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Evil Jim

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01:30 am: 55 gallons of fun!
My original title for this entry was “Beta late then never,” but common sense threatened to beat me into a pulp before I could get that far.

I spent a lot more money than I expected this weekend but finally my 55 gallon fish tank is up and running. There's no actual fish in it, but at least it's up and running. (There is one snail in there somewhere who stowed away in the bag of plants we bought.) Thea and I went shopping yesterday before A-Club for half of the stuff and again today for the rest. I'm learning quite a bit from the process (mostly about how expensive the really cool tank decorations are) and if all goes well, will have three fish out of quarantine and in their brand new home by the end of the month.

I did bring home one fish today; he is a beta and currently in his own bowl for quarantine. If he doesn't die within the next few weeks from whatever illnesses fish can get it should be safe to add him to the larger tank which, hopefully, next weekend will be supporting two black moors who will have spent their quarantine time in there. After that I'll be adding the other species one by one once they are deemed healthy and clean. I'm excited to have the setup going now and it's only a matter of time before it will be full of life.

The tank itself looks ok for now but it's not quite right. I need some taller and darker stuff to balance out all the open space. I've always liked the “sunken city” motif and had decided that Ry'leh would be very appropriate considering the moors and other fish I wanted. I have some ruins in there and a couple large chunks of obsidian (I got a long cut across my thumb from one rather large chunk at the store.) However, cyclopean, non-Euclidian masonry is not stocked at PetsMart or AniMart or any of the other pet supply stores we shopped at so I had to go with plan B being:
On the fifth day the sailors were nervous, but the captain apologized for their fears, saying that the ship was about to pass over the weedy walls and broken columns of a sunken city too old for memory, and that when the water was clear one could see so many moving shadows in that deep place that simple folk disliked it. He admitted, moreover, that many ships had been lost in that part of the sea; having been hailed when quite close to it, but never seen again.

That night the moon was very bright, and one could see a great way down in the water. There was so little wind that the ship could not move much, and the ocean was very calm. Looking over the rail Carter saw many fathoms deep the dome of the great temple, and in front of it an avenue of unnatural sphinxes leading to what was once a public square. Dolphins sported merrily in and out of the ruins, and porpoises revelled clumsily here and there, sometimes coming to the surface and leaping clear out of the sea. As the ship drifted on a little the floor of the ocean rose in hills, and one could clearly mark the lines of ancient climbing streets and the washed-down walls of myriad little houses.

Then the suburbs appeared, and finally a great lone building on a hill, of simpler architecture than the other structures, and in much better repair. It was dark and low and covered four sides of a square, with a tower at each corner, a paved court in the centre, and small curious round windows all over it. Probably it was of basalt, though weeds draped the greater part; and such was its lonely and impressive place on that far hill that it may have been a temple or a monastery. Some phosphorescent fish inside it gave the small round windows an aspect of shining, and Carter did not blame the sailors much for their fears. Then by the watery moonlight he noticed an odd high monolith in the middle of that central court, and saw that something was tied to it. And when after getting a telescope from the captain's cabin he saw that that bound thing was a sailor in the silk robes of Oriab, head downward and without any eyes, he was glad that a rising breeze soon took the ship ahead to more healthy parts of the sea.

I'm still a little nervous about having all that water suspended off the floor in my living room. I keep having horrible visions of it breaking or tipping over and soaking everything in there. The stand for it seems flimsy having no support other than the corner legs, but Thea reassured me a number of times that it will be just fine. That still hasn't stopped me from going in to check every hour or so.

I've already named the moors since those were the easiest to come up with. (Yes, I'm going to name them. It's easier to differentiate one from another than “not that one, that one.) Since the tank will have a Lovecraftian theme all the fish will be named for mythos beasties, except for the beta who will have a human namesake. -- Thea picked him out at PetsMart on the east side. He was the only one who didn't panic when she came up to him and when she rubbed a side of the bowl he puffed up and displayed. Once I got him home and into a larger bowl he didn't hesitate to move around and explore. He's brave, he's adventurous, he has attitude, and will be called “Carter.”

I jotted down a list of what to do each day like feeding times, water changes, when to turn out the lights and what chemicals to add. It's good that I have a week with just the beta to get used to these things before I have many more with different needs. Future additions will be added one at a time after having spent an appropriate amount of time in quarantine so except for the heard of neon tetras, I won't likely have to deal with many changes at once. For now, I should turn out the desk lamp so he can have some “night” and get started on some sort of regular light/darkness schedule. Feeding time is at eleven! Would you prefer flakes or blood worms?

E V I L O U T -

Current Mood: surprised (good)

Current Music: Sailing Over Sorrow ~ Dreamquest soundtrack


Date:February 7th, 2005 06:33 am (UTC)
Yay fishies! I totally understand the fear of having that much water suspended in your residence, but really, it will be ok. ^_^

Is it all right to put the beta in with other fish? I've always heard that you were supposed to keep them separate, because they fight. And particularly with such docile fish like tetras in your tank, I'm concerned about a slaughter... :\
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Date:February 7th, 2005 08:58 am (UTC)
Male betas will fight with male betas, which is why you can't have two of them in a tank. He should be fine with other fish. Thea has a freshwater tank with a beta, guppies, tetras, a frog and a few others and they all get along. She's very knowledgable and wouldn't let me do anything she thought would be harmful to the fish.
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Date:February 9th, 2005 08:04 am (UTC)
Carter sounds like a great name for your beta! I, too, have always thought those stands looked flimsy, but I'm told that they're more than adequate. Either way, good luck with the tank. I can't wait to see it in all its eerie glory.
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Date:February 9th, 2005 09:15 am (UTC)
The tank as it is looks bright and cheerrful which, tho' nice, is not what I was aiming for. Thea's choice of plants made my "black mountains" look pretty and inviting. I'll keep working on it. Wait until you see the ghost catfish. Creeepy.
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