Christmas Goodies (and minor updates)

So Christmas week was as busy for me as it was for most folks, but I got several new fish-related gadgets and goodies that I’m excited about. Here’s a peek:

Christmas Gifts 2013

Gadgets

2W 3-Mode LED Aquarium Lamp

I asked for this because it should be perfect for my bargain Fluval Chi that I got a few weeks ago. Now all I need is a sponge filter and the Chi will make for a perfect shrimp tank!

AquaTop 118 gph Pump

When I get my water change reservoir set up, this pump is gonna be what moves the water into the tanks. More on that in a future post.  I’ll probably use the adapters — most of which won’t be needed for my reservoir project — in other DIY doohickeys.

Seachem Matrix

I’ve been thinking and reading about this for a long time.  Apparently, it’s a tossup whether it will work to reduce nitrates.  I’m more than willing to give it a shot, though, and it’ll be good biomedia even if it doesn’t work as advertised.

Airline Connectors

Because I never seem to have enough…

Decorations

Marina Mangrove Root Decor

Don’t get me wrong, I love a beautiful piece of real driftwood as much as the next guy… but sometimes you just want an easy way to get a certain look, and an artificial piece fits the bill perfectly. I love this piece. I’ve been tempted to buy it since the day I went shopping for equipment for my first track.

Easter Island Head

I love these. These might just be my favorite “cultural” decorations — I don’t tend to like a lot of the Roman columns, and good Egyptian stuff is hard to find. Having said that:

Ancient Vase

I’ve been eyeing these for a long time. When I have money to spend on fish supplies, though, most decorations just aren’t the priority. For some reason I tend to gravitate toward “luxuries” like filters and heaters. That’s where my family comes in: they make sure I get the fun stuff, too.

Aqueon “Geranium” Plant

This is my favorite realistic fake plant. The stems and leaves spread out nicely under water, and it can fill a large volume all by itself.

Colorful Plants

I love these. I asked for these colors specifically. That’s all I have to say about that. There are several of each style pictured here.

Minor Updates

Not much to report, but there’s a little new growth on the anacharis in the gammarus shrimp (a.k.a. "scuds") tank, and the embedded java moss experiment is coming along… Slowly. If you’ve ever kept live plants, you know that it’s mostly a waiting game, especially with low-tech setups like mine. Pics below.