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Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Reef Angel is a new controller kit that offers the reefkeeper complete control over both hardware and software in order to accommodate any reefing needs. You can now build the controller you always wanted from the ground up, and use a simple interface and programming language to achieve your goals.

The Reef Angel utilizes a stable, open-source format, and is now available at a reduced price of $180 for the complete kit. The Reef Angel kit includes:
Main Board
– Assembled PCB board
* ATMega328P – microcontroller
* 2x 24LC256 – Serial I2C EEprom memory, one with jumper to block write access.
* PH circuit
* 128×128 color LCD screen
* DS3231 – Real time clock with battery backup
* Power LED
* Status LED, mainly used for alert and diagnostics.
* Thumb analog joystick
* 1x 8 Port I2C expander with inverter gate
* 1x 8 Port I2C expander with inverter gate circuit only (If you desire, you can solder the ICs to the board and have more I/O pins)

– Routed enclosure
– Mounting screws
– Assembly instructions

Relay Box
– Assembled PCB board
* 8x miniature relays
* relay driver circuit
* override and status LEDs circuit (the circuit is built in the board, but no switches or LEDs are going to be provided)
* PWM booster circuit for Meanwell drivers (Additional $15)
* 1000mA capable LED driver (Additional $25)
* 2x Plugable terminal connectors for LED cable if any of the 2 above choices are opted in.

– 8x Outlet sockets
– Inlet socket with built-in fuse compartment
– Connection wires
– Routed enclosure
– Mounting screws
– Assembly instructions

– 3x Temperature sensor ICs (They are not assembled in a cable)
– Connectors to assemble your own cable

Check it out on the Reef Angel website.

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Premium Aquatics, a reef tools sponsor, has updated their website. The new Premium Aquatics website is nice and clean, is easy to navigate, and should do quite well for the gang at Premium Aquatics. Premium Aquatics specializes in “reef and saltwater marine aquariums, including lighting, halide, vho, compacts, protein skimmers, ro/di, liverock, cured and uncured, corals, crabs, snails, fish, miracle mud, additives, mysis shrimp, and more.”

You can always find the newest dry goods and great prices on the website, as well as get a peak at their choice livestock. Check it out at

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

The Diablo Cone Skimmer is reported to be on it’s way to Reef Specialty, and should be available in about two months. This new pinwheel-pump driven skimmer, is has a footprint of 12.5″ x 8.5″ and is 19.5″ tall. The price has not been set at this time, but this powerful skimmer (25 SCFH or 700 liters of air per hour) is said to be reasonably priced. This 3″ x 6″ code skimmer delivers some design elements that have grown to be popular in the skimmer industry, namely, a bubble chamber, silencer, cup drain, twist turn cup removal, wedge valve and needle wheel. The Diablo Cone Skimmer comes with a molded venturi and pinwheel design that won’t require a mesh mod. Reef Specialty has been testing the prototype for a few weeks now, are have reported being “very pleased with this skimmer thus far.” We will release a few more detail shortly

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

The EcoSmart Driver for the EcoTech Marine VorTech line will be released at the end of March at retailers all over the world. EcoTech Marine has taken the steps nesseccary to insure that international suppliers will have the EcoSmart Driver in stock in-line with the US release date. For more information about the EcoSmart Driver, please check our post announcing the release of the EcoSmart Driver.

EcoTech Marine has give a nice incentive for customers to ACT NOW! For a limited time, the ES Upgrade for the MP40W and the MP20 will be discounted until April 30th from $100 to $75.

Please remember to check out the EcoTech Marine EcoSmart Driver Rebate Program.

Your upgrade options are as follows:

MP40w Gen2 to MP40w ES Upgrade Kit
REGULAR PRICE $100. This upgrade kit consists of an MP40 ES driver board, driver box and wireless module. This kit will upgrade an MP40w with WWD to an MP40w ES pump.
$75 until April 30th, 2010

MP20 to MP40w ES Upgrade Kit
This upgrade kit consists of an MP40 power supply ($50), an MP40 ES driver board, driver box and wireless module.
$125 until April 30th, 2010

MP10 to MP10w ES Upgrade Kit
This upgrade kit consists of an MP10 ES driver board, driver box and wireless module. This kit will upgrade a first generation MP10 into an MP10w ES.

MP10 to MP10 ES Upgrade Kit
Upgrade kit consists of one MP10 ES driver board and driver box. This kit will upgrade a first generation MP10 into an MP10 ES.

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

The Yellow Tang, Zebrasoma flavescens, is one of the most identifiable saltwater fish around. A staple in many reef tanks, this brilliant yellow, disk-shaped herbivore, is a very active swimmer who is sure to stand out. A very hardy fish, the Yellow Tang will be a wonderful member of a community reef tank. Commonly kept singly, this Tang will usually act aggressively towards other members of it’s own species, and sometimes, Tangs in general. Also known as the Yellow Sailfin Tang, this fish will do best in tanks of 100 gallons providing ample swimming room and flow.

