Florida Lake Okeechobee Fishing Report

Lake Okeechobee is Florida’s largest lake and is also the second largest body of freshwater in the continental united states. Okeechobee is a Seminole Indian name and is derived from the Seminole word “Oki” meaning water. Lake Okeechobee is a shallow lake that averages only 9ft. The lake is part of the Florida everglade region which is a vast region of fantastic freshwater fishing for multiple species of fish. The lake supports commercial and sport fishing and is worldly renowned as a excellent fishing lake.

Lake Okeechobee is nationally recognized for its large mouth bass and black crappie fishing. If your looking to catfishing this lake is also the place to go. Largemouth bass fisherman should try spoons and spinnerbaits in the grass flats, and plastic worms and flipping jigs in the heavier cover. Use Golden shiners for live bait for bass. The best areas will around the rim canals.

When Fishing for Black Crappie , or as the locals call them specs. Fish the deeper water near edges of the canal shoreline. Also fish the pilings under the Highway 78 bridge. Only fish the Kissimmee river when the river is flowing steady. Use Jigs ,or fish live shiners near vegetation stands. The best time to fish is early in the morning or late in the day. Standard jigging techniques work well , but to locate schools suspend minnows at various depths to locate the schools. You will have to move often to locate the crappie schools. Once you find the schools fish until they no longer bite then move on and fins another school.

The best areas for bream is the rim of the canals around lake Okeechobee that lead to the Kissimmee river. Use Beetle spins and crickets for bait.

We will list 12 Area’s on or around the lake that have been known to hold largemouth. Bass, black crappie, or specs, and othe panfish and catfish. You can also visit the Florida Fish and wildlife conservation commission webpage and click on Interactive maps to get more detail information.

Area #1 South Henry Creek Flats Florida Lake Okeechobee Fishing Report The flats stretching from the boat lock at Henry Creek south to Chancey Bay has plenty of vegetation and bass. Bulrush, grass and hydrilla grow on a shoal surrounded by sand, about 3/4 mile southwest of the levee. The shoal tapers to a small reef, where bass like to spawn. Fish the outside edges of vegetation with live shiners, topwater plugs and plastic worms. Toss weedless spoons behind the weedline. During summer, cast vibrating plugs and shallow-running crankbaits over the reef for schooling bass. .

Area #2 Nubbin Slough Bass are caught year-round at Nubblin Slough. At the mouth of the slough look for the small islands and rock piles that are surrounded by maidencane. Toss a spinnerbait, Jerkin’ Sam or Rat-L-Trap around these structures during fall. In spring, position the boat on the inside of the vegetation along the boat run that has a sand/shell bottom. Cast a plastic worm, Lunker Lure or spinnerbait. During summer, fish plastic worms in the bulrushes and pencil reeds..

Area #3 Behind Eagle Bay Island Okeechobee Lake Fishing Reports This area behind Eagle Bay Island near the Government Cut provides great action for all species of panfish. Tannic stained water makes it difficult to see bluegill beds, so drift until fish are located..

Area #4 Eagle Bay Eagle Bay is a prime largemouth area from January through April when the lake is at its fullest. It’s good year-round because the water is about two feet deeper than the surrounding area. Summer bass hold here because of the depth and vast hydrilla growth. Try plastic worms and lizards in spring, and switch to topwater plugs, buzzbaits and spoons in summer. Bass move to the outside edge in fall, and topwater lures, vibrating plugs and spinnerbaits are effective.

Area #5 Cast plastic worms and spinnerbaits for spring largemouth holding on the peppergrass in this shallow area. Throw topwater plugs early and late in the day during summer..

Area #6 North Of North Lake Shoal (Kings Bar) The rocky area north of North Lake Shoal (Kings Bar) provides excellent bluegill fishing in the bulrushes and cattails. The panfish bed on scattered rocky patches within the vegetation and are easily caught on worms and crickets. Move east about one mile and drift the open water for winter crappie.

Area #7 North Lake Shoal (Kings Bar) North Lake Shoal (Kings Bar) is a large weedy island with a variety of vegetation, including lily pads, hydrilla, eel grass, maidencane and bulrush. Bass are caught year-round on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. This is a great area for flippin’. Trophy bass often lurk in the maidencane growing inside scattered bulrushes.

Area #8 Tin House Cove For Lake OkeechobeeLake Okeechobee Fishing Report Plastic worms and lizards take spawning spring bass in Tin House Cove. In summer, the largemouth move out to deeper water. The peppergrass holds bass year-round, and schooling largemouth also chase threadfin shad on the outside weed edge. Cast vibrating plugs, spinnerbaits and topwater lures for these active fish.

