Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Aquarium 2.5

My boyfriend came home sick today so it was a good time for me to clean the little 5 gallon aquarium I had started a couple months back. We had gone on a short vacation over Labor Day weekend and the algae had gotten out of control due to infrequent water changes and a timer set to deliver too much light.

I'm a little perturbed at how fragile this Marineland Eclipse Hex 5 is in terms of the plastic construction. A simple magnetic algae cleaner has created scratches on the inside from a single use. Subsequently I have tied a piece of t-shirt around it to lessen the abrassive qualities but the cleaner isn't that abrasive to begin with! At any rate, I have owned a larger glass Marineland Eclipse system in the past and have been very pleased with the filtration and light system.

My aquarium is inhabited by three Sparkling Gourami and each one of them has a quite a unique personality. Several live plants, some lava rock, and the we have a nice little entertainment center. It's not nearly as nice as a big aquarium with bright colorful fish, but the trickle of the water and the flicker of the light reflecting on the water is very relaxing.

In keeping with the 1" of fish per gallon rule, these three little fish are about all it can support. What I'm wondering is whether I should get an algae eater of some kind. The local aquarium shop recommended a Oto, but those are larger than the gourami. I've taken ample precautions to prevent snails and those don't generally clean up the plants for which I am mostly concerned. I tried a couple cherry shrimp but those didn't last long.

I've reduced the amount of light to just 8 hours per day, added some light filtering screen to one side, and will keep up with my water changes. I'm still thinking Marineland should offer an algae cleaning device with their delicate plastic aquariums, but life goes on.

Next on my list is to setup a webcam to watch the fishies from my smartphone and the Internet. While the Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000 and Orbit AF are the top o' the line desktop cams with auto-focus, I'd like to find an IP camera that can run on my new 802.11n wireless network. Most of the IP cameras I've located with a reasonable price lack auto focus. Then again, I'm not sure it is required for this purpose, but we'll see. I'll post some step-by-step instructions if I find an easy solution that will work. In this day and age you should be able to share the enjoyment of your aquarium with the World!!

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