DIY driftwood for your aquarium

DIY driftwood takes time, but it will save you tons of money. Some small pieces cost well over $20. Also, the soak method (minus salt) will work for store bought driftwood. Store bought driftwood is cleaned and has not been soaked. This may lead to tannin’s being leaked into your tank

What you’ll need:
Driftwood, which can be found anywhere. It doesn’t necessarily have to come from the water. You could find it in the woods, as long as it is weathered down and looks unique. Also make sure the wood is not rotting.

BIG soaking container, I use a 15 gal rubber maid container.

Aquarium Salt, I use Doc Wellfish brand. This is used as a natural way of killing bacteria and parasites.

First step, clean off your wood! Make sure all debris and bark are removed from the wood (or it’ll fall off in your tank!). Once complete, boil the water in the BIG pot and add aquarium salt. I use about a tablespoon per gallon. Boil the entire piece for about 2-4 hours depending on your size. If you can only fit half the wood in the pot then you will need to boil the other half.

Once the boil is complete you can transfer your wood into the rubber maid container. Add water until the whole piece of wood is under water (you can also add salt if you want). If the wood does not sink place something on top of it until it does. It’ll sink after a week or two. You’ll notice the water turn into tea-ish color. It is the result of the tannins that are released into the water. If you didn’t soak the wood, the water in your tank would be this color. Tannins are natural and some fishes actually like it because it’ll make them feel more at home. It’ll also affect your PH, I’m not sure about GH or KH. You’ll need to do water changes every other day to clean the water. This may take weeks or months.

When the color of the soak water suffices, you will need to soak your wood for another week without any salt. This will make sure that the wood does not hold any salt that may leak into your tank.

Once soaking is complete wash the wood well and transfers the wood into your tank. Do not keep the wood out of water for a long time or it will float.

For more information and pictures about this project, please visit http://www.CarolinaFishTalk.com and check the DIY section.

Article written by [email protected], member of CFT Community Стабильная консалтинговая компания оказывает бухгалтерские услуги в Тамбове быстро

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Cheapo Yeast CO2 for healthy aquarium plants.

In about 1993, somebody (I would like to know who) had the idea that if you were to ferment bread or beer, that the yeast could be used as a cheap source of CO2. Different recipes have been tried, and most work pretty good. Most people use an empty plastic two liter soda bottle. You drill, or melt with a hot nail, a hole in the cap to accept an air line. The most common problem that I have heard of is that the CO2 gas escapes from this hole in the cap. A sure fire method of sealing the cap, (I can say, because it is what I have used) is to seal a short piece of rigid tube in the hole with the brand name glue Goop. The Consumers Union Magazine rated glues a few years back, and found that Goop was the only glue to reliably stick to polyethylene used in the bottle caps, etc.. Other people have also reported success using aquarium silicon and also with the use of a fitting sold for drip irrigation. In any case the seal must be air tight.

Also, it is highly recommended that you install a one way check valve in the line as cheap insurance against the potential risk of an accidental siphon. This is good practice for all air lines into the tank.

The recipe for the yeast mixture which I and others have used successfully is to fill the bottle half full of cold tap water. Add about two cups of white sugar and shake until most of it is dissolved. Then add 1/2 teaspoon of granular baking yeast. I bake bread too, so I bought a 8 ounce bag at Costco for about $5. It will last me forever, and I store it in a airtight plastic bin in the freezer. This yeast mixture does not activate for about a day, so I usually mix it on Saturday, and hook it up to the tank on Sunday. I switch this mixture whether it needs it or not every other weekend, during my water change routine. If you use too little sugar, it may not last two weeks. (I bet as little as 1 cup would do.)

