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Archive for December, 2011

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

I recently visited Denver and had a chance to check out a couple of local fish stores. One of the first stores we visited was Aquamart. Located at 3255 S Wadsworth Blvd, Lakewood Colorado, Aquamart is not just a great local store, but also an educational resource for hobbyists.

The first thing to get my attention was the 2 210 gallon show tanks, 1 of which is featured in Tony Vargas’ new book “The Coral Reef Aquarium.” The first is a dual island SPS dominated system, displaying a beautiful array of colors, shapes and sizes. To be honest, there were probably only about 30 colonies in there I wanted in my tank. The next tank was a colorful softy and LPS garden. Both tanks were in great condition and absolutely spotless!

Next we took a look at the vast selection of aquariums and dry goods. From all in one systems, to supplements, additives, food, lighting, pumps, powerheads, and anything else your saltwater-loving heart may desire, Aquamart had it all.

Next we checked out the 2 400 gallon coral runways. Again, these absolutely spotless display runways, were stacked with everything from zoas, palys, LPS, SPS, to clams and anemones. The way the corals were displayed made it really easy to get both a “through the glass” and “top-down” view of each coral. What was particularly nice about the selection at Aquamart, was the fact that they had both frags and large colonies. I tried leaving empty-handed, but ended up buying a bubble-tip anemone that showed up while I was there.

The entire rest of the store is occupied by a 2500 gallon fish and invert system. Tank after tank of healthy livestock, happily swimming around in appropriately-sized habitats. Before any fish is sold, it is first held an inspected in a dedicated 800 gallon quarantine system. This extra level of quality control is helps Aquamart deliver healthy livestock to its clients.

Overall, I was impressed with the store, and it will be one that I am sure to visit whenever I am in the Denver area.

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3255 S Wadsworth Blvd
Lakewood Colorado 80227
Phone: 303-716-5700
Fax: 303-716-2621

Monday, December 19th, 2011

The new Ecoxotic Panorama Pro LED fixture is 24″ of sleek LED delight. This beautiful new, low-profile, modular LED fixture will not only look great over your tank, but also packs quite a punch. Each unit is powered by 5 Panorama Pro modules for a total of 95W of light, adjustable to almost any color spectrum. The Panorama Pro uses passive cooling to dissipate heat away from the tank and unit.

So, how adjustable is adjustable? You can dim each LED color group with an inline dimmer which will help you achieve the color temp you’re looking for. You can also move the modules left and right in order to control where the light spreads to. This is great in situations where your aquascaping, or coral placement may require more light in a particular area. You can also add additional Panorama Pro Modules, or any of the Ecoxotic Stunner LED strips. This lets you add some of those really cool magenta Stunner strips from Ecoxotic.

Each 24” Panorama Pro LED Fixture comes with five Panorama Pro LED Modules (three 12K White/445nm Blue and two 445nm Blue modules), black aluminum housing, two inline on/off switch with adjustable dimmer control, two 24V power supplies for dawn/dusk control, polished reflectors, two 3-way splitters, an EcoCham cleaning cloth and instructions.

Note: Mounting hardware is sold separately. Choose one of the four different mounting options per fixture below. See specification sheet for sizing recommendations and optional upgrades.

Check out this great gallery

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Premium Aquatics: 14K 250watt HQI Double End Halide Bulb – Phoenix. Regular price $64.99, now only $55.99!
Salty Critter:20% OFF all ZeoVit additives.
HelloLights: 24 Inch Coralife Lunar Aqualight T5 Lamp High Output Fixture. Regular price $205.95, now only $172.95!
Marine Depot: Orphek PR-25 (12 LEDs) Dimmable LED Pendants. Save $40.
That Pet Place: FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $49!
Use codes:
$49-$60 49FREE
$60.01-$80 60FREE
$80.01-$100 80FREE
Over $100 100FREE
Bulk Reef Supply: 10% OFF Bulk Reef Supply Granular Ferric Oxide.
Foster and Smith Aquatics: 10% OFF Ecoxotic Stunner LED Strips.
Reef Specialty: ATB HQ Activated Carbon 2 pound. Regular price $15.99, now only $13.99!
SeaQuest Marine: Joe’s Juice: Aiptasia & Majano Eliminator. Regular price $9.99, now only $8.88!
Aquarium Guys: Visi-Therm Deluxe Submersible Heater – 200W. Regular price $20.69, now only $15.99!
Big Als Online:  Jager TruTemp Heater – 250 Watt. Regular price, $32.99, now only $23.99.

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Livestock: *NEW* ATL Pink Polyp Vermiculata

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Have you heard of the World Wide Corals Cyber Monday sale? The 24 hour coral marathon was an absolute madhouse. The thread had 4135 posts to it due to discount of up to 70% off. This has got to be one of the craziest coral sales in history, with over a quarter million views… Huge props to the guys over WWC for pulling off this monumental effort.

If you didn’t get a chance to take part in this event, check out the current stock at

Here are some pics to make you drool

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Have you ever sat back and thought about how much time, work and money you have put into your reef tank? How much have you spent on corals? Go ahead think about it…. Now that you have an idea of where you are in the hobby, imagine picking up a few new corals. After acclimating them and introducing it into your system, you now have a new family of monti eating nudis, some AEFW, zoa eating nudis, etc….

