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Old 09-16-2012, 04:19 AM   #31 
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He seems all right, just a bit slow to eat now... hum.

Note to self: filter will not function correctly unless a top plate is installed otherwise oxygen bubbles just pop at the top rather than be forced out of the proper holes. Simple design error but a pain in the bottom to fix.

Solution? No idea. Need some form of plastic or something that I can shove into the gap... maybe a really dense sponge.

Driftwood still floating but it's the end that I didn't have submerged over night, fixed that this morning and now have a plate plus some branches weighing it down while it absorbs water. Should be fine tomorrow. I'm a bit relieved really as I'm in a lot of discomfort today and don't really want to get elbow-deep in water. Will definitely have to finish tomorrow as I have plants scattered all around my room and no where for my cup of tea!
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:05 AM   #32 
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It makes me smile to think of your room covered in buckets and pots filled with plants, not to mention tanks of fish and bugs! You know. . . most girls can't find a spot for their cups because there are too many clothes, or shoes, or glamor magazines! I like you better

Very sorry to hear that you're feeling bad today, hopefully this afternoon will bring some relief for you. . .

Gah! Fixing unforeseen problems after the fact is a pain in the rear, but I have full confidence that you will figure something out - a sponge sounds like it might just do the trick. Otherwise, there will be more measuring and cutting involved, and that's so much more difficult after everything is all put together.
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:38 AM   #33 
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Teehee thank you. I've taken a short break from thinking and had a long look at the aquarium -- I actually really like it so far! The piece of driftwood I sat on the big chunk of wood is going to stay, it looks great where it is and a little extra anchorage never hurts

I've uprooted as much anarcharis (Egeria densa) as I can right now and have it all planted, I replanted a couple of uprooted things as well and it's coming together. I noticed a few pest snail egg sacks on plants that I couldn't get off so I'm considering an assassin snail to help keep numbers in check -- not something I'd honestly like to do (I have a habit of trying to save EVERYTHING) but at least the snails would be being "recycled" rather than ending up dying horribly. I know I can't save everything and I don't know anyone who'd be willing to take "pest" snails (pond snails) but I've got loads of Malaysian trumpet and ramshorn snails to hook out of both smaller tanks as well as two damselfly nymphs (that I've grown rather fond of) that I'll need to consider... the last thing I want is an ammonia spike due to snails (we lost a tank of guppy and platy fry a few years ago due to excess snailage; I didn't understand as I didn't know much about water quality).

Kaze's tank looks bare as I've ripped most of the stuff out of it -- he's also started fin biting again so I'm going to be grabbing some stuff to make his tank provide more cover and hopefully calm him down. I'm considering housing him in the quarantine tank while I wait to finish the big tank as his tank is going to become snail central soon (the remaining substrate in Echo's old tank is going into Kaze's current tank so all snails are in one place and I can hook them out using bait trats, it'll also give me by bedside cabinet back). I don't want the snails to put Kaze under any stress... ooph I also have to rip his filter out and steal loads of the media! I haven't switched his filter off as I don't want the bacteria to die.

I stuffed a kitchen sponge into the top of the big filter, it's helped a bit and I've been told I can grab a second sponge just to block the top off even more. Kitchen sponge is wonderfully dense so it's absolutely ideal. I cut the white abbrasive side off just to be safe.

(Oh, er, 101 stick insect eggs by the way.)

I keep thinking about frogs and how well I think they'd do in this tank.... hehehe.

On a bit of a random note: I realized the other day that I'd forgotten completely that I had a Tropical Fish Keeping forum account before my bettafish.com account, I didn't know at the time the two were connected... bummer, that other account has my common username. Oh well.

Last edited by SpookyTooth; 09-16-2012 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:01 AM   #34 
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Project is being scrapped.

... The tank is leaking from the bottom. It was fine up until today. There's water gradually pouring out of the bottom.

I can't believe this.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:31 AM   #35 
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WHAT!!? *BANGS HEAD* WHY!?? Can you drain and re-seal it??? You can't give up! It's going so well! *cries*
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:09 AM   #36 
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I heard cracking on and off and didn't know where it was coming from, I thought it may have been from the filter as I'd just stuffed it with media (it clunks together sometimes and makes odd noises) but I saw a puddle by the bottom of the tank and alarm bells went off. I thought at first that it may have been overflow from the filter but it was the front of the tank, not the back. I checked all down the back for water as well as on the surface my table was sat on, no water at the back, it was all at the front coming out of the bottom seal and there was a pretty puddle there to greet me when I finally looked beneath my nose.

As it is the bottom seal that's failed I'm not comfortable at all with resealing it, partly because I can't reach it and also because the weight of the entire tank will be on the bottom and I just don't think my sealing job would cause it to hold.

