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Discussion Starter · #101 ·
Display Tank #5

This tank has 4 Columbian Tetras (was 6, but these guys are jumpers... managing to escape through the small opening where I run the few cables that enter the tank), 4 Penguin Tetras, 2 Beckford Pencilfish (they werre supposed to be Penguins, but the shopkeep made a mistake), 4 Corydoras Elegans, 4 Corydoras Paleatus, 3 otocinclus affinis (was 4, who knows what happend to one... never found a body... like jimmy hoffa), 1 bristlenose pleco.

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Discussion Starter · #103 ·
It's funny as I look through these photos that I took this week following a substantial pruning. You just don't see the fish that I mention. I think the bright lights and movement as I cleaned things up spooked them. Oh well. I guess you can appreciate the purpose of my FishNook. 1 system for easy maintenance, but 6 separate tanks to house a great variety of inhabitants. So, I guess they are wannabe 'dutch-like' planted community aquariums. Hey, I get to enjoy them everyday here in my home office as I do secular work that I no longer enjoy to make a living... LOL!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #104 ·
This is a build thread, so let's get back to some improvements. I've stepped up my water change regimen on the FishNook... and of course I have 6 full display tanks on line. I can do a 40% water change on the entire system (6 display tanks, 2 sump tanks) with the 53 gallons I have available (it's 65 gallons of storage, but it's not filled to the top and you can't pump out the last 5 gallons). I'm doing that about every 5 days now... So, I'm doing 6 x 40% water changes a month.

To produce 53 gallons (well more, because I top off between water changes and grab 5 gallons for the quarantine tank too in between as well) every 5 days means that nearly 100 gallons is going to my garden... That's allot. Of course when I do that water change... 53 gallons leaves my FishNook and also goes to the garden.... So yeah... 150gallons every 5 days. I'd like to knock that down a bit. It's so much water that a family of Gambel's Quail have taken up roosting under my neighbors Orange tree that benefits from the water too as it's soooo lush and cool (especially in this 110-115degF heatwave we've been having).

I've been researching how to improve the ratio of RO water to waste on lots of forums.... when suddenly the manufacturer of my system emailed me information on an Upgrade kit they offer to reduce the wasted water. I liked the idea. It went on Sale, then I bought it.

So, in the bodega, time to move things over a bit to fit more cartridges..


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Everything was moved over and the new holder installed... Basically the waste from the 1st 3 cartridges goes though a 2nd round of RO Membrane and DI Resin... The outputs of both combine to go into the water storage vessel.... It's the waste from the 2nd round that ends up as the final waste. I followed the recommendations to do install the flush adapter for 30 minutes before adding the DI cartridge...

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I don't think DI is necessary, but it came with the kit.. so I'll use it.... What is interesting is the 1st round of purified water the exits the first set of filters won't have passed through the DI cartridge... Whereas the 2nd round of purified water that exist the second set of filters will have passed through the DI cartridge... So not 100% of the water that I am producing will have a near 0 TDS... That's okay with me... I'm remineralizing anyway...

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Yes, I did go back and enter the dates on the cartridges.... I put 12/1/2020 for the 1st set.. and 6/1/2021 for the 2nd set. Yeah the first set was installed before that, but very lightly used.
It will be easier to remember the replacement cycle if I stage them 6 months apart.

So, it will be interesting to see: 1. how much faster the water gets produced. 2. if I can detect less water in the garden.
 

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Discussion Starter · #105 ·
I thought I'd take a photo of what happens to a well watered section of your garden supporting a small grapefruit and a large sour orange tree when you live in the desert. You attract things. This morning I heard my dogs barking, which always means a coyote, javelina or rattlesnake.... This morning, it was a discarded skin from a Black Racer (though it was probably red as that is a common variety/color here.)... This one measured about 5'... Difficult to appreciate as so much of the skin gets bunched around the head as the shed it...

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Here it is laid on the 6' table of the covered part of my back patio.

