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Snapping turtle; hlth.      2/8/20
We own a 45 lb. pet snapping turtle. Gimpy T.Turtle (find him on Facebook) has been our pet since he was the size of a bottle cap. Gimpy has his own 100 gallon heated swimming pool, a heated pillow and UV lighting in his pool. Gimpy is very intelligent,affectionate,and organized. Gimpy is now 4 years and 8 months old. Gimpy only eats and goes to the bathroom in his pool which is filtered and water changed every two days. Gimpy eats only at 6:00 am and 6:00 pm,if we are late to feed him he gets angry and walks away to the far side of the pool and will not eat.Gimpy sleeps with us nearly every night depending on what he chooses. If he wants to sleep with us he'll walk to the bedroom door at 8:30 to 9:00 pm and wait for us to come to bed. If he doesn't want to sleep with us he'll crawl back into his swimming pool.Gimpy will cuddle up to me and lay his head on my shoulder to sleep at night. Every morning after he eats at 6:00 am he gets out of his pool and makes his rounds through the house. If a towel is changed on the towel rack,he notices.If a picture on the wall is different,he notices.If a plant is moved in the house,he notices.How do we know this? Gimpy will walk up to the towel,or the plant,or the picture and stare at it for 10 to 15 minutes occasionally looking at us to let us know something has changed.
<Well, turtles are known for their adherence to routine... moving water, food dishes can be trouble>
After his rounds in the house Gimpy crawls into his heated pillow for a nap.Later when Gimpy
wakes up he may go to Denise (my wife) and snuggle with her on the couch,or he will come to me sitting in the recliner and crawl up my legs and slide back down several times. If I sit anywhere other than my chair he pulls on my pant leg to get me off that chair. If I don't lye on my side of the bed Gimpy will force his way under me,stand up,and push me out of bed. Gimpy eats turtle food in the morning and pork or honey ham in the evening. We've tried fruits and vegetable but he refuses to eat them. Here's the problem,Gimpy's left rear leg is getting weaker. He use's it to go forward but cannot use it to lift as he walks.Our vet can't find anything wrong other than weak muscle or muscle deterioration.What do you suggest?
<Mmm; really, a visit to another vet.; hopefully one who specializes in herp.s.
I suspect some sort of nutritional deficiency is at work here. A shot now may solve this issue short term, but longer will likely involve adding supplements to the food this animal does take. Bob Fenner>

Coral identification      2/7/20
HI, I need your help about this coral/anemone identification
<Mohammed, do you know where this was collected? Bob Fenner>
Re: Coral identification      2/7/20

I don't know, it was bought from a store in Turkey.
<Mmm; well it is a ringer for Actinia equina... which is found near there. BobF>

Re: Coral identification /Wil      2/7/20
I don't know, it was bought from a store in Turkey.
<Mmm; well it is a ringer for Actinia equina... which is found near there. BobF>
<<I agree with Bob...does look like a Beadlet Anemone, and according to the area where it was collected, I am almost sure. Wil.>>

Re Sweet puffer VS EVIL POWERHEAD       2/7/20
I just wanted to update you, Big P passed away yesterday.
<Sorry for your loss>
I wanted to let you know so that other fish owners could be responded to instead of trying to help me. Thank you anyway. I adore your website. It’s all so informative. Thank you for donating your time to help us all out!
<Thanks for your kind words. Cheers. Wil.>

Sweet Puffer vs. EVIL POWERHEAD     2/6/20
:(.... Two days ago, i <I> witnessed something i don't ever want to see again.
it was so heart breaking. I walked into the living room where our 190 Gallon saltwater tank is. We have a Wrasse, a Trigger, a Clown fish and a Snowflake Eel. I look over and see this white thing attached to the center of power head and its spinning so incredibly fast. It didn't quite click that something was wrong but i knew it wasn't supposed to look like that.
So i called for my boyfriend and asked him "UH, What is that white thing spinning in the tank? Its attached to the power head." When I saw his reaction i knew it was our beloved "BP" or "Big Puff".
<Oh, poor thing!>
We immediately unplugged the power head and once he stopped spinning he was puffed up and wasn't really moving, i am assuming because of how dizzy he was.
<Why does your power head had no strainer on??>
After about 30 seconds or so, he wiggled himself free. This poor guy, both of his eyes are white, but you can still see his pupils underneath, and its moving. It almost looks like it keeps trying to adjust or focus. His spikes at the front of his face are still raised two days later. His skin has now turned white.
<Any idea on how much time it was stuck?>
My boyfriend built a small acrylic box with 1.5" diameter holes on each side so that fresh saltwater can circulate.
<Good move>
We had to put him in the box because he was trying to swim around and kept bumping into all the live rock and it was scraping up the white parts on his eye. Making it look like it was peeling. My question(s) is do you think its better to let him roam free in the tank?
<No, I think it is better to isolate it.>
Is the being in the box stressful? Is there any possibility that he'll will survive this?
<Hard to know... besides what you can see, It very likely have internal damage caused by the suction power of the pump.>
From my description of his eyes, does it sound like he can see at all or does it sound like hes probably blind? What can i do to help him? Move him to a QT tank? I'm afraid his wounds will become infected and make things worse for him.
<I suggest moving it to the quarantine tank ASAP, let it there with very dim or no lights at all. At this point, just hope for the best, but from your description of its condition, this fish may be a goner.>
I'll be awaiting your reply.
Thank you,
Paris Towner
<The best luck for you guys, please do keep us posted. Wil.>

D-rimming Standard 90 Gallon       2/5/20
I'm setting up a 90 gallon tank and about to add an overflow. Using the template from the overflow manufacturer, my waterline will be visible due to a shorter trim on my tank. I'm evaluating options.
<Mmm; I've found using a simple (painted if you'd like) ninety/elbow (and poss. a piece of inserted pipe) tilted up toward the surface to be the best means of raising water level. DO read over WWM re plumbing... and provide at least TWO overflows, lest one become occluded, overwhelmed>
If I de-rim this tank (just top), I'd prefer not to do a full euro brace.
<... I would NOT do w/o sufficient top bracing>
Could I use 3, 3" front to back glass braces (Left edge, middle, right edge) and be safe?
<Wider would be better, and there are a few (doubled) designs to consider.
Am a MUCH bigger fan of "Euro" type bracing>
I'd like to do as little as possible but be safe (i.e. would 2" wide strips work?)
<No; I would NOT go this thinner route>
Is there some sort of simple calculators to figure these kinds of questions out? Are there some good guidelines for brace sizing?
<There are works (print) detailing the physics, engineering involved (in/w/ aquariums), I don't know of online ref.s. Bob Fenner>

Re: Jewel cichlids     2/3/20
Hi. What kind of algae eaters/plecos can i put with my breeding pair of red jewel cichlids.
<No fish, at least. Jewel Cichlids will defend their spawning territory with extreme prejudice. Anything big enough to handle their aggression -- for example a very Pterygoplichthys or Panaque species -- will be placing so much strain on your water quality management that any attempt to lower nitrate levels will be hopeless. This, in turn, will both spur algae into growth while making cichlids more prone to disease. You could of course try using Nerite snails, and these will handle some types of algae extremely
well, but you'd need a fair few, perhaps 3-4 per 10 gallons, to have much impact on diatoms and green algae (they don't do much about hair algae, blue-greens, and the other algae types prevalent in low-light level cichlid tanks). Nerites are so slow-moving your cichlids should ignore them.>
Thank you,
<Welcome. Neale.>
Re: Jewel cichlids     2/3/20

Thank you. I have this in my tank to separate my breeding pair of red jewel cichlids from other fish. Both male and female have a white spot on their heads. They are bumping into the separator to chase away the other fish. Is the white spot from bumping into it or do they have some kind of disease
<Hard to tell from the photos supplied. Do look at the symptoms of Hole-in-the-head Disease and Head-and-Lateral-Line Erosion, because these can commonly affect cichlids. Compare what you can see with these. If you're lucky, the pimples or patches are simply dead tissue, perhaps formed from physical damage, and if medicated as per Finrot, should not cause any long term harm. HITH and HLLE are more difficult to treat, and their causes have been much speculated upon. Cheers, Neale.>

Moorish Idols eating Spectrum food     2/3/20
This is Pablo Tepoot. How do I share this video on your forum? I have kept them for about 20 months. With good nutrition, even difficult fish can be kept thriving for a long time.
<Hey Pablo!
Just got in from FLA now... been out to Duck Key for the WaterBox show... Will post your vid/link on WWM tomorrow.
Cheers, BobF>

Re: Questions about my RES      2/1/20
Thx Neale, but wouldn't an intestinal blockage show up on an X-ray.
<Does rather depend if the vet was looking for one. For sure something like a pebble would be obvious. But constipation might not be so obvious, and other tests would be used.>
The vet took two pictures one from below and one from the side. Also I turn my heat way down at night when I go to bed so would 65 to 68 degrees be too cold 4 her tank water? Or should I just turn the heater down to 70 degrees?
What do you suggest?
<Room temperature water is pretty much perfect. I think setting the heater to 22C/72F as a backstop would be fine, but the main thing is that the water is cooler than the hot spot in the vivarium. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Metal Stand Leveling and Stand Top      2/1/20
Sorry to have so many questions.
<No worries; clarity and completeness is my/our aim>
1. For 1" marine grade plywood, seems on 3/4" is most commonly the max.
Can I wood glue, 2, 1/2" thick ply together and get similar rigidity?
<I'd just go w/ the 3/4" (sealed) alone. >
2. Is the idea that 1" is rigid enough to not deform when shimming?
<To extents, yes>
3. Do I need to shim along the whole perimeter or how far apart can the shims be?
<Mainly under the leg areas (I would use the coasters you have, but also under the space/span between the feet>
Bob McCurrach
<Welcome. B>
Re: Metal Stand Leveling and Stand Top      2/1/20

Me again! So when I look at the numbers under each foot, for 9/16 down right, 3/16 down back to front:
[image: image.png]
<See your figuring>
-Do these numbers look about right?
<Could be... likely the floor more than the stand; but yes>
-You mentioned shimming between plywood and floor. Wouldn't it make more sense to have the plywood on the floor and 6 appropriate height blocks under the 6 feet (actually 5 since back left is 0). This way the whole surface of the ply is on the floor distributing load (vs. with shims under ply, only having spotty perimeter loading on the floor)
<In actual practice, no... how to put this? Better to have support under ALL the surface area piRsquared of the coasters, and have this weight distributed on a number of plastic wedges. IN SOME CASES, folks use a good two by twixt the wedges and ply... but the amount of mass here, on a concrete slab. I'd do as I've suggested continuously>
-Of course I may be over thinking this...but would like to look at it from all angles while it is just design...
<DO take your time; VERY important>
-I think I hate metal stands know, but I really need the room underneath for my big ole sump.
<Understood. BobF>
Bob M.

About beta glucan for fish      2/1/20
Dear Mr. Fenner
<Hey Vik>
How are you? I hope you are fine. I’m reading your website regularly and want to thank you for the your tips and answers. It is very needy for us.
<Ahh, very glad to share>
And I have a question too ;)
What do you think about glucan for fish? I saw couple different materials about fish diseases and authors wrote about glucan as good idea for treatment (?), fish health and immune system in general.
<A very valuable adjunct to feed formulas... as well as potential for injection... for health overall, and growth. A good basic review here: http://aquafind.com/articles/Beta-glucans-in-Aquaculture.php>
Also I saw glucan as ingredient of fish food from different manufacturers(Tropical etc.).
<Yes; I consider it a worthy ingredient>
I hope you’ll find time for answer.
Thank you and have a nice day!)
Kind regards,
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: About beta glucan for fish      2/1/20

Dear Mr. Fenner,
<Hey Vik!>
thank you very much for your answer and your opinion. I'll learn this material.
Have a nice day
<And you, BobF>

Sick angelfish. Old age?     1/30/20
Hi Crew.
<Hello Rhiannon,>
Back again seeking advice for the first time in many years. This afternoon my freshwater angel has started looking real bad. I’m not sure if there’s anything I can do but wanted to reach out.
He’s a zebra angel, I think at least 9 years old.
<That is a very fair age of Angels. For sure the odd specimens makes it to maybe 10 or even 12 years, but the vast majority do not, even under good circumstances. Bear in mind that specimens on sale in pet shops will be a good six months old, so add that to however many years you've kept your fish.>
He lived through a lot of my beginner mistakes (which you guys helped me through!) so internally I’m sure not the healthiest fish. But for the last 6 or so years has lived happily in a stable, healthy tank. A few hours ago he started gulping at the top of the tank and seems to be going downhill. He’s swimming very slowly, seems to be struggling. Normally when I go to the tank he swims over for food, always the first one over, but he’s not even acknowledging my presence. I did feed them already today, but a full tummy has never stopped him from begging for more before.
The tank background: 200L tank cycled many many years ago. I did a water change yesterday but tested the water just now anyway: ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates <5.0ppm, pH 6.4 (unchanged). Temp 29C. It’s a medium density planted tank with CO2 injection and ferts.
<All sounds fine. Is this what he's usually been kept in? Temperature is towards the higher end of the range for farmed Angelfish, but nothing outside their tolerance. Water changes to freshen things up are always worth doing, sometimes with slightly cooler water, to see what happens.>
The only major changes to the tank recently were the addition of 4 juvenile discus 3-4 months ago, and 2 months ago I started injecting CO2. Tank was transitioned to planted 1-2 years ago and I was doing liquid carbon until now. Before CO2 injection the tank pH was around 6.7, its gradually shifted to 6.4 over the two months as I increased the CO2 from 1 bubble every 2 seconds to 2 bubbles a second now.
<A low pH should not, in itself, cause problems for Angels, which are well adapted to soft, slightly acidic water conditions. Provided the change has been gradual, I can't see this being a problem to your fish.>
Other tankmates are 4 Kuhli loaches, 9 rummynose tetras and 1 Bristlenose Pleco. I’ve not seen any signs of stress or sickness in the angel before today.
So my question is am I missing something? And if it’s old age, how do you know?
<I do think old age. There are some pathogens that Discus and Angels can share, but usually it's the Discus that suffer, not the Angels, which seem to be the carriers. This is one reason why mixing Discus and farmed Angels is widely frowned upon. Again, while Angels will often bully Discus, that's not what we're seeing here.>
My reason for extra concern (aside from my emotional attachment) is that over the last 6 or so months I’ve lost 5 rummys. I had 5 rummys who were about 5 years old, and around a year ago I bought 9 more to give them a bigger school again. Over that time the school has slowly shrunk to 9. It seems to be mostly the larger ones who have died so I think it’s the older ones, but it’s hard to tell.
<When you say 'lost' did they sicken and die, or just vanish? Angels can and will consume bite-size tetras. Adults are perfectly capable of eating things up to the size of adult Neons. On the other hand, if you're losing the odd fish every couple of weeks, then a deeper problem may be involved. Dosing with CO2 should be safe, but there are a couple of risks. One is displacing oxygen from the water, which is a pernicious problem because we often tone down water movement to stop the CO2 from escaping. In an overstocked tank, or one with too little water/air mixing, the CO2 can displace so much oxygen that the fish suffer. Cichlids are unable to breathe air, for the most part, so are often the first fish to show signs of distress compared with those fish that can use their swim bladders or whatever to breathe air when they must (such as catfish).>
So perhaps I’m losing fish to the march of time, but I’m worried now that it’s something I’m missing.
Thank you for your time.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Sick angelfish. Old age? (RMF -- any other ideas?)<<Nada mas>>     1/30/20

