Caring for Chubby Frogs (Asian Painted Frogs)

About Chubby Frogs:

The Chubby Frog got its nickname because of its plump, round body. It is also called the Asian Painted Frog because of its origin and the fact that it has two stripes on its back that are outlined in black or dark brown, giving it a “painted” appearance. The frog’s scientific name is Kaloula pulchra. All the Kaloula pulchra frogs in the pet trade are wild-caught from their various natural habitats which include leafy forests, rice fields, and even small towns. During the daytime hours, these frogs stay hidden underneath leaves and debris. They emerge for feeding in the evening.

Choosing a Frog:

Make sure you pick a healthy Chubby Frog at the pet store. For one, make sure the frog is actually chubby! Its body should be full and round. If the frog is underweight, you’ll see bones sticking out. Examine the eyes for clarity, and the skin for open wounds or abrasions. If you go to the pet shop during the day, the frog should be hiding. If you find it out in the open, that could be a sign of illness. Of course, it could also mean that somebody else was recently examining it. Be sure to ask the pet store owner if someone was recently handling the frog. Unless the frog is disturbed or ill, it will remain hidden during the day.

Chubby Frog Housing:

A 10- to 15-gallon enclosure will give your frog the amount of room that it needs. If you’d like to house 2 frogs, a 20-gallon tank is recommended. Be sure to use a terrarium with a tight, screen lid secure enough to prevent escapes. These frogs are great climbers!

The bottom of the enclosure needs to be layered with substrate, at least 2″ deep for burrowing. Steer clear of gravel, wood chips, sand, and vermiculite or perlite. The best substrates for your Chubby include peat moss / potting soil mixes, eco earth, organic mulch, and coconut fiber.

Furnish the terrarium with potted plants, driftwood, and other items that the frog can use for hiding or climbing. To prevent the frog from uprooting plants while burrowing, you may wish to keep live plants planted in pots rather than directly in the substrate.

Your frog will prefer the temperature to be between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a heat lamp or under-tank heater to maintain the temperature. Aim for about 80 degrees F. during the day, and no cooler than 70 degrees F. at night.

A few times per week, mist the inside of the tank with water. Humidity is important for your frog. The water MUST be 100% chlorine-FREE!

NOTE: Day / Night Difference – Your frog needs to be able to tell day from night. For this reason, an under-tank heater may be better than a heat lamp. That way, you can maintain the temperature at night without having the bright light on in the frog’s face. Also, you should keep the frog’s terrarium in a location where it can naturally experience light during the day and dark at night. Try to keep it in a room that will not have lights turned on often at night.

The Best Food to Feed a Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons make wonderful pets. They are active during the day, and when adult are large enough to be allowed to roam around the house for limited periods (that is, until they start getting cold) without any fears of them disappearing in small hiding places – obviously they need to be supervised at all times. They also have the advantage of almost being born tame and are happy to sit on their owner and will put up with a cuddle.

They are attractive and have great personalities, and make excellent pets for people who are allergic to fur and cannot have any of the more common warm blooded pets. In captivity with the correct husbandry they should live for up to 10 years or even more. The oldest I’m currently aware of is 12. To reach their potential live span they need to be fed the correct foods.

I am often contacted by people who would like to own a bearded dragon, and who want to know if there is any alternative to feeding them live food. The answer is a very definite NO. Although many pet shops stock dried food which is supposed to be for bearded dragons, I have never heard of one that actually will eat this. I’ve tried to feed it to mine but I think they would rather starve!

The amount and type of live food they need changes as they grow from hatchling to adult. When first hatched they are almost totally carnivorous. When adult they are 80% vegetarian. At all stages of their lives they should have the correct balance of vegetables/fruit and live food.

When a juvenile is purchased and brought home from the breeder or pet shop it is important to always offer finely chopped vegetables/fruit. The rule of thumb when feeding bearded dragons is to make sure no food offered is larger than the gap between their eyes. This goes for the size of live food offered, as well as the green stuff. If a juvenile has been properly fed from hatching it will be used to always have a bowl of veg in its enclosure, which it will peck at if there’s nothing better on offer. Juvenile bearded dragons are often similar to human toddlers – seemingly allergic to anything green! But if they’ve been used to it they’ll often continue to munch on salad and vegetables throughout their growing period. Some beardies refuse to touch vegetables – some (including mine!) have been known never to eat it when their owners are watching as if by pretending they are starving they’ll be offered something more tasty. But eventually they all succumb and eat it and, when adult, it will be their staple diet.

