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We ask that, before submitting a query, you refer to Neale Monk's: Before You Write; A Checklist of Common Problems with Freshwater Aquaria, Bettas, Goldfish, and Freshwater Turtles (Terrapins), Tips on Asking Questions, Ask the WWM Crew a Question, FAQs on FAQs. EDFP, TBPFWFAQs, Last Few Days Accrued FAQs, Subscribe to the Daily Pics

Astronotus ocellatus (Agassiz 1831), the Oscar. To seventeen inches (45.7 cm). South America: Rio Amazonas basin in Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Northern Paraguay and French Guiana. Freshwater: pH range: 6.0 - 8.0; dH range: 5.0 - 19.0, temp. 22 - 25°C. Wild type at  the Shedd Aq. 2015 
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Freshwater FAQs

Updated 6/24/2017
Other Specialized Daily FAQs Blogs: General, Planted Tanks, Ponds, Brackish, Last Few Days Accrued FAQs,
Daily Q&A replies/input from the WWM crew: Darrel Barton,
Neale Monks, Marco Lichtenberger, Bob Fenner, are posted here. Moved about, re-organized daily Current Crew Bios., Not so current Crew Bios
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Betta Success
Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Re: bumblebee grouper in freshwater? Plus now, FW Moray      6/24/17
Hello Neale!
Thank you for the detailed and fascinating reply.
<You're welcome.>
I understand your explanation. We Indonesians are blessed to live in the tropics; and many of our native fishes which are "common animal" for us, are often "luxury pets" for people in another part of the world.
<Precisely.>
People in Europe and USA would have to be more careful in choosing the best tropical fishes for their system, and ensuring that they buy only the animals which are compatible with the aquariums they have. Otherwise, it's
money wasted, and precious live fish wasted :(
<Quite so. If you're experimenting with a common brackish water fish, one that would just as likely end up on a dinner plate, then seeing how it would do in a freshwater tank is understandable. Of course nobody wants to
kill a fish slowly across weeks or months, so if the fish stops eating or starts getting sickly, then switch it back to brackish water conditions.
But if it's fine, then I don't see the harm.>
And certainly any fish that could grow bigger than one meter, like those poor groupers, are not ideal pets :( better let them swim free in the ocean..
<In this case, yes, probably best.>
It is fascinating to read that individual variations does matter in the survival of brackish/marine species in freshwater.
<Among all species, actually. Just think about humans -- all one species, but with very slight variations that make individuals better at handling different levels of UV exposure, oxygen availability, ability to digest milk as adults, ability to resist diseases like cystic fibrosis and malaria -- all sorts of minor genetic changes that evolution can work with. Nothing big enough to stop us all being humans, but things that mean a person well suited to one part of the world would be less well suited to another. This is the golden rule of biology -- the more variation, the better it is for the species. Doesn't matter if you're a human or a fish!>
As a matter of fact, I know a fish enthusiast who kept Gymnothorax Polyuranodon in freshwater for many years, with no apparent bad effects to the eel (I tried to buy it from him many times, never succeeded). He did not buy the eel from a fish shop, he bought it directly from a fisherman who fished the eel out of a river in Cilacap, South Java.
<There may well be regional populations of this Moray better adapted to living in freshwater. But if the ones traded internationally are from estuaries near the big cities, then those are the ones aquarists in Europe and the US will have to deal with. This is known for some Archerfish species, including species ordinarily thought of as brackish water fish known to breed at sea, but in some cases with landlocked populations that clearly don't do this. Because those landlocked populations are never traded, the standard advice to keep Toxotes jaculatrix and T. chatareus in brackish water aquaria is good advice -- unless of course you happen to live local to a true freshwater population and can collect them yourself!>
Perhaps this is a case of a lucky eel, because I read in the web, sad stories of morays who became stressed (some even died) after being kept in freshwater.
<Indeed; they commonly stop feeding, and after a few weeks or months, just die.>
I attach the picture of his eel with this picture.
<Do I see an Anabas climbing perch in there? Neat fish; never had the chance to keep one, but on my wish list!>
He mentioned that he does not use any chemical formula, not even marine salt, he just put the eel in the aquarium (together with some Anguilla bicolors), and use the water taken from a nearby river, mixed with tap water.
<Not so easy if you live in England!>
Well, again thank you for the discussion, and I wish you a wonderful weekend!
Best Regards,
Ben
<Thanks for writing and sharing these photos. Cheers, Neale.>

query.. Concern re sufficient DO, FW      6/24/17
Hi guys happened to go through your website and found it to be very informative and dependable ....I have this question related to better procedure of oxygenating water and I am really getting paranoid looking for a correct answer.....
<No need>
Of late I have realized that although I have been very regular in tank maintenance including water change , correct filtration , best food etc I still felt that my fish is just striving but not thriving in comparison to the fish I see with my friends who are very laid back on maintenance. I felt that their fish are more colorful and active then mine....Looking out for an answer I came across on many articles on water oxygenation and its importance. The studies showed that gas exchange happens on the surface of water.
<Mostly; yes>
Hence more the water agitation better...
<To an extent>
so my first question is this ....How much should it be ? For in my case I have a diy top filter like u see in these Chinese aquariums but instead of water coming out from one end , I have made holes so it comes out from the
entire filter like a spray bar ...
<Neat>
but the flip side is that it doesn't agitate the water a lot. I won't say that surface is stagnant but it doesn't agitate it like a power filter with nozzle pointing upward should do ...so do u think its still sufficient for oxygenation ?
<Likely so... are your fishes breathing rapidly, labored? >
My second question is that I came across many articles which claimed that surface aeration like the one I have is least effective method of oxygenation and bottom up method is the best like using air pump or power head.... Kindly pls help me what should I do and which method is best
Thanking you Raj
<Well, redundancy in circulation, aeration, filtration is desirable... Always good to have back up... And ask about at your local fish stores to see if they have dissolved oxygen testing gear (to ease your mind); perhaps they'll lend it to you or you can buy a colorimetric assay kit. Bob Fenner>

