28 November 2018

what I do for a burn

A week ago bumped my knuckle on the edge of a very hot pan while making dinner. Ran water on it and then cut a fat leaf tip off my aloe vera (which doesn't look so great but I keep it just for this). I sliced segments lengthwise and held on the burn for a while, then when it didn't hurt so much, took a new piece of aloe and just kept it by where I was sitting. When the gel on my skin started to dry and pain came back, I would slice the end off the piece of aloe and rub freshly cut succulent over the burn again. Over and over, all evening. It's very soothing.
Sounds tedious, but next day there was no pain at all. A few days later, can't even tell there was a burn. It never blistered and won't have a scar.

27 November 2018

little geranium tree

Foliage is growing back on my trimmed mini geranium
it's leaves are still quite a bit smaller
than those of the scion I cut and grew this summer


After a few days of salt in the water and ich attack, the paradise fishes have perked up. Perry is eating again, Lady isn't down on the bottom as often. I fed them lightly this morning, while they were looking relaxed, before dosing the ich medication for the day. That seems to make them feel unwell for a while. Day before yesterday I saw Perry twitching and Lady flashed a few times- now there is none of that, and Lady's spots are all gone. Think I should keep salt in the water and dosing meds at least for a week- I know the ich parasite has a slower life cycle in cold temps.


25 November 2018


I feel like I don't know what I'm doing any more. I thought- if the paradise fish tank has ich, must treat the tank. I chose to use kordon ich attack because it won't kill all the snails- dosed yesterday and thought Perry was looking better. This morning did a thorough gravel vac- with my smallest siphon- to meticulously clean the bottom, in case it can remove some of whatever the pathogen is. My best guess is still ich. It ended up being a 50% wc. I added the new water very slowly hoping to not shock the fishes too much- whole process took almost forty minutes. Then I dosed with the meds again. Now the fishes both look worse- lethargic, hanging just under surface or sitting on bottom. Lady has a new spot on her head. I guess I will give her another salt bath as that does seem to have helped, but I wish I knew what I was fighting, for certain.

some 45 changes

I wondered if my philodendron could grow rooted in water, like the pothos- it has a very pretty, trailing habit and if draped down the short ends of the tank, I hope it might make the angelfish feel more sheltered (decided once again it's not feasible to move the tank). I have the heartleaf variety.
Happily, I just learned that this is one of the few houseplants that will thrive growing in water- if not forever, at least for a very long time. That's good news- I've already pulled a few pothos stems that were starting to rot on the lower section. Not sure if the dim light in the hall will be enough for philodendron, though.
I took the last wood sticks out. They are constantly covered in a layer of soft mulm, which also coats all the photos roots tangled nearby. I guess the plants are happy- absorbing nutrients from that mulm- but I started to think maybe it's excess mulm from the rotting wood layers, not from the leaf litter?
Also curious to see if, without the wood shedding stuff into the water column, will the roots strike down to the leaf litter on the tank floor, and look more tidy? Mr. Beautiful still finds them useful shelter.
Other things in this tank: not sure if my aponogeton capuronii are going to make it. One has grown out two new leaves, which stay relatively straight. Bulb looks firm- I can't tell if new roots have grown.
The other one, its new leaf is still curved, it hasn't grown any more,
and the bulb accidentally got pulled up some, now I can easily see all the roots- which look rotting. Bulb is definitely rotting away. No new white roots. Doesn't look good.
At least the crypt balansae are doing well!
And I definitely notice response in the plants, since I started dosing potassium and iron- windelov fern stands up straighter, has shed some old leaves and growing quite a few new ones.
Buce 'brownie ghost' on the dragon stone is growing new leaves from its creeping rhizome!
Buce 'green wavy' is standing taller on its rocks- in the background-
Other buces:
Enough leaf litter has disintegrated that more anubias roots are showing.
I still like the thicket of anubias congensis, even though I often accidentally tear a leaf with the siphon, getting too close when cleaning the leaves.
Even my husband noticed the brown drifting mess- he said "um, I think your filter isn't working well or something- there's lots of stuff flying around the tank." kind of embarassing... . . ! yeah, it was the day I needed to do a water change- but it's a constant problem really. I need less of whatever's producing all the mess, or to hook my eheim canister back up on here.

