A Beginners Guide to Setting up a Home Aquarium

A Beginners Guide to Setting up a Home Aquarium

Lots of us like the idea of having an aquarium full of fish and other creatures in our homes. Not only are fish extremely relaxing to watch, but evidence has shown that people who watch fish are happier and less stressed. If you’ve purchased an aquarium or are thinking about buying the equipment to set one up then keep reading below to find out how to go about it:

The Equipment You’ll Need

There are a number of pieces of equipment you will need to successfully set up an aquarium in your home. These include:

  • An aquarium – a 20-gallon aquarium is recommended for beginners. Aquariums that are larger in size and capacity are usually more stable.
  • Gravel – you will need to choose gravel for your aquarium which is fine enough to encourage nitrifying bacteria but coarse enough to allow water to flow. Coarse sands, creek stones, and glass gravel are brilliant choices. 
  • Heater – heaters are essential in aquariums to limit disease. Having a heater in your aquarium allows you to keep tropical fish. You will need to work what wattage you need in order to find the best aquarium heaters for your tank. 
  • Filter – you need a filter that can turn over 3-5 times the tank volume every hour. 
  • Replacement filter cartridges – filters need to be replaced regularly to help keep the water debris-free and clear. 
  • Decorations – you may choose to add plants or other items to decorate your aquarium
  • Water test kit – you should test the water before adding fish to your tank.
  • Food –good quality food will result in brightly colored fish.
  • Vacuum – the vacuum will clean debris and feces from the gravel.
  • Glass scrubber – this will help keep your aquarium sparkling clean. 

Finding a Home for Your Aquarium

Before you get started, you need to think about where you are going to place your tank and make sure that it’s placed on even ground. Floors that aren’t level may place undue stress on the tank and lead to the aquarium glass cracking. 

If your aquarium is large then you should choose a surface that is flat and hard, like a cabinet. For smaller aquariums, a reinforced piece of furniture that has a flat top can work well. 

You will also need to make sure that the aquarium is placed near to an electrical socket so that the heaters and the filter will work. Remember, electricity and water are not a good mix so keeping your setup simple with a single power outlet is advised. Feel free to check out this review on the best betta tank

Setting up the Aquarium

Once you’ve found a place for your aquarium to live, you’ll want to start setting it up. Before starting, you need to wash the gravel. This will help stop the water from turning cloudy. It’s a good idea to wash the gravel up to five times to remove any dirt from the surface. When the gravel is clean, you’ll need to gently place it at the bottom of the aquarium. Smooth the gravel out with the palm of your hand to create an even base. 

Next, you need to fill up the tank using a hosepipe or tap. When it’s full, you should use a water de-chlorinator to get rid of any chlorination that has built up over time. Add heaters, filters, and lighting to your tank. In large aquariums, two heaters are recommended. Place the heater on the glass in an area where there is low visibility and good water flow. You should set the temperature 74-80-degrees Fahrenheit. 

Once your tank is set up you will need to “CYCLE” it. This will help increase the de-nitrifying bacteria and is an important part of setting up your home aquarium. You need to monitor the aquarium after each cycle by using a freshwater test kit. And that’s it, all you need to do now is choose your fish. 

Setting up an aquarium in your own home may sound hard, but it’s pretty straight forward if you have the right equipment and know how to set it up correctly. Follow our advice above and you’ll soon be able to enjoy spending time relaxing in front of your aquarium. 

How to Teach Your Dog & Cat to Get Along

How to Teach Your Dog & Cat to Get Along

“C’mon kids, quit fighting like cats and dogs!” Does that sentence ring a bell or two?

Dogs and cats are not your typical set of best friends, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be the best of buds.

With the right amount of understanding, patience, and let’s not forget the treats, you can properly teach your dog and cat to get along and coexist in peace.

Some dog and cat couples will take to each other easier and quicker than others, but it’s not just a dog vs. cat thing. Dogs meeting other dogs and cats meeting other cats also requires some patience, and maybe a little bit of luck.

