• General,  Hobby

    Today Can Eat a Bag of Dicks

    Today started out okay. Tejony didn’t fuss too much, the weather was good enough the boys could spend a few hours outside and I had tasty leftovers for breakfast.

    But it didn’t stay a good day. Sunday night I noticed a little fungus growing on Tank’s wen. That was after I saw some on a snail’s shell. I immediately started treating the tank with malachite green and aquarium salt. Last night I noticed Tank looked a little bloated, but maybe it was my imagination. He was still acting normally.

    At noon today, Tank was horribly distended, and starting to bottom sit. I gently scooped him up in my hand, and there was no pineconing, no discoloration or any obvious things wrong except the tiny bit of fungus, and his swollen body. I was already doing water changes every 12 hours since I started treating the tank. Water parameters were pristine.

    By 5pm, Tank was even more swollen. Like a water balloon about to burst, and he was dead. His body didn’t float and was very heavy, and I can only assume the swelling was some horrible fluid retention. I have no idea what caused this or why it took him so quickly, but he was my favorite fish.

    I’ll do another water change tonight, and treat for fungus tomorrow afternoon and the next day with more water changes. I’m crushed, because Tank was the fish that made me definitely decide to jump into fancy goldfish. He looked just like a little black manatee.

    Swim in peace, little dude.

  • General,  Hobby

    This Week

    This week has been pretty good so far. I know it’s only Tuesday night, but I mean, that’s almost halfway through.

    Monday morning I took a much needed shower, and then fixed Rafael’s TV which he claimed for broken for 4 days. It was not broken; he just changed the input source and didn’t know it. A five second fix. Easy peasey!

    I was running late by then so I missed lecture and got out of lab early. Then I went to the barber shop and got my hair cut. I feel 100% more human, and way less muppet.

    I popped by a few thrift shops but no one had anything I wanted. Then I took myself to lunch at Applebee’s. It’s not fancy but I just wanted to have a nicer, sit-down meal, even if it was by myself. Then I went home.

    Last week I had picked up 3 Bolivian Ram cichlids and 6 panda cories. Almost immediately, I lost one of the cories and all three of the rams thanks to fungus that came with the female rams. Ugh. The remaining five cories are doing well though and I’ve finished treating the tank for the fungal outbreak.

    I had an unexpected windfall and was able to pay off a good chunk of my debt, so now my account with Dell is paid in full, and all but $200 of my debt with Affirm is also paid off. And I put a large chunk into savings too.

    Today I did the dishes, picked up some trash, and cleaned up after the dogs. I also changed the water in all three aquariums. My algae scraper arrived today and it works pretty well on the curved glass of the bowfront tank. I also had more fungal medication delivered so I have it on hand, just in case.

    I made up a batch of Repashy for the goldies, which they actually ate this time. I have a new sponge filter and air pump on the way, and I made an offer on a 40 gallon tank and stand that I’ll be picking up at the end of the month. I have no idea where I’m going to put it.

    I also bought a fiddle leaf fig and a philodendron brasil. Because plants!

    Right now I’m ripping DVDs to digital and watching some TV before I go to bed. Tomorrow I have lecture, and then I can head home and do whatever. Maybe I’ll remember to make a note of which colors of embroidery floss I still need.

  • Hobby

    They’re In!

    My babies have made the move to the new 75g and they seem super happy. Now they have plenty of room! No more overcrowded 36g!

    I’m working on redoing the 36g and removing dead plants, and actually planting the still living ones. Tank, Birdie, and Juice did a number of them and they didn’t all make it.

    Later tonight I’ll wipe down the glass and finish getting it ready for Ziggy, who shipped out tonight.

  • Hobby

    My Evolution as a Fish Keeper

    The end of May 2017, I bought a Betta on a whim. I stuck him in a tiny (horrifyingly so) “tank” for a couple days before someone brought me to my senses and I ordered a 2.5g for him.

    A couple months later, I’ve got a 3.5g, and a 5.5g, each with a Betta in it, and 5 amano shrimp in the 2.5. I still have 2 of those shrimp.

    Then I got a 10g, which I stupidly put two goldfish and a common pleco in. The pleco died almost immediately (I still didn’t know about cycling) and one goldfish followed. The other goldfish ended up covered in ulcers that wouldn’t heal and I euthanized it.

