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Guest Post on Your Website Wetwebmedia.com     1/16/20
I hope you are doing well.
<Thank you>
I'm Emma Lewis, a professional article writer and Aquarium lover.
I would like to contribute a high-quality article by following all guidelines provided by you.
I promise that I will provide HIGH quality content of 2000+ Words that you won’t find anywhere else.
Here are my two ideas that will be the perfect choice for your website readers.
*Learn the Basics About Aquarium Canister Filters *
*How to Make Your Pet Reptile's Love You *
What do you think about these ideas? Which one of them is more suitable for your site?
<We only "do" aquatic reptiles...>
Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks
Emma Lewis
<You're welcome to make independent submissions. We pay $200 for non-exclusive use/posting if accepted. Bob Fenner>

HOB Filter Modifications     1/16/20
Dear WWM Crew,
<Hi Mark>
I currently have a 20gal high that is in the middle of a fishless cycle. I don’t plan on making any huge adjustments to the filtration until I have the cycle done. Before I began cycling I modified the Tetra Whisper Power Filter (PF20) that came with the tank. I added a sponge to the intake, removed the activated carbon pad as well as the small sponge that came with the filter to make room for 1 AquaClear foam insert (which was cut down) and 1 AquaClear biomax insert. Over the last few weeks of having this filtration setup I’m beginning to have a few concerns.
- Some of the are not fully submerged.
<Filter media does not work if it is not fully submerged, (wet dry bio balls excepted).>
- The water is not force to go through the sponge and only has to go through the BioMax balls.
<If this is the case, Biomax will just work as a mechanical filter until it gets clogged>
- The added filtration in the chamber stalls some enough of the water so that some water is running back into the tank from where the pump enter the filter.
<I‘d take out at least half of the Biomax balls to relieve the filter and get a decent/constant water flow>
I’m worried that with how the filter is set up that the foam and BioMax balls are not able to build up bacteria. Part of this concern is that I can see build up of something on the intake sponge and not of the bio filters inside the filter (I have a feeling that the intake sponge is just picking up the small particles in the tank and that is all it is). I know these are probably small concerns and should not be worried about; however I’m curious to hear someone else’s opinion. I have attached some pictures if need be. I look forward to hearing a response!
<Just correct the above and you'll be fine. BTW, I resized your pix to a lower resolution, next time please see the uploading guidelines.><<Excellent Wil. B>>
Mark Aikema
<You're most welcome. Wil.>

Guess what. I have a problem (Reef hlth)      1/13/20
Good day dearest WWM team,
<Good day Evelyn>
As many, a long time reader and fan.
So. I have a 120 gallon reef tank with:
Bubble magus 7 skimmer
<A very nice product>
Carbon reactor
<Do you change this often?>
Phosphate reactor
Bioplastics reactor
<Am not a fan of this, I rely more on DSB>
Ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 1.5
Phosphate 0.02, cal. 500, magnesium 1500, KH 8.7 brought down from 11.
Dose: Redsea A and B
The tank has been running for just about 3 years.
Fish: 2 little wrasses, 2 antheas, a little fox , a mandarin, a damsel, all non coral disturbing fish with the exception of the fox I suppose.
The tank is mostly soft corals, the usuals, and a few SPS right at the summit of the rock work.
<What about aquarium lighting, water temperature… have you added new fish or corals recently?>
Huston, here’s the problem: the softies are NOT happy and declining in health. They look shrunken and blasé, some flesh of the prized scoly has deteriorated along the edges. A tree, not a Kenya, just decided to ‘spontaneously’ die after 2 years.
<Mmm, this is certainly not a good sign>
Our meat coral the size of a small dinner plate is now the size of a peony. We had a RTN of a large SPS about 3 months back, it did not spread to any other.
I change my socks every 2 days religiously.
Your thoughts ??
<How often do you change aquarium water and what percentage each time?... salt contains very important elements that get “used up” by marine organisms and need to be replaced. I suggest doing an immediate partial water change, 15 or 20% at least and see if corals show any improvement in the next few days.>
Many thanks,
<You’re most welcome. Wil.>
Re: Guess what. I have a problem      1/13/20

Oh! Very important omitted things, there’s just so much.
The lighting: 2 maxspect razor 420 R 15,000K, places about 11” from the surface of the tank.
Water change 20% once per month.
The carbon is changed every 2 to 3 weeks
<Regularly, carbon gets exhausted and loses adsorption capacity in the first few days, beyond that it will turn into a biological filter.>
Temp is 78f, PH is 8.8
< A bit high, try to maintain it around 8.3>
Another death I did not report was that of a brain, it just randomly stayed closed and very slowly disintegrated.
It’s like, a slow decline in the health of the softies, yet some others appear to be flourishing. It’s been ‘stable’ for so long, no recent additions.
Sometimes I feel that if you screw with tank chasing after numbers it just interferes with the balance.
<You’re right on this, personally I don’t lose sleep thinking about the numbers...good maintenance practices maintain water chemistry balanced.>
I think that I had a better tank when my KH was 7 and my mg was 1350 and my nitrates were 15 and I had hair algae. I think tanks find their own balance with peoples circumstances different city water etc. any thoughts appreciated.
Many thanks,
<I suggest returning the numbers to where they were before the losses, please do keep us posted. Wil.>

Re: Jewel cichlids; repro., comp.       1/13/20
I just got 5 albino bristlenose plecos and 5 Silvertip plecos. All are about 1 1/2 inches. Can i put them in with my breeding pair of jewel cichlids.
<Not if you want them to live, no. Seriously: breeding cichlids of any sort are very intolerant of bottom feeding fish, and small catfish like these are likely to be hammered by Jewels. Not worth the risk. As a rule, keep breeding cichlids in their own tank, not least of all because it makes water quality management and feeding fry easier. Keep your community fish for their own, breeding-cichlid-free system.>
My tank is 48"x18"x12"?. By the way thank you for taking time out to answer my questions.
<You are most welcome. Regards, Neale.>

Old age (!); WWM input      1/13/20
I have been to your site hundreds of times for 12 plus years...my only problem, is that you (your site) believes in reinventing the wheel over and over again....
lets take all that we have bettered our selfs in, in the last 3 to 4 years, and make this our strive.....most of your site is way over 10 years...why dont you create a old past age section of trials and errors..
<The FAQs, questions/answers are dated, the newest posted at the top, newest files>

.and todays, works purty good areas.... im sure there are 10's of thousands that do not care what they did in reef aquariums, or any other aquariums 20 years 10 years 5 years ago....please make a section of whats new going on ( only last 3 years... never older).. so i not listening to cave men scratching.............
Water spray boxes...is a glass or acrylic box, water is sprayed against back at great pressure, and drops out bottom to recollect in refugium *****. a one cubic foot sand box, for the new - wet dry filter.. in a wet dry tank. Make a cube that fits where bio balls used to be. Make handles where you can pull this every 6 months to rinse and rinse sand...and put back in... please try to keep as much of the finer finds as you can...... one and a half inch sponge on bottom. 20 pound bag "carib sea ocean direct" leveled...... and your wet dry drip tray above.... nature uses the beach to filter Her waters...
A protein skimmer only operates one hour daily for 6 days, and than 6 hours on 7th...
Throw those stupid filter socks away
My very first saltwater tank. 8 years before the red bugs, killed eco system, created algie explosion..
A tank set down.........fish are 9 years old ( different real fast set up tank).
First tank-- 30 gallon (called turtle tank) is my medicine tank. A 50/50 power compact light 24 inch..
..a 1/4 inch tubing from main tank feeds tank with another 1/4 inch line to Drain
Regium is 125 gallon 6 section, a pump to drain the water to a drain in hot water tank room for water changes.....and a automatic float for new 8 stage rodi water coming in.....i hit a switch and turn a valve ......and i did a water change.....4 --inch and a half lines from main tank in...feeding refugium...100 pounds maybe closer to 150 pounds ocean real rock, 4 inch sand bed, 5 - one pound bags Matrix,
Has 2 Rio 2800 pumps feeding up to a "my reef creations" double becket protein skimmer..(capable of 800 gallons.... big boy)
Spill from protein skimmer feeds into side of a 30 gallon wet dry. First chamber, 20 pounds pencil size broken coral branchs, fills to top to drip tray, which has 1 layer nitrate and 1 layer phosphate filter media 14x12 inch....driping to sand box....... drain back down to refugium..
A gold dart return pump ......feeding 4- inch and a half pvc lines to main tank..these return lines are over back of tank...all 4 holes in over flow boxes.. bottom, are being used for drain
Main tank is double reef ready 135 gallon 72x16x27 tall..250 pounds real ocean rock , 4 to 5 inch sand bed
Lights are from one side to the other.. lights are 24 inch running front to back of tank....from left to right.....
2- t5 24 inch atintic bulbs.all lights are on own timers... 20 minutes before second set lights......than 2. T5 24 inch day bulbs. Than 20 minute before next light set.....than a 250 watt 20k metal halide.....45 minutes later a giesemann vervve led light comes on. And the first actinic bulbs go off.. than 10 minutes the first day bulbs go off.. 45 minutes later another 250. - 20k metal halide comes on.*****.metal halides and giesemann vervve lights are on 7 hours each.*****...than a second t5 day bulb comes on right side of tank and the first metal halide goes off.....than a second t5 actinic light comes on right side of tank 20 minutes and the vervve goes off...45 minutes latter the second metal halide goes off...20 minutes t5 day bulbs off....20 minutes latter t5 actinics off. Night blues on all night.
And life bites you in the wallet...but we continue to prove our failures...
"""Man kind will eat himself"""
And i do love your site...just imposible finding new. New. New information
Maybe site is operating by dinosaurs.. ..dinosaurs are making a come back you know
<Well, your point... that new/er information may be more pertinent, useful... is taken. I've responded... and would state, how you gonna know where you are unless you know where you been? Am more than fine w/ WWM as an archival tool. Perhaps you'll make something new/er, more novel. Bob Fenner>

A woman in my angelfish group has a sick angelfish.     1/12/20
He's not bloated but he swims with his nose pointing up. Thanks
<Please do have them write us; with particulars re the system, water quality measures, diet, and imagery if they think this will help. Bob Fenner>

Re: Trichopodus leerii food    1/12/20
Thank you! This gourami is not going to make it...
<Oh dear.>
I’m on the third and final dose of Kanaplex after many water changes and removing the carbon from the filter—I hate medicating my tank but I thought it was necessary here—and now he’s showing fin rot, lost posture, and rocking back and forth. If I lose him, and after I let the tank sit stable for a while, do you think a smaller gourami would work in my setup, such as a T. chuna?
<In a tank this size and shape, I'd be thinking perhaps of a 'bed' of floating vegetation at the top, and then something smaller, like Sparkling Gouramis or Croaking Gouramis. Both associate with floating plants, and being farmed but not selectively bred, they're pretty robust. Sensitive to cold air, like all labyrinth fish, but the Sparkling Gouramis are tiny fish, and would be fine in a columnar tank. They have lovely colours! Floating Indian Fern would be an ideal plant to use, being adaptable and forming thick beds several inches deep, if doing well. Do see BobF's piece on this excellent species, here:
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Trichopodus leerii food    1/12/20

Great ideas all around, thanks so much!
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: EBA with Sunken belly   1/11/20
Hi Neale
<Hello again, Susan,>
Well, I decided to dose General Cure until my heater arrived and I could set up his hospital tank. He appears to be responding somewhat to this treatment as he is coming out of hiding to greet me and he ate a small amount of blood worms mixed with Metroplex last night. I'm finishing the second dose of General Cure today.
<Sounds promising.>
SeaChem says they usually recommend not to do both (treat water column and do medicated food, they said General Cure is comparable to Metroplex with some Prazi added).
<Would seem logical; doing both would be an overdose, with perhaps unhelpful results to either fish or filter.>
Do you think it would be wise to continue with medicated food (straight Metroplex) after I've finished with the General Cure if I don't see 100% improvement?
<Yes, but I tend to favour waiting a day or two between the end of one course and the start of another. Certainly, doing a decent water change at this point gives the filter bacteria a breathing space.>
I want to knock out whatever bug he has but I don't want to over medicate.
SeaChem says to feed for 3 weeks which tells me the dose in the food, while effective, is on the low side.
<Possibly, but remember: when fed as food, you're getting all the medicine into the fish; when added to water, only a tiny fraction is absorbed through the skin because its so massively diluted by the aquarium water or metabolised by other organisms in the tank. So feeding the fish generally ensures a closer-to-optimum concentration of the medicine inside the fish.>
Thank you for tip on using Zeolite in the hospital tank filter to control ammonia. I usually use Prime but I know it can reduce O2 levels especially when medicating. Zeolite is a better alternative.
<Indeed it is. A simply box filter will do.>
Thank you again! I can't count how many times your site and advice has saved my fish and made me a better fish keeper.
<And thank you for these kind words. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Red Claw Crab not Eating   1/11/20
I’d like to thank you for helping me with my red claw crab. Unfortunately, he has passed away even after adding a proper amount of salt and turning up the temperature, as he just did not eat at all.
<I'm sorry to hear that.>
I don’t know the reason for his refusal to eat, but after taking your advice, he seemed to have more energy and would actually approach the food (but still didn’t eat it). Maybe he was sick?
<Indeed, or perhaps, he'd been away from salty water for too long. These are tricky animals to keep well -- they need brackish water, high humidity (cold or dry air quickly kills them), and food that contains all the nutrients including iodine and calcium. So while inexpensive in themselves, and not demanding in terms of space, they are tricky.>
I don’t know, but I’m glad I found your website and got some help. You are very knowledgeable about these creatures, and people who are having trouble with their pet crabs are fortunate enough to be able to contact you for help. Again, thank you very much.
<You are most welcome, and thanks for these kind words. Good luck with your next pet! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Jewel cichlids; repro.    1/11/20
My jewels had fry. I moved them to their own tank. They are 2 weeks old now. How old do they have to be b4 i can give them away? Thank you
<Depending on how often they get fed (optimally: 6 small meals per day) cichlid fry grow rapidly, but it will be some 2-3 months before they will be a sellable size, the bigger they are, the more money you'll get because they'll have nicer colours by then. Since males grow faster than females, segregating the fry may be necessary to avoid a preponderance of just the males. To be economical, you want a fair number of fry to survive, so regular water changes (ideally: daily) will be necessary to keep nitrate levels as low as practical. You will almost certainly need to remove the fry from the parents within 3 weeks. The demand for Jewel Cichlids is low, so check with your retailer before allowing the pair to breed again. Like Convicts, Jewels are easy to breed and rear, but being non-community fish, only a tiny percentage of aquarium hobbyists want them. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Trichopodus leerii food   1/11/20
Thank you both. Yes, I have regretted purchasing this tank since the day I opened up the box... it’s a water quality nightmare... but I’ve managed to keep it going for almost 5 years so it’s a personal challenge at this point! I had a rock solid trichogaster trichopterus for 4 years in there and my cherries and these cats are years old (corys, as expected, grew sick of swimming to the top)... so I think I’ve done relatively ok. I’ve always shied away from the live foods out of both convenience (honestly) and fear of water quality issues. Maybe it’s time to “dive” in. You and Bob have inspired me. I will search WWM for some rookie tips on live foods.
<Understand your disappointment with the tank. Frozen foods can substitute for live foods in many cases, so well worth trying these out. Certainly Gouramis aren't too fussed about live vs. frozen foods. Cheers, Neale.>

