The Poet and the Fish - Page 13 - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #121 of 470 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 05:04 AM Thread Starter
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Micro Tank Update

So I put the substrate in:

- potting sand
- a little potting mix
- then washed sand on top.

Then the rocks.

Then the plants - all but one of these are temporary until I get my plants from ebay in:

- 2 small crypts
- 2 stems blyxa
- a few bits of bacopa (the little plant in front and to the left..I'm keeping that)

The tank is really cloudy, so I'll do a little water change tonight and wait for it to settle. I'm happy with the substrate and the rocks, and the bacopa. Now -- for the ebay order!! It'll look so much nicer with the proper plants.. Here's some pics:

This is about 10 mins later:


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post #122 of 470 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 09:48 AM
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its looks good!

<>< MistersMom <><
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post #123 of 470 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Well.. thank you. But I am hoping it'll look better, by the time I'm finished..

I moved a couple of the plants around, replanted one of the blasted crypts that just doesn't want to stay planted. Tank's still a tad cloudy, so another water change.. and see how it is tomorrow.

Today's fish-related poem is by Louise Gluck. She's one of those poets I wish I could be, just for ten minutes, so I could think what she's thinking as she writes, hear the words forming into patterns of sound.. Which really isn't as creepy as it sounds! Honest! >>

The Pond

Night covers the pond with its wing.
Under the ringed moon I can make out
your face swimming among minnows and the small
echoing stars. In the night air
the surface of the pond is metal.

Within, your eyes are open. They contain
a memory I recognize, as though
we had been children together. Our ponies
grazed on the hill, they were gray
with white markings. Now they graze
with the dead who wait
like children under their granite breastplates,
lucid and helpless:

The hills are far away. They rise up
blacker than childhood.
What do you think of, lying so quietly
by the water? When you look that way I want
to touch you, but do not, seeing
as in another life we were of the same blood.

I love how she combines simple words with subtly profound images. And just because she's very worth reading, I've included a few more of her poems. I think Vespers is my all time favourite Gluck poem - I know those tomatoes of hers all too well!

In your extended absence, you permit me
use of earth, anticipating
some return on investment. I must report
failure in my assignment, principally
regarding the tomato plants.
I think I should not be encouraged to grow
tomatoes. Or, if I am, you should withhold
the heavy rains, the cold nights that come
so often here, while other regions get
twelve weeks of summer. All this
belongs to you: on the other hand,
I planted the seeds, I watched the first shoots
like wings tearing the soil, and it was my heart
broken by the blight, the black spot so quickly
multiplying in the rows. I doubt
you have a heart, in our understanding of
that term. You who do not discriminate
between the dead and the living, who are, in consequence,
immune to foreshadowing, you may not know
how much terror we bear, the spotted leaf,
the red leaves of the maple falling
even in August, in early darkness: I am responsible
for these vines.

The Wild Iris

At the end of my suffering
there was a door.

Hear me out: that which you call death
I remember.

Overhead, noises, branches of the pine shifting.
Then nothing. The weak sun
flickered over the dry surface.

It is terrible to survive
as consciousness
buried in the dark earth.

Then it was over: that which you fear, being
a soul and unable
to speak, ending abruptly, the stiff earth
bending a little. And what I took to be
birds darting in low shrubs.

You who do not remember
passage from the other world
I tell you I could speak again: whatever
returns from oblivion returns
to find a voice:

from the center of my life came
a great fountain, deep blue
shadows on azure seawater.

All Hallow's

Even now this landscape is assembling.
The hills darken. The oxen
Sleep in their blue yoke,
The fields having been
Picked clean, the sheaves
Bound evenly and piled at the roadside
Among cinquefoil, as the toothed moon rises:

This is the barrenness
Of harvest or pestilence
And the wife leaning out the window
With her hand extended, as in payment,
And the seeds
Distinct, gold, calling
Come here
Come here, little one

And the soul creeps out of the tree.



Last edited by Aus; 06-16-2012 at 11:12 AM.
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post #124 of 470 (permalink) Old 06-17-2012, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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Another water change for the micro tank, and it's looking a lot more clear now. I clipped a bit of Cleo's filter foam off and dropped it in.. using old tank water for the water changes to offer some nutrients to the BB.