Area #9 From Indian Prairie Canal North To The South End Of Tin House Co. For Lake Okeechobee The wide area on the backside of the emergent vegetation, from Indian Prairie Canal north to the south end of Tin House Cove, yields numerous bass. During spawning season, if water is high, a secondary area behind the cattails in the grassy flats offers good fishing all the way to the levee.

Area #10 Indian Prairie Canal South To Horse Island Okeechobee Lake Fishing Report Fishing Report A mixture of peppergrass and reeds extends from Indian Prairie Canal south to Horse Island. Live shiners fished on the points of dense vegetation are recommended for bass. Toss surface plugs and weedless spoons in the sparser cover. The bottom is about three feet deep, and consists of sand and scattered flat-top rock. Behind this area, throw spoons and top water lures for spring bass in the mixture of maidencane and bulrushes. A boat trail behind it can be worked in windy conditions. Horse Island and Worm Cove are also good places to fish plastic worms.

Area #11 From Dyess Ditch To The Southern Point Of Horse Island For Lake Okeechobee This sandy area from Dyess Ditch to the southern point of Horse Island is one of the top spring bass spots on the lake. This area, known as North Shore, has a peppergrass flat more than 1/2 mile wide. Trophy bass hold along the outside edge of grass on the west side of the bay. Live bait, plastic worms, surface lures, vibrating plugs and spoons produce year-round. Sparse hydrilla patches mixed with maidencane, reeds and pads are used by spawning bass between December and March. This protected area is particularly good when the lake is rough. In summer, bass stay near open water and will move into the shallows as the water cools.

Area #12 Dyess Ditch to the Harney Pond Canal For Lake OkeechobeeThe sandy bottom from Dyess Ditch to the Harney Pond Canal between the two beacon lights holds largemouth year-round. The stained water from Fisheating Creek is filtered by dense vegetation, resulting in relatively clear water. Spring bass will spawn where there are holes in the hydrilla. Spinnerbaits, topwater plugs and weedless spoons take bass around the hydrilla and peppergrass beds.

Well I hope the 12 areas identified in this Florida lake Okeechobee Fishing Report will help on you plan your next freshwater fishing trip to Florida. Lets Go Fish’in!

Source by Mark Fleagle

Betta Fish Care – Betta Fish Maintenance

In order to ensure the continued health of your betta fish, its habitat is going to require some regular maintenance. Opinions will differ on this subject, but what follows are some very solid suggestions on this critical aspect of betta fish care.

Change the Water

Betta fish are constantly expelling waste into the water in which they live, and in this way harmful substances accumulate. To prevent the concentration of waste from becoming too concentrated, frequent water changes are necessary. How often and the amount of water change necessary will depend on the size of the tank and whether the water is cycled.

For tanks holding 1-2 gallons of water, a water change ranging from 25% to 50% is suggested every other day. A complete water change (100%) is recommend once each week.

For a tank that holds 2.5 gallons or more, and if your tank is cycled, it is recommended that you change 10% of the water in the tank at least twice a week or, alternatively, change 25% of the tank’s water once each week.

Water Conditioner

If you use faucet water to fill your tank, it’s important to know that the water that comes out of the majority of faucets is chlorinated and also contains other miscellaneous harmful substances. While these substances may be safe for most people, they can actually be toxic for your bettas.

To rectify a potentially calamitous end for your fish, a water conditioner is needed. A water conditioner conditions the water that comes out of the faucet and makes it safe for your fish to live in. Always adhere to your particular water conditioner’s instructions when performing a water change to make sure the water added into your fish tank is safe for your bettas.

Test the Water Readings

There are many aquarium test kits available that allow you to see how good of a job you are doing in maintaining high quality water within your aquarium. A tank that is cycled should have an ammonia reading of “0”, a nitrite reading of “0”, a nitrate reading under 20 ppm, and a pH reading of 7.0 (6.0 – 7.5 is the range which betta fish can tolerate).

If you have performed all of your tests and noticed that your tank water’s readings for nitrite, nitrate or ammonia are unacceptable, you will need to partially change the water to lower the overall concentration in the water. If the pH level in the water is either too high or too low, you can avail yourself to any number of pH aquarium supplements available at your local pet store to adjust the level accordingly. Just make sure to follow the specific recommendations included in any test kit you purchase.

