Are There Spoonbill Paddlefish in a Lake or River Near You?

It might not be a triceratops, but spoonbill paddlefish were around when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth. And, in certain parts of the country, you can catch one of the broad-shouldered monsters, like Steven McBride did on May 12, 2007, near Ponca City, Oklahoma, when he caught a 114 pounder.

They get bigger too. In fact, McBride’s catch didn’t eclipse the state record of a 121-pound fish, which was caught in the same tailwaters in 2003. McBride’s catch took a half hour to boat, and partway into the fight his 40-pound test line snapped. He didn’t give up though. He scrambled into the water and brought the fish in the hard way: by hand. “It’s addictive once you hook one,” McBride told state wildlife officials.

This species is unlike most fish that anglers pursue. They feed on microscopic life and are usually caught by snagging instead of dangling a worm on the end of a bobber or working a plastic lure. Those who pursue the finny adversary typically employ surf rods, heavy test line and oversized barbless hooks.

Spoonbill are filter feeders that swim along and use their gill rakers to filter plankton. They open their mouth to feed, and when they are feeding they close it only to swallow.

There’s a spring migration, most often below dams to spawn. Usually several males fertilize the eggs of a single female, and the eggs drift to the bottom and downstream. Within a year, spoonbill paddlefish that survive can be 12 to 14 inches long, and 30-year-old specimens are common. A few have been known to live up to 50 years.

Iowa officials estimate a spawning female can be expected to yield 7,500 eggs for every pound it weighs. Eggs hatch as soon as seven days, and the larvae begin swimming immediately. Most often they are swept downstream into quiet pools. For the first year they often bite at insects and other foods typically thought of as food sources for fish, but after that they turn exclusively to filtering zooplankton with their gill rakers.

On average a female spawns every three years. The male does so, at best, every two years.

The unusual looking bill, or paddled snout, is believed to help reduce drag while swimming with its mouth open. It’s covered with nerve endings and taste buds that also help it locate concentrations of food.

Like the shark, a spoonbill is nearly all cartilage instead of bone. The meat is white and tastes very similar to swordfish when prepared properly.

They also have a smooth skin like a catfish, with no scales or plates. That’s led to the fish having a variety of different nicknames, including spoonbill cat.

Unfortunately, overfishing and even illegal harvesting of the spoonbill’s roe, which is often sold as caviar, has had a negative impact on spoonbill populations in some regions of the country. Consult your game and fish department’s website for more information, limitations and regulations. Alabama, for example, has had a moratorium on possession of spoonbill since November 1988.

In those areas where spoonbill paddlefish are still plentiful, commercial fishing operations harvest nearly 100,000 pounds annually. Most of the regions are in the upper Mississippi River between the Iowa-Minnesota state line and St. Louis.

Oklahoma, like several other states, has an extensive management and tagging program for this prehistoric fish. To learn more, log on to www.wildlifedepartment.com.

Treading Water

In The Tao of Womanhood it is written, “nothing in the world is more gentle than water, yet nothing is stronger.” And nothing has been running through my life, in waves and buckets and flash floods more than water.

Perhaps it is because my ancestors hailed from Ireland and Scotland – island countries – that water seems to follow me. Perhaps someone, generations ago, angered a Celtic water sprite and the revenge has carried through to my generation. I can’t be sure about how it started, but one thing I AM sure about – I am tired of mopping up!

The daily news is full of reports of horrific floods, mudslides and global warming that threatens to melt the polar ice caps. Thankfully, my problems with liquefied hydrogen and oxygen do not reach those proportions. No, instead, I deal with the steady water torture drip of one soggy incident after another.

The analogy is, of course, that we all come from a womb that is full of water, and looking back over the evolutionary trail, we find muddy tracks leading right back into a primeval swamp. So, maybe, I was just reverting to primitive instincts when, at 6 years old, I decided to fill up the bathtub, spritz in some bubble bath, and let the water level rise to the top of the shower doors. Well, maybe I did forget the water was running – but I sure remembered when my mother encountered a waterfall of bubbles cascading down the steps of our Brooklyn home.

