Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tales from the Tank #10

Calling Dr. Drew....

I admit I sometimes watch Celebrity Rehab on VH1 with Dr. Drew. Not sure why, but trying to understand how and why people become addicted is educational...and fulfills some voyeristic need I apparently have.

Last night, I realized that my husband is seriously addicted to fish tanks.  He was scrolling craigslist again and found another tank.  He apparently was holding out hope he would somehow still find a larger tank for Matt's - I mean our - Goldfish. 

So last night I responded to the advertisment for him and within a few minutes his cell phone rings.  After a few questions, negotiating the price...OMG....we are now the owners of another fish tank.  This time we did not have to move the fish...just the tank, and all the trimmings.  So last night after quick bites of dinner, here we are again, setting up yet another fish tank.

I finally told him.."WE ARE DONE!".  You have one in just about every room in the house except the bathroom, our bedroom and the kitchen.  Enough!!  "But Honey," he replies, "You could get a mini tank for the kitchen"....by this time all I can do is laugh. He's like a kid in a candy store and seems to enjoy it.  I do enjoy sitting watching them. It's rather peaceful -- not that I need anymore peace and quiet. I seem to recall that is what got us into this mess in the first place. Thank goodness Matt is coming home this weekend.  Maybe he'll talk some sense into us. Jared thinks we've gone off the deep end.  All he could do last night is shake his head. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tales from the Tank #9

To Boldly Go ....

After six months, fifty-two days, thirty-seven minutes and thirty-two seconds, he found it.  Had to have it so badly he ventured into the unknow world of yes....EMAIL. After scouring pages and pages of items on craigslist he finally found the fish tank of his dreams...for a price he was willing to pay.  I wasn't home to reply to the email so this man, who is now addicted to acquiring fish tanks, did it all on his own.  Boldly entering into that unknow abyss call the INTERNET.

He hates to email, he hates to text, but this fish tank was calling his name.  So he opened up his g-mail account and created his own email reply to the ad.  It said, "if you still have the fish tank, I'm interested. I don't email well, so call my cell'.  When I got home at 5pm, he said, "I think I did it right, but come check it".  He did an awesome job, but was worried it didn't go through, so he sent it again.  I checked it and told him "yes honey, the email sent, you did a good job".  Two hours later he said, "Should I send another? What if it didn't really go through?"

I replied "Terry, not everyone comes home from work and relaxes in front of craigslist.  Give the guy a chance to get home and eat dinner and look at his replies".  Finally at 8:30 he got the call.  They still had the tank, but Terry's was the first response - so it's his if he still wanted it.  So, after a few minutes all I heard was "Yippee, Wooo Hoo!!".  I'm getting the tank and everything goes with it for a mere $75.00".


Then it was "Don't make any plans for Saturday - we're going to pick it up - fish and all at 9am".  All I could say was "You better see if Jared can come and help".

After that, the investigation was on.  What's the best way to move a tank, how much of the water should we keep, do we know anything about these new fish....yadda yadda yadda.  So we borrowed seven 5 gallon buckets and bought two new ones (for the fish), made arrangements for Jared to help (bribed him with breakfast and gas (the kind you use in a car - LOL).

So at 9am we show up to get our "new tank". (Although unlike a brand new tank that you have to "dirty up", this one was already to go.  We just had to move it - UGH.)  So 35 gallons of water later, we are again the proud owners of a 55 gallon tank which is now at home in our "office", and contains 3 silver dollars (not monetary kind) about 5 inches wide, four red tetras, one red and black tiger barb and a large pleco who has become very very lazy about eating algae and cleaning up his environment. Humm..... 

The tank also came with some interesting rocks and a piece of driftwood  (OH NO - not driftwood you say?) But YES! it sinks!! it's also smaller and weighs less than the slate it's attached to. Go figure.

We hadn't quite finished setting it up when Kathi and Joel came to see it, but when Terry mentioned he didn't like the mirror on the back, Joel whips out his handy pocket knife and they pull the tank away from the wall, and before I could say...don't cut yourself - they had the mirror off the back.

We of course needed more air hose and a pump because we had to put a bubble curtain in the back, and then we needed a background, and of course more plants (I like plants).  Oh and isn't that bridge cool - plus it's on sale, and ohhhh look at that purple plant - it's 50% off and would look great under the ultra violet light when it's on at night.  Basically, another $75.00 or so later, we were up and running and the fish were back in their "home" hiding behind the new plants and did NOT want to come out an play.

So since the large pleco is lazy - we moved Hoover into the 55 gallon tank to see if (a) he can help and (b) grow and (c) so the Gold fish leave him alone (they won't let him eat an algae tablet on his own).

Wait....how did the heater fall off the back?  Ut oh....so Terry takes it out of the tank and says...can you wipe this off and it's OUCH...that thing is hot and then he puts it back in the water and CRACK SNAPLE POP  - the heater cracks, I see electricity and it shorts out. It was still plugged in.

Apparently you can't remove the heater from the tank unless it's cooled off and you definately can't put it back in the water once it's out (and not cooled off).

So....Happy 50th Birthday to my wonderful husband....happy fishing and may you never crack another heater.

Tales from the Tank #8

Caution: Material Contained Below May Not Be Suitable for Young Readers!
In this edition of today's update, we have successfully created a nice community of fish in the 40 gallon tank. Although we successfully added more fish, Terry kept wondering why the large male black Dalmatian Mollie kept chasing the smaller female white & black Dalmatian Mollie. After repeated questions to various fish /pet store employees, the consensus is clear:  He's just trying to "get a little" from the female in his life. Sound familiar?

Apparently having just one female to male ratio is not good in a community tank.  The male will never leave the poor female alone and according to the local pet store, the poor thing can have up to three pregnancy's at one time. YIKES!  Alas, she is getting fat again...so we think she is expecting.  Makes sense since the male never leaves her alone. 

So it's no wonder that the other day I finally saw a baby Mollie.  So I was so excited - instead of being "Grandcats" to Jared and Ashley's Chance, we were going to be fish Grandparents. OMG...so off to the pet store we went to get a breeder net.  You use breeder nets to separate the females from the males so the other fish don't eat the 'fry' before they get a chance to reach the safety of cover (such as the live plants we've added and some extra ground cover so they can hide).  Haven't seen it since, so I'm thinking the sharks had a juicy midnight snack.

Terry has been very diligent in his quest to learn all there is about freshwater fish in our tank.  Just this week he read that a 1:1 ratio is not good for the mollies. You actually need to have more females in the tank than males, otherwise the females are never left alone - which we have seen first hand.  

So off to the pet store we went....and came home with four females. Two dalmation mollies and two of the red swordtail mollies so the males we added a while ago have something to do instead of chase each other.  LOL.

A bit later, we were observing the activity and the black male mollie seemed to be swimming around aimlessly and rubbing his head against the bridge and acting weird. Terry said "I wonder what's wrong with him?". To which I replied "Well, there are more fish in the sea to choose from now". 

Apparently we are now promoting "fishing" around...