Friday, December 24, 2010

Alas poor clam, I knew him not at all...

In fact I really am not sure how long the clam survived before succumbing to the temptations of the great beyond.  May he (or she) enjoy the plankton filled sea of the hereafter where there are no crustacean eating creatures and miles of rock to anchor to. 

That's about all I have to say on that matter.  On to the bristle worm; also known as Hawaiian Lined Fireworm:

Dear Sir,

While you're roaming around my live rock, eating things and generally looking a bit creepy could you possibly make an effort to pop out more often?  I mean, is this really that important - the whole hiding and burrowing thing is awesome (just do what you need to do) but you see you've caused a problem in my household the past few days.  You've made Frank think I'm just a little bit more crazy than I already am.  He peers into the tank looking for you at all hours, peeking here and there for just the tiniest sign that I have not hallucinated your presence.  There haven't been any outright accusations and while I am confident he is very excited at the prospect of your habitation in the aquarium those wandering glances aimed in my general direction are becoming uncomfortable. know...get out and enjoy the water circulation, cruise the rock face for some really hot foodstuffs, party down under the actinic light.  Just let the man see you!

The day before last we picked up the skimmer and pump, went home, and discovered that our new sump was too large to fit below the aquarium.  Of course being ingenious people who own a rather large supply of power tools we soon devised a solution!  Simply cut the middle piece of wood out, slide in the sump, hook everything up, and then reinstall said piece of wood.  If that sounds incredibly stupid to you, that's because it is.  Let's go ahead and cut a piece of support from beneath a tank filled with 90 gallons of water.  To do some simple math:

200lb glass tank
90 gallons of water (765 lbs)
40lbs of live sand
80lbs of live rock

Equals: 1085lbs of weight resting on the stand

Not deterred by math, weight, or commonsense we promptly removed that pesky board and the tank dropped just a 1/4" and we considered that a pretty teeny drop in the grand scheme of things.  Pushing everything into place we decided we needed a surge protector that was slightly newer than the 1990's.  It was only 9:45pm at the time so my personal one-stop-shop was still open.  Off to Best Buy!  On a side note we have both decided that we hate Christmas shoppers and their questionable driving skills. 

After regaining the safety of our home and plugging in our sparkly new piece of electronics we decided it might be wise to put that support beam back and discovered that 1085lbs is really very heavy.  Even worse, 1/4" is actually pretty big when you're trying to wedge something back into place.  Frank stood with his back to the tank, hands wrapped around a solid oak board, I sat between his legs and braced my feet against the bottom of the stand.  For a moment it looked like one of the kinkiest blowjobs you've ever seen involving an aquarium.  With Hulkesque powers Frank raised the tank almost the entire 1/4" and I yanked our wayward board back into place.  We panted like we'd been featured in a Cinemax late evening movie.

Then we flooded the apartment.  Not a Biblical flood mind you, but a flood regardless.  See there's intelligence and then there's commonsense, after that comes aquariumsense (tm).  We have none of the latter.  Did you know a skimmer needs a place to drain the cleaned water?  You did?  Well lucky you!  We hooked it up to the overflow box and turned it on...and then cursed very loudly in unison while fumbling around for the shutoff for the electricity.  An hour and a half later we were still trying to figure out what was going on, and I calmly stated that I was "Going to bed". 

If you believe I was calm and did not sound like a harpy enraged at having her carrion stolen by a self important adventurer you're naive. It was while I laid in bed that I realized water has to exit the skimmer because, you know, water goes in and it has to come out somewhere in order to get into the aquarium again instead of flooding the sump.  Oops.

Yesterday evening I promptly hooked everything up correctly and graciously allowed Frank to suck the air bubble out of the overflow box, and I didn't even laugh at the fact that he took a few mouthfuls of salt water.  I'm just gracious like that.  Now of course we have only tiny bubbles, very tiny bubbles in the skimmer.  There is no beautiful head of scum that is pouring over into the collection cup.  That is part of my goals for today, and I am thinking it is as simple as cutting the line a little shorter so that the pump isn't sitting against the bottom. 

I think the word simple is going to be struck from my vocabulary as soon as I start meddling with the tank.  So I'm going to have a cup of coffee and start up the "To Do" list for my holiday break.  Not postponing things at all, no, no I am not.


  1. Did you really have a clam in there or were you just testing people? If they agreed that yes, they see a wonderfully creepy clam, they were done, gone. Could be why Frank is still around,... he did not give in and "yes, My Dear your clam is lovely.... Ah the clam just smiled at me."

    Is the clam really gone? Frank the clam is gone....? Could it be that he was a victim of the very same people who keep trying to steal my tin foil hats?

  2. Oh we really had a clam, now we have an empty shell. I'm thinking that it just didn't want to live in such a comparatively tiny place as our aquarium. I haven't seen the bristleworm or the Asterina stars for a few days though which is making me wonder if they're plotting their escape onto the carpet.