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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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Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Re: LFS is doing a huge import... opinions?
Hello crew, hope you are doing fine.
<Thank you Roberto; yes>
Weird, i cant find the response you gave to this mail... well, i am also
forwarding the past message just for context.
<Is posted (I do this) in a couple places; here is one:
the import came a few days later after i messaged you, and fast forwards a
couple weeks, here's what's happened.
No Biotodoma cupido (bummer).
10 H. psittacus brought in, about 15 cm the smallest one... whew, i wasn't
expecting fish this big to come.... Didn't get any... yet, they all look full
and have started to show colors at the lfs... only 3 bought so far, not likely
buying one, they were brought bigger than i expected, likely displaying
aggression at this size.
8 Uaru fernandezyepezi came in... they looked very weak and distressed. They are
between 3 and 4 inches, one kicked the bucket at the lfs... 2 have been bought.
Still 5 left which have seemingly got in better shape since. They still don't
look totally well though, they are kept with silver dollars and a couple bulldog
Plecos in a 15 gal or so aquarium... this is at the lfs... the price is
surprisingly low... $14 each!! I mean, these guys are supposed to be expensive
<Can be; depending on where, size, and actual species>
I'm assuming they are tank bred in that case... if... given a couple weeks more,
and see if they are any better... would it be more or less safe to buy a couple?
the price is unfairly tempting. I have some wood that is leaching tannins and
have access to almond leaves. My tap water pH is commonly between 7.7 and 8.1
and kH is around 9. I'm not sure how low i can get these parameters with just
wood and almond leaves.
<I'd mix in softer water, reverse osmosis... to lower the pH below 7.0>
Not sure if it is worth it since the parameters may reset when i do water
changes, which could potentially be fatal as they would be sudden.
Do you think it is worth the risk of trying a couple of them in a species tank?
<If it were me; yes>
Among other fish of my interest are about 10 or so varieties of Plecos. Being a
Pleco collector, i bought an adult pair of Ancistrus ranunculus... they are
about 10 cm already, one with very big and bushy bristles while the other one
has small and fewer... so I'm assuming i sexed them correctly. Many other
Plecos, true zebras even (not paying the $200 tag though). some Panaque
varieties, Hemiloricaria sp, some that look like randomized but yet similar
patterns and colors of Peckoltia sabaji, so I'm assuming there a few, related
species among them.
<Am a huge fan of Loricariids>
Is there any Pleco species i should be wary of, considering my water parameters?
<Any from soft, acidic water habitats (I'd use Fishbase.org here) that are
i have a small but healthy collection of Plecs and have had trouble with not a
single species, yet.
Many other species, not many i can house/have interest in right now. Pikes, Ossa
knife fish, red bellied piranha, Apistogramma (learned to stay away from Apistos
a long time ago, until i get R/O water, at least), altums. etc.
As always, thanks for your time, it always gets me excited when exotic fish get
<Me too! Bob Fenner>
Ossa knifefish 11/20/17
On second thought, about my earlier message.
I may actually be interested in Ossa knifefish. Did some quick research,
although there is virtually no info on them other than they can grow
really huge and are mainly predatory.
<Yes; Rhamphichthys rostratus gets to a meter in length>
The Ossas are around 12 cm at the lfs. Right now, i have 3 tanks big
enough to house them. The 150 gallon planted tank: I see them in YouTube
kept in planted tanks, however, this is a high tech, co2 infused and
very bright aquarium. There is a big piece of bogwood with Anubias and
java fern on the corner. It really is a big piece which gives shade to
about 1/5 of the tank area. This is where the phantom Plecos come to
hide during the day. Could this be sufficient for the Ossas?,
<For... more than one? For how long?>
there is dense vegetation also, the substrate is not that bright. I
reckon the biggest problem will be the feeding. The tank has a lot of
occupants: Rainbowfish, tetras, Kuhli loaches, a Kribensis quartet and
so. Competition for food is high, and then comes the fact that the Ossa
needs live or frozen foods, also he will likely be staying near the
bottom while most of his tankmates will be at the surface feeding.
<According to Fishbase, live on "benthic aquatic invertebrates">
The tank is big, but i doubt the tank has enough microfauna to feed
Ossas. I've seen scuds and some time ago i dropped some daphnia. Every
now and then i see a single daphnia swimming. There is life in the
substrate, but how much? i don't know. Also, can they eat my smaller,
red phantom tetras? because they are my favorites.