If you have a juvenile who won’t touch the stuff, don’t worry. He’ll get there in time, and though it’s disappointing to spend your time chopping food that’s not eaten, you must persevere. It’s best to try and variety of different vegetables and fruit – some beardies like some things, others don’t. Cabbage, mixed salad leaves, curly kale, peppers, sweet potato, grapes, apples, carrots are all foods which might appeal to a beardie. Experiment with items that you eat and see what yours likes.

Bearded dragons should never be fed avocado, and avoid items with a high moisture content such as iceburg lettuce, cucumber or tomatoes which will cause diarrhoea.

These reptiles have an astonishing rate of growth – they grow 4000 times in size from hatching to adult, and should reach full size between 12 and 18 months. To support this tremendous growth rate they have to have copious amounts of protein which can only be supplied by a main diet of live food. When deciding whether this is the pet for you, you need to factor in the cost of their food. During their first year of live they cost as much as a cat and some dogs to feed. There is also the problem of obtaining live food – but if you don’t live near a suitably stocked pet shop mail order is very efficient, and you can set up a regular order with most online suppliers.

The basic live food diet is crickets. These come in two types – brown, and black. Black are supposedly silent, but you’ll still get the odd one that will chirp all night. Both are nutritious. Crickets, as other insects, come in various sizes called instars. As a cricket grows it sheds its skin. First instar crickets are the smallest, and then they increase in size through various sheds until they reach adult size. Don’t feed crickets which are too big for your bearded dragon (remember the gap between the eyes rule), but conversely, if you try and offer crickets that are too small he might not be interested in them.

All live food should be gut fed – this simply means feeding them the same vegetables that you are offering your beardie. Hence even if he isn’t keen on vegetables, he’ll be getting the goodness by eating the crickets.

When growing rapidly they should be fed live food 3 times a day up until the age of about 4 months – as many as they can eat in a 10 minute session each time. This can be reduced to 2 feeds, and then to 1 when the beardie is a good size – around 6 to 8 months. It is difficult to give any definite ages as all bearded dragons grow at different rates. As they are such voracious eaters crickets are recommended as they are the cheapest to buy.

Bearded dragons need calcium supplement – daily until they are adult, and then about weekly thereafter. Calcium powder is sprinkled on their food. Without extra calcium they are likely to develop Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) which causes deformities in their bone growth, and is often fatal. Prevention is far better than trying to cure it.

It is perfectly possible to feed crickets and dust them with calcium powder without having to touch them by using a Cricket Keeper. You empty the crickets from the tub they arrive in into the keeper, and put vegetables and water into it. Pots of water are not recommended as the crickets are likely to drown in it, instead you can buy Bug Gel, or simply put in cotton wool balls soaked in water. Cricket Keepers have four black tubes. The crickets go up the tubes as they like being in the dark. When it’s feeding time you simply lift out one of the tubes, spinkle some calcium supplement down the tube, put something over the top and shake vigorously. This coats the crickets evenly with calcium powder, and also slightly stuns them which makes them slower and easier for the beardie to catch. You can also slow down crickets by putting them in the fridge for a few minutes before feeding. Most beardies can catch them anyway, but some have difficulty at first, so slower moving crickets can be beneficial.

As beardies grow they can move on to locusts or roaches. A roach colony can be kept at home, and so you can breed your own live food and make feeding much cheaper though not everyone wants to do this. Locusts are much more tasty to a bearded dragon, and also more expensive to buy. If you start feeding these too early you may find he won’t go back to eating crickets, and hence it will be far more expensive. For that reason I recommend staying with crickets as long as possible. As adults they will only need livefood two or three times a week. Once they are fully grown too much protein will overload their internal organs so if you overfeed you will be killing them with kindness.

Meal worms should not be given to bearded dragons. They do like them, but their skins are high in chitin which is hard to digest, and they are not as nutritious as crickets or locusts. Morio worms are a good substitute, but I’d still stick with crickets as a staple diet. Silk worms can also be fed daily, but again are more expensive. Wax worms are only to be given as a treat as they are very rich. They do love them in the way we like chocolate!

Remember, feeding your bearded dragon the correct food for each stage of its life is important, but equally so is having your vivarium set up correctly. The basking temperature should be right as it helps them digest their food properly, and a strong UVB light is necessary so they get sufficient vitamins.

