Monday, November 22, 2010

River Tank Aquarium

(Click on pics for larger versions)

As I've mentioned, I've been constructing a terrarium. A really huge one. An aquatic vivarium, to be precise. It's a 95 gallon bow-front triangular tank, in which I've built up the back with hidden risers and then rocks on top with a land area consisting of gravel and a sunken rectangular planter in the back. I've had to install a triangular rigid black wire screen in the back for a basking heat light and an exhaust fan to provide the reptiles with a hot basking area in the rear with lower humidity than the rest of the tank. There is a submersible heater and powerhead filter (overkill!) and I've planted live mosses, sphagnum and frog moss and such, and pothos, and wandering fig, and a phalenopsis orchid, and even a small patch of venus fly trap. I have two lizards; a bahama anole (that exact type of little brown lizard that is scampering around absolutely *everywhere* in Florida) and a long-tailed grass lizard, and a nice assortment of tropical fish. Oh, and one aquatic african frog, too. And a White's tree frog.
The water part, in front, is about ten inches deep, and is tinted dark (blackwater) by the peat and tannin in the driftwood. It's natural, and doesn't hurt the fish. Right now, the fish are a few basic ones, because they have a good chance of not living through the first month due to the progress of the nitrification cycle. Eventually, I'll have some really great, unusual tropical fish in there too. A mudskipper for instance, is a necessity.

So here's a few pics for you to get a sense of the thing. This tank is HUGE. That bowed glass front measures 48 inches from side to side and two feet in height, and if I try to reach the back corner reaching in from the front, I can't even do it. It's over a yard away.

The plants are really taking off, of course, in such a greenhouse environment, so it's only going to get greener. Also, those plants underwater are live plantings as well.

Eventually, perhaps another lizard, maybe a gecko. And a red-eyed treefrog. Yeah. And a school of cardinal tetras.


  1. Try to be a better god to this creation than the one from the bible stories was... Shouldn't be hard...

    Looks great!!!

  2. Isn't this going to take a LOT of upkeep?

  3. That looks really cool Bri, and yes I concur with Ryan no giving the animals rules which will only result in primitive feelings of shame!

  4. If the lizards start building a shrine to St. Brian of the Food,...

    Watch out!

  5. We used to wear those Florida lizards as earings. IF you can catch the little boogers, he'll bite but not release (I guess)due to not getting a good sense of footing - for a while anyway.

  6. Um, I'll be a good God, I promise. No smiting, no turning lizards to stone or whatever... and no worldwide floods.
    That God was just being a prick. Only answer.

    And the tank is a lot of work in the first couple of months, and then almost self-sustaining thereafterwards. Just add varying fish food and crickets and mealworms. It's all about getting it all to a natural equilibrium, like as in the nitrate cycle, where animal and plant waste decompose to ammonia (bad) and then to nitrite (still bad) and thence to nitrate (actually good, for the plants and not bad for the fish).

    Last night the treefrog serial-killed four crickets in a row. He makes coldblooded murder look so damned cute.

    I just added in some philodendron today, next to the phalenopsis. The plants look great. Everything looks great.

    In truth, this is a lifelong dream of mine, finally come true.

  7. "In truth, this is a lifelong dream of mine, finally come true."

    That's really cool man.

  8. Yeah, it is.

    Anyhow, I guess you all can return to the last post for conversation purposes. I just wanted to show you all why I haven't been writing anything lately. I'm getting close to the end here, just a series of tweaks over time now, so I'll be writing something more pertinent to the problem of the worldwide delusion known as religion soon.

  9. Texas Priest John Fiala Accused of Trying to Hire Hit Man

  10. Well, that worked good, if your objective was to put the stoppers on the entire conversation.

    You must know that people don't hunt for old posts to chat on, by now.

    Once a new post is up, the last one is dead, that's just how people see it.

  11. Ryan said try to be a better god to this creation... lol.
    God said if you want to create something get your own materials

  12. Mike "God said if you want to create something get your own materials"

    Speaking of materials, you are not specially created, you are star dust and protozoa spawn, just like the rest of us.

  13. The Bible said dust thou are and dust thou shall return. No problem with that.
    Look at a close up view of the inner ear or even the eye were by we have sight and it’s ability to focus.
    Consider the reproduction organs of a male and female it screams creation for the purpose of creating life and pleasure. Take of your rose colored atheist glasses so you can see for once.
    Evolution… The lie Satan used to deceive the dim wits.

  14. Ah, the argument from irreducible complexity. OK, watch this.

  15. All the answers yet no tools.
    Please explain how non-life can produce life… OK, go.
    And while you are at it, why don’t you create a few eyeballs.

  16. All the answers yet no tools.


  17. Ryan,

    He means no building blocks. All the buildings, but you can't make blocks with which to create those buildings.

    Well, I think he means that.

    He's reacting the same way I used to. Mostly criticism and then an appeal to a "logical" untestable hypothesis.

  18. "Please explain how non-life can produce life… OK, go."

    Carbon forms many compounds, some of which are self-replicating. We call this 'life'.

  19. Oh wait, can you explain how a 'mind' can 'exist' outside of the Universe?

    Can you explain how a mind that 'exists' outside of time and space 'makes' stuff?

    Are there magic words, like, "Shazzam!", involved?

  20. How is it, again, that us not being able to explain the evidence and science behind Evolution to your satisfaction, gives you the right to have imaginary friends, Observant?

