Wednesday, December 24, 2008

fish tank update


The 29 is really over grown, the dwarf sg has taken over the left hand side, and the red ludwiga is three times the height of the tank.


the 18 high had evaporated down halfway, i let it because the surface area was to small when full so was killing fish if the filter wasnt going full blast. The plants kept growing, how the amazon swords attached to the wood i have no idea.
I broke it down and set up a 20 reg, its better this morning but still cloudy, all the plants are floating in a bucket for now.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Winter crop

I pulled up all the marigolds because even though they were flowering, they had all laid over and looked pretty messy. I relocated some of the plants that had been in pots to the beds and plan on pulling all of the cannon flowers up and planting them around the anaerobic sprayers in the back 40. It will give me a lot more room next year for flowers and vegetables. I have also planted collard greens and salad mix greens. The lettuce seeds have already sprouted after only three days, the weather must be perfect for them. As soon as I locate some sugar snap peas I will complete my winter planting, along with a few fall flowers.



The wandering jew and calaudnims are doing great, if it doesn't freeze severely then they may look nice through the winter.
and here is a random pic of my dad

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hurricane Ike

Wasn't to bad, We got some serious wind but all the trailers survived and the debris was minimal. This is about halfway though our cleanup:






The only casualties were some trees that were left standing after cleaning the back forty up...They arn't exactly standing anymore....




Saturday, September 13, 2008

Finally!!!!

I finally got to work on the terrariums. I decided to tackle two at once and here is my progress so far. These are the products I used...I was going to try two different types of expandable foam....but neither one of the bottles worked so....I had to make a mid project trip to walmart and bought two more cans....I still need more. I also picked up some zip ties which are not pictured here, and neither is the egg-crate....but ya'll know what that is right?





20L will be a planted fishtank, it is supposed to eventually be a stone circle with two moniliths:
After two layers of foam, about 20 min apart, wait longer and put smaller amounts if you dont want it to cave like mine did (i fixed it)


I put on two or three more layers after this pic



the 20High will be a tank sutable for newts and fish maybe, I havn't decided. But either way it is an island on stilts.

supports siliconed first:
then island layer attached and zip tied:



upper deck attached and all the zip tied joints siliconed

These are some independant decorations I am going to experiment with:

still so much to do.

I'm going to start carving tommorrow but don't know if I'll get back to walmart for more foam....we'll wait and see what hurrican Ike does.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

...

I have been ill. Posts will resume shortly.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I killed them

Its all my fault. I forgot to water the garden.




and I noticed the cloudy water and the snails heading toward the top, but I didn't do anything, figured I just needed to do a water change.

Well, I had moved the filter and apparently I wasn't getting enough surface agitation. Both blue rams are dead as well as the cory and all 5 of the harlequin rasporias.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

So I Lied

I said I was going to start my Viv yesterday, but everything went wrong, I overslept because the dogs were whining and the batteries in the camera died, just nothing fell into place. My next day off is Thursday. We'll see what I can get accomplished then.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Score

Scored another 20H today, someone dropped of a Red Tailed Boa in it, and I found a good guy to re-home it with. But he didnt need the 20gal since it didn't have a reptile lid.

So now I have 2 aquariums to practice my terrarium skills on....woot

But now I need to find a home for a full grown female leopard gecko if anybody wants one....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Perfect Pork Chops

You need a hot grill (you shouldn't be able to hold your hand over it for more then 2 seconds)
Or preheat an oven to about 375

put pork chops in a Ziploc with enough soda to cover them, I'm using Dr Pepper but Coke or Pepsi will work as long as it is a dark cola
a teaspoon of salt and pepper
two cloves of garlic (Italian dressing works well too)
or any combination of herbs that you like , I'm using basil, rosemary and garlic chives
marinade in the fridge for at least an hour
pour off the marinade
you can put them directly on the grill if you like or make a pouch

put pork chops onions/bell peppers/ corn on the cob or any other vegetable that steam well
into enough foil to fold over and close
one teaspoon of butter or olive oil
seal pouch and put in oven for 30 minutes or on grill for 15 to 25

i usually put one directly on the grill to eat for dinner and then the rest of them in individual pouches to reheat later

this method also works for steak or chicken, the soda gives it a nice flavor and tenderizes the meat

pouches are almost full proof, the pork chops come out tender every time

FYI


Don't transport tanks with weight in the bottom...it doesn't work.

Poor Fire Belly Toad

Someone dropped off a single little fire belly toad at work today. It was in a little plastic habitat that was molded to have little grasses and a blue pool in the middle, pretty fancy compared to some of the "fire belly landing"s I've seen, but still completely inadequate. It was completely dry and covered in cricket poo. I had a heart wrenching gasp and got him cleaned up and into a 10 gal with fresh water.

I of course had the urge to bring him home but I just couldn't. I'm out of unbroken tanks and he can't be housed with any of my other frogs....so he stayed at work. Hopefully someone else will have room for him.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sqeeeeal!

Yeah! One of my fellow Frog lovers and friends has started her blog, and LINKED to me. Makes me feel special.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Anibus

I'm doing a water change on the 18H with the Blue Rams in it. And I found a bunch of anibus leaves floating at the surface, I planted them to deep in the substrate and the roots rotted, I've lost two more Anubis Nana plants, they are so expensive and hard to find, its frustrating, that makes four total I've lost I have two left that I still haven't even planted, and I've only seen 8 for sale in the past 10 months. So unless I have better luck with them...*sigh* this is going to be an unending battle.

PS, Crawdads love to eat Anubis

On the bright side, My java fern is going crazy, i have little babys under almost every leaf and the stands i tied to the grapevine have rooted well, my ludwiga that I planted all of two stems of is actually growing and rooted, I've never been able to keep stem plants alive before, the penny wart has sent a shoot all the way to the surface, it looks like it made a direct beeline. And the dwarf sag has filled in nicely.