What is the treatment for this Betta? (RMF, chip in if you want!)      6/21/17
Hi, I was hoping you could help my fish?
<Certainly seems to have been through the wars!>
I will copy and paste what I wrote on a forum. So far they haven’t been much help… was hoping you might!!
"Yes, you may have seen my other thread. *To catch you up quick-* At this point I just need some expert eyes to take a look at him and tell me what you believe it is and what my next plan of action. The fresh water in his hospital tank and 10 days of hard salting has absolutely helped, particularly in the reducing of the black in his fins and behavior. He ate this morning and took a bite of a bloodworm tonight. More progress than in weeks. He is not old.. estimate 1yr 4mos. I let it get so far because I wasn't aware of the dangers of lumps on fish. This started I believe in January.. maybe before. He had come from very active in his 10gal with my Pleco (little Pleco). I took him from Petco in OCT to be a companion and because he was the suicidal looking one at the time! :( He had some great times for awhile. Tank was vacuumed cleaned 1/3 a week and then time started to get away from me and it changed to 50% every 2 weeks and then 3 at the end.
<Was this alongside filtration? To be clear: Bettas need filters. Maybe small, gentle, air-powered sponge filters rather than electric canisters -- but filtration nonetheless! Exposure to non-zero ammonia and nitrite will cause stress, sickness and death.>

I won't allow that again!! Anyway this fish was very lively, spent most of his time swimming and socializing, then more of his time chasing his reflection, then most of his time at the heater. I had a hard time keeping tank warm so much of the winter it was 75ish. I assumed for heat, but maybe was feeling lousy.
<Bettas do need steady heat. Around 25 C/77 F is good, even a smidgen above; but consistently cooler or unstable temperatures are bad. Cold air is especially stressful for them, hence the need to provide a lid over the aquarium to keep in the warmth.>
This whole thing came on very very slowly. Right now I have him on Kordon fungus rid and 1tsp per 5 gal Salt., just so it's something fighting till I know what to buy next. (and double dose stress coat)
Questions!
1. Does this look like a case of fungus and fin rot?
<A bacterial infection (such as Finrot) seems much more likely than a fungal infection.
There are medications that treat both, such as eSHa 2000 and Kanaplex. Avoid the tea-tree oil products (such as Melafix and Bettafix) as these are rather unreliable -- anything marketed as having "the healing power of..." is likely about as useful as healing crystals!>
2. Since I ran over my treatment of salt, where do I go next? Next meds?
<See above; salt isn't a treatment for anything you're dealing with here. Indeed, it might well stress your fish.>
3. How often do I clean tank and what %?
<Assuming mature biological filtration, weekly water changes around 25% are ample. Betta breeders who don't use filters but instead keep Bettas in jars have to do 100% water changes every day, ensuring temperature and water chemistry remain constant -- this just isn't practical for casual fishkeepers.>
4. As a side question, if I harvest him Mosquito Larvae and clean them, will that help him? He LOVES them.
<Like potato chips, mosquito larvae are a perfectly acceptable snack. But they aren't particularly nutritious, and there's some suspicion that they can bring diseases into the aquarium, so don't use them every day. Much better to focus on good quality flake and pellets (Tetra, Hikari and other leading brands are all good) alongside safe live foods with no risk of carrying disease (brine shrimp, daphnia and wingless fruit flies are reared in fish-free environments, so should be safe).>
Current behavior: Swims around, hangs on top mostly, just started attempting to eat, scared easily. Will extend fins, but not in full flare. Lethargy. “
Thank you!!!
<Welcome. Neale.>

Re: What is the treatment for this Betta? (RMF, chip in if you want!)     6/24/17
I guess what Ill do is ill make my writing blue so its not so confusing
<Eh?>
Yes, he’s a fighter!
<Indeed.>
Yes, he lived in a filtered and buffered 10 Gal with my Pleco
<Ah, the plot thinnens
. Common Plecs, and possibly even Ancistrus (Bristlenose) Plecs too, will "latch" onto the flanks of slow-moving fish to graze on the mucous there. It may be that they're hungry, Plecs often being given far too little food -- in the wild they're constantly ploughing through algae and organic muck, processing massive amounts of food. Anyway, Plecs cause horrible scars and blisters on the fish they 'attack', and because they do so at night, many people find it hard to believe their Plec is responsible. But if you see big blisters on the side of a fish, a hungry Plec is very likely the cause. Seen this many, many times. If in doubt, remove the Plec to another tank (10 gallons is too small, even for an Ancistrus) and medicate as per Finrot; you should see the Betta healing up nicely.>
Haha, it works the same with people!! Bactria and fungus aren’t to be messed with… you want them dead! Ok, here’s the thing, you suggested Kanaplex and two people on the forum suggested Metroplex by the same company. I told them what you suggested and they said Kanaplex for secondary infection. I emailed Seachem which one they’d steer me (hoping they get back to me!) But now I’m really confused because when I looked at their products I found Paraguard which supposedly covers everything. Now I’m really stuck!!
<Paraguard is more of a "first response" before fish get really infected wounds; for example, after they've had a fight and their tail fins are a bit torn. Kanaplex and MetroPlex are both good, but have different jobs. MetroPlex is primarily used when dealing with protozoan pathogens such as Whitespot and Hexamita, this latter extremely difficult to treat without using Metronidazole. Kanaplex is an antibiotic containing Kanamycin, and a better bet when treating Finrot and other bacterial infections. Make sense?>
Thank you!!!
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: What is the treatment for this Betta? (RMF, chip in if you want!)      6/24/17

<Ah, the plot thinnens. Common Plecs, and possibly even Ancistrus (Bristlenose) Plecs too, will "latch" onto the flanks of slow-moving fish to graze on the mucous there. It may be that they're hungry, Plecs often being given far too little food -- in the wild they're constantly ploughing through algae and organic muck, processing massive amounts of food. Anyway, Plecs cause horrible scars and blisters on the fish they 'attack', and because they do so at night, many people find it hard to believe their Plec is responsible. But if you see big blisters on the side of a fish, a hungry Plec is very likely the cause. Seen this many, many times. If in doubt, remove the Plec to another tank (10 gallons is too small, even for an Ancistrus) and medicate as per Finrot; you should see the Betta healing up nicely.>
OH MY GOSH, thank you!! Now that makes sense!!! I had no idea!! They used to hang out together but I know the Pleco is VERY active at night. He throws stuff around in the tank.. sounds like an elephant. That and too the Betta would flare at his reflection and I know that makes them prone to fin rot in the long run!
<Paraguard is more of a "first response" before fish get really infected wounds; for example, after they've had a fight and their tail fins are a bit torn. Kanaplex and MetroPlex are both good, but have different jobs. MetroPlex is primarily used when dealing with protozoan pathogens such as Whitespot and Hexamita, this latter extremely difficult to treat without using Metronidazole. Kanaplex is an antibiotic containing Kanamycin, and a better bet when treating Finrot and other bacterial infections. Make sense?>
Yes, yes it does!! Thank you again!! I will order it ASAP. Finally something makes sense :) I will update you if you don’t mind :)
<<By all means, and glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>>

