Growing Vegetables Year Round

How do cherry tomatoes in the dead of winter sound to you, a gardener in a northern clime wishing for summer? Impossible, you say. Not if you garden indoors. Vegetables of all types can be grown year-round indoors, with the proper light, soil, fertilizer and temperature, as well as focusing on suitable plant varieties.

If you are going to grow indoor vegetables in winter, you will need to start by raising plants from seed in late summer or early fall. It’s best to buy your seeds in the spring if you wish to do this, because it is not always easy to find seeds for sale at local garden centers in the fall.

Use a light seedling mix for starting your seeds. Its loose consistency will make it easy for the plants new roots to start to develop. After the seedlings have two true leaves, you can begin to carefully transplant them into individual four-inch containers. You can use any good potting soil for this purpose, but do not use regular garden soil. It is usually very heavy, has poor drainage and can also harbor disease and insects that can kill your new starts.

Because you will be watering these plants every day or every other day to keep the roots properly moist, you are also washing nutrients out of the soil. So feed your plants with a complete organic fertilizer every couple of weeks to give them the food they need to grow and flourish.

You will be playing with temperatures when raising indoor vegetables to suit the particular plants you wish to grow. Some vegetables, such as lettuce, endive, and radishes like cooler indoor temperatures. Daytime temperatures in the 60s work well, while night temperatures should go no lower than the 40s. A basement situation might work well to provide these temperatures, or an unheated porch if it doesn’t get too cold.

Sun lovers like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and beans must have daytime temperatures in the upper 70s and nights can go down no lower than 60 in order for these plants to flower and produce fruit. You will likely need to provide bottom heat to your containers to make sure they are warm enough to do well indoors.

If you do not have the proper hydroponic lights, you will be doomed to failure when it comes to growing vegetables indoors. This is of utmost importance to your success. You need to keep your light two to four inches above your plants for them to thrive. highly recommend led grow lights.

Using a Stealth Grow Box to Hide Your Plants

Growing plants indoors is now becoming the trend.  You are able to grow plants year round, plants grow faster and healthier and it is easier to do.  But if you don’t want anyone to know that you are growing anything or you need to keep the plants away from children or pets, you need to grow your plants secretly.

If you are planning on growing plants that you want to keep away from prying eyes, you may want to consider getting a Stealth Grow box.  Stealth grow boxes help you to grow plants secretly.  They can come in many forms trying to look like normal pieces of furniture or equipment to blend in with everything else in your home.

Many look like small refrigerators, system units of a computer, pieces of furniture or anything that is not obvious to anyone in the room where the stealth grow cabinet is kept.  Many companies provide already made stealth grow boxes but they can cost a lot of money.

If you choose to make one on your own you need to be very careful since creating a grow box can be complicated.  It needs to be done in a certain way so that plants get the right kind of light while hiding the light so that no one can see it – led grow light.  It also needs to be made so that there is proper air circulation using fans and the noise from the fans needs to be quiet so no one can hear them.  If it is not built correctly the plants will not thrive and they will die.  Building your own box you may spend a lot of money and have failures when growing your plants and end up buying an already made grow box anyway.  But if you are lucky and do your research you might be able to build your own grow box and be successful.

One advantage of using a stealth grow box is to protect your loved ones from toxic plants.  Many people choose to grow plants that are pretty but are dangerous.  If you are planning on growing plants that are toxic, such as foxglove which is very beautiful but the leaves are toxic, you need to use stealth grow box.  Stealth boxes can hide these poisonous plants so that children or animals won’t get in to them and get sick.  If you are planning on growing plants that are poisonous make sure that your grow box can be locked with either a combination or a key.

When using a grow box they tend to make a little noise and make a little light.  To keep it hidden and secret where you put the Stealth Grow Box is important.  Put it in an area that already has some slight background noises so that no one will notice it.  Next to a fridge or a computer that has a fan is a good place to keep it.  During the day it is not hard to hide the light that might come from a homemade grow-box.  Keeping it next to a window or an area that has a lot of small lights, such as a computer, will help you to keep your box hidden from those prying eyes.

