Moving a 180 Gallon Fish Tank

I am in the process (but almost done!) of moving, hence the lack of posts lately. I just got my internet hooked up last night. And one of the worst parts of moving is moving fish tanks, especially large ones. So, I thought I would chronicle the process for me.

Day Before Moving Day:

11:00 PM: Take the canopy off (two person job). Remove trim from my stand in order for the tank to be moved, remove all items underneath the stand that were not vital to the tank, including buckets, nets, water conditioners, food, ect.

11:30 PM: Removed all but one piece of driftwood from the tank. Started to remove the gravel from the tank. I have about 2-5 gallon buckets worth of and I ended up taking out 1-5 gallon buckets worth before I called it a night. Too tired. This was about 12:15 AM-ish.

Moving day after the jump.


Moving Day:

Movers were supposed to arrive at 10:00 AM so I had to get an early start.

8:00 AM: Hook the Python up to sink and start draining the water. Also started to remove the glass tops and push the lights out of the way. Then, I went back to removing the remainder of the gravel.


8:30 AM: Gravel all out and the water is about 1/3 empty. I have 4 filters on the tank (3 HOB, 1 cannister) and the HOBs were shutting off due to water level so I went about removing them. These were placed upright in plastic tubs to keep the filter media wet.

9:00 AM: Tank is about 2/3 of the way drained, so it is time to get the fish out. The plan was to have the fish out at 9, movers come at ten, 1.5 hours to move everything, and I would have water in the tank 12:00. so the fish would be out of water max 3 hours. For this reason, I decided just to buy 2-16 gallon tubs and no air pump because they wouldn’t be out of the tank for long. 


9:15 AM: 20 inch Fire Eel, and 3 of my bichirs are in one tub.


9:30 AM: Had to drain the water a little more to get the faster fish. Wild snook, red bay snook, L330 pleco, royal knifefish, and red-shoulder severum are in the tub. I take he canister filter off the tank and remove lights.

9:45 AM: Tank is completely drained. I had to lift one end to drain all the water out, so I got my calf, traps, and grip work in for the day. I am right on schedule and I begin to carry the filters and stuff to the my car. The movers will be here soon and I want it out of the way. The fish will go in my car right before the movers have packed everything else. I don’t want them in the Florida heat.

9:50 AM: Get a call from the movers saying they will be 45-60 minutes late. Damn.

11:30 AM: Movers arrive. My “keep the fish out of water 3 hours max” plan is done for. Movers start moving stuff and they are very fast about it. Obviously wasn’t a case of them being lazy and that is why they were late… there boss obviously overbooked them. The tank and stand is placed at the end of the truck so they can get it out first.

12:15 PM: Place is empty, on the way to the new place.

1:00 PM: Tank is in at the new place. Takes forever to line the stand up (needs to be perfect for the wife) and then takes forever to get the tank on the stand with the foam in the right place. The movers were not strong enough to lift the tank while I moved the foam. Fun times but eventually got it. I start to connect the new hose to one of the facets to let it run for a bit before I fill the tank.

1:30 PM: Movers finished and are one. I start to fill the tank with water. I dump about 300 gallons worth of conditioner in the tank as well as the rest of my Seacchem stability that I had. When I turn on the filters, I don’t want the toxic water killing my beneficial bacteria. I also hook up the canister filter, but it will be the first one to turn on.

1:45 PM: The new fridge shows up. Joy. I have to stop what I am doing to deal with that. This was supposed to be here 3 days ago lol.

2:00 PM: Canister is running and the 1 of the HOB is added, although I had some issues with it. Gravel is dumped in (literally) and it is time to add the fish. They have been in the tubs way longer than expected. But, I can’t find my nets. Seems I left them at the house and I don’t have time to go back because I have to leave at 3:00 to pick up my wife.

2:15 PM: I decide I am going to have to dump the fish in. I stop the water because the tubs are about 8 gallons a piece. So, not too heavy but super awkward. I decide to dump the tub with the eels and bichirs first, as something in that tub has been jumping out of the water and slamming into the lid constantly. The water fills the tank to the absolute brim. Fuck.

