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Archive for November, 2009

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Aquarium crashes and disasters are a reality in the reefkeeping hobby, whether a hobbyist wants to admit it or not. Just ask any experienced reef aquarium keeper and they will either have a personal experience, or another hobbyist’s nightmare crash to share with you.

The Fall 2009 Issue of Reefs Magazine shares Richard Ross’s experience with a catastrophic kalkwasser overdose which was the result of forgetting to turn off a pump that drains the skimmer’s external collection bucket. The result was a loss of all acropora species, as well as many other coral species, in his very beautiful and mature reef tank.

Richard’s article highlights the importance of being prepered for a disaster. Additionally, Richard provides a guideline for dealing with a reef tank crash.

Richard formulated three rules as a result of this experience :):

1) If you are in a hurry, don’t do anything to your system.
2) If you are about to leave the house, don’t do anything to your system.
3) If you are distracted, don’t do anything to your system.

Please take the time to read this article here, it will be well worth your time.

Other articles in this reef-disaster focused issue deal with reef equipment failures, moving a reef tank, as well as a discussion of the resilience of coral reefs.

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Euro-Reef is raffling off a limited edition Euro-Reef BBE180 protein skimmer valued at $300!!

To enter the contest, please sign up for Reef Tools Live, create a profile with a photo, and then update your profile tank information.

Once you have completed your profile, you may create photo albums, begin a reef blog, join a reef club, post items for sale, and much more. For each week of the month in which you are active (EX. post a photo, update your tank, enter a blog entry, join a group, etc), you will receive one token. If you are one of the many Reef Tools Live members, please continue to use Reef Tools Live and you will receive entries based on the same criteria. At the end of the month, all of your tokens will be entered into our raffles, and a winner will be selected. The first raffle will be held on December 1st 2009!!


So don’t wait, visit Reef Tools Live and SIGN UP NOW!!

Euro-Reef BBE180 skimmer specifications:

  • Capacity: Up to 400 gal
  • Ideal Aquarium/System: 180 gal
  • Footprint: 11″ x 13.5 “
  • Height: 24″
  • Reaction chamber diameter: 8 “
  • Inlet size: 1 “
  • Outlet size: 1.5″
  • Ideal Operating Water Depth: 7 “
  • Max Operating Water Depth: 9 “
  • Pump(s): SP4
  • Power Consumption W/Air: 45w
  • Air Intake: 900-960 lph
  • Water Flow Through: 400 gph

NOTE: You must have a profile photo and tank information to be included in this raffle. Must be a US resident. Winner will be announced on the “What’s New” page (you must be logged in to view). Prize must be claimed by winner within three (3) days of announcement.

Friday, November 13th, 2009

FROM Eco Tech Marine

EcoTech Marine Releases Development Kit for Third Party Aquarium Controllers

EcoTech Marine, the company that revolutionized the reef aquarium propeller pump, has announced the release of a development kit for third-party aquarium controller companies for its award-winning VorTech line. Although no firm release date has been established by manufacturers, stay tuned for announcements as controller companies begin to bring this desired technology to market.

“We are extremely excited about this development,” says Tim Marks, president of EcoTech Marine. “While the VorTech wave driver already provides extensive functionality right out of the box, this enables customers to integrate our market-leading flow technology with their lighting, dosing, pH and other systems. We look forward to enabling VorTech customers to be able to fully customize and control their pump using the aquarium controller of their choice.”

In addition to offering customizable controllability of the VorTech remotely through your controller, EcoTech customers will be able to download firmware updates and be remotely updated as to the operating conditions of the VorTech. The vast benefits of the controller are emerging as companies take interest and start working with the development kit.

EcoTech’s development kit is now available to the industry’s leading controller companies and together we are making the necessary arrangements to bring controller interfaces to production. “We have heard our customers’ request and have worked diligently to bring a solution that will maintain the same level of quality and technological superiority that you have come to expect from us,” said Marks.

The patented VorTech technology produces unmatched broad yet gentle flow while placing the motor outside the tank—preserving the beauty of the aquarium and enhancing the health of the tank’s ecosystem. With all the electrical components outside the aquarium and a variety of easy-to-program modes, the VorTech is the safest, most versatile pump on the market.

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

This torch coral (Euphyllia glabrescens)was captured by BCHen7106 at 300 framed per second. Any reef hobbyist can see the appeal of the movement provided by this coral. You can just sit there for hours watching your favorite powerhead or wavemaker cause the torch coral to dance around in your tank.

Please make sure to provide ample space for the Torch Coral in your tank, since it’s sweeper tentacles will extend and sting nearby corals. Excellent water quality, moderate lighting combined with medium, variable water flow will help this coral thrive in your tank.

