Helpful HERMIT CRAB Basics

English: Caribbean hermit crab (Coenobita clyp...
Caribbean hermit crab (Coenobita clypeatus)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hermit crabs are fun pets to care for in your home. They used to be reserved for souvenirs from seaside vacations, but now they can be bought almost anywhere. They make wonderful starter pets for kids. They make a great alternative to the more traditional gerbils or hamsters, and they have a much longer lifespan than goldfish! Contrary to what you might expect if you are new to hermit crabs, it is possible to play with them, and they do have little personalities of their own. Do you think hermit crabs may make a great pet for you? Here are some helpful hints to get you started.

Before you get your crab, you need to get the basic equipment and supplies in place. First, they will need an aquarium for their house. Forget those teeny, tiny cages you see at the shops by the beach; hermit crabs really need a ten-gallon aquarium to be comfortable. If you are getting more than one crab, obviously you will be a bigger aquarium. A pet shop will be able to advise you on the best size for the number of crabs you will be housing. Make sure the aquarium has a snug fitting lid so your little friends do not make a run for it! Place a heating pad under the tank to keep your crabs feeling nice and tropical.

You will need something to cover the floor of the tank, as well. Three to four inches of sand works best, but you can also use crushed coral or reptile fiber bedding. If you use something other than sand, it is still a good idea to cover a portion of the floor with sand, so the crabs will have somewhere comfortable to go when they molt.

Now that you have the house and the flooring covered, you will need to get two shallow water dishes and a food dish. Shallow shells work well for this job. In one water dish, you should keep fresh water, and in the other, keep salt water, made with a marine aquarium salt solution. The dishes need to be shallow enough for the crabs to crawl into. A natural sea sponge is a nice addition to the freshwater dish, your crab will love to pinch it, and it will help keep the humidity levels up the aquarium.

The last thing you will need to gussy up your hermit crab home is some decorative wood pieces for the crabs to climb on. Coral and coconut shells also make great additions that your crab will love to play with.

Once you get your crab, to feed it, you will need to get some commercial hermit crab food. You can supplement that food with small pieces of fruit, meat, cereal, or fish. Additionally, make sure your crab gets crushed eggshells or oyster shells to boost their calcium level; it is important to keep their fragile skeletons strong. Cuttlebone is another option for this purpose.

To care for your crab, clean their water and food dishes daily, and spot the clean the tank when necessary. You will want to provide plenty of extra shells, in increasingly larger sizes so your crab can change homes as they grow. Shells with wide openings are best. When your crab molts, remove the skin they have shed as soon as possible.

One optional, but a useful accessory to get is a tank thermometer and humidity-measuring tool. Your hermit crab will be most comfortable when the temperature is kept around 72°F - 80°F and the humidity level is between 70% and 80%.

With these helpful hints, you are ready to get your hermit crab. All that is left to do now is come up with a name for your new pet!


How To Keep INVERTEBRATES In Your Marine Aquarium

English: This photograph of a Sea Apple at Can...
This photograph of a Sea Apple at Cannibal Rock in Indonesia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Keeping Invertebrates And The Care They Need
Invertebrates are not as hardy as fish. It is necessary to make a study of Invertebrates and how they function, their diet and the temperature that they need before attempting to acquire them. You will need to make arrangements with your supplier because you may need delivery of food if so required. There are two types - coldwater and tropical. It should also be noted that they need to merge with the others in the tank.

The Different Types Of Invertebrates
As you make a study of the Invertebrates, you will find that there are two types - coldwater and tropical. A few examples are sea apple, red hermit crab, and shrimp. The water temperature should be 75 and 79 degrees F, and the PH between 8.2 and 8.4 and the salt water content between 1.020 and 1.024. This needs to be checked every day so that there is no discrepancy. Also, their food is not compatible, so your supplier needs to be informed.

