Category: fish tank

Making the effort

I seem to remember saying in the last posting that I was off on my travels, well I was until 2:15am Friday morning when the hospital called, Father in-law was not looking good. So we laid there all night till early morning waiting for the inevitable next phone call which never arrived. So early Friday morning I dropped the wife of at the hospital and then went back home to look after our son. He made it through the day but because of the uncertainty we never made our trip up north. I worked from home for the day and contacted all those that were expecting me to say we were not coming. Long story short, the father in-law is still with us but the outlook is quite bleak.

Despite last weekends events I did get out on the bike on Sunday, a small loop around Throop, felt not so bad afterwards, would of felt event better had it not been for the headwind on the way home.

Today I decide on a ride to the beach, started off cloudy but quite warm, got to the beach and it started raining, by the time I got home it had stopped was still cloudy. Then when I came to wash and oil the bike it started raining, seem like I upset the weather gods today.

I was intending to go to a bike demo day and Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Hampshire but with things as they are I felt it was safer to stay closer to home. It is now looking like I wont be able to fund a new bike until the new year anyway.

As many you will know my fish tank cracked and leaked all the water over the floor in early January. Well I have a new fish tank (in fact I have had it for several weeks) and I am slowly building it up. It is slightly smaller than the last tank (capacity wise) although slightly longer but not so deep or wide. Because I am now feeling paranoid about the new tank cracking like the old one I have made a couple of modification. The new tank stands now stands on a 1.5″ piece of ply to help take any unevenness out of the carpet\floor and where the tank sits on the stand which was only 1/2″ thick, I have added another piece of 3/4″ ply to make it 1.25″ thick hopefully that will help stop it twisting or warping and thus cracking. I have also added some egg crates, which looks nothing like egg crates. They are in fact 1/2″ high plastic mesh that covers the bottom of the fish tank. Any rocks that is added to the tank sit of this egg crate\plastic mesh and it distributes the load more evenly over the bottom of the tank. I have the rocks and the sand to go in the tank which will be the next job over the bank holiday weekend.

Finally something completely different for the music video, take 5 minutes to listen to what this guy is saying…………..

Tags: ,

and the next one please.

Ever notice that when you are down, life tries to make it hard to get back up again? That is exactly how I feel. We were just getting back on an even keel, the wife is working and enjoying her job and even better her job likes her. I had got the lounge finally decorated, the new carpet had been laid, a new fish tank had been purchased (not yet setup), a new book shelf is on order. Sure there is still lots to do but at least we could see a path and we could plan our route along that path, but then the father in-law was admitted to hospital. Don’t get me wrong it is not his fault, he is 85 and has always been active. He has been ill for a few weeks but when the hospital phone you at 9-30 on a Friday night and tell you they are concerned about a blood test you did the day before and they are sending a doctor out to you now, you know it is not going to be good. The doctor arrived and agreed to admit him to hospital, 1:30am the ambulance arrived to take him to hospital, I eventually got to bed at 4am having taken the family to the hospital and then back to their relevant homes. Nine day later we are still visiting him in hospital, he has good days and he has bad days but he is getting the attention and treatment he needs.

On the weight\slimming front, well I don’t know as I have not been for the last couple of weeks (due to hospital visit commitments). Last time I went to weigh-in I was totally dishearten, another gain, to make matters worse I have had to go back on the medication for my knee (I finished the course the same weekend as the Tazz ride, previous post), so I have to do something, ignoring and doing nothing is not an option but what I am not sure what.

I am still suffering from a lack of enthuiasism at the moment when it comes to going for a ride. It seems as though if I have a planned ride, like the Tazz ride or the ride I did at Swinley Forest with a mate I am up for this and ready to go. I want to ride, a Saturday or Sunday morning ride and I am struggling to get up and go. But if I do make it on a Saturday or Sunday ride, I enjoy the ride, it is not that I don’t enjoy the ride be it local or somewhere new I do, I just cant find my “get up and go”. I managed it this morning but I could of so easily turned over and gone back to sleep. I am intending to go out again tomorrow morning but I have to clear that hurdle of getting out of bed first.

