New HID Lighting on Aquatic Life Aquarium Lighting Systems

HID Bulb from Aquatic LifeThe possibility of encountering and getting to use new gadgets is definiately one of the coolest perks in working at That Fish Place. Particularly in the aquarium hobby, lots of technology is constantly being developed to make things easier.

The most recent example of this has come in from a new vendor for us: Aquatic Life.

Several of their new aquarium lighting fixtures come with a bulb known as HID, or High Intensity Discharge. Not familiar with this term, I quickly shot an email right to our vendor contact. 

Aquatic Life Aquarium Lighting Systems With HID, T5HO and Lunar LightsA quick response back told me all I needed to know. Developed by OSRAM GmbH in Germany, The HID lamps are single-ended, G12 base metal halides with output similar to comparible double-ended HQI models. The single-ended design allows Aquatic Life to position the bulbs both horizontally and vertically, depending on the demands of the fixture. The single ended design with a built-in reflector allows the light to be extremely focused for greater lighting power. The technology used is common overseas, but has only recently reached the States. Being metal halide bulbs, you still get the shimmering, dappled effect on the water too. The Aquatic Life website gives viewers access to independant bulb output tests too if you’re interested.

Thanks for your help guys.

Aquatic Life RO SystemsAquatic Life also markets a line of compact fluorescent and T5 lighting fixtures; as well as advanced monitors and RO units.

Feel free to pass along any information you have on this technology or your experience with the Aquatic Life items.

Until Next Time,


Census of Marine Life Yields Fascinating Discoveries

Hey everyone!  Recently I was forwarded this article by a friend that I really found to be a good read.  It almost made me feel like I felt when I read those little paperback serial stories as a kid.  I really can’t wait to hear more about this and see a plethora of photos when they’re available as a continuation about the new things they’ve discovered while compiling the Census of Marine Life.

This short article is another testimony to how big and yet un-explored the oceans of the world still are.  This census is being compiled by more than 2000 scientists from 82 nations and it is to be completed in 2010.  The data will be published in a series of three books after the study has concluded: a survey of sea life, one focusing on the working groups, and a third on biodiversity.  A speck of the newly compiled data on behaviors, new species, and other topics is touched upon by the author of this article and others I’ve seen.  I wanted to make sure the link was blogged so anyone interested can stay tuned for more on the census.

The Future of Live Rock for Aquarium Systems

Cory here. Live rock is an important piece to the reef tank puzzle, without it the aquarium never seems to be complete. It is amazing to see what one can do with some rock and an aquarium. Whether a massive 1000 gallon reef or a 5 gallon nano tank, live rock plays the role of beauty and necessity. When starting a marine aquarium, a quick stop to the local fish store (That Fish Place of course :)) will give a wide selection of live rock types; from the majestic Tonga Fusion to the typical Fiji, live rock is always available in all shapes and sizes.

The luxury of having five or more varieties of live rock any given day may be coming to an end. The creation of cultured live rock in Fiji has led a few to believe that since we can make live rock, we can save the reefs by stopping the collection of “wild” live rock. Cultured Fiji rock is very simply, concrete and sand molded into rocks, placed in the ocean for a couple of years, then harvested as live rock. The idea is to start culturing rock in places like Fiji and Tonga, eliminating the need to harvest rock from the reefs. There are plenty of arguments for and against the creation of cultured rock. The immediate problem is the ban of rock coming into the United States. The rock from Tonga (Fusion, Branch, Slab, etc.) has been banned completely starting this past August 4th. There are no signs of this ban being lifted. On top of this, the number of pounds of Fiji Rock allowed for importation for 2009, has been decreased substantially from this past year.

The idea to phase out the import of wild live rock within the next 5 years is hard to stomach, but might be well on its way to becoming reality. There is still very little known about the situation as a whole, but what everyone must understand is that with each coming year, live rock may be harder to come by, especially the varieties that everyone is used to. My concern is, with the continued demand for fresh live rock and the available supply diminishing, the price per pound of live rock will begin to rise and continue until it becomes unaffordable. The future of the live rock industry is now in the hands of those with legislative power; hopefully a decision is made with the consumer in mind.

New WYSIWYG Items at

The Fish Room has been buzzing lately with all the talk of the new wizziwigs in stock. We’ve set up a new system for the wizziwigs, every shipment is being scrutinized for wizziwigs and wizziwigs have been a big part of the lunchtime conversations. The past few weeks have been all about the wizziwigs.
By now, you may be asking yourself, “what on earth is a wizziwig?!” You aren’t alone. We’ve gotten some pretty confused looks from anyone who’s overheard these conversations.

WYSIWYG Acropora Blue Staghorn“Wizziwig” has become the nickname we’ve affectionately given to our newly revamped “Your Choice – What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG)” category. These are special items, corals, frags, fish, and inverts that are set apart from others by showing exceptional color, unusual shape. They may even simply be uncommon offerings in the trade that deserve some special recognition. For example, we’re currently featuring a blue staghorn acro with intense baby blue tips that will really put on a show in a reef display, and a maze brain with neon green valleys and compact maze of sinuous ridges that really draws the eye.

Every one of these items gets its own unique item number and picture on the website so while you are browsing the WYSIWYG section, the picture you see is the exact item you receive. While we do our best across the website to provide pictures that are representative of the fish or coral available, the WYSIWYG pictures represent the specimen you are purchasing.

If you are looking for new, exciting, and collectible pieces for your aquarium, bookmark this page and keep checking in! These pieces are advertised only on our website and are all What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get, so act fast!

Winners of the 2008 ADA Aquatic Design Aquascaping Contest Announced

Aquatic Plant Contest Winner 1st PlaceBrandon here. Now that pond season is over, lots of aquarists are looking for the opportunity for those aquatic green thumbs to keep busy all winter long. Much of the time planted set-ups are overlooked for the more elaborate (and more expensive) saltwater reef tanks. I personally find a lot of enjoyment in keeping my favorite aquatic plants indoors where I can view them all year long.
This may be old news for some of you, but last month the winners of the 2008 ADA (Aqua Design Amano Co) Aquascaping Contest were announced. These are some serious planted tank people! The tanks are well laid out and must have taken countless hours of planning, planting, and trimming. My personal favorites are second, fourth, and ninth place. Maybe someday I’ll have the time and patience to make my tank look like one of these!
Pictures of the top ten can be viewed at Aquatic Eden, a blog about the planted aquarium. You can also see the top twenty-seven layouts at Aquatic Plant Central, a forum for the planted tank enthusiast. They’re some amazing tanks, so if you have a moment, take a look!