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lynda441

Lynda Von G's Olden Goldies

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Okay, well, I'm watching the Olympics closing ceremony right now, but I just wanted to set up my blog page. I'll add real stuff to it later. :D

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The Beijing Olympics Closing Ceremony:

After that unbelievable Opening Ceremony, I was expecting a lot, so I guess that tainted the Closing Ceremony, but it was pretty much overall disappointing. I was looking forward to hearing Jimmy Page, but what a mess that was! You could hardly hear him and then Leona Lewis packing on her pop spin to that classic song, well, I hate pop music, so maybe I'm prejudiced, but that was very disappointing! All the music was very messy and confusing to me. And I was so looking forward to some amazing costumes like the Opening Ceremony had, but there were none worth mention. But, I will admit, I did get a little vaklempt when they extinguished the flame. It reminded me of the last day of summer camp and having to say goodbye to all of the new friends you made and leaving all of the fun times you had. And so, it is over. I didn't think I would get so involved in it.

Now, on to goldfish!

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I wanted to add this as the first entry.

I've had my main tank up and running since June 2007. As many of you know, I use an undergravel filter with two powerheads and two passive intake tubes. I know the basic view of UGs and, in an overall perspective, I will agree with those views. UGs must be used in a very specific way to be successful or they will fall into that realm that gains them the bad reputation they have. Even though I use a UG, I would never suggest that anyone else use one unless they first completely understand how to use them correctly.

My two 10 gallon tanks are bare bottom and I will, wholeheartedly, agree that they are definitely easier to take care of. But, I like the look of gravel. What can I say?!

The trick to using UGs successfully is in the gravel. You cannot use the standard gravel sold at most stores. You must use a very, very fine gravel; almost like a coarse sand, measuring about 1mm, at a good 2 inches deep. When you use a thick layer of very fine gravel, it packs so tightly together that all of the poop and gunk just sits on top of the gravel. Nothing falls through under the UG. Also, good, faithful, thorough vacuuming at every water change is a must. And powerheads are a must too. The standard uptake tube/air pump thing is for the birds. Plus, those powerheads make fabulous circulation and aeration! It's work, but I'm willing to do it. Another plus with this fine of gravel, is that the little rooters won't get it caught in their mouths.

And testament of proper usage came recently.

Last week was time for my monthly 100% water change. Since it had been 14 months since I set up my tank, I decided to make this the time to do the complete once a year, disassemble and clean underneath the filter. Oh, okay..... It wasn't quite that noble. While vacuuming, I caught the vacuum nozzle on the edge of the UG and pulled it completely up, letting all the gravel spill underneath. THAT is actually when I decided to do the full cleaning. lol!

But, there really wasn't anything to clean. I probably had about a Tablespoon's worth of gunk under the filter.

My readings were, as always, perfect. 0, 0, 0. I say this not to pat myself on the back, but they pretty much have to be as I only have two 3" babies in a 60 gallon tank. They may be poopers, but they're not that big of poopers! lol!

Both 10 gallon tanks had cycled and one kept its cycle quite nicely; nitrates were easily at 5, but I did have a bump in the other one that has been sitting sans fish. That one had about .1 ammonia, .3 nitrites and 5 nitrates. Not much, but I did get some color change.

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I've also been playing with fixing decorations. I change and move around decorations in my tank way more often than I change the furniture in my livingroom! Maybe the fact that it doesn't weigh nearly as much might have something to do with it! lol!

Here's a link to my thread I posted in Tanks/DIY about these remodelings. Cheap Commercial Tank Decor. The painted arch is still in its drying phase. Two days for that now, well, a day and a half. I want to let it sit for 4-5 days before resining. Then, once it's resined, it will sit for 7-10 days before going in the tank.

The bonsai tree base has been sitting for 3 days now. Again, I won't put it in until it has set for a good 10 days.

Btw! Serious kudos to whomever chose the color scheme for this forum! I adore the combination of gold, green, grey and navy blue!

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Can't wait to see pictures of your new set up!

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Olympics I am so glad that junk is over. I am sick to death of hearing about it.

Can't wait to see the new goldfish set up.

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Ah! Something else I want to add.

I tried, quite a while ago, to feed broccoli to my two boys; at the time, Blue and Leroy. They looked at it (and ignored it) like, "what is this HORRIBLE crap you're trying to make us eat?!" Like mother, like sons.... I thought.

