Author Archives: Marc Levenson

About Marc Levenson

Based out of Fort Worth, Texas, I've been a hobbyist for more than 13 years. I enjoy helping others via my two websites melevsreef.com & reefaddicts.com. These feature articles, pictures, podcasts, interviews and product reviews, as well as documentation of personal experience maintaining tanks ranging from 3g to 400g. I make a living selling RO/DI systems and acrylic wares (sumps, frag tanks, overflows, photoboxes), which permits me to enjoy the hobby more. I'm a member of DFWMAS and have served on the board of directors for seven years, doing what I can to encourage growth while keeping it fun. My articles have appeared in print & online, and I'm happy to be blogging on Reefs.com as well.
Latest Posts

Reefware – Track your tank(s) parameters, livestock and more

8bbeattachment.php  Reefware   Track your tank(s) parameters, livestock and more
A new resource is now available to help aid in routine fish tank maintenance such as checking water parameters, monitoring livestock behavior and growth, and keeping track of your aquarium’s monthly and fixed expenses. This new resource is a free online program called Reefware. The official site URL: www.reefware.com I spent about 45 minutes on the website to see what it can do and where it is going. The first thing you’ll need to do is log in.Once your email activation has been confirmed, you’ll be able to start entering whatever data you know now, and you can log back in for future entries. I created a tank profile for the 400g as well as another profile for the 10g frag tank. Profiles ask for name, gallons, dimensions, fresh/saltwater, and the date of inception. Entering water parameters is easy, and for precision use the Up and Down arrows on your keyboard.Any regular media changes can be entered to stay on top of this task. Check when you changed it last, as well as when it expires (based on a date you’ve set yourself). Carbon lasts a week, and biopellets need replenishing every couple of months for my system.The dashboard updates accordingly.Adding all your livestock initially would be quite the undertaking, but if you are OCD about every detail in your tank, this tab will keep you busy updating. Livestock entries include date of purchase, size of fish/coral/invert, and provides the scientific name. MORE: Reefware – Track your tank(s) parameters, livestock and moreMore:

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Avoid a rockslide with an acrylic support system

ed75attachment.php  Avoid a rockslide with an acrylic support system
Aquascaping is a challenge in itself. The ability to place rocks in an aquarium in a way that looks appealing, that provides plenty of surface area for the planting of corals, that offers hiding spots for the fish, and that doesn’t look unnatural — it’s almost too much to consider. If all else fails, I’d strongly urge you to find a female to add her perspective because for some reason they have an incredible knack for this task. Ask your spouse, your significant other, or even a female friend for their input… trust me. You want to avoid a man-made pile (brickwork looking), as well as straight horizontal lines since these aren’t common in nature. With your counterpart chiming in, you may only need to make a couple of tiny changes to get a great looking reef.Once the aquascape has been perfected with nooks, crannies, tunnels, overhangs and interesting structures, it is possible that all your hard work can come crashing down MORE: Avoid a rockslide with an acrylic support systemMore:

Posted in Corals, Fish, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SCUBA: Regulator and Dive Computer

6a11attachment.php  SCUBA: Regulator and Dive Computer Until now, I’ve had at least nine different regulators in my mouth since I began SCUBA diving. Some have been incredibly uncomfortable, some were unwieldy making me reposition it or bite down harder, one was a bit cantankerous but not one left with without air. Reading a lot on this subject and keeping my eyes open to all the choices on the market, it really didn’t take me long to decide upon the one that would make me happy and fit my budget. That being said, how do you know which one to buy? A friend of mine went on a dive with a brand new Mares regulator and it failed, canceling his dive. Seriously?! It was new!Before I took my first class, I felt every diver should own their own regulator since it is how you breathe. Can you trust rental gear? How often is it serviced? MORE: SCUBA: Regulator and Dive ComputerMore:

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SCUBA: Buying your own gear

8500attachment.php  SCUBA: Buying your own gear If you are considering getting into SCUBA diving, you may end up with a passion to own your own gear rather than relying on rentals. Last year I wrote several articles about those initial required purchases and classwork, as well as the open water skills required to get PADI certified. Now that summer is heating up, I’m itching to get back into the water to see more of the creatures we love to put in our aquariums and began researching what gear I needed next. It was overwhelming. There are so many brands, so many styles, prices ranging from inexpensive to insanely high; how can an underwater enthusiast know what to buy? I’d already looked at many of the options at my local dive shop, and I’d used rental gear both from there as well as during my dives in Hawaii. Through experience you can learn what you do and don’t like to use (like I’ll never use a front-zipper wetsuit again!), but it’s best to talk to other divers before you pull out your wallet. About a week ago, while surfing the net I kept seeing one specific dive shop requesting I’d rate their service. As I perused their page, I noticed they had a BCD (Buoyancy Compensation Device) on sale until the end of the month. The price was incredible, and I looked at the pictures and read the features carefully to determine if it would suit my needs. Everything I knew I liked appeared to be included, but I didn’t know enough about it to make my decision. I asked my online friends for feedback and provided a link to the BCD in question, and waited.The answers I received were MORE: SCUBA: Buying your own gearMore:

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Diving Galapagos

bb6cattachment.php 1 Diving Galapagos
There are endless dive spots to visit in the world, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Galapagos is on the “bucket list” of every diver out there. I know it has always been on mine, and it absolutely did not disappoint. While the rules and regulations have changed a bit over the last few years with regard to combined land/water-based trips, you can still experience both underwater and topside locations on the same trip. Ideally, it would be perfect to book two weeks or more in Galapagos, the first half diving, the second hiking around on land, but since this much time off from the grind is not always an option, I think 10 days, including travel, is a reasonable amount of time to get the feel of this incredible place and hit the major dive spots and explore a bit on the islands.South of Mexico, West of Ecuador, a small group of islands draws divers year round.I booked my trip through DEEP BLUE (http://www.deepbluegalapagosdiving.com) and they did a fabulous job with every aspect of the trip. The staff was extremely knowledgeable about the history of the areas visited, diving conditions, and all manner of wildlife both underwater and on land.  MORE:  Diving GalapagosMore:

Posted in Conservation, Fish, Science, Seahorses, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Product Review: EcoBak by Warner Marine

reefaddicts Product Review: EcoBak by Warner Marine

  Quite a few people recommended Warner Marine’s EcoBak media when it comes to nitrate & phosphate reduction in the aquarium. This was one of the first brands to come to market initially, and for a period it was almost always out of stock. If you’ve been on the fence, unsure if it is worth the effort, let me assure you that it replaces other choices like vodka dosing… and it does so nicely. product review ecobak by warner marine rirve 1 Product Review: EcoBak by Warner Marine Biopellets need to be run in a specially designed reactor. Two that I’ve used are by NextReef and by AquaMaxx. These reactors force water to flow strongly through the media, causing it to tumble at all times. Water shouldn’t channel or flow through clumped media, and using the right reactor will assure that it moves adequately.… More:

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Product Review: AquaMaxx biopellet reactor

reefaddicts Product Review: AquaMaxx biopellet reactor

product review aquamaxx biopellet reactor ob xt 1 Product Review: AquaMaxx biopellet reactor
When I first got the AquaMaxx Biopellet Reactor, I was very interested in how it worked because the demonstration unit on display showcased something unseen by other similar devices. Unlike its counterparts, this one causes the media to spin at a strong rate — the pellets orbiting a vertical riser tube provide one-way directional flow. It looked really neat, but I didn’t know how the media would do under such conditions. The reactor itself is made of acrylic and PVC fittings. The inlet and outlets are glued into place, which I personally don’t like as it forces the hobbyist to plumb it specifically to its configuration. I’d rather have the freedom to run lines as they suit my needs, but I’m quibbling over a very minor design decision. The fittings use hose barb connectors, and I used two different sizes of flexible vinyl tubing to match that connection. If you’d prefer to hard plumb it, the hose barbs can be omitted, but you’ll have to use unions with nipples to remove the reactor for maintenance. More:

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My "Reef Friendly" Quarantine System

I haven’t been involved in this hobby very long compared to other folks but learned very quickly how much of a pain it can be to eradicate, or try to eradicate pests such as Aiptasia, Majanos, Bubble Algae, zoa eating asterinas, and Marine Ich. When I started, I did what I’m sure all of us have done at one time or another: just drop things in the tank and hope for the best. I recently upgraded from a 70g to a 260g tank and decided never again! Unfortunately, everything I found online regarding QT setups mainly dealt with fish only setups, bare bones systems, or that were more of a temporary solution. I’ve had to treat fish in smaller systems I had setup twice for Marine Ich and went through the hyposalinity treatments using a bare bottom tank, HOB filter, and a couple of pieces of PVC

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My "Reef Friendly" Quarantine SystemMore:

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