Thursday, November 12th, 2009


Is it safe to put a new coral you just got directly in your tank? Absolutely not. Any new introduction to your system may contain any of a variety of pests you don’t want in your reef. So what’s the alternative you ask? Quarantine!!

Although this may initially seem like an inconvenience to the new hobbyist, any experienced reefkeeper will gladly share horror stories that are sure to convince anyone willing to listen. These stories of flatworms, red bugs, zoanthid-eating spiders, mojanos, to name a few, are the result of skipping the necessary quarantine procedure. Compare the prospect of day or sometimes weeks of work against the simple quarantine procedure, and I think you’ll see why it’s the right thing to do.

Not convinced yet? Ok, let’s try to scare you. You just brought that new coral home from the store, a swap, or a trade with another hobbyist and it looks just fine. It couldn’t possibly have any hitchhiker pests on it right? Well, let’s go over what it “couldn’t” have on it first. Here’s a quick list of some common reef hitchhikers you want to to prevent from being introduced to your beautiful reef tank:

Trust me when I say, that although there are ways to eradicate these pests from your system after they are introduced, you are WAY BETTER OFF avoiding them to begin with.

Now that the scary part is out of the way, let’s get to the topic of how to quarantine corals. A simple coral quarantine tank needs be nothing more than a small tank, light, heater, powerhead, and live rock. There are some hobbyists that set up a new quarantine tank each time they get a new order in, I’ve always thought it’s much easier to just keep my quarantine tank up at all times. I actually use a Solana I had laying around, but of course that is not necessary. Just a note, if you plan on using this tank to quarantine fish as well, make sure that you do not use any copper-based medications when treating fish. Traces of these medications will remain in your tank and will harm future corals you place in quarantine.

When I receive a new coral, my first step is to acclimate it to my tank’s water temperature. This can easily be archived by floating the bag in the tank for 25-30 minutes. Because bright light may stress a new acquisition, it is recommended that this is done with the lights off. Next, I dip the coral in either Tropic Marin Pro Coral Cure (10 – 15 minutes) or Revive (5 – 6 minutes). While the coral is in the coral dip bath, I make sure to either swish it around with my hand, or use a turkey baster to blast the coral. This assists in the manual removal of pests from the coral. I make sure to dip the coral before placing the coral in my quarantine tank, in order to allow the dip to remove any pests that it is able to. Next, I place the coral in the quarantine tank and add a dose of Interceptor in order to kill Red Bugs. I normally leave the coral in the quarantine tank overnight (at least 10-12 hours).

Although there is always a risk that a pest will slip through the cracks, I believe that this simple procedure is well worth the added protection it provides. Maintaining a quarantine tank at all times, makes this process even easier, and soon it will become part of your routine. Because the quarantine tank is stable, it allows you to take your time and inspect a new coral for an added period of time if necessary. If you feel the need to perform an extra dip or dose of Interceptor, you can do so without to much trouble. In addition to maintaining a healthy, pest free reef tank, you are also doing your in preventing the spreading of these pests amongst hobbyists.

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

This amazing Australian Rainbow Acanthastrea is currently in the Diver’s Den section of LiveAquaria
icon. Check out the ridiculous color on this acan. There are more than 45 heads in beautiful red, purple and green in this mini colony. You can see hints of yellow just starting to come in on the bottom right of the photo.

Click Here For More Information

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

A Beautiful Macro HD Reef Video shot with a Canon 5D MK2 with a 100mm F2.8 (sick setup), is just a joy to watch. It begins with a few shots of a ridiculous clam, and then moves on to various corals. It’s worth watching it just to see the snail eat :). Playing around with focus and depth of field gives this short reef video a fun feel. Click here to watch this reef video.

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

This HD Reef Video shows extreme closeups of clams, snails and corals. Amazing details show polyps, and sweeper arms, as well as beautiful clam closeups. Great work!

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

The new GE LED module is due to arrive in early 2010. This easy to use LED fixture is so easy to use, that a replacement or upgrade bulb could be completed with a simple twist of the bulb. This next-generation LED module technology was purchased by GE from Journée Lighting, Inc, a California–based LED fixture designer and manufacturer. With advancements in LED technology coming every few months, GE chose to develop this LED fixture with a modular approach, allowing for components replacement without then need for complete replacement of the fixture.


What impact this new advancement will have on the aquarium industry is immeasurable at this point, but with GE being one of the world’s largest LED systems companies,  the sky is the limit.


Here is the official press release:

November 5, 2009… Simple clockwise twist mates the LED module to the fixture housing for necessary thermal, electrical and mechanical connectivity; GE commercializing through luminaire manufacturers

Cleveland, Ohio USA — General lighting with energy efficient long–lasting LEDs in directional applications such as recessed downlights, tracks, pendants and sconces becomes as easy as changing a standard light bulb early next year. A new technology “twist” from GE Consumer & Industrial—a small puck–shaped LED module that gives lighting designers and end–users the ability to easily upgrade LED lighting as technology advances—addresses the inflexibility of integrated LED luminaires now used in commercial and consumer settings.