Here are 9 tips for teaching your dog and cat to get along with each other.

1. Introduce Their Belongings First

When first introducing a dog to a cat or vice versa, it’s important to “set them up” on a blind date. Meaning, you’ll want to let their noses first discover the other species before ever letting them come face to face, which could spark a territorial battle.

Oftentimes, cats and dogs are thrown into the pen, “Meet your new friend, Fido!” But this is not such a great idea.

Both cats and dogs should have the chance to sniff out the other’s belongings (i.e. toys, bedding, food bowls, etc.) first before seeing each other in person (or in cat, or dog?).

To do this, make sure to separate both animals. Let only one (either the dog or cat) enter into the room with the other’s toys and belongings. This will let the dog or cat know, “Oh hey, there’s another pet living here…”.

2. The Earlier, The Better

As they say, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but how much does that apply to make new friends?

Older animals who have lived a predominantly solitary life in a household will find it much more difficult to “adopt” a new furry family member.

This is why it’s crucial to try and introduce your dog or cat to one another at the earliest age possible (if you can).

3. Match Personalities, Not Breed Specifications

According to Jackson Galaxy, you should try and match your cat or dog’s personality instead of going by breed specifications.

Each dog or cat, despite their breed, will have their own character and personality. It’ll do no good to pair an outgoing dog with a shy cat, and so on.

If you want them to truly get along, you’ll need to delve deeper into their personalities rather than going by breed specifications.

4. Give Each Their Own “Territory”

Cats often feel intimidated and vulnerable if not high off the ground, hence why they like perching themselves on top of our fridges and bookshelves.

Make use of the vertical space in your home by providing an outlet for your cat to go and chill. Cat shelves, cat trees, and scratching posts, for example, are stylish and modern cat furniture that will give your cat the chance to climb and scratch.

This also comes in handy when your cat just needs to get out of the way of your dog, who cannot climb. Dogs, on the other hand, are very territorial over floor space – think food bowls, toy basket, or even their owners’ feet whilst on the couch.

If you wish your dog and cat to get along, make sure they both feel comfortable in their own spaces. Give them their own areas where they can rest without pestering or being pestered by the other pet.

5. Train Your Pup Not to Chase Cats

You can try to train your cat not to hate your dog, but you’ll have more luck if you train your dog to be gentle with the cat.

Dogs who chase cats are not going to make friends easily, so make sure to train your dog not to chase the cat, bark at the cat, or attack the cat if it were to approach while eating, sleeping, etc.

Accidents are bound to happen if you let your dog willingly bark and “go after” your cat.

6. Hold the Puppy, Not the Cat

When first introducing a new puppy to a home where there lives a cat, it’s important to let the cat do the sniffing and not the other way around.

Cats come to us, we don’t go to them. It’s the same for dogs. If you hold the cat and let the dog do the sniffing, the cat will likely claw its way out of the intrusive situation.

Let’s face it, dogs can be pretty nosey in some sensitive areas.

7. Let Them Eat Behind Closed Doors

Not only should you first introduce a new cat or dog by letting them sniff out the belongings of the other, but you should also let them eat “next” to each other behind closed doors.

Making them eat in proximity to each other, without them actually facing off head-to-head, helps them both associate the positive reward of eating food with the scent of the other.

It’s a sneaky yet smart way to get your cat and dog to get along.

8. Raise Them Together

You will save yourself a lot of headache and time if you raise your dog and cat together as puppies and kittens.

Typically, cats and dogs under one year of age who grow up together will end up getting along, perhaps even becoming good friends.

9. Eradicate Boredom for Both Your Dog and Cat

Dogs and cats both have different exercise requirements – especially if you have a particularly sporty dog or cat who needs to run off all that built-up energy.

To help your dog and cat get along, you’ll want to stimulate both your cat or dog’s physical and mental health by letting them exercise and play with toys.

If a dog isn’t getting enough stimulation, they’ll look to play with the kitty cat, who isn’t likely going to play nicely back.

