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FAQs on Vitamins, Themselves and as Supplements

Related Articles: Vitamins in Marine Systems, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition, Marine System Additives, Optimizing Growth, Feeding Feeder Goldfish, Foods For FryFeeding Reef Invertebrates

FAQs on: General Supplements, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Some vitamin complexes are targeted for specific use.

Vitamin C Dosing, PH dips    1/10/17
Hello Crew!
Thanks so much for your website, it has over the years been an invaluable resource to me. So far I have found all my answers without ever needing to write.
I have been vitamin C dosing two marine tanks with great results ... initially.
<Mmm; why is this prompting memories of using Ascorbic Acid to keep CuSO4 pentahydrate in sol'n?>

I regularly test Calc, Alk and Phosphate. I had stopped looking at PH as it was always rock solid, so kind of boring. I thought (incorrectly) that it was impossible to have high Calcium and high Alk with low PH. Bad move that was! Have re-read and re-read Randy Holmes water chemistry and still don’t get “how” that can happen, as I thought Calc / Alk lowered PH.
<Usually the case; well, actually the opposite; lowered pH....>

Ho-hum, that was expensive.
<There are other means... reactors of various designs notably>

Wild swings in PH that I wasn’t testing started having bad results, but in a going along fine then fall of a cliff manner for my largest tank and caught just in time for my smaller.
I now moved from “normal” vitamin C to vitamin C buffered with Calcium and Magnesium. Some C buffered with Sodium is on route. However, even dosing the buffered C is causing a PH swing.
<Yes; in quantity; w/ low alkalinity in the system. What is your Alkalinity here?>
Specifically, a half teaspoon (2-2.5g) caused PH in my Percula 90 tank to PH 8.26 down to PH 7.7 in a seven-hour window. Before that – paused dosing – it was rock steady. I brought the PH back with Kalkwasser.
<Yeesh; we have quite a bit to discuss. I'd consider... have you read re these issues; set upon just one path of either using two - part buffering products (a bunch of folks make/copy, resell these... SeaChem is a fave for value... and reality). Kalk is not the route to go here really... too much see-sawing and too-toxic in use>
I read that vitamin c is buffered by combining the ascorbic acid with an x-carbonate then making a salt.
<One way; yes>
So I was thinking about adding the vitamin C to my RODI along with extra buffer.
<Let's stop here: Might I ask, what is it you're adding the C for? Vitamin value? Carbon? How much are you actually adding and how?>

My concern is that my Alk is already high, and leaves me wondering why that isn’t binding to the Vitamin C that I am adding?
<Much more going on here>

I can handle reasonable sharp raises in PH and decrease the buffer added, but sharp declines seem much less inhabitant friendly.
As a test, I have added two teaspoons
<?! Why so much?>
of calcium buffered vitamin C to the RODI top off along with two teaspoons of buffer and a teaspoon of buffer / calc mix. My RODI is a 25 liter jerry can, no light getting in, that gets used up in four days (+/-)
Wondering if you might already know if this should work (I’ll soon find out I guess, but good to know in advance if I’m going down a dead end) and if there are any hazardous consequences over time (other than calc or alk going too high if I don’t test and adjust the mix)? I’m aware that as my corals grow (or die!) the demand can vary over time. Also I’m not totally sure if adding buffer will reduce the impact or efficacy of the vitamin C, as in my chemistry fuddled head there is a reaction going on between the acid C and the buffer to lower the PH, or not?
<Again; need to know the rationale behind your use of Ascorbic here... >
Much appreciate any pearls of wisdom that you can hurl my way, as I’m completely confused LOL!
All the best,
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Vitamin C Dosing, PH dips    1/10/17

Should have added, a Percula 90 is a 270-litre tank, which includes a sump-in-the back arrangement (so no extra water in a sump). In case it matters, I was dosing my C in the morning.
<I'd stop the dosing for now. Let's chat. BobF>
Re: Vitamin C Dosing, PH dips    1/10/17

Wow, I'm going to be reef-famous (albeit for the wrong reasons). Thanks so much for the speedy reply.
<Certainly welcome>
First reason, my phosphate was always too high. I have no mechanical filters, wool, carbon or anything in a sack, as I found these required much maintenance and am seeking a liquid or dosed solution.
<Mmm; am a bigger fan of biological mediation (methods), but will stoop to Lanthanum...>

Second, having started with C dosing my Zoas went nuts. After not great husbandry my phosphates levels went down.
I am trying to run a tank on liquid supplements only, large sand banks and mud.
<Mmm, mmmm... can be done. But MUCH to know, adjust chemically, physically... Best approach is "dynamic equilibrium" constantly offset w/ weekly water changes... such that not too much gets used up, precipitated... or accumulates to the detriment of livestock. Does this make sense to you? The serial dilution goes a long and BEST way of presenting a viable medium>

(I have a feeling I may be driving you nuts by now providing no numbers yet!)
<No; we can keep making general stmt.s for quite a while>
My tanks have mostly been OK, specifically better than anything I'll see in a fish store, but suffered from summer heat. Big tank cooler and small tank window blinds and air co. Change your whole house why not?!?!
Upstairs tank softies Zoa/buttons/anemones, smaller DSB (room), ATO, no dosing (alk as and when).
Readings (thought this was an art ;-) - somewhat sloppy husbandry
Nitrite : between 0.05 ppm and 0.1
<Needs to be zip>

Nitrate : between 10ppm and 0.2ppm
Phosphate: between 0.05 and 0.02ppm
<This is not bad for soluble HPO4>
Calcium : between 338 and 568ppm
<.... the latter number is WAAAY too high. I'd keep near 400 ppm>

Alk: between 238 and 255ppm
Mag: too high 1450-1550
Sal: 1.025-7
Phosp: 41-159ppb
Iodine (started dosing a bit)0.2-0.6
Phosphorous 25-159ppb
Big tank 600L

Nitrite : 0.025-0.05ppm
Nitrite : 0.05 - 1ppm

Phosph : 0.05-1.39 (high after meltdown, before high 0.1)
Calcium 394-564ppm
Alk: 215-above 300,guess 375
Salinity : 1.027-1.030
Iodine : 0.2-0.5 (gently dosed up)
Phosphorous: occasionally under 200ppb
(Added FE+ and GRO at times)
Rationality is a big supposition, LOL!
Note if phosphate was too high I didn't test phosphorous
I replenished sand in my DSBs after reading that it buffered and was as such used up
My dream is a DSB buffering, lots of phyto and beasties, no mechanical filter, skimmer (on half off half? don't dare do that)
<Can be run saltatorily ONCE the system/s are stable>
I also grow some Caulerpa and harvest for my rubbish can.
<I'd dump this genus... See WWM for better ideas; by far. Stock Gracilaria and Chaetomorpha species are far superior and much less toxic>

Dream would be something the tangs could eat.
<See above and WWM. Do you need help using the search tool or indices?>
Hope that gives an idea of the sloppy kind of reefer I am. C was new because of the initial success, Zoas nuts, clear water without carbon and laziness of liquid / powered dosing versus ugly, dirty, scummy sacks.
Hope this answers your questions. Maybe I'm just a reefer hoping it can be simpler than it needs to be?
<It can be; but better to go w/ more biology, less technology for most folks. The long and short of captive marine systems is that the myriad of factors to balance are too easily allowed to drift, or mis-altered, resulting in (at times catastrophic) losses. Bob Fenner>
Re: Vitamin C Dosing, PH dips    1/10/17

Mostly for the "reason" it's just that $h1t really started to happen in both tanks, LOL. Except the PH (I think) related issues.
I feel like I got so close yet so far.
Hey, I'm happy to fund some advice, as I'm sure you guys need to fund Xmas presents and wot not too.
<There is a donation function; at the top of most all pages>
Again, so thrilled to get a reply!
<Glad to render my input, impressions. B>
Re: Vitamin C Dosing, PH dips    1/10/17

Thanks again. Crack of dawn here, so I'll reread this with less blurry eyes again.
By Lathanum I think you refer to swimming pool anti-phosphate product?
Zero nitrates scares me: even when my tanks were running well, I never hit zero.
<Zero nitrates is fine, zero NitrItes is necessary. Re-read your post>

There was always the very palest yellow after swirling the test tube. My skimmers (Tunze) are over-rated by a factor of over two for both tanks. I barely change water and wanted to keep that approach, however it could be that this is just too ambitious.
Chaeto turned into glass noodles for me.
<Sigh.... was Caulerpa present?>
I'll look up Gracilaria and search WWM on macros.
Donation will wing it's way later!
<Allay lew ya! B>

