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47 year old tank

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Soon I will be going on a trip for a few days so I am working on an automatic brine shrimp hatchery to feed the pipes while I am gone.  I have two designs I am working on and will use the best one, or both of them if they both work.  The rest of the fish will be fine as they know how to open the freezer and feed themselves but the pipefish are a little slow so I need to build something for them.
I also need another shoulder surgery.  I think I had 5 of them between the two shoulders but if you have led an active life and worked construction all your life, you wear things out.  If you don't wear out your joints, you were not working hard enough or you had a Sissy job. :blink:
I just had a shoulder surgery last year but the staples holding the muscle to the bone came off.  I have to tell the Dr. to stop using these wooden parts, or at least use a good wood. 
I don't mind surgeries and rather enjoy the good sleep (and nice looking nurses)  I don't enjoy not having the use of that arm for a few months so I will try to do it after boating season as it is not an emergency and I can still lift a shrimp.

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Well...have fun and have alot of shrimp too! Hope boating season stays going good and your lovely wife is feeling better and better every day! Then hope she can help you after your shoulder surgery...

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Thanks, she is better every day except of course for the MS.  That doesn't get better.  My shoulder is not that much of a big deal.  The guy will fix it and for a few months I won't be able to use it.  I will get my neighbors to shovel my snow. :rolleyes:

I just came back from the MRI.  I had two of them, one of the shoulder and one of the hand so it took a little over an hour.  I will find out the exact problem with the arm on Monday.  I had so many shoulder surgeries I could probably do them myself.  I am not sure I could do it with all the screaming though. :wacko:

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To update my tank, all is well.  The mandarins are still spawning, the 2 pipefish are doing nicely as is the possum wrasse.  I would like to get a mate for him (or her) the copperband is gorgeous if not a little big.  2 bananafish are well but one has a little pop eye which I could cure in a minute if I could catch him.  Clown gobi is fine.  I think the pistol shrimp are spawning but I can't tell as they spend most of their time undergravel.  Bangai cardinals are old enough to spawn now so I am waiting for that to happen.  There is only 1 watchman gobi that is old enough to spawn so that aint happening for a while.  There are also a few fish that I have no idea what they are and I forgot when and where I got them.  They may have come in as tiny babies and grew up or I could have bought them this morning and forgot.  All the corals seem happy and extended, nothing is croaking.  The acropora's are getting overshadowed by just about everything so they have to grow in weird designs.  That's about it.  Nothing is changed so far.

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My bangai cardinals finally grew enough to do the mating dance but that is not an accomplishment with bangai's as they spawn like guppies and it is hard to have a pair of them not spawn.  I will probably not try to raise the fry as I am never able to catch them.
I built a new baby brine feeder that automatically adds eggs twice a day, hatches them and allows the fish to eat the shrimp all day.  I will use them when I go on vacation because the rest of the fish will be fine but pipefish will croak if they even think they won't get fed for a day.

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My bangai cardinals finally grew enough to do the mating dance but that is not an accomplishment with bangai's as they spawn like guppies and it is hard to have a pair of them not spawn.  I will probably not try to raise the fry as I am never able to catch them.

I built a new baby brine feeder that automatically adds eggs twice a day, hatches them and allows the fish to eat the shrimp all day.  I will use them when I go on vacation because the rest of the fish will be fine but pipefish will croak if they even think they won't get fed for a day.

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Way cool! Your little pipefish seems interested.

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Yesterday I noticed that my tank was getting dimmer.  At first I thought I was getting cataracts, but it was definately the tank.  I have perfect vision and can spot a Supermodel a few football fields away.
I raised my DIY LED lighting and noticed that about 8 LEDs were out.  So much for them lasting 30 years.  I soldered in new ones and now the fish are all applying Coppertone sun screen as it made a big difference.
I think, if I get time, maybe this winter I will build a new fixture.  The aluminum one I have is getting corroded looking and the solder joints get crusted in schmutz.  I think I will design a plastic fixture because aluminum is just a lousy metal to have over a tank.
Aluminum lights work well over a Lady GaGa concert because you don't notice the white, crusty aluminum flakes that come off them as the people that go to Lady GaGa concerts are a little weird anyway and wouldn't notice if hermit crabs were slithering up their noses.

