Category Archives: DIY

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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:

Making Your Own Ice Packs is Cool and Easy

Summer is here and if you ship out a bunch of corals every week like I do, you’re going to need to keep them cool. Ice packs from most shipping supply companies cost anywhere from $1.00 – .50 cents each, that means I used to spend a few hundred dollars per year just on ice packs and you generally only have two size options. I have made ice packs out of gelatin in the past, but I find it to be messy, time consuming, and not vegan friendly. It had been in the back of my mind for awhile to try using water polymer crystals to make ice packs after seeing them used in floral arrangements, so I recently started doing it. 

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Water Polymer Crystals after absorbing water

 Water polymer crystals… More:

Long Island Collecting Log: The next wave has arrived

Spotfin and tangsLast week I reported on the arrival of the first tropical fishes of the year to appear in Long Island waters after a seining trip at Fire Island inlet turned up a filefish, groupers, and northern sennets. This week I am happy to announce that the next wave has arrived.… More:

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