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As many marine aquarists know, Aiptasia or glass anemones, as some people like to refer to them, are an aquarium pest that we all dread seeing in our beloved aquariums.  This article will explore some of the ins and outs of the different methods of biologically/naturally removing aiptasia from the reef aquarium.



Berghia Nudibranch
berghia

Berghia eat Aiptasia. Aiptasia is all they eat.  This is a plus but keep in mind they will starve off once the aiptasia is gone. The average life expectancy is 6-8 months but it's common for them to reproduce in captivity.  Because berghia are nocturnal, you most most likely will not see them once they are introduced into your tank unless you like to stay up late at night and shine a flashlight into your tank to search for them. With berghia, patience is key. Berghia are not an overnight cure to eliminating aiptasia, and depending on the aquarium size and population of berghia to aiptasia it can take weeks or months for a herd of berghia to wipe out  aiptasia in a reef aquarium.  Important things to consider when buying berghia are acclimation, introducing them with the lights out, and turning off all the pumps for an hour or so.  More about this can be read here by clicking on the details tab.



Peppermint Shrimp (Lysmata seticaudata)
peppermint shrimp
Aiptasia Eating Peppermint Shrimp are best known for their ability to manage nuisance Aiptasia but they will also eat fish food and other organics in the home aquarium.  As a result of their less selective diet they don't d...
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0 Comments | Posted in Products By Scott Groseclose

Aqua Illumination Wireless Controller

Here’s some exciting news from Aqua Illumination regarding their new wireless controller.  After listening to customer feedback and suggestions, Aqua Illumination recently announced the release of a major revision to their New Controller firmware that I happened to install yesterday over our new Vega reef tank. This new update offers a long list of new options, including support for the custom AI PowerPucks (coming out in the near future - more on that in a later article), wireless operation for SOL and Nano modules using the wireless adapter, a global regional timer to mimic sunrise/sunset times of major coral reefs, and much more. This firmware update is, of course, free to everyone who owns the New Controller and it is currently available to download from the AquaIllumination website.

One of the slickest features we like are the fail safe Vega dim down and the global region timers that simulate the light schedule of major reefs around the world.  Although the reef sunlight schedule is not a must have for healthy coral growth it has been show that spawning can occur under lighting conditions that more closely mimic the suns patterns.

The fail safe dim down of the AI Vega is particularly important to prevent coral burning if the modules lose wireless communications.  The other really cool feature, which AI calls Global Region Timers, is useful for aquarists looking to recreate natural lighting as close to nature as possible.  The firmware upgrade mimics lighting conditions in ...

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0 Comments | Posted in Products By Scott Groseclose

If you desire the highest water quality but are frustrated with some of the media reactors on the market then meet the all new Innovative Marine MiniMax All-In-One Media Reactor. The MiniMax All-In-One Media Reactor is a novel approach to optimize chemical and biological filtration for nano & mini marine aquariums, something that has typically been lacking with an out of the box plug and play type product.  The innovative Patent Pending design minimizes the need for flexible tubes, pvc pipes, ball valves, thumb screws, and unnecessary clutter that are usually associated with typical media reactors.  The ingenious design maximizes performance and offers out of the box responsive flow control, easy maintenance, low power consumption, and the smallest form factor ever built which is necessary to fit within the Nuvo Series filter compartments. The versatile MiniMax is designed to be discreetly hidden behind All-In-One Aquariums or placed directly in other brands of aquarium sumps.

The MiniMax Desktop All-In-One Media Reactor is designed to fit into the Innovative Marine Nuvo Pico 4 and Nuvo Nano 8 aquarium filtration compartment and the MiniMax Mid Size All-In-One is designed for the Nano 16Micro 30 and Mini 38 Innovative Marine Aquariums but it can also be used in other brands of aquariums and sumps as well.  Coupled with the Innovative Marine Skimmate series protein skimmers is going to close the chain link for desktop and mini aquarium filtration.

Here's a short video that wil...

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0 Comments | Posted in Products By Scott Groseclose

The New DIGITAL Davy Jones' Skimmate Locker

Digital Davy Jones Locker

The other day we featured an article about the Vertex Vectra Self Cleaning Head.  Now it's time to mention a new product from Avast Marine that will work with their Swabbie protein skimmer self cleaning head (or other brands).  Since you can increase your skimmate production by 70% or more, it's time to discuss the new Digital Davy Jones' Skimmate Locker and why it's a perfect compliment to any self cleaning head.  So I digress and the question arrises; what good is increased skimmate production if you have to empty your skimmer collection cup twice as often?  If skimmate production increases then that means more trips to the toilet, sink or wherever you typically dump your aquarium poo.  Wouldn't it be nice not to have to empty your smelly collection cups as often, or even better, worry about messy skimmate overflows?

Well no worries now because Avast Marine has developed a device that "sinks two boats with one cannonball".  The DIgital Davy Jones Locker (AKA - DDJL) will isolate skimmate while purifying stinky exhaust air, as well as provide a failsafe mechanism to shut off overflowing skimmers.

The new Digital Davy Jones' Skimmate Locker, comes in three sizes to most efficiently fit next to your sump, where space is always premium.  Rather than a traditional ping-pong ball (which only works with downdraft skimmers) or a magnetic float switch that travels on a central rod and is prone to sticking (especially in a vat full of sticky f...

