Yesterday Brenden and I took another stab at a Fluidized bed filter. It didn't work, but I think I understand the physics now... at least I'll be asking smarter questions.
In other news, one of the males is digging a nest, so I'll have fry here in a couple of weeks. Sadly, I have _NO IDEA_ where I will put them. Brenden helped me chop up another barrel into a tank, and make a set of growbeds. I'm going to get the fittings for those on the way home and start that cycling. Right now it looks like this..
tank -> 2 gravel filled half-barrel growbeds -> loop autosiphon -> tank
One fish is in the outside tank and getting along just fine. The tanks are translucent, and I am expecting that to become an algae issue. Maybe we'll paint the outside?
The FBF can be plumbed into the system once we get the rest sorted out. For now I need somewhere to put fish. The ammonia in the tank is holding at 2ish, but the nitrites are climbing, and nitrites kill fish. Speaking of the aquarium, I popped open the canister filter and there were maybe.. MAYBE... six or so plastic media bits for the bacteria. (It should have been stuffed with them) :( I filled it up with ammo-carb, and hopefully that will help pull down the Ammonia. I got the Ammo-carb instead of Ammo-Lock because I wanted the biofilter to do most of the work, but now I see that was a mistake. We will just have to wait and see what happens.