Audrey and I have been avid fans of freshwater aquaria for some time. Follow along as we blog about our tanks, including our large 75 gallon planted tank! Feel free to copy pictures I take here, please credit me in any use outside Tumblr.

 

NuAlgi update

petshrimp:

I did some cleanup in the tank. It has become necessary because of the algae buildup. The brown algae has actuallybstarted to clump and deteriorate. Not unlike a primordial goo. It comes off easy. Next water change will try to get as much out as possible to prevent buildup of potentially toxic gasses from the decomposition of this goo. Now, can Nualgi keep that stuff out of my tank without killing the fish or shrimp? We shall see!

Nualgi trial

For the next 12 weeks we will be conducting a test of a new product called Nualgi on our 75 gallon tank.

Anonymous asked
Finally, someone in the hard sciences here on tumblr =) I'm currently beating myself up for not trying harder in my stem classes when I was younger.

theblondephysicist:

Indeed! We hard science scientists are a rare breed on tumblr! 

Meh, I never tried that hard in STEM classes when I was younger either. I personally hated math, even though I was quite good at it, and was indifferent towards science because of how it was taught in class. I do not think that is all that much different from kids today in school. A lot of kids are being dissuaded from pursing science because all science is in schools is reading the text book. The students rarely do any true science until they dissect something or take chemistry in high school. 

Just over Christmas break, I was visiting my boyfriend’s family, and his young nephew said, “I don’t like science. All we do is read.” That is sad that an 8 year old dislikes science because of how schools teach it. 

I wasn’t that much different. The only reason I remained slightly interested in science throughout my middle school days was due to my dad being a plastic surgeon—I would watch cadavers being cut into or emergency E.R. shows—and my living grandpa being a retired mechanical engineer. So they did lots of side science projects with my cousins and I growing up, which was awesome. 

That is a tangent. My own personal anecdote takes place in 8th grade. My biology teacher was in charge of also teaching physical science to the kids in 8th grade, which is a terrible idea. 

(No one should be teaching physical science unless they have a background in chemistry or physics, with physics being preferred. That goes back to the whole idea that a physicist can easily teach anything in the school system because of the reasoning skills we learn, but anyone outside of physics will have a much harder time learning to teach outside their field because of their lack of knowledge and reasoning skills.

On a side note, getting your undergraduate in physics and then going off to teach in the school system almost always guarantees you a job and higher pay compared to people who just pursue a teaching degree. Go physicists!)

The first semester was over physics, and I hated the class. I did not understand the difference between inertia and momentum, which was partially due to the bad explanation by my teacher. I absolutely hated every day in class. In the end, I think I managed a solid “B” because my parents would not accept a “C” or “B-.” After that experience, I tried to avoid taking any hard science when I went onto highschool. 

After my freshman year of taking the easiest biology class with the most random and absent-minded teacher, I was forced to take physical science again with the dreaded Mrs. A. Mrs. A. was a hard teacher and quite frankly, a lot of students hated her. What I thought would be a terrible experience turned out to be fantastic! Mrs. A. had a masters in chemistry, had previously worked at NASA, and taught with the mindset of how to apply this to lab and real life. Quite frankly, that is when I learned two important things: having someone with a chemistry masters makes a hell of a difference when teaching; i learned i actually loved science, especially physics. 

Over the summer, I took a physics course at our community college and got an “A.” Then I took calculus class with someone who had a degree in math and a masters in math education. Y’know what, I learned that I really enjoyed calculus and its applications to physics. So much so I took another physics class again that summer and got another “A” at my community college. 

Then my senior year I took calculus II with another teacher who had a degree in math. Not to sound repetitious but I learned I really enjoyed math. So when I applied to schools, I knew two things: I wanted to major in physics; I also wanted to go to graduate school. 

Here I am, almost four years later, I am doing that exact thing. :) 

So there are a couple lessons here.

  1. Teachers who do not have a background in physics (or chemistry) should not be teaching anything other than biology. 
  2. Teachers with math degrees teach much better than people who don’t. 
  3. The school system sucks for science. Most students don’t actually experience real science until they go to university, and by then, many people who would have gone into a STEM field are so dissuaded from it that they never try pursuing a STEM major ever again. 
  4. It is never too late to get into the STEM field. :) They say if you read one article in a subfield in the STEM field that in 7 years you’ll become an expert. The key to the STEM field is to read and read, but to also get hands on (unless you’re a theorist. Then you can just sit at the white board or computer all day.) 
  5. If someone is interested in learning about a STEM field, I have several pdf links to books they use in my classroom. Physics books tend to be a little sassy. 
  6. Science is contagious when someone who loves science shares it with other people. It’s why, even though I do not personally like Bill Nye the Science Guy or Neil Degrasse Tyson, I am glad they are out there in the public sharing their love of science. 

There are more than you think. Most scientists after a while let you wallow in your Bile literast quagmire, while we wonder why you haven’t killied yourself for wearing two types of fabric

irrlich asked
I often just swallow. My tank water tastes better than my tapwater, and I'm pretty sure it's healthier too.

tinyratfeet:

stanjam:

fishmostly:

  • High nitrate levels in water can cause methemoglobinemia or blue baby syndrome, a condition found especially in infants under six months
  • prolonged intake of high levels of nitrate are linked to gastric problems due to the formations of nitrosamines. N-nitrosamine compounds have been shown to cause cancer in test animals.
  • (Studies of people exposed to high levels of nitrate or nitrite have not provided convincing evidence of an increased risk of cancer.)

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/crops/00517.html

Then again, if your tank is high in nitrites or nitrates, you are doing something wrong

My tanks (all of them) are consistently at 20 PPM, sometimes more. Water straight from the tap is at 20 in my city.

I’m assuming that level of nitrates wouldn’t be toxic… since it’s in our drinking water… right? :P

But yeah - nitrites, no thank you.

I would get an ro system for your water. As far as I am aware there really should not be any nitrates in your tap water. That could be a sign of decaying matter in your water. Contact your local water treatment facility and ask them. It isn’t too much, but I would rather have 0 measurable no3 coming from my tap. Just my preference

irrlich asked
I often just swallow. My tank water tastes better than my tapwater, and I'm pretty sure it's healthier too.

fishmostly:

  • High nitrate levels in water can cause methemoglobinemia or blue baby syndrome, a condition found especially in infants under six months
  • prolonged intake of high levels of nitrate are linked to gastric problems due to the formations of nitrosamines. N-nitrosamine compounds have been shown to cause cancer in test animals.
  • (Studies of people exposed to high levels of nitrate or nitrite have not provided convincing evidence of an increased risk of cancer.)

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/crops/00517.html

Then again, if your tank is high in nitrites or nitrates, you are doing something wrong

fishmostly:

peaceypanic:

Taken dabs and it’s like 80 degrees F in here wtf

New ac unit is gonna rock socks when we get it

it’s 80 in my house too because my parents don’t believe in AC

they’re gone today though so I turned it down to 70 hellllllllyeahhhh

But my shrimp need ac

My 2 1/2 year old granddaughter Aurora. I got to babysit today!

My 2 1/2 year old granddaughter Aurora. I got to babysit today!

Give a betta a proper aquarium with filtration, a heater, plants, and he will amaze you.

Give a betta a proper aquarium with filtration, a heater, plants, and he will amaze you.

My fire red line and a sakura male sharing dinner.

My fire red line and a sakura male sharing dinner.