Been trying to get back into making stuff, and for me had a very productive weekend with an assortment of activities I got my quilling stuff out and made my Mum a birthday card and Pete a good luck card for his exams next week (no pic of that one though), and I had an idea for a zip purse about a year ago, bought the zips etc., worked out with pins how I wanted it all and then didn't sew it together properly because I didn't have a sewing machine and am very impatient. I bought a sewing machine yesterday though for repairing a big rip in the sheets right along a seam (still haven't figured out how it happened or indeed actually repaired it yet...) and have now finished, 1 year later, my purse idea
Mum's card, sunflowers are her favourites
Purse Cards are accessed through the 'mouth' and change through the zips at the back, so all the cards don't fall out when you want coins!
I just bought my first car! :D I should have it by early Feb Buying it off family-friends, it's got low mileage for its age, 6 months road tax and very well looked after. And it's PURPLE!
Not this specific car, but same make, model and colour
I started some seedlings a few days ago, the Basil, Chives and Parsley I lost over Christmas - the seedlings were just too small and weak to manage on their own with me being away for two separate occasions of a week each quite close together and unfortunately I lost them. The second lot seem to be coming through fine, and I'm not expecting to be away longer than a long weekend for several months so they should have plenty of time to grow in quite a bit. As before, the Chives were first off the ground, then the Basil exploded, and the Parsley has yet to put in an appearance but if/when it does will probably overtake the others
I also started some Little Gem Lettuces and Baby Carrots in a seed tray, they will be moved into bigger pots/trays when they get bigger, assuming they do take hold! I've put some garlic and spring onion bulbs from the fridge into pots too, mostly out of curiosity as to whether or not they'll do anything
This is my 'potting zone' on the side in the kitchen where my plants live when they're not sunbathing. Also included is the jug of fish water for watering and Pete's whiskey bottle, which feels at home around the compost.
I'm really pleased my Chillis hung in there through the Christmas period, and I'm really hoping they'll have a growth boom now they're getting watered a lot more frequently and the house should be warmer now the heating's not set for 10'C all the time.
I did buy the basket table thing and hanging planters in my last garden update (http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/blog/10/entry-85-were-still-alive/) and the table thing is where the Carrots, Lettuce, Spring Onions and Garlic will live. I'm not starting the Strawberries, Peppers, Tomatoes or Mint, which will all go in the balcony hanging containers yet because of the expected times of year to be moved outside on the back of the packets - they will be sown in February or March.
Fishies had a good clean out tonight, been putting it off the last few days but decided I was finally going to tick off all the stuff I'd wanted sorting last weekend, so I can start this weekend fresh. They've started taking algae wafers from my fingers, the first time I tried it only X was interested but this time I had Ranchu and Crankypants too, they're usually pretty shy about my hand so this was a big achievement for them to explore it in so much detail! Moor was useless and investigated the tank floor...intelligence in my tank seems to be related to how much orange you have, and she is entirely lacking...
Didn't get any really 'omg wow' pics, but there's a few clear ones just to prove everyone's still alive
This picture really shows the difference in colour in Ranchu - she had an obviously white tummy when I got her and I believe the orange is due to the Saki-Hikari food. Still, she's growing well and always chubby and active so I'm not really fussed
Moor was being very anti-camera for some reason, and decided this was the opportune time to investigate under the driftwood.
I will be continuing my plant adventures etc. that were mentioned here http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/blog/10/entry-85-were-still-alive/ (incase you missed it!) later this week when I've got some photos of everything and some progress to show
Yesterday I did KB's tank, which had gone nearly 3 weeks with no real maintenence while I was away for Christmas (he was fed ) and the algae basically had a massive party in my absence. These are the 'before' photos.
KB actually seemed to quite enjoy it, you know, when I could actually see him, but it really needed a clean out. He seemed a bit sulky at first that I was taking away his slimy playground, but I think he quite likes being able to watch me again I also bought him two java ferns and an anubias in the hope that they will help out-compete the algae a bit more. I haven't completely purged it all, left some on the driftwood and quartz in the hope it'll kinda help out-compete itself too, but I need to give the Crypyt and Lilaeopsis a better clean up in the next few days. They're doing surprisingly well considering they've been covered for some time with something else. The Pogostemon is a bit pale too and needed rerooting down but I'm hoping that again with some light access it will come back. Time will tell.
