Cruise Lines – The Floating Resorts

A cruise ship is meant for leisure trip on the waters. These types of ships are usually used for pleasure voyages wherein the voyage itself and the various amenities are an integral part of the experience. Over the years, cruising has become an important component of the tourism industry and has found much favor with the people who love to travel and enjoy the experience out on the huge water bodies.

Earlier the ships used to carry passengers to different destination but purely as a means of water transport. There were fewer amenities provided as compared to today. With the rapid growth and technological advancements, the cruise industry also saw major changes in terms of the ships used and the amenities and services being provided. It is easy to reach the farthest part of the globe on a cruise liner which is better equipped to carry long distance journeys.

The first vessel to be built exclusively for cruising was the Pinzessin Victoria Luise which was designed by Albert Ballin who was the General Manager of Hamburg-America Line. He was the first person to send his transatlantic ships on long southern cruises during the worst winter season. Others followed suit. Earlier the transatlantic crossings did not take less than four days. But it changed after the advent of such cruise liners.

Earlier the passenger ships did not have too much of amenities. But the competition to attract more and more passengers on board led to major changes and the ocean liners started adding many luxuries to it. One of the best examples of this is the Titanic, which had all the facilities for fine dining, luxurious staterooms and means of recreation and entertainment.

Until the late 80s, most of the cruise liners offered shuffleboard, deck chairs, drinks decorated exotically and little else. As of today, the ocean liners have become luxury hotels & resorts in themselves which give dozens of amenities. They are equipped with a complete hospitality staff in addition to the ship’s crew.

With the demand on the rise for cruising, there are different types of vessels which serve this purpose. There is a wide choice in the cruise industry, from the ocean liners and luxury riverboats, to specialty sailboats and yachts.

There are various types of liners which ply the oceans and they can be differentiated on the basis of their size, the number of passengers they can carry, the amenities and services they can provide and the destinations that they traverse. The main categories of cruise liners could be described as follows:

Conventional Cruise Ship: This is the kind of ship which is commonly known to most people. It is a huge hunk of a thing which can carry up to 3000 passengers on board. There are facilities for recreation and entertainment apart from the standard resort facilities like the restaurants and bars, theaters and cinemas, casinos, personal care salons etc.

Small Cruise Ship: Small cruise liners can vary in sizes and load carrying capacity. There are ships carrying less than 500 passengers to some of the yachts which can accommodate only 10 people. These small liners are becoming more popular as they can access to some of the more remote locations which becomes a bit difficult for the large ocean liners. Moreover, the passengers and the crew members enjoy a more intimate relationship as opposed to the larger vessel.

Luxury Cruise Ship: These ships are motor or sail powered and are also equipped with the most sophisticated and technologically advanced systems. The features and amenities in these liners are designed to meet the special demands of an exclusive clientele.

Expedition Cruise Ship: This is a totally different set of ocean liners which are designed with specific functions in mind. Such ships are used by the researches and expedition teams who like to visit the farthest and the most inaccessible portions of the world. These vessels are equipped with the desired materials needed for research study and exploration. This cannot be possible in the conventional cruise liner which is designed more for pleasure rather than function.

River Cruise Ships: Such kinds of ships are much smaller in size as compared to the sea faring ones. They can carry a maximum of 100 passengers and are specially designed to navigate through rivers and inland waterways. The Amazon, Nile, Rhine, Seine, Mississippi and Yangtze are some such rivers which have such types of water transport.

The most popular cruise destinations include Western Caribbean Cruises, Eastern Caribbean, Mexico Cruise, Alaskan Cruises and European Cruises. One can really enjoy the wonderful journey through the waters with a variety of cruise lining companies which also offer good deals and packages on travel.

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Benefits of Leisure and Recreation

Although it may not seem so, in reality, Leisure and Recreation is the largest industry in the world. The benefits of leisure and recreation as an important part of life are easy to see. As an industry, it offers a variety of related employment and creates billions of dollars in revenue. Workers in parks and recreation, community agencies, sports agencies, youth development organizations, non-profit organizations, rehab and hospital agencies, the travel and entertainment industries all utilize and benefit from parks and recreation facilities world-wide. Additional benefits of leisure and recreation include environmental improvements from expanding green spaces, health benefits, and personal satisfaction benefits.

