November 21st, 2008

ghost knife


I got a gratifyingly fast response from my Craigslist ad to sell the big fish tank. I think I probably underpriced it since I was including the pretty expensive canister filter, but oh well. I had an appointment with two grad students just after work yesterday, so I went home a little early to get things ready.

Hardest part was figuring out how to drain the tank. I could have done it the usual way, with the vacuum siphon into a large bucket, but that would have meant seven trips with 100 pounds of water to the front door. That didn't seem ideal for my back, plus it was very cold last night and all that water would have wound up on the front sidewalk and I didn't want it to freeze. I got a garden hose out of the garage and thought I could just siphon all the water out with that through a window into the side yard and away from the house, but I was a little stumped as to how to prime the siphon without risking a mouth full of nasty fish water. But by observing the end of the hose in the tank and listening carefully to the hose itself, I managed to suck long enough to start the siphon but also get enough advance warning to get the end out of my mouth before the water (and fish poop, and algae, and rotifers) arrived.

The tank took more than half an hour to empty, and since it has never been less than 75% full for over thirteen years, the stand and house made rather alarming popping and cracking noises as all that weight was removed.

I did a cursory cleaning of everything, piled all the miscellany into a bucket, and was done just in time for the buyer to arrive. Within half an hour, all trace of the tank was gone from the house. The living room looks WEIRD without that fixture; Ajay barked at the empty space because the tank has been there since before he was born.

I'm thinking this will hit me emotionally at some point, but so far I'm just pleased with how I managed to get rid of EVERYTHING related to the tank. A little floor cleaning is all that's needed now. To celebrate I now have a new fish-related LJ icon.


I tried to learn a little Hawaiian while in Kauai. The most interesting thing I've discovered so far about the language is that nouns are the same in both singular and plural. Instead, there are different forms of articles that convey the quantity of the associated noun.

  • Ke Honu - the sea turtle
  • Nā Honu - the sea turtles
  • Ke Pali - the cliff
  • Nā Pali - the cliffs

Hence the Nā Pali coast, you see.