Hi Neale.
Thank you kindly for your response. As perhaps expected he deteriorated quickly and passed away overnight.
<Oh dear.>
Very sad about it. Though your response about it being pretty old for an angel gives me comfort.
<Glad to hear that.>
As to the temperature of the tank, I used to have it at 26C, but brought it up slowly over time in preparation for adding the discus. There’s been no aggression from the angel towards the discus, which was a relief. This is my first time keeping discus and I was worried the angel might bring an end to that. Instead he seemed to enjoy their company, would often hang out wherever the discus were, almost seemed to be schooling with them.
<Indeed, theoretically they're pretty similar (and closely related) fish with many of the same preferences. In practice though it is hit-and-miss, and most Discus experts recommend against mixing them. To some extent it likely depends on the size of the group.>
There was, however, a lot of conspecific aggression amongst the discus at first. Not what I expected after hearing how shy and peaceful they are!
<Only up to a point. Both Angels and Discus are pair-forming fish that become territorial when spawning, which under aquarium conditions tends to be 'all the time'. On top of that, juveniles and non-breeding adults form loose groups with a distinct hierarchy, and you really do need at least 6 specimens to avoid bullying.>
But it calmed down after the first few weeks as they sorted out who was boss and all has been calm since then. I should mention that when I first got the discus I did lose one. I bought 3 and then 2 more 2 weeks later cause I was worried about an ammonia spike from adding too many too quickly. But in that first 3, one of them got bullied by another and was quite stressed. Often hiding and not eating. When I added the next two and the aggression was dispersed he started to come good.
<Precisely so.>
But a week or so later after a water change I forgot to plug the heater back in, and overnight the temp dropped to 24C. The other discus were fine, but he looked bad. I did water changes throughout the day to bring the temp back up, but he soon died. I figured that was because he wasn’t a healthy enough fish to survive the drop in temp, but it’s worth mentioning now as part of the bigger picture in case I’m wrong.
<I would agree; Discus aren't going to be killed by a few hours at 24C, but if a given specimen is weakened already, sure, it could well have made things a lot worse.>
This was before I started injecting CO2, for context.
I was worried about the oxygen content of the water when the angel was gulping, because of the reasons you mentioned. I’ve attached a pic from just now to give you an idea of the amount of plants in the tank.
<The plants look nice, but not enough to be producing useful amounts of oxygen for the fish. After a few more months I bet this tank would look great, mind you! Very stylish use of wood and moss.>
When the angel got sick I turned off the CO2 and moved the spray bar up to create surface agitation in case that made a difference. The tank has been running at this amount of CO2 for about 3 -4 weeks, so I figured I would have seen signs of stress before now if it were a problem?
<Possibly, but bear in mind that the 'crunch point' will be at night when the plants are net oxygen absorbers (during the day they'll be releasing more O2 than they use up for respiration). So unless you're watching the tank at midnight, you could easily miss out on the problem.>
The lights and CO2 are on a timer, CO2 goes off an hour before the lights do. The drop checker is usually that mid-green colour, which the table suggests for soft water is normal-insufficient. I’ve seen aquascapers say they push the CO2 till the drop checker is in the yellow and back it off when they see signs of stress in the fish. I’m not at all interested in pushing limits like that, keeping my fish healthy is more important to me than the state of the plants.
<A lot of hardcore aquarium plant growers tend to choose small fish like tetras and barbs with very small oxygen demands. Cichlids are substantially more sensitive, so this 'push things to the limit' approach doesn't appeal to me. I'd tend to go with using CO2 at the lowest setting at first, leave for a few weeks, and if all is going well, nudge it up a bit. Light intensity is usually the main factor in plant growth rate, with CO2 being an extra bonus. If your plants are looking 'leggy' or whatever, it's more likely lighting is what's holding them back.>
But that said is the drop checker enough of a guide to know there’s also enough oxygen in the tank? Can I be confident that that amount of plants (which I intend to keep adding to) is producing enough oxygen for my fish? I feel like I’m doing the right things, but would love to know if I’m missing something in ignorance.
<See above.>
As to the rummys, the first one that died I did see. The Kuhli loaches were making a quick snack of it in the bottom of the tank. The others I haven’t seen. I don’t think they’re being eaten only because they’ve lived with that angel the whole time and it never tried to eat them that I saw, and if it was that I figured I would expect the smaller new ones to go first?
<I suppose, or else the stupidest?>
Because of all the stem plants on the left near the filter intake it would be easy to miss it if one died and was being eaten but the Kuhlis. But it’s also enough stock losses over the months to have me nervous that there’s something bigger here. I don’t see signs of disease but I’ve also never really dealt with disease in my tanks so I’d be pretty ignorant about the signs.
<Oftentimes we can't be 100% sure about fish deaths. For sure Whitespot is obvious, or Finrot on a fish that's been fighting. But more often we're trying to puzzle out what's happened, which means ruling out complicating factors, such as CO2, wherever possible.>
As an aside, I doubt you’d remember (and I don’t remember if it was you or Bob who responded at the time), but some 7ish years ago I wrote to you guys about this angel. He jumped out of my tank and I found him in the mouth of my dog, alive and hurt. You guys talked me through treating his wounds. He not only survived being bitten by my dog, but lived this long. We always thought of him as our little miracle fish, and I often thought of the help I received here. Thanks for doing what you do. Your advice is forever invaluable.
<Thanks for the kind words! Quite the story...>
- Rhiannon
<Best wishes, Neale.>


Metal Stand Leveling and Stand Top     1/30/20
<Howdy Bob>
I have a metal stand that is 50" long and 18" wide. It has 6 feet, 4 at each corner and two mid way in the front and back.
<See this in your pix>
The feet are vertically oriented angle iron (1"). It is going on a tile floor. Currently it is unfilled and I am putting my system together. I currently have round slider/floor protectors on each foot with 2 pieces of indoor carpet in the protector. Display tank is standard 90. Sump is 40 breeder. Pictures attached. I believe the stand is square and true. (Floor level and top of tank levels are the same)
A few questions:
1. I don't think I need a piece of wood to top the stand for display tank.
Agreed; IF this stand is level, planar... should be fine>
2. Is my "foot" setup ok? Do I need anything? If so, is there something better than my slider/carpet concoctions?
<I think you're fine here. I do want to ask re the floor... this is on a concrete slab, like the ground floor? The who shebang will weigh about 1,300 lb.s... >
3. The floor slopes 9/16" down to the right and 3/16 down towards the front. What is the best way to level this?
<Oh! To put a treated, sealed piece of substantial plywood (1" or more) under ALL feet and shim this (twixt the ply and tile) in a few places (plastic shims). CHECK for level a few times as you're (test) filling... as the floor may move. AGAIN, tell me what is under the tile>
4. For my sump, I have a thin press board sheet. Is this ok?
<Likely so; as long as this too is water-sealed... I can't make out the support for the bottom rack of this stand. Was it built to have two aquariums on it? I don't recognize the design>
My thought is that I will be biasing it to the back, maybe even overhanging an inch or two to make the plumbing more vertical (vs. having to curve under the DT more. If not biased, the tank sits directly on the left to right rails, but the front to back braces gap the thickness of the angle iron since they are welded under the left to right rails.
<DO put material under the entire bottom tank/sump edges>
I looked for answers to these questions extensively in your site but didn't find the same questions. I appreciate your help!
Bob McCurrach
<Glad to help. Bob Fenner>


Questions about my RES     1/30/20
Hey Crew, I have a female RES, have had her for 19 years.
<Decent age!>
She's always been very active, a super eater, and basker.
But about 2 months ago, out of nowhere, she stopped eating, swimming much, and never gets up on her basking platform. She's in a 30 gallon tank that's about 78 degrees, has both lights required, and the water is kept clean.
<Understood. As a rule, leaving the water at room temperature, while providing a warm basking light (together with the UV-B lamp) is recommended. While I doubt the water is dangerously warm, turtles do need to be able to cool down as well as warm up. It's how they thermoregulate.>
I took her to the vet and she took x-rays to see if she was producing eggs, she wasn't. Her lungs were clear and there were no signs of any abnormalities. A blood test was also taken. No signs of infection or
deficiencies. The only thing that came back a little elevated was parasites. So, I administered 3 doses of anti-parasitic medication, by mouth, 3 days in a row. That was a trip!!
<I bet.>
No improvement.
<Oh dear.>
Previous to this, maybe 6 months ago, she had an infection on her neck. The vet cleaned it and gave her antibiotic shots, several of them, and Topsy healed up very well. She was still eating and swimming during her treatments.
Right before she stopped eating, my other turtle, named Taxi, who lives in a tank next to Topsy, but on a stand, Topsy's tank is on the floor, escaped from his tank and fell into Topsy's. He hit the light, knocked it into the water, and the bulb exploded. Then, I assume he went after Topsy for a date night and she bit the heck out of him.
<Yikes. Takes me back to be college days...>
I put him back in his tank and he healed up just fine. Did she maybe get an electric shock that damaged her insides or something? Taxi didn't act normal for a while after this either, but eventually got back to his normal self.
<For sure an electric shock or even stress could have caused some sort of problem, but a dangerous shock would be apparent immediately, and if she was still alive thereafter, it would seem to rule out the light bulb incident. Stress from the amorous encounter might put a turtle off eating for a day or two, but really, these animals aren't especially smart or sensitive, so it's not like PTSD is a thing for them. So if the turtle appears otherwise uninjured, I'd tend to rule out psychological stress.>
That's when Topsy stopped eating, shortly after this incident. She hasn't had a single crumb of food for over 2 months. The other day I bought Flukers Repta boost and have given her two doses. She spit most of the first dose out, the second I just spilled into her water. I figured she's gonna swallow some it that way; I didn't want to stress her too much.
Anyway, today, I gave her another small dose, by mouth, which she swallowed, thank you Lord! This stuff is supposed to give her energy and an increased appetite, right?
<Possibly. None of these appetite enhancers works miracles, and won't convince an ailing reptile to eat food if it physically can't.>
Also, today, I noticed her mouth is red, like it would be her upper lip, not inside, but where her upper jaw meets her lower jaw. Just on one side, down from her nostrils to the corner of her mouth. Could that be a symptom of disease or a bruise from trying to get her to open her mouth to squirt the Repta boost in.
<Either. A bruise is possible, but should heal quickly enough if it isn't infected (so clean if red inflammation is better than dead white patches or odorous bacterial discharge). Throat infections do happen in reptiles, particularly ones going towards the lungs (what are called Respiratory Tract Infections) but these are commonly associated with additional symptoms such as wheezing, watery eyes, even in serious cases a sloshy sound inside the lungs.>
I love her so much and don't know what to do next. I've visited every website I can find and no one gives me substantial advice on what could be wrong.
I sure hope you can help me. This is costing me a fortune, as well. The last appt. at the vet was nearly $300 and now she wants me to go to an exotic pet specialist. Yikes! I'm not a Rockefeller! I want to do what I can to help this sweetie, but money is an issue.
<I do sympathise, and to some degree this has always been a problem with reptiles. They're comparatively cheap to buy and feed compared with mammal pets like dogs and cats, but vet bills can be similarly expensive. On top of that, the pool of vets out there with the skills to treat reptiles is often smaller and so more difficult to access, making reptile healthcare doubly expensive. The flip side of course is that kept properly reptiles tend to be remarkably disease-free, perhaps because they're often kept singly and away from any other reptile that might pass on a parasite or pathogen, something that can't be said about cats and dogs that encounter other cats and dogs all the time.>
What say you, Crew!!??
<My instinct here is that if the turtle hasn't eaten in two months, diddling around with food additives is probably pointless. Offer choice food items every day, but remove if uneaten. Force feeding is likely a
stress factor and probably does more harm than good. Your care hitherto must have been basically sound, because 19 years isn't a bad innings for a Red Ear Slider -- certainly a lot better than most of the pet store hatchlings can expect -- even if they can and do live 20-30 years under good conditions. I'd perhaps brace myself for one more trip to the vet, because I'm wondering if an intestinal blockage might be an issue, but beyond that, there's nothing obvious from what you've said that could explain the situation. I would optimise living conditions though. I'd remove the heater from the water, if used, and I'd double check the UV-B lamp especially is not life-expired (most have a 6-12 month useful lifespan). Wild turtles will go months without food during winter, so I don't think starvation is an imminent threat, but it's hard to say really.>
Thanks so much for any advice you can give me!
Sincerely, Catherine
<Most welcome, Neale.>

Feb Cal./MikeK
Hi Bob. Here is a February calendar for the WWM website.
<Thanks Mike. Will share. B>

Re: Sick Parrot Cichlid     1/28/20
Hi WWM Team,
I finished my Furan treatment in the tank, and my fish has been swimming around & seems a lot more like himself. The only issue now is, he still won’t eat. I have tried everything peas, frozen brine shrimp & blood worms. The strange thing is he is trolling the bottom looking for food but when I put it in there he just ignores it. He hasn’t pooped in a long time, I was thinking maybe he is constipated or has a swim bladder issue. Any advice on how to get him to eat again? I appreciate your time & help.
<Mmm; well, in case some/the issue is constipation. I would try moderate addition of Epsom Salt to the system. Do see Neale's pc. here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
Otherwise I urge patience, offering some meaty or pelleted food daily. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Parrot Cichlid    1/28/20

Thank you

Re: Regarding Morays    1/27/20
Thank you for all this. Do you know what triggers the change in sex in those species that do change?
Is it once they reach a certain weight (which I find is often how it is with fish that go from female to male, so this is something I’ve hypothesized).
<The exact trigger is unknown (Have a good read here: https://www.karger.com/Article/Fulltext/449297). My best guess for moray eels is that it's age as well as the environment, specifically hormones of other fishes of the same species, which can delay a change in sex. Weight and muscle mass do influence such hormone induced processes (similar as human puberty is influenced by them), but are not necessarily the major trigger, which is indicated by the overlapping size distribution of the two sexes.>
And how long does the transition take, and how obvious are the differences?
<From my own limited observations this is a rather quick process, around two or three months on E. nebulosa, M. pavonina and R. quaesita. How obious it is depends on the species. In my opinion it is well visible on the teeth of E. nebulosa and other species with sexual dimorphic dentition once you have seen it. The color change of R. quaesita is also very striking. For M. pavonina it was less obvious in morphology and remains rather speculative.>
The reason I brought up jaw shape is because in my observation of many descriptions of G. melatremus, I’ve noticed that some larger ones also have a more developed lower jaw, which I’ve noticed can be an indicator of a change in sex in many fish species. Of course this is all anecdotal.
<G. melatremus is considered to change from female to male (protogynous hermaphrodite) in Michael's Reef Fishes vol. 1 without going into detail. This classification is spread online, because the book is very popular (it's a great book). On the other hand, L. Fishelson, who investigated sex change in morays in 1992, examined the gonads of 5 G. melatremus specimens and did not list this species as possible protogynous hermaphrodite. So, I don't think G. melatremus does change sex. Of course, I cannot exclude that a more developed lower jaw can be an indicator of sex (it does not even need to occur in relation to a sex change, could be simply reaching sexual maturity). It can also be related to bone growth because of the high stress this structure endures (you'll often see malformed, broken and healed lower jaws on morays. I believe this is the most damaged bone in this family). As long as no one has looked at a possible correlation of the gonads and jaw development, we simply do not know. Cheers, Marco.>

Large angels in same tank    1/27/20
Hi guys hope all is well,
<Hi Steve, mostly yes.>
I am planning on upgrading and getting a new tank it will be 90"×30"×26" which is 300gallons,
I'm planning the stocking for the tank and was wondering could I keep a scribbled angel an asfur angel and an emperor as the 3 big fish if all where added at the same time or would the tank be to small for all 3? If not could I keep a scribbled angel with either of the other two?
<I give you more than even odds that they will get along if you introduce them at the same time and if they are about the same size, be sure to add enough rockwork to diminish possible aggression due territoriality.>
I appreciate any help guys.
<You're most welcome. Wil.>

UPDATE: Bubble Tip Anemone Question     1/25/20
Hello Mr. Fenner! I am writing to tell you that my BTA is not only doing well now, thanks to your advice, it is thriving!
Thank you so much for helping me save my clown fish's best friend in the world.
I added the rock to make it sit up much higher, and it's in the back where it gets wonderful morning sunshine.
<Ah good>
I also have a power head that drives my frozen Mysis gently down on him and the clown fish. Thank you again for all the advice and sympathy (when something doesn't make it) over the years.
Pictures from this morning.
Yes, that is a Rainwater Killifish,...I believe you all helped me identify it. It's blurry, but it is doing very well!
Amanda Wilson in NJ
<Cheers Amanda. BobF>


Re: Platy swim bladder problem    1/24/20
Just an update on the platy with the swim bladder problem - new pics, but no real change to her condition.
Still basically the same, looks a little less 'bruised' under the skin now.
The red spot, I think in this particular pic is some part residual coloring from having previously given her a swab of merbromin there (still not even sure whether it's an external wound, or internal and showing
through the skin.)
<Nor I; while this fish does look normal in terms of shape, with no evidence of raised scales or even obvious bacterial inflammation, the swimming posture remains odd. On top of that, the paleness of the skin can indicate excessive mucous production, something relatively common in ailing livebearers.>
I still don't know what originally caused that particular red spot. Like I said in the first post, it appeared after she'd gone through a period of tail-curling, looking like she was in pain and looking like she was trying to reach about that area with her mouth.
<Indeed, and sometimes if there is something amiss with her offspring, such as stillbirths or even decomposition of embryos within the uterus, it is fairly clear the female fish is stressed.>
She's still eating (and pooping) normally. I pretty much only feed her sinking food now, because it's easier for her to find and pick up. And she still can be quite feisty if you try to catch her, she's still not acting like she's ready to call it quits.
<That's promising, at least.>
I stopped the Epsom baths after 4-5 days because she's really not swollen; in fact she is about as slim as she's ever been.
I'm also guessing that if there was anything still 'in' her to be gotten out, she'd have gone septic long before now and died (given that she's been like this for several months now, and is otherwise not acting like she feels ill.)
<Also seems about right; I would carry on what you are doing, though perhaps focusing on laxative foods (Daphnia for example, or cooked peas) to help rule out constipation as a complicating factor.>
Based on her behavior at the time that she was acting like she was in pain, and what she looked like shortly after that, I'm guessing something might have ruptured inside? Something not life-threatening - uterus perhaps?
<See above; can happen, but besides time, luck, and perhaps the laxative effect of Epsom salt, there's not much to be done with this. It either gets better or else decay of the embryos proceeds so far septicaemia occurs, in which case the female fish dies. Likely depends on how large the embryos
were when they died.>
She did also pass something a bit larger than normal poop a few days after that, something very dark (like necrotic tissue, or a dried blood clot, maybe.
<Or a miscarriage; more common with livebearers than many believe.>
Whatever it was, it was definitely not the same color as the food she was getting. And at that time she was in a bare container being emptied and refilled daily, so there was no algae or anything like that for her to snack on between meals.)
I'm guessing that this is just how she is, at this point. As long as she's not giving up, I won't give up on her.
<Nor would I; there is hope, especially if she's active and without evidence of bacterial infection.>
I moved her into a large Sterilite container for this latest period of observation, gave her lots more room to move around and also gave her plenty of plants and smooth decorations to hang out under. She still
spends most of her time hanging out underneath something, but she isn't always in the same place and usually does come out at feeding time. I plan to set her up a permanent tank with lots of things to safely anchor herself under, maybe some small Corys for company - since it seems she's intent on sticking around, despite this handicap.
<And may yet heal.>
It's a mystery for the books, I suppose - and some evidence that it's also not necessarily an automatic death sentence. Thanks for your time and advice!
<Good luck and thanks for the update. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Regarding Morays; sex beh.; repro. f'      1/24/20
<Hi Hannah!>
Have you ever noticed any physical change gone through by any of the morays
that might indicate a change in sex?
<Yes, definitely with E. nebulosa: The change from female to male is accompanied by a change of their teeth (there are more species like this).
Males of this species are generally larger, have longer, slightly hooked and serrated teeth in the front of their jaws and may become fish eaters instead of crustacean eaters. Also with Rhinomuraena quaesita: their change from male to female (the only moray species known so far that changes this way) is accompanied by a color change from blue to orange. At least in nature, in captivity this does not work every time.>
Also, have you ever gotten the morays to spawn?
<You'll find quite some reports of morays producing eggs in aquariums as well as documented spawnings in nature, but real spawning in a tank? The only documented spawning in captivity that produced fertilized eggs I know of happened in the Vivarium Karlsruhe with R. quaesita. The planktonic
larvae could not be raised as far as I know.>
If so, was there any event such as a change in water parameters, day-night cycles, etc. that caused the spawn?
<There probably was, but there is no definite indication what exactly did cause the spawn to my knowledge. In nature lunar phases and seasons are suspects.>
Assuming morays are not able to change their sex, have you ever noticed any physical trait that varies between individual morays that could be a sex based trait (such as jaw shape).
<This differs very much within the family. Some morays change their sex (sequential hermaphrodites) such as E. nebulosa, G. fimbriatus, G. zebra or R. quaesita, while most morays don't change their sex and a few are even simultaneous hermaphrodites (they can act as female and male, e.g. G. griseus, G. pictus). There is a lot of additional speculation on how to sex morays in the hobby, most of it totally unsubstantiated by science proper (examination of the gonads). Jaw shape does not indicate sex to my
knowledge, but dentition does in some species (see E. nebulosa as an example above) and coloration does in R. quaesita.>
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Guess what. I have a problem; reef op.    1/24/20
He is the culprit!!!!
<Yikes!... How did you figure out? Wil.>
The reason for the upset

Re: Dwarf lion fish diminished appetite, lethargic     1/23/20
Hey Wil,
Thanks again for the quick response.
In answer to your last question concerning the gills and oxygen deprivation.
I mentioned that his respiration is normal but his gills are held open more than normal and appear pale pink, not red. Is this a concern?
<Could be due to a number of reasons, the most common is oxygen deprivation; does it show a swollen belly, inflamed anus, bulging eyes?... Wil.>
It does not display any of the above mentioned symptoms.
<I guess this may be purely environmental, I suggest doing a large water change... 25% or more, and you'll see immediate improvement on the overall health of your tank inhabitants. Cheers. Wil.>
Mark Steeves

 Re: Mycobacterial Infection     1/23/20
Hey Bob, no issues sharing any of the pictures I sent. If you need me to resend I certainly can. Just let me know. So the DNA sample included a direct water sample filtered through some contraption that was sent in.
Additionally q-tip swabs of inside the return lines were taken. I am assuming the swabs were the main source of the sample.
<Ahh, thank you Eric. I did send along your corr. to friend and fish pathologist (w/ a bkgd in Mycobacteria esp. In fact there's a pc. by him on the subject posted on WWM), Myron Roth. Do please re-send images of the site/would for his perusal. BobF>
Re: Mycobacterial Infection     1/23/20

Not sure why I sent you a photo of my leopard wrasse. Here was the day zero photo after the biopsy.
<Mmm; sent on to Myron. B>

Re: Mycobacterial Infection     1/23/20
Here are a few photos that he can use. There are a few to show how I responded during treatment and the residual scar. If possible do you think you can see if Myron can comment on how effective taking actual swabs of the inside of the return lines and drains would be? I think that is what they use for the majority of the samples and what was sent in. This is in addition to the water sample filters he was referencing. How they extract the dna from that is a bit out of my league. He did mention and was pretty confident that if M. Marinum was in the tank it would show up on the test.
That is assuming I took the samples correctly but different Mycobacterium species were found so I must have did something right.
<Am asking him here>
Now for the million dollar question. Do you think it's safe to add a new fish too the tank?
<I do think it is safe (enough). Put another way, I would do so>
The current stock is healthy and acting normal. I've only had 1 fish die in the tank in the last year and that was in June and likely related to a spinal injury from crashing into the top of tank. Was looking at putting in a Foxface to help with algae control.
I also attached a photo of the display so you can see the tank.
Re: Mycobacterial Infection     1/23/20
I know Myron also posed another question regarding overall sensitivity.
Here was the response I got.
Eli, quick question for you. It would be interesting to know how much of a non pathogenic/pathogenic reference would it take to get a positive result.
In other words, what’s the limit of detection of the system for a single species of bacteria?
"Eric, Important but also a challenging question. Its not easy to put an exact number on the answer, because its affected by a few unknowns. I estimate one per several thousand cells.
To increase sensitivity further we could make small improvements by spending a *lot* more money on sequencing, or larger improvements by filtering a larger volume of water.
It would be interesting to answer your question experimentally by adding a known concentration of cells that are not already present in the aquarium, then immediately sampling to measure their relative abundance. Of course it will be affected by the existing concentration of cells in the aquarium, I will have to think some more about how to measure the limit effectively this way."
Re: Mycobacterial Infection     1/23/20

Some more. Sorry for the background colors. Not sure how to get rid of it.
Legal disclaimers first, I cannot offer medical advice and would have to say the same if the bug was detected.
But speaking generally about detecting either organisms or genes with DNA sequencing, its generally hard to be certain about a negative, right? Not saying that either to dodge the question or to be snarky. Its genuinely something we often would like to know (is this thing truly absent) but its never easy to be sure.
<I don't know; really... I'd guess/surmise that "w/in the sensitivity" of the test (gear), a negative has some validity (confidence limits in the quantitative sciences)>
One thing in our favor, *M. marinum* is free living and infections occur from exposure to the water itself. So our sampling method should be able to capture it. The sample of 60 ml is expected to contain over 6 million cells based on the typical range of microbial densities in aquarium water. So we're sampling this population pretty deeply, millions of cells. Overall our sampling should be a reasonably effective way of capturing the cells if they are in the aquarium.
So the DNA I extracted and prepared for sequencing should reflect contributions from millions of microbes. Our sequencing of 10,000 reads didn't turn it up, but perhaps its there at very low levels (1 in 1
million?) I cannot rule that out. Sequencing that deeply would be prohibitively costly. And even then we'd wonder what if its here at 1 per 10 million? etc.
<The folks familiar w/ the process and equipment should be able to tell you this. I cannot>
It looks like there are PCR based methods for specific detection of M. marinum. These will be more sensitive than the general 16S primers I used to amplify (in principle) all Bacteria & Archaea. I have your DNA samples in hand, so this will be an interesting test case. If its absent from the standard 16S tests, is it also absent from the more sensitive species specific test? It won't be instant, but I can order those primers with my next batch and keep you posted. I'll check this at the level of PCR, so we won't have to wait for sequencing results to come back.

Regarding Morays     1/23/20
I would very much appreciate the opportunity to correspond with someone who  has a lot of experience with morays.
<I have some practical (husbandry) with a dozen or so species, years of collecting them for the ornamental trade, and MarcoL here has much more; written a book (en Deutschen). Send your questions, observations on. Bob Fenner>

Re: Mycobacterial Infection     1/22/20
My tank actually has quite a bit of mycobacteria but none of the actual fish pathogen.
<... am wondering how they (the lab) distinguishes twixt the two?>
The first page actually breaks down all the different types of bacteria which was found. Here was the owner's thoughts on my report.
I had both of my tanks tested.
"Hi Eric,
I’m writing with some thoughts on your results, to share my perspective based on looking at a few of these recently. From the info you logged with your samples, I see that your tanks differ in age, and in terms of problems reported (dinos in the 450, macro in the 750). I'll interpret your results in this context so please correct me if I've gotten that wrong.
Both of your tanks had diverse communities, in the upper half of tanks I've sampled. Based on the info logged with your samples, it looks like the diversity follows the trend that we're coming to expect -- reduced diversity with age.
<Yes to this; a general trend in all captive (and disturbed) systems>
What is striking is how high the diversity is in your 450. I'm guessing you started this with some good live rock? It'd be interesting to hear how more about the history of this tank (If you have already described in PMs or emails please let me know and I will review them.) If its a new tank, that is a really impressive diversity score.
<I agree>
Both tanks showed low balance scores, indicating that the balance of microbial families was very different in your tanks than in the typical tank. Please note this does not necessarily mean there is anything wrong with your tank - it just puts a number on how similar or different your tank is from others. In your case, both are pretty different.
To explore the reasons for these low balance score we can look at the community barplots (part 2). Both tanks are very low in Pelagibacteracea, which are dominant in the open ocean, a major part of the typical reef tank microbiome, and are specialized for low nutrient conditions. This happens in many tanks, and I'm not saying its a problem. But it is a common difference between some tanks and the microbiome of a natural reef. Both tanks are also low in Flavobacteriacea, and your 750 is also low
in Alteromonadaceae.
It is interesting that neither tank has much Alteromonadaceae. Usually when the Pelagibacteracea are low, the Alteromonadaceae bloom. Your tanks show a different pattern.
In their place, your tanks have a relatively large amount of Vibrionaceae.
This group is mostly members of the genus Vibrio, a genus that we find in every tank. But it is also a genus full of pathogens. Vibrios are associated with animals, and I typically see these in heavily stocked tanks (including invertebrates like corals) - your 750 certainly fits the image in my mind for a high Vibrio tank, lots of animal tissue relative to macroalgae or bare rock.
When I see atypical balance I start thinking about nutrients, meaning more than just NO3 and PO4 (but those too). Do you feed your two tanks differently? That may help us diagnose the reasons for the differences in balance scores and community compositions.
Both tanks showed low levels of nitrifying microbes, but not unusually so.
My view here is that a tank can process N through three different pathways (nitrification, heterotrophic assimilation, or photoautotrophic assimilation). Your tanks both show low levels of ammonia oxidizing
microbes and undetectable nitrite oxidizing bacteria, which suggests the other processes are competing for N. I do not view this as a problem to be solved, but as a description of how the microbial community has responded to competition for ammonia. Like many tanks (including all my display tanks), yours appears to not rely entirely on nitrification for removal of NH3. I see you have a macro refugium in the 750. Is there any algal competition in the 450? (aside from the dinos, that is! maybe that's enough to explain it)
Both tanks are free of known fish and coral pathogens.
As far as Mycobacteria -- I looked at this one in detail for your samples.
The database I use includes (GreenGenes) perfect matches to *Mycobacterium marinum*. None of these were detected in your sample or any other. Like most tanks, yours include various other members of *Mycobacterium *, most of which are uncharacterized species. In your tanks, these are dominated by
3 types, none of these are close matches to *M. marinum*, they all match other uncharacterized *Mycobacterium *clones more closely. The total levels of Mycobacteria were also not unusual in your tanks, at the 78th and 85th percentiles.
I hope this is useful and am happy to continue discussing your results, but that is an overview."
<Thank you for sharing. BobF>

Re: Sick Parrot Cichlid     1/22/20
Thank you so much ��
<Welcome Melissa. BobF>

Re: Brackish tank mates     1/22/20
Hello again!
<Hello Daniel,>
Thank you for your advice.
<Most welcome.>
Given your recommendations, I think I'll slowly lower the SG to the 1.003-1.005 range over the next few or more water changes.
<Sounds wise.>
Also, I've given up on the Desert Goby and Krib idea and will consider the Etroplus maculatus. I agree with you the wild-type are rather charming in their way.
<Yes; their colours change significantly with mood, as well as during breeding; there is another species called Etroplus suratensis that gets much bigger (around 15 cm/6 inches) but is very beautiful when kept
I think they could be a good addition to my tank. I also read that they eat algae, and would have no problem foraging in my tank in-between feedings. How many would you recommend?
<I would certainly keep a group; all Etroplus are social (if not actually schooling) fish and if kept in a reasonably big group, six or more, you'll avoid the territorial bullying you might get with pairs.>
I'm quite fond of my F8 puffer and KG. I want to make sure that they're getting enough good food to eat- I currently feed mostly frozen brine shrimp, krill, conch/urchin/marine worm cubes, soft-frozen reef caviar (bought mostly for the BBG but the F8 and KG like them too), and occasionally feed them super worms (large mealworms for reptiles sold at the pet store). The super worms provide some crunch for puff's teeth.
<Your fish seem to eat better than I do -- conch and caviare!>
Sometimes I give them bits of scallop and crushed mussels from the market- also good for puff's teeth. However, I've not had luck feeding my puffer snails- he just sucks them out of their shells and doesn't get the proper teeth grinding effect from crunching on them.
<Correct. Puffers are easily smart enough to select the least demanding way to gather food.>
I've trimmed the puffer's teeth twice now- using tricaine-s (ms 222) with baking soda to neutralize acidity- and that has been successful but I would like to keep his teeth trimmed naturally if possible. Do you have any ideas?
<Realistically, nope. While puffers presumably do keep their teeth trimmed in the wild, the reality is that we don't offer the sort of high-fibre, low-nutrient foods that would do that. You could try smearing prawn or fish onto a pumice stone, and he'd have to pick away at the rock to get some food. You can also try offering less processed and more whole invertebrates, the 'wholer' the better! Try offering steadily bigger and more robust foods -- cooked crayfish or king prawn legs initially, but scaling up to things like crab or lobster legs as budget allows.>
Lastly, in the past I've added live ghost shrimp to the tank and both the puffer and KG enjoyed the live snack. Is this a good idea?
<Yep, especially if gut-loaded with greens-based flake food first (such as Spirulina flake). On the other hand, crustaceans (as well as mussels) are high in thiaminase, which causes long term problems, so need to be a minority food (unless gut-loaded or vitamin-enriched) compared with white fish fillet, insects, snails, and cockles.>
I've attached two photos of my tank in case you're curious.
<Thanks for sharing!>
In one of the photos, all three fish came out to see what I was up to (KG is poking out of the cave in the back). Thank you again for taking the time to write back!
<And to you, best wishes, Neale.>

Dwarf lion fish diminished appetite, lethargic     1/22/20
I did look first at the website for an answer but I’m still perplexed. I’ve had this dwarf Zebra lionfish for about a year now. He always ate very well. I’ve joked that if I put a cheeseburger on a feeding stick he’d eat it! I feed frozen krill, silversides, ( ocassionally) pieces of fresh cod, salmon and shrimp from the grocery store. I Also feed freeze dried krill that I rehydrate first with Vitachem or Selcon. I feed every 3rd day. I lost a dwarf before, I think to poor diet so I thought I was doing good. About a month ago I was feeding a piece of silverside, after the first piece he acted like it got stuck in his throat. He started yawning and flaring his gills repeatedly but did not eject it.
<Maybe that portion was too big to swallow>
This behavior lasted about 3 days. After that he didn’t eat for almost three weeks.
<It is very likely it has had an indigestion; have you try using Epsom salt?>
I kept offering ghost shrimp and eventually he started eating again. I also started dosing 300mg of vitamin b1 daily to a 90 gallon tank. (Fear of Thiaminase) Is that enough, too much?
<For how long you dosed this daily?>
He will now eat about 3 rehydrated krill at a feeding, every 3rd day, but I have to go to him and put them almost right against his mouth on the feeding stick, whereas before he would jet across the tank and take food right from my fingers when he saw me coming. Color is good. Fin rays are all intact. No external lesions. Respiration is normal but he seems to hold his gills open a little and they look pale pink, not red. Water parameters are Good. I test my water myself and also took water to lfs to confirm.
<The exact readings would be better for us>
I’ve done 3-40%water changes in a month. All other livestock is healthy.
<Can you please tell us about the other tankmates (size, species)?>
He remains very lethargic and appetite is lackluster. It’s encouraging that he’s eating again but I think he’s more likely to decline again then get better. Can you help? Please let me know if I can provide more info.
<Sometimes predatory fish have fasting periods that may extend up to a few weeks, predators like your lionfish have slow digestion, been this one of the reasons they should not be fed frequently, you are probably feeding this fish, too much and/or too often... I’d leave it for a couple of days with no food offerings at all and then see if it accepts some live food, or the usual foods but soaked in water impregnated with an appetite stimulant. Wil. >
Re: Dwarf lion fish diminished appetite, lethargic     1/22/20

Thanks for the quick response.
<You're welcome Mark>
This is in response to your questions about my lion fish inquiry.
You asked how long I’ve been dosing vitamin B1.
Answer. I’ve been dosing 300mg for 3 weeks in a 90 gallon tank. Should this be a regular ongoing thing. Is that dosage enough? Too much?
<I would add this just once a week, either directly to the water or by soaking foods, try adding all other vitamins too; you can use a multivitamin product such as Selcon or Vitachem.>
You asked for water parameters.
Ammonia and nitrite both-0. Nitrate-10. ph-8.0. KH-9. Calcium-400. Phosphate near 0
<Try to adjust the ph to 8.3 using a buffer.>
You asked about tank mates. 2-percula Clowns, female about 4”, male 2”. A Flame Angel, about 3”. A fire fish, 4”. A Flame Hawk, 2”. a Midas Blenny, 5”and 2 Cardinals, about 2” each. Corals include some soft, mostly lps and some sps, about 25 corals in total. Some crabs and snails. 1 coral banded shrimp. 120lbs of live rock. This is a very peaceful mixed reef community tank operating for 6 years.
<Okay, looks like harrasing is not a problem.>
I have some questions about your responses. You said use Epsom salt for indigestion. How do I do that?
<You should dose 1 teaspoon per 5 gallons of aquarium water, it would be better if you use a separate container.>
You said feed less frequently. I feed every 3rd day. Usually 3 or 4 pieces of fish or krill. When he’s had enough he’ll stop taking food and swim off. What frequency would you recommend?
<No more than 3 times a week, about 3 bite size pieces each time.>
I mentioned that his respiration is normal but his gills are held open more than normal and appear pale pink, not red. Is this a concern?
<Could be due to a number of reasons, the most common is oxygen deprivation; does it show a swollen belly, inflamed anus, bulging eyes?... Wil.>
Mark Steeves

