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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.

Moisture in Cones Can Cause Problems for Crafters: Important Tip for Working with Cones

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All materials are subject to the laws of nature. One of those laws is that the behavior of organic material changes depending on the moisture levels in the material and the environment it is in. Moisture levels in the air vary by geographic location, by season, by day and even if the cone is indoors or outdoors. In general, wet materials like wood tend to swell up as they absorb water. When they dry out, they shrink as they lose water. They may also warp. A cone is made of woody material and so is subject to these laws.  The Bottom Line: A cone that is subject to moist or wet conditions absorbs water and closes up over time. A cone that is in a warmer drier environment dries out and opens up. We all know this. One thing we don't all consider is that the moisture level in the air also varies depending on if the craft is made in one environment (indoors or outdoors) and displayed or stored in a different one or sent to a different climate.  How Does this Affect Crafting? When you m