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Here is a good 6' one that I found (perished unfortunately, but not run over by a car) a few weeks ago... Beautiful creature. what you can't appreciate from the photo is that it's belly is coral/peach/pink colored.
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Discussion Starter · #106 ·
Anyway, with that last post, I've strayed from FishNook updates. With the 115 degF temps we've had in the Desert SouthWest for more than 10 days now, it's been impossible to maintain less than 28.5-29degC in the FishNook. The RO Storage is in a bodega at the back of my carport... so it's warm..... We keep the house at 80degF (27.5 degC). With the pump and lights running... and the warmer water coming in during water change and evaporation top-offs, it's just impossible to keep it below 28.5degC without active cooling. I'm not going to do active cooling. Anyway, happy to report that the corydoras, ottos, angels and shrimp are enduring it just fine and of course the new Pitch Black Rams love it. No losses during the heatwave.
 

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Discussion Starter · #107 ·
So, I thought I'd follow-up. I've been on a Working Trip for about 9 days... That means someone is staying at our home and feeding the dogs, the cats, making sure the irrigation is working in the gardens and of course looking after the FishNook. I did a good trimming, good wipe down, and gravel vac 2 days before leaving... and did 3x 40% water changes just prior to leaving... So that math works out to about 70% of the water completely changed in 2 days... The idea was to leave everything super clean and not to burden the person with much maintenance while i was gone...

I paused the automation with the exception of light timers, evaporation top-offs, pH/CO2 injection... No auto water changers, no auto dosing. They are just feeding the fish with minimal quantities once a day in the morning... a small algae tab dropped in each tank each night... and fertilizing the water column with minimal quantities once a week. Water circulation is good, UV Filter is running.... wave pumps still come on 5 minutes every hour (during the day time)... and of course temp control is enabled (though the heaters haven't come on in weeks)...

They've reported no algae issues, no fish deaths, water is clear, plants are tall and leafy. So about 8 days more to go before I get home.... Longest stretch leaving the FishNook alone. Will be interesting to see how it does... and how it looks when I get back home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #109 ·
Well, I always promise to cite the good with the bad in this FishNook adventure. Today was the bad. This morning I saw a bit of water on the floor and traced it to Display Tank #3... I saw that the cork underlayment was saturated, but all glass was dry... This meant that I had a leak in the bottom pane or the bottom pane seams... What I found upon inspection surprised me... a cracked corner.

This is where it's my fault. A year ago as I was de-rimming, de-basing, drilling the glass, I noted a small chip near one of the corners. I added a bit of extra silicon... let it cure for 48 hours... then tested that tank like I did all of the others for two weeks... completely filled... on the stands on my patio.... I describe that process early in this thread.

Now, some 8 months later, this tank is leaking at that location. So, I'm going to then take this tank down. That requires moving all of the fish and plants to the other 5 aquariums. Then, I will get another 20 gallon long, de-rim, de-base and drill it.... Another thing that I am doing is adding/doubling additional cork. Display Tanks #3 and #4 have the thinnest cork... The others have slightly thicker cork.... THe sumps even have two layers of cork... So that is what I will do with this new tank...

Bummer... It's a bummer becuase my wife broke her leg in NY two weeks ago... We are back home in Arizona and still awaiting the 1st of 3 surgeries that she requires. So, it's a bad time to have to do something major to the Sonoran Desert Fish Nook.
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Oh no! What a chore to fix! Still, I guess its lucky you didnt find the problem via a full break and flood.
Best wishes to the wife, being laid up is no fun..:unsure:maybe time for her to take up a quiet indoor hobby like oh.... fishkeeping
 

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Discussion Starter · #111 · (Edited)
My wife has had her surgery and is recovering, so I'm moving on fixing up the replacement aquarium.

This one was a bear... might have been the toughest rim and base that I've ever removed... and it's a brand new aquarium. Glad that it's done. I will drill for the bulkheads later and then get this thing set in place. Should be on line by Friday evening.

For the Desert Aquarist Society (Tucson Area Fish Club) August 14th meeting, I'm going to do a workshop on cutting and drilling aquarium glass. We have to hold it in an outside location and electricity is questionable... but I have all cordless tools with lots of batteries so it will be a good opportunity to pass something on to others.

Wood Outdoor furniture Automotive exterior Rectangle Gas


Random musing....

