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· Bubble Algae Warrior
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I'm looking into some stuff to suggest we carry at work for products, we have mostly API and Wardley stuff.... we have no reef additives, no salt water meds, and we don't have a line of SW foods other than Sally's Frozen (which is great stuff)....

I was hoping to pick some brains and get suggestions, if my work were YOUR LFS, what would you like them to carry for dry goods? SOmething i could do a bit of research on and then make suggestions and see if we can carry them... also on a selfish note, i'd like to have them available to me as well so i don't have to go online for everything when after all i do work at a LFS! :doh:


Suggestions, please...

From foods, to additives, to filters and their refills, substrates ....stuff that a medium sized pet store could really offer.
 

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API is a great brand with aquarium chemical testing, they also make wipes for cleaning the glass that are unique in the market.

Wardley, Nutrafin, OCEAN NUTRITION, O.S.I.,HIKARI,and DANACHI are great dry foods.

frozen food i would offer Sallys, Cyclopeeze, Ocean Nutrition formula 1 and 2,Hikari(rotifers and baby brine shrimp), Reed Mariculture(copepods and phytofeast) and DT's Phytoplankton.

Additives I would stock salifert(ammino acids and phosphate eliminator) for high end,seachem, and kent. Purple Up, Marine Snow

Got to have the BIowheel filter and its refill FOR SURE, Hagen filters to accomodate all.

Coralife lights(your not a saltwater store without them)

Carib Sea Geo-Marine aragonite formula florida crushed coral substrate to mix with or use singely

Instant ocean is the most popular sea salt. Coralife is affordable

Red Sea Skimmers for thier ease of use and cleanability

floating magnetic algae scrubber

Metro+, E.M. ERYTHROMYCIN, Melafix,Primafix, Formalin Malachite Green, and gel-Tek for medicines
 

· Saltwater Mom
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I have to say I hate my coralife bulbs. I would rather have spent the extra 10 and got the xm but coralife was all the lfs had. Next time I am ordering online. Not saying you shouldn't carry them but I would offer a high end bulb as well. My lfs doesn't keep the many mh bulbs in stock so I had to have them order them. I asked for xm but all they could get from the vender was coralife.
 

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I have to say I hate my coralife bulbs. I would rather have spent the extra 10 and got the xm but coralife was all the lfs had. Next time I am ordering online. Not saying you shouldn't carry them but I would offer a high end bulb as well. My lfs doesn't keep the many mh bulbs in stock so I had to have them order them. I asked for xm but all they could get from the vender was coralife.
And if not on hand, readily available, like say a week out. The next time you go to pick up your livestock order, and not charge shipping. So it would be the same as ordering o nline.
 

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salifert tests, kent additives(tech cb, and essential elements, and kalkwasser), caribsea-aragonite sand(indo-pacific livesand is my personal favorite), tunze stream pumps, and nanostreams. few different skimmers. probably do remoras or cpr bakpaks, coralifes, and asm/euroreefs for a nice selection. as far as flake food, i like the ocean nutrition brand. coral frenzy is good too. id go for current pc, and t5 lighting kits. mag-drive pumps.. if u were my lfs, thats what i would like to see. hth
 

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API is a great brand with aquarium chemical testing, they also make wipes for cleaning the glass that are unique in the market.
uhhhh... No, definitely go with a quality titration test kit like the Salifert, especially for calcium and alkalinity. Aquarium Pharmaceuticals is known for the variability and lack of reliability for these kits in particular, as well as their pH and nitrate kits.

Stick with a kit that does not depend on color matching of different shades of the same color, titration is much better.

Additives I would stock salifert(ammino acids and phosphate eliminator) ...
Good for test kits, but the AA additives are unnecessary, probably not good for reef top biotopes.

Coralife lights(your not a saltwater store without them)
hmmm... totally personal experience, but XM MH bulbs would be a better brand by far, especially with electronic bllasts like the icecps newer models. URI for VHO's, I have no preference for the T-5 or PC bulbs at this time.

Instant Ocean is the most popular sea salt.
For corals and coral-based systems, IO or Reef Crystals are just about the best all-around salt mixes for ASW. If you are running a FO or FOWLR system, then one of the high borate buffer salts is better suited (Seachem), but if there are ANY corals in the system, the IO and related salts are best. Search some of my past posts on this subject for justification.

floating magnetic algae scrubber
Actually, the strongest scraper in this class with the best action seems to the the Tunze scrapers, well worth the money.

Metro+, E.M. ERYTHROMYCIN, Melafix,Primafix, Formalin Malachite Green, and gel-Tek for medicines
hmmm... look for inexpensive generics for these products, I have many concerns about use of antibiotics in fish aquaria without documented bacterial infections, but this seems to be a necessary evil of the hobby. I could type a ong post just on this subject... :squint:

Regarding the skimmers, I personally prefer the big high-efficiency skimmers, so this would eliminate the Red Sea skimmers and most of the lower priced skimmers available on the market, but again, you need something that beginning folks can use on smaller systems. For all but the smallest MRC-type skimmers, the high-eff skimmers are just about out of the question for a 50 gallon or smaller system. I am sure that Geoff or some of the other folks using these skimmers will pipe in on the topic, but for a starter skimmer, I would tend to recommend one of the higher end skimmers like the MR-2 with a powerful external pump or Euros with their long-term use in mind (upgrading at a later time to a larger tank) rather than wast money on something that would be less-than-satisfactory starting out... I have a Red Sea Berlin that I use whenever I need something to fill in temporarily (curing rock, cooking rock, etc), it is highly modified, and when it was one of the few skimmers on the market (90's), it was the bomb! It's just that now there are much better skimmers on the market that dont require so much modification or fiddling to keep efficiency up at a reasonable level.

