Zinc-Plated Nipples and Mutant Coconut

I’m not very good at keeping this thing updated. I would say I’ll try to be better about it, but who knows if that will happen.

That said, I am traveling to Japan soon, and I would like to blog each day about my adventures. When I spent ten days in Europe, I kept a little hand-written journal, which I still have. It’s nice to be able to look back and see what all I did; it’s amazing how much you forget. Since technology has advanced in the ten years between that trip to Europe and my upcoming trip to Japan, I plan to track my travels a little differently. I will not be taking my laptop, as I plan to pack as light as possible, but I will have my iPhone 6 and likely my iPad Air as well. Neither of these has a good keyboard, so I am contemplating vlogging. We’ll see how it goes.

Speaking of traveling, we just got back from California! We had a total blast. This year’s Folsom Street Fair was the best yet; we have figured out exactly how to do it to maximize time that it’s actually enjoyable. By about 1 PM it’s really too packed to even move. We got there very early, had a couple beers and walked around, bought stuff right off the bat so we didn’t have to fight crowds later to go find something we saw earlier, and then stayed on side streets toward noon before finally departing. I already can’t wait for next year.

When we moved here from California, I had brought an agave pup with me from a mother agave plant that we passed every day on our walks with Jazz. Unfortunately, when we first arrived in South Carolina, I suffered an exacerbation of Major Depressive Disorder, and so I didn’t really take the best care of my plants. The two aloe plants I brought from California somehow made it through the neglect, but the agave pup kicked the bucket after a few months. So when we went to California this time, I managed to nab another agave pup and brought it back with me on my carry-on. Hopefully this one does better:


I have kept my two aloe plants (one aloe vera and one gold tooth aloe) on our screened-in porch so they still get indirect sunlight but are shielded from rain. I tried leaving them out on our open deck, but the amount of rain we get quickly had them drowning. Without good sunlight I do think they grow slower, but they’re still growing. I water them and squirt some succulent plant food on them every week to two weeks. The gold tooth aloe has bounced back great, and the aloe vera is slowly growing new leaves.


I also bought some new little succulents to fill out my two other little pots. These were the pots I initially had the aloe plants in when they were very small. They both got big enough to need replanting, so I was left with these little pots and decided more plants never hurt anything:


In the realm of outside pictures on the porch, here’s my sweet old lady. She may be deaf as a post, but she loves to stand out on our deck and sniff the air and look around. Frequently when we let her out she meanders out to this spot and just stands and soaks in the fresh air for a few minutes before wandering around the yard.


In the world of fish, I haven’t posted much because there hasn’t been much to post! My 125g is up and stable, so I don’t have to do much to it. At present I do have a bit of a black beard algae (BBA) bloom, so I’m working on that. I should have heeded the cautionary tales on fish forums that leaving a blue “moonlight” LED on at night would encourage algae, but it just looked so cool! I pruned all leaves today that had BBA on them and got some API CO2 Booster from PetSmart to squirt on the BBA growing on the fake rock background. The ingredients in liquid carbon products such as Flourish Excel and API CO2 Booster are toxic to BBA, so theoretically a couple applications should kill off a lot of it. I also turned up the rate on the CO2 diffusion a bit and shortened the photo period on the half of the tank that has the worse outbreak to hopefully choke out the BBA.

My silly-looking half-on, half-off tank between 8 PM and 9 PM:


As you can see, I took the time tonight to run to Ross and buy some cheap cloth bins to organize my mess of fish supplies on the tank stand shelves. It was seriously getting ridiculous. I’m much happier with how it looks now. Also, it’s easier to keep the shelves vacuumed and dusted and all the fish supplies clean; Jazz’s hair likes to accumulate on them.

I don’t think I’ve posted a picture of my CO2 diffusion set-up before – or maybe I have, I don’t know. Regardless, here’s a picture of my CO2 diffusion system and one of my canister filters! My whole set-up makes me feel like such a badass.


I’m hoping to increase the circulation in the tank; I do feel like the right side (when facing the tank) is more stagnant than the left side, which I’m sure is contributing to the BBA. I happen to have two power heads that can also be set up for laminar circulation, so I set up the weaker of the two tonight but it practically created a whirlpool in the tank. I think I can set it up to just function as a powerhead that creates circulation instead and have a regulator on it that lets me weaken the flow to not blow my poor fish around. Or I could always put my extra HOB filter on that side. Extra filtration is never a bad thing (especially when I’m considering adding three more fish – the Diver’s Den at LiveAquaria.com has three really pretty electric blue rams that I’ve been eyeing, and the tank is only at 64% capacity right now).

The gobble-gobble has gotten so big, and his (I think it’s a he, anyway) bristles have become resplendent! I look forward to seeing just how big he’ll get and how gnarly his bristles get. He’s still the biggest asshole in the tank and frequently chases the catfish around when I drop in algae wafers.


In my efforts tonight to clean up the tank stand shelves, I came across this packaging, and was too immature to pass up the photo op (sorry it’s rotated wrong, but I’m just too lazy to fix it):


And lastly, in the vein of funny packaging, Hampton and I hit up Seafood City for some adobo mix while we were in the Bay Area, and we stumbled across this gem:


Mmmm. I like my men like I like my coconut: mutant and gelatinous!





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