Building a new aquarium is exciting for families, allowing you to stock it with interesting and unusual breeds of fish as well as plants! The main concern people have however, is finding the most appropriate location within their home to place their new tank. There are a few things to consider when placing your new tank.
- No direct heat source – it is important to keep your tank away from sunlight and heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators etc. The heat can affect the life of the fish!
- Sturdy cabinet – you must place your tank on a purpose built aquarium cabinet, as these are strong enough to support the weight of a fully stocked tank. Just using a table or shelf will not always be strong enough!
- Away from dangers – you need to keep things like cables, electricity points and pets away from your new tank!
One thing beginning fly fishermen struggle with their first time on a trout stream is locating where fish are feeding. It’s not the pattern, cast, or the retrieve that gets them in trouble, it’s the presentation and figuring out how to get that fly in the strike zone. Here’s a look at the four basic feeding zones on a typical trout stream and what percentage of the time you can generally find fish there. You might be surprised to find trout feed under the surface 90 percent of the time.
On the Surface
Trout rarely feed on the surface, hitting insects in the surface film no more than 10 percent of the time. It will be evident fish are feeding on the surface when you see boils at the surface, hear fish slurping bugs off the top or even jump out of the water to haul in adult aquatic insects as they emerge. This is a common sight in the evenings when mosquitoes are prevalent at the water’s edge.
Just Below the Surface
Same goes for the immediate subsurface bite, or the first two or three inches below the surface. Trout consume about 10 percent of their diet here as well, snacking on adult insects as they make their way to the surface. Dry flies will still work at this stage, although switching to a light nymph like a pheasant tail is probably a better idea.
Not sure what you should feed your fish? Is it a meat-eater, or a vegetarian? This list of feeding types will answer that question for you.
Carnivores are meat-eating fish. Some prefer live prey that they can hunt down and kill before eating, such as other fish or insects. Here are some common carnivorous fish, and what they prefer to eat.
Hatchetfish – Prefers live foods but will accept freeze dried and flake foods.
Killifish – Eats small live foods, can be trained to accept flakes.
Knifefish – Eats live foods exclusively
Halfbeak – Prefers live foods, but will eat flakes.
Frontosa – Accepts all types of meaty foods.
Electric Catfish – Prefer live foods, but can be trained to accept freeze dried tablets.
Bettas – Prefers live foods but will accept flakes and freeze dried.
Banjo Catfish – Prefers live foods, but can be trained to accept freeze dried tablets.
Archerfish – Eats live foods exclusively.
Herbivores require a diet of all, or mostely, vegetable matter. True herbivores do not have a large stomach, and therefore must eat more frequently. These fish are primarily vegetarian, and should be fed accordingly.
Molly – Algae-eater that also eats vegetables such as spinach. Will also accept insects and flakes.
Farowella – Eats vVegetable tablets and algae.
Pacu – Prefers fresh vegetables, will eat vegetable flakes and fruits.
Silver Dollar – Feed fresh vegetables, vegetable flakes and tablets.
Tropheus – Acccepts algae, plants, spirulina, vegetable flakes.
Aquarium owners should know that aquarium plants available in shops can be “true aquatic plants” or “non-aquatic plants”. True aquatic plants can be used in aquariums and are able to be put full submerged into the water. Non aquatic plants are better used in terraniums. Often, these plants are labelled properly, however there can be mix ups!
Do not assume that just because a plant is displayed fully submerged in water that it is a true aquatic plant for aquariums! Sometimes, people deliberately choose non aquatic plants because they like the look of them, knowing that they will not last long submerged under water. It is a good idea to know which plants you have bought so you can expect them to not last for long!
Choosing a fishing rod can be a bewildering topic. Here are our hints for choosing your new fishing rod.
Float fishing rods: Float rods can range between 11-14 ft. Generally, the further out from the shore you plan to go, the longer the rod should be. Other types of coarse rods can be used for float fishing. For example, a lightweight carp rod could be used when float fishing for carp. An 11ft rod is perfect for short range fishing, perhaps in a canal or pond. 12-13ft rods can be used on rivers and other places where you don’t need to cast out too far, like a lake or reservoir. 14ft rods (or longer) are used to give you more control in weedy or windy weather. If you’re only planning to buy one rod, we say that a 12-13 ft rod would be sufficient for most conditions.
