Monday, November 26, 2012

Another Reason to Quarantine...

I almost ALWAYS quarantine new fish that I get for an aquarium, but recently, I got a small school of glowlight tetras (5 to be exact) and decided that it was a lot of bother to quarantine them. I decided to add them (after acclimation of course!) directly to the tank with no care taken to make sure they were indeed healthy and disease free. Well, all looked good for about a day and then I lost one of them and then another within a day. I attributed this to stress (not ALL the fish you get will always survive) and didn't think much of it. Then I lost one of my cardinal tetras (one I've had for a good long time) and another glowlight. I decided that medicating the tank with a mild anti-bacterial medication (MelaFix) would be a good idea so I added the correct dose to the tank. The next day things were still not looking good and I had lost one of my black-skirt tetras (I've had them a long time too!) so I decided that moving ALL the remaining fish to a hospital tank for treatment would be the best solution. The remaining fish consisted of 2 cardinal tetras, 2 glowlight tetras, 2 zebra danios, 2 black-skirt tetras, and a platy. Well, now (after a week of being medicated in the new hospital tank) I have lost both glowlight tetras and both cardinal tetras. I was looking last night to try to see WHAT disease this was (because it didn't look parasitic but the bacterial medication clearly wasn't working) and discovered, to my horror, that it was likely the dreaded "neon tetra disease", which does NOT only affect neon tetras but any species of tetra. It doesn't affect other fish quite as much, but it can still cause disease in them too. The worst part is... it is not curable and fish become infected by eating on another dead fish (something that is very hard to prevent in aquariums). So, only time will tell if the black-skirt tetras will be OK or not (they're the only remaining tetras and one can only hope that the other fish will NOT be affected). What is the lesson in this??? ALWAYS quarantine your new aquarium fish!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Food issues...

Well, a few weeks ago I switched my cats back to "Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul" and since that time, my cats have been getting sick more (every few days). I don't know why this is but I'm probably going to switch back to Purina One Beyond. Does anyone have any insight as to why my kitties (in particular Sunny but both have been sick) are getting sick on this food when they've had it in the past???

Food Issues...

Well, a few weeks ago I switched my cats back to "Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul" and since that time, my cats have been getting sick more (every few days). I don't know why this is but I'm probably going to switch back to Purina One Beyond. Does anyone have any insight as to why my kitties (in particular Sunny but both have been sick) are getting sick on this food when they've had it in the past???

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Terrific Thursday (blog update)!

Hello all! I have been very busy lately (the reason I haven't updated this blog in a while) but figured I'd give an update on a few things. Smokey and Sunny are still eating Purina ONE Beyond because I haven't been able to stop by the store that sells Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul (I don't even know if they have it right now, I may have to ask them to order it for me). I'm probably going to go by today and see if they have it/can get it for me. Sunny still hasn't lost much weight but I'm still NOT giving up on that. I think several people in the house feel sorry for her and feed her when she begs for more! They are also getting Fancy Feast canned (Chicken, Turkey & Giblets, Salmon, and Ocean Whitefish and Tuna, all in the "Classic" variety) and lately, I've been adding some Fancy Feast Appetizers to their dry food in the morning. This food is pretty awesome, although it is not a complete diet. It is just chicken/beef/fish in a broth with no by-products or fillers. They're kinda expensive so I use one tray for 3 days (between 2 cats too). Lilly is doing good. I still am trying to tame her though... Seze is doing good and is a much better weight now that I'm feeding her meal-worms AND crickets. She is also looking stronger since I've been dusting her insects with calcium (she was malnourished when I got her and has been attempting to recover ever since). My reef tank has been up and down in terms of doing well. I have one unhappy coral that I've been trying to make happy and MAYBE have started making progress on. I've been doing very large water changes lately (25% a week when I usually only do 10% a week). The freshwater tank is doing fine and doesn't require a whole lot of maintenance. The seahorses are doing well but the tank doesn't LOOK good right now. I'm going to work on it ASAP. I hope everyone has a great Thursday!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Update on Sunny's weight problem.

Well, Sunny has been on a diet (as you all probably know) to get her to drop some weight. She hasn't lost a lot of weight yet but hopefully, she'll start losing more soon (I know she needs to drop weight slowly). Sunny had a birthday on the 1st (Sunday)! She is 3 years old now! Unfortunately, I lost Gex on the 21st of June... She was pretty old and just died of old age.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday!