Flooding the house is a required skill for any kid. My son overflowed the toilet in our townhouse and soon the water was pouring through the ceiling, blowing out the recessed lights like fireworks. The mysterious part, however, is why at that particular moment of toilet clogging, did the water to the toilet decide it was not going to shut off, sending rivers of water down the hall, through the ceiling, even reaching the basement two floors below?

During a meeting of the Garden State Horror Writers, I may have discovered the answer. Lecturing that day was a professional ghost hunter, and she mentioned how many ghosts are seen around water sources, especially bathrooms. Now, to me, that sounds like there is an epidemic of dysentery in the afterlife, but the ghost hunter assured me that water is a source of power and life, and it attracts supernatural forces. So, quite possibly, at the exact moment my son was clogging the toilet, a jovial spirit may have decided to have a little prank on us.

It could have been a spirit that has been following me all my life. After all, it would be a good explanation for the “singing toilet” of my childhood. I know that pipes can bang and whistle and imitate the entire percussion section of the New York Philharmonic. But, the toilet in our house, every time it was flushed, would let out a tone so tuneful and long, it would have made Pavarotti jealous.

Logic dictates that such a mischievous water spirit has alternately inhabited the dishwasher, washing machine and bathtub, all normal sources of flooding incidents. What frightens me is the possibility that these supernatural comedians may get together in force to play their little practical jokes. I’m sure if you think about it, you will realize it is true. I am talking about the beach.

I now live in New Jersey, so going to the beach – the shore, as we call it – is a required rite of passage. All of us can relate stories of the wave that knocked us down, carried us out and almost deposited us on the shores of France. That’s normal. But consider this – once my children were standing by the waves, just watching. Every so often, the water would come too close and they would run back up the sand, giggling. This must have angered something or someone, because the next thing I know is, a wave sends up a large spray that smacks one of the kids right in the nose, giving him an instant nosebleed.

Another time, my two daughters wee sitting on the edge of the water, playing in the shallows. They were splashing and laughing. Suddenly, a wave comes rushing in, knocking them over. As the wave receded, I was shocked to see that both girls hand been turned upside down and were stuck, by their heads, in the sand. Their little arms and legs were flapping around uselessly as they tried to right themselves like overturned turtles. I don’t need to be hit over the head with the moral of these stories – do not laugh at the ocean. It will get you.

My list of watery encounters is lengthy. Every house my parents ever owned had a leaky basement. On one occasion, the leak was lapping halfway up the basement stairs. In one of the apartments I lived in, the radiators began spewing reddish-black liquid. Since the radiators were inside covers, I had no idea what was going on until my downstairs neighbors knocked on the door to calmly ask why blood was running down their walls. Their calm was surprising, but perhaps they had been softened by the previous week’s flood in their kitchen caused by my overflowing portable washing machine. Looking back, I wonder if all this water trouble was related to the “man in the bathtub” that my toddler daughter insisted she could both see and talk to.

The battle goes on to the present day. After sinking all my money into my current house, the crawl space underneath it suddenly filled up with four inches of water. Electric wires sizzled, shorting out the refrigerator and the water heater. My oldest daughter, who was both dirty and hungry at the time, blamed me entirely. I don’t even want to get into what happened when the sewer backed up or when the pipes froze and the water meter exploded on Christmas Eve. Most recently, on the night before I was to enter the hospital for surgery on my personal plumbing, my sump pump died in the middle of a monsoon.

I’ve thought about traveling to Scotland to find out exactly what happened between my relatives and the water nymphs. From there, I may have to go to Ireland to find out which leprechaun is dousing my family. Until I get to the bottom of it, there’s only one thing to do – tread water. And treading water I am!

Not too long after writing this essay, the author’s home town endured a storm in which 10 inches of rain fell in 3 hours, resulting in the flooding seen in the attached photo. Did she anger the water gods by writing this essay? We may never know.

How and Where to Fish River Bass with Crankbaits

If you mention the salmonfly hatch to someone who hit it after the runoff and it creates an image of large trout gobbling up the stoneflies. The biggest fish rise to get their share of this feast. This is happening this summer on a river near you. If you want some of the action then the rivers to visit are, Deshutes in early June, the Gunnison also in June and the Yellowestone in early July.

