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Stegastes fasciolatus (Ogilby 1889), the
Pacific Gregory. Indo-west Pacific. Not a great beauty and at up to
six inches in length, a handful. But an interesting, intelligent
addition to a rougher aquarium setting. An older individual in Hawai'i. Kona
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Naso Tang with skin issue 2/23/18
Hello. I have a Naso Tang with some white scratches and areas of what appear to
be slightly raised lumps.
<I see this in your photo>
I first thought they could be from scratches from the live rock. She has a great
appetite and is behaving normally. Any insight?
<Mmm; yes... likely a nutritional issue here; but could have trauma/physical
damage, water quality component/influences as well. This fish is too thin (has a
low index of fitness). I'd have you read on WWM re
Naso and Naso lituratus period; esp. nutrition/feeding. Do so. Bob Fenner>
Re: Naso Tang with skin issue 2/23/18
Ok, thanks. I’ve been treating the Naso for Ick with copper and am on the third
week of treatment.
<Acanthurids and Cu don't mix. PLEASE read where you've been referred. You're
poisoning your fish>
She is eating very well but now I’m concerned that maybe the copper is affecting
<Ah; you are wise here; or at least knowledgeable>
I don’t see any signs of Ick but was told to treat the parasite for 28 days. Do
you think I should stop the treatment early? Thanks again.
<Yes I would. BobF>
Re: Naso Tang with skin issue 2/23/18
For future reference, what is your method for treating Ich?
and the linked files above. B>
Green Bird Wrasse and Lunar Wrasse Compatibility
Hello Bob -
I am suspecting the answer is, "no, don't do it" for either situation I
am contemplating but would greatly appreciate your expert advice.
I have a 265 gallon (excluding sump volume) FOWLR set-up. Among other
fish (Annularis Angel, tangs...etc.) I have a gorgeous approximately 7
inch Lunar Wrasse in this 265 set-up. I've had him a few years, where he
started off as maybe 4 inches.
I am contemplating adding a 6 inch Green Bird Wrasse to this 265
gallon set-up, however, I am hesitant thinking the Lunar might
go after him due to the similar colors. The Lunar (somewhat
surprisingly) has not bothered any other new few fish that I've added in
Note that I also have a 220 gallon set-up where I originally thought of
placing a Green Bird Wrasse but my fear there is that I have a wonderful
3 inch Molly Miller Blenny, who's done a great job taking care of any
Aiptasia, but who might become a meal for a Green Bird wrasse.
<I think you'd likely be fine in either tank here w/ a Gomphosus
Am out currently diving in Moorea... seeing G. varius and Thalassoma
species in close approximation, including all yellow Lunares. And of
course there are blennies galore if you're observant>
Thank you as always,
<I'd go ahead with this fish, male or female in either tank. Cheers, Bob
Hello, my name is John Landrum.
I recently looked through your website and was impressed with your
Therefore I would like to know whether we could cooperate? Do you accept
Look forward to hearing from you.
<We do buy content, if useful, appropriate. Bob Fenner>
Zoanthids problem? 2/22/18
Some of my Palythoa have been closed up for a week or so now.
<Mmm; a bad sign; perhaps portending a bad time for all life here/// No data re
system, water quality, other livestock, history....>
I have hundreds of different types. The Zoanthids seem fine but the large polyps
(Palythoa I’m guessing) seem effected. This doesn’t look like zoapox to me
although maybe it is the beginning stages?
<Summat is amiss here.... READ: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthidhlthfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Zoanthids problem? 2/22/18
All other live stock looks great. Sps. Lps. Etc. water chemistry is good. Alk 7.
Cal 400. Nitrate 0. Phos .05. Lighting radions.
System is about 4 months old but water was moved from a 2 year old system.
I only use marine pure blocks, no live rock really accept what coral is
attached. Oversized skimmer.
Hope that helps
<Yes; well, something is bugging this one colony. What is "next door" may be
Re: Zoanthids problem?
What do you mean it may be germinal? I have several colonies in this one system
with this same issue.
