Sunday, December 11, 2011

Aquatic Plant Nursery.

I have 7-different Aquatic Plants. Now after indulging myself in Aquatic grass, I thought of creating a Aquatic Plant Nursery which will serve as a back up in case my main tank goes hay way.

So I made used of my small 1-foot baby tank for preserving some of my aquatic plants.

Here a few pics:

Front View: Cabomba, Cobra Grass, Microsword.

Top View.

3-strands of Java Moss were entangled to the roots of grass when I got them from the shop. I have tied them on to that shell. Keeping my fingers cross and hoping the Java Moss to bloom.   

Java Moss - Close up.

Time for a Lush Green Lawn.

Finally I got a place in Pune which is specialized in Aquatic Plants. I bought two kind of Aquatic Grass for that place.

1. Microsword (a.k.a. Dwarf Chain Sword, Pygmy Chain Sword, Lilaeopsis brasiliensis).

2. Cobra Grass (a.k.a. Lilaeopsis novae zelandia).

So here are some pics of my Aquatic Lawn.

Top-View of Lawn with Flash.

Top-View of Lawn without Flash.

Front View: The thicker grass on right is MicroSword and the thinner one on the left is Cobra Grass. The Snail is hardly 1.5 inch in Diameter.


Since my Sword and Anubias were infested with Algae, I got a Sucker Fish. The Sucker Fish (Pleco), though a lot creepy and Ugly, seems to be eating away the algae on my aquatic plant.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Aquarium Setup using Walstad Method. - 7-Weeks

7-Weeks back, I has set up a Walstad Aquarium. 7-weeks had passed by and now the water had started looking yellowish. There were 2-major reasons for this yellowish water.

1. I had introduced, a blob of live tubifex worms in the tank. I just left them  in a plate inside the aquarium. As the worms die, a thin layer of biofilm is created, floating at the water surface. 

2. Introduced 4-pairs of Neon Tetra and 3 Pairs of Butterfly Guppies. This created a sudden increase in bio-waste, resulting in sudden burst in Ammonia and Nitrite and other water nutrients. This builds a classic case for Algae, which you can see on  Amazon Sword and Anubias.  

I immediately did a 20% water change and here are the results.

Finally the tall grass has shown some growth. A new Leaf has sprouted and one of the old leaf has grown tall and is almost touching the water level in the above pic. There are now in all 7 Leafs in this grass plant. I need to find the name of this plant. :)

Notice the Brown Algae, has started spreading on the Leaves. I am bringing a Sucker Fish, I hope it will take care of this Algae.

Plate with a blob of tubiflex worms.

Solar Air Pump Rejunevation.

For last 2 years, I have being using a solar air pump for oxygenating my tank. It was working great. But as expected, as per reviews from other forums, the solar air pump stopped working last week. It was already showing sign of fatigue from last few months. The bubbles had reduced drastically.

So finally I opened the air pump to see how it was implemented. I was sure that it consist of a motor, but I was unsure how did they use a motor for pumping air.

So here are the pics of the internal structure of the air pump.

DC 12V Motor.

The Shaft consist of a small disc with a small hole sightly away from the centre of the shaft.

The Piston with 3 black rubber membrane.

The small hole in the shaft is for the pushing the piston of the pump. The pump as shown above consist of 3 small black coloured rubber membrane. 

Since the shaft hole is slightly off centred, the piston(which is at the centre) is held at an angle. Due to which, at a time two of the membrane are contracted where as the third membrane is expanded.

As the shaft moves in circular motion, the piston is also rotated causing each and every membrane to contact and expand. This causes the pumping action and thus the air is pumped.

After playing around with this, I came to a conclusion that probably the rubber membrane had toughened over time of 2 years and hence the DC motor, with low torque, could no longer create a pumping action. 

After some searching over the net, I came to know that petroleum Jelly can be used to soften rubber. And viola, my solar air pump got rejuvenated with some petroleum jelly. :)