life, home

Revitalized

The past 9 months or so has been difficult for me and my fish tanks.  The carpel tunnel surgeries put a damper on how much I could work on my tanks.  Between the complete immobilization to the wound healing to working up my grip strength up to an acceptable level, I was letting everything pretty much go.  I was dealing with what is technically termed a funk.  Basically a low period in my depression that comes regardless of my medication.  Maybe it was brought on by the surgeries or maybe there was no reason at all, but I found my tanks neglected more and more each day, the only attention I gave them was to fill up the evaporated water because it was too noisy.  Actual water changes were few and far between.

I didn’t lose any fish but my plants took a beating.  I am less stocked than I’d like though; after all of the gourami issues I haven’t bought any new fish, mostly because I was waiting to be fully invested again.

I decided to buy the famous Finnex Planted+ 24/7 which I have been wanting forever.  That, along with new some new plants has really made me happy with the whole look again.  I am also dosing fertilizer again, a habit that gave up as my interest started to wane.

Full frontal!
I just really love this shot of the driftwood and the red sword plant in the foreground.
Giant/Tall hairgrass. Finally. There is actually a ton but the driftwood is blocking some of the view. I ordered 5 plants and easily got double that based on their root systems.
Limnophila aromatica-one of my favorites
Dad teaching his son how to snail. (Malaysian Trumpet Snail)
Dad teaching his son how to snail. (Malaysian Trumpet Snail)

For anyone who cares, here is my plant list:

Amazon Sword, Echinodorus bleheri and the Ozelot and red flame variation (Echinodorus ‘Ozelot’, Echinodorus ” Red Flame”)
Blyxa japonica
Limnophila aromatica
Water wisteria, Hygrophila difformis
Aponogeton boivinianus, Aponogeton crispus, Aponogeton ulvaceus, Aponogeton madagascarensis
Java Fern Windelov, Microsorum pteropus var windelov
Tiger lotus, red and green, Nymphaea lotus ‘Zenkeri’
Dwarf aquarium lily, Nymphaea stellata
banana plant, Nymphoides aquatica
glosso, Glossostigma elantoides
dwarf sagitaria, Sagitaria subulata dwarf
Purple Mudwort, Limnophila heterophylla
Tall hairgrass, Eleocharis montevidensis
water sprite, Ceratopteris thalictroides
various anubias: Anubias barteri, Anubias barteri nana, Anubias nana petite
possibly a stray stem of penny or money wort but I’m unsure.

Stock:

black kuhli loach
otocinclus
swordtail
neon tetra
peppered corydoras
glowlight tetra
black racer nerite snail
bumble bee nerite snail
copious amounts of malaysian trumpet snails

I’m nice and happy with my work at the moment.  The kids’ tank is getting back on track, too.  My Starry Night tank is out of commission at the moment but I’m trying to decide whether I want to get a breeder betta (not from a pet store) or if I want to go in the opposite direction and get a gold fish.  Or maybe a species only tank like for peacock gudgeons or microfish like daisy rice fish.

I’m a nerd.

children, crafty, health, home, life

ChÜberlist 2017 – The Year of the Slug

EDIT:  OH SHIT IT’S PAST MIDNIGHT AND NOW IT’S FEBRUARY OH NO!

It’s still January!  I’m not that late!

 ChÜberlist 2017 – The Year of the Slug has finally arrived!
ChÜberlist 2017 – The Year of the Slug has finally arrived!

Here is my current list conveniently sorted in pseudo categories.  As always, I’ll probably add more to the list just so I can mark it off my list because I like meaningless achievements.

I really need these. Click the picture to buy me the pack!
I really need these. Click the picture to buy me the pack!

One thing I didn’t put on my list this year:  Quit smoking.  I have always had that on my list as a gimme since I don’t smoke, but I’m trying to be an adult so I decided against it.

donglover
donglover

Self
1. Lose 10% of my current total body weight.  Unfortunately, NASA scientists are all busy at the moment so I can’t post any numbers right now.

