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About Kat_Rigel

  • Birthday May 5

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  1. Ok, I finally got some time to keep working on this project. I had all the pieces pre-cut and with the experience from the first try, this one was MUCH easier. Now I can kind of see how Joey did it in 45 min. 45 min for someone who already has their ducks in a row, has all the tools readily available, isn't learning anything new. This time, at each step, I pre-drilled all of the holes first. THEN I did all the screws. This made things go much, much faster. And I found that I had been too tentative with the drill. Use all the power! Makes it faster when drilling holes. I had to slow a bit for the screws themselves. I also invested in a second clamp (I mean, they're pretty cheap, so "investment" might not be the right word.) This saved me a lot of hassle, to the point where I would consider this an essential item for the build. The first time, I was using my foot to kind of keep things from moving, and it was really hard to keep the boards where I wanted them, especially because the wood is not perfectly straight. Sometimes you have to MAKE it fit, as Joey says in the initial video. Generally, I just figured out how to place the wood in a way that made drilling easier. See above- last time I had placed the piece flat on the ground and used my foot as a backstop. Why? This method uses gravity instead. I was much more careful to measure out where the middle shelf should be this time. I wanted it to be level, which is an issue I had with the first model. I think I had asked on a woodworking forum, but they explained that if you're measuring accurately, it should be level. Duh! I was just... kind of eyeballing it. Lol I also gave myself more space for the second shelf, since I knew I had made mistakes in the measurements and three tanks was not an option. As you can see with the pic of the first finished stand, there isn't really much room for a lid there. I have some ideas to make it work, but I wanted to make things easy for myself on the second stand. Just add more room, yah know? Stand 1.0 above. My new fancy goldfish Tater is enjoying it. I don't have the second tank stocked yet as I want to get a light for some plants. I might drill some hooks and chain so that I can suspend the light in the recess below the top shelf. So now for the hard part: admitting how much I spent on everything. I think its important to separate what I used, and what I bought but didn't use. Because let's face it, when you're new, you just don't know. You think something will work and it just doesn't. Not everything can be returned to the store (ex. Cut lumber) I will place an asterisk next to items I think are absolutely necessary necessary this build. So... let's tackle this: 6" level $2.97 Varathane polyurethane, 8oz (not enough, had to buy more) $9.98 1qt Varathane polyurethane $17.97 Varathane stain, 8oz (had to buy more) $4.87 1qt Varathane stain $7.87 Wood filler $4.48 *2 boxes Spax screws $23.16 (I needed both) *Titebond II wood glue $3.97 *Clear plastic drop cloth $2.12 2" bristle stain brush $8.37 Metal corner braces (not used) $3.70 *Six 2x4 wood boards $41.88 More boards cause I messed up $20.94 Plywood $48.87 *California lumber fee $0.84 Three 3" wood handle brushes $2.91 2" flat brush $1.28 Paint thinner $7.32 (bought for cleanup but didn't really need) Paint care fee $0.35 60 grit sandpaper 6 pack $4.97 Replacement drill bits $4.97 *8" composite shims $2.28 Styrofoam (to level tank) $9.95 Spax drill bit $1.87 *Two Quakehold earthquake safety strap $19.94 Screw extractor $2.67 *Saw rental (7 1/4" Makita) twice $36 Palm sander $29 (not essential but much faster than hand sanding) Heat gun $23 (ended up being useless for this project) Sales tax $20.65 Stuff I already had that I used: *Drill & bits *Clamp Carpenter's square Dremel & bits (to remove stripped screw) I suspect I am missing a few things from this list, but certainly I have all of the essentials on here. Strictly speaking, you don't need to stain or polyurethane so I removed that from the "required" list. Total amount I paid for EVERYTHING, including stuff I didn't need, to make 2 stands: $369.15. Ouch. That's $184.58 per stand. So if you are balking at the price of a new, pre-made stand, just consider how many mistakes you'll make when you DIY. (Please don't make fun of me, I know it's a lot! I did my best! I'm basically advertising my faults here so please have mercy.) 