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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Turkey Wing Bivalve fell off the rock!     2/19/19
<Morning. Mandy>
I have some man made live rock from Florida,....and it is as the gentleman told me when we spoke, all covered in filter feeders.
I am having a wonderful time looking very very close and seeing all the fan worms and other filter feeders on it. Some are so tiny!
Like this hydroid colony. Some are bigger....and the clams are huge!
It also came with 4 clams. I believe they are Turkey Wings....there are two huge ones, one middle size one and one tiny one.
<Yes, they are Ark clams>
I feed Coral Frenzy coral food 2 times a week,...with the power head on and the filter off for about 1/2 an hour.
I never see any of these clams open, I see a little white tube sticking out of one of the big ones all the time and they do shift their positions sometimes. But other than that, they don't seem to ever open up. Maybe Turkey Wings don't open?
<They do, when feeding or moving but remain most of the time closed>
I am worried that the one that fell off the rock might die and kill off my tank......how can I tell if he's dead or alive?
<When they die, they get loose/opened>
He's very heavy, if that helps, and he's very tightly close up. I can't even see where the foot fell off!
Here are pictures, let me know what you think, I don't want to take him out if he's not dead, but don't want him to die in the tank either.
< Take it out of the water for a moment and do a simple “smell test”, it should have a fresh ocean smell.>
Hope these help,....the other clams look just about the same. Are they supposed to OPEN up? They do react when I get close to them,....but I never see any sign of them opening up any appreciable amount. }
<As long as they react when you touch them, they are likely fine.>
Thank you very much again,
Mandy <Welcome. Wil.>

Re: Turkey Wing Bivalve fell off the rock!     2/19/19
Thank you, Wil,!!
<You’re welcome!>
I just went over and reached up over the clam to check his smell, and he moved! He saw me coming!
<Ahh… great!>
They don't even have eyes, do they??????
<They don’t have eyes, but photoreceptor cells… that’s why it “saw you coming”>
So, I guess he's ok. I put him up in the middle of some rock where there is a nice soft flow of water.
Will he make a new foot?
<Did you actually saw the foot fall? >
<Cheers. Wil.>
Re: Turkey Wing Bivalve fell off the rock!     2/19/19

I don't know, I saw the part that was attached to the rock,...I sent you a picture. It's still there.
<Mmm… that looks like something else, I'd try to remove it with tweezers...I think your bivalve is fine. please keep me/us posted. Wil.>
Re: Turkey Wing Bivalve fell off the rock!     2/19/19

But the clam was attached to that! Wasn't he? How else did he hand onto the rock?
<I see;….as long as the clam looks fine I wouldn't worry, if it has lost part of the appendage,
it will heal on its own in a few days; just keep an eye on it and if possible remove the remains on the rock. Wil.>
Re: Turkey Wing Bivalve fell off the rock!     2/19/19

I looked bivalves up on Google and the Encyclopedia Britannica had a really good article on them,....it said that some like to live in the sand, others like the rocks and some of those that choose rocks make themselves a kind of shoe with glands on their foot....to hold on. I think what I see is what is left on the rock, It's a hollow shoe that's attached to the rock by some fibers. I tried to remove it, but it's really on there tight, and it really is just a sheath. The inside is empty. Like an empty shoe. How awesome is that!
Here, I copied the important part for you.
"A triangular form, ventral flattening, and secure attachment to firm substrates by byssal threads (byssus; proteinaceous threads secreted by a gland on the foot) have allowed certain bivalves to colonize hard surfaces on wave-swept shores. The byssus is a larval feature that is retained by adults of some bivalve groups, such as the true mussels (family Mytilidae) of marine and estuarine shores and the family Dreissenidae of fresh and estuarine waters. Such a shell form and habit evolved first within sediments
(endobyssate), where the byssus serves for anchorage and protection when formed into an enclosing nest. "
https://www.britannica.com/animal/bivalve here is the link to the article.
I think this article is saying that his foot secreted a fiber which they use to make a safe enclosed space for their "foot", so the foot is safe from predators and held firmly to the rock.
I guess he just decided to move and that was him letting go of the shoe he made for himself. I never realized how much the Encyclopedia helped with research. It's so "Old school", but the article was great.
I guess we both learned something new tonight!
Have a good night and thanks for trying to help.
<Thanks to you for sharing, Mandy! Wil.>


More Fish IDs     2/19/19
Please help in IDing the fishes in the photos. Thanks.
<The one in the first pic looks like some kind of Serranidae and the second one, an Ornate Leopard Wrasse (Macropharyngodon ornatus).>
<Cheers. Wil.>

Re: More Fish IDs     2/19/19
Thanks Again
<Welcome, Beta. Wil.>

Re: Pairing gobies     2/19/19
Thanks so much Bob, you give me confidence :). I will give it a go and let you know the result.
<Thank you Nicole! BobF>

Re: Icp test questions... S2 issue      2/19/19
What are some sources for boron and ways to remove it?
<I would stick to frequent partial water changes, use of PolyFilter, Chemi-Pure or such IN a biological system. B>
Re: Icp test questions     2/19/19

Now would lent ph buffer be my source?
Was just reading an arrival from randy Holmes on effects of boron levels
<... What? "Lent"?... Do you mean Kent?
Do you see Sulfur listed as an ingredient? I don't.
Re: Icp test questions     2/19/19

> Subject: Re: Icp test questions
> Now would lent ph buffer be my source?
> Was just reading an arrival from randy Holmes on effects of boron levels
> <... What? "Lent"?... Do you mean Kent?
Yes Kent dhk buffer also looks like calcium reactors can be a source according To the article if it is not coming from the source water
> http://www.integrachem.com/msds/B8579Q_26698_101.pdf
> B>
<Please write out your queries. >

