Here's how it went:
Picked up the package at Southwest Cargo at Midway Airport at 10:00am. This is about 16 hours since it was taken out. Brought it home and started to set up.
1. Filled a 5 gal
bucket about 1/2 full of carbonated water (not that cheap considering the only sodium free/everything free carbonated water was in cans at Meijer). Added salt and adjusted (not easy to do with the bubbles).
2. Drained water from the tank into another bucket for rinsing.
3. Set up clear "solo brand" plastic cups to catch anything in (works great BTW
4. Got plenty of towels ready (this is not a dry job). Took the fixture off the aquarium, took the glass off and turned the powerheads off (to prevent sand storms).
5. Opened the first box (of three, which all were the same process and I will only describe one box). There was a styrofoam container inside a tight heavy duty plastic bag. The styrofoam container was the same size as the cardboard box it came in. Took the styrofoam box out of the cardboard box and opened the plastic bag. The styrofoam box was sealed completely with tape, which I cut and opened the box. In the lid was a heat pack. Inside the box was another heavy duty plastic bag and the free area filled with styrofoam peanuts. Removed the peanuts and opened the bag.
6. The LR
in the bag was covered by wet blue towels. I took off the towels and saw that 1/3 of the LR
and 1/3 of the LS
were in each box. There were critters a plenty from the first moment.
7. Took the first LR
and placed it in the carbonated water (the big pieces had to go in one at a time, the smaller went two at a time). First rock, off came 1 mantis shrimp and about 5 crabs. Removed the rock after 1 minute, rinsed in the tank water bucket and placed in the tank. Collected the mantis shrimp and crabs in the solo cups I mentioned and continued on through the rest of the rock the same way.
8. When the rock was out, I captured a few crabs on the sand, drained all of the water off, submerged the bag in the tank and let gravity slowly deposit the sand. Basically, no sand storm. This worked like a charm. Did the same for all three bags.
9. Arranging took a while, and I may not be done yet, but these aren't exactly legos. Ended up catching 4 mantis shrimp, 3 pistol shrimp and a bunch of crabs which will find a new home via my LFS
Haven't had that much time to see everything yet, more to follow. Check out my gallery for the first images.