Filtration Methods For The Discus Tank
Good filtration is the prime priority in the discus tank. Basically, there are three types of filtration - mechanical, chemical and biological. Let's start with the basics...
Mechanical filtration removes the uneaten food, waste products and acumulated plant waste from the tank. Different methods will accomplish this - pads, sponges, and floss, to name a few. The objective here is to capture the dirt before it pollutes the tank to high levels. Common filter floss is inexpensive, and highly efficient, making it a good medium for the tank filter. One must keep in mind, however, that the function of the mechanical filter is basically aesthetic.
Filtering using chemical filtration takes place at the molecular level. The most commonly used medium is activated charcoal. Activated charcoal adsorbs a huge amount of pollutants in the tank, and discoloration, antimony, arsenic, chlorine, chloramine, chromium, hydrogen peroxide, potassium permanganate, phosphate plus some of the heavy metals and other toxins in different degrees. (adsorbs: Formation of a thin film on a surface.) It does not, however, remove ammonia, nitrite or nitrate, so don't expect it to do the job of biological or mechanical filtration. If your tap water is overly high in phosphates or nitrates, there is the chance that your fish won't do well until you pretreat the water with activated charcoal or other specific resins. If you live in the city, chances are good that the city can provide you with an analysis of their provided water. If, however, you live in the country, and have your own well, then the water should be sent to a lab for testing.
Activated charcoal can produce crystal-clear water, but the downside of this is that one tends to rely on the activated charcoal to cover up sloppy maintenance. It should be used as a back up only, and you should not be dependent on activated charcoal to keep water safe and clean for the Discus. Frequent water change is the only real insurance you have of keeping your Discus safe and in good health.
I have saved biofiltration for last because it is the most important aspect of a good environment for Discus. Without good biofiltration practices, your Discus will not survive. Mechanical and chemical filtration results can be seen visibly - the tank just looks cleaner. Even though chemical filtration does remove some of the toxic materials from the water, it takes biofiltration to make the water safe for habitation.
Cycling a tank is a practice that reproduces the nitrogen cycle in the aquarium. In the aquarium, we need beneficial bacteria, which are known as nitrobacters. (Proline Bacteria is a well known brand of bacteria strain used in aquaria. A kit for starting the normal freshwater tank is a little over $9.00.) These "good" bacteria colonize the filter media and every surface of the tank. The most beneficial of these bacteria is Nitrosomonas sp. which consumes the toxic ammonia that is produced by decomposition of fish waste, plant matter, and uneaten food. In the Nitrogen Cycle, the ammonia is reduced to nitrite. The nitrite is then consumed by Nitrobacter sp. and is reduced to nitrate, which is the least toxic end-product of nitrification. The nitrate is then removed from you system by a regular water-change regimen.
Maintaining a healthy bacterial colony in the biological part of your filtration system is quite simple if care is taken to not destroy the colony. When cleaning the media, use only tank water. Never use hot water or fresh tap water to clean the sponges or media, but instead gently rinse and carefully wring out excess water in a pail of tank water. The goal here is to maintain the highest rate of bacteria as possible on the media.
It is possible that your biological filter will crash if the aquarium is left without power for a day. The bacteria are without oxygen for a period of time which will cause them to die, your fish will be gasping for breath, and a foul smell is encountered in the tank. Never simply turn the filter back on! this will flood the aquarium with toxins, and the media must be replaced if a crash occurs.
Following these simple principles will help to insure that your Discus have a happy and safe environment for many years. Again, there is no subistitue for regular water changes, but by following these simple rules, chances of survivial of the Discus are much higher.
Alden Smith is a published author, and has been marketing on the internet for 7 years. His website, King Discus, is an active gathering place for discus breeders and lovers of discus fish.His wife Betsy is the administrator of All The Best Recipes a site rich in online recipes and cookbooks.
Training Your Dog
Training your dog can be time consuming and frustrating at times, but it's well worth it. Here are several tips that should help things go much smoother and faster... plus reduce the frustration both you and your dog feel!
