Of blue sadness and happy fish

      10 Comments on Of blue sadness and happy fish

I am having the blues. And it’s getting worse. I haven’t been feeling myself for the last couple of weeks. First I was just bored, but then the day’s started to grey up. Not metaphorically speaking, but literally. Clouds of grey, rainfall, the tree in front of my house has lost all it’s leaves and it’s cold. Although I quite love the fall, the turning of a season, the – as Winnie the Pooh calls it – “waaibomendag”, it’s going too fast this year.

On top of that, I just found out one of my cats is suffering from hyperthyroidism. She had lost weight during my vacation and has been breathing funny for at least the last week. So I took her to the vet Tuesday. They didn’t like what they were seeing and ordered me to bring her in on Thursday for a full check. Although I am still waiting for the final blood test results, she is showing all signs. Unfortunately, the vet doesn’t know yet of the breathing thing (very fast and heavy, like she’s constantly hyperventilating or gasping for air) is related to the hyperthyroidism or a different thing. X-rays of her chest show that her longs aren’t as clean as they should be.

2012108 Bolletje

Because I’m feeling blue and I have the tendency to let it slight further into a depression I now need to distract myself with positive things. About a month ago I wrote that I am “upgrading” my fish tank. Since then I did big and regular waterchanges, almost daily removed algae, added plant fertilizer and catappa leaves. Two weeks ago when I wanted to go to the local fish store to get the Apistogramma Bitaeniata I promised myself, I found a great deal of driftwood on “Marktplaats” (Dutch Ebay). I was happy for days!


But after every big change I wait at least two weeks before I would add fish to make sure the water isn’t reacting funny. In the mean time I have contacted the local fish store and asked if they still have enough Apistogramma Bitaeniata on stock. When I visited them a couple of weeks ago, they only had two males. And to pair a harem of this fish, I need one male with at least two females. I was very lucky again, because last Wednesday a new stock of females has arrived. Hooray for me!

So this afternoon I went to the local fish store. I felt excited from the moment I opened my eyes this morning. Whiiieee! It’s a lovely store, with a very passionate owner and we can always talk for hours and hours about well, everything fishrelated (even the weather in Columbia). I got my three Apistogramma Bitaeniata and even bought ten Corydoras Pygmaeus (or as I like to call them: “pick me! pick me!”). They are really really small, maybe just a centimeter or even smaller. The owner needed some time to catch them all because they are also very fast and some other fishes kept swimming into the net. I guess they wanted to come home with me too.

At home the waiting game starts. Yes, this is another hobby which will train your patience level! First, put the bag in the aquarium and let it float for a while so the water inside the bag will get the same temperature. Then open the bag, get a bit of water out of it (not in the fish tank!) and pour a cup of water from the fish tank into the bag. Wait ten minutes. Repeat. Wait ten minutes. Repeat. After that, get as much water as possible out of the bag (again, not in the fish tank) and release the fish into the tank.

And then, see all of your just purchased new treasures disappear into the many hiding places your tank has… :-p

10 thoughts on “Of blue sadness and happy fish

  1. Robert G

    Has been grey, cold and wet… recognise that.
    Good one on the water-in-the-bag method, will minimize the chance of any disease or unwanted guests arriving with the new fishes. When we had a tank I let it float to slowly get the right temperature, just never thought of reducing the amount of foreign water. Thanks for sharing that one :-)

    (At this end mostly rather anxious about upcoming Groningen Mini Maker Faire!)

        1. spider Post author

          All of the above. Registration date closed a bit too soon after OHM2013, so we couldn’t prepare anything.

          There’s also going to be a Mini Maker Fair in Hengelo: http://makerfairetwente.com/ Don’t know if Hack42 is going, I unfortunately already have something else planned.

  2. Rob Bowker

    Sorry for your woes and I hope you can make the cat comfortable. Despite regular neglect and opaque glass walls (algae) our tank of Platies (Xiphophorus) refuses to submit – they breed relentlessly!

  3. Ton S. (I dream lo-tech)

    The fish tank is a great idea, I’m sure you’ll find it relaxing when the fish are acclimated to their new home.

    I kept tropical fish for years; too bad my constantly mobile lifestyle prevents me from doing that now.

    1. spider Post author

      The Pygmaeus turn out to be really funny! Quite active too. The others haven’t shown themselves yet, but they will. I definitely enjoy these new additions to my fish tank.

  4. Bryan

    Sorry to hear about your troubles. Hope everything turns out okay with your cat. I’m a dog owner and know how upsetting bad medical news can be. After all, they’re part of the family!


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