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  1. Okay so water, a thing I thought I knew but that continues to make a fool of me even now... I have mentioned before that some of the water here is very hard owing to being in a rocky part of PA. Lots of water softeners to remove the calcium buildup that comes from limestone wells, including in this house. Well, I wanted mineralized water that wasn't softened, but in Feb/March when I tested the pH it was way higher than my previous house (8.7 vs 7.4) and I wanted to bring it down a bit. So I got an RO system set up and had the contractor run a PEX line from the PVC connection that runs outside to the garden hose. So now I have both hard water and highly purified RO water to mix into the water I want for my plants....it seemed like a good plan. Fast forward to earlier this week as I'm rushing to get tanks set as my lease expired on the rental house Friday. I had to fill the few tanks and hope the cycled filters were enough, and my RO system wasn't going to crank out enough water to "cut" the city water. So while filling a tank I tested the hose water...and it had a pH of about 7.4. I tested it a few more times in disbelief - how was this the same water I had filled with and had scale problems last year?! Why is it now perfect? So it turns out our water authority has several sources of water including multiple wells and a surface reservoir that is very full now that it's rained so much. Our best guess is that the water we get depends on where they're pumping from. Well water is hard as a rock and high in pH. Reservoir water is closer to average. So now I have to be aware that my water source itself is going to fluctuate a lot- ooooh boy. All this because I like corydoras. Yeesh.
  2. Now for the electrical and issues that made this whole project grind to a halt - So in this room we also have a huge second refrigerator and a microwave which each needed their own circuits (and were added in a change order). The electrician is a friend of mine now who also loves fish and wants to set up a tank in a few months. He's been helping me redesign this space and also planning to add ventilation and dehumidification so that it stays less humid as I expand. Here is a picture of the wiring challenges we have found in this house that was wired before code was a thing in 1972. You've got junction boxes EVERYWHERE and this mess of wires in the ceiling and he's trying to unscrew the mess. Some highlights are a junction box which isn't even attached to the joist and another with a whopping 21 wires (7 3-wire cables) running through it - I've named that beauty the "hotbox". For those unfamiliar with electrical you're supposed to have no more than like 9 wires going into any given box because they can generate heat and it's generally unsafe and not code-worthy. Paul (electrician friend) hates my house now but in the end this room and really the entire house will be in much better shape. He's even replacing our main breaker panel (also a relic of 1970) in August after the contractor is done. Is it expensive? Yes it is - but it's worth the investment as a new home owner. The final picture is one of the gorgeous new outlets he mounted for us - so clean, so safe! Next post I'll hit on the water issues and some weirdness of water from this area.
  3. Here is a pic of the other two shelves.
  4. The fishroom is finally set up and all of my fish are in just a few tanks as I decide what comes next. My community tank is a 75 gallon sitting on a steel shelf, pictured below. On this same rack I will have a 40B and a 20 tall, then the top shelf will be storage for now. Unfortunately the ceiling height makes it harder to have high tanks but I'll make use of the space. On the other side of the room there's another 40B and my 33L, and beside that is a rack with 3 20L tanks. In between those is my unsoftened water source and a 100g tub which I may use to test/treat/heat water to be supplied to the tanks. At the moment this is still a work in progress in part because my house is still being renovated (and the electrical is a BIG part of that). The room these are in has 2 dedicated circuits my electrician ran for this purpose and it comes off a new subpanel from the garage above. Unfortunately the builders cut the other electrical outlets to this side of the basement so my electrician is essentially going to rewire everything because it's 1970s pre-code wiring. More on the electrical (and the challenges of this move) in the next post.
  5. Yeah I suspect it's from my previous attempts to establish Java moss from another tank. I've hatched and raised cory fry before I just never expected to see one there!
  6. I'm talking have not changed the tank water in months neglect. This is probably a 3 month old corydora plateaus and it looks happy as can be. I feed the tank periodically when I remember to. Like, this was my great shame of fishkeeping and somehow a cory was born from nothing.
  7. So I'm in the middle of this big move to a new house and over time my tanks have been a bit neglected, none moreso than my 10g cherry shrimp tank. I put it in a weird spot when I set it up so that maintenance was hard and just didn't do much of it over time. I assumed that things had gone south and I'd just have to move on and start over. First of all the cherry shrimp are totally fine, the colony has thrived apparently despite my negligence due to it being planted. Once light got through I realized they were all good. Then I spotted something I did NOT expect - a juvenile corydora. Here's the thing- I didn't put a corydora in that tank. In fact I have never kept any cories, juvenile or adult, in a 10g tank. The presence of this fish is a complete mystery. How, fishkeepers? How did this happen?
  8. Fishdude lives! I had to focus on being in the throes of a move into the new house which is still under construction by a contractor so I took a fishy hiatus. My fish are all safe and sound at my old house and will be moving this week. I've had to delay setting up because the electrician smartly suggested a pair of new circuits and outlets for the fish area, pictures of that to come. He is also going to work with me on getting some ventilation and keeping humidity in check. I'll have a lot to write and show later this week or early next week but wanted to check in with anyone who still wants to follow along. Happy fishkeeping! -Fishdude
  9. Whoa whoa whoa, now you're just trying to start a fight.
  10. Took awhile but I've got my RODI filter system set up and running!
  11. I've got a 40B on one of those 36" racks as well. It works for sure, but you need to know that's where you want it to stay.
  12. I mean, I'll amend my previous comment that this could be done by having the top shelves replaced with a thicker plywood board that rises above the lip of the shelving unit - that way the larger tank sits across the shelves and might distribute the weight more evenly. The "up to" rating for weight is certainly lower than the failure point for the frame. I just...I worry about the consequences of being wrong on something like that.
  13. I don't think you could actually do this because I believe the shelves sit in a notch of the frame pieces and the tank wouldn't sit flat across two shelf units. They make a 72 inch wide shelf that's significantly stronger (like 2000 lbs per shelf). I would recommed buying that instead because there's a real risk of failure with what you're describing.
  14. My friend and I want to put together 2 50g lowboy tanks using these connections. Fish swim through and have a much bigger area along the bottom.
  15. So if one were to drill two tanks at the sides and use bulkheads to connect them (like building a tunnel with water) would this change the water pressure on the glass panels of the tank? And would that lead to failure of the glass? I'm not an engineer so I'm really curious.
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