How to clean a Dalek

One of the great mysteries of the Universe, well, at least in the Sol System, is how to dirty daleks get cleaned?

Answer: They go to the Robo wash! (Anyone remember those!?)

Okay, this may be a more plausible answer:

How daleks get cleaned


Of course, while documenting this, Red was being a camera hog!

Red getting in front of the camera

Welcome Otos

After reading positive things about the otocinclus dwarf suckermouth catfish, I ordered six from my local fish store. They arrived this morning.

As per my understanding, they need to be acclimated slowly, so I did several things to minimize the shock.

First, I carried them out of the store in a black metal pan with their bag wrapped in cloth. This provided a dark-ish and hopefully secure feeling environment for the trip. (When I picked up Red and Blue, it was night-time so bright light wasn’t an issue then.)

In my home office, I mean my fishes territory, I turned off the main lights and put them in a large wide mouth glass container that holds about a gallon.

Next, I inserted a bubble stone with a slow air stream. Whether this was necessary, I’m not certain but certainly it wasn’t going to hurt.

Finally I have a two gallon container with a spigot that I purchased at the local WalMart. It was originally intended for serving drinks. I placed it up on a top shelf with an air hose line attached to it along with an adjustable restriction valve.

After adding about a half-gallon of water from the 10 gallon tank, I set it to go drip-drip-drip into the glass container. For the next four hours or so, the goal was to give the otos a very slow, steady and hopefully low-stress acclimation period.

BTW, I have another of these that is plumed into the 10 gallon tank and will put two gallons of prepared water in there. When I do water changes / vacuum the gravel, I pull out two gallons down to a line that I marked on the glass and open the spigot. It takes about 15 minutes to refill the tank and doesn’t cause a serious water current to disturb the residents.

I then extracted some water from the glass container using a turkey baster and repeated the process with another half-gallon from the 10 gallon tank.

At this point, I felt the otos were as ready as they will ever be to enter their new home.

Oto on Thermometer

So far, the bettas have been curious about the new residents. I’ve seen a few brief chases but the otos are so much faster than the big finned bettas that it was no contest. It was like a lumbering 1960 Lincoln chasing an Ariel Atom.

Oto on Leaf