Starting an aquarium is challenging. The most common problems are: too many fish, overfeeding, and tap water--I recommend you use reverse osmosis water from your fish supplier store or you can buy reverse osmosis systems. Choose the right size aquarium. With a 55 gallon or larger you can have a greater number of fish and more variety. The larger volume of water keeps the water chemistry stable and less likely to have sudden changes. What you are going to need for your tank: heater, filter, air pump, hood, cover, light fixture. If you are going to use live plants you need a CO2 planted aquarium substrate--put this in first and then add the gravel if you are not going to use live plants--all you need is gravel. Your heater--be sure you buy a high quality heater and select the correct size for your aquarium. If you have tropical fish they require a steady water temperature of 76 to 78 F. Fluctuating water temperatures will stress your fish and make them more vulnerable to disease. Be sure you buy a good filter with a good flow rate for your aquarium. The filter removes debris and harmful pollution--it adds oxygen to the water.
Air pump is good for bubbling ornaments, and the bubbles agitate the surface of the water and it adds oxygen to your water. It is also good for adequate water movement.
Buy a hood to keep your fish from jumping out plus it helps reduce water evaporation. Light fixtures are used to illuminate the inside of the aquarium so that you can view your fish.
Do not use tap water--it is not safe for your fish. It could be full of dangerous chemicals that could harm your fish.
Let your aquarium develop the natural balance and then add a few fish. Add the new fish and let the unopened bag float in the aquarium for 10 minutes to allow the fish to adjust to the water temperature. Net the fish out of the bag and do not add the bag of water into your aquarium. The bag of water may contain fish waste and ammonia. If too many fish are added all at once or too much food is added, ammonia and nitrite levels will reach poisonous levels.
Be sure to add water conditioner to help relieve stress.
Test each week for pH, ammonia and nitrite levels.
Clean your filter once month.
Change water once a week--be sure you use a gravel siphon to remove debris from gravel.
The aquarium light should be on no longer than 6 hours each day.
Keep your aquarium clean for healthy fish.
The life span of a canary is ten to fifteen years.
When you go to buy a canary, avoid a crusty-looking beak or feet; if it seems to be struggling to breathe (it could have a mite infestation). Look out for a bird that looks puffy or sleepy--it probably isn't healthy. Check the leg band--that will tell you who the breeder is and the age of the bird. If you buy a singing bird, be sure it comes with a guarantee to sing. Make sure you have the cage ready before you bring your bird home. The bigger the cage the better, wider rather than taller as canaries like to fly back and forth. Keep your cage clean--put down 5 or more layers of newspaper on the bottom of your cage, removing 1 layer each day, and completely clean your cage once a week.
Cuttlebone is important as it contains nutrients such as calcium, iodine, and it helps to keep the beak in good condition.
Change the seed and water each day. A good choice for your bird is 8oz. bottle with a ball point tube wide mouth. If your bird isn't singing, the
cage needs to be put in a higher place.
Always wash your hands handling it or it's food. Food to feed your bird: fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, offered regularly. Feed it slices of fruit such as apples, oranges, pears, bananas. Most green stuff grown in the garden are also suitable for canaries, but ensure that they have not been treated with pesticides prior to feeding them to your canaries. They should always be washed prior to feeding to your birds. Offer a small piece of fresh apple once a week to keep it's liver healthy. The following is a listing of suitable supplemental food for canaries.
Greens: Kale, turnip tops, mustard, chicory, spinach, broccoli, endive, and watercress.
Vegetables: Corn (raw or cooked), grated raw carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, cooked carrots, cucumbers.
Fruits: Apples, pears, oranges, bananas.
Toys: canaries enjoy small toys beads, bells and they love swings. Do not use a mirror--it may stop singing, the bird thinks it is competition.
Never place the cage in any draft, it could kill it.
Fumes or smells: Keep your canary's cage away from toxic fumes or strong smells. They are very sensitive to air borne pollutants like: hair spray perfume, candles, heated Teflon, cleaning products, heated cooking oils, air-fresheners, pesticides, herbicides, etc.
Canary's like to keep themselves clean--provide your canary with a birdbath for it to splash or shower once a day or a minimum, once a week.
Never leave the bath water sitting in the cage, you don't want it to drink it.
Canary's wings should never be clipped.
Keep all houseplants and flowers away from the cage--they are toxic for the birds.
Moulting time is between July and September when canaries shed and replace their feathers--this is highly stressful for them, they usually sing very little
while moulting. High quality food is necessary at this time. Grated carrots and beets to enhance colors, and dark leafy greens, kale enhance yellow
shades. Give it slice of cucumber during molt--it eases the process. Give your canary a new cuttlebone--if it refuses to chew on it, scrape a little into
it's soft foods.
Play a CD or tape of canary songs or other type of music. When you leave it alone for long time, turn on the radio--it will feel more secure.
Grief over the loss of a pet is normal and natural. Don't let anyone
tell you any different. It is very devastating to lose a good companion
of unconditional love and acceptance. Some people don't understand
the bond between the owner and their pet. You have a right to your
own feelings--don't let others tell you otherwise. We all experience grief
in a different way. Anger, depression, denial and guilt are all part of
our emotions. You have the right to feel pain and grief! Ttalk to people
that have pets--they'll understand.
The other pets in the house will notice the absence of their companion.
Give your surviving pets lots of love and attention.
Children are never too young or to old to grieve. Never tell a child that
the pet was put to sleep or it went away. Be sure to tell them the pet
will not come back. It is better to tell the truth. Get a book that deals with pet loss.
Debarking involves surgically removing an animal's vocal cords
to reduce the sound of the animal's vocalizations.
Don't take their voice away and how pets communicate--it's very cruel.
Vocal distinctions are very important in order to communicate different meanings.
Here are some of the consequences when you debark or devocalize your pets:
Persistent coughing or gagging. Some animals become completely mute.
If the pet ever needs anesthesia, the scar tissue that forms in the throat
prevents the insertion of the correct size breathing tube--it makes anesthesia more of a risk for your pet. De-vocalization subjects animals to pain and stress along with many risks, some life threatening. Scar tissue blocking the airway may notbe evident until years after the devocalization. The pet struggles to breathe when exercising or in warm weather, gags on food and water, dies from choking or heat stroke. Corrective surgery for scar tissue removal obstructing the airway is very expensive.
Video on Faces of De-vocalization
Professional Pet Sitting Services offered in the Upper to Mid-Pinellas County Area