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About this blog

I plan on keeping some sort of journal here, I do this with my Aquariums so I can trace back to see when an issue was most likely to have happened. Since I'm not that more complicated I figured it was worth a go.

Entries in this blog

 

Big Changes - Volume 2

Hi All, A quick catch up as I have been a little busy lately. Got a huge batch of rescue fish (approximately 60 or so) at the very beginning of last week. These are approximately 4 weeks old, so they have another 12 weeks before I can tell apart the males from the females, then I will need to decide what to do with these fish. I don't think I have the space for 60 individual containers so need to speak to some fish shops in the area and see if any businesses or anything nearby want a fish tank in their reception. I also picked up "Sticky" at the same time, I found him in a Pet Store, hidden behind some tanks. He had severe columnaris (head or body rot) he is doing a bit better and the bacteria has receded, not quite out of the woods yet but a definite improvement. I turned down the Snakehead Pair and the Wolf Fish Pair, I would love to keep these fish but at the moment I am so far away from what I need to provide a "basic" level of care for these monsters. Currently they are all in a variety of fish shops as a display piece. They have good homes with people who know and can afford to give them the care they need.  Valentines Day, I didn't plan this but I decided that I would drop in on Megan and see what she was up to, we ended up spending the evening together. Had a nice meal and some drinks (non alcoholic for me) and then watched a film before I headed back to mine. As well as a proper "date" on the weekend just gone. On Saturday we went to a nearby Zoo and were Zookeepers for the day which Megan absolutely loved. I felt really good seeing her again, it was nice to spend some time together without the typical arguments and bickering. I think that the time and space that we gave each other, although incredibly difficult has highlighted were we each need to work going forwards.  Hope all that read this are doing well

Ratvan

Ratvan

 

Operation Betta Rescue - Other Fish

These are my latest acquisitions, captured via a police raid on a drug dealers house. Not the exact dish but the species. The RSPCA apparently got my number from a couple of Aquatic stores nearby and provided me with the tanks (thankfully) these tanks will be here at 9am tomorrow. The fish arrive Tuesday. So I have a busy weekend setting up two massive tanks for them. Not what I was planning on doing this weekend but what I have coming I could not say no to.  First photograph is a breeding pair of Barca Channa (Rainbow Snakehead Eel) these are illegal in the UK now so the only way for me to legally keep these fish is rescue or buy from a certified captive breeder. You need documentation that the fish was captive bred or has been captive for over 10 years. I saw these at an aquarium in Japan 10 years ago and have wanted them since. Next. OMG OMG OMG. I will need clean underwear for these two. My dream fish. Wolf Fish. These guys are Piranha eaters and with the above possibly the two most aggressive freshwater fish species (with Arrowena) in the world. These guys have been known to leap up to 2 foot from the water to catch birds and monkeys so i need a lid and secured feeding hatch and maybe some chainmail??? I need to learn not to put my hands in these tanks, I will lose digits if I do that. So I am getting two 150 Gallon tanks delivered tomorrow with thanks to the RSPCA and they have taken my details for other potential rescues. I did make sure to tell them I really only want Bettas and other Nano Fish but these....... oh I love them already.  Anyone have any name suggestions? For any of the toothy cuties coming my way

Ratvan

Ratvan

 

