Hello Fellow fish nerds and welcome to our first video of 2018! All of us here at MD want to wish you and yours a wonderful new year and thank you for all of the support through 2017. I hope you will continue to follow along with us in 2018 as we create exciting new aquarium content to help YOU build a better aquarium.

Our topic for this video is a follow up video to one of our more popular videos in 2017 so without further ado here is our list of Aquarium Products you may not know about, but should! - VOLUME 2.

First up is Waste Collection Containers for your protein skimmer. A waste collection container is simply an overflow container for your protein skimmer collection cup. Many skimmers these days come with a drain fitting which is designed to be connected to a waste collection container. As your skimmer removes waste from your tank, it rises into the collection cup and can then drain into the remote collection container.

You can easily DIY a waste collection container from old reactors or pretty much any water tight container.  Even a bucket will work! 

Some waste containers have an area for carbon to help reduce the smell and the more advanced units integrate a float valve and solenoid that will cut power to your protein skimmer in the event that the waste container reaches capacity. Say goodbye to overflowing skimmer cups and get yourself a waste collection container!

Another great accessory for your protein skimmer is a Cleaning Head or Neck Cleaner. A cleaning head is a skimmer collection cup with a built in brush that can quickly clear waste build up from the skimmer neck which will make your protein skimmer more efficient. When skim-mate builds up inside of your skimmer neck, the skimmer can no longer collect as much waste, if you keep the neck clean and free of build up, the skimmer can constantly remove as much waste as possible.

You can get manual cleaning heads which require that you turn the lid on the cup to clean out the riser tube. You can also get automatic cleaning heads which utilize a small motor attached to timer to periodically clean the skimmer neck ensuring maximum effectiveness at all times.

Modern technology has allowed hobbyists like us to automate many of the mundane tasks that come along with keeping a fish tank. The idea of an Automatic Water Change System has been around for some time and classically reserved for only the most seasoned aquarists. Auto Aqua recently released a complete automatic water exchange system to make this sort of technology accessible to a much wider audience.

For users of the Neptune Systems APEX, with the use of the Neptune DOS module, you can now program an automatic water exchange system easier than every before. Setting up an automatic water exchange system will relieve much of the work associated with a water change and also help keep your tank in pristine condition. The facts are that water changes are often neglected because they are not fun, with an easy automated solution you are much more likely to keep up with your maintenance schedule which means you will likely have a healthier, flourishing aquarium.

A Battery Back-Up is exactly that, a battery that is designed to supply power to the crucial pumps in your aquarium during a short power outage. Typically, the battery is connected to a powerhead or pump inside the display. When power is lost, the pump will automatically switch over to the battery for power; it is best to run the pump at a reduced speed to conserve battery energy if possible. In 99% of cases, the batteries are not strong enough to run all of your equipment but so long as you are moving some water inside of the display, the water will stay oxygenated and your fish and corals will stay alive. Tunze, EcoTech Marine, and IceCap all offer intelligent battery back-up solutions.

Something fairly new to the aquarium world is Mail-In Water Testing. Here are Marine Depot we offer two different options. The AWT from Aqua Medic as well as the ICP testing kit from ATI. The mail in kits require that you take a few samples of aquarium water, then mail them away for a highly accurate and comprehensive water analysis. The results are then made available to you via email or an online portal.

These mail in water tests are really becoming popular because they are very easy to use and eliminate the need for monotonous home water testing. You reduce the risk of human error and can be confident that the test results are as accurate as possible. Because the tests are so comprehensive, they also allow you to keep a close eye on some of the overlooked tank parameters such as all of the crucial trace elements found in natural seawater.

Finally, feeding and cleaning tools. As my pops always told me, having the right tool for the job can really go a long way in terms of making your life easier.

Bulb Syringes like the Taam Coral Feeder work great to spot feed corals and finicky fish as well as helps keep food waste out of your filtration. You can quickly remove detritus from the hard to reach areas of your aquascape. You can deliver additives and liquid foods and even remove pests or parasites. All while your hands stay clean and dry.

Metal tongs are great for feeding large chunks of food but can also come in handy when fragging. You can quickly move small pieces of coral with minimal damage to tissue. They work great for physical removal of pests, algae and even prolific corals such as Xenia, Button Polyps and the like.

Feeding rings and clips make it easy for your fish to access foods in a specific area and prevent food from entering your filtration.

Cleaning tools such as a bottle brushes, pump cleaners, and even a regular hand towel are also great items to keep in your aquarium arsenal.

As we all should know, keeping your pumps clean and free of build-up will reduce the everyday wear and tear, ensure proper operation and reduce the risk of a pump failure. Pump cleaners and small brushes will help make cleaning your pumps quick and easy. The cleaner will help loosen build up on the pump and small firm bristle brushes help clean the tiny crevices and corners.

A bottle brush such as the ones included in the Tunze cleaning kit work great for cleaning out your protein skimmer collection cup and neck. The smaller size brushes are nice for clearing out small nipples, tubing and other connections that are prone to clogging.

So that wraps up our list of Aquarium products you may not know existed but definitely should VOLUME II. If you are interested in any of the products we discussed in this video or simply have questions, feel free to leave us a comment below or contact our technical support team for fast and friendly help.

...until next time, take care and happy reefkeeping!