Print Story Swirly thoughts today.
By nightflameblue (Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 07:02:05 AM EST) (all tags)
They're everywhere.

Zippy's humanity is showing. Work issues. Do it natural style. Abortion Ban Blah.

We had an interesting local-line/internet outage yesterday. End of the month, and the lines dropped exactly at 5:00 and came back up exactly at 6:00. The "technicians" had no idea what the hell happened in any case. Someone, somewhere, had a planned outage they didn't tell us about.

But, during this time, Zippy and myself were the on-staff IT folks. We chatted, bitched about reality TV, played some video games, and just generally hung out and behaved like guys behave while we waited on the techs. It almost seemed like the guy was just a normal guy who gets a bit of a beat-down from his wife from time to time.

Then this morning the boss says Zippy won't be in because he worked so hard last night getting the lines back up. I calmly explained what we actually did while we stood around waiting for the techs and the boss basically shrugged it off. Somehow I managed to make it in at 7:50 this morning, but Zippy just couldn't get out of bed after that extra hour of playing video games.

Me is not amused.


We had a cuntractor that was showing up whenever he felt like it, sitting around the office for a few hours, then billing us for accomplishing nothing. He's been doing that for months. Meanwhile, the system he's supposed to be setting up is being worked on by another contractor, one who actually earns being called contractor and not some derivative derogatory sound-alike. This guy's actually halfway decent.

Anyway, cuntractor got his walking papers from our offices yesterday, with a notice that if he shows up again he'll be escorted out of the building, quite possibly from the roof.

Bravo, the boss found his spine.

Then promptly ripped it back out when dealing with the obviously planned line outage.


In thinking on the aquarium I've decided to try something new to me and do a "natural" aquarium. Low flow, good light, good substrate, planted. The tank is a very fancy little thing, with a built-in lighting unit that holds two Power Compact 18 Watt bulbs. It was intended to be used as a micro-reef/nano-reef tank, so I may need to change those bulbs to something more appropriate color-wise. But outside of that, the only thing I'd need is a slow circulating pump just to keep the heat even in the tank.

That's more difficult to find than you would think. Seems like 100 GPH is about the bare minimum you can get in a powerhead or aquarium pump, and I'm thinking that'd be way too much stirring action in a ten gallon when all I really want is a barely noticeable flow. And no bubblers because the idea is to reduce surface agitation in the low-tech planted tank. Keep the CO2 in the water, so the plants can make use of it.

Got the heater, got the lights, got the tank, all I need is substrate, to figure out how the water processing in the city has changed since the last tank I had and get the propper conditioner, and line up my plants. Got basic "ground cover" figured out. Just have to figure out background plants to sprout more upwards. Not exactly sure what would be a good candidate for that.

I'm hoping for a very simple water-garden I can keep up easily and only have to prune a bit here and there with either one male betta, or a few schooling fish in it. Very few. Should entertain the pets even more having lots of plants the little guys can dart in and out of, and should look nicer than a big empty glass box with a rock or two for decoration.

I guess we'll see if my green thumb extends into the water. Another of those things I've always wanted to try coming slowly into focus.

This space left blank for people to fill in rants about filters and high flow and fertilizers and CO2 injection.


The right-to-lifers are pushing the abortion ban back on the general ballot. It didn't pass last time, even after their fear-mongering that it puts the mother at risk every time! and other general crap. It's not gonna pass this time. But I see them pushing it on the ballot every time until, by some miracle, it scrapes by. Then they'll do everything they can to prevent it from ever getting on the ballot again.

Just like the proposed public smoking ban and tax. On the ballot every year until it passed, then it just disappeared as if it were never an issue and that barely-scraped-by passing was proof positive that people everywhere always loved the idea.

No wonder I hate politics.

Enough. Outs.

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Swirly thoughts today. | 18 comments (18 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
pumps by garlic (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 08:27:33 AM EST
I've seen filter pumps that are less than 100 GPH, but it sounds like you're going filterless?

Trying to, yes. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 08:57:57 AM EST
Though I've seen some people solve the flow problem with a small powerhead and a fully submerged "spray bar" attached to it to make the flow more of a slow dispersion. That may ultimately be my solution.

That or a small filter with no media and some sort of submerged return.

[ Parent ]
I keep my tank water by garlic (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 12:07:20 PM EST
high enough that the return is right at the surface instead of dripping into it.

a tube full of water between your pump out source and tank would siphon to keep both sides at equal height, but may be tough to get working with a pump.

[ Parent ]
No siphon worries on this tank. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 01:01:28 PM EST
Nothing that complicated. Either a regular hang-on filter setup that returns straight to the tank, or a "canister" type filter. If a pump, it'd be a powerhead style, in the tank, so I don't have to worry about keeping levels corrected with an external source.

Looking to keep things very simple here. Heck, I'm even considering forgoing the heater, going with cold water (69-72 F) inhabitants, and therefore not needing a pump at all. Simple is good for this one.

I'll probably see what I can turn up at the local stores pump wise. I've seen a really tiny canister filter that sounds like it might do the job I'm looking for without media in it and a good sponge on the intake that gets cleaned out a few times a week. If not, the coolwater approach isn't unacceptable.

[ Parent ]
6PM is a late night? by miker2 (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 10:13:16 AM EST

Ah, sociopathy. How warm, how comforting, thy sweet embrace. - MNS
Apparently it is to Zippy. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 10:53:57 AM EST
He wouldn't have survived the early days here. 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM was a pretty regular day for months at a time.