Practising my Mugshot

Yesterday, oh dear. Yesterday was rough.  Nothing particularly "bad" happened to me, it was just people. People honestly were testing me. I felt tested all day long, I just could not deal with people. I had to bite down HARD on my rage all day. So much so in fact that this morning I feel like I have been at a MMA Competition. My jaw is aching, honestly like someone scored a perfect left hook.  I'm not really sure how I managed to get through it without snapping and going ballistic on someone. After work I went to my MMA gym and managed a few hours workout on the punch bag and a small (45 minute) sparring session, which worked out a lot of the anger. But sadly not all of it.  I feel really good about my Betta Rescue, usually. Yesterday I felt like I was fighting a losing battle. I am out of space, I cannot physically look after anymore fish otherwise I will be compromising their care. It really isn't hard to google what they need and how to care for them. I did go and take another 3 regardless of this. One of those I had to euthanize when I got him home, he was in such as state. It was for me the hardest but kindest thing to do as he had just too many issues at once. I buried him this morning on a riverbank on my way to work. Had a little Ceremony for him.  A lot of my conversations lately about these and rehoming them is the simplest fixes to cure their issues (most caused by owners/shops not being knowledgeable) such as a heater to keep the temperature steady. Truly a small cost to provide a reasonable level of care. But people don't want to spend more money, or worse, they seem to think I have an affiliation with the local Aquatic Shops. I don't even mind the tiny cups they come in or the small tanks that you can purchase for them (usually called "Beta Palace" or something similar) as long as you can take care of the temperature and water parameters.  Another thing that really annoys me lately is the newspapers, or as I refer to them Mein Kampf with Pictures. I have cancelled my subscription this morning, I can do without the triggers that they provide.  Anyway this morning, honestly I really could not give a single f@ck. First thing that happened today when dealing with a large customer they threatened to complain about me to my boss, to which I said something along the lines of "Oh good, she does so look forwards to them" yeah that went down well. So I have a disciplinary hearing later on today. Oh well. It'll probably go the same way as the others and I'll add another Final Written Warning to my file. 5pm Tomorrow cannot come quick enough, I need a rest. I also need to reflect a little more on what happened with M the other night. But I am not in the right head space at the moment to do this, things are already difficult and strained between us so I don't want to make it worse because I am having a poor day. I also need to distance myself from Z. I feel like a schoolboy around her, it's not helping. I really do value her friendship, but, I guess like a lot of men I am really struggling as I find her so attractive.  One thing I did do last night, which sometimes helps. Sometimes it makes things worse so I don't do it i often but I updated what I want as my funeral plan. So I would like a closed casket service. Everything is more or less "Normal" and "acceptable" in the plan apart from the final piece of music. Just before my coffin goes into the flames I want an Organist playing "Pop Goes the Weasel" on a Loop Probably won't go down well but I love the idea of people staring at the Coffin in horrified anticipation.     

Ratvan

Ratvan

 

Operation Betta Rescue - 2 Weeks In

Today is the 2nd week anniversary of my little Charity being "Officially" Open, I have always taken in any fish that I see that is suffering, not just fish but that is where my concentration is currently.  They have been a massive help, they rely on me for everything. Since I've had them I have not had a day where I failed to get out of bed. It has been very stressful however but massively rewarding. So I thought today I would share the little ones that I aim to rehome in the next week or so. The first is going to be hard to see go.... Floyd - Oh Floyd, you need a better name buddy. Something to show the warrior that you are!  Floyd is the first set of pictures. I walked into my local Aquatics shop and found this poor poor Betta floating on the top of his tub. He was very stressed, cold shocked and had swim bladder issues. I woke up every Morning for the last 2 months expecting to see Floyd floating lifeless on the top of his tank. He stayed in the shallowest tank I have, fed hourly on live food and generally got so much attention. He has not and has gone from strength to strength, I popped around to his new home this weekend and he has a lovely home cycling at the moment, once the tank is finished cycling he'll be very happy. He'll be 2 doors down from me where I live at the moment which is a few minutes from my work so I can keep tabs on him. Z is taking him in, I need to work on S now for the smae, maybe take in Samphire? Jefe - Picture on the left is him today, right is him 2 weeks ago. I got him from "Little Timmy", (not real name) Timmy got Jefe for Christmas. He was in a small unheated, unfiltered tiny bowl. He was a surrender, he was with his family for about a month. Again he was cold shocked as no heater in tank and its winter in UK. Also a lot of tail biting issues. He is a Delta Tail and I have had some serious Money offers for him. He is staying with me (ish) and will be going into the reception tank at work. This is because Jefe loves people and movement, usually fish tend to shy away from a lot of movement and this is why i place tanks in corners and on shelves. Jefe doesn't, he rushes the glass and shimmies away when watched. A right tart! Khan -  I don't consider Khan a rescue, he was given to me in a severely bitten condition, essentially I believe that his tank should have had some more plants and top cover and this would have solved the issue (IMO). However the owner decided to give me the fish and the tank (20 Gallon Long - THANKS!!) so I couldn't really say no as this gives me housing for all of these 4 fishes. Again he seems to be a Delta Tail, no offers or Lasting Home for him yet. I have been speaking to people and have some interested parties but they seem weirded out by the fact I don't want money for him, just the fact he'll go to a good home is enough.  Samphire - Well this guy, he was mis-sexed (thought he was a female) and he lived in a Sorority Tank with 15-17 Females. Yeah, he is clearly a male, and the females literally butchered the poor guy. When i came to get him, he was exhausted on top of a plastic plant being bitten by at least 4 other fish. Anal fin damaged (unable to straighten in water), Caudal Fin essentially missing (had to crawl), Dorsal Fin Gone,  not pictured that well but he had also lost his Pectoral Fin (unable to crawl...much). He is another fish that I was not expecting to make it through one night never mind the past few weeks. I've now had him for the same amount of time as Floyd, in fact they have been shelf mates for the past week or so. Oh god, setting up his home!!!!!! He lived in a Sump Tank in a tiny puddle (literally 1" of water) until his fins started regrowing enough for him to have a filter. I fed him by dropping the food into his mouth, he had so little strength. I moved him into a 3 Gallon tank when he got his fins, he is a jumper so after picking him up off the floor countless times. I got him a 5 Gallon with Lid! I am trying to persuade S to take him in.  I've also taken in a trio of Baby/Juvenile Axolotl's, it was actually the tank I wanted (96"x12"x12"), I had planned to use this tank on my windowsill (massive window) to try and propagate some more Aquatic plants, but couldn't really do that and turf out these three. SO I have divided off a section for planting and have left the other section free for their home, once they grow a little larger I can remove the divider and plant the rest of the tank, I am concerned that they will eat the sand or gravel until they get a bit bigger. Meet Rikki Tikki and Tavvi, they are very cute and my first real experience of keeping Amphibians and especially young ones.   

