Top Tips For Cleaning A Bird Aviary

A bird aviary in your backyard can do wonders to the overall ambiance of the area. This can be situated within a garden as part of the design or a focal point. Many people who love to keep and breed various species of birds will tell you that this is no easy hobby to take. You will need to keep this enclosure clean at all times to ensure the health and safety of the birds and their young.

If clean-up time is a struggle for you, it is best to have a schedule and routines to follow. A daily clean-up is a must to keep diseases and germs at bay. What usually goes on during a daily clean-up are as follows:

[1] Cleaning of feeders and bird baths
Cleaning up of bird feeders, water dishes, and bird baths should be done on a daily basis. This is not just to provide fresh water and bird seeds, but also to keep away germs from developing over time. If you’ve set up a weekly schedule, it is best to still include these items during clean-up time.

[2] Set up a routine for you to follow and for the birds to get used to

Having a cleaning routine helps the birds from experiencing too much stress. It is also important that you’re the one who always do the clean up to also prevent stress and anxiety among the birds. As your pet birds become familiar and used to your presence, it will be easier to get in and out of their abode anytime.

[3] Use a corner of the aviary to isolate the birds

When things are still stressful for your pets, it is best to use a separator to isolate them from the area that’s being cleaned. Dedicate a corner for the birds whenever you need to clean up their living space and make sure it is cleaned first before they are enclosed in this portion. This usually helps in reducing restlessness and anxiety among birds, and it truly is beneficial especially when there are hatchlings.

[4] Use mild disinfectant when cleaning

You can dilute a strong disinfectant in buckets of water. If you like it chemical-free, you can use vinegar or baking soda instead. Wipe clean the bird boxes, perches, walls, and other dirty parts of the enclosure. On a daily basis, you can also do this especially on the most soiled or dirtiest portions of the aviary; otherwise, you can schedule on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule.

To help you clean up faster, it is best to put old news paper on the floor for the bird droppings and other mess. You can just collect the sheets everyday in the afternoons and replace with new sheets for the following day.

It is a huge responsibility to keep any kind of animal as a pet. If you love birds and lots of them, be prepared to do regular clean-up to help keep your pets healthy and happy.

What Are the Different Types of Marine Tanks?

All in all there are 4 Main types of Marine Aquariums:

1. Fish only setup
This setup is just the water and the fish, easy to maintain, but relies more on you doing water changes to keep the fish healthy. I know this setup sounds boring but if you lead a busy life and would still like to enjoy your Marine Aquarium after you come home after a hard day, then this setup is for you. Fish only setups can still look just as nice as a live rock and coral setup. You can get decorative rocks, corals, sand and even add what people call a clean-up crew which consist of snails, shrimps and hermit crabs, this setup in general is very low maintenance.

2. Fish with live rock
This setup is slightly different to the fish only setup, because instead of adding ornamental rocks your adding Live Rock – live rock is from the sea, and is made from limestone and decomposing coral skeleton, and are covered with good algae which is beneficial for the eco system in your tank, you can get anything from snails, crabs to starfish that hitch a ride from the sea on this rock which later end up in your tank. Live rock tanks also lay the foundation and give you the option to turn your live rock tank into a reef tank.If you want to see more marine life and don’t mind putting in a bit more work and doing a bit more maintenance then a fish with live rock setup is for you.

3. Reef Setup
A reef tank setup is the most rewarding tank of all setups, this tank is a replica of the sea, it has all kinds of sea life corals, live rock, sand, hermit crabs, starfish and sea snails etc. Everything in a reef tank is living. These tanks are harder to keep, but don’t be put off, with the right information it is possible for you to get a reef aquarium setup and running. Reef tanks require a lot more maintenance than fish only and live rock tanks. So if you want to have the ultimate sea experience in your home, want to see more marine life and are fascinated by the life under the sea, then this tank is for you.

