by Richard Back
Gyre, revolutionary wave maker that was developed by maxspect has unveiled their second generation of their wildly popular wave maker couple of months ago during San Diego MACNA 2016.
With that said, I’m no expert. Far from it to be honest. So before I go and babble on and on with my experience with the unit, I did some research to find some expert insights and I ran into something very interesting article written by Jake Adams which was titled “Water Flow is More Important for Corals Than Light.” Article from Advanced Aquarist.
Yes, I’m aware of the date that was released but found this so interesting. Jake is someone that I respect when it comes to things like this so it was fascinating to see what his thought on water flow.
After reading this, I decided to get together with Coralvue team (Jeremy, Carlos technical minds of Coralvue TV and Chris Conti, VP of Sales for Coralvue) who were responsible for bringing these wave makers to the stateside and had some in-depth conversations with them regarding this new product and learned about them in great deal.
Here is what we discussed!
First of all, what are waves and how is water movement so important in your tank?
Jeremy: Proper water movement is not only key when it comes to food import and waste export of corals and other inverts but also effects the longevity of a reef tank. Improper flow induces dead spots which are like cancers on a system and more work to maintain ideal parameters. Also improper flow patters produce unnatural coral formations.
Carlos : It is the blood of the tank. Without it, oxygen does not get to every corner of the tank and it dies. Also, flow helps keep things clean by allowing water to move detritus into our skimmer and other filtering equipment.
Photo credit by Kendrick Lark, Nick Leuschen, Surge Vasquez
There are MANY different types of powerheads out there and many of them are amazing in their own right. How does gyre differ from other traditional power heads in the market?
Chris :The Maxspect Gyre provides laminar flow that creates water movement throughout the whole aquarium. Standard propeller pumps can only generate flow in the immediate location of the pump. A single Gyre can replace multiple propeller pumps, while saving energy and equipment costs.
Tell me about laminar flow.
Jeremy: Laminar flow basically is a sheet or water that generates a Gyre pattern of flow. So if mounted horizontally near the water surface of the water would push across the surface till it hits an aquarium wall, surface or opposing current and returns the flow along the floor of the aquarium. So a full cycle of water movement can be created with one pump. Another highlight is that corals aren’t blasted by flow or the need of working coral placements around a pump.
Carlos: It creates laminar flow which is a sheet water moving along from one side to the other. Think about it!!! Rivers are a wide channel of moving water. Water naturally spreads out and flows. Moving a wide mass of water is more efficient and less turbulent than trying to move a large volume of water with a single point propeller like the one behind a boat!
Chris: Laminar flow is when the whole water column is moved. The Gyre creates total water movement throughout the aquarium, where as a propeller pumps creates a hot spot of flow in front of the pump.
Photo credit by Kat Dhawan, Matthew Heath, Todd Lachmann
I noticed that this is the second generation of gyre models. Tell me what is different from the previous model and this model and what improvements were made. There were some complaints in the first generation on the durability of these units. How did you guys address it?
Jeremy: The 200 series has all the latest changes made over the past few years like the silent suspension mount, ruggedized propellers and more durable bushings along with a slightly longer pump cable. The silent suspension solved the initial reported issue of operational noise. The Ruggedized propellers are much more robust than the originals and now the pumps come with a screen to prevent critters from entering the propellers to cause damage. But the biggest difference is the advanced controller.
Carlos: There are plenty of differences between the 100 and the 200 gyres. The 200 gyres come with a longer motor cable so there is no need for an extension cable anymore. They also come standard with the rugged propellers and cages which are tougher and can withstand more beating. But the main difference between the two series is the Advanced Controller. The new controller allows you to easily program your pumps to do different things at different times of the day. You can manually set the pump to run one type of flow 25/7 or you can create a custom schedule with 24 different time set points to give your tank different flow patters throughout the day. It also comes with 2 24-hr preset flow schedules that you can select should you choose not to program it yourself. In addition to that, the controller allows you to run 2 pumps at the same time from the same controller. This means you can have the pumps sync, anti-sync and time delayed. The possibilities are endless. One other feature that the controller allows you to do is run the pump in “random” mode. You can let the controller randomly choose the flow pattern… all you do is set the maximum flow intensity and walk away!
