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Freshwater Tank

We decided to go ahead and clean up the old marine tank and get it set up for freshwater. Like the marine tanks, freshwater has undergone enormous chemistry advances. They now have a great nutrient-and bacteria-rich “bedding” for plants, not to mention LED lights in the proper spectrum for plants, so you can set up very stable tanks just like the Marine. Only difference: you can use tap water! 😀 Anyway, we decided to fundamentally shift the room arrangement, move the TV to the long wall and put the old tank over in the corner between the TV and the fireplace. This makes the tanks “bookends” for the wall we face in the evening. Very nice.

Moving the TV was a challenge (HEAVY) but we got super glides under it without losing any fingers, worked it over…then I had to rewire all the AV stuff, but that’s par for the course. The tank moved easily, dry, and we just dumped the “dirt” in, poured water in, arranged a handful of rocks, shoved the plants in, and plugged in the light. I want to make a better sump with a topoff …space is limited underneath and so I need a custom size…but other than that, it was just wait for it to clear. The bikirs and catfish are certain they’ve died and gone to heaven and Seishi LOVES the HD TV! Anyway…not a lot of pics, cuz not a lot of excitement, but this’ll give you an idea. Once we rid the room of tank detritus, I’ll try and do a composite of the room to give you an idea how it ended up.

14 comments to Freshwater Tank

  • ready4more

    Jane, You and CJ have more energy than a football team! And more imagination than a kindergarten class! How do you manage all the tanks, the glorious pond, and still get to write? It looks as though BargeBoy and I won’t get to come up to visit this summer as I will probably have my right knee replaced… It’s giving me fits and I can’t afford to stay on the only meds that touch the pain. My insurance won’t cover the meds and they won’t pay for the doctor-recommended leg brace, or even the complete course of physical therapy. It’s less expensive for me to pay the co-pay for the surgery! Now we just have to convince the insurance that that is the only alternative left for me. Fortunately I have a good orthopedic surgeon who is supporting me in my fight with the insurance company. Oh well, have a good time.

    By the way – Emoticons are not working correctly anymore. I can no longer click on one and have it show up.

  • No idea about the emoticons. I’ll try to look into it.

    Your experience with the insurance company sounds typical. It’s the same sort of stupidity that has them NOT pay for a yearly exam and cancer exams that would help keep their future costs down by early detection. It’s like they delay paying for anything in hope you’ll die before “it” goes catastrophic. I mean…really.

    In the meantime, have you tried Hyaluronic acid? Specifically, have you tried this stuff:
    Absolute magic for our knees and we know several others who’ve had excellent results. Won’t cure it, but might help.

    The short answer: CJ writes. I’m still struggling to get out of the CC mire. I’m almost done with the edit on Harmonies/Cold Fusion…ran into a nest of causality/clarity snakes that has driven me crazy (sometimes there’s a reason to let old books lie, tho I’m still very glad I’ve done the rewrites) and then the covers, then I’m DONE with what I can do to resurrect that series, and it will be on to what will be, I believe, the conclusion of that story. Those who’ve supported me and the characters (not to mention the writer, who wants to know what happens! :D) deserve that.

    I’d hoped to be done by now, but, yes, the fishtank excursion kinda brought it to a screeching halt. OTOH, the improved feel of the room where I do most of my work thanks to the tank upgrade was worth it.

    I’m unfortunately in a state of mind right now where any sort of creative endeavor will draw me away from writing. Closed Circle, the ebooks and covers have been a huge distraction and mental shift for, what, three years now? And in all honesty, the loud silence to ‘NetWalkers last fall seriously took the wind out of my sails. I fought for so long to make the book a reality and…pretty much nothing. I’m trying to get excited about finishing the project, but it’s been tough. I know I have to get out there and do promotion, and beg people to buy the book, but I just don’t have it in me mentally and spiritually at the moment. Maybe that will change once the rewrites are out.

    Our hopes that Closed Circle would encourage people coming for one author to try another has not panned out at all. Deliberations has generated a fair amount of traffic none of whom are even downloading samples from the other authors. It’s really quite disheartening.

    But I’ll rally. That’s one reason, I’m sure, that there’s been so much Wiishu. He’s been very cheap creative therapy and at least he’s keeping me writing something. 😀

    But enough whining!