But, while at the store, I saw a section in the veggies dept where they sold small, individual florets of broccoli. I'm guessing the broccoli was all pre-sized for stir fry a la the California-Gotta-Have-It-All-Done-For-Me-By-Someone-Else syndrome. So, I bought two tiny pieces. The checkout clerk probably thought I was nuts just buying two tiny pieces of broccoli!

Anyway, came home and steamed it, and ALL 4 of my baby beauties thought it was green gold! It was all so cutely nubbed down. And, the color-coordinated poop is extra special!

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Today was water change day. I normally do the changes on Sunday, but I was so exhausted last Sunday what with all the crap I'd had to do all week with my identity theft/fraud thing, that it got put off until Tuesday. Right now, it's okay to do water changes on Tuesdays, but that option isn't going to last forever, so I need to get them back on Sundays. So, I decided to back it off one day each for the next two weeks. Do the change on Monday this week instead of Tuesday, and do the change on Sunday next week, instead of Monday. Okay.

Water readings:

10 gallon tank:

One 1 1/2" chocolate pom pom oranda

One 2 1/4" peachy lionhead

0 Ammonia

5 Nitrites (bump!)

10 Nitrates

Maintenance:

Light wipe down of the filter, light wipe down of sides and bottom, light rinsing of filter media and decor. Netted floating orange bits.

Nov Aqua + dechlorinator

My recommendation to myself: I think I need more media.

Water readings:

60 gallon tank:

One 3" blue oranda

One 3" calico ryukin

0 ammonia

0 nitrites

0 nitrates

Maintenance:

Good vacuuming of gravel

No wipe down of sides or decor, no rinsing of filter. Netted floating orange bits.

Nov Aqua + dechlorinator

Total time: approximately 1 hour.

Edited by Lynda Von G
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Ah! Something else I want to add.

I tried, quite a while ago, to feed broccoli to my two boys; at the time, Blue and Leroy. They looked at it (and ignored it) like, "what is this HORRIBLE crap you're trying to make us eat?!" Like mother, like sons.... I thought.

But, while at the store, I saw a section in the veggies dept where they sold small, individual florets of broccoli. I'm guessing the broccoli was all pre-sized for stir fry a la the California-Gotta-Have-It-All-Done-For-Me-By-Someone-Else syndrome. So, I bought two tiny pieces. The checkout clerk probably thought I was nuts just buying two tiny pieces of broccoli!

Anyway, came home and steamed it, and ALL 4 of my baby beauties thought it was green gold! It was all so cutely nubbed down. And, the color-coordinated poop is extra special!

That's funny, the same thing happened to me! I remember trying to feed my guys brocolli a long time ago and I think it was undercooked, they were not impressed at all. Today I decided to give it another go and they LOVED it, they went crazy for it. I'm going to make it one of their regular treats for sure. Even as I type this, their lights are out and I can see George checking the veggie clip just to make sure he got every last bit.

Also, thanks so much for posting the info about the UGF's! I didn't know you used one, I must have missed that before. I'm so glad you showed us that it's possible because I tend to shoot people down so quickly when they mention them, nice to know you have one working well.

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cool info abt the UGs...I was never impressed with them..especially after I saw the pathetically maintained tank my boss has at work...but good insights..ur right if well maintained and known exactly how to work with them, UGs would be good too.. :)

and gr88 job with the decors Lynda..haven't yet bought the resin..but located Michael's nearby.. :D ...so yeah plans soon.. :)

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It's been humid here lately, I'd have to guess, because my arch is still tacky. If I resin it while there's still moisture in the paint, the paint will lift from the arch and create bubbles under the resin. I'm getting rather impatient with the drying process, dang it! I sit at night, during tv commercials, and hit it with the blow dryer, and while I think it's helped minimally, it's still just taking forever to completely harden! Might have something to do with the 4 coats of paint I put on it, two of which were because I changed my mind! .... hmmm....

