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The Hillbilly Homebrew Hour

64001 Views 205 Replies 51 Participants Last post by  TarantulaGuy
Well, maybe I lied just a little. This is certainly going to take more than an hour, it may best be described as a series. Welcome to this weeks episode.

To set things up, I have been without a tank for almost twenty years. College, raising three children, a couple of residence changes, and a change in career helped keep me busy. But in the last two years, I have acquired and set up two tanks. One, a 29g at home. And two, a 55g in my office. Both are/were planted. The 55 still stands in my office, but I put the 29 up for adoption. That brings us to the real subject of this thread.

You see Martha(who has some strange affinity for me) agreed, in what she certainly looks back on as a temporary lapse of sanity, to allow a larger tank in the house. "You can have it if it will fit right there", she said. I dwelled on the possibilities for a few days, and decided that "Ol Monday" and I could transform our allotted space into 125g of pure paradise.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to Ol Monday.

We used to have an intimate relationship, but not so much anymore. I divorced her for a pencil shortly after college. We still have a friendly relationship, and she agrees to help with demolition and a small amount of construction.

In what I thought was an impressive strategical move, I begin while Martha was away at a baby shower. I'll have this roughed out and she will be able to better understand the big scheme of things much better when she returns. Well, we had a few delays during this phase, my pencil boy biceps not being the least.

I get the paneling down.

And I put Ol Monday to work on this barrier between us and the glory of 125g of pure paradise. Martha walks in to find this.

And with a notable quiver in her voice exclaims, "Oh my God, what have you done to my house?"
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Poor Martha! I think you should send Martha on a pleasure trip with some of her friends to some great place. Finish all the dirty work while she is gone. Send her photo updates ONLY as things get better. Tell her how much you love her, how amazingly terrific she is and how unlike she is to many of the tyrannical wives you read about on the forum. With that and the house new and improved AND MOST IMPORTANTLY all the things on her "Honey Do" list completed as well - the renewed honeymoon will commence! :D

I will stay tuned! LOL
I made my living, one summer during college, with a cousin of "Old Monday". The job was in an area of Fort Lauderdale that was being redeveloped. We went in with sledge hammers to bust out anything worth reselling, such as doors, windows, toilets, plumbing... Great fun!
That's so funny so far, keep it going!

This is going to be thread to follow up for sure. :D I´m in.
I think you should send Martha on a pleasure trip
Although Martha did enjoy the thought of your suggestion, it's duty before pleasure. She IS the excecutive department in this province, and with that power has appointed herself "Chief Environmental Engineer" and "Quality Assurance Manager". It's a bit hard sometimes for me to understand some of these excutive orders but, if I understand it correctly, she's not leaving me here alone with her nest and this mess.

Great fun!
Well, kinda, I look back on it as a motivator.

keep it going
I'm working on the next episode,is it:

Martha morphs to the "White Tornado"
"The Hangin' Judge"

Thanks, I hope you enjoy the ride.
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Cinderblock usually isn't used indoors unless..

Was that a load bearing basement wall?
Cinderblock usually isn't used indoors unless..
I don't want to give away too much, but there is a 6" H beam in the plot to come. ;)
I was afraid to hope but maybe my wildest dreams of a 6" H beam being part of this saga maybe materializing...

What is a "6" H beam"? But more importantly than a definition - is it something that will have a profound effect on the events in the next episode?

Loving your sense of humor.... won't miss your next "reality episode" :D
Looks like fun.
Sssssshhhh, don't let Martha hear you say that. I totally agree with you but, I have her convinced that this is hard work. It's my own take on Bowerbird theory.
Artsy Fartsy

Today we offer a special edition of HHH entitled "The Artsy Fartsy Moment".

We have for years relied on the premise that the only thing you design from the top down is a building. Today we are here to dispel those beliefs. Function should follow form in planted aquariums. So we bring in a jug of corn squeezins, that way everybody will show, and we allow them to doodle for the evening. Below is the result.

There is a special prize being offered by today's sponsor for the first poster to identify the fish drawn by Martha.