Hydroponic System – Amazing Innovation

Have you seen the new Hydroponic System?  It really is amazing. Featuring a new level of hydroponic system automation, it will revolutionize the indoor growing industry, which itself is growing at a furious rate. Here is some of what it can do to make your growing simpler and more successful.

With this truly unique arrangement of modules, the benefits are many and various. No more tangled roots, for instance or fungus sneaking in where you can’t see it.  The Hydroponic System is much easier to keep clean all around. The air circulation around each plant is also very beneficial.

The Hydroponic System is made up of individual site modules combined with a main controller module. With this you can expand your growing capability from one to twenty modules  per controller. The special ball-and-joint rods link together to keep everything stable. With special flexible UV tubing, pieces can be easily replaced at any time.

On top of this, you have a fully expandable trellis system for your  Hydroponic System that can grow to support plants from one foot to six feet. This means you no longer have to put screws into the ceiling above your Hydroponic System to tie up your plants or risk them falling over ever again. How much easier to deal with and you end up with much less plant damage.

Within the Hydroponic System controller, there is an electronic float valve and water pump to keep the water at the ideal level at all times. Many growers forget to top up the water for their plants. Now this is a problem solved!

The Hydroponic System is so flexible that you can accommodate from four to forty plants and any one time.  You can use any room size available and configure it to fit the space. The Hydroponic System will grow many small six inch plants or larger plants reaching up to six feet. Imagine what can be done with a little imagination.

You can purchase a small Hydroponic System consisting of five units and a controller module for a very reasonable price.

It comes with hydroton, netpots, a complete controller unit, backup reservoir, two water pumps, one air pump, electronic float valve, power supply, two feet tall trellis system per plant, ten feet of latex tubing, organic starter plugs, and wicking material.
I have even seen a Hydroponic System kit that includes a 300W LED grow light. With that you have everything you need to start your indoor garden. Just add seeds and water!

Growing plants indoors for fun and to eat is a growing trend. With all the benefits and features of this  Hydroponic System, I can only see it being so efficient one day that homes will built with a space especially dedicated to growing your vegetables, herbs and flowers. How wonderfully healthy that would be for body and soul.  How could anyone be depressed looking at lush plants growing in their living space? A Hydroponic System in every home is my wish for everyone.

Understand coral beauty angelfish care

Ask an expert aquarist to mention some of the most sought after aquarium fish and you will find coral beauty angelfish in the list. Characterized by presence of two spines, the scientific name of coral beauty angelfish is Centropyge bispinosus. Common names are dusky angel and two-spined angel. It is a dwarf version of marine angelfish, having bright purple color head and fins, with yellow or orange stripes in the body. Its vibrant color enhances the aesthetic value of any aquarium setup. Caring for coral beauty angelfish is not a concern, as it thrives well in a wide range of aquarium conditions.

Coral Beauty Angelfish Information

The natural habitat of coral beauty angelfish is the Indo-Pacific ocean. It can be maintained in a regular saltwater aquarium or reef aquarium setup. At maturity, coral beauty angelfish grows to about 4 inches in size. In short, moderate tank size is not a an issue for rearing this beautiful fish. It is sold in most aquarium centers, that too at a relatively cheap price. Refer to the following coral beauty angelfish facts and decide whether you can keep them in your aquarium or not:

Coral Beauty Angelfish Care
Coral beauty angelfish is extremely hardy, as compared to other dwarf angelfish. For rearing it, the ideal tank conditions are alkaline water (pH 8.1 – 8.4), moderate temperature (72o – 78o F), high light intensity and lots of live rocks. Though coral beauty angelfish is usually quite peaceful, it may be aggressive to other tank inhabitants. Another important thing to be noted is setting up a large sized fish tank (at least 30 gallon). In general, coral beauty angelfish is resistant to diseases.

