I could never make a living as a plumber

I keep learning things about plumbing that I really should have known in the first place. The most recent is that my drain line which is cheap 1/2″ unreinforced flexible tubing from HD, collapses over time. The problem is that with 10ft of static drop to the sump pit plus whatever momentum the water obtains while draining, the line is subjected to a lot of negative pressure when the drain line is closed. Works fine at the start but it gradually collapses the soft line. The result is a slower and slower drain process as the line gets smaller.

I’m going to try some 1/2″ PEX tubing next. It is inexpensive, flexible enough for the run to the pit yet has a relatively hard wall which should hold it’s shape fine over time. PEX is increasingly used to plumb hot and cold water in place of copper or CPVC.

Now I get to demonstrate plumbing incompetence with a whole new set of fittings!

Posted in Plumbing | Comments Off on I could never make a living as a plumber


Just posting a pic before I do some serious bush whacking. I’ve let this tank go for a couple of weeks with 4x T5NO and good fertz and CO2. The plants must really like it because I need to whack about 10″ of growth off most of them each week. When I don’t they do what you see in the pic and begin covering the surface.

The fish have run out of nice swimming area for schooling although all of the species seem to enjoy swimming in the dense foliage at the edges.

I’ve now got 24 amanos and 50 RCS shrimp in there and most of the time not a single one is visible. I’m a bit worried that they’ve all croaked.

I plan to keep the fertz and CO2 non-limiting but have already reduced the light to 2x T5NO to slow the growth to more manageable rates.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Ugh

10g CO2: Nice and Limey!

Just a quick update: the CO2 cylinder, regulator and GLA 40mm in-tank diffuser are doing a very nice job of producing a lime-green drop checker indication. In a bit of luck the builtin needle valve on the Aquamedic is at it’s minimum setting and that is what is doing this level. Furthermore the 2bar indication on the output gauge appears to produce more than sufficient pressure for the diffuser to work. Good thing since the regulator has a fixed output.

Serendepity since this regulator was purchased in 2002.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 10g CO2: Nice and Limey!

10g CO2

I got my system for the 90g working with the 20lb CO2 cylinder so I moved the backup 24oz paintball cylinder and its Aquamedic regulator over to the 10g. For this tank I’m using a small 40mm GLA diffuser in the tank. Since the moss wall prevents attaching suction cups to the sides or back I have temporarily lashed it to a bamboo chopstick stuck in the substrate.

I’m leaving it on overnight to see how it works with a drop checker to monitor progress. The Aquamedic is putting out enough pressure to push a nice fog from the diffuser. I’m hoping drop checker gets to a nice lime color by morning.

Now with fertz, CO2, soil substrate and plenty of light the plants should start to catch hold and take off.

Fingers crossed.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 10g CO2

Stepping on the pedal a bit

Dialed up the CO2 and turned on the second pair of T5NO to see if I can stimulate some faster growth. I’d really like the stems to start crankin’ to the surface and cover up all that black background. My original intent was to have them cover it all up and have the only negative space above and around the lotus as a little grotto.

The lights went off a few minutes ago and most of the plants were pearling so that’s probably a good sign. I’ll keep this up for the next month or so. My macros/micros should be non-limiting.

Tho this ain’t zackly droppin’ the hammer I hope to avoid paintin’ the walls as I try to shave my lap time.

I also ordered a tiny Eheim powerhead. I’m going to try to use it to implement a surface skimmer. Although the limewood airstone does the job if turned up high enough the resulting bubbles splatter protein goo all over the lamp and glass and is hard to get off. I’m hoping a bit of foam filter combined with the powerhead will do the same job without the mess. I also don’t care for the constant need to replace the check valve on the airpump. Water is supposed to remain inside the tank!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Stepping on the pedal a bit