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John Maloney

New Things for the Hobby on Black Friday

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This Black Friday we decided to show you something new-

Coquina and worm rock reefs make up significant saltwater environments, but are rarely found in aquaria. Coquina reefs are usually hardbottom habitats, but exposed rocks can create structures resembling plateaus. Coquina rock is made of crushed shells and sand bound together by calcite. The rock itself comes in a variety of colors, usually matching the color of the sand where it is found. The rock is dense, and is a poor choice for filtration purposes. Coquina reefs are dominated by macroalgae, but also feature gorgonians and porites corals. In aquaria the flat pieces can be used to create hard bottom substrate bases, or as ledges for ricordea to hang out on. When Hurricane Dorian broke up portions of the coquina hardbottom reefs and carried them ashore we received permission from FWC to collect the stranded and sun bleached pieces. (Live rock collection in FL is illegal).

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Worm rock reefs are made of the remains of Serpulidae worms that create calcified tubes. They are similar to feather dusters, (Sabellidae) but create calcified tubes that form colonies. They are not related to Vermetid "worms", which are actually sessile snails. Off the coast of Florida they form huge colonies, covering hundreds of square miles. This particular substrate is not ideal for growing coral. It isn't a matter of composition, there simply isn't enough flat space for it to attach to. For filtration purposes though you would be hard pressed to find a better natural substrate by the pound or volume. These pieces are much lighter and porous than the rock we normally use in our aquariums. The worm holes create intricate pathways for water, and the cluster itself is mostly empty. The surface area available for aerobic bacteria is even greater than that of bioballs of similar size.

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You can find them both here:

https://www.reefcleaners.org/aquarium-store/rock

Supply is limited. Coquina can be added to any rock order, and would substitute the weight of rock we would otherwise use to fill the order. You can request up to two pieces of coquina. Let us know what size pieces you are looking for and we can try to accommodate.

The worm rock cannot ship with rock, there is a potential it could be crushed. It is light enough to ship with live orders. Very limited supply, these are also victims of hurricane Dorian which we received permission from FWC to collect.

Aquaculture Netting should have been popular in this hobby years ago, but I don't see it in much use. This material can be manipulated, cut, and zip tied into just about any shape, and placed into the aquarium to use as filtration media holders, additional strainers, small cages for newly acclimated animals, coral guards to protect from wandering tentacles etc.. The sky is the limit really. Inserts that are baskets placed into quarantine tanks can be very useful later to simply lift the fish out rather than chase them down with a net. We will offer 3 sizes, sold in specific increments. The sizes refer to the size of the mesh, 1/8"inch, 1/4" inch and 1/16th inch mesh. Unfortunately due to size constraints with Priority Mail and Express Mail, it will have to ship separately from live orders for a flat rate of $12.50. It will be available on the website by Cyber Monday.

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The last thing I wanted to share with you isn't our product at all. It is from Tractor Supply Company, and from now on the hobby has access to $.25 a pound premium substrate. It is this chicken feed supplement:

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/manna-pro-oyster-shell-50-lb

It is crushed coral and shells, perfectly suitable for aquaria.

I have used it for two years now, it works great. It is very clean, and it has passed every magnet test for metals I have used it on so far. (Can't say that about some of the bags sold for aquaria). It is also heat treated after washing, only very large companies can afford to do this efficiently and most of the companies who supply our trade are not very large. At least not when it comes to comparison with the agriculture market. You can see it here being cleaned by our hermits:

[MEDIA=youtube]YN7ijTW2cGE[/MEDIA]

 

We grew the algae purposefully, there isn't anything particular about why it was so dirty before the hermits got to it. $11 for a 50 pound bag isn't too bad if you have a Tractor Supply nearby. Just remember who decided to share this knowledge later on when everyone in the hobby knows about it. I want my credit.

Hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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