Sunday, October 3, 2004

Chameleon Troubles

A couple of days ago I noticed a problem with my veiled chameleon. I really wasn't sure what compaction looked like from the outside, so as best I could figure, I thought maybe this could have been the issue. It didn't really seem like it, so I waited until the weekend to see what happened... if he could ever pass what was obstructing his tract or not.... and it's not like I could really handle it during the week, what with the new job and all. O_O Tried to soak the poor creature a bit in water to soften things up. It seemed that it would help, if I could keep him in for 15 minutes or more, but this just wasn't possible. He had something hopelessly lodged, stucked, or something, coming out of his butt. It wouldn't budge and it appeared to be ... well, like, fused to his skin.

Nothing had changed by the time I got up today, so I decided to actually take him in to a vet today. Clearly he could not excrete any waste and if it kept up any longer I knew he wouldn't make it. He started to become very restless in his tank today, so I knew things were probably getting to a really uncomfortable point for him. I could not just watch him suffer and die, and I sure as heck could not put him down.

Of course I had to do a bit of calling around to see who had any training/experience in dealing with reptiles at all. I thankfully found a vet VERY nearby (that I didn't even know existed, lol) with a doctor who was in!, who was able to treat him. I must admit, I ended up paying more for the trip than I did for the chameleon himself (not too much more though, thankfully; I bought him for a little over $70 at a reptile show, and the bill was $85 ::ouch::). But they were able to remove his blockage pretty easily, and sent me home with some mineral oil and a syringe to give him water through. Apparently they had to get a needle and use it to slowly cut his skin away from the hopelessly dried up turd of doom.

Naturally they said that his area would be a bit inflammed for a few days. So I'm to put a bit of Neosporin on it a couple times a day.
I was very pleased that they commented on how nice and healthy he is, and that his weight is good. They said most people who get one of these for pets don't manage to keep them too long. They certainly aren't easy pets to keep. Exotic indeed! I had decided that if I lost him I wasn't going to buy a replacement for a while. He's not hard to tend to at all and I enjoy him, but it just wouldn't have been the same. I'm glad that he should now be with me for hopefully a good while longer. ^_^

Monday, September 27, 2004


I never thought I would get burned out on my fish hobby, but I think it's beginning to happen. It's not fish in general; I certainly still love my bettas dearly and want to raise some spawns. I won't dream of taking down any of my "pet" fish tanks, either. I think the real problem is not having enough time to maintain a breeding program. And I don't intend on selling off any of my equipment. But I'm considering taking some of it ... well, offline for now. I have the guppy rack that.... well, has suffered some casualties due to I am assuming the lack of water changes.... with the empty tanks (not all of them, just some), I could migrate my bettas into this and have just 1 rack. I will still have the barracks, as I cannot house the bettas in the 10 gallon tanks. I was planning to build a drip table for juvenile bettas but I am going to withhold on this for now. The barracks is again beginning to stop up so it requires a very thorough cleaning and flushing, and this will be a huge undertaking I haven't had the time to do yet. I had to remove several boxes from the wall so I could arrange all the fish under all the available dripping emitters; the rest do not drip at all right now. They were all going strong when I got the emitters, but debris has undoubtably gotten in the way of the rest. I don't know how I will clean out the hoses yet, but I must do so. I guess I'll have to take all the emitters out and flush water through the lines when all the fish are off the wall, on a table or something, for a while. I suppose I could put a fish each in the old gallon jars in the basement for up to a week while I work on it. With the hurricane, losing 1 job due to the closing, and getting a new job, I have just been too preoccupied so far for about the past month now. :>

So yeah, maybe I am going to slow down a bit on the fishing for now, if only I could figure out how. I can't exactly stop the barracks, and it's the biggest hassle right now. :E And there's *no* way I could maintain jar changes again if I didn't have the drip system. Maybe I will just take down a few tanks, and breed very few fish for a while. It's not a hobby I'm going to tire of anytime soon, so I should just take it slow and keep a handle on the rest of life first, for now, I guess. :P

Monday, September 13, 2004

Grindal Worms

Wheeee! Once again I have a multitude of grindal worms. Steph revived her old dried up block of what was once worms and was inspired to write up a Word doc (which I still have yet to check out! I always forget from home, and I don't have it with me at work, ack). So I decided that maybe I should try my cultures again. I had to let them die down due to the sickening invasion of fruit flies. The cultures began to stink after a while so I just let them go. I let some of them dry up (the stinky ones), and I just stopped feeding some of the others that'd had the fruit flies and/or mites in them, to see if the baddies would go away. They did and I saw a worm or two. Man, those things survived for a month or two with no extra food in the dirt. Which I guess really is not a big surprise after all, considering they're worms and that's what worms do, heh.