4. Nano Reef Setup
Everything about a Nano reef tank is the same as a normal reef tank, all but the size. A Nano tank is a miniature version of any tank setup, these tanks sound easy due to their size but the truth is there is less margin for error, the reason I say this is because the tank is so small things can change very quickly; for example because there is only a small volume of water in the tank, the water temperature can change much quicker than in a larger tank that has a larger volume of water. People who start with a miniature Nano tank are more likely to have success with a larger tank later on the reason being they are more aware of the needs and demands due to their being less room for error. But don’t be put off by this, one of the first marine tanks I ever owned was a Nano reef tank, with enough research and the correct information these tanks can be a joy to keep and extremely rewarding.

Tips for Keeping Your Pet Birds Warm in Winter

As the weather cools down, it’s important to remember that birds need additional care in winter. Many of our exotic and pet bird breeds are originally from warm, tropical climates and cold temperatures can be a health challenge. Here are a few guidelines for pet bird owners to keep in mind during cooler temperatures that will help them keep their pet birds healthy and happy.

Bird owners should move the cage to a draft free location, away from windows and doors. Moving your bird’s cage to a central location in the home can make a big difference in keeping deadly drafts and cold air away from sensitive birds. Shrink-wrap insulation kits can be used on windows and unused doorways in winter to keep cold air out and warm air in. Increasing the humidity indoors in winter is also good for birds, eliminating dryness and excess dander.

Remember that birds are sensitive to smoke and fumes that can come from wood, gas or kerosene heaters. Some electric heaters are treated with a non-stick coating, which can create fumes that are deadly to birds. Some radiator-style electric heaters can be effective, but be sure to check on possibly harmful coatings.

Bird owners should definitely have a cage cover on hand. Covering the cage at night will help keep birds cozy. Some birds enjoy snugglies and snoozies to help keep them warm at night. Heat lamps can be used, and infrared bulbs will create a glow that does not interfere with the bird’s sleep cycle. It’s important to choose only a bird-safe heat lamp recommended for avian use. Pay attention to the bulbs used in the heat lamp – any bulbs coated with polytetrafluoroethylene can emit toxic fumes when overheated. There are also ceramic heating elements that can be used for birds – from those that clamp onto the cage to heat panels that are placed around the cage. These are specifically designed for animal and avian use. Infrared heat panels that attach to the cage are also an energy-efficient way to keep your bird cozy this winter.

In addition to keeping your bird warm, you’ll want to ensure that heating your home doesn’t result in a lack of humidity. If so, there are a few simple things you can do to provide the proper conditions for your bird. Regular baths, showers or light misting should be continued throughout the winter months. You can also increase humidity in the home by using a vaporizer or humidifier designed for birds. Other options include placing shallow pans of water on radiators or in the oven when you’re pre-heating it, or simply leaving the bathroom door open when you shower to allow the steam into the house.

Feeding your bird a healthy, vitamin-rich diet throughout the year will help boost its immune system and stay healthier despite changes in temperature. Bird owners should make sure the winter diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables to maintain optimal health.

Of course, keeping a watchful eye on pet birds throughout the winter is important. As you make changes to your bird’s environment, be on the lookout for signs of overheating, such as panting, extended neck or holding the wings away from the body. Also keep an eye out for signs of any health problems – exposure to cold temperatures can lower the bird’s immunity and result in illness. At any time of year, simple bird care and monitoring will ensure that pet birds stay healthy and happy.

Types Of Aquarium Accessories for a Fish Tank

An aquarium with the right type of accessories can add to the habitat of the fish and make it a lovely piece of decoration at home. As there are various types of aquarium accessories made available today, choosing the most essential and right type of product can be quite a perplexing task. However, there are a few tips which can be considered while choosing different types of fish tank products.

Essential Accessories:

Pumps: It is one of the most important fish tank accessories that help the fish to survive and stay healthy in the tank. The pump helps to circulate oxygen in the water.

Filters: Every fish tank requires a filter system which can filter the water in the tank so that it is free from contaminants and impurity. There are various types of filters made available today so it is important to choose products according to the size of the tanks and the number of fish in it.

