Instead of telling you all the things I've been up to, I decided it would just be easier to show you. So please look at the slideshow below.
Well, summer has ended and quite a bit has happened in the last couple of weeks. I got a new tank which is now Kelly's. I bought a firefish, a cinnamon clownfish, a couple mollies, have a bunch of babies, set up a gourami tank and that's just what I've done with the fish.It's been fun getting everything ready for the semester. But finally most everything is ready to go, so the semester should start out on the right foot. :)
Instead of telling you all the things I've been up to, I decided it would just be easier to show you. So please look at the slideshow below.
Well, my roommate got a couple of mice a few weeks ago and now she is unexpectedly expecting. So we now have two mice, two cats, my fish and will soon have mouse pups. Next, I went to Petco and saw that they had a bunch of Molly fry. So, of course I have to pick up all 30 of them. So we have two mice, two cats, my ever growing fish population and the expected mouse pups. Then, one of my bosses asks me if we want a kitten. My roommate and I discuss this heavily and eventually realize there is no point in fighting it, we want the kitten. So next week we will have two mice, three cats, my ever growing fish population and we expect the mouse pups to be born by then.
Why does this constitute us getting along so well? Simple, we both know the responsibilities with the ownership of these animals and know that we are up to the challenge involved with raising them. Also, my ever growing fish population has a purpose. I plan to sell some of these mollies once they are larger. They are temporary, then I can set up the tank how I originally planned to. I want a flame angel and will be setting up the tank that the fry are in as a frag tank.
There are many reasons why we get along, but this is just one main reason. There are many reasons, but I'll leave those for another day. Lately, I've just been a bit tied up with my stats class. My final is tomorrow. So I'll be working on that. I'll be much more active on here once I get done with this test. Anyway, that's it for today.
Well, the Korean Students are here and I got to see them all on Thursday. They're a great group of people. I got to catch up with almost everyone from the Asia trip too. We all agree that we need to see each other more often. Dinner was a cookout held at the Vartanian's house. The food consisted of some great southern classics, casserole, mac and cheese, chicken, and then then classics of cookouts, hot dogs and hamburgers.
I particularly loved listening to them gush over the Vartaninian's wedding book. It reminded me of some great things that happened in asia, since that's exactly what I did when telling everyone how awesome it was over there.
It really made me miss all my friends in asia. Now, we just have to wait for James to come. I want to go with Bo to pick everyone up! Hopefully, that can be arranged. This fall should be awesome!
The process of cycling. (Breedingpair.com)
Okay, so as I said yesterday, I would give you all the fish update today. It started out with a comment from my roommate, Kelly, about saltwater tanks. Her comment reminded me of an old interest I've had in saltwater. The problem has always been the minimum 30 gallon requirement. But guess what? Over the last few years, nano (under 20 gallons) and pico (under 10 gallons) have become the new frontier for saltwater. Now in pico tanks, you don't really keep fish. Some people do, but it's usually only a temporary housing until their big tank is finished or it's a really small, solitary fish that doesn't swim around much. But for nano tanks, people have been able to successfully keep a variety of smaller fish. Gobies are the most popular and just so happen to be my favorite type of saltwater fish. Fear not though clownfish fans, people do keep clowns in nanos, but it's usually recommended to keep a pair of clowns in a 20 gallon and no more fish.
Now for my 10 gallon tank, I'm able to keep three gobies and some invertebrates, but I must go very slow or risk serious damage to my tank. This is why nanos are still not recommended for the beginner hobbyist. Current data shows that it will take me at least 6 months to finish this tank. Why so long? I shall explain in the next paragraph about the "bio-load." That is all technicalities with fish in both fresh and saltwater, but if you have no interest or already understand it, then feel free to skip it.
The bio-load is another term for capacity of the tank. This is calculated by a variety of factors included, filtration, oxygenation, plants, organisms, etc. The most important factor in the bio-load is bacteria. Specifically Nitrifying Bacteria. Fish produce ammonia (NH3) as their waste. This is highly toxic to fish. It's not a problem in the wild due to currents and the amount of gas exchange happening daily around the world. There is simply enough water to balance out the ammonia and the fish. Now in an aquarium, we have a closed system. We control everything that happens with that tank. So the amount of Nitrifying Bacteria must be greater. What is this bacteria? It is the organism that breaks down ammonia into nitrite and then oxidizes it into nitrate which can be removed through gas exchange and water changes. This is why open top aquariums are less maintenance, there is more gas exchange. Nitrates will build up over time and in large quantities can kill your fish, but there is almost always small amounts in every tank. Oxygen levels also play a role on the amount of fish you can keep since fish need to breathe too. Plants have the effect of using up oxygen and producing carbon dioxide at night when the lights are off. In saltwater tanks this can be managed by having the lights in the sump alternate with the tank lights.
