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AquaEl LEDdy Slim Duo Sunny & Plant

aquael LEDDY slim duo

The AquaEl LEDdy Slim Duo Sunny & Plant is a small light perfect for a a planted or shrimp nano tank. The LEDdy Slim Duo is a small strip light that clips on to the tank with a matching holder.

The small light has a sleek and modern design and features two strips of LED. The 10W light is evenly split with a row of 6,500K daylight LEDs at 5W and a row of 8,000K LEDs perfect for plants also pushing out 5W.

AquaEl LEDdy Slim Duo Sunny & Plant led distribution

The light housing is aluminum measures around 23cm x 6cm and is available in white or what appears to be a graphite color. The light can be extended on the mounting bracket to center it on the tank.

The only thing that wasn’t clear from the product description and what we saw online, was whether there are two controllable channels. The lights are available in Europe and run around 65 Euro (about $80 USD).

Not a bad price but without two channel control, it would be a bit limited for automation having to settle with an all or none approach if you used a timer.

BetterBoxFilter takes on the corner filter


The SwissTropicals BetterBoxFilter is literally just that — a better corner box filter. While we have lots of cool new technology, sometimes the simple box filter is the best option for budget systems or if you’re housing slow-moving animals.

But there were drawbacks to the box filter that SwissTropicals went out to solve. First off was the ability to use specialty media such as carbon, peat, various bio media, or buffering stones. While you can use these in some filters, the flow through them is not always optimal.

The BetterBoxFilter is a simple filter with minimal parts. It is merely a molded black food-grade polypropylene box, combined with a custom-made jetlifter, and foam for a simple 3-piece filter with no moving parts. The filter is air-driven and will move around 200 lph of water with about 50 lph of air.

The BetterBoxFilter can also be filled with various filter media and can be used in tanks from 10 to 150 gallons (depending on your bio-load of course!). They recommend is can be used solo for tanks up to 30 gallons and combined with other filters, will work for specific functions in larger tanks.

The BetterBoxFilter starts at $32 and can be purchased direct from SwissTropicals.

New Tetra Goldfish Program includes aquarium kits, water care, foods and info to simplify keeping these fish


The Tetra Goldfish Program is a effort to make understanding and keeping goldfish easier for hobbyists. Don’t be fooled with thinking about goldfish as those cheap fish kids get as prizes or feeder fish for larger carnivorous species — there are some beautiful (and strange) goldfish that make keeping them interesting.

The program begins with a Goldfish portal page with background information about the fish, the types of goldfish, and of course, Tetra’s products available for your goldfish. The company has also expanded out pages for other fish that help us learn more about the different breeds, personalities, equipment and products they need.

There are also new lines of Tetra Goldfish LED aquarium kits in 10 and 20 gallon sizes that have all the things you need to get started with goldfish. They are very similar to the other kits, but has food and water conditioners designed with the goldfish in mind.

As mentioned with the kits are goldfish-specific food and water conditioners. The food is designed for the goldfish diet that can be a bit different than other fish. Also, the water quality needs for goldfish can vary, so these products have the goldfish keeper in mind. If you plan on housing other fish than goldfish, you may want to check to see what the diet and water needs are beforehand — proper planning is always essential to long-term success!

Having initial success with your fish is key to being in the hobby a long time and Tetra is doing its part to simplify getting started.

Lifegard debuts new Pro-MAX UV Sterilizer


The new Lifegard Pro-MAX UV Sterilizer is a unique design that is a little bit different from other ultraviolet sterilizers out there on the market today.

First off, a little refresher on why use UV sterilization. Water is passed through UV lighting that helps stop the spread of microorganisms in the aquarium that is passed on through the water and can also control free floating algae (those dreaded green water blooms!). These free-floating microorganisms are killed by the UV light.

The new Lifegard Pro-MAX UV Sterilizer stands out primarily in the way its plumbed. While there are inline UV sterilizers, most use a 90 degree fitting that is perpendicular to the UV tube. So water comes in after taking a sharp turn, through the UV light and then out the bottom or in and out through the top by another 90 degree bend.

The Pro-MAX UV Sterilizer uses 45 degree plumbing to ease the water down and over the UV light. This makes the design flow (no pun intended) with the line of plumbing. Theoretically will help cut down on space and installation headaches.

To make bulb maintenance a snap, the Pro Max UV Sterilizer features a countdown clock to show how many hours you’ve used the lamp so no more guessing when its time to change the lamps.

While these aren’t designed for small setups, if you have a large aquarium, commercial system or pond and need UV, then check this out. They are available with a 3 in. diameter housing in 25, 40, 55, 90 and 120 Watt models and 5 in. diameter in 55, 90 and 120 Watt sizes. Each Pro-MAX comes with a high-output UV bulb, internal protective sleeve, and UL listed ballast which counts down the number of days until you need to replace the bulb. The Pro-MAX ranges in price from around $240 to $680 USD.

