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The Hillbilly Homebrew Hour

63999 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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I'm going nuts without updates....
Mmmmmk, I'll give you a little teaser since you asked. And welcome by the way.

There has come to pass a crossroads of incredible scope. One that has far reaching consequences in design, in capital, and in aesthetics.

While design and mechanical were off obtaining capital, the agents in Central Intelligence were gathering data. After submitting said data to the State Department, the highest ranking Diplomat was dispatched for talks know who.

I am proud to announce that a tentative agreement has been reached. Nothing has been signed, but final negotiations are moving quickly.

So, according to how the final deal is settled, our next episode will be:

"Martha takes a Bubble Bath"


"Scratch This"
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Sounds like a Middle Eastern ceasefire treaty....

Let's just hope the outcome is somewhat more favorable!lol!
The Continuum

We feed the mother ship with a controllable freshwater supply.

The mother ship is equipped with one over flow. This overflow can be sent directly to drain or in normal mode feeds a quarantine ward.

The quarantine ward is also equipped with an over flow that goes directly to drain.

We have the ability of intermittent or continuous freshwater to both tanks, albeit dilute to quarantine. We have the ability for privacy when the Doc sees fit, he will have the ability to fumigate the entire ward without effect to the mother ship. We keep a few potted plants in the ward for environmental control, and they can be removed when there is an unruly patient to straight jacket.

Adoption, yeah, that will feel good. I had not gotten over the terrible feeling of letting the 29g go, but what better way to get relief than giving another lonely tank a loving home. I had been hiding my lunch money for quite some time in anticipation. The day of the deal, I arrange for two laborers to meet me at the orphanage.

Why I would have to pay to rescue a tank from such conditions I will never know. A 12" long alligator had taken up residence where White Clouds and Kuhlis should roam. I was so overcome with despair, and hungry, that I make a generous offer for the tail of the alligator only. I've never tried it, but what a fantastic way to celebrate a new relationship. I fix supper, Martha certainly isn't with this on the menu, and we save another tank from the death squeals of mice and crickets. I think the owner actually gave my offer some serious consideration but, the trade value at the LFS/Bird Cage/Gerbil Den/Lizard Emporium must have far exceeded my offer.

After watching countless scoops of "gator gunk" being removed with an "I can't believe it's not butter" tub, I just couldn't take it anymore. "Quit, just quit!, We load the tank right now, or we fry that tail in butter". Sickening thought I know, but I was hungry.

We gingerly load 125g of pure paradise into the S.S. SookieSue, and pack the stand into one of the laborer's vehicle for the ride home. I scorn the inadequacy of the DOT for the 15 miles home. I drive like a Grandfather, oh so conscious of the feeble cargo that I command.

A temporary crib had been readied for the arrival. Intothenewinplaytex went to work on removing the foul signs of the previous caretaker. A shop vac is a mans best friend during times such as these. For the final polish, some one made the suggestion that Martha take a bubble bath and kill two birds so to speak. Well, that went over like a lead balloon. Meet 125g of pure paradise.

But the excitement was soon to end. After a detailed inspection, which should have been performed at the orphanage, I spot these permanent tattoos.

Never ever ever go to to an orphanage on an empty stomach! I hide my despair and call in the CIA for some damage control.

Ok, here's the plan. We shake down all of the informants for a substitute. We have a line on an LFS that is going belly-up. We also quietly inquire about a custom build. They also highly suggest that we pull in the most senior diplomat, this could get ugly.

A tale of MTS dens and an exploding LFS coming up.
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One slightly used and full of character 125g aquarium complete with stand.

One slightly used shop vac, and if you buy today we will throw in a free box of baking soda.
CIA agent, “The local informants can only come up with a 75g max for adoption. The LFS that is folding has two 125s up for grabs. We suggest that you show Martha new pricing at GC on the interwebs and then go to the LFS and have a look. GC's reputation is in serious question, but they show low prices. We have another vendor in mind if the LFS deal doesn't work out.”

Senior Diplomat, “ Another vendor, you mean I am not going into this under full disclosure. I don't think you guys know who we are dealing with here. There is no Diplomatic Immunity.”

CIA agent, “Just think of all the people that are counting on you. The boys in mechanical have assured us that you will receive free Perrier for life if you can pull this off. We have an agent in place at the LFS, code name “MTS Chris”. He will know you when you walk in. Just follow his lead.”

Senior Diplomat, “Perrier, hmmmm, do you have an exit strategy?”

CIA agent, “We know from Martha's web traffic that she has been researching Dwarf Gourami's intensely, even more than the weather channel, which is an amazing turn. You see, her code name here is “Chicken Little”. She has this thing for bubble nests if you didn't know. That is the foundation of the exit strategy. All you have to do, if left with no other alternative, is state that the boys in mechanical have plans for a reptilian showcase if the current tank is to be used. We feel that you have a 79.7% chance of success. And it's about 50/50 on your survival with the exit strategy.”

Senior Diplomat, “I should have been a statistician, that's a 10.15% chance of a rope.”
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The Art of Diplomacy and the Teachings of Pooh

Our diplomat of course has a revised plan from the recommendations of the CIA. The first move is to lure Martha next door to the floundering LFS for a couple of Fajitas. Being the most debonair of dinner guests, he makes small talk through the course and waits until coffee is served to make the first move.