The Ohio River, one of America’s greatest bass waters and others are swift and curvy rivers systems. The heat in summer herds bass from tributaries to a position in the main river but the size of large rivers can leave an angler on where to fish. Don’t be intimidated as fish feed more aggressively in oxygenated river water and are so spread out this isn’t much of an issue.

These are a few of the favorite main-river hot spots and you can fish them.

Weed beds

This habitat is in swift, turbid waters on river systems similar to the Ohio which is not suited to aquatic vegetation growth so weed bets are not very common. The problem is this vegetation has to start growing in spring but new shoots get uprooted in the turbid water if it flows too much. These waters will also block photosynthesis.

Plan of attack: In water less than 8 feet you may be lucky to find a weed bed. When you do cut the power and drop your trolling motor. Here there is a feasting menu that offers plenty of ambush spots so, although relatively rare, these spots allow you to employ concentrated biomass and this makes them the best place to fish in main rivers.

You will get ferocious strikes with top waters in low light which will include weedless frogs, walking plugs and poppers. Switch to a flipping stick as the sun rises and tie on yourfavoriteplastic.

Use a 30-pound braided line for flipping, pitching and topwater frogs, for Zara Spooks and poppers use monofilament. When flipping into lily pads, weed beds with holes or around thick bulrushes use a quarter-ounce weight with a Texas-rigged seven-inch Power Worm. If you are going to have to punch through a heavy weed mat tie on a plastic crayfish using a one ounce of tungsten.

Creek mouths

The fish will slide down off the first ledge into the main river when water temperatures get oppressive in shallow creeks and sloughs. The creek is likely to provide a steady flow of bait and this is especially true after a summer shower flushes it. The tributaries will also scour out depressions creating miniature delta systems creating deep, cool ambush spots next to shallow flats gathering bait. Flowing creeks therefore run a close second to grass beds in terms of fish production. They may even surpass grass beds.

Plan of attack: The upstream ledge created by the flow of the tributary into the river is where Bass usually hold. Use Crankbaits that diver vertically, such as the Rapala DT (Dives-To) series. You need to dig straight down these ledges in preference to swinging over the fish’s head.

You will need to use a 10 to 12 pound fluorocarbon here. When holding along structure in rivers Bass will remain close to the bottom in general and therefore you need to stay in contact with the bottom when crankbait fishing.

Docks

Docks provide cover and shade and are an ideal habitat along the main river. You will not, however catch the same number of bass. Pilings lack biomass and the amount of cover to attract the larger predators. Bass are very territorial around such structures so you will find larger fish there. Docks which are located over points, rocks or brush are the best targets.

Plan of attack: Fish top-water plug parallel to docks and their tees in low light. Flip and pitch plastics or jigsunder and to all sides of the dock later on. If you can find an isolated dock it can be an oasis along the main-river channel.

Use a 170 pound mono line for topwater and for subsurface lures use a 20 pound test monocarbon. You need to go light. You can, sometimes get more bites with a three-sixteenth or even an eighth-ounce Texas-rigged plastic on rivers.

Bridges

Bass are attracted to a network of cover created by such as braces, rocks, ledges, piling and trapped brush. In strong currents focus on the eddies but if the current is mild you can generally fish along all sides.

Plan of attack: More fish are held in pilings borde3ring the main-river channel due to the nearby drop-off. Use crankbaits to probe pilings. Use a 10 to 12 pound test fluorocarbon with crankbaits and a 30 pound braid for other applications. For fish holding deeper bridge pilings you can also flip or pitch a one-eighth to three-sixteenth-ounce Texas-rigged worm.

Riprap

Bass find cool water in main-river riprap plus cover and crayfish. The boulders allow bass to lounge in ambush.

Plan of attack: Keep tight to the bank. Cast and retrieve crankbaits at a 45 degree angle downstream. You should choose a bait that runs deep enough to tick the bottom.

The best line in this location is a 10-12 pound test fluorocarbon. In early summer downsize crankbaits but increase plug size as the young-of-the-year bait grows up.

Sewer Water Contaminates North Carolina Water Lines

I live in a suburb of Washington and every once in a while I get a pamphlet in the mail stating the quality of my city’s water. Mostly, I just glance at it and throw it away. Why? As an American, I assume the water I drink, bathe and wash my clothes in is clean. I trust the regulations set up by the EPA to be enacted by local officials and ensure that what’s flowing through my tap is not contaminated and is ready for consumption. Yet, recent news shows that this type of trust may be faulty.

