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FAQs on Mormyrid Fishes Disease/Health

Related Articles: Mormyrids, ElephantfishesElectrogenic Fishes,

Related FAQs:  Mormyrids, ElephantfishesMormyrid Identification, Mormyrid Behavior, Mormyrid Compatibility, Mormyrid Selection, Mormyrid Systems, Mormyrid Feeding, Mormyrid Reproduction, Bony Tongue Fishes, Electrogenic Fishes, Aba Aba Knifefish, African Butterflyfish, Arapaimas, Arowanas, Featherfin Knives, New World Knifefishes,

Elephant Nose and Iron       4/16/17
A few weeks ago, I wrote to you about a baby elephant nose that I got from my neighbor that I felt was extremely emaciated. He was keeping it with quite a few tetras and rasboras and had a powerhead plus two hob filters on the tank but was indifferent to the condition of the elephant nose. I talked him into selling it to me, brought it home and put it in my 10 gallon plant tank (cycled for over a year), and tried to help it. The little elephant nose put up a valiant fight, but ultimately passed away.
I'm heartsick as I really fell in love with the little guy and I've been searching your site to try to find out what I did wrong. I came across articles in which you state that elephant nose are sensitive to iron. I use RO/DI water (you might remember me from other posts - I live in Idaho, have human remains in the water, among other toxic junk) and I add Equilibrium to bring the mineral content back up. I was looking at the bottle today and it says Equilibrium does contain iron that they list as 0.11% Water Soluble Iron (Fe). Would that have been enough to affect the elephant nose. Also, I used to put Excel Flourish in the tank (though I had not added any for at least three months prior to this incident) and it says it "...has iron reducing properties which promote the ferrous state of Iron (Fe+2)...." Could this have harmed the little elephant nose? My roommate wants to get a black ghost knife fish, but now I'm worried as the BGK is a mormyrid the same as the elephant nose. Even though we're setting
up a tank specifically catering to the needs of the BGK, with filtering and powerheads providing more than 1,000 gph of water flow in a 72 gallon tank, I need to keep using the Equilibrium (I don't have to use the Flourish) and
I'm afraid that if the iron in these products harmed or killed the elephant nose that it might also harm the BGK. (Please don't misunderstand, I think a great deal of SeaChem and love their products, but not every product of
any manufacturer is right for every species of aquarium animal).
<I'm sorry this story had a sad ending, and thank you for trying so hard to save this fish. The short answer is that aquarium iron supplements are unlikely to harm this/any fish; at least, not if used as directed. More likely, this Elephantnose was "just too far gone". They are not easy fish to keep, as we've probably discussed before. While relatively adaptable in terms of water chemistry, they can be finicky feeders, and like all Mormyridae, they are acutely sensitive to chemicals like copper and formalin widely used in aquarium medications. On top of that, being
wild-caught, it's not impossible for them to arrive infected with parasitic worms, which means that however much they eat, they lose weight. Deworming wild-caught fish isn't mandatory by any means, but if a wild-caught fish
fails to thrive despite eating plenty of food, it's a good next step.
Anyway, you will find Black Ghost Knifefish very similar to Elephantnoses in terms of care and feeding. You could probably argue that these Knifefish and their relatives occupy the same ecological niche that Mormyrids do in Africa. Soft substrate, micro-invertebrate prey including worms and insect larvae, and plenty of oxygen are all on the to-do list, while formalin and copper are just as toxic to Black Ghosts as they are to Elephantnoses.
Given Black Ghost Knifefish don't need bright light -- they actually prefer deep, shady conditions -- you will probably find iron-based substrates redundant, even detrimental (they can cause algal problems in the absence
of fast-growing plants). So I'd be taking the Excel Flourish out of the equation, and sticking with silica sand, water worn pebbles and roots, and so far as plants go, low-light tolerant species for the bottom (Anubias for
example) and an over-storey of fast-growing species like Amazon Frogbit to keep algae under control. None of these plants needs any more iron that the usual top-up with fertiliser added to the water every few weeks. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Elephant Nose and Iron       4/17/17

Thank you Neale, you made me feel a little better.
<Glad to have helped.>
I still wish I could have helped the little fella, but some things are just not meant to be. I've nervously agreed to try the black ghost knife fish (my roommate's all time most wanted fish - mine too if I can keep it healthy and happy).
<They are nice, if demanding, fish. Not really for casual aquarists, but certainly not impossible to keep either.>
The local store that sells them has fish that are about 3 inches long, they look healthy, and the store owner demonstrated to me that all the BGKs in the tank are hungrily eating blood worms.
<Good. These sound VERY small though! Not necessarily a bad thing -- especially if they're feeding well -- but do be careful not to expose them to sudden changes in temperature or water chemistry when you bring them home.>
I knocked down and completely re-worked my 72 bow front. I have put on a Fluval 405 canister filter (340 gph) and added two Hydor Koralia powerheads (one is 1,200 gph and the other is 850 gph). I know this is a little bit
excessive for a 72 gallon tank, but I have also put in two very large fake plants (for hiding spaces) that hang down from the top all the way to the bottom and I want to be sure the current is sufficient to move the water past those plants.
<Understood. BGKs appreciate current, and overall water turnover rates around 8-10 times the volume of the tank is ideal. So anything between 500-700 gallons/hour should fine. But I would turn down the powerheads so that they don't produce too much current. While the Fluval by itself won't be enough, the two extra powerheads -- operating be full blast, anyway -- could be much too much current. Use some common sense here.>
I have pool filter sand as a substrate and a smooth glass candle chimney wrapped with a fake ivy plant for the fish to feel safe. I have placed it diagonally across the water flow so the current inside the chimney is significantly less.
Since the fish is still very small, I've also added a small cave and a small terracotta strawberry pot (placed diagonally to the water flow as an alternate hiding and refuge away from the strong current). It will be the only fish in this tank.
<Might actually look into some suitable dither fish at some point.
Peaceful, medium-sized tetras would be ideal. Dither fish help bottom-dwellers feel more secure. Some placid bottom-dwellers would be a plus, too, consuming uneaten food. I'd choose something like Brochis catfish that handle deep water better than Corydoras, but share with Corydoras the fact they won't steal food too quickly, leaving your Black Ghost plenty of time to feed.>
Since I had knocked the entire tank down to the glass, I am currently recycling it. I started back on 3/28/17 using Seachem Stability to supply the bacteria and Mysis shrimp to feed them. As of today, my ammonia is down to zero, but my nitrite is now quite high (> 5ppm - really super dark purple), and my nitrate has only climbed to 40, so it will be another week, maybe two, before I can start thinking about bringing the fish home.
I also have assurance from the fish store that I can bring the fish back to them if it starts to show any signs that something may be wrong.
<I think in a tank this size, with such a small fish, the risk of "new tank syndrome" after 4-6 weeks of cycling should be very low.>
They're very good and will help me to work out any problems that may come up and will "board" the fish until I get things worked out. Or, worse comes to worse, they will keep the fish and find it a better home if I can't make this work. My roommate has built a large aquarium stand to support a larger tank, so we are currently shopping for a 150 gallon tank along with appropriate filtration. I know it is not a concern right now as the fish is still small, but I want the big tank up, cycled, planted, and fully established before the fish needs it.
<Wise. If this were me, I'd get something else settled in first, to bed the filter in. The Brochis for example, or failing that, a small, harmless Loricariid catfish such as Ancistrus. Sometime to "stress test" the filter before you add anything too delicate. Make sense?>
So, can you think of anything I've left out or forgotten?
<Hope the above helps! Neale.>
Re: Elephant Nose and Iron       4/17/17

