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Discussion Starter #1
I was at Sams Club today and came across these:
http://www.samsclub.com/sams/shop/product.jsp?productId=prod1180623


We drink a lot of bottled water, and used to refill more expensive bottles at a "The Water Store." They went out of business by us years back and we have been refilling our jugs from grocery store machines.

This hasn't exactly worked out well. I have noticed the water from the grocery store machines gets a funny moldy or plastic taste after a short time sitting in the jug. I have tried bleaching and washing the jugs and nothing keeps the water from going bad. This caused us to get cases of regular sized bottles which end up having to be recycled.

Now the bottle doesn't say spring water but it's the same brand. If it turns out to be good I plan on getting these from now on!

I have been mulling over what to do with the bottles after we use them. I could recycle them but I remember seeing a thread someone commented on. It was a betta person in Thailand that said they re-use things a LOT there! This got me thinking about the size of the container, and the fact it is plastic and BPA free.

This may turn out to be just the thing I was looking for to turn into a betta barracks!

I could do a central drip system, but I am not sure I want to risk that. If I keep the fish I want to breed in this barracks and one got sick using this system I run the risk of loosing my entire breeding stock.

Another option is to invest in an industrial sized air pump and set the bottles up with sponge filters. I love sponge filters. This way I could keep each fish in its own container and there would be no cross contamination sharing water between tanks.

To do water changes I could get a large siphon and make some net dip in a bucket and disinfect the siphon between bottles possibly? Doing it this way I think there would be less of a chance to loose every fish I own to a disease unless perhaps I get careless or something happens beyond my control.

Perhaps I could set up my fish in the basement by the sump pump well. Our basement is not ideal for fish, but perhaps I could construct a system similar to what the Thailand breeders use. I could cut drain holes in the back of the bottles, screen or stopper them somehow, and fill a tank with aged dechlorinated water. I would fill the bottles with the new water and let the old water drain into gutters which could run right into the sump pump well and out into whatever the sump pump drains into. (This sounds complicated, but worth jotting down.)

If the water IS good I am guessing I will accumulate about 5 of these per month equaling roughly 60 per year. That's one heck of a lot of recycled 4 gallon bottles. I don't think I am going to have 30 breeding pairs... EVER... at one time LOL!!!

These bottles would be great for making green water (if I can manage to make more then mosquito larvae and Cyanobacteria (blue green algae aka gross pond scum)...., and perhaps even use them for spawning once I get the hang of breeding. I could even take a couple and sink them into the gardens and make small stone covered water features with a pump that lifts water up past a lid that can drain water back into the bottle. Maybe even just the top of the lid inverted and placed upside down back into the bottle like a funnel. Features this size would look nice in the warmer months placed on either side of the walk leading to the front door.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It will be quite a while before I do, but I promise I will coder14!! :) I won't be able to see the fish inside perfectly because of the indents on the bottles but it seems like a pretty "green" idea. Can't beat a "free" 4 gallon tank imo.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Today I cut down my medicine by half per docs instructions. The scarring in my eye is breaking up, which is good, but my vision is still really messed up in that eye. He said the scarring is in the jelly layer of my eyeball so I will be seeing through all the "amoebas" for a while longer yet. He said the "head rushes" I experience in that eye should begin to go away soon. I hope he's right. I really want to drive again soon. He also said I could freeze the unused medicine in case the infection comes back. This will save quite a bit of money since that stuff cost an arm and a leg.

Just got a foam floating pond plant basket from a neighbor that she was going to throw out. I MUST find a good use for that in the garden asap.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Since I couldn't edit this so far in the future I just wanted to add to anyone who bothers to read this:

I opened that 4 gallon purified water today. It's very clean with absolutely no mold or plastic taste. I drank darn near half the bottle already lol!!!

Since I pictured the spring water version of this water, I have no idea how the spring water is. I don't like the mineral tang in spring water.

If anyone drinks purified water I HIGHLY recommend this water for drinking!! I may end up with more bottles then I figured on if I keep drinking as much as I did today lol

To add one more thing to my daily journal:

A friend of the family dropped off their cockatoo today while they go on vacation. She did this last year when the green wing macaw was first given to me.

During the short time the two birds were in the same room together last year, her bird taught the macaw to say some things he said at their house.

