|Daily Questions & Answers (FAQs)
All "framed" images are linked to desktop sizes.
We ask that, before submitting a question, you refer to...
Tips on Asking Questions, Ask the WWM Crew a Question,
Query Corrections Referral
Page, FAQs on FAQs. EDFP, TBPFAQs,
SWPOTD, Last Few Days Accrued FAQs,
Subscribe to the Daily Pics
Chlorurus bleekeri (De Beaufort 1940),
Bleeker's Parrotfish. West Pacific; Moluccas to Fiji, including the GBR
and Micronesians. Initial/female individual in N. Sulawesi, Indo. |
Desktop size download &Link to Archived Marine
|General FAQs. Ask us a question: Crew@WetWebMedia.com
Other Specialized Daily FAQs Blogs: Freshwater,
Last Few Days
Daily Q&A replies/input from the WWM crew: Sara Mavinkurve, Wilberth Gamboa, Earl Clay
III, Darrel Barton,
Neale Monks, Marco Lichtenberger, Lynn Zurik, Bob Fenner, are posted here. Moved
about, re-organized daily
Current Crew Bios., Not so current Crew Bios
Scorpionfishes: Lionfishes & Much More
for Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
New eBook on Amazon: Available
New Print Book on Create Space: Available
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Re: Lowering pH for acclimation 12/18/18
Thank you for your reply.
Having read all this, I assume it's best to use CO2 instead of acids, it will be
safe for fish and it will evaporate out of the water and pH will go back to
normal in desired time frame.
It should have no side effects like vinegar right, bacterial bloom etc?
Additionally, I have no FW experience so this may sound dumb. Would saltwater
biofilter die if it was placed in freshwater or it would continue to work as
<Too much change (saltiness and reverse) in too little time will kill off
nitrifying bacteria. See Neale Monk's references on WWM re>
Im asking this, because I want to run my acclimation system with freshwater for
a few days to kill off potential pests that aren't FW resistant. Idea is to sort
of nuke it before each import without killing biofilter in the process.
<BEST to have some NEW filter media being cultured for such use all the time.
GROWN in a tank or sump in your established marine system>
Looking forward to hearing from you.
<I do hope this is clear; that you understand. Cheers, BobF>
Re: Ich in Shrimp/Planted Tank
Thanks so much for the quick response.
The "what could have happened" referred to the mysterious shrimp deaths
of the first two.
Sadly, I have come back to 3 more dead shrimp today. The tank temp is
sitting only around 82 right now. Should I stop increasing temp?
<... I would raise it to 85 F....>
Will the week you mentioned at an elevated temp be enough to rid the
tank of ich?
The fish are darting around, so I think everyone is getting stressed. I
am at a loss on what to do from here. I've heard Paraguard is invert
<?! It is NOT. The Malachite (Green) is quite toxic to shrimps:
so I am honestly tempted to lower the temp a little (roughly ~80) and go
with it in tank or just net all the fish out and treat separately. I
really don't want to lose more shrimp (or fish for that matter) if I can
avoid it. I lowered the water level a bit and have a sponge filter
already running (the sponge gives a ton of aeration).
<The choice is yours>
Furthermore, am I making an inaccurate assumption with the shrimp? I
have been assuming stress is causing losses this whole time since water
parameters have been correct and I haven't seen any obvious signs of
<I/one cannot really say based on the proffered data. There could be
other cause/s, influences at play here>
Thank you all again for the assistance.
<To be as clear as I'd like: I simply respond to folks GIVEN the
information available and what I have confidence in, to WHAT I would do
given similar circumstances. In this case, were it me/mine, I would go
forward with the increased temperature, possibly add some activated
carbon to the filter, flow path (to discount metabolite, other noxious
factors); and NOT medicate, NOT move the organisms here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ich in Shrimp/Planted Tank 12/18/18
I probably should have looked at the ingredients before thinking about
Paraguard. Testimonials or not, I am not risking malachite green with
shrimp. My apologies.
I bumped up the heater again to get it to 85F and will plan on a week at
that temp once it gets there. I'll pick up some carbon just in case
something is going on that I can't see/test for.
It does make one wish for a crystal ball though. I appreciate all of
your (and team's) efforts to essentially assist people blindly.
Assuming no more shrimp deaths or major fish distress I will maintain
course per your advice. If anything else happens I will just go ahead
and net the fish out to treat separately.
<Anima bona fac; be of good life. Cheers, BobF>
Re: Impulse buy plants.....Ooops
Thank you Bob!!! That's awesome. I'll try that. I love this beautiful
plant and this 30 gallon really is the best tank I have to fit this size
of a plant.
Your i.d.'s are missing from this thread below. Will you please try
again sending the email where you i.d.'d them?
Re: Impulse buy plants.....Ooops
I have wild harvested South American Lime Green Endler's.
It appears that Otos are strictly vegetarian? Would be unlikely to go
after Endler's fry? I wonder if Endler's would go after Oto fry....
<They are almost exclusively algae eaters; I don't think they'd consume
The Endler's do not eat their young. I have very much been wanting to
add Cherry Shrimp to the tank, but worried that they might possibly
chase the different species fry.
<RCS won't eat Endler's young either, the opposite though...>
I am trying to build up the plant life though and I guess I could also
remove a female shrimp when she is carrying eggs and put her in a
smaller tank until they grow...
<Mmm; lo dudo. I doubt this>
Can you recommend a good grassy plant to spread and carpet the front,
and or is that one I have decent?
<There are a bunch of choices here. Bucephalandra is a current fave of
many, and readily available. Are you familiar with the AGA group/site?
You'd very likely enjoy perusing, interacting w/ folks there as well>
Thank you again Bob.
<Welcome Jill. B>
Puffer question 12/18/18
You guys have a quick one for you have you ever seen a parasite show up
on a Caribbean porcupine puffer when salt is brought to 1.010
that causes pale pigmentation in the facial area rapidly progressing and
killing the fish
<Tom; geez; where's your punctuation?! The pale pigmentation might well
just be due to the stress of suddenly dropping, being in water of low
specific gravity. If you're interested, I'd sample the area (See Ed
Noga's works on Fish Disease) and take a look under a 'scope. Bob
Re: Puffer question 12/18/18
Sorry using talk to text.
The puffer was kept in this lower salinity for almost 2 months.
Unfortunately it is in an area I will not be for many months. So getting
to look at it under a microscope will not happen unfortunately. This
just happens to be one that someone bought from us in October proclaims
it was covered in ich dropped it to 1.015 salinity. Then after taking it
to his local pet store they told him to drop it down to 1.010 rather
than give it Prazi and formalin baths
<Mmm; well, I doubt if the Crypt/Ich is still there. I'd return the fish
to NSW (near natural seawater) strength... slowly; like a thousandth of
density per day. Bob Fenner>
Re: Puffer question 12/18/18
Sadly it is too late somehow they managed to kill the puffer. They are
blaming it on this expanding palish spot that was on the fishes face.
<Aye ya... likely just loss of ionic balance. Cheers, BobF>
Interesting Neuromast issue 12/17/18
<... is for equines?>
Please see attached photo of a maculosus angel. In captivity a long time.
Recently started showing heavy neuromast pustules. A vlamingii tang is also
showing a similar condition.
This is a fish only system, with artificial decor. Typical water parameters. Any
ideas a reasonable course of treatment?
<Mmm; yes; but first a review of likely causes. Inflammation, enlargement of
lateralis pores as this is often due to irritation (chemical, physical,
biological), leading to infection; possible parasitic involvement.
