Saturday, February 18, 2017
Saturday, December 31, 2016
As a scientist I only tell people what is really necessary to achieve ones means not how to go broke doing it.
Nothing new about LED’s, they came out in 1961, only the way they are now implemented into the Aquarium trade and hobby. This reminds me of Mercedes-Bens at one time was at the foremost in innovation and technology in the automotive industry and now cars like Mitsubishi give you better technology at ten thousand dollars less.
As the word gets out about these Bright Stik’s more and more hobbyist are going to realize that Kessil as good as they are, are like the analogy I used above and cannot justify their price to what can be achieved at 1/4 the price. The light bulbs are great and the price of only $15.95 USD @ 100-watts 6500k a pair, makes them a fantastic deal. Just look at Jacobs’ Aquarium on YouTube and look how many of these Kessil Tuna Suns he has over his plant pond. He could have done the same thing for less in cost. Starting a business is hard and every cost savings ideal is money in the bank.
This also tells us hobbyist that LED’s can be had for less than what they are being sold for and manufactures now have to start adding bells & whistles to their products to justify cost. The bells & whistles are not a necessity but they are just fun add-ons’ only.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
For those of you that like YouTube videos more than reading, I did a short video on the Bright Stik’s that I have been researching.
For those of you that like YouTube videos more than reading, I did a short video on the Bright Stik’s that I have been researching. Don’t expect this video to be a Stanley Kubrick masterpiece but it does get the point across on how the lights work and work well they do.
In today’s hobby aquarium lighting has become so very subjective in as they have more options built into them than just providing a light source for photosynthesizing of aquatic plants or exaggerating the coloration of our animals. If you’re into the bells and whistles then there is a plethora of already in-the-box aquarium lights out there, however, they do come with a hefty price tag. But if you’re looking for a DIY project that will save you a ton of money then what I have found may just be what the doctor ordered.
Click on the link below for more information and video.
Sunday, December 4, 2016
Though this is not pond related, many pond hobbyists bring their Goldfish indoors for the winter months. This also means that some plants may be added to the aquarium that the fish are in and lighting is a big plus in order to keep the plants alive.
A poor man’s Kessil overhead planted aquarium light system.
Kessil a division of DiCon the parent company, aquarium can lights have been around for some time now and it is unmistakable that they have further the popularity of the aquatic planted aquarium interest. They have now through obsolescent, single handedly crush the Metal Halide lights of days of yore that we hobbyists use. With their cool operation, high light output to electrical power consumption with LED cluster magnification system and adjustable light output they have achieved a highwater mark for what other lighting systems now must achieve. They are very compact into a small can size light fixture and allow easy access (because they sit above the tanks water surface by several inches) for tank maintenance without the burden of removing light strips that sit on top of the aquarium. That was one thing I always disliked about strip lights, once removed, now you can’t see in the aquarium to do water changes.
The reviewers rave about Kessil lights to the point that the reviewer must now try and justify the very expensive cost to the number of LED’s in the unit to dollar amount. This cost however does make this lighting system a little difficult for most hobbyist to afford. The cheapest I have found the two Kessil light models for is $239.oo for the Tuna Sun A160WE and $399.oo USD for the bigger A360WE respectably. Add on a Kessil A series gooseneck mount and that adds another $39.oo USD to the price for each lamp can. If you’re like me and live in a state that makes sure you pay your fair amount of state taxes on internet purchases add 10% more on all orders out of state from internet purchases and you are looking at a whopping $305.80 for the Tuna Sun, the cheaper of the two can lamps.
The one caveat about the Kessil is; it’s hard to justify such a cost of a Tuna Sun for a 20-gal aquarium or better yet, a four-foot aquarium will need two of these lights and now $611.60 USD is out-the-door just to light up a 55-gal aquarium… are you kidding me? No matter how you do the math or try and justify the cost to the number of LED lights, this definitely does not give the impression to be a great deal. But, apparently to some hobbyist this price point, though expensive, is still better than the strip lights that are presently out there. Plus, the Kessil lights gives that shimmer affect at the bottom of the tank that so many hobbyists love to see, just like the Metal Halides do.
Okay, what does all this have to do with the poor man’s Kessil lighting system in my introduction. After some research and experimenting with different lighting systems I found an LED light bulb that has 24 HO LED’s in a small perimeter of 1 ¼” ID that you can add to any light fixture. The lights bulbs are from GE and are called Bright Stik BC Globe in Day Light @ (6500 k) 100w, 1500 lumens of light output as is. You can buy a pair of these light bulbs for $15.95 USD at most retail outlets stores. The only modification that needs to be done to the light bulb, is the removal of the diffuser end cap. It’s because of this end cap the Bright stik is only rated at 1500 lumens. This can either be pulled off or cut off at about ¼” from the base of the light. I just cut the end of the diffuser cap because it was easer that forcibly trying to pry it off. Once the cap is off then the 25-LED’s will be expose and will be in four clusters of six LED’s set evenly inside the circumference of the light bulb.
Just like the Kessil lights that are also very bright because of the cluster of LED’s in such a small circumference; one cannot look directly into one of these Bright Stik lights without some eye impairment, so caution must be taken. The smaller Tuna Sun has 24 LED’s and the larger A360WE has 45 LED’s per light can. So, if you wish to add more light to your aquarium when using a Bright Stik, in other words more LED’s (two will equal 48 LED’s), then add two Bright Stik’s instead of just one to even out the light over the tank; this is what I use on my 27” long aquarium. Each Bright Stik has its own light pendent from Zoo Med (mini size) hanging about 6”-8” from water’s surface. Example: A 24x24x24” 60-gal cubed aquarium would need two Bright Stik’s in a Zoo Med combo deep dome lamp fixture mini.
