Saturday, May 5, 2018

Setting up the new tanks, Rescaping the 36 gallon, and New SHRAMPS!


The water cleared up. I ordered Matten filters for the 20 and the 10 gallons. Changed the rock with moss in the 20, and slowly started adding plants that were properly treated for insects and parasites this time. The fish left in the 36 were moved to the 10 gallon and I tore the whole thing down. Cleaned the gravel and more hiking for pretty lava rocks.

Where we live is full of old lava flows and some of the rocks were really neat. There's collapsed lava tubes that make mini caves.










The couple Petco Cherry Shrimp got moved to the 20 gallon once the water parameters were correct and the tanks were finished cycling.




And then Scott told me to order my shrimps already. I'd been compulsively obsessing over these little critters for months and pouring over you tube videos, joining groups for shrimp on face book, order the damned shrimp!! lol.

Reds and blacks in the 20 long, blue jelly and blue dreams in the 10 gallon.


















We've gone Shrampin

As long as I can remember when growing up, my Dad always had one or more fish tanks. I always have been drawn to the water and the things growing in it; aquatic insects, fish, plants. I just love being by the water. I've had fish tanks on and off all my adult life. One of the first things I wanted when we moved out here was another fish tank. We got a 36 gallon bow front. I've had an assortment of bettas living in glass vases, with plant cuttings growing out of the top.

I'm also somewhat of a procrastinator. So the water levels in the vases and the fish tanks would drop. Algae grows on the sides till you can't see if there is anything still living inside or not. I'll admit it got a little yuck looking from time to time. I cleaned out the 36 gal, threw in some fake plants, refilled the water and let it go with occasionally topping off the water lever when the water got too low. The fish got old and died and I was left with three neons, and three white clouds. The vase with no fish, just some plants sat on the kitchen table. And then I discovered shrimp.

I don't know what made me get a wild hair up my ass and decide I wanted little critters in the water of the vase that I could watch while I sat at my computer. I think the seed of the idea got planted at Christmas this last year when I got Maria a sea monkey kit. I knew the irrigation ponds next to us would get all sorts of critters during the summer, including freshwater fairy shrimp. Mostly they come in clear-ish red, but I've seen some green ones and I decided I needed them. In the middle of winter. In Idaho.

So I tromped out to the irrigation run off pond next door and grabbed a couple handfuls of mud surely full of horse, cow, and whatever other kind of dried up poop and goop, and dropped it in the vase full of murky green/brown water that I hadn't cleaned out in ages. I knew the eggs dried up with the end of irrigation season and when the water came back in the spring, the critters would hatch. I ended up with a million almost microscopic daphnia, but no shrimp. Enter 15 tabs open across the top of my web browser, looking for where I can find these fairy shrimp. I didn't want sea monkeys, they're brine shrimp. And then I ended up on youtube, and found freshwater aquarium shrimp!!! 

Neocaridina Davidi, or Cherry Shrimp. They come in a whole skittles pack of colors!! I need these. I need a whole tank full. Reds and blues and blacks and yellows, and oh man, look at the green ones. So let the research begin. Cause I'm great at research and organizing and planning what I need. 

First off the fake plants need to go and I need to start doing regular water changes in my tank. I needed live plants to filter out the nitrates in the water that naturally occur from uneaten fish food, fish and snail waste, and decaying plant material. Annnd I don't want to spend a million dollars on plants so I can save money for the shramps!!! Where can I find aquatic plants in Idaho, in early spring, while we're still getting below freezing temps in the mornings, and occasionally snow? 

So I went hiking down to Ritter Island. One of my fav places to hang out. Natural springs, crystal clear water, waterfalls. It's so beautiful down there, and the water doesn't freeze where it comes out of the sides of the mountain. Honestly and excuse to go hang out down there is a good one. Plus, I found a you-tuber that did a few vids on using terrestrial (land growing) mosses underwater in his tanks. I was super excited. I got baggies and baggies full of mosses and plants growing under the water and rescaped   my fishtank. I found some pretty pieces of lava rock and cut a few pieces off my pothos (houseplant) that I knew could live under water. It looked so pretty. I bought prolly 20 of the little ghost shrimp you can get at Walmart for .39 cents a piece and chucked them in there.  If I could get them to live, I could start thinking of where to order my cherry shrimp. 







