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Archive for May, 2010

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

If you own one of the original AquaIllumination modular LED aquarium light, and have been drooling to get your hands on the new Cree XP LED release, the time is nearing. In a press release, AquaIllumination revealed that a new AI Gen One Upgrade Kit will be available soon, and that a support ticket can be submitted in order to request further info.

The upgrae kit consists of:

  • 8 – AI LED Puck Assemblies – 2 Cree XP-G White and 1 Cree XP-E Blue
  • 8 – AI Triple Lens & Splash Guard
  • 1 – AI LED Driver Board
  • 1 – AI AC/DC Power Supply & Cord
  • 2 – Cooling Fans
  • 1 – AI Module Connector End Plate

When it becomes available, the cost of the new AquaIllumination Gen one upgrade kit will be $250, and will be available directly from C2D through a new online ordering system. Alternatively, you may have C2D perform the upgrade for you, by mailing the module/s in.

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

The intent of this article is to document the cycling period of a sulphur denitrator using digital read outs using a Pinpoint nitrate monitor. A simple, 60 gallon FOWL system was set up using only live rock and a maxi mod. The nitrates were allowed to climb to 29ppm.

Here is a photograph of the tank showing the denitrator on the right side.


The initial reading of the nitrates in the aquarium was 29 ppm. When using the the suggested API test kit the color indicated being somewhere between 20 to 40 ppm. The Pinpoint nitrate monitor showed 29 ppm.


0 days 01 hours

The sulphur denitrator ran for 1 hour with the effluent valve wide open to allow the water to circulate through the unit. The effluent water then tested to be 25 ppm. This documents an immediate 4 ppm decrease in the first hour. alt

Here is a picture showing the denitrator effluent.


After running for one hour wide open, the effluent was set as slow as i could get it. Roughly 40-60 drips a minute.

0 days 02 hours

A test of the effluent 2 hours into the cycling shows an immediate drop of 2 ppm.


0 days 03 hours

A test of the effluent 3 hours into the cycling shows a remarkable drop of 7 ppm. As seen below the effluent is now testing 16 ppm.


0 days 04 hours

A test of the effluent 4 hours into the cycling shows no decrease in nitrates from the effluent.

0 days 05 hours

At the 5th hour the effluent test to be 12 ppm. That is a 17 ppm drop in the effluent in as little as 5 hours.


0 days 06 hours

A test of the effluent 6 hours into the cycling shows the effluent creeping back up to 16. The increase is normal and indicates that the drip rate will need to be raised shortly.


A test on the tank water shows the nitrates have dropped from 29 ppm to 24 ppm.

0 days 16 hours

Overnight the nitrates rose to 18 ppm. The drip rate will now be double to 80 drops a min.


0 days 17 hours

The effluent was tested again, 1 hour after the flow rate was increased (doubled). The nitrates are back up to 22 ppm.


The tank water was also tested after the effluent was doubled to 80 drips a minute showing the nitrates have climbed to 26 ppm. This seems to be working backwards, since the nitrates have climbed. This is part of the cycling procedure.


0 days 20 hours

A test 3 hours later showed the same readings.

1 days 3 hours

A test 7 hours later shows the nitrates in the effluent rose by 1 ppm to 23 ppm.

1 days 7 hours

A test 4 hours later shows the effluent starting to drop again to 20 ppm.


1 days 17 hours

Test show 10 hours later the effleunt has dropped to 10 ppm. The tank water was again tested showing the nitrates to be at 23 ppm.


2 days 8 hours

15 hours later the shows Lo on the Pinpoint nitrate monitor.


Now that the Pinpoint monitor is reading Lo it is time to recalibrate the monitor to the low side so that we can get accurate readings.

The drip rate was increased to 100 drips a minute while the Pinpoint monitor was being calibrated. After calibration the nitrate reading was 10 ppm.

At this time the effluent was again raised to 120 drips per min.

2 days 7 hours

Effluent test show the nitrate level to be 2ppm.


2 days 7 hours

The effluent was increased to a “weak” stream.

2 days 14 hours

Test on the effluent show the nitrate level is now untestable by the Pinpoint monitor.


Test on the tank water also show the nitrate level to be untestable.

Now that the tank has been reduced to virtually no nitrates the effluent will be increased to a regular stream as the filter will need to turn over more water. If the effluent is not increased enough a rotten egg smell will be noticed. If this is experienced, simply increase the flow slightly.



Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

This cool Flatworms High Definition video from Morphologic Studios, shown at 3x the actual speed, depicts to movement and behavior of these “cute” little things. Also known as Red planaria, this common pest will rapidly grow in numbers in tanks with elevated nutrient levels. At high population levels, red planaria can cover corals and block the light from reaching them. Where’s a Blue Velvet Nudibranch when you need one? 😉

The flatworms (Convolutriloba retrogemma) featured in the video are shown at 3x normal speed. They each range from 2-4mm in total length.

