“We made this decision in part due to a single positive Salmonella test by the FDA on product manufactured April 3,” the company said in a statement posted on their website. “Normally, this would have resulted in retrieval of product manufactured over just a few days. However, we are taking the additional precautionary measure to recall all products in the marketplace. Our first priority is the wellbeing of the pets we serve.”
Natura issued its first recall in the company’s 21-year history in March, and then expanded that recall a few weeks later.
“Our decision allows us to ensure that all products available in the marketplace were produced after June 10, the date when we implemented additional finished product testing procedures with the guidance of industry experts,” the statement continued.
More information, including how to receive a refund for the products, is available at www.naturapet.com/recall.]]>
“It will take us years,” Ken Nedimyer, president of the Coral Restoration Foundation, said, of the group’s goal to restore the once abundant coral population.
In addition to growing and restoring threatened coral species, and enhance reproductive output to stimulate a natural recovery, the non-profit is working to enhance and promote awareness of coral reef health and survival, along with the environmental and social benefits of reef ecosystems.
They are also engage communities in nursery and restoration efforts by encouraging long-term involvement, as well as facilitating partnerships for the purpose of research, restoration and understanding of coastal resources.
To help do this, the group created a tiered sponsorship program where companies can literally sponsor a reef project.
One such group participating in this is the World Pet Association, who recently donated $25,000 to the group’s program.
The Coral Restoration Foundation, who is leading the development of offshore nursery and restoration methods to preserve unique genetic lineages of staghorn and elkhorn coral for research and restoration purposes, will plant the corals, take photos and provide the company with images of the work.
“We show them exactly where their money went,” Kevin Gaines said. “The money goes literally to the work that is being done, not to overhead.”
Gaines, who is now the vice president of sales and business development for Piscine Energetics, was most recently the operations manager for the Coral Restoration Foundation.
During the two years he was there, he worked with Nedimyer and a small staff to build up the organization. That included expanding the nursery, getting volunteer divers involved in their education center, building awareness and most importantly educating everyone they could about the endangered corals.
Gaines knows a thing or two about what the area was like before stressors in the late 1970s and early 1980s caused the population to decline dramatically.
“My Dad used to take me to the Keys in the summer when I was a kid,” he said. “I would see an unbelievably healthy reed system. It just mesmerized me. Seeing the decline in the ‘80s, I was really depressed about it.”
From Then To Now
The Coral Restoration Foundation’s first restoration project was completed on the Wellwood grounding site on Molasses Reef in 2003, where six staghorn corals were placed on a Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary reef module and can still be found on the site today.
Throughout the years, they have increased the restoration limits obtained through permits, and has outplanted thousands of coral at 12 different named reefs in the Upper Keys.
In addition, the Coral Restoration Foundation has re-attached thousands of broken fragments from natural causes at various sites throughout the Upper Keys.
To do this, they enlist volunteer divers who working with a hammer and chisel to set coral down on specific area of the appropriate reef.
“We clean out each post, but apoxy down and glue it to the reef,” Nedimyer explained. “Within a month or two the coral has grown over the apoxy. We build a community.”
A community, he says that is a vital element, both under the water and above, to the area where they are planting them.
“A lot of the economy in the Florida Keys depends on the reefs,” Nedimyer said. “Plus, a lot of costal communities are being inundated with large waves because there are no reefs to break them up.”
The work Nedimyer does, he says shows how the industry is giving back.
“This is our passion,” he said. “(Hobbyists) are giving back and leading the way in this area. People else where are dabbling in it, but we are leading the way.”]]>
Then, two years ago came the big switch to the T8, which offered improved energy savings.
Now comes the brightest idea yet: The high output T5, which promises to be a game changer for pet retailers, said Steven Spitz, owner of Big Apple Pet Supply, the Hauppauge, N.Y.-based pet goods manufacturer and supplier.
“These are the most efficient bulbs ever offered in this category,” Spitz said. “Compared to a comparably sized T12, (the T5) puts out double the UVB output using less wattage, and for about the same price as a T8. I can’t believe how well they’re selling—they’re unbelievably popular with our customers.”
Zoo Med’s Reptisun line recently introduced a T5 bulb that emits UVB and UVA light of stronger intensity. These bulbs are ideal for larger and taller enclosures, as they provide UVB penetration at greater distances and are available in 5.0 and 10.0 varieties and in 22”, 34” and 46” lengths. Correspondingly, the manufacturer has also rolled out a new Reptisun High Output T5 low profile fixture compatible with the new bulbs and offered in 24”, 36” and 48” sizes.
And for nano terrarium owners, Zoo Med has debuted new Reptisun mini compact fluorescent 5.0 and 10.0 13-watt bulbs. These bulbs can be safely used at close distances, making them perfect for smaller domes and tanks.
“The High Output T5 Reptisun bulbs allow pet keepers to provide UVB in large or tall enclosures, while the mini compact fluorescent bulbs allow keepers to deliver the correct amount of UVB for small enclosures, which are suitable for small or sedentary animals or animals with low UVB requirements,” Ashley Rademacher, animal care and education coordinator with Zoo Med Labs, Inc., said.
Stocking an adequate assortment of the latest UVB light sources is important, said Laurie Hess, DVM, Diplomate ABVP, owner and chief veterinarian at Veterinary Center for Birds and Exotics in Bedford Hills, N.Y.
“Temperate and desert species of reptiles each require different intensities of heat, and nocturnal versus diurnal species have different requirements for light, too,” Dr. Hess said. “Retailers need to recognize these differences and provide products that meet the needs of these various species.”
In other news, Zilla now offers a compact light and heat solution in the form of the Halogen Mini Dome, which provides the benefit of focused light and heat in a space-saving form that uses energy-efficient halogen bulbs, available in 25 or 50 watts (which compare, respectively, to 50- to 75-watt and 100- to 150-watt incandescents). Mini dome colors include day white, day blue or night red.
“The compact size and ability to mount the mini dome onto the screened portion of the enclosure using an included spring clip helps avoid jostling the dome around unnecessarily and pinpoints the heat,” Pam Morisse, associate brand manager with Central Garden and Pet, the Walnut Creek, Calif.-based owners of Zilla, said.
Zoo Med has also recently released its Moonlite incandescent night time heat bulb, made with uncoated colored glass.
The light’s dark blue hue will not disturb the reptile’s day and night cycle and is just right for night-time viewing.
The bulb comes in 25-, 40-, 60- and 100-watt sizes to provide nocturnal or round-the-clock heat for many different habitat sizes.
Spitz said the top lighting products he sells continue to be mercury vapor bulbs, followed by fluorescent bulbs, basking spots, night bulbs and infrared bulbs. His hottest movers among heating products are ceramic heat emitters, heat tape and heat mats.
“It’s important for retailers to understand exactly what’s needed for exotic animals in terms of lighting and heating needs as well as the sizes and enclosures required to properly care for the animal,” Spitz said. “I can’t tell you how many times we redo what big box stores provide to their customers.”
Spitz also suggests that retailers recommend thermostats to customers and bundle them with heating sources that don’t emit light.
“Without a thermostat, if you put a 100-watt ceramic emitter in the habitat, you’re just being hopeful that it will get to 88 degrees. But when you plug your emitter into a thermostat, you can set it and forget it with peace of mind.”
Preventing Bone Disease
Lastly, it can also pay to remind customers about metabolic bone disease, which can develop when reptiles don’t produce adequate vitamin D3, due to lack of exposure to adequate UVB light of certain wavelengths, and have to draw calcium out of their bones because they cannot absorb sufficient calcium from their food.
“As a veterinarian who treats reptiles and other exotic pets exclusively, I see metabolic bone disease more often than any other disease in reptiles,” Dr. Hess said. “This disease is generally completely preventable with proper heating, lighting and nutrition.”
- Erik J. Martin]]>
But, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Manufacturers have created a host of supplements and water treatment options to make a fish’s environment clean and clear, which could result in a longer lifespan.
When a customer comes in with a fish problem, the first step is to see what kind of water was used to fill the tank. If they are filling the tank with tap water, there is usually a presence of chlorine or ammonia, which can impact the quality of the tank.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website, there are three different kinds of disinfectants in the water: Chloramine, chlorine and chlorine dioxide.
Chloramine is a water additive used to control microbes, particularly as a residual disinfectant in distribution system pipes. It is formed when ammonia is added to water containing free chlorine. There are four milligrams per liter or four parts per million of chloramines used.
