Friday, September 18, 2009

Warner Marine Releases Ultimate Snow!!

Warner Marine has recently added Ultimate Snow to their lineup of premium aquarium supplements. Similar to the Zeovit product Marine Snow, ReefPure Ultimate Snow "is a unique blend of natural organic and inorganic carbonate based micro-fine particles that have the ability to carry nutrients directly to corals. This gives the aquarist the ability to dose specific supplements directly to the corals as the particles in ReefPure Ultimate Snow are precisely sized as to be captured by corals as food. In addition, ReefPure Ultimate Snow enhances protein skimming, increases water clarity, and limits undersirable algae including cyanobacteria by capturing yellowing compounds and neutralizing organic compounds. Ultimate Snow can be used with any organic or inorganic water additive to transport the additive directly to the coral."

I know that sounds like a lot for one supplement, but it's really quite simple once you break it down. The particles just trap the dissolved organics in the water to be either consumed by corals or removed via the skimmer, hence the boosted skimmate and water clarity. It also can be used as a transport mechanism for other supplements like Vitamin HUFA's, Ultimate Aminos, Magnesium, etc. This presents the supplement in a natural size to be "eaten" by corals. The further along we come in reefkeeping, it has become readily apparrent how important it is to "feed" corals.
Warner's Last Release, Concentrated Calcium and Ultimate Aminos

It has been about two years since Warner Marine has added a new product to their supplement and additives lineup. The last ones to be introduced were the Concentrated Calcium and the tremendously popular Ultimate Aminos, with many reefers learning just how important Amino Acids are for proper growth and color. Just like Warner's other supps, Ultimate Snow is another fine addition and I'm very glad it's finally available. I have been using it on various tanks in my store for the past few weeks and I'm very satisifed with the results.

Match Made in Heaven? Ulimate Snow & Aminos

It's very concentrated with a recommended dosing rate of 5ml per 100gallons 3-5 times a week, providing excellent value. I have been dosing it along with Ultimate Aminos and immediately there was noticeably clearer water overnight and the skimmer production has increased on each of the tanks dosed. I can't comment on increased growth or color yet, but I will keep you posted in case anything interesting pops up.

So your ready to try it and wonder where to get it? We have a good amount in stock with more on the way, give us a call if you need some. (951)727-8332. Its recommended to add this product towards the end of the lighting cycle for best results, and it will cloud the water for a few minutes, but it has no ill effects on livestock.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Annual Inland Empire Coral Farmer's Market '09

Sunday, September 6th, marked the first Annual Inland Empire Coral Farmer's Market. This event added another date to the industry leading Coral Farmer's Market Events (CFM) put on by Art Petit and Steve Tyree. Special thanks go out to the Inland Empire Marine Aquarium Society (IEMAS) for set up and tear down of the exhibition hall. CFM events bring in hobbyist coral farmers, professional farmers and stores, as well as leading manufacturers.

Some Of the Crowd

This event took place in the Ontario Hilton off of the 10 Freeway and Haven, the same venue as the popular South West Coral Farmer's Market. The SW-CFM is the Original CFM event that has been operating since 2006. This event is held every spring, and has spawned other events in the Bay Area, Dallas, and once again in the Inland Empire. The CFM company thought that a second show would be a good business decision, as the South West event has been the most popular event.

Busy Busy at The Mystic Reef Booth

This event attracts the best of the best as far as tank raised livestock. The Mystic Reef was there with our usual assortment of frags, as well as some very interesting pieces. From any just about any rare or unique coral that you've heard of, to rare fish, dry goods, auctions and raffles, this is definitely a great event for every Reefer! We look forward to the South West in the Spring and the Inland Empire in the fall.

Speaking of unique fish, our friends Dan & Tina, from Wet Thumb Frags, had some very interesting tank raised clowns from C-Quest Farms along with a great variety of coral frags. These included a tank of Van Gogh Clowns, similar to ORA's Picasso Percula, however these being an extreme color morph of the Ocellaris. Another Extreme color morph of the Ocellaris is the Wyoming White Clown, similar to Snowflake Clowns.

Van Gogh Clowns

Wyoming White Clownfish

Industry leading manufacturers Warner Marine, Blue Life USA, and Reef Nutrition were also their showcasing their unique products. Reef Nutrition was there showing off their entire line of specialty feeds for reef aquariums, such as Tigger-pods, Macro Feast, Fuzzy Phytes, Arcti-Pods, and more, all available at The Mystic Reef.

Blue Life had their entire line of Precision supplements; Aiptasia, Red Slime & other Controls, and their assortment of Bulbs. The Precision line of chemicals is very comprehensive and excellent quality, most of the products are some of the most concentrated on the market. I also use many of the Blue Life T5 bulbs on my display tanks at the store.