These particular flatworms harbor symbiotic zooxanthellae in their thin tissue and utilize the excess sugars they create as their primary energy source. Packets of zooxanthellae can be seen as the tiny, red-brown dots along the back of flatworm. Their reliance upon this photosynthesis requires that these flatworms bask in sunlight like little photovoltaic cells, and enables them to live without a developed digestive system.

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Introducing the ORA Black Saddleback Clown. This new ORA clownfish is a true Black Saddleback, rather than the more common brown morph. Since it is considered one of the more difficult species to breed, ORA is thrilled to finally be breeding it in captivity. These true Black Polymnus are unique in that they are marked with complete middle bar, in contrast with the distinctive saddle. Many of this newly released ORA clownfish even sport a third bar.

Several of the very first batches were comprised of mainly misbars, having exquisite black coloration, coupled with a vibrant white border surrounding the tail. True to their name, the misbars’ tails do not extend to the full height of the body.

ORA Introduces the Black Saddleback Clown

ORA is introducing a new clownfish variety this month, the true Black Saddleback (Amphiprion polymnus). This is not a black version of the normal brown polymnus, rather it is a completely different morph. The true Black Polymnus differs from the normal brown variant by having a complete middle bar rather than the distinctive saddle. Many of them have a third bar before the tail as well.

We are very excited to finally be breeding this fish as it is considered to be one of the most difficult species to breed in captivity. In fact, it took us short of ten years of hard work before getting them to finally produce eggs. We would like to thank Werner Menzel of Meerwasser Center Menzel in Germany for trusting us with his colony of these fish.

The first couple of batches that we will have consist mostly of misbars. They have beautiful black coloration with a brilliant white border around the tail but their middle bars do not extend the full height of the body.

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

ORA has just released a fiery red aquacultured gonipora. This ORA Gonipora is bright red with purple mouths, and should be shipping to local fish stores shortly. This great new coral from ORA will add a splash of red to your tank (which is so hard to come by). ORA has been growing this strain for almost 10 years, and it will be nice to hive this aquacultured Goni readily available.

ORA Now Offering Aquacultured Red Goniopora

After nearly 10 years in production, ORA’s Red Goniopora is finally ready for release. This beautiful LPS coral is bright metallic red and has brilliant purple centers. It is truly 100% aquacultured and is considered to be very hardy. Red Goniopora tends to be an aggressive coral and when placed near a competitor it will supercharge its tentacles with nematocysts which will give them a white tipped appearance.

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

The BAYMAC (Bay Area Marine Aquarium Conference) is being held at the  Chabot College Cafeteria (Room #2300) in Hayward, CA on Saturday, May 8 2010. The conference will span from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m and admission is FREE. Check out great speakers, manufacturers, coral vendors, and local reef clubs. All ages and experience levels are welcome to attend, and participate in a huge raffle. Make sure not to miss door prizes, greats deals, and networking with other hobbyists.

A great addition to this event, is an aquascaping showdown between Matt Wandell of the Steinhart Aquarium and Bay Area Reefers VP Jeremy Foster. The two contestants will display they rock-shaping skills in a one hour competition. They will use Marco Rocks to create the best arrangement in a 34 gallon Current USA Solana cube.

The rules are simple:

  • Each contestant has one hour to complete their design
  • The overall theme is to design the tank as a nano SPS tank with pockets for LPS
  • Each contestant will be given only the simplest of tools to aquascape the Solana 34g using a hammer and screwdriver or chisel only
  • The design will use Marco Rock Key Largo rock and Marco Rock Bermuda aragonite sand
  • Design the tank with a VorTech MP10 or equivalent Hydor in mind.
  • Contestants will be judged on the basic design principles, water flow and overall mastery of their work
  • The contestants will begin the competition going over the ground rules and with rock selection at 1:00 pm to go over with the competition beginning at 1:30 pm
  • Judging will take place starting at 2:30 pm with the winner announced at 3:30 pm with the judging panel consisting of Sanjay Joshi, Joe Yaiullio, Christine Williams, Rich Ross and Brian Blank
  • The winner gets bragging rights and a cookie
Saturday, May 1st, 2010

Looking for the ultimate crystal clear aquarium? The biUbe Pure is a complete aquarium system and the latest addition to the biUbe range. This very cool and hi-tech aquarium provides an ideal home for a variety of fish, and will also serve as a stunning centerpiece for any room. Reef One creates technologies and aquariums that offer some of the most advanced features and always at an affordable price. In addition to being a focal point in any room, the biUbe Pure is also low-maintenance, meaning you won’t have to spend hours looking after it. The biUbe Pure uses the same advanced filtration of the awarding-winning biOrb aquariums coupled with a new look that is perfect for any modern space. We love the look of this tank, and feel that it’s unique design makes it worth looking into. Naturally, there are limitations to what can be housed in the biUbe Pure, but the stunning visuals may be worth it.

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

Here is a teaser animation of the new Elos LED light. The next generation Elose E-Lite looks like it will allow the user to control the intensity of both colors via a controller. The nature of the controller, and it’s capabilities are still a big secret of at Elos, but we’ll try to pry some details out during Interzoo. What do we know about it now? Well, it looks cool, looks modular, looks pricey, and we can’t wait to see it in person!!

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