by Richard Back
We are happy to announce that we will be hosting the first ever Reef A Palooza / Afishionado Show Awards.
This took long time to make and it came out amazing! Vendors are turning up the game for this show. Be sure to come to the show and check it out for yourself!
Be sure to say hi in the show and make sure to let me know what you think and who you thinks deserves this award.
by Richard Back
During last year's Superzoo in Las Vegas (show for just stores and distributors), I was introduced to LOOP ecosystem. It was a neat concept that grabbed my attention because it showed great promise for people with smaller tanks (as well as big tanks) and people who didn't want to spend ton of money but wanted more control for their aquarium.
So, what is LOOP? LOOP is extremely simple, all-in-one ecosystem that was made by Current USA. It's a modular system that can control your light, wave makers and DC pump for return pump.
Check out the video that I shot last month in Orlando for Global Pet Expo Show with Current.
Over the few months that I haven't seen them (from MACNA to Global Pet Expo), looks like Current has been working extremely hard.
Check out the look at app here. (I believe I was the first to show the app off to the public with my live video)
For the price you pay, you would expect something that will look cheap but that's not the case here. Well thought out design that mirrors their IR remote completely, it's attractive and intuitive.
First the LED set up using their Orbit IC. Extremely easy setup and versatile.
Here are the functions for the wave makers.
Looking at all of this, I decided to outfit my wife's new kitchen tank with their system.
Orbit IC light looks very slick with their mount (bonus points from wife for good installation) and their small wave makers are surprisingly powerful. I can feel the pulsing wave setting from across the tank when I was placing corals and placing rocks in certain way. Out of curiosity I tested PAR reading at 100% intensity at all channels are reading at 130 PAR on average on the sand bed which will be perfect for what my wife wants to achieve with this tank.
(Zoanthids, Palys, Blastos, Acans, Rock Nems and Ricordias) I would not recommend them for hard core SPS lovers as I don't think PAR that you "WANT" would be there for you but if you are looking to grow SPS as part of mixed reef, it can certainly and will grow most of the SPS as well. Visually, colors looked great and the different colors were blended well with no noticeable disco ball effect.
Sorry for the dark picture but look at those shimmers! Something that I really love about LED and MH fixtures.
In conclusion, if you are in the market for affordable, simple to set up, use and complete system do give a look at Current USA's LOOP system. You will be pleasantly surprised as I was.
You can check out the complete LOOP packages from good folks at Saltwateraquarium.com here.
by Richard Back
Recently Marco Rocks has released a new type of rock fixture called Pedestal Rocks.
This one particularly grabbed my attention because it came pre-made for people who can get overwhelmed by thoughts of using various different tools and items like mortars and hydraulic cement to aquascape their tanks. (I fall into this category) I also liked the fact that it's utilizing the popular minimalist rockscape.
Rock fixtures comes in two different designs.
First one is called Natural top like the first picture on the post for that natural look. Looks great and this was my personal choice but there can have an effect on limitation on coral placing on certain corals due to the bumps of the top rock. To me, it wasn't a big deal at all.
Second one is what they call a Frag top, where they sliced the rock smooth on the top so that you can easily mount frags of all different sizes and whether they are in plugs or not.
According to their site Marcorocks.com, Sold per piece average size is 7x11" pedestal base is 3" overall height is ~5"
Priced little under $30, I decided to use these for my new custom Innovative Marine Peninsula 20g build so I contacted Marc to find out more about these rocks and to order.
Being in the same state definitely has it's perks. Everything arrived in one day and it was VERY well packaged. Perhaps overly packaged but I won't complain about that. Nothing was damaged by UPS and here is how everything looked out of the box.
Plenty of space for corals on the top and places for fish to hide in the bottom but you will be able to see them if you want to monitor where they are.
Comes pre-made with Marco Rocks' E Marco mortar, it's very strong and well set. Much better then my own work when I worked with E Marco on my custom 210 gallon tank. It withstood a knock from 2 year old toddler and a my wife who happened to kick it when I was taking this photo. ;)
Setting up the new tank. You can see the rock in there as size reference in Innovative Marine's 20 Peninsula tank.
Please disregard the little cloudy water as the sand and the rock just went in.
My impression of the rocks are very positive. I love the fact that it's extremely attractive in how it looks and the price range (you order 2 and it's free shipping. You can't beat that). It brings the simplicity to aquascaping and the amount of work or lack of to set one up for your system. If you are looking into purchasing new rocks for your new system or overhauling your old designs, be sure to check out these rocks!
We will get a group of dedicated writers that will share ideas, product reviews and thoughts.