2:30 PM: Add the last filter and put the glass tops on. The other fish are going to have to wait until I get back.

5:00 PM: Get back with the nets, put the fish in, and everything seems fine still.

So, that was the process. Wasn’t as easy as this makes it of course, but it could have been worse (also could have been better). All is well at the moment, but I still need to put the trim back on, add lights, add driftwood, and touch up the stand and tank with some paint. But the fish is in and everything is fine. Hopefully I didn’t kill of my bacteria and the tank doesn’t recycle. That would be bad.

Transformers Review

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Robots. Fighting. Robots.

That is what I want from a Transformers movie. Give me a halfway decent plot involving giant, transforming alien robots and I will shit bricks. Preferably, I would like some Optimus Prime ass kickery involved.

So does this movie deliver that? Meh, not really. I understand it is the first movie and it has to explain who everyone is and what the heck these robots are doing on Earth. And you know, Witwicky is some what comical and entertaining. But it was way too much Witwicky and Co. and not enough Optimus Prime and Co.

There is a whopping 3 scenes with Robot vs Robot battles, and most of one happens off screen. Instead, we see mostly humans vs Robot battles, and you can guess who well that turns out for the humans. Yet, we see it over and over and over again. Soldiers shooting them with guns that don’t really work and screaming “OH SHIT!” over and over again.

And then we have a whole other group of character’s who are expert Hackers/Analysis who have their own funny guy for absolutely no reason. Why does a movie involving GIANT FUCKING ROBOTS need so much comedy.

All in all, the general plot is good. The Transformers are looking for the Cube, which brings life to their race, and have tracked it to Earth and need Sam Witwicky’s help to find it as he holds the key. Both the Autobots and Decepticons are looking for it. Unfortunately, the plot gets side tracked due to Megan Fox and a bunch of comedy that isn’t needed and we never get the robot ass kicking action we deserve.

The special effects are epic though. When the Transformers transform it is pretty damn cool. They nailed the sound when they do transform and another thing they nailed is Optimus Prime’s voice. Unfortunately, this movie doesn’t get into why Optimus Prime is the leader but that is ok, we needed more funny scenes and Megan Fox.

And when there are Robot vs Robot scenes that we can see, they are done pretty well. The climax leaves much to be desired however, as they keep focusing on the humans for some reason. But when it is robot vs robot, it is pretty cool. And even some of the human vs robot scenes were done well, they just got old after awhile.

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Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 57% Audience: 89%

Shadow’s Rating: 6/10– A decent plot and the awesome special affects push it just above average. If they would have sacrificed the funny and the worthless Megan Fox character and added more Robots, it would have been much better. I actually enjoy this movie less and less as I watch it.

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Pros, Cons, Spoilers after the jump.

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Continue reading Transformers Review

Training Update

My lifting has been sporadic at best lately. Most of that was due to finals 2 weeks ago. Not only did it restrict my time, but it led to my sciatica issues flaring up again from what I can guess is sitting down too much.

I started to get in a groove, but then I ended up moving a hand full of days earlier than expected so I have been busy getting that stuff taken care off. I literally have been packing, moving, unpacking, and painting the last two days straight. I am sore as shit and my back feels like balls.

I think I am going to do full body routines from now on. I just can’t get to the gym consistently enough to do an upper/lower split, as I end up missing a day and I go like 10-14 days between legs or something. With a full body routine, I can hit everything at least once a week even if I am really busy.

The plan will be pretty simple. Everything will be based on these movements:

– Pulling Variations
– Pressing Variations
– Squat Variations
– Abs
– Grip

Those are the core movements hit everyday regardless. If I am feeling good and I blow through that stuff in like 45 minutes, then I will do stuff like upper back work, abductor work, tricep work, ect.

Pulling variations include all types of pull ups, but the focus is on uneven pull ups at the moment. Also includes inverted rows.

