Just a heads up to everyone, there's a lot going on. I had expected to get the newer version of the website done by now, but this project below took up all my time for the past couple of weeks. Melev's Reef may be down briefly over the next week as some technical stuff is being handled behind the scenes.
This is Minion, my new CNC router setup. The installation has been quite a process but it is nearing completion and should be running soon.
It's 2017, central time. So let me tell you about what's to come:
As many of you know, I've been working daily on my website to make a brand new version of what you've turned to repeatedly when you wanted help with your aquarium. The information has been proven over and over, and I'm very happy to provide that education. It's so ingrained in me to provide the written word to help others avoid mistakes and run successful reefs with thriving livestock year after year.
Today's club meeting was at Oceans Avenue, and they did a fragging demo workshop for the club members and customers. As we watched, they cut various corals and then used glue to mount them to frag plugs. A grill was out back, providing burgers, hot dogs or chicken to everyone. I had to grab a Corona and then filmed and photographed some stuff which will be shared later.
Melev's Reef has been my pride and joy since I started building the very first webpage back in 2003. Nearly 14 years later, it's time for the next incarnation. Plans are in motion with careful attention to the overall design for a 2017 look that is easy to navigate no matter what device you use. The shop area is getting a huge upgrade, among other things. In the coming weeks, a team will be working quietly to bring this newer version to life, and I'm super excited. That being said, I'm not revealing anything specific quite yet since it has to become reality first. But I have high hopes it will be pretty darn awesome. Look where it all started originally in May 2003:
When it comes to cutting up corals, there are hand tools, and then there are time-savers like a table top bandsaw. The Gryphon C-40 AquaSaw is something I purchased over two years ago at MACNA, and only opened it up for the first time two weeks ago. I thought I'd do an unboxing video, but that never happened. When I was recently in the midst of fragging colonies, I opened up the box, put it together, plugged it in and was instantly impressed with how well it worked. Cutting away dead skeleton, creating small frags from larger colonies of montipora and chalices, it kept up beautifully. I'm really glad I got the 42" model with the extra height. This week's video is about how sweet it is.
A few days later than it should have been, but I hope it was worth the wait. Last week I was slammed with things to do, and had no time to edit the weekly video, but I'm going to blame the zombies. This video focuses behind the scenes at the Birch Aquarium, showcasing the offlimits sections and some of their breeding efforts.
Meeting up with Jennifer Nies at MACNA, I was able to interview her in person about her lovely store in Minnesota. I visited her shop about six months ago, and had to film some of the decor while I was there. She's been in business about 20 years now, which is just impossible to believe.
This interview was done at MACNA last weekend. Jim Welsh's newly built invention is the Alkalinity Monitor. It will measure tank water as frequently as you desire, and that data can be acted upon by your controller. It could send you texts & emails if the reading is out of range, and you can see what the latest measurement is just by glancing at the display on the device, or by computer or smartphone. It could trigger or stop a doser if needed. He explains it quite well, and I gotta say I'm really impressed.
"Everyone should be reading Coral." That's what I thought to myself months ago, and mentally added that topic to my ongoing list of future videos. Each issue has a central theme by multiple authors. Go subscribe now (we're tracking the results with this URL):http://www.coralmagazine.com/melev/
It really is a great publication, and you will learn all sorts of excellent points in every issue. I pick up new tips and factoids myself, and I've been in the hobby a long time. So whether you are new or have been reefkeeping a while, you'll benefit for sure.