Goldfish Listless need help /RMF     2/19/19
Hi and thanks for your help,
I have a 22 year old goldfish who has been very listless at bottom of tank for about 1 week. He will eat if encouraged but does not come to eat unless encouraged. He's in a 55 gallon tank had ph 7.5 I buy spring water for his tank have for 8 years.
<Mmm; does this store-bought water have sufficient hardness, alkalinity?>
no nitrite or ammonia in tank. Some nitrate but not above 40ppm.
<Do please see WWM re Nitrate control. I would strive to keep this under 20 ppm>
His scales fins look good and his eyes. His fins are clamped though. I change water every 12 days to two weeks max. I use a bit of aquarium salt but not to excess about 1 tablespoon per ten to 15 gallons.
I treated him for parasites as he had a very long white poop and clamped fins. But the treatment didn't help. ( called general cure by API).
<Am familiar>
Is constipation the problem ?
<Doubtful; almost assuredly environmental; the Nitrate et al.>
I am not feeding him his normal tetra flake food now. I fed him a few baby organic spinach leaves I had boiled first yesterday. Nothing today yet. When he does swim he looks fine. He is not breathing heavily. His gills appear normal. He isn't breathing very obviously. He is normal in color - a large /white fish about the size of my hand. He had seemed slightly bloated but he has never been thin so can't tell if he actually was bloated or not. He ate the spinach offered last night.
Thank you !
Lina and Fishy
<Were it mine, I'd execute a good sized water change (perhaps 15-20 gallons); add some sodium bicarbonate (maybe five teaspoons, mixed in the new water), and (try to) be patient.
<Goldfish do "go through spells" of inactivity at time; though likely metabolite poisoning is at play here a bit... most easily reduced via dilution/water change, addition of a bit of bicarb., and salt.
Bob Fenner>
Goldfish Listless need help /Neale      2/19/19

Hi and thanks for your help, I have a 22 year old goldfish who has been very listless at bottom of tank for about 1 week. He will eat if encouraged but does not come to eat unless encouraged. He's in a 55 gallon tank had ph 7.5 I buy spring water for his tank have for 8 years . no nitrite or ammonia in tank. Some nitrate but not above 40ppm. His scales fins look good and his eyes. His fins are clamped though. I change water every 12 days to two weeks max. I use a bit of aquarium salt but not to excess about 1 tablespoon per ten to 15 gallons. I treated him for parasites as he had a very long white poop and clamped fins. But the treatment didn't help. (
called general cure by API). Is constipation the problem ?
<Certainly sounds like one possibility. Listlessness, lack of appetite, and long stringy faeces can be indicators of constipation. Do read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/gldfshmalnut.htm
Going to suggest some further reading, re: diet, housing, etc., here:
Most problems with Goldfish are caused by diet and environment; while infections do occur, they're rare, and when they do happen, there's usually some environmental or dietary cause.>
I am not feeding him his normal tetra flake food now. I fed him a few baby organic spinach leaves I had boiled first yesterday. Nothing today yet.
When he does swim he looks fine. He is not breathing heavily. His gills appear normal. He isn't breathing very obviously. He is normal in color - a large /white fish about the size of my hand. He had seemed slightly bloated but he has never been thin so can't tell if he actually was bloated or not.
He ate the spinach offered last night.
<Well, that's promising! Do also try cooked peas, squished to make them easier to eat. Many other green foods will be eaten; see above links.>
Thank you !
Lina and Fishy
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish Listless need help     2/19/19

Thank you so much !! He is better this afternoon so I fed him his usual but not as much as usual. I will start adding greens with his food a few times per week
<Real good>
The water has never been a problem but air am testing it now for alkalinity. I had added some more aquarium salt this morning. Thank you Thank you thank you ! PS I've added a Nitrazorb pouch to his filter to
bring the nitrates down. Lina
<Very good indeed. Thank you DW II! BobF>
Re: Goldfish Listless need help     2/19/19

Hi Bob I tested the tank water for KH it is 5 degrees or about 100ppm according to the test kit and the GH is 11 degrees or about 200ppm. but Every time I do test the PH it is 7.4 exactly. What do you think ?
<These values are okay... Is your tap/source water not suitable by itself?
Bottled water is not only inconvenient and expensive, but often unnecessary. DO you drink, cook w/ your tap water? If so, it is fine for your aquarium use. DO read on WWM re water treatment>
My 22 year old gold fish has revived a lot today. Don't want to mess up his health as it seems improving from yesterday and last week. The tap water here is terrible so I have been buying natural spring water which I always test called Earth20. Supposedly it is 100 percent natural spring water from Opal Springs Culver Oregon. Have been using this same brand for 8 years in the tank with fine result.
Thanks again for your input !
Luna ( dancer and fish enthusiast. - but I am not a scientist although I do try !)
<Cheers Lina. BobF>
Re: Goldfish Listless need help      2/19/19

Thank you No I don't drink the tapwater it is 14 ph !
<.... Mmm; not this basic I'd warrant... Like drinking drain or oven cleaner... but you make the point>
It's an old well. I drink what the fish drinks. Thank you for the input on those values.
Cheers.! Lina Downes
<Cheers Lina. BobF>

Re: Sailfin Tang Heavy Breathing... Now spg vs. salinity, conductivity...     2/18/19
Hi Bob,
<Hey Charles>
Regarding your point about the difference in salinity and specific gravity - in your opinion, is it worthwhile purchasing a conductivity meter to have a second measurement? Would this be useful in identifying potential issues when the readings don’t match?
<Mmm; possibly... This general statement re: GIVEN folks doing frequent partial water changes (10-20% a week let's say), NOT having too much "other" sources of dissolved solids (e.g. foods/wastes, dissolving substrates, supplements...) utilizing a simple hydrometer or (better) refractometer and relying on it solely is likely fine>
<And you, Slippery Slope BobF>

Re: Yellow Eyed tang. Disease Ed. if they read      2/18/19
I haven't moved any fish yet. I wasn't sure if it was stress related due to the larger Foxface who can be a big jerk. Thanks for info, I'll read it.
<Do so.

