How to Care for Carnivorous Aquarium Fish

Keeping carnivorous fish can be challenging, because they can develop health problems if their feeding requirements and exercise needs are not met. There is even a difference in feeding requirements between solitary carnivores and species that are more intelligent, as well as among saltwater and freshwater fish.

What can you do as a responsible pet owner to keep your fish healthy and happy?

Research About the Species

Before you even purchase a carnivorous aquarium fish, you need to thoroughly research about its feeding and housing requirements. That wolf fish might look impressive to you, but are you certain that you can take care of it properly? How many fish can you place in the same tank with it? What type of food does it eat and how often? How big should a tank be for that species? Once you’ve found the right one for you, stick to one species first if it’s your first time with a carnivorous aquarium fish.

Necessary Diet Components

A carnivorous fish primarily eats other fish, crustacean, insects, and insect larvae. They need more protein than the omnivores and herbivores to be healthy; specifically, their diet should consist of a minimum of 40% protein and some plant-based food. Other essential diet components should include fats, vitamins (vitamin B1, B2, B6, and C), minerals (phosphorus and calcium), and a limited amount of carbohydrates.

Gut-Loading of Live Food

Gut-loading simply means feeding live food with healthy food. The live food for your carnivorous fish consists of feeder fish and insects, that you will need to raise to feed your pet fish, so that whatever vitamins and minerals are ingested by the live food will be ingested by your pet as well. Some of the food you can feed to insects and feeder fish include algae wafers, vegetables, and spirulina flakes.

Proper Amount of Food

How much and how often you feed your pet fish will also affect its health. Remember that these types of fish have short digestive tracts and do not need to eat often like humans do. Overfeeding can result to obesity and substrate buildup in the aquarium. Ideally, you should not feed your fish with food that’s more than 3% of their total weight, but to be doubly sure, feed them only the amount they can consume within 5 minutes.

Types of Food for Carnivorous Fish

These are some of the healthy food for your carnivorous fish:

  • Fish: goldfish and guppy
  • Shrimp: brine shrimp and shrimp meal from cull shrimp
  • Insects: small crustaceans, mosquito larvae, white worms, bloodworms, micro worms, and tubifex worms
  • Fish Meal: anchovies, Pollack, and herring

Sometimes, you can also feed your fish with cooked beef, lamb, ham, poultry, and venison. Never feed these as raw, because they carry diseases, and avoid salted, processed, flavored, and fatty meat like bacon. Then there is also a difference between freshwater and saltwater fish eating habits, that is why it’s not a good idea to offer freshwater feeder fish to saltwater fish because of the risk of developing health problems.

6 Ways to Enjoy Holiday Feast Without Going Overboard

‘Tis the time of the year when families get together, people share their blessings and indulge in high-caloric Christmas dinner. Celebrating Christmas without gaining a few pounds seems impossible, especially with that glorious turkey and all those treats on the table. But before you totally abandon your fitness goals, know that there’s hope.

It’s still possible to lose weight or at least maintain your fitness level this time of the year with these smart-eating tips.

1. Do not starve yourself
Thinking of skipping breakfast or lunch so you can go to town on Christmas dinner? Before saying yes to this idea, know that starving yourself can only lead to overeating and giving in to cravings. Fill yourself up with protein-packed breakfast, so you’ll feel full for longer hours and won’t starve yourself by the time you get to the next meal.

2. Control your portions
It’s impossible not to try every single dish on the table during the Christmas Eve, so this is where portion control comes in handy. Before digging in, take the time to look at every option and choose which dish to pass on and which to get. Once you have decided, take smaller portions of your choices instead of stocking your plate with so much of one food.

3. Start with some greens
Your instinct might say to attack the turkey right away, but starting up with some healthy greens will keep you satisfied longer and much faster. After finishing your greens, you can then have some meats and sweets, but you will likely find yourself eating less of those since you’re partially full with the healthy salad.

