House Rabbit Guide

There are many things you need to consider when adopting a House Rabbit. First of all, House rabbits do require attention, exercise and human interaction on a daily basis. If you are away from home a lot and can not provide your Rabbit Pets with this, then you may want to look at adopting another pet.

If you are looking a adopting the rabbit for your children, it would pay to assess the age of your children. Often rabbits do not like to be held, and they need to be handled gently to avoid injury. Young children do not usually know how to be gentle and rabbits have very sharp claws and very powerful back legs. Which can really cause some damage to a young child’s (or even adults) arms. However, owning a rabbit, can be a very good lesson for your older children in responsibility, and how to care for an animal.

If you are planning for your rabbit pets to live outside, then you need to invest in a good cage, suitable for permanent outside living. This would have to be as large as possible to allow for them to move freely around. It would need to have a sheltered area where it can stay out of the elements, keep dry and warm, and have a safe place to go into when they are scared. They also need to be strong enough to keep out other animals that may want to hurt your rabbit.

Libby is an expert in her field.

Fish Tank Heater

The temperature of the water is important for the health and welfare of your fish. If the temperature drops by one degree over a twenty four hour period it can leave many fish susceptible to diseases such as “Ich”. If not caught soon enough it can create irreversible damage and kill any and all the fish in a tank. This is why it is doubly important to keep a close eye on the water temperature during the change of season, particularly as winter approaches and temperatures drop.

There are a variety of different fish tank heaters on the market and depending on how much you are willing to spend will determine how functional the one you get may be. The cheaper ones may save you money but they are more likely to break or malfunction, thereby endangering the investment you have made in your fish. Many times the cheap heaters also do not have an accurate heat setting, which makes dialing in the temperature difficult.

For most people a mid priced heater will do the job they are looking for. Their thermostat controls are reliable and they maintain a constant temperature without having to make adjustments all the time. It is important to check your fish tank heater periodically to make sure it is operating correctly and after about a year of use there is a good chance that it may need to be replaced.

The best way to make sure your fish tank heater is working properly is to invest in a thermometer. These days you can purchase thermometers that stick to the outside glass of the fish tank. This makes it easy to monitor the temperature because it is always in a conspicuous spot. You can use the type that float around inside the fish tank but they are not always as easy to read and more often then not they float behind a filter or some other obstruction making it impossible to see what the temperature is.

Once you have your heater it is best to place it near a filter. This allows the heated water to be distributed throughout the tank keeping hot and cold spots to a minimum. A heater is an important part of any fish tank ecosystem and by keeping the water temperature at a constant level your fish will be disease free and entertain you for many years.

Training Cat To Use The Toilet

You will not have to clean the litter box anymore and will save money on not having to buy the litter any more. You need to decide which toilet in the house you will use. In addition, what toilet in the house the cat will use. If you have two toilets it maybe easier to train than if, you only have one toilet in the house.

You will have to use an aluminum tray to put on the toilet. With two toilets in the house, you can leave the tray right in the toilet and not have to remove it when you need to use the toilet in the house. If you have only one toilet, it is not that convenient to share with your cat. You will just have to remove the tray whenever you want to use the toilet. Be sure to leave the seat down and lid up for the training period.

Leave a note on the toilet for guests so that your cat does not make a mess on the floor if the lid is down. Replace the cats litter box with an aluminum-cooking tray. The aluminum tray should be the right size to fit in the toilet. The seat lid should be able to close so that the seat lid holds the tray in place. Remember do not close the lid. The results may be less than attractive. Start moving the tray closer and closer to the toilet that the cat will be using. Be sure not to move it when the cat does not know it is there.

Once the litter tray is in the bathroom put a something about an inch thick under the tray. Magazines are a very bad choice for this. The magazines are slick and the litter box may fall. Continue to raise the litter box about an inch every day until the litter box is the same level as the toilet. The cat will be able to just step into the litter box at first. As you raise the litter box, the cat will have to jump into the box. You may want to secure the box so it does not move when the cat jumps into the litter box.

Let the cat know its there by scraping its claws in the tray. If there is, no litter in the tray the cat will be confused and will not understand what is going on. After the tray is in the toilet, you can use cat litter, which is flushable. If you use flushable kitty litter, you will have little or no mess to clean up.

Continue to leave the tray there for about 3 weeks. During this time reduce the litter in the tray and make a 1″ diameter hole in the tray. Every week, make the hole 1/2″ bigger. If the cat messes on the floor then the cat is trying to let you know that you are moving to fast. If your cat is heavy, try using two trays to hold its weight.

You may want to wait to train your cat until it is at least 6 months old. Cats younger than that cannot balance well and may end up being a big problem. Do not get discouraged as the process could take up to two to three months. The cat will start with two paws on the tray. As the hole you put into the tray gets bigger (by 1/2″ per weak) it will move a third leg to the toilet seat. Finally, the cat will have all four legs on the seat. Some cats cannot grip the seat very well. If the cat is the only one to use that toilet, you might put some kind of tape it can grip to on the seat lid.

