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giant gourami diet       12/7/19
Hi Neale,
I hope all is well,
Firstly - thanks again for your advice the other week on the giant gourami.
It took a while but I am pleased to say he is now fully healed. I am also pleased to say he is thriving.
I have been feeding him mainly different pellets and some fruit. A combination of:
1. Vitalis Pleco pellets
2. Hikari Algae wafers
3. Grapes (on occasion)
4. Banana (on occasion)
5. Mussels (on occasion)
I have read conflicting reports as to whether they are herbivores or omnivores. I was hoping you could advise on what an ideal diet would be? I know it should be varied and not feeding the same thing every time, but not sure what an 'ideal' diet regime would look like?
I was thinking of making defrosted frozen veg a 'staple' of their diet, but then I am not sure what veg they can and cant eat, and also whether that would be suitably nutritious if it formed the majority of their diet?
Also any other pellets I should add into the mix? Given his size there isn't that many veg based pellets on the market that are big enough.
The other point is how much to feed? He eats a lot very quickly, I know there is a '5 minute rule' in terms of feeding how much they could eat in 5 min.s, but If I let him he would probably eat an entire bunch of bananas in 5 min.s which can't be good for him!!
Thank you!
<Hello again! These fish are absolutely omnivores. So your menu should fit the bill never nicely. In terms of bulk, green foods are probably the ideal, but some protein-rich foods, like the mussels, will help keep him growing nicely. Koi pellets would probably make an inexpensive staple, so certainly try those. Now, when it comes to feeding, plant foods (which contain little protein) can be left in the tank indefinitely. Often, fish wait for them to soften up anyway, so it can be some days before they eat tougher plants and fruits. I agree, five bananas is probably overkill, but letting him eat half a banana a day wouldn't cause any water quality problems because there's so little nitrogen in such foods. Experiment, and see what works for you! Cheers, Neale.>

Skinny guppy not eating       12/7/19
Hi again!
No fish have died so far and there are 2 fry that are going well. Only one smaller male seems to not be eating now. What could be causing it? Worms?
He is skinny too and I remember last time I saw his poop it was kind of stringy. Im thinking of putting him in the QT tank with Levamisole. Is that a good idea?
<Worms are a possibility, but to be honest, with farmed Guppies, the so-called 'Wasting Disease', Mycobacteriosis, is more probable. There's no treatment as such, beyond optimising living conditions and hoping for the best. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Skinny guppy not eating       12/7/19

Hi Neale,
Thanks for your reply,
I got him from a private breeder. How do I distinguish worms vs. mycobacteriosis?
<Unless you're a vet or microbiologist, you can't. Broadly speaking though, worms do two things you can sometimes observe clearly: either emerge from the vent as red threads (Camallanus worms) or cause abdominal swelling while the rest of the fish becomes skinny (intestinal worms).
Mycobacteriosis causes a range of symptoms, including wasting, bloody sores, strange behaviours such as hiding away, and eventually death. But because Mycobacteriosis shares those symptoms with other diseases, for example Aeromonas and Pseudomonas bacteria can cause sores, and worms can cause wasting, it's really difficult to positively diagnose. It's normally implicated by default, where a fish fails to respond to reliable antibiotic and/or anti parasite medications. Make sense?>
Is there any way to treat mycobacteriosis + worms at same time? Should I QT him or not bother?
<For the sake of a single Guppy in its own tank, I personally wouldn't do much beyond observe. If I had a tank of Guppies, then deworming on a prophylactic basis isn't a bad idea at all, and products like PraziPro do this reasonably reliably. Medicating for Mycobacteriosis is essentially impossible, but if you use an antibiotic, it won't do any harm, can work just fine with PraziPro, and might solve the problem if some other bacterium is involved.>
Thanks again
<Welcome. Neale.>
re: Skinny guppy not eating       12/7/19

Hi again Neale, Just sending this along with my last reply I got a video of the guppy
Its the tiger one, he's been thin like that the whole time I had him. Same with purple one. Though recently the tiger one isn't seeming to be eating.
Unsure how long he hasn't been eating fir
Thanks again
<Yep, have seen this many, many times with livebearers, including my own colony of Limia. Doesn't seem to kill the fish particularly quickly, so I don't think it's a Mycobacteria infection. It might be something called Tetrahymena pyriformis, also know as 'Guppy Disease'. Do look at some photos online. Difficult to treat (no commercial treatment available so far as I know) but equally doesn't seem especially contagious, so may affect fish that are otherwise stressed or genetically weak. So do some research on these possibilities, and act accordingly. Cheers, Neale.>

Aquarium repair       12/7/19
I have a 180 gallon acrylic tank 72x24x24 the tank is empty and it has maybe a seam separation not sure what it is her is a picture of it any help Thanks
<Mmm; you may be fortunate here to be able to simply apply a low viscosity solvent (Weld-on 16 would be my choice) to the seam/area here this is whited out. Elsewise, annealing a square or triangular dowel in the inside corner (the entire length, if it were mine, all inside corners), cut to size, as gone over on WWM re acrylic repairs. Bob Fenner>
Re: Aquarium repair       12/7/19

So I should apply Weld-on 16 from the top to the bottom seam and add a acrylic piece as well top to bottom
<Mmm... the solvent just to the joint (bottom) where the whited out area is what I would try first. Give it a couple days to cure. BobF>

Hello Question about acrylic crazing or seam failure       12/7/19
I Bought this tank used. After getting it home noticed these scratches.
I read your article but don't know how to differentiate between crazing and seem a failure.
<Seam failure is between annealed/solvented surfaces, crazing stress fracturing outside the joint>
The tank is not leaking and holds water. Can you shed some light before I stock this tank.
Thank you,
*Utsav Khatiwada*
<I'd likely still use this tank; assuring its on a stand that is planar, level (and strong of course). The seams appear strong (enough), just a bit unsightly. Bob Fenner>

Aquarium repair     12/6/19
I have a 180 gallon acrylic tank 72x24x24 the tank is empty and it has maybe a seam separation not sure what it is her is a picture of it any help Thanks
<Hi, could you please resize/crop the image down to just a few hundred Kb's and resend it? Wil.>


I Love Your Website! Link/ pond const.      12/6/19
Hey There,
My name is Anne and I run the expertaquarist.com blog.
<I have seen this>
I saw that you have a bunch of great resources on wetwebmedia.com
<Thank you>
I was wondering if you would be interested in sharing one of my resources that is relevant to you?
We talk mostly about fishkeeping in aquariums or ponds, aquascaping and reef keeping. If you feel like sharing it, here is the URL - https://expertaquarist.com/build-backyard-pond/
<I will gladly add the link to this article on the pertinent parts of WWM>
BTW, whether you add it or not, I’d be happy to give you:
- A shout out from my pinterest account (having 300K+ reach per month)
- A shout out from my tweeter account
Please let me know if there is anything of YOURS that I can promote for you.
<Mmm; if you find, feel there are items of interest to your perusers, please link them in turn>
I just followed you on twitter so I can stay updated.
<We/I don't "do" twitter. Bob Fenner>

Orandas with raw reddish patches and white bumps    /RMF     12/6/19
<Edward, hi; am unable to either download your zip, nor open the indiv. jpegs here. Would you place them on the net and send the link along?>
I’ve spent hours looking through your site, (THANK YOU for it’s existence!), but couldn’t find any images with descriptions that I could be sure matched mine. So, I’ll give writing in a try!
<Ah, good>
Several weeks ago I thought I noticed the beginnings of an inch infection and treated the entire tank with salt. I added a tablespoon for every 5 gallons, then repeated two days later. The white spots seemed to have gotten better, but there’s been a raw “meaty” outbreak on the tail of one for a while now that has gotten worse, and another has a white round eruption and is hanging out at the bottom of the tank more than usual. The third seems fine.
I have a 65 gallon tank with a 406 Fluval and have under gravel filters with 2 power heads. The air pump is for a 100 gallon tank and the tank has plenty of aeration. I used to feed them Tetra Goldfish Flakes and sometimes frozen brine shrimp, but I thought I might be introducing disease with the shrimp and stopped that.
<Actually, the frozen Artemia shouldn't harbor any goldfish pathogens. I would supplement the flake food for sure>
Now I feed them North Fin Premium Goldfish pellets that sink. (I haven’t noticed any difference in the fish with the change of food and it’s been almost a year.)
<Unfamiliar w/ this brand, and their site doesn't offer specifics as to formulation, guaranteed analysis.>
I measured the ammonia levels and they are zero. There are 3 goldfish, two of which I need help with.
I have sharpened the images so their scales appear more pronounced in some images more than they actually are, but I wanted the outbreaks to be well defined.
<Need to see these pix>
Fish one has had a reddish outbreak for months now and it’s getting worse. Changing the tank water and using Melafix alone, then later Melafix with Pimafix, hasn’t cured it.
<Am decidedly NOT a fan of these plant extracts. Google WWM re>
About a year or so ago I had another fish that was also having eruptions and treated the tank with Amoxicillin. I used 1 Capsule (500mg.) per 20 gallons every day for 7 days. Overall, there seemed to be improvement, however one fish may have had some kind of scale damage that could not be repaired and had a large, cottony “growth” on it’s side. It behaved normally and seemed unaffected by it. Fish one behaves normally, but the red and raw looking patches are getting worse. Did the salt make it worse?
<Can't say; but I would (again) augment this food... with a mix of frozen that has a good deal of plant material (or fresh, blanched/microwaved fresh; see WWM re GF nutrition), and mix in some (to me known) dried prepared of good value (Hikari, Spectrum)>
Fish two was fine, except that now it appears that a white growth is appearing on it’s side. There appears to be some white on it’s head too. Is that ich?
<Doubtful; Ich appears as discrete pin-head size white dots... more on the fins than the bodies in goldfish>
However, this is the one that’s bothering me because it suddenly is spending lots of time on the bottom of the tank and none of them have ever done that before without dire consequences. (The end is near.) Tomorrow I’ll change the tank water. I was thinking of leaving the charcoal out of the fluvial and treating with the Amoxicillin again.
<Mmm; I'd give up on antibiotic use. This situation is environmental, nutritional in etiology. Water changes and food additions is the route I'd go>
All of their fins appear pretty normal. No pronounced red streaks or tears. I am desperate to get my fish healthy and happy again. I’ve kept fancy goldfish for about 40 years and I’ve never had struggles like this before.
<Ahh, I too am a giant fan of fancies... for more than this duration. They are "not what they used to be" health/quality wise; nor is the water in many places.>
I do believe there might be something in the tap water, but I don’t know for sure. I always use AmQuel Plus and NovAqua when I change the water and add 5 tablespoons of aquarium salt for every 5 gallons of new water.
<I'd cut back the salt by half, but the water treatments you list are good>
My fish and I thank you in advance for any expert advice we can get! Thank you SO much!
Fish 1:
Fish 2:
<Bob Fenner>

Thermal shock symptoms      12/5/19
Hey bob,
Could you tell me what some of the symptoms of temp shock are?
<Most often, fishes (and invertebrates) "sink" to the bottom, low to in-active, fins clamped... give up eating>
Did a water change on my quarantine tank last night. About 75 percent on 20 gallons to get meds out.
In my new water , I had heater in there set for same temp, and did water change. (78)
After I did change, my tank temp dropped from 78 to 72,turns out I never had heater plugged in and assumed it was on and close to temp.
I have a bellus angel laying on ground, and a watanabei swimming vertically. Does that sound like temp shock, and if so is it too far gone at this point?
Thanks, Bobby
<Mmm; I would not give up. This degree of change does occur in the wild at times. Bob Fenner>
Re: Thermal shock symptoms      12/5/19

Thanks bob. Just to clarify, the new water change water must have been in the 60s, because my display tank instantly went from 78 to 72, 6 degree drop in a matter of 20-30 seconds.
<Yeah; have been out diving when very much colder water flowed out of rivers, lagoons... happens>
Looking now I doubt the bellus has a chance, laying in side hasn’t moved really and gills are moving. The watanabei will go from completely upright at the surface , swim fine for a few minutes, and head back the vertical position.
<These shocks take a while (days, weeks) to correct. I like a model of impairment of protein/enzyme function... >
I’ve had far worst luck with quarantine then the days of dipping and dropping display .
<Patience. BobF>
Thanks again.
Re: Thermal shock symptoms      12/5/19

Hey bob, sad to report both fish did not make it. Came home from work and they were dead on the bottom.
Is it safe to blame the temp drop? My fear is something else was a miss, ad this just out the nail in the coffin. Or could it very well be some fish just can’t handle the drop?
<As previously stated/postulated, the thermal drop/stress is likely a complimentary negative influence here; along w/ some other factor/s; this did likely lead to their loss. Bob Fenner>

Re: What looks like the crypt but is not?      12/5/19
Good day Nobel folk. An update...
Now, we learned and understood that eliminating crypt from a main tank was something 99.99% impossible,
<Can be very difficult; yes>
because we did not have enough QT tanks established to house all of our fish we decided to go ahead anyway while at least we set up several tanks around the house-a pleasure many of you I’m sure have had. After 45 days and 150 ml of Cupramine, a ‘clear’ window appeared. We maintained the levels for 30 post last spot. And on this bleak and cloudy morning we find ourselves back at square one, at least with 4 cycled QT tanks on hand.
So, it cannot be done. This is the third attempt in our history that we have attempted to treat Crypt in the display—to no avail. We tested Cupramine levels twice a day for 50 days. The dose required was 70ml, with absorption, the total dose was 150ml.....
Now for the dismantling...... bleaching.....obsessing over anything white or tang flying in the stream of the powerhead.
<Best to carefully (to avoid stains on carpet, clothes...) chlorine bleach (as gone over on WWM) all in place, including filters, media...>
And, the unavailability of Cupramine in Canada.
<? Wonder why. Bob Fenner>
Re: What looks like the crypt but is not?      12/5/19

