Saltwater Aquarium Care

June 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Pet Care Tips

Saltwater Aquarium Care – How to Maintain the Health of Your Saltwater Aquarium Plants

Good saltwater aquarium care means taking care of the fish and water quality in your tank but it also means taking care of your aquarium plants. Not only do your aquarium plants create an interesting home and shelter for your fish, they are also essential for the health of your fish, water quality and the tank as a whole. Proper, saltwater aquarium care, therefore, must always take into account the health of your marine plants.

Some marine plants are hardy and easy to care for while others need quite a bit of practice and experience. If you are a novice aquarist it is a good idea to start with hardy plants, as these are easier to care for. Once you have a bit more practice in correct saltwater aquarium care you can move on to fussier varieties.

The first thing to do is to decide what you want to achieve with your marine plants. You should do this even before you buy your tank. If you want big, healthy plants make sure you know what equipment you need, what sort of saltwater aquarium care is required and how much time it will take you to achieve these results.

If you are more concerned with the fish in your tank than plant life then it might be a good idea to invest in one or two plastic plants instead. Responsible saltwater aquarium care means knowing what you want and getting the balance right.

While most marine plants do grow into lush, healthy plants they all need good lighting. This is so that they have enough energy for making their own food by means of photosynthesis. Without sufficient light for photosynthetic activity your plants will remain stunted or die. So part of correct saltwater aquarium care involves making sure that your aquarium provides sufficient lighting for plant growth.

To make sure that your plants are getting enough light keep the following rule of thumb in mind: For each gallon of water in a tank you will require 3 to 5 watts of light. Most aquarium lighting systems are below that level, however so you may need to shop around to find adequate lighting to make sure you are providing the proper saltwater aquarium care for your plants.

In the natural aquarium the fish and plant populations are perfectly balanced and compliment each other. Marine plants create shelter, shade, and even food for your fish! Plants that are well lit will give off oxygen and this creates a good environment for your fish. So proper saltwater aquarium care makes your tank healthy and provides optimum conditions for plants and fish alike.

The fish will, in turn, feed off the carbon dioxide released by the fish. Plants also feed off the waste that fish produce. This helps to absorb some of the waste that might become toxic to your fish. So as you can see proper saltwater aquarium care means maintaining a healthy balance for all the life in your tank.

To provide proper saltwater aquarium care for your plants and fish you need to make sure that conditions in your tank are optimal. Plant growth needs water which is at the correct ph levels. It also needs the water to be at the correct temperature for growth and survival.

Unfortunately this might not fit in with the temperature requirements of the fish species you want to keep. So you might have to decide between plants and fish in some cases. Again, good saltwater aquarium care is always about finding the happy medium.

Fish also eat or tear away sections of plants and this might actually ruin the aesthetic appeal of your tank. Plants may be uprooted by the foraging activity of your fish. So plant care can be a bit tricky and does require some patience. One of the most frustrating aspects of saltwater aquarium care is the occurrence of marine algae.

Algae can really be a problem for the marine aquarist. Sometimes despite the best saltwater aquarium care – lights, substrate additives, fertilizers and CO2 systems – instead of lush plant growth you are confronted with algal growth. Algae can be very difficult to get rid of once it has taken root and it can really limit the growth of other plants.

Usually the aquarist employs various methods of saltwater aquarium care for combating this scourge. These might include using algicides, bleach dips, antibiotics (for cyanobacteria), manual removal or fish or invertebrates that feed on algae.

During an algal attack the amount of food and light is decreased and different amounts of fertilizer are tried – sometimes with success. Correct saltwater aquarium care results in some sort of balance being reached.

The best form of saltwater aquarium care and algae treatment is to provide the tank with a water change. In fact if you could change the tank water daily it would be ideal but this is obviously not very practical. You should change 25% of the water at least twice weekly, however. If you can stick to this schedule the amount of algae in the tank will be reduced and your fish and plants will be healthier. A water change should form a part of routine saltwater aquarium care whether you have an algal problem or not.