Stay tuned in the next day or so for a goldie update and a plants one
It's been a while since I updated this...all the fishies are still fine Crankypants has nicked herself on something but it's not something I'm really worried about. Ranchu is now about the same size in body as Moor, which considering she was noticeably smaller when I got her 4 months ago is quite an achievement for such a midget fish. It's hard to tell if Crankypants has grown, and I don't think Moor really has, but X's hump shape is continuing to develop nicely. I tried handfeeding an algae wafer last night, got pecked once or twice by Moor and Ranchu, ignored completely by Crankypants and X ate about half of it herself! Little orange piggy that she is... I do have some pics of them, but my bf's stolen my computer to watch anime and left me his laptop which is more of a pain to resize pics etc. on, so I will get them up in a later post.
KB is still doing well, though his tank is regularly algaed up now, and having been away for 10 days over Christmas but leaving the lights on a timer the algae has well and truly taken over, so much green slime. Contrary to possible expectations, KB seems happy and healthy in his slime pond, it's still getting cleaned up though! I am intending to add some java fern and/or anubias in the hopes of outcompeting the algae for a while until the Crypt and Pogostemon take over a bit more. Both seem to be doing well, and he Lilaeopsis continues to live - though not really much more so far. I pulled the second Bacopa in the end, it was doing something weird and I decided I didn't like it! The Pogostemon on the left of the quartz was moved at the same time as it just wasn't thriving, even after I moved the light more directly over it, so it has been moved more into the middle where the others have been doing well. Again, pics will be up maybe over the weekend - a before and after of the slimebath when doing a waterchange!
Unfortunately I was away for 7-10 days on two separate occasions through December, and left the plants in the bath with ktichen towel draped over the side of the herb pots that didn't have holes in the bottom, and most of the seedlings were just too small to pull through so I'm starting again with the Parsley, Chives and Basil, and the Coriander didn't pull through either. I am starting my herb garden again now I know I'm not likely to be away longer than a weekend for several months - plenty of time to get the plants established I hope!
I saw this in Ikea when I was there with my parents and am bought one this evening to go in front of my balcony doors.
This weekend I am looking to go to the garden centre for a potting tray and some plant pots to go in it, and I am going to try to grow lettuces, spring onions, Mint, possibly some more Coriander, and I may try Rosemary too - but I'm not sure the light at the moment is good enough for growing indoors yet.
I also discovered these today which I have bought intending to start off when (if!) Spring arrives, so probably around April, I will hang them from my balcony and hopefully have a good crop of cherry tomatoes and strawberries come the summer!
Hopefully a more fish pic'd update over the weekend when I'm actually home long enough to sort it all out! I just wanted to share my plant stuff really, I'm oddly excited by them
My planted betta tank is still proving a learning curve. I'm having major problems with hair algae at the moment, it seems to take over in no time so I end up sucking it out with an airline on like a daily basis. KB does not seem to object to the algae but he does seem happier when it's gone. He's really seemed more perky since I planted the tank, maybe it's helping keep the parameters better, he never really flared in the 18 months I've had him but he's done it a few times in the last few weeks. I'm not really sure what to do with the hair algae at the moment, I'm currently sucking it off the leaves and rocks with an airline tube siphon as the tank's so small that I can't use a big siphon or within about 2 minutes I'll have no gravel, plants or KB in the tank and just some very green quartz! It kinda works but it can't get the tougher bits. The bits on the rocks, driftwood and glass I can use a toothbrush for but I'm a bit dubious about doing that to the plants so they just get hoovered as best I can. I have the lights on a timer, but it's not on excessively, and there's some root tabs but I've not added waterbourne fertiliser since the algae breakout, no point in encouraging it! I can't really decrease the nutrients - there's only the root tabs and KB doesn't get a huge amount of food so there's no excess waste, and I was looking into algae eating fish and there's none that are really compatible - Siamese algae eaters are small enough but like to be in groups in fast-flowing tanks, mine's not big enough for a group or flowy enough, plecos are waaaaayyyy too big and probably couldn't get it off the plants, and black mollies might be mean to my KB so that's not happening. Looks like it's the trusty toothbrush! Planting the tank thickly should help so I'm looking into that at the moment.
I had to remove one of the Bacopa Caroliniana from behind the driftwood, I don't think it was getting enough light and it was just wilting away so I pulled it, I'm not sure yet if I'll have to do the same with the other one, the bottom leaves on some stems are pretty much see-through but they don't come off easily. I'd just pull it but it looks like it's getting some new growth stems that are a healthy green so I'll see how it does, I may just cut off the not-so-happy ones and that'll give the new ones a bit more light.
I'm actually having the best results with the plants I was expecting to suffer most - the Pogostemon Helferi and the Cryptocoryne Becketti Petchii, they both started to look a bit weepy and the Crypt lost a few leaves in the first few days, but when my root tabs arrived they both perked up, I think the Crypt is even producing some new leaves - red ones so we'll see how that does. The Pogo in the front I think is spreading already, and the jury's still out on the Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis, it's not really doing a huge amount either way, we'll see how that one goes. The Pogo on the left behind the quartz is doing fine in terms of colouring, but not as good compared to the central one for growth. I think my light setup (Arcadia Ellipse) is just too centre focused so I may have to put some lower light plants round the sides if I want it really planted up. I may move some of the Java Fern and/or Anubias from the goldfish tank (which has LOTS!) or I may just buy some more, undecided yet. I know it takes time but the tank is not as thickly planted yet as I would like. And the more plants there are, the less algae grows in a scum layer on my gravel!
This is what the tank looked like when I started it, 11th Nov.
And this is what it looks like now, 26th Nov, a big difference in the central Pogo but not a lot else! I'm not sure if the Crypt is taller or just moved, and everything's been coated green! The Bacopa at the back right has grown a lot now I look at the two, it's moved right over towards the light. Will give it some time. Think I'll try a java fern in the back left for some colour over there, and it'll be less light-picky.
And the man himself, this is his feeding corner and also where he watches me while I sit at the PC
My herb garden is coming along really nicely The seedlings from my compost pots of the last plant update started coming through the day before yesterday, except for the parsley which decided to be fashionably late. Yesterday morning the parsley had decided to put in an appearance. Left to right: Basil, chives, parsley, and the single pot is the oregano which is showing 4 seedlings to date.
The above picture was taking yesterday morning, by the time I got back from dropping the bf at the train station (about maybe 5 hours later?) another sixteen parsley seedlings had stuck their heads up and they're now competing with the basil for how many seedlings can we fit in a tiny pot. I am definitely going to have to thin these guys out before long!
I took this picture just now, unfortunately it's decided to be a pretty grim and grey Halloween so no sunshine in this one Left to right: parsley, chives, basil (rotated so they don't all grow sideways!) The chives are rocketing up too Not a huge change in the oregano yet, still at 4 little 2 leaved seedlings, a bit taller but nothing worth taking pictures of yet!
And this is my coriander (and a shop bought basil I got to add some to pizza - it was not happy and started melting the following 2 days but seems to be pulling back again now) and chilis (with parsley snippings poking in) from yesterday morning Both still doing well I like that when I come down my road I can see them poking their ways up the windows
I have soooo many pictures this morning My camera definitely does better with natural sunlight on the tank, it doesn't like taking a picture of a lit object as the tank is always brighter than the room lighting otherwise. Lots of fishie pics Though not really of the ranchu...she is not cooperative. My anubias has a flower too The only good pic I got of it X and Crankypants decided they wanted in too
It's unusual I get more than 2 of the fish in a pic without them being quite as clear as this
Most are like this...clear of one and magically not of the other, these two are mostly inseparable Trouble in twos...
Some slightly blurry pics of the moor
Guess I caught CP by surprise!
