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General Pet Questions

Marc Morrone answers questions about rabbits, fish, hermit crabs, frogs, hamsters, and turtles.
Martha Stewart Living Television

Can a bunny swim?
Yes, rabbits swim, but usually prefer not to; because their coats are so thick, they take an exceptionally long time to dry. However, in Texas, Oklahoma, and throughout the South, you'll find swamp rabbits that take to the water and swim to different feeding areas in their habitat.

Does my betta fish need a plant in his bowl?
It's a common misconception that betta fish need aquatic plants to aid in their respiration. Bettas actually gulp air from the surface, and plants add no appreciable oxygen to the water or absorb any impurities. A plant will enhance the look of the tank, but the water will still need to be changed several times weekly.

What do hermit crabs like to eat?
Hermit crabs are omnivorous scavengers and will eat pretty much any plant or animal remains they can find as they move along the beaches. Captive crabs are fed specially prepared hermit crab food with a balanced ratio of plant and animal proteins plus essential extra vitamins.

I have a tadpole and I was wondering what to do with it when it turns into a frog.
It depends on what kind of frog the tadpole matures into. A tree frog needs a glass tank with clean sphagnum moss at the bottom. The moss should be uniformly wet. The tank should also include several branches for the frog to climb. If the tadpole matures into a leopard frog or bullfrog, it will need even more water. Remember that no matter what kind of frog it is, the tank requires frequent cleaning.

How can I train my black hamster to do a trick?
Try a food reward; when promised a treat, almost any hamster will stand up on its hind legs.

My father has had two giant turtles for over 20 years; how long will they live?
Many red-eared slider turtles can live into their 40s while larger sea turtles and tortoises live far longer.

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