Don’t use too much yeast, as I did once, as this leads to foaming, which will creep up the air line and go into the tank. The goal is to have a bubble every few seconds or so. I think that just allowing the bubble up in the tank is probably enough. Most people go to some effort to extend the “contact time” of the bubble with the water. In one of my tanks, I have the air line stuck in the venturi hole in the power head. In another I have a glass jar on it’s side which contains the CO2 bubbles. Somebody wrote that this bubble in the glass jar method should be periodically purged, as the stray nitrogen gas will fill up the jar over time, though I think that the CO2 concentration would always be adequate. Some people use fancier “beer yeast”, which costs more, and the cheaper bread yeast works fine by all accounts. All in all, I think there is a lot of tolerance with this method and you should feel free to experiment.

One thing to worry about is that if your water is very soft, with a carbonate hardness of less than say dKH of 2, that added CO2 can run a risk of instability pH. You should know your dKH if you plan to use CO2. Also, you should be pretty regular in the changing of the CO2 mixture, as if you stop and start, your pH can fluctuate, which causes stress to fish. (That is why so people will start the yeast mixture in advance, so they don’t have a gap in the gas supply. Lastly, CO2 is easily gassed off of the water. Though, I wouldn’t not use CO2 if I wanted to also use an air stone, power head etc.. The ideal planted tank with CO2 does not use filtration which causes a lot of water movement that drives off the CO2 gas.

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DIY Aquarium

Some questions have been asked of late about tank building, while I do not claim to be an expert, I have built many tanks. The following is a basic guide on putting a tank together.

First thing’s first; when cutting, try and cut to the center of the glass, if you try and cut off a 1″ strip (for example), the break would not be square, but would lean towards the narrow strip. When assembling the tank, the sides, front and back are placed on TOP of the base. Silicone can be any 100% silicone, I use DAP, and GE brands from the builders supply.

As far as precision, the front and back can be cut close, as the sides fit inside these pieces. The two sides must be cut exactly alike. After cutting, place the two sides together, and place on edge on a piece of glass. If the edges do not align (one may slant away from the other), then turn one piece only and try to re-match. If this still fails, try turning that same piece end over end. If that fails, try cutting another. The easiest way to cut in my opinion is with a Square.

After cutting, “sand” the edges to take off the cutting edge. You can get silicone carbide sandpaper from a glass company. If you are doing a few, it is worth ordering a belt for a belt sander. You have to keep the belt moving, but it is a lot faster.

No jigs are used during assembly; clean the glass and stack in “like pieces.” Place the base in a position where you have room to work arround it, and place a box about 1″ behind it. The back is the first piece to glue. Run a bead along the bottom edge, and stand it in place on top of the base. Lean it against the box for support. Next, run a bead along two edges of one side. Stand it in place on the base, and raise the back into an upright position against the side. Gently squeeze the two and remove the box. “Wipe” your index finger along the bead to smooth and press into the corners, inside and out. Wipe once only, if you try to wipe again later in the process, the silicone will ripple. Next bead two edges of the other side, and stand in place, and wipe the joints. Bead the base of the front, and the edges of the sides, and stand in place. Wipe again, and then do a final alignment of the pieces. You will be able to slide the pieces for about 5-10 min depending on temp.The entire assembly process will take about 10 min after practice.

Glass thickness depends upon tank dimensions, I use 1/4 ” Plate Glass for tanks up to 30 gal. A 40 gal can be built with this glass, but a center brace would be needed. I recomend 30 as the largest size for 1/4″ glass. When buying thicker glass, the price goes up.

It goes without saying, glass is very sharp, and you will cut yourself until you get the feel for it. Then you will cut yourself even worse. Be care please and always use safety equipent and common sense.

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An Easy Way To Set Up A Quarantine Tank

Do I Need A Quarantine Tank?

The often dismissed but very necessary part of the tropical fish hobby, the infamous quarantine tank. Do you really need one to be successful in this hobby?

For freshwater fish you may be able to get by without having one. Freshwater fish are generally more suited to captivity because they are usually tank raised and don’t seem to break out in disease as readily as their saltwater counterparts. However, if newly acquired fish do come down with something, you will surely wish that you had one ready to go. One newly bought fish that is introduced to your main tank can easily wipe out the entire tank population. Better safe than sorry, right?