X's ryukin shape is really starting to come through I did wonder for a while if she was a fantail but I think she looks like she'll be a nice red short-tail ryukin
I really love the shape of the moor, she's got a great tail, even eyes and a good fin and body structure
3 out of 4 again
And everyone together :o And not too blurry :o
And because I feel KB should be included, his new tank which has already been shown elsewhere
In other news...my plants are doing really well I repotted the Coriander and it sulked for a day or two but I think it's coming back again now The Chillis were unphased by their repotting experience and the Parsley's going crazy!
Left to right, Basil, Chives and Parsley
The Oregano seems to be a slow grower, a few more seedlings have made an appearance and the older ones are starting to form their second pair of leaves
Chillis The little one will hopefully grow more now it's not overshadowed as much, the bigger one just keeps popping out the leaves!
My still slightly sulky coriander, it did smell amazing while I repotted it though, looking forward to cooking with it when it gets bigger
And as some of you will be aware, I made mango chutney a few days ago, and the recipe made over double what it said it would! The big jar is 1 litre and that stuff is SPICEY! Good thing my Uncle loves mango chutney and spicey food as he's getting the big jar for Christmas! It is really good though
So about half an hour ago I said I was having trouble getting pictures of my fish, I decided to try it with the natural light streaming through the front windows as my camera seems to cope fine outdoors, and hey presto! Lots of reflections but some of the pics aren't blurry!
Crankypants (Pete's fishie)
X and Crankypants, typically the only good shot I get of X is her butt...
The Moor (reflections with our compliments)
And the Ranchu, who never seems to stop moving but is rounding out really nicely, and growing well, she was sooooo obviously stunted when I got her she's going like the clappers to make up for lost time!
It seems like the bottom left of the tank where the sunlight hits is the best photo spot, but of course Moor and Ranchu were on the right, but I felt should be included!
Ok, so this is kinda impressive. After posting in someone else's thread I got to wondering how far my fish have actually travelled with me. I've had KB the betta the longest, since some time in sort of late April/early May 2010 - let's call it 18 months, and in that time he's travelled a minimum of 1,762 miles by car, and there's a possibility I may have missed a return trip of 600 miles in there somewhere. I don't know how much travelling he did before he got to me, or where he came from before the store I got him at, but that little fishie has clocked up nearly 2000 miles and is still going strong! Some people don't do that in that time!
Just wanted to share, I was impressed
I feel like since the summer I've had a completely new start in life, in pretty much all things, and everything is working out really well for me, which after a rather disastrously stressful (for various reasons) last year of uni is a very welcome relief! I'm living in a new area, have a great little flat which is so much nicer than where I've been previously living, a new(ish - 7 months) relationship which I'm very very happy in, a new job working with great people and learning a lot, and healthy fish! So, with the new Koko's look and options, I thought I'd start a new blog too, but as I'm hoping not to have too much fish drama I am intending to fill it also with all the menial little details that are happening in my life, rather than filling up LOTP and Off Topic Lucky you guys huh
I've always been moderately rubbish at taking care of plants, forgetting to water them or having them in the wrong place etc, but with my new sunny windowsill by the kitchen I couldn't resist trying to grow some herbs. I bought the Coriander and Chillis on a whim, and started them about 2-3 weeks ago from seed. They seem to be doing pretty well so far I've bought some new pots but have refrained from potting on yet as one of the chilli plants came through with not amazingly healthy leaves so I've been giving it some time to grow on a bit before disturbing it, now they're both doing really well and will probably be potted on soon.
I've also recently bought a set of Chives, Parsley and Basil which I started this morning, and a pot of Oregano Hopefully they all do well too, I have plans to try to make my own pizza with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella or goat's cheese (That's right, here you can get pictures of COMPOST! I hope you're as excited as me )
And this is my new herb garden (and my oh-so-sexy reflection)
I also took up crochet over the summer, and yesterday finished some slippers for my sister's birthday later this month I hope she likes them!
And because no goldfish forum post would be complete without a fishie related picture, this is my tank at the moment. I'm still messing with camera settings trying to get a good picture of the fish themselves <_<