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Young Koran angel....brown spots on face.      6/18/18
Is this Ick or something else? What should I do?
<.... 7.5 megs.... Read... on WWM; re Pomacanthus semicirculatus, health, HLLE, nutrition...
Bob Fenner>

Hawaii Dive Collectors      6/18/18
Hi Bob!
<Hey Bri>
I am not sure if this is an email to be posted on WWM, since I haven't read anything there promoting specific individuals but I'm looking for dive contact(s) in Hawaii that could supply me with a harem of Cirrhilabrus jordani for captive breeding purposes in my high school science classroom.
<I'm still waiting on response from "Furry Slippers"/Fernley in HI>
I am so excited about the developments being made in captive-bred fish and would like to breed this species since it is endemic, under pressure from collection, and a good candidate for many aquarium setups. I'd also like to get my students involved, so they can see that we all play a part in conservation. I've done extensive research on how Halichoeres melanurus was bred, as well as several species of angelfish. I know that this is quite a challenge to take on, but I think it would be an amazing experience for my students that will provide them with so many learning opportunities. It help them understand how to use their failures as catalysts for improvement, understand how complex our world is, and see that they truly can make a difference.
It's becoming harder to find C. jordani (expiring collection permits that the state isn't renewing and possibly wrong time of year for collection?)
<Mmm; yes to the former, but this fish, all aquarium-used fish species are found in Hawaii year round>
Even when I do see them, they have been exposed to so many medications through the chain of custody that I am afraid their overall health and fertility are impacted.
I'd like to obtain my fish directly from a diver, so that I can receive them quickly and do my own quarantine procedure with minimal medication, no starvation period, and live cultured foods as well as prepared.
Want to go to Hawaii and catch some flame wrasses for me, sir?? I'll pay for your margaritas too!
-Lil Bri
<One never knows. BobF>

Problems with 20 gallon aquarium rack      6/18/18
I am having some trouble with a 20 gallon aquarium rack that I built and I am looking for some advice.
I built the rack out of 2x4s following this video here:
<Have reviewed>
I used a circular saw for all of the cuts, but a lot of my cuts were not straight. I am very amateur
when it comes to woodworking and I did not do that great of a job. I tried my best using a carpenter's square and a miter square to get everything squared up as I was building it, but I seem to have failed that. The rack came together fine but when I bought it in the house to test out to see if it was level or not, it rocked.
<Best to use the level while assembling>
I checked the floor with a level and it was level. The rack is actually going in the garage so I was planning on putting some leveling feet on it, which I did. I was able to get it level to the garage floor, which is slightly sloped for drainage reasons.
Anyways, after I leveled it, I put an empty 20 gallon tank on the top of the rack and it rocked.
<Not good>
It seems that the back left corner and the front right corner are too high. As you can see from the attached picture, the gap created is quite large! I checked the middle and bottom and both of these have the same problem as the top. I was scratching my head trying to figure out what I could do to fix this, so I went and got some plywood cut to fit the rack to turn it into a shelf. After adding the plywood, the
tank still rocks! Why is this?
<The laterals are still not level...>
I am unsure what to do at this point. I see a lot of people using some type of foam under the tank to help with minor issues, but I feel like the gap is too big for this.
<I agree>
Is my best bet going to be to take down the corners with either sandpaper, a wood chisel, or a plane?
<Mmm; no... wedges under the ply that make the plywood itself level is best. If necessary for smaller gaps, you can put foam between the ply and tank>
I am worried that if I attempt this, I am going to end up taking too much wood off and end up needing to rebuild the whole rack, which I really don't want to do. I think I did a decent job for my first attempt at building such a rack, but obviously not good enough!
What do you recommend in this situation?
<Plastic wedging (you can buy in various sizes at Home Depot, Lowe's....)
as stated>
Thank you for your time,
Timothy Marinello
<Please write back if this is not clear, complete. Bob Fenner>


Green parrotfish (Scarus quoyi)      6/17/18
I am a member of the group SDMA and have read a lot of your books over the years. Thank you for those. Notice you post a lot of pictures about fish and information. I had a quick question about Green parrotfish (Scarus ) in captivity do they do better in pairs?
<This species I've rarely encountered in captivity, nor many of the genus Scarus... or Parrotfishes period; but the few I've run across did fine solitarily>
I have seen a few post with two in a tank. I plan on putting at least one in a large 280 gallon tank.
Tank is pretty much a blank canvas and is cycled and ready to go. Just need to start planning residents.
Terry Rickman
<I strongly advocate getting yours trained onto a good pelleted staple.
Have seen Parrots eat such in institutions and home captive systems. Bob Fenner>
Re: Green parrotfish (Scarus )      6/17/18
Are Scarus quoyi known for being territorial?
<Some Scarus are territorial amongst their own kind; particularly two males>
I have the opportunity to acquire two that have never been house together. They are both 5-6 inches.
<These should be fine. Will be sexually undifferentiated at this size (not yet females). Bob Fenner>

Re: Hawaii Dive Collectors      6/17/18
Property in Hawaii? That sounds wonderful! Sadly, I am not certified yet. It’s on my bucket list.
Yes, please do send my information to him!
<Ahh, will do. Have sent a note asking if he might know collectors who have this species>
The best way to get hold of me would be through text/phone call. My number is omitted. If he prefers email, we can correspond through omitted.
<I will send both along, and not post them to WWM>
Feel free to keep my contact info for yourself as well. Perhaps we will cross paths at some point and I can say hello in person.
<Ahh! That would be delightful. Many things to chat about, share. I too did some time as a (H.S. science) teacher. My number, omitted, and email: omitted>
If you do feel like collecting some of those wrasses for me, I’d be happy to purchase them from you. I am very serious about giving this breeding endeavor a try!
You seem very professional, so I’m sure you already plan on doing this, but please delete my contact information before posting this on WWM (if you intend to do so). Thank you very much! I’ll let you know if John Fernley decides to contact me.
<Ah, good. Will do>
Hope to be chatting again soon!
<And you, BobF>

Question about the Fire Eel      6/17/18
I have a young friend who had to re-home his Pacu because the fish was overwhelming his 75 gallon tank (it was the only fish in the tank, but had grown to about 18 inches over several years and kept launching itself against the tank lid).
<Indeed. Adult Pacu are massive, and not to be trifled with. They can become very aggressive (towards other fish) when confined, and probably have no business at all in the aquarium hobby. Strictly a species for public aquaria.>
He was looking for another fish for the tank and decided to buy a Fire Eel (he bought a juvenile, currently about 4 inches).
<A lovely fish. A bit delicate, but certainly possible for the experienced fishkeeper.>
I understand this species also gets very large, but my friend assures me he did his research and that this species is not very active, so even full grown his 75 gallon tank will work just fine (he has a canister filter - I'm not sure what size tank its rated for, but it handled the Pacu just fine).
<Your friend is a bit optimistic, I fear. Fire Eels reach something approaching a metre (3 feet) in length under aquarium conditions, possibly even bigger in the wild. Assuming you're speaking of US gallons, then 100 gallons would be absolutely minimum. For sure the 75-gallon system would do for 2-3 years, but if your friend was keeping the Fire Eel right, it's going to eat A LOT of food and grow VERY QUICKLY. A 'tiddler' a few inches long will double in size after the first year, and while growth rate may slow down somewhat by the time the fish is, say, about 12 inches in length, after then it'll still be putting on 3-4 inches a year. Bear in mind that these fish are deep bodied, so length doesn't by itself take into account the sheer bulk of the adult fish.>
I've known this young man since he was 12, watched him grow up, wrote to him during his military service in Afghanistan, and I firmly believe he will take the best possible care of the Fire Eel.
<I'm sure; he sounds a great guy -- certainly has good taste in fish!>
He understands the nitrogen cycle and what is necessary to properly maintain it, and I'm equally sure he will do an excellent job in that regard. But I'm not sure a 75 gallon tank will be big enough when this animal is full grown.
<The problem is that Fire Eels, like all Spiny Eels, are very prone to bacterial infections, and once sick, are almost impossible to medicate.
Prevention is 100% the name of the game when it comes to Spiny Eel healthcare. Soft substrates (to avoid scratches); a little salt in the water (1-2 gram/litre) does seem to help but probably isn't essential; a
varied and safe diet (so no feeder fish, EVER, and a range of invertebrates and fish meats that lack thiaminase); and above all excellent water quality (no ammonia and nitrite; nitrate as low as practical). Water chemistry isn't a big issue, luckily, so a big tank and ample water changes should help keep water quality good. One other thing: make sure the Fire Eel can't escape. If it can, it will.>
He knows I ask you a lot of questions and how much help you've been to me, but he doesn't have a home computer, so I'm asking for him. Is a 75 gallon tank sufficient for a full grown Fire Eel as the solitary fish in the tank?
<As above; will do for the first few years, but once the fish is above, say, 18 inches, I think something around the 100 gallon mark is surely necessary.>
<Hope this helps, and if your fine fishkeeping friend wants to discuss further, feel free to have him write in. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Question about the Fire Eel      6/17/18

Thank you!
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Good morning....flame Hawkfish has a lump just before his tail what could this be?      6/17/18
<Mmm; a cyst, tumor... bacterial, cancerous? Do you have a good pic of a few hundred Kbyte size?
Bob Fenner>

Re: Disease Identification    6/16/18
Hello Bob and crew!
<Li'l Bri>
I thought I'd give a follow-up email for our string (see below). My purple tang did not show any further signs of the white spots through quarantine. It is now living happily in my display tank and appears perfectly healthy! It appears to have been environmental, just as Bob predicted, and my guess is that it was due to sub-par water quality while doing the Tank Transfer Method in quarantine.
Thanks for the advice! Add one more happy fish to the list of all those that you have helped!
Lil Bri
<Thank you for your update. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Angelfish dying - any advice is welcomed!    6/16/18
Thanks Neale - as far as plants, I did consider they may be a problem. I did not realize that about some plants having that ability to affect the water chemistry and I have reached out to many different people about this and you are the first one to mention this.
<Oh! It is not a well-known fact perhaps, but reasonably widely seen with hard water specialist aquatic plants. Egeria and Elodea are the classic species, precipitating a chalky deposit on their leaves (carbonate salts of some sort) as they absorb bicarbonate ions, take the CO2, and get rid of what they don't need. Vallisneria are not quite so effective, but I have seen them crash a tank once, in the sense the pH changes so much and so rapidly fish were visibly distressed. Not that they're not good plants --
they're great -- but I'd be careful about using them in soft water tanks (with minimal buffering) with high lighting levels. Basically, any plant known to be a hard water specialist probably does this sort of
decalcification, whereas soft water plants probably don't.>
There are Val.s in the tank and I do not use CO2,
<So guess where the Vallisneria are getting the CO2 they need, if lighting is so great they consume the dissolved CO2? Yep, from any bicarbonate salts in the water. Now, this may or may not be an issue, but I'd perhaps monitor pH across the day, comparing, say, before the lights went on to the pH level after 6-8 hours of photosynthesis. If the pH has risen a lot, then the Vallisneria may be part of the problem.>
I was doing a "low tech" tank....I just put a seachem ph monitor on the tank which seems to work well so I am going to start writing the levels down as I check it throughout the day - I have been through vials of test strips testing the water searching for answers. So Val.s should be avoided for me
<Only under intense light AND low buffering capacity. They're otherwise fine.>
- any other plants to avoid?
<See above.>
Sincerely, Lisa
<Hope this helps.>

Hawaii Dive Collectors    6/16/18
Hi Bob!
I am not sure if this is an email to be posted on WWM, since I haven't read anything there promoting specific individuals but I'm looking for dive contact(s) in Hawaii that could supply me with a harem of Cirrhilabrus jordani for captive breeding purposes in my high school science classroom.
<Mmm; I'd have you contact John Fernley... actually; I'd ask that I be allowed to send your contact info. to him for his (hopeful) response>
I am so excited about the developments being made in captive-bred fish and would like to breed this species since it is endemic, under pressure from collection, and a good candidate for many aquarium setups. I'd also like to get my students involved, so they can see that we all play a part in conservation. I've done extensive research on how Halichoeres melanurus was bred, as well as several species of angelfish. I know that this is quite a challenge to take on, but I think it would be an amazing experience for my students that will provide them with so many learning opportunities. It help them understand how to use their failures as catalysts for improvement, understand how complex our world is, and see that they truly can make a difference.
It's becoming harder to find C. jordani (expiring collection permits that the state isn't renewing and possibly wrong time of year for collection?)
<The species isn't all that common... on Kona (where I usually visit, dive, own property). I've only regularly encountered it on Molokini, out in Maui.>
Even when I do see them, they have been exposed to so many medications through the chain of custody that I am afraid their overall health and fertility are impacted.
I'd like to obtain my fish directly from a diver, so that I can receive them quickly and do my own quarantine procedure with minimal medication, no starvation period, and live cultured foods as well as prepared. Want to go to Hawaii and catch some flame wrasses for me, sir?? I'll pay for your margaritas too!
-Lil Bri
<I might well do so Bri. Not joking. You are scuba certified? Bob Fenner>

Betta has Bubble (Bob, please do review/expand as needed)<<Will do>>    6/16/18
<Hello Shannon,>
I am writing about my Crown tail Betta "Mr. Spock" He has a reoccurring bubble that keeps appearing on his left side. He doesn't seem affected by it. It just appears. Then it pops. Then it usually takes a month or so for it to reappear. However this last time the bubble popped 3 days ago and now its already starting back up.
<Curious. Given that the abdomen is obviously stretched, and the skin and scales consequently distorted, I think we can rule out gas embolism. If you recall, gas embolism tends to occur in tanks with very high aeration levels, resulting in supersaturation of the water with oxygen. The gas eventually bubbles out of solution, potentially inside the fish, where it forms more or less transparent bubbles just below the skin. Such bubbles are very unlikely to form in a tank with minimal aeration and/or filtration, as is usually the case with Bettas. So this means that some type of bacterial disease is much more probable, causing the accumulation of fluids inside the tissues.>
I live in phoenix Arizona so I have very hard water.
<Not ideal for Bettas; do aim for soft to medium hardness water, 2-15 degrees dH, pH 6.5-7.5 is about right. Do try mixing the tap water with a certain amount of RO or rainwater; even replacing 25% of each bucket of water with RO/rainwater will make a huge difference.>
Mr. Spock lives in a 1 gallon (I tried having him in a 5 gallon and he almost died from stress)
<Honestly think your interpretation of events here makes no scientific sense at all. One gallon of water is much too small for 'easy' Betta maintenance. Do remember that breeders keeping them in jam jars are changing the water completely every day, and in the wild Bettas are living in sluggish streams, ponds, paddy fields, and so on. Contrary to myth, they aren't living hoof-prints of rainwater! Fish aren't afraid of being 'out of their depth' and even a 50 gallon tank is minuscule compared to what a wild Betta would be living in. So if your Betta looked stressed, the problem wasn't really the volume of water, but the other aspects of the environment. Bettas need to be able to access the surface easily, and strong water currents will prevent that, so ensure filtration is gentle.
Air-powered filters are the ideal. They also appreciate shelter and cover, floating vegetation being the ideal, because they don't really want to make use of caves or plants at the bottom of the tank.>
with a heater (80 degrees) and a filter.
<Do review water quality. As always with fish, nine times out of ten problems come down to water quality and chemistry problems, particularly the former. 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite are essential, even for Bettas, again, despite the myth that they live in fetid swaps and can therefore survive without filters.>
He has black aquarium sand, a live plant, and a log. I do half tank water changes every other day.
Since this last bubble that popped I have given him an Epsom salt bath each day.
<Epsom salt will help with swelling, but I do think the underlying cause needs to be address. Environment the most likely cause; bacteria the most likely mechanism.>
Thank you so much for you valuable time!
<Glad to help. Good luck, Neale.>

Help identifying my fish      6/13/18
Could you please help me identify this fish? I’m thinking cichlid but what kind?
Any help is much appreciated!!
<Hello Veronika. I thought it had a vaguely Neotropical, even Geophagine aspect to it, but when I showed your photo to cichlid expert Mary Bailey, she wasn't convinced! I think it's too young and generic-looking to be easily identifiable. Many cichlids have this sort of shape and colouration when small, and there's a lot of convergence, with cichlids from one part of the world looking a lot like cichlids from someplace else. On top of that, there are so many hybrids in the trade, some fish are truly un-identifiable -- at least, not without a DNA analysis. So yes, it's a cichlid, but beyond that, who knows? Sorry can't be more useful than that. Cheers, Neale.>

Lice - Solve      6/13/18
I used Lice – Solve last night on my happy active fish and this morning 16 of my fish are dead leaving only 5 left alive. I am heartbroken that despite using the correct amount and following instructions to the letter that I have inadvertently killed my beautiful fish with this product.
<Hello Jay. Lice-Solve is a product for killing off Argulus, Anchor Worms, and other (external) crustacean parasites. It's basically an insecticide, and should have low toxicity to vertebrates such as fish. Consequently the chemical inside Lice-Solve, Emamectin, has been used on fish farms where the food produced ends up on our dinner plates. With that said, insecticides can cause problems for fish if used at the wrong dosage (so double-check that) and can also cause problems to 'sensitive' fish species. If we're talking about pond fish, that's going to mean things like Orfe and Sturgeons, and possibly other species as well. Goldfish and Koi should be fine though. One problem with using any sort of poison is that if other things in the pond die as well, such as insects in the pond, and there's enough 'dying' going on to reduce water quality, then the fish may suffer as oxygen levels drop. It's often recommended that aeration be increased when medicating, which in a pond situation might include using a fountain or air bubbler. In a pond without filtration or aeration, it's entirely possible that even irritation to the gill membranes caused by the medication can be sufficient to stress, or even kill, your fish. I'd certainly reach out to the manufacturers to see if they can offer some insight, but I agree with you that this is a very unfortunate outcome. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: African butterfly fish      6/13/18
Thank you
Luckily I have managed to get mine on flake, dry blood worms and small Cichlid pellets.
When u mean wingless fruit flies is that catching them wild or bought from pet stores.
<Either. But sure, you can buy wingless fruit flies and (sparingly) very small crickets from pet stores that cater to owners of reptiles and frogs.
On the other hand, if you happen to have a lot of house flies or fruit flies in your home, there's probably no harm in catching these and feeding them to your African Butterflyfish now and again. House Flies are pretty mucky beasts for sure, but the chances of them carrying something likely to infect a tropical fish has to be close to zero. Fruit flies should be entirely safe, since they're not eating carrion but mostly nectar, decaying fruit, and other plant foods.>
Thank you
From Josh
<Most welcome, Neale.>

Id of worm/potential young sea cucumber      6/13/18
Got a frag of sps of a fellow reefer and found a couple of worm like creatures that are very small on the bottom.
The guy i got the frags from has 2 cucumbers in his tank. To the best of his knowledge no bobbit/eunice worms.
Wondering if you might be able to id or help out.
The large one in pictures is about 4mm long.
<Wow! No wonder your pix aren't cropped, crisp (highly resolved)... Likely are Holothurians, but could be some type of worm. I wouldn't panic. Thanks for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Id of worm/potential young sea cucumber      6/13/18
Hi Bob,
Yes was very hard to get pics. Those were the best i could get.
So you would say safe to let loose in display?
<Yes; I would>
I figure if they are small holothurians the sand would be a benefit.
<Agreed. Cheers Adam. BobF>