<Will/would have to be fed specifically; foods (if frozen; defrosted,
rinsed in tapwater to remove liquid nutrients; placed right down on the
bottom near the knife>
The other aquarium, a long 40 gal which is housing Ancistrus cirrhosus
and Ancistrus ranunculus, an Acara diadema and some Thorichthys
maculipinnis, although these are smaller than 6 cm, they will be moved
later to a bigger aquarium. This tank does not have much competition,
but it is significantly smaller than the 150 gal, likely has no
substrate fauna either, so feeding will be a challenge, again.
There is also a 15 gal long heavily planted tank again. However, this
tank just has a female guppy, 2 black phantom tetras and 2 green fire
tetras. Besides that, there is a thriving colony of cherry shrimp. For
all i know the shrimp can help in feeding the Ossas! and really... i
have not shortage of shrimp...
<.... this tank is too small>
Only other option i can think of is a 10 gallon, they would be by
themselves though, so i can arrange the tank to fit their needs.
Any of these cases would be momentary, i would be setting a proper tank
for them later, maybe mid-late February.
As for food items, i culture Zophoba, mealworms, daphnia, Microworms and
have thriving colonies of shrimp and also breeding Poeciliids, probably
have around 60-70 freshly born fry at any time.
There is not much info on these. Can they be taught to take flake/other
<I doubt it>
what about frozen pieces of shrimp and so?
<I'd ask what the shop is using. Have to be appropriate (small) mouth
their mouth look so small, they don't look like they could even eat my
smaller tetras (red phantoms), maybe suck in platy fry.
Just realized that my fish room stays very cool, surprisingly. Unless
using a heather, tanks stay between 22 and 24C during the night. 25C max
during the day. during the hottest days of summer it may reach 28C.
Telling you this based on the profile that they prefer cooler waters.
<Is a coastal species; likely hardy re temperature and water quality>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Ghosty: Costia? 11/19/17
Since we last corresponded, Ghosty has been doing relatively well.
As a recap, I treated the tank with two cycles of Furan-2 to see if it would
help Ghosty’s symptoms of a cloudy, clamped dorsal fin & lots of slime floating
around in the tank (although I never witnessed it sloughing off of him in
particular). I do believe he felt better after the first treatment, & acted more
like his normal self, but about two weeks afterwards, his fin became clamped &
cloudy again so I treated with Furan-2 again.
I didn’t really see much improvement after the second treatment, so I began
researching everything I could re Costia, the other potential issue Neale
mentioned. I settled on treating with ParaGuard, & am pleased to say that after
two weeks of this treatment plus keeping the tank between 80-81 degrees, his
dorsal fin looks clear & isn’t as clamped although the bones are curved - much
like his tail. Don’t know why. The floating some patches have decreased
SIGNIFICANTLY and I’ve only seen one small patch in the last 10 days or so.
<Ah! The plot thinnens, as they say.>
Ghosty developed two lumps near his tail over the past 6 months or so - tumors?
<Possibly. In aquarium fish, actual cancerous tumours are relatively rare, but
they do happen -- primarily in species genetically predisposed to them, notably
goldfish and Bettas. In other fish, lumps can and often do have other
explanations: viruses, environmental stress, dietary shortcomings, even
bacterial infections such as Mycobacteria.>
And for the last week, a red spot has developed in each one. He continues to act
& feed normally. Is this a reaction to ParaGuard?
<Really hard to say. As/when you conclude the treatment as per the instructions,
do a series of water changes, and ideally use carbon in the filter for a week or
two. Basically, expose the fish to good, clean water and see what happens.
Optimising diet, especially with regard to vitamins and minerals, will also
I have treated at 3/4 strength vs. a full dose just because these loaches are
more sensitive to medications. Or are the lumps “healing” from the treatment?
<Lumps and bumps on benthic fish such as Loaches can be a reaction to
medication, but more often are environmental, for example because of
coarse gravel, scratchy sand, or heavy metals in the substrate such as copper.
Really, anything that can irritate the skin and allow bacteria to seep in,
resulting in a lump or bruise. Under good conditions these things can/do heal;
see above for details. Treating as per Finrot can help, but only if the
environment and diet are appropriate.>
They do seem a tad bit smaller than they’ve been but I am worried about the red
spot & don’t want septicemia to occur, obviously.
