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  • Common Problems With Terrarium Pets
    parasites which attach themselves by their piercing mouth parts and suck the pet s blood their bodies swelling up to the size of a pea as they feed Removing them calls for a bit of a knack if you re going to make sure you get all of the head out leaving anything behind can lead to infection Mites smaller than their tick relatives mites are another pest likely to be encountered on a number of exotic animals Although they normally occur in much larger numbers than ticks their smaller size makes them more difficult to see and many a pet keeper has only become aware of an infestation after they have found mites crawling on their own skin after they ve been handling their pets These parasites can often spread so it s important to stay on top of any mite problems Vets and exotic pet suppliers can provide suitable treatments and many keepers think that it s worth treating new animals for mites preventatively on arrival Tapeworms these are intestinal worms which attach to the wall of the gut and take their nutrients directly from the food the animal has eaten and digested Many kinds require several host species during their lifecycle which makes tapeworms a problem for a wide number of different creatures They are particularly common in carnivorous types of pets Roundworms another type of internal parasite roundworms can often be dealt with by using any one of a number of proprietary solutions though veterinary help will need to be sought for heavy infestations Fungus Problems Although aquatic pets are the most likely to meet fungal problems any animal kept in fairly humid conditions can be affected Problems usually begin once an animal has picked up some small damage to its skin which allows the fungus

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/common-problems-with-terrarium-pets.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Food and Feeding
    various sizes of rodents Exotic suppliers and many pet shops sell frozen chicks rats mice and pinkies young un furred mice which will meet most needs Make sure that the meal is fully thawed before feeding to your pet chilling a snake s digestive system down from the inside is a real recipe for disaster With so many snakes now bred in captivity it is fortunately increasingly rare to encounter the stubborn refusal to eat dead food that was once a big problem with wild caught specimens However if your animal does show reluctance to eat a stationary meal moving the rat around on the end of a stick can encourage it to strike but keep your hands out of the way if you do have to resort to this approach Feeding Aquatic Pets Aquatic shops are a good place to try for suitable foods for feeding water living pets The most common options sold are Tubifex tiny reddish worms and Daphnia water fleas both of which are ideal for many small amphibians and other suitably sized exotics in the aquarium Tubifex are particular favourites with hatchling terrapins and many of the smaller aquatic frogs Unfortunately the supply is not always guaranteed throughout the year so it is highly advisable for the keeper of these kinds of pets to make sure that alternatives such as whiteworms or even garden dug earthworms are available Vegetarian Fodder Although it might seem that feeding vegetarians should be easy given the ready availability of fruits and vegetables from all over the world at the local supermarket in reality keeping plant munching pets fed healthily requires a fair bit of effort The trick is to provide a balanced and varied diet that caters for all the animal s needs provides enough nourishment minerals and vitamins and is available in sufficient quantity to satisfy their appetites A range of garden plants can be helpful to achieve this with dandelion leaves cress and parsley being particularly useful largely because they are very nutritious and have a high vitamin and mineral content At the other end of the scale lettuce and cabbage should only be included sparingly in the diet lettuce has very low nutritional value it s mostly water and some tortoises seem to find it addictive while large amounts of cabbage has been shown to slow down the activity of the thyroid It s also important to remember that fruit grown in your own garden may be far more valuable in food terms than something imported and artificially ripened even if your iguana would never have come across it in the wild but only if it hasn t been doused in pesticides Feeding is a vitally important part of keeping exotic pets in top condition Whatever the species and with the exception of specialist feeders that naturally eat only a very limited range of foods in the wild the key to providing a proper diet lies in variety No one food contains the perfect balance of

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/food-feeding.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Keeping Exotic Pets Outdoors
    Europe or other temperate parts of the world can be kept outdoors in ponds during the summer but these fast moving animals are possibly even better escapologists than their bigger land living relatives so make sure your fences are secure Remember the voracious appetites of these creatures too don t put them in a pond with newts or small fish Lizards Although some kinds of lizards especially the smaller European Lacertids and their kin are able to tolerate the British climate well enough keeping them outdoors is fraught with difficulty but it s not impossible if you are determined The best kind of enclosure will test your brick laying skills however since these fast and active lizards are remarkably good climbers and only well constructed walls with a 12 inch 30cm or more horizontal overhang around the top edge is likely to stop them from making good their escape You ll also have to keep an eye out for local cats who seem to find their scurrying run irresistible usually with disastrous consequences On balance if you want to have outdoor lizards it s probably an awful lot easier to settle for a slow moving chameleon or two in the confines of a secure greenhouse Amphibians Terrestrial amphibians lend themselves to being kept outdoors in a suitably sized cold frame but even they are pretty good at getting out and exploring the rest of the garden if you give them half a chance and they only need a very small hole Site your cold frame in a cool spot shaded from too much direct sun on level ground and make sure there are no gaps underneath the frame or that s likely to be the last you ll see of your salamanders Give them plenty of hiding places a good sized water container and periodically water their home to keep it moist enough for their taste and they should do well Whatever species you decide to keep outdoors never underestimate their ability to get out of their home and disappear seemingly into thin air Allowing non native species into the wild is never something to be encouraged however accidentally it happens and besides half the fun of pet ownership is being able to watch your animals go about their lives Keeping exotic pets outdoors even for the short summer months is no different You might also like Understanding Venom Safety Issues with Exotic Pets Where to Get An Exotic Pet Picking the Right Exotic Pet for You Health Care for Reptiles Amphibians Share Your Story Join the Discussion or Seek Advice I have had an outdoor aquarium for many years It never freezes over and probably even when the outside temperature drops below zero it doesn t reach zero and so as I have space above the water surface at the back I am going to build an enclosed space for terrapins This space will have a floor area of around three and a half square feet The terrapins will

