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.

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.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Glow in the Dark Cichlids

Reported on Practical Fishkeeping on June 28th:

More genetically altered fish might soon be available on the market. I'm hoping we never see these here in Canada, as I personally feel this sort of thing is disgusting. Thankfully Canada, along with Europe, Australia and various other places have banned the importation of genetically altered fish. I think it is nothing short of an absolute pollution of nature.

But, alas, apparently not everyone agrees with me. Researchers in Taiwan have made glow in the dark angels and convict cichlids that apparently breed true.
Check out the article over at PFK.

Need a New Tunze?

Tunze presented a few goodies at Interzoo. Notably, the Nanostream now has a built-in flow controller, allowing for four different flow settings. As such, the 6045 will have a much wider application, which is great news for those who deemed them a little overkill for their smaller tanks.

Even better though, Tunze also launched the Masterstream line intended for much...larger applications. Apparently this thing can empty a bathtub in 1.8 seconds! Check out the specs on reefbuilders.com.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Website in the Works!

With our new website in the works (please don't judge us on our current one!), I thought I would kill some time here on Canada Day (because I am sick) to start up an idea Wilson and myself have been flirting with for sometime...a blog.

Here is hoping we can give back a bit to the community by providing a centralized location for some helpful articles, both by us and others.

So, well, here goes nothing!