Pseudojuloides ID     2/18/19
Hi Team,
Can you please ID this wrasse and let me know if it's reef safe. Thanks.
<Yes, it is a Royal Pencil Wrasse (Pseudojuloides severnsi). It is reef safe. Cheers. Wil >

Re: Pseudojuloides ID     2/18/19
Thanks Wil
<You're most welcome. Wil.>

Pairing gobies     2/18/19
Hi crew, I currently have a large (6") pink spotted watchman goby in a 6 foot 150 gallon aquarium. His territory takes up the left 3rd of the tank, he never ventures to the other side.
A friend is selling a 3" 'blue spot' watchman goby (which I believe is just a different colour variation of a yellow watchman goby?) with a red banded pistol shrimp.
<Might be the Cryptocentrus cinctus. See my pix here:
I am curious what you believe the likely outcome would be if I added this goby and shrimp to my setup.
<Likely will get along, possibly pair up!>
A. The two gobies would pair and/or share a cave. B. The new goby would setup territory on the right hand side of the tank and both gobies would ignore each other or C. The existing goby will harass or kill the new goby.
I have read a lot on pairing watchman gobies and I believe they would pair if they were both pink spots or both yellow but really haven't been able to find any info on two different watchmans pairing.
Thank you for your assistance on helping me make my decision :)
<Were this my system, set up, I'd try putting all together. Bob Fenner>

Help! My molly is on the gravel gasping for breath.       2/17/19
What is the water volume of the tank? 20g
How long has the tank been running? Since September 2018
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater<https://www.fishlore.com/amazon/heater>? Yes
What is the water temperature? 78f
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) 8 adult mollies<https://www.fishlore.com/Profiles-Mollies.htm> and platys, 8 itsy bitsy baby platys (that will be moved when they are bigger), two zebra Nerites<https://www.fishlore.com/amazon/neritesnail>
How often do you change the water? Weekly (tomorrow, Saturday, is water change day)
How much of the water do you change? 30%
What do you use to treat your water? AquaSafe<https://www.fishlore.com/amazon/aquasafe>
Do you vacuum the substrate<https://www.fishlore.com/amazon/substrate> or just the water? Just the water
*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes
What do you use to test the water? API<https://www.fishlore.com/amazon/api> liquid test<https://www.fishlore.com/amazon/testkit> kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0.25 ppm<https://www.fishlore.com/fishdictionary/p.htm#ppm>
<Toxic; and very debilitating for mollies... This is highly likely the cause of the position, gasping>
<Hopefully will be solved with the water change... I'd do NOW>
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 5.0 ppm
pH: 8.2
How often do you feed your fish? twice daily
How much do you feed your fish? a ground up pinch of flakes
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Aqueon<https://www.fishlore.com/amazon/aqueon>  Tropical Flakes
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? No
<I would add some "greenery" here. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollyfdgfaqs.htm>
Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? Since September 2018
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? Today
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? My male molly is lying on the gravel<https://www.fishlore.com/amazon/gravel> , gasping for breath
Have you started any treatment for the illness? no
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? no
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? Appearance is actually good
Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now) My male molly is lying on the gravel, gasping for breath. I noticed this when I was feeding them breakfast. He did eat, but has spent every other minute today on the gravel, gasping.
<Do you add a modicum of aquarium salt to this system? All the organisms you list, including the Nerite snails can tolerate, if not appreciate some. Please read Neale's piece here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollies.htm
Bob Fenner>

Guppy       2/17/19
I have a problem with guppy fish
<I see... the symptoms of Columnaris in your pix>
I've spent all the fish
I tried a lot but to no avail
Please help me and direct me to the medication that will save me from this disease .
<... Need information re your system, what else is in the tank; water quality test results, history of maintenance, treatment. DO READ on WWM re:
Bob Fenner>

Re: 3 y.o. Albino African Clawed Frog, Pinky       2/17/19
SHE ATE!!! She just snatched a freshly placed pellet and pulled it into her mouth!! So happy I could cry.
<Good news indeed.>
She only took one, but that's such an improvement. I often wonder if she has trouble seeing. Thank you again for all the feedback, so appreciated.
I will continue corresponding regarding her progress if you don't mind, until she's back to normal.
<Sure thing.>
It's like consulting with your mom when you have your first baby and feel lost and scared when they're sick and you have no idea as to what to do.
<Understood. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: 3 y.o. Albino African Clawed Frog, Pinky       2/17/19

Hello again....thought of another question. Pinky laid eggs twice recently. Every time she lays eggs, she ends up eating them, and I let her. After the first time she laid eggs 2 yrs ago. I read online that they could be removed from the tank or left and the frog would just eat them. Do you not recommend this?
<I remove the eggs from my Axolotl tank, and would remove doing so from a Xenopus tank too. Unlikely to cause ill health, but they are extra protein in the tank that will affect (negatively) water quality by placing additional workload on the filter. Whether alive or decaying, eggs will also be consuming some oxygen from the water. Cheers, Neale.>

Yellow Eyed tang... Adventures in SW Fish Disease, Learning        2/17/19
This fish was gorgeous when I bought it along with a Powder Brown Tang.
<This last species is often very touchy... susceptible to disease, loss>
Both were drip acclimated over time to my 125 that has A Fox face about 4'' long, and three fish about 2.5" Mocha clown, Huma, niger and 8 line wrasse.
I run two canisters FX6 and middle line Forza with UV. Use an Orbit light system on a timer, water PH, Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia, Phosphates look good, Salinity is 1.026 temp stays about 72. My Brown died after some white spots.
<Umm; your system is infested; still; likely w/ Cryptocaryon; possibly other pathogen/s>

I had A Mocha clown that got white spots and died.
<... "got">

My Yellow eye has white spots, splotches and large lips. It swims fine and appears to eat but it is looking thin. The other fish are clear of any issue.
I am at a loss.

