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Clearing the Air on Ozone: Part 2

ozone2 2 Clearing the Air on Ozone: Part 2In the first installment of this series, we examined the confirmable uses of ozone gas in the home aquarium. We saw ozone having a positive effect on the nitrogen cycle and doing a great job creating ultra-clear water conditions by breaking up suspended particles. We also examined the biggest myth of using ozone—that it will sterilize your water. It is true that ozone will kill bacteria, but we use ozone at a level far below what is required to kill the majority of bacteria. Today we will look at the most common means of using ozone in the home aquarium and how to select the right system for creating and applying ozone. Ozone is created by intense electrical discharges. In nature, that means lightning bolts. At home, we can also create ozone by using an electrical discharge device (imagine a spark plug and a current jumping the gap as air passes over it). Skimmer injection Ozone is a gas at room temperature, which makes injecting it into your skimmer an ideal application method. A skimmer draws air into its chamber at such an angle as to maximize contact time with the water More: Clearing the Air on Ozone: Part 2More:

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Hot Summer, Cool Seahorses: Cooling The Seahorse Aquarium

Hot Seahorses Desert Hot Summer, Cool Seahorses: Cooling The Seahorse Aquarium
Summer’s here, and seahorse aquarists are starting to see tank temperatures rise. Seahorses, are particularly vulnerable to warmer temperatures , so for many seahorse aquarists, even moderate heat can lead to a mad dash to lower the water temperature. The consequences of warm water can be deadly for seahorses. Bacteria spread at a faster rate in warmer water, so the warmer it gets, the more likely you are to see illness pop up in your aquarium. Another often overlooked problem is that warmer water holds less oxygen, stressing out the inhabitants of your aquarium. This tends to be worse for seahorses than other fish due to their lobed gill structure. Fans, your first line of defense Often, open tops with fans blowing across the water is enough to drop temp a few degrees. This works by evaporative cooling. Removing tops, and placing a fan so it blows across the water will make More: Hot Summer, Cool Seahorses: Cooling The Seahorse AquariumMore:

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DIY Marine Aquarium Chiller

diy chiller1 DIY Marine Aquarium ChillerAquatic creatures, with the exception of mammals, are all cold-blooded animals. Some sharks and tuna slightly warm their blood through the movement of their muscles, but we don’t normally keep pelagic sharks or tuna in our tanks, so we don’t have to discuss those. But for the rest of the livestock we keep, it is important to maintain an appropriate temperature. It is easier, to an extent, for these cold-blooded creatures to be a little cool than a little hot, as their metabolism is directly related to the temperature. The ocean temperature where they live doesn’t change appreciably, so they didn’t have to evolve mechanisms to deal with that. We, on the other hand, evolved into warm-blooded organisms because the air temperature we live in changes with the seasons and weather conditions. Now, of course, most of us wear clothes (some of us wear silly looking clothes—and by the way, our clothes don’t make us look fat; our fat makes us look fat!), and those clothes allow us to live in a wide variety of climates, but so far, fish have not learned how to knit sweaters. I don’t know if they ever will, but without thumbs, that would be tough. With our modern reef tanks that must be lit very brightly, we sometimes need a way to cool the water More: DIY Marine Aquarium ChillerMore:

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Calcium: A Critical Element in Reef Aquariums

calcium 300x169 Calcium: A Critical Element in Reef AquariumsThe stony corals, crustaceans, mollusks, and echinoderms in our marine aquariums depend on it to build their skeletons/shells/tests. Soft corals use it to build supportive structures, called sclerites, in their tissues. Of course, without it, you’ll never get a nice patina of coralline algae on your rockwork. The “it” I’m referring to is calcium, and reefkeepers need to monitor the level of this element in their systems closely and possibly supplement it if they hope to maintain healthy invertebrates. What’s the correct calcium level? The appropriate range for calcium in a marine aquarium is somewhere between 380 and 450 ppm. But keep in mind that it’s more important to maintain a stable value somewhere within that range than to hit a specific target value. If you read my prior post on alkalinity, you understand that there’s an interdependent relationship between calcium and alkalinity More: Calcium: A Critical Element in Reef AquariumsMore:

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My Top 6 Simple Accessories Repurposed for Marine Aquariums

simple accessories 300x169 My Top 6 Simple Accessories Repurposed for Marine AquariumsOftentimes simple household items make great aquarium toolsVisit your local fish store, and you’ll see shelf after shelf of equipment, implements, doodads, and thingamabobs specifically designed to make the maintenance of marine aquariums more manageable. But when you really think about it, a lot of the handy tools and materials we hobbyists use on a daily basis come not from the LFS, but from hardware stores, housewares departments, supermarkets, or other retail venues not even remotely related to the aquarium hobby. Here, in no particular order, are six such items that I can’t live without: 1) Single-edged razor blades I’m never without at least one cartridge of these little wonders. No aquarium scraper seems to get algae (especially coralline) off the glass panes of my aquariums with as much ease. I also use a razor blade to carefully dislodge pulsing Xenia corals from the rear pane of my reef tank so I can then rubber band them to rocks or rubble and, once the corals have attached completely, trade them with Mark, Susan, and Nikki at Coral Reef for store credit. I’m always careful to rinse the blade in fresh water and dry it thoroughly after each use. Also, be aware that razor blades cannot be used on acrylic tanks, as doing so will cause severe scratches. 2) Plastic milk jugs A well-rinsed one-gallon plastic milk jug (juice jug, punch jug, etc.) has long been my go-to container for holding the fresh water I use for top-offs. You can also use one of these ubiquitous vessels to construct a basic DIY kalkwasser doser if you’re so inclined. To do so, simply drill a small hole in the side of the jug about 3 inches up from the bottom, insert one end of an appropriately sized length of airline tubing into the hole so it protrudes inside the jug slightly, seal around it with aquarium-safe silicone, and then attach an adjustable clamp or valve to the opposite end of the tubing. More: My Top 6 Simple Accessories Repurposed for Marine AquariumsMore:

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tumblr mm7s6vGhZg1qhxjfmo1 500 300x243 Lets Talk CEPHALOPODS!

Mainly, Cephalopods in Fashion. I love to think I’m extremely chic and avant-garde when it comes to my fashion sense, but if I’m being completely honest – I’m a basic black, white and grey kinda gal.  Every once in a while I’ll experiment with something I think is “really cool”, which is basically everyone else’s “really lame and dorky”. With that being said, I present you with this “really cool” OCTOPUS BACKPACK! I love a good backpack since I bike to work the majority of the time, and I lurve me some cephalopods. They’re beautiful, intelligent, cunning and deadly – all traits I aspire to. If you crave having an octopus hang off your back and (unlike me) don’t wish to have one permanently inked to oneself – I would suggest you pick up one of these – except you can’t. It’s a one-of-a-kind piece brought to you by Jen via her tumblr page which you can check out here: Hi Guys I Made Myself An Octopus Backpack

I feel strongly that these should be mass-produced as there’s no way I’m the only one who finds this fantastic! I reached out to Jen and offered her a fancy sum for my very own, but have yet to hear back.

Side note: Given my Octopus Back Tattoo, this would feel like an octopus giving an octopus a piggy-back ride. ‘Nough said.… More:

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