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lump on goldfish tail       5/21/17
Sent from my iPad
<Claire.... text? Image? Bob Fenner>
Goldfish With Lump on Tail       5/21/17

Hi there I'm wondering if you can help me
Please see the photo below with my fish with the white lump on his tail.
<I see this>
We have had this fish for approx 3 years and the lump appeared about 6 months ago and has got bigger over time.
The lump does not appear to be affecting him at all as he is still swimming and eating well
Do you have any idea what it could be and if there is any cure
Many thanks for your help
Kind regards
<A growth of some sort... common; genetic, viral?... environmental, likely partly a matter of nutritional issues with goldfishes. Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/GFgrowthsFAQs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Fwd: Goldfish With Lump on Tail       5/21/17
Hi again
I don't think it's anything to do with feeding or the water as there are 2 other fish all of which we've had for 5 years and seem to be extremely healthy with no lumps or problems
Could it be a cyst?
<Mmm; yes ("a thin-walled, hollow organ or cavity containing a liquid secretion; a sac, vesicle, or bladder."); but doubtful... peruse where I've referred you. B>

Re: Super soft water       5/21/17
Just one more thing. To raise the GH-where is the calcium coming from with the rift salt mix? From the marine salt? If so, is that sufficient?
<Epsom salt raises general hardness; bicarb raises the carbonate hardness.
The marine salt adds a bit of both, plus a few extra ions that round out the mix so it's more "natural" in its range of ions. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Dwarf Gourami dilemma. (Soon to be solved!)       5/21/17
Hello Neale!
I'm not writing you today for advice, but in the last 2 months of caring for my little Mr. Gourami, I think I may have found something significant..
I searched on your site for it, but I couldn't find anything about it.
When I reintroduced Mr. Gourami into his solo 10gal tank, Ammonia-0, Nitries-0, Nitrates <20ppm (planted), I told you that he started chasing all the snails in his tank and eating them. He would get his normal flake food, and some shrimp/Spirulina mix at night. What I noticed, though, was that after eating, he would start spinning uncontrollably really fast, and have a very dark stress line across his abdomen. That reminds me of another observation I had. Back to the spinning. At first I thought that he was so damaged from his injury, that anything passing through the injured part would cause pain. Not a way to live, I'd imagine. I also thought the snails were causing the reaction. But then I noticed that his tail (and his swim bladder! Re: initial herniation) was very, very thin. Then his abdomen swelled. I thought maybe because his anterior gas bladder chamber was so thin, it was getting trapped in the posterior chamber. I also looked up DGD.. no other symptoms. I tried fry food, since it was so fine, maybe easier for him to digest, but then after seeing the same reaction, I remembered that such foods high in protein could/would cause constipation.
So then I tried some algae wafer a little later... same effect. So I was lost. Then, I looked at the ingredient list for the flake, fry food and algae wafer. All 3 had some form of wheat flour, or wheat gluten. Do you think, that with the industry continuously feeding the same processed-type foods to fish, as humans get, it could stand to reason that they could have developed a gluten intolerance? That, or the fact that no fish I've ever seen or heard of ever came into contact with any kind of wheat in the wild.
So what say you? Do you think it's viable, that a gluten-free diet (most commercials have it) could really help all of these fishes' sensitive digestive systems?
<It's really hard to know. In the wild, fish wouldn't really be eating much, if any, gluten. For sure herbivorous and omnivorous fish will consume some terrestrial plant material that falls or otherwise ends up in ponds and rivers. It's also true that grains of various types have been used to feed food fish like carp and tilapia for many years. But whether they're well adapted to digesting gluten isn't known to me, and it's certainly possible that for some species -- such as the less herbivorous gouramis -- it may be something they find hard to digest. That said, good quality flake
food mixes have been used for many decades now with great success, and across a wide range of species. There's nothing to stop you switching to alternate brands/formulas though; I happen to value the Hikari micro pellets for small fish like gouramis, but the Tetra brand foods are also extremely good and unlikely to cause health problems if used correctly. One thing I'll mention is that fish food can go bad very quickly in damp and warm environments. Certainly packages should be kept cool and dry, and if you can, use packages that run out within a month or two (if you buy bulk, consider storing the tub somewhere cold, dark and dry, while decanting just a small amount into another container for daily use).>
My Gourami is now being fed seaweed and shrimp/Spirulina mix only, and he has not had the same reaction to the foods that contain wheat. In fact, he's had no mishaps since the change in the diet, only one day ago. Not to be macabre, but his feces was a tad thin (not stringy) at first, but he just evacuated a solid, substantial seaweed movement. And had no issue passing it.
<Definitely worth experimenting. If this one food causes problems, stop using it! Even if gluten isn't the issue itself, there does seem to be something amiss.>
Just some info, maybe gluten is the culprit for some underlying issues FW keepers have.
I'm not a marine biologist, and it's only one fish, but so far so good with this one. Hasn't hurt him to only have a veggie/meat treat diet.
Cheers Neale, and Crew. Have a great weekend. Regards, Kimberly
<Cheers, Neale.>

Algae stuck on fish; Helostoma        5/21/17
Hello! I have Kissing Gourami for a few years now, eating algae here and there. One morning however, I notice a green spot of algae on his head. I never seen algae do this before, what do I do?
<Nothing... this too will come off in time. No worries. Bob Fenner>

Blue line triggerfish       5/21/17
Hello WWM. I have a question about Pseudobalistes fuscus triggers.
<Neat animals>
I tried to find some information about temperament and tank mates / size for this species to little avail.
<Not a commonly collected, kept Balistid species... never really common, and small individuals especially hard to come by...>
I am considering purchasing a juvenile 2" or so for my tank. Tank mates would be a porcupine and spiny box puffer along with a Indian trigger (Melichthys indicus) all currently in the 4 to 6" length range. What are your thoughts on this?
<How large is this system? Likely fine (given very individualistic temperaments of Triggers) if the tank is very large... hundreds of gallons. Less so the smaller the size. The Blue Line will get much larger....>
Would this be plausible? (If this is a no-go I am considering a pinktail to finish off the stocking of the tank?
<Really about the same chance, rule of system size here>
Thanks for your input and what you do at WWM.
<Ah, welcome Brian. Bob Fenner>

Re: Identification of possible parasite     5/20/17
Thanks Bob. Apologies for size of pics! I attempted to remove the parasite but it didn't go well and the head is still buried.
I now have one very stressed out fish and half an anchor worm!
<Well; a bit more chance for secondary infection... but the rest will decompose in time>
I'll get some Waterlife Parazin and treat with that. Hoping that will sort the worm and improve his overall health if he survives tonight.
Thank you :)
<Steady on Karan. Cheers, BobF>

Re: Super soft water     5/20/17
Ok. My water parameters after using the rift salt mix at 25% are:
pH 7
GH 8
KH 2
<Ahh! Much better>

I'm thinking add a tad more baking soda and a little less Epsom salt. I'm thinking the salt mix I bought may have a little more magnesium than other brands.
<I think you're right on here. Bob Fenner>

Acclimation Method When Fish In Transit for 80 Hours-     5/20/17
Good Evening Crew,
Since there is not very much (thankfully) out there about acclimation for extreme situations I thought I would share my experience for others and your critique.
<Ahh; thank you for sharing>
First, props out to the folks over at Fosters & Smith/LiveAquaria for their packing procedures. Second, shame on the entire UPS company for their horrible customer service both locally and nationally.
<Thanks; and yikes>
I had a colony of mushrooms and a latticed butterfly shipped for Saturday delivery. Unfortunately, although the UPS system shows my address has Saturday delivery, my local depot does not make Saturday deliveries. My
package arrived at 9:10 pm on Monday night- the inside packing looking as though it had been shaken, the bags tipped at odd angles and the heating pack away from the bags.
So I start with livestock in bags for at least 80 hours which sat over the weekend in the warehouse while we were have nighttime temps in the high 20s.
Having never had experienced this sort of thing before I worked off one assumption: the livestock needed to be removed from the bags ASAP. This was my procedure---
1) Immediately opened the bags. I tended to the BF first, assuming the low oxygen was a greater concern for the fish. BF was alive, but breathing so slow, shallow and irregularly it was hard to see.
2) Took temperature (58 degrees), ph (6.4) specific gravity, and ammonia (over 8ppm) readings of bag water.
<Not atypical>

