Most people never think twice about giving the fish tank a good clean out every so often. This family, unfortunately found themselves in hospital after doing just that!
This bizarre poisoning by toxins released from coral from a fish tank is very rare indeed, and has stunned the leading authorities of Australia’s tropical reefs. Professor David Suggett, of Sydney University said that for all the family members to be admitted was indeed very strange.
Two adults and five children were admitted for treatment on Tuesday after ingesting airborne “spores’’ released from coral taken from a home aquarium. All were reported as being in a stable condition.
County Fire Officers found several pieces of coral which had apparently been scrubbed and cleaned, outside the aquarium after being called by the family about 2am on Tuesday. The home was quarantined immediately and a clean up crew brought in to ensure that the house was safe for the family to return to.
CFC Regional Officer Peter Phillips said that by cleaning the coral, they had released toxic spores into the air, which then were breathed in. The fire department was also planning on analysing the water in the tank. There is a possibility that other things in the tank may have caused the toxicity. This may have been a combination of different things which led to the release of toxins into the air where the family was working, which is why they were all affected.
Professor David said that working with Zoanthids was risky, and they were very cautious. Water quality may also cause the formation of micro-algae. Officers at the house were in constant contact by telephone with marine biologists during the decontamination.
“It depends what they had in their tank (because) a close relative of coral, called Zoanthids, are known to release toxins,’’ he said.
“I have heard of incidents of aquarists fragmenting coral, breaking it into small pieces, and similarly, they’ve been exposed to toxins but that’s anecdotal, I’ve never seen actual evidence.”
“When we work with (Zoanthids) we are very cautious indeed.”
“Another factor to think about is the water quality in tanks can sometimes promote the formation of micro-algae … that are also prolific toxin producers. So we can’t completely point the smoking gun to the corals.’’
Sam Quigley, a hazmat specialist said that it was a very unusual case for the team. They had not come across a case like that is South Australia before. The family were reported to all be in a stable condition.
“It’s a very unusual job for us, we haven’t come across something like this in South Australia,” Quigley said.
Nick Mead and Todd Chamberlain got more than they bargained for when they bought a tank on eBay. Nick, who runs Tanks-a-lot in Helmdon, Northants, bought the tank for a bargain at £30,000 [$38,000].
Nick was filming Todd as he fished around inside the tank. Both men were expecting Todd to pull out weapons of some sort, so imagine their surprise when he pulled out bars of gold instead! Bar after bar were pulled out, with excited Nick filming the whole thing.
“Well, it’s not guns that’s for sure,” Todd said.
“Is that what I think it is? How heavy is it? Seriously?! Is that gold? Oh god, that’s about five or six kilos. Wow, good here init [sic],” Nick exclaimed.
“See how many there are, find the rest! Yeehaah! What are we going to do with them? “
“Oh my God. I don’t believe it, what do you reckon they’re worth? Where did they come from? It could be Kuwaiti or Iraqi.”
“How many more are there? This is better than having puppies! Incredible.”
Of course, after all the excitement had died down, the question arose as to what they should do with all the bullion. They speculated on spending it on cars are other things, but they knew that they would not be allowed to keep it. Something about taking it down to ‘Cash Convertors’ one bar at a time, might just set alarm bells ringing!
“It’s not something I’d thought I’d be doing, finding b***** great bars of gold hidden in a tank. Absolutely incredible.”
“But, we’ve got to ring the police. I don’t know whether this is millions or hundred of thousands worth. But one thing is for certain, I don’t want it lying around my office.”
“We’ll get a receipt and hopefully, just hopefully, we’ll get to keep it. What’s the chance of us keeping it?”
Off camera, some one replies: “Absolutely zero.”
“We didn’t know what to do. You can’t exactly take five gold bullion bars down to Cash Converters without questions being asked, so we called the police,” shared Todd.
So after taking more pictures and the video of their find, they did the honourable thing and called the police. As Nick explained, the bullion was worth millions and he really did not want it lying around his office.
It seems that the tank had in fact been already restored by the previous owner, but he had not even seen the gold stashed away inside. He had only replaced the tracks and the engine, not even looked inside. Nick, who has a collection of some 150 military vehicles, said that he had traded an army lorry and an Abbot self-propelled gun for the tank.
“It’s crazy and a great find so I hope they get to keep it,” said Joe Hewes who sold the tank to Nick.
“Everyone is thinking I should be devastated to have missed out on what could be a fortune but I’m not too upset because I made a fair bit of money on the tank anyway.”
