Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Aquarium

Right now, I have a 10 gallon aquarium, but as soon as I get the stand I'm going to set up a 29 gallon one. I already have 2 female Mollies (Pipsqueak and Skittles) and a male Dwarf Gourami (Sprite).

I'm going to be moving them into the bigger tank, and I'm also going to get 5 black Kuhli Loaches and 6 Corydoras.

I'm going to have sand on the bottom for the loaches and corydoras so they don't scratch themselves. I might use live plants, but when I first start it I'm going to be using plastic ones.

I hope I can get the Corydoras to lay eggs because they cost about $5 each at the pet store!

I'll try to post pictures after I get it set up.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Goldfish: Caring for them & some common myths

First, let's look at some goldfish myths and the real truth.

"Goldfish will only grow as big as the tank lets them. They are perfectly happy in bowls because they don't grow too big."

On the outside, it appears that the goldfish does only grow as big as the tank allows. However, goldfish do not have an automatic growth controller that clicks off when the goldfish can't get any larger without having much swim room. A goldfish's natural size varies from 8 inches for the fancy breeds to over 12 inches for the comet. If a goldfish is kept in a tiny tank or bowl, it is stunted. But only on the outside. Its organs keep growing and growing until the outgrow the body, which leads us to our next myth:

"Goldfish only live for a few years."

Sadly, most goldfish do live for only a few years due to improper care. If kept in a proper environment, a goldfish's natural lifespan is 20 years or more. The oldest goldfish on record lived to be 49.

"Goldfish do not need a filter. They are very hardy and are fine without one."

Goldfish do need a filter, much more than most other fish. They are extremely messy. Unless it is removed some way, the waste and excess food rots, which will kill the goldfish because rotting waste and food produce ammonia. Ammonia burns a fish's gills, which leads to a painful death if the situation is not addressed quickly. Even then, a fish can have lasting damage to the gills.

Now, let's talk about setting up a goldfish tank. Goldfish need much larger tanks than other common fish because of their adult size. If you take good care of your goldfish, it can be with you for over 20 years!

The general rule of thumb for goldfish is 20 gallons for the first goldfish and 10 gallons for each additional goldfish. Goldfish need excellent filtration to keep all of the waste down. Buying a filter for a goldfish can be more expensive than for another kind of fish, but since goldfish do not need heaters, the cost is probably about even. List of things to buy:

29 gallon tank
Filter rated for a 40-60 gallon tank
Plants (Live plants look nicer, but a goldfish will uproot them and possibly eat them)
Optional decorations/accessories (like caves, statues, driftwood, etc.)
API master test kit (if you don't already have one)

You probably won't want to only have one, so let's say you're wanting to start out with 2. You'll need to buy a 29 or 30 gallon tank. The difference between them is that a 29 gallon is 30 inches long, while a 30 gallon 36 inches long. 29 gallons are probably more common than 30's.

Do not buy a goldfish yet!!!! If you add your goldfish right now, they will die of ammonia poisoning because your tank has not completed the nitrogen cycle. Look here for detailed directions. I would recommend using the "Add Daily" method, even though it takes longer, because in the end there will be much more beneficial bacteria to eat up your goldfish waste and the fish will be much less likely to die.

After you have cycled your tank (your tank has 0 ammonia, 0 nitrItes, and 10-20 nitrAtes), you can add, at most, 2 goldfish. If you are using a 29 or 30 gallon tank, you need to get one of the fancy varieties, like a Black Moor or a Fantail and NOT one of the longer plain varieties, like a Comet, because these grow much larger. Here is an example of how big the fancy varieties can get if kept in healthy conditions. This kind of growth is NORMAL! Pond goldfish are not the only ones who naturally grow large.

Make sure you do a 25-40% water change once a week to keep your fish healthy. NEVER totally empty the tank and wash the gravel, because this kills the ammonia-eating bacteria!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Caring for bettas: Creating a betta tank & some common betta myths

Supplies to buy:

API test kit

First, you'll need to buy a tank. Do NOT buy a bowl, a vase, or anything less than a 2.5 gallon! A 5 gallon would really be alot better than a 2.5, and if you get a 10 gallon, your betta will have a palace!