When the lady walked in with the cockatoo today my macaw saw the bird and said "Hi Murphey!" (her birds name) We were all laughing so hard. I wish I had that on tape it was priceless. :D

Louise has come a long way with me. When she got here, she wouldn't let anyone touch her. Having been a hand fed baby it was sad she got so distrustful of people. She now eats SOME veggies and an occasional piece of fruit, although 99% of the time it all ends up on the floor of the cage every day. For about 10 years? Maybe longer, she was being fed gummy bears and black oiler sunflower seeds... I don't know if she was played with either during that time.

I can now pet her head and touch her almost everywhere on her body inside the cage. She has stepped up on my hand a few times, although she doesn't want to be on me very long. I can play with her feet and touch her tail. I even got down on the floor today and she came down to the floor of her cage and hung out by me while we played peek-a-boo.

If she comes out however she is a lot different and there is NO way I can get her back in her cage without giving her a small piece of american cheese. (Yes I know cheese isn't good for birds, it's only an occasional treat, and the ONLY way to get her back inside her cage at this time. This bird will do just about anything to get her beak on that cheese...)

I still don't trust that she won't bite me. In fact I KNOW she will bite me. She plays a dominance game which I think came from where she lived before she came here. Getting her to stop attacking at people as they walk by has been by far the biggest challenge so far with her. She even attacks at the dogs, and they have a very healthy respect for her beak too lol. I am trying to teach her the refrain from Red Solo Cup, and that Every little breeze seems to whisper Louise song. So far no lyrics but she listens and says "shhhh!" when i'm singing. LOL!!

I always tell her her owner is waiting for her up in heaven, and he wants her to be happy, and that he will see her again someday and then they will be together again. When I say his name she always turns towards me and listens carefully. Poor baby she misses him so much. He was such a wonderful caring man, and he loved Louise so much. He could do anything with her back in the day. I'm sorry the person who he left her to wanted to move on, but i'm glad she's here now. Someday I think we will trust each other enough. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ticks me off..... Last night my vision was a little blurry and looked in the mirror and it looks like the infection is coming back... On top of everything my pupal changed shape in that eye and I look like a half goat or something.... Called my doctor and he verified that the infection probably stepped it up a notch since we were in the process of weaning me off the medicines... GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have to go in on Monday and see them again....

Still searching for the right pair of fish to start breeding. I may go ahead and just join the IBC before I get my pair... but the way things are going it may take another year to find fish... If I wasn't so picky with what I wanted to start with I probably wouldn't be having so many problems, but why start with fish in colors I really don't want. It would make for an unhappy situation. I would be stuck finding fish similar to them and paying a lot of money to keep on as I perfected them...

After I get a head of lettuce and make BLTs (sounds amazing tonight!) I need to do water changes. Water changes are always fun when i'm half blind. I end up dumping cups of water all over the floor since my depth perception is off LOL!! My bettas end up looking at me like "OMG she's at it again...."
 

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Hi TS,

Wow, a macaw? What an amazing gift. Daughter had a good laugh when I read her the bit about 'Hi Murphey!"

How old is Louise? And omg, gummy bears? :shock: How sad her original owner passed away.. but at least she has a good home with you now.

Just as a bit of trivia, here's some funny coincidences that happened while reading this journal aloud to Daughter:

Right before I read it, she was asking about parrots. Specifically, how much a macaw would cost, with this hopeful look in her eye. My answer: "A LOT." Then not half an hour later I read your post about Louise and Murphey.. and she said, "A lot, huh? Well THAT lady got one for free!" :|

Then we read about about Louise and the singing.. Daughter's middle name is Louise. Why? Her great-great-grandma's favourite song was: "Every little breeze seems to whisper Louise". :shock:

May we see some pics of Louise? I think Daughter would be thrilled to see some, as would I.

I do hope your eye clears up quickly .. I had double vision for a few days recently (we still don't know exactly why), and I can so sympathise with you on trying to get fish things done with impaired sight.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
With the boring life I lead i'm surprised anyone browses my journal thingie.

That's neat about your daughter though! And all the strange coincidences. :D
I have 1 picture of Louise in my albums here on bettafish. I will see if I can upload a couple more. :)

To update a little about Louise in here though:

Today I came in with the dogs after letting them outside and she yelled "HI! HOW ARE YA!?" at me and I shook her foot, and told her I needed to go do something. I went to the adjacent room and she said my name today a few times! I also took her on my arm to the family room and sat on a chair with her twice today for a few minutes. (BIG PROGRESS!!!) She has tried to get my finger in her mouth a few times today though... And not in the "I'd like to taste you and be gentile." kind of way.... *sigh* A couple days ago I started to do goofy things with her, it helped a lot with what we have progressed to doing with each other.

