Archive for June, 2007

New Kittens!

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

We collected two new kittens today, friends for Esther to keep her entertained during the day. I’ve finally moved enough boxes into the attic, so the kittens could have their own room. The third bedroom.

A ginger and white little boy, and a tabby and white little girl.

They have their own webpages here:-

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Under Pressure!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

I’ve been using two Hailea piston based, ACO-308 and ACO-208 air-pumps to provide air in the fish house, using a 22mm ring main “air-reservoir”. I purchased the first ACO-208 in September 2005, and when my generic 40lpm “Hi-Blow” failed when I moved just under tweleve months ago, purchased another larger ACO-308 to add to the “air-reservoir”. I’ve never really been happy with the amount of air, especially in the deeper tanks (> 2 foot). I switched to Hailea because they were cheaper to run, but I’ve since found, they cannot deliver the pressure and are noisy, my master bedroom is above the fish house, and I can hear the pumps through the floor!

So I’ve recently purchased a Japanese Secoh SLL-50, but I still wasn’t getting the required pressure required. After consultation with a DIY expert, we will call him SimonL at work, he mentioned that I needed to use 15mm and 22mm inserts in the Speedfit piping, and also cut the pipe using a poly pipe cutter, not a hacksaw (I knew this bit, but I didn’t think it would really matter!). I borrowed SimonL’s poly pipe cutter to re-cut all lengths of pipe, and disappeared to ScrewFix to purchase some pipe inserts (well I didn’t know, it didn’t say it on the pack!), re-assembled the ring main “air-reservoir” and like magic plenty of pressure!

Re-visited the fish house, 30 minutes later to find no air! I thought the ring main had failed, it wasn’t the ring main but the back-pressure on the diaphragms in the Secoh SLL-50, that had failed! I’d forgotten to open the bleed valve on the ring main, which usually feeds into a large volume of water, that I use to change in the tanks. So I purchased a Service Kit from KoiKit by JustKoi. Fantastic service, the service kit arrived promptly, Secoh pump serviced, diaphragms replaced, and to prevent this happening again I purchased Pressure Relief Valve and Pressure Guage Assembley from, again Fantastic Customer Service, tell David I sent you!

This pressure relief valve is a pump protection device against over pressurisation. The valve will safely vent off any pressure over 0.2 Bar, and it’s been doing that!

I think I’ve got too much air now! But the leaks in the “air-reservoir” are fixed – Thanks SimonL

Secoh SLL-50
Secoh SLL-50 “Hi-Blow” Pump, with pressure relief valve and pressure guage assembley inline and connected to “air-reservoir”

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Rescued Firework/Galaxy Rasbora or Celestichthys Margaritatus

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Sorry, I’ve been pre-occupied with DIY on the house, but I’ve also spent some time on water experiments for the fish house. I need to store more water for water changes, and the RO unit, which will go live in several months time, so I’ve been plumbing two water containers together.

Whilst on my travels locally, I found a local tropical fish shop, which had a approx 20 Galaxy Rasbora in pretty poor shape, colourless, very thin – considering the current status of this fish, believed to be endangered in the wild, I would not normally have purchased them, but due to recent success of breeding Microrasbora erythromicron and the terrible state these fish were in, I thought they stood a better chance in my fish house, than left in this tropical fish shop. I would have purchased all 20, but parted with only five, if all five survive, I’ll return for more.

They’ve currently gone into a planted quarantine tank, and have started to colour-up instantly, and are feeding well. I’m going to start feeding them newly hatched brine-shrimp from tomorrow.

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The Secret Weapon – Bio Weapons of Mass Destruction

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

Well to slugs anyway!

This is my secret weapon, it must have surprised the postie on Friday morning, with the label “Living Material Urgent” stickered on the parcel!

Living Material
“Living Material Urgent”

The parcel contained:-

Nemaslug controls all common species of small to medium sized slugs (up to 8cm – 2.5-3 inches).

Nemaslug uses the nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita, which was discovered by scientists at the government research institute at Bristol, England.

I’ve also undertaken, an eight pronged attack to reduce slugs and snails:-

  • Sharp-grit around the plants.
  • Used coffee granuals around the plants.
  • Beer traps suck into the groud, near the plants.
  • Nemaslug – Bio Control.
  • Slug Gone – wooden pellet that forms a fibrous mulch around plants
  • Slug rings, yes your heard right, Slug Rings!
  • Advance Slug Killer pellets – approved for Organic use.
  • Collect the snails and slugs at midnight with a torch!

I hope my Hostas survive! because I’ve planted another two today, but these are blue ones, and slugs and snails don’t eat those!

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Paint your Wagon!

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

Lindsey now has the painting bug! So she’s been painting our Antique Wagon/Cart with another flavour of Cuprinol Shades.

Antique Wagon

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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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