Monthly Archives: November 2014

Fishy Friends


It can be hard to know which fish will get along being in a communal tank. Which fish species get along, and which ones don’t. Quite often (unfortunately) the pet store or aquarium staff also do not know.

I was in a garden centre aquarium about a month ago to restock my tropical tank, and I was shocked to see some of the species that they had kept together. I was even more shocked, and saddened, to see the aggression within tanks due to the wrong species being kept together – dead fish, fin-less/ half-eaten fish, bullying within the tank… all sorts!

It is not fair on the animals in the tanks – they have nowhere to go, so it is the job of those caring for them to ensure they have optimum environments and tank mates. This starts by knowing your fish species and how to house them, and who with.

Tetra, platy, guppy, danio, corydora, swordtail, catfish, loach, molly, and goldfish species are all good communal fish (within their water types) – in my experience.

Chichlids can be kept with other chichlids – but do your research. You may keep the same species chichlids together of different sizes, or different species of similar sizes, or get a communal type (same species, varying sizes).

Barb species are communal within species. For instance you could keep several rosy barbs together, but not a tiger barb an a rosy barb together. Barbs ought to be kept alone within their types, they are not good communal fish – not good with other fish species.

Comet Goldfish
Comet Goldfish

Fighter fish on the other hand should be kept alone, except for breeding (but separated after mating has taken place). This species is very  territorial and aggressive towards other fish – definitely a solitary species.

The size, and the amount of the same species in a tank can cause issues. For instance, you can keep two tangs of the same species but they must be different sizes to avoid conflict/ aggression; or two tangs of the same size but they must be different types.

Ensure you research into fish species before acquiring them – some species may appear to be okay together or just make your tank look aesthetically pleasing together, but may not actually get on. An overstocked tank will likely cause aggression. Fish with lovely, long, flowing fins may survive happily with reduced numbers within their tank; but end up with chewed (off) fins by other fish when there is overcrowding.

Choose your communal tank species carefully. Do thorough research into every fish species, and how well your intended species will get along in a tank – taking into consideration tank size, and amount and size of fish wanted.

Pet Health Problems: Giardia in Dogs


Healthy Old English Playing in a River

In response to a question asked…

Giardia is a simple single-celled parasite – it isn’t a bacteria or virus.  The parasite occurs worldwide and causes of diarrhoea in people as well as dogs. It can be zoonotic (transmitted from humans to animals, and vice versa) but it is more likely to be transmitted from humans to dogs, and much less likely for humans to catch it from an infected dog. Giardiasis is the name for the intestinal infection that Giardia causes; this causes illness, especially diarrhoea. The diarrhoea is often discoloured (greenish tinge) and very loose. Vomiting is also a symptom, although less common.

Other symptoms may include lethargy (extreme tiredness), weight loss, poor coat condition, and in extreme cases – death. Other dogs may show no signs save for the loose and/ or discoloured faeces.

This is not usually life-threatening as it is treatable as long as you do something sooner rather than later, to prevent your pet becoming immuno-compromised.

The most common form of contraction, is waterborne as the parasites prefer moist conditions. Unclean and stagnant moist areas/ water will be good places for the parasites to thrive – so try to ensure your dog does not drink from unknown/ unclean water sources.  Water contaminated by faecal matter is common ground for Giardia. Ensure you provide your dog with fresh water daily.

The less common form of contraction is ingestion of the parasites/ eggs from other infected animal faeces. Watch your dog when out and about, and ensure (s)he doesn’t eat anything (s)he shouldn’t!


If you have any questions or comments, or would like any more information or advice regarding this post; or if you have anything specific you would like me to cover in a future post, then either contact me through this site or leave a comment below, or contact me via one of my social media pages:-
. Google+ (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Facebook (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Twitter (@AnimalFreak24)
. LinkedIn (Ali Holloway)

Remembrance


800px-Poppies_Field_in_Flanders

We remember today, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, all the fallen heroes who gave their lives so that we can enjoy all the freedom and pleasures that we do today! We remember all the heroes who fight today, risking their lives daily.

We remember all the men and women who contributed to the war effort and aided in preserving their country. Amongst all the men and women, let us not forget the animals who were and are involved in wars; giving their lives and risking it all alongside soldiers, doing their bit to help in war-time.

Hedgehog Hotels (Bonfire Night)


Bonfires are hedgehog hotels. Especially those built in advance. Bonfires should not be built until the day they are to be lit. Try to check your bonfire for wildlife before lighting your bonfire – move the bonfire, disturb it to try and shoo any animals out. A bonfire is essentially a big pile of wood that underneath is nice and cosy – making it a 5* hotel for any wildlife looking for a nice hibernation spot, particularly hedgehogs.

To prevent hedgehogs and other wildlife from getting injured or killed by lit bonfires, the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) recommends that bonfires should not be built until the day you plan on lighting them. This will not only save wildlife from burning to death, but will also prevent the bonfire (wood) from getting wet if it rains the night(s) before! By moving the pile to be burnt to a new place on the day you are going to set it alight, everyone can help save some lives (especially the lives of nocturnal species who will have left your bonfire by the time you come to light it in the evening).

Hedgehog
Hedgehog

Putting chicken wire around the edge of your bonfire may help prevent wildlife getting in to the bonfire in the first place. Hedgehogs like to hide in the centre, and bottom two feet, of the bonfire – you can check for them by gently lifting the bonfire section by section with a pole/ stick/ broom. Never use a shovel/ spade/ fork as these can stab and injure wildlife. Shining a torch will help – listen for a hissing sound, as hedgehogs make this noise when they are disturbed.

Hibernating hedgehogs are particularly at risk – hedgehogs are not able to wake up quickly from hibernation so they may be unable to quickly escape the bonfire if disturbed, before it is lit. Ensure you leave plenty of time for escape, and double check for any wildlife before lighting your bonfire. If you do find a hedgehog in your bonfire and it hasn’t woken up, you can move it to safety; by wearing thick gloves you will prevent your human smell getting on to the hedgehog and the nest, which can cause stress. Try to pick up as much of the nest as you can, place the hedgehog in a box or a similar wooded spot, with lots of warm leaves and other natural warm items. An old towel can be used if necessary to ensure the hedgehog keeps warm. If in doubt about what to do, contact a professional.

Checking for wildlife only takes a minute to do, but can save many wildlife species from being burnt alive. Hedgehogs as a species are already in decline; take a minute to help turn that around.

 

If you have any questions or comments, or would like any more information or advice regarding this post; or if you have anything specific you would like me to cover in a future post, then either contact me through this site or leave a comment below, or contact me via one of my social media pages:-
. Google+ (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Facebook (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Twitter (@AnimalFreak24)
. LinkedIn (Ali Holloway)