I have a Paradise Betta; his name is Avatar Blue. I got him at Petco for about $20. As soon as I saw him, I knew I just had to have him. I didn't have much of a home for him besides a tall glass vase. This last week, he was beginning to show signs of poor health, so I decided to invest in a better home for him. After extensive research, I got him a Fluval Spec 5 gallon tank, a sponge for his filter output (to help his swimming), some Seachem Prime water conditioner, Indian almond leaves, a heater, and some Hikari Betta Bio Gold food. He's so much more active and colorful now. He looks better than when I got him! I love this little guy, and he's enjoying his new home to the fullest.
I put down some natural substrate for now. I plan to decorate his tank with live plants and add some Siamese algae eater fish for tankmates. The best change I have seen so far is his activity and color brightness since adding the Indian almond leaves. Those things make a significant difference. He's so shiny! I'm hoping to add some spider wood or driftwood with some java moss as well, but that will have to wait until next week. I already paid $150 for everything to upgrade Avatar's home. So worth it though. I enjoy watching him swim around and explore. Sometimes he even flares up and makes a show like a peacock. My daily routine is to feed him 4-5 pellets in the morning and then the same in the evening. I replace whatever water has evaporated as well. Every week, I'll be doing a 30% water change with my new water pump (makes water changes a breeze), add more Prime, and replace his almond leaves. What's so great about this specific aquarium is that it has an exceptional filter system that keeps his water crystal clear, and has enough space to hide away the heater and almond leaves out of sight. This is an awesome addition to my desktop, right next to my computer monitor.
I got a Cannondale Quick 6 bicycle for $500 and invested $50 more into an excellent lock and chain. I've had it for a few months now, but just started bicycling to work this past month. I refill the tires with air at least once a week because I ride so aggressively and do 18 miles each day, three times a week. It's a very efficient hybrid, and I absolutely love how smooth it rides. I manage to get to work in about an hour on this beauty.
I got an Echo Dot a few months ago as well to entertain Lily with it. It didn't hold her interest for long. So now I use Alexa to help me keep timers when I'm preparing dishes and to help me calculate math and play music. I know Alexa has tons of skills, but the hassle of setting up some of the cooler ones is too much for me to bother with right now. I'm keeping it pretty basic.
I am still busy in the kitchen. Made some cheesy tortellini pasta with red sauce, and then experimented with a new mandolin to make a random salad with organic sirloin steak. This was my first time trying 100% grass fed beef. It has an interesting flavor, but I don't think I will be repurchasing it. We have a fig tree that is blossoming with tons of figs this year. So I harvested a bunch and ate them. I'm saving most in the freezer for smoothies and other things.
Since I'm getting into aquariums and gardening, I decided to do a trial of a planted aquarium. I did this for my Pothos plant clipping. I sifted potting soil and put it on the bottom. Then I layered gravel on top of that - enough to keep the dirt from shifting. Then I filled it with water and planted the clipping in it. The nutrients from the soil are supposed to feed the plant, and the plant is meant to clean the water. I think it's pretty low maintenance. So I'm preparing some other unusual vases for this method as well.
This is a shot of the fire pit we did a few weeks back. I just have a fascination with fire.