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FAQs on the Minnows Called Flying Foxes

Related Articles: Cypriniiform Fishes, Glofish, A Bad Omen for the Future of the Hobby? by Spencer Glass

Related FAQs:  Cypriniiform/Minnow Fishes, White Clouds, Shiners & Rosies, Siamese Algae Eaters, Hillstream Fishes,


Large white Spots on Siamese Fighter Fish -- 07/24/07 Hi, <Hello, Elaine> I have a problem with my female Siamese fighter fish. <Betta splendens> Please find an enclosed photo of the problem. <Ack - that's not a well-looking fish!> Around two weeks ago I noticed a few large white spots on the body of the fish, around the size of her scales. <Looks to me as though the scales have actually been torn off - in looking at your stocking list below, I would surmise the flying fox, Epalzeorhynchos kallopterus, is the cause. The latter is NOT a peaceful fish, and doesn't belong together with any species that are... Also, your Betta appears extremely swollen - how long has she appeared like that? It could be constipation, or alternatively, a bacterial infection...worst case scenario, a tumor. How is she eating? Is she regularly pooping? If not, constipation may be the cause; try feeding a frozen, then thawed pea, or, alternatively, fasting her for a couple of days. I'd start there...> At this point I added a Melafix to the tank. <How are the water parameters? Temp., ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, etc.? Melafix can be helpful, but good water quality for healing wounds, scales injuries is much more important...> After a few days this appeared to have no effect. <Not surprised; see above. Also, do keep in mind it takes quite some time for injured/missing scales to heal and regenerate.> After some research online I suspected a slime or bacterial infection so dosed the tank with Methylene blue. <What?! No quarantine/hospital tank? Well, sadly you killed off any of the beneficial bacteria by medicating the entire tank; this is never a good idea. You will need to keep a VERY close eye on the water parameters, as this tank will need to re-cycle... Aside from this, the only "treatment" your Betta really needed was to be immediately separated from the Flying Fox and kept in pristine water conditions so that her scales can heal, re-grow, etc.> This appeared to stop any further progression of the problem and no other fish in the tank were affected, so she was then isolated and dosed with Methylene blue again. <Unfortunately you didn't isolate her to begin with, so as explained above, your main tank's nitrogen cycle is destroyed. Also, I'm not sure why you are treating with Methylene blue - totally unnecessary and likely harmful...> After almost a week in isolation she appears no better so we removed her from isolation and took the attached photo in the hope you may be able to help ( as Methylene blue you can't see her very well). <Yes - all explained above.> She is in a 180 litre tank... <Just about 48 US gallons...> ...with the following other fish (who appear to not be affected) - <Well, they will be affected by the buildup of harmful toxins caused by the re-start of the nitrogen cycle; please keep a very close eye on ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels, performing water changes as necessary...> 15 cardinal tetras a Bristlenose catfish a whiptail catfish 4 clown loaches (2 medium 2 small) 4 Corydoras 1 Siamese flying fox 2 Kuhli loaches <Again, the Flying Fox is a very territorial, highly aggressive fish who doesn't belong anywhere near a peaceful Betta. Also, clown loaches - these fish can reach up to 12" or better when full grown - do you have a plan for upgrading? Fish stocking schemes really need to be well-researched, thought out. Do take a look at www.fishbase.org for some extremely useful information on the species you are keeping...> My suggestion for your Betta is to setup a separate 3-5 gallon heated (80-82 degrees F), filtered tank for her to live in by herself. With proper water quality and time, her scales will heal and this problem will resolve itself. As for the stocking in the main tank, well, you've got a lot of bottom dwellers...far too many...start making contingency plans now...> Regards Elaine Bampton <Best regards, Jorie>
Re: Large white Spots on Siamese Fighter Fish - likely cause is bullying by Flying Fox   7/25/07
Thanks for the quick reply, I do however have a few issues with the suggestions that you have given - please don't think I'm being picky, I am merely trying to give my fish the best chance she has! <I do understand, and I'll do my best to respond to your thoughts...>

SAEs, Foxes... sel.   4/24/07 I am also having trouble finding places that sell real Siamese algae eaters.  I've read a lot about how most fish advertised as SAEs are actually flying foxes, and based on the descriptions, this seems to be the case. <Often the case, but does it matter? They're all pretty similar, and none of them are either [a] totally peaceful or [b] going to stop algae growing in your tank. The flying fox is marginally more aggressive, but in your 55 gallon tank this shouldn't be an issue. The main thing is you avoid the notorious "Chinese algae eater" Gyrinocheilus as this is a very disruptive animal. Maybe even consider something else entirely, like a Bristlenose Plec, which will graze algae but otherwise keep entirely to itself (and mostly out of view).> I live in Ann Arbor, do you know of any places that sell SAE's in that area? <From my vantage point in Berkhamsted, England, I can't really offer any useful advice on the variety of fishes sold in your area. If all else fails, talk with your local mom-and-pop tropical fish store, and ask if they'll place a special order. Many will, particularly if these are fish that they can easily sell once you've take your pick from the batch. Cheers, Neale>

Planted tank algae, big mis-id'ed "eater" Quite a bit of string algae building up in one of my tanks and the outdoor pots. The pH on these guys seems to always creep up as well. <Related events.... the algae is rapidly photosynthesizing, using up alkaline reserve, in the meanwhile poisoning/outcompeting its "higher" kin the vascular plants. Neat eh?> No string algae in the fireplace tank. The fireplace tank has a pH that is constantly falling <Use a little baking soda here> and a large Siamese Algae eater. <Large? This species doesn't get that large... are you sure you have the REAL thing? Check here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/saesagb.htm Thought you had a stinky Chinese Algae Eater? Time to trade that bad boy in> Question: is the string algae related to the increasing pH?  <Yes> Note I don't see the SAE eating it. <It won't... likely a blue green, likely not a true SAE> I have a bacterial product that is supposed to get rid of it called String Algae Treatment, S.A.T., do you think it would help? <Worth trying. Pls report back to me your results. Bob Fenner>

E. kalopterus longevity? (Lifespans of captive aquatics) Hello Robert, Sorry to bother you but I just read your article on SAE "Will the Real SAE Please Swim Forward?" and I have a question that you might be able to answer. I have a Flying Fox, E. Kalopterus, that I bought in -93 or -94 (not sure which). That makes him 8 years or so. Do you know how old these fish can get? <Know of ones near a decade... bet some of the Public Aquariums in Europe have had Flying Foxes this long or longer...> He is now about 14cm (5.5 inches) and he hasn't grown much in years as far as I can tell. Thanks for your time, Steve Danielsson Stockholm <Thank you for your input. As I say, many Public Aquariums do keep, even post longevity records on their stocks. You might want to try perusing some of their sites (links on the WWM Links Page) for more here. Bob Fenner>

Another Mean Epalzeorhynchus bicolor.... 02/02/2004  Hello I have recently bought a red tail black shark at about 1.5''. I also bought 2 Platies (one red, one yellow). I just found out that red tail sharks do not tolerate other fish with red markings.  <Or many other fish, for that fact!>  Unfortunately enough, this is true! The shark has bitten some scales off the right side of my platy and most of it's tail too!!! It died about 3 days after but the yellow platy is doing fine.  <This aggression is not color-selective.... I suspect it is only a matter of time before you see aggression toward the yellow fellow. As they grow, Redtail black sharks tend to become quite aggressive.>  I was wondering just so this doesn't happen again what species would be compatible with a red tail black shark? (if any)  <Well, tank size would be a good help in determining this. Provided it is large enough, some of the moderately sized Gourami - Trichogaster trichopterus, in any of its color morphs (blue, gold, "three-spot", platinum....), Trichogaster microlepis (the "moonlight" Gourami), perhaps paradise fish (Macropodus opercularis), other moderately sized semi-aggressive fish would do nicely. Perhaps also giant Danios, or even the smaller Danios - these are extremely resilient fish.>  And would it bother a ghost shrimp or snail?  <Likely would eat ghost shrimp, but at the low cost, might be worth trying. Bite-sized snails will turn into snacks, but larger ones would probably be safe.>  Just one more thing, should I buy a school of neon tetras or 3 guppies (two female one male).  <To go in with the Redtail? Neither, IMO. If you must have one or the other, the guppies would fare much better than the very delicate Neons.>  Thanks for any info, Joey.  <Glad to be of service! Wishing you and your finny pals well, -Sabrina>

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