Yes, Maxspect listened carefully to all suggestions and made changes to the pump. The power cable is stronger and wont crack in salt water. The propellers and the bushings are much stronger so they can withstand more beating… of course everything to a certain extent. If a snail gets in the cage, it will break the propeller but that is true with most other pumps out on the market. The new Advanced Controller is better tuned to run the pumps as well.
Tell me about the controller, how is it different from the previous controller?
Jeremy: There really is no comparison between the advanced controller and the original. There is now an easy to read display and can control 2 pump. You have the ability of complex flow patterns, several preset modes as well as a 24hour Automatic mode. So now you can really create the ultimate in random flow within an aquarium without the need for tedious coding.
We cover the controller and what is new in this blog and video:
Carlos: The new controller allows you to easily program your pumps to do different things at different times of the day. You can manually set the pump to run one type of flow 24/7 or you can create a custom schedule with 24 different time set points to give your tank different flow patters throughout the day. It also comes with 2 24-hr preset flow schedules that you can select should you choose not to program it yourself. In addition to that, the controller allows you to run 2 pumps at the same time from the same controller. This means you can have the pumps sync, anti sync and time delayed. The possibilities are endless. One other feature that the controller allows you to do is run the pump in “random” mode. You can let the controller randomly choose the flow pattern… all you do is set the maximum flow intensity and walk away!
Chris : The Gyre 100 series was a simple controller that would only control a single Gyre, had a few flow modes built in and a manual mode. The advanced controller can control two pumps, has 5 water movement modes, 6 adjustable flow variables, customizable flow cycles and an intricate feed mode. Also included in the advanced controller is two 24 hour preset flow cycles for ease of use.
Can the magnets on these powerheads be submerged underwater?
Jeremy: Yes, the mounting magnets are submersible. So they can be placed in overflows, false walls, etc.
Carlos: Absolutely! If you want to place the pump mounted to your overflow, you can submerge the outside magnet without any worries. It is very cool!
Well, there you go guys! I hope you guys learned a bit about this pump, controller and it's capabilities and perhaps consider one on your existing or a new build!
Thank you very much to all the hobbyists for sharing pictures of their beautiful tanks using gyres to control their water movements.
by Richard Back
I have teamed up with Reefs.com to bring quality educational contents to more hobbyists around the world!
Be sure to check out the videos HERE.
by Richard Back
Coral Frenzy, the name should ring a bell to you if you have been in the hobby for a while. It has been out for a decade now and has been established and regarded as one of the premier dry food for our reef tanks. I recently had the opportunity to speak to Ken Easter, the creator and founder of Coral Frenzy foods and was able to ask him some questions that I felt that many of us may have about his food and by doing so, I got to know him and his company little better.
Here we go!
Tell me everything about Coral Frenzy. How did it start? Tell me about what made you start your own business and how you came up with your blends.
How did Coral Frenzy start? It actually started out of frustration. I was traveling a lot for business at the time and I was keeping live rotifers and Phyto. When that started to be too much of a burden I started feeding frozen foods and refrigerated phyto. I had a friend of mine come over and feed my tank every other day. I came home early once to find my frozen food in the fridge and my refrigerated phyto sitting next to my tank. At this point I knew there had to be other people out there with the same frustration. The co-creator of CF, Jason Piper, is a good friend of mine and he and I began talking about this issue and he said he was having the same issue with his customers not feeding correctly. He and I were talking about foods that we were adding our tanks in conjunction with the live feeds and that is how it started.
I can only imagine and assume and imagine it was very difficult to come up with something from scratch. How did you guys come up with your formula?
Our formula started out with foods that were readily available and what worked. That is when we really started experimenting with different foods. The 2 ingredients that worked the best and that we found that nobody was using because of cost were salmon roe and oyster larvae.
Our formula was trial and error based on what worked and what didn't in regards to nutrition without polluting the water too much.
There were really no plans in the beginning to sell it. I wanted it for my grow out system and Jason wanted it for his customers tanks. It wasn't until people kept asking if they could buy some that we stated selling it.
It’s was very bold move that you listed all your ingredients. I know many companies that doesn’t do this due to many companies stealing the formula to take their share of the market. It’s no secret that after you released your food, many food companies released their version of “the ultimate coral food.” What made you be so transparent? Do you regret this decision?