Final Thoughts
Dogs and cats don’t have to mortal enemies, as so many clichés and TV shows make them out to be.

In fact, some cats and dogs end up bonding and becoming sleeping and playing buddies for the rest of their furry lives. How sweet does that sound?

All it takes is a little patience, a lot of treats, and a little matchmaking!

Author Bio:

Brittany, Paul, and their adopted cat, Yoda, travel around the world and write about it. Follow their adventures living in Mexico and beyond on their blog Fluffy Kitty or on Yoda’s Instagram.

100 Best Dry Dog Food By the Dog Food Advisor of Petdogplanet

100 best dry dog foods

For more than fifteen thousand years, dogs and humans have kindled a deep relationship with no other pairing on the planet. At the canter of that relationship is food. Feeding our dogs every day is part of the unwritten, unspoken deal we’ve made in return for their protection, their aid in hunting and herding, and, for most of us nowadays, their companionship. We love to feed our dogs, and our dogs love to eat.

As we uphold our end of the bargain, we have many choices in what and how we feed our furry friends, just as we have choices for ourselves. Our lifestyles, budgets, health consciousness, and culinary ambitions all influence what we put into the food bowls and on our plates. Our dog food advisor has been researching on dog food for years. Our dog food advisor will help you to choose top quality dry dog food which is nutritionally balanced and made with fresh ingredients.

Top 100 dry dog food

best dry dog food review


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Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs Calculator – Is Chocolate Bad For Dogs?

Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs

Chocolate is harmful for dogs.

Concentration of theobromine varies with the formulation of the chocolate

  • Milk chocolate has 44mg/oz (154mg/100gm)
  • Semisweet chocolate has 150 mg/oz (528mg/100gm)
  • Baking chocolate 390mg/oz (1365 mg/100gm)



The consumption and digestion of chocolate in dogs are extremely harmful.  Below is a chart that breaks down the amount of chocolate and how harmful it can be.  It is recommended to NEVER feed your dog chocolate and always give it a proper and healthy dog food diet

As always, consult with your vet as much as possible.  Do not be foolish and put your dog’s life at risk.

Related PostTop 10 Best Dry Dog Food for Puppies, Adults & Seniors

When in doubt, consult with your vet or a certified breeder who knows that they are doing.

Toxic amounts of chocolate

Dogs Weight Amount of Milk Choc  Amount of  Unsweet. Choc Approx. Mg. Theobromine
5 lb.  4 oz. .5  oz. 200
10 lbs 8 oz.  1.0  oz. 400
20 lbs. 1 lb.  2.5  oz. 900
30 lbs. 2 lbs. 3.25 oz. 1300
40 lbs. 2.5 lbs. 4.5  oz. 1800
50 lbs. 3 lbs. 5.5  oz. 2250
60 lbs. 4 lbs. 7.0  oz. 2700
70 lbs.  5 lbs. 8.5  oz. 3400

 in metrics:

Dog’s Weight Amount of Milk Choc Amount of Unsweet. Choc Approx. Mg. Theobromine
2.2 kg. 113.4 g. 14.1 g. 200
4.5 kg. 226.8 g. 28.3 g. 400
9.0 kg. 453.6 g. 70.8 g. 900
13.6 kg 907.2 g. 92.1 g. 1300
18.0 kg. 1.134 kg. 127.5 g. 1800
22.6 kg. 1.360 kg. 156.0 g. 2250
27.2 kg. 1.814 kg. 198.4 g. 2700
31.7 kg. 2.268 kg. 240.9 g. 3400


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Simple Hypoallergenic Dog Treats Recipes That Are Easy To Make

Hypoallergenic Dog Treats

In today’s world so many of us have allergies, often due to a poor immune system but also we have to contend with so much unnatural and often poisonous air quality. It doesn’t stop there. Our dogs can be affected too and if you have a dog you want to make sure his nutrition is top class and also grain free and made with good whole ingredients.

