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Everything posted by DubbieBoy

  1. My 2ft cube tank has sprung a slow leak after 15 years or so. Looking to have another made as I really like this shape. (this one was originally made by Redwoods in Christchurch but they're not making tanks any more unfortunately)
  2. Dear all, Came home from the Christmas break to find my tank had sprung a small leak which made its way along a power cord from a light, into a timer, and down to an extension block filling it with water 😲. The extension block was lying on the floor without a drip loop - I KNOW BETTER THAN THIS, BUT IT HAPPENED ANYWAY. Very thankful that the overload tripped and shut this down before anything really bad happened while we were away. I got away with it this time but will be changing my ways; lesson learned. In 40 years of fishkeeping I've never had this happen but... Please be careful. - Rory Dunedin
  3. Dang Still scandalous though :an!gry
  4. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11364683 Somebody got screwed badly here and it seems to be the childrens' ward at the hospital. Bravo Otago Uni, bravo :-?
  5. I'll get pics up, it is bright 8) ... but I don't think massively more intense than the 3 x 55W power compacts I was already running. Hard to say really. Here's two of six lamps lit, I went for a 50:50 mix of their 'tropical' bulb and 10000k reef white tubes. The tropical bulbs are supposed to be about 7500k but have a distinctly pink hue. Together the colour rendition is quite nice.
  6. Thought I’d update this thread now that I’ve arrived at a decision (forced by the failure of one of my existing ballasts which knocked out two of my compact flouros, leaving just one 55w bulb; plant performance quickly suffered). I wanted to replace the failed ballast with something a little more aesthetic than what I had been using but still baulked at the exaggerated prices of overtank luminaries such as the Arcadia or Giesseman units. There are cheap(er) T5 luminaires available from the far east but quality (safety?) can be an issue. I didn’t want to go MH as I need a stout cover glass to prevent the cat from treating the tank as a buffet. Then I stumbled across the iQuatics site recently http://www.iquaticsonline.co.uk/; these seem to be relatively new players and by comparison are quite competitively priced - the AquaLumi ticked all the right boxes… Heavy duty anodised aluminium luminaire, 6 x 24W T5HO bulbs (with 2 or 4 independently switched), cool running with fan assisted cooling of the electronics etc… Nice. So I enquired about international shipping and, as it happens, yesterday I received their first overseas consignment ;-) It’s a very solidly put together unit and I’m really pleased with it… Here are some preliminary pics, I’ll update when I have it in situ.
  7. Hmmm, I do have some calcium issues in that tank (can't seem to keep ramshorn snails alive or grow them out to any size). Our water is extremely soft and I have to supplement bicarbonate to even get a kH reading. GH is effectively zero. It's a techie-planted tank maintained at about pH6.8 with CO2. I occasionally supplement with CaCO3 just to try and introduce some mineral calcium in some form. I definitely don't think it's water quality or space. Was thinking of introducing some cuttlebone in there for the sake of the snails, maybe it'll help the cories bulk up a bit. So, they're just C. aeneus then?
  8. I picked up a bunch of these little guys some years ago believing they were plain' ol' C. aeneus (which I still believe they are). The thing is, none of them have ever gotten any bigger than 2-2.5cm in the years they've been puttering around my tank and I thought bronze cories got quite a bit bigger than that. I really like these mini-cories and would like to try and get some more; have I got some kind of pygmy or dwarf variety here or is this quite normal for these guys?
  9. Mesh I used is wireform modelers' #8 mesh; came from Gordon Harris http://www.gordonharris.co.nz/amaco-c-56_58.html (next day delivery ex Christchurch too!). The 1/8" mesh size works pretty well and is easy to work, the 1/4" mesh size might work too but the wire is quite coarse and would be harder to hide. There's a stainless steel product also but the mesh size is I think too fine at 1/16". The ali mesh seems to be working very well. It comes in flat sheets so using it to create a lawn effect would be pretty straightforward Was thinking of listing these on a popular online auction site..., I think they might go well
  10. Hi Matt, Rory here. Very sorry to hear that your Ricca got stomped upon on its way to you. Those pottles are ordinarily pretty strong and I've not had this happen before that I know of. The Riccia itself will be just fine, it's a tough little plant. Hopefully it will grow well for you. Here's something you could consider for your nano tank. I've been growing Riccia Rocks under aluminium mesh. The mesh is particularly handy as it naturally sinks and you can bend it into whatever shape takes your fancy (Riccia really is quite buoyant so I tend to weight them down with a fishing sinker also). The Ricca grows through the mesh pretty quickly under good light and I think they look quite neat and you can make them any size you like.
  11. So, I’ve been maintaining a 24” cube planted tank for several years in the corner of the living room. It’s been good and plant growth has been lush. The lighting system I went with when I initially set it up was 3x55W CF lamps under AH Supply reflectors and these have been really good for punching light down through the extra depth. But this lighting arrangement isn’t particularly aesthetically pleasing and was only ever meant to be temporary. I’d like to consider an alternative lighting arrangement, like either a hanging pendant or an overtank luminaire setup and I’d welcome any advice. I thinking along the lines of a 6x24” T5s or a 150W MH, both of which seem to be unfathomably expensive for what they are! Because it’s in the living room, I’m a bit concerned a MH lamp might be too bright/glarey as it would have to be suspended further from the glass due to heat? In that sense, the 6x24” T5 HO pendant style might be the best bet. Ideas, options, experiences and sources would be appreciated. I expect it would have to come from overseas as the minute anything like this enters NZ the price immediately triples. Some pics of the corner cube in some of its incarnations -
  12. Needle Leaf; starting to take over
  13. http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/content.php?sid=3224&utm_source=PFK_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=September_17_2010_a&utm_term=Hero_rescues_aquarium_fish_after_earthquake&utm_content=html That man deserves a DB
  14. I upgraded my CO2 bottle recently to a 6.8kg, brand new one; it cost me $450 (filled). But as least I was able to get hold of one locally in Dunedin. I see no reason to hold on to my old (1.8kg) one now that I have a bigger one so I would be prepared to sell if if you're interested? It's tested and in date; middle bottle in this pic...
  15. With any degree of accuracy? No. Most CO2 tests are merely pH tests; CO2 alters pH in a KH dependant manner. Even then it's not quantitative. Maybe you could do something with a homemade drop checker, some pH indicator dye and a 4dKH standard solution; it would allow you to visually distinguish low, medium and high CO2 concentrations cheaply. How would you be supplying the CO2 to your experiment?
  16. Do it; you'll never look back. DIY is great for just seeing the results and convincing yourself that CO2 supplementation really has an amazing effect on plant life but for the longer term, pressurised is the only way to go.
  17. Sounds like you're on the right track; keep on top of things and it'll disappear completely I'll bet. Nice tank! The more you can bump up your CO2 the faster your plants will rob algae of what it needs.
  18. As somebody who has to deal with ERMA and MAF on a regular basis, I wish you the best of luck. You sure must love paperwork ;-) It's certainly a niche who's time has come and a demand that is certainly not being met elsewhere in NZ.
  19. Well, seeing as you asked... For what it's worth, and having been through, and defeated, plagues of hair algae, black beard algae and green water more akin to pea soup than anything else, here's my take on it. It's all about competition and making sure algae knows it's just not wanted. Algae takes a hold when all is not when with your higher order plants. Fix this first. CO2 to the max and ferts all in good order. You won't get rid of algae by removing ferts, that will just starve everything else and weaken it further allowing algae to really get established. Same goes for blackouts. Dose up. Then dilute, dilute, dilute. Water changes are a good thing. I don't think for one second we are even close to properly understanding the chemistry of the planted tank; over time toxins accumulate and put the brakes on plant growth. Metabolites, hormones, allelopathic compunds, God only knows what else; in the artificial environment of the planted tank these have to be removed through water changes. Then dump those yummy ferts straight back in there. But my single, greatest weapon in fighting algal growth is humble Riccia. The plant is just great. It's grows exponentially, like bacteria, at such an astonishing rate under good lighting and with CO2. While it's dividing away like mad it's sucking out the bad stuff, outcompeting algae and creating an environment favouring higher order plant growth. And it floats! So when it's gotten to be to much and it's hogging too much light you just stick your hand in there and scoop it out by the handful; makes great compost too. No mess, no fuss. And away it goes again, doing its anti-algal thing. Pretty too. If the Ricca isn't pearling like Perrier then something is obviously very wrong. I've been keeping a planted tank for years and the only time algal meltdowns have occured, and they have, has been when I shirked off keeping the Riccia happy. When the Riccia's going well, I can find ZERO algae in my tank barring maybe some small green spot colonies on the glass. None, diddly squat, nada. I attribute this to the Riccia effect. Try it, I can send you a kilo of the stuff if you like. Would be interested to hear if it helps with your problem... YMMV Hey Jen, I still have that fern for you and if things quieten down around here a little bit any time soon I may even get around to sending it up. Haven't forgotten, honest ;-)
  20. Hair algae is awful stuff; I went through a phase not so long ago and I'm very careful about nutrients and other water params... http://robrien.orconhosting.net.nz/Tank%20Pics/Uploaders/Algae.jpg I did go away eventually though
  21. That's something I think we'd all like to watch :lol: If you do it, please video it so we can see? Seriously, Excel won't touch it, it's only good for black beard algae by happenstance; it's not and never has been a broad spectrum algicide. Probably doing far more harm than good. For green hair algae you need to physically remove as much as you can and push your CO2 to the max so your plants just plain outcompete it. It's a pain but it will go away if you keep at it. I think it's a phase tanks go through...
  22. Pickup only But thanks, that's the sort of info I'm after...
  23. Oh well, it was worth a shot :lol: I guess I'll order them in through the shop and hope they're not all crosseyed and ragged. Cheers peeps.
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