Welcome! Log in or Register

luckyarchers

luckyarchers
  • 45
  • 167
  • 1
  • 1171
  • 47079
  • 28974
  • Crowns
  • Premium reviews
  • Express reviews
  • Comments
  • Reviews rated
  • Ratings received

Member since: 15.07.2004

People I trust

Users that trust you
  • Sort by:
    • Nice n' Easy Perfect 10 / Hair Care / 20 Readings / 18 Ratings
      More +
      07.12.2014 19:18
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      1 Comment

      Advantages

      • "Great Result in 10 Minutes"
      • "Lasting Colour"
      • Easy
      • Quick

      Disadvantages

      • "Smell - like similar products."

      Perfect Hair Dye for Me with Great Result in 10 Minutes

      WHAT’S IN THE BOX?
      High Gloss Colour Crème – tube marked 1
      Colour Activating Crème – bottle marked 2 with Root Applicator Tip
      Colour Comb to use instead of Root Applicator Tip for whole hair colouring.
      Colourseal Intensive Conditioning Crème – tube marked 3
      Protective Disposable Gloves
      & Full Instructions.

      HOW TO USE
      You are advised to do a skin allergy test 48 hours before each colouring, using small amounts of products in a bowl, and to be sure of the colour result, you should also do a strand test, as instructed.
      For full hair colouring, you squeeze contents of tube marked 1 into bottle marked 2, replace applicator tip, and shake to mix thoroughly.
      The applicator tip can then be used on the roots, if they are all that is to be coloured. A colour comb is also supplied if you want to colour all of your hair.
      I only use this permanent colour 3 or 4 times a year. The regrowth only shows on the grey hairs, as the colorant is a very good match to my natural colour. For those who change their natural colour the regrowth will be more obvious.
      For me both techniques are used. The root applicator is used on my parting to make sure the most obvious roots showing are extremely well covered. Then, as the whole of my short hair needs colouring, the applicator comb is used. Either follow the manufacturers’ instructions exactly, or trial both techniques, to see which is easiest and produces the best results for you.
      After leaving the colorant on your hair for 10 minutes, rinse off and massage a 10p piece size of conditioning crème through your hair. Leave in for a couple of minutes and then rinse again. There should be plenty of conditioner left for use in later shampoos. The leftover conditioner lasts me a lot longer now that I have short hair, rather than shoulder length hair.

      LONG and/or THICK HAIR ADVICE When I first started using Perfect 10, I had very thick, shoulder length hair. To get a good result, I then had to use the colouring contents of 2 boxes at once. More recently my hair has thinned a bit (it is average thickness now), and I have had it cut short to make it easier to manage. Now I only need 1 box at a time.

      PRICE Full Price is £7.
      Asda currently have a 2 for £9 offer, or £5 each.

      RECOMMENDATION I love the result I get when colouring my hair with Perfect 10. Instead of the 50% greys I would naturally have now, I get back the all-over colour I had when I was younger by using their Light Brown.

      Comments

      Login or register to add comments
      • More +
        07.12.2014 12:15
        Very helpful
        (Rating)
        1 Comment

        Advantages

        • " pleasant smell"
        • Subtle
        • "Light Conditioning"
        • "Cleans & conditions"
        • "Great value."

        Disadvantages

        • "Not enough conditioner for dryer hair."
        • "None for me. "

        Best Value Hair Brand for Me - Dove 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner

        I have been using Dove Shampoos for many years. Although I have sampled other brands in between using Dove varieties, I always come back to it.

        I have found dearer shampoos that are as good, but not better. For me, it makes no sense to pay more for a product I can get in my local 99p Store. Dove is usually there in most of its forms, and to make sure I don’t run out, I try to keep spares in my cupboard.

        As I have got older, I have tended to need the type of shampoo for Normal hair, rather than the Greasy hair type of my younger years. Although the kind of shampoo and conditioner I need, can also change with the weather.

        The DOVE that I use most often is the 2 IN 1 SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER. It cleans my hair well, without over drying it, and leaves it with a subtle pleasant smell. Most times this contains the right amount of conditioner for me.

        There are times when I do add a small amount of extra conditioner to my hair. These are just after I have dyed the greys, and any time I feel my scalp is a little dryer (this usually happens in the winter).

