Microworm Cultures

If done right this live food culture can be used over and over again, and never die on you. If you remember to care for them, they could last years!

1. The culture. Whether you get an already-started culture or a small package in the mail, you will want to get them started right.

2. The medium: I use Instant Oatmeal, Traditional Yeast, and water. Some people like to cook their oatmeal, but I find it a waste of time unless you want to eat some of the plain oatmeal. I add in the oatmeal, about 1/4″ ¬†or a tad more, then add a sprinkle of yeast. When adding the water I add a small amount at a time and mix it with a tooth pick (doesn’t pick up as much of the medium as a spoon would) until it is a nice paste… If it is too watery, add some more oatmeal.

3. Back to the culture: If you have a larger culture that you were given, you don’t need the whole thing for re-starting. I like to use a teaspoon scoop of the old media and worms from the side of the container (if there is any). Even if your old culture was deemed dead, there is possibly still two or more worms hiding out that will repopulate when you redo the culture medium. I recommend using a plastic container as I found my worms had a harder time climbing up the side of glass jars, than a plastic container. One important thing to remember, is that they still need air. They need to breathe. So, add pin prick holes in the lid, or if using a jar use the rim of the lid with paper towel underneath.

4. Where to keep them: I have heard of keeping them in cool and dry places, but I always found them to populate so slowly… So instead, I had them in my warm room. Now they have been extremely active, and there’s a ton in the 12 jars I got from two initial cultures!

5. when to move the culture to new medium: I tend to move them when they become darker in color, or begin to smell awfully vinegary.

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Epsom Salt

1-5 teaspoons per gallon as recommended. Slowly increase the dose over a period of time to avoid shock and possible death. This does not replace proper medications for issues such as internal parasites.

Please make a note: EPSOM SALT must be the 100% pure kind, fragrance free. Easily found in the pharmacy. Must be pre-dissolved before adding to the aquarium.

This is a method that replaces feeding daphnia (a live, or frozen food that acts as a laxative for fish) and the pea method (which I will talk about later).

It is commonly used for issues such as swim bladder disorder (SBD) and constipation. Such cases could be avoided with proper diet, and a warm, clean environment for your fish. However, sometimes you buy them that way – and so you need your fish to get better before things get worse!

Epsom salt is a safe, and natural way to help your fish pass a big ol’ poo, or heal the SBD problem. I’ve had a fish who was rescued, who had such bad SBD we were thinking it was going to end up chronic… Three months later he was getting better after many relapses. It happened – and yet it could have been prevented. I usually use up to 3 teaspoons per gallon, but in his case he got 5 teaspoons, to force the issue away. A daily full water change, plus even adding some indian almond leaves would benefit the fish. Keeping the temperature at 78-80 is the best idea, as constipation often happens when the fish is in colder water… The metabolism slows down as does the digestive system.

Aquarium Salt

1-5 teaspoons as needed. Build up the amount of salt over a period of time rather than all at once – going from fresh water to let’s say… 5 teaspoons per gallon in a 10 gallon can send the fish into shock and kill them.

Please make a mental note right away: PRE DISSOLVE THE SALT BEFORE ADDING FOR ANY REASON. There can be a lot of damage done to the fish if the salt is not dissolved beforehand. I know firsthand, back when I knew very little about our finned friendsūüôā I found out the hard way… Why should you?

Now, I know that many of you have heard of using aquarium salt as a preventative measure towards illnesses, or the general maintenance of your tanks… I have never once had to use salt for anything other than an actual illness or disease. I would never risk the fish’s health for some advice directed for regular fish.

Salt? Or NO Salt?

One thing you must understand about Betta fish is that they do differ from other fish. I subject them to the category of fish and amphibians that are unable to handle long term use with aquarium salt. Due to the labyrinth organ that allows them to breathe air from the surface it is not recommended to use aquarium salt for long term. Many times I have come across people who have been using salt in their tanks every water change… Some will even claim there is “no problems from using the salt” however others can testify problems they found after a long term use of AQ salt: Lethargy, tail biting, rough scales, laboured breathing, lack of appetite, dropsy, and eventually death.

What does the salt do?

Positive aspect shows that it boosts the immune system and wards off the infections, diseases and parasites.

However on the negative aspect it shows that the labyrinth organ deteriorates (much like our lungs when we smoke daily, or our liver when we drink constantly) as do other organs. When the organs fail, dropsy can set in – as the body is failing and unable to do anything other than wait to whither away. So, if you are using salt as a weekly additive – don’t do it! Wean your fishy off of the salt. I have never had to use salt long term for my Bettas… And I have yet to get an infection, parasite or disease during the last two years.

When Should Aquarium Salt be Used?

In some cases salt can be used. I have yet to come across a chronic problem that called for long term AQ salt use. However for short term use (7-14 days maximum as recommended) it can help a lot.

