Setting up the Aquarium again…

12 Nov

So when I got back from the Peace Corps 20 some odd years ago, I set up this 100 gallon tank to play with. It worked great for a few years, but the metal halide and vho fluorescent lights I put in the hood were a royal hassle, and when the halide decided to go up in a poof of smoke (literally:.. I was dang lucky the thing didn’t burn the tank down, and the house with it!) I got frustrated with it and kinda left it lightless for a few years.

Low and behold, the Anubias barteri var. nana survived just fine. In fact, it spread slowly with nothing more than a power head to move the water around.

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A month or so ago Beth decided we should do something with the tank, and we invested in some of the new led lights for he tank. A week later… And some of the small Cryptocorynes (probably C. wendtii ‘Bronze’) are also coming up and slowly developing again.

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Love the Crypts… Most seem to like low to medium light, and though they may melt when you put them in the tank, if the roots are good will usually bounce back fairly quick. I’m still amazed they survived with no light for so long, and came back from nothing!

So, we’ve been on a bit of a binge getting the tank set up again. I switched out some rocks, we got some driftwood and a few more plants (Java fern, hygro, Crypt spiralis, Staurogyne, water sprite, and a funky moss? Monoselenium tenerum…)

And a really cool Chinese style dragon, which blows bubbles (12 bucks for the air pump please! But it is a really cool Whisper pump that is amazingly quiet for a pump, do to its funky casing that lifts it up with rubber feet to dampen the vibrations). Here is Mr Dragon!

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One of the two pieces of wood turned out to be a piece of grape vine, which of course floats like a cork. I actually kind of like the effect, but eventually it will sink, and I can attach Anubias and Java fern and mosses and stuff to make a tropical tree like thing out of it. For now it’s a cool floaty thing that is tangling some of the new plants that seem best floating.

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Of course, one of the things I had to do to get the tank running again was to get the filter up and going properly. I have it set with the pump IN the tank now (rather than in the filter like before), where it pushes the water up into the tray of the filter on the top of the tank, where it goes through a kind of river like baffle to the opposite corner, and dumps back down into the tank by gravity. Noisy as all get out, gurgles loudly, but it makes a cool planted filter for emergent plants. Kinda messy for now, but hopefully as it grows in things will look better.

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Lots of plants, but not many fish… So far we have five golden white clouds, some ghost shrimp we never see, 3 ottos and 3 Betta splendens babies that posture at each other like crazy all the time. Hopefully they will have enough room in the tank not to beat each other up too much as they grow up. Oh, and an albino bushy nose plecostamus. He’s still a baby too. No bristles on his nose yet, and I’m not sure how to sex them to tell if he is male or female either way. But he’s cool! Lol
Anyway, been looking forward to the local Greater Seattle Aquarium Society plant auction, which we just got back from, but more on that in another post.

So this is what the tank looks like now, before adding the plants from the auction;

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