Quarantine is a great tool to the reef enthusiast who has the time/money/area to do it, but most of us find ourselves wanting to introduce corals into our systems fairly quickly. If you find yourself in a similar situation, dipping corals can definitely help alleviate some of the woes of unwanted pests into the aquarium. Another viable reason for dipping corals is when you see one or more of your corals not looking like they should/are stressed and there is no explanation due to tank levels, you may want to dip a coral.

Please note: Some corals do not react well to certain dips. Make sure to search which dip is effective on the coral you plan on dipping.
So you have your brand new coral or that coral you want to dip in mind. Let’s assume you have already temperature acclimated your coral using your method. Some reefers prefer multiple dips to achieve the end result of de-pestifying your coral before going into the tank. Keep in mind that certain corals stress more than others when dipped before moving on.

Before dipping, ideally we should have a large enough container with premixed fresh salt water, kept at a stable temperature, prepped for the dip. If you go ahead and decide on multiple dips, then multiple containers are necessary. In addition to the dipping/dirty containers, another container containing fresh salt water with no additives should be kept to rinse the coral.

Here is where we will go ahead and perform the dip. In this scenario let’s go with a 2 dip process. Since we have the 2 dips, we will prepare 3 containers of an adequate size for the coral/corals we are dipping. Each container contains the specified dosage per amount of water inside the container and kept at a decent temperature. Some reefers overdose with the dip chemicals and corals have no adverse effects, but tread carefully since corals will react differently. This is suggested only if you have had experience with the process and are confident that the coral will survive.

While the coral is in the container, wait for the set amount of time as directed. During this time, some aquarists use a small powerhead in the container to help move the water and blow off the pests which are dead or in shock.

Others wait a certain allotted time and give it a good shake every once in a while (shake it more than twice and you’re playing with it), and in some cases a turkey baster can be used to blow on the surface to see it particles come off.

After waiting the set time, the coral comes out and goes into the second dip where the same process is performed. Once your second dip is done, you are at your rinse stage. This step is the last step in the process before the corals going back into the tank. Placing the coral in the rinse container, and agitating the water/each coral is a great way to make sure all the baddies are off of the coral.

Then you can sit and admire all of the junk that comes off of your corals. At this point it just looks like a bunch of specs/micro fauna.

When taking a closer look, you can spot out the pests…. In this case, zoa eating nudibranchs.

In this picture we have one dipping container and a rinse container. Even in the rinse container, bad/things keep coming off of the frags after a good shaking.

For comparison this is a regular sized frag plug. (Look at the size of those pods…)

That is it, it is a pretty straight forward process, but some newer reefers tend to overlook the process and wind up with a slew of pests. Spending a few minutes up front, can save hours of headache later. Hopefully your tank will be better off and your corals will be de-pestyfied.

Go ahead and post what your dip process is, and what you dip. It will definitely help others in deciding what will help their corals. Check out the local thread in the forum for ongoing discussion about dipping corals.

Happy reefing and stay pest free.

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Read all about it, a Reef Tools Exclusive.

If you’re either using, or thinking of using, bio-pellets, Reef Dynamics has just changed the playing field. The new Reef Dynamics BPR500 Bio-Pellet reactor now takes using bio-pellets to a whole new level. Traditional bio-pellet reactors function by using a feed pump to tumble the bio-pellets, and a valve to control flow through the reactor. The inherent problem with this design, is that it does not allow you to control flow INDEPENDENTLY of the amount of tumbling. Meaning, if you want the media to tumble more, you’ll need to increase the flow through the reactor, and vice versa.

The all new Reef Dynamics line of Bio-Pellet reactors applies the same approach of a recirculating protein skimmers to bio-pellet reactors. This new line of bio-pellet reactors uses one pump to both circulate the water inside of the reactor suspending the pellets and feed the reactor at the same time. A completely separate valve controls the flow through the reactor. This allows you to increase or decrease the flow through the reactor, without dramatically impacting the tumble rate.

Check out the photos of the Reef Dynamics BPR500 to get some more information about the design.

Here is a price list for the hobbyist line of Reef Dynamics Bio-Pellet reactors. All reactors ordered before 1/1/2012 will come stocked with FREE bio-pellets:

Reef Dynamics BPR135 – $249.95 (includes 12oz of bio-pellets – a $35 value)
Reef Dynamics BPR250 – $349.95 (includes 24oz of bio-pellets – a $65 value)
Reef Dynamics BPR500 – $499.95 (includes 48oz of bio-pellets – a $125 value)

The new line of reactors will be available online starting tomorrow. Limited availability, pre-order now, estimated shipping 1/9/2012. Please contact Reef Dynamics now..

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

We recently got two EcoPicos from Ecoxotic, the basic version (EcoPico Desktop Aquarium) and the reef version (EcoPico Desktop Reef). In part one, we will focus on a VERY basic initial freshwater setup of the EcoPIco Desktop Aquarium. We will document the transformation of this tank as it matures. In later parts, we will get to the reef setup as well (which is now cycling).

The EcoPico Desktop Aquarium is a 5.1 gallon tank, measuring 10″ x 10″ x 12″. It comes with an aquarium filter & pump pushing out 80gph, and a very slick 9 Watts LED arm light with 2x12K white and 1x453nm actinic bulbs. Our first impression was just how clean the setup is. The rimless tank with black silicone looks great on the desktop and with only a few wires hanging off the back (light, filter, heater) we did not find it overbearing at all. Our favorite part is definitively the EcoPico LED Arm Light. If you’ve only seen it online, you should definitely check it out.

We included a quick video we shot. Please share it and tell us what you think. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel. Make sure to watch the video in HD!

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