Monthly Archives: November 2012

Latest Posts

When Biotopes Really Work

Setting up a biotope aquarium is something many of us have considered but it’s a rare few who have actually built one. I don’t know why that is, but I’ve never heard from anyone who didn’t get excited about a well-constructed biotope aquarium. My only thought is that people don’t built them because they feel like they’ve devoted limited water volume to a one-dimensional display rather than the usual fruit basket of corals/fish and frag plugs. I’ve often threatened to build a biotope aquarium but simply never got around to it. But, every time I see a good one, my creative juices start flowing.
   I saw an outstanding biotope during a recent visit to the Steinhart Aquarium (California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco (If you’re in the Bay area and don’t visit the aquarium you’ve made a critical life mistake.)) This biotope is a Rich Ross creation. To build it, the Cephalopod King self deported to the freshwater side and created an environment that works on several levels.
The bottom half is water, populated by a group of Archer fish (Toxotes jaculatrix). The top half of the aquarium is a rain-forest/jungle environment, populated by Burmese vinesnakes (Ahaetulla fronticincta). Anyone who has kept more than a pair of guppies knows that Archer fish feed by spitting streams of water at insects crawling on branches above the water, knocking them into the water, and eating them. In other words, an aquatic animal attacking and eating a land animal.… More:

Crazy Pectinias from Exoticsealife Florida


See Mr. Saltwater Tank Live And In Person This Weekend

Here’s the next chance for you to see me live and in person. Oh…did I mention I’m bringing something with me? Links in this show: Tagged as: el paso reef club , moving a saltwater tank , presentation

Product Review: RapidLED new solderless LED kits

 Despite the falling prices of new LED lights coming out, DIY approach is still the most cost-effective solution along with the highest level of custom-ability and an unmeasurable amount of fun and pride of building something yourself. In one of my previous reviews I wrote about Rapid LED solderless kit (check it here LINK), an interesting solution for people who are eager to go the DIY route but don’t want to hassle with the soldering part of it. Recently, staff at RapidLED made few changes to their solderless kits and I received the redesigned package for review. Let’s see what’s new in this DIY kit…… More:

Go Plus One: Bump it up a notch

unable to retrieve full-text contentA little overkill is a good thing when it comes to protein skimmer selection.

Reef Threads Podcast #108

Even on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, we deliver a podcast. This week we talk about the Steinhart Aquarium, MACNA 2013, essential fish, and spend considerable time talking about test-kit techniques. Download the podcast here , or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes . Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads. We hope you enjoy the podcast. If you do, please tell others.— Gary and Christine Steinhart Aquarium MACNA 2013 Test-kit technique

RCT Changes Focus

For those of you not familiar with Reef Culture Technologies (RCT) the company, founded by Frank Baensch, developed a breakthrough culture technology in 2001 for pygmy angelfishes, the most popular and prized group of aquarium fish in the trade, making the first ever captive-bred dwarf angelfishes available to the hobbyist. 

C. fisheri by Frank Baensch


95-day old juvenile Bandit angelfish by Frank Baensch

 In news released last month RCT is changing their focus from pygmy angels to other species of marine fish families to determine their culture feasibility, as well as to learn more about their spawning biology in the wild and their early life history in captivity. The objective is to develop one culture technology for a diversity of marine fish larvae. To date 11 species have been reared through settlement and many others have been raised through various stages of development. RCT is still awaiting species level identification for most specimens and will be updating their site with more information about their findings as it becomes available. We are anxiously awaiting news of how this technology works with other species. The full story can be found here: Pictures of many of the fish being worked with can be seen here:

Product Review: Algae Mower Vac

 Every now and then aquarium industry is pleased with a device that raise eyebrows of fishkeeping enthusiasts and becomes a topic of discussion on internet forums, facebook walls as well as reefers’ get-togethers around the web. May it be for an incredible engineering, a beautiful design, a remarkable innovation or just for the simple confusion of hobbyist trying to figure out the purpose of it’s existence in the reefing world. Algae Mower Vac, the creation of one wise engineer, mister Kong Ho, surfaced in the reefing world at this year’s MACNA in Dallas and it quickly became one of the most interesting new things at the show’s floor. Is it good-looking? Well, if you are a fan of steampunk-like weapons, it surely will acquire to your taste. For the rest of us, the little aquatic tool is rather a weird looking stick than a piece of art. However, it shines in two other departments- innovation and effectiveness. How well it does that? I’ll explain in the rest of this product review, so stick around…… More: is the world's leading destination for sustainable coral reef farming and the aquarium hobby. We offer a free open forum and reef related news and data to better educate aquarists and further our goals of sustainable reef management.