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FAQs on Bony Tongue Fishes

Related Articles: Bony Tongue Fishes

Related FAQs:  Aba Aba Knifefish, African Butterflyfish, Arapaimas, Arowanas, Featherfin Knives, Mormyrids, New World Knifefishes,

A foot and a half long Silver Arowana gearing up to turn or jump out!

Future Housing for Arowana, Clown Knife, Bichir 05/23/08 Hi WWM Crew, <Ray> Before anything, I just want to compliment you guys on the great job you guys do. I've spent many an hour browsing through all the articles on your website and I've found it very helpful to my own fish keeping experiences. In any case, let's get on to the question! <Okay!> I currently have a 135 gallon tank with a ~18 inch silver Arowana, ~8 inch pike cichlid and about a foot long Bichir in it (not sure what species though - definitely not ornate and not Senegal Bichir though). I also have a 125 gallon tank with a foot long clown knife in there with a 6 inch sun catfish and 2 ~3 inch sun cats. I know that I have to upgrade to keep these beautiful fish for life. My question is three fold. First, can a tank measuring 8 ft long by 2 ft wide by 30.5 inches high (that's around 300 gallons) hold all these fish for life, or if not, for quite a while? <Yes... likely so... the Arowana... if it doesn't "jump out"... the rest for sure> Secondly, can the pike cichlid coexist with the clown knife? <Yes... unless the Notopterid gets much larger, faster... and consumes the Cichlid> It's already fairly territorial, though it doesn't seem to bother the Arowana or Bichir too much. I'm worried about mixing the pike with the clown knife though. <Oh! It very likely will know/knows to leave the Knife be> Finally, before my Arowana downed thawed, previously frozen shrimp like none other, oftentimes eating 4 or so with no problem. However, ever since I've come back from college, he refuses to eat any shrimp at all, and totally ignores them. The Bichir still eats them so it's not a problem if they fall. My parents assured me that while I was away the only thing they fed him were newts and earthworms, as well as floating cichlid pellets, that were caught from my yard (we don't use any pesticides / fertilizers at all). Do you have any idea why this is so? <Mmm, why your parents fed what they did? Or the Arowanas new preference? The last likely from practice, distinction> Thanks in advance, Ray <Bob Fenner>

Clown Knife Fish Non-Live Food Training -- 06/28/07 Hello, Your website is great! Unfortunately I could not find anything about training a Clown Knife Fish to eat non-live food. I've tried even warming krill/shrimp, I've tried Shrimp Pellets, Freeze dried Bloodworms, and Flakes. My 6" clowns just don't eat it. I have to revert to Live Ghost Shrimp, but I do not want too. Please help me find a way to train the Clown Knife to eat other prepared foods? Step by Step, please. As you know, Feeding time for these guys is only at night when the lights are off. Hope you can help? Thanks <Greetings. Training Knifefish to accept dead food follows the same pattern as with any other opportunistic carnivore -- patience and a little starvation! As you realise, many people keep Knifefish by feeding them goldfish and minnows. This is very dangerous in the long term because of the risk of introducing parasites and the poor nutritional value (high fat and thiaminase content) of goldfish and minnows. So well done on doing the responsible, sensible thing by weaning your Knifefish onto safe alternatives. Small Knifefish are fond of (wet) frozen bloodworms, i.e., the kind you keep in the freezer. I have yet, in 20+ years of keeping fish, to find anything that likes freeze dried bloodworms or brine shrimp. I know people use them, but I've never had any luck with them. So get the wet frozen kind. These smell yummy and even difficult fish seem to accept them readily. If you train the baby Knifefish to take frozen foods, feeding the adults becomes very easy. Larger Knifefish in the wild eat fish, large insects, and crustaceans, so these are the things to concentrate on. One of the best ways to use frozen whitebait (or any other small, silvery fish) is to defrost it and then throw it into the current of water coming out of the filter. The flash of silver mimics the movement of small fish, and predatory fish will usually strike at the flash, and eat the food. I have personally found small pieces of oily fish (such as salmon or herring) extremely good for tempting predatory fish, presumably because of the smell, but be warned that oily fish *heavily* pollutes the aquarium and you will need to do a big (50%) water change afterwards. As well as fish, crustaceans like unshelled prawns and crayfish are excellent foods for adult Knifefish. If all else fails, alternate live foods, such as earthworms, mealworms, and crickets can also be used. Once the Knifefish learns to accept a variety of foods, tempting them onto floating pellets is not difficult. It helps if they share a tank with other fish that feed from the surface, like Tinfoil Barbs or Giant Gouramis. The Knifefish will see where the food is coming from, and take the floating pellets. Obviously, Knifefish are big and potentially aggressive, so don't mix with smaller fish or anything likely to pick a fight (like cichlids). Cheers, Neale>

Scleropages jardinii, repro. info./input  -- 06/18/07 Mr. Fenner, <Well, it's Neale.> I have owned a jardinii for two years now. <Very good.> I would like to know if there is a definitive way to sex my fish. <No. Hobbyists sometimes refer to "longer fins" and "brighter colours" but there's no evidence at all that this is valid. Australian fish scientists simply maintain these fish have no reliable sex differences.> I learned the female of the species carries the fertilized eggs unlike the other types of Arowanas where the male is the one that does so. <Didn't know that. Thanks for sharing.> If this is the case, is the female jardinii the one with a more protruding lower jaw (is that a valid way of sexing)? <Apparently not.> Your assistance is appreciated. <It's a bit academic really, because these are by far the most territorial Arowanas, and you'd need a gigantic (i.e., public) aquarium to keep more than one specimen. Nice fish though.> Thank you, Adrian Espiritu <Cheers, Neale>

Compatibility questions & miscellany... Mainly Aruanas... sys.  - 06/30/06 Hey there, thank you for the reply last time, it was really helpful. <Welcome> Bob had previously helped me identify my Knifefish as Sternarchella schotti, which seemed dead on correct. However, he has continued to grow past the 8" mark; he's about 11" now... is there perhaps another species that he could possibly be, or is he just an abnormally large example? <Could be... either possibility> We also used to feed him various foods, ranging from bloodworms to shrimp and everything in between. However, I've been busy this year (blahh, junior year of high school is evillll) <Correction my young friend. Only certain acts are evil... not individuals, school time frames... Though...> , and my father's rather lax about fancy feeding... <Careful here...> so we hadn't given him live food in ages. When we did start putting in live food again, he showed no interest at all... is there any way we can get him to start again? <Mix some in with the prepared foods... over time...> My father also purchased an Arowana (silver) while I was away at school. Since they both like softer, slightly lower pHs, so I left them together; they haven't fought once. The Arowana is about 13" now. What are the chances of him bullying the Knifefish, or vice versa? <Very small... Perhaps if/when the Arowana is large enough to ingest the knife...> We also have a gold Gourami and Pleco in the tank, both about 5" long or so. <Oh, the Gourami will be inhaled first> Recently, the gourami's been somewhat subdued and injured... Nothing serious, but there's missing scales and slight dents along his back. <Oh, it's time is coming> Somehow, an Arowana attack doesn't seem like it would leave those marks, and neither does a Pleco or Knifefish. The water conditions are the same as always (pH about 6.5, soft water, well planted and shady), and are holding steady. We have a few cichlids in another tank that are about 5" now, and were wondering if they could get along with the Arowana/Knifefish. <... depends on species, the size of the tank...> I think (though I'm not sure) that the salinity and pH and everything are quite different though; would they be able to coexist healthily/peacefully? <See above> Our Arowana has a few unfortunate things, though. He's been blinded in one eye (which has made him more docile but slightly jumpier) after smacking into the floor before we learned to clamp down the top. <... happens... all the time> He doesn't swim noticeably different, but most of the time when he lunges for food, he'll just barely catch it or miss. He hasn't lost condition though... he's still a fat and constantly hungry pig. But...How should we help him compensate for this, if at all? <Mmm, bigger/est tank, careful feeding of cut foods offered on/with a dedicated "feeding stick"... good maintenance otherwise> The other thing is that the person who sold us the fish told my dad that he would grow to fit his tank. <... uh... no> Disillusioned, my dad thought he'd be fine to stick in a 46gallon tank for the rest of his life, <Not a very good or long one...> especially since he was only about 6" long when he bought him. However... I'd like to know my options for him, just in case. We don't really have the resources for a larger tank, maybe 60g at the most. <... needs hundreds of gallons minimum...> I'd be willing to try and sell him back, or send him to another place, but I'm not sure if his eye will affect his ability to do well there, and I've grown somewhat attached. ^^" If we need to send him elsewhere, are there facilities that we can do so? <Maybe> Are there Arowana species that would be able to fit in a 46 gallon tank comfortably? <No. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/osteoglossiforms.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Thank youuuu, Christina Re: Compatibility questions & miscellany  - 06/30/06 Eep! I'm sorry, for the 2nd to last question... I live in NJ, USA, if that helps at all. I'm not aware of any public aquariums or NON-commercial pet stores around here, though I'd be more then willing to drive a bit more for him, heh. <Mmm, give the large/r stores and Service Companies in the "Aquarium" section of your local Yellow Pages a ring re... perhaps they'll know someone with facilities, interest. Bob Fenner>