Action: There are two main types of rod action; tip and through. Tip action rods usually have a carbon tip spliced in – great for playing fish on small hooks and tight lines. Through action rods usaully have a hollow unspliced tip, ideal for larger more powerful fish. Although a soft through action rod can be used for all types of float fishing.
If you have ever taken children on a fishing trip with you, only to find it is a complete disaster and not at all fun, this post is for you! It is possible to keep your child’s attention and catch enough fish to make it enjoyable for the whole family.
Begin with the right fishing equipment. There is no point in getting silly little kids fishing rods – you’ll end up spending more time untangling the thing than actually using it! Simply go for an ultra-light rod and reel. Get the shortest one you can, but not less than 5 feet. A spool of good quality line and some torpedo style flotats will be good. Get someone at your local tackle shop to spool the reel for you and attach the float so that it can slide along the line to the desired length.
Find a good pond to fish at. It is a good idea to go for one which is quiet, kids can get quite excitable with casting and you don’t want to annoy too many others!
Decorating your tank is a fun part of keeping fish and reptiles – it gives you a chance to show off your sense of style and can help your fish and reptiles be happier in their tanks with places to hide and sleep if they want to!
Plants are a good way to start, as they also have the benefit of oxygenating the water. You can of course buy artificial plants for your tanks too, which are a good option for those who do not want to have to do too much maintenance.
Ornaments can bring your tank to life and can offer vital areas for your fish to hide in – classic ideas feature pirate themed items such as skulls and shipwrecks, but we are starting to see more and more different ideas coming into play these days. Why not give your tank a zen makeover with some japanese style decor?
If you’ve ever asked fellow fishermen where a great local fishing spot is, you might not have gotten a clear answer from them. There’s good reason for this. Firstly, they don’t want to give away their best spot! Also they don’t want their favourite area to become overrun with other fishermen…
A good start to finding a great fishing spot is to use a topographical map of the area. You can even check on Google to find one. On this map, look for places where a topographic line crosses a river, a stream, or a brook. This will often indicate a potential sudden drop in elevation, signalling the beginning of a rapid and a likely pool at the end of the rapid (a “pool” is a depression caused by eyons of erosion). Find this particular spot on Google Earth and locate the co-ordinates (usually in the bottom corner). Pop these into a GPS system and there you go!
The next step is to pack up all your gear and go fishing! When you move to a new area it can be tricky finding somewhere good to fish, especially if the locals are a bit shady about where to go. This method above is a great way to find excellent fishing spots wherever you are in the world. It does take a bit of practice, but practice does make perfect as they say!
Reptiles are a very interesting creature to own as a pet. They have features which are very different to other animals. For a start, they are cold blooded, with scaly bodies and they lay eggs. We lay out some of the facts about looking after your own reptiles as pets.
Compared to some animals, reptiles are actually pretty low maintenance! They are good for people with allergies to fur and for people who work long hours and aren’t always at home. It is however, still a living animal and we are effectively putting it in captivity when we take them into our homes!
Reptiles are not really an expensive pet to buy, with some suitable beginner reptiles like corn snakes and leopard geckos costing around £50. Some larger and more unusual reptiles cost much more. You need to think about the cost of setting up a vivarium too, plus all the accessories. A typical vivarium can cost around £200 to put together, with larger or bespoke designs costing much more!
Feeding your reptile is altogether more interesting than other pets…for a start, many reptiles enjoy eating live prey…so you’ll need to be able to feed them the right things! Corn snakes and bearded dragons need to be fed defrosted mice.
The spring is a great month to get out and about on the water, so here are our top tips for making the most of the new season.
The number 1 rule in spring is to simply get out on thwe water as much as you can! There is a wonderful saying that even the worst fishing day is better than no fishing day at all! You should also keep a close eye on the weather report – days of unexpected warmth or sunshine are good opporunities to get out and go fishing.
Whilst out, keep looking for the sunnier spots. The cold water will warm up quickly once the sun brightens up in spring, so more fish will be attracted to the warmer shallows.
Use smaller, more brightly coloured lures during spring, when the water can be muddier or murky. This helps the fish to see them better, and the smaller lures will seem like less of an effort to chase around.