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In Search of Schooling Reef Fish

Posted on Friday, February 10th, 2012 at 11:02 am

I’ve talked with many of local fish store owners and other friends that have been in the hobby for a long time asking them about suggested fish that are small and stay in tight schools. The standard reply is chromis which come in a variety of color, but they tend to get a large than I am looking for. I’ve been seeking something comparable to the neon tetras of the fresh water world. I just recently read about the Luminous Cardinalfish in another blog. I was excited to see that I wasn’t the only person that has been searching for a small schooling fish.

Do any of our ReefTools readers know of other species that fit the bill? If so, please take a moment to make suggestion in the comment area below.

Here is a video of the Rhabdamia gracilis (Luminous Cardinalfish).

Daily Deals and Discounts February 10 2012

Posted on Friday, February 10th, 2012 at 9:37 am

Premium Aquatics: Red Sea AquaZone Basic 50 Mg. Regular price $179.99, now only $159.99.
Salty Critter: AquaLogic 1/4hp DS3 Chiller.Regular price $842.00, now only 725.95.
HelloLights: Lumen Bright 3 SE Metal Halide Pendant. Regular price $139.95, now only $105!
Marine Depot: 20% off Eheim Aquastyle Aquarium.
That Pet Place: Coralife Pulse 5800 DC Wavemaker. Regular price $334.99, now only $267.99.
Bulk Reef Supply: 10% OFF Lignite carbon.
Foster and Smith Aquatics: BioCube Algae Cleaning Magnet. Now only $5.99.
Reef Specialty: TUNZE Turbelle® stream 6080 – CLOSEOUT. Regular price $136.99, now only $99.95!
SeaQuest Marine: 48″ Giesemann Infiniti Light Fixture (2) 250W HQI + (4) 54W T5. List price $2045.99, now only $1648.88!
Aquarium Guys: Fluval Chi Glass Aquarium Kit – 5 gallon. Regular price $71.99, now only $55.09!
Big Als Online: Koralia Evolution – 750. Regular price, $39.99, now only $30.99.

Please Share with your friends

Livestock: Joleen’s Red Aussie Table

Reef Octopus Luxury Aquariums and Stands

Posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Riding the wave of rimless, low-iron glass aquariums popularity, Reef Octopus has decided to join the game. Their new line of aquariums are designed to become “the center of attraction in your home.” The low-iron glass is accented by black ShineEust glue joints and a unique and small overflow system. The sleek stands are made of MDF, and E1 grade environmentally-friendly material, and should take about a half an hour to assemble.

Currently, there are two models of Luxury Aquariums and Stands from Reef Octopus, the LUX-T60, 32 Gallon Luxury Aquarium (23.6″ x 17.7″ x 17.7″) and the LUX-T90, 48 Gallon Luxury Aquarium (35.4″ x 17.7″ x 17.7″). Both are offered with an optional sump. Below is the information directly from the CoralVue website.


Luxurious Reef Octopus Aquarium systems can easily become the center of attraction in your home.  These well made show tanks features stunningly clear low iron glass, sleak black ShinEust glue joints and all quality build to be dependable.  Pre Drilled hole on the bottom of the tank to for the use of the Black tube Water Flow system.The stand/cabinet is made of MDF( Medium Density Fiberboard), an E1 grade environmentally friendly material. Very easy to be assembled and will only take about a half an hour. Just follow the manual for assembly!

