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Coral Reef Vital Signs New Monitoring Tool

Posted on Monday, March 21st, 2011 at 10:04 am

Researchers at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric science have developed a new tool that will help monitor coral reef vital signs. Chris Langdon and colleagues can now accurately measure corals’ “biological pulse” and evaluate how ecological threats can impact the world’s reefs.

Back in 2009, the UM team first measured changes in dissolved oxygen in an enclosed chamber above the reef with one that measures the flux of dissolved oxygen above an unconfined portion of the sea floor.

By measuring and comparing levels of dissolved oxygen and consumptions rates, Landgon and his colleagues were able to monitor the delicate balance between production of new organic matter by corals and algae, vs the consumption of organic matter by the reef’s heterotrophs. This allowed the team to assess the overall health of the reef.

It will be interesting to see how this gets applied to evaluating reefs around the world during times when they are threatened by human and ecological disturbances.

Image Credit: C. Langdon

VorTech MP60w ES Propeller Pump

Posted on Sunday, March 20th, 2011 at 12:12 pm

EcoTech Marine newest propeller pump is an absolute beast! The VorTech MP60w ES Propeller Pump is designed for tanks with 1″ thickness, holding 120 to over1,000 gallons. Building on the same technology that made the MP40w, MP20 and MP10 so popular, the MP60w has the smallest in-tank footprint of any pump blasting out 7,500/gph. Ideal for larger display tanks, the MP60 is wireless out of the box, and utilizes the EcoSmart controller, for outstanding versatility.

The MP60w can run in the following operational modes:

Constant Speed Mode – Pump runs continuously at a constant speed which can be set by the user.

EcoSmart Nutrient Transport Mode (NTM) – A two phase program to promote maximum health and nutrient export, as well as increased growth for corals. Alternates between a resonant standing wave and a surge effect to stir up and export nutrients.

EcoSmart Tidal Swell Mode (TSM) – Creates a harmonic balance in your aquarium reminiscent of the changing flow conditions that would be found in nature. Flow varies from left to right, right to left, calm, and ends with a great surge.

Reef Crest Random Mode – Reef Crest Random Mode simulates the high-energy conditions of a natural reef crest environment.

Lagoonal Random Mode – Simulates the gentler reef zone found in a natural lagoon.

Short Pulse Mode – Allows for wave pulse timings between 0.3 and two seconds, enabling the creation of FAST alternating flow throughout the tank. Use this mode to create a resonant standing wave.

Long Pulse Mode – Allows for wave pulse timings of between two seconds and 60 seconds, enabling the creation of slow alternating flow throughout the tank.

Feed Mode – Slows down pump to allow user to feed aquarium. User can select the duration and speed for Feed Mode.

Night Mode – Automatically reduce speed and operates continuously at that speed for a period of time during the night. User can select the duration and speed for Night Mode.

Battery Backup Mode – When used with our battery backup accessory, the VorTech pump will switch to Battery Backup Mode in the event of a power outage and will operate at a user set speed. The LED’s on your EcoSmart driver will count down to indicate how much power is available within the battery.

Auto-Dim – LED’s are turned off and display knob dimmed significantly, but pump functions in its current mode. User can program how long after use before the driver enters Auto-Dim.

On/Off Switch – Tap the on/off switch to turn off and turn on a pump. Hold this button to turn off all pumps in a master/slave group. Tap any pump in the groups’ on/off switch and that pump will turn back on.

Here are some specs:
Flow: 3,500 – 7,500 GPH (13,000-28,000 LPH)
Wattage: 10 – 60 watts
Maximum Tank Thickness: 1″ (range 3/8″ – 1″)
26mm (range 9.5mm – 26mm)
Appropriate Tank Size Range: 120 to 1000+ gallons (450 to 3,800+ Liters)
Dimensions: Wet Side- 4″ diameter by 3” long. (102mm diameter by 76mm long.)
Dry Side – 4″ diameter by 2.8″ long. (102mm diameter by 71mm long.)
Clearance Needed Behind Aquarium: 3.3″ (84mm)

Here is a video of the pump at work:

Marineland Rimless Cubes Spotted at the 2011 Global Expo

Posted on Saturday, March 19th, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Spotted at the 2011 Global Pet Expo in Orlando, FL. United Pet Group’s Marineland brand was showing off a new, rimless (frameless) version of it’s very popular cube tanks. While final sizes and details including pricing have not been confirmed, they had 3 prototypes on exhibit in their booth. a 30x30x18(70 gallon) with Corner-Flo, a 24x24x24 (approx 60 gallons) with a rear center overflow, and an 18x18x18 (25 gallon) with no overflow. They all had very smoothly beveled and polished glass, clear silicone, and optional glass canopy with a nifty plastic / rubber mount to attach to the frameless glass sides. Marineland was also showing off their new MaxiJet PRO pumps and Reef Capable LED fixtures on two of these, and it was interesting to note that the included mounting legs on the RC lights fit quite well on the frameless style cubes.

The word is they are looking at a summer launch, and we should have more details in the coming months.

TrueLumen Pro LED Striplights from Current USA

Posted on Saturday, March 19th, 2011 at 11:27 am

The TrueLumen Pro LED Striplights from Current USA are comprised of a slim, extruded aluminum strip, packed with bright LEDs. The thermally efficient, water resistant LED light, is versatile, and can be applied in almost any application, be it store-use, canopy, or direct placement (on the aquarium).

The aquarium LED lighting Strips come in four color options, appropriate for freshwater, saltwater, reef and planted tanks.

8,000K Sun White – the perfect spectrum for freshwater planted aquariums or refugiums.

12,000K Diamond White – crisp white, an excellent choice for enhancing colors in marine & freshwater fish. Provides bright, penetrating rays of shimmering light without growing nuisance algae.

Marine Fusion – a slick combination of 12K white & 453nm blue. One strip will illuminate an entire aquarium with the perfect blend of light for marine fish & reef aquariums.

Deepwater Blue – sharp 453nm actinic blue lighting for providing the necessary wavelengths for promoting strong coral growth & enhancing brilliant coloration.

With low energy consumption and long bulb life, these LED strips might be what you’re looking for. Since the LEDs are protected by a silicone cover, they are completely water resistant. Powered by a 24 volt, low-voltage transformer, the units are linkable, allowing for easy expansion.

Below you will find a color spectrum video.

Oceanic Product Line to be Streamlined

Posted on Saturday, March 19th, 2011 at 11:07 am

It was reported earlier this week, that Central Garden & Pet will be taking Oceanic to the chopping block. However, further investigation revealed that Central Garden & Pet (CGP) will instead streamline the Oceanic Product line. CGP owns both Aqueon and Oceanic, and there is significant overlap in their aquarium offerings. After an internal assessment which revealed that the Aqueon aquariums were selling at a much better rate, GCP had decided that some changes are in order.

Rather than focusing on large, higher-end (sometimes custom) aquariums, GCP will now focus on Biocubes, Biocube Accessories, Oceanic Salt, Aquarium Chillers, and their 57 Gallon trimless, braceless aquarium, the Illuminata.

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