Many Hats of Me: August 2013

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Locarno Beach and Spanish Banks, Vancouver BC

I finally love the beach...after moving to the Midwest

In 1980, we moved from Burnaby to a Vancouver neighborhood close to the beach called Point Grey. During the first summer at my new house, I explored the beaches and parks with my brother and cousins. We fished on the docks, picked blackberries, and climbed the apple tree in the park. From that year onwards, I didn't make any effort to visit the beach again.

I avoided the beach in my teenage years, complaining to my mother that it was "boring" and I didn't like sand between my shoes. As I grew older, my visits to the beach were limited to bike rides along the Vancouver waterfront. I loved looking at the water and smelling the sea in the air as I madly pedaled my mountain bike. However, I never stopped my bike to walk and explore.

I've always lived near large bodies of water, even after I moved from Vancouver to Toronto and then later to San Diego. Lake Ontario, one of the Great Lakes in Toronto, isn't the ocean, but it looks like one because of its vast size. In San Diego, we would often drive by the beaches, but we never actually set foot upon one. I know, shame on me!

Since moving to the Midwest, which is thousands of miles from any Sea or Great Lake, I now crave to see and experience my hometown beaches.

A Visit to Locarno Beach, Vancouver, BC

The morning after our plane landed in Vancouver, we decided to take walk to Locarno beach. We didn't even pause to eat breakfast, as we were so excited to see the beach again.

Jericho Beach Map

Monday, August 5, 2013

Albino Bristlenose Pleco Eggs and Babies!

New Shrimp Tank with Plecos (plecostomus)

I decided to try something new and set up a shrimp tank using a 29-gallon glass tank I purchased from Petco during their 1$ a gallon sale. I placed a sponge filter and a red shrimp and 2 juvenile albino bristlenose plecos, measuring 1 inch. Six months later we discovered that we had purchased a male and female pleco. Male plecos grow many bristles on their nose while the female plecos grow few or no bristles on their nose. 

A year and a half later, the shrimp have multiplied into the hundreds and the plecos are now fully grown at 3.5 inches. 

Aquarium Tank Maintenance

My tank maintenance is less than ideal at 50% every 2.5 weeks. Often, I change the water when its starts to turn a murky green and the hair moss starts to take over the tank.

After a particularly long spell of 3 weeks where I didn't do any water changes except topping up evaporated water, my tank was completely thick and green with green water and my java and Christmas moss were almost completely overtaken by the hair moss. I couldn't even see the fish. I did a massive water changes by both siphoning water out and filling the tank with fresh water at the same time until the water turned clear. I pulled out 75% of all the moss, since it was mostly hair moss, and cleaned out the filters. 

I could finally see the plecos and the shrimp clearly. The bad water affected the shrimp population quite a bit, and their color was was no longer bright red but a reddish brown. The plecos seemed unaffected by the bad water.

The following day, I had a wonderful surprise in the tank: the male pleco was behind the moss screen with what looked like a lovely clutch of yellow eggs. 

Albino Pleco with eggs

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