September 28, 2010

New Layout

Now this site matches, the main site.  The layout parade marches on.  I have a few tweaks to the sidebar over there to most likely add a tag cloud or something and reorganize some of that junk, but for now, you get a nice blue fadey background and twitter links at the top and a better navigation between the sites and a spiffy new logo.  Enjoy it while you can.

September 20, 2010

Aquarium redo step two

So after some work over the weekend and a trip to a local fish store, the aquarium is now empty, save for water and sand (and some waste from the prior inhabitants that is being cleaned up in phases).  I have located some of the fish that I will be adding, and I've done a brief sketch of what the final tank is going to look like, but for now, the rocks are out and the fish are gone, and the tank is waiting on additional cleaning (front glass about half cleaned, need to do sides, rest of front, and back, and then "vacuum" the sand, clean the top and outer glass, and clean/change the filters), some new glass tops, etc., and a move (which is pending cleaning and tearing down the OTHER aquarium since this one will move into its space).  Perhaps this will get done in a month or less.  We shall see.  My goal is to have it all set up before Halloween.  We shall see if that goal is realistic or not.

September 16, 2010

Aquarium revamp part one

After Herb, my 8 or 9 year old albino Tiger Oscar died, I decided it was time to consolidate down in tanks once again, and get rid of my 90 gallon and keep the larger tank, which is approximately 134 gallons according to "the Google" - 31104 cubic inches = 134.64 gallons, though I think it is actually closer to 125 internally.

This tank is currently full of rocks and has been set up as an African mbuna cichlid tank for several years, and it is time for a change (though once I'm done it will resemble the 90 gallon Amazon tank, I think).  It currently houses 1 Deep Water Hap, 2 Ps. Acei, about 5 Electric Yellow Labs, and 1 9" plecostamus.

The plan is to convert it to a Central American cichlid tank with some interesting characters, which I will get to eventually.

The reasons for this are a few:  First, I like having BIG fish and since my Oscar is gone, I need some new ones.  I also figure if I have an aquarium that is 6 feet long, it should have some larger fish in it to show off instead of 9 rinky-dinky fish.  Second, the current "rock-heavy" look of the tank (above) doesn't even really let you see the fish that ARE there, half the time because they all hide in caves and behind rocks.  And finally, the tank just never really looked as nice as my 90 did, and is in need of better appearance and aquascaping.

So, the first step is a little bit of planning.  What am I going to do with this aquarium?  To satisfy the "big fish" requirement, I have selected Central Americans (which are a bit larger and have a couple of nice colorful options that I plan to go with so I have a few large wet pets in the tank).  As far as the design goes, all the rockwork will disappear and I am going to put just enough driftwood in there to break up line of sight, along with some large-scale fake plants (and perhaps some easy cheap live plants like Java Fern or Anubias) since the cichlids and remaining pleco will most likely tear up any other live plant additions.  I'm leaving the black Tahitian moon sand substrate (after a thorough cleaning) but adding an "old river bed" path of grey river rock through the middle of the tank (from the 90g) and then putting a few larger river rocks out randomly across the sand.

So... first I'll sketch out a plan for the tank in Google Sketchup or something, and then it's on to step two... removing all of the rocks from the 125g.  When doing that, I'll have to keep refilling with water each time, since the rocks take up so much volume in the tank.  Once they're all out it is on to heavy duty cleaning and eventually (whenever Dallas North Aquarium accepts my trade-ins) catching and removing the existing African crew.

September 1, 2010

31, no... 32 now.

Phew... Breathe... 31 days of straight posting things.

Here's a recap.

7 new poems

5 posts on writing

6 beer reviews
1 wine review
1 scotch review
1 post on a beer competition
4 easy Texas plant recommendations

2 YouTube Links
2 Podcast Links
2 meta posts about the posting

And this recap.

I hope you enjoyed that fun month of junk.  Don't expect nearly as much in September, though I'll probably have poems and beer reviews regularly.  Maybe by November, I can gear up to do daily NaNoWriMo updates on the Writing Journal.  We'll see.

Also, in case you are interested - the first post after deciding to do this was the August 1 post (I already had beer reviews scheduled through the Mondays).  The last post was the poem on August 22.  All posts were posted by July 26 (including this one unless I decided to spice it up by throwing some actual new posts in there as a double-post day, which I may do but have not done at this point).  The first post was scheduled around July 15 (so the entire month was scheduled in about 11 days).

So that is about everything I've got.  I hope this little challenge and response was fun (it was for me).  And maybe I've inspired you to take a month and do something. At the very least, sign up for NaNoWriMo or one of its many clones.  Or invent your own challenge.  I have a feeling I will have NaNoWriMo coming up and I might try the "Poem A Day Challenge" in April from those folks at Writer's Digest.  That still leaves 10 other months, though I'll most likely take one or two off.

What will you do every day for a month in September?  October?