The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

Browsing Posts tagged tank

The last installment of this 4-part series ran this morning on Reef Builders.  Check it out –

I know some of you are kinda going “what does this have to do with the Lightning Project?”.  Well, in a hobby that is currently having a bit of a reality check where sustainability is the new goal, LED Lighting options are one more way in which we’re going to lower the impact of our hobby and even save money in the process.  For a captive breeding project born from a sustainable wild harvest project, using LEDs with the energy savings and material savings they represent (you’re not throwing out bulbs every 6-9 months) is just a natural extension of a project that is rooted in sustainability and reducing our impact.

This is arguably the most special part of the ensemble.  No words spared, it’s another in-depth unboxing article you’ll want to check out if you’re into LEDs.  Bottom line for me – Modular LEDs = a win for consumers.  Check it out on ReefBuilders –

Short and Sweet, the second of the 4-part series coving the unboxing of the Ecoxotic 25 gallon LED Aquarium System is up at ReefBuilders.  Check it out here –

Well, it has started.  The first of a 4-part article series on unboxing and assembling the Ecoxotic 25 gallon LED Aquarium System.  Ultimately, rather than flood The Lighting Project with the same content, I’ll just point you to the ReefBuilders articles as they appear.  Many more pictures of this setup will be included in the 4-part series, so it’s worth a look if you’re interested in the tank!  Thanks again for sending the tank Ecoxotic – it’s going to make a great home for our PNG Ambassador!



Strange how the weekend can just get away from you.  Kept saying I was going to add the sand, add the water, add the Labrador Maroon, but it never happened.  At this point, I may just wait – Live Rock is due to arrive Tuesday, so might as well aquascape it while dry at this point.  So all I really did was spend a lovely afternoon with Renee out shopping on Saturday, where we picked up a vase and twisted wood sticks to go along with a larger dried arrangement we already had – these are visual screens for the dog and the son…stay out from behind the tank.  The fact that they add to the look is just a bonus.  I also ran a surge protector and the GCFI outlet on that, and mounted those inside the stand with mounting tape.  Then, I practiced taking some more shots to get just the right look.  So it’s still an “air tank” despite my best intentions.  Another 48 hours and it’s running.  Then I start watching the water and testing and when it seems ready – Lightning Maroon goes in.

Enjoy the pix!

Ecoxotic 18" Cube 25 gallon LED Aquarium System being water tested.

Ecoxotic 18" Cube 25 gallon LED Aquarium System being water tested.

Yes, that is the blazing light of Heaven, apparently having be collected, stored and rebroadcast via the LEDs in the Ecoxotic Panorama fixture above what will be the Lightning Maroon’s permanent home.  I’m just throwing out this sneak peak for now so you all know I’m really working my buns off on it.

FYI, the ghetto extension cord is because my wife decided she liked the tank in the “other corner” better…the one that has no electrical anywhere near it.  Of course, my calls to local electricians have gone unanswered and messages unreturned.  There is ALWAYS something.

Stay tuned…as of tonight I have some pretty in-depth drafts on the full unboxing of the setup.  Those will probably go up on ReefBuilders.  Depending on my time and energy, I may rebroadcast them here later, or I may even elaborate further.

But for now, enjoy the sounds of a heavenly choir going “AAAAAAA” as you bask in the glow of the Ecoxotic Panorama.

The Ecoxotic Has Landed!

Boxes from Ecoxotic add to the chaos of another tank project!

Alice, trapped by boxes from Ecoxotic, flooding an already chaotic front entryway tank build, resigns herself to a day on the pillow.

Cat officially out of the bag, just before 11:00 AM this morning, as I sat here in my boxers on a chilly MLK Day holiday, a big thump on our front porch got the dog in attack mode.  FedEx was here, dropping off boxes.  Big Boxes.  Boxes that said “FRAGILE” and had “ECOXOTIC” on the shipping label.  I threw on a pair of pajama pants and flip flops to drag and carry this stuff in off the snow-covered porch.  I’m pretty sure the Fed Ex guy thought I was bonkers.  As I stood over the 3 big boxes now spread out in our entryway / living room, I get excited.  It is official, the Lightning Maroon’s new home has arrived, courtesy of ECOXOTIC.

