Category Archives: Pets


As tropical fish display such a variety of colour and line, it is not surprising that keeping them has become something of a cult. Since many are incompatible, and some — notably the piranha — are deadly carnivores, beginners should take an aquarist’s advice before attempting to stock a community tank. Among the fish most likely to be recommended are Guppies, Mollies, Swordtails, Zebra fish, Beacon fish, small-sized Angel fish and the Tetras.


In order to maintain a tropical fish tank certain equipment is needed: a thermostatically controlled water heater, with thermometer; top lighting for 10-12 hours a day; and a vibrator pump to aerate the water. All this

If the common fault of overcrowding is avoided, tank maintenance will be much easier. Fish require differing amounts of space. If in doubt, consult an aquarist.

Equipment is available in a range of prices and qualities and the better pumps may be used both to aerate and filter water.


Tropical fish have to be kept at an even temperature of 24° C (75° F). If the water temperature falls to 18° C (65° F) for a protracted period both fish and plants are likely to suffer. Small fluctuations in temperature are seldom important.

AQUARIUM PLANTS A tropical tank does not differ from the coldwater type but must contain plants of tropical origin that will flourish in warm water. These include sword plants, cabombas and ludwigias, as well as the more familiar eel grass which is also grown in cold tanks.

Goldfish As Pets Indoors And Outdoors

The Common goldfish is the type most often kept in garden pools and cold water aquariums, but there is also a wide range of fancy goldfish available. These have exaggerated fins and body shapes, and there is some colour variation, but all tend to be more delicate and shorter lived than the hardy Common goldfishContinue Reading

European Pond Terrapins

Terrapins are carnivorous and need a diet of raw meat, whole fish, and such freshwater life as Daphnia, Gammarus and Tubifex. Both crustaceans and molluscs will be taken complete with their shells, which are valu- able for their calcium content. Terrapins will also eat pond weeds and lettuce. ACCOMMODATION Terrapins should be kept in aContinue Reading

Caring For Tortoises

VARIETIES Tortoises are land animals, turtles are marine and terrapins live in freshwater, although in America the word ‘turtle’ is used to describe all three. Those kept as pets are usually Mediterranean tortoises, European pond terrapins and tropical Red-eared terrapins. None of these animals is well enough suited to our northern climate to successfully breed,Continue Reading

Cage Bird Varieties

The two most popular kinds of cage bird are the budgerigar and the canary. The first is a small Australian parrot and is by nature a roving flock bird from semi-arid grasslands; the other, is a flock bird of the finch family and is native to the forests of the Canary Islands. The care ofContinue Reading

Mongolian Gerbils

Many species of gerbil have been kept as pets, but of all the different kinds it is the Mongolian gerbil, with its distinctive black claws, that has established itself as a very successful pet. ACQUIRING A GERBIL Gerbils are born after a pregnancy of twenty-four days. The young are very immature and small with darkContinue Reading

Pet Care Basics

In many homes the pets are introduced by the children, who understandably cannot resist the thought of an interesting new companion in their lives. Yet, when young children ask for pets and still more pets, they are not taking into account all the responsibilities involved. These concern the parents, and it is they who mustContinue Reading

Guinea Pig Illnesses

Sickness is not something to be anticipated because guinea-pigs are tough little creatures. However, one cannot ignore the fact that illness may strike despite careful attention to feeding and hygiene. The typical signs of ill-health are a bedraggled coat, listless behaviour and absence of appetite. At the first signs, the animal should be separated fromContinue Reading

Guinea Pig Varieties and Exhibiting

The range of different colours in guinea-pigs is large but full of interest. The most popular are those known as selfs. They are of the same colour all over. These occur as black, chocolate, lilac, red, cream and white. The agouti or ticked varieties are found in several colours, of which the golden, cinnamon andContinue Reading

Breeding Guinea Pigs

It is easy to set about breeding guinea-pigs. All one has to do is allow the boar and sow to run together and nature will do the rest. Both sexes will show sign:- of sexual behaviour at an early age but this is a form of play or preparation for more serious behaviour when older.Continue Reading

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