The mechanical department of course is off in a corner drinking beer and has to have their own drawing, which appears to have nothing to do with the subject at hand by everyone else.

And the abstract senses of the Artsy Fartsy department begin to transform the corn squeezin' drawing into something..........well, something.

They are by now off to their selves drinking wine and drop this on the floor.

After a brief interruption for cheese, they submit the following master draft to mechanical.

As the evenings festivities wind down, I over hear the chief mechanic saying something about the top view being the side view, and the bottom view being the top view. He walks off in apparent disdain. But, he'll be back, he just loves this stuff.
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I had a Dream​

I had a dream of this elegant stage attached to a manifold. It is comprised of two like uv sterilizers attached in parallel as mirror images of each other. It has three personalities, bypass, flow to only one, or flow to both.


For those lighter times, to protect those beautiful micros


The moat defending against lower forms of flora


The toaster

But as with many dreams, it is not all pearling and 6500k. Just before I awake, I am standing before a wall of manufactures data charts. I am looking through Mississippi water trying to evaluate the numbers.

I now pour a cup of coffee, and try a moment of reality.


One programmable valve on supply to one sterilizer only. With the valve open we get flow to both, and with the valve closed we get flow to only one.


Programmable switch to each sterilizer.


Both switches off and valve open allows the lighter day mode. We at least keep intermittent flow to both and thwart stale water.

Switch to the unrestricted sterilizer on and valve closed yields the anti green water mode.

Both switches on and the valve open, I can hear the screams as they burn in..........

Now back to the muddy water part that woke me up. There is roughly a 3X difference in intensity recommended between anti-green and kill-em-all. This system as stated obviously only allows for 2X. But, the intensity recommendations vary by 2X.

Is there a "sweet spot" in this somewhere? Denizens of the germicidal spectrum, masters of below the blue, What say ye?

This makes me hungry, Apple butter on toast anyone?
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dunno about your actual question, but I do have some feedback.

I recommend against having a UV always connected just in case. Make a space for the UV in your setup and either have quick disconnects from the to the UV, or bypass and drain on the UV. You don't want the UV connected at all times for two reasons. The bulb will eventually get covered in slime and end up mostly useless by the time you need it. You will also have a a nice chunk of stagnant water in the UV that's been anaerobic since... well you get the idea.

I plumbed my system so I can plumb in a UV when I need it without getting wet, but the UV itself lives in a box in the garage. It stays dry so there's no sludge build up.
My UV is hooked up all the time. My water flows through the UV so it doesn't have any stagnant water. I use it 24/7. I did disconnect it after several months to re-plumb my set up and there was no slime/sludge whatsoever, even after a horrid Amazonia 2 melt down. That has been my experience. I want it to kill all the bacteria in my tank. The nutrifying bacteria live on the surface of things so whatever may end up in the water column is not needed/minimal. I also run it on a separate pump from my filters.
Thanks Jerp, and point well taken.

You can purchase a sterilizer with an internal wiper. Check this out.

I would certainly run flow through a minimum of 10 hours per day, would you have concerns with stagnation at that duty cycle?
My UV is hooked up all the time.
Can you give me a model number and the approximate gph of flow you push?

Do you dose micros? And if yes, at what frequency?
I was more concerned that the UV would be hooked up 24/7, but only running two or three days a year. I've seen the built in squeegee. I've never used it but it looks like a good model for full time usage. I like the look of the submariner for spot treatment. It's an in-tank model that looks like a submersible filter. It's essentially a combination powerhead/UV with a prefilter sponge.

If you're running the UV 24/7 you need to clean it regularly. The bulb will develop a very thin coat of grime after a couple months. This this thin film will tremendously degrade the performance of the UV. Aquarium slime has a high SPF, try it at the beach someday.

Note that a UV sterilizer is essentially a fluorescent bulb that emits light in the UV range. Being a fluorescent bulb, the UV bulb should be replaced every 6-12 months as the bulb will rapidly degrade in effectiveness after this time. Some mfgr's will list the actual effective life in hours, such as 8000 hours.
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