So anyway, we went to Applebee's this weekend to eat. I got something to go in this really cool domed shaped bowl with lid that's maybe 8 inches across and I'd guess about 6 inches high. Shaped kinda like a UFO, heh heh. So I filled it up with dirt and slapped a bit of moistened food on top, and sat down 2 of the collection plates from my other now-overflowing cultures (quite literally! they were crawling all the way out of the tubs and into the rubbermaid!). I bet soon that thing will be filled up too.

Yay, maybe I can start selling grindal cultures soon in addition to the microworm cultures. :D ACK!! That reminds me that I forgot to ship out 2 cultures today. I didn't forget, really, I just didn't pack them last night while I still had time AND remembered.

Tuesday, September 7, 2004


I discovered that the yellowtailed damsel died not due to the conditions at all. No - instead, it was killed by one of the blues. Apparently they are pretty territorial in there already! I took the other 2 in and traded them towards my next purchase.

I bought 25 pounds more live rock a week or so ago and added to the tank. Conditions were looking good so I bought some shrimp this weekend. Darned buggers aren't cheap, so I only have 4. I also picked up a few more of those cute tiny blue legged hermit crabs. They're the only ones that will stay nice and small and not harm other inhabitants so I figured a few more wouldn't hurt. It's so cool to see them come into the tank, find a new shell they're happy with, and change almost immediately. I'm sure the rest in the LFS tank must be unhappy with theirs too! They're not provided with shells. I'll let the girl know who upkeeps that dept; she's knowledgable and would do what she could I'm sure.

I can't wait 'til I can get some starfish! I don't think the tank is ready yet, at all, though. No detrius.

Oh yeah, the shrimp I have are:

2 Camel Shrimp:

2 ... well, I don't know what they were. They are a pale orange color.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Fish Shipping

Today was a very happy fish day for me!

Got my reship of the black coppers. They are beautiful, and just the same coloration as the original pair, so that is great. I also got another extra pair with this box. :D I'll post their pictures later.

Also got a box from BC Betta today. It is always great when a full box has 0% deaths.

It was a great day to just so happened to have decided I needed to call in late to work for a couple extra hours of sleep. I ended up taking 1/2 day off when I remembered the fish (usually Pete attends to new arrivals for me) which was because I heard the doorbell, heh heh. Working only 1/2 day was very refreshing! :D

The Pains of Cycling

Lost a yellow-tailed damselfish overnight last night. Am surprised this is it so far, really, though. No apparent cause so I am assuming it died from either the nitrites or nitrates, as there was pretty much no ammonia present and those two levels have been up for a few days now. Ahhrrrgh, the pains of cycling.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Weird Worm Things

I posted this at FJ but I'll write it here too. I found some weird things in my barracks tonight and I don't know wtf they are. I am worried they might be parasites. I'm trying to find out from web research what they might be but it's so hard to get a crisp, clear shot of them so it's hard to do. I guess I'll have to keep trying.

In the meantime, I cleaned a lot to remove the things from the barrack gutters. And I'll have to of course now stop feeding the worms to the fish. I don't know what to feed them on a regular basis! Frozen worms I guess. The bloodworms don't float out but I hate to use those as the nearly primary food source. Live worms were great since they sank.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Another Day

Another weekend passes, and another round of fishly chores is behind me. This weekend, the laundry and vacuuming (and really almost all other housework) got neglected for all the stuff I had to do. These are self-appointed chores, mind you, but they're work, all the same. I went and bought live rock for my saltwater tank, and today also got 3 yellow-tailed blue damsels. Also I got two little snails and three even smaller crabs. I dare not add any shrimp or starfish yet, though I am going to definitely be doing that in the future, after cycling is done. I may lose everything in the tank, so this is IT for a while, so I wanted to get a little bit of a cleanup crew going. The only thing I am going to seek to add is a few plants, once I do some reading and see what I want, and have the fish store buy them. I went to a LPS I don't usually visit often anymore out of the blue, and was pleasantly surprised that the girl "in charge" of the fish (and pretty much everything live in the store, she said) knew a good bit about fish and has a lot herself. We chatted for a few and as with everywhere I tried to pick up a few pieces of info from her to add to my growing arsenal.