For saltwater aquarium keepers, I would say that you definitely need a quarantine tank. Marine specimens are mostly wild caught and not used to being kept in captivity. Their journey to a dealers tank is usually much longer and much more stressful for them. Stressed out fish will usually come down with some kind of disease if they don’t simply die from the whole ordeal. Saltwater fish keepers will usually have other things in the main display tank such as invertebrates and live rock, that they don’t want to expose to the harsh medicines necessary to treat one or two fish. Some medicines can wipe out all of the invertebrates in a tank, so be sure to research any medicine before using it in your tank.

Quarantine Tank Setup

You don’t need to go all out here. A simple 10 – 20 gallon aquarium will suffice for most people. If you have larger fish then obviously you want to get a bigger quarantine tank. All you really need is a bare bones setup with the following equipment:

Some type of filtration (a hang on the back of the tank power filter will work, just use filter floss without the carbon since carbon will remove medication from the water, being counter productive)
Heater
A powerhead and/or an airstone for increased surface agitation
Test Kits for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate
Fish Net – don’t use the same net for your main tank

Fill the quarantine tank with water from the main tank and then turn everything on in the quarantine tank.

Freshwater and Saltwater Fish Quarantine

For newly acquired fish you will want to acclimate them to the water in the quarantine tank and monitor them very closely for a period of two to three weeks. Monitor the water parameters with your test kits and check for signs of parasites or bacterial infections.

If the newly acquired fish does come down with something you will need to use the appropriate medication and you will need to keep them in quarantine for a further two weeks to make sure that you have indeed treated them effectively. If after a few weeks no problems develop, you can then acclimate them to the main tank water and then introduce them.

If a fish comes down with something while in your main tank, just net them and plop them into the quarantine tank. There should be no need to acclimate them because you used water from your main tank. If you didn’t use water from the main tank you will need to acclimate them to the quarantine tank water. Diagnose the problem/disease and treat appropriately. After the disease clears up you will still want to keep the fish in quarantine for a week or so monitoring the water parameters with your test kits the whole time.

Conclusion
Freshwater hobbyists may get away with not using a quarantine tank, but saltwater hobbyists would be crazy not using one. Save yourself some money, headaches and especially the fish by having a quarantine tank. The fish in your main tank will thank you for it. o1 visa Details US Immigration Fraud.

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Doing It Yourself

As with almost any hobby, there are several ways of reaching the same end. You can buy your way there or you can build your way there. The hobby of aquarium keeping is no different. Buying your way to a complete tank, be it salt or freshwater is faster, but that speed comes with several costs. The first cost is actual cost! Prefabricated, machine made parts although inexpensive to manufacture always have a tremendous markup attached, as most hobbies are luxuries, and those selling the equipment feel it is alright to charge extreme prices. Now I don’t mean that your favorite retailer or e-tailer is the one doing the gouging, most likely it is the factory or the distributor that is gouging on the prices, then the retailer has to add their margin. The second cost of buying pre-fab equipment is the trade-off in design. You have to accept what someone else designed, and design your tank or system to work with someone else’s design.

Building something yourself is not without drawbacks. Firstly, finding all the right parts is sometimes a time consuming challenge. Depending on the complexity of the device you’re building, you might need two trips to Home Depot, or have to order bits and pieces from 6 different online retailers! The second drawback, in my opinion, is appearance. Unless you’re very skilled, the only substance you’ll be building devices like lights and stands out of is wood. Wood, even though it can be sanded and painted still looks like wood. Prefab devices come with the benefit of high-tech processes like injection molding, metal stamping and extrusion and computer controlled machining. Devices such as filters and water handling devices can be built from acrylic sheet and pvc both of which have a very stark industrial look, which might not fit into every d�cor

All that said, there are three main areas where doing it yourself is fairly easy and extremely cost effective:

