Hot Tips: March 2002
A selection of useful tidbits of information for the aquarist. Readers are encouraged to send their tips to firstname.lastname@example.org for possible publication. For submissions that are published in Advanced Aquarist, the author will receive a $25.00 gift certificate toward a purchase from one of our advertisers chosen by the recipient.
The Fish That Must Go
We've all encounted "the fish that MUST go". Be it a nasty maroon clown or assorted damsel. Catching these guys can be a down-right chore. The strategy that I use (and which works quite well by the way) is to wait for all the lights to go off, then shut off all ambient light and wait a good 3-4 hours for all the fish to go to sleep. Then, with a flashlight, blind your little fishy and pull him out! Flipping on the lights quickly inside the tank also works well, but using a flashlight will provide you with enough direct intensity into his eyes such that he wont even see you coming!
Bill J. Geese
Keeping Snails out of your Powerheads
For those of us using powerheads for circulation in our tanks, every once in a while we encounter the dreaded misguided snail who unwittingly wanders into the intake and meets his maker. Worse yet, we sometimes encounter the nightmare of a fish or cuke getting sucked up into the powerhead. A simple and cheap way to fix this problem is to take a single bioball and place it into the intake of the powerhead. The force of the impeller will hold the bioball in place and the porosity of the ball will not restrict water flow. [Editor's note: If power is interrupted to that powerhead the bioball will fall, and the aquarist must remember to return it to the intake when power returns]
Bill J. Geese
Increasing the "Shelf Life" of Limewater - By James Wiseman
If left exposed to the atmosphere, limewater (or kalkwasser) will react with the CO2 in the air to form an insoluble CaCO3 scum on the surface. Due to this process, exposed limewater will lose strength over time. Since a lot of hobbyists mix limewater and use it in a top-off reservoir which may take a week to drain, steps must be taken to ensure that the mixture remains effective. If you are using an open-topped container with vertical sides - such as a 5 gallon bucket - as a topoff reservoir, there is a simple and effective way to "seal" the surface of the water. Take a thin sheet of styrofoam - such as you would find in a fish shipping box - and cut out a section that will fit snugly into the bottom of your topoff reservoir. Remove the styrofoam circle (or square, or whatever shape) and add the limewater, then float the styrofoam on the surface of the water. If you are using a powerhead or small submersible pump in the reservoir, cut a small hole in the styrofoam for the cord to exit the container.
Majano anemones and Kalkwasser
After I received your email,(thanks for replying so soon yesterday) I mixed a teaspoon of kalkwasser (limewater) with about 2-3 ounces of water and I drew up the undesolved kalkwasser on the bottom. I injected the majano anemone with this mixture. An interesting thing also occurred with the solution: whatever did not get injected directly into the anemone actually coated the anemone and clung to it almost like a cement or gel. I woke up this morning and went to the tank to check the outcome and the majano had turned to jelly. It appears my majano problem is over. I just wanted to let you know so you can share this with others. It was a relatively easy and inexpensive way to eliminate this problem anemone. Thanks again,