Katie's Page

One of my young customers came in tonight with her father.  They were happy, excited to be visiting the pet store, and full of questions.  During our conversation, Katie's Dad mentioned that she spends a lot of time here at Aquariumworld.  I'd like to make this page a tribute to Katie and her Dad, and am posting some of my most precious pictures here for them to enjoy.  It was also brought to my attention that Katie had developed a liking for Lucky.  Sadly I had to inform her that Lucky was no longer with us, and that after about 4 yrs of fun and pleasure and love he brought to my family, he was eaten by a tank mate recently.  If it's any comfort, I cried for a week over that particular loss.  I keep his picture in a frame above my desk, and I think of him every day.  If ever a fish was pampered, spoiled, and loved, it was Lucky.  I'd like to also make this page a tribute to him, and to post a picture of the one fish in 4 yrs that was able to conquer and end the reign of the Fierce Lucky... the soap fish that remains unnamed at this moment.  Katie, when you get to this page, please email me at bettababy@hotmail.com and put your name in the subject line.  I would like to ask your help in naming the soap fish who remains king of his aquarium.  I am attempting to obtain some video clip footage of him as I have done with the sharks, to post here for you soon.  He has a lively personality, and is already eating from my hand.  His favorite food so far is ghost shrimp, and he's an effective hunter.  The soap fish is also one who needs a strict diet, as he will eat until his stomach explodes if allowed to.  For this reason he doesn't eat every single day, and is watched carefully for the lumps to digest before he is allowed another meal.  I refer to it as a "he" but at present, I don't know how to determine the sex of that species, so it very well could be a "she".  This fish has just as much personality as Lucky had, and seems to take pleasure in knocking the pencil urchins from the sides of the tank when they venture up on their feast of algae.  So far, the pencil urchins are the only thing I've found safe to enter into this aquarium.  I've been told that any fish bigger than the soap fish is safe to put in, provided the other fish won't eat the soap fish.  I have decided to weigh my options carefully, due to past experiences with Lucky, and thus have found nothing else suitable yet.  The soap fish likes caves made of the live rock, much the way Lucky did, but is far more active than Lucky was.  Light on or off, if someone approaches the tank, the soap fish isn't long in coming to see who is there, and if food has come along.  The last meal of ghost shrimp was 12 large ones in a feeding.  They were gone in about 5 minutes.  Another neat quality in this fish is the swimming habits during feeding.  Often it will swim a bit backwards, stand up straight with nose down towards the food, and then suddenly "snap it up".  I will try to capture this on film for you soon.  I have to assume this fish is still a baby, it's only about 3 1/2 inches long, and has stripes that should turn into spots as the fish matures and grows.  Eventually I will need to obtain a larger tank for this single fish!  Considering the small cube space he was confined to at the store, the 30 gallons he has now must seem like something of a hotel. 

Now that we all have a feel for this fish, I am hoping Katie can help find a proper and suitable name for it.  I think if it's champion enough to conquer the clever goby, it deserves a name.  Below are the pictures I've chosen special for this tribute to my # 1 fan and my # 1 fish!  Each is labeled with information on what is in the picture.

Enjoy and stay tuned for more coming soon!

This is the picture of Lucky that sits in a frame above my desk. 

This is the soap fish that now resides in the tank.  More pics to come soon!

This is Bobbi, my harlequin macaw.  His cage sits next to the 30 gallon salt water tank, and they share my living room with a 55 gallon tank, and a 225 gallon tank.  The bird and fish seem to enjoy watching tv during the day while I'm at work.  My boyfriend was allowing them to watch Jerry Springer during the day, until I came home one afternoon to hear Bobbi arguing in jumbled words... with himself, in another voice from tv, using some not so pretty words.  We have since gone back to public television, and TeleTubies is once again the favorite by all.   

This is Slither, our 18 ft burmese python.  She's a sweetheart!  Slither is about 8 yrs old and was a baby from Hoffer's.  When my boyfriend bought her, she was only about a foot long.  With a lot of love and care, and some special accomidations (she has a room of her own!) she is as tame today as she was back then.  Slither has never harmed anyone, and is still tame enough to pet and play with, although at 100+ lbs, it requires 3 people to carry her.  Her room was built special for her, and has space to expand when she gets larger.  She has a 4 ft x 8 ft enclosure, 4 ft high at it's peak with a 30 gallon tub for bathing.  The floor was tiled with no wax flooring so she didn't have to worry about the puddles she can sometimes leave behind after her bath.  The ceiling in her room is of heavy metal shelving, with open slots to allow for plenty of air circulation, and vinyl covered so they don't get hot when her heat lamps and UV lamps are turned on.  The door is framed in wood with a thick plexi glass window so that we can better watch and communicate with her.  The ceiling holds a 2nd door where she knows food comes from, so there is never a mistake about feeding time and play time.  She well understands the difference and is known to beg like a dog when she is hungry.  When she's bored and wants to come out for some exercise, she will curl up at her window and lift her head quickly at any sign of movement from the other side.  She's very attentive.  Slither likes to roam around the upper level of our home, and her favorite spot remains the king sized waterbed in our bedroom.  As a baby she was often allowed to lay on the heated waterbed with us while we watched tv, so she's quite attached to it.  In the summertime, between feedings, Slither loves to go for walks outside.  We are known around the neighborhood because we often take her to visit some neighbor or other so she can enjoy the attention and fresh air at the same time.  When she gets over stimulated we walk her home to lay in the grass with us standing close guard, always alert to anything that may catch her attention.  She once tried to climb the tree in our front yard, and that could have brought on some large problems.  I don't recommend the burmese python as a pet for most because of the level of care involved in keeping one.  Her food is expensive.  She eats about 10 - 20 lbs of frozen rabbits every other week, and during a growth spurt, sometimes much more.  Rabbits are sold by the pound, and often prices average about $4/lb!  Her cage must be cleaned shortly after each feeding, and it can be compared to cleaning up after a horse at times, lol!  (minus the smell, thankfully)  She's also not the ideal pet for most because she is very strong.  On her last trip to the vet, I held her head for the vet to open her mouth, and my boyfriend along with 4 nurses held the rest of her.  She lifted all 5 of them off the ground without much effort.  This is not a pet to be disrespected or taken for granted for one minute.  A high level of large snake experience is suggested for anyone considering raising a burmese python.  Currently, the largest one in captivity, on record, resides in Illinois, at the Gurnee Mills shopping center.  Baby was approx 28 ft long the last time I was able to visit her.  Slither is on her way.  I am hoping Slither will some day get the prestige she deserves, and plan to put her to work some day, educating the public, with emphasis on our students.  There is so much to be learned about these wonderful creatures, and the pros and cons of keeping them in our homes is only one of the topics I'd some day like to teach. 

Thank you all for visiting Katie's Page and the tribute I felt due for my best fan and beloved lost pet.  These are but a few of the beloved pets I keep here in my home, and there are often orphans here for a time when a need for special care and/or a home arises.  I will post more photos and add to this gallery from time to time, and hope to cover all that has shared our home and our love over the years.  Although some of these pets are no longer with us, either having found new homes or for some reason or other not having survived their personal battles with neglect and sometimes abuse... they are all still here in our hearts.  Each of these animals is my daily inspiration to keep learning, keep working, and keep teaching what I learn so they can have the good and happy lives they deserve.  For those out there who believe that a pet exists that doesn't require special care and a lot of love, please visit the page below that I've written especially for you!



Merry Christmas Katie!



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