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Bill Smith

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Everything posted by Bill Smith

  1. Many of the newer siphon hoses have a strainer where the wide tube connects to the flexible tube. I also have used a spare HOB filter strainer on the end of a hose to prevent fish from getting picked up.
  2. I have had excellent luck burying a compact heater in the media chamber of a HOB filter.
  3. Sorry I missed this earlier! My method did not negatively affect my water. I have Southern California liquid rock and high pH that stays that way after being filtered.
  4. In my experience (YMMV), I have put MANY MANY plastic toys in freshwater tanks, with no trouble at all. It is my opinion that even toxic plastics would seep so little as to negatively affect freshwater fish. In my case of the Star Wars tank, those two AT-STs are micro-machines, and I weathered them with acrylic paint. And that's 5 gallons of water, with no issues that I could trace back to poisoned water. It's marine tanks you have to watch for that kind of thing, because so many things deteriorate in saltwater.
  5. I see them on Amazon at 200w, so be sure and measure your filter box to see if it fits. Also, be sure never to let it run dry. That is a risk if the water level drops below the intake, so I sometimes layer the heater BELOW the final foam block in the filter. Still very workable! Bill
  6. Thanks to @Daniel for the kind words, wish I had more time these days to post more!
  7. The shelves can all be removed, but I don't recommend it. I think removing the top shelf would compromise the stability of the whole rack. But the positions of the middle shelves are adjustable, so you can give a tank more or less height below the top shelf.
  8. Wow, thank you guys, really appreciate the stories and words of encouragement! The greatest payback I could possibly receive is to know that it's working well for you!
  9. Hmm, if it's brand new, I'll bet something got in there with the impeller.
  10. Do you service the impeller and impeller chamber? I occasionally must remove the motor from the filter and clean it out with a bottle brush. I found that I sometimes get snail shells or bits of grit in there. I also clean the impeller blades with a toothbrush.
  11. Thank you for the kind words. I will try to live up to the hype. 😉 I forgot to mention, I have long-finned gold white clouds in my 100g Rubbermaid stock tank, and I LOVE them. They stand out against the murk of the pond during the day, they grow HUGE if you auto-feed them, and they even developed a little rich reddish color in some of the bigger ones. I highly recommend those guys!
  12. Aww, thanks Daniel! Wish I had more time to be more present here! In the last year I've learned some more things about cool tools, tiny tanks, time management over multiple tanks, and even 3D printing, and I hope to contribute in the near future! Just gotta carve out the time...
  13. Hi Nick: Thanks for the kind words! I ended up taking down these ponds, mainly because they became a lot of maintenance work and I had less time to enjoy them than before. As the weather gets colder, sure I'm set up for the fish to be fine in Southern California, but that doesn't mean I want to hang out there all that much. Something to think about, even for the warmer climates! So I distributed my fish among my tanks and am now only running the daphnia culture, which is still thriving quite well! So let's do a post-mortem... What worked well? Heaters, man. The 200 watt heater in the 15 gallons of water kept the fish nice and toasty even on the coldest mornings. I think this stability encouraged breeding. There were babies showing up in every tub! On the same note, feeding fry food every night, regardless of whether I saw fry or not, probably helped as well. The lights were great. I would NOT do a pond without a light, because I want a better view! What would I do differently? The box filter was a bad idea. In practice, it's just too much maintenance. Quite honestly, I should have just used sponge filters, or better yet, probably nothing with just an airstone. I think I would have even started to play with HOB filters, adapting them to the weather and angled sides of the tubs. Duckweed was a bad idea. It got everywhere, whether I wanted it or not. I liked the frogbit. I would have started with more plants up front. I should have put in a LOT more guppy grass at the outset, to prevent the algae from taking hold. Alternatively, I could have planted a lot of water sprite, but I think the floating plants were most conducive to breeding and protecting the fry. I would have used finer gravel. The cheap pea gravel is just not very attractive. I would have made the "electrical boxes" easier to service. The USB-air pumps don't last more than a couple months outside, and changing them was very difficult. I should have centralized the air to a single air pump. What about the fish? Honestly, I found most of the fish in my nano-ponds to be fairly boring. While they did breed, they all looked the same from the top. The exceptions to this were the clown killies and the guppies. I'm not a huge guppy fan, but they were far more interesting to watch than most, because of their more vigorous activity and waving tails. The killies weren't so active, but they are pretty to look at form the top, with the silver dot on the top of their heads really grabbing attention. I think if I were to do it again, I would definitely try platies, especially if I could find some interesting colors. Hope that helps! Bill
  14. Wow, thank you so much for the kind words, that was very generous of you to say. I'm really happy you were able to use it! I love it when something so simple and inexpensive can make such a difference in the maintenance tasks! Hope it sells more Easy Root Tabs for the Co-Op! I know I wasn't really buying them prior to having an usable tool...
  15. I have one that's a solid 5 inches. Give them plenty to eat!
  16. Yeah, I have to agree with this. I honestly would order more if the box was a bit more stealthy! It also makes gift-giving a little more challenging.
  17. I have a 10-gallon tank in my bedroom, and in the quiet of the night, I can hear my AquaClear 30's lid vibrating. Removing the lid prevents heat conservation and triggers too much evaporation. So I stretched a thin rubber band around the back part of the lid's lip: This suspends the lid a millimeter or two above the filter, yet holds it in place: No more vibrations! Enjoy, Bill
  18. Awesome! Bookmarked. Thanks!
  19. And regarding cutting, I don't have a table saw, but I've used hand saws, a bandsaw, and a circular saw for mine. All cut through very nicely!
  20. Clear packing tape makes a perfect hinge for these lids. It sticks REALLY well, and it's nearly invisible. No need for fancy hinges!
  21. I found it doesn't seem to block much light at all, but I don't have a PAR meter. 🙂
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