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Clean Easy Way to Culture and Harvest Micro worms (Nematodes) for Tropical Fish Fry, Amphibian Larvae etc.

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Microworms are a harmless nematode that make a great food for tropical fish fry like guppies, bettas, and amphibian larvae (newts, salamanders and dwarf African aquatic frogs). They are very easy to culture and provide a good volume of live food once cultures are established.  Materials: starter culture of microworms plastic container like a yogurt or margarine container (I prefer the 500mL size as they take up less storage space) lid with small holes in it culture medium (oatmeal, flaked potatoes etc) paper towel cut to size of the container flat wooden stick like a popsicle stick or tongue depressor (or other small piece of food-safe wood) You may notice that yeast is not on the list! If you are starting with a liquid culture, you do not need active yeast. The yeast is just to start brand new cultures that don't have any food for the worms. Once you have a live culture, the tiny amount of media you have them in will start the bacteria, fungi and yeasts to grow in the oatmeal. Tha

Free Fish Food! An Easy Place to Find Free Live Food

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Learn how easy it is to attract and collect FREE fish food! Pot worms that can be found in your yard in the Pacific Northwest (BC, Washington & Oregon) make a great food for guppies, tetras, bettas and many other tropical and cold water fish! All you need is a few flat trays, some water, a turkey baster and small collection container. In the temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest they are available from November to April. I don’t know the latin name of these yet, but am searching for it.  I believe they are a type of Annelid (segmented) worm. Will share it here when I find it. 

Snails in Your Tank- Ugh! or Yay!

When you get new fish or plants, small mollusk hitchhikers may come in unnoticed. What is your first reaction? For many hobbyists, it's "Ugh! Get rid of those things!"  I hope this post teaches you to pause and rethink your initial reaction to snails (and other things) we have been taught to be worried about. What are the Concerns About Snails in Aquariums? Let's start with some history. I believe the main concern about snails originated from the commercial food fish industry which also translated into the tropical fish trade. Some types of snails can carry parasites that infect some species of fish. These parasites may reduce the growth and success of commercial food fish produced and in high enough numbers can even kill the fish. One example is the ram's horn snail ( Bolbophorus confusus)   that is eaten by and infects catfish that are then eaten by and live in the intestinal tract of White pelicans. The pelicans release parasite eggs back into the catfish ponds

Maternity Guppy Ward and Transferring Fry to Grow Out Tank

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  Today we are checking up on our guppy maternity tank.  As our young adult females continue to produce babies, it is time to move some of the the hybrid fry and young fish to another tank to grow up. This also gives more room in the maternity tank to reduce stress on the females and babies. Some of the young are starting to show color. They are moved from a 20 gal tank to a 15 gal tank that was a snail and scud (amphipod / side swimmer) tank.  Enjoy! Here'a 10 day update on the guppy fry! 

Mini Wreath made from Pine Cone Scales!

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Of all the things I have made so far, I think this is my favorite! Making mini-crafts are always cool! I love working with the scales. It is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together! I love the rich brown wood texture of the scales. And I find it oddly soothing to pull the scales apart from the pine cones! Kind of like popping little packing bubbles. Here we go!  Materials: sharp scissors glue gun and glue sticks acrylic paint (red, silver) (optional) paintbrush (optional) glitter glue (optional) rings about 7cm-8 cm (3 inches) in diameter (some examples are a canning lid, the rubber from a canning lid, a ring cut out of cardboard, an expired glow in the dark bracelet (from the dollar store) about 40 pine cones scales per mini wreath-scales with patterns on the inside work well if you plan to leave the wreaths natural color. Step 1 Collect and lay out your materials. Step 2 Lay out the scales around your ring. This gives you an idea of how many you need and how you might arrange them. I u

How to Prevent Guppies From Eating Their Babies

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If you are interested in raising guppies, there are a few things to know that can reduce or even eliminate them eating the babies in the first few weeks after they are born. This goes well beyond providing them with a breeders box, which is often a cramped space and may actually contribute to the mother's eating the young. If instead, you look at the basic needs of guppies in detail, that can help!  Guppies, like all other animals (mammals, birds, reptile, fish etc) need food, water, shelter and space in the right balance to survive and thrive. When these things are not balanced to the needs of the fish, they can be a significant cause of stress. Genetics can also play a role. Let's look at these factors in detail. Space: Make sure you have a tank that is large enough for the number and size of guppies that you have and will have in the future. If it is not large enough for future population, then have other tanks ready to transfer the growing or adult guppies to.  One thing I

Christmas Star Decoration Made from Pone Cone Scales

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Look at the lovely natural texture in this pine cone scale star! A nice addition to any tree. Great for anyone who likes to do jigsaw puzzles!  Materials: pre-cut pine cone scales (removed from cone stem)  piece of flat cardboard or plastic (yogurt lid etc) sharp scissors glue gun glue sticks glitter glue (optional) tacky glue (optional) Step 1 Cut out a 5 point star from cardboard or plastic. I found an outline on Google Images and printed it off in the size I wanted for my star. Then traced the outer edge and cut it out. Mine is about 12 cm (4.5 inches) across. Step 2 Separate out about 100 scales into a pile. Make sure each scale is approximately the same width and length. Making them uniform size makes them easier to fit together.  Step 3 Start by cutting a few of the scale tips off and gluing one scale to each point of the star. Make sure the scale hangs over the edge slightly so the cardboard tip does not show. These are placed so the outside of the scale is side up. Next, glue o

Simple Redwood Christmas Decorations You Can Make

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Redwood cones are very useful and flexible as Christmas decorations. They are the perfect size for a smaller tree or to add to the top of a large tree as they are not too heavy. Just painting them can make an effective ball for a tree! Adding some glitter glue adds some sparkle as well! Tip: I paint on a coat of Tacky or white crafter glue to seal in the scent. It can be strong, especially in newer brown cones. To reduce the scent, I will often choose grey weathered cones as they don't have as much scent. This is especially important if you have someone with allergies in the house. Materials: acrylic paint (red, white, green) tacky glue glitter glue paintbrush water cup ribbons (to hang them with). dried redwood (sequoia) cones (with stems is ideal but you can also use a hot gun to glue stems on them.) Step 1:  Collect your materials.  Step 2: Start with painting some solid colors, then coating them with glitter glue. I even left a few natural! Other options: Painting two or three

Roly Poly Penguin Decorations made of Redwood and Acorn

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Penguins are a fun and easy critter to make with cones. While not a northern bird, most species enjoy a cold (southern) climate. Did you know that most penguin species have all black or mostly back faces? This is not what people tend to depict in their recreations of them. The white face is just so cute! In this project, we are going to try mixing colors of paint to make our own color for the feet! Can you use this chart of 18 penguins to figure out which species I made? Materials: scissors black or white felt pen ribbon for bow and to hang your penguin from the tree  glue gun and glue paintbrush paint pallet or plastic lid or plastic plate acrylic paint: white , black, red and yellow optional: oak acorn cap for hat 2 googly eyes 1 acorn (head) 1 round redwood cone (body) 1 long wide scale from a pine cone (for tail) 2 scales from a pine cone (for feet) 2 maple keys (for wings) Step 1 Collect your materials so they are all nearby. Step 2 Prepare the Redwood so the acorn will sit on it.