As our horses enjoy a longer life and many live well into old age so the number of horses with Cushing increases as its more common in older horses especially ponies. It can however affect all breeds and ages.Cushing is caused by an abnormality of the pituitary gland that is situated at the base of the brain. This causes it to produce excessive amount of a hormone called cortisone, which is the body's natural steroid hormone.
Buying a Custom Bird Cage
Many of us dream of having a beautiful, exotic bird perched on our shoulder, accompanying us around town. At the end of the day, though, our feathered friend must return to its cage. A bird cage has two main jobs-keeping a bird safe and keeping it comfortable. Sometimes the best way to do that is to buy a custom bird cage. Custom bird cages are built to your specifications and are designed to suit both your home and your bird.
Nikki and Benny, My Therapy Visiting Dogs.
My two therapy dogs, Nikki and Benny, bring joy to our friends. Here is short report of our visit.
Your Dogs Health; Why Dog Breath is No Laughing Matter
Your dogs health is important to you. You show her how important by keeping her well fed and groomed, making sure she gets plenty of exercise and providing a collection of fun, safe toys for her entertainment. You don't skimp on the quality of his food. And to reward good boys and girls, there are always lots of delicious treats in the cupboard.But if he has bad breath, you could be overlooking a serious problem with your dogs health."Dog Breath" is such a common condition that we make jokes about it. Sometimes we even tease our human "friends" using "dog breath" in play-ground style name-calling ( although hopefully this is limited to teenage boys.) And I know many pet owners who comment that they love their dog or cat like a child, but just can't stand the smell of the animal's breath! Well, guess what? "Dog Breath" isn't normal.It's estimated that 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats over the age of three suffer from the periodontal disease - a serious deterioration of the gums and supporting bones of the teeth. Yes, it's periodontal disease that's responsible for "dog breath". But the problem doesn't confine itself to your furry baby's mouth. It's an infection, and the tiny creatures responsible for it can break loose and enter the bloodstream. Once they do, they can infect vital organs such as the liver and kidneys, endangering your dogs health by causing a far more serious illness.The best way to insure your dogs health, especially where periodontal disease is concerned, is with prevention. It can make all the difference.Periodontal disease begins as gingivitis, which is virtually harmless and completely treatable. If allowed to move to the next stage--Periodontitis-- it can be stopped, but not cured. And the worse it gets, the faster it progresses. This applies to all animals, two legged and four legged alike. Think of a car parked at the top of a hill. The emergency break is released, and the car begins to roll downhill. Now, if you hit the breaks right away, no harm done. But the farther the car rolls the faster it goes, and the more momentum it builds. It gets harder and harder to stop it. By the time it's halfway down the hill, you could be headed for disaster!You can maintain your dogs health nicely with proper home care. But, like the rolling car, if disease is already present, stopping and controlling it is a bigger job.Prevention involves, above all, regular veterinary checkups and professional cleanings beginning early in your dog or cat's life. I'll show you how you can help maintain oral health at home, but it's impossible to do a thorough cleaning on an animal who's awake. Trust me on this. It's hard enough to do a thorough job with a cooperative human patient. When we're talking about animals who don't understand what we're doing or why, forget about it.Most veterinarians recommend annual cleanings, but more frequent or involved treatment may be needed depending on your animal's condition. Please, no matter what you're doing at home, follow the vet's recommendations. As for your part, introduce your dog or cat to the idea of having his teeth brushed as early as possible. I know, it's not easy, and it takes time and daily conditioning to get your little guy or gal used to it. But your dogs health is worth it!So how do you prevent the most common of threats to your dogs health? Brush her teeth, of course! Every day. Just like you would your own (twice a day for you, and floss too!!). This isn't easy, but it can become an expected part of your dog's routine if you do it right. Here are some suggestions:1.Start when your dog is a puppy. The earlier the better.2.At first, you just want her to get used to you handling her head and looking inside her mouth. Practice lifting up her lips and looking at her teeth and gums--front, back and both sides of her mouth.3.Now begin gently touching the gum tissue with your finger and rub along her gums and