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Via Aqua Titanium heater gets upgrades

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Via Aqua has upgraded its Titanium Heater that brings along some incremental upgrades, most notably on the thermostat.

The overall design of the thermostat isn’t too much different from previous models that includes a bright, easy-to-read LCD temperature readout and a remote temperature sensor. But the biggest change is to the internal programming of the heater thermostat.

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One area of improvement is in temperature recall after a power surge or outage. In previous models, you may have lost your temperature setting, but in the new Via Aqua Titanium heater the programmed temperature is recalled after suffering a power outage.

The new and improved Via Aqua Titanium heater looks like a good heater option featuring five models to choose from.

My Aquarium Box brings aquatic goodness to your mailbox

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Have you ever seen discovery subscription box services like Birchbox for makeup or Bark Box for dogs, but wondered if there was ever going to be one for fish? Well My Aquarium Box is hoping to satiate your curiosity by providing a monthly service where they will deliver you a box of saltwater or freshwater products for you to try every month.

Each box is curated by the My Aquarium Box team to deliver useful products and gadgets. As they note on their website, they contain approximately five aquarium related products that include an aquarium gadget or tool, a natural aquarium decoration, a new type of fish food, and a medication or aquarium supplement, along with other supplies.

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Its a pretty simple process. First you select if you want a saltwater or freshwater box. Each one will contain products specific to each environment, so you’re not getting saltwater fish food if you have a freshwater tank and visa versa. The My Aquarium Box team is working to find cool and useful things they hope every fish keeper will appreciate and then ship them to you around the middle of the month.

Many of us are always looking for something new and cool to try and this service looks like it can help by keeping a steady stream of things to try coming to you each month. One of the big things many struggle with is keeping long-term interest once we have a tank set up. This service could be a cool way for you to maintain interest and try out some new things.

The services costs $24.99 per month for the freshwater box and $29.99 per month for the saltwater box. You an subscribe ongoing or just order a box from time-to-time.

Fish help students with science

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Project BioEYES is a program that brings live fish into K-12 classrooms to teach the fundamentals of biology. The team found it not only helps students learn, but improves their attitudes about science.

The study of nearly 20,000 K-12 students, who raised zebrafish from embryos over the course of a week, found that kids at all grade levels showed significant learning gains. They also responded more positively to statements such as “I know what it’s like to be a scientist.”

The results, to be published by the journal PLOS Biology, suggest that an immersive experience with a living creature can be a particularly successful strategy to engage young people in science, technology, engineering and math.

[via Phys.org]

Fluval AquaVAC+ makes cleanup and water changes simple

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Water changes and cleaning your aquarium are not always fun, but the Fluval AquaVAC+ is a battery operated gravel vacuum and water changer that simplifies the process.

The AquaVAC+ has a unique 2-in-1 design doubling as both a gravel cleaner and water change system. Instead of juggling long lengths of tubing, trying to get a mouthful of dirty water starting a siphon or spilling water when adding new water to your aquarium, the AquaVAC+ does the dirty work for you.

For cleanup, you can just put the submersible waterproof vacuum right in the aquarium and its integrated filter cartridge captures the dirt — plant debris, uneaten food or fish waste — helping to keep your tank clean. It also features a fine filter pad to capture super fine particles to get your tank extra clean.

When its time to do a water change, the Fluval AquaVAC+ has a built-in, automated water change system. Just flip the direction of water flow and add your supply line to the bucket of new water and it will siphon it right into the aquarium.

The Fluval AquaVAC+ retails around $50 and is availble at most major aquatic retailers in store or online

In love with Dory and Nemo? Try these beginner fish

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Finding Dory and Finding Nemo were both incredible movies that brought lovable saltwater fish to the masses, and it also brought many people looking to get into the hobby hoping to bring a “Nemo” home to keep their little ones happy. Sadly, many underestimated the investment and skills needed to run a saltwater tank.

To help prevent some of this letdown and frustration, the team at LiveAquaria has offered a couple of better options to bring a colorful fish into your home and set themselves up for long-term success in the hobby.

So many love the original orange and white clownfish Nemo. And while these are definitely some of the easier saltwater fish to keep, there is still a lot of investment in time and equipment you’ll need to keep the little guy happy. Try the Koi Swordtail, a more sought after color morph of the popular swordtails. The Contrasting deep reddish orange marks and a brilliant white wrap make this a good stand in for Nemo. Also they recommend a 30 gallon aquarium with a lid to house this potential jumper.

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Although you can get a teeny-tiny, cutsie-wootsie Blue Tang (aka Dory), they can get really big and like a lot of space — like over 180 gallons of space! So what is LiveAquaria proposing? A better suited option for a beginner and a smaller aquarium with an easy care level, try the Boesemani rainbow (Melanotaenia boesemani). These fish are recommended for a 30 gallon aquarium that is a nice size for children and beginning hobbyists to enjoy.

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Cobalt Easy-Therm a great balance of affordability, performance and sleek looks

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The Easy-Therm is Cobalt Aquatics’s third line of heaters which has the slim form of the award-winning NeoTherm heater making it one of the most unobtrusive heaters on the market. There is no mistaking the flat design of Cobalt’s heaters and the Easy-Therm line is a great balance of affordability, performance and sleek looks.