Ornament Cleaning

Occasionally, betta owners feel compelled to clean the ornaments inside the tank. Just one word of warning before you take on such a task: never use soap to clean the ornaments. If the ornaments are going back inside of the aquarium after cleaning, it’s important to understand that soap is toxic to your bettas. Even if you do a very thorough job rinsing the ornaments, trace amounts of soap may remain, and this could prove disastrous to the health of your fish.

If you want to follow proper betta fish care when cleaning aquarium ornaments, all that is usually needed is to rinse them under hot water. But if you find that hot water is not doing a good enough job cleaning the ornaments, you can try soaking them in a bowl of white vinegar. White vinegar softens the mineral deposits the hot water alone is not able to eradicate. After soaking, just make certain to again thoroughly rinse the ornaments under hot to remove all traces of vinegar.

Lighting The Tank

Betta fish naturally live in rice patties and, as such, are exposed to darkness at night and sunlight during the day. Proper betta fish care recommends doing your best to match this natural experience. This can be done by placing the aquarium near a window where natural sunlight streams in or using an artificial light.

Should you decide to light your aquarium with an artificial light, make certain it does not heat the tank’s water above acceptable levels for the bettas. Most household lamps positioned far enough away from the aquarium will not raise the temperature of the water. An even safer alternative is to purchase a light specifically designed for aquariums. Many of these lamps are designed to have minimal impact on the temperature of the water inside the tank.

Source by Robert Irace

7 Tips to Mowing a Golf Course Green

A popular job for college students during the summer is to work with the maintenance crew at a golf course. A very physical job which of course includes a lot of mowing. The primary mowing is done with a hand mower. The tee boxes and the greens are mowed this way. The greens specifically are mowed every single morning starting around six AM. It is a tedious and precise process but if done correctly can yield beautiful results for those playing that day. This is a seven step process to aid in the green mowing process.

1. Choosing where to park the trailer and cart- The specialized hand mowers are transported in a trailer hitched to a maintenance cart. Choosing where to park is a critical first step so you can properly unload the mower and be able to easily load the mower back onto the trailer when done. One must also keep in mind not to block any pathways and try to avoid parking on grass that looks to be worn down due to constant traffic.

2. Unloading the mower and preparing to cut- One must make sure to delicately unload the mower and not damage the blades. These mowers cost over ten thousand dollars according to my golf course superintendent. Damaging the blades would be a highly costly mistake. There are detachable wheels that you must remove from the mower. Their only purpose is so one can transport the mower. I’ve seen people try to mow with them still on and they don’t exactly get anywhere. Let alone all the flack you’ll get from fellow workers. Once the mower is unloaded and the wheels are removed one can start the mower. It involves turning a switch near the mower to ON and pulling the starter cord. One must then turn on the blades and the roller drum that the mower moves on.

This is done by turning two separate levers located near the base of the mower. The mowers have a clutch system on them in which you must keep a handle depressed in order for the mower to move. This handle also has a safety lever. You must push forward the safety lever and feel the handle easily come back engaging the mower. Once the mower is engaged you can move into position. One must keep in mind that the mower blades must be kept off the grass by pushing down on the handle so as to elevate the blades off the grass avoiding cutting something that should not be cut. A good tip is to avoid turning on the blades until you are in position to cut but everybody has their own preference.

3. Choosing a pattern- Golf greens are mowed front to back, side to side, left to right and right to left. The left to right and right to left cuts are angle cuts. Envision a square in which you start at the bottom right corner and move to the top left corner. That is known as a right to left and cut and vice versa for a left to right handed cut. Often the superintendent will tell everyone what the direction is for that morning. It is always the opposite of the previous cut. If yesterday the greens were mowed side to side, then the next day they will be mowed front to back.

4. Finalizing position of cut- Once the direction of cut is chosen, one can properly place themselves to start cutting. The best way that I have found to start cutting is to either start at the edge of the green or the corner depending on the cut. For instance if a front to back cut is necessary then starting at the edge of the green and creating a straight line is the easiest way to go. If doing an angle cut then starting at a corner of a green and working across is typically the best bet. Every golf course is different in determining what the direction of cut actually is. At my golf course we are instructed to find the 150 yard pole and create a straight line from the pole to the green. With this straight line set up then all the cuts and can be based off that imaginary line.

5. The actually mowing itself- With the position of cut determined the mowing can begin. The first line is critical to get right as all the other lines will be based off the first. It is a back and forth process that ultimately comes down to effectively turning the mower. This can be done in a variety of ways. Most people choose to hold onto the mower with one hand and let the mower pivot around them, thus turning the mower around for then next line of cut. I choose to keep two hands on the mower which is a slower process but I am more comfortable with. It is all preference but the key is to keep the clutch engaged and mower moving. If one were to let go of the clutch then the mower comes to a halt and that’s not fun as one will most likely walk right into the mower.