        All home dying kits that I have bought contain more than enough specialist conditioner to top up the conditioner in Dove 2 in 1 until it is time to dye my hair again. I just use Dove 2 in 1 as normal on these occasions, and then use a modest amount of extra conditioner to finish off.

        The one time I don’t use Dove 2 in 1 is the shampoo just before dying my hair. My different brands of dying kits have all told me to use no conditioner at all on these occasions, so that the dye has the best chance of “taking”.

        RECOMMENDATION

        Overall I am very pleased with Dove 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner, and think it is the best value brand of its type for me, especially as I can usually find the 250ml bottle in my local 99p Stores.

        Full price seems to be £2.69 for 250ml, or £3.99 for 400ml, but I can’t remember ever having to pay this much.

        I recommend this for those with hair that only needs light conditioning.

        It leaves my hair feeling clean, light and bouncy, with a pleasant subtle smell.

        Comments

        Login or register to add comments
        • More +
          30.11.2014 21:31
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • "Sodium laureth sulphate free."
          • "Oil free."
          • "Helps avoid spots."
          • "Deep cleans gently."

          Disadvantages

          • "Can over-dry some people's skin"
          • "Only suitable for greasy skin. "

          Gentle Oil Free Cream Wash for Greasy Skin

          MY SKIN TYPE

          I have been using Johnson & Johnsons Clean & Clear products on my face for many years.

          In my teens and twenties I used them almost exclusively, on my then very greasy facial skin, a few times a day.

          Now, in my more mature years my face has gone from greasy all over, to just a greasy T Zone of forehead, nose and chin. The rest of my face is prone to dry patches, so needs extra care. I would describe this as quite an extreme case of “combination” skin.

          I used to cleanse with Clean & Clear Exfoliating Wash, which contains tiny micro-beads to take away the top-most layer of skin away with the dirt. The exfoliating version is also based on sodium laureth sulphate, which can be an irritant to more delicate skin. This suited me when I was young, but now I need something kinder to help my greasy T Zone keep spot free.

          The answer for me is using Clean & Clear Deep Action Oil-Free Cream Wash. This contains no micro-beads to exfoliate my delicate skin, or sodium laureth sulphate. Instead in comes out of the tube looking more like a light moisturiser rather than a cleanser. The white cream does indeed cleanse very greasy T Zone very well and a lot more gently than other products in the range.

          MY USAGE

          To use I wet my face and then massage a small amount into my greasy T Zone. I then rinse thoroughly with warm water. While rinsing the dryer parts of my face get a more dilute solution on them, which is all they need. Afterwards my whole face feels very clean. I then moisturise with a cream suited to my age, using a lot more on the dryer parts, than the greasy parts.

          I will continue using this Clean & Clear Deep Cleansing Oil Free Cream Wash once a day while my face is at this in-between stage, where half acts like teenage skin, and the other less greasy half inevitably ages.

          As my skin only requires me to use a tiny amount once a day, a tube will last me 2 or 3 months. (I do cleanse more often but at other times of day will use a cleanser for normal skin, as opposed to this one for greasy skin.)

          PRICE

          Currently you can get Clean & Clear products 2 for £5 at Superdrug, or Buy Two Get One Free at Boots.

          Full price is £3.50 for a 150ml tube.

          Comments

          Login or register to add comments
        • More +
          26.10.2014 16:42
          Very helpful
          (Rating)
          1 Comment

          Advantages

          • "Relieves sore throat and blocked sinus symptoms."

          Disadvantages

          • "Contains sugar. "

          Sore Throat and Blocked Sinus Relief

          Halls Soothers have helped me relief the symptoms of a mild sore throat with their liquid syrupy centres, and their menthol content (derived from the mint plant) helped to relief blocked sinuses

          These retail for about 45p for a pack of 10, and I have recently seen them on special offer in Tesco and Asda for 80p for two packs.

          Superdrug currently have a buy one, get one half price, across a range of cough and cold products, including Soothers, which are one for 49p. I know that I am not going to get through a winter without at least a mild dose of cold symptoms, so I like to have some in my medicine cabinet.

          I like the blackcurrant flavour best, which contains real blackcurrant juice, but they also come in strawberry, cherry, and peach & raspberry.

