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CMcDermott's Achievements


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  1. If you are really that worried about drips, get a small braided cotton rug with a rubber bottom (intended to keep the rug from sliding) to it and sized to put it under the stand and still cover for several feet around the wood. The cotton will absorb the water and the rubber underlayer will keep the wood from getting wet.
  2. Not many advantages for a tall tank, but there are some. If you want several layers of fish then a taller tank works better. I am planning a 65 gallon - 36x18 inch footprint of 40 breeder but 25 inches tall - with hatchetfish that will stay close to the surface, cardinals that prefer to live in the middle level and cory's to live close to the substrate. 40 breeder has the same footprint but not the depth and amount of water to give the various fishes the room they would like.
  3. Superglues don't have acetone in them, they react with water vapor & traces of water to polymerize itself, forming huge molecules of repeating smaller units, and hold things together. Acetone doesn't dissolve it either, acetone rips apart the huge molecules and dissolves the remnants. Many glues do work as a substance dissolved in a carrier solvent, but superglue doesn't.
  4. Yes, this is a total buffer solution as the complementary acid for the Carbonate buffering system is Carbonic acid, H2CO3. This is formed automatically in the water when CO2 from the air dissolves in the water, and when CO2 from the fish, shrimp etc. is expressed into the water. Adding a Carbonate salt, whether Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Carbonate or Sodium Bicarbonate will automatically balance with the Carbonic acid that is in all aquarium water to form a buffered system. You can vary the pH level a little by which Carbonate salt you use, Calcium Carbonate produces a pH of 8.4, once this is reached in the water putting in more Calcium Carbonate won't raise the pH of the water any further. Sodium Bicarbonate will produce a pH of 8.8 before adding more doesn't change the pH. Having the complementary acid always present in the system is why so many don't realize that it takes both the acid of the anion and a salt of the anion to form a buffering system, because they just add a salt of the carbonate anion in the form of limestone without needing to add the complementary acid to "buffer" their water. Other anions can form buffering systems at different PH levels, the products promising to buffer your water at a pH of 7 use the phosphate anion (phosphoric acid and usually ammonium phosphate as it dissolves easily), which has the problem of causing algae blooms by unbalancing the plant to light to fertilizers levels. Using the Citrate anion (citric acid and trisodium citrate) will buffer water to a pH of 6, but causes problems in aquariums as the Citrate anion is part of the Krebs cycle which all organisms that use oxygen to produce energy in the form of ATP molecules; like fish, shrimp, snails, the nitrogen cycle bacteria etc. use to live. Living in water with lots of citrate anions in it doing the pH buffering messes up the Krebs cycle in the organisms cells and causes things to die. Small fish, shrimp and snails can survive for days to weeks, large fish for months, being large organisms with some capability of storing ATP to use later, but single cell bacteria doesn't and dies quickly stopping the nitrogen cycle that depends on them.
  5. Just add baking soda to your tank until the pH is where you want it, less than 8 will cause the pH to keep swinging up and down as the acids generated in the tank use up the carbonate. General Hardness is how much calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) is in your tank, KH is how much carbonate (CO3) is in your tank, so to increase the carbonate without increasing the calcium and magnesium add baking soda, which is sodium bicarbonate (Na2CO3). How much - depends on your tank's pH and what else in in your tank water so add a teaspoon of baking soda every day until the pH is above 8 or a little more (very high levels of dissolved sodium bicarbonate can push the pH to 8.8). Adding the baking soda slowly over time prevents giving your fish a pH shock. You will also need to add the baking soda to your change water to raise the pH to the same as your tank to prevent stressing the fish etc. with pH swings and to restore the carbonate that was used up by the acids generated in the tank. After the tank pH is stabilized you will quickly learn just how much to add each time you change the water, yes it's a pain to have to mix your change water but also lets you add chlorine remover before the chlorine gets in the tank, and isn't that big of a problem for a 10 gallon tank, just use a 5 gallon bucket to pre-mix the water. Baking soda is cheaper than the various blends being sold expressly for aquariums - which are often just pre-dissolved baking soda in water. Putting calcium carbonate in the tank in it's various forms like limestone, dolomite, aragonite etc. will raise both the GH and KH, and while it works well in tanks with lower GH by continuing to slowly dissolve releasing new carbonate as the already dissolved carbonate is used up by combining with the organic acids being generated in the tank, it also can be limited in adding KH (carbonate hardness) by the high GH as only so much calcium can dissolve in the water. Using sodium bicarbonate gets around this problem of raising the GH when added, but it isn't as simple as just putting some limestone in the tank to dissolve.
