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FAQs about the Potter's Dwarf Angel

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Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Sick Potter's Angel     1/7/13
Good evening,
I purchased a bonded pair of Potter's Angelfish
<Ahh, there's really no such thing as "bonded pairs"
of Centropyges; live in haremic situations... see the Net, books re>
 from Live Aquaria 4 weeks ago. They are in a 26 gallon QT; current water parameters are as follows:
Salinity= 1.026
PH= 8.15
Temp= 78
Ammonia= 0
Nitrite= 0
Nitrate = less than 5
I use distilled water
<RO is fine; much less expensive>
 and Seachem Marine Salt to perform all water changes. I did not perform a FW dip on these two fish as it took 4 hours to acclimate them due to very low ph in bag water...around 6.8. All lights were off for 24 hours after acclimation. Visually their weight was very good, coats a little faded.
Noticed immediately that the larger male was/is lethargic and not in very good control of balance. i.e. While changing direction he would tilt to the side before righting himself or if he wanted to go vertically he would stay suspended before swimming up. Also has clamped fins, muted color and likes to stay hidden. To this day he still does not show rapid breathing, scratching or darting. I treated them both for worms the first week with API General Cure as they were still not eating the following foods offered...Live clam, Scallop, Roggers Reef Blend Plus, frozen Ocean Nutrition Pygmy Angel and Formula I, Cyclop-eeze, Hikari Mysis. I finally bought Hikari Spirulina Brine Shrimp and that induced the female to start eating prepared foods. Dosing Boyd's Vita Chem every week. Since the start I have pulled chunks of algae from my refugium that the female loves to eat.
The second week I treated with Maracyn II for FW by quadrupling the dose to bring it up to SW and Lee's recommendation of doubling that dose, a Reefland moderator. Changed 80% of water after each treatment and added PolyFilter with activated carbon between treatments. The male perked up a bit after the Maracyn II treatment for a couple days then went back to clamped fins and hiding. Performed another 80% water change and treated with Maracyn I for SW. Have since performed two more 80% water changes. I am at a loss as to how to proceed now with the male.
<I'd summarily dip/bath and move these fish to the main/display. Read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm
and the linked files above>
 Symptoms have not changed with him from day 1 of QT, although when he comes out of hiding to swim around a little, he almost turns cloudy from head to tail and then slowly goes back to his normal color.
<... stress>
Obviously something is very wrong with this fish and I quite possibly may have waited too long to ask for help. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
<Have you read my article (posted, free to read) on WWM re this species?>
 For the sake of comparison, the female is doing awesome...eating all foods offered, very fat and active, grazing on rocks constantly, although still a little shy. The rock in the QT is NOT live rock, for decorative purposes only to reduce stress. After QT they will go into my 120 DT. Please view video of the male and as you can see he has lost a lot of weight in the 4 weeks and getting weaker. First time he has even remotely gotten agitated with female, I watch them on and off for 3 hours a day and have videoed when Im not around to see if male eats algae/food after I leave. His swim pattern has not changed and neither have the symptoms. Could this be a prelude to velvet/Ich or an advanced stage of flukes due to discoloration?
Should I treat with another medication for internal/external bacterial infection due to the clamped fins? This is complete torture to watch a fish slowly starve to death.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
<Move it. Bob Fenner>

Unknown ailment on Potter's angelfish.     7/19/12
Hello, I have a 3 inch Potter's angle in with a 4 inch Regal angle from the Philippine's.
<The Potter's is from Hawaii of course>
 They are in quarantine together in a 40 breeder.
<Mmm, not really compatible in such a small volume>

 The Regal eats ocean nutrition angle formula, aqua treasures Mysis, formula two flakes and New life spectrum flake food.
It will not take to the pellets yet.
<I would offer... the Spectrum>
The Potter has not taken to eating anything but Mysis and some Julian Sprung's purple seaweed. Last night when I got home I noticed the Potter had about 7 half pea size abrasions on its right side and its right fin is half gone. I have not noticed any aggression between the two fish.
<This is it>

They both have been treated with PraziPro and are in Cupramine at a level of .5 ppm. The Potter is also hanging out at the top of the tank in front of the power head, and is breathing heavy.
<I wish I'd seen this sooner... This fish needs to be moved NOW>
The tank contains two sponge filters. One hooked up to an air pump the other a maxi jet. There is also some pvc pipe's for shelter. Both fish have been in the tank for 13 days. Ammonia is 0 ppt.
Nitrite 0 ppm. Nitrate 15 ppm. Ph 8.0. Sg 1.023. Temp 79. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am unable to take a good photo. Thanks, Josh.
<I'd expedite, freshwater pH adjusted dip/bath the Centropyge and move it post haste. It may be too late already. Bob Fenner>

potter's angel in qt    7/18/12
Hi Bob,
Last week, while picking up a skimmer at our LFS, my wife and I fell for a tiny Potter's Angel (I know, I know) that had come in a few days before. We watched it for a while, and it was active and healthy and was eating. The next day I went back and took it home (I know, I know). So it's been a week now in QT, and it appears to be eating but pretty much only when I'm out of the room. It swims around the tank, searching for food (I put a large piece of live rock in there) but generally darts into its hideout when I'm around to either check up on it or feed it. 
<What they do>

The question is at this point with no signs whatsoever of disease, should I keep it in the tank a few more weeks so it can get bigger or is it better off in our 110 gallon DT (lots of  hiding places, some good growth, non-aggressive tankmates (two black/white clowns, royal gramma, two Heniochus diphreutes, young Kole tang, pearly Jawfish, shrimp goby). We just want to give it the best chance to survive.
<I would not delay this species, esp. a small individual, in prolonged quarantine. Better to summarily pH adjusted freshwater dip/bath and place permanently. Bob Fenner>
As always you rule,
Re: potter's angel in qt – 07/18/12

hey bob,
I gave the Potter's Angel the dip, and he it appeared to do better than most of the fish I've dipped. The dip water temperature was a couple of degrees warmer than the tanks. I slid him carefully into the tank (didn't use a net, just a plastic box with slats on the side that it was in during the bath). I opened it up in the tank and let it slip out. It sunk to the bottom. Alas, it wasn't pretending to be dead, it was dead.
 What a shame. I am totally responsible and should have heeded your warnings.
<Sorry for your loss. BobF>

Potters Angel, rdg.... stkg./sel.  10/26/11
Hi, I have read several articles on the "Potters Angel" and I have read some conflicting information.
<Mmm, you've likely seen mine... and I've collected a few hundred. What's up?>
Some say this is an expert only fish. Others say it is an easy fish to keep.
<More the former>
I currently run a 125 DT containing the following, Majestic Angel,

<Stop. Your system is already mis-stocked... This fish needs more room>
Flame Angel, Yellow Tang, several Green Chromis, Mandarin, Blue Hippo, and a pair of clown fish. I recently purchased this fish and placed him in my DT. The first day he was picking at LR and several SPS corals. Today I am at day 5 and he has yet to take any prepared foods I've offered. I have tried garlic, several different flakes, NLS pellets, mysis, Dwarf Angel Formula, Rods, and today I am trying clams on the half shell also soaked in fresh garlic. He shows no signs of parasites or illness. He is active however he has stopped picking at corals and even LR. I must admit I am feeding heavily in an attempt to get him to eat. He has taken nothing and I have not seen him pick at anything in 3 days. No other fish are picking at him. He looks at the food and then swims on by. Love this fish and would love for him to make it. But I am beginning to worry. Param.s PH 8.3, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate0, Phos 0. Thanks
<Read my pc. on WWM. Bob Fenner>
re: Potters Angel  10/26/11

Thank you for responding. I have had the Majestic for several years. I would guess he is at his maximum growth in my aquarium approximately 5 inches. He does very well and is not aggressive towards anything in the tank. What size tank would you suggest for him?
See WWM re Euxiphipops