They were busy with Barney's bar tab.
They were busy with Barney’s bar tab.

2. Practice better drug adherence. I’m shit at taking medicine at the right time…and I’m terribly inconsistent. So basically, I am a child and need to be reminded about everything, every day, forever.
3. Get a haircut that I can maintain. I’m going to be 38 fucking years old this year. I should grow beyond the ponytail. Basically, I need to stop being lazy about my hair. For the record, I’m starting to go gray and I don’t give a shit about dyeing it.
4. Sleep like a normal human being. “OH I’M SO TIRED” Maybe if I wasn’t up until 3 AM every night and up in the actual morning hours I wouldn’t be so fucking tired all the time. As noted in #2 above, I am a child and need a bedtime and bedtime routine. I need to learn how to be an adult.
5. Be conscious about my appearance. I know this is a newsflash, but I am not a big fan of myself, in literally any way you can think of. Since I think so little of myself, I have basically gotten to the point in my life that I only care about what I’m wearing or what I look like so I don’t embarrass my family. When I’m out alone, I am an even bigger mess than usual.

Accurate.
Accurate.

Home
1. I need a meal plan. Other than texting the Mr. at 6:30 with the usual “what for dinner?” Frozen breakfast is the first plan because that’s easy. Breakfast sandwiches and burritos, muffins, smoothie mixes. Then I’ll work my way up to having prepared food. I don’t know when I stopped really preparing meals to freeze. I did totally do it once, though now it had become more of a myth than anything.
2. I need a chore schedule. See #2 of Self. I am a child and need to be reminded about everything, every day, forever. Everything in my house is at some stage between cluttered and disgusting. My ultimate goal is to have a home that someone could stop by unexpectedly and I wouldn’t force them to stay outside.

How many decades will this strike last?
Strike also applies to brownies, domovois, heinzelmännchen

3. Major Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter cleaning. I need to declutter like no one’s business. I think if I haven’t used it in 10 years, I probably don’t need it. A handwriting worksheet from when Josh was 3 is probably also unnecessary to retain for his records.
4. Get the ice maker fixed. You’d think a simple task like calling a repair man wouldn’t take multiple years to do, but here we are.  It gets its own number because it’s been literally years.  I need to do this.  Eventually.
5. Stop procrastinating on all of the minor repairs and projects. Here is a preliminary list of things that need to get done:
– mount and display Josh’s Tae Kwon Do belts and certificates
– hang blinds and curtains in kitchen
– regroup and hang family pictures
– hang up artwork that I bought 10 years ago OR donate it
– replace towel bars in kids’ bathroom and half bath
– repaint any rooms that need to be repainted (It’s been a long time and the kids’ rooms especially need paint in my opinion.)

Kids
1. Enforce a consistent school, practice, wake up and bedtime routine. Which mostly means I need to have a routine. I’m the worst.

I have an alarm clock that can go off at two different times. I am slowly learning how to not sleep through both.
I have an alarm clock that can go off at two different times. I am slowly learning how to not sleep through both.

2. School at the library or park once a week. They need to learn to work with distractions and we are too cooped up in the house anyway.
3. Have lesson plans one month in advance. I can always improvise, but not every day.
4. Be more regimented on practice for extra curricular activities. I’m the worst, the WORST at practicing violin. And Tae Kwon Do kicks.
5. Help the kids stay on task with cleaning their rooms. Did I mention I’m the worst at everything?

Crafty
1. Finish hand quilting that giant king sized quilt.
2. Finish water color painting.
3. Sketchbook every day. Eventually.
4. Teach Robin to sew and to knit (those were her resolutions, so now they’re mine as well)
5. Knit at least 2 pair of socks.
6. Blog at least once a week.