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We just came back from a week out in the east end of Long Island in Amaganset which is about 75 miles from my house.  We had sole access to a beach house on the Atlantic that someone we know owns but was in Colorado  Our Daughter, Son N Law and two or our Grand Kids also came.  I did find a fairly large snake just behind me in that first picture.  I tried to catch it but it got away in the scrub brush.  I didn't collect water because I didn't have room in the car but I go there often so the next time I go, I will get some.  My fish are fine and I think they do better without me.  I had a fish sitter and a different pipefish sitter to monitor my new automatic brine shrimp hatchery and feeder which worked flawlessly.  The pipefish are smiling from gill to gill.

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I know this looks like me but it is not.  This is my closest friend and SCUBA and boat Captain partner.  We have known each other for most of our lives which is probably why we look alike.  I had a girl come over to the house every day to feed the fish, but Richie came over to check the auto brine shrimp hatchery and feeder to make sure it was doing what it was supposed to do so the pipefish didn't croak.  It worked perfectly and I am glad my friend checked on it just to make sure as I had never used it before for an entire week.  Now that I am home I will remove the thing as it is only a vacation feeder and is growing some algae that would inhibit the shrimp from exiting the device.
My other contraption that defrosted the food and dispensed it throughout the tank also worked perfectly so all is well.

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An update on my tank.   Dam the thing looks healthy.  I don't know why and I can't remember the last time I changed water but I will have to get to that soon just so people don't start yelling at me.  I hate when they do that.  I can't stop my mandarins from spawning and I think the rest of the fish just feel left out so they all spawn.  My copperband is so jealous that he doesn't have a mate and he spits at me every chance he gets.  The algae trough doesn't have any algae in it for some odd reason but it is teeming with tube worms.  So many that they can't even stay in the water and are slowly climbing up the wall.  The latest batch of amphipods I collected and added formed a Glee club and are practicing DooWops.  I am taking my Grand Daughter to my collection tide pool tomorrow and hopefully have her "help" me collect amphipods.  With any luck, we may get "one".  She loves the tide pool.
My pistol shrimp are still building mountains and I think they are spawning, but it is hard to tell because the female doesn't come out much.  She is shy but I can see her antenna so I know she is fine.
The possum wrasse is venturing out in the open more and I think the multibanded pipefish is goading him to do it.  That pipefish is a show off as is the shier dragon face pipe.  But they are very cool and I am still looking for more multi stripe pipes as they have a high coolness factor.  I don't like angelfish or tangs as they are just to yesterday.  Occasionally I see a fish in there that I have no idea where it came from and must have gotten into the tank through osmosis.
I have a bio pellet reactor, empty of course because I think they are only for Girly Men.  I keep the thing in there because it seems to be a disco for brittle stars.  There are loads of them in there.  I am not sure what they are doing as brittle stars are by design, lousy dancers as they have 4 left feet.
OK, time to go and get Greta.  Now the fun starts.

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Yesterday I bought a new car and I am touching up a little scratch on the one I am returning and I am waiting for the putty to dry.  So I am "forced" to sit here and look at my tank for a little while.  Of course while I am watching my tank, they are watching me, especially those beady little hermit crab eyes.
I am not sure how many hermit crabs there are in there and I couldn't even hazard a guess, snails either as I throw in local mud snails a few times a year.
My silly bio pellet reactor has been empty of pellets for quite a few months but I am keeping the housing functioning just for the coolness factor.  There is an army of brittle stars in the thing and I don't know how they get through the pump to get in there without becoming brittle star mush, but there are dozens of them in there.  I want to make it into a tiny tube worm "hotel".  I want to install a screen in it to make it easier for the little buggers to multiply.  My "algae" trough is already filled with them and I think they are an extremely under used biological filter that we can use to our advantage but I am not quite sure what, if anything they will filter.  I realize the loads of them in there must be eating something but I would rather the algae trough grow algae and the tube worms can have a condo of their own.  There is a small problem.  The reactor I built for the pellets does not come apart and only has a 1/2" hole at the top for a threaded pipe.  I will have to roll up a screen, slide it in  and it will open in the inside.  Some tube worms are growing in there now but I think the ones in the trough are sucking up most of any extra food.  After I get the screen installed inside, I will break off a bunch of tube worms from the trough and stick them in the reactor.  If nothing else, it will look cool and we all know, it is much better to look good than to feel good.

