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The Corydoras Catfish

Posted on by c4devadmin in Tropical Fish, Tropical Fish & Aquaria Comments Off on The Corydoras Catfish

The Corydoras Catfish

There are many different species of Corydoras available, all of which have great a character and make a fascinating addition to any tropical community aquarium. They originate from the river basins of South America, although most are now captive bred.

They are a fish that naturally swims in schools and therefore, are best kept in groups three is a good number. They are bottom dwellers and will happily spend their time keeping the bottom of the aquarium clean while they search for food. Corydoras are very peaceful and undemanding.

There are many types available which vary greatly in size, from the tiny Corydoras pygmaeus at 2.5cm to the much larger Corydoras barbatus which reaches 12cm. Although many of the more commonly kept species such as the bronze catfish C.aeneus, or peppered catfish C.paleatus typically reach a size of approx 7cm.

A natural aquarium set up with a silver sand or fine gravel substrate, a few plants and some bogwood would be ideal for these cheerful little fish. They will accept most foodstuffs, although be sure to include some sinking catfish pellets or bloodworm in their diet.


Run rabbit, run!

Posted on by c4devadmin in Guinea Pigs, Rabbits, Small Animal Care Leave a comment

Rabbit Runs & Shelters

It’s lovely to see our pets enjoying the sunshine as much as we do, rabbits and guinea pigs really enjoy stretching out and relaxing in the fresh green grass. But, it is important to keep them safe.

We stock a variety of runs in store which can be moved around the garden.

The Fellside is a hexagonal run with a detachable mesh top – it’s great value at only £30.70.

The Sandford is a square run with a fixed metal roof, it has large opening door panels for access – it measures 120cm x 120cm x 60cm and costs only £49.99.

The Appleby run is a larger version of the Sandford, measuring 180cm x 120cm x 60cm and is excellent value at only £59.99.

Shelter is an important factor to consider.

Rabbits and guinea pigs will need to have shelter from the rain and also the heat, and a shelter will also provide some security as a bolt hole should they be startled by neighbourhood cats.

Our small animal hut makes a fantastic addition to any run.

Note, prices subject to confirmation following publication.


Pond Plant Care

Posted on by c4devadmin in Pond Plants, Ponds Leave a comment

Pond Plant Care

Following a long cold winter, your pond plants may look a little like those in the photograph – in need of some attention!

Some plants will need to be lifted, re-potted and trimmed back and this will ensure good growth during the coming season. Follow our simple guide, and you can give your pond plants a new lease of life!

Choose a plastic mesh basket that will allow your plant room to grow, some large established plants may need to be divided into a smaller more manageable size.

Next line your pot with a hessian liner, then pot your plant using aquatic compost, this is a quality weighted compost that promotes root growth thus encouraging good top growth. It is not advisable to use multi-purpose compost for pond plants, as the higher levels of nitrogen can lead to increased algal growth in the pond and may also cloud the water.

Finally, finish the top of the basket with some aquatic gravel.

Adding a fertiliser tablet to the basket will promote good growth throughout the season.


The Bosemani Rainbow

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The Bosemani Rainbow

The Bosemani Rainbow fish makes a stunning addition to a community tropical aquarium.

The males will exhibit a striking colour of half purple and half orange, which certainly makes them stand out from the crowd! Although it may take up to twelve months for their full splendid colouration to develop.

They are a peaceful and active schooling fish. They will grow to 8-10 cm and require a tank size of at least 90 cm  Ideal water conditions would be a ph of 7 and a gh of 8-15 degrees.

Tropical flake food is widely accepted, although they will benefit from the addition of live food. Tetra Pro Colour will also enhance their vivid colour.

A planted aquarium with open areas of swimming space will create a spectacular effect.

Call today for news on our very latest stock and prices.


Pond Fish

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Fantastic Pond Fish

Spring heralds the arrival of our pond fish!

We have sourced a fantastic range of pond fish from a new supply and we now have all our fish in stock – everything from goldfish to koi.

We are proud to be buying all our pond fish from a breeder here in the UK. The fish are bred in a bio-secure environment, which ensures that the quality and health of the fish are second to none. We were delighted to discover the quality and variety of koi on a recent visit to the breeders facility.

We are sure that you will agree that these are stunning fish. We have a great range, with koi starting at 3 inches upwards, offering our usual top quality and fantastic value prices too!


Quality Marine Water

Posted on by c4devadmin in Marine Aquaria, Marine Fish & Aquaria Leave a comment

Quality Marine Water

Good quality water conditions are essential for a thriving marine aquarium, whether its fish only or a mixed reef system.

Efficient filtration is a must, and the filtration media is an important factor. Seachem produce many different types of filtration media, which may be of benefit to your aquarium.

Matrix

Matrix is a highly porous media designed to provide exceptionally efficient bio filtration for single site removal of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate from freshwater or marine aquaria. Each litre of Matrix provides over 160000cm2 of surface, equivalent to over 40 litres of typical “plastic ball media”.

de*nitrate

de*nitrate removes nitrates, nitrites, ammonia and organics from both freshwater and marine water. The high porosity of  de*nitrate supports the proliferation of both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria that further remove these toxic aquarium byproducts. Even when exhausted as an organic adsorbent, de*nitrate continues to be an excellent support for the biological filter and does not have to be removed.

Seagel

Seagel is a blend of MatrixCarbon and Phosguard. MatrixCarbon is an ultracapacity carbon for the removal of organic and colour impurities. Phosguard is a powerful remover of phosphate, silicate, toxic metals and acids.Both components are bead shaped for optimum water flow characteristics and penetration. The components enhance each other and are ideal for reef and marine use.

