So good to have you back, Aus...and with such a story to tell (and able to tell it, thank goodness.) I missed your re-arrival, having been away myself.
Delighted to see you're still enjoying you fishums et al and are still growing with the hobby. As always, your photography is amazing. Those carnivores are really to die for...if you're the right kind of bug.
I see by the poems you have minnows on the mind. (Sounds like a song-title.)
They are precious, indeed.
Hope you'll be around for a spell. My spellcheker os borken <ba-da-boom>
Hey Aus! I just finished reading up on where I left off... which was only about a year! It's been great to see your tanks evolve! I'm sure you remember me (I live near Jodie Leas store!). I thought I'd pop in and say Hi, I wasn't sure you still even used the forums when I came back - which was only last night! Anyway, great to see your still around Aus!
Hi guys!!! Great to see you! I'm still a bit lax with the updates, been a bit busy and also struggling a bit with the health stuff, winter isn't my friend any more and getting around/lifting things is getting harder by the year.
Anyway, enough about creaky old me! I have fishy/prawnish updates!
First of all GOOD NEWS on the prawns. They're healthy and happy - and breeding! Successfully! We now have SEVEN prawns! I really didn't notice right away. I was eyeing the female the other day, thinking she hadn't grown much, compared to the males. Then I looked harder, and thought "is it just me or is she getting *smaller*??!" haha!
So then out pops the female! And I'm like
So I'm thinking, this extra one might be a successful survivor of the very first egg batch that she dropped not long after they arrived. No idea what sex it is, yet..
So I'm all excited as heck -- when out pops *another* one! This one's only about a half a cm long, and still very transparent. A baby prawn! I was SO EXCITED!!!!!And thennnn --- I saw *another* one!!!! it was about this long: -
So cute! Newborn prawn!
I guess they're happy in the 10 gallon. But really, I must organise a much bigger tank for them soonish. They're so territorial, four is really too many for that small space even with all the hidey spaces they have. let alone *seven*!!
The "pond" (3ft) is still a bit messy, I'm doing a tidy up with tonight's water change. Bloody snails! I've now plucked another sixty or so out. I have declared a war. I'm taking no prisoners. The prawn think this is a great idea, as it means many more snacks for them.
I have six half grown baby minnows now, and Aang is really fat, I think he's eating the majority of the babies that've hatched lately, they vanish pretty quickly. Even so, if the minnows keep breeding like this, I'll have to find homes for them as I don't want to overstock and that tank is about at its limit for stock, in my opinion.
Without the java fern, it looks less jungly, But I won't get more in until I've eradicated the snails. In its place, the java moss has *exploded* and I now have far more of it than I really want. I mean, TONS of the stuff. I can always put some in the new prawn tank, I suppose..
And -- we have a brand new betta! Daughter decided the empty tank was too sad, and purchased us a little lavender marble veiltail. She called him 'Tweek'. He's settling in alright, but is still pretty new so I don't want to take pics for a while yet, in case the flash stresses him out. He's *tiny*! Not quite a fry, but plenty of growing to do.
I can't wait to take pics though, he's just lovely.
I still dream of wilds, but the winter budget is always tight, power/gas bills being as high as they are. The little spare room out back is slated for a fishroom come summer, though. I am determined to have at least two wild species once I have nicely settled tanks for them.
The biggest downer about not being wealthy is that all these things must take so much time to achieve. Oh well, it just means I appreciate them more when they finally happen.
I hope all my friends here are well and your fishies too. :heart:
I was looking for prawnish poems, but most of them are about the marine varieties. I found this one, though - and the river prawns are really just little long-armed yabbies by nature. Not sure I'd ever eat my prawns, ha, but gosh yabbies are nice on the BBQ.
Philip Hodgins reminds me somewhat of Philip Larkin in this..
by Philip Hodgins
All that day the bulldozer ground back and forth
with a pendulum's arc in the widening hole.
Fixed as a boxer with one straight punch
it produced surfaces and low battlements
soon to be replaced by more copies of copies.
Its rhythm built hillocks at each end,
new highs and lows for fifty bucks an hour.
I loved the clean dirt, those gravels and clays.
At dusk the driver dropped to his feet
and became quaint down there in the vast middle,
having a piss. “Well it's a start!” he yelled.
The dam lay before us, slung into the earth,
monstrous enough for the worst war crimes.
It filled in a few winter weeks once the rain
began to run like a rumour off the high ground
in the State Forest at the back of our place,
and in no time at all the holes appeared
like machine-gun spray above the water-line,
most of them large enough to fit your big toe.
And then there were claws and body shells
around the dam like broken discarded toys
and a single shag holding its wings pegged out
or tipping underwater with a splash as if yanked.
I first saw yabbies near the edge after dark,
in pairs, testing three elements. They torpedoed
backward out of the torch's bent barrel of light.
On land they were unnimble as the bulldozer
though their claws could still manage a dog's nose.
They kept sinking new holes, as if dissatisfied.
Enough of them could ruin a levee, my father said.
Where had they come from? For a while
I imagined them struggling overland at night,
drawn on by secret knowledge of the new dam.
But they were being airlifted there as eggs
by spoonbills, ibises and white-faced herons,
swinging in on the end of long pruned legs.
Later I saw the eggs, crimson and small as seeds,
packed in rows on a mother's sectioned underside,
her tail's three leaves folding nurture over them.
Squatting at the edge we threw that one back
but most we added to a bucket of slow wrestles.
They found it hard to give up the meated string
and would rise from the dam in a rescue scene
rather than let go. They'd slide from the bucket
still hanging on to each other in clumps
like models of uncommon molecular structures
and sink into the big boiling pot with a squeal
that was heated air escaping from their shells.
A bucketful would give you one good pile
of bleached pink nuggets steaming in a bowl.
We'd sprinkle salt and lemon juice and down them
with beer, as happy as the peasants we were.
That poem reminds me of when we used to net yabbies out of the dam up at my pa's farm in Lancefield. We never ate them though, it was purely catch and release haha. We were probably just catching the same group of yabbies.
Whenever yabbies are mentioned in our family, they all like to recall the time when I got nipped on the hand by a yabby as a kid and cried.
Glad to hear Aang is still around and that you are too.
Hey LBF! You know, Daughter was only asking about you the other day. She remembers you fondly and from that conversation got all inspired to get us another marble betta, ha. I said we'd have to invite you out for a cuppa (and some serious moss-adoption, perhaps, I fear it will soon crawl out the tank and go triffid on us all.. ) once the workmen are done making a mess of the place, fixing all the stuff that runaway car broke (including our ceiling, omg imagine going through a falling ceiling *again!*)
So you must come out, one day, I insist! I planned on catching up with your thread after dinner, actually, I bet there's heaps of new news since I last looked.
Hallyx and Magnum, so nice to catch up also! I'll come bother you on your journals or just in replies here, in the next couple days.
I've been cooking a lot lately (no yabbies, haha) as well, and gosh, the household's been enjoying lots of winter soups and stews. If anyone's got a nice recipe for simple wintry foods, please do share!
It'll be great to see the picture of the new betta, I'm excited to see what he/she looks like. I'm buying a new baby this afternoon (:
I also went to Jodie Leas store on Monday and Tuesday! I wanted to grab some stuff for the 5G I'm re-attempting to set up, but sadly, it was closed both days! If you'd like anything Aus I can grab it for you and hopefully mail it down?
Magnum - oh how I wish I was financially viable enough right now to splurge on fish things.. but winter! the bills! it's shocking how expensive it all is, these days. :( Thank you anyway, do tell me what you purchased! And I might just take you up on the offer, if you visit in the warmer months (when I tend to have spare cash).
Hallyx, HAHA that's just adorable!
I'll have some pics of little Tweek when Daughter gets back from some time away. He's changed colours! But being a marble, that's not surprising, really. He's looking to end up red/white/blue. But who knows!
I spotted two new tiny minnow fry this morning. They breed like rabbits! That tank needs a serious clean-up, and the java moss is still spreading everywhere.