"Have you heard of the Artsy Fartsy departments concerns with the current aquarium project?" Purchasing missed some scratches low on the tank and they feel this will be unacceptable. Don't think too harshly of the purchasing agent, there are assurances that the capital can be regained. I noticed on the way in here that the LFS next door is going out of business, would you like to have a look? Maybe we can help these folks out of this dilemma.

Martha hesitates for a moment, then replies, "Well, while I do understand and sympathize, I want to make one thing perfectly clear, every departments budget is locked as of this moment. No tires for the motorcycles in maintenance, no hunting stuff for mechanical, not even a colored pencil for artsy fartsy until we get this straight. Oh, and buy the way, that goes for the Perrier they promised you too."

Now the next move from our diplomat can only be described as the "E8" approach.

Have you ever walked into an exploding fish store, just after a Especial Dinner? It smells like 8 different kinds of excrement in a can. Never ever ever walk into an exploding fish store just after an Especial Dinner. Our diplomat braves the stench and inquires as to the whereabouts of any large tanks suitable for adoption. Martha follows walking on her toes. Never ever ever wear white tennis shoes into an exploding fish store. Assessment of the candidates is reported to be deplorable. One has a tattoo "Live to Swim" and the other "Mice, the other white meat".

Non too soon, the obvious agent "MTS Chris" touts that he has a 150g and a 180g that are available to a good home. They are just down the street. This is the first meeting of the minds in this difficult negotiation, let's just get out of here.

A short trip reveals why the CIA is the CIA. They sure know how to give code names. Our team enters through the basement, and in the first room, freshwater...freshwater...marine...freshwater...marine...marine. The second room, the candidates, both encrusted in a film that only saltwater can sustain. Assessment is futile, our diplomat asks what the cost of adoption for each might be. An answer in the realm of 60-70% of new is uttered. And at that point, our diplomat felt what is assuredly the pinnacle of any diplomatic career. Martha gestures that this just will not do, a gesture, only a gesture.

To understand the feelings of our diplomat, you must understand some of the teachings of Pooh, Winnie-the-Pooh. A very special philosophical parallel can be drawn in this case. Pooh, when asked what the very best thing about honey was, responded something to the effect, it's that very moment when you know that you have it. Not the hunt, not the consumption, but the moment just before your tongue feels the amazing taste and texture of the elixir.

With that gesture, our diplomat knew his job was complete. He cordially thanked MTS Chris, and insincerely commented to give the offer some consideration.
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This is blossoming in unexpected ways!

By now I will have to confess to my doctor that I had to focus (which he explicitly told me I must never do). The reading was so fascinating that it pulled me in and I acidentally focused on it for a long time.

I feel spent now. I hope that maybe the next episode will appear in print sooner than the effect of those horrible pills the doctor will give me after I talk to him....

Damn, I'm exhausted just reading it, let alone living through it. We're with you in spirit throughout this intrigue! You may need some superhero intervention here.
Now for an assessment and recommendations from each department;

Design: Looks like we can file the homebrew overflow drawings. We suggest bulkheads for pumps and filters. Looks like a 180 will fit.

Mechanical: We just love the smell of PVC in the morning, the more the better. A tank without trim.

Artsy Fartsy: Starphire

Maintenance: If you guys keep this up we could get a few more weeks of vacation each year.

Purchasing: Glass cages has low bid, but the quality is in question. Aquarium Obsessed is pricey, but they may prevent another diplomatic nightmare. I'm too old to be looking for another job.
You may need some superhero intervention here.
That's why I am in this forum, the superheroes of pearling and ph are here. I just hope there is a phone booth handy when they see me in imminent danger.

Welcome to the show.
OMG!!!! This is great reading. I'll admit I am in no way brave enough to tackle "Martha" or "Chicken Little". I settled for a nice 75 on a stand in the living room. The closest thing I can compare with your "situation" is when I baked dirt for the new substrate. The "wifey" wasn't happy with me placing a large pan of dirt in the oven for 3 hours.

Of course I had the "this is never going to work" and the "how much did all of this dirt cost" to deal with in my Accounting Department. But after a few weeks of love and nurture my plants are EXPLODING and she had a little crow to eat.

Can't wait for the next installment!!!!
Probably got caught in the $690 billion stimulus package.... waiting for his $20 one time tax rebate...
Project get canceled?
Nope, the change created a lot more home work. I have worn out a pair of reading glasses, one computer mouse, and killed several trees taking notes since the diplomatic episode. I've been having a great time actually, learning a lot I think. That is to be determined.

I will try to have some ramblings posted this weekend.

Thanks for asking.
This is one entertain thread!!!
BUT this is serious business!!
keep it GOIN!!!
my eyes are about to burst reading.
keep it GOIN!!!
I'm in too deep now, we're going somewhere with this. Will it be the sump/pump den or a shoe closet that Imelda Marcos would be proud of?

Thanks for joining us.
It's an I!

It's a H!

No, actually it's a W6 x 20# that can't leap a stinkin' thing without a LOTTA help.

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come one that can't weight more than 5-6 lbs at most :)
come one that can't weight more than 5-6 lbs at most :)
LMAO.... the "20#" stands for 20 pounds per linear foot. Just looking at the picture I'm guessing that beam is about 10' give or take long so that equals 200 pounds. BTW if you're curious, the 6 denotes the size. So that is a W (wide flange) 6" nominal beam that is 20 pounds per foot.

Now back to the regularly scheduled show!!!
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