Tank disassembly; Silicone      1/22/20
I am trying to disassemble a tank and am having extreme problems. All the plastic trim is off, all visible silicone has been removed. However, I can't seem to get a razor blade into the seams. It's like the seams are almost glass to glass with the very, very thin layer of silicone holding strong. I've tried 32 gauge wire with handles, but still can't get through.
Any advice on path forward (before I take a hammer to it!)? I've found a lot of information on resealing, but not any detail on difficult to disassemble tank seams.
<This is not uncommon in well manufactured/constructed tanks, razor blades won't fit between panes, I suggest applying acetone with a piece of cotton all the way over the pane joints, leave it to penetrate the union for a few minutes and you should be able to introduce the blade in between, use a single edge razor blade. Wil.>

Loach ID     1/22/20
Hi crew,
About a year ago I bought 6 loaches in petco, labeled as golden zebra loach. Based on my research they looked like Botia histrionica. 5 of them died very quickly, like within a week or two probably due to young age.
They were about half inch in size. But one survived and recently I decided that he is a social fish and need a company. I went into the same store and bought 4 more fish labeled as golden zebra loach. However when I brought them home I realized my new fish look slightly different by color, stripe width and shape. First picture of my old loach, which is yellow with thick black stripes and round body. On the bottom, my new addition: white body with thin black stripes and flat body. Are they even the same kind of fish?
Please help identify.
<Hello Mark, your photos are a bit small, but yes, I agree, these do look like Botia histrionica, and have the distinctive five bands on the flanks plus the vertical band through the eye and the diagonal one from the eye to the mouth. It is worth noting that the species is very variable, and as it gets older, its markings to tend to change. So if the new batch looks different to the older ones you already have, that's not altogether surprising. There are also some undescribed Botia species out there, and it's entirely possible these get into the aquarium trade now and again.
What I would suggest is you visit the Loaches.com forum, sign up, and share your photos there. It's possible someone might know better than me!
Cheers, Neale.>

Led lighting/disease       1/21/20
Hey bob,
All of my fish have been thru copper, as well as two rounds of prazi pro.
There are about 30 altogether in my 180, from small wrasses and gobies you tangs.
I can’t help but notice when certain fish swim to my not powerful LED light up top (current marine, fish only type light) that these certain fish appear to have a white glitter in them. It’s only when they are under the light , at certain depths and angles.
The fish that show it are a masked swallowtail angel, an asfur angel and a blue ring angel.
Too numerous to count ( I feel it’s not ich) but almost like a paint overspray. Description resembles velvet, but nothing is dead and I’ve noticed this the past 4 days or so.
Again, 3 out of the 25 fish show it, no ones not eating, no lethargy, no swimming until power heads etc.
Could this just be the way the light is radiating off of them? Have you noticed this under leds?
<Could be a few things that are non-pathogenic. IF it were me, mine, considering all that is invested money and importance-wise; I'd be studying re sampling, looking under a scope re. B>
Thanks, bob

Brackish tank mates       1/21/20
I'm a long-time patron of your website, and I have to say I really enjoy reading how passionate you all are and the entertaining delivery of the wealth of knowledge that you share. Thank you.
<And thanks for these kind words.>
I have a question regarding my 30 gallon brackish tank (I've had the brackish set up for around four years- SG 1.011/temp around 79F - I use instant ocean about one cup per 5 gallons and have a 90g canister filter running). I started with a swarm of BBGs and an SG of 1.005, then added a Knight Goby and some nerite snails. I've since slowly raised the SG and added a figure 8 puffer, Zebra hermit crab (they got along just fine!!) and nine Endlers. I knew the endlers would become food for the KG, but figured they would be fun to watch in the meantime(and fun for the KG- I have one left now). I apologize in advance if that seems cruel.
<I get cruelty is subjective, so will set that aside. The real issue is live feeder fish cause health problems. Firstly, they're an unknown quantity in terms of what parasites or bacteria they introduce into the fish that eat them. Wild fish can't really avoid this risk, and some (many, even) will be infected with parasites. But pet fish should be kept free of such parasites. Secondly, there's some anecdotal evidence that predators fed on live fish are apt to being more aggressive and/or predatory towards tankmates, while those that only see frozen or fresh foods don't acquire those traits to the same degree. Hunting down a few guppies doesn't really add anything to the life of your Knight Goby, so the argument that it
'enriches' their existence doesn't justify the potential health risks.>
Anyway, the BBGs have since passed away (might have been the increase in salinity or that they weren't great stock to begin with- though I had them for over 2 years).
<BBGs aren't really brackish water fish, despite their reputation. Some species do live in estuaries, it is true, but the farmed ones you see in pet shops are a fresh to low-end brackish species that does best with just a little salt, maybe SG 1.002-1.003. I've maintained them just fine in soft, slightly acidic conditions similar to those they inhabit in the wild.
They're actually more likely to starve to death than suffer from a water chemistry issue. BBGs are easily starved. They need decent sized meals, but resolutely ignore anything that's not fresh, live or frozen.>
I now have a tank with a figure 8 puffer, knight goby, two nerites, and one swordtail endler's livebearer. I realize I don't need the salinity so high and will likely back off slowly to around 1.008.
<If that; SG 1.003-1.005 is absolutely fine for this selection of livestock.>
The KG is very healthy but has gotten shy over the years, and mainly sticks to his preferred cave. The Figure 8 is very chill and has never shown any sign of aggression toward its tankmates.
<Yet, anyway!>
Here's the question: I'm thinking of adding some Desert Gobies if I can find them- like maybe two or three at most. If not, my brother has a bunch of Kribs and would be willing to give me three (I do not want to overstock my tank). What do you think about these two options given my tank setup?
<Kribs would only work at the lower salinity range, since they're not really brackish water fish. They inhabit the Niger Delta, for sure, so have some tolerance. SG 1.003 is not a problem, and they might even handle slightly more. But they're better in soft water with a neutral pH. Not only do their colours look much more intense, you also avoid the problem of just getting male fry (the ratio of males/females depends on pH, with 7 being 50/50, and above 7, increasingly more males and fewer females). As for
Desert Gobies, they simply don't belong here. Continual warmth will shorten their lifespan, and since they're basically annual fish, you want to keep a colony that's breeding otherwise you'll have none left after a few months (assuming you buy near-adults).>
I know Kribs get really aggressive when mating, but they would also add some great color contrast- If I got a group of females maybe they would be chill?
If neither option is good, I also wouldn't mind having a swarm of BBGs back in the tank but I fear the SG is too high.
<Perhaps, but I'm more concerned they'll be Knight Goby food, or else simply starve.>
What do you think?
<I'd be looking at more robust tankmates. Have you considered Etroplus maculatus? The wild-type is charming, if understated, while the all-orange farmed form is very colourful.>
Thanks for your response!
<Most welcome, Neale.>

My Turtle; bleeding/scutes     /Neale       1/21/20
Hello, I thought my eastern painted turtle was shedding so i picked the scoots and now it is bleeding, HELP WHAT SHOULD I DO?
<Ideally, go to a vet. Honestly. That's the best and most reliable approach here. If the cost is an issue, some charities exist (such as PDSA) to help out. Failing that, 'dry dock' him; see about halfway down this article:
Chances are good that if he's kept dry, the shell will heal over quickly, assuming that there are no underlying problems (such as Soft Shell).
Turtles are generally healthy animals, but there are some non-negotiable things that people skip on, and sadly, once you do that, it's not long before the turtle gets sick. Same with most if not all reptiles. Good
review of the basics here:

Sick Parrot Cichlid       1/21/20
Hello WWM Team,
<Melissa (little sweet one)>
I have a 9 year old parrot cichlid. He has been sick for 4-5 days. He stopped eating & is not very mobile just kind of bobbing at the top of the tank.
<Not good>
He is pale, and has a white spot on his side/belly.
<See this in your pic>
I took a photo of it & went to my local fish shop and explained what is going on. They gave me Fluran 2. I am on my second day of treating the tank, but he is the same. I am afraid he is going to die soon. I tested the water & everything looked good.
<Values please>
I included a photo of him below. Please help , thank you for your time.
<Mmm; well, this looks more like a mark/abrasion from a physical trauma to me... I'd check again re pH, hardness of the water and try to be patient.
You should see some emargination, healing in a week or so. Bob Fenner>

Re: Mycobacterial Infection       1/21/20
Thought you might be interested. There is a company called Aquabiomics that does DNA testing on water samples and Biobeds.
<Have just read over their pdf>
I paid to get my tank tested and surprisingly there was no DNA evidence of M. Marinum in my tank.
<See this; in fact 0.0 incidence of all Fish pathogens... Bizarre>
Either I got the infection elsewhere (open wound/wet counter at LFS) or the bacteria was out competed. I attached my report if your interested in looking over.
<Surprised (very) at how much detail is available (presumably to all) in such a service. And, my understanding was that Mycobacteria were common, in fact ubiquitous in marine aquariums; perhaps not super numerary, but not 0.0 present. Bob Fenner>

Re: Questions for 2 bettas     1/20/20
Just writing to tell you I decided to put down my SBD/constipated betta down earlier than planned. He started to refuse food and was not getting any better. I knew it would be better to let him go than continue his life floating and hiding all day. My other guy is doing well, no sign of any rot returning.
<Thank you for your note. BobF>

My Turtle; bleeding/shell      1/20/20
Hello, I thought my eastern painted turtle was shedding so i picked the scoots and now it is bleeding, HELP WHAT SHOULD I DO?
<Will ask Neale to respond as well, but you should have searched WWM re: Read here:
Bob Fenner>

Re: Moray Eel identification     1/19/20
Thank you Marco, the juvenile stage of both species you mentioned bare a very close resemblance to my species. If none of my customers purchase the animal this weekend I will put it in my show tank and see what he turns into! Thanks again! James D.
<You are welcome, James. I am also curious how it looks in a year or two.
Cheers, Marco.>

Wrasse Odd Behavior     1/19/20
I got a red velvet fairy wrasse and trying to figure out what is going on with it. There are two links I put in here. The first one shows the wrasse basically unable to swim and barrel rolling getting blown around in the current.
<Mmm; looks fine/natural to me. It's just drifting in the tank current>
At this point assumed it was a goner. The second one is about an hour later with the wrasse boyount and a little a spooked not really leaving its cave. Any ideas here. Totally at a loss.
<Again; this Cirrhilabrus seems healthy to me. It would, will act more determined in its swimming if/when you get others of the genus, species to interact with. Bob Fenner>

Re: So called Mystery Disease?      1/18/20
"His breathing, swimming, eating seems normal and he isn't scratching against any surfaces. I thought maybe Lymphocystis, or fungus, but wanted your opinion.
<Mmm, the best/most likely "explanation" or root cause here is cumulative stress...> "
<<The above is an excerpt from another person and your response. His Situation was similar to mine. Anyway. I will keep you posted on their progress. Many thanks for the reply.>>
<<Ahh, thank you for this clarification. Am almost sure this is the pathogen mentioned. AND would do as I've suggested; a precipitous drop in salinity (to favor the host, disfavor the Protozoan), and TREAT per what else you have stock wise. AS gone over and over on WWM. DO please write back if a/your path you're choosing isn't clear. Bob Fenner>>
Re: So called Mystery Disease? /Wil      1/18/20

His breathing, swimming, eating seems normal and he isn't scratching against any surfaces.
<Sometimes they seem unaffected, but not indefinitely. I would treat them ASAP, just as Bob suggested.>
thought maybe Lymphocystis, or fungus, but wanted your opinion.
<Lymphocystis "diameter" is bigger and does look like a cauliflower. Wil.>  

Re: Moray Eel identification      1/18/20
Hello Marco, my supplier says it came in from Africa actually.
I am attaching a web address of the only photo i can find online. very  clear picture here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/aey/4713980205
<Hello James. Back when I was importing almost all imports of morays from Africa were from Kenya, and this does not look like one of the 10 species recognized from Kenya's coast to my knowledge. However, in the Western Indian Ocean in general Gymnothorax herrei (my best guess here) can occur,
which looks somewhat similar:
https://www.fishbase.se/photos/PicturesSummary.php?StartRow=0&ID=7491&what=species&TotRec=3  and
https://www.fishbase.se/photos/PicturesSummary.php?StartRow=1&ID=7491&what=species&TotRec=3  when small. Michael's Reef Fishes vol. 1 also has a orange to brown species G. brunneus, which is seen my many as a synonym for G. herrei. It's a rather along shot, but the best I can do on your pic. In addition, it is still possible it is some undescribed species of moray, of which there are still quite a number. Great specimen and find. Cheers, Marco.>
<PS: Picture links to G. herrei might not work in my last email. Here they are corrected: https://www.fishbase.se/images/species/Gyher_u0.jpg  and
https://www.fishbase.se/images/species/Gyher_u2.jpg. Cheers, Marco.>
Re: Moray Eel identification      1/18/20

Thank you Marco, the juvenile stage of both species you mentioned bare a very close resemblance to my species. If none of my customers purchase the animal this weekend I will put it in my show tank and see what he turns into! Thanks again! James D.

Dojo Loach Selling and blisters: Suggestions for care?       11/17/20
Hi there- You were so incredibly helpful last time, I thought I would try again. I have a scenario that I can't find any information on and I thought maybe you would have insight.
<Okay; will respond here and refer this to Neale Monks for his independent input>
This is the second time I've gotten a Dojo (weather) loach into the rescue with Edema (swelling) and blisters on their body.
<Mmm; yes. Unfortunately this situation is quite common. Something about Misgurnis in captive conditions>
The first had been in that state for a year, after jumping out of her tank and being mostly dry when she was placed back in the water. I had her for six months before I put her to sleep because she had swelling all throughout her body, and had trouble breathing and swimming. I tried everything from Epsom salt baths 2x a day (for about 3 weeks), to antibiotics for potential bacterial infections, with no change.
Recently, I got another Dojo in. He was sickly when I got him, but did not have the swelling. About a month after being in the tank with goldfish and Dojo's (150 g, 7 dojos, and about 10 adolescent Goldfish, 2x a week water changes and quad filtration), I noticed he was swollen starting from mid body to tail. I Quarantined him, along with all the rest of the loaches for a few days to make sure no one else was showing anything weird (dojo's in a 150 are a tad bit difficult to keep an eye on), but he is the only
one experiencing this.
I have been giving him some Epson salt baths, though not as frequently as with the other dojo, he shed his slime coat after the first bath, and then developed the blisters, which have not subsided. He is still active, and still eating- but the swelling has not changed and I'm not sure what to do for him. He's now been in QT for about a month with no real change to his edema. He also developed a small white patch on his head- not fuzzy or a wound- just a pigmentation change from what I can tell.
I apologize that the photos are not better- it's not a well-lit tank and he's a wiggly little guy- but hopefully, it's enough to provide some suggestions? I can get better photos if that would be helpful, but they would involve stressing him out a little bit, so I figured I would wait to see what you needed.
Andie Lamantia
The Fish Haus Aquatic Rescue
<I'll (simply) refer you to past replies (myself) as I have no new material to add here:
and the linked files above in this series.
Thank you for your efforts. Bob Fenner:
Re: Dojo Loach Selling and blisters: Suggestions for care?       11/17/20

Awesome! Thanks so much. I'm sorry I did not stumble on this myself!
<No worries Andie. BobF>
Dojo Loach Selling and blisters: Suggestions for care? /Neale       11/17/20

<<Like Bob, I've seen this a few times with Misgurnus species. It does seem to be environmental. One suggestion is that it's a form of the gas-bubble disease you sometimes see in marine fish. If you expose the fish to sudden changes in water temperature (such as adding too much icy cold water to the tank) the saturation of gases in the aquarium water change, and if those gases come out of solution within the fish, any bubbles that tend to move outwards become visible under the skin. There may be some mileage in this explanation, because Weather Loaches are habitual air-gulpers, so tend to have more air inside them than the average fish. They're also more prone to swimming rapidly up and down the tank, and while I can't imagine the pressure difference is very great, it may be enough to make a difference to
the solubility of any gases in their blood. Another suggestion that's perhaps easier to understand is these are mud-dwelling fish poorly adapted to gravelly substrates. Their skins are easily scratched, and rather as you see with Spiny Eels extremely commonly, secondary infections ensure. My problem with this explanation is that the bubbles are apparently under the epidermis, not abscesses or something working their way from the outside in. Either way though, optimising the environment and using antibiotics
against a secondary infection is likely your best move. I'd also warmly recommend Loaches.com as a website with a forum populated with people who are very into loaches. You might find someone there who can help with more certainty! Regards, Neale.>>

Re: Moray Eel identification       11/17/20
Very sorry sir. I am attaching a single 13kb image file this time.
<Hey James; this one is indeed too small (shades of Goldilocks and the
Three Bears!). Something in the few to several hundred KByte range is what
we're looking for. Bob Fenner>
Re: Moray Eel identification       11/17/20

Very sorry sir. I am attaching a single 13kb image file this time.
<Good morning, James. I think maybe you overdid the resizing a bit here! 160 × 90 pixels is way too small to see anything! Just out of curiosity, is this a marine Moray or one of the 'freshwater' species? The answer to that question will speed things up, especially if you can send along a somewhat bigger photo. Something like 1200 x 800 pixels is good! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Moray Eel identification       11/17/20
I think I got it right this time. 455kb image file attached. Need help identifying this moray eel. Thank you, James D.
<Hi James, usually I'd have said Gymnothorax melatremus due to the color alone, but the eyes are not right, since Gymnothorax melatremus has a vertical bar in the eye. If the eel in question really has this yellow to orange color only a few other morays come to mind e.g. G. prasinus from Australia (unlikely to be seen in trade elsewhere) and the yellow color morph of Gymnothorax miliaris from the Atlantic Ocean. Any idea, where it came from? Cheers, Marco.>


