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Thomas Wolf

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  1. Thought I would get some pictures up as the utility sink & hose are now functional. I don't believe I will be needing a trash can dolly after all, although it would be nice to have one anyway. I've now done water swaps on both the 75g and 40g with the hose and just added a liberal amount of Dechlor/Sodium Thiosulfate and did not notice any abnormal behavior from the prawn or the tilapia, it really must be instantaneous... I'm glad. That would have stretched my budget way too far and been a bigger hassle. I ended up paying an obscene amount to get the proper hose and it works with the python venturi principle attachment for the faucet and easily clears the length of the basement. Takes a while to drain and fill, but I can already tell you I enjoy the process a lot more... the only time a bucket is needed now is for small amounts of waste removal, no more than 2 buckets at a time which is tolerable. Despite a green thumb, it's my first time growing potatoes. I need the weather to warm up badly, I put in an order to Lakeway Tilapia for some Nile tilapia and they need 60 F minimum. Slightly faster growth than the blues, as well as better resistance to low dissolved oxygen. The only downsides with them are temperature and a "sand vein" in processing fillets. I am not switching for any reason other than experimentation. I won't be surprised if I get an email from Lakeway talking me out of it, lol. The blues are much better in colder climates and it's only mid April, he must be like "I don't understand people who want their tropical fish in a winter state, they will die and there is only a tiny variation in benefits..." well, it's because just being limited to blues is boring after years of doing it! My prawn "Need to go" but I feel bad because they've essentially become hassling pets. I did isolate my one injured blue claw, he molted and regenerated all of his damaged limbs so it would suck to heal them just to kill them. At the same time, I can't justify the heating expenses for multiple tanks on a few problematic prawn. I wish I had an extra 20g Long I could make into a prawn hobby tank or something but it is what it is; my set up is for tilapia farming and pet goldfish - not glorified serial-killer shrimp. I am attempting to breed my blue tilapia (I have a breeding pair but the rest of the tank is kind of a mix and match so I am pulling any injured fish out one at a time, there are too many for stocking density) and perhaps hybridize the two just for kicks as my breeding female is still smaller, although most are ready for harvest or processing soon, so they are too large to continue breeding after this one go. Plants need the warm weather as well! I need to make a raised bed garden and get them transplanted immediately, some are already bolted, but I've been juggling work and personal/family challenges. One area that is still frustrating is getting the tanks "actually clean" but the tilapia are happy with 75%+ water changes whenever it gets "really bad" as you can see in their picture, the tank needs more cleaning, but the water is safe. It's just not as easy to clean the tanks anymore, and the filter location in the back really sucks. I plan to keep raising fish and plants and a pool pond may become viable again after work is caught up and I am confident with the hose/venturi system - it doesn't waste much water if you're willing to wait longer on drain times after initiating the siphon, although I wonder how that would work if the pool pond was at ground level as it has to be. I'm supposed to see an occupational therapist this morning, not feeling like having my wrist all twisted around but I will ask about the kinesiotape, my primary doctor was familiar with it but didn't know how to wrap it. I did grab a masonry bit to mount the utility sink legs to the cement floor, it's not a real problem but it does move around a bit - best to secure it and avoid damaging any PVC plumbing. What I really need now is a hose hanger - really mad about how much the hose is costing me, but I guess it beats killing my hobbies and ability to remain self-sustainable. Best, -Thomas Wolf
  2. Current progress has my hand screaming (fussy brass fittings, should have taken them back but made it work) and got the utility sink hooked up with hot and cold water. Still need to screw the legs into the cement as the sink does move a tiny bit (not a big deal), more concerned about a couple tiny leaks - there was like 6 leaks initially and I redid all the Teflon very carefully. I can likely stop the "barely dripping" leaks with a monkey grip (something I currently lack...) or at worst, with some silicone. The drips are very minor, so it is still usable. You wouldn't notice unless you were looking for it. Tried putting the stunted tilapia in with my goldfish. Didn't work out because the tilapia was "lip punching" the goldfish, so that fish was "put down," as it could no longer survive in any of my systems; I gave it a peaceful last week of life with a lot of food and at least gave it a try, but once it took a scale off my largest goldfish and kept hammering it, I knew that was hopeful thinking. Sucks, because it's just something tilapia do that usually doesn't bother other tilapia, but the goldfish are not about it. I'll take pictures the next time I go downstairs but I know my 75 gallon is overloaded because even with a total water swap and beneficial bacteria that works