Finding the right aquarium gravel cleaner for your aquarium will simplify the process of cleaning out your tank. You can clean your aquarium with ease, without the hassle of having to tear down your tank. Depending on the gravel cleaner you opt for, you could even purchase a gravel cleaning system that requires no hoses,… Read More
Fish & Reptile Care
Caring for fish or reptiles is a little bit different than caring for dogs and cats, but follows a lot of the same principles. Many people prefer fish and reptiles as pets, as they can be easily contained, are often simply to care for, and have needs that are easily met.
Why is fish and reptile care important?
It is important to care for any fish or reptiles in your home properly, because they are living, breathing creatures — not just toys. When you bring a pet into your home, you are making a commitment to care for them and their needs, for their rest of their life.
Fish care basics
Generally speaking, freshwater fish will be easier to care for than saltwater fish, as you don’t have to worry too much about maintaining proper salt levels in the water.
Fish will require an aquarium in order to contain them. Speak with a fish specialist to help you find the right size tank for your fish. Too small of a tank can cause problems with fighting, low oxygen levels, and excess waste causing buildup or even illness
Like air is for humans, so too is water for fish. In order to condition tap water for your fish habitat, use a de-chlorinating and biological aquarium supplement, which you can find online or at your local pet store.
Be sure to float and acclimate any fish before adding them to your aquarium, as this helps to prevent shock by simply dumping them in. Float the bag you bring them home in in the aquarium for about 15 minutes, before adding about ¼ cup of water every 5 minutes until the bag is full. When the bag is nearly full, release your new fish into the tank.
Maintaining proper pH levels will ensure your fish are healthy and resist illness. A pH testing kit can help you monitor levels, and you can adjust acidity or alkalinity with supplements you can purchase online or at your local pet store. It’s recommended to replace about ¼ of the tank’s water each month to keep fish healthy.
Changes in temperature can be dangerous for fish, which is why it’s important to keep tanks away from drafty areas or windows. A temperature of about 72°F–82°F is suitable for most tropical fish, which often requires the addition of a water heater to the tank.
Finally, feed your fish a food formulated for their needs, once daily. Try not to overfeed your fish, or you’ll be cleaning the tank more frequently than you might like.
Reptile care basics
Different species of reptiles will have varying and specific care needs, but, generally speaking, they will all need some sort of enclosure to keep them safely contained. An aquarium with a mesh lid is often the preferred choice for reptile housing.
Reptiles will require substrate for their enclosure, which can include sand, gravel, and/or bark. Substrate, or bedding, helps with waste removal, maintaining humidity, and allowing the reptile to burrow.
Heating and lighting are very important factors for many reptiles. Be sure to research the needs of your specific pet to ensure proper health, as many require cooler temperatures at night versus during the day. You’ll want heating and lighting options that can easily meet their needs, and plenty of hiding spots for those who prefer to take cover during the day. Another important aspect of reptile care is humidity. You’ll want to regularly monitor levels with a hygrometer, and may benefit from using a mister.
Many reptiles enjoy a varied diet of insects, small rodents, fruit, and even commercially-prepared diets. Some will eat readily from dishes. Research your specific species to determine what, and how frequently to feed them. A shallow water dish is adequate for the hydration needs of most reptiles.
With a healthy and well-managed habitat, fish and reptiles can thrive for many years in the companionship of their humans.
If you have an aquarium, chances are good that you have or need an aquarium hood. An aquarium hood, which can also be called a canopy, or lid, is a plastic or glass barrier that covers the top of the aquarium. Many include lights, though some do not. They come in many sizes to accommodate… Read More
If you are the proud owner of a fish tank, you probably know that an aquarium light is recommended. Lighting fulfills a few purposes, from mimicking a fish’s natural environment to making it easier for you to detect problems with your fish or with the aquarium when they occur. If you have live plants in… Read More
Aquarium owners know that finding the right sand can be difficult. There are tons of different types of sand on the market, and differentiating between them can be tough. Not any sand will do, it comes in different colors and can be made of different types of materials and sizes, some of which aren’t the… Read More
If you have an aquarium, you might also need to have an aquarium pump. An aquarium pump has a few different functions. First, they introduce air to the tank, which your fish need to get oxygen from the water. They also provide water movement that is necessary for the filter to work. Finally, an aquarium… Read More
Keeping fish isn’t as simple as just introducing them to their aquarium and hoping for the best. You need to closely monitor their water parameters, including temperature. That’s why an aquarium thermometer is an essential bit of kit. Even if your heater has a built-in thermometer, it’s wise to have a second, separate thermometer to… Read More
Your aquarium is your fish’s entire world, so you need to create a healthy environment for them. Aquarium and fish tank filters help clean and purify tank water, removing fish waste, old food, decaying organic matter, and potentially harmful chemicals, such as ammonia. As such, an aquarium filter is a must-have for any fish tank,… Read More
To keep your fish alive and healthy, you need to provide the correct environment for them, including the optimal water temperature. As such, you’ll need a reliable aquarium heater. It’s important to pick out the correct water heater that will adequately heat the water in your tank but not overheat it. We reviewed dozens of… Read More
Leopard geckos are docile lizards that make great pets for adults and children alike. They are easy to take care of and they can live up to 20 years, and to top it off, they are also quite attractive. They also don’t get very large; the biggest males might get up to 12 inches long,… Read More
Turtles are a popular and hardy pet, which makes them a great starter pet for someone who has never before owned a reptile. They can live up to 40 years if taken care of properly, so it is important that you are ready to commit to a long-term responsibility as a turtle’s owner. They are… Read More
Are you thinking about getting a snake for a pet? If you have never owned a snake before, a ball python is a good choice. They are fairly small and docile, and this type of snake is easy to take care of. On average, they will live 20 to 40 years, so be sure you… Read More
If you’ve gone into any pet store, you’ve seen the brightly colored betta fish swimming around all alone in their little bowls. The reason they are alone is that their other name is the Siamese Fighting Fish; these aquatic pets don’t get along well with others, so they are happy to live their lives in… Read More
Cleaning your aquarium is a big part of your responsibility as a fish owner. Keeping the water at the proper temperature and the tank properly cleaned is key to healthy, happy fish. There are plenty of differences in saltwater and freshwater fish, but in terms of cleaning their habitat, there are a few basics you’ll… Read More
Native to Australia, bearded dragons were first introduced to the United States in the mid-1990s, and their popularity as pets has increased dramatically in the past two decades. Largely considered the most docile creatures among the lizard world, beardies (as they’re affectionately known to those who love them) are a lot like dogs, but with… Read More
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The 50 Top-Rated Incubators for Successful, Healthy Reptile Hatching Whether a simple hobby farmer or professional breeder, egg incubators can help to improve the overall hatch rates of reptile eggs. Choosing the right reptile egg incubator can feel like an overwhelming task with so many models available, but the most important thing to consider is… Read More
The 25 Top-Rated Betta Tanks for Thriving, Happy Bettas Betta fish are also known as Siamese fighting fish, and for good reason: they fight. For this reason, bettas must be kept separate from other bettas and, typically, other varieties of fish, as well. They do best in small tanks with regular water changes, although because… Read More