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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.

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

This looks like a great product for raising fry and is applicable to more than just angelfish. There are also some good DIY ideas that can come out of this as well.

 


Marina Hang-On Breeding Box,Fellow GCCA Member Jason let me know about the Marina Hang-on Holding and Breeding Box, raving about how useful this piece of equipment is for raising baby fish.

In fact, Jason wanted me to test them out so he gave me one. I later acquired another one at the GCCA Holiday Party gift exchange, so I thought it was probably about time I checked it out.

The Marina Box is very much like an air-driven power filter that hangs on the outside of your tank. The construction is good and the material is very clear plastic measuring 9.5 W X 3.5W X 5 deep. I tested the Large size box. On Amazon, this product is about $21. Smaller version are in the $14 range. I believe some wholesales offer them for less.

The product comes with a divider so you can separate some fry or perhaps a smaller adult fish on each side. One nice feature is the offsets on the bottom which allow you to easily adjust the offset of the unit from the tank so that it hangs perpindicular to the side of the tank.