Fishing the Gold Coast of Australia

I have been in Australia for 10 months now and have put in my fair share of fishing; with that said I have managed to catch MANY species of saltwater, brackish and freshwater fish.

One of the most important things when it comes to fishing is PATIENCE, some days you will go fishing and catch absolutely nothing, where as other days you will go out and catch fish after fish…literally.

Some of the most important tips I could give for fishing on the Gold Coast include:

1. Fish the incoming tides during the day and the outgoing tides at night (or the incoming at night if it’s at a time you can go fishing, the tides are always changing).
2. Invest in fishing gear that is going to last; remember..you get what you pay for.
3. Get yourself a good tackle box with removable trays; lugging around a huge tackle box is a pain in the butt and with removable trays you give yourself the option to put the most important gear in your trays and put it in a backpack or carrying bag so it’s easily accessible.
4. Invest in a good cast net, paying for bait can become expensive if you fish as often as I do. Investing in a good cast net will allow you to catch FRESH bait that is far more superior to frozen bait from the servo.
5. Do your research, ask locals, and join a forum. This is probably one of the most underrated pieces of advice I can give you; most fishermen and women aren’t going to give up their special spots as they don’t wait them to become overfished, therefore you will be stuck fishing in spots where it’s crowded and overfished. Ask locals, get on forums, and do your research as to where certain species your trying to target are frequently found. With Google Maps you have the ability to look at the best fishing spots without even having to leave your seat.

Personally when I’m fishing the top five pieces of gear that I like to carry are: (excluding the actual rod and reel)

1. Circle hooks in sizes 1/0, 2/0, 3/0 and 4/0.
2. Size 5 and 6 sinkers.
3. Mono trace in 20lb, 40lb, and 60lb.
4. A quality filleting knife.
5. A quality pair of pliers.

In terms of fishing spots, I frequently visit the following spots. Although I will leave out some of my secret spots, these are all places where you can have a great day fishing with your mates, family, or even just yourself.

1. Coomera River Fishing Platform
2. Coomera Weir
3. The Spit
4. Paradise Point
5. Jacobs Well Jetty & Beach
6. The Broadwater
7. The Broadwater Pier
8. Nerang River

My favourite gear to use while fishing is mainly Shimano and Abu Garcia brands. It’s important to use gear that you’re most comfortable with and feel the best with. I have Shimano Cazna, Shimano Sedona, and Shimano Stradic reels, as well as an Ugly Stik reel, and I have Shimano Sahara, Shimano Sonic Pro, Shimano Snapper Pro, Ugly Stik GX2 and Abu Garcia Veritas 2.0 10-15KG rods however my current and favourite set up is:

1. 10-15KG Abu Garcia Veritas 2.0 (Rod)
2. Shimano Stradic 4000 (Reel)
3. PowerPro Braid 20lb
4. Mustad Circle hook(s) in sizes 1/0, 2/0, 3/0, 4/0 and 5/0.
5. 20, 40, 60, and 80lb mono trace, and 120b wire trace.

Below are some of the fish I have caught in both freshwater and saltwater bodies of water; enjoy the pictures

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Springbrook National Park

Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit Springbrook National Park with a few friends and had the time of my life; if you’re a nature person and enjoy beautiful waterfalls, vegetation, and breathtaking views than Springbrook National Park should be on your bucket list.

When visiting it’s best to check the weather beforehand as getting up the mountain has a lot of twisting turns which can make driving difficult if you’re from another country like myself. Be sure to bring snacks, LOTS of water, and good walking shoes; you can easily walk 5-10km throughout the entire day depending on how many of the sights you want to see.

Below are some pictures I took while visiting the park,

Enjoy !

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Fishing at “The Spit” – Southport Australia

A few days ago I had the opportunity to go fishing with some friends over at a beach commonly known as “Southport Spit” or “The Spit” which is located in Southport on the Gold Coast of Australia.

If you’re ever in Australia on the Gold Coast this is a MUST VISIT place if you enjoy fishing, hanging out with friends/family, and the opportunity to see an amazing sunset.

