January 17, 2009

January 2009 Meeting

The 15th meeting of the NJAGC was held on Saturday,
January 17th, 2009 and was hosted by Jens.

In attendance were 22 members:
Jens
Walter
George
Stanley
Johnny
Jay
Sergio
Drew
Glenn
Alex C
Jerry
Elissa
Ingo
Mike
Paula
Joseph
Kurt
Hank
Jon
Stephen
Alex S
Frank

Mike started off with the obligatory bit of club business, and he quickly handed over to the host, Jens.

The henchmen – Mike and Jay

Me, I forgot the attendance/sign-in sheet which Mike wouldn’t let me forget, but Jay was kind enough to write it on his iPhone for me. So Mike, just for you…(yeah, I know, it isn’t 100 times but it did take me a little while to learn a sort of chalkboard looking thing in photoshop).

Chalkboard

My punishment for forgetting the sign in sheet

Anyway, moving on from the chalkboard, Jens and his wife had a nice assortment of munchies out, along with some homemade soup, which I can only say was not only one of the tastiest soups, but was more than welcome on that chilly day.

Ah, sustenance – with that wonderful soup in the crock pot

Jens opened up with his first of four tanks (and a vivarium) which is a 24g Aqaupod. He said is in the beginning stages of a recovery from a bad algae bloom, but I’d say it is a bit further along than that. The other aspect that I found is is a nice departure from many tanks our members keep was the sheer quantity of fauna in there. Some really nice endlers, in enough quantity to get them to at least shoal, if not school.

We had some further discussions about the recovery of the tank, with Jens explaining his paint ball sized cylinder based CO2 injection system which seems well suited to a tank of this size.

24g Aquapod

In discussing the lighting, Jens busted out one of his gadgets, an Apogee Quantum meter, which measures Photosynthetic Photon Flux (PPF). Now, before I get too technical here, lets just say is measures the amount of light hitting the plants. Jens did a live demo of it by placing the probe in the bottom of thank. While I don’t remember the exact reading, lets just say that the bulbs in the top of the pod are doing a fine job at delivering “sun” to the plants. If you really want all the tech on the “cosine corrected head” and more, please read here.

From there, Jens moved on to discussing his custom built (by himself) 14g tank. He is using this more as a plant grow out tank as evident by the kitchen sink soap holders mounted inside to provide somewhat isolated growth areas for smaller plants.

Just to the right of that tank, is this little pico tank, a 3g Picotope. I must say that the lighting on it, a Current 18W, dwarfs the little tank, but it seems to be working very well for it. He ran out of CO2 on this one, which was using the Hydor CO2 system, but the refills are too much for it, so he is going to either retrofit the paint ball style system he uses on he aquapod, or branch off the feed to the custom tank to the left.

Picotope

3g Pico tank

And although this is a planted tank club, I’d be remiss if I left out a mention of his gorgeous, custom built (again, custom built by himself!) vivarium. It houses some poison dart frogs and those very cool looking pitcher plants, along with a water feature and the automated misters. If you are interested, you can try making one yourself or follow along here.

Vivarium

Euro Style Vivarium

After a short break to allow for more soup and goodies, Jens moved onto a tank with a bit of history to it. This tank was the cause of a frantic phone call a while ago from Jay to Mike. You see, Jay used to own this tank, and when he did, it sprung a leak, with basically a whole panel becoming disjoined from the rest of the tank.

Well, Jens took the custom 90g tank off of Jay’s hands for a price and repaired it himself with some fancy imported silicon from Germany. I think I should let the photos speak for themselves when I say that this tank is just stunning.

But, in keeping with NJAGC tradition, there was the reveal…

Elmo wants to see too!

Tada…

I don’t think my photos do this tank justice – I was really impressed with the overall appearance of the tank. From the top notch equipment, Giesemann lighting (Which, in jens’ own words “is damn expensive, and damn nice!), to a sweet hard scape, to the plants. The only thing I missed was the fauna. I’d love a massive school of those endlers from the aquapod in here, but I’m sure that would wreck havoc with the automated everything systems, including ferts and water changes.

90g Custom Tank

For some further info on the equipment below the tank, hover your mouse around it…

See All Videos at the Bottom of this Article

And yes, there was the normal plant swap, but I guess I was having a chat or something and didn’t catch any photos, but it went as smooth as all the rest.

Lastly, here are some photos from other parts of the meeting that just didn’t fit in with the story…

Jens explaining things about the 90g

Folks gather around and chat about the 90g

A look inside the 90g

Another look inside the 90g

One last look inside the 90g

Jay “shooting” the 90g

A pitcher plant – N. ventricosa ‘red’

A pitcher plant – N. ventricosa ‘red’

And, a short little video overview of the custom 90g

See All Videos at the Bottom of this Article

Caption Contest

NO JAY!!!! We said turttle neck black SHIRT and blue Jeans, not black JACKET and blue Jeans!!

Now you screwed the whole thing up!!

 Caption Contest – Winning entry by Glenn

 Thanks to Jens and his family for hosting another great NJAGC meeting!

Until next time,

Joe

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