White Spots On Achilles Tang Localized to Just the Left Cheek       11/17/20
Hi Crew! I’ve got an Achilles Tang in a 40g breeder quarantine tank. I received it 2 weeks ago and have run 2 rounds of prazipro, 2 weeks of metroplex, and cupramine dosed at 75% so still within therapeutic range,
<Still stressful... and Tangs don't take copper exposure well>
but not dancing the line of being dangerous. The specimen has been eating well on Live Ogo, Pellet, and Mysis.
A few days into quarantine the patch of white spots developed on the left cheek. No other spots anywhere else. I would normally think ich, but I’ve never seen it localized to such a small area before, so it’s throwing me off a bit on the diagnosis. Any thoughts?
<Well; doubt this is something pathogenic; on the basis of isolation, expression on the one area. My bet is on some sort of trauma... a bumping into the side or such. I would NOT treat this fish (w/ medicines) further. I WOULD expedite it through quarantine, enroute w/ a pH adjusted freshwater dip/bath (see WWM) to the main/display tank. Bob Fenner>
White Spots On Achilles Tang Localized to Just the Left Cheek    /Wil       11/17/20

Hi Crew!
<Hi Brian>
I’ve got an Achilles Tang in a 40g breeder quarantine tank. I received it 2 weeks ago and have run 2 rounds of prazipro, 2 weeks of metroplex, and cupramine dosed at 75% so still within therapeutic range,
but not dancing the line of being dangerous. The specimen has been eating well on Live Ogo, Pellet, and Mysis. A few days into quarantine the patch of white spots developed on the left cheek. No other spots anywhere else. I would normally think ich, but I’ve never seen it localized to such a small area before, so it’s throwing me off a bit on the diagnosis. Any thoughts?
<Normally unilateral marks, spots, etc...are symptom of physical damage and not a pathogenic issue, I would not treat this fish with more stressful meds, This tang species is particularly delicate and prolonged copper exposure may do more harm than good, I suggest doing a FW dip just to be sure any possible parasite or death tissue drops off. Try to provide excellent water quality and add vitamins to its food / water. Hope this helps. Wil.>

So called Mystery Disease?       11/17/20
Good day great folks,
The pic says a thousand words?
<Maybe more. Crypt evidently. DO READ on WWM ASAP; and ACT NOW! I'd be lowering spg to about 1.010 to buy you/these angels time... NOW (assuming other life present can tolerate low salinity). Bob Fenner>
So called Mystery Disease?    /Wil        11/17/20

Good day great folks,
<Good day Evelyn>
The pic says a thousand words?
<Does look like Cryptocaryon Irritans, you need to isolate these angels and treat them with copper and hyposalinity; sorry but I'm not sure if you are still on time, they look pretty bad. Wil.>

Re: So called Mystery Disease?       11/17/20
Crypt? Really?
<Uhh, the only way to tell is sampling... ciliate, two dissimilar nuclei... I hope you're done reading...>
And that’s what I thought but the shape is very irregular.
I read something on your site, about an Emperor—cumulative stress ‘syndrome’.
They are eating and swimming and generally seem fine. This is post Cupramine treatment, after being clean for 1 month in a new, clean tank. There was an incident a couple of days ago where all equipment stopped as it became unplugged, in the morning when I saw them they were in respiratory distress. And now this, almost all of a sudden.
<Mate, your animals are soon to be dead. B>
I thought you would like the pic for reference. They are triangular in shape and on the frenchi, in patches.
Thank you, Evelyn
Re: So called Mystery Disease?    /Wil        11/17/20

Good day Wil,
They are isolated. Look closely, their shape is very irregular, clustered on the frenchi. I have read posts about a ‘mystery’ disease and was hoping anyone there would be able to share some of their knowledge and experience.
<Haven't heard of that>
I know it looks like crypt but is it really? Their behavior suggests otherwise.
<To be 100% sure, only by taking a tissue sample and observe it under a microscope.>
They have just come out of quarantine and placed in a clean observation tank.
I will certainly keep you posted in my findings. I read something about ‘cumulative’ stress. Any thoughts/ experience on that?
<Well, stress is (as in humans) the trigger for almost any disease, that´s why we always advice keeping top water quality and a stress free environment... Prevention is better than cure.>
Many thanks,
<Glad to help. Wil.>

A White Cloud dies every few weeks        11/17/20
Hello WWM,
I wanted to follow up with you on advice you gave me several years ago (below). In case it helps anyone with similar issues, the end it was the Paraguard that did the trick. I treated the whole tank (I removed the 2 nerites, one of which is 4 years old now - I didn't know they'd live that long) and finally the WWMMs stopped wasting away and dying. I was down to 3 fish and didn't restock for a year just to make sure. I now have a school of 9 happy WCMMs. I know they are schooling fish and are unhappy in small numbers. It was amazing to see the difference in the 3 fish when I added the 6 new ones. One of the males had completely lost his colour, even the red in his tail. They were all quite pale. Shortly after the new ones arrived, they coloured right up - amazing!
Anyhoo, thanks again for your advice,
Tracey (from frigid Canada)
<Thanks for the follow-up, and glad things worked out well in the end. Does sound like you had a bad batch of fish, and once the survivors were fixed up, they were very glad to see some new friends. Lovely fish, and like a lot of minnows, the more you keep, the better (and healthier) they will be.
So unless the tank is tiny, don't feel like you should hold back getting
more. A dozen would be fine in even 10 gallons, and the more the merrier.
Cheers, Neale.>
<<29 October 2016 16:35
To: crew@wetwebmedia.com
Subject: A White Cloud dies every few weeks

Greetings Fish Gurus!
<Hello Tracey,>
I have a 15 gallon lightly planted tank that I have been trying to keep White Clouds in, but they keep wasting away and dying one by one. The tank has been set up for the last 18 months. The most I’ve had in there at one time is 8 fish (currently 5), so I am lightly stocked.
Tank parameters:
Temp: 20 C (maintained with a heater)
<Depending on room temperature, a heater might not be needed. A definite cool phase, around 18 C, in winter is a really good idea.>
pH: a steady 7.5
GH: 60 ppm
KH: 60 ppm
nitrite: 0
nitrate: < 5 ppm
Water changes: 20% weekly, conditioned with Prime
Food: mostly flakes, peas once a week, the odd algae wafer
<All sounds ideal.>
They start out active and with good appetites, then one by one they stop schooling and eating and just hover around the tank. Sometimes they seem to recover and become active and healthy again, but eventually they fall ill again. I’ve made the mistake of restocking a couple of times when I thought the trouble was over and wanted to maintain at least 6 to minimize stress, but two weeks after adding the new ones, someone stops eating and on it goes. Early on I fed them live mosquito larvae harvested from my rain barrel (I stopped doing that in case it was introducing something) and I did get one (in hindsight) suspect fish in the very first batch that never ate or schooled and died within a month. Attached is a photo of the latest fish on death watch. It has withdrawn and rallied at least once or twice already, but I think this might be it. I have never seen a worm protruding from them, and I have used a magnifying glass to examine them closely and never seen a mark or hitchhiker on them. Medication-wise I have tried General Cure,
<A "jack of all trades, master of none" treatment that is *meant* to deal with external protozoan and invertebrate parasites, such as fish lice. Not nearly as "general purpose" as its name suggests.>
Prazipro (one dose per week for three weeks) and Levamisole (one dose per week for three weeks), but the problem continues.
<These last two are de-wormers.>
Any thoughts on what the problem might be? I love these little fish, but they keep breaking my heart.
<Two things to think about. The first is that none of the medications you've used would seem to match your symptoms. So your lack of success with them is not unexpected. The second is that the symptoms you're dealing with sound a lot more like Neon Tetra Disease (which can/does affect other species,
or at least, similar parasites do) or a systematic bacterial infection (sadly very common in farmed fish produced to a price, as with WCMM, Angels, Guppies, and host of other "bread and butter" species). So, going forwards, probably your best approach is to medicate as per a bacterial infection, something like the popular Maracyn 1 and 2 combo, or better yet, the Seachem Polyguard and Paraguard combo, which should treat just about everything treatable.
Make sure to remove carbon from the filter, if used (generally redundant in freshwater fishkeeping) and provide supplemental aeration, even if that only means lowering the water level a bit so the filter outflow splashes a bit more than usual.>
Thank you,
<It's possible you've been unlucky, and/or the fish are sick because of something going on at the retailer. You might leave the tank to settle, and when no more WCMMs die, buy some more to restore the school, but choosing from another retailer or buying online from a trustworthy source. Your local/city aquarium club can help too. Hope this helps, Neale.>>>

Guest Post on Your Website Wetwebmedia.com     1/16/20
I hope you are doing well.
<Thank you>
I'm Emma Lewis, a professional article writer and Aquarium lover.
I would like to contribute a high-quality article by following all guidelines provided by you.
I promise that I will provide HIGH quality content of 2000+ Words that you won’t find anywhere else.
Here are my two ideas that will be the perfect choice for your website readers.
*Learn the Basics About Aquarium Canister Filters *
*How to Make Your Pet Reptile's Love You *
What do you think about these ideas? Which one of them is more suitable for your site?
<We only "do" aquatic reptiles...>
Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks
Emma Lewis
<You're welcome to make independent submissions. We pay $200 for non-exclusive use/posting if accepted. Bob Fenner>

HOB Filter Modifications     1/16/20
Dear WWM Crew,
<Hi Mark>
I currently have a 20gal high that is in the middle of a fishless cycle. I don’t plan on making any huge adjustments to the filtration until I have the cycle done. Before I began cycling I modified the Tetra Whisper Power Filter (PF20) that came with the tank. I added a sponge to the intake, removed the activated carbon pad as well as the small sponge that came with the filter to make room for 1 AquaClear foam insert (which was cut down) and 1 AquaClear biomax insert. Over the last few weeks of having this filtration setup I’m beginning to have a few concerns.
- Some of the are not fully submerged.
<Filter media does not work if it is not fully submerged, (wet dry bio balls excepted).>
- The water is not force to go through the sponge and only has to go through the BioMax balls.
<If this is the case, Biomax will just work as a mechanical filter until it gets clogged>
- The added filtration in the chamber stalls some enough of the water so that some water is running back into the tank from where the pump enter the filter.
<I‘d take out at least half of the Biomax balls to relieve the filter and get a decent/constant water flow>
I’m worried that with how the filter is set up that the foam and BioMax balls are not able to build up bacteria. Part of this concern is that I can see build up of something on the intake sponge and not of the bio filters inside the filter (I have a feeling that the intake sponge is just picking up the small particles in the tank and that is all it is). I know these are probably small concerns and should not be worried about; however I’m curious to hear someone else’s opinion. I have attached some pictures if need be. I look forward to hearing a response!
<Just correct the above and you'll be fine. BTW, I resized your pix to a lower resolution, next time please see the uploading guidelines.><<Excellent Wil. B>>
Mark Aikema
<You're most welcome. Wil.>

Guess what. I have a problem (Reef hlth)      1/13/20
Good day dearest WWM team,
<Good day Evelyn>
As many, a long time reader and fan.
So. I have a 120 gallon reef tank with:
Bubble magus 7 skimmer
<A very nice product>
Carbon reactor
<Do you change this often?>
Phosphate reactor
Bioplastics reactor
<Am not a fan of this, I rely more on DSB>
Ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 1.5
Phosphate 0.02, cal. 500, magnesium 1500, KH 8.7 brought down from 11.
Dose: Redsea A and B
The tank has been running for just about 3 years.
Fish: 2 little wrasses, 2 antheas, a little fox , a mandarin, a damsel, all non coral disturbing fish with the exception of the fox I suppose.
The tank is mostly soft corals, the usuals, and a few SPS right at the summit of the rock work.
<What about aquarium lighting, water temperature… have you added new fish or corals recently?>
Huston, here’s the problem: the softies are NOT happy and declining in health. They look shrunken and blasé, some flesh of the prized scoly has deteriorated along the edges. A tree, not a Kenya, just decided to ‘spontaneously’ die after 2 years.
<Mmm, this is certainly not a good sign>
Our meat coral the size of a small dinner plate is now the size of a peony. We had a RTN of a large SPS about 3 months back, it did not spread to any other.
I change my socks every 2 days religiously.
Your thoughts ??
<How often do you change aquarium water and what percentage each time?... salt contains very important elements that get “used up” by marine organisms and need to be replaced. I suggest doing an immediate partial water change, 15 or 20% at least and see if corals show any improvement in the next few days.>
Many thanks,
<You’re most welcome. Wil.>
Re: Guess what. I have a problem      1/13/20

Oh! Very important omitted things, there’s just so much.
The lighting: 2 maxspect razor 420 R 15,000K, places about 11” from the surface of the tank.
Water change 20% once per month.
The carbon is changed every 2 to 3 weeks
<Regularly, carbon gets exhausted and loses adsorption capacity in the first few days, beyond that it will turn into a biological filter.>
Temp is 78f, PH is 8.8
< A bit high, try to maintain it around 8.3>
Another death I did not report was that of a brain, it just randomly stayed closed and very slowly disintegrated.
It’s like, a slow decline in the health of the softies, yet some others appear to be flourishing. It’s been ‘stable’ for so long, no recent additions.
Sometimes I feel that if you screw with tank chasing after numbers it just interferes with the balance.
<You’re right on this, personally I don’t lose sleep thinking about the numbers...good maintenance practices maintain water chemistry balanced.>
I think that I had a better tank when my KH was 7 and my mg was 1350 and my nitrates were 15 and I had hair algae. I think tanks find their own balance with peoples circumstances different city water etc. any thoughts appreciated.
Many thanks,
<I suggest returning the numbers to where they were before the losses, please do keep us posted. Wil.>

Re: Jewel cichlids; repro., comp.       1/13/20
I just got 5 albino bristlenose plecos and 5 Silvertip plecos. All are about 1 1/2 inches. Can i put them in with my breeding pair of jewel cichlids.
<Not if you want them to live, no. Seriously: breeding cichlids of any sort are very intolerant of bottom feeding fish, and small catfish like these are likely to be hammered by Jewels. Not worth the risk. As a rule, keep breeding cichlids in their own tank, not least of all because it makes water quality management and feeding fry easier. Keep your community fish for their own, breeding-cichlid-free system.>
My tank is 48"x18"x12"?. By the way thank you for taking time out to answer my questions.
<You are most welcome. Regards, Neale.>

Old age (!); WWM input      1/13/20
I have been to your site hundreds of times for 12 plus years...my only problem, is that you (your site) believes in reinventing the wheel over and over again....
lets take all that we have bettered our selfs in, in the last 3 to 4 years, and make this our strive.....most of your site is way over 10 years...why dont you create a old past age section of trials and errors..
<The FAQs, questions/answers are dated, the newest posted at the top, newest files>

.and todays, works purty good areas.... im sure there are 10's of thousands that do not care what they did in reef aquariums, or any other aquariums 20 years 10 years 5 years ago....please make a section of whats new going on ( only last 3 years... never older).. so i not listening to cave men scratching.............
Water spray boxes...is a glass or acrylic box, water is sprayed against back at great pressure, and drops out bottom to recollect in refugium *****. a one cubic foot sand box, for the new - wet dry filter.. in a wet dry tank. Make a cube that fits where bio balls used to be. Make handles where you can pull this every 6 months to rinse and rinse sand...and put back in... please try to keep as much of the finer finds as you can...... one and a half inch sponge on bottom. 20 pound bag "carib sea ocean direct" leveled...... and your wet dry drip tray above.... nature uses the beach to filter Her waters...
A protein skimmer only operates one hour daily for 6 days, and than 6 hours on 7th...
Throw those stupid filter socks away
My very first saltwater tank. 8 years before the red bugs, killed eco system, created algie explosion..
A tank set down.........fish are 9 years old ( different real fast set up tank).
First tank-- 30 gallon (called turtle tank) is my medicine tank. A 50/50 power compact light 24 inch..
..a 1/4 inch tubing from main tank feeds tank with another 1/4 inch line to Drain
Regium is 125 gallon 6 section, a pump to drain the water to a drain in hot water tank room for water changes.....and a automatic float for new 8 stage rodi water coming in.....i hit a switch and turn a valve ......and i did a water change.....4 --inch and a half lines from main tank in...feeding refugium...100 pounds maybe closer to 150 pounds ocean real rock, 4 inch sand bed, 5 - one pound bags Matrix,
Has 2 Rio 2800 pumps feeding up to a "my reef creations" double becket protein skimmer..(capable of 800 gallons.... big boy)
Spill from protein skimmer feeds into side of a 30 gallon wet dry. First chamber, 20 pounds pencil size broken coral branchs, fills to top to drip tray, which has 1 layer nitrate and 1 layer phosphate filter media 14x12 inch....driping to sand box....... drain back down to refugium..
A gold dart return pump ......feeding 4- inch and a half pvc lines to main tank..these return lines are over back of tank...all 4 holes in over flow boxes.. bottom, are being used for drain
Main tank is double reef ready 135 gallon 72x16x27 tall..250 pounds real ocean rock , 4 to 5 inch sand bed
Lights are from one side to the other.. lights are 24 inch running front to back of tank....from left to right.....
2- t5 24 inch atintic bulbs.all lights are on own timers... 20 minutes before second set lights......than 2. T5 24 inch day bulbs. Than 20 minute before next light set.....than a 250 watt 20k metal halide.....45 minutes later a giesemann vervve led light comes on. And the first actinic bulbs go off.. than 10 minutes the first day bulbs go off.. 45 minutes later another 250. - 20k metal halide comes on.*****.metal halides and giesemann vervve lights are on 7 hours each.*****...than a second t5 day bulb comes on right side of tank and the first metal halide goes off.....than a second t5 actinic light comes on right side of tank 20 minutes and the vervve goes off...45 minutes latter the second metal halide goes off...20 minutes t5 day bulbs off....20 minutes latter t5 actinics off. Night blues on all night.
And life bites you in the wallet...but we continue to prove our failures...
"""Man kind will eat himself"""
And i do love your site...just imposible finding new. New. New information
Maybe site is operating by dinosaurs.. ..dinosaurs are making a come back you know
<Well, your point... that new/er information may be more pertinent, useful... is taken. I've responded... and would state, how you gonna know where you are unless you know where you been? Am more than fine w/ WWM as an archival tool. Perhaps you'll make something new/er, more novel. Bob Fenner>

A woman in my angelfish group has a sick angelfish.     1/12/20
He's not bloated but he swims with his nose pointing up. Thanks
<Please do have them write us; with particulars re the system, water quality measures, diet, and imagery if they think this will help. Bob Fenner>

Re: Trichopodus leerii food    1/12/20
Thank you! This gourami is not going to make it...
<Oh dear.>
I’m on the third and final dose of Kanaplex after many water changes and removing the carbon from the filter—I hate medicating my tank but I thought it was necessary here—and now he’s showing fin rot, lost posture, and rocking back and forth. If I lose him, and after I let the tank sit stable for a while, do you think a smaller gourami would work in my setup, such as a T. chuna?
<In a tank this size and shape, I'd be thinking perhaps of a 'bed' of floating vegetation at the top, and then something smaller, like Sparkling Gouramis or Croaking Gouramis. Both associate with floating plants, and being farmed but not selectively bred, they're pretty robust. Sensitive to cold air, like all labyrinth fish, but the Sparkling Gouramis are tiny fish, and would be fine in a columnar tank. They have lovely colours! Floating Indian Fern would be an ideal plant to use, being adaptable and forming thick beds several inches deep, if doing well. Do see BobF's piece on this excellent species, here:
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Trichopodus leerii food    1/12/20

Great ideas all around, thanks so much!
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: EBA with Sunken belly   1/11/20
Hi Neale
<Hello again, Susan,>
Well, I decided to dose General Cure until my heater arrived and I could set up his hospital tank. He appears to be responding somewhat to this treatment as he is coming out of hiding to greet me and he ate a small amount of blood worms mixed with Metroplex last night. I'm finishing the second dose of General Cure today.
<Sounds promising.>
SeaChem says they usually recommend not to do both (treat water column and do medicated food, they said General Cure is comparable to Metroplex with some Prazi added).
<Would seem logical; doing both would be an overdose, with perhaps unhelpful results to either fish or filter.>
Do you think it would be wise to continue with medicated food (straight Metroplex) after I've finished with the General Cure if I don't see 100% improvement?
<Yes, but I tend to favour waiting a day or two between the end of one course and the start of another. Certainly, doing a decent water change at this point gives the filter bacteria a breathing space.>
I want to knock out whatever bug he has but I don't want to over medicate.
SeaChem says to feed for 3 weeks which tells me the dose in the food, while effective, is on the low side.
<Possibly, but remember: when fed as food, you're getting all the medicine into the fish; when added to water, only a tiny fraction is absorbed through the skin because its so massively diluted by the aquarium water or metabolised by other organisms in the tank. So feeding the fish generally ensures a closer-to-optimum concentration of the medicine inside the fish.>
Thank you for tip on using Zeolite in the hospital tank filter to control ammonia. I usually use Prime but I know it can reduce O2 levels especially when medicating. Zeolite is a better alternative.
<Indeed it is. A simply box filter will do.>
Thank you again! I can't count how many times your site and advice has saved my fish and made me a better fish keeper.
<And thank you for these kind words. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Red Claw Crab not Eating   1/11/20
I’d like to thank you for helping me with my red claw crab. Unfortunately, he has passed away even after adding a proper amount of salt and turning up the temperature, as he just did not eat at all.
<I'm sorry to hear that.>
I don’t know the reason for his refusal to eat, but after taking your advice, he seemed to have more energy and would actually approach the food (but still didn’t eat it). Maybe he was sick?
<Indeed, or perhaps, he'd been away from salty water for too long. These are tricky animals to keep well -- they need brackish water, high humidity (cold or dry air quickly kills them), and food that contains all the nutrients including iodine and calcium. So while inexpensive in themselves, and not demanding in terms of space, they are tricky.>
I don’t know, but I’m glad I found your website and got some help. You are very knowledgeable about these creatures, and people who are having trouble with their pet crabs are fortunate enough to be able to contact you for help. Again, thank you very much.
<You are most welcome, and thanks for these kind words. Good luck with your next pet! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Jewel cichlids; repro.    1/11/20
My jewels had fry. I moved them to their own tank. They are 2 weeks old now. How old do they have to be b4 i can give them away? Thank you
<Depending on how often they get fed (optimally: 6 small meals per day) cichlid fry grow rapidly, but it will be some 2-3 months before they will be a sellable size, the bigger they are, the more money you'll get because they'll have nicer colours by then. Since males grow faster than females, segregating the fry may be necessary to avoid a preponderance of just the males. To be economical, you want a fair number of fry to survive, so regular water changes (ideally: daily) will be necessary to keep nitrate levels as low as practical. You will almost certainly need to remove the fry from the parents within 3 weeks. The demand for Jewel Cichlids is low, so check with your retailer before allowing the pair to breed again. Like Convicts, Jewels are easy to breed and rear, but being non-community fish, only a tiny percentage of aquarium hobbyists want them. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Trichopodus leerii food   1/11/20
Thank you both. Yes, I have regretted purchasing this tank since the day I opened up the box... it’s a water quality nightmare... but I’ve managed to keep it going for almost 5 years so it’s a personal challenge at this point! I had a rock solid trichogaster trichopterus for 4 years in there and my cherries and these cats are years old (corys, as expected, grew sick of swimming to the top)... so I think I’ve done relatively ok. I’ve always shied away from the live foods out of both convenience (honestly) and fear of water quality issues. Maybe it’s time to “dive” in. You and Bob have inspired me. I will search WWM for some rookie tips on live foods.
<Understand your disappointment with the tank. Frozen foods can substitute for live foods in many cases, so well worth trying these out. Certainly Gouramis aren't too fussed about live vs. frozen foods. Cheers, Neale.>

Stubborn Betta fin rot (RMF?)<<Agreed>>    1/11/20
Hi Wet Web Crew, I need some advice as how to proceed. My Betta started sleeping draped over the suction cup on his heater.... which became an explosive case of fin rot. Water quality is carefully managed, he has 5 gallons, plants to sleep on,single occupant. I blockaded his heater so that he can’t get to it. He spent 5 days quarantined in Methylene Blue/salt. Only a little bit of improvement. So now I’ve just finished 5 days of Maracyn 1 and Maracyn 2 together. He has improved further, there is some regrowth, but there are still 5 small spots of blood at the end of the rays. What would you do now? Wait, or treat another 5 days of Maracyn 1/2? I worry about prolonged treatment but don’t want the fin rot to take over again either. I also have Kanaplex but I’ve never used it. Thanks!!
<Would agree that this looks like Finrot, given then appearance and the blood spots around the fin rays. Treating Finrot isn't normally too bad, and repeating Maracyn 1 and 2 together should be a good next move. I'm not surprised Methylene Blue and salt had little impact. However, Finrot is, as you presumably know, caused by the environment. It's not a disease that infects one fish from another. So your main job is to identify the cause. With Bettas, common causes including water quality (filtration is essential, with ammonia and nitrite needing to be zero) and low temperatures (Bettas must be kept warm, 25-28 C/77-82 F being right). Cold air can also cause problems, though not usually Finrot, but in any case, do check the air above the tank is damp and warm (a reasonably secure hood should do this well). Finrot can also be caused by physical damage including nippy tankmates, and with Bettas, there's almost no justification for keeping them in anything other than their own aquarium. Don't forget to remove carbon from the filter while medicating. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Sunken belly (RMF?)<<Wish I had one; oh! Again, in total agreement>>   1/10/20
Thanks Neale for getting back to me so quickly!
He was treated when I first got him as a juvie with Metroplex in food (once a day for recommended treatment period). He was very skinny and spitting out his food. He seemed to bounce back and he's grown and filled out (over 5 inches). He has continued to be a picky eater, however.
<Does happen with cichlids; to some extent, you need to experiment, but good quality cichlid pellets should be taken.>
I have Furan-2 by API on hand along with SeaChem Metroplex. So, do you recommend dosing the volume of water with each med as per directions on each box?
<Medicated food is, by far, the best approach if viable. Dosing the water is less reliable, so should be Plan B.>
With this combo can I treat him in my planted tank thus avoiding the stress of moving him or should I set up a hospital tank for him? I know Metroplex won't crash my bio-filter but I wasn't sure about Furan 2 as I've never used it.
<Metronidazole shouldn't cause any problems for plants or filters. However, Furan-2 does seem to have a mixed reputation, and the manufacturer states that it WILL harm filter bacteria. So the ideal is to use Furan-2 (alongside the Metro) in a hospital tank with a zeolite-filled box filter.
If you must medicate the main tank because it's the only one you have, remove some of the filter media and keep damp, while also removing any irreplaceable plants, just in case (or at least some cuttings, so you can regrow them if needs be).>
It's one of those meds I bought to keep on hand. Also, is this combo safe for corydoras and nerite snails?
<Should be fine for catfish, but snails likely not. Remove them. They'll be fine in a large plastic container kept somewhere warm. Change the water every couple days, but otherwise just make sure the lid is on safely to keep them from escaping.>
I'm reading online that a lot of owners of EBAs are having similar issues.
Too bad.
<Indeed. As stated before, the Electric Blue varieties of pretty much everything are unreliable, at best. The relevant genetic selections that have produced these strains seem to be connected with the genes that provide disease-resistance. While the varieties may improve over time, there are some selected strains of fish that never really recover.>
He has a great personality. I hope I can pull him through this. Thank you again for your help and expertise.
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Trichopodus leeri food    1/10/20
Thank you for the suggestion, I’ll give it a shot.
<Glad Bob's suggestion of use. I find Gouramis tend to have "small mouths" and consume smaller foods than you think, preferring even tiny live foods like Daphnia and Artemia nauplii over chunky foods.>
Could his habit of staying up at the surface be a symptom of anything else?
<It is largely what they do; they are associated with floating vegetation in the wild, and rarely stray away from such.>
My water quality has 0 ammonia and nitrites, and my filter media is fresh. I have a steady air stone firing plenty of air through the tank and my filter is keeping the surface moving. The tank is a 15-gal column with 2 synodontis nigriventris and three cherry barbs, along with the pearl.
<S. nigriventris can be a 'fin nibbler' at times, but I think the real challenge here is the tank. 15 gallons is too small, and it's unlikely such big fish are going to feel comfortable in this tank, especially when it's a tall design. Cheers, Neale.>

Sunken belly     1/9/20
Hi Crew
My electric blue Acara, Finn (so named because of a piece missing from his dorsal fin), whom I've had for 8 months has been off his food for past 3 to 4 days. His color is good, no clamped fins, not hiding but he is ignoring his usual favorites (cichlid flakes. Brine shrimp cubes and frozen Blood worms) and his belly seems a bit sunken in. I've not seen any white feces. Tank set up is 55 gallon heavily planted with driftwood and rocks, Fluval canister 206 and sponge filter (rated for 80 gallons) and Aquaclear 70. Lots of filtration. Water parameters: pH 6.6-6.8, temp 77-78°F, gH 8°, ammonia and nitrites are 0 ppm and nitrates are around 20 ppm with weekly water changes. Tank mates are Columbian tetras and small school of Corydoras. I recently upped the temp from 75-76° to 77-78° as he seemed sluggish. He seemed more active in warmer temps.
My first thought was parasites. I don't think its stress related as he's pretty mellow. I have API General Cure on hand and since he is not eating I was wondering if best course of action would be to treat the whole tank? I have two Angel fish currently in my quarantine/hospital tank (one of whom I was planning on adding to his tank). I do have a 20 gallon tote I could put him in with a cycled sponge filter but I would need to buy a heater first. Any thoughts?
<Electric Blue anything tends to be a risky purchase, with few of these fish being as healthy as their regularly coloured ancestors. In this case, since your tank sounds broadly about right, I'm guessing the environment is basically fine. I'd be tempted to treat as per "mystery ill cichlid" scenario; i.e., metronidazole alongside a nitrofuran antibiotic. This tends to catch the usual problems cichlids waste away (i.e., Hexamita-type infections) but doesn't unduly stress the fish or filter.
Cheers, Neale.><<Totally agree. RMF>>

Re: Questions for 2 bettas     1/9/20
Good evening, here is an update for you. My fin rot betta finished his doxycycline treatment. He is acting a little more normal and swimming up to the edge of the tank to meet me and beg for food. Hopefully the rot is done for. He seems all right, and he is at least feeling more peppy. I am not too worried about him right now.
<Good. With improved water quality, better nutrition, time going by alone should see this Betta improving>
My betta with suspected constipation and/or swim bladder issues I am more concerned about. It has been a few days since I weaned him off epsom salt in the tank (should I keep him on epsom salt?),
<Not indefinitely, no. I would limit such exposure to no more than a couple weeks>
and we finished a round of prazipro. While he did have some more regular poops with epsom salt in his
tank, he remains floating on his side. There is no improvement on swimming ability. He still spends his day floating and hiding.
<From whatever cause/s (genetic, trauma, pathogenic), he may have suffered long/er term gas bladder damage>
Recently he has been less reactive to stimulus- an example would be he is facing a corner and it is feeding time. I nudge him so he knows to move and he just sits there without moving. He will remain in one spot when other fish would flee or move. He only eats sometimes. It is probably hard for him to know it is there, yet even when it is right in front of his face he ignores it. Other times he goes right for it (he can't exactly swim to his food- he really just jerks his body a few times and hopes he gets to where he wants to be).
I make sure to take the time to push the food in front of his face so he can eat it and remove any he may ignore or sinks to the bottom.
<I'd leave off w/ further chemical treatments here>
I really want to help him but despite all the typical things one would do for constipation or SBD, he hasn't recovered a bit. I am considering euthanasia if he doesn't show signs of recovery in a month or so. Surely, a humane death is better than spending his life floating and hiding and not being able to live a normal betta life.
<IF it's your perception that this fish/animal in your care is suffering:
Is there something else that could be wrong? Maybe something happened at the store, at the fish farm, during shipping, etc to cause this.
<Yes; many possible inputs>
When I bought him, he was floating just as he is now. Thanks for all your help.
<Thank you for your caring, sharing. Bob Fenner>

Trichopodus leerii food     1/9/20
Hello Crew, hope things are status quo in your neck(s) of the woods! Question—any suggestions for a (preferably low maintenance) daily food supplement to give my Trichopodus leerii in addition to flakes?
<A good quality pellet, maybe frozen/defrosted crustacean...>
My last Trichopodus loved your NLS Float suggestion but this guy spits them out, yet my cherry barbs devour them. Package says “regular size” 1-1.5mm pellets—could these be too big for him?
<Unusual... maybe>
NLS does not seem to sell a smaller, floating food, and he is too slow to grab sinking food from other inhabitants. I have Hikari micro pellets but they are smaller than flakes! Any ideas, or maybe his “begging” is an act of dramatics? Thank you! —Matt from NJ
<I'd go with what I do... the frozen/defrosted food in addition daily (better in the AM, use the dry in the PMs). I use (a lot) of San Francisco Bay Brand brine shrimp; though Hikari's line are also excellent. Bob Fenner>

Need advice on resealing a tank    1/7/20
Hi folks,
<Hi Rina>
I need some advice with a resealing job gone wrong on a bowfront tank. Because the front pane meets the side panes at about a 120 degree angle, the two structural seams between the front and side panes are very exposed from the inside and I inadvertently cut into them when removing the inner bead.
<How many gallons does this tank hold?>
So, where those seams should be the thickness of the glass, they're now only half that thickness.
<Mmm, I would not trust this seam thickness to withstand the water pressure>
At first I thought I could fix my mistake if I used a strong silicone like SCS1200 and squeezed it into the exposed seam while laying down the inside bead. I know the new silicone won't bold to the remaining old seam, but if the new bead is very thick, could it do a decent job holding the panes together from the inside?
<It may do a decent job, but I don’t think it would look good aesthetically.>
Or does that pose too great a risk of leaks down the road?
<Most likely, yes>
If that kind of patch-up method just won't do, could I remove and reattach just the front panel?
<If this were my tank, I would just remove the old silicone and apply a new layer between the laterals and frontal panes.>

I know the new seams won't attach to the old seams so the tank could potentially leak at the two bottom corners, but if the inside bead is sufficiently thick, wouldn't that be sufficient to prevent them? I know the surest method would be to rebuild the tank completely but I might have to move and take the tank down in just over a year so it doesn't seem to be worth that kind of work at the moment. (If I don't end up moving I could always rebuild the tank then.) Would either of the two methods above work in the meantime?
Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!
<You’re most welcome. Wil.>

re: Slow Columnaris strain possibly      1/5/20
Hi again Neale, Thanks for your reply.
<No problem.>
It seems only 2 boesmani are getting the mouth fungus and no guppies.
<Melanotaenia boesemanni has similar requirements to Guppies in terms of water chemistry, i.e., hard and alkaline. They do require more water current though, or at least, adapt less well to still water/low oxygen levels than Guppies. The males can be very aggressive though, and bite-marks around the mouth are common when they fight.>
Maybe for some reason the environment is stressing them more than the guppies? Is that possible?
<Absolutely. See above.>
One boesmani just wont let itself be caught. Going to have to try again tomorrow so both with fungus are being treated.
<Medicating the tank may well be the only option; see our previous messages, and elsewhere on this site. Cheers, Neale.>