Yes, Cupramine, PraziPro, Kanaplex, Metroplex, all API treatments like general cure—-EVERYTHING—-
I can understand the anti- microbials, for the prevention of the creation of ‘super bugs’. People do not dispose of them properly....But Cupramine?
<I know naught. Perhaps friend, fish pathologist and Canadian Myron Roth has insight here. Myron?
Bob Fenner>
Re: What looks like the crypt but is not?      12/5/19

.....It gets interesting
<Ah yes; the plot thickens as they say. B>

Identification of an aquatic worm/possible parasite      12/5/19
Hi there! I've been all over the place trying to find someone to help me ID this Suspected freshwater aquatic parasite so I can determine how to treat it. You were recommended by someone on a Facebook Fish group (fish talk, I believe). - (and before you look at the video, say "it's a Tubifex worm, you N00b", please read below- that's what I think it looks like too, but some sort of immaculate conception had to have happened if that is the case. And I'm not ready to admit the existence of the sewage fairy, or of
Tubifex eggs hatching inside a fish's Pyloric caeca, growing to an adult size, and then hatching out and leaving the fish through feces. because that would just be weird.
A rift lake Cichlid (frontosa) came into my Ultra small, self funded rescue with double eye infections about 2 weeks ago. I dosed him with both gram pos and gram neg antibiotics which has cleared up the infection, and he is doing much better. He started eating, which the previous short term owner had not seen. She had only had him for a few weeks, as she bought him and 5 others from another guy who had them 8 years, so he said. It's unknown how long since he last ate. Ph is about 8.5, which is about ideal for these fish, and temp is around 78 degrees. the previous owner was keeping him in non brackish water- and our water around here is soft. I'd guess ph somewhere in the 6s. The fish is stunted and still has not regained color- but at least his eyes are no longer threatening to leave his head.
However, Last night, I did a water change on his hospital tank: this included moving the hide, vacuuming the very small amount of gravel (about a cup of crushed coral to buffer for PH) and squeezing out the sponge filter. (as a note, no worms were found. I'm pretty sure I would have noticed. there is just no place for them to hide. )
I left the room to get him frozen Omega 1 food blocks, threw them in the tank, left the room for about 10 minutes (he is super shy, and won't eat when I'm there) , and when I returned to get photos of his eyes to document improvement, I noticed hundreds upon hundreds of little black worms all over the place- floating, crawling, and in general, being.. well. gross. they are about an inch in length- far larger than detritus type worms. at first I thought they were some sort of black worm- but looking closer it was clear that they were definitely not.
My first assumption was they came from the food blocks. I defrosted the rest of the food I had in cups of his tank water- but no worms showed up.
Then I sucked as many of the worms out as I could get, and threw them into a container, and pulled out my USB microscope.
I captured this video:
(please Disregard the dead bloodworms, as those were left over from the Frontosa's dinner and sucked up when I was capturing worms)
They look, to my exceptionally untrained eyes, Like Tubifex worms- but there is literally no way Tubifex worms could have gotten into the aquarium. I've already contacted Omega one to verify that there was no way that any worms could survive their sterilization or freezing process: I asked them to help ID, as if it's not a parasite, their food is the only reasonable explanation if it's not an egg-laying larva etc, but they
declined (a little rudely, in fact) . None of the foods I fed last night (omega one frozen Super carnivore ( Mysis Shrimp, Brine Shrimp, and Bloodworms) , and, I believe frozen Omega One Baby Krill- if not it was a block of brine, mysis, or bloodworms.) have any T.F. worms in them. heck.
none of the other foods I feed do ether, as the amino acids are not really ideal for many things. I have no TBFX worms in my food arsenal or in our home.
Are you able to help me figure out what in the heck these are? They don't look like any of the common parasitic worms I have seen, or could find photos of (I looked at the roundworms, tapeworms, Thorny headed worms, Flukes, or any of the nematodes I've seen- But I'm just a fairly new hobbyist, doing my best. But If they did not come from the fish as parasites, I have a whole different "where the heck did the worms come from " issue. did they survive the intestines of this fish for months? Did the Omega 1 people lie? is there actually a sewage fairy who drops worms into aquariums?
I have a number of antiparasitics on hand- I just need to know which one to use (and gosh, an ID so I understand lifecycle would be awesome too!) - I have Levamisole, which I think is the most all-encompassing of the antiparasitics that I have, but before I start that I just wanna know I have the right ID.
Thanks so much. I'm loosing my cool over here at this as I can't find any logical cause for them other than parasites, and the illogical ideas are all far past borderline of absurd.
Thanks so much!
<Andie, the short answer is that these do look like Oligochaetes, and you can check that yourself by looking to see if they are (a) segmented; and (b) possess bundles of tiny hair-like structures, chaetae, on the segments, often on the underside. Very few, if any, of the Oligochaetes are parasitic. So generally if you have these, they're not going to do much harm. Tubifex are of course the best known, but Lumbriculus variegatus, the California Blackworm, is an aquatic variety that is quite commonly seen in
the aquarium trade. It is sometimes used as fish food and sometimes as part of a 'deep sand bed' filter where it helps to aerate the substrate and promote good water quality. Tapeworms do of course have segments, being closely related to the Oligochaetes within the Annelida phylum, but they have distinctive flat, leaf-life segments and the famous set of toothy mouthparts on the round head used to hold themselves into position. Your worms don't look anything like those. On the other hand, if you can't see
segments, then roundworms (Nematodes) or some other group of worms will need to be considered, and some of these are indeed parasitic. But the fact your worms seem to have a well-developed gut seems to suggest a free-living, rather than parasitic, mode of life. So far as your Frontosa cichlid goes, there are all sorts of reasons cichlids get sick, but de-worming and treating as per Hexamita infections (i.e., Metronidazole) generally make sense when dealing with vague wasting-type problems. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Identification of an aquatic worm/possible parasite      12/5/19

Thanks so much! I actually don't see much wasting in this guy. Other than the eyes he looks ok. He was skinny when i got him, but he was being bullied. He is filling out as expected with access to food. I will use an antiparasitic fir good measure to hit the main common things now that I know i don't have some weird parasite i need to make sure is involved.
<"Antiparasite" medications aren't my favourite approach. Best to choose specific medications for specific parasites. Often the "cure alls" are really "cure nothings". 'Jack of all trades, master of none' as they say. With commercial cichlids, Hexamita and various intestinal worms are the two commonest problems. So may as well choose medications specific to them in the absence of anything indicative of some other problem.>
My main issue now is. "Well, if they didn't come from inside him, where the heck did they come from!" But that is definitely not your problem.
<Indeed. But Oligochaetes usually get in via substrates, via live food, or possibly via live plants if those came with soil or sand around them.
Otherwise unlikely to get in under their own steam.>
Thank you so much for clarifying my suspicion, and providing specific information about WHY. (I didn't know about the specific gut structure, but that makes total sense, for example.
I really appreciate your time!
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Identification of an aquatic worm/possible parasite      12/5/19

yup- just to make things difficult, it's a hospital tank- nothing goes I or out without being sanitized, the substrate was a rinsed cup of crushed coral from the 40 lb bag I use to try to combat our "might as well be reverse osmosis" water. I'll go through the filter and tear it apart- that is the only place I can think of as I did pull a filter from another tank
<A mystery, for sure. But if the worms are segmented and have chaetae, they're likely harmless. Indeed, probably something worm-eating fish like loaches would normally eat.>
Thanks for the tip on antiparasitics. I agree with you on that, - I'll keep an eye for any real suggestions that h needs it before I dose anything at all, as long as he keeps getting fatter.
Your help literally saved my sanity. All my thanks to you and yours!
<Thanks for the kind words. I do hope the Frontosa recovers. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Damselfish Identification - Neopomacentrus      12/5/19
Good evening,
<Hello Joel,>
Almost two weeks ago I purchased a Freshwater Demoiselle (Neopomacentrus taeniurus) for my 125 gallon brackish tank. I thought I would give you an update on how everybody is doing thus far.
The tank is 125 gallons, currently 77 F, about pH 7.8, and dH 15. The specific gravity is normally kept at 1.006, though I checked today and it's crept up to 1.008. Not a huge deal I imagine, but I'm going to bump it back down next water change.
<Indeed, no big deal. Truly euryhaline brackish water fish, like these, can adapt to anything from fresh to seawater within minutes, in the sense of it not causing them long-term harm. There's some scientific evidence it likely takes them days to properly, fully adapt, but unlike marine or freshwater fish, exposure to salinity changes isn't actually lethal or even stressful, and in the wild they'd have to be able to handle these simply to survive.>
So far the Demoiselle has been in fantastic health. Great color, fins look perfect, and very healthy appetite. I feed a variety of wet and dry foods over the course of the week - he seems to like the New Life Spectrum, Bug Bites fish food, Brine shrimp, and tiny bits of tilapia I offer every few days. He doesn't appear interested in Nori, but otherwise is eating just about anything offered.
<Great. They're zooplankton feeders, so disinterest in Nori isn't altogether surprising. Unlike some reef Damsels, they aren't major algae eaters. That said, if your chap takes algae-based flake food, that'd be a really useful addition to their diet, as it is for most fish.>
As far as behavior, he claimed one of the PVC pipes closest to the filter and heater as a "home base" but doesn't spend a great deal of time there unless accidentally startled. I see him mostly swimming among the Orange Chromides; occasionally (two or three times over the week) I may see a quick dash towards a Chromide of smaller size to make them leave his territory, but so far haven't seen him dash more than a few inches or physically attack another fish. He'll also do this towards the Knight Goby
who similarly enjoys hiding out in pipes. My Scats are all left alone, though it took a few days to realize they don't actually pose a threat.
None of the inhabitants seem to pay him much mind.
<Sounds good. He does seem to have staked his territory, and with a lot of Damsels, any negative behaviours are really circled around that patch. If they're left alone, for the most part they leave others alone.>
All in all, I'm happy with this purchase. I will keep an eye as he grows to to make sure he doesn't get too "punchy".
<I think BobF referred to this genus as one of the more clubbable species, so with any luck, all should be well. Sometimes moving rocks or whatever around to create obvious territorial boundaries is a useful trick.>
Thank you for your time,
<And thanks for sharing. Cheers, Neale.>

Sulfur denitrification      12/5/19
Dear Bob,
<Hey Branko>
We are thinking of adding Sulfur reactor to battle nitrates in our fish system.
<Mmm; can be done... though Nitrate influence is not often much of an issue with captive fishes>
Do you have any insight, how would copper that we dose react if sulfur reactor is introduced. Would sulfur bind copper to it?
<Mmm; yes... making sulfur oxides... >
And if yes would it eventually become full like filter media so we can dose needed dose after media gets filled?
<How to put this... how much of a problem, negative influence, what I would do is experiment a bit if you're determined to use a sulfur denitrator... to determine how much, how often you'll need to renew/adjust the (chelated) copper to keep a physiological dose present. Bob Fenner>

Re: Vampire tang - sudden illness - potentially due to high temperature      12/5/19
Thanks for the previous advice, much appreciated.
<You’re welcome>
My Tang pulled through, been quite a long sickbed though. The wound on its forehead became rawer. At times she was looking quite bad. See progress pictures. 21 Nov, 22 Nov,24 Nov, 30 Nov (Saturday) and Today.
<I see it is getting better>
Apart from the massive wound on her forehead she also developed pop eye over this period.
I did 2 x 25% water changes in this period and after not being able to do catch her for a dip suggested, she recovered.
<Does look like a significant improvement over the course of these days>
I also removed activated carbon, a faulty heater that caused the temp spike in this time and I widened her rock caves when she got the pop eye as I could see her squeezing herself into tiny spaces.
(We moved this tank about a month ago to our new house) fish movers did a great job but did not redo the tang’s cave similar to what it was, new caves were tiny, and she did not fit.
Nowy <Nosy?> question - illness cleared up, pop eye cleared up and wound healed very well except for a harry potter like scar left. Problem is the tang still seems very traumatized and has only eaten on 4 occasions in the last 2 weeks. She has had 4 meals of which 2 was on the same day That was about
a week ago. At the moment she nips at glass and green algae in tank, refuses all food I feed. Hides if I add food or don’t hide and ignores the food she loved before (formulae 1 pellets and flakes) she still eats algae from the glass.
Mysis and frozen foods - I tried feeding that she never really looked at this always spitted this out previously but now nips at it when feeding but spits out every piece. She has eaten a little bit of algae from the glass and maybe 1 flake. She does not show interest in food at all. she previously hated garlic in food, I haven’t tried this yet.
She can still see well. She nips with precision at the frozen food.
She swims around in tank but mainly stays close to her new large cave that I built now when she was sick.
Her color also concerns me, the last photo the almost black Color is her angry “make up” or pajamas
- she turns this color when I added her to display for the first time. And subsequently only rare occasions and would turn back to normal color in minutes. She has been this color for 5 days now.
<The dark coloration is common on stressed fish, mostly on recently imported, and yours has been through similar stress with the tank moving and the extreme temperature variation.>
Also seems to be some aggression between her and the one clown. She keeps flexing her top fin at clown.
I removed clown for a day, and she reacted the same.
Can you please share any tips on how to get her happier and to get her to eat?
Nothing seems to work. I try switching off the pump to feed her to get food closer to when she was sick, it did work a few times but now it doesn’t.
I’m not cleaning algae off the glass, so she has more to eat/nip at. Tank looks terrible but its fine if she eats it.
Also been trying different foods suspect I’m over feeding due to this, but the 25% water changes cancelled it out as readings ammonia, nitrite, nitrate still zero.
<I wouldn’t worry about the tang not eating (for now), fit fish like yours may go for a few weeks without food, your tang doesn’t look emaciated. I suggest focusing more on environmental conditions and reducing stress, if water changes helped to improve it’s health, go that route, maybe not large water changes but 10-15% twice a week, add vitamin supplements directly to the tank water and avoid putting your hands in the tank as much as possible, after all it has been through, the tang is very stressed and your presence is not well taken now, these are very shy fish.>
One other thing there is Aiptasia in the tank, could this be bothering the tang?
<Not necessarily, but it appears when there are excess nutrients in the water, commonly caused by overcrowded or not large enough tanks in relation to the livestock, insufficient skimming and infrequent water changes.>
Your advice so much appreciated thanks!
<Glad to help, but next time please help us to check/fix your spelling/grammar ahead of sending your query, I did it for you this time. Cheers. Wil.>

Yuma and Sponge Compatibility?      12/5/19
Hi Crew!
<Hey Dani>
First of all happy holidays! ☺️ Just a little question. I have a 28g nano, established over a few years—1.0255 spg, 9.5 dkh, 435 calcium, and 1350 Mag with an AI prime HD. All is well but I have run into some space issues since the corals are growing (I heard they should do that).
<Ah yes>
I was trying to reorganize and had a space in mind for an orange plating sponge and a blue yuma that pops babies out like crazy. I noticed the yuma does like grabbing things so wasn’t sure if sponges can get stung or affected by yumas or if it would be ok?
<At least some sponges do; have encountered such mal-interactions in other peoples' systems. I'd give a few inches twixt both>
Appreciate any feedback!
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Whether or not to moonlight?...      12/4/19
Hi Gang,
<Hey Chuck, howsit?>
I run a 220 gallon mixed reef (LPS and some SPS) with a fair number of fish... plus a 60 gallon seaweed/macroalgae display tank on a common sump.
The only inhabitants of the 60 are a copper banded butterfly that I've had for a few years
<Wow!...a hard species to keep for extended periods of time>
(I was never successful at keeping one in a 'community' tank due to their lack timidity at feeding time) plus a Coris wrasse, who only emerges from the DSB ever few days, when he's hungry.
<The wrasse needs more room than this>
Would either of these tanks likely benefit -- or suffer -- from having some blue LED moonlight shining down?
<Neither... just remember that marine critters are accustomed to get light from the top/surface.>
I bought a little (supposedly) submersible unit...
but the instructions are in Chinese (literally) and it looks like it's really best suited for a top-of-the-tank mounting. In any event, the cord between the don't-dunk-this-part electronics and the sealed LED unit isn't all that long. Not sure it would reach the bottom of my tank. My regular tank lighting doesn't offer a practical moonlight solution.
<If space on your current lighting fixture allows it, place it there too...
I would; otherwise place it as close to the top as possible.>
Thanks in advance for any help on this...
<Most welcome. Wil.>

Now... Phractocephalus; using WWM, the Net       12/3/19
Hi, I need the complete details about the requirements for a red tail catfish of about one feet size.
<This Pimelodid won't stay just a foot in length>
Especially about the water quality and necessary requirements.
I need to know that whether it can be grown in a cement pond without aeration
<No; needs filtered tropical conditions>
and with an occupancy volume of about 2000 litres???
<Not indefinitely>
...Waiting for your response
<READ here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/rtcatfs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Tank/floor joist      12/2/19
Thanks for the reply. Would love to put it downstairs, however a sharp 90 degree turn down the basement stairs limits that.
<Ahh, no other (outside) access?>
I will look to see if I can get somebody in to look at it, thanks again
<Cheers, BobF>

Chiller cooling issue- Nano reef tank      12/2/19
Hello Crew
<Hello Srinivas>
Am facing a peculiar problem with my chiller
I have a big chiller (1 HP) bought for my earlier tank ( 240 Gallons). Post my relocation, I shifted to a rented accommodation and owing to space constraints (and mobility factor), I sifted to a nano setup.
I am using whatever stuff I could from my old set-up and chiller was an expensive investment which I wouldn't have undertaken again. So am using the same chiller for a very small set up ( entire volume including Sump is about 50 gallons)
The return chamber, where the chiller pump is located, had about 3-4 gallons of water. The water is pushed to the display through by a Sicce Syncra 1.0 return pump (250 Gallons per hour)
The chiller is set to cut off at 26degreed Celsius (78 F).
The problem is that the chiller is chilling the water in the return to 26 Degrees within few minutes and cuts off.
<This is caused by the small water volume vs. the chiller capacity>
The water is slowly relayed to the display and flows through the refuge and skimmer, back to the return chamber. The temperature in the display is 1 degree more that the temperature in the return chamber.
<I suggest using a bigger return pump and/or pipe diameter; this way water will enter and leave the display tank faster and there will be no temperature variations between the sump and the DT.>
The kick off and cut off of the chiller is very frequent... say twice in 12 minutes.
<Water temp is rising fast>
Please advice where things are going wrong and how to obtain an even temperature for a reasonable time before the chiller takes care of the spike in temperature.
<Unfortunately, due to the small total water volume in your system, temperature fluctuates pretty fast and won’t remain even, for longer periods of time before the chiller has to start working again.>
Warm Regards,
<Cheers. Wil.>

Re: Captive bred Pseudochromis aldabraensis       12/1/19
Awesome thank you so much Bob. I have sought your advice many times in the past when I am not %100 sure on livestock compatibility and you haven't steered me wrong yet.
<Heee! Likely have made most mistakes myself; and/or read, learned from others>
You give me confidence in my selections! Now I can purchase the Dottyback without fear ��. Thank you again
<Certainly welcome Nic/ole. Excelsior! BobF>

Tank/floor joist       12/1/19
Hey bob, crew.
<Hey Bobby>
Just seeking your opinion based on your experience.
<All I've got>
I am considering putting a standard 180 gallon tank on the main floor of a ranch.
At one time, about 10-12 years ago, a standard 90 gallon was in the spot I wish to put this 180.
Now the 90 is half the weight roughly, but also take up much less room (48 inches by 18), where the 180 (72 inches by 24) , so the 180 spreads the weight out over more area.
<Yes; GIVEN the stand itself has double the surface area. ON non-concrete/slab floors I like to place the support on a cut piece of plywood that touches all the stand itself... and check, shim the ply itself (w/ long shims) if all is not level AND planar>
A ranch home, built in the 50’s, the spot this tank would go (and where the 90 was) is up against a perimeter wall (load bearing), and the tank would be sitting perpendicular to the joists (2*10s)
Considering it held a 90 before, and would be up against a load bearing wall, perpendicular to the joists, would you feel confident it should hold?
<Mmm; would need to know more, check myself. IF you have a concern, DO have someone in the know (contractor, structural engineer...) come out and go over. IF there is space under where the tank is going, I would consider bracing there. This whole system will weigh about a ton>
It’s a finished basement down below, no real way to run post or reinforcements with jacks or posts without ruining a nice sitting area.
<Ahh, well... I might consider putting a big (make that huge) tank down in the basement!>
Thanks, Bobby
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Captive bred Pseudochromis aldabraensis     11/30/19
Good morning crew, I am looking for your opinion on adding a captive bred Pseudochromis aldabraensis to my 150 gallon aquarium. I know that this species of Dottyback can be very aggressive, but I also know that captive bred Dottybacks can be less aggressive than wild ones. I wonder though how much less aggressive?
<Considerably less so; much less than "half">
I am pretty heavily stocked so this would likely be my last addition to the tank. My current stock list is 3 Bristletooth tangs, a maroon clown, clarkii clown, Foxface rabbit fish, yellow wrasse, 4 dragonettes (all very fat and happy, at least 3 of them eat prepared foods), 2 Banggai cardinals, royal Gramma,
<Of the fishes, the Gramma is likely to be the more harassed. I'd focus on interactions twixt these two>
starry blenny, 2 coral beauty angels, a pink and blue spotted watchman, wide barred goby, yellow watchman goby and pistol shrimp, azure damsel and 2 large cleaner shrimp, variety of hermits and porcelain crabs.
I also know that in the wild these fish eat even large crustaceans, but is a well fed captive bred Pseudochromis aldabraensis likely to eat crustaceans added to the tank before him?
<Not likely to bother them at all>
Please let me know if you think this fish is suitable for my setup or best avoided. Also, if it is suitable, would getting a pair of them make them potentially more aggressive or less? Thank you!
<I give you very good odds of this (one or two here) captive-produced Pseudochromid getting along well here. Put another way, if it were mine, I'd go forward w/ its addition. Bob Fenner>

Re: Livestock Compatibility      11/27/19
OK, glad you think this could work. It didn't seem too likely that you would say yes, but I guess if the Poly-Filter and Magnavore really do absorb allelopathic chemicals then it seems like it could.
<Some organics (w/ and w/o quotation marks), yes>
It's just that the little research I did awhile back left me to believe that Poly-Filter hasn't been proven to remove these chemicals. Not sure about the Magnavore products, I'll have to read up and see what I can find out.
Anyways, thanks for giving me the confidence to go through with this. I'll update after the algae has been in there awhile.
<Thank you. BobF>

Equipment cleaning- reef tanks
Dear team
How frequently should be clean out equipment’s like wavemaker , skimmer pumps and return pump ?
<About every month, sooner if you detect they're getting clogged>
Is it a must to clean them in vinegar?
Is using vinegar to clean safe?
<White vinegar, acetic acid is a good choice>
<And you, BobF>

Hai, I’m planning to buy an Arapaima gigas.
<Seriously? These things are enormous. Literally the biggest freshwater fish in the world.>
Size of about 6 inches.
<Not for long it won't be! Wikipedia informs me the average specimen is 2 m long, and some specimens are more than twice that size. The species is farmed for food, and reaches around 1 m within the first year. Growth likely slows down a bit thereafter, but I think you could realistically expect a common adult size of 2 m within 2-3 years.>
What all requirements should I have?
<A tropical pond of some sort, first of all. I can't see any commercial aquarium being viable for more than the first six months, and thereafter, you'd need a custom aquarium around 2 m front to back, 2 m deep, and 4-6 m in length for maybe the next 6-12 months. Once the fish is over 1 m in length, it's hard to imagine anything other than a tropical pond being viable.>
I need a complete specifications about this, to be more precise Its tank requirement, water quality and diet.
<This species is fairly widely kept in public aquaria and zoos. I'd suggest visiting some of these, or getting in touch with the aquarium directors, who might be able to provide you with further information. Alternatively, look at aquaculture supply companies, because realistically, what you're going to want is a large tropical pond as would be used for rearing large aquaculture species like Ictalurus.>
So could you please provide me it when you are available....
<Basic care is pretty much the same as any other Arowana, except everything needs to be multiplied upwards given Arapaima are 2-4 times the length. Cheers, Neale.> 

Re: Top Fin Damage      11/23/19
Here is an updated picture of the top fin. It looks like even the top of the body is affected at this point. The whitish coloration lower on his body is a smear on the glass. The rest of the body looks fine, other than the top fin. Does this still appear to be physical damage and not some other ailment? I haven't found the culprit yet.
<Does look like an open wound... If environmental conditions are not ideal, it will take longer to heal, I’d do small partial water changes (10 to 15%) two or three times a week, add vitamin supplements to the fish diet and start using activated carbon.>
Should I remove the wounded fish, and place in a hospital tank till recovery? It seems that would be additional stress, but maybe worth it?
<Worth trying, this way you’ll also know if another fish was nipping at it.>
Much appreciate!
<Cheers. Wil.>

Hoddoni anemone won't stay attached. Pics      11/23/19
<Haddoni... once gaping like this.... trouble. NEEDS to be moved to another
established system. Search/READ on WWM re carpet anemone husbandry. Bob

Re: Damselfish Identification - Neopomacentrus      11/22/19
Bob, Neale,
<Hello Joel,>
Thank you for the additional information and advice. The mention of Apogon was very interesting as well - I'm really only familiar with the more common Pterapogon and Sphaeramia Cardinals and was unaware of any brackish Cardinalfish.
<I know nothing about the estuarine Apogon species, except that they exist.>
The temptation was too great and I purchased one of the Demoiselles, acclimating it to 1.006 over the better part of the evening. It colored back up right away in the tank and was eager to eat so I am optimistic it'll do well.
<Me too; by all accounts they are very hardy, much like other Damsels.
Given virtually all the bread-and-butter Damsels have been kept in high-end brackish conditions for years (i.e., at SG 1.018) during the earlier years of the marine hobby, I imagine the truly euryhaline species to be very adaptable.>
There was mutual interest between the fishes but no hints of aggression thus far. The tank includes multiple pieces of PVC pipe covered in oyster shells, slate caves, and lots of plastic plants so hopefully there will be enough territories for all. I don't typically see Chromides protecting spaces/caves for the most part so it's a fairly mellow tank.
<Cool. Chromides become more aggressive when spawning, but their ecology is interesting, since they mix with schooling Green Chromides as some sort of 'cleaner fish' symbiont. So they're probably 'wired' to be fairly easy going with fish they don't see as an immediate threat.>
As you mention this is an uncommon fish in the trade, would you be interested in periodic updates on health, behavior, and compatibility with some of the "classic" brackish aquarium fish? I'd be happy to provide.
<I'd be most grateful, in fact, to receive such!>
Thank you again for all your time and help,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Sick giant gourami      11/22/19
Hi neale,
Unfortunately whilst after day 1 things looked to be improving with esha, day 2 and 3 seem to have had little impact and in fact seems to have spread to mouth fungus. Shall I try esha again next week with a stronger dose given that day 1 things seemed to get a bit better (the dose is twice as high on day 1)?
<Yep, sounds like a good plan to me. Do a water change before running the medications though.>
Or is there anything else you can recommend?
<Apart from visiting a fish vet, nope, nothing better. Cheers, Neale.>