There are many civic benefits of leisure and recreation activities. Sports and youth activities offer leadership development for adults and children. Strong communities are built as parks become a hub of community life. Benefits extend to all ages, childhood, youth, young adults, families, and seniors. Both care for environment and wellness through green spaces are enhanced by beauty. This same beauty helps combat stress through the opportunity for mild exercise and mediation upon natural beauty. Wilderness experiences are available in some locations.

For personal benefits, leisure activities may include:

Hobbies

Exercise

Sports

Gardening

Crafts

Health

Coping

Family Bonding

Physical benefits include increased lung capacity from sports participation, plus reducing serum cholesterol and hypertension, increasing bone mass, strengthening the spine, reducing disease, increase in feelings of well being, reduction in stress hormones, improved attitudes and performances, and improved social skills. For childhood development, recreational areas assist in learning, can keep kids off the streets, and enhance their confidence. Studies confirm that physical activity can aid the learning process in children. Sports activities enhance large motor skill development and social skills. Adult leaders offer positive role models to children. Group sports are well known for promoting social support, networking, and developing friendships.

As if all the above is not enough to encourage support of leisure and recreational activities, consider the following additional benefits:

Stress management – the mild stress of leisure activity can reduce overall negative stress by contributing to relaxation.

Self esteem – especially in children and seniors, mild exercise, group activities, and hobbies and crafts will help create positive self images.

Positive lifestyle development – contributing to society, social interaction, development of leaders, being part of organized sports all encourage good lifetime activities.

Personal satisfaction – any creative outlet will enhance personal satisfaction. Being part of the leadership offers self satisfaction, and those who work in the recreational areas can feel the pride in keeping these areas vital and available to others.

Quality of life – fresh air, sunshine, social interaction, health benefits and self esteem all will improve quality of life.

Preventative health – regular exercise, physiological benefits from mild exercise, and stress reduction all are made easier by having leisure and recreational activities readily available.

Since the future seems to be headed for a shorter work week and more extra time, support of leisure and recreational outlets and locations would be prudent, and benefit all involved.

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The Entertainment Value of Good Movies

As many regional language and Hollywood film makers keep coming up with new releases, and those who wish to watch new movies easily get their selection information either through television advertisements or through internet websites, which promote advertisements in the form of trailers. This method of choosing movies is very convenient and useful for people to get entertained. Good movies provide lots of fun, comedy, entertainment and recreation for the viewers. Many viewers seek suspense stories or family films which are suitable for all age groups of people.

With movies being the biggest source of entertainment these days, people find great satisfaction and happiness by watching both older and more recently released films. For instance, Shrek and Chicken Little are animated movies which earned a great amount of revenue at the box office during their initial release. These films continue to get telecasted on the television channels and viewers continue to watch them and never get bored. Therefore, good entertainment can be found in the form of good, quality films. Ghost Rider is a thriller and there is a lot of action storyline in the movie which had led to its success.

Sherlock Holmes which is a detective movie is being hailed as an all-time successful movie with millions of people around the world watching it, contributing to its excellent rating.

Based on this, good films have lots of benefits and the movie industry is steadily working on new releases to please hungry viewers.

In every part of the world, movie viewers can now have access via the internet and other mediums to DVD movies, VCD movies, and made for television movies. As technology advancements are made, the benefits of movies are expanding and they are offering increased entertainment to movie viewers.

At this point, it is important to say that working and college-going young people can draw a lot of enjoyment by watching movies further contributing to the industries success. In the past, and in the present massively successful movies continue to be released.

Audiences always receive a good solid message from good, quality films which continue to earn favor from the them. Based on this, if you get bored or would like to relax, you can always watch a good movie after ensuring that you like the storyline. You can share it with your friends and neighbors and can even rate the movie on internet. In conclusion, it is recommended not to miss the experience of watching good, quality movies.

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My Father in Heaven

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

Our heavenly father sacrificed his only begotten son and his love, manifested in the extreme form inspires us to do the same. Today, I would like to take time in sharing what my father has given me in and through his life.

One might think what is so special about it – a father is supposed to do the needful for his offspring as an obligation. We should not take it for granted. In fact, this article cannot cover his contribution in my life. Let me try to give a bird’s eye view on the same. Probably, I would get chance to share about his contributions in details through the other articles later.

Experience counts more than intellect

In the latter half of my life I realized that he was not so much qualified as far as his educational qualification is concerned. In spite of that, he was competent enough to steer me through the hurdles of life in the technocratic era of today. He had his years of experience in life. Alas! I used to think I was more educated than him.

Quality and Quantity Time

From the beginning of his journey with me till he went to be with the Lord, he proactively spent quality and quantity time with me. He ensured that whatever he did could bring out the best in my life. In the process, he had to forgo many moments of recreation and entertainment out of his life. Alas! I didn’t manage much time to spend with him when he was in his deathbed eagerly awaiting my companionship.

Addiction was away from his life

From my childhood to the time he passed away, I could never find him addicted to anything other than watching cricket matches. He taught me to do the same by living his life in the real terms. He tried to avoid most of the wrong habits and deleted them from his life. Thus, it never required any instruction from his side for me to do the same. He used to confess humbly even to me whenever he did something wrong, promised me recover from it and used to keep his word. Alas! I couldn’t humble myself to him in the way he did.

He kept the best things for me

During his service years and after retirement, he used to share with me whatever he used to get from others. He also took care to see what would be beneficial for me and gave away the lions share or the best one. Alas! At his deathbed, I couldn’t provide him with the best.

Patience was his principal tool

In my childhood, I was always given what I used to ask him for. He provided me with whatever I asked for in spite of utter financial stringency at times. Of course, he never gave me anything that could harm me or whatever was not suitable for me. Alas! In his old age, I used to get irritated with him for the things he asked for.

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Technology And Entertainment – How Well They Go Together

The entertainment industry is now totally dependent on the use of technology. Their target was to meet challenges of the 21st century and adaptation of technology thus became inevitable. This adaptation was though for good because it did a lot of good to the industry as well.

The reach to the global audience in the first place was possible because of the advancement in technology. The technology to some extent flourished because of the entertainment industry. The advancement in graphics technology and animation is a living proof. The animation industry certainly boomed due to increasing popular demand. The animated cartoons are equally popular among children and adults. The makers of animation films now try to make a storyline that even elders can enjoy. This all shows the power and potential of this industry and animation is a large share of this large industry.

This whole game goes to a whole new level when it comes to film making. The market share expands beyond boundaries. Blockbuster movies are released in almost 100 different languages and eventually the revenue collection is simply through the roof. The SFX industry has also boomed in a very short time span and has lead to some serious amount of job creation. The need for technicians, professionals and latest gadgetry has created a whole new industry. It is like the folds of onion, layer after layer new industries emerge due to the emergence of latest technologies. This shows the potential the entertainment industry has and its ever-increasing use in filmmaking.

The latest sensation when it comes to the video gaming world – the Wii – has created a large fan base for an entirely new industry in gaming seventh-generation console. The number of people opting for this form of entertainment astounded production companies as well. The reason that many explain behind its large-scale adaptation is carving of generation x for latest gadgetry and their proximity with it.

The use of technology within the recreation industry is a very good omen. Anything that has entertainment value its reach is beyond boundaries and borders. It quickly becomes a universal property because recreation in itself is a universal concept. The technology has played a very vital role in exploring the horizons of different recreational concepts. The socio-economic impact of recreation industry would not be that severe if it was not backed by technology. The use of technology has completely changed the meaning of recreation. The change is though for better otherwise generations would have remained deprived of what we have seen and what we will see in future.