The more I work in the FishNook there is a re-occuring thought. I wish I'd built custom 32"x16"x16" or 33" x 15" x 15" Display Tanks. There's something about wanting to get an entire aquarium out of one 48" sheet and fit in the existing stand footprint, hence the very specific dimensions. (of course I guess at that point you are just about at the dimensions of a 40 breeder, but again I don't want to go changing stands and the extra length would take too much space away from all of the wall mounted equipment.)

The extra height would be nice to allow the stem plants a bit more growth and depth would have been nice to allow more an easier time of cleaning the glass without plants crowding against it. It would have been fun to take it to the limits of the stand width and have an overhang front and back for effect.

Maybe version two of the FishNook in a few years. ;)
 

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My wife has had her surgery and is recovering, so I'm moving on fixing up the replacement aquarium.

This one was a bear... might have been the toughest rim and base that I've ever removed... and it's a brand new aquarium. Glad that it's done. I will drill for the bulkheads later and then get this thing set in place. Should be on line by Friday evening.

For the Desert Aquarist Society (Tucson Area Fish Club) August 14th meeting, I'm going to do a workshop on cutting and drilling aquarium glass. We have to hold it in an outside location and electricity is questionable... but I have all cordless tools with lots of batteries so it will be a good opportunity to pass something on to others.

View attachment 1032188

Random musing....

The more I work in the FishNook there is a re-occuring thought. I wish I'd built custom 32"x16"x16" or 33" x 15" x 15" Display Tanks. There's something about wanting to get an entire aquarium out of one 48" sheet and fit in the existing stand footprint, hence the very specific dimensions. (of course I guess at that point you are just about at the dimensions of a 40 breeder, but again I don't want to go changing stands and the extra length would take too much space away from all of the wall mounted equipment.)

The extra height would be nice to allow the stem plants a bit more growth and depth would have been nice to allow more an easier time of cleaning the glass without plants crowding against it. It would have been fun to take it to the limits of the stand width and have an overhang front and back for effect.

Maybe version two of the FishNook in a few years. ;)
Curious if you have had any problem with the de-rimmed and drilled tanks, aside from the one your replacing of course?

I would have loved to de-rim my drilled 20, but after seeing how thin the glass was and accidentally cracking one tank I just wasn't brave enough 😅
 

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Discussion Starter · #113 ·
Curious if you have had any problem with the de-rimmed and drilled tanks, aside from the one your replacing of course?
Just the one tank... Never a single problem with any others. As a precaution, I have ordered slightly thicker cork and will double it up under the tank
 

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Discussion Starter · #114 ·
Just the one tank... Never a single problem with any others. As a precaution, I have ordered slightly thicker cork and will double it up under the tank
I thought I would follow up. It turns out the Display tank was not leaking at all. What had happend is the tank had an overflow even (discharges momentarily plugged, who knows?) and soaked the cork underneat the tank.... Because the cork stayed wet for so long, I thought the tank was continually leaking. It's not. It's fine. It turns out that minor chip in the corner is really nothing to worry about.

Anyway, now I have an extra de-rimmed and drilled tank. LOL!

But that is one downside to cork underneath the tank is that it holds moisture for a while if there is any kind of spill... So worth noting if you ever intend to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #115 ·
So, I had decided to let plants grow long so that I could haul allot to our club meeting this past weekend. However, it had the unintended consequence of starving to many other plants in the aquariums of light, cuasing them to grown skinny and tall. Oh well. So, I took some before and after...

Before:

Plant Window Building Car Shade


After:

Plant Architecture Wood Shade Gas


fish health is awesome... I mean nothing ever dies except many the occasional otto each 2 months...

plant health... well it's a work in progress. red colors aren't holding, which means I need to revisit the fertilisaton regimen. that aside. algae is under control and it looks good for having rather basic 'beginner' level plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #116 ·
I've been feeding the entire FishNook (8 20gallon long aquariums) with 1 10lb CO2 tank. Today, I ran out after just 9 weeks. When I went to fill up my tank, they had a very nice 20lb tank already filled. Time for an upgrade... The 20lb will be my main CO2 tank and the 10lb will be the tank that supplies the system when I take my 20lb tank to be refilled. :)

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