A useful approach is to improve water quality (muds of various sorts, HUFAs,
Vitamins added to foods and directly to the water. Do you measure, manipulate
ORP? I would.... I would NOT resort (at this time) to "medicating" as the likely
source of trouble here is environment. Let's have you read what we have
assembled on WWM:
The linked files in blue, at top. Bob Fenner>
Ich in Shrimp/Planted Tank 12/17/18
I am finally back in the hobby after many years. However, it has not
quite started as smoothly as I would like. The tank is a planted
29 G standard (fishlessly cycled- 0 ammonia, nitrite, ~10 ppm
nitrate, 74*F currently) and was initially stocked with 28
celestial pearl Danios, 1 (maybe 2 inch) albino Bristlenose
Pleco, and ~30 cherry shrimp. Before that, the tank was
cycling with just plants and hitchhiker snails for about 5 weeks. The
livestock was added on 12/5. Absolutely none of the local fish stores
are decent, so these critters were shipped to me from a single supplier.
So far, I have lost two shrimp (one a few days ago and the other
yesterday), one Danio (arrived very skinny and haven't seen it in a
while), and now the Bristlenose Pleco (late yesterday). I was trying to
figure out what on earth happened, since the tank has consistently shown
0 ammonia/nitrite and I had seen everyone eating. Today, I noticed a
couple of the Danios had suspicious white spots (one or two per fish,
some on the body and some on the fins). I am guessing ich is what took
the Pleco and that it was hard to spot on the albino fish. I am
especially kicking myself because I ordered online to specifically avoid
major ich problems like all the local stores have! No idea, beyond
shipping stress, on what could have happened to the shrimp.
<This last; "what could have happened to the shrimp." What are you
Now I am faced with a dilemma. Most advise for treating ich involves
salt/heat. Can I go to 85/86* safely with CPDs?
<They should be okay at this temperature temporarily (a week or so); as
long as there is sufficient aeration>
I'm thinking it should be fine in the short term (and will be slowly
raising temps unless told otherwise). Can heat alone work (which I see
is sometimes recommended)?
<Heat alone can (indeed) work>
Most importantly, will this kill my shrimp and plants if I try to do
this in the main tank?
<See the mention of the Cryptocorynes below. RCS upper temp. limit is
generally/given as 80F... again, I would risk raising it to the mid 80's
The tank is planted with crypt wendtii and balansae, so I am
particularly worried about melting the plants down to nothing (again
LOL). I can live with dead plants if it means healthy fish but I am
rather attached to the shrimp already. I have the ability to set up a QT
tank for the fish to treat separately, but I don't know if that would
cause more stress to the fish.
<Agreed; and, what a trial trying to net them out!>
From what I can find on here, leaving the display without fish for a
week or so at 80* should be long enough for any cysts to die off, but
please let me know if that's wrong. Treating the whole tank with
anything aside from salt and heat is pretty much a non-starter if I
understand correctly too. Finally, would acquiring a UV sterilizer be of
any use (as either an alternative or adjunct to any of the above)?
<There are other methods, but I would just go w/ the heat here>
Lesson learned- always QT (even if it's the only fish and it's all from
the same supplier and they are very reputable) and QT the fish and
Many thanks in advance!
<Welcome. Please do keep us informed of your observations. Bob Fenner>
Re: Impulse buy plants.....Ooops
Well, I've clearly made a huge error in judgment impulse buying that
beautiful red tiger lotus. There seems to be a general consensus that it
will quickly overtake a tank and the roots go under all the other plants
roots making it difficult to extricate.
<Mmm; well; keeping the floating, almost floating plants will fore/stall
this for quite a while; AND there is the technique of "blind potting"
such plants... cutting down a plastic bottle, using an inert tray with
gravel, soil if you like... to contain such root growth>
I have another tank that I'm going to move it to, and I'll cut the tall
leaves so that it doesn't flower and seed. It can be a specimen tank for
tiger lotus, though it sounds like it's more of a pond plant...I should
have read before buying.
How to Plant a Tiger Lotus (Nymphaea Zenkeri) in an Aquarium<https://pethelpful.com/fish-aquariums/red-tiger-lotus-in-an-aquarium>
Some people prefer to grow these beautiful plants in ponds instead of
aquariums because of their growth rate. But the difficulties of planting
a red tiger lotus in an aquarium are easy to overcome.
If anyone can identify the other plants in the photos, the green tall
one, the grassy one, and the floating one, I would appreciate it. ;-)
<Do see our previous email. I gave you my ID input there. Cheers, Bob
What is this? 12/16/18
You guys are my “go to” peeps whenever I’m stumped and you always come through!
I happen to notice this little guy climbing my glass and don’t know how he got
in there, since I really haven’t added anything to the tank in weeks.
<Mmm; likely came in on live rock... or something solid that you added... like a
coral; possibly from live food/s>
But, there he is. (see attached photo). Anyway, if you can’t completely identify
it, can you guess if it might be friend or foe?
Thank you for your help!
<Appears to be a young Errantiate Polychaete of some sort/species. Some are
widely labeled as bristleworms... I wouldn't panic, nor remove it. Likely will
add interest, keep the substrate stirred, aerated.
Impulse buy plants.....Ooops
Neale says your the plant expert. Can you answer some questions about some
I went to 45 minutes far away plant store to buy some Watersprite. They had so
many pretty plants.. i was trying to stick to ones I researched but I let the
advice of their plant guy be enough. He said the red tiger lotus does well in
his low to medium light tank.
<Mmm; okay. Nymphaea (likely zenkeri)... can/does>
I bought several plants I didn't know anything about due to its such a long
drive, I know I should have researched more...but the guy said they would work.
I had also bought some at a nearby pet store so now the tank is pretty full.
I was having some algae issues so I am trying to clean it a little more
frequently (25% partial water changes), sprinkle the food lighter, and to add a
lot of plant life planted into some fluorite that I buried under some of the
gravel to hopefully outcompete the algae. Will the red tiger be useful in this
purpose, or harmful to growth of my other plants?
<Likely to be fine; though I'd keep it cropped, contained... Not let the leaves
reach the surface>
I have some crypts, Anubias, that grassy patch at the front, Bacopa and
something that looks similar to Bacopa, and Anubias and java moss, and water
sprite. I had the Anubias the longest but it grows so slow, it gets algae.
<Mmm; I'd look into useful algae eaters here. Some Otocinclus perhaps... even
shrimps if they'll fit w/ your present livestock plan>
And also, please identify the stringy long stemmed green one floating behind the
red tiger lotus? That one has roots and not a bulb. I also added a photo of it
<Mmm; don't see this and there's only the one pic>
And also, what's this one that's floating at the top? I don't think its Bacopa.
<The plant on the left appears to be>
Also, can you identify this little grassy parch thing? It was sold as tissue
culture and no name.
<Again; don't see what you're referring to>
I have a strip of LEDs, and then I bought a plant lamp from IKEA. I think
they're each about 20-25 watts. I hope the plants will do ok! I did research on
low light plants but the one floating at the top, the red tiger lotus, and the
tall green floaty thing behind it were my impulse buys.
Store employees keep tanks and told me of their own luck with them.
<Should be fine. A plug for Karen Randall's "Sunken Garden's" book, for brief
input re soil, nutrient, CO2... and most common plants, fishes,
invertebrates of use. Bob Fenner>
Re: Impulse buy plants.....Ooops
Sorry, I forgot to attach the other photos for you to id. Here you go.
<201415 appears to be a Hydrocotyle; the other two pix, likely Bacopa and
an Eleocharis. BobF>
Re: Cories keep dying 12/14/18
So fast with the reply, thank you!!
You've focused in on a few things I did not think are important, and
aren't placing much weight on things I've been clinging to. Which is why
I have asked the experts!
<Haha, wait, who told you we are experts?>
To put me straight, so to speak. :)
The driftwood: 1 large piece, collected from a local headwater stream
(no ag runoff or pollutants).
<Yeah, right... that you know of or that has been reported/documented.>
There are brook trout in this stream (maybe other tiny fish?). The wood
was allowed to dry for about 6 weeks, then boiled for 20 min.s. In any
event, I'm more than happy to remove all possible problems,
<I do strongly suggest you remove the piece collected locally. It's just
too much of an unknown and a likely source of something troublesome.
Even if it is not a toxin from runoff/pollutants per se, there could be
something else (some tannins maybe) leaching out of it.>
and work from there, so I'll pull it out tonight. There are also a
couple of smaller pieces I got from a local aquascaper, vine wood he
imported by the crate, and it's used in many tanks by many local
<If removal of the large local piece doesn't solve the problem, I would
remove smaller ones these next.>
Carbon: Great suggestion, I missed that. It will go in tonight.
<Never really hurts and often helps!>
Acclimation: floated sealed bag for 20 min.s, then add small amounts of
tank water over 1hr (pour out half of mixed water half way through),
then add fish to tank via net
<Nets are terrible (too much risk of injury with them getting
stuck/tangled). Personally, I avoid them whenever possible. In my
opinion, it's better to scoop them out gently by hand than with a net,
or just pour them out with the last little bit of bag water.>
without any store water. But deaths have all occurred after at least 2
days, and now upwards of a week - is that consistent with insufficient
<Based on the technique you described, no, I doubt acclimation was the
problem. As for how injury from poor acclimation might manifest in the
fish, that can vary greatly.>
I've never found an answer to this.
Store water: not tested, but I believe it has similar pH and hardness to
this tank. Regionally, our water is quite similar from one municipality
to another (medium hard, well buffered). It's definitely not polar
Dormant tank: during the week the tank was dormant (before I added the
12 pandas and 2 Apistos), I kept feeding the tank with crushed flake
(using the same amount as I had been feeding when it had fish).
Adding too many fish: In my own defence, the tank/filter was still
cycled when I added the fish, the cories and Apistos are all very small,
and for the bioload, it's a big tank. I haven't been testing daily, but
none of the fish (past or current) showed any signs of irritation/stress
like gasping, flashing, hiding, pumping gills, and so on.
Vac "as necessary": I keep my tanks pretty clean. Most have sand
substrates, which require less maint than gravel. I vac when there is
visible detritus in areas with less flow. At any rate, I never go more
2 weeks between vacs, and "water changes" are constant with the drip
Prime for low ammonia reading: I know this is a 24-48hr band aid, and if
the source of ammonia, or lack of processing ability aren't addressed,
the problem persists.
Rate of feeding: I'm generally conservative when feeding my tanks, but I
have a soft spot (fear spot) for new fish. Cories are such casual
feeders, I'm fearful that the 30 second or 2 minute rule won't give
<Do reduce your feeding. Fish do not need as much food as people tend to
think they do. Also, they can go a very long time (we're talking weeks)
without any food at all.>
Even with the filter off, some foods don't even settle to the bottom in
that time. When I listed all the foods I feed, I should be clear that
it's not all at once. One at a time only. For flakes or other dry food,
smaller-than-medium thumb-and-one-finger pinch is all. For frozen foods,
less than half a cube of bloodworm, or maybe a quarter of a portion of
mysis. At any rate, I'll fast the tank for 48hrs, dial back the feeding
after that, and monitor ammonia carefully.
<I think if you remove the drift wood and add carbon, you will likely
see an increase in your Cory survival rate.>
<Good luck! - SaraL>
Re: Cories keep dying 12/14/18
Thanks again, Sara. Driftwood out. Carbon in. No food. I'll keep an eye
<Great. Do start feeding again in a couple of days though. :-)>
Also of note: Like many fish folk, I rarely test except when something
is wrong (that I can see or sense). But with this tank, I've been
keeping on top of parameters a bit more diligently, given the problems
<It's always a good idea to test every once in awhile, problems or no
I mentioned in a prior email that I am seeing trace ammonia. I've had a
chance to check other tanks and tap water, and I'm getting a trace
reading across the board. Best match for colors is between <0.25ppm for
tap and other tanks, and >0.25ppm for the Cory tank. Even my RO/DI is
testing at >0ppm. So I'll look into an ammonia removing media for the
filter, and continue to use Prime and monitor.
<Sounds like a reasonable plan.>
<Cheers, Sara L>
The advance technology you need to create for Wetwebmedia.com
Hope you are doing good !
I found your details from the internet and thought you might be
interested to upgrade the website in new version or modify the content.
Redesigning website and modify the content today isn't just about
changing the look and feel but it will helps to get best ranking &
Traffic. With technology changing and different problems needing to be
solved, redesigning and overhauling websites goes much deeper than just
the way they look. The functionality, presentation, how they load, and
how well they can be updated are all things that are prompting website
redesigns on a daily basis. Apart from giving your website a new looks,
we will provide you with a Content Management System (CMS) built with
WordPress, Joomla, Magento, Core Php with best unique content.
We specialize in designing the website write the quality content,
graphics design, video promotion and etc. Your website is really need to
upgrade with the below features:
1. Upgrade your website with a latest version platform.
2. Moving to a content management solution for your website
3. Old content need to be modified with unique one.
4. Old images should replace with new and HD quality.
5. Need to add new features so user can easily access your website.
6. Need to modify the CSS to improve the fast loading speed.
7. Planning to integrate rich media content into your site like internet
8. Adding SMO profiles and Web2.0 social features in your website.
9. Your website needs to be highly secure and safe.
10. Website needs to be search engine friendly and Conversion Optimized.
Do let me know if you are willing to discuss the possible modifications
on your website or Create a Fresh One. Also, kindly share us your
requirements and reference website if you have any so that I can send
you more details on the packages/action.
*# Reply before 31ST Dec Midnight to get a free mock up design of your
Wetwebmedia.com. (Limited period)*
Looking forward your quick and positive response.
<What do you think? B>
<The site could greatly benefit from better layout and coding from back
to front. However, how to go about executing the improvement should be
researched thoroughly. If it were me, I would hire a professional. This
could be costly though, and rates vary greatly. I would definitely “shop
around.” The biggest “problem” with the site, as I recall, is the very
great size of it - thousands of interconnected pages! It would be great
if we could find someone to propose a better way to manage (archive?)
infrequently trafficked FAQs pages.
<Perhaps this is something that you could be paid to do?
Would also like to see WWM made/optimized for mobile. B>
<Oh, I wish I could, but I am so far behind in the tech of this sort of
thing. Maybe if I could get training, attend a class or something, I
might catch up.
<Always a poss.! B>
Purple Tang eye problem
I have recently found your site, I have a purple tang who looked in very
good health when I bought him. On the second day in my aquarium I notice
a singular eye did not look quite right. The issue is now 3 weeks old
and his eye appears to be in the same condition. It looks as
though air is trapped under the lens of his eye. The other eye
looks normal but the fish I would say is more reclusive and stressed
than if his eye were not suffering.