Potters Angel and Potters Wrasse compatibility help!   12/14/10
Hello Bob & Crew!
I have a quick compatibility question for you. I have a Potters Angel (what a beauty and a little spitfire!) and have acquired a Potters Wrasse which I'd love to put in the same tank.
<Not a good idea. These often fight when encountering each other in the wild>
Want to make sure this is ok in your eyes? If not I have another display tank which houses a Halichoeres ornatissimus aka Christmas Wrasse and is about 5".
<Better to place the Macropharyngodon OR Centropyge there>
I was lucky enough to get the Potters Wrasse healthy after shipping and would hate to mix him up in the wrong environment. When I acquired the angel I did read on your article about keeping them successfully and remember the mention of keeping Hawaii species with him and was thinking the same might imply for the wrasse?
You guys rock and hope to see you again here in the Mile High City!
<Ahh! Perhaps on a junket/visit out there with Jake Adams>
Best Regards,
Mike Snyder
Custom Aquaria llc.
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Potters Angel and Potters Wrasse compatibility help!   12/14/10
Hi Bob!
Not sure if my last reply made it to you..... Should have known better than to send from the "smart" phone! I was curious on how to tell the gender on the Macropharyngodon as the coloration is completely different?
<Mmm, likely this is an initial phase (female) individual. I have pix of this and a terminal one here: http://wetwebmedia.com/macropharyngodon.htm>
Please see attached photos, I'm curious to get your thoughts if keeping them together will/would help and possibly increase the chance for long term success and help them to adapt etc?
<I'd keep separately. I have only seen them solitary in the wild. BobF>
Custom Aquaria llc.
re: Potters Angel and Potters Wrasse compatibility help!   12/14/10
Lol! &nbsp;Should have known Jake would be involved! &nbsp;One more question if I may, I brought 2 of the potters wrasse and one has the blue stripes leading to the blue tail the other almost all orange with exquisite light blue markings. &nbsp;Is this the colorings of both genders? &nbsp;If so would survival rate be better introducing the pair?
Many thanks,
<I see what you mean! B>

Potters Angel Color... loss, stress, env., bad tankmates  3/15/10
Good morning,
<Day's slipping by me here... now the afternoon>
I purchased a potters angel
<Not generally a very hardy species for aquarium use>
about 4 weeks ago and he is eating fine. I have him in a 90 gallon with about 90 lbs of LR and good algae growth established for over 10 years. He is now eating most foods including Angel fish formula, Spirulina Algae, Mysis, brine, new life Spectrum pellets, and flake. I soak the frozen food in Vita Chem every day.
<Ah, good>
My concern is his bright orange coloring has dissipated and he is now not very noticeable. When I received him the color was spectacular but I am not sure what happened.
<Mostly stress>
The only thing I can think of that is the cause is stress, but he well established in the tank now but his color is not coming back. His tank mates are a clown tang,
<Acanthurus lineatus... a very "alpha" species>
introduced with him, a clown trigger,
<Doing! What? Would you like to live with a grizzly bear in your home? Imagine trying to get it to give up your/its fave chair!>
two percula clowns, and a Koran angel.
<... this is way too much life for this volume. Your Centropyge needs very calm, easygoing tankmates... and few of them>
The Koran owns the tank so it took some time to get them well acquainted but now everything is fine.
Any ideas on what I can do to get the color back?
Thank you,
<Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pottersangel.htm
and the linked files above... and elsewhere on WWM re the other species you list. What you have here won't work. Bob Fenner>

Would it be beneficial to feed a Potter's Angel Chaeto?  10/5/09
<Hey Korrine! JustinN here to assist!>
Since they are constantly grazing, would it be nutritionally beneficial to feed a Potter's Angel Chaeto? Basically keep adding it to the tank as it grazed it down?? Or they generally it not eat it? I don't have a fuge yet, but could probably buy some Chaeto and start one.
<Well -- it would likely be beneficial to them if they ate it -- Chaeto holds a good deal of nutrients all-around.. Unfortunately, its largely unpalatable, even to the most unrelenting algae consumers appetite. Don't
let this hinder you from starting a 'fuge though! A Refugium provides so many more health benefits than just a quick source of leafy food -- read more here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/refugium.htm and its related
sublinks. Ciao! -JustinN>
Thank you,
Korrine from South Dakota

Potter's Angelfish in QT: Dwarf Angelfish QT\Feeding 7/20/2009
Dear Crew -
<Hi Marty.>
I acquired a gorgeous 3.5 in. Centropyge potteri one week ago.
<A beautiful fish, but historically difficult to keep. Do read about its requirements here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pottersangel.htm >
I made sure I saw it eat at the LFS and it ate with enthusiasm for the first six days (enhanced frozen brine shrimp).
<A good sign, but needs to be trained on other foods as well>
Today it stopped eating. Ammonia and nitrite are zero; nitrate perhaps 15; temp. 77 degrees F.; pH 8.33. No signs of parasitic or other infections.
<Thank you for these details.>
It seems to me he may simply be fed up with his barren surroundings.
<A good observation and likely so.>
The display tank in waiting is 300 gal., well aged with much live rock and just three ocellaris clowns and cleanup crew inverts. Should I cut QT time short? If not, what other steps do you recommend?
<For a difficult species such as this, I would move it to the display tank.
For additional safety, I would do a FW\Formalin or FW\Methylene Blue dip
before putting it in the display: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm
Thanks for any advice you are able to provide.
<You are on the right track with this fish. Do keep a close eye on it once in the display tank and ensure that it starts eating.>

Potter's Angel Not Eating. 3/30/2009
I've had a Potter's Angelfish for 3.5 months, and reading about the fish on your site I realized after the fact, that I should not have bought the fish and they should not even be captured in the ocean.
<Sadly, this is usually the case, unless they are in very large, aged systems with lots of 'pods and the like to eat.>
I have yet to see this fish eat any food that I give, yet he is still alive. He is skinny and his fins are always torn but he swims around the tank and is not shy.
<Good sign that it is still active and hunting, Skinny and having ragged fins is of concern.>
The tank meets the requirements laid out for this fish to survive: hiding places, live rock and corals, peaceful tankmates (Anthias, a clownfish and Chromis), and is 90 gallons.
<A bit smaller than I would feel comfortable putting this fish in, simply because a larger tank will have more opportunity to produce the foods the fish needs.>
The Potter's Angel has refused Cyclopeeze, frozen brine & mysis, mixed flakes, Spirulina flakes, and dry seaweed. I've tried adding garlic too. I don't think he will survive much longer by just eating the algae on the rocks.
Any suggestions?
<Try some live Brine or Mysis shrimp, Sushi Nori. You can also try a freshly opened clam or mussel and see if you can tempt it to eat. The important thing is to keep trying different foods until you find something it will eat.>
<My Pleasure>

Potter's Angel New Tank 11/17/08 Hi for like the fifth time in...what, three days? Ok, so I got the e-mail back saying that I should make the new tank a priority. Would my angel be ok in a 55g? 75? Does it REALLY absolutely NEED at least 100g? <Ideally, for the best chance of survival, the more room/rock the better.> The 150g+ tank a sort of goal of mine, sure, but not something I could plausibly make a priority. Remember, I get $10 a week in allowance. And I'm 15. There aren't very many jobs for 15-year-olds out there that I could even bear considering. <There are ways to earn extra cash. Mowing lawns, washing cars, heck even writing for the trade.> My mom doesn't help, either, with her insistence that I make "finishing" THIS tank a priority BEFORE starting on a new one. <Sound judgment.> So, how much does a 100g cost, and how much for the equipment? <It can really vary, do look for used systems in Craigslist or the paper. Great deals can be found.> I really want to follow your advice, but I just don't know how long it will take. I mean, I have school and other stuff...it's not like I can suddenly just drop out in order to raise money for a new tank. It would probably be a more realistic goal to get all the equipment needed to make my angel as comfortable as possible in the aquarium I have right now (within reason, of course). WITH that in mind, what would you suggest? <I do not know, your previous correspondence is not attached. From what is implied here, I would just look for a more suitable home for the fish, get one down the road when your larger system is well established.> I was thinking of maybe some more live rock, like Fiji branch rock, to go with the three large pieces of Tonga rock that I have in there right now. Or would a different type of live rock be better? <Any live rock will do, regular Fiji being the mainstay and my choice.> Anything else? Please tell me!! I ish really worried!! :-; <Nothing that is not posted on WWM re this fish. Scott V.> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pottersangel.htm