Coldwater Invertebrates can only be fetched from tide pools as the stores do not keep them. One thing that is required is to see that these do not belong to an endangered species when removing them from their habitat. A comprehensive research needs to be done so that they can be taken care of appropriately and all their dietary needs are met. They usually feed on shrimp, mussels and raw fish.

Another useful tip while keeping coldwater Invertebrates is to always keep scallops and mussels in a tank so that you will always have a regular supply for them, and it may be a good idea to give them fresh rather than frozen food. They should also be fed a little at a time at regular intervals.

When a tank is set up, live rock is a good idea, because some Invertebrates like to take their food from the parasites that are found on the live rock. There are innumerable ways in which you could fill your aquarium so that your fish are comfortable in their surroundings and it is a pleasure to look at. If you have a substrate, shrimp and crabs can make deep pits and go underground. That would be as close to their natural surroundings as possible. If you would like to keep anemones, then a light could be installed, as they like the light. The main thing is to research your project, see what you get regular supplies, keep the tank clean and check for temperature, and you are all set to enjoy your aquarium. You will find that your time and effort has been well spent and you can enjoy your handiwork.

    Abhishek is an avid Fish Lover and he has got some great Aquarium Care Secrets up his sleeves!
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Reptiles Have Special Needs

English: Negev Zoo snake
Negev Zoo snake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People have all kinds of different pets.  Some people only feel safe with what is considered "normal" pets.  This usually consists of cats, dogs, hamsters, or birds.  Country folks may have farmyard animals for pets.  Horses, cows, goats, bunnies, and so on are typical.

Then you have the people who pride themselves on being "outside the norm".  These people may be the sort who likes to consider themselves and their pets unique.  Or maybe they just love animals of all kinds and welcome any and all types of pets.  Reptiles have been kept as pets for many years, but as the number of pet stores has grown so has the number of reptiles kept as pets.  Sometimes this is bad news for the reptiles.  If a dangerous reptile is chosen, it could be bad news for the owner as well.

Sometimes the type of pet a person has depends on the area in which they live.  Availability may make the choice for them.  The environment is also a consideration.  In south Louisiana, a child may be raised thinking an alligator is normal to keep for a pet!  It would be impractical for a child who lives in the midst of the city to own a pet cow.

What types of reptiles are popular as exotic pets?  Snakes, lizards, and turtles make the choices wide.  There are some, however, of each type that makes some better choices than others.  Unfortunately, these types of pets are also the most often abused and neglected simply because of failure to learn about their proper needs prior to ownership.  Once the new wears off, they become forgotten.  Because reptiles are often quiet and contained, it is easy to forget they are around.

Corn snakes are often chosen because they are known to be easier to care for.  They are excellent escape artists, though, so great care must be taken to keep the latches tightly closed on their enclosures.  It may seem funny in the movies to see a snake escape and scare the family or guests, but it can cause great harm to your pet in reality.

Boas are a well-known reptile pet, but people often underestimate their lifespan and their great size when grown.  A snake kept in an area it has outgrown will not be a happy, well-adjusted pet.  It may cause the snake harm and you as well, should he choose to fight back because of his discomfort.

Those cute little reptiles grow up and will need different requirements for food and housing as they grow.  A responsible pet owner will be prepared for the changes and willing to accommodate.  Can you recreate the natural environment and maintain it?  Think of it as being a person from the country who moves to the city, unwillingly, and never learns to adjust because they just don't seem to fit into the new surroundings.  Except this person has the ability to move back to the country, while the snake is unable to make this choice on his own.  The right housing makes a happier pet.


PUFFERS - Freshwater, Brackish Or Marine?

Blackspotted puffer, Arothron nigropunctatus, ...
Blackspotted puffer, Arothron nigropunctatus
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The reason most puffers die within the first months of captivity is that the local fish store fails tremendously to inform their customers about the requirements of their new fish. I have seen many puffers either mislabeled or not labeled at all in freshwater tanks, slowly dying. The key is to know what species you are getting (even if your fish store does not tell you) and to know what kind of water they need.