Ok, will add the Brochis first, after the tank has finished cycling, if I can find them. I did a quick search and came up with the emerald catfish (Corydoras splendens), is that the species you were referring to?
<Yes; used to be called Corydoras splendens, then became Brochis splendens, and now seems to have switched back. An excellent, inexpensive catfish.>
The selection of freshwater fish in my area is limited and I've never heard of this fish before.
<Very similar to the common Bronze Catfish, Corydoras aeneus, but a bit chunkier and with a dorsal fin that has a much longer base than on typical Corydoras. Quite commonly traded and not expensive. Keep at least 5 specimens.>
Everyone carries the Cory Cat's, but I can't remember seeing an Emerald Catfish.
<Oh, it is out there. Should be available to order. Just make sure you
don't get it muddled with the Bronze Catfish. The dorsal fins are VERY
If I can't find one (or six to 10 as my quick Google search recommends), would 6 - 10 Congo tetra (Phenacogrammus interruptus) be appropriate or should I stick with bottom feeders?
<Congo Tetras are excellent fish, and good companions for Black Ghost Knifefish. They will provide good "dithering" but won't do much to clean up leftover food.>
I understand those types of tetra would appreciate the strong current and higher oxygen levels and I know I've seen them at my fish store.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Elephant Nose and Iron      4/27/17

Exciting news! Our new BGK is home! OMG! What a stunning fish!
<Quite so.>
Every time I walk past the tank and catch a glimpse of her, I have to stop and watch her for a while. Anyway, things seem to be going great! I see her swimming through the plants night and day and she seems healthy,
strong, but awfully skinny. Now, the aquarium store where I bought her had her there for almost 3 weeks while I was cycling the tank (and I know its fully cycled because I tested daily and watched it go from ammonia to
nitrite and then to nitrate. BEFORE I brought her home, I knew from my own testing that the ammonia was 0, nitrite was 0, and nitrate was 5 ppm before I went down to pick her up, but regardless of my own testing, I took a
water sample down with me and had them test to confirm my results. We were all good. But I digress! Anyway, the aquarium store where I bought her demonstrated to me that she was robustly eating bloodworms when I expressed concern for her looking so thin.
<I would be tempted to deworm, using an aquarium dewormer.>
They told me that many fish arrive from the supplier in a very thin condition. But she was with them for 3 weeks eating bloodworms and is still very skinny, but she shows no other outward signs of any problems. Also, since I've had her home, I've found that she LOVES Cyclops and daphnia (frozen) a lot more than bloodworms, Mysis shrimp or catfish from the grocery store (I still include those foods, but she ignores them until she's eaten all the Cyclops and daphnia).
<Do also try newly hatched brine shrimp; these are economical and very nutritious (unlike adult brine shrimp, which are basically popcorn for fish) if a bit of a hassle to rear. Frozen lobster eggs are also worth trying -- some marine aquarium stores sell them, and they're very calorie-dense, making them useful for "fattening up" new fish.>
So now I'm in a quandary. I don't like using chemicals or medicines unless I'm sure they're warranted, so I wanted to ask you if you believe it would be wise to worm this fish now or give her more time (and Cyclops, and daphnia) and see if she starts putting on some weight?
<Assuming she doesn't have worms, patience and numerous (relatively small) meals is the best way to return fish to healthy conditions. One or two big meals is less good than five or size small meals because fish have short digestive tracts, so tend to poop out a lot of the food they've eaten if "overfed". Deworming is a good idea though, such as Prazi Pro, if a fish is eating plenty but failing to put on weight. Cheers, Neale.>

Baby Elephant Nose with a damaged nose     3/28/17
I recently came across a baby (1 1/2 inches tops) elephant nose in the possession of an acquaintance that looked frighteningly thin to me.
<Very/Too common... under and mis-fed; stocked w/ incompatible life>
When I asked him about it he said the fish's proboscis was damaged but didn't elaborate on how it got damaged. I looked closer and could see that the animal's nose looks "different" but there was no sign of any external damage - it just doesn't look straight. It seemed to be trying to forage for food, but this guy's tank has a heavy current (29 gallon with two hob filters and a powerhead) and he has what seems like a lot of tetras and Rasboras in the same tank. I told him the elephant nose was starving and that if he didn't do something it was going to die - he just shrugged. So I offered him $10 for the fish and he took it. The little guy/gal, that I've named Finley, is now (as of 15 minutes ago) in my 10 gallon by himself. This tank is heavily planted tank with only a 10 gallon filter on it. I've put in rotifers, daphnia, Cyclops, and mashed bloodworms (small amounts) and he seems to be trying to eat it. My question is, is there any chance this fish's nose will heal as it grows if I can just get and keep him eating?
<It may well do so under your good care. Mormyrids have "remarkable powers of regeneration". Bob Fenner>
*Renee *
Re: Baby Elephant Nose with a damaged nose     3/30/17

Thank you! ��
<Welcome Renee. BobF>
Re: Baby Elephant Nose with a damaged nose     3/30/17

Hi Bob - the little elephant nose is still fighting, but its not looking good (lying upside down in the tank, not really swimming) but he's going to have to call it quits - and I'm going to keep going until he does. But I've never kept this kind of fish before so I was hoping to share my plan and get your opinion and suggestions.
The tank he's in is my hospital tank for plants, no fertilizers or anything, just my normal water additives (Equilibrium, Alkaline buffer, Acid buffer, and Stability) and a cup (in a ten gallon tank) of waste water from another tank per week for food for the plants.
But he's the first fish to be in there in 3 years. The water parameters show only yellow (no ammonia), blue (no nitrite), and yellow (no nitrate). I've read on your site that this species is sensitive to many common products used in aquariums such as salt, Prime, etc., and I haven't used anything like that in my efforts to help this fish. But I did a 20% water change this morning (I don't want leftover food hanging around in there), changed the filter medium, and that's about all I've done. I'm keeping the tank temp at 77 and keeping a towel over it to keep things dark and quiet for him.
I'm dropping small amounts of food near him, leaving it for half an hour, then vacuuming it out. Does all of that sound ok to you?
<I'd try the food only twice per day>
Is there anything else that I could be doing that would help?
<Not really; no. There are downsides to trying most everything. Bob Fenner>
Re: Baby Elephant Nose with a damaged nose     3/30/17

Ok, thank you. Whatever happens it means a lot to know I didn't miss anything.
<Ah yes. B>

Mormyrid - safe medicines      1/2/16
Before I devote a tank to a group of Mormyrids, I want to know beforehand which medicines I should have in case there is a problem with disease. The tank will be large and based around their requirements, I just want to be
prepared if there's a complication.
I see that salt and heat is recommended for Ich, and copper and formalin are unsafe. Malachite green and Acriflavine are also dangerous?
<Acriflavine is relatively safe; Malachite, no. And no metal dyes... most antibiotics, antimicrobials are fine... Sulfa drugs; anti Protozoals... as well>
Furan for fin rot and Maroxy for fungus have been called Mormyrid safe, I don't know if it's the truth.
<Tis so>
Which diseases are they usually vulnerable to, and which medicines can be used to treat them?
<Please see WWM re.... what little I know is archived there>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Mormyrid - safe medicines /Neale      1/2/16

Before I devote a tank to a group of Mormyrids, I want to know beforehand which medicines I should have in case there is a problem with disease. The tank will be large and based around their requirements, I just want to be
prepared if there's a complication.
I see that salt and heat is recommended for Ich, and copper and formalin are unsafe. Malachite green and Acriflavine are also dangerous?
Furan for fin rot and Maroxy for fungus have been called Mormyrid safe, I don't know if it's the truth.
Which diseases are they usually vulnerable to, and which medicines can be used to treat them?
<Short answer: anything safe for Stingrays should be safe for Mormyrids. So if the packaging says "not suitable for stingrays and Elasmobranchs" then avoid. Antibiotics, salt/heat, dewormers should all be fine. Would avoid anything with metals (copper sulphate, potassium permanganate, etc.) and organic dyes only if the manufacturer says they're safe with stingrays. Make sense? Oh, to be clear, copper and formalin are both (a) toxic to fish and (b) toxic to you! Question of dosage and exposure, but by no means are these chemicals "Safe". Cheers, Neale.>