The dog food industry offers us a whole range of branded food that is holistic with natural ingredients but they are often expensive, especially the treats. You will find a few hypoallergenic dog treats recipes that you can make for your four legged friends.

Organic Rice And Turkey Treats

1/2 lb ground turkey

1/2 cup cooked brown rice

1/8 cup grated carrots

1/4 cup tomato sauce without salt

1/2 Teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon parsley

All the above ingredients should be organic.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all the ingredients together – using your hands is best. Spoon the mixture into a 4 x 8-inch loaf pan and press down lightly. Bake for 40 minutes and cool before cutting. You can store them in the refrigerator for seven days or in the freezer for around three months.

Simple Sweet Potato Chews

All you need is one large yam, washed and dried. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Cut the yam into slices about 1/3 or 1/2 inch thick and bake for 3 hours turning them over after 90 minutes. Cool completely and then store them in the refrigerator for three weeks or four months in your freezer.

Organic Gluten Free Cheese Treats

3 cups of gluten free flour – chickpea flour works well

1 cup of grated cheddar

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup beef stock

1 tablespoon of olive oil

All the ingredients should be organic.

If you don’t want to give your dog dairy, substitute 1/2 cup nutritional yeast for the cheese and use water instead of milk (the beef stock will give enough flavor).

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Mix flour and cheese and add the wet ingredients. Mix well until dough is just a little bit stick and roll out. You can cut the mixture into squares or use a cookie cutter. Bake for 10-15 minutes and leave them to cool. You can store them in the fridge for up to three weeks or you can freeze them for up to three months.

As you can see, these hypoallergenic dog treats recipes are simple to make and are done in next to no time. Your dog will love them and they are much cheaper than the expensive dog treats at your local pet store. You also know exactly what is in these treats and that you are giving your dog quality ingredients.

When you next go to the dog park, take some hypoallergenic dog treats recipes and share with your dog lover friends and you can tell them how easy they are to make and also how cheap they are in comparison with store bought dog treats. They will be impressed.

Hypoallergenic Dog Food

If your dog suffers from an ailment caused by food allergies, making the switch to hypoallergenic dog food may be the right choice for you and your pet. After your dog has been diagnosed with symptoms of a food allergy, it can often be difficult to locate which ingredients are causing the allergy and what dietary changes should be made. It is always a good idea to discuss the issue with your veterinarian, and switching to a high-quality hypoallergenic product is usually the first step that should be taken to stop the allergy from affecting your dog.

The most common symptoms of a food allergy in dogs is dry, flaky, and itchy skin, which should become noticeable to you through increased scratching, licking, and hair loss. Other signs and symptoms include ear infections and digestive problems like gas or diarrhea (types of dog diarrhea). If you suspect a food allergy, exchanging your dog’s normal food for a brand of hypoallergenic dog food will let you see if the symptoms go away when the potential allergen is eliminated. Dogs can be allergic to a number of ingredients that are found in most major dog foods including preservatives, coloring, flavorings, chemicals, and more. Even some of the food’s primary ingredients like chicken, corn, or wheat could be what is causing your dog trouble.

The only true way to pinpoint the allergen that is troubling your dog is through a series of diet changes and trial and error. Most hypoallergenic dog foods will be free of foreign substances like artificial flavor and colorings, so if these are the problem you should notice a difference soon. Pick one or two primary ingredients to eliminate first, such as chicken or wheat, and begin your dog on a hypoallergenic option that is free of these foods. If you can’t see a noticeable difference in three or four weeks, try a new type of dog food and eliminate different ingredients. Keep track of which ingredients you are eliminating and save the labels from food packages so that you can identify any similarities between them that may be helping or hurting your dog’s health. Also, during this time make sure to not feed your dog any table scraps or treats outside the diet plan.

Purina, Royal Canin, and Fromm’s all make high-quality hypoallergenic dog food options that can be found at most pet stores. It is usually best to consult your doctor and do more research about your dog’s breed and health standing before making any serious diet changes.

Hypo-allergenic Totally Natural Shampoo

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