I did mange an evening ride a week or so ago, went out with the intention of practising my hill climbing, there is a long drag over the local heath which I was intending to try to clear. Well not content with clearing it once, I was so shocked I went round the heath a and up the long drag and cleared it a second time, went home feeling very happy with myself even if two lycra clad whippets shot up the hill past me faster than I ride on the flat!!

This morning ride was a beach loop, it is only a short ride but has a mix of uphill climbs and downhill bit as well and a bit of road riding (to join all the bits up). I got up and left in sunshine, by the time I got to the beach it was dull and overcast with dark clouds looming, by the time I got home it was sunny again. When I got to the beach there seemed to be some form of triathlon going on, lots of people walking a round in wet suits with number on, I left them to it.


The picture was taken from near Bournemouth Pier (sorry about the quality, when I got home I found the lense on the phone was filthy). The hills in the distance are the Purbeck Hills, the small white blob is the Barfleur cross channel ferry heading for France. My knee held up for the ride, unfortunately by the time I was a couple of roads from home I was starting to get the tell tell feeling in my right calf of impending cramp, this is despite drinking water and an electrolyte drink during the ride.

Next weekend I am off on my travels, 12 month ago I did the same trip and got the phone call Saturday morning telling me water was coming through our bedroom ceiling, so had to return all the way home from Preston. Hopefully we wont have any problems this year.

Finally I will end with something a little less main stream

Tags: ,

Under the circumstances

Two out of three is not bad, I am talking about bike rides. In my last post I said that I was intending to ride Sunday, Monday and Wednesday, well I managed Sunday and Wednesday. Monday and Tuesday (a possibility of late afternoon ride if I did not ride Monday) were wet and windy. Sundays ride did show one deficiency, no front brake. On closer inspection the pads were pretty worn and very glazed so I spent Sunday afternoon trying to find a set of disc pads. I needed to purchase them over the counter as opposed to mail order as I would not be able to order them till Monday (or at least that when the order would be processed) and I had to have them by Tuesday morning so I could fit them for Wednesday. I tried three local bike shops on Sunday and no one had them. Fortunately I managed to get a couple of sets Monday morning and got them fitted before the rain came down (it started as I put the bike away).

Sunday was just a simple short ride to make sure that my knee was able to cope with riding, which it was. Wednesday was a different story. While my knee coped well, the engine room had serious problems. I left home in thick fog and arrived at Swinley on a dull grey day. By the time we set out for the ride the sun was starting to shine through the clouds and warm up. Within 4 four minutes on the first little rise I was a over heating gasping wreck. The nice thing about Swinley Forest blue trial is it is broken down into small sections, by the end of the first section I was off the bike removing my jacket and pumping up the tyres (new hi volumes tyres needed more than the usual amount of air). Thankfully my riding buddy was happy to wait for me (or though I was wishing he did not have to) at the end of each section, I was now a little cooler and the tyres were better but not perfect. It was not until a little further round that I gave the tyres another pump and this time they were a lot better, he bike was not squirming around under me any more. The end result is I am not going to be ready for the ride next Saturday, I am just going to have to take it as it comes.

Only likely to be one ride this weekend as apart from the heavy rain and gusty 30mph winds forecast for tomorrow, I have a lot to do. A part from the shopping and banking I need to fit the new cassette, chain rings x 3, chain and jockey wheels to the bike ready for next weekend and I want to do it tomorrow so I can test the gears when I ride on Sunday (which is supposed to be sunny).

All the decorating is done, the carpet has been laid and we now have a lounge we can use again. This means that I have to go fish tank purchasing this weekend, I have three in mind (two of them are in sales so I need to decide soon) and I need to do it this weekend if I am not here next weekend.

