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Old 02-29-2012, 07:02 AM   #41 
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Demyx's tank is 12 liters, so .. about 3.25 gallons. He's been acclimated and released, and is once more a happy little fish, floofing around his new digs.

Sid is not a happy camper. Swimming okay, eating okay, active as ever. But if a fish can manage to give somebody the stink-eye, Sid has well and truly achieved it. I feel terrible, but it's for his own good. Hopefully his fins repair soon, and we can be friends again.

While he's indisposed, I'm going to make a few changes to his tank, maybe employ the driftwood I bought, once most of the tannins are gone (I wouldn't mind a bit, but they're really dark!).
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:05 PM   #42 
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by Salli Shepherd

My fish is red. A ribbon in the water. Like blood, ribboning.
A bullet-bodied predator, sub-aqueous assassin of gnats.
Hunts my finger along the tank; he thinks he's big enough.
Gluttonous fish, scarlet as evening, a pirate's bold flag.
A strange, autonomous orchid flower, fallen in the water.
Dragon-embryo, water-child, fluttering in his womb of glass.

Last edited by Aus; 02-29-2012 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:27 AM   #43 
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I'm even more worried about Sid, day 2 in the salt and his fins look awful.

I can't even think of things to type. So many bettas die, years before their time. Is it something I'm doing? Is that he was sickly when I got him? Both? Will he be okay?

I haven't known him long, but he's the fish I want to have around. He's really MY fish.

It looks like fin melt. I'm trying trisulfa whatever it is tomorrow. Knock the damn disease on the head real hard if I can.
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:38 PM   #44 
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Okay - in less of a panic today. I calmed myself by reading threads here and on other sites re rapid finrot - and am holding off on the heavy meds as there's been no progression of the rot today. Yesterday was awful - in just a few hours, in the middle of the night (I'm a chronic insomniac so I was up and checking on him, and ofc no stores open at that hour..) Sid lost a lot of fin. But by store-opening time he hadn't lost any more and none at all today. Maybe the salt is working. I hope the salt is working.

Sid, meanwhile, is taking the opportunity of having a non-filtered tank to bubblenest like crazy.

I've said it before, but I really must say it again: Sid is a trooper. Aside from some justifiable sulking (and yes, fish CAN sulk - whodathunk?) over being moved out of his cosy, leafy home tank and into the bare-floor, minimalist salt shack, he's shown very little sign of stress about anything, including a dose of ich and resulting meds, being cupped for water changes, etc. He's still extremely curious about anything and everything, and actively seeks interaction with the various people who pass his tank frequently. The tank is beside the door to the kitchen, and with not one but TWO teenage girls - gods help me - in the house this week, the traffic is never-ending. They change clothes every fifteen point three seconds, too - I've clocked them - so I have to wonder of he thinks they're all different creatures passing by rather than just two extremely fickle ones.

I have begun to wonder whether Sid can recognise my voice. Am I nuts? I know I can hear when I'm underwater, and that in water sound is amplified, and that fish hate their glass being tapped on a lot, or loudly. When I say 'hello', which I do quite a lot as I pass by, he gets really excited and never fails to rush over all flappy and wiggly, no doubt hoping for an extra meal.

Demyx loves his new tank, and looks happier by the day. He's a lot less stressy, too, so his lovely blues are really shining. He still hates water changes with a passion, and is a bugger to catch. He sees the catching-cup lowering and squishes himself so tight to the heater I can't possibly even try. But curiosity and that wonderful air-breathing organ always bring him up again, and after ten minutes of exasperation I can usually get him in without too much of a chase.

I've been writing a lot lately, which is a massive relief. A writer who can't write isn't much chop, and the illness I had all through February capped off a really crappy few months, health- and stress-wise. All my inspiration and drive to write, which has sustained me through some very hard times in the past four years, vanished under the weight of it all. I feared my muse had gone for good, I really did. Not a pleasant thought. But here she is, just back from her holiday, sporting a tan and better than ever. Meaning, I'm writing of a sudden, and better than I expected after such a long break. About time a tide turned in my favour, and I'm really grateful that it has.

