After I put my Betta in the other tank, he developed what appeared to be Fin Rot. Fin Rot is a bacterial infection that basically eats your fish alive from the fins in. Generally it only happens to fish with already savaged fins, and are in water that is dirty. By dirty I mean water that has high ammonia content, without the beneficial bacteria you find in a balanced tank. I'm not sure where or when the Rot started, but I caught it fairly early. From what I'm reading its fairly easy to cure if you clean the tank daily, which means water replacement every day. Also add a bit of aquarium salt (follow the instructions) and get a heater to keep the water at a steady temperature. I don't have a heater for the tank, or aquarium salts, but simply changing the water seems to be working. He's got fin growth coming back in. At least I am really hoping that's what it is. The pictures I'm finding look a lot like it, so I'm hoping its fins being repaired and not a fungus growth. I WILL be getting a heater for both tanks however. With winter coming and the house heating system being a wood stove the temp in the house can fluctuate quite a bit.
If you're wondering what happened to the evil Platey, he went back to the pet shop, where he was put back into a large tank with larger fish who aren't likely to take crap from a Sunset Platey with delusions of grandeur. Personally I was hoping they'd put the little bastard in with an Oscar, but they didn't. It went into a tank with some rather unamused looking Gourami. Large unamused Gourami. The little snot tried attacking them through the bag.
Lesson learned however. Next time I get Plateys, I will observe the pet shop fish tank for a while and see which are mild mannered, AND I'll get at least three females to go with one male. Perhaps I should say IF I ever decide to get more Plateys. My first experience wasn't a nice one.
My second obsession, at least of late, has been Kokeshi Dolls from Japan. I used to see them all over the place and although I thought they were kind of neat, I was reluctant to get one because I didn't know what they signified. Getting something because you think its cool... This is difficult to explain. Hmm. It makes me uncomfortable to have something sitting around in my room as a knickknack, that in another culture would have a much deeper meaning. Or if the item has a belief system somehow related to it. As weird as this may sound to some of you, I try to have respect for other cultures even if they never see my room. It starts with small things you do at home, or in how you behave that can ripple down to cultural relations. Basically I like to know the history behind an object before I go blithely out to get one just because I think it'd be neat to own.
In this case, there was some possible unpleasantness related to the Dolls, but nothing could be proven one way or the other. Whatever the original use for the Kokeshi, it is merely a hand crafted object of art now. Which is fine by me. If you want more info on the possible origins of the Kokeshi, Wiki has a fairly good short explanation, although a Google search will provide you with a much greater spread of speculation. Unfortunately I suspect that what you find may be in part true, and sort of sad.
As I said though, the Kokeshi is now seen as an Art form. So, I started to collect them. They're fairly expensive, so I only get ones that I really like. They sit in the corner of my room (okay, actually their shelving apparatus got moved into the closet because we were painting) on a little free standing shelving unit which can be folded up if need be. Currently they take up the second shelf, right below a little shrine to my cousin who died in 2007. I think she would've liked them. Sadly the bottom shelf is empty because I had to move the plant to sunnier areas. It needs to be re-potted anyway.
Here they are in all their dusty glory. I really should've dusted them off, but they're in an awkward spot, so I just stuck in the camera in and snapped a shot. Some have names I gave them and others remain nameless. From the left side, back row, of the picture we have, Mr Samurai, Miss Red, Little Miss Glitter, and Mr and Mrs Polkadots. Along the front are the rest, but they don't have names... except for the little one in green. Daisy. I tend to like the Kokeshi that are egg shaped rather than the ones that appear to be in two parts like Mr and Mrs Polkadots.
Before anyone asks, no, I don't have a full translation of what the little plaque there in front says. Although I suspect its the name of the Kokeshi, and the artists stamp. The first one I got was the one with the red flowers on an orange background, and I can't remember which one was next. Like I said, I usually have them out where I can see them, and they make me smile.
This concludes the listings of my obsessions... At least the ones that have been most obvious over the last couple of years. I've got other ones that I haven't been goofing around with lately, but will probably doodle around with again at some point.