You'll need a filter and a heater. Bettas like to be kept at around 78 degrees, and they don't like alot of water disturbance from the filter, so take this into account when buying. Make SURE you don't go overboard with the equipment. A filter for a larger tank will cause too much water flow, and a heater that's too powerful can kill your betta by overheating the tank.

Also get some substrate. Don't get sand. If you get gravel, make sure it's smooth so it won't damage your betta's fins. Marbles or those little flat glass "pebbles" will work well.

Get some plants and decorations, too. Live plants will provide oxygen and absorb some ammonia. If you get fake plants, don't get plastic! They will tear your betta's delicate fins. Get silk plants instead. Get a couple of structures for your betta to play with, such as a castle with large smooth-edged holes.

Take your tank & equipment home. Do NOT buy a betta yet! You'll need to cycle your tank before you put your new friend in. Set up the tank, plants, decorations, filter, and heater. Don't put it in direct sunlight. Research instructions for a fishless cycle, follow them, and don't buy your betta until you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and around 10 nitrates.

Make sure you acclimate your betta before letting him into his new home. If you don't, you risk having him or her go into shock from the change in water temperature.

If your new fish doesn't eat right away, don't worry. Give your betta a few days to settle in.

When cleaning the tank, never wash off the gravel, and NEVER use any soap on anything going into your aquarium. Use a siphon & gravel vacuum and do a 25% water change every week.

Common betta myths and the real truth:

"In the wild, bettas live in mud puddles, so they are fine in those little cups."

In the wild, bettas live in rice paddies in Thailand, NOT in mud puddles or elephant footprints.

"Bettas don't need a filter or heater. They don't have a filter or heater in the wild."

In wild betta habitats, water flow provides natural filtration, just like the warm climate combined with the lower water level (NOT mud puddle levels) provides natural heating. With no filter, the betta is practically breathing its own waste, only it is not in the form of waste. When fish waste and excess foods rot, they produce ammonia, which is toxic to fish in levels as small as .75 ppm. When I got my sister's betta from the store, I tested the water from his tiny cup, and the results were 8+ ppm. Ammonia burns the gills of a fish, leading to extreme pain and eventually death.

"Multiple male bettas can be housed together. What stops them from being together in Thailand?"

Nothing. Nothing stops the bettas from seing eachother. However, nothing stops them from swimming away or hiding either. If one male has had enough in a rice paddy, he can swim away and/or hide in the plants. In an aquarium, and especially the small ones that bettas are usually housed in, the males can not get away from eachother, so if one tries to escape, the otehr will bully it to death.

I hope that if you decide to get a betta, you will keep it in good conditions like the ones I listed!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Her Royal Highness Demands...

An audience with mommy at 2:00 in the morning,

Cough Drops,


Purple Medicine,

And numerous other things that I can't remember...

Reagan is sick. The night before last she had a 103 degree fever and a bad cough and she woke up screaming that there was a wolf in her room. Mymomconnie took her to the doctor the next morning and waited in the tiny room for 2 1/2 hours for the doctor to come out and say, "She has a cold. Give her Robitussin."

Aaaannnddd... how much do we owe you for that?

Later, she was looking through one of Adrienne's school books when she saw a picture of a squirrel. She squealed, "That's what was in my bedroom last night! I saw it!!!"

I think that maybe we might possibly need a lesson on animal identification.

Right now she's running around underwear, and since we're about to go to the store, Mymomconnie asked her, "What about your pants?"

Her reply was, "Don't know" (and the unspoken part was probably "Don't care")!

Last night she woke up in the middle of the night and started out saying, "Where's Mommy? Mommy, I need you!" and built it into, "Mommy, come here RIGHT NOW!!! I WANT TO SEE YOU!!!!"

Let's hope she doesn't start hollering about wolves at Wal-Mart.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Quotes From Reagan

"If you don't give me nickles, then I will DIE, and you will be sorry!

