Saturday, July 1, 2017

Hold the presses; don’t buy any aquarium lighting system to you’ve seen this video.

Hold the presses; don’t buy any aquarium lighting system to you’ve seen this video.

Each 150-watt LED light bulb holds 60 LED’s, that’s 180 LED’s in one lamp. Each light bulb is rated at 5000K, 2200 lumens of brightness. At less than ¼ the cost of a Kessil Amazon Sun you can make your own lighting system that not only is brighter than a Kessil pendent light but also can easily be fixed if one of the bulbs burns out prematurely on you.

I have seen and heard stories of LED strip lights going bad just after a few months of use. I had two LED light strips myself go bad after a few months. I have been told that even the Kessil as good as they are, will fail when lest expected. With my lighting system each LED light is independent from the other and is easily fixable within less than 60 seconds. The entire pendent only uses 68.4 watts of power.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Plants stop growing even with CO2 and fertilization being added...why?

QUOTE from a plant forum:



I've had planted tanks for years now. My 75 gallon is fitted with Kissell lighting, pressurized CO2 and dosing with dry fertilizers. 

For years plants kept growing like crazy and I was sick of trimming them. Then, suddenly they stopped growing completely and started getting covered with diatom algae. Most fast-growing plants died off and I was left with just the moderate/slow growing plants. There was no change in terms of the tank's maintenance/conditions...

Now I've started again with new plants, CO2 and dosing, but my plants are not pearling again!!! I used to read forums where people complained about their plants not growing and used to wonder how that was even possible - coz plants need light, CO2 and fertilization. But strange that despite my providing all three, it's NOT working!!!

I've even tried switching from dry ferts to Flourish line of products, but that didn't work. Could my Kessil Tuna Sun lighting be an issue? (I used them when my plants were growing like crazy and the lighting is still pretty new and bright).
ANY suggestions/recommendations would be MUCH appreciated!!! I'd love for my plants to start growing/pearling like they used to!!!

Thanks in advance!”


What is being asked above is just one example of what happens when plants need a resting period and/or your substrate is exhausted of all nutrients to accommodate your plant’s needs. Nonetheless, if you read the top question carefully you may find there is a lot of information missing like parameters of CO2, pH, Nitrates, does substrate sit directly on bottom of tank, substrate oxygen levels, Redox, TDS, etc.., etc... The questions to this question could go on and on and most hobbyist will think it’s time to start anew with newer and better substrate; some costing hundreds of dollars.
However, don’t throw that old substrate away because it’s time to rejuvenate it with iron once again. In most cases it’s not the substrate but it’s how the tank was initially set up in the first place. Very fine substrates, example: sand and/or dirt, will cause the most problems in the long run because they will compact even more so than other mediums will or should I say they will show the first signs of trouble in the least amount of time given. This has already been scientifically proven, but some hobbyist refuses to heed to science disciplines an insist on using these mediums as a cheap alterative substrate in closed systems. Water movement through the substrate will change and so will its electrical properties as far as mV readings go. Hobbyist do not own the right testing equipment to test such changes in the substrate so these insults, chemical and biological changes go unabated far months or even years. If back in the late seventies using these substrates failed: Then why would they work any differently today using the same methods?

The link above will tell you of a very cheap product that will once again enhance your substrate to its original state. The product/s are called Ironite (this is a substitute for Laterite clay because it’s getting harder to find in the UK and USA) and CaribSea's Eco Complete substrate[1]. In the USA Ironite is sold in most garden centers and hardware store across the country. It does require some rethinking on the hobbyist part on how and why your substrate became exhausted and did not replenish itself from the water column with new nutrients and ions.

As we all know farmers rotate their crops as not to exhaust the ground of all its nutrients and sometimes even plant nutrient giving plants in their fields like Medicago sativa (Alfalfa) so as not to exhaust any available nutrient supply that is left in the soil.

