Raising Dwarf Puffer Fish

We’ve been very interested in specimen tanks lately.  It started with a beta, then some zebra danios, a cory catfish, plants, snails, and finally…dwarf puffer fish.

They’re the size of the last knuckle of my pinkie, they swim to the front of the tank when my fiancé walks in the bedroom, their eyes move in different directions!  They are curious and aware, at first glance they appear bland and brownish in color.  Upon further inspection the deep greens and bright yellows appear, their spots are as varied as their personalities and we’ve watched their colors darken and brighten depending on their mood.

Dwarf puffer fish can be found wild near shores in India and they are endangered because they are collected to sell as pets.  In the pet store, you can ask if they were caught in the wild or bred in captivity.

The puffer fish has a big personality, think Napoleon Complex, and can be a bully with their tank mates.  For this reason they are often kept in a separate species tank, but please note we have had success with keeping a cory catfish in the tank, they actually snuggle!

Their diet consists of small animals like copepods, krill, and especially snails; we use rams horn, pond, and Malaysian trumpet.  All of these snails are considered pests, you can go to the pet store and ask for some “pest snails”, they’ll often give you them for free.

We set up a snail breeding tank and haven’t had to worry about our puffers eating (they can be picky and can easily starve).  Some say that flakes and  pellets are fine but these guys are hunters and if you want healthy puffers, give them something to chase!

Pictured below are some rams horn snail eggs, we noticed one of our larger snails clinging to one spot for much longer than they usually do (you’d be surprised how much these snails move). After a while it had disappeared and left behind the eggs pictured on the left.  On the right is about a week later, almost ready to hatch!

 

Our puffers have become our hobby, all four of our tanks stemmed from the purchase of these two, trying to get their tank mates just right (none but the cory catfish worked for  us), water changes at least once a week.

While it’s difficult setting up their initial habitat, once you have your tank ready puffers are quite simple to take care of.

 

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Woven Shelves Barstool DIY

Living in the attic of a retired biology teacher gives me a lot of access to many different materials to fuel my DIY obsession.

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I needed an end table and found this bar stool lying around, the main issue was creating shelves in as low-tech a way as possible. I decided weaving would be the sturdiest option with crochet edges to tighten it all together, the shelves then had plenty of tension to support plants, knick-knacks, and brick-a-brack.

 

 

 

 

 

I began by wrapping yarn between two rungs on the stool, I made one consistent layer of yarn, this is what I would weave into.  I then strung a contrasting color over and under every two pieces of yarn, keeping the rows about a half inch apart.  I repeated this process on the top rungs.

 

 

 

 

I knotted the ends together then crocheted a single stitch up the loose ends, effectively hiding them, tightening the weave, and adding a border.

 

 

And that’s that! Free, adorable, personalized end table.

 

Snow Day Crochet (and other activities that don’t rhyme as well)

We’ve had a few snow days recently, I took the time to finish up a few projects around the attic. 

 

Two blankets combining the moss stitch and half double.  The cats have a really hard time watching me crochet, they usually end up on top of whatever I’m working on.

 

 

We took a walk down to the local convenience store for some supplies, wandered about Fulton Park and held hands a lot.

 

 

Repotted some plants I rescued from the sale section at Lowe’s, hung a string to help keep my vine plant off the floor, it seems happier with the support.

 

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Spent every minute with these guys.

Holiday Decorations and gifting 

With a wedding coming up and our hopes to buy a house immediately after I’ve decided to DIY and salvage as many decorations as I could this year. Found a bunch of rolls of lights and ornaments and had a lot of fun (and coffee).

 

 

For my future husband; I came across the wishbones from the first Cornish game hens I cooked for him and seashells from the day he proposed to me.  I made them into keepsakes, he had a similar idea for me, he collected and bottled sand from the day he proposed.  Am I lucky or what??

For my mother; I dug through her attic and found a huge amount of photos sitting in a box, beautiful pictures of her on trips to Montana, St. Lucia, and California.  I assembled them into an album that started with pictures of her on her wedding day and gifted that to my parents.  She actually had a similar idea and created a beautiful photo collage of our special trips to California and North Carolina.

We had a lot of fun decorating, mainly adding holiday flair to our every day home décor, ornaments to my bromeliad, lights onto our vine plant, etc.

Woke up to a note from my fiancé on the 26th (he had already left for work) that read simply “BEST CHRISTMAS EVER”.  I would have to agree.