Stubborn Betta fin rot (RMF?)<<Agreed>>    1/11/20
Hi Wet Web Crew, I need some advice as how to proceed. My Betta started sleeping draped over the suction cup on his heater.... which became an explosive case of fin rot. Water quality is carefully managed, he has 5 gallons, plants to sleep on,single occupant. I blockaded his heater so that he can’t get to it. He spent 5 days quarantined in Methylene Blue/salt. Only a little bit of improvement. So now I’ve just finished 5 days of Maracyn 1 and Maracyn 2 together. He has improved further, there is some regrowth, but there are still 5 small spots of blood at the end of the rays. What would you do now? Wait, or treat another 5 days of Maracyn 1/2? I worry about prolonged treatment but don’t want the fin rot to take over again either. I also have Kanaplex but I’ve never used it. Thanks!!
<Would agree that this looks like Finrot, given then appearance and the blood spots around the fin rays. Treating Finrot isn't normally too bad, and repeating Maracyn 1 and 2 together should be a good next move. I'm not surprised Methylene Blue and salt had little impact. However, Finrot is, as you presumably know, caused by the environment. It's not a disease that infects one fish from another. So your main job is to identify the cause. With Bettas, common causes including water quality (filtration is essential, with ammonia and nitrite needing to be zero) and low temperatures (Bettas must be kept warm, 25-28 C/77-82 F being right). Cold air can also cause problems, though not usually Finrot, but in any case, do check the air above the tank is damp and warm (a reasonably secure hood should do this well). Finrot can also be caused by physical damage including nippy tankmates, and with Bettas, there's almost no justification for keeping them in anything other than their own aquarium. Don't forget to remove carbon from the filter while medicating. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Sunken belly (RMF?)<<Wish I had one; oh! Again, in total agreement>>   1/10/20
Thanks Neale for getting back to me so quickly!
He was treated when I first got him as a juvie with Metroplex in food (once a day for recommended treatment period). He was very skinny and spitting out his food. He seemed to bounce back and he's grown and filled out (over 5 inches). He has continued to be a picky eater, however.
<Does happen with cichlids; to some extent, you need to experiment, but good quality cichlid pellets should be taken.>
I have Furan-2 by API on hand along with SeaChem Metroplex. So, do you recommend dosing the volume of water with each med as per directions on each box?
<Medicated food is, by far, the best approach if viable. Dosing the water is less reliable, so should be Plan B.>
With this combo can I treat him in my planted tank thus avoiding the stress of moving him or should I set up a hospital tank for him? I know Metroplex won't crash my bio-filter but I wasn't sure about Furan 2 as I've never used it.
<Metronidazole shouldn't cause any problems for plants or filters. However, Furan-2 does seem to have a mixed reputation, and the manufacturer states that it WILL harm filter bacteria. So the ideal is to use Furan-2 (alongside the Metro) in a hospital tank with a zeolite-filled box filter.
If you must medicate the main tank because it's the only one you have, remove some of the filter media and keep damp, while also removing any irreplaceable plants, just in case (or at least some cuttings, so you can regrow them if needs be).>
It's one of those meds I bought to keep on hand. Also, is this combo safe for corydoras and nerite snails?
<Should be fine for catfish, but snails likely not. Remove them. They'll be fine in a large plastic container kept somewhere warm. Change the water every couple days, but otherwise just make sure the lid is on safely to keep them from escaping.>
I'm reading online that a lot of owners of EBAs are having similar issues.
Too bad.
<Indeed. As stated before, the Electric Blue varieties of pretty much everything are unreliable, at best. The relevant genetic selections that have produced these strains seem to be connected with the genes that provide disease-resistance. While the varieties may improve over time, there are some selected strains of fish that never really recover.>
He has a great personality. I hope I can pull him through this. Thank you again for your help and expertise.
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Trichopodus leeri food    1/10/20
Thank you for the suggestion, I’ll give it a shot.
<Glad Bob's suggestion of use. I find Gouramis tend to have "small mouths" and consume smaller foods than you think, preferring even tiny live foods like Daphnia and Artemia nauplii over chunky foods.>
Could his habit of staying up at the surface be a symptom of anything else?
<It is largely what they do; they are associated with floating vegetation in the wild, and rarely stray away from such.>
My water quality has 0 ammonia and nitrites, and my filter media is fresh. I have a steady air stone firing plenty of air through the tank and my filter is keeping the surface moving. The tank is a 15-gal column with 2 synodontis nigriventris and three cherry barbs, along with the pearl.
<S. nigriventris can be a 'fin nibbler' at times, but I think the real challenge here is the tank. 15 gallons is too small, and it's unlikely such big fish are going to feel comfortable in this tank, especially when it's a tall design. Cheers, Neale.>

Sunken belly     1/9/20
Hi Crew
My electric blue Acara, Finn (so named because of a piece missing from his dorsal fin), whom I've had for 8 months has been off his food for past 3 to 4 days. His color is good, no clamped fins, not hiding but he is ignoring his usual favorites (cichlid flakes. Brine shrimp cubes and frozen Blood worms) and his belly seems a bit sunken in. I've not seen any white feces. Tank set up is 55 gallon heavily planted with driftwood and rocks, Fluval canister 206 and sponge filter (rated for 80 gallons) and Aquaclear 70. Lots of filtration. Water parameters: pH 6.6-6.8, temp 77-78°F, gH 8°, ammonia and nitrites are 0 ppm and nitrates are around 20 ppm with weekly water changes. Tank mates are Columbian tetras and small school of Corydoras. I recently upped the temp from 75-76° to 77-78° as he seemed sluggish. He seemed more active in warmer temps.
My first thought was parasites. I don't think its stress related as he's pretty mellow. I have API General Cure on hand and since he is not eating I was wondering if best course of action would be to treat the whole tank? I have two Angel fish currently in my quarantine/hospital tank (one of whom I was planning on adding to his tank). I do have a 20 gallon tote I could put him in with a cycled sponge filter but I would need to buy a heater first. Any thoughts?
<Electric Blue anything tends to be a risky purchase, with few of these fish being as healthy as their regularly coloured ancestors. In this case, since your tank sounds broadly about right, I'm guessing the environment is basically fine. I'd be tempted to treat as per "mystery ill cichlid" scenario; i.e., metronidazole alongside a nitrofuran antibiotic. This tends to catch the usual problems cichlids waste away (i.e., Hexamita-type infections) but doesn't unduly stress the fish or filter.
Cheers, Neale.><<Totally agree. RMF>>

Re: Questions for 2 bettas     1/9/20
Good evening, here is an update for you. My fin rot betta finished his doxycycline treatment. He is acting a little more normal and swimming up to the edge of the tank to meet me and beg for food. Hopefully the rot is done for. He seems all right, and he is at least feeling more peppy. I am not too worried about him right now.
<Good. With improved water quality, better nutrition, time going by alone should see this Betta improving>
My betta with suspected constipation and/or swim bladder issues I am more concerned about. It has been a few days since I weaned him off epsom salt in the tank (should I keep him on epsom salt?),
<Not indefinitely, no. I would limit such exposure to no more than a couple weeks>
and we finished a round of prazipro. While he did have some more regular poops with epsom salt in his
tank, he remains floating on his side. There is no improvement on swimming ability. He still spends his day floating and hiding.
<From whatever cause/s (genetic, trauma, pathogenic), he may have suffered long/er term gas bladder damage>
Recently he has been less reactive to stimulus- an example would be he is facing a corner and it is feeding time. I nudge him so he knows to move and he just sits there without moving. He will remain in one spot when other fish would flee or move. He only eats sometimes. It is probably hard for him to know it is there, yet even when it is right in front of his face he ignores it. Other times he goes right for it (he can't exactly swim to his food- he really just jerks his body a few times and hopes he gets to where he wants to be).
I make sure to take the time to push the food in front of his face so he can eat it and remove any he may ignore or sinks to the bottom.
<I'd leave off w/ further chemical treatments here>
I really want to help him but despite all the typical things one would do for constipation or SBD, he hasn't recovered a bit. I am considering euthanasia if he doesn't show signs of recovery in a month or so. Surely, a humane death is better than spending his life floating and hiding and not being able to live a normal betta life.
<IF it's your perception that this fish/animal in your care is suffering:
Is there something else that could be wrong? Maybe something happened at the store, at the fish farm, during shipping, etc to cause this.
<Yes; many possible inputs>
When I bought him, he was floating just as he is now. Thanks for all your help.
<Thank you for your caring, sharing. Bob Fenner>

Trichopodus leerii food     1/9/20
Hello Crew, hope things are status quo in your neck(s) of the woods! Question—any suggestions for a (preferably low maintenance) daily food supplement to give my Trichopodus leerii in addition to flakes?
<A good quality pellet, maybe frozen/defrosted crustacean...>
My last Trichopodus loved your NLS Float suggestion but this guy spits them out, yet my cherry barbs devour them. Package says “regular size” 1-1.5mm pellets—could these be too big for him?
<Unusual... maybe>
NLS does not seem to sell a smaller, floating food, and he is too slow to grab sinking food from other inhabitants. I have Hikari micro pellets but they are smaller than flakes! Any ideas, or maybe his “begging” is an act of dramatics? Thank you! —Matt from NJ
<I'd go with what I do... the frozen/defrosted food in addition daily (better in the AM, use the dry in the PMs). I use (a lot) of San Francisco Bay Brand brine shrimp; though Hikari's line are also excellent. Bob Fenner>

Need advice on resealing a tank    1/7/20
Hi folks,
<Hi Rina>
I need some advice with a resealing job gone wrong on a bowfront tank. Because the front pane meets the side panes at about a 120 degree angle, the two structural seams between the front and side panes are very exposed from the inside and I inadvertently cut into them when removing the inner bead.
<How many gallons does this tank hold?>
So, where those seams should be the thickness of the glass, they're now only half that thickness.
<Mmm, I would not trust this seam thickness to withstand the water pressure>
At first I thought I could fix my mistake if I used a strong silicone like SCS1200 and squeezed it into the exposed seam while laying down the inside bead. I know the new silicone won't bold to the remaining old seam, but if the new bead is very thick, could it do a decent job holding the panes together from the inside?
<It may do a decent job, but I don’t think it would look good aesthetically.>
Or does that pose too great a risk of leaks down the road?
<Most likely, yes>
If that kind of patch-up method just won't do, could I remove and reattach just the front panel?
<If this were my tank, I would just remove the old silicone and apply a new layer between the laterals and frontal panes.>

I know the new seams won't attach to the old seams so the tank could potentially leak at the two bottom corners, but if the inside bead is sufficiently thick, wouldn't that be sufficient to prevent them? I know the surest method would be to rebuild the tank completely but I might have to move and take the tank down in just over a year so it doesn't seem to be worth that kind of work at the moment. (If I don't end up moving I could always rebuild the tank then.) Would either of the two methods above work in the meantime?
Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!
<You’re most welcome. Wil.>

re: Slow Columnaris strain possibly      1/5/20
Hi again Neale, Thanks for your reply.
<No problem.>
It seems only 2 boesmani are getting the mouth fungus and no guppies.
<Melanotaenia boesemanni has similar requirements to Guppies in terms of water chemistry, i.e., hard and alkaline. They do require more water current though, or at least, adapt less well to still water/low oxygen levels than Guppies. The males can be very aggressive though, and bite-marks around the mouth are common when they fight.>
Maybe for some reason the environment is stressing them more than the guppies? Is that possible?
<Absolutely. See above.>
One boesmani just wont let itself be caught. Going to have to try again tomorrow so both with fungus are being treated.
<Medicating the tank may well be the only option; see our previous messages, and elsewhere on this site. Cheers, Neale.>

ACF Fungal Infection      1/5/20
We have (had) 2 albino ACF. They are approx. 4/5 years old. They live in a 20g long. No other tank mates. They are feed night crawlers and feeder guppies.
<Please stop using the feeder Guppies. Whatever else is going on here, live feeder fish -- besides the cruelty involved -- is a sure-fire way of introducing parasites and pathogens for no good use. It's not like these frogs need live foods.>
We do regular 50% weekly water changes with R/O water and keep the water temp at 78.
<Why RO? Xenopus laevis do best in slightly hard water conditions: aim for around 10-15 degrees dH, pH 7.5.>
We have two Hang on back filters and all water parameters are in acceptable ranges - ammonia 0, nitrates 0. Not sure of water hardness. This Leads to up my first question. Does the ph range matter?
I cannot recall reading any info on ph ranges for frogs.
<A good deal in the scientific literature, at least. But a summary can be found here:
Avoid soft, acid water conditions.>
I have done many hours of research and feel like we are good frog caretakers. They have been happy and healthy for years now and loved members of the family. Unfortunately they recently became ill. We noticed that one of the frogs was floating at the top of the tank. She was not going back down to her “house” where they normally stay. She was also not wanting to eat. Not unusual for her she has never been a good eater. We looked her over and did not see any obvious signs of red leg or bloat. Two days later our other frog began to mimic the same behavior. This was alarming to us as they have never behaved this way before. Behavior change = something wrong! After looking them over again I noticed that they appeared to have small sheds of skin hanging from them. Immediately I knew this was a concern bc they should shed in one big suit, I have seen it many times! One also had a very small area of white fuzz on her butt/back area. Google hear I come! I have been researching for 12 hours now and can’t really come up with a definite answer as to what is wrong with them.
<Some amount of shedding is normal, but if they're suddenly shedding a lot of skin, and on top of that, behaving abnormally (e.g., not eating normally) then yes, you might well suspect some sort of problem.>
I realize it’s a fungal infection. But what kind? I found info that says amphibian fungal infections can be treated with methylene blue.
But again no clear instructions for amphibians.
<As per fish. Methylene Blue is relatively gentle, which is why we use it freely with fish eggs. Mardel MarOxy is another good choice.>
I knew waiting to do anything was a death sentence so this is what we did and the results so far:
3 gallons of aquarium water were removed from tank and used as bath water for treatment. We added 2 tsp. of methylene blue and bathed frogs for one hour. They were then put back in main tank. One frog died within 6 hours of treatment (the one with visible fuzz) one frog still living. I have resigned myself to that fact that my other frog will prob not survive but will keep fighting for her!
My questions are these:
What other medications can be used? Or what medicine works best?
<See above.>
What dosage should it be, and how often do you treat?
<Exactly as specified for fish. Remember to remove carbon from the filter, if used. Do also up the aeration a bit if possible.>
Should we just treat the main tank as there are no tank mates?
<I would, yes.>
Should the main tank be emptied sanitized and the surviving frog be put new “Clean” tank?
<No need. Fungus (and Finrot-type bacteria) are entirely opportunistic, and latent in all aquaria. Under normal conditions they may even play a role in 'ammonification', i.e., turning fish/frog wastes into the ammonia your filter bacteria can use.>
Any other advice would be welcomed!
<Do see above re: Guppies.>
P.S. We have discovered that the tank heater is the most likely culprit as to why they became sick. It was on the fritz and not keeping the tank at the proper temp. They got too cold!
<Xenopus laevis should handle room temperature without any trouble at all. Xenopus tropicalis is more finicky, as its name would suggest, but is less widely sold. Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Jewel cichlids; repro.       1/5/20
Hi, i have 6 jewel cichlids. 1 male and 5 females. 1male and 1 female have paired off and have had 1 brood. I have removed about 90% of the fry and put them in a tank by themselves. Will the male breed with the other females.
<Not likely, no. Generally these cichlids "pair", reproduce w/ only one partner. Better to best count on the one pair breeding every few weeks; more often if you separate their young from them>
2 of the females are bright in color and he spends time with them.
But most of the time he is protecting the fry. The 1st pic is of the pair and the 2nd is him flirting with the other females.
Thank you,
Craig Thomas
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Mixing Wrasses-Reef Tank      1/5/20
Hello Bob and Team!
Hope all is well. Wanted to ask about mixing different species of wrasses in a 180 gallon reef tank.
<Well; the Labridae are a huge and diverse assemblage... Some would/will likely mix, def. others would not>
Currently, my tank includes 2 Yellow Tangs, Blonde Naso, Purple Tang, Flame Hawkfish, Solar Fairy Wrasse, Black Fin Fairy Wrasse, Mystery Wrasse and a Ocellaris Clown.
I wanted to know if I would be able to add any more wrasses, my worry is and always has been the Mystery Wrasse. He’s been a model citizen, I’ve had him with other wrasses since he was about 1” big and now he’s about 2.5-3”; so I feel he’s been “raised with other wrasses” so he should be okay, but I still watch him close.
<Whatever you put in, labrid or not, you should look to the "mystery" to assure it is getting sufficient food>
I’d like to consider adding specifically fairy or flasher wrasses and maybe a Yellow Halichores and/or Melanurus?
<These should go/mix in fine>
I usually introduce the new wrasses with a partition for a few days so the new wrasses aren’t harassed. I’ve been able to limit aggression and they all coexist quite happily.
This time, I was thinking about introducing maybe 4-5 fish (my last fish adds) at the same time without partition; assuming they are large, healthy and boisterous. My thought is to add enough at once that the existing residents likely won’t be able to single out a lone target. Kind of overwhelm them with some “shock and awe”. I have a separate 60 gallon QT/holding tank that I use to get the new fish eating and stable before introduction to the display; so I’d buy and hold the new fish in there until they are ready to move together.
<Sounds good>
In the end, my question centres around aggression; I’d like to try and marginalize any possible targeted aggression from the mystery wrasse to any new adds.
Let me know what you think.
Thanks Team!
<If it were me, mine, I would go ahead w/ these introductions/additions. Bob Fenner>
Re: Mixing Wrasses-Reef Tank    1/6/20

Thank You Bob!
<Welcome Anik! B>

re: Slow columnaris strain possibly     1/4/20
Hi Neale. Thanks for your reply.
Im considering treating the water at a low dose since that seems to help and moving the snails elsewhere.
<Do read up re: antibiotic resistance. Low doses ultimately do more harm than good.>
Keeping a close eye on it atm to see.
Could I medicate flake food with kanamycin or furan 2? Would that also help?
<Worth a shot. But Mouth Fungus is a tricky disease to cure. Kanamycin should help, but I'd combine with salt if you're medicating with antibiotic food. Cheers, Neale.>
re: Slow columnaris strain possibly     1/4/20

Hi again Neale thanks for your reply.
<You're welcome.>
So the rainbow I put back in now is developing the fungus again. So yeah it must be in the water unfortunately.
<I do fear; environmental issues, at least. Could be water (pH, quality); could be temperature (too high, too low); could be oxygen concentration (too little); could be frequency of water changes (too big, too few); could be tankmates (aggression between male Rainbows is common, and results in torn mouths and fins); could be extrinsic even (noisy room, kids banging on glass, etc.).>
I thought low dose of acriflivane and malachite green.
<Worth a shot.>
Do you mean put salt in the food?
<Nope; in the water. Around 2 g/litre to start with, and after a couple weeks, you could increase to 3 g/l if necessary. Rainbows will actually tolerate quite high salinities even though they're not (with one or two
exceptions) from brackish water habitats, being closely related to marine fish. So even as high as 5 g/litre will not harm them for weeks or months at a time, but will prevent or even cure many types of problem. Plants may be more fussy; does depend on the species. If you let me know the species, I will confirm.>
Will salt in water hurt the plants?
<All will handle 2-3 g/l without problems, at least for short periods of days/weeks. Higher salinities, up to 5 g/l, will be tolerated by hardy plants such as Vallisneria, Anubias, Java ferns, etc.>
Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
<Sent from my computer, on my lap. Cheers, Neale.>

Slow columnaris strain possibly      1/3/20
Hi Neale! Hope you had a great new Years :)
<So far, anyway.>
So after I got back from overseas I saw 1 of my boesmami has mouth rot. 2 guppies also died 1 from wasting amd one from no idea what since I wasnt here.
<Oh dear.>
I swab treated the rainbows mouth with methylene blue 2x and treated him with blue planet fungus cure in a QT tank at reduced temperature. He seems cured.
Problem is some of other fish are now showing symptoms (tiny bit of whiteness) and I cant medicate the big tank as it has plants and loads of snails.
<One approach is to take cuttings of those plants that can't be moved; remove any specimen plants that can be moved without too much risk; and simply lift out any epiphytes. As for the snails, rescue those you care about, but basically let them take their chances.>
If I dosed the main tank with fungus cure at a 1/5th dose (that seems to of cured the rainbow), would it kill my snails and plants?
<Hard to predict. I'd imagine not. But see above just in case.>
Im really having trouble navigating the snails and plants issue. Or should I just QT and treat any fish who has symptoms or all the fish in groups?
<Treating fish, while the pathogen remains in the aquarium, is risky. You could, ideally, remove all the fish and medicate them, then return them to the tank. If you leave the display tank fallow (i.e., fish-free) for a couple weeks, that usually breaks the life cycle of the pathogen down, but in the case of bacteria, that's less likely. Bacteria often live harmlessly enough in aquaria doing their normal job of breaking down organic material, and it's the fish's own immune system that stops them becoming a disease.
In this instance, if we really do suspect Flavobacterium spp., those will simply go dormant until a fish becomes sufficiently weakened and damaged to allow them to cause a problem. Put another way, you can't eliminate pathogenic bacteria from aquaria, in the same way as you can do with Whitespot.>
Thanks I have no idea what to do
<As stated, your problem is that you can't wipe out Flavobacterium on a fish-by-fish basis because the bacterial spores are in the environment. Treating the fish with symptoms in a hospital tank is probably unavoidable, and then you could hope the remaining fish have working immune systems that are fending off the Flavobacterium just fine. With that said, since Flavobacterium columnare very much infects fish that are stressed and/or physically damaged, rather than just randomly, some reflection on the causes must come into play. Cheers, Neale.>

Used acrylic tank. Help!      1/3/20
<Max; please limit the size of files to a few hundred KBytes... for reasons stated where you found to write us>
I just got a used 90gallon acrylic tank, it was a screaming deal!(tank, stand, light, rocks, canister filter and a nice powered gravel vac)
<This last, meh... you want to dump change out water>
so even if the tank is shot, I feel I've gotten my money. It was slightly dark out when I looked at it and I was overjoyed to see the panels weren't heavily scratched!
<They do look good>
In my joy, I didn't inspect the seams as well as I should have.
I am now noticing things that worry me. Since I am new to acrylic, I have been doing research to see if the seams are acceptable(I'm guessing they aren't and that's okay) I have found very little information on assessing seams and would like a second opinion. Are there any surefire things to look for?
<Surefire? Mmm; more like matters of degree. I would likely use/trust this tank as is; assuming it was set up on a stand that is level, planar and strong... on a floor that isn't going to change that when the tank is filled>
I have filled the tank completely and heard no cracks and seen no leaks, but I'm leaving it to sit in a safe area for a few days.
<Good move, test>
Attached are pictures of what I believe are the "worst" areas. The bottom seams look
MUCH better than the ones around the top.
<Yeah; there are techniques one can use to buff out the scratches, fill in the outer joints (with solvent) and if it really concerns you, and you intend to keep this tank for many years, doweling that can be solvented in the inside seams. All this is gone over/archived on WWM. Just use the search tool (on every page) to find the general area and read the articles and FAQs. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine Protocol     1/2/20
Hi Team,
<Hey Callum>
I have a question about QT protocol which is similar to a question I read sometime ago on the site but I can no longer find it, so I apologise for any repetition.
<No worries>
I have a 120 Litre reef tank plus 60 Litre sump with the following inhabitants: 1 Striped Fang Blenny, 1 Blue Green Chromis, 1 Pink Skunk Clownfish and assorted LPS and soft corals. All fish have been in
the aquarium for over a year now and appear healthy and eat a combination of Mysis Shrimp, live blackworms and Spectrum pellets. However, when I initially purchased the clownfish (no quarantine - I have learnt my lesson), it exhibited signs of Ich for a few weeks. The symptoms then subsided after I removed it's partner who was an aggressive female Pink Skunk and it there have been no outward symptoms on any fish since (around a year).
Now, I know that it is likely that Ich is still present in my system even without symptoms and I would like to add a final fish to this tank - a Royal Gramma. I recently purchased a quarantine tank in preparation for this but I am reluctant to take my 3 fish out of the display tank and treat them for Ich plus leave the display fallow.
<Mmm; yes... would take a considerable period of time (longer, the better) to be (more) assured that obligate protozoan parasites had lost their vitality/pathogenicity... months>
The fish all seem very healthy and I do not want to risk this with a stressor event such as moving them
to a QT. I would appreciate your thoughts on whether a 6 week quarantine period for the Royal Gramma using Marine Pure from the display and slowly adding water from the display over the 6 weeks to 'expose' the fish to the conditions in my tank is a viable option.
<It is; in fact two weeks will get you about 90% of what one can hope to gain>
My thinking is this would allow me to build up the strength of the Gramma and observe it for any signs of
disease. I don't think prophylactic Ich treatment in QT would be any use as I would be adding the fish to a display tank which Ich is likely still present. Or would the benefits of removing the three fish and treating them while leaving the display fallow for 8 weeks outweigh the downsides?
<I would go the route you suggest and NOT remove the existing fishes>
Thank you for your time and wonderful website.
<Thank you for contributing to it. Bob Fenner>

Re: Travis Carter’s Mega Angel Tank     1/2/20
Bob - I am getting mix views on this on the forums and i typically take what i read on the forums with a grain of salt. I would much rather defer to the caliber of experience such as yours. Could you answer this for me...
Do you think a combo of Annularis, French, Queen and Imperator Angles can coexist long term in a 650 gallon? 96x36x45.
<Oh, yes I do think these three Pomacanthids can, would likely get along indefinitely in a system of this size, shape. Bob Fenner>
Re: Travis Carter’s Mega Angel Tank     1/2/20

Thanks Bob for the information and vote of confidence!
<Ahh, glad to render it! BobF>

January Calendar     1/2/20
Hi Bob, Happy New Year. Here is a new calendar for the website.
Mike Kaechele
<Thank you! B>


Re: Red Claw Crab not Eating       1/1/2020
Thank you very much for this help! Right after I added more salt, he molted the next day.
Does he absolutely need to eat his exoskeleton? If so, he is not eating it.
<No, he doesn't need to eat it, but most crabs do, simply to recycle the calcium. If he doesn't, that's fine, but do add some suitable replacement, like a small shell-on prawn that he can pick apart and consume. Failing that, just dusting whatever he likes to eat (fish meat, banana, etc.) with crushed cuttlebone or even fragments of edible snail shells (escargot) will have the same usefulness. Some crab foods are calcium-enriched and may be good enough on their own, but personally, I'd make a point of offering
extra calcium immediately after moulting. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Questions for 2 bettas     12/31/19
<Lance; please limit your pic/file sizes to a few hundred KBytes; we don't have much allowed storage>
Good morning, here is an update for you. My sad little fin rot boy is doing...the same. We got the doxy in on Friday and he has been on it since then. Can't tell if the rot has stopped or not- very difficult to get a
pic of him in this old acrylic tank he is in. He does still eat and swims a bit but chooses to hide most of the time.
<Mmm; well antibiotics take a while; and this behavior is about par for Betta splendens>
As for my constipated betta, since adding epsom salt to his tank he finally had his first normal betta poop.
<Ah, good>
Unfortunately nothing else has happened since then. The prazipro came in yesterday so he is being treated with it in case parasites are causing this ailment. He still happily eats but hides or floats. He switches between being bloated and looking normal, but I fail to see any poop in his tank that would suggest he is going. It is bare bottom so I can spot anything he passes.
I attached a pic of him. He usually floats on his side like that. He also did that at the store when I got him.
<Keep on keeping on is what I'd do, three treatments of antibiotics (every three days), and patience w/ the latter. Bob Fenner>

Red Claw Crab not Eating 12/29/19
Hello! Hardly anyone knows anything about red claw crabs, as I cannot find any answers as to why my red claw crab has stopped eating!
<Let's see if we can help.>
He is kept in brackish water conditions, has filtered water, and water that is always about 74 degrees Fahrenheit.
<Right. Let's review first. By "brackish", how salty are we talking about? The first thing you do when brackish water animals misbehave is change the salinity. Many if not most come from places where the salinity varies, so just making a change can have a positive effect. But the bigger issue is that you need to be using a substantial amount of salt, not the teaspoon per gallon amounts often mentioned. I'd suggest one teaspoon per litre (i.e., a salt concentration of about 6 gram/litre) to produce about one-sixth normal seawater salinity. If that didn't do the trick, feel free to double that amount, which would get you around one-third normal seawater salinity. Either of these would be much closer to real world situations for Perisesarma bidens. Next up, review air temperature. 23 C/74 F is very much towards the low end for a tropical animal, and I'd crank the water heater up to 25 C/ 77 F. In cold conditions tropical animals will slowly lose vigour, and loss of appetite is an extremely common symptom of that. Death invariably follows soon after, though it may take weeks to happen.>
He is able to climb to get air or be in water when he wants. I have sand substrate. When I first got him, he would eat his food fine, but now, he won’t eat at all. I noticed he wouldn’t eat, so I ended up putting his food right in front of him, and he still won’t eat that food.
<Loss of appetite in crabs is almost always a symptom of environmental problems. Review as stated above.>
I don’t think he’s molting, because he’s been acting this way for about 2 weeks and I was told molting should only take about a day.
<Correct, and moulting crabs tend to hide away. They do need a source of iodine to moult successfully, for which purpose either offer regular portions iodine-rich foods (Sushi Nori is ideal) or else specific iodine-enriched crustacean foods sold for use in marine aquaria.>
Also, I don’t think it’s a calcium problem, as I give him special vitamins that help provide him calcium every 3 weeks. I’m really worried about him, and I have no idea why he is not eating.
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

fresh water question; stkg. (albeit large) bowls 12/29/19
Hello, crew of WetWebMedia, hope you and your family and friends had a wonderful XMAS and wish you all have a great year in 2020.
<Thank you for these kind words.>
Bob told me to email the crew with my concerns. Here goes....
I am currently visiting my family...my dad told me to go get some fish with some color ....so he can place them in the big ceramic fish bowls in the garden....I want to say those fish bowls will holds about 10-15 gal ish water....just my best guess without using a known size container to dumping water into the fishbowl to get exact amount of water it will hold.
<Right, now, in themselves such bowls aren't really suitable for keeping outdoor fish species in temperate zone parts of the world. With appropriate plants and/or filtration, they could work for small livebearer species in the subtropics (for example Mosquitofish) or in cooler, but not frosty, places, perhaps Heterandria formosa. In subtropical to tropical places, there are various very small minnows that could work, such as White Cloud Mountain Minnows, or else Ricefish. But bowls are rather compromised in various ways, not least of all the absence of water current and the poor surface area to volume ratio that means oxygen absorption isn't very good.>
But due to the season of the year and the temperature starting to drop....Right now ...it has been around low to mid 60s.....So instead outside....I decide to move the fish bowl indoor instead.

I believe I asked you guys this question before in the past....I do not know if I remember correctly, but I believe last time you guys suggested platy.....not sure...
<Platies are fine fish, and can live in aquaria upwards of 15 gallons given sufficient filtration, but without filters they'd be a poor choice, and for a 10 gallon bowl, I can't see them working well in the long term.>
I think at the time...I was looking for small fish with color to put in the fish tank outside on the patio....we end up just use the regular guppy that does not have those bright colors....but at least they do keep the mosquito from growing in that fish tank.....we do have a small water pump to keep water circulate in that tank on the patio and water plant for the nutrient in the water....which guppy seems to survive....but not reproducing....maybe the ones we put in happen to be same sex? or they aren't happy....since there really only 2-3 I believe....I will try to catch few more from koi pond and place them in the tank on the patio and see what happen.
<Guppies will struggle to reproduce successfully in small tanks or bowls.
Assuming water quality is adequate (use a nitrite or ammonia test kit to check) the big challenge will be in making sure fry survive. Without enough cover, the fry are simply food for the adults. In the wild, newborn Guppies head straight for thick plants in very shallow water where the adults can't go. This gives them enough safety to survive the critical first couple of weeks needed to get big enough to avoid predation. In big tanks, a few fry will survive even without adequate cover, but in a small tank or bowl, the odds are much lower.>
ANYWAY.....my question for this fish bowl we are placing inside...currently no water/air pump inside....just few pieces of water plants..... with half aged tap water and half koi pond water.
The fish I end up picked out from the location was peacock guppy fish
.....I figure better of get smaller fish, instead of bigger ones.
<Do bear in mind that Guppies need consistent warmth to do well, and the farmed pedigree breeds are much more sensitive than the wild fish. So whole wild Guppies can handle temperatures down to 22 C/72 F, your farmed Peacocks, Cobras, and all the other famous varieties need 25-28 C/77-82 F to stay healthy. It's like comparing a Labradoodle with a Timber Wolf -- the genes required to handle harsh conditions of the wild have been lost in the process of breeding something humans want in the home.>
Oh...also....there is a piece of glass on top of the fish bow and there is a gap of ....maybe about 3mm or so in between the ceramic bowl's rim and the bottom of the glass top acting as table's surface....
There are about 12 guppies inside. Been away from fresh water fish keeping so long....is that too many for current condition?
<It's a lot for 10 gallons, certainly, especially if filtration is lacking (water movement by itself doesn't count).>
Is there any dangerous of CO2 build up to dangerous level due to no air/water pump for circulation of water/air?
<CO2 build up is less of an issue than oxygen depletion. Nature will take its course here quite quickly -- if there's a lack of oxygen, some fish will die, and what remains will be the carrying capacity tolerated by the rate of oxygen absorption.>
I know I will need to go search for a light source to provide strong enough light for the plant....any suggestions?
<If the plants are above the waterline, emergent species, then a sunny windowsill or conservatory would be fine for a few months. Otherwise, yes, some sort of plant-suitable LED lamp is probably the most cost effective and convenient approach.>
I assume most are LED now ...since when I left saltwater fish/reef keeping was when LED just starting to taking over fish tank lighting...
<Indeed; while more expensive up front, LEDs are much cheaper now than they were even 10 years ago, are much more efficient in terms of running costs and maintenance.>
Will oxygen provide by the plants enough for the 12 little fishies?
<Generally, without strong lighting, the amount of oxygen from aquatic plants is minimal. So no, don't bank on it. Much the same as reef tanks -- sure, algae are releasing some oxygen and absorbing some nitrate, but you wouldn't rely on either in lieu of filtration and aeration. Large ponds are different because the ratio of plants to fish is very much more favourable.>
probably best to have at least one small water pump...smallest I can find...probably should work, yes?
<A filter, anyway.>
would greatly appreciated if you guys can give me any suggestions/advice ....so we can do this right ....so fishes can have a good place to live...
Thank you all once again...and Happy New Year
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Questions for 2 Bettas      12/27/19
One last question (or a few) before I play the waiting game with these boys and their treatments. Thanks for reading thru it all as I like to be very thorough.
How long should I leave the Epsom salt in the aquarium? I do every other day water changes for him so I should be re-adding whatever amount of salt may be lost with those changes? I mix the salt in the new water and dissolve before adding. I usually do a half gallon change since he is in a 2.5 gal.
It has nothing in it aside from a HOB filter, a floating leaf and floating log. Removed the moss balls since I added the Epsom salt.
<I'd put half a tsp. in this system and replace the percentage removed when you do water changes>
For the metro and Prazi, I have PraziPro recommended to me a lot and Metroplex is probably the easiest to get when it comes to that med. Do y'all recommend both of these?
<Do search/read on WWM re both... these are good, useful medications, but not items that should be used casually, continuously>
I talk mainly to other aquarists on Facebook and I feel people religiously flock to Seachem there so I try to remain skeptic with everything.
<Skepticism, even a bit of cynicism I find healthy. Seachem as a co. is "the real thing". Real products, real science>
For Mr Fin Rot I'm debating removing his current filter when I start the doxy treatment and keep running it in a small tank and feeding it ammonia so I don't lose my good bacteria OR putting the media in another aquarium for the moment. Would the latter be a bad move if the fin rot is contagious?
<I wouldn't feed the system ammonia. The fish will provide plenty. In fact, I would monitor ammonia and possibly place or filter through Zeolite to remove it>
I have 8 other betta tanks and a cichlid tank going right now.
I can always steal seeded media later too. Thomas Labs recommends a water change before adding each new treatment of doxy (which would be daily) so I am ok leaving his tank temporarily without the cycled media that is probably going die anyway.
<I do agree w/ this regimen. I'd likely treat every three days and do the water change outs right before then>
Thanks for the help, I really do appreciate it. WWM has been very inspiring and a tremendous source of info for me all these years.
<Am very glad for this. You and other petfish friends are what we endeavor for. B>

Questions for 2 Bettas
Hey WWM, I am a super long time reader of 10 years. I love reading thru your site and have learned a lot since I first came across your site. I have a hobby of buying sick betta fish on occasion and helping them recover. I have a pretty good success rate and have helped about 10 recover, but I have 2 I have been working on who aren't getting better.
<Let's see...>
My first fellow is a double tail I got 2 weeks ago w/ swim bladder issues.
He is constipated and has only pooped a few meager bits since I've had him.
He spends his time floating at the surface, sometimes on his side, and hiding behind the filter. He does eat and has a normal betta appetite. He isn't really bloated much. I have fasted him, I have fed him daphnia (which in the past makes my Bettas poop when they can't go), I have done Epsom salt baths. He gets a water change every other day due to the tank size.
Nothing is helping. I have only done Epsom salt baths twice. Going thru WWM I see you suggest instead to add directly to the tank, which I have been hesitant about because I have seen people warn against that. He is in a 2.5 gal hospital tank right now. Do you think this would be more beneficial than baths, and how much should I add, and for how long? Or should I try something else?
<If it were me, mine, I would go ahead w/ the direct addition of Epsom Salt here (half a tsp. replaced when you change out water), and likely dose w/ Metronidazole and likely Praziquantel... to cover all microbial, parasitic, worm bases>
My next fish is a Petco-version of a black orchid betta that I got at the end of the October. He had been there for a while with some nasty fin rot.
In the past I have been able to treat aggressive fin rot with Maracyn and Maracyn 2. This rot will not go away no matter what I do. I have tried Maracyn, Kanaplex, daily water changes, Microbe Lift Artemiss, and Methylene blue baths and swabbing the blue directly on his fins. He hasn't had any antibiotics since November. The next thing I am trying is Doxycycline from Thomas Labs. Initially the rot stopped after 2 rounds of Maracyn, but since came back and has only either slowed, or stopped for a bit and returned. This fish hasn't had any regrowth. The tail is almost gone and I fear body rot and death. My next step would be to take him to an actual fish vet, however I can't find one near me who won't charge over
$200 for the initial visit. He is in a cycled 3 gallon. I do believe the doxy is going to kill the beneficial bacteria, right?
<Might set nitrifiers back, yes>
Anything else I can do to save him should doxy fail?
<Yes; I would add a good deal (like a couple teaspoons of aquarium salt (artificial SeaSalt would be better/best) and a pro-rated dose of Metronidazole here>
Also neither fish has any tank mates. The only other living things in their tanks is some Marimo moss balls from Aquatic Arts.
<These I'd remove; the salt may work the moss woe>
Thank you for your time and advice!
<Thank you for your efforts. Bob Fenner>
Re: Questions for 2 Bettas

Thank you so much, Bob. I'm going to put some Epsom salt in my constipated boy's tank today and then look into the other medications. I'm concerned for my boy with fin rot because yesterday I noticed some fungus or what I think is fungus on his fins but I tried to stay positive and ignored it and gave him his water change as usual.
<Aye; w/o sampling (and often culture) it is near impossible to guess what  group of organisms are/may be involved here. And hence effective treatments>
But this morning it has returned and it's probably going to get worse... I'm really worried that he's not going to make it with the way this fungus is spreading.
<The salt use should help; at least forestall worsening>
His Doxycycline from Thomas Labs should arrive in the mail today so he will be started on it when I get home. He does still eat and greets me but spends most of his time resting on leaves.
<Eating is a very good sign>
I attached a bad pic of him from yesterday where you can see a dot of white 'fungus' on the tiny strand of tail fin in the middle (the tank is acrylic and water spots won't go away so please ignore that). That little piece of his tail has since shriveled away. Again thanks for any help!!
<Yeah; the "fungus" could be many things... even just body mucus from... "irritation".
Do stay positive and keep us in the loop. BobF>

Re: Zoas and regal angel dislodging but not eating them      12/25/19
Thanks for your reply Bob. Over here in the UK Palythoa, Palys are sold under that name with variety next ,e.g. Paly purple death. 'Non Palythoa' tend to be sold as 'Zoa space monster' for example.
<Ahh, so... "Zoa" refers to just members of the genus Zoanthus? Perhaps other genera>
The regal angel seems to know the difference somehow! I will try gluing the Zoas i have left into crevices but like yourself, I'm not hopeful of success. Thank you and the crew for your invaluable help to fellow hobbyists including myself. Merry Christmas and have a happy new year, Toby.
<And to/for you and yours Toby. BobF>

Re: High ph and low kh      12/24/19
I've heard that high kh water will crash and then rebound back up if you try to lower its ph, but dont remove its kh.
<Mmm; well; depends on what (chemical species) are elevating pH... once buffering at a given (pH) level is diminished/reduced, pH may drop (precipitously)>
If I use ph down along with the ph and kh increasing buffer will the ph hold?
<Likely so... you could ask the chemical composition from your municipal supplier, or have it checked out by an independent lab... or do a "assay" yourself (which is what I'd do), and mix up all, let stand for a few days (in a chemically inert container).>
I want to lower the ph from 9.6 to 8.5, not just keep it from going past 9.6.
<I understand the first, and barring the addition of something w/ a higher pH, it should not go higher. BobF>

Zoas and regal angel dislodging but not eating them      12/24/19
Hi, i have an adult regal angel and recently tried a few different colored Zoas in my tank with him. He leaves all my LPS alone. He does rip the superglued Zoas from their frag plugs but does not eat them.
<Does happen...>
When they are sat on the sand he largely ignores them only occasionally showing interest. He is well fed, and i can see this may not work. I was encouraged as he ignores similar sized Palythoa.
<Interesting... What genus of Zoanthids are you referring to as "Zoas"? Palythoa are Zoanthids>
I can see he will be a pain with Zoas but the fun (?) for him seems to be ripping them from the frag plug. My question is, is there a more secure way to bond a Zoa frag to a plug, or do Zoas hold better onto rocks with their more contoured surface?
<I suspect that this Angel will continue pull at, otherwise destroy these "Zoas" no matter how they are attached>
If he could not dislodge them it might be a start and i cannot return these to my LFS, thanks for any advice, Toby.
<I myself would try other groups of Cnidarians. Bob Fenner>

Re: Best Antibiotic for Fin Rot in Hard Water?     12/23/19
Dear WetWebMedia Crew,
Apologies for the late reply I have been out of town a long time.
<No problem.>
I chickened out on using Kanamycin because it once wiped out a newly established bio filter in my experience, and used Erythromycin based on the advice of a local fish store who swore it worked really well for them.
Of course I did not read that it is only effective against gram-positive bacteria and not gram-negative, which is most fin rot infections.
So now the silver dollar has lost most of his dorsal and anal fins, and his tail fin has a big semicircular cut out of it with a black margin. There may also be erosion of the skin on the base of the tail but it is hard to
tell. Another silver dollar has also acquired a semicircular cut out of his tail, but otherwise none of the other fish have fin problems.
If I have a mature bio filter, would kanamycin wipe it out?
<It shouldn't, if used correctly, but there's always a risk with any antibiotic. The ideal situation is to remove the filter media to a bucket of water, ideally with a bubbler to keep it aerated. Then, use Zeolite in the filter for the period while you're using the antibiotic. Zeolite removes ammonia directly. It's inexpensive (often sold as "ammonia remover" in pet shops) and does the job adequately well. Once the antibiotics are done, remove the Zeolite and put the filter media back.>
I recently added a second canister filter to the aquarium with bio media from another tank but the original one has had a biofilter for almost a year now.
<See above. If all else fails, isolate the media from one filter as described above, but leave the other running. So long as ammonia levels stay at zero, the antibiotic isn't doing any harm; but if there is a
crisis, you know what to do (i.e., use Zeolite) and the other filter will be safe and ready to use when you're done. Normally, antibiotics are broken down within a day or two of use, so waiting a day or so, and doing a 25-50% water change, is all you need to do before connecting up the biological filter.>
Thank you for everything,
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

High ph and low kh     12/23/19
My tap water is ph 9.6, the official listed value on the water department website is 9-9.5. It's buffered to this level by soda ash.
<? Am wondering why the pH is raised so high by your municipal dept. And using sodium carbonate for the purpose. Do you know?>
The kh is low, 4 degrees on a liquid kh test and .2 on a conductivity meter.
<... am surprised that the agency wouldn't use/avail themselves of calcium compounds... to save their plumbing?>
Is there any way to raise the kh without raising the ph?
<Yes; you can/could simple sodium bicarbonate (Arm & Hammer and such baking soda will do) along/WITH an acid buffer (DO THIS outside the aquarium; i.e. pre-mix and store such made up water in advance of introduction/use in biological systems). Alternatively... oh, I see you ask below>
The water is intended for Tanganyikan cichlids.
Is 100% RO water with buffer and salt the only option to make this water usable?
<THIS is one way; and perhaps the preferred for your use... Have you read Neale Monk's piece on making/using "Rift Lake Salts" on WWM?:
Do please do so.>
Or is there some mix of tap and ro water plus buffer that will work?
<Would depend on other ionic make up in your source water. Definitely worth investigating, trying out various Calcium and Carbonate, Bicarbonate buffers IF you're using a bunch of water. IF only a few tens of gallons a month, I'd mix the RO and Neale's salt-blend>
Thanks for any information.
<Glad to share. Bob Fenner>
Re: High ph and low kh     12/23/19

The water department website says the ph is raised to prevent leeching from old (lead) pipes.
<Ah yes; then they should be working on switching them out>
I will try the buffer method, the tank is 65 gallons and I would like to change 25 gallons per week.
Seems like a lot of ro water but I dont know, maybe that is a reasonable amount to have to use weekly.
<Some folks advocate for smaller amounts more frequently. I change out 20-25% of my freshwater in my systems weekly. BobF>

Dart goby stkg.    12/21/19
Good day crew, quick question for you.
<Good day Nicole>
I currently have 4 zebra dart gobies (Ptereleotris zebra) and would like to add another 5 to make a bigger school. Is it possible? Thanks in advance
<It is possible and personally, I like how they look and behave in groups; The problem here is that you already have 4 that have established territories and may fight with the new comers... Still, I would give them a try, provided that you rearrange decor a bit and introduce them at night with the lights off. A very important thing to consider is that the new school must have been previously quarantined and stress free before joining the older ones. Hope you find this helpful. Cheers. Wil.>

Re: Platy swim bladder problem       12/20/19
and one male swordtail (who never tried to mate with her, that I ever saw-his trio of ladies kept him busy enough, I think.)
<Mmm; can cross breed w/ platies>
Yes, I knew they could - it wasn't a big deal to me if they did, this tank was more for display than breeding (it's in my office at work.) Was mainly just noting that I never saw any breeding activity between them; he didn't seem interested in trying with her, he was always focused on the sword
<Young might have been consumed.>
Oh, definitely, with this bunch. Though not so much when they were younger/smaller themselves; I did have a lot of fry survive early on, when the female swords were younger/smaller. But now, they not only eat all their own fry, they also follow the corys around when they're spawning and eat all the eggs as soon as the female places them.
<Okay... I'd advise placing "spawning medium" (artificial or live "grass"... there are a few varieties; gone over on WWM on the Aquatic Plants subweb>
The tank actually is heavily planted, with masses of Java and Christmas moss, floating Salvinia minima, thick mats of Java ferns at one end, and a stand of bushy Limnophila aromatica mixed with two varieties of Cabomba in the middle. Even with all that, plus a tumble of stones with gaps that fry could hide in - they generally still are all consumed.
I'll see 10 or 12
of them hiding in the moss or other plants the day or so after they're born, then it'll be down to 4-5 the next day, and then maybe once in 2-3 months a single fry might survive past snack-size. The female swords especially are relentless - they'll push their way in among the plants and remain still, waiting for fry to show themselves. Like some kind of miniature grouper, lurking in a reef cave. You'd think they don't get fed regularly....
<A few things might have occurred here; false pregnancy, resorption...
Good to either use large breeding nets/traps and/or move apparently "pregnant" females well in advance.>
Sorry, poor explanation on my part of why I moved her. It's a long tank, and when the swords start zipping around (male/female courting, or females displaying/chasing for pecking order) I didn't think it would be a great place for a fish who is struggling with buoyancy issues and potentially labor/birthing issues as well. Where I was moving her to was just a dark, quiet place where she wouldn't be bothered by the swords if (when) they got too rambunctious; I wasn't really concerned about saving fry (if there
were any; I tended to think as you suggest, false pregnancy or reabsorption.) If she'd been giving birth under normal circumstances, I wouldn't have felt any need to move her - I'd expect she'd have gone to an out of the way corner on her own, like the swords typically do when they're birthing.
<<I see>>
<I would have you read Neale's piece on salt use:
and consider either the addition of Epsom salt or its use in a more concentrated bath/lavage... in an attempt to "loosen" what might be inside this fish. Please do report back your actions and observations. Bob Fenner>
Many thanks, and I will try that and see what happens.
I will also completely date myself by saying that my first tank was a slate-bottom Metaframe, *grin*.
<<Wowzah. My generation!>>
I was out of the hobby for decades, though, and am only recently back in; so I do still remember (and use) all the old standbys (salt, meth blue, malachite green, potassium permanganate, Epsom, Merbromin.)
<<I do recall>>
Can snip this next part from public posting if you like, because it's sort of a tangent - but I had seen the piece on salt use, because I had also read through all the platy pages before posting. I will respectfully and carefully venture to disagree on one point from one of the platy posts, though - which was that salt is ineffective for any bacterial infection (IIRC it was Neale who responded that someone would have to be an idiot to use salt for anything bacterial; the context was in relation to fin rot, I believe.)
<<In this case, I side w/ you; have experienced salt use being effective  for apparently bacterial issues. Other sources state this as well.>>
I do agree that salt is likely ineffective for internal bacterial infections - it's probably only beneficial from the aspect that he also cites in the uses (osmoregulation). And I agree that it's also not effective for all types of bacteria - Streptococcus (for example) survives in saltwater just fine.
But I've successfully used aquarium-salt baths to treat external Columnaris lesions (I do also keep swords and guppies at home), when I didn't have anything else to hand. Later also found this study showing that a 4% salt solution had a measurable effect on F. columnare viability in a lab setting. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16060264
<<Ah yes>>
(it also shows that the 4% salt solution did not reduce mortality in infected fish, but posits that the bacteria is protected by the fish's mucus layer. Which makes sense; infection occurring below that layer, the bacteria probably isn't ever coming into direct contact with the salt solution. But, Columnaris can also be one of the many potential causes of fin rot in freshwater fish; so in that case, salt potentially could be
Another study seems to show that salt is potentially also effective against Aeromonas (yet another potential fin rot causative agent) and Edwardsiella; from this Auburn study done on channel catfish (which kind of also puts a kink in the conventional wisdom that non-scaled fish don't tolerate salt
well): http://www.int-res.com/articles/dao/21/d021p171.pdf  This one is interesting because they conclude by saying they aren't sure themselves what the real benefit was; including that it might only be physiologically beneficial on the fish itself (again, likely improved osmoregulation).
The advice is still sound for the intended audience - most people aren't going to bother to delve into wheres and whys and hows like I do, not going to differentiate one bacterial vector from another (most also don't understand the difference between gram-positive and -negative, and why an antibiotic that targets gram-positive isn't going to work for a gram-negative like Aeromonas.) Mostly just saying that if someone does claim that salt helped a particular bacterial-vector condition, they might not be wrong or misinformed. Or an idiot. :)
<<Assuredly Neale Monks is not the latter. I don't recall his reasoning, but he and I have chatted about this years back. BobF>>
Re: Platy swim bladder problem       12/20/19

<<Assuredly Neale Monks is not the latter. I don't recall his reasoning, but he and I have chatted about this years back. BobF>>
No, no, definitely was not suggesting he was - I respect his knowledge and experience, and have been educated and informed by many of his past answers here.
I was only quoting the response that anyone who used salt for bacterial would have to be an idiot. Meaning - I don't think anyone who does try/use salt for external bacterial is misinformed or an idiot - because I have seen some evidence that it can be effective, and I don't think *I'm* an idiot.
[But of course, I also might not be completely objective when it comes to self-evaluation.... :) ]
<I consider that there is some subjective element/s to all observations, thinking. Cheers, B>

Coral identification    12/19/19
I need your help about this coral identification
<Appears to be a Faviid of some sort (Family Faviidae); may be able to guess further to genus if you can give me an idea of the diameter of the polyps (in mm.). Bob Fenner>


Platy swim bladder problem   12/19/19
<Happy holidays Melita>
I have found many answers here in the past (thank you!), but now have a situation where I'm not sure how best to proceed. Apologies in advance if I'm providing too much information, I figure always better too much than not enough.
<Yes; agreed>
I've had a female platy for about a year and a half now. She was normal and healthy for most of the first year. This is what she looked like when I first got her, around August of 2018. Not full-grown yet, and didn't seem to arrive pregnant (as most female livebearers do) either.
[image: platyAug18.jpg]
<Very nice; fully mature female>

I'd kept her with a pair of peppered corys and trio of female swordtails, and one male swordtail (who never tried to mate with her, that I ever saw - his trio of ladies kept him busy enough, I think.)
<Mmm; can cross breed w/ platies>
[Since this is going to be mostly history to where we are now I don't think water parameters are or were a factor - but for the record she was in a mature, well-planted tank. pH 7.8-8.2, temp 74, gH >180, kH >180 and maintained with crushed coral in the canister filter, am 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 10-20, 25% water change weekly.
<Good values, maintenance>
The only issue I've had in this tank was a case of external Columnaris on one of the swords (white lesion, treated with hydrogen peroxide direct-swab since it was near the tail, followed up with a course of Nitrofuran/Kanaplex in the tank. This also happened months before there were ever any issues with the platy. Don't know about the UK, but here in the US it seems like Columnaris has become frightfully common with livebearers.
<It is... and has been, "cyclically"... every few years off and on for decades. Many folks cite, speculate that the international import may be a root cause (difference in water quality, stress...), and quality of
domestic water, and loss of genetic strength in lines....>
Enough so that I've even been seeing them shipped in yellow water rather than blue - an indication of
Nitrofuran in the water, rather than Methylene Blue.]
<Could/might well be>
She would periodically cycle getting a little larger in the belly and then smaller, but if she ever produced any offspring I never saw it (didn't see her birth any fry, never saw her hiding or getting particularly stroppy with the others (like the female swords do when they're getting close to birthing), didn't see any offspring with colors like hers or that didn't look like regular swordtail in fin/body shape, etc.)
<Young might have been consumed.>
This would be a 'fatter' period for her, in February 2019.
[image: platyFeb19_fat.jpg]

One day in June of 2019, she started head-standing, and her vent had also become rather prominent.
[image: platyJun19_1.jpg]

<Yes; the vent area often becomes clear/er ahead (days) of parturition; one can sometimes see the eyes of young through this area at the time>
It coincided with feeding the tank a treat of frozen brine shrimp (though I didn't make the connection until later.) I removed her to a quarantine, someplace quiet away from the other females - in case she was pregnant and having trouble birthing.
<Okay... I'd advise placing "spawning medium" (artificial or live "grass"... there are a few varieties; gone over on WWM on the Aquatic Plants subweb>
By the next morning she was oriented normally again. No fry. I kept her in the quarantine for a couple more days, but as she was acting completely like her normal self (wanting to be fed, pooping normally, etc), I went ahead and put her back in the tank.
<A few things might have occurred here; false pregnancy, resorption... Good
to either use large breeding nets/traps and/or move apparently "pregnant" females well in advance.>
Things were fine for some time after that, but - if there was an occasion where she could scarf down 'extra' food (such as frozen brine shrimp), she'd end up in the head-standing position again for several hours to half a day after. I figured - overfull stomach pressing on swim bladder.
<Might be; and/or gas generation from the food>
This was her in August 2019, still normal most of the time.
[image: platyAug19_normal.jpg]


She'd always been a bit of a chow-hound, even more than most livebearers are.
I'd read (from other places) that head-standing in platys was basically a death sentence; but since she was still swimming normally, eating normally, pooping normally, and so on, I just let her be.
Sometime in September, the head-standing got to be a constant thing. She would position herself under something (plant leaf, decoration) to stay horizontal and away from the surface. But the female swords decided that there must be something wrong with her, and they started picking on her constantly (more than just the normal female pecking-order squabbles.)
They meant business, so I had to move her.
I moved her back into quarantine, and gave her a week's course of Nitro/Kanaplex just in case it was due to some kind of infection. Didn't make any difference.
The only other thing I could find about this problem was that she might be egg-bound.
<Yes; or possibly have decomposing young inside her>
So, I went and got a male platy (same kind) and another female (so he wouldn't be focused exclusively on her), both half her size so she could assert herself easily if either one of them bothered her too much.
Put them into a planted 20-gal tank.
She was still positioning herself under anything she could. After a month, things were no better - and she was going downhill from the additional stress of having a male trying to court her. Started showing signs of edema/dropsy - not to the point of her scales pine-coning or pop-eye, just swollen and looking uncomfortable.
I removed her to quarantine again, and this time I thought I was going to lose her. She was tail-curling, like she was in pain and trying to reach the painful spot with her mouth. I gave her an Epsom bath in a smaller container for 30 min.s, and then put some salt
<Aquarium salt I take it, not Epsom>
and meth blue into the quarantine (just hoping to make her a little more comfortable) and left her overnight, fully expecting to find her dead the next morning.
But, she wasn't. She was much less swollen, had made a black-looking, somewhat larger than normal poop, and she now had a red spot on her side (the side she'd been curling toward.) A day or so later it also looked like she had some bruising under her skin, on both sides.
[image: platyOct19.jpg]
[image: platyOct19_2.jpg]


She didn't eat for nearly a week after this. The quarantine I had her in was bare-bottom, just a heater and airstone - I was taking her out and doing full water-changes every day or at most every other day (still expecting she'd either start getting better or go farther downhill, figuring either way it was just temporary lodging.) At one point I was considering getting out the clove oil - but she let me know she wasn't done.
She had also had some dorsal and caudal fin damage (from floating to the surface, drying out), so I'd coated my hand with StressCoat and picked her up to put her back in the quarantine after the water-change (easiest way to get it onto her where she needed it.) She surprised me with her strength, fighting; she was not at all hesitant to let me know how much she didn't appreciate being handled. She was plenty feisty when trying to catch her to do the water-changes as well.
When she started eating again I tried a few other things with her - a course of Triple Sulfa, I think I also tried her with some Ciprofloxacin (in the water, I didn't try medicated food because she isn't seeing/eating food right away and I know it loses its effectiveness quickly in the water.) No change, for better or worse.
And now here we are in December, two months later - still no change. She spends the majority of her time positioned underneath something to stay down (the heater, or tube-caves I made for her out of an opaque plastic bottle), and when she's not under something, she's tail-up unless she's actively swimming. She eats and poops normally. And still has the red spot, this is a picture from yesterday:
[image: platyDec19_now.jpg]


At this point, I don't know what else I should do for her. Set her up by herself in a 10-gallon with plants and other 'soft' things to position herself under, I guess? She doesn't tend to swim around a whole lot now, I think anything larger (tank-wise) would be sort of pointless. It doesn't seem like much of a life to me, but given how actively/strongly she still fights being caught or restrained in any way, I'd also say she isn't 'done' in her own mind, definitely hasn't given up.
Thought I'd pose this one to you all, see if there is something else you would suggest.
Thanks in advance,
<I would have you read Neale's piece on salt use:
and consider either the addition of Epsom salt or its use in a more concentrated bath/lavage... in an attempt to "loosen" what might be inside this fish. Please do report back your actions and observations. Bob Fenner>

Re: can I keep 2m 2f dwarf gourami in 80 litres?     12/18/19
Dear Neale,
Thanks for your helpful reply. I was able to get a better shot of the paler fish last night. Can you tell whether it’s male or female?
<Do think this is a female, on account of its more rounder shape and not-tapering dorsal fin; however, will admit its dorsal fin is not the classic blunt curve of females, even if not really long and pointy either. So would assume a female, but wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be a male! Not completely helpful, I know, but the two fish will know -- and if the male is largely ignoring this fish, perhaps scooting her away from his 'patch', then I'd be fairly confident she's a female. Cheers, Neale.>

Laying aquarium on side and resealing?       12/17/19
Hi there,
I have what may be a bit of a strange question for you that I hope you don’t mind entertaining! I’ve been in the market for a used aquarium with a footprint of 36”x24” and have slowly been losing hope… Do you think its silly to consider finding a used aquarium and laying it on its side to then take apart and reseal with the foot print I want?
<Nope; not silly at all>
For example a standard 65 gallon on its side would give me the 36”x24” foot print, if I was to remove the new 36”x24” ‘top’ pane and cut it down to 36”x18” then resealed it onto what was the original topside of the aquarium, I’d end up with a 36”x24”x18” (LxWxH) 65 gallon aquarium. Obviously this is assuming I find a non tempered tank, worst case scenario I smash that 36”x24” and order a 36”x18” pane to do the same thing?
<Why non-tempered? Cutting carefully through the existing seams (with single edge razor blades assumedly) should allow you to re-use the glass>
Any thoughts? Obviously I could have custom tank ordered but lets just say I’m budget and DIY inclined ;)
Thanks so much,
<I'd try this adventure out... cutting the top frame off, starting the seam cut through at the old top...
Bob Fenner>

Re: Whether or not to moonlight?...     12/16/19
Moonlight follow-up question…
The only practical place to install a moonlight at the top of my 220 gallon reef is right in front of the overflow. My question is... will I (inadvertently) just be 'luring' all of my copepods and amphipods to their
death, courtesy of a trip directly to the skimmer if they try to swim into-the-light?
<Possibly they will go through the overflow, hard to tell. Do you have copepods in your macro algae sump?... I’d try to establish them there, they will grow quite well and only a part will reach the main tank to constantly feed your livestock. Wil.>

Can I keep 2m 2f dwarf gourami in 80 litres?     12/16/19
Dear Crew,
<Hello Helen,>
This may turn out to be a cautionary tale...
I have just received three dwarf gourami that I ordered online from a good shop (or what used to be a good shop, anyway), with the request that I needed 1 male and 2 females. I already have one female in my tank.
I'm attaching photos of two of the fish they have sent me. I hope you can see clearly enough: they are still in the bag they came in. I fear that the two coloured ones are both males. I'm certain the stripy one is, but am hoping that the reddish one that isn't stripy is a female, because otherwise I'll have two males and only two females in this tank, which I'm worried will lead to the males fighting.
<The red/blue striped one is indeed a male. Females are harder to identify.
They are normally silvery, with faint blue/red stripes, and tend to have a more rounded abdomen and, usually, shorter dorsal fins without the tapering end seen on the males. While it's difficult to be sure, I'd suggest your second, plainer specimen is indeed a female. Behaviour usually makes for certainty: males will be more inquisitive and ultimately more territorial.>
They are going into my quarantine tank for the time being. The main tank is 80 litres, heavily planted, and currently contains one female gourami, 6 ember tetras and some cherry shrimp. The water parameters are:
Ammonia 0 (it's a mature system)
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0 (I didn't believe it either, but I tested multiple times. I conclude that the duckweed is outgrowing the nitrate production in the tank.
<Might well be.>
The other plants grow pretty fast too, as there is plenty of light.) KH, GH very low. The water here is very soft, pH around 6-7.
<Which suits Dwarf Gouramis well.>
Can you tell me whether both these fish are male?
<See above.>
If you need better photos let me know and I'll try again.
<Really need to see the body shape and the dorsal fin shape of the paler specimen to be sure.>
I guess if they are both males I'll have to put one into the main tank, leave the other in the smaller tank until I can rehome him.
<You are right to be dubious about more than one male Dwarf Gourami in 80 litres, and even kept as pairs, the females can be pestered, even damaged.
Multiple females per male is the ideal, because these polygamous fish don't form stable pairs in the same way cichlids do. After spawning, females are forcefully driven out of the male's territory!>
Thanks again for your sage advice,
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Salt water fish tank problems; cycling/env.       12/14/19
My name is Mason,
<Hello Mason, Wil here.>
I have a salt water fish tank that has been problematic from the start (July 2019) despite everything we have tried to fix it, but our fish keep getting sick and die.
<Did you cycle this tank?>
We started with a 29 gallon bio-cube tank some live rock, sand and salt water from one specific store.
<Live, cured?>
We then found another store where we had gotten a watchman gobi <Y> and a royal gramma to start our tank.
<These fish are not adequate to cycle a tank>
About 10 days later the gramma passed away.
<Did you quarantine the fish?>
After further water testing trace amounts of copper was found in the water. We then called the original store and found out that their live rock supply is mostly from broken down tanks.
<Mmm… I see>
We immediately removed the old rock and treated the tank with Triton Detox (recommended from the new fish store) and a poly filter for after treatment. We have had weekly to bi-weekly water testing all of which the parameters have been good.
<Could you please send us the current test readings?>
We do bi-weekly water changes and test the salinity often, we have a protein skimmer and heater in the tank that is set to 79.3 degrees. The problem that is still occurring is that fish keep passing away. The watchman gobi is still alive but since the first royal gramma we have lost 2 more and 2 bi-colored blennies, 2 peppermint shrimp, 1 tail spot blend, 1 carpenter wrasse, 1 cleaner shrimp, 1 coral beauty and countless Nerite snails all of which have lasted for 3 weeks then perished. We had a Banggai cardinal fish that was returned to the store because we thought maybe he was being a bully and put in a Talbots damsel. The damsel we have now is currently growing some kind of fungus on it and we really can not figure out what is happening to the tank, the parameters are always good the salinity is fine, no one is being a bully. Our current tank occupants are the watchman gobi, pistol shrimp, Talbots damsel, 2 turbo snails hermit crabs and Nerite snails. We also have coral that is doing fine, growing and flourishing. Basically we are at an impasse and have invested a lot of time and money into this tank and its been stressful and we are about ready to give up.
<You should have invested more in reading ahead of buying fish.>
We recently tried General Cure by API but there is no change. We have a carbon filter and a poly filter in the tank currently. I have attached a photo of the damsel. If there is anything else that we can do please let us know
<I recommend you stop adding new livestock and do a good reading, please start with the following links and related http://www.wetwebmedia.com/estbiofiltmar.htm
Thank you
Mason Truelove
<You are welcome. Wil.>

Re: Hello Question about acrylic crazing or seam failure.      12/13/19
Hello there,
<Greetings Utsav>
First I would like to thank you for sharing the information with me. It has been a blessing.
Do you recommend to seal all the tank with Weldon just to be on the safe side? If yes, what kind of Weldon should I use?
<I would not randomly apply this solvent... ONLY where the joint is whited out...
The #16 of Weldon or equivalent is my choice in terms of low viscosity; ability to seep into the joint. You may need to flip the tank over so the solvent can more easily soak into the space. IF there's a concern for leaking, DO read on WWM re installing triangular or quarter stock in all seams>
The tank is dry and hasn't been operational, so I was thinking of taking care of the maintenance before I pour water in it.
Thank you,
*Utsav Khatiwada*
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

giant fish in a not so giant pond      12/13/19
Hai, Can I grow a 1.25 feet giant gourami with Alligator gar and iridescent sharks in a cement pond of 5 feet length,3.5 feet width and 3.25 feet height..There was only iridescent sharks and Alligator gar in that tank. I bought the above mentioned gourami 2 days ago...Is it possible to live them together in a tank...
<Your pond measures about 56 cubic feet, or just under 1600 litres (roughly 418 US gallons) assuming it is filled to the very top. While the fish would probably do okay in there for quite a while, a lot depends on the filtration and how big the fish get. Alligator Gars (Atractosteus spatula) reach up to 3 m in length, though 1.8 m (around 6 ft) is more typical.
These wouldn't even fit in your pond, much less survive. So a juvenile might be okay, but an adult would not. Iridescent Sharks (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus) will get to at least 90-100 cm in length (around 3 ft) when fully grown. Again, adults this size would be a bit of a squeeze in your pond, but juveniles should be okay for a year or so. To stress: the only reason these two species are available is because they are commercially farmed as food, with their large size and fast growing rate being major selling points. Ironically, the Giant Gourami (Osphronemus goramy) is the one species ideally suited to a tropical pond this size, and should actually do quite well, despite being the latest addition to your collection of giant fish. Again, while it's a food fish, at up to 45 cm (about 1.5 ft) when fully grown, an average adult is a do-able aquarium fish, even if rather demanding. Cheers, Neale.>

Worms in my tank, FW       12/12/19
I have worms in my tank & I’m not too sure what kind they are & how to get rid of them so if you could please help me that would be great. I will attach some pictures of the worms. I have 2 Bettas in my tank & I don’t want anything to happen to them
<I wouldn't be (overly) concerned with these small (highly likely benign Oligochaete) worms>
Thank you,
Gavyn Rockburn
<Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwwormidf.htm
and the linked files (in blue) above. Bob Fenner>

Help with German Blue Ram      12/12/19
Hi. I have a planted 20 gallon tall with seven cardinal tetras, four Cory cats, five serpae tetras, two Otos, and one ram.
<Right. Couple things to point out here. The first is that while most Corydoras prefer cool water (72-77 F) Cardinals are happy at middling to high (say, 77-82 F) and Rams definitely need warmth (82-86 F). Serpae Tetras are tough as old boots and won't really care either way, but they're also psychotic little fin-nippers -- in other words, their ecological niche includes biting the scales and fins of larger fish. So while Serpae Tetras look lovely and will thrive on benign neglect, they aren't the safest community fish. They also have an intense pecking order (watch them at feeding time!) and small groups may turn on themselves. They're best used as low maintenance colour for planted tanks where a school of 12 or more are kept alone to complement fancy-pants Amano-style planting.>
Two seachem tidal HOB filters with sponge, bio rings, and no carbon.
<Sounds good.>
Water parameters seem good. 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and about 20 nitrate.
water temp is kept at 78-79 F.
<See above re: temperature. There's really no happy medium here, unless you happen to be keeping Corydoras sterbai, one of the very few Corydoras truly happy at the high temperatures Cardinals and Rams require.>
I do about 30% water changes every week treated with Seachem Prime. Only issue I fight with is that the ph is around 8.
<Which is, as you likely understand, not optimal. Cardinals, and especially Rams, require soft water.
A high pH indicates high hardness. Remember, pH isn't actually that important -- most Amazonian fish can thrive anywhere between pH 6 and 8 -- but hardness does matter. Unless you are actively reducing hardness, diddling around with the pH via chemical buffers is not only pointless but actually risky, because the pH will vary over time.>
My ram is showing this white spot on its fin and I'm not sure if its fungal or not. I've moved him into a cycled 10 gallon QT with two sponge filters, plastic plants for cover, and the same water parameters as the 20 gallon.
No other fish in the 20 gallon has any symptoms or sickness.
<Do see above, but also read about this species; start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/rams.htm
But also have a peruse of our previous emails on the subject, here:
Cut a long story short, Rams are 'juiced' with antibiotics by breeders to keep them healthy once they get to the shops, but as the antibiotics wear off, if the Rams are exposed to the wrong environmental conditions, their health outcomes get steadily worse with time. You are BY NO MEANS the only
person in this position, and in fact most Rams bought in pet shops are lucky to survive 6 months. Many not even that.>
I first thought it was ich so I raised the temp in the QT to 85 and treated with ich-x, following the instructions with daily dosing and water changes, with no difference in the spot after 5 days. I did a larger water change and after letting him rest for a week, I dosed according to the directions with API General Cure and E.M. Erythromycin. Again it had no effect. After some more daily water changes I began dosing with Seachem Paraguard. I'm now on day 3 of Paraguard and not seeing much of a difference. I'm contemplating aquarium salt as well for treatment, but unsure how well rams handle the salinity.
<Rams will handle the old salt/heat method just fine, as will Cardinals.
The 2 gram/litre dose used is trivial, and most if not all fish handle this better than the more modern medications such as copper and formalin. The downside of course is salt/heat takes longer to work and may require a longer duration to completely eliminate Whitespot. It's less effective against Velvet, but will work if combined with complete darkness (e.g., a blanket over the tank).>
He is eating well, not constipated, and mobile in the tank. I attached the best picture I could get to help aid in diagnosing the illness.
<The white blotch on the tail could be anything, including a Finrot-type bacterial infection but also early Lymphocystis. The latter is untreatable beyond optimising living conditions. There is some belief that stress brings on Lymphocystis, at least so far as wild fish go. Finrot should respond well to antibiotics.>
Thanks in advance.
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Coral Beauty Angelfish      12/11/19
We recently had a coral beauty angelfish become sick and die. We removed the fish just as he died. Are you able to identify what the disease is from these photos? It appeared to be white fuzz and fin rot since the side
fin deteriorated away.
<Does look like Lymphocystis, a virulent disease especially common in tanks where fish are already stressed due to poor water quality, unfortunately it has no cure, the only option is to improve the fish health through good nutrition and vitamin supplements, in addition to maintaining pristine water conditions in a stress-free tank.>
Thank you for any help!
<Most welcome. Wil.>

911 Betta Help      12/11/19
Hello WWM Crew,
20 gallon tall tank
<Mmm; Betta's are better kept in shallower/less deep systems... it's a haul to make it to the surface to grab gulps of air>
Filtered and heated
CO2 day —airstone at night
Stock: albino bristle nosed pleco, 2 adfs, 1 mystery snail, 1 amano shrimp, half moon dragon scale betta, sword tail
My betta has always had fin rot ever since I got him almost a year ago.
<? Unusual... are you sure this appearance is not some type of coloration of the fins?>

I have been able to keep it under control and keep it from progressing and had it come and go. Never had regrowth I think but never done any treatments. Only water changes every week and prime.
<This sounds like (it should be) a fine set up, maintenance program>
Last week I got my tank back in order after letting it go for two weeks where I didn’t do water changes and run my CO2. I had my parameters fail and an algae outbreak. Now that is cleaned up and my parameters are stable
again. I fed everything but did not really pay attention to how everything looked. After I realized my bettas fins were destroyed and he had a white spot on his fins.
<"A" as in a single spot I take it>
I quarantined him in a one gallon and did daily 50% water changes for a week with bettafix.
<Not a fan of this API product, nor Melaleuca for medicine period>

Things are not looking better and the white spot has grown. It’s not fuzzy just white. His right eye is bulging and when taking pics I noticed his scales are a golden shiny color. It’s not dusted but solid except for on his lower fin below his body where it is dusted looking. His fins are shredded and crumpled down.
<... could this fish, system be infested w/ Velvet, Amyloodinium?>
After noticing this I couldn’t tell if it was velvet so I looked at the swordtail which I added two months ago. He didn’t look like this when I got him but is now covered in a dusting of gold shiny metallic. It was really hard to get a picture of as he is constantly moving and the flash light has to reflect on it just right. He is black with a blue hue in the right light and a metallic silver eye normally. But now there is gold all over him in the right light you see it.
<I would treat for Velvet>
First I want to address the betta. I think he has multiple problems, I’m not sure what, I don’t know what to use to treat them, or in what order. It could be bacterial, fungal, Velvet. He has the white spot, bulging right eye, and shredded fins. He wants to live I can tell and is trying to hang in there. He is eating again but wasn’t for the first few days of quarantine. He needs to be medicated at this point and I think I need to make it the right moves or it will progress to far before I can get to it.
<I would return this fish to the 20 (more stable) and treat all for (just) Velvet for now... there are a few approaches; from depriving light to less-than discriminate dyes and metal solutions. You may well have to remove the snails, frogs to elsewhere, perhaps your plants (and run them through a dip/bath to remove the dinoflagellates on returning)>
Please give me your insight with what you think all he has and what medicine as well as brand names to use.
<I'd have you search, read re "Velvet" (for freshwater) of WWM, esp. reviewing this list of medications by Neale Monks: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfishmeds.htm
AND carefully pre- and re-reading the manufacturers information on use>
Pics below include:
Both tanks
<Both? You mention one, and a bowl for treatment. You provide an image of the tank... am not a fan of round/smooth pebbles as substrate... Is the filter here keeping ammonia, nitrite at 0.0 ppm? Nitrate under 20 ppm?>
Betta a month ago at his maintained fin rot state
<I see this>
Betta now with gold coloring on scales and dusting in lower fin
<Can't make out the gold dusting>

White spot on tail fin 7 days ago when moved into quarantine And it now Bulging eye
<Okay; seen>
Sword tail gold dusting
<Again, not discernible (by me). Am going to ask Neale here to review all, present his own response. Bob Fenner>

911 Betta Help     /Neale
<<It is not obvious to me that the the Swordtail is sick at all. Velvet is usually quite obvious (think: icing sugar) and infected fish almost always 'flash' (move rapidly) against rocks as if trying to scratch themselves.
Heavy ventilation of the gill covers is usually obvious too, because Velvet infects the gills almost before anything else. Swordtails are moderately demanding by community tank standards: they are active swimmers, so a tank
at least 2.5 ft, and ideally 3+ feet in length is surely essential. They despise high temperatures, so best kept around 22-25 C (72-77 F) but no higher. Hard, alkaline water is essential. Like other livebearers, they're sensitive to 'old' water and prone to mysterious ailments, such as wasting away, in stuffy or overstocked tanks. Your Betta just looks like a specimen with indifferent genetics. Colouration is normal enough, just not uniform, and the raggedy edges seem to be genetic, rather than the result of Finrot (which would tend to expose fin rays that look like fine bones, as well as patches of white dead tissue and pinkish, inflamed areas). I don't see obvious eye bulging, but if it's just the one eye, that's most likely caused by an injury, and should go down by itself. The use of Epsom Salt
can help to reduce swelling. A dose of 1-3 teaspoons per 5 gallons/20 litres will do the trick. Note that Epsom Salt isn't the same thing as tonic, table, sea or cooking salt. It can be purchased inexpensively online or via drugstores. As for treating Velvet, commercial medications such as eSHa EXIT will do the trick, but with livebearers, if they're all you're keeping, adding salt at a dose of 2-5 gram/litre will do the job with less risk of stress. Indeed, marine salt mix added to livebearer tanks has a mild tonic effect on these fish, even the true freshwater ones like Swordtails, and can be used for some weeks without risk. Cheers, Neale.>>

Ongoing Palythoa problems       12/10/19
Good morning crew,
<Good morning Nicole>
I have been scouring your site and I am sure my answer is there somewhere but I just can't seem to find it.
To keep a long story short every few weeks for many years I will lose a small patch (20-25 heads of thousands) of Palys to this brown jelly type stuff.
<These appear to be some type of sponge >
It will go away for a bit and then rear it's ugly head up again.
I am wondering if there is any one specific thing that causes this condition, or could it be any number of factors and this is simply how Palys react to something they don't like.
Of course I am hoping you can tell me that only one thing could be causing this but I feel like most things in this hobby it won't be that simple.
Thank you in advance.
<Sponges live in almost all marine ecosystems, from the shallowest coral reefs to the deepest, coldest parts of the ocean so, it is very easy that they have adapted to your marine tank; they are filter feeders, not coral eaters, but looks that they are suffocating your Zoas. I suggest to manually remove them; if the rock (s) they are attached to, is (are) easy to take out of the tank, you can remove them with a pair of tweezers or applying hydrogen peroxide directly to the sponges.>
PS while I have your attention, any advice for getting a dart fish out of a deep narrow overflow chamber? ��
<This happens at times and the best solution is to drain the overflow section and try to introduce a narrow net attached to a pvc pipe or some other long object in order to reach and catch the fish in only a few centimeters of water, if access to the overflow is limited, you can try the same but with the net attached to a flexible pipe or hose. Hope this helps. Cheers. Wil.>

Re: Ongoing Palythoa problems       12/10/19
Thank you for the reply.
Yes I do know about the sponges, they don't really concern me.
I am referring to my Palys turning brown and gooey and disintegrating.
<Ahh, ok... I thought you said this happens when sponges are present.>
Maybe the photo isn't very clear. This has been going on long before the sponges were present and often in colonies where there are no/very little sponges.
Any idea what is causing my Palys to turn brown and gooey?
<May have to do with water chemistry / quality>
It will only happen to a small patch at a time, go away, only to return again on a different patch of Palys.
I have attached 2 more photos that will hopefully show what is going on more clearly.
<Thanks, I can see what you mean more clearly on your excellent pix. Can you please tell me about your water levels (numbers)?>
Thanks again and wish me luck catching the dart fish! ��
<Good luck!... hopefully you take him out soon. Wil.>

Re: Ongoing Palythoa problems       12/10/19
Thanks again. The dart fish actually ended up being super easy to catch; for lack of anywhere to hide he swam straight into my net. Him and his 3 buddies were just added to the display tank yesterday.
<Ahh... good, perhaps you can block or limit the overflow slits a bit so that this won’t happen again, slender fish like your dart fish can easily pass through them.>
So back to the Paly problem, I have only recently started testing/dosing after 6 years in the hobby and have attached photos of my logs.
<Okay, let’s see>
My salinity is always at 1.026. I really don't see it being parameters though as this has been going on forever and only seems to affect a very small portion of Palys at a time.
<I don’t see readings re HPO4 and Nitrate... do you dose iodine?>
I know I have some allelopathy issues in the tank due to an unusual mix of corals I introduced before I knew what allelopathy was, so this is my suspicion.
<You may be right here>
I still find it odd that it only affects tiny patches of Palys at a time though.
<Is there any other Cnidarian life in the tank? Maybe nearby the Palythoa colony?>
I was just hoping maybe there was only one possible cause for Palys turning brown and gooey but I guess that is not the case.
Thanks again for your help
<Welcome. Wil.>
Re: Ongoing Palythoa problems       12/10/19

He jumped over the overflow, no way he would fit through the slits. Luckily the tank itself is pretty well covered.
I don't have a phosphate test kit yet, I started testing nitrates in the last few days, you will notice nitrite/nitrate readings on the last few logs on the far right.
<You're right, I missed this.>
Nitrites are always 0, nitrates have been hovering around 5-10ppm although I am not a big fan of my seachem test kit (hard to read)
and plan to get a new brand soon. All other tests are Salifert.
<I use Salifert mostly... a very reliable, easy to read test kit brand.>
I do not dose iodine, I will look into this.
<Iodine is required by most corals but should be dose with caution.>
As I said I am very new to the whole testing/dosing thing, I have always relied on visual observation and frequent water changes in the past, have had a lot of luck both good and bad haha so have decided recently to step up my game and force myself to understand the chemistry behind my aquarium.
<Good decision>
There are lots of corals in the tank, many of which I know don't mix well.
Ricordea, green hairy mushrooms, a few leathers including Colts/devils hand/ pink cabbage, a hammer coral, many Rock flower anemones etc.
But honestly Palys are the most prevalent thing in the tank, mostly due to a very invasive pale bluish green type that is sometimes the kind melting, sometimes not. I have added some activated carbon recently and plan to add more soon,
<Don't forget to suspend activated carbon use when dosing>
but I also know I need to rethink some of my coral selection but I'm not totally sure which to keep and which to move yet!
By the way I don't think I mentioned, this is a heavily stocked 150 gallon tank with a 30 or 40 gallon sump. It started as a 75 gallon 6 years ago and I upgraded to 150 about a year ago.
<Do bear in mind that corals need enough space to open freely without touching the other corals. Cheers. Wil.>

Nano tank chilling issues       12/10/19
Dear Team
Am facing issues with cooling my Nano tank
I reside in India and am in a city which is hot and humid throughout the year. The room temperature is about 34 and the water temperature normally is about 31-32 degrees Celsius.
<Yikes; warm>
My setup details are as under:
I have two separate sumps with two chambers each.
The display overflows 40% of water to first sump holds macroalgae and DSB.
It overflows to the second sump which hosts the chiller in the first chamber. 60% of the overflow from the display falls in the first chamber.
The return pump is placed in the second chamber of the second pump which received water post skimming. The return pump is a Sicce silent 1.0 model which pushes about 900 lph to the Nano display Tank which is a 16 inch cube
<No graphic came through>
Drain 2
drain 1
Chiller Out
1 HP
Chiller Pump
Return Pump
The volume of water is as under:
Sump 1 chamber 1: 6 gallons net
Sump 1 chamber 2: 5 gallons net (sand level excluded)
Sump 2 chamber 1: 7 gallons net
Sump 2 chamber 2: 3 gallons net
Display volume (net): 15 gallons net water volume
I has a six footer aquarium previously (discontinued post relocation to another city) and a chiller for that size. Have a Hailea 1000B model suited for big aquariums. Am using the same chiller for this Nano set up
The chiller is oversized for this tank beyond doubt and chills the water within few minutes.
The chiller kicks on and cuts off way too frequently.
<Mmm; you might contact the manufacturer re changing out, replacing the controller for one with a wider on/off temperature range setting>
I am also facing challenges in maintaining the water temperature stable.
The display, Sump 1 and the sump 2 all have different temperatures even post running the chiller for long time.
<? Likely due to not much water flow through all; can you increase this?>
The chamber where the chiller outlet is situated has the lest temperature (chamber 1 sump2)
The display had the maximum temperature with a variation of 0.7-1 degree Celsius.
<This is about the most I would allow>
Please advise how I can have a uniform temperature across.
<More circulation in the main tank, more flow through the sumps>
Is it the issue of an oversized chiller cutting off and kicking on frequently?
<Might not be... and for what it's worth (esp. electrical energy cost wise), I'd get/use a much smaller (like 1/8HP) chiller here... and not use the current 1HP>
Or is the matter of flow rate from chiller ?
<Not just/only the chiller, but the rest of the system. Putting (foam) insulation around much, all the sides of the sumps might well help, but I'd just look into increasing flow in all>
I am using a pump rated for 3000 litres per hour.
<?! Well, this "should do it" here, but obviously not>
Will a smaller chilling unit provide uniformity and more stability?
<Yes it should>
Warm Regards,
Srinivas Manian
<Bob Fenner>

Bizarre Clownfish question       12/10/19
Hi, this has not happened to my clownfish but another reefer. However, I'm totally curious as to how this could have occurred and what you think about it.
I will paste his comments here with the pics. Such a strange occurrence!
What do you think? Thanks!
<See below>
"Help! Female Clown with burst belly!     

9:39 am
Well, I’ve had her for years. She lays eggs all the time and it seems like it’s catching up to her. I have no clue what to do. She is acting fine and eating, rubbing against her anemone. She has a belly full of eggs. I know there’s probably zero I can do and I’m hoping Mother Nature just does what she needs to do and she will be ok. She’s absolutely beautiful.
1:15 pm
I won’t get her out now. She needs to start laying those eggs ASAP so then I can better check the cut. Getting her our will stress her more since she will have nowhere to lay her eggs. Don’t want to do that. As far as a sharp object goes no. She’s on her anemone with her partner all day long. As far i can tell they’ll she will start laying them today. They’re already obsessively cleaning the base of the rock where they lay all the time.
4:04 pm
Update: she’s laying eggs right now. They have a pretty big clutch so far..
4:28 pm
She’s amazing. To be quite honest I’ve seen her day in and out for the past 5 years every single Day. She’s acting as normal as ever like it ain’t a thang. I don’t know what to make or her lol. I knew getting her out of her home would have been a mistake. She was going to start laying any minute.
I’ll keep y’all posted.
5:06 pm
She's a champ...laying her eggs like she has many times before.
Next day 8:15 am
Morning update:
she laid all of her eggs and her belly is back to normal size. The opening isn't stretching out anymore which Im hoping will heal soon. She's eating like a shark and acting 100% normal.
Something tells me this is a common occurrence with clownfish that lay eggs all the time. Ill keep a close eye on her.
Thank you all that chimed in. She's a little beast!"
<No images came through... I take it this was a report of a tear in the gut wall... likely due to external trauma. It reads like it will heal. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bizarre Clownfish question       12/10/19

Oh, my thought is an Isopod or similar but wanted a professional opinion.
<An isopod? Does this show in an image? The ones that are parasitic on Clownfishes don't cut tears in their hosts. Bob Fenner>

Re: giant gourami diet      12/9/19
Thanks as always!
<De nada, Neale.>

Eel tank      12/9/19
Greetings Mr. Fenner & Crew
<Hi Kirk.>
Long story shortened, added a Gymnothorax fimbriatus about 6 months ago, he ate a couple young Maroon Clowns I added, I realize I won’t be able to add any small fish to this tank, removing him I have deemed VERY difficult as the tank is 5’x5’x2.5’. I have a large reef tank as well, I have always wanted an Eel tank. I would probably make an Enchelycore pardalis the next addition and feature fish. I’ve read the WWM article, which says there is no way to tell the sex.
<Still none to my knowledge.>
One online site sells them as “Male” (for more money) and “Female” a few hundred less. My guess is they are just hiking up the price on the ones with more orange coloration, sound right?
<Probably. Am not aware of any evidence or even scientific study about color differences between sexes (sexual dichromatism) in this species.>
Other question is would Gymnothorax favagineus be ill advised as the final addition?
<Gymnothorax favagineus gets much bigger than the other two species. Have little doubt my old G. favagineus would have eaten an adult G. fimbriatus. Better choose species with approx. the same adult size and temper.>
Too much Eel for the other two? If so, what would you recommend, at roughly 460 gallons was hoping 3 good sized would be ok? I like Muraena lentiginosa as well, though it is not very large.
<The size of the tank should not be a problem for 3 medium sized eels (such as G. fimbriatus), but housing Gymnothorax and Enchelycore eels together is always a risk. G. fimbriatus and E. pardalis can both be quite aggressive to new additions. Your chances are best when all the eels have about the same size and when you provide a sufficient number of caves to reduce stress and aggression. Beware, they still might not get along fine depending on their individual temper. Also, I agree with M. lentiginosa being a little small compared to your other choices, Muraena pavonia is similar and gets larger. To name a few more species: Gymnothorax rueppelliae is about the same size as G. fimbriatus. Gymnothorax kidako is only slightly larger.>
Thank you for your fantastic site, Happy Holidays
Kirk R
<Thanks. Wishing you happy holidays, too. Marco.>

re: Skinny guppy not eating     12/8/19
Thanks so much Neal,
Also the guppies have been medicated 2x previously with Levamisole and Praziquantel so unless the fish has been somehow reinfected with worms I think worms is probably unlikely.
I'll look into that disease.
Though I mean Id rather try and treat the guppy alone or something rather than do nothing? Unsure.
<Understood, but sometimes with small fish, it simply isn't cost effective to treat them. By the time symptoms appear, the time scale available to actually turn things around is very limited, and the medications may cost several times more than the fish itself. Furthermore, excessive medications
are in themselves stressful for fish, and your aquarium filter, so may create problems beyond the ones you're dealing with. This isn't to say we shouldn't be humane and leave small fish to suffer, but rather to observe that the chances of fixing things may be very slight, and the easiest approach may be to euthanise the fish if it isn't getting better, if only to prevent further suffering and to minimise the risk of infecting healthy fish kept alongside it. Cheers, Neale.>
re: Skinny guppy not eating     12/8/19

Hi again Neale, Thanks for your reply
I just saw the guppy scratch himself on the gravel 4x in a row. Does that point more strongly toward a particular disease?
<Such behaviour, called 'Flashing', can indicate external parasites like Whitespot, but might equally mean the fish is simply itchy, just as humans can be itchy without implying they have fleas!>
Also a rummy nose has 3 white dots but the white dots look a lot smaller than ich. (Tank was at 29 degrees incase of ich but it dropped to 28 unsure why) How do I treat that? And what is it? Is it guppy disease?
<More likely Velvet, which resembles powdered / icing sugar, whereas Ick is more like the size of salt grains.>
Thanks so much.
<Velvet is quite common, but easily treated using standard commercial medications. It infects the gills first, which can cause laboured breathing in fish, so that's another sign to look for. The old 'salt and heat' method can work well, but if you're able, a reliable anti-Velvet medication such as eSHa EXIT or Waterlife Protozin is the best approach. Do remember to remove carbon, if used, while medicating. Cheers, Neale.>
re: Skinny guppy not eating     12/8/19

Hi again Neale,
Thanks for your reply.
Looking through my tank records I now realise this guppy was a new guppy (one of the survivors from the ones I got in late October) has not been treated with Levamisole so it is possible and even probable it has worms.
Thinking of QT it in tank water in a tub and medicating it tomorrow.
<Fair enough.>
If it doesn't improve then it may have an internal infection or something more vague.
Though the dots on the rummy nose are concerning. Should I put my temperature slowly back down to 26 or leave it around 29?
<Up high will be fine for both Guppies and Rummynoses, which can thrive at 28-30 C, assuming good oxygenation of the water. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Hello Question about acrylic crazing or seam failure.     12/8/19
Yes the stand is very sturdy and the tank has a built in cushion at ye bottom. It’s for my WC Frontosa Mpembew colony so wanted your expert opinion.
<Ahh, I too raise frontosa, but not from this locality>
Thanks and I will use this tank until any issue. Thanks
<Certainly welcome, BobF>

Orandas with raw reddish patches and white bumps       12/7/19
I’ve spent hours looking through your site, (THANK YOU for it’s existence!), but couldn’t find any images with descriptions that I could be sure matched mine. So, I’ll give writing in a try!
<Sure thing, and thanks for the kind words.>
Several weeks ago I thought I noticed the beginnings of an inch infection and treated the entire tank with salt. I added a tablespoon for every 5 gallons, then repeated two days later. The white spots seemed to have gotten better, but there’s been a raw “meaty” outbreak on the tail of one for a while now that has gotten worse, and another has a white round eruption and is hanging out at the bottom of the tank more than usual. The third seems fine.
I have a 65 gallon tank with a 406 Fluval and have under gravel filters with 2 power heads. The air pump is for a 100 gallon tank and the tank has plenty of aeration. I used to feed them Tetra Goldfish Flakes and sometimes frozen brine shrimp, but I thought I might be introducing disease with the shrimp and stopped that. Now I feed them North Fin Premium Goldfish pellets that sink. (I haven’t noticed any difference in the fish with the change of food and it’s been almost a year.) I measured the ammonia levels and they are zero. There are 3 goldfish, two of which I need help with.
I have sharpened the images so their scales appear more pronounced in some images more than they actually are, but I wanted the outbreaks to be well defined.
Fish one has had a reddish outbreak for months now and it’s getting worse. Changing the tank water and using Melafix alone, then later Melafix with Pimafix, hasn’t cured it.
<Indeed; both are fairly useless, or at least, unreliable.>
About a year or so ago I had another fish that was also having eruptions and treated the tank with Amoxicillin. I used 1 Capsule (500mg.) per 20 gallons every day for 7 days. Overall, there seemed to be improvement, however one fish may have had some kind of scale damage that could not be repaired and had a large, cottony “growth” on it’s side. It behaved normally and seemed unaffected by it. Fish one behaves normally, but the red and raw looking patches are getting worse. Did the salt make it worse?
<Nope. Low salt concentrations are completely harmless to Carassius auratus.>
Fish two was fine, except that now it appears that a white growth is appearing on it’s side. There appears to be some white on it’s head too. Is that ich? However, this is the one that’s bothering me because it suddenly is spending lots of time on the bottom of the tank and none of them have ever done that before without dire consequences. (The end is near.) Tomorrow I’ll change the tank water. I was thinking of leaving the charcoal out of the fluvial and treating with the Amoxicillin again.
<Which won't help if the problem is viral, which is what I suspect.>
All of their fins appear pretty normal. No pronounced red streaks or tears. I am desperate to get my fish healthy and happy again. I’ve kept fancy goldfish for about 40 years and I’ve never had struggles like this before. I do believe there might be something in the tap water, but I don’t know for sure. I always use AmQuel Plus and NovAqua when I change the water and add 5 tablespoons of aquarium salt for every 5 gallons of new water.
My fish and I thank you in advance for any expert advice we can get! Thank you SO much!
<Do look at photos of Carp Pox on Goldfish. This is moderately common, but alas, there's no treatment. A vet may be able to remove some lesions, but beyond that, it's a case of waiting for the immune system to deal with it. Under good conditions, that can happen, but it will take months, even years, of good care. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Orandas with raw reddish patches and white bumps       12/7/19

Hi Neale. Thank you SO much for your kind and generous response. Does this reply mean that you were able to open the jpegs?
<Yes, no problem opening and examining the images. The thing is, bloody sores and white growths are actually characteristic of a range of diseases. Bacterial infections including plain old Finrot on the one hand, and the much more sinister Septicaemia on the other. Viral infections, notably Carp Pox, can produce pinkish-white growths on the body too, though usually without obvious evidence of bleeding. So to some extent I can point you in the right direction, but you need to look at those possibilities, compare them with images online, and study things like the behaviour of your fish, and whether the tissue looks actively flaking and bleeding (bacteria infection more likely) or simply wart- or tumour-like (in which case a viral cause might be suspected). It's really difficult to diagnose viral infections in fish, with only one or two having obvious symptoms (Lymphocystis springs to mind).>
If not, I wonder where I would post the images? Would it be helpful to resend them at a smaller size? I’m a photographer and spent some time getting the best images I could. I will search for Carp pox on goldfish. And, yes, I have wondered if some of the issues were viral. I suspect for sure that was true on one fish I had that never got better no matter what I did. I hate to admit it, and still feel horrible about it to this day, but he was so unsightly with a large growth on his side that I euthanized him, even though he wasn’t bothered by it and in face seemed kind of happy. Oh Lord… I’m a murderer!
So - if you have time to let me know if you were able to see the images and if not, if it would help to resend them smaller, please let me know. Otherwise, I’ll just work on keeping the water as clean as possible and monitor carefully.
Thank you again! Edward
<Glad to help, and feel free to keep us posted with any further changes or symptoms you come across. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Orandas with raw reddish patches and white bumps       12/7/19

Hi again. I looked at images of Carp pox, and that is what I concluded the fish I euthanized had.
However, the sores the two fish have now don’t have the same look as he did, but I know that that virus could be contagious.
<Tricky this one. Yes, viruses should be contagious. But in reality, with most if not all of the fish virus infections we encounter, they are unlikely to transfer to otherwise healthy fish. For some reason there needs to be a stress factor at work, such as inappropriate water chemistry or acute physical trauma (such as fish tattooing) before the virus 'jumps across' to other fish.>
That could explain why two have sores and one doesn’t. Perhaps that one is immune to it?
<Exactly so.>
And maybe there is a secondary infection on top of it in the one fish with the red sores?
<Certainly possible, and treating as per a systemic bacteria infection is worth a shot. There is a form of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia occasionally seen in fish that does seem to be a combination of virus and bacterial agents, so the use of antibiotics can help. Symptoms include reddish patches on the body, bloating, disinterest in food, and eventually death. There isn't a known cure as such, but thankfully it's pretty rare. Caught early on, as I say, antibiotics may help, and the fish's own immune system kick in strongly enough to remove the virus. But with most of these viral infections that's about all we can do, because there are no commercially available antiviral medicines useful on fish. Fortunately, they are rarely contagious, so we don't encounter them very often.>
Doing all that I can. Thanks again! Edward
<The best you can do is all you can do. Good luck, Neale.>


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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