Elephantnose parasite treatment. Dis. and stkg f's       7/18/14
I have greatly enjoyed your website, and have in fact found it so
comprehensive, and helpful I have never had to write until now.
I have a school of small Peter's Elephantnose fish in a quarantine/holding 75g tank right now. In a couple days they will be moving to moving to their final home, a 160g (+ big sump) tank, which they will share with some Ropefish, Congo tetras, a pair of Pelmatochromis Ocellifer, and later possibly an African knifefish, some African Butterflyfish, and some other rarer West African cichlid and/or Ctenopoma species. (I probably will add the fish on second half of the list later, because for the next year or two
I'll be growing out a fire eel, an Astronotus crassipinnis (rare, smaller cousin of the Oscar), a Paratilipia polleni, and some Paretroplus maculatus
(hopefully) in the 160g before they move to the 300g tank. So that is for the vision for the tank in he next few years.)
I find Elephantnose fascinating, and that was my main motivation to design a tank around them, and to keep them in a group like in nature. I started out with nine, expecting that being a bit sensitive I might lose one, and I have had them for two months now. I had one die for no discernible reason not long after I bought them, but until a couple weeks ago, all the others were fine. They were all eating very well on live Blackworms (rinsed  well), frozen bloodworms, frozen Mysis, frozen krill, and chopped earthworms.
During that first month most of them started to get nice and fat, and lose that thin look they come in with, however a few kept getting skinnier, even though they were eating well, and then eventually they stopped eating as well, and got even skinnier, and then ate less... etc., you get the picture. I am sure it is parasites, rather than competition for food, because there are not other fish with them yet (I wanted to get them
eating well before introducing them even to a sedate community tank) and also because one of the very skinny ones was one of the largest, most dominate of the ENs.
I hesitated to treat them all for parasites, because I know they are sensitive to many meds, and I didn't want to risk the ones who were healthy for the skinny ones. I eventually separated the two skinniest ones to try to treat, but by that time they were too far gone and I lost them. I want advice on what anti-parasitic to use on the six who are left, because I really want to treat them all, just to be on a the safe side. I have a couple still alive who aren't gaining weight like the others. It is very similar to the "wasting disease" wild caught loaches often come in with. I have available to use PraziPro, API General Cure (Prazi and Metronidazole) and Levamisole. What would you recommend?
<The combination of the Praziquantel and Metronidazole... either as a mixed product as you list from Aq. Pharm., or blended together yourself... delivered via foods>
Also a separate question, but do you think I should add a couple more Elephantnose once they are moved to the 160g? Six seems to me to be on the low side for a group of them.
<Six is fine... and what I would stick with. As having more adds to the possibility of the "last one" getting picked on, doing poorly>

Thank you so much, and sorry that it was a bit long!
*Ariel Johns*
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Elephantnose parasite treatment      7/18/14

Thanks so much for the prompt reply!
Quick follow-up question: the API General Cure's instructions are for mixing in the water, so what would be a good amount to use mixed with the food?
<Mmm, IF you using the API in the water, realize almost NONE of it is going to get inside the fish/es (FW fish don't drink their environment... unlike marines). IN ORDER to treat for internal parasites... Let's just have you read on WWM re: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmaintindex.htm
scroll down to Disease, read re the compounds involved here>
Each individual packet contains 250mg Metronidazole, and 75mg Praziquantel. Should I mix one packet with water (how much water?), and then soak their food in it? How long should I treat them with the
medicated food?
Thanks again!
<Do the reading. BobF>
Re: Elephantnose parasite treatment    8/4/14
Hello, and sorry to bother you again!
<Never a bother>
Thanks for the info on how to dose the API General Cure orally for the fish. After a lot of reading to make sure I understood the amount to use, I mixed 1 tsp of the API in 1 cup of water, and soaked the food in it for a few hours. I fed this two days in a row using a fresh mixture each time. I treated not only my Elephantnose fish, but also a number of wild caught cichlids I had in quarantine that weren't thriving.
Everyone seemed to improve... EXCEPT my skinny Elephantnose, unfortunately. Initially the treatment seemed to improve its appetite, but it is just as skinny, perhaps skinnier after several weeks. Is there any point in repeating that same treatment again?
<Mmm; yes; to some extent>
I know Metronidazole is toxic if used too much...
Which I guess brings me to my main question. Is it worth the risk to try Levamisole?
<IMO/E, yes>
I know that it kills some types of parasites that Prazi and Metro don't, so it may help where they didn't. Do you have any idea how Mormyrids react to it?
<Unfortunately I do not; nor see any reference to it in my in-print works here>
Is there a way I could dose it orally like I did with the API General cure, and if so, would that be safer for them?
<Can be dosed as you state... and is safer administered thus>
Or could I do a Levamisole "bath" for the skinniest Elephantnose? What would be the procedure on that?
<The bath will not likely be efficacious... VERY little of the material will get into the fish>
Thanks so much!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Elephantnose parasite treatment     8/5/14

Thank you!
The problem I have is that the Levamisole I have doesn't say how many milligrams are in each treatment, all it says is to use "4 drops per gallon". If this is the dosage to put in the tank, what dosage would be a
safe to soak the food in?
<Mmm; much more. Do you want to pay fro 2d. ed. of Noga's Fish Disease book? He gives units for:
Prolonged immersion: 10 mg. HCl/l...
Feed: 2.5-10 mg/kg
1 drop in a Quart of water, or should it be higher than the amount to treat the tank? Like 1 drop in a Cup of water?
<... can't say/state a comparison w/o knowing what the concentration of the product actually is. B>
Re: Elephantnose parasite treatment     8/5/14

I emailed the distributor of the Levamisole I have, and they said concentration in the directions are for about 2 ppm (=~2mg/l). What would be a way to judge my Elephantnoses approximate weight? They are 4-5inches long, but obviously much slimmer than, say, a cichlid that same length.
<Mmm; likely guessing will be good enough (an ounce each let's say). IF you had a gram scale, you could (I would) weigh out a given weight of water with container (tare); add the fish to this... the difference being the fish's weight>
Thanks for all your help! I will let you know how it goes after treatment, so others will know what to do for their Mormyrids!
<I thank you, Bob Fenner>