          The ingredients for my blackcurrant flavour variety are given as: Glucose syrup, Sugar, Glucose-fructose syrup, Glycerol, Concentrated blackcurrant juice, Lactic acid, Citric acid, Flavourings, Acidity regulators (Sodium lactate, Potassium citrate), Menthol, Eucalyptus Oil, Colours (E129,E132), Emulsifier (Soya lecithin).

          While I don’t eat a lot of sugary sweets normally, to ease the symptoms of a cold, I am happy to eat this sort of thing for a few days. The benefits far exceed the disadvantages in by opinion, unless you are diabetic of course. If I run out, I would use sugary boiled sweets as an alternative, until I could restock with this more effective solution.

          RECOMMENDATION

          These are widely available on the high street for a reasonable price, and have helped me to relief the symptoms of mild sore throats and blocked sinuses.

          Comments

          Login or register to add comments
          • More +
            26.10.2014 11:41
            Very helpful
            (Rating)

            Advantages

            • "A sugar-free menthol lozenge. "

            Disadvantages

            • "Hard to find on the high street."

            Menthol in Tunes has Helped Relieve Sinus Problems

            I have found that the Menthol in Tunes helps clear my sinuses when I have a mild cold, and they have a pleasant cherry taste. (The Menthol comes from the mint plant.) The manufacturers, Wrigley’s, state that they do actually contain cherry juice.

            Like any sweets or lozenges, the extra saliva produced in my mouth when sucking them, will also help to relief a mild sore throat.

            Their sugar free formula may be popular for reducing acid wear to teeth but is not good for everyone. Like other foods with artificial sweeteners, these come with the warning that this could cause a laxative effect, especially even eaten in large quantities. This side-effect could be good or bad for you, depending on whether you need to “go” more often.

            Diabetics will be interested to know that the carbohydrate content is 3.26g per sweet, but no sugar.

            They come in 38g packs of 10 sweets, but I have found them increasingly hard to buy on the high-street. So if you want them, you may have to buy multi-packs on-line. Amazon are currently selling 20 for £19.59. Alternatively try your local Co-Op who may still stock them for 55p a single pack.

            If you don’t have a problem with eating sweets with sugar, at least while your cold symptoms persist, an alternative is Hall’s Soothers, in a variety of flavours, which are a lot more widely available on the high street. These have the extra advantage of containing a liquid centre to help sooth a sore throat.

            RECOMMENDATION

            Sugar free Tunes are now hard to find on the high street, but I have found them useful for treating mild sinus and sore throat symptoms.

            Comments

            Login or register to add comments
          • More +
            25.10.2014 23:19
            Very helpful
            (Rating)

            Advantages

            • "Can help you rehydrate quickly."

            Disadvantages

            • "None for most people."

            A First Aid Box Essential for Me

            I have found the contents of these sachets, mixed with water, a quick way of feeling much better when I have been dehydrated either due to exercising in hot weather, or being ill with diarrhoea and sickness.

            As in all the types of rehydration sachets that I have tried, the blackcurrant ones have tasted the best. When I have felt sick, I have found that the best way of drinking it is with small sips. That way it is more likely to stay inside me than trying to drink a full glass quickly.

            Dehydration has caused dizziness, headaches and tiredness in me. It can cause even worse symptoms in severe cases, so I always keep this type of medicine in my first aid cupboard.

            This medicine helps replace the essential electrolytes lost during dehydration and restores the patient’s salts, sugars and fluid balance. Each sachet of granules contains Citric Acid Anhydrous 0.128g, Glucose Monohydrate 3.58g, Potassium Chloride 0.30g, Sodium Chloride 0.47g, Sodium Citrate Dihydrate 0.39g.

            Of course, always read the enclosed leaflet, and if symptoms persist, seek medical advice, especially after 48 hours.

            I have often seen special offers for this type of medicine around the times of year when they most expect people to be visiting hot countries for their holidays. As well as the heat a foreign diet could trigger dehydration.

            I don’t see the point in buying big brand names, in this case Dioralyte, when the same medicine can be bought more cheaply as an own brand.

            Boots currently sell this for the full price of £2.99 for 6, compared to £3.29 for the similar Dioralyte sachets.