Please see my photo. Is there anything I can do for this <This is a
physical trauma caused by the fish hitting something (likely
rocks/decorations); or by some tankmate nipping at it, please see/read
following link and the related ones:
Cheers. Wil. >
Re: Purple Tang eye problem 12/14/18
Thank you for the reply, I have studied the thread you linked and from
my understanding the best course of action is likely to do nothing as it
seems most like the physical trauma to the vascular network that Bob
commented on 12/27/06 with regard to Holocentrid. Is this correct?
<Yes, as Bob stated.>
Should I dose Epsom salt and if so what is your recommended dose rate?
<Just maintain good water quality and be patient, as complete recovery
may take several weeks.>
Re: Purple Tang eye problem 12/14/18
<Glad to help >
I´ll maintain water quality and hope for a full recovery.
<Good. Please keep us posted>
Re: Betta -- near-complete color loss
Hello Neale, Bob, and everyone,
Thank you so much again for your kind assistance.
Sadly, little Milo died while we were away getting the water tested
professionally. The aquarium shop's only comments were that they found trace
ammonia and that "everything else looks good."
<Good to hear. I'm old school about ammonia, and treat any non-zero level as
potentially dangerous. Yes, the toxicity of ammonia varies with pH, so at acidic
pH levels it's supposedly less dangerous. But still, if there's any ammonia
detected above whatever levels in your tap water (neutralised by commercial
water conditioners) then there's evidently a lag between the ammonia produced by
your fish and the filter's removal of that ammonia via nitrification.>
Toxins worry me, too, and with further online searching I'm thinking I caused
Milo's illness and death, and that of the Betta before him, by making the water
much, much too hard. In trying to prevent a pH crash it seems I kept KH and GH
extremely high over a long time, although pH remained about 7.8-8.0... water so
hard that it must have been toxic to the poor little Bettas?
<Possibly. No real problems up to about 15-20 degrees dH, but above that,
probably not a good idea.>
If this makes sense and seems reasonable as a cause, I'll feel confident to
replace everything in the tank and start again after cycling, perhaps now able
to give another Betta a happy and this time *safe* home.
<Definitely worth a shot, yes.>
Again, many thanks,
<Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Extremely high ammonia during cycling; now Holey/Lava
Rock use, FW 12/13/18
Thank you again! As it turns out I was looking at some very nice Texas
hole-y rock this past weekend and wondering if it would work in this
<Of course it tends to raise pH and hardness, but not particularly
rapidly, and in alkaline brackish water, any effect will be minimal,
perhaps even desirable.>
I will definitely go back to the store and get some. You may be right
about the source for this rock - although the packaging is very
deceptive in that case ("natural lava rock"). Dang. I will also see if I
source some actual real lava rock from a rock shop or some such.
<I'm not 100% sure, but I guess a little time online might help
determine where the lava rock sold for barbecues and aquaria comes from.
True volcanic rocks should be sold under their geological names --
basalt, granite, pumice, etc.>
I'll let you know how things turn out!
<Cool. Good luck! Neale.>
My goldfish summer in a 100+ gal ornamental pond, and winter in a 55 gal
I have 4 fish about 4" long body.
In Oct. I brought them in - one was bloated and had several
clear bubbles on each side the size of a small pea. The bubbles
could be a puffed out scale - hard to tell.
He did not get better, so I isolated him in a 5 gal bucket and added 1/8
tablespoon of Epsom salt.
Anything else i can do?
<At this juncture, no... best to keep up water quality by frequent
partial water changes (a couple times weekly), with pre-stored water.
Perhaps Emphysematosis, gas-bubble disease... environmental. Do use the
search tool on WWM to read a bit about. Bob Fenner>
Lowering pH for acclimation; commercial
We have used vinegar to lower pH so far. It worked fairly well however
recently we have created acclimation system where we plan to keep fish
for observation for first week before releasing them into holding system
that's dosed up with medication.
We used our same old practice of reducing pH with vinegar on the whole
system rather than reducing in acclimation tanks and simply release the
fish straight into the system and let pH go up on its on over next few
<? I would NOT do this. Vinegar/CH3COOH has other properties, potential
side effects. I WOULD only use it (or hydrochloric/muriatic acid, CO2...
DURING acclimation, flushing any acid/s out ahead of placement of the
livestock in your tanks>
This worked wonders in first few days and we lowered fish loss to below
1% (after doa), however when bacterial bloom sets that's where problems
with insufficient oxygen appear and fish begin to suffocate.
This lead us to consider changing to something else rather than using
vinegar which causes bacterial bloom.
We need to lower pH in our system from 8.1-8.3 to 6.3-6.6 I have read up
our old E-mails and have seen us mentioning CO2 and diluted HCl.
Would you recon these two methods would be better and would not cause a
bacterial bloom afterwards in the same system setup we used vinegar in?
<Likely so; yes; though AGAIN, I would NOT add them to your tanks. ONLY
in whatever system/tubs... you're using for initial acclimation>
Would pumping all that CO2 required to lower pH to desired level still
be safe for the fish?
What concentration of HCl should be used and does it have any side
effects like bacterial bloom or other danger to fish if used in our
system as planned?
<Please BE CAREFUL here; inorganic acids are "quicker" and often MORE
concentrated than organics like vinegars. You NEED to practice,
PRE-mixing a quantity of known concentration (I'd get 3 molar... aka
Muriatic... pool acid and CAREFULLY measure and CAREFULLY mix (acid to
water) a given quantity TO YOUR ACCLIMATION WATER that is premixed, AND
after an hour or so, MEASURE the pH of the solution for use in dripping.
ADJUST IT before use, NOT during>
We have 8% and 30% available at chemical stores.
What would the correct dose be for each of the mentioned methods per
liter/gallon of water?
<USE the lower concentration (the 8%), the correct dose determination is
a function of the alkalinity of your source water, the salt/s you're
using.... BEST BY FAR to experiment as stated above; MEASURE the
pre-mixed water volume (Mark it on the tank), AND MEASURE the amount/s
of acid you're adding to lower the pH of the mixing/acclimation water;
and ALWAYS measure pH of the solution before actual use>
Looking forward to your response.
<PLEASE be careful Branko. Splashed concentrate acids are dangerous...
Extremely high ammonia during cycling
Hello Crew! Hope you all are doing very well.
Got a brackish nitrogen cycle question for you. I have recently
set up a 5 gallon biotope aquarium for some Opae ula shrimp. There is a tall
tower of lava rock (held together with aquarium silicone glue) to provide a
hypogeal environment. There is also additional lava rock mixed with some reef
"dry live rock" pieces in the rest of the tank. Specific gravity is at about
First evening after filling the tank, I added a few (very few!) flakes of fish
food to begin cycling. After 24 hours I tested for ammonia using an API Ammonia
test kit, and the result came back at 8 ppm! Since 8 ppm is as high as the test
goes, the ammonia level is anywhere from 8 ppm to who knows what. No way this
came from those teeny flakes!
<Possibly not. Hard to say without knowing how much protein was in the flake and
how much water (actual, not nominal) is in your 5 gallon tank.>
So, the ammonia could only come from one of three places: my tap water, the salt
mix, or the rocks. I tested my tap water after treating with Prime water
treatment, and it came back at between 0.25 and 0.50 ppm ammonia, likely from
the chloramine. Then I mixed in some of the marine salt mix and retested - came
back the same as the tap water.
<Indeed, as should be the case.>
I still had some lava rocks left over so I put a few in some fresh water and let
them soak a few hours and then tested. Yep, it was the lava rocks.