Livestock Compatibility      11/22/19

Hello, 11/21/2019
<Hi Greg>
This question is concerning a three-year-old 10 gallon with a little 3 gallon sump loaded with Poly-Filter and Magnavore PURA Filter pad that gets about 25% water change/month. There's been Caulerpa sertularioides and Valonia thriving in there for several months.The Caulerpa is pruned regularly as it spreads like mad and to prevent it from going sexual. I'd
like to add some Halimeda opuntia and Caulerpa cupressoides but wonder about compatibility with each other, the C.sertulariodes, and all the rest of the livestock in the tank? This is a Caribbean biotope that has five Florida ricordeas and one gorgonian (Muriceopsis flavida). There's no plan to add any more corals but maybe some more corallimorphs if the macros
don't pose a threat. The tank also houses Virgin nerites, scarlet reef hermits, tricolor hermits, digueti hermits, tiger goby (Macrodon) and 1 juvenile royal gramma, but plan to donate him when he reaches 2 inches or so.
So do you think it's fairly low risk to add the opuntia and cupressoides, or better to just leave them out altogether?
<An interesting question (as I don't have high confidence re...); I am hesitant to suggest these other macrophyte additions... as the one Caulerpa species is already established, AND this is such a small volume (such that if "something" were to go "wrong", there's not much leeway/time to respond)... However, given the sump, use of worthy chemical filtrants, were
this my personal choice I would very likely go ahead with their addition.
Just DO keep your eye on the new Greens... some whitening out of the Halimeda is to be expected, but melt down of any of the three would prompt me to remove the newer two, execute a large water change (perhaps changes over a few days). Thank you for sharing and please do keep me/us informed of your actions, observations. Bob Fenner>

Vampire tang - sudden illness - potentially due to high temperature      11/22/19
Good Afternoon team,
<Hi Millezanne>
hope you are well.
<Mostly yes, thanks>
Last time around you were of the greatest help so thought you might have some valuable advice with my sick tang.
Tank set up and parameters: Red sea reefer 350, skimmer Bubble Magus Curve 5, 2 x250 watt heaters, wave maker. FOWLR system with live rock (25kg), 2 x da vinci clownfish (1 inch) and a vampire tang (3 inches), 1 hermit crab, 1 cleaner shrimp, few snail, free critters on live rock, temp usually around 27-29 degrees celcius (summer in south africa, so a bit hotter than normal this time of year) ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 15.
Tank has been running for about 2 years. Last fish added in January 2018.
We just moved, moved the tank as is within about 2 hours, this was about 3 weeks ago.
I think my one heater failed. I looked at my tank and only saw the clownfish, the tang (2 years in my tank) usually all over the tank was missing. I found her at the back of the tank, she turned herself black and had spots here and there. Breathing really fast and badly. I felt the water temp with my hand and it was hot! Checked thermometer and its 35-36 degrees
Clowns did not react at all, no change in appearance or behaviour. Not seeing my crustaceans, hope they ok.
18 hours ago everyone was happy and there were no signs of stress in the tank.
I immediately grabbed all the wine and other liquid in the fridge and floated in the tank.
<Hope you drank part of it !>
I got it down to 34, then 33 eventually stabalised around 29 degrees. As the sun set its now at 26-27 degrees
Also increased waterflow, did a water change with colder water and added a fan to the sump.
<Good moves>
Tang is looking better but far from healthy, see video, she is back to normal colour and not hiding anymore. More active than earlier. She is not eating not sure what to do next.
<Be patient, the tang is very stressed to eat, give it time>
Thought temp was the only issue now I think she might have white spot as well, not sure. Fish was 100% healthy half a day ago. There is a pattern on her forehead with white spots, skin affected, also fin damage. Not sure what caused it.
<Apparently it got hit with something>
I dosed the tank with seachem metroplex, what I had around.
<You shouldn’t have medicated the tank, this will only add stress to the livestock and you don't know yet if any is sick.>
Fish already stressed so did not want to attempt a fw bath etc.
What would you suggest ito treatment? Any idea what to do to save my tang?
<I suggest dimming the lights until everything settles down, also do keep an eye on the temperature and avoid drastic changes.>
Kind regards,
<Cheers. Wil.>
Re: Vampire tang - sudden illness - potentially due to high temperature      11/22/19

Thank you,
She looks a little better this morning (its 5am in South africa) still breathing heavily. Water temp at 25 degrees. I dimmed lights as you suggested.
Can you maybe elaborate on what the discoloration on her forehead is? Not sure this is a physical injury, attached another video of last night, no visibility now without lights, it is still discolored and skin seems to peel at ends of this. It recovered slightly overnight, last 6 hours.
<Could be just its protective slime coat peeling off, or could be something else>
Also definitely seeing spots around this area on the fish and on mouth.
<Mmm... I suggest to dip/bath this fish for 5 minutes in freshwater w/methylene blue, same ph and temperature as in the main tank, and provide an air stone to oxygenate while dipping; this should help to get rid of any dead tissue and possible parasites.>
She is swimming better this morning doing her usual route in the tank.
<That’s a good sign>
Hi, got a better pic of this. Video of discoloration on tang, is this an illness or could it subside by itself? Not sure if she is getting better.
Temp still at 25 degrees.
<Dip/bath as I mentioned and if symptoms persist you may have to treat it in a separate tank.>
Apologies, better quality visual attached.
<Please send us just the link to the video, which could be placed in the cloud or YouTube; our server has limited space and crashes when we receive very large files. Cheers. Wil.>

Re: Sick giant gourami    11/21/19
Thanks Neale
<Most welcome, Nate.>

Ocellaris with black / dark patches    11/21/19
<Hi Eduardo, could you please crop, resize down your pix to just a few megs
and resend them?... otherwise you will crash our server. Cheers. Wil.>
Re: Ocellaris with black / dark patches    11/21/19

Hello Will, thanks for your response.
<Most welcome>
I'll answer your questions directly on the body of the email. Cheers. Ed.
Well, I've been in the hobby for quite some time and even though I've seen a lot I came across something I'm uncertain about.
<Let’s see>
The male of ocellaris pair is showing some dark brown / black patches in the lower part of his body going from the middle back to its tail, and uncertain to what it is.
<Do these patches appeared suddenly?>
<<Yes they seem to have appeared suddenly>>
My pair have hosted some sort of olive/brown Palythoas for over 2 years.
I've seen the female and male with stung marks before but they are always dark dots and not blotches.
<Maybe it was stung by another coral>
<<It could've been the new frog>>
I haven't checked my param.s, this week, but I keep them at ~400Ca, 1300+Mg, 7.7+Kh, will check my phosphates as I did have a power outage today that lasted 5hrs (kept an air pump running the whole time), Nitrates <10ppm.
I will check them tomorrow again to see if anything is off, even with the power outage I doubt it as all the corals and inverts are doing fine.
<How about the other readings...ammonia, nitrites, ph, specific gravity, temperature?>
<<Haven't check ammonia, nitrite or ph for a while. SG is 1.025. I did have a power outage that lasted for 5 hrs and I placed an air pump through the whole time, temperature dropped to 24.6 but I keep it from 24.5 to 25.7 also used a Biodigest vial and stop ammo vial after the power outage>>
<Mmm... am not a fan of additives, more of the idea of doing partial water changes to dilute accumulated wastes, after power outages.>
I do keep softies like Zoas, Palys and mush, LPS Trumpets, Frog and hammers, and SPS a few Acros , Montis chalices and such.
<These can irritate the clown’s skin specially in small / crowded quarters; what is the size of your system?>
<<Is well over a 75g + 30 gal sump plus the frog is almost a foot to the left and half a foot to the top away from where they stay in their Palys (It does have 1 green Paly that recently got mixed with the olive ones)>>
Aside from the ocellaris, I also have a Cleaner Wrasse and a Mandarin fish on that system, as well as a Cleaner shrimp, few hermits and snails.
The mandarin, wrasse and cleaner shrimp were added a few months ago and they are all eating and acting normal. My last addition was a frog that i got from a friend yesterday, he's reef is over 6 years old with a pair of ocellaris that have almost 10 years (from a previous reef) and I only dipped it in Revive and Lugol. It's doing fine right now. All my fish seem to be acting normal, I did notice the wrasse a bit awkward, however eating regularly, but I will need to confirm it. The female is showing a some dark patches but much less than the male.
<I suspect the recently added Euphyllia may have to do with this>
<<Could be, but if it is far away should I worry about it going closer to the frog?>>
<We can’t be 100% sure it will not.>
I'm attaching a few pics of my ocellaris, I'd appreciate if you could share some info, or if you have come across something like this before. I will pull the ocellaris out the tank it gets worse, but right now I'm only observing as he is eating and swimming well, although he does seem to be swimming in the current and opening up his mouth widely from time to time, I know this symptoms resemble velvet, and I do have a Hospital Tank with copper for about a month (covered with plastic to prevent aerosol transmission) next to it and a QT tank on one side but I doubt it is velvet or it would have already taken on the fish very fast and the patches doesn't resemble velvet. One Idea that has come to my mind is predatory dinos after
the power outage. Thanks before hand, any help will be appreciate it.
<This appears to be "Hyper- Melanization" which is caused by stinging organisms like the ones you have, I’d see if the blotches disseminate to the rest of the clown’s body or if they fade away over the course of a few days, if not, you’ll need to remove the offending life form, this can be difficult to identify as it may be stinging the clownfish at night if/when the fish swims nearby and touches it... again, I suspect of the Frogspawn.>
<<Very well, I'll keep an eye for any changes, the patches seemed to be not spreading so that is good, and the clownfish is acting normal. Thanks again for your help Will>>
<Please keep us posted. Wil.>

Re: Bubble Tip Anemone Question    11/21/19
Lucky you! I'd love to be in California! I was born there, in Berkeley. A long time ago! LOL!
<Cheers! B>

Re: swim bladder disease?    11/21/19
Hi Bob,
Ok I see now as he is with us now for 2 days we have a better understanding of what he actually does. As you mentioned he is lying on the bottom of the tank most of the time on his side not being able to bring himself up. Now for the last 2 days we have been handling him with hands in order for him
to find food...when we hold him and put his mouth close to some dry food flakes he does suck them up and eats them. hen we try to lift him up he starts moving his fins like crazy but falls to the bottom right away though through the movement of his fins he scoots over the glass bottom of the tank he is in right now. After a minute or so he stops (most likely tired) and just lays still on the bottom again. We have put that patch of Chaeto in his tank as he seem to be looking this up and digs himself under it.
<... these symptoms read more like gas bladder damage... Maybe some sort of physical trauma (most common in collection, either from too-rapid ascent, or improper "needling" to relieve pressure) or damage to the mechanism for filling the bladder. Only time can/will show whether this fish self-heals. Feeding it directly as you are doing will/can extend this time. Bob Fenner>

Bubble Tip Anemone Question        11/20/19
Hello again, Sorry to bother you again, but I have a question. (this is not the anemone that got sent to me by mistake and then died. I had this one first and it was doing very well. ) I have a tank Raised BTA,.... it was doing very well for a while,....then it started looking uninflated more and more often. Now I have seen it poop, so I believe it's eating enough of the Frozen thawed mysis shrimp I feed the tank with daily. It has never taken food from me dropping it onto the tentacles,...it never holds on to it so it just floats away.
I guess I'd say it is not sticky? Which seems strange to me. They are supposed to be sticky, right? So they can grab food?
<Yes. Non-sticky tentacles are a bad sign>
I had a pair of tank raised clowns that loved on it,...I got them a month after the anemone so it would be in good shape before I got them.
<Good move>
They did well together for a while,....But recently it just doesn't seem happy at all It has started moving around,....I could watch it go.
<A moving anemone is an unhappy anemone>
And when I asked the breeder he said maybe the clowns were too rough on it so I gave my female
clown to a friend and only kept the little male. He loves it too. Nuzzles it and protects it all day and night. That said, removing the female didn't help. It is still smaller and very brown and not very inflated ever.
So, in the last few days it has climbed up the glass to the top of the tank, ...I think to get more light. So I have put a light above it's spot, an extra LED light.
<Good... are you able to borrow a PAR or PUR light meter? These animals need quite bright illumination>
It seemed to like that and opened up and faced it. I was happy! But during the next water change it was hanging in the air!
<Mmm; not a good idea>
I only did half as much water as usual and hurried fast to cover it back up,....and it did sort of slide down a little bit, but not enough so that I could do the whole 30% water change....so I waited hoping it would move lower. It never did.
So, I had to remove it from the top of the glass in order to do the next water change,....So I used a silicone very slender and smooth spatula to slide under it, let it drop in to a cup and then put it back on the bottom again near where it had started.
<Neat application>
It looked ok that night,....but then the next day it turned over up side down,....then righted itself again but crawled into the back corner of the tank. MY question is, did I need to remove it from the top of the glass when I did the water change?
<Yes, I would not expose anemones to the air any more than necessary>
Or could I have left it there, it would have been in the air though, not in the water. I thought that would kill it! But now I read on your sight that moving it would kill it!
<Better not to move them if you don't have to.>
He is not fading in color at all, he's a deep brown color,....he used to have beautiful green coloring, but now just dark brown.
<Ahh, not enough intensity, wave length, duration... of light>
All of him. His base is lighter when he's expanded. But in general all his beautiful coloring he had when he got here is gone. I read somewhere that phosphates in the water can increase the number of zooxanthellae in the corals and that makes them look brown instead of showing their pretty natural pigments. I did test for Phosphates and it was 0.50,...hopefully the big water change, I did about 40% and also cleaned both filters,....(not cleaned with fresh water, just with tank water,.....they were dirty!) should help the phosphates. I also ordered SeaChem's Phosphate remover. In case that might be the problem.
<You do want/need some HPO4>
I also added some Charcoal pads to each filter, to help with the water quality,...don't usually use charcoal in my reef tank. I guess I am worried he isn't expanding his tentacles out like he did when I first got him. And that is a sign he is dying.
<May be>
It's funny, back when I first got him, he was in a 13.5 gallon tiny reef tank! I moved everyone a 55 gallon and he has never been the same. I guess he like the little tank, he was closer to the light then. I don't have any large rocks that pile up high....I like my tank to look like the top of a reef, not a whole reef. So I spread out my rocks in a single layer,....I guess that's not so good for him maybe.
<I would make a bommie, stack of rock that goes about half way up for this animal>
I have ordered one large piece of man made reef rock that is very tall....I will put it near him when it
comes It's just dry rock.
<Ahh! Fine>
I'm going to attach a link to a short video of him that I posted to Facebook
Maybe if you see him you can tell me what to do to help him. Does he look miserable to you too? He sure does to me. Here is the link.
Thank you,
Mandy in NJ (again).
<Might be that the profuse pulsing corals are outcompeting the anemone (allelopathy). I would try some other food items... placing them near the mouth (with tongs)... Perhaps silversides or fish fillet, a bit of large shrimp (uncooked). All else looks very good/healthy! Bob Fenner>
Re: Bubble Tip Anemone Question        11/20/19

