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Posts Tagged ‘aquarium’

It’s not 100°+ in the Aquarium! :)

Hid inside from the 100°+ heat all weekend and spent most of the time in front of my PC, perfecting my “hacker tan”. I swear, if I were any paler, I’d be clear.

No swimming pool at our house, so I spent a little time playing in the aquarium today. Had bought a new power filter for it last week, so finally unhooked the other one, pulled it out without spilling anything, installed the new and improved version (essentially the same thing, just with a little more power to it) and switched it on. Immediately discovered that it was a LOT (not just a little, but a LOT) louder than my old one. And we have the same one in the tank upstairs that wasn’t nearly as loud either. So happy I was not.

Tried to disassemble the thing again to see where the noise was coming from, and found that it was most likely coming from the little spinny thing that sucks in the water from the tank. Thought “well, THIS one looks to be about the same size as what was in my OLD filter”, so I went to the bag of old stuff waiting for the trash, found the little spinny thing from THAT filter and compared the two. VERY nearly identical.

Don’t you just love my grasp of the technical terms? *looks it up so as not to feel TOO stupid* The “impeller”. THIS thing:

So I swapped the new part out for the old one and reassembled it. Whew! The swap worked. Blessed QUIET again! Did learn something new about said impellers. They’re magnetic. Something I had no idea about until I held them up side by side to compare them, and they practically jumped out of my hand and stuck together. LOL. Had one of these filters for something like 10 years and never knew that. Go figure.

So with that completed, it was on to stage 2, swapping out some of the plants. A few of the ones I had in there had this NASTY ole hairy looking algae growing off of them, and you can only clean them so many times before it just doesn’t come OFF anymore.

Aquarium Before

Before (note all the dug up and floating plants! Thanks, Algae Eater!)

Pulled out a few of the worst ones, replaced with several brand new ones and the tank looks pretty sweet now. We’ll see how long it lasts before The Algae Eater that Ate Raleigh digs them all up again. That’s the big yellow guy in the pic below. Probably the most hyperactive fish I’ve ever had. Throws gravel everywhere, digs everything up, freaks out the rest of the fish occasionally. Not my first choice of a fish to have, but he outgrew the 10 gallon tank upstairs so I had to take him.

Here’s a clip of “After” (Doen’t look ALL that different, except the plants are actually PLANTED, and they’re definitely less “hairy”. LOL).
Let’s see how close we can get to Mr. Big Fish before he goes “WHOA! TOO CLOSE!” and swims away. For a big fish, he’s really incredibly shy. 😀

DVRs, Aquariums, Doctor Who, and Bluebirds

BLUEBIRDS FIRST: Here we go again. First there’s a new nest, then eventually 1 then 2 then 3 eggs

Bluebird Eggs Part 2

As of this morning, we are up to FOUR eggs. She will most likely lay one more, then we wait 15 days for them to hatch. Hopefully. That’s what we thought last time, and the whole lot turned out to be duds apparently.

Four birdie eggs

Don’t worry Mom and Pop! We promise we won’t drop them or turn them into omelets! :)

Mom and Pop

THE NEW AQUARIUM: IE: The new 10 gallon guppy tank. Well, we TRIED to set that up today, moved a bookshelf to make room, measured everything out to make sure there was enough space to put the new tank, and was all set to take it outside to hose it off as suggested, when *bum Bum BUUUUM* I discovered a chip and a crack in the side of the tank. Ugh! Had to put everything BACK in the box, and we’ll take it back to the store sometime this week and try to set it up NEXT weekend instead. Guess the guppies will be free to breed for another week. *sigh*

New Favorite show: Doctor Who! Never watched it before, but got hooked on its spinoff show “Torchwood” back in September. And with all the fuss and bother about there being a new Doctor this season, AND the fact that we finally got digital cable in the house, which finally allowed us to have BBC America, thought I’d go ahead and give it a look. So watched the 1 hour special that was on earlier this week “Doctor Who – The Ultimate Guide” to try to get me up to speed at least a little bit, and liked what I saw well enough to check out Episodes 1 and 2 on BBC America On Demand. Very cool show. The Doctor, with his sonic screwdriver, reminds me of MacGyver and his Swiss army knife. Mac was never quite THAT wigged out all the time, but between having one tool that did everything, and not being one to want anything to do with guns, there ARE certain similarities. And they way they go to different times and places in the universe is very Stargate SG-1. They just travel through wormholes in different ways: one show goes through a big metal ring, the other, well, a phone booth. LOL. Will definitely be watching more of Doctor Who, just as soon as the summer reruns kick in.

And the latest on the DVR. Turns out that we DID have to call the installers back yesterday to come and replace the DVR, since as expected, the one that he left with us did keep losing signal sporadically. So call the installers yesterday morning, and they get someone out about 12:30 that afternoon to replace the box. However! About a half hour or so before they get there, it suddenly occurs to me that if they pull the DVR to put in the new one, we’re going to lose about 10 hours worth of recordings that we’ve set it up for since Tuesday night: About 7 hours of regular weekly tv, plus three hours of the movie “Pulp Fiction”, which we’d never seen. Tried once before but had so much audio drop out that it was unwatchable, so thought getting it on AMC-HD would solve that problem. Found out that if we didn’t mind paying the extra $7 to rent a second DVR, they’d go ahead and install the new and improved box, but we’d be able to switch back to the old one to watch everything we needed to watch to clear up the box, then we could take it back to Time Warner ourselves. So between yesterday and today, got all the weekly shows cleared up, and just deleted Pulp Fiction (it’s on SOME network pretty frequently, so we’ll just catch it at a later time). Then I unhooked the defective box, swapped out all the cables into the new box, shoved everything back into our entertainment center, and have the old box ready to go back to Time Warner tomorrow. Hoping that since we’re getting it back so quickly, and the fact that we only had to have a second box because there hadn’t been a better box on the installer’s truck originally, that they won’t charge us for having it one day. We’ll see.