We managed to catch some “Toad Fish” which looks like a species of puffer fish, a few baby flounder, and a flathead. It’s possible to catch sharks and rays over at the Spit but because of the amount of boats in the water I’d imagine it spooked many of the fish away.

Here are some pictures from our short fishing trip – Enjoy !

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Anubias Specie Tank

Before I left to Australia I had the opportunity to visit my friend’s house who has a beautiful fish and plant room; with his permission I was allowed to take these pictures and post them for you all to see just how healthy his plants are – I personally had never seen so many Anubias’ in one tank AND I didn’t even take pictures of the other tanks, there are easily another 4-6 tanks (if not more) of them filled with plants of the Anubias specie.

One of the greatest things is that his set up is extremely basic – rock wool as a substrate, no fertilization unless he’s doing a water change on the tank, and very simple shop lights (T8’s/T12’s)

I cannot remember all the species in which he is keeping in these tanks but off the top of my head I believe he has the following:

Anubias Barteri Var. Barteri
Anubias Barteri Var. Congensis
Anubias Barteri Var. ‘Nana’
Anubias Barteri Var. ‘Nana Petite
Anubias Frazeri
Anubias Lanceolata

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Enjoy the pictures & I hope to have some Cryptocoryne updates for you all soon!

Kirk
TorontoPlantMan

Cryptocoryne Lingua

I purchased this plant before I left for Australia since I hadn’t seen it for sale before in my local fish shops, unfortunately I couldn’t exactly take many pictures since I purchased it 2 days before I left but I will have my father send me some updated pictures as the plant should be adapted to emersed conditions by now.

Cryptocoryne Lingua is native to Sarawak in Borneo and the chromosome numbers are 2N = 36 as per “The Crypt Pages”

http://crypts.home.xs4all.nl/Cryptocoryne/Gallery/lin/lin.html

I’m currently keeping the plant under normal shop light T5’s with two 6700k bulbs and two 3000k bulbs – I was previously using the “colourmax” spectrum bulb which come off as a pink colour however they kept burning out and I didn’t have time to buy new bulbs.

I apologize for the quality and lack of photos but I promise to do an update in order to show the new growth and how they have adapted.

Conditions
– Two 6700k T5 bulbs
– Two 3000k T5 bulbs
– Softer water – slightly acidic 6.5-6.8
– Homemade substrate as mentioned in other previous posts
– 10 hour lighting period

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Greetings from Australia

I just wanted to post an update for all my followers who have probably been wondering why I haven’t posted anything as of recent. In February 2015 I moved to the Gold Coast of Australia in order to attend school at Griffith University to study Business with a major in Marketing.

For everyone wondering…YES I am still keeping plants of course, however I have downsized my stock significantly in order to keep things simple for my father who is looking after everything for me. I am still approaching things with a “high tech” method, but with “low tech” plants, more so of the Anubias, Microsorum, and Cryptocoryne species which are not as demanding as some of the stem plants or grass like plants I was keeping before.

Back home in Canada I shut down all of my emersed and submersed aquariums, however I left one emersed tank and three submersed tanks still running. As soon as I get an opportunity to post some pictures of the progress I will be sure to post an update as I’m excited to see how some of the rare Cryptocorynes I own are doing.

I haven’t had the opportunity to get an aquarium set up and running here yet but once I am completely settled into my new apartment, you can count on it that I will be keeping many rainbow’s, gudgeons, goby species and Eriocaulon species (or whatever I can get my hands on).

I just want to thank everyone for your continued support, e-mails, and comments – You’re all awesome, here are some pictures of Australia for you all to enjoy as well as a final shot of my aquarium before I left.
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Kirk
TorontoPlantMan

Cryptocoryne Sp. Affinis Aka Cryptocoryne Sp. Haerteliana SUBMERSED Spathe Update

Upon noticing this plant flowering in submersed conditions, I begun taking weekly photo’s and watched the spathe daily to record it’s growth. Roughly speaking; the plant grew 0.75 inches a day (3/4 inch) on the slowest day, and 1.5 inches on it’s fastest day.