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/keeping-exotic-pets-outdoors.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Lighting Your Tank
    common way to achieve this is to use a heat lamp or spotlight often aimed at a rock within the tank to make a particular area significantly hotter than its surroundings allowing your pets to thermo regulate in a very natural way Using spot lamps in the tank however does need care not least to ensure that there is no way a heat seeking reptile can burn itself on the bulb good securely fixed covers are a must Ultra Violet Many kinds of lizards tortoises and terrapins need to receive a daily dose of ultra violet UV light to ensure that they can make vitamin D3 in their skin With this vitamin being crucial for controlling their bodies use of calcium and phosphorous serious health problems can result if their tanks are not fitted with the sort of lighting they need Although it is possible to provide a vitamin supplement to help overcome the deficiency there is strong evidence that even so the UV in sunlight stimulates their appetite Clearly if your pets aren t eating well it doesn t matter how much vitamin powder you add to their food A number of different manufacturers produce UV lighting which is designed for vivarium use either as spotlights some types can be used to provide hot spots or fluorescent tubes in a range of sizes so there s bound to be something suitable for your tank One thing you do have to be aware of is that the amount of UV light being given out drops quite quickly as the tubes get older so check the manufacturer s instructions and replace your tubes accordingly Black Lights Black lights are a fairly new development for exotic pet keepers though they ve been used very successfully for some time by entomologists and other assorted bug hunters for watching the activities of nocturnal insects and other similar animals As the name suggests they produce very little visible light but they have a high UV output Obviously you ll need to use ordinary bulbs or tubes to light up your tank if you want to see anything but black lights have a lot to offer not least because they allow the UV to be delivered independent of the general illumination Night And Day The importance of a proper night and day cycle is sometimes overlooked but many animals regulate phases of their lives especially breeding and egg laying by day length Invest in a good timer and you can simulate life back home for your pet very closely A little research on the internet should enable you to get a good idea of the hours of darkness over the year where your pets originally came from which lets you adjust things so they get a natural seasonal variation Something as simple as this especially if accompanied by a slight tweak of the temperature to make the shorter days of their artificial winter a little cooler too can often pay dividends with any efforts you re

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/lighting-your-tank.html (2016-02-16)
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  • The Importance of Minerals and Vitamins
    often allow an affected animal to make a full recovery Vitamin B deficiency can be a problem for some kinds of reptiles in particular especially chameleons and iguanas There is evidence to suggest that it can cause poor tongue co ordination in chameleons which is a serious problem seeing that these animals rely on their tongues to catch prey while some kinds of iguanas can develop problems with their connective tissue blood cells and nerve sheaths when they lack B12 Avoiding Problems The most obvious way to avoid problems with minerals and vitamins is to get your pet s diet right With the exception of a few specialist feeders such as Egg Eating Snakes Dasypeltis sp or the Thorny Devil Moloch horridus which eats almost nothing but ants most animals eat a remarkably varied range of foods in the wild This is of course the key to obtaining the balance of vitamins and minerals they need and something the exotic pet keeper needs to replicate in captivity Some foods are naturally low in particular minerals or vitamins for instance and as a result should only be used as part of the diet Mealworms for example are naturally low in calcium lettuce is mineral poor of little nutritional value and can prove addictive to some vegetarian pets On the other hand different types of food offer much better mineral content dandelion leaves have a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 3 1 much nearer to the natural dietary requirements of tortoises in the wild Although some minerals and vitamins are required by all animals others are particularly important for some species while some animals can only use them in particular forms an important thing to know if you re buying supplements Reptiles for example require vitamin A vitamins B1 B2 B5 B6