LIGHTING

Lighting is one the most expensive investments to make in a sophisticated tank. Fish only tanks, fresh or salt simply are boxes of water containing fish, and do not require any light, except for the owner to see their fish. However, salt water reef aquaria and freshwater planted aquaria are biotope simulations, and require lighting similar to what is found in nature. That means light and lots of it! How much exactly depends on the contents, and is the subject of other discussion, but generally 3 to 6 watts a gallon is an accepted moderate to high range. Technology presents us with a dizzying array of choices on how we provide light. Lighting technology ranging from old, mature and somewhat obsolete standard or “normal output” fluorescent tubes through the increasingly popular HQI metal halide and cutting edge t5ho fluorescent systems are available to choose from. Typically fluorescent lights are the easiest to work with, given their flexibility and relatively low operating temperatures. A simple twin-bulb 192 watt power-compact fixture will cost between $180 and $300 depending on outside appearance and features. To build that same basic light fixture out of wood would cost you about $100. That is a definite savings, allowing more of the budget to be put toward something that cannot easily be built.

FILTRATION

Filtration is projected by “the industry” as something that is complex are requires high technology. The reality is, even the most advanced filters are simply devices that pass water over media or through a process like protein skimming. While under gravel filters and hang-on-back power filters used to be commonly accepted as the ultimate in filtration, the ideal filtration comes from involving nature in the process as much as possible. Devices such as canister filters cannot be easily replicated with do it yourself means, as they rely on water tight seals which are still easily disassembled. However, using a “sump” system on your tank allows you to explore a large range of inexpensive filtration, which is much more effective than commercially bought products. A simple small plastic trash bin, filled with lava rocks and topped off with filter floss will provide the same enormous surface area that a $200 wet/dry does, but at a small fraction of the cost, with the most expensive item being $4 for a bag of lava rocks, enough to make several filters. For the sump itself, using a $15 50 gallon rubber made storage tub will serve the same purpose as a $45 30 gallon aquarium or an even more expensive custom acrylic sump.

FURNITURE

A stand to support your tank and equipment is the most critical investment, but it need not be one of the most expensive. $200+ for a “wood” stand from a pet store will usually get you laminated particle board skeleton wrapped with a wood veneer. The stand might have a cabinet or two built in. Although the stand surely is built to hold the tank, it is certain that the manufacturer took no extra steps to strengthen the stand, as those would add cost. Wrought iron or steel stands are also available retail, and are extremely strong, but limit you on appearance because they offer no room to hide any equipment. Building your own stand or cabinet is very easy and inexpensive. Stud grade wood 2x4s makes an excellent skeleton, capable of supporting tremendous amounts of weight. Smaller tanks (under 30 gallons) permit the use of furniture grade 1×4 or 1×2 boards as the skeleton, making the stand very light and attractive. A stand built from wood can be built to any size you desire, and can encompass unique ideas you may have for your aquarium system. Aside from the time taken to assemble the stand, the costs are minimal.

WHAT NOT TO BUIL

Some things are best left to machines and skilled craftsman. Building large aquaria from glass or plastic can result in tremendous savings, but you need a large amount of skill, and access to somewhat difficult materials and uncommon tools. Handling a 75 lb pane of glass without a counter-balanced vacuum clamp arm is difficult. Sure, we have all read articles on someone building a 300 gallon tank from plywood and glass, and talking about how easy it was. If it were really that easy, more people would be doing it, and the price on glass tanks would have not be so hi

In closing; Doing it yourself can result in substantial savings, as well as a great education in how something works. Working on projects involving electrical wiring is something that you should do a lot of research on, and have confidence in your skills before attempting. Working on water handling projects, you want to test, test and test again before putting a device into operation; otherwise you may have a nasty mess to take care of! Brainstorm with other hobbyists whenever possible. They may be able to see other angles on a project that you’ve overlooked. Optimum freetown flights hands downat bt-store.

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