At Big Apple Pet Supplies in Florida, you can buy a Zoo Med combo for $24.99 USD and I have even fond such for as little as 20.95 per combo on Amazon Plus. The pendent light arms mounts can be bought for as little as $16.95 USD, this is the kind that will stick onto the back of your tank. So instead of paying $305 dollars for a Tuna Sun with Gooseneck mounting arm you can get 200-watts of LED HO lighting for as little as $54.oo USD, that is a cost savings of $251.oo USD. You will still end up with that beautiful tank shimmer that makes the Kessil lights so desirable, too. At the cost for one Tuna Sun and mount you can buy 5 of these combo lighting systems as stated above and have over 1000-watts of lighting system over your aquarium. Imagine placing three of these light combos on top of a 70-gal aquarium, that would give you 8.5-watts per gallon of water @ 600-watts, more than enough light to grow any plant available to the hobbyist all for $162.oo USD. My 400-watt Metal Halide not only would cost more to run in electricity cost than the LED Bright Stik’s(16-watt) but would also create a considerable amount of heat in the tank and outside of the tank, too. Virtually no heat is expended from the bottom of the Zoo Med pendants when the Bright Stik lights have been on for over 10-hours.
I will end this by saying that if the Kessil pendent can lights are your preference then by all means buy what you like and disregard what you have read here. However, if you are like other hobbyist and your wherewithal are in short supply or you can spend your money on better things than on aquarium lights, them by all means check into these Bright Stik’s. I will also make a note here: As an Ichthyologist, I have seen more fish than the average hobbyists will see in their lifetime and these lights bring out the natural colors of fish and plants that closely mimics that of a natural environment at high noon in any aquatic habitat that I have seen. Their color temperature is spot on without the over exaggeration of colors or pigmentation that so many lights give our inhabitance.
Friday, September 30, 2016
Thought you'd like to see how I discretely incorporated your anoxic filter system into my 4500 gal pond three years ago.
Thought you'd like to see how I discretely incorporated your anoxic filter system into my 4500 gal pond three years ago. Most pumped water flows to my main waterfall over two tiered flagstones but about a quarter of the flow is directed toward this upper basin in which I have eight of your baskets. That water flows over the baskets two feet below the surface and then down a small spillway into the lower basin, main pond. My anoxic filter just looks like an upper basin with lots of water lilies, which do a lot better than those in my lower pond.
Sunday, July 31, 2016
Just thought that I would update you on the progress of the pond and send you some pictures. All fish are extremely healthy and well and all survived the winter. Last year I said that I had been a bit disappointed with plant growth and you said that the plants would have to relearn how to absorb nutrients again from the water as opposed to compost. Well they have and the pictures are testament to that. We have had an explosion of plant growth.
Not sure if you remember that I was unable to get Laterite last year so used the JBL AquaBasis plus. I don't think it was up to the job, as the plants were looking very sickly spindly and yellow when they started growing in spring this year. I added a couple of treatments of Velda Ferro plus and the plants burst into health. I have not added any other supplements this year.
I did get some blanket weed in the anoxic pond and the main pond at the start of the year but when the iron kicked the plant growth off, this has gone. Next year I will add some iron earlier.
I did not do a winter or spring clean out as the pond was new last year and it didn't need it. I just cut off all vegetation and left the pump recirculating through the main pond, but this winter I am going to leave it running through the anoxic pond but just bypassing the black box pre-filter.
I currently have about 30 x 5 inch fish and all seems well with nitrite and nitrate at 0. This year has also seen "wildlife" in the pond. We had a visit from a very large frog, a dragonfly, and we have pond skaters, snails, and things resembling wood lice, centipedes and a minute see through prawn. We must have also had a spawning at some point because we spotted one tiny 10mm fish.
So all in all we are thrilled.
Monday, July 18, 2016
I converted my 45,000lts (11887.75 US gallons) Koi pond to an Anoxic filter on 6th June 2011 and have had no problems.
David Collins, the one that wrote this little article is from France. He has been writing about the Anoxic Filtration system for many years now on Koi Forums to let everybody know just how good the Anoxic Filtration System really is. How big are his fish you may ask: 25-32"(63- 76 centimeters) long. Not only that but his pond is very overcrowded, too.
I converted my 45,000lts (11887.75 US gallons) Koi pond to an Anoxic filter on 6th June 2011 and have had no problems. I have only cleaned it twice, the first time after 556 days because there was mulm on top of the baskets and the last time was 4th October 2013 to start with a clean filter when I fitted a rotating drum cleaner.
And so onto today.
I decided that as some of the Koi were looking a bit full of eggs, I’d encourage them to release them - so popped the brushes in. Woke up the next morning to what can only be described as a hell of a mess. Fortunately after 4 or 5 hours of egg laying there followed 8 hours of egg eating. This pattern continued for 6 days. On the positive side it meant no food for 6 days but left my good water trashed……..
My Ammonia (NH3) was up from 0.32mg/L to 1.64mg/L. Not dangerous at 23°C (73.4°) and 6.8 pH but not to my liking. Nitrite on the other hand was up from 0.17mg/L to 1.03mg/L. So to panic or not? Dr. Roddy Conrad of USA fame says don’t panic so that’s what I did, no salt and no water changes.
What I did do was continue the ‘do not feed’ feeding regime and conduct some daily monitoring with the Hanna HI83203. From the first day the parameters started to fall, the NH3 by 20% per day and the NO2 by 25% per day. Five days later I’m back to feeding 500grms of 44% protein food with NH3 at 0.4 mg/L & NO2 at 0.18mg/L.
Conclusion? The Anoxic filter system is without a doubt the best filter in the world. Everybody should have one.
The photo will give you some idea on just how murky the pond water will become after a spawning. Photo taken from internet archives.