Quantity over quality is easy since the quality has been at zero since 2006
Quantity over quality is easy since the quality has been at zero since 2006

Miscellaneous
1. Revamp the fish tanks.
2. Wash my car once a month (inside and out)

Whoooooo! So, 23 whole resolutions. To be fair, that’s a lot if I’m actually doing this. There are other personal goals I have this year but I’m not interested in airing all my dirty laundry to the world. Just the grossest pieces, I guess. I’m glad that I’m reviving the ChÜberlist; I’d like to believe that it means that I’m still alive and motivated on improving myself, even if it’s at a slug’s pace.

Get it? GET IT? GEDITGEDITGEDIT?!
Get it? GET IT? GEDITGEDITGEDIT
children, health, home, life, web

Something to Talk About

3 Months!

Everything has happened, so let’s have a photo dump:

1. Halloween happened and it was awesome.

Ghost Bride and Harry Potter
Ghost Bride and Harry Potter

Moaning Myrtle married Harry Potter?  Nah.  I asked Robin what her back story was and she said her father murdered her right before she got married.  What the fuck, kid.

My BABY in a WEDDING DRESS.
My BABY in a WEDDING DRESS.

Her dress is a Cheapos Thrift find for either $5 or $10.  I can’t remember now.  I believe it’s a size 4, so lots of alterations.  I appreciate how the kids seem to be taking turns wanting homemade vs. store bought costumes which makes me very grateful.  My wrists are 99% now and I can do things.  Without pain, even!

Now I have TWO strong hands.
Now I have TWO strong hands.

2.  Joshua became a Cobra Kai.

Serious kid is serious.
Serious kid is serious.

Okay, maybe not.  His uniform has sleeves, so he can’t be Cobra Kai.  Yet.  He joined the intermediate black belt training, tested for his second level brown belt (red is next!) and started weapons training.

I’m particularly proud of how dedicated he is.  $200 of his own money went to paying for gear (weapons, bag, pads).  He is getting $25 a month back from Mom and Dad, but he made the initial investment.  He’s more mature and responsible than I am.

3.  There was an election of some sort which I deem completely unnecessary for discussion here.

Regardless of which side, your vote didn't matter.
Regardless of which side, your vote didn’t matter.

4.  Robin started with a new violin teacher.  She’s also now in a 1/4 size violin.  She also had a birthday and it was all good.

“hair crayons” are exactly what they sound like.

5.  Christmas!  I honestly don’t have any good pictures of the kids from Christmas because I’m an asshole I guess.  But I have the next best thing:

Santa is shorter in person.
Santa is shorter in person.
His elves are adorable jerks, though.
His elves are adorable jerks, though.
It has a HOOD!
It has a HOOD!
He couldn't care less that is has a hood.
He couldn’t care less that is has a hood.

6.  We had a blizzard and it was horrifying.

Behold the wrath of Mother Nature!
Behold the wrath of Mother Nature!

In case I didn’t feel crazy enough, I’ve decided to do ChÜberlist 2017 – The Year of the Slug.  It’s already a couple of weeks late so I’m off to a great start.

I'm getting ready, 2017.  Time to get serious.
I’m getting ready, 2017. Time to get serious.
health, home, life, miscellaneous

Photo Dump: Shit Post

Jeez, what a fucking couple of weeks.  Here’s a run down, not necessarily related to the pictures.

I didn't have plans anyway.
I didn’t have plans anyway.

1. I am still recovering from my last carpal tunnel surgery; it was so much more painful than the first one.  The first (right hand) healed really quickly but even after a month the skin on my left hand is red and super sensitive.  It’s not raw or anything, but it hurts to the touch.  It’s truly just the surface and scarring area; the surgery part is fine and I no longer have pain.  Both hands can’t support serious weight on the palms, so holding pots and pans can be really painful.  Thankfully, I’m taking a 37 year break from push-ups so I’m sure I’ll be fine soon.

That fucking face! I am dying.
That fucking face! I am dying.