Ornaments: There are a huge plethora of ornaments or embellishments that can be added to the fish tank to enhance its overall appearance. Most of these ornaments can be bought even from online stores at affordable prices. It is available in different sizes, shapes, colors and designs to suit different types of tanks.

Plants: Using living plants in a fish tank has many beneficial features. Various types of plants can be used in these tanks to add to the beauty of the tank and the health of the fish.

Water Additives: There are various types of additives which can be used in the fish tank so that it remains healthy. However, different types of solutions are used for different types of water.

Rocks: Another variety of embellishment is the rocks which are specifically manufactured for these tanks. Most of the online and offline stores showcase a huge plethora of rocks in different sizes, shapes, colors and styles to suit different types of tanks. Some of the most common varieties include lace rocks, rainbow rocks and so forth. Various types of corals are also used as aquarium accessories as it adds to the beauty of the tanks.

Lights: Proper lighting is another important aspect to consider while installing tanks. Today there are various options to consider such as LED lights, fluorescent lights and so forth. These lights are available in different soft colors and features. There are lights which can be dimmed whenever required.

It is important to choose accessories according to the type of water used in the fish tank. Some products suit fresh water tanks whereas some products are ideal for salt water tanks only.

With the improvement in technological features, a wide range of aquarium accessories have been launched into the markets these days. It is essential to choose the right type of product as per the requirement of the tank. It is possible to maintain healthy fish with the right type of accessories. Cleaning the tank on a regular basis is equally important so as to extend the life of the fish.

What Is The Best Food For Tortoise Health?

Good nutrition for your tortoise is essential to maintain optimum health. Understanding what food for tortoise health is best requires some understanding of what specific needs your particular kind of tortoise requires.

Most tortoises are of course herbivores but this does not mean you can just get away with feeding him a few limp lettuce leaves and the occasional tomato. There are 8 elements to good nutritional health and it is up to you to provide these. They include, water, protein, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, enzymes, vitamins and minerals. All work together to prevent illness and promote growth.

Many manufacturers who produce food for tortoises will claim they supplement their feed with essential vitamins and minerals but you should also provide fresh vegetation and occasional fruit whenever possible. Not only will this broad diet be more healthy it will be more interesting for your pet.

A few fresh vegetable you could choose

  • broccoli
  • kale
  • spinach

Also some fruits

  • Apple
  • Peeled banana
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries.

Tortoises are herbivores and if you do some research into where in the natural world your kind of tortoise would normally live this will give you an idea of what sort of foods to provide. Be careful not to feed your tortoise too many plants from the cabbage family as they can interfere with the thyroid function and calcium absorption. They are an excellent source of nutrition but just give them in small amounts every couple of weeks or so.

If you have a Hermann’s tortoise which naturally lives in arid grass lands they will enjoy grazing on grasses, weeds, and succulent plants. If you have a Russian or Horsfield tortoise these like to eat fleshy vegetables such as squashes and aubergine or zucchini, they also enjoy fruit and some flowers. A sulcata tortoise enjoys hay and cactus as well as some succulents fruit and grated vegetables.

It is not difficult to provide a nutritious and interesting diet for your tortoise it just takes a little thought and planning. If you have an outside enclosure you could grow some fresh vegetables and plants for your tortoise to munch on. They will enjoy foraging as if in their wild natural environment and this will help them to keep mentally healthy and physically well.

Specially manufactured food which you can buy from pet shops will be quite adequate as it does usually have vitamins and minerals added but the best food for tortoise health and well being is a mixture of this plus natural and fresh vegetables and fruit.

What Are the Ideal Water Conditions for Healthy Koi?

There will certainly be a lot of differing opinions on the best water conditions for koi but one thing remains constant: poor water quality leads to a host of other health problems that are certainly avoidable with proper care. Because stress originates from poor water quality, follow these guidelines for healthy water and healthy koi.