So what kinds of plants can you grow in a saltwater aquarium? A variety of plants are suitable for a saltwater aquarium. Choose from grape algae (Caulerpa racemosa), Halimeda Halimeda sp, shaving brush algae (Penicillus capitus), fan algae (Udotea flabellum), corralline bush algae (Galaxaura sp.), sea grass, red gracilaria (which your fish can eat) and many others. Proper saltwater aquarium care means making sure that your plants and fish co-exist in perfect harmony.

Proper saltwater aquarium care means really getting to know your marine tank. Do as much research as possible to ensure that your marine plants and fish have everything they need to grow, stay healthy and be happy. If you get it right, your aquarium will provide you with many hours of entertainment, fun and pleasure. Good luck and enjoy your aquarium!

Choosing A Pet Cat

June 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Pet Care Tips

I know many people that are considering getting a pet for themselves or for family members of friends. When I ask most of them what kinds of pets they are considering they sort of laugh and say that “they are only considering dogs, of course.” I’m not sure what causes this particular response in people, but I have done my best in the past few months and begun speaking up for getting a cat instead of a dog.

It’s true that I am a little biased about the benefits of owning a cat over a dog. After all, I have been a cat owner since I was three years old and I am now a cat breeder by profession. I will attempt to keep all of my bias away as I share with you a few great reasons why you should at least consider choosing a cat rather than a dog for your next pet.

First, a cat is the perfect pet for many people because they require much less work than dogs. Think about it. Getting a dog requires someone to be home nearly all the time at least for the first few months of owning the dog. With a cat there is no need to potty train them, take them outside, walk them or spend endless hours playing with them. A cat is definitely a more independent animal and the perfect pet for more independent people. Who really wants to be tied down with an animal that takes so much time and attention?

Another great reason for getting a cat rather than a dog is to have a quiet and constant companion. One of my least favorite things about dogs is how loud and noisy they can be. Of course, a cat will occasionally meow, but nowhere near as much noise as a dog. Cats pretty much keep quiet and are the perfect companion for most people. They are also great because they usually love to be around people, so if you are looking for a pet that will be quiet but will be near you, then the cat is the perfect choice for you.

Cats in general take a lot less work than dogs. Talk to most cat owners and you will hear great stories of people who love owning a cat. So if you are thinking of getting a pet, take the time to check out the benefits of getting a cat. See how great having a cat can be with your stressful and busy life can be.

Traveling With Pets

June 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Pet Care Tips

Every year, thousands of families bring their pets along on their vacations. Some feel as if their pets are part of their families, and don’t want to leave them behind. For others, there is simply no one at home to watch the pet, no funds available for boarding, or the trip was a spur-of-the-moment plan and there was no time to consider anything else except to bring the pet along.

Of course before you head out the door with your pet, there are some things to consider like accommodations, because not all hotels, motels, campgrounds and other lodgings accepts pets. So go through this checklist before you hit the road so you don’t have to leave your cat or dog in an unsafe environment.

Do Some Research & Confirmation Work

Check popular campground guidebooks, hotel, motel and other lodge listing research work to see which places accept pets. Then call ahead to confirm, as most print publications went to press at least a year ahead of time, and places may have changed hands or ownership status along with their pet policies. Find out if the location charges extra per night, plus if there are deposits and if there are any size requirements (for example, do they accept large dogs).

Portable Pet Kennels

Many pets ride fine in automobiles. However, some do not. Plus you may be traveling part way by airplane, bus or other means, and not only that, once you reach your destination, pet kennels turn into pet beds, making safe havens for your furry friends each night away from home. So you might want to check out portable pet kennels.

For airline travel with pets, call ahead to the specific airlines you’ll be using for exact details and requirements for traveling with pets. On some fights, you need to have given your animal food and water roughly 2 hours before take off, so you’ll want to check for exact details to see what your pet will need and the size carrier that’s allowed, etc. Some smaller ones for cats and small dogs may be allowed under the seat, so ask.