JMO, HTH
 

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live sand was a very good idea that i overlooked

I agree with titration, api is not only based on color matching.

you said "Good for test kits, but the AA additives are unnecessary, probably not good for reef top biotopes."

I trust the salifert company on thier claims of what this product can do but if you have evidence on the contrary I would definiatly like to see it and i believe they would as well. I understand most additives are unessesary like iodine for shrimp(I can reference this though)


you said "hmmm... totally personal experience, but XM MH bulbs would be a better brand by far, especially with electronic bllasts like the icecps newer models. URI for VHO's, I have no preference for the T-5 or PC bulbs at this time."

I use t-5 they work fine. Everyone seems to be talking about xm-mh I will check them out. If i were owning a pet store, i would definatly carry the affordable coralife lights.

Some one said "hmmm... look for inexpensive generics for these products, I have many concerns about use of antibiotics in fish aquaria without documented bacterial infections, but this seems to be a necessary evil of the hobby. I could type a ong post just on this subject... :squint:"

I Totally agree. I have not used these products but my lfs has,i have seen it. They use them when a fish is in an inch of its life from thier suppliers and they WORK. Generic, just like in humans people seem to think that generic does not work, but they most definatly do. Diagnosis of the diesease is hard to confirm luckily there is a relatively new trend in veterinarian medicine , thanks to koi. They are called aqua vets Cornell, some schools in florida, and california are working on this.

tdwyatt i enjoyed your writings on skimmers (foam fractionators) I have to tell you though a skimmer is a skimmer and no matter how many vortexes or dodads you throw on there the basic job it does is a simple one. and in life if there is a simple solution sometimes that can be more beautiful than someone suckering you out of money for the most "technologicaly advanced" skimmer. You still use your skimmer(berlin airlift), right? Why is that? Because it is simple conveniant and does a good job.
 

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tdwyatt i enjoyed your writings on skimmers (foam fractionators) I have to tell you though a skimmer is a skimmer and no matter how many vortexes or dodads you throw on there the basic job it does is a simple one. and in life if there is a simple solution sometimes that can be more beautiful than someone suckering you out of money for the most "technologicaly advanced" skimmer. You still use your skimmer(berlin airlift), right? Why is that? Because it is simple conveniant and does a good job.
Notice he said the skimmer was highly modified to make it work well. Look how many Skilters have been sold over the years. I doubt that 10% are still in use and most that are are prolly modded to get them to work.

I think the Remora or Urchin would be a better choice for small tanks
 

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Fair enough, but my berlin airlift(unmodified) works and has been working for a long time. The saying goes if it aint broke dont fix it.

Heres a different approach, why dont you tell me the reasons why your skimmer is better than mine?
 

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Fair enough, but my berlin airlift(unmodified) works and has been working for a long time. The saying goes if it aint broke dont fix it.

Heres a different approach, why dont you tell me the reasons why your skimmer is better than mine?
If it works for you thats kewl, but having seen the RS skimmers compared to even a crude DIY Beckett style skimmer, theres no comparison.
Cost factors in, better skimmers generally cost more, but for the money the Aqua C small skimmers seemed to deliver good value for the money, they seemed to work better than the Bak Pak or most Red Sea offerings. There are several cheap skimmers out there that empirically seemed a waste of time and money, ie Skilter, Sea Clone, Prizm and those are the one that seem to get sold alot cause the price is attractive
 

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Comparison that it hooks up to an actual sump/pump well or comparison that it actually does a better job of skimming. The only problem I have with my skimmer is that you have to clean or replace the "bubbler", but the skimmers you have mentioned have that same type of problem in there list of cons when being analyzed.
 

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The comparison comes from the ability to be able to pull out ten times as much junk(thats being generous, its probably actually more).

For instance. If you had a berlin airlift skimming well it should fill up that little cup at LEAST once a day with light tea colored liquid. or more a day. :)

I actually use one of those little berlin airlifts still on a frag tank, and for what it is, its great. But i have next to no bioload in the tank in question.
 

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Pulling out all of this "stuff" is not nessesaraly a good thing, that is one does not want things such as phytoplankton to be removed, and it does get removed, one would like it suspended in an aquarium pelagically like what happens in the ocean. I think that skimmers like yours would be unhealth for my aquarium inhabitants as a GaLLON a day is a bit much, right?
 

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This doesnt need to turn into a debate on skimmed or unskimmed, there are way to many variables involved.
What Heather is looking for are products that are affordable and work into the stores budget. Stocking Big Beckett Skimmers and pumps for such at retail prices are not going to be big movers.
but carrying skimmers that are pretty much acknowledged as a joke is not doing anyone any favors either. And no I wasn't refering to the RS products, so don't take that personal .
 

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So you are saying that you shouldn't overskim and by using a Red Sea you won't? The reason a lot of skimmers are better is based on the 2 factors that make foam fractionation work, surface area and contact time. Surface area is achieved through introducing more air and more importantly smaller bubbles. With the move toward needle wheels and now mesh wheels, the voulme of air as well as the amount of air injected into the skimmer body has drastically increased. As far as contact time, one way they have improved this is to use recirculation pumps so the water air mixture is taken out, chopped up again with even more air and then reinjected.

I have a Red Sea Berlin as well that is used on quarantine tanks or in a pinch and it is pretty modified, but it is not efficient enough to use on my display. For that I was using a becket style Precision marine Bullet and now a Euroreef 12-1 that was meshmodded.
 
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