Well today is the day, got an SMS message off the courier and they will be delivering between 11.56am and 12.56 pm, why they don’t just say 12 and 1pm I don’t know!
Edit 12:07 Jan 17 2014
OK, now I understand why, at exactly 11.56 my doorbell rang, the delivery man put all the items where I wanted them in my home, none of that kerbside nonsense!
I have had a few litres of water in the tank over the past few days, just enough to cover the seal and the bottom of the outlet/return pipe, so far so good, the outlet/return was a little concern as there is a rubber washer top and bottom of the glass, one side of each washer has two circular raised ‘ribs’ and being unsure as to whether they go to the glass or the PVC fittings, I trusted to luck and just put them on whatever way they come, as I looked at it there was one of three possibilities, one ribs to glass, two ribs to PVC and three makes no difference, which gives me a 2 to 1 chance of getting it right, so far luck is on my side.
Once the delivery arrives I foresee only one real problem and that is dealing with the gravel, not being able to lift the bags will mean having to decant it and wash it in small batches, that could take some time. In the meantime I will need to workout the placement of the filer media in the sump tank, fill the tank to about 25% and leave it stand for a day then top up to about 50% for another day. The concern here is that I do not want the water to stand too long without any filtration, but do not want to fill the tank only to find a problem and have to empty it or worse case scenario, flood my living-room!
Items in today’s delivery
The surface area of Alfagrog is many times that of ceramics or any other option currently available.
For full details see www.alfagrog.com
3 x 5.8kg Tetra Complete Substrate, this will be the first thing in the bottom of the tank and is for the plants, each 5.8kg bucket is suitable for 120l, so the three work out to 360 litres, which is 10 litres more than the tank holds but 70 litres less than the whole system (including the sump) holds. this is a long term fertiliser.
900gm of Fluval activated carbon, this will keep the water crystal clear, free from heavy metals and many chemicals.
Every aquarium keepers best friend.
And finally to the gravel, this “3mm dorset pea gravel” was recommended to go along with the Tetra substrate, a total of 50kgs of this to give sufficient depth for plant roots.
I must admit to being a little anxious about this choice as I have never used pea gravel before, having previously gone for a more exotic choice, such as the black & white 2-3mm harliquin or white river sand.
All the above goods are being supplied and delivered by Complete Aquatics who have been helpful beyond belief, this is the only company that I contacted that would deliver the gravel (all 50kgs) without charging a ludicrous delivery charge, a number of other companies I contacted would deliver all sorts of high value heavy items (kerbside only) but when it came to gravel the prices started to get really silly, bear in mind this is an order that is well above most peoples ‘free delivery’ threshold, yet the man at Complete Aquatics calmly said “oh, yes ALL orders over £50 are free delivery, gravel included”.
I originally contacted Complete Aquatics (as explained to Chris on the telephone) in order to glean some advice and then buy from whomever was the cheapest, but in fact Chris was so knowledgeable, helpful and polite I just placed the whole order with them right there and then, good customer service and advice is hard to come by these days !