“I haven’t been in touch with Nick but if he does get to keep some of the some of the money, I expect a pint!”
Judging by the weight of the bullion , they reckoned it was worth about £2 million ($2.5 million), although Nick doubted that they would even get a finders fee for handing it in.
“We know it is definitely an Iraqi tank and our theory is the gold is from Kuwait but we don’t know,” Nick said.
“When we found it, we were all laughing and joking and deciding what we were going to spend the money on.”
“My sister wanted a Land Rover and I would buy a Rolls Royce Phantom and chop the back off to make a pick-up truck.”
The history of the tank is unclear, it is a Chinese copy of the Russian T54 design, built in the 1980’s, and had just 1507 miles on it. It may have been that the gold was stolen by Iraqi soldiers during the raid on Kuwait in 1990, but that remains to be proven.
“I saw it advertised and I had this idea of doing a ‘From Russia With Love’ experience where people would come and drive three Russian tanks,” Nick said.
“I always keep an eye on military vehicles on EBay, I check it once every three days. I often sell tanks on EBay and I buy from there too.”
“It is unusual to get one of these now, they range from around £10k [$12, 800] to £60k [$76, 700]. I did well buying it for £30k. [$38,000]”
After posting their find on a social media platform, Nick says they had some interesting comments, and even one reply from a person who said that he was a colonel in the British Army, and the tank belonged to him.
“It’s all very much up in the air at the moment,” Mr Mead said. “It’s very early days and I’m not sure what will happen yet.”
The police, after issuing a full receipt for it, now have the gold in a safe place. When asked about it, the Northants police said that due to ‘operational reasons’ they were unable to comment on the bullion.
“The chances of us keeping it are very slim,” Nick said.
“I’ve had quite a few strange phone calls.”
“I got a call from one person claiming to be a colonel in the British Army saying it was his.”
“It’s really good fun to have found it. It certainly is interesting.”
Ever wondered what happens to old horseboxes when they are no longer needed? Wonder no more! Dean Crago, 33, has found possibly one of the most ingenius things to do with them.
This very talented craftsman converts the horseboxes into luxury mobile homes. You can see pictures of his latest conversion. He took a 30 year old Mercedes horsebox, which he paid $6,500 for, and transformed it into a stunning motor home.
The transformation began with everything inside being stripped out, right down to the bare boards. Dean says that is is important that he has a blank canvas to start working on. Along with friends Jake Churchill and Zach Hawkins, the insulations was installed.
Within six months of starting his project, the renovation was complete, with a full kitchen comprising oven, hob and grill. The rest of the kitchen is all hand made, and there is even a fireplace in the seating area.
Because of the floor space, everything had to be individually designed and hand crafted to fit. There is a double bed above the cab and a further two single beds which unfold. Every single bit of space has been used to incorporate some type of storage.
Electrical sockets are fitted so that any gadgets can be used. All the woodwork is made from pallets because they are thin and light. The shower, sink and toilet are sourced from a 150 litre tank underneath the horsebox.
Solar panels and a gas tank provide power for the home and the wood burner keeps the whole place warm and cosy.
Dean, who previously worked as a teacher and used to run a cafe, said: ‘I was living inside an old minibus and wanted to be afforded the luxuries of a home, so came up with the idea of restoring a horsebox.
‘They are perfect for this kind of conversion because they offer so much space.
‘I built one for myself first and thought it was something other people might like, so packed in my job and started doing it full time.’
Dean says that the converted horseboxes can be used as regular homes because they contain everything you need. After doing the first one for himself to live in, Dean decided to give up his job and build them full time. The one in these pictures is the seventh one he has converted.
“Our converted vehicles really can be used as full time homes, they have everything you need to live a normal life,” he said.
‘They’re handmade, comfortable, economical and ecological.”
The conversions are all hand made, economical and ecological. The company Dean started is called House Box, and while Dean says that it costs him between $39,100 and $78,200 to make them, he would not reveal how much the new owner was buying it for.
Lucia Khabzi, aged 24, is very well travelled. She has been to some 22 different countries. Mind you, she has not been there visiting the countries, Lucia has been there on dates. During a year long backpacking trip she joined ‘Miss Travel’ which is a dating style app. Lucia says that her dates cost at least $10,000 and she stays in five star hotels, with business class flights and adventurous activities being part of them.
