For the public

Understanding the Nitrogen Cycle

Nitrogen is an important element found in nature and is critical for many biologic functions. The nitrogen cycle is the natural process by which nitrogen compounds are converted between various forms. Gathering a basic understanding of how the nitrogen cycle works can help you keep your fish or aquatic turtle healthy and happy.

The Importance of Water Quality Testing in Aquatic Animal Health

 Proper water quality is essential for maintaining healthy aquatic animals.  This is true of fish, coral, invertebrates, turtles and amphibians.  In most cases these animals live in the same water where they eat, drink and eliminate waste.    Animals in captivity have the added challenge of living in a far smaller volume of water than their counterparts in the wild.  It’s very important that their caretakers understand how to test the water and respond to any abnormal parameters.  This article explains why it’s important to test several different water quality values and how they affect each other.  The reader shouldn’t need to relearn past chemistry class notes to get an adequate understanding.


Raptors are recognized for their keen site, strong beaks and powerful talons. They are also known as birds of prey because of the fact that they hunt for and feed on other animals. Examples of birds that are included in this group are eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. These birds have been used in the sport of falconry for centuries, but can also been found in zoo and wildlife rehabilitation settings. These birds should only be handled by trained falconers or licensed wildlife rehabilitators.



Lorikeets and Lories are a species of parrot that you won’t forget once you meet one! They are colorful, interactive and almost always ready to play. Native to Australia, southeast Asia, Polynesia and Papua New Guinea, these birds are commonly found at interactive zoo exhibits. Their tongues are different from other parrots and a have brush tips that allows for these birds to eat nectar. Zoos will give out cups of nectar to visitors to feed the birds and learn about these unique species. Many people have these birds as pets but they are slightly different than other psittacine birds.


Conures come in a variety of sizes and colors but are considered to be a medium to small size parrot. They are originally from Central and South America with some extinct species even being native to North America. These birds can be wonderful companions and there are many different species available in the pet trade. As with other species of birds, they require a lot of care.

Finches and Canaries

Finches and canaries are small birds that belong to the order Passeriformes, also known as passerines. There are numerous different species of finch with examples like the zebra finch, society finch and gouldian finch commonly found in the pet trade. Canaries have been bred in captivity for years and many different breeds are available such as the gloster, Yorkshire and Norwich. Many people keep these birds for their exquisite beauty, attractive songs, and entertaining personalities.