Going Ons

I haven’t posted in a while, mainly because I decided to take a break from my daily exercises. I still work out, just not on the treadmill or elliptical so I can’t really keep track of calories burned. Weird thing is, I have more of an appetite now than I did when I was working out on the machines. Go figure

Anyway, I’ve been keeping busy by playing video games, reading and cycling my aquarium – no, that doesn’t mean I’m using my aquarium as a bicycle

I finished The Walking Dead game and liked it a lot. It was like one of those You Are a Shark“choose your own adventure” books. You know, the “turn to page X for yes and page Z for no” type books. The game made you choose what to do or say in a specific situation. I want to play it again, be a jerk, let people die, and see how it affects the game. But that will have to wait because I’m playing Ghost Recon Future Solider right now. It’s a shooter game and I like it. I’m on the last mission but having some difficulties. You have to chase some bad guy while a truck load of people are shooting at you. I keep dying while my teammates seem to be taking a break for tea time

I’m also trying to read 12 books this year and have read 5. I’m currently reading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. It’s a memoir but I haven’t heard of this women before. I read some good reviews about it so I decided to read it

I’ve had this aquarium for about 2-3 months and still have no aquatic friends. To make a long story short, you have to grow beneficial bacteria in the tank to make it suitable for fish (the process is called cycling). You can add fish and do a fish-in cycle but I think that’s inhumane because you’re basically subjecting a living creature to a toxic environment and not expecting it to survive. Not cool. This is why I chose to do a fishless cycle. It can take longer but at least there are no deaths. It”s been 3 weeks now and I still have none of this beneficial bacteria. I was under the impression that the bacteria would grow within 10 days but have learned it may take longer, so I’ll wait. It’s difficult to see an empty tank every day

Setting Up An Aquarium Is Hard Work

I thought setting up an aquarium was simple; buy a tank; add substrate; add decorations; add water; add fish. Simple

Boy was I mistaken! I read all about cycling the tank, and the need for good bacteria to make the water ideal for fish. I bought my tank the 2nd week of February and it’s still not ready. It’s partly my fault because I am somewhat of a perfectionist, so it took me forever to set up the tank and I only added water a week or so ago

The first problem was due to using sand instead of gravel. It turns out the current produced by the filter was too strong. It pushed the sand away and made the bottom glass visible (it was probably a 7”x4” area). I tried moving rocks around so the sand wouldn’t get pushed around, but I had no luck with that. I ended up removing some of the sand with gravel, which worked and doesn’t look too bad. Adding gravel caused another problem – it made the water a little cloudy and increased the pH (well, I don’t know if the gravel caused this but it was fine before). I decided to not do anything and just leave the tank alone. After a few days the water cleared up and the pH dropped

The bacteria growth activator that I’m using takes 3 weeks to make the water habitable. This weekend is the second of three weeks. The lady at the pet store suggested throwing in some fish to speed up the process. I’m against using live fish to start up a tank. That’s like animal cruelty because the water is not ideal for fish and some may die. No thanks! I’ll do the fish-less cycle. I’m in no rush

Next problem was the water temperature. I thought it was fine but I guess it was fine because the weather was mild (my room temperature changes depending on the weather but is usually cool). Anyway, it’s been chilly the past few days so the temperature dropped a few degrees (enough to make it close to the lower end of the range it should be). I decided to add the heater I bought – and thought I wouldn’t need. Now it’s nicely within the safe range. I don’t think I’ll need the heater in the summer but will need it during winter

So, all this is for 2 African Dwarf Frogs. I’m still undecided whether I want to add some fish along with them. I’m now also thinking of adding a Mystery Snail, Ghost Shrimp, or Betta fish. It’s a 10 gallon tank so I have more than enough room for more aquatic pets. We’ll see what the future holds and of course, I’ll keep you posted

Aquarium SitRep 2

So I redid my aquarium

I took out some rocks and rearranged the plants. At one point, I had 8 rocks and now I have 3

I’m still waiting on some plants to hide the filter and heater, and now have to get a new thermometer. Once I have the plants and thermometer, I can add water

I posted some pictures below for your viewing enjoyment

Woe Is Me

Yesterday I was putting the filter, heater, and thermometer in my aquarium. I just wanted to position everything and see how it would look

In the process, I broke my thermometer. It still works but it now has a sharp piece jutting out from the bottom. I don’t think it’d be safe for my aquatic pets in this condition so I now have to buy a new one

It costs a whopping $2.39. Let the saving begin!

Aquarium SitRep

I finally got around to posting some pictures of my aquarium. It’s not done just yet…but soon. I plan on adding a couple more plants, some caves where the future inhabitants can hide, water, and some aquatic friends

I was planning on posting pictures once it was all done, but what the hay, now’s a good a time as ever

Aquarium

Last week I finally bought myself a 10 gallon aquarium. That’s one step closer to buying my aquatic pets

I’m planning on getting African Dwarf Frogs but I’m not sure if I want to keep just the frogs or get frogs and fish. The fish would make the tank look “pretty” but I’d have to make sure the frogs are actually eating because the fish will steal their food. Maybe I’ll just keep frogs for now

I also decided to try sand instead of gravel as the substrate. As of now, I have the aquarium set up with just sand and rocks. I’m getting plants soon, so I figured I’d wait for that before filling it with water and beginning to cycle the tank

Aquarium Conundrum

I think I finally decided on a tank to house the African Dwarf Frogs I want: A 10 gallon tank

They don’t require a lot: about 1 gallon per frog. I’ve read that you don’t absolutely need a filter either. A 1 or 2 gallon tank would be adequate

So, why the dilemma? Price (among other things)

The 1 to 4 gallon kit tanks range from $23 to $29. There’s a 10 gallon kit tank for $25. My thought process is get the 10 gallon because it gives me more options to house fish in the future (or more frogs). All I can use the 1-4 gallon tanks for is more frogs or a Betta Fish

Relatively cheap price, more gallons, more options. Seems like a cut and dry decision, no?

Not so much

You see, African Dwarf Frogs are fully aquatic. They don’t/can’t live out of water. They will dry up and die, like fish. But unlike fish, they don’t have gills. They have lungs, and need to surface for air. They also aren’t very strong swimmers, so the tank can’t be too deep otherwise they’ll drown

So, that’s where the trouble lies: I thought 10 gallons might be too much for the frogs. I did some poking around online and it says 5-20 gallons is ok. So I think 10 gallons will be ok. I’ll have to ask the pet shop employee to be sure. If he/she says no, it’s back to the drawing board

The frogs can also share a tank with small, non-aggressive fish, but the frogs are slow eaters and the fish tend to eat all the food, starving the frogs. For this reason, you have to make sure the frogs are eating and may have to hand feed them. Also, the frogs tend to be less active or shy when housed with other fish. For those reasons, I think I’ll just keep frogs in one tank

This is how I keep myself busy throughout the day. It’s a sad existence, but at least I’m busy and not bored!