Low pH
What causes low pH in fish tank?      6/21/17
<Mmm; life processes mostly... are reductive... acidic; and a lack of alkalinity/upward (pH) buffering capacity. As time goes by metabolic processes nick at alkaline (higher pH) reserve and pH drops>
What is best way to raise it?
<Water changes, alkaline decor like "natural gravel", commercial preparations or home made ones... Read here re:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwh2oquality.htm
Our 10 gallon tank has only one fish in it, a Betta.
Thanks!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

re: Low pH and tank size; Betta sys.     6/22/17
Re: 10 gallon tank with filter vs. 1 gallon tank with no filter Thank You! - Interesting scenario: We just returned from the fish center at Petco. The woman at the fish center seemed to be knowledgeable and told us it would be much better for our Betta if we kept him in a 1 gallon tank with no filter and just do water changes every week.
<No...>

She said the fish would be less stressed and live much longer. We currently have our Betta in a 10 gallon tank with a filter. Is this woman correct?
<Please try/use the search tool (on all pages), WWM is not a chat room, but an information resource.
READ here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/betta_splendens.htm
Or see my book on Betta care on Amazon....>
Thanks!
<B>

Fish Eggs for Freshwater Fish (food)       6/21/17
Hello Crew! Hello Neale! Last time we talked about the elephant nose and getting some weight on him, I shared my idea of fish eggs instead of lobster eggs (which are not available in my area). I'd like to share what I've discovered to hopefully spare someone else from the disaster I created.
While I believe this is an excellent product, I do not believe it to be the best choice for the average freshwater aquarium keeper, and never the best choice to fatten up one fish in the tank and here's why - there is a staggering amount of eggs in each cube. Even though I cut off a piece as small as I could get it, defrosted it in tank water, and looked at what was in my cup before I put it in, I was unable to see just how much food was in there. Next, while my fish did seem to pick at the eggs, they didn't like the eggs enough to do more than pick at a few pieces and certainly came no where close to eating all I had inadvertently put in the tank. Also, this stuff stuck to anything and everything in the tank - decorations, plants, the heater, the spray bar, and it completely clogged the filter intake. I
worked at it for hours, but getting the extra food out was nearly impossible. The next morning I woke up to a slightly cloudy tank and an expression on the faces of my rope fish that clearly said "help!" I did a vacuuming of all the eggs I could see and replaced the water (about 10 gallons). When I got back, the eggs were much easier to spot as the ones I could see had grown white "fur." I tested the water and found the nitrates had climbed to nearly 20 ppm (no ammonia or nitrite as this is a well cycled tank), so I did a 30% water change and vacuumed as many eggs as
I could find (and/or dislodge from plants, decor, etc.). When I did this water change I noticed that the bubbles created by the spray bar were not going away, so I scooped those bubbles out with a plastic pitcher. The following morning the water was still cloudy, the fish still seemed distressed (the elephant nose was hiding), and there were eggs still visible in the tank - only now the white "fur" they had grown was longer and a greenish black at the ends. So I pulled the everything out of the tank (and I do mean everything - except the fish) and wiped all the eggs off the best I could. I got a net and did my best to scoop up every egg visible in the water. I tested the water and the nitrates were still lingering around 20 ppm (orange, but not dark enough to be higher than 20 - and no red in the test tube). So I did another 30% (still had bubbles which I scooped) water change and put the decor, etc., back in. As of tonight, the nitrates are down (a more translucent orange) to around 10. There are still some eggs floating around but not many and when I see them I'm getting them out with the net. The water is no longer cloudy and the fish seem normal (the elephant nose is still hiding). I still have bubbles, but not so many and I'm scooping them out with a spoon. I'll keep testing and taking appropriate action to what I find. But if anyone ever asks you about using fish eggs in their freshwater tank, you can refer them to my experience. All I can say is that while the package says the eggs are also for freshwater fish, I believe ideally this product should be reserved for marine fish and coral where a protein skimmer is also in use in the tank.
If someone still wants to use this product in a freshwater tank, do so with EXTREME caution.
<Thanks for sharing your firsthand experience of this product, Renee.
Lobster eggs are what I recommend, but even then, only the tiniest amounts.
A good approach is to defrost inside a plastic cup of some sort, with a bit of aquarium water in there. Then, using an eye-dropper or similar pipette to direct small amounts at the fish (for example, I used them for newborn Halfbeaks). Indeed, there's a good argument for *always* defrosting frozen foods outside the tank, and then using a pipette, tweezers, or whatever to introduce carefully controlled portions of the solids while keeping the "juice" in the plastic cup. Your observation of water quality problems, while extreme, is certainly a risk if cubes of frozen food are simply
lobbed into aquaria without further thought. Cheers, Neale.>