The Jain family of Cary, North Carolina moved into their new home four months ago and immediately noticed that the water had a funny taste. Priyanka Jain brushed it off, but her husband kept complaining about it. She ultimately told him that his ‘taste buds were too sensitive’, but later found out that they were right on the money. The Public Works in their area had accidentally switched their drinking water with the treated water from the sewer lines.

Priyanka Jain is beside herself. She now realizes that all of the food she’s prepared with that water is contaminated along with her family’s clothes. She also has to think about the fact that her children complained about their tummy’s aching a few times. So it’s probable that the dirty water they’d been drinking made them ill. However, for now, her main question is how could Public Works make this kind of error?

Public Works officials in the area have no answer for the Jain family. For now, they are focusing on making sure all of the tap water in the area is clean. Since they’ve identified the problem, they’ve gone to five hundred homes (door-to-door) testing the water. So far, only one other family has been found to be using contaminated, sewer water. Unfortunately, they have a small child and a baby on the way. They’ve also been living in the area under this type of condition longer than the Jain family.

No details have come forth yet stating if the Jain family or any other resident of Cary, North Carolina will file some type of suit against Public Works or if anyone in their household has any long term injuries from this error. However, it does let the American public know that if you think something’s wrong with your water, you just might be right. Don’t dismiss your feelings, call your local Public Works and get it tested right away.

A River Runs Through It

Personal hydro electric devices are not something that is talked much about among green builders and sustainability experts, but rivers and streams offer a continuously moving source of power that could easily be used by rural home owners with little to no affect on the local wildlife.

How Hydro Electricity Works

Water is very similar to air in the way it moves. When it is moving, it moves in a rolling motion making it easy to catch on a propeller device or a wheel. The water flowing past the prop or wheel spins it building up electricity in an alternator device that distributes the electricity created to the house. The more constant the source of moving water, the more constant the flow of electricity.

Reliability

The reliability of wind power and solar power is one of the issues that critics have with this technology, as it cannot support 100% of energy usage all year around. Hydro electricity, in the right site and applied correctly, can produce all of the electricity needed to supply a house. The Hoover Dam is one of the most consistent power sources in North America, providing California, Arizona, and Nevada with a significant amount of their electricity.

The Challenge of Hydro Electric Power

The greatest challenge associated with hydro electric power is diverting the water through the prop or wheel device so that it does not effect the surrounding environment. Some of the more successful systems like this are prop like turbines that are vertically dropped into the water so the prop can turn the direction of the water flow. This setup requires a structure over the top of the river or stream instead of a dam like structure.

The biggest issue with the design of hydro electric dams and props is keeping the expense for the structures down enough to justify the project. Creating a dam cost millions of dollars. Building a structure over a river requires specific clearances and special use permits form the Department of Wildlife and Forestry. Some of these projects may not be allowed to be completed if the river is traveled frequently by personal water craft.

Hydro electric power is one of the cleanest, most reliable energy production methods that humans have developed. This technology will continue to be one of the largest sources of electrical power in the United States until we can figure out a better way to produce electricity.

Old Man by the River

Old Man by the river

Singing songs all day

With a brown torn up hat

Doesn't know where he's at

Old Man by the river

Singing songs all day

With a tired face

Sick and dazed

Old Man by the river

Asks me

Why does the world go round?

Why do people worry?

Why are people so busy and hurried,

All the time?

Old Man by the river

Lives in his own world

Singing songs all day

On the river's bay

He stills asks these questions

But I haven't got the answers

So I just walk away

The Weirdos Creamery: Wonderland

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Today I have a vape liquid flavor to share with you from The Weirdos Creamery. The Weirdos Creamery is a premium e-liquid company based in Orlando, Fl. and manufactured by the same makers of Bad Drip and Clown E-liquids. They have a total of three vape liquid flavors available and I have one, called Wonderland, to share with you today.