Cutting of straight lines is not an easy task. It requires focus the whole way through. Some people choose to look ahead as if they were driving and pick a point ahead of them which they focus on while walking completely straight. Another method is to look at the previous line mowed and focus the edge of the mower on that line while keeping a slight over lap. Overlapping is another key of getting a great cut. If you miss a sliver of grass between the cuts it sticks out like a sore thumb and you have to go back and re-cut that line. Overlapping and walking straight with the mower are two of the biggest things to keep in mind while mowing.

6. Checking for grass build up in the bucket- There is a bucket attached to the front of the mower which catches the cut grass. It is critical to keep an eye on this bucket while mowing. Often one will have to stop at least once while mowing a green to empty this bucket. If it becomes too full then it will starting pouring grass into the blades which dulls them down. Maintaining a sharp blade is key to getting such a close cut that mowing a green requires.

7. The clean up pass- The last step in mowing a green is to do a clean up pass once one has completed all the back and forth passes possible. The clean up pass requires following the edge of the collar around the green with the mower. The collar is the strip of grass generally around two feet in width that boarders the green. It is key to keep an eye on the edge of your mower and make sure not to cut into the collar itself resulting in unsightly grass areas. Two clean up passes must be done.

The first following the edge of the collar then a second in which you follow the outside edge of your first cut but in the opposite direction that you made the first cut. For instance if one were to make the initial cut in a clockwise fashion then the second cut must be down in a counter-clockwise fashion. The clean up cuts get any grass that was missed on the edges due to having to pick up the mower early so as not to cut into the collar and to be able to properly turn the mower for the next pass. It is the finishing step in mowing a green. Once this step is complete you can step back and enjoy your handy work!

Mowing a golf course green may look easy but in fact involves many steps, in which none can be forgotten about. It is rewarding when completed as you can admire your straight lines for the rest of the day. It is also a great form of exercise. At my golf course we walk an average of 5 miles every morning in mowing alone!

Source by Dylan Polseno

Tiger Woods Golf Stance – Proper For Your Driver Golf Swing?

The Tiger Woods golf stance driver setup, ball position, foot width and weight distribution have help win him 14 major championships as of the publish date of this article. It must be the driver golf stance that we all should use then, correct?

Well, not so fast! The answer for you is maybe and maybe not. But why wouldn’t Tiger Woods golf stance be the proper stance for everyone?

Well, the first reason is that a golf stance does not sit independent of the type of swing technique you are attempting to perform. If you have a different swing style than another golfer, your stance technique is likely to be different.

A second reason why your stance may be different than Tiger’s golf stance is because your body type may be completely different. Tiger Woods would even agree with this statement 100%. On page 87 of his book, How I Play Golf, Tiger states that “in choosing a particular player to model your swing after, take into consideration the player’s height and build.” “If you’re tall and thin, you don’t want to copy the swing of a player who is short and stocky.”

As a third reason, I would expand on Tiger Woods’ statement by adding that you should take into account a player’s strength, flexibility, and coordination.

You have to look no further than the changes to Tiger Woods golf swing technique and changes in Tiger’s build to see how a different golf stance can be required for different people. The old golf swing of a young skinny Tiger Woods used a driver setup with a square to slightly closed foot position (and a strong grip for that matter). This stance and grip helped him square the clubface at impact. A stronger Tiger in his early thirties plays a stance with a square to slightly open foot position (and a neutral grip for that matter) to protect against squaring the club face too quickly. This change in foot position for Tiger was also a result of a change in his swing technique philosophy. Tiger’s old swing was for playing a draw as a youngster and his newer swing was designed for playing a power fade in his mid thirties.

So, to answer the question of whether the driver Tiger Woods golf stance is right for you more directly, let’s first outline the exact components of his stance. Tiger has a slightly open, greater than shoulder width and upright stance. Further, Tiger turns his right and left foot outward slightly.

The open and upright stance allows Tiger to swing the club on a steeper plane than a square or closed foot position and less upright stance would allow. That is because the latter requires the ball to be a further distance away from your body. The further the ball is away from your body at address, the flatter your swing will be.

Further, the way he flares his feet is designed to allow him to fully rotate his shoulder on the backswing and follow through while limiting his hip turn. Finally, the foot width he uses is the ideal distance for balance and stability to control his 135 mph driver swing speed.

