Posts Tagged Aquarium

Marine Nano Tank Time Lapse Video

This is what I spent my afternoon doing! Incase you stay here to watch it, here’s what I wrote on my Vimeo page.

My first time lapse movie using the iSight camera on my MacBook and Gawker software. Really disappointed that I had trouble exporting the movie full size from iMovie – for some reason the video frame froze after about 2 seconds of play while the music carried on, so apologies for the rubbish quality.

You can see my Clown Fish ‘Tina’ busying around on her Toadstool ‘Matey Boy’. The Orange Button Polyps middle screen are interesting, particularly in the second half of the vid when the view gets wider – they appear to pulse with the music.

Keep an eye in the bottom left quarter of the video window for a yellow fish. This is my Yellow Watchman Goby, ‘Rossi’. Other movements are the Nassarius Snails who bury themselves under the substrate, slide around the bottom of the tank and then dig themselves back in again.

I had loads of fun doing this, hope you enjoy.

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Frazzled

It’s been a manic week so far. Work is so busy as there are 3 of us doing the job of double the amount of people. Fortunately we’ve got a great boss and she’s heard my screams of pain and is organising some help. I just can’t believe the nastiness some people put effort into in the work place. Isn’t it shit enough that we have to spend the bigger part of our lives in a job to pay the bills without actively going out of our way to be shitty to other people?

On top of this I haven’t been sleeping well. Last night I woke up at 3am and nevermind that my semi conscieous brain was whispering ‘shhh! don’t think, just go back to sleep… sleep… sleep’ part of it was all ‘I need to get Cams passport sorted, I must get his photo done, I need to test the water level in the marine tank, I’ll start working on those procedure notes for Section 74 charging tomorrow, this year I need to pick up my Spanish course again’ and it went on and on and on. At some point Wil turned over and began scratching a part of his body which led me to believe he was awake and since I was desperately bored of laying there awake at the mercy of my overactive brain I whispered ‘Are you awake?’ there was no reply. So I whispered a bit louder and then came the reply… a bit of a grunt. The kind of grunt that suggested ‘YES I’M AWAKE NOW THAT YOU’VE ASKED ME SEVERAL TIMES RATHER LOUDLY’. I shut up and somewhere between here and there I fell back asleep.

It’s not all bad – the weekend was great. We visited a couple of new Aquarium places and came home with two new corals for the marine tank. A Button Polyps and Star Xenia. They’ve settled in without any problems so far as has their new counterpart ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ the Percula Clownfish… to those of you who are fish illiterate that’s a Finding Nemo Fish. He’s a bit weird – a lot more lively than I expected and a lot less concerned with anything else in the tank. He spends all of his time actively swimming back and fourth against the glass frontage of the tank.

Aside from Napoleon, Rossi and Valentino are doing really well. Valentino moulted his shell successfully and returned much larger than before. He’s been actively digging burrows all over the place. Rossi is turning out to be one fat bastard. I actually thought he might burst earlier on when he was scoffing down blood worm. He’s brilliant – one of the most mesmorising fish I’ve ever had. Bad news however, Jeremy Beadle died. Yeah, I know Jeremy Beadle as in ‘the’ Jeremy Beadle died.. but so did our Hermit Crab. Unexplained… just seems to be one of the things we haven’t been successful with keeping in our marine tank.

The weekend went well until I came to clean out my freshwater tank. As usual Wil and I assume the same tasks that make it a speedy affair – we have a routine and it works well. He manages the waste water disposal as I control the vacuum on the tank floor and suck out any debris while syphoning 20% of the water out. However this time it had fatal consequences and I managed to get one of my Corydora fish lodged in the pipe and the suction pressure pulled some of it’s inners out of it’s gills leaving it in a really bad way. We quickly did all we could and euthanised it in a glass of Vodka. The image of one of my favourite fish laying there in the bottom of the tank with it’s guts protruding from it’s gills isn’t something that will leave my mind. And along with all the other crap I woke up thinking about this has certainly been forefront of my thoughts. A completely freak accident but completely awful and I feel shitty about it.

So there it is… I’m currently pissed as a fart after turning to a huge G&T in the hopes that  I might get a full night sleep tonight before returning to work for another battering tomorrow. Therefore I completely release myself from all spelling and grammatical errors in this post because hey, how the hell was it ever going to turn out on a day that started with me sat on the toilet having a poo while drinking my cup of tea and checking the boys homework using his iPod Touch as a calculator?