Coral Beauty Angelfish Food
The best part with coral beauty angelfish diet is that it is omnivorous. Hence, you will get variety of foods for feeding your pet fish. Spirulina, marine algae and small live foods are good options. In between, supplement the fish diet with dried seaweeds. Also, various brands of coral beauty angelfish foods are sold at supply centers. Feeding 2 – 3 times daily is sufficient for coral beauty angelfish.

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Coral Beauty Angelfish Reproduction
As far as sexual dimorphism is concerned, a male coral beauty angelfish is slightly larger than the female. However, it is hard to differentiate between males and females, when kept in groups in fish tanks. Being an egg scattering species, breeding coral beauty angelfish is very difficult in captivity and/or aquarium. Spawning may take place in captivity under dark condition, but the young ones hardly survive to adulthood.

Coral Beauty Angelfish Lifespan
In the natural habitat, the lifespan of coral beauty angelfish is recorded to be 10 – 15 years. Provided that you maintain the optimal water conditions required for this angelfish and feed healthy diet, it may survive for more than 8 years. However, a life expectancy of 15 years is not likely under captive conditions. In order to extend its life expectancy, maintain the water conditions in a similar way to its native habitat.

In the aquarium, add lots of live rocks to provide hiding place and grazing base for coral beauty angelfish. At times, it disturbs the corals, particularly when there is food scarcity. In short, coral beauty angelfish may not be an excellent choice for keeping together with live corals. Hence, if you have a reef aquarium, take advice from fish keepers while choosing coral beauty angelfish for your aquarium.  more infomation please visit

Who Can Sell Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is now legal in fourteen US states and each one of these states has its own regime for distribution. If you want to start selling medical marijuana seeds in your own headshop or pharmacy you’ll still need to abide by the state rules. It is still a federal offence to sell or buy marijuana in the US so make sure all the correct protocols are in place, and only sell to approved patients whatever state you happen to be in.

Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Rhode Island

Although medical marijuana is legal in all of the above states, buying or selling marijuana is still very much against the law. Therefore, there is no legal way in which patients can procure the drug and how the patient gets hold of their marijuana seeds is strictly up to them. Patients that suffer from any of the symptoms for which medical marijuana is legalized are required to purchase a registry card which gives them a defence should they be caught red-handed with marijuana seeds on them. The registration card also requires a letter from a doctor, and any care-givers to medical marijuana patients will need to register for their own form of identification.

Arizona and New Mexico

In the Lone Star State and neighbouring New Mexico, medical marijuana sellers must apply for a license from the state. This allows them to sell or distribute marijuana seeds to patients that are in possession of a medical marijuana registry card.


Medical marijuana in the Golden State can only be sold through co-operations and collectives. Although California’s liberal stance meant that it was the first state to legalize medical marijuana, selling marijuana seeds is by no means as easy as it is in certain states. Cannabis collectives must abide by rules covering everything from parking laws to the use of licensed contractors. Landlords also present a problem when dealing with owning a dispensary and can make the arduous task even more problematic.


The Pine Tree State’s medical marijuana laws echo California’s and sellers must belong to an established co-operation or collective. Unlike California’s collectives, which differ in their city based jurisdiction of how much medical marijuana sellers can distribute, the laws in Maine do not address this issue, and medical marijuana patients are advised to use their own discretion when collecting marijuana seed prescriptions.

Maryland and Michigan

The sale and distribution of medical marijuana is illegal in Maryland. However, unlike Alaska and Colorado where patients are required to register and fill in an identification card, these rules don’t apply to Maryland. Maryland’s laws only provide an affirmative defence in court to medical marijuana patients, but with no predetermined list of what ailments can construe a need for medical marijuana, this is often shaky ground. The only real way someone in Maryland can become a medical marijuana patient is with a letter from a doctor – a process much easier said than done.