You will need to experiment with the Tiger Woods golf stance fundamentals while keeping in mind your swing style and your physical makeup to determine if his stance is proper for you. For instance, women who have lower centers of gravity and slower swing speeds may not need to have a driver stance of greater than shoulder width. Additionally, those trying to play a flatter swing plane or trying to play a draw may find that a square or closed stance is better for them. Finally, those with different flexibilities may need to rotate their feet differently to get the proper hip and shoulder rotation on the backswing and follow-through motions.

So, you see the answer really is maybe or maybe not. Nonetheless, I will tell you one thing for sure. If you are ready to learn how to swing the golf club like Tiger, you will need to be ready to incorporate a flexibility and strength training routine into your game. His hip and shoulder flexibility, as well as, his lower and upper body strength can not be bought over the counter. And they are required to pull off his portrait like swing.

Source by Robert Eubanks

Winterizing Your Portable Basketball Hoops During Cold Weather

We all know that playing around with your small kids is really essential for you. It helps you stay fit and healthy. You can even come closer to your kids by spending some quality time with them. This article is going to deal with some crucial information regarding portable basket ball hoops. They are quite popular worldwide. But most of the people prefer using them in the summer season. Cold weather can really have a negative effect on your basketball hoop.

I would like to suggest you that if you are having a nice portable hoop then you need to winterize it in the best possible way. Unless you protect the whole base properly you will never be able to play basketball in the best possible way. By doing this, you can easily enjoy a game of basketball in the winter season. The plastic material can crack down if you don’t pay proper attention towards it. So, you must carry out proper steps in this regard.

Now, let us discuss some key tips and instructions in this regard. Make sure you pay proper attention towards these points.

• The first thing that you need to do is to allow the water to dissipate from your hoop’s base. It would allow the entire equipment to dry out in the best possible way.

• Now, you can consider filling up your hoop’s base with a lot of sand. It wouldn’t allow the base to freeze or breakdown in low temperature. According to me, it would definitely gain more stability in the scheme of things.

• Now, you need to remove the basketball net in a proper way. Storing it inside your house is the best option available with you. It should not get wet at any cost.

• I would like to tell you that covering the basketball hoop with a huge trash bag is really essential. It would not allow the water to penetrate inside. Once you have done this you can seal the entire bag some tape. I am sure it is a great alternative for all of you.

So, these are a few key tips that would help you prevent your basketball hoop from getting damaged. If you are planning to play basketball this winter season then you need to pursue all these guidelines and take a few safety tips in to consideration. Read this article carefully for further information. I am sure you would benefit a lot from here. Enjoy a lot while playing a game of basketball with your family and friends.

Source by Robert S Bob

Anna Maria Island, Florida: Hollywood of the Gulf Coast

For more than 60 years, Anna Maria Island has been a star. The island’s spectacular white sand and turquoise waters have frequently been used by Hollywood movie producers to create the ideal beach scenes. Some of the biggest icons in Hollywood have graced the beaches of AMI, however it’s easy to see the island is the real star.

AMI is a 7.5 mile island located directly south of Tampa Bay on the Gulf of Mexico. The island does not permit high-rise resorts, which keeps the beaches much less crowded. Majestic sunsets, high-quality quartz sand and low predictable Gulf waves make the Island and its surrounding waters a perfect choice for filming.

Here are a few of the films shot on Anna Maria Island that you might have seen or heard of:

  • On An Island With You: Anna Maria Island’s first appearance on the big screen was in the 1948 MGM Studios musical “On an Island With You.” The film cast Hollywood legend Esther Williams as the lead in one her infamous swimsicals, films that combined her stellar acting, singing and swimming. The film also included icon Jimmy Durante. The plot of the movie centers around a love triangle on a military base in the Hawaiian Islands. AMI, seamlessly pulls off its part as an exotic island destination in the film, just as it continues to do every day in real life.
  • Out Of Time: One word… Denzel. Ladies, feel free to being swooning. That’s right Denzel Washington ran the beaches of Anna Maria Island while filming the 2003 MGM film “Out of Time.” Floribbean restaurant Banana Cabana proudly promotes that they were host to Denzel’s thank you dinner for the “Out of Time” crew members.
  • The Perfect Storm: If Denzel isn’t a big enough heartthrob for you, how about George Clooney or Mark Walberg? The 2000 Warner Brothers picture The Perfect Storm was partially filmed on off the coast of Anna Maria Island. Producers used the predictably smooth Gulf Coast waters to capture the calm before the storm.