My reef base rock from Seachem came tonight! I can't believe Amazon,... they are so fast!
<Ah yes; an excellent company>
Tomorrow I will put it in as a stack....It's a rough kind of base rock,...
I hope it won't be uncomfortable for him to sit on.
<Should be fine>
But we'll make it high enough that he won't have to cling to the glass To get close enough to the light, that must me hard for him, glass is slippery.
Thanks for the advice again!
Mandy in NJ
<Cheers, BobF in Ca. tomorrow HI>

Damselfish Identification - Neopomacentrus; & BR use         11/20/19
Good evening,
<Hi Joel>
I was at a local fish store today and came across these two lovely looking Damselfish in the store's batch of "Assorted Damsels". I've only been keeping saltwater fish for a short period of time, but have sufficient experience in brackish fishkeeping to tentatively identify them as Freshwater Demoiselles (Neopomacentrus taeniurus). I've never seen them before in person and pictures online of the related N. cyanomos sometimes appear similar, so I was hoping you might be able to verify for me.
<These appear to be Neopomacentrus taeniurus>
Sadly, I don't think they are appropriate for either of my tanks. My 125 gallon brackish tank at 1.006 may be too "fresh" and may squabble with the 8 Orange Chromides in it. On the other hand, I'd worry that it would fight with my Talbot's Damsel in my 55 gallon saltwater.
In either case, just seeing this rare (to me) Damsel was enough of a treat.
Thank you for your time.
<Am going to ask Neale Monks here to respond re Pomacentrids for brackish systems. His background w/ such systems is extensive. Bob Fenner>
Re: Damselfish Identification - Neopomacentrus /Neale        11/20/19

Hello Bob, Joel,
Yep, agree with the identification of your damselfish as Neopomacentrus taeniurus, but with the cautious that there are other species, such as Stegastes otophorus, that do look quite similar (especially the yellow tail). That said, Neopomacentrus taeniurus does have a more deeply-forked tail, suggesting your initial identification may well be correct.
I’ve seen Neopomacentrus taeniurus kept in freshwater tanks where they had been in situ for at least six months, seemingly without harm. Companions including Corydoras catfish and Angelfish of all things, and while the water was certainly hard, it wasn’t salted. I suspect 1.006 will probably be tolerated perfectly well, as these are truly euryhaline fish rather than marine fish that happen to handle brackish water for longer or shorter periods (as would be the case with, for example, Sergeant Majors). In some places (including various oceanic Pacific islands) they inhabit completely freshwater habitats alongside classic peripheral freshwater fish types like Gobies that, in common with Neopomacentrus, have a marine reproductive stage but as adults inhabit freshwater environments. I believe Neopomacentrus taeniurus breed in the sea, however, rather than spawning in freshwater and leaving their eggs to drift into the sea. Hence finding Neopomacentrus taeniurus in freshwater, brackish, and fully marine habitats.
My understanding is that they’re often found in harbours, estuaries, and tidally-influenced rivers and streams, often quite murky ones (hence their drab colouration). Water depth is rarely very great (less than 3m by one source). Allen refers to them as dwellers of ‘inshore reefs’ so I guess your classic coastal rocky reefs with oysters and mangroves rather than offshore coral reefs seem to be their preferred habitat. My guess would be that they’re much like various Apogon and Gobiidae species that are found in such places: perfectly well adapted to varying salinity, able to handle low salinity, even freshwater, for extended periods, but probably happiest (in the sense of being able to spawn successfully) when kept in mid to high end brackish conditions or fully marine salinities.
They are planktivores by nature, but consume all the usual foods that you’d give small Damselfish.
I agree, Orange Chromides would likely be viewed as a competitor. There’s no particular reason you couldn’t accommodate both given sufficient hiding places, but you’d certainly want to plan ahead. I don’t know enough about Neopomacentrus generally to comment on their social behaviour towards other Damsels in a marine aquarium, but would imagine Neopomacentrus taeniurus are par for the genus. Possibly Bob can add more here.
<The genus is more toward the easygoing spectrum of damsel territoriality; not quite Chromis. I do consider, as you've stated re habitat, that they should co-exist w/ Chromides.>
That pretty much covers what I know! The problem is they’re hardly ever imported, and almost never kept in freshwater or brackish systems. I’m not aware of any long term records beyond what I’ve reported above!
I’d be tempted to try them out with the Orange Chromides, and as/when they mature, if they start looking seedy, or else behave abominably, then move them into a more rough and tumble FOWLR system.
Cheers, Neale
<Thank you, BobF>

Re: Sick giant gourami        11/20/19
Hi Neale,
I hope all is well,
<All good, thanks!>
I used the ESHA 2000 last night (first dose) and I can see already an improvement this morning (thanks for the tip!).
<No problem.>
I wanted your advice,
It basically works out per the instructions that I would do a 20ml dose on day 1 and then 10ml day 2 and 10 ml day 3. So 20:10:10
It says on the instructions that if needed one can double the dose.
<Indeed. Have never done so. But would not expect them to lie about this!>
I used 20 mil last night (so a single dose), however I am debating, given the issue has been ongoing for a while, to use 20 mil tonight too? It says you can also extend beyond days 2 and 3 too, so I am thinking instead of 20:10:10, to maybe do 20:20:10:10?
<I would prefer to try the regular dose for the first 'course' of the medications. If the fish doesn't get better, repeat for another dose, rather than increase the dosages. The risk is that too much could stress
the filter bacteria, resulting in an ammonia or nitrite spike, which would undo all your progress.>
There is a catfish in there too which I know are sometimes more sensitive as they are scaleless but it says on the packet it should be fine and he doesn't seem bothered so far.
<Indeed; I have never had problems using eSHa 2000 with catfish.>
Please let me know your thoughts.
<Repeating courses, rather than increasing dosages, is my gut reaction if the fish is showing signs of recovery and still otherwise in good condition (swimming, eating, etc.). But if you felt a higher dose was warranted, I would not feel afraid to try, but would remove some filter media to a safe place just in case something goes wrong. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Coral beauty hole in the head        11/20/19
Hi Mr. Fenner/ Crew, thank you so much for your response! (Something weird happened with my email, which I actually wrote somewhere in September 25th, but I see that it went out on 11/15...) Unfortunately, that CB died the next day, I am attaching some pictures (sorry for the poor quality), for diagnosis purposes. I am also attaching pictures of my tangs that I believe were struggling with Turbellaria, from few months ago... Ever since, my tank has been haunted! I lost 1 CB, 1 Potters angel and a rusty angel (pictures attached), 3-4 days after being released in the DT they got covered with the fine white dots, from nose to tail. Normal behavior, no flashing, eating fine (except the CB that died), even the CB that I’ve had for 3 weeks started the same, actually I didn’t think it would make it, but I treated the tank with PraziPro and he cleared up; I have 2 purple Midas blennies, a bicolor blenny and a Tailspot blenny, they all scratch on the glass and sometimes bite their tails; 1 eibli angel, 1 purple and 1 scopas tang, 1 yellow watchman goby, 1 maroon clown and 1 6line wrasse. They all eat, no scratching (except the blennies ), but they stop by the cleaner shrimps (which are fire shrimps so they don’t really care) and every now and again I see them yawning. So it’s not ich, pretty sure not velvet, probably not flukes (I treated with PraziPro 6 times in the past 3 months, which is probably the reason they are still alive ), is this (still) black ich?? What should I do??
<Read, on WWM re parasitic diseases of marine fishes>
The problem with PraziPro is that it brings my ph sometimes below 7.8, and I already poured 1 box of baking soda in the tank to bring it back to normal ...
<See SeaChem's line of buffers for marine systems>
Help, please !! Any input is much appreciated! Thank you for your time ! (More pictures are coming )
<DO NOT SEND such large files. They and your messages will be deleted. B>

Re: swim bladder disease?        11/20/19
Hi Mister Bob,
Is Whirling disease not a more fresh water parasitic disease?
What I can find online about it is it seems to effect salmon and trout?
how did that get into a saltwater trigger?
<Not likely the same causative mechanism; no. Just making/made comment re symptomology>
You exclude swim bladder looking at the clips?
<... There IS NO SUCH thing as swim bladder disease, but the mal-function of such either results in the fish sunk to the bottom (most frequent) or floating (upside down often) at the surface... not spinning about. B>

Gill curl in Arowana fish and curing methods       11/18/19
Hi, I have a silver arowana fish of size about 55cm.
<How big is its aquarium? A half-grown specimen like yours should be in a tank around 1000 litres (220 Imperial gallons) in size, and even bigger specimens will need even more space. I mention this because Gill Curl is almost always caused by being kept in a tank that is too small. One problem with small tanks is that the Arowana can't turn around easily, and that seems to be one factor. But more probably, it's to do with insufficient oxygen dissolved in small tanks, as well as poor water quality (i.e., nitrate levels too high between water changes). Hard to say exactly, but really, aquarium size is the key.>
Now it has got gill curl. Its gill covers has been curled and it’s gills are exposed in the water.
Its hard cover gill plates has also been curled. Could you please suggest me a method to cure this.
<There really isn't one.
In the early stages (where just the soft part of the very edges of the gill flaps are curled) moving the Arowana to better conditions may cause the gills to get better by themselves. Some vets will remove this damaged tissue, and healthy soft tissue will grow back. But the operation is very difficult to do, as Arowanas do not handle this sort of treatment well. However, once the gill flaps are firmly curled over, with the bony parts of the gill covers deformed, there is no treatment. It's done. Too late to fix it.>
I’m waiting for your response eagerly....I’m quite tensed about this condition
<I would imagine. Do read about the needs of Arowanas, especially the Silver Arowana, which will get to at least twice the size your specimen is now. These are very expensive fish to keep properly, and sadly, most are not kept well at all. Cheers, Neale.>

Arowana with gill curl      11/18/19
The bony portion has also been affected by this girl curling problem.
<So, that's that then.>
Is it curable with surgery.
<Not really. Bone doesn't grow back. Once damaged or deformed, the bone is that way for life.>
Could you please suggest me
<Next time, use a bigger tank.>

Anything about this.
Waiting for your reply....I consumes regular food daily.
<Good stuff. Arowanas with Gill Curl aren't seriously harmed, but they will find it more difficult to pump water through their gills. So ensuring the oxygenation of the water is top notch becomes even more critical. This is because the gill covers normally form a pressurised seal that allows the fish to inhale each fresh gulp of water. With the gill covers damaged, that pressurised seal is lost, and the ability to suck in fresh water becomes compromised.>
I feed him live foods and chicken liver.
<Not sure about chicken liver to be honest, because of the risk of Salmonella and other bacterial infections. Beef heart or lamb heart would be much safer. These fish are primarily insect and small fish eaters. So the best foods are small insects of various kinds, and as they get bigger, safe (i.e., not live) fish, ideally saltwater fish. Tilapia fillet is safe too. As always, never use live feeder fish, and minimise the use of foods with thiaminase (cyprinids, shrimps, mussels).>
He is kept in a 5 feet length aquarium.
<Ah, much too small! Problem solved.>
One 30 Watts internal filter and air filter with sponge are provided.
<Likely under-filtered, too. You need something like 8-10 times the volume of the tank in turnover per hour. So if you have 1000 litres, the filter needs a turnover rate of 4000 litres per hour. Most likely this will be a number of filters added together, but you get the idea, hopefully!>
Before buying this aquarium, it was in 2.8 feet aquarium. I think this limited space may be the problem for this current condition...
please suggest me anything..please..
<This is one of those situations where the ONLY cure is prevention. Once it's happened, it's happened. You can't fix this. Sure, people will try and sell you products or tricks, but they either don't work or are too unsafe. Anything involving surgical intervention is unlikely to work, and will be very stressful to your fish. Cheers, Neale.>
Arowana with gill curl      11/18/19

If this condition is not curable,
<Indeed not.>
how long will it live and survive.
<As long as a healthy Arowana, but do see previous message.>
It takes regular food every day. One 30 watts internal filter and air filter with sponge are provided in the tank.. Can it survive for a long duration...
<Yes, with care. Cheers, Neale.>
Arowana with gill curl      11/18/19

