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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-29-2015 12:25 PM
More Mermaid Bah-Beeze shots from yesterday

Pictures aren't award winning, but bah-beeze are cute!

Behind the slimy glass, the tank is actually crawling with bah-beeze.

09-28-2015 12:42 PM
DK forced herself to clean the Mermaid glass

Now that the Water Factory is on re-set with the corrected recipe, DK expects a lotta action coming up.

It takes about 2 weeks transition to correct water in the tanks following a water factory adjustment, due to the gradual changeover.

But often times, shrimp will "read" the water conditions changing TOWARD more correct water, and respond. DK is ever fascinated how shrimp bodies "read" water chemistry and get in gear, even before water conditions are optimized. If water has been non-optimal, and the ion ratios begin to move TOWARD breeding ratios, shrimp will often jump the gun and molt, so when water conditions are ripe, they are ahead of the curve to drop young in survivable water.

Ennnyway, DK digresses.

She knew her calcium ratios were off, due to her tank metrics. When ratios are correct for a species, the population shows a pyramidal structure, with more tinies at the base, and a relative few full adults at the peak. When breeding conditions are so-so, you see an even spread. When conditions aren't breeding conditions, you see only older juvies and adults, finishing out growth from last time the water was good for breeding.

So, she had been watching metrics in the Mermaid tank, behind slimy glass, and hadn't seen much of anything except adults. She has been juggling some technical problems getting the pH stabilized in there, and when she juggles pH, it throws her calcium ratio, because pH is adjusted via mag carbonate in that tank, and when DK needs higher pH, she dials in higher mag carbonate, which decreases her calcium to mag ratio.

She thought the water was more messed up than it turned out to be. She knew it was improving, based on berried females, but she didn't see babies much, until the other day when she posted.

So she finally decided to get off her duff and clean the glass in that tank to see what was going on in there.


Here's a lesson learned: just 'cause you can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there.

She thot she could see well enough across the slime-glass to determine that there were almost no babies in there.

But she just couldn't see them.

Here's a shot taken this morning in the front couple inches of the tank. That tank has already started to ramp up. It's not pyramidal yet, but headed that way, hopefully.

One reason she believed there weren't going to be many babies is that one of her biological indicators she uses - pond snails - were tracking high. When pond snail populations spike, it often means chloride levels have fallen, because when chloride levels reach a certain level, it inhibits pond snail breeding and growth.

All of her tanks were showing too many pond snails, so DK knew her chloride levels were dipping, which is an indicator that calcium levels are too low, as calcium tracks with chloride in her system.

The good news is that things are correcting, and as of this morning, there is a good indicator things are doing ok and heading toward better breeding conditions.

These are about 6 mm bah-beez (except the tiny one upper left), and DK couldn't see them across the slime-glass!

09-25-2015 12:52 PM
Not sure what this has to do with shrimp...YET

So, delayed by the flu, DK had some makin' up to do. Her weather window was runnin' out.

Oh, DK knows what this has do do with shrimp, now. Doing this forced her to replenish the shrimp juice vats. Replenishing the juice vats forced her to get off her duff and find where the bum calculation was hidden.

So Tuesday, DK had slated to finally put the finish coat on her hardwood floors. She was delayed in this due to the flu. She needed to do this in a weather window with no rain forecast and temps below 85 day and above 55 nights. She needed a 3 day window.

Why? Because she was a-gonna apply an oil-based commercial/gymnasium grade polyurethane top coat to her previously re-conditioned floors. She don't mess around.

In the process of doing this, she was a-gonna fix the slip sliding problem her Germans were having on the hardwood, causing them to run claws extended like cartoons, which was doing a number on her floor finish.

So, DK decided she was a-gonna integrate polymer micro beads into the "hand-rubbed" floor finish, to give it a permanently non-slip finish. Oh yeah. She don't mess around.

But let's back up. In order to apply this final coat, she needed to clear all the furniture - including the half ton 1896 upright grand piano made from Old Wood beams in the sound board. Then, she needed to screen the re-condition coat throughout for adhesion. Then, she need to de-dust, using the central vac. Then, she needed to design and install a catwalk so that once the floor coat was applied, we could get to the stairs without walking on the floor. Once the coating was applied, a large swathe of the house would be unavailable during curing time.

This included easy travel down into the Shrimporium.

Shrimp juice vats were nearly empty, and DK had to assume the worst that the dry time might be 3 days and she might for some reason not be able to get down there.

So she had to replenish the vats.

This FORCED her to finally go through months of calculations to find the flaw in her last batch of vats. She KNEW her calcium levels had dropped relative to her mag levels because the tank populations were telling her this with her metrics. So she KNEW she had made a screw-up in her last vats. She had adjusted her machinery to compensate, but the compensation wasn't in the sweet spot and the real goal is always to fix the underlying problem, yes?

