When I Am Not Studying, I Am Assuredly Doing This

If I’m not glued to Anatomy or Micro, I am glued to the glass of my tank. Through the generosity of several local hobbyists, and thanks to a bunch of cool people at the overwhelmingly awesome Preuss Pets, I have an aquarium. It’s even well-stocked. It doesn’t look like much right now, but after it grows in a bit, I think it’ll begin looking quite pretty.

Anyone not interested in fish, skip the following down to the “Non-Fish Stuff Starts Here.” For those of you amongst us who are fish geeks, here are the particulars:

50-gallon breeder
Hagen GLO HO T5 light bar with 1 x 39W PowerGLO and 1 x 39W Current 10,000k Daylight bulbs
Fluval 305 (currently getting inoculated, so I’m also running the original Penguin 330 my friend Joshua lent me)
Stealth heater

8 Cherry barbs (4 male, 4 female…although it looks like one of the females has bloat. Half were given to me, including the bloaty one.)
3 Harlequin rasboras (these were donated – I plan to obtain at least 3 more when the shop gets them in to help them feel more comfortable. Thankfully, these are cheap.)
1 male betta (borrowed – helped get the cycle really going after it cycled on its own for awhile, and will be returned shortly. I think he’ll be disappointed to be booted out of his Emporium, but I’m not all that fond of bettas.)
1 albino bristlenose pleco
4 amano shrimp (3 male, 1 female – I think. One of these was donated.)
2 celebes rainbows (male/female)

I think I’m going to stay with these species, at least for now, but up the number of rasboras and celebes as I’m able. I don’t want a crazy mishmash of random species – I’d like larger numbers in the existing schools, so the fish are happier and so I can see more natural behavior.

8 Ludwigia perennis
8 Cabomba
1 slew of a variety of Hygro (green with pink tops, shh)
6 blyxa japonica
2 giant wads of hornwort
1 echinodorus “apart”
1 other amazon sword
1 clump Potamogen crispus
1 clump giant hydro
1 red tiger lotus
2 pots of dwarf baby tears
1 4″ rhizome Bolbitis
10 Water lettuce
A very few duckweed

I don’t mind a random mishmash of plants, at least for now. I’m not Aquascaping – I’m just making something I think is nice to look at.

I love my aquarium and all of its inhabitants. Apart from the cherry barbs spawning like mad constantly, it’s very peaceful in there. Sadly, one of the female cherry barbs may have bloat, which is likely fatal. Other than that (and a minor outbreak of new-tank-algae due to low nitrates, which has been duly cleared up by the assorted critters) all is well thus far.

Lots of plants, relatively low bioload at this point, so I’m supplementing Nitrogen and Carbon darily and a comprehensive fertilizer once a week. Someday, a CO2 set-up, if I can find one on the (very) cheap.

More photos, from inception to a couple of days ago, are here. I’m also keeping an obsessive journal about the whole affair, which I won’t drag any of you through. 😉

Non-Fish Stuff Starts Here
I think I’m regaining humanity, after a shock of a first week of class. Some of you might remember me whinging about how easy classes were last term. Yes. Well. I needn’t have worried about that as a pattern. This term is quite serious.

Micro lab
Techniques of Study

Five classes, which, rather vexingly, result in a measly twelve credits! Twelve! I had to pick up the last class just to make full-time status, and yet the workload is enormous.

Ah well; I’ll have three of my Bio requirements knocked out, plus extra application points for the Phleb. Perhaps the development class will prove useful – I’m taking it online so it’s not quite as annoying as it might otherwise be.

I’ve met a very nifty group of people here at a local pet shop that are rapidly becoming my home base for friends. S, K and J have all sort of adopted me. K is one of the most intelligent and well-educated people I’ve met – he’s literally like having a walking encyclopedia on-hand for anything related to biology, zoology, geography, geology, chemistry, entomology… any of the hard sciences. His wife, S, is also extremely intelligent and well-read. Like my friend R, K and S have no television, and they spend pretty much every waking moment reading, and reading non-fiction at that. Very cool.

S and K will soon be moving in with J and his boyfriend, H2. J is sweet and kind and funny and fun. It’s nice finding a niche of people I relate easily with – even if I’m easily the most ignorant person in the room. They’re all very tolerant of my questions and lack of knowledge.

Today, I had a promising job interview; very promising, I have to say. I should hear back in a few days. The business owner and his wife evidently thought highly of me; now to see if they think well enough of me to make room in the schedule for me.

Living with H is going well, although I think she’s disappointed that I don’t like to spend most of my time hanging out in the living room with her, watching TV and chatting. I’m a denning creature; I like my room, especially now that there’s a fish tank in it. 🙂 I compromise and come out and play sometimes, but I really don’t like the shows she watches, often to the point of not being able to be in the same room with them for more than a moment. Still, we get along well.

H quickly turned the house into a home with a very nice eye for interior decorating on a dime. I’d planned to spend the break playing Bioshock, but instead… got hooked on “Lost.” Oh, man – I lost a HONKLOAD of time to “Lost.” H and I spent 4 days doing very little but watching the first two seasons. She’s finished season three, and I’m about halfway through. The third season has left me somewhat cooled, though – the first two kept me guessing constantly, but I almost feel like it’s predictable now. Of course, that will assuredly come back to bite me.

What else…

Yesterday and the day before, I woke up with such insane vertigo that I flung my arms and legs out to the sides from a complete, deep state of REM sleep and couldn’t get my head straight for several hours. While the initial extreme passed in about 5 minutes, a lesser version lurked. Today, it wasn’t nearly as bad, but still it’s somewhat of a concern. I hope it’s just a sinus or ear anomaly. Other than that, health is good, other than I am hot and totally flushed ALL THE TIME. I just don’t get cold anymore. Ever. This single-digit cold snap we’re having? Refreshing. I may perish in summer.

Mental state is pretty good, and will improve if I get this job.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are my Long Days of class, with solid Bio from 10:30am until 3pm, so I need to sleep now.

Sorry about the long, boring update. I actually do have more interesting things I want to write about, but for now, the mundane.


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