Inherited fish and made emergency tank     6/19/17
Hello to whoever gets this and all the crew at WWM!
<Hi Steve>
I'd like to share a bit of a story and seek some advise. I had to make an emergency aquarium in a pinch. Forgive me if this email comes across as a novelette.
<No worries. Take your time (to communicate completely)>
My stepdaughter was staying with her father for a couple months while my wife and I were moving. During that time her Dad and Grandmother bought her some fish. It has been 2 months since her return to our home, and I had no clue that the fish were coming here. I called my wife from work on Thursday this past week and found out that they had brought the tank to my home. I was told that the fish, a gold barb and a neon tetra,
<Mmm; both do poorly as singles, in small volumes...>
had been in there for months. "Two species of schooling fish", I thought, "Seems the pet shop was just out to make a buck."
Anyway, when I got home I was horrified to see these fish in a 3 gallon tank.
<Ugh>
And not just the tank size: the water level was about 50% down, and the little internal/HOB hybrid style pump wasn't even able to pump water properly, nor was the heater fully submerged. It was after midnight, and I had literally no access to water conditioner (they live in town tap water and using the same source would've been ideal), so I took a leap of faith and bought the only bottled water available in town from a nearby convenience store. This allowed the pump to aerate the water. Within an hour, I noticed that, while not truly active, the fish were far less
listless acting (phew). One decent thing I learned was that my stepdaughter's Uncle has been doing water changes. Although it was clear that they had not been using a gravel vac, I at least took solace in the fact the water was not months old (although based on the low level older than it should be).
The next day before work (my hours prevented me from being able to get a tank prepared) I went to feed them. To top off this craziness, the food they were being fed was pulverized Betta food, not even big enough to be considered a flake.
Fortunately, I was able to scrounge enough money for what I did on Saturday.
My emergency setup was an interesting hodgepodge. I had an unused 10 gallon tank with a hood, along with a heater, gravel vac and thermometer.
Finances prohibit me from purchasing a 25 or 30 gallon, but I'm at least certain 10 is better than 3, and far better than the 1 1/2 gallons they were in on Thursday. I had intended to eventually start a Betta tank, but you know, emergency. I also had some gravel from a 5 gallon Betta tank I had years ago (again, emergency) which has long sat in a colander.
<? In a strainer?>
My finances were limited, so I purchased some standard tropical flake food, a bottle of Prime, a Tetra Whisper pump, along with an airstone that I would be able to attach to an air pump and hosing I already owned. I also
purchased a clean bucket and a bottle of bacteria in a bottle.
Unfortunately, I simply can't afford a test kit until next week, and the Prime makes the available test strips give a false reading, so my friend Mr. Internet will be my store of choice. I rinsed the gravel thoroughly in pure bottled water, rinsed my tank, and from there essentially it was standard assembly. I even added a miniscule dose of Prime to the 3 gallon tank to alleviate ammonia that might be in there since the fish were going to be waiting one more night. I also fed them some of the new food, and the barb acted as though it was the first meal he had in months.
I bought a small critter carrier and used it to transport the fish in the water they were accustomed to up to the new tank. I then added some new tank water slowly to the carrier to acclimate. After about 10 minutes I finally netted them into their new home. Its been a couple hours since then as I write this and both fish are FAR more active in their new home, especially the barb. I noticed that if the neon swims to the left side of the tank, the barb chases him off, but if the neon is on the right side and the barb is nearby, the barb essentially ignores him. They've actually
schooled together some on the neon's half of the tank. I'm guessing that the barb has staked his territory, but if push comes to shove, I'll just have to get some Plexiglas and make a divider. The poor barb was so listless in his old tank that I couldn't believe the instant turnaround I saw.
In short, they are housed in a less than ideal home with less than ideal company. I simply can't afford a truly proper setup, but at least it is (I think anyway) a huge improvement. Now I must ask some questions.
Considering the small setup, and providing that they survive this ordeal, would it be wise to add a single one of either specimen to balance out potential bad behavior?
<Mmm; better to trade in one and go with a small group (7-9-11...) of the other. Even the small/er barbs are too nippy to be housed with small tetras>
Are there any recommended dietary needs of either fish?
<A good staple dried food will be fine for now. Going forward, I'd add some frozen food/s in the AMs>
Is there a chance that the barb will turn the neon into a snack?
<Yes; all too possible>
What test kit is best when using Prime to not get a false reading?
<Mmm; a bunch could/might be stated... Just take the (salicylate) reading quickly (once the reagents are added, mixed):
http://www.seachem.com/support/forums/forum/general-discussion/2512-prime-and-false-positive-ammonia-readings
A better approach all the way around is to store new water for a week or so ahead of actual use... NOT rely on the Prime, but allow air exposure to dissipate any ammonia>
I just want to give these little guys a fighting chance. Thank you for your time
Steve
<Thank you for writing, sharing... Please do write back if anything comes to mind. Bob Fenner>
Re: Inherited fish and made emergency tank    6/20/17

Thank you for your response. I've had tanks in the past, but I never inherited poorly housed fish. To make our situation even more "lively", about a week prior to getting the fish we got a group of 4 kittens and we have a hyperactive 4 year old child, so we also guarding against outside threats.
On Friday night when I was at work, my stepdaughter fed her fish while still housed in their old tank, and my 4 year old wound up adding extra food. After transferring the fish yesterday to their new home, I left the old 3 gallon job sitting without its top in our dining room. The aforementioned 4 year old opened the bottle of Prime and dumped some into the now empty 3 gallon. To avoid any damage to the new tank, I'm stashing the food and Prime in my bedroom. Murphy's Law truly struck in this household.
To answer your question mark about my use of the word colander, yes its basically a strainer. I used to work in the restaurant business and still have a habit of using "official" terminology.
<Ahh; I see>
As I write this, the fish are still swimming actively. When I get spare time later this week I'll see if my local fish store will take back one of them (likely the barb) and try giving a couple tank mates to the neon. Or if the store takes them both, I'll just convert my setup to a Betta tank.
Either way, I'm really glad to see them out of that 3 gallon. The problem with these pet shops is they are typically more concerned with a rate of sale rather than housing living creatures properly. Years ago I purchased pet mice from the same store, and was not impressed when the worker fetched my mice via grabbing them by the tail.
I'll write back with any questions. Thanks again!
Steve
<Cheers mate. BobF>

Synodontis petricola with fin damage    6/20/17
Hi Bob,
<Dave>
My 10g has been seemingly fine following the passing of my molly fish who'd had a sort of fin rot. Thanks for all your help trying to assist her.
<Welcome>
I'd returned to weekly 30/50% water changes and checking the parameters weekly as opposed to both daily. All seemed fine for a few weeks.
Then, I added several marimo moss balls this past Friday night - six 2" ones. I cleaned the tank Saturday, perhaps a bit extra diligently and too much on the filter cartridge in hindsight, but everyone looked fine afterward. Sunday I noticed a Synodontis petricola had what looked like a small round hole in his right pectoral fin, I guess it would be, with erosion or a thin tear (not sure which) coming from the hole along the underside of his fin in a short line. His dorsal fin also has a small dip of what looks like erosion just to the rear of it's peak. His opposite pectoral fin may have some whitish material on the top of it (he's in his cave a lot so hard to observe but I will try to get photos tonight)...
<Mmm>
There are two others; all three are males, and I notice one of them very aggressively charges at him, appears to strike him, so much so I wondered about the source of the damage... They are the only two that behave this way and there are no other fish that could do this in the tank.
<These Mochokid cats are all in a ten gallon?
I checked the water, and ph 7.4/7.8, 0 nitrites, 20-40 nitrates, and found .25/.50 ammonia.
<Ammonia is debilitating, toxic in any concentration>

Shocked, I removed the moss balls to a plastic container w/airstone. I removed a few other plants that could be adding decaying organic matter to the tank. The Saturday before the ammonia was 0. I find the erosion hard to
imagine missing, as I observe these guys daily, though sometimes the kitties are hard to 100% inspect each day. So the question I have is: could ammonia cause this and do it that quickly (the fin issues)?
<Yes it could, and/or they may be damaging one another>
No gasping, otherwise normal behavior from him/them, though the one with the trouble spends a lot of time in his house. The other two generally* have no marks or unusual signs, except the already white edges of their fins are a bit extra white on the very outer edges. Only the increased aggression is a behavioral difference, and again, made me wonder if the damage could possibly be caused by the other kitty charging him. However, after having a fin rot issue previously, I lean on that as the cause.
<Both could well be contributors>

*I say "generally", as, in the last few months, I noticed a tiny pin-tip size hole in one of the other cat's pectoral fin; super small, and you can see light go through it the size of the tip of a pin. No other visual cues he has trouble and he is the one aggressively charging the wounded cat. I would have thought if that tiny hole was a problem, it would grow and that cat would have had issues, and instead, it was another one who developed the larger hole with the erosion/tear along the underside of the fin.
I did a 60% water change of room temp dechlorinated water, and added one level tablespoon of aquarium salt. Ammonia was gone by last night. This morning, back again. I repeated the water change. Did not add more salt.
<Good moves and restraint>
Wanted to see what treatment you advised, whether to isolate the cat to a hospital tank (I have a 3 gallon available),
<Too small be stable>
or whether to move all three cats into the hospital tank (when they were new, two years ago, they had Ick; I treated all three in that 3 g. w/Kordon rid Ick+ and beat it; they've been healthy since, so I am uneasy separating him from them for the moral support they may give each other).
<I wouldn't move them to a smaller system, but maybe add more decor; and plan on a bigger world ASAPractical>
Obviously, any and all help greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
Aloha,
Dave
<Cheers my friend. Oh! Was out in Kailua for a fast trip a couple weeks back, stayed up at the Marriott/Waikaloa... and among other important elements, looked in on friends re putting up the Kona Aquarium and Education Center (again; this time) at NELHA. Hopefully (what's that euphemism?), I won't croak before making more progress. Bob Fenner>
Re: Synodontis with fin damage    6/20/17

Thanks Bob. I remember your trip to the Kohala area. Glad you made it home safely.
So could the rapid introduction of the moss balls combined with too much cleaning and removal of beneficial bacteria have led to the ammonia spike?
<Maybe...>
Is the tiny pin-size hole in the otherwise healthy catfish's fin a normal thing?
<Mmm; normal? Is it such for you and I to have such perforations?>
These three kitties are still very small; 2 1/2" or so a piece. Yes, eventually they would be re-homed, but the tank looks empty otherwise, they are so small and stay in their houses.
<Better in a three foot long system>
So you think in 24-48 hours the ammonia could have cause a hole in one of their pectoral fins and tear/erosion on the underside of it?
<Yes>
If there is more erosion occurring, what medicine is safe for them, if it comes to that? I will for now not move them and do 50/60% water changes with room temp water daily - is that what you suggest? Anything else?
<I'd just fix the environment (to be like Lake Tanganyika) and leave it at that. No med.s>
Are there threats to putting a bunch of moss balls in a tank at once?
<Not if they're in good health>
How soon will the beneficial bacteria return?
<Should be hours to days>
Let me know when you'll be in Honolulu.
<Oh! Have no plans for now; but one never knows>
Thanks big time for all your help.
Dave
<Aloha. BobF>

Mystery "Tiger" Eel... ID     6/19/17
Hello Neale,
Thank you for the fascinating exposition about the world of fishes. My knowledge of fish's sensory organs does not extend beyond knowing what are lateral lines on fishes. So it's good to hear more details from you in regards to this matter.
<Glad to share.>
As an Indonesian, I feel blessed to live in a country with such rich biodiversity, especially concerning fishes. At the same time, I often stumped by the very diversity that my country's fishes exhibited. Take this fish (picture attached), for example. Is this a Gymnothorax Polyuranodon?
<Quite possibly; but I do think Gymnothorax reevesii more likely.>
<<Thought this looked more like a Synbranchid... RMF>>
Such a lovely skin pattern, but it must served a purpose, maybe to confuse predator fishes into thinking that it is a snake?
<Interesting thought. One issue is this though: Morays are nocturnal, and hide by day, so their predators (if there are any!) wouldn't really see their colour patterns easily, and more likely hunt by smell or vibration.
Still, who knows? Your idea definitely makes sense, and many animals mimic venomous snakes.>
Strange and beautiful eels often got fished out of our rivers and canals by unsuspecting locals, and oftentimes I cannot even tell what species are they. Local Indonesian, when shown the beautiful eel in the attached picture, will say "that's Belut Macan Tutul!" (means: Tiger Eel), but there are lots of other species which also being called "Tiger Eel". It's like the Pleco catfish, so many different species and yet to local Indonesians, they're all "Ikan sapu sapu". One name fits all :D.
<Indeed!>
Well, again thank you for the chat, and have a nice day!
Ben
<And likewise to you, too; Neale.>

Help please. Brachydanio hlth., no info. 8 plus megs of blurry pix     6/19/17
Hi there
<Bry>
Came home from a day out and found our zebra Danio severely bloated and quite red and blotchy. One big red patch on under side just before tail fin. All the other fish seem fine and water tests show everything fairly good just minorly up on nitrite by a fraction.
Help?
<Mmm, need data (of use) re the system water quality (test results), food/s used, maintenance routine....>
Thanks
B
<Could be too much dried food, gut or reproductive blockage; "poor water quality" issues... Read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/zebraddisf.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Tough Decision to Make. Mormyrid fdg.    6/18/17
Not hollow bodied, just straight as a board without any roundness anywhere.
<Does sound undernourished, yes.>
He looks like a ribbon. He does appear to be actively feeding as I see him out after the lights are out seeming to be foraging. And I'm feeding once in the morning (where I squirt the Cyclops, daphnia, baby brine shrimp, egg yolk mixture right into his cave), then around noon, again at 6pm or 7pm, and once more just before I go to bed.
<I would up this; multiple small meals better than one/two big meals -- fish have (mostly) short digestive tracts that cannot contain much food, so there's a risk that surplus food is passed straight out. As with baby fish, anything up to 6 meals a day is perfectly viable -- think snacking rather than gorging, and that's the optimum for most generalist fish.>
The videos I've seen of this species show this fish coming out immediately to the owner in response to food.
<Once settled, yes, they do this.>
My fish doesn't do that (at least not yet.) He just seems to come out when he decides to come out and look for food when he decides to look for food.<Needs time to settle in!>
The fish in the video are obviously much more robust than he is, yet they behave as though they are hungry.
<This species always seems hungry; as noted previously they have big appetites.>
He's barely the width of a ribbon folded over two or three times and his sides are flat as a board, so why doesn't he behave as though he hungry?
<Recognise this species is nocturnal and shy. They're also very social in the wild. So singletons are stressed until they learn they're somewhere safe. Take it slowly. Feed with the lights out, and offer irresistible treats like worms and baby brine shrimp. Frozen lobster eggs are good choice for fattening up fish, if yours will take them (most fish will).
Regardless, be patient. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Tough Decision to Make    6/18/17