 Well the same thing happens in our aquatic planted tanks but hobbyists think just because they add fertilizers to the substrate that, that will do the trick. Moreover, because the substrate has not been lifted off the bottom of the aquarium (like using a plenum) the chemical and biological pathway that were once open to chemical and biological mediators has now stopped or slowed down to the point that available ions are not moving in and out of the substrate as freely as when first set up. Now the substrate has become and algae friendly source of food and higher order plants hobbyist use are exposed to these inhibitors from anaerobic zones from the substrate that impede the plants ability to photosynthesize. Algae on the other hand is a lover of Nitrates, ammonia ions and phosphates and the soil/substrate then become too acidic, that they become the dominating factor in the ecosystem along with the unwanted cyanobacteria that plagues ponds and aquarium alike. Until the substrate becomes open to the chemical and biological mediators and once again to oxygen it will stay as a death pool or a plant inhibitor.

As we all know farmers an even golf courses as with their turf, will aerate the ground by either turning it over or by aerating tools that will punch holes or core the turf to keep it open to aid beneficial bacteria. Aerating or aeration is nothing new to gardeners and formers but it seems to be something that hobbyist have overlooked by placing a substrate directly on the bottom of their tanks and not allowing oxygen to penetrate unabated into their substrates. Time then become their enemy and it seems like time always wins the battel of oxygen depredation in the substrate. Hobbyist depend on the diffusion of ions will always be open to mediators but this has been proven it’s just not so.

When I experimented with different substrates with the Anoxic Filtration System, permeability and porewater capability with different substrates change with time because of unforeseen insults that change the electrical properties of the substrate. Over time the permeability and porewater management will change and in most cases, will change for the worse than the better.

 The biggest biological filter of a planted tank is the substrate yet most hobbyist fail to realize their mistakes until the precipice of algae and cyanobacteria take over and dominate the higher order plants they are trying to grow. Affirmative action now must be taken and soon. It will not matter how much light, fertilizers or CO2 is added to the system because chemical and biological mediators are not working properly any longer.

To rectify this problem is easy and it does not require the hobbyist to buy new and/or better substrate. It is now time to do it right and forget about what you thought was the right way and this time do it right once and for all. The substrate has to be one that is lifted off the bottom of the tank glass bottom using a plenum and then add a ½” of substrate on top of the plenum. Then add Ironite, about 1/8” or less on top of that, then add the rest of the substrate to build the substrate up to 3-4” high for good root and root hair development. Make sure when you plant your plants that you do not disturbed this Ironite layer are it will turn your tank cloudy. It will look unsightly for a few days but it will eventually subside.

You have now have added iron back into the substrate to benefit not only the plants but also the bacteria that in their initial inceptive cell development need the iron ion to speed up growth. Now the diffusion of ions through the substrate will be unimpeded and oxygen and ions through electrical charge will stay open to biological and chemical mediators for years to come. I have had tanks set up for over 10-years without ever having a complete teardown of the system and Nitrates were at a low 5-ppm or less. Oxygen levels were at 1-ppm to .5-ppm in the substrate, low, but still good enough to keep heterotrophic facultative bacteria alive and working and leaving the ammonia ion for the plants to assimilate. I have Biocenosis clarification baskets set up in a similar theoretical way in an Anoxic filter stay open to chemical and biological mediators far over 28-years now without clogging and changing the porewater and permeability of the baskets themselves.

 Plants look for the ammonia ion first before they will use the Nitrogen ion because it is a food source that requires less chemical work and energy for their amino acids and proteins. Nevertheless, hydrogen sulfide and methane are not part of the equation that plants as a foodsource need, but this is exactly what hobbyist are producing when they add a substrate directly to the bottom of an aquarium. If you could look underneath a fish tank with the substrate directly on the bottom you would see in just a few months the blackening of the substrate.

Here is a true example of just how important oxygen is to plant roots. Martha Stewart opens her house and gardens for people to visit from time to time. After showing her garden off to onlookers a few days later her lawn began to die off. Her gardener was perplexed over this very strange outcome and thought it was some kind of lawn disease that was killing off the grass. However, what they found out was prior to the showing of her garden it had rained and made the ground soft. By people walking on the lawn they compacted the earth to the point that oxygen depredation was taking place and the grass started dying off. It was not because of a diseased as they had thought, but because the roots of the grass no longer received oxygen and nutrients as they did preceding the showing.

 The same thing happens in our aquariums. The substrate become more compact as time goes on just through gravity. If the substrate was on the low side of oxygen requirement by placing the substrate directly on the bottom of the aquarium in the first place then it will not take much more to cut off the oxygen altogether and cause oxygen depredation in the substrate. The exchange of ions will be hindering the chemolithotrophs/chemoautotrophic to fix their carbon needs.

 Here is another interesting read on my blog about Nitrates in ponds but it also applies to aquariums, too. Think very hard about placing fertilizer tabs that are nothing but nitrates into your substrate. In fact, anything that can saturate the substrate full of Nitrates and phosphates be apprehensive about using.

QUOTE from Takayuki Ezaki MD; Ph.D. Prof. bacteriologist.

“Nitrate will affect your TDS readings - the other damaging effect of nitrates were explained 14 years ago, Takayuki Ezaki MD; Ph.D. Prof. bacteriologist, writing on behalf of the ZNA Research Division, shared his observations of the effect of nitrates on the white ground of Kohaku. He urged that the maximum concentration of nitrate be 15 ppm, stating: "Anything more than this and the skin gradually begins to deteriorate, improving again as the concentration lessens." He recommended that if nitrates can be kept at 5 ppm or less, "the skin becomes so white it virtually shines". He ascribed the negative effect of nitrates on (1) reduced the ability to discharge metabolic toxins from the body, resulting in buildup of metabolic wastes in the skin, and (2) on the pond water becoming less receptive to dissolution of atmospheric oxygen into the water. He expressed the view that nitrate levels above 10 ppm adversely affect oxygen dissolving into the water column such that saturation levels at given temperatures cannot be readily maintained.”  Several scientists have studied mineral levels in different bodies of water, and have found that the levels of phosphates and nitrates heavily impact the overall health of the water and its inhabitants. (Yanamadala, 2005)

 Remember that plants will only start pearling during photosynthesis only when oxygen levels in the tank are at saturation point for a given temperature. The colder the water is, the easier it is for plants to start pearling at a given temperature and the easier it is for the water to reach oxygen saturation point. The warmer the water, the harder it is for oxygen to reach saturation point of that given temperature. As an aquarium substrate begins to age and chemical and biological pathway becoming impeded oxygen saturation levels cannot be reached as easily as when the aquarium was newly setup as explained above.

I’m trying not to get into a lot of science here like I do in my blog:

But sometimes understanding what we scientist know will really help the hobbyist in understand why some things go array and for what reasons they do.

Some more interesting reading that hobbyist may like to read about fertilizer tabs that so many use in ponds and fish tanks and the reduction of ions in the substrate.




[1] QUOTE: “With CaribSea's Eco Complete substrate, you can add vibrancy to your freshwater or saltwater aquarium as well as bring out the color of your plants, fish and other aquatic life. Containing essential nutrients, including iron, calcium, magnesium and sulfur in addition to over 25 other mineral supplements, CaribSea Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate is the healthy choice for your aquarium plants and other aquatic life. CaribSea's all-natural formula makes the perfect substrate to not only enhance the look of your aquarium, but to also maintain the health of your live plants and keep them well nourished. Unlike most synthetic aquarium rocks, CaribSea Eco Complete contains a live Heterotrophic Bacteria, which is beneficial for sustaining a healthy aquatic environment as it helps to convert organic waste into a natural plant food. This Eco Complete fish tank rock gravel comes in a range of large and small grain gravel sizes that makes for a porous foundation for plants, which stimulates for healthy root growth and optimal bacterial efficiency. This substrate helps to maintain a healthy aquatic environment as it will not increase pH or water hardness as it is free of any carbonates and nitrates. This beautiful dark substrate creates a stunning contrast, which not only brings out the brilliant colors of your fish and live plants, but also helps to reduce fish stress. Add CaribSea Eco Complete substrate to your aquarium today and watch your plants flourish and your fish thrive.”