Aquarium Peat Filtration

Mechanical Filtration

Mechanical filtration of a fish tank is mainly to make the tank look clean to the viewer of the fish tank. Fish don’t mind if debris is floating round, and some quite like it. But the owner of the fish tank wants the tank to look spotless so he/she can show it off to his/her friends. Mechanical filtration is simply a device much like a sieve that strains the water of the tank so as to remove any debris.

Biological Filtration

Biological filtration removes any waste products, like fish food or excrement, that could make the tank uninhabitable by breaking them down into less toxic substances. Biological filtration is the nitrogen cycle in action. To create biological filtration you need to add media that promote the growth of bacteria colonies that convert ammonia into nitrates. Sponge, sintered glass and ceramic material are good for bacterial growth.

Chemical Filtration

Chemical Filtration is concerned with altering the properties of the water. This primarily means the hardness or softness of the water but can also mean changing the amount of chlorine or other chemicals in the water. Fish prefer soft or hard water based on their indigenous environments. East African lakes generally have hard water so fish from these regions prefer alkaline water. Popular fish like the Discus,Angel fish and surface dwelling catfish prefer softer water.

So you often change the properties of the water based on the type of fish you are keeping.

Peat contains tannic acid which acts as an ion exchanger to soften water. Calcium and Magnesium are the principle chemicals present in hard water. Through ion exchange these chemicals are exchanged for Hydrogen and Sodium.

Thus peat filtration systems will soften the water. They will also color the water and will lose their effectiveness over time.

Aquarium peat filtration is used to change the water quality from hard to soft water. This is useful if you want to keep fish that are more accustomed to this type of water, notably South American cichlids.

Nutrition for Aging Cat

Sometimes, you will have to supplement in order to provide them proper nutrition. Their energy needs may stay the same, but a cat’s ability to absorb fat changes as it ages. A cat in his senior years will need more protein than other cats of different ages. Smaller kibble, fortified with more vitamins and antioxidants, should be available as an option for senior cats.

As cats age, they become much more vulnerable to disease, as their immune system weakens over time. A cat’s diet should reflect that change and be altered to provide more of a defense. Perhaps they need to increase their Omega-3 fatty acid intake due to a form of cancer, or maybe they need a soft gentle food due to an oral disease. A thorough checkup is necessary to establish the proper plan for your cat’s dietary needs to help keep your senior cat healthy throughout his later years. A checkup is very important, as the same checkup your cat received as a kitten and as an adult will not be the same as the one he has as a senior. Bodies and chemical structure, just as with humans, change. Your own health at sixty is certainly not the same as your health as a newborn.

A lot of elderly cats have difficulty eating. They may go several days without eating entirely! After ruling out disease, you’re likely to find that your cat has become rather finicky to the taste and feel of his food. You might try warming food in the microwave, or adding juice or gravy to the food. At the most extreme, there is something called an animal appetite stimulator that you can get from the vet. However, this should be used as a very last resort.

Observing your cat’s daily dietary habits and relaying that information to your vet will help the both of you to work out a dietary plan that is tailor-made to your senior cat. Through careful care and love, and proper nutrition, your senior cat can live a prosperous life without worry, and you can rest easier knowing you’re doing all that you can for your senior cat.

Aquarium Filtration Units

Fish and organisms cause pollution in the form of waste and if not removed would cause toxin development and consequent illness of the fish. The aquarium filtration units consolidate this waste and purify the water that recycles back into the fish tank. The assembly of a filter relies on filtration media that serves the purpose of removing chemicals, particles, and bacteria. Commonly filters are available as packaged units with mechanical and bacteriological media. Chemical filtration can be added to this. Nitrogen residues in the form of ammonia causes distress to fish and the bacteriological filtration unit remove this component very successfully.

Short description of Aquarium Filtration Units

There are four basic types that you can install in case you are assembling your own aquarium. These are:

  • Internal Power type
  • External Power type
  • Powered filters
  • Internal box type filters

Let us compare the features of each filter assembly.

