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Old 09-12-2010, 09:38 PM   #21 
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: SF, Ca
Originally Posted by UrsMyrick View Post
You've totally inspired me to make my own tank TharBePirates! Now I just need to go hunt down a big cookie jar!
Awesome! The big cookie jar is a great 'small' size. I know Jeffery loves his very much, he gets furious when we take him out to change water and clean. lol. He's the happiest fish in the world though when he gets put back in.

Originally Posted by vaygirl View Post
If you can fit the light with a daylight compact florescent bulb the plants will do much better and you'll save on your energy bill. :D 6500k will be good if you can find it.
Thanks for the info. I was home this weekend and went to my petsmart (which I feel I know very well, compared to the SF pet stores) there while I grabbed a few things I picked up a small AquaGlo bulb, which states that while increasing color vibrancy in the fish, also is good for tank plants. HOwever, as I just tried to put it in a regular sized bulb socket, I know realize that the size is thismuch too small, and I'm going to have to return the %&$@ thing and hunt down the bulb you're mentioning.

Originally Posted by StacyK View Post
How many times have you boiled your wood. I've boiled mine twice for ( about 1 hour first time and about 3 hours the second time) and still it's leaching like mad.
Over a five hour period I lost track of how many times I boiled it. I did a 1 hour boil, and then I boiled it in short intrevals (maybe 30 mins at a time) only pulling the put off the burner when the water became dark enough to feel it warranted a water change. The next few days there were no discolorations, but I've been gone since friday so we'll see how it looks when I go home tomorrow.

So as previously mentioned up post, this weekend I left the bay area and returned home to preform some familial related tasks. Today, however, I did something quite big.

I got a fish for my tank!!!!!

This has been the subject of much deliberation for me this past week. I knew of a good petstore in town that sells some very gorgeous bettas, and I've been monitoring the tank carefully. It's reading pretty close to perfect right now, and I feel it (and me) are ready for the fish to go in. So today I made a petsmart run, then I hopped over to the LPS where Brother and I choose the male betta.

So, this guy's name is Gyrados.

He is (from what I can tell) a red and light blue dragon half moon (with some bits of aqua in his tail that the camera unfortunately doesn't pick up)

But if I'm wrong about what he is, please correct me, as I'm new to this and all.

He's also very friendly

Since tomorrow is a 3 hour car ride back to the apartment where Gyrados' planted tank awaits, I've taken the precautions for his journey home. He seems to do alright on trips (as home is a 45 minute drive from LFS) but I still felt bad about his TINY cup and got him a carrier.

I kid you not, the cup is not only smaller than the petco/petsmart cups, it's the SAME LENGTH as the little guy.

I know it's not very big; but it's all I could afford at the time, it's a huge step up from the very small, very shallowly filled cup he had been in and it's only temporary till he gets to chill in his filtered tank. In addition to the carrier, I also picked up a bottle of that betta water. I know it's rediculous, but instead of having to prep water I just washed the carrier out and poured 3/4s of the betta water in and introduced Gyrados to the carrier (The rest of which I will put in the carrier tomorrow morning during a water change before we leave). Plus it touts it reduces fish stress, which I figured is a good thing for his long journey home.

So yes, I'm almost to the finish line! Right now he's pretty happy, much more than when he was in his cup since he has some space. Since I picked up some blood worms to add to the dietary variety of he and Jeffery (as they already have pellets and brine shrimp) he's had two servings of those that he absolutely attacked lol.
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:00 AM   #22 
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Congrats! That its so awesome! I'm sure that he will be SO happy in his new tank! He's a really pretty fish as well!
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:01 PM   #23 
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So it happened!

We arrived back at the apartment and sure enough, the driftwood had leeched and made the tank look like someone was trying to make Earl Grey in the water. So, I did a water change and as well as washed off some of the decor, rinsed the filter, tossed out some plants that didn't quite survive the weekend, and rearranged a few things. I also removed a TON of duckweed, as the stuff had multiplied like bunnies lol.

This weekend I had picked up some pretty nice ammonia and PH test kits (my reasoning for this being I paid as much for a 4 test kit compared to these 2 tests, which will be good for 100+ tests, which, is kinda economical when you have 2 setups). So, I decided to try them out on both Gyarados' and Jeffery's tanks. Both of them had good Ph, however Gyarados' tank had a 0.25 on the ammonia levels (while Jeffery was shockingly fine, even though his water hasn't been changed in 4 days). I'm suspecting the heat from the bulb and the addition of the plants had something to do with it, since it was at a 0 until I added them. So, I gave the tank a small dose of Neutral Regulator and let it filter for awhile. I also did another, more hotter rinse, of the driftwood and rocks while everything was cycling.

After that, another check confirmed the ammonia was down, so I caught Gyarados in his little cup and let him float for an hour, while I made a hardware store trip. There I found the Daylight CFL vaygirl recommended (yay!) as well as some distilled white vinegar. When I got back I switched out the bulbs and released Gyarados, and watched him immediately investigate his filter (and subsequently, snap at the bubbles). While he investigated, I cleaned the tank exterior as well as the top glass panel, with a mixture of vinegar and water. It cleans glass beautifully, and you don't have to worry about chemicals.

So I'm finally done! Here is the final product..

Some closeups of the big guy...

I'm really loving how vibrant his coloring is. The iridescence in his light blue is very stunning up against all that crimson.

And a shot of Jeffery, because we love cookie jar fish too lol.

So here we are, at the end. Looking back, with all the trial and error I had I figure I spent anywhere from $150 to $200 on this project. However, I set up two planted tanks during this time, and acquired two fish instead of the one. Also I have enough food (betta pellets, shrimp and blood worms) as well as Seachem, and API products to last me a good long while. My brother's asked about setting up a tank, as he is allowed a 5 gallon in his dorm room. So, I'll probably be using some leftover stuff to cycle him a betta tank sometime this winter.

So yeah, not cheap. But we're done for now!

I'd like to thank everyone who's been following me and giving me advice. It's all helped immensely.
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