Angelfish dying - any advice is welcomed!      6/13/18
I am getting so frustrated with my 36 gallon planted aquarium that I used Activ Flora Red in about 3 months ago. The plants are doing great in this, however all the fish I add die within days.
<Which is alarming, for sure.>
I started adding some angel fish and the water parameters are good - nitrates less than 20ppm, nitrites - not detectable, ammonia - not detectable, ph - 7.2, temp is 80, kh & gh 4 -
<This all sounds reasonable.>
the angelfish die within days as if poisoned, I added 4 initially and one by one they died within 1 week, added 4 more from a different supplier and they all died as well. They were healthy and eating when I placed them in the tank and within 72 hours they start acting weird - both batches of them.
<Which strongly suggests an environmental issue rather than a pathogen.>
Within 72 hours of acclimating them into the tank, they will be hanging at the bottom or the top, not eating, then they start swimming strange as if they are drunk, then they pass, I considered an infection or parasites possibly? Or the only other thing I can think of is the substrate which is the Activ Flora red, as I was reading the bag last night it seems high in metals - aluminum, iron etc. I contacted the manufacturer today and they could offer no advice and said they have never heard feedback on the product that fish were dying. There are 3 airstones pumping out nicely, 2 HOB's one is seachem Tidal with poly filter and chemi green along with matrix media from seachem, I also added Algone for good measure. The other is scaper's flow hang on canister with sponges and matrix media. I'm at a loss. I use RO water and add equilibrium by seachem and ph neutral along with fresh trace. Any advice is welcomed. I used to keep angels 20+ years ago and never had issues, I had a spawning pair and I was not even vigilant with water changes like I am now. The RO system is an Aquasana -
<Looks neat, but surprised that removing fluorine is seen as a plus!>
I thought maybe the remineralizer on the system is causing it as well. I really don't know, I am at a loss. Any advice is welcomed.
<I am not a fan of using domestic water softeners for fish tanks. The types of minerals used to soften the water can result in 'unnatural' ratios of ions, such as more sodium ions than would normally be present. So while plain RO water, with Discus Buffer added, would be pretty good for Angels, this unit of yours seems to be concocting something designed to be suitable for drinking, and that's less attractive as an idea.>
<I'd start by skipping the domestic water softener. By all means use RO if you want, and then add Discus Buffer, or more easily (for farmed Angels at least) a 50/50 mix of hard tap water and RO water should produce something more than acceptable, i.e., no more than medium hardness, and around pH 7-7.5. I'd also try setting up a clean quarantine tank. Why? Because I'd want to get the Angels settled and feeding in a system where I can control all the variables. So no soil! Just plain glass (perhaps some washed gravel if you must) and a simple filter, suitable heating of course, but no need for lights. A 20-gallon tank would be fine for a few juvenile Angels. While the aquarium soil should be safe, you might have a contaminated batch. If the Angels thrive in the quarantine tank, then there's perhaps a strong case for stripping down the display tank, then rebuilding with plain gravel and plants. Perhaps use another brand of aquarium soil. Are there other species of fishing thriving in the display tank? If there are tetras and catfish already, and they're doing fine, and it's just the Angels that fail, then the easiest move is to simply avoid Angels. Try something else of similar size and behaviour, perhaps one of the Gourami species. But if the tank has no fish in it, and you really want an Angelfish community, then testing out Angels with a quarantine tank would at least help you rule out the aquarium soil as the problem. Do think about water movement and oxygenation though -- plants consume oxygen 24 hours a day, but during the nighttime they're not producing it through photosynthesis, and in densely planted tanks with sluggish water movement it is possible for oxygen levels to become depleted. Air-breathing fish (like Gouramis and Corydoras) will get by, but those fish unable to breathe air, notably cichlids, will suffer. You might also consider some other, perhaps airborne, pollutant. Paint fumes, insecticides and cleaning products can all cause major problems. Sometimes solid materials fall into aquaria, such as bits of metal, and these can also prove toxic, copper in particular. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Effect of salt water on lake animals      6/12/18
We live with a fresh water canal behind our house which empties into a small lake owned by the homeowners ass. We are putting up an above the ground pool and will use a salt water system filter rather than chlorine to keep the water clean. When we have to empty the pool at the end of the
summer, if any of the salt water treated water gets into the canal, will it hurt the fish and turtles? We will be trying to empty it onto our land but wanted to be sure if some got into the canal what effect it would have on the wildlife in the water.
Thank you for your help
Judy Everett
<A matter of relative volumes here; but assuming the canal's is several times that of your pool, all should be fine. All life has a range of tolerance/use of salts (combinations of metals non-metals... I taught
chemistry, physics and life sciences). Some salt is fine. Bob Fenner>

African butterfly fish; fdg., gen.       6/12/18
I have a young African butterfly fish 1 inch long
<Tiny! Might be tricky to feed. These fish need quite a lot of food. Wingless fruit flies ideal; sometimes they take flake, but don't bank on it.>
seems to be ok mostly active when feeding or someone is at the tank.
At the fish store I was told by 2 of the employees that an African butterfly fish would be ok in 70L so I got it. I feel though the tank maybe in the future will get to small so is there any way of improving the fish’s life in the tank or should 70L be ok?
<You're right. These fish can grow quite big, 10 cm/4 inches in length under aquarium conditions. While the water depth is immaterial, the tank needs plenty of surface area. I'd be thinking about a tank with, say, 3 square feet of space at the top. A traditional 30-gallon breeder tank would be about right (i.e., 36" x 18" x 12") but a standard 29-gallon tank (30" x 12" x 18") would be fine too. Nothing very much smaller makes sense in the long term, particularly if you're keeping them alongside other types of fish.>
Thank you
From Josh
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Hi, question about "Aquarium Photography"?      6/12/18
Hi there,
<Hey Rachel>
Rachel here, from over at Photography Talk
I wanted to send a quick email to propose something to you.
I noticed that on this page (wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i2/aquarium_photography/photography.htm)
on your site, you have mentioned ISO settings.
I normally wouldn't send a cold email (I get them all the time too :) ),
but I recently created an in-depth 1000+ word guide called
*Shutter Speed Explained for the Beginning Photographer*In this guide, we take a deeper look at what shutter speed is, how to measure it and how it relates to motion.
You can check it out here:
I think the guide would be a great addition to your page, and provide a lot of added value to your readers.
If Yes, I am also happy to re-push the link to our Twitter
<https://twitter.com/PhotographyTalk> and Facebook
<https://www.facebook.com/photographytalk> (With More Than 1M followers combined).
Let me know what you think, and thanks for your consideration!
P.s. Yep, that is a million followers :)
Cheers, Rachel
[image: photo]
*Rachel Clearly*
Photography Talk
<Will gladly add your link; there and on our Links pages. Thank you for your efforts.
Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Porcupine Puffer Lethargic and Not Eating     6/11/18
Hi Crew. I hope this email finds you well
<Thank you Mike>
I have a 8"-9" Porcupine Puffer in a 150 gallon FOWLR Tank. I have had the puffer for 8 years. Also in the tank is a 6"-7" Harlequin Tusk I have had for around 3.5 years and a 24" Snowflake Eel I have had around 8 years.
Around a week ago, puffer seemed to not want to eat. During feeding, he did try to grab some and got some but seemed like he was missing it. In the last few days ago, he does not seem interested. Today he is breathing heavy sitting on the bottom. He does swim around, but is more on the bottom.
<Mmm; what are you feeding? This reads as a classical B vitamin issue>
No signs of ich or flukes. I have noticed that recently the tusk is a little aggressive towards the puffer. That is why I am at is getting back on a better feeding schedule think that is causing the aggression.
The eel and tusk seem fine.
Last time I added anything to the tank it was the tusk.
I used to change 35 gallons of water weekly, then monthly, and in 2017 every 2 to 3 months. Last water change I did was 2 months ago (40 gallons) and today I just changed 45 gallons.
I also have not run carbon or GFO in the last year. Today I put carbon and GFO back online.
I tested (before today's water change) the water and have:
Ammonia = 0
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = 100
<Yikes; 100 ppm? Way too high. I'd have you search, read over on WWM re NO3 control; do what you can to keep under 20 ppm
Phosphate high. My phosphate tester maxes out at 2.5
<Not such an issue with fish health>
Specific Gravity is around 1.0225
Temps fluctuate from 77.7 to 79.1 (I have a chiller kicks on at 79).
I feed a mix of silver sides, prawns, squid, clams, mussel, octopus.
<Mmm; I'd sub a good pelleted staple (Hikari, Spectrum, Cobalt...) for much of the mass here.
Do you supplement/soak foods, add vitamins, HUFAs directly to the water? I would>
Up until a few months ago, I would feed 3 to 4 times a week. Last few months it dropped to twice a week. In the last week, i started getting back to feeding 3 to 4 times.
Any ideas on the puffer? I am thinking stress from the tusk, but not sure.
Anything I can try?
<The pellets, supplement mix (e.g. SeaChem Vitality, Selcon...) to the food, water>
I do not have my QT running, so not looking to pull him out.
<And please search, read on WWM re Thiaminase. Bob Fenner>

Is this ich? Using WWM      6/11/18
<... eight megs of uncropped pix? Why? Why not read and heed our requirements?>
I am trying to figure if this is ich. It is only on his tail that I can see. I lowered the salinity in the tank slowly to 1.017 for my reef tank, as per instructions from WWM. The starting point was a little too high, 1.027. My Foxface also had gray looking pimples on him. After lowering the salinity, the spots on the Foxface have disappeared. The tail looks better on the Copperband, but not totally clear. Also my corals aren’t happy, but they are still okay. I’ve only have had it lowered for a couple of days.
<Read on WWM re Crypt, Chelmon rostrata; raise the spg for your corals. Bob Fenner>

Trying to id an eel. Sans pix?!     6/11/18
We saw these amazing little eels on our beach walk today that neither my partner or I have ever seen before. They were in a tide pool at low tide and one would've been about 20cm, the other maybe 30cm-ish. It had a black/dark vertical band around its "neck" with almost a clown fish head and white pectorals and dorsal fins. Then it had one white horizontal stripe down either side of its body, with a thinner black one running parallel within it. It's body was kinda like a pastel peach, similar to a clown fish but more yellow, sorry I don't really know how else to describe it. But I haven't been able to find out anything via web/book searches. I thought maybe they could've been juveniles but I am at a loss. I live in tropical Far North Queensland in Australia by the way. Any help would be so appreciated!
<There are several eels with these characteristics and without an image its hard to make a guess as they may be either of the genus Gymnothorax or Echidna, both in the family Muraenidae.
Bob, any guess here?>
<<W/o (clear) images? No. RMF>>
Kind regards,

Re: Betta Breathing Hard      6/11/18
Hi Bob,
I damaged my fish ��. I added the two teaspoons of salt in my 10 gallon on 5/23rd. Petty's fins still did not heal. So last Sunday, June 3rd I transferred his to a 1.5g tank. I added 1.25 teaspoons of salt and did 100% water changes daily.
<... this is too much change. Switching all the water out is very hard on aquatic life, UNLESS the water matches chemically and physically that which is being removed>
There were not any changes with the splitting on his fins, but his coloring and appearance in general became very pretty and vibrant. On Saturday, the 6th Day he cut a portion of his dorsal fin off on the plastic plant on the DIY cave I made for him. I had transferred this over from his big tank. Had not had a problem before. I bought him with the fin rot. After that I noticed more tattering and fraying on his back fin. More rotting.
Yesterday morning, I netted him used a qtip and swabbed the area with 35% hydrogen Peroxide.
<?! What prompted you to use H2O2 directly on a fish?>
It must have been too much. His tail fin had bubbles on them which I expected, but later they became spread out as if in a constant flare and they became stiffened. I thought maybe this was temporary, but it hasn't changed 24 hours later. They almost appear slightly glued together. He swims around fine, but the tail fin seems a little heavy. I feel horrible ��. This morning I noticed the tips of those fins eroding off in the water.
<Yes; burned>
I believe the tissue maybe dead. My son is going to be devastated. I don't think Petty can come back from this. I don't know what to do.
<Nothing to do treatment wise. Just good care at this point. Bob Fenner>

Turtle Compatibility. RES, Snappers      6/10/18
Hello Staff!
<Hiya – Darrel here>
I have a red eared slider approximately 10 years old. We acquired (him) CRUSH about 8 years ago crossing over a tennis court at a high school going away from the pond in 110 degree weather
<Thanks for saving him. He probably would have been road kill>
So, we happened to be driving down a highway and saw a truck advertising turtles so we stopped. He had yellow bellies, soft shell, mud and snappers! One snapper left.
<Folks –as a general rule for a happy and healthy life, don’ buy turtles from a guy in a truck on the side of the road or sushi from a gas station/Mini-mart.>
She picked him up and he stretched out his neck and she rubbed his head and then under his neck he loved it! Looked like a little dinosaur. So, he came home with us! We set him up in a 30 gallon tank with basking ramp and heat lamps. I read where the young need to bask the adults not so much they prefer the muddy murky waters hiding waiting for their prey to swim past. Well, SNAPPER (ironically) did great with her holding him daily and of course he grew rather quickly from the 2" little swimmer to a 4" handful. He would still let her reach in the tank and pick him up and she would sit on the couch watching shows rubbing his head/neck. THEN, she decided to give him a small goldfish that Crush had in his pond. That did it! The hunting instinct was now awakened and from that point on no one could pick up Snapper without being snapped at. Snapper is now 11' long and NOT at all willing to let a hand go inside his tank, not even for cleaning! Daughter has since moved on and left Snapper to be taken care of by "grandma" (me)! I have him in a 75 gallon tank with no more heater or basking lights. I have a great set up for him with bricks and paver creating at cave for him to hide in. Gravel on the bottom (actually small river rocks from Lowe's not aquarium gravel). I have two regular fish filters one at each of the 4' ends and two long air tubs hidden under the bricks so he can't move or chew on them. He loves it. I love it too as I keep the tank water (well the filters do) very clean I do let the algae build up sometimes just enough that I have to squint a little to find him then I'll drop in my sump pump and exchange that water for fresh. That happens only like twice a year. I mainly feed him strawberry tops, romaine lettuce hearts, floating pellets, dehydrated crickets, meal worms and occasionally goldfish.
<To be honest, I never feed my turtles live food. Both the Slider and the Snapping Turtle can grow from hatchlings to full-sized adults and even breed – with a diet of high quality Koi pellets and an occasional (once a month) Earth worm. Some of the things you’re feeding Snapper are the nutritional equivalent of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.>
He is NOT an alligator I have 90% confirmed this. He is not a common though either, I forget what species I found with a science teacher that came to see him.
<For the pictures you have there, you have a Chelydra serpentine .. the common snapping turtle>
I on occasion will carefully catch Snapper (although not for about three months as he bit through the largest net I have, I'm afraid to catch him with my hands, I know what pain feels like!)
<But you don’t know what losing a finger feels like. The proper place and method for picking up a common snapper is to grab the tail, right at the base and lift him up from there, allowing him to hang downwards. The tail is VERY strong and this causes him no discomfort at all – except that we can assume he doesn’t care for being hung face down from his tail any more than we would.>
<He can bite and latch on to anything touching anywhere on the front half of his shell!>
Anyhow, now that you have a detailed history of the two shelled kids I have.
<Yes – some details are edited for space>
My dream is to dig a 10'x8'x3' pond with caves and surround it with tropical plants and a small fence to keep BOTH turtles inside away from our Jack Russell dog, Marley and our 2 years old grand-daughter, Byron. I would think and hope that a 10'x8' would be large enough pond and the total surface area would be a triangle (I'm angling this INSIDE our fencing from the back fence to the right hand side) the triangle to the back will keep the above ground filter and possible waterfall to help with circulation. I have a 100 gallon tank that is currently the housing for feeder goldfish. I have some that Crush never caught and when Irma came through we scoped all those fish from his pond and put into this tank. I found some in that as large as my hand!!! They look like baby koi! But those will eventually go into this dream pond too. I know Crush will never catch them but Snapper may. LOL
<Also know that Snapper will have no mental or ethical reservation of catching and eating Crush, either.>
My question is do you think with a pond of that size and a yard for Crush to cruise do you think the turtles could cohabitate?
I don't care that they are "friends" but as long as they don't attack or hurt one another. I don't think Crush could do so well against Snapper but then the day that Irma hit (she got us late at night) us my husband was out and on his way home saw a small turtle crossing the road and was far from a pond he stopped and brought it home. It was a small snapper about 3". I kept him inside for about two weeks but I didn't have a filter for that tank and I didn't want to spend the money for one so I put him then in the kiddie pool we had Crush in (didn't trust him to be roaming yet so he was kept inside a kiddie pool with bricks in the middle for basking. Well, that lasted for about a month then one day I couldn't find IRMA (we named him/her) I carefully moved the bricks so I didn't get bit and found her facing the back of a brick but she looked strange. When I tapped her she floated up and I picked her up to see that she had no back legs and no belly. Just shell and head!!!! My only answer was Crush had trapped her/him and eaten his body and legs!!!! Cannibal-turtle!
<Almost all water turtles are opportunistic omnivores. I only house turtles of similar size AND temperament together. For example, soft shells or snappers are ONLY housed with their own kind and ONLY of similar size. Sliders and Cooters of course can intermix but still I never house smaller ones with larger ones>
So, I'm not sure about housing them together I don't want to lose either but I feel Snapper is getting too big for his tank. He can twist and turn very easily right now even with his long tail but I just think he would be much happier (not that he knows different either) in a larger area. Selfishly though part of me knows I then losing the enjoyment of actually having a snapper because I will never seen him again. Unless I build a glass front above tank for them, which I am also considering. Much like a decorative koi pond where I can have the tank near the front and use glass/acrylic with dirt etc in the back for Crush to cruise around. Then we could enjoy the fish and Snapper if he comes out of any caves.
I've attached some photos hope they aren't too large. You can figure out what is what I'm sure.
Thanks! For your opinions, suggestions and advice!!!
Connie in Florida
<Connie – when raising a snapping turtle you should know from day one that there will be a day when you will be saying goodbye. Worse, you can’t (or shouldn’t) release him into the wild for a myriad of reasons I won’t go into here. There are several people in Arkansas and Missouri than have huge private ponds that will accept snapping turtles, but in Florida I imagine you could also find a private collector that has the room and the patience and discipline to keep him.>
<Just like Alligators, they don’t make good pets.>

Painted turtle spending time on dry land      6/10/18
We have an outdoor turtle sanctuary with painted water turtles and ornate box turtles. In this area we have a good sized pond with goldfish and aquatic plants along with basking rocks and marginal areas. The other part of the sanctuary is dry land with natural and safe turtle plants. There are digging areas as well as a couple of hibernation dens. The box turtles seem to be happy and thriving as well as one of our paints.
<Sounds perfect>
We have a male painted turtle that has been in this environment for well over a year and he's great. He seems happy and even begs for treats and rides on the goldfish tails. About 2 weeks ago we rescued a female painted turtle. The first few days seemed okay with minimal issues between the two. Now the male picks on her often, chasing her and nipping at her hind legs and face.
<He’s a man in love>
Now she's been spending more time on the dry side. We often find her hanging out with the box turtles. She has now resorted to taking over one of the hang out areas from the box turtles. I suspect she's even spent the night out of the water as I've found her in this same hang out spot in the morning (5 am morning).
<She can go weeks and even months out of water>

She seems healthy; I'm wondering if the two just aren't going to get along, maybe the male is a bully or wanting to mate? Maybe she was previously impregnated and looking to nest? Maybe she's stressed?
<Stressed would be my guess>
Any suggestions on how to make sure she stays healthy and to rectify the situation between the two paints?
<Yep. Take Milford (assuming the male painted is named Milford) out of the pond area and put him in another container … maybe just put him in the house in the bathtub for a period of two weeks. During that time, put Griselda (assuming her name is Griselda) back into the pond ONCE every day when you find her resting on land. In other words don’t BUG her or CONFINE her to water… if she’s on land doing something leave her alone. The idea is to get her to rediscover the water without Milford bothering her. If by the end of two weeks she’s taken to the pond like the other water turtles then she was stressed and needed a break from Milford. After she is acclimated and happy you can re-introduce Milford and see if they reach an understanding. If Griselda shows an affinity for being a land turtle, then she’s just odd and as long as she’s active alert and eating … let it go>
Keep Smiling, Regina

Soft Spot on Eden's Head and Shell      6/10/18
Dear Crew
<Hiya, Darrel here>
Last year, I was given Eden, a painted turtle, that someone could keep anymore; she had a leech on the back of her head and one on the back of her shell, after cleaning and putting her in clean water the leeches came off and then raw spots healed over slightly. Now, a year after that I was out cleaning to pond and turtles and I noticed the soft spots were still "Soft Spots" they look fine; she is acting normal not sickly - Should I be concerned ?
<In one word: no>
<In this case, Mary think AABE -- is Eden Active, Alert, Basking and Eating? If she passes those four tests then don't worry. Just examine her periodically and make sure nothing gets worse.>
Mary in MD

Re: Splinter looking spots on Moorish Idol - Black Ich?      6/10/18
Thanks so much for your prompt feedback… always so appreciated!!
I shall look up the book, thank you!!
<Certainly welcome>
If these are more likely stress marks, would you introduce now to the main tank? Or should we (fish and me:) sweat it out some more?? Both ready to move on...
<I would expedite moving this fish to the main/display myself>
Kind regards,
Jana Maddock
<And you, BobF>

Splinter looking spots on Moorish Idol - Black Ich?    6/9/18
Hi there,
I got a Moorish Idol on the 24th of May. They had just arrived at the LFS and I picked the healthiest looking one. He had no marks or injuries on him. I brought him home and took him through the ‘tank transfer method’ in my quarantine tanks, a routine thing I do with all new arrivals. Water parameters were as reasonable as they get with the transfer method, with SG of 1.021.
While going through quarantine, I kept getting sponge from the rock pools, to get him to eat, which was successful. Currently he is eating sponge and brine shrimps. Towards the end of the quarantine he started getting some darkish spots, which looked like Black Ich.
<Mmm; maybe; but these collected areas look more like simply "stress markings to me". Paravortex look larger, more discrete. My old roommate in college, Mike Kent, originally described Paravortex as a fish parasite, so I've retained an interest>
I started treating him with PraziPro, dosing the recommended amount. He has been through a few rounds now and it does not seem to be working.
<It won't if not a worm, Turbellarian>
Initially, the spots looked like Ich, just dark. They were tiny, round - like salt granules, dark and strong in colour. Slowly they started changing. The colour got lighter or more dilute, they grew in size and changed in shape , now looking more like splinters, with the outline being stronger in colour than the inside. (Almost like a ringworm on a human, but in splinter shape and brownish). I have taken some pictures and am hoping you can advise.
<... you could/might sample (see Ed Noga or elsewhere in the field) re sampling, looking under a 'scope; possibly staining>
Every time I treat with PraziPro, he stops eating for a day or so.. so I have done another big water change today from water of the DT, and stopped medicating, as he is starting to get skinny. Otherwise he is in good shape, breathing normal, swimming around and quite alert.
<I would cease treating>
I have tried to look it up on the web, but cannot find anything other than Black Ich, that looks similar. Most images on the net of Black Ich look like the beginning stages of the fish’s spots, round and small.
<... books, not the Net. "Fish Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment">
If it is Black Ich, why is the PraziPro not working? Or is this the natural progression of Black Ich… looking like black dark spots, then growing in size, looking like diluted spinners??
<See above>
With the transfer method and being in a small quarantine tank, the fish has obviously been through stress… could it be environmental?
<Ah yes; a factor definitely>
(Too small tank) The brown marks on his body have not changed in the last few days, not grown in size or numbers (I’ve counted them), nor changed in shape or colour. Could it have come in with the water from the sea or the sponge I collected?
<This too; yes>
Am currently living in Cape Town, so water here quite cold….
Thank you for your help in advance!!
Kind regards,
Jana Maddock
<I would not use wild-collected material; see WWM re Zanclus, feeding. Bob Fenner>

Re: What is this    6/7/18
So cool!! Thank you
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Spiny Eel Identification and Possible Problem    6/7/18
A few weeks back, I bought some Spiny Eels from my aquarium supply store whose supplier identified them as Macrognathus pancalus. They now live in my 55 gallon tank and are the only fish in the tank (I will not be adding any more fish). As they've gotten a bit bigger, I've noticed some differences in their coloring and markings so I've been trying to get a picture of them to send you in the hopes you could help me identify the different subspecies. I finally accomplished that this morning. The pictures aren't that great, but they're the best my camera can do, and when I looked at the picture of the lighter colored eel with the yellow tinge in its tail I noticed what looks like redness around his/her gills.
<These photos are too blurry. One of them, with the oblique dark bands, might be Macrognathus circumcinctus. The other one is much too vague to see anything at all. But I would direct your attention to two additional species, Macrognathus pancalus and Macrognathus siamensis. Macrognathus pancalus has a speckled upper half of its body, plain lower half, and in between a distinctive row of 'dashes'. Macrognathus siamensis is the Peacock Eel, so-named for the series of large eyespots on the dorsal fin
near the tail.>
As soon as I got the picture, the eel dashed off to hide, so I can't get a better look at him/her. The reason I'm concerned is because last Saturday I was watching my neighbor's kids for a while so she could run to the store and while I was outside trying to stop the 4 year old from setting my horses free, the 7 year old dumped an entire almost new 1.2 ounce package of flake food into the eel tank (eels don't like flake food).
It took some work, but I've got most of it cleaned up. I've been testing and the biological filter is handling it well as no ammonia or nitrite has shown up, but the nitrate has climbed up around 30 ppm (very dark orange, but no red), so I've still got some work to do. As a precaution, I put the appropriate amount of Prime in, so even the higher-than-normal nitrate shouldn't be bothering them and all the other eels look and act normal. Is this something to be concerned about and can you shed any light on the differences between these two subspecies?
<Spiny Eels aren't especially sensitive, and a series of water changes should handle the water quality damage here. Assuming you've netted out and/or siphoned out most of the flake food, I'd still change 50% today, and perhaps another similar amount tomorrow. You want to keep nitrate below 40 mg/l with most tropical fish, so that's your danger zone. The addition of a little salt may be helpful with Macrognathus species, particularly if they're stressed or off-colour, but isn't essential by any means. Salt
does, however, reduces the toxicity of nitrate a bit, which makes it helpful at times. I'd not go beyond 2-3 gram/litre, though some species can handle considerably more. I will direct you to some useful reading, here:
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Spiny Eel Identification and Possible Problem    6/7/18
Thank you.
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Purple roly poly creature    6/7/18
Hi Crew!
<Hi Dani>
Found this hitchhiker while I was aquascaping. It is less than a quarter of an inch and resembles a roly poly bug.
<Ah yes, this is a mollusk of the class Polyplacophora, commonly known as Chiton or sea cradle, they have shells made up of eight overlapping calcareous valves; usually found on every environment, pose no threat to other aquarium inhabitants as they are algae eaters, always crawling over the glass or rockwork grazing for film algae and diatoms, so they can be use as part of the clean up crew.>
What I found most remarkable was his extremely bright purple color—like neon bright kind of purple! I let him be in the tank. Figured I’d share, just in case you haven’t come across this before, although you probably have lol.
<Thanks for sharing>
Sincerely, Dani Conner

saltwater fish survival rates. Centropyge (sel. f')    6/7/18
Are there statistics on the average number of specimens of a given saltwater species a hobbyist must purchase before acquiring one that lives beyond a few days?
Brian Waldbaum
<Mmm; there have been such data accumulations. In recent times efforts by Andrew Rhyne, Kevin Erickson... more extensive accounts years back by Tetra (Press Int'l). I (Robert Fenner) give my "general impressions" re such in articles, books I've penned. Do you have a specific fish, group in mind?
Have you searched/read on WWM re? The FAQs on "selection" are a good place to go after reading the general title/subject on a taxon. Bob Fenner>
Re: saltwater fish survival rates    6/7/18

Thanks for the response. I'm interested in Centropyge.
<Oh! Some European public aquariums have kept some species of this genus into the teens of years; a few into twenty some years>
I got into the saltwater side of the hobby after 18 years as a freshwater hobbyist in order to keep a dwarf angel. I read up on saltwater fishkeeping beforehand, and the take-away lessons seemed to be: 1) marine fish are more sensitive than freshwater fish, and 2) marine parasites are much more resilient and virulent than their freshwater counterparts.
<I do agree w/ these general statements. Do take into account that the majority of freshwater fishes are captive produced nowayears, less-exposed to pathogens, more inclined to adapt to captive conditions. In time, likely marines that are aquacultured for successive generations will likewise "harden".>
But even after taking those factors into account, I never succeeded in keeping a dwarf angel alive for more than a month. Many died within 48 hours in the quarantine tank. Since entering the hobby, I've lost 6 loricula, 2 ferrugata, 1 bispinosa, and 1 acanthops. I purchased them from a variety of sources, including online retailers and LFS. Needless to say, I have now left the hobby.
Are my results typical, or am I simply not cut out for the hobby?
<They are not atypical (unfortunately). I have been a part of the ornamental trade for more than half a century; and thus can/will attest that the high incidental mortality of Centropyge spp. are largely a matter
of rough handling, storage, shipping practices... incremental damage, stress from starvation, holding... The few specimens, crosses that have been captive-produced have been much more hardy. There are some "clues" I offer on WWM, elsewhere re picking out more hardy species, specimens... and providing reasonable-optimized settings for dwarf angelfish husbandry>
Brian Waldbaum
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Problem with Leopard Wrasse. Poisoned with antibio./Algicide use     6/6/18
Hello Bob, how are you?
<Middlin' Armando; thanks>
I have a problem here, let´s see if you can help me.
<Let's see>
I own a Blue Star Leopard Wrasse for almost 9 months now. He was very healthy, eating everything, flakes, pellets, live foods and would constantly look for pods on the rocks. Every day he digs on the sand a few moments before the lights go out and leave the sand as soon as the lights
start to go on.
So, one day I decided to do a treatment on my DT for cyanos dosing azithromycin.
<Ohh, am not a fan of such antibiotic administrations; posted over and over on WWM
I have read and been told that it was a relatively safe procedure to the tank and gave it a shot.
<Not safe... even if killing the BGA were, the results, chemical manifestations are not>
Almost everything went well, with one exception, the leopard wrasse. On the second day after I dosed the azithromycin, before the lights went on, I found the leopard wrasse lying on the sand, not moving and breathing heavily. I immediately started with the GAC and did and emergency water change.
After a few hours the fish started to show signs of improvement, started to move and swim in circles (a typical behavior of a stressed leopard wrasse). By the end of the day he was swimming at the front of the tank but with an odd behavior, hitting everything, as if he was blind or drunk.
After this day for about a month now the fish does no swim and stays all the day laying on the sand, at a corner of the tank. He still digs in the sand every night to sleep, and when the lights come on he goes out and stays at the corner. No other fish bothers him, but if bothered he just moves a little to the side. He hasn't eaten for almost a month now, neither has gone chasing pods, and oddly he doesn't look to be skinnier. I thought it could be parasites, so I dosed PraziPro
<? Why? For what reason/s?>
on the DT (also claimed to be a reef safe treatment) but nothing has changed, neither during the
treatment nor after it. He doesn't look to be blind either as he reacts to movements around him with his eyes and head. If he were a person I would say he is depressed.
I don't know what else I can do. I see him every day laying on the corner and I wonder if I should take him to a hospital tank and risk stressing him even more.
By the way, along all this time the tank parameters were good, SG 1.025, pH 8.2-8.3, NH3 0, NO3 < 2 ppm, temp 79,5 F.
I would be very grateful if you could take a moment to analyze my case and I thank you in advance.
Best Regards,
<At this point, junction, just your good care... water quality and nutrition; and time going by. Bob Fenner>

What is this     6/6/18
Caught and released in Florida and I have no clue what it is. Will you please tell me.
<That's a Remora. Also known as a Shark Sucker. Interesting animals, strikingly similar to Cobia in shape and colouration, but not so big, and with that modified dorsal fin on the head that's used to 'suck' onto boats, sharks, even whales. Cheers, Neale.>


Removing Old Glass Window from Pool (Human Aquarium)     6/6/18
Hello WWM Team -
I know you are mainly about aquariums and not swimming pools, so this is not a typical question. But not every pool has a window in it. I have to say I was inspired to put one in after seeing Harry's Underwater Bar in Hawaii (long since closed).
After reading your posts, it looks like you guys have the expertise to recommend a solution to my problem.
I've attached some photos of the pool window in question.
>Some?//// 28 megs of pix Matt? Why do we ask that folks limit pix to hundreds of Kbytes?<
The current window is approximately 2' x 6' and is comprised of four 1/4" sheets laminated together to made a 1" thick window. It doesn't leak, but there are stress cracks that started to form in the interior layers so I need to replace it. The window sits on a brass plate and rests against a large 2" x 2" solid brass frame with a significant amount of silicone sealing it to the frame (as you can see in the photos).
<Ah yes>
It is important to not damage the brass frame in removing the glass since we would want to use it to mount the replacement window.
<Yes; agreed>
We had the pool tiled after the window went in and you can see that they installed tile on the pool side to frame the window. We have removed the tile to see what we're working with. At this point there is nothing on the pool side of the window that holds it in. Just the silicone seal that runs the width of the brass frame - 2" wide and about 1/8" - 1/4" thick all the way around. Strong stuff to say the least.
What would you suggest I do to break, dissolve or otherwise remove that silicone seal? Heat doesn't seem to be an answer. It seems like an oil-based product would help loosen the seal on the glass side, but getting a sufficient amount worked into it appears to be near impossible.
<Mmm; no solvent will work, and no to heat. What you need, want are sturdy, sharp tools... AND careful use. There are "razor blade" tools that can, will cut the Silicone away from the glass AND brass AND surrounding area. Most all this needs to be cut away to remove the glass, THEN single edged
razorblades (in a holding tool) to remove most all the rest, THEN a solvent (Toluene is my favorite) to remove all the remainder of the olde Silastic>
FYI - Our plan is to replace the broken glass with 1" thick acrylic.
<Okay... 1.5" would be better, deform less... I'd put up a sign on the outside asking folks not to touch (scratch) the acrylic>
Looking forward to hearing back from you. Any help or suggestions are welcome including a company or someone in the Southern California area that may be able to remove it.
<Mmm, there are fabricators that could find you help here. Call Ridout Plastics (www.eplastics.com/‎)  in San Diego and ask them>
Matt B
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

From outside

Re: Powder Blue Tang feeding      6/5/18
Hello Bob, thanks for the info. A bit of a moot point now as the little bugger decided to shuffle of its mortal coil within 48 hours of being introduced to the tank.
Never mind eh, the joys of a marine reef tank owner.
<Thank you for the update Eamonn. Again, this isn't an easy aquarium species. Look to other Acanthurids; reading on WWM et al. Bob Fenner>

A little help please: Sick Oscar      6/5/18
I think my Oscar is sick.
<Oh dear!>
I haven't seen him eat in weeks.

<Not a good sign.>
Originally ( a few weeks ago ) he was laying on the bottom with shallow breathing and raggedy fins... Over the past few weeks I have done more frequent water changes and have also treated for ich, protozoan parasites, and bacteria infection. (One treatment at a time).
<What did you suspect was the issue? And what medications were used?>
I used Melafix as well.
<Unreliable at best, and harmful at worst.>
His outward appearance has improved.
<That's good.>
However he is still not himself. He doesn't eat and floats vertically upright or face down most of the time which is unusual for him. He can swim if he wants to but he seems to like to just relax vertically these days?
I'm not sure if he's really sick or if I'm just not used to this new behavior... Please help!
<There's a bunch of things here. The first is the inevitable "have you given him feeder fish to eat" question. If the answer is "yes", then all bets are off. Feeder fish individually pose a serious risk by introducing parasites and pathogens, and used frequently cause serious problems through excess fat and thiaminase, both found in cyprinids (such as goldfish and minnows). The second question is whether your Oscar receives fibre-rich foods, such as peas, in its diet. Oscars are prone to constipation, and while they're not wild about veggies, they will eat them if sufficiently motivated (i.e., starved) and would do so naturally in the wild. Anyway, my default assumption here would be something along the lines of Hexamita if you weren't using feeder fish, and could rule out constipation because you were offering a balanced diet including a source of fibre. Hexamita is treated with Metronidazole, ideally alongside an antibiotic. Remember to remove carbon from the filter, if used. If you have been using feeder fish,
it's simply impossible to guess for sure what the problem is. Hexamita plus a Nitrofuran antibiotic would be a good starting point, but you might find you need to follow up with a dewormer in due course. But who knows? Feeders are called 'parasite bombs' with good reason, and it's hard to know what horrible pathogens they're bringing into an aquarium. Hope this helps,
Re: A little help please: Sick Oscar      6/5/18

Thank you Neale. Before he stopped eating he was eating and probably overfed Hikari pellets.
<An excellent and well-balanced food, but yes, avoid overfeeding because they contain little/no fibre. Do offer some green foods, or at least safe frozen or live foods gut-loaded with plant material; earthworms for example.>
Every time some one passed the tank he begged for food and I let all visitors feed him but didn't feed him any feeder fish prior to him being sick. I put some guppies in a few days ago.
<While Guppies don't contain fat and thiaminase, they are a potential parasite source -- unless you've bred them yourself of course, and know them to be 'clean'.>
He followed them around for a min but then lost interest. I didn't see him eat any. I assume they were sucked up in the filter...
Where can I purchase the Metronidazole and Nitrofuran?
<Seachem Metroplex is the standard Metronidazole medication of the hobby; a vet can also prescribe/sell this in countries where Metroplex isn't sold.
When it comes to Nitrofuran drugs, API produce a product called Nitrofurazone, Hikari something called BiFuran+, and Seachem have a product called Focus. I'm sure there are others, and again, outside the US, similar medications will be available from vets. In Europe and the UK, you may be able to get hold of something called eSHa HEXAMITA which isn't Metronidazole, but is available over the counter (rather than from a vet) and has been used with some degree of success against a range of Hexamita-type cichlid problems. Definitely worth a shot if you can't get Metronidazole easily. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: A little help please: Sick Oscar      6/5/18

Many Thanks Neale!
<Most welcome.>

Scar/healing question     6/4/18
Just got a large red sea purple tang and he has a small scrap on his body that healed a while ago but is noticeable. Was curious if fish tend to heal or if the scars permanent? Here's a photo as well, know any plastic surgeons?
James Williams
<Is the scar you're referring to the whitish spot twixt the dorsal and caudal? This may remain or not.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Scar/healing question     6/4/18
That was it, wasn't sure what you all at wet web had seen in your experiences so I figured id ask. Guess I'll wait and see.
<IF not too deep (as in a gouge from a mechanical injury), chromatophores, scales can/do grow back. Bob Fenner>

Odd spot on Betta, now fin rot?     6/4/18
I sent the message below last night. Later in the evening, I gave his tank a good cleaning (removed him to holding tank to get all algae out of tank, and all waste out of gravel on bottom), and I did a 50% water change. At least now I can see him better and he did not seem stressed by the process. Below is the best picture of him I was able to get. The white spot is raised, but I could not get a decent picture showing that. I have been thinking it was just scar tissue, but now I’m not so sure.. Also, his tail clearly looks ragged compared to the perfect half-moon it was in February. What do you suggest to treat my little guy?
<Maybe a regimen (three doses) of Kanamycin...>
He is still acting healthy and happy, but definitely has a problem. Thank you so much for any help you can give me.
<Please use the search tool on WWM (on every page) with the words "Betta, Finrot, Kanamycin". Bob Fenner>

Re: Odd spot on Betta, now fin rot?     6/4/18
Thanks. I’ve successfully treated fin rot on another Betta and I’ll check your web site.
<Good and good>
I was just worried WHY he got it with good water chemistry, weekly tank vacuuming and 20-25% water change I was afraid that white spot is something serious affecting his immune system. I’ll treat the fin rot.
<Mmm; perhaps genetic factors are at work here. Betta splendens are not what they used to be. Bob Fenner>

Corys       6/3/18
Hi there,
Wondered if you could help, one of my corys has developed a large cyst on its eye. It’s completely over the eye.
<Yowsers! That's quite the blister or cyst. Could be either, really. These are hard to treat satisfactorily, and prevention is really the thing to focus on. Corydoras are burrowing fish, and gravel isn't ideal. It tends to abrade their skins, allowing bacterial infections. The commonest symptom of this is the absence of whiskers, which on an adult Corydoras should be several mm long and distinctly narrow and tapering at the ends. Yours very obviously has abraded whiskers, which strongly suggests the wrong environment in terms of substrate. Of course sometimes Corydoras seem to do just fine in tanks with gravel, so there does seem to be a second factor at work, likely a generally unclean substrate that fosters the wrong sort of bacterial growth. Hard to say really, but I'd encourage you to look at your tank, especially the substrate, and draw your own conclusions.>
Other than the obvious, the fish is not acting any differently. Any advice?
<Treating cysts and blisters is difficult. Cysts tend to be solid, whereas blisters are (as their name implies) hollow with a tissue fluid centre, so may flop about a bit when the fish moves. Antibiotics can help with blisters, but cysts do tend to be viral, and there's really nothing you can do beyond waiting for the fish to get better itself. In either case, it's really about fixing the aquarium more than anything else, because there's no one parasite or pathogen involved, and therefore no "easy" solution you can buy from the pet store.>
Thank you in advance!
<You're welcome, Neale.>

