August Newsletter

Best Fish store in Milwaukee

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August Newsletter

Postby Best Fish on Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:12 pm

Hi all ~

Summer is our slow season plus I continue to "try" and work on some ongoing renovations and building maintenance. The plan was to devote these summer months to complete some much needed building repairs, etc. Sounded good but my progress has been much slower than I would have liked. I know that I have had to turn down some requests to come in after hours, and I do apologize for that. I just have no extra time. I hope things will get back to normal in a couple months.

I actually ended up doing more changes in the store this summer than I planned...guess I got sidetracked. For those of you who have not been in awhile...we did now open up our front showroom as soon as you walk into the store. We have our Deep Blue tanks on display so you can see all the sizes they make and that you will not see anywhere else. Some very nice frag tanks as well. Marinelands new 93 rimless cube is also in there. We have a RJ Aquatics Cherry cabinet and stand on display as well. I continue to take orders for their great products and drive them up from Florida on my Live Rock trips. Also in the showroom, we set up a 300 gal Marineland Deep Dimension tank. It has 2 triggers in it that we had for awhile that really needed a bigger home....they have it now. Plus we set up a "Wrasse" tank that we are selling out of. Been getting in some nice wrasses!

We continue to want to display and stock new items as they come out. So in our showroom there are a number of items that you can see in operation. We used the Vertex Omega 150 skimmer on the 300 gallon tank. Extremely easy to adjust and am very happy with it. In that same system, we used two separate tanks for the refugium and skimmer. Wanted to show you some options when designing your system. There is also a VorTech MP 60 on that tank that you can see in operation. A real beast!

On our 65 gal wrasse tank we finally installed the Xaqua in/out overflow. Really clean overflow system and return that creates waves using any return pump. . Requires 2 holes and we will loan out the bits when you purchase one of these. These are big in Europe and actually have been around for a few years. Selling for $145. If you purchase a tank from us and give us a little time, we will do any trim modifications, drilling and install the unit for you for $35 - $50. It's running very quiet and in my opinion a much nicer look than any other overflow. We only have a couple left but more are ordered. We also installed a Tunze protein skimmer on this same tank. Requires much less height than other skimmers. I prefer the Vertex skimmer but this Tunze is good for when you have limited space under your stand.

We are happy to announce that we are selling Seahorses that are bred here locally by Tami Weiss She has been extremely helpful and her H. Erectus seahorses are outstanding. They are currently selling for $40. They eat like We do appreciate her sharing all her knowledge with us! She has really gone above and beyond to help us out so that we can give out good information.

While I am thanking people, I do also want to thank a good customer, Andria, and her boyfriend Dan for their thoughtfulness. Andria donated some very nice mushrooms for one of our display tanks. Dan is an extremely talented artist and they gave us a print of one of his paintings. We have it displayed near our zero edge tank. The zero edge continues to dazzle Really an impressive tank. We also have the ATI Powermodule LED - Dimmable T5 light over it. I am sure we are the only place you can see this light in action. In that same area, we have a 27" Razor LED on display. A great looking light.

Dosing or Calcium Reactor?

Aquarium plants electronic regulators now in stock.
(Also have the CO2 tanks in stock) Still waiting on stocking calcium reactors, though I have been ordering in the Geo's for customers upon request. I planned my next rock trip around the MACNA show in Miami and Vertex is supposed to have their new reactors on display. If they are as nice as advertised, that may be the model I stock, otherwise it’s the GEO's.

Dosing equipment... I have the same dosers that BRS sells in stock. Very efficient, either use with a timer or your Apex controller or similar. I did get in the GHL Profilux stand alone dosers as well but only 2. So I sold one and set up the other to display. (I only have to sell about 8 more to pay for my display These consistently get the best reviews of any doser on the market. I will be ordering more in but feel free to look at it in operation and ask questions next time you stop. This thing is quality. Easy to setup, you just program it to say how much you want to dose, and it will do the calculations as well. They sell for just over $400 where as the BRS are only $85 each. The GHL takes the place of 3 BRS and you do not need an Apex or additional timers so its not quite as big of a price difference. I also have the vertex dosing containers in. We sell the chemicals (BRS) to mix your own, or if you just want to be lazy like me, buy off the shelf, we have gallon containers for Calcium, Alkalinity and Magnesium. They last quite awhile.

So which is the better way to go, dosing or calcium reactor?? I of course hear feedback from a lot of people. I am sure you will hear advocates disagreeing with the following, but this seems to be the consensus.