Lucia, a forensics graduate, started her backpacking holiday with just $15,000 in her bank, but she admits that some of the hotels she stays in cost well over $1,000 a night.
“Before I started using Miss Travel, I was backpacking on a budget and was very conscious of money.”
After saving all through university for her first trip, she realised just how expensive travelling was. Being single, there was no reason why she should not join ‘Miss Travel’.
“Mostly I use the site because I enjoy meeting new people. If those people want to pay for me to explore a new place with them, that’s a bonus.”
“Miss Travel has been a great tool for connecting with new people. If they let me chat to girls, I would but the app doesn’t work that way.”
“The first trip I went on, I was flown business class to Dubai and picked up from the airport in a Jaguar.”
“I was then chauffeured to the Rixos hotel at The Palm, and my date didn’t even turn up because of work commitments.”
“Instead, I got to spend a whole week exploring a place I would never have travelled to normally, in complete luxury.”
“From then on, I knew Miss Travel was something I wanted to use more to explore the world and experience new things.”
“‘I’ve always wanted to travel, so I had to save all through university to go on my trip once I graduated.”
“Quite quickly, I realised just how expensive travelling was and was having to do things like hitch-hiking to get by. That’s why I decided to give Miss Travel a go.”
“After all, I was single so why not? Plus, if I found love along the way it would be the perfect scenario.”
It is important to establish a friendship first, says Lucia, and if love blossoms, then she is prepared to take it from there. That has not happened yet, although she says that all the men she has dated have been very kind and treated her really well. She is still friends with most of them, and shares pictures of places she visits with them.
“For me, I was always going travelling, but meeting the guys I’ve met on the app has just meant I’ve been able to travel in a different style.”
“The guys I’ve met have all been well respected business men and I’ve made it clear before we met up, that there was no guarantee anything would blossom between us.”
“I think it’s important to establish a friendship. If anything else develops, it would be a bonus.”
“Unfortunately, love hasn’t developed between any of the men I’ve met. I’ve not even kissed any of my dates. Regardless, they’ve all treated me well and we’ve had a great time.”
At first her family were somewhat concerned with her dating ventures, but given that she has always been outgoing, and enjoyed meeting people, it was not really a surprise that she wanted to do this.
“My parents were a bit concerned initially, but mostly no one was surprised. I’ve always loved meeting new people.”
“This is just a new, fun way of doing it and I’m happy to keep dating strangers and letting them share their lives and travel experiences with me whilst I’m still single.”
Lucia is at pains to say that makes it very clear at the start that something may or may not happen, and she has to date never kissed one of her dates.
WHERE HAS LUCIA BEEN ON DATES?
June 16 – Iran – hitch hiked through country on budget
Aug 16 – Was flown business class to Dubai, stayed in 5* hotel
Sep – Dec- Backpacked through Europe, visiting 23 countries and dating men in local cities who paid for fancy dinners and tours. Countries included Italy, Greece, Spain, Iceland and the UK.
Jan 17 – Morocco, Turkey, Israel, Palestine – Dated Miss Travel users who whisked her away on sunset tours, camel rides and desert adventures
Feb 17 India – Flown business to meet hotel owner. Stayed in 5* accommodation for free for a month
Nepal – Visited with another Miss Travel date met in India
Egypt – Paid for upcoming trip in March 17 by Miss Travel date, includes chauffeur pick up from airport
Dubai – Another planned trip to visit date who has covered all expenses to date, including flights
Although they grew up in the same area, Brie and Matthew never met until she was sixteen. When she first laid eyes on Matthew, Brie knew that she had fallen for him. Unfortunately for her, things never did work out that the couple met face to face.
“I saw Matthew walk down the corridor at school with his blue eyes and burgundy leather jacket. He didn’t know who I was but to little Brie he was my crush with no name – ‘the unknown fit guy’,” she said.
“He was just a dream. I rarely saw him but when I did my heart would do a little flip or what Matthew and I like to call a pang. I would forever tell the universe I wanted to meet him but we never did meet at school,” she continued.
Brie took herself off to London to attend a Drama School, while Matthew became a personal trainer and model. Brie appeared on a popular TV show, and Matthew recognised her, looked her up on Facebook, and friended her. And that is where the story really started!
The couple made endless plans to meet up, but sometimes things just don’t work out that way, and it was some years before Matthew decided to make a concerted effort to meet up with Brie. After many calls, and messages, with even some love letters along the way, Brie booked her flight from LA to Sydney.
