Town stuff, and new fish set up

My day in town, after dropping my daughter off at work, turned into an all day in town!

I had a 9:30 drop off time at the garage for my van. As soon as he saw me, the mechanic came over to let me know that several other vehicles already dropped off ahead of me. I’d even come early! No worries, though. I was planning to meet my daughter for lunch, anyhow.

I did have some confusion when I parked next to what I thought was my mother’s car, though, and then saw my mother’s car in a different spot. I kept looking at the license plate, then back and the car, wondering how my mother’s car got so dirty? And why was there damage at the back?

And how did it turn into a Chevy?

It turned out to be another generic little black car with a license plate only one digit off from my mother’s! 😀 The car I’d pulled up next to really was my mother’s car! 😀

There were a couple of downsides to having several hours to myself, but no vehicle. With the shut down continuing (and extended once again, as of today, even though there have been zero new cases of the Wuhan virus in our province, which never got hit hard by it in the first place), there was no place to go just to sit for a while. No seating in restaurants or coffee shops available, and what stores are open are not open to simply browsing anymore. The other downside is that it rained most of the night and even the outdoor seating was wet.

Ah, well. I had a 5km goal in my Pokemon Go to meet, anyhow.

Which I hit rather handily.

One of the places I went through was a park near the lake, were I spotted this contented couple.

They were just fine ignoring me as I walked by. 😀

I also went to the beach.

Yes, there’s still some ice on the lake, some of which got blown into a corner against the main dock. The wind off the lake was freezing! That didn’t stop people from fishing off the dock, or families visiting the beach. There were plenty of joggers and dog walker, too. It’s the first day of a long weekend, and plenty of people were determined to enjoy it!

My daughter’s lunch turned out to be perfectly timed. It was nice and sunny by then, too, so we were able to eat comfortably on a picnic table not far from where she works. After lunch, I walked back to the garage and arrived moments after they’d finished with our van. I still had some errands to run that needed a vehicle, and by the time I was done, there was no point in driving all the way home, so I stayed in town until my daughter was done her shift.

It’s a good thing my to-do list for the day was kept flexible and tentative!

I did get one big job accomplished, and it was one I’d started last night.

We have had issues with our 20 gallon fish tank. Part of the problem is that it was next to the kitchen window. Sunlight tends to promote algae growth. The other problem seems to be our well water. While it’s great that we don’t need to deal with chlorine, when I did a 20% water change last spring, we had all sorts of problems show up, from a suddenly algae bloom, to pond snails appearing.

No, we don’t drink our well water from the tap anymore. I’m hoping, now that the sump pump is draining well away from the well again, these issues will resolve themselves!

We’d managed to get control of the algae a bit, though over the past year it killed off some fish and most of our plants. We’re down to one fish – an algae eater that doesn’t eat this type of algae! – and I’d fairly recently added a bunch of new plants. The snails, we were okay with, since they seemed to be helping keep the tank clean. There was some concern that they might take over the tank, but I think the fish keeps the snail population under control!

Then a few days ago, the water, which had been turning increasingly green, suddenly turned completely green and murky. We hadn’t even topped up the evaporated water or anything. The only thing that has been changing is the angle and amount of sunlight.

That poor little fish.

What we ended up doing was buying several 15L bottles of spring water and, last night, we completely emptied the tank and cleaned it out. I’d put some of the water in a gallon sized jar and stuck in the heater to warm it up before adding the plants and that poor little fish. The water was so murky, I couldn’t actually see the plants. I got them out by feel. At the same time, I removed sheets of algae growth that we couldn’t see through the water. !!!

The next several hours was spent emptying the tank, removing the substrate and decorations, scrubbing, rinsing and scalding everything we could – with no cleaners, since we didn’t want to accidentally poison the tank. I even kept what snails I could find. 😀

The cats were absolutely fascinated by the entire process.

In preparation for this, we decided on a new spot in the living room, found a old table in the storage shed, and set it up.

The cleaned out tank was then set up in its new location and filled with the bottled spring water and the appropriate additives.

The fish and plants, however, had to wait. The heater was set up in the cleaned tank, but it took quite a while to warm the water sufficiently. I wasn’t able to get the plants and fish in until morning.

We have an extra 15L bottle of the purchased spring water to top off the tank, instead of using our well water. Hopefully, this will solve the main problems. I don’t expect to never have algae problems again, but we shouldn’t get the crazy growth we had been!

Also, the cats are obsessed with all this. Susan is sitting on top of the big tank that we can’t use, since the part that broke on the filter during the move apparently is not available for purchase, even from the manufacturer. We found a way to cover the top solidly, and it has become a favorite place for the cats to hang out.

Now, they’ll have something else to watch from above!


Hopefully, the surviving plants will establish themselves and spread, like they are supposed to. I saw some pretty good root systems had started to develop. Once we get some good plant growth in there, we will get a few more fish again. 🙂

This turned out to be a much bigger – and longer – job than I expected. But it’s finally done, and I think the fish is much happier in clean water again! 😀

The Re-Farmer

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