When you are vacationing with your cat or dog, pack a favorite toy or two, blanket or pillow, and any special things it may need, just as you would your own. Don’t forget some pet food, of course, plus some snacks or treats. And if your pet may need medication of any kind, bring along any medicines and / or any pet vitamins, etc. that might be needed. And as an added precaution, bring along the phone number of your vet, in case there is an emergency.

Pet Snakes

June 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Pet Care Tips

Snakes are limbless, cold-blooded and scaly reptiles belonging to the order of Squamata. Keeping snakes as pets can be easy only if their requirements are understood deeply. Their needs are different from other reptiles. Owners must also understand that some of them grow very large and can become dangerous with the passage of time. There are different types of snakes available for pet owners with different preferences. Every snake has a different diet and need different environment to live in. Snakes, which are kept as exotic pets, range from common garter snake to pythons. Snakes sometimes also cross forty years of age; so potential owners should be aware of this fact and be ready to make lifetime commitment before thinking of keeping snakes as pets.

Snakes can easily escape from their owner’s custody. They always look out for enclosures, which will let them out of the captivity. The owners must be extremely careful in this regard and also should build an escape proof enclosure. Snakes are carnivores. They do not eat vegetation at all. The favorite food for snakes is rats and mice. Bigger snakes are fed with squirrel, rabbits and other small mammals. Some species even eat insects and fishes. As the snakes eat small animals, it is advisable to kill the prey before it is given to the snake. If this job is left to the snake, it could be risk to its life.

Usually snakes that have been bred in captivity are an excellent choice as pets. Wild snakes carry lots of diseases and parasites with them, get really stressed out with the transportation and are very difficult to be tamed.  King snakes, ball pythons and corn snakes are popular choices. Their diet and environmental needs aren’t as complicated as other species of snakes. They are also small in size, but the king snakes can sometimes grow up to seven feet. Ball pythons have eating issues. They like to feed on a live prey instead of pre-killed prey. Also, they sometimes stop eating food for months together. Ball pythons that have been bred in captivity have lesser eating issues. And before buying a ball snake, the owner can test whether the reptile eats a dead prey readily or not.

The more challenging snakes that are kept, as pets are red-tailed boas, water snakes, Burmese pythons, and any other pythons and wild snakes. The most dangerous of them are Burmese pythons. They can completely swallow a human being. So it is recommended to have people around while feeding the reptile. Burmese pythons are very strong snakes. They grow more than twenty feet and weigh more than two hundred pounds. Even red-tailed boas grow up to ten feet and weigh more than fifty ponds. They are also difficult to be managed by one person. All these species demand right temperatures and humidity in their environment.

Reticulated pythons and anacondas are extremely dangerous exotic pets. Some strictly recommend against keeping them as pets. Another variety that is fatal is venomous snakes. They not only are a threat to the owner and his family members but also to people in the neighborhood, if it escapes.

Snakes are also bred for their skin, which is used to make belts, bags, shoes, etc. They are also eaten as a delicacy in many countries and even in Western America. In many of the Asian countries, the snake’s meat and blood is consumed for medicinal purposes.

Care Guide For Hamster

June 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Pet Care Tips

One can’t just take his eyes off hamster pups, as these tiny cute little creatures will sure have your attention. Baby hamster are born without any fur and are closely attached to their mother. Though you may have the desire to hold them, bare in mind that there is nothing you can do within two weeks period after delivery.

REMEMBER NOT TO TOUCH THE BABIES!! Your action might harm the babies and change its scent thus confuses the mother. She will think that they are not hers, abandon them and worst she might even eat the babies (it did happened to my hamsters). Not to cause any stress to the mother, avoid cleaning up the cage within this period. It is advisable to place the babies at the bottom of the cage as none of them had opened their eyes yet.

After this two weeks ‘vital’ period, you can hold them but only for a brief period as not to disturb or stress the mom or babies. You can also clean up the cage and place fresh beddings in most of it. Remove just the soiled parts in the nest area and put a good portion of the old bedding in it. Put the babies back in the nest after it is cleaned up followed by the mother.

