Blog Archives

Zebra Eel (Gymnomuraena zebra) in Reef Tank – 8+ Year Update

Zebra Eel (Gymnomuraena zebra) in Reef Tank – 8+ Year Update








Sick Pajama Cardinal

I started with 5 Pajama Cardinals (Sphaeramia nematoptera) 5-6 years ago and over the years they slowly died off. The last one looked beautiful for at least a year and then slowly started to deteriorate. Today I noticed she was doing this death spiral. I assume the end is near. 😦







Green Hair Algae REMOVAL – Dolabella Sea Hare (Dolabella auricularia)

The Dolabella Sea Hare is the horse of the sea! I’ve had quite a few of them over the years and they do one heck of a job cleaning up the green hair algae in the tank. The only problem is that they will starve if you don’t continue to feed them or find friends with tanks full of food so keep that in mind.

Algae Scrubber Update: Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 43 weeks

Turbo Aquatics L2 Revision 3 algae scrubber update. Starting to grow a bit of dark green hair algae around the edges of the scrubber pad.





Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 71 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 26 weeks

Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 71 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 26 weeks

Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 65 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 20 weeks

Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 65 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 20 weeks

Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 62 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 17 weeks

Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 62 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 17 weeks

Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 58 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 13 weeks

Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 58 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 13 weeks 

Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 54 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 9 weeks

Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 54 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 9 weeks
SURF2 & Turbo Aquatics L2 algae scrubber update.

Hydroid Jellyfish ID – Just Poke It!

Out of the corner of my eye I noticed what I thought was an anemone move in my tank. I took a closer look and watched an amphipod run into the anemone and it shot off like a jellyfish! Turns out it was a Hydroid Jellyfish. It might have came in on some chaetomorpha I got from LiveAquaria as that’s the only thing I’ve added to the tank for quite some time. Sounds like they aren’t too big of a problem in a reef tank so I wont worry too much about it.

Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 49 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 4 weeks

Algae scrubber update video: SURF2 – 49 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 4 weeks

Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 47 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 2 weeks

Algae scrubber update video : SURF2 – 47 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 2 weeks


Saltwater Aquarium Update

A couple update pictures:

Squamosa Clam and True Percula Clownfish

The big squami leaves just enough room for the clown to sleep.

blotched two bar rabbitfish

The Rabbitfish waking up in the morning looks pretty cool!

Longspine Cardinalfish (Zoramia leptacantha)

A couple new Longspine Cardinalfish (Zoramia leptacantha) for the tank. They are a little scared now but seem to be getting more comfortable with their tank mates.




True Percula Clownfish hosting in T. Squamosa Clam

True Percula Clownfish hosting in T. Squamosa Clam




Reeflo Snapper/Dart Hybrid Pump Upgrade

I recently purchased a Reeflo Snapper/Dart Hybrid Pump to replace my Mag Drive 24 return pump. I left the higher flow impeller in the Reeflo pump and I would say it has about the same, or a little more, flow than the Mag Drive 24. I’m sure my funky plumbing drops the flow a little bit but it still allows me to use the Mag 24 as a backup.

It’s unbelievable how quiet this pump is compared to the Mag 24! I can barely tell it’s running. Best of all, the drone from the Mag 24 is gone which seemed to echo through the house. I can only imagine the fish are a lot happier with the quieter pump. I’ll probably save around $10-$12 a month in electricity too. So far I’m a very happy camper!




Aquarium Update 10-28-14 – 11 Months

11 month update. Fish and corals are fairly happy. The refugium is full of pods. I still need to get the green hair algae under control. Phosphate levels ~ 0, Nitrates ~7 ppm.




Aquarium Update 10-28-14 – 11 Months

Wow has life been busy here lately. A few big deadlines at work due by the end of the year… hopefully after that I can get back into water world. I’m still changing water and doing routine maintenance but the hair algae still persists. Water tests this evening showed phosphates registering at ~0 and nitrates at ~7 ppm. The tank has been up and running for 11 months now and I’m hoping to hit the “less green” phase. 🙂

Here’s an update video of what the refuge and tank looks like:

Aquarium Update 9-15-14 – 9.5 Months

Aquarium Update 9-15-14 – 9.5 Months




Dragonface Pipefish (Corythoichthys sp.)

Just added 3 Dragonface Pipefish, as known as Reeftop Pipefish, to the display tank this evening. None of the other fish in the tank seem to be bothering them. I hope that two of the three will pair up. It looks like two of them are pretty cozy already. 🙂











Santa Monica SURF2 Algae Scrubber Review

In an effort to reduce green hair algae in my saltwater aquarium, and to help water quality, I’ve decided to add an algae scrubber to the system. After watching a few YouTube videos (at the bottom) I was sold. So, after looking at my feeding program I decide to purchase a SURF2 Algae Scrubber for Santa Monica Filtration. This small unit was not cheap at $299 + shipping but I think it will be a great long-term addition to the system.  After picking up the unit today from the post office I’m happy to see that the scrubber seems to be built for the long run. 🙂 The construction of the floating growth container is very solid and the lid is nice and heavy. Not sure why I assume quality with a product’s weight but I’ll go with it. After a few weeks of cycling we should see some green stuff! Here area  few photos I took of the SURF2:

Santa Monica SURF2 floating surface Ribbon Scrubber with Green Grabber surfaces - 2 cubes feeding per day

Unpacking my SURF2 algae scrubber from Santa Monica Filtration.

Santa Monica Surf2 Algae Scrubber Super-Red 660nm LED lid

Here’s what the bottom of the SURF2 algae scrubber looks like. This side shines down on the algae in the floating growth container.

Santa Monica Surf2 Algae Scrubber Super-Red 660nm LED lid

The LEDs that light this unit are really bright! As you can see there are four super-red 660nm LEDs to get the job done.

Santa Monica Surf2 Algae Scrubber Growth Box

Here’s where the magic happens! This evening I will “seed” the growth compartment by rubbing some green hair algae on the inside of the box. The idea is to get a good culture on the sides of the box and harvest the algae that grows on the strings. It should take about a week to cycle the box and another couple of weeks before it’s time to harvest the algae.

Santa Monica SURF2 Algae Scrubber Growth Box with Green-Grabber Surface

The “Green-Grabber” side wall material of the SURF2 provides a lot of places where algae spores can populate. This surface seems to be very durable!

Santa Monica SURF2 Box Air Line Openings

The bottom of the SURF2 has a few openings to allow air to be pumped in. The air helps oxygenate the algae and move water in and out of the unit.

Santa Monica SURF2 floating surface Ribbon Scrubber

The LED lid sits nice and snug over the top of the growth box. I think I might float this unit right in my refugium.

Santa Monica SURF2 Algae Scrubber Instructions

I thought it was kind of interesting that the LEDs need to be turned off for at least 2 hours a day, make sense though. I will be using an open outlet on my APEX controller to program a light schedule. The instruction included with the unit provide some very useful insight on how to finely tune in the scrubber’s algae production via the trouble shooting section.

Fusion Air Pump - Model 700 - for SURF2 Algae Scrubber

The folks at Santa Monica Filtration recommended using a Fusion aquarium air pump (model 700) to supply the air to the unit. An air pump is not included so I picked up two (one for a backup).

My Video Updates:

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Day 84 (12 weeks):


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