NOTE: Cyanobacteria is about 4-5 billion years old and becomes the dominating bacteria once other bacteria become depleted or reduce.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

How not to fail with Monte Carlo and Dwarf Baby Tears

How not to fail with Monte Carlo and Dwarf Baby Tears

As you can see the Micranthemum Monte Carlo and Heminathus callitrichoides Dwarf Baby Tears is growing just fine under my homemade LED lighting pendent; slow but not dyeing and full of alga.  The Monte Carlo is said to be a very easy to grow plant but if you read the plant forums it is far from easy to grow and keeps dyeing on hobbyist and the Dwarf Baby Tears is considered to be a very hard to grow plant, needing lots of strong light and fertilizers. 
However, in this SCA aquarium using the 6500K and 5000K Bright Stiks (NOTE: almost any LED bulb that 5000k will do.) lighting system that I talk about in my video on how to make for a fraction of the cost of a Amazon Sun Kessel pendent lighting system. Both plants after going through a four-month acclimation period are now starting to grow and prosper just fine.
I’m a believer that less is more when it comes to aquatic plants. What I mean is:
Stay away from substrate fertilizers and only add drops of liquid Iron and
Potassium to the system on a daily basis. Anytime you add fertilizer tabs or
any add Nitrogen in any form to the substrate you risk eutrophication in the
substrate that will then migrate, through percolation, osmoses, convection or it
can even leach through the substrate by diffusion of nutrient into the
waterbody. The outcome will be a eutrophic aquarium that in a natural system
takes hundreds of years to create and you will have done it in just a few

Fertilizers in the form of Nitrogen are the worst to add to any aquarium so don’t be
hoodwinked into doing it just because some proclaimed expert tells you to.
Plants are looking for the Ammonium ion and not the Nitrogen ion as some would
like you to believe. In fact, some plants have not learned how to utilize
nitrogen and store it in their cells and begin to rot because Nitrogen must be
converted back into ammonia in a twostep reduction proses that takes energy and
work to do so by the plant. Plants take ammonia 24 hrs a day 7 days a week but
will only take Nitrogen during photosynthesis and not at night when the plant
shuts down its reduction process.

Substrates,  if set up correctly will bring nutrients through it by diffusion and/or convection to the plant roots without human intervention. Doing so will prevent the on slot of cyanobacteria and unwanted Algae.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Today’s video is on Filter Socks…are they Nitrate producers like some allege them to be?

Today’s video is on Filter Socks…are they Nitrate producers like some allege them to be?

The short answer is they are no more a Nitrate producer than any other filter or medium holder you use or even the substrate you use. My video will explain why the misconceiving notion that these socks will fill your tank with Nitrates is just nonsense. If one of these socks fills your tank with Nitrates then your system is not in balance and you have more nitrates making bacteria than bacteria that will utilize Nitrates either as a foodsource or steal its oxygen from that ion.

To learn more about these specialized bacteria go to:

 7" Filter Sock...Nitrate producer or not?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Building an Anoxic Filter suitable for both indoors and outdoors by: Milos Laznicka

Dear Dr. Novak,

Syd aka Manky Sanke suggested me in his response to forward this e-mail also to you - as you are following up on new developments with Your great invention - so hope you may find it an inspiring application of Your great anoxic filter invention into quite universal indoor - outdoor setup while minimizing footprint of it.

I have attached short power point with couple pictures and few comments hopefully helpful for someone else who may face the same space constraints as I did. Though I understand the principle of anoxic filter operation quite well given my degree in biochemistry and biotechnology background (though I am out of it for over 30 years by now) I am keen to see how it will work in my particular setup - and if by a chance it may also help to reduce DOC as well as I have seen commented on in one of the posts on internet. If it would do it, than in reality only RDF followed by anoxic filter might be all what would be needed - no protein skimmers, moving bed bio-filters etc. needed any more - wow - sounds like dream come true finally.

Thank you.

Milos Laznicka - life long aquarium hobbyist and rather novice Koi keeper.

Hi Syd,

Hope this e-mail finds you well.
I could not resist - after reading so great reviews - and your great articles about the Dr. Kevin Novak's Anoxic Filter invention to try to build one and see how it works in real life in my setup.