ACF Fungal Infection      1/5/20
We have (had) 2 albino ACF. They are approx. 4/5 years old. They live in a 20g long. No other tank mates. They are feed night crawlers and feeder guppies.
<Please stop using the feeder Guppies. Whatever else is going on here, live feeder fish -- besides the cruelty involved -- is a sure-fire way of introducing parasites and pathogens for no good use. It's not like these frogs need live foods.>
We do regular 50% weekly water changes with R/O water and keep the water temp at 78.
<Why RO? Xenopus laevis do best in slightly hard water conditions: aim for around 10-15 degrees dH, pH 7.5.>
We have two Hang on back filters and all water parameters are in acceptable ranges - ammonia 0, nitrates 0. Not sure of water hardness. This Leads to up my first question. Does the ph range matter?
I cannot recall reading any info on ph ranges for frogs.
<A good deal in the scientific literature, at least. But a summary can be found here:
Avoid soft, acid water conditions.>
I have done many hours of research and feel like we are good frog caretakers. They have been happy and healthy for years now and loved members of the family. Unfortunately they recently became ill. We noticed that one of the frogs was floating at the top of the tank. She was not going back down to her “house” where they normally stay. She was also not wanting to eat. Not unusual for her she has never been a good eater. We looked her over and did not see any obvious signs of red leg or bloat. Two days later our other frog began to mimic the same behavior. This was alarming to us as they have never behaved this way before. Behavior change = something wrong! After looking them over again I noticed that they appeared to have small sheds of skin hanging from them. Immediately I knew this was a concern bc they should shed in one big suit, I have seen it many times! One also had a very small area of white fuzz on her butt/back area. Google hear I come! I have been researching for 12 hours now and can’t really come up with a definite answer as to what is wrong with them.
<Some amount of shedding is normal, but if they're suddenly shedding a lot of skin, and on top of that, behaving abnormally (e.g., not eating normally) then yes, you might well suspect some sort of problem.>
I realize it’s a fungal infection. But what kind? I found info that says amphibian fungal infections can be treated with methylene blue.
But again no clear instructions for amphibians.
<As per fish. Methylene Blue is relatively gentle, which is why we use it freely with fish eggs. Mardel MarOxy is another good choice.>
I knew waiting to do anything was a death sentence so this is what we did and the results so far:
3 gallons of aquarium water were removed from tank and used as bath water for treatment. We added 2 tsp. of methylene blue and bathed frogs for one hour. They were then put back in main tank. One frog died within 6 hours of treatment (the one with visible fuzz) one frog still living. I have resigned myself to that fact that my other frog will prob not survive but will keep fighting for her!
My questions are these:
What other medications can be used? Or what medicine works best?
<See above.>
What dosage should it be, and how often do you treat?
<Exactly as specified for fish. Remember to remove carbon from the filter, if used. Do also up the aeration a bit if possible.>
Should we just treat the main tank as there are no tank mates?
<I would, yes.>
Should the main tank be emptied sanitized and the surviving frog be put new “Clean” tank?
<No need. Fungus (and Finrot-type bacteria) are entirely opportunistic, and latent in all aquaria. Under normal conditions they may even play a role in 'ammonification', i.e., turning fish/frog wastes into the ammonia your filter bacteria can use.>
Any other advice would be welcomed!
<Do see above re: Guppies.>
P.S. We have discovered that the tank heater is the most likely culprit as to why they became sick. It was on the fritz and not keeping the tank at the proper temp. They got too cold!
<Xenopus laevis should handle room temperature without any trouble at all. Xenopus tropicalis is more finicky, as its name would suggest, but is less widely sold. Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Jewel cichlids; repro.       1/5/20
Hi, i have 6 jewel cichlids. 1 male and 5 females. 1male and 1 female have paired off and have had 1 brood. I have removed about 90% of the fry and put them in a tank by themselves. Will the male breed with the other females.
<Not likely, no. Generally these cichlids "pair", reproduce w/ only one partner. Better to best count on the one pair breeding every few weeks; more often if you separate their young from them>
2 of the females are bright in color and he spends time with them.
But most of the time he is protecting the fry. The 1st pic is of the pair and the 2nd is him flirting with the other females.
Thank you,
Craig Thomas
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Mixing Wrasses-Reef Tank      1/5/20
Hello Bob and Team!
Hope all is well. Wanted to ask about mixing different species of wrasses in a 180 gallon reef tank.
<Well; the Labridae are a huge and diverse assemblage... Some would/will likely mix, def. others would not>
Currently, my tank includes 2 Yellow Tangs, Blonde Naso, Purple Tang, Flame Hawkfish, Solar Fairy Wrasse, Black Fin Fairy Wrasse, Mystery Wrasse and a Ocellaris Clown.
I wanted to know if I would be able to add any more wrasses, my worry is and always has been the Mystery Wrasse. He’s been a model citizen, I’ve had him with other wrasses since he was about 1” big and now he’s about 2.5-3”; so I feel he’s been “raised with other wrasses” so he should be okay, but I still watch him close.
<Whatever you put in, labrid or not, you should look to the "mystery" to assure it is getting sufficient food>
I’d like to consider adding specifically fairy or flasher wrasses and maybe a Yellow Halichores and/or Melanurus?
<These should go/mix in fine>
I usually introduce the new wrasses with a partition for a few days so the new wrasses aren’t harassed. I’ve been able to limit aggression and they all coexist quite happily.
This time, I was thinking about introducing maybe 4-5 fish (my last fish adds) at the same time without partition; assuming they are large, healthy and boisterous. My thought is to add enough at once that the existing residents likely won’t be able to single out a lone target. Kind of overwhelm them with some “shock and awe”. I have a separate 60 gallon QT/holding tank that I use to get the new fish eating and stable before introduction to the display; so I’d buy and hold the new fish in there until they are ready to move together.
<Sounds good>
In the end, my question centres around aggression; I’d like to try and marginalize any possible targeted aggression from the mystery wrasse to any new adds.
Let me know what you think.
Thanks Team!
<If it were me, mine, I would go ahead w/ these introductions/additions. Bob Fenner>
Re: Mixing Wrasses-Reef Tank    1/6/20

Thank You Bob!
<Welcome Anik! B>

re: Slow columnaris strain possibly     1/4/20
Hi Neale. Thanks for your reply.
Im considering treating the water at a low dose since that seems to help and moving the snails elsewhere.
<Do read up re: antibiotic resistance. Low doses ultimately do more harm than good.>
Keeping a close eye on it atm to see.
Could I medicate flake food with kanamycin or furan 2? Would that also help?
<Worth a shot. But Mouth Fungus is a tricky disease to cure. Kanamycin should help, but I'd combine with salt if you're medicating with antibiotic food. Cheers, Neale.>
re: Slow columnaris strain possibly     1/4/20

Hi again Neale thanks for your reply.
<You're welcome.>
So the rainbow I put back in now is developing the fungus again. So yeah it must be in the water unfortunately.
<I do fear; environmental issues, at least. Could be water (pH, quality); could be temperature (too high, too low); could be oxygen concentration (too little); could be frequency of water changes (too big, too few); could be tankmates (aggression between male Rainbows is common, and results in torn mouths and fins); could be extrinsic even (noisy room, kids banging on glass, etc.).>
I thought low dose of acriflivane and malachite green.
<Worth a shot.>
Do you mean put salt in the food?
<Nope; in the water. Around 2 g/litre to start with, and after a couple weeks, you could increase to 3 g/l if necessary. Rainbows will actually tolerate quite high salinities even though they're not (with one or two
exceptions) from brackish water habitats, being closely related to marine fish. So even as high as 5 g/litre will not harm them for weeks or months at a time, but will prevent or even cure many types of problem. Plants may be more fussy; does depend on the species. If you let me know the species, I will confirm.>
Will salt in water hurt the plants?
<All will handle 2-3 g/l without problems, at least for short periods of days/weeks. Higher salinities, up to 5 g/l, will be tolerated by hardy plants such as Vallisneria, Anubias, Java ferns, etc.>
Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
<Sent from my computer, on my lap. Cheers, Neale.>

Slow columnaris strain possibly      1/3/20
Hi Neale! Hope you had a great new Years :)
<So far, anyway.>
So after I got back from overseas I saw 1 of my boesmami has mouth rot. 2 guppies also died 1 from wasting amd one from no idea what since I wasnt here.
<Oh dear.>
I swab treated the rainbows mouth with methylene blue 2x and treated him with blue planet fungus cure in a QT tank at reduced temperature. He seems cured.
Problem is some of other fish are now showing symptoms (tiny bit of whiteness) and I cant medicate the big tank as it has plants and loads of snails.
<One approach is to take cuttings of those plants that can't be moved; remove any specimen plants that can be moved without too much risk; and simply lift out any epiphytes. As for the snails, rescue those you care about, but basically let them take their chances.>
If I dosed the main tank with fungus cure at a 1/5th dose (that seems to of cured the rainbow), would it kill my snails and plants?
<Hard to predict. I'd imagine not. But see above just in case.>
Im really having trouble navigating the snails and plants issue. Or should I just QT and treat any fish who has symptoms or all the fish in groups?
<Treating fish, while the pathogen remains in the aquarium, is risky. You could, ideally, remove all the fish and medicate them, then return them to the tank. If you leave the display tank fallow (i.e., fish-free) for a couple weeks, that usually breaks the life cycle of the pathogen down, but in the case of bacteria, that's less likely. Bacteria often live harmlessly enough in aquaria doing their normal job of breaking down organic material, and it's the fish's own immune system that stops them becoming a disease.
In this instance, if we really do suspect Flavobacterium spp., those will simply go dormant until a fish becomes sufficiently weakened and damaged to allow them to cause a problem. Put another way, you can't eliminate pathogenic bacteria from aquaria, in the same way as you can do with Whitespot.>
Thanks I have no idea what to do
<As stated, your problem is that you can't wipe out Flavobacterium on a fish-by-fish basis because the bacterial spores are in the environment. Treating the fish with symptoms in a hospital tank is probably unavoidable, and then you could hope the remaining fish have working immune systems that are fending off the Flavobacterium just fine. With that said, since Flavobacterium columnare very much infects fish that are stressed and/or physically damaged, rather than just randomly, some reflection on the causes must come into play. Cheers, Neale.>

Used acrylic tank. Help!      1/3/20
<Max; please limit the size of files to a few hundred KBytes... for reasons stated where you found to write us>
I just got a used 90gallon acrylic tank, it was a screaming deal!(tank, stand, light, rocks, canister filter and a nice powered gravel vac)
<This last, meh... you want to dump change out water>
so even if the tank is shot, I feel I've gotten my money. It was slightly dark out when I looked at it and I was overjoyed to see the panels weren't heavily scratched!
<They do look good>
In my joy, I didn't inspect the seams as well as I should have.
I am now noticing things that worry me. Since I am new to acrylic, I have been doing research to see if the seams are acceptable(I'm guessing they aren't and that's okay) I have found very little information on assessing seams and would like a second opinion. Are there any surefire things to look for?
<Surefire? Mmm; more like matters of degree. I would likely use/trust this tank as is; assuming it was set up on a stand that is level, planar and strong... on a floor that isn't going to change that when the tank is filled>
I have filled the tank completely and heard no cracks and seen no leaks, but I'm leaving it to sit in a safe area for a few days.
<Good move, test>
Attached are pictures of what I believe are the "worst" areas. The bottom seams look
MUCH better than the ones around the top.
<Yeah; there are techniques one can use to buff out the scratches, fill in the outer joints (with solvent) and if it really concerns you, and you intend to keep this tank for many years, doweling that can be solvented in the inside seams. All this is gone over/archived on WWM. Just use the search tool (on every page) to find the general area and read the articles and FAQs. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine Protocol     1/2/20
Hi Team,
<Hey Callum>
I have a question about QT protocol which is similar to a question I read sometime ago on the site but I can no longer find it, so I apologise for any repetition.
<No worries>
I have a 120 Litre reef tank plus 60 Litre sump with the following inhabitants: 1 Striped Fang Blenny, 1 Blue Green Chromis, 1 Pink Skunk Clownfish and assorted LPS and soft corals. All fish have been in
the aquarium for over a year now and appear healthy and eat a combination of Mysis Shrimp, live blackworms and Spectrum pellets. However, when I initially purchased the clownfish (no quarantine - I have learnt my lesson), it exhibited signs of Ich for a few weeks. The symptoms then subsided after I removed it's partner who was an aggressive female Pink Skunk and it there have been no outward symptoms on any fish since (around a year).
Now, I know that it is likely that Ich is still present in my system even without symptoms and I would like to add a final fish to this tank - a Royal Gramma. I recently purchased a quarantine tank in preparation for this but I am reluctant to take my 3 fish out of the display tank and treat them for Ich plus leave the display fallow.
<Mmm; yes... would take a considerable period of time (longer, the better) to be (more) assured that obligate protozoan parasites had lost their vitality/pathogenicity... months>
The fish all seem very healthy and I do not want to risk this with a stressor event such as moving them
to a QT. I would appreciate your thoughts on whether a 6 week quarantine period for the Royal Gramma using Marine Pure from the display and slowly adding water from the display over the 6 weeks to 'expose' the fish to the conditions in my tank is a viable option.
<It is; in fact two weeks will get you about 90% of what one can hope to gain>
My thinking is this would allow me to build up the strength of the Gramma and observe it for any signs of
disease. I don't think prophylactic Ich treatment in QT would be any use as I would be adding the fish to a display tank which Ich is likely still present. Or would the benefits of removing the three fish and treating them while leaving the display fallow for 8 weeks outweigh the downsides?
<I would go the route you suggest and NOT remove the existing fishes>
Thank you for your time and wonderful website.
<Thank you for contributing to it. Bob Fenner>

Re: Travis Carter’s Mega Angel Tank     1/2/20
Bob - I am getting mix views on this on the forums and i typically take what i read on the forums with a grain of salt. I would much rather defer to the caliber of experience such as yours. Could you answer this for me...
Do you think a combo of Annularis, French, Queen and Imperator Angles can coexist long term in a 650 gallon? 96x36x45.
<Oh, yes I do think these three Pomacanthids can, would likely get along indefinitely in a system of this size, shape. Bob Fenner>
Re: Travis Carter’s Mega Angel Tank     1/2/20

Thanks Bob for the information and vote of confidence!
<Ahh, glad to render it! BobF>

January Calendar     1/2/20
Hi Bob, Happy New Year. Here is a new calendar for the website.
Mike Kaechele
<Thank you! B>


Re: Red Claw Crab not Eating       1/1/2020
Thank you very much for this help! Right after I added more salt, he molted the next day.
Does he absolutely need to eat his exoskeleton? If so, he is not eating it.
<No, he doesn't need to eat it, but most crabs do, simply to recycle the calcium. If he doesn't, that's fine, but do add some suitable replacement, like a small shell-on prawn that he can pick apart and consume. Failing that, just dusting whatever he likes to eat (fish meat, banana, etc.) with crushed cuttlebone or even fragments of edible snail shells (escargot) will have the same usefulness. Some crab foods are calcium-enriched and may be good enough on their own, but personally, I'd make a point of offering
extra calcium immediately after moulting. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Questions for 2 bettas     12/31/19
<Lance; please limit your pic/file sizes to a few hundred KBytes; we don't have much allowed storage>
Good morning, here is an update for you. My sad little fin rot boy is doing...the same. We got the doxy in on Friday and he has been on it since then. Can't tell if the rot has stopped or not- very difficult to get a
pic of him in this old acrylic tank he is in. He does still eat and swims a bit but chooses to hide most of the time.
<Mmm; well antibiotics take a while; and this behavior is about par for Betta splendens>
As for my constipated betta, since adding epsom salt to his tank he finally had his first normal betta poop.
<Ah, good>
Unfortunately nothing else has happened since then. The prazipro came in yesterday so he is being treated with it in case parasites are causing this ailment. He still happily eats but hides or floats. He switches between being bloated and looking normal, but I fail to see any poop in his tank that would suggest he is going. It is bare bottom so I can spot anything he passes.
I attached a pic of him. He usually floats on his side like that. He also did that at the store when I got him.
<Keep on keeping on is what I'd do, three treatments of antibiotics (every three days), and patience w/ the latter. Bob Fenner>

Red Claw Crab not Eating 12/29/19
Hello! Hardly anyone knows anything about red claw crabs, as I cannot find any answers as to why my red claw crab has stopped eating!
<Let's see if we can help.>
He is kept in brackish water conditions, has filtered water, and water that is always about 74 degrees Fahrenheit.
<Right. Let's review first. By "brackish", how salty are we talking about? The first thing you do when brackish water animals misbehave is change the salinity. Many if not most come from places where the salinity varies, so just making a change can have a positive effect. But the bigger issue is that you need to be using a substantial amount of salt, not the teaspoon per gallon amounts often mentioned. I'd suggest one teaspoon per litre (i.e., a salt concentration of about 6 gram/litre) to produce about one-sixth normal seawater salinity. If that didn't do the trick, feel free to double that amount, which would get you around one-third normal seawater salinity. Either of these would be much closer to real world situations for Perisesarma bidens. Next up, review air temperature. 23 C/74 F is very much towards the low end for a tropical animal, and I'd crank the water heater up to 25 C/ 77 F. In cold conditions tropical animals will slowly lose vigour, and loss of appetite is an extremely common symptom of that. Death invariably follows soon after, though it may take weeks to happen.>
He is able to climb to get air or be in water when he wants. I have sand substrate. When I first got him, he would eat his food fine, but now, he won’t eat at all. I noticed he wouldn’t eat, so I ended up putting his food right in front of him, and he still won’t eat that food.
<Loss of appetite in crabs is almost always a symptom of environmental problems. Review as stated above.>
I don’t think he’s molting, because he’s been acting this way for about 2 weeks and I was told molting should only take about a day.
<Correct, and moulting crabs tend to hide away. They do need a source of iodine to moult successfully, for which purpose either offer regular portions iodine-rich foods (Sushi Nori is ideal) or else specific iodine-enriched crustacean foods sold for use in marine aquaria.>
Also, I don’t think it’s a calcium problem, as I give him special vitamins that help provide him calcium every 3 weeks. I’m really worried about him, and I have no idea why he is not eating.
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

fresh water question; stkg. (albeit large) bowls 12/29/19
Hello, crew of WetWebMedia, hope you and your family and friends had a wonderful XMAS and wish you all have a great year in 2020.
<Thank you for these kind words.>
Bob told me to email the crew with my concerns. Here goes....
I am currently visiting my family...my dad told me to go get some fish with some color ....so he can place them in the big ceramic fish bowls in the garden....I want to say those fish bowls will holds about 10-15 gal ish water....just my best guess without using a known size container to dumping water into the fishbowl to get exact amount of water it will hold.
<Right, now, in themselves such bowls aren't really suitable for keeping outdoor fish species in temperate zone parts of the world. With appropriate plants and/or filtration, they could work for small livebearer species in the subtropics (for example Mosquitofish) or in cooler, but not frosty, places, perhaps Heterandria formosa. In subtropical to tropical places, there are various very small minnows that could work, such as White Cloud Mountain Minnows, or else Ricefish. But bowls are rather compromised in various ways, not least of all the absence of water current and the poor surface area to volume ratio that means oxygen absorption isn't very good.>
But due to the season of the year and the temperature starting to drop....Right now ...it has been around low to mid 60s.....So instead outside....I decide to move the fish bowl indoor instead.

I believe I asked you guys this question before in the past....I do not know if I remember correctly, but I believe last time you guys suggested platy.....not sure...
<Platies are fine fish, and can live in aquaria upwards of 15 gallons given sufficient filtration, but without filters they'd be a poor choice, and for a 10 gallon bowl, I can't see them working well in the long term.>
I think at the time...I was looking for small fish with color to put in the fish tank outside on the patio....we end up just use the regular guppy that does not have those bright colors....but at least they do keep the mosquito from growing in that fish tank.....we do have a small water pump to keep water circulate in that tank on the patio and water plant for the nutrient in the water....which guppy seems to survive....but not reproducing....maybe the ones we put in happen to be same sex? or they aren't happy....since there really only 2-3 I believe....I will try to catch few more from koi pond and place them in the tank on the patio and see what happen.
<Guppies will struggle to reproduce successfully in small tanks or bowls.
Assuming water quality is adequate (use a nitrite or ammonia test kit to check) the big challenge will be in making sure fry survive. Without enough cover, the fry are simply food for the adults. In the wild, newborn Guppies head straight for thick plants in very shallow water where the adults can't go. This gives them enough safety to survive the critical first couple of weeks needed to get big enough to avoid predation. In big tanks, a few fry will survive even without adequate cover, but in a small tank or bowl, the odds are much lower.>
ANYWAY.....my question for this fish bowl we are placing inside...currently no water/air pump inside....just few pieces of water plants..... with half aged tap water and half koi pond water.
The fish I end up picked out from the location was peacock guppy fish
.....I figure better of get smaller fish, instead of bigger ones.
<Do bear in mind that Guppies need consistent warmth to do well, and the farmed pedigree breeds are much more sensitive than the wild fish. So whole wild Guppies can handle temperatures down to 22 C/72 F, your farmed Peacocks, Cobras, and all the other famous varieties need 25-28 C/77-82 F to stay healthy. It's like comparing a Labradoodle with a Timber Wolf -- the genes required to handle harsh conditions of the wild have been lost in the process of breeding something humans want in the home.>
Oh...also....there is a piece of glass on top of the fish bow and there is a gap of ....maybe about 3mm or so in between the ceramic bowl's rim and the bottom of the glass top acting as table's surface....
There are about 12 guppies inside. Been away from fresh water fish keeping so long....is that too many for current condition?
<It's a lot for 10 gallons, certainly, especially if filtration is lacking (water movement by itself doesn't count).>
Is there any dangerous of CO2 build up to dangerous level due to no air/water pump for circulation of water/air?
<CO2 build up is less of an issue than oxygen depletion. Nature will take its course here quite quickly -- if there's a lack of oxygen, some fish will die, and what remains will be the carrying capacity tolerated by the rate of oxygen absorption.>
I know I will need to go search for a light source to provide strong enough light for the plant....any suggestions?
<If the plants are above the waterline, emergent species, then a sunny windowsill or conservatory would be fine for a few months. Otherwise, yes, some sort of plant-suitable LED lamp is probably the most cost effective and convenient approach.>
I assume most are LED now ...since when I left saltwater fish/reef keeping was when LED just starting to taking over fish tank lighting...
<Indeed; while more expensive up front, LEDs are much cheaper now than they were even 10 years ago, are much more efficient in terms of running costs and maintenance.>
Will oxygen provide by the plants enough for the 12 little fishies?
<Generally, without strong lighting, the amount of oxygen from aquatic plants is minimal. So no, don't bank on it. Much the same as reef tanks -- sure, algae are releasing some oxygen and absorbing some nitrate, but you wouldn't rely on either in lieu of filtration and aeration. Large ponds are different because the ratio of plants to fish is very much more favourable.>
probably best to have at least one small water pump...smallest I can find...probably should work, yes?
<A filter, anyway.>
would greatly appreciated if you guys can give me any suggestions/advice ....so we can do this right ....so fishes can have a good place to live...
Thank you all once again...and Happy New Year
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Questions for 2 Bettas      12/27/19
One last question (or a few) before I play the waiting game with these boys and their treatments. Thanks for reading thru it all as I like to be very thorough.
How long should I leave the Epsom salt in the aquarium? I do every other day water changes for him so I should be re-adding whatever amount of salt may be lost with those changes? I mix the salt in the new water and dissolve before adding. I usually do a half gallon change since he is in a 2.5 gal.
It has nothing in it aside from a HOB filter, a floating leaf and floating log. Removed the moss balls since I added the Epsom salt.
<I'd put half a tsp. in this system and replace the percentage removed when you do water changes>
For the metro and Prazi, I have PraziPro recommended to me a lot and Metroplex is probably the easiest to get when it comes to that med. Do y'all recommend both of these?
<Do search/read on WWM re both... these are good, useful medications, but not items that should be used casually, continuously>
I talk mainly to other aquarists on Facebook and I feel people religiously flock to Seachem there so I try to remain skeptic with everything.
<Skepticism, even a bit of cynicism I find healthy. Seachem as a co. is "the real thing". Real products, real science>
For Mr Fin Rot I'm debating removing his current filter when I start the doxy treatment and keep running it in a small tank and feeding it ammonia so I don't lose my good bacteria OR putting the media in another aquarium for the moment. Would the latter be a bad move if the fin rot is contagious?
<I wouldn't feed the system ammonia. The fish will provide plenty. In fact, I would monitor ammonia and possibly place or filter through Zeolite to remove it>
I have 8 other betta tanks and a cichlid tank going right now.
I can always steal seeded media later too. Thomas Labs recommends a water change before adding each new treatment of doxy (which would be daily) so I am ok leaving his tank temporarily without the cycled media that is probably going die anyway.
<I do agree w/ this regimen. I'd likely treat every three days and do the water change outs right before then>
Thanks for the help, I really do appreciate it. WWM has been very inspiring and a tremendous source of info for me all these years.
<Am very glad for this. You and other petfish friends are what we endeavor for. B>

Questions for 2 Bettas
Hey WWM, I am a super long time reader of 10 years. I love reading thru your site and have learned a lot since I first came across your site. I have a hobby of buying sick betta fish on occasion and helping them recover. I have a pretty good success rate and have helped about 10 recover, but I have 2 I have been working on who aren't getting better.
<Let's see...>
My first fellow is a double tail I got 2 weeks ago w/ swim bladder issues.
He is constipated and has only pooped a few meager bits since I've had him.
He spends his time floating at the surface, sometimes on his side, and hiding behind the filter. He does eat and has a normal betta appetite. He isn't really bloated much. I have fasted him, I have fed him daphnia (which in the past makes my Bettas poop when they can't go), I have done Epsom salt baths. He gets a water change every other day due to the tank size.
Nothing is helping. I have only done Epsom salt baths twice. Going thru WWM I see you suggest instead to add directly to the tank, which I have been hesitant about because I have seen people warn against that. He is in a 2.5 gal hospital tank right now. Do you think this would be more beneficial than baths, and how much should I add, and for how long? Or should I try something else?
<If it were me, mine, I would go ahead w/ the direct addition of Epsom Salt here (half a tsp. replaced when you change out water), and likely dose w/ Metronidazole and likely Praziquantel... to cover all microbial, parasitic, worm bases>
My next fish is a Petco-version of a black orchid betta that I got at the end of the October. He had been there for a while with some nasty fin rot.
In the past I have been able to treat aggressive fin rot with Maracyn and Maracyn 2. This rot will not go away no matter what I do. I have tried Maracyn, Kanaplex, daily water changes, Microbe Lift Artemiss, and Methylene blue baths and swabbing the blue directly on his fins. He hasn't had any antibiotics since November. The next thing I am trying is Doxycycline from Thomas Labs. Initially the rot stopped after 2 rounds of Maracyn, but since came back and has only either slowed, or stopped for a bit and returned. This fish hasn't had any regrowth. The tail is almost gone and I fear body rot and death. My next step would be to take him to an actual fish vet, however I can't find one near me who won't charge over
$200 for the initial visit. He is in a cycled 3 gallon. I do believe the doxy is going to kill the beneficial bacteria, right?
<Might set nitrifiers back, yes>
Anything else I can do to save him should doxy fail?
<Yes; I would add a good deal (like a couple teaspoons of aquarium salt (artificial SeaSalt would be better/best) and a pro-rated dose of Metronidazole here>
Also neither fish has any tank mates. The only other living things in their tanks is some Marimo moss balls from Aquatic Arts.
<These I'd remove; the salt may work the moss woe>
Thank you for your time and advice!
<Thank you for your efforts. Bob Fenner>
Re: Questions for 2 Bettas

Thank you so much, Bob. I'm going to put some Epsom salt in my constipated boy's tank today and then look into the other medications. I'm concerned for my boy with fin rot because yesterday I noticed some fungus or what I think is fungus on his fins but I tried to stay positive and ignored it and gave him his water change as usual.
<Aye; w/o sampling (and often culture) it is near impossible to guess what  group of organisms are/may be involved here. And hence effective treatments>
But this morning it has returned and it's probably going to get worse... I'm really worried that he's not going to make it with the way this fungus is spreading.
<The salt use should help; at least forestall worsening>
His Doxycycline from Thomas Labs should arrive in the mail today so he will be started on it when I get home. He does still eat and greets me but spends most of his time resting on leaves.
<Eating is a very good sign>
I attached a bad pic of him from yesterday where you can see a dot of white 'fungus' on the tiny strand of tail fin in the middle (the tank is acrylic and water spots won't go away so please ignore that). That little piece of his tail has since shriveled away. Again thanks for any help!!
<Yeah; the "fungus" could be many things... even just body mucus from... "irritation".
Do stay positive and keep us in the loop. BobF>

Re: Zoas and regal angel dislodging but not eating them      12/25/19
Thanks for your reply Bob. Over here in the UK Palythoa, Palys are sold under that name with variety next ,e.g. Paly purple death. 'Non Palythoa' tend to be sold as 'Zoa space monster' for example.
<Ahh, so... "Zoa" refers to just members of the genus Zoanthus? Perhaps other genera>
The regal angel seems to know the difference somehow! I will try gluing the Zoas i have left into crevices but like yourself, I'm not hopeful of success. Thank you and the crew for your invaluable help to fellow hobbyists including myself. Merry Christmas and have a happy new year, Toby.
<And to/for you and yours Toby. BobF>

Re: High ph and low kh      12/24/19
I've heard that high kh water will crash and then rebound back up if you try to lower its ph, but dont remove its kh.
<Mmm; well; depends on what (chemical species) are elevating pH... once buffering at a given (pH) level is diminished/reduced, pH may drop (precipitously)>
If I use ph down along with the ph and kh increasing buffer will the ph hold?
<Likely so... you could ask the chemical composition from your municipal supplier, or have it checked out by an independent lab... or do a "assay" yourself (which is what I'd do), and mix up all, let stand for a few days (in a chemically inert container).>
I want to lower the ph from 9.6 to 8.5, not just keep it from going past 9.6.
<I understand the first, and barring the addition of something w/ a higher pH, it should not go higher. BobF>

Zoas and regal angel dislodging but not eating them      12/24/19
Hi, i have an adult regal angel and recently tried a few different colored Zoas in my tank with him. He leaves all my LPS alone. He does rip the superglued Zoas from their frag plugs but does not eat them.
<Does happen...>
When they are sat on the sand he largely ignores them only occasionally showing interest. He is well fed, and i can see this may not work. I was encouraged as he ignores similar sized Palythoa.
<Interesting... What genus of Zoanthids are you referring to as "Zoas"? Palythoa are Zoanthids>
I can see he will be a pain with Zoas but the fun (?) for him seems to be ripping them from the frag plug. My question is, is there a more secure way to bond a Zoa frag to a plug, or do Zoas hold better onto rocks with their more contoured surface?
<I suspect that this Angel will continue pull at, otherwise destroy these "Zoas" no matter how they are attached>
If he could not dislodge them it might be a start and i cannot return these to my LFS, thanks for any advice, Toby.
<I myself would try other groups of Cnidarians. Bob Fenner>

Re: Best Antibiotic for Fin Rot in Hard Water?     12/23/19
Dear WetWebMedia Crew,
Apologies for the late reply I have been out of town a long time.
<No problem.>
I chickened out on using Kanamycin because it once wiped out a newly established bio filter in my experience, and used Erythromycin based on the advice of a local fish store who swore it worked really well for them.
Of course I did not read that it is only effective against gram-positive bacteria and not gram-negative, which is most fin rot infections.
So now the silver dollar has lost most of his dorsal and anal fins, and his tail fin has a big semicircular cut out of it with a black margin. There may also be erosion of the skin on the base of the tail but it is hard to
tell. Another silver dollar has also acquired a semicircular cut out of his tail, but otherwise none of the other fish have fin problems.
If I have a mature bio filter, would kanamycin wipe it out?
<It shouldn't, if used correctly, but there's always a risk with any antibiotic. The ideal situation is to remove the filter media to a bucket of water, ideally with a bubbler to keep it aerated. Then, use Zeolite in the filter for the period while you're using the antibiotic. Zeolite removes ammonia directly. It's inexpensive (often sold as "ammonia remover" in pet shops) and does the job adequately well. Once the antibiotics are done, remove the Zeolite and put the filter media back.>
I recently added a second canister filter to the aquarium with bio media from another tank but the original one has had a biofilter for almost a year now.
<See above. If all else fails, isolate the media from one filter as described above, but leave the other running. So long as ammonia levels stay at zero, the antibiotic isn't doing any harm; but if there is a
crisis, you know what to do (i.e., use Zeolite) and the other filter will be safe and ready to use when you're done. Normally, antibiotics are broken down within a day or two of use, so waiting a day or so, and doing a 25-50% water change, is all you need to do before connecting up the biological filter.>
Thank you for everything,
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

High ph and low kh     12/23/19
My tap water is ph 9.6, the official listed value on the water department website is 9-9.5. It's buffered to this level by soda ash.
<? Am wondering why the pH is raised so high by your municipal dept. And using sodium carbonate for the purpose. Do you know?>
The kh is low, 4 degrees on a liquid kh test and .2 on a conductivity meter.
<... am surprised that the agency wouldn't use/avail themselves of calcium compounds... to save their plumbing?>
Is there any way to raise the kh without raising the ph?
<Yes; you can/could simple sodium bicarbonate (Arm & Hammer and such baking soda will do) along/WITH an acid buffer (DO THIS outside the aquarium; i.e. pre-mix and store such made up water in advance of introduction/use in biological systems). Alternatively... oh, I see you ask below>
The water is intended for Tanganyikan cichlids.
Is 100% RO water with buffer and salt the only option to make this water usable?
<THIS is one way; and perhaps the preferred for your use... Have you read Neale Monk's piece on making/using "Rift Lake Salts" on WWM?:
Do please do so.>
Or is there some mix of tap and ro water plus buffer that will work?
<Would depend on other ionic make up in your source water. Definitely worth investigating, trying out various Calcium and Carbonate, Bicarbonate buffers IF you're using a bunch of water. IF only a few tens of gallons a month, I'd mix the RO and Neale's salt-blend>
Thanks for any information.
<Glad to share. Bob Fenner>
Re: High ph and low kh     12/23/19

The water department website says the ph is raised to prevent leeching from old (lead) pipes.
<Ah yes; then they should be working on switching them out>
I will try the buffer method, the tank is 65 gallons and I would like to change 25 gallons per week.
Seems like a lot of ro water but I dont know, maybe that is a reasonable amount to have to use weekly.
<Some folks advocate for smaller amounts more frequently. I change out 20-25% of my freshwater in my systems weekly. BobF>

Dart goby stkg.    12/21/19
Good day crew, quick question for you.
<Good day Nicole>
I currently have 4 zebra dart gobies (Ptereleotris zebra) and would like to add another 5 to make a bigger school. Is it possible? Thanks in advance
<It is possible and personally, I like how they look and behave in groups; The problem here is that you already have 4 that have established territories and may fight with the new comers... Still, I would give them a try, provided that you rearrange decor a bit and introduce them at night with the lights off. A very important thing to consider is that the new school must have been previously quarantined and stress free before joining the older ones. Hope you find this helpful. Cheers. Wil.>

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