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Product Review: Coralife Colormax Mini Compact Fluorescent

If you have any older, incandescent hoods, you probably are aware that the standard bulbs used in these hoods generate a lot of heat and don't last very long. Worse, the quality of light from incandescent bulbs is harsh and doesn't make your fish look good.

There is an easy solution . . . the Coralife Colormax 10 Watt compact fluorescent bulb which is about $9.

Testing

How many cichlid hobbyists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Fortunately, just one . . . me! 

I had an old incandescent 5-gallon hood that came with a cheap boxed aquarium set and the light was certainly harsh and too hot.

Changing this out to the Colormax was easy. The new bulb has a standard screw-in bulb base. Just unscrew your existing lightbulb and screw in this fluorescent replacement.

Once I had the bulb in, I was very pleased with the appearance of the fish and the tank. The color looked natural and I even think the fish looked a bit happier.

The packaging states that this bulb "provides full spectrum light". I don't have a light meter, but it looked darn good to me.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a way to get better results from that old aquarium hood, give the Coralife Colormax 10 Watt compact fluorescent bulb a try.

Screw-on Lid for Buckets: Gamma Seal Review

I recently purchased a Gamma Seal which adds a rugged, screw-on lid to 5-gallon buckets. 

The Gamma Seal is made from high density polyethylene and it creates a leak-proof and airtight seal making 5-gallon buckets great for transporting fish.

Installation

Using a rubber mallet, you tap on the included adapter ring which includes a rubber gasket. With the adapter in place, you can screw in the cover and you're good to go. I haven't tried removing one of the adapters from a bucket and I'm not sure it is possible.

How well does it work?

In a word, great!

Once installed, you can hold a bucket completely upside down and it won't leak. If you've ever had a bucket of fish tip over in your car, you will appreciate the Gamma Seal.

I used to transport a bucket containing a very large (and mean) Vieja hartwegi to the Cichlid Classic and it worked perfectly.

How much and where do I buy it?

Gamma Seals are available at some Fleet/Farm stores, but it is easy to find them from internet retailers:

Gamma Seal

Accu-Clear Review

Ever have a tank get cloudy?

I think everyone has experienced this at one time or another. Most recently, I had a really bad snail outbreak in a 90-gallon tank, so I removed the fish (which I was selling anyway) and bleached the tank. After 24-hours of snail-killing  bleach, I stirred the sand substrate and siphoned out as much debris as I could. Then, I refilled the tank.

This is where the "cloudy" happened. After filling the tank and re-starting the filter, the tank was cloudy with very fine sediment. Usually, the filter will remove this in 24 hours. but after a week the tank was still cloudy. What to do?

AccuClearAccu-Clear to the Rescue

I was a bit stumped at this point, but then I remembered that I had won a goodie bag at one of the GCCA Meetings in the raffle. Inside, was an 8 ounce bottle of Accu-Clear from Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. This, I thought, is worth a try.

Using the product is simple. Just dump in 1 teaspoon (5ml) per ten gallons of water. The cap offers a convenient measure built in.

Bonus! Within 24-hours my tank water was sparkling clear!

How does it work?

Accu-Clear is a flocculant. The chemicals in the product bond to particles in the water a bit like glue and aggregate them. The result is that the particles fall out of the water column to the bottom of the tank where you can ignore them (I did) or siphon them out.

Although I didn't have fish in the tank at the time, you can use this product even if your tank is stocked.

Final Thoughts

What else can I say?

This product does what it claims to do. An 8 ounce bottle will run you $7 to $10 and will treat 480 gallons of water. I think this is a good product that every aquarist ought to have on hand. 

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