ICH is an annoying parasite that attacks hosts whose immune systems have crashed. Instead of using medications to heavily dose my fish, I use aquarium salt teamed up with the good old high temperature… I bring the temperature slowly to 84-86, which increases the cycle of the parasite – since the salt is only effective during free-swimming, it won’t do anything until they free-swim. Adding the salt dehydrates them. IF you see the parasites are “gone” I recommend another 3 days to make sure they are really gone… No one needs a relapse, especially your fish! Daily water changes also helps remove the pesky parasites, plus clean up the dead ones. ICH is unseen… What you see on the fish’s body is actually the body’s response to the foreign object (slime coat).

Another case could be bad fin rot. I’ve had a case where the poor fella was neglected for 6 months, and his fins were literally falling off in chunks. I had to act fast before it hit the body (body rot which may need proper medications). Usually with fin rot proper husbandry such as clean, warm water and a proper diet works the best. Safer for the fish! However there will always be cases where the salt will help a lot. It boosts the immune system and helps heal the external part of their body. I won’t exceed 14 days at the most (usually recommended is 10 days). A daily water change helps a lot as well, as long as you remember to re-add the salt you took out (example: 10 gallon = 1 tsps per gallon. 10 tsps – 50% water = add another 5 tsps back in).

 

Whatever the reason, use salt only if needed for medical purposes. 

Randy the Fish

This was brought on by a ridiculously small tank Ryan’s sister had. Plus, I had a random fake fish ornament that I had to do something with!

 

 

On another note, the fake fish was not the main attraction for Mickey! He is hypnotized…

 

PJ’s PETS in Kingsway Mall

Wow! That is what I sum up, for the PJ’s PETS in Kingsway Mall, Edmonton. Their set ups for the animals were thought out, and done well. The furries were handled, the parrots and parrotlets were being handled to ensure they would be more likely to find homes, and less likely to be stressed. The snakes were handled, and the fish tanks (and cups) were cleaned. There were no sick or dead fish in the tanks or cups.

Service: Great service! They constantly approached, asking if there was anything that I needed. The associates who were handling the animals were very open with talking about the animals Рtheir needs and behaviors.

Display: Everything was set up very nicely, clean and ready to be viewed by customers. Betta fish were in an odd spot at the end of an aisle, where I almost missed them.

Professional: No one was just standing around. For guinea pigs they actually recommended aspen, rather than the usual poison of pine or cedar. They knew what they were talking about, and took great pride in what they said.

Supplies: They are a rather small store, barely half the size of the one in West Edmonton Mall, however they had a decent amount of stock for the size of store. Not a place to go if you need everything Рbut a good store to go to for information, advice, and healthy animals.

Would I recommend them? Yes! Very friendly and knowledgeable staff teamed with healthy animals and decent amount of supplies? You cannot beat that!

NOTE: THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO ANY OTHER PJ’S PETS.

“Big Bull Betta Bowl”

0.2 gallons is equal to a double shot glass.

0.2 gallons is equal to a double shot glass.

Alright, alright, don’t shoot me! I actually bought this. BUT not to use… But for “show and tell” basis. Here, I am SHOWING you what I bought (color comes in random). Therefore all that is left, is for me to TELL you about this doodad.

First off, it is 3.5×3.5×4.5… That is equal to 0.2 gallons. It is directed at children.

Here, quoted from Big Al’s Online:

These colorful and animated bowls make an ideal home your precious Betta. The crystal-clear bowl allows for 360 degrees of viewing and the top is easily removed for feeding and maintenance. Comes in a variety of bright, vivid colors. Excellent for children and the young at heart. Measures approximately: 3.5″ x 3.5″ x 4.5″ NOTE: Color will be chosen randomly at the time of purchase.”

If you feel the urge to be “young at heart” and want to buy and use this… Shame. Shame on you. And the people who let you buy this death trap. 0.2 gallons is unacceptable. Marketing this for children is also very unacceptable. Try telling Johnny and Sarah that Mr. Fishy and Bubbles died because their parents thought fish were replaceable. They do feel pain, they suffer, they die. Don’t make your fish survive… Allow them to thrive!

I know reviews are for items that you buy and use. However, I won’t be sticking any fish in this thing. I will instead show you the uses for it, that have nothing to do with our beloved hobby (or anything that breathes).

UPDATE: I got it in the mail yesterday, and it fits in the palm of your hand. Very cheaply made, ¬†and holds a cup of water. There is a coin slot in the back… Which then I assume it used to be made as a “piggy bank” but they decided to sell it for fish in order for it to sell “better”. I’ll update a picture of what it can be used for. Again, the reason I bought it, is to showcase it as one of the WORST things to use to keep your precious Betta.

 

 

JANUARY 25 2013

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This salsa jar is 430 ml. For those of you who could not exactly imagine how small this “perfect home for your precious Betta” bowl is, there ya go.

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This slot in the back of the head is deadly proof of what this thing used to be. Guess they were not selling enough, and everyone knows… The pet industry is always raking in money.

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Best use: To keep change that is under 25 cents. It doesn’t fit the big money through the slot.