Ever since EcoTech Marine introduced their Radion XR30 LED fixture at MACNA in 2011, aquarium keepers have been on the hunt for the best solution to mounting them on or hanging them above their aquariums. Since aesthetics are so, so important in the appeal of an aquarium, there’s really no surprise that the hunt has been never ending for some. Fortunately, that search may be over, as BioTek Marine has (in our humble opinions) the best looking tank mounts for the Radion XR30 light fixtures. The light mounts, which are distributed through Aquarium Specialty, are made from solid cast acrylic and have been machined and polished to give a mirror like finish. They mount simply to the aquarium, using discretely placed thumbscrews, and additional hardware keeps the cords from the light fixtures hidden from view. For the Radion, there are two models available, an 18-20″ mount and a 24″ arm. They are each priced at $209. If you’re in the market for a mounting arm such as this, but don’t have a Radion, there are other models available form BioTek that accommodate the AquaIllumination Hydra and Hydra FiftyTwo LED fixtures. Eventually, models for the Hydra TwentySix and Radion XR15w Pro will be available
Image Credit: Bulk Reef Supply If you’ve been holding off on upgrading the lighting scheme over your aquarium, here’s a great opportunity to save a few bucks. EcoTech Marine is allowing various online vendors to sell their Radion XR30w and XR30w Pro LED fixtures at discounted prices. Normally, EcoTech employs a minimum advertised price (MAP) campaign that forces all retailers to sell their products at the same price, regardless of whether the store is online only or a brick-and-mortar. So, we were pleasantly surprised to see this price drop. Unfortunately, it won’t last forever. There’s no word on when it will end, but it has been going on for a couple of weeks now, and who knows when the prices will return to normal. The price drops on the XR30w and XR30w Pro are $100 and $150, respectively. If you’re looking to buy the fixture at the discounted rate, we recommend hitting up Bulk Reef Supply, who seems to be the most vocal about the sale, or our friends at Aquarium Specialty . Both companies offer a pionts based rewards program, so it’s a win win either way.
The most anticipated new product that was announced at MACNA was undoubtedly the ReefLink from EcoTech Marine. This new gadget basically acts, and even sort of looks, like a wireless network router that allows users to communicate with the Radion LED fixture wirelessly and in real time. So, no more hooking up the computer to make changes to the light settings. Just hop on your favorite net connected mobile device and start tinkering away through the EcoSmart Live platform. EcoTech was showing off this new gadget with the help of an iPad, which responded beautifully to our every move. Users can navigate between three different screens (all shown below) to adjust the color and intensity of the fixture in various ways. The first tab we encounters was the “Kelvin” settings, which allowed us to pick the color of the light based on the color temperature scheme that mist hobbyists are all too familiar with. Just drag the tiny circular cursor around the color wheel to pick the setting you want. Similar to the “Kelvin” setting is the “RGB” selector
The Radion has been one of the most popular LED fixtures on the market, just as the Apex has been one of the most popular aquarium controllers. But for the first two years of coexistence in the aquarium equipment marketplace, the two weren’t exactly a match made in heaven, despite the fact that Neptune Systems has heavily supported EcoTech Marine products. The Apex controller worked relatively well with the Radion from the onset, but the lack of wireless control was always a big issue for aquarium keepers. Fortunately, through continued development of wireless communications in the aquarium industry and the release of the new Apex Fusion dashboard, the Radion and the Apex can now work hand in hand without requiring the use of unsightly wires. Announced at MACNA 2013 just a week ago, Neptune Systems has finally broken through the previously mentioned wireless barrier for the Radion, and for users of VorTech wireless pumps, it may not cost them any extra. The WXM module, which has been around almost as long as the pumps with the wireless drivers, can now communicate with the Radion and allow users to implement all sorts of LED control with the Apex Fusion dashboard and the associated lighting wizards.