|Posted on April 23, 2012 at 1:20 AM|
Just got back from a road trip with the SEASL club to Inland Aquatics in Terre Haute, IN. It's about 3 hours away by car, so it's a semi-annual event around here. I had a great time visiting with old friends and new, and seeing all the great changes and improvements Morgan Lidster and crew are implementing at their amazing warehouse facility.
The vision that's come to life at Inland is that saltwater systems can use natural filtration, including algal mat dumping systems that both filter and oxygenate the water as well as create flow for corals and fish. Gravity is our friend here, in that the type of see-saw algae screen filters in use at Inland provide much greater flow than could be had with the relatively small pump used to fill the filter. Water accumulates until a threshold is reached, whereupon the fllter tips and the water flows out all at once (by gravity) into the tank. The filter, now empty of water, tilts back to its original position, again using gravity, and resumes collecting water.
Inland also recommends and uses deep sand beds to provide habitat for natural marine fauna and flora, including naturally occurring saltwater copepods, worms and crustaceans. They sell refugium kits full of all these critters.
The most striking thing I noticed about the animals at Inland, is the amazing color and condition of every one I saw. Their fish are in the peak of health, as is evidenced by their energetic swimming, great appearance, and color. My friend Jim is a coral guy and commented that when he looks at a saltwater display, the fish are just a distraction for him, getting in the way of his view of the corals. He and I agree that, like the fish, the corals are amazingly varied, healthy looking, colorful, and strikingly beautiful.
I enjoyed getting back in touch with old friends who don't always attend club meetings, and getting time to chat with Morgan about fish and business. I think everyone had a good time, and we thank Morgan and the crew for letting us invade their place of business for a while.
Here's a picture of Morgan Lidster with a spider he caught in a huge plastic bag while we were there: