Marc's blog

Super cute, right?

Since MACNA, I've really enjoyed the mated pair of Golden Dwarf Moray eels I brought home.  They are quite active and out any time food hits the water.  While they live in the rockwork most of the time, one or both will swim in the open looking for food.  Sometimes they'll take up space in the Vortech pump since I shut it off during feedings, so I have to always check before turning it back on again.  They like krill, but I've also observed them eating sinking pellet food off the substrate.  To keep them from escaping the tank, I made an acrylic wall that sits on the top edge of the 60 rimless cube. It's still open so I can reach in to do things like feedings, and isn't in the way nor an eyesore. 

A great custom-sump

When I'm really proud of my work, I shoot video.

Comparing PAR of new & old bulbs

I recently purchased some new ballasts and bulbs for the 400g.  I've been observing the livestock and debated whether to change the current configuration to only 250w bulbs or to upgrade all the way across to 400w bulbs.  For the past 10 years, I've been running 250w - 400w - 250w bulbs because the center bulb was always a 20,000K bulb and the outer bulbs were 10,000K. This worked nicely, and it looked like the sun was shining down in the center.  PAR was equalized since the bluer bulb's lesser intensity was punched up with the additional watts.

However, 10 months ago I installed TwinArc bulbs which are 10,000K for a few hours and 20,000K for a few hours and what I ended up seeing was a hot spot in the center of the reef. Daily. I had two choices: Change the center bulb to a 250w bulb and ballast, or change the two outer bulbs and ballasts to 400w. With the footprint of the reef being seven feet long and three feet wide, it seemed the better choice was to upgrade to 400w and give the corals a better bath of light.

Interviewed at Reefapalooza Orlando

Thomas Brown did a nice compilation of the interviews at RAP-Orlando, and my interview is interspersed within several segments of the episode.  I made it a point to mess with him the entire time, so it would be fun.  If you didn't get to attend, here's some of what you missed.

If you make it to the end, he even included bloopers.  Thomas loves video editing, and has a great channel to subscribe to:

Six month video update

On the six month anniversary of the livestock in their new homes, I shot an iPhone video for you.

Back to back shows

For the past two weekends, a big Melev's Reef booth was set up to tell others about the new site, the new products available for purchase, and to meet and greet with fellow reef enthusiasts. Logistically, getting a booth set up in time before the doors open can be challenging but it is always rewarding.

A week ago, my booth was set up in Orlando at Reefapalooza for two days.  It was nice to chat with people on the east coast, and I appreciated all those individuals that made it a point to thank me for my website's shared content that helped them with their tank needs. Hearing those words never gets old, and its a great feeling to know these articles are valued.

When you need some motivation...

"When I'm just not feeling all that great about my tank, it's always nice to take some time to enjoy it from above. Stopping the pumps and gazing down or using a Top Down Photo Box to give me crystal clear access to look at each coral gives me a whole new appreciation for the life growing in my closed eco-system, which helps spur me on for another duration. This reef setup is only 5.5 months old... so much more to come."

Here's the link to the related blog:

It's never 100% perfect...

One coral in my reef turned very pale. And oddly enough, that same exact species is in two other locations and did the exact same thing. It's very light, after shedding its zooxanthellae for whatever reason. I dont know why it did it, and I'll have to see if it survives.

Also, a branch in a birdsnest colony in the back of the reef suddenly turned white, so I checked Alkalinity first and it was 8.5 dKH. Maybe the tongue coral got it and it wasn't a water quality situation. There are a few LPS heads that have vanished while others are happy, and I tend to think this is either coral territorial issues or fish incurred-damage. I've watched a Yellow tang throw a zoanthid frag out of a spot I had it, like it was in its way. 

Still, while little things may annoy me, the overall picture is pretty sweet.

Welcome to the NEW

It took me about two years to redesign, my main website that I've cared for since roughly 2002. It has helped countless people over the years, and during my travels people come up to me often thanking me for said information provided assisted them in their reefkeeping. In early 2012, I began building a new version to replace the aged website -- using a database-driven CMS (content management system) instead of HTML-code that I was so very familiar with. 

Of course while this was going on, I also helped organize and run MACNA 2012, dealt with the 400g tank's surprise leak and resulting 215g temporary system, ran into issues with the core programming, sought out help elsewhere, focused on customer orders, cared for DFWMAS club business, dealt with my son's needs and more. Many hours were dedicated to adding the 400g's various new page descriptions, even though that tank was actually in limbo for a long time.

Day 107: All is going well

The tank is running very smoothly, and is oblivious to the weather outside.  It's been icy cold, and then a few days later in the 80s.  They call this winter, but it doesn't feel like it to me. Here are a few pictures from February.

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