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In Vermont, sufferers of debilitating conditions, such as HIV, AIDS, MS and cancer are required to register with their doctors as medical marijuana patients. After receiving a registration card patients can grow their own marijuana seeds, although they can grow no more than two mature plants at a time.

Tips To Grow Hydroponics Indoor Gardening House Plants

Indoor Gardening is for everyone including hydroponics growers. Only the difference between hydroponics growers and other growers is that, hydroponics growers take help of artificial lighting and high-tech climate controlling equipments for their gardening and other gardeners do it without the help of lighting and other costlier equipments.

There are hundreds of varieties of house plants that can be grown without much care or specialized costlier equipments. These house plants are very useful as they generate fresh oxygen, filter air, and remove carbon dioxide from air, visitors get attracted to it.

Given below is a list of few indoor plants which can be grown easily and do not require much care.

1. Jade plant (Crassula argentea) – This indoor plant has very thick leaves and looks like a small tree. This plant grows well in presence of light so it would be beneficial to keep them in rooms with windows facing outside. This type of plant has very good growth so you should always take big pot for planting it.

2. Devil’s Ivy or Pothos (Scindapsus or Epipremnum) – This is a cascading vine plant and its beautiful shaped leaves have dark green color. It looks awesome when you put them in hanging baskets. This type of plant does not require much light and can be grown in dark room which does not have outside facing windows but it acquires good growth if you keep small grow light bulb in grow room.

3. Mother-in-law’s tongue/Snake plant/Bird’s-nest plant (Sansevieria) – The Mother-in-law’s tongue and Snake plant has many varieties. Basically these plants are tall in compare to Bird’s-nest plant. These plants can be grown very well in harsh extreme environmental conditions too. There is no need to repot this plant as it grows well in one pot. If the pot which has been used is very small or if the roots of the plant start coming out of the pot then only you should repot it.

4. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) – Whatever amount of light would be available to this plant, it would have good growth. Growing new spider plant is very easy, as main plant allows its miniature plants to grow on long hanging down stems. Spider plants roots can do well in small pots too, so no need to repot it. It looks beautiful if you grow them in hanging baskets.

5. Parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans) – This plant is an exception to Palm tree; it does not require much sun light as all other palm tree requires. When grown indoor this plant can do well in low light and does not require much water. This plant can be grown to several feet height.

6. Rubber plant or Rubber tree (Ficus elastica) – Hobbyist growers love rubber plants because without taking much care rubber plants can be grown big in size with exceptional looks. This type of plants require good sun light so it’s better to grow them in room with a window or you should provide a skylight to them for at least two hours a day.

7. Christmas cactus (Zygocactus or Schlumbergera) – This plant is available in two types. The Easter cactus flowers and Christmas cactus flowers. The Easter cactus flowers are grown around Easter, and Christmas cactus flowers are grown in late autumn or early winter. In actual this plant is not from cactus family. It is originally from plant family named “succulents”. It requires moderate amount of water and few hours’ sunlight or artificial light for its good growth.

8. Dragon tree (Dracaena Marginata) – Dragon trees are found in many varieties. Few varieties can be grown very easily than others. These plants need very good amount of light and water. These plants can be grown four feet tall.

Always select healthy and properly grown plants while buying them, for your hydroponic or indoor gardening is of utmost importance. led grow lights for sale in australia:

A Small Greenhouse For Indoor or Outdoor Use

A small grow tent can be used indoors for a vegetable garden during the coldest days of winter. A small greenhouse can also work outdoors for starting your seedlings in early spring before the ground is ready for use. It can also be for extending your summer vegetable garden well into the winter months indoors. A greenhouse can also give you the opportunity to try new varieties of fruits and vegetables that you have never grown before.