<Yikes! I'm not a huge fan of lava rock, which not only affects water quality in
this case, but more regularly, affects pH and water colouration too. It's
vaguely acidic in many cases, causing pH to drop, and the minerals contained can
stain the water reddish brown.>
After 48 hours the ammonia level was still high and beginning to look a little
cloudy, so I did a 2 gallon water change.
<Correct action here.>
At this point I'm assuming it will be continue to cycle the tank as usual, am I
correct? Or are these levels too high even for cycling? I'm also guessing I will
need to do a fairly large water change after the cycle
completes as there will likely be pretty high nitrate levels.
<Yeah, but if there's no livestock in this system, the ammonia spike shouldn't
do any lasting harm. If the shrimps are there, and have survived, wow!!!>
At any rate this was a good lesson to learn - don't just throw new rocks into an
established aquarium! Even if you have tested for carbonates, you never know
what might be lurking in there.
Thanks for your input on this!
<And thank you for sharing. Neale.>
Re: Extremely high ammonia during cycling 12/12/18
No, definitely no livestock in here yet. Just doing the cycling.
The reason for using the lava rocks is because I am trying to recreate a
biotope. In the case of Halocaridina rubra (Opae ula) this is definitely lava,
with a sprinkling of carbonate rocks. I did a lot of research on
scholar.google.com on the Hawaiian anchialine pools - fascinating stuff!
The lava rocks I purchased are not *exactly *the same as the lava where they
occur, but it is as close as I can get.
<I am fairly sure the "lava rock" traded is a byproduct of glass making or some
other industrial process, rather than actual pumice stone.>
Based on your comments about these rocks changing the pH, I will give this tank
an extended cycle period. Once the nitrogen cycle has completed I will continue
to monitor the pH and other parameters, while keeping the cycle "fed" with the
use of flake foods. If there is a trend toward acidification, I will remove some
of the lava rocks and replace them with some limestone and/or dry live rock to
help keep things buffered.
<I do think Tufa rock, or Texas hole-y rock, might be better.>
I'll see how things trend before adding any live creatures. Hopefully things
will tend to stabilize as whatever soluble materials are in the rock get leached
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: Betta -- near-complete color loss
Dear Bob and WWM Crew,
Thank you for the quick reply and for all the info.
<Certainly welcome Steve>
1. The tank -- actually 7 1/2 gallon capacity -- has always been heated
with two 25-watt Eheim/Jaeger heaters. Temp. has been measured with 2
different thermometers (just in case!) and measures 80-82 degrees F
depending which thermometer is accurate. Before illness it was 78-80
degrees. Forgot to mention, when we noticed Milo was ailing we started
aquarium salt @ 0.10 ppm.
<I see; and would remove the salt through regular water changes>
2. The tank is unfiltered. We were worried that the filter current would
be stressful because we found it tough to get a filter with low enough
flow to be gentle for the Betta's fins. We will start a small Fluval
hang-on-back filter immediately, that we already have.
3. Should we add activated charcoal now, or continue with the
Praziquantel? Believing optimistically that the Prazi or something will
help little Milo will pull through. By the way, mis-type earlier, it's
Prazi Pond Plus and the dose used is 9.5 mg/gallon.
<I'd start now and skip the Prazi... only effective for worm/vermes
complaints; and I greatly discount that these are at play here. Again,
where's the vector?>
4. Water tests are API droplet test kits. We will take a sample to a
local reef store -- the nearest shop serious about fishkeeping -- today,
ask them to test, and report back.
5. Only decoration is an aquarium-specific silk plant which I'll remove
at once. Bottom is aquarium gravel, about 1/2 inch. Live plants are
small Anubias and some kind of aquatic ferns, 3-4 total, bought packaged
commercially and individually from local pet store, treated with KMnO4,
<Ahh; a fave! Olde timey, but very effective if not a bit harsh
then rinsed before introduction. Nothing else in tank except heaters,
thermometer, and an airstone we put in when Milo became ill.
Thank you very much again. Here's hoping the answers above address
everything. Please do re-confirm whether to go ahead and add charcoal
now... just want to be sure we understand, as this will remove the
Praziquantel; but if your recommendation is charcoal instead of Prazi,
thank you and that's what we'll do!
<Yes to the carbon (not charcoal..., see WWM if you don't know the
diff.) and no to the Prazi>
Steve C. (Milo's adoptive dad)
<And you, BobF>
Betta -- near-complete color loss /Neale
<<BobF far more expert here than me, but would wonder if a toxin might
be to blame here. Bettas are very sensitive to airborne toxins for
obvious reasons, including paint fumes, solvents, etc. Cheers, Neale.>>
Re: Cyano control
So, am I clear on your recommendation: Use Seachem's Marine Buffer to
increase the pH of the water I use when I do a water change -- thus,
raising my pH slowly.
<Yes; mix it in with your pre-made and stored change out/new water>
Actually, from the research I've done IO salt does not mix at 8.3 but
more like 7.9. I will begin dosing Polyp Lab ONE tonight. It simplifies
the 2-part approach by having all key elements (dKH, Calcium and Mg) in
one. I think the Brightwell 2-part I have been using does not include Mg
-- thus, no coralline algae for me :(
Also, I will review my light schedule per your comments.
Corydoras Keep Dying 12/12/18
Long time reader, first time writer. :)
I have a 40 gallon breeder that can't seem to keep cories alive. I've
lost small batches of sterbai (5) and bronze (6), and now I'm afraid I'm
going down the same road with pandas (started with 12, down to 10).
Other fish seem unaffected, and a common symptom appears to be air/gas
Am I missing something?
40 gallon breeder, 36" x 18" footprint, black blasting sand substrate
(well rinsed), temp was at 79-80 for the sterbai/bronze, close to 76-77
for the pandas.
I have a cascade 700 canister filter and 2 sponge filters.
Livestock at this time includes the 10 pandas and 2 Apisto borellii
(1-1.5"). Nothing else.
Some hardy plants, a few driftwoods, and some IAL and oak leaves.
<Whence came the pieces of driftwood? If purchased, are you quite sure
these are "aquarium safe?" Many sold for reptiles are not safe for
aquariums. If acquired from the great outdoors, how did you cure/prep
the pieces? At this point in your story, I suspect the driftwood, but I
will read on...>
Started the tank in mid Sept, with half a dozen small pentazona barbs.
Cycled tank with media from another filter.
On Halloween, I added 5x 1" sterbai cories. The following Friday (2 days
later), in the afternoon, 2 were floating upside down, then 2 more
shortly after. Those 4 died within hours, 1 survived.
<Yikes! Something is seriously wrong here. How did you introduce them to
the system? Did you acclimate them to the new water conditions? Did you
test the water from the pet fish shop?>
I know everyone reaches for sbd in situations like this, but I autopsied
3 of the dead fish,
and the intestines were full of air.
<Well, yeah! There is this thing that happens after an organism dies.
The resident bacteria have a blitz and produce gases as they ravenously
digest their now deceased host. It will happen to you too some day, and
Some food (not much), but intestines were full like those long balloons
clowns make shapes from. No other symptoms.
<...that you could see or recognize with the "naked eye.">
Granted, they're small fish, and seeing anything can be hard.
<If you intend to continue filleting your deceased pet fish, I highly
recommend investing in a good microscope. Much to be seen can't be seen
The lone survivor (which also had buoyancy issues, but never to the
point of floating/dying) was quarantined for 4-5 days (no meds, since no
<A good policy>
and seemed to stabilize. But 3d after being returned to the main tank,
it also died,
and again it appeared full of air. I should note that the autopsies were
done shortly after death, and all of the sick fish were very buoyant
before they died
<This can happen for any number of reasons. It is a very non-specific
symptom - a sure indicator of poor fish health, but with a lengthy
(i.e. I don't believe the gas in intestines was a post-mortem symptom).
