Logo
Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on the Minnows Called Flying Foxes

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

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

THE SAE!

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

Re: Large white Spots on Siamese Fighter Fish - likely cause is bullying by Flying Fox   7/25/07 Thanks for the quick reply, I do however have a few issues with the suggestions that you have given - please don't think I'm being picky, I am merely trying to give my fish the best chance she has! <I do understand, and I'll do my best to respond to your thoughts...> Subject: Large white Spots on Siamese Fighter Fish >Hi, ><Hello, Elaine> >I have a problem with my female Siamese fighter fish. ><Betta splendens> >Please find an enclosed photo of the problem. ><Ack - that's not a well-looking fish!> >Around two weeks ago I noticed a few large white spots on the body of the fish, around the size of her scales. ><Looks to me as though the scales have actually been torn off - in looking at your stocking list below, I would surmise the flying fox, Epalzeorhynchos kallopterus, is the cause. The latter is NOT a peaceful fish, and doesn't belong together with any species that are... >Also, your Betta appears extremely swollen - how long has she appeared like that? It could be constipation, or alternatively, a bacterial infection...worst case scenario, a tumor. How is she eating? Is she regularly pooping? If not, constipation may be the cause; try feeding a frozen, then thawed pea, or, alternatively, fasting her for a couple of days. I'd start there...> <<<I've been keeping an eye on the Betta over the past two weeks and I have definitely seen a slow melting of the scales rather than them being torn off here and there. I should point out that we have a 'Siamese flying fox' (Crossocheilus oblongus) rather than a normal 'flying fox' (Epalzeorhynchos kallopterus). <<<<This is the problem with common fish names; it's hard to know exactly what fish someone is talking about with just this name. In any case, please take a look here for some useful info. re: Crossocheilus oblongus and its compatibility with other fish. Basically, this fish has the same aggressive tendencies as the Epalzeorhynchos kallopterus - do see here: http://www.thekrib.com/Fish/Algae-Eaters/ >>>> <<<The former is a peaceful fish, and I can personally vouch for this having had him in the tank with the female for over 4 months now.>>> <<<<All I can do is make general suggestions based on the non-biased articles, information and research I am familiar with. If it were me, I would still advise separating the two (the Betta and the Siamese Flying Fox.>>>> I've been keeping Bettas for a while now, so I am aware of how they can become bloated for one reason or another. I should have perhaps mentioned before that the bloatedness has come back during this week as the condition got worse. In the past it appeared that she was constipated and using the aforementioned pea trick sorted her out. <<<<Ah, am glad you know about how to care for this condition. I do suggest doing so.>>>> <<<So if we could assume for the moment that it was NOT the SFF, what else could this condition be? I'm 100% sure its not another fish causing this issue, as it got worse even when in isolation.>>> <<<<As with almost all fish injury/illness issues, there are usually several things at play. I still believe that the Betta received some type of injury to her scales, but if not, that's support for the environmental conditions being even worse than I first imagined. Also, if the Betta's immune system is compromised due to stress (being around overly aggressive fish can do this), her resistance to less-than-ideal water conditions is lesser than her tankmates'. I honestly think what you've got going on it a fish that was injured, stressed, and then perhaps exposed to poor environmental conditions, thus causing the slime coat and scales to "melt off" as you describe. What are the exact ammonia, nitrite and nitrate readings? How often have you been doing water changes, and in what amount?>>>> >At this point I added a Melafix to the tank. ><How are the water parameters? Temp., ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, etc.? Melafix can be helpful, but good water quality for healing wounds, scales injuries is much more important...> <<<Water parameters are all fine, I have a home testing keep and make sure that they are all within acceptable levels>>> <<<<Fine is not a useful term for this purpose. You need to make sure that ammonia and nitrite are at ZERO, and nitrate only as high as 20 ppm.>>>> >After a few days this appeared to have no effect. ><Not surprised; see above. Also, do keep in mind it takes quite some time for injured/missing scales to heal and regenerate.> >After some research online I suspected a slime or bacterial infection so dosed the tank with Methylene blue. ><What?! No quarantine/hospital tank? Well, sadly you killed off any of the beneficial bacteria by medicating the entire tank; this is never a good idea. You will need to keep a VERY close eye on the water parameters, as this tank will need to re-cycle... >Aside from this, the only "treatment" your Betta really needed was to be immediately separated from the Flying Fox and kept in pristine water conditions so that her scales can heal, re-grow, etc.> <<<She was put in a quarantine tank after a few days of staying in the main tank. It looks like an external bacterial infection and we were unsure whether it was contagious. Bearing this in mind, and that methylene blue treats this condition we dosed the entire tank to make sure that none of the other fish caught it. Your statement about killing friendly bacteria worries me though, as I read off your own website that "<Provided you follow the instructions supplied with the medication, Methylene Blue is harmless to filter bacteria. Cheers, Neale.>" <<<<First off, let me say that you are never going to get just one precise answer in this hobby, as so much is, in all honestly, experimental. Many variables/factors come into play when diagnosing fish illness, so you will likely get different answers from people's different perspectives. I personally would have isolated the sick/injured Betta just to be sure, but I do understand it's a bit of a dilemma/decision. And as for the Methylene Blue, this is an oxygenating agent, and there is a school of thought that it's safe to add to the main tank. In any case, Methylene Blue would not have done anything beneficial for your Betta (but probably nothing harmful, either). As to hospital tanks in general, I am personally of the opinion that all sick fish should be isolated ASAP; this is based on my own personal experience of not having done so quickly enough in some circumstances. (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/methbluefaqs.htm). If this really is the case then perhaps that part of the website should be amended? My instructions with the medication didn't mention such a side-effect.>>> <<<<Many medications claim to be non-harmful to the nitrogen cycle, but this just isn't the case. There's competing information out there as to whether Methylene Blue, specifically, will destroy the "beneficial bacteria", and after discussing with the guru Bob Fenner just this morning, it seems as though the cycle should likely be OK. However, there are other people of the same opinion. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's just better practice to quarantine a sick fish prior to using any treatment, that way you don't have to be concerned...>>>> >This appeared to stop any further progression of the problem and no other >fish in the tank were affected, so she was then isolated and dosed with >Methylene blue again. ><Unfortunately you didn't isolate her to begin with, so as explained above, your main tank's nitrogen cycle is destroyed. Also, I'm not sure why you are treating with Methylene blue - totally unnecessary and likely harmful...> <<<see above>>>> >After almost a week in isolation she appears no better so we removed her from isolation and took the attached photo in the hope you may be able to help ( as Methylene blue you can't see her very well). ><Yes - all explained above.> >She is in a 180 litre tank... ><Just about 48 US gallons...> <<<We use litres here in the UK :)>>> <<<<Yes, I understand. Just trying to make the info. more user-friendly to a wider-group of folk!>>>> >...with the following other fish (who appear to not be affected) - ><Well, they will be affected by the buildup of harmful toxins caused by the re-start of the nitrogen cycle; please keep a very close eye on ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels, performing water changes as necessary...> <<<see above again>>> >15 cardinal tetras >a Bristlenose catfish >a whiptail catfish >4 clown loaches (2 medium 2 small) >4 Corydoras >1 Siamese flying fox >2 Kuhli loaches ><Again, the Flying Fox is a very territorial, highly aggressive fish who doesn't belong anywhere near a peaceful Betta. Also, clown loaches - these fish can reach up to 12" or better when full grown - do you have a plan for upgrading? Fish stocking schemes really need to be well-researched, thought out. Do take a look at www.fishbase.org for some extremely useful information on the species you are keeping...> <<<see above once again about the flying fox. I am of course aware of what size the clown loaches grow to and will be upgrading when it is required>>> <<<<Again, I refer you to the article on algae eating Cyprinids. And, please do not take offense at my suggestion that a tank upgrade will be neccessary; many folks don't know this and have been shocked when I've previously made such suggestions.>>>> >My suggestion for your Betta is to setup a separate 3-5 gallon heated (80-82 degrees F), filtered tank for her to live in by herself. With proper water quality and time, her scales will heal and this problem will resolve itself. >As for the stocking in the main tank, well, you've got a lot of bottom dwellers...far too many...start making contingency plans now...> <<<they're doing just fine really, so I'm not to concerned at this moment in time - I'm more worried about the ill female Betta!>>> <<<<As for your Betta, I still suggest moving her to isolated quarters (again, a 3-5 filtered, heated aquarium is a great Betta setup. Keep the water quality pristine, and you may want to add MelaFix once again (keep in mind that will just aid in scale regeneration and keeping secondary bacterial infections at bay, but it doesn't work quickly...) Do take a look at the article I've linked you to, plus the many others out there regarding behavior of the Siamese Flying Fox you insist is so "peaceful". Obviously, you can do what you want, but I truly believe this is the likeliest cause. Given clean water and a peaceful environment, the Betta should heal nicely, without any complications.>>>> >Regards Elaine Bampton ><Best regards, Jorie> <<<thanks once again>>> <<<<You're welcome and good luck. Jorie>>>>

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

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

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

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



Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: