Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

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Just Another Sunny Day in Paradise

I'm on call this weekend, but I when Lisa called and asked if I was coming in for a massage, i said yes. Did some pre-eBay shopping first (bubble wrap, padded envelopes, that kind of thing), and also went to my local Petco and Pet Club looking for under-gravel filters for my two little fish tanks. And also checked out prices on bigger tanks. At Pet Club I bought the filters (Petco was out) but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed better to just buy a bigger tank, and install an under-gravel filter in it. A lot easier than emptying the 10-gallon and 5-gallon tanks, installing the filters, and re-loading them. Less smelly too.

Went to Saratoga Road near Paseo de Saratoga for Lisa's back-walking treatment, which I love and hate. It usually hurts some, but feels so good afterwards. And it doesn't hurt that she looks like a model - 5'9" tall, slender dancer's figure, China doll face. They play popular Chinese music in the background, and the last time I was there, one singer caught my ear. Lisa said she would copy the CD for me for next time, but she forgot, so I asked her this time to write down the name of the singer. She had forgotten which singer I meant, and asked the other women in the office, who all said it must be something which sounded to me like Li Dung. She wrote down the name in Chinese, and when I got home I compared it to the name of my favorite Chinese singer, Theresa Teng, and it was the same. Wrong singer. The one I had heard was someone modern, Teng passed away a few years ago (she had some hit tunes in 1975 when I was in Thailand).

The massage place is a block from a big Petco, so I went there to see what they had in the way of aquariums, and found a 29-gallon tank and metal stand which looked like the answer. It was a kit which included an external filter, but I bought an under-gravel one anyway, since they seem to work better. Also bought a big bag of gravel.

When I got home I sat outside on the patio with the cats for a while, then went in and planned how I was going to do this.

And rationalization...
Background: I started with a 10-gallon tank, expecting to breed bettas and gouramis. But the gouramis were more territorial than expected, so I bought a 5-gal. tank and put them in there.

  • The gourami tank is on the bottom of the stand, too low to really see the fish. A big tank would put them in view

  • With enough space, the gouramis and bettas will co-exist

  • The current filters are just not keeping the water clear

  • It's a lot easier to start out with an under-gravel filter than to put one in later, especially twice

  • There is enough room in the same place the small tanks are now

  • My two plecostomuses (algae eaters) have outgrown their tanks

First step was to syphon as much water out of the 10-gallon tank as possible. Next was to set up a folding table to put the tanks on, and then move the two tanks there and move the stand out of the way. And vacuum. Then I went out to the car and got the new stand, read the instructions, and realized I needed coasters or casters or whatever those carpet-protector things are called. The 15 gallons of water and gravel pushing on the four feet of the stand put deep dents into the carpet, I figured it needed some protection from 29 gallons of heavy. So I dashed to OSH for some surgical strike shopping, and then resumed the project.

Put the stand together and set it on the protector thingies, then got the filter and gravel from the car. Set up the under-gravel filter and then got the tank kit out of the car. Unboxed the tank, set it on the stand, assembled the filter inside and poured the gravel over it, then hooked it up to an air pump and hoses I already had. Then I poured in the water which had been siphoned from the 10-gallon tank, which turned out to be about 2.5 gallons (the size of my cauldron), and then took another cauldron's worth from each tank. Then I dumped in 30 gallon's worth of water treatment liquid and started making runs with the cauldron from the kitchen tap to the tank in the livingroom. When Mickey's small hand was on the 8 and his big hand was on the 12, I re-aranged the livingroom so I could see the TV, and had dinner in front of the tube.

After dinner, I finished filling the tank most of the way, and transferred the rocks and faux log and plants from the other tanks, planted some artificial plants I already had, and then transferred the fish, and finally poured most of the rest of the water from the small tanks into the large one.

Once everything was in place I took the boxes out to the dumpster, put the old stand out of the way and set the now-fishless tanks back onto it, folded up the work table and set it aside.
Now just need to wait for the water to clear. The bubbling of the filters is kind of loud, tomorrow if the water is clear I'll put the valves in place and turn down the air volume. I'm also thinking of adding at least some of the gravel from the 10-gallon tank to the new tank, though it doesn't really need it. Not sure what I'll do with the tanks & stand - maybe I can find someplace to donate them.

Strange but true, the cats were not too curious about the proceedings, they mostly sat out on the patio on the fuzzy mats I'd bought for them a couple of weeks ago. And in one other bit of possibly good news, in the mail was a 10% off coupon for Petco, I'll see if they will apply it to this purchase in retro.

No plans for tomorrow, except maybe list a bunch of video cards and old cell phone on eBay. And put some other spare parts which aren't good eBay fodder into the appropriate box in the closet. Maybe go to Starbuck's with my laptop. Or maybe someplace with free wi-fi like Coffee Society or Red Rock.

Made plane reservations to go to Seattle for Mother's Day weekend. Will take that Monday off so I can spend all day with Mom. Will bring her ring with me.

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