If you read my post a few days ago, you know that I'm trying to get my cat Sunny to lose weight. I'm feeding her less, and exercising her more. Surprisingly Sunny is NOT complaining about getting less food. She's getting 1/2 cup of dry (Purina ONE Beyond) food a day. If I feed canned (Fancy Feast), she is getting 1/3 cup dry and 1/2 can (3oz can) wet. This seems to work well so far (she's not wanting more food) but it's too early to see if she'll lose weight on this diet. I'm still planning on taking her to the vet to be weighed but I'm going to be getting her to lose weight in the meantime (since she IS overweight). Lilly is doing good. I need to clean her cage and work on litter box training (she doesn't like the box I chose so she is now going in another corner but ONLY in that corner!) her though. Her favorite foods are carrots, apples, lettuce, and bell pepper. She is OK with cucumber, grapes, and a few other foods but they're not her favorites. She knows her name and will squeal if you say it! Gex and Seze are doing great! Seze had been underweight (she's been underweight since I got her) but after a few days of feeding LOTS of crickets, she is gaining weight. The reef tank is finally doing well. I have added a power-head to the tank to increase the water flow and so far, the corals seem to like it. The fish have to swim against the current (a natural thing!)! I ordered seahorses which should be shipped soon and will be here in a few days (baring no trouble)! I ordered six and I'm really excited about them! The tank looks AWESOME (the old tank for seahorses was NOT as cool looking or as well designed as this one!)! I'm working on a DIY fan to cool the tank (using a computer fan) and will (hopefully) post directions on how to make one once I get it done. I got a pleco (plecostomus) today and will be quarantining it for a couple of days before adding it to the freshwater community. These fish (in my opinion) are awesome fish (while not pretty, they look cool!) and definitely earn their keep (they eat algae)!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sunny Saturday!

The title of my blog post has a double meaning. Where I am, it is sunny outside, but I was actually talking about my sweet little kitty named Sunny! Sunny needs to lose weight. Smokey is a good weight (very lean and trim) but Sunny is overweight (fairly significant too). I don't know how much she weighs right now but will be taking her to the vet soon to be weighed hopefully and get some tips on getting her to lose weight. She is an indoor only cat so outdoor exercise is NOT an option. I figure feeding her less and feeding her more canned food will help (along with play) but I'm going to talk to our vet about it first. The cats are currently eating "Purina ONE Beyond" and "Fancy Feast" wet/canned foods (Classic Chicken Feast, Classic Turkey & Giblets Feast, Classic Savory Salmon Feast, and Classic Ocean Whitefish & Tuna Feast). Their feeding schedule includes half a can of wet food each (they split a can) day and I'll be honest, I feed dry food a little bit at a time but don't really measure it. I'm going to stop that and measure the food daily. I'll write a new blog post once I find out how much Sunny weighs and what the vet thinks I should do about it.

Friday, May 25, 2012

My recent cat food review (some brands I've tested and my/my cat's thoughts on them)

Well, in the recent recall of Diamond brand pet foods, I've had to experiment with some new foods (since the food I usually feed, Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul, was recalled). The first one I've tried was Evolve cat food. Specifically "Evolve Maintenance Formula with Chicken Natural Cat Food" This food's first five ingredients are as follows... Chicken, chicken meal, ground brown rice, rice flour, chicken fat (preserved with mixed topcopherols). This is not a bad start. There is no corn, wheat, or soy in the food (also no by-products/by-product meals) and there is a whole list of veggies/fruits. This food seems like a good food (and ingredient wise it is except that it has rice flour, and brewers dried yeast), but only if your cats eat it/like it. Mine both don't like it a whole lot and Sunny flat out won't eat it (Smokey will eat it but she doesn't like it as much as other foods). The next food I've tried is Purina ONE Beyond (what they're currently eating until I can get some NEW Chicken Soup brand food) and so far so good with it (with the cats eating it and seeming to like it OK). This food's first five ingredients are... chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice, soybean meal, whole barley. There are only a couple of ingredients that bother me in this food. The first is anything "soy" related (soybean meal, soy protein isolate) and the other is "animal fat" (what kind of animal???). However, the food has no corn or wheat and doesn't have any by-products either so overall, it is a healthy food. My list of foods that I'll feed my cats has expanded some. Foods that I would NOT hesitate to feed my cats are as follows... Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul (despite the recent recall, I would still feed this food to my cats) Purina ONE Beyond Taste of the Wild (never tried this one but it looks good and seems to be a good food) Wellness (again, never tried it but looks excellent) Wellness CORE (excellent food but never tried) Blue Buffalo (same with this one, excellent food but I've never tried it on my cats) I also feed my cats canned food and have tried many different types on the cats (different flavors, brands, etc) and my cat's favorites are as follows... Fancy Feast Classic Chicken Feast Fancy Feast Classic Turkey & Giblets Feast Fancy Feast Classic Ocean Whitefish & Tuna Feast Fancy Feast Classic Savory Salmon Feast I would feed many other canned foods to my cats but these are favorites. In a taste test though (maybe I'll do one if I can get some more Chicken Soup brand food soon) I'm guessing that Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul would win (and that's the one with the best nutrition so that would make me happy!) though it might be close with Purina ONE Beyond.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pet Food Recall

