Saturday, December 4, 2010

Why You Should Put a Algae Sinking Tablet in AFTER Dark...

There was the sale at the pet store today, and it was seriously busy. Apparently tropical fish were not the only item on a sale. Dog food was a hot item, and it was sort of difficult to get to the fish department. However, I was able to get myself some more fish. Last Wednesday I had decided on getting 4 more fish; 3 platy for the Hex tank, and one lone Honey Gourami to go in with the Tetra Posse and the Pepper Twins.

Everyone survived the road home and no one appeared to be ill or acting off. Although I did worry about the Honey Gourami, because she (I think it's a she) had pressed herself into a corner of the bag and was just laying there. The worry was unnecessary. She appears to be fine, and she's so damned CUTE. Honeys are supposed to be shy, but she came right out of he hiding spot after about 5 minutes and started feeling up a very confused boss Black Phantom Tetra with her little feelers. I laughed until I cried. The Tetras are totally boggled by their new tank mate, because a.) She keeps touching them and b.) She does not get intimidated when they rush her. She just turns slightly and glares as them until they go away. She's got no qualms about satisfying her curiosity. If it's something new to her, it must be felt up. Watching her set up observation of the Peppers playing in the air bubbles was another crack up. All she needed was binoculars.

I'm beginning to grow quite attached to fish with labyrinth systems. They're like having tiny aquatic dogs. Little Blue is the same way. Curious about everything, and not easily intimidated.

The Platy are tough little bastards and can probably weather just about anything within reason. Don't get me wrong; I like the Platy or I wouldn't keep getting them, but they can be mean little cusses, especially when figuring out a pecking order. Porky now has five girls, but he only seems to be interested in the Red Tuxedos... which makes me scratch my head a bit. He's not Tuxedo... and he's not a Sunburst either (he's a Sunset Wagtail), so I figured he'd like the other colors too, but he's definitely got a preference. He loves the Red Tux Platy; is indifferent to the Sunbursts, and still absolutely despises Wednesday the Red Wag Platy. She's small though, so maybe he sees her as food competition for his more mature girls. Honestly I have no idea. Personally I think Wednesday is lovely with her dark red body, black fines and yellow eyes. She may get some leeway with so many other ladies in the tank though. We shall see where everyone is in the pecking order once it settles down. I may have to take one back... it appears a little crowded in there.

Remember how I said it was impossible to get pictures of the Platy because they never hold still? Well, I got to thinking about how I've managed to take some really good pictures of other things that never hold still, such as squirrels, birds, and extremely frightened deer. I've found that putting out some food will do wonders for getting them to hold relatively still, so I decided to see what would happen if I dropped a sinking algae tablet in for the Corys while the light was still on. I know how much Platy like those things.... So, THIS is what happens when you put a sinking tablet into a tank full of fish that all love algae. Everyone dives for the algae tab at once. It's that little green rock there in the corner. Porky of course has his mouth ON the food. Right above him are the Red Tuxedos, and one Speckled Sunburst, and a plain Sunburst above her. Golden-eye the Julii Cory has actually be shoved aside by the Platy, and the little Bronze doesn't even TRY to get into the crush. Up on the right is Wednesday. Not her best photo, but that's the best I can do.

This also shows why feeding an algae tab with the lights on means that the Corys get no food. Later on tonight I will drop a whole algae tab in the Hex tank for the Corys, and the Platy will finish off whatever it left in the morning. In the 6 Gallon, the Peppers get half a tab, because there are just the two, and they're so laid back that they let the Tetras chase them away from the tab even though the Tetras don't eat it. They try, but they lack the mouth do any damage to it. The Honey might be able to dig into it though, although I'm not sure she'll be active when the lights are off. I know Little Blue sleeps when I turn off the lights and is mighty cranky about being woken up. Full Betta display goes into action and he rushes the front of the tank. Ruffles quite a bit, then grumps back to his sleeping spot.

So, that's my fish update for today. Maybe I'll do a post about water changes next... yes, won't that be exciting! In all honesty, probably not. Anywho, I'm off to watch some Anime, which will be followed closely be sleeping. I hope.

The Sandman and I have not been on good terms lately.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December Crossroads

The last 6 months have brought about some changes. On the blog, most notably, I've become rather obsessed with aquariums. Honestly, I had no idea I'd like keeping fish this much. Instead of just having one small fish tank, which is all I originally wanted, I now have three tanks, that all combined house a total of 16 fish. ... And given that I'm somewhat insane when fish are involved, I'm going to take advantage of the local pet store's fish sale this weekend and acquire 3 more Platy for the Hex Tank, and one small Gourami for the 6 gallon tank. The Gourami is a maybe keeper. It may not work out, and I may have to take it back. We shall see how things go.

