7 days left of MMs for Tsumo after today. I can't wait until he finishes! He looks 110% since the MMs have taken what I believe to be complete care of his swim bladder. Then he will go back into the pond, with a week of Jumpstart for all fish.
I am going to start making the following mix as soon as the food arrives, in order of greatest to least in terms of ingredients:
NLS Thera + A 1mm
That will make an okay daily dry staple, I think. I just plan on mixing them all together in a container weighed out for an average feeding for everyone in the pond.
I will be supplementing often, likely with all of the following being rotated throughout the week, maybe once or twice a day:
Frozen Blood Worms
GC Seafood Flakes
Super Green with Fresh Garlic
I have resolved to try and stay away from land-plant-products and see if it does anything for them. (I know, the food has some but not a whole ton.) I want to see some awesome growth on Ladybug in the coming months, as well as some good conditioning in my males.
Oh, and as soon as Tsumo is back in the pond I can begin the Psychology data collection/analysis process. So I can videotape each daily session with all of the fish.
So 2014 is upon us and I have lots to catch up on. First of all I have given up on housing my goldfish in aquariums and have opted for the gorgeous indoor pond setup you see above, along with my little duckweed-growing operation. (I need to get some heaters for those tubs...)
Here are the pond specs:
Total volume: ~70 US Gallons
Pond: Galvanized stock tank from Tractor Supply. Dimensions are 48"x24"x12", which comes to ~50 US Gallons in water volume. Pond liner is inside it despite it being a watering tank, as the galvanization actually oxidized where I had a bubble wand sitting on it over my Christmas vacation. (Dumb move. Sorry for not listening and lining it earlier, Alex!) There's actually a lot of liner left over, but I haven't cut it off of the main piece yet because I don't know what to do with it.
[*]Filter: Indoor/outdoor plastic planter from Lowe's turned into a DIY Pond Filter. It has a 15" internal diameter, and holds roughly 20g of water when filled to the area just above the tops of the outflows.
It is attached to a 265gph fountain pump from Harbor Freight, that sits in the stock tank. (Best place for pumps, by the way! So cheap.) If anyone wants to build this filter, please visit Koko's and look up Shakaho's DIY filter threads in the DIY section. I used a similar setup to her filter made from a household trash bin. There are two outflows on this because one wasn't enough to stop the filter from overflowing. It worked out great because now there are different methods of aeration going on there, bringing lots of oxygen to my fish.
The filter houses a bunch of different sponge medias, XL Bioballs, and pod scrubbies, all stuck in shower poufs that have been unraveled. Shower poufs are just made up of lots of mesh tubes, so you just put the media inside and tie the ends to make some great quick media bags for larger media. The very top layer is super fine filter padding, which is actually washable.
[*]Misc bits in the pond and filter: Aqueon Pro Heater, little cute geranium fridge clips to hold the bamboo and Kyoto fern on the edge of the filter, rubber bands where necessary, cheap vinyl tubing, clamps, plastic mesh, rocks to weight down the fiber.
Java Moss on one of the rocks
Dwarf Red Tiger Lotus
Some sort of giant val... I forget
Small breed of anubias
Tiny spiral val
This pond is indoors right now, but when I move home for the summer I will be bringing it home and putting it outside for those few months so that the fish can have a taste of the outdoor life!
My Duckweed Farm there to the far left consists of two tubs with water and duckweed, sat underneath two cheap grow lights from Menards, which my stepdad rigged up hoods for to stick on my 55g when I had it. I am really happy that I still got to use the hoods, because they were a project my stepdad and I put time into together to design and build. The fish love to eat the duckweed and it is usually gone in minutes, so I had to find a way to grow it for them efficiently. Like I said above, I need to get some heaters to make the plant grow a little more quickly, since the fish eat this stuff every day and it is so good for them.
(Like my zebra night pants? LOL)
Now that I have this up, can I refer everyone to it when asked about my setup?
Oh yes, and go check out my first GoPro video, and the beginning of my Weekend Water Change series.
[Note, this has been reposted from my BlogSpot Blog.]
Halloween Gel Food Recipe
4oz organic baby food squash purée
5oz. Organic baby food carrot purée
1packet unflavored gelatin
1/2 sheet Nori (sushi seaweed)
Pour squash and water into a bowl and stir thoroughly. Microwave at 10 second intervals until boiling, stirring between each interval.
Once boiling, remove from microwave and stir in your gelatin until it dissolves completely.
Add in your carrot purée half at a time, stirring thoroughly to incorporate.
Pour into a Tupperware container so the gel measures 1/4-1/2" thick
Place in the fridge until half set.
Once the gel is half set, crumble the Nori over the top. Cover the top completely with the seaweed and press the pieces in so that they firmly attach to the gelatin.
Replace the gel into the fridge and let set completely.
Cut into cubes and watch them enjoy!
Suggestions: I think, to make it more creepy and a better treat, bloodworms could be added after the gel has cooled. OR you could even add some spirulina brine shrimp to add even more color and nutrition. You could also add canned pumpkin for more texture and flavor if you wish.
Warning: Please remember that this food contains lots of carotenoids. I am not responsible for any color changes you see with fish that eat this food!
Two goldfish gone in the span of a couple of months. Needless to say, I'm feeling pretty lost at the moment.
I believe Clementine is, too.
Now, people always say not to place one's emotions on to animals, because they don't feel them as we do. I can tell you that the latter half of the statement is completely true: They don't feel them the same way we do. The first half I can be skeptical about, all because we'd need to invent new ways to describe these feelings. So, do Goldfish feel lost or sad? Can they miss their companions? Many keepers would agree with me that they can feel those emotions and feelings in some way. It may not be exactly human sadness, nor exactly human loss, but it is similar.
Those of you who observe your goldfish know when they are just a little 'off' and what that 'off' usually means. I saw the same 'off'- ness on two occasions with Clementine: When she and Elvis moved to the 55 and Hoover was left behind to undergo treatment, and when I took Elvis out for treatment. She appeared both worried and sad. She would refuse to come to me when I came to the tank, or refuse to make eye contact with me. Upon each fish's loss, she would just float around the tank with a droopy demeanor, as if she knew. She very well may have, since both of my dearly departed babies had to go past the 55 to get to outside.
Though my heart may be heavy, I try my hardest not to place that emotion on her; to observe her from a third-party perspective. She still looks lost and lonely. She still doesn't always come when called or make eye contact. She has bouts of happiness, as do I. We're both mourning. We're both trying, alone and together, to comfort each other.
If I know of one being in this world that could mend my broken heart, it's Clementine. But when both of our hearts are broken this becomes so difficult. Clem lost both of her friends, and I lost two of my 'children.' I think this is one of the times when I wish Goldfish were cuddly.
And I know it will be a long while until I feel like my heart is taped up enough to handle a new fish, but I also worry for Clementine's loneliness. She's by herself in a big home, looking so melancholy. When do I just 'suck it up' and search for the perfect companion? How will the new fish be able to steal my heart if it's still broken?
I guess I'll see.
I apologize. I just needed to get this out.
Thunderstorms make my fish feel very, very excited. Eggs everywhere, plants nearly destroyed, and fish looking extra happy with themselves. As always, I told them they must clean it up most of the way, and they're happy to oblige. I think that this is the first time Elvis has done his part, as those bubbles show the protein film is there this time. How exciting!
I just don't know, guys.
I really don't know what to do with my babies right now!
They're just crazy lovers.
Things have gotten a bit calmer now that I've come to terms with Hoover's loss. I'll never be able to replace her, which means no new fish for awhile. That's alright with me, since my fish have christened their new home thoroughly with several batches of eggs. I think the fifty five will stay a good place with just the two of them.
I'd like to get Clementine and Elvis to be as happy and healthy as possible. For me that means getting Elvis growing so that he can carry his tail and getting Clementine into a diet to stop her gulping permanently. I'm thinking starting small: hand feeding for more than just recreation, more regular bloodworm intake, adding super green to the diet, and adding some homemade veggie gel with natural supplements instead of fresh. (simply because the fresh veggies seem to get stuck in the intake more than they get eaten!) I bet they'd love if I added garlic or something to that gel. I'm still keeping ProGold as a staple, though, as these two do so well on it. Time to research Oranda-specific diet additions.
I need to get myself more active on YouTube, too. Not as a commenter, but as an uploader. It will give me a good routine and will make me feel like I'm contributing in a productive manner. I'd love to spread the knowledge a bit more about these amazing creatures, especially in terms of how much room they really need. -ahem... Clementine-
Plus, they're a couple of camera hogs.
Alright. I have gotten this out of my mind and onto a forum where people can see. Hopefully it will make me more inclined to follow through. (e.g. procrastinate less!) Any comments or suggestions are deeply appreciated and quite welcome! Fire away without prejudice!
Let's get started!
Just picked them up today from my favorite LFS! I'll call them by their 'types' right now, but maybe they'll get names soon. They're speedy little guys! All over the container right now. I set them near a window by where I'm sitting, and they exploded into action!
Go, Go, Diatom Busters!
Funny pic of the blog entry:
Frankly, it's really difficult.
I really want to do beautiful things to all of that space in my 55, but one 'rule' or another gets in the way.
I've spent a lot of time looking at aquascapes on youtube.
Sometimes, things get really hard. Sometimes I find some of the rules to be just irrational fears, but know deep down that they are practical for my situation. Or maybe it's the other way around, and I think they're practical but they really are just irrational. I don't know.
These three little precious pieces of my life are also doubling as three little monsters. I don't quite know what to do.
No substrate. We create too much waste because we're just too large and hungry. We'll foul it up even if fasted for a week!
Plants won't last long. We do like them as snacks, no matter how big they are, and will eat you out of however much you spend.
Speaking of plants and substrate, if you want to plant something in dirt and pebbles in our tank, Hoover will remove the pebbles so she can get to the dirt and wallow in it right after you do a water change. Her dream in life is to be a pig, so she'll crush your dream of a bare bottom tank with clear water. Mud is fine for her.
Elvis really likes anything that sucks stuff up. He'll wedge himself under filter intakes and follow the siphon around. It's probably best to upgrade to a canister soon, because he plans on getting big like the girls and knocking intakes off of your HOBs. Last time he tried Clementine felt obligated to help him.
No decorations, unless you never want to see Elvis again, because he appreciates a good sleeping spot to rest his long tail. He'll come out for food, and when you're not looking.
Clementine is fat. Remember not to put anything against a wall so she doesn't wedge herself in it. She thinks she's tiny.
Refusing to feed us WILL result in a wet floor... all the way across your room. Hoover and Clementine will show their power!
Speaking of feeding, Hoover has a really sensitive swim bladder. We all like it, because it means more tastes for us. She'll be fine if you order a new food every week. Throwing out the old stuff is good too. You have plenty of money for us, right?
We aren't the biggest fans of green beans. If you feed them to us only ever expect that we eat half, no matter how few pieces you give us.
Expect three angry goldfish when you turn off the bubble wand. That should never be turned off, ever.
If you don't give Clementine enough attention, she'll start breaking things and soaking other things. It's inevitable. Remember your really good glass thermometer?
Every fish in our tank will learn from the others to gulp at the surface. It's a habit we want everyone to know about, and get more enjoyment out of your reaction when we do it loudly enough to wake you up at night. No matter what you do, we won't stop.
Fake plants will ruin Elvis' fins. And we'll never like where you put them.
Suction cups do not belong stuck to the side of the tank. We don't care what it is. If it is small enough, we'll pull it off.