Centropyge potteri starving in QT 09/29/08 Hi Crew, <Daphne> Thank you kindly for all the wonderful information you have posted on your site. It is greatly appreciated. I hope you might be able to help me with a problem I caused through my own error. Error #1: I purchased a Centropyge Potteri, and a young adult, no less (they had no juveniles). I realized after I got home and researched your site a bit more, that it is a very difficult species to keep. <Yes, usually> Error #2: The LFS claimed he would eat flakes, <... even if so, won't sustain> but I failed to ask them to feed him in front of me, so I had no proof he was eating. At home, I put the angel in my 10 gallon quarantine tank, <Small> with bare bottom, shelter, Eheim power filter, temp 79 degrees, good water quality (no ammonia, nitrites or nitrates) <Not for long> and lighting. My pH is a bit low at 78, <7.8 is very low... this is a base 10 logarithmic expression...> but extremely stable and I understand that stable is more important than having exactly 82, so I don't mess with it. My potteri would not eat flake, pellets, Nori, frozen Mysis, or Caulerpa, and there is no seaweed or live rock in the QT. After three days of not eating at all, I saw him scratch on his shelter, and on closer inspection I saw a small whitish patch (1/2 cm) on one pectoral fin, and a couple of very tiny gold speckles (on the same fin) that could have been velvet. So I went back to the LFS and bought Cupramine. <Mmm, I STRONGLY encourage you to quickly read up on Chloroquine Phosphate use instead... very effective for most flagellate and ciliate issues in this setting (FO, no algae present)... Copper in all formats is toxic to degrees, more so with certain groups of fishes... in this case, part. Angels> I have been doing daily 50% water changes during treatment, and at the same time, trying to keep the copper levels around 0.25, but the API Copper test is very hard for me to read as the colour strips for 0ppm and .25ppm are almost exactly the same colour. <Am NOT a fan of strip testing... see WWM re if you'd care> Do you know if the test by Red Sea is any easier to read, <I know that you should switch treatment moda period> and if it would be worthwhile to purchase this additional test kit? <Not so IMO> The worse problem is that it has now been 8 days since I had the angel and he still will not eat any foods I offer him, even when they are soaked in Entice. I tried scraping some hair algae off my equipment in my display tank (because I read that angels enjoy filamentous algae), but he was not interested in that, either. I even tried siphoning a small amount of detritus from my main tank into the QT to see if he would bite. <Good techniques, trials> His belly is beginning to sink in, and today I noticed a small fray in the back of his dorsal fin as well. So now he has fin rot? <... symptomatic... root cause? Improper setting/env... species> Or just a side effect of being stressed from having ich, copper treatments and no food? <Much more so, yes> I feel like I am losing this battle. How long will it be before this angel is irreversibly damaged or killed by malnutrition? <Days likely> Is it possible that the stress from being ill and being treated with copper is contributing to his hunger strike? <Of a certainty, yes> If so, is there anything I can do to relieve his stress? <Remove the copper, proffer some live rock, risk moving this animal (trough a dip/bath, see WWM re) into the DT... Ask the shop/LFS to take it back...> Should I leave tank lights off? Also, the LFS does not seem to know if cyanide was used in his capture, but since he could only come from Hawaii, <Is a Hawaiian endemic... not cyanided> I do not think this was a factor. I think it is an unfortunate cycle where the stress makes him sick and the sickness gives him stress, and the whole thing makes him not eat, causing more stress.... Thank you for your patience and help! Daphne <Mmm... read on WWM re Centropyge spp., Protozoans and Copper if you'd like... but I'd be either trying to return this fish, moving it, or switching to the Chloroquine... Stat. Bob Fenner>
Re: Centropyge Potteri starving in QT 09/29/08
Dear Bob, <Ah, yes> Thank you so much for the advice. I am taking out the copper as we speak and will start raising the pH slowly today in both my display and QT. <Good> Have a wonderful evening! <Thank you Daphne. BobF>

Potters angel breeding  6/1/08 Hi my name is Michael De Giovanni a marine aquarist and a amateur marine biologist. I am hoping to get some info on how to get potters angels to breed. I am going to be starting a scientific study within a few weeks to attempt to document their breeding in a home aquarium. Your book by the way The Conscientious Marine Aquarist is a amazing guide that was a cornerstone to get me into the hobby. This study I hope would get me a scholarship into a college to get a masters degree in marine biology. I thank you for any info or help you can provide. Sincerely, Michael De Giovanni <I have observed this species many times in Hawai'i' evidently engaging in reproductive behavior. My brief survey article and link (above) to our FAQs re can be found here: http://wetwebmedia.com/pottersangel.htm  Is there something in particular I may be able to help you with? Bob Fenner>
Re: Potters angel breeding
  3/1/08 Any tips on how to get them to breed? lighting conditions etc.? <Mmm, this species is supposedly "monogamous"... have only seen "pairs" doing a bit of dance above the Porites compressa toward sunset... per all other Centropyge am familiar with... the male driving the female/s up, to the side... releasing gametes simultaneously... these floating about toward the surface or being consumed by other fishes... Raising two or more in an adequately large space... with some sort of lobate or branching coral cover... time going by. BobF>---

Potter's Angel/Acclimation 11/7/07 Hello Crew, <Hello whomever you are.> I bought a Potter's Angel <Please cap names of fish and invertebrates along with "i's" in future queries. Saves us much time if we do not have to edit.> from a good LFS about a week and a half ago and he seems to be doing very well. I asked how long he was at the store and they said that he has been at the store for 6 weeks with out any problems and eats frozen foods, flakes etc. I also saw it eating off the bottom of the tank. I didn't know a lot about the C. potteri when I was there but assumed they were similar to the other dwarf angels. The guy at the store said that once acclimated they would be just as hardy as any other dwarf angel and just as easy. He also knew that I am not an expert. So I trusted the guy and bought the angel at a very fair price. <You may be one of the lucky ones. The Potter's Angel (Centropyge potteri) is one of the more difficult angels to keep from this family.> The angel is about 3 inches long with great coloring. He has been in my DT for a week and a half and has been eating Formula 2 pellets since day two. I did not QT him because I read online that they should not be QTed. <?> After the fact, I wish I would have. Anyways, since he is already eating prepared food like a pig (more than my 2 Ocellaris Clowns that he shares the 75g with) and shows no signs of distress (he swims in and out of the LR all day pecking at the sand and LR) What are my chances that this guy will have a relatively long term success? <Based on my experience, long term, I'd say 50/50.> I have about 80lbs of LR but not a huge amount of algae growth (except diatoms), but he does eat everything I put into the tank. If he needs live algae, is there any macro algae I can buy that he would eat? <I'd supplement with gut filled brine shrimp by Hikari along with Ocean Nutrition's freeze dried algae sheets. My False Lemon Peel readily takes to these and he has been around for a couple of years now.> Also, I read in your C. potteri FAQs that they would do well with any other Hawaiian fish species... I know Kole Tangs live around some Hawaiian Islands, but would this be a bad choice since they both eat algae? I wanted to get another centerpiece fish like a Tomini or Kole Tang. <Your tank is a little too small for keeping tangs as most can grow over 6" in captivity. Read here and linked files above on tangs. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zebrasom.htm> I want to provide only the best for this guy and I admit mistake for not fully understanding the needs of this fish. It is a great specimen and I want to do anything I can to keep him healthy and happy. Any input would be appreciated. <Also read here and linked files above on this family of fish. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/ James (Salty Dog)>  