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I also have tube worms in my overflows, copious amounts. I shoved rubble rock in there with them to house pods. I use the overflows as algae scrubbers as well, so far it's been successful.

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Today my wife and I picked to start our fall cleaning.  I do the finished basement where my reef is.  I wash all the walls, baseboards, floors.  Remove anything on the walls and clean that.  take everything out of the closets and clean them, remove ceiling light diffusers and clean those etc.  Anyway I was cleaning the rim of my tank and my heart dropped.  On the bottom edge of the paneling where the tank is, I saw my prized pipefish.  OH NO.  Not Betsy.  Part of a mated pair that took me so long to find and finally buy.  How could this happen?  Not the bluestripe pipefish that I am so proud of.  Not the little girl that greets me every morning as I squirt in new born brine shrimp and she gives me that little smile.  Not her!
So I gently picked up her stiff body and caressed it.
I looked close to see the expression on her face, to see if she died in pain or just passed away from a broken heart.
As I stared at her little face I thought.  Wait a minute, that isn't a face.  That isn't even a pipefish.  It's a blue piece of wire insulation.  I looked up at the tank and there she was.
Betsy was laughing at me like a hyena.  If she had knees she would be slapping them.  Now I know why I need reading glasses.

 

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Edited by paul b

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Next week I plan on collecting some water as I have no idea when I changed it last so I am sure it is due.  I have some fake seawater here but I have not put in any real water since last year and I really need to do that.  I did add thousands of amphipods and quite a bit of mud but before it gets really cold, I want to get some real water.  There is a Coast Guard Station not to far and it is the perfect place to collect because it is on the Atlantic and they have a pier.  I can just lower a bucket into the water and get all I want without having to go out into the water myself.  I go out in my boat a few times a year but my boat is in the Sound and the ocean water is just so much cleared with far less organics.
I will only collect 20 gallons because it gets heavier every year.  If I get ambitious again before the winter really gets here, I will get some more.  Any day on the water is a good day, no matter what I am doing.
And besides, there is always a good chance to spot a Supermodel near the sea.
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I really need to build a new LED fixture as mine is covered in salt spray and I have to keep changing LEDs.  I designed a new unit and hopefully I will start it next week as I don't know how long the existing one will work.  That one was just a prototype and now I see some mistakes I made like not having a splash shield.  I can keep my existing drivers so the new 6' fixture should only cost about $120.00-$150.00.
I was looking at ready made fixtures to go over a 6' long tank and like are you kidding me!  People actually pay that much to light up a fish tank?  It's like over $1,000.00.
I would have to be completely brain dead to buy something like that, but I guess people shell out that much for a light.

I guess I am lucky that I can build the thing but if I couldn't, I would have to use whale oil lamps as I don't want to spend that much for a light. That's almost a third the price for a trip to Hawaii.

Edited by paul b

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OMG my Ozonizer croaked.  This is about the third or fourth one I have had.  I have parts from other ones but it is not the electronics but the reaction chamber.  I will try to build another one but they make those very delicate and I am not sure if I can make one.  If not, I will have to get a used one from someone.  So now I need a new light and ozonizer.  I really need a lot of time to build this stuff and this is not a good time of the year for this stuff to break.  AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHYYYYYY

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The thing is, when your stuff breaks there is always some newfangled idea brewing of how you can make it better next time! Sorry you have two new projects...

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Don't be sorry, I love to build things.  I just need more hours in the day.  We just got back from dinner in the Bronx with friends on my boat.  It's all fun but it still takes time.