without fail, I am looking at a new bacterial bloom. Luckily, full grown tilapia can survive it and breathe above water if necessary. Unavoidable, unfortunately; I did everything right, it's time to cull 2-3 fish from the breeding tank. My few remaining prawn would be cool if I had the space, time and money for another 20g+, but I will likely put an end to that project in the next week. It's just not worth the maintenance and I need those tanks for my tilapia which is the whole reason I am dumping money into the hobby left and right. I paid more for the plumbing than I did all 5 of the utility sinks, lol. Several hours in work due to fussy fittings. The P-Trap actually unclogged and went together pretty well and doesn't leak at all. So I am reluctant to post pictures yet outside the sink itself which looks great and is very helpful even outside water changes. My garden is blowing up and my tilapia keep trying to breed even in low temps. I am considering an outdoor pond in May if I can swing it with my landlord, removing the heat element would make it very budget friendly for the season and I could grow a freezer's worth of fillets. Where we're all running into trouble: Hyper-inflation. My living costs just went up dramatically and I will likely have to ask my work partner for more money because I am broke this early in the month and that isn't livable. Not looking forward to that conversation, but too many bills, broken appliances, and other things are all happening at once. Knowing what I do about economics, the prices are only going to go higher and will put a lot of companies out of business, as well as make many products unavailable. I am not a hoarder but I do keep a pantry and I dropped some money on food and essentials outside my regular bills and that really cut into my budget for this month, although, I feel it was money well spent. As a consequence, I still haven't gotten a python kit or a hose. To be fair, I still can't find the hose I want, but now that I am able to use the sink, I want one as soon as possible. I have no intention of using that old rubber one with bad threading on my new faucet; need something lighter, flexible, and with quality fittings. Once I get paid again, I buy the rest of what I need. But, it's nice to have at least gotten a new sink put in so far, general tasks like washing things off and washing my hands, getting water for my plants, et cetera - have all become a great deal easier. Now I just need to figure out a hose, and possibly an RV or similar filter setup. I may opt for the trash can dolly (Brute) and a Flexzilla hose instead of a python kit. I already have the Python kit attachment replacement part and it will work just fine that way, and allow me to treat my water before I pump it into systems. Prawn are very chlorine sensitive. I think I may test adding sodium thiosulfate to the system and do 1/4-1/2 water swap to see if they display any signs of discomfort. If they don't, I know my tilapia will be fine. That has to be -very- instant for it to work properly, but people have been doing it forever so I don't consider it a bold or risky attempt. Updates with pictures soon (sink is set up, plants are bigger!) Best, -Thomas Wolf
  3. Independent contractor (private sector), although my main job duty is to write in one form or another. It can be a difficult question to answer especially with non-disclosure agreements. For all intensive purposes "Self-employed writer and consultant."
  4. I'm big on integrated medicine which doesn't rule out typical western practices or naturopathic ones. I find it most effective in all other areas of medicine. If I were to get into beekeeping it would be for the bees, instead, I just plant crops they love for pollination and buy very expensive organic honey. It's a medicinal food with no (known) expiration date. Stamet's research has shown incredible results with the bees, actually - you should look into that right away for your keeps. Not sure if you are aware but he holds a ton of patents with even more pending for this type of thing. He looks at a problem and hand-picks species of fungi for their properties and solves problems we didn't even know we could solve. He also helped cure his mothers stage 4 cancer doing the same thing (integrated medicine). What most people don't know about Paul Stamets is that before all of this popularity in biology/mycology he was a forester (clear cutting) and was almost killed in a work related accident, and it was that accident that acted as a catalyst for everything he has done since - he realized what they were doing was inefficient (among other things) and that was how he began formulating ideas. I wrote a paper on one of his books for school a while back, and this was highlighted in it. I have a holding (pregnant) tilapia. Usually at temps around 68-70 F the breeding fails, resulting in a "flirt tank full of fish stuck at 3rd base." but during the water changes I had it up for 74 F; for some reason any time I do any type of tank work like cleanings with tilapia, they immediately start initiating in breeding behavior afterwards. I was actually standing there to witness her release the eggs and I watched the male fertilize them. Not the first time I've seen it happen but it's rare. So, now I have to either reduce the temps which is like tilapia birth control, but, optionally, I'm actually considering letting some fry hatch because my breeding fish are getting too large for breeding, a lot of people eat them at this size, but I usually let them get bigger. My next surprise: I go to home depot and buy a $54 utility sink. Turns out they gave me five (I wondered why the box was so big compared to their videos, thought maybe it was pre-assembled, had a hell of a time dealing with it in windy 30 F weather). I looked into it and this doesn't fall on me as a legal issue, if my hand was better and I wasn't on third shift burning the candle at both ends, I'd have returned it, but, because it was supervisor approved and I had a hell of a time moving it, I'm keeping them. I asked for curbside and they made me push the cart and do everything injured. As a result of that "Discount", I have no complaints about all the extra brass fittings and stuff they marked me up on. Gave me the wrong mulch, too (I bought the natural kind, they gave me the junk kind). Garden variety incompetence going on there. The guy in plumbing was helpful for once though (almost never happens in stores like Home Depot) The beauty of this for me is they are made of PP (Polypropylene) and are perfect for aquaponic and soil growing when I badly needed containers on a budget. My family asked for more money from me yesterday so I am stretching my budget this month as well - I bought everyone a nice dinner and filled the gas tank and stuff in addition to what I already do, we've been living a little rough the last while so I thought it would help. Ran into totally new plumbing issues but already found the fixes. I only need a couple more cheap parts. I should have went with 1/2 4ft. hosing because I have to cut the 1/2 line and then use a bunch of adapters between the 1/2 inch sink connections and the about-to-be-installed one-piece push connect supply (I'm cutting the copper, won't have to sweat and solder with a push connect supply valve). Hindsight is 20/20, I'll go with 1/2 inch next time, I already have all the proper adapters, and I'm not worried about minimal brass contact temporarily, I plan to move as soon as possible. The only thing I see being an issue at this point (outside my hand) is the P trap isn't perfectly level with where it needs to be, so I need to look into raising it up about 1/2-1" before I start on any of the plumbing. I hate P traps. My long-awaited doctors appointment for my arm is later this morning and I'll be exhausted but I need to go. Will likely refer me for testing/specialists. I have a really good doctor so I am sure he will do his best to help me get the right care, his wife is a surgeon as well. Lots to reply to from you and Bev - too much to reply to all of right now, but I am very glad you have a DIY specialist/hobbyist around to help you. If you need any input on your plants, I can likely be a big help there - never hesitate to ask questions. If I don't know the answer, I can likely find it for you. I'd say I spend about 50% of my time working and the other 50% working on my hobbies and researching them. I don't really take breaks, and I barely sleep. This is my life. Sleep is a constant problem. Not using my hand drives me crazy; leads to a lot of flare-ups. As for the bees, it's not my area of expertise. If I were to ever get into the hobby I would do what I do with all my hobbies, study it extensively. I learn more in a day self-taught than I've learned in all my years of school combined. Lol @ "They become beekeepers just to brag about it." I really hope that isn't the case! No bees, no people. It's an extinction level issue... I will try and remember to take more pictures so you can see the tilapia in a clean aquarium and the finished product. Still thinking a good hose is a better option than the Python kit; but I already have the $5 Python replacement attachment head which fits nicely on the new faucet I bought, and found some neat hacks - I think I'm gonna do a Python/Hose combo setup and then next month I'll jump on the RV filter and Brute dolly trashcan when I get paid. Mixed reviews on that RV filter, though. I can't find a Flexzilla hose in 3/4" at 50ft to save my life. They are only worth $35 and people are scalping the "hose market" by selling "used" ones for $60. I'd rather wait until Amazon restocks... the tanks should stay stable for at least a couple of weeks. Isolated that one tilapia because it wasn't able to eat (3-4" pond grade, extra fish that Lakeway tossed me for free, great people/highly educated biologists by the way!) the larger food; must have been surviving off of all of that algae and uneaten food that softened up. Have it on a spirulina diet with a smaller pellet, it's happy to fatten up... feel bad leaving a social fish in a tank alone though. Gave it some PVC for cover to feel safe. I'll check back in soon and try to reply more! Best, -Thomas Wolf
  5. Hi Bev, I am so so sorry to hear you've had to live with that condition, I can only imagine how hard that has been, but it says worlds about you that you kept up the fight and even still work - both of my parents are on disability with less severe conditions and neither of them work, not even a little. I actually found our hose outside (didn't think anyone would leave the hose outside all winter in Wisconsin but that is what I get for putting my step-dad in charge of the hose, apparently) In the short term I did a total water swap and filter cleaning, now have that tank cycling with Seachem Seed beneficial bacteria to help re-establish the system. Tilapia are better in the 40g but need to be moved quickly (tilapia can survive a bacterial bloom, prawn - probably not) mainly because tilapia can breathe above water if necessary. The goal is to avoid all of that but the prawn tank is beginning to bloom responding to the huge blast of ammonia, so the moment the tank gets up to temp I need to move the tilapia back to the 75gallon. Luckily, I have beneficial bacteria on hand in case something like this happened. I always keep a bottle around - I hate cycling tanks! I had a hard time getting it going but managed to get a siphon on a 50ft hose and drained that out, then hooked the hose up to the inline I've been toying with and filled the 75g with fresh tap water, and dosed it with sodium thiosulfate. Cleaned most of the algae with a end-filter on a piece of PVC and added some peroxide to the water to aid in the process. Just setting it all up is too much on my hand, but I figure it's already worth it compared to 5g buckets! Even ambidextrous, 5g buckets are not easy to do with one hand as I know you can relate too. Very hard to clean the tanks, as well. I sometimes do graphic work in photoshop and illustrator for article images and logos, etc. I can imagine the talent and patience it takes to do that one handed! I truly admire the fact you moved forward with not only your hobbies but even work when no one would have blamed you for just taking the disability. Work ethic and hobby passion going on right there! I love it. In terms of adapting others ideas, short of the person who built the easiest/best temperature controlled setup, I plan to do them all. I'm buying a new utility sink, a separate faucet, the RV filter unit, and a python kit. I also like the idea of a trash can dolly, I've used them at manual labor jobs before and I did already set up a pump to 1/2" tubing for that purpose. May not be able to buy it all at once but that is the goal and then when I move to I plan to emulate Goosedubs setup, especially since python and similar kits operate on the Venturi principle and waste water doing so. I don't like the idea of losing 70+ gallons of clean water every time I fill a 75g, but in the short term, I can deal with it. Using a water pump w/ hose from inside the tank I was able to start the siphon using about 1-2 quarts of water, and quickly unplugged the pump. I use Prime on my goldfish tank and it works wonders, but I cannot use it on food-grade systems. Believe me, I wish that was an option, but I don't want chemicals from the formaldehyde family in my food. I used a standard 2" clamp to attach the hose to the top of the tank, but I can see how the python hook attachment or DIY version work work better and also prevent a reverse siphon which I've already had happen...twice, lol. I keep a mop w/ a machine washable head downstairs, so it wasn't too bad. Now I decide what to do first, the sink is a no brainer. I may even opt to try a better hose (not some heavy old rubber one) before purchasing the python kit. All that is really left to figure out is the new leak I found, and then the assembly and plumbing work. I cannot wait to not have to worry about this anymore and I greatly appreciate all of your replies & help. Thank you again for taking the time to help. I am willing to bet these tilapia are not going to want to be moved again...I'm about to get splashed several times... lol Best, -Thomas Wolf
  6. Fish not feeding, checked parameters (I already had a good idea of what was happening) pH = very low. <6 Ammonia = very high. >4 Nitrite = 0ppm Nitrate = 0ppm Caught in a nitrification/ammonium trap. The best solution is a complete drain and refill. It's a 75 gallon. I think my only move here is to move the fish to the 40g temporarily and try to set up a hose for draining and refilling the 75g, then move the fish back. The "prawn" tank was my original tilapia breeder and it can handle the fish temporarily. Too bad I don't have a $1,500 water distiller so I wouldn't have to hard-crank the pH with my hard municipal water at 8.2 pH. It is times like this not being able to use products like seachem prime really, really, really suck. Another thing is in aquaponics/aquaculture, I can't just add buffers and walk away like I would in hydroponics = ammonium would wreak havoc. Options: Try to do something about it while injured, or let the fish suffer and die. I hope this doesn't hurt me too much...and there's a long hose with decent threading somewhere. I figure they cannot wait another week at these levels and I hate that it got this bad over not being able to move 5g buckets around. EDIT_ Moved the tilapia to the 40g, they are significantly more active/happier/feeding. Has well established filters but where I ran into problems: my stepdad tossed out our hose last season. Regardless, moving the fish was the right thing to do... even discovered a really small 3-4" pond grade tilapia in there, tempted to keep it for a pet because it's stunted for life - not sure how that would go with 3 fancy tails around the same size though. Unplugged the filters and dosed the 75g with hydroxide peroxide a few times to kill algae since the tank is just sitting there, figured make use of the time and try to get rid of the aesthetic element. Driving me crazy. Upside: The new metal hosing 4' for the new sink fits well on the PVC reducer without leaks. Downside: I found a leak above it, and have to find yet another solution for that now; it's a minor leak but it's the valve on the inline directly attached to the copper and I'm not licensed to plumb so that sucks... I'll see what I can do without cutting the copper. Can't wait until I get my own property, and custom tailor it for my hobbies. But hey, the fish are better off.
