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    Current Ins and Outs of Reef Aquaria

    We cover a lot of new products and trends in the hobby and here are a few that we’ve picked out. Some of these trends are well established, others are just starting to be seen, and a couple we’re hopeful for.   In: Luxim Plasma Lighting Technology, as shown by AI in a LumenArc Reflector. […]

    We cover a lot of new products and trends in the hobby and here are a few that we’ve picked out. Some of these trends are well established, others are just starting to be seen, and a couple we’re hopeful for.


     

    plasma-lifi31_02

    In: Luxim Plasma Lighting Technology, as shown by AI in a LumenArc Reflector.

    solaris-360

    Out: Aquarium-specific LEDs that promote the growth of marine organisms…

    ecotech_mp10_01

    In: Unobtrusive submersible and stream style pumps, like the highly anticipated Vortech MP10.

    genx-pcx-30

    Out: External returns and closed loops driven by inefficient pumps… How about DC or VFD for CLs?

    jan09_side_shot

    In: Open Aquascapes. Sometimes less is more, give the fish and corals space for growth.

    rock-wall

    Out: Pile-o-rocks & Wall-o-rocks. Leaves little room for fish and creates dead spots.

    30-dollar-chalice

    In: Chalices, like Mcliffy’s $30 Watermelon, are stunning photography subjects.

    swap-b

    Out: Marketing hype and frag plugs dominating aquarium sand beds. Think about the big picture… and setting up grow out tanks. Not a trend, but we can hope.

    rimless200

    In: Rimless / Trimless. Simple and clean. Aquarists are branching out to new aquarium dimensions.

    aga-aquarium

    Out: AGA Black trimmed. Great for QTs and traditional set ups, but few standard sizes allow for a pleasing aquascape.

    profilux-doser-360

    In: Balling Method / Automated Two Part. Complete control, makes cal /alk imbalances a thing of the past. 

    co2_200

    Out: Calcium Reactors. Cost effective for large tanks, but pH suppression is a concern.

     

    That’s our list, what shifts do you see taking place? 


    16 Comments

    1. pavlo
      May 11, 2009 at 7:37 AM | Permalink

      In: an update on the Glassbox! 😉

    2. Nicholas Sadaka
      May 11, 2009 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

      Great list…my favorite is:
      In: Open Aquascapes. Sometimes less is more, give the fish and corals space for growth.
      This has ALWAYS been my feeling on tanks and how I did mine when I built it 5 or 6 years ago. It’s so cool to get a frag and watch it grow into a large specimen with plenty of room and no aggression with other coral real close to it. Fantastic!

    3. May 11, 2009 at 9:33 AM | Permalink

      I agree totally about the open aquascapes along with Nicholas, but I don’t agree with your AGA black trim comment.

      If your going full out and want to spend a lot more money then others, then rimless is the way to go, because the beauty of it won’t be surpassed. But a well done aga tank will look just as nice. It just depends on the reefer. If the aquarium is well cared for and carefully planned, then it can look very nice as well. The only reason why it’s looked down on is because it’s thought of as beginner setups for people who just want to stick their toes into this hobby by buying a simple and cheap setup. I’ve seen many experienced reefers who create amazing aquascapes using tanks with black rims. I myself am planning a 2 5.5g setup next to each other, one will be freshwater planted with pressurized co2 and will hold 2 dwarf puffers while the other will be a nano reef and will hold various invertebrates and possibly a fish.

    4. mcliffy2
      May 11, 2009 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

      I’ll second that I’m hoping the frag-covered sandbed goes out of style….All those chalice and acans look great in macro shots, but then you see the FTS and it looks like an LPS bomb exploded and left shrapnel littered all over the sandbed. A clean sandbed really makes the overall look of a tank IMO. See SunnyX’s tank for a perfect example of this.

    5. May 11, 2009 at 9:47 AM | Permalink

      @Kevin W, I did not mean to suggest AGA tanks cannot be just as beautiful. Just highlighting the fact that custom and rimless aquariums are now much more prominent and there has been a small shift away from AGA. My only real complaint with them is dimension. Standard 30g, 55g, 150g etc. do not have much depth making them extremely challenging to aquascape.

      AGA style tanks will always be a staple in the hobby and rightfully so. They are affordable and do what they are intended to do.

      @mcliffy… I thought you’d like that one 😉

    6. Chris
      May 11, 2009 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

      I think that the balling method is trend.
      CA is still the easiest and cheapest way.

    7. May 11, 2009 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

      @Chris, it is very much a trendy item at the moment (hence it’s inclusion). We’ll see how long it lasts.