Potter's Angelfish Color, and Midas Blenny whipping... Mmm, more of... Net livestock buying, Coris aygula sel., RMF ranting...  03/22/07 Unfortunately there is too much to read and not enough time in my day. <... Your graphic is an order of magnitude larger than what we allow... Have you read through the screen re writing us? And... did you use the search tool for WWM, the indices?> I have done a Google search on the topics, but I wanted to follow up with you.   I added my general tank info at the top and put my concerns at the bottom.    Back ground.    180 gallon reef tank about 120 lbs of live rock, 4 months  upgrade from 50 gallon for 4 years 2-4 inches of live sand 40 Gallon Sump Refugium. and a chiller.  2 VHO lights one super actinic and 1 400 watt 15k  halide light with the larger tank I add about 3 gallons of water and I cycle 35 gallons a month in a water change, (your thoughts Should I cycle more than 35/month?)) <Mmm, no... this should be fine... what are your reasons, rationale... for possibly changing more?> Tank community Snails, hermits,  sally crabs, emerald crabs, fire shrimp, cleaner shrimp, 2 peppermint shrimp 1 clam 2 bubble tip Anemone <Should NOT be mixed here with other Cnidarians... see WWM re Compatibility> 2 brain coral, two SPS 1 cactus coral Ricordea,  metallic and fuzzy mushrooms2 Tigertail cuc's 1 black cuc <Holothuroids ditto> Fish 1 yellow tang 2 years 2 4 stripe damsels (4 years) 1 blue dot jaw fish 2 weeks <Neat animals... but digging machines> 1 midas blenny 1 year  (last week he started diving to the bottom and whipped his tail in the sand) <Yes... in reaction to the introduction of the above fish> 2 Percula clowns 5 years 1 potter's angelfish 3 months  (losing a little color on sides) no signs of flakes and he is very active <Good> 1 male lyretail Anthias. 3 weeks 2 blue Chromis one died in transition to new tank. 2 years 1 mandarin goby 4 years Twinspot hogfish 2 months Goals  to add Eiblii Angel, Radiant Wrasse, Female Lyretail Anthias, Twin Spot Coris Wrasse, <Mmmm, No... gets way too large...> or peacock/vermiculate wrasse,  Filamented flasher wrasses or blue filamented flasher wrasses,  (are the last two compatible,?)  would this be too many fish? <Likely okay here> I feed my tank Mysis Shrimp, Cyclops, and a veggie mix with a veg clip. Problem last week I lost 1 eiblii angel and a female lyretail Anthias.  both new additions the other new additions are doing fine. <I would be sticking to a strict quarantine procedure... AND investigating all purchases ahead of time... Your list of what you have and propose shows a dangerous disregard...>   (Jawfish and Anthias and Twinspot hogfish) My concern is for my midas blenny and potters angel.    The potters is still very active he has just lost the intensity of the purple on his side. <Very common in captivity> The oranges are still vivid.  and the tail is vivid purple.  I just added the veggie clip to increase seaweed diet, but my angle dominantly eats from the live rock and eats the Mysis shrimp. She/he is not chased by other fish and does not appear stressed. (Your Thoughts)    After reading a little in your article I read about fishes whipping and signs of ich,  well my midas blenny is more active swimming in the open and current than he was in the 55 gallon tank, but he has great color I just recently noticed him diving to the bottom and turning real fast near the sand, I just wanted to see if I should be concerned.     (Your Thoughts)   <Is likely simply reacting to the new Opistognathid... but your system could well be Crypt infested> All other fish including the deceased appeared to be in great health.    I do have means to catch my fish in my reef tank and can get something else set up if I need to treat them.  I do not want to treat them in my reef tank unless there are easy solutions.    <I would not... see WWM re Infested Systems...> let me know what you think and if you need more information.   <Just smaller attached files... IF you had read... we have an imposed limit of ten megs... after this is reached our mail server crashes... Do you understand? Do you care?> last additional comment and question.    I think your site is great.  I have been looking around the web and reading as much as I can.   I live in Portland and I honestly wanted your opinion on purchasing fish in stores vs. the web, <See my book, CMA, toward the end... my stated opinions re this practice are laid out succinctly there. Is a useful, practical avenue for folks not located near "real" LFS...>   the dealers I work with will hold the fish for me.  However Dr foster and smith has a 14 day guarantee.   what are your thoughts on best ways to buy a fish.  (my thoughts are still on the store unless I set up the quarantine.)      <I would definitely quarantine all, regardless...> I read your quarantine article and I really was left with one other question.  should you treat all fish even if you do not see anything (internal parasites) or can you just quarantine them and see how they do?    <This latter> I do not have a quarantine tank unfortunately and I have never had a problem to my knowledge.   My method has really been to let the fish stabilize in the stores for 2 weeks.  and bring them home.  (this may have to change if I do have a disease problem. Russell W. Scranton
<Read on. Bob Fenner>

Oooh, love those flashes!

Re: Potter's Angelfish Color, and Midas Blenny whipping 03/22/07 Thank you, <Welcome> Sorry, I thought my image was under the limit recommended, I must have missed a decimal place on the JPG.  to answer your quick questions I did follow your protocols, and I used your search to read more on the issues, but I was getting some conflicting information and information overload.   I do care and appreciate your help and do not want to crash your site, I messed up on the picture size sorry . Russell W. Scranton <Ahh, thank you for this forthcoming explanation... I DO wish our mailserver weren't so self-limited/ing... We have asked our ISP for something better, but all they have won't allow the couple dozen of us to log on at the same time/interval. Cheers... and do keep your eyes open for possible further indications of parasitic involvement here. Bob Fenner, who used to hang out at the SWFC during the "Hobson" days there>

Potters Angel <Lawnmower Blenny and Catalina Gobies> in Possible Danger Related to Lack of Research. Howdy! <Hey there!>     I'm not sure where to start, so I'll start from the top and be very verbose (my apologies).... <No apologies my friend.>     2 months ago I set up a brand new "NanoCube 24" by JBJ (24 gal) with about 30 pounds of live rock, and 2 bags of live sand.  The rock came from a friends 75gal, which he had for 6 years.  There is about 16 gal of water in the tank (at a guess) and it has been doing fantastic.   <OK.> I let it cycle for about 3 weeks, then inserted my test pilot, a small Yellow Tail Damsel, who also did great.   <Not the most ideal means of cycling a tank.  Please read here for future reference:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/estbiofiltmar.htm  > The following week, the insanity overtook me, and I had a trio of Catalina Gobies, 5 different button corals, and few very pretty mushrooms delivered. <Mmm, yes, insanity and impatience.  My, this is not a good mix.  Catalina Gobies (Lythrypnus dali) are a cool water species, preferring water temps between 64-71 F.   Please read here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lythrypnus.htm Your corals are found in tropical waters.  An appropriate temperature would be around 78-79 F.>   The mushrooms were in baaaad shape, most having detached from their strata and curled into spit wads.   <Is that the technical term?> Currently, 1 is doing great, 2 are doing ok, and the other 2 are loses.   <See temperature suggestion above and below.> The button corals have their days where they are wide open, and their days where they are partially open.... <See temperature reference above and below.>      At this point, all of the fish were doing great.  Some hermit crabs and snails were added to help with some algae, eventually swelling to 16 crabs (tiny blue legs, zebra, Scarlets, and some normal Mexican red legs), and about 12 snails of various kinds (the Turbo snails will be exiting the tank in a day or 2, due to their constant tossing of my corals). <A lot of crabs and too many snails for such a small system.  High likelihood of starvation for the snails.>      2 weeks ago I inherited a Lawnmower Blenny from a friend, and he too is doing well, though I have never seen a blenny swim freely so much...   <He's probably hungry.> He seems to eat well, and everyone gets along. <The minimum recommended tank size is 55 gallons for a Lawnmower Blenny (Salarias fasciatus).  The Blenny may starve in systems that are not well established or have insufficient algae growth.  Your system is too small and too new to be an appropriate home for this fish.  I would try to find a more appropriate home for this fish.> A small peppermint shrimp also came with the blenny. <OK.>       4 days ago, my girlfriend heard me say "That is a beautiful fish.  I wouldn't mind getting one at some point, like when I have a 75..."  at which point she wandered off to look at the puppies.  When I got home from work the following evening, she surprised me with that beautiful Potters Angel acclimating in his bag in my 24!  I was delighted, yet also totally freaked out.  I called the pet store, and they wouldn't take him back.  Now, they had him for 2 months, and he has done better than any other Angel (save a little Eiblii they had).  I took about 2 hours to acclimate him, and during the transfer from bag to tank, my dog barked, which surprised both me and the fish.  He became tangled in the net due to that gill spike, and it took me about 2 minutes to extricate him with very small scissors snipping the net. <Aye!>      Since then, he has been very active in the tank, and was nipping at the glass, rocks, and strands of algae the very next morning.  I've recently done a profusion of reading, and I am in fear that he won't last in my little 24.  So far, he seems very happy, but only eats off of the rocks, and occasionally nibbles at the dried seaweed I clip in.  No one chases anyone around, and it is a very peaceful tank with everyone mingling and swimming about, including the Potters.  I change out about 2-3 gallons every 3 days, using RedSea for my salts. and the daily temperature beings at 72*F in the morning, at is usually at 75.5*F in the evening when I turn off the light.   <This water temperature and its fluctuation is less than ideal for your system, best to keep temps stable and warmer, 78-79 F.> I've been able to keep "perfect" water quality, with almost nonexistent Nitrite and Nitrate, and the KH is at the optimum level.      My question is... what can I do to keep this fish happy and alive?   <Actually the Potter's Angel (Centropyge potteri) is the most appropriate fish you currently have in your tank.  I would try offering some well-rinsed frozen foods soaked in Selcon several times a day.  The problems lie with the Blenny and Gobies. Your system is not an appropriate home for either.  The gobies do not belong in your system.  They require a cool water setup.  The gobies need to be relocated to an appropriate cool water home.  The blenny should be kept in a larger more established tank.>   I've called a few stores in the area, and the only one willing to take him off of my hands will only take him for free.  I'd hate to break my wonderfully misguided gals heart by giving her gift away, and I do like the Potters so....     Any advice or help would be GREATLY appreciated. <Your girl seems to have done more homework regarding appropriate choices for you system than you have my friend.  She is not as misguided as you may think.  Her selection is more appropriate than your selection of a Lawnmower Blenny and Catalina Gobies.  Your water temperature should be higher and more consistent.  You have too many snails and quite a few hermits which will compete with the angel for algae.  Please do more research before making purchases.  The lives of these amazing creatures are solely in your hands.  You may want to consider a book by Robert M. Fenner titled "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" to help you on your journey.  I think you will find it most helpful.  It is a book I continuously reference.  It is money well spent.         Thank you,   Darby <Welcome.  -Mich>
Re: Potters Angel <Lawnmower Blenny and Catalina Gobies> in Possible Danger Related to Lack of Research.
Mich,     Thank you very much for your advice.   <Hello Darby!  You are quite welcome!> Doing research can be so very frustrating because there are so many contradictory sources out there, especially the people in the shops "who know" and urge you on to get things going quickly. <Yes, it can be a big challenge, but doing your own research is essential to be successful in this hobby.  Shame on shops who encourage quickness... the antithesis of appropriate.>      I may have found a home for the Lawnmower Blenny, and a good number of the snails will be making an exit this evening.   <Very good, as long as they are going to appropriate homes.> I'll continue to look for some place for the Catalinas, as I'd hate for their lifespan to be shortened on my account.   <Yes, a shame these fish are occasionally sold as tropical species to well intended folks as yourself.> Perhaps I should set up a second tank ( I have a 10 gal that could be used for that, but it would be too small, except for a refugium). <This might be a good temporary solution.  Where they are at now is too warm.  The issue here really is temperature.  In many places in the world this system would require a very expensive chiller.  If you are in a Northerly climate, there is a possibility, but these fish like it as some would say, cool, I would say, brrr... cold.>     Another question, if you don't mind:  How can I keep the water temperature from fluctuating, without heaters or chillers?   <Mmm, you need a heater if you're keeping tropical fish, my friend.  These are quite affordable, tiny ones are less than $10 and super deluxe go for around $50.  I am shocked that you don't have one.  Go get one ASAP.  And while you're out, stop at your local bookstore and pick up a copy of "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert M. Fenner.  This book will be a tremendous resource for you.  I reference it frequently.  It is money well spent and you will use it as long as you are in the hobby.> I keep my house at a constant temp, so I can only theorize that it is the lighting system raising the temp, which I was assured that the Nanocubes were immune from.  These little systems don't leave very much, if any, room to add systems... <Yes, an inherent problem, but add a heater please.> thank you again, Darby <Welcome!  Mich> Potters