And finally, I go back to work on Monday…………………….joy!!

Almost forgot the video, no music this time (unless you are a petrol head), watch this video of the Pikes Peak Challenge, simply get up the hill as fast as you can, watch out for the road cone around 8:22 (detail of the car are on the Youtube page.


not the start I wanted

Back on the Saturday 29th I decided to get some more fish for my tropical fish tank, over the past few years it had become a bit run down and was looking very empty with only 5 fish (4 Tetras about an inch long and a 12″ Common Plectomus) in a 4ft tank. I thought the time was right to get the tank back up and running. I had lost heart with it when when 16 or so fish died due to some form of  bacterial infection several years ago. I know it sound stupid but I felt helpless watching them die. I medicated the tank and took lots of advise but nothing seemed to help. After that I lost my enthuiasism for it and just went about looking after the remaining inhabitants.

So we came away from the aquarium shop with 5 Lemon Tetras and 4 Silver tip tetra, should of been 4 of each but an extra one found it way into the bag. On New years eve I went out and bought a new florescent tube as one of the two tubes was dead. All was well Tuesday night when we went to bed.

Wednesday morning I got up and staggered into the bathroom when I heard the sound of my son running upstairs followed by the following, “dad, the fish tank is empty and the floor is all wet” I ran down stairs to see a couple of inches water left in the tank and a soaking wet lounge carpet. A quick check around the tank did not show where the leak was which could only mean the tank had cracked somewhere. Fortunately I had a small 12″ square tank which I filled with the remaining water from the tank then caught the 13 tetras and put them in a bucket ready to move them to the other room where the other tank was. Now as I said I have a 12″ Plectomus to move, he is normally quite laid back so he was not to worried when I stuck my net over his head (its only a small net), things changed when I grabbed hold of his tail and lifted him out of the tank. I put him in the bucket with the Tetras to carry him into the other room but the silly bugger jumped out of the bucket, so there I am 7:15 in the morning on my hands and knees chasing a bloody fish across the soaking wet carpet. I eventually caught him returned him to the bucket only to find in the mayhem that three tetra’s had been thrown out of the bucket so I then had to catch those and put them in the bucket. Once all the inhabitants were in the bucket I took them to the other room and transferred them all to the other tank. The observant ones amongst you will have noticed I had a 12″ fish in a 12″ tank, not an ideal situation but at least he was still alive.

My 4ft tank held over 210ltr of water of which 80% was on the lounge floor we used towel to soak up as much water as possible and removed the remaining water from the tank. It was then that I found out what I had expected, a crack to the bottom of the tank, see picture below. Why it had cracked I don’t know.

fish tank crack
Crack across the middle of the tank


I would like to say that was the end of my problems, but no I would not be that fortunate. I got the loan of 3ft tank on Wednesday night and started to set that up but had problems with the pump from my tank not pumping correctly. On Thursday the pump in the little tank failed, so I had to go and buy a new pump for the loan tank and then it was a case of the fish having to moved to the big tank ready or not. Fortunately all the fish have survived so far, I have  also managed to get the pump working correctly.

The insurance man has been out and we pulled up the 95% of the carpet (couple of bits under units which we had not had time to clear so that we could move them). Now just waiting to see how much the insurance man is going to offer for replacement carpet and if we can get anything from the insurance for the tank.

At the moment the lounge looks like a bomb has gone off in there, packed boxes all over the place and now the wife wants to decorate the lounge, I guess it is the best time to do it but I am not exactly shouting with joy over the idea.

Hopefully 2013 can only get better

Lets have some music, if Spitfire was my favourite tune from 2012, this has to be my second favourite

Reading back over this I realise this is nothing compared to all those that have been flooded over the past few weeks, I only had a wet carpet in one room, some of those people had several feet of water through out the ground floor of their homes, think I will stop complaining.

Tags: ,