Phosban-L, a new Lanthanum chloride product

I've never been one to shy away from Lanthanum chloride, a product used in our hobby to bind up and export phosphate from a reef tank. Not only did I feel like I'd found the magic elixir the first time I used some, I've been a huge advocate for more than a decade. Two months ago at MACNA, Two Little Fishies introduced their version to the attendees named Phosban-L.  Phosban has been a powdered version of GFO for a long time, used in a Phosban Reactor or similar device. Phosban-L is not just a liquid additive, it's a bottle of concentrated Lanthanum chloride.

Cost of living increase

I've been running an AquariumPlants Carbon Doser on my calcium reactor since 2010. At the time I thought it was expensive, but I was tired of buying a new regulator annually.  They were costing me about $100 a year in replacement gear, so this one seemed like a better choice since it came with a three year warranty, and apparently I got free shipping too. 

Alkalinity matters

Tank alkalinity has been somewhat low but I couldn't figure out why. My calcium reactor was full of media, the CO2 tank was full of gas, everything looked right. That's when I realized I was missing the point, that the pH measurement inside the reactor was not where it belonged. Normally it's between 6.1 to 6.5 depending on my mood, so to speak. The pH controller showed that it was 7.5 and my brain didn't click, that it wasn't 6.5... dumb mental error.

When a number doesn't click in your brain

I wanted to share this item with y’all, because we all learn and relearn things daily. I’ve been testing alkalinity like clockwork, but the tank has been running lower than I like. I adjusted the black knob on this controller down slightly, but the number on the screen has pretty much been sitting at 7.5 (pH) for days. I thought that was odd that the number never changed, so I investigated further this afternoon.

Apex: Better automation than before

I've been using the Apex controller for my reef for years, and for the most part once it is set up, I don't touch it. If it works, I'm happy. Occasionally I get motivated to make some changes, be it because some equipment has failed and had to be replaced, or something was upgraded.  I tend to resist change, believe it or not.  I know that sounds odd from a guy that tries out new products and loves gear, but when you reef is happy you normally don't change anything to avoid causing problems.

How about a few new pictures?

I haven't blogged on my own website in what feels like "much too long" and tonight after getting back from dropping off shipments for my customers, I decided it was time to insert the walkboard, climb up upon it and take a few pictures of some corals from above.  My reef is looking so pretty day after day, and most of my updates seem to take place mostly on my youtube channel. Feel free to remind me to update things here, as there are times when it's nice to just read a quick update on the latest.

Manjanos - how I removed them from my system

When a pest like manjanos (Anemonia Manjanos) are spotted in a reef, there are a number of removal methods to choose from. I allowed them to grow rampantly in my frag tank, essentially ignoring the problem for much too long. In this video, I demonstrate how I took the time to scrape them off the rockwork one by one until the reef was free of them.

A work-tray that fits multiple tanks

When I have to do things in the aquarium, I like to have a solid work surface. What I want is something that will fit over the frag tank, over the 400g reef, or over the Anemone Cube. Each tank has a different dimension, so I designed a tray that could be placed over any aquarium using varied lengths of PVC pipe. This first tray is intentionally made to be right above the water's surface, allowing me to place fragging tools in the tray, as well as work with pieces of live rock.