    I finally found Reddit. I started reading. I realized I was a fish killing idiot and this all could have been avoided if I had been educated a little.

    At this point, I have two bettas, and 3 surviving amano shrimp. One Betta moves into the 10g and the other into the 5.5.

    I still haven’t learned that much. One Betta dies. I bring home 3 male guppies to put into the 5.5g. When I get home, I discover the 5.5g is leaking at an alarming rate. I put them in the 10g with the female Betta. She hates them.

    Now I have an angry Betta and 3 traumatized guppies and 3 shrimp.

    I’m starting to wise up that the guppies are not going to live peaceably with the Betta in such a small tank. I rush to PetCo and but a 29g which I hastily set up.

    My guppies, female Betta, and shrimp go in the tank. The tank (luckily because I’ve killed enough creatures) is pretty much instantly cycled when I move the filters from the 10g into it. There’s a lot of plants too because I had a few in two of the small tanks, and quite a few in the third.

    Over the next month or so, I add some zebra danios, black neon tetras, and what turn out to be dwarf pencilfish. I keep adding plants. I do semi regular water changes. I add a couple mystery snails. I invest in a water test kit.

    I keep almost everyone in the 29g alive and healthy for over a year. I keep reading, I learn a lot. I find some other fishy folk and build community. The 29g gains a bristlenose pleco and I start transitioning over to mostly platties. They’re successfully breeding and pretty soon I’ll be giving them away.

    My mystery snails suddenly go from about 5 to about 75. I collect as many small ones as I can find and take them to Petco. I vow to remove every egg cluster I see from now on.

    I make a contact on Reddit and purchase a bunch of red riili shrimp from them. A few days later, there’s a snow storm and we lose power for a few days. I’m unprepared and I lose a few fish. Amazingly most of the shrimp survive. I buy battery powered air pumps, batteries, and mylar blankets.

    About 6 weeks ago, I decide to start another tank. I really, really want goldfish. I join r/goldfish and I read everything. I ask questions. I buy a 36g and instant cycle it with my second filter from the 29g. I buy sand substrate after reading some Goldfish will try to eat rocks. I keep feeding the cycle because the tank is empty except for a few mystery snails.

    I discover King Koi and Goldfish. I plan on ordering 2 goldfish but I lose control and order 3.

    The goldfish arrive, healthy and beautiful. They are acclimated to the tank and are soon thriving. My mom is in love with them. But my tank is somewhat overstocked and will be very overstocked when they grow out a little. I do lots of water changes. I buy a Python which is the best fishy purchase I’ve made.

    I start watching the online marketplaces. A few days ago, I come across a 75g that’s only a few miles away. I make an offer on it, considerably less than they were asking, for the tank, stand, and lids. In the meantime, I’ve got a large box in my craft room that has filters, decor, everything I can buy for this unknown future tank.

    Friday night, my mom takes me in her truck to pick up the tank. It’s huge. Are they this big in the store? It’s obviously grown since they bought it… Lol. We get it home and get it in place in the house.

    I add substrate, decor, and flood the tank. Tonight I ordered lighting and and on Wednesday I’ll finish setup, pulling a filter from the 36g to get the cycle going.

    Hopefully by this weekend, the goldfish will be installed in their new tank. I need to order more plants but will move some of the marimos from the 36g to the 75g.

    Twice this week I’ve caught myself looking at the King Koi and the Goldfish Island websites.

    In these three years I have learned so, so much and while I was a horrible fish keeper at the beginning, I’ve become capable to taking care of these guys and keeping them happy and stress free.

    If you’ve read this far, thank you for staying with me, for offering me advice and occasionally a kick in the head, and most of all for being an amazing community that I could learn from. Because of you, my dream of having a goldfish tank is actually real, and they’re thriving.

    Now I need to get some sleep so I can wake up tomorrow and do water changes before I spend half my day doing homework.

  • General,  Hobby

    Tinkering

    Somewhere in the last few days, Plex came across my radar. It took me about a day to have mom’s desktop computer set up as the media server, the hard drives of media plugged into it, and both Raspberry Pi’s loaded up with the RasPlex OS.