A very small greenhouse, also referred to as a windowsill greenhouse, is a simple box that will sit on an extended kitchen window. Some of these windows are referred to as a greenhouse window because they extend beyond the walls of the house and have three window walls and a window on top. These greenhouses are also known as mini greenhouses and are available in starter kits which include grow lights, if you need them, the starting medium and include small containers. Many of these kits are available with transparent covers to keep in the moisture. You just need to remember that if you are placing it in a kitchen greenhouse window behind your sink that you need to be able to reach it for watering.

Another version of a small greenhouse is a unit of shelves that resemble an open bookshelf. This unit comes equipped with a grow light for each individual shelf and is classified as a grow rack. This style of “greenhouse” is not capable of controlling the temperature or the levels of humidity limiting you on what can be grown. This type of grow rack is good for adding extra lighting. There are other grow racks that are enclosed in plastic that will help control the humidity and temperature and also have grow lights for each shelf. These greenhouses come with 2, 3, or 4 shelves for using on kitchen counters or standing on the floor. These smaller greenhouses are good for starting vegetable seeds, flower seeds and for hardening off plants for transplanting in the backyard garden.

Patio grow houses, greenhouse structures that only take up about 18 x 36 inches, will fit on a back porch or patio that receives sufficient sunlight are also good for seed starting and hardening-off. These greenhouses generally have three shelves and come with double-walled glazing that seizes and retains the suns heat; they also come equipped with a zippered door for easy access and to allow air circulation.

A regular sized greenhouse is actually meant for the gardener that has a large piece of property with room to house such a large structure. The portable greenhouse gives the average gardener enough room to start their spring vegetable and flower gardens and if small enough it could be moved around if needed. You can also purchase a portable greenhouse that is heated if you are in a severe winter climate area. Instead of using an actual greenhouse structure using a cold frame around your plants will also work very well. A cold frame is just a box with a plastic door on top of the box which is placed over top of the plants that have already been planted. One thing to remember about a cold frame, it needs to be light enough so it can be lifted off once warmer temperatures arrive. The interiors of the portable greenhouse and the cold frame can be cooled just by opening the door. The cold frame will give you wind protection because they are so close to the ground.

Whereever you use a small greenhouse, inside or outside, you are still going to have a need for garden supplies. Planting trays are needed for starting seeds such as the old fashioned egg cartons or biodegradable pots. Some good hand tools such as trowels, clippers, hand rakes, small hoes, small shovels, and garden scissors will come in very handy. Protecting your hands from cuts and scrapes with a good pair of garden cloves is a must. And do not forget all the other musts for planting such as the led grow light, vegetable seeds, flower seeds, potting soil, compost or peat, fertilizer, and the planting stakes and cages that are needed for certain plants. Most of all enjoy gardening in your small greenhouse or cold frame.

In Wall Reef Aquarium

In Wall Reef Aquarium

How would you design an in-wall reef aquarium so that a chiller would not be needed? It requires a bit of improvisation, but I accomplished this for a new client.

I received a phone call from a lady who needed me to move the contents of her 90-gallon, in-wall reef aquarium to a free-standing, 120-gallon aquarium in her new home. The gentleman who bought her old house requested an estimate for bringing the 90-gallon back into commission as a reef aquarium. The tank wasn’t big, so I wanted to make sure that I made up for this by equipping it with great filtration and very bright lighting, all without causing too much heat to build up inside the cabinetry.

In Wall Reef Aquarium

In many cases, a chiller would be used to make certain the water temperature does not exceed 80° to 82°F, but not only was there zero space to add a chiller, it is also a huge mistake to put a chiller in a tight, enclosed, poorly ventilated space. A chiller dumps the heat that it removes to cool the water down, just like a window air conditioner, so it will seriously heat up the air in the cabinet. Also, the cooler the air it’s allowed to draw in, the more efficiently it will cool the water.


