Ugh, October is turning out to be not a fun month, but an expensive & stressful one. A surprise medical bill from last year showed up and is gobbling
money, and one of the car's axles had to be replaced today, pronto -- totally went kaput on the road and hubby barely made it to the mechanic
(appointment was supposed to be tomorrow)
For the car-minded folks, the bearing completely failed, and the....hell if I can remember the specific name, but two wing-like protrusions broke off.
Man, the heck did the mechanic call that, it has a name... Anyway, the shudder/vibration in the car went from highway speed only to being present even
at a crawl, and it was BAD any faster. From my understanding (as limited as it is) this was a serious accident waiting to happen if we'd not done it
We knew the damn thing was going to cost us anyway, the appointment was scheduled, it was more the surprise/shock of it doing that in traffic.
Oh, also, two things in the aquarium needed replaced in the past week -- the heater, and filter.
It took a while to notice ourselves because we try to keep our hands out of the tank as much as possible, but it dawned on me re-burying one of the
octo grass clusters that what the hell, this water is FREEZING. I'd cleaned the tank and did a water change a few days before, so it died some time
between those times. No wonder the fish hadn't been very active, they were fricking cold!
I was NOT happy with the cheapo heater that came with them, so I bought one with an adjustable thermostat so I can adequately adjust the heater temp
through the seasons (cooler in summer, warmer in winter) to maintain a steady water temp. It's also a more powerful heater, rated for a bigger tank,
so it doesn't take much time at all to heat the water to temp now.
And the fish tank filter DIED. Very noisily
. We had to run out and buy a new one, and these suckers aren't exactly cheap. The most economical
one we could find (and the smallest filtration capacity anyone sold) was for a 20 gallon tank, so now the fish have a triple-filter system and a
higher flow rate (water current) They love the new current speed, though, not really such a thing as an over-filtered or overly fast current in a tank
as it is. It's a step up from the last one by a lot, but damn, and hubs wants to upgrade to a 30 gallon tank next year?
I also got a case of the ass and switched the aquarium substrate over to sand. The catfish couldn't be happier campers, they're plunking hard and
sifting and just plain thrilled. Even the Nerite snails are more active. Also, the sand is white and it looks GREAT, the gravel really looked crappy
by comparison in hindsight.
I did what many posters on aquarium forums do -- bought pool filter sand and rinsed the crap out of it. Same damn sand, minus the highway robbery
mark-up for pre-rinsed "aquarium" sand. I still paid a mark-up, because I had to order it from Amazon (it's not in season now and is out of stock
locally, and shipping charges from other places online are very high) But come on, $20 for 50 pounds (a little over double what it would cost
in-season locally) versus $10 to $20 PER 5 POUND BAG locally in pet stores/departments is a major difference in cost. All for the bonus of not needing
to rinse it first. Yeah, I'll rinse pool filter sand, thanks
I also "scrubbed" the tank, prior to putting the sand in, thanks to the ramshorn snails' prolific breeding. We must have been missing eggs somewhere
because they kept cropping up daily, despite killing upwards of a dozen daily (my thinking is eggs were in the gravel under the surface) I emptied the
tank, physically scrubbed the glass til it squeaked, and dunked the plants in a diluted bleach bath to kill any possible remaining snails and eggs.
That all seems to have worked, I haven't seen any yet. The beneficial bacteria had to be restarted in the tank, so I did reserve some water from the
top of the tank after I removed everything and let everything settle for a few hours. If there were free-floating eggs, we'd have seen them. Putting
that back in with a bacteria tablet with fresh water made for an easier recolonization period & putting the fish in sooner.
And for Finn, I do have a new picture of the rabbit for you, and it's a cute one! We came home to him and the cat cuddling on the couch
have to get it and some new sandy bottom aquarium pictures on the computer this weekend and I'll get them posted
edit on 10/19/2019 by
Nyiah because: (no reason given)