    And it’s pretty fucking cool. We have one centralized library, but I can set up sharing libraries within that. Those libraries can be shared or not to various users who are signed into the server. In this case it’s just me and my mom, but it’s handy because I can share all the TV shows with her, except for animated ones or anime, and I can share all the movies, her own library of music (I ripped all her CDs to digital), but not my music, which I know she’d have no interest in.

    So basically, it’s pretty fucking cool. And because both Kodi and Plex have their roots in XBMC, they’re remarkably similar in functionality.

  • Hobby

    A Happy Happy Thursday!

    Thursday I had some packages coming my way that I was super excited about. Excited enough that I was checking tracking every two hours and practically placing pushpins on a map to follow its progress.

    What could be so exciting coming by way of FedEx, you ask?

    My order from King Koi & Goldfish!

    I order 3 beautiful fancy goldfish, plus a couple of plants last Friday, and they shipped out on Wednesday evening. At around noon on Thursday, FedEx pulled up and delivered a rather unassuming cardboard box to my front gate. The box weight 11 pounds and the water could be heard gently sloshing inside it as I carried it into the house.

    I opened the box, which was heavy cardboard, and was greeted by an insulted panel which I lifted off the top. Under this panel were 4 plastic bags, plump with water and oxygen, and 3 of them contained a single goldfish. The fourth was actually two bags and contained my plants.

    I read up on King Koi’s shipping methods before my new water puppies arrived and they are pretty interesting, but definitely smart. Once fish are sold, they are fasted for 3 days to minimize waste during shipping. The bags are then topped off with pure oxygen, to give the fish maximum breathable air.

    Anyway, as I removed the bags from the box, I saw each fish was relaxed, not showing signs of distress, healthy looking, and beautiful! I floated their bags on the tank’s surface for 20 minutes to acclimate them to the tank’s temperature, and then gently scooped each fish out with my clean hands and placed it into the tank.

    They immediately began swimming around, checking out the tank, plants, and the sand, and seemed pretty happy to actually have room to move around again.

    I’m sure you actually want to see then now, right?

    First up in Tank, a black Ranchu. Seeing tank on the King Koi website sold me on ordering online rather than taking my chances at Petco or Petsmart. His cute chubby body, roached back, and stubby fins were too adorable.

    Then I saw Birdie. Birdie is a Crown Pearlscale and the fact she looks like she swallowed a golf ball was too much to resist! Birdie is a little shy compared to the other two.

    Finally, there’s Juice. Juice is a Ryukin and I did not select him specifically but rather selected an assortment of calico ryukins and just requested one with a lot of orange.

    Juice will eventually outgrow the tank, since ryukins are typically bigger at maturity then varieties like the ranchu and pearlscales, so before the end of the year, I’ll be setting up another larger tank to move Juice to along with a buddy I’ll get for him then.

  • General,  Hobby

    Shramps!

    A couple weeks ago, I met a stranger off of Reddit in a dark parking lot at night too buy a bag of teensy little red shrimp. The little guys are really sensitive, so I spent a couple hours acclimating them to my ‘s water before I released them. I knew I would lose a few, but there’s also a lot of hiding places in the tank so I didn’t think I’d be seeing a lot of them at first.

    This evening I did a water change and afterwards I saw shrimp everywhere. I saw a couple that are definitely female, so I’m hoping pretty soon they will have babies and I’ll see a lot more of the little guys.

    My two platy fry are doing great still, and I have another adult female who is getting bigger by the day, so I’m expecting more fry soon.

    There was another sale at my mom’s work, and she came home with some stuff done other people had requested- and then, the best thing, a Silhouette Cameo 3! I found a place for the machine and I installed the Software, and the designing is pretty much Adobe Illustrator lite, plus a few tricks I remember from when I did vinyl cutting as my job.

    I’m looking forward to trying it out on some vinyl soon!

  • General,  Hobby

    Holidays on the Homestead 2019

    My table at this year’s event

    I know I posted about this last year but I never shared the photo from this year.

    I tried doing things a little different with more knitted hats and rings, because people always asked for those, but unfortunately I only had a few stuffed toys left over from previous years.

    I probably would have done a lot better if I had had more toys, but my rag doll unicorn did find itself a new home.

    Still, it was a great night until we got to the end and I found I had bled through both a super tampon & an overnight pad because my body is a traitorous jerk once a month. Thankfully I was able to pack my stuff up and I slipped out to my car and called Jami to ask her to send my stuff out.