RSS Some aquarium products we can’t believe are still being sold

Discussion in 'RSS Feeds' started by MASA Admin, 24 Mar 2016.

  1. MASA Admin

    MASA Admin Moderator

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    [​IMG]
    In the early days of the reefing hobby, you could make just about any claim about the needs of aquariums and reef tanks and there’d hardly be anyone or anything to prove you otherwise. Long before the internet could come along and sort out most charlatans, smoke & mirror devices and snake oil products, you could hawk just about anything to gullible aquarists.

    [​IMG]Before the world wide web connected reefers from every corner of the globe, the local fish store was our internet for learning and sharing information. This worked really well to spread great information and new tips for the most part, but with human nature involved and profits at stake, certain beliefs about aquariums became outsized in importance.

    Over time virtually all of the useless aquarium products have faded from memory and from aquarium mail order catalogs. But for some reason many legacy products of questionable efficacy are still being sold to aquarists. Most of these are pretty harmless and they won’t hurt your tank, but they are also a waste of time and you’d be better off spending your money and energy nailing down aquarium fundamentals and reefing basics.

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    Coral Vital is the poster child for a vintage aquarium product which has managed to cling to life in the 21st century. When we started reefing in the mid 90s, Coral Vital was all the rage and this was one of the products that every first time reefer took home with their starter aquarium kits.

    We all saw how much corals opened up and polyps extended when we used Coral Vital but did we really? Sure there is probably some argument to be made that Coral Vital represented the earliest forms of liquid carbon dosing, and the organics within it may have had some positive effects on our old school reef tanks, but not at the $30 per bottle that these used to cost. And don’t even get us started on the three dozen different derivative ‘Vital’ products that were also marketed to reefer.

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    In theory, it’s always a good idea to have an aquarium grounding probe in your tank to rid the water of any stray voltage. But in practice this is really a superfluous aquarium device that people pay way too much money for. We’d have much less criticism for grounding probes if we were being charged a simple $5 for what is essentially a wire and a small piece of titanium.

    Twenty years ago when aquarium products like heaters and powerheads were poorly sealed, it was quite common to feel a slight amount of stray voltage when placing your hands in the water, especially in highly conductive seawater. Back when we kept more small sharks in our ‘mini reef’ tanks, it was a good idea to have a grounding probe suck off any potential stray voltage.

    However it might actually be counterproductive to have a grounding probe in the aquarium water. When heaters and pumps start to fail, they may leak a small amount of current into the water and this can be an early warning sign to check your equipment before it fails catastrophically. If you are worried about electrical shock, it is a much safer practice to use a GFCI outlet to interrupt any potentially dangerous electrical leaks.

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    The SeaClone was a joke of a protein skimmer in the nineties but it’s no laughing matter to see them on store shelves today. Sure the box and product marketing may often show what appears to be a dense frothy cloud of air & water mixing inside the tube of the SeaClone but by and large it very rarely ever performs that way.

    Not only is the SeaClone one of the least effective protein skimmers you can use, it is really loud. The hang-on design of the SeaClone forces users to have a big ugly pump hang inside the tank, and several external connections on the SeaClone outside the tank is a liability for leaking, however slowly and prone to creating a unsightly amount of salt creep.

    There must have been a thousand models of protein skimmers introduced to the aquarium market in the 20 years that the SeaClone has been on the market, meanwhile the SeaClone is like a living fossil, a horseshoe crab skimmer, having remained completely unchanged despite the generations of reefers who have perfected the protein skimmer design over time.

    These are just the most egregious products that reefers either don’t need, or could just do much better than. We could have made this list so much longer but decided to stick to the ones that we are surprised to still see being sold. Do you agree or disagree with our list? Let us know in the comments.
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  3. 459b

    459b Moderator

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    Terrible article. Seems jake is on yet another pointless rant and has once again lost the plot a bit.
    Grounding probe is still a life saver. Very bad advice from someone who should know better.
     
    Vleis Visagie, r0ckf1re and EFJ like this.
  4. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Agreed. I'm not liking this new direction he is taking. I think he's going to lose a lot of regular readers.
     
  5. SteveZi

    SteveZi

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    I would have added herbal white spot remedies
     
  6. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Over weekends, I barely wear shoes at home. I rather have the tank trip the house power than to be electrocuted early in the morning.
     
    Last edited: 25 Mar 2016
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  7. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    And a lot of the European countries it is custom not to wear shoes in the house. This tradition must have started from the winter snow countries where you take off your snow and muddy boots at the front door as to not leave mud and melting snow all over the house. So for all those reefers it is also better to have a grounding probe.
     
    EFJ likes this.
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