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/importance-minerals-vitamins.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Using Heaters & Thermometers
    a good idea to ask for a little advice to find out the best one for your needs For large tanks a combination of types can often work the best providing a good variety of background warmth with one or two hot spots and allowing the animals to behave in a more natural way This sort of arrangement can also help avoid some of the troubles that can arise if you only use one kind of heater Some tortoises for instance do not fare well with heat pad heaters alone as they can often become chilled by breathing in over cool air adding spot or ceramic heaters avoids the problem Make sure that you fit good covers to your heaters if you re keeping any kind of animal that is likely to be able to reach them Snakes and some types of lizards too are particularly good at getting right up against heaters given half a chance and can suffer some very nasty burns as a result so make sure there s no way they can It s also important to invest in the best possible thermostat and control units for your heaters they are the only thing making sure your pet doesn t get far too hot or much too cold Thermometers And Thermal Gradients The idea of a thermal gradient is a very simple one if you provide a range of temperatures within the tank cold blooded animals are free to move around to adjust their own body temperatures much as they do in nature Placing a heater towards one end of the tank to create a basking area will obviously generate a hot spot where the temperature will be very much higher than anywhere else The further your pet moves from the heat source the cooler its

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/using-heatersthermometers.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Using Plants in Your Vivarium
    as well as avoiding any chance that roots will clog your under gravel filter Plants For The Terrarium A wide range of popular houseplants can make good subjects for a planted terrarium and for some species notably chameleons and tree frogs plants can perform a functional role as well as a purely decorative one providing living climbing frames The best way to incorporate them is once again to plant them in suitably sized pots and then bury them within the flooring material They ll obviously need to be watered appropriately as necessary and any dead material should to be pruned to prevent any possibility of fungus getting a foothold in the tank The so called air plants Tillandsia sp and the like are a useful alternative to traditional indoor plants for the terrarium The roots of these epiphytes are more concerned with holding on rather than getting water or nutrients most of them found clinging to tree branches in nature and absorbing moisture from the air through their leaves Unbelievably easy to grow they can be positioned at will in the tank and can even be glued into place if you wish Mist them twice a week and they will thrive within the confines of the terrarium Artificial Plants Although it s a bit of a cheat using artificial plants may be the only way you are going to get the look you re after in a vivarium containing some kinds of exotic pets Plastic plants are likely to be the only thing that will survive the attention of terrapins in an aquarium for example while fake plants are the best bet for any terrarium containing the likes of the Green Iguana Iguana iguana or some of its relatives Although using artificial plants may not be a truly natural way

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/using-plants-your-vivarium.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Vivarium, Terrarium or Aquarium; What's the difference?
    With many an aquarium tank having been put into use to house non aquatic pets especially in the early days of reptile keeping where specialist equipment was not available there s an obvious source of confusion and the answer is of course when it s a terrarium Interestingly although today the word terrarium is widely understood to describe a home for terrestrial animals rather than plants this use is a fairly modern one The first terrarium was invented back in 1827 by Nathaniel Ward a London doctor and amateur botanist to house his fern collection safely away from the growing levels of pollution being generated by the local industries of the day His work led to the development of Wardian Cases which were used in large numbers by explorers to contain the exotic plants they had collected on the voyage back to Britain For pets such as land crabs many newts and various kinds of frogs which need access to areas of both land and water a hybrid form of tank exists the aqua terrarium The derivation of this composite word is blindingly obvious So What s a Vivarium Any container which makes a home for your pet is a vivarium from the Latin vivere to live which means that technically you could possibly even argue that a rabbit hutch qualifies though it s not something you re ever likely to hear being said From this it s pretty clear that every aquarium as well as every terrarium and aqua terrarium is a vivarium but not every vivarium is an aquarium The term can be particularly useful to draw a distinction between when you are speaking generally about all kinds of exotic animals as vivarium pets rather than making a more specific point about either aquatic or terrestrial ones Does It Matter Today there is such a wonderful array of tanks and vivaria or vivariums if you prefer gracing the average exotic pet shop that it s hard to imagine the time when the only choice you had was how big an aquarium to buy The days of carrying your tank home and then having to set about making your own escape proof lid are not so very long ago so it s pretty clear that for many kinds of animals it really doesn t matter if you use an aquarium without water to house them and least of all from their point of view However there are times when a specialist vivarium comes into its own and many of the high end units are remarkable pieces of furniture in their own right making them ideal not only as homes for your pets but also as display pieces and talking points in your living room Opting for one of these Rolls Royces of vivarium design buys you an impressive level of convenience and a quality of finish You can certainly house your animal perfectly adequately for considerably less cost but then buying one of these was always going to be

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/vivarium-terrarium-aquarium-whats-difference.html (2016-02-16)
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