Wet Thumb's Blog

Welcome to our blog! We are hoping to create a central source of information for many of the aspects of our hobby. Through this blog, we hope to share our knowledge and our insights on fishkeeping with the community that keeps this passion alive.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

SEASMART: Sustainability, Equitability and Profitability

I came across this article on Reef Builders regarding SEASMART.  SEASMART is an organization in Papau New Guinea helping to bring sustainability to the marine trade industry there.  Some members recently attended MACNA (Marine Aquarium Conference of North America), as reported by Reef Builders.

With the marine trade being such a pull on many environments (and economies), it is great to see an organization with the goal of creating a sustainable, and profitable, trade.  Hopefully more areas of export will put a greater effort into these same ideals.  In the end, it helps everyone.

Take a look at their website here.

Read the article on Reef Builders here.

Monday, September 6, 2010

New Website Launched!

Well, it took a bit longer than we thought, but our new site is up and running now.  Check it out here.

Let us know what you think...and hopefully we can now start updating this blog a little more regularily...*looks at Wilson*...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Life Spectrum hits Toronto!

At last, one of Toronto's large distributors of aquarium supplies will now be carrying New Life Spectrum foods. Look to see them on the shelves of a wider range of stores (i.e. not just Big Al's). I know Menagerie Pet Shop has already cleared shelf space to stock it. This is good news, as I am still an advocate of NLS foods being one of the better brands around. Check out the different types at the New Life International site and be sure to ensure your favourite store will be stocking your choice!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Auto-water changes anyone?

Just some interesting products to note from a company called Genesis Reef Systems. Genesis is based out of Ohio and specializes in water change/water top-off systems.

The Genesis Renew will conduct automatic water changes, but you can control how much water to change, plus you can control how long it takes to change that water. What a great idea.

So far, we don't have any experience with any of their products, but with decent price points (we are looking at around $500 USD) I imagine these will be popular for some larger reef tanks.

Not quite sure I would hook one up for a 10 gallon Goldfish tank though...as they mention!

Check out their website here.

There is also an article on Reef Builders, where I originally came across it. You can check that out here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Protein Skimmers

Our first article!

Just to give the basic styles out there. We'll be adding more on this topic later :)

Hidden Tax?

Well, July 1st saw the introduction of HST to Ontario - which I'm sure everyone is just ecstatic about. Did you know that on July 1st another tax was introduced as well?

I was talking to Harold down at Menagerie today and he mentioned it to me. So I came home and did a quick search. Low and behold. Apparent July 1st saw Phase 2 of the Municipal Hazardous and Special Waste (MHSW) Program go into effect. You may have previously noticed a small tax on things, such as oil and fertilizer. Shopping at Canadian Tire, for example, you would see something labeled "ecofee", which is the Eco-Fee.

What does this have to do with fish you ask? Well, the new tax is now on items such as fluorescent tubes and bulbs, medications and plant fertilizers that we commonly buy.

The tax was levied by Stewardship Ontario. This tax is a levy on manufacturers to help recycle their products. Great for us, the tax has been pushed onto the consumer.

There is debate as to whether this tax is even legal. To read more on the debate, check out this article in the Sun.

To read more regarding the tax, visit makethedrop.ca.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cycling Your Tank - Quickly

Probably the largest problem facing newcomers to the aquarium hobby is overcoming the first step in setting up their new aquarium. While I think the nitrogen cycle is becoming more commonplace in the hobby, the retail market is full of quick fixes to establish your tank. Add this liquid or that liquid to cycle your tank. To be honest, 99.9% of the products that claim to do this are nothing more than a cash grab and the reality is, they do very little to help establish the biofilter of an aquarium system.

The tried and tested methods, such as a fishless cycle and a planted tank cycle, are really the best way to go, but they involve patience which few newcomers to the hobby possess (at least in regards to fish!). With my recent foray into breeding Apistogramma on a larger scale, I myself did not have the time to cycle my thirty-odd tanks in the traditional methods. The continual need to empty and clean filters and tanks have also led me to find a faster method.

As mentioned, I believe that most of the products on the market that claim to cycle your tank for you do not work. In my experience, they fail miserably. However, I have found one that works like a charm.

That product is called Stability, manufactured by Seachem Laboratories. In fact, this stuff works so well that fish can be introduced right away, assuming the tank possesses the appropriate biofilter capacity. I would suggest following the directions to the letter for brand new tanks, especially those that will have a larger volume of bioload (more fish). For setting up tanks with a small bioload, I typically use half the dosage for half the time. If you are a real stickler for ensuring your water conditions are prestine (or you are worried you may have damaged your biofilter in some way), Stability can be used with water changes as well.

So far, water conditions have been flawless. No ammonia, no nitrite and healthy fish. With that said, I fully recommend Stability. It works as intended!

For more information, please visit Seachem's website.