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Archive for December, 2009

Friday, December 18th, 2009
Reidi Seahorse

Seahorses used to be considered one of the most difficult sea creatures to keep in an aquarium. Wild caught seahorses were plagued with internal parasites, bacterial infections, and appetites for expensive live shrimp. Advancements in technology and marine fish breeding have led to large populations of readily available captive bred seahorses, making it unnecessary to buy wild caught seahorses. Because of this, seahorses are no longer difficult to keep, as long as you follow basic seahorse care requirements.

If you decide to keep seahorses as pets, it is important to find a supply of healthy stock. Check with the breeder to make sure the seahorses are bred indoors and not in ocean pens where they would be subjected to the same parasites and disease that wild caught seahorses would. Purchasing seahorses from a local breeder or an online company in your country will reduce travel time and stress. the Hippocampus erectus or Lined Seahorse is among the hardiest and easiest to keep of all medium-sized seahorses. They are native to the United States; most of the captive bred stock in the U.S. today is likely descended from Floridian ancestors. In this article, we’ll focus on Erectus seahorses.

A 30 gallon aquarium is the minimum size for a single pair of Erectus seahorses. Two pairs may be kept in a 50 gallon aquarium. If breeding or courtship viewing is a goal, the tank should be at least 16 inches tall. Seahorses need frequent meals of frozen mysis, at least twice a day.  Live rock and macroalgae can help reduce nitrates and house tiny, nutritous crustaceans called Copepods and Amphipods for the seahorses to snack on between meals. A powerful filter will also help reduce nitrates.

Baby Erectus Seahorse

The most important piece of equipment on a seahorse aquarium is a chiller. Seahorses are sensitive to infections of the bacteria Vibrio spp. A protein in the Vibrio bacteria changes when the temperature rises above 74 degrees Farhenheit. The seahorses then have reduced immunity while the bacteria becomes more virulent, aggressive, and prolific. It’s a good idea to keep the aquarium temperature between 68 and 74 degrees for Erectus Seahorses. Raising the temperature for even a short time can open the door to an infection.

Seahorse tank mates should be carefully considered. Large, aggressive fish like tangs, triggers, puffers, and lionfish are not safe with seahorses. Anemones, corals with stinging tentacles, brain corals, and crabs can be very dangerous to seahorses. Use caution with clams which may pinch a seahorse’s tail, Cleaner Shrimps which can irritate a seahorse or be aggressive, and nuisance anemones such as Aiptasia and Majanos which can sting. Only the most peaceful, shy fish are safe to keep with seahorses. Tiny gobies, small Brotulids, Firefish, Pipefish, Mandarins, and Scooters are a few fish that are totally seahorse safe. Once your seahorses are fully grown and comfortable, Flasher Wrasses, small Anthias, Tilefish, and other small, peaceful fish may be added, but should be removed at the first sign of aggression or if the seahorse can’t get its share of food.

White Seahorse

Seahorses will try to wrap their tails around anything, including the impeller of a powerhead or a scorching hot heater. Avoid using open powerheads and heaters in a seahorse aquarium. A heater is unnecessary in all but the coldest climates. If you must put a heater in your seahorse aquarium, use a heater guard or put it in the sump away from seahorse tails. Although seahorses aren’t the best swimmers, they are tolerant of fast, gentle currents. Avoid powerheads that spray water in a tight jet and instead opt for spraybars and wide nozzles.

Captive Bred seahorses that are well fed and cared for can live five years or more in captivity. They aren’t the weak, delicate creatures they were once thought to be and are actually quite sturdy and forgiving of minor water quality problems. Unlike wild caught seahorses, captive bred seahorses are accustomed to human interaction. They can become very tame, begging for food and hitching to the seahorse keeper’s fingers.

Photos and article by Felicia McCaulley

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Hellolights just released a 48″ T5 Very High-Output Fluorescent Retrofit Kit comes complete with individual parabolic reflectors for each bulb made from 97% reflective American-made aluminum, moisture proof end-caps with stand-offs, TRU lamps, and our Hellolights T5 ballast which was specifically designed to operate t5 lamps and safely overdrive them by 15%.

At only $199.95 (for the 48″ model), this retrofit kit is sure to be a huge hit with hobbyists this holiday season.