3) Placed bags and two ice packs (careful to make sure the ice packs did not touch the bag) in acclimation bucket w/ room temperature water. My rational was to create water that matched the bag as quickly as possible
and it would take too long for the 72 degree "clean" water and the 58 degree bag water to equalize.
4) Adjusted the acclimation bucket water ph to 6.6. Specific gravity was already the same and I had previously added an airstone.
5) Adjusted the water in my quarantine tank to 7.6 ph. My rational was to get the fish in something semi-close to "normal" ph that night, but that getting into the 8.0 range wasn't doable in a few hours given the stress already.
6) When the temperature in the bag and the acclimation bucket were within 2 degrees of each other (happen at 64/66 degrees after about 20 minutes) I discarded the bag water and slipped the fish in the acclimation bucket.
7) Began a slow drip from my quarantine.
8) After 30 minutes checked temperature. It hadn't really changed so I added a small heater, which I monitored, plugging and unplugging so that over the next hour the temperature in the acclimation bucket came to 78 degrees.
9) Dripped for 45 minutes removed 1/4 of the water
10) Dripped for 45 minutes, removed 1/3 of the water and increased to a drip-drip-drip. Around this point the BF started to come around, righting herself and leaning against the bucket.
11) Dripped for 45 minutes, removed 1/2 of the water and increased to dripdripdrip. BF gently swimming around bucket.
12) Over the 1.5 hours I removed water every 20 minutes or so, testing ph as I did so.
13) Around 1:15 am the ph in the acclimation bucket matched the tank and I discarded the bucket water and slipped BF into the tank.
Around 24 hours after delivery I brought the ph of the quarantine up to 8.0 and the BF started to eat grated shrimp soaked in Selcon. I has now been 1 week since shipment and four days since delivery and the BF continues to eat the shrimp but refuses everything else. She exhibits stress color except when "begging" for food or eating- then she turns almost "normal" color. Also, she has a several areas of raised scales that can be seen
from overhead and a white injury spot on her tail fin (although no signs of velvet or Ich). I have not dipped her or treated with any medication due to the extreme stress of shipment. Do you have any other advice as to increase her chance of making it to my display tank?
<Really; just time going by; patience on your part>
Many thanks for all that all of you do,
PS- Similar procedure with the mushrooms, but they did not make it. Most of the colony was dissolving when I opened the bag so I wasn't surprised.
<Me neither. Again, thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Re: Acclimation Method When Fish In Transit for 80 Hours-     5/20/17

Thank you for the quick response. I will keep my fingers crossed. Have a lovely weekend,
<Thank you Tricia. You as well. B>

strange bags of something      5/20/17
Dear Wet Web Media, I hope you can help me identify whatever these bags are attached to a rock in my saltwater aquarium. I would like to know if they are bad stuff so I can remove them before anything comes out. I am mystified.
<These are sponges, Poriferans; no worries. Bob Fenner>

Re: Heniochus chrysostomus 2 or 3?       5/19/17
Thanks again!
<Welcome! B>

Super soft water... in FLA!       5/19/17
Good day! I could really use some help. I keep and breed show quality Bettas as a hobby. I have a good grasp on basic fish care. I have run into trouble in my new home. I'm not even sure how it's possible because I live in Florida but the pH is 6 and hardness is zero.
<Strange... all the times, places I've visited FLA, the water was hard and alkaline...>

Doesn't even register with KH or GH tests. My fish simply don't thrive in this new water and I can't keep plants alive either.
<Not surprising... there's likely nitrification issues w/ a total lack of hardness and such low pH
. Do you add... oh, I see this below>
I didn't realize the importance of water hardness keeping water stable until now. I currently add baking soda to my fish water to a hardness of 4-5 with the API test kit.
Can you point me in the right direction as to the best way to keep such soft water stable?
<Yes; please read over Neale's article here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwh2oquality.htm
and consider making up his "Malawi mix">
I'm very careful to quarantine all new arrivals, I do regular water changes and feed only quality food yet my fish constantly get fin rot, dropsy, velvet, etc etc etc. never had many issues until the new water��
Thanks in advance!
<Hope this helps. Bob Fenner>
Re: Super soft water       5/19/17

I forgot to add that I use 1 tbsp of salt per 5 gallons. I will switch that for the marine salt with the Malawi mix recipe.
<Good; there are many salts... simple table/NaCl is of little use>
Yeah, this water is from my irrigation well. My house water has .1 ammonia straight out of the tap but all other parameters were good for Betta. It wasn't working out very well in the fish room either so I switched to the well water.
I thought it was really strange when I started using the well water that I didn't have to scrape white crust off the glass anymore, lol. Now I know why. I thought my API test was possibly faulty so I took the water sample to my LFS and they confirmed the super soft water. It's a shallow well under a massive oak tree.
I have ordered a TDS meter as well. I'm sure there is going to be a learning curve to this, lol.
<Perhaps your source water is RO filtered...? Would be quite expensive>
The article was very helpful. I didn't realize bacteria for the nitrogen cycle doesn't function well in my water. That explains a lot.
<Ah yes>
Well, hopefully my fish will recover.
Thanks so much!
<Certainly welcome Amanda. BobF>