<Impossible to know for sure either way.>
Through all this, the pentazonas were fine. Ammo/nitrite were 0,
nitrates were 5-10.
On Nov 6 I added half doz bronze cories (I admit to getting them as coal
mine canaries; clearly this tank can support fish, but can it support
cories?). All 6 died one by one over a 2-3 week period. No outward
symptoms (well, except dying). Frustrating. And they had started off so
well in my tank, foraging deep in the sand, very active. These did not
float when they died.
Through all this the pentazonas were fine. Again, parameters good.
I rehomed the pentazonas to a new office tank, and the tank stayed empty
for about a week.
Then on Dec 4 I got a dozen 0.75-1" panda cories, added them, along with
a M/F Apisto borellii.
<That is a lot of fish to add all at once.>
They seem to be great tank mates, same pace, feeding rate, temperament
All has been good until last night (Dec 11), when 1 was floating (air in
intestines again), and another this am (didn't check). As of Sunday when
I did a whack of testing, parameters generally good; ammonia was over
<Yeah mate, I think you added too much too quickly to a "dormant"
but under 0.25 (I've been feeding liberally, though, so that might be
<Yes, that too will do it. I would stop feeding for a few days at
I dosed with Prime, haven't re-checked yet), zero nitrites, nitrates
<Prime is a one-time "band-aid" type fix. It binds the nitrogen cycle
products so that these get taken up in the filter. If you don't keep
adding it, the problem will return unless corrected some other way.>
I feed good quality food, and lots of variety. Thawed bloodworm, mysis
shrimplets, bbs. Crushed Spirulina flake, regular community flake,
Hikari mini wafers, Fluval bug bites.
<Maybe too much though?>
My tap water is moderately hard, so I have been mixing the water for
this tank with RO/DI at about 3:2 (RO: tap). That's giving me dGH of 5-6
(100ppm), and dKH of ~4 (~75ppm). My pH remains around 7.5 (hard to
tell, since it always appears to lie right between the high end of the
normal pH test, and the low end of the high range pH test).
I'm using a perpetual drip and overflow to keep new water running
through tank, rate of about 1.5g new water per day. And I vac as
<As necessary? How often is that?>
Why do mid level fish appear to remain healthy and fine, while bottom
dwelling cories are dying?
<Very different species have very different sensitivities, ability to
tolerate physical and/or physiological insults. I suspect the problem
here to be either trauma from transport/introduction or a toxin coming
somewhere as of yet unknown. Do see other similar recent queries here:
Are there any diseases/infections/conditions that are known to cause gas
in the intestines as a primary symptom, i.e. not post-mortem?
<Again, floating and bloating is just too common a symptom - like
headaches and nausea in humans - could be from anything!>
Any suggested interventions? Shelled peas? Epsom salt in tank, or as
<Do read other query answers in the link above. I suggest removing the
driftwood, adding carbon, looking for other potential sources of
toxins... also be sure to follow good acclimation protocol.>
Many thanks for your time and consideration!
<Cheers Sara L>
Warty Frog feeding recommendations
I received a very small (1") frogfish on Friday. His belly was flat and he was
fishing so two very small, gut loaded guppy fry.
<Good; and I'd add live and in time, not live crustaceans to the menu here>
I know that freshwater feeders and shrimp are not a nutritious food source long
term. The eventual plan when he's larger is to feed a mix of grass shrimp and
various smaller marine fish such as Chromis and damsels (the later being in the
majority due to nutritional needs).
<Mmm; the species (A. maculatus) shown doesn't get very large... see here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Anglers2.htm and the linked files above>
He is currently far to small to eat any damsel I've come across locally. What is
a good alternative to guppy/molly fry that would he suitable for his size and
provide adequate nutritional benefit?
<As stated; Artemia, Copepods... even small worms... BEST grown in a
tied/plumbed in refugium... living sump, with a DSB, RDP lighting arrangement>
Would giving him to a quality frozen food mix like LRS or Rod's foods be a well
rounded option if I could switch him to frozen or would it need to be something
"whole" to peak his interest (with help of course)?
<Doubt this Frogfish will take such frozen/defrosted prepared foods. NOT likely
at all. For now, need live foods of use. See the citation above...>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Warty Frog feeding recommendations 12/11/18
Excellent. I'll dig into that link and look into culturing some other forms of
live foods for him.
<Ah, good... some freshwater crustaceans, insect larvae might work as well...
offered w/o scaring the frogfish via a baster or such right near/in front of it>
Thank you for the speedy response!
<Again, welcome. BobF>
Swim bladder problem 12/11/18
I have a problem with a goldfish in my pond �� See he has a
swim bladder problem. He has been floating upside down now for a while. He
lives in an outdoor pond with other goldfish he is an Oranda
<Will make a statement here that "fancy"; okay fancier goldfish (other than
comets, Shubunkins...) do have more problems in outdoor ponds>
There are other Oranda goldfish in the pond too and they are doing fine.
This particular goldfish got attacked by birds during the summer. He was
rescued quickly. But I worry that he could have gotten a swim bladder
problem from that.
<Could be. You may know that fishes (that have gas bladders; some don't)
come in two basic formats, physostomous and physoclistous... with openings
to the throat/buccal cavity and not. Goldfish do have such an opening and
are able to "burp" out extra air. My point is that what folks label as "swim
bladder" issues are often "fatty degeneration"... "Roundish" goldfish
varieties do have more trouble w/ three dimensional orientation due to their
shapes... and higher protein food/s, esp. flake foods are often a major
He has not eaten anything for many weeks now as it is winter and too cold
for him to digest food now.
<Below about 55F folks should give up on feeding pondfish... as foods become
hard to process. Have you read Sabrina's expose on floaty, bloaty GF?:
So fasting has obviously not helped. I tried an Epsom salt bath for 3 days.
This treatment worked for another Oranda I have that had swim bladder
problems too. But this treatment has not worked for David, the fish in
Now he has developed septicemia in his fins because of his floating upside
down. They say that when goldfish with swim bladder problems that do not
respond to treatment get this way it might be kinder to let them go. What do
you think I ought to do?
<Well, I am on the side of the scale that hates to give up on life; holding
out hope for recovery. I myself would likely wait and hope. The Epsom is a
good idea... As might be moving the fish into a steady temp. setting like a
garaged aquarium w/ filtration. IF you decide to go the euthanasia route,
please do read over Neale's piece here:
Re: Swim bladder problem
Thank you Bob. I put David down. There is no way I can get an aquarium set
up in the house for him. But thank you for your help. I was hoping he would
get better, but he just didn’t. Thank you so much Bob.
<Welcome Cam. BobF>
Re: I'm back in the hobby! Cyano issue 12/11/18
Hello Bob and Team,
I'm fighting Cyano (I think). Tank was established in July 2018. Small tank...45
gallon AIO. Running UV and skimmer.
<Mmm; these last two should help (indirectly) by limiting nutrient availability,
raising RedOx, zapping and removing free-floating forms, spores>
Vacuumed the sand bed really well today tanking out the top layer of nasty
looking sand. Running Purigen and ChemiPure Elite in two chambers in the back
(one in each chamber).
Nitrates = 0 (using a lousy API kit).
