Friday, October 12, 2007

Substrate In

My good friend and his aquascaper rocked up last night with 10 bags of substrate (each bag weighs 9.075kg - I forget the name and details.. will post it later) and some rocks and hair grass for aquascaping.

Each bag of substrate cost me $32. Thats $320 blown on just soil for the tank. Good grief. The wifey is not going to be pleased. But if its any consolation, the retail price for that soil is normally around $59.95. I think I'm in the wrong line of business.

Anyway its supposed to be pretty good substrate. Good nutrients for the plants... should last around 5 years or more. Looks good with high contrast coloured fish and suits catfish with sensitive bristles... ok ok.. help me out here.. I'm trying to think up as many positives as I can to justify the expense. :P

and the hair grass and rocks cost me $20. Not as bad. I'd hate to think how much I woulda spent going to the shops and buying at retail.

Well,.. Tank 3 already had water and the neons and the peppermints in it, which was a bit inconvenient since for this type of soil substrate, we really needed to start with a completely empty tank. Otherwise, dumping the soil in a pre-filled tank would create a huge mess of fine soil floating everywhere and a lot of surface froth. Not ideal.

So, we went about transferring the neons and peppermints too Tank 2 and emptying 250L of water from the tank 3. I tried saving as much of that water in buckets as I could and we piped the rest into the garden. That tree in the yard is going to grow hell big.

Once the water was drained, our aquascaper carefully emptied 8 bags of the substrate into the tank.

He'd brought 10 bags for us because he originally thought I had a 6Ft tank. Unfortunately I gave that to my brother earlier last year because he needed some emergency storage for his Koi... yeah Koi... in an aquarium as opposed to a pond... lol... well it was better than letting my bro keep his koi in his bath-tub which he had actually been doing until I gave him that tank. What a nut! His kids must have had fun in the tub tho... hehe.. well these days he has an above ground pond in his yard and I really can't be bothered carting that 6 footer back here. It takes 3-4 adults just to move the darn thing.

Well anyway, my aquascaper started moulding the soil into two hills with a dip in the centre. Then we used a plate and partially filled the water until it just covered the top of the soil. The plate was used to diffuse the water so it didn't splatter the soil everywhere. We let that sit for about 2 hours so all the air had time to bubble out of the soil. After 2 hours, he used a little spatula and slid it into the soil, which seemed to release quite a bit of the trapped air pockets, and the soil compacted down nicely.

Then he placed the rocks and hair grass into the tank. The theme is going to be a japanese rock garden. Yeah I know... it kinda strayed away from my original plan of a driftwood type tank. But his specialty was japanese rock garden and he happened to have the rock, so we went with that. I figure we can always re-do the landscape later if we decide we wanted a change.

Once the hair grass and rocks were positioned nicely, we used the plate again and completely filled the tank with water.

Now its just a matter of waiting for the substrate to settle and clear up. I'll also need to monitor the PH level, because the rocks will most likely make the water a little acidic.

By tomorrow, I hope the water will have cleared up and the water condition is at a state where I can re-introduce the neon tetras back in. They are my guinea pigs after all, and as long as they survive, I'll be confident that I can slowly add the other fish to the tank.

Here are some previews of the Tank 3 right after we filled it back with water:


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笨蛋 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

Charlotte Coultate said...

What happened!? I was loving this blog, did you successfully breed them? I just bought 2 peppermint bristlenose for $30 from a store in CanningVale, bargain!

Charlotte Coultate said...

What happened!? I was loving this blog, did you successfully breed them? I just bought 2 peppermint bristlenose for $30 from a store in CanningVale, bargain!

AMK said...

Nice blog! last dated as Oct 2007. 8 years ago! How's going with you bro? Had they bred for you? How many tanks are running now for you?