Angel... life   1/20/07 Hi <And to you> 3 weeks ago I purchased a beautiful potters angelfish from my LFS. <Am out in this Centropyges native haunt as we key... Not an easy species to keep> I have her in a 53 litre tank <Yikes... less than 20 gallons... Much too small, unsuitable...> (I will upgrade to a 3 foot soon as she is only 4 cm) with roughly 5 kg.s of live rock and a few pieces of coral. <Very small chance it will live...> Ever since I purchased the fish it has been eating fine accepting every food I give it. I just went on a week long holiday and got another marine owner to feed my fish. When I arrived today I noticed a cloudy patch almost covering her whole left gill :( I have raised the temperature to 28 degrees Celsius and lowered the salinity to 1.020 <I would not do this...> the ammonia is at 0 same with nitrates. Should I add copper, <... Please read on WWM... search tool, indices re Pomacanthids and copper exposure... again, not a good idea> is it anything to worry about, should I do frequent water changes, do I need to add MelaFix or Methylene blue, <For what?> should I give it a fresh water dip, should I move it to my main tank or just see what happens. Sorry about all the questions but this is a 200$ fish and I do not want to see it perish no matter the cost involved. Please help, sorry about all the questions it is just you guys seem to know everything! From Joe <Read Joe... what you seek, and much more that you're likely unaware of that is of use, interest re this species, your situation is posted on WWM... for your perusal. This species needs much larger, more stable circumstances... no hyposalinity or copper... or tea mix... Bob Fenner>

Pale Potter's Angel  12/23/06 Hi Crew, Thanks for your site, it has saved me many headaches. I have a 46g aquarium with over 80 lbs. of LR and 40 lbs. of LS. <And forty pounds of water?! Heeeeee, about five gallons? About all the room left!> The temp stays around 80, ammonia and nitrite are at 0, and nitrate stays under 5 ppm. I have had a Potter's Angel for over three months. <A good "benchmark" amount of time...> I feed a mixed diet of mysis, brine, Nori, emerald entree, pygmy angel formula, and I use a garlic additive in one of the two daily feedings. The only other fish is a fairy wrasse. Everything has been fine until my angel turned pale (about 2 weeks ago) and now constantly tries to be cleaned by the wrasse. <Interesting... perhaps sees the Cirrhilabrus as a Labroides phthirophagus...> It doesn't seem to breathe rapidly but sometimes swims  erratically. I did a 10 minute freshwater dip, and didn't see anything in the bottom of the bucket. <Might be clear, could be naught> Later I added a skunk cleaner shrimp. <Good> My angel gets cleaned often and still eats well, but its colors remain washed out. What should my next plan of action be? Thanks, Jeff <Mmm... really... a much larger setting. I suspect the small space is a problem, if not THE problem here. You've read my bit on this Centropyge?: http://wetwebmedia.com/pottersangel.htm and the linked files above? Need more habitat... and what generally comes with such. I do encourage you to "expand" your and its horizons... consider making a Hawaiian habitat. Bob Fenner>

PottersAngFAQs   12/15/06 <Hello there Ron, Mich here.> I sent an email to this site awhile ago regarding success with a potters angel , this is just a follow up, it's going on 18 months now and he's still doing great. <Terrific!> I decided to send a follow up when I noticed that you guys were getting a lot of emails regarding this beauty. <Thank you for your observation and for the follow up.  It is always helpful when others share what has worked and what hasn't worked.  Nice to hear success stories too!>     My original email was sent as just a tid bit, Thanks Ron <Our thanks to you, -Mich> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pottersangfaqs.htm

Saltwater fish  11/16/06 Hi WWM crew!   I have a 125 gallon tank and in it I have:   1. two cleaner shrimp   2. one coral beauty   3. one orange star fish   4. one sea slug   5. numerous corals: SPS and LPS   6. one red sea purple tang   7. 100 lbs of live rock: some Fiji, Tonga, and Melanesian   I want to add a Potter's Angel fish and I am aware of the care requirements needed to sustain this fish. <Oh! Happen to be out in HI where this fish almost exclusively hails from... and we have a brief article, specialized FAQs files re this Centropyge on WWM> My tank has been up and running with live rock for about 2 years. Every time I add a new fish, I quarantine it for about 1 month. Do you think I can add the Potters Angel to my tank?   Thanks Ryan Forsman <Mmm, well, not the easiest species to keep... but can be done, and there are no strong negatives concerning the other life listed above. Please do read what we have posted on WWM re. Bob Fenner> Feeding Potter Angel 9/12/06 Hi WetWebMedia Crew, <Hi> Good morning. <Good evening now> I acquired a 1.5 inch potter 3 weeks ago, he is in QT now and is eating flake and pellets. Of late, I have been trying to wean him over to Mysis shrimp but the guy won't touch it. Tried starving him for a day but he still won't touch the Mysis. <Unusual, the problem is more often getting them to eat pellets and flakes and more "natural" foods like Mysid are easier.> I want him to feed strong and on all kinds of food before I transfer him to the display tank. <Good procedure.> Any idea to make the transition to frozen food less painful? Thanks and the team has been very helpful in the past!    <Have you tried soaking the food in either Selcon or garlic extract.  For me I find garlic's only benefit is it does seem to stimulate the feeding response, although I prefer using Selcon since it also adds some nutritional benefit.  Otherwise fast him for 2-3 days and then try feeding, as long as he is otherwise healthy this length of time will not hurt him and may help encourage feeding.> <Chris>

