Post 18, in which we all gobble well

Let me start off by saying Hampton and I cooked a Blue Apron meal tonight, and it was AMAZING. This is definitely up there among our favorites in terms of ease of preparation, deliciousness, and presentation. It was Beef Tartines with Zucchini au Pistou. Behold!

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We will definitely be making this again. This was my (belated) birthday dinner, actually. We went out to Barley’s for lunch, and I insisted on cooking in for dinner. We have delicious food sitting in our fridge waiting to be cooked; there’s no sense in spending money out somewhere! Plus, I get the pleasure of cooking with Hampton. All in all, today was a nice belated birthday. I also blanched some zucchini while we were cooking that will go in the tank for the bristlenose (a.k.a. The Gobble Gobble) to munch on.

My actual birthday was yesterday, and I spent the whole thing unconscious. I was on call Saturday and got absolutely clobbered. We had so many births, both in the hospital and in the birth center, so I spent time not only catching babies, but doing laundry, scrubbing toilets, mopping floors, and making beds. And the birth center felt like it was about a billion degrees. It was a fun day, but completely exhausting, and I slept forever when it was all said and done.

It’s always a little fun catching a baby who shares your birthday. It’s a neat little factoid for the mom to remember, as well.

I’ve gotten a few excellent pictures of the fish tank over the past few days. At feeding time a day or two ago, I managed to get a full head count on the catfish, and all eleven are alive and kicking! Here’s the kitty cat feeding frenzy (not all cats are pictured obviously):

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Of course, when an algae wafer is introduced, the bristlenose pleco has to get in on it, as well. He’s kind of an asshole, but when he’s chasing the cats away from the wafers, he flares his dorsal fin up, which looks kind of cool:

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Or it could be “her” dorsal fin. It’ll be a while before we know; he or she needs to mature a bit first.

The other mystery snail now has a name. The large white one quickly got dubbed “Falcor” after I got him home, and the little gold one remained nameless until a couple days ago. For some reason, “Iggy” popped into my head, and it’s stuck. Here’s a great shot of Falcor and Iggy (or the bottom of their feet anyway):

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And a random not-so-little ramshorn. This was during a filter cleaning and water change today, so the water level was low, resulting in more current than usual which blew their antennae around.

I finally added the Purigen back into the Eheim 2217 canister filter today to help clear the water some, and I also pruned some plants and propagated some little pygmy swordlets. The two $5 pygmy sword plants I bought have produced a ridiculous number of little pygmy sword baby plants. I got Hampton to take a picture of me holding one of the longer chains:

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And there are still snails everywhere, as you can see. The assassins are underwhelming so far. Maybe I need a couple more.

The nymphoides in the back has grown more than I even realized. When I was pruning today, I checked it over and gently separated out the stems some so I could see just how big the plant has gotten, and it has SO many new leaves. They’re all so delicate, like tissue paper, so I have to be careful with them, but they’re beautiful. You can see them in the back somewhat left of center in this FTS:

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All in all, I’m very pleased with how the tank is coming.

Along with a water change and pruning today, I added some fertilizers, which was the end of my bottle of API Leaf Zone. I still have most of my bottle of Flourish left, which takes care of most necessary trace elements. Rather than continue to buy all liquid fertilizers, I’ve decided to be a little more frugal and go with some dry fertilizers. So we have potassium nitrate and monopotassium phosphate on the way, along with some extra root tabs, as I used the last of them today. I’m sticking with liquid iron, as the dry iron requires some mixing that I Just don’t really want to mess with. I’ve purchased Flourish Iron on Amazon rather than get API Leaf Zone again, as it’s not nearly as dilute and will last much longer.

I’m hoping with the new fertilizer regimen, these plants will really take off. And eventually I’ll figure out what to do with all these extra swords.

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