            Comments

            Login or register to add comments
          • More +
            23.10.2014 16:03
            Very helpful
            (Rating)
            1 Comment

            Advantages

            • "They stop diarrhoea. "

            Disadvantages

            • "Medicine may mask a life-threatening condition"
            • "Unnecessarily expensive."

            I Buy a Much Better Value Alternative

            Imodium Capsules in their classic original form contain 2mg of loperamide hydrochloride.

            I have taken them and found them to be very effective in the control of diarrhoea.

            However, the generic ingredient of loperamide hydrochloride is the same that can be found in a number of own brand products, which can be bought considerably cheaper. Examples of current prices are as follows.

            PRICES

            At BOOTS you can buy Imodium Classics 12 capsules for £5.99 or 18 for £7.99. Alternatively you can buy Boots Diarrhoea Relief capsules, which will do the same job, with the same active ingredient, costing £2.19 for 6, £4.29 for 12, or £5.99 for 18.

            At SUPERDRUG the prices are Imodium Classics 6 for £3.19 or Superdrug Acute Diarrhoea Relief 6 for £1.99.

            At SAINSBURYS 6 Imodium cost £2.30 or 6 Sainsbury’s Anti-Diarrhoea Capsules for £1.

            At TESCO 6 Imodium cost £2.50 or 6 Tesco Diarrhoea Relief £1.

            CAUSE AND EFFECT OF DIARRHOEA

            Diarrhoea is your body’s natural way of getting rid of infections, and if this is the cause of your problem, I believe it is better to stay near the loo and let it run its cause. In the meantime don’t eat for 24 hours, as this may only prolong the problem.

            However, if the cause of your symptoms is an irritable bowel loperamide hydrochloride may well be the best medicine for you, but do get a proper diagnosis from a doctor, either to rule out life-threatening causes (for example cancer), or get treatment for them.

            Whatever the cause of diarrhoea, it is imperative that you rehydrate your body as quickly as possible. Plain water will help to rehydrate, but I have found that adding rehydration mixes to the water has made me feel a lot better very quickly. Again the supermarket rehydration sachets are a lot cheaper than buying Dioralyte.

            RECOMMENDATION

            If Imodium is the only brand of diarrhoea relief you can find containing 2mg of loperamide hydrochloride per capsule, you will find it effective in slowing your bowel down. However, I have had the same result from taking supermarket own brand capsules which contain the same ingredient, and are significantly cheaper.

            I, therefore, recommend either Sainsbury’s or Tesco’s Diarrhoea Relief Capsules as a much better value, but just as effective, alternative.

            Comments

            Login or register to add comments
            • Other Birds / Pet / Animal / 14 Readings / 15 Ratings
              More +
              22.10.2014 14:52
              Very helpful
              (Rating)
              3 Comments

              Advantages

              • "Some are semi-tame"
              • "Melodious Song"
              • Entertaining

              Disadvantages

              • "None for me. "

              Birds in My Garden

              I live in a small town in south-east Essex, near the Thames estuary. Nearby is farmland and woodland.

              HOUSE SPARROWS These are the most numerous in my garden, at up to 40 at the same time.

              STARLINGS These also visit in large numbers but mostly just after dawn, or just before dusk. They seem to regard the nearby woods as their main home.

              FERAL PIGEONS I would not recommend encouraging these in large numbers, as they could then become a nuisance, but we have had 4 semi-tame ones visit us for years now. Their markings are sufficiently different for us to easily tell them apart.

              WOOD PIGEONS We get up to 6 at a time visit us. Neither we, nor the other birds like them. They try to bully small birds, but birds nearer their size gang up to bully them back.

              COLLARED DOVES These, up to 8 at a time, seem to be the exact opposite in temperament to the Wood Pigeons and get on well with the other visitors.

              Song Birds
              BLACKBIRDS We usually only get one pair of these birds with their beautiful song.
              ROBINS are another song bird that usually only visit one pair at a time. For both these species, their song is how they define their territory.

              GOLD & GREENFINCHES They also have a pleasant sound, even if not as varied as the blackbirds and robins, and visit us up to 8 at a time.

              BLUE TITS These are occasional visitors. We are most likely to see them at breading time, when they make use of local nest-boxes.

