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Review: Maxspect XF150 Gyre Generator

Following on from our recent unboxing review in which we covered the basics of this unit, we’ve now had the XF150 running on our test tank for a few weeks so we thought we’d share out observations of this product in a full operational review. We’ve also been monitoring discussions on various forums with interest and we’ll aim to specifically discus some of the points raised with our own direct experience. Firstly, the XF150 is easy to install but it’s worth familiarising yourself fully with the operation of the device before sticking it straight in the tank. Although the unit comes in a single piece you will need to reassemble it if you are wanting to use it for anything other than constant one way gyre generation as the different rotors and cages will need to be fitted. It’s certainly worth running through this process anyway actually as being familiar with the principle behind the equipment’s operation will likely mean you get more out of it
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So Here It Is – Merry Christmas!

So the holidays are finally here and at last we’ve got a bit of time to spend tinkering with the test system. Hopefully the short break will allow us to get to all those jobs we’ve put on the back burner while we got on with the everyday grind! It’s also a good time to stop and reflect a little on how things are going, indeed in the words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”.
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Clams – Beautiful and Talented

Giant clams (Hippopus and Tridacna species) are already known to play a part in various important ecological roles in coral reef ecosystems, but so far, many of these roles are poorly understood. Now, a team of marine ecologists from the National University of Singapore have show how clams have been doing a lot more than perhaps they have so far been given credit for. For a start, clam shells both contribute to the structure of the reef (some species produce 80 tonnes of carbonate shell material per hectare each year) and they provide a substrate for colonisation by a host of other organisms. On the inside, the fleshy mantle cavity can host a myriad of commensal and ectoparasitic organisms while clam tissues are food for a wide array of predators and scavengers. Discharges of live zooxanthellae, waste products and spawnings are also eaten by opportunistic feeders and they can even potentially counteract eutrophication via water filtering
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Review: EcoTech RMS (Radion Mounting System)

Having already taken a look at EcoTechs gorgeous Radion XR15w Pro LED light in our recent unboxing review, we now turn our attention to their much-anticipated RMS (Radion Mounting System) which ties-in beautifully with the Radion Pro range and allows these lights to be elegantly suspended above even the most tricky of systems. As ever, the kit (XR15 version in our case) comes effectively packaged and all the parts are present and correct on initial inspection. After a quick skim of the simple instructions it obvious that we aren’t going to need a degree in rocket science to assemble this piece of kit, which is great. We are immediately and pleasantly surprised that some of the components here are metal, indeed the whole thing feels reassuringly heavy-duty compared to other brackets we’ve handled in the past. Somehow, the RMS still manages to look sleek and minimal though and it’s also nice to have thoughtful design features like integral cord management included. Overall the bracket also allows for a good deal of flexibility with the light able to slide back and to, or to be rotated on the X bracket (although this is primarily of use with the XR30)
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Gorgonians Keep Growing In Acid Oceans

A new study, undertaken by an international team of scientists, suggests that Caribbean gorgonians may be more resilient to the ocean acidification levels forecast by the end of the 21st century than previously thought. The team, which includes experts from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, tested the effects of elevated CO2 concentrations on the growth and calcification rates of Eunicea fusca which is found throughout the Bahamas, Bermuda, South Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico. Although the species did show a negative response to calcification under elevated CO2 concentrations, growth and calcification did not actually completely stop under any of the CO2 levels used in the study. Specifically, the results also showed that although calcification dramatically declined at extremely high levels of CO2, this did not occur at moderately elevated levels.”Our results suggest that gorgonian corals may be more resilient than other reef-dwelling species to the ocean acidification changes that are expected to occur in the oceans as a result of climate change,” said Chris Langdon, UM Rosenstiel Professor and Director of the Coral Reefs and Climate Change Laboratory. “These findings will allow us to better predict the future composition of coral reef communities under the current “business-as-usual scenario.”
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Red Sea unveils “REEFER™” range of rimless reef-ready systems

A press release from Red Sea has just come in – read on: REEFER™ systems enable hobbyists to create an affordable customized reef aquarium of their very own, by seamlessly integrating their preferred choice of equipment into the REEFER™’s advanced sump and water management system. The REEFER™ Series combines a contemporary, rimless, ultra-clear glass aquarium with a stylish cabinet and a comprehensive water management system, including a professional sump, integrated automatic top-up, and Red Sea’s unique silent down-flow system. Incorporating technologies originally developed for Red Sea’s all-in-one MAX® coral reef systems, the Reefer series is designed for ease of operation while enabling hobbyists to install an unlimited choice of lighting, filtration, circulation and controllers in order to create a uniquely customized system. Offered in 5 sizes from a 45cm (18”) Nano to a full size 150cm (5’) aquarium, Red Sea’s REEFER™ systems provide a stunning visual centerpiece in any home or office. Main features of the new Red Sea REEFER™ Series include: Rimless, super-clear, beveled edge glass aquarium Elegant Marine-Spec cabinet Professional sump with constant height skimmer chamber and micron filter bags Integrated automatic top-up with reservoir Silent, regulated down-flow system with emergency overflow Assembly-ready piping – no gluing required For additional information please visit www.redseafish.com
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Unboxed: Nyos Quantum 220 Protein Skimmer

Officially unveiled at Interzoo earlier this year, and available to European hobbyists for a few months now, we thought it would be great to take a closer look at this immediately eye-catching and attractive range of skimmers from Germany-based experts in ‘high level reefing’ Nyos® Aquatics. Actually, sales were so successful on the first production run, we’ve had to bide our time for a second run to take place before we could even get hold of our unit! So now it has finally arrived, let’s get it out of the box and see if it really is ‘Built to Perform’. Receiving the largest unit in the range, the Quantum 220, we are immediately struck by the cavernous volume of this futuristic-looking skimmer. Measuring approx.
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Unboxed: AquaIllumination (AI) Hydra 26

As one of the leading suppliers of LED lighting solutions for aquaria, AI have built a fantastic reputation for both quality and innovation and can call an army of reef-keepers committed ‘converts’ to their products. It is their proficiency in this innovation which particularly draws our attention to their latest offering, the Hydra 26, which packs one almighty LED punch into the smallest of packages. In this unboxing review we take a preliminary look at the unit before we install it on our test system in the near future for a full operational review. So, first things first, yes this is a small unit.
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