Centropyge breeding tank set up/egg collection Hello, I have been doing a lot of research lately on this subject before I begin investing more money than I already have into it. <Good> I would like to try breeding a couple different species of dwarf angels, namely Flames and Potter's to start. I know what's supposed to be in the tank and tank size and proper nutrition of the breeding pair. I am doing research on larval food with the help of my college's Bio. Dept (which has an obscene number of marine biologists and Ichthyologists for not having a marine biology program heheh)... <Ah, the public trough/ivory tower... I miss it so> ...and the local Marine Institute with some tips from my LFS here and there as well. My question comes because its one thing I have been unable to find anywhere else. <Is this Anglish?> How do I get the fragile eggs from the breeding tank to the rearing tank without harming them. I know they float due to the drop of oil in them. I have thought about an overflow into a sump tank with an appropriately sized screen to separate them from the workings of it, but if I go that route will the eggs suffer any damage from riding the rapids down to that tank? <Likely so... many facilities for aquaculture utilize quite large, fine screens... relatively low flow rates... so the eggs don't get too agitated... and rinse the eggs off the screen, floating them, and either siphon or "dip" them from the surface... or grow the young out in place, removing the broodstock> Net scoop them out with a plankton net? <Could> Any help in this matter would be greatly helpful, thanks. In addition if you know off hand by chance the micro-organisms that larval angels will eat, smaller than rotifers, it would take some serious travel time off my schedule. Thanks, Mike <Do you read German? Have folks there who do/can? I encourage you to peruse this title: Nachzuchten für das Korallenriff-Aquarium and the references you'll find. You know of the work of Frank Hoff? Frank Baensch? Bob Fenner>
Re: Centropyge breeding tank set up/egg collection
Hello, Unfortunately I do not know anyone who speaks German, a few Russian and Polish speakers though heheh. I have read Frank Baensch's article in an aquarium magazine from a few years back and his website but he does not list the food source for the larva up to the rotifer stage. For some reason he just doesn't want to answer my email on the subject either, lol. <I've had no luck getting a response from him either... he is likely very busy... am given to understand he's gotten his doctorate... is still in Hawai'i I believe...> As to the screen idea, I will draw up some plans and see how they look. Thanks for the help, you have given me some good ideas to work with and sources to look at. Mike <I DO encourage you still to make that sojourn to the college library... Have a reference librarian help you devise a search if you're unfamiliar with this. I have a brief article here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/litsrchart.htm  I would search using the terms "Centropyge" and "Culture", "Aquaculture"... and when you find the food organisms being utilized by others, search by their common and scientific names. Bob Fenner> 

Centropyge Potteri (Second name of species always in lowercase, mate) Centropyge potteri 11/3/05 Hi Bob, it's Ron from your native R.I,  <Hi Ron, actually not Bob with you tonight, Adam J.>  I picked up a Potter's angel about six weeks  <<Proper name, capitalized, possessive means an apostrophe is to be used before the 's'. MH>> <That's a tough one.>  <<Possessive, use apostrophe before 's'.>> ago and it's doing very well by itself in a 20 gallon tank with a refugium and skimmer on the tank. I know this fish will need a larger system soon  <Yes.>  and my 75 gallon tank is already full with a flame angel that is two years old. My question is to keep this potters (Potter's) healthy could I put him in a 30 gallon tank with maybe one two other fish.  <In that size tank I would leave him alone, even then this fish require at least a 55-gallon tank as an adult with lots of LR to roam, that refugium you mentioned is a great asset to this fish as well.> I really believe it's doing so well because of the refugium and natural setting I have provided, I kept two others some time ago one faded away slowly the other was lost to a power head when the prefilter fell off. , what's the best way to go with this guy. Thanks Ron <Adam J.> 

Just a tid bit... re Success with Centropyge potteri  - 05/13/2006 I wrote to you guys a while ago about keeping a Potters angel, and do realize that this is not an easy fish to keep. Just wanted to say that it's going on ten months now and this fish is doing wonderful. <Ah, good> I really believe that adding a refugium and setting  up the tank with live rock and good lighting made the difference with this guy. His colors are unbelievable. the other thing that I think was important is to give this fish a lot of room, he's in a 75 gallon tank and no other dwarf angels, I just hope he stays healthy for a long time. wanted to pass this along to others Ron. <Thank you for this. You have likely saved many individuals of this Centropyge species. Bob Fenner>

Potters Angel/Behavior   3/14/06 Dearest Bob,  <Dearest James today.> I happily stumbled across your site today when I began perusing for info on my little Potter's Angel ongoing saga.  Many kudos to you for helping out those of us less informed!  <You're welcome.> We bought the little guy (only about 1 1/2 inches) about a month ago from a wonderfully informative and reliable fish store down the street.  <I'm guessing you are new at this so I'm questioning just how informative your dealer is.  Did he know you were new at this, and what size tank the angel would be going into?> We had done much research on saltwater fish keeping, and Angels, but not Potter's Angels in particular, and now I see that he has a rather precarious future ahead of him in captivity.  Yes, not a real easy fish to keep under your conditions.> We brought him home to his own tank (cycled with live rock and some clams and crabs).  No other fish, as we knew that he was territorial.  We did (and do not) plan on keeping any other fish in the tank, but with bad luck of temperature change (faulty thermometer), he developed a fuzzy spot on his suddenly frayed thin.  It was at this point, we discovered that our 3 gallon tank was WAY too small for him.  <You needed to do a lot more research than you did.> I thought bacteria, but was advised that that saltwater tanks are not prone to this.  <News to me.> When he did not improve the next day, I moved him and his few buddies to our 6 gallon tank (I know, still too small, and I am currently saving for the 24 gallon down the street) <The 24 will be too small.> and was advised to add Prevent-Ich by Kordon.  Did that, and the (seemingly) fungus spot disappeared and fin regrew (yippee!!).  When my husband became bothered a couple of days later by an Aiptasia, he got two peppermint shrimp, which our Potter promptly shooed into a hole  in the crevice (although, they seem to have done their job).  Now, none of the previous fin, or spot symptoms have returned, but I do notice that his color is decreased.  Slightly pale.  Should I be worried about this?  Should I be feeding him something besides marine flakes and mysis shrimp? <Should be feeding a variety of foods including algae and enriched with a vitamin supplement.> Should I return the peppermint shrimp?  Should I have quarantined them? <That's up to you.  Do search the Wet Web on quarantining.> Additionally, he still does these sort of mad dash flicking sessions at the live rock.  Some might call it rubbing, but he goes full speed at a part of the rock and then does a whip turn against it (he is so fast, I can not quite tell if he touches the rock, but he actually makes a whip sound that I can hear outside of the tank-he is that fast!).  <Sounds to me like he is infested with ich.> He repeats this cycle about 4-10 times, and then returns to his merry swimming.  Other than that those two things, he seems in normal spirits again.  Should I be worried?  He is my priority, not the shrimp or any other fish, so can you advise?  <Jaime, you need to know much more about what you are buying.  Do search/read/learn.  I'd be taking the angel back, not the shrimp.  This fish isn't going to last long in that six gallon tank.> Thank you so much for your time! Best, and many thanks. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Jaime

Potter's Angel 3/11/05 Still a relative newbie to things aquatic and need help ASAP w/ a Potter's Angel purchased 4 days ago from reputable LFS.  <hmmm... a difficult angel overall... does poorly in new/young community tanks... and is dearly in need of a proper 4 week QT period before putting into displays to train them to feed strong> My first tank...Have a 46 gallon tank w/ two small percula clowns and a sixline wrasse all who have done beautifully since introduction 6 months ago and continue to thrive.  <careful with that wrasse... very territorial> Have about 35 pounds of nicely encrusted live rock. 2 scarlet hermits and various snails. A modest hang on tank skimmer running that seems to be doing the job w/ my modest bio load. I now know that the Potter's was the wrong choice for a relative beginner such as myself... but I guess I didn't do enough pre purchase research. <it is very difficult indeed. It is unlikely to survive one year if even six months for you. Do take note if this is so (or not) either way. Perhaps a hard lesson.> I seem to have a curse trying to add fish #4. Royal Gramma died within a week of introduction about 4 months ago.  <lack of QT again and a very poor choice mixing Atlantic fishes with Pacific. Asking for an Ich outbreak <G>> Gave it about 6 weeks, added a Firefish and found him half eaten one morning only days after introduction.  <the wrasse likely harassed/killed it at night. Bad mix> (Also lost an Emerald crab about 3 weeks ago.) Waited about 6 weeks, since losing the Firefish and added this Potter's-about 3 inches long. (Water parameters all check out fine including calcium and alkalinity) <please read, understand and apply the use of quarantine tanks> First few days went fine until this morning when I noticed he was not swimming out of the corner and his bright yellow fin on his side is half ripped off!  <*cough*... *wrasse*... *cough*> He is obviously struggling to swim and from my limited knowledge, I think his outlook looks grim. Can it be the little wrasse as the culprit?  <does a bear bring a Reader's Digest into the woods?> I didn't observe any aggressive behavior but if it was disease, wouldn't I see it on the other fin or tail as well? What to do?! <QT, QT, QT please> Can he be saved?  <pull the fish into a spacious isolation tank, add vitamins with B12 (Vita-Chem or the like).. also get some Beta Glucan from GNC, and perhaps vitamin E for food/water> Do I try to catch him? Bring him back to LFS?  <surely will kill it> Once a fin is torn as badly as this is, can it heal?  <easily... with vitamin E and with HUFA/lipid rich foods (Selcon)> Am I seriously cursed?  <bad husbandry... you can learn :)> Should I not be adding any more fish besides these 3 little guys? Help Please. MUCH Thanks... <get thee to QT :) Anthony> 

