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Hands-On: Reeflink – EcoTech Marine’s next big success? (UPDATE! iPhone App)

1 Oct

There were some rumors – now it’s coming soon. On the MACNA the U.S. firm EcoTech Marine presents its new product Reeflink. Reeflink is an aquarium computer that links the Ecotech products. Here’s finally our first hands-on review!

What is Reeflink?

In pioneering way EcoTech Marine finally closes the communication gap between Vortech pumps, the Radion LED lamps, the web-based management tool Ecosmart Live and mobile devices. Reeflink provides online and wireless full control and configuration of the pumps and lights. Whether from a smartphone, tablet or online from any computer in the world. So far, it was needed to connect via USB cable to the LED  for configuration or for small adjustments each time.

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Hands-On: Testing Reeflink

As the first European blog we get the exclusive opportunity to install Reeflink at our tanks and test it.

Reeflink is an amazingly small, inconspicuous box. Only the known round LED from EcoTech on the top and three ports on the back are available on this device. No display, no further connection options. Why – the control works comfortably through the cloud and practically designed user-interface that will work on all devices. Due to the WiFi connection, Reeflink must not be placed in the cabinet. It only needs to be located in the coverage of the WLAN and the other ecotech devices.

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READ THE FULL REVIEW

Small but hot anemones: Rock anemones, Flower anemones and MinMax anemones

30 Sep

Small tanks but a great wish to keep anemones – this is what many reef keepers have! And they should have extreme colors.

And so there are moreoften anemones of the species Phymanthus crucifer (synonym: Epicystis crucifer), also Rockanemone or Flower anemone in trade, thus complementing the known MinMax anemones to another, small-growing species.

If you have ever cared for example, an E. quadricolor in a mixed tank, you know what I’m talking about: you buy a sweet bubble tip anemone, after a short time the tentacles are longer and longer and it begins to search a nice place to settle. In a crowded tank this is the worst case scenario because of its nettle toxins. For us, the anemones divided regularly with a size of 15cm, which they quickly reach and does not help the situation.

Visiting Aquaristik-Corner Ludwigshafen/Frankenthal (Ger)

31 May

Aquaristik-Corner is based in the small village Frankenthal/Eppstein near Ludwigshafen (Germany near Mannheim, Heidelberg, Frankfurt).

When I started my saltwater aquarium 3 years ago, Daniel Hasslinger, owner of Aquaristik-Corner was my primary contact. At this time I bought my first tank – a Red Sea Max 250 “plug’n’play” tank. Therefore, I planned to revisit him combined with a weekend trip.

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At first glance, I noticed a surprisingly high range of standard fish, but also a great variety of specialists fish in his tanks. What in the Stuttgart area and generally lacking in southern Germany – here you will find. Big angelfish just swam in large numbers in the basin, including several seahorses. 120m2 retail space with more than 25,000 liters of fish and invertebrates with everything Daniel Hasslinger imported directly. He receives 3-4 direct imports per week. READ MORE

How to fight a Cyano bacteria problem

28 May

The german aquarist Bernd K. just wrote a very interesting summary about one of the biggest problem in saltwater aquariums: Cyano bacteria. Special thanks – we’re happy that Bernd allowed us to share this on ilovereefing.com! 

The basics for Cyano phenomenon

A frequently recurring misunderstanding: In older literature, but also in today’s discussions, the aquarist speaking about red or green slime algae or cyanobacteria, but cyanos are, although they almost all do photosynthesis, bacteria due to its lack of a nucleus. Therefore, the most distinguished fighting approaches against algae are ineffective!

They are often mistaken with diatoms and dinoflagellates. Therefore an accurate determination is essential (also see other posts, such as FAQ alga).

 Why are there now so many contradictory statements about fighting cyanos?

READ MORE

I sure do miss her ;-)

23 May

me or reefing - i miss her

Coral Food – How to feed SPS and LPS corals and basic on stony corals

13 May

Because many of you asked via Email, we combined the three articles about the feeding of LPS and SPS corals into one guide! We’d love to get your experiences about coral feeding in our comments. Happy reefing!