2. I have a fair amount of skin coloring and have always had various freckles.  I categorize them as freckles, not moles as they are small, flat and symmetrical.  Fact: when I was a kid, my family used to tell me that freckles were fly poop :( Anyway, I discovered an odd marking on the back of my right leg, right below my calf muscle.  I went to the dermatologist and they did a shave biopsy. It bled forever and it hurts like hell.  As far as I know, there is no abnormality (cancer), but that dermatologist is the kind that doesn’t contact you unless there’s something wrong.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m a wimp or if it’s just because the skin is being constantly pulled if I’m walking or what.  Hurrrrrts.

I really should call because leave it to my lovely luck that I’ve been dead for a week and the doctor just forgot about me.

*chews sadly*
*chews sadly*

3.  I finally went to an ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor) to check out my ridiculous nose bleeds.  At the particular office I went to, I had to see the Physicians Assistant who then proceeded to do all the nose things that aliens do.  She also proceeded to cauterize two blood vessels in my nose.   You can watch the procedure here (but don’t because it is as bad as you might think); I had cauterization with silver nitrate.  She noted that she couldn’t see any spots that appeared to have bled recently so she literally cauterized the two places she thought might be suspicious.  The PA neglected to tell me that it was going to hurt like fucking hell and I should have just been happy with bleeding to death.

The general consensus is that it feels like you’ve had your nose broken and while I’ve never had my nose broken, it did feel like I was dying.  I honestly thought I was going to have to go to the hospital because I didn’t think this was normal.

 

I'm 40% nose bleeds.
I’m 40% nose bleeds.

4. My nose ran non-stop.  Not like, sniffles, but shit was streaming out of my face.  I know I’m painting a delightful picture here.  I was not expecting that since again, it was not mentioned.  What the PA did let me know is to call the office immediately if I had a nosebleed so that I could come in and have them re-cauterize any bleeding areas.  If I waited then they wouldn’t be able to tell where I bled (like that day, for instance). Two days after the cauterization my nose started bleeding again.  As per her instruction, I called the office to try to come in on a Friday around noon.

“There are no providers in the office today; you will have to wait until Monday.”  The receptionist sounded like I offended her and her whole family by trying to explain that this is what the PA told me to do.  Ugh, fuck all this shit.  I’ll just bleed to death.

 

I hope to achieve this line of thinking some day.
I hope to achieve this line of thinking some day.

5. My windows are still not done.  The windows that are paid for and installed two months ago are still wrong and need to be replaced.  I could write a whole post about this aggravation and I’m tempted because I want the whole world to know how fucking stupid this has been.  But I really want to wait until the whole ordeal is over to see how events unfold.

Then I’ll bitch about it.

children, crafty, entertainment, health, home, life

Photo Dump: April doesn’t exist

Your Lie In April was so good.

I did *not* let Robin watch this.

I spent all this time away from blogging to watch tear jerking all the good anime on Netflix.  So good.  So good.

And pretty.

I did set up my new 40 gallon breeder.  This is one of the first layouts I had.  It has changed a million times.  I’ll do a separate photo dump dedicated to fish later.

So symmetrical! It doesn’t look like that anymore.

I got a new 20 gallon long thanks to another $1 per gallon sale at Petco.  I wanted it for Zenith, but I gave it to the kids instead.  They wanted painted backgrounds.

Their interests are so similar I can barely tell them apart anymore.

Josh had a birthday.  He is 9.  MY BABY IS 9 YEARS OLD.

We had a theme. It was not laundry.

We celebrate Magnus’ birthday at the same time we celebrate Josh’s.

So dainty! One year and 12 lbs. Dainty, indeed!

My carpal tunnel, or supposed carpal tunnel, is in full swing.

My hands…

I’m cross stitching which is actually not the only thing contributing to the pain.  Writing, typing, carrying heavy things, living, dying–all of these things seem to bring pain equally.  I get to call a neurologist tomorrow for an appointment and maybe a conductivity test for my nerves.

