Month: December 2020

Dwarf Hamster: Different From Its Larger Cousin

About one tenth of the size of a domesticated rat, dwarf hamsters are cute, very active especially at night but timid.

Dwarf Hamster Types

There are three main types of dwarf hamster kept as pets:

  1. Roborovksi dwarf hamster – known also as a “robo” or “robby”, these are the smallest, quickest, most active and naturally inquisitive and hence engaging of the pet hamster types.
  2. Russian dwarf hamster – also known as the Winter White hamster, which is normally a pearl grey or sapphire blue-grey colour, with a black stripe down its back. In the wild this hamster changes to white to act as camouflage in snow; apparently this change can be created in captivity if heat and light are much reduced.
  3. Campbell dwarf hamster – this is a specific type, originating from Russia but its natural habitat is open areas such as sand dunes or the steppe.

Many hamster enthusiasts regard the Chinese hamster as a type of dwarf hamster, though scientifically the Chinese and Dwarf hamsters are different species.

Derivative forms of dwarf hamsters are beginning to appear in the pet hamster markets. Breeding dwarf hamsters can be quite complex if the breeder is taking the appropriate and long-term view; breeding mixed types or even mixed colours in some of the species can lead to genetic defects.

Dwarf Hamster Characteristics

Usually nocturnal in the wild, while normally more active at night when kept as pets, dwarf hamsters will have active periods during the day, and most dwarf hamsters will readily take to being handled as long as no sudden movements are made which can frighten them and very occasionally result in a panic-inspired bite if the hamster feels it cannot escape.

 

Generally the Campbell dwarf hamster is reqarded as the most aggressive dwarf hamster and more prone to bite, which is one of the reasons why this type is the least popular of the dwarf hamsters as a pet hamster variety.

Scent plays a substantial role in dwarf hamster activity and behavior. In the wild, research has shown that they create paths followed by other dwarf hamsters through scent. As a result, they can often be seen to roll around or rub their paws on the ground in order to create scent trails.

Sounds, usually high-pitched but occasionally shrill, are used by dwarf hamsters to communicate with each other, and these sounds are quite different to those used by normal hamsters.

Due to their smaller size, hamster equipment for dwarf hamsters, especially hamster wheels and similar toys, need to be much smaller than normal. Dwarf hamsters, especially the Roborovsky, will be very active and phenomenally fast in wheels.

Gourmet Dog Treats

Whether it’s for your pet or a friend’s pet, gourmet dog treats are a wonderful way to show your love while providing a tasty, nutritional change that dogs will love. If you’re creative and have some time, you can even make your own treats from recipes you can find on the Internet. You can also purchase over a hundred different types of gourmet dog sweets online.

 

Gourmet Dog Treats Choices

Whatever your dog likes, and whatever you want to give her for a treat, you will be able to find it online. Is your dog a vegetarian? Does your dog love beef? What about other tastes you might not even think of such as garlic or liver? Most dogs love cheese, and bacon is a favorite as well. All of these flavors and more can be a nice change from store biscuits.

Many of the people who make gourmet dog treats and sell them online are, quite simply, pet lovers who started out wanting to make a tasty, healthy treat for their own dogs. Most of them offer several flavors and use only quality ingredients. Some vendors even make the biscuits only after you order them, thus guaranteeing freshness.

 

Gourmet Treat Gift Baskets

Dogs really love the taste and smell of peanut butter, and these are a favorite in gourmet gift baskets. Vendors will ship your choices to your home or to a friend’s special pet. Choose from vegetable broth, brown rice, zucchini, apple, carrots, parsley, and egg yolks. Your surprisingly affordable gourmet treats will arrive in the mail before you know it. You and your friend will soon be hooked on something that’s good for your pet.

Watering Your Fishes


As I write this, I am probably correct when I say that you know of the water cycle. Everyone knows that our world is mainly created of water and that the water circulates around us constantly. And since you know this, I can move on.
I have overheard people asking questions about their water sources and various pet stores. Some people ask about adding bottled water to their fish tanks, or if tapwater is safe to add. I thought that I would explore a couple different methods of watering your fish.

