No Poo Number Three “Sebum Only”

Sorry I’ve been away for a bit. Nothing interesting happened and I was busy playing with trouble kitty and working. I did managed to have a lot of fun. Fall is awesome this year, the weather is great! I haven’t had a desire to be inside. I’ll post some photos at the bottom of this, just for fun.

I’ve never been a big fan of rules. I’m a libertarian, after all. Why did the chicken cross the road? NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS AND AM I BEING DETAINED?

wpid-2014-10-12-19.48.25.png.pngproof that I was being an idiot with a foam finger long before miley cyrus was out of diapers!

As you may recall, I have been no poo for some time and was to the point where I was only using water to “wash” my hair. That was all fine and dandy until I became aware that my hair was kind of dry on the ends. At first, I thought a good haircut would do the trick, I used to wear my hair up all the time and thought that I had a lot of breakage from that. I’ll be honest, genetically, I have terrible hair. Thin and wispy. My mother couldn’t get hers past her shoulders. The fact that I even can mange moderately long hair is a miracle. It used to be a lot worse until I went no poo.

I got my hair cut, professionally. This was a big step for me as I am very leery of hairdressers. I’ve gotten a mommy mullet cut when I was entirely too young for such a terrible hair cut, so I have my reasons. Obviously, mommy mullet was not my intended hair cut. I have legitimately never had a good experience with a professional cut, style or color.  Anyway, the woman there did a great job. She actually just simply did what I asked her. How novel.

After that, it was still dry. Okay, fine. I dumped a bit of coconut oil on it and brushed, brushed, brushed. That helped phenomenally. Then I came across the “sebum only” concept. I paid it very little mind until I read that too much water can make your hair dry. Cue light bulb over my head.

Okay, then, let’s give it a swing. For a week I did not get my hair wet. I showered (I’m not completely disgusting) and avoided getting my hair wet. I kept it in braids, because after 4 days, I was getting pretty greasy. No one noticed. Day 8 I decided I was sick of putting my hair up so I took a nice tub soak and scrubbed my scalp. When dry, it actually looked much better, believe it or not. My ends looked much more moisturized. So now, three days since that bath, this is my hair:

wpid-20141017_104008.jpgI would call this a good hair day!

My head does smell a bit mustier than usual, but not terrible, I’m still getting the swing of this. The ends are a lot better. I am going to try to go a week and a half without wetting it. Baby steps. Also I am brushing like a madwoman and am going to ramp up how often I clean my brushes. Wish me luck!

As promised, here are some photos of my recent adventures:

 wpid-20141016_110528.jpgtrouble kitty is watching you make stool

wpid-20141010_165821.jpgour backyard red maple

 wpid-20141007_103808.jpgstarted some granny squares for a hoodie, inspired by this post.

 wpid-20141005_141003.jpganother road trip scarf for a friend

wpid-20141005_140519.jpgangie and abraham are getting along

 wpid-20140927_112558.jpgthe baby fish are getting big!! there’s four

wpid-20140930_180951.jpgstunning view i thought

wpid-20141001_075736.jpgour red maple again. such a beautiful tree.

Ok, that’s it for now! I have to go pick up a kombacha scoby for a friend. I got a lead on it and my friend wants one, so I’m off! Have a great day and I’ll be back to check on you all in a little bit!

The First Step: Java Moss

When I lived by myself, I had two enormous black couches. One was black velvet and I had found it on the side of the road. A leg was broken off, but it was nothing some boards couldn’t fix. My other one was a pull out bed that had to be 50 years old. Huge, heavy and very tired. When my then fiance and now husband and I decided to move in together, the couches had to go. Unfortunately he had to work that day, so I had to call…my brother…

 wpid-2014-08-05-08.11.50.png.pngthe dream team up in here…

After begging, threats, insults and swear words, I finally convinced him. Well, I promised to make coffee. That worked. Now, whenever more than one Glaser is in a room, it turns into a “who can make the other person pee themselves laughing first?” competition. Have you tried carrying heavy objects while laughing hysterically? Moving furniture with my brother was obviously a terrible idea.  Also, the door layout of my apartment was a terrible idea. When the front door to the building was open, it blocked my apartment’s front door and the only way around this was dragging the couches up a half flight of stairs and shoving them back down. You can see why my brother was not terribly keen on this. When the logistics of this long fart of an adventure were figured out, we both started right in. Insults, a rainbow of curses, self depreciating jokes, threats, lamentations. We were both actually working together and almost done when…the couch wouldn’t fit through building door.