Since the plant is in an aquarium that is 22 inches tall, I didn’t imagine the spathe would be able to reach the surface since I’ve never seen another spathe this large throughout my research; however upon doing my daily check up on the aquarium yesterday, I noticed the spathe finally reached the surface. The only downfall is I also noticed the spathe was beginning to partially melt where it had broken the surface, so I decided to immediately cut it down to document the spathe and take some closer pictures.

After measuring the spathe it came in at a whopping 17+ inches !! to understand the sheer scale of the spathe, I took a video with the spathe against my arm, in which it reached from my elbow to wrist; I will post the video in a few days once edited.

Enjoy the pictures below!

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Cryptocoryne Sp. Affinis AKA Cryptocoryne Sp. Haerteliana SUBMERSED Spathe

Rarely do Cryptocoryne’s flower fully submersed, but when they do you commonly hear it happening with something easy like a Wendtii species; to wake up and see that my Cryptocoryne Sp. Affinis was sending up a spathe SUBMERSED made me jump for joy.

There are only two known photo’s of a fully submersed Cryptocoryne Sp. Affinis spathe, and only one of the two is an actual real submersed spathe. The reason I say this is the second spathe is going out of the water since the plant is only submersed in a few inches of water; I attached both known photo’s below for all to see:

Photo 1 True Submersed – http://crypts.home.xs4all.nl/Cryptocoryne/Gallery/aff/aff_x_M_988.jpg
Photo 2 Not Truly Submersed – http://www.fnzas.org.nz/wp-content/gallery/plant-database/cryptocoryne-affinis-flower.jpg

Even in the emersed state Cryptocoryne Sp. Affinis is not easy to flower, nor cultivate, which is why most international plant nurseries have stayed away from this plant OR can only offer it at certain times of the year. This makes this submersed spathe all the more special (in my opinion), especially since the plant is in a tank that is 22 inches tall.

The spathe is probably not fully developed yet but I don’t imagine it will get much larger then the pictures below as my research shows the spathe’s to commonly stay between 30-40cm.

The pictures are in order from when I first saw the spathe (3 days ago, Dec 9th) to now (Dec 12th):

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I recently started dosing fertilizers in this tank on a more regular basis, as well as I removed the shade cloth and increased CO2, I’m not sure if this has anything to do with the plant sending up the spathe but it only started to develop after increasing light/ferts/co2.

As always here are the specs of the tank:

Lighting – Marineland Aquatic Plant LED 
Filtration – Marineland C220
CO2 – 2 BPS
Fertilization – Micro + Macro alternate days
Substrate – FAKE Plastic Gravel (Surprising eh?)

Cryptocoryne Cordata Var. Siamensis ‘Rosanervig’ Submersed

Cryptocoryne Cordata Var. Siamensis ‘Rosanervig’ is a very rare yet controversial plant due to it’s white/pink veining that no one has been able to put a thumb on. We do know that the veining is due to a virus, however the veining seems to either be very pronounced or not pronounced at all depending upon the set up they are in.

I have seen this species under high light conditions (60+ PAR) with it’s veining still present and very deep, while also seeing this species in another set up with med/high light where hardly any veining is pronounced.

For me personally I have only been able to get deep/rich white/pink veining to display under lower light conditions like you’ll see with this runner hidden behind a piece of driftwood…

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HOWEVER; I also have a runner in the front of my tank where the light is MUCH brighter (60+ PAR) and you can clearly see a pronounced pink/white vein, although it is not as “thick” as the one hidden behind the driftwood.
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This is a new leaf forming off the mother plant, the mother unfortunately does not have the greatest veining but the plant is an absolute monster at almost 18+ inches tall and constantly sending 10-15 runners every 6-8 months.
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Here are more runners, in total I have six runners currently popping up, all ranging in size from tiny plants just forming to daughters that have 2-3 leaves.