[ Parent ]
As far as I know by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 01:52:25 PM EST
it was the right-to-lifers who put the issue on the ballot in Maryland. After the landside defeat, no politician will publicly admit to being a right-to-lifer.


No politicians will mention it here either. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 06:24:58 PM EST
But somehow it keeps getting tossed on the ballot anyway.  Oh well, by the large margin last time around, I'm not worried this year.  But if it keeps coming up, they may squeak by eventually.

[ Parent ]
filters by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:56:19 PM EST
i've had decent luck with small hang-ons with their flow all the way down. right now i have a 10 gallon only half full, with a PennPlax Cascade 100 on it, and i can't even hear the outfall water hitting the surface. it seems to make very little current.

as for plants, stick some elodea in the back. roots fast, grows fast, pretty much straight up. my planted tanks all have laterite in them as substrate, and my sword plants LOVE it. i needed to supplement that with some leaf-builder until they were well established, but i haven't had to do that for quite some time. my biggest battle is actually keeping algae from growing on the plants, but nothing i do seems to totally eliminate it. it's fine by me, though, even with the older leaves totally algified the plant itself does well.
if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake

I'll look up elodea. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 06:23:01 PM EST
I'm working an odd-ball form factor.  About sixteen inches tall and very skinny front-to-back, so it's tough to imagine doing much with an aquascape more than an inch or two deep in the background area.

I think I've narrowed down my substrate to eco-complete.  It comes packed in blackwater extract, which is a good match to my small fish favorites.  I've also chatted with folks who say they've used it without fertilizers in planted tanks for three years with no livestock save shrimp, so it's apparently pretty well suited to plant growth.

I'm not too scared of algae.  I had rare problems with it in my non-planted tanks, and when I did I cleared it up pretty fast with water maintenance and light changes.  Also keeping livestock that feast on it helps.  I'm thinking ottos if I can find them when the time comes for these little box.

I didn't even think that most of those little filters and powerheads have adjustments on them now to turn down flow rates.  I'll have to do more digging.

[ Parent ]
my biggest algae issues by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 06:59:28 PM EST
happened when i decided to remove all the fluffy algae from the back of the know, that slow growing stuff, but that sticks like crazy to rocks and stuff? i think i got my tank all out of whack when i did that, i ended up having to pull out ALL my plants, clean them leaf by leaf, and put them in another tank while i de-algified the other tank.

i love my cascades, but Nick hates them. i'm not entirely sure why, but i think it has something to do with the fact that they don't always self-prime.
if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake

[ Parent ]
Non self priming would bother me. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed Apr 02, 2008 at 02:47:30 AM EST
We have just enough power flickers to where a pump/filter needs to self-prime after failure or it wouldn't be worth having.  I've had good luck with Aquaclear and the biowheel type filters in the past.  I may see if I can find a really small Aquaclear and just keep the water level above the return level.

So long as algae stays green and doesn't pull the brown/black routine on me, I don't mind it.  Back in Fairmont, MN, growing up?  It was always the brown.  Water straight from the tap had a HUGE amount of ammonia in it.  To the point where the only way to have change water available was to run it through ammonia absorbing chips for a week.  The other chemical treatments available just left you with a big ol' pile of nitrate.  So much so it would kill your tank outright.

It's amazing I ever managed to keep any fish alive when I think about it.

[ Parent ]
Loop it by marvin (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:54:48 PM EST

You could get an arbitrarily low flow rate by putting a tee fitting on your pump outlet as well as your intake. Route one line from the outlet tee back to the intake tee. Constrict or throttle the tubing from the other side of the outlet tee. You should be able to get as low of a flow rate as you want, without damaging the pump. The only thing you have to watch is heat buildup from recirculating water if you oversize your pump too much compared to your water flow rate.

Crappy ascii art:

_____>>_________<< Intake from Aquarium
|        |
|        |  Inlet
|       Pump
|        | Outlet
|        |
|___<<___|____>>  Throttled discharge to Aquarium

Pipe / underscore = tubing
Recirc loop on the left

Not a bad idea. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #11 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 06:24:02 PM EST
Probably more part intensive than I want to get here, but may be useful somewhere else down the line.

[ Parent ]
Barbed tees by marvin (2.00 / 0) #13 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 06:30:07 PM EST
You can probably get barb tee fittings for the tubing that you already have. Another few feet of tubing (three new pieces - one for the loop, one between the tee and the inlet, and one between the outlet and the tee), two minutes with a sharp knife, and you're done.

[ Parent ]
I got no tubing. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 06:33:55 PM EST
Like I said, a good idea for future use.  This is all about compact, space saving, ease-of-use.  A simple submersible pump with flow adjustment will probably do it for me if I look hard enough.

Duh, it just occurred to me.  Dosing pumps.  A dosing pump for a larger setup that runs really slow might be ideal for me here.

[ Parent ]
LOL "by some miracle, it scrapes by" by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 11:19:35 PM EST
Holy shit, dude. Does your wife know you're this funny?

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Huh. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #18 Wed Apr 02, 2008 at 02:48:20 AM EST
I didn't even do that one on purpose.

[ Parent ]
Swirly thoughts today. | 18 comments (18 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback