When I awoke this morning I got out of bed and put my pants on. I walked over to Maggie's room and opened the blinds while saying,"Get out of bed Maggie, it's time to get up." Then I high tailed it out of the room.

Maggie usually wakes up grumpy and if not left to wake up on her own it goes downhill from there. I head back to my room and finish my morning routine. Then I pop my head into Maggie's room.

To her credit she did do what she was told. She was on the floor next to her bed curled up sleeping on her pillow. She had literally gotten out of bed.

I started laughing and took a pic on my cell phone. I sent it out to various people (close friends/family members) because it was too funny to let slide.

As always I am proud to say,"THAT'S my girl!"

~The Dad

International Guppy Day of Mourning

On Maggie's birthday she was given a 5 gallon aquarium. Aquariums require a 6 week cycle when new to build up healthy bacteria and condition the water. 3 neon tetras, 3 gold barbs and an albino catfish were part of her present.

I have had no experience setting up or maintaining a fish tank. The second day the 3 neon tetras where dead. So I went to the store and picked up 10 plan guppies. Number 11 stowed away with them. These are called feeder fish and sell for 39 cents. 10 of the 11 died in the next few hours. The events that are now known as International Guppy Mourning day occurred.

Number 11 survived. He was a young, small guppy on arrival and Maggie named him baby. The catfish is named Crank. If you ever saw the movie with that name starring Jason Stratham you would know the intense energy level of this catfish.

I called up the fish store a locally owned/operated business and the owner told me to bring in a water sample asap for testing. Seems not knowing better I gave them too much food which sky rocketed the nitrogen levels. I had to go home and vacuum the rocks for waste and replacing 25% of the water with fresh.

Tested out the next day and levels were where they should be at this stage of cycling.

A few days later I pick 6 minnows and 3 more neon tets. The minnows looked much smaller at the store and were too big for this leittle tank. Three were removed. Their presence brought out the aggressive nature in the gold barbs. The minnows being cheap feeder fish also where removed. The barbs did not chill out.

This tank is for Maggie to enjoy so I had to toss the barbs. We are setting up a peaceful tank, not a place for barbs to keep take bites out of the other fish.

Yesterday I went back to the fish store and explained about the barbs. I went home with 10 hippie, peaceful cheap guppies. more. Another #11 stowed away.

When I got home I noticed one was gravid and ready to pop at any moment. Another seemed pregnant also but not as far along. I don't see her this morning so I'm assuming she did the deed.

I had gone out to buy some dense plastic vegetation after seeing her condition last night for the fry to hide in until they grow bigger. Yes, you read that correctly. Their newborns are called fry. I keep peering inside but no dice on seeing any so far.

Small tanks are much harder to cycle and maintain. There is very little room for margin of error. Once this one is set up and I feel more secure I plan on buying a 12-15 gallon tank for myself around Spring. I love the smaller fish and a bigger tank will just be non-stop amusement. I love watching them.

Here's hoping the compost pile doesn't smell any fishier.

~The Dad