Re: Vitamin C Dosing, PH dips     1/23/17
Hi Bob!
<Hey David>
Glad you got my donation for the WWM beer fund ;-)
<Burp! Thanks again>
Had some time to take corrective actions based on your comments now. The smaller tank that wasn't so hit by my Vit-C induced PH swings is now doing grand. That's the 270 liter one, a Percula 90. Discovered the skimmer also needed a good clean. Readings (stable):
<Ah, good>
Salinity 1.027
<Let this drift down a thousandth or two>
Ammonia 0.001
NO3 barely causes the Salifert test kit to blush, so less than 0.2
Calcium 380
Alkalinity 272 (little high, falling very slowly, think that's not too concerning?)
Magnesium 1470 (ditto Alk comment)
Phosphorous 18ppb (whoopieeeee!)
PH 8.18 (no big swings)
I'm dosing 1 teaspoon of buffered C with a little Kalkwasser in the RODI, so about ¼ per day. My Zoas seem perky at this level, and the skimmer produces well without going nuts.
<Very good>
Have over come my allergy to sacks of media in my tanks, and am using a fairly coarse GFO product. However I'm putting it in a high flow area but not where all the water is forced through it. Plan to change monthly whether expired or not to avoid gunk building up in the filter bag. When I started in the hobby I used large sacks of GAC and GFO that I did not swap our often, these collected much detritus. I think that's where my fear of them as nitrate "factories" comes from.
<A def. possibility>
Added Chaeto to my algae area instead of Caulerpa.
However it does not have room to tumble, so I wonder if this will work?
<Yes it will; does not need to tumble. Rare in hobby set ups>
I cannot buy Gracilaria here, but from your site wonder if that would work anyway in low nutrients?
<Good point; NOT if there is no detectable... HPO4, NO3 et al.>
I tried some algae that looked like G (harvested at low tide in Ireland),
<Temperate sources, species won't work... will dissolve>
but it slowly went pale so I removed. I have a little dark brown algae with air bubbles also harvested that is not going pale but also not growing much. They are after the skimmer and under red-blue grow LED.
The tank also has a DSB pot and smaller mud pots for the nitrogen cycle. It's for anemones, buttons and softies, but has a few hard corals too (Monti and some kind of branching unknown). All appear well / vibrant.
My large tank (600 liter inc large refugium DSB - rocks) is still high phosphates, down from 1.39 to 0.19 s
<ppb? What are the units here? Am an olde High School Chem., Physics and Bio. teacher... no credit w/o units!>
o far via 150l water change, GFO and Lanthanum). The large refugium has 6500k lighting, and it has a "bean animal" overflow. Unfortunately I dosed too much liquid FE+ one day that killed three tangs :-(. The iron seems to get stuck in their gills.
<Worse... ferrous and ferric are painfully toxic at concentration, necessary in low>
Will never do that again. The Lamthium seems not to have had ill effects on the remaining inhabitants, but I dose slowly right into the skimmer. I plan not to use Lanthanum once target levels are hit, but GFO in the same manner as the other tank.
Coral survivors of the drama are lobo brain corals, Stylo, cactus, Turbinarias , candy cane a mushroom and buttons. I'm on the hunt for sea grass algae for the refugium to grow above the DSB. The DSB is pretty huge, so I think it may take some extra husbandry to leach out all the phosphate therein, even after the levels first hit desired values. From die off I think I had a mini cycle as my ammonia crept up for a day, but has returned to 0.0001. NO3 remains very detectable at 2.5, despite a very strong skimmer (Tunze 9021). I added some clean up crew snails and some BioDigest bacteria, the latter of which I fear may only make me feel better but do nothing for the tank LOL! Aiptasia have been a manageable problem, not surprising considering.
<Look for biological means, balance here>
I have diatoms on the sand, but not crazy amounts. My live rock has some hair algae, and some nitrogen bubbles on it. My orange shoulder tang, fox face and school of Chromis surprisingly seem very happy and active.
Will be looking to parameters good and stable, growth in the corals that survived for some time before I invest in any additional.
Salinity 1.028
<See above... keep 1.025-6 standardized temp. hydrometer>
Ammonia 0.0001
NO3 2.5 (alas stable)
<No worries>
Calcium 472 (high but not way out)
Alkalinity 279 (allowing to slowly drop)
Magnesium 1470 (high, but have bigger issues I think!)
Phosphate 0.19 (driving down)
<Again; units here?>
Do you find any flaws in the above? Note I'm hoping to avoid doing water changes all the time, and did none on the small tank.
<I would not alter anything at this juncture, with either system>
Do you think with the low nutrients in the smaller tank that growing any macro will be tough, so should I just skip that?
<I'd go ahead w/ the macro-algae>
From your comments I'd read that you see no place for Caulerpa in a reef tank due to it being toxic to coral. Did I read that correctly?
<I would NOT use the genus/family UNLESS there were extenuating circumstances... Like experimental modeling. Too toxic in general and wont to "go sexual", w/ spectacular negative effects>
Thanks again,
<Thank you for your further sharing. Bob Fenner>

The unhappy big tank      1/23/17
Per email ...
<Looking good.

Happy smaller tank     1/23/17
Still some hair algae left and diatoms on the sand, but mostly appears
good, or not?
<Patience! I know, tis easier to write/say... BobF>

Re: Vitamin C Dosing, PH dips      1/25/17
Thanks for the kind comments Bob.
<Welcome David>
My phosphate kit measures ppm. Once I get on or under 2ppm I start using the phosphorous test that does ppb (range 1-200). So 1.39 was way up there!
<Yeeikes; yes>
Hopefully with a steady hand the phosphate kit will be "break in case of emergency" as I'll only be using the sensitive phosphorous one, well fingers crossed at any rate.
<Cheers, BobF>

Vitamin supplements      2/3/15
Hey Bob, it's Jay. Is there such a thing as using vitamins too often?
<My practice is to not "overdose" on fat soluble types... the water solubles, I don't think one can practically put in too much>
What I mean is I soak PE mysis and whatever meaty fare I give my dogface puffer in "Zoe" for vitamin B1 and Selcon. I do this just about every day.
I know the puffer needs vitamin B1 hence the use of "Zoe". Is that too often?
<Not too often. These is a very safe, stable product; you'd have to put actual ounces per tank to have it be too much>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Hypervitaminosis 6/7/12
Hello WWM crew,
<Hello Eddie>
I’ll start with my question.  What is “hypervitaminosis”?  It sounds to me like vitamin overdose.
<Hypervitaminosis refers to a condition of high storage levels of vitamins which can lead to toxic symptoms.>
Here is why I am asking.  I have a marine tank, and I recently began feeding New Life Spectrum pellets because my Coral Beauty Angelfish was suffering from HLLD <HLLE>.
<An excellent food, use it myself.>
I have been feeding them NLS for two weeks and have already noticed improvement not just in the Angelfish, but the others (Ocellaris Clown, Royal Gramma, Six-line Wrasse) as well.  I got the 1 mm NLS pellets, but my fish had trouble eating them.  They were too big and hard.
<Mmm, use the same size myself and my fish do not have any problems consuming them, but I soak the pellets in salt water a few minutes before feeding to soften them up.>
 I have used VitaChem for years, so I tried soaking the pellets in VitaChem and kind of breaking them up into smaller pieces which the fish readily took.  Anyway, I got concerned that with this approach I might be loosing some of the nutrients in the pellets (that they might be leaching out), so I got on the NLS website and asked them if soaking the pellets in vitamin would hurt their effectiveness.  They responded that there is really no need to add extra vitamins to NLS and suggested softening them in water.
<They of course are correct, there is no need to soak the pellets in vitamins.>
 They said they didn’t recommend adding VitaChem or Selcon to NLS pellets due to the potential of hypervitaminosis.  Is it possible to overdose your fish with vitamins?
<I'm not sure if fish have the ability to store vitamins or just absorb what they need.  Perhaps Bob can input here.>
Everything I’ve ever heard on the subject says give them as much vitamin as possible.
<Keep in mind that a great portion of the liquid vitamins will be dissipated into the water.  Thank you so much for your wonderful web-site, and for taking the time to answer my question.
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

A question about the Vitamins   9/15/11
Hi Simon,
<Hello Judith, Please in future could you reply to the original thread to keep the history going, and for other readers benefit when they read the FAQ's? Thank you>
This is still about the Regal Tangs with the head and lateral line erosion.
I have a question. I went and purchased a bottle of Baby vitamin D. I have a bunch of other tank vitamins with C but none of them have Vitamin D in them that I can decipher.
This bottle of vitamins is made by Enfamil. Besides the Vitamin D, it also has Glycerin, water, Polysorbate 80, Citric Acid, Vitamin D3, sodium Citrate, Sodium Hydrosice, Artificial Flavor and Artificial Caramel Color.
I called the Health Food Stores in this area. They said there has to be something to "carry the vitamin D in". The reason for the additives besides taste for the babies. Is this stuff reef safe?
<Hmmm, the ones that I have seen do not have so much in them. It is not obvious what 'artificial flavour and colours' are. If in doubt, leave it out. Will copy to Bob to see if he has any thoughts here><<Mmm, well, fat -soluble vitamins like D, E... often do have a "carrier"... these are not problematical in the concentrations we're involved in>>
I haven't opened them yet. So I can return them if this will not work.
Very few people in our Health Food stores have heard about Beta 1, D Glucan 3 and none of them have it in dropper form. Where do you get yours?
<On the net.. it's in capsules. Break them open to release a powder that is soluble>
Maybe I could order it from them.
<I live in the UK, but you could try from here
http://youngagain.com/magento/supplements/beta-glucan-better-immunity.html gclid=CLiBv_rRnqsCFUQMfAodHhAbiQ> 
Thank you for your help,
<No problem Judy. As I mentioned before, getting them onto NLS pellets will go a long way to help. Have a read on HLLE here:
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2003/9/aafeature There are some good articles on this by Terry Bartelme, but these seem difficult to find for some reason. There are plenty FAQS here on WWM
Judy Jenkins
<Good Luck Judy, Simon>

Physical Filtration and Water Quality Parameters/Vitamins 6/1/2011
Hi Bob and Crew,
<Hello Rob>
First thanks for all you do! This is the best site for any hobby I have ever seen and/or used. You guys are awesome!
<Thank you for your kind words.>
So, I have a 54 corner bowfront reef tank and I have 2 questions. I have a Remora Pro HOB protein skimmer with a Mag-3 pump. I created a box for it to try to make it an overflow (picture attached). It doesn't actually function as an overflow most of the time because its too hard to regulate the water level and flow but it does at least take water from the top one inch and does skim the surface when the water level drops.. My tank was overheating due to my lighting (outer orbit 150W 10000K and 4 26W T-5 Fluorescents) so I got rid of the glass canopy and replaced it with an egg crate top I made (photo also included).
<Nice job but the egg crate will reduce light intensity but may not be a problem in your system.>
Solved my heat problem but I lose about a gallon of water a day, but I figure its worth it not to have to buy a chiller I can't afford and have no place to keep. As you can see in the picture. I keep a nylon mesh bag of activated carbon in the overflow box which gets rinsed every 2 weeks and replaced every month. The filter bag seems to catch a lot of brown stuff, which I assume are diatoms. Last week when I replaced the bag I put a Poly-filter I cut to size underneath it. I had never used one of these but had read the FAQs and other material and it seemed like a good idea. Within a week the poly-filter was also completely brown.
<Brown indicates waste absorption.>
It didn't turn any odd colors so I don't think it took out anything that wasn't supposed to be there. My tank did look crystal clear though, so I assume there was a good bit of physical filtration going on. So here is the question is it worthwhile putting a Poly-filter in to remove impurities?
I used RO water with Instant Ocean Reef Crystals bought at my LFS and my make up water is RO water. If there is no benefit to the Poly-filter should I use a less expensive physical filter material to scrub the water or is it better to have the diatoms and other little critters and plants floating around in there as a food supply for things? The clarity with the filter was nice but its not that big a difference I care.
<The Poly-Filter is more a chemical filtration media and in the location it is in, it does little in the way of mechanical filtration as water is not passing directly through it.
From a savings standpoint, it's not necessary to use both carbon and a Poly-Filter, one or the other can be eliminated. If I were to use a chemical filtration media on a continuous basis, my choice would be to employ just the Poly-Filter. I also suggest reading here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chemFiltrMar.htm>
And for my second question, I have read all the FAQs on here and in other places about peoples feelings about testing for/adding trace elements, vitamins, etc. Obviously testing the basics like Specific gravity, temperature, pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, KH, and Calcium seem to be givens and adjustments should be made based on the tests. But with regard to trace minerals like iodine, iron, magnesium and strontium (assuming silicates and phosphates are non issues due to my use of RO water) should I be testing these or just assume (dangerous I know) that regular water changes will keep these particular minerals where they should be?
<With calcium loving animals, both calcium and magnesium should be monitored.>
Also with regard to vitamins are there any specific issues that require their use that you are aware of? I am a veterinarian and basically what I have always been taught about nutrition in any species is that if you feed a varied diet with adequate nutritional value you likely do not need supplementation.
<More can be said here than I have the time to do.
Thank you for all the help and direction! I hope these are questions (and answers) others find useful too.
<You're welcome, and yes, queries are posted daily for all others to read.
James (Salty Dog)>
In your debt,