😅 Amount for what I would have needed with no frills/staining, etc.: $141.19 for two stands, that's $70.60 per stand and much more reasonable. Consider also that if you already had a sander, or rented it instead, this could be less. Alternatively, if you don't have a drill, it could be more. For my project, I really wanted it stained, polyurethaned, and with plywood shelves. If we include those items, and omit any mistakes, my project should have cost: $233.66 for two stands, or $116.83 per stand. That means I bought $135.49 worth of stuff I didn't need because I was a beginner and didn't know what I was doing!!! Personally I am lucky to be in a place financially where I can afford such screw ups. I just think it's important to be completely honest with people when we're talking about doing DIY, especially with someone who is not particularly experienced. You're gonna make mistakes, and they are going to cost money. So that attractive $70 DIY price tag ends up being a lot more (not to mention all the time and effort.) Personally, I do not consider this a waste at all. I have learned SO MUCH and honestly could see myself building more stands in the future if I ever move into a house rather than an apartment. That's another thing too- you CAN build this with very little room. Yes, I would have loved a big yard to do this in, or a driveway, or even a friggin' TABLE. But it is DOABLE. I hope people find this post beneficial. I'll post additional updates in the future once I finish the second stand or set up all the aquariums, but I'll be going at a bit slower pace and won't update as often. I would love to see any other woodworking/building projects that other DIYers have put together for their fish.
  2. Hi all. I need to rinse some gravel I bought from the home improvement store and was wondering if anyone had any clever tips or tricks. I am planning to open a hole in the top and bottom of the bag, then running the water through. I also have some aquaeium sand that I'd like to rinse, but it's not in the bag anymore (failed attempt at a setup- I want to make sure there is nothing in the sand like aquarium salt or meds. Long story, but I don't want them in there.) Seems like the only way to do it is get a bucket and fill 'er up, stir up the sand, then let it settle and tip the bucket to drain most of the water. I plan to repeat about 3 times. Any clever tips or tricks people have for rinsing substrate? Thanks!
  3. So pretty! I must admit, I'm falling head over heels for the little chubsters.
  4. I was very glad to stumble across this post- I am new to goldfish and it's been tough to find accurate information; most people will just repeat things they've read online, so it's nice to see some first hand info. Thank you for this post!
  5. Thank you, I also posted this to a fee goldfish-specific forums and they told me the same thing. (So it is good to hear 3 different goldfish people say the same thing.) These ranchus are so weird, I thought the first one was sick from the way he was swimming! Thanks for the insight and I will keep an eye out- if it grows into something fluffy or really strange looking I'll take action.
  6. Yes, I am familiar with the med trio. But as I discussed in the post, I am concerned that the meds somehow stressed the fish more and caused a rapid death. I can't identify a reason that fish died, and I can't identify a reason this one would be sick. Perhaps simply stress of moving to a new tank?
