Something Fishy in the pond.

If you have visited our store here in Fountain Valley before, then chances are you are quite familiar with our infamous ponds in the retail and zoo portions of the shop.  Whether you were feeding the Red Eared slider turtles or watching Frank go for a swim, no doubt you noticed the vast array of beautiful fish we house in the ponds.  Ever feel like asking, “What kind of fish are in the ponds?” or “How do they cohabitate with so many different species?”   Luckily, were MiNd ReAdeRs (O.o) and have the answers for you in today’s edition of The Reptile Zoo’s blog!

First, let’s introduce you to our newest arrival, the Plecostomus fish, a.k.a. “Pleco” or “sucker fish”.  These cool fish are extremely popular pets due to their ability to clean tanks by eating algae and dead fish! YUCK! >.<!  The Plecos are friendly-natured fish and require larger aquariums due to their maximum growth averaging around 2 feet.  However, BEWARE, as they age and grow Plecos become more aggressive and it is best to keep them in separate tanks.

Next, there’s the oh so popular Red Tail Catfish that’s most recognizable in the ponds thanks to their obvious Red tipped tails.  Red Tailed Catfish diet in the wild consists of fish, large crustaceans and, unexpectedly, fruit.  Bloodworms, earthworms and good quality pellets or tablets designed for carnivorous catfish are a good main diet when they are young.  The Red Tailed Catfish is the largest of the catfish available in the hobby, with the ability to grow up to 5 feet!  Look at his colors!

A little less popular is the docile Leopard Shovelnose Catfish.  This aquatic beauty is a cross between a Red Tail Catfish and a Tiger Shovelnose Catfish.  These buggers have the ability to grow at or around the same size as their parent species would attain.  Their main appetite consists of absolutely anything (such little piggy’s!).  Along with their large appetites, come large messes.  Large tanks, a really good filter system and fortnightly water changes are highly recommended when housing such a fish. 

Most commonly seen in our ponds are the Pacu, cousin to the Piranha.  Full-grown pacu are much larger than piranha, reaching up to 60 pounds in weight, in the wild.  Pacu and Piranha have similar teeth, the difference is jaw alignment; piranha have pointed, razor-sharp teeth in a obvious underbite, whereas Pacu have squarer, straighter teeth in a less severe underbite.  Look at these big guys!

Last but not least, this little guy is the Channel Catfish.  The “Channel Cat” is the official fish of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Tennessee.  They thrive in small and large rivers, reservoirs, natural lakes and ponds.  Interestingly, Channel catfish have very keen senses of smell and taste which allows them to find food in dark, stained or muddy water with ease. 

All of these fish are able to cohabitate due to their conflicting dietary needs.  Although some are carnivorous, they do not feed on their own species because their size makes it impossible to do so even if they tried.  Have you gotten your chance to check out all these cool fish we display in our ponds?  How about a chance to feed them some yummy Super worms alongside the turtles?  If not, plan a trip to The Reptile Zoo/ Prehistoric Pets on your next day out, we will be waiting!

^O^ …………..Priscilla

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Zoo News

 

October may be over, but the excitement is just beginning!

Our newely finished alligator exhibit is up and running, with our 5-foot gator as well as an Alligator Snapping Turtle enjoying the abundant water.  We are still working on getting an even larger gator (fingers crossed) to inhabit the super cool enclosure, but until then, take part in our contest to name the one we have!  Come in to the zoo anytime and find the "naming table" by the photobooth/animal handling area.  There are bright green slips of paper, enter your alligator name idea, YOUR name, address, and email for a chance to win a 1-year pass to the Zoo!  Drop them in the blue bucket and at the end of December we will sort through them all, put the best ones on our Facebook page and let our fans decide!!  (So check back for that portion of the contest and get your friends to vote!)

 

Make sure to not only check out the gator and snapping turtles...but also the Softshell Turtles, Red-eared Sliders, and the Pacu (a South American freshwater fish related to the Piranha).  They used to be in the pond up front, but in this exhibit you really see how HUGE they are!

 

The Caiman Lizard enclosure turned out so awesome!  If you haven't seen the finished product come check it out!  They are so happy swimming around with the turtles and fish.  This particular enclosure again provides a GREAT view of one of the sneakier fish in the front pond...the Red-tail Catfish! (come and see if you can find him!)

 

Our new wing next door is being worked on everyday...I hear talk of a new presentation area, new zoo exhibits, and even a new incubation room with a window for guests!  How cool does that sound?!?!?!  I can't wait to see what happens....

Our Water Monitor Breeding Group is honeymooning in the gator exhibit for right now, and it seems to be working its magic...we will most likely have a few clutches on the way VERY soon!!

ALSO, this is a big month for us because of Black Friday!!  Yayyyyyy!  There are going to be some SWEET deals happening, and I will keep you informed...possibly another party as well??  We'll see.....

 

As for the Zoo itself, we are still the same AWESOME place to come hang out, look around, bring the kids, and PARTY!  Plus, we are getting new additions to the zoo or retail area almost every week, so there is always something new to see! 

 

See you soon herpers!!

<3............................Thalia

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Prehistoric Pets Splash Pond!

Good day all!   Its a busy day here in the store and we are working like busy little bees!  We've got visitors in the Reptile Zoo, customers shopping the retail walls, and kids getting splashed by our infamous Pacu!  Thats right, and were not talking just a little sprinkle of water or a splash here and there.  One of our guests in particular got to experience the flash flood of water thrown about by the Pacu while he was feeding our Red Ear Sliders.  I watched as he eagerly leaned in close, picked a worm with his tongs and moved in.  Then BAM!  A wave of fish and turtle water drenched him on his entire left side!  Taking it like a champ, he flashed us all a huge smile as he wiped away the water from his face and rung the excess from his shirt.  After, I went around for a round of high-fives from the Champs of Soaked!  It was a fun morning everyone, see you in again soon!

 

^o^....Priscilla

 

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