Just reminding you she was a hand fed baby way back, I am guessing she is about 25 now, so still very young. They tend to "pick" people as their owners. A lot of people who get large parrots are often the people who their parrot hates the most LOL. Seriously though, it's true. I've seen it so many times. Just say a wife gets the bird, loves the bird, and the parrot picks the husband and bites the wife... I'm REALLY lucky Louise is working with me. Especially since she and a man were bonded before he passed away. It helps none of the men here want anything to do with a bird that can exert something like 2000 pounds of pressure in a bite. I'm apparently the only one crazy enough, and patient enough in the house. I've watched her open chain links for fun, as well as taking any nut and squishing it like it was a cracker. It's also why I am being goofy with her. She reacts better to me when I do something she doesn't quite expect because it changes her dominance "game." Mind you I still play with her tongue but I don't quite trust her to have my finger inside her mouth yet lol. Probably will in a few more months though if things keep going so well. :) I still think a lot of her attitude came from not having enough attention after her owners passing and her successfully intimidating people she was in contact with since....

To finish up, went to the eye doctor today and he said he wants to clear this eye junk up and might recommend a shot... Unless they knock me out, there is NO FREAKING WAY anyone is getting near me with a needle with the intent on sticking it inside my eyeball.... I hate needles for one. Two, anything going near my eye gets a bad reflex action of me jerking away/ blinking/ moving in some way. THREE I would probably never get over the trauma of seeing a needle making it's way to my eye.... SHEESH... Just NO WAY that would happen with me being conscious..... I guess it's 3am by the time I saw I never posted this. So all this happened yesterday lol.
 

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Here I am again! My life must be even more boring! :lol:

Needles.. eyeballs.. hell no. It's a phobic thing, used to have bad dreams about it. Make them knock you out? I darned well would!

Lol, about the parrots hating the person who buys them. Looking forward to Louise-pics, she sounds like a hoot. Daughter was flabbergasted at the idea of a bird that could conceivably outlive its owner.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Here is the one I have in my album. Not sure when I will be able to DL others. :D I have this picture on my desktop atm. Yesterday and today she has been really loving it when I rub the white skin on either side of her face. She lifts her foot and starts rubbing her own head while I rub the white skin below the lines of the tiny red feathers. :D Once in a while while I am doing it she sticks out her tongue and tastes me before closing her eyes in petting bliss lol!
 

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I was reading a newspaper article today and learned the river near where I live was contaminated with industrial radioactive thorium, and is one of 4 sites on the National Priorities List destined for federal environmental clean up.... It doesn't surprise me now why so many people around here had gotten cancer now... It's kind of scary I played in the river when I was little, and this same water was connected to a "beach"...

Anyway

They released a bunch of small mouth bass into the river and tagged them for study to see just how contaminated the river still is. They took down a few dams and changed designs on a few others to allow flood plains to function more normally and allow these newly introduced bass to swim up the river.

Fishermen in the area are to report catching any of these tagged fish by contacting a number on their tags and supply the tag number and color, date of capture, location, and the length of fish to the department of natural resources. Releasing the tagged fish back into the river is also important.

They wish to see where the fish stay and go in the river to I guess pinpoint highly problematic areas still in the river.

Another area near me is investing money on a nature center to be constructed in a park, as well as other improvements to the park. The main focus of the both the nature center and improvements will be to celebrate the river and water in general.

I find this wonderful, the area needs something like this to bring awareness to how important water is to us, and the land in general. I find it really disturbing that America seems to be the most backwards out of all the countries in the world in preserving the beauty natural resources and areas. I mean America may not be on some official list, but it's sickening to see what should be beautiful places trashed with graffiti and garbage, dog poop and general uncaring attitudes of people you come in contact with in these places.

We haven't had much rain lately. The lawns have mostly died off in big patches, if you have plants outside they need to be watered a couple times a day with the heat. It's refreshing that the newspaper focused on how important water, "life's blood" is, to both us and the ecosystem....

