... is all about the fish! There's nothing happening with the garden anyway. It's very hot, and the tomatoes are just getting bigger. The beans are languishing, although the pots are very moist. Everything is doing what it's supposed to.
A friend of mine is visiting overnight -- we're leaving early tomorrow for New York, and it's easier for her to stay here than it is to drive to the airport from her house. So I've been cleaning like a madwoman. You know, vacuuming the window blinds, cleaning the windows, scrubbing the bathroom. She's only going to be here for a few hours, but I still want everything to be sparkling. BUT, at the same time I'm avoiding doing everything I need to finish, so in practicing said avoidance, I decided to strip down the aquarium and scrub it in an effort to get rid of the algae once and for all. I'm tired of trying to see the fish through green water, and I'm sure they're tired of having to live in it.
So I put the fish in their bucket filled with aquarium water and an airstone and drained the tank. I washed the gravel three times, until the water ran clear and not green. I scrubbed the plants, the filter intake tubes, the air tubing and the large rocks. Then I put everything back in place and refilled the tank. It's quite a shock to the fish to do things so drastically, so I've been trying to get rid of the algae without stripping the tank. No luck -- so drastic times call for drastic measures. At least now the tank is clean and sparkling. I keep to a pretty regular maintainance schedule, and maybe I'll be able to keep the algae away. In my research to see what's causing the problem, I read that when full spectrum lights get old, they don't work properly and that sometimes allows algae to get out of hand. If it comes back, I'll try replacing them. I can't remember when I set up this aquarium originally -- maybe autumn? I know it was before the holidays. I also put Algon in the filter, and maybe now that things are clean, that will help. It didn't do anything to clear up the problem over the last few months, though.
So now I have happy fish, or at least fish I can see, and I still have to finish cleaning. Better go!
PS -- That's Sushi on the left. She's camera-shy, and I usually can only get photos of the back of her. Her tail is gorgeous, so maybe that's what she wants everyone to see. The other fish is Anjin-san. I don't know why -- perhaps the fact that they're Japanese goldfish (Ryukins) and Shogun is one of my favorite movies? I've had them for over a year (their bodies were the size of a quarter when I bought them, and now Sushi weighs 15 ounces -- yes, I weighed them before I put them in the bucket). I assume she's a female since she's larger, but they haven't shown any breeding behavior. I don't think they're old enough yet. Once they outgrow this aquarium, I'm going to send them to live with a friend of mine who has a pond in his back yard. I don't have room for a larger tank. Hopefully that will be a while ...