Conscientious Fishkeeping, Behaviour of A Potential Giant ... Arapaima behavior   4/30/06 Hello WWM crew! I just have a quick question regarding the typical (or not so typical, whichever the case may be) behavior of a juvenile Arapaima gigas we've gotten in at the store I work at. <A WHAT?!  Your store, as in fish store?  As in place of inspiration for aquarium keepers everywhere?  An Arapaima?  You've got to be kidding me.  Do you even realize what this animal is?> It's currently about 6" long, <Not for long.  This animal, the "largest" freshwater fish, will grow to some FEET in a year, and can reach 15 feet at 440 pounds - you read that right, fifteen feet, four hundred and forty pounds.  Please read here:   http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=2076&genusname=Arapaima&speciesname=gigas .  Give this to your store manager, the owner, and everybody that inquires about this animal.  Any attempt to keep this fish in less than some tens of thousands of gallons is ludicrous and ultimately a premature death sentence; leave this beast to public aquaria and nature.> and is acting almost aggressively at the sides of its tank. The back and left side of the tank are blue, and he seems to be pacing back and forth along that corner, attempting to bite at it. I would pass it up to tank size, if it weren't for him concentrating on a somewhat particular area. And I cannot figure out why. <This is actually a very common escape behaviour.  It will pass in time, once it understands the size of its confines.  I hope that tank has a VERY tight-fitting cover that still allows for air exchange for this air breathing fish....> At first I thought he might have been stressed by the lighting, so I added a bunch of water hyacinth (thank god for pond season) to block out a good percentage of the light, and also to allow the roots to break up the open water area, hopefully giving him a better sense of security as opposed to upsetting him further by taking up a little bit of swimming space. He DEFINITELY preferred the areas under the hyacinth. After 4 hours or so, though, he was still at it. So, we decided to add a couple baby giant Gourami (well, and a Plecostomus) to hopefully act as something as a dither fish, and give him something else to pay attention to. No luck. We've only had him since Friday, but I am trying to keep him as comfortable as possible. Water temperature is around 80F; ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are at 0 ppm; pH is around 7. <Ultimately, he will chill out in some days' time.> Any suggestions? <Return this fish from whence it came with stern admonishment to your dealers for carrying such a creature and selling with the intent of dooming it to a ridiculously short lifespan in a ridiculously small space.> Or is this just something he'll probably grow out of after a few days or so in the tank? <You got it.  Please consider the conscientious move here, and what selling this animal means for you, your store, your customers, and (ultimately) your hobby.  Like nurse sharks, Pangasiid catfishes, and sturgeon, this animal belongs in the wild.  All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

Wormy Arowana  - 02/27/06 I have a 12" Arowana that had a lump on his right side. I tried to treat it with Prazi-pro, and salt but to no avail. I thought he may have developed dropsy but that was his only symptom, so I treated him with Maracyn II after the Prazi and salt but that didn't work either. So, I decided to perform surgery. I used Eugenol as the anesthetic (clove bud oil) then made a small incision under the scale at the backside of the lump. I couldn't believe what I saw. I removed a 3-4" pink worm with a white head all curled up in a ball. He is doing fine know and I am using the Maracyn II as an antibiotic. I was wondering if you could identify the worm and give me some tips on how to prevent this again? My water is perfect and I also have a very healthy teacup ray and clown knife. Thanx Mark Galary < These fish are always wild caught and could have picked up all kinds of intestinal critters like flatworms or tapeworms. Use a medication with  Praziquantel in it like Parasite clear, or PraziPro to prevent further problems.-Chuck>  

Arowana foods  12/18/05 Hi, I was just wondering what would be some good live fish to feed a 13" Silver Arowana? <Not live. Cut fish muscle/fillet, crickets and other insects and their larvae, night crawlers and other worms...> I also heard that feeding Arowanas live fish is bad for them, is this true? <Yes... can bring in disease, some cause gut blockage, behavioral anomalies...> I hear it can make their eyes go down instead of up. <Actually, this is more a matter of physical damage (in part from pursuing the live food I guess), but the animal jumping, bumping its head but good... Bob Fenner> Discus with Arowana 10/18/05 Hey, I was just wondering if you could mix Discus's and an Arowana together in a 100gal tank.  thanks. >> You can, if the Arowana is still young. Once the arowana reaches around 16 inches in length it will have to be moved. For that matter, a 100 gallon tank is too small for an arowana at that size. Good Luck, Oliver<<

Arowana fish Hullo Robert, This is Ingrid Again!!!! Could you give me the details about Arowana Fish e.g.:- Tank temp.    Vicious/docile ?? <Can be, is a bit of both... More like Sid when hungry/feeding, most of the time passive... easily picked on by more aggressive tankmates> What type of water do they like PH??? <Prefer softer, more acidic, but can/do tolerate wide conditions> What do they eat? <Most meaty foods, offered near, on the surface> Can you put other fish with them? <Yes> How big can they grow? <Two to four feet or so...> How do they breed.? and are they good parents.? <Mouthbrooders... yes> Could you tell me the same for the African Knife Fish? <Please see WWM and fishbase.org re> A million thanks for your time! Best Wishes. Ingrid Armstrong -      -------------[wanted to purchase these fish on Wednesday-[ SA time] if you could reply soonest! <Do read on WWM... Bob Fenner>

Arowana fish Hullo Robert, Yep, this is Ingrid ! Hoping you are well. George, my son, has a question for you. How can you tell the difference between the male and the female arowana? <Ahh, the males jaws don't meet up evenly... it is the mouthbrooder of the two> By the way. His Arowana - doing flourishing. Many Thanx Best Wishes. Ingrid HAVE A LOVELY DAY! <Ah, good. Will endeavor, allow. Bob Fenner>

Silver Arowana tank size? My LFS has a very active and nice looking 6" Silver Arowana. The biggest tank they can get for me is a 180 gallon measuring 72"x24"x24". They have assured me that a 180 would be big enough to house this single fish when fully grown, is this true? >> When it is fully grown, no. The fish will grow to 60" in length. But in a tank of 180 gallons it will grow only to a somewhat smaller size, and it could be ok to live in a tank that size for a good while. At its full size Arowanas are really fish for the public aquarium. Both Black, Australian and African Arowanas are smaller fish and would be better suited to live in a tank that size. Good Luck, Oliver

