Thanks for the tip, LBF. I'm looking forward to doing business with her - hers is one company I would love to support.
Finally -- the tanks is up! Well. It's got water in it.. cloudy water.. after I rinsed the heck out of that sand for a hour or so. I'll do a full water change (out the window! no way am I lugging 15 buckets back and forth to the garden -twice-!!) tomorrow and refill, that ought to take care of the remaining debris.
Daughter and I spent another hour or two sitting on the porch freezing our butts off with buckets of plants and wood and some cotton, tying plants to the mopani and the other bits.. the effects are quite good, if I do say so myself!
I ended up stealing Cole's gold vine, which has FINALLY decided to be waterlogged, as I think it was just too awkward in the 10 gallon. So he's now swimming around like a maniac, wondering where the scenery went. I replaced it with a lovely thick bunch of java fern so he still has lots to explore.
I seriously fail at tying moss to rocks, however, and will be purchasing hair nets to make this job a little easier.. for the rocks, I mean.. not the hair..
My room looks like a bomb hit it, lol. Oh, well, that can be tidied. But not tonight! I'm quite pooped. No pics yet, the iPhone is taking its time charging, so I'll get those tomorrow before and after the water change.
I still have an 8-gallon full of java fern, most of which will be clumped and tied to rocks, and dropped in the 3ft. I also have a large takeaway container full of java and peacock moss, which I think will be very glad to be under lights soon. And another container full of HM - which is definitely unhappy and will perish pretty soon if I don't get it under proper light..
Several neat things I found while messing about with the plants:
- a full grown ramshorn snail in Cole's tank. It must've hitched in on the java fern. I really don't mind, but there's a few snails in there now including four baby ramshorns, the MTS's and a big fat pond snail, so I might have to keep my eye on numbers... and ammonia...
- a -tiny- baby red lotus. I mean, this is just a seedling with the pod still attached, awh! That went in Cole's tank, too, and can go in the 3ft when it gets larger.
- a single java fern leaf almost a foot long, with large babies growing off it.
- the tiniest little anubias, just two baby leaves.
I'm sure I'll discover more tomorrow. Bucket-o-plant surprises are fun. :)
The Zoidberg Chronicles #2:
One of the male Zoidbergs (not Mister, thank goodness) became Cleo's lunch today. She is looking -mighty- pleased with herself, but has a pudding belly now and won't be getting pellets for a day or two.
And the most puzzling thing! I was looking for Mrs. Zoidberg to see how the eggs are doing.. and saw that there was not one but TWO Juniors.
Now, these are not newborn shrimplets, so it's nothing to do with Mrs. Z's clutch. So how did I end up with two identically sized small red females?
Irish suggested that when the first berried female was eaten and dropped her eggs everywhere, there could have been a couple hatch. Good call, Irish! Because there's no other way that extra little shrimpy got in there.
Which then leads to the question of how many shrimp, exactly, are lurking in the java fern clumps in the back of the 3.5 gallon..
No sign at all of Mrs. Z - Cleo never eats them 'quietly' and parades around for a couple hours with various shrimp-bits in her mouth after she's dismembered one, and I haven't seen her do that for a while, except with the male today...
I hope Mrs. Z is hiding out with Jr 1 & 2.. after the 3ft is done, I may dismantle the tank and remove her.
Awh, poor little booger. He's still floofing around merrily, with his tattery fins. The popeye is subsiding, finally, and there's no new fin damage. The regrowth is still terribly slow, however, and I'm not seeing a lot of new growth now.
Daughter's been feeding him craneflies pretty regularly of late, as I said he needed more live food/protein. It's tragically comical watching him trying to eat these, as even his mostly-missing dorsal is still too large for him to manoeuvre at the surface easily. He ends up circling the bugs for ages with his dorsal fin over his face like a waterlogged cloak. But he gets them in the end!
Bloody Loaches Update:
Still can't catch them.