  1. Internal Power driven filters are in two parts. The main cylinder contains a bio foam compound and is attached under the submersible pump that drives the filter. This is a mechanical filtration system and is most common in aquarium filter units integrated with fish tanks. The filter unit first mechanically filters the water, removing sludge and solid waste etc and then the bio-filter cleans the water of all biological impurities. It is also possible to have an option of chemical filtration, if that is desired or necessary. As this is the most common type of filter almost all manufacturers can supply a suitably sized filtration system to the aquarium owner.
  2. External filter unit are also widely available and give superior duty in comparison with the internal aquarium filtration units. Since these are not integrated into the fish tank the capacity and duty may be of a higher quality and obviously cost compared to the previous internal type. The control is better and one can incorporate additional accessories that enhance the filtration of the water for your aquarium.
  3. Air driven under gravel filters was earlier used by aquarium owners when the power driven versions were still in its nascent stage. This is a kind of biological filter where the water is purified and kept in constant motion through the gravel bed and the aerobic bacteria produced breaks down the waste into less toxic products, thereby rendering a pseudo-filtration action. The assembly is electrically driven or can be attached also to a power pump. Easily available and of a lower cost, the under gravel type of aquarium filtration units offer an easy solution to keeping your aquarium clean and healthy.
  4. Finally, air box filters driven by internal air are compact and fit alongside the aquarium fish tanks. They are made of plastics and contain suitable filtration media. The air box filters are no longer used in professional or commercial units where the previous three types are more popular. They can provide low cost easy installable aquarium filtration units that a newbie or small fish tank owners can easily use.

Aquarium Lighting For Reef Tanks

Water quality gives the tank stability as well as providing the corals with the essential elements. Aquarium lighting provides the corals with energy which they then use to grow. Water movement allows nutrients to be delivered to the corals for them to feed upon, as well as washing away waste. Water movement is also essential when natural filtration is used in the reef tank.

Inside all corals are millions upon millions of what is called symbiotic algae. The only exceptions are those corals which are classified as non-photosynthetic. These obtain their energy from feeding rather than from light itself. Photosynthetic corals obtain their primary source of energy from light and then also actively feed to obtain more energy. The symbiotic algae within the corals obtain energy from the light and then pass this energy on to the coral itself – a match made in heaven!

Different corals have different lighting requirements. For example, short polyp stony corals require much more intense lighting than soft corals do.

When choosing aquarium lighting for reef tanks you need to check two things in your reef tank. The first is the corals themselves, so that you can ascertain their requirements, and the other is the depth of the aquarium itself. Checking the depth is important as light can only penetrate so far into water before the colour is removed. It is amazing how quickly water can remove colour from light.

The depth of your aquarium as well as the corals you keep will determine which type of lighting you require. For example, if you keep soft corals then you could possibly just use fluorescent tubes. However, if you keep short polyp stony corals then metal halide lighting will be required. The depth needs to be checked because if you have a deep aquarium then the colour might not penetrate to the bottom of the aquarium. Water has the ability to be able to strip out colour at an amazing rate, therefore if you have a deep aquarium you will need lighting of enough power to be able to push the light to the bottom of the aquarium.

Another component of aquarium lighting for reef tanks which needs to be considered is that of Kelvin. Kelvin is the colour output and the higher the rating in the Kelvin scale the bluer the light will be. At the other end of the scale the lower the rating the more yellow/red it will be. Normally in a reef aquarium a Kelvin rating of 10,000K to 13,000K is utilised. This is a white/blue colour which replicates life on the reef at a depth of about 30m.

When placing corals into your reef aquarium you will need to first check what their lighting requirements are and then place them at the bottom of the reef tank and slowly move them up over time until they are in their final position.

Keeping Rabbits As Pets

Another good thing about rabbits is their appearance. They are very adorable and cute as pets. This makes them very likeable too. Rabbits also require low maintenance once you take them home. They feed on dried foods, vegetables and grass hay which is very easy to buy and readily available. They are also very immune to many different diseases and require little or no vaccinations.

Rabbits have a long life span compared with other animals of similar size. Some of them could live for as long as 10 years when they are properly taken care of. They also don’t require a lot of attention as they are very independent and can do a lot of things on their own just like cats. You can easily allow them out of their cages to run around and exercise their bodies and if you have more than one, you organize races for them which are fun to watch.

If you are looking for a pet to play with both indoors and outdoors then rabbits are just perfect. They are very playful and show a lot of affection towards their owners. They like to lick you just like dogs and make just as nice a pet. Rabbits also have a lot of personality even though they are very small. They are intelligent and can be litter box trained to help keep their cages clean.

In spite of all the advantages of having pet rabbits, there are also some disadvantages that you should be aware of. First of all rabbits can be stubborn when you are first trying to train them. It can be very time consuming when teaching them to use the litter box for the first time and you should be really patient during that time. You will also have to clean the litter box regularly and disinfect it to prevent odors and infections. Cages should also be cleaned and disinfected regularly to prevent bad odors in your house.

Rabbits tend to chew anything they come into contact with which can lead to damage of very important things. You should make sure your home is rabbit-proofed if you plan to keep rabbits as pets and let them run loose in your home. During unfavorable weather conditions such as extremely low temperatures, rabbits may have to be given special attention to prevent diseases especially if they live outdoors. You may want to put them indoors during this time or fix some type of heater for their cages.