Dissolved Oxygen

Oxygen levels should be at a minimum of 5.0 mg/L for koi. In the fish world, there is some variation with the tolerable level of dissolved oxygen in the water but 5.0 is a good baseline. As a reference, 5.0 is the minimum for koi and 18 mg/L is the physical maximum that water can hold. Just as a reminder though, cold water can hold more dissolved oxygen than warmer water so higher summer temperatures (and overcrowded ponds) will lead to lower dissolved oxygen, which is really when you will want to pay attention to it the most. Oxygen becomes dissolved into your koi pond in several ways. At the very surface there is limited diffusion occurring between the atmosphere and the water and that accounts for only a small amount of dissolved oxygen. Turbulence will also agitate the water enough to generate dissolved oxygen in your pond and this often comes in the form of falling water as from a small water fall. A tried and true and popular way to increase the dissolved oxygen in a koi pond is by an air stone on the bottom of the pond or by spout or fountain shooting water up into the air.

pH

Okay, back to chemistry class everyone because its time to discuss pH. As you may recall pH has something to do with acids. It’s all about acidity and alkalinity. The pH scale is a logarithmic one meaning when your pond jumps from 7 (neutral) to 6, its not simply getting a little bit more acidic, its getting 10 times more acidic. Conversely, when your pond tests at 7.5 and then gets increasingly alkaline by jumping to 9.5, then your pond just got 100 times more alkaline (10 times 10). So it’s a big deal when your pH changes and can definitely affect your koi in negative ways. pH, or power of Hydrogen, should range in your pond somewhere between 6.8 and 8.2 but do your best to keep it as stable as possible.

Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates

As you may recall, the general cycle of waste in your pond starts with ammonia excreted by your fish then bacteria and oxygen break it down to nitrites which later get broken into nitrates then free nitrogen. Ammonia, nitrites and nitrates all have the ability to cause health problems for your koi if their levels are not kept in check. Along with other health problems, ammonia can essentially burn your fish’s gills and reduce its ability to extract dissolved oxygen from the water. High nitrites can damage your koi’s kidneys and nervous system and high nitrates, for extended periods, can cause your fish’s immune system to be compromised. Ammonia and nitrites and the most troublesome when it comes to health problems for your koi but don’t underestimate the power of nitrates over long periods of time. Here is a guideline for these three water chemistry measurements.

-ammonia: levels should be zero. Depending on your pH, you can get away with 0.5ppm (parts per million) or 1 ppm for a short period of time but keep in mind that above a pH of 8.0 ammonia becomes more toxic.

-nitrites should be less than 0.25 ppm but ideally you should have a reading of zero.

-nitrates: a reading of 20 to 60 ppm is acceptable.

Salinity

The use of salt in koi ponds has, for long time, been a tried and true method to deal with various water quality and health problems that arise. Some of the benefits of salt is that its a cheap way to keep some disease at bay, control algae and may also lower nitrite toxicity. Additionally, salt plays a part in the osmotic pressure between the fish and the outside aquatic environment. There is a differential between the solute concentration of the fish’s blood and the fresh water that it swims in so the addition of salt actually lowers that concentration differential and makes it easier on the fish by reducing the amount of work its body has to do. A salinity of up to 5 ppt (parts per thousand) or 0.5 % is acceptable.

Temperature

Temperature obviously plays a big role in the overall health of your pond and it warrants your attention. Temperature can exacerbate existing problems, especially higher temperatures. For example, warmer water holds less dissolved oxygen and ammonia can be more toxic. Although koi can handle temperatures of between 35 and 85 F degrees its best to keep your fish in water that ranges between 65 and 75 F degrees. And as with pH, try to avoid large temperature swings.

Tips for New Leopard Gecko Owners

What you should know about caring for a Leopard Gecko

Leopard geckos are kid size and kid friendly and with proper guidance you can learn to be an expert reptile owner starting with these great little pets. Kids love them, and hey why wouldn’t they? If you are looking for an economical pet, a leopard gecko definitely fits the bill when it comes to cost, and upkeep. You can find them in just about any big name and the small mom & pop pet stores these days for sale for very cheap. However, for the new leopard gecko owner, knowing the proper care for your reptile can be very daunting without the right instructions. Reptiles have very specific needs which are very unlike the needs of mammals. If you don’t know exactly what you are doing you could end up with a stressed out gecko.

