Saturday, March 21, 2009

Golden Retriever


The Golden Retriever is a symmetrical, powerfully active dog, and a well built hunter. They are known for displaying a kindly, compassionate expression. Golden Retrievers posses a personality that is eager, alert and self-confident. Primarily a hunting dog, he works well in difficult conditions. medium-sized dog possessing exceptional athleticism and balance. Their well-built frame enables them to have the stamina and ability to hunt waterfowl and/or upland game for long periods of time. The most distinguishing characteristics of the Golden Retriever is its thick, soft, luxurious, water-resistant coat. An important aspect of the Golden Retriever is its above average intelligence. The Golden Retriever is easily trained and make great companions because they have a mild, gentle temperament.

Consistently ranked as the most popular breed of dog, the Golden Retriever personifies everything we love about dogs-loyal, loving, patient, great with children and eager to please. With such great intelligence, it’s no wonder that Golden Retrievers excel in obedience competitions and at performing tricks. It should be no surprise that the Golden ranks highly on list of top 10 most affectionate dogs.


Golden Retrievers are exceptionally intelligence, and can learn up to roughly 240 commands, words and phrases. The Golden Retriever ranks 4th in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs, being one the the brightest dogs ranked by obedience command trainability. These dogs are also renowned for their patience with children.They are considered by many to be one of the most intelligent bird dog breeds. In fact, they are often used as seeing-eye dogs. Since they are so intelligent, they are easily trained, and very obedient. Once trained, they will work diligently for you. They make exceptional family dogs and fantastic gundogs.

Golden Retrievers are calm, well mannered, and extremely affectionate. They are easy to train as well, very intelligent, and great for those who need a companion. Golden's are also loyal to their owners, lovable, and great with children of all ages. They also make great watchdogs as well, as they will bark loud and let you know when a stranger is near. This mixture of intelligence and loyalty mark them as a natural choice for families. This is a devoted breed, one that will do everything they can to please.
Other characteristics related to their hunting heritage are a size suited for scrambling in and out of boats and an inordinate love for water. Golden Retrievers are exceptionally trainable—due to their intelligence, athleticism and desire to please their handlers—and generally excel in obedience trials. In fact, the first AKC Obedience Trial Champion was a Golden Retriever. They are also very competitive in agility and other performance events. Harsh training methods are unnecessary as Golden Retrievers often respond very well to positive and upbeat training styles.

Golden Retrievers are compatible with children and adults and are good with other dogs, cats and most livestock. Golden Retrievers are particularly valued for their high level of sociability towards people, calmness, and willingness to learn. Because of this, they are commonly used as guide dogs, mobility assistance dogs, and search and rescue dogs. They are friendly and tend to learn tricks easily.

Coat and color:

The coat should be dense and waterproof, and may be straight or moderately wavy. It should not be silky, hard, or wooly. It must lie flat against the body. The AKC standard states that the coat is a "rich, lustrous golden of various shades", disallowing coats that are extremely light or extremely dark. This leaves the outer ranges of coat color up to a judge's discretion when competing in conformation shows. Judges may also disallow goldens with brown or pink noses, though these are very rare. The Golden's coat can also be what people call a 'mahogany' color, or what people see as 'redheads' in people. As a golden grows older their coats can become darker shades or lighter tints of brown, along with or excluding a noticeable whitening of the fur on and around the face.


Golden Retrievers reach their full height around one year of age and full weight around age two, though many owners comment that their dogs retain their puppyish nature for life. They are 56 - 61 cm (22-24 ins) at the withers for males, and 51 - 56 cm (20-22 ins) for females.They weigh 29 - 34 kg (65-75 lb) for males, and 27-32 kg (60-70 lb) for females.

Here are a few more interesting facts about golden retrievers:

- Golden retrievers mouths are very soft, which allows them to retrieve a lot of different things, including living things, undamaged or unharmed.
- Golden retrievers have an instinctive love for water, which is quite different from other dogs. This can make bathing them a little bit easier and also allows them to help hunt game near bodies of water.
- Golden retrievers were bred specifically with human companionship in mind. A golden retriever that has been deprived of a human companion will typically become stressed and hyperactive. (Having a companion dog to be with can alleviate this to some degree, but they still need lots of human interaction.)

Other Interesting Facts About Golden Retrievers.

