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Dodging the Bullet December 28, 2005

Posted by samwyse in Marine Aquaria.
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Holy cow!

I checked everything last night just before going to bed, and it all seemed fine except the small air bubble in the syphon had grown a lot bigger while I was gone. This morning, I was resetting the timer for the lamps (from 12 hrs/day to 9) and decided to look at the SG before going to work. There was something odd about the way it was floating, but it took me a moment to realize that the water level in the tank was actually touching the glass tank covers! My wife and kids are still at the in-laws, so if I’d gone to work without checking I’d have come home to about ten gallons of water on the floor! (more…)

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More newbie adventures December 27, 2005

Posted by samwyse in Marine Aquaria.
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Well, I spent the past week with relatives about 200 miles from here, so the tank had plenty of time to “settle down”. (For those joining late, the tank contains live rock & sand, and one mantis shrimp; no little vertebrates yet.) The first thing I noticed when I arrived home was a slurping sound. Sure enough, the sump was about three gallons low, which I replentished by pouring fresh RO water into the sump. (more…)

Sick day December 13, 2005

Posted by samwyse in Marine Aquaria.
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I spend all day yesterday with a nasty head cold, and it’s still here today. The only thing I did with the aquarium was to set the light on it in the morning and stir/aerate the water in the evening. According to the hydrometer, the water temp is finally in the green zone, but the warmth has caused the salt content to drop a bit. So today I’ve reattached the RO to my faucet and will add a few more gallons of water. Today I’m trying hooking it up to the hot water to try to get a better temperature to dissolve the salt and not cool the tank.

This will finally get enough water to run the filter, although that’s also going to be complicated. The filter is currently in the big tank, but none of the plastic or glass covers will fit around it. I think it needs to go with one of the other two tanks, but I’m not sure how. I’ve posted more pictures at Flicker, if anyone wants to make any suggestions. http://www.flickr.com/photos/samwyse/

My New Saltwater Aquarium (cont.) December 11, 2005

Posted by samwyse in Marine Aquaria.
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This morning, the little ViaAqua heater had gotten the temp up to 68 deg. I’ve thought about just putting some distilled water into a tea kettle and warming it up before adding the salt, but for now I’m just using the tank heater.

The mantis is doing better this morning. Last night he was curled into what can only be described as a fetal position, but this morning he was standing up. He still hadn’t moved a fraction of an inch from where I’d first seen him, but when I aimed a flashlight at him, he scuttled back under the rocks and has now disappeared completely. He’s a hichhiker whom the previous owner intended to get rid of, but he’s pretty good at hiding. We never saw him when we were moving the rocks around; I wonder if he could have burrowed into the sand? I’m not going to remove him now because, aside from the coral, he’ll be the only inhabitant of this tank for a while.

followup December 11, 2005

Posted by samwyse in Marine Aquaria.
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OK, the mantis shrimp that had been hiding in the coral seems to have
survived, although it may not be alive in the morning. I’ve posted a
picture
at Flickr.

My New Saltwater Aquarium December 10, 2005

Posted by samwyse in Marine Aquaria.
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An acquaintance of mine got evicted from his house today. He had about a dozen 50+gallon tanks. The fish were sent to new homes without difficulty, and I got the $500 of live rock he had just purchased, along with all of the components for one tank. BTW, I’ve only done freshwater until today. Andthe original owner is busy with other stuff for a few days, not to mention that I live 30 miles from him.

The coral was placed in a tray, the tanks disassembled, and everything was driven to my house. I’d estimate that the coral was out of the water for a couple of hours until I could get 15 gallons of distilled water and an appropriate amount of Coralife salt into the 55 gallon tank. Right now, the hydrometer says that the right amount of salt is in the water, but it’s temperature is only up to 64 degrees F and it’s still quite cloudy. And my basement smells like a fish market. So, my first question is whether or not anything is still alive. Oh, and “everything” apparently includes a mantis shrimp that was hiding in the coral when it was acquired, and is still in hiding today.

Assuming the answer is yes, I need to assemble all of the other components. I’ve got two ten-gallon tanks, a protein skimmer, a wave maker for the main tank, and assorted bits of piping. I’ll probably post a few pics on Flickr later tonight and put a link in a follow-up to this post.