Lifegard has a bunch of cool new aquascaping rocks, stones and wood


When I was a kid, it was all about multi-colored gravel, plastic plants and a bubbling treasure chest in the tank, but thankfully we’ve come a long way since then. To help fuel our need for cool and natural looking objects to spruce up our tanks, Lifegard has launched a line of aquascaping rocks, stones and wood.

The unique styles of stones and rocks look like miniature rock formations, helping to make some cool looking backdrops for your fish. Whether or not you are looking to create an Amano-style planted aquarium or just have some fun, these rocks, stones and wood can be a great option.

They note these are all-natural materials and safe for use in your tank. There is an assortment of sizes and shapes to enhance your aquascaping setup.

Seachem Cuprisorb helps eliminate heavy metals

Seachem Cuprisorb

Seachem Cuprisorb is a chemical filtration media that will remove copper and other heavy metals from your aquarium water and is safe to use while your fish are in the aquarium.

Cuprsorb is useful if you have medicated with a copper based medication, like Seachem Cuprine, and need to get the copper out of the water quickly and permanently.

Copper-based medicines are quite useful to treat external parasites like Oodinium, Cryptocaryon, Amyloodinium, Ichthyophthirius, and others, in small doses. But the downside is it can be lethal in larger doses and to invertebrates like shrimp.

With Cuprisorb, you just add it to the filtration chamber and pull out the heavy metal! You’ll know it is exhausted when it turns a dark blue or black in color.

What is a TDS meter and why does it matter?


A TDS meter is a tool that measures the total dissolved solids in a liquid. This is a very handy tool to have in the aquarium hobby especially if you are using a reverse osmosis (RO) system.

Why? Although the TDS meter doesn’t determine what kinds of solids are in the water, we know from our tap water it can include a variety of things that can cause issues in our aquariums. TDS actually measure mobile charged ions these can include: minerals, salts or metals dissolved in a given volume of water, and are directly related to the purity of water and the quality of water purification systems.

TDS meters give you readings of “parts per million” or PPM. This translates to how much of the dissolved solids there are in relation to pure water. One part solid vs. 1 million parts water. To put this in perspective, 1 PPM is roughly equivalent to 5 liters of material in an Olympic-size swimming pool.

We know the more “stuff” that is in our water, the more chances we have to bring something into the aquarium we might not want or have an impact on clarity. Depending on where you live, your tapwater may contain things like chlorine, fluoride, minerals or metals — and can be up to 500 PPM. If you have old pipes or using well water, this may be higher.

The only “pure” water is distilled water but an RO system can drastically reduce the amount of impurities in water. Adding a de-ionization (DI) stage can lower this number drastically. If you are shopping for a water purification system, you’ll see plain RO systems and the combined RO/DI systems. A TDS meter is a must have to ensure your filter is doing its job and when its time to change filtration materials or the RO membrane.

Back to TDS in the aquarium…high volumes of impurities will affect water clarity and overall health of your system. Sure you may use a water treatment supplement to remove chlorine and chloramine and many also state they detoxifies heavy metals. These can be helpful, but keeping the TDS low to begin with is a better strategy.

You may see all your parameters (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, hardness, pH, etc.) where they should be and a clean filter, but cloudy water. This could be because of a high TDS that can not only make it cloudy looking, but photosynthesis can be decreased in a planted tank and can also keep your temperature higher from the particles absorbing heat (more of an issue in summer or hot weather. But the higher TDS levels can mean there or other toxic materials in your tank like lead, copper or other things you don’t want to see.

You can get inline TDS meters for RO/DI systems, but a simple handheld “pen” can be purchased for $10-$20. These just require dipping in water for a nearly instant reading. Some may cost higher and these can include more bells and whistles like temperature compensation, may also measure other parameters or are more water resistant for the accidental drop in a tank.

Another thing to keep in mind is measuring TDS if you are purchasing or getting filtered or treated water from another source. These can include bottled water, water from a store or kiosk, or even water from your local fish store. Even though they may say they are filtered, there are always acceptable variables.

If you’re going to be in the hobby for a while, make the investment in a TDS meter, it is money well spent.

Fluval Plant LED Nano Aquarium Light


The Fluval Plant LED Nano Aquarium Light is a 15W clip on light that is designed to be operated exclusively via the free FluvalSmart App on your smartphone. The light itself is geared to hit the right spectrum for lush plant growth and a pleasing look.

This small, powerful, light is German-engineered with a bright 7500K LED lamp offers that is a great upgrade for your nano and desktop aquariums.

The app lets you take advantage of a programmable, gradual 24-hour light cycle with your typical features — sunrise, midday, sunset/dusk, and night — for a healthier, more realistic light program.

Plus there is fully independent color control on six channels to suit your specific color needs and give you a light spectrum. Also to get you started it comes with three pre-set light configurations – Lake Malawi, Tropical, or Planted

The Fluval Plant LED Nano Aquarium Light is made of High Luminous Efficiency (HLE) LEDs that offer improved light output and spectral quality while consuming the same power as before. HLE LEDs also feature a fully encased aluminum shell that keeps them cool to the touch and safer from water intrusion and humidity (IP67 waterproof rating). Each LED on the chip has 120° of illumination for wider, deeper, more uniform coverage without dead spots.