Re: Dolphin Fish, Mormyrid; hlth., sys., fdg f's     2/1/14
Hello again WWM Crew!
Thanks for your response, I really appreciate it! I am actually having a dilemma with the dolphin, though I'm not sure if it's serious. As stated before, I noticed less activity with these dolphins. What concerns me is that now it seems like the larger dolphin is breathing differently when sitting at the bottom on the tank. I asked before about the breathing rate of this fish because it seemed like they naturally had a very fast rate.
<Yes; agreed. Some 90 gill movements per minute is not unusual in my experience>
The worry I have now is that the dolphin is having trouble breathing. It seems to be gasping so instead of a steady constant movement of the gills, it stops then they flap a few times, then stops again.
<Not good. Water changes, activated carbon, PolyFilter or such I'd be adding to the filter, water movement path>
The mouth also seems to be opening and closing with this, which I've never seen it do. I also noticed besides the inactivity and breathing issue that there looks like a few little bumps on the side of the larger dolphin. They don't look like Ich or have any color, they look like they are part of the skin.
<Still.... worrisome. S/b smooth>
I've continued to add more plants to the tank, but I'm unsure if the two correlate. I have a 50g sponge filter as of right now, and was turning down the intensity occasionally due to the air pump making a horribly loud hum; but I don't know if this is the culprit as I have kept it going at full strength since I noticed this problem and it seems to continue.
<You do have other filtration and water movement I hope/trust. I'd be adding more... outside power filtration; hang on and/or canister>
I am heading into work today to replace it as well as getting a new sandstone/airstone to see if that helps. I noticed some very mild flashing about a week ago so after a w/c and plant trimming I added a low dose of Seachem Stressguard and Seachem Stability since I cleaned the sponge filter also.  I rinsed the sponge filter with tank water to make sure I didn't kill any bacteria, but when I turned the filter on a cloud of dust came out of it. I waited 2 hours after cleaning the filter before I did my water change/trimming and did not notice any stress from the fish. The only odd thing I did notice that was different about this w/c was that the water had an unusual amount of air bubbles in it making everything look foggy. I discussed it with my fiancé and I suspect that the water may have been cooler than the tank water, though he swore that it was warmer. The bubbles made the tank look milky and the ottos were covered in bubbles afterwards.
Is it possible that the bumps came from the air bubbles? I'm unsure if the products I used were a problem either seeing that both are extremely mild and have been used before. The itching is only occasionally, but it's enough to have me concerned.
<Me too... Act, now; re the above stmt.s>
They both still have moments of activity and do swim about chasing their tankmates and they both have healthy appetites. I've got different foods as stated before, but I've mostly been feeding live black worms. They seem to be doing VERY well off of it and are both a healthy weight. Even the smaller dolphin who looked frail and skinny, is starting to put on actual weight and looks wonderful, though still tiny compared to the other. I keep the black worms clean with a nightly cleaning before I feed them and don't seem to have any losses with them. Even though I seem to have great results off of blackworms, I'm aware that they can hold parasites
<Not really if they're cultured (vs. wild-collected). Ask your supplier re, or wean them on to frozen/defrosted meaty foods (rinsed ahead of offering)>
so I'm wondering if there's a way to ensure my worms are parasite free i.e. rinsing in Epsom salts or something; or is it safe to PraziPro these fish if I did see any infection?
<I would not>
I'm looking into culturing my own live worms such as white worms as well, hoping to try to reduce risk as much as possible.
Just did a quick strip test a moment ago
My temp is 79F Ph: 6.8-7.0Nitrate: .10ppm-20ppmNitrite: 0ppmKH: 40ppmGH: 180ppm
Ammonia: 0ppm (did API vial test)
linking 2 videos from my photobucket of examples of the breathing, the smaller dolphin flashing, and hopefully you can see the bumps though they are near impossible to pick up on my phone. I saw some white specks on the larger dolphin in the videos, but I believe they were from the sand since they weren't consistently there even an hour before or an hour after. Black spot still on the dorsal, and attached photo of the small bumps, forgive me if they are hard to see, I could barely make them out in the photos but they look like "chicken skin" like humans get. The white blobs in the photo are baby apple snails. Excuse the messiness of my tank, they kick up the soil  onto the sand and I haven't planted the new plants, leaving algae for ottos and baby snails.
Thank you again for your time and I hope you'll be able to answer some of my worries.
<Do please keep us informed. Bob Fenner>

Re: Dolphin Fish, Mormyrid   2/2/14
Hi WWM Crew and Mr. Fenner,
As of right now I only have the 50g sponge filter on this tank,
<Ahh! I definitely WOULD be upgrading, at least adding a good sized outside power filter here. The improvement in water quality, reduction in maintenance will be discernible>
I haven't been a huge fan of it's bulkiness but didn't realize it was a problem since my water parameters have always tested well. I'm going to take off one of my Eheim canister filters (80 gallon) from my 125gallon tank then tonight. I'm going clean the entire filter with bleach then have it run overnight in heavily dechlorinated water (prime) in a 5 gallon bucket as a precautionary since I don't want to mix equipment between tanks.
<You are wise here>
I'll run both the sponge filter and the canister until I've got the canister seeded enough. If the problem was indeed a filtration issue, I'll gladly purchase a more suitable filter if necessary.
<Eheim's are excellent. I use them; have used them for decades, personally and commercially>
 I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this was the issue. In the meantime, do you have any solutions to "disinfecting" my live blackworms?
<The continuous, long-term (hours) rinsing in slow, cold tapwater is about all I would do>
I always grab my worms from fresh stock that just arrives and I clean them nightly, but I doubt that it's enough to not be at risk still. I'm going to speak directly to my wholesaler to see how they cultivate their stock, but I'm weary knowing that PraziPro isn't an option if they have a bad batch.
I'll keep you posted, thanks again!
Have a wonderful evening, Lauren Saunders
<And you Lauren. Bob Fenner>

Re: Dolphin Fish, Mormyrid; hlth.       2/6/14
Hello Mr. Fenner and crew!
Giving you an update on the tank. After 15 minutes of running in bleach water, 24 hours of running in heavily dechlorinated water, followed by a thorough rinsing; I added the 80g Eheim canister filter to my tank. The fish seemed fine with it for a few days, but now 2 ottocinclus just died leaving me with one,
<The genus Otocinclus members are social... live in shoals>
though they stopped cleaning the algae and glass 2 weeks ago,
<? Something wrong here... low DO?>

 unsure of the cause. Dolphin do seem more active though they always were for the most part, but I still catch the larger resting on the bottom on occasion, hard to tell with the smaller since it hides under the driftwood when it's not searching for worms. The breathing rate doesn't look as labored, but it is still an on and off motion (hard to explain) rather than a constant flutter of the gills, though I did see similar breathing patterns of dolphins via YouTube. Unsure which is the normal pattern at this point. There are still weird discolorations on the skin of the dolphin, unsure of the cause or if it's possible the otto's were sucking on their skin.
 I noticed the ottos "attacking" when I had first gotten them, but haven't seen it happening recently. Found it unusual since I thought this wasn't a typical behavior of the otto. Haven't witness any flashing from the dolphin, but did see my blue gourami flash against the filter once last night. Appetites are still healthy.
Water test: Nitrates: 10ppmNitrites: 0ppmPh: 6.8KH: 40ppmGH: 180ppmAmmonia: 0ppm
Will keep you updated if anything changes, but unsure if there's anything I should be doing at this point. Doing my best not to mettle as much as possible.
Have a wonderful day! Lauren
<And you. B>

Re: Dolphin Fish, Mormyrid   2/17/14
Hello again WWM Crew!
I've had the Eheim Ecco pro (80gallon) and the sponge filter running in my 37gallon tank now for about 2 1/2 weeks now and I haven't noticed too much of a difference. Both dolphin have still been active, though they both still rest on the bottoms of the tank from time to time throughout the day.
<Improvements in behavior, health et al. with increased filtration take more time>
I would chalk it up to "rest" time but I'm still noticing the gasping. Is the dolphin's breathing pattern a consistent and constant flutter or they flutter and stop?
They definitely both breath consistently in a pattern but it's 3-7 flutters then stop, then 3-7 flutters. The mouth on the larger one opens and closes with each "breath" though, which is my biggest concern.
I haven't noticed much itching or flashing except on rare occasion, however right when I started filming this video the larger ended up doing it immediately. Very frustrating.
Water Parameters Ammonia 0ppmNitrate 15-20ppmNitrite
<Keep under 20 ppm... Read on WWM re NO3 control>
 0ppmPh 7.0ppmKH 80ppmGH 180ppm81F degrees I've added in some newer plants and since they were grown immersed the new ones are browning out their old leaves and sprouting new ones, could any of that be affecting the dolphins?
<Yes; decomposition can reduce DO quite a bit>
They aren't really decomposing much, just browning. I've been feeding blackworms, bloodworms less than once a week and last night I fed daphnia (can be seen in the photos)
Here is a link I just took of the dolphin this morning. I only have a low light plant on right now so it's not as harsh for them, hopefully it doesn't make it too difficult to see their breathing.
attached are 3 photos I took last night, you can see how the mouth opens and closes. They seem happy enough, I just want to ensure that what they are doing is normal for them or if it isn't what I can do to resolve it.
<Appear fine>
 Thanks so much again!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

