The Critters Of My Life Archive

Serotonin Boost

Posted January 14, 2021 By kmarrs

Sammy is majorly obsessed with snails. Just really seriously obsessed with snails. She is a Weird Girl with a capital W and I love that for her. Also, I have a local friend who breeds snails, among other things. So for a very small amount of money I was able to hook Sammy up with a couple of snails and an enclosure. Sammy had a serotonin boost this week that’s for sure!

(I gave them too much food. I’m still learning how much they eat. Don’t @ me with how much food is in there. When it starts to go bad I’ll pull what’s left out and give them fresh food but less.)

There are 3 of them in there. 2 adults and an adolescent. They are good little buggers. I’m rather fond of them myself.

Sammy spent the first couple of days terrified she’d do something wrong and kill them. Especially when they stopped moving long enough to sleep. But she’s mostly worked through that anxiety now and is really enjoying having them.

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Lucas has always had a thing for birds. So when he mentioned wanting a bird feeder, I did my job.

We offer 3 suet cakes, a tray of mealworms, black oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, and a regular seed mixture. Plus water.

It goes from mostly-completely full, to almost completely empty in about 24 hours.

So we diligently go out and refill it every day. This adds up cost-wise, but we are able to do so much bird watching and my Lucas is thrilled!

Rachel bought him a really nice pair of binoculars from a thrift store, and my dad cleaned them up real nice. I bought him a Bird’s of Ohio field guide so we can all identify what we see.

I’m buying bulk seed and mealworms from the Tractor Supply store, which is really the only way to buy seed. The suet cakes you can find anywhere for about $1.00-1.50 each. This adds up, but I can buy them here and there even just from the grocery store. The peanuts (raw and unsalted) disappear fast, but I can also buy those from the grocery store. Though I do want a source to buy them in bulk. It’s probably much cheaper that way. Anyway, we’re doing our best to manage the costs, as it is worth it. However, if anyone would like to kick some cash towards Lucas and his birds, here is my Paypal.

I’m going to be honest, this is Luke’s special interest, but most of us are enjoying it! As far as I’m concerned we’re going to maintain this year-round as long as we live here and probably at our next home too.

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The Collective

Posted March 8, 2017 By kmarrs

Sitting on my desk, is my third aquarium.  It’s a 5 gallon and it’s empty, save for being freshly planted.  I still need to cycle it, which can take a good month if not two.  But once it’s done I will have blue velvet shrimp in there.  I am, SUPER excited about this.  I’ve been wanting a shrimp tank for a while.

I tried to house them in my 20, but things went downhill when I got pneumonia 6 months back.  My tank was overstocked, so when I didn’t keep up on water changes, the chemistry went bad and the shrimp, which are super sensitive to these things, died.

But I learned my lesson.  Water changes every Friday or Saturday no matter what.  And it’ll all be ok.

Anyway, I’m piecing together the tank bit by bit.  I just got the plants in.  It’s scaped to be sort of  a full wild jungle feel.  They are in orderly rows, actually, but as they grow it’ll be more out of control.

There are five different kinds of plants in there.  Don’t ask me to name them.  I’m not good at plant identification.

I plan to kick-start the cycle process by adding ammonium.  I have it on order and it should be here sometime next week.  Then it’s a patient game of water changes and daily chemistry checks.  I’m not looking forward to it.  But if I don’t do it, the shrimp will just die.  So, I have little choice.

Once done I’ll buy 12 blue velvet shrimp and call them The Collective.  Because why not.

Meanwhile life in the 10 and 20 goes on.

The 10 gallon is now home to a nerite snail as well as my betta.  There were two snails but one of them died.  I’m not entirely sure what happened.  I know my betta was really upset about the invasion of the snails, but I’m fairly certain betta can’t hurt these guys.  I also upgraded the filer to a sponge filter, which is super exciting for my, and the betta both.  The flow of a sponge filter is much more gentle and betta prefer that.

The 20 gallon was out of control with its sunburst platy population, so I took them all back to the store.  Well, all but one.  I somehow ended up with an albino one, so I kept him.  That done, I was only at 68% stocked so I had the option of adding more fish.  I bought a pair of blue gourami.  Now they are male and female, but they are egg layers and the fish, snails, and filter will eat all the eggs, so I don’t have to worry about out of control babies.  I named them Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy.

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Babies

Posted November 11, 2016 By kmarrs

My 20 gallon community is teaming with new life.  I have baby Sunburst Platys.  But most excitedly I have baby cherry shrimp.  It took forever for them to breed, and I think half of them end up fish food, but so far there have been 2-3 waves of baby shrimp and I’m super excited.  At some point, tax return most likely, I’m going to try and talk Pat into letting me upgrade to a 30 gallon.  I won’t add new life, it’ll just better support the life that’s already in it.   We’ll see.

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Snail Tank

Posted July 26, 2016 By kmarrs

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