<WetWebNews> A feature of WetWebMedia.com.

April 2004

  • Crustaceans: crabs, shrimps, lobsters, zooplankton

  • Giant Clams: Tridacna and Hippopus

  • Other Mollusks: oysters, scallops, snails, nudibranchs

  • Echinoderms: starfish, sand dollars, urchins, cucumbers

  • Worms: featherdusters, fanworms, bristle worms, flatworms

  • Sponges, sea squirts and tunicates

Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Visit the daily FAQ's page here--> Today's Questions and Answers Page

>Molly Growth 
>I have an orange molly fish that developed what looks like a 'growth' coming out of her face, below her eye - like a big orangey bubble - is it a hematoma from a cut or bite? She seems to eat and swim okay but the growth is getting bigger. What is it and does it need treatment? Thanks. 
><<Hello; is the bubble clear? or whitish? If it's whitish, it may simply be lymphocystis, a non-curable disease that usually clears up on its own. If it's clear, like a blister, then it could be an air bubble, due to oversaturation of oxygen and/or other gases in your tank water. I'm sorry I cannot be more specific, since it's impossible to know if this particular bubble is due to your current water, or previous water that the fish was exposed to. Previous exposure should not be an ongoing problem, like I said, unless the bubble ruptures. But if this bubble has recently occurred while the fish was in your tank, you must make sure your water is not oversaturated, because exposure to such water can kill fish, as the gasses will pass into the fishes bloodstream. Make sure your water-change water is well circulated to remove excess gasses before you use it for water changes.  You can try putting it into a bucket and using a simple airstone to aerate the water for a few hours before you use it. The bubble on its face is not a problem unless it ruptures, since it could then become infected with fungus if your water quality isn't good. Also, make sure your tank has enough circulation. The surface of the water should move, but without being a Jacuzzi..:)If need be, you can add a powerhead for more water movement. -Gwen>> 

Molly Growth II 
Thanks for the quick reply, it is a bubble molly and the 'bubble' is more like an opaque growth - like a tumor coming out of the side of her face - almost the size of 3 of her eyes - do you think it is a 'scar' from a bite or an infection growing out of her body? Thx. 
<<Hiya, it sounds a bit like a benign tumor, or even lymphocystis, a viral infection that should go away on its own, with good water and low stress levels. Keep an eye on it, and let me know if it changes, grows, discolors, or spreads. Make sure there is no fungus! -Gwen>>