I did find a few more pieces of a strange, unidentified moss I've been trying to ID for a while now (I have found so many small plants in there that I didn't deliberately put in, it's getting a bit strange, LOL!) -- this moss has a dark rhizome-like stem, from which very tiny 'fingers' of dark green poke up, these being tipped in brighter green. The best thing about it is that it pearls constantly, so it shines with lots of tiny bubbles, very pretty!
When I tidy the tank, I'll try to gather all the bits of it and put them together in one place.. Hopefully I can pics to aid in ID'ing it. But it's just so small I'm not sure I can get clear ones.
The prawn tank is due for cleaning today - I love how they zoom about like mad things on water change.. There's a LOT of mulm in that tank presently, which I must try to get up. They're messy little blighters.
I haven't seen the tiniest baby prawn in a while, but the middle sized one is living at the back of the sponge filter and had worked out how to dodge its parents and the rest.
I think most of them are due for a molt, they get noticeably dark just prior and tend to hide.
Aang's looking a bit raggy - I think he's been nipping bits of his very long dorsal. He also likes to wedge himself in and around the driftwood a lot, and sometimes has to struggle his way free. I found in right in the middle of a soft-ball sized clump of java fern yesterday.
I wonder if the minnow explosion is stressing him out a bit. I am seriously pondering culling a few, for prawn food...
Things I did not know, but do now: White Cloud Mountain Minnows can live for up to 8 years!
My wife and I were enjoying Endeavor on the Masterpiece series on American Public Television -- the prequel to the Detective Morse Series. Anyway, the protagonist quoted the last stanza of an unfamiliar poem. We remembered the last line and Googled it. Google is good enough to recognize writings by their last lines -- I assume by any accurately quoted fragment, nowadays. Even though Houseman didn't think much of poetry -- likening it to adolescent private play -- I liked it enough to share it here.
XVI: How Clear, How Lovely Bright
How clear, how lovely bright,
How beautiful to sight
Those beams of morning play;
How heaven laughs out with glee
Where, like a bird set free,
Up from the eastern sea
Soars the delightful day.
To-day I shall be strong,
No more shall yield to wrong,
Shall squander life no more;
Days lost, I know not how,
I shall retrieve them now;
Now I shall keep the vow
I never kept before.
Ensanguining the skies
How heavily it dies
Into the west away;
Past touch and sight and sound
Not further to be found,
How hopeless under ground
Falls the remorseful day.
(Bonus points if you can identify the form.)
Googling last lines reminds me that the first time I did that, back in '99, was to find the source of one of my my sister's favorite whines, "..when I mope, I mope."
As it did just now, when I repeated the exercise, Google returned this wonderful complaint:
Come, megrims, mollygrubs and collywobbles!
Come, gloom that limps and misery that hobbles!
Come also, most exquisite meloncholiage,
As dank and decadent as November foliage!
I crave to shudder in your moist embrace,
To feel your oystery fingers on my face.
This is my hour of sadness and soulfulness,
And cursed be he who dissipates my dolefulness.
I do not desire to be cheered,
I desire to retire, I am thinking of growing a beard.
A sorrowful beard with a mournful, dolorous hue in it,
With ashes and glue in it.
I want to be drunk with despair,
I want to caress my care.
I do not wish to be blithe,
I wish to recoil and writhe.
I will revel in cosmic woe,
And I want my woe to show.
This is the morbid moment,
this is the ebony hour.
Aroint thee, sweetness and light!
I want to be dark and sour!
Away with the bird that twitters!
All that glitters is jitters!
Roses, roses are gray,
Violets cry Boo! and frighten me.
Sugar is stimulating,
and people conspire to brighten me.
Go hence, people, go hence!
Go sit on a picket fence!
Go gargle with mineral oil,
Go out and develop a boil!
Melancholy is what I brag and boast of,
Melancholy I plan to make the most of.
You beaming optimists shall not destroy it,
But while I am at it, I intend to enjoy it.
Go, people, stuff your mouths with soap,
And remember, please, that when I mope, I mope!