So will my Arrowana live as long as a healthy one..?
<All else being good, yes. It will need a good environment (including swimming space) and plenty of oxygen, but apart from that, it isn't at risk of premature death.>
Will it grow up bigger than this..
<Silver Arowanas, Osteoglossum bicirrhosum, get to about 90 cm in length.
Occasional specimens may well be even bigger. But they do need an aquarium (or pond) suitable for very large fish. 1000s of litres, really.>
Now it is in 5 feet aquarium and it is taking regular food daily..... Can I hope for the best..
Is this condition a serious problem to its health...
<Yes and no. Read my previous replies: Gill Curl affects their ability to pump water across the gills, so additional aeration of the water may be needed. But beyond that, Gill Curl doesn't cause any major health issues.
Cheers, Neale.>

swim bladder disease?      11/18/19
Hi Guys and good evening from Thailand. Another mastery (mystery?) to me. One of our clients called me and mentioned that his Picasso Trigger was doing weird about a week ago. When we went for a look we thought he was doing ok as when come around we mostly feed the fish frozen seafood mix and all looked fine him eating and all but we decided to put a Wifi cam on his aquarium
so we could monitor the fish while we were not there. Now in 2 days time we saw the fish go real bad with what we seem to think is Swim Bladder disease with the fish not being able to swim upright anymore and seem to have lost all control of his swimming....we attached a clip of the fish in the actual
aquarium with him being flung around due to the flow in the aquarium made by the owner yesterday.
The aquarium is 1m x 1m and 1.6m high with water parameters all optimal only Nitrate being slightly elevated at 40 but this has always been an issue in that aquarium.
Now today we took the fish out and put him in our QT system at our place for us to be able to monitor and treat him.....We also added a clip of the fish in our system just added scooting on his side over the bottom...Now the question is ....1st is it swim bladder disease you guys think looking at the clips and 2nd how can swim bladder just show up in a healthy fish (being in that aquarium for 4+ years? so quickly?
<No "clips" attached. Please do send just links to these, after you upload them elsewhere (maybe YouTube)>
Nothing was added in that aquarium for at least 3+ years now so nothing external could have effected the fish.
3rd if it is swim bladder how best to treat....I hear only time might or might not heal but are their any tricks or things we can do to try and fix this fish....Thanks Dirk
<Well, a brief review. Like the "human cold", "swim bladder" is really not a disease per se (i.e., not caused by specific pathogens, nutrient issues, environment...) but a condition, a symptom... In this case what sort of causes might be responsible? As you state, the fish has been here and the system going for years. You don't mention other livestock, but/so I'll assume there's nothing awry with them. My best guess is that there is something either long term nutritionally deficient, a neuronal genetic expression coming to fore, or a biological agent in the brain of this fish.
I don't know of any direct treatment that would definitely cure the trigger, but administering Epsom (see WWM re) and Selcon to the water might ease this fish's symptoms.
Please see Mark Evans piece on swim bladders of fishes:
Bob Fenner>

Re: swim bladder disease?      11/18/19
Mister Bob,
sorry for that something must have gone wrong uploading them. Please see
LINK to posted on YouTube...Dirk
https://youtu.be/0knN-RxY4J4 https://youtu.be/7hmiIlsBtqA
<Mmm; this disoriented swimming... reminds me of Myxosoma... "Whirling
disease"... again (unfortunately) I don't know what the root cause might be
here; nor what might effect a change. BobF>

Re: Naso tang size?      11/16/19
Thanks for the fast reply.
One more question. If my Naso is about 9” and 6 years old does that mean it’s still going to double in size or could I just have a small fish?
<It won’t reach the maximum adult size for the species because of several factors; in captivity happens something called stunted grow, caused by lack of ideal conditions: proper nutrition, space requirements, stress, etc... (not that you are failing on its care, but it will never be the same as in the wild) so fish stay somehow small due to the mentioned reasons.>
Also you said 180 gallon is to small. Some of the resource I have seen recommend the 180 as minimum. Where does your recommendation fall?
<Well, 180 is a bare minimum, that is, where the fish can survive and somehow thrive, but it’s certainly not the ideal water volume/space for a Lituratus...although your tang probably won’t grow more, I would recommend upgrading at least to a 300 gallons if you want it to be healthy psychologically and physiologically for years to come. Hope this helps. Wil.>

Sick Flowerhorn      11/16/19
<Hello Sue,>
I am really hoping that you can help me we’re all out of ideas.
<Will try.>
Approx six weeks ago I noticed a small swelling on the side of my Flowerhorns abdomen. The swelling has since got larger and the other side of her abdomen is now swelling (the swelling appears to be internal and she is not displaying any external signs of illness.)
<Let's just be clear on this. The fish has a swelling, but apparently internal, meaning you can see that the skin and scales look normal, just stretched out because of the swelling? The swelling was more obvious on one side first, but now seems to be on both sides?>
With the help and advice of my local aquatic shop, I treated her with aquarium salts for 2 weeks which I removed with water changes and then I tried ParaGuard for 2 weeks, which I removed with water changes and carbon. (neither of which have worked.) I have removed the carbon from my filter and I am currently dosing the tank with API general cure (today is the last day of treatment) but I can see no improvement.
<Understood. API General Cure was a good call, containing metronidazole, and therefore a good treatment against Hexamita infection, which the stringy white faeces would be consistent with. On the other hand, the fact we're dealing with abdominal swelling points more towards Dropsy, which though it is a symptom rather than a disease, tends to be related to opportunistic bacterial infections and general environmental stress.>
She has white stringy feces (indicating an internal parasite?) but none of the treatments are working. I am going to make a medicated food using the last sachet of API general cure, garlic juice, her fish pellets and Epsom salts.
<Epsom Salt is a good choice for Dropsy, and can reduce the swelling, but by itself isn't a cure.>
Thing is, she’s stopped eating so I’m not sure how successful this will be. The aquatic shop staff and I are now out of ideas on how to help her.
I have noticed lots of very tiny snails in her tank. I’m assuming they came in with some water lettuce plants that I added to the tank approx 2 months ago (I’ve since removed the water lettuce.) I suspect that I hadn’t noticed the snails before as maybe she had been eating them. She had also eaten all of the roots of the water lettuce plants (could these have caused a blockage?)
<On the contrary: fresh green foods provide fibre, which (just as in humans) prevents all sorts of problems with the digestive tract. Small snails, while unsightly, are unlikely to cause problems, and some cichlids enjoy eating them, using the pharyngeal mill to grind up the shells. So again, no risk.>
My main thinking is that although I rinsed the water lettuces prior to adding them to the tank, if I inadvertently missed a snail on them then maybe I didn’t rinse them well enough and introduced parasites too.
<Yes to how the snails got in, but no, unlikely to have been a source of parasites. Yes, snails can carry parasites, but most of the bad ones have complex life cycles involving water birds and mammals, so don't persist in aquaria. So while snails are unsightly, they're almost never a danger. Fish are MUCH more likely to pass parasites between themselves, which is why "feeder fish" are so dangerous.>
She is in a 55g tank, I have tested the water and the readings are all fine.
<Need some data here, rather than "fine". 55 gallons isn't particularly big, especially for a cichlid that should be at least 30 cm long when fully grown. Let me have you do some reading, here:
My concern here is that cichlids of all types are subject to health issues when 'cramped'. Whether it's the lack of oxygen, or excessive nitrate, I don't really know. But I've seen it many times, and learned the hard way when breeding various kinds at home. Again, the link above will provide some water chemistry range values to aim for (but in brief, hard, alkaline water is what you want) and besides 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite, you want to aim to keep nitrate below 20 mg/l, and certainly not above 40 mg/l for any length of time. Skipped water changes cause cichlids real problems because they are so much more sensitive to nitrate than most other freshwater fish.>
As we live in the U.K, I am limited on what medication can be used (I had to order the API general cure from the U.S.) Please have you any idea on the next step for me to take? Blossom means a lot to me and my husband and we’d hate to lose her.
<Treating Dropsy is hard, and best done with antibiotics from a vet, but my favourite medication available in over-the-counter from UK stores is eSHa 2000. It's relatively inexpensive (around £5 a bottle) and tolerated very well by virtually all fish, even sensitive species like Pufferfish.>
I’d really appreciate any help that you can give.
Many thanks,
<Welcome. Neale.>

Re: Fahaka Pufferfish      11/16/19
Okay thank you so much. I will take everything out of his tank and also do a water change. I bought him a 180 gallon aquarium 2 weeks ago and he was in it for 3 days and it started leaking at the seal so I had to put him into a 40 gallon I had and 3 days later I moved him back into his 75 gallon aquarium so he has been thru alot lately.
<Does sound as if he's perhaps gotten scratched at some point, and what's happened is the wound has become slightly infected. A suitable course of antibiotics or antibacterials should clear that up, and if the lesion remains white rather than sore, red or bloody-looking, chances are good that his own immune system has everything under control. Such wounds on Puffers are not uncommon, and they are hearty fish that heal well given a balanced diet and good water quality. Keep nitrate as low as possible (as
well as 0 ammonia and nitrite, of course) and focus on safe, thiaminase-free foods such as cockles, squid, earthworms, and white fish fillet. Don't use anything with thiaminase (like mussels and shrimps/prawns) because he needs his immune system in tip-top shape, and certainly don't use anything likely to carry bacteria (Tubifex, feeder fish, live shrimp, etc.).>
I appreciate you taking the time to respond, hope he will heal up and I will do some research to see if there are any antibiotics or anything I could get to help. Thank you so much
<Most welcome.>

Critter ID - Jellyfish?      11/16/19
<Kara, had to delete your email has it's crashed our mail service. DO READ on how to write us re limiting file size (Kilobytes not the 29 megs you sent). RESIZE AND RESEND. BobF>

Tiny red crab      11/16/19
Hello crew,
I spotted this very secretive crab a few night ago. I yanked it out of the tank last night at 2 am when it was searching for grub on the bare bottom tank. At first look I thigh too it was a Mithrax crab but I’ve not seen any like this. Any ideas?
<Def. a Decapod, but doesn't look like something I've seen before. Have you perused the Crab ID FAQs pages? Start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/swcrabidfaqs.htm
and the linked 21 other files above. Bob Fenner>

Haddoni anemone won't stay attached.      11/16/19
Hello, I have had it for over a year. When I first got it about 1 1/2" , now about 6" . It is in 2 year old, 65g tank with a 3" saddleback, coral beauty and Tomini tang.
<I'm surprised this anemone hasn't eaten the last two>
water 1.026 ph 8.2 dkh 9-10 m 1360 cal 380 . Lightning hydra 26's 4 t5's.
600gph w/wave makers. It has great color on its flesh, light pink and light to dark green tentacles. It appetite is great.
<What and how often do you feed this Actinarian?>
It stands up when the lights come on as the lights intensify it flattens or cones.
<... something odd here>
It won't stay attached to bare, soft or course substrates.
<Umm; see Mike Maddox's piece here:
and my coverage; linked at the bottom>
Currently it has attached to a small peace of egg crate.
<READ now; this is not a natural, useful attachment>
If i try to add sand around it foot it lets go and lays on top w/stem down but its foot curved so it doesn't touch sand. I have looked at its foot and don't see anything obvious wrong. It has attached to snail shells, it let them go when i cleared a 12" * 12" bare spot ( sand bed 6" ). It partially attached to bare spot. The clown is sometimes aggressive rubbing on it so i have the clown separated (clown pissed).
If clown is in with the anemone it won't stay attached.
<They may be incompatible. I'd cover the anemone with an inverted "strawberry" basket; or remove the clown to elsewhere>
? Mangrove mud on top of bare glass ? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I have tried lots of things without any real success. It had moved around and then stayed in the same place. This is where I bared the bottom.
<The reading. Write back if you aren't clear here. Bob Fenner>

Coral beauty hole in the head      11/16/19
Hello Crew! I’ve had this Coral beauty in my DT (90 gal) for almost a month. On the 4th day I noticed few fine white dots on his fins, then on his head, which basically never totally disappeared (very fine, like fine salt),
<Just on the head? I'll assume this is what you mean/intend.>
barely visible without a magnifier and a flashlight, and of course my first thought was ICH, but my tangs were spot-free.
<Not Crypt>
I have to mention here that I am fighting black ich (had it on my tangs) with PraziPro in my DT.
<Simple freshwater baths (pH adjusted) will rid them of Paravortex. This is gone over on WWM. Search for it>
The CB never ate very well (noticed white stringy feces the second day I put him in the DT), sometimes he would grab food (frozen food) just to spit it out later. He was swimming normally, picking at the LR, not showing any anxiety, displaying normal colors, but he got really skinny.
<Mmm; I'd have treated en route (in isolation, quarantine, treatment tank) w/ Metronidazole along w/ the Prazi>
The other day I noticed a white spot (2-3 mm large)on his forehead, right in the middle, between the eyes and the dorsal fin (the picture I managed to take is pretty blurry).
<Nothing attached or linked>
Today the spot was a little larger and white, it looks like the skin went off and you can see the bone!
<Not good>
He hides most of the time, and surprisingly he came out for food, didn’t really eat, but he is hungry and starving. My questions to you are: is this treatable, and with what medication?
<Mentioned above. I'd also add Selcon or equivalent to offered foods and the water itself>
Any chances he could recover?
And do you believe this may be contagious?
<Could be...>
Thank you again for your help! Cristina
<Do send along the pic. Bob Fenner>

Guinea fowl puffer       11/15/19
Hello my names Albert my puffer had a bump on him kinda like size of an pencil eraser and it opened up does not seem to affect him far as eating or his awesome personality there is now a second one forming and I’ve been searching online to find an answer as to what this is and how to treat it if it needs treating. He is approximately 11” right now. Any help would be greatly appreciated
<Hello Albert, could you please send a pic       11/15/19ture of the puffer? Wil.>
Re: Guinea fowl puffer

<Looks like a physical trauma, please tell us more about the tank (size, tank mates, decorations). Wil.>

Re: Guinea fowl puffer       11/15/19
He is in a 220 gallon tank with sump setup. There is 2 clownfish one hippo tang one yellow tang one Harlequin tusk A snowflake eel a coral beauty and two small titan triggers and 2 engineer gobys
<Titan triggers are very aggressive, they may be nipping at your puffer. Wil.>
Re: Guinea fowl puffer

I feed them flake food frozen chunky food, silversides, clams on the half shell and some clam and squid
<Ok, is this tank too crowded with rock work?...if so, I would leave more free swimming space for the puffer, fish get injured with sharp rocks at times in reduced and/or crowded tanks. Wil.>
Re: Guinea fowl puffer       11/15/19

It started as a bump like a pimple and opened and another one is forming
<MMM... doesn't look like pathogenic to me, more likely an open wound, pay special attention to its tank mates, I suspect aggression from the triggers. In the meantime maintain very good water quality and keep feeding the puffer the varied diet you mentioned but soaked in Selcon or other quality vitamin supplement. Cheers. Wil.>

Fahaka Pufferfish       11/15/19
Hello I bought a baby Fahaka Pufferfish over a year ago maybe and he has always been healthy but now he is over 11 inches and he had a spot about half an inch in diameter that looked the same color as his skin a week ago but now it is bleach white and I am not sure what is causing it or what to do. If you could please let me know I would appreciate it so much we do not want to lose him.
<That would appear to be some sort of lesion. Possibly a burn or a bite.
Pufferfish do like to 'sit' for a while at the bottom of the tank, and if there's a heater in the tank, they can burn themselves on that. Pufferfish will also bite one another, producing circular bite marks that are quite distinctive. I'm assuming this chap is kept alone though, Fahaka Puffers not being particularly social. Basically, review the tank for sources of potential injury, including rough surfaces or sharp edges. Treat as per Finrot, using a reliable antibiotic. Such lesions usually heal up well, but they are at risk of infection. Cheers, Neale.>
I have a question about a Pufferfish.