<Mmm; lo dudo>
Phosphates = .021 (using the ultra low Hanna digital meter).
I don't feed heavily and try to run lights at 10K for only 2 hours around noon.
Other times running LED blue to show off the corals.
<Mmm; well, you might be better off w/ more light here. Convert the BGA to
Greens, other Divisions of algae. Do you have some purposeful algae culture
going here? Any room for a sump/refugium, DSB, RDP light set up?>
Fish and corals all seem to be doing well.
Fish = 2 clowns, 3 cardinals, 1 coral beauty, 1 royal gramma, and 1 Rainford
Added a cucumber and conch -- they don't seem to do much.
pH runs about 7.9 with Alk at 7.7
<Yikes; I'd be buffering your new/make up water to boost the pH here... to at
Any additional recommendations are welcome.
PS Bob recommended an additional Rainford Goby -- one of my 2 LFS (ain't this
sad) was out and I only buy Rainford's from Biota.
<Okay! Have you reviewed re marine algae control on WWM?:
and the linked files above? Caution: You can/may sucked into a/the WWM black
hole of reading! BobF>
Re: I'm back in the hobby!
Thanks for the prompt reply!
Darn, I'm confused. Some say less light -- you say more.
<Think about this... too little, or low light encourages a different group
(Divisions are the equivalent of zoological Phyla) of algae; Blue Greens/aka
Cyanobacteria are greatly favored under little light circumstances, whereas
Greens prefer bright, long-light days. You WANT to encourage the latter,
discourage the former. YES, if there's too much easily available (soluble)
nutrient available, little water circulation.... BGA will proliferate under
broader conditions including more light>
I've attached a pdf of the light I have. It's a bit old but I can program it
within the limits of the LEDs of course.
<This is a very nice fixture. Again, I would leave it on 8-10 hours/day;
See/READ on WWM re>
I read the linked article on algae.
Excellent and really pretty easy to read for the novice (like me).
I loved the statement: "I take exception with most authors on the virtue of one
salt mix over, etc...." I completely agree.
I do use Instant Ocean (seems to work for most folks)
<Around the world this brand IS the category killer, used exclusively in some
public aquariums, e.g. Georgia>
-- and as you noted, my pH is on the low side.
I've really never had much success raising it and maintaining it (the pH that is
<Mmm; well; you could/might use the I.O. reef mix... has more alkalinity; but
I'd just blend in some of SeaChem's line in w/ your new/change out water:
I thought regular water changes would do the trick since I think IO salt mix
mixes at about 8.3
I do have the Brightwell 2-part additives -- but, so far I've been sloppy about
dosing on a regular basis.
Sorry, adding a sump is not an option for my setup. This AIO tank has truly been
a challenge for me. I had a 125g with 30g sump in Atlanta -- dang it was easy to
maintain. This 45g tank is much more difficult -- as I knew it would be --
especially without a refugium!
<Ah, yes... bigger systems are much easier to keep stable, optimized; and am a
HUGE fan of refugium use>
You guys are truly a great resource. I genuinely appreciate your time to coach
me along this renewed & new endeavor. I WILL GET THIS RIGHT.....!
PS Oh, BTW, I may have mentioned at some point that I did treat my tank with
Boyd's Chemiclean. It worked the first time I used it -- but, the problem
returned. I tried it again, but not with the same degree of success. I do not
plan to use it again since I think it's only a band-aid and not the solution!
<As you'll find, I am NOT a fan of such "algicide" use... They really don't work
unless the conditions that allow/ed pest algae profusion are addressed, and
too-often they poison the water, inhabitants indirectly.
Be of good life Gene (Anima bona fac). Bob Fenner>
Betta -- near-complete color loss
Hello, please help with male pet shop Betta, Milo, whom we have had 1 year.
Over about 2-3 weeks he has become lethargic, mostly sitting on bottom and
only swimming vigorously a moment or two if disturbed. Not eating for past 5
days. His body color has changed dramatically from purple-blue to very pale,
nearly silver or white, with fins still purple-blue as usual.
<Is this fish in a heated, filtered system? This time of year the weather
turns colder; and Bettas are tropical fishes. Very common for them to lose
color, energy/activity w/ chilling>
There are no visible sores, wounds, external parasites, frayed fins, Ich,
Velvet, or any other visible outward marks. We thought it might be old age
because although we've had him only a year he was full grown or nearly so
when he came home with us. After reading online we treated him empirically
with kanamycin and nitrofurazone per package directions for four days. No
improvement. Changed water. He's been hanging on quite tenaciously but seems
to be breathing fast and/or breathing hard... from desperation we started
metronidazole according to package instructions 2 days ago, just in case it
might help -- perhaps internal flukes -- no improvement.
He is sole occupant of a 5-gallon heated tank, usually 78-80 degrees F,
increased to 80-82 degrees F since he became symptomatic, unfiltered, with
plants and gravel. 2/3 tank water change once a week pretty religiously. pH
7.8-8.0, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates about 10 ppm, GH and KH in upper
ranges (not zero).
<All these values are good...>
The curious thing is, the previous Betta who died about 4 months before we
got Milo, lived with us about 3 years in the sane cycled tank but died after
an almost identical course.
<Am wondering now if there is something poisoning this fish... What sort of
ornaments are in the tank? Any geodes, odd rocks, driftwood, plastic plants
from other than an aquarium-use source?>
We assumed it was old age but with 2 fish in a row, and with how Milo is
hanging on stubbornly *and* with labored breathing, can you suggest anything
<Yes; the use of some activated carbon in the filter you're going to get
(likely a small hang on the back or internal power filter); to remove
possible toxin/s here>
Time is so critical with these little dudes I'm going to start
(Prazi Pond Pro) 5 gm/gallon now in case it's something external we can't
see, like gill flukes...
<Mmm; where would the flukes come from? Do you have other fish present?
Feed live foods, use plants you've collected from the wild?>
apparently these can be a bane of Goldfish, which we used to keep. As far as
I know there was no contamination with Betta gear but one never knows.
Thank you for anything you can suggest! And thank you for all the great info
Kind regards, Milo's family.
<Am so glad for your concern. Please do answer the above questions, have
your water tested by your local fish store (to check against your test
results, gear). Bob Fenner>
Milk-spotted puffer (Chelonodon patoca)
How are you?
I have come across and interesting and seemingly rare puffer for sale.
Milk-spotted puffer (Chelonodon patoca).
<Does turn up very occasionally in the UK trade, mostly at the stores
specialising in oddballs; I've seen them at Wildwoods for example. A second
variety, known as the Golden Milk Spotted Puffer, is also traded, which may or
may not be a regional or colour morph of the same fish.>
I have a tank available in my fish room. I can't find much at all by way of
information about this fish?
<Very few people have kept it. I haven't, for a start!>
I saw you made brief reference to this fish in a PFK article.
Do you know much in terms of care requirements?
<Very similar to the standard issue GSP, though potentially much larger, up to
30 cm. Much more peaceful towards its own kind though, but still a fin-biter, so
tankmates should be chosen with care. Might work okay in a jumbo reef or FOWLR
system alongside suitably punch, fast, and robust fish such as Sergeant Majors
and Damselfish that would hide among rocks when resting. Otherwise very
undemanding; hardy, euryhaline, eats all the usual meaty foods. Wild fish
probably consume a lot of algae, too, so stuffing some Spirulina flake into,
say, mussels would be a good way to keep their vitamin levels topped up.>
Also is £140 an OK price?
