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Is Warmer Water a Problem for Aquarium Fish During Summer Heat Waves?

 The answer is, it depends on many factors.  1. What temperatures are natural for the fish specific you have in your tank?  Cold water fish will be more stressed than ones from warmer climates as warm water holds less oxygen than cold water. For most tropical fish, don't worry about temperatures upto 30C  for a few weeks.  2. Are your fish from slow or fast flowing water?  Fish from faster flowing water will be more stressed than those who are adapted to slow flowing water as they require higher oxygen levels in the water.  3. What is the surface area ratio of your tank?  Tall tanks have less surface area than long tanks and therefore have lower oxygen in the water.  4. How effective are your biological filters? High ammonia content in your tank contribute to low oxygen as the nitrifying bacteria consumes oxygen in the nitrogen cycle. Make sure they are operating efficiently. 5. How much are you feeding?  Feed a little less food during high heat. Just like other animals, unusual ex

Mosquito and Midge Larvae-More FREE fish food

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Probably the easiest cultures to maintain are what comes naturally from the yard during spring through fall seasons in the northwest. Culturing them is as simple as placing out a bucket of clean water or a tray of clean water and leaving it to sit for a few days. You can use tap water as the chlorine will naturally dissipate with time. Mosquito Larvae In just a few days you will see tiny black floating bits often at the edge of the container. If you look closely, they look like tiny pieces of charcoal. Those are mosquito egg rafts! Each egg raft looks like a tiny grain of wild rice. The rafts break apart easily. Each raft contains 50-100 eggs. Photo below is 60X magnification. I have a small clip on magnifier for my phone. In each raft, there are hundreds of eggs. When they are first laid, the rafts are white. Within about 8-10 hours, they gradually turn darker and then to black. Wait about 24-36 hours (depending on temperature) and they will hatch into the tiniest of wiggling insect l

Culturing Mealworms

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 Meal worms are an easy food to culture. Basically a start them and forget them for a while type of critter.  Small ones may be fed to fish and small reptiles, larger ones and pupae to medium-sized carnivorous fish, reptiles and amphibians. They can be a great live food treat for small rodents like mice and rats, pet birds and a scratch food for chickens too!  The fastest way to get more mealworms is to start with a mix of larvae (worms), larvae and adult beetles. The adults will start laying eggs immediately so you will have young sooner. The larvae will transform later and provide more eggs and finally, the larvae will metamorphosis last to provide an ongoing egg supply. The eggs, of course are hatching into tiny worms that eat continuously. Expect to start harvesting large-sized worms in about 3 months, smaller worms sooner. Starting with 50 worms, in 3 months you can grow about 200-300 (plus pupae and beetles) if you only harvest lightly. Container A plastic box with a lid or large

FREE Moss for the Aquarium-from your lawn

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Moss is useful as a place for fish to spawn, fry to hide, shrimp to search for food, provide shade from bright aquarium lights and absorb nitrates and other pollutants from the water. It also gives the tank a more natural look. Moss can also be expensive and hard to find at certain times of year. Many people are under the mistaken idea that we must buy moss from a pet store, supplier or another aquarist to put in our tank. There is an alternative! Why not use what you have in your yard? Last year, I did an experiment. I researched local mosses in my area (Nanaimo, BC) to see which ones lived in or near water. Spear moss (Calliergonella cuspidata) was a likely candidate especially since I found it first growing thickly at the edge of and immersed under water of a seasonal ditch a blocks from my house. Identification Here is a photo from page 471 Pojar and MacKinnon  Plants of Coastal British Columbia . It is a field guide I used often when I was a professional heritage interpreter.   Sp

Really Cute Redwood Cone Panda Bears

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This adorable Panda Bear is sure to please bear lovers, children and adults alike! You can even leave him a natural brown color! When I made my first one, it reminded me of Winnie the Poo or Paddington Bear! And once I had made a family-The 3 Bears Momma Bear, Poppa Bear and Baby Bear! Great as a gift for panda bear figurine collectors, a wedding place holder, birthday cake topper and so much more! Make them at a themed birthday party! They are fun and easy enough for kids to make! And you can customize them too! Materials: black acrylic paint white acrylic aint paint brush (size 4 for painting the body and size 2 for the eye patches and nose.) water (to rinse brushes) glue gun and glue sticks sturdy metal scissors or hand clippers to cut cones 2 dry sequoia cones: one large, one about 1/3 to 1/2 the size of the other. 2 round-tipped alder cones 3 spruce cone cores (about 12 cm or 3 inches long) of medium ripeness Step 1   Collect and prepare all your materials. I use alder cones for t

What Food Makes Guppies Act Like Sharks?

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 Find out what this food is!  Boil up a few pieces of spinach leaves until they are soft. Remove from hot water and run under cool water. Place them in the tank and wait for the shark tank behavior to begin! In the video watch for the chunk one guppy tears off and swallows.  Guppies are omnivores which means they eat both animal and plant matter. Spinach and other green leafy vegetables like swiss chard are good for them. The plants provide calcium and chlorophyll that they need to stay healthy. Boiled frozen peas with the outer shell removed, then cooled are also enjoyed by guppies. For guppy fry, I squish the inner pea. For larger guppies, I simply toss it in and let them peck at it. I feed greens at least three times a week. Plant material is also a good laxative for many fish.

Where Did My Fish, Crayfish, Frog or Shrimp Go When They Perform the Vanishing Act?

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Fish, frogs and crayfish may disappear from your tank with no sign of them anywhere. Where did they go? There are a number of options! Escapees Some species of fish are likely to have jumped, crawled or flipped themselves out if you don't have a enclosed top. Among these are swordtails, rainbowfish, frogs, salamanders and crayfish. They may also climb up air tubing and filter tubes to get out. Look in dark corners, under furniture and in dust bunnies for these escapees. If they are still alive, put them back in the tank. They just might survive! Others you may not find until months later, dried up. Unless the critters are large, you are not likely to notice a smell. If you have other pets, they may find a (not -so-tasty) treat on the floor.   Some amphibians and invertebrates (crayfish) will try to escape during rainy periods as that is when they typically migrate to other locations. My newt would only try to escape when we took him to our cottage when the water body was nearby. At

FAST Easy Way to Start an Infusoria Culture for Egg Laying Fish Fry

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Infusoria are probably the best first food for really tiny fish fry that hatch from eggs. If you are planning to breed egg layers, they are a must! Infusoria can also be added to daphnia cultures as a source of food for them too. Start your cultures at least a week before you plan to breed to make sure you have the food ready for your fry. Most fry don't eat the first few days so that will give you about 10 days to get your infusoria cultures well-established.   What Are Infusoria? Remember back to grade 6 when you peeked through a microscope to see what lives in a drop of pond water? You probably saw microscopic paramecium, amoeba, green euglena, rotifers, etc. Well, those are what make up common infusoria. They are present everywhere in nature. Their eggs float around in the air and when they land on water with a suitable food source, they hatch, feed and multiply.  Various species of infusoria are about 25 to 300 micrometers in length. Tiny! Perfect to fit in the mouth of very s