AND -- I have some very tiny anubias coming in the mail!

I bought some larger plants to kick the 30L NPT off with, and the seller saw I was doing the micro and threw in the teeny anubias for free, which was very kind of him. I've got a nice little goldvine 'log' soaking for when they arrive so I can attach them to that.

I found a suspiciously dark bit of edge on Cleo's anal fin.. and of course she is never still, so I can't get a good clear look at it. It seems to maybe be a bit of where her fin has a streak of blue.. but I'm eyeballing it, if it spreads, she's straight in the AQ salt. Blah, I'll be extremely disappointed if she's got fin rot or something. I've been so careful...

Good news on Demyx, though - I found a brand new regrown ray on his dorsal! Looks like there's a good deal of new webbing on his tail, too!

Also good news on the Zoidbergs - they're all five alive and well. I feed them crushed shrimp pellets at water-change time, so Cleo doesn't gobble them up (both shrimp and pellets.. ) and I saw Mr. & Mrs. Z sharing a bit of pellet on the back log today. Like Lady and the Tramp sharing spaghetti.. only with a lot more legs.. and underwater.. with algae. Anyway, it was really cute.

Mrs. Z is a glorious, bold red and has a prominent saddle of eggs.. can't see if she's berried yet, but in past experience the berried females get slower as the eggs get bigger, so I'll keep an eye on her. Mrs. Z just may become the first occupant of the 30L if she's getting picked on. And awh, baby shrimp.. I think Cole would make short work of them both, tbh.. but he won't be going in it for a couple of weeks yet, until the tank is properly planted and settled.

Cole is a cranky fish. The booger snapped my finger at water-change time, lol, and it hurt! He's got such a huge gob. Daughter fed him his regular 4 pellet breakfast the other day and apparently he just skimmed his big mouth along the surface and gulped the lot all at once, with barely a chew. Can't wait to put him in the bigger tank.


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post #125 of 470 (permalink) Old 06-17-2012, 11:19 AM
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Wow, it looks great!

Yay for demxy's fin growth and the possibility of baby Zoidbergs! :D

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post #126 of 470 (permalink) Old 06-17-2012, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Cheers, JK!

Usually when I sit down to make an entry in this journal it's because there's something going on with the fish, or I'm hyped about some aquarium-related plan I have. But right now, I just feel like typing.

I need to write more. Write something. Maybe a poem.. I've neglected my poetry a bit since the fish came along. I think it's a lot to do with wanting to cram as much know-how in my head as possible so I can do a good job at keeping my bettas healthy and happy, and learning something new is always fun. I worked hard for more than five years to write poetry I was relatively proud of, studied and studied, and read thousands of poems, wrote over a thousand myself. About twenty of those are decent, imo, lol. But I loved every moment, and had a few real bright spots on being published in some snooty magazines and such, though publishing a lot has become less of a concern as time has passed. My fiction, too.. I enjoy writing stories, but that has also been neglected.

I wish there was five of me. As frightening as that thought may be to Daughter, and probably a few others, it'd make getting things done that much easier. We could operate in shifts - no more downtime for sleep! Five heads are better than one!

Anyway, perhaps I'll start drafting some poems today and then inflict them in horrible drafty forms on unsuspecting fish forum readers. Bahaha!


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post #127 of 470 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 05:57 AM Thread Starter
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I've been on a bit of a splurge with .. plants!

Here's a list of what I have bought for the 30L NPT so far:

1 x Anubias nana 20 leaves (perfect for the gold vine I bought..)

2 x 30cm Crypts large leaf

2 x 20cm Crypts large leaf

3 x 10cm Crypts nevilli

plus a freebie small petite anubias for the micro in with those :)

3 x narrow leaf java fern

And I'm buying some echinodorus and fissidens, too, if I can get a good price.

The plants should all be here within the week, and I have everything else I need, so I can set the tank up soon! Woo!


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post #128 of 470 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Whee, I won three clumps of fissiden on ebay, for really cheap.

That leaves the echinodorus, which I can't seem to find anywhere for a reasonable price... I'll just have to keep looking! The tank really needs those stem plants.

The gold vine is taking a long time to sink. I think I'll have to anchor it down with a few rocks at first.