"You neeeevvvvveeeeerrrrr let me go into the liquoooooooor stoooooooooore!!!" (When we were getting boxes to pack in)

(Mommy) "Did you go to the bathroom like I told you to?"

(Reagan) "Umm... sort of!"

"Where is outside?"

"Cake makes you healfy."

"I like RD-2E." (R2-D2)

"Hi, Doorbell!" (After we've been calling the baby 'Adorabelle')

"If you give me ice cream then I will grow."

(I asked her to tell me about Star Wars, and she answered me in mostly single words:) "Anakin. Ahsoka. Rex. Shoot. Kill eachother. Stars (light sabers). Hey, I want a purple light saber for my next birthday!"

(About Yoda) "Green. Orange (???)."

"I have nickles, and you don't!"

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Lemonade Award

Holly at Seeking Faithfulness gave me the Lemonade Award! Thank you, Holly!

Here is what it's about:

The Lemonade Award recognizes bloggers who are positive, show gratitude, and make the best of things. That is folks who make lemonade out of lemons.

The rules for the award are:

#1 You must link back to the person you received the award from.

#2 You have to pass this award on to ten more blogs, of your choice, which also demonstrate great attitude and/or gratitude!

#3 Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

Well... I don't think I can come up with 10 blogs, so I'm just tagging 3:

Emma at A Bookworm Named Pickle

Hannah at Hannah's World

Lindsey at Exceedingly Abundantly Blessed

In other news, I've decided that even though it's still February, I can't stand a winter-y blog any more, so I'll be giving my blog a remodel. I give you permission to scream about this certain announcement: I'm probably not going to do it myself. I think I'm going to get a free background from somewhere because I don't feel like working on one. Now you may scream.

Also, Reagan has somehow gotten it into her head that it would be fun to walk around all day with no shirt on. Last night she was banned from the table until she put on a shirt. No shirt, no shoes, no service! Except in this case, it's OK to have no shoes.

This morning, when she was told to PUT HER SHIRT ON, FOR PETE'S SAKE, she replied, "Well, I not goin' outside, so I OK with no shirt."

She's wearing a shirt now.

Cameron's birthday is in 4 days, so we're going to Wal-Mart tonight to get her presents. I'm getting her a betta. I got her one for her last birthday, and she LOVED him, but he died after a few months because she forgot to de-chlorinate the water once when she was changing it. I saw a REALLY pretty one the other day. It was purple, and I think it was a half-moon betta instead of a normal one. I hope he's still there!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

If you're bored, then...

Take a look at Nikki's blog whilst squealing and flapping your hands around.

Look at this free tutorial about bathtubs.

Stare at these beautiful horses.

Laugh your head off at this hilarious video:

We were dying over here about the parts, "You have 4 eyes" and "WHY is this HAPPENING to me?"

That last part sounds like something that Reagan might do. Sometimes, when she's in trouble, she says, "I can NOT stop this crying!" Once, in the middle of a PRAYER at church, I might add, Reagan was acting up, so Mymomconnie pinched her to get her attention. Bad idea. She started yelling, "MY MOMMY PIIIIIIIIIIIIINCHED MEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!"

Never assume that cute means harmless.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

First: Attention! Alert and Alarm! Second: The Rodeo!

Mymomconnie has hacked into my blogger account! I did not publish her comment on this post! Oh well, I know her password!

Last night we went to the rodeo. I would post pictures, but the camera has an objection.

My favorite part was the barrel racing, and I got some good pictures which I can't show you. (Glaring at the camera)

There was also a hilarious clown act where the clowns were doctors and they were taking a lady to the hospital. At the end of the act, the announcer said, "If that doesn't kill her, nothing will!"

At the beginning, there was a big parade of people on horses. I got some good pictures of that, too.

At the end was Mymmomconnie's least favorite part, bull riding. I've figured out that if the camera wakes up in time to take a second picture of the bucking, it means that the guy hung on long enough for the buzzer.

And now I can't think of an ending for this, so I'll just say it.

The end.

You can go home now.