An Assortment 5/16/2011
Hi Crew,
<Hi Sam>
1. I hatch brine shrimp once a week in a jar and use a baster to get them and release into the tank. The problem is getting the shrimp without the shells. I put a light on one side so the hatchlings congregate there and I siphon them out. But if I squeeze the baster incorrectly all goes flying and I have to wait an hour till things settle down I see that there are brine shrimp nets being sold and wondered how they work. Do they let the shrimp through and hold back the shells?
2. There is a bacteria product called Super Blend. There is a reef group in New York, http://www.manhattanreefs.com, and many there have said that they use this product to help get rid of Cyano. The product makes no such claim. Just wondering if it has been noted in WWM.
<Not that I'm aware of. Is likely that the bacteria are competing with the Cyano for food thus reducing growth rate.>
Another method mentioned there, which I did try, is keeping lights off for 3 days straight. It does work and does not seem to harm the coral.
<It will over time.>
Of course if you haven't solved the source of the problem it will come back but it is a quick and easy way to get rid of it at least for a while.
<Best to control the cause. Ultralife's Red Slime Remover will get rid of it also, but as you mentioned,
if the source isn't controlled, it will just come back.>
3. Does Selcon need to be refrigerated. It doesn't say so but I have had a couple of batches and some seemed to look very different than others and sometimes it gets stringy.
<I keep mine refrigerated and it's best to shake well before using.
James (Salty Dog)>

Vitamins/Additives 4/4/2011
Good Evening!
<Hello Audrey>
I know I just emailed you guys but after some more reading on your site, I stumbled a cross a post where the individual uses vitamins in the water, in particular Vitamin C. This got me to thinking about the (probable) lack of vitamins that my fish are getting. I feed them Spectrum Thera+A pellets, Spirulina and some meaty food (such as squid, clams and pieces of octopus).
<Is a good diet, the New Life Spectrum pellets are likely the best pelletized food available.>
In my tank I have a stars and stripes puffer, a Unicorn Tang, two Domino Damsels, a Lemon Damsel, and a few Green Chromis. I do have a nitrate problem for which carbon dosing was recommended to me. (I did start the dosing today and have back up air pumps and stones on hand as well as extra fresh saltwater). I recently started feeding them twice a day in very small amounts 4-6 pellets in both sizes (my puffer refuses to eat smaller pellets so I bought the largest ones on the market which are too large for my damsels) and a small pinch of Spirulina with the meaty stuff every other day if that often. I checked both my LFSs and didn't see any vitamins or the seemingly popular Selcon. My fish are very happy/active and eat voraciously. They have great color and get along fairly well (damsels are such bullies) so should I even change what I am doing?
<With your present diet there is no need to change but it is beneficial to occasionally add Selcon to their food. Selcon concentrate will add Omega-3 HUFA, Vitamin B12 and pure stabilized Vitamin C to the fishes diet.>
Other than getting my nitrates down to where they should be. If I just overlooked the threads about this I apologize.
No problem, but have you looked here and read related articles/FAQs found at the end of the article?
Thank You Again In Advance!!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Violet (Dragon?) Goby Questions (Bob, ideas?)   2/27/11
Wow! Thank you so much for the fast reply.
<No problem.>
I went to my LFS just now and there were several vitamin options, which I wanted to run by you guys if it wouldn't be too much trouble.
<Any will do.>
I didn't want to trust the store clerk because they were the people who sold me my violet goby and when I bought him they had been keeping him and several others in a freshwater tank, so I wasn't sure they had the right stuff. So my options are something called Vitamarin-M, which looks promising by its high price *sarcasm* and was recommended,
<It's a fine product.>
but doesn't really list its ingredients or sources on the bottle. The second is Vita-Chem, which promises a full spectrum of vitamins, amino acids, and microorganisms but is not specific to marine fish (it says it's specific to 'fish),
<Another good product.>
and then there's one called Vitality, which promises the same benefits as vita-chem and is formulated for marine fish.
<From Seachem, and yet another good product.>
I was wondering if you had any personal experience with any of these and could recommend which is best. I have found mixed online reviews of all of them, except for the Vitamarin for which there were mostly positive reviews.
<They're all good, and all better than no vitamins at all. Do read here:
It's thiamin in particular that may be the "missing link" in understanding fish diets.>
In addition, Mofish was 8 and 7/16 inches when I got him. The pet store decided to measure him and charge me an extra 10 cents for every inch longer he was than all the other gobies, who were all labeled and priced as being 'small' (they looked about 3 inches or so). I guess he was a baby, though, even though he was very large compared to the others. Now that you mention the illness your goby specimens experienced, it sounds very much like what happened to Mofish, as the gill and fin hemorrhaging I saw the day he died I attributed to the other fish attacking him because he was sickly, but it may have been more like open sores now that I think about it.
<Indeed. The problem of course is that many nutritional problems result in open sores, so it's really hard to say for sure.>
I'm glad you mentioned the temperature as well, I'm going to be lowering it for the little gobies in small increments and waiting another week before I reintroduce them to their bigger tank. When I'm ready, I'll probably get another dragon goby too, thanks to your awesome advice! Again, thank you SO MUCH.
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.> 

Snowflake eel food question 02/13/11
I just bought a small snowflake eel and have been reading up on what to feed it. In addition to the krill, squid, clams etc. can I feed any live food? Are small fresh water fish or ghost shrimp OK every once and a while?
<You can - with caution (!) - , but it is not necessary. Please see
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fdgfdrartneale.htm  and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_6/volume_6_1/thiaminase.htm >
If not, what would a good live food be?
<In nature this species mostly eats various crabs.>
I also was ready to buy some frozen Pollock fillets to feed it. The package said just Pollock fillets in the ingredients but on the nutrition it said 160mg of sodium. Do saltwater fish have salt in the meat naturally or did they not mention they added salt?
<These 160 mg Sodium per half fillet are natural content. Pollock is a good choice in my opinion.>
<Don't forget to add vitamins once in a while (about once per week) to any frozen food and to feed a varied diet. Cheers, Marco.>
Re: Snowflake eel food question   2/14/11

Thanks.......What vitamins would be the best out of these 2? Kent Zoe or Vita-Chem Marine?
<Welcome... I'd choose Vita-Chem Marine, which has the needed ingredients following the guaranteed analysis... Kent Zoe may be OK, too, but they don't give much information on the ingredients as far as I know. Cheers, Marco.>

Dosing Vitamin C and Vodka plus other beneficial vitamins 11/08/10
Dear Crew,
Not to send the same email twice since I knew you were short handed but I hadn't got a response and didn't see my email posted on the daily faqs.
<Mmm, I haven't seen it either>
I have added my first email below. To make things short I really would like to know more about what vitamins I can add to the tank directly to the water column that would benefit my fish. I know Selcon is a good food soak but I am more or less just wanting the "safe" versions of the vitamins I could actually add to the tank that are tissue soluble. I would like to add more B vitamins B1, B6, and B12 I am aiming at offsetting any deficiencies my predatory fish might have. I am giving them a varied diet but just want to do more. Previous Email Dear Crew, I had decided to undertake vodka dosing to try and maintain a low nutrient system for my saltwater aquarium. I have a mostly fish only tank with a few frags here and there of mushrooms but that's it really. My intention of writing this article is to discuss some things I have encountered and some things I would like to know more about. First off my tank parameters are as follows: 180 gallon glass tank, 38 gallon sump, protein skimmer, and a total estimated water volume about 175 gallons with rock displacement. Fish include 2 blue tangs, yellow tang, spiny box puffer, snowflake eel, 4 yellowtail damsels, 2 domino damsels, dwarf zebra lionfish, niger trigger, dog face puffer. Water parameters are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, undetectable nitrate, phosphate between 0 - 0.5 and salinity 1.27. Now previously to dosing vodka I was at 40 ppm nitrate. In three weeks I was at zero. Now I know that the results of vodka dosing are well known so I won't elaborate too much on how it works. I will state that I still make water changes weekly just smaller amounts 10 gallons and this should only be used as a part of the solution and should not be a main solution for water problems. What I do want to discuss is the Cyano outbreak that often occurs with vodka dosing. I encountered this and instead of using Microbacter 7 as well with my dosing as a lot of people on reef central have suggested I went with another approach. I instead started dosing vodka and vitamin c (sodium ascorbate) combined together. Most people use Vodka Sugar Vinegar in an effort to hopefully target multiple types of anaerobic bacteria growth. However I thought to myself why not pick another carbon source that is beneficial to fish as well. So I started dosing 1 tbsp of vitamin c and 5 ml of vodka twice a day 1 time in the morning and then once right before bed.
I never raise the dosage because unlike others I believe just a steady continuation provides enough continual bacteria growth to eventually achieve the results I desired. Now I want to state that I was at zero nitrates before the vitamin c addition but had problems with Cyano. After adding vitamin c the Cyano was gone after about a week. Since I have continued this same dosage daily and have not only seen better water clarity but better fish behavior as well. My fish are more alert and out in the open almost 3 times as much as they used to be. Noticing this change makes me wonder as well what other vitamins could I supplement the tank with that is tissue soluble that would benefit the fish as well? I know there is vita chem and Selcon but buying vitamins from iherb.com are much more financially feasible for long term use. I have read that Vitamin B1 and B6 will give fish more energy, jumpstart their appetite, and offset the vitamin deficiencies they go through sometimes. This is slightly counter acted with varied diet but if even better results could be achieved why not take it to the next level. I would really like your opinion on this. Also it might benefit others as well to know that for about the price of 1 Selcon bottle you could increase your aquariums vitamin intake for 2-3 months with about 3 times the vitamins daily that Selcon would provide. Keeping in mind your bacteria population was at the dosage level you were dosing at as to not cause a bacterial bloom. The only concern would be whether you dosed through food or directly into the aquarium.
<Mmm, well, both end up in the water, and the livestock to degrees>
Directly into the aquarium would obviously yield less results then food soaking unless you dosed frequently enough to avoid the dilution of the vitamins. What is your take on this as well as whether I continued this?
<Soaking foods is preferred as you state, in terms of getting more into the animals fed... Dosages... I'd need to be home (am out visiting) to look up in in-print references. For practical purposes, it is very rare that hobbyists overdose water soluble vitamins... Esp. vitamin C is very safe to add in large doses. Bob Fenner>