Once the babies eyes are opened (which should occur on the 11-12 days, but some take less/more), they should figure out how the bottle works. In order for them to reach it easily, put it lower and in an area where they frequently go. If they haven’t figured out how to use the bottle and you are worried about them not drinking enough, you can give them pieces of cucumbers to prevent dehydration. Do not put water in a bowl to prevent them from falling in and drown or catch a cold.

At three weeks, you can separate the babies if you observe any fighting among them but if they seem immature, less developed and not quite independent enough to leave mom just yet, let them stay together until they are four weeks old. When they reach five weeks old, independent and have a healthy development, they can be placed in new homes and play in new surroundings and environment.

Puppy Agility Training

June 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Pet Care Tips

You may be asking, “When can I start agility training with my new puppy?” Puppies are always learning, so every time you are with your pup you can be playing and socializing with agility in mind. Always remember, if you can control your puppies environment, you can teach and train the behaviors you want, left on their own, even in a fenced yard, puppies will learn and develop behaviors that later we may want or need to extinguish.

One of the first behaviors we teach our pups is “Table” or “Box”. This behavior transfers to the agility pause table. But more than that, the table is the center and control point of our puppy training. We introduce pups and older dogs to the table set at a 12 inch height. If you have a very small pup you could use an 8 inch table, but even with bigger dogs we use the 12 inch table and not higher. To begin, lure pup up on a low pause table, treat him for getting on the table. Once the pup is comfortable getting up on the table, then lure the pup up to a sit. You can also lure to a down.

Next you want to work on distance to the table. If you have a person to help you you can use a white target plate on the table, take the pup and step back from the table about 3 feet. Have your helper make a noise to get the pup’s attention, and place a treat on the table. Release your pup to, “Go table.” The pup gets his reward only when getting up on the table. If you don’t have a helper, than place your treat in a covered container that will be recognized as a treat box for your pup. Leave the treat container on the table, step away from the table about 3 feet, face the table and say, “Go Table”.

If your pup is very young, you can hold him as you lift him off the table and move away from the table. If your pup is too big for you to hold then use a flatbuckle collar and light dragline for your pup.

Now introduce your jumps to your pup. But you are not going to use the jump bars yet. First you want your pup to go through or between the jump uprights. Set a jump about 4 feet away from your table. Take your pup to the other side of the jump. So you are lined up pup, jump, then table. You want to get your pups attention to the treat on the table, either with a helper or a treat container, release your pup to the table, “Go Table”. Let the pup run ahead of you, but go meet him at the table so that he can get his treat, praise him then offer him another treat for sitting on the table.

Progress with adding one extra jump at a time. Spacing the jumps about 3 feet apart. You are developing a jump chute that will lead the pup to the table. Remember your goal is to build the command, “Go” and “Table”. You are also teaching the pup to move out ahead of you, working away from you and getting comfortable working around tables and jumps. Your pup is getting familiar running through the jump uprights, but you are not focusing on having your pup jump.

With all your puppy training, have fun with your pup. Use all your puppies motivators, praise, toys, and food. It is up to you to be more interesting to your pup than all the other distractions out in the yard.

Choosing A Pet Rabbit

June 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Pet Care Tips

Choosing the right rabbit for you and your family can be a very exciting process. There are currently over 40 recognized breeds of rabbits. Many of the breeds have multiple varieties and colors. Rabbits range in size from 2 pounds to over 10 pounds. So the choices are very abundant.

Many breeders give different answers regarding the preferred gender for a pet rabbit. This is compounded by the individual temperament of the rabbit. Often a doe (girl rabbit) that is not spayed, can become territorial was she reaches maturity. She may nip at you when reaching for her or even her food or water dishes. Some does will eliminate that aggression when a familiar face does the feeding on a daily basis. Some does we’ve found to be non-aggressive, and yet others can become territorial towards everybody, but that is very rare. If you do not plan to breed your rabbit, and you want a doe, it is best to have her spayed to help reduce the chances that she may protect her den.

