Tag Archives: fish

It’s A Boy!

LOOK WHAT I FOUND THIS MORNING!!!

All those bubbles are from a bubble nest I inadvertantly ruined when I got the bowl out of the china cabinet.  (I have to lock him up at night to keep my cat from helping herself to his water.)  A bubble nest is a sign that my baby betta is a boy.  A lack of large fin development means he is probably a short tailed betta (Plakat). I had no idea they would make a bubble nest this young.  But at least I know he's healthy and happy!

All those bubbles are from a bubble nest I inadvertently ruined when I got the bowl out of the china cabinet. (I have to lock him up at night to keep my cat from helping herself to his water.) A bubble nest is a sign that my baby betta is a boy. A lack of large fin development means he is probably a short-tailed betta (Plakat). I had no idea they would make a bubble nest this young. But at least I know he’s healthy and happy!

He is about 1 inch long.  When I bought him I didn't know what colors he had because he was so scared he had paled out and all you could see were two black fear stripes.  You can see one starting to show on his side because he didn't like the camera so close.  It looks like he will have some blue on him.  It'll be fun watching him grow up and get his fins.  Unless, of course, the 'he' turns out to be a 'she'!

This is what he looked like three weeks ago when I brought him home.  He was about 1 inch long.

Here he is today.  He is about an inch and a half long.  Time to put him in a slightly larger tank with an air pump and filtration.  The goal is to get him strong enough for my 5 gallon.  The red and blue betta won't leave my snail alone, so he's going back to solitary living.

Here he is today. He is about an inch and a half long. Time to put him in a slightly larger tank with an air pump and filtration. The goal is to get him strong enough for my 5 gallon.

 

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Clean Fish and Snail Tanks

I haven’t put up a new post lately ’cause of Spring Break.  I had both Saver of Bugs and Spider Bait home for a whole week!  It was WONDERFUL and much too short.

We did manage to get some work done.  Mainly a total overhaul of the Hermie tanks and a good cleaning of some smaller fishy tanks.

With life having gone to heck last spring, I’ve been a less than thorough fish mama.  While water changes were maintained, plant trimming and siphoning were neglected.  I now have jungles where fish tanks should be.  Saver also needed to take care of a couple of small tanks as well.  Enjoy the clean!

This is what the 5 gallon sides looked like before cleaning.  And that's AFTER an Apple snail I bought had scarfed up most of the algae!

This is what the 5 gallon sides looked like before cleaning. And that’s AFTER an Apple snail I bought had scarfed up most of the algae!

Ta Da! Nice and clean!  Unfortunately, this is the tank of the recovering plants.  They were covered so badly with algae, that I had to remove most of the foliage.  In a couple of weeks it  should look much fuller and greener.  You can see in the middle of the picture a young red leaf of a Rose Sword.  In the back towards the top you can see the Betta I had put in the 1 gallon a couple of weeks ago.  He has graduated to the 5 gallon.  In the lower left corner you can see the snail.  Note his color.  More about him in a bit.

Ta Da! Nice and clean! Unfortunately, this is the tank of the recovering plants. They were covered so badly with algae, that I had to remove most of the foliage. In a couple of weeks it should look much fuller and greener. You can see in the middle of the picture a young red leaf of a Rose Sword. In the back towards the top you can see the Betta I had put in the 1 gallon a couple of weeks ago. He has graduated to the 5 gallon. In the lower left rear corner you can see the snail. Note his color. More about him in a bit.  Floating in the top left corner is a chunk of cuttle bone to supply extra calcium for the snail.

These two tank residents are Coryadora catfish.  They are my favorite of the catfish family.  They are friendly, active, cheerful little fish.  Always keep at least two.  They don't do as well alone. The dark one in the front is 8 years old.  I'm afraid I don't remember how old the light one is!

These two tank residents are Corydora catfish. They are my favorite of the catfish family. They are friendly, active, cheerful little fish. Always keep at least two. They don’t do as well alone. The dark one in the front is 8 years old. I’m afraid I don’t remember how old the light one is!

Remember the snail in the corner?  Because of the lighting he looks much darker out of the water.  He is an Apple snail - Pomacea diffusa (formerly considered to be Pomacea Bridgeseii).  They are usually known as Mystery Snails in the pet trade. Look at the shell.  The back of the shell was how big he was a few weeks ago when I bought him.   The smoother clear portion is how much he grew, way toooo fast, from eating all the algae he could in the tank.  The shell was perfectly clear, showing his dark body.  He was growing too fast to lay down calcium and make a hard shell.

Remember the snail in the corner? Because of the lighting he looks much darker out of the water. He is an Apple snail – Pomacea diffusa (formerly considered to be Pomacea Bridgeseii). They are usually known as Mystery Snails in the pet trade.
Look at the shell. The back of the shell was how big he was a few weeks ago when I bought him. The smoother clear portion is how much he grew, way toooo fast, from eating all the algae he could in the tank. The shell was perfectly clear, showing his dark body. He was growing too fast to lay down calcium and make a hard shell.

With the tank having been cleaned and his diet limited, he is now laying down calcium under the surface of the shell.  YAY!

With the tank having been cleaned and his diet limited, he is now laying down calcium under the surface of the shell. YAY!  (He is hiding a bit ’cause the Betta just bumped him as he swam by.)

Side view!

Side view! Old shell on left, new shell on right.

This Betta is now the resident of the 1 gallon I previously set up for the red and blue Betta.  He is very, very, very, happy to have a new home!

This Betta is now the resident of the 1 gallon I previously set up for the red and blue Betta. He is very, very, very, happy to have a new home!

This is Saver's 2 gallon nice and clean.  The betta is Donar and the snail is.  Technically this tank is too small for both.  An Apple snail should have 2 gallons dedicated just to them since they are so dirty.  But Saver is good at keeping up with water changes so this works for her.

This is Saver’s 2 gallon nice and clean. The betta is Donar. Technically this tank is too small for both. An Apple snail should have 2 gallons dedicated just to them since they are so dirty. But Saver is good at keeping up with water changes so this works for her.

Saver was babysitting snails for people, but this is the only one we could put up on the blog. (Saver's SO's tank.)  Nice and clean!  The beehive has since been removed.  The snails started chewing the paint off!  Two rocks were taken back to school to be decided on later.

Saver was babysitting snails for people, but this is the only one we could put up on the blog. (Saver’s SO’s tank.) Nice and clean! The beehive has since been removed. The snails started chewing the paint off! Two rocks were taken back to school to be decided on later.

Also this Spring Break I decided to make some Blueberry Muffins!  With real Blueberries!  Turns out they didn’t do a thing for my kids!  *sigh*

Guess I need to grease the pans better!  They were still good without bottoms!

Guess I need to grease the pans better! They were still good without bottoms!

Just three more tanks to clean!  (GROAN……)

Some Critter Pics

Fishies!

In a burst of industriousness, I scrubbed and bleached a one gallon fish tank that had been overrun with nasty blue-green algae awhile back.  I then put one of my bettas in it.  It was wonderful to see him swimming around in a shiny clean tank instead of his bowl.  After he’s been in the tank for a week and has gotten used to swimming in tank currents, or when I get my 5 gallon stripped, I’ll move him to the 5 gallon.

Have I mentioned how much of a pain in the butt it is to get pictures of a fish?  I took about 30 and this was the best I could get!

Have I mentioned how much of a pain in the butt it is to get pictures of a fish? I took about 30 and this was the best I could get!

He's hiding in his cave!

He’s hiding in his cave!

As I was strolling through a local pet store (I shop pet stores like some women shop for shoes. 🙂 ), I spotted baby bettas!  Most were rather skinny and iffy.  But I did find one I was willing to take a risk buying (Two whole dollars!).

He is about 1 inch long.  When I bought him I didn't know what colors he had because he was so scared he had paled out and all you could see were two black fear stripes.  You can see one starting to show on his side because he didn't like the camera so close.  It looks like he will have some blue on him.  It'll be fun watching him grow up and get his fins.  Unless, of course, the 'he' turns out to be a 'she'!

He is about 1 inch long. When I bought him I didn’t know what colors he had because he was so scared he had paled out and all you could see were two black fear stripes. You can see one starting to show on his side because he didn’t like the camera so close. It looks like he will have some blue on him. It’ll be fun watching him grow up and get his fins. Unless, of course, the ‘he’ turns out to be a ‘she’!

Hermit Crab Cleaning Itself

Look at the lower left part of the shell opening right behind the crab's leg.  See that little, skinny, pale thing?  That's a little arm that is attached underneath the crabs body.  It is what the crab uses to clean itself and remove poop from inside the shell.  See that wee short little leg above the skinny one?  That is one of the legs that holds the crab tight inside his shell so that he can't be pulled out.

Look at the lower left part of the shell opening right behind the crab’s leg. See that little, skinny, pale thing? That’s a little arm that is attached underneath the crabs body. It is what the crab uses to clean itself and remove poop from inside the shell. See that wee short little leg above the skinny one? That is one of the legs that holds the crab tight inside his shell so that he can’t be pulled out.