Ongoing Algae Problems 3/30/04 
I have a 40 gallon breeder reef tank that has a 4" sandbed and the following inhabitants: 
1 - Blue Tang 
2 - Flame Scallops 
1 - Rose Anemone 
1 - Cleaner Shrimp 
1- Emerald Crab 
4 - Hermit type crabs 
2 - Sand Sifting Stars 
1 - Small Bubble Coral 
1 - Small Metallic Green Moon Brain Coral 
1 - Small red zoanthus 
1 - Medium green star polyp 
20 lbs of live rock 
Is this overcrowded? 
<Perhaps not now, but as things grow.... Also, the blue tang will quickly outgrow this tank.> 
Several months ago I started having issues with a brownish red colored algae showing up on the glass and the top of the fine sand. Initially I tried reducing the feedings to every other day which consisted of the following: 
2 tsp of marine snow and or a small sliver of Cyclop-eez 
1/12 or less of a frozen food cube (formula 1 or 2 etc. ) 
1/4 frozen cube to anemone once per week 
Very small cube every other day to the shrimp 
<Sounds reasonable. Do watch that most of it is getting eaten by something. The algae you describe sounds like cyanobacteria, and it's growth is supported by low current along with elevated organics.> 
After reducing feeding to every other day to reduce waste the algae continued so I tried a red slime powder product but had no luck. Then I tried a product called chemi clean, no luck with that either (did thorough cleanings prior to and after treatment including water changes) I currently use R/O water purchased at a Culligan R/O retail machine at my local Wal-Mart and doing faithful water changes (7 gals) every two weeks. 
<R/O from a source you like you described is iffy. You don't know how well it is maintained, and these machines often have copper plumbing.> 
I ring out the prefilter sponge weekly and the sump sponge every 2 weeks. I had been rinsing the blue floss filter and reusing but started using new thinking that the bacteria and or algae may be lingering in the filter media. Is this possible? 
<I would discard disposable filter media just to be sure. I would step up the prefilter and sump sponge to every few days.> 
I then tried Kent's Poly-Ox but found it was sensitive to inverts as it killed two of my sally lightfoot. 
<This is very powerful stuff. I would strongly recommend a redox meter when using this.> 
I also tried SeaChem's Phosguard product, a Poly Filter and carbon. No luck. 
<Hmmm... Generally reducing phosphate helps here. I am thinking more and more that this is a water movement problem.> 
I then begun to wonder if it was the excess light that was getting in through the closed blinds and open half moon style window. So I had the window professionally tinted and put black construction paper over the half moon window to reduce the daylight. My lights (192W compact flour) come on at 4:00pm and shut off at midnight) 
<The extended photoperiod could be contributing, but I wouldn't suspect too much. I certainly applaud your commitment!> 
I was told that if I purchased a UV sterilizer and continued to scrub off the algae and stir up the sand that it would flow through the UV and kill the algae and or red slime bacteria. I purchased a Aqua UV brand with a wiper to clean the algae off the quartz lens. It is an 8watt since I probably only have about 33 or so gallons after the displacement by sand & rock. All of my parameters look good. Nitrates occasionally get between 5-10 but never higher. Tonight's Phosphate test showed zero. I am so frustrated and don't know what else to do. 
<The UV may help a bit, but it won't actually be exporting any of the offending nutrients. I would suggest the same plan, but using heavy mechanical filtration to remove the bits of algae. Clean the filter immediately after this process. Repeat frequently, and you should get ahead of it fairly quickly.> 
Also, If I bought a microscope and put a sample on a slide would I be able to determine if this was in fact a bacteria or just normal algae? Do you have any pics of what red slime bacteria looks like under a microscope? Thanks for your time. Robert 
<I am not sure what to direct you to look for, and a more accurate ID doesn't really change the treatment.... More water movement, mechanically filtering bits of dislodged algae, aggressive water changes and a skimmer. Best Regards. Adam>

Algae Eater Hiding 
Hi I have a 10 gallon tank with 4 Robert's Tetra in it. I have 1 regular algae eater. He keeps hiding behind 1 certain plant, and doesn't seem to be eating any algae. Any suggestions? Maggie 
<<Dear Maggie; Nope. :P Algae eaters tend to hide, it's what they do. All I can tell you is to make sure you test your water regularly for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. Do regular partial water changes, and if there is no algae for your algae eater, you can drop algae wafers into the tank twice a week or so. He will also eat flake food that sinks to the bottom. Do not overfeed though! Hope this helps. -Gwen>>

Stupid Question? No.. 
>Hello all...let me throw a stupid question at you... 
>>Hello.. if you insist. 
>I replaced my current (inadequate) lighting with 4-30 watt screw-in compact fluorescent bulbs, 2 in each hood (total of 120 watts). I have a 55-gallon tank. It's a tight fit so the bulbs touch the clear plastic that separates the lighting from the water. 
>>Hm, not such a good thing. 
>I touched the plastic from the inside of the tank and it's quite hot. Will this melt or can the plastic handle the heat. Thanks 
>>Well, it may be that the plastic can handle the heat well enough not to melt, but I would expect it to rather quickly degrade in quality such that it very well may crack, or eventually begin to melt. Either situation isn't very good. If there's any way you can lift the light fixture (maybe even some silicone nipples - the stick on kind) you would be enhancing safety/longevity. Marina