Of course, I’ll be doing some pretty extensive gear coverage on the Ecoxotic equipment for ReefBuilders as well as here at The Lightning Project.  Now, the big question is this – can I get the tank set up and running before my wife shows up after work?  I’m guessing not, simply because this is my first chance to check everything out up close and personal.  I should take my time and enjoy the process, and my wife will never understand why I’ll be doing an entire “unboxing” photoshoot anyway ;)

It’s going to be a very interesting month for The Lightning Project – thank you to everyone at Ecoxotic, and especially Ike,  who bent over backwards, with extreme generosity, to make this happen.  I already have well cultured live rock to get this tank up and running quickly, so we should be in business in no time!  Of course, I’m not sure I’ll be able to top John Ciotti’s Upside-Down Reefscape, but I vowed to at least try since this tank will be one of only two main floor display tanks (everything else in this house is bent towards breeding exclusively).   Time to show the world that I can at least TRY to set up a “pretty” tank!

As I mentioned in my last post on this matter, I will be doing my best to remain neutral and unbiased in any gear reviews.  Still, I don’t think that’s truly possible given that I was already a “fan” from a distance (up until MACNA I’d never seen Ecoxotic products firsthand, but the concept of modularity and overall design of their LED’s had me already thinking they’d done a better job than other manufacturers).  Anyway, as a “fan”, I have to point out that Ecoxotic does a good job of “Endangering The Status Quo” (their trademarked tagline) when it comes to how aquarium manufacturer’s engage the aquarium hobbyist.  They bring their “A-game” when posting content to places like the Ecoxotic Youtube Channel, Ecoxotic’s Twitter Feed, Ecoxotic’s Facebook Page, Ecoxotic’s Blog and a whole host of goodies all encapsulated under Ecoxotic’s Aquarium & LED Lighting Community Page.  Don’t even get me started on their 12 days of Ecoxotic just last month!  In my opinion, the crew at Ecoxotic has indeed raised the bar for the quality and caliber of content they put out in relation to their products.  Now it’s time to see how the quality of the products themselves stack up to their brand promise!

…the Lightning Maroon’s new home is shipping out Monday.  Spoke to the man himself who said he’ll be packing it personally himself this time.  I did not ask for an anticipated arrival time.  It will arrive when the time is right.

If you’ve been following all along,  you may recall that the first “new home” for the Lightning Maroon got crushed by the freight company.  The worst part was that the setup was a one-of-a-kind tank, a “doing Matt Pedersen a favor ’cause he’s a picky SOB” kind of generous gesture, on the part of the manufacturer.  Thankfully there’s “insurance” for those kind of things.

Tank #2?  Well, it winds up it was not lost in Fed Ex, as it never seems to have left the building.  Quite simply, since again, this is a special contribution to the Lightning Project, it was not routed through normal ordering and shipping channels.  As I was told this evening, no excuses, after tracking things down, it was discovered that the ball was simply dropped.   It’s big of someone to come out and say something like that, especially when they’re the ones doing you the generous favor.  They owe me no explanations.  And Hello – it was just the holiday season.  I’m sure I forgot all sorts of things…

Now, I’m going out on a limb here and saying “Third Time is the Charm”, as this has technically been in the works for almost half a year.  Just like in fish breeding, patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait.  If all goes according to plan, the Lightning Maroon will be swimming in a dedicated, top of the line home in a few to several weeks (because it has to get here from across the country, and then get set up).   It will have been 110% worth the wait and then some.

Yes, for the record and for transparency, this marine aquarium system is a contribution to the project.  You may recall way back when I put out an “open call” for any interested manufactures to help house the Lightning Maroon.  Well…someone did answer that call.  I’m keeping the “who” and “what” quiet for two reasons:  #1.  If, for any reason, the third time is not the charm, no one is looking bad for not following through on what I term a very generous gesture they were never under any obligation to meet and #2….the really important reason…I am so freakin’ excited that I want you all to share in the suspense and agony of waiting in some small way.

Still, although it’s a “donation”, I will be “paying” in return by setting up nothing less than a kick-ass setup and photographing the heck out of it, allowing the manufacturer to use the imagery I produce in any way they see fit.  I will also be pulling double duty by doing very thorough coverage of the products on ReefBuilders as well.

So for the record, if it seems like I gush about this, well, it’s because I believe in the product and the design already.  I am already sold.   I expect that it’s going to be very hard to find much wrong with it.  If I could sell off all the new and used equipment I have sitting here that I’ve been trying to for months, I *might* have been able to justify funding the difference to actually pay for what’s headed my way – as you all know, I am not one to normally accept donations or gifts…it is a rare occasion for me to do so.

So in the end, while I will do my very best to provide a fair and balanced point of view, I’m state now that I’m probably not unbiased (although I’d argue that no journalism of any kind is ever truly unbiased).

And yes, you will be seeing a lot of the setup, with the fish in it.  No more cage for the Lighting Maroon.  Instead, a modern palace befitting of an ambassador from Papua New Guinea.

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