"Vita-Chem" Vitamin, toxic?  7/30/10
Hello there,
Love your site and you've been a such a help to me over the past couple of years.
Quick question for you. Although I don't use Vita-Chem (Vita-Kill?) often, I found it while doing some cleaning and administered it in two small tanks and the fish in each tank died. The water quality had been good.
I've had the vitamin for at least two years and I'm wondering if it expired and possibly turned toxic? Do you think this is possible?
Thanks so much.
Lisa Mae
<Hello Lisa Mae. In theory it's possible for any organic chemical to turn rancid over time, and while the results may not necessarily be toxic, they could be. In general, observe use-by dates where presented, and store any
organic chemical somewhere cool, dry, and out of direct sunlight. Ideally, keep bottles and packages in the fridge rather than a shelf, and assume that after, say, three months exposure to air most foods and supplements will be at best nutrient-deficient and at worst potentially dangerous. In short, ask yourself whether you'd eat something two years old. If not, then it's probably not safe for your fish, either. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: "Vita-Chem" Vitamin 7/30/10
Much thanks Neale. Rather common sense.
<Perhaps, but whenever I've done harm, it's been over the obvious things not the complex. Like the time I needed to break in a window to my house. I used the palm of my hand rather than a rock, and only afterwards realised how incredibly dumb that was!>
After I lost both fish, I had noted the common application... I loved those fish too.
Have a great weekend and thanks again for WetWebMedia's ongoing support.
<Enjoy your weekend, too. Cheers, Neale.>

Enriched Aiptasia for Chelmon Rostratus?  6/7/10
Dear Neptune and posse,
I have searched WWM and the web for "enriched Aiptasia" and not found anything quite like what I am seeking; forgive me if this is covered here already.
<Have never heard of these two words together>
I have a 75 gallon reef tank with a 29 gallon sump and a 20 gallon 'fuge/surge tank. Having accepted the presence of some Aiptasia as a given, I decided early on to keep a Copperband butterfly to control populations of the pest anemones and hope for the best wrt possible problems with corals.
The system is now about 7 months old (seeded/initially stocked with animals from a previous chain-of-nanos system) and the butterfly has been here just about as long. Apart from an early bout with what appeared to be a minor case of Lymphocystis, there have been no problems with keeping the butterfly in apparent good health. He eats nothing but live food (I was not hardcore about trying to train him onto prepared while in QT)--mostly
Aiptasia, pods, and various worms when he can get them. He has shown no interest (that I'm aware of) in any of my corals (softies, LPS and SPS) or Zoas. He also shows no interest at all in any food that is not live--and regular foods include frozen Mysis, bloodworms and glassworms, brine, krill, etc.. There are plenty of other fish in the tank. I figure he'll learn to eat this stuff by watching the others do it if food ever becomes a real problem for him. My system generates quite a bit of live food.
So much food, in fact, that about a month and a half ago I decided I was ready to add a spotted mandarin to the mix. I was slightly concerned that the butterfly might make food scarce for the mandarin, so I watched carefully for weight gain in the mandarin (this is my second one--the first was fat and healthy and lost in a jumping incident).
<Quite common>
After a few weeks I concluded that the mandarin was actually the stronger competitor for available pods in the system--probably because the mandarin seems to be able to pick up smaller pods, thereby depleting the number of
larger pods available for the butterfly. The mandarin got fat, and the butterfly doesn't appear to be suffering, but.......
Maybe it's just me, but my CB hasn't grown quite as much as I would have expected by now. It's grown maybe 1 to 1.5 inches to its present 4.5 inches or so in the time I've had it. That seems small to me for a fish that can grow to nearly 8 inches. Is it small, or does this sound like normal growth?
<Could well be "normal" per the conditions presented, that it exists in>
You and others always recommend enriching CB food with Selcon, but I can't do that with this guy because he won't touch frozen food.
<Might do so if made more palatable...>
To make sure he gets enough to eat, I've been rotating rocks out of the other vessels to a spot in the DT where he knows I put fresh rock for him.
He goes after the worms, then the pods and Aiptasia. I worried about nutrition in his diet before, but now the presence of the mandarin has possibly made the range of his diet even narrower (thankfully the mandarin eats frozen bloodworms with gusto and also the live BBS I regularly feed).
So today I tried a crazy idea. I target-fed Selcon to the Aiptasia on a rock in the surge tank, then dropped it in the DT for the CB. He ate them all as usual. Mission accomplished? Will this work the way I intend it to?
<May well do so>
I can't believe I'm the first to think of this (I seem to get this feeling a lot), but I can't find anything written on this specific idea. Sorry for the lengthy email, I've tried to stay on-point.
<No worries>
Thanks as always for your priceless (literally!) service here. I can't imagine attempting all I've achieved with this system without the guidance of this site.
<Thank you for sharing your observations, experience so well. Bob Fenner>

Re: Snowflake Eel not eating w/cloudy eye, and Vitamin C use f' - 03/29/10
Hello WWM,
<Hi Heather.>
I have another question regarding my eels health;
I did a 15% water change on Friday, put the carbon back in my canister, and let it run until this morning. This morning I removed the carbon and dosed again with the antibiotic since the eels yellow color was coming back really well prior to the water change and carbon reactivation. I feel the antibiotic was helping to some degree as his color was returning (very pale prior).
<Okay, if the antibiotic is improving the situation use it. As a side note: The Snowflake eels I watched had a paler, less yellow color at night and a coloration with more yellow during day. Many other morays have day/night coloration (independent of your light source), too. Ensure the improvement you note is due to the antibiotic and not the daytime.>
Today I bought Brightwell Aquatics Vitamarin-C and have added one dose to the tank. If his illness is due to (which is highly probable) a vitamin deficiency, is it too late for him to recover?
<Cannot tell for sure. I hope it's not too late.>
Do you think he will be able to ingest the needed Vitamin C to come around?
<Very little.>
While I understand this is probably a hypothetical question, my main concern is whether or not a vitamin deficiency can lead to a "point of no return" or if it's reversible.
<If the animal still was eating, the chances would be better and most symptoms of the deficiency would probably cease when one would feed food vitamin enriched foods. I'd keep on offering small pieces of food.>
Also, since he's incredibly ill, can the dose be doubled without overdosing and causing more harm? (It's not quite clear on that in the instructions).
<Vitamin C can be a carbon source for some bacteria in the tank. It's also an antioxidant and will make the ORP (RedOx Potential) drop (no need to measure this here). You'll notice an overdose by cloudy water about half an hour to an hour after dosing.>
Thanks again for your help.
<One note: Vitamin C isn't the necessarily the lacking substance, however adding without overdosing will not hurt. I'd assume Vitamin B1 http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_6/volume_6_1/thiaminase.htm .>
Kindly, Heather
<Cheers, Marco.>

Re: A failed crypt battle, now vitamin uptake  6/18/09
Oh, regarding the nutritional supplements:
Marine fish (and I'm sure Neale can shed more light on this than I can) require many water soluble vitamins, especially under stress. Water soluble B vitamins are often the fastest depleted, and if the fish isn't eating, the only way to ensure that enough are ingested is by dosing the water. Mardel and Steven Pro both recommend soluble B vitamin dosing when treating sick fish, especially fish that aren't eating. I figured it couldn't hurt!

Re: A failed crypt battle, now vitamin uptake  6/18/09
Actually, I'm not aware of anything that says fish absorb vitamins or other nutrients directly from the water. There's nothing in my copy of Helfman, Collette and Facey that says fish can do this. Certainly didn't learn anything along these lines at university, and haven't read anything since either.
I can't think of any mechanism by which it would work either. The concentration inside the fish will always be higher than that outside the fish, so diffusion into the fish across the skin or gills isn't going to happen. While fish certainly do selectively take up sodium ions or whatever in terms of osmoregulation, I've never seen anything to state they do that with organic molecules (such as vitamins) that they need for a healthy diet. The sodium/potassium pumps certainly couldn't be used for this.
All sounds like wishful thinking to me! Unless Mardel and Steven Pro can give me a mechanism by which this would work, and some lab work that demonstrates it, I don't believe this happens at all.
Cheers, Neale

Re: A failed crypt battle, now vitamin uptake <ChristineW> 6/18/09
I usually inject or feed vitamins--even if they do diffuse across the intestinal wall when the fish takes in water, I don't know a good way to get a high enough concentration in the water for it to be therapeutic. I'm checking the literature too to see if I can find any research showing diffusion across gill tissue, but it appears that vitamin uptake is receptor mediated, and gills aren't likely to have receptors for vitamins. I'm happy to be proven wrong though.

Re: A failed crypt battle, now vitamin uptake <MikeM> 6/18/09
Hey Neale,
Mardel's literature states that the b-vitamins are ingested with the water as the fish swallows the water - seems like it wouldn't be very effective, but I felt it was worth a try.