Each Kit Includes

* Four Parabolic clip on reflectors (42.5″ x 2″ x 1″)
* One Hellolights Very High Output T5 ballast (15% overdrive)
* Four Pairs Moisture Resistant German End-caps
* Four Pair End cap Stand-Offs
* Two 48″ (HO,T5) 10,000K 54W – TRU
* Two 48″ (HO,T5) Actinic 03 54W – TRU

click here to see this product at

The kit is also available in 24″ and 36″ models.

Monday, December 14th, 2009

This incredible non-photosynthetic coral tank, is another outstanding reef tank in Pieter’s arsenal. The colors are simply brilliant, and it is certainly a deviation from the average reef tank.

A tank with a topic! something totally out of the box with only special corals which need darkness and food! Gorgonians, Rhizotrochus typusi, Dendronephthia’s,Tubastrea’s

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Often in the hobby, we want to add photos to a forum, blog, or Reef Tools :). Most hobbyist websites, will enforce some sort of a limit with regards to the file size they allow you to upload. Even in situations where there is no file size restriction, photos should be re-sized to accommodate most screen sizes (without distorting the website).

There are many pieces of software that allow you to perform such a task, but we thought we would start with one that is free, and comes with all PC’s, Paint (I hear the Mac contingency in the background, and I promise we’ll get to iPhoto soon). Resizing a photo with Paint is very simple, and should take no longer than a few seconds.

Open Paint

Step 1:Open Paint.

Open your photo file.

Step 2: Open your photo file. Click on File–>Open, and open your original photo file. You will see that the photo is quite large, 3024×2016 pixels in this case (which is why you can only see the top-left corner).


Step 3: Click Image–>Stretch/Skew (or control-w).

Select a percentage

Step 4: Select a size. Paint does not allow you to choose width/height by number of pixels. Under the Stretch section, type in the same number for both horizontal and vertical %’s. You are starting with both at 100% and are telling the program how much smaller it should make the photo. In this case, we selected 20% and then clicked OK. You can, of course, select a different percentage. It is important to note that by default, Paint will show you the photo on the screen at 100%, so you can immediately tell if you made it too small (or not small enough). You can always click Edit–>Undo (control-Z), to undo your last step.

Image is resized

Step 5: Image is re-sized. You can see that the photo was re-sized to 20% of the original resolution (size).

Save As

Step 6: Save the Image. Click File–>Save As. We recommend that you save the image with a different name than the original, and therefore preserve the original file (in case you made a mistake). You can always just add the word “small” to the file name, and click Save.


You’re all set. You now have a file that is smaller and is ready to be uploaded. As you can see, it’s really simple and quick. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Sunday, December 13th, 2009
Icecap 4′ MH/T5/LED Hood, normally priced $999.99 without bulbs.
Special deal:
FREE T5 lamps, FREE Halide Lamps, FREE SHIPPING. You need to mention special in Customer Comments box at checkout. We can’t program this one into our web cart.
FROZEN FOOD SALE – now is the time to stock up on your favorite frozen foods. Order $100 dollars worth of frozen food (your choice of brands) and we’ll throw in FREE 2-Day AIR SHIPPING. (ship OUT dates available Tue 12/15 and Mon 12/28)

Super Space SAVER Reef Octopus XP-2000SSS Cone Skimmer. Reg $484.99

$5.00 Off Your Brand Halide Bulbs that’s 5 bucks off any brand we carry, no limit. You need to mention special in Customer Comments box at checkout. We can’t program this one into our web cart.

$50.00 Off Sunlight Package you Pick Sunlight Pendant, Sunlight Bluewave ballast, and a Halide Bulb. We give you 50 bucks off. Let us know if you need help matching the ballast and bulb to the pendant you prefer. You need to mention special in Customer Comments box at checkout. We can’t program this one into our web cart.

Octopus DNWB-150 Needlewheel External Recirculating Skimmer w/pump
Reg 269.99, 10% OFF, FREE SHIPPING, only $242.99 to your DOOR.

