Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sea Monkeys 10 

I have been tidying up my house lately and came across some old sea monkey material, including one last pouch of eggs. I didn't have the right stuff to create the perfect environment, but figured a big glass vase, some tap water and a few tablespoons of sea salt would do the trick. I then added the contents of the old, dried put tank and the eggs and waited. I call it the do-it-yourself-tank (DIY-tank).

I ordered new sets of pouch 1 (minerals and other compounds to create the perfect environment) and a couple of pouches of eggs started 2 new tanks. These tanks are actually not doing too well so the live creatures I find in there are promptly removed and added to the much bigger DIY-tank.

In the DIY-tank, the sea monkeys seem to be thriving. There must be at least 10 big ones swimming around of which about 5 are egg-carrying females. They are quite easy to spot because of their sacks on their bellies. The adult males are also easy to spot as they seem to have longer "fangs" than the others.

I am happy I chose to put them in a glass vase. The combination of glass and water works as a magnifying glass, making it very easy to see them swimming around. In fact, much easier than if they were cooped up in the small plastic tanks they were meant for.

I am starting to think about getting an actual aquarium for these guys, including an air pump. It would be interesting to see what happens if they have a bigger tank with more water to swim in and a stable flow of oxygen through their habitat.

The only problem with a semi-professional tank is that it needs space and a power outlet. That is not going to be easy to achieve at the moment, but I will think about it. After all, it doesn't have to be that big, does it?

Maybe I'll just get a fish bowl and add some nice marbles and salt water plants instead. I'll have to think about it.

ASUS eee pc 

So I went back to the store. They didn't have a black one like I wanted and I really didn't like the looks of the white one. I left the store sulking :-(

Friday, August 01, 2008

ASUS eee pc 

For those who don't know me personally, I'm into gadgets. The one I have my eye on at the moment is the Asus EEE pc. It's the size of an A5 sheet of paper and weighs less than 1Kg.

Imagine going on vacation and being bored to death or experiencing internet withdrawal symptoms..... get the EEE pc out of your mini-backpack and connect to any hotspot in the neighbourhood - or simply steal the wired connection at your family's place. Surf the net, read your newspapers, check your online email or play your online games as usual.

I looked at one of these little gadgets yesterday, and the only negative thing I could find about it was that the software was in Dutch while I prefer English. I couldn't find an easy way to change the language, but if I am to believe the posts on, I should be able to hack the thing.

I guess I'll go back to the store tomorrow and get my EEE-fix ;-)

How long has it been?? 

I don't remember the last time I posted something on my web page so I guess it's about time to start over. I'm not sure what to write about in general, but I have one topic that has been burning for a while: microfinances.

Kiva is a non-profit organization that helps people like me give loans to people in the third world. The thought of helping someone by lending a small amount of money while giving such a great amount of satisfaction... maybe you should try it too?

Kiva - loans that change lives

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Sea Monkeys 9 

I am still waiting for the eggs in the new tank to start hatching. I haven't even seen an "umbrella" yet, let alone any new born sea monkeys. They should have started hatching a couple of days ago.

For some reason, the secret formulas aren't really working that well. If I look at the tank I prepared with boiled, filtered water and seasalt, the little animals seem to be thriving! I am wondering if I should change the contents of the new tank or not. I will give it another couple of days to see what happens.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sea Monkeys - 8 

The little shrimps didn't seem to like their tank one little bit so I temporarily moved them to another one. In the meantime, I boiled some water, filtered it and let it cool enough to add about 15g of seasalt per 350ml. (I have Googled and Jeeves'd "seawater slinity before starting!)

After the mixture had cooled down to room temperature, I added a little bit of food, and started moving the Sea Monkeys from the old to the new "brine". To my big surprise, the ones who were still alive started swimming frat=ntically around as if trying to eat all the algae floating in the water (yes, that is what their food consists of). Within a few minutes even most of the eggs I had rescued started hatching.

Who knows, maybe they like the seasalt better than the "secret" formula? I have more of them in my tank tonight than I have had since I started it. Until today it seemed as if the little ones would hatch and die. Now they seem like a very lively bunch. I am keeping my fingers crossed!

I have bought an additional (cheap) tank for which I have also boiled and filtered water. I added formula number 1 at about 8pm so I should be able to add the eggs tomorrow evening or Thursday morning. I am curious to see which tank works the best: my seasalt tank of the "formula 1" tank.

Seasalt should be trhe perfect medium to put in a tank like this. After all, it has no additives and has been created in big tanks by letting seawater evaporate. According to several websites, the salinity of seawater lies between 15 and 40 particles per 1000 which means 15 - 40 grams per liter (or thereabout) of water. The northern part of the Atlantic ocean has the lowest value, and the Black sea supposedly has the highest value. I would expect the Black sea and the Salt lake (Utah) to be quite similar - maybe except for temperature?? - and decided to go for a higher salt content than would be found in the Arctic. It seems to be paying off right now.

In addition I have placed the tanks under a spotlight to make sure they get enough light. After all, it's getting quite dark at this time of year, and I am scared they might not get enough rays so to speak.

I will be comparing tanks.....

Monday, November 21, 2005

Sea Monkeys - 7 

They are starting to hatch! I have seen a few of them swimming around this morning. Seeing them moving around in the tank feels good. It must also mean that the low temperature in my house isn't so bad after all.

I can't help but wonder what kind of temperatures they live in in their natural environment. The deep of the sea can't be that warm. I have to look that up somewhere. More to come on this.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sea Monkeys - 6 

Still no word from that bogus webshop. I know it's Sunday, but if it is such a small company that my order was number 11 - btw, that made me a bit suspicious - they would be reading their email during the weekend too. Even if this is not the case, I have made up my mind. I am not giving any more business to these folks! I might reveal the name of the shop soon (for those of you who have not figured out that the link will take you there).

OK.... I figured out I would start the tank I received even though it was not the right one. I removed that ghastly ship so now it looks quite ok. I have poured the eggs into the tank. The water turned quite green because of the dye (?) they must have added to the substance.

I am checking the tank morning and night to see if something has hatched, but for now things are quiet. I know I am impatient, and I know it might take up to a week for the little darlings to hatch, but I check anyway. The temperature in my house is quite low so that might delay the hatching.

Cross your fingers!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Sea Monkey - 5 

They arrived - sort of.

Yesterday afternoon a package was delivered to my door. The box - an old toner cartridge box - looked as if it had had a really good beating with several layers of sticky tape and old address labels. But ok, that's just the outside so it shouldn't matter too much.

I opened the box and out fell lots of little snippets of paper. The little pieces of paper were everywhere! Of course there was something else in the box too: my Sea Monkeys!

My surprise was huge when I saw that they had sent me the wrong kit :-( I wanted the Sea Monkeys My First Pet kit, and what I received was the Sunken Treasure Ship kit. The difference in price is quite substantial because the My First Pet kit has lots of extra's and the other one doesn't.

I can imagine the reason for shipping the wrong product is because of the difference in shipping costs. Incountry (Germany) is €6.50, and international is €15. The difference in shipping costs is about the same as the difference between the two kits. For some reason, the webshop charged me only €6.50 so it's not my fault!

I wish they would have consulted with me before sending me a different kit because I would have been more than willing to pay the extra costs to get THAT particular kit.

As you can imagine, I was quite upset yesterday so I wrote yet another email to the company to complain. Yes, another one. I have written three emails in total and have had no response to any of them. I guess this is part of the reason why I decided to unpack the kit and get it started.

That is when I discovered that it was broken! The ghastly fluorescent ship was supposed to be glued to the bottom of the tank as far as I can see, but it wasn't. To be honest, I don't really see that as a problem because the tank is much nicer without it. From a customer point of view however, this just added insult to injury.

This is the first and the last time I will be shopping at that internetstore, I swear! I will be doing my Sea Monkey shopping via the official webshops from now on, or if I can find one, via a real store where I cancheck out the merchandise before I give them my money. I have found a list of stores at the official Dutch site.

I might just get my Sea Monkeys My First Pet kit after all. IN the meantime, I have started the kit that I received. After all, I have been waiting for a week and I don't feel like waiting any longer. I can always get a second kit later.

I will keep you posted.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Sea Monkeys - 4 

Still no monkeys!

I know the mail services in Europe are slow, but I am impatient. The goods better arrive tomorrow, or else!

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