Listing our ingredients wasn't the first plan. We had been selling it for about a year and we kept getting the same questions, "What makes your food different from what is already out there?" and "What is in it?" At that point we decided to be bold and list out all the ingredients along with the manufactured date. It was a gutsy move but it took us to a different level. We started to use the approach that why would anybody put something in their tank if they didn't know what was in it. After all, you wouldn't do it with your body.
I am so glad you mentioned other companies using "The Ultimate Coral Food" or something similar in their advertising. I don't understand why companies can't come up with their own slogans. I did a search the other day for Coral Frenzy and noticed that one of our competitors is using the slogan, "The Ultimate Food for Corals". This is just low level advertising. First they basically copy our slogan that has been on our jars from the beginning then they tag our name as part of their search.
WOW! I can definitely understand the frustration! Going back to your food, I noticed that you have pellet food for fish as well. Tell me about them and why people should consider your food over other alternatives.
The reef pellets came about because of customer feedback. They wanted a food that they could easily feed their corals and that they could easily see consuming it. It turns out that fish like it every bit as much. We are now selling it to quite a few breeders/hatcheries as well as public and private aquariums. The tank raised Clarion angels, different wrasse species and anthias documented feedings have really helped out sales in that regards.
Right! I saw Carolina Aquatics feed their recently discovered Monsoon Wrasse with your food! That's very exciting!
Ken, thank you very much for taking your time to talk to me. I’m glad that I learned more about you, your food and your company. Any last words you want to add?
We really want to thank you again Richard for reaching out to us. We also want to thank all the customers over the past decade that have trusted us for their coral and fish nutrition, we couldn't have done it without you.
I hope you guys enjoyed the interview!
Here are guaranteed lab analysis and the ingredients of the food.
CORAL FRENZY CONTAINS: Fish Protein, Oyster Larvae, Salmon Roe, Dunaliella salina, Schizochytrium, Rotifers, Copepods, Daphnia, Spirulina, & Haematococcus Pluvialis.
NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS: Crude Protein (min) 52.8%, Crude Fat (min) 9.8%, Crude Fiber (max) 1.6%, Ash (max) 14.2%, Moisture (max) 6.8%, Omega 3 (min) 26.7%, Omega 6 (min) 10.6%.
Coral Frenzy Pellet Contains: Squid meal, herring meal, shrimp meal, whole wheat flour, soy meal, wheat gluten, refined marine fish oil, carotenoid pigments, brewer’s yeast, spirulina algae, garlic, lecithin, vitamin A acetate, DL- Alphatocopherol (Vit. E), D-Activated Animal Sterol (Vit. D3), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyrodoxine HCL, Calcium Pantothenate, L-Ascorbal-2-Polyphosphate (Stabilized Vit. C), Choline Chloride, Cobalt Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate.
NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS: Protein (Min.); 50%, Lipids (Min.); 15.5%, Fiber (Max.); 4%, Ash (Max.); 12%, Moisture (Max.); 8%, Astaxanthin; min. 80 ppm.
Be sure to give them a try!
by Richard Back
Custom Reef Creations, one of the premier LFS in Oklahoma has joined forces with Afishionado in efforts to educate fellow hobbyists and children in our school project. Bill will be heavily involved our youth education and we are extremely fortunate and grateful to have him on board!
Be sure to check their store out and their facebook page HERE.
Also their site being ramped up right now and is being filled with tons of eye candy corals. Be sure to check on their site frequently for amazing corals and deals.
by Anthony Soussou
About the blogger.
Anthony Soussou is a freelance writer, experienced aquarium hobbyist, and an aspiring industry professional. Having attended the University of Florida in 2010, Anthony graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology & Law as well as a minor in Environmental Science. In 2015, Anthony worked for Mikki and Lance Ichinotsubo there, he studied and practiced several prophylactic methods of quarantine and gained experience as doing proper husbandry by working with various species of marine fish and invertebrates. Anthony now contributes written material to selected online platforms, including columns on several topics such as current events, sports, and the marine aquarium industry. Now age 23, Anthony lives in Coral Springs, FL where he maintains a personal 150-gallon home reef system.
The Masked Japanese Swallowtail, scientifically known as Genicanthus semifasciatus, is one of the most coveted and beautiful of its angelfish relatives. Only ten species currently belong to the “Swallowtail” genus, and they’re each adorned by the same crescent-shaped caudal fin from which the group draws its name. Just six of these spine-cheeked beauties are readily-available species in the aquarium trade, and G. semifasciatus is among the rarest of them. Here, we will discuss the defining characteristics of the Masked Japanese Swallowtail, and explore the traits that make it as desirable as the rest of its congeners.
On the Reef
Wild Genicanthus angels can be found scattered throughout the Indo-Pacific, but the native range of G. semifasciatus encompasses mainly the southern waters of Japan, the extent of the Chinese coast, and the reefs surrounding the Philippine islands. A casual observer may not recognize this fish by simply diving in these areas, as (like the rest of its genus) the fully-matured male and female are completely dichromatic. Female Japanese Swallowtails retain most of their yellow coloration near the dorsal fin and display a black and white mask on their face. As a female develops into a male, the yellow portion will spread and overtake much of the head and face, while distinct vertical stripes also begin to emerge across the majority of the lateral sides. Indeed, all members of genus Genicanthus are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning that they begin life as females and can potentially metamorphosize into males. This ability proves to be useful in the vast ocean, where members of the opposite sex can be difficult to find. In the wild, Japanese Swallowtails will travel in groups consisting of a single male and two to five females. Although not exactly a harem, keeping to these small groups affords the male several opportunities to mate with different females, who maintain their own pecking order. Should something happen to their male, the strongest female in the hierarchy will begin to display more behavioral dominance, triggering hormonal fluctuations that initiate her transformation into a male.
Photos by Richard Back
Treasures of the Deep
So, what makes these fish so attractive to reef enthusiasts? Well, as any avid collector might understand, the toughest find often makes for the sweetest prize. Despite being reef-dwellers, members of the Genicanthus genus inhabit deeper waters than do many of their pygmy angel and Holacanthus cousins (G. semifasciatus have been observed at depths as great as 600ft). Swallowtails are also relatively more pelagic than the average fish, meaning that they spend much of their time traveling between reefs, rock-walls, and underwater canyons via channels of open water. These two facts combined mean that collectors are often hard-pressed to find a Genicanthus angel, and even when an individual or two manage to be captured, they still have to be decompressed properly through gradual elevation back to sea level. That’s right, simply acquiring these animals from the wild is as expensive as it sounds, and all of that work is done well before tax is applied at the local fish store. However, these fish tend to adapt comfortably to life in the aquarium (given proper care and introduction), so the reward is often well worth the risk to responsible collectors and pet-owners alike. At the register, the rarity and demand for these fish can combine to warrant a price tag in the hundreds of dollars for a single individual, and approximately $500 or more for a mated pair or trio (depending on the species). Perhaps the most valuable member of the genus is G. personatus, which is unavailable to all but the most prestigious, fortunate, and affluent members of the marine aquarium industry. These fish have been purchased for upwards of $10,000 or more
Photos by Lemon Tyk
In the Aquarium
For the most part, Japanese Swallowtails behave in captivity much like they would in the wild, especially when housed in their natural small groups and in the absence of larger or more aggressive tank-mates. The diurnal nature of Swallowtails allows them to acclimate quickly to the bright lights of a reef tank, despite being accustomed to the darker surroundings of deep-water reefs. Metamorphosis can also be observed in captive Genicanthus angels as well as fish of many different families, as long as the inhabitants are healthy and the required social stimuli are present. All in all, Swallowtail angels rank highly among types of fish well-suited for life in the aquarium. The only exception comes during the shipping of these animals. When placed in bags and flown across great distances, their tendency (especially that of G. watanabei and semifasciatus) is to become highly stressed and easily-shocked. For reasons unknown, the more brightly-colored males of these species are reported to be particularly delicate, and often do not survive shipping if great care is not taken when handled. As far as avoiding mistakes made by aquarists, knowing how to provide a proper enclosure and living space are paramount. Mature Genicanthus angelfish average 7-12 inches in length, and therefore require a minimum of 100 gallons in order to grow and swim comfortably. If a pet owner hopes to house a group of Swallowtails or more than one species, an aquarium holding no less than 150 gallons is mandatory.
