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.

Tips to Train Your Pet Parrot

Having a pet is a very nice feeling especially for people who do not have enough time to relax and unwind. Pets make the lives of many people a lot more fun so to those who wish to get a pet, make sure to try getting a pet parrot. Parrots are easy to take care of and best of all, they talk. You can definitely have a great time whenever you would hear them speak.

These are just few of the things that people should do in case they wish to train their pet parrot. Parrots are definitely great pets and since they can talk, there would never be a dull moment if you have them at home.

To those who wish to get one, then check out the amazing training tips:

    • Always make sure to train your pet parrot every day. If you wish them to learn something, you have to make sure that you only spend 10 minutes to train them because birds have small brains. The best way for them to retain what you have taught them is if you do not overdo it. 10 minutes would be enough for them to retain what you have taught them.
    • You might also wish to practice training them with props. This is great for people who use their pets for shows. This would help your pet become familiar with different props that would make the show a lot more fun and interesting. Try to find the best props that your pet would be able to play with effortlessly.
    • Be sure to train you parrot in a quiet place this is to make sure that they would not be confused with the sound that they need to follow. You also have to make sure that you give them rewards so they would learn easily. Try to scratch their heads because this means that they have done something great. Parrots are smart animals so be sure to reward them if they did something great.
    • It is also important that you train your parrot same time everyday so it would be something that the parrots would look forward to. They would also imbed in their minds that at the exact time, they get to have fun and learn new things. This is definitely a rewarding experience for both the owner as well as the parrot.

 

    • Always praise your pet for the great things that he or she was able to accomplish on your training. They would surely want to be praised and rewarded with what they were able to do for the day so be sure to do this so your pets would always look forward to having a new learning session with you.

What Kinds Of Tortoise Make The Best Pets?

There are a number or different kinds of tortoises you could choose to care for but the common denominator is how well you can accommodate a specific species in your lifestyle and your home.

A major part of your decision should include how much space you have? For example if you decide to keep a small tortoise such as a Russian or Hors field tortoise which are commonly available in many pet shops you will need to provide an enclosure for it to live in that is at least 2x2meters. this is not necessary for a very young and small tortoise but as your pet grows he will require a larger space in which to live. If your enclosure is too small your pet can become stressed and this may lead to physical health problems.

In the enclosure you need to provide substrate, which is what covers the bottom of their home. This will need to be reasonably deep so that it does not hod moisture which may allow fungus to grow. I like to use a combination of play sand and top soil which is easy to maintain and keep clean. Daily you should remove waste matter and uneaten food.

If you live in an area of the world which is similar to the natural habitat where your tortoise would live naturally it is easier for you to provide an outside enclosure. this would be the ideal for a tortoise such as a Russian which will thrive in an outside home. They are very curious and active little tortoises and will love to explore their environment, hide away and graze on naturally growing foliage in their enclosure.

A suitable outside enclosure will not necessarily require artificial heat and light if the climate is suitable. However, you may need to provide an indoor enclosure when the weather is less favorable. In this case you will need to provide a basking area which will need to be approximately 95 degrees. tortoises need the correct amount of heat and light in order to remain healthy. The heat and light will enable the tortoise to metabolize their food correctly and benefit from minerals and vitamins.

When you are wondering what kinds of tortoise would be best for you and your family the best way to provide the optimum environment is to research what the natural environment would be in the wild and mimic this as far as possible.

Tips You Need to Know for Spring Bird Feeding

What to Feed Them

Now, it’s important to remember the significance of the breeding season. Over winter you can throw out whatever food you like and the birds will merrily peck it up, but in the spring there are children to think of!

Usually, birds will frequent feeders less as long as there are plenty of invertebrates lounging around for feeding. They’ll be able to sustain themselves easily and return to the nest to feed their children. Now, if the weather turns and creates a food shortage you may find yourself seeing many more visits from mature birds. The risk is they’ll not only use the feeder for themselves, but take food back to the nest. Fat, bread hunks, and large dry foods like peanuts can easily choke an infant bird.

Hand out high protein foods, including grated cheese, black sunflower seeds, mealworms and raisins. Sliced fruit such as apples and pears also respond well.

Keep One Eye on the Weather

At least in the winter you know what you’re getting. It’s going to be cold, and birds will need feeding. In the spring weather varies a lot more. For the most part food will be abundant and you can leave out minimal amounts, but a change in the weather can quickly result in food shortages. For insect-eaters, a bout of extremely wet weather will cut down their food source substantially, and you might want to leave out a few snacks appropriate to the species. A lengthy drought will harden the ground, and remove access to earthworms, a sizable loss for birds attempting to feed their young.

It’s incredibly different for humans to detect a food shortage. Rather than adjusting your feeding practices dramatically just keep track of your local visitors’ frequency. If they’re coming with regularity it may indicate an immediate food shortage, so be sure you’re not leaving out feed inappropriate for their young.

Keep it Clean

Unlike the winter, you’re likely to see a much slower turnover of feed. Keep your unused seed in a metal container to keep it from spoiling, and consider investing in a covered feeder for the garden. The combination of rain and heat can quickly create mould and disease in your seed, and you don’t want to be responsible for any health problems.

There’ll be more wastage, so try to keep the amount of feed out at any one time to a minimum. Clear up the debris left on the feeder or grass, as well. Hardily shelled black-oil sunflower seeds will slowly kill your grass, though fruit and sunflower chips will spoil extremely quickly. Try and give the feeder a healthy scrub around once a week, perhaps more.

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.

What Size Fish Tank Should You Get?

What size tank?

Choosing the right size tank is the first decision you will come up against in this hobby; what tank you choose is all down to personal preference. The tank you choose will be the foundation of your very own Marine Aquarium. It’s good to get this right the first time. If you do, it will save you a lot of time and money. The reason I say this is because people buy a tank and then later on realize that they want a bigger one, so if you know what type of setup you want before you buy your tank you have more of a chance of making the right decision on the size. In a previous article we spoke about the different types of Marine setups, now you know what setup you are going to have you need to decide what size aquarium you want, now comes the part where you have to ask yourself questions, Where is it going to go? How much space do I have? Of course you are limited to what size house you have, and by space, also how much do you want to spend? Fish tanks can range from ?100 to over ?1000, how much you spend is down to you. Before you start it’s good for you to know owning your own Marine Aquarium is no cheap hobby.

Hopefully After reading this article you will come to the conclusion on what size marine tank you want.

What shape?
Depending on what type of setup you are having different shaped tanks will have their own effects.

Tall tanks
Tall tanks have the effect of height; this is nice on a reef tank because it allows you to create different shelf levels to place corals with different lighting needs. The Lighting needs to penetrate through to the bottom, so strong lighting is recommended.

Bow fronted tanks
These tanks give a lovely magnifying effect and the illusion that the tank is bigger than what it is.

Cube tanks
Cube tanks are great for compact spaces; they also provide a 360 degree view of everything in the tank, not great for big fish as swimming space is limited.

Standard Rectangle tanks
These tanks are the best choice for reef aquariums as they have space for everything, you can have big reef fish and there is plenty of room to aqua scape the tank the way you want it.

Corner tanks
These tanks are great space savers. They have a very modern feel and make great show tanks due to their shape because they have a custom made look to them. These tanks are surprisingly spacious.

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.

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.

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.