Baby fish and seedlings

Seedlings

Wadly says he’s got another baby fish in the tank.  I’ve laid on the floor and looked but haven’t gotten a glimpse yet.  The previous baby grew to be recognizable as a female guppy who is now nearly the same size as the adults.

Wadly stopped at Glacier yesterday and brought home five buckets of pea gravel for me.  I’m going to need more to fill my new grow bed (grout mixing pan – 7″x22″x32″), but it’s a good start.

I’m definitely going to fill the gutter with pea gravel and plant things in it.  It works too well not to.  I’m going to have to rework the overflow to keep the gravel in the gutter.  If I could find some hydroton locally I’d use that, as it’s much lighter than gravel, but I haven’t come across any yet.

I’ve got seeds showing growth in three of the five coco coir mats.  I’ve got seedlings coming up out of the gravel between the coco coir mats.  I’ve got some hollyhock seeds planted in the gravel, lovely purple ones.  I’m really looking forward to those popping up.

I probably wasted my money

I got a flat tailed salamander for my wall but I think he’s not going to stay in the wall.  Wadly found him last night on the rug drying out and caught up in short pieces of thread (I’ve been appliquéing).  He put him in a bowl of water and left him overnight.  He was fine this morning so I put him back in the wall.  The chances of him actually staying there are probably really small. <sigh>

I’ll try tree frogs . . . maybe they’ll stay in the foliage.

Getting started

Seed bed in wall gutter

I’m way behind in getting seeds started for my outdoors grow bed.  I brought in the seed starter tray I used last year to start seeds for the three of us.  I just couldn’t make myself jump through the hoops.

I cut up some coco coir mat (liner for a wire hanging basket)

Leaves poking out of the coco coir

to use as seed beds in my gutter.  I laid a bed of gravel and set the coco coir in so the bottom side is flooded each time the wall is fed.

I planted a range of stuff . . . lettuce, tomatoes, oregano, chives . . . and I already have something showing leaves.  If I had to guess I’d say it’s lettuce.  Germination is six to fourteen days according to pack.  Try four days!  How rockin’ is that?!   With 80° water warming the seeds it accelerates the germination!

When I get LouAnn’s wall built and her plants are no longer in my gutter I may fill the rest of the gutter with pea gravel and plant it.  That would be cool!

Bog Coat

I've used my 4" Square Dance pinwheel template for the border. The navy edge adds a nice finish.

I’ve been participating in a bog coat project with other members of our Guild.  I’m running my plan on this one by the seat of my pants, making it up as I go along. <grin>  Is there any other way?

I have my bog coat basted/pin together to give a glimpse of what it looks like pre-appliqué.  I won’t cut the neck opening until the coat has been quilted.

I’m to the point where I have to get the appliqué done.  I’m planning to use some eclectic fish patterns inspired by concrete stamps.  Should be fun . . . and bright!  <grin>

I’m preassembling the appliquéd fish.  When I’m ready to apply them I’ll undo all the basting and set all the blocks aside while I fasten the appliqué onto the coat body.  That’ll reduce the bulk I have to hold.

Karen’s going to quilt it for me (that’s the plan) and she’ll add other under water elements to fill out the tropical sea theme.

Wall status

The solution I sprayed on the wall didn’t kill all the aphids.  As they were isolated on bloom stalks I trimmed the infected stalks and have been keeping an eye on the wall.  I’m going to have to get some straight trichlorfon for future use.  I’ll check at Kaija’s next time I’m there.

We had a fish die.  It was either a sword or a platty.  I’d had my eye on it for a couple weeks as its abdomen had been getting larger and larger.  It finally bit the big one and Wadly fished it out.

Otherwise everyone’s happy and healthy.  Wadly built a shelf for the pleco and cats to hide under.  I don’t see them under there much but it makes Wadly happy.

Aphids

Aphids on the streptocarpus

Ugh.  The wall has aphids.  I have been keeping an eye on it because one of the plants sitting on the floor in front of the wall is an aphid attractor.  The Beach Oleander I brought back from Hawaii has a continual issue.  It must have just the right smell/flavor.  I treated it last week for aphids so it’s not surprising they’ve migrated to the wall.

In case you were wondering . . . Cape Primrose and Gloxinia appear to be particularly attractive to aphids.

So, the question is how to treat the wall and not kill the fish.  Wadly and I had discussed this a number of times and had developed a strategy we thought would work.

  1. Unplug the aquarium pump and pull it out of the aquarium.
  2. Drop the smallest statuary pump into the tank and plug it in to keep the water moving for the duration the wall is separated from the aquarium.
  3. Siphon out 4 gallons of water into a bucket.
  4. Top the aquarium up with new water.
  5. Drop the aquarium pump into the bucket.
  6. Connect the gutter to the bucket.
  7. Cover the aquarium with plastic.
  8. Spray the wall with aphid killing chemicals.
  9. In 24 hours dump the bucket water and siphon 4 gallons of aquarium water into the bucket.
  10. Top up the aquarium.
  11. In 24 hours remove the small statuary pump from the tank.
  12. Remove the plastic from the aquarium.
  13. Rinse the aquarium pump and return it to the tank.
  14. Reconnect the gutter to the aquarium.
  15. Hope no fish die.

Before we could get started on that process this morning I had a “connect-the-dots” moment.  Why not spray the wall with the same mix we use to treat parasites in the aquarium?  Duh.  The parasite treatment for the aquarium has trichlorfon in it which is an excellent record against aphids.  It’s an organophospate noted for its lack of persistence, biodegradability and low cost.

I mixed half a teaspoon of the parasite control with about 3/4 cup of warm water and sprayed the wall.  I know it won’t kill the fish.  Let’s see if the aphids die.  <evil laugh>