The 3 fish from earlier this week sure look a lot happier with some company in the tank now. And the new fish sure as heck look happier to be in such a bigger tank. :)

Saturday, August 7, 2004

Better Days

I thought I should also go ahead and post about the better news, with all this depressing stuff! My barracks, until recently, had seen better days. The drippers weren't dripping consistantly across the board, causing non-flowing water to all the cases, causing bacterial problems for a good many fish. To make matters worse, the hose kept popping off the pump going into the UV sterilizer. And if those things run with no water flow for 15 seconds, SECONDS, they're shot, apparently. Well who knows how long it was off. I still have it on, but I have a feeling it's useless. And I do not know if replacing the bulb will be sufficient yet. I guess I need to check with the manufacturer, but I have not yet gotten around to it.

Anyway, after Lori and Myra started working on barracks projects, and then Myra posted a link to Dripworks where she found some emitters that were a LOT cheaper than I thought they were going to be (like a quarter of the figure I thought), I bought them right away. My barracks saw instant results!! Pete actually did all the work, in removing the crappy old copper barbs and installing the drip emitters. I am going to affix some blue tubing as suggested by Lori (it will stay flexible, unlike the clear standard kind), because I want to eliminate the tiny dripping splashes that are coming out of the cases.

Also I want to make less water in the air. I'm going to try rebuilding my sump a bit and covering it to reduce evaporation. My air conditioner repairman (aka a friend of my dad) said that with all this new water in my house, the condensor coil on the AC unit is becoming corroded. He said I had better not add any more water to this house, either. -_-; I don't plan to but I want to make things better. This is only the first summer that the barracks and the AC unit have met each other, so imagine this long term, heh. :X I need to make it more efficient in that aspect. A lid on the sump and the tubing on the cases should help. I could even go with lids to the beanie cases but I don't know if I'll go quite to that length.

This Weekend's Adventures

You want to know how a pretty typical weekend in Mer's fishland goes? Well, I'll tell you about this weekend. I may not do this same stuff EVERY weekend, but it was certanly nothing out of the ordinary.

Well you've probably already read about the heater catastrophy. So my 48-gallon corner tank (link to post) is currently completely empty. Now the reason why I got this tank in the first place was to set up a salt water tank. I have felt too overwhelmed to tackle the task until recently, and let's not mention the fact that salt water fish cost so much more than freshwater, so I did not want to risk such huge losses if something went wrong. I guess I finally feel educated enough to begin the process of learning the rest as I go, so (back to the beginning of this paragraph), this was my chance to get back to my original intent. I didn't feel like I had the time or mental capacity to really do it when I first set up the tank (due to going on vacation, doing tons of chores, and all that to prep then unpacking, and etc when I came back, lol). And I had a batch of aging juvies that needed a place to live so I tossed them in and decided to deal with it later. Now that I've pulled the males and lost the females, and don't have any other fish who will be needing it anytime soon (my 20 gallon tank is dedicated to this purpose, it was just full at the time), I now have NO EXCUSE to do this. :) :) :)

So now that this explanation is over with, back to the original intent of this paragraph!

On Saturdays we (we = me and Pete) usually go out for lunch, to the pet store for about 6 dozen crickets for our reptiles and frogs, to Wal Mart supercenter for groceries, Costco gas station for gas, and whatever else we need to do that week. This may include fish/pet stores, Blockbuster, Costco for other bulk goods, and who knows what else. So yeah, we have a heck of a busy Saturday outing. :> It's not ALL so bad though, since he works at home and this is his only day out of the house, hee hee. Only if we have tons of stuff to bring back in the house. :P

(Oh sorry, I went into another explanation there. Gee, I guess a Fish blog was just the kind of blog I've been holding out for.) I went to do the usual, and went by a fish store. I was going to get a new pleco for the 48-gallon tank, since of course the last one was boiled. I was going to I guess just wait and move some batch of juvies or another into the tank, but like I said had noone to put there. Well I got there, got the guy to catch the pleco I wanted, and stopped and thought, what in the heck am I doing? I don't need freshwater fish in this tank. I need SALT! I engaged one of the shop keepers in some conversation about a few things I still needed to know after my pre-research I've been doing on setting up the tank, options on what I could do with a tank this size, and I decided to go for it.