My very lovely housemate also gave me monies for new art materials for a tardy birthday gift, so I'm starting a drawing to give to him for his birthday later this month. Another thing i haven't done in a while. I hope this means normalcy (such as it can possibly be within a 50-mile radius of me and my odd little family) is returning at last.

A thought which has inspired me to write a betta-story, which I've made notes for and will post here sooner or later, when it's done and polished up.

Ah, water change time. It's actually quite relaxing, like dishes or cleaning the bathroom, which I also enjoy (see what I mean about 'normal' being relative around here?).

Last edited by Aus; 03-02-2012 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:15 AM   #45 
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Well, I am now a firm believer in trying salt before medicating. Day 4 and I can see a tiny bit of clear, healthy regrowth on the tip of Sid's tail and a little whitish tissue at the edges of the other affected fins.

Awesome. I reduced the level of salt on day 1 from 1 teaspoon per gallon to 1/2 teaspoon per 1.5 gallons, as Sid was looking quite distressed, and this appears to be both effective and less stressful for him.

Couple things I've noted since he's been in the salt:

1. His poo is completely normal. No more long, hangy white sections. I am even more convinced that his white poo (completely white when I got him, half and half after a few weeks of good food and care) was the result of a gut infection and not worms.

2. His ventral fins are both relaxed. I had assumed, because all his other fins were relaxed, that Sid just had dodgy ventral fins that were unable to fully relax, as in all this time I have never seen them drop from 'half mast', half tucked-up. Well, now, they are relaxed. I wonder if this had to do with the above gut issue, or something else.

While he's in the hospy tank, I took the opportunity to redecorate his regular home. I removed his fake mangrove root cave and used a couple of pieces of driftwood I got from the aquarium when we bought Demyx. It's not as jungly-looking but there's a bit more swim-room for him and I've read the little bit of tannins leaching out of the wood (I soaked it for a while in a bucket to get most of it out - there was a LOT) will be beneficial to him.

I'll put some pics up soon. :)

Last edited by Aus; 03-04-2012 at 03:34 AM.
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:57 AM   #46 
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I love this poem - it describes exactly the process of inspiration for me (well, not exactly the same as such, but the feel of it is precise). I love that a fish is the turning point - I used to love watching the little puffer fish rise up under the jetties when we lived near Mordialloc Creek, a brine estuary creek here in Melbourne. Definitely something magical about experiences with wild fish.

The Painter and the Fish
by Raymond Carver

All day he’d been working like a locomotive.
I mean he was painting, the brush strokes
coming like clockwork. Then he called
home. And that was that. That was all she
wrote. He shook like a leaf. He started
smoking again. He lay down and got back
up. Who could sleep if your woman sneered
and said time was running out? He drove
into town. But he didn’t go drinking.
No, he went walking. He walked past a mill
called “the mill”. Smell of fresh-cut
lumber, lights everywhere, men driving
jitneys and forklifts, driving themselves.
Lumber piled to the top of the warehouse,
the whine and groan of machinery. Easy
enough to recollect, he thought. He went
on, rain falling now, a soft rain that wants
to do its level best not to interfere
with anything and in return asks only
that it not be forgotten. The painter
turned up his collar and said to himself
he wouldn’t forget. He came to a lighted
building where, inside a room, men played
cards at a big table. A man wearing
a cap stood at the window and looked
out through the rain as he smoked
a pipe. That was an image he didn’t
want to forget either, but then
with his next thought he
shrugged. What was the point?

He walked on until he reached the jetty
with its rotten pilings. Rain fell
harder now. It hissed as it struck
the water. Lightning came and went.
Lightning broke across the sky
like memory, like revelation. Just
when he was at the point of despair,
a fish came up out of the dark
water under the jetty and then fell back
and then rose again in a flash
to stand on its tail and shake itself!
The painter could hardly credit
his eyes, or his ears! He’d just
had a sign – faith didn’t enter
into it. The painter’s mouth flew
open. By the time he’d reached home
he’d quit smoking and vowed never
to talk on the telephone again.
He put on his smock and picked up
his brush. He was ready to begin
again, but he didn’t know if one
canvas could hold it all. Never
mind. He’d carry it over
onto another canvas if he had to.
It was all or nothing. Lightning, water,
fish, cigarettes, cards, machinery,
the human heart, that old port.
Even the woman’s lips against
the receiver, even that.
The curl of her lip.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:05 AM   #47 
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I posted in this on the dragon thread in The Lounge, but I'd like it here, too, since it's one of the few of my own drawings that I actually like, and maybe it'll inspire me to use these lovely new pens more frequently:

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Old 03-05-2012, 01:47 PM   #48 
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While Sid was cupped for today's water change I noticed my cat looking at the main tank with a seriously intent and somewhat disturbed look on his face.

Tomtom is a marvellous hunter of all terrestrial things rat sized and under, but he is terrified of fish. He won't come within three feet of Daughter's tank, even though it's on the low coffee table beside our sofa.

Anyway, Tomtom is glaring at my main tank, which is on a wheeled television stand. I was quite puzzled, as there's no fish in there to scare him. So now I'm staring at the tank, too - nope, nothing out of the ordinary. How peculiar, I think, and there's Tomtom, stiff and glaring away at - nothing?

Then I noticed the floating wisteria drifting slightly in the very slow filter flow. It does a graceful loop around the top of the tank that I hadn't actually seen before, but yup - it was moving.

So now I can also say that my cat is afraid of water lettuce.

Last edited by Aus; 03-05-2012 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:14 AM   #49 
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Day 7 - a week in the salt bath at 1/2 a tsp gallon and Sid is not only still bubble nesting like a loon but also showing a lot of clear, healthy webbing between the rays where the rot was. I'm not happy with his ventral fins. They've never looked great, but were always half tucked so I couldn't see what was what with them. Now they're down, I can see they've been quite badly damaged, probably since I got him. No sign of the really shreddy one healing yet, either, but no sign of ongoing rot - they look exactly the same as a few days ago.

His main tank is reading 0.25 ppm ammonia - I've been 'feeding' it with a little bit of fish food every few days to give whatever healthy bacteria are in there something to do while Sid's not in there, and maybe put a little too much in yesterday. It's been reading at 0 for a week prior, so I'm guessing I OD'd it on fish food.

I'll give Sid a few more days in the hosp tank minus salt, and keep monitoring the home tank until it's back to 0.

I --neeeeeed--- that full test kit for nitrates/nitrates but omg, the bills are in and it may have to wait a while.. and I am not paying the $80.00 my LFS store wants for it. Hopefully I can go shopping about for a cheaper kit next week. Until then, I can only monitor ammonia and grit my teeth.

My wisteria's new roots are hanging about 2" down now and are branching. I still don't know what this 'freshwater seaweed' stuff is called (I forgot ><) but it's doing okay, as are the anubias and cryptos, though the cryptos are maybe looking a little leggy? I'm not sure if they're meant to, though, so must look that up.

The java fern is enjoying the cold water, I think, as it's looking perkier and has some new leaf buds coming on. I hope it likes being tied to the driftwood, and keeps being happy once the heater goes back in.

I really want a couple of shrimp...

In fact, now we have the small Kritter Keeper as a hospital tank, the IQ3 is a spare. I think that'd be fine for a few crystal shrimp or RCS. I think they're adorable. Would need another small heater, though.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:01 AM   #50 
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(In fact, now we have the small Kritter Keeper as a hospital tank, the IQ3 is a spare. I think that'd be fine for a few crystal shrimp or RCS. I think they're adorable. Would need another small heater, though.)

Ahhhh!.... and so the addiction continues!! You have it bad my dear. LOL.
Glad to hear that Sid is doing so mush better!!
$80 bucks....?? are they nuts? Should be somewhere between $30-$50.
Even buying online with shipping might be cheaper than $80. Wow. Good luck.
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