              GULLS These come in their largest numbers when the weather is rough. Unless they get desperate for food, they will not usually land in our garden. If we throw some food onto our flat garage roof for them, there is a good chance that they will leave our garden birds feeding lower down alone.

              The Main Predators
              SPARROWHAWKS Although I love having the smaller birds in my garden, I cannot help but have respect for the skill of sparrow hawks in catching their prey. We don’t have many covering our territory, so you could say that they do a good job in weeding out the most vulnerable of small birds, which may otherwise die a slower death.
              CROWS The other predator is the crow. I do not like these bullies, but they will act as a natural “dustbin”, eating scraps of meat that might otherwise be left to decompose and attract even more unwelcome visitors.

              GIVE NATURE A HOME
              They all play their part in Mothers Nature’s plan, and we should respect and preserve their environment. Visit the RSPB website for more advice.

              Comments

              Login or register to add comments
              • Tortoise / Pet / Animal / 14 Readings / 15 Ratings
                More +
                14.10.2014 20:18
                Very helpful
                (Rating)
                2 Comments

                Advantages

                • "Mine ate all of our dandelions."

                Disadvantages

                • "Needs specialised care."

                Needs Specialised Care.

                == My Early Experience ==

                When I was a child in the 1950s, I was given a tortoise as a pet, and knowing no different thought that it was OK to kept it in a run in the garden in the warmer months, and put it in a wooden box in our shed for it to sleep away the winter months. Even if I had been allowed to bring it indoors, our own home would not have been warm enough for him in the severest winters at night after our coal fires had been out for some time.

                Other things I learnt from experience were that tortoises can burrow through soil to escape from a standard pen, and they can climb. Climbing up the side of a bowl of water (that was too deep to get out of again), will cause a tortoise to drown.

                == Building Up Knowledge ==

                With the internet, it is now easier to find out about pet care. This should, of course, be done before getting any pet.

                Only captive breed tortoises are legally allowed to be sold in the UK. (Sadly too many have died in transit from their natural part of the world.)

                The 3 types of tortoise must often kept as pets in the UK (Hermans, Spur-Thighs, and Marginated) are all naturally found in Mediterranean areas of Southern Europe, where the climate is a lot different from the UK. Therefore, to thrive in the UK they need to have heated accommodation, and a UV lamp. The exact temperature range will depend on the species. Some always hibernate in winter, some don’t.

                The bulk of their diet is leafy plants. (I was particularly pleased that mind liked many of the weeds that grew in our garden.) However, check the exact dietary needs of your species of tortoise, as well and its environmental needs.

                The popularity of tortoises as pets seems to have grown quicker than our understanding of their needs. I believe humans still have a lot to learn about keeping tortoises healthy in captivity.

                Tortoises are not the cheap, or easiest of pets to look after, that people once thought they were. Do read up on their variety of needs, and think about whether you can afford the expense, and time, to keep one, bearing in mind that a well-looked after tortoise will have a similar life-span to a healthy human.

                Comments

                Login or register to add comments
                • Frogs / Pet / Animal / 13 Readings / 14 Ratings
                  More +
                  13.10.2014 16:41
                  Very helpful
                  (Rating)
                  2 Comments

                  Advantages

                  • "Eats slugs that harm plants."

                  Disadvantages

                  • None.

                  Gardiners’ Friend

                  Over the many years we have lived in our present home, we have had many frogs and toads visit our garden. As we live near a large lake this is not surprising.

                  Amphibians require a body of freshwater to breed in spring. They tend to return to the same place each year, often to where they were spawned, to lay their fertilised eggs in still water. Frogs will usually choose small ponds or the shallow edges of lakes where their eggs will get plenty of light and warmth from the sun.

                  Small ponds can seem overcrowded with adults in spring, but they will disperse once their reason for being there is over. In summer, after the tadpole stage, you may see large numbers of young frogs or toads, but again these will naturally scatter.

                  Our detached garage has remained damp for some weeks now, not getting the chance to dry out fully in between the rain.

                  Since these damp conditions, a frog seems to have set up home on an odd brick he found in a dark damp garage corner. It does leave the brick from time to time, presumably to go foraging, but it has kept coming back. It might have found some juicy slugs and insects to eat in my compost heap which could be its froggy restaurant. In fact in has been a particularly good/bad (depending on whether you are a gardener or a frog) year for slugs in my garden. Frogs should be filling up with food in autumn to have enough energy to get them through the winter, so it is in luck.

