Monday, July 16, 2007

Money For Nothing

"We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries.
We gotta move those refrigerators;
We gotta move those colour TVs.

Thank you Dire Straits. All of the above was really easy compared with shifting an aquarium.

Microwave oven?
Small and light. A doddle to move.

Custom kitchen?
I had to customise the 89cm slot for my 90cm stove, and, much to the astonishment and probable disappointment of the removal men, the stove slid neatly into its allocated space. All the existing cupboards are much improved by new Ikea doors to replace the incumbent ghastly, rotten papier mâché items. The wall cupboards are to be delivered, assembled and installed by Ikea's own experts. Then there remains the small matter of fitting a cooker hood cum extract-o-matic.

Two upright fridge-freezers now stand side by side, pretending to be an oversized double-door unit. A third miniature fridge needs a home. Somewhere convenient for the beer. In the den, perhaps?

Colour TVs?
Despite the removers' concerns, the telly was surprisingly easy to move. Fortunately for everybody, when they moved part of the display unit and sent a shelf and ornaments crashing down it missed the TV and only dented a cabinet. The damaged unit is irreplaceable; it's a line discontinued by Ikea ever since I bought one. The removers knocked off some money in compensation, and I managed not to be too profane at the time.

Anyway, the aquarium. I previously blogged about how every time I mentioned my fish tank one of its occupants went belly up. I have decided to risk publishing again. Googling moving house aquarium yields a lot of scary stories and dire injunctions against attempting to shift it with water in. Yeah, like 515kg (water plus gravel plus glass) can be shifted by a couple of guys. "Moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do," I'm led to believe. And that's before a fish tank is included in the equation. To complicate the issue, the tank is 1.5m long and the floor of the lift was 1.4m square. So the tank had to be upended.

The first stage was to remove the ornaments from the tank and to put these along with about 60 litres of syphoned water into a clean plastic bin. While discarding most of the rest of the water with the syphon, I spent a happy half hour chasing some extremely rapid fish around their diminishing home. One at a time they ended up in the dustbin along with an immersed filter and a couple of airstones. So far so good. I only got bitten once. The smart money, according to t'internet, says to put each fish in its own ziplock bag with some water. I decided not to pursue this option because it would have made reconstructing the tank environment a huge rush to beat the fish running out of oxygen.

Having drained all but the last few teaspoons of water I shovelled up the gravel and put it into clean and available polystyrene boxes, which I loaded into the back of the Goatmobile. The fish came next. A dustbin two thirds full of water and fish is unwieldy, to say the least. It took several tries to get it into the car the right way up and secure for a journey. And getting the bin out of the car in Mirdif was even more awkward because there was no security guard to assist, and Beloved was busy elsewhere. Once inside the building I re-established filtration and air supply, and let the fish calm down.

The aquarium was delivered the following day by the removal men. As soon as I could I put the gravel and ornaments back in the tank and mostly filled it with tap water, treating for chlorine as I went. At one point the hosepipe obligingly fell out of the tank and poured several gallons of water all over the floor. Just as well, then, that it's tiles and not finest Axminster. I left the pumps and aeration running overnight to try to get the tank environment stable before introducing the fish to their new home.

1 comment:

Mme Cyn said...

And now we wait and see how many the blog (and not the move) sends belly up...? Let's hope the Curse of the Blog doesn't work this time.


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