    8. stunreefer
      May 11, 2009 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

      “Out: Marketing hype and frag plugs dominating aquarium sand beds. Think about the big picture… and setting up grow out tanks. Not a trend, but we can hope.”

      I’ll third that hope! It’s most definitely one of my top pet-peeves!

      Personally I do not believe that balling is a trend (that’s like calling two-part a trend)… sure it’s new-er to US, but not everywhere else…

    9. May 11, 2009 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

      One other follow-up, that I think the crowded sandbeds and open aquascape trends are related, in that so often I see otherwise gorgeous openaquascapes diminished because all that carefully-planned open sandbed is covered in frags. So hopefully the next step is clearing up the sandbed. Also, this isn’t to say a few strategically placed corals on the sandbed doesn’t look good, because it can. But IMO, having large areas of clean sandbed really gives the tank a better visual effect.

    10. Matt
      May 11, 2009 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

      This hobby is one trend after another… sps/acans are out, chalices are in… T5s are out, metal halides (using lumenbrights) are in…. two part is out, balling is in…. but wait isn’t WWC, just using kalk to maintain their awesome LE display?!? Honestly, I’ve never had good growth with two part, I’ve dosed it a la Grotec, did the manual additions. Not clue as to why, calcium reactor and even kalkwasser by itself worked much better….

      It’s all one fad after another…. zoos are getting hot again (yuck!)… Don’t be trendy, its your aquaria, do what you want with it.

    11. Jon
      May 11, 2009 at 9:56 PM | Permalink

      Lest we forget:

      In- Cone Skimmers!
      Out- Square / Cylindrical Skimmers?

    12. Rolf Brusletto
      May 11, 2009 at 9:57 PM | Permalink

      Figured this one would fit right inline..

      In: Inaccurate guesses about calcium reactors and causes of alkalinity/calcium offset without backing articles.

      Out: Accurate guesses about calcium reactors and causes of alkalinity/calcium offset with backing articles.

    13. Nicholas Sadaka
      May 12, 2009 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

      I’d just like to add that as far as the frags on the sandbed/open aquascaping goes, there are really some fantastic options out there right now that are also very affordable. I’m a huge fan of both frags and open aquascapes, so I get a couple that I REALLY like and find some ways to incorporate them without gluing them to live rock (which I admittedly am terrible at-I tried epoxying a few to live rock and…big mistake for me). I’ve done 2 things that I really like. The frag magnets, which you can put all over the aquarium and anywhere you like is one of my favorite options right now…I can’t wait to see if they’ll really encrust well on the back glass wall. I’ve also bought the rocks that have holes in them that fit frag mounts (not the plastic mounts, they won’t fit…at least I can’t get them to). If you buy the smallest size and put just one frag on them, it will encrust and basically give you a good sized flat rock with a grown out coral on it which can then either be placed on the sandbed if you wish or on top of or against your rockwork. I really like that option as well and it gives your coral something to encrust upon. Again, two cheap ways to do it a little differently if you’re just trying to grow out some frags. They also now have rocks with magnets in them where you could aquascape them with different frags and then magnet the rock to the back wall and give your tank depth. I haven’t gotten one yet, but Premium Aquatics carries all of that and I find all of those options really cool and a whole new dimension to how you can set up your tank. Coral growing off the back wall was something I never even dreamed until those products came out. Really gives you many more options and does so my absolute favorite way…cheaply without sacraficing health and aesthetics.

    14. May 13, 2009 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

      @ Nicholas – for a DIY version of the frag rocks, check out the Mounting “Pegging” video at http://www.reefvideos.com

    15. pavlo
      May 13, 2009 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

      seeing that gen-x pump reminded me of something else that is thankfully OUT: bad customer service…. IN: competition between suppliers and manufacturers, resulting in lower cost and better customer service for consumers. thank you capitalism! 🙂

    16. Matt
      May 17, 2009 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

      I think there are few areas in this hobby that are as “faddish” as skimmers. I would agree that Cones are “in”, ironically, despite RE’s Klaus Jansen not bringing one to market in 2005, and found a double cone more (as in the SuperMarins) efficient. So does that mean that the non-cone, non-SuperMarin BKs are “out”?!?

    2 Trackbacks

    1. […] post regarding the ins and outs of reef aquaria prompted some antagonistic comments regarding my statement that the balling method and automated two part is currently  in-trend, […]

    2. […]  http://glassbox-design.com/2009/current-ins-and-outs-of-reef-aquaria/ […]

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