Like the Man Said, "If Wishes Were Fishes.." 
>Hi Everyone, 
>>Hello one. 
>I have a few questions for you. 
>I have a 135 reef that has been running for about a year and a half now. It has about 150 pounds of live rock and I am running a AquaC EV180. My inhabitants are as follows: Flame Hawk, Fire Goby, Mandarin that eats Mysis, Fairy Wrasse, Four inch Kole Tang & a 3 inch Powder Blue (currently in a QT, will be ready to move to display in two weeks). Would a Pseudochromis fridmani work in this tank? 
>How about some Anthias? 
>>I'd be more careful, they really like their real estate. 
>If so, which is the hardiest? 
>>Tough for me to say, there are several species readily available that folks have good luck with (other than territorial issues). 
>How about a dwarf angel? 
>>That would work well, too. 
>Which angel would do best in a reef? 
>>Matter of opinion, there. If you have LPS, expect any angel to give them a try. Bellus (genus Genicanthus), C. argi, Coral Beauty, and Flames are favorites of many people, while others have had bad luck, most notably with LPS corals such as open brains. 
>Any other ideas? 
>I have come to the conclusion that I do not want any damsels. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks. 
>>Mm.. well, I love gobies and blennies. A boatload of neon gobies would act as cleaners, and while not flashy and large, tend to help fill out the little spots well. So do clown gobies. They are relatively undemanding both in terms of territory and bioload, as well as being rather hardy. Certain other gobies will require that you make sure jumpers are guided back into the tank, but animals like scissortails/blackfin dartfishes (Ptereleotris evides), placed in small groups, are a lovely addition as well. I suggest finding a shop or ordering a copy of a marine fish atlas (such as Burgess's) if you're really having trouble, they're well worth the money (which isn't much, really, for the mini edition - around $25-$30 if I recollect). They're invaluable at times like these. Marina

Hi Graham, 
<Hi Mark.> 
Many thanks for you prompt reply. 
<No problem.> 
My tank dimensions are 40"L x 18"H x 14"D. I don't want to do anything detrimental to the Tang's health of course, but what negative effects, both on the tank, my other fish, and the Tang itself, would putting the Tang in my system have? 
<Provided you do not have an extremely heavy biological load, the tang shouldn't be much of a problem to the tank. If anything, the tang may benefit the tank by consuming unwanted algae. As for other fish, the tang should also be fine as long as it's the last (or, one of the last) fish added to the aquarium. Once settled in, the yellow tang may become aggressive to new additions. It's important to add the most aggressive fish last to prevent any territorial aggression. As for the tang itself, it would do much better in a longer aquarium. They would be much less stressed in a longer aquarium than they would be crammed into a smaller aquarium. However, it's up to you whether you want to put a tang in your aquarium. The tang will certainly live in your aquarium -- however, as I said above, it would be better in a larger aquarium. As I stated in my previous email, tangs are grazing fish which will swim... a lot. If you want to get a tang, you're more than welcome to do so. If you do buy the tang, remember that it will grow. Eventually (within the years), you may want to upgrade to a larger aquarium. To repeat, the purchase is up to you. Just remember that the tang would do much better in a larger aquarium.> 
Regards, Mark
<Take Care Mark! Best wishes, Graham.> 

Shark with Eel - 3/30/04 
Hi crew I was just wondering if it would be ok to keep a bamboo shark egg with a snowflake moray eel? <Should be fine. There is always a chance for aggression but in most cases this combination should be fine> I'd say the eel is about a foot. <Should be OK> Also when it hatches would it be safe? <Likely, but there could be aggression. Will need to keep both eyes on the tank as much as you can spare to be sure. Is always a risk, though ~Paul> 
Thanks for all of your help - Adam Siders

