dragoness_e: Me in the pink straw cowboy hat (Pink Hat)
I picked up a new fish on the way home from work--a red-tailed black shark, who is currently mellowing out in his bag as the pH and temperature equalize. Before I put the bag in the tank, I fed my 3 White Clouds--

And noticed the small cloud of darting, glowing things. Huh? On a closer look, they turned out to be tiny, tiny fish hatchlings. It appears my White Clouds have spawned. There's at least 11 of them, possibly more.

They may starve, they may get eaten by the shark, they may get sucked up by the filter, but hopefully some of them will survive. I didn't know White Clouds bred that easily in captivity.
dragoness_e: (Default)
Wednesday, I finally went out and got fish. I got 3 White Clouds, some fish food, some plant food and took the whole lot home. The fish and plant food went on the tray where I keep the aquarium supplies. The fish went in the aquarium.

Fish pics )
dragoness_e: Me in the pink straw cowboy hat (Pink Hat)
Sunday, I went shopping for some plants for my new aquarium. Delta Pets, the pet store I went to earlier in the week, was closed, so I checked out the other place in this end of town. Pets Plus also had fairly healthy-looking fish and they had a small selection of plants. I was too impatient to wait another day, so I picked up some sprigs of Anacharis, a potted little red sword plant of some kind, and a pot of "microswords".

I can't say I liked the potted bit; my gravel was too shallow for the pots, so I cut off the little plastic pots and removed most of the foam so I could plant the plants in the gravel. I decided that Monday, I would go back to Delta Pets and get another pack of gravel. I also wanted a few sprigs of Vallisneria to add to the tank.

More pictures & text )
dragoness_e: Me in the pink straw cowboy hat (Pink Hat)
After leak-testing the aquarium (and discovering that the house's foundation has settled somewhat crookedly and the north end of the aquarium is about 1/2" higher than the south end), we emptied the tank again in preparation for the actual set-up.

I put in the undergravel filter plates first, then washed the gravel I'd bought for the aquarium and put it in, covering the undergravel filter to about 2 inches deep, then emplaced the fake plastic rock shelf. It's actually a multi-piece jigsaw puzzle of fake rock shelves that you can assemble in many amusing way. I assembled it. Then I considered the fake plastic log, but decided that (a) it looked like a fake plastic log, and (b) there was already enough clutter with the fake plastic rock shelf, considering I still plan to add plants; conclusion: no fake plastic log need go in.

I poured water in, using the plastic rocks to buffer the flow, and filled the tank most of the way up. Somewhere along the way I put in the plastic tubes, hung the filter, inserted air stones, etc. After the water was all in there, I hooked up the air pump.

Photos and text )
dragoness_e: Me in the pink straw cowboy hat (Pink Hat)
Like I mentioned before, the first thing to do with an old aquarium is to leak test it. This involves filling it up about a quarter tank per day and checking for leaks after each step. Doing it in stages makes it easier to spot any slow leaks as well as the kind that flood all over your floor. I'm pretty sure this tank doesn't leak, so I'm being brave and testing it on the kitchen counter.

LJ Cut to avoid annoying too many people at once )


Apr. 5th, 2010 12:47 pm
dragoness_e: Me in the pink straw cowboy hat (Pink Hat)
So over the weekend I dug out my old fishtank and associated gear, hauled it up to my mom's house, and cleaned it and all the associated decorations, hoses, mysterious plastic objects, etc. This morning I assembled it, figuring out what all the parts were and how they went together. I think it's been 20 years since I had an active tank.

I figured the kitchen counter might be the best place for the aquarium; it will actually get looked at and maintained instead of being abandoned and forgotten if it's in a well-lit main traffic area rather than in, say, an unused bedroom. (Also, I don't want to listen to the air pump buzzing in my ear all night). It felt good to clean off all the old magazines, coupon stacks, and random slips of papers with notes on it and give the counter a good scrubbing, just like it felt good last week to put in the little flower bed. (Speaking of which, I need to weed that this afternoon--nut grass is pushing up through the mulch).

After sorting and assembling things, I confirmed that I have 1 undergravel filter and 2 over-the-side filtration units. I put the smaller, older one away, since it isn't needed. I also have 3 aquarium heaters and 3 air pumps. I think I only need one of those, as well. I'll probably test the aquarium heaters and find out which ones actually work. The air pumps all seem to work; I'll probably use one of the single-outlet ones. I can't see needing the big dual-outlet pump for anything.

Next, I need to get gravel, and activated charcoal for the side filter (still have filter wool), fill the tank with water, and let things settle out. I'm not sure if I want live or plastic plants yet, but I'm leaning toward live.

April 2019

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