What to Prepare Before Starting a Koi Fish Pond

If you have some extra space in your yard and you’re interested in setting up a pond, you can consider starting your own fish koi pond. To have a pond that is dedicated to colorful Koi fishes is a good way to keep them. You can choose a good spot in your yard where you can relax and simply appreciate these colorful fishes in their own habitat.

Red and white koi fishes

Before you start hauling the materials and bringing the new fishes in, you need to know a few things about them first.

Temperament & Origin

These fishes are generally peaceful, although at times they can also pick on other fishes. They are have originated from a type of carp that is native to Japan.

Size & Lifespan

Koi fishes can grow in size and get large quickly. They can grow up to 36 inches long or 91 centimeters. They have a long lifespan, being able to live for more than 50 years. They can also thrive in a wide range of water temperatures.

Koi fish

Pond Size

Knowing how big these Koi fishes can get, they will need a lot of space. You would want to prepare a good area with enough space. Keep the fishes in a pond that is at least 3 feet deep, having at least 50 gallons of water.

If the Koi fishes are still young, they can be kept indoors in an area with at least 30 gallons.

Set up the Pond

The pond must be in a quiet area out of direct sunlight and drafts. You may cover the pond with a hood to reduce the evaporation and that will also keep them from leaping out.

Transfer to the Pond

When transferring new koi to the pond, place the fish bag in the water. This will allow the fish to float in the water inside their bag for about 10 minutes, and the fish can acclimate to the new water temperature.

When transferring new koi to an existing school in a pond, make sure that you quarantine the new fish first in a separate body of water. Allow for 2 to 4 weeks of isolation to be sure they are healthy.

large koi fishes

After isolating the fishes and clearing them from any conditions that can possibly infect the existing school in the pond, you may now transfer them to the pond. Use a net to transfer the fish so the old water does not mingle with the new water.

Filtration

Your backyard pond will definitely need proper filtration, and that will include both biological and mechanical filters. Your aquarium filter should be able to process the tank water in 3 to 5 times an hour.

You can also set up a bottom drain, as it will help with water changes.

orange and white koi fishes

With all this information handy, you can now start planning on how to set up your new outdoor koi pond. This can be placed in a good relaxing part in your yard where you can calmly hear the fishes swimming and be amazed at their natural colors.

What to Know Ahead Before Starting a Keto Diet

You may have heard of the ketogenic diet and be quite interested in joining the diet craze. Before you do so, it’s important to get more information ahead and be aware of what this diet really means.

Egg tomato and avocado

Cut the Carbs

The recommended ratio of the diet is 4:1 of fat to carbs. That is a massive reduction of carbohydrate intake. This means you have to be serious in eliminating grains, sugar, most fruit, and starchy vegetables.

Lower your Protein Intake

A low protein diet is adequate for some people, but if you’re used to eating a lot of protein, it’s time for you to also cut back. This will give way to allot more fat intake in your diet, which is what Ketogenic diet is about.

Beware With Too Much Fat

Eating too much fat may be harmful. Nutritionists tell us that this diet is high in saturated fat, and it may also lead to a risk for heart disease if it is not managed well.

Egg and bacon

Take Adequate Supplements

With the Keto diet, researchers say that you must take it with a lot of supplementary vitamins and minerals.  If you get enough fruit and vegetable intake, you can get these beneficial antioxidants that may decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Anticipate Some Side Effect

A few of the side effects of going so low in carbohydrate intake is bad breath, constipation, and dizziness. With less carb intake, you may also miss out on fiber intake which aids in digestion. To supplement this, you can add some chia and flax seeds, coconut, nuts, and other low-carbohydrate vegetables.

Egg, blueberry and avocado

Workout Needs Energy

Your body needs fuel when you are working out, so be reminded that going on a Keto diet may not give you enough energy boost for your sports and workout. This diet may not help you get a competitive advantage because sports would require fuel that is already stored in your body.

Cooking Routine

If you want to go on a Keto-friendly diet, you need to be aware of what goes into your daily menu. The common food you’d usually have like bread, pasta, and rice are not Keto-friendly so you need to find an alternative. You have to find the time and be prepared to make time to cook certain foods if you want to follow this diet.

Cholesterol Check

There are still a few rounds of discussion whether this is beneficial or harmful to cholesterol levels. It’s ideal for you to get a lipid profile test before you start your diet and a few months into it to monitor your cholesterol levels.

Egg Salad

Overall, It would take a lot of commitment to get proper nutrition once you follow the Keto diet. Nutritionists say that it may not be ideal to sustain this weight loss diet in the long-term. It’s best to still consult a doctor and get proper advice before you try this diet. 

5 Trail Running Tips for Beginners

Do you enjoy running and love how this sport gives you a great full-body workout? You may also want to try running in the trails, especially if you have one close to your neighborhood. Although these two can be similar in many ways, you need to be aware of their differences before you start heading out and explore the trail area. Here are some trail running tips that will guide you on your new endeavour. 

Trail running

Keep your Eyes on the Trail

You can easily just look straight down while running or be amused by the surroundings, but this may quickly lead you to trip or fall. Allow yourself to focus your gaze towards a few feet ahead of you, instead of bowing down your head. Be familiar with the trail so you can anticipate where to take your next steps.

Slow Down

If you come across certain trails with a good nature spot, take time to walk or stop, and admire the beauty that surrounds you. There’s no shame in walking or slowing down in the trails as it is also important to be mindful of any obstacles while observing your surroundings.

Wear the Right Shoes

It’s always wise to invest in the proper type of shoes. Trail running shoes differ from road running shoes, as they are made to withstand rugged terrains and muddy trails. Make sure your shoes fit snug in the heel and have enough space in the toe box to avoid any injuries. When they get dirty after your trail run, take good care of your shoes. Wash off the mud and remove the insoles, and let them dry well.

Trail running shoes

Adjust your Pace

Don’t mind if your pace is not as fast as if you’re running on a straight concrete road. You will definitely have a slower pace when running in the trails and that’s perfectly fine. With trail running you need to run by your comfort level, and with the normal level of your heart rate. Don’t push yourself too hard. Instead, take time out to walk the incline and run the downhills. Build your strength to run uphills and always be careful to prevent injuries.

Bring Hydration

Always bring fluids with you whenever you go out for a trail run, as you may not know how long it will take you to complete the route. There will be days where it may take longer depending on the mud or other obstacles. There are different ways to carry fluids with you, either a hand-held bottle, a waist belt, or a hydration backpack. Choose which one suits you best.

Trail running hydration

Be mindful of these tips for trail running. This will keep you prepared and safe from any injury. Remember to have fun on the trails and always be careful.

4 Vital Commands Your Dog Can Learn

Dog obedience training is very essential as a dog owner. Letting your dog learn the basic commands can be very helpful when tackling behavior problems. This could be existing behavior issues or something that can develop in the future. Here are some ideas on what you can personally teach them without having to attend any formal classes.

Dog sitting in the park

Sit

This is one of the easiest commands to teach your dog and one of the most basic. You can do this by holding a treat above his nose and moving your hand up. This will allow his head to follow the treat and in turn, this will cause his bottom to lower. Once he’s already sitting, you can say ‘Sit’ and give him the treat, and pet him afterward. Do this a couple of times daily for a few days until he masters it. You can use this command to make him calm before mealtime, or even before going out for a walk.

Down

This can be a bit challenging because this position is a submissive posture. You can start the training by holding a good smelling treat in a closed fist. Hold it near his mouth so he can sniff it, and move your hand to the floor while he follows. Guide him to lie on the floor by sliding your hand to the ground. Once he is down on the floor, say ‘Down’ and give him the treat. Pat his head or body to show affection.If he attempts to sit up or move towards the direction of your closed fist, take your hand away and say ‘No’. Repeat this daily until he masters it. 

Dog sitting at home

Come

This is very essential when you want your dog to come to you, especially when you have lost grip on the leash or he has accidentally gone out of the open door or gate. To start training for this command, you can attach a leash and collar to your dog. Say ‘Come’ while gently pulling on the leash towards you until he gets to you. Give him a reward and affection afterward. Do this a couple of times until he masters it. You can later remove the leash and practice the command in a safe space.