I took photos of the tank after we'd drained it to a point where it didn't risk smashing the glass and pouring out onto my bed so I could at least show you what I'd done. There was a lot of anarcharis and a few other plants (twisted vallis, "star fern" or something and rotala) up the back. The back right corner was going to house an Amazon sword and you can see some of the floating plants sticking to stuff. The tank looked better filled but I unfortunately never got a chance to take a photo, I was too tired and was actually resting when this drama unfolded.



While the big tank is busted it has also taken away the concerns I had about Kaze living in something of that size. I've tried to look at this in a positive light and so last night we (me and mum) poured our energy together to get Echo's old tank drained, cleaned and scaped using as many old plants as I could. I don't know if it's finished yet as I have a fair few plants left over but as I'm in a lot more pain than I thought I would be today I doubt I can do any more at this point in time.

Yes, I'm disappointed with the big tank -- big time but I also felt that Kaze needed a lovely home asap; his old tank was almost devoid of plants and as I needed to dump Echo's snail ridden substrate into something so I could start bait-trapping I utilized Kaze's old 21 litre for that purpose. I sat the betta in a jug hooked over the edge of his old tank so he'd stay warm while we hauled butt to get the other one sorted.

My dad very kindly sawed off a large piece of the big chunk of wood and mum helped me to tie my non-substrate plants to it. I took a load of stem plants -- a mixture of anacharis and rotala (also threw the twisted vallis in there) and stuffed them in the back of the tank, planting them to the best of my ability with the space I had available. I also replanted my crypts (I hope they don't melt!) and a few other stem plants. I have a lovely piece of driftwood that has java moss, java ferns and anubias on it that created a tunnel in the larger tank so I positioned this (with some effort, I might add) in a way in which I could replicate this.

As we started filling, the driftwood piece began to float so we took it in turns holding the wood down in just the right place (by applying minor pressure) while getting water in, mum then held the wood down for me while I planted. Once done we sat a plate on top of the wood and realized that it wasn't enough, so we sat a measuring jug on top of the plate (guess we didn't hit that "sweet spot" pressure wise) and started acclimitizing Kaze. Once I got him in I removed some floating pieces of media (... they look like pellets and Kaze was oh so fascinated) and fed the little love bug, I then covered as much of the top of the tank in cling film (saran wrap... is it called elsewhere?) with the exception of a gap for air as we couldn't get the tank lid on.

I took a photo last night to show you and while last night I had just had enough (I was tired, hungry and GRUMPY!) I've seen how active Kaze is this morning and he really seems to like his home, it's growing on me too. The photo isn't the best as it was dark and you can't see the full colours of all the plants but meh, I'll get some better ones later.



The moment I got up this morning I went to feed Kaze (as I usually do) and he seemed much more eager to eat and generally relaxed, he sat with a pellet in his mouth for a moment and looked at me like "chill out, woman! I've got it, I've got it"... heh. I took a quick video of the tank and his swimmy-ness to show you, too.

Now... you'll notice I focus on something that has a wiggly butt... that is one of the damselfly nymphs that was in Echo's tank. I have no idea how it got into Kaze's tank but I'm not complaining. I tried to get a close up of it but all you can see is a white line. I'm actually hoping that this critter will be a good indication of Kaze's aggression as it's as big as a red cherry shrimp and very noticeable. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.



It goes a bit dark in places but I'd opened my curtains so the light levels are in flux.

So that's that for now... I'm going to make some chicken and vegetable soup and watch TV for a couple of hours then see if I can muster up the strength to finish everything. Despite the smaller size of the tank (27 litres, so half of the big one) I still want to get ferts. Hopefully I can get to the fish store later in the week.

Last edited by SpookyTooth; 09-17-2012 at 03:14 AM.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:11 AM   #37 
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Girl, I have to hand it to you - you are BRILLIANT at looking at the bright side of things! I would have been so bummed out. . . once again, I really have to compliment you and your entire family, you all work together so well, and I just think it's wonderful how supportive they are of you! I'm sure they had 'better' things to do than to hold driftwood in place and saw it down to size, but they took the time out to help you fix things. As pretty as the cracked tank was, this new tank - even at half the size - is STUNNING! Kaze looks so happy in there, and I'm glad that everything has worked out so well in the end. Hopefully the issues that were worrying you had nothing to do with aging or any physical problems, and stemmed from something else that the new environment will help with *crosses fingers* And. . . even if you weren't really able to USE it, you did put the filter together, and you learned enough from the process that if/when you decide to try it again, you'll be able to fix the few minor issues you came up with and make it better the next go-round! I'm really proud of you! This has been a really difficult project for you, and you've done SO WELL! I'm still sad that it didn't work out, but. . . really impressed at your ability to turn a bad situation into a positive one :)

On a random note, sorta:

Kaze looks a lot like my daughter's Betta, ShimmerBlue. Recently - over the last month since Teagan has been in Kindergarten, Shimzy has taken to tail biting, and I don't know what to do! It sounds like your Kaze has the same issues, and that you've managed to resolve them? Please - any advice or suggestions on what we can do? We've been spending as much time in there with him as we can, to keep him occupied without his mistress - but I can't spend as much time in there as Teagan does when she's home, and . . . she'd be heartbroken if we brought him out - he's HER fish. His tank is only 3 gallons, but there are loads of plants in there. I'm at a loss - and new to Betta!