Wonderland is available in 30ml glass, child proof bottles with tamper evident seals. I have to say the packaging and labels are outstanding. They are very unique and cool looking. The bottles come in a vintage ice cream truck themed box that has the logo on the side and a skull dressed as an ice cream man with the “Get Weird” slogan on the top of the box/truck. The bottle labels continue the theme and are unique while still including all of the important information. The VG/PG blend is 70/30 and nicotine is available in 0. 3. and 6mg.

A rich velvety sea salted caramel ice cream topped with a handful of strawberries

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1555184567860715

Wonderland is a rich and creamy, decadent vape vape liquid uk flavor. Taking a sniff of the e-liquid, I can smell the salted caramel and vanilla with the light scent of strawberry in the background. Just smelling it had my mouth watering.

The inhale is primarily a creamy vanilla ice cream on the front end and as the vapor travels over the tongue the salted caramel starts to come through right before the vapor hits the back of the throat. The exhale brings the strawberries mixed with a slightly sweeter caramel and ice cream finish. I like the play on salty/sweet this vape liquid flavor has. I get the salty on inhale and sweet on exhale, it makes for an interesting vape. At higher wattages (80-100w) the vape liquid flavor is sweeter and the strawberries aren’t very present, but on lower wattages (50-70w) the vape liquid flavor isn’t overly sweet and the strawberry shines through more. Overall, I’m pretty impressed with this vape liquid flavor, it’s a great dessert vape that can be vaped all day.

 

Catching Lazy Summer Saltwater Fish

It may seem strange to claim that fish sometimes get lazy, but as late spring and summer roll around they really do. There are certainly good numbers of speckled trout and flounder in the waters of southern coastal states, but fishing is far from easy once the dog days set in. Basically, if you can find the fish where they are feeding you can probably catch a lot of them. Easier said than…well, you know.

Two contradictory things are happening at once in inshore waters. First, water temperature is rising to the point that fish are entering into slower, summer-type patterns of movement. In this pattern, speckled trout and flounder find slow moving water and hover in it waiting for smaller fish and shrimp to swim by or be swept along. That is why the best fishing is so often to be found near creek mouths and channels where a moving tide really makes the water flow.

Remember the trout and flounder will not be in the channel, because it is getting hot and they are getting lazy. They will not waste the energy sitting in strong current. They will hover or lie near the channel and wait for their meals to be pulled to them. Bait schools and shrimp move with enough chaos to guarantee there are always targets for gamefish at the edge of the fast water.

That leads us to the second thing going on. With the changing of the season and the water temperature, the area is now home to huge amounts of small fish and shrimp. In addition to the different tidal creek mud minnow species, there are the finger mullet, pogeys, and lots and lots of small pinfish and spots. Although there are not hordes of big shrimp, the waterways and rivers are filling up with lots of fast-moving little creek shrimp. There are crabs of all sizes scurrying everywhere.

None of these little critters is being lazy. They are moving very fast, jumping around and about, scared at the slightest sound, and fleeing for their lives at any shadow. They know those big fish are out there, not to mention the big crabs and even those swift, deadly birds overhead.

So, you have fast-moving prey and slow moving predators. Lazy fish and frenzied bait. This strange contradiction means you have to remember several things when inshore fishing.

First, the trout or flounder (or redfish) are not going to chase your bait very far. They are going to be set up at their feeding points, and they are going to be sitting on them. They will concentrate on areas of strong tidal flow where they can find slow water and drop-offs to ambush bait. All of these fish may be drawn to hard structure, like bridges and docks, which provide relief from the current and are great places for predators to hide.

For this reason and because they are being selective, you may have better luck with live bait than artificial lures in hot weather. Live bait tends to draw hits from finicky fish. At the same time, if you are fishing lures, you do not necessarily want to fish them extremely slowly. Remember, the bigger fish are hitting fast moving prey. You should work most lures with a jerking pattern, moving the way a scared minnow or shrimp would, with frequent pauses. The fish will hit as the lure drops back down into the water.

The availability of live bait often determines the manner of fishing. Currently, if you are buying your bait, you will probably have to go with mud minnows. If you are throwing a cast net, you may be able to net some finger mullet or bait-sized pogies. If you go to the back of the right tidal creeks, you may also be able to fill your bucket with live shrimp.

Mud minnows make great flounder bait, although mullet and pogies will sometimes catch the larger ones. Live shrimp are usually a much more reliable offering for trout, unless the pinfish and croakers are so thick they are stealing the shrimp on every cast.

With mud minnows, you probably want your bait on the bottom to take advantage of their attractiveness to flounder. You don’t have to use a ton of lead though. If you can get to the bottom with an ounce then do it. The less weight, the more naturally the minnow will move.

Live shrimp should be fished with as little weight as you can get away with; in fact, it’s best if you can use just a couple of split shot. You can use a float in many places, or at times you can put it on the edge of a creek channel with just a hint of lead and basically live line it to the trout.

If you are catching fish in one spot, you have probably found a place that will produce every day for a while. The fish will not be roaming much in hot weather. They have settled into their lazy pattern. There are plenty of fish but they are both lazy and full, not moving much as they are having plenty of food brought right to them.

Probably the best thing you can do right now is to get a cast net and fish with whatever you catch in it. Find a place where there is a decent flow on a moving tide, and fish the edges of it. It may take a bit for that first bite, but then it isn’t easy to catch a lazy fish in hot weather. Best get used to it.

Nitrate Reduction Techniques for Successful Saltwater Aquariums

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Providing the best conditions for livestock while limiting such debilitating nuisances like diatoms, cyanobacteria, bryopsis, valonia and other forms of micro algae is an ongoing process. Believe it or not, nitrates are the primary culprit in micro algae growth and outbreaks. However, nitrate reduction doesn’t have to be a time consuming project requiring advanced calculus formulas or statistical charts and probabilities to be successful. I will address proven nitrate reduction techniques to make your life a little easier in creating and maintaining a beautiful and successful aquarium.

Over the past 20 years or so, I have been relentlessly engaged in the concept of the whole nitrogen cycle leading me to be an experienced aquarist when it comes to this process. Hopefully my exerience will shed some light on the nitrogen cycle and ways of not only grasping a better understanding on it, but also dealing with it and correcting undesirable issues regarding nitrate reduction, in particular. The nitrogen cycle is a process where a chain reaction takes place with both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria being employed to carry out this important cycle. The cycle begins with ammonia, which is the most toxic form in the nitrogen cycle. During this stage, most invertebrates, fish and corals could not survive? After a period of time, nitrosomonas bacteria will grow and break down ammonia into nitrites which is still highly toxic in it single form. A new form of bacteria is then established to carry on the cycle. This bacteria is called nitrobacteria and is responsible for breaking down the nitrites in to the least toxic form of the cycle known as nitrates. Both nitrosomonas and nitrobacter bacteria are aerobic forms that require oxygen to carry out the process called nitrification. Once completed, a different group of bacteria must be present to finalize the nitrogen cycle. This last stage is more commonly known as denitrification. This is when anaerobic bacteria breaks down nitrates into nitrogen gas which ultimately leaves our aquariums into the environment. This type of bacteria resides in deep sand beds or in areas deep within the porous areas of live rock. They receive what oxygen they need from breaking down nitrates allowing the bacteria to steal oxygen atoms for respiration from the nitrate molecules.

Nitrates can come from a plethora of places, hence the reason so many aquarists experience problems keeping inferior nitrate levels under wraps. Frugal feeding habits when offering frozen, liquid, flake and Pellet foods are a major culprit as nitrate traps. Tap water, some synthetic sea salts, congested livestock bio load, insufficient and ineffective filtration and unsuitable conditions for both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria to grow and thrive can also lead to major imlications regarding your nitrate levels.

Now let’s discuss our options towards maintaining a saltwater aquarium where nitrate levels remain under 25 ppm for a fish only aquarium and even less than that for a reef biotope containing SPS corals.

Algae scrubbers provide an extraordinary means of removing excess nutrients in aquarium water. The growth of macro algae combats nuisance micro algae populations by competing for the same nutrients, such as, dissolved organics, nitrates, proteins and phosphates, as required by micro algae. Basically, an algae scrubber is nothing more than a device that grows macro algae in a mat or turf form, where water passes along it long enough for nutrients to be consumed by the macro algae. It is pertinent to employ moderate to intense lighting when choosing to establish algae scrubber technology to ensure that the growth of the algae is optimal.