Help w/ Potters angel-Quick! 3/11/05 Thank you for your quick reply Anthony... got myself a QT and some treatments for it... <ah, great!> ...but woke up to see the poor Potter's had died.  <sorry to read of it my friend> An expensive mistake for me and what's worse, I feel awful about the little guy.  <understood... but the sacrifice is not in vain. I am sure your husbandry will improve for the happening and other creatures will fare better for it> That being said, I have tried earnestly to find species that ARE indeed compatible with the 6 line wrasse (he may be a tough, but he oozes personality and is very beautiful to boot...would hate to trade him in.) A lot of info says they are compatible with quite a few popular species but my wrasse is clearly not typical? <indeed... oddballs and exceptions do occur... they haven't read the books we have to know how they should behave ;)> So the question is please advise on colorful and HARDY species (perhaps only Chromis will do at this point? or are there others?)  <you need active and aggressive community fishes that stay small> I only planned on adding 2 more fish to (have a total of 5) and I will consider the tank well stocked. <many possibilities... all to be supervised closely for that wrasse (Grr). And have that QT ready if needed: options - sunburst Anthias.. tobacco or harlequin Basslet... yellow watchman goby (blue spots)... Chromis damsels perhaps... hamlets... dwarf eel (Hawaii)> My LFS is obviously giving me wrong compatibility info since they sold me the Gramma, Firefish and Potter's! <yes... poor choices for the age/nature of the tank. They would have done best by you to recommend a QT tank before all. Anthony>

Potter's Angel Hi, all, Thanks to Bob for his quick reply yesterday about possible disease on a potter's angel at my LFS. Moving on to potter's angels in general, WetWebMedia's information on them lists them as very difficult fish; I was curious specifically what the experience with them was. Scott Michaels actually lists them as hardy as any of the Centropyge. <He's wrong here. Less than one percent live more than a couple of months from capture> However, word of mouth indicates that are one of the touchier Centropyge species but I was curious as to just how touchy. In your FAQs, there are hints that these fish seem to do well and then just keel over. I'm familiar with two kinds of "touchy" when it comes to fish: the basic type where the fish just never does well from day one (like leopard wrasses ;-) and the second kind where they may seem to be doing reasonably well but long term there is a chance they will drop dead for little apparent reason or go into irreversible decline after seeming to do well for months. <This species falls into both categories> I had thought that the potter's fell into the first category but your FAQ suggests but isn't explicit that it is more the latter. I ask specifically because the fish we discussed yesterday seems to be behaving quite well (active grazing, aggressive eating of Mysids and Formula II) which suggests that he will probably make it short term but if the risk with these fish is more long term health, that doesn't necessarily mean anything. I've kept a number of Centropyge in the past (argi, fisheri, flame, coral beauty and others) but never a potter's so I have no direct experience with them. Marc <Once again, hopefully with more clarity. If there was a person to take on this apparently very good specimen, it's you Marc. Bob Fenner>
Re: Potter's Angel
Hi, Bob, <Marc> Thanks for the comments about the Potter's angel (and the kind words). I saw a response in your daily FAQ but never got the email for some reason. <Bizarre...> In any case, I've purchased the Potter's angel and will try to see if I can make a good home for it. I'll let you know if the nodules turn into anything interesting or fade quickly. <Real good> One of your FAQ entries indicated a survival rate for these guys after a few months in the single digit rate so from an ethical point of view this was a bit of a conundrum. I don't doubt that the fish is better off in a more experienced hobbyist's hands but if the survival rate is really that low, it makes some sense to never purchase them period, to discourage retailers in stocking them. But I've always loved the look of the fish and don't have the heart to pass on it so here goes. <Understood. And agreed... if some folks didn't take risks, try "difficult" species we would be nowhere... Am so old (relative to the hobby, okay, the planet as well) that I can remember when no one could keep "wild" angels (Pterophyllum, freshwater) alive, then discus... corals... Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Marc

Potter's Angel Problems... Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. <My pleasure! Scott F. here again today!> I have a couple more questions, so I'll cut down your reply: I'm using an aquarium pharmacy tap water filter (you know, the big tube thing with carbon, and green stuff that turns to blue) as my source.  I assume this is a DI unit. <Yep> BTW, do I need to always use this to make new water, or will tap water in a bucket suffice?  I've been erring on the side of caution  and always using the filter for source water. <I'd continue with that practice...Quality source water is a key to long-term success> I checked the water coming out of the filter, and, the output of the alkalinity/hardness test (good thing I was in PetSmart and bought one of these yesterday, purely by accident :) was: hardness 25 ppm alk 20 ppm So I assume I need to add buffering. <Deionized water does need some buffering, due to it's inherent instability (lack of carbonate hardness)> <Ok, how do I do that?  Arm and Hammer, SeaChem 8.3? I'd tend to use the commercial product for this. SeaChem and some other companies make "reconstitution" products to stabilize purified water.> B) Given that both eyes are cloudy, although not at the same time, how long do I wait before I have to assume it's disease, and what else should I look for? <I would not give it more than a week. Keep on the lookout for other potential problems/symptoms, like "scratching" behaviors, excessive amounts of body slime or mucus, "shimmying", clamped fins, or any other signs that something is not right> <I wouldn't wait too much longer, frankly. I'd keep up the water quality and monitor for a few more days, before beginning treatment> <That sounds fine to me> Ok, should I remove the live rock in the QT to the display tank before treatment, or just assume I'm going to lose it from the medication (the display tank is fallow). <Well- a minor correction here...Do not put live rock, sand, or other natural materials in a quarantine or hospital tank. They can "absorb" (for want of a better word) medications, making it difficult to maintain proper therapeutic levels. Also, these items have no place in a quarantine tank, for many of the same reasons. A quarantine or hospital tank is not a permanent feature, and should be broken down after each use. I wrote a piece on the quarantine process that's on the WWM site and which was in the March issue of FAMA, which may answer some of your questions on this> c) Are Epsom salts warranted yet? <Sounds like you're dealing with a disease, rather than injury, so I don't think that Epsom salts are the best course of action here> Ironically, the buffering in the tank is 300 ppm.  Maybe I shouldn't have changed the filter so soon. <Keep monitoring the water chemistry, and adjust as you need it> Thanks for all of your help and encouragement. I'll let you know how it comes out. Rob <Please do, Rob- I'm sure that things are going to go just fine! Keep up the good work! Regards, Scott F>

