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postheadericon Well, you have an aquarium and you purchased a couple of cichlids for your fish tank

Well, you have an aquarium and you purchased a couple of cichlids for your fish tank. Now, you are wondering what the next step is. If this is your first fish tank, you will need to learn how to care for the type of fish you have chosen as each type has different things they need. The things you need to watch include water temperature, location of aquarium, pH levels, type of filtration system, what type of lighting you need, and of course what type of food your fish will eat. Your cichlids are pretty easy to care for but you still have responsibilities if you want your fish to stay happy and healthy.

Water Temperature

The cichlid does wonderful when water temperatures are between 74 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, but can tolerate temperatures as low as 68 degrees. Now, if you have babies known as fry you will need to keep the temperature at an 80 to 82 degree Fahrenheit range. The warmer temperature helps to raise the baby’s metabolism, which makes them eat more and grow faster. If you happen to have an aggressive cichlid on your hand, which is often the case, you can lower the water temperature and this will help with their aggressive nature but do not go below 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

Location of Aquarium

Never place any aquarium with any kind of fish close to a window or sunny area or even beside a computer, refrigerator, or other appliance that generates heat. This will cause the water temperature to fluctuate. The same goes with placing the tank in a drafty area, which will have the same result.

pH Levels

As with all fish tanks, the pH levels in the water need to be checked and kept at an optimal level. For cichlids, the pH levels should stay between 6 and 8. When changing water or cleaning the tank, be sure that the aquarium water does not change levels quickly. It would be best to have clean water ready that is at the proper pH level before cleaning the tank.

Filtration System

The best filtration system will be one that was designed for the size of your aquarium. In most cases, the smaller aquariums are great for the cichlids and sponge filters are perfect. Of course, you will want to read all the direction and ensure you purchase the proper system.


The best lighting for an aquarium is fluorescent lighting as it creates an atmosphere more like the natural habitat of the cichlids, but use dim lights and never bright lights. Bright lights will agitate your fish.

Fish Food

Cichlids will eat any type of fish food without any problem. Just remember that you should only feed them what they can eat in about five to ten minutes and the rest of the food should be taken out of the tank.

postheadericon Every year thousands of pets are poisoned at home

Every year thousands of pets are poisoned at home. You can make your house safer with just a few adjustments. Here are a few helpful hints.


Use screens and guard rails on all windows. Pets are tempted to jump out when they feel the fresh air


Pets that play around curtains and blinds with strings can get strangled. Cut off all strings and replace it with fabric.


Don’t smoke in the house. Birds can die from second hand smoke. Cats and dogs can get serious illnesses from the smoke.

Ceiling Fans

Don’t let your bird fly around when the fan is on.


Cats and dogs can burn their paws and even cause your house to go on fire


No tinsel on the Christmas tree. It can cause intestinal blockages if eaten. No strings of popcorn either. Any strings can cause choking.

Flowers and plants

Poinsettia leaves are highly toxic to pets. Also lilies, the Easter and tiger varieties. Eating even a small piece can cause your pet kidney damage. Also keep them away from ferns, mistletoe and holly. No plants with pets is an even better idea


Keep all breakable items away from pets. Any small broken piece can cause cuts to their paws or mouths


Keep all your medicines in a locked closet or drawer. Dogs can chew threw child safe bottles.


Keep the seat down. Any small kitten can drown in the toilet. Never let the dog drink the toilet water. If you tub is clogged, keep the door closed until all water is gone

Beauty appliances

Keep all hair dryers, curling irons and hot rollers away from pets until they are cool. A bird might think a curling iron is a perch


Cats sometimes go into engines to keep warm (also the wheel wells). The best thing is to check your car by banging on the hood before you start the engine. And keep your cats indoors

Cold weather

If you live in a cold climate you only safe de-icers. Dogs paws can be irritated by these chemicals. Always wash their paws with warm water when they come in


It has a sweet smell and taste to animals. So it should always to keep away from them. Even a small amount is lethal

Garden Tools

Keep all tools (rakes, hedge trimmers) locked up in a shed or garage.

Cleaning Products

Get child safety locks installed even if you don’t have small children. Your pet could get into the cabinet when you are not home and eat or inhale poisonous cleaners.