Re: Apple Snail       6/3/18
Neale I found the earliest two photos of Rupert, both from late November 2015.
It's amazing how much he's grown, the shell colors change, how long his tentacles are now... boy was he a little cutie pie or what?
<That's actually pretty snazzy to see! Whether he's a cutie pie or not probably depends on your personal taste.>
And last night he made history - Rupee had his first cucumber. Washed, then blanched... it was something else.
<Might also try courgette / zucchini, another favourite with aquatic herbivores.>
Usually he's fed at the water line, where food can be easily put in his mouth.
<Quite so.>
Sometimes if he's grazing on a moss ball, I'll pop a crab cuisine stick on the ball, and he'll rotate it into his mouth. But with him having the whole tank now, while he was walking around on the ground, I put a wedge of cucumber, like a small slice of pizza, in front of him. Walla - an hour later and he had eaten almost the whole thing. It was a delight to see him genuinely interested in it.
<Curious behaviour indeed.>
When done I removed the small piece he didn't eat, and he looked bloated, sitting there motionless, his face retracted into the shell and his mass bloating out. I was frightened and moved him a few inches away, and he quickly brought his face out, and began cruising around the tank. It had been a lot more cucumber than I thought he'd eat. Two photos show his starting on the cucumber and shortly before he was done.
So I thought you'd like to know that, and your lettuce suggestion made me push forward to see if something green could become a reality for him. I will try spinach soon, but he's got more cucumber for the weekend.
<Apple Snails are herbivorous pests in the wild, so there's really no reason not to try anything green. But there are some of the more strongly flavoured varieties that may have chemicals like mustard oils that put off herbivores, and may even be harmful, so try a little bit first.>
The reason I like the idea of the liquid calcium over the cuttlebone is avoiding the uncertain other stuff that seems to be in the cuttlebone. Now when I went to get it most recently, it was not sealed, no label, and another store had it sealed with no ingredient breakdown... I'm not as comfortable putting that in, not knowing the precise ingredients (often has salt as one), vs. the liquid, which only has water besides the calcium...
<Understood. Anything sold as 'reef safe' should be fine with snails of all sorts, but avoid anything mysterious or not obviously reef safe.>
It's just a bit uncomfy wondering what else could be in the cuttlebone, vs. the Kent's it's only the one ingredient + water, and after talking to their tech guy for a while, it seems very easy and clean to add to his water.
<Indeed. Cuttlebone does also decay in the water, so isn't to everyone's taste as an Apple Snail supplement.>
For a month I'll do 1 drop per 2 gallons, testing KH and PH, and then if no bad effects, bump up to a drop per gallon.
<Seems sensible.>
Here he is last night after his cucumber.... https://youtu.be/TFNyuNnnlmA
Thanks again, Neale. Hope you dig the vintage baby pics! I'm so blessed to  still have him...
<Appreciate the photographs. Good luck with your experiments here, Neale.>

June calendar for WWM       6/3/18
Good morning Bob. Here is a calendar for June. Hope you're having a great weekend. I
<Thanks Mike. Will post w/ credit to you. BobF>

Powder Blue Tang feeding; using WWM       6/3/18
Hello Team,
I have read that the powder blue tangs like Nori Seaweed (natural/roasted).
<Mmm; insufficient nutrition>
Please advise. I am worried that my live rock does not have enough algae on it.
<Nor this. See WWM re Acanthurus leucosternon period, foods/feeding. I'd be mainly utilizing a good pelleted food (Hikari, Spectrum brands...). Bob Fenner>

Goby Update     6/2/18
Less than 24 hours after the second dose of KanaPlex, the Goby's tail is clear - no red veins! I'm still going to finish the 3rd and final dose as prescribed, but wanted you to know that we're battling back!
Thank you again!
*Renee *
<Ah good. BobF> 

Re: SPS issues.      6/1/18
I read you loud and clear. More food it is. Thank you Bob.
<Welcome John. Do please keep me/us informed re your Acropora health, measurable nutrient levels. BobF>
Re: SPS issues.      6/1/18

Sure will Bob. Thanks again.
<Cheers mate>

Kole Tang      6/1/18
Good evening Crew!
I have a 60G shallow tank, 60lbs of mature liverock with a very little bit of green hair algae growth. I've had my Kole Tang for almost 6months now, and I'm getting increasingly concerned over what I presume to be the fish's "thinness".
<Not much space to grow food in a 60>
I've had a Kole Tang before for years in my previous tank, and I'd say this particular fish's behavior is normal. He eats aggressively, and I typically feed frozen Mysis, Spirulina, brine, Spirulina, etc...
switching daily and feeding at least five times a week (if I'm out for the weekend) if not every day. The fish will consume until finally he ignores it and lets it fall to my Yellow Watchman Goby. I believe if the fish was still hungry, he'd continue to eat.
<Usually, yes. Six mo.s in captivity though... do you suspect intestinal parasites?>
On weekends where I can manage two feedings, I've fed when the lights first come on and then again at night, thinking he'd pack on a little more meat on the bones, but I haven't noticed a difference. Bottom line, when I feed... there's never an instance where this fish won't eat... he's always there consuming. Do you have any recommendations for me? Would an algae clip with nori be a good option?
<I do have a strong recommendation; for you to add a good quality pelleted food to your daily offerings. Hikari and Spectrum are my fave brands. These foods add a good deal of mass and food value compared w/ what you're currently using>
I don't think it makes a difference to my question, but the tank is lightly stocked with only two Picasso Clowns, the Watchman Goby, a Canary Wrasse, and then my clean-up crew.
<Good to have the data. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Kole Tang       6/1/18

Hi Bob,
I thought the same thing, adding a good high protein pellet. I've offered a small Spectrum pellet of appropriate size and the Tang has taken the odd one, but it mostly goes to the goby or else eventually my sandbed. Perhaps I should try a different kind?
<Yes I would... and mix in right before feeding with other types of foods in an increasing percentage>
How would I determine intestinal parasites?
<Mmm; sampling of feces, examining under a 'scope... is best>
Aside from looking skinny, there's nothing else that appears out of the ordinary.
<This is a bit of diagnosis itself. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ok, now I'm panicked     5/31/18
Thank you! And thanks for "hanging in there" with us through all this - it means a lot!
<Am very glad to share w/ you Renee. Stay diligent here and all will be well. Bob Fenner>

SPS issues.     5/31/18
Hello again Bob, hope this finds you well. I was wondering if you could weigh in on something for me. Over the last few weeks I’ve had issues with a few colonies of my Aussie Acros. In one case a colony of highlighter Acro about 6”x6” started bleaching from the bottom up very slowly.
The bleaching was kinda odd because the demarcation line was perfectly uniform across the whole bottom of the colony and worked its way up keeping uniformity. I had to pull it and frag it to save some. So far the frags seem to be ok.
Something that I am noticing is that most of my Acros don’t seem to have the vibrant colors they used to. They seem to be pale and muted color. My chemistry is as follows
CA 475
<Too high, esp. in rel. to [Mg]>

Nitrates 0
<Likely NO2>
Nitrates 0
<... absolutely necessary>
PO 4 is undetectable
<Also essential>

Alk 10 dkh (just won’t go lower with my reactor)
PH 7.8-8.0
<A little low... I'd shoot for 8.2 on the low side>

Salinity 1.025
Mag 1300
ORP 390 (ozone)
Temp 77-78
And I run Radions from 7am to 6pm at 90% intensity.
<Do you have access to a PAR or PUR meter? Need values at the depth of your Acroporas>
My flow is adequate. Several wave makers and power heads. Can you think of anything that I could be missing?
<The above; most likely nutrient starvation>
Anything I can be testing for? I was wondering if maybe I have low potassium?
I don’t have a test kit to check it yet. I will have one in the next couple days.
As always, thank you.
<I'd either be feeding more or adding chemical feeds for NO3 and HPO4.
Bob Fenner>
Re: SPS issues.     5/31/18

Thank you Bob. Do you have any nutrient feeding suggestions other than overfeeding the tank? Any product you prefer?
<Mmm; well... as this is a purposely public forum, I am wont to not state caution... Because you have a large volume/system, you are a candidate for direct chemical dosing... There ARE nutrient supplements one can either mix up (DIY) or buy commercially... and administer drop wise on a tested, daily basis. However, again, if it were me, mine, I'd add more foods... live, frozen/defrosted, dried-prepared TILL you had a few ppm of Nitrate and a few hundreds of ppm of soluble Phosphate. Is this satisfying? Bob Fenner>

Re: Apple Snail      5/31/18
Thanks for the reply, Neale.
<Most welcome.>
Rupert did very well with others-- it was fish outgrowing the tank, or others rehomed when I had a health crisis with one resident in the tank, and wanted to make sure they got to safety.
<Interesting. It's often fish such as barbs and tetras pecking at the 'antennae' of the Apple Snails that causes problems with bacterial infections.>
If that one fish hadn't been stricken down by me adding some ghost shrimp which brought disease and killed him, I'd consider other creatures for Rupert's tank, but after that horrific incident (and I'd had LOTS of ghost shrimp with no incidents for years affecting anyone), nothing goes into Rupee's tank now except his food and careful dosing of calcium. He has everything else he needs and I won't add stuff for my enjoyment.
<Quite a good approach, I dare say.>
I've been frightened away from ever putting anything in there again.
Especially since Rupert doesn't need a single other occupant, so I'm not taking a chance with my baby, as I'm sure you can understand. He's precious and all I've got; nothing is worth chancing his health. Shrimp never bothered him. Other little snails I find in there I pull out ASAP so they don't take his calcium. The only people that ever picked on him were a tiger barb and a baby Corydoras paleatus, inexplicably... Rupert lived with an adult of that species and they were always seemingly best buds, sitting with each other. Otherwise, no one ever nipped at him.
He's never paid any attention to the pieces of cuttlebone, but I hope the calcium helped.
<Will have done. The aragonite in cephalopod shells such as these will slowly dissolve, especially if the pH drops below 7, which in turns causes the dissolved calcium carbonate to buffer against the pH and raises the carbonate hardness.>
I am uneasy about the other ingredients in those - sometimes they come unwrapped or packaged with no details on ingredients, which is why I'm looking at things like the liquid, or even Zoo Med's calcium block for turtles, perhaps using a super small piece of one of those.
<Could be used, yes. But also bear in mind that things like krill and tiny bits of unshelled seafood will contain some calcium salts, and if your Apple Snail eats these, supplementing may be unnecessary.>
A person with technical knowledge of the product on their phone line said it could raise PH and knew nothing about using it for apple snails. Any ideas on that? Has calcium sulfate and magnesium chloride... the cuttlebone usually has a form of calcium and salt... so I don't like the additive part of the salt... the liquid appeals to me, since it's just calcium chloride and water...
<Both calcium sulphate and magnesium chloride should be safe to use, but I wouldn't bother. Providing calcium carbonate in the form of cuttlebone or crushed oyster shell is very much easier. Your Apple Snail only needs tiny amounts, remember; unlike crayfish and crabs, snails don't 'waste' mineral salts each time they moult, so all they need is enough to lay down the next layer of shell as they grow. Provided the shell isn't pitted, the pH and hardness of the water are adequate for maintaining the existing shell, and provided there aren't weird looking growth lines at the aperture (often dark and/or wrinkled) then the snail's diet are adequate for shell growth.
Your snail's shell looks pretty normal for an animal of its size and age.>
On that, I spoke with a technical rep on the 888 # on the Kent's. He was even more cautious and suggested cutting the dose to a quarter of that on the label, and starting with half of that... so it translated to 1 drop per every 2 gallons to start... then after a month if the PH is not affected, bump that to 1 drop per gallon, to be added when doing water changes. He gets about a 50% water change weekly.
I have a KH test kit and will check the water and get back to you...
I can't remember trying lettuce. I could try it.
<Definitely worth it. I largely reared baby Apple Snails on it, back in the day.>
Last night he ate a Hikari mini algae wafer and maybe 10 crab sticks, which have calcium, so I think they make an excellent staple.
<I bet.>
He was about a quarter size when purchased in Nov. 2015, so he's close to 3 years old, and I use the moss balls in there to help keep him from having rough landings, and he grazes off of them, too. I'm very proud of him and when I read your comments on few making it past a year of the folks you've interacted with, I wanted to share his amazing story with you, as he approaches three years. Aren't his blue eyes stunning?
<Definitely. Molluscs can have surprisingly nice eyes -- do look at those of scallops for example, not to mention squids and octopuses!>
Here he is last night... https://youtu.be/PFpx49-FdgI
<Real good! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Ok, now I'm panicked     5/30/18
Ok, good - I read a lot on your website, even when I'm not facing a crisis, and you've "prescribed" salt for other people for a variety of skin issues in a variety of species - so that's good. I'm still going to go down and get the Maracyn as indicated in the referenced post only because my aquarium supply store is 37 miles from my house.
<Wow; dedication, devotion>
I'd feel better having something on hand in case things get worse. I have KanaPlex, but I don't know if it would help in this situation and I'd rather use something recommended by experienced people.
<Well; there are a number of effective gram positive and negative anti-biotics... Am given to discount their use if not necessary>
So, obviously, if the red veins spread or the skin starts to look inflamed, I should think about using the medicine (maybe by then I'll be able to get a picture of it to send), but how long should it take to heal if the salt is working and if it doesn't heal in a certain period of time, should I use the medicine?
<A few weeks time. I would only treat IF/when the fish shows behavioral issues. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ok, now I'm panicked
Ok, thank you!
<Welcome Renee. B>
Re: Ok, now I'm panicked     5/30/18

He didn't eat last night (which is unheard of since I've had him) and he didn't come out of his PVC tube last night or this morning, so I am going to start an antibiotic this morning. Unfortunately, when I went to the aquarium supply store yesterday, they didn't have Maracyn or Maracyn 2 (they carry it regularly, they were just sold out), and because of the holiday, they won't get anymore in until next Monday. I don't think he can wait that long. I tried the big "chain" pet stores (my only other option around here) but they don't carry it. The kids at both stores had no idea what I was talking about when I told them what had happened and what the Goby was now suffering from - one of them even tried to sell me API Stress
Guard saying it was a general antibiotic. I left with a headache, but not the Stress Guard. So I'm going to start with the KanaPlex that I already have here at the house. It says it treats dropsy, PopEye, fin/tail rot,
and septicemia on the package and specifically says its for marine and freshwater fish. According to the directions, the treatment involves 3 doses, 48 hours apart.
<Ah yes; do change 25% of the water out before each re-treatment and monitor nitrogenous accumulation>
Hopefully it will work, but if not, I'm hoping it will provide him some benefit until my aquarium store is restocked with Maracyn. I have to ask, what are his chances of surviving?
<Good. B>

Ok, now I'm panicked /Neale      5/30/18
Today is the normal day of the weekly water change for the Goby tank and I don't know if what I saw just developed, or if it started after his suicide attempt and I just couldn't see it. He has red veins in his tail fin. Not in the body of his tail, but just his fin and the red veins do not go all the way to the body of his tail. However, he seems to feel fine and was busy "helping" me with the tank cleaning. He's also eating normally. As soon as I was done with the water change, I researched the red veins in the tail fin and found a WWM post as follows: "Fish didn't make the move, Violet Gobies (Gobioides spp.) 1/26/08:...<The fish has a systemic bacterial infection, likely caused by Aeromonas spp. similar to those that cause Finrot and bacterial septicaemia. These bacteria block the blood vessels in the epidermis and fins, and this is what causes the inflammation. After a while the surrounding tissues die. The bacteria get
in when fish are physically damaged or exposed to high levels of ammonia for extended periods. So either rough handling when you were transporting the fish, or else problems with filter in your new aquarium, were the triggering issues....". I'll go down to the store Tuesday (they're closed today for Memorial Day) if I need to get him the medication you referenced in this post, but, unlike the individual who started his post, my Goby has been in brackish water and I'm increasing the SG from 1.004 to 1.005 as of today's water change. Also, I've always used Instant Ocean, not/never Aquarium salt. Further, I knew I would have water quality problems immediately after the hose break (10 days prior to the suicide attempt) and began using Prime before the ammonia and nitrite began to climb and I'm still using it. So he shouldn't have been affected by the mini cycle.
However, his leap from the tank was from a height of about 5 feet (55 inches from the top of the tank to the floor - vinyl floor, no carpet) unless he first hit the lip of the stand. I wish I could get a picture of
his tail to send you, but all I get is a silver/blue blur. He does not have any redness in any other part of his body and does not seem to have any inflammation in his tail fin as the redness in the veins is very sharp and clear and the "skin" around the veins is not raised. I hate using medication unless its necessary, so I'm asking what I should do.
<I do agree that the use of antibiotic would be a good idea, just in case.
The red inflammation in the fins could be reaction to exposure to dry air for an extended period, and until things return to normal, an opportunistic bacterial infection is always a risk, as with humans. Do choose one safe in both freshwater and marine systems, to cover your 'brackish water' bases when it comes to efficacy. Given the fish is feeding and behaving normally, and in the absence of white (dead) tissue, I would not be overly concerned, but I would medicate, yes. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Possible swim bladder issue /RMF     5/30/18
Thanks Dr. Bob!
She is making an attempt to swim around a bit today but still spending most of her time on her side on bottom of tank (bare bottom). She mouthed some brine shrimp I held up to her mouth but not eating yet.
One development this morning, long stringy white poo. Does this sound like inflammation/infection of GI tract or parasites?
<Could be or not>
No other passage of normal looking feces.
<Mmm; do you have a 'scope of a few hundred power... ability to hook up to USB for sharing pix of a sample?>
Otherwise, Color good and still responsive to movement outside and inside of hospital tank. Ammonia and nitrite are zero.
Is the white stringy poo cause for concern or should I just give her more time with water changes and Epsom salt?
<For me, the latter. BobF>
Possible swim bladder issue /Neale      5/30/18

Hi crew!
I have a question about possible swim bladder problem with one of my long fin zebra Danios (female). Recently she has been subjected to non-stop bullying from a dominant female in the school of six. The affected Danio, who was discovered Sunday having issues swimming, has been removed to a hospital tank. She is exhibiting negative buoyancy. She will occasionally swim to the top with great effort but will return to the bottom where she will wobble to one side. She is alert and responds to movement outside of the tank (she will scuttle to opposite side of tank when I approach). She is healthy in all outward appearance with good color and clear eyes, but is slightly swollen in the belly with one side being slightly more pronounced. She may be slightly egg bound. Her respiration is normal. She has not accepted food while she has been in the hospital tank (since Sunday). Presently she is in a cycled 2.8 gallon tank to which I've added about 1/4 tsp of Epsom salt (one dose). The water temp is about 75-76°F.
I thought that she may have some sort of intestinal blockage as my Danios like frozen bloodworms and the larger Fluval bug bites I feed my larger fish. I know that the stress from the recent bullying could have predisposed her to some sort of GI infection/parasite. I know the prognosis is not great, but do you think that a course of antibiotics may be helpful? I have both Kanaplex and Metroplex on hand. Or should I continue with the Epsom salts? I was planning on a 50% water change tomorrow and replacing just the quantity of salts removed by the water change. I'm quite perplexed as to how to proceed with treating her.
Thanks in advance for your help.
<Hi Susan. Danios are social animals, and in small groups can sometimes bully one another. It's usually a male, but no doubt sometimes big females throw their weight around too. The best solution to this sort of bullying is, inevitably, adding more of the same species and hoping for the best. I've been in a similar situation with Danio choprae, and eventually ended up with just one male! But in the meantime, yes, Epsom salt may help with bloating and egg-binding, if these are the issue, and an antibiotic used against Dropsy can be useful. I'd not go crazy with randomly medicating where small fish are concerned; partly not worth the expense, and partly tends to harm the fish more than help them. So at some point, euthanasia tends to be the better option, as described elsewhere on this site, and after a week or two to confirm the remaining fish are healthy, the addition of sufficient replacement livestock to mitigate any social behaviour problems. Cheers, Neale.>

