Successful Fishkeeping: Did You Know?

You may think fishkeeping is the simplest when it comes to pets, but it isn’t. Successful fishkeeping is about knowledge, technique, and skill.

  • Did you know? To successfully maintain a Marine aquarium, You MUST run a Protein Skimmer to remove harmful dissolved organics from your water.
  • Did you know? You MUST replace the carbon in your filter every 4-6 weeks. Failure to remove old carbon can result in toxins leeching back into your aquarium, poisoning your fish!
  • Did you know? Tap water kills all of the good bacteria that reside in your filter which break down your fish’s waste. To maintain a healthy aquarium, and avoid ammonia and nitrite spikes, only wash your filter media in a bucket of water siphoned from your aquarium.
  • Did you know? Using a gravel vacuum is an easy and efficient way to carry out your fortnightly water changes. Not only does it help by removing old, polluted water from your tank, it also helps by removing all the detritus (fish poo!) that is trapped in your gravel.
  • Did you know? Aquarium light bulbs lose their growing power over time, long before the bulb actually blows! Ideally, to maintain healthy, rapid plant and coral growth, your bulbs should be changed as follows; WHITE (plant) – Every 12 months. BLUE (coral) – Every 6 months. REPTILE – Every 6 months. METAL HALIDE – Every 12-18 months. COMPACT FLUROS – Every 12 months.
  • Did you know? Fish are like people. You can put two people in the same room and they may or may not get along. Although we try our hardest to recommend fish that are compatible, we can’t always guarantee that the fish you choose will get along in your aquarium at home. Just remember, fish have personalities too!!! And just because “your mate did it” doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you!
  • Did you know? Overfeeding is one of the most common causes of “mysterious” fish death in the home aquarium. A lot of the time, the instructions on the back of the packet direct you to feed way too much food for your fish, which can result in bloating and severe water quality issues. To avoid overfeeding you fish and seriously depleting your water quality, feeding should be only one person’s job, and the amount of food given should be limited to an amount that is TOTALLY CONSUMED by your fish in about 30 seconds (even if your fish still look hungry afterwards!). Although a great treat for your fish, Bloodworms are exactly that, a TREAT. To keep your fish healthy and happy, bloodworm should only form part of your fish’s diet.

What do you know about successful fishkeeping? Add your knowledge to the comments below.


Keeping Siamese Fighting Fish as Pets

Siamese Fighting Fish (or Betta Splendens).

Siamese Fighting fish make great first pets, but like all pets, they need a little bit of knowledge, care and attention to ensure that you get the most enjoyment from your fighter.

Here’s a quick rundown on keeping Siamese Fighting Fish as pets.


Regardless of the size of the aquarium or bowl your fighter is in, water quality must be kept to a high standard.

This means regular water changes (i.e. at least 100% fortnightly depending on size of aquarium/bowl and the amount of food your fish is fed).

Gravel cleans either using a gravel vacuum or by washing the gravel under the tap should also be performed on a regular basis.

Water must be de-chlorinated to remove the harmful chlorine found in our tap water, and the pH value is best at neutral – 7.0. This can easily be achieved by using Seachem’s Betta Basics.

Water movement should also be kept to a minimum. I.e. Siamese fighting fish aren’t suited to aquariums with a strong powerhead or current.


Siamese fighting fish originate from warm water and should always be kept above 18°C. This means in winter you will need a small aquarium heater.


Male Siamese fighting fish are extremely aggressive towards each other and generally towards females when not breeding as well.

Males therefore cannot be kept together.

However, they are usually peaceful to all other fish so can successfully be kept in community aquariums providing there are no other fin-nipping fish.


Ideally, feed your fighter small floating pellets such as Hikari Betta Bio. Live blackworm, freeze-dried blackworm and frozen bloodworm make good treats that should only be feed on occasion.

We recommend feeding your fighter approximately 2-3 Hikari Betta Bio pellets only once a day.

It is also a good idea to skip one day a week to help prevent a fast build up of toxic ammonia from fish wastes.


Fighters are not difficult to breed and given the right care, will generally breed on their own. Males will blow a bubble nest to show they are ready to breed.

The willing female will then lay her eggs on the ground which are then scooped up and fertilised before being placed in the bubble nest by the male. The female must then be removed to prevent the male from bullying her. Once the eggs have hatched into fry, the male must also be removed and the fry raised on their own.

Animal Welfare Management Pets Philosophy Wildlife

Rainbow Lorikeets – Pet or Pest?

Rainbow Lorikeets were introduced to Australia in the 1960s and quickly grew in population size. Their natural habitat is rainforest, costal bush and woodland areas.

Due to not being native the Rainbow Lorikeet is both loved and hated by Australians, so let’s consider – are they a pet or a pest?

Why are Rainbow Lorikeets a pest in the wild?

Rainbow Lorikeets can be aggressive towards other native parrots, especially around nesting hollows. This prevents other native parrots from nesting, and since the introduction of the bird they have been known to throw Australian Ringneck nestlings from their home.

This is the key reason they are considered pests in Australia, and research has shown they disrupt the balance of native Australian birds and wildlife.

Why do Rainbow Lorikeets make good pets?