- Gerald Ford, the 38th president of the United States of America, owned a golden retriever named Liberty.
- Clark Kent's pet dog Krypto in the TV show Smallville is a golden retriever.
- Golden retrievers need lots of exercise. They are very energetic and active and would eventually get sick if not given enough daily exercise. They love to play "catch." One of our favorite games to play is chasing after tennis balls.
- Golden retrievers have a much higher pain tolerance than many other dogs, which makes them ideal for more dangerous roles such as police dog and hunting helpers.
- While instinctively fond of water, golden retrievers can still be a challenge to bathe because their coats are very dense and water repellent.

If you are considering a family pet, I highly recommend a golden retriever. They will quickly become your best friend and life-long companion.



Dachshunds come in two sizes, standard and miniature, and three types of coats: smooth-haired, longhaired and wirehaired. The breed is easily distinguished by its low, long muscular body and disproportionately stubby legs-perfect for moving about in the tunnel or den of a badger. Despite their lapdog status, this breed has stamina and agility and displays great.

The dachshund is a short-legged, elongated dog breed of the hound family. The breed's name is German and literally means "badger dog". Due to the long, narrow build, they are sometimes referred to as a wiener dog or a sausage dog.

Dachshunds may look cute and cuddly, but they are tirelessly energetic, clever and curious—some might even say “intense.” Always up for a walk or a game in the park, they can easily get bored when left to their own devices for too long. Sometimes, that can involve chewing things.

Things you should know

Dachshunds are proud and bold. With proper attention, positive reinforcement and training, they will surprise you with a lovable and dependable temperament. They thrive with single people or families with older children. Very young children could lack the necessary patience and maturity required with Dachshunds.

Miniature dachshunds are prone to back problems, due to their relatively long spine and short rib cage. If allowed to jump down from a bed or couch, they can easily slip a disk. For this reason, it is also important to hold them properly, supporting their full frame.
Also, be sure to ration their food appropriately: Dachshunds can gain weight quickly, causing more back problems and other issues.

A healthy Miniature Dachshund can live as long as 16 years, providing years of fun and companionship.

Average Size:

Standard Dachshunds are 8 inches and weigh 16-32 pounds. Miniature Dachshunds are 6 inches and usually weigh under 11 pounds.


Dachshund's are lively little dogs with an independent nature and playful spirit. They tend to bond deeply with one person, and although they love to play, they often do so by their own sets of rules. This breed is highly intelligent, but their independent nature can make them a bit mischievous and difficult to train. Still, they are loyal and affectionate and make wonderful companions. Many dachshunds do not like unfamiliar people, and many will growl or bark at them. Although the dachshund is generally an energetic dog, some are sedate. This dog's behavior is such that it is not the dog for everyone. The dachshund's temperament may vary greatly from dog to dog. Long-haired dachshunds have a calmer, intelligent character inherited from the spaniel. Wire-hair doxies have much of the terrier's spunky personality.


The breed is known to have spinal problems, especially intervertebral disk disease (IVDD), due in part to an extremely long spinal column and short rib cage. The risk of injury may be worsened by obesity, jumping, rough handling, or intense exercise, which place greater strain on the vertebrae.


The longhaired and wirehaired coat varieties require more grooming. In general, Dachshunds are medium shedders, have very little dog odor and need less bathing than most other small breeds. This breed requires standard care for eyes, ears, pads and nails.


Dachshunds exhibit three coat varieties: smooth coat, long hair, and wire-hair. Wire hair is the least commonly seen coat and the most recent coat to appear in breeding standards. Many people are unfamiliar with wire-hairs and commonly mistake them for other breeds.

Dachshunds have a wide variety of colors and patterns. They can be single-colored, single colored with spots ("dappled"—called "merle" in other dog breeds), and single-colored with tan points plus any pattern. Dachshunds also come in Piebald. The piebald has a white background with various shades of brown. The dominant color is red, the most common along with black and tan. Two-colored dogs can be black, blue, wild boar, chocolate, or fawn ("Isabella") with tan "points", or markings over the eyes, ears, paws, and tail, of tan or cream.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Siamese fighting fish

The Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens), also known as the "betta fish" or just "betta", is one of the most popular species of freshwater aquarium fish. It is native to the rice paddies of Thailand and called pla-kad or pla-kat ("Biting Fish") in its native Thailand. They were first domesticated in 1893 for combat where wagers were made on the outcome of the fight. It wasn't until the 1920s before aquarists began keeping them in home aquariums.

