Into the Ocean

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” ― André Gide

Hi, my name is Gwen and I am addicted to my aquariums.

Oh myyyy…

I was afraid to get back into this hobby. The more I researched, the more intimidating it was. It is no where near like it was back in the 1980’s – back then you put a fish in a tank, no filter, no heat – just plucked them in and did a full change of water when it was bad enough. I cringe so much writing, and reading, those words.

Step by step, through trial and error, I have grown live plants in all three aquariums. All three have LED lights; the largest having the atypical tube light. All three have happy inhabitants that have come to expect food by a certain time and the largest aquarium even shows signs of wee fry.

I love watching the fish swim around and interact. I’ve persisted through the problems that have cropped up. I do lose an occasional fish now and then, but the population I have now is quite stable.

I enjoy cleaning the aquariums, seeing results from my efforts of care. I get a sense of purpose and joy from it. These beautiful creatures, born into a market that uses them as disposable, are now in my care. I will do everything I can to love and protect them for their natural lives. I do the same for all the creatures in my home. My budgies have more than what is required, my bearded dragon as well. My cats and my dog – all of them, receive the best care I can give them, and sometimes more.

If I can make the effort for all these beautiful creatures, why is it so hard to do the same for myself?

Well, I’ve again dipped my feet into a new ocean and am losing sight of the shore I once clung to. I’ve finally taken a leap I had always wanted to, but was afraid, no, anxious to do. I’ve become vegan. This is huge for me both mentally and physically.

My health has not been very well. My doctor actually recommended I go vegan in an effort to help. I’m overweight. I have depression and anxiety. I could go on. I started my animal free eating more than a week ago – not long, but enough to feel a difference. In this short span of time I can already sense a difference! Mentally, I feel sharper and more ‘awake’. Physically, I feel less tired – my MS fatigue has always been horrible, but this last bit it’s not as bad. I’m still tired, but it’s not as intense. I’m not really sure if I can explain it well.

I know veganism is not for everyone. I would never enforce my dietary needs/wants on another, but I am so glad I finally did this. I’m not sure what I was waiting for.

Here I go, tending to myself finally. Here I go, swimming away from the shore of what I was towards who I really want to be.

In the meantime, my aquariums will always call to me…

Blue October – Into The Ocean

Hello

“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” ― Marthe Troly-Curtin

It’s been a while. Please sit, and stay a bit…I’ve got a confession to make…

My name is Gwen, and I have an addiction.

Freshwater aquariums.

Sounds innocent enough, right? WRONG!

First, you get a small aquarium, but you research and you know that your little betta needs a bigger one. You upgrade. You add plants. Then you get a great deal off kijiji for an even bigger tank!

The HOBs (Hang On the Back) filters it came with aren’t good enough though…not in your mind. So you get better ones. You put MORE plants in. More fish. One filter isn’t enough! No, no, you need another.

That canopy it came with – it looks terrible over top of all those beautiful fish and that fluorescent light looks horrible. You need glass and LED!

Then you end up with this – 55 g

A 55 gallon freshwater aquarium full of beautiful tetras, and other fish…with hitchhicker pond snails about to be gobbled up by assassin snails (WOOHOO!). The tank came with 2 HOB filters…they would have been adequate. BUT not nearly as sleek as the cannister and submersible in-tank filters. I have more plants on the way – specifically mosses. I love this thing.

Here’s a little video of it about a month ago before I got the in-tank filter – . I’ll try to take a new video of it soon…promise.

Here’s two of my favourite ‘babies’ in this one –

Saphire
Saphire – Female veiltail betta
Dory (male veiltail betta)
Dory the male veiltail betta – don’t judge me, my 3 year old named him after watching Finding Dory.

I also love this thing – 9 gallon Fluval Flex that will be my shrimp tank. The plants have grown significantly since this photo. Sharp eyes will see Starburst the veiltail betta and Mr. Snail the mystery snail. That sad brown patch in the front is Christmas moss…which I am pretty sure has officially died. It’s being replaced soon. I’m getting some blue velvet and long nose algae eating shrimp tomorrow! YAY!9 g

Here’s my favourite baby in this one –

Starburst
Starburst – male veiltail betta…wish the iridescent areas would come out more in photos!

Sidebar – I had an MRI on Friday evening…every time I hear the song below it reminds me of being in the machine. Also, I find MRI’s relaxing – it’s the only time NO ONE wants my attention LOL! Not sure if it’s my MS flaring or what though, I felt nauseated and weird after this one. No contrast was used either…weird.

Martin Solveig & Dragonette – Hello