Nothing But Good News Today

I post so much bad news about Das Fishies that I figured we’re long overdue for a post that’s just glowing with joy.

The Mysterious Vanishing Rockpig of the Living Room

The Gleeful Vanishing Rockpig of the Living Room

Smithers has been moved to the 65g.  After four months, the little rockpig has relearned that he had to get out of his comfy shell and swim around for food, so he has lost his position as lord and master of The Teabox.  It’s too early to tell but I think he enjoys the larger tank with more rockwork, as he’s constantly out in the open and exploring.  Of course, overworrier that I am, I’m now terrified that he’s expending too much energy and won’t be able to eat enough to compensate.  I’ve probably been overfeeding the tank a little too much to make sure he gets more calories than usual, but Slime-atron and the clownfish definitely don’t mind.

And yes, that was clownfish plural.  The most recent suicide turned out to be a false alarm!  The fish did jump, but by some fluke she landed in the water in the false wall that hides the plumbing.  Getting her out of that tiny space was a bitch and a half, but she is now back home in the main tank with her tiny mate.  They have been named Morticia and Gomez; wish them luck, as I’m getting really attached to this pair.  They are social and have a lot of character, although they are a little intimidated by Slime-atron… the members of the Collective are getting enormous.  I had no idea how fast chromis grew.  The Collective have practically doubled in size since the first week in May, and they weren’t all that small when I bought them.

High failure rate when the impeller is dirty?  You do not scare me sir; I clean in my sleep

High failure rate when the impeller is dirty? You do not scare me sir; I clean in my sleep

The pump that was (maybe?  sort of kinda likely?) the cause of the excess current has been removed and replaced by two Zoo-Med Powersweep 228 powerheads.  Getting my hands on these has been a bit of a saga – I was looking around for some oscellating powerheads, which are a cheap wavemaker that works by using water propulsion to force the output pipe to constantly change direction.   These are less powerful than real-money wavemakers but the oscellating version don’t add any additional heat to the tank beyond that which is generated by the pump itself, and tend to be much less expensive than a real wavemaker.  The Zoo-Med 228 has great reviews but the reviewers note the powerheads break down the second the impeller clogs up.  As I fear no dirt, I waited for the local big-box pet store to have a sale and grabbed one.

Now, the Zoo-Med 228 is rather expensive and typically runs $40 and up, so I was happy to get one at a discount.  As Brown and I left the store, I opened the sealed box to check it out and… That’s surprising, I thought. This looks like it’s already been used. And I turned it over a few times in my hands while wondering why a new product was covered in dead coralline.  Then I wondered why the Zoo-Med 228 was a Maxi-Jet 900.  Then, as Brown turned the car around, I wondered aloud at the size of the opening of the anus of the gentleman who had returned a crappy used product for a new powerhead and store credit.

The store offered me a refund, no questions asked – the clerk said this type of thing happens all of the time in aquarium supplies (Note to fellow hobbyists: STOP BEING DICKS).  I then went home and dug deep into the Internet and found two Zoo-Med 228s for $18 each at – of all things – a bankrupt towel store.*  I took a chance and placed an order for two of them, then waited… and waited… and waited… and figured that I might have made a mistake in giving a bankrupt towel store my money.

Yesterday I got home and found a package being guarded by my Very Large Dogs.   This isn’t unusual as Brown orders enough tools and LEDs that our garage is probably going to take flight and be classified as a UFO at some point, but it was addressed to me.  I couldn’t remember what I had ordered online in the past month and was pleasantly surprised to find the powerheads.  I’m very happy with them thus far, although they have two “prefilters” hanging off of the bottom that are basically giant black sponges.  Really just horrible-looking, so I’m going to break out Ye Olde Dremmel and work out a mod that doesn’t make it look like I got a phone call from the police halfway through cleaning the tank.

* That deal is done but this is the best price I’ve found on the Zoo-Med 228 from a reliable retailer if you want one for your own tank.

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~ by KBSpangler on June 25, 2009.

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