4. Go for red
We’re not talking about your outfit. Picking red wine over white wine or sparklers will give the body an extra boost of resveratrol, an antioxidant that protects the body from heart disease and cancer. This beverage is definitely much healthier than beer, cocktails or softdrinks.

5. Have some tea after meal
Drinking a cup of tea as a substitute to dessert will save you calories that would otherwise be spent on a slice of cake or pie. Green tea is also loaded with antioxidants and is a great help for your digestion.

6. Say ‘no’ to leftovers
Let the feast begin and end at the Christmas dinner table. Your mom will likely be hounding you with holiday leftovers for days, but you will have to say no to all of that. Consuming Christmas leftovers can only add up to unnecessary calories you will have during the season.

Although these tips require some discipline, they are not impossible to achieve. Other than the obvious portion control, pick the healthier food substitute all the time. After all, you don’t want to punish yourself too much at the gym after the holiday season.

3 Money Management Apps for Spenders and Savers

Singapore continues to top the charts as the most expensive city in the world, so it’s especially important for us to keep track of our expenses on a regular basis. However, manually budgeting our expenses can be too much of a hassle; it can take too much of our time, the chances of forgetting an item are too large. Thankfully, technology can come to our rescue. Here are some of the apps on the market today that can help you manage your expenses.

1. Wally
One of the best things about Wally is it’s easy to use, friendly interface. With Wally, it’s easy to track both your expenses and income. It even allows you to organize your expenses into different categories. You can even add labels to your entries to help you remember what it was exactly you were spending on.

Wally can even track your savings, and project your budget for the day. If you have spent beyond your daily budget, Wally notifies you and tells you how much you have overspent. Additionally, Wally can scan your receipts, add a passcode, and record the location of each entry. As a bonus, Wally is completely free and is great for people who need to be able to track their expenses. It is available in both the App Store and the Play Store.

2. Expensify
Although a bit more complicated than Wally, Expensify is an app that is great for both personal and business use. Since businesses deal with a lot of receipts, Expensify allows you to record, track, and label your receipts. It even lets you add details like date and merchant’s name, should you need to include those details. It even lets you categorize these receipts into a category for reimbursements, to remove the anxiety of losing receipts.

Expensify has a lot more nifty features, like time tracking, which is great for people who are paid on an hourly basis. For those who love to travel, Expensify also allows you to enter expenses in any currency. It is available for both Android and Apple users.

3. Pocket Expense
Pocket Expense is a great app for people whose expenses are a little more complicated than the average spender. This app lets you track a more detailed version of your personal financial status, including things like debt, cleared debt, and overall net worth. It even has a cash flow feature that allows you to track how much money you’re earning and losing, a feature that can prove to be both handy and invaluable for business owners.

Like other finance apps, Pocket Expense also allows you to create multiple budgets, set a limit for each budget, and even has a feature that alerts you whenever you have a bill due. Pocket Expense is available for free on both the App Store and the Play Store.

Why Competition is Good for You

Your family and friends often counsel you to stop comparing yourself to others, because after all, there will always be more fortunate and better people than you. No one wants to feel inadequate and a loser in the face of a much better competition, but is it better to avoid it altogether?

Competition Means Growth
There are valid reasons to stop unhealthy comparison with other people, but if you lose the desire to compete, you’re also limiting self-growth. If you didn’t have rivals at school for example, would you try harder to win those contests or top the exams? They can also serve as your inspiration or as a goal that you need to surpass to make yourself a better person.

Competition Means More Opinions
In the business world, competition is essential, especially if you use your rivals as a reference for ideal customer service. Companies will strive to outdo each other if they see a business strategy that is working. This in turn will lead to more creativity when it comes to business models, making it possible to come up with different ideas that are unique. Savvy entrepreneurs will always question common knowledge and improvise.

