Saturday, May 11, 2013

Where is a good place to find heavy curtains?

Q. I work nights and sleep in the afternoon... just in time for the afternoon sun to shine directly into my apartment. Short of moving... there's little I can do right now to avoid it. How can I block out the sun??? My next step after ear plugs and a sleep mask is heavy curtains. But I really need to find some very nice curtains that will block out the sun and still look nice to match my decore in my apartment. Think elegant.
I have wooden blinds now but they are sooo not even close to being enough. ALSO I want ideas of places that are non-typical. I like unique things. If not I could just go to Target or Bed and Bath

A. okay luckily this is what i do for a living , first your best bet is a blackout celluar shade bali makes one called midnight it is custom made though so if you rent i would not chose this option (jcpenney and lowes and homedepot all carry this brand )if you rent kirsch makes a blackout roller shade it is 12 mm vinyl with a blackout layer between (jc penneys ) it can be cut to your size you will want to measure the outside measuement of your window including the frame so that you get full coverage and no light gaps (inside mount will create a light gap). get the scalloped edge. next for decorative puposes you will want to get a heavy curtain (i.e. a chenil or a microfiber) this will help it to be more decorative i would go with a chenil there is more options place the rod wider than the actual blind if you have a normal sized window 2 panels ,double window 4 panels and so on bring these curtains to the floor ( for an elegant look)normally 84 inches i would place them on a decorative rod (and no valances for a more tailored look ,plus it will easly move for you if you want them open . also add a pretty sheer croscill makes one called midnight mist it comes in soft muted colors and has a gold pinstipe running through it it is very pretty and elegant( jc penney ) you will need a second rod when fully closed blind and curtains you should have no light what so ever good luck :)

What ocean area should i mimic in my new saltwater reef aquarium?
Q. I'm soon purchasing a 75 gal or a 125 gallon aquarium from my LFS. I want to mimic an area in the ocean like say the gulf of mexico or the great barrier reef. I wont be harvesting anything from the ocean, just going tank breed. But I want it to be as close to real as possible. I'm just not sure what area to do! Any suggestions on what to recreate with fairly easy to keep fish?

A. How much money do you want to invest?
Most corals are from the wild. There are more and more coral propagation companies (like ORA) that propagate many different corals but usually the corals are very small and very costly. It keeps getting better though! There are cheaper "Ocean Propagation" companies that have bins in the ocean where they propagate and later harvest the coral (I have a supplier out of Bali that does this). There are also many different harvesting techniques where the wild coral for sale is just a trimming of the main coral and the main coral is still left in the ocean (Duncans in Australia for example).

Shipping and cites costs will increase the price in certain areas. Australia and Hawaii have some of the more restrictive collection and export of corals and tend to be very costly. Even tank raised corals are expensive because the mother coral (original coral used for propagation) was very costly to begin with and most corals are relatively slow growing. Duncans are an example of Australian corals that are getting cheaper, though, as they have thrived in the aquaria and are easy to propagate and fast growing. Once they were $20.00 a head of coral, not in most places they are as low as $5.00 a head because more and more people have been able to raise them in captivity.

Vietnam and the Caribbean tend to be cheaper corals. Usually because availability and shipping.

Bali has some of the higher volume of propagated corals. If you want to do only propagated corals, Bali corals will give a wide selection.

Also, type of coral will come into play. Corals from the same region do not have the same needs! I know it sounds strange but it is true. Shallow water coral wants whiter light and more light, it also likes warmer water. Deeper water corals want slightly cooler water and bluer light. Some corals are in high water flow areas and want strong current, others are in relatively protected areas adn want low flow...

You need to pick a depth and location within the reef to make it all work as well.

There are many great books out there to help you select. I like the PocketExpert Guide to Reef Invertebrates as it covers many different corals and inverts and gives some basic care and location information. There are MANY more.

Since the availability of tank bred corals is limited, you should investigate what is available to you and plan from there. Here is the site for ORA so you can take a look at what they are growing. There are other companies, but ORA is a standard company and statistically most other companies are doing similar corals.
http://www.orafarm.com/
http://www.orafarm.com/corals.html

Liveaquaria always has some nice ones in their Diver's Den section if you are ordering online (http://www.liveaquaria.com/diversden/CatDisplay.cfm?c=2733+5).


If price makes no difference, Australia has some of the brighter corals. I have a Australian nano tank that is just stunning. I stuck with Australia LPS corals and one SPS (have Duncans, Frogspawn, Lord Howensis Acan, Scoly, Acro, sun coral, pagoda cup). You can often get Duncans, Blastomussa, Acanthastrea, etc, propagated Australian corals. They still are a bit pricey but getting cheaper! Some examples of Australia propagated corals:
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=597+1492+2294+2670&pcatid=2670
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=597+1492+2294+2669&pcatid=2669
http://www.liveaquaria.com/DiversDen/ItemDisplay.cfm?c=2733+5&ddid=102257

So as far as availability of Aquacultur corals, go with Bali or Australia.

ORA does fish too. Anything tank raised is going to be fairly hardy.

Where can I get information on costs and how to start importing items from Bali to sell in Australia?
Q. I have no idea where to start...the company I work for currently buys products made in bali from an australian business, so i thought it might be cheaper if I went to Bali and brought/imported the stuff myself instead of buying it through someone here?! No idea who I would buy the stuff off or who to contact!

A. Know anybody in Bali to be your contact buyer?




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