Perhaps the marquis feature of the Genicanthus angels is their “reef-safe” seal of approval. These fish defy the coral-nipping stereotype that stigmatizes the rest of the family Pomacanthidae (angelfish), because the availability of food in their native habitats guided their evolution into the niche of omnivorous planktivores. In other words, Swallowtails naturally snatch their meat and veggies out of the water column as opposed to the rock-grazing and picking behavior demonstrated by popular dwarf angels such as Centropyge loricula and bispinosa. Given that they taste anything that floats by their mouth, Genicanthus angels will also readily accept the common flake, pellet, and frozen foods available for aquarium consumption, which is a huge relief to aquarists familiar with the frustration brought on by finicky pets. All of this means that eating coral and hunting for crabs and snails just isn’t in the nature of a Genicanthus angelfish. However, once introduced to the taste of sushi nori and other prepared greens, Swallowtails will quickly become accustomed to sharing from a stationary algae clip with their tank-mates. Speaking of compatibility with other aquarium fish, it’s also worth noting that Genicanthus species are very friendly across the board. Even when housed with multiple members of the same species and genus, which tends to guarantee problems for many other fish, Swallowtails will generally avoid conflict unless they feel threatened. In these scenarios, they may bat foes with their tail, bite at opposing fins, or employ the sharp spines jutting out from their gill covers.
Photos by Lemon Tyk
Needless to say, the Japanese Swallowtail is an angelfish that deserves our respect and admiration. However, true appreciation is shown to these animals when they receive strong commitment from hobbyists to serve as caring and attentive pet owners. The key to reef-keeping is the accuracy with which an aquarium is made to simulate the conditions of the animals’ native habitat. This means taking into consideration the chemistry and temperature of the water, the type of shelter available, the fine points of a nutritious and varied diet, the presence and absence of certain tank mates, and much more. For example, Genicanthus semifasciatus prefers slightly colder water (75-77 F) with little turbidity, akin to the deep-water rocky reefs that it lives in naturally. Semifasciatus also requires plenty of swimming space as well as wide, open rock-work in which to hide but still cruise through comfortably. A considerate owner of Japanese Swallowtails would also acclimate their fish slowly to intense light, because although brightness isn’t intolerable to them, a gradual introduction to a well-lit environment makes these fish more comfortable in new surroundings. Most critically, an intelligent shopper of marine aquarium fish will either ensure that a vendor has subjected their livestock to a proper schedule of inspection and quarantine, or the buyer will do so themselves. Like many fish, Japanese Swallowtails are susceptible to attack by Cryptocaryon irritans and several other parasites that commonly plague the aquarium trade. The battle against these organisms is not easily won, but it begins with an informed consumer that chooses to support sustainable practices.
Like, share, and comment on this article if you’ve enjoyed reading about the Japanese Masked Swallowtail and its relatives. Feel free to show us your own Genicanthus angels and share your fish tales and experiences. More will be soon to come, so make sure to follow and subscribe. Thank you!
Video of this amazing species will come soon. I will include the video on this blog once it becomes available.
by Richard Back
Ecotech Marine has been at the forefront of revolutionary reef technology for years, and their Radion fixtures have changed the shape of the growing reef aquarium lighting market. Their practical, “just works” approach for their fixture and accessory functionality, as well as their sleek and elegant design, has made many reefers choose Radions as their choice of light when they set up their tanks.
Sanjay Joshi's 500 gallon display tank illuminated with Ecotech Radion G4 Pros. He grew frags using G2 Pros and recently made the switch.
For functionality, the Radion series has always provided one of the highest amount par as well as the most ideal optics. Radions continue to be the trend setters for many companies to this day. Their older models provide easy modular interface where you can quickly replace older parts with newly released parts yourself to make it into the next generation of Radion. Echotech is one of the few light companies that allowed this type of platform for their customers. With each generation, new features and new innovations were made, proving all the naysayers wrong by outgrowing corals compared to other proven types of light fixtures such as metal halides or T5. (Albeit, this isn’t true with ALL corals but it’s well documented in Ecotech’s lab program)
Click HERE to read their LAB Program.
This year, they released 4th version of their Radion Series. In bold move for the big upgrade, they ditched the traditional modular upgrade approach that ecotech fans came to love. You can see the video here.
