Fish Tank: January 2003 Archives

I have algae!

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I was beginning to think I was doing something wrong with my fish tank - because even though the plants are growing like crazy, I didn't have any algae - except for a tiny bit on the leaves of the plants I got from Ding. But tonight I was sitting looking up at the lights through the front glass and noticed a few spots of yellowish algae growing on the front of the tank - so my tank is normal after all!

On Tuesday I borrowed an ammonia, a nitrite and a pH test kit from Luc, and tonight I got Luc's nitrite and phosphate test kits off Daniel, so now I can do some baseline tests of the water before I add any fish.

Ding got some fish for his tank this week, so now I'm *dying* to get some fish and get the nitrogen cycle started. I'll probably get some Zebra Danios on Saturday if all goes well :)

It was 45C in parts of Sydney today, although cooler here closer to the coast. The temperature was a bit over 29C in here - so at least while this room is hot, it's consistently hot, and doesn't seem to fluctuate more than a degree or two, which the fish should be able to cope with.

Proliferating Plants

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New plants
Very excited, got lots of new plants for my fish tank today. Three varieties of dicots, some big leafy thing, and a grass. Also got an air stone and air pump and some long prongy things to reach the bottom of the tank.

I'm a bit worried about the temperature in my room. Yesterday it hit 30 and stayed there all day. It was hotter outside than inside though, so even a big fan wasn't much use. Today is much more civilised. I have the fan blowing and all the windows in the unit open, but still the temperature is 28C. We'll have to see how the plants cope over the next couple of weeks. Might have to look at some sort of cooling unit if they aren't coping with the heat.

Now my next step is to let all these plants establish themselves and then I can start thinking about putting fish in :)

I went to Franklins (actually Food for Less now) today to buy a Kambrook timer, and as luck would have it, they had some nice 30L storage buckets. I bought two buckets - one for dechlorinating water, and the other for when I siphon off water during a water change. I've mostly filled one of them for my first water change, which I'll do in a day or two.

I set the timer to turn the lights on at 11:30am, and off again at 10:30pm. That's a lot of daylight, although my ordinary room lighting didn't seem to have supported a large growth of algae (ie, none) so it should be ok. Hopefully the fish will cope with the long days.. it'll be like summer all year round :)

The plants I planted last night look quite happy, they've straightened themselves up nicely and are heading for the tank lights.

First plants

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First plants
Thanks to Dingbat I now have a couple of little plants for my fish tank. They grow like weeds in his tanks, he says he's constantly pulling them out. Suited me, since I didn't have a thing growing in my tank til tonight (except maybe a few bacteria; even the algae hasn't taken off yet, probably because I haven't been running with the lights on).

Unfortunately I had to be a little bit brutal with them to try and get them to sit their roots under the gravel - I can't actually touch the bottom of my tank, even with my arm fully immersed :( So I had to shove them under with a ruler, and shift the gravel around them with the end of it.

Items on my fish tank shopping list now include:

* really long trigger-gripper things
* kambrook timer for the lights
* air stone and pump to create some nice looking bubbles and aerate the tank
* big bucket(s) for water changes
* some more plants

I never realised just how much chlorine they put in Sydney water until last night. On the weekend I got a fish tank (a nice AR-620T from Strictly Aquariums) and I've been running water through the filters to get the bacteria thing happening. I noticed that the tank wasn't evaporating very much (the water level hadn't dropped at all since I filled it), so I opened the hood and poked my nose in to have a look. I was nearly overwhelmed with the chlorine fumes trapped between the water and the hood of the tank! It smelt like a heated indoor swimming pool. This is why fresh water fish tank owners need to "age" their water by letting it sit for a day or two in the air to let the chlorine dissipate out before adding it to the tank.

Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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