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The History of Leisure and Recreation

When you stop to think about it, humankind has always enjoyed some type of leisure and recreation, so the history of leisure and recreation goes back a very long way. The Romans had the Coliseum, where they watched chariot races and other entertainment. The Greeks had amphitheaters where they viewed drama and comedy, and of course they invented the Olympics, one of the greatest entertainment sport spectacles on earth. The list goes on. Even the Bible discusses singing, dancing, music, and other forms of acceptable recreation, so even the most ancient civilizations enjoyed entertainment and recreation of some sort.

The Middle Ages

Life for most people in the Middle Ages was dark and difficult. More emphasis was put on work, and there was little time for leisure. However, jousting tournaments, hunting tournaments, and the earliest forms of chess, checkers, and other games developed during this time. The people worked hard, the Church forbade many forms of entertainment, but there were still leisure pastimes to help develop the growing history of leisure and recreation.

The Industrial Revolution

This history of leisure and recreation goes far back in time, but leisure and recreation really took off when the Industrial Revolution hit Great Britain in the 1700s. The Industrial Revolution revolutionized work in the modern world, and helped create the modern factory environment. Machines mechanized the manufacture of fabric and fibers, and this ultimately led to more leisure time for the workers. They worked long hours in the factories, but they also had time off, and most employers gave at least some holidays off. Thus, people who had labored from dawn to dusk on farms in rural England, moved to the big city, got jobs in factories, and had leisure time away from their jobs. The Industrial Revolution helped create the notion of leisure time, and it helped create a different view of work and leisure.

The 20th Century

If the Industrial Revolution helped create the history of leisure and recreation, the 20th century helped cement it. Workers demanded shorter working hours, paid vacations and holidays, and weekends off, leading to even more leisure time for the world’s workforce. Today, work and leisure are still strictly separated, but leisure time and recreation are some of the most important aspect of modern life, showing how the history of leisure and recreation has altered throughout time, and become increasingly popular as people gain more freedom from work and toil.

Tribal Warfare

It’s interesting to note that the wide separation between work and leisure in our modern society is something that wasn’t necessary in early, tribal cultures. Early man (and woman), worked when it was necessary to find food or to create items they needed to live, but they did not work continually, they interspersed work with pleasure or leisure, something our society not longer enjoys. For example, in Native American societies, boys “played” at war and warfare, but this play taught them how to use a bow and arrow, useful for hunting as well as defending the tribe. Work became play, while today, the two terms are decidedly distinct.

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Review of the Lyoness Shopping Cashback Card and Home Based Business

For the purpose of this review, I am only considering the basic fact that by becoming a Lyoness member FOR FREE you will immediately be able to save money (in the form of a cashback of between 1 and 5% on every transaction), as well as a number of Shopping Points (explained later) on most shopping that you would usually do anyway. By recommending the saving you are making to all of your friends (after all, what are friends for?), you can save even more! The Lyoness operation is definitely a win-win for shopper members and merchants alike, but how does it work, and are there any areas that could possibly be improved?

From the shopper’s point of view, the overall concept could not really be any simpler. Getting started is free, and there are no ongoing membership fees. All the shopper has to do is to make sure that he or she makes as many of their usual purchases as possible from local or online Lyoness Merchants. By making sure they frequent a Lyoness Merchant to do their normal shopping, they would be assured that every sale will generate a cash back of between 1 and 5% of their total spend.

There are also ‘Friendship’ bonuses and ‘Shopping Point’ bonuses that can also be earned for free on top of these already amazing savings. Introduce these advantages to a friend and you immediately start earning a ‘ Friendship Bonus’ based on their level of shopping done in Lyoness Merchants. When these friends introduce the Lyoness card to their friends (and why shouldn’t they?) you will earn this Friendship Bonus from their spending as well. Imagine if you introduce just 5 friends a month, and they do the same…

There is even a free upgrade to Lyoness’s ‘Lyconet’ internet marketing package that will enable you to broaden your reach to friends around the world, with at least another 8 way of generating a substantial income. There are already nearly 50 countries live with Lyoness, with many more to follow. With Lyoness stated intent to become the biggest company in the world by 2020, it would seem to make sense to get involved now – especially as it will cost you nothing.

What about the merchant? After all, nobody in their right mind will offer a 1 – 5% cash discount to every Lyoness member unless there was something in it for the seller!

Every merchant’s business needs to invest money in identifying new customers, and then making sure these new shoppers remain loyal to them. In exchange for the various Member Benefits offered to the shopper, Lyoness will put into operation a very powerful marketing support program that will not only drive new business to the merchants, but also help the merchant to create a strong loyalty bond with these new and existing customers. This is done with the help of a very useful online search facility from a PC, laptop, or smart phone that can identify Lyoness merchants in the shopper’s current locality.

Once a merchant has secured a new customer, to keep them locked in, there is another incentive, in the form of ‘Shopping Points’. I will not go into the mechanics of these Shopping Points here, but in brief, every time you spend £90 with a Lyoness Merchant, you achieve one or more Shopping Points. There is no need for the shopper to spend this much in one visit, so two or three or many trips a month could easily add up to one or more Shopping Point awarded. Each Shopping Point is worth from minimum £4.50 in further discounts on already attractively priced deals from selected Lyoness Merchants. Some merchants will use this facility to increase a bonus to attract business in certain areas, and may give more than 1 Shopping Point per £90 spend.

For those of you old enough to remember Green Shield Stamps, this was a very early ‘open’ loyalty scheme (not tied to any one company, unlike say a Tesco Club Card), where my car did not choose to run on BP, Shell, Texaco, or Jet Petrol, but on the garage giving away the most Green Shield Stamps. I would drive miles out of my way for ‘Quad Green Shield Stamps’, and that is the effect that Lyoness is beginning to recreate – with far more benefits.

When you consider that Nectar© merchants (another common ‘open’ loyalty card) now have over 90 million regular customers as opposed to Lyoness’s total of around 5 million today and their optimistic target 1 Billion by 2020, you can see that if these targets are to be met, everyone involved today will be really thankful they did in just a few years’ time. But who gets paid to recommend Nectar Points to their friends?

The levels of savings even when just considering the free cashback facility, and the Shopping Points, where you are already spending say £500 every month anyway, can be really worthwhile. Add to that the ‘Friendship Bonus’ earnings you can get from just referring friends to sign up for free and then save money as well on their ‘Anyway Spend’ monthly money, and this can be another money spinner. You can even earn that ‘Friendship Bonus’ on friends that YOUR friends recommend. Imagine if you got ten of your friends every month signing up to save money, and they then do the same to ten of their friends.

Used in conjunction with any existing Store Customer Loyalty cards, the Lyoness shopper gets the best of all the special offers and other loyalty schemes. For instance, if a Lyoness member shops regularly in one particular store, and holds a Loyalty card specifically for that store, not only will they get their Lyoness cashback paid into the bank account, they will also benefit from the offers made from the store they are visiting.

You would be very surprised and impressed at the range and calibre of Lyoness Loyalty merchants already involved in this, but although membership is free, it is by ‘invitation only’ from another Lyoness member, so if you want to be pleasantly surprised, speak to a known existing Lyoness shopper, and ask them to sign you up.

But it is not just the large chain stores that can become approved Merchants, and Lyoness are making great efforts to court and encourage small to medium sized businesses, such as local grocery stores, dentists, hairdressers, and other local specialist stores to become Lyoness SME Merchants. It is outside the scope of this review to describe the Lyoness SME program, but suffice it to say that where a small firm joins the scheme, not only will they get a massive amount of marketing support, and if approved, a unique catchment area for their new customers from Lyoness, but also another massive boost to their income.

If an SME such as a local grocery store cum deli has say several hundred existing regular customers, then where a percentage of these customers sign up for a unique free Merchant/Lyoness membership, if they spend say £50 every month in the SME store, but also spend some £500 or more every month in other Lyoness outlets ( the list is growing daily), every time any one of these customers gets a haircut, has a pizza, drinks a coffee, or does their monthly shop in another big Lyoness Loyalty Merchant – the SME owner gets 1% of the total spend from their loyal customer base – and an extra 0.5% from their friends that also sign up for free Lyoness membership.