Ratvan

Ratvan

 

Confusion, Rage and The Low Lows - Pt 2

So it seems today is one of my down days, nothing particularly triggered this but I have been very easy to annoy. People at work are getting on my nerves lately, everyone knows what I have been through as I am very open about my moods, diagnosis and what has happened to me. And still I still get shit I think it is a general lack of understanding, until you encounter the pain and loss there is nothing really that comes close to this.  I get things like "It's been over a year", "forgive them for your sake" on a constant basis, I just ignore it now. Well i try too Yes it has been over a year, it still hurts and what saddens me is that I have been without them for so long and I know that i'll have to go on even longer without them. The passing of time hasn't made things easier, but it has changed my feelings. I can now look back and laugh and smile at things that would make me cry 6 months ago. It's going to take a long time and I'm going to be very sad for a long time, but i am okay.  The Other one "you need to forgive them, for your sake" this one gets me the most irate. It has taken me ages to love myself to hate this person. I have been through my own personal hell with little to no help. I have a right to have this feeling and I will not let it go because it suits you Mini Rant over

Ratvan

Ratvan

Took a break from my break

I met up with M on Friday as agreed and we had a chat about how we were coping. She looked amazing, not as tired. From what she has been saying shes feeling a lot better and has some job interviews coming up in the next few weeks. She has also been sleeping better (I snore like a donkey being chainsawed in half). We both had a laugh and I know more then anything that I'm still very much in love. Not a long meeting a good couple of hours. So I came back to my empty flat with all my stuff still in boxes. I was upset almost immediately and I felt a little too stressed and not wanting to stumble again with my journey of sobriety I decided to take the weekend and go visit my brother.  It's been really nice to see and talk to him again, and his dog Maddie. I took Maddie for a long walk this afternoon on the seafront. The weather was beautiful once it stopped raining. Took some nice photographs and really enjoyed being back. Got back home and cleaned the sand out of the car. My brother and I. We have some things to work through but we're in a good place with our relationship. We also have probate to still go through but we both agree on what is best for all of us.  I have also sat down and worked out my finances. I have enough to be able to buy myself out of either leases without crippling myself. So at least I have that stability. 

Ratvan

Ratvan

 

Ah Shite!