$5.00 Off Your Brand T5 or VHO Bulbs that’s 5 bucks off any brand we carry, no limit. You need to mention special in Customer Comments box at checkout. We can’t program this one into our web cart.
Icecap 4′ T5/LED Hood, normally priced $649.99 without bulbs.
Special deal:
FREE T5 lamps, FREE SHIPPING. You need to mention special in Customer Comments box at checkout. We can’t program this one into our web cart.
Aquarium Currents Sea Swirl
Sea Swirl’s Rotating Return Device is designed to increase circulation, health, and life of the corals and fish in your tank
20% OFF
Sea Swirl 1/2 in Reg 149.99
Sea Swirl 3/4 in Reg 189.99

Sea Swirl 1 in Reg 219.99
Rio MINI Sun
RIO Mini Sun (Daylight)
RIO Mini Sun (Daylight & Deep Sea Blue)
RIO Mini Sun (Deep Sea Blue)BLOWOUT $14.99 each
20% OFF SALE (ends Dec 31st)
Tropic Eden Live Packaged Sand
(ask us about USPS Flat Rate Shipping on these)
Aragavive Aragasnow, 10lb Live Sand
Aragavive Miniflakes 10lb Live Sand
Aragavive Reeflakes 10lb Live Sand
Aragavive Rubbly Reef 10lb Live Sand

Vertex ATC Refractometer

20% OFF, Reg 43.99

CurrentUSA AquaPod 12 Gallon Aquarium
Reg 166.99

Spacelight EX Pendant – 1X250w 10k HQI Includes Reeflex Cube Ballast
20% OFF, Reg 309

Finnex 4 Gallon GlassTank, Black 26w Light, and Filter

SAVE 10 BUCKS, reg 49.99 – $39.99 Makes a great gift.

Friday, December 11th, 2009
pH & ORP Controllers & Monitors

AquaticLife™ offers a series of contemporary stand-alone or wall-mounted pH and ORP Controllers and Monitors

Each solid-state unit is housed in a corrosion-resistant solid plastic housing, comes with an easy-to-mount controlled grounded outlet with a quick disconnect three prong power cord attachment and features easy to read LED displays. Depending on location requirements, the front clear plastic lens cover can be installed to open from the left or the right. An added feature is the raised splash guard on the back to protect the connections from exposure to water.

For easy probe placement and installation, a probe holder assembly is included with each probe. The 12 mm diameter by 160 mm length pH probe has a range of 0–14 pH and a temperature range of 0–60C. The ORP probe has a measuring range of +/- 1500 mV. The probes are easy to attach (two meter cable included), calibrate, and clean.

These controllers and monitors with easy-to-read LED’s, solid state electronics, and laboratory grade probes make routine maintenance and adjustments straightforward and uncomplicated.

click here for more information

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Check out these great deal from TB Aquatics. There is something for every budget!

Great Holiday Gift Ideas

Under $20

Water Alarm

Grounding Probe

Reef Gadget

Under $50


Frag Kit

Frag Cave

Other Great Gifts

RK Lite


Friday, December 11th, 2009

Here is an incredible video of Manuel’s 575 gallon (2178 liter) in-wall reef aquarium. This tank is filled with large colonies, and an assortment of fish. This reef video shows various species of anthias, clown fish, wrasses, tangs, and many more. Beautiful, mature soft and hard coral colonies fill every inch of this large reef tank. Outstanding polyp extension is evidence of pristine water conditions. The many close-up shots demonstrate the ample, variable flow that was achieved in this setup. Late in the video, we are also provided a glimpse into what this reef looks like with the moon lights. Tell us what you think.

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
VorTech MP10

EcoTech Marine is raffling off a Vortech MP10 Propeller Pump. Please visit for more information about the Vortech MP10 as well as their complete line of products.

This month, there is a twist. Once you have completed your profile (photo and tank information), you may start inviting users (click Invite from main menu, once you are logged in).  For each user you invite that sets up a profile (photo and tank information) you will receive one token. The member you referred should enter your username under “referring member” (profile–>edit profile information).

There is no limit this month on the number of tokens you can earn. The more users you invite, the more tokens you earn.

The raffle will be held on Jan 1st 2010!! GOOD LUCK!!


So don’t wait, visit Reef Tools Live , sign up, and start inviting your friends!!

Flow: 200 to 1575 gph
Wattage: 8 to 18 watts
Maximum Tank Thickness: 3/8″
Appropriate Tank Size Range: 2.5 to 50 gal
Dimensions: Wet Side- 2.5″ diameter by 1.5″ long, Dry Side – 2.5″ diameter by 2″ long
Clearance Needed Behind Aquarium: 2.25″


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.

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