Did I mention it was really hot that day? My brother was half way up the stairs, I was fussing it out the door.

We threw our arms in the air, begged God for sweet death, cursed the couch, the door, the apartment, the stairs, each other.

And then I told him a new plan (turn the couch the other direction) and I laid it out to him.

“What do you think of the plan? Should we try it?”

He looked me dead in the eye and said “Well, the first step to failure is trying.”

I lost it. I howled for about 10 minutes and finally regained my composure, told that couch to GTFO and moved on with life.

wpid-20140804_172426.jpga few feet to the left and we would’ve gotten a new fence for free. WAY TO FAIL, TREE. WAY TO FAIL.

The phrase has have several different variations throughout the years, but at the core, it’s the same. Doesn’t matter how smart, clever, awesome, pretty, nice, whatever you are. You can’t fail if you don’t try. With that in mind, I always have a Plan A and a Plan Spectacular Failure of Plan A.

JAVA MOSS

Plan A:

  • Insert java moss into tank.
  • Observe what happens.
  • Go from there

Plan Spectacular Failure of Plan A:

  • Set aside a clump of moss in a glass vessel
  • Leave in a sunny location.
  • Observe what happens.
  • Should Plan A turn into a the southbound end of a northbound cat, there will still be java moss to use when I get the problem sussed out.

wpid-20140804_123639.jpgjava moss hanging out at the factory

My darling husband purchased the moss for me and had the package sent to work. When it arrived I immediately thanked him profusely and got the moss into water. He told my I was easy to please. Well, he happens to be right. Buy me something green that grows and I’m pretty pleased. If we were all the same and had the same interests, we’d all be pretty boring.

I got home and followed my plan(s)

wpid-20140804_170842.jpgPlan A, with fish photobomb

wpid-20140804_170949.jpgPlan Spectacular Failure of Plan A, in a Big A** Beer Glass

And now we wait to see how much failure java moss I manage to accrue!

New Friends: Ghost Shrimp and a Marimo Moss Ball

I’ve been tossing around the idea of getting live plants in my aquarium for quite a while. It’s a little daunting, why mess with a good thing, right? But I found some live plant solutions that might just fit my needs.

I’ve ordered a batch of Java moss, which is essentially a weed. Unfortunately, none of the local pet huts carried the moss. The pros, for me, are that it readily grows, does not need a particular substrate and will over run your tank. Perfect! My plan is to let the moss overrun the bottom of the tank, almost like a carpet. Next, I am going to get some driftwood for it to adhere to and grow along that as decor. My rainbow rock and large pebbles will be kept moss free (damn, I have to clean them!) to provide contrast.

For today, step two of this project, I purchased some Ghost Shrimp. Ghost shrimp help groom the plants at eat leftover food/waste in the tank. With a whole carpet of moss, tank cleaning is going to have to be reworked. And who the heck doesn’t like Ghost Shrimp???

wpid-20140801_103156.jpgthey’re kind of adorable…

Back back back in the day when I worked at the petstore, we had a pet Ghost Shrimp named Hank. We had gotten a shipment of them and after they had all sold, Hank was left. We set up a little aquarium for him in the back room and it was Hank’s House. Yes, we were bored.

Hank had a beautiful life for an animal that is normally food.

Hopefully, my fish will leave the shrimp alone. I fed them when I stuck the shrimp in, so they don’t seem to be all that interested. Plus, the shrimp are pretty decent size and there are a lot of hiding spaces in my tank. Some of the shrimp have eggs, I believe they are called saddles, under them. Whoo hoo! Send in the babies!

Lastly, I also purchased a Marimo Moss ball. (DUH IT’S A PLANT AND I CAN HOARD IT!)

wpid-20140801_102828.jpgit’s fuzzy.