 

Tapwater

Your tapwater contains a wide range of substances. Salts of calcium, magnesium, sodium and small, but vital quantities of trace elements may or may not be included.

Tapwater is treated with chlorine or chloramines. This tradition, while keeping us safe from harmful bacteria, is a great concern for the aquarist. Another tradition is to add fluoride to keep our teeth healthy, and water softening chemicals. Your water supplier will be able to your questions about your tapwater’s composition.

Tapwater is suitable for general fishkeeping and for breeding livebearers (they aren’t a picky bunch), but the quality can be improved upon by removing the chlorine and chloramines that are added. These two chemicals will kill your fish if used in great quantities.

To remove chlorine and chloramines is an easy task. They can be dispersed by letting the water stand uncovered in old water containers for twenty-four hours, or by aerating for twenty-four hours. You can also use commercial anti-chlorine products.

Rainwater

If you live in an area where the air is clean, then investing in a rainwater bucket or tub is a valuable asset. However, even areas that appear to have clean air can have rains that are full of contaminants. To catch clean water, make sure that your bucket is clean. If you must wash it out do not use soap, use hot water and salt. Don’t catch your water from the gutter on your building as it might be rusty. Also avoid catching water after a dry spell.

To use your rainwater, half it with tapwater.

Bottled Water

I do not recommend using bottled water unless you have no other choice. Bottled water lacks the natural enzymes and minerals that fish need present in their water. If you simply must use bottled water, I would suggest Spring Water.

Breeding And Your Water

Livebearers, excluding the Molly, are not very picky about their water quality while breeding. You can continue your usual water routine, that is, unless you choose to. It doesn’t take anything on your part to get a couple of livebearers interested in spawning, all you need is a male and a female.

The Healthy Diet


Just as humans need proper nutrition to develop correctly and healthy, so do your finned friends. So, how do you offer your breeders and fry a healthy and varied diet?

 

There are many kinds of foods that you can offer your fish, from fresh vegetables, to live food, flake food, algae, tubifex worms and earthworms. The list is very long, and all are good sources of nutrition as long as they are not the steady diet for your fish.

The first step when searching for fish food, is to read, read, read everything you can get your eyes on. Including the food packaging. Foods low in vitamins and minerals promote poor health, slow growth, and disease, for the breeder it is a good idea to purchase the best your wallet can handle.

The food that you offer to your fish needs to include carbohydrates, minerals, proteins and vitamins. Carbohydrates provide energy, and helps fish resist disease, however, excessive carbohydrates can be harmful. Minerals and proteins help fry grow properly, and are needed more by younger fish than adults. Vitamins provide a base for good health.

While making sure that your fishes receive the nutrition that they need, you may find yourself overfeeding them! The fish’s stomach is about the size of its eye, and feeding a small pinch to adult fishes is quite adequate. The fry require three feedings in a day, but the aquarist needs to be aware that overfeeding causes obesity and other health issues. Also, a lot of the food you offer will end up rotting on the bottom and will cause clouded water and it may harm the fish if they eat it. If you accidentally overfeed, don’t worry too much, simply remove the excess food with a gravel cleaner and keep on learning.

The common rule of feeding is to offer only what your fishes can consume in three to five minutes. This is a good time for you to observe your fish’s behavior before, during and after the feeding.

You may notice that you have a picky fish! This is not very common in Guppies and Mollies, but the Platy and Swordtail may alarm you by ignoring food! Don’t worry about this, as some fish are just plain picky, others will eat everything you offer. If you have a picky eater, just vary the foods you present and rejoice when you see the fish nibbling.

Livebearers are omnivorous, and tend to swim and eat at all levels of the tank. Guppies, Platys and Swordtails tend to be surface eaters, so avoiding pellet foods may be a good idea. When it comes to the Molly, you can include small pellets in their diet as they constantly pick at the bottom of the tank, searching for food. Because these fish need green foods, you can purchase vegetable food at your pet shop, or you can offer small pieces of lettuce and spinnach leaves. You can also serve cooked potato and fresh peas as a little treat.