My Elephant Nose Fish Won't Eat; rdg.     9/18/13
I have a 120L tropical tank with about 30 various friendly fish inside.
<... Need to know; have you list, what these are... useful information in determining compatibility and your system capacity>
 I recently bought an elephant nose fish which started to eat, and then unfortunately died.
<... Mormyrids are often lost in too crowded, too competitive settings
... have you read re the family on WWM?>
I then bought another one and have had him/her for about a week but he/she hasn’t eaten anything and I'm quite worried as I don't want it to also die.
<... too likely so>
I understand that buying another 2/3 may help,
<... don't do this>
but I don't want to waste the money and the life to try and make it better. I always try and feed it bloodworms and other live foods but it doesn't eat anything. I've just began to notice it sitting in the corner of the tank looking as if it will die soon. Please help as I don't want to risk any more fish.
<Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/mormyrids.htm
and (all) the linked files above. This species, these species can be "touchy"... but most all are lost due to inappropriate placement in terms of environment, tankmates and feeding. Bob Fenner>

Elephant Nose Question   8/22/11
Hi there Bob and Crew
I've been coming here for a few years now for a lot of more specialized information about things for my tanks and now I find that I'm a little bit stumped as to what to do next.
My mother has a 55 gallon set up in the kitchen that has: 5 female and 1 male Congo Tetra, 5-6 Buenos Aries, 3 Gold Mystery Snails, and 2 Elephant Nose. Lots of Java Fern as well, with a few small pieces of Hornwort and Hyacinth that are just temporarily growing in there.
Parameters are as follows:
NH3 - 0
PH - 7.0
No2 - 0
No3 - 20
Temp - 80F
Now, here's the problem I've got here; The larger of the two elephants has what looks almost like a pimple on its right pectoral fin, right at the base of the gill plate. I noticed it yesterday, but it was never there before. It's not spreading to other fish, nor is it spreading on the fish in question. I pulled it up with a net to just get a closer look at is as it looked like a piece of sand at first, though with closer inspection it does not look like Ich or crypto. Tried to just gently rub it and it held firmly to the flesh. I have been trying to get a good enough picture to send in to you, but alas, even in the net my camera's macro setting isn't good enough to take the shot. There's only the one spot, but my mother is worried about it spreading. I've never kept Elephants, so I am not entirely certain as to the best course of action.
I raised the temp from 78 to 80,and getting some Brine Shrimp eggs today to hatch for some live feed because I read that the salt in the water from Brine Shrimp won't bother the Elephants too much? Just don't know what else to try right now. So any ideas you may have regarding this would be awesome. I will try and post a picture for you later if I can manage to get one, but I don't see it happening with my camera sadly.
<Hello. I'd probably "wait and see" here but the salt/heat option for treating Whitespot is safe with Mormyrids, and indeed pretty much the only way to treat them without causing problems. Mormyrids are sensitive fish, so do be alert to the fact formalin and copper can be quickly toxic to them. They are easily damaged by sharp sand or gravel (indeed, I'd argue they should never be kept in tanks with gravel anyway) as well as by sharp rocks and ornaments. Two specimens rarely get on -- they are highly hierarchical, and need to be kept singly or in large groups. So be sensitive to the fact they may damage one another, perhaps indirectly, by the stronger one forcing the weaker one against rocks or whatever. Sorry I can't offer more help. A photo would help, to be sure! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Elephant Nose Question   8/22/11
Funny thing is, it's actually the larger and more aggressive of the two that's got the spot on it.
I told her a while ago when she got them that there would be issues eventually.
They killed off the 3rd that was in the tank a few months back.
<There you go.>
I don't know how well you'd be able to see it, but I'm attaching a photo that somewhat shows the afflicted area.
<Yes, I see.>
Hard to get a good macro shot of these guys. So I picked it up another degree and a half since last night when I brought it up to 80. Sitting at 81.5 now and adding the salt to the water now.
Just a matter of waiting now. Thanks for the advice, Elephant Nose aren't something I normally keep.
<Glad to help.>
I forgot to ask how much salt I should add, and how long I should leave the water salted for?
<2 grammes/litre is the usual dosage, but I'd recommend you make up a brine solution for that amount in a jug, and then add to the aquarium across at least an hour -- these are sensitive fish. So if the aquarium contains 200 litres, then make up a jug of water with 200 x 2 = 400 grammes of salt, and pour that brine into the aquarium across an hour or two. This may sound like a lot of salt, but it's really not; full seawater is 35 grammes per litre, so a 200 litre tank would need 7000 grammes (i.e., 7 kg). In other words, less than one-seventeenth full seawater salinity! If you want to be doubly sure, add half the brine solution on the first day, and only add the other half if the fish seem lively and happy. A dosage of 1 gramme/litre isn't a sure-fire cure for Whitespot, but may help.>
Should I QT the one with the spot and salt him there so I don't salt the main tank?
<A very good idea.>
My mother is freaking out about the salt killing her fish if I salt the water.
<See above.>
How long are the elephants able to take the salting for?
<You typically dose with salt for at least a week, ideally two.>
Sorry, like I stated, a bit out of my norm.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Elephant Nose Question   8/22/11
One last question for you, when I'm adding the brine shrimp to the tank should I be adding them with the freshwater salt or marine salt?
<You can hatch brine shrimp in either plain salt or marine salt, though marine salt may well be better because it buffers against pH and contains potentially useful trace elements. Once grown on to the desired size, or if you buy live brine shrimp, you want to decant as much of the salty water as possible, and ideally net them out and feed them to your fish that way. If you can, use wet-frozen spirulina-enriched brine shrimp -- while newly hatched brine shrimp are quite nutritious for baby fish, live adult brine shrimp have very little nutritional value at all, and shouldn't be used for anything other that a weekly treat. Since Mormyrids feed from the bottom, they are quite good about taking wet-frozen foods on the substrate, provided nothing competitive is kept with them. Indeed, settled specimens can be very greedy, forward feeders!>
I have both. Marine salt I have is H2Ocean, from when I was running my reef tanks. Otherwise I've got that basic Nutrafin salt.
I'm raising them with the H2Ocean right now at a SG of 1.018, just wasn't sure which would be a better idea come time to add them to the system.
<Cheers, Neale.

peter's elephant nose, hlth. &  more    10/14/10
I currently have a 55 gallon tank.
1 med size Discus
1 Cory cat
1 lacy Pleco
1 2" Pleco
I would hand feed the elephant nose and discus. I've had him for at least six weeks. He was very friendly and curious. Yesterday he was not eating his blood worms, and this morning he was clearly to sick to rehab. My water parameter are excellent. Can you think of what I did wrong? I would hate to get another one and have the same thing happen. Any info helpful. No meds given while he was in the tank.
Thank you;
<Hello Linda. Gnathonemus petersii is a difficult fish to keep. There are several issues to consider. The first is its diet. Bloodworms are fine in their way, but not very nutritious. You do need a more varied diet than just bloodworms. Wet-frozen and/or live invertebrates of all types seem to be accepted, but Elephantnoses are poor at competing for food, so I would not keep them with catfish or loaches. They feed at night, so if you put out food for them at nighttime, they should fine and eat that food themselves if there's nothing stealing it first! Secondly, they are very sensitive to water quality. Since you've got Discus, I imagine you understand the basics of water quality management. Just as with Discus, you must maintained zero ammonia and zero nitrite at all times. Thirdly, Elephantnoses are very sensitive to copper, formalin, and many other medications. These should NEVER be used in tanks containing Elephantnoses.
Also make sure you use a water conditioner that removes copper from your tap water. Fourthly, they are easily killed by secondary infections, in part because they are so difficult to medicate. NEVER keep them in tanks with gravel, abrasive sand or sharp rocks; ALWAYS provide a soft substrate of either smooth silica sand or peat. Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Mormyrid Problem   12/31/08 My elephant nose has red cheeks (ulcer?) on both sides and his brain seems larger than any other I've seen (almost swollen looking). Could it possibly be internal parasites? I have 5 tanks and am not new to keeping aquariums but have never encountered this and cannot find an explanation anywhere to what may be the cause of these odd symptoms. He eats well and dominates the tank (tank mates are: 3 honey gouramis & 6 African mini frogs & a Betta in 60 gal) Water quality is excellent. Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated. <Hello; it's very unlikely "internal parasites" are to blame, but Mormyridae are very prone to systemic bacterial infections. Aquarists sometimes make the mistake of keeping them in tanks with gravel rather than smooth silica sand; the gravel damages their sensitive "trunk" allowing bacterial infections to get started. It's really pointless trying to keep them in tanks with gravel. As you hopefully know, it's impossible to treat Mormyrids with anything containing copper and formalin, so you're limited to things like Maracyn in this instance. Do see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/mormyrids.htm Cheers, Neale.>

Elephant Nose Skin 12/27/08 Peeling/Fin Deteriorating Happy Holidays WWM Crew! I will make this as short and sweet, yet detailed, as possible. I have a 55 gallon tank with a heater, Whisper60 power filter, and a single airstone on the opposite end of the tank as the filter. Water Parameters: Ammonia: 0, Nitrite: 0, Nitrate: 10, pH: 8.3 (Very hard water where we live) <In itself, this water chemistry should be acceptable though not ideal for Mormyrids; water quality seems good.> Stock includes: Approximately 25 Mollies (Here's the story on the excessive number of mollies: A year ago we started with 6 of them, one female was constantly pregnant. The others died throughout the year for various reasons and finally a few months ago our pregnant female died as well. However, in her last months in the tank she had 3 different batches of fry. Most survived and thrived. I take a bag of them to Petco every now and then, whenever it becomes difficult to keep up the cleanliness of the water. So at this point we've got approx. 25 1.5" mollies. Possibly too many for the tank, but as of 20 minutes ago the water read as stated above.) 1 Elephant Nose 1 Shrimp (last seen in March, but with no ammonia spikes having occurred, I'd imagine he's found a nice spot to hide) 1 Guppy Here is our issue: While all the mollies and the guppy (and the shrimp, too, I hope) are acting and looking perfectly well, I noticed peeling skin on the Elephant Nose late yesterday. Additionally, his dorsal fin looks slightly deteriorated. It doesn't look ragged or torn, but more like melted plastic (sorry... it's the best I could come up with). This Elephant Nose is about 6" from nose to tail, and the area that is peeling is nearly 1.5" long down its back and goes down its sides just slightly. If you look at it closely it looks like there are 4 different tiny spots down his back that are each surrounded by a circle of damaged skin... and all areas are connected. So far its acting more or less normal, but I've noticed slightly less activity tonight (he's out of sight during the day and becomes active as the day ends). He is eating normally, as well. <The "melted" fin does sound like Finrot; while usually caused by water quality-induced opportunistic infections, it isn't beyond the realms of possibility for mechanical injury or even damage from other fish to be responsible. Mollies for example can be aggressive, though in all honesty I doubt they're the problem. But that said, I have seen seemingly harmless fish cause harm to one another, for example Otocinclus catfish damaging the skin of large gobies. Mollies are expert "raspers", and it's not impossible they're sucking the mucous off the Elephantnose, allowing a secondary infection.> The only thing I can imagine that could have caused this would be stress. We recently had to move the entire tank/stand to the other side of the room and had to drain most of the water to reduce the weight of the set-up. We did not have to remove any of the fish during this process. While this may have been stressful for the Elephant Nose, we've had it for over a year now and had to move to a house 20 mi. away about 8 months ago. During this process we drained all but enough water to keep the gravel submerged in order to keep at least part of our bio-filter during the move. All the fish were bagged and put into a dark cooler during the trip. All survived!! But the Elephant Nose was especially stressed out by the time he got back into the tank. So much so that his color temporarily faded to being a very light gray/white. But he recovered almost instantly and was always very healthy up until now. And in fact, his skin is looking slightly better today then it was yesterday (when I first noticed it). But his fin is still the same. <Stress is of course a possible but I'm always keen on aquarists differentiating between the (quantifiably dangerous) stress caused by poor water quality compared to the (much less measurable) stress caused by being unhappy. In other words, while fish clearly become sick when exposed to the wrong environmental conditions, it's much less clear that fish become sick because they're exposed to something we'd perceive as being troubling or stressful. So while I wouldn't dismiss the idea that a schooling fish would be stressed if it was kept singly, or a female Molly might be harassed by a male, that a fish would develop serious sickness weeks or months after being moved is, to me, less likely. I'd focus on reviewing the environment. Mormyrids have small scales and are likely to be damaged by things like sharp gravel, coarse plastic plants, bleached or replica corals, coarse nets, and so on.> So... what can i do? <Initially at least, even without understanding the cause, I'd be treating for Finrot. Use a medication that doesn't contain either copper or formalin; Maracyn would be ideal, or Maracyn 2 if the former doesn't work. The point is to put a stop to whatever the bacterial infection is, even without identifying it.> What is this? <Not sure.> What caused it? <Difficult to say.> Thank you so much for your time. -CB <Good luck, Neale.>

Ich elephant nose  10/23/07 I have had my elephant nose Approximately 8 months. He has been happy and healthy. He has developed tiny white spots on his pectoral fins and anal fin that look like ich. Is there any medicine I can treat him with that won't kill him? Thank You Karen <Hello Karen. With Mormyridae, the things to avoid specifically are Formalin and Copper, both of which are widely used in anti-Ick medications. So you need to treat Mormyridae in the same basic way as, say, Clown Loaches (see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/clnlchdis.htm ). Anyway, the basic trick is this: raise the temperature to 30 degrees C (around 86 F). Oxygen level goes down as temperature goes up, so you need to compensate for that. Add additional aeration if you can, but failing that, adjust the water level and/or filter so there is lots of splashing and circulation. Now make up a brine solution in a jug, with about 2-3 grammes of aquarium salt (not marine salt) per litre of water in the aquarium (in other words, a salinity of 2-3 PPT). There's almost exactly 6 grammes of salt per teaspoon, so estimating how much you need should not be too difficult. Stir the salt into the water thoroughly until dissolved, and then slowly add the brine a little at a time into the outflow of the filter so that it quickly disperses around the tank. After a few days the parasites on your fish will mature and die, but the mobile parasite larvae will not be able to re-infect your fish, and the disease will go away. This takes quite a few days, but it does work. Increasing the salt concentration to as much as 6 grammes per litre of water can be used to deal with stubborn infections, but the higher the salinity, the more gently you need to adjust your fish to it, and the higher the degree of osmotic stress placed on the fish. Conversely, once you're done treating the fish, do a series of relatively small water changes over the next few days to gradually bring the salinity down to zero. As ever, do establish why the Ick became a problem. It doesn't come from nowhere, and is either brought in by unquarantined fish or else provoked into action by stress or lapses in water quality. With Mormyridae, prevention is FAR better than cure. Good luck, Neale.>

Baby Whale & Fish-Tail Rot Medication - 06/27/07 Neale, <Hello Michelle,> Thank you for your wonderful advice regarding the baby whale. Maracide is a 5-day treatment (today will be day 4), so far the baby whale and the snails are fine and the ick vanished. Every night I siphon-up about 3 gallons of water (38 gallon tank) from just above the gravel, where I read ick parasites inhabit. I thought about moving the baby whale, but he seems to have made a home for himself under driftwood and our hospital tank is now housing my one remaining gourami... who seems to be doing ok. <Very good. Siphoning up the baby whitespot parasites sounds a bit unlikely to work to me, but it can't do any harm I suppose.> Also, we have a new challenge; it seems that the lovely rainbow fish contributed not only ick but fin-tail rot. The betta finnage was devastated seemingly overnight. Next in line are the Panda Corys (primarily the dorsal fins). I am a bit concerned because about a year back I had one Panda Cory be consumed by some kind of fin-tail rot bacteria that seemed resistant to everything, and in the end there were no fins left... It was the saddest thing I've seen happen to any of my fish, doubly so because I'm particularly fond of Corys (there about 3 years old). <Now, finrot is almost always caused by water or fin-nipping issues. Sometimes it does come in with new fish, but only very rarely. 99 times out of 100, it's either the environment or persistent nipping by other fish in the tank. Given the baby whale is OK, water quality is likely to be good, but water chemistry might not be. Mormyrids aren't fussy about water chemistry (they're found in habitats as varied as blackwater streams and Rift Valley lakes). But rainbows like neutral to slightly alkaline, moderately hard water. That the dorsal fins of the Corydoras are rotting immediately suggests fin nipping though. I've seen this when keeping Corydoras with pufferfish (not a good combo!). Ditto with the Betta; these fish are notorious targets for fin nippers. So, what's in the tank? Anything likely to be nippy?> I've started treating with Maracyn II (although, I've never had much success with this medication). Today will be the third day. The fin-tail rot doesn't seem to be progressing... I think, but I can't detect re-growth either. Would you suggest I continue, or stop treatment with Maracyn II. <Unless there are compelling reasons not to *always* finish off medications.> On hand I have, Mardel's TriSulfa and Maracyn Plus. I've never tried a sulfa-based medication before. I could also go & buy whatever you suggest. Again a concern is the baby whale (who seems fine.. still slurping up worms). <Like you, I'm pleased the baby whale is happy, and that strongly suggests the basic conditions in the tank are sound. I'd personally be spot-treating the fish with finrot by dipping them into baths of some sort. Even saltwater (marine salt mix or uniodized cooking salt added to a litre of aquarium water) dips can work to slow down mild finrot (seawater strength, for 2-20 minutes depending on the size and species involved). An adult Corydoras, for example, would probably be safe dipped for around 3-5 minutes. They are not very salt tolerant. Freshwater livebearers and cichlids, on the other hand, are often much more salt tolerant so you can be more aggressive with the dips. The idea is to dehydrate the external parasites and clean the wounds while not harming the fish. Provided the fish being dipped stays upright and stable, you're fine, but if it loses balance or starts thrashing about wildly, pull it out. Repeat daily until things are better. Finrot is an exceedingly aggressive disease, and untreated spreads to the body, resulting in septicaemia, which is basically untreatable (and fatal).> Cheers, Michelle <Hope this helps, Neale>

Ick treatment & a Baby Whale  6/23/07 Hello, Thank you kindly for your prognosis on the Dwarf Gourami. I'll keep them isolated and cross my fingers.... and not re-stock with Dwarf Gouramis. Another question: Today I noticed that one of the rainbow fish (Red Rainbow female) has 2 tiny white spots... sweet mother of science, I fear ick. She's a relatively new introduction to the tank (4 days) but was quarantined for 8 days prior to being introduced. If ick, I've previously had success with Mardel's Maracide Concentrate... but what about the Baby Whale who lives in the tank (I've had him for about 8 months now... a healthy happy 4 inch Mormyridae) can he withstand an ick treatment like Maracide. Many thanks, Michelle <Happy to help. It's a shame that Dwarf Gourami Disease is so common. Anyway, as for the Ick in your aquarium, be extremely careful when treating the tank. I am not personally familiar with this medication, but I'm a bit concerned that its web page says it "may be harmful to amphibians and some snails". Anyway, before using it, check that the carton said it was safe with invertebrates and stingrays. Anything safe with those should be safe with mormyrids; if it doesn't say it is safe for those, then assume it is not. If your retailer doesn't know, then checking the web site (or telephoning) the manufacturer can help. The safest thing is move the Mormyrid to a quarantine tank, treat the main tank, use carbon and water changes to remove leftover medication, and then return the Mormyrid. With luck, your Mormyrid will not be infected. Since you've had the baby whale 8 months, he's obviously settled in and feeding -- so I wouldn't take any chances risking such a lovely animal. Cheers, Neale>

Sick Elephant Nose  4/10/07 Hi!   <Hi Ashley, Pufferpunk here> I have an elephant nose that I purchased about two to three months ago.  He was doing well until today.  I turned on the lights and found him resting in the plants near the bubble wall at the back of the tank.   <Unless you have some kind of plastic tube to observe this fish, that's what it will do mostly--hide.  They are generally not open-swimming fish & only come out to eat.> I thought he was dead!  I used my net to try to get him and he moved in the tank.  He looks a little thin, doesn't seem to eat much and is very unbalanced.   <Probably starving to death.  This is the #1 cause of death in these fish.  They will only eat worms & prefer live.> Since he was resting near the bubbles, he had small bubbles on his body but after they "popped" I noticed that he had a small yellow-ish spot at the base of one of his "side" fins (I call them the swimmer fins... or arm fins... whichever is more helpful).  He is about three inches and the spot is about the size of an uncooked couscous ball and roughly the same in color.  All of the other fish seem fine (Mollies, Gouramis, Pleco and two Iridescent sharks). <You don't mention the size of your tank but do you have any idea yow large iridescent sharks get??? [IMG] http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v345/Pufferpunk/Other%20Fish/iridescentsharks.jpg[/IMG] > The water quality is good and partially changed weekly.   <Good means nothing to us.  Best to post exact parameters, when asking for help.> What would you say is the diagnosis? What are possible methods of treatment?  Having accidentally used "quick cure", I am scared to use most medications.  (He survived without incident in this case).  I did increase the water temperature, added a "therapeutic" amount of aquarium salt and performed a water change.   <These fish will not appreciate any amount of salt.  They come from soft water conditions.  The Quick Cure may have irritated his skin.  I'd do a 50% water change & add Melafix.  Go to your LFS & get live blackworms.  Rinse thoroughly in a brine shrimp net & throw out any that look dead. Put them into a worm cone feeder, he'll find them.  All your fish will love them too! You can store the worms in a shallow container with holes on top & 1/4" of water.  Rinse daily.  Hopefully it's not too late.  Some fish, once in starvation mode, won't eat.> My nephews are attached to "Big Al", as are my husband and me!  Please advise! <Good luck with Big Al, I hope he makes it!  ~PP> Thank you, Ashley

