Thursday, January 10, 2008

Flipped for Sea Monkeys!

Sea-Monkey Face

In The Beginning

Papa plays an online game that he has to check into often to feed his troops. He started calling his troops his sea monkeys, he would say things like "got to go feed my sea monkeys" etc. My children started asking questions, which of course, in true Homeschool fashion, lead to us owning pet sea monkeys.

Starting Sea-Monkey Ocean ZooJust Follow the Instructions Carefully...

We carefully read over the instructions, and followed them to a T. Within a few days "OH JOY" we had teeny tiny little wiggly dots. We watched those dots grow into specks, then specks with tails, then creatures, then creatures with wings, then we could see the spindles of the wings. The first dot did lots of loop-de-loops and grew bigger then many of the others, we called him Squiggly. Then we got another named Nemo, and finally the runt was named Pinocchio. We had nine sea monkeys live to adult hood, and were surprised when they first started to mate. We called it getting married, and wondered if the mated pair would always stay stuck together. The did not, and afterwards the tank was swarming with lots of little wiggly dots. We began to imagine with delight the tank full of wiggling pink creatures.

But What if the Instructions are Too Simple...

But day after day we noticed the wiggling dots got fewer and fewer, until there were no more left. I thought that maybe they were being eaten because the adults were under fed, but feeding did not seem to make a difference. None of our thousands of babies were living, we still had the original 9. I know the solution....

Buy more stuff...

Our Ghostly Gallon came shipped from Amazon in a large and colorful box. The kids were jumping up and down as I opened it with anticipation. This set came with an aqua leash, a million bubble wand, and a plasma packet, not to mention a few cool extras like a built in light and glow in dark tank we were TOTALLY SET UP!

The Master Plan..

  1. Set up the Ghostly Gallon with the starter packet 1.
  2. Let it sit over night, just like the instruction say.
  3. Then... Transfer the our 9 monkeys to the ghostly gallon, because it is cooler.
  4. Put the egg pack in the original plain tank.
  5. Wait for the eggs to hatch wiggly dots.
  6. Wait for the wiggly dots to grow up to medium small monkeys.
  7. Transfer the larger sea-monkeys to the Ghostly Gallon.
  8. Thus diversifying the population.
  9. Continue to keep the babies separate from the adults.

The Best Laid Plans of Monkeys and Men...

When we transferred the adult monkeys they swam and squiggled much more then normal, it scared us, we thought they were experiencing throws of pain and death. We quickly transferred them back. Sea-Monkey #1 bites the dust, or maybe not, is it an Elvis Monkey? I think we squished Elvis with the aqua leash, he (actually a she, our largest she) curled up and laid on the bottom of the tank almost lifeless. But close examination showed us that he was still alive. IDEA! The Plasma said that it was like medicine for the sea monkeys. We added one recommended larger scoop to the tank. Guess what? All the sea-monkeys started to dance around the tank. Same as before when we put them in the ghostly gallon but we read or learned that they move faster if the salt level is right. Elvis got better and started dancing also....

Is it a Ghost Monkey?

But the next morning Elvis was sited again on the bottom of the tank, dead. And we counted only 8 monkeys. Did we throw away the monkey body, we don't remember, why did it show back up later, or maybe it didn't, did Elvis even die? GHOST MONKEY TO BE CONTINUED...

Back on Track...

The new eggs got the plush new ghostly gallon, because we were to timid to try moving the original 9 again. And they loved it and thrived, baby wiggly dots everywhere. I think almost three dozen lived to medium size. We got up our courage to again transfer the medium babies over to live with the adults.

Was that Elvis?

Before we transferred the medium babies, DH counted the adult sea-monkeys..... There were 9 again. Was that Elvis? Your guess is as good as mine... The medium monkeys lived well with the larger monkeys. All was good and happy...

And Then..

Two of our older sea-monkeys mated, shortly afterwards little babies dots filled the tank. I started the great sea-monkey baby rescue. And that is when I made the #1 mistake that kills sea-monkeys. Once all the 2nd set of babies were out of the ghostly gallon I started to transfer over the original 9 and the largest of the medium sea-monkeys, so that the new babies in our plain red tank could get a chance to live. When I transferred them over they seemed to HATE the fact that the bottom of their tank was not littered with gunk, or what ever settles to the bottom. Earlier we decided that the strange upside down dance the monkeys did on the bottom of the tank was all in search of food. So, I thought the solution was simple, simply add a large amount of food to the water and let it settle to the ground so they can play in it like they seem to like.


First we lost Pinocchio, my youngest and most emotional daughters favorite. Mine too, he was so red, large, "fluffy" and beautiful.... Well, large and beautiful for a sea-monkey. Then we lost Squiggly, Nemo, and our 2nd favorite, a large male with a wonderful crown of fringe on his head. Sob!

"That is what you get for naming fish food" DH says.

We also lost a few medium ones. All the monkeys that were "suspected" to be dead were placed in a paper cup with a small amount of water. Then all of us took a death watch over them, hoping one, any of them would just wiggle a little bit and show us they were alive still. We left the cup out on the counter over night, to sad to flush them. The next morning "Two are wiggling" exclaims my second daughter. They revived and continue to live happy lives, such survivors. But we lost seven of our nine adults. Now we have about a dozen medium ones, and a hand full of wiggly specks of babies. Almost back where we started.

Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)

.... But Elvis Still Lives ... See my Side Bar

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