Just a quick update for today, so I had bloods taken a little while back as my family have a history of cancers on my maternal side. I went along to the Hospital last night and have been told that I carry the same Genealogy, so I have a lovely little print out that shows my chances of contracting different types of cancer and how much more likely I am to contract it then Joe Bloggs (Jane Doe, A Random etc). I left feeling very confused, so I don't have cancer but I could get it at any time, like anyone else then? Honestly I received so much "support" material that I can probably use it to create an Asian dining area. I guess that it is a good thing that they're doing, making sure you know what could happen.  So anyways the ones that I am most likely to contract are the ones that my Grandfather passed away from are Polycythemia Vera (PV) and Leukemia, I have a 95% and 80% chance of getting these in the next 10-15 years. Awesome, you know I am not that bothered. My Grandad was diagnosed with PV in 2001-2002 and given 6 months to a year to live. He contracted(developed?) Leukemia in 2009 and was given a year at best. He passed away in 2017. He was happy and healthy (other than Cancer) and jolly until the very end. I remember when I saw him in hospital the day he passed away. He saw me and told me that I looked like shit, when he was laying there a skeleton with very very thin skin covering him. I miss him the most, he taught me how to be kind and that opening your heart is the most manly thing you can do. I do get to see them all this weekend, well I get to sit with them in the cemetery for a while when I go home to see my brother 

Ratvan

Ratvan

 

Confusion, Rage and The Low Lows

Hi to whoever is reading this, first things first.  Don't worry , I am fine. These are feelings and not plans. I did not have the greatest day today, since I lost my Mum and her side of the family I reached out to my father to see whether there was a chance, any chance, no matter how small that maybe we could be in each others lives. I have not heard or seen him since I was 7 years old, I am now 33 so a long time has passed.I saw an email in my inbox from him and my heart leapt, I couldn't open it for a while. I had to let the maelstrom of emotions calm down. I had expected something, I had expected a start. I did not expect to come face to face with a two liner that basically said that he tried years ago and i rebuffed him.  I was 12 ****ing years old when I didn't want to see him,  5 months after he broke 3 of my ribs. !!!!.  So, I held it together until lunch time, i drove calmly away and parked up in a nearby car park that looks over a canal and marina. I opened the central console and just stared at the contents for a long long time. In here I keep several things, basically it is a suicide kit. pills, booze, syringe, noose etc(couple of breeze blocks in my car boot) , I felt so so low, i couldn't even cry. It wasn't just my dad, it was that and everything else. It's been over a year since i lost my family and I can still barely speak or think of them without an all crushing pain, it honestly knocks me over. I've been close to death a few times but never by my own hand. I held the rope in my hands for what felt like forever, the fibres cutting into my palm ans i played it round and round. After a little while I considered going through with it, what stopped me I honestly do not know. I'm just so tired of this, the ups and downs. I thought I was doing well, I hadn't looked at this kit for almost a month now. Christmas Day was when I last looked at it and really considered it. I would prefer to live without the Ups, they make the downs so much worse.  I'm not going to empty the console, somehow having an end so available and so close makes things easier, i don't have that option. I have so many others not just this. I just wish I could see them Make yourselves visible!  

Ratvan

Ratvan

 

