Saturday, February 23, 2013

Daddy Daughter Weekend

Brooke left around noon on Thursday for a basketball tournament with the school, so Amanda and I are having a Daddy Daughter weekend.

Thursday night Amanda studied for her tests on Friday and then we ate and watched Alaska State Troopers. After that, Amanda wanted to play a board game so we broke out an old classic!
It was difficult to hold the phone and get us both in the picture. The blurry part in the middle is the Battleship game.

Today, I got up early on my day off :( and took Amanda to school. Friday is doughnut day (Brooke always takes Amanda for doughnuts on the way to school), so we stopped there on the way. I came home, showered, washed clothes, ready my Bible and finalized plans/made reservations for Brooke's and my 20th anniversary. Because Brooke reads my blog, no more about that until after the fact!

I was supposed to pick Amanda up after school and then head to the vet's office to pick up heart worm medicine for the dogs, but I forgot that. Boo said it was OK...I can get it next Friday.

Instead of heading to the vet's office, Amanda and I headed straight to the mall. I got Amanda a gift card from Icing that she wanted to use today. She ended up with a couple cute headbands and some nice ear rings.

While we were at the mall, we had to stop at one place for me.
Yup, we both love us some Dippin' Dots. As you can see, I forgot to take the picture until we had almost finished!

After that we headed home. I don't know what Amanda was doing, but I laid down for a nap. When I got up, Amanda had fallen asleep on her bed, too. We got up and headed out for In and Out, one of our favorite Daddy/Daughter activities. We brought food home and watched some Hawaii 5-0 tonight.

Amanda wanted to watch a movie tonight, so we had to gear up for that.
As you can see, today was not such a great day for my diet! Movie snacks in hand, we started watching Band of Brothers tonight. This is one of my favorite movies of all times (I've seen it twice). I wanted to share it with Amanda to help her appreciate the bravery, selflessness and patriotism of a previous (and great) generation. This is my fourth time watching the mini-series and I am still in awe of the men who volunteered to fight for and protect our country. We watched 4 out of the 12 parts tonight and Amanda is ready for some more tomorrow. I have always wanted to share this story with her and I am glad we got to start tonight.

Tomorrow will be some quality room cleaning time and clothes washing time for Amanda Kay. We'll watch some more Band of Brothers and probably run some errands or do something to get out of the house tomorrow. We're both looking forward to Brooke coming home tomorrow night.

Fish Tank Update

Haven't blogged in a while, so I'm a little behind with the fish tank updates...and everything else.

Here's what I have in the tank so far:

Charlie, the upside down catfish hides in the cave ALL the time. I have seen him out in the morning twice not too long after I got him, and occasionally I can see him if I shine a light in the cave. I think it has been a week since I've seen him. The pet store said give him a week or two and he would be less bashful, but I don't think I'm gonna see him much. Kinda disappointing. {Just saw him come out while writing this}

The three mollies are a lot of fun. They are very active and seem to want to eat everything. They pick at the decorations in the tank and they eat on the algae wafer I drop in the tank for the snail and catfish each night.

The snail was named Houdini because he disappeared for a day and a half after we got him. He goes into the cave during the day and comes out at night now. He is VERY cool.

Amanda's fish got ich and we treated that with two different brands of medicine. From what I have been able to gather, ich is in all fish tanks but healthy fish can usually fight it off. If a fish gets stressed, they are more susceptible to ich. Amanda got 3 new fish and she did not have much in the way of plants or hiding places. Both of these (additional fish and lack of hiding places) can be stressors. In any case, all her fish seem to be doing better. Here is a picture her newly decorated tank.

Went to True Percula today to get water tested from my tank and was hoping to get some new fish. The ammonia level in my tank was a little high when I had it tested last week and they told me my tank was probably still cycling. Today, my ammonia and nitrate levels were only a little high. They said I could add fish today, but they recommended I wait and let the tank finish its cycle, so that's what I'm doing. This past week, it has gotten a bit more cloudy, too. The guy I talked to today said that was probably the bacteria in the tank growing to fight the ammonia. It is now "water borne" but should settle into the rocks and filter thus allowing my water to clear. Right now, it's just a waiting game. I don't like waiting...I want more fish!

Sunday, February 03, 2013

The New Tank Is Up and Running

Dad finished the stand for my aquarium so it was time to get the tank up and running.

 It takes a little longer to fill the 30 gallon tank that it does Amanda's little one.

Here is a good shot of my tank on the stand Dad built.

Did a lot of reading about new tank cycling. Once the water is balanced you can start adding fish. Once the fish start eating and digesting their food, the ammonia level in the tank goes up. From there, a certain kind of bacteria begins to grow that turns the ammonia into nitrite. All of this is stressful to the fish which is why fairly hardy fish are recommended to start the tank. A different kind of bacteria then begins to grow that turns the nitrite into nitrate which is not so hard on the fish (unless the level is too high, of course). After the tank reaches this stage, it is "cycled". With filtering and regular water changes, the tank should now keep up with the fish. I bought a "Safe Start" additive that was supposed to help the good ammonia-eating bacteria start in the tank. After more reading online, I was not so sure it was worth the money ($30), but I already see green algae growing on the rock decoration in the tank. I think this is a sign that the good kind of bacteria is growing in the water, so maybe it did help.

Got my first three fish for the tank this Thursday. In this picture, you can see the orange Molly in the front. Bill, our "fish guy" at Petsmart, recommended adding just three fish at a time, give the tank a week and then add three more. I started with three Mollies. I got a Black Molly which Amanda named Shadow, a Dalmatian Molly I named Tux and an Golden Molly (orange) we ended up calling Porty. Porty is short for Portok├íli  which is Greek for "orange" We go with Porty because it's easier to remember. This weekend I plan to add an Upside Down Catfish and two Golden Dojo Loaches (also orange). Once the tank is established, I want to add 5 or so Cardinal Tetras (I was told then need an established tank).