Also . . . OVER ONE HUNDRED EGGS?!!! Wow... what are you going to DO with all of them!?? Do they normally have SO many?!! LOL! Happy little girl, Terra is!
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:00 PM   #38 
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Awww thank you so much Chesh, really. Kaze has been so intensely hyper today, I think he must approve of all the effort. The wood has a bit of mould and gunk going on but daily water changes (just minor ones) to remove that will stop it causing issues, we still have the jug and plate sat on top to stop the wood floating but should be able to remove that in a day or two (or when mum starts missing that jug). I'll be moving in an MTS cleaning crew soon to help with the gunk as snails seem to love the stuff.

Pardon me if it sounds a tad dramatic but I've had eight years of frustration and inability to stay positive, and I'd had enough of it over the last six months or so and really pushed myself; I've learned a lot about moving forward and tearing something positive out of even the most downing and downright unfair situations, it can really make life so much easier even when your physical self isn't so good. Of course it's also good to know when to quit (something I haven't learned yet, I'm too stubborn! ).

Bless him, my dad has some real moments but I know at the end of the day he's stressed like the rest of us and just deals with it in his own way. He tries to help me as best as he can and I could never thank him enough for that. Mum is just too awesome for words.

On the note of tailbiting... Kaze used to do it; I actually found a new bite in one of his fins day before yesterday but I think that was due to when I moved him across my room, he had to be cupped (er... "jugged") for a while. It sounds like ShimmerBlue (love the name) misses your daughter! It's frustrating but very very sweet. There could be other causes but if it only seems to happen while your daughter is out of the house then I can only assume that that is the trigger, I mean it sounds like he has a lovely home and gets lots of attention (with the rest of life considered, naturally)... some bettas seem to be really quite tightly strung and the slightest of provocation could trigger striping, biting, jumping out of the tank, flaring or just plain sulking. They're just... like people! But it's unfortunate.

Does he have any tank mates? If he doesn't you may like to consider using Indian almond leaves, usually available online; they'll tan the water naturally and make the whole environment a little darker for ShimmerBlue and may make him feel safer. Tannins are also believed to have anti fungal and anti bacterial properties as well but they do lower the pH of the water, hence why I ask about tank mates as snails would certainly disapprove of this change although shrimp and the like may love to nibble on the IAL. I'm not sure what else to suggest I'm afraid there may be a trigger somewhere that hasn't been discovered yet but I know how much you love your fish (and by the sounds of it your daughter inherited that!) so I don't think it's anything care related in the slightest, he might simply miss being the star in her day.


Terra's just... BIG! Adult E. tiaratum can lay around 200 - 300 eggs in a lifetime, I was lead to believe this number was 10x that but I'm quite relieved. Going to start selling them soon in batches of 20, then I'll keep some by for the insect nursery. Gaia may start to lay soon but she's so TINY in comparison to Terra I can't believe it! Heh.

Last edited by SpookyTooth; 09-17-2012 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Inability to spoll.. er.. spell.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:48 PM   #39 
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So I just read the whole thread :) I LOVE the way the end result turned out, it's beautiful!

Great job, Spooky! Sorry about your big tank, but I'm sure someday you will be able to use that awesome filter design.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:48 AM   #40 
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Thank you so much for your comments, toad!

The cut of driftwood still floats but it has started to sink very well. I've also decided to start clearing Kaze's old tank of snails -- now this is the fun part. I'm going to be tearing out chunks of substrate bit by bit and sifting through it on a tray, the snails will then be potted up according to species. Once I've finished I'll get the tank cleaned, refilled (only halfway) and get the snails back in there after a brief headcount... no substrate!

Once that's done I'll start looking to see how many I can rehome. I had a bit of a job getting Malaysian trumpet snails here in England so maybe others can use them, too. Any that are left will be going into Kaze's tank and I'll also be introducing an assassin snail to keep numbers reasonable.

I tried using a large holed sieve (an old one no longer in use, of course) to sift some substrate and found six snails but this is too much for me to deal with so the tray method should work better.

It's going to be a "fun" evening.
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