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Archive for August, 2009

New Aquarium

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Three months ago, I reported all change in the fish house and removed 9 unsed fish tanks from the fish house and tried to replace them with a spare 48×18x12 - plans didn’t work well!, well it’s taken me three months to get the faulty aquarium replaced, and I’ve spent many hours this weekend installing the tank on it’s shelf. I’d previously removed the 2 x 24×12x15 and 18×18x18 cube from this shelf. So I just needed to slot this tank in place and wire-up heaters and filters.

Algarde Digi-Therm external stat

Algarde Digi-Therm external stat

I’ve used an Algarde Digi-Therm digital external thermostat connected to two heaters (200 and 300 watt) - this is rather an old combination of using external thermostat connected to internal heaters, the norm these days is to use, combined heater thermostats, but I still prefer this older, safer combination. I’ve had many combined heater stats jam on and heat up and kill the fish in the tank.

Hagen Bio-Life 55 internal filter with trickle filter

Hagen Bio-Life 55 internal filter with trickle filter

Filtration is provided by a Hagen Bio-Life 55, internal Wet ‘n’  Dry internal filter, and excellent internal filter - I’ve had to start this filter from new, so it’s not mature yet, and will take several weeks to mature and

homebrew tank hangers for biolife 55

homebrew tank hangers for biolife 55

I had to make some homebrew clips to secure the fish tank to the side of the tank, as this tank is 18″ deep, I’ve lost the suckers or bracket to stick to tank wall , I was going to use a Dennerle C400 internal filter, but I prefer this filter because it has an internal trickle filter (they were all the rage, once upon a time). I’ve also installed an air-driven

Algarde Bio-foam 200 sponge filter

Algarde Bio-foam 200 sponge filter

Algarde Bio-Foam 200 internal foam filter using four foams, this was easy to mature, because I just stole a foam from other tanks in the fish house which are already mature, as most tanks in the fish house have air-driven Algarde Bio-Foam 200 internal foam filter using two foams - so I ust removed one foam and replaced with a new, and made sure the mature foam was pre-washed in old aquarium water. I’m hoping that this speeds up maturation of the aquarium. I’ve also installed a sand filter,

Lifegard FB300 Fluidized Sand Filter (fully Fluidized!)

Lifegard FB300 Fluidized Sand Filter (fully Fluidized!)

a Lifegard FB300 driven by a Maxijet PH600 powerhead. I don’t think you can ever “over-filter” a tank. I had a small issue with this filter, because after filling it with media (sand), the powerhead wouldn’t drive it correctly, even after testing it correcly before filling, so I had to empty the sand into a bucket, re-connect the filter, run the powerhead, and re-fill the filter with a 5ml spoon of sand at a time to prevent clogging, it took a while re-filling the filter with sand, a few spoonfuls!

top of tank showing water movement

top of tank showing water movement

Tank water looks a bit cloudy at present, but give it a week, and I’m sure this will clear, as the bacteria start to work their magic.

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Geocaching expedition today

Monday, August 31st, 2009

With my trusty GPS in hand, we went on our first Geocaching expedition today, not far a round trip from door to door of around 5 miles, and stopped at the pub the Fleece Inn in Bishop Wilton on route for an orange juice and a packet of cheesy moments!

What is Geocaching? Well basically, you goto http://www.geocaching.com, register for free membership, find a Geocache location, enter the co-ordinates into your GPS, to help you find the geocache location. When you find the location, remove an item from the cache, and put something in its place and sign the log book. (make walking a little more interesting!)

This is the item we decided to take from the cache today. It’s a trackeable item, so it can be tracked on the Internet, so far it’s travelled 617 miles from France! We will deposit it at our next cache. (Lindsey decided!)

geocache item

geocache item

Everything didn’t quite go as planned, Lindsey got stung by a wasp, as we passed an angry wasps nest on the footpath, in an old post hole, shortly after we meet another walker that warned of us another wasps nest in a post hole, 200 yards further North, and the treeline obscured the GPS signal near the cache location, and we walked past it, by 250 yards, so I had to walk out in the field, for the GPS to acquire a new fix, I found it eventually.

and they weren’t severing food in the pub!

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Angus gets out of the aquarium!

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Angus gets out of fish tank

Angus gets out of fish tank

It was empty!

Before I could clean and rinse the new fish tank today, before site-ing in the fish house, Angus had to get out of it! I’d just un-wrapped it in the garden for cleaning, and Angus jumped in! I reached for my handy camera to take a snapshot of him in the tank, but as you can see from the photo above, he started to climb out!

Later I managed to get the tank cleaned, rinsed and polished and sited in the fish house ready for filters, heaters, sand and water.

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Preparation for new tank

Monday, August 24th, 2009

In preparation for the new 48×18x18 tank install in the fish house, I’ve removed the old fish tanks, two 24×15x12 and an cube 18×18x18 from that shelf, and cleaned the shelf, and added a new layer of polysterne tiles for the new tank, removed all the electrical wires for pumps, heaters and airlines for internal filters. I just to to rinse and clean the new tank, and site in the fish house before filling and fitting filters and heaters.