(Here we go, back to the point. :>) I bought the salt, the substrate, and a new filter (Penguin 280) (oh gee, if only I could have waited a few days I could have gotten it online cheaper. >E It was $12 cheaper where I bought it than the chain store, at least). Am going to wait on a new heater since our living room usually stays at 75+ degrees anyway! I'm going to get these contents in there tonight hopefully, let it settle for a few days, and go back for some damselfish for cycling the tank. Am going to do a partial fishless cycle, adding some ammonia and bacteria to the tank, but will also use the fish. Hoping this will help speed things up some. Oh, and a... uh, what do you call that thing? Salt-o-meter. Yeah, that's it. Hydrometer, oh yeah.

So what the heck amd I doing, sitting here typing! I'm going to go start adding salt! :D!!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Malfunctioned Hardware

I woke up on Thursday morning to find a tank full of dead fish. This was my corner tank in the living room, housing Salamander juvenile growout fish that Lori sent me (she had tons of overflow with a really huge spawn). Apparently the heater malfunctioned; it was on ALL night long. I recall some of the fish looking a little listless, hanging out at the surface. I thought they were just asleep, as I'd had all the lights off. I should have looked twice as I found them all in the same place that morning, only dead. They must have already been a bit too warm when I went to bed. So you can imagine how freaking HOT the glass on the outside of the tank was in the morning. I was really worried that things would burst or melt. The thermometer was so high the reading gave no use. It was incredibly hot, to say the least. I could feel the heat from the glass radiating out just with my cheek near the glass - that's when I panicked. I pulled about 25 poor baby girls out of the tank and flushed them. I am thankful that I had taken the males out a few nights before and put them in the barracks. I had taken 1 female downstairs to try and get her to spawn so now I'm trying to have her spawn with a male. So far he built a nest but they've not mated yet; I'll just leave them alone for a while and eventually it is bound to happen. They aren't hurting each other's fins so it will be fine. She has more girls she is looking to get rid of so maybe I'll end up with a few of them. Or maybe these guys will spawn, I don't know yet. I don't know if her LFS's want all those females so maybe I will anyway.

Friday, July 30, 2004


This is a new weblog I'm going to try out. I am hoping to create a place where I can have basically a daily journal for myself. It is intended to be a place to post tank parameters, feeding routines, spawning records, and any other notes to myself. It sounded like the perfect service to try, being free and fully customizable. We'll see how it works out!

Monday, June 21, 2004

Tank coming along nicely

Despite the disdainful opinion given by some, my saltwater tank is coming along quite nicely with the 20 pounds of live rock and 6 fish. :> The 3 tiny crabs and the 2 snails still too, of course. No ammonia in the tank; nitrites are still higher than desired; nitrates have risen, though. So it won't be long until I can get some shrimp! :D I want to add a bit more live rock, though, so that they and the starfish I'm hoping for get enough surface area to live on comfortably. Maybe another 20 pounds in a week or two.

Shipping Catastrophies

Since I got the barracks all spiffed up and functioning as it was designed now with the drip emitters, I decided it was time to buy a few new fish to restock up from the losses I've been having. I won 1 auction from a forum member - very gorgeous black copper pair. I also won 3 auctions from BettaDreams. Both boxes arrived DOA. I am very upset with the local post office or the postal system in general, I'm not really sure which yet but I do not trust them to ship my fish Priority anymore, no matter how they're packed, unfortunately. I'm having Sherri reship Express. Aznb0i is having to await the arrival of more fish to get some black coppers in, so I will be getting a replacement pair of those. What happened there was that his cousin was doing some shipping for him, and got the boxes mixed up. Mine was supposed to go Priority but it did not. The end result was this:

Whatever must they do to those poor boxes?? What I would give to be a fly on the wall for just a day.. with a tiny tiny camera to record what must surely be some mighty mean mail abuse.

I am going to buy a few more fish from Marianne, and have been talking with her on what she can do for me in the range and selection I'm looking for (1. cheap, and 2. matches for some other stock I have), but I really doubt shipping will be a problem there. She always ships FedEx. They come all the way from Canada but with the exception of my first order when it was cold and there was no heat pack (it was warm here, didn't think we needed one), I have had excellent arrivals from her, no deaths. (She re-shipped on the first DOA and with the heat pack all the fish were totally fine).

Geeze, what a week in fish land.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Leopard Gecko

Isn't he cuuuuuute? :D

FDA's Pet Health RSS Feed