aquariums are fragile. i found that out the hard way when i cracked mine today. i was cleaning the glass and the tank slipped off the stand, one corner hitting the metal base with a noise like the sound of ice cracking. i immediately brought it into the bath tub and filled it up with water. my fear realized, water was slowly seeping out from the crack. since i still had the car, it wasn't a big deal to drive down to petco and pick up a new tank. you'd think i'd be all torn up over the loss of my recently purchased used aquarium, but in terms of equipment, the 10 gallon tank is one of the cheapest item ($12, maybe because it has so many other uses, like terrarium and gerbil hutch). while i was there i also bought a cabomba plant ($2) and a piece of driftwood ($5). on the way back i stopped off the somerville target to get a power strip.
back at home i finally began setting up the 10 gallon tank, remembering my previous lesson of not washing an empty aquarium on its stand. i began by boiling the driftwood, as suggested by the kid working at petco when i noticed there were some snails on the wood. snails i can pick off, but there might be eggs, and a quick soak in boiling water will essentially sterilize the driftwood. while that soaked in a boiling bath (hey, kind of like cooking, except i don't get to eat anything), i started washing the 15 lbs. bag of seachem flourite gravel. i felt like i was panhandling for gold in the bath tub, but when i noticed the smaller gravel bits were scratching the porcelain, i relocated my operations to the kitchen sink. after sifting through the flourite and pouring it all inside the tank, i started filling up the aquarium with tap water. when it was all done, i had a zero-visibility cloudy tank. the lid i purchased yesterday seemed to fit better on this new aquarium (the previous tank was about a quarter centimeter too small depth-wise). as for the driftwood, i added it to the minibow (i took out the plastic pipe cave, it wasn't doing anything). somewhere during that time i was setting up my tanks, i had to go next door to help my neighbor renee with some computer problems.
in the evening i went to go pick up my father at the cafe and then returned to belmont, where my parents had invited an tao and his wife for dinner (earlier my sister took them out shopping). it was supposed to be a pretty pleasant evening but i was in a shitty mood because the new dining room table already had deep gouge marks in them and several other furniture were damaged. nobody could tell me what happened, but i was able to guess that were was some kind of heated argument last night and my father ended up throwing some stuff around. nevertheless, everyone was pretending to be happy and normal, even though it seemed like complete bullshit. i lost my appetite after that and i just wanted to go home, didn't want anything to do with this family. times like this i'm glad i don't live at home and my sister should move out, whether she wants to or not. nevertheless, i joined everyone for dinner anyway, but i was in no mood to chitchat (my mother made up some story about how i was sad because i cracked my aquarium) and was happy to drive my aunt and an tao and his wife back home.
the aquarium was still cloudy so i added some clearing droplets. in about an hour, it went from cloudy to partially clear. there was a crater in the gravel bed from where i poured the water, so i re-adjusted the substrate but ended up kicking all that dust back into tank, re-clouding the water. i also added the heater because the water was freezing. 2 hours later i went back to check the tank and it was back to partially clear again. however, the water temperature still seemed cold. if the temperature doesn't go up to 74 degrees by tomorrow, i'll know i'll have to get a new heater. after that, whatever savings i made from buying a used tank will be negated.