Right away I knew I was going to use LED aquarium light on this system. LED aquarium lights have come a long way since even a couple of years ago, and using T5 fluorescents or metal halides wouldn’t have worked because too much heat would have been created inside the cabinetry. LEDs do produce some heat, but much less than either of the aforementioned light sources. When left on for an hour, a 150-watt metal halide bulb would burn your skin if touched, T5 fluorescents would be uncomfortably hot, and LED aquarium lighting would only be warm to the touch.


The former homeowner took all the filtration in the move, but that was fine because we had decided to upgrade anyway. For a year prior to setting up this reef system, I had been slowly adding solid carbon dosing to my clients’ saltwater fish-only and reef systems to great effect. Solid carbon dosing is a method by which biodegradable plastic-like pellets are fluidized in a media reactor. The material the pellets are made from acts as both food source and colonizing surface for beneficial bacteria that consume nitrate and phosphate on a 1:1 basis.

It is important to place the effluent from the media reactor that you are using to fluidize the bio-pellets close to the intake of a protein skimmer. The bacteria are sloughed off of the surfaces of the pellets as they collide and are easily picked up by the skimmer, thus removing them, along with the nitrate and phosphate they utilized from the system.

People trying solid carbon dosing for the first time in an established saltwater aquarium quickly notice that their protein skimmer pulls out more and darker skimmate once the bacteria have established themselves. This may take around a month depending on whether you use a bacterial booster or not. To feed the bio-pellet reactor, I plumbed a fitting to branch off of the main pump and used a small ball valve to regulate the flow.

Choosing an external main pump in this situation was easy, since it is very well known that submersible pumps transfer much more heat to the aquarium water than do those that are mounted outside of the sump (a sump is a glass or acrylic tank that sits underneath the aquarium and houses all the filtration). I sized the main pump, choosing one that was pressure rated rather than volume rated.

Most external water pumps have two versions: volume-rated pumps and pressure-rated pumps. The pressure-rated pumps are designed to handle more back pressure without losing as much pumping volume as a volume-rated pump will. I always use pressure-rated pumps if I know that I am going to branch off of the main line to power a media reactor, push through a chiller, or run through an ultraviolet sterilizer. I also intentionally chose a pump that would move a couple hundred more gallons per hour (gph) than was required for the aquarium turnover rate, because I would be diverting that amount to power the media reactor.

Sump and Skimmer

The protein skimmer I used was a venturi-driven model with a needle wheel impeller. I used a space-saver model in which the water pump that powers the skimmer is located underneath it. This way, it takes up very little space in the small, acrylic sump.

The built-in, submersible pump that powers this skimmer uses very little electricity, especially when compared to older skimmer types that utilize a large, high-pressure pump that would only create more heat for the system to deal with. The acrylic sump was custom made to fit exactly the space I needed under the aquarium. I had it built to exact specs by a local fish store.

I employed a 100-micron filter bag where tile drain pipe coming from the aquarium brings water into the sump. This is a great way to polish the aquarium water and remove small particles floating around in the water column. Once a week or as needed, this bag is taken outside, hosed out with a pressure nozzle on a garden hose, wrung out to remove excess tap water, and put back into place.

Evaporative Loss Top-Off

I equipped the aquarium with an automatic evaporation top-off system in order to maintain a constant water level in the sump. As water evaporates from the system, an equal amount of fresh water is put back into the system. A sensor located in the sump tells a small, submersible pump located in the top-off reservoir when to turn on or shut off depending where the water level is in relation to this sensor.

Maintaining a constant water level in the sump is important both for the protein skimmer to work efficiently and to ensure that the main pump does not run dry. I keep the reservoir filled with purified water (RO/DI) because when water evaporates, it leaves behind nearly all of the substances dissolved in it. These substances are known as TDS (total dissolved solids) and include minerals such as calcium and magnesium carbonate and sodium chloride.

When a saltwater aquarium loses volume due to evaporation, it is fresh water that you must add back into the system, not salt water. This highly purified water has next to no mineral content or pH buffering ability, so l have the top-off go through a kalkwasser (calcium hydroxide) stirrer before entering the system.