Well, to make a long story short, she found her mis-calculation, had to back calculate several vat batches of concentrations, come up with her target, and re-mix the new vats.

This is not as simple as it sounds.

Because when she adds to the vats, there is always some vat juice still in there, at whatever concentration. So when she adds the new batches of vat juice, which she KNOWS the concentration, it blends with the remaining vat juice to make the new, overall vat concentration.

She knew when the tanks were last in their sweet spot, last January or so. SO she had to back calculate, based on discovery of her mistake, what the concentrations were THEN, and then forward calculate where the vat concentration ended up, and formulate the new recipe to correct the OVERALL new vat concentration to the goal.

Your eyes are probably glazed over.

So, BEFORE she could apply the floor top coat, she had to do all this, make the new vat juice, and re-load the system settings and test them, to ensure they weren't pumping death into the Shrimporium tanks for three days while her floors cured.

She is delighted to report the floors are done and nearly cured, and the tanks are already showing signs of heading back toward sweet-spot correctness.

So, today's pictures aren't shrimp, although shrimp are tied into the floor story.

Below, we see a shot of the film DK applied with the micro beads embedded. She used a silicone spatula to keep the solution stirred each application, and when done the leftover stuff coated the spatula and dried. Then, DK peeled a layer off and took a shot with the super-macro function of her camera, because she is a geek/nerd and just had to see it, and then share it.

And a shot of the catwalk she designed, from her motorcycle ramp, six bucks of cheapo 2x3s, and a scaffolding plank. With this setup, the inhabitants were able to avoid the hardwood yet access the upstairs, key.

And, the finished -- FINISHED -- floor. Finally. Lovely "hand-rubbed" finish (low sheen) with embedded micro-beads.

The Germans can't believe their good fortune, that they don't slip all over the floor anymore.

Life is good.

BECAUSE OF this floor finish, DK was forced to correct her tanks. This means in about a month, lotsa shrimp baby pictures for all y'all.

Stay tuned...

09-23-2015 06:05 PM
DKShrimporium Here's the context picture, so you can see why DK's pics are so dark and bad. The new bah-beeze are in the far back of the tank in the rock cracks.

09-23-2015 05:49 PM
hachi So tiny! Hope I get some babies from my handful of carbon rili.
09-23-2015 03:34 PM
DK has small big news!

So yesterday, DK went tank staring. She was contemplating new vats of shrimp juice, going over her calculations, because she KNEW there was something amiss since the last batch was made.

Fortunately, she found the error in her calculations, last batch, which DID mean that her calcium ratio had changed. She's been looking at the state of the tanks, just knowing her calcium:magnesium ratio was not correct, due to how the populations were behaving.

But anyway, she digresses.

She looked into the Mermaid abductee tank to check on her partyin' mommas, and look what she found!!

The first bah-beeze!!

09-22-2015 04:26 PM
hachi Thanks for the pictures! I am limited by space (not to mention knowledge!) to keep the fancy shrimp you have, so it's awesome to see what you are doing with yours. Thanks for all the amazing photos and info!
09-22-2015 03:45 PM
Originally Posted by hachi View Post
Echos from the cave! Hello! I'm still pretty new to the aquarium hobby, just a couple months in. I just read about half of this thread, and you're an inspiration! I love the tigers coming out of the Cauldron. So cool.

Random question, if you don't mind: why do you call your cardinal shrimp mermaids?
Hello Hachi!

It's so nice to hear something other than echoing cave drips!

Um. Mermaids. DK doesn't actually recall. She thinks it had to do with them hanging out on the petrified wood top, reminding her of the typical scene of a few mermaids sunning themselves on a rock up out of the sea. The Sulawesi tanks are set up differently than her other tanks.

Most her other tanks are just huge masses of moss with some pottery tubes underneath.

The Sulawesi bank of tanks are set up to mimick their natural habitat, but enable viewing. So they have these huge chunks of suspended petrified wood in them, but no masses of moss. The Mermaids love to hang out in hideouts, such as under the rocks, so in order to see them one has to position the rocks up pretty high.

When they get more daring, or at night, they come up to the top surface of the rocks and graze. This is also a function of population - when there are enough of them that they feel secure, they will also come up top during the "sunlight" hours.

Here's a pic DK took yesterday of the original (not the abductee) Mermaid tank. You can see the glass is grown over with lovely slime, which is why there haven't been any pictures of that tank lately. But DK's been twitchy lately, thinking things were a bit off balance in the chemistry of her Sulawesi tanks, so she's been on the lookout for new babies. Yesterday on her inspection she was able to see two of them because they were up on the glass, so this is an indicator the chemistry is pretty good in those tanks. She knew she wasn't that far off, because she has berried females.