I feel ya, Edith. I feel ya.
crafty, home, life

A short lesson in customer service

Most of my employment experience has been centered around customer service.  In person, on the phone, whatever.  I’m actually very good at it; that and technical writing, believe it or not.  Which goes to show that just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you like it.

I sent out two emails today inquiring about price and availability of some fish and snails I want for my tank.  Here are the responses I got:

Gee, thanks.
Gee! Thanks!

Big difference in those gee’s.  I’m sure you can guess where I’ll go to shop.  Like that guy couldn’t have said that he’d get back to me on Wednesday, rather than make it my responsibility to get back with him?  Come on, people.

I got a cross stitch done that took SO MUCH LONGER THAN I EXPECTED because I’m an idiot and get panicky and then screw up.  I’ve also been searching for ‘just the right stuff’ to put into a care package that’s being sent to Singapore and I’m stressing out about that because I’m an idiot.  Oh, a fun thing?  Yes, let’s do this fun thing!  AND FREAK OUT ABOUT IT.

Magnus is the cutest about trying to get fish.  He’s terrible at it, mind you, and can’t even touch the glass where the fish actually are.

children, home, life

Look at all the fish I killed!

Okay, first, the bad news.

I’ve had 2 deaths, and they were horrible.  HORRIBLE.

Since I have the new 40 gallon tank up and running (more on that in a bit), I put the 10 gallon tank downstairs so the kids could have a couple of betta fish.  We spent time deciding what type of betta, how to best divide the tank, how to decorate, etc.  We cycled.  We did our proper due diligence.  We spent way too much money.  And it was beautiful.  Let’s preface this by saying it’s a tank for a 9 year old (HOW THE FUCK IS HE GOING TO BE 9 IN 6 FUCKING DAYS HOLY FUCKING BALLS) and a 6 year old, so the idea was to keep it simple so they could eventually take care of it themselves.

Guess which kid has which side.

On the left you will see Smaug’s home complete with gold nuggets, a treasure chest, a busted up castle, charred plants and scorched earth.  Plant’s on fire, yo. On the right, you will see Lily’s abode with treasure clam shell, sparkling jewels, lush, silky and plastic-y foliage and an umbrella of genuine dwarf water lettuce.  Bellisimo.

Smaug
Lily
Second shot showing how purple Lily’s body is.

Smaug was named after the famous dragon and Lily is a girl’s name even though Robin knows he’s a boy.  Lily was a good fit anyway, he was beautiful, as was Smaug.  We bought them, along with a betta for me, on Friday, along with all of the goodies to go into the tank.  Total somewhere around $180.  I know, right?  “What the hell did you buy at the pet store?”

Four days later they were dead.  Motherfucker.

Tank parameters were spot on.  I racked my brain all day and as a family, we came to the conclusion that it was the gravel and or the decorations.  Aquarium gravel toxic?  No way!  Yes way.  In the most horrible yes way.  When I was rinsing out the 20 lbs of black gravel, my hands were stained black.  This has never, ever happened before and I’ve bought tons of gravel over the years.  I washed until everything ran clear.  Same thing with the gold gravel.  So much glimmering water.  It took me about an hour to rinse them both.  My first reaction was holy shit, I can’t use this, but instead of listening to my gut reaction, I listened to whatever dumb ass part of me said “it’s made for aquariums, it’s not going to do anything!”  There was also glitter in the tank which I believe came from the treasure chest.  This is all just the dumbest fucking shit ever.  HOW DUMB OF ME TO PUT AQUARIUM GRAVEL IN THE FUCKING AQUARIUM.  WHAT A DUMB SHIT TO PUT AQUARIUM DECORATIONS INTO THE AQUARIUM.  To be fair, no where does it say that I am supposed to add fish to an aquarium, so there’s that.