Questions, ad infinitum - Curing + Cycling 
>I have a question regarding live rock. I have tried reading all the material posted on your site but do not have a straight/direct answer. I want to start a FOWLR tank (~100gallons). I want to cure and cycle the tank with LR and add fish 5 months or so later. To my questions: 
>1)What do I feed/supplement the LR when there are no fish for the first 5 months? I just want some algae and filtration critters/bacteria/inverts and such in the live rock (dead rock is just ornamental. I want the filtration advantages of LR). Are water changes enough? If not what products are out there? 
>>Raw shrimp, and/or a bit of fish food. You'll need to feed what you have in there, as well as keep your nitrifying bacteria going once established. 
>2) When fish are added, will the presence of the fish feed the LR and therefore can stop adding food specifically for the live rock? That is, will the presence of fish sustain the live rock (provided water chemistry, fish are healthy.. etc. are all good)? 
>3) When do I need kalkwasser? Do I need it for FOWLR (only algae/inverts/bacteria…etc.)? Would inverts present use up that much calcium? 
>>Calcium is needed for those animals that require it for their life processes, such as to build exoskeletons, build coral skeletons, and so on. So, if your calcium levels are insufficient (below 350ppm), and you're not getting coralline growth, or you have tridacnids, et al, then you'd want to use a buffer or use the kalkwasser. I am not very experienced with fine tuning either, so further questions would need to be directed towards others with more experience tweaking chemistry. 
>Thanks a bunch! Rob 
>>You're welcome! Wow, that was quick and easy.. very well organized set of questions, Rob. Marina

Blacktips with issues - 3/30/04 
hi there 
I have three blacktip sharks in aquarium, I have 3000 litre (750 US gal) aquarium. One of them (sharks) has a very thin white layer on his right eye <Besides the obvious here...that your tank is entirely too small for a blacktip let alone three I would need more information on your setup, water chemistry, pictures would be a great help>.... what to do? <not really ringing a bell> How to treat? <Need to know more about the symptoms and environment first> the others have a white scratch on there bodies. <Picture would be a big help here. Again, this is too ambiguous a description for me to be of any help> pls help. <More info on the environment, pictures will really help. From what you describe it could be physical damage. Other than that, I really can't offer any more help, sorry to say ~Paul>

Bala Shark Community Fish? 
Hi. I am new to this fish thing. I have set up a 55 gallon tank, and I have taken great patience in it. I'm proud of my usually unpatient self lol! I let it run for about a month with one blue platy (male) and three various female platys. Within the next month, I 
had added three bloodfins, four glowlights, and another platy. In about another two and a half months, I added two more platys, three corys, a frog, four danios, and two Bala sharks. The pet store owner I had purchased the Balas from said that they would make a peaceful addition to the tank. I haven't had any problems, except one lover boy platy having every female in the tank pregnant, but that's a different story! A larger commercial pet store told me that the Balas are a very bad choice and they might attack or chase the others. Is this true and what should I expect? Another question I have is Do I have too many fish in the tank? I won't be adding any for a while, but could it hold more fish? By the way- the water quality is very good- PH- 7.4, Nitrite and nitrate are 0, and ammonia is 0.5- I'm doing a small water change tomorrow, its time. What should the hardness of the water be? Thank you for you help and I hope you don't mind if I e-mail you with more questions. 
Rachel Fritz 
<<Hey Rachel; Sounds like you are heading in the right direction. The best way to know if your tank is overstocked is to test your water, which you are doing. Normally we use nitrates to judge whether or not the tank is overstocked. If you cannot keep your levels low with regular partial water changes, then, yes, the tank would be considered overstocked. However, I see only ammonia readings in your tank, which bothers me because your tank should be cycled by now. Are you changing out your filter media? What type of filtration are you using? You really should not have any ammonia at this stage. Perhaps you just added a few too many fish the last time, and your tank is just spiking temporarily. Please keep track of all your water test results, it will give you a better idea of what is going on over time. Do not add any more fish right now! When you have no more ammonia and no nitrites, then it is safe to add fish, but never add too many at one time, and keep track of the nitrates to be sure you don't have too many fish. 
As for hardness, your pH indicates the hardness should be somewhere in the medium range. It's not that important unless it tests either really high or really low. Carbonate hardness (buffering capacity) should be medium to high. And bala sharks should be kept in schools, the more the better. They will grow to over a foot in length though, but are very peaceful fish. Be careful, they like to jump at times. Just make sure your tank is well covered and you keep your nitrates low. -Gwen>>