One of the major flaws of heaters, is fusing of the electrical contacts that leave the heater in the on position and basically cooking all the fish in your tank. Without a temperature alarm, usually the discovery comes too late.

To fight this, the Easy-Therm is designed to turn on and off at a lower voltage. Plus the heater on a magnetic switch to ensure a strong connection (and release) of the thermostat switch. The Easy-Therm is also accurate, within two degrees Fahrenheit of the setting.

Encased in a black thermal plastic outer casing, the Easy-Therm is both heat, shock and shatter resistant. The Easy-Therm comes in six sizes from 25w to 200w and has a three year warranty.

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Marineland Magnum is a great filter to polish water or for day-to-day use

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The Marineland Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter is a handy filter that can easily be used to polish your water or as a day-to-day internal canister filter. The flexibility of the simple filter allows three-stage filtration for daily use or high-efficiency polishing as needed.

As a polisher, the internally mounted Marineland Magnum is a great way to give your system an extra boost to clear up your water after a good cleaning or if you start noticing haziness due to organic compounds in the water column. Simply use the micron filter to pull out the finest particles your daily filter might miss.

But it is also a handy filter for daily use, particularly if your aquarium setup doesn’t allow for an external canister filter or you want more power than the simple internal filters provide. The Marineland Magnum uses a pair of refillable chambers to house carbon or customizable filter media like GFO (granular ferric oxide) to reduce phosphates.

The filter is powered by a sealed motor so its fully submersible and delivers quick and easy start up without priming the pump. The Marineland Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter filters 290 gallons per hour and is ideal for aquariums up to 97 gallons. The Magun filter lists for around $49.99 and is available at most major online retailers and possibly your local fish store.

Dennerle Scaper’s Tank is a unique all-in-one system

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Why go for the same boring black-rimmed starter aquarium when you can go for a unique setup like the Dennerle Scaper’s Tank Complete 35L LED aquarium. This beautiful looking rimless glass aquarium will capture your attention and will just beg to be aquascaped in the future.

Although this is designed for aquascaping, it really has all you need for a stylish aquarium that will take you from your first community setup all the way into creating your own planted aquascape. The kit starts with the 35 liter tank (just under 10 US gallons ) constructed out of 5mm glass that measures in at 40 x 32 x 28 cm.

For lighting there is a Nano Power LED 5.0 perfectly suited for the planted aquarium and most freshwater setups. The 5W LED light has a 6500K color temperature to mimic natural sunlight with a 500 lumen output. In plain terms, this is enough light to foster growth for a tank full of plants. The kit also contains a nano-sized corner filter that turns over 150 liters per hour to give you enough flow and filtration.

Whether you’re looking to get started with a planted tank or just looking for a stylish aquarium, you might want to explore the Dennerle Scaper’s Tank Complete 35L LED aquarium. These systems retail for around $150 USD which is still pretty affordable for a stylish aquarium, light and filter.

SFBB Freshwater Frenzy is a nice all-in-one food option

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Flake and dry foods are convenient, but the nutritional aspects of live foods are hard to pass by. Keeping live food can be messy but thanks to pre-portioned frozen foods like San Francisco Bay Brands Freshwater Frenzy, you can easily feed your fish a nutritional and tasty food right from the freezer.

Freshwater Frenzy is a perfect blend for most community fish tanks. It contains a blend of brine shrimp, bloodworms, cyclops, daphnia, watercress and more designed to cover the diet and feeding needs of fish at all levels in the water column. From surface feeding livebearers, midlevel Tetras to bottom dwelling Cory Cats, Freshwater Frenzy has you covered.

Most community tanks have a blend of fish that makes it easier to offer a well-rounded mix like this that make it a great option for daily feeding or the occasional treat.

In the past, frozen foods many aquarists rinsed frozen food as it was linked to higher phosphate levels due to the binders used to hold the food together to allow for time release. But most food manufacturers have addressed this concern allowing you to simple drop in the portion and let the water movement take care of the food disbursement. You can still rinse the food if you want, but feeding smaller portions and doing frequent water changes will ensure your parameters stay in check.

San Francisco Bay Brands is a pretty common food available at most pet and fish stores and the Freshwater Frenzy retails for under $3 for a 3.5 oz. package.

 

Seachem Flourish Advance stimulates plant growth

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Seachem Flourish Advance is the latest product in the company’s Seachem’s Flourish line, a been a go-to option for many planted aquarium hobbyists over the years. Flourish Advanced is a described as an all-natural, biologic growth enhancer for aquatic plants.

So what exactly does it do? Seachem Flourish Advance works to stimulate root growth beneath the surface to improve growth and overall plant health. The secret behind Flourish Advance is the use of phytohormones. The naturally occurring compounds play crucial roles in regulating plant growth in a wide range of developmental processes.

It also contains minerals, and nutrients to work with the phytohormones to kick start the growth of both roots and shoots in aquatic plants. Seachem also recommends regular use as it helps to improve mineral absorption and disease resistance. Like most additives for the planted tanks, it is non-toxic and completely safe for all plant varieties as well as for fish and aquatic organisms.

If you are on the fence, it does come in 50ml or 100ml bottles making it easy to try out. Flourish Advance is also available in 250ml and 500ml bottles and 2L and 4L jugs. You can pick up a 250ml bottle for under $8 at most retailers.