  • Jane, do you have a problem with the glare from the window on the TV? Unless you’re not watching it during daylight hours, I’d think it’d be hard to see the picture. As for rewiring the A/V stuff, I bought some of those banana plug adapters at Radio Shack, here as an example: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2117820&filterName=Brand&filterValue=RadioShack You can use the knurled top to secure the bare wire in the plug, and then I put a label on each adapter for LF, RF, Ctr, SubWoofer, RR, LR, and then even when leaning over the top of the A/V center, I can refer to the manual and just plug the adapter into the appropriate jack on the back of the A/V center. I have a Sony system, and it accepts the banana plug adapters in the speaker wire hookups, or you can fish bare wires through the holes in the hookups on the system (thereby wasting several minutes and threatening to straighten up with a very sore lower back). As for the other component hookups, ditto on labeling, although there’s a problem somewhere in my A/V center that Sony has not been able to detect or repair, so I gave up sending it all the way to Lared, TX and back, only to have it go out again. .

    Paula, I hope things go well with your knee. Are you able to use TRICARE Prime for Retirees? It would eliminate the typical HMO that gives you a hard time about this test or that, since if you’re near a military treatment facility, they can take you in with no co-pay. I had my knees done at Wright-Patterson AFB Medical Center, after several sessions with the hyaluronic acid shots. Those shots are known under trade names such as Synvisc (3 shot series), Hyalgan (5 shot series because it’s more refined than Synvisc).

  • One of the first things we got after we moved into the house was blackout curtains for the windows. It was the ONLY way to watch TV during the summer! 😀

    Re: my “rewiring”…In order to move the cabinet, we had to unload everything. I’d never liked the arrangement, and I no longer had access to the back of the cabinet, so I had to get all the wiring inside. It just meant drilling holes and routing wires and plugging into the right thing. We have a real nest of snakes. Two DVD players, one is a recording DVD for transferring our VHS to DVD…which of course I haven’t done yet, and a region free for our British DVDs…which are of course now available on streaming video. Since I only have one component input on the TV, these require a component splitter box. Then there’s the AV box through which everything must be routed because this big expensive TV came with the worst sound system I’ve EVER heard, a VHS player that has to reach the DVD recorder, the Tivo unit, the cable’s digital box, and a blue ray machine. I know. We’re nuts. Basically, we never throw anything away and I remain hopeful for that transfer to DVD. Thankfully, having put it off this long, it’s getting to where the family vids are about all I have to worry about! 😀 I just wish I could get the Betamax machine to work so that I could transfer the old Chinese “Brave Archer” series. Sigh….

    We have the Sony AV unit as well and in general it raises a lot of blue language. But it’s better than the native sound for this TV. FAR better. What’s funny is, they make this big deal about the four-way speakers and all I’ve noticed coming from behind me is the clapping in audience TV shows! 😀

    Hyaluronic acid shots, eh? Sounds painful! 😀

    • You might try using cable loom, which you can get at Wal-Mart in the automotive section. It’s a split-length of corrugated plastic tubing that is used to insulate cables in the engine compartment. There are also these little cable ties (not the @#^%&#$ nylon ones) that consist of an elastic band looped through a wooden or plastic toggle. You wrap the band around the cables, slip the loop over the toggle and voila! You don’t have to worry about having to cut the loops, because they’re elastic and you can get to them much more easily than the nylon !#%@!%! ties. http://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-009900 I still like the idea of the double banana-plug adapter, even though it’s a bit pricey, it makes it so much more convenient when you’re trying to figure out which plug goes into which jack. When they all start to look alike, and you’re trying to untangle the snakes’ nest back there, in a cramped area, or with limited lengths of cable, you really appreciate being able to just plug them in and go. My particular Sony AV is the STR-DG920, and looking at the back of it, there’s just a maze of RCA jacks, plus the speaker jacks which hold the cable either by threading the wire through a hole in the shank and then screwing the red cap down to crimp, or you can leave the cap down and plug in a banana plug. You don’t necessarily have to use the double banana plug adapter, I suppose single banana plugs would work just fine. I printed out some labels with the little labelmaker I have, and it’s been a lot easier since then. Not only cables for speakers, but for DVD player, VCR, LaserDisc, Satellite Receiver…..just a lot less frustration.

  • Insurance … find the limit as t approaches zero or t approaches infinity of logic( t );

    Yeah, that about sums it up. 😉

    I have been so scrambled creatively, or practically, that I haven’t felt like I’ve made much progress, even when I have learned or accomplished things lately.

    Plus, an agreement fell through, so I’m having to remove intro/outro bits on my audio, which I should’ve already done anyway. Geez….

    Every volunteer or fan project I’ve seen lately has had delays on the order of 10x or more. Seriously.

    It’s got to be affecting the people who make a living at it too, books and periodicals, audio and video.

    Please don’t sweat it, Jane. My “To Read” and “To Study” stacks for work-related subjects are just as far behind as my “To Read” and “To Watch” stacks for personal.

    I seem to be starting lots of bits and pieces, some longer pieces … but frell if I can carry through to finish them, it seems.

