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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

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”.

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

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)

‘You Are What You Eat’ So True For Filefish

For the first time scientists have discovered a fish that can chemically camouflage itself through its diet. The new research, published in the journal Proceeding of the Royal Society B, shows that the Orange-spotted Filefish Oxymonacanthus longirostris camouflages itself by not only looking, but also smelling like its food source. Feeding exclusively on SPS coral polyps, the Filefish ingest chemicals from the corals and, since the coral reefs where the Filefish live are also home to predatory species, the researchers speculated that the filefish might also be using a form of chemical camouflage. To test their theory, study leader Rohan Brooker and colleagues captured filefish near Lizard Island Research Station on the Great Barrier Reef. The team then placed the fish in large aquariums and divided them into two groups. For four weeks, the first group was provided an exclusive diet of Acropora spathulata polyps, and the second only Pocillopora damicornis (which is not part of the filefish’s normal diet).

Video: Red Sea REEFER™ systems get video lowdown

[embedded content] Further to their recent announcement which we broke here on Digital-Reefs, Red Sea have just published a detailed video tour of their REEFER™ series on Youtube. You have to hand it to Red Sea, the presentation is very slick and gives plenty of useful information. The systems look great too and you can be sure we’ll be watching what hobbyists across the globe make of them in the coming months.

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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