As my wife did not allowed me to build third pond in our garden - after 9.000L original golden fish and Water Lilly pond, newer 24.000L Koi pond the third would be for anoxic filter - instead I had to look for minimized footprint solution - so I used 600L ICB tank with 40cm opening and built in drain valve - produced commercially - and sold either as new (for 192 Euro here) or used one for half the price - this design allows for placing it both outdoors or indoors as required - as I have not found similar design anywhere on the internet so far, I thought you might want to share it with other Koi hobbyists facing similar problem - not enough space / missing construction permit for open anoxic filter in their garden.
I am attaching short presentation with photos and commentary added - should be self-explanatory.

Parameters of my pond:

Finally precisely measured volume - 24.000L
Never had problem with NO2 (0) or NO3 (under 20), pH 7, GH 4-5 deg., KH 3-4 deg
I have netted out of it about 68 gold fish this Spring to make room for more koi - now total of 21 Koi ranging from 10cm to 50cm.
I am heating over the winter (DEC - FEB) using 3kW flow thru electric heater set at 7 deg. Celsius - outside of DEC - FEB I use 5kW heat pump - since March running at 15 degrees Celsius and MAY - SEP at 23 deg. Celsius - with separated pumped circuit - shut down in DEC - FEB.
So now I am interested to see how the anoxic filter works - and if eventually I would be able to shut down my Nexus 220 original filter - and depend solely on RF followed by anoxic filter only.

I will report how is the water quality doing - so fat almost gin clear - RDF does really great job in mechanical filtration of my pumped setup - I do not need to clean my Nexus 220 2 - 3 times per week as prior I installed the RDF earlier this Spring - now I do it only once per month.......can only recommend to everyone - getting the detritus and fallen leafs out of the water immediately - passing cleared water into the biochemical filtration of Nexus 220 (with 150L of K1) and the newly added anoxic filter with up to 18 biocenosis baskets.
Hope this will help other Koi hobbyists to get into anoxic filtration using minimal footprint available.

In response to Milos letter:

Hello Milos,

After reading your e-mail and looking at your Anoxic PDF file I realize that the Anoxic Filter has come a long way in innovated ideals and better use of its resources.  I will be using a smaller version of the Anoxic Filter in my SCA 50 aquarium sump as soon as weather permits.  Using an Anoxic Filter with aquariums will be the next step in water quality that most hobbyist have never experience.

It’s nice to see that the Anoxic Filter is being embraced more by the pond hobby than it was several years ago when it was introduced to the hobbyist. So many thought because of not understanding many of the words and terms I used or the science behind the system, that it would never be a substitute for conventional filtration systems. Syd, over in the UK has done so much in getting people excited about the filtration system and with his knowledge and perceptive writings on the subject about the Anoxic Filtration System that I don’t think it would be as well embraced by individuals as it is today if I wasn’t for him.

Though I have never personally met Syd (AKA: Manky Sanke) or the many other hobbyist (Dr. Franco from Italy) like yourself that now uses and write about the Anoxic Filtration System, as a scientist, how does one express their appreciation to others for their time spent innovating the system and the countless photos they have taken and sent me. You along with others set a new bar with the Anoxic Filter that I thought would never be reach. It is very much appreciated on my part to those that have given so much faith in the system.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Review of a Current eFlux 1900-gph DC pump with flow control.

Review of a Current eFlux 1900-gph DC pump with flow control.

If there is one thing I loathe about aquariums with sumps and overflows is the noise from splashing water going into the weirs overflow and then the return water into the sump via the pluming. I have written and made some YouTube videos on how to remedy this problem by adding a reducer endcap at the end of the return 1” pipe in the sump that equals that of the pumps output. Most pumps will never meet the requirement of a 1” pipes fulfilment to make it a solid full suction pipe.  However, once that problem is remedied to one’s satisfaction then the next issue is the return pump that is the heart of the system making noise and/or heating up the aquariums water.

After buying the SCA 50 gallon Starfire Glass Aquarium complete package which comes with an Atman PH2500 return pump, (650-gph with a 7.5’ head shut off using 45.5 watts of power) is not quite the right pump for complete control over the restricted water coming from the weir into the sump via a 1” return pipe. It works, but because of the pumps short comings of a reduced amount of torque and only pumping at a measly 275-gph due to head pressure it would falter in keeping the weirs water level at a precise preset water mark.  Note: If water in the weir drains too slow to the sump the water will then rise in the weir until it begins to trickle down the emergency standpipe and make noise. If it drains too fast, then the sumps return pipe will start sucking in air with water and begin to make and unbearable noise in the sump and weir too. Therefore, you need a pump that can overcome these hindrances in keeping water levels steady in the weir and keeping the whole system quiet when running.

It now was time to get a more competent pump to do the job than the smaller Atman that came with the setup could not do. In my aquariums, I like moving volumes of water from point A to point B as fast as possible without hindering the inhabitance daily routine. This way particulate matter gets into the mechanical filter and out of the waterbody giving it a clean polished look. Velocity on the other hand, may deceive the hobbyist into a false sense security that they are moving lots of water when they have only restricted volume and turnover rate of the aquariums pump. Because the SCA comes with Duckbill outlets as part of the pluming, to stimulate velocity, a stronger pump will do the same plus add the needed volume output to keep the system cleaner. Most aquarium turnover rates should be between 5-10 ratio of the tanks volume and I prefer to keep turnover at the higher mark. All pumps in this review can be use internally or externally if needed.

 Choice one on my short list was the Eheim model 1262 hobby pump (898-gph, head 11.8’ to shut off and 80 watts of power consumption priced at $ 179.99 USD.).  Eheim is one of the better aquarium products out there in my opinion for the hobbyist in as far as reliability and quietness.  Been using Eheim filters and pumps now far over 30-years with nothing but good and positive results.
The second pump on my list is the Supreme Mag Drive (MD 18) pump. (1800-gph, head shut off @ 16.85’ ,145 watts and cost $184.99 USD.) At present time, I’m using a 2400-gph (MD24) on my pond and this pump has been running now nonstop far over 15-years. The MD 18 is my backup pump in case the MD 24 would ever need servicing or quit. Noisy, yes, but the reliability is on par with the best.  They are available at most hobbyist stores and Garden Centers and have a very wide network outside of just buying them on the internet.

The third pump on my list is the Current eFlux 1900 DC Pump, one of three in its line of hobbyist’s pumps, with flow control and the ability to have add on power heads or Loop system if that is a must for biotic reef keepers. Current USA, in case you haven’t heard of them sell aquarium lighting and have been around far a long time, if not one of the oldest lighting companies in the hobby. This is the pump this review is all about. It’s rated at 380-1900gph veritable controlled rheostat that not only lessen the water output but also the electrical consumption of the pump too, from 11-55 watts, with a shut off head @ 14.75’ and costing $178.95 USD. I paid far less for the one I bought than the give price listed. The price point of all three of these pumps is about the same and each one of them has a better head shutoff than the smaller Atman pump that came with the SCA system.

However, the eFlux pump nudged the other two contenders out of the picture because the eFlux uses less electrical energy than the others do along with a higher gph output and with very good torque. It uses what is called an enclosed turbine impeller, the same as used in air-raid sirens and professional leaf blowers. Runs cooler than the Mag Drive and Eheim pumps and takes up less room in the sump than the Eheim. The only part on the eFlux 1900 that gets warm is the AC/DC power converter that sits on the outside connected by an Umbriel cord to the pumps control center and that’s it. The motor itself seems to not have any influence on water temperature like the Supreme pumps do. 

 It’s also a 24-volt DC pump which makes it safer because of it low pure DC voltage and not the very dangerous AC voltage. DC voltage sources are more constant or should I say cleaner power source than AC and such motors are always used in High End turntables because of their stability. It wasn’t long ago when stray AC current from submersible pumps in salt water aquariums was to be grounded with a Titanium probe to earth because of stray voltage bothering the sense organ called the lateral line in fish.

Some of the key selling words that advertisers use in selling pumps is ultra-quiet, whisper-quiet, quite operation, virtually silent and silent running[1]. None of these adjectives are true in my opinion because being an owner of all three of these pumps I do not find then to be dead quite or silent running as the advertisements lead the consumer to believe. In my experience, the lesser the pumps water output the less noise it will make when running under load. None of these pumps fall into that category of reduced water output and therefore hum noise is unavoidable.  How much noise is audible from a DC pump is from 20dB-55dB and is up to the consumer and their tolerance level for pump hum noise if that is too loud.  The eFlux does make hum noise and doesn’t fall under the umbrella of “dead quiet”, but nothing I find to be out of place with a pump of this magnitude comparing it to its top-of-the-line AC brethren. With that said, you can buy quieter DC pumps but they may cost you an added $100-300 dollars more than the eFlux 1900 does and have more bells and whistles added to them via their controls (see Ed. Notes).

The trim pot and/or rheostat that comes with the eFlux 1900 pump is not a very precise actuator and will turn the pump on to full throttle even though it may still have more room for adjustment. It probably would be better off if Current USA just had six preset buttons on the controls with indicator lights and just leave it at that. So, don’t think you can dial in the pump so precisely (as some have stated in advertising) for an Animal Bean Overflow and do away with expensive valves instead; it’s just not made for that kind of accurate output control.

 Since I’m using a reducer endcap that I came up with on my 1” return (as shown on my YouTube video) to the sump from the weir, no problems on turning the eFlux to full output using the ½” return/s pipe with no restrictions into the aquarium. With the Atman pump the reducer endcap has a 7/16 hole (3.25psi or 7.5 foot of head) in it and the new endcap using the eFlux 1900 pump has a 17/32 hole in it (6.5psi or 14.75 foot of head). That makes it 22.5 % larger, making that much more water to go through the whole filtering system. A 22.5% larger hole may not sound like much until you realize that about 650gph is now going through the system verses the 275gph with the Atman pump.[2]

 Water flow is accurate enough (as can be expected) with the eFlux 1900 no matter how full the sump is or how low the water is in the sump. This was a problem with the Atman pump that would change the water in the weirs water height too when sump water levels went low. It did not have enough torque to overcome these obstacles. 

I know I left a lot out of this review but I though most of that information would be impertinent and most hobbyist just want to know is the product being review worth the price of admission or not?  I feel that DC energy efficient pumps are going to nudge out their counterpart AC pumps one day like LED’s have extinguished the Metal Halide and T5 and T8 lights of the past. With cost going south for DC pumps like the Current USA eFlux 1900, that now makes such great pumps like Eheim and Supreme Mag Drive performance and energy efficiency behindhand in caparison to DC pumps. So, one must ask: Why would you buy old technology when the newer technology is so much better? After all we don’t use cathode ray tubes anymore because better and more efficient technology has superseded it, not because it didn’t work.
eFlux Pump

MD 18

Eheim pump

My recommendation is this: You can never have too much of a good thing until you don’t need it. DC pumps with their rheostats controlled outputs or push button water regulation really are the future of this aquarium hobby. They give you room to expand when it is needed and may save you money on additional power heads and pumps in the future along with saving room on electrical cords and valuable real state on that power strip. For the price, I find the eFlux 1900 to be worth the cost of admission and then some. AC is out and adjustable DC is now in. It now gives me the water movement I want and turnover rate without sacrificing velocity over volume.

Ed note: I’m sure there are quieter DC pumps out there put at what cost? Will that cost be justified in better quality of the pumps stator and rotor or just added gimmicks? They all seem to have ceramic bearings and shafts so where does all the extra hundreds of dollars go for? Plus caution must be taken with some DC pumps because they come from Europe and have metric fittings and oddball size connectors that nothing here in the USA, as for as PVC piping goes, will fit it, so the hobbyist must use only the fitting that are provided with the pump.

[1] Some advertising terms used: QUOTE: “Epoxy filled, hermetically sealed, low energy consumption motors result in silent, efficient operation while surpassing the highest safety standards”. And “Quiet Operation, the sealed DC motor and magnetic drive design allows the pumps to run virtually silent.”

[2] This output would be significantly better if a ¾” or 1” pipe I.D. output was being used instead of the ½” I.D. pipe.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Poor mans Kessil aquarium lighting Part 2

Poor mans Kessil aquarium lighting Part 2… Making your aquarium lighting even brighter for deeper aquariums.

In this video I will explain how to modify the Zoo Med light housing to accommodate not just the two light bulbs but how to add a third one. This then will give you 90 LED instead of the 48 that comes with the Bright Stik’s alone. Plus it will add 5000K color to the mix (6500k) to give you that Kessil look if so desired.