Fish Tank Heater Guide

The temperature of the fish tank is absolutely critical for the well-being of the species of fish inhabiting it. Unlike human beings and warm-blooded pets, species of fish tend to not generate their unique physique heat. They must rely on the temperature of the water to regulate their internal temperature. The aquarium water heater information below covers everything you need to understand regarding heating units, and will cover types of fish tank heaters, sizes, and placement of the heater.

Deciding on the type of fish tank heater to use with your aquarium tank isn’t really difficult as long as you recognize the variances between a number of fish tank heaters. There are a number of basic aquarium tank heating units; immersible heating units, submersible heating units, substrate heating units, and filtration system heating units. Depending on the size of your tank and additional components such as a sump, you may have to decide what will work best for your aquarium.

Figuring out which kind of water heater to acquire for your aquarium tank is just the main picture. Heaters occur in several sizes and power ratings. Are you still undecided as to what exact size water heater you need for your aquarium tank? There exists a way to analyze the proper sizing water heater, using the size of your tank and desired temperature. Once you know what size heater you need and the type of heater, you are ready to select the brand. Please read reviews online or on the fish tank heater site at the end of the article to see what heaters are worth buying.

Numerous species of fish that want warmed-up water for ideal health and fitness (such as the Betta) are held in small tanks or containers. Regrettably, mini tanks and smaller types of fish tanks could be a difficult task to heat adequately. In past times, a couple of years maybe, a range of small heating units were introduced towards the aquarium tank market place. Have a look at these types heating units specifically made for mini aquariums if you own a tank less than 10 gallons in volume. They are typically marketed as “nano” or “pico” heaters, and get the job done fairly well without the risk of over-heating the tank with a full sized fish tank heater.

Once you purchase a fish tank heater, the next step is deciding where to place it in the tank. Should the item become located in the middle or off to a side? Can you route the current more efficiently? Will it possibly make a difference? There are many simple, although crucial, tips for proper water heater placement. A little trial and error also goes a long way. You may want to invest in a thermometer probe to accurately monitor the aquarium temperature.

Even under great conditions, issues can certainly occur. Essentially the most frequent undesired event is usually a water heater that decides to break without warning. In the event that you are worried about this happening, you must think of utilizing a water heater safeguard. You’ll want to have it when you need it. You might as well throw it in the cart when you buy the heater.

Another difficult fish tank heater task is usually through the summer time whenever aquarium tank water temperatures increase along with ambient temperature. At times, turning off the fish tank heater isn’t really ample to stop hazardously excessive water temperatures, and extra measures are needed and keep the species of fish cool. One can add cups of cold water, but that is quite time consuming. Chillers exist and are essentially the opposite of the heater. If you’re roughly in the middle hemisphere, you might as well throw a chiller in the cart with your fish tank heater and heater safeguard.

From the wintertime, the opposite issue can occur. This is especially true should your water heater not be able to provide enough heat during the winter time of the year, and measures should be taken in order to keep the species of fish warm. Either a stronger heater, or ideally a second heater should be considered as well. Two heaters will ensure the tank doesn’t get too out of line should one fail. Even if your 300-Watt heater is twice as strong as a 150-Watt heater, should it decide not to turn on then it becomes a 0-Watt heater. Might as well throw a second heater in the cart.

Hopefully after reading this you will have a better idea of what type of fish tank heater to purchase. Once you have an ideal system in place, you won’t have to worry because you know the aquarium temperature will be constant and if something were to fail there are safeguards in place to prevent disaster.

Guide To Installing A Bird Cage

To protect your birds, you need a cage.

Best wires to use

There are many types of wires you can use with the most popular being:

Galvanized wires: A galvanized wire is one that is coated with zinc which is highly toxic. The main role of the coating is to prevent corrosion thus increasing durability. To protect your birds you should consider removing the coating. You do this by soaking or sandblasting the wire. To prevent the wire from corroding apply non-toxic paint to the wire.

PVC coated wire: From its name, this is the wire that has been coated using PVC. The coating is usually very thin and can be easily removed. Due to this, you are advised from installing it in a cage with chewing birds. You should use it in areas with non-chewing birds such as softbills and finches. If you want to use the wire in chewing birds, you should go for a powder coated wire. A powder coat is a cooked coat that is difficult for the birds to remove. The wire will be expensive but the coating will be sturdier thus the birds won’t be able to remove it from the wire.