<Indeed; septicaemia is certainly the sort of thing I'd be worried about here.>
I can’t think of what to do next, so thought I should ask for your extremely
helpful & educated advice.
Tank parameters are consistently Amm:0 & Nitrite:0 & Nitrates: 20-40ppm.
Thank you in advance for any help you can offer! :)
<Hope this helps! Neale.>
Small tank; stocking, FW
Are there any fish that are suitable for a 2 gallon tank?
<Not really. Bettas can be kept in tanks this size of course,
though I'd prefer more space simply because it makes steady water
conditions easier to maintain. Most people with these 'nano' tanks go
with various plants and
some of the smaller freshwater shrimps.>
I currently have a red wag platy male all by himself.
<Hopefully not in the 2 gallon tank!? Much too small for that species.
Even 10 gallons is a bit tight for Platies.>
Sent from my iPad
<Sent from my computer. Cheers, Neale.>
query in regards to filtration; FW, bio.
Dear sir, I got your email id from your website and request your advise
on the following I wanted to know whether biological bacteria which are
on substrate enough for my aquarium if my filter fails for any reason ?
I am asking this as I am planning to install a top filter which is kept
above the tank as I have read that it provides a better biological
filtration in comparison to sponge filters ( which I have in my tank )
due to air contact . But only thing that worries me is that in case of
current failure or power head failure the Media may dry up in couple of
hrs and my tank may lose all BB .Kindly suggest Thanking you Regards,
<Hello Raj! Thanks for writing, and for what's a really useful question.
The short answer is that in a freshwater aquarium, the gravel or sand by
itself WILL NOT provide enough biological filtration except in a very
lightly loaded tank with plenty of fast-growing plants. By lightly
I'm talking about six Guppies in 200 litres or something like that!
Almost nobody keeps an aquarium like that, hence the answer is, 99.9% of
the time, "no". The reason is that bacteria live in and on surfaces with
lots of oxygenated water. Only the very top of the gravel, the first few
mm really, have that sort of environment. So while bacteria on the
surface of the gravel will do some filtration, it's not enough by
itself. Inside filters we have honeycomb-like sponges and things that
provide much more surface for the bacteria, and the pump ensures it all
gets lots of oxygenated water. That's why we need filters! Now, the
filter bacteria are delicate in some ways, but tough in others. If the
pump stops and the media dries out, the bacteria will stop working
almost at once. Some writers suggest as little as 20 minutes without
oxygenated water is enough for this to happen.
If the pump stops, it's a good idea to remove the media and place in a
bucket of water simply so that it stays wet, and stir and splash
periodically to ensure the water doesn't become 'stale'. This will keep
the bacteria alive just fine. Even if the media dries out, the bacteria
become dormant, and will spring back to life once they're wet. Not
immediately of course, but in less time than the typical "new tank
cycle" of 6 weeks. Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
Common Ancistrus losing interest in food 11/17/17
<Hello Jacob, and apologies for being slow to reply.>
I’m writing about my ~2.5 year old female Bristlenose Pleco. I purchased her
when she was a juvenile, around 2 inches long if memory serves. She’s now about
4” - 4.25” total length. Here’s some background info about her and her
She has been in the same 29 gallon tank since I bought her and until a few
months ago, had shared this tank with 2 German Blue Rams, 8 Rummynose tetras, 5
common Otos, and about 10 Corydoras habrosus. This wasn’t a perfect grouping of
species in retrospect and I had to kind of square the circle in terms of
temperature by keeping it at about 78-79 F, which is obviously on the high end
for Ancistrus, at or above the maximum for the C. habrosus, and at or below the
minimum for the GBRs. A few months ago, the male GBR died after a fairly long,
slow deterioration during which he spent most of his time in quarantine. About a
month after that, the female GBR died rather quickly (from the time she began
showing signs of illness). Her death coincided with several of the C. habrosus
dying as well, in my estimation 5 of them dying over the course of a month (I
had lost 2 others over the years). That left the Rummynoses, the Otos, the
Ancistrus, and 3 C. habrosus. I dropped the temp to 75 F and while the die-off
was occurring the tank was treated with Praziquantel because the GBR and one of
the C. habrosus looked emaciated and I knew the scaleless fish shouldn’t have
any particular sensitivity to it. All of these fish were purchased at about the
same time and so were a little over 2 years old.
<The tank sounds fine, though German Blue Rams do need more warmth than your
Corydoras and Ancistrus, so weren't likely to thrive in this tank. Both like
soft water, of course, but for the Rams it's essential, whereas Corydoras and
Ancistrus can do perfectly well in even quite hard water. Some species of
Corydoras and Ancistrus might be a little picky, especially for breeding, but
your standard issue farmed varieties will handle anything up to pH 8, 20 degrees
Now after having a couple months pass with no further deaths or other problems,
I’ve started the process of rebooting the tank. This involved cleaning things up
in case this long-running tank had some stuff going on in the substrate, so I
completely replaced the Eco-Complete topped with sand with just black sand.
<Do check the sand is smooth, not sharp. Sharp sand can/will abrade the stomachs
and whiskers of catfish, making them more prone to bacterial infections. You
will spot reddish patches on the stomach, and shorter than normal whiskers, when
The tank was and is planted and has a large amount of driftwood, which is often
where you would find the Ancistrus. Typical pH is 6.5, gH is 6 degrees out of
the tap and usually 3-4 in the tank. I do 50% water changes every 7-10 days.
Filtration is an AquaClear 70 (no carbon used, just sponge and extra biomedia)
and a small sponge filter that is mostly just an insurance policy in case
something happens to the main filter.
<All sounds fine. Do check your carbonate hardness though, and if it's very low
(less than 3 degrees KH) I'd be using Discus Buffer or similar to keep the pH
steady between water changes.>
Here’s the problem: This Ancistrus loved vegetables. I usually rotate between
zucchini and broccoli stems, usually blanched but sometimes just cleaned and put
into the tank. More often than not, by the time I had closed the lid she would
be on the vegetable already. But this hasn’t been the case for the past few
weeks to a month. She has been far more reclusive and I have seen her several
times do something unusual that I’d only seen once or twice before: lying on her
back on the substrate, not suctioned to anything (but usually underneath
driftwood that she would suction onto if startled). And when I put veggies in
the tank, she ignores them.
<Odd. It might be the change in the tank that's spooked her. Loricariids are
very sensitive to changes. My Panaque is quite bold and will happily come out
during the day to feed -- if she's left alone. If I rearrange the rocks or
temporarily move her into a bucket for some reason, she will become very shy for
weeks at a time. Provided the Loricariid catfish is otherwise normal -- e.g.,
fins are whole, no red marks, and the belly and eyes are not sunken -- there's
nothing much to worry about. Just allow some time for said catfish to settle
I haven’t seen her get near them and I strongly doubt she eats them overnight
since usually she leaves very visible bite marks, especially on the skin of
zucchini. I know there’s nothing wrong with the veggies because the Otos still
eat them relentlessly. I do put other foods into the tank for her on occasion, a
commercial algae wafer (one low on protein and with minimal meat ingredients)
and Spirulina flakes from Ken’s Fish. I think I’ve seen her show interest in
these, but she was never as enthusiastic about chasing those prepared foods even
in the best of times. There’s not nearly enough algae in this tank to sustain
her. And yet, surely she cannot go so long without eating, so she’s eating
something. I know Ancistrus may eat some driftwood, but I always assumed this
was more “roughage” than nutrition. Her stomach against the glass looks as full
as ever. I’ve attached a few photos, though I couldn’t get one with her on the
glass), to show that she seems as robust and healthy as ever from the outside.
<I agree, she looks fine. Have you tried some meaty fare? Ancistrus are aufwuchs
feeders, consuming green algae AND the small invertebrates found therein, such
as insect larvae and tiny crustaceans. Alternatively, a prawn or mussel will
often be nibbled on happily.>
I’ve speculated that perhaps the reduced stocking levels over time made her more
anxious, that the GBRs and larger group of C. habrosus had acted as dithers.
It’s certainly true that the Rummynoses were more confident with the GBRs
around. I now have a group of juvenile C. habrosus in quarantine to bring up the
<Understood, but I think Corydoras habrosus are too small and too nervous to
fulfill this role. You really want something bold and active; Pristella
maxillaris is a useful default tetra for most systems, being hardy, adaptable,
bold and attractive.>
I also just added a pair of Laetacara curviceps (well that’s what they’re sold
as, I think they are in fact L. dorsigera) since I wanted another dwarf cichlid
for this tank, these seem more appropriate for the conditions the other fish
prefer, and I hope it may help the dynamics in the tank.