The name Betta is not to be confused with the Greek letter beta. Instead, the name of the genus is derived from ikan bettah, taken from a local dialect of Thailand.

Bettas suffer from a very common misconception about them, even among aquarium hobbyists: they're reputed (as the common name suggests) for being incredibly aggressive and must be kept isolated. This is NOT true! In general, females are quite peaceful, and males are only aggressive towards other males of the same species (they may even fight to death) and sometimes to fish that look like them, such as dwarf gouramies and paradise fish. Because of this aggression between males, and the fact that Bettas can breath directly from the air, they are kept in those tiny pots in pet shops. But just because they can survive in those pots doesn't mean they enjoy it. Like any other fish, Bettas will be much happier and healthier if they live in a tank which at least allows them to swim around a little.


When face-to-face, two male bettas will extend their fins and open their gills (this is called flaring) to try and intimidate the other. If neither backs down then a fight will occur until one retreats or is dead. They often do this over territory or to protect their fry. Males will also flare when courting females.

Male and female Bettas flare or "puff out" their gill covers (opercula) in order to appear more impressive, either to intimidate other rivals or as an act of courtship. Females and males will display horizontal bars (unless they are too light a colour for this to show) if stressed or frightened. Females often flare their gills at other females, especially when setting up a pecking order. Flirting fish behave similarly, with vertical instead of horizontal stripes indicating a willingness and readiness to breed. Bettas sometimes require a place to hide, even in the absence of threats. Bettas may set up a territory centered on a plant or rocky alcove, sometimes becoming highly possessive of it and aggressive toward trespassing rivals.

On average, males are more aggressive, though individual females, especially crowntails, demonstrate a wide range in level of aggression. The aggression of bettas has been studied by ethologists and comparative psychologists. Bettas will even respond aggressively to their own reflections in a mirror; use of a mirror avoids the risk of physical damage inherent in actual conflict.


An organ called a labyrinth allows bettas to breathe air from the water surface, thus permitting them to live in water with low oxygen levels. Because of this ability aquarists often keep bettas in small containers, but ideally a 2-gallon filtered tank or more is better and allows the bettas to stretch their fins. Tank temperatures for the betta should range between 76 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Don't allow temperatures to quickly fluctuate more than a degree or two, as this will cause undue stress to the betta.


Bettas have upturned mouths and are primarily carnivorous surface feeders.In nature Bettas subsist almost exclusively on insects and insect larvae. They are well suited to snatching any hapless insect that might fall into the water. Internally their digestive system is geared for meat, having a much shorter alimentary track than vegetarian fish. For this reason, live foods are the ideal diet for the betta, however they will adapt to eating flake foods and frozen and freeze dried foods.

Brine shrimp, Daphnia, plankton, tubifex, glassworms, and beef heart, are all excellent options that may be found frozen or freeze dried. If flake food is fed, it should be supplemented with frozen and freeze-dried foods, and if possible live foods.

Reproduction & nesting

The Siamese fighting fish mate in a fashion that is called "nuptial embrace", in which the male and female spiral around each other, around 10-41 eggs are released and fertilized at each embrace, until the female is exhausted of eggs. Once the female has released all of her eggs, she is removed from the tank, as it is likely that she'll eat the eggs due to hunger. The male carefully keeps every egg in his bubble nest, making sure none fall to the bottom, and repairing the bubble nest as needed. Incubation last 30-40 hours, and the eggs hatch in 3-4 days.

Betta males build bubble nests of various sizes and thicknesses at the surface of the water. During and after spawning, the male uses his mouth to retrieve sinking eggs and deposit them in the bubble nest. After approximately two days the eggs hatch, and after three more they become free-swimming fry; The male will try to keep the fry near the bubble nest in order to keep them alive while their gills develope. Once the fry are older the male fry and male parent will fight so it is best to remove all males from the tank and place separetly. Betta fry are fed infusoria for the first several days, followed by newly hatched brine shrimp or similarly sized food.