Enquiry for Information on captive Arapaima gigas Hi Robert, I'd like to ask a few questions regarding this species. How many times do you feed this species in day? < When small just a couple times a day. Just enough so that all the food is gone in a couple of minutes. Once a day when larger.> When, what type of food and how do you feed the species? < Smaller fish eat lots of different live foods. Older ones like fish.> Do you vary type of food everyday or occasionally? < A varied diet is very good for any fish. The more times you can feed different things the better.> How much food does the fish consume per meal, say in kg? < This depends on the size of the fish, and what water temp it is kept at. Higher temps mean a higher metabolism and needs more food. I would still go with as much as it could eat in a couple of minutes each day. I would think that very large fish could go with a KG per day.> Regarding water, do you set specific parameters for water quality, possibly pH, nitrite or ammonia content? < These fish come from clean soft acidic Amazon water. The cleaner the better. Slightly acidic would suit them just fine.> What is the suitable water condition, is it running water or non-running water? < It is natural habitat it come from flowing rivers so I would say that running is better.> How often should you clean the water to ensure that the cleanliness is maintained? < The ammonia and nitrites should be zero. The nitrates should be under 25 ppm.> Finally, what is the treatment for diseases involved and how long does it take for the species to recover? < This fish is fairly hardy under normal circumstances. The key to quickly curing diseases is to watch the fish and treat when the diseases is still early in its curable stages.-Chuck.>

Enquire for Information on Captive Arapaima gigas Sat, 12 Feb 2005  Hi, Rob. <Who's "Rob"?> When is the suitable time to feed this species? Is it anytime of the day? How many times do you clean the aquarium, or you prefer to clean it as it gets dirty? The questions are common ones but I hope to get a reply from you. Thank you very much.  Regards, Sandra James <Before you get you hopes up on this fish I think I need to give you a few details that you may not be aware of. This fish is an endangered species and cannot be exported from South America without lots of paperwork. Secondly they get very very large. Like almost 10 feet long! They require a large tank like 20 feet long and 10 feet wide. They are large messy feeders that require very clean soft acidic water. Water changes would require thousands of gallons weekly. This fish should only be kept by public aquariums with the facilities, time money and space to properly provide for this fish for the many many years.-Chuck>

Are African Butterflies Brackish? No Hi Everyone!     I had a run in with a snotty fish 'expert' at my LFS. He claimed that African Butterflies (Pantodon buchholzi) were brackish and would only live about a year in a freshwater tank. I did a lot of research on all of my fish before I got them (while I was planning the layout of my new tank). No where did I read that Pantodons were brackish. I'm just wondering who was right and if I need to take them out and build a brackish tank. He also claimed that my Senegalus polypterus were brackish as well. Thanks for any info you can provide! Josh <Mmm, Pantodon is a freshwater species... see here on fishbase.org: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=2075&genusname=Pantodon&speciesname=buchholzi Don't know where salts would come from where this fish occurs... And I kept them for years in just straight fresh (though hard and alkaline tap...). Polypterids are also freshwater... though they will "tolerate" some salt content (often used on arrival from wild-import to whack at their Owees, external parasite fauna)... Please share this input with your retail clerk and manager. Bob Fenner>

Arapaima info. Thank you for your information. Do you have any related links on the captive breeding on Arapaima? Or other extra information? Do you know any personnel currently working on this species? <Don't have any more than is posted on our sites... would look to BASIC, the Zoological Record for folks involved in this species biology... recent citations. Bob Fenner> Clownin' Around - Clown Knife Behaviour - 12/03/2004 I have a 55g. tank with two clown knife that are about 6 inches in length, along with a glass cat, a Pleco, and a fiddler crab. <A few problems, here - not the least of which is the size and territoriality of the clown knives.  Please note that the glass cat may likely end up as clown food, and the fiddler crab really requires a way to get out of the water for long-term survival, and really ought to be in saltwater - or at least brackish conditions.> They are all doing great together, however, my one clown will go over to the other side of the tank near the other clown knife. They do not pick on each other but they rub their bodies together for a few seconds then they go their separate ways. <I would assume that this is either courtship or aggression - and far, far more likely to be aggression.> Also when the one clown gets close to the other one, he ends up rubbing his body up against the rainbow rock I have in the tank. He does this in front of the other knife fish only, like he is marking territory or showing off. I see no signs of any parasites, no ick, no frayed fins, great appetites as well. <I would guess this is part of the aggression issue - but possibly an indicator of gill parasites.  Please observe the fish for heavy breathing or any other abnormalities.> My knifes even come out and swim during the day until I get too close to the tank.  All in all, I have been watching them very closely for any signs of illness, I am out of practice as far as fish, I worked in a great pet store for 10 years and kept up to date on every single animal we sold so that I could give the best information as well. <Always wonderful to hear of reputable fish stores - thank you for being informed on your livestock!> But clown knives were not one on my list, my boss took care of those strictly.  Can you think of any other reasons why the clown knife would be doing this in the presence of the other clown knife only? <If there are gill parasites or another ailment at play, it could be purely coincidence - perhaps the "best" rock to scratch one's operculum on just happens to be next to the other knife's digs?  Otherwise, again, I might attribute this to a display of aggression/territory, as you suspected.> He doesn't do it any other time at all and the temp is usually around 78 degrees F, ph is around 7.0, I keep up on water changes and monitor levels and test regularly as well.   <I am assuming, then, that ammonia and nitrite are at zero, and nitrate is below 20ppm?> Also I was keeping a few red eye tetras, some head standers, zebra Danios and some swords in with the knives. I had to take them all out and put them in another tank because the knives were tormenting them to death. <Heh, yeah - all of those would make tasty snacks for the knives!> A few got ick and the knives are still fine after I took the other fish out. Which they did eat a few of the Danios and a red eye as well. <This is concerning.  How long ago were the fish removed?  It is quite possible that the knife does, in fact, have ich on its gills.> I know they are eating well. I read all the info you have given to everyone on knife fish and it was very educational for me as well. <So glad to hear this!> However I did not see in great detail about the actual personalities these fish generally have. <Well, to be honest, not a great many folks can really provide adequately for this species....  Cared for properly, the fish can and should grow to be roughly four feet in length - a four-foot fish requires a *much* larger tank than would easily fit in the average living room.  And keeping them just while they're young isn't really the greatest idea - what will you do when they hit a couple feet, have outgrown the 250 gallon tank you've upgraded to for them, and can't find a public aquarium that is willing to take them on?  Please think very seriously about the ultimate size of this fish, and what you plan to do as they age.  If they are already intolerant of each other at six inches in a 55g tank, imagine what they'll do to each other in another foot or so, if they allow each other to live that long....  At the very least, I would remove one of the knives.> Sorry this is so long but this is pretty much the only web site I could find that has a lot of valuable info on it pertaining knife fish.   <And thank you very much for writing in, and thereby helping us expand the information available.> Also if you think my clown knife does have parasites or some other disease, what should I be treating him with? I know there are many meds out there not to be used for scaleless fish, and I suppose the parasites will spread to the other fish in the tank as well? <You are correct on both accounts - knives, especially, are tremendously sensitive to most medications.  I would avoid treating the fish with medicines at all costs.  Watch the "scratcher", and if you begin to suspect that he has ich, I would add salt to the tank.  Be sure to use a salt marketed for freshwater aquaria, and test on a sample of your tank water first to ensure that the salt will not alter your pH undesirably.  I would slowly (over a few days) raise the temperature to the mid-80s (84*F-86*F), increase the salinity to a specific gravity of 1.003 (use a good hydrometer to measure this) and hold it there for at least a week - perhaps a little longer.  Always make salinity changes VERY slowly - spread the change out over a few days.  The ich cannot survive at this salinity, and the temperature increase will cause the ich to speed up its lifecycle to bring it to a vulnerable (killable) point in its development sooner.> Thank you for any info you can give to me. <And thank you again for writing in.  It seems as though you greatly enjoy the knifefishes.  I would like to recommend, if you choose to relocate both of the clowns due to size issues, that you consider Xenomystus nigri, the "black" or "African" knifefish.  This little fellow won't get much more than eight inches in length, and has many of the same qualities of the clown (same general shape, temperament) packed into a MUCH more manageable size.  Though it lacks the beautiful markings, it is still a very attractive, very interesting fish, and I highly recommend it.  It would live quite well and happily in your 55g, for the full duration of its lifespan.  Please feel free to write back if you have any further questions, and thanks again for writing in!> Shannon <-Sabrina>

