May 21st, 2014

krazy koati

In our little hideaway beneath the waves

And now another pause before the Sunday of Morphicon gets reported. I'd mentioned the need to muck out the pond, and that was so we could set the fish back in there. But before we even got close to setting the fish back in there was a worrying bit of business with the fish in the basement. They'd spent the winter in a huge plastic tub and had seemed basically all right with this --- they learned when the light was on and one of us came down that probably meant they were getting fed, for example --- but we did just skirt catastrophe at the end of this.

The problem was ammonia. bunny_hugger had been checking the ammonia in the water regularly, reliably, and found it to be trivially low and so unchanging for ages that she forgot to check it for a while, and I didn't think anything of it since it was so reliably nothing to worry about. So you know what alarming thing would follow that confidence.

So this is why we tried draining buckets of water from the tub --- mercifully it's no longer threatening to freeze --- and even unscrewed the drain at the base of the tub so as to empty out the old, ammonia-rich water. This threatened a slight basement flood, although since we unplugged stuff we weren't badly off. Later we got smarter about it, opening the drain less and using the old shower curtain to guide the water to the drain more directly. And we got buckets of fresh water out of the pond; the result was the ammonia level dropped from nerve-wrackingly high to merely unsettlingly high.

But it was still unsettlingly high, and wasn't dwindling fast enough, so we went back a couple days and replaced more of the water, and added bags of zeolite crystals as close to the filters as we could. After a day of that the ammonia level was dropped to not too badly off, considering, and we could let the fish sit out the remaining week or two without too guilty a conscience.

The fish responded to the improved water by getting all frisky, the way they were in late summer last year, so we just warned them not to lay a bundle of eggs until we're ready for them. Goodness knows if the fish paid attention.

Trivia: There are no explicit weight restrictions on baseball bats, although there are length and width limits; bats are most often around two pounds. Source: A Splintered History of Wood: Belt-Sander Races, Blind Woodworkers, and Baseball Bats, Spike Carlsen.

Currently Reading: Cooking The Books: Mythologies of Money, Anna Kassulke.