A couple of months ago my nephew’s grandpa bought him a brand new habitat for his geckos and one of them kept hiding behind the scenery making it very hard for him to find his way out. During one of my brother’s attempts to rescue him from behind the faux rock wall, the gecko dropped it’s tail because it perceived my brother as a predator and got stressed out. Did you know that was one of the interesting facts about these reptiles? Yep, they lose their tail as a defense mechanism so that they are able to get away from their prey while they confuse it with the still squirming tail.

I have to say that I’ve never been much of a reptile person but after my nephew got a pair of pet geckos for Christmas, I have become a convert when it comes to these little guys. They have fabulous colors and good temperaments and since they are depending on you to provide their food, shelter, and care, you have to learn how to do it right. That’s where this great guide to a happy leopard gecko was a vital find in our search to keep these little guys happy and comfy.

What They Eat

Now that you have your new pet gecko, you need to make sure that you are going to feed it the proper food that leopard geckos love. One great thing to feed them are small crickets. They are very inexpensive to buy, you can buy large quantities of them, and they will devour them. The other type of food you can give them is wax worms. They really love a dish full of these and will munch on them with pleasure. If you cannot get your hands on wax worms you can give them other types of live worms such as meal worms or silk worms. These are very easy to keep in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator to ensure that they stay alive and ready to feed to them. Finally, always make sure that you change their water daily because all animals love fresh water and require it.

Expert Leopard Gecko Care

So in conclusion, once you have all of the basic care requirements down pat, and you know what to do to ensure a happy life for your pet geckos, you may once day decide to start breeding leopard geckos. This does require a bigger level of commitment and investment of time and money on your part but, the pay off can be a very nice one. Leopard Gecko breeding can make a very nice second income for the avid reptile lover.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Cage for Your Pet Reptiles

Reptiles are a very diverse group of animals. Getting a pet reptile such as a lizard will require you to do some extensive researching. Lizards live in various kinds of habitats. They can thrive in the driest deserts up to the most humid rain forests. Getting to know more about your pet lizard’s natural habitat will help you to choose and design the right cage for it.

There are five things that you should consider before buying a cage for your lizard. These are security, humidity, lighting, space and heating. To understand more about these elements, you should learn more on how your pet lizard naturally lives in the wild. This will help you to imitate its natural habitat and provide what it needs.

In terms of security, it is not advisable for a lizard owner to build a “do it yourself” cage. This can’t be done unless you have the right skills for building one. The most basic thing is to buy a cage that will prevent your pet from escaping. Reptiles are very good in escaping. Therefore, a professional cage is what you need to keep it secure at all times. A cage with good security features will also protect your lizard from intruders especially if you have other pets living in your house.

Second thing to consider is humidity. Lizards have various moisture requirements. There are certain lizards that best thrive in dry cages. And there are those that have high humidity requirements. In this case, know the species of your lizard and determine its humidity needs. If it is a tropical lizard then it should be put in a cage with lots of moisture or humidity.

Sufficient lighting is very important for your lizard to survive. Most lizards love the sun. However, there are still some that prefer burrowing themselves underground. But generally, lizards need sunlight exposure. You can use full-spectrum lights to replace natural sun exposure. Therefore, when choosing a cage, you must make sure that the cage will allow you to use special lighting for your pet.

Heat control is another thing that you should consider when choosing a cage. First, you have to research about the temperature requirement of your pet lizard. After that, you must choose a cage that will allow you to maintain the specific amount of heat that your lizard needs. The cage must be able to hold up the heat to make sure that the right temperature is maintained.

Lastly, you must also consider the space and the orientation of the cage. There are certain species of lizards that can grow up to 6 feet and more. You should consider this when picking the size of your cage. Your pet lizard may look so small right now but it will eventually grow in size and may need a larger space to survive. As mentioned earlier there are lizards that love to burrow into the ground and there are also some species that love to climb. Determine which among the 2 types your lizard is. If it is a climber then it would be best to choose a tall cage. If it loves to live underground then you might need a wider cage.