My question wasn't answered. Would a Freshwater Butterflyfish eat Blue Rams  if  I were to get them? < The key to compatibility is size. The FW butterflyfish and rams have pretty similar water conditions. The butterflyfish loves mealworms and small crickets floundering around on the surface of the water. If the butterflyfish are well fed and the rams are too big to fit into their mouths then they should get along just fine. If you are gone for a while and the butterflyfish gets hungry it may attempt to take a nip at one of the rams but they will really need to be hungry to try that.-Chuck> Jahner Arowana Setup Hi There, I already have a 125 gallon fish tank for my 6 inch Australian Arowana (jardini). I have 2 emperor 400 power filter, two 250 watt titanium heaters, and two 15 inch bubble wand at each end of the fish tank. I replaced the activated carbon of the cartridges...with Marineland's diamond crystal for removal of ammonia and the extra cartridges now contain SeaChem's matrix bio. The heaters are set at 85 degrees Fahrenheit. <Loose the white diamond and allow a natural bio filtration to become established on those four big bio-wheels. That's what they're for. Far more effective and no need to replace. Do water changes to correct spikes until you are cycled. You are testing, I hope. If not, please start> My questions are: 1.) Any comments with my set-up?  All the stuff I mentioned adequate enough for a healthy and safe environment of my baby arowana? <Will be OK while he's a baby and alone in the tank> 2.) Are the power filters enough? Or I need to add another emperor 400? Because I read an article that the flow of the filters should have a total of 10 times the amount of gallons of the aquarium per hour?  Since I have 125 gallons....I need to have around 12000 of water flowing thru my power filters?  Is two enough right now. since only one fish is in the tank. and it is still small? <Fine for now> 3.)  Does those water agitation on the surface caused by the power filter will be bad for the arowana ....since supposed to be on the surface of the water all the time......and the water agitation might annoy my arowana? <He might get blown around a little. But IMO he can handle it> 4.)  if changing water, ...can I use tap water...and go straight to my tank....then I add salt, and Amquel plus , and Novaqua.....safe?  or do I need to age my water first?  I am just worried about the chlorine that goes to my tank........they might harm my arowana.....before the Amquel plus and Novaqua.....gets the chance to completely eliminate them.   What do you recommend to my problem? thanks, Antonio <Hi Antonio, Don here. For my water changes I use only dechlorinator. I have several 5 gallons bucket which are each treated, but not aged any longer than it takes to draw out the old water. But then I'm blessed with soft, pH 7.0 water. And I stocked with fish that like, or can adapt, to my conditions. I would suggest the same for you. The more your conditions are chemically dependant, the more chance for mistakes/problems. BTW, all this is based on your arowana being only six inches. He's going to end up over 3 feet long. At some point he will need a bigger tank and a lot more filtration. Do not give him feeders! At some point you will introduce Ick, at least. This tank/fish will be a "bear" to treat>  

Cramped Aussie Hi there, this will be my set-up in a month: 1 golden jardini (five inches) 1 Pleco (four inches) 30 gallon tank (36 inches long) bare bottom air pump 8 inch air bubble band 250 watt digital titanium heater w/ thermometer emperor 400 power filter do I still need the following to have a healthier tank? 1.) UV sterilizer 2.) protein skimmer 3.) power head what are pros and cons of these? thanks, Antonio >>>Antonio, Are we talking Scleropages jardini here? This fish gets to be 3 feet long, and REQUIRES a tank of *AT LEAST* 135 gallons. Forget UV sterilizers and protein skimmers (the latter of which we don't use on freshwater tanks anyway) you need to get rid of the fish, or get a MUCH larger tank. If you mean a different species, please clarify. Jim<<<

Cramped Aussie - part 2 Hi there, thanks for your reply. yes....it is a Scleropages jardini.   It is still very small (5 inches). I am just wondering why you were suggesting that I should get rid of my fish???  It is my pet...and I love him. Anyways.....I really don't think that putting a 5 inch Arowana....into a 135 gallon at the moment is wise.  A small Arowana will not be very comfortable when placed into a very big container.  Maybe once the Arowana becomes 12 inches.....is a better time to transfer to a 135 gallon. sincerely, Antonio >>>Antonio, Most of the time when someone puts a fish such as this in a small tank, it's because they are completely ignorant of the fish's needs, either now or down the road.  This fish grows fairly fast, so unless you plan on providing larger quarters VERY SOON, then you will need to get rid of him. There are lots of "loved" pets that are abused, neglected and by extension killed every day. I hope you plan on providing him with the home he needs. Keeping him in such a tank too long will stunt his growth. Also, an Arowana will NOT be uncomfortable in a large tank, this is silly. They don't occur naturally in small glass boxes, but in spacious rivers much larger than 135 gallons. Best of luck to you with your fish! Regards Jim<<<

Red Algae, DIY skimmer, and Beautiful black Arowana Hi,<Hi back, MikeD here> I am some what new to this site but I really enjoy it so far.  Couple questions if you can help.  I have a 75 gallon reef tank and just lately its starting to get over taken by the bad bubbly red algae I think it is.  Any suggestions on how to get rid of it quickly?<IMO "quickly" is always a red flag trouble word. There are many things that will make it go away including 1)increased circulation, 2) RO/DI water,3) increased partial water changes, 4) eliminating "oily" foods and 5) siphoning it off while doing partial water changes. There ARE products available to kill it as well, but use with caution as each has a definite disadvantage to be considered.>  I have had it set up about a year.  Also I have 2 aggressive salt water fish I am moving to a smaller tank anything you can suggest or a site I can look at for a DIY skimmer that's cheap since I only have 2 fish in the tank?<sure...check the DIY forum here or at Reefcentral.com>  One last question, in the 125 gallon I am getting a large black Arowana and a white Oscar not sure what else if anything, (dorado (doratto? catfish, sting ray) anything you can suggest?<Arowanas grow to almost 3 ft and are huge PLYS they are acrobatic jumpers. One will fill a 125 by itself and they commonly kill themselves leaping into the hood/lid....they can jump almost 3' straight up after insects, small frogs and even small birds. their mouth has been compared to a landing barge and their genus name, Osteoglossum, means teeth on the tongue and they consume HUGE amounts of food as they grow.>.  These fish are paternal mouth brooders would the bright red gravel take away from his beautiful look or what can you suggest for his aquarium to be set up as.<Almost anything you'd like. The black Arowanas end up silver and almost identical to the silvers. Tankmates can be tricky do to their large size and gaping maws, so I'd suggest caution here....I kept my last one with a Tiger shovelnosed catfish as a tank buddy, that way anything that dodged one was eaten by the other, with NEITHER up nor down safe.>  I would rather not have it plain.  Thank you in advance for your help.  Tim and Kim.<Hope this helps. Use caution if you get a little one and raise it. I lost a small baby by feeding it a live spider. The head shaking was evident that it had been bit inside the mouth and it gradually wasted away from the venom over a period of 10 days or so. This IS rare, but it CAN happen, with most spiders cheerfully just considered more food.>