Garbage cans

Keep all cans closed with tight lids. Any re-cycling of metal (lids from cans) can cut pets or even stray animals mouths. Place all garbage in bags


Clean up all food leftovers after each meal immediately. Onions, chocolate, raisins, grapes are all toxic to pets. They can cause kidney damage if they survive.

postheadericon Silverfish (lepisma saccharina) are slender, fast running, wingless insects that are approximately a centimetre and a half to two centimetres in length

Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) are slender, fast running, wingless insects that are approximately a centimetre and a half to two centimetres in length. They are metallic silvery-blue in colour with antennae at the front of their bodies and three long bristle-like tails protruding from their rear end. Their fish-like darting movements and their colour gave rise to their name. These insects are very ancient creatures having been around for over 300 million years and are found throughout the entire world but are especially associated with human habitats.

How do silverfish breed?

The male silverfish lays his spermatophore (basically a capsule containing his spermatozoa) which is then taken up by the female for fertilisation, who of course will then produce fertilised eggs. The female silverfish will lay her eggs in small cracks and crevices in places that are damp and warm. The eggs will hatch usually between two weeks to two months later depending on the conditions prevalent at the time. When the young silverfish emerge, they will look just like smaller versions of the adults and will reach maturity in about six months.

Where do silverfish like to live?

They favour moist, humid places so can be found in and around shower rooms, bathrooms, toilets, kitchens, damp floors, cupboards (particularly under the sink), sinks, windows, old pipes and skirting boards. Sometimes they can become trapped in the bath or the sink as they slide down whilst foraging for food and are unable to climb back up the slippery surfaces. You can suspect the presence of silverfish in your home if you find yellowy stains on paper or material, evidence of scales or excrement, or if books and wallpaper look notched or damaged at the ends. They don’t like the light and are nocturnal by nature so will usually been seen scuttling around the floors, pipes and skirting boards at night, which is also when they like to feed.

What do silverfish eat?

Silverfish like to feed on just about anything and are particularly attracted to starch and polysaccharides. They will eat away at adhesive bindings or anything containing glue substances, photographs, cotton and other material and fibres, wallpaper, wallpaper paste, books and papers, detergent residues, shampoo, shaving foam and other toiletries containing cellulose, dried and powdered foods, cereals, leather, and have even been known to feed on dead insects at times.

How do silverfish get in the house?

They can quite easily be transferred into the house inside cardboard boxes, old books or papers, or on any starched fabrics as well as other materials.

How do I get rid of silverfish?

Silverfish are not harmful to humans but they are considered a nuisance pest, particularly if they are present in large numbers. You can treat existing infestations of silverfish yourself quite easily with a residual insecticide making sure that you apply it to window frames, skirting boards, cupboards and shelves under the sinks, floors around the toilet and bath, pipes, cracks and crevices and anywhere else that you suspect they may be lurking. You could also try airing rooms regularly to prevent a build up of moisture and treating any damp areas as silverfish cannot survive in dry conditions. Another option is to remove or at least restrict their food supply by clearing up old books and newspapers that are lying around, making sure that any detergents or residues from shampoos and other toiletries are thoroughly rinsed away and that all containers are properly sealed. However, removing their food supply as the only means of prevention is not effective as silverfish are able to survive for many months without any food at all.

postheadericon Summer is when dogs are most at risk of being affected by heatstroke

Summer is when dogs are most at risk of being affected by heatstroke. A dog’s normal body temperature is 100°F to 102.5°F but, unlike humans, dogs do not have sweat glands throughout their skin.  Their only methods for cooling include limited sweat glands on the pads of their feet and nose, and panting. Both of which are inefficient at cooling their body temperature in extreme situations. If a dog cannot effectively dissipate heat, their internal body temperature begins to rise. Once the dog’s temperature exceeds 104° damage to their body’s cellular system and organs may become irreversible. With heatstroke the cells literally cook.

Have you ever said to yourself “I’m just going to run into the store for a minute, my dog will be fine in the car?”  Well, including the time to walk to the store from your car, shopping, and checkout, a minute is never just a minute. A study by the Animal Protection Institute showed that even moderately warm outside temperatures can quickly lead to deadly temperatures inside a closed car. In just a few minutes the internal temperature of a car can easily reach 40° higher than the outside temperature even if parked in the shade with the windows cracked open. Being left in a car is the number one cause of heatstroke in dogs.

Although exercise is essential for a happy and healthy dog, be sure to choose a time of day, during hot months, that is safe for heavy activity and pay close attention to how your dog is responding. Owners with breeds such as Pugs, English Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers need to be especially attentive to their pet’s needs, as they are less tolerant of heat. When you are playing and exercising outside, always make sure your dog has plenty of fresh cool water and access to a shaded area at all times.  Be sure to take frequent breaks and allow your dog to cool down before resuming activity. If you take walks, try to go in the early morning or in the evening and remember to take water with you.

