors we get a truer full spectrum, minus UV."

Although certainly subject to change, Euroquatics says the pricing of their new E5 lamps will be around three times higher than a quality T5HO florescent bulb but will have 8-10 times the life. And, when you factor in the 45% power savings and the replacement costs every 9-12 months for standard T5HO bulbs, over time, the savings are huge.

The current MSRP is as follows:
  • 2' - $49.99
  • 3' - $59.99
  • 4' - $69.99
  • 5' - $79.99
"When you factor in the life of the bulb, the three year warranty, the power-saving and the saved replacement costs over the 8 years, you save a lot of money!" Bogner points out. "E5 lamps are also dimmable if you have a dimmable T5 fixture. The PAR values are at or above T5HO lamps. But it has the same look as T5HO in terms of the shimmer you're looking for. It's made to be a power saver for existing fixtures."

Bogner also revealed Euroquatics has been working on additional sizes and colors and will release ongoing updates between now and the end of the year.

"At launch, it will be the 2', 3', 4' and 5' in the initial five colors. We hope to have our final ship date to post at Reef-A-Palooza."

4For updates on the availability of the E5 lamps, please like MD on Facebook.

4Visit our store to see our current selection of Euroquatics LED aquarium lights.

4Watch these videos to meet Scott Bogner and learn more about Euroquatics Angel LEDs.