Maybe it would be worth me looking into studies centered on different age groups involving water quality and care and bringing them up in one of the meetings involving the park when the center is finished.

Maybe there are some studies involving bettas in the classroom setting I can look into as well (if I can get the ball rolling with breeding) if the center is interested. This might also serve another purpose in getting more people interested in the addicting little fish we all love lol. (don't know about that one yet, just wanted to jot it down so I didn't forget) Who knows... Maybe someday I can see if a show can be held there if the place is big enough? What better place to hold a fish show then a nature center dedicated mainly to water.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well I am now a member officially of the International Betta Congress!!

As of Tuesday June 26, 2012, everything is fixed with the membership. They responded very quickly even though I have issues using paypal the right way, and got everything set up correctly.

My friend didn't know how to use it either, even though it was his. *shrugs* I wouldn't have expected him to, he hates computers and rarely uses paypal.

I must admit there is a lot of information to go through, but so far I am impressed.

Baby Betta:
Since I have been training my baby betta everyday for a week he starts to flare when he sees me pick up my mirror lol. He even throws his ventral fins out in the pretty little "walking" position now.

Louise:
She was talking a lot today and I think she said Breeze. I will have to see if she will keep saying it to know for sure. It will be nice if she learns the song, or at least blurts out some words of it while I sing to her lol. She still listens intently when I sing or talk to her.

Still looking for a pair of USA fish.
 

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I have three, of the four gallon water jugs now, and another one being consumed. I am going to look on some websites and see if anything sparks my interest in drip systems. I think I want to keep their water self contained to each fish though just as a precaution.

I am also looking into a shelf people talk of that can hold like 600 pounds(or something) of weight per shelf. I may put the 29 gallon on it and some "jars" Although I may need to move the fish from this room if I really want to utilize the shelf to the full potential. There is only one room in this house that isn't over a basement or on the second floor, and is built onto a concrete slab.

I've felt like crud past few days, think i'm getting better. Hard to say. Eye doc is trying to wean me off the meds he has me on, hopefully the infection doesn't come back again on top of everything else. This time it's not both meds only one at a time.

Started to print out the IBC manual lol ran out of ink must remember to go get ink tomorow, and pick up a new filter for the 5 gallon baby betta is in.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Put up a want-add in the IBC website for blue plakats.

Louise was sitting on my arm for about a half hour today, and she said "Gimmie a kiss." twice in a deep man voice, i'm guessing was her owners. :) I've never heard her say that before. I grabbed her beak between my fingers and kissed the top of her head both times because I kind of value my nose just in case she decided to protest me kissing her. She kept getting scared of the chihuahuas moving around while she was out on my arm. I decided to see if she picks up on the Dragnet theme song. She makes singing noises to it, and it's kind of funny. ;)

-- Aus, Tell your daughter good name for the macaw in her game. :D Seriously though if you all wanted a nice smaller bird with "big parrot" personality cockatiels are really great, if you get a hand fed baby. Louise is really great but she quite heavy to carry around, and my arm looks like i've been cutting myself, or got attacked by a severely ticked off cat, because of her nails. Don't know if a cockatiel would pick up quite as much speech though. The bigger parrots are a lot smarter then the smaller ones. Macaws seem to be like border collies, they need lots of stimulation or they make up their own "games".

I don't want to risk loosing the trust i've built with her to clip her wings or nails, so i'm getting help later this week. I don't want to be associated at all with bad things right now since we have made it so far. I still go over the names of things in her cage with her daily. She listens to me, hoping one day she says somethings name when I point to it. I go and name all her body parts like beak, wing, nail, etc etc too, and some of my own, so she can associate the words with things. She watches and listens so intently. She also has been demanding to come out on my arm daily now, I think that is maybe part of the reason she said "gimmie a kiss" twice. Maybe she's starting to associate me with good feelings. Her owner always sat with her on his chest and scratched her wings. She had given me a warning "bite" today too and my hand was inside her mouth. She didn't crunch down, but we both gave each other a look afterwards that seemed to show we knew what could have happened. lol I'm still not really offering her my hand in such a way that it's IN her mouth. I just play with her tongue on the outside.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I got a lot of water fern aka Azolla, from our local pet store. They had a tub/pond outside just FULL of the stuff!!! When I went outside with an employee I stopped in shock at having seen the tub and the only thing that came out of my mouth was "Ohhhhhh! What's that?"
LOL!!!! The employee said it was duckweed, but I never remembered seeing duckweed that was so pretty and lacey, so I figured I would look it up when I got home.

(It looks like green rolling hills of velvet moss when it is thickly covering a pond of water!!!)

Azolla:


Azolla, otherwise known as water fern or mosquito plant is actually really neat. I think it looks better then duckweed and from a search on wiki it even might be responsible for reversing the greenhouse effect 55 million years ago. For over 1000 years it's been planted in the rice paddies in China to block out weeds and to fix nitrogen in the fields. I guess, given the right conditions, it can double every 3 days. I will definitely have to watch these little suckers if they like my tanks so they don't block out what little light I have. I may make floating Styrofoam cup rings and place the plants in the rings to make sure that I have surface area for light to get through the water.

Since the plant does well with high phosphorus in the water and it has a symbiotic relationship to cyanobacterium. I guess they work together with each other and fix atmospheric nitrogen so it gives the plant access to that nutrient. Since I seem to be having a cyanobacteria problem with high phosphorus at the moment, I believe this little floater should take off in my water!

Azolla is considered a noxious invasive plant in southern states where it does not freeze, and from pond care websites it is hated for its ability to cover the water and block out light to your oxygenator plants below the water. One site kept saying it will kill your anacharis really quickly due to how thick it can get. Most of these site owners wage war on the little plants if they appear in their ponds.

I also picked up a small bundle of anacharis which looks kind of... well not too healthy...but maybe it will come back. They had pretty looking hornwort bundles so I picked up one of those. It seems like it will be messy with how it lets loose the little needles, but I am still going to try it out in an aquarium. My water lettuce also split 5 babies outside. I broke them off the mother lettuce and placed them in a separate container. I think I will try one out inside under my aquarium lights. I will leave the others outside to hopefully reproduce more. I plan on bringing them in before winter hits since they are only available seasonally here. Oh, I also found they had a bunch of java moss (!!!!) in their back aquarium and I got the whole bunch of it. I guess they get it from people who are trading it in, so it's very hit and miss with the java moss. When I opened the bag I found there was a light sprinkling (Probably about 10 little plants) of actual duckweed in the bag that must have stuck to the moss when he was getting it out of the tank... I've never had luck with duckweed, my fish eat it I think. I will see how it goes.....

I am taking all the stuff out of baby bettas 5 gallon, and I am going to put some plants in there this evening or tomorrow until I can throw together a 10 gallon with a single fluorescent bulb hood. (bleh) I will run and get one tomorrow since I am never going to see Petco come through with my 29 gallon light order!!!! If they do, the fluorescent hood only costs like $30 or less i'm sure at my local pet store for a 10 gallon.

I got IBC welcome letter and membership card today too with the nifty bumper stickers I was not expecting. :) Not sure when I will get them on my car, seeing as I don't know when my vision will clear up enough in my eye so I can drive again.

I hope all these neat little beauties do ok for me.

Edited to add:

Possible odd fact:
I guess the water fern (Azolla) is also known as a child killer in southern states? (from a website) because children think the green carpet of moss/fernlets are solid ground and go running into the water to drown... Had to end my post on a happy thought right? lol
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Went to get a cheap fluorescent hood for one of the 10 gallons today and the local pet store had none..... They tacked it on an order I had already placed. I know they will get stuff in that they order at least.

I should have picked up the yellow veil tail I saw there the other day.... He was gone today.... Not that I need more pet bettas, in fact I swore off them... but that little yellow guy picked me when I was there. It was so hard to walk away. He was a great looking yellow VT.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Never ending cleaning getting ready for 10 family members that decided to come over and visit with 2 days notice....... They wanted to stay over ??!! wtf ???!! So they decided they will just come for lunch........ I had to cancel a doctors appointment mind you that I owe $180 bucks now for not even SEEING the darn doctor.... It makes me want to clean up the yard and use the dog doo to make their "lunch"..... They feel it's great to stop by seeing as they are traveling past Illinois on their way to wherever..... So flipping SWEET of them to give me enough time to get the house ready for that freaking many people, and to find out if I had things to do that day that was convenient for THEM.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Did I mention that they invited themselves?

Oh, and that's not all, since it's family that none of the family here has seen in a while add 5 more to the count of people who will be here. Why couldn't they go to their house?
 
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