If aquarium evaporation is too high, it can be dangerous to run kalkwasser in line with your top-off. You don’t want to dose too much at one time, as it is a very caustic basic substance (pH of 12 after initial mixing with water). To prevent overdosing, I only keep about a tablespoon of calcium hydroxide in the stirrer at any given time. Between this and bi-weekly water changes (10 gallons at a time), all the necessary elements required by soft corals and large-polyped stony (LPS) corals are taken care of.

This system was designed to evaporate at a great rate because one of the best ways to cool water temperature down is through the use of fans blowing across the water surface, which causes massive evaporation. Besides the previously mentioned exhaust fan in the ceiling above the lights, I also ventilated the bottom cabinetry to help remove hot, humid air. I cut out a square in the drywall, installed a ventilation grate, and mounted a quiet, 4-inch fan that blows out of this grate.


Though no chiller was used to cool the water, a heater was necessary to keep the water temperature from dropping too low at night in the cooler months. Here in southeast Texas winters are not usually very cold, but we do experience temperature swings during the fall and winter that can catch an aquarium off guard and cause its inhabitants’ lower, making immune systems to lower, making them more susceptible to parasites and diseases.

Therefore, I use a heater as at safety net to ensure that the temperature does not get too low. I use an external heater controller instead of relying on the controls inside the heater. A heater is no place to skimp. When your aquarium contains several thousand dollars of sensitive corals and fish, you don’t want to leave things to chance.

Overview of Installation

By using energy-efficient LED aquarium lighting with a strong-yet-quiet bathroom exhaust fan mounted in the ceiling, external water pumps instead of submersible, and ventilating the cabinet below where the filtration is located, I was able to avoid installing a chiller or this system. The ambient temperature in the house stays around 76°, and the water temperature of the 90-gallon, in-wall reef averages 80° to 82°. To find out more, you can check out In Wall Reef Aquarium.

Is There Such a Thing as a Maintenance Free Aquarium

A maintenance free aquarium – no work at all! Just view and enjoy the coral colours and the various reef fish. Many or perhaps all aquarists would tend to call that aquatic heaven – maybe.

Is it possible though? Is there a way that the aquarist can design a marine system where, once all is settled and mature, there is nothing else to do?

The first thing is to compare the aquarium to the wild reef. Yes, there are the same kind of inhabitants in the aquarium as on the wild reef, just fewer of them. Also, there are far fewer species of livestock on the captive reef. So, there’s the first point – the wild reef has far greater diversity of life. The different species have their own niche on the wild reef, each having a food source. There are some overlaps of course but generally it is all very well organised. Nature has everything under control. The first problem that the aquarist is likely to face is in making sure that all potential difficulties are dealt with, from dealing with different forms of nuisance algae to having enough food for fish if kept.

So what if fish are not kept, just a reef with corals. This immediately makes the question of water quality easier to deal with, as the wastes from the fish are gone. In addition, there isn’t any need to feed the fish. So, if the aquarium filtration is excellent, such as live rock and a deep sand bed, will that remove maintenance?

The corals need looking at now. The hard corals generally need considerable light, but that isn’t a particular problem, with the availability of halide bulbs and the fast up and coming LED Aquarium lights. They also require a sufficient level of calcium, magnesium etc which has to be provided. So in comes the calcium reactor, which can supply calcium along with magnesium, and probably other minerals in traces, if the correct media is used. That solves that. Wait a minute though, the calcium reactor needs servicing on occasion, and also the media needs renewal periodically.

What about soft corals? These can exist with less light, fluorescent tubes often being employed. They also need less calcium. It is argued, from anecdotal reports, that the addition of iodine is good for soft coral growth and health, but as this is not scientifically proven (as far as I know) it will be ignored. There isn’t any absolute need to feed certain soft corals, they grow without it. So the maintenance free aquarium idea is intact at the moment.

