29 September 2014

fern

Moved the boston inside. It has some very long drooping fronds and a few upright ones, new fiddlheads still growing.
Lots of long fuzzy tendrils, too. I think these runners will root and grow new baby plants, if given soil....

25 September 2014

healing

My fish's fins are definitely growing back! It's hard to see, in photo the edge looks white or gray, but with close eyes you can tell it's new fin, the rays nice and even, the tissue clear.
She looks very sprightly and alert. Wiggled her tail a lot first day put in the home tank, but now swims almost as smooth as the rest of them.

24 September 2014

out the door

I had too many plants. All these second-generation ones filling my countertops and windowsills, and with colder weather coming I know the sunniest spots in the apartment will soon be in demand. So I just sold a lot of them on craigslist- twenty-six plants. A few were nice-size or pretty, most still small. They're all offspring of my established plants, so I'm not really missing any- I can always grow more.
The lot included: african violets, jade plants, one ponytail palm, some mini geraniums, two small pots of coleus, one schefflera and a few spider plants. It doesn't pain me much. In fact, the space feels cleaner here now, the remaining plants standing out, more noticeable because they're not all so close together but instead one standing here, another over there- focal points by themselves now.

20 September 2014

fish report 8

There are no more signs of ich. No fish loss. Yesterday was the last water change to remove salt. Leaves dying on aponogeton, but new ones growing just as quickly- a fresh shoot coming up even before the most recent leaf is full-sized to the others- I've never seen the plant do that before. I'm still bringing the temperature down, just a degree a day- it's 81° now. Turning down the air flow to the sponge filter when the light is on, soon I will turn it off altogether.

I moved the cherry out of QT
and back into the home tank. I had to move the QT setup entirely off my counter. Routine pest prevention was applied in my kitchen and I can't shift even the four gallon container if it's full- so I had to move her anyway. Plus I was starting to worry about ammonia poisoning after testing the QT water and realizing that it was over safe levels, even after a 25% water change. I guess the sponge filter in there wasn't seeded well enough, or maybe the meds killed the bacteria. Or the fish didn't poop enough to keep them alive. Something. (Here's Pinkie inspecting the bag as it floats to equalize her temperature)
She looks much less stressed now. Got her color back, swims around actively, even jerks her fins open to display sideways at other females- reaffirming their social order I guess. But her tail fin, while looking less ragged, still has a white edge to it- fungus or bacteria. I'm keeping up with small daily wc to maintain clean water for her.
Also for the sake of this platy:
I have to look so closely my eyes hurt, but I think her tail fin is growing back in. I see a small light patch closest to the body, but it doesn't look fuzzy and I think I see a fin ray in there, so hope it's the fin growing back, not fungus. I've read that when fins grow back they are often colorless. She is still my smallest platy, looks thin.

18 September 2014

garlic food

I've been feeding my fishes some of their dry foods soaked in garlic juice. If this works at all, it's supposed to be effective only with fresh garlic- I'm assuming canned is just as good-
It doesn't take much- just a few drops of garlic juice (heady scent) is enough for the small amount of crumbled food. In this case, broken up shrimp pellets. The fish like it- they gobble quickly. I think even after the fear of more ich is gone, I will once a week soak their freeze-dried bloodworms or the betta pellets in this. Supposed to help keep them healthy, and the dried foods are better fed hydrated- so it doesn't swell in their tummies.

16 September 2014

plant spa

It's been a long time. But the temperature is dropping at night, so finally it felt comforting to have a long hot bath rather than just sweaty! So nice and relaxing to sit in a room full of green life. Participants this time included schefflera, pothos, poinsettia, sansevieria, avocado, spider plants, parlor palms,
dracanea, croton, coleus and arrowhead
It's pretty much the same lineup as last time, minus the boston fern who is still outside. Fun to look back at the older photos and see how much some of them have grown, particularly the croton, schefflera and palms.

fish report 7

Well, things seem to be at an impasse and I am not sure which way to go. I have not seen ich spots reappear on fish for 10 days, but in the past several days occasionally see fish flashing- it's not a constant behavior though, they do it for a little while and then I don't see it again all day. I'm gradually bringing the temperature down and doing serious gravel vac to try and removing any remaining ich. If I don't see any more symptoms in the next week, I'll assume it's gone? but if I do, going to try medication. Which means I'd have to pull out the snails, at least as many as I can.

In the QT my cherry is hanging on, but not improving yet. Her tail is the same short length, still ragged edge, not much fuzz. I've quit treating with melafix and salt, continuing the twice daily water changes to remove it- in case I have to put snails in here. Lots of people say frequent fresh water is all a fish needs to heal anyways.

So then I have a quandry- who is more important to save, the fish which are more personable but I don't really want to keep the barbs in particular, or the snails which are not so interesting to me, but important to the health of my tank and favorites of my kids? If I put snails into QT with the cherry barb and they're carrying ich, and she becomes a host, someone will carry it right back into the main tank again. Or I could move the cherry back home and let her take her chances. Or just put her out of her misery. If the snails do go into QT they'd have to stay long enough without a fish host, for the possible ich on them to die out, before I bring them back to home tank.... so I guess the barb would have to be out of there anyways....

Positive note: I did a large water change on the main tank today, put fresh water in without salt, to start removing it. I think the kuhlis appreciated that, I saw their little faces poking out of their hideout under the log, they were wiggling around in there. Also the bitten platy's tail seems to be clean, at least. No signs of fin rot or fungus developing there yet.

fall crop

That's a phrase to laugh at. All I have in growing edibles is the parsley:
And I thought my bell pepper plant was done for the year, some leaves are starting to yellow. But it's got one last burst of flower so I just might get a few more peppers.
I'm debating whether to bring it inside for overwintering again. Afraid to spread disease to my houseplants, if it's carrying whatever killed off most of the balcony plants.

15 September 2014

not over yet

the ich in my tank. Crap crap crap. It had been five days without symptoms, so I thought ok to lower the temp. Once it got down to 85°, barbs flashing again. Raising temp again. If it goes on longer than another week, I guess I should switch to meds- but will have to pull the snails- and where else to put them but in the tenner? afraid it will put ich in there too. I guess I could put them into the QT....

I had other plans- to move the female with tail rot back into main tank (once she's healing), move Pinkie into QT, let him live in solitary until I've switched my barbs all out for platies- still want to. Then see if Pinkie can move back in after the new fish are established. Perhaps he won't be as aggressive then. If I keep seeing bitten fish, I guess he'll have to live out his life alone. I really don't want to maintain three aquariums, though!

But first I have to solve the ich problem.

seed

I have not been in a gardening mood lately- tending houseplants and a box of worms does not feel like real gardening to me, and things are discouraging out on the balcony so I never had many plants there this year. But I did save a few seedpods off my favorite tobac plant this week- the one with leaves a slightly different shape, a bluer hue of green.
Not sure if offspring will have same color flowers, but I'd actually prefer if they come up something other than white.