i was relieved this morning to see that there were still fries in the aquarium. an exact count i can't be sure, but at least they weren't wiped out during the night. i realized today that having a new aquarium tank during the winter months allows me to get my naturing fix without having to go outside. whenever i walk by the tank i take the opportunity to see what's new. it's easy to spot the difference between male and female guppies: besides the size and color differences (females are larger and less colorful), the males also have a thin gonopodium fin while the females have a dark gravid spot by their vent.

female guppy


gravid spot

guppies aren't the most graceful swimmers, getting around the tank through a series of awkward wiggling, but what they lack in agility they make up for in the flashy fluttering of flowing fins. they've been great companions to the tetras, and i haven't seen any signs of interspecies aggression. the guppies spend their days following one another, occasionally chasing a fry who are always too fast for them. i've been feeding them 3-4 times a day in the hopes that they might leave the fries alone. unlike the tetras, i've also seen the guppies nibbling at the plants, although usually the dead bits.

guppies, like the danios, have upward facing lips, which gives them an advantage come feeding time because they can grab the fish flakes more effortlessly. guppies are easier to breed because they're livebearers; tetras on the other hand are a bit of a challenge because they're egg scatters and they'll also eat their own eggs. i never thought about breeding fish before, but it would be an interesting genetic experiment, selectively reproducing my own guppy variety.

right now i'm thinking about moving my 3-year old cherry barb ("methuselah") into the larger tank. i've been reluctant to do in before because i thought cherry barbs were aggressive, but i read they're actually pretty docile. i just feel bad that the cherry barb has to live in that small unheated tank with bad filtration (serious algae growth is starting to come back again). maybe i can do it tomorrow, consolidate all my fish into one tank, and also add the two aquatic plants currently growing in the barb aquarium.

while doing a load of laundry today i discovered that my maytag washer is broken. after the rinse cycle it won't advance to spin even though i can hear the machine humming like its trying move on to but can't. it's not a big deal, i can still manually move the dial to spin and finish the wash, but it's a hassle and i'd like to get it fixed. of course it'll cost me some money: i'm imagining somewhere between $200-300 to get the timer replaced plus the cost of labor. i'm not even sure how old the washer is but goggling the model number (LS7804) only brought up a handful of results, so that makes me worried that the replacement part will be expensive.

curious about my fish babies, my father came by in the afternoon to come and take a look. i was just about to eat my general tso's chicken ($5.50) that i got from the chinese place across the street. after i finished, i went with my father to the galleria petco in search of fry food. for some reason i thought you could by frozen brine shrimp eggs that'd hatch in the water (a la sea monkeys), but alas that kind of food doesn't exist: the only way to provide live brine shrimps to feed is to raise them. not sure the last time my father was in a pet store, but i showed him all the different varieties of fish and we were most impressed by the bamboo shrimps for sale ($6/each).

later in the evening before i settled down for my tuesday night of television, i played shadow of the colossus for about an hour. it took me 25 minutes to kill the second colossus and i didn't even die once. the trick was to shoot it in the foot to bring it down, then i quickly climbed on top of it and stabbed it few times in the ass (one of the weak spots). i shot an arrow in its foot once more and climbed up to the head. after several stabs at that weak spot, i managed to kill it finally. 2 down, 14 more to go!

tonight's itinerary: last night's the lost room, house, my boys, and then part 2 of the lost room. if i know how scifi channel operates, then you can be sure that they're going to rebroadcast the lost room for anyone who missed it. there's only only more part left (tomorrow night) but i'm really afraid they're going to leave the mystery unresolved in the hope that maybe it can be picked up as a regular series. as for house, can't they get rid of that tritter (david morse) character? he's creating too much conflict in the storyline, and his desire to get revenge on house is cramping the brilliant doctor's style.