Purple Tang
Hi, first I'd like to say that your site is very impressive and the chat line has a lot of great information. 
<Thank you!> 
I have a 30 gallon tank but I am changing to a 75 gallon tank Next Friday. I have 2 clown fish, 5 tiny green chromis, 6 small crabs, a 2 inch coral beauty, a 4inch foxface and a 3inch purple tang. For several months they have all gotten along together. 
<Let me first comment on your first aquarium -- it sounds extremely overstocked.> 
I plan on moving them into the 75 gallon. Also I plan on buying a powder blue tang and was told that would be ok because the size and shape are different from the purple tang. 
<You are correct that the tangs differ a lot in shape. They shouldn't be a problem together, but this brings me to a different subject -- in my opinion, your tank is way too small for those tangs. I will continue this further down.> 
However i was planning on purchasing another or even 2 more purple tangs. i know they are the most aggressive of all tangs but heard about the 3 or odd number of same tangs together rule. in your web page they talk about that. My question is if i have a powder blue and a purple tang, do I need to get one more purple tang to make 3 tangs or 2 more purple 
tangs to make 3 of the same kind of tang. Please give me some advice. 
<First of all, do attempt to add all of the tangs to such a small aquarium. 75 gallons is not large enough to house a "harem" of tangs. Purple tangs can be extremely aggressive to others of their same species. Adding more than one can be a problem. Adding a total of 3 tangs may prove fatal to all of the tangs. I doubt very much that you will establish a "pecking order" among your tangs. While this may apply to discus (a freshwater fish), it will most likely not apply to keeping tangs. If you were interested doing such, I would recommend an aquarium over 200 gallons. This should provide enough space to "successfully" house many species of purple tangs together. Second, I would not attempt to keep more than two tangs for your aquarium. Both of the tangs you mentioned are extremely aggressive and are some of the tangs which are much more prone to disease than other tangs. I would aim to only keep one tang for your aquarium. Adding more may prove extremely stressful on the tang. To repeat myself, I strongly urge you to keep one tang for your 75 gallon.> 
Thanks in ahead.  Harry
<Take Care, Graham.>  

Cory Cat 
Thank you Gwen for all your advice. Unfortunately, the cory cat died today. I will continue to do the tests you recommended, and get a few more cories. Anne 
<<Hey, sorry to hear, Anne. I hope you will get more corys. They are fun to watch and a joy to keep. Try not to be too bummed, though. You did a fine job trying to save him, but sometimes we just lose them and there is nothing we can do about it. I urge you to get some more, and try again. Best wishes-Gwen>>

