Trimmed Cabomba

Our aquarium on 24th Jan 2007.This is how our aquarium looks like today.

After some of our guppies have R.I.P.ed, there are only three left in the main tank now.

Trimmed some of the longer cabomba plant on the right, and re-planted them on the left side.

Hope the rest of our guppies will survive too…

Our Aquarium

Our aquarium on 16th Jan 2007.This is how how fish tank looks like now, rearing fishes such as Guppies, Cory Catfish, Harlequin Rasbora and Red Dwarf Gourami. The fine-leaved plant on the right is known as Cabomba, and is one of the plants I liked most.

Although when young, my brother used to rear fishes too, this is the first time I have ever been able to purchase and set up the fish tank by myself (and my wife Cat). So I am pretty satisfied with the final outcome.

Strictly speaking, this is not aquascaping as it still lacks some kind of depth. That’s why I called it a hybrid setup, a balance between some aquascaping and fish rearing.

The First Steps (Part 2)

It was time to set up the cannister filter.

Opening up the box and carefully reading the setup instructions, I started setting up the filter and turned it on. Strange noises were heard from the filter and it simply refused to suck in the water from the tank. We repeatedly tried again but it continued to fail.

Exasperated, I made a phone call to Qian Hu at around 9pm. Someone picked up the phone and asked what help I needed politely. I explained the situation to him and he adviced me to fill the hose with water (inlet side) first before turning on the filter. I thanked him and proceed to try it out.

I had some problems doing so and called him again. Although he patiently continued to provide us with his advices, he mentioned that he was in the midst of rushing through his work doing overtime (as nobody should still be in the office at such late hours). I thanked him again and after trying to fill the tube with Catherine’s help, we finally got the filter working!

I was thankful for the person’s advices and glad that everything seemed to have set up properly. Now we just need to wait for several days for the cloudy water to clear up and for the water cycle to take its course (recommended to wait around 1 week for the water cycle to complete).

The First Steps (Part 1)

The fish tank arrived this afternoon, and I have especially taken half-day’s leave from work to wait for the delivery men from Qian Hu.

They arrived slightly later than expected, but all went smoothly initially as the guys shifted the tank and cabinet to the location we designated, and the necessary handing-over documents processed.

However, problem started to happen when one of the florenscene lamps refused to work, blinking now and then. Although the delivery men tried to adjust it repeatedly, it didn’t work out. In the end, after speaking through the phone with their supervisor, they gave up trying and promised will bring the working tube back on another day.

As I suspected that the lamps holder could have been the root cause of the problem, I suggested them bringing the entire lamp holder and the two lamps back instead. They were reluctant at first but agreed to it nevertheless.

After they left, I was not really affected by the lamp incident, as I was still very much excited about the setting up of the aquarium, after having eagerly waited for this day since the purchase.

I wanted to wash the tank and both of us carried the heavy 3ft tank to the bathroom to wash. We had problem pouring away the water as it was too heavy. Cat suggested using the water hose method to suck out the water instead. I tried but failed after several attempts, unable to figure out how to get the water out from the tank using a hose.

After some search on the Net, I finally discovered the trick. We would have to first fill the tube with water before dipping one end to the source and the other to the outlet. The outlet must be lower than the source for this to work.

We then poured in the 2kg gravel into the tank, without washing them. After spreading them out evenly, we proceeded to pour water over it. The water was dirty but we thought it would be cleared away soon with the help of the filter, which we would be installing next.

The Journey Begins… (Part 3)

On our way home, we continued to feel uneasy, worried that we might have bought the fish tank on impulse, not doing enough homework to ensure that the price was reasonable. We could have visited a few more fish shops before buying anything.

This uneasiness continued all the way till late at night, as Cat pointed out her worries that I could grow tired of this fish-keeping hobby soon and all this money we have spent would go into waste.

Though I assured her that this would not be, I continued to feel a little regretful of the haste purchasing move. Nevertheless, I convinced ourselves that the price was worth it, since we would always rather spend more for a better item than to scrap and save for an inferior stock. Having the cheap metal stand fish tank would definitely spoil the look of our living room. Furthermore, this expensive fish tank that we bought would act as one of our decorative furniture our house too, so comparing its price with the other furnitures in our home, it ain’t so expensive after all.

Feeling better after thinking on the various points, we went to sleep and eagerly awaits for the arrival of our fish tank in a few days’ time.

The Journey Begins… (Part 2)

After a walk through the various sections of the place, we ended up at the merchanise building. Just outside it, we saw the display of sales of many fish tanks and metal stands, at relatively affordable prices (from around S$50 to S$100+). I was tempted but Catherine reminded me that the metal stand would look ugly in our living room, especially with all the necessary related items (fish food etc) that we needed to place on it. We considered putting a cover (such as a cloth), but it will probably still look ugly.

We then walked into the air-conditioned building and was pleasantly delighted at the variety of fish tanks they were selling. A 2ft tank with a artistically shaped stand attracted my attention, but we soon brushed it off after a while. We then turned our attention to a 3ft tank with a wooden look. It did not really appeal to me initially but the salesperson managed to convince us to seal the deal, getting the tank (with cannister filter etc) at around S$600.

We then proceeded to purchase the supplements for the fishes (vitamins, anti-chlorine etc) under the advice of the salesperson. In all, we spent around S$700. I felt a little uneasy about spending so much at one go, but still went ahead to foot the bill using credit card and arranging for the stuff to be delivered to us in a few days’ time.

The Journey Begins… (Part 1)

It started with a suggestion made by me to Cat, to start an aquarium as a hobby while beautifying our home. We are staying in a 5-room flat and as with only us as the inhabitants, we have had the luxury of a very spacious living room with minimal furniture. Thus this new aquarium would also help to occupy part of the unused wall there.

We had no idea of how much to budget, as I simply do not know what is the market price for a proper aquarium. Excited, I urged Cat to drop by some fish shops to check out the prices.It started with some franatic search on the Net for neighbouring fish shops and I landed up on Heusmann, a fish farm in the Kranji/Choa Chu Kang region. We took the Kranji Express (which cost S$2 for unlimited rides on the same day) and visited the farm. It was a relatively spacious farm, though many portions were left unused, probably due to drop in visitors because of competition.

Anyway, we browsed through the fishes and fish tanks, but none really suited our tastes (and budget!). We then left the farm and took the opportunity to board the Kranji Express again to visit some other non-Aquatic related farms.

On our way back, I suggested visiting Qian Hu, and with the help of the Kranji Express driver, he told us that there was a free shuttle bus service near the Choa Chu Kang MRT Station. Making up our minds, we took the MRT from Kranji and arrived at CCK. When we arrived, we asked around a bit before locating the pickup point, which was along one of the busy roads underneath the MRT tracks. Not exactly a safe place for a pick-up point, we thought.

The shuttle bus arrived pretty shortly afterwards and after a ten-minute ride, we arrived at Qian Hu. We were pleasantly surprised at the size and layout of the place. It was really a vast difference from Heusmann. No wonder the number of visitors dropped at the latter.