Putting the issues with Rainbow Lorikeets in the Australian environment aside, many Australians keep them as pets.

Whilst these birds are known to be aggressive around other parrots, as pets they are beautiful birds who love human company. Owners of Rainbow Lorikeets will tell you how chatty these birds are, with a playful and highly interactive nature. Simply put, they quickly become a part of the family.

They love to entertain and show off their bubbly personalities, both to you and your guests.

Rainbow Lorikeets also enjoy the company of the same species, especially when raised from a nestling upwards. There’s a saying about two birds being better than one, which is true for these birds.

Why do they NOT make a good pet?

Before you go out and buy one, lets take a look at the flipside.

Rainbow Lorikeets are messy.

Their feaces needs to be cleaned every other day, as if it isn’t it quickly becomes very unpleasant. Loris can also projectile deficate from their cage, which is due to their daily nectar diet along with fresh fruit.

Some owners prefer to use dry nectar as opposed to wet nectar which can help make their poops less “squirty”.

Lorikeets like to splash around in their water baths, usually twice per day, meaning the water goes all over the floor. You’ll be surprised at the mess they can make.

Male and Female Loris appear the same, so if you have two then it’s worth getting a DNA analysis by a vet.

Like other parrots Rainbow Lorikeets can be noisy, so make sure you get on with your neighbours if they’re in close proximity! 

Do you own a Rainbow Lorikeet? Are they a pest or a pet?


Do turtles make good pets?

Have you ever wondered to the end of a jetty and seen a turtle swimming around, then wondered if they make good pets?

Admittedly they’re not the cheapest pet to keep, but with a suitable terrarium they can make wonderful pets.

What turtles make good pets in Australia?

The most common turtles to have as a pet are the long-necked and eastern snake necked turtles.

Even though these are found in the wild, you are only allowed to keep them as pets if they are sold from pet shops or licensed breeders who specialise in them.

Wherever you live in Australia you’ll likely find a local (and reputable) breeder, and it’s worth joining a community of owners on social media where you can find help and advice.

How to house a turtle at home

Space is essential for keeping a turtle as a pet, and you will need both an indoor and outdoor area for them to be comfortable.

Indoor Housing

Pet turtles must be kept in a specialised terrarium, and you must ensure it is large enough to suit their needs.

Shell grit and sand must cover the flooring, with water deep enough for your turtle to immerse his whole body. The terrarium will also need a log big enough for the turtle to use to climb out of the water and back onto land. 

Outside Housing

The outdoor area must be big enough for the turtle to roam around in, and you will want to ensure he cannot dig his way out. Yes, turtles dig.

A pond is a necessity for your turtle to immerse his body into, and it is essential you keep the pond clean. Investing in a pond which is easy to clean is a good idea.

The outside housing should have shelter for protection. Options are logs, bushes, or rocks, but you must insure your turtle can escape full sun. 

Feeding a Pet Turtle 

Turtles eat meat and plants, and it is recommended these are fed in the water.

When you bring home your pet turtle it is recommended you buy turtle food from the pet shop rather than supermarket or butchers. It’s common for new owners to feed a homemade diet which is too fattening for them, so keep that in mind until you feel confident.

It is essential for calcium and other nutrients to be present in their diet on a regular basis, which is why a specialised turtle food may be a safer option.

Do you have a pet turtle in Australia, or elsewhere, and what advice would you give a new turtle owner?

Behaviour Pets

Alexandrine Parrots – Why they’re named after Alexander the Great

Everyone knows Alexander the Great but does everyone know “The Great Alexandrine” named after him?

What’s the deal with Alexandrine Parrots?

Alexandrine Parrots, or Alexandrine Parakeets, are known for their stubbornness and self-know superiority. They know what they do and don’t like, and will forcibly let you know.

In saying that, when you are the “chosen one”, usually male Alexandrines prefer the female in the household and the female Alexandrines prefer the male in the household, the parrot will show great affection and be more patient.

Keep that in mind if you decide to buy one of these beautiful birds, and make sure you buy a bird who is the opposite sex to you. In that way, your partner will be in awe of the parrot’s devotion to you instead of them.

The male Alexandrines can be distinguished by the black ring around the neck which appears at roughly two years of age.

Behaviour and lifestyle

Alexandrine Parrots easily amuse themselves when there is no human interaction by biting wooden toys, talking, or whistling to themselves. They love grazing through their food bowl with a tendency to pick out their favourite snacks.

If you’re looking at adopting an Alexandrine Parrot you must invest in a large bird cage due to their tail and wingspan, otherwise they will be unable to move around the cage effectively and can become destressed. Their environment plays a huge part on their health and mood.

You must be aware that some days an Alexandrine will be your best friend and the next day will want to bite your finger off. Yes, these birds are very prone to mood swings!

Many owners of Alexandrine Parrots will state their mood depends on “what side of the bed he/she woke up on”.

Why are Alexandrine Parrots named after Alexander the Great?

Alexandrine Parrots have the characteristics of a great leader, which you will quickly come to notice in their company.

They will always be by your side through thick and thin, testing your inner self, but always rewarding you with their beautiful and clever presence.

Once you really get to know your Alexanderine you will come to realise why he/she is named after Alexander the Great.