Tail shapes

Breeders have developed several different tail shapes:
-Veiltail (non-symmetrical tail, only two rays)
-Crowntail (highly frilled, extended spiny rays)
-Combtail (less extended version of the crown tail)
-Half-moon (large tail fin that forms a 180-degree or larger circle segment)
-Short-finned fighting style (sometimes called "plakat")
-Double-tail (the tail fin is split into two lobes and the dorsal fin is significantly elongated)
-Delta tail (tail span is less than half-moon with sharp edges)
-Fantail (a rounded delta tail)

Disease & personality

Disease is a natural occurrence in fish, and bettas will contract their share of it. Some of the more common diseases found in bettas are fin rot, fungus, and ick, however, they are susceptible to other diseases as well. There are measures that you can take to prevent disease, such as doing regular water changes, feeding the proper foods, and keeping the stress levels at a minimum. This does not mean that disease won't strike, and even some of the more seasoned aquarists will encounter disease.

One of the first things a new betta owner notices is the betta's large personality, making it very easy to fall in love with this beautiful fish. After a short while they will associate you with food, and will eagerly greet you at feeding times and at other times will beg for a morsel or tidbit. Don't let this show of behavior sucker you to giving into them; they're not as hungry as they make out to be. Although bettas are not one of the longest-lived fish, they can live between 3 and 5 years with proper care and maintenance, and will become a wonderful friend that leaves a lasting impression.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Saint Bernard

The St. Bernard Dog is a very large breed of dog, a working dog from the Swiss Alps, originally bred for rescue. The breed has become famous through tales of alpine rescues, as well as for its enormous size.The Saint Bernard is a very large, strong, muscular dog, with a powerful head. As long as the weight stays in proportion with the height, the taller the dog the more prized. There are two types of coat: rough, and smooth, but both are very dense and come in white with markings in tan, red, mahogany, brindle, and black - in various combinations. The face and ears are usually shaded with black and the expression is intelligent and gentle. In the rough-coated dogs, the hair is slightly longer and there is feathering on the thighs and legs. The feet are large with strong well-arched toes, making the Saint Bernard's sure-footed in the snow and ice. They have a highly developed sense of smell and also seem to have a sixth sense about impending danger from storms and avalanches.


The name "St. Bernard" originates from traveler's hospice on the often treacherous St. Bernard Pass in the Western Alps between Switzerland and Italy, where the name was passed to the local dogs. The pass, the lodge, and the dogs are named for Bernard of Menthon, the 11th century monk who established the station.
"St. Bernard" wasn't in widespread use until the middle of the 19th century. The dogs were called "Saint Dogs","Noble Steeds", "Alpenmastiff", or "Barry Dogs" before that time.


The St. Bernard is a very large dog with a large and massive head. A full-grown male can weigh between 160 and 240 lb (73–110 kg) or more and the approximate height at the withers is 27½ inches to 35½ inches (70 to 90 cm). The coat can be either smooth or rough, with the smooth coat close and flat. The rough coat is dense but flat, and more profuse around the neck and legs. The coat is typically a red colour with white, or sometimes a mahogany brindle with white. Black shading is usually found on the face and ears. The tail is long and heavy, hanging low with the end turned up slightly.

The dark eyes should have naturally tight lids, with "haws only slightly visible". Ectropion or entropion are listed in the breed standard as serious faults, indicating that the dog should not be bred. Other faults include aggressiveness, flews of the lower jaw turning outwards, eyelids too loose, curly coat, and sway back or roach back. See the article Dog terminology for an explanation of terms. Faults do not always indicate that a dog would not be a good companion, only that the dog should not be bred.


Saint Bernards are extremely gentle and friendly and very tolerant of children. Slow moving, patient, and obedient. Extremely loyal, this breed wants to please. Since this dog is so giant, be sure to socialize it very well at a young age with other people. It is highly intelligent and easy to train, however training should begin early, while the dog is still a manageable size. Teach this dog not to jump on humans starting at puppyhood.

Bear in mind that an unruly dog of this size presents a problem for even a strong adult if it is to be exercised in public areas on a leash, so take control from the onset. The Saint Bernard is a good watchdog. Even its size is a good deterrent. They drool after they drink or eat. Be sure you remain the dog's pack leader. Dogs want nothing more than to know what is expected of them and the St Bernard is no exception. Allowing a dog of this size and magnitude to be unruly can be dangerous, and shows poor ownership skills.

