REVIEW: Osmotics Ultra-Pure 75gpd RO-Unit

Ask the vast majority of reefkeepers (or any advanced aquarist for that matter) and you’ll get the same answer – a good RO Unit is perhaps your most important tool in the quest for perfect parameters. Even if you’ve got good tapwater, chances are it still contains levels of contaminants and nutrients that will be enough to cause problems… particularly if introduced into a tank containing delicate livestock.

At just under £100, the Osmotics Ultra-Pure 4 stage 75 Gallon Per Day RO-Unit is not only inexpensive, it’s also clearly well-designed and built to provide you with a reliable source of pure water. Compared to its competitors, this unit also offered some nice extra touches.

Firstly, communication with this manufacturer was excellent and delivery was exceptionally fast. Packaging was also very impressive with the unit arriving safe and sound in a flashy-looking box. Unpacking the unit revealed it to be superbly built and attractive in appearance. The incorporation of the DI stage into its own cannister not only kept the physical height of the assembly down (useful for under the sink!) but also promised ease of resin replacement in the future. Putting the unit together was pretty straightforward thanks to a detailed instruction manual. The inclusion of a drain saddle valve (along with all the other key pieces such as tubing, piercing valve and wrenches) was something I’ve not had included with an RO as standard before, which was nice. The inclusion of DI resin in a resealable packet was also useful.

Compared to the old 50 gallon unit to be replaced, production was noticably improved, even without a booster pump.

Conclusion: for the price, a sturdy and attractive unit that does exactly what it’s designed to do, and from a company that clearly values its customers. Make sure you read the manual… and consider buying the connectors and taps required to ‘T-off’ between the RO and DI stage if you plan to use intermittently (this will extend your DI resin lifespan).

View this product HERE


Monterey Bay Aquarium Sea Dragons Carrying Eggs

Image: Monterey Bay Aquarium

Becoming one of just 3 public aquaria in the US to have this species reproduce in captivity, the Monterey Bay Aquarium recently announced that a male Sea Dragon is carrying up to 30 eggs.

Part of their Secret Lives of Seahorses special exhibition, which has already seen several seahorse and pipefish species reproduce, the male fish which is carrying the eggs is now under careful observation.

When the eggs are more developed, staff plan to isolate the male within the display to protect the babies when they are released. From here they will be moved behind the scenes and attempts will be made to raise the tiny ‘weedies’.

Congratulations to them on such a fantastic achievement! more on their website HERE

Mystery Shark Eggs Appear at Public Aquarium

Image: Blackpool Sealife Centre

Staff at the Blackpool Sea Life Centre are reporting the discovery of a number of shark eggs in a tank that was hitherto thought to contain only species that give birth to live young.

The most likely explanation that staff can offer is that the purse-like eggs are being produced by a small female Carpet Shark that must have been introduced but not recorded, and which has managed to go completely undetected in the half-a-million litre display until now.

Visitors are now being urged to keep their eyes peeled for the mystery fish, which still hasn’t been directly observed. It is hoped that, once discovered, it will be possible to move it into a smaller display and maybe provide a mate.

It’ll certainly be interesting to see what species it turns out to be!

Read the Daily Mail article here.

A Little Trip Down Memory Lane

Originally featured in PFK magazine back in 2008, it was nice to see the original Digital-Reefs tank article crop-up again on the PFK website the other day. This tank won quite a few awards around that time including a ‘tank of the year’ on ReefsUK in 2006.

As a bit of an update, the upgrade mentioned in the article did go ahead as planned and the upgraded 45 gal is still ticking over nicely. Having said that, there hasn’t been much time or money available to expand on it over the last couple of years but I hope at some point to build on what’s there.. and maybe even go for another upgrade.

Click here to read the PFK blog entry.

New Species Noted in Pristine Waters of Kermadec Islands, New Zealand

source: M Francis

A team of Scientists from New Zealand and Australia, lead by Auckland Museum, have discovered the first Zebra Lionfish Dendrochirus zebra ever to be recorded in New Zealand, in the pristine waters of the Kermadec Islands.

Although just a week into the three-week expedition, the expedition team think the lionfish is likely to be just one of several new species they have already collected.

“We have almost certainly already collected new species but we just don’t know it yet,” says Auckland Museum marine curator Tom Trnski.

“The other night we found an eel that none of the fish experts on the boat can identify – so it could possibly be a new species but we won’t know that until we get back from the expedition and can send it to an eel expert to confirm its identity.

“Every dive we make has the possibility of finding creatures new to the Kermadecs, new to New Zealand and even new to science.”

Daily discoveries from the Kermadecs expedition can be followed at

Caribbean Survey Reveals Rare Corals and Shipwrecks

(if the movie doesn’t play, try a different browser)

As part of the 8th Annual Caribbean Seafloor mission, scientists from the US National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) aboard the ‘Nancy Foster’ have discovered no less than 6 previously unknown shipwrecks in areas known for being ecological significant and commercially important fisheries.

Study team leader Tim Battista, an oceanographer with the Center for Coastal Monitoring said “The wrecks seemed to serve as a refuge for fish and other marine life. In several instances we saw schools of fish, sharks and turtles.”

Using sonar and submersibles to assist in the survey to help gathering valuable information on fish breeding area and underwater habitats, the team also found derelict fishing traps and spotted more than 30 invasive lionfish.

Increasingly rare colonies of staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) were also observed.

Read more at the mission homepage

Illegal Mining Sinks Islands in Marine National Park

Though they originally only stood some 3-5 metres above sea level, the total subsidence of two tiny coral atolls in the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park, located between India and Sri Lanka, is sounding alarm bells.

Although protected, and in an area considered one of the world’s richest marine biological resources, Fishermen have illegally mined reefs around the islets of Poomarichan and Villanguchalli for many decades. The corals were mined for use as a binding material in the construction industry, as they were rich in calcium carbonate.

The Indian National Oceanographic Institute point out that very few of the islands and islets in the gulf are in good shape and experts stress the need to keep the remaining islands and islets “pristine” in order to offer them some protection them from processes such as climate change.

More from BBC News.

Bali Survey Yields New Fish and Coral Species

image credit: Conservation International

Various outlets are reporting the discovery of 8 new fish species and 1 new coral species during a survey along the North East Coast of Indonesia by Conservation International.

The survey, ranging from 10 to 70 metres depth at key tourist sites such as Tulamben, Nusa Dua, Gili Manuk and Pemuteran, revealed some 952 species in total including the new species which are thought to be from the genera Siphamia, Heteroconger, Apogon, Parapercis, Meiacanthus, Manonichthys, Grallenia and Pseudochromis. The new coral is believed to be a Euphyllia species.

More info via the Sydney Morning Herald and