Pantodon buchholzi, Behaviour - 08/07/2004 My butterfly fish is timid. It's always hiding in the corners and under the flow of the filter. I don't think it's eating either. Is it sick? <Not sick, no.  Probably hungry - but more on that later.  African butterflies are very specialized fish, that require a nice, hidden spot with little (or no) water movement where they can hang out, preferably in hanging plants.  These fish are very, very active at night - sneak out an hour or so after lights out with a very dim flashlight and watch the butterfly - notice the extreme difference in color from night to day, and its swimming behaviour differences.  If African butterflies are given proper care, they are very exciting animals, both to feed and to watch at night!> I read that butterfly fish are known for jumping out of the tank, but mine is always hiding. <Not at night, I'll wager - if the fish is healthy, it will be *very* active after dark, cruising around all over the tank, jumping and playing.> I tried feeding it live food, flakes, frozen and dried, and haven't seen it eat anything. <What live foods have you tried?  This fish is an extremely specialized insectivore - many individuals will not accept any foods at all other than live insects.  My female Pantodon is this way; she will not accept *anything* other than live bugs, dropped at the surface near her.  If I stop feeding her for a while, she'll start picking off small fish and invertebrates in the tank at night.  My male, on the other hand,  will eat just about anything, as long as it's at the surface.  I'd recommend that you immediately offer the fish some live crickets (you can get them from most stores that sell reptiles, even chains like Petco and PetSmart).  You can keep the crickets in a container and feed them a high-quality flake food for a couple days to make them more nutritious for the butterfly.  When you feed, turn off your filtration if it makes the surface of the tank very turbulent, or the fish won't be able to feel the insects' movements to tell where the bug is.  I use a straw to hold the bug in one spot near the butterflyfish; sometimes this is not at all necessary, if the fish can tell where the bug is very easily.> Is it possible that the other fish are in it's way? <This is entirely possible.  What size tank is it in?  What other fish are there?  Do you have any floating plants for the butterfly to hide in?  If the fish doesn't have sufficient places to feel secure, it will become stressed out and may decline in health.> I haven't had it that long, is it possible that it isn't established in the tank yet? Do you have any advise, or is it just an odd fish.   <It *IS* an odd fish, that's for sure.  And one of my absolute favorites, I might add.  Provided the tank is large enough (I wouldn't keep one in any less than a 20g tank - and that's really pushing it), and the tank is not overstocked or have inappropriate tankmates, I think you will find this to be a very interesting animal.  Wishing you and your Pantodon well,  -Sabrina>

Pantodon buchholzi, Behaviour - II - 08/11/2004 I found out the other night that my fish is nocturnal, I was glad to see it move around. <Ah, glad to hear it.  These are fascinating fish, if you take the time to appreciate them.> The tank is 55g and the other fish aren't really at the top much so I don't think that was the problem, I think it was me more than the fish. I just had to learn it's habits. <That you are learning about it is very commendable - thank you for taking the time to research your animals' needs.> I'm gonna try night feeding tonight, I think it will be successful. <I feed my butterflies day or night, they don't mind either way.  But really, I would bet that your fish won't accept anything but live floating insects for the time being.  You really must get the fish eating - who knows when its last meal was.  Mosquitoes, houseflies, crickets (store-bought or caught), just about anything live and wigglin' will do to get the fish to realize there is food there.  If for some reason you are unable to feed live insects, at the very least try something high-protein that will float and use a straw to wiggle it as though it were alive.  Alas, even these tricks won't convince my Athena to bite, but my male, Snare, will take even floating prepared foods (flake, pellet, whatever) that I offer to the rest of the tank.  It's hit-or-miss with whether they will take dead food or not.> I don't have any floating plants either, (what a butterfly amateur I am, the poor fish) <Hey, you're learning!  That's what counts.> I'm getting some though. <Ahh, good to hear it.  The fish will appreciate it immensely.  Some floating plants I use are Riccia fluitans, Hydrocotyle sp., Ceratopteris sp./water sprite....  Oh, who knows what's all in that tank now.  The fish will *definitely* enjoy some cover.> Thanks for the help. <And thank you for your interest in this amazing little insectivore.  Wishing you and your Pantodon well,  -Sabrina>

Arowana Problem Greetings! We have an Arowana.  He has been swimming real low to the bottom of the tank and he is not eating.  We have cleaned out the tank, done water treatments with ick disease medicine.  Some days he is more active than others, but he is still not eating.   What can we do?  Please respond as soon as you can.  Much Appreciation, Lisa <<Dear Lisa; How long have you had him? I recommend putting the carbon back into your filter to remove any leftover medication for the time being. Because unless he actually has external parasites (which you will see as small white spots that look like salt on his body) you are just stressing him for no reason, meds can be very hard on sensitive fish like Arowanas. Also, you will need to take a sample of your tank water to your local pet store and have them test it for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. Make sure they test all three, and make sure they explain what the results mean...your Arowana is probably needing more frequent partial water changes. What are you feeding him? Perhaps you can try an alternate food, like dried bloodworms, Tubifex, or anything else that floats. Some Arows can be trained to take floating pellets. Make sure he gets a varied diet for the best health, but avoid feeder goldfish. -Gwen>>

Arowana Problem Our Arowana had cotton mouth disease. We got medication for it and followed all instructions.   He always eats feeder fish, but lately since the cotton mouth disease he has stopped eating.  What should we do?  Please respond. <<Hello. Exactly which medication are you using? What is the name of it? You said you were treating with an ich medication,  this will not cure your fish of cottonmouth disease! You need a good antibiotic for Mouth rot. Go to your local fish store and ask for one. While you are there, is there any way you can get your water tested? Please test your water and email me the results for the following: ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. Thank you. Also please note that "cleaning out the tank" can cause more problems than regular PARTIAL water changes done weekly, which is what you should be doing. -Gwen>>

Arowana Problem III Thank you so much for your immediate response.  The medicine we gave Barnabas, our Arowana, was FURAN 2.  FURAN 2 for the treatment of cotton mouth disease.  Today he is swimming around more and this weekend we will try some dried worms or some of the other foods you suggested.  Thankfully, he is appearing to be more active.  Do you have any more suggestions?  Are they're drops we can put in the water that will give him some nutrients until his appetite comes back?  What about vitamins?  Please respond.  Once again, THANK YOU for all of your help.   Lisa Sanchez <<Hi Lisa; yes, there are vitamins you can add to the food he is eating, you can find Selcon at your local fish store, also VitaChem will do the trick. Just follow directions on the packaging. The Furan 2 should help as well, just remember to test your water! Sounds like things are looking better! :) Good luck, -Gwen>>

Pantodon buchholzi Hello - <Hi.> I can't find any info on what the "African Butterfly" (Pantodon buchholzi) uses the twin sets of lower, frontal spines for. <I'm pretty certain I saw a response to this by crewmember Chuck Rambo, but just in case, I'll toss in my $0.02.  Heh, these are one of my favorite fishes, anyway!> Can you help me figure out what function(s) they serve, and how important they are to the fish? Are they feelers, stabilizers, defenses? Do you know if they are nerve-rich sensors, or primarily just spines? <These are the spines of the ventral fins.  They are very elongated, and are specialized to help them know if there's someone below them that poses a threat.  Because they are so flexible, like little threads, they are quite good for this purpose.  I also agree with Chuck's opinion that they are a great camouflage with floating plants.  My two Pantodon are in a tank with a whole lot of floating plants, and I must say, it can be quite a task to find them.  The ventral spines really do look just like dangling roots.> I've seen African Butterflies with these spines nipped off by aggressive tankmates, and wonder what effects this has on the fish. <Well, besides being painful, it reduces their ability to tell what's around/below them - kinda like covering up your peripheral vision, in a way.  It will also weaken the fish by opening the door for disease - any site of damage can allow bacterial or fungal infection to set in.  And, as we all know, once one fish is sick, illness is easier to transmit to other tankmates.  It is my opinion that Pantodon should not ever be kept with aggressive or nippy tankmates for these reasons.> Thanks,  Gabriel <You betcha.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

