Archive | June, 2014

Turtle eggs June 13, 2014

14 Jun

I was watering the plants around the pond and I almost didn’t spot the momma turtle under some flowers. She doesn’t leave the pond except for one reason, to lay eggs.

CAM03094I made a nice sandy beach for her last year but she was 15 feet away from that. All my hard work…

CAM03095She left no trace of a nest, except that I had SEEN her digging. She fills it back in and packs it down and it’s virtually invisible. Here I have removed the eggs, feeling like Roy Chapman Andrews in the Gobi Desert, and left a  spoon in there to show you how deep she goes, through hard ground and full of plant roots. Amazing.

CAM03096Here they are, seven eggs!

I added a layer of mixed vermiculite and coir (coconut husk fiber) over the eggs, then put the container into ANOTHER container which has a bed of sand in it, then put that on a shelf with a heating pad underneath. All the sand is so the heat radiates into the container evenly, no hotspots.

I’ll get a picture of the egg incubator thing and post it soon, and I’ll keep it moist and mostly covered. You check back in a few months, okay? We’ll find out if I am the foster parent of septuplets.

 

 

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Four seasons of a pond

14 Jun

If you build a pond these are the four stages you will go through every year:

(unless you live in a nice warm place but bear with me here)

During the season we call Winter let’s just call the pond FROZEN.

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Nothing happening unless your pond is deep and you leave the Goldfish or Koi outside to chill out.

As the Frozen season departs the pond thaws and we have that beautiful time of year when the birds chirp and the frogs croak and the pond is STINKY.

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Hey man, I mean stink, stank, stunk, ya know.

After some hard work we have the briefest season of all, which is simply CLEAN. The water is clear, the bottom of the pond is bare.

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This doesn’t last long. After A Hard Rain Is Gonna Fall the worms crawl in and die. Leaves blow in. Dirt blows in. Everything is Blowin In The Wind, right into your nice, formerly clean,  pond.

The best time of year I call LUSH.

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The plants are growing like a jungle. Maybe your fish are breeding. The pond is alive from every angle. Insects on the flowers and in the ground. Birds bathing in the stream. Frogs and Toads , of course, find this oasis you have created. This is why you have a pond. After all the work, and the smell, you have a little paradise in your life.

Clownfish in bed

14 Jun

It’s so cool to see Clownfish all nestled in a sea anemone. My Ocellaris Clownfish have never done that because my tank doesn’t have the strong lighting required for anemones and hard corals.

My tank does have several species of soft corals, and my Clownfish especially like the Wavy Hand Anthelia. This soft coral may be a nuisance to the more serious reefkeepers out there but I like it and so do the fish.

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It took my Clownfish almost a month to start associating with the coral. This type of Anthelia also reproduces quickly so you may find it very cheap from a local Aquarium Reef Club.

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If you read about this behavior on the Internet, it’s called “hosting”. A lot of people write, “My Clownfish is hosting!”, or “How can I get my Clownfish to host?”. Others will say, correctly, that they want to get a “Host Anemone”, and that makes sense to me.

CAM02725The Anemone is doing the hosting, not the fish. The fish is the guest.  It’s not like the coral can leave!

CAM02803These two Clownfish have lived together for 6 1/2 years. They cuddle and the male dances for the female (really!) and they make a little lovenest in a shell but I have never seen eggs.