teeth as if your finger were a toothbrush. Let her get used to the sensation. This is exactly the way you would introduce a human baby to brushing, beginning with just her gums. Even before there are teeth, there are harmful bacteria. So don't worry about a tiny puppy who doesn't have a full set of teeth yet--rub her gums, swab out her little mouth with your finger, and get her used the this kind of contact from her owner.4.Your next step is to wrap gauze or a soft washcloth around your finger and rub the gums on both the outer and inner surfaces of the teeth.5. Finally, introduce a tooth brush in one small area. As your dog gets used to the brush, you will be able to use it in place of the gauze or washcloth. Remember to brush the inside surfaces!A little brushing a day, beginning with the first step and working your way up gradually, will eventually lead to a one to two minute session. Your dog will learn that it doesn't hurt and that she gets a couple of minutes of your undivided attention every day. It generally takes 8 to 16 weeks to get there, but in the end your dog will accept brushing as part of her daily routine.If a little brushing is done every day at a set time, eventually your pet gets used to it, and some will even look forward to it. It will take most pet owners from 8-16 weeks until the pet accepts it readily. Now the pet realizes it doesn't hurt and that it will get 1-2 minutes of your undivided attention. Your pet enjoys your attention, and will eventually wait patiently for you to brush his teeth.There's a toothbrush with three heads that will allow you to brush all three surface of the tooth at one time, which makes life a lot easier for both of you! It also has nice, soft bristles so you won't harm your pet's delicate gum tissue.There are also products that can be rubbed on the gums and added to the drinking water to help reduce bacteria in an animal's mouth and promote the dogs health and healing. Bad breath is actually a by-product of the bacteria that populate the mouth. They break down proteins and carbohydrates from your dog or cat's diet, and produce something called "volatile sulfur compounds", or VSC's. It's the sulfur that make the breath smell extra special!Certain dental products have an agent that neutralizes the VSC's. Many owners have commented that their cat or dog seems to like the drinking water better when these products are added--even though they have no flavor! And there's a gel available that, although formulated for the gums, can be very soothing for skin conditions, cuts, and surgical wounds thanks to the Aloe Vera it contains.The best oral care products work without the use of fragrances and flavors, which entice human consumers, but don't benefit your cat or dogs health in any way!I was a practicing dentist for over 20 years, and I saw a lot of human patients who had terrible breath (and periodontal disease) and weren't even aware of it. People don't like to tell each other about bad breath. Even the dentist has to be delicate with this piece of bad news.At least when dealing with a pet, you don't have to worry about social embarrassment in order to address your dogs health problem! Don't be shy, get in there and do something about it. Not only can your dog get rid of her breath odor, but she could even live 2 to 5 years longer as a result. And you'll be able to get close again, without holding your breath.
Puppy development and growth is very exciting. After a puppy gets over its fear of its new surroundings, it will become very curious. People sometimes leave their puppy for a few minutes, come back and can't find it anywhere. If you can't find your puppy, remember to look under the furniture and in small corners. Also, don't leave small items that your puppy might choke on lying around.
Pilling a Cat
Pilling a cat can be a "nightmarish" experience. Cats don't want something pushed down their throats, and they'll fight with all their might to prevent it. In fact, it's amazing how powerful their small bodies can be. Here are some ways to make the pilling process easier and less stressful ? for both you and your cat.
Attacking the Pit Bull Problem in Los Angeles-MuttShack Animal Rescue Launches Grassroots Campaign
Twenty-six percent of the dogs at the six Los Angeles Animal Services shelters are "Pit Bulls". American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull are various names used to describe the breed and any mix thereof.
Down On The Farm
As I listen on my long drive to my grandpa's farm, I begin to hit that little corner that always takes me back in time. I now live in town or the city, but my roots run deep, back in time I go to that little community I once lived in, where I grew up, where I was raised. I then recall a letter that I received from a cousin not long ago. I had asked some questions as to things she remembered from the past, when we were young girls and all that seemed to exist was that farm, in my mind anyways. I thought long and hard about what she had written.
