Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/941

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Popular Science Monthly

��925

���A peculiar and very beau- tiful variety of gold fish

��One requirement of a balanced aquarium is a rich alluvial soil in which the plants may flourish. A few rootless aquatic plants, as Fontinalis or Ceratophyllum, grow in clean sand. The best soil for the aquarium is a mixture of top soil loam and sand. Before placing the soil in the aquari- um, a small piece of glass should be put- tied in one cor- ner. On this all refuse will ac- cumulate so it can be easily re- moved. Arrange the soil in the aquarium so that it slopes gently toward the refuse corner. The highest part of the soil is placed diagonally opposite it. Place marsh plants in the highest part. Of all marsh plants Cyperus Alta nifolius is recom- mended, although it is often cultivated as a pot plant. If the Cyperus has been used as a pot plant it must first be inured to the water by placing it in a pail of water with the water flush with the top of the pot. Later the water is gradually raised. After several weeks of this treatment the Cyperus will be inured to the water and may be transplanted into the aquarium. The soil is then packed down firmly and evenly. Over this a layer of sand which has been washed perfectly clean is placed to prevent the water from becoming muddy.

Plants, however, are placed in only one half of the aquarium. Draw an imaginary diagonal from corner to corner. That half of the aquarium containing the Cyperus is used for planting, while the other half holding the refuse corner remains free for the fish.

It is comparatively easy to plant water weeds. Bore a hole in the sand with the finger and place the roots of Vallisneria and Sagittaria natans in it. Then cover the hole with sand. The Cabomba, and similar small plants are treated differently. Only the tips of these plants are used for cultiva- tion. They are almost buried in the sand, the tips only peep forth, for only that part of the plant which has grown in the aquarium remains green. These shoots, a few of which are usually placed in one hole, root very rapidly.

When the aquarium is completely planted it must be filled with water. To prevent

��the water from stirring up the sand, lay a piece of paper over the refuse corner. Pour the water carefully on the paper until the aquarium is about a quarter full. The rest should be siphoned in with a small rubber hose.

The aquarium should be placed in a well lighted window so that the plants may receive a sufficient quantity of light. When the plants have grown sufficiently, fish may be procured and placed in the aquarium. A convenient method of computing the num- ber of fish an aquarium will hold is to allow a quart of water for every fish 2 in. in length.

Such a balanced aquarium shows the family life of the fish. The Paradise fish builds a foamy nest on the surface of the water, plays at love making, lays its spawn and cares for its young. The peculiar and odd varieties of gold fish lay their spawn on delicate aquatic vegetation. The Chan- chito digs a small ditch in which the young are" taken care of. The stickleback builds a delicate nest for its spawn from plant fibers. This nest is a work of art rivaling many bird-nests. Mention may be also made of the mouth breeders, the female of which carries the spawn in her mouth until it matures. — Dr. E. Bade.

��Making A Sprinkler Hoze Nozzle for the Boiler Room

THE illustration shows the details of an easily constructed sprinkler hose noz- zle. The deflector plate is cut from 1/16- in. sheet or galvanized iron, and soldered to the pipe used as a tube. The angle of the

���Deflector

A deflector for a hose nozzle to make a sprinkler

spray is adjusted and governed by bending the neck of the plate. The whole arrange- ment is quickly and easily made and it is conveniently handled. It will be found very useful for many purposes, especially around the boiler room. — F. W. Bentley.

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