It's a thermal grease called Stars heat sink compound. I got one hundred 1g packets of the stuff from eBay for $10 not knowing how much I'd need. I only used about 1g, so I'm pretty much set for life on heat sink compound. I used 8-32 machine screws to secure the LEDs to the tubing. They're complete overkill and I had to use nylon washers to prevent shorts. Good luck with your build. I'll have to keep Cutter in mind. My brother wants an LED
Another tank update:
I've got a whopping $35 invested and my ghetto-fabulous CO2
system is up and running. One of the tanks has about 50-60 psi and that's enough to get me going. I found a local fire extinguisher company that has hydrotest equipment. I'll call them today and find out what it's going to cost me for a test and refill.
My regulator is a total beater, but it was free. My friend's cousin bought a pet shop on impulse and doesn't mess with live plants. I found the regulator in the basement of the shop in a pile of old equipment. I tried to buy it, but he told me that if I didn't take it, he was going to throw it out. The chrome is peeling off and the outside brass is a bit green, but the guts are still clean. I may change out the gauges, but the needle valve and bubble counter work well. I've got the CO2
at one bubble per second for the moment.
I found an old Penguin 660R powerhead in my bucket of old equipment. Unfortunately the clip that holds the powerhead against the side of the tank disappeared a long time ago. I tried just hanging the powerhead in the tank by its cord, but I found a big hole in my sand Saturday morning because the powerhead angled itself a bit. I found a couple suction cups that seem to do the job. I've got the CO2
line pumping into the aeration port of the powerhead and I'm using the RUGF attachment to shoot the CO2
Now I need to make a drop checker. Anyone have any good DIY designs?
I went to a local fish swap yesterday and scored some nice plants. I got a bunch of Alternanthera Reineckii (Telanthera Rosefolia) and a bunch of Nesaea Pedicellata. The vendor told me "You picked two of the most difficult plants I've got here. I usually don't even bother bringing the Nesaea because no one has a tank that will support it." I figured I'd save him an explanation and proceeded to tell him about the lights and the CO2
system. His response: "Enjoy your plants then. You're the first person I've had today that should be able to grow these."
Both plants were grown emersed, so I'm expecting a little die-off, but I'm excited to see how these do. I trimmed the guppy grass to prevent it from covering the glosso, but I'm thinking I'm going to pull the whole mess of it out and just have medium to high-light plants in the tank with the exception of the Crypt Lutea. I cut up my Crypt Parva into a bunch of plantlets. The giant wad was just too crowded. New growth was shading old growth. I've read recommendations to cut up Parva when you pull it from the pot. I was afraid to do it, but once I got one plantlet out, the rest just seemed to want to be separated. It came apart really easily with a good razor blade.
My goals this week are to get a CO2
tank refilled and get a phosphate test kit and a new nitrate test kit. Pictures tonight if I get a chance.