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FAQs on Basslets/Grammas 2

Related Articles: Grammas

Related FAQs: Grammas 1, Gramma Identification, Gramma Behavior, Gramma Compatibility, Gramma Selection, Gramma Systems, Gramma Feeding, Gramma Health, Gramma Reproduction,

Gramma with internal parasites          4/10/19
<Oh! It did download... in a few min.s!>
Howdy, hope you can help me figure out what to try to help save my Royal Gramma. I suspect an internal parasite, seemingly Protozoans. Attaching a microscope shot of the ubiquitous pear-shaped creatures that show up in a stool sample. There are also some smaller paramecium-looking organisms.
<I see the former>
The fish is in QT. I’ve been feeding Mysis and flake food mixed with Seachem Focus and API General Cure for about three days, with no improvement. I also treated the water with General Cure since the fish is not eating well (but is eating *some*), although understand that’s not the best route of administration.
The fish is hanging in. Deteriorating surprisingly slowly, but on its side and very lethargic.
Thanks for any help you can give!
<This does look "Hexamita" like to me. Most folks administer Metronidazole; best via foods/feeding as you mention. DO search, read on WWM re both the causative agent and medication. Bob Fenner>

Re: Gramma with internal parasites      4/14/19
Got it. Thanks for the help on ID and will follow up after research. Also, smaller files.
<Thank you. Please do keep us informed. BobF>
Re: Gramma with internal parasites      4/14/19

Bob, hope you are enjoying Mexico! I read up on WWM’s resources on internal Hexamita, particularly in marine fish, as well as on metronidazole and other treatments for that malady. (Incidentally, it was your urging of others on WWM that led me to break out my 8yo daughter’s microscope to look at fish poo—good family time, honestly).
So I have distilled this, and would appreciate your thoughts on it and whether anything further can be done.
- Metronidazole in food, since the fish eats a little bit. I’ve discontinued putting it in the water for that reason.
- Epsom salt. Added 1 tsp/gallon. Will scrutinize any resultant productions by the fish under the microscope (see family time above).
<Real good>
- Pristine water. I am using a 1 gal container for the QT. Am assuming the small size is ok since the gramma is lethargic. Put a PVC tee fitting in to give it a place to hang out. I replace it every day with water from my DT, so it’s what the fish has always been used to. Aerate and temp control.
<Sounds/reads very good>
- Watching it. A lot. Maybe staring at the fish will cause the Hexamita to die. I don’t know.
<Mmm; not staring...>
Also Bob
<Thank you Bob/Bob>

Re: Gramma with internal parasites        4/30/19
Bob & Crew:
The Royal Gramma below is hanging on but I’ve tried something new. There was zero improvement with the protocol for internal parasites below (posited to be Hexamita), and the fish was looking more lethargic, with slower, weaker breathing, and seemed to have stopped eating entirely. I had seen hex-looking stuff moving in fecal microscope imaging, but I imagine there could be moving things that are either co-morbid or sub-clinical.
<Good review, update>
When I netted the fish to have a look and examine up close, I noticed that it was developing the beginnings of a whitish-gray appearance, especially in the darker/magenta anterior half; couldn’t discern one way or other on the lighter/yellow posterior half. The ease with which it allowed itself to be netted was also a clue that its condition was worse. Additionally, its head was darkening somewhat, and the rest of the body was growing lighter.
It also has for some time had some scattered scales that looked lighter in its head area. Tail fin has started to look slightly ragged, but no fuzz, specks, or streaks. Based on reading WWM, this made me think external parasite.
<May be..... Flukes? Protozoa?>
In addition to the Hexamita treatment, I’ve started using Rid-Ich Plus, mostly because it’s the formalin-containing med I have on hand (also has malachite green). Been doing .5ml/gallon every 24 hours, with significant water changes. Maintaining aeration of course.
The fish seems improved. More active, respiration is less sluggish. It could also be that the fish is breathing faster because of distress from the chemical treatment, but it’s also swimming a bit. Not eating, but upon feeding, the circulating food seems to pique the Gramma’s interest, even if it doesn’t actually go eat it. It “seems” improved, even if still sick.
(1) would it be worth the trauma to the fish to do a skin scrape and examine under the microscope?
<Yes I would>
(2) Formalin+MG ok, or should I go straight formalin? Copper? Quinine?
<Either the combo. or Formalin alone... as a dip/bath>
(3) Any other advice or observation of what i might be missing appreciated.
Thanks again,
Bob M.
<Thank you for sharing. BobF>
Re: Gramma with internal parasites        4/30/19

Sorry, I should add that the formalin+mg dosage I’m giving works out to 15mg/L formalin and .05mgL MG.
<Real good. Both "harsh", toxic... danger Bob Murken. B>
Re: Gramma with internal parasites       5/1/19

Will do the skin scrape and further reading on flukes and external protozoa. As ever, thanks.
<Glad to collaborate w/ you Bob/Bob>

Black capped Basslet has white poop? Not eating.  8/15/10
Hi again crew. I haven't had to ask you anything for a long time. Hope you are well. I recently took out a big Blue Hippo Tank. He got so big in 9-10 months. I was sad, but I gave him to my aquarium shop guys, because he was thrashing at everybody and relentlessly chasing my wrasse. Not sure what kind, (it sounds like malinoris wrasse??)The Black Capped Basslet always hid and even ate and darted away to his cave if he saw the Bully BlueTang. The Tang even TBoned the Blenny in the side with the hole, and
then Slammed into his mouth full force to steal his food he was trying to swallow. Seemed Blenny took a beating! So, my Canary Blenny whom had gotten a hole in his side, head and mouth slammed, and TBoned in his side before the Tang was taken out, (thought that the Blue Tang did it) died 5 days after I took out the Tang. Now the Wrasse is happy as can be, the Black Capped Basslet is staying out, but just hangs out in plane view again, and swims around. Looks great, but he's not eating, and now he has thin white poop
coming out of his vent. I have tried to research this and cannot come to any conclusions at all. He looks healthy, no spots, smooth all over, breathing just fine, but I am a bit worried. Do you think I should be?
<Can't tell from what has been related>
The only other fish with The Cappy and the Wrasse are 2 original setup Green Chromis and they are great. Water perimeters are very good , nitrates 20, and 0 nitrites. all minerals are steady in the good ranges. Water's nice and clear etc..Can you please give me any idea, clues or opinions?
<... not good that any animal is refusing food for long>
Is it that he (Cappy) just isn't hungry all the time? Is there a certain life span and he's old and lazy and only eats once every 2 weeks?
<Mmm, no... Grammatids should feed daily...>
Or is the white thin poop tell you something?
<Not really>
Maybe taking down some rock structure to get the Tang (too smart to go into trap), did something to Cappy? Also, Cappy was 2 days ago scooping up white sand and making holes in the sand starting the day after I took out the Tang. Even a that time he seems so healthy. he basically looks good! But today the thin white poop thing. It's well put together, but thin and very white. Thank you to whomever looks at this letter and tries to help me. Regards, Dan Blair-Dunbar
<How long have you had this fish? Have you read here:
and the linked files above? Do so. Bob Fenner>
e: Black capped Basslet has white poop? Not eating. 8/16/2010
Hi Bob. I have a protein skimmer and live rock in the sump and it is all clean. Do my water changes, 50% every month. have a good 3+ inches of sand bed. My coral look great.
I do not see anything on the web link you left that really makes me think anything about the Basslet. He still is not eating. The white poop sting is gone. Other than that he "looks" fine; plump and healthy. Do you
possibly know the life span on these guys?
<Likely 5-10 years>
My aquarium store man said his did the same thing, then died.
For no apparent reason. Also, after I sent the first inquiry, that day, he was up to the cleaner shrimps with his mouth open, but then again. this big LOVES to open that big mouth (always did it to the Blue Tang I took out).
I have had him since maybe late October 2009. The store offered to give me a fish in trade for the big nice Blue Tang I gave them. I have my eye on a Longnose Hawkfish. Really cute and little! Is this a good fish?
<See WWM re>
My tank again is 55 Gallons, with only coral, the Black Capped Basslet, the Malinoris Wrasse, and the two green Chromis. Two cleaner shrimp, one Peppermint Shrimp, about 6 hermits, and six snails. I would also like to replace the Canary Blenny. I just don't know what to think about the Black Capped Basslet. Getting old? Thanks Again, D'Ann
<Keep reading. B>

Royal Gramma question 9/8/05 Bob (or whomever I am lucky enough to speak to...) I have a very mature 230 reef with lots of rock.  I have had little success with Bartlett Anthias and am considering 5-7 royal grammas as a "poor man's Bartlett."  I have heard conflicting reports about introducing them at the same time.  Any thoughts? Any suggestions for a purple schooling fish? Thanks for your help.<Richard Wulwick, Esq. <Richard, did you read info on the Bartlett Anthias on the WWM.  May be something you are doing wrong for their adaptability.  Grammas aren't really a schooling fish in my opinion.  Also search the WWM on these guys for more info.  James (Salty Dog)> Royal Gramma aggression against Pacific Blue Tang 8/11/05 Good morning WWM Crew! <Hi there, Leslie here for the crew this evening> A bit of background:  I have the royal Gramma who wasn't doing so well in the QT. You suggested adding an air stone and he perked up over night!   <Glad to hear that worked for you and that the fish is doing well.> A week later I added him to the main tank.  I also had a 2 inch Pacific Blue Tang in a QT (different tank) which I added to the display tank last night.  The Royal Gramma immediately started posturing at the poor fellow.  I let him posture thinking he'd settle down, but after ten minutes of that I actually saw him take a nip at his flank. <Ak, bummer> I turned the lights off and everyone went to their respective "corners" and the tang found a cave in which to settle down for the night.  I realized this morning (albeit a bit belatedly) that I hadn't rearranged the rocks to confuse everyone. <Woops, its never to late!> Display Tank parameters: 90 gal MegaFlow All-Glass aquarium (48"L x 18"W x 24"H) single strip 40 watt light so far (upgrading fixture in a few months for corals) 23 gal sump w/Mag-7 for return Aqua-C Urchin Protein Skimmer closed loop manifold with Mag24 2 - 600gph powerheads in opposite corners 120 lbs live rock 120 lbs live sand (4" DSB) Temperature:  80 degrees Fahrenheit pH: 8.1 salinity: 1.023 Ammonia:  0 Nitrite:  0 Nitrate:  10 - 20 (hard to tell with the strips) 2 - A. percula clowns (mated pair, 1 is 1 1/4", 1 is 2") 1 - Brown Striped goby (3 1/2") 1 - Lawnmower Blenny (3") 1 - Royal Gramma (2 inch) 1 - Pacific Blue Tang (2") The tang is the last fish I am planning to add.  My question:  is it too late to rearrange the rockwork to help the Tang settle in better without the Gramma's aggression issues?   <Nope, not at all.> Should I simply allow them to figure it out for themselves (not sure I like that idea).   <I am not fond of that idea either.> I'm tempted to remove the Gramma (though I'm not looking forward to the chase) and put him in solitary confinement in QT for a week to let the tang settle in better before adding him back. <This is actually a pretty good idea. However you are right the chase will not be fun and can be stressful on the inhabitants. The times I have had to remove fast moving trouble makers, I opted for removing all the rock. Although a big and messy a project, I find it less stressful on the fish. You may want to consider this as long as you are planning to rearrange the rock.> Your thoughts or suggestions would be most helpful.  Thank you. <Your most welcome, Leslie>

Royal Gramma aggression against Pacific Blue Tang (Follow up) 8/15/05 Thanks, Leslie.   <Hi Bekha, Your very welcome!!!> By the time I got home last night, my husband had already rearranged the rocks <My kinda guy º!> and everyone was behaving themselves. <That's great news!> He said that as soon as the rocks were rearranged, they settled down to ignoring each other.  This morning, it was the same - no flank nipping, no aggression, nothing.  Everyone ignored everyone else. <That's wonderful. I am glad it worked for you. I am sure the fish, especially the Tang, are happier.> It looks like the rearranging of the rock did it's job, but we're keeping an eye on them just the same. <Always a good plan.> I have to admit, I really wasn't looking forward to rearranging the rocks and removing them to get a fish out of there! <I certainly do not blame you. It is a messy job! If you want to re do the aquascaping that's one thing but to have to, to remove a  misbehaving fish is another story.  If we see any more aggression, we'll snag the aggressor and put into QT for a week. <Excellent plan.> But from the looks of things this morning, all looked well. <What a relief eh?> I'm attaching a pic of the tank now (I actually like the way he rearranged the rocks!) Bekah Rogers <Wow not only is your husband thoughtful, he's talented as well. Best of luck with your tank, Leslie>

Wrasse And Gramma Compatibility - 08/04/2005 Would a sixline wrasse and a royal Gramma likely be compatible in a 90 gallon tank?   <Yes, highly likely.  I have a pal with a fourline and a royal Gramma in a 55g, and over the past year that he's had them, there have been no compatibility issues whatsoever.  There are, however, exceptions to every rule.> Thanks. <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Fish Compatibility 8/4/05 Would a sixline wrasse and a royal Gramma likely be compatible in a 90 gallon tank?  Thanks. <Hi Jon... Provided your fish load is low, you shouldn't run into any serious situations with these two particular fish. Both do have the potential to be somewhat aggressive, therefore it would be best if you add them as juveniles simultaneously. - Ali> - Royal Gramma Spots - Hello, Thank you so much for answering so many questions for all of us novices out there.  My husband and I have a 26 gallon reef tank that has been in operation for three months.  All of our water parameters seem to be fine. Our Royal Gramma has recently started showing small white spots on its head and tail.  The spots are not raised and do not look like ich that I have seen on other fish.  It does not have these spots in the morning when the lights come on, however, during the course of the day the spots slowly start to appear.  By the end of the day the fish shows signs that the spots bother it by repeatedly scratching on the rocks.  The fish is not showing any other signs of stress and has been eating fine. We have a cleaner shrimp that the fish goes to at least twice a day.  Its only other tank mates are a Sailfin Blenny, turbo snails, 2 scarlet crabs, 2 blue hermits, 4 margarita snails, 2 Astrea snails, 2 zebra snails, and 5 Nassarius snails.  We also have assorted zoo's and a frogspawn coral.   Are these spots some other sort of parasite that attaches when the lights are on. <In my opinion it is most likely ich.> Should we try a freshwater dip to alleviate the problem. <I think that would be a good course of action at this point. Don't spend too long trying to catch the fish, though - if you can't catch it in five minutes or so, try again tomorrow.> The blenny does not seem to have the spots, however, it is harder to see because of his coloration. I would appreciate any input you could give me. <See how things go after the dip, see if the cleaner shrimp can keep things in check. Prepare a quarantine tank just in case.> Thank you for your time. Beth <Cheers, J -- >

- Royal Gramma Woes - Good Evening and I hope that you might have some ideas after hearing my sordid tale of woe. I have an 80 gal marine tank with the following parameters: Spg 1.25, NH4=0, NO2=0, N03=0, pH=8.0, CA=410, temp=80, PO4=.1, about 80lbs live rock which is well coralline encrusted, deep sand bed, Remora pro skimmer w/Mag 3 and a wet and dry. Running carbon and PolyFilter. In addition to the pumps running the skimmer and wet and dry I have a Seio 640(I think) in the tank for additional flow.  Current inhabitants, pyramidellid snail, two emerald crabs, one cleaner shrimp, one ocellaris clown doing very well and one relatively happy fox face, Halimeda growing in tank along with some red algae. I did have a nice royal Gramma. Tank is up about two years and lighting is NO. Recently lost the Gramma, I think to intimidation by the fox face, not that the fox face had ever shown any interest in the Gramma.  Nevertheless from the time the fox face arrived the Gramma starting spending more time in his lair and avoided feeding when the fox face was around, that his he would stay in the lower part of the water column and pick up the scraps. Tried a variety of techniques in timing of feeding to try to get the fox face out of the picture but none were successful. Although the Gramma was eating something it simply was not enough. Eventually color, especially the purple on the top of the head started to fade and he would come out of his burrow in the rock less and less often. He passed about two weeks ago.  <Sorry to hear of your loss.>  Very sad, helpless feeling. Last Sunday went to local LFS and talked with them re this. They thought it strange and felt that perhaps there was a personality issue.  <Yes, would agree... the Gramma just did not adjust well to having a larger fish in the tank.>  I decided to try again and bought another Gramma. Fish looked in excellent condition, active, eating, alert etc. Had been in LFS for three weeks and I was previously told that they run copper in their system. Took fish home spent an hour and a half acclimating (Yes I know I should have quarantined), turned off lights, dumped out bag water, placed fish in tank. Three days later found him on the bottom dead as a door nail. Anyone want to venture some thoughts?  <Coincidence... did you see the fish eat at the store? Sometimes two weeks at the store is ok, and the third week is the beginning of the end. Also, many fish don't exhibit external signs that they are in fact on the way out. I think you just got a bad one.>  that is aside from the quarantine issue. Oh yeah one other thing, I do weekly 10% water changes. Thanks for your input. <I'd encourage you to try again - make sure you see the fish eat before you take it home. I know you skirted the quarantine issue, but let me assure you, this is not just for disease prevention but also for the fish to catch a rest away from kids tapping on the glass and people pointing fingers at them. Going directly into a tank with larger, competitive fish can add stress upon stress, and this can cause a turn for the worse. In a quarantine tank, the fish have time to learn your feeding routine and you have the chance to get them acclimated to the foods you want to feed vs. the foods they are used to eating. Cheers, J -- > 

Gramma Compatibility Can a Royal Gramma and a Black Cap Basslet coexist if added at they same time? Which one do you prefer for a reef tank? I think the Black Cap is absolutely gorgeous. Thanks, Michelle >>>Hello! Yes, then can coexist, but it's more complicated than just a simple YES answer. You just never know with these fish. My advice is try it in at least a 55 gallon aquarium, and as you said, add them simultaneously. Alternatively, if you like the Black Cap that much, just go with one of those. :) Good luck! Jim<<<

Injured Gramma and Damsel Aggression (4/17/2005) Hello all at WWM,  <HI. Steve Allen with you this evening.> First I, like everyone else, have to say how great your site it. It is a great resource for everyone, but especially for beginners like me.  <Glad to here it helps.>  I have a 55 gal. with a pair of yellow tail damsels, a chocolate chip star, and a Coris wrasse. I bought a Royal Gramma, put him in QT for a month, <smart>  then added him to the main tank and rearranged the decor. The damsels instantly attacked him. The tank is covered except at one spot around the heater and filter, so I placed the plastic filter top over the opening. The Gramma got spooked, crashed through it, and landed on the floor about 4 feet away.  <Sorry to hear.>  I have put him back in QT and he's not looking good.  <Give it time. Grammas do tend to be resilient. If you got him back in water quickly, I'd be optimistic.>  Is there anything I can do to help him pull through?  <Excellent water conditions, minimize stress, feed properly.>  If he lives, will the damsels get used to him?  <Unlikely>  I know that damsels are aggressive and territorial, but I have also read that the yellow tails were somewhat more laid back.  <I'd use the term "a little less aggressive" rather "laid back.">  They have always been pretty laid back, until about two days ago, when they started chasing and nipping at each other.  <They usually do this eventually.>  Also, will the Gramma be compatible with the wrasse (He was buried the whole time)?  <Probably OK>  I do really like the damsels since they are the first fish I bought. But I will get rid of them if necessary, but I do not want to get rid of the wrasse. I've read through many of the FAQ's and know that I should probably get rid of the damsels, but I am very overprotective of my fish and want to know your advice on my situation.  <Sounds like you already know what's best. I would not advise you to keep them. You could consider trying to keep only one. There is a possibility this could work. If your catching one, you might as well catch both. If the Gramma makes it, let it settle in for a few weeks before adding back one of the Damsels if you really must have one. But I'd suggest you consider less aggressive species.>  I thank you for your time as well as both your past and future help. ~Jeff  <You're welcome. I certainly hope it remains useful.> 

Flashing royal Gramma Evening to all. I have an 80 gal marine tank with deep sand bed and live rock as well as a wet dry. Current residents are ocellaris clown and royal Gramma (almost a year), Foxface (coupla three months) two emerald crabs, some snails and a skunk cleaner shrimp that recently shed its shell. The Gramma has developed a fear of the Foxface which pays no attention to the Gramma. The Gramma is definitely intimidated at feeding although he does get enough food. <Likely fine> Lately the Gramma has been flashing on the rocks. As far as I can tell there are no visible indications of a problem with the Gramma other than the flashing and this is not constant. <Also probably not problematical... all fishes flash somewhat> Five gallon water change weekly, salinity temp. ph and other parameters check out fine. I was wondering if you folks might have any thoughts on the Gramma's behavior? Appreciate any insights you may have. Thanks a bunch!! <I doubt you have an actual problem... given the size of your system, the presence of a cleaner shrimp... I'd just keep your eye on all. Bob Fenner> 

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