<... please re/read on WWM re Zoa compatibility>
I’m trying to do some research...Could this be some type of hydroid?
<... yes. Do you see such nearby?>
Re: Bandit angels Prazipro quarantine
Just performed a fw dip. Couldn't see much after the dip,
<Carefully decant the dip liquid... look for translucent small worms at
perhaps was the double dosage of Prazi. Fish started eating again less
than an hour after dip. It's gobbling down nls pallets. Thank you!!!
<Ah, welcome. B>
Re Snowflake Eel Emergency 2/22/18
Hello, this is Jinoo Kim. I have talked to one of you guys about this
situation before, but it wasn't a big deal.
Now it is. To recap, my eel has a swollen snout which appears to be
mainly around the nostrils. My eel has been a lot more sluggish, losing
a lot of yellow coloration, and can't even sense the food in front of
him. He even looks smaller in general. I have been dosing a lot of
vitamins (thiamin and Vitamin B especially), but I don't know if it is
<Vitamin B1=thiamin, which is important, but other vitamins are
important, too. Have you been feeding a varied diet with crustaceans,
fish and bivalves, maybe cephalopods?>
Hopefully the picture uploads as it hasn't in the previous message, but
I do need an answer.
<It did upload, but I could not see the swelling.>
<If the eel is still eating try adding a more complete vitamin mix e.g.
Vita-Chem to the food. If the situation gets worse you might be dealing
with an infection, which could require a treatment with an antibiotic
(Maracyn or comparable) preferably in a hospital tank. Also see
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snoflkeeldisfaqs.htm for similar cases.>
<Good luck. Marco.>
Question for Neale on phosphate based buffers
I have some questions about phosphate based buffers.
I'm setting up a 50 gallon freshwater (low tech, no CO2, lightly planted
with low light varieties) aquarium as the bioload of my 20 gallon is on
the high side. I have 6 Columbian tetras, 4 Orange laser Corydoras, and
6 zebra Danios and a handful of Nerite snails.
The parameters are zero ammonia and nitrite, with nitrates running
around 5-10 ppm. PH is steady around 6.6 and dGH is 6-7°. I run a Fluval
206 canister filter filled with matrix and API Nitrasorb. I switch out
25% of the water every 5 days. I added the Nitrasorb a few months ago as
my nitrates were consistently over 40 ppm even with water changes.
Everyone is healthy and active with great colors.
<I would imagine; sounds a great tank, though do watch the Nerites for
evidence of 'pitting' in their shell -- this can happen in acidic
I use RO water remineralized with Equilibrium. I use SeaChem's phosphate
based buffer Neutral Regulator. My tap water has almost no dGH and is
very acidic and unstable. Tests yellow using API test kit.
My fish have done great with the water I've been making up for them.
Their tank runs around 6.6 because of all the driftwood.
<Yes. The general hardness will have minimal impact on buffering against
pH decline, so to some degree you'll be relying on water changes to
offset background acidification.>
Other friends in the hobby have been pressuring me to switch to a
carbonate based buffering system on my new tank as it will also be
<Indeed. Carbonate is a good buffer, and some plants, such as
Vallisneria and Egeria, rely upon it to some degree as their source of
carbon for photosynthesis. On the other hand, it isn't necessarily
useful for soft water fish, and those plant species that can't use
carbonate ions won't benefit from it.>
My plants in my 20 gallon do struggle with growth and algae issues but I
don't think all the blame lies with Neutral Regulator as I have a
beautiful planted 5 gallon (low bioload, one Betta) that is almost algae
<Can happen, and sometimes it's really difficult to say why algae is the
problem in one tank but not another. Ambient lighting, temperature, the
type of plants used (and allelopathy between them and the algae) are
important factors, as well as the obvious ones like algae-eating fish,
nitrate level, etc.>
Their argument, besides algae, is that phosphate blocks absorption of
iron and other trace minerals.
<Possibly, but not something I have a deep understanding of. In any
case, whatever effect it might have, placing a fertiliser pellet, say, a
few cm down in the substrate close to your most iron-hungry plants
should surely compensate for that?>
My plants in my 20 gallon are struggling except for my java fern and a
small water sprite. I started using iron rich root tabs but to early to
tell if they are working.
<Java Ferns get little if anything from their roots, so root tabs are
irrelevant to them. Floating water plants such as Water Sprite similarly
absorb most if not all of their nutrients through their leaves and
fluffy roots rather than from the substrate, so again, root tablets
don't make much sense. Put another way, while root tabs will dissolve
and release iron and magnesium into the water column, they'll do so far
more slowly, and perhaps less effectively, than adding drops to the
water. Those iron and magnesium ions in or close to the substrate won't
be ignored by those algae that grow on the substrate, such as blue-green
Should I stick with the Neutral Regulator that is so dependable as far
as stable pH and ease of use?
<It is reliable and provides good conditions in terms of stabilising the
pH, but it will inevitably raise phosphate levels, which you can measure
with a suitable test kit. Within reason, phosphate is a useful
fertiliser, but too high and it can trigger algal blooms. Some
experimentation might be in order: try a half-dose of the buffer first,
see what effect that has on pH vs. algae growth, and vs. plant growth,
and act accordingly. Would I use it? No, not if the pH was basically
stable without it.>
My fish are my top priority. Are phosphate based buffers really so
terrible for a planted tank?
<See above. Pros and cons.>
Bandit angels Prazipro quarantine 2/21/18
I've 2 bandit angels in quarantine tank. One of the bandit show signs of
fluke, which I then administer Prazipro through the recommended dosage.
After 4 days there were still showing symptoms of fluke.
<I'd now (and would have done enroute on buying, moving these fish) pH
adjusted freshwater dip/bath these Angels, with formalin/formaldehyde
and aeration as gone over on WWM>
I then did a major water change and administered the second dosage. (75%
of the recommended dosage). Immediately 1 day after the second
treatment, One of the bandit ceased to eat, however, still showed
interest in the
food. This got me worried and I did another major water change. The
other bandit is still eating like a pig. Did the treatment
caused one of the bandit to cease eating?
<It's possible, yes>
How Long later should I begin to worry if the bandit continue not to
accept prepared food. Both were eating fine prior to treatment. Is it
normal for Prazipro to suppress the appetite of the angel fish?
<As stated, can do so... who knows the mechanism here? Killing worms in
the lumen? >
What will be my next course of action, if any.
<As stated; the reading on WWM re dips/baths, additions therein>
<Welcome. Do write back if your course of action isn't clear. Flukes are
VERY common on w/ wild-collected Pomacanthids. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bandit angels Prazipro quarantine 2/21/18
Thank you for the reply. through observation earlier, the bandit is
still yawning/twitching. I'm assuming the 2nd dose of Prazipro would've
knocked most of the flukes off and the bandit may just be irritated by
<Again; a possibility definitely. A./P. arcuatus is a fave; and know
that they do twitch quite a bit naturally>
Given that I've done two dosage of Prazipro, will it be too early to
commence the dip now/soon?
<Not too soon if the fish is in good shape)>
The fish seems very interested in food but just wouldn't swallow them
down. Also, could it be a possibility that there may be an ulcer/growth
inside the mouth (since I've caught him yawning several times)?
If this is the case, will dip still be the way to go or alternatively
can I perform Mxyazin treatment for 5 days.
<.... I'd do the dip/bath>
The plus point is there's still some weight on the fish and at least
he's responsive to food being thrown into the QT :)
Re: Receding Chalice Help 2/21/18
So some updates on the situation as well as an interesting/bizarre
The chalice appears to have stopped receding or at least has slowed to a
point where I can no longer tell. It is struggling to grow over the
algae covered skeleton areas but I'm optimistic and some crabs have
cleaned it off a tad.
I'd like to think the iodine assisted in the potential recovery but it
has yet to cover the remitted areas in entirety, though has reached past
the skeleton on some small parts. That said, I'm fairly pleased and some
updates regarding the other pieces:
<These issues take time... weeks to months>
The gold torch did not like me moving it and the brown slime took over
most of the remaining heads and ultimately the final head. I tried to
save it but moving it may have resulted in some of the tissue being
it's skeleton as the water flow in the newer area was not in the same
direction. I probably should have been more diligent and shut down the
flow entirely before positioning it, lesson learned.