velvet vine from the closet

My daughter gave me her medinilla velvet philodendron plant, which needed a bit of TLC-
I cleaned up, gave it a good long drink
and then decided to take a ton of cuttings:
Let's see how it does with a fresh start. It looks sad and sparse right now, but has plenty of new, pale green shoots.

24 November 2018

Perry's ill?

Of course he is. There are only a few tiny spots left on Lady and she looks fine, but Perry has lost interest in eating, sits on the bottom of the tank half the day, and sometimes moves in sudden jerks, like something irritates him. I don't think salt baths will completely solve this, it must be all over the tank. I don't have another heater to put on this tank- still think it must be ich- so I can't increase temp to speed up the parasite's cycle. I think I will pull all the subwassertang out, and as many snails as I can find, keep them in a glass jar for several weeks- the snails so they don't die of salt, the subwasser so I have the substrate more free to gravel vac. Treat the tank with salt, more frequent and thorough cleanings, and meds- I have several, just going back through my notes on here to see which were most effective in the past.

schefflera bud-

seems it's a slow developer- but it has opened a bit since the last photo

new black skirts

When I was a kid I always wanted to keep black skirt (widow) tetras with angelfish. But I was advised the tetras would nip, so I never did. Now years later whenever visiting a fish store I always gravitate back to the tanks that have black skirt tetras- something about them still catches my eye. I've learned it's a numbers game and that black skirts are actually less likely to nip than serpaes... . . .  so yesterday I gave away my group of serpae tetras
and brought home (from chain store B) six black skirts- they're going into the tenner QT for a while
They all look pretty darn healthy, with a nice shine- but don't stop moving for a minute- even at rest they kind of twitch constantly so my camera can't catch a good picture in the dim light
I tried anyway
They'll be in close quarters here for a few weeks while I make sure I didn't bring any pathogens home, and then I'll introduce them to the angelfish tank while I QT another group of five or six- I think I should start with at least ten of them.

23 November 2018

Lady's treatment update

The spots are going away- I don't know whether on their own or because I gave her salt baths, but I kept them up in case. Past 48 hrs, I let Lady alone all day and give her the treatment in the evening, then shroud the tank for the night so she can recover from the shock. She seems to do fine with 10 min in the salt solution, but gets distressed if I re-acclimate too slow- so I time it 5 minutes between re-additions of tank water.

Her condition on thursday- blurry but can see the spots are diminishing:
here's a better closeup
just one scale edge was still lifted
Next day, friday she was very perky and alert.
Spots are not very noticeable and scales all appear to lie flat again.
I hope it's done- but might need to do another large wc with substrate cleaning,
 or treat Perry again- he's been a bit lethargic and not so keen to eat... . maybe I've just been feeding them too much- with the colder weather their metabolism is slower, so I've started giving lighter, fewer feedings.

after the end of some flowers...

I found it was easier this end of season, to collect celosia seed that simply fell out of my arrangement onto the table top, rather then rub them out of the dried flower heads. Perhaps more mature that way, too. Flowers are done and gone into the compost now.
Threw out my bouquets of mums, they started to look crummy. I thought just held in the vase too long, but after removing one handful, found this small inchworm had been hiding and probably feeding off the flowers' foliage the entire time!

pale and green

Here's the sweet potato I took off the window tank a while ago-
Nice roots!
Really pale, though. In new location other side of the house, more direct sun and it's starting to color up again.
The more deeply notched sweet potato vine already in a pot is much greener- here on the left- although I took this photo to show how nicely the salad burnet leaves have grown out- I think the assassin bug I brought in has taken care of a problem on that plant.