African butterfly question Hello - I can't find any info on what the "African Butterfly" (Pantodon buchholzi) uses the twin sets of lower, frontal spines for. Can you help me figure out what function(s) they serve, and how important they are to the fish? Are they feelers, stabilizers, defenses? Do you know if they are nerve-rich sensors, or primarily just spines? I've seen African Butterflies with these spines nipped off by aggressive tankmates, and wonder what effects this has on the fish. < These "Spines" are extended stiff rays from the ventral fins. The fish is a surface feeder and is constantly looking up for a insect to fall into the water. These fish love mealworms or small crickets. So these rays are sensors telling the fish when something is coming up from underneath. If they are getting nipped off then the fishes warning system is being reduced. This would make them more likely to jump. I also think there is bit of camouflage involved too. These rays look just like the roots of some floating plants. If I can find someone who has personally collected these I would love to know myself.-Chuck> Thanks, Gabriel

2 more African Butterfly questions Thanks for the reply. I've been watching mine a lot (love this fish), and in addition to the other uses those ventral fin spines no doubt have, my butterfly seems to primarily use them to stay in place among the plants floating just beneath the surface, in the slight current from the filter. In this way he stays in a place where bugs might come floating by him, but can do so without wasting energy or drawing attention to himself by swimming in place. New question - is there any truth at all to the reports of these fish flying or gliding or jumping up to 6 feet above the water? I have my doubts. < It is so funny that you bring this up because a friend of mine and I were just talking about that last weekend. Apparently the collectors years ago noticed them "flying" out of the water while trying to catch them., I know at the wholesaler that I frequent often that they talk about finding then in other tanks as far as 12 feet away. They may simply jump out of the water and glide some distances away. There may even be some movement of the pectoral fins too. Currently no scientist is working on it but it could be down with all the modern photography technology that exists today.> I just don't see how they can get up the required speeds with that long flowing tail - I wonder if the appearance of "wings" on the fishes' sides have given credence to tall tales. It seems to me that the fishes' design and behavior are much more consistent with the less glamorous activity of imitating a leaf, than about aerodynamics. Those "wings" don't seem flight worthy, but they sure help conceal that it's a fish! I don't know if this is common, but my Butterfly is even darker on one side of the body than the other - from above, this rare bilateral asymmetry really enhances the appearance of a dead leaf floating partly in and out of the water - at first, I was totally fooled into thinking that the fish was sticking half out of the water! The dead-leaf illusion is aided by the transparent patches found on the wings and sideways through the body (visible when looking up at the fish with the light above). Second new question - the African Butterfly is classified as a "bony-tongued fish" - so does it have such a tongue? < yes it does.> Are there "teeth" on it? < Itis more likely used to plug up the mouth of the fish and force water back over the gills.> Does it use it to chew up live prey before swallowing? <Not really. It usually uses it's mouth to position the food and swallow it ASAP.> Mine won't cooperate and chew with his mouth open, and the internet is full of the same old aquarium info, plus a whole lot of scientific papers on their eyesight ... Can't find a thing on their tongues. < Without people taking an interest in the fish then there will be not serious work done.>-Chuck> Thanks for the quality info. Gabriel

Arowana rubbing on things own jardinei Arowana that is about 10 inches, right now my fish didn't eat anything for a whole week, it's skin begin scratch and all the skin lost its color, can you help me some ways to prevent this problem, thank! <Arowanas are often times quick to turn off of food.  Usually it's because of declining water conditions or illness.  Since you mentioned it's scratching, then it most likely has a skin infection which will need to be treated immediately.  If you have a large enough tank to separate it and medicate it than please do so.  It most likely has a parasite like Ich, and is rubbing on things to help remove the parasite from it's body.  I would suggest medicating the fish with something like Maracide from Mardel.  That should help the fish.  Good luck. -Magnus>

Arowana problems Hi, I am wondering if anyone can help me, I have two arowanas. One has started to swim with his head up with his rest of his body vertically down. I waited for a while thinking he had died but realized that he was still alive? He is swimming normally now, but has done this a few times! What is he doing?? Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon. Hello John. You will need to give us a bit more information. What size tank is he in? What filtration do you use? Do you add any products, and if so, which ones? How often do you do partial water changes? Do you know your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate levels, and what are you feeding your arowanas? Arowanas are prone to Internal gas bubble disease. Make sure your tank has good circulation and surface movement. Here are some links which may help you understand what gas bubble disease is: http://www.seahorse.org/library/articles/GBD.shtml and http://www.thekrib.com/Diseases/gas-bubble.html  -Gwen

Will this work for my Arowana setup? Hi, I have a few questions I would like to ask today. (again)  First off, I currently have a 75 DAS aquarium <I'm not familiar w/that> for a 9 inch black Arowana to live in for "a while."  I understand that DAS have very poor filtration systems, so I recently purchased a magnum 350 canister filter to aide in the filtration.  But I hear that the magnum 350 doesn't have biological filtration. <Biological filtration is exactly what a canister filter is for.>(also I have bare bottom tank so no substrate bacteria) <Why?  I would definitely put some substrate in there.  In addition to the huge surface area for bacteria, the Arowana will not feel comfortable w/o it & may get freaked out by this.> So I wonder, will this suffice as far as filtration goes?  Another question regarding equipment setup is....the magnum 350 pumps around 300 gallons per hour back to the tank, (I think) will this be enough for circulation for Arowanas?  Because as of now, I am having the DAS system return the water at 600 gph plus the 300 gph the magnum is returning, is this to much for black Arowanas? <no> is to much circulation bad? <no> should I lower the water return on my DAS? <no>   <I would add a HOB filter, like an Aquaclear 500 to act as mechanical & extra biological filtration.  I like to stack them: (bottom to top) sponge, 1" filter floss (polishes water) & Bio Blox.  I rinse the sponge & floss at every water change, leaving the Blox & canister to do the biological thing.> My last question is regarding the black Arowana itself.  At what pH level should I have it live in? is 7.5-8.0 ok?  <Not really a concern> and are there any special concerns I need to know about keeping them?  Please advise... <As you know, they need lots of horizontal swimming room & a good sturdy cover, as they are excellent jumpers.  Try not to feed them feeder goldfish, as they are usually starved & very crowded in holding which causes them to be diseased & not very nutritious.> Thank you <You're welcome & good luck--Pufferpunk> Thank you.

Arowana tank: Crushed coral substrate? No substrate? (11/10/03) Hi crew of WWM, thank you for having so much resources to learn from. <Hi! Ananda here tonight...I'm going to answer both of your emails in this message.> No doubt in a year or two the tropical fish business will bloom more than it already has in part because of you guys. <Hmmm, likely to keep going, anyway, but not necessarily due to us...> Well today I just have one quick question that I can't seem to find any where else.  I plan to care for two silver Arowanas in a 100 freshwater tank and I wonder if I can use crush coral substrate because I have a lot left after setting up my 180 gallon marine tank.   <Two problems with this. One, a 100g tank is too small, long-term, for most Arowanas, some of which can get up to 40" long. Even the "small" ones can reach 28". Either way, they deserve a full-blown indoor pond. The second problem is that these fish prefer slightly acidic conditions, and crushed coral is going to raise the pH to something quite alkaline.> Will it effect the water hardness to suit the Arowanas' life?  What about other fishes? Can I have other fishes with crush coral substrate? <While definitely not suitable for Arowanas, there are fish that will happily accept crushed coral as a substrate. African cichlids and most brackish fish come to mind.> Thank you very much for your assistance <On to part 2> Hi, I have a really quick question today.  I plan to have two silver Arowanas in a 180 gallon tank and I wonder if it's best I don't use any substrate?   <Hmmm... Even in a 180, I wouldn't want to keep one Arowana, let alone two. It's akin to living your entire life in something the size of a jail cell.> Would having a bare bottom better than having gravel?   <It might be, and you get a mirror effect from the bottom glass.> Will that effect that biological filtration of any kind?   <Maybe, but you're going to need a lot of filtration for Arowanas anyhow... think pond-level filtration for an indoor pond.> Because I hear that having a deep substrate produce nitrifying bacteria which is beneficial. <Well, the substrate itself doesn't produce bacteria; rather, it can be a place for bacteria to live.> But I also hear that having bare bottom will be easier to clean the water.   <Definitely easier to clean the tank when it has a bare bottom.> What is the best way to go?  Please advise.   <I vote for an indoor pond of one to several thousand gallons.> Thank you very much. -PHT- <You're welcome. --Ananda>

