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Help with Goldfish medication /Neale      1/15/17
<<I would support Bob's comments that "mixing and matching" medications isn't the solution here. We just can't predict how they'll interact with each other. I'd be looking at optimising environmental conditions, for example ensuring the water is clean, hard, alkaline, and not too warm (22-25 C is about the uppermost that Goldfish enjoy). Using salt can work well against Whitespot and Velvet, and can be useful when fish are stressed, but shouldn't be used indefinitely. That said, Goldfish are tolerant of brackish conditions, so even fairly saline conditions -- say, 3 gram/litre -- will do them no harm. Such saline conditions will eliminate most types of external parasite, and tend to be much safer than copper and formalin. Plus, salt can be used alongside antibiotics without risk of negative interactions. Even by itself salt can help reduce the risk of wounds becoming infected, though this assumes the fish's own immune system is basically sound; salt isn't really an antibacterial at these sorts of concentrations. The use of Epsom salt is another completely safe technique, up to a tablespoon per 20 litres being suitable for raising general hardness (which Goldfish love) while also having a mild laxative effect that helps against constipation. When herbivorous fish are off-colour, a good approach is to eliminate all meat-based foods, and focus entirely on algae, pondweed, canned peas, etc. Often fish won't show much interest at first, but don't worry -- they'll eat it when they're hungry! The more fibre, the better. It'll clear out their guts, and it's often constipation that causes Goldfish to swim oddly. In any case, with a healthier diet herbivorous fish will get the vitamins and minerals they need, and issues like bloating and even Dropsy can be reduced/cured. Hope this helps, Neale>>
Re: Help with Goldfish medication     1/15/17

Hi Bob and Neale,
<Cathie>
Thank you both for taking the time to read and respond to everything in my email.
<Welcome>
I did not know that canned Blood worms are bad. I had frozen them and cut it into small portions and was giving them a small portion every second day, but will throw them away now.
<Yes; I would>

Yesterday afternoon I noticed that the black Oranda with sleeping problems was looking quite shiny, even more then before, except for his top fin.
There were 2 small cloudy patches on his top fin. This morning he has a 3mm hole in the middle of the top fin, where one of the cloudy patches was.
I will do another 35% water change. I trust the Sterazin I put in 48 hours ago has either stressed him, or disrupted the water equilibrium and caused a bacteria spike.
<Possibly>
He also looks slightly more rounded today. No scales sticking out, just bigger around the rib cage just behind his head, but not at the back end.
I will not add any more Sterazin. I will swap to a completely greens based diet for the next 7 days, up the salt, and add Dr Tim's first defence, and continue with the water changes.
Should I also try Epsom salts which you mentioned to relieve bloating? It is a 255Litre aquarium, currently with 3 teaspoons of salt per 9 litres.
How much Epsom would be a good safe amount considering the current salt level?
<I would discontinue the aquarium salt use... You can search, see Neale and I's takes on its regular use. Not warranted. And yes to the possibility of using Epsom period>
Do you think the top fin hole is bacteria based from stress and will clear up on its own?
<Can't tell re origin, but yes to the latter>

Thank you again for your time,
Kindest regards
Cathie
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Help with Goldfish medication; hypo.      1/15/17

Hi Bob and Neale,
<Cath>
I did the 70 Litre water change this morning as planned. I will ease off the salt level gradually. I will try feeding just greens for a week and see if the black Oranda's sleeping position changes and if this reduces his/her slightly enlarged chest.
Tomorrow I will add a low dose of Epsom salts to the aquarium. (it will be interesting to see if it makes them do any super-pooping!)
I am writing back to you again because I just noticed the blue Oranda (the largest of the 3) has one small white lump at the tip of his anal fin, and one small lump in the centre of the same fin. I have gone through pages and pages of info from your amazing website and have concluded that the small white lumps are bacterial.
<Not necessarily; no. "Just" bumps at times... similar to humans>
I think that my initial panic of parasites may be a bit silly. Surely if they had parasites I would have known it months ago, and they would be lethargic, lacking in appetite, clamping their fins, have some sort of ulcers or specs, and not be active and social.
<The parasites would have had to come from somewhere... biological>
The only parasite that I could find that might stay hidden could be internal worms or external Costia. But everything I read says Costia causes clamped fins and a slimy coating, and that intestinal worms causes wasting. My fishes are not slimy
and they are quite fat!
I have always had a concern about bacteria though. Goldfish are water piggies and even with strict cleaning regimes, sometimes things can go astray, especially in warmer water, and when they are feeling stressed.
I apologise for all my crazy panicking, I don't have too much experience with sick fishes, prevention is better than cure.
But, I lost a fish to Dropsy,
<Or rather, a "dropsical condition"; numerous etiologies possible>

so I am definitely doing something wrong. If the Dropsy was caused by a bacterial infection (rather than parasites)
from either impacted eggs, or an impacted intestine from constipation,
would this bacteria multiply in the water and cause the fin issues that I am seeing now on my remaining fishes?
<Sometimes simply "weak genes". More common as time goes by with these mass-produced, too-inbred strains>
Now I think about it more, when I removed the Dropsy fish and put her into a quarantine tank, within hours her fins looked like they had been shredded. I just assumed her fins went like this because her immune system had given up because of the intense infection. I know that low levels of bacteria are always present in the water, and the fishes immune system usually keeps them at bay. This fin shredding bacteria would have been present on her in the main tank before I had a chance to isolate her. I hadn't thought about the bacteria that was on her fins until now, I was only thinking about the fishes eating her bacteria ridden faeces.
Do you think that any (or all) of the following is enough bacterial evidence for me to worry or warrant any form of treatments for my remaining fishes?

i.e.. (1) the sudden case of dropsy (+ her shredded fins) and consequent loss of this one fish 9 days ago
(2) all fishes displaying the stringy faeces, and crumbly not formed faeces
(3) the smallest Oranda with one small split in his tail (that has not healed at all in 6 days - strange because any splits caused by damage from netting etc seem to have healed rapidly in past experiences)
(4) the black Oranda with night time surface sleeping, and some surface chomping. (and possibly slightly weaker swimming action - tipping sideways in the water current when mouthing gravel, and getting knocked out of the way by the other fishes when they are "schooling" or in a foraging frenzy)
(5) the black Oranda with a slightly enlarged chest, best described as a slight "hump" under his/her chin, where the front fins join the body.
(6) the black Oranda with slightly dull/greyish patches on his top fin which turned into a 3mm hole overnight
(7) the blue Oranda with a new small white lump on the tip of his anal fin, and a lump on the centre of the same fin
<No>
I do have Myxazin, Pimafix and Melafix in my cupboard if any of these are needed, as well as (and I hope I never need to use these antibiotics: Octozin/dimetridazole, Tetracycline Hydrochloride, and Triple Sulfa). I will also soon have the API General Cure (Metronidazole/Praziquantel combo). Plus the Sterazin mentioned earlier.
<Am done responding to this. NONE. B>

The loss of a fish made be go a bit crazy buying a whole lot of "just in case" medicines.
Please let me know your thoughts, and thank you for all your time,
Kindest regards,
Cathie

Re: Pbt     1/14/17
Hi did you get to look at these
<Already responded re. See WWM Dailies if you didn't receive directly. B>
Pbt     1/14/17

Any ideas?? Is it ich? Thanks
<What? Read>

Having trouble identifying this Acro hitchhiking crab     1/14/17
Hi!
<Hey Daniel>
I recently bought a small Acro colony and it had 3 crabs.
<Neat! Evidence of good handling>
I knew there was one in the colony, it's part of why I chose it. But I didn't expect 3! This album contains the pictures I'm referencing, feel free to host them on your site though https://imgur.com/a/5b3LK I was able to identify the small one (3rd & 4th pictures) as a Hairy blue-eyed Acro crab (Cymo andreossyi) which as I understand it will pick on
polyps.
<All will/do to extents. I'd keep them all... not that damaging in most circumstances>
On large colonies they're supposedly symbiotic, but dangerous to small colonies, so I tossed him in with my P. ciliata mantis shrimp. I was able to identify the other (last picture) as a Tetralia crab, safe and symbiotic, and put it in the tank with the coral. But I'm stuck on the one pictured in the 1st and 3rd pictures. The color matches the coral closely, and the body shape reminds me of a Trapezia which makes me think that it's commensal.
<I agree on both counts>
It's legs are a little bit fuzzy though. One claw is slightly larger and a little bit sharper, the other is smaller and has flat tips, clearly intended for gripping and scraping. I've been Googling for a couple hours now and haven't been able to get a good ID on him. In the meantime he's in a critter keeper with an airstone. So, should I put him with the colony
or would it be wiser to let him test his fate with the mantis?
<As stated, I'd keep all>
Thank you!
-Dan
<And you for sharing. Bob Fenner>



 

 

Help with Goldfish medication (Neale; your input please)     1/14/17
Hi,
<Cathie>
A week ago one of my beloved Oranda Goldfishes suddenly ballooned up like a pinecone and passed away a few days later. The day before the "ballooning" I saw a small amount of swelling directly under her chin, between her front
fins. Then the next day she was really swollen. I treated her with Waterlife Myxazin (the only medication I had on hand at the time) + API Melafix, + API salt 0.3% in a hospital tank, but it was too late to save her.
<I see>
She had been having trouble on and off over the last 7 months with floaty issues and constipation, so she was on a special soft foods diet.
<I take it you've seen/read Sabrina's piece, the many "Related FAQs" on WWM re>
For the last 3 months she was slightly weaker in her swimming actions, and sometimes her top fin was droopy. Her appetite was always good though, and she happily interacted and foraged with the other fishes regularly.
I have a 255L main aquarium with 3 remaining 9cm Oranda Goldfish. The Aquarium is cycled and has a big external canister filter with both biological and mechanical media. I do weekly 35% water changes, and their parameters are:
PH 7.4, GH 180, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20, Ammonia 0.
<All good thus far>
The Oranda that died had been in the tank for 1 year, and the other fishes 6 months, 5 months and 2 months.
Since the sudden case of dropsy, I did a 35% water change that afternoon, a 25% the next day, then 25% again the day after, and now 30% changes every second day to reduce the risk of a bacterial spike.
<Good move>
Plus I checked and cleaned the filter. (Usually do the filter every 2-3 weeks).
I use a vacuum siphon to do the water changes to clean the gravel substrate. I also regularly use Dr Tim's biological products (First Defense during water changes, and Waste Away once a fortnight). I treat any new water with Seachem Prime, and also add 2 teaspoons of API Aquarium salt per 9 Litre bucket, and adjust the PH in the bucket, and add Seachem Replenish to correct the water GH. I live in Adelaide (in South Australia) and Adelaide water is highly chlorinated and is quite soft with a low GH and has a low PH of 6.8.
<All reads as good practices>
Because I live in South Australia the temperature over summer is quite hot.
My Aquarium is in my dining room, in the part of the house where the temperature is the most stable. However, the water slowly heated up during the recent heat wave to 29 degrees Celsius, which may be the stress trigger
for the fish I lost to Dropsy.
<Might well be a factor... I'd leave the lights off, the top raised on especially warm days... should reduce the temp. a degree or two C.>

The aquarium temperature has now lowered back to 26.5 degrees Celsius (which is still quite warm). I have tilted
the spray bar slightly higher to increase surface agitation and added another bubbler to try and increase oxygen levels whilst the water is so warm.
<Ahh; very good>
I am worried that a hidden internal parasite may be present, or possibly some sort of bacteria. It makes sense if it is a parasite, which could have been lurking waiting for the weather to warm up.
<Mmmm>
The 3 surviving fishes are all looking reasonably healthy, no raised
scales
and have plump bodies with no injury or sores, and their fins are not clamped. No visible lice or external worms or spots either.
<Then... I would NOT treat the water, fish>

One fish has a small split at the end of his tail fin, and it has been there for the last 5 days.
<Not likely pathogenic per se>
2 days ago I saw one of the other fish have a brief involuntary twitch in his front fin, but this only happened once.
The third fish in the last 5 days has changed his sleeping routine. He now hangs at the top of the tank in the back corner at night. In the warmer water, the oxygen levels are lower, so if he is weakened by something, it may be why he is now sleeping at easiest place to sleep. I have also noticed he is chomping at the surface eating bubbles quite often now too.
When he knows I am watching, he swims to halfway down the height of the aquarium, then presses his face up against the glass and chomps at me pretending he is hungry. But, when he can't see me, and he is not at the surface, he forages in the gravel and does something that might be of importance. After he finishes a particular section of gravel "mouthing" he rotates to his side, swims along the bottom on his side then turns back upright. I don't know if this is "scratching", because I don't think that he actually touches the gravel surface. It could be because he is extremely top heavy with his large Oranda wen and chubby cheeks, and the water current could just be moving him sideways. I don't know for certain though.
As soon as I get close enough to check, he sees me, and swims to me.
<All normal behavior>
He is a black Oranda and I also noticed that some days he looks more matt black with a slight frosted white appearance, and some days he is more shiny. There is no visible shedding of slime coat, he just sometimes looks matt black, and sometimes more shiny.
<Again; normal>
The other 2 fishes are still sleeping normally, halfway down tank height, occasionally paddling.
During the day all 3 swim normally though.
<Good>
However, worryingly they have all been producing strange faeces. Sometimes it is long white faecal casts, and sometimes it is pale crumbly disintegrating bits. And sometimes it is just crumbly in the colour of the food. Quite thick and not firm or well formed. Definitely still not normal, almost like their food hasn't been processed at all. In the mornings I often notice clear long thin strands draping off of an ornament. I trust this is some sort of faeces too.
<I would not panic; but would add more greenery to their diet... Pellets, Anacharis/Egeria/Elodea... blanched zucchini, peas>
They have had occasional white casts for months now, and I didn't think too much of it, and just added more greens to their diet.
<Ahh!>
They have a quality varied diet of Hikari mini sinking pellets (pre-soaked to soften), blood worms,
<I'd delete these>
spinach, Spirulina, softened de-shelled peas, occasional fruit, and Vitalis sinking pellet. I give them 2 small meals a day.
<Very good>
But, now I have lost a fish to dropsy, their faeces is constantly irregular, either trailing long and loose, small and crumbly, or in long white or clear casts. I am worried something is not right internally - possibly parasite or bacteria.
<I discount this, and caution that treatments themselves are stressful; toxic>

It has been 8 days since I lost my fish to dropsy, and I have been closely monitoring all 3 remaining fishes. Frequent water changes, smaller amount of foods (some pellets soaked in freshly crushed garlic) and mostly greens, and a slightly higher salt level was my first plan, rather than throwing meds in straight away.
<Good>
But, the black Oranda with sleeping issues might possibly be getting slightly distended in the chest, directly below his head, almost like his chest is getting bigger. He doesn't look swollen outwards, just slightly downwards, and it could just be his body shape changing, but it seems an unusual place to be growing a hump. Because it is a gradual change, it is hard to tell, but it could be the presence of an internal parasite growing inside him causing this, or maybe a fluid build-up from something bacterial.
I don't have good access to aquarium meds due to my location in Australia, so all that I had readily available in terms of parasite options was Waterlife Sterazin. I had to order it online, and it only arrived yesterday. I started the course of Sterazin yesterday and have added this to the aquarium as a precaution to try and eliminate the possibility of external parasites.
<You would see these>
But I am concerned they may have ingested some bacteria contained within the faeces from the Dropsy effected fish before I had a chance to isolate her (they seem to like eating each other's poop!), or they may have been exposed to bacteria in the water.
<All are continuously. Again; I would not panic>
I have now managed to buy API General Cure from eBay, which will hopefully arrive in the post in 2 or 3 days time. If the General Cure arrives quickly, can I continue to treat the water with Sterazin, and at the same time add the General Cure to the water too?
<I would not... I would NOT use any of this, but continue with efforts to keep water temperature low, constant, address water quality and nutrition as you've been doing>
From internet research, I believe the ingredients of both meds are:
Waterlife Sterazin: malachite green 0.08%w/w, formaldehyde 0.2%w/w, Piperazine citrate 0.34%w/w and Acriflavine hydrochloride 0.055%w/w. API general cure: >80 Sodium Chloride, 1-10 Metronidazole, 1-5 Praziquantel, 1-5 Silica Amorphous, fumed crystalline free Are these chemicals safe to use together?
<They are... but formaldehyde is a biocide (kills all life) and there's really no need to use two Anthelminthics. Last time, I would NOT use these here. Without sampling (slime, feces) examination under a microscope... You're simply poisoning your fish, the system
>
Or, should I just complete the course of Sterazin, wait 48 hours, do a large water change and use carbon to remove any remaining meds for a couple hours, then begin the course of General Cure. Or should I switch to General Cure as soon as possible?
<None of the above>
I want to eliminate both bacteria and parasite possibilities.
<... You're "shooting in the dark".... A poor idea, practice>
But, adding so many things to the water can affect the biological filter and stress the fishes, and I won't add anything that isn't necessary.
<Yes>
I appreciate your time and would love some assistance,
<Glad to render my long-experience with goldfishes>
Thank you,
Kindest regards,
Cathie
<Welcome. DO write back if something isn't clear, you'd like clarification.
Bob Fenner>

Blind crosshatch trigger - Urgent      1/12/17
Hello
<Sandip>
I've been an avid and appreciative fan of your website and its direct and sage advice for over 10 years.
<Glad to hear you like our site. Thanks for choosing WetWeb>
This is my first question to you. Sorry for the urgency.
<No worries. Hopefully I have responded in time>
I have a crosshatch trigger that has been in my tank for about 3.5 years direct from LFS and seemed happy until it slowly seems to have lost its sight to the point in the last few days it stays hidden in different spots than its favorite spot and when it comes out it is bumping into everything and is not eating (I hand feed it).
<What have you been feeding? Any thoughts as too what happened? Did you witness any trauma?>

I'm very concerned. It used to really enjoy the MP 60's and swim in front and the full length and width of the tank (78x36x28). Last few days it tries but knocks into everything including corals and glass. It is starting to look banged up.
<Yikes>
I've thought of catching and setting up in a portable hospital tank but I am concerned of over stressing and don't know what to medicate. I have a 3 ft long 35 gallon hospital tank.
<I would QT as soon as possible in an empty tank, i.e. no decorations or excessive rock work. This will prevent further injury>
My mainly SPS 340 gallon display tank has been running for about 4.5 years.
Some fish and coral and water were transferred from by 90 gallon mixed reef set up for 9 years. I also have an 80 gallon refugium with Chaetomorpha, 60 gallon sump, 80 gallon frag tank all plumbed into same system.
<Sounds like a nice setup>
I QT and medicate all fish entering my tank for 4 weeks minimum (PraziPro and Cupramine) and make sure the fish are eating well before they are introduced to the DT. About two years ago I pulled out the trigger to a 90 gallon QT and feed it medicated food hoping it would clear up one of its eyes that appeared cloudy. I ended up keeping it there for 7-8 weeks and the eye didn't get better. So I returned it to the DT hoping for the best.
<So it sound like this problem started a few years ago? If you dosed for eight weeks, the eye should've gotten better if it were a disease or infection. Could be an issue with the fish that it was born with or had some sort of physical trauma beyond repair>
Water parameters: Alkalinity 7.5-8.5, calcium 350-450, magnesium 1350-1450, nitrates 6 ppm, phosphates 0.16 ppm, temp 76-80 (winter and summer), salinity 1.025-1.026.
<Sounds like the water is fine>
Water changes with regularly maintained RODI every 7-10 days 10 percent of total water volume. I vacuum the substrate in the DT when I do a water change. On average 1/2 to 3/4 of substrate in the DT. About 80-100 lbs of
live rock with some very large colonies of SPS. I use a calcium reactor and Kalkwasser stirrer and have started dosing Randy's baked baking soda for magnesium. I have also started to supplement with calcium chloride after each water change. I use a large skimmer. I occasionally use carbon in a high flow sump area until I replace monthly when I'm using.
<All sounds good>
The only time I've ever medicated my tank was about a year ago with sentinel (3 treatments a week apart) to get rid of red bugs. It was successful and I didn't notice any ill effects on the fish or coral.
Snails were fine but I certainly lost as expected a lot of micro fauna.
The trigger has generally been in apparent good health and has not had any symptoms of disease. Eyesight is the only thing that has gradually gone and more rapidly in the last few months. Now to the point I'm very concerned as the fish won't even accept food when it is held directly in front of its mouth (last few days).
<Is it not accepting the food, or is it not seeing the food? It could be battling some other type of disease on top of the blindness>
Trigger was almost 4 inches when I got and is about 7 inches now. I hand feed him daily Selcon soaked squid and scallops and the tank is fed New Life Spectrum pellets 6 times a day on auto feeder. I hand feed to the tank Spirulina and other flake food and Nori every 3 days. He doesn't eat the other food as he cant see it (this has been in the last few months, prior to that he would eat everything.)
<Keep trying to hand feed. You might try soaking the food in garlic as well. This should help>
None of the other fish bother him except for a captive bred male percula clown fish if trigger ventures too close to his space. Other fish in tank (and size in inches): purple tang (6), yellow tang (5), regal tang (7), powder blue (4.5), two dwarf angels and a majestic angel (4). Also Mandarin, Shrimp goby, two Banggai cardinals, a leopard wrasse (5), and a pair of captive bred clownfish and a skunk clown with a bubble tip anemone.
<All sounds good. The tangs may be bullying the trigger. I'm surprised you haven't had a problem with all of them yet>
Lighting is 250 w de MH fixtures with a couple of T5's and 3 ReefBrite LED's.
<Sounds good>
Thanks for reading through this lengthy email and look forward to your advice.
Sandip
<Sandip, it sounds like your Trigger experienced some sort of physical trauma that can't be helped by medication, as it isn't an infection or disease. I suggest you either put it in QT or make room in another tank for it. Use minimal rock and decorations. Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do for the blindness, but you can prevent more injury due to bumps and bruises by moving it. Again, minimize decorations so there is less to bump into. Let me know if you have any more questions. Cheers, Gabe><<Perhaps Thiaminase poisoning here. RMF>>

 

Re: Blind crosshatch trigger - Urgent     1/13/17
Gabe thanks for your help! Thanks team also in case anyone else responds.
Really appreciate your dedication to helping us out!
<My pleasure, Sandip. I'm glad I could help>
Sorry for long response!
<No worries :) It gives me something to do during boring school lectures>
I think even in another tank trigger will bump into the glass constantly though admittedly not sharp coral.
<It will bump into the glass no matter what, but it won't crash into sharp corals and rocks if the tank is mostly free of decorations>
This fish needs a lot of flow and wants to swim all the time.
<I am well aware of this, and it will be important to maintain a good flow rate if/when you move it>
I wonder if it's giving up in a way.
<Possibly. I have had fish that have done this in the pas. It is unfortunate, but it does happen>
I haven't seen a trauma event occur.
<It may have/probably happened when you weren't around>
I will try moving to another tank and garlic.
<Great choice. This will be better for the Trigger to spend its final time in>
The tangs have from time to time shown aggression to establish pecking order with each other (purple with yellow, purple with PBT when it was introduced a few months ago) but not current tangs with the trigger.
<This is all about body shapes with tangs. Sailfins fight with Sailfins (Purple and Yellow), and Naso-shaped fight with Naso-shaped. Powder Blues on the other hand fight with everything. I had a PBT go after a grouper one time, and the grouper was almost twice its size. PBTs are evil...>
I feel like the purple may keep the PBT from becoming a tyrant.
<Maybe, I have witnessed fish keeping PBTs in check so to speak, but the peace time usually ends when the peacekeeper dies>
It's stopped picking on the PBT. I've seen TOTM and large tanks on RC with more tangs in smaller tanks with a lot more other fish too.
<Yikes!>
They seem ok for the moment.
<Emphasis on the MOMENT>
I may move some out as I've been thinking of a small imperator (I realize they get big! This would be the largest in my 340) and want to reduce potential aggression.
<They get enormous! I have a juvie in my tank right now that has grown three inches in about four months>
I also wanted to get Tinkeri or a few butterfly potentially.
<Tinkeri are expensive, so make sure you find a healthy specimen. They also enjoy picking on corals>
I love the dwarf angels and would like to get a midnight black in addition to the flame and potters I already have. I'd also like to keep the PBT.
Do you think it would make a difference to remove purple, yellow and regal tangs ( the yellow and regal do a good job of cleaning the rocks...)
<It could. Depends on where you put them. It would make the PBT more of tyrant, but if that's what you want you're good>
I had a Sohal which grew from 3 to 10 inches which used to get picked on but became the alpha. One day I saw a clear bite mark the shape of the triggers teeth on the Sohal and had to lol. I guessed Sohal took a swipe at trigger and found out it shouldn't have.
<Never mess with a trigger>
I moved the Sohal out as it would purposely take a bite out of my arm and draw blood when I vacuumed the tank. Never bite the hand that feeds!
<Haha! I wish my eel would learn this. My Tesselata moray bites me all the time. That's why I bought some chainmail-Kevlar gloves. Moray teeth aren't the most comfortable things to have touching the bones in your hands>
Your thoughts appreciated!
Sandip
<Hope everything goes well with the trigger. We'd love some pictures for the site. Let me know if you have any other questions. As always, thanks for using WetWeb. Cheers, Gabe>
Re: Blind crosshatch trigger - Urgent     1/13/17

Gage See comments below please
Here are some pics of tank (not great just iPhone) since you asked. Hope not too big I will send in another email too.
Thanks
Sandip
Sent from my iPad
> On Jan 12, 2017, at 12:50 PM, WetWebMedia Crew<crew@wetwebmedia.com> wrote:
>
> Gabe thanks for your help! Thanks team also in case anyone else responds.
> Really appreciate your dedication to helping us out!
> <My pleasure, Sandip. I'm glad I could help>
> Sorry for long response!
> <No worries :) It gives me something to do during boring school lectures>
what are you studying?
> I think even in another tank trigger will bump into the glass constantly
> though admittedly not sharp coral.
> <It will bump into the glass no matter what, but it won't crash into sharp
> corals and rocks if the tank is mostly free of decorations> right I will move him
> This fish needs a lot of flow and wants to swim all the time.
> <I am well aware of this, and it will be important to maintain a good flow
> rate if/when you move it> will do
> I wonder if it's giving up in a way.
> <Possibly. I have had fish that have done this in the pas. It is
> unfortunate, but it does happen>
> I haven't seen a trauma event occur.
> <It may have/probably happened when you weren't around>
> I will try moving to another tank and garlic.
> <Great choice. This will be better for the Trigger to spend its final time
> in> agreed
> The tangs have from time to time shown aggression to establish pecking
> order with each other (purple with yellow, purple with PBT when it was
> introduced a few months ago) but not current tangs with the trigger.
> <This is all about body shapes with tangs. Sailfins fight with Sailfins
> (Purple and Yellow), and Naso-shaped fight with Naso-shaped. Powder Blues
> on the other hand fight with everything. I had a PBT go after a grouper one
> time, and the grouper was almost twice its size. PBTs are evil...> I've had my eye on a blonde Naso for a few years but I've read they just get too big and I think it would be hard to part with and the wrong thing to do knowing a 340 sps tank is too small? I would love one though!
> I feel like the purple may keep the PBT from becoming a tyrant.
> <Maybe, I have witnessed fish keeping PBTs in check so to speak, but the
> peace time usually ends when the peacekeeper dies> or leaves the tank so maybe I shouldn't remove purple .... I just didn't want to create a
stressful place for imperator as I've read they are sensitive
> It's stopped picking on the PBT. I've seen TOTM and large tanks on RC
> with more tangs in smaller tanks with a lot more other fish too.
> <Yikes!>
> They seem ok for the moment.
> <Emphasis on the MOMENT>
> I may move some out as I've been thinking of a small imperator (I realize
> they get big! This would be the largest in my 340) and want to reduce
> potential aggression.
> <They get enormous! I have a juvie in my tank right now that has grown
> three inches in about four months> wow! I was also planning a juvie 2-3inches as I've heard they might adapt better than an adult. Though I've heard if I can get a small adult with its colours already showing it would guarantee the spectacular adult colour which is not guaranteed with a juvie turning adult?
> I also wanted to get Tinkeri or a few butterfly potentially.
> <Tinkeri are expensive, so make sure you find a healthy specimen. They also
> enjoy picking on corals> yes this might be a pipe dream based on cost. Bryn Roberts TOTM July 2015 has them and says they pick a bit but no damage like my dwarf angels and possibly large imperator.
> I love the dwarf angels and would like to get a midnight black in addition
> to the flame and potters I already have. I'd also like to keep the PBT.
> Do you think it would make a difference to remove purple, yellow and regal
> tangs ( the yellow and regal do a good job of cleaning the rocks...)
> <It could. Depends on where you put them. It would make the PBT more of
> tyrant, but if that's what you want you're good> don't want a tyrant so maybe I'll just keep the tangs as they appear peaceful to other fish and each other until they stop
> I had a Sohal which grew from 3 to 10 inches which used to get picked on
> but became the alpha. One day I saw a clear bite mark the shape of the
> triggers teeth on the Sohal and had to lol. I guessed Sohal took a swipe at
> trigger and found out it shouldn't have.
> <Never mess with a trigger>
> I moved the Sohal out as it would purposely take a bite out of my arm and
> draw blood when I vacuumed the tank. Never bite the hand that feeds!
> <Haha! I wish my eel would learn this. My Tesselata moray bites me all the
> time. That's why I bought some chainmail-Kevlar gloves. Moray teeth aren't
> the most comfortable things to have touching the bones in your hands> LOL
you are braver than me!
> Your thoughts appreciated!
> Sandip
> <Hope everything goes well with the trigger. We'd love some pictures for
> the site. Let me know if you have any other questions. As always, thanks
> for using WetWeb. Cheers, Gabe>


PBT... Hlth., env.      1/13/17
Hi I have a PBT that has been in my DRT for about a year….he started getting little hair like filaments coming off his body….looks like a man who has not shaved for a day… like stubble…. He also has some larger white masses on his fins that have come and gone….. He is eating…and it does not look like ich… you can see the little strings/stubble on his skin….any ideas…thanks
Eric
<Mmm; could you send along a well-resolved pic of this? Have you read re Paracanthurus disease on WWM? This reads like an environmental response issue rather than something pathogenic (a biological disease). What other life here? (always a good clue), foods, feeding... Water quality test results? Maintenance, set-up? Bob Fenner>
Re: PBT

Thanks I will wait for my lights to come on.. 1.026.. n 1ppm . P says nd
<? Phosphorus is not detectable?>
but know I have some.. mag/ca/ are at Red Sea pro salt levels.. alk too.. ph is low 7.7-7.8..
<Yeeikes! This is critically dangerously too low. The pH scale is a base ten log... this IS the likely cause of your/Tang trouble>

run a ca reactor..
<? What is the effluent pH? NOT lower than 6.6-7 I hope/trust. You may need different, better media to melt down>
have a rsm 650.. do about 10 percent weekly changes.. but have been doing large changes past two weeks since this showed up.. did dose tank with prazzi..
<... I'd be sampling... first; not using an Anthelminthic>
I'll get you a pic when I can.. mates... clowns, tiny purple tang, hawk fish, Anthias, 2 cardinals
<.... Please read your emails, messages before sending them. BobF>
Pbt     1/13/17

Here are some picks about 1.5 weeks ago.. these seemed to resolve but more have shown up.. thanks
<.... Eric... the fish would be dead by now if this were pathogenic. READ on WWM re the husbandry of Acanthurids. FIX your water quality here; THIS is what's wrong with this fish... The mucus coming off of it is from poor environment. Bob Fenner>

A curious case, but lots of mistakes. Please advise. SW hlth; env. likely      1/13/17
Hello, hoping you can advise me on the correct order to fix an infection.
>Let's see<

Setup: 45 gallon saltwater reef tank. Probably about 8 months old. Same fish since the start.
What changed? I purchased 3 Emerald Crabs
<Three? See my and others opinions re these... archived on WWM. Search by the genus; likely Mithraculus will be most productive. Like other crabs they become predaceous... and three?>
& 1 Sand Shifting Starfish from the local LFS. I didn't quarantine them, because I searched and couldn't find anything that said these invertebrates harbor fish diseases & such.
<Mmm; anything wet can serve as a vector for pathogenic, parasitic disease>
I also purchased 2 new pieces of coral. I took the items from the bags & put them in my tank. LFS water was, as always, discarded down the sink drain.
-ALSO- Tampa, Florida had it's annual 2 day winter. The weather dropped into the 30's and the house, along with the tank dipped dramatically in temperature. I put a heater into the sump tank to try and warm the water, but it was pretty useless.
<Yikes!>
2 days later after it had warmed up:
My smaller clown fish was lying on it's side and showing difficulty to swim. It had a red streak above it's nose like a varicose vein under the skin. It's sides were a hazy white like it was losing it's color. It had a few tiny white spots on it's fins. I also happened to need to add some top off water, so I opened the door to the sump, and noticed another clown fish lying on the bio-balls. Yes, I had a clown fish in my sump from like 4 months earlier that I thought had died and the crabs ate. It was hiding in the sump under the bio-balls this whole time. Don't ask me how it got in the sump
<Overflow likely>
or survived, and yes, it is embarrassing and bizarre at the same time.
This escapee was showing the same exact same symptoms as the small clown in the tank. I also have another slightly larger clown (it's body is nearly all black though, so prob a different species) and it was babysitting the small clown but completely fine.
Attempted treatment: I have a 1 gallon small cube and put some pre-mixed saltwater in it with a small water recirculating filter. I put both sick clowns in it quickly.
<Mmm; the issue here is not likely "biological" so much as environmental. I would NOT treat>
I didn't have copper for formalin, but I did have some of that "reef safe" stuff. I have since read on your site that it is essentially snake oil & useless.
<Ah yes; most are>
I also had some ich remedy stuff on hand. Yes, I know now it was all useless - and both fish died in under an hour anyway.
<Too likely the handling pushed them over the edge>
Both of them would no doubt feel themselves slipping away and would wrestle the strength to try and move in a frenzy, only to end up floating upside down and then settle on the bottom. Horrible to watch and I couldn't help them. :-( I watched the smaller clown fish take it's last breath like a final sigh. It was really sad.
For the past 3 days, I have been watching my tank closely. The Yellow Tang seems fine, The Snowflake Blenny seems fine, The Flame Angel seems fine, the (2) Blue Chromis are fine, but the 5 line wrasse is darting around the tank like he is losing his mind and can't sit still. His belly looks distended and a bit white. I read that clown fish disease can affect
Wrasses. That would mean that everyone is at risk if that is what made it into my tank.
So, what should I do?
<Maintain optimized water quality and good nutrition and be patient is what I'd do>

I don't want to kill my coral or my invertebrates. I have a large cooler, the small 1 gallon cube and the 45 gallon tank to work with. As I have read on your site, the main tank is the problem and infected with something. I need to isolate my coral and my invertebrates and treat the tank.
Proposal:
1) move the coral & macro-algae floss ball to the cooler, add a power head, air stone & stick the LED strip on top
2) put the snails, crabs, cleaner shrimp, narcissus snail & sand shifting star into the 1 gallon cube
3) leave the live rock and fish in the main tank and treat it with something. What? I don't know.
<I would NOT move the animals NOR treat>

Does this seem like the best course of action to you? What would you recommend to me other than to isolate EVERYTHING next time?
<All gone over and over on WWM... some animals, items are best expedited, MOST should be isolated for observation for a few weeks, GIVEN the means of adequately maintaining them>
Also, based on the obviously related symptoms of both clown fish, what chemical should I treat the tank with?
<None>
How do I treat the Invertebrates since this may have been where the infection came from... or could it have come on the coral? I'm not sure if the cold snap had something to do with it too, but I don't want to stray from the point.
Thanks for your help. I'll wait for your answer before I start doing anything else dumb.
Cindy
<What would Doug Adams likely write? "Don't Panic!". When, where in doubt, read, take deep breaths, walk the dog/s... All should resolve itself here in a few weeks. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick 9 year old Oscar     1/13/17
Soooo, the miracle Oscar lives into 2017. He's all cleared up, but still seems to be having swim bladder issues.
<Likely damaged permanently>

He spends most of his time vertical in the corner. I don't know what his vent is supposed to look like, but he definitely seems bloated between his pelvic fin and vent. Poor buddy. He eats about every other day. A local fish keeper recommended we feed him Koi food, as it is higher in fiber.
<A good choice>
We have continued weekly 25-30% water changes and biweekly filter replacements.
<Good routine>

Temp's remained steady at about 77F. Anything we can do to help reset his swim bladder or relieve his apparent constipation? Amy
<There is a safe, and often effective "lavage" sort of Epsom Salt treatment that I'd consider. Read here re:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
Hansen
<Bob Fenner>

Re: Assisted Living Community Tank       1/12/17
When it comes to maintenance it pretty much falls on me.
<Oh!>
I have kept haps and peacocks before and ha e done fairly well.
<Cool. While Haplochromines are much less aggressive than Mbuna, they're socially a bit more tricky. Females a bit plain, so while a harem would appeal to an expert fishkeeper intent on breeding, casual hobbyists either get just males (which speaking as a male myself sounds rather frustrating!)
or else pairs, and the females have such a hard time they often die prematurely. Tanganyikans are less sexually dimorphic; Tropheus for example would be an outstanding choice in a really big tank because they're extremely beautiful but also less prone to aggression in large groups. One thing about Tropheus is you basically can't mix them with anything. Partly it's because of the need for large groups. If there's space for another fish... add another Tropheus! But partly it's their diet. They must have virtually only algae-based foods. Easy enough with the right flake food.
But if you add anything else for other types of fish, such as bloodworms or standard pellets, they're prone to bloating. Anyway, Google "Tropheus" to get some idea of the range of colours. Some, like Tropheus Moorii 'Ilangi' are as colourful as any marine fish.>
Have been out of the cichlids since 2005 when hurricane Katrina whipped out my tanks. Water changes will be 35-50% every two weeks. Myself and another employee will be responsible for day to day maintenance of the tank and we
will have a company come in once a month for major maintenance. Two filters will be cleaned alternately with water changes. All the buffering chemicals will be on hand. Everything has built in double redundancy in the tank. Two
filters, two heaters on separate thermostats, two battery backups and the circuit the tank is on is also on a 500kw generator that will run for 5 day as I have kept fish for 15 years and I know about water chemistry and all that fun stuff. I tend to plan for worse case situations and also discuss all the options. I've discussed South Americans and goldfish and Africans is the way the company is wanting to go. I appreciate the very detailed response and I will surely try again.
<Welcome. Neale.>

"Medusa" Bristlenose Plecos      1/12/17
Hello:
Just wondering if the "Medusa" Pleco is one that will eat algae and will "clean glass" like the regular Bristlenose Pleco? The person at the LFS said this Pleco will, but that can be just selling. Thank you
Judy
<Yes, Ancistrus ranunculus, the Medusa Plec, is indeed as good an algae eater as any other Ancistrus. Nice fish, but a bit fussier than standard farmed Bristlenose. In other words, brisk current, plenty of oxygen, and good water quality. Nothing difficult; it's just not quite as bombproof as the farmed Ancistrus. Cheers, Neale.>

What's wrong with my Bettas (RMF, feel free to chip in)      1/12/17
I have two Betta fish I got from Wal-Mart 4 days ago and I think they are really sick I believe both are males they are in different tanks.
<Just as well.>
The first two pictures attached are of the Betta i have the highest concern about he doesn't eat well and just sits at bottom of tank no changed his water and one of his fins broke off
<Is this the blue fish?>
he's gasping for air and has a copper velvet look to his face and the other Betta seems ok but has discolor around his face and beard i have NutraFin Betta plus should I add to their tanks?
<A good rule is not to add medication unless you've diagnosed the problem.
Imagine if your doctor just picked out some random medications and gave them to you without asking what the problem was! Obviously not a good idea.
So, first things first, need to review the tank. Almost always, sick Bettas are sick because of their environment. I'm sure there are exceptions but I've never seen one. So, in other words, let's review the tank. At minimum, check the biological filter is working, and check the heater is working.
Let me be clear here: lack of filter and lack of heat are excellent ways to kill Bettas. Grab an ammonia or nitrite test kit, and test the water. Of the two kits, I prefer nitrite (with an "i", not nitrate with an "a").
Anyway, anything that is not zero is why your fish might be sick. Non-zero ammonia and nitrite kill fish, quickly or slowly depending on how much over zero they are. Secondly, look at the thermometer. Your tank should be about 25 C/77 F. Some unscrupulous fish shops will tell you a Betta can be kept in an unheated tank. Maybe spouting some baloney about central heating or placing a lamp over the tank. This is rubbish. Unless you keep the heater in your house set at 25 C/77 F (which is insanely hot!) your room is too cold, and Bettas are very sensitive to both cold water and, crucially, cold air (because they breathe air). So check the thermostat, and if necessary, turn the heater up. Cold Bettas become lethargic, their fins become clamped, they stop eating, and before long infections get hold of them, including Finrot.>
I also have Marcel CopperSafe medication should i treat both tanks?
<See above. Neither fish seems to have any obvious disease beyond stress, so my diagnosis would be environmental. Review; correct; wait for nature to take its course. Adding medications for Finrot or Fungus without fixing the environmental cause is pointless.>
Can i use these two treatments together? If so how much of each? I have attached photos of my Bettas and the treatments i have I'm urgently seeking a response in fear my fish will die soon thank u so much for reading this.
<Let me direct you to some reading:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/bettadiseases.htm
Aside from that summary, Bob's electronic book is probably the best $6 you'll spend if you're serious about keeping Bettas long term. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Blind crosshatch trigger - Urgent      1/12/17
Hello
<Sandip>
I've been an avid and appreciative fan of your website and its direct and sage advice for over 10 years.
<Glad to hear you like our site. Thanks for choosing WetWeb>
This is my first question to you. Sorry for the urgency.
<No worries. Hopefully I have responded in time>
I have a crosshatch trigger that has been in my tank for about 3.5 years direct from LFS and seemed happy until it slowly seems to have lost its sight to the point in the last few days it stays hidden in different spots than its favorite spot and when it comes out it is bumping into everything and is not eating (I hand feed it).
<What have you been feeding? Any thoughts as too what happened? Did you witness any trauma?>
I'm very concerned. It used to really enjoy the MP 60's and swim in front and the full length and width of the tank (78x36x28). Last few days it tries but knocks into everything including corals and glass. It is starting to look banged up.
<Yikes>
I've thought of catching and setting up in a portable hospital tank but I am concerned of over stressing and don't know what to medicate. I have a 3 ft long 35 gallon hospital tank.
<I would QT as soon as possible in an empty tank, i.e. no decorations or
excessive rock work. This will prevent further injury>
My mainly SPS 340 gallon display tank has been running for about 4.5 years.
Some fish and coral and water were transferred from by 90 gallon mixed reef set up for 9 years. I also have an 80 gallon refugium with Chaetomorpha, 60 gallon sump, 80 gallon frag tank all plumbed into same system.
<Sounds like a nice setup>
I QT and medicate all fish entering my tank for 4 weeks minimum (PraziPro and Cupramine) and make sure the fish are eating well before they are introduced to the DT. About two years ago I pulled out the trigger to a 90 gallon QT and feed it medicated food hoping it would clear up one of its eyes that appeared cloudy. I ended up keeping it there for 7-8 weeks and the eye didn't get better. So I returned it to the DT hoping for the best.
<So it sound like this problem started a few years ago? If you dosed for eight weeks, the eye should've gotten better if it were a disease or infection. Could be an issue with the fish that it was born with or had some sort of physical trauma beyond repair>
Water parameters: Alkalinity 7.5-8.5, calcium 350-450, magnesium 1350-1450, nitrates 6 ppm, phosphates 0.16 ppm, temp 76-80 (winter and summer), salinity 1.025-1.026.
<Sounds like the water is fine>
Water changes with regularly maintained RODI every 7-10 days 10 percent of total water volume. I vacuum the substrate in the DT when I do a water change. On average 1/2 to 3/4 of substrate in the DT. About 80-100 lbs of
live rock with some very large colonies of SPS. I use a calcium reactor and Kalkwasser stirrer and have started dosing Randy's baked baking soda for magnesium. I have also started to supplement with calcium chloride after each water change. I use a large skimmer. I occasionally use carbon in a high flow sump area until I replace monthly when I'm using.
<All sounds good>
The only time I've ever medicated my tank was about a year ago with sentinel (3 treatments a week apart) to get rid of red bugs. It was successful and I didn't notice any ill effects on the fish or coral.
Snails were fine but I certainly lost as expected a lot of micro fauna.
The trigger has generally been in apparent good health and has not had any symptoms of disease. Eyesight is the only thing that has gradually gone and more rapidly in the last few months. Now to the point I'm very concerned as the fish won't even accept food when it is held directly in front of its mouth (last few days).
<Is it not accepting the food, or is it not seeing the food? It could be battling some other type of disease on top of the blindness>
Trigger was almost 4 inches when I got and is about 7 inches now. I hand feed him daily Selcon soaked squid and scallops and the tank is fed New Life Spectrum pellets 6 times a day on auto feeder. I hand feed to the tank Spirulina and other flake food and Nori every 3 days. He doesn't eat the other food as he cant see it (this has been in the last few months, prior to that he would eat everything.)
<Keep trying to hand feed. You might try soaking the food in garlic as well. This should help>
None of the other fish bother him except for a captive bred male percula clown fish if trigger ventures too close to his space. Other fish in tank (and size in inches): purple tang (6), yellow tang (5), regal tang (7), powder blue (4.5), two dwarf angels and a majestic angel (4). Also Mandarin, Shrimp goby, two Banggai cardinals, a leopard wrasse (5), and a
pair of captive bred clownfish and a skunk clown with a bubble tip anemone.
<All sounds good. The tangs may be bullying the trigger. I'm surprised you haven't had a problem with all of them yet>
Lighting is 250 w de MH fixtures with a couple of T5's and 3 ReefBrite LED's.
<Sounds good>
Thanks for reading through this lengthy email and look forward to your advice.
Sandip
<Sandip, it sounds like your Trigger experienced some sort of physical trauma that can't be helped by medication, as it isn't an infection or disease. I suggest you either put it in QT or make room in another tank for it. Use minimal rock and decorations. Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do for the blindness, but you can prevent more injury due to bumps and bruises by moving it. Again, minimize decorations so there is less to bump into. Let me know if you have any more questions. Cheers, Gabe><<Perhaps Thiaminase poisoning here. RMF>>

Chaetomorpha and Hospital Tank     1/11/17
Hello-
Quick question, is it OK to use macroalgae, e.g.; Chaetomorpha in a hospital tank secured by an algae clip, for example during a Cupramine treatment?
<Mmm; no... the algae... most biota will "complex" the copper, other med.s as well... And the copper will kill the algae>

I realize that it's recommended to only use inert substances in a hospital tank, and macroalgae, isn't considered inert, however, I was wondering if it might be an exception?
<No; not at all. IF you were feeding it... and removing the part the animals didn't consume; that might work out. But I would not leave algae in a treatment tank>
The only purpose of having it in the hospital tank would be to help keep the nitrates in check beyond water changes.
<Mmm; better to keep switching out pre-cycled media... like filter pads, sponge filters... along w/ dilution from the water changes>
I would never move the macroalgae out of the hospital tank to the display tanks.
Thanks, John
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Chaetomorpha and Hospital Tank     1/11/17
Perfect Bob, that was my gut thought, but I wanted to check with the experts to be sure! Thanks again.
<Glad to share w/ you John. BobF>

Green nepthea coral... Nephthea newbie     1/11/17
Hi. I just bought my first coral, a green nepthea, today.
<Oooohh, am hoping this is a cultured specimen. Otherwise, not a beginner, or even moderately advanced aquarist choice>
After acclimating it and placing it in the tank, I realize I have several general questions that I haven't been able to find the answer to. The guy at the LFS said to stick it in a hole in the live rock, which I did (it was not attached to anything). It fit perfectly, but now I am wondering will it be able to grow rounder or will it be squished because it's in a small
hole?
<IF it lives (doubtful), this genus can grow out, over such spaces...
Needs... good water quality, additions to feed zooxanthellae...>
Also, the current causes it to hit or sway against the live rock behind it.
Will this irritate it, damage it, or cause it not to thrive because it's polyps won't open?
<Needs moderate... non-linear (i.e. chaotic) water movement; or a regimen of current changes (four) per day.. I STRONGLY encourage your studying re this soft coral. In fact, I urge you to return it for something much more
likely to live. See.... WWM, the Net, books... Re.>
Thank you so much for your time and help.
Trish
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nitrite : 0.025-0.05ppm
Nitrite : 0.05 - 1ppm
<Again>

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

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

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

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

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

Re: Assisted Living Community Tank(RMF, you're the Goldfish expert here!)
<<Two caputs are better than solo! B>>    1/10/17

Well yeah the cookie cutter thing was a different site. Sorry I get quite in depth in research sometimes and get completely lost on where it came from occasionally. Stocking. What African cichlid fish to put in this massive piece of glass to get the most bang for the buck...most color and most movement.
<<Hello Jacob. I will throw some general advice out here. When it comes to situations like retirement homes, hospitals and community centres, some thought has to be given with regard to maintenance. Some weeks the fish "carer" will be away for vacations, or move to another job, or be too busy to check the tank. It's a good idea to plan around the "worst case scenario" so that the fish don't suffer and the tank doesn't look unsightly. So while fish tanks can/do work great in this situation, I'd tend to recommend the tougher species that will tolerate things like high nitrate levels (inevitable in water changes are missed). I'd also choose adaptable species that don't require any particular water chemistry to do well (another thing difficult to manage, especially for beginners). Why mention all of this? Because Mbuna are quite demanding fish, and if the tank is somewhat less than perfectly monitored, what you tend to end up with is the hardier species, often hybridising, and resulting in a rather dull tank of indifferent looking fish. Mbuna need low nitrate and high hardness, so one question is how often will water changes be done? Another is what's your water chemistry, and do you need to add buffering salts to raise hardness? Not saying Mbuna aren't an option, but will stress they're not anything like a zero-maintenance option. So, with all this in mind, what might work nicely? A couple of definite options are cyprinids and characins, both of which tend to be more tolerant of nitrate (and "old" water generally) than Mbuna and other cichlids. On the cyprinid front, don't neglect Goldfish! Big, hardy, colourful, and out-of-the-box interested in human beings, these are true pet fish that provide countless hours of engagement to those sitting in front of the tank. A 200-gallon tank is an amazing volume of water, and would allow, say, 6-8 specimens of top-quality Goldfish to reach a very healthy adult size. The varieties on offer are amazing, personal favourites of mine including the Yellow Goldfish (which looks more like a giant golden barb than anything else) and the classic Black Moor (probably the toughest fancy variety in the trade, easily able to coexist with indoor strains). With 200 gallons Shubunkins really come into their own, their mishmash of colours working really well if kept as a big school on their own. Turning to characins, quite a few of the old favourites are tough as nails. A school of Anostomus anostomus for example is unlike anything else in the hobby, and with 200 gallons you could keep a big group without squabbling, and get to enjoy them differently to those of us who have to keep just one (which is what I have to do!). They get along great with robust catfish as well as active schooling fish like Columbian Tetras or Buenos Aires Tetra that have plenty of colour and movement. Again, a big tank provides space enough for big groups. Both Goldfish and the hardy tetras are adaptable with regard to water chemistry, making them especially easy fish to keep. Just some thoughts, anyway! Cheers, Neale.>>

Substrate for my fresh Water refugium    1/10/17
The
<The? Is there previous correspondence?>
substrate is made of organic potting mix (no fertilizers, at least as written on a bag)
<I'd be testing... by soaking, perhaps boiling a teaspoon or two in some water... testing the liquid>
- about 2 inch thick,
<?! This is a BUNCH of material; too likely to "float out"... a mess. I'd be mixing the soil with fine gravel...>

.5 inch of fine gravel op top of soil and 1-1.5 inch of smooth white sand (not aragonite) Do you have a tip,
<A tip? I'd be doing more searching here... on WWM, the Krib... Diana Walstad's works; maybe Takashi Amano. What you have done here so far?... Not viable>

I set up a fresh water refugium for plants and fry. I bought a bag of organic potting mix from Menards and put it in the middle chamber and it just floats.
<Oh yes; assuredly>
Above is from a blog I got from your site and read the same from others.
<Can't tell what is lifted without quotation marks, notes... Maybe have someone else read what you send out ahead of time to assure it makes sense.
Bob Fenner> 

Assisted Living Community Tank     1/9/17
Hope this e-mail finds y'all well. I am setting up a 220g (72"x24"x30") tank at a senior assisted living community that I work at in one of our memory care/activity centers as studies have shown the benefits of aquarium stimulation in seniors with dementia.
<Sure helps me>
The aquarium will house African Cichlids. Equipment on the aquarium will be: two 36" LED lights, two Fluval FX6 canister filters, two 500w titanium heaters with thermostats. First question with equipment, would a Hydor or
two be beneficial or not?
<Hydor is a manufacturer... they make quite a few products. I'll guess you're referring to their in-tank pumps... The answer here is yes; I'd use these>

Second the Lifegard external heater chambers, would they work, any experience with them and are they worth it?
<Mmm; can work... Am not a fan of most Lifegard products... not well engineered or manufactured (my opinion, history); IF you don't need to use external heater holders, I wouldn't. Instead, I'd place two two hundred plus wattage submersibles down near the bottom in the back corners. Folks won't see the cords, and the likelihood of air exposure (w/o turning off) and breaking is minimal>
Moving on. The aquarium will have approximately 200lbs of cichlid sand (white), 100-150lbs of lace rock, stacked in two separate piles one larger than the other (in theory anyways, we all know how much rock work gets moved) set on egg crate and possibly glued, and Black painted background.
The goal is to have as much color and movement as the aquarium would allow with all stated above equipment. Number of fish and direction is where I tap out.
<Okay!>
Thank you guys and girls in advance for your response. I am really striving to get this aquarium as right as I can for the benefit of our residents and their families.
Jacob
<Please send along pix when you're about done Jacob. Bob Fenner>
Re: Assisted Living Community Tank     1/9/17

Wow that was a quick response. Yes the Hydor I am referring to would be the in tank Koralia.
<Oh. Yes>
I will most definitely send pictures upon completion.
<Thx>
Tank was just ordered so another 2-4 weeks for glass and stand/canopy to come in. I've looked at some of the cookie cutter guides and well they just don't go to 220, unless I'm not looking right.
<?>
And I don't want to start just doubling, tripling, etc. because I know it doesn't always work that way.
<What?>
So I guess that's where I'm needing a little more assistance/guidance.
<With what? B>

Re: Identifying Knifefish     1/8/17
Thanks for getting back to me Neal,
<Welcome.>
I really appreciate it! I looked at the brown ghost knife and he does look similar however the stripe that runs down the body starting at the mouth is not the same on him. He has a very light line but it doesn't start until the back of his head and it doesn't run down his entire body to the tail.
<So I think we can agree he's related to Apteronotus leptorhynchus, if not quite that species.>
Also his coloring is definitely different than the brown ghost knife. He is black/grey with white splotches down the bottom half of his body. As you said he is pretty large and his width is 4 inches and he's about 11 inches.
I have him in a community tank right now because I started a new tank for him but I'm in the middle of cycling it right now and I don't want to put them in it until it's done cycling so he's in with smaller fish and he's very peaceful with them except sometimes they won't leave him alone going in his cave so sometimes he uses his head to ram them out.
<Standard operating procedure for most electric fish, to be honest!>
I also saw him open his mouth once and it's huge!
<Do please check Gymnotus as well as Apteronotus; the two are fairly similar in body shape, though their tails are different. Gymnotus has a big, big mouth -- as befits a confirmed fish-eater. Gymnotus also tend to be territorial and aggressive, which doesn't sound much like your chap, but on the other hand, a variety of Gymnotus species are commonly traded, most of which lack common names.>
I was wondering if it's at all possible that he's a hybrid?
<Possible.>
Would different species of knife fish spawn in the wild?
<Yes, but it's uncommon for all sorts of reasons. Still, it does happen.
What is more likely is a related but different species of Apteronotus, or a subspecies of Apteronotus leptorhynchus even.>
I know most don't care for the company of each other but he looks so different than any I've seen. His head kind of looks like a dinosaur.
Thanks again for helping me out with this!
Jessica
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Identifying Knifefish; now fdg.      1/8/17

Neal, thanks for such a quick reply. So I have one more question. I feed him live black worms which he happily slurps up. Is there any other foods I can give him?
<Definitely needs more variety than this! I'd be looking at earthworms and gut-loaded river shrimp as staples, and if he takes frozen foods as well, such as krill or Spirulina-enriched brine shrimp, that'd be great.>
Sometimes I have given him blood worms but I know they shouldn't be a everyday food. I won't do feeder fish as they carry parasites but what if I breed guppy's or something similar for him to eat or is this unnecessary?
<In theory home-bred Guppies are safe, but in fact not necessary, if for no other reason they're more likely to encourage him to view fish as food, which could cause problems for tankmates. In the wild Apteronotus are more
micro-predators than anything else, and benthic invertebrates such as insect larvae are probably their main food. They do have substantial appetites though, so do keep an eye on how rounded his belly looks.
Slightly convex is what you're after, rather than bloated, but shouldn't be concave either.>
I just want to give him what he needs and deserves.
<Understood and he looks a great fish! Big adult Apteronotus are impressive, and intelligent, animals that make rewarding pets. They can become quite tame, and electric fish often become rather quirky as they settle in, with distinct personalities. At least some species have brain to body weight ratios similar to mammals, suggesting a high level of intelligence, by fish standards, anyway. Cheers, Neale.>

Inclusion on the MarLinks page     1/8/17
Hi there WWM Crew,
<Al>
My name's Al, I absolutely love this hobby and have a website, SaltwaterAquariumBlog.com. It's been around since 2009. I was hoping you'd be willing to link to it from your MarLinks page. Can you let me know the best way to do that?
<I will talk to our founder, Bob Fenner, and have him get back to you about this>
I've linked out to WWM for years from my Resources Page, you were my go-to resource when I first got started in the hobby.
<Glad to hear you are a fan of the site. Thanks for the publicity!>
No big deal if you can't link out, but I figured no harm in asking. I hope all is well with you and please let me know if there is ever anything I can do to help.
Regards,
Al Ulrich
Saltwater Aquarium Blog
<I will have Bob get hold of you and see if we can work something out to help you. Cheers, Gabe>
Re: Inclusion on the MarLinks page     1/8/17

<Thank you for your efforts Al; will add today. Bob Fenner>
Email 1/7     1/8/17

Hi Bob-
This is Gabe from the crew. I responded to an email tonight 1/7 about possibly adding a link to a blog to our site. I am going to move the message to your folder so you can see it. I told the sender that you would contact him since you were in charge :)
Thanks-
Gabe Walsh, WWM Crew
<Thanks Gabe. Have responded; will add today. BobF>

Lawnmower Blenny behavior     1/8/17
First off, thanks for all you do! I find a lot of my answers here, but I haven't been able to find this one. I have a very animated lawnmower blenny that seems to do push ups whenever I approach the tank. He is eating well, is very active and just silly! Is this a normal behavior in these fish?
<Ah yes; have seen Salarias, Atrosalarias et al. blenny species doing this in the wild as well. It seems to be related to the presence of conspecifics; some sort of signaling of their presence (as blenny territories are at times, right adjacent to each other); perhaps territorial or sexual in nature>
Have a blessed day!
<Always. Bob Fenner>

Betta PopEye question     1/8/17
Hi,
<Howdy!>
I have a juvenile Crowntail Betta in a 10 gallon aquarium, whom I "rescued" about a month ago from Wal-Mart where he sat in very dirty water for who knows how long. He's about 1.5 inches long and lives on his own. The aquarium has a heater, a filter stacked with a foam sponge and ceramic media, an air stone, and some silk plants. I change some of
the water once a week. The water temperature is 80 F, the pH is 7, and the nitrite level is 0. I feed him small pellets and occasionally a shrimp log. (He was not interested in live ghost shrimp, which I tried to give him for a protein boost.)
<Mmm; Ghost Shrimp? Likely much too large...>
He already had bilateral PopEye when I rescued him, though one side was (and still is) noticeably more swollen than the other, and for the past month I've tried various treatments to fix it.
<Just good conditions and nutrition... Your good care, will likely solve these issues in time>
At first I was hopeful clean water would suffice and that he would heal on his own, but after his first two weeks and there was no change, I then tried aquarium salt (following the advice of Dr Martin Brammah, author of The Betta Bible), which seemed to soften the edges of his swollen eyes a little but didn't do much else, and then put him in QT with a full course of tetracycline.
Nothing has solved his problem yet, and now his worse eye appears cloudy, so the condition seems to be worsening instead of improving.
<Mmm; I might try Epsom...>
After searching through your site's articles and FAQs, I am prepared to try a double-strength dose of Jungle's "Fungus Clear" and 2 TBSP Epsom salt three times in 5 days with small daily water changes. My questions are: (1) Do I need to replace the aquarium salt water with plain water before starting Epsom salts or can they be combined?
<I'd dilute the present salt content by half or so first... Through a water change or two>
(2) Should I do the double-strength dose of Fungus Clear three times in 5 days as well, or does the "three times in 5 days" only apply to the Epsom salts?
<IF you use the Fungus Clear, only dose three times, do NOT triple dose. If it were me/mine, I'd just the Epsom>
(3) Do I need to QT him for this combined treatment or can I keep him in his display tank?
<Best to leave, treat in the display tank>
and (4) When should I expect to see improvement, to know
if I then need to move on to something like Chloramphenicol or Oxytetracycline?
<I'd shy away from using these antibiotics. They rarely do much/any good in these circumstances, and can do real harm. >
Thank you so much!
-Elle J.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Injured/damaged Ghost Glass Cats     1/8/17
To whom this may concern
We have a 55g tank. In this tank we have 2 bigger Angel fish, with one smaller/ younger one. Including 3 ghost glass catfish. One of the catfish appears to be missing the lower lip now. With a cotton white puffy area in place. We think the bigger Angel fish might have attacked him.
<It's possible... or the fish may have "bumped" into something hard>
Not sure what we can do. Any suggestions would help. Don't want to loose the fish.
<Ghost Glass Catfish are generally very tough, capable of recovery on their own given time, good circumstances (propitious water quality and nutrition). Unless you see the Angels harassing them, I'd leave all as is in this setting. Bob Fenner>
re: To whom this may concern     1/8/17

We lost the fish shortly after sending the email. Thank you for your time
<Thank you for this update. This IS Kryptopterus correct? There are other species of Siluriform fishes with this common name. Again; I've handled thousands of these over the years, had friends who used the species for
research (they can detect the planet's dipole moment)... Best to keep in a small school; if few specimens, an odd number... 3, 5, 7.
I would not be discouraged by the anomalous loss of one specimen. Bob Fenner>

 

Re Identifying Knifefish    1/7/17
Hi guys, so awhile back I had sent you guys some pics of my knife fish but unfortunately they were too blurry but finally I got some good shots and uploaded them to Imgur. I'm really hoping you can tell me what he(she) is since I have spent countless hours on the internet and talking to others in the hobby. Hope to hear from you soon.
Jessica
https://imgur.com/gallery/4e7WE
<Not 100% sure, but think that this is Apteronotus leptorhynchus, also known as the Brown Ghost Knifefish. Basic care identical to the Black Ghost Knifefish, but looks a bit different and only gets to about 30 cm in length. But does have a similar beaky-sort of face to the Black Ghost. Does the fish have a pale band running along its back? If so, definitely
Apteronotus leptorhynchus. Has the 'flag like' tail fin of Apteronotus species though, and looks to be a fairly big fish, which again accords with Apteronotus. By contrast Gymnotus species have tails that taper to an almost needle-like point. Let me direct you again to Fishbase, the Apteronotidae species list, which has photos at top and also a list of
species with standard lengths at the bottom. Should help you.
http://www.fishbase.org/identification/specieslist.php?famcode=545&areacode=
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Have treated for Camallanus but still have signs    1/7/17
Hello again, So I finished my last treatment of Levamisole on about the 19th, I had treated my fry tank at the same time I have 7 that are 4 months old and 1 that is 5 months. The adults are doing well, but I am concerned about the fry. They were fine before the treatment, no symptoms, happy, swimming, eating etc. they were born in the infected tank so I wanted to be safe. Now they have clear poop, they are still eating normally and not all of them have it. What happened, did I upset their intestines or are they actually infested?
<I'd guess more likely the former. I would cease treatments with Anthelminthics>
P.S. My platy that had the ich passed away Christmas morning. Luckily none of my other fish ever got sick.
<Bob Fenner>

Re: Sixline Wrasse Pair    1/7/17
Thanks for the reply Gabe!
<My pleasure, Jason>
I really do enjoy reading the website and learning, just ask my wife.
<Haha! I believe you>
You are correct that is was never my intention to put the Red Coris in the 40 due to their eventual size and the fact they would eat what I have in the tank.
<Glad to hear it. The Coris would've demolished everything it could>
Based off of your comment about the tang do you think it would be ok in the 40 at least till I make room in one of my 75g if not long term, I know 40 is small when it comes to tangs.
<The tang should be in a 75 or larger as you already know. It really depends on how long it will take to get the 75 gallon ready. How big is the QT tank that it is currently in?>
I can't really move the Singapore right now as it was originally intended for the 75g till the 135 could be setup but the Powder Blue Tang that is in there didn't take too kindly to his presence which isn't unexpected and I'm not sure the Singapore is big enough at 3 inches for the 5-6 inch Rhinopias that is in my other 75G.
<You really need to find a tank for the angel. You might have to move some other things around to find it a home.>
I know some of the animals I have are in too small of a tank but IME they should be fine in the short term and took advantage of acquiring healthy individuals.
<It pains me to admit it, but I have kept large fish in small tanks as well. It really depends on the health of the fish, how happy it is and how it behaves in the tank. Some species do better than others in small(er) tanks.>
Thanks again! Jason
<The pleasure is all mine, Jason. Write us any time you need help, and let me know if you have any further questions. Cheers, Gabe>

60G Questions. Mainly stocking      1/6/17
Good morning and happy new year!
I have a variety of questions for you today. I have a shallow 60G tank, but it's an Innovative Marine with the rear alley overflow thus my display area is a shallow 46G with a little more surface area than usual. Tank has been up and running since Nov 25th, my Ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrite has not fluctuated off of zeros since setup. I may have gotten lucky on the liverock that the store claimed had been cycling for 6 weeks, but I would have anticipated at least a little bump at some point. I've had a Rippled Coral Goby in the tank with 10 snails and 10 hermits since Dec 6th (3 or 4
hermit casualties, everyone else doing fine), I added a pair of clowns on Dec 17th, and a cleaner shrimp and Feather Duster on Dec 23rd. I plan on maintaining that stock for awhile (aside from adding crabs/snails, maybe a banded serpent star).
<Watch (read re) these last three... their presence/use in marine aquaria is over-rated>
I had a small diatom algae bloom that I've worked out quickly with a new protein skimmer and RO/DI water, and now I'm seeing encrusting algae start-up. Questions:
1. I have 2-3" of aragonite with a little crushed coral. A number of people on forums indicate this is going to be a major issue for me in a few months with nitrate pockets. I can see a few pockets through the glass. Is this in fact going to be a problem?
<Not likely; no. Too shallow substrates involves a bunch of urban myth... That being said, deeper is better>
I have three Nassarius snails that disturb the top 2" and I figured this would be a good way to maintain the sand. Am I doing fine, or do I need to make adjustments?
<No>
Also, I love Nassarius snails can I add more or at some point would the snails starve - I'm making the sandsifting star comparison here that require adequate sand surface area.
<I'd stick with what you have>
2. Stocking. I'm looking into additional livestock 6-8 weeks down the road.
I'm considering a Royal Gramma or maybe a Cherub Angel (reef safe?).
<Yes>
Given my livestock, I wonder if you have any livestock suggestions for a feature fish, or critters I may not have thought of that would be ideal for a coral environment in the coming months. I've had Jawfish and Firefish before, might consider... have no real interest in cardinals. Any suggestions? I'm thinking any Tang wouldn't be an ideal situation due to tank size.
<I could/would refer you to archives on WWM re stocking this size,, type of tank... Bob Fenner>
Dave
Re: 60G Questions     1/6/17

Understand, but I was hoping for "Bob Fenner's favorite feature 60g fish"
:)
<Heee heee heee! But there are so many! Am a big/ger fan of smaller Apogonids; in a small grouping; perhaps a captive produced (easier-going) Pseudochromid... A Gobiosoma for further interest and cleaning.
BobF>

Sixline Wrasse Pair     1/6/17
Hope your having a good night Bob.
<Hi Jason... This is Gabe>
I have a few questions for you tonight involving a pair of Sixline wrasse I have in my 40G breeder tank. When I bought them they were in the same tank and I watched them for about 20 minutes and saw zero chasing nor any aggression between them and decided to buy them hoping they might be a bonded pair.
<Possibly a bonded pair. Did you talk to the people at the LFS? They may be able to confirm this>
The larger one is about 2 1/2-3 inches and the smaller one about 1 1/2-2 inches and they have been in there together for about 3 weeks. There still is no aggression nor any chasing and they often swim near each other.
<Sounds good>
The both eat well and pick thru the live rock. In the tank with them is a
fat 3 inch Singapore Angel that will get moved in the next few months,
<This angelfish will need to be moves as soon as you can. Singapore Angels should be in tanks of 120 gallons or larger>
a tuxedo urchin,
<Be aware that Sixlines enjoy picking at Urchins. It is one of their favorite live foods>
two large peppermint shrimp, some Xenia, some mushrooms, Tongue coral, and some Duncan's. There is also zero aggression between the wrasses and the Angel.
<This is good, but the angel will still need to be moved regardless of how happy it is now.>
Do you think they may be a pair and stay relatively peaceful towards one another or do you think they will eventually fight with one another?
<I can't honestly say for sure. I have personally kept pairs of Sixlines in the past but only because I can confirm with the wholesaler that they are a pair. Only time will tell. If you do notice any aggression at all, you should move one of them.>
Do you think removing the Angel could change the dynamics between the wrasses?
<It could, but I don't think it is likely>
After removing the Angel I would like to add something else but don't want to chance changing the dynamics between the two Sixlines, any thoughts?
<It is up to you. You can pick and choose specimens that you want, and experiment with what works and what doesn't>
I have a juvenile red Coris wrasse around 2 1/2 inches
<Not reef safe or invert safe. They will eat your corals and the peppermint shrimp>
and a 2 1/2 inch Ctenochaetus binotatus in separate quarantine tanks right now.
<The tang could work with the wrasses>
Do you think the Singapore Angel, juvenile red Coris wrasse, and Ctenochaetus binotatus would be ok together in a 55G until I set up the 6ft 135G I have in the garage or should I leave in quarantine until the 135G is setup which might take up to 6 months from now?
<I see now... You weren't planning on putting the Coris wrasse in the 40 gallon. My bad. If you think it is going to take you six months to set up the tank, I would definitely leave the two in quarantine. It would be better for them both>
Thanks in advance for any and all help and advice. I really appreciate the hard work you and your team do to keep this website up and running with the valuable information it contains. Have a great night! Jason
<Thanks for using WetWeb, Jason. Feel free to contact us again if you have any further questions. Cheers, Gabe>

Potamotrygon, bacterial involvement?     1/6/17
I am trying to find out if Potamotrygon species of stingrays can be infected by Columnaris.
<Mmm; yes... I think so. Try the string, "Potamotrygon and Flavobacterium columnare" and you'll find a few "scholarly articles" linking the two>
A friend recently had new pups appx 7 days ago and now these white spots/patches have randomly started to appear on them. I have treated Columnaris on Scats and cichlids for other bacterial and fungal issues topically with Methylene Blue with great success, but not sure if this would be OK with Stingrays.
<Methylene Blue should be safe; though I don't know how effective>
I also breed them but have never had this issue. Any help would be appreciated, I do have a couple pics he sent.
<I'd do your best to produce and maintain "high quality" water; of low total bacteria count... I.e., massive water changes with soft, acidic new water frequently; over-filtered, uber-aerated... And optimized nutrition.
Bob Fenner>

Hyper-Aggressive Male Molly     1/5/17
Hello!
<Hello Caitlin,>
I've been keeping and raising molly fish for years now, but suddenly two weeks ago the two male mollies I had in my tank started displaying incredibly aggressive behavior towards each other and my (at the time) lone female molly in the tank. She ended up getting pregnant (as mollies do) and the day she gave birth to four or five fry, the two males began fighting each other pretty viciously. Before the fry were born, neither male had ever shown any aggression to one another or any other fish- they were both born in the tank, have lived there in peace for almost three years now- so
it was a shock to see them behaving so out of the ordinary. After reading up about their behavior thanks to the amazing information your website was able to provide, I decided to add in more female mollies (something I was and am reluctant to do as I will likely be moving sometime soon, and I didn't want to have to move so many fish over four hours up the road) but when I did add the new females in, a larger Dalmatian molly and two smaller gold dusts, one of the male mollies started very viciously attacking the two smaller gold dust mollies to the point where I was sure he was going to
kill them.
<Understood. When adding extra fish to the system, there's a "getting to know you" period where existing fish jostle for position with the newcomers, establishing a pecking order. It can help to remove pre-existing territorial Mollies, rearrange rocks and plants so the tank looks new, introduce the new Mollies, turn out the lights, and an hour later, add the original Mollies. With luck, the tank will look new to all the Mollies, the lights being out will trick them into sleepy time, and by the next morning, peace will reign. Doesn't always work, but it often does.>
Taking more advice from WWM, I put him in an emergency backup tank for three days to try and get him to calm down (the only breeding box I have is being used for the recent fry), but when he was reintroduced to the tank he immediately began attacking the two smaller females again and fighting with the other male. I pulled him back out into timeout for the safety of all involved, but I'm really not sure what else I can do to keep him from attacking the two gold dust females.
<See above; if that fails, can you rehome him?>
He completely ignores the other two bigger female mollies in the tank, and when he attacks the gold dusts it doesn't seem to be with any mating intent; he often pins one against the bottom or side of the tank and, for lack of a description, seems to spasm and body slam them into the gravel and tank walls or bites at their sides and tails when they flinch or try
and run away, though he never seems to be trying to mate with them because his anal fin never moves to "do the deed", as it were. The tank itself is 33 gallons, with a pH level of 7.5, nitrite and nitrate at slightly above zero (though I'll be doing a water change and cleaning almost immediately after I send this question), with no traces of chlorine and fairly high hardness and alkalinity. There are three other fish in my tank: one Glass Catfish, one Zebra Danio (both of which are only alone because I received the glass catfish from a neighbor who was moving and only had the one left,
and the zebra Danio is the last survivor of five- they're actually almost ten years old, now), and one Chinese Algae Eater (who, after reading up on them on your website, I may not have for much longer. Didn't do my research on that one). Do you have any other advice for calming a male molly's aggression, or any ideas why both males so suddenly became aggressive? I'm thinking of upping the female-to-male ratio to 3:1, as it likely should be, but I don't want to add more females into the tank if he's going to ignore them, like the others, and just focus on the two gold dusts again. The
other male in my tank displays none of the killing-aggression of the one I removed, and everything calmed down very quickly after I pulled out the problem one. I really wouldn't want to get rid of him, but I'd like to know if there's any hope of returning him to my main tank or if I should go shopping for another. Thank you for any help you can provide! -- Cj
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re Anaerobic poisoning event possibility     1/5/17
Dear Bob (and other Crew),
Thank you for taking the time to go through my email and respond. I wanted to give you an update as well get your (or other Crew Members) insight into what I feel is abnormal.
<Please do>
I figured that if in the event I had in fact released anaerobic poisoning upon my tank, that there would most likely be an influx of ammonia as well cause by the death of the bacteria.
<Mmm; not necessarily... could be just H2S or...>

As the closest actual fish store is 60 miles away, and my test kit being expired, my only option at 6am in the morning when I got off work was to get dip strips from my local Wal-Mart.
I promptly returned home after getting the strips and did a quick test.
Not the most accurate, I know, but it did show there to be ammonia in the water.
<Some? And this could be transient... The ammonia could have largely left>

Taking into consideration what I learned in the past, I did a 25% water change, added more AmQuel+, and threw an air stone in hooked up to my large air pump because I figured maybe there may have been some oxygen deprivation going on as well.
<Might be>
The odd thing about all this is: I have read, seen, and heard that, for the most part, invertebrates are incredibly sensitive to dramatic swings within the tank. Obviously almost everything is, just that normally you can see issues in inverts sooner than in the fish.
<Mmm; "invertebrates" is a large/broad category. MANY groups are quite resistant to such pollution... Tis where they live>
I forgot to mention in my last email that besides the mini carpet anemones, there are 4 1.5 diameter Top Crown Snails, a serpent star that from tip of one leg to tip of another is about 10, and 3 Cerith Snails I never even knew were in the tank until now. All of these seem to be completely unaffected. In fact, when I got home this morning the snails were on the glass eating, and the serpent was out playing cleanup crew.
It just seems so odd to me that the fish took such a catastrophic turn for the worse, and the inverts did not.
<Again; not unusual>
Im having a hard time wrapping my head around this. Have you any ideas?
For all intents and purposes, in my mind, the tank should be pretty much devoid of life, except maybe the microscopic type. There still seems to be plenty of worms in the sand bed, and they all seem to be alive (when I shined a light on them they retracted with haste), though I am not seeing much for gas bubbles like I have in the past, but I am guessing
inadequate. Many of my Koralia's died and I am down to the return from the C-530 and a couple 600gph Koralia's. I'm looking at getting a Jebao wavemaker, but have not made a decision yet. Anyway, it would seem that all is not lost, though I am considerably bothered at the losses I incurred. I will not be making those mistakes again. Thanks again Bob (and other Crew). I can't tell you enough how much you guys mean to us aquarists.
Regards,
Justin
<Glad we're here to help... Bob Fenner>

Re: McCosker's Wrasse - Single male or harem?       1/4/17
Hey Bob,
<Hey Angela>
Thank you so much for your speedy reply and much appreciated info/input.
<Sure>
We do indeed mean Bristletooth Tomini Tang - in your experience would you say that they are more or less peaceful than the Yellow Eye Kole Tang? And which would you recommend, if either?
<It's been my experience that all Ctenochaetus are about the same peaceful toward other fishes... some; e.g. C. striatus are more social toward their own kind>
As I stated previously, we intend on adding a Purple Tang - do you personally agree with this addition? And the joint addition of the Bristletooth Tomini Tang?
<They will likely both be fine here. I'd start with smallish specimens (three inches or so)>
Here is a tad more info on our layout - We have 60 KG of live rock scaped into two arches with big caves, so lots of
swimming space and large hiding spaces. Our sand bed is a mixed depth and ranges from 1/2 inch to 4 inches (which changes as our wave makers change movement) This is such a taboo subject these days and one which you must
get asked a lot!!! So understand if you don't wish to answer :)
<You should be fine with this arrangement. Enough water movement and substrate-moving livestock prevents most issues>
We will definatly re think the anemone if our clowns take up home in our leather toadstool (fingers crossed) - He is in a strop at the moment and is only just settling in and extending his tentacles/polyps after two weeks, poor guy got very stressed :( If they do not host him then we will look towards an LPS which can withstand their movement - any ideas would be most welcome?
<You can see the many instances of other-than-anemone symbionts recorded on WWM. Captive-produced clowns are fine without such>
Our LFS has a stunning Mc Cockers male which we are keeping our eyes on whilst researching - the plan is to put him in first (once our tank cover has arrived and been fitted) Our LFS has asked their supplier to keep their eyes open for some females - fingers crossed if they can source some we will then add two at the same time to join our male.
<This simultaneous addition is a good idea>
Am I correct in thinking that the females are much harder to identify amongst similar genus' ? If we ended up with two Carpenter Flasher Wrasse would they stay female or would one turn Male?!
<Good question. Have seen congeners form haremic associations... w/o females converting into males>
Thank you so much for your time and knowledge :)
Cheers
Angela and Shane
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: McCosker's Wrasse - Single male or harem?       1/4/17

Hey Bob,
Thanks again for your wealth of knowledge :)
Happy New Year
Angela and Shane
<And you two too. BobF>

Where are the South American aquatic epiphytes?       1/4/17
Dear WWM,
Thank you so much for being there. I am indebted to your website in my endeavour to become a better hobbyist. And so are life forms in my tank in turn.
<Thanks for the kind words.>
An inquiry: I wonder why don't we come across any commonly available aquatic epiphyte from South America like the Java Ferns and Anubias of the Old World? A quick search on the interweb returned Utricularia humboldtii - almost a force fit into this niche.
<Indeed.>
I would be grateful if you could help me with a starting point to find more, as most of the common and popular 'planted tank' sites are surprisingly silent on this. This apparent rarity feels intriguing as many environs in the two Worlds are rather similar and should present similar opportunities for species to evolve and exploit.
<The question really isn't whether amphibious or aquatic epiphytes exist in South America, but whether they get imported. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any commonly traded epiphytes similar to Anubias or Java Fern, but there
are some mosses. The North American coldwater species Fontinalis antipyretica ("Willow Moss") is fairly widely traded in the US, less so elsewhere. Fissidens fontanus ("Phoenix Moss") is another North American species, more subtropical though, and adapts better to tropical tanks than Willow Moss. Vesicularia montagnei ("Christmas Moss") is perhaps the
commonest truly South American species. Originally from Brazil, it's rarely seen in aquarium shops but more regularly available online. Then there's good old Riccia fluitans ("Crystalwort") that's been grown by hobbyists as a floating plant for decades, but can be grown attached to bogwood if a bit of effort is made to tie it down first. It's worldwide distribution justifies its inclusion in pretty much any aquarium. Finally, there's an undescribed moss known in the trade as Amblystegiaceae sp. "Manaus", usually traded as South American Moss or Queen Moss. It's rather rare and expensive, but popular with the Amano Aquarium crowd. Frankly, all these mosses look very similar to me, so if Java Moss was the only thing on sale near you, I'd have no qualms using it as a "stand in" for a true South American moss. But that's just me!>
Best wishes and regards
Devakalpa
<Epiphytes are not really the quintessential South American biotope. Most of the tetras and cichlids we keep come from the seasonally flooded forest areas (which is why South American exports are strongly seasonal, generally August to December). So if you want something truly Amazonian, perhaps thinking about evoking a flooded forest is the way to go. Lots of sunken wood, silica sand substrate, leaf litter -- all these would be typical.
Actual greenery that grows all year around under the waterline is actually pretty uncommon except for a few lakes and such, where things like Vallisneria would be more typical. Even your classic Amazon Swordplants are marsh plants, underwater for only part of the year. Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Where are the South American aquatic epiphytes?       1/4/17

Dear Neale,
<Devakalpa,>
Thank you for the detailed response as always.
<Most welcome.>
I was not really looking for such epiphytes to sculpt an 'authentic' biotope as personally I am not a stickler for such micro level perfections.
<In which case...>
I am comfortable with equivalents like Anubias and Java Ferns primarily because they are much easier and forgiving allowing me to fuss less and devote more time to enjoy the whole aquarium.
<...do exactly this!>
My personal (mostly with S American small fishes) tank has lots of 'botanicals' like Catappa leaves, seed pods, floaters, etc. and love the more natural lightly tannin stained look. And yes, all the mosses look very similar to me too.
<Indeed!>
I was more interested to know if there were larger aquatic epiphytes with 'broader leaves' (not only the moss types) from South America and if yes, where to find a little more about them. This was not only as an aquarium hobbyist but out of general curiosity.
<So far as I know, there aren't. As I understand it, most exports of aquarium plants come from Southeast Asia, where they're either farmed or collected. Some farming goes on in Europe and elsewhere in greenhouses, but these are largely established species. Relatively few "new" plant species enter the hobby each year. Most of the "new" plants are hybrids or varieties produced on farms.>
Thanks again for your time and valuable inputs.
Regards
Devakalpa
<And to you, too. Neale.>

Bob Fenner's book       1/4/17
Hello WWM Crew
<Hey Ryan>
I am a long time fan of your website. I want to get a copy of Bob's book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist." The latest edition I can find is from 2008. Is this the most recent edition?
<Ah yes; the 2d is it>
If so are there any plans to update the book in the near future?
<Mmm; I would, but the cost of producing a third edition... I suspect is not reasonable. Will share w/ editor/publisher James Lawrence>
Are there any other resources about saltwater fish and corals that you recommend?
<Ah yes. Please see the (albeit dated) suggestions of Neale Monks here: Oh, tis just freshwater and brackish. I am constantly looking for new and old titles in the field... Bookfinder.com is a good start to see what's available; then on to the Net period for reviews. There are MANY related works; some quite technical; so feel free to write me directly re
impressions>
I have attached a picture of my shrimp and goby buddies just because.
<Nice>
Thanks and have a great day
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Ryan Moore

What Did I Do?   Reef gone; env.         1/4/17
Dear Crew,
First, as always, you all are awesome and I cant help but be eternally grateful for your time and dedication to this; …thank you, thank you, thank you! I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday season and though I am certainly not the first, I would still like to say "Happy New Year"!
<And to you and yours>
The email gets a little long, but I tried to give you as much information I could in order to help give you the most accurate picture of my situation.
<Take your time>
Much to my dismay and shame I come to you today with a problem. I had a wonderful 125g reef tank for about 4 years. Over the last year or so it slowly started to decline. For many reasons, I was unable to really take care of it and it has suffered as a result and two mini carpets and 4 fish had remained (Scopas Tang, Six-line Wrasse, Marine Betta, and a Kupang damsel). I am not proud and I wish I would have done things differently, but I cant, so Id like to do things right going forward, which is why I am writing you.
My hope was to turn the tank around and do a planted tank with a variety of macro algae. Not only did I think it would look neat with all the different varieties (with careful selection of course), maybe it could help keep my nutrients lower growing out the various algae (almost like an internal turf scrubber but prettier), could potentially be a food source
for fish that are inclined, or a refuge for pod growing. Obviously you all know how many benefits (and possible pitfalls) macros can provide.
The filter system I have been using is a Marineland C-530 (Carbon - ROX .8, ceramic beads, bio balls, and a Nitrate reducing pad), 150ish lbs of live rock, a 3" - 4" sand bed, and crazy amounts of hair algae ( I have since removed much of the algae, but I think it was dying off since it was easily siphoned out). I took my 30g sump offline about the time I was unable to care for the tank because it was undersized, the protein skimmer pump needed replacing, and it was prone to overflowing all over the floor.
I could not adjust the height of the overflow box high enough to not siphon less than 10g of tank water. With the design of the sump, the water from the tank, and the skimmer water volume, it was just too much for the sump.
<Understood>
Anyway, I set out to try and clean the tank up and give the few inhabitants left a cleaner more deserving environment. The first thing I thought I would try is the Fluval Waste Control Biological Cleaner. I did one iteration and under dosed it because of how long the tank had gone without a good cleaning and the warnings of increased ammonia and nitrite.
I saw no ill effects after 48hrs, but as a precaution I did dose the tank with AmQuel+ to detoxify anything that could be going on at that time. 72 hours later everything was still doing fine and everyone was eating and appeared healthy.
<Okay>
Yesterday afternoon I decided that I wanted to remove the "rock wall" I had as my display of live rock and actually do some aquascaping in preparation for the new environment. I started tearing into the first half of the tank and removing the rock to a prepared tote with a 60/40 mix of tank water and fresh saltwater. I realized after I had removed the first half of the rocks, that the base rocks were actually put in place before the sand bed was laid down. If I had to guess, I disturbed an area of the sand bed that was 10-12 wide, and 2 - 3ft long.
<This could be trouble>
I then started thinking I may of smelled rotten egg. I don't know if I was just being paranoid because I had just realized my mistake, or that perhaps there was some Hydrogen Sulfide gas trapped under there. I did smell over the tank, but did not notice anything. I figured there wasn't much I could do now and it was too late, so I placed those rocks in the shape I wanted back on top of the sand. When I moved on to the next half of the tank, I was very careful not to disturb any of the base rock, as I didn't want to make the same mistake. I proceeded to finish placing all my rocks and decided it was time to do a water change. By this time the water was pretty cloudy. Not in a nice-white-sand kind of cloudy, but a brown-nasty-detritus kind of cloudy.
<I so wish you have moved your livestock... to the sump, and then just dumped the tank, cleaned the rock, substrate...>
I proceeded to siphon out 40 gallons of tank water trying to get what I could off the sand without disturbing/stirring it anymore as well as stirring the "gunk" up into the water column to have the canister filter get what it could. I then replaced the 40 gallons with new fresh saltwater (same temp/salinity). I turned on the pumps and let the dust settle so
to speak.
An hour or so afterward, the water was still cloudy but I was able to see everything in the tank. The fish were out swimming and the two mini carpets that were in there were open and looked fine. I proceeded to feed everyone some mysis shrimp, which they ate, and gave it no extra thought. On my way out the door tonight (I work nights) I noticed that the Betta was out near the front glass. Normally he is a bit of a recluse, so I thought it was odd. I just figured maybe he was upset with the changes to the tank. Well, I kept thinking about it and it bothered me, so I called my wife to have her check the tank. She said that everything was dead. The tang was face down in the sand, the Kupang was laying on its side under a rock, and the Betta along with the Six-line were nowhere to be found (most likely died behind some rocks).
I wanted to check my water, but I didn't because I was on my way out the door to work, and I didn't think there was anything direly wrong at the time, and my kits are all expired over a year, and I am not sure how accurate they are.
This really devastated me because of how hard I was trying to right the wrong I caused. I was trying to do a good thing and it back fired. So now I am at a loss as to if I have now made my tank toxic and I need to scrap everything and start over, or wait to see if things settle out… however
long that may take. Can you offer me any help? Thanks again so very much Crew!
<Yes; I fully suspect the same as you hint at, that the removal of the rock triggered an anaerobic event; poisoning your livestock. As I've mentioned, moving the livestock itself would have been the route I'd gone. Alternatively, a few every week vacuuming the substrate, esp. around the rock, might have precluded these losses.>
Warmest Regards,
Justin
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Selenotoca identification help     1/3/17
Good day,
<Morning, Joel!>
A friend showed me a picture she took at a LFS some time back and what caught my eye was a marine tank which included Monodactylus spp. and Selenotoca spp. alongside damsels and other assorted marine fish.
<Indeed.>
I originally identified the scat as the more common Silver Scat (S. multifasciata) but I've never seen one at that size with so few bands and spots. Is it possible that this was a Moon Scat (S. papuensis)? I've read elsewhere on WWM that size of spots is the defining characteristic, vice number of spots, and the smaller size supports my original identification. Google has offered no help with pictures for S. papuensis. I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on this subject. Sorry for the blurry picture, hopefully it is clear enough to make an educated guess.
<It is indeed.>
Thank you again,
Joel
<Probably Selenotoca multifasciata. I've yet to see convincing Selenotoca papuensis in the aquarium trade. Some authorities maintain they are the same fish. Hard to know for sure. Variations in spots and stripes are common among Selenotoca multifasciata, making visual inspection an unreliable (probably useless) way to tell the two species of Selenotoca apart. Frustratingly, while scientific references (and Aqualog) refer to the key difference between the two species being the number of dorsal fin spines, nothing available freely online actually says what this difference is! Nor does my Aqualog book. Fishbase is useless on this species, too. So for now, I'm stuck with using Sterba's 'Freshwater Fishes of the World'.
His drawings of the two Selenotoca species shows them nearly identical in appearance, except that the bands and spots are much thicker and bolder, more like Tiger Barb markings than a typical Silver Scat. With all this said, your specimen is certainly unusual, I simply feel that it's within the range of variation among Selenotoca multifasciata. Sorry I can't be
more certain or helpful; Maurice Kottelat is really the chap you want to get in touch with. Cheers, Neale.>

re: inflamed gill in a common plecostomus     1/3/17
Thanks for the prompt reply!
Ammonia and nitrate are low and I have a bubble curtain across the entire rear of the tank so aeration should be better than good. Sounds like I need to be watchful but not overly concerned. I'll watch and monitor the situation. Any tips on what antibiotic I might use and dosage ?
Jim
<I'd probably go with something like Kanaplex or Maracyn Plus, but it doesn't really matter too much. Antibiotics are unlikely to harm catfish, and it's more about using one that's safe with your filter bacteria.
Cheers, Neale.>

Please help me ID this as i have been through hell with my Purple tang     1/3/17
Hi guys,
<Nick>
I am sorry to send you an email but i am at my wits end i have a purple tang (Zebrasoma) and he is covered in these white blotches..
<Mmm; see something...>

See attached pictures, i treated for ich with copper and nothing changed despite his tank mate (a PBT) being completely cleared of his spots this made me question whether it was ich, i then kept him in hypo for 8 weeks and got no improvement, so this in my mind is not velvet or Ich, i then treated with malachite green as i thought this was bacterial still no joy, Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated, would kill to chat to Bob Fenner personally! My system is 110gal.
Thanks so much in advance!
Kind regards
Nick Richardson
Stressed Tang Owner
<Well; can't tell from looking without sampling, viewing under a microscope... whether this is anything parasitic or not. Might well be just stress marking/s. Need to know data re the history of water quality, nutrition... Let's have you read here fro more background: http://wetwebmedia.com/purptgdisfaqs.htm
DO send along the "history" I've mentioned, better-resolved image... and ask about at your LFS re they have a 'scope, can/will help you sample, look. Bob Fenner>

McCosker's Wrasse - Single male or harem?     1/3/17
Hi There,
<Angela>
We would love to hear your opinions on male Flasher Wrasse -specifically McCosker's and placing one with a harem of two females, but first here is some background on our piece of the sea :)
We have a Red Sea Reefer 525 xl which is roughly 108 gallons in the main tank 118 inc sump - It has been fully cycled and set up now for 2 months. We are running the Red Sea Nopox system which we are finding has sped up the cycling and is amazing but a very different way of running a tank compared to our previous tanks.
It will predominantly be a soft coral reef but in time we will add some LPS.
We have a false Perc pair of clowns, three red leg hermits, 5 Cerith snails, 5 Trochus snails and 3 Nerites snails. our planned next additions will be a yellow watchman goby with a yellow pistol shrimp (Not a tiger!!), 2 cleaner shrimp and 2 peppermint shrimp (all in a couple of months). If we do add a flasher wrasse harem we will make sure these are the next to go in before the Goby e.t.c
The list for our future additions:
McCosker's flasher wrasse male and two females??!?
Purple tang
Gold rush tang - Only if algae growth increases with more bioload!
<I take it this is the Bristletooth Tomini Tang>
Purple fire fish - pair if true pair only
2 conch snails
6 Money cowries
A mixture of more snails, red leg hermits and shrimp will be added as our bio load increases.
List for much much further in the future:
Dragonet - scooter blenny or mandarin (we are adding a Baffle into our sump to have a macro algae/copepod farm) - We will only add if is feeding on frozen and if our intended wrasse do not deplete our pods without us maintaining them.
Anemone (undecided)
<I'd leave this out... too much potential for trouble w/ the stony corals>

Tuxedo urchin - 1 red and 1 blue
Maxima clam
We are undecided about any other additions fish wise so very open to ideas to add to our research pile
<Take your time here is my real advice>
We are trying our hardest to research and plan our additions out so that we can get as close as possible to the creatures natural relationships.
<A worthy goal>
As you can imagine whilst researching the topic of Wrasse harems we have found many conflicting views about whether the females will eventually turn male.
<Mmm; won't usually in such a small volume if there's a male already present>
We have no intention of adding any other wrasse and intend on this being a peaceful system - Fish and inverts allowing of course :)
Please see below for one of the papers we have read - we would be very interested in your opinions:
http://www.reef2reef.com/ams/pairing...-this-works.3/
<Is about so... Labrids are protogynic, simultaneous hermaphrodites... do change given circumstances; mostly social>
We have also read your paper on Flasher wrasse but you do not mention the probability of 'sub males' within the harem (May of missed it?!).
<The individuals are all a matter of degree undifferentiated-female-male...>
Do you think that this is a big issue or one that is a slight risk as is a Anthias harem?
<Not really a risk, and the ratio you list should be fine. There really isn't much space for more females here. IF you start with three apparent females, or juveniles, one will develop into a terminal/male individual; the others stay as females... unless something happens (death esp.) to the male>
Thank you for reading :)
Many Thanks
Angela and Shane
<Thank you for sharing; writing so completely. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hawaii: no heater?      1/3/17
Good news, this AM my system was up to 71 degrees. Although a bit on the cold side I think it’s still okay. The 66 degrees was one chilly night here in HI. Kind of rare. I think I can use the 200W as an emergency. In researching natural reefs around the world it’s not uncommon for some to fluctuate between 71-84 degrees.
<... see prev. corr.>
The question is, do I set the minimum to 68, 72 or 76?
<76>
Is my coral growth going to be seriously retarded at 72 as a low if the temp swings up to mid-high 70’s during the day?
<Yes; as prev. stated
. B>
In the summer I’ll have the other side of the problem, trying to keep from peaking at 82-84.
In Gratitude,
Sky Kubby

Re: Parasites? Anthias; stocking f'       1/2/17
Well sad news, came back from a week long vacation today and one of the females is gone. Can't find her on the floor anywhere so she must have died.
<Yes... and dissolved, been eaten with this much time gone by>
And being so small, the clean up crew would have taken care of her overnight easily. :( With us being away for a week I wasn't able to get any additional ones before we left but I will get them now. How many total should I have?
<The more (females) the merrier, better... I'd get five, seven...>
So we have the one male, one female, should I get 3 or 4 more? I suppose I should get more than I need in case 1 or 2 don't survive.
<Yes>
Thanks
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Hawaii: no heater?      1/2/17
Happy New Year Bob and crew! We live mauka at about 850ft. Temp for the 200+ gal system is dropping to 66 degrees at night. I read corals stop making cal carb skeletons at 65 degrees.
<Yes; many of the species kept by aquarists. Oh, I owned a SFR w/ two friends at 1,400 ft (above the salt line) Palani, up in Holualoa... much colder at times>
Is this maybe why my Zoas aren't making more polyps? We're Kona side and in about to pick up a heater. Not sure my batteries in my solar system can handle a 200-400 watt heater. Prob not. Is my reef doomed?
<Mmm; not doomed, but I'd be doing a bunch more research here. Too expensive to heat the mass of water outdoors unless you have free-ish power from solar or such>
It's about to heat up and I'll inevitably get into the 80s soon. Prob a 10 degree max temp swing.
<That's too much diurnal fluctuation...
Sorry. B>
May okay if I just keep softies or Aussies? Mahalo.
Sky Kubby
Re: Hawaii: no heater?      1/2/17

Well since I do have solar I could get creative. One thought is if I shut off the remote 150gal DSB from the system at night, I can hear less water.
But then mixing the water temps later might cause a shock.
<Try it and see? Measure both at intervals (hourly?)... if no more than 2, 3 F.... I wouldn't be concerned>
I'll just see about keeping the temp at the minimum (78) on the Aqueon heater. I could also insulate the tank outside.
<Yes I would>
I'll do more research.
<Ditto. B>

Sky Kubby

 

inflamed gill in a common plecostomus      1/2/17
I have a pair of common plecostomus, one about 13 inches long and 8 years old and the other one about 16 inches and about 10 years old. The smaller fish has suddenly developed what appears to be an inflamed gill, with spongy pink tissue protruding about a quarter inch from one gill slit.
They are in a 75 gallon tank with some neon and Blackskirt tetras. Two days ago the bottom of the tank was disturbed when I reset some partially buried bubblers and sediment in the gravel was released into the water, but it was rapidly filtered out by the canister-type filter which keeps the water sparkling clean. This is not the first time this has happened by any means as the fish are large and strong and tend to disturb the tank furnishings frequently. The tank heater is set to keep the water at about
76 degrees F. The fish seems to be acting normally and is eating the Hikari algae wafers I normally feed it. I have no idea of what to do about this and could use some help.
Thanks,
Jim
<Hello Jim. The first thing to check is that the two Plecs haven't been fighting. Now, before you say "they've been fine together for years", recall that (a) Plecs don't always get along in groups; and (b) you've exposed them to a sudden change in conditions, so any existing territorial accommodations have been re-set, which can cause territorial fish to squabble over their domains again. So, check it isn't the gill cover that's been damaged (as they often are when fights break out) and look to see if there are any other signs of violence, such as scrape marks on the flanks or shredding of the fins. Next up, the gills themselves can re-grow, but they are prone to bacterial infection, so some type of antibiotic would be a really good idea here. Double check ammonia and nitrite are zero, of course, but also add a bit of extra water movement and/or aeration, because this damaged fish is going to be struggling a bit getting enough oxygen into its blood. Plecs can breathe air when they have to, which will help, but you don't want to push your luck. All else being equal, a mature, healthy catfish shouldn't have any trouble healing gill damage given time and good water quality. Good luck, Neale.>

puffer with a problem      1/2/17
hello, and happy new year. i work in an aquarium store and am in charge of all facets of husbandry. two weeks ago we purchased a freshwater leopard puffer. since i am at home right now, i can't be more specific about his species.
<A photo would help. But assuming this isn't a Figure-8 Pufferfish (and these are very distinctive) then the two "Leopard Puffers" of the trade, Tetraodon nigroviridis and Tetraodon fluviatilis, are identical in terms of size, diet, water chemistry and social behaviour. So doesn't really matter which species you get!>
he was perfect. happy. swimming and eating well. on Tuesday last, i found what appears to be a cyst beside his left eye. it is the size of a marble.
he has stopped eating, and has taken on the disastrous gray belly
. he still swims a bit, but is otherwise miserable. he is in brackish water. any guidance you can offer will be much appreciated.
<First things first, how brackish? Some folks think adding a teaspoon of salt per gallon is enough. It's not. Brackish, for these puffers, means a sizeable fraction of full seawater. Given seawater is 35 gram marine aquarium salt per litre (about 4.75 oz per US gallon) what you're aiming for is between one-tenth to one-quarter that amount, i.e., 3.5 to 9 g per litre (0.5 to 1.2 oz per US gallon). If you have a hydrometer, that's something like 1.001 to 1.005 at 25 C (77 F). The ideal for a young pufferfish is probably about 20% seawater strength, or 6 gram/litre (0.8 oz per US gallon). Alternatively, if you have a marine aquarium in your pet store, mixing one part marine aquarium water with four parts dechlorinated tap water will produce 20% seawater. Proper brackish conditions will go a LONG WAY towards inhibiting bacterial and fungal infections, as well as reducing stress. You can also use antibiotics safely with pufferfish. But you need to avoid the commonplace medications that contain formalin and copper, both of which are quite toxic to them. Pufferfish do heal quite quickly when given good conditions, and are actually quite tough fish. But the grey belly implies stress, and damage to the eye region, likely through careless handling, will need good conditions to heal properly.>
thank you.
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Just another reason I love WWM.     1/1/17
I was, as I am wont to do, reading old stuff and came across this gem when reading about Panther Groupers (a fish who's appeal far outshines my ability to ever appropriately house one)
-----------------------------------
Wo! The Toby (puffer) just snuck up behind the Picasso and tried to sample its tail fin. Doesn't he realize the Picasso runs this tank?
<(Do you realize the Banks run the corporations and governments? And in turn citizenries?)>
Anyway... Keep on keepin' on... Haha
<All we can Ab. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

saltwater question. Wet Dry SW Filtr., rdg     12/31/16
Hi
I have a 72 gal bow front saltwater tank with a wet n dry system, I want to add another wet and dry system to the aquarium, can I do that?
<You can, could; yes... but there are "better" filtration moda nowayears....
>
And if so what size pump would I need for the both of them to work well together to return the water to the aquarium. Please email me back regarding this matter
Thanks rashoun
<Need to know more re the plumbing here, the current pump/ing... And let's have you read, starting HERE:
http://wetwebmedia.com/wdmodconv.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
re: saltwater question... not a reader    12/31/16

I have a 300gph return pump on one I had a 9000ca
<? What is this?>
return pump before but it died on me and when I got a new one the water went down too fast in the sump please help
<Help yourself... where you've been directed. BobF>

Re: Remote DSB    12/31/16
Okay I'll go with your principles of big as drain pipe as possible and emergency pipe.
<Good>
The leaking fittings are perhaps due to using old seals that came with the old acrylic tank I had shipped out here. Got her for $100 so I could have bought new bulkheads. Live n learn. Maybe they loosened. Some fine sand was introduced to the weir. Then when I tightened them down recently sand could have gotten trapped to make the leak worse.
<Mmm; search WWM re... IF the threads are still move-able, you can/could just replaced the gaskets (one on either side, w/ a smear of Silicone)>
Then I added a 45 to the drain line and cracked the end of the pool line flex hose.
<I REALLY don't like/trust these flexible lines; or their joinings>

I just have to redo it all. Plumbers putty helped in the mean time. It will be an easy fix since they are at the bottom of the overflow weir box so I don't have to drain the whole tank and remove sand. I have removed the sand from the overflow and cleaned it well.
I'd take another overflow box
<Oh! You mean/t an INSIDE overflow box, NOT a hang on type. These are easily built or purchased and fitted into tanks... glass and acrylic>
with three drains over draining the whole tank at this point. I think I've got it from here and will let you know how it turns out.
<Thank you>
The extern 150 gal Rubbermaid is officially Deep in the Sand bed dept. Had a big diatom outbreak but hopefully it cycles away. I do have a bit of concern that it will become a giant algae pool, even with
low nutrients. I'll get some tangs in there and we'll see how it goes.
Happy New Year to you and the crew!
<And to you and yours. BobF>
Sky Kubby

Jewel cichlid domestic abuse!    12/31/16
Hello WWM folks, and thank you in advance for reading! This is a great site and I very much appreciate the service you do for your fellow aquarists.
<Thanks for the kind words.>
My tank is a 36 gallon bowfront, lightly planted with two giant Anubias, a spring or two of staurogyne repens and some leggy moneywort, which are the ragged survivors of the tank’s former inhabitants (Mbunas). The tank is filtered with two HOBs rated at a combined 400 GPH supplemented with a sponge filter rated for 40 gallon tanks (again, a relic of the overstocking requirement of the former inhabitants), and is stocked with two red Hemichromis of indeterminate breeding (sold to me as lifalili, but I’ve read that’s unlikely; besides, they both have three spots) and six Congo tetras. The tank originally had a pair of kribs, but I moved them to their own tank once I realized the jewels were terrorizing them. Water parameters (according to API FW master kit) are pH 6.6-6.8, gH 5, kH 3, ammonia and nitrite 0, nitrate10-20 (darn colorimetric tests!).
<All sounds fine.>
The jewels were purchased about two weeks ago at a LFS out of a tank that contained three of them; I chose the two that seemed to get along (the smaller of my pair was chasing the third away anytime it came near). The larger is about 9 cm and the smaller is about 6.5-7 cm. I feed a variety of pellets (Hikari Cichlid Gold and Excel, Tetra Cichlid Crisps) and frozen foods (Omega One Spirulina-enriched brine shrimp and carnivore).
<Good.>
The jewels colored up beautifully once I got them home and were getting along swimmingly (pun intended) … about a week after I got them, the larger of the two laid eggs right after a water change. I was on my way out at the time, so wasn’t able to stick around and see if they got fertilized, but the smaller jewel seemed very interested in what the larger was doing and was being well-tolerated by the female as she was laying, so I assumed they were probably a pair. This came as a bit of a shock, because according to what little information I could find about sexing jewels, I had initially thought they were both female. Since then, however, I have read that female cichlids will sometimes spawn in the absence of a male. The eggs lasted about a day, then disappeared.
<Jewel Cichlids, Hemichromis spp., are not sexually dimorphic. They are extremely difficult to sex outside of spawning. Much like Angels and Discus, but very different to, say, Kribs. While some males do have stronger colours, pointier fins, or more blue speckles on their fins -- this is by no means always true. Plus, many, if not most, of the Jewels on sale are hybrids, so what applies to a particular species (as stated in aquarium books) is completely unreliable when you're dealing with a pet shop-grade Jewel cichlid in front of you.>
In the past few days, I’ve noticed that the smaller jewel was losing its color, turning a rather depressed-looking gray, and hiding near the top of the tank away from the larger one. I’ve included pictures of both so that you can see the difference … both were once brilliant red like the larger one. The rest of the inhabitants seem to be fine, but the larger jewel has become somewhat of a bully to the smaller. So far, the only damage to the little one seems to be to its pride and a small chunk of caudal fin, but it seems to be determined to make friends again (so far, all its attempts have been rebuffed). Other than its color and the fin wound, there are no signs of disease; no patches, spots, or sores, swimming ability and breathing rate are normal, it’s eating like a pig, and it always comes out of hiding looking for a treat when it sees me. It does keeps its fins clamped when hiding but it seems to be more a matter of making itself appear as small and non-threatening as possible.
<These could both be males, or they could be a male and an unresponsive female. Either way, use egg crate or similar to separate them for the time being, otherwise the weaker specimen is extremely likely to be bullied to the point where it is damaged, even killed. Two females turning on each other is pretty unlikely, so I don't think that's what's going on here, but I guess it might happen.>
Only two things have changed since the jewels were added: 1) the kribs were removed, and 2) the tank had a nitrate spike that was likely due to me following the advice of my LFS and tossing entire cubes of frozen food into the tank. I have since corrected the nitrate levels and learned the error of my ways regarding the feeding of frozen foods, thanks to your site.
<Cool.>
My suspicion is that the jewels ARE actually both female, and that the removal of the kribs has left the smaller one as the new target for the larger one’s aggression. Another possibility, which is much less likely, is that the poor water quality put the big girl in a sour mood, and she’s taking her frustrations out on the little one. The last alternative I can think of is that they ARE a pair, and this is all part of some Klingon-esque Hemichromis mating ritual where the male has to be shown who is boss from time to time.
<Hemichromis pair off quite well, with relatively little violence. The problem is that once they do pair off, they will usually exterminate everything else in the tank, except perhaps surface swimming dither fish. This is, ultimately, why Jewel Cichlids are 'unpopular' aquarium fish. Their colours are amazing, and they aren't so big they're difficult to house. But they are almost psychotically violent when spawning, so cannot be reliably kept in community tanks. Singletons might, I suppose, but pairs? -- no.>
I can re-home the little one if absolutely necessary, but I’d prefer not to (largely because it would be going into a community tank with some smaller tankmates, and jewels aren’t known to the friendliest of neighbors). What do you suspect is the cause of this sudden change in attitude, and is there anything short of removing the smaller jewel (which might move the bullseye to my Congos) that I can do to fix it?
<See above. Egg crate gives the fish a chance to get used to each other without actually coming into contact, so is the best approach. For example, see Loiselle's 'Cichlid Aquarium' book for more on this. Longer term, you have two choices: a community tank, or a Jewel breeding tank. Pick one. You can't have both. If the former, rehome one or both of the Jewels. If the latter, rehome all the other fish, install an egg crate divider, and take it from there, as per Loiselle and others on the genus.>
Thanks,
Linda A.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>


Swollen Lip, now swollen gill (RMF, anything to add?) <<Zip. B>>     12/31/16
Hello, I have had a 20 Gallon Betta sorority tank for about 9 months now.
<Not totally convinced these work, though I understand they're popular.
Much better, in my opinion, is to keep a single female alongside harmless community species such as Corydoras spp.>
I have had to restock the tank twice due to gradual deaths (crown tails popping from overeating, a few have just become ill and progressed to the point of death with no outward sign of why), and one of the fish quickly developed Ich a day or two after bringing her home. I separated her once I noticed it and treated her with API Ich Cure for a week and a single dose
in the community tank while watching to see if anyone else developed it (they didn't).
<Hmm... I'd be skeptical, because Whitespot is so very contagious.>
Unfortunately the tank I used to separate her (5 gallon with internal filter) had a fairly strong filter current that she detested more than the Ich. She found the only hole in the lid and was able to jump out, which I discovered about 20 minutes later. She was a cold fish but recovered from her escape and from the Ich, and I dampened the outflow of the filter such that it barely disturbed the tank (and used painters tape to make sure there were no gaps big enough for her to jump out again). She was happy there for several months as any attempt to putting her back with the rest was a failure (she would quickly isolate once she felt ganged-up-on even following sorority protocol of having the newest/weakest fish in first, then introducing the next aggressive fish up until they're all back).
<Unfortunately this sort of thing does seem to be quite common with female Bettas. They're just not social fish, and would naturally live a more solitary sort of life. In very big groups, say, ten specimens, none would be dominant. But if you're keeping two or three or four specimens, it does seem to me that female Bettas are apt to be intolerant of one another. Why, I cannot say. But your experience is by no means unusual.>
During this time I found a wooden cave that I wanted to string with moss to make a cute arrangement, not knowing at the time that reptile-suitable wood is often not suitable for fish. A white mold or fungus developed on the wood and the nearby sand which would detach easily if disturbed.
<Correct. Unless wood is cured first (which means soaking in water for some months) it contains organic material. When placed in water said material becomes damp enough to support fungi, which doesn't happen in reptile vivaria. Bottom line, the wood rots. Or cures, if you prefer! The fungus is harmless, and some fish (like big Plecs) will even eat it. But it doesn't
do any good to water quality, and there's also a risk the decaying wood can affect water chemistry too.>
Any attempt to clean off the fungus (rubbing off under tap water with fingers or toothbrush) only lasted about a week before it was right back.
<Yes; curing takes some months, if not years. Hence aquarium bogwood is normally harvested from rivers and swamps where the wood has been cured naturally, perhaps over many years.>
I finally got rid of the wood, sucked out as much of the mold as possible, and the tank seemed to settle down into clarity. It was toward the end of the battle with the mold that I noticed her mouth began to get swollen, especially the lower lip. It didn't seem to bother her much except needing to push a little more above the water to breathe. Water changes, aquarium salt, heat at ~84 degrees, Melafix, and Pimafix have done nothing to get the swelling to go down.
<Let me be clear here, that both Melafix and Pimafix are, at best, unreliable; at worst, toxic. They're marketed as being somehow "natural" but that's very misleading because it implies they're safe. A little time reading over WWM will report many instances where these two have either done no good at all, or perhaps made things worse. If I was being charitable about them, I'd suggest they have a role preventing infection, e.g., if fins are damaged by fighting. But once you see symptoms, it's time to get out the big boys: antibiotics, copper- and formalin-based medications, or whatever else is appropriate to your situation and location.>
I was originally hoping the swelling would go down once the source of the fungus was gone, assuming that her mouth had the same fungus as the wood, but it has not.
<There's almost zero chance the fungus on the wood is the fungus on your fish! The two things are unrelated, except perhaps that decaying wood affected water quality, and that made your Betta more prone to infection.
But the actual fungus species involved will almost certainly be different.>
It appears that it's either still there and fairly benign, or has altered her face permanently like little fish warts. It does not seem to affect her eating, color, or movement, just a bit with the breathing. About 2 weeks ago I was critically low on fish in my main tank (along with a very fat remaining crown tail that was becoming very food aggressive), so I got 4 new girls, moved this swollen lip fish to the 20 gallon sorority tank, and moved my fatty to the 5 gallon to control her food better. I introduced the
new girls first together, then this swollen lip fish since she also hadn't been with other recently, then on up the aggression ladder until everyone was in. They are all surprisingly happy together and I've had by far the least amount of aggression visible so far. Everyone seems very balanced aggression-wise, though there have been a few tears in fins here and there in the 4 new girls. Back to the swollen-lipped fish. I have recently noticed one of her gills is staying a bit flared permanently, as if the
tissue below is swollen.
<This is actually fairly common on farmed Bettas; whether caused by trauma or genetics I cannot say. Untreatable, but may improve if it isn't genetic. On the other hand, if Whitespot or Velvet were in the tank at some point, physical damage, i.e., trauma, to the gill lamellae is extremely likely.
Exposure to non-zero ammonia levels can also cause damage, similar to the "Gill Curl" seen in bigger aquarium fish like Arowanas and some cichlids.>
She has been acting a little off today, staying by the top a lot and just a tad less active. I have just separated her into a 1.5 gallon quarantine tank with heater and bubble filter (though that is now off as she is just so sensitive to water movement, no carbon). Temp is at 85 degrees (20 gallon has been at 84 since adding all the new fish to help keep them healthier).
<This is often more to do with the warmer air above the tank, which is crucial; optimal water temperature is actually a little lower for Bettas generally.>
There is no visible "cotton" or fungus in her mouth, just what I assume are her little teeth showing on the bottom more swollen lip.
<I agree. This looks post-infection to me. No specific treatment I can think of, but I would be optimising living conditions and diet.>
For her gill, I see the edge of her beard (I've always been able to see a little line of black beard when she's resting) and what almost looks like an added blue scale growing from the edge of her gill flap. I see no redness, white stuff, or anything to point toward a specific disease. It literally looks as if she's flared so hard one side won't go down all the way. I should also note that her anal fin is much longer than my other girls, and has grown out some as she's aged, so I almost wonder if she's some sort of poorly-breed mutant that keeps growing new stuff (tally of her anal fin, her mouth puffiness, and her gill of weird growths). She has now had the swollen mouth for about 2-3 months, so I'm doubting Columnaris, but I'm looking for whatever heavier treatment would help. I have had a very hard time finding info that seems in line with what she's dealing with to feel comfortable dosing her with something yet. Thank you for any and all help!
<Hope the above helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Ember Tetra black spots      12/30/16
Dear Neale,
Thanks for the super fast and clarifying reply. I'll let things be, but keep a watchful eye - my favourite approach to the hobby.
Regards
Devakalpa
<Glad to have helped! Good luck, Neale.> 

Re: Remote DSB      12/30/16
So I went to the only place I could find larger bulkhead on the Hilo side of the Big I and 2” bulkheads are $79!
<Yowzah! Must be Schedule 80... grey in color? Rated for 800 psi!!!>
Pricey because they sell to contractors (Central Supply). I’ll order some today from Marine Depot or something for only $6 for my Rubbermaid to sump!!
<Yes I would... only need Sch 40... whitish ones>
There is still the issue of being able to fit 2” bulkheads in my Weir Overflow Box. Here you can see I modified my gurgling standpipe with holes in it to Durso and it’s super quiet now.
<Ah good... and the new connection can be drilled further down w/ a riser, used as an overflow...>
While there is room for adding a Herbie to the right, you can see I couldn’t even ad a 1 1/4 Durso pipe and had to keep it 1”. You advised against the shadow overflow box. How am I going to increase my drain and what configuration do you recommend?
<A few possibilities. The line doesn't have to be in the weir overflow box... it's intended to be redundant really... so it can be drilled, fitted to anywhere on the tank>
Here’s a different focus so you can see the room I have available at the bottom of the overflow. As per my diagram that is an inlet and outlet. Perhaps I could convert to to outlets of say 1 1/2” and drill a hole at the other end of the tank for an inlet?
<Maybe>
And the room I have underneath. The pipes are leaking so I need to replace them anyway and soon!
<Yikes!>
Also, I still don’t know what you mean by: <I would have STRONGLY encouraged you to do most of your circulation INSIDE the main tank itself... Too much risk in relying on outside gear IME>
Are you saying that I can keep my 300GPH flow outside the tank but up the flow from powerheads inside?
<Yes; only some portion of the water need flow to and back from the sump. B>
In Gratitude,
Sky Kubby

?

Re: Remote DSB      12/30/16
><Yes; only some portion of the water need flow to and back from the sump. B><
So am I okay with keeping my 1” drain or should I try to fit 1 and 1/4 or 1 and 1/2? It’s tight in there!
<<Sorry; am not obviously being clear with my responses re this same question again and again: You want MORE than one drain, you want them to be as LARGE as possible... Rationale: To accommodate whatever flow (either line by itself) for the eventuality of the other/s being blocked/occluded>>
><A few possibilities. The line doesn't have to be in the weir overflow box... it's intended to be redundant really... so it can be drilled, fitted to anywhere on the tank><
Well, then I have to drain my entire tank and remove the sand. Can you give me a quick solution plumbing idea since the two bulkheads under my DT are leaking?
<Don't think I'm following you here. IF the lines are leaking you need to find out where... LIKELY drain the system, remove the sand IF the through-puts are below it>
You have all the diagrams now. I want to wrap this up soon!
<?... I don't see the sizes of lines called out, the placement of through hulls in the tank bottom....>
I could seal te existing bulkhead to the inlet of the overflow weir. And use the other bulkhead at the bottom for my emergency overflow. Then plumb everything over to go inside the opposite end for bulkhead and loc-lines. You said <maybe>. Any other suggestions?
<Sorry; these possibilities are gone over and over on WWM. There IS no way I can help you educate yourself better than to have you read, re-read there. Bob Fenner>
In Gratitude,
Sky Kubby


Blotchy White Spots on Trigger      12/30/16
Dear WWW Team:
<Dan>
Happy holidays and I hope all is well.
<Thank you; yes>
I recently purchased a 7in crosshatch trigger, but I was only able to quarantine him for 5 days. The water quality in my QT was bad. So, I decided to dip him with Safety Stop (2 parts dip - 45min in formalin and another 45min in Methylene blue) before putting him in my 120 reef tank. In the last couple of days, I noticed several white blotchy spots on both of his fins (pics attached). They are different sizes and shapes - I don't think is ich.
<Agreed... this looks like "burns" from the dip exposure to me. Should heal on its own in one-two weeks>
I decided not to catch him and QT him again because it would cause an extreme amount of stress to him and all other inhabitants in reef tank.
<We are in agreement>
Besides he looks well and eating well.
<Ah, good>
A couple of days ago, I began to give him Dr G's bacterial frozen food plus soaked Selcon in the pellets 3x a day. The trigger and all other tank mates are behaving normal, happy, active, and eating well. All the other fishes are currently not showing any signs of the blotchy white spots.
My water parameters are: ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates 2-4, temperature 77-79, and ph is steady at 8.2.
My questions are: what is afflicting my trigger?
<As stated>
And I am on the right direction in terms of treating him or do I need to do something differently/aggressively?
<I would continue as you are doing; no worries>
Your advice, insights are greatly appreciated.
Kind regards and Happy New Year
Dan
<And to you. Bob Fenner>



South American tetra tank      12/29/16
Hi,
I have a few questions about making some changes to my tank. My current set-up:
My tank is about 10 months old. It is a US 29 gal.(approx. 100 litre?) tall bow front. I want it to be primarily for small tetras. I am lucky to have soft slightly acidic water straight from the tap. The substrate is a layer of organic soil (3") with a 1" cap of smooth sand. However, my plants (mostly Anubias) have not done well. I douse them every second day with
Flourish Excel, but this causes more algae growth than plant growth, although I do see new leaves coming.
<You do not need to 'feed' Anubias. Certainly not every second day! Anubias grow extremely slowly, and nine times out of ten they'll get all the minerals they need from the tap water and fish wastes. Possibly add a bit of plant food if you get one or two yellow leaves. But if growth is all green, don't feed! Simple as that. As you observe, any plant food you add
will be used by algae. Also note that Anubias need shading from overhead light, or their leaves get covered by algae. They don't seem as good at resisting algae as most true aquatic plants (Anubias naturally occur in bogs and marshes rather than underwater).>
The lighting is OptiBright 24"" LED 15VDC, 0.5A max. My water temperature is minimum 78 F. My fish consist of
the following:
4 emperor tetras
9 neon tetras
3 checkerboard Corydoras (each about 3.5") <? RMF>
3 yoyo loaches (each about 3.5", and brought in to control an outbreak of pond snails)
The loaches and corries don't seem to bother each other; there are lots of hiding places created by terra cotta pots and driftwood, but the corries hide in daylight. I've lost a couple of dwarf rams, dwarf gouramis, and a school of rummy nose tetras mostly from an outbreak of Ick.
Much as I love the dwarf rams, I now I just want to concentrate on peaceful schools of tetras.
<Understood.>
My questions:
1. Are my loaches and corries too big for this tank?
<Borderline. While they're unlikely to overload the filter, Yo-yo loaches in particular are boisterous and active, so I'd certainly be keeping an eye on them. I'd also want to add a few more Corydoras, because the loaches might push them about a bit otherwise.>
2. Is my school of emperors too small; would they be happier with another four?
<Yes.>
3. Can I mix Neons and cardinals, or am I better to double the school of Neons?
<They actually prefer/need different conditions. Neons are from cooler areas, so their correct water temperature range is 22-24 C/72-75 F.
Cardinals are hothouse flowers, and really are happier around 26-28 C/79-82 F. While you might split the difference and keep them both at 25 C/77 F, I suspect you'll find Neons rather shorter lived than you would like.
Cardinals are generally less plagued by disease than Neons these days, and tend to live longer, assuming you have soft water and keep them reasonably warm.>
4. I'd like to reintroduce a school of rummy nose tetras. Are these four species of tetras compatible, and would you recommend as the total maximum load for this tank?
<I think you'd be pushing your luck a bit with these. They're highly social, and you really need at least a dozen for them to school properly, and they're also very sensitive to poor water quality. They seem to do better in spacious tanks where they can swim about freely. I'd be looking at either X-Ray Tetras or 'False' Penguin Tetras (actually the default Penguin Tetra of the trade) if you wanted something stripy and easy to keep. Both of these species are tough and undemanding.>
I don't think I'll pursue any more submerged plants; just keep those I can keep alive, increase the bog wood, and possibly add a floating plant, though I don't want anything that takes over.
<Amazon Frogbit would be ideal.>
Thanks so much for your advice.
Christine
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: South American tetra tank      12/29/16

Thanks so much, Neale! What a great service you provide!
<As volunteers, we're always pleased to know our help is useful and welcome. So cheers, indeed! Neale.>

Severe Eye Issue with my RES      12/29/16
Hi crew
<Hiya, Darrel here>
It all started several months ago, with the right eye of my RES, having a little "white stuff" at the corner of its eye. At that point in time his eye was kind of swollen so we brought it to the vet. Initially they prescribed Antibiotics and Vitamins for him, but to no avail. So the vet said that if this "stuff" is not bothering him (as he still behaves, eats as per normal), just let it be. So months later, things started to worsened and the little "white stuff" soon occupies his entire right eye now. I don't even know if the right eye is blind now. I attached some photos for clarification purposes.
What should I do now? Please help.
<This is perplexing. The initial photos show classic Vitamin ‘A’ deficiency, but that’s the first thing your Veterinarian saw. I’m guessing he gave an A-D-E-Calcium injection and sent him home with vitamin A eye drops?>
<at this point, I’d feed her small pieces of liver (beef or chicken) as her daily meal(s) for three weeks and twice daily Vitamin A eye drops and check again in 4 weeks.>
<Feeding is done by putting her in a separate container, like a plastic tub with an inch or so of water … give her 5 minutes to adjust and calm down, and then small pieces of the liver. The separate feeding is because the oils in the liver pieces will quickly pollute and foul her tank water>

Re: RES Head Wound      12/29/16
Hi Darrel,
Thanks so much for your reply and advice.
I have taken him out of his tank and put him in a Rubbermaid bin with towels for packing. Every time he moves around he scrapes it more and now it is bleeding. I've tried to pack him in so he can't hurt himself more but I can't be here during the day to make sure he is being still. Is it advisable to put him back in his tank overnight and during the day and just
dry dock him for two to three hours a night? I managed to clean the wounds with Bactine and he let me put polysporin (cream) on it which I could do every night while he is drying out. I'm afraid if I leave him alone he will keep skinning his head on his shell and making it worse!
<In this case no. a Wet wound leads to higher chances of infection. You are doing the right things, trying to pack off the wound, etc. maybe it's time to go to the next level --can you tie a strip of gauze around him ...
say over the neck and UNDER the shell ... then tie the ends around the back of the shell (under the shell lip and above the legs)?
Even if this immobilizes him for a day or so, gives the wound a chance to start healing, etc.
Melanie Reece

3-toed Box Turtle      12/29/16
Season's greetings from snowy Toronto.
<Hiya, Darrel here in nice, warm Southern California>
We're about to get a juvenile 3-toed box turtle. I've done a heap of reading here and a few other resources online. I just wanted to bounce my plans off the pros, to make sure I'm not missing anything.
<well, let’s give it a shot>
We have a 65g long aquarium the terrapin will reside in (when it's bigger, as are our children, it will be given more free range of the main floor of our house). For now, I plan to fill the bottom of the tank with mulch, and probably some moss, sink a drip dish from a terra cotta pot into one corner for water, and a UV-B bulb at the other end.
<OK. Stop right there. Everything you SAY sound like a good idea. Can’t fault you. But then, it’s just like having children. THAT sounded like a good idea, too… until they came and turned 4 and suddenly that wasn’t so hot an idea, either. But it gets better! Think you have problems now? Wait until one of them drops out of college and comes home with a musician!>
<And that’s just the Box turtle – kids are worse!>
<Seriously. The substrate SOUNDS great until you experience that your terrapene pees and poops in it and since the traces are small … you can’t clean it all. This leaves a slow but increasingly aromatic build-up behind you until one day the turtle’s room smells like the kids room …>
<Having tried a great number of things over the years I’ve settled on a strategy that stresses effectiveness over natural-looking. I use Indoor-Outdoor carpet. I don’t mean artificial grass … that stuff is horrible to use and maintain on every level. I mean the old fashion green flat almost felt-looking indoor-outdoor carpet. I cut 4-6 pieces the size of the tank so I can have one in place, and extra pieces ready to go when it’s time to change it out. You can’t throw the soiled pieces in the washer but you can hand wash them in the sink and let then dry outside>
<For the hiding places, I use an upside down pot or a small plastic tub with the appropriate size hole cut out, but then using double sided tape and other adhesives I mount it to the corner about ¼ inch above the tank bottom so that the carpet slides out. Same with any artificial plants that you wish to place inside to make a less sterile-looking environment.>
Our house usually is around 18-20C through the winter (we just wear warmer clothes), but will the little dude also need a heat bulb or small heating pad under one spot of the substrate?
<For all my inside turtles, I use a regular incandescent 40w light placed 6inches above his highest standing position. In other words, measure him front to back, straight length and add 6 inches and that’s the height of the bulb. I have it on a timer from 6 to 6 in the winter>
For food, we'll start with wet dog food, and maybe some beef or pork offal. Can we also start giving veggies as a juvenile? And transition to Koi pellets when it has grown somewhat?
<This is a critical thing for Box Turtles. They can fixate on a given food. For me it was Clara and strawberries. She refused anything BUT strawberries. We had a contest of wills that lasted over 18 months before she gave in.>
<My suggestion is that you offer him a mashed-up mixture of wet food and dry food on day one… no more than a teaspoon full every OTHER day until he gets in the habit of eating it. Then after his entire routine is settled, add some chopped up fruit to that same mixture (again, every OTHER day) as long as he gleefully eats what is offered.>
Thanks very much for all your kind advice,
<no charge!>
Chris

Terrapin, red eared slider      12/29/16
hi Jon here:)
<Darrel back at you>
My Red Eared Slider has not been eating much for the past 2 weeks and has been thrashing around and always seem frantic. Now I changed it to a bigger tank and tried to fit him a little bit of leafy vegetables. it refuses to eat the stalk and only after 2/3 leaves it stops eating. I read online that its behaviour maybe because it is gravid and my mom claimed she saw and threw away a white oval object from its tank a few days ago .
<That was going to be my first guess as well. The easiest way to sex a Red Eared Slider is to remember that males are smaller (4-6 inches) and have long “fingernails” on their claws. Females are larger and have short, stubby claws.>
so how do I confirm if its gravid or not I presume it is a female as its bottom is flat. is there any other way to confirm ? and how do I proceed from here ?
<The presence of an egg in the water combined with the frantic activity at egg laying time is really all the indicator you need. Your slider is a girl>
<As far as the egg laying they will form eggs with or without the presence of a male and they will expel the eggs anywhere, even in the water, if left no other choice – SO this entire thing will run its course. What you can do is allow her out of the tank frequently, walks around the room, half a day in a dry bathtub, etc. to help her exercise which in turn helps the process. I wouldn’t let her outside because the presence of grass, dirt, plants, etc. might trigger an actual nesting response that can take days and days.>
<She may also reabsorb the eggs that have not yet formed a shell layer. >
<One way or another, this will pass and her appetite will return>
I look forward to your advice and help thanks [��]

Remote DSB      12/29/16
Greetings Bob, did you get a chance to take a look at the diagrams I sent you? I got an email back but it was blank.
<Yes; strange. The ongoing more-recent accumulation of our corr. is here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/AAAAEDFP.htm>
I’m going to follow your advice and make a 2” drain. But can I keep my 1” return? I’ll try to remove as many right angles as possible.
<I'd have two drains, large... as I've mentioned and referred you to reading on WWM Re>
After seeing my setup you can see there’s very little room to install a check valve underneath the drain,
<No need for a check-valve here>
let along unions and valves - as I have to angle and go immediately outside. Maybe I can fit one and go directly to pool flex line but it will probably create a bit of an uphill zone.
<Don't do this>

Would you suggest I remove this overflow box, seal the bulkhead, and install an overflow in the back, like a shadow overflow box? It would make the noise better and expand my tank areas for sure.
<? See, as in READ on WWM re overflows. Am decidedly NOT a fan of such devices on large systems>
I think the logo seaweed is growing but it’s clogging my skimmer and UV/reactor pumps- may need to move it to the second chamber. I still haven’t “Seeded” the Rubbermaid DSB with the sand in the pump. There’s only about 2.5 inches so I can add to it, but I’m running out of room in the sump- maybe more flow will raise the water level. I’ll just spread some all over the DSB, and add to make it 3.5”. I cut my Live rock PVC stands to 3.5” and it looks better.
You said to keep the powerhead/sponge and that it had it’s uses. Did you mean in the display if I can hide it, or the Rubbermaid?
<? >
Lastly, should I be concerned about this statement I read at the Garf Grunge site about not using crushed coral?:
A few larger particles in the sediment mix is okay, but larger sediments should not constitute more than about 15 percent of the total. Under NO circumstances should you use crushed coral or coral gravel. These substrates are too coarse and often too abrasive for many of the smaller organisms to survive in.
<Better to have finer materials for the purposes of DSBs.... READ here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dsbphysmakeup.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
In Gratitude,
Sky Kubby
Re: Remote DSB      12/29/16

Thanks for bearing with me. I think I’m getting it all dialed in.
<Yay!>
Just one more trip to the plumbing store LOL!. The double sponge tower sitting in my Rubbermaid with the powerhead attached to the top (in my pic) was what I was referring to. Had taken it from my DT to help clear up the water from the sand addition. I said I don’t see too many Reefers using these and asked if it was time to let go of it. You said it has it’s uses and keep it. I meant is it time to remove it from my DT, now that I have DSBs? Perhaps you meant in a hospital tank or something else and don’t toss it?
<I'd keep it expressly for helping w/ the idea of quarantine... e.g. if you had to do the Star Trek "saucer separation" and operate the Rubbermaid by itself...>
About the Crushed coral. You said to use the stuff I got here in Hawaii from Home Depot. Yet the quote I sent you said NEVER use crushed coral.
<The crushed coral (from the HD there) IS fine... i.e. IS okay>
Then you just said larger particle size is not good.
<Yes; finer would be better... I assure you that you DO have enough "fines"; small material... for interstitial benefits>
You can understand my confusion. I have definitely read all about DSB on WWM. I’m thinking the reason you said to go for the crushed coral was that although it has some larger particle size, there is a lot of really fine size as well. Yes?
<YES!>
With the next layer in my DT I’ll be at 3.5. That’s where I cut my PVC riser/supports for my LR. I saw a video the other day that said absolutely no way ever go beneath 4”. Would you say I’m okay with 3.5” as long as I maintain that level.
<Yes; you'll be fine w/ this depth of this material OF this mix of particle size. B>
Mahalo!
In Gratitude,
Sky Kubby

Ember Tetra black spots      12/29/16
Dear WWM,
Season's Greetings and best wishes for a happy 2017. Thanks for the awesome job you keep doing.
<And thanks for the kind words.>
The attached image is of a few of my Ember Tetras of a group of 11 that have been living happily for about 1.5 years in a heavily planted 29 gallon. Tank is it its 6th year. Quick question: any idea what those black spots/marks along the lateral line of the biggest fish signify? Or are they more likely to be deposits internally along the spine? I do not have a
microscope so cannot sample a tissue scrape.
<They have the speckled, regular appearance of melanophores rather than sharp black spots or cysts. So my assumption here is that they're part of the fish rather than a parasite. Why is more difficult to answer! Sometimes melanophores change colour for normal, such as sexual, reasons. Sometimes fish turn the melanophores up or down because of ambient conditions such as lighting (Moonlight Gouramis famously have a black band that appears only under dim lighting). Sometimes they get 'jammed' in an unusual state by damage to the nerves. Sometimes they're simply different because of
genetics, whether a mutation in this particular Ember tetra or because this isn't actually a typical Ember tetra but an example of a related species or hybrid. Bottom line, if the fish is behaving normally, I wouldn't worry.>
Tank has other tetras, Corys, a pair of Agassizzis, a Pearl Gourami and a pair of Bristle Nose Pleco
High nitrates >40 ppm, pH 6.5, TDS 180 ish, 30 percent water change weekly.
Fed Hikari Micro Pellets, Tetra pellets, Ocean Nutrition Spirulina and brine shrimp flakes, NLS Thera A and occasionally freeze dried blood and Tubifex worms.
Tank has had episodes of what was diagnosed as NTD in Neons and Black Neons and affected fishes euthanized as per your suggestion.
<Probably wise.>
Should mention that I add 4 ml 2 percent Glutaraldehyde daily to augment CO2.
Any input will be most be most helpful.
Have a great year-end and thanks again,
Regards
Devakalpa
<And to you, too. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Aiptasia madness       12/28/16
Thx for quick response! Not sure how I would know exact species ID for the peppermints
<Easy to discern w/ a little reading>
(my LFS who I trust says they eat Aiptasia in their tank FWIW) and Berghia seem outrageously expensive, but nuking is out of the question so I'll study that link and take it from there.
<Real good. Cheers, BobF>

Re: Sick Flame Angel     12/27/16
Hi Bob,
<Adam>
I will definitely take a read.
<You will enjoy, profit from the experience>
Have a safe and Happy New Year!
<Ahh, and you. B>
Adam

Aiptasia madness. WWM laziness     12/27/16
Hi, I have a chronic and severe Aiptasia infestation in my 34 gallon Red Sea Max. I've tried peppermint shrimp,
<Sure these were the right species? MANY sold as such that are not>
Aiptasia-eating filefish(2), Aiptasia-X, and a "majano wand", all to no avail. Any suggestions are most welcome!
<Well; there's always Berghia... or nuking the whole tank... bleaching hard substrates and starting over with a bit of new live. Let's have you read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Thx, Al Tribe

Sick Flame Angel       12/25/16
HI,
<Hello Adam>
I bought a flame angel about two weeks ago and until this morning he has been doing great.
This morning he just stayed in the rocks and did not eat and it appeared his mouth on one side was a bit swollen. My son thought that he has pop eye but I do not see that.
By early evening my son said his fins were torn.
<What are the other livestock present?>

Since the three strip damsel we have is a bit of a bully we thought he was causing problems but we did not see him getting chased. Since the family was over for Christmas Eve we turn out the tank lights to keep things calmed down.
<Good>
After family left my son found the flame angel hitting the top of the water and swimming funny, on a bit of a slant and to some extent in circles.
<Not good>
Because of the hitting the surface I thought low oxygen and added an air stone in the sump.
While testing the water he seemed to improve, not hitting the surface but still swimming on a slant and swimming weekly. He got stuck to my gyre wave generator so I turn that off.
<Very bad>
Water tests came back normal. Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, PH 8.2, Oxygen 6 mg/L. I know this is a bit low and have the air stone running.
Will test again in a bit and add more another stone if the level does not come up.
The tank is 125 gallon reef startup with a 55 gallon sump. There is only one green bubble tip anemone which I thought initially he messed with.
Any advice would be appreciated.
AD
<This fish may have been damaged in collection, handling... or by your present livestock. Do you have another place to move it to recover? Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Flame Angel       12/25/16

Hi, I received a response to my email from you but there was no content.
AD
<Strange; I see it below... Do you? BobF>
Re: Sick Flame Angel       12/25/16

Hi Bob,
<Adam>
Thanks for such a quick response.
<Welcome>
The other livestock include a yellow tang, three clowns, two yellow tail damsels, the three strip damsel,
<This species can be aggressive>
a royal gramma, a wrasse.
<Which species?>
two blood shrimp, the green bubble tip anemone, and about a dozen snails.
I have a tank that I use as a quarantine tank but it is empty right now.
Will have to set it up tomorrow if he lives that long. Right now he is swimming at the bottom of the tank, a bit on a angle, but better than before and the only thing we have done is increased the aeration.
On Monday and Tuesday of this past week we treated the tank with Chemiclean at the advice of the guy that owns one of the stores we go to.
<I would NOT do this... not a fan of antimicrobials for algae control. You can see, review my input archived on WWM, or a small book I have on the subject via Amazon.com>
It was to get rid of what I thought was a brownish algae, almost like felt we had building up in the tank. He called it Red Cyanobacteria.
<Possibly...>
Per the instructions we increased aeration during and after treatment, and after 24 hours did a 20% water change and ran the extra aeration until this past Friday.
<I'd execute a large water change (like 25%) and add a unit or two of ChemiPure in your filter flow path... Possibly more chemical filtrant use... Bob Fenner>
AD
Re: Sick Flame Angel       12/25/16

Hi Bob, I only see your original response. This is why I hate GMAIL and only use it in a pinch. After my original email I sent you two more. If you can send the response to those two emails to a new email address I would greatly appreciate it. The address to respond to is: <deleted>
<Have responded... do you see these? BobF>
Thanks,
AD
Re: Sick Flame Angel       12/25/16
Hi Bob,
Just to add to my last mail.
We bought the angel on 12/9. We treated the tank with the Chemiclean on 12/12. Did the water change on 12/14. I shutdown the extra aeration on 12/16. All has been good until this morning per my original email.
Thanks again,
AD
<... the added water change, addition of the filtrant/s. Poss. PolyFilter as well/in addition. BobF>

 

 

Re: Sick Flame Angel       12/26/16
Hi Bob,
<Hey Adam; merry Xmas!>
I see your responses now. Thanks.
<Welcome>
I will look into your post and book on the subject.
<Ah, good>
We will start filtering water (RO) for a large water change. Based on the rate of our RO filter, may not be able to do the water change today, most likely on Monday morning. I will change out the carbon today and double the amount I have been using. I will pick up the ChemiPure tomorrow and put it in after the water change.
<Very good>
We are in the process of setting up the Quarantine tank and will move the angel over as soon as it is ready.
The angel is definitely better this morning. He is staying in one place on the bottom and still swimming a little on an angle and weakly so still have the lights out to keep things in the tank quiet until we are ready to move him. As far as his physical condition his color is good, his fins are torn up, and my son was right about the pop eye. The one eye is definitely popped out.
<Unilateral... a bump into something>

Other than getting him into the quarantine tank is there anything else we should do for him?
<Just the usual best maintained water quality and nutrition>

Thanks again,
AD
<Certainly welcome. BF>
Re: Sick Flame Angel       12/26/16

Hi Bob,
<Hello Adam>
Sorry for not wishing you a Merry Christmas.
<No worries>
Well, we lost the Flame Angel. We got him into the Quarantine tank but a few hours later he die. I kept fresh water fish since I was a kid. From 1990 until 1998 I kept a salt water fish tank. Two year ago my son asked to setup a saltwater tank so I helped him with it and he did a good job taking care of it so when he asked to upgrade reef tank I was all in (I
always wanted to keep on). I have never lost a fish like this flame angel. We bought him two weeks ago. Initially he was chased by the three strip damsel but that stopped in about two days. He was fine, eating well and then all of a sudden he started acting strange as described earlier.
Fins damaged and never saw anyone hitting him until he was already weak and damaged.
<A note here; it is likely this fish was damaged in the process of collection, handling, shipping... Such stress often shows up days to a few weeks later. VERY likely this fish was in the ocean less than a month ago>
Any insight on what to watch out for would be appreciated and thanks for your quick response and advice.
AD
<I'd have you read the FAQs on WWM: Re Marine Angel and Centropyge Stocking/Selection,
C. loricula stkg./sel.: They are here on this part of the indices: http://wetwebmedia.com/FishInd3.htm
Bob Fenner>

DSB. Go Deep or go Home?       12/26/16
Mele Kalikimaka Bob and crew. Sending big Aloha to your Christmas Day.
We've got a pig from the land and fish from the ocean to feast. Give thanks!
<Oh yes>
Since I have this big DSB now, I'm questioning the need for one in my DT as well.
<Well; the more the merrier, but... the sump is fine alone>
Still working out trying to see how to integrate 2" pipe for the overflow to the Rubbermaid and sump- or if I can even fit it. it seems really big and a bit of an overkill for my soft coral setup but I'm still studying about flow reading that link you sent me in the last email again.
<Believe what you will till experience changes your mind>
It seems to be working the way it is but I will definitely add another 1-2" pipe from Rubbermaid to the Sump for safety and ease of flow.
<Okay>
My issue now is that I cut these pvc risers at 4" and it's looking pretty funky. Would you suggest to recut to 3.5" or fill up w even more sand?
<The supports under the rock? I'd cut them shorter>
I'd kind of rather revert the display back to 1-2" at this point with all that filtration going on at the DSB in the Rubbermaid?
<Sure>
Id really like your guidance on this. Is the key feature of the DSB also in the display to have the live sand eat up the detritus there?
<Eat up? Aid in anaerobiosis, more like it. Best to have little or a lot of substrate. Little to aid in cleaning (NOT accumulating detritus), MORE for all the reasons archived on WWM>
Just want to get ultra clear because I already have all that sand in Rubbermaid and sump! I'm all about sacrificing some visual aesthetics for long term stability and ease of maintenance. But do I really need all that sand in the Display as well?
<... no>
I'm setting up another 10 gal nano satellite tank for my daughter which will definitely have only an Inch or two of sand. She's excited to not have to do much maintenance since the water will be fed off the system and so am I for her! She wanted a fresh water tank till we came up with this idea. I think 3/4 " pipe should be plenty for her little setup, yes?
<... on the discharge/feeder side, even half inch will do... Can't say how large the return/drain should be w/o knowing more... like the slope and length of the return line>
Just skied Mauna Kea yesterday so here's a shot for you and the crew of me and my Wahine:
<Brrrr!>
After skiing we went to the ocean and I found some giant Sea Hares. They seems to be feasting on my algae pretty good. I wonder if you could dispel the myths of these gentle giants poisoning the tank. Are the Hawaiian ones da kine and reef safe?
<They are not as toxic as some Aplysiids, but ARE trouble; more than their worth... inking, getting sucked up against pump intakes, overflows...>
Leave in the Rubbermaid, quarantine and sump?
<Return to the sea>
Then take back to the ocean once they've cleaned up the algae or feed Nori?
Mahalo!
Sky Kubby
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>



Tumor on Betta       12/26/16
Hi Crew,
My 2 year old plakat Betta Raji has developed a tumor (cyst, abscess?) at the base of his right ventral fin. In the photos it is the dark mass appearing to hang down at the base of his throat.
<I see this in your excellent pix>

The tumor appears to be growing within the fin base and is the same color as the body. The growth is about the size of a baby pea. I noticed his ventral fin getting fuller, but thought it was normal. I did not notice the severe enlargement until today. I have been distracted by the serious illness of another family member for the past few weeks, so I don't know if
it happened overnight or over the past few weeks.
Raji is in a heated, cycled and filtered 3 gallon tank with driftwood and a live Anubias. I change his water every 5 days (50% in two stages over 30 minutes to minimize stress). He normally eats a combination of Spectrum pellets and frozen brine shrimp, although lately, he has refused the pellets and will only eat brine shrimp.
Ammonia and nitrite are both zero and nitrates are around 5 ppm.
Raji is active although his appetite is not as robust as in the past.
Do you think the growth is a tumor or could it be some sort of an infection, parasite or cyst? The tissue over the growth is the same as the surrounding healthy tissue and is not discolored in any way.
Thank you for any suggestions or insight you may have into my little guy's strange growth.
Susan
<I do have a suggested treatment mode here. It involves three approaches:
1) The administration of iodide-ate to the water directly; via a commercial product for marine aquarium use... an example:
http://www.seachem.com/reef-iodide.php
administered per the instructions for whatever product you end up using...
Daily for three days then stopping for three more; then re-administering the same>
2) The application of a quarter tsp. of Epsom Salt to the water (dissolved first), and its replenishment with water changes.
3) The soaking of foods in a vitamin et al. supplement; an example here: http://www.seachem.com/vitality.php
This done every feeding for a few minutes before the food is offered.
I suspect this tumor is related to the equivalent of the thyroid of higher vertebrates; and these steps will hopefully bring about a reversal of this tumor's growth. Bob Fenner>

Re: Tumor on Betta       12/26/16
Thank you Bob!
<Welcome Susan>
To clarify, do I choose just one approach (for example, administering Sea Chem Iodide to the tank) or do I combine all three?
<All three; these treatment moda are all "mix-able">
If I am to only choose one approach, do I continue the product until the growth is gone, or as in the case of the Iodide, only administer for the two doses?
<The iodide for just the two dosage series, the others for a month>
In the case of the Vitality, can it be used until the tumor is resolved?
<Yes; like human supplements, very safe to augment nutrition>
Same with the Epsom salts addition to the water change?
<I would only use the MgSO4 for a month; dilute through water changes after>
Thanks again,
Susan
<Clarity is pleasurable; sorry for its lack here. BobF>


Dinosaur Eel       12/26/16
Last week we noticed a bump on our dinosaur eel,
<Polypterus senegalus; or Senegal Bichir. Neither a dinosaur nor an eel!>

we’ve had him for a year now, and this is the first we are seeing this.
The bump isn’t getting any bigger, but there’s two white marks on the bump, under an inch apart, and we don’t know what could have caused it, or what it is. Here is a picture of him and his injury, hopefully you can help?
<We can try. These look like blisters or cysts, rather than ectoparasites like flukes (which are fairly common among Bichirs and usually treated using anti-worm medications). So the question is how the skin of these Bichirs got damaged or irritated.>
His tank-mates are: 1 Red Tail Shark, 1 Angel Fish, 1 Pictus Catfish,
<Pimelodus pictus? A schooling species.>
1 Algae Eater,
<Gyrinocheilus aymonieri by any chance? Or even if it's a common Plec, not really safe with Bichirs. Any of these algae-eating fish can, will graze on the flanks of Bichirs, especially when hungry, but at least some 'algae eaters' are entirely opportunistic, Gyrinocheilus in particular, and these will simply eat the mucous from fish because they can. In doing so, these fish remove the healthy mucous that keeps the skin below safe, making it easier for bacteria to infect minor injuries. From there, you get blisters and such like. Other possible causes of damage are heaters (always use a heater guard around glass heaters if you have such items in the tank) and sharp gravel. Bichirs are quite tough animals, but because they're sensitive to copper-based medications, treating them once they get sick is difficult. Antibiotics are safe though.>
2 Molly’s
<Molly's what?>
and 4 Black Skirts
None of them are aggressive with each other, (until one of them is dying….) they all have their own spaces in the 70gal tank, and never fight over food.
I’m hoping you can figure out what that is on our eel, I would hate to see him go after having him for a year. Thank you.
<Indeed. Review the above, and write back if anything unclear. Happy Holidays, Neale.>


Sucker       12/26/16
Dear find
I have a sucker fish from 2 year I have brought 2 sucker but one died with in 6months and other one is energetic and eating much but he/she is not growing in size
My question is if sucker is 2year old what will be its size?
Thank you
Enil
<This is a juvenile Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus or some very similar species. It should get to 45 cm/18 inches in length. Certainly 20 cm/8 inches within 1 year, 30 cm/12 inches by the end of the second year. If this catfish is not growing, despite being well fed, it may have intestinal worms. Treat with something like Praziquantel or Levamisole. Hope this
helps, Neale.>
<Oh! Enil, this is a friend of Neale Monk's; another WWM volunteer. I'd like to add that the albino Pangasius catfish in your photo will get VERY big... and could cause trouble in terms of waste production, possibly ingest some of your other livestock. Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/PangCatCompF.htm
and the linked files at top. Bob Fenner>

Baseodiscus mexicanus       12/25/16
Hello Bob and crew and merry Christmas!
<And to you/for you/rs>
While wandering around a few of my local aquarium stores today I stumbled across something I'd only seen in pictures, a Ribbon worm. I've always been intrigued by them, but have been put off by the lack of information surrounding their care. I'd love to add this specimen to my aquarium, but I'm afraid it might go after my fish or my shrimp. The worm in question is Baseodiscus mexicanus, and was roughly 20' long when stretched out fully at the store. He's currently in with a small urchin, a couple hermit crabs, and a small horseshoe crab at the store, but he just came in. The store had him listed as a Medusa worm, as that is what he came to the store listed as by Segrest Farms.
<Interesting>
I put him on hold, so he wouldn't sell, and so that I could try to find more information on this worm. My tank is a 380 gallon shallow (8'x4'x19" tall) stocked with a variety of small and larger fish, as well as 2 cleaner shrimp, 2 blood shrimp, a yellow belly coral banded shrimp, 2 peppermint shrimp, 7 emerald crabs, a very large electric blue hermit, 4-5 various brittle and serpent stars, an Iconaster longimanus sea star who's been doing great for around 5 months now, and a Condylactis anemone. If the worm isn't a good fit for this system, I would be able to place it in my 150 gallon sump as well, with close to 200 lbs of live rock rubble, a bunch of Caulerpa, a small army of bristle worms, and an evil black tailed humbug damsel as tankmates.
<Okay>
I just can't really find any information on this worm as far as diet, other that the family as a whole is either predatory on annelid worms, Nudibranchs, small crustaceans, small fish, or detritus feeders. I really appreciate any input you have!
<Mmm; Nemerteans are carnivores, feeding on annelids, clams and crustaceans. >
Thanks, and once again merry Christmas!
Ashton Nietzke
>And for you and yours. BobF<
Re: Baseodiscus mexicanus       12/25/16

Thank you Bob for the quick reply!
<Welcome Ashton>
In your opinion, do you think this particular worm (again about 20 feet long fully stretched out, and about an inch across) would go after larger ornamental shrimp and emerald crabs, or stick to smaller prey like amphipods.
<Much more likely to go after less active sources>
I have plenty of bristleworms, if that ends up being the food it likes, and I feed 3-5 mussels to the tank a day for the Moorish idol and regal angelfish so adding an extra mussel would be no big deal. I'm just worried about the worm possibly going after my juvenile regal angel (around 1.5 inches) or after my pairs of shrimp and my crew of emeralds.
<These are very likely safe. Bob Fenner>
Thanks again,
Ashton Nietzke

Sick Flame Angel       12/25/16
HI,
<Hello Adam>
I bought a flame angel about two weeks ago and until this morning he has been doing great.
This morning he just stayed in the rocks and did not eat and it appeared his mouth on one side was a bit swollen. My son thought that he has pop eye but I do not see that.
By early evening my son said his fins were torn.
<What are the other livestock present?>

Since the three strip damsel we have is a bit of a bully we thought he was causing problems but we did not see him getting chased. Since the family was over for Christmas Eve we turn out the tank lights to keep things calmed down.
<Good>
After family left my son found the flame angel hitting the top of the water and swimming funny, on a bit of a slant and to some extent in circles.
<Not good>
Because of the hitting the surface I thought low oxygen and added an air stone in the sump.
While testing the water he seemed to improve, not hitting the surface but still swimming on a slant and swimming weekly. He got stuck to my gyre wave generator so I turn that off.
<Very bad>
Water tests came back normal. Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, PH 8.2, Oxygen 6 mg/L. I know this is a bit low and have the air stone running.
Will test again in a bit and add more another stone if the level does not come up.
The tank is 125 gallon reef startup with a 55 gallon sump. There is only one green bubble tip anemone which I thought initially he messed with.
Any advice would be appreciated.
AD
<This fish may have been damaged in collection, handling... or by your present livestock. Do you have another place to move it to recover? Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Flame Angel       12/25/16

Hi, I received a response to my email from you but there was no content.
AD
<Strange; I see it below... Do you? BobF>
Re: Sick Flame Angel       12/25/16

Hi Bob,
<Adam>
Thanks for such a quick response.
<Welcome>
The other livestock include a yellow tang, three clowns, two yellow tail damsels, the three strip damsel,
<This species can be aggressive>
a royal gramma, a wrasse.
<Which species?>
two blood shrimp, the green bubble tip anemone, and about a dozen snails.
I have a tank that I use as a quarantine tank but it is empty right now.
Will have to set it up tomorrow if he lives that long. Right now he is swimming at the bottom of the tank, a bit on a angle, but better than before and the only thing we have done is increased the aeration.
On Monday and Tuesday of this past week we treated the tank with Chemiclean at the advice of the guy that owns one of the stores we go to.
<I would NOT do this... not a fan of antimicrobials for algae control. You can see, review my input archived on WWM, or a small book I have on the subject via Amazon.com>
It was to get rid of what I thought was a brownish algae, almost like felt we had building up in the tank. He called it Red Cyanobacteria.
<Possibly...>
Per the instructions we increased aeration during and after treatment, and after 24 hours did a 20% water change and ran the extra aeration until this past Friday.
<I'd execute a large water change (like 25%) and add a unit or two of ChemiPure in your filter flow path... Possibly more chemical filtrant use... Bob Fenner>
AD
Re: Sick Flame Angel       12/25/16

Hi Bob, I only see your original response. This is why I hate GMAIL and only use it in a pinch. After my original email I sent you two more. If you can send the response to those two emails to a new email address I would greatly appreciate it. The address to respond to is: <deleted>
<Have responded... do you see these? BobF>
Thanks,
AD
Re: Sick Flame Angel       12/25/16
Hi Bob,
Just to add to my last mail.
We bought the angel on 12/9. We treated the tank with the Chemiclean on 12/12. Did the water change on 12/14. I shutdown the extra aeration on 12/16. All has been good until this morning per my original email.
Thanks again,
AD
<... the added water change, addition of the filtrant/s. Poss. PolyFilter as well/in addition. BobF>

Fwd: No rush question - pH slowly rising in Betta tank - EEK, big rise after sodium bicarbonate treatment - ADD       12/25/16
I know that big pH change last night was NOT a good idea for our Betta. But the darn little guy has created another nice bubble nest today since I did this morning’s water change and seems completely unaware that he should be stressed! No gulping at the surface as our first Betta did if the pH went up. No sign of gill irritation. Still just as active and hungry as ever. Maybe I got lucky. He’s a young (about 4-month-old) plakat, a Thai import. Elaine
<This all sounds very positive. I'd just leave things be this weekend, and carry out normal weekly water changes hereafter, with a tiny amount of sodium bicarbonate added to provide buffering; as discussed previously, enough sodium bicarbonate for that bucket of water, not the whole tank. Cheers, Neale.>

Correct shrimp ID before placement       12/25/16
Hi and Merry Christmas Happy Holidays!
I have been trying for months to identify this shrimp, every time I think I have it nailed down something changes or further research seems to disqualify what I thought and I second guess myself. First a little background, we are in a marina in Ft Pierce FL at the junction of the intercoastal and the FT Pierce inlet. About 4-5 months ago I was checking
the water ,incoming tide, for little fishes when I saw what first appeared to be a small 1/2" piece of solid green sea grass or weed, as straight as and about half the width of a toothpick, it was "floating" differently than the other pieces of plant debris around it. On closer inspection I determined it to be a shrimp. I thought it was acting like it was injured or weak. As I hadn't seen one before (or since). I took it to ID and have been amazed at its continuing growth and changes, which has hindered the identifying of it. I started him in my smallest tank 3 gal and he has now reached the point my bigger 20 gal tank is getting too small. The Manatee center is very interested in it but I would want to provide a correct ID.
He now is about 4 1/2" long excluding the antenna, the antenna are approx 1/2 - 3/4 of an inch longer than the shrimp. The antenna are very fine with wide bands matching the green and tan(ish) body colors. There are no larger
pincers on the first set of legs, but each leg ends in uniformly sized smaller pincers and are banded like the antenna . Where the swimmerets meet the abdomen there are beautiful blue with yellow spots. He has a nicely shaped fan tail with 4 fins carrying the same color scheme with the same type banding on the very edges of the two outer most fins. He seems to enjoy both algae wafers, shrimp meat and fish meat (which my anemone enjoys also). As I stated earlier he started out very straight and solid bright green, sometimes dark green others a brighter green, then about a month in
he got more of a bent stick shape and I was positive he was a Tozeuma,
<Mmm; no... this genus is found in the trop. W. Atlantic; but this isn't a member>
but again changed my opinion as he grew, into the shrimp in the attached photos. When with a fish almost as big as he, it looked at times like he was trying to caress the fish with his antenna, perhaps like a cleaner would.
<More likely testing it as a food item>
He is a majestic beast and I would love to see him in a forever tank where he could help educate youngsters, that is why I am eager to do a correct ID on this fellow.
As always you, the whole wet web media team, are an awesome group of folk!
Thank you in advance
Kittie Schwebel
<My best guess, gauging from body morphology, growth/size... is that this is a Penaeid; likely Penaeus monodon... the Asian Tiger Shrimp... a contaminant (non-local) sometimes found in the Gulf... Bob Fenner>


Re: No rush question - pH slowly rising in Betta tank - EEK, big rise after sodium bicarbonate treatment     12/24/16
After our last exchange about the slowly rising pH in my aquarium (with very low KH reading), I decided to follow your suggestion and add the sodium bicarbonate - in the form of baking soda - to the aquarium to increase the KH. I didn’t want to just dump it into the aquarium without knowing what would happen, so I dissolved enough for my 5.5-gallon tank in a 1-gallon “water change” container first.
<Yes.>
I put in 1/2 teaspoon - the 1/10 teaspoon per gallon you had suggested since my tank actually holds about 5 gallons.
<No. Don't do it this way. Add only enough for the water being changed. Not the whole tank. So if you're changing 1 gallon, add enough for 1 gallon, i.e., 1/10th a teaspoon.>
The pH immediately went to 8.5.
<It would do. That's a lot of sodium bicarbonate.>
I didn’t want to dump that in the aquarium which was at about 7.4 at the time, so I used API pH down to get it down to 7.4.
<Why not just pour out half the water from the bucket, add fresh, and see what happens to the pH? Sodium bicarbonate is very cheap, and with these tiny amounts, you can experiment.>
Today, I did a water change and added the gallon treated with the baking soda. By today, the pH in the aquarium was up to 7.5. (My aquarium has been steadily rising .2 per week for 3 weeks, never more than .1 in 24 hours.) The gallon I added was reading a steady 7.4 for 2 days so I thought this would work. I kept a close eye on my Betta and he seemed his normal active, healthy self (always wanting to be fed and building a nice bubble nest). Tonight after I fed him, I did my normal check on pH. It read 8.4. I retested to make sure it wasn’t a bad reading and got 8.3. I double checked my meter by using the API drop test for pH and it was consistent with the meter reading - at least above the 7.6 that is the top of the API chart. Uh oh. Big pH increase in the 7 hours between 2 pm and 9 pm. I was frantic.
<I would be, too.>
I know that fluctuations, not absolute reading is the biggest problem, so I didn’t want to do anything to cause another drastic change. I did another water change with another gallon which had been sitting for several days at 7.4. (This last change had 1/10 teaspoon of baking soda in it.) I figured that was the most gentle way to treat this. I took another pH reading and it was down to 8. I checked GH and KH to see what they were doing. Sunday the KH had barely been reading - probably under 17.9 ppm. It is now reading right between drops on the API drop test, 89.5 to 107.4. The GH on Sunday had read 143.2. It is only slightly higher now - it only took one more drop with the API drop test which won’t give me precise readings between drops. So more than the 143.2 on Sunday, but no more than 161.1. So, I don’t think I’m stressing the Betta with big changes in GH. The only problem is that really big pH jump when I added the fresh water with baking soda. I don’t want to keep making changes which may do no good and just stress the fish. I’m figuring at this point I just monitor the pH closely and continue to make frequent water changes to lower it slowly. Any other ideas? (I don’t think you need this data, but my ammonia readings are consistently 0, nitrite 0, and nitrate about 10 ppm.)
<See above. The aim was/is to make a bucket of slightly hardened water, do the water change with that, and gradually, over the weekly water changes, raise the carbonate hardness. Again, to stress: my goal is/was to add a little sodium bicarbonate to the bucket of water, test that it make sure it's sensible for your fish, and then add that to the tank. At no time would I recommend adding chemicals sufficient to change ALL the water in the tank at once. That would be stressful. Let me repeat a third time: add a tiny (1/10th tsp) quantity of sodium bicarbonate to 1 gallon water; test the KH and pH; if these are sensible, then use this water; if not sensible, remove some water, add some fresh tap water, and test again. Don't add anything to the tank you think is "too hard" or "too alkaline". Make sense? Cheers, Neale.>
Re: No rush question - pH slowly rising in Betta tank - EEK, big rise after sodium bicarbonate treatment     12/24/16

I understand and will follow your instructions, except the bit about using 1/10 teaspoon sodium bicarbonate per gallon in the water I use for changes so that the entire aquarium is at that proportion eventually. The aquarium water WAS 1/10 teaspoon sodium bicarbonate per gallon - total tank - when I added the 1 gallon yesterday with enough dissolved (1/2 teaspoon) to bring entire aquarium to 1/10 teaspoon per gallon.
<This is where you going wrong. This is a 5-gallon tank, right? And let's assume we're sticking with 0.1 tsp per US gallon. So total would be 5 x 0.1 = 0.5 = half a teaspoon. But DO NOT add this much!!! Let's assume your tank starts off with no sodium carbonate. You take 1 gallon out. You draw 1 gallon of tap water into a bucket. You add 1/10 tsp sodium bicarbonate to this. Dissolve. Add to aquarium. Wait a week. Do another water change. Remove 1 gal; draw 1 gal new tap water; add 1/10th tsp sodium bicarbonate. Repeat for the rest of time. Make sense? Never, EVER add enough buffer salts for the whole aquarium during one water change. The aim is to make slow, incremental changes.>
I checked KH in the aquarium when it went way up, and in a gallon of water to which I added 1/10 teaspoon sodium bicarbonate - same KH - and both with pH over 8. It is obviously too much - made pH way too high.
<Can be; hence the need to experiment. Try filling a bucket with 2 gallons water, add 1/10th tsp (i.e., 1/20th per US gallon total). Dissolve. Measure hardness and pH. See what you get. If it's better, make a note of how much you used, and use that amount instead. Because sodium bicarbonate is so cheap, this approach isn't really going to waste that much money. Pennies a year.>
So I don’t think that water with that much sodium bicarbonate will work for the water changes if I expect to have any impact on the pH or the concentrate of sodium bicarbonate. I think I need less sodium bicarbonate, even though I know that lowers KH and makes pH less stable. But 1/10 teaspoon is clearly just too much in this water unless I want to maintain this pH of more than 8.
<See above.>
I’m now adding water with NO sodium bicarbonate to bring down the pH - and to dilute the amount of sodium bicarbonate in the aquarium (mixing it first with some water removed from tank to keep the pH difference of the water I add from being too big and stressing my Betta again - it doesn’t take too much of the tank water because of the high KH, high sodium bicarbonate concentration, in the aquarium).
<Do small water changes each day and your fish won't be stressed.>
When I get this down to a lower pH, I will start using water which has a small amount of sodium bicarbonate to maintain KH as best I can. My RO water starts out under 6.0.
<Which is very low. My concern is actually hardness and pH stability. Bettas are fine at a stable pH 6.0. But an unstable pH that low can quickly cause problems, and besides, very low pH levels affect biological filtration as well, so aren't ideal.>
I can add slight amount of sodium bicarbonate to get it up to about 7.0 - but it will be significantly less than 1/10 teaspoon per gallon I can tell from my experience now.
<Yes; this exactly!>
I will follow your suggestion and change out 10% to 25% per day of the water, no more. I did 10% this morning and will probably do another 10% tonight. The pH is back up to 8.2 after this morning’s water change fully circulated through the aquarium. I don’t think there is any possibility of changing pH more than 0.2 per day - probably it will be less, so it shouldn’t give him a shock again if I keep mixing the new water with the tank water before I add it. Does this sound correct or am I misunderstanding you in some way?
<Seems about right to me.>
Thank you for your help. Elaine
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: No rush question - pH slowly rising in Betta tank - EEK, big rise after sodium bicarbonate treatment     12/24/16

It’s clear. I misunderstood you and made a big goof. I have caused a huge pH fluctuation for my fish - probably great deal of stress - and if I had understood correctly this would not have happened. Now, the question is, how to remedy the mistake.
<Do nothing quickly.>
Since he survived the huge pH jump and acts healthy - swimming, active, no gulping at the surface, etc. - I don’t think another huge pH change down would be good. Seems slow correction is better.
<Correct. Even changes to the better should be done slowly. No more than, say, 10-25% volume of the tank per day.>
This morning his tank read 8.3 on pH. I did a 1/2 gallon water change with just RO water treated with Replenish, mixing it with some of the water I removed from the tank so the pH difference would be less.
<Yes, it would be.>
I took a pH reading right after that and it read 8.1.
<As KH drops, pH should drop too; but at the same time pH instability will increase. I would be doing small water changes, each time the new water being made up with 1/10th tsp sodium bicarbonate per 1 gallon. So ultimately the tank water has that ratio of sodium bicarbonate to water.>
I’ll check later to make sure what’s happening. My plan is to continue daily, or twice daily, small changes to gradually reduce the pH by no more than .2 per day. Does that sound like the best course to correct my major mistake? Elaine
<Pretty much. See above. I don't think you can change "0.2 pH per day" because the scale is logarithmic, not linear, and there isn't an easy relationship between pH and dissolved sodium bicarbonate. Cheers, Neale.>

Hawaiian Remote Rubbermaid DSB.... too much dashing about; in a one horse open sleigh!      12/24/16
Well I shortened the inflow pipe to the DSB from the DT and angled downward. Voila! Everything is working fine! I did have to decrease my pump output a few points so I can see how bigger pipes will help later, replacing my stock 1".
<Oh yes>
The issue I see now with plumbing the 2" bulkhead to bulkhead from DSB to sump is that if I go any further below the waterline it will result in my sump massively overflowing.
<.... See WWM w/ the words: "transit volume"... READ
. >
Without the power head going in the Rubbermaid you can see the bubbles/ flow go straight out the overflow. What did you mean about there should be more flow inside the DT. You mean w powerheads or more turnover? Is 300gph
way too little for this system for mostly softies?
I could see it getting over 80 degrees as it did before, but perhaps the larger water volume will actually stabilize the temp.
Is it important to plum a split return to the other side of my DT?
What about drilling a new "whisper" overflow on the back of the tank. Two inches may be difficult where it's at now as you can see with the previous diagrams and my cabinet.
You mentioned to keep the sand where it is in the first chamber of the sump. Do I take some of it to seed the New DSB and sprinkle on top? Just the top layer or a full spectrum sample?
Yes, it's definitely exciting to have all this water now!
Sky Kubby
Hawaiian RDSB     12/24/16

First morning light on the DSB!
<Nice>

Re: Black Volitans Infection     12/24/16
<..... The eight megs... Again?>
Thanks Bob for quick reply. As long as he is acting normal and eating I won't treat him and let him heal on his own. As far as moving one of the fish, I could set up a tank but it was my understanding from reading on WWM
that different lions and scorpions could be housed together as long as they are of similar sizes so as not to get eaten.
<Though there is always the chance of them poking each other>
There are no running powerheads, the one that is in there the lion likes to hide under so I never turn it on. I will read up on the use of Epsom salt and thanks for your valuable, and much appreciated input.
Jason
<Cheers, BobF>

Just many thanks      12/24/16
Hello crew,
I do not have any specific question. I started to read your website about seven years ago. I learned everything about fish tank from your website: about water chemistry, fish stocking and compatibility, lighting and gravel. I have happy and healthy 5 years old 75 gallon tank. You might be interested to use some of my fish pictures for your website.
Happy holidays and many thanks,
Mark
<Hi there Mark, and thanks for the kind words! Some nice looking fish; that male Humphead Cichlid is really quite something! Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas, Neale.>



Re: Parasites?      12/23/16
10-4 got it. Thanks a ton Bob
<Welcome Julie; and please keep us informed. BobF>
Re: Parasites?      12/23/16

Will do, although I thought of one more thing, regarding adding 2 more Anthias, I'm wary of doing that as this male seems pretty aggressive.
<Yes; the larger part of why I suggested a higher female to the one male ratio. Your 175 should be large enough>
I had a single one when I added the 3 (it was leftover from a batch of 5 very small juveniles that did not survive) and within 24 hours he bullied that single one to jumping out of the tank and he was dead when I got home.
And this was months ago even before they were "sexed" really, they were only about an inch and a half when I got them. So I'm concerned if he bullied that settled one when he was a new addition to the tank, how much more so would he bully new additions now that the tank is "his" territory.....I may try increasing the feeding and using the Selcon every
day first for a couple months to see if that helps before adding more.
<Your concern is valid. I would (use two nets! Maybe a friend with another one!) net out the male and hold him in a plastic floating colander (spag. strainer) for a day or two, allowing the new females to settle in. Bob Fenner>
Re: Parasites?      12/23/16

Great idea. Thanks!
<Welcome Jules. B>

Pond Supply Resource Suggestion      12/23/16
Hi there,
<Hey Beth>
I saw you have some awesome pond supply resources on your website here, (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pondsubwebindex/pondlinks.htm ), and I wanted to make another suggestion for that list if you are open to it. It is Aquatic Ponds which you can check out here, (http://www.aquaticponds.com/ ). I think
this would be a useful and relevant addition to your existing list. Please let me know your thoughts. I hope to hear from you soon!
All the best,
Beth Greene
<Thank you for your suggestion. Will add their link. Bob Fenner>
Re: Pond Supply Resource Suggestion      12/23/16

Awesome thank you so much Bob!
<Thank you Beth! BobF>

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