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0 Comments | Posted in Products By Scott Groseclose

The new Vertex Omega 150 protein skimmer is a feature rich protein skimmer with a build quality you would expect from the Vertex product line.  You will notice right away that the Omega 150 has the design characteristics and build quality of the Bubble King skimmer line at a fraction of the price.  In fact, if we hadn't known it was a Vertex skimmer, we would have thought it was a new Royal Exclusiv Bubble King model but with a modified Sicce pump instead of  the typical modified Askoll pump found on most Royal Exclusiv skimmers.  

The Vertex Omega 150 is designed to work with aquariums up to 150 gallons and as small as 40 gallons.  The modified Sicce impeller pump includes a highly efficient design that draws an impressive 850 LPH of air at 19 watts of power or almost 4 times less energy draw than a typical 75 watt incandescent bulb.  The overall footprint is a reasonable 11" x 11" and it will fit in most standard sized aquarium sumps such as the Trigger Systems, NextReef or My Reef Creations lines of sumps. Like the Bubble King Red Dragon pump, the Omega powered Sicce pinwheel pump is nearly silent. An added bonus is that the replacement pumps and/or impellers are much more affordable in the event that something goes awry.

 

Vertex Omega 150

Like many of the higher end protein skimmers on the market today, the Omega 150 includes a bubble plate and an easily adjustable stand pipe water height adjustment that will help you dial in your choice of dry or wet skimming.  The volute nozzle also has a...
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0 Comments | Posted in Products By Scott Groseclose

When it comes to aquarium maintenance, let’s face it, no one enjoys cleaning their skimmer. It’s time consuming, messy and well, not the most pleasant thing you can do for your olfactory system. One way to help ease this activity and improve skimmer performance is to go with a self cleaning head for your skimmer, however some aquarist shy away from this solution due to cost.

Vertex Vectra SCH

While many of the SCHs out there command a large upfront cost, this is not true of the Vertex Vectra Self Cleaning Head (SCH). The Vectra SCH system offers top shelf quality at a price point that won’t break the bank. For less than $220.00, you can increase your skimmer performance by 70% or more, not to mention cut down on your skimmer cleanup time and the mess it can make in your sink and everwhere else the splatter goes.

As with all of the Vertex product line, every detail has been well though out. In addition to the Vectra being a very attractive looking SCH, Vertex took it a step further and also packaged it beautifully. In fact, the packaging is reminiscent of the clean white boxes used for Apple products.

The components for the Vertex Vectra SCH are sold separately. Each Vectra engine will need to be paired with the proper sized Vectra lid for proper fit on your specific protein skimmer.  For example, the Bubble King Mini 200 and Vertex Alpha Cone 200 would require the Vectra 200 mm lid coupled with the Vectra Engine.

Vertex Vectra Engine

Some other examples of pairings are listed below. Please note these are just examples...

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0 Comments | Posted in Products By Scott Groseclose

Orphek Atlantik

1/31/13 5:24 PM

ORPHEK ATLANTIK LED LIGHT FIXTURE RAISES THE BAR

 Orphek Atlantik

Orphek is proud to announce their new flagship LED pendant, the Atlantik. The Atlantik LED Pendant design goals were:

  • Provide a model for aquariums less than 36 inches and over 36 inches in depth (narrow lens optics).

  • Provide wider coverage than the PR156, previous flagship model. Two more rows of LEDs were added to increase coverage. Light output is 50% more than the PR156.

  • Modular in design so all components can be easily replaced by the user.

  • High PAR/PUR for deep aquariums.

  • High efficiency LED drivers.

  • To be continually improved with new software and user will be able to download newer versions from our web site.

  • No Atlantik will ever be obsolete.

  • Sunrise to sunset, dawn/dusk simulator.

  • Full dimming capabilities.

  • Ability to store three different lighting programs.

  • Four independent channels of lighting with unlimited control for each channel.

  • Full color control over all LED channels.

  • Mimic metal halide and T5 lighting or a combination of both.

  • High performance enhancement and longevity.

  • Eliminate the need for digital lighting controllers.

 

The Atlantik’s LED make-up includes four high range UV and four of our new wide spectrum red LEDs for improved color and fluorescence of your corals.  Their newly developed Orphek proprietary white high Kelvin LEDs are used exclusively. A two part mix of blue provides a moonlight effect for night time viewing as well as providing the needed 400-460nm spectrum. Moonlight is a reflec...

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0 Comments | Posted in Products By Scott Groseclose

We all know how important it is to use only high quality water in our aquariums.  Many of us use reverse osmosis filters or reverse osmosis filters with a final deionizing stage to provide us with the highest quality water possible.  Unfortunately, we may be doing this all for naught if we aren't using our RO and RODI filters properly.

Most RO / RODI filter owners know what TDS is - and know that it is something they want to keep as low as possible.  What some may not realize is that while the RO filter is working properly, the water they are adding to their aquariums on a daily basis may be little better than the tap water coming in from the municipal supply.  How could this possibly be happening???

Every time an RO filter starts producing water after being shut off for any period of time, the initial output is of very low quality.  Luckily it's likely devoid of chlorine thanks to the carbon filters, but it is very high in total dissolved solids (yep, "TDS") for the first couple minutes.  After a few minutes the product water is as pure as it can be - but if the filter doesn't run for several minutes at a time the water quality is never as high as it could be.  That's where the problem lies.

Many aquarists have the output of their RO filter hooked directly up to their sump with a mechanical float valve.  Whenever the water level drops just a tiny bit due to evaporation, the RO filter dutifully produces just a little water and then shuts off.  Often it produces water for just a ...

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0 Comments | Posted in Products By Scott Groseclose

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