Tap Water Chronicles Vol.1 -Midnight Maintenance

Bwood22

It was 11:30pm on a rainy night in central Alabama. The house was so quiet you could hear a gnat poot. The faint hum of two FX4 canister filters in the cabinet across the room brought my attention to the glass box above.

"Dang they're lookin' good.", I thought.

Right then a single word came to mind.

That one word is a constant in my life.
That one word, that thing that I know will always keep coming back no matter what I do and no matter how much I do.

That one word?...Nitrate.

It's been 7 days since I last diluted that toxin but it's persistence keeps me on my toes and I knew what needed to be done.

The nitrates were high, and It was time to act.

I ran a quick test to confirm my suspicion.

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"Yep....almost 40 again", I mumbled to myself.

I began to wonder why I even bother to test anymore. After all, they say when you do the same thing over and over again thinking that you're gonna get a different result...well, they call that insanity.

Now I don't very much consider myself to be insane. On the contrary, I'm so attuned to the nitrate level in my glass boxes that it might as well be ingrained in my soul.

It was time to take the top off and get busy, so that's what I did.

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As I started to drain that nitrate infested cesspool I began to ponder of ways that I solve the root behind this weekly ritual.

"Hmmm, roots", I thought to myself.

"Maybe I should have some plants".

"Nope, these fishys would tear 'em up".

"And we got too much phosphate control anyway."

I paused for a moment and turned to BearBear who was sitting next to me.

"I can't grow plants in here buddy, I can't even grow algae in this tank, never even seen a speck."

He just stared at me. He knew that plants were a bad idea, who was I kidding? But he just kept looking at me real funny, like he was staring a hole right through me. I gazed back at him and at that moment I knew what he was thinkin'...


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Anaerobic bacteria.

"Not again!, we've already been over this, You've got to be kiddin' me!", I told him.
"You need to lay off them YouTube videos and quit believin' everything you see on the internet. I'm trying to deal with this problem and you're havin' delusions of aquatic utopia. You know this tank turns over 10 times...."

He laid down and turned away before I could finish my sentence.

"Well fine then, don't help.", I grumbled.

I proceeded to move all the rocks around and vacuum out the gravel real good but it was already pretty clean.

I turned to BearBear and felt the need to remind him,

"Hey, you know what sucks? Gravel vaccin."

He was still ignoring me.

He didn't care, he thought that I should have sand in here anyways....heh....what does he know? He's just a dog.

Then I had another idea. You see I got some extra parts. You know, those things that you have layin' around that you might use one day but ya also might not? I rummaged through my "fish stuff cabinet" and found what I was lookin' for.
That black sponge circle that came with these filters that's supposed to be for growin yer bio in.

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Yep, it's bone dry and brand new....but check this out:

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Bam! ...Poor man's pre-filter.

I felt pretty accomplished after that so I put everything back together and started refillin' the tank.
I grabbed some very useful products to condition my water real good.

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Oopse! That's the ingredients for my homemade skeeter repellent. It burns my skin when I put it on, just imagine what it does to them skeeters.

So again, I grabbed some very useful products to condition my water real good.

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Yep, that's better.

As the tank was fillin' up I made some new caves and tunnels for the fishes to explore...they like that. Then I smoothed out the gravel bed that they worked so hard to destroy.

"You better enjoy this while it still looks good", I told BearBear, "I will be demolished by tomorrow."

He pried himself up off the floor and peered in the tank to admire the award winning aquascape job that I just completed.

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He looked up at me and gave me his approval.
Then he laid back down.

BearBear wasn't much help with any of the work that night, but he's good company and provides some good insights from time to time. And most importantly, them nitrates got knocked back down a few notches.
Mission accomplished...

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...until next week.
 

Cinabar

Kept me on the edge of my seat! I thought for a second there that we were gonna have a horrible betrayal from BearBear! Any plans for a second installment?
 

BigManAquatics

Maybe if it was close to 100 i would think "high" lol
 

Bwood22

Maybe if it was close to 100 i would think "high" lol
40 is unacceptable around here my friend.
Kept me on the edge of my seat! I thought for a second there that we were gonna have a horrible betrayal from BearBear! Any plans for a second installment?
Well that depends on 2 things:

1. How well the 1st installment performs.

&

2. I have to catch myself narrating in that stupid voice in my head again while doing something aquarium related.

True story.
 

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