It is not just the humdrum regular shopping involved here. As well as groceries, petrol, gas and electricity, the concept from Lyoness is that eventually you should be able to buy just about any product or service from a Lyoness Loyalty Merchant. How about a wonderful overseas holiday, a new kitchen suite, or even a new Mercedes? Imagine introducing a friend who then goes out and buys a new car via Lyoness. What a wonderful Friendship Bonus that would create for you?

By getting your friends and family involved in these savings as well, you actually have the basis of a very easy word-of-mouth referral business, which could grow into a powerful home-based business.

If your friends then recommend their friends to join Lyoness as well, then you will also get the same level of commission (0.5%) from their spending as well. I know this may seem small, especially if each friend only spends say £200 per month at Lyoness merchants, you will get just £1 paid in your bank. But say you introduce 10 friends, and they introduce a further 10 friends, you will then have some 100+ friends earning you in total the grand sum of £100 every month. Imagine if you introduced 10 new friends every month, and they all spend over £500 every month on food, petrol and entertaining…

You can accelerate the growth of this home based business if you wish by upgrading (again for FREE) to the Lyconet internet marketing solution, and perhaps even go International with your members. This will enable you to follow Lyoness’s Career Path Program, which, at Level 8, they reckon will be able to generate in excess of £50,000 every month.

So this all sounds great, and perhaps too good to be true – so what about the down side (if any?)

What can be the downside in joining an International Shopping Community with a Free membership, just making sure you spend your ‘already spend’ monthly money in any Lyoness Merchants (on or off line stores). This will ensure:-

  • Getting up to 5% cashback on every transaction paid into your bank every Tuesday
  • Getting one or more Shopping Points (worth around £4.50 in extra discounts from product and services from the ever-expanding Lyoness Shopping Mall) as a loyalty bonus for every £90 spent
  • Getting an ongoing Friendship Bonus just for recommending your friends to join – which goes down 2 levels
  • Expanding your network of potential friends by upgrading to a Lyconet Member (Lyoness network marketer – also free to do), where you can build a very rewarding international home business, with as many levels as you can create.

I am definitely starting to look at this opportunity in more detail and have already enrolled in Lyoness’s marketing division, the Lyconet internet marketing facility, which is the next stage in building a successful home based business with Lyoness.

With all of the improvement that I have now seen in the pipeline, now is the time to get involved in what is looking like becoming the largest company in the world by 2020. Better to be on the inside feeling warm and cosy than on the frozen outside.

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10 Things to Consider When Shopping for Betta Fish Tanks

Bettas are among the most interesting and low-maintenance fish you can keep. And their ability to breathe atmospheric oxygen and live in very small volumes of water allows them to be housed in a variety of small aquaria that can complement any home or office. However, there are some important considerations to bear in mind when shopping around for the perfect tank for your pet betta. Please read on as we discuss these issues and our own opinions on what to look for in a small betta tank.

Characteristics of The Best Betta Fish Tanks

1) Adequate Size

Yes, it’s true that a betta can live in a small bowl, if it had to. But this is not the most fulfilling life for such a regal fish. In addition, very small bowls are prone to heating and cooling extremely rapidly, as well as suffering quickly from pollution that can easily occur from even slight overfeeding. As a general rule of thumb, we suggest a minimum tank size of one gallon to keep one adult betta. Of course, your betta would be happy if you provided a larger aquarium, but a gallon container is generally sufficient so long as it is diligently maintained. Bettas can also be housed in community tanks, but take care not to keep them with fish that tend to nip fins. For example, tiger barbs are notorious for fin nipping, and will shred a betta’s fins very quickly. Shredded fins are not just a cosmetic issue, unfortunately, and a betta with badly torn fins can easily die from stress and/or secondary infections like ick/fungus.

2) A Good, Tight Fitting Cover

Bettas are not what I’d consider big time “jumpers,” but they can and will jump when given half a chance. Sometimes osmotic or other stress will cause them to jump, and sometimes they will leap simply because the can. To minimize any risk of such escape, for whatever reason, do yourself a favor and put a lid on the tank. Be careful though to leave some air space between the surface of the water and the cover as they are air breathers and need to gulp air occasionally.

3) No Strong Currents or Water Movement

This is a consideration that I often see overlooked, especially in some of the smaller betta tanks. Bettas have evolved to thrive in still or stagnant waters where this no little or no current. And, as a consequence of this design, they are unhappy when subjected to currents typically generated by hang on back filters or powerful aeration. Bettas require water that is either still, or very placid. They do not require aeration of any kind, especially when properly maintained and in a tank by themselves. If you do use a filter at all, make sure that the tank is large enough (e.g., 3 gallons or more) or the filter can be dialed down (e.g., an air release valve on an aquarium pump) such that the betta does not need to exert effort to maintain its position in the water column. If your betta is getting pushed around or fighting to stay still, it will put constant stain on the fish that can eventually lead to disease or death.

4) Bare Floor or Fine Substrates

Bettas don’t need or want any substrate in their tanks. In fact, bare bottom tanks are best for you and the betta since they facilitate easy clean up. If you do want to add some colorful gravel, however, keep it sparse and opt for relatively small grained types, rather than the large, marble-sized gravel that is often sold for small decorative bowls/tanks. Very course gravel makes a great trap for uneaten food, which then decays and causes potentially lethal ammonia spikes. Finer gravel (pea-sized or smaller) allows the fish to get at food that lands on the bottom, and still allows you to see when food is left uneaten and needs removal – both of which is better for your fish.

5) Regular Light Cycles

Fish, like most vertebrates, react profoundly to light cycles. As a species that lives close to the equator, your betta will expect a photoperiod of roughly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. If you don’t use artificial lighting, you don’t need to provide any, but avoid turning the lights on late at night when your fish is preparing to “sleep.” Also, try to purchase a tank that uses LED lighting. LED lights are by far the most efficient and long-lasting type you can buy, and also generate the least amount of unwanted heat.

6) Warm Temperatures

Unlike goldfish, for example, which can thrive in very cold water, betta are a very tropical fish. In their native waters of Southeast Asia, they rarely experience temperatures below 76 F. Consequently, you should always aim to keep your bettas at a minimum temperature of 72F, with a temperature of 78F being ideal. Bettas can certainly withstand cooler temps for short durations, but extended exposure to water temperatures below 72F make them lethargic and highly vulnerable to infections and diseases, particularly fin rot, ick, and fungus.

7) Individual Housing

Although female bettas can be kept together, males cannot be kept with other males or females. The only exception to this rule is if you are attempting to breed bettas, in which case the male will tolerate the female (grudgingly) only until the eggs are laid, after which time he will attack and kill her if the tank is not large enough for her to escape his line of sight.

8) Good Water Quality

Whatever you do, you must keep a betta’s water clean. This means that periodic water changes should be conducted, which involve removing any debris from the bottom of the tank. A good rule of thumb is to change between 30-50% of the water per week. This keeps the water fresh without changing things too drastically. Make sure to use dechlorinated water and try to match the temperature of the new water to the old water.

9) Placement in a Calm Area, Away From Direct Light

You wouldn’t want to live next to a 6-lane highway, and neither would your betta, so keep the tank somewhere away from heavy foot traffic. It’s difficult enough living your life in a small transparent container, don’t make matters more stressful by locating the tank where your betta will be subject to constant movement and/or vibrations. Also, locate the tank away from direct sunlight, which can cause rapid temperature spikes and encourage algae growth.

10) Simplicity!

If you’ve chosen a tank of sufficient size, keep the betta by itself, maintain proper temperatures and keep up with regular water changes, there’s not much else you need. Be wary of vendors that try to sell lots of accessories for beta-only tanks, like sophisticated filters, lighting, etc. These things are usually unnecessary.