The kids were not upset as much as they were disappointed.  They didn’t blame me even though I blame myself.  Josh was the most upset as he has had his heart set on a Smaug for weeks.  We searched for WEEKS.  Weeks might as well have been years in kid (and overly excited Mom) terms.

My guilt is compounded because my betta is still alive.  Meet Zenith:

Not like the VCR

He wasn’t in the poison tank, obviously.  He’s in the main tank actually, in a mesh box.  Gabrielle is going crazy because she has a crush on him.  He’s beautiful.  My guilt is tremendous, though.  In a way, I wish he had died, too.  That way it wouldn’t have been my fault, but that they were sick before we got them.  Or, if anything, because it would be fair somehow that all the fish died.  Crazy, I know.  I don’t wish him dead, but I do wish this guilt would go away.

Everything is out of the tank; heater, filter, tank and thermometer have been rinsed with boiling water.  The media was thrown away.  New substrate, new media (from the 40 gallon) and a re-cycling of the tank.  I need to get some carbon to make sure any residual death is taken out.  Once it’s cycled again, I’m going to put a little tetra in it for a week to see if it dies.  That makes me sound like a monster.  I don’t really know what else to do, though.

On the upside, I haven’t killed any of my fish and my new tank looks great.  I’m working on Zenith’s tank so I hope he’ll be in his tank by the end of the week.

entertainment, health, home

Lousy Smarch Weather

The 13th month of the year is the *worst*.

Oy, heat and air heat and air heat and air.  My poor energy bill.  And then it rained too much.  It never snowed. Boohiss.

I’ve been cycling the ever living shit out of that new tank; it’s been just shy of a month and it’s been cycled for a couple of days now.  I may or may not have screwed it up, though.  We’ll see tomorrow when I test the water again.

First, I have excellent news.  Loach the Loach has three new friends that I picked up recently:  Coach Loach, Loach Approach, and Stagecoach Loach.  They’ve literally been celebrating ever since, swimming around the tank and excited for pipes and rocks and plants and stuff and other fish!  They dance all night (nocturnal) but still zip about here and there during the day.  They stack on top of each other when they take a break.  It’s truly amazing.  The best part:

Loach the Loach just comes out to hang around. No more hiding!

I also got two more swordtail, Haineko and Minazuki.  They’re not as big as the Grande Dame Benihime but they’re still new.  And for good measure, a nice picture of Otto:

NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM

I still need more of these guys; waiting to get Bot, Graph, and Matic.  Maybe a Bahn or a Bus in there, too.  We’ll see.

In full nerd fashion, I decided to experiment with lighting since I want to plant the new tank.  I am not interested in a CO2 set up right now because I’m poor and lazy.  Amazingly, more poor than lazy.  So I bought a properly watted and colored daylight bulb and started testing how it would affect the plants.

Day 1: I do not know how to properly photograph through glass.

On the driftwood are some generic anubias, micro sword, pygmy chain sword, and red ludwigia.

Day 6: New plants and new fish and most importantly, nothing is dead.

Same plants, but I’ve trimmed and replanted the ludwigia.  Water lettuce on top, new female betta up there, too.  Her name is Gabrielle!  She’s fine in the community tank but when I tried to add another female (Oscar) it didn’t work out.  Oscar was getting picked on a lot by the swordtail so I took her back.  So sad.  She was a beautiful yellow girl, very vibrant.  I’ll set up a sorority when I can afford to; until then, Gabrielle gets to hang out peacefully with everyone else.

NEW LEAF! 2/3 of the way from the left. The little curled up thing. IT’S BEING BORN!
Gabrielle inspecting the ludwigia.

Since I took pictures last I bought some anacharis and something called rorippa.  Amazingly, plants are more expensive than fish and I don’t particularly care if they die.  It’s only a pain to clean up.  I’ve gotten 50 lbs of blasting sand into the bottom of the tank and will hopefully finish adding the rock hardscape soon.  Then black flourite.  Then plants.  Then swordtails.  Then tetras and betta.  Then otos and loaches.