The marine system is set up with a live rock reef, the live rock being in sufficient quantity. The rock filtration is backed up by a DSB. The system is stocked with hardy soft corals. The lighting cycle is controlled by electric timers. There is a very efficient and properly set up protein skimmer in use.

The aquarist watches carefully until he/she sees what type of algae appears. Snails are introduced to the aquarium to control this. This is successful.

An automatic top-up system using reverse osmosis water is employed. Hey, we’re maintenance free!

No we’re not. Film algae appears on the viewing glasses and the snails attack it but have no ability to ‘keep it clean,’ efficient as they might be. The DSB needs feeding to maintain the population of minute life forms which keep it healthy. The reef rocks need to be ‘de-dusted’ occasionally. The lighting tubes need to be replaced periodically. Seawater quality, so important, needs to be tested routinely.

Seawater quality brings up another question, and this is aquarium water changes. The seawater change amount varies system to system, aquarists knowing, after a period, what the system requires. All aquarists change seawater though. There have been those who have experimented (or tried to save money) without, but problems of various sorts have arisen.

So they need to be done.

No, a marine aquarium system cannot be maintenance free. The move towards natural methods such as live rock, DSB’s, algae filtration etc has improved things immensely. Captive reefs run much closer to how Nature intended nowadays. Add to this the use of highly efficient protein skimmers, calcium reactors, electronically controlled seawater circulation, controlled temperature, accurate water level top-up systems, anti-nitrate reactors, anti- phosphate reactors, sophisticated lighting systems etc and the system is indeed looking after itself to a considerable extent. Correct livestock in the aquarium, not only corals but snails etc enhances self support. Experimentation by advanced aquarists goes on and in the future other innovative methods of control and aquarium maintenance may come into use.

A completely hands-off system will never materialise in my view. There is always something there that ‘needs doing,’ be it a water change, cleaning the glass free of algae, changing media etc. Thank goodness I say. One of the joys of this hobby is the knowledge that actions are helping maintain such interesting life.

Also, in the extremely unlikely event that a hands-off system did materialize, what aquarist could keep their hands off?

Preventive Measures While Dealing with Indoor Plants in Brisbane

We all know and aware that all plants needs proper fertilizer, water and the sunlight for their growth. Many plants can grow without the sunlight rays and many plants can live without water for 10-15 days. All plants have different breeds and requirements for their survival especially for the indoor plants; so it is very important to have a deep knowledge about the indoor plants and the climatic culture in which the plant can survive. As we aware of that we can’t change our house, direction and its design so we need to choose the appropriate space for the indoor plants from where the plant can grow properly.

First of all the climate of Brisbane is such that we can grow any plants. Its average temperature in summer is 25.4 C and in its winter 15.7 C.  So following are the precautionary measures for the Brisbane Indoor Plants –

Place a plant in such a way so that sunlight can reach towards it.

First of all think before you buy any of the indoor plants as per the space and the light in your house. If the plant is not getting enough light either it will die or becomes thin. So to avoid this problem it is better to buy plants that need medium light or else you need to provide led grow lights to the plant.

You can always place your indoor plants to outside; it is not a rule of thumb that you have to place indoor plants inside the house only.
Always use the room temperature water for watering your indoor plants and make sure that your plants are getting enough water for the growth. Always remember if your plant is very dry they will die and if they get excess water, roots will rot.
Occasionally give you plants a bath, it is not recommended that you need to give shower daily just that once or twice a month you need to give a bath with lukewarm water.
It is very important to keep your house airy so that fresh airs comes in so that indoor plants can improve the air quality of your household.
Make sure that your house is not over Smokey and always pay attention to your room temperatures during day and night and accordingly take care of your plant. Always treat plants like your baby give name to it so that you can always remember the name of the plant.
Fertilize your plant twice or thrice a month depending upon your plants requirement.

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