New Tank recommendations II 3/30/04 
Hi Anthony, Thank you for your help.. sounds like good advise and much appreciated. 
<very welcome> 
Could you also help me with these questions with regards to purchasing a new tank? 
1) Does it matter on the thickness of glass for a 3 foot tank? When I am in the aquarium store they tell me that the standard glass tank would be sufficient. However the glass they use for their own setups always look very thick in comparison to what they are actually selling. 
<consumer vs. commercial durability. No worries. The commercially produced tanks for hobbyists are fine :) > 
2) Is there a difference in glass quality? Do some scratch more than others? 
<most are made of strong plate/float glass (blue/green tinge). This glass is the strongest and least expensive. White (AKA Starfire or Diamante) glass is clearer (better than many acrylics) but a bit weaker than regular plate glass> 
do some crack more than others? 
<nor really... all are much more resistant than acrylic> 
Do some tinge or reflect more? 
<as per above. I use and prefer white glass myself. Much more expensive though. Really only a perk for photographers or advanced aquarists> 
Do you have recommendations ? 
<the off the shelf aquariums are truly fine my friend... no worries> 
3) I have a phobia about electrical fires.. How safe is it submerging heaters and powerheads into water? 
<some risk with any electrical instrument. Enjoy peace of mind with a very inexpensive Ground Fault Interupter (Hardware store) for all to be plugged into. They usually save your life/home/fire, etc> 
What about the splashing of water and salt into the lighting? Do you guys have any tips on this? 
<use a glass cover/canopy or protective lens, to be sure> 
4) I have been through a lot of FAQs on your site.. I would even buy your books but they don't seem to be readily available in Australia. 
<actually, they are my friend... do contact the folks at ReefOnline... or at Aquasonic Pty Limited> 
Maybe as a suggestion, you could put together a list of questions that we should ask retailers when we are setting up a new system. 
<we are an all volunteer site and struggle to keep up with the flow of mail as it is. Its a great suggestion, my friend. I do hope some one does help us and write that list. Perhaps you after you navigate the hobby a bit longer. We'd be grateful for your help, and would love to publish it> 
I find that I am getting such conflicting advise from within even the same stores. 
<this is natural in any field/hobby... no worries. Just poll enough respectable people and make your decision based on an intelligent consensus> 
people trying to push their own stocked products etc. its hard to know if the advise is credible. 
<yes, true... much easier to take the advise of folks who are not trying to sell you something <G>> 
At the moment I have spent 3 weeks trying to spend around $90 on a glass box, but cannot find any solace from the kind of advise I have been getting. Thanks again for your help. Regards - Simon 
<wishing you the best of luck, Anthony>

Spotted Gouramis 
HI, We have two kissing gouramis, and about a week ago we transferred them from a 2.5 gallon to a 5 gallon tank and also put 5 neons in with them. When we came home today we found our gouramis on the bottom of the tank and they now have little white dots all over their fins and body. What is this? Are they dying? Is there anything we can do. We took the neons out thinking they might have caused it, what more is there to do? thanks. Lauren & Jess 
<<Dear Lauren and Jess; I will need to ask you some questions. What is the temperature of the tank? Is there a heater? How often do you do water changes? Do you test your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates? If so, what are the results? Right now your fish have ich, a parasite caused by stress. It can happen just from transferring fish into the tank, like your neons. Or it can happen any time the temperature is too cold, or if it fluctuates at all. You might as well put the neons back in with the gouramis, since you will have to treat ALL the fish for this disease. At your LFS you can find some ich medications, like Quick Cure, or Super Ich Cure, which is a better choice since it is gentler on neons. Treat the tank according to the instructions. And remove your carbon from the filter during the treatment as it will remove the meds. Do a water change after the treatment, and replace the carbon. Neons are very sensitive fish and should not be kept in a 5 gallon tank, unless you can guarantee an absolutely stable temperature. And your kissing gouramis will grow to 8 inches in length, too large for a permanent home in a five gallon tank. You may need to upgrade :) -Gwen>>

Anemone Lighting For A Small Tank 
<Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> 
I just bought a 40 Gallon tank (LxWxD 36x12x20'') which will eventually contain a pair of tomato clowns, an anemone and maybe a couple soft corals. I was wondering whether the Coralife 2x96W compact fluorescent fixture would be sufficient to keep everyone happy. Thanks, Marc 
<Well, I'm admittedly biased towards halides, particularly when anemones are involved. I like PC's a lot, and they can work with many corals in shallow tanks if the wattage is high. However, in the long run, if you're determined to keep an anemone, go for a metal halide pendant. An ideal solution would be my favorite- the "Reef Optix III" HQI pendant by Sunlight Supply. A 150 watter would do the trick! Check it out! Regards, Scott F>

