Aquarium Update – Driftwood and Live Plants

My aquarium has undergone some major changes in the past couple of months. I’ve been constantly tweaking it to make better looking, functioning, and self-sustaining. I’ve been maintaining it quite heavily since I know the changes I make stresses out my ecosystem. I’m constantly checking the water quality, doing small water changes when necessary, and also observing my goldfishes behavior to make sure there aren’t any signs of stress.

I know a ton of people are thinking and some are also telling me to leave my tank alone. “Let nature do it’s thing,” they tell me, but as a new hobbyist, I can’t be helped! I’m learning so much that it’s hard not to give my aquarium all this attention! I’m pretty proud that my tank is quite natural as well. The only thing I add to the water is aquarium salt and water conditioner. My filtration system is made up of sponges and ceramic bio media – that’s it. I do have a few plastic aquarium decorations in my tank, but I plan to eventually replace those with something natural – rocks, driftwood, live plants, etc.

Here are the transition of my tank… I didn’t take photos every step of the way because I was always “in transition”, but these are the gist of it.

First:
floating_bag

Second:

before

Third:

After

One of the first thing I did was remove the tree trunk on the right side of my tank. My goldfishes LOVED playing around it, but it has many sharp and jagged edges that hurt them. It had to go!

I also had to take out a ton of the gravel. Zoro is MUCH slower than the other two so if I didn’t put enough food into the tank to let a few of them drop to the bottom, he’d never get any. With the gravel being so large, food would easily fall through the cracks and be unreachable to my. So it, too, had to go.

A piece of driftwood was added to my tank last week and the other was added last night. I attached a piece of Anubis to the piece on the left and Java Ferns to the piece in the middle. I’m planning to add a few more plants. Maybe another Anubias to replace the plastic plant on the right and hopefully some that will float freely in the tank. Not sure what I’m going to add yet, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to grow some lilies. I’m not sure if this is possible since I have a tank cover and overhead lights, but I definitely want some plants sitting on top of the water.

I’m gonna have to take a better picture of my tank when I get home. Probably a photo with faster shutter speeds so the bubble wall doesn’t look so crazy ;P

Just wanted to do a quick lunch update! I hope everyone’s holidays are going well!

Bye 🙂

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Christmas Mouse

For my younger sister’s birthday, I made her this adorable little mouse!

ChristmasMouse_01

ChristmasMouse_02

ChristmasMouse_03

The mouse’s tail had broken off during baking. So did it’s “waving” hand. I had to do the same thing I did with the tiger’s ear to get it to bake in the right place. I used a bit of liquid polyclay to reattach the broken pieces. This wasn’t an easy process since I had to hold it in place while it was semi-baking. It got pretty hot! ;P

I skipped glazing with Kato Liquid Polyclay with this mouse. It was too messy with the tiger and I didn’t want to go through all of that again. Although, it probably would have been fine if I glazed it after I baked it and then re-baked it for the glaze to cure… but I didn’t think about that until I had finished glazing it with the polyurethane.

I notice that the tiger came out shinier because of the liquid polyclay. I dipped the mouse in the Polyurethane Gloss finish twice hoping that it’ll make it shinier, but it didn’t.

So, a few more lessons learned from this project!

ChristmasMouseTiger

Christmas White Tiger

My eldest sister and my youngest sister both celebrated their birthday this week and I had decided to make them a Christmas ornament for their present. This white tiger was given to my eldest sister because of her Chinese Zodiac.

ChristmasWhiteTiger_01

ChristmasWhiteTiger_02

ChristmasWhiteTiger_03

This White Tiger was MUCH harder to execute than I had planned for. When I sketched it, I had only sketched the front side. When I started to sculpt it, I realized that I had no idea how I wanted to do the back side! So… I had to improvise.

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I read that Kato Liquid Polyclay makes for a nice shiny gloss glaze so I decided to try it out. I applied it using a brush. When I was done, the left ear kept sliding off the side of the head! No matter how hard I tried to keep it in place, the side of the head was too slippery from the liquid polyclay. I don’t know what happened, but I eventually got it to stay in place and baked it. So, note to self: Apply Kato Liquid Polyclay AFTER baking and then re-bake for about 15 minutes after the liquid polyclay has been applied.

When the timer went off to signal that baking was done, I had found the tiger’s left ear had baked onto it’s body. The ear had slid down the side of the tiger during baking!! I had to pry it off and re-attach it with Kato liquid polyclay. It kept sliding off regardless so I held the ear in place inside the oven until it was stopped sliding. It was a nightmare! Luckily, the ear stayed in place during this last round of baking.

Afterwards, I glazed it using Rust-Oleum Varathan Polyurethane Gloss Glaze/Finish because it wasn’t as shiny as I had wanted.

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Overall, I’m happy enough with how this turned out. I learned a great deal from this one!

Things I Carry Daily

A friend of mine liked an article on Facebook called “Things People Carry Daily”. It popped up on my news feed and I couldn’t help but to click. Check it out here: http://nedhardy.com/2013/11/29/things-people-carry-daily-25-pics/

I clicked the link because I wanted to see if the things I carried were normal. I wanted to see how different I am from others. My favorite was the “Toronto Hooker” photo, but mostly because I thought it was creative 🙂

Show me what you carry daily, I’m interested in knowing! Here’s mine:

daily_items

 

  1. Chase Freedom Credit Card
  2. Drivers License
  3. Extra pair of daily contact lens
  4. Measuring tape
  5. Wedding Ring and band
  6. The warped ring was given to me by my mom when I was in high school
  7. Body/hand lotion
  8. Cellphone
  9. Eyeliner
  10. Compact foundation
  11. Lip balm
  12. Car and home keys

Do my items seem normal? Anything un-normal? What kind of conclusions do you draw from my items?

Night!