Tonawanda News

Features

December 3, 2012

CRITTER COMPANIONS: How to handle a nippy puppy

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Q: Do you have any recommendations for Christmas presents this year for pets or the pet lover? — Betty M., Ransomville

A: Yes! But you will have to wait a week or so to find out.

Q: What is your opinion on how often a litter box should be cleaned? — Bruce W., Niagara Falls

A: I have two cats, Julian and Princeton, and two litter boxes. They both use both boxes and usually once I scoop it one of them will immediately go in it again! I then scoop that and the cats seem to be “empty” for a while. 

If you notice how serious your cats are about grooming, I bet they would recommend multiple times a day. Health problems aside, having a clean litter box will decrease the chance of accidents. I completely change the litter about once a week, which is usually when soiled particles are too small for the scooper.

Q: My once-beautiful fish tank glass is covered with algae. Should I buy sucker fish to help clean the glass? — Lorraine B., Tonawanda

A: I would not. There are many types of algae eaters out there and although they do eat algae if your glass is really dirty, they probably wouldn’t improve it that much. If you want to have them in your tank because you think they look pretty, then I would buy some.

To start cleaning your tank I would buy a pet store-grade algae scrubber. You can buy one that has a long handle or a magnetic one. I like the long handle version. Then start scrubbing, making sure gravel doesn’t get in between the scrub brush and the glass (this is how internal scratches occur). 

Your water will probably get very dirty. I would then siphon the entire surface of the gravel and take up to 30 percent of the water out. Cleaning the filter or replacing the filter pad is also important. I would wait a day to see how that looks. If the water is still cloudy you can take another 30 percent out the next day. Usually you should do a partial change on your tank about once a week.

Kenny Coogan has a B.S. in animal behavior. Please email your questions to birdbehaviorconsultant@yahoo.com, or search for "Critter Companions by Kenny Coogan" on Facebook.

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