Tuesday, November 15, 2011

BLUEiQ Review!

Gift Guide Post #40

Hello Neighbors!

I can not wait to share this product with you!  I really enjoyed this!  With BLUEiQ you create your very own miniature ecosystem that can survive without any interference from you.

This is really beautiful!

Look how long those tweezers are!

In my first box I received a gorgeous Hand Blown Glass container.  With this is an instruction book for setting up your miniature ecosystem, a thermometer for monitoring the temperature, magnifying glass for viewing your livestock, super long tweezers, and tying thread for securing your plants if necessary.  Inside you BLUEiQ Owner's Guide you will find a serial number, to go online and register your kit, and then you can search the site for more information, and order your second shipment.  This is the one where you will receive your choice of plant, choice of substrate, 5 Neocaridina Heteropoda (very small shrimp that we will be calling Neos from here on out), and 2 snails.  Since we had a trip to take, I waited to order our second shipment until I knew we would be back.  I didn't want to come home to dead livestock!  This actually gave me some time to read the owner's guide, and look around on the website.  I was able to decide which plant type I wanted and which substrate I thought would look best. Everything is included in the $79 plus shipping.  There is no extra charge for your second shipment.
Second shipment in the box.

Can you see the Neos?

These are my snails!
So, after I returned, I went in and ordered my second shipment from BLUEiQ.  They arrived reasonable quickly.  They don't want you to receive dead livestock either!  They come well packaged with the livestock in one bag of water and the plants in another.  They also included a small amount of food if for some reason your Neos or snails needed it, but they recommend you ask them first, and I have had no need of it.  All my Neos, and snails are doing great!

The plants.

My substrate and slightly larger rocks for tying down plants.

The very first thing you need to do after receiving your first shipment is decide where you will place your BLUEiQ.  It needs to have some light, but you do not want it to get too hot or too cold.  You need to use bottled drinking water to fill your container.  Make sure you have rinsed it first, then set it up in your chosen location with the thermometer in place, so you have some time to monitor your temperature.  Now after reading your manual and visiting the BLUEiQ website you are ready to order your next shipment.

All arranged.

Tying my plants to rocks.
Be sure when your shipment arrives that you wash your hands before starting set up.  Cut the top off your substrate bag first, and rinse it by running water into the bag and allowing it to overflow until the water runs clear.  Then gently add your substrate to your container.  Use your tweezers to spread it out and arrange it to your satisfaction.  Be careful not to scratch your glass container.  Go ahead and add water up to about 2 inches over your substrate.  Next you will carefully open the livestock bag.  Be sure to not spill any water.  Use the tweezers to remove the plants that are with the livestock.  Place this bag off to the side where it will not spill, you will be placing them in last.
Placing the plants.

Looking good!

See my snail!

If you look close you can see a Neo.

Now open your bag of plants and using your tweezers arrange them in your container.  If needed use the tying thread and secure your plants to one of the slightly larger stones.  After you have everything the way you want it, gradually pour the livestock and their water into the container.  Go slow, and make sure you get all your livestock.  Last of all top off your container with a little bottled water if necessary so that the water is within 1 inch of the top of the container.  Now, place your container in the location you chose, and enjoy!  We actually have alot of fun trying to locate them all.  The Neos like to hide in the rocks and plants.  My 14 year old can usually find them all first.  The snails are easier to find because they are usually attached to the side of the glass container.

There is a Neo on the plant.

Can you see the Neo on the rock?

Doesn't it look nice?  Totally done.
Your miniature ecosystem is fully self-sustaining.  Your Neos and snails will live together and survive off of algae and dead leaves.  Cleaning may be done at your discretion, but is not necessary for normal functioning of the BLUEiQ system.  You may need to wipe the outside of the container with a soft cloth to remove dust and fingerprints.  Keep a close watch on your water level, and add bottled water as necessary.  The rest of your owner's guide explains about light, water, each of your different types of livestock and your plants.  Neos can live up to 2 years, but with 5 there is a good chance you will have both male and female, and you will have babies born to replace the older Neos as they die off.

Up close through the magnifying glass.

Here's a Neo up close!
This makes a great gift!  Pets that require no major care, and perfect for those who have allergies to furred animals.  Also this makes a great gift, because your recipient will receive the first shipment, and then can choose when to order their second.  Super great idea!  Perfect for adults and teens, and some younger children.  Remember to always clean your hands before and after touching your BLUEiQ.  Be sure to visit their Facebook page where they have a monthly drawing for a BLUEiQ.  You must like their page to be entered, and is open to US only.

Disclosure:I received no  monetary compensation for this post.  I did receive a BLUEiQ system.  All quotes are from the BLUEiQ website, email, or owner's guide.  All thoughts and opinions are mine.

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