Clown knife with a bulge My clown knife looks as though it has swallowed a small rubber ball.. the kind that you get out of a gumball machine...   All of my other fish are still in the tank and still have all of there parts... my clown knife will not eat now but is moving around fine... <Is the clown producing feces at all?  If so, is it normal and brownish, or white and stringy?> We have had Mercury for 2 months now and have NEVER seen this before... I understand and have seen the "bulge" after eating, but this is NOT that!! The bulge he has now is huge and very round, again, like he swallowed a rubber ball.. no other way to describe it... <Sounds very much to be a gut blockage or constipation.  I'd suggest to dose the tank with Epsom salts at a rate of 1 to 2 tablespoons per ten gallons (this *should* help), and if the fish looks like he may accept food tomorrow, offer daphnia or mosquito larvae, or possibly (depending on size of the fish) a small earthworm, if the other items are too small for him.  These foods are high in roughage content and may possibly help to pass the blockage.> The owner of the local pet store thought maybe it was a bladder infection <Hmm....  a swim bladder infection is characterized by abnormal swimming (and occasionally accompanied with dropsy) - I do not believe this to be the case.> and told me to wait until tomorrow and see how he was.... <Go ahead and dose with Epsom salts tonight, it may very well help a great deal.> I cannot find ANYTHING on the net regarding this.... CAN YOU PLEASE HELP????? <I do wish to bring up another issue that this may be - there's the possibility that this is a tumor.  That you seem to imply that it happened suddenly and that the fish is not eating lead me to think constipation far more likely.  If it is a tumor, though, there's really nothing to be done, unfortunately.  Hopefully you'll see some improvement soon.> Thank you in advance....  Heather O <Wishing your fish a quick recovery,  -Sabrina>

Clown knife with a bulge - II THANK YOU very much for the speedy reply!!!!!   <You bet!> This morning when we checked in on him.. the one side has gone down completely and the other side is much smaller but now , no other way to explain it.... but it looks like a huge zit with a white head... half an inch long by 1/8 of an inch wide... <Hmm.  That doesn't sound good.  possibly an injury, perhaps infection....> it definitely looks better than last night at 9:00pm.... <That's certainly a good sign!!> as for producing feces.. I am not sure... <Sounds like he passed the most of it.  Still, do try to feed foods with a high roughage content for a few days.> Mercury is about 7 inches long now... and has been doing wonderful until last night... he gets along great with our other clown knife Neptune, who is about 12 inches.... we also have a convict, a scat, an iridescent shark, and a plecostomus...all live happily together.... <You seem to have a taste for the very, very large....  Ultimately, hope you've got a really big tank!  ;)  > He still isn't eating... but as I said.... I think that he looks much better.... <Good.> Again, thank you SOOOO VERY MUCH for the speedy reply... this is a site that I will keep handy in the future!!! <Excellent.  Pass it along to all your fish friends, too!> Oh, I almost forgot... I do have aquarium salt in the tank... but will add Epsom salt if you still think that will help! <I do think it would help, perhaps, especially if Mercury is still a little bloated.  Also, please keep a *close* watch on that strange mark - if it's an infection of some sort, you'll want to quarantine and treat with an antibiotic.  Hope all goes well, and glad to be of service!  -Sabrina> Heather O

Feeding regime for Pantodon buchholzi Hello! <Hi there!> I must first say how much I love this site and enjoy the forum, there is a wealth of knowledge here. Thanks to all involved with it. <Thank you for the kind words!!> Now, on to my question (it can't ever be just a thanks, can it ;) ?).  About four days ago, I added the first one of  three African Butterflyfish to be placed in my 72 gallon plant tank; this one is female, I plan on another female and a male.  I know these fish require meaty, and preferably live, foods.  I have heard / read that crickets and other insects, frozen meaty foods, small earthworms (I'm not sure how to keep 'em from sinking, but I'll find a way!), and beef heart are good food options for these fish.  So far, I've been feeding with only small (1/2 to 3/8 inch) crickets. <Sounds like you've done your research!> The biggest piece of info I can't find on these guys is how much and how often to feed them.  I know I'll get it through trial and error, but would like more details, if possible.  The first night, I fed her two crickets.  After the second, I could quite clearly see the bulge of her stomach, so I've been feeding only one cricket daily for the other three days I've had her.  She seems to be in great health, and gladly snaps up the little bugs.  Is this a proper amount of food?  Should I be feeding more?  Less? <I would go with a piece of meaty food every other day and flake food on the days meat isn't offered. This will provide her with other things she needs besides the meat.> And a second part to this question (can't get off that easily, eh?).  I have a proliferation of little house spiders in my house.  Some of them are not so little, but smaller than the crickets I've been feeding.  I'm a softie, so my husband, the spiders, and I all live peacefully- unless I can feed them to something ;). <Ugh! I'm terrified of spiders so you've really given me the creeps!> You see where this is going.  Can I safely feed spiders to my butterfly?  Is there any chance of her getting harmed by them?  I won't do anything to jeopardize her, but it would sure be nice to thin down the spiders.  If I really look, I can probably find a dozen of them.  It would also be nice just to know I have something for her to eat, should I run out of crickets and not have time to run to the store that day. Any thoughts? <Some websites say houseflies and small spiders are safe foods for these fish but I don't know for sure. I would assume that in the wild they eat any bug that gets onto the waters surface so you're probably safe.> And thanks a million! -Sabrina Fullhart <You're welcome! Ronni>

Re: freshwater butterfly fish Hey Bob, My wife was checking out a freshwater butterfly fish, I looked them up pretty cool its a Pantodon buchholzi . Would they be compatible with my Bichirs (Polypterus senegalus) they appear to be from the same general regions? <A great choice... the Bichirs on the bottom, your African Butterflyfish at the surface...> Oh 1 more thing I found 2 different Ph recommendations for my Bichirs 1 was 7.2-6.8 the other was 7.0-8.0 which is more accurate. <The former> They don't seem to be in any danger they re very active and eating like great whites hahaha Thanks Dave Siecinski <Good. Bob Fenner>

African Butterfly Hello all at WWM, I recently purchased an African butterflyfish (Pantodon buchholzi) I've had him for 2 days now and have been trying to get him to eat flakes or frozen food. So far nothing. I don't know what else to try to feed this guy. Will it eventually eat the flake or frozen or pellets I feed it? <Probably, no.> Or will this guy really starve himself to death? <Much more likely.> Thanks for all your help. <If you had typed Pantodon buchholzi into the Google search engine on www.WetWebMedia.com prior to purchasing, you would have found this, "While we're at mentioning Bony Tongue fishes used by aquarists, let's mention the African or Freshwater Butterflyfish, Pantodon buchholzi, Peters 1877. A great favorite, and fabulous jumper... To four inches in length. Feeds on live crustaceans, insects and fishes." -Steven Pro>

