I’m thinking a lot about my aquarium lately. I wonder if I will have any fish left in the end? When I return the tank will have gone almost a full month without any care at all. The reason I am not fully worried is that there are 30+ fish in there, many of them still fry. They should act as food (harsh as that sounds) in dire situations. Not only that, but there is also algae and a few remaining plants (maybe about 3 inches total worth of them).

My goal this semester is to build that tank up from a standard rockscape in to a fullfledged planted tank. I’ve tried this before, but I failed in some regards; most notably the fact that all my plants died.

Reasons for this happening? Well, CO2 plays a factor. I also didn’t have sufficient nutrients in the substrate (sand, for all intents and purposes). And my tank wasn’t fully cycled. Today, the water quality is amazing. I don’t have numbers for you, but I can plop in fish and take out fish and there seem to be no problems. They thrive in there for no good reason. It’s a guppy factory I tell you!

That’s all I have been raising lately. Guppies. I could go out and catch a bluegill, true, but guppies reproduce so fast that it’s easy to start breeding very amazing fish. They are also quite hardy: I’ve swung the temperature on them from low 70s to upper 80s and now I am sitting at about 74 degrees.

My goals for the tank are pretty simple: spend little money, use lots of DIY, and get an underwater jungle growing!

I’ll be getting my plants in Midland most likely. They actually have a number of fish stores (at least two) and said stores sell plants. The store in Painesdale, while amazing, doesn’t sell that many plants that I trust. They are typically covered in thread algae or sickly looking, not to mention the fact that they are ridiculously expensive.

What I really need is a bag of Soil Master Select. I can’t find any around Houghton, so I’ll have to check out stores around here. This stuff will be my substrate. I might find some peat to put under it for nutrients, as I have heard that works well.

Looking to spend no more (originally) than 50 bucks to get things started. Also, if anyone has a free tank they want to get off their hands…I’m always up for adding to my collection (of one)

On my list of upgrades:

  • Substrate. From crappy no-nutrient sand to Soil Master Select
  • Plants. Get some. Still figuring out what I can do
  • CO2 setup. Gonna be a DIY setup (2L bottles with sugar-water-yeast mixture) but I want to have it be changeable¬† and I want to be able to adjust CO2 output at will. There’s gonna be some plumbing for this one.
  • Lighting. Currently have a single fluorescent bulb hood that gives off 15 watts. The rule is you need 2-3 watts per gallon for good growth. 15/10=1.5. Close but I want more. Might use an old hood if we have them here still with some CF grow bulbs.
  • Filter. It’s fine how it is, but I think I can tweak the impeller a little to make it get more flow. It should be getting more than it is right now, but for some reason it doesn’t.
  • Natural cleaning. Read: corydora/pleco/SAE (Siamese algae eater). Fish that will clean up the bottom of the tank, and sometimes even the sides.
  • CO2 diffuser. Not gonna be just an airstone this time. An actuall diffusion setup.
  • Out with the rocks, in with the driftwood.

And maybe some more. Who knows?

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On the Eve of Eve

December 24, 2007

I am beat. I’ve been trying to keep my eyelids open for the last three hours, and I simply cannot do so. I keep nodding off; a dangerous condition when you are playing Phantom Hourglass on your DS in the tub to be sure! (Subnote: for those who think men don’t take baths, you are wrong! Real men have to take baths to sooth their aching back after doing massive weightlifting!)

Anyways, spent today with the family all day, and it has worn me past exhaustion (that and I actually had to get up early today for church, forcing me back to a [hopefully] normal sleep schedule). I meant to get an hour or two done for Flock today, gonna have to be tomorrow instead.

Agenda for the 24th:

  • Wake up, run for 20 minutes, rowing machine for 20 minutes, shower
  • Take my car to Dan’s Auto Works or the Goodyear for inspection and repairs. Basically, a whole punchlist of things to be done eventually, and then get the major ones patched up.
  • Flock work
  • Wrap presents
  • Chill with the family for the evening. I think we are getting Chinese food for dinner? It would kinda make sense, in a throwback to A Christmas Story. Watch The Muppet Christmas Carol, as we have for quite a few Christmas eves now, and head to bed.

Not terribly busy, but I hope I can get Flock in there. We’re hurtin for support bad, with the support crew being college seniors who just got slammed with finals and projects this past month. Then follow that up with the holidays, and it’s a bit of a mess.

Flock is pretty high and hard on my mind right now. Close to being first priority, which is getting a job with some company in the Midland area and finding an apartment (we think we found one already, gotta look at it and hope they have some units opening up in April or May).