Re: A failed crypt battle, now vitamin uptake 6/18/09
Note the use of the word "ingested". All that means is that it enters the lumen (empty space) of the alimentary canal. It does NOT mean digested (broken down by digestive enzymes into components that can be carried by the bloodstream) or assimilated (used by the cells). All kinds of stuff is ingested but passes out the back end of an animal essentially unchanged; that's the whole point of defecation.
If the Mardel leaflet states that fish absorb or utilise vitamins in the water, that would be more interesting. If added to their food, the high concentration of Vitamin B1 or whatever in the particle of food would mean that some would be absorbed by the digestive system. But at the low concentration of drops added to the water, I can't see how this would do much of anything, except help Mardel sell stuff.
Cheers, Neale

Zoecon Question; (over) dosing?   11/28/08 Hi, We have a 90 gallon reef tank and I am concerned that I may have added too much Zoecon at one time. <Mmm...> We have a clown that got sick and we moved her to a quarantine tank and read that brine shrimp w/added Zoecon may help her recover quickly. We got them a week or so ago and I added 3-6 drops to a bucket of brine shrimp. She hasn't been that interested in them (she has been a lot more receptive to blood worms). Last night we gave it another try and she ate a few of them. So, I thought it would be a good idea to add a little more Zoecon to the shrimp, since it seemed like she might start eating them. Before I could tell my husband how much he squirted it into the bucket. I would guess it was the equivalent to 10-20 drops. At the time I thought I better check before we use them again, but this morning I decided to give the main tank a treat and gave them a turkey baster full of shrimp. Right after I did this I remembered about the Zoecon and added a little flake food to make the brine a little harder to find. Is it possible to overdose the tank that way? <Is possible, but not practically so. This product is diluted to an extent... and you dilute its concentration further... Unless you/someone were to really put ounces into a typical volume system there would be little issue. Unless the water smells strongly of "vitamins", is foaming excessively, has an apparent "slick" at the surface... and/or your livestock is acting oddly, I would not worry> We do not regularly feed them live brine (and I don't think we've ever used Zoecon before this batch). We have: Banggai cardinal, 2 clowns, wrasse, hippo tang, mandarin, starfish, blue damsel, black&white damsel, an assortment of coral and hermit crabs. Thanks for your help! <I would not be concerned here. Bob Fenner>

Additives 07/28/2008 Hi Crew, <<Good evening, Andrew today>> If I want to add Selcon to the water once a week or any minerals do I have to remove carbon or poly filters and if I do for how long. <<I would, yes, leave off for a couple of days. The question is, do you really need to be adding these to your tank? Is a test showing up a deficiency? Add the Selcon direct to the food prior to feeding.>> <<Thanks for the question, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Re: Additives, Selcon...  07/30/2008 Thanks for the answer. I understand about adding Selcon to food. I was under the impression that adding it to the water would help the coral that I do not feed like Candycanes. <<Sure thing, its fine to add to the tank for feed. Same answer as before regarding switching off>> <<Thanks for the follow-up. A Nixon>>

Mazuri Vitamins - 03/26/08Hi, <<Hello>> I was wondering if anyone wanted to split the Mazuri Vita-Zu sharks/rays II vitamins. My rays will not eat them every day so 600 tabs is way too much I only need like 100 tabs if anyone is interested please email me. Or if anyone knows of somewhere I can buy 100. michelle@shoregraphics.com Thanks, Michelle <<Michele, I think you will get a better response if you post this request on the hobby forums like Reef Central or WWM's forum here (http://bb.wetwebmedia.com/index.php). Regards, EricR>>

Making food with baby vitamins 12/15/2007 Hi, I found out you can sometimes use baby vitamins for reef aquariums and was wondering if liquid poly-vi-sol multivitamin for infants would work. here is a link so you can see ingredients. http://www.walgreens.com/store/product.jsp?CATID=100149&navAction=jump&navCount=1&skuid=sku303489&id=prod3489#nutrition <Yes, this would be fine... though there are more complete formulations, products> If not could you give me a brand name that you would suggest? <Most all human-intended are fine... the ones with "more 100% of daily requirement" mixes are better> Also, how can I apply it directly (safely) to a 45 gallon tank with 2 clowns and full of soft and hard corals. <Can be simply dropped in> How much should I use to make a batch of homemade food say per/pound? <Mmm, 10-20 drops per pound of mix is fine> Also I found this website showing the vitamins fish need. http://www2.hawaii.edu/~delbeek/delb16.html#table1 it gives examples of vitamins like A, C, D, E, B1-B6, B12 and others. Do you know of any application where you buy these vitamins at a pharmacy and grind them up for use? <Try the "health food stores"... online or brick and mortar... I would just use liquid prep.s> Maybe a recipe to make sure not to overdose. <Very hard to do... only the "carriers" in the fat soluble (e.g. D and E) are really problematical... for coating the water surface area... and with good skimming, circulation, not even these are problematical> I just thought that by doing this you could make sure and get all the vitamins you think necessary and none that you don't. Thanks so much for all the help! <Mmm, okay... and welcome! Bob Fenner>

Re: Making Food With Baby Vitamins, addended, Copper Preservative Concern 12/16/07 <Hi, Pufferpunk here with you tonight.> Thanks for the fast reply and I'm sorry to bother you again. I was searching for a human multivitamin and noticed that the ones I looked at had copper in them and thought that might not be a good choice. <Correct. Copper is deadly to your inverts & leeches into your rock & sand. You definitely don't want that in your tank.> <<Actually, the concentration, amount of copper here is miniscule... a preservative of no consequence... and Copper is indeed a micro-nutrient... for most life, including our own. Do not be concerned re its consequences here. Bob Fenner>> Also some had alcohol in them and thought I should probably avoid those as well. <<Also not a worry. RMF>> <Agreed!> I looked at GNC pharmacy. Am I not looking in the right place? Also as far as adding them to the tank directly how many drops per gallon do you suggest and how often? Thanks always! <Personally, I would not skimp when it comes to your reef tank. Marine vitamins are not that expensive & are extremely concentrated. Make the leap & purchase some for your inhabitants. Try Selcon or Zoa vitamins. Soak their food (prepared frozen mix, frozen Mysis, etc. I also add other foods in the mix, including oyster eggs & DT's phytoplankton) overnight & spot-feed your LPS with a turkey baster & any other meaty corals, including your Palys. Your fish will thank you too! I also feed my marine fish daily, alternating pellets & frozen foods. ~PP>

Black spot on Urobatis halleri, vitamin use...  - 11/20/07 Hi I was looking at my rays the other day and in certain lighting there seems to be a black spot? <Mmm, can you describe this? Size, shape, placement> I have 2 Urobatis halleri in 60 degree water in a 150 gallon tank soon moving to a 300 gallon. I put Mazuri vitamins in their squid, shrimp everyday. Sometimes they go down other times they are on to me and chew around the vitamin. I wanted to get Mazuri Shark/Ray gel to insure the proper nutrition, but I am concerned with the minerals. It says there is copper, ppm in the ingredients. How can this be safe for the rays? <There is very little of this material... a preservative in this case... and actually a micro-nutrient in small concentration. Not to worry> Is their other things I can supplement with or add? <Mmm, yes... vitamins, HUFAs... Available as commercial prep.s for pet-fish... e.g. Micro-Vit, Selcon...> I tried typing in the goggle search on WWM only black tail rot came up? A quick answer will be greatly appreciated. What is causing the black spot on the body? <Might be a natural marking... have seen this species many times (live, have lived in S. Cal. for decades, diving here...). Bob Fenner> Thanks MM

Questions, Zebrasoma sys., HLLE    8/19/07 I have a Z. desjardinii that arrived with a horrible case of Head and Lateral Line Disease, almost as bad as the case on the cover of Dulin's book, Diseases of Marine Aquarium Fishes (which ironically does not even discuss it). Water quality is pristine, 29 gal tank, <Much too small for this Zebrasoma...> with Skilter 400 outside filter <Inadequate...> and Rio 600 powerhead in the tank, is grounded. It receives a 30% - 50% water change weekly from my reef display (500 gallons) which I keep at 1.025sg, ph 8.2-8.3, 78.5 degrees, 12dkh, calcium 425, Mag 1200, strontium 15, ammonia, nitrates and nitrites 0, iron, iodine and phosphate unreadable with SeaChem test kit. I do run carbon continuously as I keep hard and soft corals together, and UV. Continuously skim. Move about 6000gph. and have 200 gal sump/refugium with a bunch of Chaetomorpha . 600+ lb live rock (incl sump), deep sand bed (6") over a plenum. In the Conscientious...you indicate that vitamins C and D are helpful for curing HLLE. <This and iodide, yes> I want to be sure, does the C need to be ascorbic acid without any fillers or binders (such as tablets)? <Can have these... the active ingredient is all that is important> I have been using grain alcohol (Everclear) as the carrier to add it to the food since it is water soluble and then waiting until it has completely evaporated before use (source; Craig Harms, NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine, Fish Health Management Course). How long will the C remain stable/viable in the food? <Long periods of time... at least days> In all of the other literature I have reviewed, C was the only one indicated for HLLE. We have been feeding him Spectrum 1mm pellets fortified with C, and Ocean Nutrition and Spectrum flake mixed, dried marine algae daily, as well as various prepared frozen foods 3 times a week and blanched romaine occasionally, for about 2.5 months now. He eats anything that hits the water quite greedily (we call him our little shark). He has shown some improvement, but at the rate he seems to be healing he will be in quarantine for another year! I am going to try adding broccoli to his diet as you recommend. <Okay> On to vitamin D. Should it be D3? What form? <Mmm, actually, a mix is best... and easiest to supply in a commercial preparation... like Selcon, Micro-Vit...> Powder (most stable) or liquid (suspended in an oil base, found 2, one in almond oil, one in an unknown so would have to contact the mfg to find out). What should the carrier be to add it to the food if powder form? <Best to use a/the liquid prep., add to foods (ten minute or so soak) and perhaps once a week to the water directly... perhaps along with (prior) a regular water change out> Can I use grain alcohol also? <Not necessary or advised> Can I mix it with the vitamin C, both in the food as well as the carrier (if alcohol can be used as the carrier for D3)? If it is the oil based one can it be added directly to the food? <I would not add oils to the system... too likely to be troubles with gas diffusion...> Lastly, at what dosage should I be adding for both? I look forward to hearing from you. Mark Simon, VP Living Marine Art <The real issue/cause of neuromast destruction is not just nutritional here... but environmental... in a word, Stress... this animal needs to be in larger quarters... with natural foodstuffs available (LR...). You have read here? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm and the linked FAQs files above? Bob Fenner.