But the ghost shrimp died. A few here and there. So I figured they're kinda like feeder goldfish, bred in ick conditions, not expected to live long. I kept buying 5 or 6 more at a time. They're only .39 cents a piece. When I thought everything finally looked good, and was doing well I found cherry shrimp at Petco and bought three. They weren't super red, but I had SHRAMPS!! 


And then I found WORMS!!! Planaria. Little flat head worms that bite the shrimp and breed like crazy. I had them everywhere. They came from my plants I collected. They caused them to get bacterial infections and killed them. One of the red cherries died. Some of the moss wasn't doing well under the water, and the aquatic plants were disintegrating. It made the shrimp's shells turn white before they died. None of this short thick moss lived. Neither did any of the stuff that looked like little star flowers. 


I dosed the tank with wormer and took out the mosses that were dieing. Petco was having their dollar a gallon sale and Scott seeing how excited about the shrimps I was, bought be a 20 gallon long, a 10 gallon, and a 5.5 gallon tank. Once they were cycled, I could tear down the 36 and I could do everything right this time, including treating the plants before I put them in the tanks. 


Next post, setting up the new tanks, rescaping the 36 gallon, and NEW SHRAPMS!!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Spring equals the start of free foods

Blossoms on the apricot tree next door 
Winter seemed to hold on longer this year than it did last year. Last year we had green green grass shooting up in the middle of February. That was really abnormally early for us. Every year though, I can count on April to be asparagus season. This stuff grows all over down the back roads where I live. These are actually growing in my backyard.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Minnesota and back in four days

 I'd like to say I'm making a long story short, but I had to suffer through it, so I thought I'd share the whole shitten mess with you guys. The people we went to go help move were great friends who lived next door to us. We helped them move two years ago, and took over the property next door. Life there hasn't been nice to them, and we went to help bring them home to Idaho. They drove the first trip here with the first load of stuff and made it here early last week. We were waiting for another friend to come up from Nevada, so Scott and I took off Thursday morning with the Uhaul trailer and Andrea (the friend being rescued) and Honey (from Nevada) were heading out the next morning.

We were taking turns driving and were going to jest drive straight through for the 24 hours to get there. Everything was going fine and I was sleeping.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Chokecherry jellies and blackberry jams



Just look at the size of these berries. I couldn't ask for better, especially since they were free. I just had to do the picking. I do however recommend, not wearing flip flops when trying to wedge your way into a very old blackberry bramble that has been left to grow unchecked for who knows how long, and is full of thorns.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Finally not a chicken failure

At least not a, letting a hen hatch out some eggs failure. It's only taken four years, but it finally worked.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

And this is why they're called cottonwoods


We have a large stand of old cottonwood trees on the property in front of the house. It's like having our own little forest out there. I't beautiful in the late spring and all through the summer. I love going out there and just sitting under the trees and watching the chickens hunt and scratch around, or just listen to the birds. 

Where have we been?

August 5th of last year. That's the last time I wrote anything on the blog. I think I got a little burnt out on documenting everything, and things got a little lazy-ish around here. The horses were doing the same horse stuff.



We never did get the fence finished around the back of the yard so the chickens came in and ate most everything in the garden. Connie and I gave up weeding it and it looked like a jungle. They ate the corn seeds out of the ground and what didn't get ate, got flooded. The squash took over the world. The chicks we hatched either got ate by the skunks or hawks. I had three survivors to speak of when it was all said and done, and they weren't even ones we hatched, they were ones we bought.
Three survivors in front


We got a few loads of firewood.

Jess joined the Army but came back home
 

 Heather made me get out of the house and go play in the snow a few times.






We lost Fudge




And added two new puppies to the EverStuff. Rudy is a Dachshund and Tanzy is a Cane Corso.  








Amye came out to visit for a few days.







Norman is still growing, pooping and getting ready for the freezer.


I've gotten in a little fishing




 

And that's where we are up to today. I got a bit of chicken wire fence up around the garden to keep out the girls. It's cloudy and rainy-ish and I was going to go put out some been and lavender seeds in the garden, but I just might stay in and wait for Scott to get back from Boise.



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