From what I gather, they are very hardy and continue to grow larger and larger. Also, you can propagate them. Part of my line of thought is to propagate these into smaller ones and then make little decorative aquariums, with just the balls. You can check some out online, they look amazing. I could use some jars, wine glasses, et cetera. I could even add a shrimp, PROVIDED THEY BREED SUCCESSFULLY DID YOU HEAR THAT SHRIMP??? Which I think would be super cute in a little vase. So, there’s that. More, hopefully in the future.

wpid-20140801_103339.jpg“I CLAIM THIS MOSS BALL FOR THE GHOST SHRIMP” -Hank and the Hankettes.

I will update when my java moss arrives! Whoo hoo!

Keep Fish: How To Clean A Fishtank

Hello everyone! As promised, I am going to start writing about fishtank care! I only deal with FRESH WATER tanks. Just so you know.

I decided to start with the most dreaded and over-worried about part of keeping a fish tank. Cleaning it. I figure, if you’re interested in keeping fish, maintenance is the scariest part. My credentials:

  • Over ten years of fish keeping
  • 5 years professionally at a store
  • My fish breed, a lot

I’ve had fish since I was 16, my uncle bought me my first tank and I still have it, locked and loaded today. I worked at a fabulous pet store that had an amazing array of fish for 5 years, and learned just about everything I could. Also, I have insight on common mistakes, simple errors and common complaints. I am going to debunk as many as I can! Starting with:

Cleaning A Fish Tank Is Hard

Absolutely not! If I had a dollar for every person that over-worried their tank, man, I would be loaded. Seems to me that every tank I run into suffers from Over Mothering. Here’s a tip: Less is better. Let’s talk about the main requirements for keeping a clean tank:

  • Change 25% of the tank’s water via a gravel vacuum, once a month
  • Change filter cartridge , once a month (preferably not the same day you clean, more on that later)
  • Scrape off algea
  • Do NOT overfeed

That, my friends, is it. In a nutshell, that is all you have to do to keep a clean tank. Now, why do people have problems with this? Well, I can tell you that 99.99999% of the time the following conversations would happen at the pet store:

Customer: “My fish tank is cloudy.”

Me: “When did you change the water?”

C: “Yesterday.”

M: “How much did you take out?”

C: “Well, it was cloudy, so I took out (enter ridiculous percent or all here).”

OR

Customer: “My fish tank is cloudy and I just started it yesterday, should I do a water change?”

Me: “Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!”

Do you see a correlation there? Cloudy water DOES NOT equal immediate water change. And this is why, in very basic terms. Fish make poop. There is a bacteria that eats their poop. When you drop new fish into a tank, or remove a lot of the existing bacteria (example: extreme water change) the bacteria reproduces like mad to eat the sudden abundance of food/poop. The water turns a cloudy white, due to this.  Here is a link that very nicely sums it up. I couldn’t say it better myself. So, you start a fish tank, you change the water too much/often, you fall into a vicious cycle of WHY IS MY TANK ALWAYS CLOUDY?

So, heed my words:

I don’t care how cloudy your tank is. Only remove 25% at a time.

In fact, if it’s cloudy, I wouldn’t change it at all. Wait for the bacteria levels to even themselves out. The water will clear. Wait a whole month after that.

Now that you all understand that, let’s move on to how to go about this cleaning business. You’ll need things.

wpid-20140611_165537.jpggravel vacuum/siphon, sponge/scraper for algae, big bucket, water conditioner, aquarium salt (optional and much argued), towel

Gravel Vacuum/Siphon: The whole point of cleaning a fish tank is to get out the dirty water. The dirtiest water is hiding in the gravel. The vacuum works by sucking out that water and leaving the gravel behind.

Sponge/Scraper: Scrub off that algae! Algae is a good sign, it means your tank can support life. Yey! However, unsightly. Scrub when you clean the tank. If you have a lot of algae, leave the light on for less hours or reduce the amount of food you feed your fish.

Big Bucket: For holding dirty water/replacing water

Water Conditioner: This removes the chlorine from tap water. It is not negotiable. Chlorine will kill your fish. Also, fish are covered in a “slime coat” which protects them. When stressed, they will drop their “slime coat” and this can lead to definite problems. Often, a water conditioner will have something in it for that. Don’t buy a specific product just for that, buy one that has both.