  6. An important point about using a ground probe that Bentley didn't mention is that if your heater is plugged into a GFCI protected outlet (and it definitely should be) that when the heater fails and allows electricity into the water the ground probe will cause the GFCI to trip. GFCI breakers work by monitoring the current in the hot wire and the neutral wire, if they don't match then the breaker trips. Since the ground probe is giving the electricity a path to ground the current in the ground probe means the current in the neutral will be reduced by that amount, won't match the current in the hot wire and causes the breaker to trip. So if you add or have a ground probe and the GFCI outlet used by your heater keeps tripping it's because the heater is bad and allowing the water to get electrified. Everything is working the way it should (except for the heater) and you shouldn't just move your heater to an outlet that isn't GFCI protected to keep it going, you need to replace the heater. Edit to add: And yes, GFCI outlets can also go bad as they do have a chip inside to monitor the currents on the hot and neutral wires and these chips can and will eventually fail. Also one GFCI outlet will protect the other outlets on the circuit if installed correctly. This also applies to the newer combined Arc & Ground Fault outlets and breakers. No I can't make comments on Bentley's video as I refuse to have any account associated with google/alphabet, so can't even get Bentley's email address from his YouTube page as you can only see the email address if you are logged in to YouTube.
  7. Marine salts contain a lot of calcium carbonate as well as the salt so it's probably carbonate deposits. Use a couple of layers of paper towels soaked in vinegar stuck over the deposits and let sit for a couple hours, then scrape what's left with a razor blade and repeat until the deposits are gone. The glass may be etched under the mineral deposits, the etching usually looks like cloudy raindrops on the glass and you can't scrape that off.
  8. To remove reflections make it very bright outside the tank, and very dark inside the tank. Putting something up on the outside of the glass will make reflections worse, having a bright aquarium light shining inside the tank will make reflections worse. You need it dark inside the tank and bright outside the tank to remove the inner reflection from the glass surfaces inside the tank.
  9. Looks like it is plastic, the warning about blue (UV) light is only bad for plastic. So it shouldn't need to be sealed, just rinsed well and put in the tank. For plaster, clay or concrete things I recommend the epoxy resin used for fiberglass, it has a fairly thin consistency and is easy to just brush on.
  10. I would leave the air pump running to help blow the chips out from drilling into the pipes.
  11. Thinking of getting some Neolamprologus gracilis and putting them in a 75 gallon, letting the surface get covered by red root floaters and maybe have a few anubias on the rocks. Looking for a fish for the middle and top water levels, would red swordtails work with water this hard? I kept swordtails when I was a kid 50 years ago, and want to keep them again, but had fairly soft water back then and I'm not sure if swordtails can take the very hard water the shellies need.
  12. Check the water hardness going into and out of the sediment filter. Is the filter medium crushed limestone or aragonite etc? Changing the PH to 8.4 sounds like the water coming out is full of calcium carbonate.
  13. Saltwater only store about 5 minutes away, nearest big box pet store about 10 minutes away, 30-45 minutes driving to LFS that have freshwater fish but there are three at that distance.
  14. Bucket Strainer on Amazon. Is available with different sizes of mesh, 55, 100, 200, 400 & 600 micron strainer Also Stackable Strainer available in many different mesh sizes, from 1/2 inch down to 1/100 inch mesh.
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