Determining how a particular species of lizard lives in its natural habitat is the most important thing to know to be able to create a good artificial dwelling place for it. Reptiles have different characteristics and survival instincts. What is best for one may not be the best for the other.

What Equine Supplements Your Horse Really Needs

In this article I would like to share with you some useful information about equine supplements. More specifically I would like to talk with you about what equine supplements your horse really needs.

If you have been a member of the equestrian community for some time you have probably noticed how many different equine care products and supplements there are out there in the market. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of different types of equine supplements that you can buy today ranging from feed balancers and joint supplements to garlic supplements and joint supplements.

The fact is that some products are great and will have a positive effect on the way your horse looks and feels, whereas some products are a total waste of time. Now, without wasting too much of your time I would like to reveal to you which supplements are actually proven and tested to work and have a positive effect on our horse’s health.

Feed balancers

It is really important to supplement your horse’s diet with a high quality feed balancer. Feed balancers have been around for quite some time and there is no doubt that they can have a positive effect on the way our horses look and feel.

Feed balancers contain all of the essential active ingredients that your horse needs to look and feel great. From pre and probiotics that are used to improve the efficiency of the digestive system and improve nutrient uptake, to minerals and oils such as zinc, soya and linseed oil which promote the development of healthy skin and coat.

It is really important to supplement your horse’s diet with a feed balancer, particularly in spring, because in the winter quite a lot of horses develop a nutrient deficiency as a result of poor grazing conditions. When grazing conditions are relatively poor your horses do not get as many different nutrients as he needs in order to look and feel great.

Garlic supplements

Spring has finally arrived and as the weather conditions improve flies, insects and other annoying insects become particularly active. Their bites can cause lumps and bumps appear all over your horse’s body and one of the easiest ways to tackle this problem is to invest into a garlic supplements.

There are two main types of equine garlic supplements: liquid garlic supplements and garlic granules. Liquid garlic supplements are more expensive, yet they have are easier absorbed by horse’s body when compared to garlic granules. Granules are much cheaper, but they are not abosrved as well as liquid garlic supplements. It does not really matter which option you will decide to take, but once you will start to supplement your horse’s diet with a garlic supplement your horse will start producing an odour that will keep insects at bay.

What To Know About Cockatoos

Pets make the lives of most people a lot more fun which is why people always make it a point to have a pet at home. Aside from dogs and cats, people also like taking care of birds specifically Cockatoos. These are great birds and are very playful and colorful as well so to those who would like to know more about these birds, here are some things that they should do before getting their very own Cockatoo:

The first thing that the bird enthusiast needs to know about taking care of these birds is to prepare their budget. This is because raising these birds can be a bit expensive. Pet owners should also bear in mind that they should have a pair so the Cockatoo would not be that lonely.

People should also prepare for the noise because most Cockatoos are noisy. Some even talk like little kids so to those who want some quiet time with their loved ones, they may need to think about it first before they consider getting one.

You also need to make sure that you provide your birds a lot of attention because that is what they like. You should be able to spare some of your time to interact with your pets because it makes them feel good all the time.

Cockatoos also need to be maintained properly. Their cages should always be cleaned and there should be enough water to hydrate them. It is also important that the cages of the birds are in the busy area in the house so the birds would always have tons of audiences to watch them when they are doing some bird tricks.

Cockatoos are also a bit noisy and they scream a lot. There are tons of noisy breeds so to those who would like to have some quiet time, they may pick those species that are not that noisy. People should also bear in mind that when pets get too excited, they tend to scream or make a lot of noise.

These type of birds are also great and could easily be taught so pet owner might want to train their very own Cockatoos. People could earn money from training Cockatoos or putting up some bird shows.

Now that you know what Cockatoos can do, you might want to consider getting your own pet. These are great information that future bird owners would like to check out before getting one.