  7. Hey Carlson, I've wanted to get into beekeeping for some time. I recently stumbled across "Bottle to Bottle Honey Production Beekeeping - Contactless Beekeeping" by Advoko MAKES on YouTube. Very interesting especially paired with my mycology knowledge via Paul Stamets with his active involvement to help save the bees, and my ability to produce the myco-medicinal syrup he uses from home; some of the ingredients (Chaga, mostly) I use on myself and my family. I find the way you can watch the entire process without contact to be awesome, plus it allows you to "hack" the nests a bit. For now, I just buy raw/unfiltered organic honey. Good to hear some people do actually get better long term, my research pretty much said that after six months it's usually a case of surgery and an advanced condition beyond regular tendonitis. X-Rays looked good but we all know they don't show everything. I have found cheap utility sinks but finding ones that will go into place without too much fuss in place of the old one is the challenge; probably going to end up messing with the P trap a fair amount, but I already know how I'll fix it (extra 1.5" PVC pipe/coupling to meet the drain. Still, that could involve multiple trips to the hardware store if I don't do my homework first; I have the specs and the closest model to the specs available locally thus far. I used to put most of my fish waste in my garden but that involved carrying 5g buckets up the stairs, and dumping them out in the backyard. Definitely not a good thing to attempt with tendonitis; I aim to keep my systems recirculating and ideally just add water, however, Tilapia overwhelm systems easily - they really are the perfect food fish for aquaponics with the one complaint of them being sub-tropical. I'm thinking a new sink with hot/cold and a python kit combined with an RV filter will be my final outcome for this location, and once I move I will incorporate an even easier system to deal with. Will hit the wallet a bit but what is the point in working if I don't have any hobbies when the work is done? I'm not a super paranoid person but having a sustainable food supply, given the state of the world, isn't the most illogical thing - especially with adult Tilapia going into spring. Best, -Thomas Wolf
  8. I've checked into these, and it would be ideal if I didn't have a PVC trap beneath that was put together "randomly" would be the way I would describe it. I worry if I differ from the piping it will lead to a nightmare, despite not wanting to touch a clogged trap under a sink, it's nothing I have not done before. This place and others like it owned by the same junk landlord were all thrown together on the cheap. The sink + empty/lesser grade tub without necessary plumbing would still run 70$ + the 22 spent on 2x 4' hoses and another 45 on 2x 3/4" splitters. That assumes I don't have to replace any underneath piping which is hit or miss. Since I am already heavily invested in the hobby, it makes sense to me to buy a pre-fab with full functions. If I buy a prefab one, it will come with everything for 130-150 and make the parts I paid premium for more worthwhile. Cold & hot water, all plumbing parts included. I do like the idea of being able to pick my own faucet for the faucet attachment though; but that is a $20 swap if I don't like the one it comes with. I need to take a better look at the trap under the sink and get some measurements and then I'll make a decision from there, but I have to wait until I get paid anyway so it will be a few days at least. I'll look into the trap plumbing and see if I can't find one that is set for those measurements, or the next best thing. Tilapia tank badly needs a water swap; I may have to cull a few fish to reduce stocking density - I have one in a purging tank but I was allowing it to heal from mating-related abuse. After a few years it's pretty easy to tell when a fish needs to go sit in some hypo-brackish water alone for a while, but even with one larger fish out of the tank, it's still overloaded. Running a lot of filtration. The 75G just finally hit its maximum - if my arm hadn't gone out, they'd be in a pool except for the breeding male and females and they would have a ton of space but there is no way I can handle a 500g pool with a bum arm. Best, -Thomas Wolf EDIT: I took a look and the PVC trap isn't too bad @ 1.5" should be fairly easy to take apart, clean, and reassemble. Took some serious looking but found a "Spartan mold #7 Made in Canada" stamp beneath the sink, and I haven't found one anywhere. Something I found comical: The cold water line was hooked up to the hot water handle despite the cold water line being closer. Don't ask me how that happened... it was like that when we moved in. Lol Good news with this is I took measurements and should be able to find a pretty good match at the same height - 32" Sucks I can't find a "Spartan" replacement just for the sink and go run and grab a new faucet, that would be a great budget fix with zero-thought for compatibility. Although, I may be able to make this work with your earlier idea if I can find a close enough match.
  9. I believe you are correct Odd Duck - and I'm looking into alternatives with Hygger and similar brands. I was lucky and found a 1/2" to 3/4" reducer for the inline, sadly it's gonna have to be PVC>Metal but that isn't a game changer. I was able to hook up the old sink to the cold water line and at least run it/unclog the worst of it. It's old junk; the threading was leaking with multiple attempts w/ plumbers tape - I bought two of the PVC adapters in case I ruined the threading the first time. Luckily, those are only like $0.65c and are available locally. Doing the math on this, all parts required to rebuild the sink pretty much pay for a new sink, so I am opting to remove this one. I will have to wait until I get paid to buy the rest of what I need while my fish are in limbo; noticed a reduction in feeding which tells me the water parameters need my attention immediately, but there isn't a whole lot I can do about it until I get the new sink installed and the python water swap system. Luckily, tilapia are extremely hardy fish and will most likely survive a week in poor conditions - not that I feel good about it. My goldfish never complain...except for more food. I am actually baffled that they are so big so fast and like tilapia (before they decide to breed) they are very peaceful fish. Seachem prime has been saving them, but that can't go near my food grade systems. I am leaning towards spending $150 on a new utility sink, and I just ordered two 4' laundry/utility hoses so that way when I do buy the new sink, it will have both hot and cold water (something everyone should have in their laundry room, and it will make rinsing buckets and stuff out a breeze compared to before). Still have to order a few more parts (another 3/4" splitter for sure) and then after that the area will be fully functioning for a Python style attachment (and it will be nice for other things too). All in I figure this is going to cost me around $350, maybe $400. When I move, I'm taking all of it with me. It's either that, or I kill the hobby. Sold for 400 American Lol
  10. I figured out I can fix the sink for around $50 or buy a new one (car is small, unlikely) for $130. New one would have been my first choice due to convenience and it will be really nice to have a functional sink - which means I can then proceed with the RV filter and/or a python kit. Also, 3/4" attachment availability and sink attachment via python replacement part open up options. Ideally I want the sink to handle both filling and draining. I didn't mention that, but it's also very straining to dump old tank water in a floor drain. Had to order a part for like $22 on Amazon (splitter for the cold water laundry line) and I'm trying to find a 1/2" to 3/4" PVC part that will work with a metal fitting (plumbers tape and a wrench). Adding up faster than I want, factoring everything. Cleaned that old sink out a bit with vinegar, still needs a lot of love... Real pain, but worse case scenario I figure run a hose from the cold water splitter when it arrives; although that doesn't solve the drain strain.