I'll have a lot of excess plants from this tank, I'll ship some to some friends and use the rest for some of my terrariums. I'll post a pic of it in a couple of days when the water clears, I kicked up a lot of mulm.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Click Me


I know its silly....but then maybe it just proves I'm a girl

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fish Tank Backstory

Not long after I set up the 29 gal I took this photo. Its been through many changes and trials since.
Lots of the plants didn't make it, even though they should have been well suited for the environment.

I took a bag of cheep potting soil from wal-mart as instructed by Diana Walstead's Natural Planted Tank Method, I haven't read her book but took most of my information from the APC or Aquatic Plant Central. I cleaned out all the pine bark, which is a feat considering its about 50% pine bark. I laid about 3/4 of an inch of this over the bottom. i added a light layer of carbon and crushed coral over this.I then laid a cut to it piece of window screen. My theory for doing this was to keep the Corys and Loaches from digging up to much of the dirt which I had seen them do in the past. It has had the side effect though of not allowing the larger plants like the Amazon Sword Plant to send larger roots to the bottom. It could still get nutrients from the soil but not anchor to deeply so was easy to remove when it got to big. I could not locate any skrit which is my preferred size of gravel (a fine gravel that they use to put on iced roads, I found it in houston but couldn't find it in east Texas) so I used pool sand from a local store to cap off the dirt, about 2 or more inches worth.

The coral helps to keep the PH at about 7.5, which the Platys that I like prefer, normally the organic material would lower it to around 6 or even lower.

It now looks like this:

The red decoration lost most of its paint within 2 weeks so I took it back. My dwarf sag and 3 varieties of Crypt have done very well. I am still not happy with the hard scape and removing the amazon sword had to be done because it was shading other plants, but it removed a lot of the impact of the tank visually. The onion plant to the right was an experiment to see how well it lived, it has done well so I will be adding more of that. Most of the plants floating at the top still need to be planted, or are trimmings that I'm giving away to people but haven't gotten around to yet.

This is the Blue Ram Tank:
It to is in a perpetual state of needing to be planted. Most of the Annibus is floating still, and II added this filter after the hang on the back I had died, just havn't gotten around to moving ti to the back. It was started 6 months after the 29 but is actually closer to being finished. I used about the same method of substrate, 1/2 inch of potting soil with 2 inches of skrit that I had left over form tanks I had in Houston before I started planted tanks. I cured the driftwood myself, which is 3 pieces of grapevine which I plant to have completely covered in annibus and java fern.

I'm hoping to work on these this week and will post progress photos.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Garden Additions

I found these on clearance at Wal-mart and Hobby Lobby. I had another terracotta sun that Indy broke a while back and finally found one I like at a price I was willing to pay.


I have to finish cleaning off the rust on this display grate for my Cantolope plant. It looks much like the one I am using for my tommatoes. I will paint it with rustoleum when I'm done so it looks pretty.

I've been Yolked

So, I'm sure you've all heard in grade school or at some point that an egg can be applied with a large amount of force as long as the pressure is even it will not break. It might be even demonstrated by a teacher squeezing an egg in her hand and it staying intact to the amazement of third grade minds....

It does not however work as a good bar bet between uneducated rednecks.

redneck1: Hey Hey! ya gotta egg?
redneck2: My friend just made a stupid bet! Says I ain't gotta payback tha hunerd dollars I owe 'em if I can break an egg in ma hand. So, ya gotta egg?
redneck1: It ain't possible I tell ya!
redneck1 and 2: (Unintelligible arguing back and forth seeing as how they are both drunk and from the backwoods)

me: Yeah, I've got an egg.
redneck 2: Bring TWO! I'll do it twice!

I bring two, we go into the commons area and redneck 1 is demonstrating how redneck 2 is supposed to roll it in his hand to squeeze it.

me:So what exactly is the bet?
redneck 1:That he cant break an egg in his hand. If he does it then he dudn't have ta pay me back.

The egg is handed to redneck 2 who promptly breaks it, squirting egg yolk over everyone and bystander 1's truck.

redneck 1: NAW NAW! You didn't do it right!
redneck2: I broke it did'n I!

redneck 2 grabs the second egg and does the same as the first.

redneck 1: Naw! your usin' your fingertips or sump'n!
bystander 1: My truck! Ya'll better wash that off or ya'll are gettin me a new paint job!

The story ends with no one oweing anyone any money. The neighbor getting his truck washed. And everyone covered in yolk.

Moral of the story: Don't mess with a southern mans truck.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Garden Update

Ok, I knew about this one...


But this one snuck up on me! (you cant tell in the pic but its about 6 inches long)


My basil has gone completely crazy. Its almost 3 foot tall with huge shoot of little white flowers.


And a bell pepper!

AWTF Habitat

I finally got around to redoing the Australian White's enclosure, it had gotten pretty bad. A lot of mineral deposits had built up on the glass and the eco-earth had turned mucky. So I put done a layer of sphagnum moss and a nice thick layer of eco-earth and douglus fur bark and jungle bedding and planted some of the plants I had from the last posts.

Creeping Jenny,Club Moss, and Bugleweed are at the bottom with the unknown terrarium plants we sell at work for hieght. They look so much happier.

I used one of my half finished pieces of art for the background so you can see better in the photo.


These guys are so layed back, its a joy to clean their enclosure, they just hang out on the edge of the bucket and watch me. They are still a little obese but not nearly as bad as when I first got them. They are so easy to overfeed. Their former owners were throwing a couple dozen crickets in the enclosures about once a week and just replenishing them when there wernt any left.

Now I put 2 to 6 in every other day or so.