How do you know if your dog may have heatstroke? Some of the symptoms include:

–          A rectal temperature over 104 ° F (needs immediate veterinary attention)

–          A rectal temperature of 106 °F or greater (dire emergency)

–          Excessive panting

–          Bright red gums and tongue

–          Gums feel dry to the touch

–          Thick saliva

–          Excessive shaking

–          Staggering

–          Lying down and refusing or unable to get back up

What to do if you suspect your dog may be affected by heatstroke:

–          Remove your dog from the hot environment

–          Immediately get a rectal temperature if possible

–          DO NOT Submerge or saturate your dog with cold water or ice!! (This may make internal damage more severe).

–          Place cool, wet rags or washcloths on major blood vessels such as the jugular vein (along the neck) and the femoral artery (inside the rear leg). Replace often.

Slightly dampen your dog with lukewarm water and place directly in front of a fan to safely wick away heat- Do not soak!

–          Offer your dog cool water to drink but do not force water into the mouth

–          Most effective treatment is with IV fluids and medications administered by your veterinarian!

–          Call or visit your vet right away – even if your dog seems better. Internal damage might not be obvious to the naked eye, so an exam is necessary (and further testing may be recommended).

Some dogs can fully recover from heatstroke if it is caught and treated early by a veterinarian. Prognosis of treatment for heatstroke is significantly affected by how high the body temperature reaches, and the length of time the dog was exposed to dangerous levels. A delay in treatment for two hours may result in a 70% chance of death. Sadly, many dogs affected by heatstroke do not survive. Prevention is the key to keeping your dog safe during the warm weather.

postheadericon We all know that cats are loving and truly wonderful creatures

We all know that cats are loving and truly wonderful creatures.  These days, it isn’t out of the ordinary to see a cat in virtually every other home, sleeping in the window or cuddling up on the laps of their owners.  Although cats have been popular pets for as long as most can remember, they weren’t domesticated less than 5,000 years or so ago.  Domestication took place in the valley of the Nile, which is what research tells us today.

In the beginning, people were very grateful to cats and encouraged them to stay with them by feeding them various scraps of food.  Once they were fed and perceived humans to be no threat, the cats would move in permanently with their human owners.  As time went by, even the wildest of cat would allows humans to approach him, often times even hold and touch as well.

In those days, cats were very loyal and endearing pets.  They proved to be great hunters, as they done their sleeping in short periods and were much easier to wake up than dogs.  Cats also have better night vision than dogs, and much better hearing as well.  If someone moved through the house or if they heard suspicious noises, they would wake while dogs would sleep right through it.  Humans loved having cats around, and they seemed to get along good with dogs as well.

These days, cats are used for both companionship and show.  They aren’t used much at all for hunting mice and rodent anymore at all.  There are a lot of breeds available, from the traditional alley cat to the well known Siamese.  All breeds are unique in their own way, and will provide you with years of companionship if you take care of them.

Before you get a kitten or older cat, you’ll first want to examine the source.  If you are getting the kitten from a breeder, you’ll want to make sure that the breeder has a reputable reputation.  You’ll also want to ensure that the cattery is clean and in good shape.  The kittens that are still there shouldn’t be overcrowded, and their surroundings should be clean.  The litter boxes there should be kept up and both the food and water dish should be clean and full.  The kittens shouldn’t be caged, instead free to run around.  All cats that are there should appear healthy, with shiny coats and none of their ribs showing.

When you get your kitten, it should be used to being touched and handled.  The kitten should be sweet, not afraid in the least.  Kittens that have been handled young normally have a better temperament.  The better breeders won’t allow their kittens to leave the nest until they are around 12 weeks old, with some waiting until the kittens are 16 weeks.  By doing this, breeders ensure that the kitten is in good health and his immune system has properly developed.

There’s no mistaken the fact that cats are great to own.  You can get a kitten from a reputable breeder, through a local newspaper, or an adoption agency.  Cats can also be obtained from a local pound, although people normally don’t like to choose this option.  No matter which way you decide to pursue, you should always make sure that your cat is healthy.  If you get a healthy cat, you won’t have a lot of problems later on down the road.  Healthy cats were taken care of – and normally have everything up to date – including their vaccinations.