Popping the Blog Post Cherry

Welcome to my blog, wherein I intend to journal the escapades that surround my 125-gallon fish tank, among other things. Don’t expect anything particularly special out of this first post. When I am feeling a little more flowery, I may commit to crafting posts designed to entertain, but frequently I will be angrily typing out water parameters while muttering to myself in exasperation.

I will, though, always make an effort to include a photo or two. A friend informed me yesterday he looked forward to seeing this blog take shape, as he enjoyed the photos of the tank and plants. While I cannot always promise to entertain, I can usually provide some illustration.

Water parameters this evening:

  • Ammonia 2 ppm
  • Nitrite 0 ppm
  • Nitrate 0 ppm
  • pH 7.6

This morning before I headed to work I measured an ammonia of 2 ppm. Last night, when I added the Tetra SafeStart Plus to the tank, I also measured kH and gH, which were 4 and 2 respectively.  Ammonia was 2 ppm then as well. I had thought the pH last night was 7.4, and the only change I can think of to cause the 0.2 increase would be the addition of a cuttlebone for snail snack’ems, but I can’t imagine one small cuttlebone could make that much difference.

Full-tank shot (henceforth referred to as “FTS” – if you’re going to read an aquarist’s blog, you’re going to learn aquarist lingo)
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Snails! And an anubias leaf that’s seen better days. I did add some fertilizers (henceforth known as “ferts”) last night to the water column to help the plants out. I think everything is nitrogen-starved right now.

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The lily-looking critters are Nymphoides sp. ‘taiwan.’ I’ve never kept these before, but they seem to be growing well. Behind them are cryptocoryne (henceforth just “crypt”) balansae; I don’t know if those are going to make it or not, but we’ll see. Tucked into the driftwood is some Philippine Java fern, and to the right of that in the sand is a little Amazon swordlet (I have no idea if “swordlet” is a thing, but for the purposes of this blog, it totally is). Behind that is my crypt pontederiifolia, and then the big plants to the right are large Amazon swords. The little dude down in the front right is an anubias barteri var. nana.

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Behold my ludwigia forest! I’ve never kept ludwigia before, but I quite like it. The leaves in this picture appear to be yellowing, but in reality they are quite green. In front of Ludwigia Forest is the brown crypt and crypt undulata forest. In back is a red flame sword and some Amazon swords. The little dude in the front right is another anubias barteri var. nana.

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Two little bunches of snail eggs on my thermometer! Totes cray cray adorbs.

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And lastly, this blog will not be all about fish. On April 5, a mama robin laid her eggs in a nest on our front porch in the middle of a bunch of jasmine. Today they hatched and we had three adorable baby birds! Our excited squealing of “OMGBABYBIRDSBABYBIRDS”was apparently mistaken for Mama Bird’s tweets, because the babies all raised their heads up and opened their mouths. Naturally, I used that to my advantage when I went to get a picture of them, and hovered over them with my phone quietly squealing “BABYBIRDSBABYBIRDS” just so they’d pose.

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And there’s my first post. More details on the tank are likely to follow, including what equipment I’m using, the Nitrogen Cycle 101, and the difficulties of keeping a freshwater tank in upstate South Carolina.

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