Reef Octopus Luxury Reef Octopus Luxury Stand
T-60 Reef Octopus 32 Gallon Luxury Aquarium & Stand
Item #: LUX-T60
T-60 / 32 Gallon Luxury Aquarium
Dim: 23.6″ x 17.7″ x 17.7″
Item #: LUX-ST60
ST-60 Aquarium Stand/Cabinet
Dim: 23.6″ x 17.7″ x 39.3″
Item #: OCT-RS80
Reef Octopus Small 80 Sump
Dim: 18.75″x12″x16″
A good reef sump is very important to an Aquarium system, many devices are set up in it, and it also enlarge the amount of water in the system, makes the system much stable. There also have several parts with the sumps, FB-200 filter bag hang on devices and a Multi-purpose probe fixation device. They will help a lot on fixing the overflow pipe and probe like PH probe.Adjustable Sump Baffle
T-90 Reef Octopus 48 Gallon Luxury Aquarium & Stand
Item #: LUX-T90
T-90 / 48 Gallon Luxury Aquarium
Dim: 35.4″ x 17.7″ x 17.7″
Item #: LUX-ST90
ST-90 Aquarium Stand/Cabinet
Dim: 35.4″ x 17.7″ x 39.3″
Item #: LUX-RX40
BX-40 Black tube overflow system
Reef Octopus Black tube Overflow System Reef Octopus black tube overflow box is designed to make it easy to set up an
aquariums’ water returning system.
This system uses a bulkhead that have been drilled two holes, to install the
returning pipe and another for the water over flow to the sump.
It also contain a special parts which contain 2 GJ pipe interfaces, it is very
useful when added a calcium reactor or adjust a new finish to the tank.
All the pipes are hided in the translucent black and brown acrylic tube, makes
the inner of the tank much succinct and have more space to put reefs.
It is also silent, we added a small silencer on the overflow pipe.
A smart silencer, reduce the noise of the water drop.
Water finally fallen to the sump through the bellow, makes this
system much silent.
A bulkhead with two holes on the same plate is the key of this
system, water up and down to the tank is hidden in the same
black tube.

The Next Generation in Pendant LED Lights – Orphek DIP Pendant Series

Posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012 at 10:34 am

Photo Credit: Avinoam Swissa

Orphek has broken through the ceiling of complexity with their new DIP XP series. They have developed a true LED replacement for metal halide lights. Orphek’s research and development team was tasked with the problem of low lumens per watt when using blue LEDs. Orphek is about to release the first daylight multichip LED pendant available in 16K, 18K 20K and 25K color temperatures with out the use of blue LEDs.

The DIP Pendant Series will be available in combinations suitable for all sizes of aquariums. Utilizing 100 watt, 50 watt and 30 watt fixtures combined with four varying choices in lenses; 45 degree, 60 degree, 90 degree and 120 degree. The wattage and lens combination makes these LED pendants suitable for shallow aquariums in the 24” range to very deep aquariums maxing out at 72”. Yes, you read that correctly, 6 feet deep!

Orphek DIF-100 Reef aquarium LED lighting

DIF-100 – fixture replaces a 400w fixture.
DIF-50 – fixture replaces a 250w fixture.
DIF-30 – fixture replaces a 150w fixture.

It’s easy to change between 45,60,90 and 120 degree lens.

Orphek DIF-100 LED Reef Aquarium LED lighting

Spectrographs and Photometrics:

DIF 100/50/30 appear similar to a 18000k halide bulb.

DIF 100/30 white/red appear similar to a 16000k halide bulb

DIF50 B+UV Royal Blue +UV (provides incredible color enhancement and fluorescence! DIF100/50/30)

The versatility of changing the lens, coupled with the various color options make the DIP XP series from Orphek a very nice choice for anyone looking at this type of LED aquarium lighting.

Every Reef Needs Cucumber Poop

Posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 at 10:23 am

It was recently reported in SciTechDaily that sea cucumber waist is beneficial to reef growth for multiple reasons. I’ve always maintained 2 cucumbers in my reef aquarium. My reasons were more for aesthetics than actual benefits. I’ve found they turn over the surface of my sand bed in a non destructive way. They only disturb the top quarter inch of the sand bed by eating dirty sand and “discharging” clean pristine sand. The best part is they do it in a way that doesn’t create a sand storm in the aquariums flow keeping my rocks clean of sand.

It has recently been reported that the sea cucumber’s digestive process increases the pH levels of the water around the reef. Another benefit is a by-product of their digestive system is calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Calcium carbonate is a key ingredient to coral growth. Professor Byrne, the director of One Tree Island Research where the study took place, suggest “the ammonia waste produced when sea cucumbers digest sand also serves to fertilize the surrounding area, providing nutrients for coral growth.”

For more info, click here.

Orphek PR-156 LED Lighting

Posted on Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 at 9:54 am

There is a lot of buzz going around the reef community about the Orphek PR-156 LED Fixtures. We are very impressed with what we’ve seen so far. The Orphek PR-156 fixtures are packaged with dual timers and hanging kits. Not to mention they are very sharp looking, especially the white unit. Here are a couple of shots of these LED fixtures.

