• A Little Bit Closer

    My registration date for the Fall 2020 semester was finally posted, and I’ve figured out which sections I’m going to enroll in. I think. I’ll be taking CHEM151 and SPAN102 (again) so hopefully this next semester won’t be too bad. My registration slot opens on the 13th, so I’ve got a little less than two weeks to get it sorted out.

    Not much going on in my quiet quarantine life. I’ve been out to get a haircut, which I really needed, and tomorrow I’m getting tattooed. All the masks, all the time I’m out. I hate them but its at least a little protection for those around me.

    If I have time, I’ll load up some more stuff to be donated in my car to drop off while I’m out tomorrow. I have a few bags of stuff already ready to go, but there’s some big items as well.

    I have been buying snacks for us off Amazon when the prices are right, and today I got a huge delivery of what may have been too many snacks. We’re either going to be set on snacks for a couple months, or we’re going to need diets in a month. One of the things I got was a 12-pack of those little packs of Fig Newtons. I love them. They’re my all-time favorite cookie. Well, we left them on the counter and at about 10pm tonight I hear the very suspicious sound of a doggo chewing plastic. I go to investigate and first I find sveral mangled and empty Fig Newton packages. Great. Where’s the main package and all the rest?

    Yuba was curled up with the rest of his treat eating cushion, proud of himself for hunting down this tasty, sweet treat. The other day his sweet tooth led him to drink a cup of coffee.

    Anyway, 7 snack packs of cookies remain, unmolested, for human consumption. We’re all in bed now and I hope we won’t be up all night with upset bellies from eating too many sweet treats.

    What else did I get…. Another bar of Yardley soap, which smells incredible, has a thick, lotiony lather, and it also super inexpensive. Tejon thinks the soap smells amazing and I should let him eat it.

    I also got a really cool jigsaw puzzle which I hope we can manage to put together without the cats losing any pieces. Its double-sides, which a scene of succulents on both sides. Its going to be fun to put together! (aka hard)

    Ziggy is still doing poorly and I reached out to the people I bought him from. I really think its a swim bladder issue at this point but I’m only 5 months into goldfish keeping so what do I know? What I see is his body looks healthy, there’s no visible signs of injury or illness, he still had good appetite and chases his girlfriend around, but he can;t swim any higher than the bottom third and when he stops actively swimming, he just headstands. If there’s something I can do for him, I would like to do it.

    Right now though I’m going to take my meds, go pee, and finish this movie so I can be rested for my appointment tomorrow. Goodnight!

  • Cinnamon Roll Ugly Bread

    So at around midnight tonight, i decided to bake some bread. But I also wanted to make cinnamon rolls… But I didn’t want to clean off the table too actually have room to make rolls.

    I read a couple recipes. Then I got started throwing my Frankenloaf together.

    This was the first recipe I looked at. And this was the second. The ingredients were really similar between them. I used the called for amount of yeast, mixed into warm milk. Then i added the other ingredients- melted butter, salt, flour, the rest of the milk. I added about a full cup of sugar and a couple tablespoons of cinnamon. I mixed it up, then turned the oven on warm with the dough in the stove to rise.

    The rise wasn’t great. The yeast might be old. But i figured the dough into two pie tins because that’s what I found first, and then, following the cinnamon roll recipe’s advice, I poured some Italian Sweet Cream Coffeemate over the dough. Even to make a puddle around it.

    Then I popped the tins into the oven at 375° for 25 minutes.

    This is what came out of my oven.

    It’s ugly. Two lightly browned lumps of bread in a sweet, sticky bath of coffee creamer. But oh my God! It’s so so good! Tear off a chunk and dip it in the creamer and it’s like a soft, chewy, sticky, sweet piece of heaven on your tongue.

    Next time I make it, I’ll make it prettier… Lol.

  • They’ve Arrived!

    A Story In Photos

    The FedEx driver was very worried about whether or not the contents of this box were going to be okay. He was holding it protectively until I assured him I would unpack then immediately and they would be fine. He handed me the box over my gate and we went our separate ways.

    Upon opening the box, the first thing I saw was an interior box made out of styrofoam. This wasn’t my first time unpacking mail-order fish, but its always kind of exciting!

    I lifted off the top piece of styrofoam and saw 4 bags, inflated with air, snuggly packed in the box. Because they were all triple bagged, I couldn’t really see the fish inside the bags clearly except to see that they were all alive and didn’t appear to be too distressed.

    I floated the bags on the surface of the aquarium to bring the temperature of the water in the bags to the same temperature as the water in the aquarium. This takes about 20 minutes or so.

    After I had temperature acclimated my new babies, I carefully cut the bags open one at a time and reached in with one hand to carefully scoop each fish out of the bag and release it into the tank. The dirty water in the bags was thrown out.

    Normally, I would house new fish in a quarantine tank for a few weeks, but all of my fish have come directly from King Koi Goldfish and they have already gone though a 2 week quarantine where they’ve been treated for parasites and illness. I trust KKG to send me health fish and all these fish look to be in great health.

    Fish from Petsmart? They would absolutely be put in quarantine!

    I gave my new beauties several hours to settle in before I gave them a light dinner. The demekinis very bold, and was immediately swimming in the front of the tank. The little ranchu and the two tiny pearlscales are much shyer, but tonight before I turned out their light, I saw the tiny babies swimming more towards the front.

    Here’s a (rather shaky) video of everyone swimming around.

    I had a few comments that I really should switch to a canister filter now and I am- I have one on order and it should be here in about 10 days. I’m super excited about some other planned upgrades to the goldfish tank as well!

    A year ago I thought goldfish were cool, but I never realized how fulfilling they are as pets. They’re like sweet little water piggies, with the fancies being a bit bumbling and clumsy. I love them so much!

  • New Friends, Old Friends

    This is mostly going to be a photo dump. I’ve got some new goldfish friends coming probably on Tuesday afternoon. Two of which I selected the exact fish, and 2 which the good folks at King Koi & Goldfish will pick out for me.

    The tank of little orange and white pearlscales is where they will choose two little guys for me. The demekin and ranchu I specifically chose. I’m super excited to see them arrive!

    Here’s a berried mama shrimp, a juvenile shrimp, and the quick little blurs of some of the 15+ new platy fry I had born two nights ago. I finally stuck my arm in there and fished out the plant weight rings that no longer have plants in them, the dead root clusters from plants that did not survive, a bulb that was half gone, and I gave the tank a really good cleaning.

    I have so many mystery snails in there that my nitrate levels are way too high after a week, so last night I drained the tank to 30%, refilled it, and drained it again, giving it a 90% water change. That got my nitrates down to 5 ppm, so hopefully if I keep doing double water changes I can keep things under control and not lose any more platties.

    I found and removed 4 mystery snail egg clusters from the living room tank this evening and I need to remove the hood from the other two tanks and check them for eggs too. I do NOT need any more mystery snails! Ideally I would like 3 snails per tank and I have 15 with the goldfish, 5 with the cory cats, and there must be 40 in the the platties.

    Okay. one last photo. My boys were trying to tell me they wanted to come back inside this morning… LOL.

    They’ve got both their big heads shoved thru the window. Hey! Mama! We’re done with outside now, okay?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.