Archive for July 12th, 2008

More homework

Season four of The Closer premiers Monday night at 9PM, 8:00 CST:

Let’s hope this season is better than last, which I thought was rather a letdown.

By the by: Okay, that stinks. WordPress won’t allow me to embed video other than from YouTube or Google. That may cause me to reconsider this site.

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Aquarium update

I haven’t written an update about my aquarium in quite a while, so here’s one I recently posted at Aquaria Central, a great site for tropical fish hobbyists.

Sad to say, the famed Rocky T. Betta went to the bubblenest in the sky on June 13th (yes, Friday the 13th). He developed a case of fin rot, and I think I caught it too late. The antibiotics cured it on his fins, but he never recovered: I think the infection had gone internal. I was very sad when he died, as he had a good personality and I had only had him for about three months. In essence, I feel like I was at fault here. Crying

Oh, well. Live and learn, and other cliches. I’ll just have to give the next one better care. (And, no, he won’t be named Rocky II! )

For a few days, the japonica shrimp that shared the tank had it all to themselves. One of the four died and, in what must be a hidden ritual of the Shrimp Faith, the other three ate their fallen brother. (And, boy, did one fight me when I tried to remove the body!)

This last week I added a school of five panda cories: very cute! Sadly one died (I’m saying that a lot lately, it seems), but I think he was in bad shape from the time we came back from the store. The other four are OK so far, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed. Tomorrow, I plan to get two more. I think the tank can support 6 pandas and a (to be acquired later) betta.

Some of you might recall from earlier entries that I was battling water chemistry, since I had stupidly made the water way too soft and thus PH-unstable. After Rocky’s death, I decided to really work on it. As of last weekend, using small doses of baking soda I had raised the KH to 7 and the PH to 7.4. The latter was higher than I wanted, but the KH was just right. That was just before adding the cories, and I haven’t tested it since. I’ll be curious to see what the readings are tomorrow morning.

Also, I seem at last to be winning my battle with algae. Both green thread and staghorn algae had become a real problem. My pretty planted tank looked like crap. (Maybe Rocky died of embarrassment?) So, I changed my fertilizer treatment to all Seachem, all the time: Flourish, Potassium, Nitrogen, and Trace. Also, on the advice of someone at The Planted Tank, I doubled the daily dosage of Excel and the dosage of Nitrogen. After two weeks, there’s been real progress. While there’s still a bit of thread algae, the staghorn has receded by at least 80%. A centerpiece Java Fern that had been badly infested is almost clear. Thankfully, none of the tank inhabitants have shown any distress from the overdosing. But, after a CO2 unit I ordered from Big Al’s arrives next week, I’ll cut back on the Excel.

This adventure with algae has been a good learning experience. When I set up my planned 40g tank later this summer, I definitely will use dry fertilizers. Seachem’s good, but I can see the expenses adding up.

That’s all for now!


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Thump … thump

I have neighbors in the apartment below who believe that the only way to enjoy music is with the bass cranked up to 10 on the dial. The floor and walls of my apartment are vibrating like the inside of a drum, yet the building managers won’t do anything until “quiet hours” at 10PM.

Hmmm… According to California Penal Code section 197, justifiable homicide includes

…lawfully keeping and preserving the peace.

They’ll never convict me.

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Busy day today

Lots of errands to run, including a trip to LAPL to beg them to let me renew some books I need, even though I’ve hit the renewal limit.

Time to break out that wining smile. Big Grin


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