Last night, while scrabbling for something to fill the time between about 8pm and my 10pm bedtime, my eyes fell upon my Pond Snail Repository.
I don't know if this is a problem anyone else has, but I feel bad killing the snails for no reason. They're too big to squish and feed to my betta, and I don't have an appropriate tank to get any other snail-predators.
So I threw them, and some soil, decorative rocks, and half-dead plant trimmings, in a 1 gallon bowl I had on hand. And for a while, all was well. They ate up the dead bits of plant, and I just let it be. No light, nothing.
But last night. Last night, I thought to myself... I COULD SCAPE
THIS. Last time, when I poured in the water, the dirt all clouded up and settled on the sides of the bowl and on the plants and such, making it rather ugly. The snails cleared it off, but not without leaving little black snail-poop-lines all over. I didn't know snails COULD poop. I spent a few minutes contemplating the Great Pink Sea Snail's poop upon that discovery.
Anyway, this all brings me to last night, when I decided to take everything out, trim the crappy bits off the plants, and replant everything.
I started with what was not necissarily an incredible eyesore. Granted, half the plants were near-dead, many were chewed to bits where the snails had taken the dead off, and there was a pile of probably decaying Java Moss that I had bought but didn't have anything to tie to at the time. (Impulse purchase. Whoops.)
I Pulled everything out. All of the plants, I lay on a paeper towel. Also, the snails. Any snail I could find got picked out and paper-toweled.
Out came the rocks, then I dumped the water over the balcony. (That was fun! ...the first time...) Some of the dirt stayed, so I decided; "It hung on. It deserves to live.
So I began replanting.
But upon attempting to pour the water slowly down the side of the bowl, I blew up a huge cloud of dirt. So I decided, GO AWAY DIRT.
And I dumped the water and dirt out even more, and cleaned the bowl.
This was it. My brilliant idea. I'd SLOOOOOOWLY flood the bowl from the bottom, so nothing would be disturbed and blown up, like when you dig a hole below the waterline at the beach, and it fills ack up with clear water.
My genius was undeniable.
I replanted. It looked nice.
THe pond snails got bored and started wandering from their assigned pile as I was re-planting.
So. It comes time to try and flood it again. I thought I was smart. My funnel-tube-flood-from-below plain was airtight.
...Or not. So I picked everything out, dumped everything out, and tried AGAIN.
And this time, I covered the mud in those big flat marbles. And decorative rocks. And air. And then water,
over my hand, at barely more than a slow trickle.
And it mostly worked.
So I tied the Java moss to a chopstick, stabbed it into the bottom, and floated some riccia of questionable health on top. I put it on my desk, and glared balefully at it, because it looked better before.