As for the Bryopsis (Caulerpacean?) I'm not sure if this is Caulerpacean
or not, but the invasiveness and fact that nobody wants to eat it leads
me to lean towards thinking it might be Bryopsis. After mechanically
removing it, it likes to grow as one long stalk that eventually branches
out and more grow at the base. With this pattern and often growing in my
Zoa colonies, it has been a pain in the ass and I'm hoping that I will
be able to groom it into remission with nutrient reduction and
mechanical removal, but without that I'm seriously considering trying
the Fluconazole as an alternative if nothing else works. Are there any
creatures I could try that might like the taste?
I've had phenomenal success with emerald crabs for bubble algae and
bumble bee snails for Vermetidae over the years!
Now for the crazy (at least I think so) story. Amazon, in error, sent me
Seachem's "Flourish Excel" instead of the Iodine and being slightly
inebriated and admittedly a total idiot about it, I didn't notice until
I dosed the tank!!! Yikes!
I do not run carbon and read that it wouldn't be a big deal but I was
worried it would increase the algae issue I was already having or affect
my inverts/corals. Of course it did, but interesting only two colonies
of Montipora.... Now I have 5 colonies in total at different areas of
the tank (1 rainbow, 3 sunset, 1 reverse sunset). The two largest
colonies are sunset Montis about 3"x5" and 2"x4" sprawling over uneven
rock. The two largest colonies are from the same mother colony and the
third smaller colony I attained by mistake from a dishonest LFS. The two
larger colonies are in totally separate parts of the tank (elevation,
flow, and lighting) and began bleaching the next day. I assumed the
bubble tips were stinging one of them (and moved them), but then noticed
it's brother bleaching as well! Putting two and two together I
eventually found a few posts of people mentioning how activated carbon
affected their Monti colonies and am suspecting that it happened here
too. It is very perplexing
because none of the others showed any signs of damage what-so ever
including the other sunset which has the same coloration (but is from a
different mother colony). Within a few days the bleaching and polyp
death covered 95% of both colonies with only a few small living patches
remaining with a very clear demarcation line between the dead (dying?)
portions and healthy tissue. I did some water changes the next few days
and am happy to say that I think they are coloring back up (though the
polyps are not there)... then again it might just be diatoms and algae
setting in, but I'm optimistic. Of course, I also got the actual iodine
since and have been dosing that.
Additionally when I attained these sickly Montis they were dying and
they recovered in my tank so hoping they can pull through and color back
up. I took some pictures of them at near their worst if you're
interested and it would be the most remarkable recovery and compelling
evidence that there might be a strong link to them and carbon.
<Do please send along>
I also wonder if they are particularly sensitive to it because the
hobbyist that gave them to me may have been running carbon and they
developed a sensitivity. If you have any thoughts on the situation I'd
love to hear them and send another update once I have it.
<Carbon/s are a very big topic, source of issues... there isn't just a
one way fits all, causes trouble with C...>
Angelfish egg bound? 2/21/18
I have a 500 litre aquarium running with two external canister filters a
UV steriliser and an ocean free internal filter. No water quality
problems, I test weekly and change a third of the water weekly.
I have four angelfish
and seven comet goldfish, that have been living together for six months.
<Mmm; not really compatible. Like different water quality...
hard/alkaline vs. soft/acidic; temperate vs. tropical... OVER eager
eaters vs. more shy.
Different temperaments as well.>
The temperature is 24 C. My goldies spawn about once a week throughout
the summer and occasionally in the winter. Two of my angels paired up
and have spawned for the first time a couple of weeks ago, although they
tended the eggs for about four days they didn't hatch.
<Might be two females...>
The problem I have was with my other angel. I am pretty sure she is
female as the other female and her bicker, nothing vicious though.
