Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

After dinner

I decided the fish tank really did need a good cleaning, so I spent an hour siphoning out mulm (which translates to fish poop and other detritus in an aquarium) and replacing about 25% of the water with new conditioned water. I also changed the little white biological filter material (you do it in stages, so there's always nitrogen-eating bacteria in the filter--there's also activated charcoal on one layer and a foam pad on the bottom). I'm waiting for the filter to clear the water. I had trouble with the siphon. Gone are the days of having to mouth-siphon on the tube. You're supposed to just be able to push the bigger tube up and down to start it going, and I verified that I was doing it right with a friend who keeps several aquaria, but I always get a trickle at best. So I pulled out my trusty and never-used-in-a-vegetarian-household turkey baster (hey, it was a gag gift for my birthday, I think when I turned 30), and used that, as now that I am older and wiser, I don't want to get the germs that can live in fish tanks in my mouth, especially as I ate some crusty bread without my partials in last night and my whole mouth is tender and possibly has a bit of broken surface here or there on my gums. The baster worked well after a try or two. Once I got it started, everything was fine. I vacuumed the gravel thoroughly, pulling out probably about 2 1/2 gallons' worth of water while avoiding actual fish (at least these are between 3 and 4 inches long!) I then scrubbed the inside glass of any remaining algae and put the fixtures (rocks, gargoyle, driftwood) in firmly. I also added something that helps with the slime coat and some more nitrogen-eating bacteria in solution. I took the dirty water and put in out on the window boxes, a little on the inside plants, and out on the ground. It's great fertilizer, fish poop. I did, however, discover that I cannot find my water testing kit. I have no idea where it is. If I were out of solution, that would be one thing. But the thing has test tubes, too. It's not below or around the aquarium, as far as I can tell, and I have no idea what other sort of place I might put it. But the pet stores will test if you bring in a sample, too.

Now I think I'll retire to the bedroom and work on the game notes and get a little relaxation in (without falling asleep, hopefully). I don't know if I'll blog any more tonight. If not, have a very good night.

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