Stay

When you want to train your dog with this command, make sure that he has already mastered the ‘Sit’ command. Let him sit and open your palm in front of him and say ‘Stay’. Move back for a few steps and if he stays, give him a treat and affection. Increase the number of steps back you have to take before giving him another treat.  This command is particularly set for your dog’s self-control.

Dog lying down in the park

Letting your dog learn all these basic commands can be very essential for his growth and discipline. Don’t be frustrated if it may take him a while to master. Just enjoy the activity and learning, and use this good quality time to bond with your dog.

Setting Up Your New Aquarium: A Beginner’s Guide

Ever wondered how to start setting up a new aquarium? You have all the gears and equipment but you have no idea where to start. Here are some ideas to start with as well as a few tips once you have your aquarium ecosystem all set up.

Home Fish Tank

Prepare the Location

Setting up your new aquarium on a hard and flat surface is ideal. It has to be on even ground because slanted floors can cause unnecessary stress and may even cause the aquarium to crack. Overall the chosen location must be sturdy and be able to withstand the tank’s weight filled with water. Also, do not place it near a sunny window.

Choose the Aquarium

A tank that can carry at least 20 gallons of water is recommended for beginners. Larger aquariums are more stable and easier to maintain. The higher volume of water will make the chemistry and temperature more stable in general. Remember to not change more than 25% of your aquarium water at once as this may stress the fishes and upset the natural balance.

Colored Fish in Tank

Aquarium Filter

Choose a filter that is suited to turn over at least 3-5x the aquarium volume every hour. Be picky when it comes to choosing filters. Consider the high flow rate, the reliability & ease of use of the device.

Do a Research

Before you get too excited and start getting the fishes that will make a habitat in your new aquarium, do some solid research first and be familiar with the types of aquatic fishes. Be aware of what food they eat, what environment they can live in, and what skills you need to have to maintain them.

Fish in Aquarium

Fish

Be cautious of not adding too many fishes at one time, especially in a small or a newly setup aquarium. When introducing a new fish to the tank, you need to acclimatize them first. When you have the fish in the bag, carefully place the bag in the aquarium to allow the temperature to equalize. Then, add a half cup of water from the tank into the new fish bag. Wait for 15 minutes and do it again. This can be a slow process but it will help your fish acclimatize well to the new habitat.

Feeding Guide

Look for quality fish food that is appropriate for the fish you want to have. Feed them at least twice a day. You should also regularly inspect the health of the fish, and the best time to do this is during feeding. Feed them a variety of flakes, pellets, and frozen foods. Also, don’t feed them what they can’t consume in under 2 minutes. Leftover food may cause water pollution or undue stress.

Fish Feeding Time

Now that you know the basics of setting up your new aquarium, you can start doing the next steps. It will only take some time for you to be well acquainted with the ins and outs of home aquarium setup. Before you know it, you may well be setting up more tanks or upgrading your setup to suit your needs.

How to Design Your Kitchen Space

If you’re ready to build or remodel your kitchen, take time to look into the details and create a well-crafted and solid plan before implementing the design makeover. Here are some design tips and ideas to help you start thinking about how you’d like your kitchen to look like.

Kitchen Design

Create a Floor Plan and Wall Plan

You need to think ahead of the overall layout of your kitchen. This will include the floor space and the wall space. This may take some time to measure all relevant dimensions, including the floor, windows, and doors. Take into consideration where the water pipes and gas pipes are also located.

You can have this in writing and draw on paper for better understanding and visualization. Or you can use any online kitchen planning software that will suit your needs best.

Kitchen Layout

Make the Outline of Your Kitchen

If you have the freedom to design your kitchen and decide what shape it’s going to take, go ahead and choose what you think fits your needs the best. There are kitchens that are L-shaped or U-shaped. This will also depend on the space you have available. You can also decide whether you want to get an island. This will provide more storage space and have an area for extra counter space. If you get stools for the island, this can also be an extra area for eating or simply gathering around while the food is still being cooked.

Plan the Appliances and Fixture

There are different strategies on how to place the fixtures alongside each other. However, you can start at the very basic, which is to identify the basic kitchen activities such as preparation, cooking, and cleaning. Each activity has its corresponding appliances, counter space, and storage requirements. You can list down what is needed for each specific activity that you do. For food preparation, you will need the refrigerator. For cooking, you will need the stove. For cleaning, you will need to sink or dishwasher. Then have these appliances, storage, and counter space closely available.

Kitchen Appliances

Layout a Detailed Storage Plan

Storage is a big factor when designing your kitchen layout. You can plan ahead on how your drawers and cabinets are placed. Think ahead of where you can place those silverware and cups, as well as pots and pans.

Plan the Lighting and Electrical Points

Outline the areas that you want to have sufficient lighting. If you decide to have a kitchen island, you may want to get lights directly overhead the island. Also, now that you have your appliances outlined, you can plan on placing electrical outlets in certain areas close to these appliances.

Kitchen Lighting

These are the basic things you need to know and plan ahead when you are designing your kitchen. Take your time now to measure and to outline the details, so you have a concrete kitchen plan once you start to get things moving.

How to Plant and Grow Herbs Indoors

Do you have extra space within your home garden or space? Plant a fresh herb garden that’s very accessible to your kitchen.

Kitchen plant herb

Pick a Location

The first step you need to do is pick the location for your herb garden. A good location would be somewhere close to your kitchen, ideally just a few steps away. But anywhere else is good, as long as it gets enough sun during the day, normally about six hours. If you have space in front of your kitchen window, place the herbs in small containers, and start your indoor garden.

Prepare the Area

Start by loosening the soil. If the soil is compact or consists of heavy clay, add some compost or peat moss to improve drainage. Find a good schedule, like early in the morning or late in the afternoon, to prevent the news transplants from wilting in the midday sun.

Herbal Garden Bed

Dig the Holes

When you start digging, aim to create a larger size for the planting holes. Make it twice the size or width of the root of your new plant. This will give enough space for the roots to grow in their new space.

Add Plants

When arranging the bedding plant, place them about a foot and half apart. This will give them room to spread out and grow. Ideally, the taller herbs must be placed towards the back of the garden, and then place the shorter ones at the front.

Mint Herb

Label Herbs

This will come in handy when you want to easily identify your herbs. Add a label to each of the planted herbs and when you need them when cooking, it will be quite easy to identify them.

Water Often

Give them plenty of water. Once they are established, allow your herbs to get an inch of water each week throughout the growing season.

Harvest Time

As soon as they are mature you can start to harvest your herbs, but take only a little bit each time you harvest. You must not remove more than a third of the plant at one time, as it may take them longer to recover and produce new foliage. 

Herbal garden pots

Having your own personal herb garden is very useful and practical. You get to have easy access to fresh herbs anytime and can add these herbs to your cooking as often as you want.

Running Tips for Beginners

Do you see yourself as a beginner in running? Have you aspired to start a new workout scheme that will align with your fitness goals? Before you prepare your running gears and head out, check out these running tips for beginners.

Running for Beginners

Don’t Run Too Fast

You might get too excited with that sudden rush of energy that you will find yourself running too fast. When you start running, you should start at a moderate pace. The easiest way to test your running pace is when you can still easily hold a conversation. Even when you feel like you could run at a faster pace, you should maintain the same one for the whole distance. Do give your body enough time to gradually adjust to higher demands on workout activities.

Short Running Intervals

Now that you’re ready to run and decided on how far you want to run, keep in mind that you do not need to run the entire distance in one go. You can break it down into short intervals and keep them short to start with. It is totally fine if you decide to walk between the intervals to give some time to recover. It’s always a good idea to alternate between running and walking. Eventually, you can start to increase your running time and reduce the walking time. Gradually increase it until you can run the entire distance without stopping.

Easy Short Steps

To succeed in running, you need to have the proper technique and body coordination. Most beginners waste a lot of energy when they do not have the proper body form and technique. It is advisable to run easy and take short steps instead of doing long, powerful strides. Your body will need to develop that coordination with every mile that you run.

Easy Running for Beginners

Take Time to Recover

A simple training plan to follow is to have your schedule allow you to have rest days in between your running routine. Your body needs to rest to recover from your previous running session. Your cardiovascular system, as well as your bones and muscles, need to adapt to the new demands and be prepared for the next run.

Take Care of your Body

Running is a full-body workout, with your core in the center. It needs to be strong and stable for you to run tall and have full balance. Overall you need to have a well-conditioned body to help prevent injuries. Your muscles should be in good shape. All of your body parts must be prepared for this full-body workout. Once you get to have a regular steady running, this will help build a regular strength training and ultimately to have a better running performance.

Running Workout

With these easy tips for beginners, you will soon find yourself fully familiar with the running routine. Your body will then adjust and become stronger, giving you a favorable running condition.

The New Virtual Celebration for your Birthday

When your birthday takes place during this unique situation where everyone is expected to stay home, don’t worry about not having to celebrate at all. Find ways to celebrate now and enjoy precious moments with friends and family virtually, if they are unable to come and visit.

Here are some things you need to plan ahead and prepare for.

Happy birthday flags

Decorations

A simple bunting decoration would make a good backdrop for your party. If you are unable to buy this, you can easily create your own. Simply cut triangular flags from cards or paper, and string them together. You can grab balloons and party hats to add more fun decors. Having these decorations would add a festive ambiance to your birthday event.

Pizza

What better way to fill that empty stomach than to have good old pizza ready. There are a lot of options to get pizza delivery from. But if you’re the type who can actually make one, go for it! Add-in some more toppings that would spice up that good pizza crust. 

You can enjoy the pizza while having a chat or a group video call. Let them know ahead if you’re having a pizza party, so they can also order pizza ahead of time.

Happy birthday cake and candles

Birthday Cake

As they say, you can’t have a birthday party when you don’t have a cake! We all love cake. So take this opportunity to get your special birthday cake. It’s your special day so you get to choose what type of cake you’re getting. What matters most is you get a good slice of cake later and don’t forget the candle, too!

Wine

For those who can’t have a beer, you can still host your virtual party and have wine instead. Let everyone enjoy their favorite wine while celebrating your birthday virtually on a video call. Crack open that expensive bottle you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Your birthday party is the most special one you get to celebrate.

Games

You can be a game master and start having fun quizzes and trivia. Having everyone around virtually is a nice way to catch up and do some fun things that you can host online. You can also play a game where the one who loses gets to do something as a consequence of losing that round.

Your birthday is a special day. You can still feel connected to family and friends during this unique situation, as long as you reach out to them and celebrate your special day together.

Preparing for a Day at the Beach

With all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it makes perfect sense to spend some “me-time” on the weekends and get some sun and sand. When you get a chance, zoom out of the house and head to the beach. In some areas, local communities have started to allow beach resorts to operate. For as long as everyone will follow the basic rules and safety protocols are in place, we can all start having some awesome time at the beach.

Sunglasses on the beach

Here are a few things to remind you of before heading out:

Pack up your essentials

Grab your sunglasses, sunscreen, and tanning oil. Be ready with your beach mat, or any wide clothing or mat you can bring along with, so you can choose a perfect spot to lay down on.

Bring your favorite book

This could be the best timing you can spend some time reading your favorite book. With your beach towels in place, you’re all set to lie under the sun for some vitamin D.

Choose your outfit

Whether you end up actually taking a dip, or just laying in the sand, it wouldn’t hurt if you’re all dressed up in that cutie little bathing suit. After all, you’ll be at the beach and nothing tops wearing your comfy outfit for the day. Pair it with a hat and you’re all set.

Sunbathing at the beach

Always be hydrated

Pack that water bottle with lots of water. Staying out in the sun too much may cause dehydration so make sure you pack enough water that will keep you feeling refreshed all day.

Charge your camera or phone

There are moments when you just would like to capture and treasure; a beautiful sunset or a nice tropical view of the sun, sand, and the beach. Check your gadgets to see if they have ample batteries to allow you to snap a quick photo of breathtaking moments. Make sure you bring with you a waterproof case to keep it safe from water and sand.

Pack it all in your beach bag

Having a ready go-to beach bag for all your beach essentials will come in handy. Have everything ready and pack it all in, this way you won’t forget anything.

Sunbathing women at the beach

Enjoy a full day at the beach with some precious time for yourself is the best stress reliever. Make the most of your precious time to unwind, relax, and to clear your head away from all the stress you may have had in the past week.