You don’t need to be a movie producer to capture the beauty of AMI. The greatest films shot on the island will always be home movies. Although it’s nice to see AMI on the silver screen, the culture of the island has never been about the limelight. It’s about families and friends enjoying one of the world’s most magnificent beach settings in a quiet, relaxed environment. So be sure to bring your camera.

Source by Danny Stooksbury

Betta Fish Care – 5 Essential Things to Know

For about $6 you can take a betta fish home, and while they are one of the easiest fish ever to take care of (even easier than goldfish), there are a couple of things you should know to keep yours not just alive, but looking good and staying active.

1) At least a one gallon bowl. Two gallons is much better.

Do not listen to the pet store people about how a betta fish can live in a little cup of water. They want to sell you a new one in two months when your current one dies. They don’t really care if your fish looks terrible between now and then. Keeping a betta in a tiny “betta bowl” will also mean that you will need to change the water almost every day. If you keep it in a two gallon tank, you can get away with changing the water twice a week, and if you get a three gallon bowl or larger, you’ll be able to change it only once a week.

Another problem with having a betta in such a tiny bowl is that their water temperature can rise and fall dramatically between day and night. This will stress your fish a lot and make it much easier for your betta to get sick. Then you will need to buy $10 or more fish medication. So get a good sized bowl, please. Even a globe flower vase will do.

2) One betta to a bowl.

The pet store will probably tell you this, but do not put more than one betta to a bowl. Even females and males will not get along. One will attack the other until its fins are shredded and it dies of stress a few days later.

3) Bettas need to be warm.

Betta fish need water that is around 75 to 80 degrees. That may be easy during the summer, but during the winter, and especially at night, your betta is going to need extra heat. Otherwise they will get sick, look awful, make you feel bad and then cost you $10 or more for that fish medication, which may or may not save your fish.

If you do not want to use the classic tube heaters, there are rubber-covered flaps that will heat five and ten gallon tanks. They cost about $8. Or, if you have one, you can put your betta on a seedling heat pad. These heat sources are waterproof and give out very low heat, so there’s no risk of overheating the betta or of burning yourself (or your children, if it is their fish).

4) Do not overfeed your betta.

Bettas should be fed once a day. Do not feed them one day a week to keep them in optimal condition. In fact, if you want to go away for 3-4 days, you betta will be fine for that long. If you happen to have a live plant in their bowl, they will pick at the plant, but even without it they will be fine.

How much to feed your betta? Well, not much more than the size of their eye. That is about how big their stomach is. Just in case you were wondering: Overfeeding makes more bettas sick than anything besides bad water.

5) Skip the “betta water” at the pet store

Get yourself a little bottle of betta water conditioner, or any general water conditioner for aquariums. The $5 you will spend for the water conditioner will create the same amount as $200 worth of “betta water”. You can use tap water for your betta, just follow the instructions for the water conditioner. I like to keep 2-3 gallon jugs of treated tap water available for water changes.

You must do those water changes. Even if you just pour out half to two-thirds of the water, then pour in your pre-treated water, that is a lot better than nothing, and it will take less than two minutes.

Source by Pamella Neely

Sick Betta Fish – What Your Fish is Trying to Tell You

What to do what to do? Betta fish fall ill a surprising amount, especially when it can be hard to maintain the exact conditions that are ideal for them. If your Betta fish is acting weird, you may have no idea what’s going on with it, but you know it needs help. Below you will find the signs to look out for and learn why they are frequently symptoms of a sick Betta fish. Additionally, you will also be given some great resources in regards to both curing a sick Betta fish as well as care in general.

Signs to look out for:

Before jumping straight to illness, you need to consider other external factors that might influence your fish’s behavior.

  • Extreme Lethargy: Is your fish extremely sluggish or inactive? Bettas, especially during the day, are very active creatures. I can look over across my desk right now and see my fish happily flitting about his tank. Lethargy can be caused by a number of things, the most common being water temperature. Water that is too cold, such as that that drops well below 76°, will cause your pet to slow down. Alternatively, a slow-moving pet can also be a sign of poor water conditions, such as that of ammonia build up. Knowing whether lethargy indicates a sick Betta fish or not will depend on your examining of the factors at hand: If your temperature is where it should be, it’s time to look into the ailments that your Betta might have. If it isn’t, you’ve lucked out and got an easy fix on your hands.
  • Excessive Trips to the Surface: Because Betta fish have developed their own labyrinth organ, allowing them to breathe normal air as well as the oxygen and water, a fish that comes to the surface to breathe is not uncommon. A warning sign you should take note of, however, is a Betta fish that is taking extremely frequent and prolonged trips to the surface. This can be a sign that the oxygen content in your water is being depleted. Oxygen depletion can happen when the tank is too warm, or when your chemicals are too high (such as ammonia or nitrite).
  • Discoloration Around The Gills/Spots On Body or Fins: if you ever see obvious streets around the gills (usually reddish-brown) or discoloration/spots or fins and body; these are surefire signs that your Betta fish is in need of immediate help. These symptoms usually indicate that ammonia levels in your water are seriously skewed. Or, in the case of white spots, that your pet has acquired a parasite known as the “ich”. Both of these conditions are potentially deadly and you need to begin treatment right away.