Arowanas? Hey, I'm trying to help my mom out because she wants to put an Arowana or two into her 400 gallon tank as a show fish for her restaurant. I would like to know if you could give me any links to good breeders or retailers of Arowanas. <Mmm, I know of some breeders of Scleropages in the orient... but there are none in the U.S. as far as I'm aware... If you have the time, patience, it's better to grow one up yourself... or barring this, make an exhaustive search through local to not-so-local fish stores in your area... leaving your business card for them to call you should someone come in looking to trade theirs> Please send me an e-mail back soon, she would like to get started as soon as possible. Also, is it possible to keep more than 1 male and 1 female Arowana together in a 400 gallon tank? Thank You. <They can be kept together... but getting them to do when they're larger... is tough at times. Lastly, for sure do make sure the top is completely covered... great jumpers. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/osteoglossiforms.htm Bob Fenner>

Arowana and Ray Biotope Tank Hi, I'm setting up a 225 gallon Arowana tank with Rays. <Even though 225 gallons in rather large, it is still a rather small tank in comparison to the fish you selected. I do not think you could safely stock more than two of each.> I would like to use a few live plants to make them a little more comfortable. <I think the Rays would wreck any live plants.> If I am only using a few plants how much fluorite should be used <I would stick to a sand bottom for the comfort of the Rays.> and what kind of plants. <Perhaps you could grow some Java Fern attached to something. There would be little danger in it becoming up rooted.> Thanks, Dave <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Re: Arowana and Ray Biotope Tank Thanks for the info and the 225 is only for 2 years until we build our dome home where there new tank will be the circumference of 30' by 3' wide 4' tall with a main tank connected at one end 10' x 4' x 4' <Wow! Truly impressive concept. Do send us pictures when done. -Steven Pro>

Arowana with a Moray Eel I have recently purchased an Arowana and a Fresh Water Moray Eel( looks just like the one in the picture). <Not a good choice to mix these two very different fish from very different environments.> After reading through the articles on the Eel, I understand that it prefers a brackish water more. Right now I have a 55 gallon fresh water tank. <The 55 is way too small for the Arowana, my friend. Your LFS did you a disservice by selling you a fish that needs a standard 180 as an absolute minimum.> PH is between 7.6- 8.0, Nitrate is fine and the there is no Ammonia, at a temp. of about 80 degrees. What should I do, will adding some salt water to accommodate the Eel effect the Arowana? <You are not going to be able to strike a happy balance for these two. My best recommendation is to return the Arowana and turn your 55 into a brackish tank.> For this tank what would you recommend everything should be at. Thanks for your time. <Further info can be found here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/osteoglossiforms.htm here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwmorayeels.htm and here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bracsetup.htm -Steven Pro>

STI News: Fish farmers going all out to stop thieves (Arowana Rustling) This message was forwarded to you from Straits Times Interactive (http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg) by perrychong@hotmail.com <Thanks Perry. Will post for our Arowana keepers. Bob F> Comments from sender: Pet fish trade in Singapore Fish farmers going all out to stop thieves by Ginnie Teo SOMETHING fishy's going on in the ornamental fish scene, and fish farmers here are not taking any more chances. One fish farmer who lost $20,000 worth of arowana recently is installing a $5,000 security system. Another is putting up a surveillance camera that enables him to keep an eye on his prized fish even while he is at home, via his computer. Other farmers are also beefing up security by carrying out more patrols of their farms or keeping a closer watch on suspicious characters who enter their shops. This comes after a recent spate of thefts which saw over $140,000 worth of ornamental fish being stolen. Arowana specialist Goh Kok Gan was one of the unlucky victims. He lost seven of his precious charges on March 22 when thieves walked out of his Jalan Bukit Ho Swee shop, Dragon's Home, with them while the attendant was busy talking to customers. The fish were worth close to $20,000. Mr Goh has since installed surveillance cameras. He said: 'We already have a security system in place at night to detect intruders, but we didn't have one to watch over shoppers. 'This should help deter thieves. Hopefully, we won't become victims again.' Mr David How, 50, of D'Koi Universe at Farmart Centre in Choa Chu Kang, has linked his surveillance camera to his home computer. He couldn't have timed it better. Just last week, he caught a student stealing an expensive guppy from his shop. He said: 'He took the fish from my shop and was already at another shop trying to steal again. Luckily, my brother caught him.' The 14-year-old boy was released with a warning. Over at Qian Hu Fish Farm in Jurong, over $100,000 was spent on hiring security guards, training guard dogs and installing a surveillance system before it opened in 2000. And it is not a one-time cost. The system costs $2,000 to $3,000 a month to maintain. Qian Hu has also embedded microchips into its arowanas. These contain electronically-coded information such as the farm producing them. This means that stolen arowanas can be tracked down. But some fish sellers say that, sometimes, simple precautions are the best. Mr Benjamin Wee, 26, who runs PetMart at Serangoon North, suggests keeping expensive fish out of people's reach. He said: 'Just put the expensive ones higher up so that people can't reach them. 'Or install covers over the tanks. That should keep thieves away.' On where the stolen fish were ending up, Mr Kenny Yap, executive chairman and managing director of Qian Hu Corporation, believes a black market for ornamental fish has emerged. He said: 'There are more thefts now because the ornamental-fish business is a booming industry at the moment. There are people out there who will pay for the best fish. 'The thieves know this. They are opportunists cashing in on the times.' The export of ornamental fish, which includes guppies, goldfish and the iridescent dragon fish, was worth more than $70 million for Singapore last year. IP Address:

Freshwater link Hi, Would be grateful if you could put a link to us on your freshwater links page... to http://www.arofanatics.com . It's an Arowana community for Arowana collectors from around the world, with forums, galleries and much more! Useful help and advice on all types of Arowana (from S. American and Australian to highly prized Asian Arowanas). Your link is already up on the site :) Thanks. <Will do. Bob Fenner, back from "the land down under">

Request for bibliographic help on the Featherback Knifes, Notopteridae Dear sir This is sathish s v from India working for PhD on induced breeding in fish n notopterus . hence I am in need of your valuable references (reprints) related to the above .kindly send them to the below find address. <What little I have is mainly pet-fish related and referenced (the intended use) and posted here on our site: http://wetwebmedia.com/bonytong.htm Bob Fenner> SATHISH S V DEPARTMENT OF ZOOLOGY GULBARGA UNIVERSITY GULBARGA -585106 KARNATAKA, INDIA

Greetings Halo Mr. Fenner Robert, <Greetings> I would like to introduce myself, my name is Dendi Sjafriadi, I live in Jakarta Indonesia. <Ah, I have been to many parts of your country and am visiting there (the Gilis, Lombok) this May...> I've been keeping animal mostly fish for about 15 years. I do this for hobby. After I seen your writing here I would like to know more about Asiatic Arowana ( Scleropages formosus ). At the moment I have 3 Asiatic Arowana which in Indonesia we called it Arowana. The colour is still dark gold ( maybe if it is older it will become red ). <How nice!> I raise it hoping I can breed them. <A worthy goal> But until know I don't have a writings which tell the different sex. <A bit hard to judge in Scleropages... but the "dissimilar jaws" measure still holds... go look at some mature individuals with an expert to help you.> In your writing above I don't get it clear. And for the picture you put above is the Silver arowana. <I will check this, thank you> Thank you for the attention. Regards, Dendi <Bob Fenner>

Asian Arowana mouthbrooding I found a webpage that said that male arowanas mouthbrood. I was not aware of this.  <This is so.> Would it be possible for you to send me a couple of references that describe the parental habits of arowanas (scientific journals if possible)? Thank You S. Daly <Hmm, all I have on Bony Tongue fishes is cited (mainly "pet-fish") on the section of that name on the Freshwater part of the site: www.WetWebMedia.com... But there are also works on the site that detail how to "do" computer searches for bibliographic work (like Fishbase.org, BIOSIS, The Zoological Record...). Do read these over and seek help with a Reference Librarian in the Life Science section of a college library. Bob Fenner>

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