Apple Snail      5/30/18
Aloha Neale,
<Guten morgen, Dave!>
I was just looking through your site to find some info about caring for apple snails, and thought I'd write you a little note about mine, Rupert.
I've had Rupee since November 2015 and he was bought at a local fish shop in Honolulu for about 3.99 or 4.99. It was among the best money I've ever spent. After having a few kinds of fish in there with him over the years, and some who for one reason or another needed rehoming, Rupert now lives alone in a 10 gallon. 7.9 ph, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 10-20 nitrates... and until the last year no calcium additives, though for the first couple years there were quite a few sea shells in with him. For the fish's sake, I
removed them to keep the ph under 8, and now that he's alone, he's got a few in there.
<Nice. You're right about these snails doing best on their own, or even in groups. I dare say Nerite snails would work well with them, but I'd tend to avoid shrimps in case they pick at the Apple Snail.>
A year ago he started getting little chunks of cuttlebone in there, which I rub together between fingers each week after a water change to dissolve into his water.
<They do like these!>
Now I am starting Kent's liquid calcium, as well, more so I don't have to put the unneeded additives in the cuttlebone into the tank, and wanted your advice on how much of that you'd dose weekly or at what rate? It seems like a safe, clean way to get him a bit more calcium, and any advice on using it would be appreciated. Also any other specific calcium advice I'd appreciate.
<Oh, hard to say. I'd dose about half what's recommended for a marine tank to start with. Then grab a carbonate hardness test kit, and check the KH value. Something around 10 degrees KH is probably the ideal, but a little lower or higher no big deal. Really, so long as the shell isn't pitted, the calcium level is fine.>
He eats Hikari Crab Cuisine, New Life Spectrum Algae Max, and Hikari mini algae wafers. I've been unsuccessful at getting him eating veggies.
<Even lettuce? Mine loved that!>
Rupert is graceful, gentle, hypnotizing... the definition of peaceful. He is hand fed almost every day; no food is ever left in the tank. When he's sitting at the water line I open the lid, start talking to him in a nice
voice, and he usually starts looking up, and walla... into his mouth a little crab stick goes, or a piece of the other stuff. He can eat up to 30 of the crab sticks in one hour long feeding...
<Blimey! No wonder he doesn't want the greens. He's doubling up on the prime steak and skipping the salad.>
It's quite endearing to care for him and the videos of him are stunning. It was also the comment that few of these make it to tennis ball size that made me want to write.
<Yep. Can do. It's rare though because relatively few make it past 12 months in an aquarium, whereas I'm told the big ones are 4-5 years of age.>
Here is a video to see him... recent... and I have a ton more, if you wanted to see them!
<Sure thing.>
He is quite photogenic, as you can see... and I have dozens of videos he is about a tennis ball in size, closing in on three years old, and I love him dearly. Such an active, engaging, absolutely wonderful pet. Hearing others don't have this luck scares me! I didn't do much to specifically accommodate him, not intentionally but through ignorance, and now I'm going to try and do everything I can for him. I adore him. He is the light of my life, and has the most magical eyes.
<Wow! That's a cool pet for sure.>
Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for the all the great info, and let you know about this one very special Apple Snail - I think the canaliculata species... but he may as well be my son. I don't have kids and I love him like family.
God bless, Neale.
<And likewise.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Wrasse on wrasse hate      5/29/18
Thanks for the reply, I guess I've been looking at the wrong portion of your site.
<Ahh, please see here re the genus: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/thalassoma.htm
and the linked files (at top)>
Most of the information I've read is in email form like the reply I received.
<Ah yes; what we call/label as FAQs>
Also, I did research putting wrasses together but nothing really highlighted this issue other than to say they establish a hierarchical system and one person saying it'll only get worse even if I isolate the lunar for a while.
<This is likely so unfortunately>
In fact my research showed several people keeping 6 types together which is why I did this.
<Ahh; like many Cichlids, if/when crowded, aggression can be diffuse/d>
Anyway, I guess I'll keep observing and see about removing the yellow moon. Thanks again.
<Sensible; welcome. Bob Fenner>

Ok, now I'm panicked Ongoing BR Goby       5/29/18
Today is the normal day of the weekly water change for the Goby tank and I don't know if what I saw just developed, or if it started after his suicide attempt and I just couldn't see it. He has red veins in his tail fin.
Not in the body of his tail, but just his fin and the red veins do not go all the way to the body of his tail.
<To be expected... damage from the escape. A bit of septicemia perhaps>
However, he seems to feel fine and was busy "helping" me with the tank cleaning. He's also eating normally.
<Good signs>
As soon as I was done with the water change, I researched the red veins in the tail fin and found a WWM post as follows: "Fish didn't make the move, Violet Gobies (Gobioides spp.) 1/26/08:...<The fish has a systemic bacterial infection, likely caused by Aeromonas spp. similar to those that cause Finrot and bacterial septicaemia. These bacteria block the blood vessels in the epidermis and fins, and this is what causes the inflammation. After a while the surrounding tissues die. The bacteria get in when fish are physically damaged or exposed to high levels of ammonia for extended periods. So either rough handling when you were transporting the fish, or else problems with filter in your new aquarium, were the
triggering issues....". I'll go down to the store Tuesday (they're closed today for Memorial Day) if I need to get him the medication you referenced in this post, but, unlike the individual who started his post, my Goby has been in brackish water and I'm increasing the SG from 1.004 to 1.005 as of today's water change. Also, I've always used Instant Ocean, not/never Aquarium salt. Further,
<Good and good>
I knew I would have water quality problems immediately after the hose break (10 days prior to the suicide attempt) and began using Prime before the ammonia and nitrite began to climb and I'm still using it. So he shouldn't have been affected by the mini cycle.
However, his leap from the tank was from a height of about 5 feet (55 inches from the top of the tank to the floor - vinyl floor, no carpet) unless he first hit the lip of the stand. I wish I could get a picture of
his tail to send you, but all I get is a silver/blue blur. He does not have any redness in any other part of his body and does not seem to have any inflammation in his tail fin as the redness in the veins is very sharp and clear and the "skin" around the veins is not raised. I hate using medication unless its necessary, so I'm asking what I should do.
<Were it me, mine, I'd skip medicating; rely on time going by, good circumstances for cure. Bob Fenner>
*Renee *

Possible swim bladder issue      5/29/18
Hi crew!
I have a question about possible swim bladder problem with one of my long fin zebra Danios (female). Recently she has been subjected to non-stop bullying from a dominant female in the school of six. The affected Danio, who was discovered Sunday having issues swimming, has been removed to a hospital tank. She is exhibiting negative buoyancy. She will occasionally swim to the top with great effort but will return to the bottom where she will wobble to one side. She is alert and responds to movement outside of the tank (she will scuttle to opposite side of tank when I approach). She is healthy in all outward appearance with good color and clear eyes, but is slightly swollen in the belly with one side being slightly more pronounced. She may be slightly egg bound. Her respiration is normal. She has not accepted food while she has been in the hospital tank (since Sunday). Presently she is in a cycled 2.8 gallon tank to which I've added about 1/4 tsp of Epsom salt (one dose). The water temp is about 75-76°F.
<Good moves, conditions>
I thought that she may have some sort of intestinal blockage as my Danios like frozen bloodworms and the larger Fluval bug bites I feed my larger fish.
<Am not a fan of Bloodworms, though frozen are better than other formats. I'd sub Daphnia, Brine Shrimp for now; for their mild laxative effects>
I know that the stress from the recent bullying could have predisposed her to some sort of GI infection/parasite. I know the prognosis is not great, but do you think that a course of antibiotics may be helpful? I have both Kanaplex and Metroplex on hand. Or should I continue with the Epsom salts?
<For me, just the MgSO4>
I was planning on a 50% water change tomorrow and replacing just the quantity of salts removed by the water change. I'm quite perplexed as to how to proceed with treating her.
Thanks in advance for your help.
<Really just time going by and favorable setting will/should see this situation resolve. Bob Fenner>

150l puffer tank       5/28/18
How are you?
<All good, thanks.>
I am setting up a new tank and wanted to check with your expertise before I proceed - hope you don’t mind!
<Fire way.>
I have now set up a new 150l.
<Good size.>
I want to put in medium-large-ish puffers.
<Ah, well, not really big enough for multiple puffers, except perhaps the fairly tolerant Carinotetraodon irrubesco, Dwarf Puffers, and perhaps a small group of South American Puffers. A singleton 'lurker' puffer in the 10-15 cm size range could work too.>
I’ve called a round all my local fish shops and my current option is:
One shop has in 4 twin spotted puffers (8-10cm) which I understand are nearly fully grown (probably two thirds of their full size).
<A group is not going to work in a tank this size.>
The shop have had them in for a few months in a tiny tank and therefore feel like it would be good to take them.
<Not necessarily. Purchasing fish, even if you mean to 'rescue' them, is taken by the retailer as a sale. Hence, the likelihood is that the order for multiple Tetraodon leiurus will be repeated again. If the fish languish in the retailer's tanks for some months, they'll be seen as a failure, and won't be re-ordered.>
My thought process is that it would be ok because :
Water quality - I have a good external filter with 11-12x flow rate per hour. I plan to do twice weekly water changes (15-20%) but probably do 3-4 times weekly in the first few weeks. The shop is apparently feeding them twice a day on bloodworms/mussels/prawns (I’d probably throw in a cray fish or crab on occasion for their beaks). This sounds like a lot of food though maybe it should be reduced to once a day but that may increase aggression?
<Possibly, but it's sex hormones and their innate behaviours that cause aggression. This species is not social, and should not be treated as such.>
Aggression - the shop have had them in for a few months and there has been no aggression between them. I know these are generally aggressive but if they have been fine with each other for now then I don’t see that this should change. Plus a group of 4 means aggression will be spread.
<Indeed, if you had a couple hundred gallons it might indeed be worth a shot. But 150 litres/30 gallons? Bit tight.>
Swimming space - no issue as these are more of a ‘lurker’ fish. Not quite as inactive as a humpback but nothing like some of the active puffers.
Ultimately I think this could be a good option but wanted to check with you :-)
<I would not do this without a concrete Plan B, i.e., 3 more tanks at your disposal to handle the puffers should things go wrong. Moving the fish to a new tank could easily trigger territoriality. It's really very difficult to feel comfortable that this plan will work.>
<Most welcome. I would try posting this idea up at ThePufferForum; they're very experienced, and might well offer a second opinion, or at least some work-arounds that might be useful. Cheers, Neale.>

Dragon Goby Concern       5/28/18
Hello Crew! First of all, feel free to set this post aside because I know you help a lot of people with problems more severe than mine.
Honestly, I don't even know if I have a problem, but this is my first Violet Goby, and his/her behavior has changed radically in the last week from what I've experienced in the previous almost two months of having him.
First, the recap; I had a hose split back on May 10th while I was outside, lost a lot of water, and threw the tank into what I believe is called a "mini-cycle." I've been using Prime in the tank throughout this event and we're coming through it as the ammonia spike is gone and the nitrite is going down. I told you about the failure of the heater and temperature drop in the tank down to 72 and you indicated that you did not think that was a problem. I re-read my notes from you and your web site and noticed you indicated that this species is subtropical and prefers a cooler temperature, 75 degrees being the upper end of that range, so I adjusted my heaters in that tank down to 74 - 75 degrees (from 77 - 78).
<Their geographic range extends into the subtropics, but individual specimens may be collected from tropical areas. If lowering the temperature elicits odd behaviours, then why not raise the temperature back to where it was and see what happens?>
So his "new" behavior started with the suicide attempt. I got him back in the tank and he seemed fine - behaving in the manner I'm used to - just casually swimming around the tank - until I turned the tank lights out that evening and it got dark. I guess it was about 10 pm that night when I noticed him swimming all around the top of the tank looking for a way out (I have about 10 lbs of rock sitting on top of the tank lid now, so he was disappointed). I thought the best way to discourage that behavior was to
raise the powerhead up closer to the top of the tank and create a stronger current at the surface. It kind of worked as he stopped hunting for the exit, but he started swimming, against the current, toward the powerhead. Once he got to the powerhead, he'd let the current carry him to the other side of the tank, and then start again (he was swimming like a shark was chasing him - really swimming hard). He'd keep this up for 5 minutes or so and then stop, glide down to the bottom of the tank for a minute or so, and
then do it again. He was still doing it half an hour later when I went to bed (I was exhausted just watching him) and this morning he's just hanging out in his PVC tube.
<I have seen this behaviour in brackish water fish before, particularly Ariid catfish, where it suggests a migratory instinct. It often goes away after a while, but can be a sign that a change in salinity or water current is necessary, usually towards a more marine set of conditions.>
He's eating in what I've experienced as normal for him - he eats his pieces of algae sheets (red only now - he won't touch the green or the brown) and his Omega One Veggie Rounds. I only give him blood worms on the night before a water change because while the Mollies will eat a little bit of them, he won't touch them - I always find most of them piled up in the part of the tank where the current deposits all the tank "debris". He eats Mysis shrimp, but I only give him those once or twice a week because of the
<Provided he's eating the other foods readily, I wouldn't worry too much about thiaminase. That's really a concern only where carnivorous fish are exclusively fed thiaminase-rich foods like prawns and mussels. Your goby likely gets thiamin from the algae wafers, which are designed to be a fully balanced food..>
I've put a lot of Prime in the tank since the hose burst, could I have used too much and its bothering him in some way?
<Possibly, but water conditioners tend to be quite benign.>
Is his behavior an indicator I need to increase the salinity in the tank (currently at 1.004)?
<Worth a shot.>
Am I leaving something out of his diet?
Or is this just normal behavior for this species?
<Could easily be. These are big fish that dig burrows. The males tend have to go out and attract females into their burrows (I assume, by analogy with other gobies).>
He looks wonderful, his color is stunning and I don't see any blemishes anywhere on him. Further, he's growing at a staggering rate (earning him the nickname "Moose") and seems to be of a healthy weight. If this sudden need for adventure and exercise is normal, that's great! But, as I said, I've never had this species before so I don't know if I have a problem.
Other than your site, the information on the Internet is useless (mostly vague or outright contrary to what I've learned from you and/or experienced
with this fish). Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.
<So long as he's feeding, I'd not be overly worried. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Dragon Goby Concern       5/28/18

Ok, thank you.
<You're welcome. Neale.>

Re: Betta fish       5/28/18
thank you for your response. i will try the Epsom salt and see what happens thanks again!
<Welcome, and good luck. Neale.>

Wrasse on wrasse hate       5/28/18
Hi, need some expert advise that the forums can't provide. I added a yellow moon and lunar wrasse some time ago and the two hung out with no issues.
<Genus Thalassoma wrasses are not generally a good idea to mix... territorial. Best to have one species per system, unless it's huge... with one determinate/male and the rest either initial phase/female or sexually undifferentiated individuals. This is gone over on WWM>
Later I added a blue headed wrasse and he was targeted a little by the lunar but handled it well.
The last time I saw him get bullied was when he had a krill that he refused to give up and ended up keeping it.
An era of peace descended on the tank for anything that didn't have a shell.
Then today I saw my yellow moon being chased at top speed around the tank by the lunar wrasse. Things subsided and they all settled back into their normal habits with the exception of some mean glances from the lunar which made the yellow moon turn the other direction. Then at bed time the chase
occurred again... Funny thing is these two are the same size, the blue head is smaller and seems unaffected by the fighting. Thoughts/what should I do/what's the crystal ball showing you?
<As above. I'd have these in separate systems... with more of their own kind>
Btw I planned on banishing the lunar to the sump but it dives for cover when I reach for the net. So I don't know that I'll be able to do that.
<Better by far to study ahead of acquiring livestock. Bob Fenner>

Re: Goby Trouble /Neale     5/27/18
Thank you!
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Betta fish     5/27/18
Hi there, my Betta has what appears to be a rectal prolapse. is there anything I can do to help him?
<It's honestly tough with this problem and these fish. But...>
He’s eating fine and swimming around and doesn’t seem to be bothered by it, I do 50% water changes once a week, feed him a varied diet. He lives in a 5.5 gallon tank with heater and filter, any ideas what could be doing this? Thank you
<Epsom salt is a mild muscle relaxant that can be useful when treating this sort of thing. It works as a laxative, with a dosage of 1-3 teaspoons per 5 gallons/20 litres being recommended depending on the severity of the case. Raising the temperature by a degree or two often helps by speeding up the fish's metabolism, and the use of fibre-rich foods such as cooked peas is extremely helpful. Spirulina-loaded brine shrimp or live daphnia are alternatives if your fish refuses cooked peas. The use of an antibiotic alongside the Epsom salt may help, Metronidazole perhaps being even better given its efficacy against some types of gut parasites. Hope this helps, Neale.> 

Re: Goby Trouble      5/26/18
So you think this was just the Goby's natural tendency to "wander off?"
<Yes I do>
I guess I was hoping the temperature was what set him off and that warming up his water would prevent him from trying this nonsense again.
<Mmm; no. Sometimes having floating plants (a fave, Watersprite, Ceratopteris) and/or quickly moving surface fishes (e.g. Barbs of size) will help deter such escapades... But/otherwise a secure/complete cover is the route to go. >
I've attached a picture of the "egg crate" lid I use on all the tanks (the one in the picture is on a different tank but I use the same stuff on the Goby's tank just cut to fit a bowfront).
<Very nice!>
I cut this material so it just barely fits and I have to push it down into place (maybe that's how he got out'; I may not have gotten it pushed down all the way).
<Mmm, likely about the hang on power filter... I'd cut a pc. of Eggcrate, put this on top of the current one, around the filter area>
The part of the lid I found pushed up was right next to the space I cut for the output hose and I made sure to leave no extra space around it. It's plastic and the squares are no more than 1/2" x 1/2". The Goby is 10 inches long and his big old head would never even come close to fitting through them. Plus there is a 48" aquarium light that sits on top of it. Anyway, I can't shed an eyelash around here without hitting a rock,
<Interesting saying>
so I'll bring some inside to put on all corners of the lids.
<Real good. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Goby Trouble      5/26/18

Thank you!
<Welcome. B>

Goby Trouble /Neale      5/26/18
Hello Crew! I'm a little rattled this morning as my Dragon Goby made a suicide attempt. I had come back in from taking the dogs out and found him on the floor (I got to him before the dogs did).
<Yikes! Never heard of this for a Dragon Goby, but always a risk with large fish, especially eel-shaped ones.>
He couldn't have been out long because he was not there when we went out and we were only outside for 15 minutes. I immediately got him back in the tank, he swam away, and now he's sitting on his PVC tube looking at me. He was not dried out when I found him, does not have any physical injuries that I can see, and his gills are moving normally.
<Promising. These fish can survive in damp burrows when the tide goes out, so should recover well, provided their skin has not dried out.>
I found where he pushed the tank lid up and set a fairly heavy rock on it.
<Good move.>
So a little recent background, back on May 10th (I keep a journal on all the tanks), I did the normal water change (about 20 gallons from a 72 gallon tank) and the regular monthly filter cleaning. Everything seemed fine when I was done but when I came back in from outside, the room around the tank was flooded because one of the hoses (the return to the tank hose) on the canister filter (those ribbed hoses on the Fluval 405) was split and gushing water. I got it shut down but, to my absolute horror, when I looked at the tank I estimated that I had lost about 40 gallons. So with the weekly/monthly maintenance plus the hose splitting, this tank (72 gallon) lost about 60 gallons in two hours.
I knew I was in trouble, so I replaced the water, checked the salinity (1.004 SG), added two capfuls of Prime, and hoped for the best. I started testing the following morning and have been adding Prime and testing daily ever since. For the first three days, everything seemed fine, but I knew better than to think it would be that easy. Sure enough, after day three, I had ammonia, only .25 ppm, but it was there. The ammonia never went any higher and turned over pretty quickly (about two days) and the nitrite started to climb (I'm using Prime daily throughout this and I still am).
It got to .50 ppm but has since come down to .25 ppm. Nitrate stayed steady below 20 ppm.
<Good. Again, these are burrow-dwellers, and like Mudskippers I'd expect them to have some significant resistance to ammonia compared with a lot of other fish.>
So after I got the Goby back in the tank this morning, I tested again and the ammonia is still zero, the nitrite is still .25, and nitrate is still below 20 ppm. Salinity is steady at 1.004 SG. But I noticed the heater
light was off, which is unusual because it's still very cold here in the mornings. When I checked the temperature, it had dropped to 72 degrees in the tank (this had to have happened fairly recently as I always check temperature during weekly maintenance and last Monday everything was fine).
I put in a backup heater and I'm now re-warming the tank to its normal 77 - 78 degrees. But in my constant quest for the "why" in everything, I'm wondering if the drop in temperature could have triggered the suicide attempt.
<Possibly, but Gobioides have quite an extensive geographical range -- from South Carolina to Brazil -- and can probably handle a reasonably wide range of temperatures. So with a bit of luck you'll be fine.>
This tank has a fairly tight fitting lid (egg crate)so he had to exert some effort to get out.
<Live and learn, I guess. Thanks for sharing this experience, and best of luck. Neale.>

Betta fish    /Neale      5/26/18
Hi WetWebMedia
I don't suppose you could identify this possible Betta disease? Please see attached images. Black band around body appeared gradually and fish appeared well so initially I was not concerned. Its now has a grey sheen to it so I am getting slightly worried.
Best wishes
<Really difficult to diagnose this. These dark coloured regions do develop on fish occasionally, and while they might indicate nerve damage from some physical cause, they can also be related to other types of problems.
Non-zero ammonia can cause burns, for example. There are also some external parasites, such as Costia, that cause excessive slime to develop on a fish, resulting in off-white to grey patches. The best advice is to review aquarium conditions (especially temperature and water quality) first of all, and maybe medicate as per Costia to see if that helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Undiagnosed disease.      5/25/18
I am deeply sorry.
<Yeah mate... no one could write in or send out half a day...>
I hope i haven't caused any major problems. The file is a video, in hopes of depicting the discus behavior.
<PLEASE load videos elsewhere and just send us the link. Like YouTube...>
The file size limits is in the Kb range, i don't think i can lower the video size to less than 5 mb. Hmm... maybe a picture will have to do. Is it okay to send?
<As above... just the link. BobF>

Re: Magnificent Foxface dying!      5/25/18
<Hello Liz>
He has been at the top of the water with his snout up. I did not see him scratching.
<These fish are very sensitive to low oxygen levels, do you have enough water movement(surface agitation)?>
At this point he is so weak that he's having a hard time swimming. The only thing that is different other than him not eating is how his skin looks and that he puts his snout out of the water.
<A symptom of oxygen deprivation>
I can't really see it being flukes or and nursing because there has been no new additions in about a year and no other fish (clown pair and royal gramma) are having any problems.
<These are more much resistant than the Foxface>
Thanks Liz
Re: Magnificent Foxface dying!      5/25/18

Hello again,
<Hey Liz>
Thank you for the reply. I really do not believe the problem was oxygen deprivation because I had my gyre running at a fairly high speed and my canister filter pump.
<Could def. be a factor. Siganids/Rabbitfishes are in the same suborder as Tangs/Surgeonfishes... both require high DO>
Unfortunately, he passed away some time last night. I had done a 20% water change last night, hoping this would help.
Thank you for all your help though!
<And you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Goby Trouble; sys., beh.       5/25/18
Hello Crew! I'm a little rattled this morning as my Dragon Goby made a suicide attempt.
<Oh yes; they are "escape artists">

I had come back in from taking the dogs out and found him on the floor (I got to him before the dogs did). He couldn't have been out long because he was not there when we went out and we were only outside for 15 minutes. I immediately got him back in the tank, he swam away, and now he's sitting on his PVC tube looking at me. He was not dried out when I found him, does not have any physical injuries that I can see, and his gills are moving normally. I found where he pushed the tank lid up and set a fairly
heavy rock on it.
<And cover over all holes large enough for it to get out>
So a little recent background, back on May 10th (I keep a journal on all the tanks), I did the normal water change (about 20 gallons from a 72 gallon tank) and the regular monthly filter cleaning. Everything
seemed fine when I was done but when I came back in from outside, the room around the tank was flooded because one of the hoses (the return to the tank hose) on the canister filter (those ribbed hoses on the Fluval 405) was split and gushing water.
<Yikes! Glad you caught it>
I got it shut down but, to my absolute horror, when I looked at the tank I estimated that I had lost
about 40 gallons. So with the weekly/monthly maintenance plus the hose splitting, this tank (72 gallon) lost about 60 gallons in two hours.
I knew I was in trouble, so I replaced the water, checked the salinity (1.004 SG), added two capfuls of Prime, and hoped for the best. I started testing the following morning and have been adding Prime and
testing daily ever since. For the first three days, everything seemed fine, but I knew better than to think it would be that easy. Sure enough, after day three, I had ammonia, only .25 ppm, but it was there.
<Toxic; debilitating>

The ammonia never went any higher and turned over pretty quickly (about two days) and the nitrite started to climb (I'm using Prime daily throughout this and I still am). It got to .50 ppm but has since come down to .25 ppm. Nitrate stayed steady below 20 ppm.
So after I got the Goby back in the tank this morning, I tested again and the ammonia is still zero, the nitrite is still .25, and nitrate is still below 20 ppm. Salinity is steady at 1.004 SG. But I noticed the heater light was off, which is unusual because it's still very cold here in the mornings. When I checked the temperature, it had dropped to 72 degrees in the tank (this had to have happened fairly recently as I always check temperature during weekly maintenance and last Monday everything was fine). I put in a backup heater and I'm now re-warming the tank to its normal 77 - 78 degrees. But in my constant quest for the "why" in everything, I'm wondering if the drop in temperature could have triggered the suicide attempt.
<Mmm; doubtful>
This tank has a fairly tight fitting lid (egg crate)so he had to exert some effort to get out.
*Renee *
<Bob Fenner>

Betta fish      5/25/18
Hi WetWebMedia
I don't suppose you could identify this possible Betta disease? Please see attached images. Black band around body appeared gradually
<As in days, weeks; not hours I take it>
and fish appeared well so initially I was not concerned. Its now has a grey sheen to it so I am getting slightly worried.
Best wishes
<Well; could be from mechanical injury (somehow) or genetic expression...
Not any parasite or infectious disease I've encountered. There is no "therapy", treatment for such; just your ongoing good care. Bob Fenner>

Re: Betta Breathing Hard     5/24/18
Good morning Bob,
<Hey Donetta>
I read about 90% on the Betta environmental FAQS.
It was eye opening! As suggested, I changed out the sand and replaced with cleaned gravel.
<Ah, good>
That was a lot of work! I cleaned and wiped down everything and changed out all the water. Not sure if that was the best, but I read that some people do that when their Betta's have fin rot.
<Yes; best to have a clean start>
I still have my cycle and it's held steady for 8 days now.
<Tres bien!>
After I put everything back together I couldn't believe that I still saw fine debris on the surface. So disappointed! I kept the filter media. I just swished around the sponge, floss and bio balls.
<Good move>
I believe the floss is the problem. I should have just replaced it, but I was afraid I would lose my cycle again. I replaced it last night. It's a little better, but now I have more debris again :(! I have two mini
internal filters with spray bars that I point to the wall on opposite ends of the 10 gallon tank. One filter has a sponge and three bio balls. The other has filter floss and about seven bio balls. Both are rated 45gph and are turned up to the max. There is basically no current, but I see that now I'm going to have to clean the sponge/ bio balls weekly and replace the floss weekly. It seems like a pain.
<Mmm; I'd remove, clean just one at a time; to discern whence forth the fine debris>
I'm thinking maybe I can get one of those corner filters.
<There are small power one>
I'll be able to have more bio media plus will only have to service one filter. Will this surface debris cause problems?
<Not likely; no. It can be dipped out (with a plastic pitcher on edge) or wicked out (with a non-printed, non-odorized paper towel)>
It just seems that I can't get rid of it. I'm not over feeding plus I did the 100% water change on Monday. So frustrating. I'm not scheduled to do another water change until next Monday.
Last Thursday I noticed more receding of Pety's tail. Two good sized areas are gone. It's just getting worse. I know this happened because of the ammonia spike. I can't see the tail getting better without medication.
What do you think? I have Kanaplex and Paraguard.
<Not the Guard... the issue isn't parasitic... there are other, better anti-Finrot med.s... Even just a modicum of "aquarium salt">
I don't want to hurt my filter. Plus Pety still breathes a little labored.
His tail is not deteriorating quickly, but it gets worse over time.
<... the environment; patience>
I know how to get rid of that debris. I can put my powerhead in the water with attached water bottle that has filter floss in it and let it rip for 15 minutes. I'll have crystal clear water, but I'd have to take Pety out the tank. Then he'll be more stressed out.
I appreciate your help. Thanks!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Betta Breathing Hard     5/24/18

I appreciate your responses and feedback. I'll try and be more patient.
How much is a Modicum of salt for a 10 gallon tank?
<A couple of level teaspoons>
Do I just add one time and then gradually water change it out or replace and keep in for a certain amount of time?
<All at once; replaced with the percentage of water changed out>
Thanks again,
<Welcome. BobF>

Re: Magnificent Foxface dying!     5/24/18
Hello Again,
I just realized that that I said I only had 10 pounds of LR. This was a typo. I actually have 170lbs.
<Ahh…big difference!>
The ammonia was zero before, but had increased to 0.1 after I cleaned the canister filter.
<You have killed some nitrifying bacteria in the cleaning process>
As soon as I get home today, I will put him back in the DT. Once he is in there, I will try to get a picture of him. I tried while he was in the bucket, but was unsuccessful. It is simply a mystery. If it was fin/tail rot or flukes, the other fish would have contracted it.
<I thought you said there were no new additions for about a year, so this is unlikely>
Thanks again, Liz
Re: Magnificent Foxface dying!     5/24/18

Hello Wilberth,
<Hi Liz>
No, there haven’t been any new additions for about 1 year. I was just thinking fin/tail rot or flukes because I am at a loss as to what is wrong with him.
<I think his health has been declining a while ago, this is not a recent problem, is just that it wasn´t visible. Sorry Liz but its hard for me to give you further information or a diagnosis without actually seeing the fish>
☹ I really hope he will make it. He still doesn’t want to eat anything either.
<Don´t try to feed him, he won´t eat, we have to focus on a healthy, stress free environment; a vitamin supplement added directly to the water might help>
I will send a picture when I get home. Thanks again, Liz
<Welcome, Wilberth>
Re: Magnificent Foxface dying!      5/24/18

Hi here is a couple pics.
<Hi Liz, pics are too big, just a few hundred kb please>
He's not doing well at all :(
<Ohh...I see, it looks in very bad shape, although your pics are not clear enough, I can see this fish skin peeling off, have you see him scratching against the rockwork, swimming with the snout out of the water?>

Lyretail Anthias      5/23/18
Hi Crew,
We recently got some Lyretail Anthias for our saltwater tank. We got a large male (4”) and two small females (1.5”) from the LFS. We ordered two more females online to make a bigger group. We have the 2 groups of fish in their own quarantine tanks since they came from different sources. The two females we ordered online are pretty big (2.5”) and one of them has a spiked/pennant dorsal fin. Does that indicate the fish has started turning into a male?
If so, would the process reverse if we housed that fish with our existing male?
<Likely so>
I’m a little worried about putting them together as I’ve heard males are aggressive to each other.
<I wouldn't be (overly) concerned>
Thank you,
<Welcome, Bob Fenner>

Re: Magnificent Foxface dying!      5/23/18
<Hi Liz!>
Thank you for such a quick reply. I just went out and bought a new test kit to see if this was the issue (I thought it could be since it seems that I would get varying results with the other kit even though it wasn't expired on the bottle).
<Happens sometimes>
My readings are now: Specific gravity - 1.026 Ph - 7.8 (low, I know)
<Try using a PH buffer to reach 8.1/8.3>
Ammonia - 0.1
<Even this relatively low measure can affect your tank inhabitants>
Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 0 Also tank equipment may be important: gyre, Eheim canister filter, 2 protein skimmers and a heater and about 10 lbs of LR.
<Seems like there´s not enough biological filtration here, try adding more cured live rock or some other means of nutrient export>
Do you think this issue could be caused by the salinity and low ph?
<Salinity is just fine at NSW level; the low ph you report affects to a certain degree but I don´t think it is the main issue here>
It's strange because the Foxface is the only one showing any signs of distress. Currently, he is still in the 5 gallon bucket and is not laying flat anymore.
<To small volume of water, try doing a 25% water change to the display tank and return the Foxface asap, this "quarantine" is stressing it more>
He is swimming a bit. The bucket has a bubbler as well. I cannot really get a picture of him. I will try to attach one if I can get one. Thanks again! Sincerely, Liz
<You´re very welcome, Wilberth>

Re: titan trigger and green moray eel       5/23/18
<Hi George,>
another question my green moray will occasionally just spin around. He may be in his pvc pipe and he is halfway out then just starts spinning. Is this normal behavior.<?>
<Muraenids common feeding behavior is to spin while biting their prey so they can tear apart pieces of flesh, pretty much like crocodiles “dead roll", in case your moray eel is not doing this as a feeding response, it may be something else, maybe some sort of parasite bothering it>
I have seen videos in the wild when they occasionally are doing it. Thanks again.
<Welcome, Wilberth>

Dwarf frog tank    5/22/18
I had a planted 10g aquarium with 4 African dwarf frogs. My ammonia levels were 0, nitrite 0, but my nitrate levels never came up-they we’re always 0.
<Understood. But zero level nitrates pretty unlikely in tanks with normal biological filtration, unless there's rapid plant growth using up the nitrate as fast as its made. Of course if there's no biological filtration going on, then nitrates won't rise either, and that's more alarming. But if that's the situation, you should see ammonia and/or nitrite rise between water changes.>
Unfortunately, I had a fungal outbreak which all 4 frogs succumbed to. I think they weren’t in the best health when I got them and the water issue with the nitrates just weakened them. Also, the 3 live plants also turned brown and died.
<Oh dear.>
My questions are, what is the best way to clean the aquarium to get new dwarf frogs?
<Remove and rinse the gravel or sand; remove any rocks and wood, rinse them under a tap; wipe the glass down with some paper towel; rinse the filter media with lukewarm tap water. Return everything back to the tank, and let it run for a day or two before adding new livestock. Assuming you haven't killed off the filter bacteria, it should be 'cycled' but if not, treat as a new aquarium and ideally cycle before adding livestock, but if that's not an option, do daily water changes to keep ammonia levels as low as practical while the filter matures. Expect cycling to take around a month. There are some commercial products that allegedly speed up the cycling process, but they're not entirely reliable, so using an ammonia or nitrite test kit to map the cycling process is helpful.>
Do I need to start with all new gravel, water, filter sponge?
<See above, and no, not really necessary.>
Will I need to go through another cycle or will the filter sponge have enough good bacteria in it to jump start the cycle with all new water?
<Possibly. Assuming the filter is treated gently, the bacteria will be fine.>
Will going with silk plants change anything?
<Not really, no. Live floating plants, on the other hand, are a great addition to any aquarium. They bring good bacteria with them, on their roots mostly, and also use up ammonia while the tank cycles, minimising the stress on the livestock.>
I want to be sure that my tank and everything is free of disease and ready for new froggies.
Thanks so much!
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: Goodeids    5/22/18
Thank you for that information, but if Ameca splendens become to aggressive to be put back into the wild, are they only going to live in an aquarium setting?
<There's nothing to stop you creating a half-way house setting, like an outdoor pond, where the Ameca splendens would have to feed themselves on natural algae rather than fish food. After a few generations you should get more natural foraging behaviour. So yes, if you just chucked domestic Ameca splendens into a Mexican stream that might cause problems, but people could breed more 'normal' Ameca splendens by actively selecting desirable traits, just as we do with any other animal.>
And is this aggression only found in this species of Goodeid or is it all Goodeids?
<I'm not aware of other Goodeids being so well studied, but I would imagine the basic risk of genetic drift in captivity exists for most if not all of them. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Goodeids

thank you again for all the information.
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Magnificent Foxface dying!    5/22/18
<Hi Liz>
First I would like to say that I have been reading your articles and information for years and it has been helpful. I imagine it will be too late by the time you get this email, but I am hoping it may not be.
<Hopefully not>
First things first - tank info - 150G FOWLR with a royal Gramma, a pair of ocellaris clowns, a magnificent Foxface, cleanup crew and possibly a peppermint shrimp (we only see him once maybe every 6 months). Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate all 0. Ph 8.3. Temp 80. No new additions for about a year. I have had the magnificent Foxface for 3 years. Now that you have some basic info, this is my situation: for the past 4-6 months my Foxface has had his tail fin slowly disappear. I thought it could be tail rot, but it took a significant amount of time for him to slowly lose his tail fin. Then, I thought maybe it was caused by the clowns nipping him.
Since this issue began, I have not had any water parameter issues.
<Are you sure your test kit has not expired? Otherwise you might get inaccurate readings and I suspect that something may be wrong with your water quality>
He continued to eat and act normal. Now over the past few days he has lost his colour and looks generally very ill.
<I wish you have send a photo to get a better idea of the symptom>
Today, I found him lying on a rock. We were able to get him out of the DT and into and 5G pail (I know not ideal but I couldn't set up my QT). I have dosed PraziPro on the off chance he may have flukes. The other problem is that the ammonia levels are now rising in the pail, but I don't have enough RODI and salt to make fresh water. I guess what I am wondering is, could this be old age?
<I don´t think this is the case as these fish are known to live 15+ years>
If so, should I put him back in the DT for now?
<If he stills alive, better put him back in the DT and switch off the lights to prevent more stress>
I am afraid to add Prime to the bucket since I just dosed PraziPro about 8 hours ago. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Sincerely, Liz

Clown Trigger - Whirling    5/22/18
Hello Bob -
I am perplexed. I've had a 5+ inch Clown Trigger in a 265 gallon for maybe the last 4 months or so and he's done fabulously. He eats very well, has always been one of the most actively swimming fish in the tank,
<The way they are... till lights out>
eager to see me, nice and plump, but not fat, just in beautiful shape and condition...etc. No other fish messes with him and he's been a model citizen with the other fish.
He's primarily been eating New Life Spectrum Thera A which all of my salt water fish gobble up and have done exceedingly well as a result.
<Ah, good>
Yesterday, as I've do occasionally, I gave the tank a treat with some Tetra A freeze dried shrimp. I fed several tanks this treat and have done so for years all without any issues, except yesterday my Clown Trigger, sometime after that feeding, I noticed started showing the signs of the "whirling disease."
Again, he's been perfectly healthy for the last 4 plus months. All of the other fish in that tank are doing outstanding with no issues whatsoever.
The water parameters are fine. Unfortunately, the Clown Trigger has since perished. What the heck happened?
<Mmm; do you still have this fish? Might be worth necropsying. >
Could it be a bad piece of freeze dried krill?
<I doubt it>
This would be really hard to believe as all of my other tanks ate that krill with no issues whatsoever and I've fed them all this freeze dried krill many times in the past for years.
Part of me thinks maybe it was some sort of poisoning which became a time bomb and that occurred possibly during capture months ago?
<Mmm; no; not after four months>
I've been told by pet stores that evidently Clown Triggers from Indonesia are still often caught with poisoning.
<At times, places; yes>
I don't know if that's true or not. However, it seems far fetched that potential poisoning from months ago would now be an issue, but I am really at a loss.
Thanks Bob for your feedback.
<Well; am given to speculate (as nothing really points to one, specific cause); could be this loss was due to genetic anomaly... perhaps latent expression of some mechanical injury, parasite... I can't tell from "here"; given what you state, w/o examining the fish. I would not be concerned re the rest of your livestock, system however. Bob Fenner>
Re: Clown Trigger - Whirling    5/22/18

Thanks Bob. It was most bizarre. The rest of the fish and tanks are doing fabulously.
<Good... these (anomalous losses) do happen. Cheers, BobF>

Re: Disease Identification       5/21/18
Thank you for your input! I did prepare the fin clipping as a wet mount, so the photos are taken with water supporting the body mucus blob.
It dried up within about 20mins of taking the photos and the blob shriveled to about a quarter of its original size. The fish hasn’t shown any more of them, so I’m unable to take another sample for you so far. I’ll send more photos of the issue resurfaces. Thanks again!
<Thank you. B>

Identify?       5/21/18
Hi Bob
Can you tell me what the yellow Lacy looking area is?
<A boring sponge of some sort Tracy... drilling into the coral. BobF>

Re: I need to understand Biofilm     5/20/18
Thank you!
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Columbian tetra with fin rot from nipping     5/20/18
Hi Neale and Bob,
You helped me save a zebra Danio who was badly injured from a bullying situation. He has healed beautifully and your suggestions on rearranging the tank and reintroducing the Danios solved the bullying problem.
<Well, that's a good outcome!>
One of my Columbian tetras appears to be the victim of fin nipping with accompanying fin rot now setting in. There are two spots visible (see photo). This school usually gets along great although they do chase one another on occasion.
<This species is prone to that. Bigger groups usually help fix the problem. In any event, medicate as per Finrot.>
I do weekly water changes of 20%. Water parameters are as follows: Zero for ammonia and nitrite. Nitrates around 20 ppm, gH at 7-8°, temp around 76°F, pH 6.8. I run a canister filter with biomedia that includes matrix and chemical filtration is Chemipure green. I also run a sponge filter rated for 20 gallons which is connected to a battery backup air pump (we have frequent power outages where I live).
Other tank inhabitants are a school of orange laser Corydoras and MTS (substrate is sand) and Nerite snails. Tank is a 20 gallon planted. I have upped my water changes to 10% every 3 days since I discovered the fin rot. It does not appear to be getting worse and the tetra is active and eating but I don't want it to progress further. I can't use aquarium salt because of the Corys.
<Who told you that? Low salt doses, i.e., 2 g per litre, for treating Whitespot for example, will do them less harm/cause less stress than traditional medications using copper or formalin. To be clear, catfish aren't "allergic" to salt. That's a myth. A lot of salt in the water will cause osmoregulatory stress, but trivial salt doses are perfectly safe, even with soft water specialists like Cardinals, let alone Corydoras.>
I do have SeaChem Paraguard on hand that I used to treat my Betta who had fin rot when I purchased him. Do you think its advisable to treat the tetra in the tank with Paraguard?
<I would.>
I can relocate the Nerites and the larger MTS who are active at night and visible on the substrate. MTS are expensive here and only available online so I would prefer not to kill them off.
<Understood. While Melanoides snails usually handle medications just fine, you could dump a few in a loosely covered food container with a bit of water and leave them out of the tank while medicating. They need little care and will go dormant when cool. The Nerites perhaps a bit more a gamble, being more sensitive generally.>
I can also transfer the tetra to a small hospital tank.
<Perhaps put the snails here?>
I had ordered Kanaplex with the intention of adding it to food with their binder Focus, but I was sent the wrong product so it will be about 5 days until the Kanaplex arrives. The Kanaplex was my backup plan if the water changes didn't help. What is the safest course of action in your expert opinion?
<Any medication for Finrot should be fine here. This fish looks in robust health, and really all you want to do is help knock back the bacteria a bit so it's own immune system can kick in.>
Thanks for your help (again).
I'm moving everyone to a 50 gallon planted tank that has just finished cycling once it was settled in and aged a bit. Hopefully that will solve the territorial problems.
<Understood. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Columbian tetra with fin rot from nipping     5/20/18
Thanks Neale!
I am happy to learn that corys can tolerate salt if I ever have to use it in my tank.
<To be clear, as a short-term treatment for Whitespot and Velvet at low doses (2 g/l, for a few days or a couple of weeks). Perfectly safe used that way. But I would not be adding salt as a regular addition to any community tank containing relatively soft water fish, whether Corydoras, tetras or anything else from the Amazon Region.>
Another myth busted.
<It would seem so!>
I went ahead and removed my snails and I'm treating with Paraguard. I will definitely follow your advice and increase my school of tetras once I've relocated them to the 50 gallon.
Thanks again for your help.
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Re: Puffer Fish/Tank Question      5/19/18
Thank you so kindly Neale for taking the time to reply to my query. I do have a couple of additional questions now.
<Fire away!>
How many 90% water changes should I do?
<Diminishing returns after a while. But 3-4 should be ample. Only a tiny fraction of 'old' water will be left by then.>
And I'm guessing that after I'm done those, then I should do the CupriSorb?
<Actually, the CupriSorb is more about copper being leached out of objects (such as rocks) in the tank. Plain vanilla water changes will dilute the copper in the water, but anything chemically bound with, for example, calcareous rocks will slowly leach out when the concentration drops in the water. What you want is the CupriSorb to soak up that copper before it has a chance to harm your fish.>
And how long after all of that should I wait before adding aquatic life?
<Certainly after your water changes, but alongside the CupriSorb should be fine. If you leave the tank empty for longer, that runs the risk of the biological filter dying back in the absence of ammonia for the bacteria to use up. Besides the CupriSorb, be sure to use a water conditioner that neutralises copper (and heavy metals generally).>
Also, for future references, what is a good "medicine" for puffers with fungal problems?
<I've used eSHa 2000 with my puffers several times, seemingly without problems. Methylene Blue is the classic anti-Fungus, and considered safe enough it's widely used with fish eggs and fry. It's debatable whether it's safe with Puffers (some aquarists have reported problems, but by no means all) so if you opted to go the Meth Blue route, you'd want to keep a very close eye on your fish, perhaps even half-dosing, and certainly upping aeration during the process.>
I haven't had any for years until the Suvattii got it, and while I've always had good results with the Pima and Melafix .... I respect and trust your experience, so would definitely try anything you think would work better.
<I'm open minded to both having some utility as preventatives, helping damaged fish resist infections via their own immune systems. They might also help against minor infections; certainly tea-tree oil has fairly
well-established antimicrobial properties. But I personally doubt whether either is a reliable heavy-duty treatment comparable to the classic medications once a fish is really sick and weak.>
Again, thank you ever so much for taking the time to help me here.
<Glad to help.>
I really didn't know who to turn to, as I don't trust internet information much these days.
<When it comes to puffers, ThePufferForum is a good place to visit. Those guys are very serious and have lots of experience. There's at least a couple of folks there who're WetWebMedia 'alumni', so there's that, too!>
Oh, and how do you feel about using Koi clay in puffer tanks? Yeah or Nay?
<Probably not that big of a deal either way. Koi, like Goldfish, appreciate hard water with an alkaline pH. So definitely, there's mileage in adding minerals to soft water conditions. We don't really understand how fish absorb 'nutrient' minerals from the water they're swimming in, but that may be just as important as the way minerals affect pH and hardness. But (freshwater) pufferfish from Southeast Asia aren't typically coming from heavily mineralised environments, so I can't see Koi Clay doing anything special.>
It was something suggested to me, but I really know nothing about using such a thing.
Kind Regards,
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Puffer Fish/Tank Question (RMF, anything to add re: fungus on puffers AND Koi clay?)<<Ah, no. B>>      5/19/18

A big "Thank you" to WetWebMedia and Neale Monks for helping me. Excellent advice and very much appreciated.
<You're most welcome! Neale.>

Re: Goodeids      5/19/18
<Hello again Lance,>
I'm sorry i wasn't more specific. I have already spoke to Greg Sage and he explained to me the tank conditions needed to maintain and breed the species and he told me that the GWG (Goodeid Working Group) is mainly a database for Goodeids and really doesn't do much in regards to actual conservation work.
On top of what Greg told me I learned about Species like Zoogoneticus tequila, Ameca splendens, and Characodon laterais. what i need to know is the higher taxonomy of split fins up to order and family.
<These three species all belong to the family Goodeidae, which is in turn part of the order Cyprinodontiformes, alongside a number of other families including the Poeciliidae (i.e., Guppies, Mollies, etc.) Aplocheilidae (i.e., the southern hemisphere killifish), and the Cyprinodontidae (i.e., the north American Pupfish). Most of these fish are small, freshwater species adapted for life in shallow streams, ponds, and so on. Broadly, these are the fish we call livebearers and killifish, so obviously some families lay eggs while others give birth to baby fish. Nonetheless, there are some half dozen killifish families, and at least three livebearer families, so it's a complicated picture. Do look at the Wikipedia page on
Cyprinodontiformes for more.>
I also have not seen anything about Goodeid conservation so anything you can tell me about it would help, like what are the specific trouble of introducing a species to the wild or if there are groups working on the problem and how they are going about it.
<If you do some research on Ameca splendens, for example on ResearchGate.net, you'll come across papers such as "Captive breeding promotes aggression in an endangered Mexican fish" and "Aggression in captivity and the implication for interspecific aggression between once sympatric species of Mexican Goodeid". In short, the idea is that in captivity fish get better quality food, so can get away with spending less time foraging and more time fighting. Over the generations, aggressive males are favoured because there's no cost to being aggressive, but a positive benefit with regard to passing on your genes more often. In the wild this wouldn't happen -- overly aggressive males would likely starve because they don't forage for long enough to stay alive. Anyway, over 30-40 years, this seems to have happened with Ameca splendens, which is much more aggressive than it was in the wild when first collected. So if we just dumped captive fish in Mexican rivers, they'd either end up starving to death, or more likely, they would be so aggressive they'd harm other wild fish that they're living alongside. We've also got the problem of reduced genetic diversity. Aquarists tend to favour certain genes, whether deliberately (e.g., nicer colours) or subconsciously (e.g., fish that mature and breed younger produce more fry over their lifetimes, which often means the adult size of the species ends up smaller after several generations). Reduced genetic diversity makes a species less adaptable to changing environments, reducing the chances of long-term survival. Make sense? Cheers, Neale.>

Disease Identification with Photos      5/19/18
Hello Bob and crew!
<Bri! Please re-size and re-send your msg.s WITH MUCH SMALLER files... you've crashed our mail server. Kbytes, not Mbytes. Thx. Bob Fenner>
Disease Identification      5/19/18

Hello Bob and crew!
<Hey Bri!>
It's been years since I've emailed you! I love using your site as a resource. I have a purple tang going through tank transfer (1.5 weeks so far) with recurring white spots. There were no spots for a week, but
yesterday a few appeared again. When I first got the fish, the original spots were concentrated on the ventral side, with only a couple on the rest of the body. There were maybe ten total. Fish breathing rate was (and continues to be) normal. Coloration is good. Appetite is fine. There were no spots for a week, but overnight a few showed up. There were only five spots on the fish this time, all concentrated on the left pectoral fin. I decided to clip a section of the fin and take a look under the microscope.
Attached are photos taken at 10x magnification. I'll try to attach a video as well.
<Please post the video elsewhere; perhaps YouTube, and send the link to it instead. We have limited mail server space>
Any thoughts on what this may be?
<From the size... looks too big to be protozoal... Perhaps just accumulation of body mucus... Happens>
Note in the videos that all movement is created by me changing the focus so you can see the whole cyst.
The organism was not moving at all and I did not see any cilia or flagella.
<Me neither... is this a dry prep.? That is, was there a slide cover over this specimen with water around it, supporting it?>
However, I just started treating with Seachem Paraguard 12 hrs before taking the sample, so maybe these parasites are dead?
<Mmm; maybe, but, could be as stated>
Or eggs of gill/body flukes perhaps?
<Not eggs... would be off the fish's body>
The fish has been treated with PraziPro, but only one round for 2 days. That was a week ago.
Thank you for sharing your ideas! I'd like to get more specific with my treatment protocol and your advice is much appreciated!
Lil Bri
<Do try removing the blobs from the spines, scales, put under a cover slip with a drop of water, and re-shoot and send. Thank you. Bob Fenner>
Re: Disease Identification with Photos      5/19/18

Oops! Sorry! I reformatted/resent the photos, but the video is only 3 seconds and I can't get it condensed to less than 1.8MB. Hopefully the pictures are enough for identification purposes! I thought that the
parasite might be Amyloodinium, but it's way too big!
<Yes; too big for any fish parasite I'm aware of>
The photos are only magnified 10x. Then I thought it might be the beginnings of Lymphocystis from stress?
<Nah; not likely>
It isn't pear shaped like the photos of Cryptocaryon on WetWebMedia, so I'm guessing not that.
<Agreed. BobF>

Sick discus need help      5/19/18
Hey ! My discus fish is not eating since 3days after the death of his tank mate and today he has clamped its fin.....and is in stress
<Yes, probably is stressed. May well be suffering from whatever killed the other Discus in your tank. Review the conditions in the aquarium. To recap, Discus need a large tank (for a pair, probably over 150 litres/40 US gallons) and certainly need good quality water with the right water chemistry. In other words, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and a nitrate level below 20 mg/l. Water chemistry should be relatively soft for farmed Discus: 1-12 degrees dH, pH 6-7.5. Wild-caught Discus are more fussy, and must have very
soft water, more like 1-5 degrees dH, pH 6-6.5. Water temperature should be relatively high, 28-30 degrees C. Discus are omnivorous in the wild, and need a varied diet in captivity. They are prone to Hexamita and Hole-in-the-Head diseases though, both of which are more likely if they are given monotonous, low-vitamin diets lacking fresh greens; cooked peas, for example, are usually eaten by hungry Discus without too much fuss. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: I need to understand Biofilm      5/19/18
I'm sorry, I should have been specific - the supplier lists this fish as Stiphodon ornatus. Or is that a subspecies o Rhinogobius spp (the Internet doesn't reference beyond Stiphodon)?
<Not heard of Stiphodon ornatus as "White Cheek Goby", but it is sold as the "Rainbow Goby". All Stiphodon are Hillstream specialists native to coastal streams and offshore islands around the Indo Pacific region, used to cool, clean water with plenty of oxygen. While freshwater fish as adults, they have a marine stage as juveniles, which means they're difficult to breed in captivity. Most, if not all, are wild-caught.
Together these facts mean they're relatively demanding fish. They do poorly in the average community tank, but will thrive in a steam setting alongside midwater fish (such as Danios or White Cloud Mountain Minnows) that aren't competing for food. Avoid mixing with benthic fish such as loaches that tend to cause problems either by stealing food or else becoming territorial and harming the gobies. Diet isn't a major issue provided the tank is sufficiently brightly lit there's a decent amount of green algae growing.
Together with green algae, they'll happily take the sorts of frozen foods offered to marine grazers (such as tangs and angelfish) that include Spirulina algae alongside, for example, brine shrimp. They may take algae wafers and Spirulina flake as well. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: long term. SW Protozoan... 750        5/18/18
Ahh. That’s a good idea. I didn’t think about using some of the display water in the QT system. So if I am understanding you, with a low exposure they can build an immunity to it?
<Yes; there is such a phenomena as acquired immunity here>
I did end up putting a 30 gallon hospital tank together and added copper. Unfortunately like I said I can’t get any of them trapped. But I guess that for new additions it’s in place now.
Would it be counter productive to add copper AND diseased tank water to the QT tank with any new additions? The answer seems like an obvious “yes” to me but maybe I’m missing something?
<... I would, in order: 1) NOT treat the new fish if possible, to allow them time to adjust to collection, transport, handling. 2) A few weeks later, consider treating; perhaps not with copper compounds as these are debilitating; perhaps too much so. 3) A few weeks later, start adding, mixing water. PLEASE read where I've referred you>
Thanks Bob.
Re: long term       5/18/18

Thanks again Bob. I appreciate the time and patience.
<Welcome John. Oh how I wish at times for something like the "Vulcan mind-meld". Cheers, B>

Puffer Fish/Tank Question       5/18/18
Hello WetWebMedia People,
I've emailed you in the past and have always been pleased with the knowledge you have, so you're my last stop. I've asked some different puffer groups and no one seems to be able to help, or want to help (I'm not sure).
Anyway, here's my issue. I kept a Suvattii puffer in a 30-gallon tank for 3 years. Then in late March I found that he'd developed some fungus on his body and near his mouth (but I don't think it was exclusively mouth fungus, which I know can be different). Anyway, when I've had issues with fungus
in the past, I've used Melafix and/or Pimafix and always had good results.
<Unreliable medications, at best. I fear they were a poor choice of treatment.>
I'm wary of using chemicals on my puffers, especially as that particular tank is planted with live plants. Anyway, after a few days, my Suvattii puffer died, the fungus had penetrated too far, and I'd caught it too late I'm guessing.
<See above. The pufferfish sensitivity thing is a bit overstated. While formalin and copper may well be toxic to them (indeed, they're pretty hard on most fish) antibiotics and many organic dyes work just fine.>
Well, I bought a couple of crabs and since I didn't want to move them into a planted tank, knowing that most crabs will shred plants. So I moved my Abei puffer into the tank the Suvattii had been in, and moved the crabs where the Abei had been.
<I see...>
The Abei was in that tank from about the 28th of March until yesterday.
I'd seen on Tuesday that the Abei had developed very small dots of fungus (I'm sure it wasn't Whitespot) and so I started the Pimafix/Melafix treatment. But yesterday I went to dose the tank and the Abei had passed away. Now, I did find some uneaten food mixed in with the plants, I know that isn't good, but what I don't get is that I have a tank or two that, if it were down to not keeping up with water changes and having issues, I would think it would be these other tanks, not this particular tank that has problems. However, something is obviously up with this tank since I've now had two of my puffer fish get fungus and both die on me. I cannot figure out what the exact problem is. I've been keeping puffer fish for at
least 11 years, and have about 9 different species at the moment with no problems with any of the others. It's something with this tank.
<Possibly. There's certainly an argument for giving the tank a big clean.
Flushing out the tank (i.e., do several 90% water changes) would be helpful. You should also refresh the filter. Save biological media, but chuck out any carbon, and if you can, use a high-end chemical adsorbent like CupriSorb (to remove any traces of copper) as well as fresh carbon (to remove any unwanted organic chemicals) should ensure good conditions in the tank. The plants won't appreciate the substrate being dug-up, but certainly rake over the top a bit, removing any organic muck. Basically, keep the filter running, but give the tank a really deep clean. The filter bacteria will need something to 'eat' of course, so a pinch of flake every day should take care of that.>
So, here I am with a nice big planted tank ... that clearly has some issue.
I don't want to put any other living thing in there until I know what's going on OR how to sanitize the tank so that it won't hurt any other fish or aquatic living thing.
<You can't sterilise an aquarium with plants and a filter.>
I am hoping you can help me out here. I'd really like to stay away from anything that may kill the live plants in the tank because I started out with just a couple plants to now having quite a few plants and it looking very nice.
Just to say, when the first puffer got fungus I did check the temperature of the tank, which was a bit high, so I adjusted the thermometer and now it's where it should be. I clean the tank at regular intervals and it's got a good powerful filter in there. The only thing of course was finding uneaten food among the plants (each time with both puffers). Also, and I'm not sure this matters, but that tank gets a fair amount of light from a window, though not enough to produce algae, so not sure if that matters or not.
<It can do. Direct sunlight will elevate temperature dramatically (lowering oxygen concentration) so that needs to be considered. Algal blooms are a common problem with direct sunlight as well, but this is less of an issue provided the algae is healthy and removed periodically. What you don't want is pea-soup water or clumps of blue-green algae.>
I'm really hoping you can help me with this. That tank is a nice size and while I have 13 other tanks, they are all happily occupied and I'd like to keep this tank and be able to use it. But I don't want to put anything in there until I can figure out what the issue is, because I don't want to kill any more fish, especially my puffer fish.
Hoping you can help.
Kind Regards,
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

11 year old Female Red Eared Slider Turtle       5/18/18
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have an 11 year old female red eared slider turtle and I let her roam around my house sometimes for an hour or so.
Well I just noticed that
1. She will literally climb out of her tank.
2. She will sit down on my floor and push her butt in the air and lay her head down and act like
she's swimming with her front paws.
Can someone explain to me what's going on?
<Yep - She's being a dork>
<She really shouldn't be able to climb out of her tank. Too many dangers there. Make sure she can't do that>
<I see that behavior once in a great while. On a textured floor like carpet, I always assumed it was an attempt to dig -- since that's exactly the position a female takes when starting to dig a nest. On a hard
surface, something they don't encounter in the wild, I think they may be trying to swim through it.>
<Either way, it's not an illness>