Source by T L Gallamore

Salmon Fish Oil Supplements Banishes Dry Skin in Dogs – Provides Health Benefits

Salmon oil supplement was the answer to our dog’s skin and coat problems. It started with doggie dandruff, as in whitish flakes appearing on our dog’s fur, and falling onto our rugs and sofas. Nasty!

The first thing we tried, on our vet’s recommendation, was a medicated shampoo, which helped somewhat. But every time we used it to shampoo him, it had to be left on for 10-15 minutes, and anyone who has ever tried to make a wet, soapy dog “wait” for 15 minutes knows that is not an easy thing to do! You get one miserable, wet, whining dog, stuck in the shower stall, doing the full body shake and getting suds all over the shower walls and door….Plus, we weren’t too keen on the idea of having to give him such frequent baths. So we did some research on what kind of dietary supplements might be able to help with dry, flaky skin.

We found a lot of recommendations that omega-3 fatty acids can help to combat this problem, and these acids are found naturally in fish oils. The manufacturers do make some interesting claims about their health benefits, some of which include: improving the skin and coat; anti-inflammatory benefits; improvements in heart and renal functions, immunity, and growth; and as an aid for joint problems. To our surprise, such claims were actually backed up by numerous studies and research.

For instance, studies have shown that adding omega-3 fatty acids to a dog’s diet can help with inflammation during wound healing, as well as improve atopic skin conditions. Others have verified that fish oil supplements have positive effects on abnormal heart rhythm problems in dogs.

Some fish oil supplements for pets come in capsules, just like the human version. However, in order to feed it to your pet, you have to break the capsule, then squeeze the oil out into your dog’s bowl. Or you could try to get your dog to swallow the capsule. We found that too much work! We prefer the fish oil that came in bottles-super easy to administer. Just pump and squirt the fish oil over your dog’s dry food-the amount would depend on your dog’s weight, and recommendations of the fish oil manufacturer. Our dog loves the taste so much that he will happily lick it straight up.

If you are worried about whether the fish oil will have a strong fishy odor that will stink up your kitchen or house, be sure to choose fish oil that is pharmaceutical grade. This means the oil undergoes a high filtration method that removes almost all of that fishy smell, so that it doesn’t bother all but those with very sensitive noses.

You’d also want to pay attention to how the fish oils are extracted and distilled-it should be done in such a way that all toxins and heavy metals like mercury, are removed. Fish oils don’t usually need to be refrigerated but do check the label on your bottle to make sure.

There are many brands of fish oil for pets out there, but for the above reasons, we use, and recommend, what we think is the best line of fish oils for pets on the market, those by Iceland Pure. We have gotten only positive feedback from our customers who have bought them for their pets. As a bonus, the Iceland Pure fish oils come in green, recyclable, brushed aluminum bottles. Plastic bottles can “break down” when certain liquids are stored in them, and cause chemical contamination.

Our dog is partial to the salmon oil, although the company also makes a new sardine-anchovy oil that has 30% more omega-3 fatty acids than the salmon oil.

Today, our dog is free of the flaky dog dandruff problems that used to plague him, and his coat is also super healthy and soft. Even our vet was impressed by the change. If you have a pet with skin issues, give fish oil supplements a try-you’ll be impressed by the results!

Source by Veronica Chang

5 Keys of a Successful Fiberglass Pool Installation

In principle, Fiberglass Pools may seem to be the easiest type of pool to install. Just dig a hole and drop it in…right? In theory that’s correct, but it’s not quite that simple. In fact, installers make mistakes all the time, and a poorly installed pool makes for an unhappy pool customer. So if you are considering the purchase of a fiberglass pool you’re in luck. We’re about to discuss the 5 Keys to a successful fiberglass pool installation. Let’s jump right in!