Chlorine is used as a powerful oxidant that can disinfect and clean the water. There is also four milligrams per liter used in tap water.
Lastly, chlorine dioxide is a water additive used to control microbes and can be used to control tastes and odors. There is 0.8 milligrams per liter or 800 parts per billion used in tap water.
Chlorine naturally is a gas and will escape into the air, so water companies will add ammonia as well as chlorine which then create chloramines. A de-chlorinator is used only to neutralize the chlorine but not the ammonia. If ammonia is left untreated it is oxidized by bacteria to form nitrites.
A salt-water fish enthusiast has to take different steps for setting up a tank than a fresh-water enthusiast.
“Most of the salt water enthusiast that use tap water for their fish tank use reverse osmosis so they don’t have to use a de-chlorinator,” Julian Sprung, president of Two Little Fishies, said. “When using reverse osmosis people will want to add minerals back into the water. They will add calcium and magnesium to make it hard. Why would you want to do that, since it seems counter intuitive? You do the reverse osmosis to remove the chlorine and other compounds in the tank, and then if you want that hard water back, you can add those chemicals to the tank.”
When setting up a freshwater tank there are a wide range of supplements that are used to help maintain the water.
“Water conditioners that neutralize chlorine and chloramine will add a slime coat and have extracts of aloe,” Sprung said. “It will help fish with wound healing.”
In a freshwater system and a saltwater system there are certain levels of acceptable nitrate, nitrite and ammonia.
“In a freshwater system nitrate can be 20 ppm (parts per million) and ammonia and nitrite should be undetectable in fresh and salt water tanks,” Chris Brightwell, president of Brightwell Aquatics, said. “Fish can take up to 50 ppm nitrate but they will not be that healthy if that persists. 10 ppm is an ideal nitrate and a good number to try to aim for.”
Fish waste, uneaten food and decaying plant matter will also raise the ammonia levels in a tank. To help lower these levels and to help build up the biological filter, it is important to know about different water treatments.
There are simple ways to check the status of a tank according to United Pet Group Aquatics Senior Product Manager Tim Plafcan.
“The easiest and best selling way to check your aquarium is with test strips, like Tetra EasyStrips,” Plafcan said. “Simply dip the strip into your aquarium and within a minute you get results. The packaging outlines where the levels should be and features tips to make sure the chemistry is optimal.”
One of the most dangerous changes in an aquarium is pH crash and has no visible warning signs.
“This happens when the alkalinity/buffers drop to zero and your pH quickly drops to dangerous acidic levels which can seriously harm your fish,” Plafcan said. “Test strips for pH and alkalinity are very helpful in monitoring and can prevent loss. For visual signs, I always start with the fish and if their behavior changes. Increased respiration, lethargy or color changes can indicate problems that need further investigation.”
The Hagen Nutrafin cycle biological aquarium supplement will help reduce fish loss. It is safe for freshwater and saltwater aquariums and it helps eliminate harmful toxins. It has an ideal mixture of massive amounts of beneficial bacteria, nitrosomonas and nitrobacter which will make the water purer and the environment healthier in the aquariums. As an all natural product, it is not harmful to plants, animals or humans.
When a fish tank starts to form algae, Marineland has a product called Algae Eliminator that will combat green water and algae on the glass and décor. It’s safe for fish and plants and will not alter the pH.]]>
Pet Project Rescue is the first Litter for Litters partner, and Swheat Scoop said they are looking forward to supporting the Minneapolis non-profit’s efforts in reducing animal-homelessness. The program will be ongoing, and their next shelter partner and benefactor will be announced at the close of the first phase with Pet Project Rescue on Sept. 17.
“The more we are able to facilitate the basic needs of shelters, like Pet Project Rescue, the more they can focus on what they do best – fostering abandoned animals and helping them find their forever homes,” Mark Hughes, national sales and marketing manager of Pet Care Systems, said. “We look forward to the Litter for Litters program having a long life with far reaching benefits for animal organizations.”
The Litter for Litters program launches, June 17.
For details on Swheat Scoop, their family of natural, eco-friendly cat litters and their efforts to help cats, visit www.swheatscoop.com]]>