Please respond using XXXX
<Where to start... Did you quarantine this livestock, do any sort of preventative, dip/bath... protocol to exclude pathogens?
Mmm; how to "ramp up" your understanding quickly, easily?
Please start by reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm
Then on to this: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm
Next, ScottF's pc: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm
Do write back after, and make known if you are not at a loss.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Sailfin Tang Heavy Breathing, I2 poisoning       2/17/19
Hi Crew,
A much delayed update on this situation:
So I sent out my water for an ATI ICP-OES test. It came back mostly good, with one huge and one marginal out of balance parameter:
Iodine was just under 40,000 micrograms per liter, nearly 1000 times what it should be!!!!!

<?! Where did this I2 come from?>
Salinity was low - 29.76 PSU. I'm not sure this was a good measurement - I ordered pinpoint calibration solution, recalibrated my refractometer, and was still getting an SG of 1.025. Not sure why the large discrepancy.
<Mmm; well... specific gravity is NOT the same as salinity... i.e., you could have other dissolved solids that are raising the former that are not salts.>
I think it's safe to say the iodine concentration was the cause of death of my fish, as well as the decline of so many corals. I had been dosing iodine, without testing.... bad reef-keeper.
<Aye yi yi... What is my mantra here? "Never dose/add something you can't and don't measure".>
I had been dosing iodine for nearly a decade, in the same manner (automatic doser for the last couple of
years) without testing and without noticeable issues - I had been under the impression that iodine dosing was critical for crustaceans building their exoskeleton.
<Well; yes; but very little. Many, likely most folks get by with the little that comes in w/ new synthetic water changes, foods>
In the fall, I switched brands to the two little fishies iodine concentrate and adjusted my dosing accordingly (I don't recall which I was dosing before, may have been Kent). I'm not sure if something weird happened at that time, or it was just accumulating over a very long time.
Regardless, after more reading about iodine and the mixed information on the need to dose for a healthy reef, I've decided to discontinue dosing iodine altogether.
Now, to remedy the iodine issue, I started doing several large (30%) water changes over the course of a couple of weeks. My corals started to respond within a few days of the first water change. Still not doing great, but starting on the road to recovery. I had also gone out and bought a Red Sea iodine test kit. My first test was, of course, completely off the scale of the test kit, which only goes up to 0.09 ppm. I wasn't surprised, really, when after 4 or 5 water changes, my readings were still off the chart, since the starting concentration was so high. At this point, I sat back and considered the fact that it would take months of water changes to get the iodine under control. I finally decided to just do a 100% water change. No fish in the system, and all the other parameters were within reason, so
nothing to lose with replacing it all.
<Mmm; you might add a "pad" of PolyFilter or a bag of ChemiPure in your filter flow path. These will absorb the leaching/back I2 over time.>
Finally, after the 100% water change (my dining room was filled with buckets and bins, and I learned my total system volume is actually about 75 gallons....), I checked my iodine levels and.... still off the chart.
<Ah yes... see above>
Something seemed strange with how the test kit was functioning, since the reaction is supposed to take 10-15 minutes, but seemed to complete instantaneously. Lo and behold..... my reagents had expired 1 month BEFORE I bought the test kit. I wasn't pleased. I did send a note to the LFS to let them know of this issue. I expect they don't sell many of these test kits, and a couple of forum posts indicated the Red Sea iodine reagents expire very quickly. I decided that, since I had just replaced all (except for a couple of gallons in plumbing, etc) of my water, there was no way the iodine was at lethal levels. My coral had already started to really respond and open up, regain color etc. So I moved my two survivors (the clown and sailfin - who had survived a bout of "black ich" in quarantine - thanks general cure) back into the main display. They are now happily swimming around, and the sailfin is starting to mow down an infestation of grape caulerpa that has taken over since his eviction.
<Some good news>
It looks like I'm finally back on track. I'll likely never dose iodine again - just not worth the trouble. Certainly won't dose without testing again.
Once I go a week with everyone still happy, I'll set up the quarantine tank again and begin to repopulate the tank - it just looks so lonely with 2 fish in there.
Thanks for all your advice. Hopefully any future emails will be with happier questions - like which dwarf angel I should put in there (leaning towards flame or coral beauty, since I'll be moving in the next couple of years and don't want to put a potter's through that stress).
<Thank you for your report. You've likely helped MANY other people to come.
Bob Fenner>

Yellow Canary Wrasse and Royal Gramma?     2/16/19
Hey! I have a shallow 60g with about 60lbs of liverock in a mixed reef.
Have had my Yellow Wrasse for over a year, and was thinking of introducing a Royal Gramma. I know both are peaceful, but have a concern with the similar shape and mid-range habitat. Is it a bad idea? Other tank mates: Yellow Watchman Goby, two 3" Picasso Clowns, and a 3.5" Coral Beauty Angel.
<I give you good odds that all these fishes will mix, get along here. If it were me, mine, I'd go ahead with plans to put this assortment together. Bob Fenner>

3 y.o. Albino African Clawed Frog, Pinky  14 megs...   2/16/19
My female frog laid eggs twice last month and seemed lethargic before and after, which is her normal behavior during this time.
<And not uncommon among amphibians, post-egg-laying.>
The lethargy didn't go away and her tank was pretty filthy, but she was eating, as far as I know.
<Always a good indicator of overall health; if you see your frog eating, it's probably okay, or at least treatable even if there are signs of injury or disease.>
This past Monday when I came home and went over to her and looked at her face to face, the tip of her face (nose and mouth area) looked cyanotic. I panicked and figured her tank water was possibly poisoning her or asphyxiating her, so I quickly took her out of her tank and put her in her temporary tank with straight tap water.
<When amphibians (or for that matter fish) look oxygen-starved, a good approach is to lower the water level so that splashing from the filter is increased. This raises oxygen level. Since water quality might also be a factor, doing a substantial water change is always a good idea too. Physically transporting stressed animals to another tank might be worth doing, but only if the new aquarium has otherwise identical conditions (water chemistry and temperature in particular) or at the very least you slowly adapt them (which might be necessary if the home aquarium was too warm, for example, and while cooling the frogs down is necessary, you'd need to do so in stages to avoid shock).>
There was no time to let the water air itself out for 24hrs. I figured it couldn't be any worse than the water she was in, which seemed to be hurting her.
<Unfortunately this isn't always a good approach. Sudden changes, even to the better, can cause shock. Best to make small, incremental changes across a long period of time. For example, you could lower the waterline to increase splashing from the filter, while changing 10-20% of the water every couple of hours.>
I also remembered talking to a worker at a PetSmart who said he had the same species frog and kept it in a small tank in the bathroom and always just replaced the water with straight tap.
<Unwise. Chlorine will cause stress. Some water contains ammonia too, and again, severe source of stress.>
I then proceeded to clean the entire tank, complete water and media change in the filter.
<Do not change all of the filter media please, ever! No more than 50% at any one time, and at least 6 weeks before changing more media. Chemical media, such as carbon, is the exception. But filter wool, ceramic noodles, sponges, etc. should not be changed too often.>
I did leave the slightest, slightest water at the bottom of the tank with the gravel. Cleaned her plants, rocks, and cave by hand under tap water, didn't scrub them clean like I usually do to remove the greenish stuff that grows on them. I figured there was some good bacteria on there for her safety, since I did a 99% water change. There was a lot of old ReptoMin pellets and about 3 old shrimp mixed with the rocks, also some loose skin. The tank definitely needed a good clean.
<I dare say. But keep changes to a minimum. Cleaning out muck (e.g., with a net, or by removing rocks for cleaning under a tap, or by using a turkey baster to pipette out muck will all be fine). But doing a deep clean where you remove everything, even the water, is really a risky move. In theory it's fine if the new water is identical (water chemistry and temperature) to the old water, and the biological filter media is left intact, but these are things you should plan around before you get started. Otherwise, the risk is you'll remove the filtration bacteria and/or expose the frog or fish to dramatic changes in water chemistry and temperature.>
I had expired ammonia and nitrate/alkalinity strips which I used and the water indicated to me within normal limits. The cyanotic appearance on her face looked like it was worsening, and when I used the test strips in her temporary tank they didn't come out as good as her newly cleaned permanent tank, so I placed her bank into her permanent, full time tank, all within about 4 hrs. She seemed to settle back into her tank, but didn't eat anything. That was 3 days ago and still hasn't eaten anything at all.
<Looking at the photos, your frog looks bloated, very bloated. Chances are you're dealing with a bacterial infection. I'm going to direct you to some reading, here:
You're going to need antibiotics alongside aquarium salt (at a dose of around 2 gram per litre of water). The antibiotic will help deal with the infection, while the salt helps remove some of the bloating, reducing the symptoms.>
The clean tap water has now had a chance to air itself out, with her in the tank. Could it just be that everything was to shocking to her system?
<Could indeed.>
I would also say that today her face looks normal again, no more reddish purple appearance, thank goodness! The only thing she has ever eaten are ReptoMin pellets and freeze dried shrimp (which she normally LOVES, but wants no part of now), she doesn't eat anything at all. I just noticed that she's laying on top of her tall plant, which goes to the top of her water. She loves laying at the tippy top, but hadn't been doing that either, until now for a short while. She seems better today then yesterday, except for the not eating anything. I read in a website that they can go for a month without eating, so that would give me time to see improvement. What could be wrong, what can I do?
<See above.>
Should I wait and keep observing her, or should I take her to the animal hospital?
<Some vets can advise, but chances are they'll simply recommend antibiotics and salt as mentioned above. Xenopus are widely kept in labs, so there's a good literature available on their healthcare. This is unlike the situation for most other amphibians, which is one reason Xenopus are a good choice for hobbyists.>
They have specialists which specialize in exotic pets...I've never taken her anywhere. She's always been great. I'm attaching a few photos. I appreciate any help and guidance, thank you in advance.
Mary Luz
<Do hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: 3 y.o. Albino African Clawed Frog, Pinky     2/16/19
Hello Neale and thank you for your thorough response, I really appreciate everything you wrote.
<Glad to hear it!>
I know she may appear bloated to you, but not to me.
<Maybe not, but I do believe she looks bloated. If you very carefully handle her, you would feel she's a bit "puffy" to the touch, but I would not recommend trying this unless you understand how easily amphibians are damaged when handled roughly.>
She's normally bigger up top and her thighs are usually a lot more chunky.
She's definitely thinned out a lot along the bottom side of her back, I can see a thinner waist with the end of the ribcage I imagine. I mean, you know a lot better than I do as to what a bloated ACF looks like, so I don't really know.
<Do look on Google for some photos and make your comparisons. After all, you're best placed to judge, not me!>
If she takes the antibiotics and the salts and didn't really need them, can they hurt her?
<No, if used as stated. Xenopus tolerate salt very well, so 2 gram/litre will have no negative impact on her health. Wild specimens even occur in brackish water! The antibiotics will hopefully treat whatever underlying problem you're dealing with.>
Also, can she live up to a month without eating?
<Yes. Easily, if she was in good shape beforehand. Of course I'd still offer enticing meals every 4-5 days, and with luck, the medication and salt will kick in, and she'll be ready to eat a few days after you start treating her.>
By the time I order the antibiotics and salts and get them, it will be a few days. It would probably be quicker if I took her into the hospital?
<If you are prepared to do that, and a vet is willing to treat a frog (do call them first, some don't) then yes, a visit to the vet is always the best possible move.>
And hopefully they will have everything at hand. Do you have these supplies?
<No. I'm in England, where antibiotics are prescription-only, so I'd be visiting a vet for them. Salt, of course, is sold anywhere, and non-iodised (sometimes called "kosher") table salt will do the trick just fine. Just be sure to thoroughly dissolve the required dose in warm water first, then add it to the aquarium, a little at a time, across an hour or so. If your tank contains 60 litres for example, you'd dissolve 120 grams into a kitchen jug of warm water, and then add that in stages across an hour. With each subsequent water change, add the necessary amount to each bucket, so if you change 9 litres (a typical small bucket) then you'd add 18 grams to that bucket, dissolve thoroughly, then add to the tank.>
Are you in NJ by any chance.
Is she going to die?
<I hope not. Xenopus are extremely tough animals, which is why they're such popular lab animals. But amphibians are difficult to treat since we're not really clued up on their medical needs. So I'd be optimistic, but can't offer a guarantee.>
On Monday, when I put her into the temporary tank, I also remember the back of her left thigh starting to appear darkish purple under the skin. I was wondering if there was an organ there that was being affected at the time.
<Dark patches on the legs might be bruising, but do also be aware of Red Leg, described on the webpage on Xenopus health I sent you last time.>
That went away that night after I placed her back into her permanent cleaned tank. The only thing that stands out to me now, is a faint blemish she has on her chest/belly area, slightly to the left of her midline. It's very minor, but that's the only thing that stands out to me, except for her looking thinner. That blemish I have to say was there before Monday when I came home and she looked cyanotic. I thought maybe she had hurt herself somehow, but is still there. Could that be a sign of a bacterial problem?
<Could be; or bruising from rough handling.>
Thank you again for your help.
Mary Luz
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: 3 y.o. Albino African Clawed Frog, Pinky.... crashed our mail svc....  Another 17 plus megs... TOO LARGE FILES/Deleted  Sorry to all else who tried to write in; this person didn't follow our guidelines    2/16/19
I forgot to include this picture, I tried to get the blemish, but didn't come out to clear. Also, I took about an inch level of water tonight after reading your email, so the water has more splash and gets oxygenated better.
<That should help. Neale.>