<About right. It's never cheap, but is very beautiful.>
<Hope this helps. Neale.>
Re: Milk-spotted puffer (Chelonodon patoca)
Thanks Neale that’s really helpful. He’s in freshwater at the moment - what sort
of salinity is required and how is best to ease him in to it?
<Oh, they're nominally marine fish, but completely euryhaline coastal fish,
meaning move in and out of freshwater and saltwater habitats all the time.
Juveniles are common in estuaries, and adults seem to be all over the place,
from the freshwater part of estuaries all the way to offshore reefs. Good water
quality and an alkaline pH are probably more important than the precise
salinity. I'd probably keep a youngster around 1.003-1.005, aiming for 1.010
upwards by the time it's above, say, 8-10 cm.>
Could I keep him with. GSPs or figure 8s whilst he is small?
<Definitely worth a shot, and similarly, adults might be tried with the less
aggressive Arothron spp. All the limited accounts of this species in captivity
seem to agree with the general idea it's non-aggressive, just nippy. Cheers,
Re: Milk-spotted puffer (Chelonodon patoca)
Thank you .
If they are constantly moving between freshwater - could I have a go at keeping
it in freshwater- or is that not worth the risk?
<Short term, probably fine. I mean, I've kept Arothron hispidus juveniles in
hard freshwater -- but that's another story! Regardless, if you're forking out
£100+ for a fish, you'd not be wanting to take too much of a gamble! I'd
certainly keep the pH and hardness high, and ensure good water quality. Probably
better to add even a little salt, to start with. 1.003 would be ample for
juveniles, and easily tolerated by brackish water tolerant plants. Cheers,
Re: Milk-spotted puffer (Chelonodon patoca)
Thanks - sorry last question - how best can I introduce salt without
killing my filter bacteria?
<In stages! From freshwater to 1.003 there'll be no noticeable effect.
There on upwards, do small changes, wait a couple of weeks, do
the odd nitrite or ammonia test, and act accordingly. Since these puffers are
euryhaline, you may choose to grow the fish onto subadult size in low-end
brackish, then simply convert the tank to marine -- complete with skimmer and
live rock -- on a Sunday afternoon, the puffer sitting in a large, securely
covered bucket until you're reading to acclimate it to full marine conditions.
The live rock will bring in the entirely new batch of bacteria required for
filtration, as per setting up a reef or FOWLR system. Klaus Ebert of Aqualog
fame says you can chuck euryhaline brackish fish into marine conditions
instantly, but I'm a little kinder, and suggest plain vanilla drip acclimation
across, say, an hour. Either way, these fish can, do experience such things in
the wild when the tide turns. Cheers, Neale.>
I'm back in the hobby! Query re stocking, mixing sand gobies
It's been a long time for me - but, I'm back in the hobby in a much
<Ahh! Welcome back to the fold>
Used to follow threads on your website faithfully.
I have a 45g AIO tank with a Rainford Goby. He's cute and active - but
really can't keep up with the sand sifting that needs to be done.
Question: Would it be wise to add a Golden Head Goby - or would there
likely be too much territorial fighting? I realize each tank (fish) is
different - but, in general is this a bad idea?
<They'd likely get along fine, but if it were me, mine in such a size,
shape system, I'd go with either two Rainford's or two Golden Head
gobies. More interesting behaviorally.>
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>
Re: I'm back in the hobby! 12/9/18
Thank you so much. That seems like a wise recommendation. I’ll get
<Cheers Gene. BobF>
Musk turtle 12/8/18
Hi, I wonder if you can help me please? We have a musk turtle hatchling and we
have got to go away for a day and a half.
I have no one to turn the UVB light and the heat light on would it be better for
me to leave them both on?
<Leaving them both off would fine for a few days, assuming the house doesn't get
freezing cold. Alternatively, an inexpensive timer at the mains socket end of
the lamp's power cable can be used to switch such things on and off without
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Marine Aquarium Articles and FAQs Master Index
- Set-Up 1:
Types of Systems:, Gear/Components:, Set-Up, Tanks, Stands,
Covers:, Water, Seawater, Substrates, DSBs, Electricity,
Heating/Chilling, Aquascaping, Biotopes, Travelogues.
- Set-Up 2: Filtration of All
Sorts, Skimmers, Sumps, Refugiums, Plumbing, Circulation, Pumps,
Powerheads, Aeration & Light/Lighting:.
- About Livestock: Regional Accounts:,
Collection, Selection:, Stocking:, Disease Prevention: Dips/Baths,
Acclimation, Quarantine, Behavior:, Territoriality:, Reproduction:
- Non-Vertebrate Sea Life Identification, & Microbes, Algae,
Plants, Live Rock & Sand, Sponges:
Hitchhikers, IDs, Marine Microbes, Plankton, Live Rock & Sand, Marine
Algae, Marine Plants, Sponges, phylum Porifera,
- Cnidarians I. Corals to Hobbyists,
Stinging-Celled Animals 1: Cnidarians Overall;
Hydrozoans: Jellies, Hydroids, Anthozoans; Octocorals: Organ
Pipe, Blue Coral, Star Polyps, Sea Fans, Sea Pens and Soft Corals
- Cnidarians II. Corals to Hobbyists,
Stinging-Celled Animals 2: Anthozoans; Hexacorals: Mushrooms,
Zoanthids, Anemones, Stony Corals, Tube Anemones, Black Corals
- Higher Invertebrate Life:
Bryozoans, Worms of all kinds, Mollusks (Snails, Nudibranchs,
Octopodes), Crustaceans (Crabs, Shrimp, Lobsters...), Echinoderms
(Urchins, Sea Cucumbers, Seastars, Brittlestars...), Sea Squirts,
- Fishes, Index 1: Sharks, Rays, Skates;
Marine Eels; Marine Catfishes; Squirrelfishes, Soldierfishes,
Lionfishes, Stonefishes, Gurnards, Sculpins; Anglerfishes, Seahorses &
Pipefishes, Blennioid & Gobioid Fishes, Mandarins, Clingfishes, Wrasses
- Fishes, Index 2:
Butterflyfishes, Cardinalfishes, Grammas, Grunts, Sweetlips,
Snappers, Goatfishes, Jawfishes, Big-Eyes, Basses, Anthias, Dottybacks,
Roundheads, Soapfishes, Damselfishes, Clownfishes, Monos, Hawkfishes,
Croakers, Emperors, Threadfins, Sandperches, Miscellaneous Percoids,
- Fishes Plus, Index 3: Marine Angelfishes,
Tangs/Surgeons/Doctorfishes, Scats, Batfishes, Rabbitfishes; Triggers,
Files, Puffers, Flounders, Halibuts, Soles, Really Old Fishes, Marine
Reptiles, Marine Mammals,
General Maintenance, Vacations, Moving,
Water Quality: Tests/Testing, Aquarium Repairs, Biominerals,
Supplementation, Marine Scavengers, Algae ID & Control,
- Diseases: Identification, Avoidance, Causes, Organisms,
Treatments & Pests:
Acclimation, Quarantine, Dips/Baths; Disease: Prevention,
Identification, Treatment, Pests/Control, Aquariums and Human Health,
Chemicals of Use/Dis- and Mis-use, Pest Flatworm/Anemones/Worms... &
- Marine Topics: Media Reviews:, Books:,
References, Sources, Writing, Diving, Travel Adventure, Photography,
Videography, Sources of Mortality on the Worlds Reefs, Schooling, Public
Site Navigation-The navigation through the site is designed to allow you to go
through the pages following the blue links to get to the information you