Sunday, November 30, 2008

How could I forget Lolly?

Don't know how I left this one off. Oops. Meet...
Lolly: When we got the first batch of fish, we bought this one to eat the poo and other debris that our messy little brood would generate. The kids named it Lolly, like a lollipop, since it is a little sucker. Now the line in the previous post about Pop being Lolly's counterpart makes sense, right? Anyway, the thing has doubled in size already. Mercy. Very cool catfish.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The rest of the fish

Promised I'd share the second batch of fish with you, so here they are!

Chick: Yellow like a chicken, and a little shy, too. Chick has a cool black line along the top of his or her dorsal fin and has faint yellow and white vertical stripes. Really good-looking fish. Also the smallest in the tank, but seems to be sufficiently defensive.

Daphne: I think Kori made some connection between "Daphne"and "dolphin" - can't recall why - maybe the Fishy Business guy said this was a dolphin-spotted cichlid or something like that? I don't know...

Rocky: We couldn't bring ourselves to name this little orange guy "Clem" for Clemson, so we named him "Rocky" for "Rocky Top" - Tennessee, that is. No, he's not a fighter - he's actually one of the more passive fish in the tank.

Tiger: Cleverly named for the stripes, Tiger is almost as big as Sid and Morrison, and MY is he (or she) fast! I took a ton a shots of this one, and the best I could get was this - he was moving so fast that the camera thought it needed to focus on the algae.

Pop: And speaking of algae, this guy, Lolly's counterpart, had better get busy eating some of it! A little algae is desirable, but we bought this algae-eater sucker to keep the place clean for us. Within the first 24 hours, he had eaten all of the brown algae, but now that we have a new light, we are getting more green algae than he can keep up with. He likes to hide out on this giant fake branchy thing we have in the tank.

Okay, those are our fish for now. The guys at the store think we could probably safely introduce a few more eventually, but I have a hard enough time keeping track of them all as it is. Maybe one day we'll learn to identify their genders and buy some pairs to see if we can get them to breed - they are mouth brooders (cool!) - but for now, we'll just do our best to remember to do their partial water changes and such.

One of these days we'll videotape them eating - we all enjoy feeding time so much, but they are especially prone to overeating, so we are working really hard to make sure we don't kill them - and I'll be sure to post it here for your amusement.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fishy Fishy

Because I have nothing else to do, I spent countless precious minutes yesterday attempting to photograph the fishy residents here at 203. Then, I managed to find a few more minutes to waste and posted shots of each to the facebook profile. Seriously. I am such the queen of procrastination - AKA reverse prioritizing.

But, as some of you readers are too mature, too busy, too cool for facebook, I figure I'll post them here, as well.

And, if I may point out the obvious, if you find yourself reading this post (yes, I started it at 1:00 AM, but only AFTER I finished my paper for tomorrow's class), then you are also guilty of reverse prioritizing. :)

So, we have a 55 gallon tank of African cichlids of various yet-to-be-determined species. We like cichlids because they have great little aggressive personalities and generally vibrant colors that often rival marine fish. We started with the original six plus a catfish, then lost one (Oh, yeah, that one dude in questionable health did die a day or two after the post that said he was still kicking. Alas.), then added an algae eater and four more. So now there are nine cichlids and two waste management guys (good math, Meesh!) for us to enjoy. Allow me to introduce the first batch...

Morrison: This is our biggest fish - named after the dorm Jimmy and I met in back in the day because he is Carolina Blue (of course!). This fish is such a camera hog. Really. Kept following me around and showing off.

Sid: Cool fish - about as big as Morrison, and pretty aggressive, too. Getting prettier every week. Not sure if he's named after Sid Vicious or not, but I'll pretend he is.

Peach: This one loves to eat from our hands. Really - you hold a pinch of food pellets at the surface of the water, and Peach comes up and gets nibbling. We had a "Peach" in our last tank that we left with friends in Arkansas, but this one is named more for the Mario character, I think.

Poop: Yeah, Poop's the name, and it's also a traditional fish name for us. This one was fitting because for the first two days, the only thing we saw this one eat was, well...

Samus: Pretty little yellow fellow named after some character the kids know from TV or video games - don't ask me, I don't pay attention to the things they do! - I keep wanting to call him Seamus, but they correct me. Fast little booger, too.
I want to show you the rest of our fishy family but I seriously need to go to bed. So, I'll give this virtual tank time to cycle and I'll introduce the rest of the gang to you soon. Promise. It's way lower priority than all the other stuff I need to do, so you know I'll get to it immediately!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Giving Thanks

Holy Lord, it's November already - and halfway through, at that!

I don't have anything brilliant to add today, but I am so in the mood for the holidays and feeling like giving thanks. Plus, I really want to get back in the practice of writing, whether there's an audience or not.

It's also helpful sometimes to count my many blessings - keeps me from swimming in my own pool of misery and woe-is-me. Also, list-making is easy writing, as a rule, and as taxed as my brain is feeling lately, I'll feel pleased with myself for a few bullets.

Actually, I could just write my acceptance speech for the Nobel or the Academy Award or even Mrs. America (right!)... nah. I'll stick with the list.

To Casey, my mutt, for the sweet head in my lap that helps me to always know that love is meant to be unconditional...

To Austin, my baby boy, for not being too cool to hold his momma's hand in public, even if only for a few minutes...

To Kori, my mini-me, for still wanting me to check on her every night...

To my beloved husband who really does want to learn to do the laundry the "right" (read: "my") way...

To the parents who send their babies to me every day for trusting me to care for their hearts and minds and to help them grow...

To the little people I teach for giving me purpose every day...

To my friends, old and new, for accepting me and my odd little ways and for chats that keep me laughing and crying and feeling like me...

To our nation for electing a man who, I pray, will be an instrument of peace...

... Thank you.