Archive | March, 2019

Herbie the baby Angelfish

11 Mar

Herbie is not a healthy Angelfish. The poor little guy is a runt. He was born 2 months ago. His brothers and sisters are big and healthy. He is not.

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Herbie should be culled. Which means, he should be “disposed” of. Fed to the Oscar.

But, my wife spotted Herbie. He was not Herbie yet. He was just pathetic.

She asks me How is Herbie? And I say he’s hanging in there. He scrambles around and lives another day.

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See little Herbie?

What can I do. I’ll let poor Herbie live as long as he can.

Hay pellets for Russian Tortoises

11 Mar

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Russian Tortoises are grass and weed eaters. In the Wintertime I feed them fresh greens from the grocery store and also these Timothy Hay pellets.

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I bought this 40 pound bag at Theisen’s, a farm supply store.

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I spray water on the pellets to soften them.

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They eat a lot of Collard Greens and Kale.

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Occasionally sprinkle Calcium powder on the tortoise food. Once a week is good.

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I found a good use for these thin limestone pieces. They make a nice dinner plate for the tortoises.

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These Redfoots can eat the greens and pellets, but they also get fruits and some protein (cat food).

This 40 pound bag of pellets will last me 10 years. Now I need to get a rabbit.

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Annnnd one more tortoise picture because we love tortoises!

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Annnd, one more picture of my turtles eating Collard Greens. A Red-eared Slider and a Northern Red-bellied Cooter.

Water sprayer for indoor tortoises

10 Mar

It’s too dry for the tortoises indoors in the Winter so here’s a fast way to spray their shells and habitat.

Peggy the Central American Wood Turtle. 29 years and counting.

Buy a brand new garden sprayer. Here’s mine. It only holds a gallon of water. I don’t want something too heavy.

Here’s the most important thing. Buy a new sprayer. DO NOT use one that might have had pesticides in it.

Costs about $15 at Walmart.

My Yellow-Bellied Slider is not.

10 Mar

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The big turtle I got a couple years ago has baffled me. She’s so dark. She disappears in the pond and then rises out of the depths. I call her The Creature From The Black Lagoon.

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I thought she was a Yellow Belly because she had a yellow belly, sorta.

This winter I have noticed the colors in her shell are changing. She has gotten lighter and I see red edges on the shell. The plastron (bottom) has become more orange or pink.

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I wondered. Is she really a Yellow Belly? I posted that question online and got my answer in a matter of minutes. My Yellow-Bellied Slider is a Northern Red-Bellied River Cooter.

She is mainly vegetarian. Her favorite food is Guppy Grass (Naja guadalupensis). She is peaceful, graceful and still growing.

It makes me wonder…how did a Northern Red-Bellied River Cooter end up in an animal shelter in Eastern Iowa?

This picture of wild Red-bellied Cooters confirms the identification of my turtle.

Turtle food grown in an aquarium

10 Mar

A ten-gallon tank can provide a great source of food for aquatic turtles.

My turtles will eat Water Lettuce, Duckweed, and other plants. They LOVE Guppy Grass (Naja guadalupensis).

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I occasionally collect snails for the turtles. That would be great for Puffers and various Cichlids, too.

The snail bait is a slice of cucumber.

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If you have guppies in the tank the excess can be fed to other fish and turtles.

All this can come from one aquarium.

Baby Angelfish in the kitchen

8 Mar

Angelfish from egg to dime-size. Thanks to my wife for helping feed them live brine shrimp several times a day.

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One of the parents.

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Brine shrimp hatchery, old school style, complete with wooden clothes pin.

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Then back downstairs into a planted tank.20190129_203609.jpg20190208_180354.jpg

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That’s it! Live baby brine shrimp. Daily water changes. Water temperature 80 degrees F (27C)

 

 

 

 

Starve mollies to get rid of hair algae

8 Mar

I’ve got hair algae in some tanks.  It’s hard to get rid of. I had heard that Mollies will eat it, if they are hungry enough.

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So, I gave it a try. A pair of  Black Mollies in a planted tank. No food. After a few days I saw the Mollies eating algae. I got my hopes up. I saw piles of green poo at the bottom of the tank. But, after a few weeks the algae was looking as strong as ever. I started feeding the Mollies just out of sympathy. I fed them a small quantity  and only once a day.

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See the green squiggly stuff below the fish?

I pulled the algae out by hand. The aquatic plants (Ludwegia and Rotala) began to take over and now the plants dominate. The algae is still there, but not much.

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Much better!

My conclusion is that the Mollies won’t solve a hair algae problem, but they can help, in combination with hand removal and other live plants that use up the nutrients.