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post #129 of 470 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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A person on my Aussie fish forum has offered me a pile of tank trimmings and plants.. including amazons.. so woohoo, there's all I need, right there.

So, Daughter and I were doing a bit of thinking about the tanks. If we don't end up moving, we'll put Cole in the 1st NPT. Give Cleo's tank to Demyx (who will go in my room, I have plenty of space on my desk for the IQ5) and put Cleo in a 2nd NPT, since I'll probably have enough plants now for two.

So.. while we were looking for maybe-tanks for that on Gumtree, we happened across a ratty in need of a new home.. and after much discussion with Daughter (ie, a long list of reasons from her as to why we NEED a rat in our lives, and an equally long review of how many chores she's been doing and not-doing..) we called the ratty's owners and talked about maybe taking him.

My one concern (Daughter was nicely keeping a pet rat at age 5, did a brilliant job of basic care, I have no worries with her in that regard) is that Tom-tom IS THE most efficient rat killer ever. And he'll no longer be able to sleep on Daughter's bed or hang out in her room.. poor Tom.

She agreed that she would make special 'Tom-time' and hang out with him in the living room every day. I said he could sleep on my bed at night (our house is old and the floors are chilly, and he won't sleep in a 'bed'.. he'll sleep in a car wheel rim or on the cold floor, or in a shoebox 3 x too small for him - but in a cosy, fleecy cat bed? no way! So our beds it is..) and as long she doesn't neglect Tom or become careless about closing her door properly, and she assumes 100% responsibility including vet trips for checkups, mite baths if necessary, etc., then the rat was okay by me.

So I'm calling again tomorrow to speak to the owner of the rat about dropping him over, so she can see where he's going and meet Daughter, etc. Another addition to my sig, lol. His name is 'Monty'.

One of the gups nipped the other quite hard today, but otherwise they're getting along better than I thought they might. Daughter insisted on two. I told her they can be aggressive and we may have to return one.. Something for her to learn from if it happens, since I am apparently from that dim, prehistoric age of ignorance into which all nagging mothers were clearly born and which they never quite left behind upon crawling out of the tar-pit swamps to walk about on two legs and pick up after teenagers.

So we'll see. So far, so good. Daughter loves her guppies, though. She's quite besotted with them. "They're like little bettas! And you can have more than one in the tank!"

I think we're in for more guppies, some day. But not for a good, long while yet. I only have so much room in that sig..


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post #130 of 470 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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We had one! And not a teensy one, either - I think it was clocked at 5.2.. the whole house shook!

Which wouldn't really be so bad if Daughter had not somehow become convinced the ancient Mayans were onto something prophecy-wise, and therefore the world is slated to ended in December this year.

We've many a long talk about the actual Mayans and their actual calendars, and what they were for and meant, as opposed to the beliefs regarding them held by gormless hippies intent on selling more gormless hippy magazines printed on unbleached bong-scrapings, advertising magical anti-apocalypse talismans manufactured with the hair of an elderly Tibetan yak, whichtheir psychic yak-whisperer says was once the Dalai Lama and thus they may incur no negative karma for using animal products, seeing as the yak is donating all its worldly possessions (ie, hair) to the making of said lucky charms in the name of world peace.

All to no avail, apparently.. Daughter was bolting around the house waving her arms, shouting, "I TOLD YOU SO DIDN'T I? WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE."

Until we didn't.

ANYway. In more exciting news, I won some mini marchantia on ebay. This is a low-light plant which closely resembles a dwarf susswasstertang, and is actually a species of liverwort. Go me! The susswassertang is growing slowly but steadily all over the IQ5, so I'm supposing the marchantia will do equally well under similar light in the NPT.

I've also been doing research on which plants absorb what nasties out of the water, and found this interesting article by Diana Walstad:

It seems that most aquarium plants suck up ammonia, but only a very few like to eat nitrates, including echinodorus (swords).

So now I'm on a mission for information about what the best mix of plants might be for the NPT, to maximise clean water..

Unless, of course, the hippies are right, the Mayans were a bit off in their math, the yak hair fails and we're all doomed to Hollywood-style total oblivion before the end of the week.

I'm kind of hoping not. I just bid on a really nice 45 litre tank...


Last edited by Aus; 06-19-2012 at 12:51 PM.
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