Ok, I got the fish eggs. They are San Francisco Bay Brand frozen fish eggs and the package says the type of eggs are Capelin (Mallotus villosus).
<Not used these. No idea if they'll be taken, but worth a shot!>
I got home, rinsed them in tank water, and put them in. No one seems overly excited, but I turned off the tank lights, closed the drapes, and after about 15 minutes, the elephant nose came out to forage.
<Cool.>
Now I'm going outside because I'm afraid I'm stressing the fish out with my fussing and fretting. I'm telling myself that I'm doing everything that can be done and its up to the fish now.
<Quite so. Allow time to handle this; Mormyrids are reticent feeders until completely settled in. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Tough Decision to Make    6/18/17

I've called the two different aquarium stores in my area, and neither carries lobster eggs, but they do carry frozen fish eggs - would those work as well?
<Possibly; my fish certainly eat lumpfish caviar when it's offered! Worth a shot, but don't spend a lot of money on such alternatives. Worms, crustaceans, and especially insect larvae are the main foods of Mormyrids.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Tough Decision to Make    6/18/17

Thank you so much for your patience and help!
<No problem! Neale.>

Re: Tough Decision to Make... now fdg. BGKs      6/17/17
Ok, will keep going with the daphnia, Cyclops, baby brine shrimp, and I'll chop up blood worms for him (those are the only foods besides the processed flake or pellet type foods available in this area). I'll also try some
boiled egg yolk (problematic and messy, I know) but it did seem to give the BGK a boost.
<Indeed; an old-timey source of nutrition for baby fish, picky fish of all types. Best used a few hours before a water change though, unless used very sparingly.>
Thank you!
<Welcome. Neale.>
Re: Tough Decision to Make

Do you think it would be prudent to treat him with Prazi Pro? I thought that if its going to be tough getting food into him that I want to be sure he's getting everything from what he does eat.
<If he's really hollow-bellied (concave around the abdomen) then sure, pre-emptive anti-worming is unlikely to do any harm. Otherwise, if he's basically normal-looking and actively feeding, I'd feed him generously over the next week and see how he looks before doing anything else. Cheers, Neale.>

My bubble eyed goldfish popped one of his bubbles, it looks very painful and he is darting around looking agitated.. What can I do to help him      6/17/17
<Doing your best to prevent further damage/trauma by removing all sharp, hard objects that this fish might get snagged on, assuring good water quality (see WWM... moderate alkalinity/hardness and pH...), and good nutrition is
about it. Some folks might suggest the use of salts; see here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm.
Given these, this goldfish should heal in time. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish Growth Question      6/17/17
Hi Bob,
<Henry>
I came across your website and was wondering if you could help me out with a question. Sorry, I wasn't sure what email to use so sent it to both the general and your own email.
<Okay>
I noticed some of my pond goldfish have developed some bumps on their body.
I have come to the conclusion that they're carp pox as last year (in winter) I noticed that the same fish had some ulcers on them so I treated them with antibiotics,
<Mmm; not of much/any use here IF pox; which is virally mediated>

quarantined them and they all disappeared coming into summer. I didn't notice that there were lumps last year, more so ulcers into the middle of winter but I think I've caught onto it early this time.
The weather's getting colder again and we're going back into winter and these bumps have developed even though the water parameters have stayed fine/stable (currently at 0ppm Ammonia/Nitrites and Nitrates about 40-50ppm.
<Mmm; too high. See WWM re Nitrate control; keep under 20 ppm>
I will do a water change to clear the nitrates down, 30ppm General hardness, 0ppm Carbonate Hardness and pH 6.5):
[[IMG]]
[[IMG]]
<No images attached>
I've read there's nothing you can do to treat them except just wait it out, keep the water clean and support the fishes with a good diet.
<This is about it>
I'm thinking of getting a heater to bring the temperature up into the summer temps to help boost their immune system and replicate the environment that they went away in last year? What do you guys think?
<I wouldn't do this... for one, expensive to run/heat large volumes outdoors; for two, the possibility of heater, electric failure w/ disastrous temp. fluctuation... and thirdly, better to let the seasons gently cycle coming and going>
Do you agree that it's pox? They're still eating and behaving like normal but I noticed that it's the exact same fishes that had the ulcers last year in winter so it probably is viral/pox flaring up?
<Possibly... need well-resolved images to tell more. Might be Furunculosis, or even just reaction to something/s adverse in the environment. Do see/read on WWM Re:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pondsubwebindex/pdenvdisfaqs.htm
and the linked (above) files in this series>
I would appreciate your help!
Thanks,
Harry
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Goldfish Growth Question    6/18/17
Thanks Bob,
<Welcome Henry>
I'll do some reading. The images should be attached now.
<Ahh; they are... and this does look like Carp Pox to me...>
Kind Regards,
Harry
<You should look carefully into your pond conditions ("dirty water") and do what you can to improve water quality, nutrition. There is no (other) direct cure (as far as I know). Bob Fenner>

Help with neon tetra      6/15/17
<12 megs; groan....>
Dear Crew at Wet Web Media,
Tank - 100 liter
Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 15, GH 10, KH 7, PH 7.5
8 cherry barb, 8 emperor tetra, 7 neon tetra, 2 phantom tetra
Fluval external canister filter, internal air driven sponge filter.
I have previously kept a 50 liter tank and decided to move to a 100 liter about 6 months ago. I quarantined all fish for 6 weeks and tank was cycled from the start as I used media from old tank.
After about a month in the main tank, one of the Neons developed a white lump on both sides of the tail on the red part. These grew very slowly for about a month and another smaller lump developed on its side, closer to the middle of its body. Once or twice one of the lumps seemed to exude a white substance which then went after a day or two but the lump remained. Otherwise the fish swam, ate and behaved normally. Eventually, the lumps got wider and the fish started to have trouble breathing but was still trying to eat etc. I decided to euthanise with clove oil. This was a week ago. Just today, I noticed another neon has developed a small but telltale white lump in the same red pigmented area. I don't know what to do as I have no idea what it is. Fungus, Columnaris, neon tetra disease,
<This likely: Pleistophora hyphessobryconis>
I've looked them all up but none of them really fit. Because of this I did not medicate as it seemed like I was firing in the dark. If you have any advice or just a hunch as to what it could be I would really appreciate it.
The worst thing is that it doesn't really fit any one disease That are common to neon tetra.
<See here as an example:
http://www.theaquariumguide.com/articles/neon-tetra-disease
Bob Fenner>