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The Amazing FishCam

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

The Amazing FishCam

The Amazing FishCam

This isn’t my webcam, I wish. If you’ve not seen this at http://www.fishcam.com/ pop by and have a look. Way back in 1994 a camera was trained upon a lonely fishtank within the as yet unknown company Netscape. The Fishcam transmited live images of the fishtank to the emerging new landscape known as the World Wide Web. The Fishcam was the second live camera on the web and is the oldest camera site still in existence.

I remember in those early days using Netscape Navigator because it had a server push feature that didn’t exist in Internet Explorer. It also had an easter egg, that when you hit CTRL-ALT-F, it displayed The Amazing FishCam.

Maybe it’s time to re-install the webcams back in the fish house!

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My Zebra Tilapia

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

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ALL hedges are finally cut!!!

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

ALL the hedges are now finally cut for the autumn/winter, and I’ve put my hedger away for next year!

During Cutting …

hedge before cutting no.1

hedge before cutting no.1

hedge before cutting no.2

hedge before cutting no.2

After Cutting …

hedge after cutting no.1

hedge after cutting no.1

hedge after a tidy-up no.1

hedge after a tidy-up no.1

After the tidy-up, where do I put all those hedge clippings…

hedge after a tidy-up no.2

hedge after a tidy-up no.2

My arms ache!

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Fish House Update

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

I’ve introduced another tank buster into my 6 foot display tank, to join the Giant Red Tail Gourami, Osphronemus laticlavius and commom pleco, a Zebra Tilapia, Tilapia buttikoferi. It’s about 6-8 inches. Tilapia buttikoferi are extremely intelligent and aggressive aquarium fish, like most Cichlids! It’s a large African tilapiine cichlid fish that can be found mainly in West Africa, specifically Liberia. (Fish Distribution here on PFK). I’ll have to regularly check, that it’s not starting to attack the other tankmates. Although I collected this fish in a large bucket, I acclimatised it, to tank water conditions, by floating in a very large fish bag for 45 minutes, and changing water in the bag for tank water every 10 minutes. I had to collect Lindsey from the bus station, and when I returned, the Tilapia buttikoferi was swimming around the tank, and the Giant Red Tail Gourami, Osphronemus laticlavius was in the bag!

Now that’s what I call magic!

Trying to get the gourami, out of the bag was another matter!

A few other little problems, my Male Quetzal Cichlid, Vieja synspila (another very agressive cichlid - even with me!) has bashed his head, I’ll have to keep a watch on this, and may start treating with Melafix tonight. The male fish has a pronounced hump, called the the “nuchal hump”, and one of my large Clown Loaches, Chromobotia macracanthus, (8″-9″) has died, of what looks like over-eating! Greedy fish, looks like he’s eaten all the cichlid pellets for the Gourami and Tilapia, and it’s stomach has exploded, with over eating, there’s a message here I think!

and finally, at long last, after 12 months of hassle, I’ve successfully managed to get a replacement aquarium replaced under guarantee. Last year a 48×18x18 glass aquarium leaked in my fish house, and I remembered it had a five year guarantee, after tracking down the initial credit card statement, it was only four years old, and the bottom aquarium seal had failed. It’s taken me over 12 months, to get it resolved with manufacturer, wholesaler, and reseller - finally I collected the replacement last week on Friday.

Blog post of the tank leaking - http://andysworld.org.uk/2009/04/19/the-leaking-fish-tank/

Here’s a picture of the new tank

So sometime this week, I need to clean, move the old tanks out of the fish house, and move this tank in!

Thanks to Chris at The East Riding Koi Co Ltd for arranging the replacement of this tank!

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My Giant Red Tail Gourami

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Here are some pictures of my Giant Red Tail Gourami, Osphronemus laticlavius, it’s approximately 12 inches long. It’s still recovering from some damage inflicted when it had outgrown it’s owners tank, and so they took it to Maidenhead Aquatics, Beverley - whilst there it was attacked by another tankmate, and caused some serious damage, I believe it was red raw, so is healing well, although it still has the battlescars! These may disappear with time. It’s currently on a varied diet, of mussels, prawns, crayfish, Tetra doromin, Hikari Cichlid Staple and Gold, peas and cucumber. (not all at once!). It’s a little baby at present, and can grow up to 20 inches.

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Large aquarium for tank busters

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

I’ve made a decision with the largest aquarium (6ftx2ftx2ft - 700l) I have in the fish house, I used to use it to hold my breeding angelfish stock, but it’s been rather empty of late, as I’m not breeding angelfish currently anymore, so I’ve finally accquired some large fish for it. (it’s being filtered and heated, so I might as well use it to house some tankbusters).  The first was a young Giant Red Tail Gourami Osphronemus laticlavius, I introduced a few weeks ago. (I’ll get some pictures), and yesterday evening I was called by my local vets that had rescued a large common “pleco”, approx 12 inches - they had it in their aquarium but thought it needed a larger aquarium, someone had brought it in to them because it had got too big for their aquarium.

common "pleco"

common "pleco"

It could be a Hypostomus plecostomus, the problem with these suckermouth catfish, they are sold as “common plecos”, small specimens to people that have algae problems, but they don’t realize how large they can grow, and then they become rather boisterous. They don’t do well, in my opinion on algae wafers entirely, and require shrimp, mussels and prawns to flourish.

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