Orphek Power Reef 156 White
White acrylic/silver stainless steel grill/white power box

Orphek Power Reef 156 Black
Black acrylic/silver stainless steel grill/black power box.

Orphek released 2 versions of the PR-156 and they have opened the phone lines to allow users to customize the ratio of white to blue LEDs. Additionally, Orphek is offering UV/true violet emitters for those reefers that enjoy the more fluorescent look making the colors of their Aussie corals really pop!

The Power Reef PR-156 is designed to replace 250W to 400w Metal halides. This model was developed for deeper reef aquariums. It allows for higher mounting and increased spread with plenty of power.

The Power Reef PR-156W (wide) is designed for shallower reef aquariums 28” or less. It also has worked well for aquariums with minimal space in the canopy utilizing 120 degree lenses creating a wider spread over shallower tanks.

Built in programmable timers

Take a moment to review the factory specs including spectrographs and impressive PAR readings.


  1. Designed specifically for the needs of photosynthetic marine invertebrates.
  2. Is a very powerful LED Light Solution that can replace 250w – 400w MH lights.
  3. Optional clear 90º or HONEY COMB 120º lens (PR-156W model). PR-156W is recommended in most cases.
  4. Advanced optics technology to reduces water surface refraction and reflection.
  5. The Spectrum of our Power LED helps to control algae overgrowth, by reducing algae proliferation on the front glass.
  6. Plug in plug out technology enables replacements or removal of components very easily, with no stress or damage to the product.
  7. Comes with two high quality digital timers with 16 memory programs, to simulate sunrise and sunset.
  8. Sleek modern design offered in 02 color options.
  9. Manufactured to exceed a 10-year lifespan, with only 10-15% luminous decay over that time period. Reduces up to 50% of energy consumption.
  10. Fan works quietly at 2000prm-20dbA.
  11. It is environmentally friendly.

Total product Weight: 14.72lb (6.68kg)
Hang in kit weight: 2.31 (1.05kg)
Total package weight for shipping: approx.22lb (approx.10KG)

Length: 24.05” (611mm)
Width: 6.33” (161mm)
Height: 2.16” (51mm)
Weight: 10.14lb (4.6kg)

Length: 12.59” (320mm)
Width: 6.88” (175mm)
Height: 2.99” (76mm)
Weight: 4.58lb (2.08kg)

Cable (LB to PB) length: 118” (3m)
Cable (PB) length: 70.86” (1.8m)
*Extension cables available at additional cost.

02 steel cables length: 9.84” (250mm)
01 steel cable length: 70.86” (1.8m)
Weight: 2.31lb (1.05kg)

Input voltage AC:( 85V-120V) OR (200V-264V)
Frequency: 50/60Hz
Power Consumption: 120w
Electrical outlet: region-appropriate

Quantity per unit: 60 pieces
Wattage: 2 watts
Ratio: 70% of white: 30% of blue Power LEDs OR 60% of white: 40% of blue Power LEDs.

PR-156 – Clear 90 degrees
PR-156W – Honey Comb 120degrees

White Power LED 14.000K-16.000K, 180-200lm 100lm/w
Royal Blue LED:450nm – 470nm
Lumens: ~+9000

Orphek PR-156 Spectrograph

PR-156UV Fixture Spectrograph

PAR TEST READINGS – By Sanjay Joshi, Ph.D.
“The Orphek array PR-156 is one of the newer models that include 4 UV LEDs, in addition to the blue and white LEDs. A total of 60 LEDs running at around 2W each
make up the complete array. As tested the Orphek drew 110W of power. As seen from the light distribution, there are large areas at 24″ and 36″ where the PPFD values exceed 200. This clearly shows the impact of the optics and will allow these fixtures to be well suited for deeper tanks and mounting higher to get larger spread if desired.”

full article here.

Most Popular Posts of the Week January 29 – February 4, 2012

Posted on Monday, February 6th, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Just in case you missed it, here is a summery of last week’s most popular Reef News.

