30 December 2019

window tank light

One day the winter sun exposure was just right for taking photographs- so I did. (That's Laddie top just off center, he likes to hang in the middle of the tank and look out).
Overall the tank needs more plants with height- my vals have just never grown up. Some of the elodea are starting to get there- behind the 'hill' of bolbitis fern.
The younger crypt moehlmanii is just as big as its parent now. In front of that, is the group of little crypts I moved out of the front left corner a while back
They'd been looking peaky for a long time, always having a leaf here or there turning pale and dropping off. I finally decided to shift them all to a spot that gets more light- and now they're doing great!
The dimmer corner is now with buces.
Two buce in the tenner were getting tall enough to need a trim- one 'selena' and one 'isabella' so I clipped their tops and planted in here. Near the dwarf sword, which continues to do fine even when the temp drops to 64° nights.
Other side of the tank everything is nearly the same height- because I trimmed the stems and replanted a few weeks ago, and they grow slow or not at all in winter. Oh well.

28 December 2019

funny jade

My kid has a jade plant, from a cutting I once took. I've been gradually shaping it as a tree- pinching off tips when she won't notice- because otherwise the stems get way too long and start to droop from their own weight.
Once I had neglected it for quite a while, and probably forgot to water often enough as well. A stem must have collapsed so far it hit the soil, because now there's a part of it that goes from a main stem back to the ground, and has rooted firmly there. It's to the left of the main trunk, here.

27 December 2019

shrimp on buce

Almost got this photo in focus-
and then the shrimp started to crawl away
My nicest buce 'selena' on a rock in the shrimp bowl

24 December 2019

more and more guppies

My female guppies had their third batch of fry a few days ago. There were about two dozen. My youngest peered into the tank at them and said "well I think you should get rid of the moms now." She was kind of upset with me for excitedly pointing out the new fry- so tiny and cute with their wiggly tails- when she knows I'm just going to feed them to my bigger fishes. Half of the older guppy offspring in the tenner have their blue colors now. They're still half the size of the adult, but pretty and bright. The tank was looking a bit murky I wondered if I had too many in there (in spite of the fifty percent weekly water changes, and yep now the water is clearer). I netted two of the smaller (still uncolored) ones out and put them in the window tank (unceremoniously, no acclimation). I thought Laddie would dispatch them- he tried, but already at halfgrown they're too quick for him. I let them be. They stick together and sometimes hang out with the white clouds as well.

23 December 2019


Seems back to normal now. I think he's just a lazier fish than Perry was, and a bit leery of me too- because once when he grabbed a white cloud minnow I regret to say I chased him with a stick hoping he'd drop the smaller fish. He didn't. But now is skittish when I lift the lid or use a tool. Approaches cautiously for food- I don't think he'll ever really be eager to see me at the front glass. Which is sad because I used to love how Perry would zip up and down the length of the tank in excitement. Laddie just doesn't. Anyway, he tends to rest on the tank floor until something interesting happens- always on a leaf never actually on the gravel funny enough- and just as often now that there's more floaters giving cover, he sits near the surface or rests on a plant midway and looks out. I wonder if he finds the motion of passing cars and people walking their dogs interesting?

Here he's resting on a frond of bolbitis, looking out the window
and here looking out between the one stem of mermaid weed, and a crypt. Or maybe he's just sleeping when he sits there, I don't know.
I noticed his dorsal and anal fins have grown some nice long points lately. Tail has filled out some in width but not gotten any longer. I wonder if he's finally starting to reach maturity.

21 December 2019


My arrowhead was looking more and more sad, on top of the shrimp bowl. So I pulled the stems out and stuck into a pot with proper soil. Already since this photo it's perked up quite a bit.
The solid-green spider plant babies I got at swap. One died, two are left. I removed the runners and they are starting to root now.
This is what's left of my original creeping charlie pot. I recently cut out all the unhealthy-looking stems and refreshed the soil. Very pathetic compared to what it once was.
But there is a new start- here is its youngest scion in a small 3" pot, looking the best. Maybe I will plant this one with its parent to fill the larger contianer, not sure yet. Have to see I've corrected what ailed the older one, first.
That's just a few of many green around the house on cold winter days.

16 December 2019

finally green

Finally seems I have a tall plant that will stay tall. The red vals have remained thick and upright, and two have new leaves that attained height quickly. I've pulled off or clipped back a few leaves that were starting to melt but overall it still looks great.
Crossing fingers- looks like this one might be a keeper.

14 December 2019

small fish update

My two guppy moms are about to have their third batch of fry. Here's the last one from the previous batch- you can just see it middle of the photo below the broader fake stem plant leaf:
They're getting very square in the belly again, but dart around excited when I'm close to the tank so all my photo attempts came out a blur:
I did some cleanup in the window tank recently. Took the last sheet of plastic film off, to let more light in now it's winter. I hadn't realized how dim the tank was getting until I saw how much brighter it looks now. My six white clouds still look well- one is always very plump (front top of photo) I kept hoping they'd spawn and I'd get fry but now I just think this one is a pig or bully and eats more than its fair share.
I started adding floaters back in. Topside has been very bare lately- especially since I decided to plant the elodea stems against the rear glass. Salvinia minima suddenly took off in the guppy tank and completely covered the surface, so I thinned that out and dumped a bunch back in here, hoping that whatever killed it off before is no longer a problem. Also started thinning out hornwort weekly from the angelfish tank, likewise put those trimmings in here. I thought the hornwort would melt or shed a lot (large temperature difference) but needle drop was minimal. And what do you know, my paradise fish quit sitting on the substrate and is now moving about the tank again, or hanging near the surface under some floaters. I think maybe he was feeling exposed and thus hanging low, rather than being sick all this time. If that's the case, glad I didn't put him through the stress of a needless medication dose.

12 December 2019

schefflera buds

My kid came to me and said: "Mom, is your plant in the dining room supposed to make flowers?" She said there was a weird thing on it that "looks like a fat yellow pinecone." She was right: our giant schefflera is blooming again!

06 December 2019


I didn't dose any more medication yet, uncertain still if Laddie has parasites, or what kind. The other day he perked up when I fed flake from a newly-opened can (probably better nutrition and flavor than the container I'd finished just prior, which may have been over a year old) and then I dosed vitamins in the water, and started feeding him guppy fry, a few every other day.
He started moving around the tank with interest again, waggling his tail at me, and zipping about so it's hard to get a photo!

05 December 2019

blue happy

My stevia downstairs is ailing, but I'm very happy to report that the bay laurel seems to be doing fine with the other plants by the sliding glass door. It's leaves slightly blue compared to the other plants.

03 December 2019

purple and violet

My older, purplish violet is blooming.
So is the newer one, with darker leaves, that I picked up on a whim from nursery a few months ago. Funny, each bunch of flowers on it has a different appearance. One has flowers almost all purple with just a hint of white edges-
Another bunch has wider margins-
And on the third they're mostly white with purple centers-
I don't know why there's such variation on one plant, but it's interesting.

semi succulents

Small kalanchoe, the only one I have left, filling its tiny pot now
Birds-nest sansevieria doing okay. Lower leaves don't look great, but newer ones seem fine so I hope it's just adjusting.
My youngest charlie is the healthiest one. The mid-sized pot I have in my room, the leaves on outer edges of vines are normal darker hue now that I moved it away from the window light. The oldest pot, in the front room, looks awful and I'm probably going to throw it out.
My thanksgiving cactus bloomed! just in time for the holiday.
Starting to bud:
Fully opened a week later:

02 December 2019

all my coleus

The bright, pinched one. I've taken second cuttings of these already, so have nine pots of it now.
'Gay Delight'
Orange and lime
'Kiwi Fern' and crazy 'Rodeo Drive'
more 'Kiwi Fern'
I'm used to seeing the leaves of coleus change some in hue, intensity, and how broad the markings are, with changes in light exposure when I bring them in for winter. But these- the 'Rodeo Drive'- newest leaves have no dark markings at all. I didn't expect that.