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Rats, Cats & Elephants – Capel St Mary, Nr Ipswich

I am bloody angry. SO ANGRY that I’m not going to check this post for mistakes and grammar!

I’ve had a tropical fish tank for over 7 years, infact nearly 8 years. I started out with a small tank and and gradually upgraded to the 180litre community tank we have now which is home to several different varieties of fish, some of whom are as old as the set up itself. The tank is established, runs well and I have never had some of the common diseases I see people on the forums troubled with. I use tap water that I treat with de-chlorinater to carry out weekly water changes.

Several months ago I bought 2 small freshwater Dwarf Puffer fish from the shop in the title of this post. They incorrectly had this fish labelled as a Community fish meaning you could keep it as a member of a group of other fish who are also known to dwell peacefully together. There was no problem for the first few days as they settled in but then I noticed some of the other fish turning up with chunks out of their fins. The puffers were fin nipping the other fish during the night. I also found the puffers were incredibly hard to feed because they would only eat meaty foods like blood worm which everyone else in the tank enjoyed too and gobbled up before the puffers got a look in. The amount of food I had to put in the tank for the puffers made the tank filthy quickly and algae started to become a problem.

I eventually got a tank divider as a temporary solution since I didn’t want to take the puffers back to the shop. One of the puffers got bigger and the other smaller – I now know this was because they didn’t have enough room between them and one became boss. The little one suddenly died, so I was left with one.

The problem with food continued and I eventually bought another small tank called a Biube to rehouse the puffer on it’s own.  The Biube is a contemporary tank made from clear acrylic, something that a serious aquarium owner would perhaps find a bit novice but actually works beautifully for what I need it for. I was considering buying a shrimp of some sort to do the job of cleaning the bottom.  Crustaceans are often better in a ph of 7 because it’s more beneficial to their shells. Last week I went to the fish shop and saw they had some Crystal Shrimp – £9 each.  Knowing my tanks are around 8.2-8.4 I queried the owner at Rats, Cats and Elephants what his tanks read at. My thinking being if his tanks are at a PH of 7 and I dump a shrimp into mine which is 8.2 that could well be £9 down the pan!

The bloke stood there and practically froze at the question like I was trying to catch him out! He asked why I wanted to know, so I explained. I got a long lecture on PH which contradicted many things I’d read from other aquarium owners and encylopedias on the net. He came across as quite arrogant and I didn’t appreciate it when he made comments about my using tap water in my tropical tank and then took a stab at the fact I have a Biube! “The only problem you’ve got is that you own a Biube”! Well it serves the purpose I said, before leaving without a shrimp. Wil also pointed out that he’d been shitty about us asking for only 5 litres of Saltwater in our 25 litre container. Seems he’d rather we buy a whole container full.

As if the abuse of last week wasn’t enough we returned today to buy more water to do the weekly water change in our Marine tank.  I wanted to start up a small snail farm for the Dwarf Puffer so I asked the woman who works there (assuming it’s his wife) if she could fish out some of the tiny baby snails that were stuck to the inside of all of their hundreds of tanks along with some plants I was buying. She looked at me like I’d just peed in one of the tanks and then said snails aren’t something they sell. I said, no, I’m sure but do you want to keep them? (knowing full well most people don’t want that many snails in their tanks and other fish shops I’ve been to are only too happy to give snails away) She said no, they are a nuisance but that doesn’t mean she wants to go fishing them out of the tank to give to people!

I couldn’t have been more flabberghasted – I just stared at her in disbelief, took my bag with the plant in, paid and left.

I am beside myself that as a regular customer of this shop – one who goes in on a weekly basis to buy salt water, guinea pig hay, straw, sawdust, food and all supplies for my fish tanks – not forgetting the couple of hundred quid we spent on our marine tank, stock and all the follow up routine supplies and the fish I’ve bought there that she couldn’t throw a handful of nuisance snails in a bag for me. Helping me out and ridding themselves of something she actually admitted they considered a pest. In the middle of a recession I’m amazed that 2 people in a business of, lets face it – not exactly necessary products that people are going to buy when they’re broke, are willing to treat people in this manner.

I won’t be going back anyway.. I’ll drive twice the distance to go to other stores for future supplies as well as purchasing an RO/DI filter to make our own water for the marine tank.

Rats, Cats & Elephants – has definately lost my custom and I won’t have anything good to say to anyone else about them either.

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