The sale was revealed to me when I went into the pet store to get the Hex Tank water tested. I've got test stuff at home, but I always like to get a second opinion. There is always the possibility that I'm doing the tests wrong. They were fairly busy when I went in, so I cruised the tanks, and asked about Catfish for the Hex Tank. I have exactly two Corydoras Plateus in the 6 gal tank, because all the others died, or became seriously ill on the way home. Given my track record, I was fully prepared for these to kick off the moment I got on the road. However, they remained active and perky even after being housed in their new home. Granted it's only day two, but I am hopeful they won't end up going to the great toilet bowl in the sky. (actually I'm sort of weird in that I bury mine outside. It seemed undignified to toss them into the toilet) Anyway, the above Cats are (from left to right), a Corydoras Julii (a Julii for short), a Corydoras Aeneus (a Bronze Cory) and another Julii, except this one has gold eyes. I could be wrong but the first Julii to the left could be a Leopard Cory... it's tricky trying to tell. Patterning can vary, but you can tell by looking at their snouts. Golden-Eye has a very abruptly down turning snout, while Dark-Eye seems to have a slightly longer variation. There's also the possibility that they're a mixed result. Personally, I could care less. I just want to enjoy watching them trundle around the bottom of the Hex Tank and lead a relatively good life. That's my enjoyment. Watching the fish be ... happy, for lack of a better word.

Here's the little Julii. Some Corys have an iridescent quality to their general pattern. You can see it here on the Julii right under it's eye. The camera doesn't really do it justice. I've seen the same sheen on Hummingbirds, but not so much on fish. Feel free to correct me, if you take a look and think it's a Leopard Cory. They really are difficult to tell apart because of the black and white patterning. The neat thing about the Julii Cory is that they are active during the day. Most Cory like to nap during the day, and become much more active at night. Not so with these guys. They know it's nighttime and will go find a place to sleep until morning. If you leave their light on they'll still find a spot to sack out.

The Platy are the worst fish to try and photograph for two reasons. Either they think you're going to feed them the minute you walk up to their tank, or they see the camera, and flee for safety. The minute you move back, they come racing out,"WAIT! See? We're still here! And we're still hungry!.... but we don't like the camera." This all culminates in not being able to get a picture of them. Well... you get red blurs and that's it. The Bronze Cory is nearly as bad, but only because he NEVER STOPS MOVING. I only got this shot because I took about a billion pictures and managed to do the impossible. I got him when he paused, which generally only lasts a 1/4 of a second. Then he's off again to explore the rest of the tank. Again.

Besides the aquariums, and their inhabitants, I've had other things happen. Some I won't go into, because ... I have trouble sharing. The fact that this blog is still going at all is something of a small miracle. I hate writing about myself. Hate trying to keep diaries... Journals. I've got tons of empty journals that people give me, and I never do anything with them, because it seems pointless to me to write about my daily activities. Boring. Sooooo, boring. And given that this blog has been going for... 3 years(?) and I rarely have comments, I guess it IS boring. Despite that, I find myself back here looking at something of a crossroads. Not an unexpected crossroads, but difficult in choice and possible results. A multiple crossroad actually, with pathways stretched in several directions, and I'm unsure of which way to go. Usually when I reach one of these points in my life, I know exactly which way to go. None feel right this time. So, I'm standing there looking at the choices before me, trying to make a decision of which feels least wrong. And every once in a while, I look at paths that haven't quite reached mine.

College for one, seems close yet inaccessible. Roadblocks made of money, bad economy, and full rosters tend to get in the way. I really detest money. It really IS the root of all evil. Unfortunately, I need it, in order to go the rest of the way through college. The college I want to attend is rather far afield, but I did a lot of research and I like the programs they run for Languages. Getting there... that's going to be a total pain in the ass. It's going to involve a job I'm not entirely sure I want. Yet. I'll only be doing that for a year, but it makes me feel uncomfortable that I'm only there for a year, and then leave the position. Poof. I guess my sense of loyalty is unhappy with decisions that need to be made. ugh...

On that cheery note, I'm going to wander off into Anime land, and try to ignore the discomforting feeling of having partially wedged open opportunities before me, which I'm going to have to smash down before I get to a goal far beyond them.

And for no particular reason...
a Pumpkin.

Somehow or another, I managed to totally miss putting up a Halloween post. Actually it's not too surprising. I've had a lot on my mind.