Vitamins and moray eel nutrition - 04/26/07 Hi. I have an undulated moray and a snowflake eel, they are in separate tanks. And I would like to know what kind of vitamins to give it and where can I get it? <Local fish store, online, vet… lots of sources and products. You can compare them by studying the table of contents on the packages. Ensure there is plenty of vitamin B in the product you choose. The diet of moray eels consists of fish and crustaceans, and has sometimes pretty much of the enzyme Thiaminase, which can destroy vitamin B. So, adding vitamin B is a good idea. More important than additional vitamins is a varied diet not only consisting of 1 or 2 types of food. Feed a variety of unprepared seafood such as fish, squid, prawns, shrimps, mussel flesh, etc.> Also, I just got my snowflake two days ago. Tried to feed it some frozen shrimp, but it did not want to eat it. Should I be worried? <No. When stressed (e.g. by moving) they stop eating. Be patient and try on. Can take a week or two with this species. Others (e.g. Rhinomuraena) may refuse to eat much longer.> And what should I do? <Read more on WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snowflakemoray.htm and the related FAQs.> Thank you. <Welcome, Marco.>

Amino Acid Supplements For Coral   1/12/06 Hi Crew, <Hello Mohamed, Mich with you today.> I will like to know what is the benefits of using amino acid for corals and has anyone from the crew done experiments with amino acid? <The benefit is providing nutrients that are not easily synthesized from the environment.  Many extol the use of vitamin supplements such as Selcon, which contains amino acids.   Eric Borneman mentions in his book Aquarium Corals on page 58 that "Some of the products required by corals and Zooxanthellae that are not supplied by photosynthesis include vitamins and long chain fatty acids.  These compounds are supplied by diet only.    Glycine is also a compound the many coral do not easily synthesize, and it, along with some carbon, may be obtained in the wild by living in proximity to the released photosynthetic products of certain macro algae."   In a home aquarium this association may not be possible.  Therefore addition of amino acids via a vitamin supplement may be quite advantageous. Thanks Mohamed

Loss of vitamins, SW  - 09/14/06 Hi WWM crew, I have a question for you regarding activated carbon. Should I remove it when I dose multi-vitamins into the tank? If no, won't the activated carbon absorb the vitamins?  Thanks in advance. Regards. <Mmm... some... but if the carbon is more than an hour or two old... exceedingly little... More likely to be skimmed... Bob Fenner> Lighting and feeding questions 7/12/06 Hello, I have a couple questions and was wondering if I could get your advice. First off, I have a 55 gal. reef tank that has been set up for about 9 months and it's getting time to replace the bulbs.  I currently have a pc fixture with 4, 65 watt bulbs, 2 are blue actinics and 2 are 12,000k daylights. I was wondering if you would suggest keeping the set up I have or using 4 50/50 bulbs. To me it would seem that either way would give me the same result, but I was wondering if you would see any advantages or disadvantages to these or a different set up all together.  I currently have some fish, some softies- (colt, Shrooms, polyps), pipe organ, and a crocea clam. <If you use all the same brand lamps, the effect should be roughly the same.  However, there is a great deal of difference between brands of lamps in spectrum, intensity and quality.  The animals only care about intensity (for the most part), so choose good quality lamps that provide you with a pleasing appearance.> Secondly, I am going on vacation and need to feed my Banggai Cardinal who will only eat frozen Mysis. I want to try to get him to eat freeze dried shrimp so that I can put it in my automatic feeder while I'm gone. If I soak this food in vita-chem or Selcon and then let it dry, will it still retain the vitamin supplement, or does this product need to be fed when wet? Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for you help and time! <The question of whether these supplements would still be effective is moot in my opinion.  Soaking the food in the supplement and letting it sit is likely to lead to spoilage and/or the food becoming rancid. Even if you think you have thoroughly dried it, the humidity nearby to the aquarium will be enough to cause problems.  I strongly advise finding a reliable fish sitter while you are gone and leaving contact information with them. Best Regards.  AdamC.> UV/Vitamin C/Lionfish Behavior - 03/02/06 Dear Eric <<Hello Akila>> Thanks for the advice. <<Always welcome>> I got hold of a 9W UV sterilizer and installed it to my main tank. Do you think this is good enough for the tank? <<It can be beneficial to your FOWLR system, yes.  Do be sure to keep up on the maintenance of this devise.>> I fix it to my canister filter's output & hope this will do some good for my tank.  Do you think this UV will increase the tank temperature to damaging levels? <<no>> I read so many articles that said Vitamin C supplement is very good for Marine Fish.  It's pretty hard to get hold of such at the LFS.  So is it possible to use a Vitamin C supplement manufactured for Humans and soak or inject with food and feed fish? <<Hmmm...ascorbic acid is just that, but I think the vitamin C supplements manufactured for aquariums are "buffered" differently from those consumed by humans (Bob, please feel free to interject here).  Under your circumstances I think it is worth trying, but keep an eye on your system's alkalinity.>> Also my Lionfish seems to be doing well.  He eats very well and seems to be free from any infection up to now (fingers crossed!!!). <<Excellent my friend.>> He doesn't swim a lot but, he stays in one place most of the day but swims a bit in the late evenings and early mornings but when he sees food he seems to be just fine and very alert.  Is this normal with Lionfish? <<Typical behavior, yes.  These fish tend to "hide" during the brightest part of the day.>> What do you think?  Is this something to worry about? <<Not at all.>> Appreciate your response Thanks Best regards Akila <<Very welcome, EricR>> Additives  10/6/05 Hello, <Hello> I have a 30 gallon saltwater tank that's 9 months old. It has 20 lbs live rock with coralline algae of all colors growing very well. <Good> I have a Coralife Aqualite lights (2x65W, 10000K and Blue Actinic). I have one clown and a red-striped blenny, 10 Astrea snails, 10 blue-legged hermits, 2 common hermits, a big, black striped brittle star (6in spread out - disk the size of a quarter), a few tiny brittle stars, and some random brittle worms and other kind of worms.  I have some nice green star polyps that are propagating nicely, some Zoanthids? (soft coral polyps), Sargasso, green Caulerpa, and red fern algae stuff.  All of these are relatively small. I have a powerhead and a hang-on-the-back-BioWheel-filter system (Marineland), and I have two airstones.  pH is right around 7.9-8.1.  I do not have a way of testing anything else, so this might be my problem.  Two weeks ago I stupidly added a multivitamin to my tank on the suggestion from a website. Several days later, the first of my three peppermint shrimp died, then the next day the second, followed by a brittle worm.  The corals closed up and look kind of gangly. I changed as much water as possible and cleaned the filters.  The last shrimp hung on, but died. The corals look like they are slowly coming around but they still look bad.  I think the multivitamin did it.  Nothing else looks affected.  Other than not adding a multivitamin EVER AGAIN, what can I do to help out my tank?  Are there any problems?  The brittle star spends a lot of time by the corals - is he eating them? <They are supposedly reef safe although I've read reports they may occasionally "nibble" on soft coral, but generally reef safe.  As to the vitamins, any possibility you OD'd?  Is this vitamin supplement one designed for marine tanks?  If not, then that could be a source of the problem your having.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks in advance, <You're welcome> Armand from Georgia Vitamin B12 06/09/05 Hi, I was wondering if it is ok with any fish to have the b12 in the aquarium? << Most of the on the shelf vitamin supplements for a reef tank have Vitamin B12 in them.  Bacteria is also a good source of B12.  What exactly is the benefit is really hard to determine but food is the main source >> Thanks George <<No problem EricS>>

Zoecon vs. Selcon Hey guys, this is my first question. <Well, there's a first time for everything.> I have a couple more but I will check back later. I have read tons of the FAQ's and it has raised and answered a lot of new questions for me. I searched Zoecon I found you always recommended Selcon or 1 other the name escapes me. I have a Purple Tang with HLLE and have been soaking the food with Zoecon. Is Selcon a better supplement?  <I am not personally aware of any scientific evidence that this is the case, but there is no doubt that crew members seem to prefer Selcon. I have used Zoecon myself. No obvious ill effect. These are both HUFA supplements. There is evidence that these help with HLLE. The other product you are referring to is probably VitaChem, which is a vitamin supplement.> I realize there are other issues with HLLE but I want to start with this. Also would it be best to move him into a QT tank for treatment or leave him in the main tank. It is a 55 gallon FOWLR he is 3-4'' and the QT tank is a 10 gallon.  <If no infectious/contagious process, then no need for QT. No medications in display tank. Vitamins & HUFA are OK. Other factors to consider are water quality, stressors, and actual diet. Zebrasoma tangs need lots of plant matter. You might want to consider obtaining & cultivating Gracilaria parvispora algae to feed your tang. Read more about "Tang Heaven Red" at www.ipsf.com. My Yellow Tang voraciously devours this stuff. Also there was an excellent 2-part article about HLLE in FAMA Magazine this past fall.> Thank you in advance <You're welcome. Hope this helps. Steve Allen> Walt

- Difference in Vitamin Supplements - Hello to you all, I'm so confused!  What is the difference between the vitamin supplements (such as Zoe) which seem to have a more complete range of vitamins, versus the ones (such as Zoecon, Selcon, & VitaChem) which have fewer vitamins, but amino acids and omega 3's? <Well, besides the obvious... I think some mixtures are simply marketing in a bottle, the range of vitamins are broad enough for use in human food, but in fact may not all be useful to a fish. The omega 3's, HUFAs (those are the amino acids) are typically from fish origin so they are actually quite useful.> I want one to add one to a mash that I'm making for my corals. <I'd skip this for the corals - just put some iodine in the food mix.> And what about for my fish food recipes? <I do add vitamins to my fish food... I've used Selcon, VitaChem, and Garlic Elixir which is actually more about the vitamins than the garlic.> Should I use the same additive?? <You could but really I'd skip the vitamins for the corals. They need other stuff - calcium, iodine, etc.> Thanks so much for your time!   ... Gina <Cheers, J -- >

- Get a Clue! - Jason: Just an FYI. HUFA stands for Highly-Unsaturated Fatty Acid. These are not amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Steve <My bad... you caught me. Thanks for straightening me out. Cheers, J -- >

- Vitamin Switch-er-oo? - hi there!!! is it okay to substitute human vitamins from fish vitamins? <I suppose that would depend on the ingredients of the vitamin supplement.>  any  hazards of doing this? <Absolutely, there's plenty of stuff that we put into our bodies that shouldn't be introduced into the tank. Kent makes a vitamin supplement called Zoe. It's pretty cheap, 100% tank safe, and comes with peace of mind! -Kevin> thanks

Re: Fish Food I don't know if this is bob Fenner's site but I had a Q: In his book "the conscientious marine aquarist " on page 145 he mentions using a liquid vitamin in his homemade food recipe. Do ya all know which brand I should use?    Tim. <There are a few commercial brands of liquid (aquarium, though they're the same chemicals as for humans) vitamin preparations. My favorite of ones available in the U.S. are Selcon and VitaChem. Bob Fenner>

Marine-C I was reading over the Daily FAQ and I noticed this question.  What jumped out at me was that he did not list pH and that he was supplementing with vitamin C.  When we used the Ken Vit C product in our tank to combat HLLE in a bicolor blenny, we noticed a fairly rapid drop in kH and pH (it is ascorbic acid :-/).  It might be worth testing the pH to see if it is fluctuating or just chronically low.  Just a thought, Laura <Thank you for this... Vitamin C is otherwise known as Ascorbic acid... but is not really a "strong" acid, nor the amounts folks might add to marine (or even a well-buffered freshwater) system alter the pH noticeably. Surprising. Maybe the Kent product has some other acidic "carrier". Bob Fenner>