Potter's In Peril? Hi again, crew <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> thanks for your response. The Potter's seems to be eating its angel food and grazing off the live rock. <Good to hear that> In response to your reply: A) I put the live rock in based upon the QT setup in Michael Paletta's book. I even let the QT cycle (stupid newbie, I know :) b) Fishbase didn't help me with determining the sex of the potter. Since there were pictures of just brown potters, and ornate potters, I'm going to assume that since my Potter's is ornate, it's a male. <Well, according to several texts I've read, the most reliable external indicator is that males seem to have more blue> But, I have a more important matter. Last Thursday (3/27), I noticed that the left eye was getting white and puffy. After reading through your excellent website about Popeye/cloudy eye, that it could be caused by a) running into things (sort of like a black eye in humans) b) poor water conditions c) disease. Please correct me if I'm wrong! <Nope- you got it right...!> The next day, the other eye started to puff (although not as bad). <Hmm...sounds like Popeye, perhaps?> I had been removing salt and adding fresh in an effort to turn the QT into a low salinity quarantine, especially after reading about how susceptible these fish are to ich, velvet, etc. (BTW, what are your thoughts on that?) <I think that hyposalinity is a potentially effective preventative/treatment for parasitic diseases (Paletta also touches on this in his book, BTW). I'm not convinced of it's effectiveness on bacterial or fungal diseases. Just my opinion, of course, but I'd prefer more "traditional" methods. Potters, like many Centropyge species, are susceptible to the gamut of parasitic and fungal diseases. They require highly stable water conditions, and a varied, healthy diet. Stability is very important> From my notes: 3/20 added Potter's Angel, performed H20 change every 3 days of approx 1 gallon (QT is 15 gallons) to reduce salinity) <Good procedure, if you're using this technique. Changes should always be made gradually> 3/27 (after I noticed the puffiness): Replaced Biomatrix filter (polyester/carbon) 3/28:temp 79 ph 8.0 (yikes!) ammonia > 0.8 mg/l (yikes!) nitrite > 1.0 mg/l (yikes!) nitrate ~ 20 mg/l S.G. 1.018 3/30: temp 80 ph 8.1 S.G. 1.015 ammonia 0.4 mg/l nitrite 0.8 mg/l nitrate 20 mg/l 3/31 (6 hrs after 5.5 gallon H20 change, 50% salt, 50% fresh): temp 77 S.G. 1.015 PH 8.0 (yikes!) Didn't do all the tests this morning because I was in a rush to get to work. I added a little less than a teaspoon of SeaChem 8.3 marine buffer. Haven't done any tests tonight. <It's good that you're testing regularly...> So, my questions are: a) I assume this is a combination eye contusion/water quality issue. What do I do to fix it? Will adding the SeaChem/doing partial water changes every day or so will help. <Well, as mentioned previously, stability of water parameters, including pH, is of great importance with these fish. I'd take whatever measures are necessary to assure stability. Is your source water buffered to an acceptable pH? Just a thought...> b) Given that both eyes are cloudy, although not at the same time, how long do I wait before I have to assume it's disease, and what else should I look for? <I wouldn't wait too much longer, frankly. I'd keep up the water quality and monitor for a few more days, before beginning treatment> c) Are Epsom salts warranted yet? <Epsom salts are effective if you're dealing with an injury (usually in one eye). If it's in both eyes, it's likely Popeye, and requires medication to treat, IMO> And, finally, what happened to cause the tank chemistry to get so out of whack (so I can avoid this happening again if it's the root cause). <I'm going to hazard a guess...Perhaps the biofilter was not fully established yet (hence the measurable ammonia and nitrite levels)...Really hard to say...The other thought is that the source water is not buffered sufficiently (RO/DI?)...> Again, I'm a newbie, so be gentle in your answers :) I'm just trying to learn/fix my mistakes. Rob <Rob, you're doing fine, questioning and learning...I'm pretty certain that you'll keep doing the right thing with this fish...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Centropyge Angel Concern  Yo... would it be Anthony, Steve Pro or Bob?   <Oh wise Web publishing Garoo... you have Anthony Calfo here by the grace of your guidance and instruction (smile)>  I have a potters which has been in quarantine now for about a month,  <bless you for the discipline to run a full quarantine!>  and is a very enthusiastic eater. Anyway... this morning, it's quite faded... but still excited to eat and doing normal things around the tank. Water checked out normal. Given their propensity to crap-out before your eyes, I am concerned... any thoughts as to what this might be?  <singularly, the symptom on this fish that has demonstrated stability and acclimation otherwise is no cause for concern yet>  I've always though fading was either age and nutrition induced, or signs of impending doom.  <the former certainly not applicable with consideration for the short time that you've had it since import, the latter always a possibility for the very same reason>  I suppose attitude/psyche could be another. He's got a cleaner shrimp as tank-buddy, should I get him something else to interact with?  <if it was me... dancing girls would make me feel better. For your angelfish however, the suggestion of dither fish could be helpful but not recommended with due caution on the chance that we could be looking at a pre-curser to a pathogenic condition (although unlikely in my opinion)>  Thoughts?  <No worries yet... I'd suggest an observation period (3-5 days) looking for any evidence of repetitive or escalating symptoms. A fish that has gone through a month of quarantine, eats very well and shows now other or pathogenic symptoms should not be subjected to non-specific, prophylactic medication for example. It would not serve the greater good. Keep us posted>  Thanks. J -- <truly...thank you sir for the excellent education. We're carrying on smoothly, I believe, thanks to you. I may join up with you in San Diego later too... what dates are you and Zo going? Anthony> 

[regarding Centropyge fading] Follow-up Uggh... doesn't look good. I guess it's good he's been eating for the month because I do believe we're about to "go through it" He was in his den this morning, chillin' which is abnormal - very gregarious most times. On observation from the opposite side, the fading was more pronounced and one of the fins looking ragged, eyes are quite clear and he is alert, albeit subdued, and perhaps a little bit of slime-coat slough-off?? Only guess on the fin was perhaps a run-in with the intake of the trickle filter... nothing else in that tank but a cleaner shrimp and [well inspected, quarantined] live rock. So... amazingly enough, decided to come out and eat/nibble - didn't feed very heavily, but it certainly had the energy to get around the tank for food vs. swim and sink, swim and fall over. Tossed in some live macro from one of the fuges as a day-nibble, see if that is interesting to it... not interested in the live rock fauna that is there it would seem. So... I have an idle 25w UV I can bring to bear on the system, but I'm thinking it might be a too-little, too-late type augment.  <agreed... but for posterity, perhaps add it anyway> In any case, will be stopping by HD on the way home to get some tubing and clamps so I can get this moving... anything else? Eye of newt? Will also be doing a double check on the water chem. tonight.  Cheers, J <bummer dude (my professional and technical opinion in a nut shell)... furthermore, please evaluate the fish head-on (narrow view, face-to face) and tell us if you are seeing any irregular or asymmetrical respiration: either gill closed or favored while the other pumps? seem faster than normal.  (say...1/sec)? any sloughing from gills? We're looking for evidence of parasitic organisms. Bacterial infection seems highly unlikely after a month of demonstrated good behavior in good water quality. Unfortunately, you may realize why a full thirty days is necessary for screen for disease... day 29 does not mean home free. Very sorry and hoping for the best. Again...keep us posted please. Anthony>

Dwarf Angels Bob- Would a Potters Angel and a Flame Angel be compatible in a 58 gallon reef? Also in the tank would be a Purple or Sailfin Tang and a Percula Clown, Yellow Tailed Damsel and a yet to be decided Goby/Blenny. Thanks, Rob <Not in my opinion... The Potter's (Centropyge potteri), Hawaiian endemic is hard enough to keep on its own... and though the Flame's (Centropyge loricula) geographic range overlaps the Potter's... they are not found together in the wild... in anything resembling a few hundred gallons of water... and the Potter's would likely be miserable... and perish... This species requires very peaceful/calm surroundings, and non-competitive livestock to do well...  The rest of your fish list can mix together... but would encourage you to read the "Hawai'i" section of my latest book (A Fishwatcher's Guide to the Tropical Marine Aquarium Fishes of the World... A Regional Account of what's... best, available....), stored w/o much image work at the URL: www.wetwebmedia.com to hone your choices. Bob Fenner>

Potter's with an appetite Quickie... After I lost that Declivis in quarantine, I picked up a potters angel from the same shipment. Had been at the LFS for two weeks and was eating and so I took a shot. Certainly cheaper than the Declivis... Anyway, based on your reading materials I gather these fellas are delicate, <Yes... most don't "make it"... traumatic going from their almost constantly hiding behavior to and through what goes on in getting to the end user, you> need best conditions, beginners need not apply, etc. Well this one I've had for a month and it's got quite the appetite. Very enthusiastic eater and quite active - good friends with the cleaner shrimp in quarantine. <Ah, good> Question is... am I out of the woods with this beastie or is constant diligence the best way to proceed? Recalling previous discussion about well-established navarchus being relatively solid. <You're about all the way out... a month is a good long time/trial> Danke. <Welcome. Bob Fenner> J --

Potter's dwarf angel I would like to ask about this angel....I saw my first one (living) at the LFS yesterday and thought that will be the fish. I have room for just one more and I wanted color and pattern as all the other fish are color or pattern (and some have only interesting behavior) I had a Singapore angel a few months ago and he was cool but the last earthquake killed our well water and that killed him. <Have heard of this link... gasses released by the ground shaking...> The only problem I had was that he hid almost constantly, the only time I saw him was when there was food in the water, and then he was like a shark! So I guess what I would like to know is what the behavior of the potter's is like and if he might survive in my tank. <Unfortunately, of marine angels period, and Centropyge genus ones in particular, the Potter's has amongst the most dismal survival histories... Odds/chances are increased tremendously by having a very under-crowded, larger, very overgrown live rock system... especially of a Hawaiian biotopic make-up... Coverage of this and related species and their aquarium suitability rating can be found on our site here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/centropy.htm> I have a 60 gal that has been up for almost a year. There is about 50lb of live rock in there and the only really dangerous fish is the Anthias, who doesn't always appreciate newcomers. ( I have a royal Gramma in there and it took him about a month before he could show his face and not get beat up, though now the Anthias ignores him completely, the Gramma still keeps an eye on him though!) The potter's at the LFS seemed healthy and he was certainly beautiful, outshining even the flame angel that was in there, but he had only been there for 2 days. And I read on your site that they are not hardy fish, that was said about the Singapore angel and I had no problems with mine until the earthquake. <Actually... you're mistaken: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chaetodonoplus.htm I rate this Chaetodontoplus angel as a "2" and the Potter's as a "3" in my scheme... very different score... The Singapore is the aquarium-hardiest member of its genus> Should I wait longer to get this fish? Is it really a dismal death sentence to put it in my tank? <Seek others input, opinions. You have seen mine and can revisit them. Bob Fenner> Thank you for all the help (previous and present) Kim

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