<Shouldn't be too problematical in a system this size>
My other male looked like his breeding tube was down and has been
swimming with her. Anyway she got really fat and I thought she was
gravid as she has been eating well until she refused the last feed I put
in the tank but she seemed fine, swimming normally not hiding,
interacting with the others. I went to the other room to feed my discus
<!? You have Symphysodon too?!>
came back and she was on the bottom of the tank on her side and died
within minutes, no previous signs of distress only that she looked very
fat. What happened?
<Got me. Bizarre>
I was only gone for 20 minutes. Was she egg bound and ruptured or
something? Or was she constipated?
<Can't tell from here>
When my fish poop, it normally breaks of straight away and doesn't hang
there. I am trying to convince myself to cut her open to check but I
don't think I can do it.
<Did you refrigerate the corpse? Time enough to get on down to a large
library and check out a book on fish dissection. Look for the name Ed
If she was egg bound is there anything that can be done if it were to
happen again to my other angel?
<More small crustacean food in their diet. Brine Shrimp, Daphnia...>
She had no outward signs of disease or injury, her belly was just very
bloated. I felt her stomach and the swelling was softish not hard and I
could feel some tiny hard lumps. I feed mostly frozen food,
<I'd delete these; see WWM re>
brine shrimp, krill and an insect based dried food.
I do feed peas once a day but I think the goldies eat most of them and
the angels spit them out. Any advice greatly appreciated so that I can
take immediate action if my other angels start getting swollen. All
other fish are pooping normal, with no obvious signs of internal
parasites. I have some Praziquantel to hand if you think I should treat
with it but I don't want to medicate for no reason.
<If you have another system, I'd separate the goldfish and angels. Bob
Can I add another fish, and if so, what safely?
Hello WWM Crew,
I have an established FOWLR tank that I am wondering if I can safely add one
additional fish to the mix, in your collective wise opinions, and if so what
would be reasonable?
I have a Marineland 300DD (6'x3'x27") that has been running for about six and
half years now. I have a sand bed that is not ideal, about about 1.5 - 2 inches
in depth, but at this point it would probably more trouble to take out sand that
to just leave it as it is. Water parameters are nitrates ~10 ppm, no nitrites or
ammonia, alkalinity 9 KH. I don't often test pH but it is generally in the 8.1 -
8.2 range (low, I know).
Centerpiece fish is a Platax orbicularis that I have had for six years.
<A neat animal>
The fish is about the size of a luncheon plate and doesn't really care about the
existence of any of the other fish in the tank. I have the rockwork arranged in
two islands near the opposite ends of the tank so as to leave a lot of swimming
space for the bat. A Neoniphon sammara has been in the tank for more than five
years but less than the bat, call it 6" in length. Sargocentron diadema (5" -
6") for about three years, then within the last year and a half has been a
Pterois radiata (presently about 5" - 6"), a Zebrasoma xanthurum (about silver
dollar sized), another Pterois radiata (about 3") and most recently a Siganus
virgatus (about 4"). The only invertebrate is a Eucidaris tribuloides -
breaks the biome theme but my maintenance guy at the time needed to relocate it
from another customer's tank which it had outgrown. That was about four years
ago - the test is about the size of a squash ball, with spines out to close to
What I want is something that is likely to be active and add some additional
color and motion to the tank. The tang often sticks to the caves that I have set
up on one side of the tank where the S. diadema and the S. virgatus often hang
out. The N. sammara swims about and the S. virgatus does as well. Of course, the
P. orbicularis is out and
about all the time and is quite the active swimmer.
Reading through this site with particular fish in mind, I find that butterflies
might not adjust well with the tang already present, dwarf angels might still be
too aggressive for the fish already present and something like a Coris gaimard
might be a threat to the urchin, though the sand bed that I have would be good
<Many... a trio of Heniochus acuminatus would be nice, or Hemitaurichthys
species... as you mention Chaetodontids. There are several other
possibilities... basses, triggers, puffers...>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Can I add another fish, and if so, what safely?
Thank you for the quick response.
I've gotten the impression that basses aren't all that active.