Re: Acrylic Aquarium build.      2/15/19
I might as well run this by you. I noticed along one side at the bottom, the bottom isn’t straight.
It seems that the bottom isn’t perfectly flat and straight. 1/16” over 40” of the 60” length. I may cut the glue out. Create a proper gap and re fill with glue.
<Glue? What sort of product? Acrylic tanks are generally solvented, not glued.>
In case you don’t understand, the bottom fell away 1/16” over 40” of the 60” length.
<Am daft I guess... "fell away"?>
Or should I just leave it?
<I would likely leave it; modify the stand, or insert a foam sheet under to take up some of the stress here.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Acrylic Aquarium build.      2/15/19

Epoxy weld on 42. Side panels are standing on the bottom, in design.
<Yes; a solvent, not much "body" at all... And yes to the sides as they are: standard practice>
When gluing the bottom. I had .02” clearance all the way around the bottom (manufacture recommended min. Gap) except one area that was not in line.
<... gaps made with... piano or other wire are de rigueur. Not in line I don't like>
The gap opened to 1/16” to produce that bulge but that bulge was in turn filled with the epoxy unknowingly. (Epoxy SG42.) I will likely saw the seam and clamp straight and re fill with SG42 unless you object.
<Mmm; I hope I don't come across as (too) lazy; but I'd test, use this tank as is>
The rest of the bottom is perfect. The tank will sit on two layers of 3/4” plywood.
<And a thin sheet of Styrofoam twixt the tank and wood please>
<Cheers, B>

Re: Fish identity      2/15/19
found it threadfin fairy wrasse
<Ahh ... it's very similar to the (C. rubriventralis), glad you cleared the doubt! Greetings. Wil.>

2019 Guest Post Ideas      2/15/19
I hope you are well. I am Janice Wiging, Content Editor at nippyfish.net. Our website has 38 domain authority and monthly traffic is 13.4k.
<Ahh, have looked. Very nice>
I came across your website while looking for resources for my upcoming article & found the content on your website really engaging.
I'd love to contribute an original piece of writing to your website. Would you be open to considering a submission from me?
<Yes; we do purchase, post new content>
I have some topic ideas which I think would be a perfect fit for your website:
1) How we can feed a Betta Fish Step By Step?
2) Must Know Top 5 Betta Fish Food
3) How many days can a Betta fish go without food
Please select one from the above which suits you best, but I am open to suggestions.
<Mmm; I see these topics have been covered on your site, and elsewhere on the Net... adequately. Folks are sure to find, read them placed already via search tools.>
Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you soon.
<Thank you for your offer; and efforts in helping to provide useful, actionable information to fellow hobbyists. I encourage you to write, make submission to analog magazines in our field (ornamental aquatics); when you have enough graphics, text, to compile a given subject into an eBook, direct-to-print work.>
Best Wishes,
Janice Wiging
Content Editor| www.nippyfish.net
<And you, Bob Fenner, Head Cheerleader, WWM>

Re: Help my turtle please T^T       2/14/19
Thanks for the tip and help!
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Re: White/red spots on pectoral fins of cichlids       2/14/19
Thank you so much WWM! These two are always getting into tussels with one another which is why I keep a divider on hand. This is very good news to know that this is caused by physical trauma rather than a parasite and/or a bacterial infection.
<IF bacterial, this is secondary... opportunistic from a break in the skin.
Not parasitic.

Re: Nerite snails in isolation tank       2/14/19
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Re: Now: Corydoras/Betta/Frog compatibility; (was: F8 puffer care)       2/14/19
Oh the puffer Is in a separate tank by himself but I give them the same food for most of the time blood worms and brine shrimp
<Cool. Do try and offer as broad a variety as possible (fish and seafood fillet for example) to avoid vitamin deficiencies. Mussels and prawns in particular are cause vitamin B1 deficiency due to thiaminase. Cockles and squid are better. Also include some "shelly" foods too, such as Physa and
Physella snails, unshelled shrimps, pulverised whole mussels with their shells mixed in. These will help to wear down the teeth and avoid overgrowing teeth, a real problem with most pufferfish. Cheers, Neale.>

Fish identity       2/14/19
Hey guys seeing if you can help with this one
<Hey Tom>
They are imported from the Philippines as lineatus wrasses but really are not showing the same colors and patterns.
<It looks like a Female Social - Ruby Longfin fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis). Image is not too sharp. Cheers. Wil.>

Goby ID?      2/13/19
Hi Bob and Team,
<Hi Beta, Wil this morning>.
Any idea on what this goby might be?
<Yes, its a Railway sleeper Goby (Valenciennea helsdingeni). One of my faves! thanks for sharing.>
<Welcome. Wil.>