“We tried to meet up for years, forever sending private birthday messages and having embarrassing small talk. We attempted to meet up in Vietnam and London but it never worked out mostly because I was too nervous… but on 22 March, 2014, everything changed,” she said.
“Just like that it went from Whatsapp messages to phone calls to sending videos to Skype to mailing love letters and then four months later I followed my heart and booked a flight from LA to Sydney,” she added.
Their first meeting took place at Sydney International Terminal, with a whirlwind of emotions from both of them, ending when Matthew dropped to one knee and proposed to Brie! Of course she said ‘yes’! Brie had known she would marry him one day. Matthew whisked her off to a yacht he had rented where they no doubt began to make plans for the wedding, which will more than likely be an incredibly romantic affair!
“We met for the first time at Sydney’s International Terminal. Our first ever encounter, our first hug, our first kiss all happened there. The emotions were a whirlwind and I can forever take myself back to that moment – my favourite.”
“My best friends all thought I was crazy to travel across the world to meet a man I had never met but I can’t explain how right it felt. I knew I was going to marry him before even meeting him and I wasn’t scared to tell people that,” Brie said.
Before getting engaged, the couple were together for 3 years. And the engagement story drew on their first meeting at Sydney’s airport.
“Whilst planning our trip back to Sydney from Singapore we discussed recreating how we first met when arriving at the Sydney airport. Like I said three years ago it was out first encounter, our first hug, our first kiss, our first hello, our first everything.”
“We had been in Melbourne for a couple of days and arrived at Sydney Domestic terminal and had to get to the International Terminal to get to the exact place where we met.”
“In Brie fashion I wanted to buy a sim card for data, I wanted to eat and I wanted shop. Matthew stayed calm while I did the things I wanted to. I had no idea my favourite story to tell was about to happen.”
“We arrived at the International terminal and it was of course completely empty, just us. I started recording our reenactment. I filmed the ramp I walked down, the exact way I searched for Matthew,” she continued.
“The moment I spotted him, I spent seconds that felt like hours trying to get enough courage to walk over and say my first hello.”
“It was an overwhelmingly beautiful moment because it took me back to three years ago when the airport was bustling with people but all I saw was him.”
“I squealed and fell into his arms while we kissed. Experiencing the exact same feelings I had three years ago.”
“Moments later he was on one knee asking me the question I have been dreaming of since before I met him.”
“Overwhelmed with a million emotions I can’t begin to describe I managed to mutter ‘Yes, of course!’.”
“He then whisked me off to a grand surprise. He rented a private yacht, a replica of the yacht to where we first said ‘I love you’,” she said.
There are fish stories and then there are ‘fish stories’. Here we have a fascinating video which falls into the second category of weird and wonderful catches!
The scene opens with the boat and fisherman on a lovely calm lake and is really no different to anything you might expect of a fishing video. The somewhat terrifying video footage shows a nine pound largemouth fish grabbing a frog off the hook and eating it. The fisherman was quick enough to pull the fish to the side of the boat where it carried on eating the frog right alongside the boat.
The video captures perfectly the moment next to the boat. The video will have you looking in amazement at this unexpected footage and then agreeing that fishing is not as dull and boring as people might imagine! This fisherman certainly got his value for money on that trip!
Using hay bales as a simple and ‘no work’ gardening method is a relatively new idea. Here we have an article which, along with a video, gives us an idea into this method of food production.
It seems that hay bale gardening requires little or no work and a minimum amount of maintenance. After planting directly into the bale we find that as the season progresses so the hay breaks down to nourish the plants from inside. A huge advantage with this method is that all the beds are raised which means that predators are kept away and even an avid gardener with an aching back can enjoy this new style of veggie garden. With this method there is no weeding needed and neither is there any need to fertilise. Less watering is an added bonus.
There is a section of choosing hay over straw which is well documented and very informative. After reading this article you might be very tempted to have a go at this new method of growing vegetables.
Why Hay Bales are Superior to Straw Bales
Straw is likely made from genetically modified plant matter
No fertilizer needed with hay
How to Grow a Hay Bale Garden
Acquire Hay Bales and arrange them in your yard.
“Condition” your bales
Days 1,3,5,7,9 – Add 1/2 cup of nitrogen to your bales and spray them with water so the nitrogen will soak in. Days 2,4,6,8,10 – Soak the bale with water only.
Simply plant your vegetable seeds or germinated seeds into the bale, water them once a day and you’re on your way to healthy produce in a few exciting months.