Re: Help with neon tetra      6/16/17
Hello,
<Vic>
Thank you for your quick reply.
<Welcome>
Could I just ask you, if it is Neon Tetra Disease, can it infect my other fish, being cherry barb, emperor and phantom tetra?
<Unfortunately, yes. More likely the other Tetras, but the Barbs as well>
Also, I assumed it was a very fast acting disease, killing the fish quickly, so in my case can the disease be chronic, and take over a month to kill the fish?
<At times; yes>
Many thanks,
Vicki
<As many welcomes. BobF>

What kind of Moray eel is this?      6/15/17
Good afternoon Neale and all the good people at WetWebMedia;
<Howsit Ben?>
In an Indonesian discussion forum, I found this picture, the guy who posted it said that he fished this moray eel in a river, several kilometres from the river mouth/estuary. I wonder what Moray eel is this? It does not looks like "freshwater" moray (Gymnothorax polyuranodon, we call it belut muara), so it might be a new species?
<Mmm; I do think this is a Synbranchid eel (not a Moray): Ophisternon bengalense
http://www.fishbase.org/summary/22496
Best Regards,
Ben
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: What kind of Moray eel is this?      6/15/17
Hello Bob! Thank you for the reply. That was quick! And very informative too. I never heard about this fish. We learn something new everyday. It's a very fierce-looking fish, no wonder we all confused it with the moray!
<Synbranchids do look very similar... Neat animals (and tasty!)
Again, many thanks! *bowing*
Best Regards,
Ben
<Sama sama my friend. BobF>

Was: What kind of Moray eel is this?, now, pet Anguillid from Borneo      6/16/17
Hello Bob!
<Hey Ben!>
Speaking of edible eels, I just want to share a small video clip of my pet eel. They guy who sold me this eel called it a "Sidat", a river eel. Natives of Borneo (Kalimantan) said that Sidats are edible and tasty.
<Ahh; either Anquilla boreensis or A. bicolor likely>
But I will never eat my pet eel! It is so cute, I love it, it's very intelligent, it could sense me coming to the aquarium to feed it, and it takes frozen worms off my hands.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AGb-OtOc14
(pardon the video quality, my cellphone's flashlight is rather weak) I like eels, they are very fascinating in their own way. People said eels are voracious predator, but this one, mine, is very gentle and never bothered any of its tankmates. Except for eating small shrimps every now and then, but that's my eel being an eel, ha ha ha.
Thank you Best Regards,
Ben
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Fish Tank Temperature in Hot Weather. Betta splendens       6/15/17
We have a Betta in a 10 gallon tank.
In summer the tank warms up into the 80's.
How can we keep it cooler?

<Mmm; DO keep the light/s off during the day... as these contribute to heat. IF you can leave the water down a few inches (to prevent the Betta jumping out), leave the lid off the tank; otherwise fashion a plastic screen (like screen door material) to accomplish the same. IF the temp. is only a few degrees too hot, consider having a fan blow air across the water surface (evaporative cooling will lower it a few degrees F.). IF the temp. is WAY too high, consider floating a frozen ice bag (of about a cup or two volume) in the tank...>
What is the max temp for a Betta?
<The mid 80's F. are not too much. The upper 80's F. are problematical>
Thanks!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Tough Decision to Make; Mormyrid comp.      6/14/17
Hello Crew! This is Renee from Idaho with yet another situation specific mormyrid question for you.
<Fire away.>
But first I have to tell you that my BGK is doing beautifully, staying healthy, growing, and continuing to enchant every day (getting the catfish for her was a brilliant idea! Not only are they keeping the tank clean, but she feels more comfortable with them than any other dither fish I've tried and now she moves around the entire tank - thank you again for that suggestion).
<Cool.>
However, in the past I've shared with you my desire to get an elephant nose someday. I've put it off because that species is not available in my area and because I wanted to focus on my BGK and other tanks, but now I find
myself in a situation. My local aquarium store, who I previously asked about the availability of the elephant nose fish, gave my information (with my permission) to a military couple, who are being relocated, who have an elephant nose they can't take with them, but they only want to give the fish to someone with experience with Mormyrids.
<Understood.>
I told them my experience was very limited (at best), but invited them out to see my tanks and talk with me about taking the fish. We had a nice visit and they loved my BGK (who chose to be very social for the occasion).
I explained to them that while I wanted their elephant nose, that I did not have time (or the energy) to properly prepare a whole other tank for the fish before they were going to be forced to leave (I have an empty 55 gallon, but it's dry, has no substrate, filter, or heater - I've just been storing it). Still, they seemed quite determined to get me to take the fish and suggested that it would be fine in my 75 gallon.
<Hmm...>
Well, my 75 gallon currently houses 2 rope fish, one peacock eel, and a 2 inch Bristlenose, and I just don't know if that group would be compatible for ALL the animals.
<Very difficult to predict. In terms of tank loading, not a problem assuming good filtration and regular water changes. The question is whether the Elephantnose and the Black Ghost will coexist. Ecologically, they occupy very similar niches so there will be competition for them in terms of swimming space, hiding place, food, and most importantly, electrical frequencies. This latter is the key here: if they jam one another, they'll irritate each other, and because the sense is electrical, not visual, you can't really "hide" them from one another by adding more rocks, plants, etc.>
I told them I believed the peacock eel also found its food by use of an electrical signal and I don't know if that would cause a problem for the elephant nose or the eel.
<I'm not aware of electric sense organs in Spiny Eels, but I could be wrong. If they have one, it'll be passive, like on sharks, simply able to pick up the electric signals caused by muscle contractions in prey animals; fish with active electric senses, like Black Ghosts and Elephantnoses, have distinctly "stiff" bodies so that the electromagnetic field is fixed, allowing them to sense the distortions caused by obstacles, rivals and prey. Much more sophisticated!>
I told them I wanted to help them, and that I wanted the elephant nose, but I wasn't going to sacrifice the current residents of my 75 gallon tank, the elephant nose, or my sanity by forcing this.
<Right.>
I've been researching since last night and can't find anything specific, both for or against, putting the elephant nose in with the rope fish and eel, so when they called me this morning, I told them I was going to write to you for your advice - if you thought it would work, I'd take the fish; if not, they were going to have to find someone else to take it. So, what do you think?
<I'd give it a shot *if* you had the option of returning the Elephantnose if they squabble. But if you're lucky, the two species will use different frequencies, and beyond territorial skirmishes, will ignore each other. I wouldn't bet the house on it, but it'd be worth a go, particularly if both specimens are still relatively small. Neither species is heavily armed, so aggression tends to be a slow burning sort of thing, with stand-offs and chases, rather than bites. So all else being equal, you can see if they're failing to get along, and act accordingly. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Tough Decision to Make. Mormyrid comp.       6/15/17

