First off, happy birthday to meeee!
Actually, my birthday is tomorrow, but my parents went ahead and gave me my gift: a 3-gallon GloFish aquarium kit. Awesome!
Now, I’ve got some reservations about the kit that don’t really have anything to do with the product itself, and I’m going to go ahead and get those out of the way. First, no current species of GloFish comes anywhere close to being appropriate for a 3-gallon tank. The ones pictured on the box are genetically-engineered zebra danios, and having kept them in the past, I can vouch for the fact that they need at least 20 gallons of swimming room… bare minimum. The GloFish skirt tetras aren’t suitable for a tank this small, either.
The other little quibble I have with the kit is the brochure of misinformation and half-truths that tank companies always seem to include with their tank kits. They generally nod at the nitrogen cycle without really explaining it or giving good instructions for doing it safely, without harming fish.
Now that I’ve stopped quibbling, let’s have a look at the actual product. The kit includes:
- 3-gallon plastic bowfront tank
- black trim/frame for the bottom of the tank
- clear plastic lid
- 16- light unit
- light clamp
- light clamp screws
- light power adapter
- Tetra Whisper internal filter
- Tetra medium filter cartridge
- filter hanging hook
- filter power cord brace
- extra suction cup
Check out the photo gallery below for a better look at the included parts and setup process.
Well, hot diggity. That was a fantastic Turkey Week.
Thanksgiving Week is always great, don’t get me wrong. I have a lot to be thankful for, and having a week off from work is not least on the list. This week, however, was one of the best that I can remember, and part of that is the amount of progress I made on my fishroom plans.
One thing I’m quite proud of is my sliding glass lids project. I’ve completed and installed two lids — one on my loach tank and another on my platy tank — and I’ve cut glass for one and a half other lids, so I’m making serious progress there. I couldn’t be happier with the effectiveness of these lids at trapping moisture — the undersides of the lids are constantly covered in condensation, and I know that all of that water would be humidifying up the room if it weren’t for the lids. You can watch my tutorial on making these lids on my YouTube channel.
Speaking of the fishroom, I also got my 55-gallon tank moved onto its shelf. It’s hard to believe, but I’ve owned this tank for about 11 months and still haven’t set it up yet. At least now, it’s in position and ready to be filled. My original plan was to make a 3D background for it, but my wife pointed out that since the tank sits at eye level and takes up nearly the entire shelf, it would be much more interesting to be able to view the tank from both sides… so I’m not doing a background on the tank at all. I’m really excited with this idea and can’t wait to get everything running.
There’s another tank I’m very excited about. You’ve seen the Fluval Chi, right? If you haven’t, you should take a look at some of the beautiful setups people have done with this “designer” tank. I always loved the design of it, but I never really thought I’d own one — at $60 to $80 for 5 gallons, it just doesn’t fit in my budget. This week, however, I really scored at a local Goodwill: I found a Fluval Chi (minus the filter/light unit) for less than $5. I don’t even mind the fact that the filter and light are missing, since many reviewers online say it’s not super-reliable anyway.
With so many upcoming expenses — filters, heaters, lights, and of course, fish — I’m very happy to say that part of it will be paid for with photo contest winnings. I entered the monthly Fish of the Month contest on FishLore with a four-eyed butterfly fish I photographed at Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg, TN. If anyone who voted for my photo happens to read this, thanks! The prize is a $10 gift certificate at Doctors Foster and Smith, a site I’ve ordered from a few times and really appreciate doing business with.
So anyway, it’s back to work for me, but I’ve got a lot to be happy about and a lot to look forward to in the near future. I’ll be sure to keep you updated!
One of the fishkeeping hobby’s little annoyances is the problem of evaporation. It may just be me, but it irritates me to have to top off a tank in between water changes. Evaporation becomes more than a nuisance, however, when you are running — or planning to run — more tanks than are necessarily good for your sanity. The moisture coming off a collection of tanks can potentially be a real threat to your home and health.
Apparently, one way to control evaporation is to use glass lids. I’ve read this several times, but can’t vouch for it, since glass lids are hard to find locally and it just hasn’t been in my budget to have them shipped… but, as it turns out, a little hard work can produce a super-cheap sliding glass lid using materials from your local hardware store!
First, let me say that this a thread on The Planted Tank. I’ve been excited about trying it for a long time, and I finally got around to it.project isn’t my own brainchild. I never would have known how to do this if not for
Click past the cut to watch me make my very first sliding glass aquarium lid and to read my thoughts on the process!
