19 October 2014

parsley status

My parsley plant is doing great inside. I've already eaten half of it, and it's sprung back with new fresh leaves from the center. The foliage shows no signs of that mottled disease it had when growing outside, and there's none spread to nearby plants yet either. As far as I can tell. Happy with it.

18 October 2014

moving the worms

via their own crawling power. I figured it was high time to get them into a new bin- there's still bits of bedding in the old bin, but worms are starting to die- I see grey ones here and there, not moving. I got a funny surprise last time I opened the bin: all the material settled smooth and flat, one single seedling sprung up from hamster litter dead center
I've stacked the new bin atop the old, with fresh wetted cardboard bedding and thawed out food in there. Left it alone for two days, not wanting to disturb the worms too much. Checked on it yesterday- already there were worms in the new bedding, and when I looked through areas of the bin away from the food spot, found more worms coming up through the lower bin holes, just like they're supposed to. 
Not sure how long it will take them all to migrate, but I'll keep checking every few days. In the meantime, leacheate continues to drip into the tray a bit, I'm just wiping it up and squeezing out into the fishwater bucket for plants.

12 October 2014

the plants

in my aquarium seem to be slowly improving. At least they are all still putting out new leaves at a steady rate. I went a little more conservative with the Flourish this week, after water change. Gave the 20 gallon aquarium four drops, the ten gallon two. There is not much hair algae now, but still black spots on the foliage that does not rub off. I don't know if this is a stubborn algae or marks on the leaves indicate deficiency. Since giving the plant food and root tabs, the yellow leaves have turned green again, so I still think I'm in the right direction. The rotalia all is growing new pale green leaves, longer than before. When the tank lights are out, they look like stars in the dimness:
If the lower leaves on these stems never green up, eventually I think I will pin them down, cut when the tops root, trim off to grow anew from the original roots... I didn't realize I had a few pieces of vallisneria left in here- they are growing more now as well!
Still the aponogeton keeps putting out new shoots, but the foliage seems to loose vigor as soon as it gets a certain size. Either I need to just be patient and let it recover (all the smaller ones are slowly getting bigger) or gradually increase the plant food- or adjust the light so curb algae...
I keep looking back at old photos and thinking it was all looking better in the beginning. Before I moved fish and driftwood in and out, before I changed the light source and back again, before the ich and salt. I can't figure out if the plants would have declined and come back anyways, from adjusting to my tank, or if I've done things all wrong.

11 October 2014

the worms

I have stopped feeding them. Once or twice a week now I open the bin, the contents are always settled down. I thought when I stopped feeding it would dry out, but no. It drips a bit into the tray but not stinky so I trust it is safe to use this leachate diluted into my old fish water for the plants. I dig my hands deep into the bin to loosen the material and turn what's in the bottom up to the top, to keep it aerate and from getting too soggy. Fluffed up again, it fills the bin completely. It's getting almost too heavy for me to lift now.
The worms still look great, good numbers of them, very squirmy.
I still see bits of bedding in there, once all signs of that are gone I plan to move the worms into clean bedding and harvest the vermicompost. In the meantime to prepare I am saving food bits for them in the freezer, and shredding more cardboard to restart the bin.

10 October 2014


I'm happy with my kuhli loaches. They are looking better- nicer color, and I think they've grown! They're bolder too, coming out at feeding time when it's fresh veggies- I got some decent pictures today when they were looking for bits of peas fallen into the gravel.

Rooting around for bits:
Those in the big tank like to hang out in the stems of crypt near their log.
Two faces peeking out!
I keep thinking that Sammy in the ten-gallon looks larger than the other kuhlis. But the gravel in this tank is smaller size, so the appearance could be deceptive.
He's getting bolder too. But I still think eventually to move him...

09 October 2014


I repotted my parsley yesterday. Want to try growing it inside through the winter. And to move it in before frost comes, before it starts going dormant or dying back from the cold. It had some nice roots, all through the planter:
To try and avoid bringing pests inside with it, I washed the leaves in a bowl of soapy water
before settling into its new pot
It has a place on the kitchen windowsill now.

08 October 2014


My monster aloe has a baby- they're called pups I think. I wasn't expecting this at all. A nice surprise. I guess the summer outside really did it some good.
But now the plant is huge and I don't know where to put it. I want to bring it inside before the weather gets cold. The only place I could find where it would get decent light and not poke people when they walk by its long arms, is this space between my little desk and the ledge my smaller aquarium sits on.
It's rather narrow for the plant, forces the thick foliage into more upright position. I hope it will be ok there. My kids call it "the poky plant" as in "Mom- your plant hurted me!" and "Mooom, move your poky plant!" ha ha.

ich report 2

Now that it's for sure all gone- no signs of ich in three weeks, I'm putting record here of how the disease and treatment went. This time I did not loose any fish- well, not immediately. The thin platy died just a few days ago, could have been weakened by the ich. It only affected the twenty gallon aquarium this time, as follows:

8/26- Platy flashing
8/27- Temp ↑ 84° , barb flashing
8/28- Temp ↑ 86°, pinkie and barbs have spots. Added 5 tsp aquarium salt.
8/29- Temp 86°, 1 male barb spots on tail, 1 female barb injury? some clamped fins. Pinkie, Buster and 2 female barbs flashing, Pinkie crashed. Added 5 tsp aquarium salt + 2 1/4 for replacement wc
8/30- Temp 86°, 4 gal water change w/salt replacement
8/31- Temp ↑ 87°, 1 female barb glancing, 1 tail fin split, injury less red? wc 2.5 gal + salt
9/1  - Temp 87-88° No spots, only injured barb flashing. wc 3 gal + 1/2 tsp per gallon replacement
9/2  - Temp 87-88° No spots, one female barb flashing. wc 4 gal wc w/gravel vac + 1/4 tsp salt per gallon Injured cherry barb moved into QT (see below)
9/3  - Temp 87-88° glance/spots? NO  wc 3 1/2 gal + 1/4 tsp salt per replacement gallon
9/4  - Temp 87-88° 1 female spot on tail, wc 3 gal + 1/4 tsp salt per replacement, few drops plant food
9/5  - Temp 87-88° glance/spots? NO wc 4 gal + 1/4 tsp salt + drop plant food
9/6  - Temp 88-89° glance/spots? NO wc 4 gal + 1/4 tsp salt
9/7  - Temp 87-88° glance/spots? NO wc 3 gal + 1/8 heap tsp salt
9/8  - Temp 87-88° glance/spots? NO wc 5 gal + 1/8 tsp salt
9/9  - Temp 86-87° glance/spots? NO wc 4 gal no salt replacement
9/10- Temp 86° symptoms? NO wc 5 gal no salt
9/11- Temp 85-86° 1 or 2 platies flashing, 3 gal wc no salt Garlic in food (bloodworms)
9/12- Temp 86° 1 female barb flashing? wc 5 gal + 1/4 tsp salt per gal Garlic in food (betta bites) (4 tsp total)
9/13- Temp 86° glance/spots? NO wc 3 1/2 gal + 1/4 tsp salt plus 5 tsp salt gradual thru day = 10 tsp
9/14- Temp 84-86° (temp drop at night) glance/spots? NO, 3 gal wc w/ 1/2 tsp salt per gallon (5 more into main) Garlic shrimp pellets
9/15- Temp 85-86° female barbs flashing, 3 gal wc + 1/2 tsp salt replacement, Garlic in peas
9/16- Temp 86° glance/spots? NO, wc 8 gallons w/ gravel vac- clean out! no salt
9/17- Temp 84-85° glance/spots? NO wc 5 gal no salt Garlic bloodworms
9/18- Temp 83-84° glance/spots? NO wc 4 gal
9/19- Temp 82° symptoms? NO wc 3 gal (no more salt)
9/20- Temp 81° symptoms? NO wc 2 1/2 gal Garlic betta pellets, 5 drops Flourish (plant food)
9/27- Temp 78° symptoms? NO Fins regrowing, plants new growth. 5 drops Flourish, 1 root tab pieces (2 drops in 10 gal, no root tab there)

QT tank:
9/2 - Injured barb moved in w/ 1/2 tsp salt per gal + primafix (1 tsp dissolved into 10 capfuls of tank water, 4 capfuls into tank)
9/3- 82°, looks better, no bulge on side- 1/2 gal wc w/primafix dose
9/4- fins clamped, tail less fungus? wc 1/2 gal + 1/8 tsp salt per
9/5- fins clamped, red streak tail, eating. wc 1/2 gal + 1/8 tsp salt
9/6- hiding still, tail better, fins not as clamped/streaked. wc 1 gal + 1/8 tsp salt, primafix
9/7- hiding, still red streak tail fin, no fungus, eats fine. wc 1 gal + 1/8 tsp salt, prima dose
9/8- no spots, no clamping, tail still red streaks, deteriorating. wc 1/2 gal + prima dose
9/9- tail rot. wc 1 gal + melafix + 1/8 tsp salt
9/10- tail rot halted? wc 3/4 gal + melafix + 1/4 tsp salt
9/11- symptoms same, wc 3/4 gal + melafix, repeat in evening
9/12- wc 3/4 gal + 1/2 tsp salt + melafix, repeat in eve
9/13- wc 3/4 gal + 3/4 tsp salt + melafix, repeat in eve (3 dose melafix)
9/14- wc 1 gal + 1 tsp salt + 3 dose melafix (no evening wc/dose - not here)
9/15- wc 3/4 wc + 3/4 tsp salt + melafix, repeat in eve, tank wrapt in dark scarf
9/16- wc 1 gal, no meds, repeat in eve, tank kept dark
9/17- wc 1 gal, no meds, repeat in eve, tank kept dark
9/18- wc 1 gal, no meds, repeat in eve, tank kept dark
9/19- fish moved into home tank

As you can see, I still struggle sometimes to keep the temperature steady. Probably noted this in my fish reports earlier. Changed treatment halfway through because I had thought the symptoms were gone, but they reappeared so I added back the salt and kept going. Most water changes on the twenty-gallon included thorough gravel vac of one side of the tank, vac on the other side the next day. In the QT I quit using meds on 9/16 influenced by reading online: many people say melafix does no good, the best thing for the fish is calm (darkness) and very clean water. I was doing water changes twice a day for her, and she recovered- the fin is completely regrown now.