<Some more than others>
Puffers and triggers I have always been told are risky at best with lions,
though the Xanthichthys triggers are
supposed to be a safer bet. Do the filefishes have the same concerns, given they
are closely related?
<The smaller species are pretty safe. BobF>
Re: dinoflagellates swimming
Thank you. The movie is basically just the Dinos swimming around. I
wonder if this has come in from natural seawater?
<Easily... could be stained w/ iodine... if you'd read>
I have it an a few aquariums all of the sudden and this is the most
common factor. I am wondering if I can use hydrogen peroxide to
disinfect the sea water when it is delivered to me.
<... please stop writing and read what is archived on WWM>
Or, I have been told I can use chlorine and then sodium thiosulfate.
<Yes; as stated on WWM, other sources I've penned as protocols>
I would rather not do this. Or would a UV be best? or even ozone? Do you
have an opinion on this?
<Almost too late. Read. B>
Snowflake Eel Swollen Snout 2/19/18
my smaller snowflake eel has a swollen snout as you can see from the picture.
<Actually I can't.>
I'm guessing it's like a swollen sinus for something. But I'm not sure. He is
still eating great and water quality is pretty much perfect due to it being a
Do you have any idea what this is?
<Swelling can be the start of an infection, but as noted above I can't see it.>
Is there a way to treat it? So far I am dosing Seachem Stressguard and vitamins
in case it is some sort of infection.
<Yes, dosing vitamins to the food and providing a perfect water quality is what
I would do here.>
Thank you. Jinoo Kim
<Good luck. Marco.>
Re: Water softened by potassium chloride safe?
My source water from my tap (believe it or not) is basically RO with
<... where is the hardness coming from?>
That is the purification process our small water treatment plant uses
Previously they used another method of purification and the tap water
was quite hard and alkaline, thus the RO system in kitchen and whole
house water softener system. They switched to RO because our water comes
nearby river that is brackish. It connects to the Gulf of Mexico.
My house water softener uses potassium chloride, not sodium.
So, sodium is not a concern here.
Too difficult to bypass the water softener and just use tap.
My question is about the safety of the additional or residual potassium
chloride in the softened water through my tap. Would it be good or bad
for soft water fish? I'm guessing my plants would enjoy it.
<I doubt you'll have a problem here. Not much ion exchange likely going
Thanks again Bob!
Photo usage 2/19/18
Hi Bob (or to whom it may concern):
Dr. Tim Wijgerde is publishing a new study titled "Epizoic acoelomorph flatworms
inhibit growth and expansion of the soft coral Cladiella sp." that will soon
appear in Advanced Aquarist. He came across a photo hosted on WWM that he would
like permission to use in his paper. Let me know if it's possible for him to use
the following photograph (with
accreditation to wetwebmedia.com):.
<This is my image and I do grant free use of it here.
<Make it known if you want the full size file.
Re: Photo usage 2/19/18
Thank you Bob! I'll credit to you and WWM in the paper.
<Real good Len. Cheers, BobF>
French Angel with Fin Rot or nodule disease(?)
I was hoping you could offer some advice. I am treating a French angel with a
nasty case of what I first thought was fin rot.
It has eaten away most of its streamer and there are a few other nodules on his
pectoral fins (see pics). When it first appeared I tried treating the fish with
a combined Kanaplex and Metroplex mix. After the 5 days I saw no improvement. I
did a 20% water change and switched to Maracyn Plus. I have just completed the
3rd treatment (day 1,3 and 5). I am seeing a small improvement - not sure if
it's the Maracyn or the fact that I pulled the fish out and dabbed some iodine
on the infection two days ago. Should I retreat with Maracyn Plus (after another
water change)? If it's a virus (Lymphocystis?)
<Appears to be so; yes>
then I don't know that an antibiotic would do any good. Should I try something
I hate to keep throwing drugs at it.
<No antibiotic will help here. Please read the linked files at top here:
There is a Pearlscale butterfly in the same QT tank that shows no infection
(they are together because they were purchased at the same time). The Pearlscale
eats well. The French eats sparingly from time to time. The goby in the
background is in another QT tank.