Operation Betta Rescue - Meet the Girls

Tea time update, Meet Opal and Lapis So I went out to see the Sorority Tank in action, some people do not understand how to deal with Fighting Fish. Of all the things that can happen most of these will take place in a Sorority Tank. Essentially the tank needs to be full of the strongest female, all of similar ages and sizes. As Betta's are a Matriarchal fish, a pecking order is established. However in a closed environment like an Aquarium there is often not enough room to establish territories and so lot and lots of fights break out. Now this is not an issue unless your fish start displaying warning signs. The most obvious of these is the stress stripe. I decided to take Lapis as she attacked everything,I watched for a solid 5 minutes. This fish did not stop attacking, she is so stressed out that I do not know what her actual body colour is. Thankfully since she is so aggressive her fins are in great shape.  Next I picked out Opal, she is tiny. When I thought she was a Juvenile I underestimated how young she is. Due to her small size she was at the bottom of the pecking order. Sadly the established territories were all above hers, so when she attempted to reach the water level for air she was attacked by all the other fish on the way up and on way back down. I think she maybe raised as part of a breeding experimentwith his own fish. No pet shop in the UK will sell her this young. After a brief explore she is currently resting on some plants, I am thinking of getting her an air stone as she doesn't seem keen on swimming yet.  This lack of understanding and not planning ahead for the possibility of things going wrong irritates me no end. The plus side is that I can fill my life with love of the adopted pets, the downside is that they have not always had this level of care. It upsets me a lot. Before anyone says anything, I am aware the tanks are small. I plan on rehoming these if at all possible so am looking at making some DIY Fish Tanks out of Drinks Dispensers, hat way I can rehome the fish in a tank I know is suitable to their needs. I'll just ask a donation for the materials Anyways onto the positives, introductions. Meet Opal (White Body, Red Fins) and Lapis (Zebra Striped, red and blue fins) I really look forward to seeing how these two develop (especially Lapis if she makes it) as I honestly have no idea what her colouration actually is.... hopefully in a few days to a week I shall find out. Apologies for so many fish posts and talks. I cant talk about this. Feelings takes a bit more work

Ratvan

Ratvan

 

Operation Betta Rescue - Why always Me?

So as some of you may know I love Tropical Fish, especially the Fighting Fish Betta Splendens. I frequently rescue/foster injured/Sick/Young Betta's from a particular Aquatic store near me, they do not allow returns but will post adverts for rehoming. I am well known there and get phone calls and messages from other customers or the shop when they have a fish in need. So this morning while I was at work I got a phone call from said shop that there is someone within the area who has tried to Keep a Sorority of Females. I have attempted this before a few years ago, I had 7-9 Females in a 40 Gallon tank, sadly this tank has long since gone in multiple downsizes and house moves. From what i hear there are up to 7 Females that need assistance, they have the fish in a 15 Gallon. Slightly too small in my opinion for the amount that they have, so I am going out this evening after work to have a look at the fish and the tank. Without seeing the fish and the tank I think that I should ready myself for 2 females. The two most aggressive. Betta Females work on a Matriarchal system so by taking two worst bully and worst bullied from the tank should lessen the stress on the entire system. .  Anyway the fish attached is the worst bully, Lapis. Followed by the worst Bullied Opal, both Extremely stressed fish.(Opal is a juvenile and should not be in a Sorority) So Since this morning's phone call I have dug out some of my spare small tanks at work and am cycling them ready for new occupants. I need to pop out at Lunch to pick up some supplies such as Aquarium Foam (for a divider), I need to also have a look around at drinks dispensers, mini heaters and air stones for the possibility of  more temporary housing into self made DIY Pico Jungle Jars. I think that I should be able to make a bunk/rack out of these to house another two fish at the cost of £20.00 each (BIG SAVING), these tanks aren't great but it'll be better than their current residence. On the up side I can use these Pico Jars as Propagation Tanks for my plants by placing them on  window sills encourages the aquatic plants to grow. I hope that I don't have new fish but from the sounds of it, i will do. I already feel stretched as it is, but speaking to a few people they maybe interested in taking the whole system (Fish, Tank, Hater, Air Stone, Plants) This is not the update that I planned to write, I was very down and very low this morning. Since the phone call it is almost like a call to life. I seem like me again. I can think clearly, probably because I need to act and not consider myself or my feelings. Whatever works eh?    

Ratvan

Ratvan

 

Going out Part 2 - the reckoning

I probably feel asleep at around 1am last night, not bad for me sometimes its later occasionally its earlier. Anyway about 4am I hear a braying on my door. I get up and answer it and it's a very drunk S and Z. S has lost her keys and cant get in. Z has work in a few hours so cant stay there.  So Z puts S into a spare set of my slobs ( t shirt and pj bottoms) and puts her in my bed. We chat for a bit then Z leaves. S wakes up around about 4 and bolts to the toilet. I hold her hair out the way, I give her reheated take out and try and get her to drink water. We chat for a long time and she gets a couple of hours between 5 and 7. We got through her bag and yup no keys. I have picked up some generally bad skills over the years and used those to get into her flat and open the door.  So now its 3pm. My sleep pattern is royally ****ed and I have work tomorrow. Why do I allow these things to happen? The idea of this was to attempt to simplify things and now I feel like I stepped into a whole new realm of drama. I'm tired I'm now alone. Thankfully