Well, since Diamond expanded the pet food recall of Chicken Soup (among other brands that they also make) cat and dog foods, I checked the bag of food that I had to find out if it was included and, sure enough, the production code and date both matched so I took it back to the store I bought it at and got a refund (Diamond hasn't shipped any new/unaffected bags to this store yet). This all makes sense now because my cats have both thrown up within the past week and I haven't felt good either (queasy stomach and not able to eat a whole lot) so I suspect the cat food (since I'm the one that feeds the cats). Just glad it's nothing worse than salmonella (which is bad enough but it could be a LOT worse). So, for now, my cats are eating Evolve pet food (similar enough in ingredients to Chicken Soup so that the cats shouldn't get an upset stomach from it). Hopefully, I can switch back to Chicken Soup brand soon (since it's just salmonella I'll give them a pass because it can and does happen to the best of pet food companies). I'm including a link to the recall website so anyone who needs to know can find out if their food is affected by this recall...

Sad update on seahorses...

Greetings to all on this beautiful Monday! I have some bad news on the seahorses. Something is eating the adults/babies and I now only have 2 adults. There are several pests in the tank so it could be one of several things. I'm going to move the seahorses to a different tank that will be setup so that I can save the two remaining and then eventually get a few more. They're happy (I know this because they're breeding) but something keeps getting them. When they get in the new tank, it will look better (because I'm going to make it more "natural" looking) so I'll get some pictures up when I get it all situated. I guess it's not ALL bad because I do still have two seahorses and they're healthy but this is definitely a setback. Well, off to work on the seahorse tank I go...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fantastic Friday

Well, today is a beautiful day! Smokey and Sunny are just lying around the house. I will probably try to get them both to exercise later but for now, I guess they can rest! Lilly on the other hand has been exercising all morning! She's been running around her cage and doing laps! My reef tank is still not looking its best but it does look better so hopefully things will work out with it soon. Seahorses still look good and I'll TRY to get some pictures of them soon. I will need to water the flowers later today because it's kinda hot here! We have celosia, periwinkles, hibiscus, and lantana in our beds. The lantana came back from last year and we planted everything else this year. The lantana is not blooming yet but it just a couple of inches tall. I hope everyone has a very relaxing day on this fantastic Friday!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

It's been a while since I blogged so I figured I should probably update on several things. First off, Smokey and Sunny are doing great although I feel as if Sunny needs to loose a bit of weight (she's on excellent food so she just needs exercise I guess but any help is greatly appreciated). I have some sad news... Fiona went to the rainbow bridge on March 2nd. I got Lilly (new guinea pig) on March 17th. She was a very young guinea pig when I got her. She is also a bit of a drama queen! She is very loud and lets you know when she wants something (I mean, won't stop till she gets it!). She also wouldn't eat fresh fruits or vegetables when I got her (guinea pigs NEED those to stay healthy) but I've gotten her to where she eats a good variety now (had to mince them up and mix them with her food to get her to eat them at first but now she eats them whole). She has litter-box trained herself too which is awesome! My two geckos (Gex and Seze) are doing great! I've had some issues with my reef tank but things are looking slightly better now. First off, I had some algae problems (probably from phosphates in the water) but didn't do anything about them for a while because I was busy and it wasn't hurting anything at the time. Then I got a new light (I had planned to get a new light for the tank for a while) and the corals seem to like it better (except one that needs time to adjust). Then, I got something to remove the phosphate from the water and the corals didn't seem to like THAT (they need time to adjust to it I guess) so I removed it for a while. Things are finally looking better though so maybe, I can just enjoy the tank and not have so much stuff to do. The seahorse tank has been doing fairly well. I say fairly well because I had a seahorse give birth to one baby but both baby and adult got stressed and died. Then, a week or so later, I had a seahorse give birth to 3 (which I still have). I am not totally sure but I think I lost another adult (can't find it) but that doesn't worry me TOO much because they are not long lived (1-2 years and these were already adults). I am glad they have been having babies though because that means that I MIGHT be able to keep the population up with some luck. The freshwater tank is doing good and has some new fish in it. I also have a baby platy that I'm raising. So, overall, things are going well but I've had some down turns too. Well, I'll try to keep my blog updated more often now...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dwarf seahorses (and lots of them!)!

I've had the dwarf seahorses for two weeks now and they are doing well. They had twenty-two babies RIGHT after they were put into their new home and now, there are twenty-nine total (seven adults, twenty-two babies) and more on the way. Soon, I'm going to have to upgrade the tank to a larger one. The seahorses now have their own unique colors (one is green, one is pinkish, and a few are different shades of gray, white, and black). They are eating well and I've even gotten them to eat some frozen food (adult brine shrimp and some smaller mysis shrimp). I think that soon, I may separate the babies from the adults because I think that the adults would eat frozen if I didn't have to feed live to the babies. Pictures are coming soon!