Re: Goby ID?      2/13/19
Thanks for the ID Wil!
<You´re welcome!. Wil.>

Wrasse ID      2/13/19
Hi Team,
Would appreciate an ID of the Wrasse. Unfortunately, this is the only pic that I have.
<Mmm; def. a member of the genus Halichoeres. My first guess is on juv. to initial phase Halichoeres hartzfeldii (Bleeker 1852), Hartzfeld's Wrasse.
Second guess is H. zeylonicus.
Bob Fenner>


Icp test questions      2/13/19
Have a few questions for you guys. Sent some tests to icp analysis.
What would be a source for sulfur in a tank.
<Foods mostly... the amino acids methionine, cysteine, homocysteine, and taurine in proteinaceous foods>
What’s a great way to remove it as we’re 1210 and it looks like 850 should be our goal.
<Mmm; well, how much sulfur is in your tap/source water? I'd test for this and remove that via commercial filtration. IF in the system itself, the best way is frequent partial water changes; done by gravel vacuuming... and avoiding adding (too) much food-containing sulfur in the first place. Having a high, steady RedOx is very helpful in oxidizing sulfur... Ozone (see WWM re) is the best method of production here... A good deal of activated carbon will remove sulfur; but this can be an expensive method.... There are other means, but I'm hesitant to suggest them on an open forum like WWM; for fear that folks may inadvertently kill their livestock. Bob Fenner>
Re: Icp test questions      2/13/19

> Have a few questions for you guys. Sent some tests to icp analysis.
> What would be a source for sulfur in a tank.
> <Foods mostly... the amino acids methionine, cysteine, homocysteine, and taurine in proteinaceous foods>
Ok the weird part is it is only a few tanks that we maintain but this one stood out as their ORP is 380 and all clients feed the same foods from limpits frozen food
<? Limpets; am unfamiliar>
will work on nutritional facts for you if you like. We did the tests as this client is losing corals like crazy even with normal tests coming out with standard readings . Alk 8-8.5 Mag 1350-1400 cal 450-475 no3 2-5. Only other thing weird on the tests were iodine 0ppm and bromine was .35 and goal 55
<... am hoping you don't use Ozone/O3 on this system with this bromine>
> What’s a great way to remove it as we’re 1210 and it looks like 850 should be our goal.
> <Mmm; well, how much sulfur is in your tap/source water? I'd test for this and remove that via commercial filtration. IF in the system itself, the best way is frequent partial water changes;
Current removal is an ro/di with mixed bed resin and silica buster. Could a deep sandbed lead to sulfur?
<Yes; anaerobic settings do>
We do run a 3-4” mud refugium.
done by gravel vacuuming... and avoiding adding (too) much food-containing sulfur in the first place. Having a high, steady RedOx is very helpful in oxidizing sulfur... Ozone (see WWM re) is the best method of production here
Ok we do run a 250 mg/per hour unit right now
<... the bromine with this can be VERY toxic. Is this "bromine" or another valence state?>
.. A good deal of activated carbon will remove sulfur; but this can be an expensive method.... There are other means, but I'm hesitant to suggest them on an open forum like WWM; for fear that folks may inadvertently kill their livestock. Bob Fenner>
Thanks again for everything Bob
Tom Smith
Aquascape Chicago
<Glad to share Tom. BobF>

White/red spots on pectoral fins of cichlids      2/13/19
Hello WWM,
<Hey Matt>
My name is Matt and I had a couple questions about my pair of festae cichlids I've owned for about 7 years or so. They seem to have a white spot looking growth on their pectoral fins. It can be a bit red as well, but that may be from the pectoral fin being "inflamed".
<I see both of these in your pix>
I'm not sure if vein is the correct terminology, but they seem to grow on the "vein" of the pectoral fins.
<These are "soft fin rays" in the most usual parlance... but do have blood vessels associated>
A little background about the pair:
Both cichlids are housed in a 135 gallon aquarium, eat very well, and breed every month and a half or so. The male is 12 inches, and the female is 9 inches. They have had this on their pectoral fins for at least a year now, maybe a bit longer. It hasn't seemed to cause any problems, but it also hasn't seemed to have gotten better, in fact it seems to have gotten slightly worse.
I'm wondering if it is something I should be concerned about?
<Mmm, could be... see below>
And also if there is any way to treat it. I have attached some photos of both the male and the female festae. Thanks in advance, I browse your questions and answers from time to time.
<These "spots" are highly likely evidence of physical trauma... a bending, breaking of the aforementioned fin rays... Perhaps from a usual tussle twixt the pair, or a dash into something hard in the tank. Most all such injuries heal themselves in time... just providing good care (water quality, nutrition...). Some might suggest administration of salt/s, perhaps an anti-bacterial... If they were me, mine, I'd leave off with such treatment.
The spots/breaks may take weeks to a few months to heal/disappear entirely.
They are not dangerous.
Bob Fenner>


Is a single Pomacea diffusa safe with single Clea helena - 2/11/2019     /Sara
<Hola Jackie>
I have searched forums, the net, and your site, and have not been able to find an answer to my question.
In my planted 10 gallon there is a Betta, a Pomacea diffusa and a Physa. This evening I put in a single Clea helena(from a different tank) to deal with the MTS, ramshorn and Physa offspring.
Am I looking for trouble as far as the Apple snail is concerned?
<Yes. In fact, just for you, I found this lovely video of an assassin snail attacking and eating an apple snail, that I found on good old YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWWTwoW-d64 >
I can move the Assassin to a different, established tank if you think that would be best and use another method to control the pest snail population.
<Or maybe you could temporarily move the apple snail?>
Photo from a month ago shows the size of Apple snail-about the size of a ping pong ball, with the Physa on board.
<Clea helena are known to attack, kill, and eat snails larger than themselves. Thus, in this case, the size of the apple snail alone is unlikely to make much of a difference in terms of its likelihood of falling prey to the assassin snail.>
Thank you for your time.
<My pleasure.>
Sara L.>