  11. I appreciate all the ideas; the best way would of course be to set up a faucet so I can do any of the plumbing applications. Otherwise, I am looking into a trash can dolly which is more logical for a 75g, 40g, 2x 10g, 1x 20g Long - and an unassembled 500g pool/50g filter which likely won't be used until next year. The inline drain has a hose attachment on it, larger (I forget the exact diameter ID/OD) but I was planning to take pictures. See, there isn't a sink that works down there but there's a busted old one worked into the PVC piping and it still drains. With the trash can method pumping water from that instead of 5g buckets that is highly logical for moving it back and forth and more water at a time - worth the expense. In order to fix the sink downstairs I'd need to cut the water lines temporarily, undo the PVC piping on the bottom, let it drain, pull the sink out and put a new sink head (it's like a bathroom faucet ghetto style sink) in, and then I'd need to find a quality splitter for the cold connection on my washer (locally all they had was a garden hose attachment which leaked, I tried this once already, would need to be a special ordered part) which brings me to the inline I have been using which is a rusted old pipe that has a hose barb at the end with some tubing to lead into 5g buckets. Even after siliconing the tubing on the barb (no idea why this had a barb when we moved in) it still wants to leak a bit but I've always been able to tinker with it until it stops dripping. So, if I remove that, it's going to be a lot of fun to deal with - unless I can find a different adapter. Cost wise, I figure this is going to run 200-300 to get the sink/trashcan/inline set up. Add in another 50 for the RV unit, it's on discount on Amazon right now. Haven't dived on the RV filter yet because I haven't figured out a way to fix the inline yet; I'll take pictures. Probably going to be just a joy finding custom parts for this... EDIT_ Well, good news is the inline wasn't as bad as I thought it was - not like the hose connections next to it, but it's copper to PVC. I believe the part is 1" to 1/2" reducer which I can swap for something else that will hopefully mount to the RV unit or similar. The sink hose adapter is the one that's totally shot. I have to brainstorm this for the best results, I considered attaching a python kit to it somehow, I bought their $5 replacement part to see if I could get to work with the sink I need to fix. Pictures of the sink will illustrate why it's full of boxes and stuff...it's been out of commission for a while. It does drain though; that's all that is keeping the sink attached to the PVC pipe work underneath. The sink head (faucet head) on the junk sink is rusted and shot, needs to be replaced and and if I replaced it I'd still need to find a custom adapter for the hot/cold on the washer, opting for the cold line since I cannot have both. I really hate this rental (and my landlord who has raised the rent 6 times including double the usual amount recently) but it is what I have for now. I have some money but I am not rich, Ideally I'd fix the sink and/or mount a python kit to it while running an RV filter from the copper>pvc inline. Pulled it apart, so I'll have to do something soon. Apologies for a lot of pictures it's my way of explaining things better. There was originally a pool where the 75g is. Drain in the floor has been for waste (organic; I run everything food grade) Still have other projects going as you can see. My hand is singing. Lucky bamboo is an awesome plant for filters and planted aquariums. I don't know why it's not more popular for that purpose as it lives both partially and fully submerged. I use them to control nitrates; one way to help on water swaps. Watercress is another favorite for this purpose, but as you can see I sometimes just stuff a random plant in the filter (that pepper plant has been in there for months). Snapped a couple of my 10g w/ 3 fancytails - you can see they are growing very fast and need to be moved to a larger tank. My hand cannot deal with the cinder blocks in tight quarters right now though; Seachem Prime and 1/2 water swaps have been doing fine in the meantime. I keep all buckets/nets/siphons/fish products for the goldfish upstairs, while the food grade fish and products are all downstairs. Seachem prime is such cheating (lol, food fishes are harder to raise...pretty much all I use is sodium thiosulfate for DIY dechlor) What a mess. I love my hobbies but when you lose an arm they quickly become a sick joke.
  12. I've been running my mind through a blender on solutions, it's not an ideal situation by any means. I'm sorry to hear about Brandon; there is too much suffering in the world right now. I am only 32; the injury was from "over-working" and honestly wasn't entirely water-swap related. I briefly worked at a fiberglass company in production and in the spirit of being a hard worker I tried catching them up on 5 million in production back-orders. Within 8 days I permanently damaged my wrist/hand. Evidently, I am not superhuman. It all happened while I was dealing with my last pool-pond so water swaps were in addition to that. Let it heal for a couple months, got an even better job, resigned after a month due to tendonitis flare-ups. So, if I stay off it, it's not that bad. And, you are right, surgery may be in my future and that will effect my work and my hobbies. Good news: I am ambidextrous. That said, some things are still awkward to do left handed and one of them is dealing with buckets of water. Type for a living but not a writer - like a court reporter? You have me* baffled there. I've been an independent researcher/writer in cryptocurrency and blockchain for a few years. When I lost the IRL "awesome, do nearly nothing for $20 an hour w/ full benefits and profit sharing, available OT, PTO, health, vision, dental, you name it" job I went directly back to writing and had a few contract offers in two weeks, for which I am grateful as I'd been inactive for months. I turned to gardening as a temporary hobby (I would have had one anyways, just making a bigger one this time) and that has been easier. Of course, I have over 100 plants about to blow up and no raised garden bed made yet, though... With pipes that old it's a good idea to have your water tested. It's usually a combination of things, in my area mostly iron, but you'll want to see if there is any lead or other harmful stuff in there. Old pipes are a nightmare; my only inline to my basement is also very old or I already would have solved this whole issue. I appreciate the kind words. I just hope my arm can be fixed; I can't picture a life one-handed, even though many are brave enough to survive those types of injuries. Oh, a tip to whoever runs the Co-op - start accepting cryptocurrencies for payment and I'll send you new customers. Best, -Thomas Wolf
  13. I have had similar thoughts - I actually used to work for a local water conditioning company and have helped with many residential and commercial installs. Problem with that is my nephew took over the section of the basement where I could install a unit; already pre-fab for Culligan brand softeners, and then route that through an RO/DI. There is no getting that section of the basement back; I already use most of it. I'd planned to do this for years, but my boss at the time was always running behind and never got around to selling me a refurbished unit at a nice discount (I did make a radial flow filter out of a brine tank though, lol). Then our families hit static and now I can't call them asking for favors because his son and I are not currently speaking. Losing my job trainwrecked my perfect credit, which is something Culligan checks prior to softener rentals. Those are the only two companies around, which I know from experience. So, this really may be my only option - or something similar like an Amazon Basics kit with the same concept. Looking at constantly swapping out the carbon (you do that w/ RO/DI units every 3 months or so anyways). I have one line of water leading into the basement and man is that thing ghetto. I thought of different attachments so I could set it up with a python kit, but it requires professional plumbing work, and I am not licensed (even if I know how to do it...my landlord wouldn't approve it). Of course, he never knew about the 500g pool full of tilapia, either... but I knew if that turned into a mess, it was my mess. Lol I'll research the RV kit. Should see the RV setup my old boss has in his RV, another thing he said I could replicate and never let me do. Petty things. Thank you for the reply/advice! Best, -Thomas Wolf
  14. I had to put a large amount of my plans to the side due to a right hand/wrist injury which ended up costing me my job (don't worry, I found another one, but it's writing for a living). This resulted in paying for a renewed fish farm and never assembling it, keeping my Tilapia breeder in low temps to avoid breeding for the winter, went from 65 prawn to 4 (prawn are highly cannibalistic, evidently, I don't recommend raising them for food, but having 1-3 for pet/s isn't a terrible idea for learning about crustaceans). I'd rather have a lobster at this point. For my three extremely fast-growing fancy-tail goldfish on a Saki-Hikari blended diet - I swear I can't overfeed these fish, they are getting huge and staying very healthy, I worked out plans for a 20g Long stand to get them out of their 10g but can't currently handle the cinder blocks and awkward placement for the shelf in my room. They seem happy for how small their tank is, and it's quite regulated - adding an Aquarium Co-op Sponge filter w/ an air stone definitely made a difference. The #1 problem: Water swaps. I know what you will say, go with a python style kit. I would if I could but my basement doesn't have a sink set up, just a drain. The hot/cold connections for the washer/dryer are old and I was lucky to get them to stop leaking with plumbers tape and metal hosing. My main issue with the kits (outside having a sink) is chlorine in my water. I don't trust adding sodium thiosulfate and THEN adding a ton of chlorinated water. I know it's nearly instant but that "nearly" part is very