Pressing variation is just going to be push up variations, with focus on uneven push ups, and bw dips until I am cleared to go with my shoulder. When/If that happens, you will see some DB presses and BB presses. But the push ups are the main thing right now for me.

Squat variations will of course include back squats every time I am able too. The good thing with a full body routine like this is if I am feeling good the one day of the week I am able to lift, then I will squat. If I am feeling good the 2-4 times a week I am lifting… I will squat again. I will squat as often as I am able to. That may be 4x or it could be 0x. Other variations will be walking lunges and goblet squats (aka non spine loading squats).

Conditioning will be thrown in if I have time. I need to do this, but unless I make it a priority, it is hard to justify to time to be honest. And right now, the BW stuff is priority, not conditioning.

Diet wise, I am still loosing my “finals week” flab. I lost 8lbs last week by just not eating like total shit and going to the gym. So I am back around 218 in the morning. I expect another 5 lbs will come off relatively easy just by not being a fat ass.

Just an update.

Blade II Review

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Shadow’s Overall Rating: God Status— This is the best of the Blade movies. It put a twist on the “Blade hunting vampires” story which is the basis of Blade without losing what Blade is all about.

Shadow’s Theater Rating: 10/10
Shadow’s Rewatchability Rating: 10/10

Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 59%, 6/10
Audience: 68%, 6.8/10

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Plot in a Nutshell: Blade must join forces with his sworn enemies in order to kill a new threat that is even worse than Vampires.

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Spoiler Free Thoughts…

del Toro did a great job with this movie. He was able to make a Blade movie that had all the elements of the first one but added to it to make the plot more than Blade hunting vampires for revenge. This movie is definitely one of my favorites.

The plot is great. There is a new type of vampire, Reapers, that feeds on vampires and humans. The vampire nation is scared shitless and asks Blade to lead there team of elite vampire warriors– the Bloodpack. Why in the world would Blade do this? Because the Reapers have to feed constantly… much more than normal vampires.

So is the whole movie just Blade leading the Bloodpack to exterminate the Reapers? Of course not. The beginning of the movie is something entirely different and the end kind of comes out of no where the first time you watch it. This movie isn’t nearly as basic as the first Blade.

But it keeps the elements of Blade. He is still a bad ass. He still kicks ass and he even has some cool new weapons. And Whistler is still here, limpin’ around, kicking ass when necessary, and making wise cracks. And there is a necessary amount of blood for a vampire movie.

One thing this movie does better than the others is show case that, in fact, vampires are faster and stronger than normal humans. There are some scenes that really show that and is something that is missing from the others, especially the third one.

One good thing about this movie is that you don’t HAVE to see the first one for this to make sense. It gives a very quick back story on Blade and then goes into the movie.

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Pros, cons and spoilers after the jump…

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Continue reading Blade II Review

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans Review

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One of the things that irritated me about the first Underworld was the fact that Lucian didn’t really get a time to shine. He was THE only real interesting Lycan and his back story sounded awesome. Then, [SPOILER] they kill him off in a lame way, right before he was getting ready to fight. Meh [/SPOILER].

Luckily, this movie fixes that issue, basically giving Lucian his own movie and explaining in more detail why he is trying to destroy the vampires, among other things.

The story is actually quite simple. Lucian is the first true Lycan (aka able to take human form and change at will). Victor uses him to create more Lycans so they can defend the vampires during the daylight. Lucian doesn’t like being a slave but what he does like is Victor’s vampire daughter Sonya. And as you would expect, this leads to major problems and eventually leads to the events in the first Underworld. And, while this is all going on, the number of Werewolves (can’t change back to human form) is multiplying rapidly outside the castle walls, reeking havoc.

I actually really enjoy this movie and it is much better than Evolution. It really explains the motivations of Lucian and Victor and why the events of Underworld occur. The action scenes are quite good (and bloody) and the story moves along at a good pace. The movie isn’t one big action fest though, as they must show what Lucian and the other slaves lives are like and they get into the Lucian/Sonya relationship. The relationship part, in my opinion, is actually over shadowed by the slavery issue, even though I believe the aim of the movie was the opposite.

