No bits you say

Kingsmill 5050

Just a quickie & I’m probably not allowed (or supposed) to mention the brand, but I’m sure most will recognise it anyway.  “50/50 with hidden wholegrain, no bits”.  I wonder what the manufacturers consider to be “bits” as I can clearly see what I would call bits on the edge of that crust.  Maybe that’s not what they mean, but if not, then I’m confused.


Desperate convict

You may have read here a while ago a post called Keen convicts. Well consider this a kind of sequel.

I mentioned that I recently shuffled some fish and part of that shuffling resulted in there being a tank with a female convict (the poor girl who was beaten up by the male last time she tried to raise a family), a male firemouth and a female Kribensis.

As soon as I’d let the firemouth out of his bag the convict was all over him, flirting and chasing the other away & such. He looked terrified, staying at the other end of the tank and trying to keep away from her. I left them to settle and sort it out for a while.
The next day the convict was excavating in one corner, back & forth with her mouth full of sand and looking pretty pleased with herself in general. The firemouth was still hiding in the furthest possible place from her. It was comical. I imagined her singing away to herself, making her little love nest & him with a worried look on his face. I don’t think he realises what she wants from him.
I have read that the two species will cross breed and it looks like that might be what is going on here.

Later that evening, there were eggs stuck to the glass in the previously excavated corner.
It’s a shame the glass is a bit smeary, but this is the best I got with the phone camera. She wasn’t too happy with me being so close to the corner either.

Female convict and eggs_rtc50pc
(Click image for full size)

The most recent thing I have to report is that the firemouth is now lurking very close to her corner and not looking too bothered about her being nearby any more. The convict is chasing the kribensis away when she’s nowhere near as close as the firemouth.

I’m not sure whether he’ll get the idea and anything will come of it or not, but It’ll be quite interesting if the eggs come to anything.

Shuffling fish

It seems that a few of the fish have had a recent burst of growth and space for them all is becoming a bit of a problem. Not a huge problem yet, but significant enough for me to do something about it before it gets out of hand.
So far I’ve removed a gold severum and two firemouths from the main tank, leaving two male convicts (one of which is to be removed), a gold severum, oscar, firemouth, kribensis and the crazy ruby shark. I’m looking for a larger tank and am thinking of swapping everything around and having it all set up differently.

The plan is to eventually end up with enough space for a green terror in a main tank. I haven’t decided exactly which, if any, tank mates to include. I’m thinking either a Jack Dempsey or oscar. Maybe a male convict or a school of tiger barbs. I’ll let you know when I know.
I will also be keeping a Malawi tank, for now at least, but knowing my attraction to the giant cichlids I don’t know how long it’ll be before I change my mind again.
Of course I will be keeping the severum and oscar if possible, though I’ve heard that fully grown oscars don’t play well with others, so again I’ll just have to see how that goes. If it doesn’t work out with the oscar & severum then I’ll split them up and put the firemouth back with the severum, or something. Ha, I have no idea what I’m doing really, do I?


As promised, here’s a better photo of the Oscar.

(Click image for full size)
Oscar & Ruby

It’s still not a great photo, but they’ll get better as he grows. Weird huh?

He (actual gender unknown) doesn’t look as though he’s going to have a huge amount of colour, but I’m not sure if that changes as they age?  If anyone knows, I’d welcome the comments.

Oh and yes, that’s a Ruby shark in there. He holds his own with all the Cichlids he’s lived with so far, including the Severum. I don’t know how long that will be the case as the Oscar & Severum grow. Again, comments/advice welcome.

All rather confusing really.

Just for a laugh… No, because I’m too lazy to keep up with two blogs… no, because I was programmed by aliens… no, because I had a vision…  I just merged my blogs. I don’t know if it was a great idea, but it’s done. I think it just threw the abandoned blog in here randomly, so I hope it’s not too scruffy.

Just to fill up some space…  I bought two new fish today. A Tiger Oscar and a Pseudotropheus demasoni. I know, why don’t they give it a normal name? We don’t go round saying “I just bought an Astronotus ocellatus”.  We call it an Oscar. So why isn’t the demasoni called a Grammy or something? 😉

Something I didn’t consider when I bought the fish was the fact that the demasoni is African. It occurred to me after I got home & I checked it out online and sure enough, it’s apparently not a good idea to mix them.
Having said that, so far there has been no trouble. Nothing else really resembles him so I’m hoping it’ll be OK. We’ll see.

I am planning to upgrade the tank soon as it wont be long before I have no space for them all.
I’ll try & remember to get here & let you know.