Guppies and Other Technical blah blah blah…

This WAS going to be a tweet, but I realized that I kept typing and couldn’t shut up, so decided to make it a blog post instead. :)

Brought back the Tivo box back to Best Buy tonight, and made a pitstop at PetSmart on the way, to pick up the new 10 gallon aquarium that we’re buying to put in the living room this weekend. Or as I like to refer to it, “The Guppy Birth Control Device”. Once it’s set up, I’m fishing out all the male guppies from my 20 gallon tank downstairs and putting them in the 10 gallon upstairs, leaving just the Fertile Myrtles in the tank downstairs. Guppies really should come with a warning label, that when you buy two you’re really buying 30+ of them. In any case, separating the males from the females should put a stop to the population explosion my aquarium has been experiencing since the first batch of babies was born during the opening ceremonies of the winter olympics. Of course the fun really begins when I actually try to fish out JUST the males from the tank. YeeHAW! Fish rodeo! 😀

Then finished hooking up the rest of the video stuff tonight. Stole the HDMI cable from the Roku box to put on the DVR, bought new component (the red/green/blue ones, one step down from HDMI, but better than s-video or RCA) cables when I took the Tivo box back to Best Buy, for the Roku box, but then had to pull the Wii’s component cables from the back of the TV to give the Roku a place to plug in (the other component jacks are being used by the Panasonic VCR/DVD burner combo, and the other HDMI cable is hooked to the Toshiba HD dvd player), so switched out the components on the Wii back to the RCA composites (the red, white, yellow ones). I didn’t notice a whole lot of difference on the Wii when I upgraded from composite to component before, so no great loss there, really.

Whew! Confused yet? LOL Lucky I do this for a living, among other things. Didn’t have time to test either the Wii or the Roku out yet, by then “The Middle” and the rest of the Wednesday night shows were coming on, but things LOOK like they should work now, nothing is left hanging out in the room anymore, and even the cables that were hanging along side the TV while we were testing things out have been run down the back of the entertainment unit and out of sight. So HOPEFULLY everything works, I’d hate to have to try and move anything now.

How to make testing aquarium water complicated!

There are several different methods of checking things like pH, ammonia, nitrites, & nitrates in your aquarium.

I HAVE been using those dunk strips with the colored pads on them, that you just check the various colors off the chart on the bottle, and boom, you’re done. Takes about 30 seconds. Works great if you’re just checking once in a while.

But with all the water testing that we’ve been doing with the new guppy tank, we’ve been going through those things like crazy, and they’re not particularly cheap. So I opted to go back to the one that looks like a mini-science lab, with the itty bitty test tubes, and the drops, since that’s what I’d used before and while they do cost a bit more than the strips, I’ve found that they lasted a LOT longer than the strips when you test a lot. (And supposedly the drops are more accurate as well, so that’s a good thing.)

They’ve complicated things since I last bought one of those kits! Sheesh! I just ran the water through all four tests this morning. If I remember correctly, it went something like this:

PH check? Not too hard, 3 drops in a test tube of water, shake, compare to chart, you’re done.

Ammonia? Not quite that easy, but still pretty uncomplicated. 10 drops from this bottle, 10 drops from that bottle, shake, let sit for 5 minutes, compare to chart, done.

Nitrite? Just about the same: 5 drops of this, 5 drops of that, shake 5 seconds, let sit for 5 minutes, compare to chart, done.

Nitrate? Who makes these #%%#! things up?!? 10 drops from bottle one, cover and invert back and forth for 5 seconds, while at the same time shaking the contents of bottle 2 for at least 30 seconds. Add 10 drops from bottle two, and shake test tube vigorously for a full minute, wait 5 minutes, then compare to chart.

Then you’ve got four test tubes to rinse out and put away along with all the bottles of solution.

OR just buy the test strips next time and do all the tests in 30 seconds and be done with it! LOL.

On the bright side, it DOES make for a nice lineup of rainbow colored test tubes sitting on the sink. Looks like we’re ready to dye very VERY skinny Easter eggs. 😀

Oh, and the test results? pH normal (which was odd, we tested it last night, and found it to be on the high side so it dropped considerably overnight), and as expected after dumping in another 5 guppies into the tank Friday night, ammonia level and nitrite level are pretty high (added some stuff to help take care of that), and nitrates are acceptable.

Now, if we could just get the last of the baby guppies out of MY tank, move 4 or 5 of the males from upstairs back downstairs, I can start thinking about getting a few more REAL fish into my tank. Just about ready to try 2 more clown loaches. When I lost my last two, and didn’t replace them, the snails (which apparently loaches just LOVE to eat) just took over the tank. Now have more snails than anything else in the tank, except maybe for algae. 😛

Stay tuned…