Competition Brings Out the Best
Not only do you see healthy competition at work, school, and business, but in almost all aspects of life, too. People always strive to outdo each other for various reasons, but you shouldn’t see this as selfish and jealous. As long as rivalry can lead to a lot of good things, then it’s not something that should be discouraged. If you look at history, most of the ideas, inventions, and creations that advanced civilization were also products of competition.

Competition Creates Experience
There will always be winners and losers, but that does not mean you should stop striving to become better. The growth that comes with competition comes from turning losses into a positive learning experience. That is why parents who shelter their kids from a competitive environment at school are also taking away opportunities for the child to grow and learn. Doing that will make them less prepared for the real world, after all, competition also gives the child an opportunity to exercise emotional control and cooperation.

Competition Creates a Goal
If you’re striving to make yourself better, you’re also more likely to take chances because you have a goal in mind. You will be inspired to work harder if you know you’re working for something or someone. More chances mean more opportunities to live life to the fullest. Take competition away and people will become lazy, because they don’t have any reason to grow and learn.

Living with Asthma as an Adult

Adult-onset asthma can be a hassle for people who need to keep up with the demands in the office and at home. In most cases, it is also triggered by workplace irritants or an unhealthy environment at home. The treatment process is more complicated as a result because not only does the affected individual have to handle pressure in the office, but must also manage the symptoms.

Diagnosis and Symptoms
Most cases of adult-onset asthma, sometimes called occupational asthma, also have complaints about allergies and irritants. Add to that the stress, unhealthy working environment, hormonal changes, and a poor lifestyle, a worker will most likely be vulnerable to asthma. You should schedule a checkup with your doctor as soon as possible if you see any of the following symptoms: frequent coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest, breathing difficulties, and shortness of breath.

Childhood and Adult-Onset Asthma
Although the symptoms are quite similar, asthma attacks are more common among children because their bodies are more sensitive than the adults’. However, most asthma-related deaths are more common among adults, especially the elderly. The treatment process is also different, because childhood asthma is not often caused by allergies or triggers.

Triggers and Medication
Generally, the triggers for adult-onset asthma are the same as those for childhood asthma. Your doctor will advise you to avoid smoke, dust mites, mold and mildew, feather bedding, animal dander, dry air, cold temperature, and anything that can trigger an attack. You will also be given one of the two asthma medications, such as the bronchodilators and the anti-inflammatories. These can be taken by inhaling or swallowing. It’s also important to determine if your asthma is triggered by specific allergies, which can also be treated with other medications. The goal of the treatment is to reduce the severity of the symptoms so that you can still perform your tasks regularly.

Diet and Exercise
Proper diet and exercise will reduce some of the symptoms of asthma, but you need to consult your doctor before starting any program. While there are no convincing studies that link nutrient deficiency to asthma, you will be advised to eat a complete, healthy meal everyday to improve your overall health. Reduce your consumption of trans fat, omega-6 fats, and processed food. Avoid food that will trigger allergies as they can cause life-threatening attacks. Excess weight is often linked to adult-onset asthma, that is why you will also be advised to maintain an ideal weight through doctor- approved exercises and workout routines such as walking, swimming, yoga, biking, and others.

Asthma Attacks
You should also have a plan ready in case you have an asthma attack at the office. Always take your medication with you and get treated as soon as you see the signs. Look out for the following symptoms and get to the nearest clinic or hospital for treatment: shortness of breath, tight chest, bluish lips, inability to speak, confusion, lack of concentration, breathlessness, strained muscles, and hunched shoulders.

Having Some “Couple Time” at Ikeda Spa

We love our kids, yes we do. We invest all our time and energy giving them a better future and showing them that we love them. We just want the best for them. All the sacrifices we’ve made, we’ve made it for them.

Now, although we love our kids, what about our spouse? When was the last time you’ve had a little time together away from the kids? When was the last time you were actually able to go on a date? Yes, most of your time has to be spent on the kids, but what about on your spouse? Take a break once in a while. Treat yourself. Allow yourself and your spouse to have a wonderful time together.

Don’t forget that your family doesn’t just revolve around your kids, there’s still your spouse too. Sadly, most parents forget about their spouse the moment they have kids as they pour all their love and attention they used to have towards one another onto their kids. Having kids is such an amazing thing but it can also be very tiring.

Every parent admits that they get tired every single day. They get drained. Why? Is it because they don’t love their kids enough? Most definitely not. This is because they haven’t been able to take care of themselves. Now, how can you take care of others properly if you can’t take care of yourself?

It’s impossible for you to be fully able to take care of someone else if you do not take care of yourself. When it comes to taking care of yourself, this also means your relationship with your spouse. Do you still go on dates? Do you still relax together? Have you ever went on a get-away trip with your spouse? Well, maybe it’s about time you do.

Now it doesn’t have to be something extravagant or complicated, you could both just visit the spa together. Now when you hear about spas and hot springs, you usually think Japan. Now, for those Onsen lovers, you won’t have to fly all the way to Japan to get the love you need. All you need to do is go to Ikeda Spa.

As much as we would love to, we’ve decided not to spoil anything from Ikeda Spa to ensure that you’ll totally enjoy your time there. All we can say is imagine red rose couple baths, cocoa butter candles, and a whole lot more. The kids aren’t the only ones who deserve a holiday. So do you.

Reflections on Conversations and Communication

There have been so many things invented for the sake of improving communication. Telephones, cell phones, emails, social media, and maybe even more channels of communication have been invented for us to have the best means to communicate as possible. But has this really improved our communication? Well, sadly no. There are still people out there who do not converse as much as they should.

Now don’t get me wrong, we’re not saying you should force yourself to talk to others. We’re just saying that everyone needs a healthy conversation every now and then. Remember when you were a kid and it was so easy to talk to your family then you started trying to make friends and it was kind of hard? Well, maybe you had a hard time conversing back then but that shouldn’t stop you now.

Why should people have healthy conversations on a regular basis? It’s just a part of who we are. As human beings, we want to communicate. We want people to understand us. We want to be able to get others to understand us. This is why we have artists who communicate on a different medium than language. Whether it be paintings, music, sculptures, or any other form of art, they were all created to send a message.

What happens when we aren’t able to converse? When we aren’t able to converse, we end up completing the conversation ourselves. Take note, this can be very dangerous as this relies greatly on your mood when you are conversing with yourself. If you had a problem in mind and end up talking to yourself because of the lack of conversation, you might end up finishing your problem with a negative response and accept it because you haven’t heard solutions from any other person.

Everyone needs a friend. Friendship is something beyond what we want but rather what we need. We need healthy conversations. We need conversations that keep our mind going. It’s a bit sad how some people feel like there’s nobody to talk to. Don’t give up searching. There’s always someone out there desperate for a good conversation.

Who knows, you might be the match to what they’re looking for. Conversations build everything. From marriage to families, it is conversation that holds them together. Treasure the conversations you have. Some conversations might even be the milestone and door into a new chapter of your life. There have been so many life changing conversations around, you might just even experience one soon. We definitely need more conversations around. People need to each other.

5 Beauty Benefits of Applying Lip Liner

2017 has seen the rise of lip liners, as more and more beauty gurus in Singapore recommend the use of these heaven-sent products. While working on your classic lipstick can do you just fine, some lipsticks are difficult to use in defining the rim of your pout. This is where having a lip liner can be a life saver – since you’ll be provided with easy outlining skills like a piece of cake.

Defined lips complete your make-up look for the day. If you’re still deliberating whether owning a lip liner is a good decision, here are some of the known benefits of applying lip liner.

1. It defines and shapes your lips.
If applied well, a lip liner can easily define and give shape to your lips. This will allow you to achieve that perfect pout you are going for. For those with uneven-shaped lips, a lip liner can also be your next best friend as it allows you to shape your lips the way you want it to. If you’re seeking to step up your lipstick game, owning a lip liner can bring you a step closer towards your beauty goals.

