Category Archives: DIY

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Vertical Carlson Surge Device

Vertical Surge Device

Vertical Surge Device

 Space in the coral troughs is always at a premium at the ReefGen coral farm, and we all agree that water flow is one of the most important aspects of coral care. When one of my troughs has an area of inadequate flow, such as this Acropora grow out system, it starts under-producing. I needed to build a unique surge device to provide more flow to the stagnant corner, as well as create a chaotic alternating current for the Acropora located downstream.… More:

The 2015 MBI Workshop Revisited

The Workshop took place at the Cranbrook Institute of ScienceLast weekend I traveled up to Bloomfield Hills, Michigan with SWS contributor Dave Bowers to attend the 6th Annual Marine Breeder’s Workshop. It’s the only marine aquarium conference dedicated solely to marine ornamental captive breeding. My last trek to the workshop was three or four years ago, so it was long overdue. Just as I remembered, the day was chock-full of practical and educational content for active breeders, aspiring aquaculturists, and folks simply involved in the saltwater aquarium hobby. In fact, next time I need to bring along an extra brain to store all the information that’s lobbed about, but this year my notebook had to suffice. So now, for your reading pleasure, here are just some of the insights I could readily decipher from my scribbles.Unknowingly rearing anthias The event kicked off with Noel Heinsohn hopping on stage to talk about taking on many gallons of broodstock and unknowingly rearing anthias. At the young age of 21 with just five years spent in aquaculture, Noel has already had quite a variety of experiences and successes.

Reef Kids

turtle craft 1My children are fascinated with sea turtles. Those enormous reptiles that drift peacefully for thousands of miles on the ocean currents, observing the world with gentle eyes, have captured their hearts. If your kids feel the same way, they might enjoy making themselves a pet turtle to play with in the bathtub or pool, or to take for walks in the rain puddles!  You just need a 2-liter bottle, string, a sturdy needle, and something for the body – craft foam like this would work, or substitute something similar that you already have.… More:

Vacation Bedroom

    Fall asleep to the soft murmur of waves touching the shore, and awake refreshed.  If you can’t make it to the ocean this summer, bring a bit of that calm expanse to your bedroom or guest room with soothing decor that captures the imagination.… More:

Reef Kids

 If your kids are anything like mine, they LOVE bringing home treasures. Encourage them to just collect 2 or 3 little things (instead of half the beach) with this easy craft, which can become a souvenir of that lovely afternoon by the seashore. Simply fill an old, clean jar with some sand and gently drop in the shells, sticks, rocks, sea glass, etc.… More:

Reef Kids

  Ah, summer! The season when kids can do really messy art projects (like this cool hand- and footprint ocean scene) OUTSIDE and get hosed off before coming back in. I really like the lobster and the jellyfish, and I think a huge school of different-colored fish would be fun to create. If you use newsprint, the artwork can be recycled as wrapping paper! I like to make my own paint or use earth-based pigments like these from Natural Earth Paint, which won’t hurt the grass when it’s time to clean up. And for $10, I buy the 4-foot-wide paper remnants from my local newspaper printer that normally get recycled. Here is a great video about newspaper production and recycling, the host cracks me up!  … More:

Reefing from Afar, Part 5: Plans and Wishes for the Future

Innovation in our hobby is the key to advancing automation and monitoring possibiltiesFinally, we have come to the end of my series, where I will set out some future desires of mine that are totally nonexistent today or are very close to market. These are the holes in my system for which I currently have no automated solution. This allows me to further innovate on my own for DIY specials or plant the seeds for entrepreneurs in the industry. I should probably write up some patent applications, but I doubt my employer would pay to process them. These patents take at least four years and a lot of money for patent lawyers to process. I currently have two patents for my current industry work, and it took such a long time that I almost completely forgot about them.Ultimately, innovation is still the key to advancing anything. For example, how much innovation did it take to get from the Lee’s wood airstone protein skimmer to today’s recirculating cone skimmers? Just think, even the solutions of today can be improved to further our hobby even more

Reef Kids

jellyfish craft 3Here’s a fun art project to keep the little ones entertained and occupied during these long summer days – a serene jellyfish of one’s own, floating peacefully in a water bottle.  The activity uses all recycled materials; its a great opportunity to talk with the kids about our oceans, and the havoc that plastic bags and other plastic debris is causing. The National Resources Defense Council has a great article about this problem, if you need a jumping-off point:  www.nrdc.org/oceans/plastic-ocean/The project itself is quite simple, you just need a plastic grocery bag, a water bottle, string, food coloring, and scissors.… More:


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