GWAPA: March 2009

March 30th, 2009

On Saturday, GWAPA held their March meeting at Dave’s house. Dave, also known as ingg on the plant forums, has a basement full of beautiful tanks, and has previously been featured on the APC Tank of the Month. The topic for this meeting was a series of DIY demonstrations, showing how to setup a yeast CO2 system, a duckweed surface cleaner, and a nano-tank auto-top off system. Since GWAPA will be starting our 2.5G aquascaping contest next month, the auto-top off system was of particular interest to me. Hopefully I’ll be able to build of these in the near future.

Dave's 75G

Dave's 75G

The duckweed surface cleaner is a clever idea involving a powerhead and the top half of a soda/water bottle. Attaching the lip of the bottle to the intake of the powerhead, the powerhead creates a vacuum to suck anything on the surface down into a vortex formed in the bottle. If you put some filter floss in the bottle, all of the duckweed/trimmings will get stuck there, and you’ll have a clean surface. Pretty neat, huh?

Dave's 30G

Dave's Oceanic 30G

And of course, we had another huge auction with over 100 bags of plants present. I came away with some nice stuff including Cryptocoryne usteriana x walkerii, Lilaeopsis sp., Rotala sp. ‘Sunset’, and a couple others. GWAPA is pretty lucky to have some rare plants available in every auction. Overall, it was another fun meeting on a rainy Saturday in Maryland.

6 Responses to “GWAPA: March 2009”

  1. David P Says:

    Do you have tips on finding out about meets in my area? (personally, I’m in Nashville, but general tips would be good, too)

  2. guitarfish Says:

    David, the best way is to ask around at your local fish stores, online at, or possibly contacting the Tennessee Aquarium to see if they know of any Tennessee-based clubs. The only society I could find in some Googling around is the Nashville Pond Society. Not exactly aquariums, but depending on the interests of the members, there might be some overlap. If you can find 6-10 people, you could start your own club, and just meet every couple of months informally.

  3. James Says:

    Wow! Your meets sound great! Wish we had some here in KY.

    Those DIY ideas are awesome. I’m trying the DIY CO2 this week.

  4. guitarfish Says:

    Thanks for the comment James! I’m really fortunate to have such a great group of plant-minded people in my area. Good luck with the DIY CO2! It’s great for smaller tanks (< 30G) if you can stay on top of changing out the sugar/water every week or two.

  5. James Says:

    A family member already has it going on his 20g. I tried it once already, but I apparently have a leak. Ended up using all our sugar too. LOL. But I’m trying again tonight and I’m sealing everything to make sure there aren’t any leaks. 😀

  6. Dave Says:

    You don’t need ot go crazy sealing it.

    One of the tips I gave during the DIY talk:

    Drill the holes with a sharp bit, and use a bit smaller than the diameter of the tubing.

    Cut the tubing end at a sharp angle. Push the “point” through the hole, grab and pull with needle nose pliers.

    Bang, airtight. Pressurize it all, and you push the walls of the tubing, which only tightens the seal at that point.

    Some more tips:

    Don’t use 2L pop bottles. Use juice or Gatorade bottles, they are far more stable in terms of tipping, and also use heavier plastic. (also have larger caps for drilling holes into. ;))

    Don’t skip the second bottle. It serves two functions: First is a bubble counter, but second is a catch all for any yeast or gunk that comes through the tube from your yeast and sugar bottle.

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