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As always here are the specs the plant is kept in:

PH- 7.4 at night, 6.5 during the day when CO2 is on.
Temperature- 74-76
Lighting- 30″ Dual bulb T5HO – 6700k and Rosette bulb (10 hours per day). 24″ Dual bulb T5HO – 6700k and Rosette bulb (8 hours per day)
Filtration- Marineland C220 Canister Filter
Substrate- Flourite Dark, Flourite Red, Flourite Black Sand, Muriate of Potash, Dolomite, Mineralized Top Soil, and Natural red clay from the earth.
Water Changes- X 1 a week 50%
Dosing- Alternate Micro and Macro ( 1 day Micro, 1 Day Macro, etc) KNO3, KH2PO4, KS2O4, and Plantex CSM+B.
CO2 – Dual Stage Concoa 212 with Parker H3l, Fabco Solenoid, bubble counter and 15LB CO2 Tank. 2 BPS via inline diffuser on canister outlet line.

How To Wire CO2 Solenoid

Here is a guide I’ve written for wiring a CO2 Solenoid; specifically the Fabco Directional Control Valve,Part # 3853-04-A287 AND the necessary adapter which is the Plug Sys 8 Mini, Part # 4552150.

Where to purchase a solenoid?

So for all those who are looking for a solenoid for their CO2 setup, I purchased mine locally in Mississauga at Sempress Canada for $33.90 total.

Here are the two parts you’re going to need

– Fabco Directional Control Valve, Part # 3853-04-A287 – $27
– Plug Sys 8 Mini, Part # 4552150 -$3

The staff at Sempress are actually well aware of our use for the solenoid in the aquarium hobby and will direct you to the correct parts if you happen to forget the model numbers before you arrive.

Where to buy the wiring?

Now onto the actual wiring of this device….

It doesn’t come wired so we’ll have to do a bit of a modification, but nothing a grade 2 student couldn’t do so don’t be afraid.

After purchasing your Solenoid and adapter so it can be wired, you’ll need to stop at your local hardware store and pick up a grounded 16 gauge 3 prong A/V equipment cord. This should read “16 gauge, 3 prong, 13 amps and 3 outlets” on the box. Although we will be cutting off the 3 outlets so that part is useless.

I purchased this wiring at Lowes for $10 for 16.4ft of cord, not a bad deal if you ask me.

Now that we have all the supplies we need for the build lets get started into taking everything apart. But before we do that lets just do a price recap

Whats it going to cost me?

– Fabco Directional Control Valve, Part # 3853-04-A287 – $27
– Plug Sys 8 Mini, Part # 4552150 -$3
– 16.4 FT A/V Equipment Cord- $10 (price will vary)

TOTAL PRICE- $40+tax

How to connect the wire to the solenoid

This is the Solenoid and adapter once taken apart.
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Here is the A/V Equipment cord purchased from Lowes for $10
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This is what it should look like once you cut the cord
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Next you’re going to want to peel back the outer shell of the wiring and expose the wires. You may need to use wire strippers here to strip back the plastic and expose the copper tips as you will see in the next picture.
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You’re now going to want to attach the fittings which came with the adapter, please note the order they go in so you do not spring a leak.
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This is what it should look like after you’ve properly connected all the fittings.
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Continued of what it should properly look like
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This is where you’re now going to want to feed the wiring through the box, I found it very hard to work with since I have large hands so make sure to leave yourself enough room to be able to grab the wires.
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Now you’re going to want to connect your wires to the appropriate slots. Please follow this as a guide when connecting as it’s impossible to take pictures of it once it’s connected.
Green = Earth/Ground
Black = Hot/Live (+)
White = Neg (-)
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Next we connect the ground wire (green) after connecting the positive and negatives (black and white)
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Once all the wires are properly connected this is the end result
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After this you can simply snap everything back into place and this is what you’ll be left with
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Here is the end result
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Here is what it looks like installed on a dual stage pressurized CO2 system for a planted tank/aquarium or hydroponics/aquaponics set up
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