Bucks present a different problem all together. Bucks generally are not aggressive. However, spraying can be a problem. When the buck reaches maturity he may start to spray his urine everywhere to let the whole world know he is ready for a mate. Again, not all bucks will do this, and typically the ones that do, will only do so for a short period of time. This problem can be eliminated by having the buck neutered.

Grooming is another consideration. The wool breeds such as angoras and jersey woolies require extra work in grooming. All rabbits need a good routine of grooming by their caretaker, but the wool breeds require more time because of the nature of their fur type.

The best way to see and find out about rabbits is to attend a rabbit show. At the rabbit show you will find many breeders and most of the breeds of rabbits. To find a show near you visit our calendar page and search for a show in your state.

I would not recommend buying a rabbit without first seeing it, nor would I recommend purchasing a rabbit from a pet store. It would be in your best interest to find a breeder in your area of the breed you think you would like. Visit with that breeder. See what the conditions are in the barn. Ask if you can hold a rabbit. Watch the rabbit’s reaction to their cage being opened. Rabbits that love attention, will immediately come to the door, some will even make happy grunting type noises. Other rabbits will immediately go to the back of the cage. If a rabbit moves to the back its probably not a good rabbit for you.

Most of all have fun. Enjoy your search for that perfect rabbit. There are many sizes colors and choices and finding the fit for you can be time consuming but will be very rewarding in the end.

Pet Iguanas

June 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Pet Care Tips

Pet Iguanas: What can You Expect from Them?

Nearly thousands of people are currently keeping pet iguanas in their homes. But then certainly, there are a few valuable information to note of when intending to keep pet iguanas. The pet stores give pertinent information to the buyers of these reptiles especially when it comes to their behavior, caging, lifestyle, and diet. The internet also hosts the most worthy information about taking care of pet iguanas. So if you are a budding owner of pet iguanas, this article is just for you.

Iguanas are the most popular lizards that are taken home to be pets. They rank to be among today’s pet “fads”. They are even sold in the most affordable prices in several pet stores. They are not that difficult to take care of but of course they are to be highly maintained. Things such as veterinary medications, feeding techniques, caging tips, and many others are among the most particular things to consider when getting pet iguanas. Yes, the pet iguanas must be properly caged and well-fed so as not to risk their long life span. They become very huge that owners may think they will be hard to tame, feed, and control. At times, the bigger and matured iguanas can become really aggressive. They may also attempt several times to escape.

So what should you expect from a pet iguana? Obviously, what you need to give your pet iguana is sufficient tender loving care. Aside from that, you should also maintain right sanitation within its cage. You must be careful to handle your iguanas especially when there are children, pregnant women, elderly people, and not yet immunized individuals that try to be in contact with your pet iguanas.

Which iguana will be right for you to take care of? The “Iguana iguana” or the rainforest green iguana ranks to be the most-sought after pet iguana by many people. These plant-eating lizards find solace in the shrubby places. If you intend to have them as pets, you must create a homey environment for them. It will be utterly significant to provide branches that will allow them to bask under the heat of the sun that will be allowed to enter into their housing. More so, alternative heat sources can be utilized. You just have to be careful not to let your pet iguanas reach the bulbs and other heater devices or else they will get burned.

It is also important that you know of its digestive makeup. The iguanas are known to be Hind-Gut fermenters which mean that their lower intestinal tracts play a major role for their survival. Such digestive tract is held to be responsible for the production of the fatty acids, water reabsorption, vitamins, and many others. Malnutrition and uncleanness often result to sickness and death of the pet iguanas. Overall, you must learn how to cater to the food and habitat needs of your supposed to be pet iguana.

Like any other living being, the pet iguanas have their own taste preferences. They may or may not like certain foods that you will give. It is better to study the overall profile of your pet iguana so that it can live its life to the fullest. Having pet iguanas will give you some time to understand how animals of these species react and behave. Their existence actually lies on your own hands.