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Gift Cards Free – For Your Unending Online Shopping

Gift cards are an important part of several successful online marketing processes. These free offers allow vendors to lure in large number of customers to their website. The hope is that customer would find their site and products interesting and would want to visit again and again.

Why do they do that? Many marketers know that people are attracted to free offers, everyone loves to get something for free, and especially something they consider valuable. So by luring them with free gifts customers would discover their sit and hopefully come another time. To access the free gift you will need to provide your email information and in some cases your shipping info, phone number and DOB. This information on one hand can be used to deliver your offer to you. The email can also be used on a later day to market other offers to you. However, you can opt out of their contact list at any time.

How Do Free Gift Cards Work?

Simple! Since most of the offers only require you to submit your email and maybe name, you simply sign up at different times with different emails. Emails are free to open. To be sure of your offer, you may use different devices in different locations to sign up for the same offer. Here is a good reason to use the contact addresses of your parents, your friends, and even your neighbors who are typically not excited about such things. Once you receive your shopping credit, you simply order and ship to these addresses and then go pick them up. Use this method and you might be enjoying up to $10,000 in a single gift offer.

Types of Gift Cards

Gift cards come in various forms. But the most popular ones are coupon cards for online stores like Amazon, Walmart, Netflix, etc. The other very popular type of gift cards is Credit Card Offers. To get these cards, you are only required to join with your email. When you join the offers you are supplying your agreement to receive marketing materials to your email. These emails can sometimes prove to be a very great resource for you. But if you do not want them, you can opt out anytime just by hitting the unsubscribe button at the end of the email and you will stop receiving their emails. What I do is create a separate email for this purpose. And I have specific times when I check these emails.

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Online Shopping for Clothing: 5 Great Advantages

Nowadays online shopping for clothes has become more like a daily activity for the modern women. Despite its few flaws, buying clothing from an e-retailer is very popular. GSI Commerce survey on online shopping shows that half of the consumers prefer shopping for fashion clothing and accessories online to purchasing them offline. Online shopping for clothes has earned its place deservedly and we have to admit it.

Buy clothes online 24/7

One of the most important advantages of the online shopping for clothing is that you can buy your clothes regardless of what time it is. If you usually are engaged with work at the office till late, deal with your kids during day, having classes at the university and it seems that you don’t have enough time for shopping, buying your apparel online is the perfect solution. You can look for an e-store and buy fashion clothes at 22:00 p.m.

Diversity

Another benefit of the online shopping for clothing is the great opportunity to browse an international market at the simple click of a button. You can find so many online shops offering different styles – casual, formal clothing, you name it. You are into the vintage style, but you don’t have a shop with vintage fashion near you, well you can find an e-shop offering great vintage clothing pieces.

Convenience

Online shopping for clothes gives you the freedom to shop not only at the early hours in the morning or at the late hours of the night, but you can buy clothes online regardless of where you are – at the cafe with friends, during your vacation, or at the office during your break. As we live in the era of smart phones and Google, we access to internet almost everywhere shopping for clothing online is such an entertainment.

During holiday and season sales shopping centers get so crowded. It is quite a ‘mission impossible’ to reach the cute shirt at the end of the store. No more waiting on queues to pay for what you have managed to get. Buying clothing online is easy and saves a lot of time though. Even, you can make a gift and surprise your friend who is far from your location. Just purchase an item he or she likes and give his/her address for delivery.

Price comparison & Reviews

Buying your apparel online gives you the great advantage to compare the price of the particular item different retailers offer for it. Moreover, there are so many third-party independent websites for rating and reviewing products. It is a good idea to check what people say about the product you are about to purchase.

Sales

Last, but not least, great benefit of the online shopping for clothing is the great bargain opportunities. Online stores for clothing make great sales and discounts, especially during holidays. Perfect way to save money on buying clothes online is to take advantage of the coupons many e-stores offer. Shopping for clothes online and saving a few bucks – you can’t miss such an opportunity.

Next time you are about to shop for clothes and fashion accessories, why don’t to try online shopping for clothing. You can find a great deal.

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