Aquarium Salt: I’ve seen it argued either way. My personal vote is  to have it as a remedy for diseases and to put about a teaspoon in when I change the water. I don’t even do that every time, just occasionally. I used it once to cure ich, a common problem and it worked so fast and so efficient I decided I was sold on salt in the aquarium. We never had ich at the petstore, and we regularly salted the aquariums. Also note: Salt does not evaporate out, so only add when you take out water.

Towel: To keep your arm from dripping all over, really? 😉

START TIME: 06/11/14 5:00 pm

wpid-20140611_165525.jpgbefore: we’re filthy!

Wash your hands and arms, up to your pits, please. Your whole arm is going to be in that tank. Well, you’re probably taller than me, so maybe not. Wash anyway.

Next step is to turn the aquarium off. All the lights, everything. Unplug, the cords can hang, and as they are usually in the back of the tank, they shouldn’t get wet. Unplug anyway.

wpid-20140611_165753.jpgthey’re really mad now!

Remove all decor and place into the bucket, as you don’t want it to drip on your floor. I put the heavy stuff in the bottom and the fake plants on top. Why?…glad you asked!

Put the fake plants in a sink with screaming hot water. Put the heavier objects on top to keep them under the water.

wpid-20140611_170124.jpgtoo hot for algae

This step will kill any algae on the rocks or plants. Clever, eh? You could use bleach, but please don’t, ok? Just hot water, it totally works.

Next, get the siphon going. Mine attaches nicely to the bucket.

wpid-20140611_170214.jpgi could kiss the feet of whomever invented this

You have to prime the siphon to get it to work. The bucket needs to be lower than the siphon for this to work. Put the siphon in the tank, fill with water, let drain half way, then back into the tank. And then the siphon will siphon. More info here.

wpid-20140611_170226.jpghalf way empty, put back in tank!

Start at one corner of the tank, put the siphon directly into the gravel, watch the poop get sucked into the bucket, move to the next patch, repeat until you have removed 25% of the water.

wpid-20140611_170344.jpgstraight into the gravel, like so. pretend I turned off the light on my tank, m’kay?

Next, dump the waste water either into your plants, or the toilet or if your fish breed and you are insane, into a tub to dig out baby fish. You probably won’t have babies, but FYI there. If you see “poop that swims down rapidly” in your siphon, it might be a baby. Hey, at least you’ll never have to ever buy fish again?

Replace plants and decor.

Fill your bucket with tepid water. Not too hot, not too cold please.

Add water conditioner and salt (optional) to the bucket. Follow instructions on package.

Dump into tank, carefully.

Repeat for larger tanks. Mine is only 20 gallons and I only remove 5 gallons at a time, hence the five gallon bucket. Works out beautifully.

Wipe down tank, front and sides to remove water droplets. You wouldn’t dare you a glass cleaner, right? Just the towel.

Inspect electrical before plugging back in.

wpid-20140611_172320.jpgta-da!

Now, it looks a bit cloudy because there is a lot of particulate that is floating around. My filter will grab it or it will settle within the hour.

Wash your hands up to the arm pits please!

END TIME 06/11/14 5:32 PM

Please remember I was dancing around and taking pictures! Normally, it’s a twenty minute job!

I hope this at least makes the idea of fish keeping less daunting. So many people are put off by this once a month chore, that it is a real downer. Or they over do it. You can skip taking all the decor out if it’s a busy month. Then you’re looking at 10 minutes, easy. Please note: I did not change out my filter today. I will discuss that later! Hope you enjoyed! 😀

The Diamond Tetras are Breeding

Well, this morning I went about cleaning the fish tank, which if you recall, just got populated with Diamond Tetras. And guess what they did? Made babies. Let me get you the whole visual here:

I am siphoning out the tank and as usual, I’m just watching the muck go through and a muck chunk begins to swim down siphon, fast.

*insert an intense amount of curse words*

Now I am fully aware if I have almost siphoned up one baby fish, there’s at least a few I didn’t see. Of course I can’t just dump the crappy water bucket! Noooooo, gotta save those little suckers!

*insert more swearing, very colorful*

So I went with the ol’ tried and true, dump the bucket in the tub with the drain closed and get on my hands and knees with a flashlight and a clear shot glass and look for two teeny tiny eyes and a tail. I found three and I dug pretty hard.

wpid-20140426_101453.jpgthis. this is a shot glass. there is a baby fish in the upper right of the shot glass. this was the bigger one, believe it or not.