Re: Goldflake angel white stringy poop       5/18/18
Hi Bob
Just an update. I've sent the fish poop for microscopic test and the photos are attached as below.
<Mmm; can make out the copepods, not the single celled (circled) life>
I was only told that the protozoa are jumping actively. Currently I've re commenced to dose with Metronidazole and Praziquantel. By looking at the pictures, am I going the right direction with dosing with Metronidazole or more should be done? Thank you and much appreciated.
<Need more resolution... clearer, more close up, resolved pix. Bob Fenner>

full-size crop

I need to understand Biofilm       5/18/18
Hello Crew!
I think I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I was turning my 55 gallon tank into an "Eel Tank." That's done and the eels (Macrognathus pancalus according to the supplier) are doing well. I don't know if its because they are the only fish in the tank or if this is consistent with this species, but they are rarely under the sand (only when I do "scary" things like water changes - and sometimes not even then).
<Indeed; and floating plants even encourage them to hang out at the surface. Spiny Eels do vary in temperament of course, but when care for properly, they're not especially shy.>
They are constantly swimming around the tank and are a lot of fun. And I don't want that to change, but I need something in that tank to eat algae.
<I would stick with invertebrates, perhaps Nerites. Something that won't compete for food, at least.>
The tank is older and has some scratches which seems to accumulate algae that spreads out from there. But I don't want to put in an algae eater for fear of it frightening the eels and driving them permanently under the sand.
<Agreed, and again, Nerites are great at keeping glass and things like rocks clean. They're less good for clearing plants.>
So I've been doing some research and came across a fish called a "Rainbow Goby" aka "White Cheek Goby" (my aquarium store has one and they're "holding" it for me until I make my decision).
<This is Rhinogobius duospilus, a temperate to subtropical species from China. Not really suitable for tropical tanks. More a mountain stream biotope tank.>
I read that this fish feeds on "biofilm" and my research on biofilm defines it as "...a thin film on the surface of aquarium water, caused by the build up of protein from organic waste material. It is the structure bacteria build to support themselves growing on the surface where they get access to oxygen and the material...". Is this the type of biofilm this fish feeds on?
<Possibly. They're easily fed with bloodworms and the like, and aren't at all fussy. Most failures will come from overheating them.>
Does this fish feed at the surface?
Because the filter on this tank produces a moderate current and I don't see how the fish will be able to eat in that current when it only gets 2 inches long.
<Oh, gobies are fantastically well adapted to living in strong water currents.>
Will the tank ornaments and/or the sides off the tank accumulate enough off this biofilm for this fish to feed on? The Internet says this fish will "sometimes" accept bloodworms and such, but if I need to provide it with biofilm that's what I want to do. I don't want to get this fish and watch it starve to death so any information you can provide will be, as always, greatly appreciated.
<In this instance, biofilm probably means the same thing as 'aufwuchs', the combination of green algae and tiny invertebrates that develops on rocks in fast-flowing habitats such as mountain streams and rocky reefs. A combination of algae wafers, brine shrimps, bloodworms, and so on will satisfy Rhinogobius spp., and my specimens were really rather greedy! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Betta Breathing Hard      5/17/18
Hi again, I tested his water and couldn't believe it had .25ppm of ammonia!
That's the second time in 2.5 months that I lost my cycle. I did a 75% water change and added the Tetra Safe Start and 24 hours later, no more ammonia. Last week I did four water changes on my 10gal tank.
<So much change can disrupt nitrification. Hence my urging folks to pre-mix, store change out water ahead (a week) of use>

He's still breathing harder since Saturday, but swimming and eating normally. In addition, the bottom of his beard is always sticking out.
There is salt in his tank. Not sure if I can do anything else?
I had been changing the water so much due to the debris as I hadn't gotten the sand cleaning down pat.
<I encourage you to consider switching this sand out for larger grade... gravel>
Also he has some splitting on his fins. This morning I noticed another small missing piece. I turned the filter back down. I read to do many water changes to improve this, but I can't if I keep losing my cycle.
<Changing the water out is not a viable solution.... You need a steady bacterial population... in filter media, gravel....>
I'm not even sure if it's rotting or just splitting. It doesn't look red, black, melting or infected but it's not healing. There's more and more splitting and tears here and there.
<.... the issue here is too much water change, ammonia>
I thought about putting him in a small tank and doing daily water changes. I did that with another Betta in the past and It worked. But that seems drastic and I know he won't like it, but at what point do I make
that step?
<Perhaps reading a few hundred responses on WWM re Betta splendens; environmental disease>
Plus I did that with 1tsp of salt per gallon. I'm not sure how often that is safe to do. I've had salt in his tank since Sunday.
Thanks for your help,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Undiagnosed disease.      5/17/18
Hello crew, i hope you are doing well, as always.
<Hi Roberto,>
With the coming of winter, and slightly colder temperatures, i started using heaters in my tanks. (it was getting below 22 C).
One day i woke up to a Columbian tetra caught between the heater and the glass. I dislodged him and he went onto normal, except that he had an horrible vertical searing wound. It looked pretty horrible. I observed the fish for the following days and he looked to be healing pretty well. When everything looked good, he developed white, round growths on his wounds. It started slow, and i tried to net him many times out, but netting him out of a 150 gallon heavily planted tank is... hard. I decided to just keep on water changes daily and keep clean filters, etc.
The growths disappeared, and he seemed to heal completely. a week after the growths came back more aggressively, but still advancing slowly. Maybe a new growth every 2 days or so. I finally netted him out and put him on quarantine. I am concerned between three different ailments which are listed on your website: Lymphocystis, fungus or Columnaris.
<It doesn't look like Lymphocystis from the photographs of the Mollies and the Siamese Algae Eater. Conceivably Whitespot, but more likely Fungus, Columnaris, or perhaps Costia.>
i treated him with tetracycline and Methylene blue (correct me if im wrong, this has formalin right?).
<Formalin may be an ingredient in commercial medications, but these two chemicals are specific things, and in themselves, not formalin.>
Not sure if the treatment worked, as it jumped out overnight...
Fast forwarding a couple days, both fish pictures, a black molly and a SAE, developed the same growths. They don't have any wounds, they just started developing the growths. It seemed as first that single scales were popping out, then in the place of the pooped out scale appeared the growths. Some growths have disappeared, but they have left red open wounds.
<Not good.>
I have the molly in a 5 gal and treated with tetracycline, Methylene blue.
<Methylene Blue is effective against fungal infections, but will have little/no impact on Costia or Columnaris (also known as Mouth Fungus). Fungal infections often set in alongside other types of disease, which can be why Methylene Blue seems to help a bit, even where the actual problem is a protozoan or bacterium species.>
It seems to be working, albeit slowly. I am keeping on water changes on both the main tank and the quarantine, but what do you think is a correct diagnose?
<See above. Costia is typically associated with off-white to grey smears (hence 'Slime Disease') and can develop extremely rapidly. It usually respond best to anti-Whitespot medications, albeit slowly enough 2-3 rounds of treatment may be required. Columnaris (or Mouth Fungus) is bacterial in nature, so antibiotics are ideal, but failing that, some type of antibacterial medication used for external infections such as Finrot. I'd perhaps be looking at something like eSHa 2000 in the first instance, as it's fairly broad acting, dealing with a range of external bacteria and fungal infections. It also works well (and safely) alongside eSHa EXIT, which is a very good against external Protozoans. Since both these medications are cheap and widely sold, they're my favoured combination for use against difficult to identify, though obviously external, diseases.>
I went out and bought an API medicine that is supposedly for fungus. It is Victoria green (malachite green?) and Acriflavine. I can get Acriflavine separately for cheaper. Should i add, this sickness doesn't seem to be stressing them, they are eating normally, even the Columbian was doing so, even when heavily infested, it is developing, albeit very slowly.
I will be waiting input, so far no other fish have developed the growths, but it has shown it doesn't need an open wound to do so.
As always, thanks, WWM.
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

long term. Infested SW systems      5/17/18
Hey Bob, good morning.
<Hi John>
This question is regarding marine velvet. My 750 got infected with it a few weeks back and devastated my fish population.
<I def. recall>
I have about 10 out of 30 remaining. About 1/2 of the remaining fish must be immune because they haven’t shown any symptoms. The other half are touch and go.
<I see>
I’ve tried to trap them with no success and with thousands in corals I can’t treat the tank. The question is this. If some of these fish pull through and clear the infection, will I ever be able to add new fish to the system or will the parasite always be present even on the healthy fish?
<I hinted re this before... You will need, be best served to select more resistant species (not Powder Blue, Brown Tangs e.g.) from better source countries, AND harden them ahead of introduction. The short version of this last involves isolation/quarantine to assure initial health, AND a bit of acquired immunity imbued by slowly introducing water from the main/display into the new arrival tank. Some folks might suggest prophylactic treatment/s as well. The reality is that nearly all captive systems are infested w/ parasite fauna of various mix; with the other two "factors that determine livestock health" acting as more drivers of outbreak>
As always, thank you.
<Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm
Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Mysterious nail   5/16/18
I was searching the web trying to identify some mysterious nails in my freshwater nano tank. And I came across a photo of the snail I’m trying to identify and it was tagged with your website on it. Could you guys take a look at this and maybe tell me what kind of snail I have in
my tank and whether or not it’s beneficial or not?
<Physa... your reading on WWM, elsewhere>
Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Mysterious nail   5/16/18
Thank you very much.
<Certainly welcome Martin. BobF>

Re: Request for an article.   5/16/18
Thank you again.
<Thank you Anupam. B>

Re: Goodeids   5/16/18
hi, I'm very sorry about the late reply. I'm doing a project on the conservation of endangered Goodeids and i was wondering what you might know about how to conserve a species (specifically freshwater live bearers).
<What have you found out so far? For sure I'd be happy to add some comments, though from the perspective of the aquarist. Yes, there are species that exist only (or at least mainly) in captivity such as Ameca splendens. But there are issues about simply releasing these tank-bred specimens into the wild that we can talk about in detail later. Conversely, livebearers introduced outside of their natural range can cause headaches for those trying to conserve other species of fish. Mosquitofish are well known (and well studied) in this regard. So anyway, if you tell me what you've found out about so far, I can throw in some extra details. In the meantime, Wikipedia is a good starting point, but the IUCN website is
probably a better resource. Fishbase another good starting point. All of these will provide online/print media links that you will find useful.>
also if you know anything about their taxonomy that would be helpful as well.
<Again, yes, I know a fair bit about their taxonomy. But I'm hesitant to simply write it all down for you without establishing what you've already learned thus far. Wouldn't want to waste each other's time. So where are you at in this regard? To what extent have you pinned down the families, genera or species you wish to review? Do bear in mind freshwater livebearers range from Poeciliidae and Goodeidae through to things like Halfbeaks and Stingrays, so there's a lot of diversity within this grouping. Furthermore, sub-species level taxonomy can be complex, with numerous subspecies, geographical races, even simple polymorphism evident (see Micropoecilia parae as a good example). Conserving a species often ends up more difficult that simply conserving the species generally, but ensuring each distinct population is conserved, and gene flow between them minimised. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: green spotted puffer help!  Now Topaz puffers   5/16/18
Hi Neale,
Whilst still deciding whether to add the figure 8’s. I’ve found a pair of Topaz puffers. I understand these are v similar to the green spotted and therefore may do better with my GSPs?
<Yes; virtually identical in terms of size, behaviour, diet, etc. Taxonomically, real scientists consider the two species almost impossible to separate by looks alone, hence their reliance on DNA markers instead. Hobbyists are a little more confident, but you'll find some specimens on sale with markings that might be suggest either species, so there probably is some patterning and colouration overlap between them we don't always take into consideration.>
Do you know much about their aggression level?
<Variable, much like GSPs. Some specimens fairly easy going, others more snappy. The average specimen is probably a bit more aggressive than the average GSP, but there's not a huge amount in it.>
The ones I have found are c 4-5inches vs. the GSP’s that are currently around 2 inches. I assume this wouldn’t work due to size difference?
<It's worth a shot if you had some egg crate you could use as a divider if things didn't work out. Depends a bit on the size of the tank too. In theory, the two species will cohabit given space, though neither is what you'd call sociable.>
I really like them so thought I’d email you on the off chance you know more about them and can comment in compatibility and whether I can make it work. I am aware various different species are called topaz so I have included a picture below to help. As you can see they look awesome :-) but don’t want to buy them if they’ll likely demolish my GSPs!
<Definitely photos of what the hobby calls the Topaz Puffer, Tetraodon fluviatilis, yes. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: green spotted puffer help!   5/16/18

It’s a 120 litre but I plan to upgrade in the next year or so - would that be too small and asking for problems or Ok to try?
<I'd not be keeping a 4-inch/10-cm pufferfish in a 120 litre tank, unless perhaps if it was one of the inactive 'lurker' species. 120 litres/25 gallons isn't a huge volume of water, and while it's fine for one or more juveniles, by the time you start adding near-adult specimens, water quality management is going to become much more of a challenge. Egg crate or similar (e.g., tank dividers sold for cichlids) are useful with aggressive fish if you can't be 100% sure they'll cohabit. Approach with caution. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: green spotted puffer help!    5/16/18

Thanks Neale - I'll avoid them then for now ��
<Cool. Cheers, Neale.>

Betta Breathing Hard; dis., sys. f'     5/15/18
Good morning All!
<Hey Donetta>
Glad you're still here! It's been a couple of years since I had a fish.
I've had my Betta "Pety" since the end of March. I got him from Petco. He was beautiful except for a little tattering on his tail. I figured clean water would take care of that, but it's still there in additional to a
little more splitting from excessive flaring and playing in the filter I believe. It took him a couple weeks to calm down. He was fighting his evil twin quite a bit!
My set up is a lone Betta in a 10 gallon tank with filter and heater set to 80 degrees. Plastic plants that are all Betta friendly and a few Marino balls. I had all Anubias but they got that disease so I pulled them out. My tank is fully cycled. It cycles in two days always with Tetra Safe Start which I love. My param.s are always 0/0/5-10. My ph is always high at 8 and I live in Southern Cali and my water is very hard.
<Ah yes; I'm in San Diego; we call the tap "liquid rock"...>
I always wonder if I should do a 50/50 tap and distilled water.
<Mmm; I'd just use the tap for what you have here. Likely the hard, alkaline water was a factor with your Anubias>
I read so many different opinions. Do you think it will make a difference? If so I'd like to give him the best home.
<Well; would be better w/ a middling 7's pH... But, the troubles folks have with such adjustments.... IF you're going the modification of pH route, DO such changes with new water OUTSIDE the tank, SAVE it ahead of time for use (like a week)>
This is the first time I've had sand substrate and I had a hard time learning to get it clean. I watched so many YouTube videos, but for a while I had this debris floating on top of the water with a little cloudiness. In addition there was also debris in the water column that looked like clear straight lines about 1/4th inch. I'd do 50% water changes 2-3 times a week trying to clear it up to no avail. I know it was not good for Pety to breath that in plus he had the tattering on his fins.
Also I think he lost a fin ray before I got him too. See it dangling on the side?
<Mmm; not really. This fish looks good/great. Very healthy>
I finished treating him with Kanaplex in his food a couple weeks ago.
Nothing changed. Before that I tried salt for 10 days nothing changed.
Maybe my water quality wasn't good enough.
For about the last 1 1/2 weeks he's been breathing harder. I thought it was due to all the floaties in the water. On Saturday, I finally kicked up the flow on the filters. I have two mini internals with spray bars.
Pointed at the walls they make basically no current. I turned one up to the water line. Said to myself Pety is going to have to get use to it.
It's still pretty tame though and he's doing ok. I finally tried a sand vacuuming technique that worked for me.
I hold the vacuum at an angle and let the back end touch the sand and glide across. It doesn't pick up any sand! And I got out the most poo ever.
Finally! I did a 75% water change. Right after, I tried this DIY technique from the DIY King on YouTube. I cut out a 16oz plastic bottle and attached it to a power head. Packed the plastic bottle with filter floss and ran it for 15 minutes. Finally my tank is clear!
However, I stressed out Pety. I cupped him and let him float in the tank to keep him warm while I ran the power head. However he was freaking out and moving side to side. So I took him out the tank and sat him on the counter and put a towel over him to calm him down. The whole process was 15 min. Then I released him back in the water. A little later I noticed he was breathing harder. This was on Saturday. On Sunday he was still breathing hard. Still swimming around as usual and eating, begging for
food etc. I then added 5 teaspoons of aquarium salt along with an air stone to help with his gills. I wonder if the breathing problems started because of the debris in the tank and escalated because of the stressful water change.
<What are your measures of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate? Temperature?>
This morning (Monday). He's still breathing hard. Looks like his gills are sticking out a tad. Could he have Gill Flukes?
<Very doubtful>
But he never flashes. I have PraziPro at home. I didn't want to just drop meds in his tank, but I'm very concerned over his breathing. And I'm concerned about his fins not healing, they are a little worse then the above pic now, but the splitting is not progressing it's pretty much staying the same. Maybe it doesn't heal because of the water quality.
<This IS the mostly likely cause>
Also I forgot to mention I keep Indian almond tannins in his tank and I've been using Seachem Stress Guard for his fins, but again no improvement.
<These are fine to use>
Thanks for your help!
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Restarting refugium     5/15/18
Thank you. One more question. How can I raise my phosphate? We already over feed our fish, pellets 2x day, Rod’s at night. We also add nori. In addition to the fish below we also have seven striped cardinals. I can only find Neophos as a supplement, but there has to be a better way. Some one said add more fish.
<You don't utilize a chemical filtrant? I'd add more fish then, and food; rather than adding soluble phosphate directly. Bob Fenner>
Re: Restarting refugium     5/15/18

<Big W.>
Nope, no chemical filtrants. Just skimming, ozone and carbon after the ozone.
<Oh, well skimming and ozone do their part in eliminated HPO4>
Now, what kind of fish can I have. I thought having a 300g would open limitless possibilities, but with our coral diversity it is hard to balance compatible fish. I would love a Heniochus, but they would eat my Zoas and Acans like skittles. Other fish can be to/o aggressive. That leaves me with Anthias. Let me know if you have other suggestions.
<? All sorts... Flasher, Fairy, Lined et al Wrasses, all Basses, Cardinals.... see WWM re. B>

Request for an article. Re "exotic" BTAs      5/15/18
Hearty greetings.
This is a request from just one amongst all the earthlings for an article by the Veteran if & when he is pleased, to solve the eye boggling mystery for the simple minded laymen behind the unrealistically eye candy avatars of the much favoured Cnidarian (E. quadricolor) emanating seemingly from some sorcery or discovery of some sort.
The following link shows one such specimen-
<Hey Anupam. If you're hinting that you'd like to see me/someone here on WWM pen such, it won't be me. (Again) I don't know the origin of these Entacmaea, but I fully suspect they're man-made (not natural)... Have seen comments re "Rainbow" et al. Anemones since 2007 or so... "From China?"
Until I see these "varieties" underwater myself or see reports by credible people re...
Bob Fenner>

Re: Ropefish collecting in the wild questions      5/15/18
I finally found where they were taking about the wild catching on here and it was bob Fenner can you forward this convo onto him?
<I don't have any further useful input. BobF>

Restarting refugium      5/14/18
Hi. I hope you and your tanks are happy.
<Thanks Will>
I have 2 problems, not a good thing
1: We had a ozone reactor over flow. We just had it dialed in wrong after some changes. We had to make the difficult decision to move our sump and dry out underneath it. We also needed to re-seal the drain pan, it wasn’t done as well as it should have been. The actual question what is the best way to re-start the refugium? Put all of the muck back in and suffer thru the mini cycle, or start fresh and slowly build it up. I think our tank can sustain itself w/o a refugium.
<I'd rinse whatever hard substrate (rock, sand, gravel) to remove "muck", replace all biota>
2. Dino’s are back. Not sure where the hell they came from.
<Cyclical... nutrient availability, lack of competitors, predators...>
We thought we had this battle won 3 months ago. I read that Chaeto is a favorite place for them to hide out, true/false?
<False. Can "get in" many ways, including just the air>
If so I just won’t put back what we had in the refugium. We have other macro algae in there. Just looking for 2 cents here, I think we have been thru everything thing. We are greatly reducing the light cycle for 2 days, the slowly ramping it back up
Details of tank
300g up for 1yr 3mo.
3 MP 40s in the tank
~200 lbs live rock
2.5 nitrate prior to removing sump/refugium
0 phosphate
<Biomineralizing life needs some>
9.5 Alk
450 Calc
370 ORP. Best I can figure, the other ORP probe shows 320.
Mg was 1250 a week ago.
Sump Trigger Systems Ruby 36 elite
Big reef-octopus skimmer (I can’t remember model)
Apex with too many probes.
Geos Reef ozone reactor
Poseidon Ozone reactor
4x Radion Gen 3 Pros.
Our Acros are FINALLY starting to grow.
<Need HPO4>

Got some killer stuff from WWC on their sales. The Jello Shot is too cool for words.
My big concern is that we got one of the Biota Mandarins last week. It is so small!! We keep it in Marine Depot RF200 Acclimation/Quarantine box in the main tank with some macro and the porous live rock. She is doing great and is eating frozen food.
<Ah good>
Other live stock: powder blue & yellow tang, ruby fin fairy wrasse, goby/pistol pair , lots of snails.
The main question go buried above, What is the best way to restart the refugium. Put all the old gunk back in at once, or slowly add new stuff over a period of time.
<Rinse out the gunk>
Thanks for your help and patience over the years of my addiction.
<Glad to share. Bob Fenner>

Re: Unusual BTAs/names      5/14/18
Thank you Mr. Fenner.
<Welcome Anupam>

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