2. It makes the lipstick last longer.
Lining your lips with a lipliner is proven to make your lipstick last longer. Some lipsticks fade and require frequent retouch after drinking or eating something greasy, but if you apply lipliner beforehand, the color is expected to last longer on the lips. Think of the lip liner as the eye primer to your eyeshadow palette, and the primer to your foundation.

The use of lip liner helps block moisture, which may be the reason why the product helps your lipstick color last longer than usual.

3. It makes the lips look attractive.
With Instagram-worthy lips like that of Kylie Jenner and other social media influencers, it’s not uncommon for us to desire that same full, attractive lip look. These plump lips are viral nowadays. Without a doubt, full lips do look sexy not only in camera but also in person. Defining your lips through the use of a lip liner is your ticket to achieve that well-defined, full plump lips!

4. It creates contours.
Who would have thought contouring can also be done on your lips? Using a lip liner can provide the perfect illusion of having nicely-shaped lips, that is if the product is applied properly. It’s a little tricky to learn, but once you master the right way of applying lip liner, your lipstick game won’t be the same again. It also helps reshape the lips to look bigger, fuller, and more even.

5. It can also be used as a lipstick.
A lip liner isn’t just used for lining the rims of your lips. As a matter of fact, you can make use of your lip liner as a lipstick by filling/coloring your lips in after outlining the shape. Doing so also creates a matte effect – which is perfect in achieving beautiful lips!

The Top Singapore Beauty Products of 2017

From lipsticks and gloss, to foundation and mascara, we’ve narrowed down the list of the best beauty products Singaporeans loved in 2017. These make-up products were designed for every day use, and they made the cut for being the best ones out in the market.

Serving as a favorite by many, it isn’t too late to head over to your nearest department store to check the availability of these products. Let the inner beauty goddess in you shine!

1. Shiseido Synchro Skin-lasting Liquid Foundation
Considered as the foundation of the future, this Liquid foundation from Shiseido has been well-reviewed by many professional make-up artists across Singapore. The product can tell which areas of your face needs to be mattified, and it also points out the areas which require hydration. Priced at 74 SGD, consider this foundation an investment for your skincare and beauty needs!

2. Diorskin Forever & Ever Wear Makeup Base
From the name itself, Dior’s Forever & Ever Wear Make up Base is expected to keep your make-up game strong for hours and hours! Another icing on the cake? The product also doesn’t settle into fine lines hours after application. It blends perfectly under matte foundations and feels incredible on the skin. A make-up base that’s lightweight, it definitely gives your skin a smooth and nice appearance.

3. Urban Decay Vice lipsticks
With 100 shades to choose from, you will definitely find the right lipstick shades for everyday and special wear. Urban Decay managed to launch a wide selection of Vice lipstick shades, all of which are designed to complement all skin tones. The lipsticks have been well-received by makeup junkies! This collection also features six finishes: from matte, metallic, creamy, and sheer.

4. Kat Von D Tattoo Liner
One of the most popular eyeliners in the States, the Kat Von D Tattoo liner is a true crowd pleaser even in Singapore. It also enjoys its fame for a good reason. The satin black-colored tattoo liner is easy to apply on the eyes, and the product can be built up further after a couple more swipes. The tip of this liner is also easy to use, which makes it perfect for eyeliner beginners.

You don’t need to worry if you have oily eyelids, too – as this tattoo liner is expected to stay put for hours only at a justifiable price.

5. YSL Beauty Le Cushion Encre de Peau
This gorgeous fluid formula is based off the elegant Encre de Peau Fusion ink foundation, so you can expect the same sheer and silky finish. The satin dry-down is also considerably dewy enough to pass off as “real” skin – helping you effortlessly achieve that natural glow. Not only that, this YSL product is ensconced within an Instagram-worthy compact which your make-up pouch will love!