Ugh. Normally, I don’t mind so much, I mean I like baby fish, but I wasn’t expecting them this soon! Calm down, tetras!

Fresh Fish: Diamond Tetras

I got some new friends today and I am so very, very excited!

wpid-20140327_125359.jpgour hate for you is palatable. why are we in a bag?

As you may or may not know, I have a fish tank and am very fond of it. I love a good aquarium set up and have been keeping fish for about ten years. My first few years were when I was a teenager and I have learned a lot since them. I professionally worked in a store that sold pet fish for six years and learned even more. I’ve been around the block a bit. My favorite kind of fish tanks are tanks that focus on one species, I have found that to be the most successful. Also, a tank must be well planted and have a variety of places for the fish to hide. This achieves two goals, if all the fish are the same species, they will be more colorful, less stressed and more likely to breed. A well planted tank prevents fighting and allows the fish to hide, again, reducing stress, improving coloration and achieving a more “wild” look to the tank.

My tank is only a twenty gallon tank, which is not very big. It’s not the most impressive piece of furniture in the room and it doesn’t allow for very many species to exist in it successfully. However, it completely fits my needs.

Right before I moved in with my fiance, I had diamond tetras. They are my absolute favorite fish. My tank held about 5 or 7 at a time and they would breed. I had those exact fish (plus or minus a few for breeding and random deaths) for about five years. They were stunning. Colorful, elegant, hearty, absolutely stunning. About a week before I moved in something (and I am not clear what) killed all of them. I am assuming it was an electrical problem, honestly, fish that are that old and have been that successful don’t all die immediately overnight. Every stinking one was gone. In a way, I was lucky, I didn’t have to worry about moving them and stressing them out. But it was still sad. So my fishtank was bare for several months, until I got all new electrical (filters, lights and heater) for the tank, which was expensive. After that, I let it run for about a month to make sure everything was in working order and I was not in a hurry.

Unwisely, I decided to change the species in my tank. I decided to get leopard danios, also known as Zebra Fish. Everyone who knew I had fish thought that I should get a different species after having “the same old, same old” for so long. I honestly don’t know why I listened to them. I think I choose the danios because they are ridiculously hardy. I also got 3 other fish, I can’t remember what they were called, but they were like a golden danio, which is basically an albino version of the leopards. I guess I liked them plenty, but it wasn’t the same. The selection at the particular store was crap. I wasn’t as dedicated, they weren’t as pretty. I don’t even know why I didn’t stick with my once species rule. That’s what made my tank in the past, why did I get two different kinds? They didn’t start off well either. Despite being hardy, two died right away and one was, um, special looking. I didn’t really even feel like getting replacements. I kept the ones that lived and today I cleaned out the tank and saw that there were only two left.  Out of six. That is terrible. I’ve had them about a year and that is just terrible.

So I decided to get the fish I want, diamond tetras!

wpid-20140327_125638.jpgthis is the male, closest to the camera. you can tell by his fancy sexy fins!

wpid-20140327_125607.jpgit is stupid hard to take a picture of fish.

I searched the store, diamond tetras aren’t always easy to find and then…I saw them…6 perfectly fat, happy and lively diamond tetras. They had been in the store for a while. Perfect. Perfect. The poor clerk had to chase them down and bag them for me.

wpid-20140327_125320.jpgRELEASE US!!!

I left them in the bag for about ten minutes for the water to adjust to temperature and released them. I can’t tell you how much happier I am about them. I still have the two danios, which hopefully will coexist peacefully. In all likelihood, everyone should play pretty nice. The danios can school together and right now my fat happy diamond tetras are schooling. The male, there might be more than one, but the dominant one, is keeping his little school in shape. There might be two other males, I can’t tell yet. But anyway, I am very pleased with my new fish! I feel like I am back in the hobby!

I do have concerns, my tank is over in the amount of fish it should have. As long as I am very careful not to overfeed them and make sure to do proper water changes, they should do just fine. But at least I am back to being excited about it!

One of these days I’ll do a post on how to start a fish tank, for anyone who is interested. It’s a very easy and rewarding hobby. Many people who just start a fish tank often overcomplicated the process and make it much harder on themselves. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming! 😀