One thing the movie fails at is making you give two shits about Sonya. They try but it didn’t really click for me. It seemed she caused more trouble for Lucian than anything.

In my opinion, they should do another prequel, detailing [SPOILERS] what exactly happened the night Lucian faked his death and went into hiding [/SPOILERS]. Lucian is probably the most interesting character in the Underworld universe, much more interesting than Selena. Instead, they are doing a sequel after Evolution. Better than nothing I suppose.

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Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 30% Audience: 68%

Shadow’s Rating: 8/10–The best Underworld movie so far in my opinion.

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Pros, cons, spoilers after the jump.

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Continue reading Underworld: Rise of the Lycans Review

Training Log: Upper Body

Warm Ups

Jump Rope: 150
Shoulder Traction
Shoulder Rehab: 3 exercises
Foam Roller Thoracic Extension

Lifting



Uneven Push Ups: 3×10

Close Grip Push Ups: 2×10


Uneven Pull Ups: 2×3  

Pull Ups: 3×5 

Crow Stands: 1x38cts, 1x22cts 

One Arm Rear Delt Flyes Machine: 75x20x2

– Uneven push ups were harder than you think. The hand with the ball is just stabilizing, there is no pressing with it at all. All the strength comes from the other arm. My shoulder was ok doing those thankfully. I have a video so you know what the hell I am doing.

– Uneven pull ups were very hard. The biggest problem is mostly stabilization as I was swaying all over the place. I was able to do these with my bad shoulder as well, although I was very careful. They murdered my arm and back though (in a good way) and the pull ups afterwards were crap. Video of these below as well.

Ninja Assassin Review

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I love this movie. I don’t really know why but I do. Actually I do know why: the martial arts scenes are cool and the story is good enough where it doesn’t take away from it. Aka, it is entertaining. Did it win any awards? No. Do critics like it? No. Do I give a fuck? No.

Basically, the movie is about a ninja clan that does assassinations for people with enough money. One ninja, Raizo, basically decided “fuck this,” and left. That is a no-no so they want him dead. Did I mention Raizo is very very good at being a ninja?

They take this and add it to some Interpol agents who have stumbled across the fact that these clans are real, still exist, and are still killing people. The Interpol parts are kind of… weak for lack of a better word but they do enough to advance the story along. You watch a ninja movie for ninjas, not Interpol agents.

The movie seamlessly intertwines Raizo’s motivations through flashes of him being raised in the clan. Some of the best scenes in the movie are actually the flashbacks in my opinion. Gives some depth to Raizo that is needed. It is also cool to see how they train the ninjas.

The fight scenes make the movie however. And there are tons. Some of them are a bit dark, but that is to be expected as the ninjas use the shadows to their advantage. The ninja vs ninja (or ninja vs dozens of ninjas) fights are just awesome.

One last note: if you don’t like blood, even cartoon-ish blood, then don’t watch this movie. The movie is about ninjas with swords, throwing stars, and cool daggers on a rope. Blood is everywhere and so are limbs.  You have been warned.

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Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 25% Audience: 56%

Shadow’s Rating: 10/10– This is probably one of my favorite movie to sit back with a glass of whiskey and just enjoy. The ninja parts are epic, only the Interpol agent stuff keeps it out of God Status.

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Pros, Cons, and Spoilers after the jump.

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Continue reading Ninja Assassin Review

Movie Quick Shots: Trailers and News (Possible Minor Spoilers)

– It looks like The Wolverine may be pushed back, maybe all the way to 2013. Disappointing that it won’t be here sooner, but rushing a movie never works. But, this gives the people at Fox even more time to tamper with and mess up the script.

– For some reason they are making a Taken 2. What, are they going to have his daughter taken again? Some movies just don’t lend themselves to sequels and this is one of them.