                  Our frog may choose to hibernate over winter in our garage. If he does he will be safe in the corner he has selected to be in. Most amphibians lie dormant over winter, though may come out and forage if the weather turns temporarily mild.

                  I am fascinated by the way the frog’s skin changes colour to camouflage it depending on whether it is in full shadow, or partial light because we need to have one or both of the doors open for a while.

                  If you find a frog or toad, do not move it, unless it is in danger, for example from road vehicles. Assume it has a good reason for being there, or is on route to somewhere good for it.

                  GIVE NATURE A HOME
                  If you want wildlife in your garden, make it a home and be patient. Don’t pick any kind of animals up and move them. If you have the right conditions they will come of their own accord. See the section on the RSPB’s website called Give Nature a Home for what you may be able to do to encourage different species.

                  Comments

                  Login or register to add comments
                  • Sparrow / Pet / Animal / 12 Readings / 15 Ratings
                    More +
                    12.10.2014 17:48
                    Very helpful
                    (Rating)
                    4 Comments

                    Advantages

                    • Gregarious.
                    • Intelligent.
                    • "Eat insects that harm plants."

                    Disadvantages

                    • "None but numbers have plummeted."

                    Sparrow SOS

                    There are two types of sparrow in the UK – the house sparrow and the smaller tree sparrow. Overall their numbers have shown a worrying decline, but for house sparrows, not in my area. It may be that pollution from vehicles is adversely affecting their numbers in large urban areas, and some farming practices in rural areas.

                    I live in a town, small by Essex standards, and the numbers of sparrows that we have nesting in our eaves and visiting our garden has increased. I have watched them eat seeds, insects, and human food leftovers.

                    I have a bird feeding station, and used to give them a mixture of seeds in feeders. However, I am also a keen gardener, and found that too many of the seeds ended up growing as weeds in my borders. As a gardener, I am pleased to report that they eat some of the insects, including aphids, which would otherwise damage my treasured plants.

                    I have found that the seeds that they like best are sunflower hearts. There is no waste as the outer shell has already been taken off, and few of the seeds end up growing in my garden, as they are too good for the birds not eat as many as they can find.

                    As well as the extra food and clean water that we put out, I have seen that they appreciate the shelter of trees and bushes in mine and neighbours’ gardens.

                    In the spring we watched with concern and interest at what fate belonged to a young sparrow that fell out of our eaves before it could look after itself, or even fly. Mother sparrow led it into our nearby compost heap, where it also got shelter from spreading bushes. There were small insects in the compost heap, as well as the seeds and wholemeal bread we put out for the youngster and his family to feed on. It was not just mother sparrow that fed the juvenile, others who we called “the aunties” helped as well. We eventually had the privilege of watching the youngster learn to fly and eventually fully fledge.

                    If you watch them as we have, you may come to a similar conclusion to us. To me they are not just small brown birds that we take for granted. They are my intelligent and sociable neighbours.

                    GIVE NATURE A HOME
                    I hope that more people will have nature friendly gardens to help SPARROWS and other WILDLIFE in decline. The RSPB have a campaign called “Give Nature a Home”, which you can find out more about on their website.

                    Comments

                    Login or register to add comments
                    • Tropical Fish / Pet / Animal / 11 Readings / 12 Ratings
                      More +
                      11.10.2014 00:18
                      Very helpful
                      (Rating)
                      1 Comment

                      Advantages

                      • "Relaxing to watch."

                      Disadvantages

                      • "Tank set up costs."

                      Tetras are My Favourites

                      MY EXPERIENCE

                      When my daughter first asked for fish as pets, we thought gold fish would be the easiest to keep. Maybe some fish owners find that they are, but repeated attempts by us resulted in quick deaths, despite cleaning our good sized tank out to get rid of any possible infections in between efforts. Maybe our failure was because the shop that we bought them from was not as reliable a source as we thought.

                      Our neighbour kept tropical fish and suggested that we try them instead. So we went to the added expense of adding a heater, thermostat and filtration unit with an air pump to our tank.