<I'd physically trim off the bit here... sharp scissors. Daub with a bit of
Mercurochrome, Merthiolate... with a Q-tip. Bob Fenner>
Re: dinoflagellates swimming 2/19/18
<Uh, Marc; am out in Moorea... can't download 21 meg files>
Hi, under a microscope. I scooped this from the sand along with a piece of
thicker algae in the prefilter. These were abundant on the thick piece.
<The chunky bit is some sort of green, possibly brown algae... NOT
Dinoflagellates. The 'scope pic does appear to be Dinoflagellate... READ
Both extremely cropped, spiffed.
Dinoflagellates swimming 2/18/18
This is a video of one of the strangest thing I have seen. I have this
aquarium with Dinos. I blacked out the aquarium for 5 days. I added H2O3
<H202? Hydrogen peroxide?>
for 5 days at 10ml per 10 gallons. After I removed the cover the
aquarium looked pretty good. There wasn't much algae visible. I turned
on the light and in about 1 minute the algae was everywhere. It looks
swimming all over the tank.
Please look at this video I uploaded to YouTube...
<Mmm; I don't think this/these are Dinoflagellates, but... have to see
under a microscope>
What do you suggest I can do to get rid of it?
<Well; fine-mechanical filtration would be my primary; with knowing what
this is providing predation, depriving nutrient (through chemical
filtrant use, favouring other life... in culture in a refugium, DSB...)>
<Please send along a pic of a sample magnified 2-400 times. Bob Fenner>
Re: More Thorichthys issues 2/18/18
An update: the two affected fish haven't died yet, but no more have shown any
<Well, that's promising.>
I treated with two doses of Levamisole. No Praziquantel or Flubendazole to be
found. But a local drugstore will carry Prazi in a few days.
I also took the fish out and gave then a bath on Epsom salts, considering that
could help them evacuate whatever is causing the issues.
<Not how Epsom salts work; and besides, suddenly exposing fish to changes in
water chemistry and temperature isn't a good idea. Assuming you're using the
'safe' dose of Epsom salt described earlier, it'll work slowly in the aquarium,
but won't have time to do anything if you're merely dipping fish for a few
minutes in such a concentration. What else to say except that 'scattergun'
approaches to medicating are rarely effective, and often stressful. Better to do
nothing than to mis-use medications.>
Pic related its the biggest aureus affected, can you notice the white bulge
coming out of its anus?
<Looks like the ovipositor to me. No more than a few mm long even on big
cichlids. Angled backwards and pointed on males, thicker and rounder on females.
Often visible all the time on males, but usually only visible immediately (no
more than a day or two) before spawning on females.>
Fish affected display it, and right now the condition has worsened on this
fellow. He is getting skinny due to not eating and the bulge is getting
bigger... Like a shin, it is red around the area right now. He's not moving
much, i don't think he's going to make it.
The other affected maculipinnis is still going around the tank, but hasn't
eaten, but, he is evacuation ample white, stringy feces.
<Classic symptom of Hexamita, but do understand many anti-Helminthics will cause
the bowel to evacuate large quantities of faeces, plus mucous, as part of the
way they work.>
The bath consisted of 1 tblsp of Epson salt in a gallon of water.
<So 5 tablespoons per 5 US gallons; to remind you/readers of the correct dosage
as a medication, 1 to 3 tablespoons Epsom salt per 5 US gallons/20 litres.
Higher dosages, as you're doing, may be tolerated by hard water fishes, but do
monitor pH and general hardness to ensure they are within the safe limits.>
<You're welcome. Neale.>
Re: More Thorichthys issues But, this time, autopsy!
I am sorry for messaging so much (double messaging even) things just seem to be
going downhill without much in my power to do...
The biggest aureus, which i showed a picture of in my earlier message, finally
succumbed. I quickly scooped him out and tried to find anything i could.
Surprise, he also had an eye parasite... these look like and move like worms...
like, leeches... i would say they act and move like leeches, white in color with
some red dots on the lower body... i have a video, if you would like to see it,
i will send it to you bad quality video by the way.
<While that would be interesting, I do think
Then, i performed an autopsy on the swollen belly of the deceased. I found
this.. worm, immobile, lying tangled in the organ that is also shown in the
picture... warning, graphic.
<Looks like a nematode. Could be a harmless species though: a dead fish will
attract them out of the aquarium environment, where they otherwise feed on
decaying organic matter.>
Levamisole is ineffective to this. There is another Thorichthys showing
symptoms, the one i showed you before with an eye parasite. It doesn't seem to
be getting worse, but isnt getting better either, eventually starvation will set
in i guess...
<Ah, do think I have mentioned this before. Flubendazole and Fenbendazole are, I
believe, the 'best' anti-Helminthics drug aquarists have access to; Piperazine,
Levamisole and Praziquantel are good, but by no means 100% effective. These
latter are cheaper and more easily obtained though, hence their wide usage in
The remaining three of the Thorichthys (of a total of 10 originally....) seem to
be doing completely fine. No eye parasite, no weird behavior, feeding a lot and
generally acting like a cichlid.
<Which is nice.>
Main questions are: Are these parasites (eye and intestinal, which seem to be
different parasites) contagious at this point?
<Impossible to say. Most 'worm' parasites have intermediate hosts such as snails
or small crustaceans that they need to enter before producing the next
generation of infective stages that will go after your fish. There are
exceptions though, including Camallanus, which is why that genus of worm is so
prevalent in fish farms and even home aquaria. Camallanus worms infect healthy
fish via organic muck eaten from the substrate, so 'hoovering' the substrate
will go some way to removing the baby Camallanus worms. The precautionary
approach would be to keep the health fish isolated (i.e., in another tank) from
the infected ones, and to ensure the healthy fish do not become exposed to water
(buckets, nets, etc.) from the unhealthy fish tank. I would strip down the
healthy tank as far as practical, so that it can be kept thoroughly clean.>
i made sure to remove any dead bodies rapidly from the tank.
The planted tank has a collection of characins, Kribensis, and ugh... my
precious Plecos.... Is there any risk of infection?
<While many parasites are species-specific, unfortunately the worm-like
parasites do tend to be generalists, or at least adaptable. Medicating all fish
exposed to the infected fish is certainly wise.>
should i move the remaining affected fish?
<The ideal would be to remove all infected fish to a clean hospital tank;
medicate as effectively as possible (i.e., Praziquantel if that's what you have,
but Fenbendazole or flubendazole if possible). Leave the healthy fish where they
are, but clean the tank as far as practical (to get rid of any parasites in the
gravel, etc.) and generally give the tank a good tidy up to ensure excellent
water quality, stable water chemistry, and maximum oxygen levels.>
should i also remove the Thorichthys that are healthy? any...measurements?....
im really scared right now.
<Understood. I think you've been unlucky here, but cichlids do travel badly, and
there is a problem in the hobby with cichlids picking up various parasites (such
as Hexamita and Camallanus) on fish farms, wholesalers, and at retailers.
Quarantining expensive cichlids is certainly recommended, and prophylactic
treatment for Hexamita, and possibly Camallanus, can make a lot of sense. Good
Water softened by potassium chloride safe?
Is water that has been softened by a water softener system that uses
potassium chloride safe for a light to moderately planted freshwater
<Mmm; depends; mostly on how "softened" the water has been, with the
exchange, addition of sodium here. What is the make up (GH, KH) of your
Presently I've been using water from my RO system and remineralizing
with SeaChem Equilibrium to bring the gH up to around 7 degrees and
buffer it to pH of 6.6. I have Columbian tetras and other softer water
fish. It's a
rather tedious process making up water for water changes using my
kitchen's RO system which is painfully slow. I have heard conflicting
information on safety of using water softened with potassium chloride
and was curious
what your thoughts were on the topic. It would make collecting water for
water changes so much faster since I could take it from the tap but I'm
all about keeping my fish healthy.
<You can either get/use a sodium test kit, have someone else test for...
or do the bio-assay bit of just trying/using the softened water. Bob
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