Grooming & care

The Saint Bernard's coat is shed twice a year. They require daily brushing with a firm bristle brush to keep hair around the home down to a minimal amount. Bathing should only be done when necessary using a mild shampoo to avoid stripping the coat of its essential oils. Their eyes and ears must be checked and cleaned regularly to keep them free of irritants. The Saint Bernard is prone to such health issues as wobbler syndrome, heart problems, skin disorders, and bloating. They have no tolerance for hot weather. Twisted stomachs should be watched for. As these dogs are prone to bloat, it is best to feed them two or three small meals a day instead of one large meal.


The Saint Bernard breed has two different coat varieties: the smooth or shorthaired, and the rough or longhaired. Both varieties of coat are extremely dense in texture and are water resistant. The coat of the Saint Bernard is typically white with tan, red, mahogany, black or brindle markings in various combinations. They are heavy shedders.

Related Breeds

The breed is strikingly similar to that of the English Mastiff. This can be attributed to a common shared ancestry with the Alpine Mastiff. It is suspected that St. Bernards were used to redevelop this breed to combat the threat of their extinction after World War II.

The four Sennenhund breeds, the Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund (Greater Swiss Mountain Dog), the Berner Sennenhund, (Bernese Mountain Dog), the Appenzeller Sennenhund, (Appenzeller), and the Entlebucher Sennenhund (Entlebucher Mountain Dog) are similar in appearance and share the same location and history, but are tricolour rather than red and white.


This is a very ancient breed. It was founded in AD 980 by St Bernard de Menthon as a refuge for travelers through the perilous Alpine pass between Switzerland and Italy. It is descended from the Tibetan mastiff and therefore must have originated with the mastiff brought to the Alps by the Romans around the year 1000. The monks probably crossed the ancient mastiff with the Great Dane and the Great Pyrenees. Its use and popularity as a rescue dog began in the middle of the seventeenth century.

The Saint Bernard was used as an avalanche and rescue dog in the snowy passes near the Hospice. More then 2,000 people have been saved by this amazing servant of mankind. The dogs search out and find the lost or injured traveler, and then lick him and lie next to him to give him warmth. Then one dog from the party heads back to the Hospice to get a full rescue team. The Saint Bernard's sense of smell is so excellent that he can find a person even under many feet of snow. This breed is also known for his ability to foretell storms and avalanches, perhaps because he may hear very low frequency sounds that are beyond our ability to hear. There are two varieties: short-haired and long-haired. The short-haired variety is more often used for mountain work because he can tolerate cold temperatures. The long-haired variety's coat tends to collect icicles. Some of the Saint Bernard's talents are search & rescue, watchdog and carting.

Record size

St. Bernards were exported to England in the mid 1800s, where they were bred with mastiffs to create an ever larger dog. Plinlimmon, a famous St. Bernard of the time, was measured at 95kg (210lbs) and 87.5cm (24 1/2ins), and was sold to an American for $7000. Commercial pressure encouraged carelessly breeding ever larger dogs until "the dogs became so gross that they had difficulties in getting from one end of a show ring to another".

The world's heaviest and largest dog in known history was a Saint Bernard named Benedictine, which weighed 162 kg (357 lbs), even though there have been unconfirmed reports of heavier Newfoundland (dog). Benedictine surpassed Zorba, the largest English mastiff on record, which measured 8 feet, 3 inches long and weighed 343 lb. Benedictine currently holds the world record for the heaviest dog that ever lived. This weight was provided, not by direct measurement, but by "successive studies", and the lower weight of 152.5kg (336 lbs) is sometimes cited, which would put Benedictine back into second place among all time heaviest dogs.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Arowana Fish (sometimes called dragon fish) can be a great choice for those that think big. Some varieties can grow up to Four feet long (120cm). They can be feisty, though become tamer with age to the point of eating from your fingers, and not the fingers themselves. The Arowana Fish comes from somewhat primitive origins (Jurassic Age), and some varieties are nicknamed “Bony Tongued Fish”.

Arowanas, also known as aruanas or arawanas are freshwater bony fish of the family Osteoglossidae, sometimes known as "bonytongues". In this family of fishes, the head is bony and the elongate body is covered by large, heavy scales, with a mosaic pattern of canals. The dorsal and the anal fins have soft rays and are long based, while the pectoral and ventral fins are small. The name "bonytongues" is derived from a toothed bone on the floor of the mouth, the "tongue", equipped with teeth that bite against teeth on the roof of the mouth. The fish can obtain oxygen from air by sucking it into the swim bladder, which is lined with capillaries like lung tissue. The arapaima is an "obligatory air breather".