– There are talks of making a Rambo 5 again. This sounds like a horrible idea. The last one ended the series perfectly in my opinion. There are talks that it might be a prequel… but a Rambo movie without Stallone sounds like sacrilege.

– The Avengers is slowly taking shape but they are doing a stand up job stopping things from leaking out (unlike Batman). We do know Loki is bring some army with him (but we have known this for a while). But now it looks like the army is going to be the Kree. This movie could be so epic…

Multiple trailers after the jump, including Underworld, Ghost Rider, Killer Elite, and Coriolanus.

– We have an Underworld: Awakening trailer out now. Not sure what to think as the plot seems odd. Hopefully it is better than Evolution.

– We also have a sneak peak into what the new Ghost Rider will look like. I heard the first one isn’t good (I actually never seen it) but the special effects of this one look much better. Have no idea about the plot though.

– We also have a third trailer for the Immortals which gives more insight into what the plot actually is. This movie could be epic.

– And then we have the movie Killer Elite. Just heard of it today when I ran across it. Comes out this fall. Looks decent.

– Coriolanus is a movie that one of my friends ran across that looks good. However, everything I have seen says “UK” next to it. I am not sure what that means. Might just be a UK version of the trailer.

Blade Review

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Blade is the best thing Wesley Snipes ever did. I freaking love the Blade movies, especially the first two.

They didn’t try and do anything too fancy with the first one and it works. Blade is a half breed who can walk in the sun, hates vampires, is proficient in many weapons, and kills every vampire he comes across. Simple and to the point. We find out who Blade is without spending half the damn movie on some origin story.

Although simple, the story adds a plot element to it so it isn’t just Blade seeking revenge for 2 hours. Frost works as a scumbag vampire hell bent on domination of the humans. It works and his scheme for world domination is interesting.

But with a movie like this, it is the action sequences which make the movie. And the fight sequences entertaining. Nothing like a vampire that knows kung-fu and samurai sword technique.

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Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 55% Audience: 78%

Shadow’s Rating: 10/10– This movie is epic and is inching toward God-status for me. This is how you make a vampire movie. If you don’t like this movie, GTFO.

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Pros, Cons, Spoilers after the jump.

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Continue reading Blade Review

AVPR: Aliens vs Predator – Requiem Review

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This movie has been sitting on my shelf unopened for about a year now. I bought it with the first AVP  for $5.00 and never got around to watching it. Frankly, I should have left it unopened. This movie blows.

The movie starts off where the last (not very good) AVP ended. The movie quickly goes downhill when the spacecraft crash lands on Earth. We start to learn about the human characters. And by learn, I mean they are displaying horrible acting in scenes that don’t really mean much. Seriously, we just bounce around from character to character with no cohesiveness or anything. And after some yada yada, you have the Predator getting a distress signal and he comes to Earth. Now it is time for this movie to get good!

Except… no. The movie never gets good. We get some Alien skull crushing and face raping, some Predator kills, and some terrible terrible human scenes. Oh, and all the cool Alien and Predator stuff is extremely hard to make out because the movie is so freaking dark. You can’t see anything. And when you can kind of see some stuff, the action sequences are choppy and hard to make out.

Oh and make sure you like blood, because there is a lot of it. Chests bursting, decapitations, skull crushings, acid melting, ect. One of the few decent things about the movie. Oh and the ending is dumb as hell.

This is like a Sci-Fi channel movie where you get drunk, see it’s on, and laugh at the terrible acting and movie in general. Except this was a Hollywood movie based on two of the most recognizable characters in science fiction. What. The. Fuck.

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Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 12% Audience: 37%

Shadow’s Rating: 2/10– This movie sucks. The only thing saving it from Tartarus status is the gore of the movie and one action scene involving the Predator. This movie is a disgrace to the Predators franchise. Shame on whoever made this.

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Pros, Cons, and Spoilers after the jump.

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Continue reading AVPR: Aliens vs Predator – Requiem Review