Pluses for Calcium Reactor:
Slightly cheaper to run long term, less maintenance once set up correctly
Can be a pain to tune if not checked regularly or the bottle is empty, hard to adjust if your system uses an imbalance of cal and alk , takes more space, higher initial cost, more potential for error unless running Apex

Pluses for Dosing:
Easy to use, can adjust each element individually, cheaper start up cost
Having to mix your solutions though you can buy off the shelf.

Of course you can just manually dose as well, though the controllers sure make things simple and is a better way to dose.

New Products:


We have some new foods in that we wanted to carry for awhile. Finally have the Fauna Marine line. Their "big seller" is the LPS food. I also have their ricordia and zoanthid food and waiting to hear feedback from a few of our customers that are now trying it Both appear a little pricey at $26.99 but this 100ml bottle will last a long time and very convenient to feed. I also brought in their Clownfish food and just started feeding it to our clownfish.

I have been bringing in a few live Rotifer cultures as needed. Short shelf life so I want to keep newly harvested cultures. Algen recently released a new product that has really been selling well.. PhycoPure Zooxanthellae. Has a 3 month shelf life and of course contains Zooxanthellae. In addition to providing corals with essential nutrients, zooxanthellae are responsible for the unique and beautiful colors of many stony corals. Sometimes when corals become physically stressed, the polyps expel their algal cells and the colony takes on a stark white appearance. This is commonly described as “coral bleaching.” If the polyps go for too long without zooxanthellae, coral bleaching can result in the coral's death. There have been some amazing testimonials about reversing this process using this product. Tyler has been using it with his corals and he has seen increased coloration after just a few weeks. Comes in 2 sizes --( $14.99) My new supply is due in on Wednesday.

Still stocking Phyto planktons, and our preffered product there is Phyto 2. Comes in 2 bottles with 2 separate strains..Tetraselmis and Nanochloropsus. Unlike DT, keeping the strains separate has less die off and thus less odor. This same company manufactures the Coral Food - Azox.

Media Reactors:

Brought in CPR's tumblers. It's good for nano tanks or in small areas of a sump. Comes in 2 sizes and we set one up with carbon in one of our tanks so you can see it working. ($49.99 and pump is included). Along the same line is Innovative Marine's new reactors...3 sizes, with motors and more control than the CPR. Thus more money... starting at $105 Works with GFO, Bio Pellets or carbon. This product appears to be a winner and we have one running with GFO for you to see. Its on an Innovative Marine Bio cube which we have in stock, by far the nicest bio cube out there! While your checking out their reactor, take a look at the juvenile Gold Flake Angel we have in that tank, smallest I have ever seen. Innovative Marine has a spin off line--"Aqua Gadget" and is working hard on providing some higher end products. They are not the best priced but they strive to have the best quality and customer service.

We still have TLF reactors as well as Coral Vue's reactors, nice design utilizing cones instead of sponges to hold media in...less maintenance. Both running and on display in the store.

ATO's --Auto Top Off's

An auto top off is an easy add-on to any sump or even tank. So important to keep your system stable and also offers a great way to add Kalk to your system so that your ph levels are better maintained. We set up a JBJ ATO which we also use to dose Kalk. When you stop in, ask us to go over it with you so you can see how easy it is to use. There are different configurations, we are using a single float valve so it runs for very short times. (Our preference when dosing kalk) The JBJ comes factory preset to shut off if it runs for over 3-4 minutes to prevent adding too much water. That setting can be changed to up to about 14 minutes. A nice fail safe. They run $85 but do require a pump to power it as well. We set ours up with a Tom Aqua Lifter, an inexpensive option ($18) but with a limited life expectancy. Its not unusual for them to go out after 6 months or so when used continuously with Kalk. The tradeoff goes back to price, but if your looking for a good pump, we do have some peristaltic pumps that pump 50ml per minute for $85.

We also have the top of the line Tunze Osmolator for $205. This is with the pump and utilizes 2 technologies...the float switch and an electronic eye with multiple fail-safe's. Then we do just have the float switches that you can hook up to an Apex.

Of course we have the "high risk" float valves...anyone ever have to shake the handle on a toilet to stop the water???? Hmmmm , I think I would pass on this option. I do have the Tsunami for $55 that has a float sensor as well, overall pretty good reviews though I would move up to the JBJ or the Tunze. Innovative Marine will be releasing their ATO soon as well, I will review when I get one in. Everyone is scrambling to have their new items out in time for the MACNA show later this month, so we will see them there.