Osteoglossids are carnivorous, often being specialized surface feeders. They are excellent jumpers; it has been reported that Osteoglossum species have been seen leaping more than 6 feet (almost 2 metres) from the water surface to pick off insects and birds from overhanging branches in South America, hence the nickname "water monkeys". Arowanas have been rumored to capture prey as large as low flying bats and small birds. All species are large, and the arapaima is one of the world's largest freshwater fish, at 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) in length. Arowana typically grow to around 3 to 4 feet in captivity.

Several species of osteoglossid exhibit extensive parental care. They build nests and protect the young after they hatch. Some species are mouthbrooders, the parents holding sometimes hundreds of eggs in their mouths. The young may make several tentative trips outside the parent's mouth to investigate the surroundings before leaving permanently.

Diet for Arowana

Arowana prefer live food or at the very least floating food. They will generally not eat from the bottom of the tank. To this end keeping your Arowana with a suitable bottom feeder may be a good idea.

These foods can include: worms, crickets, grasshoppers, locus, fly, small frogs, small fish (limited quantities) and shrimps with shells. Some Arowana may take floating fish food.Some foods help to promote a good colour in your fish. Prawns contain cerotine which helps bring out the red and gold colours of the Arowana fish.

It is recommended however to maintain a varied and balanced diet for any Arowana Fish.Feeding patterns effect both size and colour of your Arowana Fish. Over feeding can make your fish grow faster however this may adversely affect both colour and long term health of the fish. Since the size, colour and health of your fish are all very important, you are advised not to regularly overfeed any Arowana Fish.

Cultural beliefs

Asian arowanas are considered "lucky" by many people, particularly those from Asian cultures. This reputation derives from the species' resemblance to the Chinese dragon, considered an auspicious symbol. The large metallic scales and double barbels are features shared by the Chinese dragon, and the large pectoral fins are said to make the fish resemble "a dragon in full flight."

In addition, positive Feng Shui associations with water and the colours red and gold make these fishes popular for aquariums. One belief is that while water is a place where chi gathers, it is naturally a source of yin energy and must contain an "auspicious" fish such as an arowana in order to have balancing yang energy. Another is that a fish can preserve its owner from death by dying itself.

Myths of Arowana

There are many stories of Arowana succumbing to ailments similar to their owners, and the owner subsequently recovering in record time. This extends to a believe that the fish may save its owner from death by dying itself. Often people who have come in contact with Arowana or the Arowana community hear stories of owners dying and shortly thereafter the fish jumping out the tank, or in a more fortunate of circumstances a miraculous escape from a car accident and on returning home the owner finds an Arowana died at around the same time as the accident.

As unbelievable as it sounds the number of stories and closeness of events does beg the question is there more to this than myth?

Price & Value

Arowana can range in price from a few hundred pounds up to in excess of £250,000. The value of the fish is determined by a number of factors:

-Colour the definition and contrast of the colour increases the value, the more unusual combination and the more striking the colours the greater the value.
-Depth of colour, the more of the body that is coloured the greater the value.
-Dimensions, as always the proportions and size of the fish effect the value.
-Blemishes, sunburn, marks, cuts, bites etc reduce the price of the fish.
-Uniqueness, this takes many forms, if it is through deformity but a completely unique event, the price of the fish can be hugely elevated. Missing tail sections or deformed jaws that occur in a visually appealing way can make the fish very valuable to someone seeking something unusual. If the deformation is irregular it can completely devalue the fish.
-Personality, due to the uniqueness of each fish and how they interact, their personalities and the connection a potential buyer has with the fish can set the value.
-Age, although this does not directly effect the price, many of the above cannot be determined until the fish is approaching 24 months old. This means that although juvenile fish are significantly cheaper, they are a gamble as to the older fish you are purchasing. To guarantee elements the fish must be much older, by which time a higher price will be set. (Even with super red fish, one can not necessarily say if it will be red or orange if purchased below 12 inches).

