For over a year, I'd been using a small spiral compact fluorescent bulb that only cost $7, with an output that was 75w of 6500K lighting. Under this 'daylight' color, my macro algae grew steadily. While shopping at Home Depot, I came across a new sealed-floodlight bulb that caught my interest. This new bulb costs $10, and also uses 19w. The one thing the package didn't mention was what Kelvin (color temperature) the bulb was. Please read this entire article, as a better bulb became apparent during 2005.
I'm based in Texas and have been in the hobby since 1998. In all that time, I've never used a chiller for my tanks. I prefer to keep the room temperature comfortable for me around the clock, and thus my aquariums have never gotten overheated. However, in the summer months it always helps to use cooling fans. They are economical, relatively silent and take up little space.
It's time to refill the 265g poly tank. Using two boosted RO/DI systems makes this task faster even in the colder months of the year. After replacing the DI cartridge, I started the units at 2 a.m. and by 8 p.m. it was full. 18 hours produced about 240g of RO/DI ... All I need to do now is add six bags of Sybon reef salt and let it circulate.
A calcium reactor is a piece of equipment that helps maintain alkalinity and calcium in a reef tank. For years, I didn't buy one mainly because they are expensive, and dosed my tank with B-Ionic daily. That worked fine for a 29 gallon and a 55 gallon reef, but if your tank is larger than those, you may decide that a calcium reactor is the better choice long term.
Lighting consists of three parts: ballast, bulb, and reflector. The combination of these three makes the difference between good lighting and great lighting. The following information should give you a better grasp of the choices involved.
Electronic ballasts are smaller, run quietly, and reportedly save money in electricity usage (~10%).
Magnetic ballasts are larger, have an audible hum to them, and get pretty hot.
After years of running Metal Halide (MH) lighting over my tanks, I really wanted to take some measurements to find out what type of intensity (PAR) the bulbs would give off. Dr. Sanjay Joshi recommends better reflectors, stating that they will increase lighting output by 300% compared to the standard 'spider' reflectors I've been using.
Much to my displeasure, my Sequence Dart started gushing water out of the area where the pump's drive shaft was located. After contacting Sequence Dart for assistance, they quickly shipped out replacement seals free of charge.http://www.reeflopumps.com/
Installing them wasn't as easy as I'd hoped, and thus I decided I might as well document the process for others that wish they had some pictures to go along with the instruction sheet provided.
Is it time to change your RO/DI filters? I date my system each time they are changed out, to help me keep track. They should be changed every six months, so I'm actually a month late in doing so. Whoops. However, the TDS reads zero, so there's no reason to worry, right?