    It’s like I’m scattered all over the place.

    So please don’t let things get you down (and CJ and Lynn too).

    If you (and y’all) could do with something nice to listen to while writing, check out Nathan Chan’s and String Theory’s cello playing. Really nice stuff, and he’s infectiously enthusiastic. (If he’s even half that enthusiastic with a girlfriend or boyfriend…. Well, somebody out there sure is gonna feel special.) 🙂

  • Really loving Eushu’s and Seishi’s reactions here. Just perfect. 😀 Awww….

  • Thanks! I’m all right. Really. It’s pretty impossible to be anything but grateful when you look at what’s happening in OKC today. I just want to be done with these books so I can get back to actually writing. I’m loving every minute with the garden and the tanks and the kittehs and resin kids. My life is really FABULOUS.

    I just need to get back to real writing. Assure myself I can still do it, if you know what I mean. 😀

    Doesn’t it drive you nuts when you think something is all ready to go, then an outside force steps in and forces you to edit? With ‘NetWalkers…it was cell phones! 😀 😀 😀

    Seishi has been leaping after the catfish from the get-go. Tonight…Eushu discovered him. Big time. The great thing is, this gives them a TV they can actually safely paw! They’re so happy! 😀

  • Please don’t tell my twosome. They’ll want me to get an aquarium. :rofl:

    Heheheh, I can see why Shu and Sei would love that.

    Smokey tends to sit in my office bedroom window, and friends of my neighbor have exclaimed, “Aww, look at the cat in the window, Diane,” to my neighbor a few times. 🙂 (Smokey is the one who looks like Eushu’s cousin.)

    Goober also visits that window, and he tends to snooze within sight of the other office bedroom window, so he can watch the world go by.

    Whenever I do move, they’re going to miss their daily back yard visits the most, and looking at all the neighborhood scenery (humans, squirrels, birds, plants, etc.). — I’m hoping I’ll find a nice apartment…I have been delaying this as much as possible, but I’ve got to get going on it. (However, my house will have to sell first, before I can really move, so everything needs to line up right.)

    My cats have been priceless lately. The only problem has been that Smokey has wanted to lord it over Goober lately. Goober objects, he fusses back, but he never just hauls off and gives Smokey what for. Goober’s the most non-assertive cat in the universe, and Smokey is…self-expression has never been one of his problems. 😉 He’s naturally assertive. The source of the rivalry is, they both think they own me and they’re the top cat. So they’re jealous of each other getting my attention. They do cooperate and like each other most of the time, but they fuss like brothers when they could just as easily be best friends and share. The food bowls are the other time this comes up: Smokey always tries to horn in on Goober’s bowl, even if there are three bowls. Durn little fur balls…. Every time I think maybe I’ve cured them of the food bowl rivalry, it still happens. (It’s again a rivalry dominance thing, coupled with Smokey’s need for reassurance of food, from being a street kitten, half-starved when he arrived. He’ll eat even when not hungry. Goober is the opposite. He’ll nibble and snack whenever he wants, because I keep dry food out, but he has a natural “full point” appetite control. If anything, he’s too skinny. If it weren’t for that, I’d limit the food I leave out to control Smokey’s intake.) … But heck, I love ’em, and it’s not a truly dangerous rivalry. Deep down, they like each other and get along. I think if the going got really tough, they’d stay friends. … Huh, dunno why I went on the pet talk tangent. 🙂

    • chondrite

      Between Zorro inside and The Breakfast Club outside, the cats all keep each other entertained, let alone throwing in Bird TV. You should see the Mejiros scolding the outside cats when they think they are up to no good; they are tiny green birds about the size and color of an extra-jumbo cocktail olive, with a white circle around each eye, and they give the cats a vigorous what-for.

      Zorro has discovered she can leap to the top of the bedroom dresser. It has become her new hangout, and she will sleep there until about 5:00 a.m. At that point she becomes an alarm clock, and gets evicted.

  • Pet talk always welcome!

    We have the exact same problem with Eushu and Seishi. Shu wasn’t starved literally, but he was so full of parasites the first few months he might as well have been. He got used to eating all he wanted and I think his “full” got turned off. We’re finally feeding the boys dry food in our rooms at night so Seishi can snack and Shu can gobble…but only so much. Then they get a little wet food during the day, which Seishi actually eats a bit better than Shu. It’s gotten some of the weight off Shu, but not enough.

    My Elrond used to have a great time with the neighbors when I lived in an apartment. He’d sit outside on this wide stone railing sunning himself and greeting people as they came in. He had an ongoing discussion with the local magpies! 😀 He was the kind of cat the vets would put in a special cage in the line of traffic so they could pet him as they went by.

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