Now the skinny arm is cleaning the leg!

Now the skinny arm is cleaning the shell leg!

Visitors to the Yard

I found this next to the driveway before the snow hit.  ARGH! Deer poop!

I found this next to the driveway before the snow hit. ARGH! Deer poop!

The Husband caught these guys roaming through the yard in bright sunshine.  Brazen little suckers!

The Husband caught these guys roaming through the yard in bright sunshine. Brazen little suckers!

Time for bed!  Nite!

Happy Birthday, Saver of Bugs!

I really have been blogging for a whole year!  It’s my darling daughter’s birthday again!  Wow!

You can view last year’s post here and see what an awesome smile she has! https://crittersandchaos.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/once-upon-a-time-i-was-immortal-or-happy-birthday-to-saver-of-bugs/

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAUGHTER!

This year I’m sending you pictures of fuzzies and fish from home.

Your new oto is getting along fine with the old guy.  They've adopted this plant as their hangout.

Your new oto is getting along fine with the old guy. They’ve adopted this plant as their hangout.

Blurry, blurry.  But these guys just won't sit still.  There is your first new guy.  He wants to be friends but the old guy doesn't know what to do with him.  :)

Blurry, blurry. But these guys just won’t sit still. There is your first new guy. He wants to be friends but the old guy doesn’t know what to do with him. 🙂

And your other new guy.  He is actually much smaller than he looks here.  He was just closer to the glass.  He is a little bigger than the Cardinal baby.  It's the same one you looked at when you were here.  He survived that whole week in with the big guys, so I got him even though he was a bit skinny.  He's very bold and roams the tank and goes right to the surface to eat.

And your other new guy. He is actually much smaller than he looks here. He was just closer to the glass. He is a little bigger than the Cardinal baby. It’s the same one you looked at when you were here. He survived that whole week in with the big guys, so I got him even though he was a bit skinny. He’s very bold and roams the tank and goes right to the surface to eat.

This is MY couch!

This is MY couch!  A picture that is almost a year old.  And nothing has changed!

Back scratch!

Back scratch!

I'm helping mom.

I’m helping mom.

Mom says I need exercise but chasing the rat is hard work!

Mom says I need exercise but chasing the rat is hard work!

I'm busy here!

Whaaaaat!?

I haz beeeg feets!

I haz beeeg feets!

Remember this?

Remember this?

I miss you!  Happy Birthday!

I miss you! Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday from all your humans, too! 

Hugs n smooches, sweetie!

March Madness And Spring Fever. No, I’m Not Talking About Basketball Or Big Retail Sales

Random Thoughts

As for all the spring funks that seem to be going around, a conversation with a ‘found’ relative that joined us for Easter Sunday snapped something back into my brain. (A lot of dusty file cabinets in there.)  Once Upon A Time Long, Long Ago… when I was working horses and gardening and nature loving on a daily basis and was in tune with the seasons, this part of spring was expected and accepted. It was known as March Madness (and had nothing at all to do with basketball) or Spring Fever (and had nothing at all to do with big retail sales). This really hit me in the face since I have been struggling for several weeks now.

Between the lengthening days, more noticeable now, and the dramatic swings in the weather (that barometric pressure going up and down affects your body), animals and people alike are restless, moody, depressed and ecstatic all at the same time. Life can swoop from awful to wonderful from one step to another. It is just that time of year.

Those believing in Fairies say the upheaval is the passing of seasons from one Fairy Queen to the next.

Greek mythology talks of Demeter (in brief, Goddess of the Harvest), cursing the world and taking life from all growing things; when her daughter Persephone is taken to the underworld by Hades.  The deal to bring Persephone back is that for 4 months of the year she must return to the underworld.  During that time Demeter grieves and nothing grows.  Persephone’s return marks the beginning of spring.

Pagans and Witches have celebrated Ostara for hundreds of years (It’s the precursor to the Christian holiday of Easter).  This holiday is celebrated on the Spring Equinox when the hours of day and night are equal.  It is a celebration of rebirth as the world awakens from its winter sleep and “life” begins anew.

It’s all about Change.  From our seasonal sleep we are thrust fairly abruptly into our “awakening”.  There is a primal need, often unacknowledged by us humans, to take advantage of the cycle of growth, resulting in “March Madness” or “Spring Fever”.  When I was working on the farms, allowances were made for man and animal alike. “This too shall pass.” (Or in some cases, “Aw hell, it’s spring again.”)  In this “modern” civilization we forget that we, too, are creatures of Mother Earth and thus subject, to a certain extent, to her whims. We may forget our “roots” but our bodies don’t. We need to be patient with ourselves and others right now.  Acknowledge and accept the unsettled feelings as part of life’s cycles.  Remember that with this huge burst of Mother’s Earth’s creative energies, things are bound to be unstable for a while.  Just hold on tight!