Arowana Varities

Australian Pearl Arowana

Panda - Gold & Super Red Arowana

Red Arowana

Black Arowana & Green Arowana

Silver Arowana & Blue Arowana

Wednesday, February 25, 2009



Canaries can be housed indoors in a large wire cage with a plastic base or outdoors in a purpose-built aviary. The cage should have some horizontal bars set at different heights as they love to hop from one perch to another this makes many round cages unsuitable. Bars should be no wider than 12mm apart to prevent escape. Kept outdoors, your aviary should allow room for the birds to fly around properly. Canaries kept indoors should be let out of their cage daily to exercise once they are familiar with the room make sure you keep all doors and windows closed when you do this. Covering the cage with a cloth at night will encourage your birds to settle down for sleep.

The cage should be located away from draughts and direct sunlight. Sand sheets or bird sand must be placed in the bottom of the cage – Canaries need this to help digest their food.

Relationship with humans

This species is often kept as pets. Selective breeding has produced many varieties, differing in colour and shape. Yellow birds are particularly common while red birds have been produced by interbreeding with the Red Siskin. Canaries were formerly used by miners to warn of dangerous gases. The bird is also widely used in scientific research. Canaries are often depicted in the media with Tweety Bird being a well-known example.


It is 12.5 cm long, with a wingspan of 20-23 cm and a weight of 15-20 g. The male has a largely yellow-green head and underparts with a yellower forehead, face and supercilium. The lower belly and undertail-coverts are whitish and there are some dark streaks on the sides. The upperparts are grey-green with dark streaks and the rump is dull yellow. The female is similar to the male but duller with a greyer head and breast and less yellow underparts. Juvenile birds are largely brown with dark streaks.

It is about 10% larger, longer and less contrasted than its relative the Serin, and has more grey and brown in its plumage and relatively shorter wings.

The song is a silvery twittering similar to the songs of the Serin and Citril Finch.

Types of Canary

Canaries come in assorted breeds, colours and markings. Common breeds are Gloster Coroner, Yorkshire, Fife, and crested. Typical markings include buff, clear yellow, white, and brown variegated.


Canaries in the wild eat a wide range of seeds, grains, and vegetation. A specially-formulated Canary mix makes a good basic diet although supplements may also be required. Small pieces of fresh fruit and vegetables may also be given as treats and fresh drinking water should always be available. Certain foods can be harmful to your birds - avoid giving them lettuce, avocado, lemon, potato, or any sweets or drinks designed for human consumption.

Cuttlefish can be given to provide extra calcium and grit should be available to aid digestion. An egg food can also be given occasionally. This helps canaries maintain their colour and is especially good for breeding and pregnant birds.

Looking after your Canaries

Exercise & Entertainment:

Canaries naturally enjoy playing so provide them with plenty of toys to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Canaries cannot talk, but cock birds will sing quite loudly and repetitively during the mating season ! Hen birds will ‘cheep’ rather than sing. You should provide a bath for your Canaries, either fixed to the outside of the cage or a shallow bowl placed inside the cage although some birds may prefer to be sprayed with tepid water instead.


Although friendly, Canaries will rarely become tame enough to perch on your finger unless hand-reared. They will usually respond when you talk to them although unlike budgies, they will not mimic your voice. To pick up a Canary, ensure your palm covers its back and wings while your middle and index finger surround the bird’s neck. Use your other fingers to support its body and feet. Be gentle – Canaries will bite if they feel stressed or threatened. If catching an aviary bird use a padded rim net and never try to catch it in mid flight - always wait until it is perched safely.


Canaries can be mated from about 9 months old and will produce a clutch of 4-6 eggs in about 14 days. As with all pets, breeding Canaries requires much commitment of time and effort. It is recommended that you therefore seek expert advice and do appropriate research before considering keeping a breeding pair and only if you’re certain you can find good homes for the babies.

Tips for a happy healthy Canary


Canaries prefer the company of their own kind and should not be kept alone. They can be kept in pairs (hens with cocks) although if just keeping a few birds together, either sex should be fine. For larger aviaries it’s usually best to keep more hens than cocks – otherwise the cock birds may fight over the hens. You can also mix pairs of Canaries with other soft-billed small birds such as Finches although if kept in a breeding aviary you shouldn’t mix more than 2 species.


