Aqurium update.

 I bought a new stand for the planted tank. It fits really nice between the bedroom and bathroom doors. I replanted the whole tank. my microsord really took off, while my glosso has all but died off. I moved all the fish into this tank. I know have Khuli loaches running around in the microsword – that looks pretty cool. I am going to re-set up the CO2 reactor this week, I have it piped in, I just don’t have the Yeast Bottles set up yet. I have to finish drinking the juice!

 I put my TV tank into my entertainment center. I REALLY like how this turned out. Katie isn’t so thrilled about the TV not getting cable. The tank is just sitting empty for right now, I am not sure how I want to stock this tank. I may see about upgradig the lighting, or running crypts in it under the current low lighting.

 Here you see the 2 tanks together. I have an opening between the kitchen and the living room. I am thinking about either putting my 110 gallon tank in that area, or make a small 6″ tall microtank to go into that space. I am leaning towards the micro tank. Not sure where I am going to put the 110. I guess they can both sit in that spot. We shall see.

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My very own swamp!

I admit it, I have been neglecting my fish tanks. They just usually run themselves so well by themselves now that I try not to mess with them. (that’s my story and I am sticking to it)
Thanksgiving weekend, my planted tank finally turned into a swamp. It quickly proceeded to turn septic, killing all the fish in it. Katie came down this weekend to the most aweful stench!
I had cleaned the tank on Friday before she arrived, and it is just finally clearing up today. I give full credit to 2 Eheim canister filters, one set up for filtering (no charcoal even with this disaster), and the other to water conditioning (and light filtering) combined with my CO2 reactor uncapped so it sucked in normal air and nocked out the protien ( I am assuming that is all the white foam that formed in it is).
What happened is this surface plant, moneywort I think it is, grew so well, it sufficated off the rest of the tank underneith. Combined with one of the lights being plugged in for nearly a week straight while I was out for thanksgiving, it killed the rest of the tank off. Oohps. Time to either finish my computer programmed light controller box or invest in a timer with a ground plug so I can plug in my big aquarium lights into it.

It truly did smell like one of those, vile, evil smelling swamps. How many of you keep a pet swamp inches from your bed? Plants climbing out of it and everything – some where already about 3 feet from the tank behind the bed! Posted by Picasa

Homemade DIY CO2 Reactor Video


It appears that the video has gone missing. Until I can find it and re-post it, you may be interested in Home Made CO2 Reactor, Do It Yourself CO2 Reactor Construction Details, and CO2 Reactor Modifications

CO2 Reactor videoHere is a video of my brand spanking new, already modified Carbon DiOxide aquarium reactor.

The water flows into the top in the big hose, which is coming from my external canister filter. The CO2 is coming from a pair of old juice bottles which have water, baking yeast and sugar in them. This all gets mixed up in all the splashing fun as it goes down the tube with the bio-balls.

At the end of the video you can see my little CO2 monitor in the fish tank – that little bell thingy stuck to the side of the tank. Blue means low CO2, green means good CO2, and if you notice it is more green then it is blue. This is even after the old method of CO2 injection was showing blue, and I hadn’t refreshed my Yeast Bottles yet. This new device appears to be more effective at CO2 Injection then the old feed-it-through-the-canistor-filter method.

CO2 Reactor Modifications

I did a little research last night on the internet about how other people where building their CO2 reactors. Nothing like researching after the fact, right? I was looking to see if anybody else was building their reactor the same way I was. I didn’t find reference to it, but, there are hundreds of DIY Reactors out there, so I not too worried about not finding one. I did stumble across a person who used an RC airplane part called a Bulkhead Fitting. This looked to be a much cleaner way of attaching the airline tubing to my reactor.

Big Al’s was having it’s 1 year anniversary this weekend, and the “plant guy” was giving a demonstration on how to build a proper planted tank. I figured I wouldn’t learn much, but it was something to do with my Saterday, so I went. I was right, his song and dance was for new peeps, and not experienced planted tank creators. More importantly, there is a hobby shop next to Big Al’s, so I could pick up this part.

At the hobby store, in the RC airplane section, I found my new fitting. It is a “Large Bulkhead Fitting, 1/8 inch I.D.” packaged by a company called “Fourmost Products”. It is designed to be used as a fuel line connector.

These modifications replace the previous steps I have posted to my blog.

CO2 Reactor airline fittingHere is my old (heh, 2 whole days!) airline connection using a airline tube elbow fitting. I had zip-tied it together. I had managed to make the whole reactor without any glue, and it didn’t leak (much)!

CO2 Reactor airline fittingHere is the top part of my new fitting. I think this looks much better then the old fitting did. I used the old part of the hose that had the old fitting cut into it to make a seal for my new fitting. I don’t have any small O-rings for this yet, so I had to improvise. Getting proper O-Rings is on my todo list.

CO2 Reactor airline fittingHere is the inside view of my new fitting. Don’t do what I did, and make the hole too close to the outside of the endcap so the nut won’t set square. I still put it together like this because I am way to impatient to go get some silicone, and seal the hole up, and drill a new one. My fitting does leak just a tiny little bit, but not enough to worry about it today.

CO2 Reactor airline fittingHere is the finished reactor modification. I really like that the blue fitting matches the blue bioballs. The fitting seems just the right size for my airline tubing.

I am going to use the other fitting that came in the two-pack and replace one of my CO2 bottles where the current glued together mess is coming apart. Posted by Picasa

Do It Yourself CO2 Reactor Construction Details

As promised, here are some more details on the construction of my Home Made CO2 Reactor. This CO2 Reactor is made from a couple of aquarium siphons, and an airline tubing splice connector.

I drilled a hole in the top Siphon Cap the same size as the airline tubing splice connector. I chose to drill the hole as close to the edge of the ridged plastic in hopes that I can give the connection some mechanical strength. I left as much room as I could so there would be enough surface area to make a watertight connection.

Here I am drilling a hole through the plastic siphon hose after I had slipped it back onto the end of the siphon cap. This hole is the same size as the inside of the plastic airline splice peice. I wanted the rubbery hose to form a tight seal around the airline splice.

After a lot of cleaning of the burs in the hose and pushing hard, I finally got the splice to fit inside the hole.

I made an improvised clamp system out of 3 nylon zip ties to hold this whole area toghether. This area leaked a little bit, so I ended up wrapping another zip tie around the elbow of the airline tubing and the siphon tube, to press the airline tubing more tightly against the rubbery hose in hopes of creating a better seal. The water leak seems to have stopped.

In looking at how the completed arrangement thing functions, I may move the airline tubing down into the larger part of the siphon tube. With the airline tubing fitting where it currently is in the hose, a lot of water preasure is trying to make the whole thing leak. I think by moving the airline fitting out of the hose, and into the larger tube, where there is mostly gas as opposed to moving water, I can eleminate the chance of this fitting creating a leak. I also think that I would be able be able to change out one of my Yeast & Sugar CO2 bottles without water trying to flow down the airline tubes when the whole thing is mounted higher then the water level on the fish tank. Posted by Picasa