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Monday, August 31, 2009

Steps in Choosing Reptile Cage Substrate and Litter

The type of reptile litter, or substrate, you buy is going to be determined by the type of reptile that you have. There are many different types of litter for a reptile's tank, terrarium or cage. Some options include wood/bark chips, sand, soil, moss, carpet and pebbles.

Some reptile species do better with one kind of substrate than another. Some types of litter can even be harmful to a reptile or cause sickness or death. If a substrate consists of tiny pieces, it has to be digestible. It is very important to a reptile's health that it is provided the right litter.

When shopping for reptile litter, do your research done. If you have an iguana or other arboreal lizard, the substrate isn't that important because most of the time your lizard will be climbing in the cage.

Think carefully about the type of litter for reptiles that spend most of their time around the bottom of the tank. Reptilite bedding is a great option because it has big pieces that don't get eaten and is very absorbent. This low impact substrate also contains strontium and magnesium; while being free of silica and phosphates.

Bark chips are another reliable option, as the larger pieces are rarely eaten. Smaller reptiles might find this litter hard to walk on, however.

Sand like Vita-Sand by Zoo Med can be a good substrate for certain reptiles including hermit crabs and lizards because it is relatively easy to scoop out waste. There is one caveat; you have to make sure your lizard isn't eating the sand.

With all litters, you should monitor your reptile's behavior to make sure it is a healthy choice. At GregRobert Reptile Supplies you'll find a variety of different reptile litter options for all kinds of reptiles.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Compare Pet Supply Prices with Sortprice

Curious about how your favorite pet store stacks up with it's competition?

Try Sortprice. has become one of the most popular shopping comparison search engines on the internet and an emerging leader in the Pet Supply and Home and Garden verticals.

Sortprice is designed for everyone from the experienced online shopper to the apprehensive first-timer shopper that has heard pet supplies can be bought for less online. Sortprice has a slew of innovative features and advanced search technology. In addition, advertisers on Sortprice do not "PayPerClick". My personal opinion is that a more honest comparison can be done when the engine is not getting paid for that almighty click. (It's not an affiliate site either. According to inside sources, it is a flat rate pay. ) The great search technology coupled with one of the largest selections of products and retailers online, make it easy to browse items and compare prices on everything from wild bird feeders to dog doors.

A cool "Shop, Drag and Drop" feature is something to checkout. If you are a facebook user, the wishlist application is something to try also (more on that next week).

Search for products by brand, store, price and color. Sortprice seems to be emerging as a great price comparison engine for pet supplies (and other product lines also).

According to Sortprice's website: "Our mission is simple. We help consumers save money by offering them the safest and easiest online shopping experience available, while providing merchants with a fair and cost-effective way to expand their online sales presence."

Take a peek and see if you can get your pup or kitty or birdie .. more for your money this time around!

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What's in my Water?!

Do you know exactly what you are checking your aquarium water for? Owners of freshwater tanks you should be looking for pH, Nitrate, Nitrite, Hardness, and Alkalinity. These substances can be lethal if they are at unsafe concentration levels. Test the water every week, or when you notice changes in your fish. Some tests measure all five substances, and some water tests measure each substance individually. Quick Dip Aquarium Multi-Test Kit, pictured to the left, uses strips to measure various chemical levels at the same time. Testing the water is essential, but unless you understand the root of the problem, you will have a hard time establishing a stable biological system in your water.

Ammonia is highly poisonous, but only is present at pH levels below 7. Ammonia levels can not exceed 0.05 mg/l. Nitrite is also poisonous and should not be at all perceptible in aquarium water. Phosphate creates algae problems at levels above 0.05 mg/l. Nitrate levels between 50 mg and 100 mg are acceptable for fish.
If any of these value exceed safe levels, a eighty percent partial water change must be performed. Add fluids containing zeolite, or better yet, insert a cartridge into your filter that forces the water to run through zeolite.

Water hardness and pH are dependant on one another. If one level is off, the other will probably be off too. Most fish thrive in pH levels of about 6.5, but this varies for different types of fish. As does water hardness for fish. The tropical river-dwelling fish flourish in soft water of about 4 dGH. Know the levels that your tank needs and balance the levels using rainwater, and reverse osmosis. If the pH must be lowered, insert fertilizer-free white peat granules into the water.

It seems that an advanced knowledge in chemistry would be beneficial for maintaining the perfect aquarium! But, simple water test and an efficient filter usually can do the trick.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Potty Train Your Puppy!

Housebreaking your puppy may be an irritating process at first, but a few tips and tricks will make the procedure faster and less frustrating.

Understand that a very young puppy has not developed bladder control and there WILL BE accidents. Having patience is essential, because in the first few weeks, effort is futile. If you plan to leave the house, expect a mess. Keep the puppy confined to a room covered with newspaper and/or absorbent puppy pads. Your puppy should relieve himself every few hours. The only sign before relieving himself will be sniffing the ground. Immediately place your dog in the designated area and let him urinate. Then, praise the dog for using the area. Never punish him or put his nose in the mess if he has soiled the floor or carpet. A disgusting mess is definitely trying, however disciplinary action is counterproductive and will undoubtedly scare the puppy.

Once the puppy reaches eight weeks old, you can then begin to train him outside. Frequently let him out, especially first thing in the morning and after meals. Choose a consistent spot, as previous odors will stimulate the puppy to urinate or defecate. Carry a pooper scooper with you because no one wants to step in your dog's mess and in many places cleaning up is the law.
To clean up indoor messes use an odor-eliminating disinfectant. Do not use common household cleaners that contain ammonia because these may remind the puppy of its own urine smell.

For more information read A New Owner's Guide to Training the Perfect Puppy. This informative book goes step by step through housebreaking and even more behavioral skills your puppy will need to learn.

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