Dosing Prodibio

Prodibio is company based in France that has a complete line of products to dose your aquarium with. Their website ( lists additives for freshwater, saltwater, fish disease treatment and pond treatment. Since we are primarily Reef Addicts here, I'd like to discuss how I'm using their saltwater dosing system for my reef.

Cobalt Aquatics' Neo-Therm

I recently received the brand new electronic Neo-Therm submersible heater from Cobalt Aquatics. I was excited to test it out, because it doesn't look like any heater you've ever had before. It's about the thinnest I've ever seen, measuring at 8mm or the unusual 1/3" listed on the box. The best news of all: a Three Year Warranty. Any product that has a 3-year warranty is good in my book, because that usually means the company believes in it enough to make that promise. It is rated to keep the temperature at +/- .5º F, which is a very tight tolerance, and is UL listed.

Installing the Aquahub ATO kit

With the new set up, I've tried to avoid holding anything back and went "all in" so to speak. So I got busy one night, wiring up this ultra safe system by Aquahub. The way it works: You have two float switches wired in series, which are powered with a 12v DC power supply. When the switches are down, a relay opens the flow to a 110v power cord to supply power a pump that can push top off water from a reservoir into the sump. As the water level rises, the float rises and cuts power to the relay, which stops power to the 110v cord shutting off the feed pump. If one float fails, the second one is a back up to make sure power is cut to the feed pump.

How to Prime a HOB overflow

A HOB (Hang On Back) overflow or weir is a device used to drain water from the aquarium safely into a sump.

You need to prepare yourself, as this is about 30 seconds of your life that will get your heart beating faster than you'd expect.

  • Get a piece of flexible airline tubing, about 30" long.
  • Get a large cup filled with RO or tank water.
  • Get a second person to be in charge of turning the pump off if needed.


Thread the piece of tubing into your overflow box so that the end is at the top (apex) of your U-tube (or U chamber if you have a wier). The other end goes in your mouth.

Have your assistant turn on the return pump. Water from your sump will pour into your tank and the water level will rise. Do NOT panic, you have about 30 seconds to do the following, which is plenty of time.

Installing the Model F Sump

Sump that has to be shipped:

All sumps are shipped with insurance to protect both you and me.  They are carefully packed with 4" of padding on all six sides, including beams to keep it centered at all times.

Never Plumb a RO Unit to Your Sump

Hooking up an RO or RO/DI system directly to your sump is a recipe for disaster. Avoid this costly mistake.

When it comes to reefkeeping, there are numerous basic tasks we'd like to automate. One of the most desired features is a way to top-off the tank automatically in order to replace water that has evaporated from the system, and many beginning hobbyists may not consider how important this is. As water evaporates, salinity rises in the display tank because salt does not evaporate. The water simply becomes more and more saline the longer the hobbyist waits to add freshwater.

Melev's Mandarin Diner

For a long time my blue mandarin was a very happy fish in my 29g, and would eat prepared foods much to my delight. Since that was the case, I never worried about it. However, in the 280g reef, it was actually being starved to death due to stress by the other mandarins harassing it as well as the voracious Tangs that would circle around it and get every morsel of food off the sand.

That is when I remembered it was able to eat on its own in the past, but this necessitated some alone time. So about 2.5 months ago, I started putting food in a spaghetti sauce jar, and lowered that into the tank. The mandarin could go in and get some Formula One or Formula Two small pellet food, when it was interested. Here is the story of how it all started...back in November 2004:

...I'd like to buy a Mandarin!

Synchiropus splendidusMandarin fish are probably one of the most beautiful reef-safe fish that are available for hobbyists today. With their graceful meanderings, their colorful markings and gossamer fins, people quickly fall in love with these gentle creatures. Surprisingly, they aren't that expensive, giving the reef keeper even more motivation to acquire one.

There are various types of Mandarins, such as the large blue, red or green Synchiropus splendidus, and the smaller Target or Spotted Synchiropus picturatus. These fish hunt for food all day long, picking at the rockwork for bugs smaller than we can see. At night, they rest. While they rest, their colors fade substantially, so don't worry.

Maintaining Good Water Quality

I have read countless threads on discussion forums asking for assistance with water quality issues. Considering how many forums are available to hobbyists everywhere, it wouldn’t be difficult to imagine that hundreds of queries are posted on a daily basis just in the United States. With the availability of search engines, the information is readily available having been answered time and time again. Why is it so hard to master this particular area of our hobby? Are our personal circumstances so uniquely different from everyone else’s? Perhaps it is simply easier to ask the question and wait for a direct answer, but there is a chance that the answer won’t be accurate due to the responder’s inexperience or due to a lack of initial detail. Finally, how do you gauge if the answer or answers are correct? Since you asked the question, you don’t have the information to judge those answers, which means you have to decide if you can believe the respondents.

Model "J" Sump

This sump is made with 3/8" acrylic and is a rimless sump.  Rimless provides greater access to the various areas, but it doesn't help keep saltcreep in the sump and off the woodwork of the stand.  

Dimensions: 40" x 14" x 16" (holds 34 gallons to the top)