Yes sorry I just emailed you and sent too many pictures I apologize but my Fahaka Pufferfish had a spot that was the same color as his skin about a week ago. But now it looks bleach white and did not know if you could please help. Thank you.
<Appreciate your understanding about image size. Still, the photos suggest the white area is recessed, i.e., a wound or lesion, rather than normal skin that just happens to have an odd colour. Cheers, Neale.>

Top Fin Damage       11/15/19
<Hey Nick>
Here are a couple pictures of my Amphiprion Ocellaris Clown. Three weeks ago I noticed the top fin was looking white and he would rarely extend it. I've been monitoring it and it didn't look like it was getting any worse till yesterday. The white area looks like it's at the top of the body now.
He lived in a 55 gal tank for 5 years, and earlier this year I moved everything into a 75 gal. The tank is stable. I haven't lost any fish in five years. I've introduced a few corals (dipped) and some snails over the last few months. Fish: 2 clowns, 1 Royal Gramma, 2 Blue Chromis which are smaller than the clowns. The Clowns sleep in a frogspawn. Sometimes the Royal Gramma will nip at the clowns, but not enough to even make them swim away. Two small hermit crabs. He acts healthy and normal, eats well.
Does this look like physical damage that needs time to heal? Is it more likely a disease of some kind? What remedy should I employ?
I appreciate your advice!
<Does look like physical damage, this kind of wound is typically caused by a nipping tank mate, watch carefully to identify the bully and isolate it.
This wound should heal in a few weeks.>
Thanks, Nick
<Welcome. Wil.>

Naso tang size?       11/15/19
Hey guys.
<Hey Steve>
Quick question. I believe I have a female Naso 6 years old. She’s in a 180 6ft long. Do females grow larger or smaller than males?
<They both grow about the same size; what size is yours?...your tank is too small for these species, Acanthurids need plenty of swimming space and oxygen levels near saturation.>
I keep reading they reach 17”.
<Yes, they reach that size.>
Is that both sexes?
When is a Naso consider mature? 6 years? 10 years?
<At 6 years is considered mature. Cheers. Wil.>

Sick giant gourami       11/14/19
Hi Neale
I recently rehomed a giant gourami into my monster tank.
The poor thing has a weird cut/chunk missing type thing on one side of him and some white fungus looking spots on the other side. Pictures attached.
I have never seen anything like these white spots, I don’t think it’s ich. I am halfway through a course of waterife Myaxin but doesn’t seem to help, it’s actually getting worse I think.
He’s happily eating etc.
Any suggestions?
<Hello Nathaniel. This is some sort of bacterial infection, though the white specks are slightly mysterious. Do these look like bubbles of dead tissue? If so, then yes, bacterial in origin more than likely. A decent antibacterial (such as eSHa 2000) should do the trick, though if a vet can prescribe antibiotics for you, so much the better. If the white things are more crusty, off-white in colour, and look like drops of molten wax, then I'd lean towards a viral infection as well. Some viral infections are rarely fatal in fish, such as Lymphocystis, but are impossible to treat directly. They can heal after some months (even years) of good conditions. A few viral infections, such as Carp Pox, are potentially more immediately lethal and need veterinarian intervention. Still, let's assume it's bacterial. The shape of the wound suggests physical damage, and I wonder -- is there a Common Plec in the tank? These can (and do) 'latch' onto slab-sided fish given the chance, rasping away at the mucous. Otocinclus are notorious for this, too, largely because they starve in most tanks. Some Loricariidae are very safe, Panaque for example, being pretty much herbivorous, but the more general purpose Plecs are distinctly hit-and-miss in tanks with Oscars, or really anything big enough to support their weight. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Sick giant gourami       11/14/19
Thanks for your reply,
Nothing in the tank to latch on, having looked closely these white things look a bit like blobs of cotton wool - does that sound bacterial?
<More like fungus. Very common on infected wounds. Distinctly tufty, furry appearance. Do look at pictures online or in fish health books.>
Can I get antibiotics from any vet?
<In the UK, yes, absolutely. But finding a 'fish vet' locally is often hard.
It's worth a call to your local vet if you already have one for a cat or dog, and discussing the symptoms. I've done it once before, and got some erythromycin this way. It's a hassle to be fair, and if the fish is hearty and feeding, I'd probably try a course of eSHa 2000 first and see if it helps.>
Thank you
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Sick giant gourami       11/14/19

Thanks Neale,
I have been treating with Myaxin from Waterlife (anti bacterial), still have 2 more nights to treat. Should I discontinue now or finish the course first?
<If the fish isn't actively getting worse, you may as well finish the course and see what happens.>
(Doesn’t seem to be doing much).
<My experiences with Myxazin have never been that great, to be honest. I find eSHa 2000 a much better bet, perhaps because it targets bacteria and fungi simultaneously.>
Would 3 days and 30% water change each day be a good enough separation?
<Likely so. Most fish medications are oxidised or otherwise metabolised by the bacteria within a day, or so I understand.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: New rainbow fish won't eat       11/14/19
Hi again Neale thanks for your reply.
I was thinking about it and think maybe adding too many fish so fast stressed the system and caused some sort of downward spiral. Plus adding the API general cure maybe depleted oxygen. Today I noticed a big fat white poop out of one guppy and was wondering if I should treat with Praziquantel?
<If you suspect worms, then sure, treating with Praziquantel should do no harm and perhaps some good.>
The poop is like this
<That photos doesn't seem to show anything diagnostic, so I can't really help here.>
No other fish seemed to of died now except 1 of the sick females that were in QT.
This is a summary of what happened:
So I have a 130L tank. Set up since mid year with 2 SAE. Then neon rainbows that were sick and got returned.
It had 2SAE, about 14 guppies, 4 Rummynose tetras, many snails and 2 mystery snails, 2 boesemanni rainbows, 1 Kutubu, 5 Oto. Left after: 2 boesemanni, 1 Kutubu, 3 Rummynose, 5 guppies, 3 Oto
Week 1: 1 dead Week 2: 4 dead, total 5 dead Week 3: 7 dead: total 12 dead Order of events: Week 1, mon 23rd Oct: 1 guppy dead, tank treated with Levamisole incase of worms. Week 1, sun 27th Oct: added 7 new guppies (2m, 6f). Treated with general cure then stuff was massively down hill. Week 2, thur 31st Oct: 2 female guppies dead bloated and had been breathing hard. Other fish seemed stressed. Week 2, Fri 1st nov: 2 female blue grass guppies dead with fin clamping and heavy breathing. Gave 1 SAE to friend, its doing well. Also gave them all snails. Week 3 tue 5th Nov: new blue grass male dead after back arching and being at surface (gasping) female had same thing, also dead. Big SAE dead after having white like scuff looking mark (since 29th)and up and down swimming, found dead.oto dead and a Rummynose. Friends guppy also corkscrewing and I gave it back to them and it died.Week 3, thur 7th nov: 2 female guppies look ill. One showing signs of fungus/skin defects. Put in QT. 1 female died.Week 4: no more deaths. 1 Guppy in QT seems alive, unsure if infected.
<Yep, I agree, seems a very hard ride for you and your fish. I think sitting back and letting the tank run for a few weeks without adding any more fish must be your priority. I'd go so far as to let nature take its
course if some of your livestock were sickly from the get-go. Medicate if you can be 90% sure you've identified the problem, but don't randomly medicate, and focus more on good water quality than medicine. Once the tank has been disease-free for 4-6 weeks, then we can discuss tankmates and what
to do next. Fishkeeping shouldn't be a slog, and honestly, if a tank is set up slowly, and the right fish are added, they're virtually maintenance-free. The fact you've had all these battles suggests you did indeed try to do too much, too soon. Lesson learned, hopefully. Meantime, as Bob F has suggested, sit back and read some books of fishkeeping, and reflect on what happened and think about what might have been the causative factors. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: New rainbow fish won't eat

Thanks Neale
The uv filter arrived and the crushed coral will come soon.
<Do read up on these, and use carefully. UV filters only help in specific ways, and need regularly (likely monthly) cleaning or dirt will block the UV from hitting the water. Once that happens, they're just a waste of electricity.>
Yeah I have researched a lot for years so I guess it just came down to being overconfident and adding to many non-quaranteed fish in one go or from the general cure or even the sick rainbows at the begining. Hard to say.
I think less changes at a time should help.
Ive never had something like this happen before.
I have a QT tank set up and almost cycled for any future fish.
Hoping things will not go bad like that again :)
<I would hope not, too. Cheers, Neale.>

Acrylic Tank Rout Top Edge        11/14/19
Have a 380 all ¾ inch acrylic tank I am setting up. It is new, I am not so happy with the edge the tank builder left on the front and sides, I would like to finish it off by using a router and a quarter round bit, giving a nice sleek rounded edge to the top edge, I have seen tanks with the sides like this but not the top, I cant believe the stress on the joint would change or be any different as its not modifying the joint, particularly since I would think the top seems should have less stress that the sides. Just wanted to get a second opinion
<I see no problem unless, that edge was left intentionally to give strength to the tank, sometimes a slit is made on the top and bottom panels to insert vertical sheets (particularly in taller tanks), if so, a part of this edge should be left to ensure structural integrity. If the vertical panels are just glued to the floor and top without the mentioned slit, you may reduce the remaining edge with the router; If you could send us a photo, it would be great, just to be sure how the tank is built and if this is a standard or show tank.>
Thanks for all you do
<Welcome. Wil.>

Fire Eel         /Neale      11/13/19
Hi Crew! Haven't stopped by for a while, but a question has come up and you've always been my source for the right/best answers.
<Thanks for the kind words.>
I have a year old Fire Eel, about 8 - 10 inches long in great health, very friendly, good body weight, everything's good.
<Sounds like you should carry on doing precisely what you're doing now.>
I got this fish at 2 inches about this time last year and I've always fed it Hikari Blood worms, Tubifex worms, and the occasional shrimp from the grocery store.
<Sounds good. Usual reminder about Tubifex being a potential risk, and that shrimp are high in thiaminase, so as you say, use sparingly.>
He/she will NOT eat beef heart, brine shrimp, or krill.
<And neither will I! No big deal.>
Recently, a fellow fish enthusiast has been brow beating me to start feeding him/her fresh fish from the grocery store.
<If your Spiny Eel wants to eat some white fish fillet, provided such is thiaminase-free, then sure, go ahead. No live feeders, however.>
I have no problem with that, except for the old "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
<Agreed; but as fish get bigger, chunkier meals made from less expensive foods, such as tilapia fillet, become more economical than aquarium shop blister packs of frozen invertebrates.>
Also, I've read stories of people feeding fresh fish to young Fire Eels, causing them to grow too fast, overtaxing their bodies with too much protein, fouling their water, and eventually causing death. Is this true?
<Overfeeding fatty foods can cause problems for fish, much as with humans.
But excess protein is eliminated as urea because the body cannot store amino acids, so while unlikely to "over tax" the body of the fish in any meaningful way, there is a connection between excess protein in the diet and poor water quality.>
If so, what would be the appropriate age/size to start feeding fresh fish?
<Try small offerings any time you want, and see what happens. Remove uneaten items. I'd suggest the old "wiggle on the end of long forceps" trick to entice your Spiny Eel, but however you're feeding frozen shrimp should work. Cheers, Neale.>

Refugium before skimmer      11/13/19
Dear team
<Hi Srinivas>
Please let me know the disadvantages of having the protein skimmer after the refugium and before the return line.
<Not really a disadvantage, I personally place it before the refugium, just right after the drain discharge but I think it should do pretty much the same job on either location.>
Am currently facing issue in placing of my protein skimmer for my nano tank.
Only the above flow sequence is possible unless i make a new sump altogether
<Don't worry, place it after the refugium. Cheers. Wil.>

Raccoon attack       11/13/19
We had a raccoon massacre last week and lost 5 large (about 7 - 8 inches) goldfish from our backyard pond.
<Ah yes; successful aquatic predators. Have only found electric fencing to be effectual>
We're familiar with such attacks and know that's what happened. One of the survivors, however,
had it's mouth bitten off along with other scrapes. He's still hanging on, and seems hungry when it's feeding time, but loses interest when he can't eat. Is there anything we can do to help him, or is he mortally wounded?
<The latter unfortunately>
I appreciate any help or advice you could give me.
<I would humanely euthanize this animal. Please read Neale's piece here re:
Bob Fenner>