The Yellow Tang is a voracious algae eater, and will do more than it’s share of clean-up duty  of many of the nuisance algae prevalent in reef tanks. Supplementing the Yellow Tang’s diet with seaweed and algae sheets will contribute to strengthening it’s immune system and health.

Photo by Greg Rothschild

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Here’s another reef video of DSPS Tank from Thailand. This reef video, which was added on Oct 2009 shows this famous large reef tank in all of it’s glory. Beautiful SPS colonies “plague” this reef aquarium, and the colors are….well….out of this world. Some larger reef fish had been added to this tank, as well as clams, a blue carpet anemone, some scolys and so much more, that it makes listing an exercise in futility. Check it out and tell us what you think. Here is the most recent video of this tank, added on Feb.

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

The Leopard Wrasse, Macropharyngodon meleagris, is an excellent choice for a peaceful community tank and may be housed with other fish of the sam genus. As with all wrasses of the genera Macropharyngodon, all Leopard Wrasses are born female. With the lack of an existing male in the community, one of the females will become male, and shift her color pattern. The females (photo below) are white with irregular black or brown spots and yellow or tans accents on their fins. The males, are a rusty-red color, with green spots on their body, green lines on the head, and a dark spot in on the sides of their head.

Also known as the Blackspotted Wrasse or the Guinea Fowl Wrasse, this beautiful fish may be kept in groups, as long as the group consists of several females and only one male.

This reef-safe wrasse, should be kept in an aquarium that is at least 50 gallons, with a sandbed that may be used by this fish for sleep or escape from a potential predator or aggressive tankmate. In nature, the Leopard Wrasse will eat small invertebrates. A well established reef tank with a refugium and plenty of liverock will put you on the right track to caring for this fish.

The Leopard Wrasse, being a carnivore, should be offered vitamin enriched frozen mysis and brine shrimp, krill, as well as other meaty food and choice pellets and flakes. It may be necessary to offer some live feeder shrimp in cases where the tank does not offer enough, or when this fish seems to be uninterested in frozen food.

Photo by Greg Rothschild

Friday, March 12th, 2010

The EcoSmart Driver for VorTech Pumps is the latest release from EcoTech Marine. Adding to their groundbreaking VorTechs, EcoTech Marine set out to make setting up and controlling multiple pumps a breeze. The result was the EcoSmart Driver, which allows for new modes and a wider wireless range.

“EcoSmart is the culmination of 18 months of development and our efforts at complimenting the best pump technology on the market with the most versatile, controllable and customizable driver ever manufactured,” said Tim Marks, president of EcoTech Marine. “The current VorTech wave driver is ground-breaking in its ability to deliver high performance and extensive functionality right out of the box. EcoSmart takes things to new heights.”

It is now easier than ever to position, set up, and automate the process of creating ideal flow in any reef tank. Just select a mode, and the EcoSmart will do the rest, basically a “set it and forget it”.

Adding to the “wow factor”, is the sleek LED interface of the EcoSmart, as well as the dial controlled speed adjustments, which offer a must more precise fin-tuning process, and allow the hobbyist the utmost control over their VorTechs.

Major features the EcoSmart Driver:

  • Convert any MP10 and MP40 to an EcoSmart driver, and to wireless
  • Increased master-slave pump relationship functionality
  • Easily auto-tune and program customized waves
  • New modes including tidal swell and nutrient transport for an even more realistic reef experience
  • Time and speed adjustable for feed and night modes
  • Sleek LED interface with on/off switch
  • Auto-dim automatically turns the LED’s off after a user-set amount
Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Wildlife officials feel they have done everything in their power to prevent sea lions from eating the endangered chinook salmon. Previous efforts included dropping bombs that explode under water, and firing rubber bullets and bean bags at these sea lions, but now, actual death sentences have been issued for “repeat offenders”.

The first sea lion euthanized this year in an attempt to protect the chinook salmon population in California. Protestors say that may threats, including man-made dams, pose a much greater threat to the chinook salmon, and that these actions by Wildlife officials are unacceptable. In the first year of this program, 11 sea lions were euthanized, which 4 were captured, then transfered to zoos and aquariums.

The sea lions have realized that large communities of salmon must funnel through the dam’s fish ladders, making the spot ideal for easy pickings. Robert Stansell, a fisheries biologies with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said that “”They learn. They come up here and know it’s a good place to eat, and sooner or later the salmon are going to arrive.”

The Humane Society, leading a movement of critics, reports that fisherman catch three times as many salmon as the sea lions eat, and that hydroelectic dams on the Columbia create an obstacle for salmon as they attempt to return to the ocean.

[via AP, Yahoo News]

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

The Bubble King Deluxe 200 Internal protein skimmer is a high-end skimmer from Royal Exclusiv. The Bubble King line of protein skimmers is well known for using the Red Dragon pumps with standard anti-lime bypasss and titan screws. The Bubble King Deluxe 200 Internal skimmer uses an Innovative proprietary product from Royal: injection pan, with conical counter bored holes for clear turbulence reduction. With the use of the Royal Exlusiv titan needle wheels, these skimmers are tauted as producing the “Finest air bubbles.”

[via aquarium specialty]

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