Basics about coral feeding

Most of the SPS and LPS corals except some azoo-corals primarily live by sunlight. Corals that are mostly living in shallow do this by implementing unicellular symbiotic algae into their structure. By doing photosynthesis, the resulting sugar is then used as an energy source by the coral.

In their natural environment, corals are mostly established in very low-nurtrient water – but, like most algae, the symbiotic algeas need somewhat higher nitrate and phosphate levels to survive. So over the millions of years, the corals developed another source for energy – the coral polyps that can actively catch plankton, which is mostly micro- and zooplankton.

Read full article

Reef pillars (bommies) in nature!

10 Apr

In this great video you can see solitary standing reef pillars (called “bommies”), which are covered with large table Acropora. They are usually solitary on a large sandy area.

Although it is difficult to implement into your home aquarium – a big aquascaping trend is to build up “airy” reefs by individually set pillars, which offer plenty of swimming space for fish and at the same time does not affect too overcrowded.

A great inspiration!

Soft corals could displace SPS corals

25 Mar

Sarcophyton sp. // credit: Dan Norton

We just found an interesting article on www.spiegel.de (german only), which refers to a study by Japanese researchers in the journal “Nature Climate Change.”

The researchers have found, that high CO2 levels affect the calcification of SPS corals significantly. Ok – that is what we already know. But soft corals like sacrophyton elegans can cope much better with slightely higher CO2 levels (which also means a lower pH value.)

The researchers explain this by the fact that the tissue of the soft coral is protective and they also have less calcium material than hard corals.

It shows that in zones with high CO2 concentrations in the sea such as in Japanese volcanic island Iwotorishma significantly less SPS and rather soft and leather corals occur. Transfered to a long-term ocean acidification, that could mean a shift of the species richness.

We aquarists use this principle: In a calcium reactor, CO2 is used to lower the pH in the reactor.
Finally, this low pH value dissolves Calcium out of the dead corals. The Calcium-saturated water is used to compensate the calcium consumption of the corals in our tanks.

At this low pH value is achieved, and finally calcium into the basin taken to compensate for the consumption of the calcium corals.

Feeding corals part II – zooplankton and more!

26 Feb

In part 1, we’d informed you about the basics of feeding corals. Part II will now show some more informations about the different plankton species! Have fun!

Zooplankton and phytoplankton

Living phytoplankton and zooplankton is the natural food of SPS. Note that there are only a few corals (eg Goniopora) that eat phytoplankton actively. Phytoplankton represents, however, a very important source of food for zooplankton.
Regular addition of phytoplankton/zooplankton food promotes a boost of natural zooplankton of all sizes, which can have a very positive effect on the nutrition of the stony corals.

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Read more! Click here!

Fix Tridacna on rocks!

10 Jan

So undemanding Tridacna clams are in general, so stressful it is if they don’t like the selected place in your reef. Clams like Tridacna maxima or Tridacna crocea are in fact able to wander through the reef or just detach from the substrate.

If a clam is free of substrate or if you have bought a new clam, set it on top of a rock, on which it can not fall over. The ground should be as unstructered as possible and without holes. This protects the byssus from predators.

I have long thought to be a rumor, but I made the same experience a few days ago: a place in the sand unfortunately favors the infestation of bristle worms at the bottom of the clams. So the best place should be on a little rock, which rises just above the sand surface. Also I recommend placing the clam on a mobile stone and not directly into the reef, so that the place can be changed if required.

If a clam doesn’t fix itself on the rock, a relocation makes sense.

Tridacna attach themselves by Byssus threads at the reef which they shoot into rock. While attaching, they oftentimes fall aside. If this happens, I’m always using some rocks, which I place around the clam. It should have a little free space to open fully but should be protected from falling over. After 1-2 days normally they have fixed at the new place.

The dissolution of a Tridacna is usually much trickier – we will dedicate even a separate article. However: Careful cutting the byssus threads directly on the substrate with a very sharp utility knife or scalpel is quite possible! We have already done this often and suffered no losses.

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