                      We bought guppies, and a variety of extra colourful tetras. We chose these as being easy to keep varieties, and did quite well.

                      We liked the tetras best because they were more decorative and did not eat their babies like the guppies. Ideally baby fish should be separated from adult guppies until they have grown up.

                      We did not go for the full range of fish, but experts, like my neighbour, will tell you that for a fully functioning environment you need varieties that feed at the top, middle and bottom, the latter eating the waste from the bottom of the tank to minimise the cleaning time needed by the owner.

                      Snails also eat the debris but they reproduce extremely quickly, so we found them more of a nuisance in our limited species collection. Incidentally, you only need one snail to get a large amount of baby snails. I don’t pretend to understand the biology, but can confirm from experience. (The first snail we acquired was on a water plant we bought.)

                      For cleaning we took out a third of the water about once a fortnight, and replaced it with pre-heated treated water. It depends on the contents of your tank how often you need to replace the water.


                      CONCLUSION / RECOMMENDATION

                      I enjoyed keeping our colourful tropical fish, and found watching them relaxing.

                      After the initial expense of setting up the tank, if you buy the right varieties they will breed and replace the older ones quite economically. Their food and water treatment supplies did not cost much.

                      I particularly recommend neon tetras as a good variety for beginners, as they are colourful and quite hardy. They naturally live in groups so I think you should buy at least six of them.

                      Comments

                      Login or register to add comments
                      • Guinea Pigs / Pet / Animal / 13 Readings / 13 Ratings
                        More +
                        09.10.2014 21:12
                        Very helpful
                        (Rating)
                        2 Comments

                        Advantages

                        • "Relatively inexpensive"

                        Disadvantages

                        • "Can breed very quickly"

                        Handle with care for cute companions.

                        THE EARLY MONTHS OF OUR OWNERSHIP

                        When I was young I asked my parents for two guinea pigs. I said that I wanted two so that they would not get lonely while I was at school.

                        They bought one male and one female. Before long we had 5 baby guinea pigs as well. At that point the male was separated from the rest, as there was a limit to how many guinea pigs we had room for in our garden. I was told that I could keep any female babies.

                        My parents would take any males away from mum as soon as she had stopped feeding them her milk. There was only one male baby and he was taken to the pet shop where the owner swapped him for some of the dry food we could feed the others with. (They also had suitable fresh vegetable food.)

                        However, soon after that even more babies appeared. It appeared that the baby male was not separated early enough!

                        MY HAPPY MEMORIES

                        My group of female guinea pigs got a lot of gentle attention from me, as well as enjoying each other’s company while I was not there.

                        The original adult male stayed with us as well, though in a separate enclosure. He was the tamest, and was allowed to visit us in a room in our house with an easy clean floor. However, if we left the door leading to the garden open, from very early days, he would go outside when he needed to relieve himself. I suspect that he may have been house-trained by a previous owner.

                        Although he appeared content, with hindsight, I think it would have been kinder to have him neutered so that he could have stayed in the same enclosure as the rest of his family.

                        GENERAL CARE

                        I had my guinea pigs a long time before the internet was invented and so information was not so easy to come by.

                        I recommend all prospective pet owners to read up-to-date information on relevant animal welfare before deciding what to get. I especially like the pet care section of the PDSA site. Here is a summary, but visit their website for fuller care needs.

                        “Guinea pigs need a large home with a large exercise run. They can be shy animals, so they need shelters and tubes to feel secure. They need plenty of hay in their diet, together with the right amount of guinea pig pellets. The pellets contain vitamin C which guinea pigs can't make for themselves. Guinea pigs need the company of other guinea pigs.”

                        Comments

                        Login or register to add comments
                        • Budgie / Pet / Animal / 14 Readings / 14 Ratings
                          More +
                          25.09.2014 11:01
                          Very helpful
                          (Rating)
                          2 Comments

                          Advantages

                          • "They are a relatively inexpensive pet"

                          Disadvantages

                          • "They need lots of company to thrive. "

                          Budgies Need Company

                          MY EXPERIENCE OF BUDGIES

                          I had the pleasure of sharing my home with a lovely tame budgie for 7 years.