Blue Life USA

Warner Marine's Booth
Warner Marine was also there with some of his excellent skimmers, including the new K2. He also had some canister filters, along with the full line of some of the hobby's most trusted additives, like Ultimate Aminos and Calxmax. Also a first from Warner Marine is the new Ultimate Snow. Its similar to the Zeovit product Coral Snow. Like all WM products, you can be sure of the quality of this product. I have been testing it out on my tanks and so far just as WM claims, it has given me noticeably clearer water over night. The skimmers also seem to be removing more skimmate than usual. This product can also be used in conjunction with any supplement, including Ultimate Aminos, as a transport mechanism to more efficiently deliver it to corals in an appropriate particle size. If your interested in this product, we have some available at the store with more on the way! More info on this exciting product and more in a later post.
Ultimate Snow
The Auctions and Raffles are also a very fun part of the event, unfortunately I wasn't able to participate this year because I was just too busy. Normally however, the odds are fairly good on the Raffles, especially on some of the lesser know pieces. Last year I walked away with a Ponape Birdsnest and I only put in a few tickets. This event was no different with many of my customers walking away with something in their hands.

The Auctions are also very popular for some nice coral frags. Many First Edition LE's are auctioned off to try and establish a base price. There were plenty of great pieces getting sold at very reasonable prices, it made me wish I was over there when I heard the price some things were going for.

Congrats CFM on another great event! See you at the next one.
-Adam Mullins

Friday, September 4, 2009

Reefer's Survival Kit: Must Haves For Those Worst Case Scenarios

Expect the unexpected. For aquarists, truer words have never been spoken. From jumping fish, wet power cords, leaky pipes, burnt out pumps, to even fires; the things I hear from customers never cease to amaze me. One of the most bizarre and sad tales of tank devastation came from a very enthusiastic customer who had started a 12 gallon Aquapod. He had the tank set up for close to a year and the corals and fish were all very healthy. He came in one day completely distraught, he returned home from work to find his tank a milky orangish white, with everything completely dead. His young 3 year old decided to "feed" the fish a bag of Doritos. When I tell other customers these words of warning, they are horrified, but I tell them to reiterate the fact that anything can happen.
So now that I've scared you enough, I'd like to let you in on some emergency items that I believe every reefer should have on hand, known simply as the "Reefer's Survival Kit"
Emergency Water Supply: This seems to be the most basic, but often overlooked essentials for a saltwater fish tank. In the event of a massive die off, spawning event, some foreign material spilled in the tank, etc.. one of the easiest ways to correct or halt further fatalities is a large partial water change. Whether keeping a fresh supply of synthetic sea water, (I don't recommend natural seawater because it may cloud or grow algae when stored), Reverse osmosis water to be mixed when needed, or even some Amquel or other dechlorinator to use tap water in a worse case scenario. Having some salt mix or extra water on hand could be a lifesaver in an emergency. Be sure to match temperature, pH, and salinity of the replacement water to avoid further stressing your livestock.A supply of Salt and Fresh RO water

Water Testing Supplies: If something is going wrong with your tank, you need to be able to identify it fast. Testing ammonia, nitrite, pH, Alkalinity, and Salinity can help you pinpoint the problem. These various levels are most often the culprit, and are easily fixed by water changes, or the addition of pH or Alkalinity buffer. A well calibrated Hydrometer or two are a very good idea as well.
Battery Operated Air Pump: These fairly inexpensive pieces of equipment literally could be a fish lifesaver in the event of a power outage. One or two of these connected to a few airstones could provide all the oxygen and water movement necessary to keep most livestock happy for a few hours to even days depending on tank size and bioload. Those with large or heavily stocked tanks may want to look into a portable generator. It may seem like a foolish investment, but consider the value of livestock it could save during a power outage.
Coral Dip: Every reefer should have at least one bottle of an Antibacterial coral dip on hand for acclimating new coral, and dipping damaged or diseased corals. Dipping newly acquired coral can prevent the spread of flatworms or other aquarium pests. Products like ReVive, Melafix, or Lugol's Solution can be the difference in saving a coral infected with the dreaded "brown jelly" or other bacterial infection or loosing it. When corals come into contact with eachother, one usually stings the other to point of infection on one or both corals. These infections can kill a complete coral colony in a few hourse. Worse still, it can spread to other, seemingly healthy corals. Often a reefer will wake up to find his crabs have knocked a frogspawn into one of their favorite Acan colonies, sure one is going to die. Quickly killing the infection and preventing its spread is paramount for the health of the coral and tankA selection of Coral Dips

Other great essentials that will come in handy are spare parts. Its always a good idea to have a spare return pump on hand in case the main fails and every LFS is closed. This could save an otherwise doomed tank. Light bulbs are also good to have on hand, but typically it wont have the same disastrous results going unlit for a few days opposed to a few days without flow. A new innovation that provides very good piece of mind is the a battery back-up from Ecotech for use with their Vortech powerheads. This back up could provide flow for up to 30 hours in the event of a power failure.
A Vortech MP40 on a Display at The Mystic Reef

Another handy item is Rescue Tape, this self fusing, water proof tape has myriad uses for aquarists, busted pipes or even minor cracked tanks can be mended until a more permanent fix is available. I always have a roll around my store for emergencies.
Rescue Tape Hanging In a Convenient Spot

Well those are some of my suggestions, and there are plenty of other steps you can take to prepare yourself. Hopefully this got you thinking of all the possibilities and maybe when the inevitable happens, you won't be blindsided. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Happy Reefin'!!
-Adam Mullins