This is a quick guide to determine which puffers are from freshwater, brackish and marine.

Freshwater Puffers:
Auriglobus modestus; --- Bronze puffer
Carinotetraodon borneensis; --- Bornean redeyed puffer
Carinotetraodon irrubesco; --- Red tailed redeye puffer
Carinotetraodon salivator; --- Striped redeye puffer
Carinotetraodon travancoricus; --- Dwarf Puffer
Colomesus asellus; --- South American Puffer
Monotrete abei; --- Abei Puffer
Tetraodon baileyi; --- 'Hairy' puffer
Tetraodon barbatus
Tetraodon cochinchinensis; --- Fangs Puffer
Tetraodon cutcutia; --- Common Puffer
Tetraodon duboisi; --- Dubois' Freshwater Puffer
Tetraodon lineatus; ---Fahaka puffer
Tetraodon mbu; --- Mbu Puffer
Tetraodon miurus; --- Congo Puffer
Tetraodon palembangensis; --- Palembang Puffer
Tetraodon pustulatus; --- Cross River Puffer
Tetraodon suvattii; --- Arrowhead Puffer
Tetraodon turgidus; --- Brown Puffer

Brackish Puffers
Colomesus psittacus; --- Banded Puffer
Tetraodon biocellatus; --- Figure Eight Puffer
Tetraodon erythrotaenia; --- Red-striped Toadfish
Tetraodon fluviatilis; --- Ceylon Puffer
Tetraodon nigroviridis; --- Green Spotted Puffer
Tetraodon Sabahensis; --- Giant Spotted Puffer

Marine Puffers
Arothron caerulopunctatus; --- Blue-spotted Puffer
Arothron diadematus; --- Masked Puffer
Arothron hispidus; --- White-spotted puffer
Arothron manilensis; --- Narrow-lined Puffer
Arothron mappa; --- Map puffer
Arothron meleagris; --- Guineafowl Puffer
Arothron nigropunctatus; --- Dog-faced Puffer
Arothron reticularis; --- Reticulated Puffer
Arothron stellatus; --- Starry Toadfish
Canthigaster bennetti; --- Bennett's Sharpnose Puffer
Canthigaster coronata; --- Crowned Puffer
Canthigaster papua; --- Papuan Toby
Canthigaster rostrata; --- Caribbean Sharpnose Puffer
Canthigaster solandri; --- Spotted Sharpnose
Canthigaster valentini; --- Saddled Puffer
Diodon holocanthus; --- Porcupine Puffer
Sphoeroides annulatus; --- Bullseye Puffer
Sphoeroides marmoratus; --- Guinean Puffer
Takifugu niphobles; --- Niphobles Puffer
Takifugu oblongus; --- Lattice Blaasop
Takifugu ocellatus; --- Fugu Puffer
Takifugu pardalis; --- Panther Puffer
Takifugu rubripes; --- Tiger Puffer


Freshwater Tropical Fish Guide - The BLUE GURAMI

English: Female Three Spot gourami
Female Three Spot gourami - (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Blue Gourami, sometimes also called the 3 Spot Gourami is a popular freshwater tropical fish for aquarium keeping. these fish are usually a light blue color and have three dark spots, one on the base of the tail, one in the middle of the body and the eye which looks like the third spot. The Gourami type of fish itself comes in several colors, the blue which you often see in pet stores, gold, and opaline as well as a few other rears of varieties. These fish can grow very large and are best suited for larger aquariums.

The Blue Gourami is a fairly easy fish to keep and will exist fine on floating flake food that you probably feed to the majority of the other fish in your tank. However, like most creatures, these fish do need a little bit of variety and it's good to throw in some freeze dried blood worms or frozen brine shrimp every once in a while just to be sure they are getting all the vital nutrients that they need.