After nearly two months of negotiations, DK et al signed a contract, this morning!! Soon to be jackhammering, major excavation, and all sorts of fun stuff around here!

09-20-2015 02:46 AM
hachi Echos from the cave! Hello! I'm still pretty new to the aquarium hobby, just a couple months in. I just read about half of this thread, and you're an inspiration! I love the tigers coming out of the Cauldron. So cool.

Random question, if you don't mind: why do you call your cardinal shrimp mermaids?
09-15-2015 04:50 PM
DK bubbles up from the muck, with some pictures

Finally had a convergence of events:
  • Cleaned glass
  • Charged camera batteries
  • DK down in Shrimporium
  • Shrimp in positions for pictures

These are three different post-partyin'-knocked-up abductee Mermaids in different regions of the abductee tank, this morning:

09-05-2015 09:57 PM
DK bets you've never eaten THIS...

Last night, DK went out to eat.

What did she eat?

Pope pizza. Ever had it?



There is a TOTO revolution a-happenin' in DK land. She just scored three of them at a really good price. She installed the first one today in all its Sanagloss glory.

Yeah, I know. Nuttin' to do with shrimp.

But it was plumbing. Most of the plumbing she knows, shrimp forced DK to master.

09-02-2015 07:49 PM
Two Eves, in Eden

Two Eves, in Eden...

OK, so mebbe that's a bit of metaphorical hyperbole, but, hey.

What it means is that DK has confirmed that a second Mermaid abductee is heavy with future yung-uns.

Sorry, no pictures yet because the glass is too slimy and DK doesn't want to freak them out invading their space with a huge hand-like scary monster.



DK has been stewing for months how to have three days in her house without touching the hardwood floors, and she finally figured it out.

It involves six bucks worth of cheapo 2x3 lumber, her aluminum motorcycle ramp, some luxury vinyl tile floor samples, and an expanding scaffold.

Yep, that'll do, donkey.
08-28-2015 07:55 PM
Well. We have a Friday announcement.

DK's been having a vibe that it wuz a-comin'. She's been lookin' thru the slimy glass, tryin' to a-getter confirmation.

Today... confirmation.

(At least) One of her Mermaid abductees... is in the family way. It feels like she has colonized the moon, today. What was for a couple years an empty tank is now on the precipice of population... growth.

BTW, there are a buncha them post-party girls in the first Mermaid tank, right now. And new babies on the glass, too. - pic of one of these 4 mm bah-beez below.

Stay tuned...
08-27-2015 05:21 PM
And now, back to our regularly scheduled program...

Originally Posted by pKaz View Post
Hi DK, I agree with you about the UD Creamery, good stuff! I have only sampled from their mobile creamery, yes they have an ice cream truck. I have yet to visit the actual creamery, even though I went to school there, since the creamery was built a few years after I graduated.

When I was reading the post about your stairway dilemma, I was thinking about those concrete pads for AC compressors as a solution, and then, bam next post DK has the same idea.
Hm. Maybe DK could get the mobile creamery to park in her driveway...


Wow. What are the chances of someone thinking of cement condenser pads? I'd think pretty slim.

Here's the end result. Now, it ain't Houzz material, but it's also not seen by anyone on the "outside" world, ever, as we have an ultra-private back yard. DK also laughs her head off at the Houzz style SNOBS who have 29.5 years of mortgage payments yet to go. It is easily reversible (minutes) and the parts are re-useable for other useful things if we ever dismantle it. Imagine the edges cleaned up and planted. Right now it's still rather bald and gravely from the excavation and moving around of the stone.

DK got to USE one of her hoarded pieces of junk (she's a hoarder): a piece of indoor/outdoor carpeting pulled last summer from her mud room re-do. She used the rug, upside down, over her handy dandy piano ramps to slide the heavy steps up onto the platform. Rock Star Jr. helped her, but between us we were able to do it. They must be a couple hundred pounds - that's 4 feet length of concrete.

HUGE difference to the dogs. Huge. The extra wide first step really helps them get going upward, too. It's like a mini landing.

It's very freaky to step down them barefoot and feel that last step as concrete, and yet it flexes. It's kinda coo-el, actually.

08-27-2015 01:41 AM
pKaz Hi DK, I agree with you about the UD Creamery, good stuff! I have only sampled from their mobile creamery, yes they have an ice cream truck. I have yet to visit the actual creamery, even though I went to school there, since the creamery was built a few years after I graduated.

When I was reading the post about your stairway dilemma, I was thinking about those concrete pads for AC compressors as a solution, and then, bam next post DK has the same idea.
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