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Tropheus Moorii Ikola & Synodontis Petricola

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

These are currently two of my favourite fish, Tropheus Moorii Ikola cichlids and Synodontis Petricola catfish. I have five wild sub adults Tropheus Moorii Ikola and six Wild Synodontis Petricola. I’m very tempted to convert to Lake Tanganyikan Cichlids, the water here in Yorkshire is suited to these fish. Watch this space. There are many different colour variations of Tropheus Moorii, and these little fish, are very aggressive. I hope to breed them in the future.

Technology has moved on, and it’s easier for me to pop into the fish house with a DV Camcorder, hook up to PC, capture the contents to a Windows Media Video (WMV) file, and upload to YouTube for hosting. So here’s the first one, you can expect some more in the future.

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Hector’s House is finally finished

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

The weather has been so hot this weekend, I’ve been able to get on and give the final coats of paint to Hector’s House. Thanks to Lindsey because she touched-up the door and windows.

Final Shed
Shed completed.

So, onto the next DIY project, I’ve just bought myself a new toy, to replace a busted cordless drill, I’ve bought a new 18v combi cordless Makita drill, with electronic clutch, I’m just running around the house, drilling holes everywhere now! This is to enable me to complete the second loft and fully board it out, to free-up Bedroom 3 for the Nursery!

UPDATE The slugs and snails have still been eating my Hostas, the used coffee granuals did not work, so I’ve emptied 12kg of used coffee granuals on my garden for no reason! Strange because a friend, states they have been working fine for her, on her allotment, but she does get them from Starf***s! Maybe their coffee has something nasty in it! Unlike the Freetrade coffee granuals I’ve been using. But I’ve got a secret weapon for the slugs…!

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Frostie the Snowman

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

This is what I looked like the other evening. TIP Do not cut 6 inch thick Jablite with a jigsaw and then use silicone sealer!

I managed to get some silicone sealer on my hands after cutting 6 inch Jablite (posh word for polysterene insulation) and the polsterene dust stuck!

I took the two remaining slabs of 6 inch Jablite used to create the fish house partition in the old fish house, and after stapling Thermal Wrap to the inside of the garage doors and sealing with aluminimum foil tape, sealed the garage with the slabs, and then another layer of Thermal Wrap to finish off. Thermal Wrap looks like foiled bubble-wrap, it’s not cheap, at 23 GBP a roll, but it much easier to handle than Jablite (polysterene). It was cheaper at B&Q in the Autumn at 27 GBP, and get one free! I’ve used it previosuly in the garage, to insulate the flat roof at the rear, and cover the windows. It’s equivalent to 2.5 inches of Jablite (polysterene). So that’s a total of 8 inches of insulation behind the front garage doors. I think it might be working, as the temperature has increased a massive 4 degrees C, and it’s freezing fog outside. Hopefully all this investment, will reduce heating costs.

I had to cut myself out of the fish house, with a jigsaw, after I sealed myself in! Hence getting covered in polysterene dust!

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Power Outage

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

The electricity was cut-off to the village this morning at 8.45am, I started the petrol generator with ease, and then it took me a few minutes in the dark in the fish house (it’s got darker since I’ve insulated and blocked the windows!) to unplug the main four circuits and connect them one by one to the generator feed. At first the current draw from the generator was 12.5Amps, as all the heaters came on, but this gradually fell to a steady 7 - 8Amps. The petrol generator had a full 16l tank of petrol, and I had a 20l petrol can full on standby.

The electricity supply was restored at approx 2.30pm, but I left the Fish House on generator, for 30 minutes before migrating back to mains supply.

An excellent test, I only had to turn-off one 500 watt heater used to heat top-up water, and deemed this wasn’t necessary.

I used approx 10l of petrol, in approx 6hours to generate 9kWh (as measured by my Power Meters! Search the blog for details), so that’s approx 1 UK-GBP per kWh, so an expensive way of generating electricity, so I’m not going to make a saving by switching!

Petrol Gen1
Petrol Generator in use

Petrol Gen2
The small green box, far right under the bag of salt, is the earth box for the generator.

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A Night Off - Never!

Monday, September 19th, 2005

I arrived home from work this evening, hoping to have the night off and then
I noticed the external filter had stopped working on my 48"x18"x12" display tank
in the "sun room", water quality did not look good, so immediately changed 72l
of water using my new Interpet Gravel cleaner. The fish tank is filtered by an
Eheim Classic 2015 External canister filter, filter media had been cleaned a few
weeks ago, the impellor had jammed, and required a few "cold boots" to get
started again. I think its time for me to purchase replacement impellors for all
my Eheim External canister filters, that’s a total of six - expensive -. I’ve
been considering purchasing a
Python No Spill system,
on-going costs prohibit me from using this, as it uses approx 7l of water
per aquarium water change, as it uses mains water to create the vacuum, and I
would never top of aquariums from mains water supply, because of temperature
difference and chlorine and chloramines present in tape water.

