Onward and Upward ... the 65 gallon that's too big.

Vette67

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And of course worm food.

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Very cool. I like the worm box. But I have to ask, is that just corn bread? Or some special worm food formula?
 
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HuduVudu

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Very cool. I like the worm box. But I have to ask, is that just corn bread? Or some special worm food formula?
It is the stuff he uses in the video. Multigrain wheat bread, yogurt and yeast flakes.

I am, hopefully, following a process that works. If this crashes bad things.
 
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HuduVudu

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The sad day has arrived. Ezmerelda has past. This is always the hardest part for me in the hobby (and life) I don't like death and I don't want it for things that care about or are in my care. My only solace is to know that I did everything in my power to ensure life. I am torn on the ethical questions because there is a large amount of unscrupulousness in the hobby. It is no different than any hobby but this one has life at stake, and guess that makes it different. Even if I could be sure that the fish I am purchasing are being collected ethically, there is always the question of taking the creature from it's habitate. I feel better about breeding and progagation programs, but those are in their infancy. I will try to support those programs through my power as a consumer.

So for now fare well Ezmerelda, Queen of her dominion, eater of worms that stray from rocks. :'(
 

Vette67

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Sorry to hear that. What do you think happened? I know it’s usually a guess when they die, but do you think the tank is too immature? Ammonia possibly? Or just came in sick... I always try to find reasons so I can correct any potential problems
 
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HuduVudu

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Sorry to hear that. What do you think happened? I know it’s usually a guess when they die, but do you think the tank is too immature? Ammonia possibly? Or just came in sick... I always try to find reasons so I can correct any potential problems
Pretty sure this was cyanide. I knew this was likely when I bought her, but I thought it might be light enough to deal with. I was wrong. It always goes south when the fish starts to feed. I was keeping the feeding light but when I put in the white worms I put in more than I wanted and at first she was like yah whatever but then when she really got a taste for them you was all over the sand looking for them. I don't know if riding the line with food would have worked but I tried.

There could have also been an issue with the white worm batch. When I got them in they smelled like cigerettes. Maybe this was an issue I don't know. Mostly I think with the behaviour and symptoms it was cyanide. She was doing the shallow rapid breathing before the worms so it wasn't likely that.
 
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HuduVudu

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@Vette67 suggested that I put this up also on my thread. It makes sense in context of CO2 abatement. I am not a person of very high constitution so projects like this get drawn out because of my health.

I am installing an ERV from a suggestion here on R2R on how to deal with CO2. Since the plants were a flop I have been opening the window which sux. This time of the year here in Houston though it is ok, but that is quickly going to be a problem as we get closer to the new year.

This is the first stage mounting. I will probably be drywalling tomorrow. After that it is two phases first getting the duct for the fresh air and then hooking up electricity.

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Vette67

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Glad you listened to that guy. I hear he can be a real jerk, though!

I’m as curious to know how well it works as I am to know how it works. I’m a gadget, DIY kind of person, so I like getting into the details. And then thinking how I could plumb and apply it to my house, if it does indeed work well. I am like you. It was R2R that even introduced me to these devices, as a matter of fact, it was a post you wrote in another thread!

On your CO2 graph, are the valleys the times that you open your windows? Is that what causes the levels to drop like that?

I’m excited to see how this progresses!
 
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HuduVudu

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On your CO2 graph, are the valleys the times that you open your windows? Is that what causes the levels to drop like that?
Yes that is us opening the windows. We try to push the CO2 under 500ppm and then we close them. I use a big box fan to push the air to clear the house. It is a giant PITA.
 
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HuduVudu

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I have been thinking about my loss of Ezmerelda. Four eyes come from the Atlantic and Caribeen, and I am not sure how widespread cyanide collection is there. It could be for sure, but it doesn't pop up as a hot spot in my head. That doesn't mean that it doesn't happen. It just leaves me unsure. This makes me have to take a harder look at her loss and what role I played in it. The other reason that I am re-visiting this is because Ezmerelda reminded my of how much I love butterflys. I have avoided them because they aren't reef safe, but seeing her in my tank and her inquisitive butterfly ways made me re-visit my decision. I have been pondering that decision since her death and I have decided to move forward and go with butterflys in my tank. Because of that I have decided to leave up my 20 (for now) and move over my clown goby to get the oxygen load off of the 20 gallon so that I can remove the HOB skimmer. I hate skimmers they just rip everything out of the water and I only use them as a last result for gas exchange. With only one firefish in the 20 I feel comfortable that the gas exchange will be good for my firefish. The reason to leave the 20 up is so that if there is something the butterflys decide they are going to pick at and bother too much I will simply move it. This gives me options.

Having cleared out some of the hurdles (in my head) I decided to order two more butterflys. One Pakistani one Sunset. I will be recieving them on Wednesday. Hopefully things go better this time around.

First phase of my ERV installation is complete. The drywall was ugly because of the lip in the ERV. I don't think that even a good mud job will make this look better, but that would require me to care about how things look. :p

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Vette67

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If there is one thing I hate, it’s doing drywall work on ceilings. My house had these ugly gold speckled acoustic tiles from the 70’s on the ceiling in my basement when I bought it. I got the bright idea of removing them and replacing it with drywall. And since I didn’t want to ask for help, I cut the 4 x 8 sheets in half, essentially doubling the mud joints. What a mistake. If I never had to mud ceilings again, I wouldn’t mind. And my disgust with the whole job shows in the quality of my work. I don’t mind walls, but I hate doing ceilings. So I feel your pain!
 