Re: Is a single Pomacea diffusa safe with single Clea helena     /Neale       2/12/19
Thank you Neale. I'll keep a close eye on the tank as I don't want the Apple snail to feel threatened in his own home.
<Indeed not!>
During my search elsewhere for answers, I could only find people talking about an issue with multiple Assassins being a problem with one Apple snail, and not the situation I've created.
<Indeed; but do be aware, as Sara suggested in her message.>
Very much appreciate your input.
<Most welcome.>
<Cheers, Neale.>


Size/location question on first saltwater tank       2/12/19
I have spent about 3 years with a 5.5 gallon fresh water tank for one Betta. Unfortunately, he developed an external tumor, survived about another year as it grew, and finally died last week.
<Sorry to hear/read that>
As he faded, I’ve been researching (primarily on WWM!) about a saltwater tank which I’ve always wanted. I want live rock, soft corals, and at least a couple of fish, also probably a snail or such for algae control. The look of rock and soft coral means more to me, but my husband is determined to have fish and, luckily will be satisfied with 1 or 2 and loves clownfish which seem easy to maintain (as long as it is just 1 or a mated pair.)
<Sounds like a good idea that will satisfy both of you.>
Now we are exploring location and what size is possible. We have a heavy-duty oak wall unit as a divider between our offices which has an available space about 15.5” wide, 27” long and just under 25.5” high. I think I can fit a rectangular 20-gallon in there and still access from the top based on my browsing/shopping. That is the best location for us to actually enjoy watching the aquarium as it is visible from all the places we spend the most time (office, living room, etc.).
<Would be my choice too>
Alternatively, I can put a much larger aquarium on a stand in an area which is about 24” wide, 48” long and 55” tall. I think a 40-gallon is entirely possible there. However, that is against a dining room wall where it will not be visible except when we’re eating, from my kitchen or if we turn all the chairs in the living room around to face it! Sunlight is also a possible consideration. The wall unit is in an enclosed balcony area, completely open to the rest of the condo, which has about 4’ high windows the entire wall - west-facing. The enclosed balcony is not very deep, well-temperature controlled with the rest of the condo, and we normally put down blinds anyway in the afternoon to keep the sun off us, but there is a lot of indirect light even with blinds down.
The aquarium would be narrow end toward the windows, NOT be against the windows, but separated by about 30” of wall unit with shelving, books, etc. that mostly shades the location even without blinds.
<This option could also work; when it comes to marine tanks, the bigger, the better…>
The dining room location gets sun only very briefly an hour or so in the afternoon and can also be controlled by the blinds. We really want to use the wall unit since the whole point of the aquarium is to be able to see and enjoy it. But, that means the trade-off of a smaller size and more (indirect) sunlight. Can you give any advice as to whether the light and size constrictions in the wall unit make it a bad choice, despite the great visibility for us? I realize as a newbie I could use all the forgiveness of a larger tank I can get, but I hate to tuck it away where it is not easily visible for us.
<Well, both plans sound viable, it’s up to you whether you prefer the view or a greater water volume; a 20 gallon tank could work trouble free, given an appropriate maintenance, and as long as you don’t overstock-overfeed. The bigger tank has the advantage that it allows you to add more livestock, but what’s the point if you can’t enjoy it most of time?...>
Thanks in advance for any time you can give to a silly/simple question.
<That was not a silly question at all. I hope this helps.>
Elaine Turner
<Cheers. Wil. >
Re: Size/location question on first saltwater tank       2/12/19

Thanks. My only real reason for considering a 40-gallon tank, and different location, is worry about maintainability of the smaller 20-gallon tank since this is my first saltwater venture. We have discussed it a lot, and I’ve researched a lot, and I think we will both be happy with look/stocking of 20-gallon.
<Good, then go for it!>
Your comment that a 20-gallon could work trouble free with appropriate maintenance and no overstock-overfeed is reassuring. Does our plan for stocking - live rock and sand, a clownfish pair, a snail or such for algae control, and soft coral (not anemone, but size-appropriate softies - probably leather coral varieties) - sound like a manageable bioload?
<Sounds reasonable, can you tell a bit about what type of equipment you intend to use?...bio filter, protein skimmer, lighting, etc…>
I’m trying to make sure I have an advance plan that is workable. Thanks again and this should be last question for a while. Elaine
<You’re welcome. Wil.>
Re: Size/location question on first saltwater tank       2/12/19

I understand the live rock works as a biological filter to maintain nitrogen cycle, but I was figuring on filter which could also increase water flow to adequate for the soft corals (haven’t gotten to details of brand/type, but I know I want it to be adequate or more for 20-gallon and was thinking of adding small HOB bio filter that I could use for my quarantine tank as needed).
<Aim for a strong water movement, particularly on the surface, corals will appreciate it, the HOB is ok but if you could add a wave maker will be far better.>
I was definitely planning on protein skimmer (again, don’t have specific details, but something more than adequate for 20 gallons; I’ve researched types of skimmers, but not seriously shopped). Lighting I want to be sure is adequate for the soft corals, which I think means LED. I plan on heater, of course. I had looked at kits such as the Coralife LED Biocube which would have required adding heater and skimmer, but decided I want rectangular/longer profile and the maximum size that will fit (so 20-gallon).<Me too >
I have not seen any rectangular 20-gallon kits which look adequate so I figure I’ll be putting this together in pieces with the assistance of the local, strictly-saltwater, fish/supply store. (It’s been in business going on 20 years, excellent quality, healthy tanks in the store and so far all their advice matches what I find on WWM.)
<That’s good>
I would, of course, appreciate any suggestions. I have to hold off actually doing anything until some construction is finished in our building (hopefully in next month). Meantime, I research. I just ordered Bob Fenner’s Conscientious Marine Aquarist for “light” reading.
<Excellent idea, read as much as you can to be prepared; any doubts/concerns…we are here.>
<Greetings. Wil.>

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  • 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 and Parrotfishes,
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  • 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,
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