The Aquatic Gazette

Archive for January, 2012|Monthly archive page

[TAG] Thoughts | January 2012

In Thoughts on January 31, 2012 at 00:01

In the month of January, we have not published much articles. [TAG] has been quiet except for the continual polishing of our new front page and news updates. We thus owe you an explanation.

Since [TAG]‘s inception, our desire has always been to be a free and enriching resource to you, the aquarist. As such, we have refused to sell products, review products favourably for benefits or accept donations. The only exception is our little shop, in which we retail our complete aquariums at below cost. Although implementing all of the above will greatly help our finances, we have long decided not to, so that your experience with us as an independent gazette is always preserved.

The direction we took to finance [TAG] was to invite aquatic companies to partner us by establishing a presence on our well-read front page. And even then, our priority was not to ‘milk’ the companies, but to ensure that they have a platform to make themselves known to you. We therefore kept the partnership very affordable and only approached companies that have a good track record of genuine care and respect for their customers. To date, only one of these companies have partnered with us. However in their defence, a vast majority of them are small, family-owned and passionate start ups, every cent counts for them. But what they can’t help us in sustenance, they have given in knowledge, advice and encouragement. For that, we are extremely grateful.

At the end of the day, finance is still needed to keep [TAG] going. To reduce the bleeding that we have experienced since April 2011, we decided to take a sabbatical for January while continuing to brainstorm on how we could raise the needed finance. Then about a week ago, WordPress contacted us to give the happy news that [TAG] has been identified as a good fit for their new WordAds initiative. It is no exaggeration to say that we felt like we were given a golden ticket, just like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Once WordPress approves [TAG] for WordAds, we will be able to generate the required finances to keep the filters, lights and laptops going. We won’t even need to seek out corporate partnerships and our front page can be used as a bridge between exemplary aquatic companies and you, at no cost. The community will then have the potential to be stronger and the full spectrum of the hobby will benefit.

So like any new aquarium, we think that [TAG] is finally coming out of the intial algae infestation stage. As we stabilise and mature, look forward to video reviews, walkabouts in our local fish shops and contests with fantastic prizes. Thank you for your patience with us, we are finally going to be out of the weeds!

Much Love, [TAG]


Fluval’s Marimo Ball

In Filtration on January 28, 2012 at 00:01

Fluval by Hagen has released a unique product. Phosphate removers are nothing new, but to have thought to incorporate it within an artificial moss ball, brings a smile to our faces.

The Marimo ball or Cladophora algae, holds a special place in many of our hearts because of its spherical shape and sponge-like properties. Fauna such as shrimps adore it as a feeding ground because their fine hairs trap food and detritus. So instead of placing phosphate removers in your filter, you now have the option of placing one of these artificial Marimo balls in your aquarium.

The only drawback to these Marimo balls, is the fact that chemical filtration usually have a very short effective life cycle within the aquarium before they need to be replaced or recharged. The phosphate remover within these Marimo balls cannot be replaced and they last about 2 months. That would mean that you will need to get new Marimo balls every 2 months to ensure optimal phosphate remover levels.

These artificial Marimo balls appear in a much lighter shade of green as compared to the real Marimo balls, but once placed in water, they quickly resemble a similar dark shade of green. A more apparent difference between the two would be the hairs that form the Marimo. On the artificial one, the hairs are soft and wool-like. While on the real one, the hairs are more spiky and firm.

Fluval's Marimo Ball

Live Marimo Ball

We are glad that Fluval went out of the box for a chemical filtration product. And although some may not be happy with it not being rechargeable, we agree with the approach for it would have not been possible to create an artificial Marimo ball that looks this realistic and stay that way over a long period of time. Its soft, wool-like hairs that mimics the real Marimo ball would not take kindly to multiple washings.

If for some reason you cannot get a Marimo ball in your area, have difficulty keeping the real ones alive, or just want to save filter space while adding more green to your aquarium, give Fluval’s Marimo ball a go. For those who have one of these in your aquarium, do comment and let us know what you think of it!


pictorial credit: Fluval

News | Ecoxotic’s RGB Panorama Pro LED Module

In Uncategorized on January 25, 2012 at 16:23

Ecoxotic is quickly establishing themselves as a top choice in LED aquarium lighting with numerous innovative products that have been launched in quick succession. Their latest offering is a LED module that allows you to choose between 16 different colour spectrums in varying brightness and intensity.

Although planted tank users will not have much use for such a module, it should be quite appealing to marine users as their corals can now interact with the different colour spectrums.


News | Aqua Design Amano’s Unzan Stone

In News on January 25, 2012 at 16:09

First seen in this film, ADA has released the Unzan Stone. In a nutshell, it is a processed volcanic stone with indented rough surfaces. The stone is available in small, medium and large sizes and is recommended for use in an iwagumi aquascape.

Another use of the stone is to implement ADA’s recent trend in growing wabi kusa in the hollows of their stones. Unzan is an ideal candidate for this use.

One of the highlights for us for this film was the chopping of moss to reduce them to a small enough form to be placed naturally on the Unzan rock. The end effect of having moss grow outwards over the rocks is simply tranquil, giving the rocks an aged look.


News | Fluval Chi Cover

In News on January 3, 2012 at 15:02

Continual support in accessories and upgrades to existing products are always signs that the product is doing well enough to warrant such attention. Fluval Chi seems to be selling well as Hagen has now added a cover that is made from translucent perspex. The cover is described as being formed to rest perfectly on the aquarium and has a cutout that allows it to fit around the filter attachment.

Other benefits of adding on the cover is a reduction in evaporation and the prevention of fauna jumping out of the aquarium.


News | Arcadia’s Eco Aqua LED Spotlight

In News on January 2, 2012 at 15:00

Arcadia has released a new LED lighting unit that is not typical of the usual LED units in the market today. The Eco Aqua LED Spotlight has been designed to replace metal halide lighting by replicating the spot lighting characteristic of such lights.

By using CREE XPE LEDs, Arcadia is claiming 40% more PAR with 80% less electricity used when compared to a 150w metal halide unit. If these claims are accurate, many a reef aquarist will be very interested in the Eco Aqua LED Spotlight.

Practical Fishkeeping has done a short review and it can be found here:

[TAG] 2011 | In Review

In Thoughts on January 2, 2012 at 00:01

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 62,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.