Good News, I’ve finally placed orders for my Water Deflectors for the
Lifegard Fluidized Bed filter from
exchanging emails and telephone calls with
Pentair Aquatics US
Belgium and the UK Distributors ALF, Bedforshire, they pointed me at

hopefully they’ll arrive quickly.

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Free Food!

Sunday, September 18th, 2005

Free food from the garden, I’ve recently found plentiful quantities of small
earthworms gathering under the lids of my compost bins, these earthworms are
small enough to feed to my Angelfish, and Hoplosternum Catfish, and Gudgeon. I’m
sorry I couldn’t make the picture more interesting.

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Discus Breeding Cones

Sunday, September 18th, 2005

I went to the Harrogate Flower Show today to purchase some <a href="" class="st_tag internal_tag" rel="tag nofollow" title="Posts tagged with garden">garden</a> peat to<br /> condition some water in hope to get some <a href="" class="st_tag internal_tag" rel="tag nofollow" title="Posts tagged with breeding">breeding</a> pairs of

I went to the Harrogate Flower Show today to purchase some garden peat to
condition some water in hope to get some breeding pairs of Angelfish to spawn.
Unfortunately, there was no peat or even compost on sale so on returning from
Harrogate, visited Moorland Nurseries, Forest Moor Road, Knaresborough, North
Yorkshire HG5 8JY to collect some garden peat, I purchased an 80l bag, which was
very heavy a bit overkill for my needs, but I can use the rest for potting on
seeds and plants.

Whilst at the garden centre also had time to visit
, the
tropical fish shop and my local
This is an excellent tropical fish, with an excellent display of tropical fish,
Tropica plants, dry
goods and the full Dennerle
range. Some very interesting Botia loaches were on display from Asia, their
mail order business on the internet at
, carries some
very useful information on the
I purchased a pair of Discus Spawning Cones manufactured by JBL, I prefer these
"tough plastic" cones, to ceramic/terracotta, as they are easier to clean and
disinfect and are un-breakable, and much cheaper from this tropical fish shop,
than purchasing from eBay!

Back to what’s happening in the fish house, all fish are well, air ring main
is currently undergoing pressure testing, air pump is connected up, fixed in
place, and I’ve tested for air leaks, using a water mister and washing up
liquid, no leaks   were found, touch wood! It’s currently violently
aerating an 18l container of water with an airstone. One of the display tanks,
has an algal bloom, possibly causes by too much vegetable matter from courgettes
and cucumber, partial water change required this week, I’m working the late
shift at the office, so I’ll have to re-plan my evenings.

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Anyone for cucumber?

Saturday, September 17th, 2005

awoke this morning by a loud knocking at the front door, it was the post person
wanting me to sign for a small package. My Five Pack of Screwcumbers had
arrived. Here’s a picture of five new sealed twin packs of Screwcumbers
available from

Gary Evans at Opti-Fish
I’m sorry to flog these to death, but they are
a fantastic invention and worth every penny. Every Ancistrus, Pleco, Gibbiceps,
L number lover should have one. With NO Hikari imports expected into the UK for
many months until the situation is resolved with the EU, NO algae wafers these
are a lifesavers in feeding cucumbers and courgettes to my L Numbers, Gibbiceps,
and Ancistrus sp.

The yellow tug beneath the screwcumbers is filled with aquarium water soaking
the filter media I "found" the previous week..

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Air Ring Main Update

Sunday, September 11th, 2005

purchased a 5mm HSS drill bit, and armed with my drill and new bit (I don’t know
why I bought another two drill bits, because shortly after looking for something
else in my toolbox, found a 5mm drill bit!) was ready to start drilling holes in
my air ring main to accommodate 6mm Algarde straight connectors, this was more
difficult a task, than I had thought, and it would probably been easier if I had
pre-drilled the holes, and inserted the connectors before installing the ring
main in the ceiling, with hindsight, I think 90 degree elbow would have been
better, because trying to pull the airline off a test connector it removed it
from the air ring main. I’ve got a few elbows, so I’ll just have to wait and
see, I’m not going to be removing airline much anyway.

 Here is a picture outside the fish house on the opposite side of the jablite
partition, in the un-insulated part of the garage. You can clearly see the Eheim
tubing waiting to be connected to a air supply, I’ve not purchased yet.

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