+

Mandarin art

Just in time for the holidays, I received my mandarin ornament to hang on the Christmas tree. For now, it's here on my desk but next week when the tree goes up, this little guy will be adding some flair to the menagerie of items I've been collecting.  

A custom fan tray

While every fan tray I build is custom made to fit a particular sump, this one took more time and a little imagination to fit one customer's needs. This bracket will fit on a rimless sump, nestling down on the front wall and the inner partitian and stay there. I added a front and back piece to hug the spot so it won't be going anywhere accidentally.

It holds two 120mm fans, and is made of 1/4" clear acrylic. It actually took more time than it should have, but that's the nature of creativity versus a cookie-cutter product. I kinda like it. :)

Three Year Anniversary of my Reef

Thursday, November 10th was the three year anniversary of the 400g reef and the 60g Anemone cube.  Here's a big update about everything, including a throwback video of the tank 3 years and 1 day ago to show you where it all started.  I also show you a method I use to clean out my sump that you might like to emulate.  My trip to New Jersey for the Reef & Reptile Expo is also mentioned -- hope you can make it. 

All about the frags

Once the front viewing panel was scraped clean of film algae, the corals looked a lot better. While my arm was wet, I tried out some Aiptasia Rx today to see how well it would work.  Too bad the peppermint shrimp in the tank don't do what I hired them to do. Maybe they'll get motivated?Water parameters are doing quite well these days in this tank. I seem to have the dosers dialed into a good spot.

A rainy day over the reef

Today's club meeting was at Oceans Avenue, and they did a fragging demo workshop for the club members and customers. As we watched, they cut various corals and then used glue to mount them to frag plugs. A grill was out back, providing burgers, hot dogs or chicken to everyone. I had to grab a Corona and then filmed and photographed some stuff which will be shared later.  

It's happening, yet again. Website Upgrade WIP.

Melev's Reef has been my pride and joy since I started building the very first webpage back in 2003. Nearly 14 years later, it's time for the next incarnation.  Plans are in motion with careful attention to the overall design for a 2017 look that is easy to navigate no matter what device you use. The shop area is getting a huge upgrade, among other things. In the coming weeks, a team will be working quietly to bring this newer version to life, and I'm super excited.

Gryphon AquaSaw - Model C-40

When it comes to cutting up corals, there are hand tools, and then there are time-savers like a table top bandsaw.  The Gryphon C-40 AquaSaw is something I purchased over two years ago at MACNA, and only opened it up for the first time two weeks ago. I thought I'd do an unboxing video, but that never happened. When I was recently in the midst of fragging colonies, I opened up the box, put it together, plugged it in and was instantly impressed with how well it worked. Cutting away dead skeleton, creating small frags from larger colonies of montipora and chalices, it kept up beautifully.

Video: BTS at the Birch Aquarium

A few days later than it should have been, but I hope it was worth the wait. Last week I was slammed with things to do, and had no time to edit the weekly video, but I'm going to blame the zombies. This video focuses behind the scenes at the Birch Aquarium, showcasing the offlimits sections and some of their breeding efforts. 

Video: Jennifer Nies of New Wave Aquaria

One of the prettiest shops I've walked into is owned by Jennifer Nies, and her story is quite unique (tank maintenance for pizza money?!)... Looking at her, you'd never believe she's been at this for 20 years. Smart, business-minded, and her store's expanding already, she's definitely one to watch. Looking forward to Margarita Sundays lol Store address:

New Wave Aquaria
14100 23rd Ave N, 
Plymouth, MN 55447
(763) 710-9386

Video: Alkalinity Monitor

This interview was done at MACNA last weekend. Jim Welsh's newly built invention is the Alkalinity Monitor. It will measure tank water as frequently as you desire, and that data can be acted upon by your controller. It could send you texts & emails if the reading is out of range, and you can see what the latest measurement is just by glancing at the display on the device, or by computer or smartphone. It could trigger or stop a doser if needed. He explains it quite well, and I gotta say I'm really impressed.