So, the important thing is that I’m having fun and have something to occupy my time.  Like washing sand and testing water parameters every day.  I really, really can’t wait to have something to show for my efforts.  More soon!

home, life

Yay!

I have so many drafts going it’s ridiculous.  And even more ridiculous is that *this* is the topic of my first blog post in a million years.

I just went shopping!  In January I bought a new aquarium and tonight I finally ordered the first supplies to get the water cycled.  I know it’s dorky but this is the first thing I’ve been excited about in forever.  I’ve had so many failures in the past (so, so, so many) but I’ve resolved to do it right.  My current tank has been active for over a year and the fish have been doing well.

My current little set up.

She is cute, no?  Currently I have 1 kuhli loach [Loach the Loach], 2 swordtail [Zangetsu and Benihime], 5 neon tetra [Spaghetti and Meatballs], 2 oto catfish [Otto and Auto]  I started with 7 neons: one died before we got home and the other one [Meatball #4] died a few months ago from neon tetra disease.  Amazingly, none of the other fish got sick so I don’t consider that too bad.  Loach the Loach is all alone and he hides all day.  Probably because he’s alone.  I didn’t know until recently that they should be in a school of 5+ and then I read that if he hides all day it’s because he thinks all the other loaches have been eaten.

–Loach the Loach, probably.

Also, I found out that my swordtail need a 1:3 ratio of male to female because the male will pester the female too much.  This is 100% true.  That poor girl can’t get a minute to herself.  The oto catfish started as a trio but one of them died within a few days of being home so that one is not my fault.  Sadly, it worked out because I couldn’t think of a trio of oto homonyms.

Magnus is approximately 2.5 gallons.

My current tank is 10 gallons but I just bought a 40 gallon breeder tank and I’m bouncing off the walls ready to set it up.  I’ve painted the back of it black and will paint the 10 and 5 gallon tanks when they’re empty (or at least empty of fish).  Ichigo the betta died and it was totally my fault for being neglectful and I feel awful.  That didn’t last long at all.  I don’t know that I should ever get another betta even though I’d love to have one.  Maybe in another year when I’m more responsible.  I seriously feel awful about it.  *sigh*  Anyway, the 10 gallon tank will remain as a quarantine tank for new fish and the 5 gallon tank might get something like shrimp or snails if I actually think I can keep them alive.

Schematics to scale.

I’ve been going over and over and over what I want to do with the new tank.  I’m compiling a notebook with drawings, notes, lists and floorplans.  I’m a mess.  I just want to do it right.  I want to do a good job and hang up my fish-murdering hat.

Right in front of the dishwasher, the most convenient place of all.

Here is what I bought today: ammonia for cycling, master test kit (I have only been using the strips like a commoner), 2 bags of black sand Flourite and the AquaClear 110 because more filtration is better than enough filtration.  I’m sticking with Flourite even though it’s a bit more expensive.  It’s what I already have and I’m not confident enough to try something new.

Loach the Loach in a rare moment of visibility.  The algae is for the otos, thankyouverymuch.

As soon as my goodies come in I’ll start cycling the tank.  I am still trying to decide what “centerpiece” fish I want but that won’t be for a couple more months at least.  I need to cycle, plant, move the old fish over, set up old tank for quarantine and THEN I will get the new fish to complete the schools I already (should) have.  I am also considering switching the neons out for cardinal tetras instead.  I also know that this last paragraph is pretty boring for anyone who isn’t into fish keeping.

I know what you think of me.

Anywho, I’m just glad I’m excited about something and I’m hoping I do it right for once.  In other news everything is more or less the same so not bad.  Chinese New Year is right around the corner, not that I do anything for it but that’s an entirely different matter.

(For those who are curious, I’m interested in a Striped Raphael Catfish or a Gold Gourami or both.)