Water changes that are performed sooner than later are, yet another way of removing and diluting excess nutrients from aquarium water. By removing and replacing old water with new, you help to remove tannins, waste, chemical bi-products, sexual gametes, undesirable algae spores and phosphates while replenishing buffers and trace elements and improving water clarity.

Carbon sources such as ethanol found in the Vodka, vinegar or sugar can be used to increase bacterial biomass. The increased growth and population of both anaerobic and aerobic bacteria can be implemented through the addition of a carbon source. The Vodka method has been employed for years with dramatic effects, though care needs to be given when dosing Vodka to avoid overdosing causing oxygen levels in your water to be sacrificed. Administering small amounts of vodka and increasing the amount weekly encourages the growth and population of bacteria safely which ultimately aids in the emoval of nitrates and phosphates.

Effective and efficient mechanical filtration techniques and chemicals help to remove many undesirable contaminants, wastes, tannins and other dissolved organics. Protein skimmers, cannister and hang on filters, carbon, nitrate and phosphate media remover, all provide desirable means to maintaining a clean nutrient free aquarium.

Biological filtration, which employes either a deep sand bed or sand bed with very fine oolitic aragonite sand and ample amount of live rock, will aid in the production and growth of both anaerobic and aerobic bacteria needed to remove the harmful effects brought about by toxic ammonia and nitrites and the debilitating consequences that nuisance nitrates and phosphates facilitate. Again, I can’t stress enough, the importance of adhering to maintaining either a deep sand bed or a sand bed where sugar sized grains of sand are employed. The reason why this is crucial is to allow, not only, aerobic bacteria to grow but anaerobic bacteria as well due to the impeding of oxygen rich water to the deeper areas beneath the substrates surface. The same holds true for live rock. Employing substantial amounts of live rock in your main tank, refugium and sump ensures that sufficient surface area is provided for nitrifying aerobic bacteria and porous areas within the rock suitable for denitrifying anaerobic bacteria growth and population expansion.

Fortunately, their are numerous ways of providing our livestock with an optimal environment in which to thrive, grow and reproduce. The key to this, however, is to ensure that these guidelines and techniques have been met before your efforts can truly be achieved and realized as a success story in the saltwater aquarium hobby. Ideal water parameters initiated by the desire to, not only have nutrient free water but, take steps to ensure that the fundamentals needed to carry out optimal nitrate levels have been achieved, will provide benefits that expand beyond unsuitable micro algae growth on your glass, corals or rock work. These efforts will provide the framework and guidelines towards generating a truly beautiful, healthy and succesful aquarium.

 

Yocan X-Linx

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Today I have a brand new mod and tank to tell you about from Yocan, the X-Linx. Yocan is known for their “herbal vaporizers” and is just getting into the vaping side of things. This is their first mod and second tank they have produced. I had the pleasure of reviewing their first tank and when they contacted me about the X-Linx mod and tank I jumped at the chance to try it. What makes the X-Linx mod and tank stand out from other products on the market right now is that they’ve taken the 510 connection out and replaced it with a magnetic connection.

Spec’s and Features:

X-Linx Mod:

  • 4.2v 2200mah battery
  • Operating voltage : 3.5 – 4.2v
  • Dimensions: 97mm * 22mm
  • Threading: Magnetic connection instead of 510
  • Stainless Steel Construction
  • Colors available: Stainless, White, Black, Blue

X-Linx Tank:

  • Dimensions: 70.6mm * 22mm
  • Capacity: 3.0 ml
  • Airflow: 1.25mm, 2*1.25mm, 8mm, 10mm
  • Coils: .5 and 1.0 ohm coils
  • Threading: Magnetic
  • 510 thread adapter to use on traditional 510 threaded devices
  • Stainless Steel and Pyrex Glass
  • Colors available: Stainless, White, Black, Blue

What’s in the box?

  • X-Linx Tank (0.5ohm OCC Head installed)
  • X-Linx battery (2200mah)
  • 1.0ohm OCC head
  • Retractable USB to Micro USB cable
  • 510 thread adapter for X-Linx Tank
  • User manual
  • Gift Card/ production or serial # card

The X-Linx comes in a nice presentation box and the back of the box tells you about the device and it’s features. It also has warnings and authenticity scratch sticker so you can go to the Yocan website and check it’s authenticity. You get the X-Linx Battery, tank, glass drip tip, a .5 ohm coil, a 1.0 ohm coil, an 510 thread adapter for using the X-Linx tank with other mods, a usb charging cable, a nice user manual and a gift card that I think is really a serial or production number card.