Marine-C Hmmm . . .  Double-checked the package (it was still hiding underneath the aquarium amidst the dust) and the only listed ingredient is ascorbic acid at a concentration of 1250 mg/oz and it recommends 1 ml/50 gallons of water. It does, however, include a warning about monitoring the pH and alkalinity. <Curious> Might be something to write the manufacturer about.  It dropped our pH from 8.2 to 7.8 (the only other supplement being used at the time was straight liquid calcium).  Our favorite fish guy at the LFS said that someone else had experienced a similar drop after using the same product.  I might just e-mail Kent this afternoon and see what they say.  Would you be interested in the reply if I get around to it? <Please do send this to us for posting. Thank you, Bob Fenner> Laura

Re: Stocking a twenty long I sent an e-mail to Kent tech support asking about the reason for the drop and other ingredients besides ascorbic acid.  I will forward the reply whenever I receive it.  Until then, I hope it's okay if I ask a couple of questions about my own tank (the whole reason I was on your site to begin with; I need to be shot for lending out my copy of TCMA ;)).  It is a 20 gal long nano-reef that has been up and running for over two years.  Recently, we had some things happen and basically ignored the tank for 2 months. <Oh...> Between evaporation and Caulerpa die-off, I had a mess when I finally cleaned it up last week and we lost all inhabitants (BTA we've had for nine months, maroon clown, 3 hermits, couple of snails) except for a couple of hermits.  However, everything seems to be stable now and we are planning on restocking the tank after the holidays over a course of 2-4 months.  This will have given the tank 3 weeks or so to sit fallow (all water qualities are stable now) just to be safe.  Here are the tank stats: Prizm skimmer, Rio powerhead (the total per hour turn over is ~13x so we will probably add another ph), JBJ compact fluorescent hood (1 65-watt actinic blue and 1 65-watt daylight), 30+ lbs. of well-seasoned LR, 2.5" LS bed, Amm: 0, Nitrite: 0, Nitrate: near 0, Temp: 81 in winter, 82 in summer, Alk: 10 dKH, Calc: 340 ppm (going up), and pH: 8.2. I would like your opinion on stocking the tank.  Here is what I would eventually like to have once the calcium level has stabilized around 450 ppm (all sessile inverts will be purchased at 3" or less and traded in as they grow too large): 2-3" of fish (I want a pair of Carpenter's wrasses, <A bit too "jumpy" for such a small volume> neon gobies, or Catalina gobies <Not Lythrypnus... a coldwater species. Will attach article here> and my fiancé? wants a Firefish, so we'll see what we end up with), 6 blue-legged hermits, 6 snails (turbo, margarita, or Nerites), 3 peppermint shrimp, 1 cultured squamosa or derasa clam, <In a twenty? I wouldn't do this> 1 star polyp , 1-2 Corallimorphs, 1 Alcyoniidae or Nephtheidae, 1-2 feather dusters or Christmas tree worms, 1 Faviidae, and 1 small bunch of Halimeda (maybe). I realize this is probably too much; what do you think is most likely to cause problems or will simply not thrive in this set up? <What I have listed to leave out, I would. Bob Fenner> Thank you so much for your time and expertise. Laura Lawrence

Marine-C Here is the response I received from Kent.  Not very helpful.  We used the recommended daily dosage for about 5 days.  Did wonders for healing fins even though it did kill the pH.  I replied to this e-mail and will keep you posted if I find out anything else.   <Thank you. Please do> Thank you for the advice and informative article on the gobies!  Of course, the Tridacna was the invert I wanted the most, but I will defer to your *much* greater experience and stick with less challenging/demanding things for the time being. <Hoping "Santa" brings you a larger system! Bob Fenner> Happy Holidays! Laura Subject: Re: Marine-C Hello Laura,     No, Marine•C is simply a preserved solution of ascorbic acid; although the pH of ascorbic acid is relatively mild, we recommend on the label that it not be overdosed for reasons of pH drop.  I take it you added the recommended dosage and still had this problem?   Kindest regards, Chris Brightwell Marine Scientist Kent Marine, Inc. 1100 Northpoint Parkway Acworth, GA  30102 v. 770.966.5200 x-18 f.  770.966.7848 www.kentmarine.com (")}}}}}>{ For information on new Kent products, please visit our website at www.kentmarine.com   Would you like a chance to allow the world to see your aquarium?  If your aquarium is maintained with Kent Marine products and you would like to see it on our website, we'd love to hear from you!  Include information on type of aquarium, volume, filtration, lighting, supplements used, types of plants/animals, how long you've had the system operating, a list of all Kent products used, along with photos of the aquarium (digital only, please).  Due to time constraints, not every aquarium will be showcased, and all pictures submitted become the property of Kent Marine for express use on our website.  Please submit all entries and inquiries to cb@kentmarine.com From: NICK LAWRENCE To: techsupport@kentmarine.com Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2002 1:49 PM Subject: Marine-C Hi, I used Marine-C in conjunction with your Liquid Reactor product and noticed a significant drop in pH (from 8.2 to 7.8 in an established marine aquarium).  When I questioned someone at my local fish store, I was informed that others had had similar experiences with Marine-C.  What causes such a rapid and extreme drop in pH?  Is there something stronger than ascorbic acid in the product that would cause this? Thank you for your time, Laura Lawrence

Knop supplements Hi Di Clams Direct is selling the supplements with their clam orders, and the question came up regarding dosing- If you are using a number of supplements, VitF, VitB, and Iron & Magnesium, how would you properly dose the system? wait an hour between product dosing? dose with all products at the same time? Please advise. Koralvit Combi is a combination supplement for all aquaria, KoralVit F is a food, all others are single supplements that will be used on demand (e. g. iodine for plenty of clams in the tank, iron for tanks with plenty of macroalgae and for increasing the coloration in stony corals, iodine and strontium for increasing the growth of stony corals). The supplements should not be mixed directly, but they all can be dosed at the same time, simultaneously or one after the other, without the risk of any chemical reaction. Best regards, Daniel

Vitamins After the initial fumblings things are falling together really nicely, so I thought I'd get down to the fine tuning. I have seen a lot about vitamins for Marine fish and I was curious where it's best to get the vitamins and how best to apply them, or if they're even necessary. <I really like Boyd's Vita-Chem (a vitamin supplement) and American Marine's Selcon (a fatty acid and marine lipid food additive).> I figured all vitamins are the same, but I didn't know if the concentration of vitamins intended for human consumption was too high for fish consumption, I don't want to take any chances! I have started to use a blender mix with gelatin, it's just less than half carrots, lettuce, sometimes apples, whatever fruits/vegetable thing I have and then shrimp and bay scallops and sometimes crab if I can find it at the store, so should I still think about adding vitamins or is their diet ok? <I would go ahead and mix in some of the above mentioned enhancers. I would also cut out most of the terrestrial plants and instead use marine plants and macroalgae. Sushi Nori (available at any Asian grocery) is excellent.> I have seen some recipes with vitamins added but I don't know where to get them or how much to put in the mix. It is to be a fish-only tank and all of them will be carnivores, I just wanted to check if I should be trying something else! The new additions look healthy so far, but I intend to add a few more fish and I want to make sure I don't fill up my tank only to deprive them of necessary nutrition! Thanks for your time! Rachael <Have a lovely weekend! -Steven Pro>

Bamboo shark Question (vitamins) Bob, I asked my LFS if they had any sort of shark vitamin, they suggested Kent marine essential. I read the contents and saw that it contains, Inorganic mineral salts of aluminum, boron, bromine, calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, lithium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, potassium, selenium, sulfur, strontium, tin, vanadium, and zinc in a base containing deionized water and EDTA. <Mmm, not what you're looking for> I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that they were wrong. You will be happy to know I decided to consult with you first. I cant seem to find any shark specific vitamins or water additives, <Not necessary that they be specified for sharks... the metabolism of all vertebrates is about the same...> do you know of an chain stores that would carry this or any brand names I can call and ask for, I know of ocean nutrition Shark formula, any others? <Look for encapsulated (or make your own with store bought gelatin capsules) "baby vitamins"... and do conceal them in food items right ahead of feeding... and add a drop or two of an iodide supplement to the food. Brand not important. Bob Fenner> Thanks a lot Tom

Fw: Some Input for UK WWM surfers (Brand names here/there) Hi Bob, not sure if you got this mail due to the server problems. <Didn't get thanks> Plus noticed that in the posted mail on the FAQ, Vitazin the supplement name has changed to Vitamin. Definitely a Z, not an M though who knows why... <Of all things, last night when MSN came back up, the spellchecker changed it to an "m" and I manually changed it back! Will alter. Bob F> Thanks Andrew

Some Input for UK WWM surfers (Brand names here/there... and a new Mag!) Hi Bob thanks for the information about the Regal Tang, he is still in the QT tank and seems happier, getting more and more daring....even shows himself while he knows I am around now! <Great. All good signs> Anyway, the reason I am writing is to offer a little information which might be useless but I hope it helps someone. I am based in the UK and as with many things, the brands and types of equipment, medication etc that are sometimes discussed on WWM are not always available here. <I understand... am friends with folks in the trade and hobby there, elsewhere... A real challenge to try and stay abreast of products> One such thing is Selcon which I couldn't find anywhere, what I did find however was that a product called Vitamin which is available from Waterlife remedies. This is a vitamin and amino acids blend meant for fish which is supposed to be added to the water on a weekly basis (or something like that) however it would seem to be the perfect(?) thing to soak frozen/dried foods in prior to feeding. I have been using it for around 2 months now and the fish do seem a little more colourful for it. <Yes... this is a very similar product to Selcon> This can be bought from http://www.aquatics-online.co.uk who offer great discounts on dried goods of allsorts or even most LFS seem to stock the Waterlife products. <Ah, good. Will post this note in various places on WWM for reference> Secondly is a magazine which is the first dedicated Marine magazine in the UK ever. It is a bi-monthly production which is named Marine World, an excellent magazine full of interesting articles written by many different amateurs and professionals alike. I would recommend anyone to at least buy one copy (most Marine oriented LFS stock it now I think) or subscribe to it, the telephone number for subscriptions is 01254 238380 and it only costs ?16.95 per year (6 issues). <Mmm, do the folks putting the magazine out have a website as yet? I'd be interested in urging friends, associates to make submissions.> Anyway, that's it! Andrew <Thank you for the input, lead. Bob Fenner>