The Fluval Plant LED Nano Aquarium Light measures 5 in. x 5 in. with 63 LEDs on the chip pushing out 1,000 lumens. The lamp retails under $90.

Cobalt Aquatics adds six new filter media perfect for freshwater aquariums


Cobalt Aquatics has added nine types of new filter media recently, six that are designed for use in freshwater systems. These include two types of activated carbon and four resin-type media that are rechargeable.

Cobalt Aquatics Total Nitrate
Cobalt Aquatics Total Nitrate is a rechargeable high-capacity anion exchange resin perfect for removing nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, and metals from freshwater and saltwater aquariums. Made of highly durable resin, Total Nitrate can be regenerated many times, increasing value and long-term use. Will not release bound materials when exhausted.

Cobalt Aquatics Total Organics
Cobalt Aquatics Total Organics is an extremely high strength organic removal resin designed to remove dissolved organics from freshwater and saltwater aquariums without altering pH, KH or GH. Stronger that activated carbon, it will effectively remove organics from the water, proving unmatched color removal, odor reduction and clarity in all aquariums where space for equipment is limited. Made of highly durable resin, Total Organics can be regenerated many times, increasing value and long-term use.

Cobalt Aquatics Total Softener
Cobalt Aquatics’ Total Softener is a rechargeable hardness removing resin for lowering hardness in tropical fish and ornamental shrimp tanks. Excellent for use in canister or in-tank filters, it can also be used in dedicated media reactors or to treat water in large volume storage containers. In addition to water softening, Total Softener removes ammonium present in acidic water to help reduce nitrite and nitrate production. Made of highly durable resin, Total Softener can be regenerated many times, increasing value and long-term use. Will not release bound material when exhausted. ONLY FOR USE IN FRESHWATER.

Cobalt Aquatics Total Freshwater
Cobalt Aquatics’ Total Freshwater is a powerful, rechargeable organix removing and ion exchange resin that is a broad spectrum water purification media for freshwater aquariums. A powerful combination of Total Organics, Total Nitrate and Total Softener, this is our strongest all-in-one freshwater media blend. By removing dissolved organics, Total Freshwater removes colors and odors. Combined with powerful ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate and metal removing resins, it is a complete stand-alone chemical filtration system. Will not release bound materials when exhausted.

Cobalt Aquatics Super Pellet
Cobalt Aquatics’ Super Pellet is a premium grade pelletized carbon with higher pollutant removal strength than competing pelletized carbons. Perfect for use in freshwater and saltwater aquariums; it’s ideal for canister filters and other types of filters where water flow is important. The large grain size reduces debris build up which extends the life of the media. Readily removes dissolved organics, colors and odors.

Quick Acting Granulated Carbon
Cobalt Aquatics Ultra Carbon is a premium grade, low density, high capacity granulated bituminous carbon with superior removal strength that rapidly removes dissolved organics, colors and odors. It’s perfect for use in canister filters or dedicated media reactors in either fresh or saltwater aquariums. Also ideal for quick removal of common aquarium medications.

All six products are available in multiple sizes to suit your application and needs. Prices are in line with other similar media on the market.


Give your fish a force field with Fritz Aquatics Mardel Herbal Treatments


Fritz Aquatics Mardel Herbal Treatments are a way to provide a natural force field of sorts for your fish by repairing and strengthening their natural slime coat and battling certain maladies as well.

There are three products under this umbrella Protoshield, Parashield and BacterShield that are all natural, herbal bio-adhesive supplements to repair and strengthen the fish’s natural slime coat. Why does this matter? A healthy slime coat acts as the first line of defense for fish against bacterial and fungal infections.

The natural oils are combined with a polymer that acts as a slime coat and carries the oils to the body of the fish. A protein solubilizer helps get the oils into the cell structure of the skin to do its magic and uses what Fritz calls biospheres technology to protect the key ingredients to ensure they maintain contact and can get to work.

Fritz Aquatics Mardel Herbal Protoshield
Uses patented film forming matrix  using proven, natural oils and extracts for the relief of unwelcome protozoan parasites. Common protozoan infections include Protozoan Velvet,
Protozoan Parasites (Trichodina sp.), and ick.

Active Ingredients: Chitosan, D-Limonene, Manuka Oil, Neem Oil

Fritz Aquatics Mardel Herbal Parashield
Fritz Aquatics Mardel Herbal Treatments Parashield targets evidence of parasites like ick, velvet or other parasites.

Active Ingredients: Capsaicin Oil, Chitosan, D-Limonene, Manuka and Neem Oil

Fritz Aquatics Mardel Herbal Bactershield
Fritz Aquatics Mardel Herbal Bactershield helps protects against bacterial and fungal infections. It is similar to the other products, but keys in on common bacterial and fungal infections like fin and tail rot, columnaris (Bacterial Body Fungus) or other fungal infections.


Active Ingredients: Chitosan, Cinnamon Oil, D-Limonene, Geranium Oil, Pine Oil, Rosemary Oil

All three are available online or at your favorite retailers and cost around $11-12 per bottle.