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Review: Radion XR15w Pro and Reeflink Controller

Following on from our recent unboxing review, we’ve now had chance to install our XR15w over the test tank, hook it up to one of EcoTech’s ReefLink wireless controllers and have a good old play with the various settings and functions on offer. In this review we’ll detail exactly how we’ve integrated it onto the test tank, and evaluate the units capabilities in a real hobbyist setting. So the first thing we needed to do with our unit was to mount it, and to achieve this we decided to use a custom-cut sheet of glass to support it from underneath. Although any of the EcoTech mounting systems would have been fine for our tank, the other light we are currently testing (an AI Hydra 26) wouldn’t fit with this system so we needed something universal.

Glimmer of Hope For Staghorn Corals

In a surprise discovery more than 38 acres of critically endangered Acropora cervicornis Staghorn Coral has been found in patches on reefs along the South Florida coast. A stony coral, A. cervicornis typically grows in a branching form and is among the most important coral species for its ability to build reefs which in turn create a habitat for fish and other marine creatures, and provide a natural wave-break that protects the coast. A scientist from Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Center found the coral while doing a survey for the environmental agency which wanted a better map of shallow reef system. Specifically, the dense patches of the coral (which is federally protected), were discovered through dives and the analysis of aerial surveys

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

Gifts for Your Aquarium Fiends (err Friends)!

It’s December and Christmas Day is getting closer…and fast!  Hands up who hasn’t finished their Christmas shopping?  Ok, tell the truth now…who hasn’t started their Christmas shopping?  Yup, that’s what I thought.  No fear, suggestions are here for your better half who thinks he/she is the next Fish Whisperer (or for yourself…or your kids  :)).  You can get the usual like: pumps, filters, quarantine tanks, another pretty fish, a gift voucher for fishy stuff, a book, 6 month’s supply of fish food OR you can get something like this: cellphone cover etsyCellphone cover (Etsy) coral reef cushions etsyCoral reef cushions (Etsy) gift at cafepressdotcomMugs (Cafepress.com)… More:

5 Ways Holiday Parties Can Be Perilous for Marine Aquariums!

When planning a holiday party, we tend to worry about things like an undercooked main entree, running out of “spirits” before the evening is over, lacking adequate seating for all the guests, little Billy’s tree nut allergy, etc., etc. What we may not fret over—but probably should—is what bizarre eventualities might befall our marine aquariums while the party is underway. Here are just some of the hazards holiday parties can pose to aquariums. Some of these may sound familiar, and you can probably add a few more based on your personal hosting experiences. #1: “Uncle Ed” Whether it’s Uncle Ed, Sister Susie, Brother John, or Auntie Gin, we all have that family member or friend who, after drinking too much eggnog, may decide to do a little freelance “vodka dosing” of the aquarium (and not in that good nitrate-reduction way, either) because, the fish and/or corals “look thirsty.” #2: Airborne toys For some reason, young kids don’t feel as though a toy has been truly played with until they’ve tested its aerodynamics. Once while hosting a Thanksgiving dinner party, I looked on in helpless horror from across the room as my then four-year-old nephew launched a hard plastic toy into the air, the arc of its trajectory ending right where my 125-gallon tank began. Watching this unfold in slow motion, all I could do was yell, hoping the shockwave of my voice would somehow alter the toy’s flight path. What came out was an incomprehensible “Myyyaaaaaa!” (My wife said she thought I was doing an Edward G

6 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Marine Aquarist in Your Life

It’s only natural for family members and friends of marine aquarium hobbyists to want to buy holiday gifts that support their loved one’s briny habit. But choosing an appropriate hobby-related gift is sometimes easier said than done. Giving actual fish or invertebrates as a gift is a really bad idea for all kinds of reasons—not the least of which is the problem of salt water soaking through the gift wrap and giving away what’s inside (I kid!). Certain equipment can be dicey too. Depending on the hobbyist’s unique system and goals, an item that would seem to be a good fit may prove to be inappropriate, inadequate, or redundant. Plus, if you have to ask all kinds of questions about what to buy, you lose that fun element of surprise.

‘Tis the Coral Frag Swap Season, Fa La La…

Bellevue High School students getting tips on coral fragment selection, transportation, and quarantine on a recent field trip to Cherry CoralsSeptember may be a long way from Christmas, but for reefkeepers, it’s the next best thing. September is the unofficial kickoff of the coral fragment swap season. Soon the eyes and hearts of reefkeepers everywhere will turn to swapper pages and message boards, searching for that special piece that the keeper just can’t live without. But before we blow our children’s college fund on new coral this fall, let’s make sure we are fully prepared to give those new pieces the best chance to thrive in our systems. First things first Discussion should start with the question: “Where are we going to put this piece?” That question should be followed by the equally important: “Does that spot give the coral the proper lighting and water flow?” Another consideration is whether the coral will get along with its new neighbors. Many corals use some sort of sweeping tentacles to keep space for themselves. Left unchecked, stings from these sweepers can result in coral death. Most corals will respond fine to being trimmed to keep their place in the system. This is especially true of stony corals, yet some soft corals will not respond as well, and that must be taken into consideration before purchase. The right coral for the right spot—let’s go get it!

Diving with Endangered Hawksbill Turtle in Bonaire

Good morning friends, don’t you just love sea turtles? They’re one of the most universally loved of all the earth’s ocean creatures but they are in danger of literally being loved to death. At just 10% of their numbers a century ago, the Hawksbill sea turtles of the Solomon Islands especially could really use your help. How you ask??

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