Fish Diseases: Diagnosis


The following are a few diseases that you must be able to identify while choosing a fish, whether it be from breeders or from a pet store. One of the main keys to a tank being diseased, is the color of the water. If the water appears to be a blue or green color, that is an indication that it is being treated for sickness.

 

If you find several fish in the tank that are scraping or “hitting” themselves against tank fixtures, wiggling drastically back and forth in place, or have white growths like fungus or cysts, you might want to reconsider buying anything from that tank. If you decide to buy a fish from tanks that exhibit these mentioned symptoms, be sure to place the fish in a hospital tank from 7-30 days before adding to a community of fish.

Some of these diseases are very apparent, some of them are hard to see, or impossible to diagnose until the fish is dead and you have it examined under a microscope. It is very important to quarantine new fishes for 7-30 days before introducing them into your breeding community. While the learning never stops, eventually you will find yourself moving on instinct and experience!

Abnormal Growths:

A wide variety of tumors appear on guppies most often. Some are benign, some are malignant. If found in your stock or fry, it is best to destroy the fish.

Bacterial Diseases:

Air Bladder Disease: Some fish with air bladder problems lie on the bottom of the tank and make efforts to rise, only to relax to the bottom again. Others may float and be unable to swim downward. This is because of inflamed organs that reduce the size of the air bladder, or inflammation of the air bladder.

Bloat: Scales appear to stand on end, and fish looks bloated. This may be signs of an intestinal infection. Fish cannot swim below the surface without exertion, and many stay in upright position.

Gas Bubble Disease: There isn’t an exact, known cause for this disease. Bacteria invades portions of the fish’s body, and then collects in areas. EXAMPLE: Collects behind the eyes and pops them forward.

Shrinking: Fish seems to “shrink”, the abdomen becomes smaller, the fish’s bottom becomes straight; is found in many females. Fish quickly dies. Condition may be caused by Turbuculosis, or high acidity in water.

Turberculosis: This disease is very slow, and the fish does not waste away. This disease shows few symptoms, resulting in the death of numerous fish. Does not spread through the tank.

Fish Of The World


When you walk into an aquatics store to buy fish, how do you make your choice? Is it color or price? Do you know if your tank creates the proper habitat or do you know if the fish will be compatible? By knowing the various species of fish, you will be able to make an informed decision on what to buy, how to decorate your tank and how to take care of your fish.

 

 

In the world of today’s tropical fish hobbyist, there are eight different distinct species of fish :

  • Characins
  • Barbs and Danios
  • Rainbow Fish, Silversides, Rice Fish
  • Loaches, Flying Foxes, Elephant Trunk Fish
  • Live Bearers
  • Killiefishes
  • Labyrinth Fishes
  • Cichlids

Characins
These fish belong to the species Characiformes. These are the only fish that have an extra fin inserted between their dorsal and their caudal fins. This extra fin is called the adipose fin. Even though Characins survive in the open waters of rivers and lakes, these fish need a protected area in the aquarium. This may be accomplished by having a densely planted bottom and the use of Mango roots. These fish will exhibit fantastic color only if the bottom of your aquarium has dark sand and the lighting is shaded by floating plants, indirect lighting, or lower wattage bulbs. These fish behave better in groups of ten or more and will only show their natural behavior in these groups.

Barbs and Danios
These fish belong to the species Cypriniformes. Barbs and Danios can be recognized by the small barbs that grow out of their mouths, but you will really have to look to see them. These fish are always confused with Characins, but they do not look the same and do not have the extra fin that the Characins possess. The aquarium should be densely planted in dark colours with lots of open areas for swimming. These fish behave better in groups of ten or more. They are both top and mid tank swimmers.

Rainbow Fish, Silversides, and Rice Fish
Rainbow fish belong to the species Melanotaeniidae, the Silversides to the species Atherinidae , and the Rice Fish to the species Oryziatidae. These fish can be easily recognized by their elongated bodies and slightly flattened sides. Their often-splendid colors generally reach their peak when the fish reaches maturity. All these fish are shoaling fish and do not survive well unless kept in schools of ten or more. These fish are generally a peaceful fish and can be kept with most fish except larger aggressive fish.