                          We had a very small home at this time, and because of shift work he was very rarely left home alone. This meant that although we only had the one pet, he still got plenty of human company. He seemed very contented when we gave him attention, especially as he often got let out of his cage to exercise, or watch TV perched on or near us. When he did eventually become ill and die, the vet said that he suspected cancer had caused the problem. Though it is sad when pets die, he gave us some great memories.

                          We moved home soon after that, and got another budgie. Again it was a single bird, but as we then had 2 main rooms downstairs, a kitchen dinner and a lounge, he did not get the same amount of company. We spend our time split between the 2 rooms, and he stayed in just the one. He was never as tame as the first one, and didn’t live as long. I see this as proof that you should only keep a single budgie if it is going to get lots of attention, for example from a mostly housebound person who needs company themselves.

                          Otherwise I think it is definitely kinder to have at least two budgies who are brought up together. Don’t mix the sexes if you don’t have room in an aviary for baby budgies! You may not easily be able to find a new home for them.

                          BUDGIE CARE

                          Their cage should be out of direct sunlight but away from any draughts. If this cage is too small to fly around in, they should regularly be let out to exercise, but first make sure the environment is safe for them and any windows shut.

                          For ease of cleaning we used sheets of sandpaper at the bottom of our cage. We also had sandpaper covers for our perches to help prevent toe nails becoming too long.

                          We gave clean water and new food daily, as well as clearing away the droppings. They should be given as varied a diet as possible. Buy budgie mixes that contain more than just seed. Small amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables, washed to remove any chemicals on the surface, can also be offered.

                          I think the PDSA (People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals) charity website is a great source of information on budgie, and other pet, welfare. Despite their title they would much prefer to offer information on how to keep pets healthy, than treat them because they have become ill.

                          Comments

                          Login or register to add comments
                          • Rabbits in general / Pet / Animal / 14 Readings / 16 Ratings
                            More +
                            22.09.2014 16:50
                            Very helpful
                            (Rating)
                            3 Comments

                            Advantages

                            • "A relatively inexpensive pet."

                            Disadvantages

                            • "Different temperaments. "

                            Netherland Dwarfs are very different to Lop Eared Rabbits

                            I have kept two different types of rabbits the small Netherlands Dwarf, and an averaged sized Lop Eared Rabbit.

                            TEMPERAMENTS

                            Having kept two different breeds of rabbit, I know that it is just as important to consider personalities as size.

                            My NEVERLANDS DWARF was usually good tempered with adults, especially those he knew well, but was not a suitable pet for children to be around. When my neighbour’s grand-children even came into the garden next door to ours, his first instinct was to hide. One tried to stroke him once. Once was enough for the child and the rabbit. The child was not particularly rough with him, but not quite as gentle as the adults that he was used to. He went to bite the child, but luckily the child’s reaction was quick, and the hand quickly disappeared back over their side of the fence.

                            With adults that he knew and trusted he could be very patient. If his usual carers accidentally did something he didn’t like, as a first warning he would put his teeth onto their skin but did not bite down. He would bite anyone if he was scared though, without any warning, and he quickly reacted to anything unusual happening.

                            The LOP EARED rabbit has a very docile nature, and has been extremely patient while we have taught a toddler how to stroke his fur gently in the direction of growth.

                            INTELLIGENCE

                            My NETHERLANDS DWARF easily beats the Lop for intelligence. Perhaps the fact that he is more aware of danger makes him more nervous, and therefore less tolerant.

                            The Netherlands plays with us, pushing things back and forth with his nose, but he is harder to catch, for example when it is time for him to go to bed in his hutch, because he seems to have a sixth sense as to when this is likely to happen.

                            The LOP EARED is a big cuddly softy in comparison, but this is what makes him so trusting and loveable. He loves being affectionately stroked, but hasn’t invented any games to play with his human companions.

                            CARE

                            They have needed similar as far as food, housing and companionship are concerned. The only obvious difference to me is that the Lop, with longer hair than the Netherlands Dwarf, can do with a bit of extra human help with his grooming. Brushing hair, especially when mounting, is more time consuming in the longer haired varieties.

                            With limited space, my review is purely about my personal experience of individual rabbits. The RSPCA gives excellent general advice on how to care for rabbits and other pets, and I recommend their website to all animal owners.

                            Comments

                            Login or register to add comments
                            1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 12