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Go directly to Jail. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.

Posted 01/13/2012 at 02:22 PM by Spaced Cowboy
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Things may appear to have been quiet on the Western front, or chez nous, anyway... Not really [grin].

The major work at the moment is going into the software driving the controller, and since I only want to announce that when it's finished, y'all are gonna have to wait... I'd say I'm getting closer now - it's maybe 60-70% done. Another couple of months would do it, if we weren't about to greet our first child! So probably now another 6 months out...

There's some more re-design work I'm doing on the sensor/controller interface at the moment - the sensors are interchangeable, so you can plug a pH sensor, an ORP sensor, a temperature sensor etc. into any of the standard sensor-sockets and the system figures out what it ought to be reading. I had a scheme for doing that, but it turned out I'd underestimated the number of pins needed by 1. The new method looks better anyway - as well as being far more flexible. If I want to put 48 temperature sensors along the LED array, I'll soon be able to, and then unplug them and not worry about plugging the same sensor back into the same slot to get continuous readings from that sensor...

In the meantime, I've resurrected an old JBJ 28-gallon tank and set it up as a quarantine tank in the garage. We've got our first two inhabitants (predictably, 2 clownfish) who seem to be pretty happy at the moment. They'll stay there for 4 weeks total (another 3 or so) before being let into the main tank. So far so good - they're active, feeding - from day 1 in fact, and no sign of any nasty stuff as yet...

[CENTER][URL="http://www.0x0000ff.com/imgs/fishtank/quarantine.jpg"][IMG]http://www.0x0000ff.com/imgs/fishtank/quarantine-small.jpg[/IMG][/URL]
[SIZE="1"][B]The two clowns - click to see larger[/B][/SIZE][/CENTER]

Please ignore the plastic castle Given that my wife is very accommodating about pretty much anything happening in the tank in the living room, it would have been a bit gauche to turn down her "Oh, that is just darling!" moment in the LFS Besides, the clownfish seem to like it, and it's actually kind of cute when there's one fish looking out of the top window, and one looking out of the bottom archway It actually works better to provide them with some cover than the plastic pipe fitting I'd originally placed in there...

There's an Eheim [URL="http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=14672"]canister filter[/URL] plumbed into the back of the JBJ to give a place for the bioload to mature, as well as a hang-on-the-back [URL="http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_viewitem.aspx?idproduct=UJ1151&child=UJ1151&gclid=CJnFzq7zza0CFeYBQAodnyvElA"]skimmer[/URL] to keep the water nice and clean.

Circulation is provided by 2 koralia nano pumps oscillating {on/off : off/on}, as well as the original 2 pumps that came with the JBJ; ought to be plenty for a quarantine tank. It's bare-bottom of course, in case we have to medicate. There's an AquaController 3 Pro handling the lights / temperature / pH / cooler (came with the JBJ etc. Not so much use for the cooler right now ...

I ultimately intend to move to a larger hospital/aquarium tank - some time in March, and link in the water-change system I already have in place for the display tank. That's waiting on a shed that I'll be building some time after the baby's arrived, maybe I'll use a couple of days of the "baby bonding" time I'll be taking off work. For the time being, though, the garage is all I have, and there's no space for the 50G tank to be set up so the JBJ is what I've got.
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