In other news, I received my artificial boxwood bonsai tree. It's turned out to be a little taller than what I can use in my tank, so now I'm in the process of trying to cut an inch off the bottom, which is no easy task because, although the base is hollow, the sides of it are still thick and the acrylic resin type material it's made of is very stubborn and dulling to the saw blades. I'm not quite halfway through and I've gone through 3 blades, so back to OSH for more saw blades. The leaves, as is pretty typical, tend to fall off easily too, so I'm going to have to get those to stay on better as well. I've found that glued plastic just doesn't cut it when exposed to water, so I've taken to melting the plastic pieces together with direct flame (when that's not going to burn any leaves) and/or the tip of my soldering iron.

I just received notification today that my Japanese Toshogu temple pagoda has shipped. I'm worried about that, because in some pictures, it's portrayed as having subdued paint tones, however, in some pictures, it appears to be a very vibrant blue, red and yellow, which is ugh! If so, I'm going to need to apply a gray or brown wash to dull down the color, which then means, resining, which I hate because it's so drippy and messy. Or..... just use it as is...... If these manufacturers would only do their historical research and realize that Chinese pagodas are very bright and colorful, but Japanese pagodas are more subdued, then I wouldn't have to do all of these architecturally correct modifications! rrrrrr......

I also ordered one more smaller boxwood bonsai tree yesterday that will, I think, complete my latest design revision to my tank.

But, I do have one other addition in mind that I'm still working on.

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Putting these in the goldfish tank?

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Yuppers, I am!

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Okay, I'm gonna start on my history with fish.

My first memory of fish, and a fun one, was having a tropicals tank as kids. I was probably 14 maybe. This calculation is based on the fact that my youngest brother is 10 years younger than me and I will include a story about him and this tank, shortly, that puts his age at probably around 4.

So, anyway, this tank wasn't the kids' idea. My parents actually chose it, bought it and did it all themselves. We never took care of the tank nor were we included in the cleanings, etc. so, although we enjoyed the tank, we had no idea how to take care of it, assuming my parents really did either, but they did take as good a care of it as they knew how. I do remember several populations of baby guppies. What happened to them, however, I have no idea. I remember angel fish and black mollies, tetras and guppies. If there were others, I don't remember them.

And now the story of my brother and the tropicals tank. My brother is extremely bright; a genius in fact. So, as a child, he was always very observant and was always taking things apart and seeing how they worked and making inventions and just overall inquisitive. He was also a momma's boy, so he always stuck close to my mom's side. But, he also was always a very quiet child, so asking questions really wasn't part of any process. He just watched and learned. Consequently, he often watched mom clean the tank, which, most pointedly in his eyes, or more likely, fascinatingly, consisted of netting the fish and putting them in another container. As I mentioned above, I'm guessing he was about 4 years old at the time this happened. One day, my brother, apparently, had decided that he would like to take a stab at cleaning the tank. He knew that the fish needed to be removed first, only, it seems he couldn't find something to put the fish in. Or, at least, the stupid container mom always used was a bit too boring for his taste. But, his brilliant little tiny 4 year old mind said, it needs to be something that will conveniently hold each fish nicely. Ah hah! How about an egg carton?! Yes! That would do very nicely! The part about the fish needing to be in water at all times had, at this time in his life, not quite gelled in his little brain, however. So, we all came into the living room only to find all the fish from the tank very nicely and neatly placed each into their own specially designated cup in the egg carton. Dried and stuck to the egg carton. I do think some lived, but I do remember it being sadly funny. Clearly sad for the fish, but the idea of the egg carton was so preciously funny I don't think anyone was too particularly angry. After that, though, I do believe my brother learned the importantance of water to fish. :OO

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true it was sad for the fish...but the episode is really funny... :lol1

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Quick insert:

I spent the day yesterday working on new aquarium decorations. I have the arch that I repainted, as you all know, but it has been waiting resining. I resined it yesterday and the resin is behaving differently. Resin I've used in the past heated up and then hardened very quickly. This resin didn't heat up. It's just slowly drying, getting tacky and less drippy and slowly drying. I wonder if I didn't mix it well/long enough to get the chemical reaction going. But, as long as it dries, I don't care how it does it!

I also ordered an artificial bonsai tree. All those plastic connections never stay. They're either loose from the beginning, or get loose over time or whatever, but they fall off and I get tired of putting them back together all the time, so this time, I sat down and with my soldering iron and lighter, I melted together all the connections so that they, hopefully, won't keep coming apart. Plus, I've done real bonsai, so I know how a bonsai should be shaped. All those plastic "branches" being all squished up in the box bent them in not appropriate angles. So, I used the soldering iron to warm up the "branches" so they'd soften and straighten out into the proper position. Now I have a beautifully shaped bonsai tree. It's now being repeatedly soaked and rinsed in water to get out all the dust and paper/cardboard bits and just plain nasties. I'll do a soak in hydrogen peroxide as the last step.