Key #1: A Solid Foundation

This may seem like a no-brainer but it is the culprit behind the failure of many pool installations. Here are a couple things to watch out for:

o Setting the pool shell on disturbed soil- When the hole is being dug, if the excavator accidentally digs too deep there is a tendency to build that area back up with the same soil. That’s a big no no! The area must be brought up to grade with a compactable base material. If this is not done correctly, the ground will eventually settle and so will the pool. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to know that means trouble.

o Uncompacted base material- After the hole is excavated a leveling material such as sand or gravel is dumped in the hole and is leveled as a base for the pool shell to rest on. If this material is not properly compacted the pool will settle over time.

These problems can be easily avoided by the contractor by taking the necessary time to insure the pool rests on a solid foundation. We have written extensively on this topic and are proponents of clean crushed gravel as a base material.

Key #2: Sound Pool Leveling Methods

Because a fiberglass pool is a one piece unit it is not realistic to expect that it will be perfectly level. The industry standard states that the pool can be up to one inch out of level in forty feet. We shoot to get the pool within a quarter but will settle for a half-inch. I have seen installers will use any means under the sun to get the pool shell level and some methods are perfectly fine, and others are frankly kind of scary.

We teach that the best method to level a fiberglass pool is to completely lift the pool out of the hole and either add or take away material to get the pool to the desired level. We also teach to walk the pool floor after the shell is set to insure the entire pool is resting on base material without voids. These two techniques will insure that the pool is not only level, but resting in its natural state and free of disproportionate stress at any point.

Key # 3: Sound Plumbing

What we’re really talking about here is the “L” word: leaks! Yes it is a dirty word, especially in the pool business. There are 3 things an installer should do to protect against leaks:

o Secure the plumbing- Because fiberglass pools have a tremendous amount of backfill material that can settle over time, it’s necessary to secure the plumbing to insure that it doesn’t move. Plumbing settlement results in leaky fittings in the pool and is a major pain to repair. We tie our plumbing up with cable to protect against any settlement.

o Use rigid PVC pipe- There are two predominant types of PVC used around inground pools, flex pipe and rigid pipe. Flexible PVC, as its name implies, will easily contour with the shape of the pool and make for a quicker installation. The problem with flex pipe is that it is not suitable for underground use according to the manufacturers of the product. They state this because the material is susceptible to damage from termites. We have also found that the pipe is prone to collapse under pressure and that the glue joints do not hold as well. Rigid pipe on the other hand, is much more durable and can also be contoured to follow the pool shell by a process called heat bending that we teach via video. This gives you all of the flexible advantages of flex pipe with the durability of rigid pipe. You simply have to be willing to invest the time to get it done.

o Pressure Testing- This should never be neglected. It’s better to find a leak now than later, especially if later is after the concrete patio is poured! This is pool install 101, but there are many contractors who still don’t pressure test their plumbing.

Key #4: Good Backfill Procedure

Backfilling the pool shell is a process that can have serious consequences if done improperly. Here are some backfilling guidelines:

o Bring the backfill material up on the outside of the pool with the water level on the inside of the pool. This keeps relatively equal pressure on the walls of the pool.

o Compact the backfill material to insure minimal settlement. Sand backfill requires saturation with water every six to twelve inches of lift. Clean gravel backfill compacts on placement and requires no additional compaction methods.

o Pack the steps and seats with backfill material to eliminate voids as much as possible. This is done by literally crawling under the pool and stuffing backfill material into the area with a board or other tool. It’s important to make sure there is at least a foot of water in the pool before beginning this process so the entire pool is not lifted from the ground.

o Brace large steps and benches with block to protect against sagging.

If backfilling is done improperly excessive settlement, bulged and crooked walls, or sagging steps and benches are some of the consequences. We are also huge proponents of clean crushed gravel as a backfill material.

Key #5: Quality Cantilevered Coping

A perfect pool installation can all be for naught if the coping of the pool is of poor quality. In many respects the coping can either make or break the entire job. Cantilevered concrete coping is poured in place on top of the pool and is a skill that requires significant experience to master. The two primary steps to producing successful cantilevered concrete are:

1. Proper form installation- Because the forms must contour with the pool, Styrofoam is the material of choice. The forms must be installed so they are secure enough to withstand the pressures exerted by the concrete and true enough to maintain their desired shape.

2. Proper concrete placement- As the concrete is placed against the form it is necessary to remove air pockets by tapping vigorously against the outside of the form.

A good cantilevered coping job will be free of significant air pockets and exposed gravel and the surface will be uniform and relatively smooth.

Well there’s some food for thought for those of you considering the purchase of a fiberglass pool. Based on my experience it would be wise to devote as much energy to finding the right pool contractor as the right pool manufacturer.

Source by Jason C Hughes