Sick Kuhli Loaches 
Thank you for considering my question. I actually have two which are related. 
1) My local pet store used to be able to get healthy Kuhli Loaches all the time. In recent years (no matter the source) they arrive sick and the whole lot of them die. The symptoms are reddish gill area, then swirling, then they die. Any recommendations. We would love to be able to get some "new stock" in our area. 
2) This is my main question, the first is background for what knowledge I do have. This morning I discovered one of my Kuhli Loaches is pinkish around the gill area. I have had my Kuhlis for quite a long time and have not introduced any new fish for - 6 weeks. What is my best bet for treatment? I don't want him to follow the same fate as those at our pet store. 
<<Hello. Kuhli loaches are a problem lately in most stores. The stock is just not healthy anymore, and they seem particularly prone to bacterial infections and gill flukes. Stores can treat them with antibiotics, and if lucky, some may survive. Strong antibiotics will kill your nitrifying bacteria, though, so be careful! For you, I would recommend Melafix and salt (a teaspoon per gallon). Or you can try to find yourself some Maracyn Two, which is a safer antibiotic to use since it's relatively gentle, and not as much of a threat to your nitrifying bacteria when used as directed. 
To prevent further kuhli problems in your tank, maintain good water quality and do regular gravel cleaning. This will help keep the nasty bacteria levels in your substrate under control, which promote infections, and prevent anoxic areas from developing underneath your decorations and rocks. It's hard to vacuum using a regular siphon, since cutting your kuhlis in half with the tube is always a possibility, so what I recommend is that move the decorations around, and you "sift" the gravel with your hands regularly to release the debris, and let your filter remove it. Make sure you have good water circulation, so the suspended debris is removed by your filter. If need be, you can add a powerhead to your tank for circulating the dirty water during this cleaning process. Then clean your filter floss and do a water change about an hour later. 
Also, if you happen to see the solid black kuhli loaches for sale, buy them instead. They are (thus far) much hardier, easier to keep, and just as entertaining. -Gwen>>

Fast Fantail Reply - Replay
Gwen, Thank you for your reply. My local pet store does not test aquarium water as you suggested that I do. A test kit to test the three things you mentioned, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites, costs $45.00. Pet store staff suggested that maybe my fish are not getting enough air and that is why they are laying at the bottom. I have a 5.5 gallon tank with 2 air stones. I think they are getting enough air. Wouldn't they be at the top of the waterline if that was the case? My fantail was doing very well for most of the day on Sunday, but now he is laying back on the bottom with very little movement. Any more suggestions?  Please help! 
P.S. While at the pet store, I did purchase pH 7.5 packets to add to my tank water. Will this help at all? 
<<Hey Christina, sorry to hear your LFS won't test your water. Is that the only store near you? Forgive me for saying so, but that sucks. I know test kits are pricey, which doesn't help. What is your tank pH right now? Don't add the pH packets until your fish recuperates. If your KH is low, the pH will swing, causing him more stress. Adding a couple of reef rocks to the tank is a better idea, and less hard on the fish. The best thing you can do is try to do as many partial water changes as possible to keep your fish healthy. Oxygen is always an issue, but you are right, they would be at the surface. My call is that water quality is the culprit here. Please do weekly water changes! Even twice a week. Remember, those fish will continue to grow, and will need a bigger tank eventually. For water changes made easy, just put a bucket of water aside the night before, then siphon water out of the tank the next day and pour the new water in. Should take you only a few minutes. And try to find another store in your area! -Gwen>>

Betta Chasing Tail 
Any thoughts on ways to curb it? Right now I'm keeping his tank as dark as possible so he is not seeing reflections or anything that might spook him. And I have a little aquarium salt, betta fix, and stress coat in his water (too much?). Thanks! 
<<Hello. You can try adding a white cloud minnow to his tank. He won't be able to fight with it, and maybe it will give him something of a distraction. <shrug> Keep up with the water changes, though. -Gwen>

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