(Check around 3 min mark)
This is a pretty big bold power move from Ecotech. So, what’s the difference between Gen 3 and Gen 4? As you will see, there are some very massive changes under the hood. To help break it down, I spoke to Patrick Clasen of Ecotech who simplified A LOT things for me here.
1.) Lens. The Radion G4 uses HEI Optics (Hemispherical Edge Illumination) instead of TIR lenses.
“TIR Lens (that was used on gen 3) that created a peak of light, underneath the tank. It will give you a nice spread but created a hot spot (in) center of the cluster. Now with HEI Lens, what it does is that it spreads the light out into a spheres and a circles around and underneath the lens to create a plateau of light. So the peak intensity of the LED is actually lower than the intensity that was created by the gen 3 radions however the average PAR for the whole fixture is higher. So what we intended to do was give more useable area of coverage with fewer hot spots underneath the light.”
This lens also “… gave better color mixing. You won’t really see any separation of colors underneath the fixture, on the sand bed that will give you more natural look in your aquarium.”
From personal observation, I noticed that there were less shadows underneath the corals which meant photons are bounced around everywhere. Proving PAR wherever it’s being needed.
Image on the left is the traditional TIR Lens and images on the right is the new HEI Optic Lens.
2.) New LED puck
New LED puck gave more colors, according to Patrick, they “shifted from purple to blue spectrum by adding warm white as well as adding new red leds and revised new UVs.”
3.) New heat sink design.
Newly designed heat sink contains slots that will cool the unit more efficiently and adding ridges on the heat sink fins to increase surface area. This combined with greater mass of aluminum allows the fan to function more effectively and quietly.
This new fixture can be implemented and programmed together along with older generation of Radions with Eco Smart Live or from WXM from Neptune System’s Apex controllers.
Proven hobbyists and industry “gurus” such as Sanjay Joshi and Mike Palatta has been test driving these fixtures and had great success creating one of a kind ecosystem in their homes. Recently they upgraded from G2Pros to G4Pros.
“I like the g4 pro. Its more pleasing to my eyes, the warm whites help. They are brighter, almost 50W more, corals look better under it, and the spread is much better for my 4ft front to back tank.” - Sanjay Joshi
“I thought the 2s were great and were the first LEDs in my opinion that allowed me to grow sps as well as MHs. After now seeing the 4th generation lights on several tanks I am convinced that these lights are a significant improvement over the earlier versions with far better optics and inclusion of both warm and cool white LEDs improves the overall color of the tank. For the first time I found that you could take pictures without the blue cast being present and the corals had great color that came through in the photographs without having to do any manipulation. I have also seen rapid growth in sps under these lights, significantly more than I saw in the past. I am also hoping that Acropora milliporas do better under these than previous LEDs where they languished for me and others who tried them.” - Mike Palatta
Mike Paletta's SPS Dominated tank illuminated by Radion G4 Pros
Billy Rotne's SPS Dominant Display Tank illuminated by Radion G3Pros.
In conclusion, it’s my personal opinion that Ecotech has set another bar that many manufacturers would have to overcome to claim the throne of being the best LED company in the market. It’s flexibility programming of colors, intensity as well as having one of the nicest mounting accessories to go with, this is still THE light to beat. If you are in market for lights, do yourself a favor and take a look into this fixture before you make your decision.
You can check out my interview of Patrick Clasen here.
All the photos of the tanks were taken by the respective owners of the tanks.
by Richard Back
This is labor of love and I love what I do.
Another video was finished today.
Here's a sneak peek.
It's about G. Semifasciatus also known as Japanese Swallowtail Angelfish.
This one was particularly special for me.
When I first saw this beautiful fish at Tony Vargas' house in 2013, I instantly fell in love. Over the years, reading Lemon's articles over Reef Builders and at Reefs.com, my love for this fish grew. Having access to Lemon's private stash of fish and insects pictures also played big contributing factor of me looking for this fish aggressively.
This angelfish had become my unicorn. My holy grail. My elenor. My FISH.
Thank you very much Barnett from RVS Fishworld and Chris Meckley from ACI Aquaculture for getting me one of my most wanted fish.