Ratvan

Ratvan

 

Going out - Not bad, not bad at all

I just got in from a quick evening out, a couple of girls on my floor were going out for the night. Both lovely and I had a nice couple of hours chatting and laughing. Both were dressed up to the nines so was clear that they're out for the whole night. We have S who is like a monkey with a miniature symbol that is powered exponentially. Honestly like 100 words a minute constantly. Hilarious but exhausting. Next is Z, honestly beautiful. I don't know if this happens to you but they smile and you feel unworthy. Really down to earth and a wicked sense of humour.  We briefly chatted about me moving in, when it started to seem like it would get awkward the topic changed to something naturally lighter. It was nice, natural and relaxed. I seemed like me, the me I liked, it's like the last 5 years never happened for a few hours. So the evening wore on and I noticed people getting more and more wrecked and decided to call it a night. Despite the pleadings of the girls I left and I just got in and feel that maybe leaving early was a mistake. I was having a good night, I didnt feel uncomfortable but decided to quit while I was ahead. Medative thought for the day: Does alcohol still control me if I have sworn it off?

Ratvan

Ratvan

 

What a night.

I woke up this morning in a very strange place, it took a few minutes to realise where I was and fear and sadness crashed into me with the knowledge that I had moved out. I pushed it aside and got up, used the punch bags around the house, showered and fed Ouro. I've been up and about shopping for bed linens, duvets, pillows, towels, pans and baking trays you know everyday stuff that I didn't have. Met one of my neighbours on my way back in. Apparently the people on the floor have a get together on a monthly basis and I've been invited to the next gathering. I got a few weeks yet before that. She seems very nice and very animated and our conversation left me exhausted.  I didn't expect to feel so low so soon  

Ratvan

Ratvan

1st Entry - Big Changes.

Hi all, I plan on making this as realistic and as brutally honest as I can. I need to know how I feel and look back and reflect on this. I'm trying to avoid rose tinting and negativity. Subgetivity is the key. **a prefix. When I get angry or passionate my written language mirrors my spoken language. So if you cant read my dialect please let me know and I'll try and change it. I know we have people whose native language is not english** So tonight is the first night in over 11 years that I have been alone. I've been in my studio flat for about 2 hours now and have everything of mine inside and the essentials unpacked.  1st thoughts are "f#@k me I need to get some soft furnishings". So after laughing, probably sounding insane to my neighbours. Instantly it strikes me that I have nothing to make my life comfortable. I need a bed sheet set, new towels, pillows, and probably more stuff will crop up.  I basically took my clothes, Ouro complete with tank, phone and some of my hobbies that have been packed away for years. Thankfully the apartment is furnished. And I cleaned the place top to bottom yesterday. It took about 4 hours.  For those wondering, Ouro has settled in perfectly although he does need a rest from the stress. So managed to picture him as he was doing just that. Love this little guy, when I rescued him his fins were so damaged and severely bitten. If you look carefully near his body (bullet shape) you can see where his scars are (at the edge of the ridges) also his dorsal fin was missing completely apart from a bare ridge. He was very very close to death. That was 3 months ago now. He reminds me that no matter how bad things get it is possible to recover. I love this guy. He is my 3rd betta and look forward to many food years. So I don't have TV or Internet yet so have got the time and the space to think about what I write here. I love Megan to pieces, this is the hardest thing that I have done to date as I feel like at the moment I am blocking myself off from the small amount of joy I get in my life. But we are not happy and I need to do this for me. This is a short break, we don't plan on contact unless an emergency arises. We're meeting up in a neutral place in 3 weeks to chat.  Just needed to get the objective of this down, it will help me keep everything in perspective. Well that's the plan anyway. My next task for the night is to set up my punch bags. Then go for a run in the snow, workout for a bait, Ouro time, shower, use tea towels to dry myself, sleep with a coat blanke! Medative thought for tonight. I need to look forward more than I look back. 

Ratvan

Ratvan

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