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Everything posted by Grover65k

  1. Almost Full Moon for a GFG... And "G For George" finally comes out to play - Hooray! Grover has figured that he has 18 (or 19) GPGs, and 1 (one) special GFG - "G For George" Grover also discovers why George is so elusive. Whilst leaping around the Billabong edges with camera in one hand, and torch in the other, it was discovered that George (otherwise herein also known as "GFG") likes to hide behind the pool ladder steps! With his colour, he's a perfect match for the green/grey sidewalls of the pool and, Who looks behind pool ladder steps anyway? Here are the best photos from tonight's montage. His head has a small lump and is not really white - the camera flash has washed out most of his grey head. This one's out of focus (he was way too close to the camera!), but shows his 5 - 6 cm wide head Now Grover can go back to worrying about the GPGs: feeding, plumbing, and encouraging any and all possible breeding activities. One of the Elephant Ears was sacrificed this morning. Sliced up and the leaves chopped off and the remains sprinkled in the Billabong to provide nesting materials. Cheers, Grover ( )
  2. What Grover Really Wanted George to Look Like... These 4 photos show what the Giant Pink Gourami 'whale-watching' experience is all about. Grover wants to know if anyone else has the same problems in seeing the fish that they carefully look after and feed, but never seem to see. Ha! Blowing bubbles is a GPG party trick! Grover
  3. G for George Grover admits that this is not one of his better photos ! It was night-time, dark, and George was heading 2m downwards. Grover
  4. Can only hope.... it's only been 11 or 12 years since "Tiddles" arrived in the blow-up pond !
  5. More Suspicious Spring-time Behaviour... Grover would dearly like to know what is happening under those Elephant Ear leaves. Here is "Knobbly Headed One" who was seen out & about , while his girlfriends are inspecting the cosy nook. And, for BONUS points, another short video of gouramis doing... something ??? VIDEO: GPG UW Billabong26 Grover (the suspense is thrilling )
  6. Aqua Gardening Sunday... What did Grover actually do on Sunday (apart from the BBB maintenance) ? Planted out the new water iris plants from Watergarden Paradise (You'll need a wiiiiiiiiiiide screen) Cheers, Grover
  7. Lazy Sunday... Oi! Mr @billfish Grover wants to know "Who put Lime Cordial into the Billabong overnight?" Grover
  8. Hi @MFF I sympathise with your canister filter problems! Have a look at what needs doing for the Billabong. Basically, the same, just bigger and more of them ! Grover
  9. Busy Saturday... If you are following Grover on Instagram, then you've seen some of today's excitement already ! INSTAGRAM: giantpinkgourami The blue cover has come off. Although the GPGs weren't too pleased and they all took off in the other direction! But "Knobbly Headed One" who looks very much a male of the gourami species, chased them away again from the Elephant Ear island, so Grover rummaged around in the back shed to find these. And of course they required a degree of fixing to ensure the ceramic sinkers underneath didn't fall off. This was accomplished with new UV resistant Zip ties. In addition there was a trip to one of Grover's more esoteric LFS - Whitworth's Marine! This was to buy 'Motor Safety Cables', aka coated stainless steel rope with a loop and a spring-link end. These usually stop your tinnie's outboard from plunging 30m straight down when you are tinkering with the bits holding it to the stern of your boat. But in the case of the Billabong, they are used to keep the islands in place and also sit things (like these baskets) on the side ledge without losing them 3m down! As a bonus find, the 2nd island appeared from under the blue cover. Sadly all the plants look somewhat spindly and etiolated. With a bit of Qld sun, they should spring back to life. Now is the time to float the 3rd island back into the water - possibly some waterlilies might survive so they will be given a test-run. Lastly, another trip to a different LFS (Bunnings) for a 350W sump pump as the Aquael pump finally ground to a halt and threw an electrical hissy fit and tripped the circuit breaker. Bunnings Newstead has moved - just lucky it was visible from the Whitworth's store. This afternoon's effort was digging the old strainer/mesh out of the scoria, building a new one from a spare laundry basket, and then carefully (!@%!<{!^=^!!%&*@) fitting the new one in place, and piling the scoria back around it. Done! (Oh... and replacing one of the UV bulbs in the Blagdon UVs - only $65 ea ) And tonight? Tonight Grover leans on the pool fence and watches GPGs lazily cruise around the Billabong in the moonlight Alright... so it's not moonlight, just your standard pool floodlight, but we are trying to set a mood here thanx! Grover (Tomorrow the weekend will be back to normal - giving the matala sheets in the 'BBB' {Big Blue Barrels} their fortnightly clean & rinse) (Breaking News: "G for George" the Grey Giant Gourami {aka GGG} has been seen and confirmed as alive & kicking - we are still waiting for photographic proof. He is the 'Loch Ness Monster' of the Billabong)
  10. Video Evidence... Again this morning Grover saw GPGs swanning around under the Elephant Ears. This male was seen leaving at a great rate of knots (he is at the end of the 2nd video). Today's post brings you two videos (below are links to YouTube): GPG UW Billabong25 (a) GPG UW Billabong25 (b) Cheers, Grover (now to get the underwater camera operating and see what's happening under there...)
  11. Ha! And some Barry Manilow or Tom Jones for good measure
  12. Suspicious Spring-time Behaviour Now that Grover has peeled back the blue cover around the huge Elephant Ear growth, he has noticed some of the GPGs regularly inspecting underneath the island base. The swimming pool has a ledge the whole circumference of the pool - it's about 30-40cm down and about the same width. So, the Elephant Ear island is creating a cosy little nook for (hopefully) amorous giant gouramis. Grover has sat there for a while and seen both lumpy-headed GPGs along with the smoothies swimming gently in and out of this area. Not that he's getting excited, but it's nice to see possible behaviour that can be encouraged with more plants and a much messier Billabong (in terms of plant debris to be made available for any nest building ideas they might have!). Here's today's photo of a gourami swimming in to inspect. Cheers, Grover (one day it might happen... one day... )
  13. Talking of Huge... Grover finally noticed that the Elephant Ears on an island are huge! He'd stuck this island up at the shallow end of the Billabong and folded back the blue cover to let it have a tiny bit of room... The whole lot is now about 3-4m wide... Ooops! Cheers, Grover PS: With the warmth in the Brisbane air, it's probably time for the blue cover to be removed next weekend.
  14. Sent from mobile You've got to admit they are huge now... Video: GPG feeding in early morning Grover
  15. Just don't put the "Wolff Creek" DVD on the in-car movie list...
  16. Right... back to the Siphon... A combination of tinkering with the actual plastic of the siphon (adding the 90deg bend at the bottom, and using silicone to seal the top cap of the "bell" part), then adjusting the flow rate from the Aquael pump, and temporarily setting the timer seems to have gone close to getting it sorted today! It not the sort of thing Grover is going to video as the entire cycle takes about 65min, and he realizes there's only one exciting bit in the whole thing - where the siphon suction actually breaks and the water stops gurgling. Thrilling it ain't Here's the BBF in mid-cycle, as proof that the water actually does rise and fall - and here's the scientific documentation recording the parameters used for experimental purposes (the numbers are in minutes that Grover stood there, bored, but watching) - As you can see, this is well-documented for future budding siphon-builders Grover has rejected the "Fast" timing in favour of the "Mid". Some of the technical terms may be hard to follow, but 'gurgle' is clear; 'fill & stop' or 'fill & down' are a bit tricky; and 'empty break' you'll need a science degree to master Cheers, Grover
  17. Billabong Re-vegetation After deciding to ignore the BBF & siphon (as seen above), Grover resurrected one of the Elephant Ear Islands today - This will be planted up with Elephant Ears and floated on the Billabong when the blue cover comes off in Spring. Theoretically, Spring is already here in BrisVegas, but the EVO is still running on & off to keep the temperature at 26degC. So don't mind me if I keep the cover on for a little longer... Cheers, Grover (will be getting some new varieties of water iris from Watergarden Paradise Nursery some time soon) Water Iris Varieties
  18. Still testing... The siphon gurgles but doesn't seem to want to do the siphon-action and suck out the water faster than it comes in. Hmm... Time for fine-tuning: a) adjust the Aquael pump flow (either up or down) b) add an elbow on the bottom pipe to encourage formation of a solid flow of water c) alter the height at which the siphon is supposed to start (ie. lower the level) as there's a good 10+cm of water above the scoria. Urgles... watching the water level change is worse than watching grass grow ! Grover ( is going to ignore the siphon on the weekend and re-pot water iris plants for the GPGs instead )
  19. BBF Shenanigans Thanks to an unscheduled Monday visit aquaholic99 and I have come up with Mark #6 version of a bell siphon for the Bog Bed Filter. It actually works! Which means we have yet to "fine-tune" it Here 'tis... Grover & co. ( note the "run-of-the-mill" overflow holes around the top, and the 90mm open top which is the "absolute-disaster" overflow backup! )
  20. Weekend Achievements So, version#2 of the "U" Siphon also did not live up to expectations. Here are 8 seconds of scintillating water flow, gurgling down the pipe but not generating any siphon effect - Bog Bed Filter - Stage 2 Both Grover and @aquaholic99 agreed it was a challenge and will marshall the forces of good (that's us!) and superior technology to overcome gravity and obstinate water flow at some future date. Meanwhile, the water remains very clear, and Grover spotted this character investigating the Elephant Ear plants up at the shallow end. Also, just wanted to say "thanx" for all the support from QLDAF and its members for following the GPGs through a tough year of 2020 ! Cheers, Grover ( already planning for a much improved FY-2021! )
  21. BUV Operations All four UVs are operative. You really have to run them at night to see the back-glow – Brisbane daytime is just too bright to see the gleaming rings. They're off again now until the morning. Grover (spooky eh?)
  22. Drips & All Update... Some of you may consider Grover is a drip... I'll take that as a compliment Yes, the BUV sprang two drips this morning; but by this arvo they were both down to single drips every minute or so = problem solved! (or at least "Let Well Enough Alone"). Moving on to the Bog Bed Filter... After flushing the BBF twice with Brisbane water (full to empty, and repeat) - Video: BBF Running clear water There you have 11 exciting seconds of water running out of the Bog Bed Filter - this is thanks to the Aquael pumping a riveting 4,000 litre/hour through the Big Blue Barrels and into the BBF. And the water? Actually crystal clear and no floaties/gunk as shown by Grover's highly technical analysis - an empty tonic water bottle filled and minutely inspected. Now that the test water is flowing, he decided to attempt a monster "U" siphon from 90mm pipe fittings. Sure enough! With such a piddly flow-rate... A monster fail! Tomorrow will see version#2 of "U" Siphon, thanx to @aquaholic99 Grover (stay tuned...)
  23. Back to the BUV... With the scoria under control, attention returns to the Blagdon UV filters. What was holding Grover up was the thought of bolting it all together and then watching it leak. This is always the most depressing part of re-jigging the plumbing for the Billabong. On the plus side, losing a few litres per day out of 40,000 litres has to be put in perspective - it's not that big a deal This afternoon saw much action with 40mm ag pipe, various pipe fittings, and slatherings of silicone grease. The install went OK - But the working ends - inlet & outlets - are spaghetti central ! Oh well! Grover is leaving it until tomorrow morning with daylight to check for leaks! Cheers, Grover ( if you leave the leak alone, sometimes the sludge will seal it for you - fingers crossed! )
  24. Technical Stuff… Thanx @aquaholic99 – your “brief posts” pack more info than my rambling photo essays Q1) Biological filtration! I think I have the mechanical filtration covered with the Big Blue Barrels and the Cetus Sieve, so based on the fact that I am throwing vast amounts of vegetarian food into the Billabong, I’d have to lean toward biological and nitrate removal. Q2) 2ndy objectives? Just a few cherry tomato bushes – these have been self-seeding and sprouting near the BBBs for years now. Q3) Bypassing during Winter? Probably not – I’ll buy more solar panels if needed. After in-depth reading of your notes and some aquaponic websites, I think it would be best to “flood & drain” multiple times during the day. When the bed was built, I had them install a 90mm hole (in the base), surrounded by a 160mm ring. In the photo below, the 90mm hole has a vertical piece about 4cm high (showing some blue plumbers tape wrapped around it). This piece of pipe has some weep holes in it because I didn’t want water standing in the bed and providing a breeding ground for mozzies. The 90mm hole connects to 90mm pipe that runs straight back into the Billabong. Outside of that is the 160mm ring which is about 2cm high. I originally thought to use a piece of 160mm pipe with slots cut in it to act as a final filter to stop the scoria heading back to the Billabong. The doubled-up laundry basket is doing a good job so far of holding back the scoria. Total depth of the scoria is 22cm (I really thought it was deeper than that!). And currently there is no fail-safe emergency overflow back to the pool. Yes, Grover realises that this is a “bad” idea, and that the Bog Bed Filter could end up looking like this… The emergency overflow will be installed ASAP ! What size is the pump/flow rate? The Ryobi Sump Pump powering the Cetus Sieve is a 750W one capable of 17,000litre/hour – I appreciate this may be ‘power overkill’, but the excitable GPGs make a very big mess of Elephant Ear and Iris plants when they get going. And the sludge continues to be sucked out and separated, so I'll leave it be for the moment. The Aquael Pump is a large one, so let's be generous and say it’s 4,000litre/hour. It does have a variable control, so it can be dialled down or up as required. So, in summary, Grover considers that going straight to cyclic "flood & drain" is his best option. Bell siphon or auto "U" Siphon ? Cheers, Grover ( able to leap tall technical explanations in a single logical bound ! )
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