Sunday, August 13, 2017

Take the Test for Blue Thumb

Dr Abe V Rotor

Find out if you are among those with green or blue thumb. Try this. Make a glass aquarium without mechanical gadgets. No aerator, filter, and chemicals. If your fish thrives well, you must have that special gift.
 Chinese table glass aquarium; aquarium plants Vallisneria and Hydrilla 

This is an exercise I conduct in my ecology and biology classes. It will take ten minutes to finish it. Draw a hypothetical home aquarium on a bond paper. Imagine that you are building an aquarium step by step until it is complete and stable. These are the things that make a viable aquarium project. Score each item with the Likert Scale with these values: 1 very poor, 2 poor, 3 fair, 4 very good, and 5 excellent. Stop reading at this point until you have finished the exercise. Now check your work with the following requirements.

1. Procure or build a glass aquarium, five to ten gallons in size. Place it under partial sunlight exposure.

2. Fill the aquarium three-fourths its volume with fresh water without trace of chlorine or any chemical.

3. Place clean sand and gravel as substrate, an inch or two in thickness. Add some rocks as part of the landscape.

4. Plant aquatic plants, such as Hydrilla, Elodea, and Vallisneria (ribbon grass).

5. Allow at least a week for acclimatization. Through photosynthesis the aquatic plants will develop new shoots and roots firmly embedded in the sandy substrate. Microscopic algae make the water greenish, an indication of a favorable level of dissolved oxygen.

6. Stock with fish of your choice. If they are already big, a lovely pair is ideal. Otherwise start with juveniles. Do not overstock. An overpopulated aquarium will result into fierce competition.

7. Add some snails and a janitor fish or two, for “housekeeping” since they scrape the algae growing on the glass walls, and being saprophytes, convert wastes into detritus or stable organic matter.

8. Have a glass cover that allows air circulation. Secure the aquarium with nylon net or mesh wire to prevent the fish from escaping, and to protect them from possible contamination of any kind.

9. Feed the fish regularly with the right kind and amount of fish food. There are formulated fish foods available in pet shops. Now and then give them something different like dried shrimp, mosquito wrigglers, kataba (for big fish like aruana), but do not over feed them, as this is the main cause of decomposition and foul odor, and consequently accumulation of carbon dioxide gas.

10. Maintain the level of the aquarium with chlorine-free water. A practical way to remove chlorine in faucet water is to allow it to stand in open air for at least three days. Do not drain the aquarium at once when changing the water. Slowly reduce the volume to one-half, then replace it immediately with fresh water. Avoid causing stress on the fish. Prune the aquatic plants as may be necessary. Slowly siphon off excess detritus (organic matter). Allow the aquarium to clear in between these steps.

Compute your total score and add 50 to make 100 points, or percent This is your grade. Do you have a blue thumb? ~

Acknowledgement: Internet photos 

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