Excessive moulting can indicate stress – seek advice from your vet. As with all birds, if you are worried about any aspect of your Canary’s health, seek advice from an Avian veterinarian. For a healthy life, your Canary needs the following:

-A good balanced diet with no sudden changes
-Plenty of toys to keep them amused
-Water bottle and feed bowls cleaned daily
-Use peaches that file nails avoiding clipping by a vet or experienced person which is stressful for your bird
-A daily bath – essential for their preening activities
-Regular exercise outside their cage

Saturday, February 14, 2009


The Himalayan is one of the most popular breeds of cats and they are colloquially referred as Himmy. These longhair, blue-eyed beauties capture the eyes and hearts of cat lovers all over the world. Himalayan is the American term, while in Europe they are referred to as colorpoint Persians. Himalayans rank high in affection toward their owners, need for attention, and compatibility with children and other pets. Himalayans are outgoing, yet will sometimes slyly sit back and observe a situation before approaching.

The pet Himalayan is intrigued by guests and not shy about planting himself in the center of a party or social gathering. However, the pet Himalayan’s heart belongs to its owner and he is dependent on him for reassurance and security. Central Pets reports that Himalayan cats will often greet you at the door and follow you around the house, telling you about their day.

Himalayan History

The history of the Himalayan is well known and documented. Experimental breeding of Himalayans took place in the United States and England as far back as the early 1920's when the Persian and Siamese breeds were bred together, but actual recognition as a purebred cat did not come until 1957 in USA. The name Himalayan because their coat patterns were similar to that of the rabbits and goats with the same colouring found in the Himalayans in Asia. Early Himalayan cats looked more like Siamese but now have the same head and body type as other Persians.


Himalayans exercise a wide range of vocal cues to communicate their needs to you. After exposure to their different yowls, growls, soft meows and sometimes, insistent yowls, you will soon learn to speak their language. You’ll know when they are hungry, tired, or just in need of some attention.


They have lovely, gentle, affectionate personalities. They're calm, easy going, not particularly active and fairly quiet. They are good with other pets, but prefer environments that aren't too noisy or lively. For this reason, they're better with older children if they are living with a family.
Their fur is very prone to matting, and must be combed on a daily basis. Some with longer fur may need regular bathing to keep it in good condition.

These cats can sometimes suffer from watery eyes and breathing problems because of their flat faces. The breed is also more prone to cat kidney failure than most other breeds. Whilst their lovely personalities mean they make wonderful pets, they are only suitable for people who have the time to comb them every day, wash their faces and bath them.

Body type

The body of a Himalayan is white or cream, but the points come in many different colors: blue, brown, lilac, chocolate, flame, red and cream. The points can also be tabby or tortoiseshell-patterned. Both the chocolate and lilac point Himalayan are the most difficult to produce. These color traits are autosomal recessive, meaning both parents must possess the gene in order for any offspring to express the trait. The Himalayan cat has short legs which makes it harder for them to jump as high as other cats do. Also they have very round bodies and weigh around 13 pounds on average.

Color points

Blue Point: A cat whose blue coat color is confined to the points: the feet, ears, tail, and face mask.
Chocolate Point: Chocolate color on the points (face mask, ears, tail, and legs), as opposed to the darker seal brown.
Cream/Flame Point:These colors can be very close. There are hot creams and light reds. If both parent cats are definitely dilutes (blue, cream or bluecream), the offspring cannot be a flame point.
Seal Point:Sealbrown color on the points.

One person cat

Some Himalayans are 'one-person' cats; they will bond with one person in the household and trail them from room to room. This doesn't mean they are indifferent to other family members, just that they like to be wherever 'their' person is. Fortunately, they can adopt a new 'one-person' if circumstances require it.

A particular Himmie named Gordon belonged to an elderly woman. When she died, her family was a little worried about him, since he was extremely devoted to her. But when one of the woman's daughters took the cat back to her home, he eventually decided that the daughter was now 'his person' and follows her around just like he did his original owner.

Is Himalayan right for your family?

Himalayans are affectionate and friendly, making them good family pets. Their outgoing personalities and playful natures make them very engaging. However, your Himalayan kitty is more likely to be opinionated than his classic Persian cousins. He may be finicky about food, toys or his favorite sleeping spots, however a Himalayan kitty will love you all the more when you humor his little moods. While each cat is unique, most Himmies are friendly with other animals and are good pets for families with children.

The biggest issue with having a Himalayan cat as art of your family is whether you are committed to the time requirements of the grooming rituals. If you can't plan on 20 minutes of brushing per day, you should probably look for another breed. On the other hand, if you are willing to give your cat this special attention, you will be rewarded with the addition of a very special member of your family.