  21. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  22. Given this it's truly a testament to human stupidity that anyone ever bought one of those Left Behind books.

  23. I enjoyed that post against the 'woo'ers with their 'left behind' crap.

    I was not so 'thrilled' with their post titled, "Fairies, Leprechauns, Golden Tea Cups & Spaghetti Monsters."

    They attempt to dismiss the similarity by noting that some people look for E.T.s, and E.T.s have no actual evidence for THEM either.

    I think that this is word-magic. Anyone WANTING to believe in God and NOT WANTING God compared to magical creatures is loving that new comparison to Intelligent Extra-terrestrial Life, and completely ignoring a significant difference between the latter and the former type of hypothetical 'being'.

    We KNOW that God and fairies and gnomes, witches and leprauchauns(as mentioned in the post) are MAGICAL beings, in as much as they operate in a manner outside of our reality.

    But, we are NOT expecting Extra-terrestrials to operate outside our reality at all, and there ARE other examples of beings which have been hypothesized, sought out and FOUND.

    Seems to me that philosphers(dualists) are ALWAYS willing to play this and similar word-games, as if they do not realise how disingenuous they are being.

  24. Ian; yeah, the guy and his wife are definitely still evangelical nuts.

    As far as evidence for ETs, there are potentially billions of planets in the galaxy. We know life arose on a planet in our galaxy... so voile!

  25. I think that it is very disingenuous of some Christians to imagine that we should read the booklets of the Bible from the perspective that it IS, in FACT, a revelation from God to us.

    If they were to say, "Read it with an open mind!", I could understand.

    Still, I'm sure that some Christians feel that they ARE 'saying that', but if you were to say that you did read it and found it to be a collection of quasi-Hebrew/Jewish history explaining their actions from the perspective that their Wargod Yahweh was helping them ethnically cleanse a spot on the East coast of the Mediterranean Sea, for themselves.

    This followed by their rationalizations concerning why their Wargod Yahweh abandoned them in the face of the Persians, Babylonians, Greeks then the Romans.

    This followed by another rationalization that the Hebrew Wargod Yahweh wasn't ACTUALLY a full-time Wargod at all, but the Universal God of Love.(Much like the 'brass' in Catch-22, HE just wanted us to 'love him'. LOL)

    But then the 'open-minded' Christians will baulk and explain that, after all, you WERE supposed to start reading already believing what it was that you were going to read and that you just cannot read it 'right' unless, according to the Scripture, that the Holy Ghost is 'filling you', or 'guiding you' and letting you in one what the good bits are and skipping you over the silly bits.

    What nonsense!

  26. On the political front, it seems that the Republicans are up to their standard tricks.

    I'm guessing that this talk of compromise followed by a reiteration in writing that NOTHING will pass until they get what they want, is to be interpreted by the Democrats that 'things' will start to pass if they DO get what they want.

    Neither the Republicans, the Democrats nor the media seems to be willing to disabuse us of that notion at all.

    We're expected to believe that if they get what they want then, compromise, compromise, the unemployment insurance, the START legislation and perhaps DADT will all fall into place.

    But that's not going to happen. Boehner can bluster away calling the proposed tax cuts which mostly benefit the middle class and small businesses, "Chicken crap!", all he wants is to cover their trap that NOTHING but the tax cuts would pass, and that, only if the big cuts for the wealthy stay in place.

    The media are all in the Republicans' pockets as we can notice them whining, "..temporarilly..", to make the tax cuts for the wealthy seem more 'reasonable'.


    Wait a minute.

    Now, wait another minute.

  28. Well, didn't take long for the good Christians at MandM to start blockin' me.

    I guess 'snark' is something that they dish out to the unbeliever, but cannot 'take'.


  29. I have a suggestion for a name for a lizard.

    Leo, after Leo Szilard, the guy who patented the chain reaction.

  30. What did you expect, peeb? When you shit in their corn flakes, they're gonna make you vanish.

    Typical Christian response:

    (sticking fingers in ears...)


  31. Guess I spoke too soon. They ARE letting me post comments. Maybe they cut me off temporarilly hoping that I'd just assume that I wouldn't be able to comment and not bother going back, giving them the last word.

    Who knows, maybe it was just a happy glitch.

    The guy is a real Dinesh D'Souza! LOL

  32. Debate:- President Obama, the best Republican President that the Democrats voted in?

  33. Here's my take on it. Obama ran on change, how politics work in D.C.

    He's like, "We're up to our neck in political bullshit, that's not right!", and the people voted him in.

    But this deal he's cut is 'not right'.

    It's like he's living up to his half his promise.

    He's like, "D.C. is up to it's neck in political bullshit, now let's sit down!"

  34. I knew before the election he was going to be relatively ineffective as a president.

    High hopes? Great.

    Recognition that change is needed? Well, DUHH!

    He's a modern Don Quixote, tilting at windmills, thinking he can change the culture in Washington by himself.

    I agree with what he said in the news conference today: Need to get the economy rolling again and need to get people back to work and buying stuff.

    But the politics in Congress hasn't started yet...

  35. I wonder what MandM think of this?

    This effectively triples the (already substantial) chance that there is life elsewhere in the universe.

    Life is probably as common as fleas on a stray dog.

  36. Okay, you poor bastards, you can stop looking at my most excellent terrarium now...

    New Post Is Up.

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