  7. Hey all, I recently took a big leap and got a fancy goldfish- a Thai ranchu. But it's been a bit if a saga. Let me explain. The first fish I brought home was looking kind of lethargic and so I acted quickly, adding aquarium salt and erythromycin. Unfortunately the fish died overnight- less than 24 hrs after being brought home! The aquarium had Lapis Lustre Cemex sand substrate, the aquarium was new and had no previous fish in it, and I used mature filters from my other tanks. Tank temp was room temperature at 70* F and I used dechlorinator several days prior to adding him. Should have been ok, but he kept floating and getting worse and worse. I was heartbroken! I called up the LFS store owner and he was kind enough to give me a replacement (he would have been entitled to tell me "too bad, so sad," I'm glad he was kind enough to consider my situation.) He gave me precise instructions on getting the new fish home- use a different new tank, no substrate, use Prime to dechlorinate and bubble it for 30min, then float the bag for 30min, then drop him in. It worked like a charm and he has been active, curious, and derpy. I have only had him for 3 days and I am worried because I can't tell if these white spots on the head are part of normal coloration or something to be worried about. They are on the wen on his right side, kind of above his eye. Could some people familiar with fancy goldfish give me some feedback on this? The fish is active and appears to be happy, but I might just be missing anything abnormal because I do not have experience with this type of fish. I read something about breeding stars, could this be it? I thought the fish was female based on vent shape (therefor it would not be stars) but it's tough to tell. Current set up: Bare bottom Filters, all mature: small sponge filter for aeration, 70 aquaclear, small internal filter (I keep reading GOLDFISH ARE MESSY! so I would rather overdo things until I am familiar with the fish.) Just added some anubias and Java fern today, cholla wood, and a rock, hornwort, duckweed, and a light designed for a 10gal Parameters: 71* F Ammonia: edging between 0 and 0.5; just did a water change and added prime; I would be surprised if this reading is accurate after only 3 days Chlorine: 0 Nitrate 10ppm Nitrite: 0ppm Hardness: weird color that doesn't match, but probably 300ppm+ based on previous readings of my aquariums Kh: 300 Video from today: https://youtube.com/shorts/MJ5dXZ2s1Ao?feature=share Picture from Wednesday clearly does not show the spots. I am afraid to treat with anything because I am not sure if that's what caused the first fish to die. Tl;dr: are these white spots normal or a sign of disease? From 3 days ago, no white spots present: All other photos are from today.
  8. So what size would you suggest for 2 ranchus? The 20 I have is also a 20 long; sometimes footprint matters more than volume, but since I'm new to goldies I'm not sure. Or.... I could just get a bigger tank. 🤫
  9. I recently bought a ranchu goldfish and he is freaking ADORABLE. I have him in a 20gal bare bottom (for now- I will add decor and potted plants later.) He looks like he has more than enough space and I am thinking of going back to the aquarium store to buy the last one as a buddy for him. People with goldfish experience, do you think a 20gal would be enough for two fatty ranchus, as long as I am diligent about water quality? It would be cool for him to have a buddy. (And btw, that ranchu wiggle?! So cute!!!)
  10. Thank you, I always prefer to hear from people who have first hand experience. I did go out and buy some styrofoam and even without pressing down, it took out a LOT of the wobble. I discussed the physics of it with my husband and it does seem like it should work (we both have science backgrounds and tried to come at it from a theoretical standpoint.) We can't see any merit to the arguments that it will only hide the pressure points (we even drew a diagram with force arrows! Haha! We're such nerds.) So even though the internet is split on whether this is a good idea, I am willing to try it. Thanks all for the tips. Unfortunately taking it apart or adding another piece of plywood is not really an option (for various reasons.)
  11. I've read online that the styrofoam doesn't actually level it. I haven't tried it myself before; do you have experience of this working? That's quite possible, it was a very tight fit of the plywood. I didn't think about it causing an issue with warping but I makes sense. The plywood is glued on with Tighbond II and I have had no luck separating some other pieces that were glued together, so I don't think this one will separate either; hoping I can find a different solution.
  12. Oooh that's a VERY good idea! I will definitely do that next time. Wow, you worked your way up to a deck?! That's impressive! I really enjoy building and DIY stuff but I never really had an opportunity to learn but it as a kid or younger adult. Youtube is definitely the best for learning new skills. Taught myself how to crochet that way too!
  13. In theory, only the corners need to be shimmed, correct? That's what I'm seeing online, but just want to check. This sounds like a good idea, thank you. I'll start in this direction tomorrow unless another good idea comes up.
  14. Do you think you could shim the aquarium itself??
  15. That's a really good idea and I hadn't thought of it, but unfortunately I used Tightbond II wood glue. I tried separating some pieces I had used the glue on previously because I had made a mistake, and that glue was impossible to remove and separate. I'll keep this in mind for the second stand I'm building though.
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