Getting vaccinations or finding medical experts for rabbits can be quite difficult in some locations compared with more popular pets such as dogs and cats. For instance you might want to get your pet rabbit’s teeth trimmed to prevent uncontrolled chewing but finding a medical expert for the procedure could be difficult.

All in all rabbits do make great pets and the pros out weigh the cons by a large margin. Probably the biggest problem is trying to choose what kind of rabbit to get as a pet because there so many different varieties. They come in many sizes, looks, colors, etc. but choosing the best one is part of the fun.

DIY Aquarium Backgrounds

When you start out in this hobby thinking about a background is probably the last thing on your mind. You are learning that much about this hobby that a background is well down the list. Actually the background should be thought about as part of the planning stage.

You may even end up purchasing a salt water aquarium package where a background is not included.

The planning stage is an exceptionally important part when it comes to setting up a salt water aquarium, however it is also unfortunately one of the things which is not performed.

When you consider starting your aquarium you need to research as much as you can (when you finish researching then research a little bit more!) and then you can start planning. When you start planning you do this based upon the animal you wish to keep and not the equipment you need. You purchase the equipment which is necessary for the animals which you hope to keep not just know but also in the future.

The reason I have talked about planning is that the background is part of this. For example you may want to incorporate overflows into the rear of the tank. Your chosen background needs to accommodate this.

It is also easier to apply a background before the aquarium is installed and full of water.

There are various DIY aquarium backgrounds that you can use which are listed below:

  • Incorporate a painted wooden background onto the rear of the stand.
  • Paint the rear glass of the aquarium.
  • Paint a thin wooden background and attach it to the rear of the aquarium using silicone.
  • Attach a curtain or some other type of fabric across the rear of the aquarium.
  • Purchase reef rock, cut them in half and stick to the inside rear of the aquarium.
  • Make a cave/reef structure out of salt water rated concrete/resin or foam.

The most utilised option out of the above DIY aquarium backgrounds is where the rear glass of the aquarium is painted.

The next thing to think about is what colour do you use?

This is up to you really. It is personal preference, however the most common used colours and blue and black. The trick is to attempt to make it so that the background is not obvious and seamlessly integrates into the aquarium. The rear of the aquarium will probably get covered in corraline etc within time.

If you choose to paint the glass then ensure that you clean the glass first with some glass cleaner and ensure that all fingerprints and oil based marks are removed. If you not 100% sure that it is clean do it again to make sure. You can now either spray or hand paint the glass. Do so in several thin coats ensuring that the previous coat is dry before applying the next.

When all the coats are applied wait until it is completely dry before touching it or moving the tank. The paint does not attach that well to glass and can easily peel.

Whichever of the DIY aquarium backgrounds you choose to use attempt to plan for it prior to starting your aquarium. It is much easier to paint the aquarium when it is empty and not in it’s final position.

Eliminating Cat Odor Problems

Untrained kittens or untrained rescue cats aren’t the only cause of feline odor problems. Cats, both male and female, neutered or whole, are capable of scent-marking their territory. And de-clawed cats are more likely to scent mark than fully armed cats.

Urine and scent spray both leave an undesirable odor for cat owners to deal with. What’s worse, the cats tend to be creative when they mark their territory. Places to find scent spray include walls, doors, door frames, window frames, outside door thresholds, entrance ways, above and behind kitchen cabinets, behind baseboards and on door trim. The unpainted bottoms of wood doors are also a popular place for scent spray to accumulate.

Despite the wide range of possible problem areas, eliminating these urine and scent spray odors is relatively easy. Just don’t paint over the areas, and do your best to locate all of the offending areas.

One effective way to locate these areas is with a black light. The black light will cause the phosphor salts in the scent spray to light up as a pale, yellowish-green mark that looks like the cat applied it with a squirt gun. Stick a thumb tack about two inches above every mark you find to help you keep track of all the locations.

Mix up a 16 ounce trigger spray bottle of OdorXit Concentrate using 1 ounce of Concentrate and 15 ounces of water. Now spray the marked areas with two to four pumps of the product and let it dry naturally. These scent marks often take two to five applications over as many days to remove all the odor.

OdorXit Concentrate neutralizes the odor-causing residue so that the urine residue no longer produces the odors. This Concentrate must come in direct contact with all the cat urine residue to eliminate all of the odor. Odors caused by cat urine in hardwood flooring, sub-flooring, concrete, dirt, gravel, fabric, clothing, upholstery and most other surfaces are effectively and permanently removed.

Another approach to eliminating the odors is through using OdorXit Magic. This product uses a “gas absorbing” technology to attract, trap and eliminate cat urine odors from the air. When sprayed on flooring, carpeting, upholstery, and most other surfaces and materials, OdorXit Magic absorbs the gasses (odors) coming from the cat urine. This process continues for 2 to 12 weeks depending on the amount of odor being produced and the amount of sun shining on the area.