Tangs/HLLE I have a blue regal and a yellow eyed tang in two different aquariums, both have had HLLE for quite some time now. I have asked many different people on how to help clear this up and have gotten a variety of answers, most stating water quality, diet, live rock, electrical current in the water and vitamins.  <many theories yes... none definitive. Diet is at least contributory... electricity is a weak argument. Live rock with lush macroalgae is clearly a help. Natural sunlight is perhaps the best solution of all> I have tried just about everything I've been told to help clear them up. The blue regal has shown some improvement, however the yellow eyed has gotten much worse. (All of my other fish are in excellent health) They are both very healthy looking otherwise and are veracious eaters.  <what kind of diet?> I saw on your Q & A page about the use of baby vitamins, iodide and vitamin prep s. I have never heard this, what dosage would you use for the baby vitamins? I have 90 and 70 gallon tank. As for the iodide and vitamin prep s, I'm not sure what they are, where they can be found or what dosage to use. Is there anything else besides this that I can do? I try to do the best I can for my pets and any advice will be greatly appreciated, Thanks, Georgia <the best way to dose vitamin supplements is in a prepared recipe to be ingested (much better than putting in the water). I like using the baby vitamins and Selcon (HUFA supplement... an aquarium product). Do use the Google search tool on this site and beyond to discover fish food recipes that suit your fish load (mostly herbivorous fishes). Making your own fish food is a great way to save money and offer high quality food to your fishes. Kindly>

Vitamins should I be adding any type of vitamins to my water to keep the fish healthy and which kind should I add? <Please read through the Vitamin FAQs file and the Foods/Feeding/Nutrition articles and FAQs posted on the Marine Index of WetWebMedia.com. Bob Fenner>

"Aquatic" Vitamins, reading WWM Bob does the vitamin b12 have to be purchased from the vet or is their other sources? <Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/vitaminmarfaqs.htm  You'd do well to use the Google search tool on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Vitamins, which do you prefer? Hi Bob, quick question: <I will give you a quick answer then.> Which do you feel is better, Vita-Chem or Selcon? <These are both wonderful products that are significantly different. I use both.> I've been using the former and am wondering about Selcon. <Selcon has some vitamins, but is primarily a supplement for unsaturated fatty acids. Vita-Chem is vitamins.> Best regards, Manuel Alvarez <You too, Steven Pro>

Shark vitamins Bob, Hey, long time no e-mail. Everything must be working (and for the most part, it is)! Read in Scott Michael's book about a pellet vitamin recommended for sharks. I think it's made by Purina. Do you know anything about it? Do you know where to acquire it? Is the a Web site? <Do know about administering vitamins to sharks... very common in public aquariums. Don't use Purina products. Sure whoever owns them now do have a website... recently bought out> Right now, I soak my sharks food with a few drops of Zoe and Zoecon. He looks great, but I have a few patches of the red, velvety-looking algae forming on the top layer of sand. I think I read somewhere on your site that this particular algae can be caused by the vitamins in the water. The algae is very photosensitive - it goes away almost completely overnight only to reestablish the next day. It's also more prevalent on the side of the tank that faces the window (thereby receiving additional ambient light) than the side that faces an interior wall. <Yes... a transient BGA/Cyanobacteria colony... increase RedOx and it will disappear> I've tried to combat it by directing more water flow directly at the sand bed. It's helped some, and it'll probably do better if/when I can upgrade that particular pump from 800gph to something in the 1,000 ? 1,200gph range. But I was also thinking the pellet vitamins would direct more nutrition directly into the fish and less to float randomly around the aquarium feeding algae. My shark is about 18? long, and not exactly what you'd call a picky eater, so I thought the pellet vitamin might be a good option. <Yes... you can "sneak" other animal vitamins into its food... I would secure these from your/a veterinarian> Also, any other suggestions regarding the algae would be greatly appreciated. J.D. Hill <Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Re: Baby Vitamin Administration >How do I know how much of this to give them? Should I treat the food  >with >the same amount as listed for an infant? ><<Hmm, a "few drops" total (irrespective of food amount, size of  >system) >will be sufficient and no problem...>> Ok, I have the baby vitamins:) However, you neglect to mention how often I should add these few drops? <You can add to the food daily (soak for ten-fifteen minutes) or directly to the water about once a week... very safe> Thanks again:) cj. C.J. Moody CASA Kitsap County Juvenile Court Services <Is this the same town with the Kitsap County Aquarium Society? I used to "scan" your periodical back in the seventies for the local SDTFS... Bob Fenner>

Re: Cichlid i.d., Vitamins, Iodide/ine >>1 random cichlid [about the size of a convict] >I would like to figure out what this cichlid is. ><Oh yes: fishbase.org The family cichlid is quite large... maybe  >start >with Spilurum, the various re-do's of the genus Cichlasoma... and a  >very >large pot of tea/coffee (to stay up late). Have fun.> *Thank You*!! I may well find out what she is with this:) <<Yes... a long, but fun search>> ><The same causative mechanism/s exist in both marine and  >freshwater... >lack of essential nutrients> Can I overdose them on vitamins? <<Yes, this is possible... not practically though...>> ><There are prep.s that are made/labeled for fishes et al. aquatics,  >but >the compounds involved are the same as for Tetrapods (like you and  >me), so >"baby vitamins" (liquids) will do... Do you mean that I can actually buy baby vitamins for human babies and use them?? <<Yes, the actual molecules are identical>> > or pet-fish ones like Micro-Vit, Selcon... Add these to the food a  >few >minutes before offering.> Yesterday I bought something called Hex-a-Vital, and it is a vitamin product that specifies treatment for HLLE. I can see a difference in one of them, but the other still looks fairly nasty. <<This "curing process" takes weeks to months generally. Be patient>> In this product is A, D3, C, E, Calcium Phosphorous and Calcium Carbonate. There is no iodine. <<I would find a source and apply it. Lugol's Solution will do, potassium iodide would be better>> However, I know that table salt does have iodine in it. If I were to put a few teaspoons of table salt in there, would this be a bad thing or a good thing? <<Better than nothing>> I have always understood that iodine will kill fish, which is why one should use rock or aquarium salt. <<Hmm, much to say here... Iodine (the element) is indeed toxic... Iodide (same element, different valence state) is a way to supply this essential nutrient... not toxic in small concentrations>> ><Me too... do try the vitamins... they can/will effect a reversal at  >this >point. Bob Fenner> I can tell there is an improvement. You are a wonderful person, taking the time to work with me on this. Thank you so very much. cj. C.J. Moody <You are welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: Cichlid i.d., Vitamins, Iodide/ine
I am sure I am about to drive you crazy.... but.... <<Mostly there already, no worries>> >Do you mean that I can actually buy baby vitamins for human babies  >and use >them?? ><<Yes, the actual molecules are identical>> How do I know how much of this to give them? Should I treat the food with the same amount as listed for an infant? <<Hmm, a "few drops" total (irrespective of food amount, size of system) will be sufficient and no problem...>> >However, I know that table salt does have iodine in it. If I were to  >put a >few teaspoons of table salt in there, would this be a bad thing or a  >good >thing? ><<Better than nothing>> Sounds a bit ominous... Will track down some of the advised product:) <<Ah, good>> Thank you again:) cj. C.J. Moody <Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Chromis viridis - blindness Hi Bob, Thank you for your prompt and informative reply. I will take your advice and begin adding vitamin/iodide supplements to their food starting tomorrow.  <Many folks have been astounded at the positive results of such application...> I have recently altered how I feed them, so I imagine that the cause is indeed due to a nutritional deficiency. This is unfortunate, and certainly unintentional, as I was following someone else's advice to wean them down from the 3-5 feedings per day to only a single feeding. Their argument, which still makes perfect sense to me, was that because the Chromis are in a reef tank which has a very healthy population of copepods/amphipods that they should be able to find quite enough to eat. Perhaps I was trying to wean them too quickly? <Very possible. Many fishes are apparently much larger "creatures of habit" than folks presume.> Again, thank you for your assistance! You'll be the proverbial "first-to-know" if the treatment works. <Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner> Best, Steve

Vitamin overdose? Hi there, Good day. Is it possible to overdose on vitamin enrichment products such as Zoecon and Selcon? Thanks, again. Chia <Absolutely speaking, yes, this is possible... most of the vitamin preparations have some of the fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E) that can be overdosed especially... but this is not a practical problem... it would take many times the recommended administration to overdose a system. Bob Fenner>
Re: Vitamin overdose
Thank you for the reply. I think I might not have stated the question correctly. I use Zoecon primarily as food soak. Would I affect my fishes' health by giving them Zoecon-soaked food twice a day? <Ah, thank you for the clarification. No problem with soaking the food twice a day ahead of feedings.> I apologize for the possible confusion. Thanks. Chia <Clarity is pleasurable. Bob Fenner>

Re: My fish (vitamin prep. administration) Bob, an update. I treated the queen angel and the copperband with copper sulfate (5drops in 4 gallons of water pulled from the aquarium) by letting them swim in a solution for about 30-45min. They are clear as a bell now, no clouding in the eye and or scratching going on. They are active and eating well. I have done two 5 gallon water changes as well. 1/week. <Very good news. Congratulations on your success> You recommend a vitamin prep. ? which do you use and how do you administer? <Per the manufacturer's directions... a few drops on foods to be offered a few minutes ahead of offering (no need to be any less vague here). Bob Fenner> Thanks, Michael

Re: fish health/disease Mr. Fenner, Hello again! I managed to get 5.5# of cured LR which contained green, red, purple, pink coralline and a red hairy algae ($4.5/#). The fish love it and so do I.  <Ahh, very good> I have a 55gal so I figured this was a good amount to add at one time. I hope to add another 5.5# ASAP. How long do you think it will take to cycle? <A few days, perhaps a week> Also, should I expect the coralline to die off during cycling?  <Not necessarily... if you have enough calcium, alkalinity... likely no die-off that's appreciable> I don't test for ca/Sr/mg and I have a total of 70w of fluorescent lighting (40w 20k day + 2*15w 50/50 blue/day) running 12hours. Also, no Selcon anywhere.  <What? Check with the e-tailers listed on the www.WetWebMedia.com Links pages... this is a great product sold by most all outlets...> I purchased "homebrew" algae paste (to soak/supplement food) and Seachem Iodide. Iodide directions say to add 5ml every other day directly to the tank. Do you think this is acceptable/beneficial? <Yes> As far as the heater goes, should I hold off? Do you think that raising the temp might encourage the fin rot on the angel? <More discourage with everything else improved, steady...> Thanks for your input. Gratefully, Jason Lockhart (LR junkie-in-the-making) <Bob Fenner, already gone>

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