The Oscar was almost invisible against the background so I’ll upload a photo of him as soon as I get one.



ebay feedback

There is something that started off as slightly annoying, but has now become quite infuriating and frustrating.. people who don’t bother leaving feedback on ebay.

It may seem quite trivial and that I’m making a fuss about nothing, but take a look around the ‘net and see just how many people are feeling the same way.

Originally the idea of feedback was so that any potential buyer/seller could get a rough idea of how reliable, honest, trustworthy & such a person was before trading with them. This worked reasonably well, but gradually it all changed to a waiting game. My opinion of the way it should work is that when a transaction is completed… that is, when an auction has finished, or a BIN has been finalised and the seller has received payment, regardless of anything else the buyer has completed their end of the deal. I believe that that is the point where the seller should leave feedback. If I paid promptly then that is all I can do and the next step is down to the seller.
There have always been some sellers who wait & see what feedback the buyer leaves before deciding what to leave themselves. This is wrong of course. The buyer’s feedback should not be based on whether they left good or bad feedback for the seller. The whole point of the system is to try and encourage people to trade properly, without messing each other about and maintain some standard of quality. It is down to the buyer to pay promptly and the seller to accurately & honestly describe the item, ship promptly with adequate packaging and give some kind of reassurance that they will deal with any problems that may arise. That’s not really that difficult and if adhered to, the system works quite well.

One day, not a million years ago, ebay decided to change the system so that sellers could not leave negative feedback. I realise this is a bit weird and doesn’t make the seller feel very happy, but I think the idea was that it would help to stop this growing tendency for sellers to wait to see what they get before they decide what to leave. After all, the only responsibility the buyer has is to pay and if they don’t pay then the seller doesn’t ship the item until they do. It should also encourage sellers to make sure that they are honest with their descriptions and prompt with their shipping, but it hasn’t really helped. In fact it has a new element to it now that didn’t exist before the change.
I recently had to contact a seller and ask them if they could leave feedback for me. The response wasn’t what I expected.

Me (Buyer):

Hi again, I recently reminded you about feedback for the item & still haven’t received any. I wondered if you were on holiday or something, but see your recent sales so that’s not the case.
Anyway, I paid immediately after I clicked the buy button. I also left positive for you…. so it would be appreciated if you could reciprocate.


Them (Seller):

feedback is one sided i can only leave positive so why would i rush to do it .ill do it when i can spare the time not when u think i should . if it cant be done then its probly coz i have to reply to stupid questions like this taking upmy timeso i hav eno time to do things of no importance like feedback”


Nice huh?
Well needless to say I wont be ordering anything from that bloke again. So in this case his attitude says a lot more about him than his feedback. This is the reason why feedback is important. He asked why he would rush to do it, suggested my request was a stupid question that wasted his time. This is a trader? This is someone that relies on people with stupid questions to put food on his table.
I replied to him with the reasons feedback exists and why it is important, more so to him as a seller than to me a buyer and  that thanks to his attitude he has lost a potential return customer and also gained some bad publicity by word of mouth (a very powerful tool) and such things as this very blog.

So there you have it. The way it works on ebay now is that if you buy an item and pay for it immediately… if you don’t see any feedback for that item within a few days then it’s likely that you either wont receive any at all or they’ll wait until you leave some. Even though they (sellers) can’t leave negative for you, they wont leave any until you do. Tit-for-tat.
So in light of this, I now refuse to leave feedback for a seller until they leave it for me. Tit-for-tat. It seems only fair. After all, I paid & completed my side of the transaction. It’s not the best way to deal with it, but what else can you do? I wont help a seller gain reputation if they can’t be bothered to take a couple of seconds to type a few words to help me. They have more to lose than I do… a point they seem to miss.

Keen convicts

I finally sold the six smallest convicts I had & was left with just the two largest that appeared to have paired off a while ago. They were always together & constantly chasing the smaller ones away, so I decided to give them some space.
With the others gone I didn’t think it would be long before the two left would start looking for somewhere nice to lay a few eggs. I had no idea it would be so soon. After the rest of them had been removed from the tank, within 5 hours I noticed the female hanging around the same area a lot. I watched her for a while and then spotted some eggs on the surface of a broad leaf. I don’t know how I didn’t notice them before.

I grabbed the camera and took a few photo’s. You can see the eggs most clearly in this one. (Click image for full size)

Female convict cichlid with eggs.

What this means, of course, is that I will have to get myself in gear and sort out another tank. I just hope it doesn’t take so long to sell these babies on as the last ones did.