Take a look at our Seachem range in store, for products to help you get the best from your aquarium – prices from £6.99.


Toys for Dogs

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Toys for Dogs

Play time for your dog is a natural and essential social bond, whether your dog has other doggy playmates or if you spend time playing with your dog, it is an important part of the day for your furry friend.

Choosing a good selection of toys to play with is important to your pet and will help to keep playtime fun and interesting. And there are lots to choose from to find your dogs favourite!

Many dogs and their natural instincts will help you to select toys to their liking, many Terriers enjoy squeaky toys as this replicates their instincts to hunt, whilst some Toy breeds find soft toys a comfort, larger powerful breeds need toys that can withstand their desire to chew. Balls and Raggers are always popular for dogs that love to fetch. Skineeze toys are great products as they are a soft toy which is stuffing free, which saves a lot of mess!

An all time favorite has to be the Kong.

There are many different types of Kong within the range to suit every type of dog, but the classic Kong is still a firm favorite. The classic Kong is available in different sizes and strengths. The conical design is great at encouraging chewing, and it is also bounces in all directions when thrown. One of the major benefits of the Kong is that you can stuff the cavity with treats to keep your dog entertained. A good variety of stuffing will keep your dog mentally stimulated as it works to retrieve all the tasty morsels. A mix of soft and dry foods work well, as do pieces of carrot or even a smear of peanut butter!

Always be sure to supervise your dog with their toys.


Treating Marine White Spot

Posted on by c4devadmin in Fish Health, Marine Fish & Aquaria Leave a comment

Treating Marine White Spot

Treating marine white spot can sometimes be a problem and you need to be sure that you are providing the correct treatment depending on the type of marine aquarium you have.

There are three types:

  • fish only
  • fish only with live rock
  • mixed reef

Fish Only

In a fish only aquarium  the treatment for white spot or oodinium is a copper based cure like Cupramine, this is a very effective cure and is easy to use. It does have one drawback and that is that once used it will then prevent the introduction of any invertebrates into the aquarium as it is not possible to remove the copper from the system as it is absorbed by sand and rocks.

Fish Only with Live Rock

In a fish only with live rock copper cures cannot be used as they will kill the live rock.
Octozin is the only safe option in this case but may require two treatments to be effective.

Mixed Reef

In a mixed reef system again copper cures cannot be used and octozin is the only safe option.

Beneficial Practices

The natural method – keep a cleaner wrasse in your aquarium. This little fish is nature’s way of removing parasites from fish, the wrasse picks off and eats the parasites, keeping fish clean. Cleaner shrimp will also perform the same function.

Raise the temperature in the aquarium to thirty degrees Celsius, this will accelerate the life cycle of the parasite making the treatment more effective.

Reduce the s.g of the aquarium the reduction to 1.018 s.g bursts the white spot cysts this should be done in slow stages so as not to shock the fish and invertebrates.

But by far the best thing to do is to have a quarantine tank set up and mature and when buying fish quarantine them for two weeks and treat with a copper based cure before introducing them to your main display. Here we do just this with any fish we import.

We also have our fish systems and coral systems separate so we can keep our fish in a low level of copper to ensure they are free from parasites.

It is a sad event that some fish shops do not quarantine their fish when importing and sell them within a few days of receiving them this is stressful for the fish as they have not settled from being in a plastic bag in a box for 36 hours, and stress is the greatest reason fish get white spot.

With shipments every two weeks, we go to great lengths to quarantine our fish and make sure they are the best we can supply – this may explain why our main tanks are not always full as we have fish waiting to come out from quarantine with a clean bill of health!


Aquarium Lighting

Posted on by c4devadmin in Lighting, Lighting, Marine Fish & Aquaria, Tropical Fish & Aquaria Leave a comment

Aquarium Lighting

Get the best from your fish and plant by keeping up with your light maintenance.

Fish and plants need good quality lighting so keeping the tubes clean helps more light penetrate through the water. Adding reflectors will give up to 50% more light penetration, and also the age of the tubes plays an important role – after twelve months the output of the light tubes will have been reduced by ninety percent so they need to be replaced.

Adding the right lighting combination will enhance your fish and plants – a colour corrected “pink” tube at the front and a white tube at the rear will give a balanced spectrum for everything.

You may even consider changing your lighting to the new style led lighting, while the initial expense may seem high, the fact that no replacement tubes for ten years and the lower running costs may be much more appealing.

So come and see us when it’s time replace your lights – and if they don’t need replacing yet, then why not ask us if they can be improved easily!


Hamster Care in Winter

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Hamster Care in Winter

During the colder months of the year, give some thought to your hamster – don’t just assume they’re OK!

Although they are an indoor animal, if the temperature in your house becomes too cold hamsters will go into hibernation, we may not think about this because we have our heating on but let’s stop and think for a moment.

If we are at work is the heating on? Also at night temperatures will drop if the heating is off and we are snuggled up in bed – this is the danger point with our pet hamster.

The remedy is quite simple more bedding, give them a selection with a choice of fluffy bedding, paper wool and more wood shavings and perhaps keep the heating on low throughout the night and during the day – and this maybe all you need to do to keep hammy happy.

If your pet looks lifeless in the morning – stop! It may be that it has hibernated, if so gentle warming may bring it round. Sometimes an old trick used by farmers during lambing works and that is to place the hamster in a warm (turned off) oven with the door open. This may warm them back into life.

Many a “dead” hamster has been buried when it was still alive, but just in hibernation, so it’s best to check first – and remember to always seek veterinary advice too!

We stock a wide range of bedding – so we’ll definitely have something to keep your hamster cosy and warm!