<Laetacara are lovely, but shy; they're also a bit prone to Hexamita infections,
so keep an eye out for that and medicate accordingly.>
They haven’t been around long enough for me to draw any hard conclusions, though
the Ancistrus has been out and about some more and the Rummynoses are exploring
more of the tank. Still, though, she pays no mind to the vegetables.
<Maybe try something new?>
At this point, I don’t think it’s an emergency problem, but I’m at a loss for
how she’s getting her nutrition and don’t want to be overlooking some obvious
thing I should be doing to help her out. Do you have any ideas or suggestions
for what I should do going forward?
<For now, I'd wait and see. I'd look at her belly to see if it's sunken -- if
not, she's eating something!>
Thanks for all the help you folks provide,
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: Betta PopEye question 11/15/17
I wanted to send an update on my Betta with chronic pop eye.
<Ahh. Such is the case at times>
His condition has remained the same over the past year, despite numerous and
varied treatments, and he now also appears to have a swollen area on his right
side (photo is attached) that I've noticed for the past few weeks.
He has a very controlled diet, and since the swelling is confined to one side, I
assumed it wasn't weight-related or constipation. However, I did try a series of
Epsom salt treatments (1 TBSP/gallon) just to see if I could get him to "go" and
hopefully improve the swelling.
Unfortunately there has been no change. Do you think I should increase the Epsom
dose and try again? Or should I begin to worry that it's a tumor? (I've given up
on trying to treat his pop eye, and it hasn't appeared to worsen without
<Again, such entrenched infections.... I would not treat this fish
This little guy has had a difficult year but I'm trying to give him the best
care I can for as long as I'm lucky enough to have him.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Painted Fire Red Cherry Shrimp
Hello, this is Jinoo Kim. I have been breeding regular cherry shrimp for
about 2 years.
With a long time breeding and proper culling, I finally managed to reach
Painted Fire Reds. I have three (one male and 2 females) so far in a ten
gallon. I had to sell all my hard work to start working with these guys
expand into higher grade shrimps such as Taiwan Bees.
How long would it take for the three shrimps to reach a high population
in the 10 gallon?
<When I start with about 6-10 shrimps, I find it takes about a year to
get to the point that the shrimps are "common" enough (in an 8-10 gallon
tank) that there's enough to spare. By that I mean you can remove 10-20
specimens and still have a viable population in the tank. Bear in mind
it takes 3-4 months to reach sexual maturity, and even if each female
produces a couple dozen offspring a month that survive to adult size,
which is a generous
estimate, it's still going to be, say, 4 months for first generation of
offspring to reach maturity, then another 4 months for the next, so at
least a year before we're talking about a population measured in the
I never started so little since I started breeding with 30 cherry
shrimps in a 20 gallon. I need to fill up the ten gallon so I can sell
the shrimps and have more money for the higher grade shrimps.
<Understood. But to actually make serious money, you want populations in
the hundreds if not thousands, so you can take big bags of shrimps to
the retailer. So with just 3 really good specimens that have the genes
you want, it's going to be probably 4-5 generations before you get big
enough populations you can The ten gallon is super established, there is
algae literally on every wall of the tank. The tank also has a blue
Stiphodon, which I don't think eats shrimp.
<Should not eat adults, but tiny babies might be at risk, so provide
Stiphodon are mostly aufwuchs feeders though, so competing for the same
food as the shrimps. Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Painted Fire Red Cherry Shrimp 11/15/17
Thank you for the answer!
I'm breeding the Painted Fire Reds as a hobby now (I might sell some,
I'll even send you some shrimp for thanks if you want, that way I can
<Kind of you to offer, but not necessary. A photo or two of your
would be just fine!>
I'm going to move them to a display tank after I reach a good
population, with a Betta (to control population, I don't see them eating
adults plus a lot of hiding space). I'm going to use the ten gallon as a
cull tank. Now I
am breeding a bunch of Taiwan Bees (most notably the Galaxy Pinto, which
is a hybrid) in 20 gallon longs.
<All sounds very promising and professional! Good luck.>
Again, thanks for the help.
<No problem. Cheers, Neale.>
Discus just not 'happy' :( 11/13/17
Apologies for the tale of woe, but the more forums I check for 'advice'
the more confused I get, so I hope you guys might be able to untangle
the reasons for my Discus being generally 'off'. So, I have a 60 gallon
(280 litre) tank with, as of the last few weeks, 4 adult Stendker discus
(had 5 for the last 3 years but recently one died, perhaps all part of
the same issue here?).