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HuduVudu

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And since I didn’t want to ask for help, I cut the 4 x 8 sheets in half, essentially doubling the mud joints.
It may have been more work mud wise, but I have to say getting those full sheets on the ceiling was a nightmare for me. Tools would have helped, but who wants to pay that much for tools for one job.

I have pretty much just given up on my house. There is too much wrong for me to deal with. Gut it or sell it my only path out at this point.

If I never had to mud ceilings again, I wouldn’t mind.
Amen.
 
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HuduVudu

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Just got the new butterflys in. Pics first then thoughts.

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First off ... FedEx ... yikes. I really don't like them. I guess it is dependent on your area, but for me they suck.

Second off ... Live Aquaria ... woot! These fish are really healthy and they look great. The packaging was awesome and the fish were secure even though FedEx had their thumb where it doesn't belong.

I did quite a lot of thinking and hashed out with my wife what I thought happened to Ezmerelda and what went wrong. I have slept on it for a couple of nights, and now I feel comfortable that I have a reason. Some background, I have visited the LA distributors. When 9/11 hit I had to drive there from Arizona to get livestock for my store. I visited Quality Marine and SDC (Sea Dwelling Creatures). I did not like SDC and their tanks were yellow. I think from Prazi. The creatures seemed drugged and sluggish. Quality Marine's stock seemed healthy and the tanks were clear. There are a ton of things that I could have missed but these are the things that have stuck with me over the years. Fast forward to me buying from my LFS. I know that the LFS uses SDC and I also know that their quarantine has a yellow quality to the water. Their process is to quarantine in the yellow and then move to the clear (I assume) non-medicated water. When I bought Ezmerelda she was a few days in the clear water, after what I assume was about a week in the medicated water. My reasoning chain is that after being medicated at SDC and staying there for an unknown amount of time then coming to the LFS and being medicated there for about a week. I think Ezmerelda's gut bacteria was decimated. Also not being fed well for quite some time her digestive track was in bad shape. Me finding the right food for her, ultimately did her in because she was hungry but her digestive track just couldn't take it because of all of the medication. I have seen this a lot with butterflys and it always seems to be when they start eating that within a couple of days they go downhill then die. Maybe @Paul B and @Jay Hemdal might comment on my thoughts and provide more feedback.

Either way. I didn't want to go back to my LFS for fish, so I decided to try online again. Even though shipping can be really rough on fish. I know, I know they do the same for the LFS. The advantage of the LFS is that they can go to the airport to pick up, so for them it is a bit better.

One thing for sure. I have renewed my love of the Chaetodontidae family, and my new tank will be mostly these fish. :)
 

Jay Hemdal

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I'm not sure what SDC is putting in their water, I haven't been there in probably a decade, I didn't notice it back then. I've used both SDC and QM over the years, but now I use two others; Consistent Sea and A&M Aquatics. The change wasn't about quality per-se, Consistent Sea can get specialty items for me and A&M delivers by truck (a huge savings in freight). That said, I've only brought in two shipments all year due to Covid.

Good luck with the B-flys! The collares always do well for me, although many of them seem to develop Neobenedenia infections (as pyramids often do). I haven't worked with a pelewensis for close to 40 years, but IIRC, they do o.k.- not quite as hardy as the collare though.

Jay
 
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HuduVudu

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Great news. Pakastani is eating black worms solidly. After a day of the fish being out and about now they are very hidey. Good, means they feel comfortable with the rock work. As per usual I end up naming my fish way too early, but for me fish need names. :)

So I introduce to you Dozer (Pakastani) and Gillian (Sunset).

Gillian likes to follow Dozer around so now that Dozer is eating I am hoping that monkey see monkey do.
 
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HuduVudu

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Didn't think that I was going to get any kind of discount on the GHL gear I wanted, but black friday ftw. :)

Will be getting a new ProFlux 4 and a Mitras next week. I was going to wait on the ProFlux, but it was on sale and GHL stuff so rarely goes on sale. Now I won't feel so naked having a heater without some sort of redundancy. Seriously making me nervous.
 
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HuduVudu

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Woot! Gillian is now eating Rods frozen food. She is a little stealth fish but this evening she started to be more bold and it is clear now that she is eathing.

Now we fatten them up so we can eat ... err be friends with them. :p
 
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HuduVudu

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Sort of finished the last phase of my ERV install last night, the electrical. I didn't have a 20amp switch so I cheesed in a 15amp just so I could get it up and running and see how it works. Will be heading out to Home Despot today to get the new switch. After I get it on will start buttoning everything up.

So far the verdict on the ERV is .... AMAZING!!!!. Last night CO2 was 1100ppm. I was not going to open the windows again. I am really really tired of opening them. This morning Santa came early ... 700ppm. I am very very happy. :D

Some interesting things. I noticed that the house was 70% humidity. I thought that that was a little high. Then ::facepalm:: it dawned on me that it is raining outside. LOL. I am running the heat so I don't really have any de-humidification. Meh. The other thing I noticed is that it was 55 outside and 72 inside. I run my Heat Pump at 75 and I was only running one of them. This is very good, because I am about ready to get a real test of all of this. Tuesday it is going to be near freezing or freezing. We will see how all of this works out then.

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