disturbing as even with food fishes I don't believe in cruelty via gill burns. This brings other problems, like I cannot bend my wrist to clean my tanks as well and I keep running into algae, aesthetic, but still very irritating. I did buy and set up a Ziss brine shrimp hatchery in the hopes of getting into pet fish breeding. Those are awesome, but I currently have no use for it. I think they are too small for the goldfish at this size - though they did clear the tanks out eventually, I worried about micro crustaceans getting caught in their gills or something. So, for now I have taken a small water pump and attached about 8' of hosing to it with food-grade silicone. This way I can at least pump treated tap water into the tanks until the majority of the weight is pumped instead of lifted, and I carry the bucket with my left arm back and forth across my basement (about 30-40ft) each way. Far from a perfect system. I did it for years for exercise (stubborn as well) and my tendons finally had enough. Any and all suggestions are appreciated. I don't want to give up the hobby, but as a writer I am already pushing my luck by typing all the time; I see my doctor soon. Best, -Thomas Wolf
  15. Hi Theresa, Wish I could say the "politics" of academia have been easy for me to navigate but I continue to struggle with authority and ineptitude. I was approved for honors biology twice and the first time the super-qualified PhD didn't like the honors committee overstepping and micromanaging him, the second one was also a great PhD and approved me as his first ever student, but a week later I caught covid. I cannot say I will be returning to the Chicago area, the city is not for me; I hate the suburbs here and I've traveled to big cities east coast and west coast so I know I live in no mans land already, La Crosse County area. I see many returning students that are far more accomplished than anyone else in the class, the diversity is pretty cool these days but I can't help but hate myself for wasting so much time, especially given the state of things with the environment. Visited a Petco before Marineland today. Won't be doing that again. I complained loud enough for the staff to hear about all the dead fish and ich all over their entire system which is fed...all from one interconnected line - their new addition... Marineland had a few cichlids and stuff but I need to study them more and will likely order some rarer ones worth breeding. Picked up some Seachem Seed so it wasn't a wasted trip. I'll have to DM you on the joke, lol. I already watch TV shows in multiple languages...largely due to former black-hat connections from when I was a kid using tech the wrong way, but that molded me into a -highly- useful adult. Access to diff. languages is no problem. I definitely agree more attention on marine biology is more important now than ever, which is unfortunate as my initial plans were woodland focused, primarily... but I will say I'll chase any problem important enough to solve. I love the forest... hurts me to think it will all be washed away not long from now. Nothing wrong with a Masters, my mother has one. I don't know how long I will make it, I took on 25 credits with long-covid and even gave speeches on long-covid with long-covid. I maintain a 3.97 GPA and survived all of them, but I was crawling over the finish line and I am taking off until spring to get my head right. Weight went down to 140lbs, I am up to around 195 and working out almost everyday. I still have head fog, and I guesstimate only about 75% of my smell/taste back after 10ish months. It makes my work harder as a technical writer, but I can still do it. I am very sorry to hear about your cancer treatment. I lost one of the only people I have ever loved, a young ex of mine who was only 26 to brain cancer almost a couple of years ago. Look into Turkey Tail myco supplements w/ Paul Stamets (fungi.com). I sent her supplements, but it was far too late by the time I found out. Stamets holds countless patents in remediation and etc. and an honorary doctorate in mycology, he's a legend, and he has helped cure his mothers stage 4 cancer, there is a YouTube video of a TED talk or similar on it with both of them. Research since shows that turkey tail is effective in aiding chemotherapy to attack malignant cells while at the same time shielding the body from much of the damage to healthy cells. I have roughly 25-30 juvi prawn in a 75g, roughly 25-30 jufi prawn in a 10g at a younger age, 22 food-grade pure strain blue tilapia in a 20g long and I am only getting started, and all of these fish/prawn grow extremely fast, another pond is inevitable. I wish I had a lake. My 40g breeder is running cold water with a couple of bait fish (creek chubs) I've had for like....16 months now, lol. No one wants to use them for fishing, but I think I can release bait fish legally; they are quite healthy in food-grade conditions, just 2 of them. Some people eat them, can't say I wanna sign up for that. I've only used hypo-brackish or brackish conditions for fish injury treatment during "rough" breeding w/ blue tilapia. The freshwater prawn don't tolerate it well, 5 ppt for the adults, but interestingly, their larvae won't produce unless it has 20 ppt salinity because of how Malaysian rivers intersect with brackish/ocean currents, where the species is indigenous. I snapped some pictures, I'll go for higher quality higher light ones in the future but I am still totally reorganizing my fish room and just getting things established. I'll be making a lot more room for a new pond and such! Great to speak with you! Best, -Thomas Wolf
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