I was very excited to do this video as I learned so much about the fish that I love so much.
by Richard Rayl
A few weeks ago I was able to pick up a package of Piscene Energetics new fish food offering – PE Pellets. I’ve used PE Mysis for many years, both in the frozen flat packs with the larger shrimp, and the smaller offerings in frozen cubes, and I’ve always been pleased with their freshwater mysis for my fish. I was intrigued to see this new dry pellet food on the market, so I thought I’d give it a try and see how the fish liked it. To cut right to the chase, they liked it. And so did I. Here’s why.
First of all, yes it is made with “fresh PE mysis.” It’s the first ingredient on the list. The rest of the ingredients are pretty standard pellet food fare: white fish meal, wheat flour, Antarctic krill, brewer’s yeast, various algae, and the usual bevy of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to hopefully keep our fish fat, happy, and in good color. When you open the pack for the first time you’re greeted with a very fresh salty aroma, almost pleasant, that I have not noticed with certain older pellet foods. I’m not saying I’d eat it myself, but hey – if the zombie apocalypse happens, at least we know we can probably fall back on a pinch of fish food in lieu of a powerbar if we have to.
One of the things that drew me to this food was the size. I immediately noticed that this was a very small pellet. The package says “1mm slow sinking” pellets, and I feel like what they mean is 1mm maximum size. When compared to New Life’s 1mm pellet size, the average pellet is ½ the size of the New Life product. These are very small, perfect for little mouths. For everyone who has seen a firefish eat a pellet, spit it out, and repeat that process until another fish comes by and steals the food morsel, you can understand why I was happy to see this. PE’s claim of slow sinking is a bit of a stretch. This product floated on the surface for a good long while before current ripples brought it down. For those who have surface feeding fish, this will be terrific. I have a young clownfish who I no longer have to target feed thanks to this food….it stays on the surface long enough for him to eat his fill before sinking down.
However, the surface time may be a drawback for those with overflow filters. If you don’t turn on your pump or use a feeding ring, this will likely get sucked down into the filter before it has a chance to sink. Just be aware that those pumps should really be turned off when you feed this product. And finally, for those who use automated feeders, make sure you crank the access door down to its smallest setting, and test it in your hand a few times to see how much is released. You may have to adjust your feeder to a spot “between settings” to get the right amount of food (I did for my EHEIM feeder).
Now that you’ve heard all that, let’s get to the burning question: did my fish like it? Well, YES. Quite a lot, actually. My tank is a 110g tall mixed reef with a mixture of wrasses, a few blennys, and a tang and dwarf angel mixed in for spice. Most of the fish adapt to surface feeding easily, and this new pellet food induced a surprisingly aggressive feeding response right away, more so than I have seen with other sinking pellets. I think that “smell” I mentioned earlier has a lot to do with their feeding response, and I was happy to see that I didn’t need to worry too much about leftover food dissolving in the tank – the fish were very active in hunting down pellets that were missed in the first frenzy. I also noticed that many of my LPS corals actively opened when they smelled this hit the water. While I did not target feed, I observed my Favia, Favites, Duncans, and Blastos capturing and consuming this food easily.
All in all, I’d say this is a good food for my tank. At $11 dollars (Amazon prime as of this write-up) it’s a little more money than other brands, but in my opinion the quality difference is worth the very small price increase. I’ll definitely be using this food again.
Check out the video from Reef Builders here!
by Richard Back
Hello fellow Afishionados!
We did a collaboration with famous reefer / youtuber and great reef company, Keith Berkelhamer of ReefBum, LLC.
First, watch the video on this red planet gorging on Coral Frenzy. ;)
For our viewers, we will be giving away this very exact ORA Red Planet frag from Reef Bum as well as 1 year supply of Coral Frenzy.
This is how you can participate to win.
1.) Like Richard at Afishionado page here .
2.) Like Coral Frenzy Page here.
3.) On the comment section in the pinned post here , post a pic of your coral or fish that needs this food!
4.) Share this post and tag three of your fellow reef buddies.
Happy reefing and good luck!
by Richard Back
Hello fellow Afishionados, we have joined up with Reefs.com to broaden our never ending efforts to push quality contents (entertaining and educational) to fellow hobbyists.
Check out my newest post from Reefs.com here!
For this episode, we are showing off the NEWEST wrasse found in Philippians. The Magma Wrasse!
Take a look and learn about this beautiful specie!
We will get a group of dedicated writers that will share ideas, product reviews and thoughts.