This is the rough outline of why it's taking so much time to get it set up.
Okay, my lame level is rising by not updating this. I have a good excuse though! I decided to start a saltwater fish tank. So I've been a bit busy with the fish...sort of. I don't have fish in there yet. I've been preparing for them, but no fish yet. First I have to let the tank cycle with the live rock then we will work on adding fish. I've built a refugium and a protein skimmer, bought a new light and a variety of other things. I should be able to add my first fish next week though. :)
In other news, Petco is now in Greenwood and the Korean Summer Study is underway. I get to see them all on Thursday for a cookout at the Vartanian's house. It will be fun! Outside of that, I've been working. I mean I have actually been busy, but I feel I would bore the average person with all the details of the fish related tasks I have been busy with. Just kidding! Don't worry, I have more to tell. :)
I did go to Gatlinburg, TN last weekend with my parents. It was a lot of fun! We went to a show called Country Tonight and they were awesome! We also went to a murder mystery dinner show and visited a lot of local artisan's stores. It's always impressive to see the local pottery, woodworking, leather work, etc. We stayed at Creekstone and the room was very nice with a view of the creek. Gatlinburg is not a sleepy little country town though. It's a tourist stop, so if you ever go, plan on being reminded of Orlando, FL.
This weekend has been spent with friends and fish. I spent Friday adding sand to my tank. Friday night was spent with Grace, we watched The Artist and Sherlock Holmes 2. They were good. The Artist is based on all the classics of old black and white movies so if you enjoy a good black and white movie, I recommend it. If you're not into old movies, you probably won't like it and if you've never seen a black and white movie, watch one then refer to my prior two points. Sherlock Holmes is always good. Nothing bad to ever say there. We had pancakes Saturday morning. :) Then we headed back to my apartment to hang out for awhile. Grace eventually had to leave and I went out to see Star.
Today has been fun too. The morning was spent laying around and watching movies. Then my roommate and I headed to Petco. We are a pair and soon will live in a zoo. We left after she bought two mice. Then we had to high-tail it up to Greenville so I could drop her off for band practice and meet up with a lady from the S.C. Aquaria Association to buy an aquarium ornament for my catfish. They will love this thing! It's over a foot long and has a variety of crevices for them to hide in. I just have to wash it tonight and it can go in tomorrow. :) Then I can take updated pictures of the tank and the catfish. At which point I will be at work and I can give you all the updates on the fish. Right now, I'm at Starbucks and I always recommend iced Chai Lattes. They are awesome.
What else is going on? Well, my birthday is in one week! What am I doing for it? Not much. My parents are taking me to a show the night prior and then on Sunday I'm planning to treat myself to finalizing my tank plans and will hopefully get my first fish in on Wednesday. It's nice to finally be rested up, now if I could just remember to update this more often and take my camera around with me, then this would be a much more interesting blog.
Well, last night I left my lovely little kitten alone in my room while hyper. I was downstairs talking to my roommate and what I returned to find was newspaper shredded and laying in the middle was my cat. I couldn't help by laugh because he was so entertained by it. He acknowledged me then went back to shredding news paper. Cats are quite entertaining. Directly after this, he was looking complete innocent. That crazy cat.
I went shopping today and while I was at the Dollar Store, I found a little white mouse toy. It actually looks like a child's stuffed animal. Of course, I had to get it. Tibolt had no complaints. He ran about the apartment with it like it was the greatest thing in the world. Such a cute kitten.
This afternoon, I picked up my friend Grace from the community garden and we headed out to the barn to ride. Of course, it was a bit "warm" so we didn't do all that much, but it was still fun. After hanging out to cool off, we headed back to the apartment to make dinner. This consisted of some awesome steak and cheese ravioli. :) Hanging out a bit longer, we headed off to the Greenwood Drive-In Theater to see Brave and Avengers. Yes, we both already saw Avengers, but it's still awesome. :) Well, after Brave we both decided to be lame and go to bed early. So we left and then went to church the next morning.