<Maybe; let's see your data>
I do 3 partial water changes a week (overall works out about 30-35% a
week), using aged tap water, treated with Prime and warmed before
adding. I used to do larger water changes (20% 3 times a week) using
water directly from the tap (I did use Prime and warm water too!) but
when my fish first started to look unhappy I was advised to age it for
24 hours, so now storage issues mean I can only change 35-40 litres at a
<Storing the new water for a week (or even more) is advised>
Water parameters currently and for many months are: ammonia and nitrite
zero, nitrate somewhere between 10 and 20ppm,
<Well; I should mention, so I am... even cultured Discus don't like NO3.
I'd have you read on WWM re methods of reducing, keeping this
metabolite under 10 ppm>
pH 7, temperature 83F. I have also had the water
checked at the local fish store just in case my test kits were wrong,
but no problems there. Water out of the tap is pretty soft. I
feed a mix of beef heart, flake, pellet food.
<Mmm; I made MANY pounds of beef heart mix for my Symphysodon decades
back, but this component has largely fallen out of favour>
So, compared to a few months ago, my fish are all so much darker in
colour, almost black at times, I can see strands of slime coat
coming off a couple of them, and they're not eating with as much gusto
as previously :(
<Something wrong here. I suspect, as usual, first and foremost, issue/s
with the environment>
At various points over the last few months I've treated for Hex,
internal bacterial infection, worms, flukes,
<? All these fish have been in captivity for years? Where would
pathogens be introduced here?>
trying to eliminate obvious issues first, but nothing has made any
noticeable difference so I have to assume that there is another reason
for their stress/symptoms? I know 6 is the magic Discus number, but my 5
were always OK and I was reluctant to upset the status quo since I know
my tank is only 'just' big enough for 6.
<I would not add more to a sixty gallon>
I will get another couple if you think that will help, but I'd really
like to get to the bottom of the current issue before throwing more fish
into the unhappy mix. Since getting my discus 3 years ago, I added a
shoal of 10 Corydoras sterbai about 6-8 months ago who are doing really
well, breeding regularly (very cute babies!) and zooming around on the
<Ahh, a good sign... at least conditions suit them. Am curious as to
your water temperature; as C. sterbai is a cooler water species
(typically 70-77 F) and Discus warmer>>
So, this has now got me thinking. Could all the Cory 'action' on the
bottom of the tank be upsetting my Discus?
<Doubtful, but a remote possible influence>
I'd say there is a pretty 'normal' amount of aggression between my
discus generally, although recently the biggest one has been chasing two
of the others around. Maybe now there are only 4 the hierarchy is being
<I think you'd see over aggression here if this were so>
I'd really appreciate your advice as I'm at a point now where I don't
know what to do for the best. I have no space in my house for a bigger
tank so can't go down that route (I would if I could!), but it upsets me
to see my once-beautiful Discus shadows of their former selves :(
Thanks in advance,
<If it were my system; I'd try to systematically reason out the source
of the trouble via elimination, manipulation of one variable at a time.
Do you use chemical filtrants? Near the top of my trials, I'd use a pad
of PolyFilter, and/or a unit of ChemiPure in your filter/flow path, and
see (it should be obvious w/in a few days) if improved water quality is
an/the issue here; next... I'd raise the temperature a few degrees F.
Please do report back with your further observations. Bob Fenner>
Please need your help about rope fish
Hello WetWebMedia team.
I have a rope fish for about 3 years in my 270 liters tank. She lives alone.
Recently I have noticed the problem with her eye, it seems blush and a bit of
blur and bluish.
<Possibly physical damage, e.g., from scratching against a rock or gravel.
Physical damage usually heals on its own, assuming good water quality.>
I change 1/3 of the water every 1.5 weeks. The food: fish tilapia, shrimps,
1 month ago I did one stupid thing, i found grass worms near to my apartment,
but i did not realise that they could not be dirty because my apartment was
located near to the big road, so maybe worms was polluted.
<It is possible, yes.>
In that time i had 2 fishes alive. They felt bad after i fed them worms, fishes
tried to jump and leave the tank, was hanging on the top of water and their
bodies was reddish. One of them unfortunately left the tank at night and died.
<This does not sound like a problem with the worms. The redness of the body
sounds more like a bacterial infection, or possibly exposure to a toxin in the
water or poor water quality.>
Unfortunately i also discovered that net secure of tank also was not safe
<Ropefish are notorious for escaping. This is natural behaviour, unfortunately.
A good idea is to keep the tank only half-filled with water.
Ropefish only need 20 cm/8 inches water depth.>
During this month, the remaining fish seemed to feel better (i put coal in
<Do you mean carbon? That will certainly help remove poisons from the water. Big
water changes are useful, too -- but of course keep water chemistry and
temperature the same. Ropefish may benefit from a small amount of salt in the
water. Non-iodised cooking salt is fine. Something like 3-4 grams per litre will
before last week when i discovered this clouding. Please help me. I realize that
her health is now very weak after poisoning. What can i do to make her feel
<Time will help, and of course good water quality. Warm, humid air is also
important. I would certainly use salt as described above, for at least until the
cloudy eye clears up.>
Changing water more often could help?
Re: please need your help about rope fish
Thank you so much for your advice and help, Neale, all the best regards to
you and WetWebMedia
<Most welcome and good luck! Neale.>
Adding fish 11/7/17
So, we had an incident. The week before Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I noticed
a dripping leak.
I think it was at the bottom of the tank, but not quite sure. After scouring
Kijiji and the like with no results, I ended up buying a new 45 gallon tank and
stand on clearance.
<Nice size tank.>
I had intended to rehome fish, but several students upset, so....I purchased
what was needed to restart.
Went from 40 gallon cube like tank to 45 gallon long tank.
<A much better shape, plus more water capacity! Sounds a definite upgrade.>
We used as much water as we could from the original tank.
<Neither here nor there, really. Assuming the water chemistry and temperature
are kept about the same, may as well use conditioned tap water.
On the other hand, do try and keep as much biological filter media as possible,
because that's where the 'good' bacteria are.>
All 11 silver tip tetras survived. It is now November 4th. Now looking to add
corys and one Bristlenose Pleco.
Originally the tetras stayed in mid-upper level of cube tank. This changed
before aquarium change. They go everywhere; up, down, middle.
I suspect I only have a couple of female tetras.
<So get some more! This tank will easily house, say, 20 of the Tetras, 6-8
Corydoras, and 2-3 Bristlenose Plecs without any problems at all. Maybe not add
them all at once, but across a month, that'd be fine.>
I attached picture because I am not sure if enough cover is available for Corys.
<They'll be fine. For sure they prefer sand to gravel, but your gravel looks
smooth. I'd avoid the hothouse flower species such as Corydoras sterbai, but
most of the other species are good at the 22-25 C temperature range Bristlenose
The Stump has multiple entries at bottom and from top, but tetras enjoy too. The
barrel has multiple entrances; but for one, tetras not really interested.
<Indeed. Tetras like floating vegetation for shade, but caves not so much.>
Bridges for cover- but tetras zoom there too. Do have extra bridge- no space.
The brick wall is an inside wall (other side, stage, gym). On previous aquarium
I put aquarium picture; still budgeting with this one. Is the environment good
for Corys....if so, how many and what type...
<Looks a great home! Corydoras aeneus is a good default species, undemanding and
cheap. Corydoras panda, Corydoras julii, and Corydoras trilineatus are some
other species that might be considered. They're a little less hardy, but easily
maintained in mature tanks where the water isn't too hard. I'm also a fan of
Brochis species, such as Brochis splendens, which look a lot like big, stocky
Corydoras aeneus and do especially well in deep aquaria. Corydoras don't really
like swimming upwards more than 30 cm/12 inches, especially if the water current
strong. Cheers, Neale.>
Freshwater Aquarium Articles & FAQs
- Set-Up: Gear/Components:, Set-Up, Tanks, Stands, Covers:, Water, Filtration of All
Sorts, Sumps, Refugiums:, Circulation, Pumps, Powerheads, Aeration,
Electricity, Heating/Chilling, Light/Lighting:; Types of Systems:,
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Killifishes, Livebearers, Catfishes, Goldfish, Barbs, Danios, Rasboras,
Minnow Sharks, Loaches, Misc. Fish Groups
eBook on Amazon
What it takes to keep
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Gouramis, Bettas, Cichlids, Fresh to Brackish Water Fishes,
Invertebrates (Hydra, Worms, Snails, Insects, Crustaceans...),
eBook on Amazon
Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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Behavior, Topics, Reference and Aquatics Writing Business, Reviews,