I'm sorry, I should have been more clear. The elephant nose would not be going in the tank with the BGK.
<Ah!>
You see, (and you're going to think I'm crazy) I have 8 fish tanks up and going and although the tanks are not species specific, they are parameter specific.
<Sensible.>
I refuse to expect a fish to "adapt" to less than ideal parameters for that species just because I want it.
<Agreed; some fish are adaptable of course, but others will inevitably do poorly in the wrong conditions. You simply need to know your fish.>
I believe that each tank should meet the specific requirements of the fish I want to put in it. Therefore, the BGK has her own 72 gallon tank that she shares only with her Brochis catfish and one Bristlenose because they share the same parameters and the Brochis and the Bristlenose don't mind the extra current that the BGK needs (plus there are areas where the current isn't as strong).
<Quite so. Brochis are sadly underrated, but a much better choice than Corydoras in larger, deeper tanks. Things like Megalechis and Hoplosternum are good too, being even more hardy and a bit more robust, so good choices with adult oddballs that aren't actually predatory, just big.>
Even though the water parameters would fit the elephant nose, I still would not put that species in this tank for the reasons you mentioned plus the fact that elephant nose don't like a strong current.
<I think they're a bit more adaptable than you might think. Bear in mind that even a brisk aquarium current is barely a dribble compared with the flow in an African river! So provided there are resting spots below or behind rocks where they can rest, these sorts of fish should tolerate water flows up to 8-10 volume of the tank per hour. But yes, for sure they won't appreciate turbulent flow in open tanks without shelter.>
The tank I want to put the elephant nose is a separate 75 gallon that has only the two rope fish, the spiny eel, and a Bristlenose.
<Oh, he'd be fine here.>
It has a sand substrate, plenty of plants (the plants have a tendency to "move" as the spiny eel likes to tunnel through the sand), and plenty of caves to hide in. It has a Cascade 1000 canister filter which provides a pretty good current, so I keep the spray bar submerged to slow it down as the rope fish don't like a strong current either. That is the tank I was going to put the elephant nose in. The rope fish are 6 and 8 inches and the elephant nose is just under 4 inches, so I don't think I have to worry about them trying to eat the elephant nose (they haven't bothered the spiny eel and its about 4 inches as well). Plus, I feed only frozen foods (bloodworms, baby brine shrimp, daphnia, Cyclops, and chopped up grocery store fish or prawns) so hopefully that satisfies their craving for meat.
<All sounds good. Elephantnoses go wild for plankton, so your baby brine shrimps, daphnia and Cyclops should fit the bill nicely! Once settled they're pretty tough, even bossy, but these tankmates sound about right for them.
Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Tough Decision to Make      6/15/17

Many, many thanks! The couple that have this fish live on (or near, I haven't been to their home) Mountain Home Air Force Base in south central Idaho. It's about a 2 hour drive for me, but they were so excited (and I think relieved) when I just called them and told them you gave the "thumbs up" that they offered to meet me halfway in Boise.
<Cool.>
Their movers are coming this Friday to get the rest of their belongings, and they fly out on Saturday, so we've arranged to meet tomorrow when I can pick up the fish. I'm really excited, (ok, and a little bit nervous as I won't be able to return this fish if something goes wrong), and your comments have given me the confidence to go ahead.
<At the very least, you're giving this fish its best chance of a secure future. Keep us posted.>
Thank you for all you do!
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: Tough Decision to Make      6/16/17

Well, here he/she is! I hope I reduced the picture small enough for you to download. (lol) I'm sorry about the picture, but he/she wasn't in the mood to "mug" for the camera and this is the best I could negotiate.
<Not an easy species to photo, trust me!>
It's understandable though, he/she just spent the last 3 or 4 hours in a plastic butter tub driving in a car and then suddenly finds himself/herself in a whole new world.
<Quite so; this is an intelligent animal (for a fish, anyway) sensitive to its world. Give it time.>
Is this species always so thin?
<Nope. While the "stem" between the tail and body is thin, the actual girth of the body should be relatively chunky; Mormyrids are valued food fish in the wild. At the least, you want the belly area to be distinctly convex, and regular small feedings (even 3-4 per day) is a good way to help this fish put on weight. They have big appetites (perhaps something to do with their electricity production) and do need good quality food, and plenty of it. Daphnia, brine shrimp and the like are useful; if you can get them, clean wormy foods are excellent, perhaps Microworms but ideally small earthworms and the like. Tubifex and bloodworms definitely taken, but not without their risks.>
Is there a way to tell if its male or female?
<Probably, if you're another Mormyrid. Females are probably a bit more chunky when mature (commonly the case with fish) but they actually identify gender by using their electric sense, so far as we're concerned, they basically look the same. If you know any physics specialists with an oscilloscope, it's actually possible to hear their clicking with the right tools. Very neat. Cheers, Neale.>

African dwarf frog infection     6/13/17
Hello yet again!
<Hello,>
I got great advice from your site regarding treatment of what I suspect is a secondary bacterial infection my female frog, maybe I'm jumping the gun a bit, but 24 hours after starting A.P.I tetracycline she looks worse.
<It is possible that Tetracycline is something these bacteria are resistant to, in which case, swap or supplement with a second antibiotic from a different antibiotic family (i.e., not Minocycline, which is in the same family, but something completely different, like Kanamycin, available in Kanaplex). Alternatively, do check there isn't carbon in the filter (this will simply adsorb antibiotics) and that the tank and filter are basically clean (piles of decaying organic matter will also diminish the effectiveness of antibiotics).>
About a week ago she was bitten accidentally by my male frog during feeding, affecting her left eye and side of nose. Instead of healing, the sore got bigger, she got bloated, and her left foot turned red to boot. She hangs near the surface quite a bit. She lives with two other frogs, and a very calm Betta in a 5.5 gallon filtered tank, heated to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Live plants and a few hiding places as well. The tank is well cycled, ammonia is 0, nitrites 0, ph is 7.6, I do 30-40 percent water changes weekly, with gravel vacuuming, and adding Prime. I feed frozen thawed bloodworms, beef heart, Mysis, and brine shrimp. I started the tetracycline treatment to the entire tank yesterday, I lack the means to have a hospital tank, and am worried it would spread anyway so I thought to treat everyone.
Please help!
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

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