The new module‘s one–of–a–kind ease of installation, a clockwise twist motion, contrasts sharply with current integrated LED luminaires and LED modules that are not easily replaceable because they require mechanical fasteners to couple the LED package to a heat sink, and a plug to make the electrical connection. With the new GE offering, the necessary thermal and electrical connections are made with a simple twist of the module into its socket.

“It is as easy as changing a light bulb,” says Steven J. Briggs, vice president of marketing and global product management with GE Consumer & Industrial‘s LED business, Lumination, LLC. “Leading lighting designers and architects are on the record with concerns about integrated LED fixture upgradeability and serviceability. Some won‘t specify an integrated LED fixture. This is GE‘s answer. It‘s future–proof and market–ready.”

Lumination purchased the next–generation LED module technology from Journée Lighting, Inc, a California–based LED fixture designer and manufacturer. “In the hands of GE, we believe this consumer–friendly modular LED technology will rapidly accelerate the wide–spread adoption of LED lighting as a preferred light source across the world,” says Clayton Alexander, CEO of Journée Lighting.

GE‘s replaceable LED module allows fixture makers to remain current with the latest LED performance in a GE–reliable, best-in-class solution. “Our fixture customers want to focus their efforts on total system performance,” adds Briggs.

Leaders of GE Consumer & Industrial in the U.S. and Europe are already presenting the new module to luminaire manufacturers, distributors, retailers and the lighting design community. “Early customer feedback has been a combination of relief and excitement,” notes Andy Davies, senior LED product manager for GE‘s operation in Europe. “GE customers around the world appreciate that we‘ve knocked down the hurdle of inflexibility that‘s inherent with integrated LED luminaires.”

The new fully dimmable GE brand LED module will debut in Journée Lighting‘s award–winning Azara™ and Pentas™ track light luminaires in early 2010. In addition, GE is making the module available as a component for various LED luminaire manufacturers.

One lighting luminaire can support a variety of different LED modules with varying color temperatures, beam angles and light levels. An added level of lighting design flexibility is enabled with the LED module‘s wattage–adjust switch that gives end–users three different light level/wattage options.

Modular platforms versus integrated platforms

LED technology advancements are coming faster than ever. Leading LED chip manufacturers seem to announce improvements in efficacy every few months. With the new GE LED module, end–users get LED lighting that over its life can be considered state–of–the–art in quality, efficiency and control. Because critical components such as the LED driver circuitry and chip are contained within an easily replaceable module, a component failure doesn‘t require the costly replacement of the entire fixture.

GE is one of the world‘s largest LED systems companies. Its expansive installed base of white LED systems in the United States includes Walmart‘s refrigerated display case lighting installation, the world‘s biggest white–LEDs–replacing–fluorescent lighting retrofit in a retail display setting. Globally, GE has sold over 600,000 LED refrigerated display case lights, over 6 million LED traffic signals and over 20 million linear feet of Tetra® LED lighting systems for use in signage and architectural applications. Over 50 percent of GE‘s lighting research is devoted to Solid State Lighting—LEDs (light–emitting diodes) and OLEDs (organic light–emitting diodes).

Azara™ and Pentas™ are trademarks of Journée Lighting, Inc.

About Journée Lighting
Headquartered in Westlake Village, California, Journée Lighting designs and manufactures state–of–the–art LED lighting fixtures, including the award winning Lotus and Azara luminaires. Journée also designs and manufactures specification–grade Monorail and Monopoint systems for use with its LED Luminaires. For more information, pricing and availability, please visit or call 1.800.866.1880.

GE Consumer & Industrial spans the globe as an industry leader in major appliances, lighting and integrated industrial equipment, systems and services. Providing solutions for commercial, industrial and residential use in more than 100 countries, GE Consumer & Industrial uses innovative technologies and ecomaginationSM, a GE initiative to aggressively bring to market new technologies that help customers and consumers meet pressing environmental challenges, to deliver comfort, convenience and electrical protection and control. General Electric (NYSE: GE), imagination at work, sells products under the Monogram®, Profile™, GE®, Hotpoint®, Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Entellisys®, Tetra®, Vio™ and Immersion® commercial brands. For more information, consumers may visit

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

This beautiful DFS Rasberry Limeade Nasutaicon has green body along with pinkish red tips and brilliant green polyps. The Acropora Nasuta requires strong indirect flow and high lighting. This is a limited addition SPS coral, which has been captive grown by Drs. Foster and Smith and is available on Diver’s Den

Care Level: Difficult
Temperament: Peaceful
Lighting: High
Waterflow: Strong
Water Conditions: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
Supplements: Calcium, Strontium, Iodine, Trace Elements

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