As I resume working on the fishroom, I thought I’d document my current plans for it. Obviously, all these plans are subject to change…
Top shelf: storage and 40-gallon reservoir for preheating water for water changes. The reservoir will be filled via potable water house from outside, treated with dechlorinator, and heated for 24 hours before water changes.
Second shelf: 55-gallon community tank. Angelfish, harlequin rasboras, peppered cories, and kuhli loaches. Also, I should be able to fit a couple 10-gallon tanks on with it… Probably to include my current platy tank.
Third shelf: currently undecided. Could be a 75-gallon mbuna tank, could be two 40-gallon breeders, could be something else entirely.
Bottom shelf: six or maybe seven 10-gallon tanks. That’s one snail tank, one tank for, one for gammarus, two quarantine tanks, and one or two tracks for something else. Maybe fry growout… I’m not sure.
I have an old futon set up in the room to kick back and watch the fish, and I’m going to attempt to drywall most of the room and paint it a nice deep blue color. A workbench forprojects and a few betta tanks should complete the room nicely, don’t you think?
I can’t wait.
Okay, okay, lame post title — I admit it. Maybe the video will be more to your liking.
My wife came up with the idea for the video. She’s creeped out by the kuhlis, but she uses her distaste creatively. We never quite got the loaches to swim through the eye sockets the way we wanted, even after we put an algae wafer inside the skull. Still, I think it makes for a nice Halloween post.
A few weeks ago, I posted a “first impressions” review of the Cascade 300 Internal Filter by Penn-Plax. At the time I made that post, I hadn’t actually set the filter up and used it. Three days ago, however, I set it up for my new kuhli loach tank, and I have to say: it was money well spent!
I managed to get a nice video of my black kuhlis feeding! I love feeding them because it’s the only time I’m guaranteed to see them zipping all over the aquarium.
For the video, I fed ground-up New Life Spectrum Thera+A pellets. You can also see part of a dried shrimp near the edge of the rock pile… that’s from last night. They nibble at it occasionally, making it a more long-term food. They demolished this one in maybe a day or day and a half.
This video was captured on a Canon EOS Rebel T3i. I used manual focus throughout (still learning this camera’s video functions), so at times it’s a little out of focus. If you’re attention-span-challenged, skip to around 4:50 for some great closeups.
I just got my 7 new black kuhli loaches (Pangio oblonga) tanked! I’ll have more shots of the tank when it’s more interesting to look at, but for now, here are the loaches for your viewing (and envying ) pleasure.
Like many beginning fishkeepers, I got into the hobby with a basic kit that included a tank, heater, andfilter. I liked the function of the well enough that I didn’t really investigate other forms of filtration; the next time I needed a new filter, I went out and bought an AquaClear .
Now, don’t get me wrong: I have no complaints about the AC filters or any of my others. But I’ve been thinking lately about exploring other filtration options, partly because my fishroom setup limits the amount of space I have for s.
This week, I stopped by a chain pet store and picked up the Penn-Plax Cascade 300 internal filter. It’s rated for 70and is marketed as appropriate for up to a 10-gallon tank. The filter breaks down into several components (see photo gallery for detail):
- the impeller/motor unit
- 2-piece media chamber
- air intake with muffler
- output flow nozzle
- 90° tube
- spray bar
- airtube clip
- impeller cover
Also included are a carbon cartridge and a mechanical/biological filter sponge.
I’m in the process of setting up my fishroom in the basement of my house. Just recently, I finished building the shelves that will house most of my tanks.
I started with a shelf very similar to this one. Each shelf is supposed to be rated for 2000 pounds, so I figured that would be plenty strong enough for my tanks (I’ll be lucky to fit enough tanks to weigh half that much per shelf). It also looks good and fits well in the room.
I didn’t want to put my tanks on the wire deck that’s included with the shelving, so I took it off (except on the top level, which will just be used for storage anyway). I’m using it in other home improvement projects, so there’s no waste. I replaced it with DIY decking made from 3/4-inch plywood screwed onto 2×6′s. This is probably overkill, but over-engineering is better than under-engineering, in my book.
Finally, I sheathed each wooden deck in some extra roofing felt I had lying around. It should help protect the wood from moisture, and it roughly matches the matte black finish of the metal shelving.
A couple photos of the finished product: