Frelinghuysen Arboretum – initial setup

On Saturday Feb 1, 2014 Darek K, Adrian M, Johnny A, and Jerry S spent the day setting up the Haggerty Education Center at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris Township, NJ for our month long display of planted tank photos and two tanks, Adrian’s Nano jar and Darek’s 40 Breeder.

ARB (22 of 26) ARB (20 of 26)ARB+1 (8 of 11)The day started promptly at 9 AM with all of us unpacking our cars which included the tanks and equipment. Darek spent a few days preparing his 40 breeder for the move. He brought it down just drained and fully planted. He covered the top with plastic wrap to keep the humidity up for the trip. Adrian met him at his house to help with the moving process.

As soon as all of the cars were unpacked, excavation of the stones in the display area began so we could place the stand for the 40 breeder on a sheet of plywood. We hired an outside contractor to do the excavating!

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After clearing out the stones, placing the tank, and almost finishing the leveling process,

ARB (3 of 26)  ARB (5 of 26)we found that we needed to move the tank to a position further away from the reach of the public.

This entailed restoring the rocks to the original condition and excavating a new area.

ARB (7 of 26) ARB (10 of 26) The club got their money’s worth from the excavator for sure. Again the stand had to be placed and leveled before setting the tank on top. We used a 38 gallon stand with a sheet of plywood cut to fit the 40 breeder placed on top of the stand to support the tank. A piece of black cloth was wrapped around the plywood to hide it. It was also made long enough to cover the rough wood bracket on the back of the tank made to hold the CO2 cylinder securely since it is in a public building.

ARB (21 of 26)Once the tank was leveled, filling began with a Python water changer using untreated tap water since the tank would not have any living animals except for snails.

ARB (12 of 26)The CO2 cylinder was readied thanks to Johnny’s help in bringing to the wrenches we forgot to bring.

ARB (15 of 26)Darek set up his filter system and Mazzei injector.

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Once the filter was turned on, we discovered the CO2 bubble counter was leaking very badly. The leak allowed all of the mineral oil to leak out. Johnny came up with the day saving idea of using the nozzle on the bottom of the bubble counter to attach the CO2 tubing instead of using the bubble counter. With this set up, he fine-tuned the needle valve for a good injection rate of CO2.

Darek showed us how he doses his fertilizers. He has a plastic jar with a liquid concentrate that he just pours in.

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It very rapidly spreads throughout the entire tank.

While the tank was being setup, Adrian was taking charge of hanging the photos, cutting the photo labels, and hanging all up on the walls using the Arboretums hanging system. A big thanks goes out to Adrian for his help in getting the prints and hanging them. A few needed mounting, which he also did.

ARB+1 (7 of 11) ARB+1 (9 of 11)
We finished up the day around 3 PM feeling very tired and hungry, but very pleased with what we got done.

Stop by the Arboretum and take a look at the show when you get a chance. It is free. The center closes at 4:30 PM during the week and is open on weekends till 4:30 as well. Directions:

This exhibit is also a precursor to our Indoor Aquatic Gardening Day on Feb 22, 2014 starting at 1 PM. This will be an educational seminar geared to the accomplished terrestrial gardener that is not aware a whole new phase of gardening exists underwater. There is a $5.00 admission fee for this event charged by the Morris County Park Commission, owners of the Arboretum. For details see here: They do say you need to preregister.

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