Design and Function:

 

Front/Back View

The X-Linx is a tube style mod with a voltage output of 4.2 volts fully charged. The voltage will lower as the battery dissipates it’s charge. The battery is 2200 mah. Yocan estimates the battery life when using the 1.0 ohm coil at 6-7 hours and estimates battery life at 4 – 5 hours when using the .5 ohm coil. The X-Linx charges via a micro USB port on the back on the device and has pass through charging so you can continue to vape while the unit is charging.

The X-Linx turns on and off with five consecutive clicks of the button. The device has a nice set of safety features including short circuit protection, low voltage protection and overcharge protection.

The included X-Linx tank holds 3.0ml of e-liquid. You have four air flow options, a single 1.25mm, two 1.25mm, a 8mm and a 10mm opening. Included is a 0.5 ohm and 1.0 ohm coil. Yocan has rated the 1.0 ohm coil at 15-25w and the .5 ohm coil at 20 – 150w. I think a more appropriate rating for the .5 ohm is 20-35w or maybe a little higher if you prefer, but I don’t recommend trying it at 150w.

The tank comes apart in 4 pieces, the drip tip, tank, coil and magnetic airflow base. You also get a 510 adapter that the base fits down into when you want to use the tank on another device.

Now lets take a look at what makes the X-link Battery and Tank different from other products out on the market right now. Yocan has taken the standard 510 connection and replaced it with magnets. There is a magnet in the battery connection and tank base where the 510 would usually be. It’s a very neat system and the magnets are very strong. I was worried at first about the tank and battery becoming disconnected easily but I’ve carried in my purse and in a pocket and I’ve dropped it and they stayed connected in all those different scenarios. The magnets are seriously strong in this device.

Tank/Battery Magnetic Connection

 

510 Adapter/Tank

One of the negatives of this system is that you can’t use the battery with any other tank except for the X-Linx tank. Yocan did include a 510 adapter that enables you to use the X-Linx tank with other devices but it would have been nice if they would have also included the same type of adapter for the battery so you could use standard tanks with it.

To use the tank on another device is simple and easy, the 510 adapter is magnetic also and the base of the tank just sits right into the 510 adapter base. I used the tank on several different devices and didn’t have any problems with it.

 

Final Thoughts:

The X-Linx is a simple and easy to use device, it is reminiscent of the Ego One, but I like the design of the X-Linx better. The X-Linx has been designed to appeal to a wide range of vapers. With the different airflow options and the choice of a .5 or 1.0 ohm coil both beginner and more advanced users will be able to enjoy using this mod.

Both of the coils performed well, the 1.0 is made for those who don’t like to sub-ohm and take mouth to lung draws. Using the two smaller airflow control settings and the 1.0 ohm coil, you get that tighter draw that mouth to lung vapers prefer. I usually stick to sub-ohm coils of .5 or .2 ohms and like my airflow wide open, the X-Linx set on either of the 2 wider airflow settings with .5 ohm coils delivered the experience I was used to. The .5 ohm coils performed perfectly. The flavor is outstanding and the wide open airflow makes some great clouds.

I like the size of the X-Linx, as someone who has various box mods, the tube style and the relatively light weight of it makes it a great mod to use on the go. It’s easy on the hands and I love how pretty it is. The X-Linx comes in four color options of Stainless, Black, White and Blue. I was sent a stainless and a blue one and they are both very pretty. Now I want a black and a white one to complete my collection.

I think Yocan has made a very nice little device with the X-Linx. The magnetic connection is innovative and it works flawlessly. The tank is great, it holds a good amount of e-liquid, has great airflow options and it brings both the flavor and the clouds. It’s powerful, yet simple to use and can be used by both more advanced vapers as well as beginners.

I’ll give the X-Linx a 8.7 out of 10, because not having the ability to use other tanks on the battery may be a con to some. I would love to see them come out with an adapter to make 510 tanks compatible with the battery.

 

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