LED Lighting:

So what newsletter would be complete without talking LED's... The best ??.... ?? ... ATI's Power Module and EcoTechs Radion Pros. I prefer the ATI, but I am partial to the colors t5's provide. The knock is bulb replacement cost...but I think in this hobby an average $22 expense every 3 months is not a deal breaker to get the "look" that I want. The "new" -- AI (Aqua Illumination)'s Hydra is now out and we will be stocking more soon (that darn money issue again ) I sold a few and the feedback has been great. I am actually closing out on their AI sols because of this light but I will continue to carry their Vegas as well. Biggest difference between Vega and Hydra, to over simplify, less light and not customizable with the Hydra. But at a $399 MAP price, it’s a nice value.

I am pleased with our Chinese pendants as well. I have been getting great service from my China contact.."Anna". A younger girl that is very enthusiastic and helpful. I have now seen pictures of all her family, her boyfriend and learning about Chinese delicacies. Even a little about LED's--lol. Her broken English emails are actually very good.... much better than my Chinese. I admire people that speak multiple languages and other than a little Spanish, I admit this is not one of my strong points. The lights are configured to my specs and includes UV, reds and greens along with the standard blues/whites. We have multiple models/optics and sell for $249.99. All programmable --- 3 set points each on 3 channels. Blue/UV, Full spectrum and Moonlights. We offer a full 1 year warranty on these where you can actually return to us (not typical with other lighting and products). We will repair or replace and you will not be without a light.

I closed out on the Deep Blue LED strip lights, still in search for something decent at a lower cost. Don't bother with the Marineland reef capable LEDs unless in limited applications. Aquatic life makes a nice 1w LED that we use on our fish systems. They really do provide great color on the fish but not as good with corals.

We brought in the Reef Brite 36" and 48" strip lights. Great way to modify or add blue to your T-5's. We continue to carry Hamilton's version as well at a little better price. Though the availability on these is inconsistent.


Just a reminder, we do stock these items as well...Weld-on 16 for acrylic repair, uniseals, nylon screening for tops along with all the rails, spleen, corners and rollers, lockline, bulkheads and fittings, everything for RO's including 100gpd membranes, Di Addons, solenoid valves, tubing, dual inline TDS meters, handheld meters, apex products and accessories.

Old News;

After using the Aquatop Circulation pumps for awhile, while they continue to be a better value than the Hydor Koralia , unfortunately they are no better on wavemakers. Too loud when going off and on plus some went in reverse. I still like them better for continuous use. The Koralia rep says their newer units will no longer go in reverse, but we will see. The Sicce voyagers continue to be the only pump that does not have that issue.

Sale Items Good thru August:


Salinity Aquavitrol - 225 gal bucket - $75
Coral Life - 200 gal Box - $38


34 Gallon Tank - 30x18x16 $69.99

120 Gallon - 48x24x24 - $325
120 Gallon Reef Ready- 48x24x24 -$399

125 Gallon - 72 x 18 x22 - $335
125 Gallon Reef Ready - 72 x 18 x22 - $399

72" x 24" Black Pine stand...slightly nicked up from being on display--$175 (Regularly $300)

Fish Foods:

Fauna Marine LPS foods - $23.99
Phyto 2 - LIve plankton - $11.99
LImpits Coral Blend Frozen food - $9.99

Dosing Products:

Gallons :
SeaChem Reef Fusion 1 (Calcium)- $28
SeaChem Reef Fusion 2 - (Alkalinity) $28
Kent Tech M Magnesium - $31.99

Kent Tech M Magnesium - 64oz - $23
Kalkwasser - 225gr - $10

Peristaltic Dosing Pump - 1.1ml / minute - $79
Peristaltic Top Off Pump - 50ml / minute - $79
Tom Aqualifter Pump - $16

JBJ ATO - $80
Tunze Osmolator - $200

LED Lights:

Close out on 3 new AI Sols with controller - $900. These are brand new in box, regularly $1290.

Chinese Pendants - $240. Typically you use 2 of these on a 75/90 gal 4' tank.

Aquatic Life - 4 Bulb T5's with Built in Timers :


Odds and Ends:

Chemi Pure Elite - $11.99
Bulk 7" Filter socks - LG - $5.00
1/6 HP Chiller - Good to 125-150 gallon tank - $485

****Please Note**** On Sunday, September 1st we will be closing 1 hour early -- 4 pm sharp! Tyler is getting married that night to his long time girlfriend and best friend Leah.

Thanks all for your support!

Brian, Judy, Kevin, Laura and Tyler

"Best Fish"
1335 N. ML King Dr
Mil Wi 53212

Here is the link to our Saltwater instock list:

(414) 224-0486
Fax (815) 425-8948

Open Daily 10am to 6pm
Sundays Noon till 5pm
Best Fish
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 7:57 am

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