If you buy a Gourami fish that is very small you might be able to start them off in a smaller aquarium but eventually, you going to have to get a 50 gallon or larger as the fish grows. This species can grow quite large and you want to be sure that you house them suitably. you also need to be sure that you have a good heater on the tank as these, like many other freshwater tropical fish, require the water temperature to be between 70 and 82°F. Other tank conditions include a PH of 6.0 to 8.8 and a hardness of 5-35 dGH.

Since these fish are used to thickly vegetated waters as found in their native tropical waters of the Far East, the Gourami will feel right at home if you have a lot of plants in your aquarium. They get along with other fish of their kind but you need to make sure that you have many Gourami's and preferably different type's in the tank to keep them from ganging up on the other fish. It is best to have at least 4 Gouramis in the tank and even better if you can get a mix of the blue, gold and opaline varieties. Generally, you want to stick to having only one male and the tank as they can be territorial.

The Blue Gourami enjoys the company of the other varieties of Gourami. You could keep Gold, Blue and Opaline Gourami together peacefully in the same aquarium. Oddly enough, if your tank has only one variety of Gourami with other species of fish, the Gourami will gang up on the other fish. When you keep a mix of Gourami in the tank among other fish species, the Gourami tend to focus on their own type and leave the other fish alone. It is recommended that you have a minimum of four Gourami's in your tank, with a mix of the different varieties.

The Gourami can get along in the tank with other fish of the same size and can live peacefully with Barbs, Clown Loaches, Bala Sharks, Danios, Rainbow Sharks, Red Tail Sharks, and Rainbows.
If you take excellent care of your Gouramis and provide them with the proper tank conditions, they can live to be four years old and grow to be 4 inches in length.


DALMATIAN MOLLY - Poecilia latinpinna

DALMATIAN MOLLY - Poecilia latinpinna


The Dos and Don’ts of KOI PONDS

English: koi pond under construction
Koi pond under construction (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
First, you must understand that Koi ponds are not just simply holes in the ground that you can keep fish in. For a Koi pond to work properly, and actually sustain fish, a number of different things must be considered when you begin planning it. A few simple rules will ensure that you do not end up with an expensive hole with dead fish.

First, unless you have a large amount of knowledge in outdoor landscaping, fish keeping, and construction, it may be a good idea to leave the pond building up to a professional. While some people think that building the pond yourself with save you money, this could not be further from the case. If your pond is not built properly the first time, you will end up spending a large amount of money on fixing the problems that come up. Not only that, if your pond is not properly setup, you may not even be able to keep fish alive.

Remember when you hire a professional, it is their job to give you what you want. They can give their knowledge when it comes to decision making, but ultimately, they will do whatever you want them too. Because of this, you cannot blame them if your pond fails to do to location, size, or other factors. However, beware of extremely cheap quotes as they may cut corners that could potentially cause you problems later. While quotes will come in different, there should not be a very dramatic difference between them.

Koi ponds are by no means, swimming pools or animal water troughs. This is the reason why so much care must be taken in planning and building your pond. It may cost more money then building a typical swimming pool, but the rewards are much greater. Be sure to keep all children and other none fish pets out of the pond, as they can cause problems. If your children swim in your pond, not only could they cause a chemical imbalance, but they could also cause major problems such as leaks. While it is typically ok to have other pets around your Koi pond, some pets may get the idea that is fun to mess with your filtration system or chase your Koi around.

Remember, the majority of Koi ponds are permanent once they are built. This means that you cannot decide in two or three weeks that you do not want you Koi pond in the front yard, that you would rather have it in the backyard. Carefully plan each and every aspect of your pond, because once it is built, there is little you can do to change it. Remember such things as size requirements and placement.

Finally, remember that maintaining a Koi pond can be a substantial amount of work. Make sure that you will have enough time to carry out the everyday needed maintenance, and remember that, like with any other pets, issues will arise that require extra special attention. Vet visits may be needed, or you may need to take some extra time out of your weekend to clear up an algae infection. Have a plan, and make sure that if you are going to be going away, make sure someone with enough knowledge to properly maintain your pond is available until you return.