Friday, August 12, 2011

New Pets

In addition to our pet dog Scooby, we always seem to have some sort of critter around here....... 
 We have borrowed bunnies from the farm.......
We have borrowed and hatched chickens.
We have collected Monarch eggs and caterpillars... borrowing them for a short time to observe
and then we release the butterflies. (You will find oodles of posts about our caterpillar and butterfly experiences if you use the search box!)
We have raised frogs from eggs
The children absolutely love observing and interacting with the animals. So, after we completed our recent frog life cycle observations, we decided it was time for some new "pets."

We filled our aquarium up with water and let it sit for a few days to stabilize before we took a trip to the store for some fish! Now, when we were at the store, Dane decided that it would be cool to get some Neon Glo-Fish (danios) and some Zebra Danios.  It was difficult to decide, and we had to make sure that the fish we chose would be able to live peacefully together.

He also picked out a "freshwater" fiddler crab for our tank. Now, I am not going to tell you where we bought our first fish and crab..... but we were misinformed. Upon some basic research, fiddler crabs are not fully aquatic, and they do not survive for more than 3-4 months in fresh water. The store we purchased them from is a big box store and they are selling "freshwater" fiddler crabs and keeping them fully aquatic. If you happen to buy one, please make sure to do your research and provide the proper habitat for your critters!
So, rather than having one aquarium, we now have two.....

 The first one is a freshwater tank with our fish and snails.......
 The second has brackish water, a mix of sand and gravel and provides a "beach" where the fiddler crabs can bask under the aquarium light. They certainly do love to move the gravel around and to spend time in both the water and on land.  We have been learning a lot about fiddler crabs. Did you know that you can tell the difference between males and females by the claws? The males have one large claw. You will find both left and right clawed male fiddlers.... AND when they molt, they switch!

These little critters have definitely been busy, and they certainly do keep us entertained!

After our first fish, we took a trip to the pet store where we found all kinds of other critters!!!
Our friends had fun checking out the wide array of fish and other pets they had for sale.
We saw a lot of different pets, but stuck to our plan and filled our tank with fish and snails, So we bought some fresh water snails, some tetras, and some painted glass fish.

What critters do you have for your children to observe?
Check out this great post about children and pets over at the Seeds Network.

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