Tibolt is doing quite well now. He's happily adjusted to live as a neutered cat and I have no complaints. In fact, he's significantly more hyper now than he had been previously. Such a happy cat. Other things going on currently include statistics, fish, work, horse and a variety of other things I really need to start taking pictures of. Stats is okay. I have neutral feelings towards math so I would be surprised if I loved it. Of course, I work on this at work while making copies of things. Currently, I'm making copies of a variety of things for Dr. Lenti of the Music Department. I'm converting cassette tapes to CD. To do this, you actually have to listen to it to make sure that it is copying correctly and you can split the tracks up. The result is a lot of classical music being played in my office. Everything from Bach to Schubert has been played in here by the start of day 3 of copying. It is definitely a process.
Dr. Craton, one of our awesome English teachers here at Lander, gave me a book to read. It's by a Korean author and has been on the bestsellers list. She's going to be teaching it and wanted to know what I thought about it since I just got back from Korea and have taken a couple classes with her. It's called Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin. I'm only a couple chapters into it, but I've been enjoying it thus far.
Well, now that I've gotten some rest, I'm going to start hitting up some of my favorite places to go here in Greenwood. I will start this Friday with Eric's Tropical Pets. Why there? Well, I have a 10 gallon fish tank to set up and will have some fish to buy soon. I'm definitely getting a couple of corry cats, we'll figure the rest out as we go.
Well I have to say that I have been enjoying my job. I work at the Lander ITS department and the people are awesome. They're all a lot of fun. My job consists of making copies, organizing and really any other odd jobs that I'm needed for. Today is actually EXPO day, so a group of incoming freshmen will be milling about the computer commons. It's kind of funny that they have no idea I'm back here.
In other news, I had to make a run back to Columbia this weekend. Tibolt had an appointment on Monday to get neutered. He had a panic attack in the car on the way there, so I had to stop in Saluda, calm him down then continue on the drive. We made it there without any more incidents. I spent most of the weekend being very lazy and doing practically nothing of importance. Then on Sunday night, I recalled that I have a stats test due by midnight on Tuesday. So I started studying again and took the last picture of Tibolt before he got fixed.
We left the house a little before 7 a.m. and I got him checked in at the SPCA about 7:30. He was so scared, the lady asked if I wanted to spend an extra $6 for extra pain medication. I agreed since I would be driving him back to Greenwood that night.
With him gone, I turned my attention to what I would be doing that day. I did some studying, went shopping with my parents, laid around the house, played with my dog, etc. Then I got a phone call that I could pick up the kitten at 3. So I went to my neighbors to gather newspaper (Tibolt has to use newspaper for his litter box for the next week), packed the truck, said goodbye to my parents and went to get my kit'. He was rather loopy for the drive home. It was quite funny. He was so dazed that he didn't mind being in the cage. When we got back, I pulled him out, cleaned him up a little bit, fed him, asked my roommate to watch him for a minute while I ran to the store to get a couple things and then proceeded to clean the cage. He didn't mind me cleaning the cage, he simply minded when I put him back in it. Then he cried every time he realized I was in the room, which was sadly often. I couldn't leave him out though. Making it through the night, I realized that I would be late for work, sent them an e-mail about that, then proceeded to take care of the kitten for the day, before sticking him back in the cage and leaving. And so, I have been here making copies for people and working on stats while waiting on said copies.
Well, the trip back from Beijing was long and exhausting. Thankfully, I was able to take naps for the next three days and yesterday was the first day since I've been back that I didn't take that nap. I'm still struggling to get back on a normal time schedule and keep waking up around 4 or 5 a.m. It's not fun for me as I generally hate mornings and can't find a way to stay tired enough to not get up. Good news is that I'm finally back in Greenwood and I got moved into my new home for the next three years.
I am in an apartment about 10 minutes from school (if you hit the traffic lights) and it's very exciting. My roommate is cool. She was a science major and works at one of the major science companies here in Greenwood. She also has a cat named Toby. He's as big as my cat Cookie. No, Cookie is not moving in with me. She is staying at home with my parents. There is no doubt that she would fight with Toby constantly. So, I got another cat. His name is Tibolt. He has been at the barn since I got here and was actually born only a few weeks before I started school. He moved in last night after I visited the barn. I had only been planning to stop by to check on Star and see the cats, but he just ran right up to me and I just had to take him home. Tibolt has now had a bath, his nails are trimmed up and he is comfortably sleeping all over my room.
My room is almost completely unpacked now. I'm quite pleased myself since I just got here yesterday. I quite like my eclectic style. It fits me far too well. That's about it for today. I'm heading to get the final details of my job sorted out tomorrow so wish me luck!