Ten Tips for Cats Who are Forced to Relocate with Their Owners
For realistic tips for humans who are moving with cats, read Making the Big Move: How to transform relocation into a creative life transition and visit other relocation resources on this site.
How to become Top Dog - A Dog Owners Guide to Sanity
Peeing on the carpet, knocking you down, or stealingdinner off the counter are all signs that your dogdoesn't respect your rules. In other words, you are notthe Alpha Dog.
Tips for Overcoming Boredom and Routine Stress
There are many ways in which you can prepare for, and participate in, you dogs overall health. Providing the necessary shots, diet and exercise are but a few of the ways in which we may meet their daily health demands. Still, there is one area which even many of the most well meaning owners,breeders, trainers, etc. overlook- the state of the animals mental health. Providing for this is just as important as is their physical well being.
Dont Let Ticks Ruin Your Dogs Good Time!
Nobody likes ticks.
A German Shepherd Puppy May Be Just What Your Family Needs!
A German Shepherd puppy can become a very welcome member of your household. German Shepherd puppies bond with the family, and you will never have a truer friend. They are very tolerant of little children and make ideal family pets. A German Shepherd puppy is good natured, but needs firm training. If you are considering German Shepherd puppies for sale, you should know the benefits of having your dog professionally trained. The right training can make an enormous difference in your German Shepherd puppy development. They keep their training for a lifetime.
Thinking of Getting a Lhasa Apso Dog?
One of the cutest looking dogs around is the Lhasa Apso. The puppies especially are just irresistible but before one decides to purchase a Lhasa just because the kids are begging for one, there are some things that should be known about this particular breed. Historically, Lhasa Apsos were kept by the monasteries and nobility in Tibet as indoor watch dogs. They would sleep by their masters and with their high intelligence plus keen sense of hearing, would warn of any intruders. Lhasa Apsos were never bought or sold in Tibet. Instead, the Dalai Lama sent Lhasa Apsos in pairs to the emperors of China as gifts. High ranking visitors to Tibet also received them as gifts.
So, You?ve Decided To Kill Your Pet!
The other day I was doing a research online for an article I was writing and I came across an article, which the author started by saying: "Euthanasia, is often the hardest thing to do, yet the greatest act of kindness" Then he went on explaining the "grueling" suffering and the guilt the pet owner goes through before making the decision, how it affects the whole family, especially the kids. But then he explains euthanasia in the most loving way I've ever seen someone describe a murder. I remember "simple and peaceful" were some of the words he used, he even gave recommendations on how to avoid stress during the ride to the vet's clinic.
Scottie & Westie - This Mistake is Perfectly Understandable
Show an uninformed dog lover a photo of a Westie, and they'd identify a Westie as a white Scottie. This mistake is perfectly understandable, since they do have similar physical attributes and both originated from Scotland.
Responsible Dog Ownership
With all the companionship and love that our dogs give so freely, it's hard to imagine that some owners just don't take responsibility for their dogs. But it's true. Millions of dogs-healthy dogs-are euthanized every year. Whether through owner neglect or owner ignorance, millions of healthy dogs will endure the same fate this year. So what's a responsible dog owner to do? The best thing you can do, as a dog owner, is to ensure that your dog doesn't become a statistic, and you do that through responsible pet ownership.
Leash Training Your Dog-Take The Time To Get It Done and Do It Right
Attempting to train your dog to walk on a leash may feel likeyou're a contestant in a tug-of-war contest. But, it doesn'thave to. If you take a few precautions, use the properequipment, and are consistent in your training routine, thenyour puppy or dog will be an enjoyment to walk all around.
Achieving Dog Training Success With The 18 Donts Rules
A well-train dog usually leads a happier and healthier life and its owner also can enjoy a trouble-free life long companion. Dog training - basic obedience, house and potty training are therefore essential and important to a dog's education.
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