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Monday, June 19, 2006

I seem to be getting into the nasty habit of staying up too late because of a project I'm not starting early enough.

Does that make any sense?

Last time it was the turkey, now it was fish tank cleaning.

Earl and I started cleaning the 55-gallon fish tank around 6:30pm. Why? Because it STANK poopy ass.

Nasty nasty dirty yuck big bad poopy fish. All two of them.

We would have started sooner but were too busy eating drinking at the neighbor's picnic.

This wasn't just a water change folks. It was a full fledge cleaning. The thing looked like someone dumped bog water into it. Smelled like it too.

We've been bad gods.

And of course it was worth it because NOW the tank looks AMAZING and I can sit and stare it for hours, avoiding any chores or work of any kind that one might be inclined to do.

So yes, we started the project at 6:30pm. First we had to transfer the two fish into another tank temporarily while we got the main tank squared away - which meant we had to find another tank and clean it, which took forever all on its own.

What kind of fish do I have, you may ask? Some of you already know, but incase you don't or forgot, I will tell you. We have one crazy ass, drama queen, ram my head into the glass and break my jaw not once but twice Oscar and one very mean I'll kill anything that isn't bigger than me but please don't forget to notice my pretty cheeks Jack Dempsey.

The Dempsey is a tough 7-year old and can handle anything you throw his way. Needless to say, we weren't worried that he'd even blink an eye moving to a new tank.

But the Oscar worried me a little. She is also 7-years old, but is either bipolar or manic depressant - maybe a little psycho, too. Once, when she was more pissy than usual, she backup into the far corner of the tank and swam 100 mph into the other side. This resulted in her first jaw breakage. It was really quite amazing to see. I think she might have been trying to break free to eat the cat. When just enough time had passed for me to think that this was a once in a lifetime thing, she did it again and broke it even more. She is surprisingly resilient and has adjusted quite well to her new look.

So that's her crazy side. She is also desperately trying to achieve some sort of drama queen award. It's hard to believe that such a cute baby (only the size of a quarter she was) turned out to be such a big fat pain in the arsh. If you even so much as add water to the tank, she floats at the top sidewise like she cant breath. A water change will get her to flop over and play dead for hours. Once while feeding her, I shut the lid too hard and all her poop shot out. Yes, I literally scared the shit out of her. I've tried to reason with her, explain that her god is only trying to help. I even told her the story about the boy who cried wolf, but to no avail; she simply does not listen. So naturally I thought moving her to another tank for a spell should kill her for real.

Earl however, had more confidence and thought by dumping 70% of her old water in the spare tank that she might think god just changed the scenery a bit. Guess what. He was right.

So now it was time to start the bucket brigade, and scoop the water out into the kitchen sink. I lost count how many trips it took, but there's a new trail in the carpet.

It took us over 4 1/2 hours to clean this tank. And let me just tell you, it's damn heavy too. Do know how hard it is to clean scum off glass without using soap? We scrubbed and scrubbed.

And scrubbed some more.

Everything got cleaned; the pebbles, the toys, both top filters, the hood, the light, the gargoyle...

I got my fair share of accidental hose in the face, sponge slippage into the hair, and yes, there were some fish guts in the mouth - it's unavoidable, unless you keep your mouth shut, which I did, but it still gets in there.

Then we replaced all the carbon and ammo stuff, set up the under gravel filter so it actually worked this time, arranged the rocks, plants, toys, the gargoyle...

Finally, we got to start the bucket brigade again. We put back the 70% old water so the bios would still be there, and snaked the rest from the faucet.

Thank DOG for snakes, that's about all I can say.

Then the grumpy old fish moved out of their motel and back home into a wonderland full of oxygen. The Oscar never once fainted or exploded. Okay, maybe a twitch or two - but really, I am so proud of her. And now not only can they see where they're going but so can we. So refreshing.

So there you have it. 4 1/2 hours of stinky fish gut and pond scum story telling.

But you can see how lovely our little underwater friends have it now.

A face only a mother could love.

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How's about a little kiss?

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I'mmmm too sexy for my cheeks, too sexy for my cheeks...
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Pisst... Dude... there's like, a gargoyle behind you...
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run away run away!
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Niceee tank, eh? So zen like. And the set up is very Feng Shui.
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