  1. $19 Million Bachelor Pad contains Elos System 700
  2. New CAD Lights Bio Reactor – Video
  3. Volcano Reef Tank
  4. TUNZE Nanostreams, Saving Energy and Your Pocketbook
  5. Revolutionary Bio-Pellet Reactor Released by Reef Dynamics

“Supergiant” Amphipod Discovered

Posted on Monday, February 6th, 2012 at 10:59 am

photo credit: Oceanlab, University of Aberdeen, UK

Scientists sampling a trench more than 4 miles deep were shocked when they pulled their traps in to find an elusive supergiant crustacean. The amphipods measuring 11 inches are more than 20 times larger than the typical amphipods. What we consider to be “normal” amphipods max out at about half an inch long. The trench being studied is off the coast of New Zealand which is one of the deepest trenches known.

Seven of the supergiants were pulled up in the trap and another 9 were recorded by a camera located about a mile from the trap. There have been a small number of claimed sightings in the past. Scientist are unsure what brought the amphipods to this area and what is even more baffling is one week later the area was revisited and none could be found.

If you ask me, these critters appear alien…. Pass the cocktail sauce please!

Oceanlab, University of Aberdeen, UK
Scientist Alan Jamieson holds his unexpected find.

Via [msnbc]

TUNZE Nanostreams, Saving Energy and Your Pocketbook

Posted on Friday, February 3rd, 2012 at 1:20 pm

You could have the eyesight of a Moray and still see clearly that the reef aquarium hobby is growing. It’s been growing steadily for nearly a decade and a large portion of that growth is thanks to the popularity of nano aquariums. The exact definition of a nano aquarium is as fluid as the water within them, but they’re generally understood to be aquariums in the 30 gallon and under range… or thereabouts. In this miniature realm of saltwater splendor, one family of powerheads has pushed all its competitors out of the way. That family is known as the Tunze Nanostreams.

Smaller aquariums require equipment with smaller footprints and more size-appropriate specs, like rates of flow and energy use. Tunze’s Nanostreams were designed and produced with these exact goals in mind. Starting with the smallest member of the family, the Nanostream 6015, and moving up to the big brother, the controllable, wide flow 6095, all of the Nanostream powerheads have very impressive stats. The 6015, for example, moves 475 GPH while consuming a mere 3.5 watts, while the next in line 6025 moves 740 GPH at a cost of only 5 watts. The 6045 has a unique flow adjusting outlet and can push from 400 to 1190 GPH using 5 to 7 watts.

Energy cost is one thing, pocketbook and wallet costs are another. The Nanostream powerheads are still assembled by hand in our factory in Germany with the precision and high quality materials for which Tunze is known… but we’ve kept the prices low. Three of the Nanostream pumps (6015, 6025 and 6045) retail for less than $100, the smallest of which will set you back less than $39. The next time you see one online or at your LFS, grab it. Your corals and fish will thank you. Remember: just because they’re small, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the best.

Nanostream Features:

  • Propeller technology, wide flow powerheads.
  • High efficiency, silent motors.
  • Magnet holder with 3D adjustable aiming clamp.

2010 provide us with the hottest summer and the coldest winters recorded to date. This creates a huge issue for coral reefs around the world. We’ve already discussed the fact that Global Warming Threatens Coral Reefs, but what is harder on the reefs, extreme cold temperature swings or extreme warm temperature swings? This question was studied in a report posted in the Scientific Reports February issue coauthored by Scripps researcher Ralf Goericke of the Integrative Oceanography Division. The studied provided interesting results. For short periods of extreme temperatures corals could handle warmer waters better than they could cold. But over time the corals on the reefs were able to adjust to the colder climate and were unable to make the adjustment to longer sustained warmer waters.

Picture provided by

(a) Coral linear extension (mm day−1; mean ± s.e.m.) during days 0–5 (N = 15−19), days 5–9 (N = 10−14), days 9–12 (N = 5−9), and days 12–20 (N = 4−5).
(b) Coral dinoflagellate density (x106 cells cm−2; mean ± s.e.m.; N = 4−5) over time during the experiment.
(c) Single image of 3 representative corals after 20 d thermal stress. The heat treatment coral has bleached, a discoloration from the reduction of endosymbiotic dinoflagellates resulting in transparent coral tissue and visible white skeleton. Two-way ANOVAs of growth and dinoflagellate density revealed significant effects of treatment (P<0.0001), time (P<0.01), and treatment x time (P<0.01)

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