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Today my wife and I picked to start our fall cleaning.  I do the finished basement where my reef is.  I wash all the walls, baseboards, floors.  Remove anything on the walls and clean that.  take everything out of the closets and clean them, remove ceiling light diffusers and clean those etc.  Anyway I was cleaning the rim of my tank and my heart dropped.  On the bottom edge of the paneling where the tank is, I saw my prized pipefish.  OH NO.  Not Betsy.  Part of a mated pair that took me so long to find and finally buy.  How could this happen?  Not the bluestripe pipefish that I am so proud of.  Not the little girl that greets me every morning as I squirt in new born brine shrimp and she gives me that little smile.  Not her!

So I gently picked up her stiff body and caressed it.

I looked close to see the expression on her face, to see if she died in pain or just passed away from a broken heart.

As I stared at her little face I thought.  Wait a minute, that isn't a face.  That isn't even a pipefish.  It's a blue piece of wire insulation.  I looked up at the tank and there she was.

Betsy was laughing at me like a hyena.  If she had knees she would be slapping them.  Now I know why I need reading glasses.

 

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I felt so sorry for you and the lose of your pipefish!....Then I started laughing since it was a case of misidentification based on the lack of proper eyewear!  So glad you were caressing a piece of wire insulation.

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I rebuilt that LED fixture almost as good as new.  I had to change 8 LEDs that were either dim or out completely.
Today I collected 15 gallons of NSW and after it warms up I will dump that in.  I like to diatom filter it when it looks a little cloudy like this looks because it has a lot of particles and bacteria in it but I don't have any diatom powder so I just filtered it through a coffee filter which is no where near as good, but the fish will get over it.  I think my bluestripes will spawn soon.

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I just came back from the annual Veterans Picnic on Long Island.  I didn't get a chance to eat because out of the 7 million or so Veterans on Long Island, virtually every one of them from the Revolutionary war up until last Tuesday was there, and except for maybe 10 of them, they were all in front of me for a free hamburger.  I don't do lines so I just watched and had a beer.  There was also Panera Bread there with cookies.  I got on line for a cookie 10 minutes before the event even opened and they ran out of napkins.  I asked the girl, how many did you bring? Like 3!
Then I went to look at the hamburger line and decided that I may only have 10 or 15 more years to live and I don't want to waste them on line so I went back to Panera for another cookie.  They ran out.  This was about 4 minutes after the event opened.
I heard some music and walked over there and there was 3 Supermodels singing patriotic songs on stage like the Andrew Sisters of WW2.  That held my attention for a while but while I waited for the hamburger line to go down, the girls got old so I left.

I am sure the rest of the event went great and it is only me that does not wait on line as I was the only one who left and I am glad they have this event for Veterans as most of them were having a great time.  I went last year and I did have a burger then.  On my way home I went to a LFS and bought another possum wrasse just because I can.  Now I will go out for a hamburger.  Hopefully to a place with no line.

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I just came back from the annual Veterans Picnic on Long Island.  I didn't get a chance to eat because out of the 7 million or so Veterans on Long Island, virtually every one of them from the Revolutionary war up until last Tuesday was there, and except for maybe 10 of them, they were all in front of me for a free hamburger.  I don't do lines so I just watched and had a beer.  There was also Panera Bread there with cookies.  I got on line for a cookie 10 minutes before the event even opened and they ran out of napkins.  I asked the girl, how many did you bring? Like 3!

Then I went to look at the hamburger line and decided that I may only have 10 or 15 more years to live and I don't want to waste them on line so I went back to Panera for another cookie.  They ran out.  This was about 4 minutes after the event opened.

I heard some music and walked over there and there was 3 Supermodels singing patriotic songs on stage like the Andrew Sisters of WW2.  That held my attention for a while but while I waited for the hamburger line to go down, the girls got old so I left.

I am sure the rest of the event went great and it is only me that does not wait on line as I was the only one who left and I am glad they have this event for Veterans as most of them were having a great time.  I went last year and I did have a burger then.  On my way home I went to a LFS and bought another possum wrasse just because I can.  Now I will go out for a hamburger.  Hopefully to a place with no line.

 

Paul- Thank you for your service... If you ever get down this way I will cook you or buy you a burger.....with a Panera cookie. I was just at Panera today, they have this awesome Spanish Chicken Stew and a Moroccan Beef Stew seasonal stew.. get it while it is hot, but you might have to stand in line.

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