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Old 06-07-2006, 12:01 PM   #1
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Greetings from the O.C.! A LONG windup to where I am now...

Hello all. I've been reading and searching and reading the forum with great interest. I thought I should introduce myself.

About two years ago, my mom brought home a feeder gold fish that she got for free from the pet shot and put it in a small glass bowl (like a flower vase, I think). My then 1 year old loved it. There's a certain joy to hear a one year old point and say repeatedly "ish, ish, ish".

Well, after about 1 week, the fish croaked. My mom brought another feeder goldfish (I think the pet store guy thought my kid was cute and just kept giving her the fish). I thought o.k., I'll just get a fish bowl - maybe that will help.

I buy the fish bowl, and doing water changes like every other day, the gold fish (which were still feeder fish) would live about 6 weeks or so. After the third or fourth fish, I said, that's it - I'm going to get an aquarium.

I go to Petco (who knew at the time, eh?) and tell the employee that I want an aquarium. Of course, he turns me onto one of these 10 gallon kits. After I get it home and set it up, we have guppies! (I only wanted males, because I did not want babies).

In hindsight, we should have gotten a bigger tank. I was killing myself with various maintenance issues, etc. Eventually, upgraded the hang on back filter to a penguin, went through two heaters, put the bubble wand in, took it out, etc.

Well, I kept that up for about two years. Then I got a bad case of ick in the tank (thanks LFS) and the remaining three fish died the day before we went on vacation.

Well, I unplugged everything and went on vacation and then came back. Of course, unplugging everything and having no fish killed all the bacteria (but it saved my sister from having to come over and feed the fish).

I then went back and forth for the next two weeks deciding how much to upgrade the tank to 18 gallons, where I could use the same hood and stand, or to like 46 gallons and buy an Oceanic.

Well, finances intervened and we went with the 18 gallon tall with the same footprint as the 10 gallon. It actually looks MUCH nicer than the 10 gallon - weird.

Decided I would try an Aqua Clear filter and hooked the whole thing up. Even went to the local water store and got 18 gallons of R/O water. $.25 a gallon is hard to beat.

Well the next morning, I walk downstairs and step in a puddle of water. I look at the tank and lo and behold about 2 gallons is missing. Oh crap, the wife is going to kill me. I check the aquarium and of course the Aqua Clear filter is leaking under the motor and it's dripping on to the outlet.

At this point, I get out the special towels we bought at the home show from like 5 years ago that are supposed to be super absorbent and I'm on my hands and knees at 7 a.m. cleaning up water. My now 3 year old and 1 year old happily sleeping in bed. At this point, I'm glad I only have 18 gallons. I took out about half the water and was able to move the stand and aquarium. More mopping.

I take the filter, put it in the sopping wet cardboard box and drive to petsmart. They ask, was something wrong with it? Um, yeah. It sort of leaks. They ask, would you like another one? Um, no. Actually, they have one employee there who was pretty knowledgeable. They let me walk out there with a Rena Cannister Filter XP1 for like $60 (after I told them that was the price on there website, but of course being the idiot I am forgot to bring the printout).

O.k., after work, that night, I get home. I'm hooking the filter up. Of course, I can't muscle the darn tubes up the parts the recommended two inches. I pushing. I'm pulling. They're just stuck. Actually, I can't pull them off either to start over. They are literally stuck. I got about a 1/4 to 1/2 an inch over the ridged parts on the intake tubes and output bar. I figure since I can't get them on or off at this point, I'll just put the clamps on. (Of course, now I read you can soften up - great). Well, I hook the filter up.

Like an idiot, I start pouring water down the intake tube waiting for it to fill up (but it's open into the cannister), so I'm priming the entire cannister with a 4 oz kid cup. After about 10 mins of filling the thing up, I re-check the directions, smack my forehead, and fill just the tube to allow the cannister to do its thing.

Then, IT WORKS! Of course, with a much reduced water tank at this point, the output from the spray bar is making a huge pouring sound that echoes throughout the entire house - it's like nails pounding into my head. I head out to the local water place (which is now closed) and I'm depositing quarters in this thing to dispense water.

Phew. Well, the system is up and running - it's quiet - no leaks so far. Now, I just have to figure out how to cycle again.

Well, that's where I am. If you can recommend tall aquarium decorations, I'd appreciate it.

I wanted to say - thanks for this forum - I've learned and continue to learn a lot.

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Old 06-07-2006, 12:05 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA!! That is quite the tale.

From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.
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Old 06-07-2006, 12:14 PM   #3
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Welcome to AA!! Sounds like quite the experience.
Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

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Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
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Old 06-07-2006, 01:06 PM   #4
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Welcome to AA! You've come to the right place!!

Here are some tall artificial plants: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...?N=2004+113149

I glanced though the list and some are available in a 15-inch height.

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Old 06-07-2006, 08:35 PM   #5
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Welcome to AA! You've had quite the experiences so far. Glad you decided to join us.
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