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OMG the story about your brother is just too funny.. Awww he was trying to help.Of course, poor fish.

Sounds like the decorations are being a bit of a pain, but you are soo creative and good at this, that I KNOW everything is going to come out looking great.

Guess what I found the other day!? Plants with the little bases made with gravel & resin! I thought of you immediatly! They were sold for a LOT of money too! I am so glad you explained how to make them, so I can make my own soon hopefully!

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Second installment on my history with fish is short.

Around 23 years old, my boyfriend's family gave us their old 10 gallon vertical aquarium. We set it up and kept tropicals for about a year. One of the fish we got was a long yellow one with a black horizontal stripe along the lateral line. I knew the scientific name of it then, but it's now forgotten and I don't think I ever knew the common name. It was an aggressive fish, so between all of this, I'm sure it was some kind of african cichlid. It killed all the other fish until it was the only one left. By that time, I really hated that fish and that made me feel badly. It's been so long ago, I don't remember what exactly happened to it, but, clearly, it did finally die.

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This is like one of those funky movies where they jump from present to past, past to present and in between. But, I MUST post this!

At a little after 5:00 p.m. today, I got a call from Ken at Dandy Orandas telling me, officially, that the white/pink/black Crystal Ranchu was officially mine! Here's my link to the announcement, with pictures, where I THOUGHT I got it, but I still wasn't sure! MINE! ALL MINE!

I have now paid for this little doll, officially named, Kabuki, and he/she will be arriving Thursday morning!

All white!... how am I supposed to see if there are breeding stars on this?!! lol!

Edited by Lynda Von G
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It is officially Thursday...I bet you are so excited! Can't wait for pictures...

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Somehow it's wrong that I'm posting a picture of the new kid on the block when I haven't even posted pics of the kids I already have. Ah well, guess that means that I have to get those pics posted ASAP then!

So, anyway.

Kabuki arrived at 10:10 this morning and is doing well. In a 10 gallon qt tank, 0.1% salt, unlighted and covered and is resting. Bottom sat completely at first, but is venturing out to take a swim round the tank every now and then.

As the pictures will show, Kabuki is not a fan of traveling. Poor thing. Traveling did take its toll on Kabuki's nerves and it's all coming out on its delicate, porcelain, lily-white skin. Some red spots on the sides and some scruffy scales/slime coat on the top of the black head.

I've emailed Ken to let me know if he was able to determine whether Kabuki was male or female because, as the pictures will show, I'm not going to be able to tell by looking at the operculum as 95% of Kabuki's wen is all on the operculum! Fattest cheeks I've ever seen!!!

ARE THESE THE CHUBBIEST CHEEKS YOU'VE EVER SEEN?!

KabukiFatFace.jpg

TAKIN' A STROLL 'ROUND THE NEW DIGS...

KabukiSwim1.jpg

WHAT HAPPENED TO FIRST CLASS?! I WAS TOLD I WAS GOING TO FLY FIRST CLASS! NOW LOOK AT ME!!!

Kabuki-TravelingSucks.jpg

Welcome to Lynda Von G's Underwater World Kabuki!

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That first pic is priceless!!!! I'm glad Kabuki made it (relatively) safe and sound, he/she is a realy beauty for sure :D

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Aww, poor baby had a rough trip from the looks of it. Sure glad he is perking up. What a face that is. Just want to pinch those cheeks, lol! He really is gorgeous.

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I upped the salt in the qt tank to 0.2%. When I sneakily peek in, Kabuki is still only resting, but when I took off the cover to add the salt, she/he swam around.... mostly, I think, to get out of the way! lol! But, Kabuki is doing fine. The red spots have diminished to about half as red as before. The slimecoat still looks scruffy and white on the top of the head, this now is my bigger concern, but the salt should help that out quickly enough.

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I love those chubby cheeks. Keep us posted if Ken has a suggestion for looking for breeding stars on a mostly white fish. I'm prettty curious about this.

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