Chipped tank
Hello crew, I have 100 gallon tank that someone gave me. My question is, there is a small chip in the corner lower left-hand side. It’s 1 inch long it affects 1/3 of the seal. The glass is 3/8 thick. Is this tank serviceable? Thanks for your website and your help Tim
<Ahh, unfortunately this chip is too large and too low on the side for me to be comfortable using the tank as is.
IF it were mine, and I wanted to fill it all the way (as opposed to partly fill, make into a paludarium let's say), I would ADD two strips of glass (can be triple strength, 1/4"...) vertically, of two inch width, ON THE OUTSIDE, siliconing, overlapping at the corner... and TURN the repaired area to the back/wall out of sight. I hope this is clear.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Chipped tank        11/11/19
Thanks Bob !
<Certainly welcome Tim. BobF>

FW Shrimp ID         11/11/19
Can you please help me with the identity of these shrimp.? They are freshwater . Thanks
<.... 30 megs... PLEASE read and comply w/ our limit on file size. >
Re:        11/11/19

Thank you!
<DO re-size and resend. Cheers, BobF>
Re:        11/11/19

Ok, I will.
<Cheers; we don't have sufficient webmail space, and when in some other countries, large files are near impossible to download. B>
Shrimp identity        11/11/19

<Dear Wendy, your message appeared to contain no greeting or text, just what seems to be a header ("Shrimp identity"), and the attachments were over 15 MB altogether. We do ask people trim photos down to under 1 MB each, because such large attachments block the server and prevent other emails arriving. We also seem to have lost the text of your message as well, so if you can re-send, ensuring the attachments are kept small, that'd be great. Regards, Neale.>
<<Thank you Neale. This appears to be a grass shrimp species of sort: genus Palaemonetes. BobF>>

Fire Eel, fdg.        11/11/19
Hi Crew! Haven't stopped by for a while, but a question has come up and you've always been my source for the right/best answers.
I have a year old Fire Eel, about 8 - 10 inches long in great health, very friendly, good body weight, everything's good. I got this fish at 2 inches about this time last year and I've always fed it Hikari
Blood worms, Tubifex worms, and the occasional shrimp from the grocery store. He/she will NOT eat beef heart, brine shrimp, or krill.
Recently, a fellow fish enthusiast has been brow beating me to start feeding him/her fresh fish from the grocery store. I have no problem with that, except for the old "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Also, I've read stories of people feeding fresh fish to young Fire Eels, causing them to grow too fast, overtaxing their bodies with too much protein, fouling their water, and eventually causing death. Is this true?
<Mmm; I do think that there can be danger in growing stock too quickly... Health, shortened lifespan issues>
If so, what would be the appropriate age/size to start feeding fresh fish?
<Fresh as in cut strips of muscle? IF small enough bits, at any size.
However, as you state, if the animal is happy, healthy w/ the current regimen... I would particularly skip beef heart. Bob Fenner>
*Renee *

150gal reef setup       11/10/19
Good afternoon,
<Howdy Mike>
I greatly appreciate the information contained on WetWebMedia and have found it a useful resource for many years. I would be grateful for a second opinion on a proposed reef setup before I begin to part with my hard earned pennies.
The display will be a 5x2x2’ (150g) aquarium, 100lbs of live rock, 0.5-1” deep substrate of sugar fine aragonite sand and a central combed weir with ‘Herbie’ overflow. I had intended this to be open top for aesthetics and to avoid compromising the lighting but on reflection I may use a screen top to prevent any jumpers.
<Depending on fish livestock... a very good idea>
I have not completely decided on the display lighting but will likely be either a couple of Radion XR30w G4s or Aqua Illumination Hydra 52HDs. Flow will be provided by two Vortech MP40w Quiet-Drive circulation pumps (4,500gph each).
<Nice gear; though I'm still a fan of adding T-5s to LEDs... or adding Metal Halides for deeper systems for systems that seek to maintain, drive high light intensity photosynthetic life.>
The display will drain into a four chambered sump. The first chamber will contain the skimmer (NYOS Quantum 160); the second probably a two chamber reactor (Nyos TORQ 1.0 Litre) with Seachem Matrix and Purigen; and the third sump chamber will house the return pump (EcoTech Vectra S2, 1,400gph max). These three chambers of the ‘sump proper’ will hold around 10-12gal. A fourth chamber will be separate and hold 8gal RO water with an auto top up device (Tunze Osmolator).
I will also add a stand alone 18” cube/25g refugium. 6-8” deep sand bed - I may top this with a slightly larger grade (1-2mm grain) to encourage larger copepod production.
<Just an inch or so of the latter>
There will also be more live rock, though it will be raised off the sand on an eggcrate shelf (supported by glass brackets either end). Refugium will be fed from a teed line from the overflow and drain into chamber three of the sump. It will be reverse lit (TMC AquaBeam 1000HD LED tile - probably not my first choice but I have one to hand and would like to make use of it).
<Should be fine here, for the RDP purpose>
Invertebrate stocking will be mostly corals of the genus Acropora and Montipora, perhaps with one or two Favia and Caulastrea. Emphasis on growing larger specimens of a few species. I may also look to add a dozen or so small hermits (Clibanarius sp.) and snails (Trochus sp.) to provide some grazing pressure in the earlier days of the system (before the herbivorous fish are added).
<Okay... again, do look into, re my note re adding T-5s>
In terms of fish I have tried to compile a list of large showpiece specimens, smaller behaviourally interesting animals and a backdrop of planktivorous shoalers; not just for aesthetics and interest but also to try to minimise competition for particular niches.
Single specimens:
* Purple Tang (Zebrasoma xanthurum)
* Indian Cherub Angelfish (Centropyge acanthops)
* Long Nose Butterflyfish (Forcipiger flavissimus)
* Sixline Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia)
* Midas Blenny (Ecsenius midas)
<Good choices>
Some selection and/or grouping of the following, likely half a dozen to a dozen total:
* Lyretail Anthias (Pseudanthias squamipinnis)
* Chocolate Dip Chromis (Chromis dimidiata)
* Blue Green Reef Chromis (Chromis viridis)
<DO put the screen on top>
I may need to see this first hand. See what ‘works’, looks ‘full’ or too much antagonistic behaviour.
<Sure; I give you very good odds of all this getting along. The Green Chromis may diminish in shoal size over time>
Feeding will need to be several times a day for the zooplankton feeders - I have experience of culturing phytoplankton and copepods, but will also look to some high quality (Spectrum?)
<This and Hikari are my faves>
pellets and auto-feeders. Planned water changes of 10% plus each week and media changed/re-charged as needed to maintain water quality.
Phew that was longer than I anticipated! First general question: does this look workable? Any glaring errors or inappropriate risks?
<No errors as far as I can see>
Would it be worth the use of filter socks for the drains to sump and refugium?
<Mmm, maybe... IF easy to fit, I'd try them out... need to be cleaned VERY often... likely daily, every few days>
I’m considering removing the media reactor and replacing it with a rolling mat (Clarisea). I probably already have sufficient biological filtration with the rock and sand without the Matrix media; and I could still use the Purigen (if needed) in another part of the sump (albeit less efficiently). I like the roller mat for actually removing ‘stuff’ from the system as opposed to simply binding it, but this still appears to be fairly new tech - at least in hobbyist applications.
<Mmm; to each their own. I am not a fan personally. Too much expense for the gain>
The tang will need to be added last, any thoughts on whether the penultimate fish should be the angel or wrasse? Both are small and feisty...
<In this size system, with the rock... not a problem in terms of order of introduction of all>
Finally, the ethics of live rock... there appears to be a great deal of concern on the ecological impact of its harvesting, which is a shame since this should be a renewable/manageable resource.
<I do agree... such concerns are nonsense. FAR more harm from sewage, run-off, 'cides... the rock is made in vast quantities continuously. The alternative; man-made is a greater source of pollution than just gathering the wild; which is far superior in functionality.>
Nonetheless it may be necessary to use a cultured if not artificial alternative like ‘Real Reef Rock’. It will obviously need to be seeded with life, but would such a substitute cripple this proposed setups ability to process waste?
<Again, I find the non-wild collected or conditioned to be an expensive poor substitute>
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Kind regards,
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Porcupine puffer (Diodon holocanthus) not doing well       11/9/19
I will try the dim lights first. If it does turn out to be something intestinal, would the fish be able to fight off the parasite with low stress and nutrition?
<If you are positive that it has internal parasites, treat it in a separate tank ASAP, It would not fight against parasites just with good nutrition and low stress, even though these will help.>
<Please keep us posted. Wil.>

Re: New rainbow fish won't eat      11/8/19
<Please (simply) search these topics and READ on WWM for complete answers.
READ don't write. BobF>
Hi Neale, Thanks for your reply.
One thing I notice when I gravel vac is every time loads of bubbles come out of the substrate. The substrate isnt even deep I think 3cm but I think it must be not a good shape to allow movement of water.
Is it possible these bubbles released was somehow toxic to the fish?
It happens every time I gravel vac which is once every week or 2.
Im treating with blue planet fungus cure. Do you think that will help?
Yes the nitrate is always virtually 0. I have been dosing quite a lot of nitrate for the plants but even that doesn't seem to be raising it much. I guess the plants do require it a lot.
I dosed enough Ultimate Aquacare nitrate for it to be 5ppm and within a week it was virtually 0.
Re: New rainbow fish won't eat      11/8/19

Thanks for your reply but I tried searching bubbles coming out of substrate and nothing is coming up?
<Ummm; did for me:
Re: New rainbow fish won't eat      11/8/19

Hi Neale, Thanks for your reply.
One thing I notice when I gravel vac is every time loads of bubbles come out of the substrate. The substrate isnt even deep I think 3cm but I think it must be not a good shape to allow movement of water.
Is it possible these bubbles released was somehow toxic to the fish?
<Yes and no. In a properly set-up aquarium, some decomposition in the substrate will happen, and any gases produced will either be harmless (nitrogen) or in such small amounts they react quickly enough with oxygen in the water column to be rendered harmless (hydrogen sulphide). However, to get either gas requires anaerobic conditions that are not likely in a properly set-up tank with less than a 8-10 cm depth of substrate. Even then, the amounts of gas will be small. If you're seeing a lot of bubbles, and they're quickly produced, this isn't normal. It might be nothing, and some plants will transport oxygen into the soil via their roots, but it might also mean the substrate is wrong somehow. Unless the tank is
well-planted with roots throughout the substrate, it's a good idea to keep substrates shallow (2-3 cm is fine if there are no plants or epiphytes only) or maybe 6-8 cm if you have plants. Either way, stir the areas without roots periodically if you must, but otherwise leave the substrate alone>
It happens every time I gravel vac which is once every week or 2.
Im treating with blue planet fungus cure. Do you think that will help?
<Not with bubbles in the substrate, no.>
Yes the nitrate is always virtually 0. I have been dosing quite a lot of nitrate for the plants but even that doesn't seem to be raising it much. I guess the plants do require it a lot.
<If you're removing literally armfuls of leaves a week, then sure, that's where the nitrate is going. But otherwise I'd be suspicious of the test kit or the way it's being used. It's rather like a car exhaust containing no carbon dioxide at all. You'd be very skeptical, I'm sure! Since nitrate is the end point of biological filtration, it accumulates between water changes, and should measurable go up from whatever nitrate level is in a bucket of new water (i.e., you tap water nitrate reading).>
I dosed enough Ultimate Aquacare nitrate for it to be 5ppm and within a week it was virtually 0.
<Weird. I guess nitrate reduction might be happening, but at an astonishingly unique level for a generic community tank. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: New rainbow fish won't eat      11/8/19

Hi Neale thanks so much for your reply.
Yes the substrate is only 1-2cm deep at front. The plants have it about 2 inches with aquarium pebbles and Oliver Knott Aquasoil and Palagonite.
<If the aquarium substrate is dubious, one thing I'd suggest is this: remove the substrate. Leave the plants in pots (either the aquarium shop sort, or with. bit of substrate in small clay pots). But otherwise bare glass. Why? This removes a variable. The fish won't mind, and you can scatter a few pebbles over the substrate to block upwelling light.
Double-check the pebbles are aquarium-safe by dripping acid on them (lemon juice or vinegar) and seeing if they fizz. If they do, they're not safe.>
Even the plants have signs of nitrate deficiency despite my desperate dosing schedule lol.
<If there's something amiss with the tank, they may simply be stressed, much like the fish. To recap: most plants dislike strongly acidic water, and few handle very soft water well.>
Some have yellowing.
<See above.>
This is my tank from today with my surviving fish.1 Kutubu, 2 boesemani, 3 Rummynose, 6 guppies, 2-3 Oto.
The 2 females are elsewhere for fungal treatment. Dead: 6 Otos over time (some from prawn I suspect and some may of had disease as bodies were found for some recently), 1 Rummynose, 5 guppies, 1 SAE. Rummynose, guppies and SAE all died within last 1-2 weeks.
My tank today: https://youtu.be/egcBiXd7IEQ
Does anything look drastically wrong from this video?
<Hard to say with a video. If this was me, I would be stripping the tank down, while leaving the filter running and the fish in place (I'd put them in a bucket while doing the stripping down, mind). So it's basically a hospital tank (all glass) with a few hiding places (clay pots for example).
Move the plants to another tank (even a bucket somewhere warm is fine, even better if you can point a light over them). Ensure the water in the tank is as it should be in terms of temperature, pH and hardness. With the substrate removed, you've simplified things. If things seem better now, and the fish show signs of improvement, you can then start thinking about adding the decorations back. I'd suggest plain gravel substrate, and while the plants will be ticked off about being unrooted, if you stick a few fish
nutrient tablets into the substrate after a couple of weeks, they'll grow back. They'll likely die back a bit though, hence no need to add the fertiliser tablets for a couple weeks at least.>
Thanks so much again. I really appreciate it
<Most welcome. Neale.>

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