In my little Waterworld

Still waiting for the wood to stop leaking tannins. I’ve boiled the pieces twice now, two hours each time, but after a day of steeping, the water still turns out a medium brown. Maybe I’ll keep this going for another week.

In the tank, the two new plants I bought last week are still alive and the fish are… okay. Unfortunately, one of the blue emperor tetras has had his back fin nipped quite a bit. Not sure what’s going on there. On the other hand, the injured second biggest emperor is healing up nicely.

After I have the wood and the plants in the tank, I should have a good idea whether I have enough light in there for the anubias to thrive. Hopefully. They’re low light plants and the other (older) two plants seem to be doing just fine. I just forgot that they aren’t supposed to be buried in the gravel–they prefer being up on something so the roots are exposed to free-flowing water.

snail eggs on glass

Fresh meat served on glass

Funny thing: this morning I was taking pictures of a series of snail eggs (hatched & unhatched) on the side of the tank. Adam walked in as I was looking through my pictures, and after I helped him put away the groceries, I tugged him over to the tank to see the eggs… Continue reading

Not about fish this time


Psych. It’s about possible shrimp.

I talked to my boss at the pet shop today, he said he had ordered in Amano shrimp… but they never showed up. So hopefully those will be coming in soon in the next while as he hunts down that order. They probably forgot to ship them or they ran out of stock.

On the other hand, I bought two chunks of driftwood and they’re currently soaking in hot water. Still leaching out tannin like crazy, but hopefully after a proper boil that will finish off the curing.

Also – bought more water plants. Will probably need that new light soon. Drat. (To my endless amusement, I’m hoping there are baby snails hidden in the new plants. My assassins need food.)

Upgrading the tank

Some rants are about celebrities, some are about fashion. There are even specific ones about shoes. Many, I’m sure. But mine? Mine seems to be about fish. And I’m kinda sorry about that.


There’s some good news, and there’s a sad one. Let’s go with the sad one first: one of the female Emperor Tetras (the bigger ones) mysteriously passed away last week. None of the others seem to have any issues and even the beaten up male is healing up nicely. I’m now down to a pair of males and a pair of females.

On a happier note, I’ve got two pieces of driftwood to replace the broken ship deco. For some reason, none of the fish are particularly interested in staying in the ship anymore, they’d rather hang out behind it. So I’m putting in the wood and then tying smaller plants to it. That way they have some soft greens to swim through, rather than the tougher plastic.

It’ll be another week of soaking for the wood to be ready, then I’ll get the new plants and put up some pictures.

So yeah. That’s it.

Well, alright there’s some talk about going back to school, but I’m still mulling that over and Mom’s waiting on that. There are a bunch of things I would like to learn, but I may just end up going back for a brush up on 3D modelling. Adam’s art career has given me a different angle of looking at CG work. What would it be like to model a character for someone else? And maybe down the line, look into a 3D printer and paint them? Hmm.


So a few good things going on–and yes, I’ve realized it’s been a month since my last post, I’m sorry, alright?

The healthy one keeps photobombing.

The healthy one keeps photobombing.

First off, the fish in my aquarium have calmed the hell down. Granted, there are healing patches of scales, but all the fish have survived the upheaval of the pecking order. Unfortunately, I cannot find any of my red cherry shrimp anymore (Bugger it, I’m switching to Amano shrimp. They seem to be hardier.).

A second thing is that my boss’ wife has returned from vacation (and she’s so much like my grandma it’s not even funny). She’s a little bossy, but she’s been running things for so long that she just points out tips like they should be followed–and they work. By the second day, she was asking me if I wanted to work the front of the shop for a few shifts to see how I’d take it. More hours! Yes! Continue reading

The fish have staged a coup de tête.

When I first brought home the 5 new tetras, the Big Blue Fish of the community tank took a bit of an exception to their size. See, now he wasn’t the biggest fish in the tank. This resulted in him harassing on of the males and nipping at his fins. The chasing continued on through the night and into the next day.

By the second night, I was getting a little worried, but certain the pecking order would be reestablished soon–Hopefully within a week. Well, something definitely happened… the former head honcho was no where to be found and his second was looking pretty battered.

Oh crap. Continue reading

Got the job!

I’ve been accepted into the Pet Store! And all I did was not run screaming from the back room. Apparently, that’s a test. Mind you, it was stinky and loud and very cramped back there, so I can understand if most people flee from the cages of mice and rats and spiders. And toads. And all the birds. They made such a racket!

But yes! I am in! Which… isn’t saying much. Kinda? We haven’t really cemented any of the finer details such as wage or expected hours or even what days I’ll be available (all of ’em). All I know is that I’m going back to work 10-4 on Wednesday morning, training with the owner’s daughter–who has more piercings than me!

Two male and one female Emperor Tetras

Refreshingly photogenic

As time goes by, the owner will be giving me more hours. I think that’s fair to slowly ease me in and test me out as we go. It’s a very specialized kind of help that he needs–I mentioned they have snakes right? I got to feed those snakes, every one of them. And they all eat live mice. That I had to reach in and take from the cages.
[Roy, if you’re reading this, I told the daughter about Roelien’s snake biting me on the brow. She was amused. Apparently, noses are a bigger target.]
Besides the snakes, they’ve got multiple lizards, who all eat crickets. So I needed to get used to counting crickets in a bag. While they’re squirming around.
The final test was one that I gave myself. I wanted six fish out of a 4 foot tank: three males, three females. Since it was such a picky order, I asked if I could catch them myself. It took me 20 minutes at least and the help of the daughter and in the end only caught five, two of them males. I gave up on the third male because I wasn’t sure they even had three (easy way to tell are the eye colours: blue for boys, green for girls). Continue reading

My fish hate me

Or perhaps they are just traumatized.

I’ve been pretty bad with my water changes lately, and the last one I’ve done was back a month ago. This means the fish aren’t used to the sudden upheaval that happens during a major clean up.

The corydoras really are troopers–they were out and about while I was vacuuming and they didn’t go into hiding at all. However, the tetras… well, it just took them a while to come out.

Since I last spoke about my fish, I’ve lost one neon tetra to the filter intake, but the rest of the fish are still up and active. I think the large red cherry shrimp is killing off his brethren, I can’t find any of the others. And the assassin snails are snacking, but there’s still so many pond snails!

But enough about that! I’m going to the pet store tomorrow for more Emperor Tetras! The ones with the prong fins! And it’s not only me going there for fish – I’ll be pulling a 4 hour shift just to test out the job! That’s right! I might be employed!