Monogeneans from the gills of Mormyrid fishes Dear Profesor, <Blahoua> I hope you will understand this message easily; my English is quite poor. <No worries> I am called BLAHOUA KASSI Georges. I am a doctorate of the university of Cocody-Abidjan (Ivory Coast). I undertake my research in Laboratory of Hydrobiology. I just red in the internet one of your publications which title is: The Elephantfishes, family Mormyridae, in Aquariums My topic concerns the Monogenean from the gills of Mormyrid fishes. Concerning the bibliography, I have some difficulties because I don't have any previous publications. I will be duly grateful you send me publications on Gills Monogenean parasites from Mormyrid fishes. You can also give me names and e-mails of some persons who have worked on my topic that you know. Doing so you will help me a lot in my research works. Best wishes in 2005. Sincerely yours. <I suspect you don't have easy access to large library collections as well do here. Where would I send this material? Bob Fenner> BLAHOUA KASSI GEORGES Address postale : University of Cocody, UFR Biosciences, LABORATORY OF HYDROBIOLOGY 22 BP 582 Abidjan 22 (Coast of Ivory)

Dead elephant nose I bought an elephant nose about a month ago and lost him 3 wks ago, after reading your information on them, I wish I would have had the feeding test done, then I would have known not to buy him, he would not eat and got skinnier and skinnier, it was horrible, I brought him to the pet store, and he wouldn't eat for them either, they treated him for internal parasites for a wk in a half and he still didn't look good. <Likely too far gone from the process of (likely chemical) collection in the wild, starving, poor water quality from there through shipping, handling... Happens to whole shipments at times> So from what I read what you have wrote, do you have any ideas in what I could do to keep my elephant nose alive, when I buy one in the near future. Do you have any idea to why he wouldn't eat, because I did ask them how long was he here before I bought him and they said 3 wks, and he look good, apparently not or he would have ate. Also my water was good where it should be, so I can't figure why he wouldn't eat? <Morymyrids find aquatic worms almost irresistible... try blackworms, tubificids... if the specimen/s don't take these, I would leave them at the shop> If you could help me it would be appreciated, I don't know any where else to turn to there is not a lot of people that know about these fish. <There is considerable known about their esoteric biology, but not much popularized re their practical husbandry... Many die from jumping out (for lack of an adequate aquarium cover) and metal poisoning from errant medicine treatment for instance... Easily avoided> Thanks, Sincerely Shelley <Bob Fenner>  Elephant Nose With His Trunk Bitten Off Thank you so much for letting us know.  We will set up a dedicated   tank for the turtle. As for the elephant-nose, we could use a little further advice.  He   looks pretty bad - he has a big red splotch next to his nose on one   side, and the nose itself is white and fuzzy.  It is so sad.  So,   based on what you wrote, I guess he has both a bacterial as well as a   fungal infection.  How can I treat him and help him to get better? < Put him in a hospital tank with clean water and a place for him to hide. Not too bright. Treat with Nitrofuranace as per the directions on the package. This medication treats both infections.> I know many medicines are not good to put in a tank with an elephant- nose. Is there anything we can do to ease his pain and help in heal? < These fish are sensitive to the copper in many ich medications. This is not a problem with antibiotics. Keeping the water clean will help a lot.-Chuck> Thanks in advance. Rebecca and Sal

Elephantnose trtmt....   3/24/06 I found some Furan-2 Capsules, so do you think this is safe for my little Elephantnose? Should use full dose as per directions? <Yes> (Furan-2 Directions - Contains 2 furan based compounds to combat a variety of gram positive and negative bacteria. Effective against gill disease, mouth fungus, fin and tail rot, dropsy, furunculosis and black molly disease. Use one tablet per 10 gal. daily for up to four days.) <250 mg. per ten gallons of system water, yes>   Also, I have 4 DAY and 6 week old Boesemanni Rainbow fry in the tank (waiting for their tank to finish cycling) can I use this med or should I just wait until they are moved out. <I'd move these first> (Mr. Elephantnose is getting the spots bacterial gray-wht spots- he started to break out the other day, I use Melafix, which only held for a few days- this morning it is back and bigger. And I think this all came from one of my large Rainbows,- see pic - he has Gill Disease and he has been treated 8x's just can't kill it all off. (any ideas, already tried PP, but he just did more damage to himself but trying to jump out out the holding tank and ramming into the lid. FYI - My Tank:60 3 - Rummynose Tetra 2 - Cardinal Tetra 2 -Yoyo Loach 3 -4 Boesemanni Rainbowfish (1 female, 2 males) 1 5 Elephantnose 1 Candy Striped Pleco 1 Golden Algae eater Eheim pro 2026, 1-Ebo-Jager 250 watt heaters,1 Coralife Turbo Twist 6x 18w,1 Rena 400 air pump, sand/gravel mix bottom, with live plants, drift wood, and stones. PH 8.0 No2 0 <Should be zip... this is way toxic> No3 0 - .05 NH4 0 KH  161 GH  35 I do a weekly water change of 1/3 or more water along with cleaning filter. What am I doing wrong? <I would not use the "Fix"... and you should investigate the water quality needs/ranges, compatibility of these fishes... not a good mix> Thank you again for all of your help.  Lesley <Bob Fenner>

Furan compounds - 03/14/2005 I must ask one question if I may.  Where does one fine Nitrofuranace?  I have looked all over the internet and I would love to have some on hand just in case it is needed.  I didn't know you had a post until just now, and I am not sure how to post on it if/when need to ask for advice. Thank you again. Lesley <Ahh, search for either Nitrofuran or Furanace... or even "Furan compounds". Bob Fenner>

Thank you for your help, I will rush out and buy some. PS.  I was also reading up on some of what people have to say about their Elephantnose being a bully, my experience is yes, typically when they are coming into adolescences.  As you can see from my pictures, my guy is very small.  He was only 3" when I got him.  He is about 5" now, two years later. As he is getting older, he bullies my large 6" Rainbow around, yoyo loaches, and others.  He will boot their behinds right out of there own hiding spot or just boot/ram them because.  However, I don't see it as any big deal, they are territorial and I think it comes with any fish.  Sometimes my yoyo loach won't even budge; after a while, Mr. Elephantnose moves on.  During feeding the same thing will happen, he knows when food is coming. (As you saw in pictures) and he is not going to starve because of some big fish. LOL. Anyhow, finding out that you know a lot about Elephantnoses, I am very excited about finding a med that will work.  Right now, when needed, I use Melafix, which works just ok.  I used to use ECO-Revive - just can't seem to find it on-line any longer through Fish-vet. One of my fishes in my tank I believe has gill flukes and Mr. Elephantnose may have contacted them. <Mmm, usually these trematodes don't span so far twixt host groups> He has been flashing and then the spot where he is was rubbing (on his backside) he breaks out in white fluff.  Melafix has only helped with the fluff I am sure. He hasn't been rubbing since, but this is the second time it has happen in all of the two + years I have had him, and both outbreaks were within 6 weeks time, so I am only waiting. (2 weeks to go?)  This is how I found you. Anyhow, I am just rambling, Thank you again for the info, and if you have any other info you can help me with, wonderful, I will take it. Lesley <My little knowledge re Mormyrids rests mainly at either ends of the spectrum of commercial/wholesale handling and physiology... Bob Fenner>

Elephant nose with white patches  - 03/09/2006 Hi   I have had an Elephant Nose for four years. In the past couple of months he has been developing white patches which do go away after a couple of days, but then reappear after a couple of weeks. The white patches go from his nose and head all the way down his back, and a small patch on the underside. They are smooth and not dotty or raised at all, and the strange thing about it is that the patches always appear the same, the edges are very regular, and symmetrical to both sides of the fish. He doesn't appear to behave a lot differently when he has it, although he tends to hide away behind his rock a lot less than when he doesn't have the white bits.    <Have seen such recurring issues... invariably they are rooted in inappropriate environment>   The closest information I can find is that the patches appear where I think the fish has electrical receptors for mating, but not sure if this is connected.      Do you have any idea what this could be and why it's happening?     Thanks,   Jenny. <Is your water quality suitable for this species? Is stress otherwise minimized? Bob Fenner>

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