Life At Our House

Saver went LARPing this weekend.  I’m currently sitting here waiting for a text message or Skype bloop announcing her return.

This weekend was spent with Spider Bait’s last high school play.  *sigh*

While doing some sorting and when I was running around the store and some unintentional site jumps on the computer, I kept coming up against Prayer shawls, wraps, and stoles. As I mentioned above, the past few weeks have not been fun for me and having something semi-quick to make (I’m slower than dirt) would help save my sanity and make me feel as if something was getting accomplished.  And it just so happened I had 5 skeins of yarn that have been sitting around for several years waiting to be made into something.  They were clearancing them out and the colors were beautiful.  So now they’re a shawl.  I just wish the photos did the colors justice.

It's roughly 22" wide by 67" long.

It’s roughly 22″ wide by 67″ long.

Shells to cover up my nasty ends.

Shells to cover up my nasty ends.

A close-up in the sun.  Imagine the colors a bit more brilliant.

A close-up in the sun. Imagine the colors a bit more brilliant.

Fur Babies and Other Friends

While Saver was home on Spring Break she combined her 5 gallon fish tank and her 2 gallon fish tank into a 10 gallon fish tank.

I wasn't fast enough to get a picture of the 5 before she started tearing it down.  So here is a picture of the amount of plants that came out of it.  That's a 1 gallon ice cream container.

I wasn’t fast enough to get a picture of the 5 before she started tearing it down. So here is a picture of the amount of plants that came out of it. That’s a 1 gallon ice cream container.

The 2 gallon before tear down.  It's a jungle in there.

The 2 gallon before tear down. It’s a jungle in there.

Ta-Da!

Ta-Da!

Fish are HARD to photograph!  They refuse to sit still!  Here are some of the ‘clearer’ pics:

A Glo-Light Tetra peeking out.

A Glo-Light Tetra peeking out.

Otocinclus.  "Oto" for short. Cute little algae-eater.

Otocinclus. “Oto” for short. Cute little algae-eater.

A Cardinal Tetra on the left and hanging out in the plant is a Kuhli Loach.  A slender eel-like fish.  Can you see him?

A Cardinal Tetra on the left and hanging out in the plant is a Kuhli Loach. A slender eel-like fish. Can you see him?

And, of course, a must have at our house.  A Corydoras Catfish.

And, of course, a must have at our house. A Corydoras Catfish.

And since my tanks are as overgrown as Saver’s, I really should do some Spring Cleaning myself!

Out In The Yard

Spring is finally showing itself!

Rhubarb is peeking!

Rhubarb is peeking!

More crocus!

More crocus!

I’m going to leave you with a quote from Robert Frost:

“I’m not confused, I’m just well mixed.”

Night!

(Squee!  Saver arrived safely back at school as I was checking this after I posted it.  NOW I can go to bed!)

And The New Year Begins

Random Thoughts

So the New Year has begun and here I am again looking back at the old one shaking my head at the lack of progress.  Granted, there was a lot of ‘not fun’, especially financially, but still.  Damn.  Um, darn.  I said, “Darn”.

One of the things I know and has come up before is if I don’t take time for my outer self and my inner self, I’ll stall out and get buried under all the crap.  So some me time is in order.  I know, I know.  I keep coming back to this.  I need to find some way or some thing to jump-start me in the morning through the fog before half the day is gone so I remember to take care of myself.  Me first!

***On my list is becoming a runner again.  I totally dropped the ball on that one this summer.  No time, no time, no time.  Excuses, excuses, excuses.   I’m going to start penciling this in first.

***My animals.  I have not been caring for them with my ‘A’ game and very little interaction.  My hermit crabs are all skittish again.  My fish tanks are plant choked.  No calm swimmy viewing for me, limited swimming room for them.  Etc., etc.  So Guilt, Guilt, Guilt.

***Plants.  My outside gardens are a joke.  I have no inside gardens going.  And a vegetable garden?  Not unless -I- make it so.

These all keep me happy and sane.  So I have to get them back in my life and put out all the fires after.  Including the never-ending mess that is my house.

While I was writing this Saver of Bugs was sitting down the couch from me on her computer and posted a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson in the comments to yesterday’s post.  It so fits what I need to do, mentally.  So I’m stealing it for today as well.  And I think this is going to wind up on some pretty paper for me to hang somewhere obvious.  Saver rocks.

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in. Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays.

 

A volunteer that sprouted from seed that survived last year's winter.

A volunteer pansy that sprouted from seed that survived last year’s winter.

***************

There is a bug living in this house that we need to look up.  He is very noisy and as I was typing this he landed on my crystals.  I decided to take a picture to have when I looked him up and ‘Surprise!’ I discovered my end table is a really good place to take pictures of my crystals!  Bonus!  So say, “Hi!”

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 So now I’m off to end my day writing in my Gratitude Journal.   Onward Ho!

 

Winging It

I started typing up a post about being immortal that went wide and wound up being something else I’m going to save for a future post.  So now what?  I have daily stuff to put up, but I’m kinda side tracked mentally cause I want to go finish that other post.  But it’s for later and here I am now.  I could whine.  I’m really, really good at whining.  How about my favorite – lack of sleep?  Cause computer crap ran around and around and around in my head last night.  No?  Darn.  Well, I’ll just go straight to one of my favorite quotes then.

“I open the door.  The gorgeous guest from afar sweeps in.  In her hands are her gifts – the gifts of hours and far-seeing moments, the gift of mornings and evenings, the gift of spring and summer, the gift of autumn and winter.  She must have searched the heavens for boons so rare.” –Abbie Graham

Life At Our House

Mom got to do really exciting things today.  You know, like laundry.  Spider Bait got to go to work today from 9-1 and learn to pinch the heads off geraniums.  About a thousand of them in there.  (Mom is chuckling gleefully.)  The past 2 Sundays he worked, he helped pot up about five thousand starters (helped remember, not by himself).  And this is a small greenhouse!  Saver of Bugs worked there her junior and senior years and it looks like Spider Bait will too.

After work, father and son went on a Boy Scout fishing venture.  Mom was very happy when they did not come home covered in mud this time.  And the only thing they smelled of was wood smoke.

Fur Babies and Other Friends

Saver of Bugs you get another picture of Annie today.  Espe is refusing to pose.

They always look so sweet asleep

They always look so sweet asleep

Fishies

Today was change the air stones in the fish tanks day.  And also hook up new pumps.  It didn’t go quite as smoothly as I had hoped.  It turns out that some airstones I had grabbed in a hurry had ends that were tooooo small.  It meant I was cutting new airline tubing and jerry rigging things to make them stay on the tubes.  It got really fun when I went to re-change what I thought was a bad airstone and found out that it wasn’t bad.  It had just simply fallen off down into the uplift tube.  (Your tank Saver of Bugs)  It had to come out because it was blocking the tube and thus the airflow into the tank.  But taking the big uplift tube out would make an unholy gravel mess that I just didn’t want to deal with.  And then it hit me!  Jumbo chopsticks!  We have these really long chopsticks hooked together with string that have pointy ends!  (And I have no idea where we got them.)  Well there was room for one chopstick in there next to the airstone but not both.  Grrrrr.  (Now think of this, I’m standing on a stool next to a high dresser so I can see down into a tank I just finished topping off with water, flashlight in one hand and big awkward chopsticks in the other.  I might have gotten some water over the side onto the dresser.)  Inspiration finally struck.  I could wedge the airstone against the big tube with one chopstick and jam the pointy end of the other chopstick into the hole of the airstone and then lift it out.  Hurray! Problem solved, airstone reconnected.

I had, after several months of messing with air pump parts, caved and ordered some new air pumps.  Strange new air pumps.  I have been using Elite’s for years.  They were a good and reasonably priced air pump.  I hate change.  I mean, really dislike it.  So I was not happy ordering strange air pumps.  But they are here and so to change the pumps.

They work.  But I wish they still made my favorite Elite’s.

Saver of Bugs – I did a head count and all fish are present and accounted for.  But we really need to have a talk about all that cryptocoryne.  The leaves have practically sealed the top of tank off and are blocking quite a bit of the light.

Here is a pic of Hopeful Harry (Jake) lying on the kitchen floor wishing for handouts after dinner.  We had carrots and he luuuuuves carrots.  So much so he now knows the sound of the peeler.  Start peeling something and he will come running and sniffing, hoping it’s a carrot up there and that he will get some.

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Out in the Yard 

Spring has officially sprung.  Just look at those dandelions in the header!  A handful of them are feeding my hermit crabs who adore eating fresh dandelion flowers.

Tomorrow I tackle my debris strewn kitchen table!