Stainless steel mesh: This is the best material to use. It will protect your birds without rusting. It also doesn’t require a lot of care. To buy it you should head to your local hardware store.

Installing a bird cage

After you have settled on the right wire, you should go ahead and install the unit. To completely keep predators from your birds you should place an outer layer. As rule of thumb install a tough material. This calls for you to avoid plastic netting as predators can easily tear through it. Larger birds can also easily chew holes through it. For peace of mind, install a 14 gauge 1″ x 1″ grid wire.

You can install a cage with a wooden frame or go for an all-wire unit. It’s all about your preferences. If installing an all-wire cage, you should go for a mesh wire or chain-link fencing. You should go for a pattern that the birds can’t easily pass through. The pattern should also be able to hold the perches and bird toys.

Conclusion

This is what you need to know about bird caging. You should choose a material that is strong and durable. You can install the unit on your own but for ideal results, hire a professional to help you out.

How to Get and Keep Your Horse in Top Shape and Ready for Anything

The first thing you need to understand is that your horse is just like any other athlete. And just like an athlete, you cannot expect it to perform like an Olympian right off the bat if it has been parked in a stall for months on end, or if it has been lazily grazing in the fields. In our culture, horses have been romanticized in books and movies as creatures of unlimited power and capability. It is often just assumed that they are born with and always maintain the ability to carry a rider for miles upon miles at a full run. But the truth is that a horse must be carefully and methodically trained to perform at top levels, it is not something they are just born being able to do.

Just like you could not expect yourself to be able to run a marathon tomorrow if you had spent the last six months on the sofa with a bag of chips. So, before you start making high demands of your steed, you need to do for your horse what any good trainer would do for his athlete. You need to condition it.

Your horse’s age and the amount of work it has previously done, if any, will determine where you need to start as well as what you want him in shape for. Remember, you can injure a horse by taking him out of the stall or pasture and immediately start riding him if he has had little or no riding time in weeks or months. A horse that gets ridden once or twice a week needs a gradual training program that starts out with a half hour ride every other day-this ride does not need to be hard, simply walking for one or two miles a day is a good way to start out when conditioning any horse that has not been ridden very much previously. You want to do this walking for a couple miles about every other day for at least two weeks, then you can work up to a trot for a minute or so in between long periods of walking during your ride. This is similar to what athletes call “interval training.” The horse needs restricted to these slow paces; if he is not accustomed to being ridden often, you will injure him by trying to make him move at a pace that he is not capable of moving at. For two weeks you will want to do these walk/trot intervals as you ride, just to get him used to a riding schedule again. Then, you may build up to a canter; but again, no long canter periods, you must canter for just a few seconds and then have several walk/trot intervals, then take another canter. After about six weeks of this cumulative work, when the horse is used to being ridden for a good solid hour or more, you may begin more strenuous work, such as riding uphill and downhill at the trot and then gradually to the canter-riding downhill at the trot will improve your horse’s and your own balance-and the toughest part of the training program begins.

Once your horse is in great shape and is conditioned for more strenuous work, you can begin to train your horse for whatever specific task you want. I.e. jumping, dressage, barrel racing, cross country, etc.

All of these sports demand that your horse be in top shape before beginning to train for them. Thinking that you can just skip the conditioning and move right into the specific training is very dangerous and counterproductive. The idea that your horse will just get conditioned as it goes is a recipe for serious and even permanent injury to your horse. Do not risk your horse’s health or your safety in an attempt to speed up the process.

Once conditioned, you will want to find a good source of instruction in your particular discipline. While you are looking, here are a few things that you can do you get started.

If you are jumping you want to start out trotting over poles on the ground, then trotting over small jumps spaced a couple feet apart (a good rule of thumb is usually about four feet apart, but you may need to adjust it depending on your horse’s stride), and finally going over small jumps building up to whatever height jump you and your horse are ready for. You must always start out conditioning slowly or you can injure the horse to the point where it cannot be ridden anymore. Conditioning the barrel racer would involve setting up three barrels and trotting in the pattern around them, gradually building up to faster speeds. As you can see, any particular sport that you may want your horse conditioned for can be achieved pretty easily once the foundation for strength-building has been laid. Start out slowly when conditioning any horse. If you are not sure how to go about it, it is always better to ask an experienced horse person than to take unnecessary chances. You will find that most experienced horsemen are more than happy to help and offer advice.