Algae Growth on Water Lilies... New pond, and ponder       5/19/17
Greetings, Crew!
It's Fuzzi here, again, with a question I can't find answered on WWM, or anywhere on the web, so I decided to ask!
I installed a 100 gallon preformed pond this April, adding water on April 16th, then adding filtration a week later, on April 23rd.
<So; just a month back>
I'm running a 330gph submersible pump, a skimmer with basket and filter pad, and the waterfall is full of floating plants doing their best to filter out the less-than-clear water, see photos. It is not noticeably green until you collect some in a jar, when a slight yellow/green coloration is evident.
<Happens... a sign of life... not to worry>

Since I added filtration, I have been steadily adding plants in pots, as well as floating plants (water lettuce and hyacinth), and then two hardy water lilies about two weeks ago. The weather has remained cool until recently.
No fish have been added.
I noticed that the water lilies have a green slimy algae-type of growth on their stems and under the pads (see photo).
<See this>
The water tests as uncycled, high (above 7.6) pH, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates as zero.
<Uncycled... these should be some nitrogen present>
I believe the algae growth is due to new pond syndrome, but would love your input:
1. If the algae growth is part of new pond syndrome, will it pass once the water cycles?
2. Will it hurt the water lilies?
<It will not>
3. If it will hurt the water lilies, what can I do about it?
<Patience at this point. Your pond may well "green out" for a while... best to shade a good part of it>>
The lilies are planted in clay dirt in plastic baskets, with paper lining the inside and pea gravel on top to keep the dirt from leeching out. Each lily has one fertilizer stick shoved down deep in the pot, on the side away from the rhizome.
Thanks for your advice and thoughts on the algae situation.
Fuzzi (Lor)
<Don't get desperate and chemically treat... algicides are toxic; directly and in their effects
. Bob Fenner>


Identification of possible parasite       5/19/17
<Karan... we ask that folks send image files of a few hundred Kbytes; yours is some 17 megs... >
Hi there
I have a very poorly Betta who has been battling a number of issues for a few months. He has PopEye in one eye which has not responded to any treatment - daily water changes, Indian almond leaves, Epsom salt baths, Myxazin, meth blue baths (all treatments spaced out over a few months).
<Unilateral exophthalmia can be the "Dickens" to cure, depending on root cause, how entrenched it has become
He has lost a lot of colour and energy but still eating and I have now spotted something attached to his side which I think is a parasite but I'm not sure. Would you be able to help identify if it is a parasite and what
type it is and what treatment you would advise?
<Yes; I see what appears to be an "Anchorworm" (actually a crustacean parasite) on the "chest area"; please see here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/anchorwrmfaqs.htm
He is in a filtered 12L hospital tank (half filled as not swimming to bottom great - swim bladder?) temp 82 with ammonia and nitrite 0 and nitrate 40 (tap water 40 too at the moment) I use Prime to condition water.
<Please write back if your course of action is not clear here (after reading); I would carefully tweeze this adult Lernaeid off, dab the wound site w/ a proscribed topical antiseptic... and treat the system per the above reading to eliminate unattached stages. Bob Fenner>

Re: Mixing captive bred Centropyge        5/18/17
Thanks Bob, that was good timing, I don't suppose you are at liberty to disclose which species you are planning on working with?
<A few stock species (Japanese and that one Asuncion Is...), and hybrids ala Frank Baensch>
Exciting times for Centropyge breeding at the moment, I know RCT raised a wide variety of species a few years ago but it seems as though this is the first time fish are being produced in commercial numbers with a seemingly
steady stream of flames and coral beauties available.
I have placed my order for a flame so will let you know how they get on, fingers crossed!
Best regards, Nick
<Thank you for sharing Nick. Bob Fenner>

A question about one specific European fish species having Thiaminase       5/18/17
<Hello Sami>
I have lots of snakes and monitor lizards and I live in Finland. We have a very limited supply of feeder fish here, herring is out of the question but does Coregonus albula have Thiaminase? It is readily available here, I've read a lot of lists with species containing Thiaminase and species that doesn't have it. So far I haven't seen C. albula mentioned on any lists. What do you guys say? Is it safe?
Regards Sami Myllymäki, Turku, Finland
<I do consider Coregonines "safe" re Thiaminase. They are touted as fisheries forage for other Salmonids over other species (e.g. Alewifes) for this trait. Bob Fenner>

Glad you're still here!        5/17/17
Hi team,
I kept a lot of fish in high school and college and shared many emails with you 10-15 years ago. Getting back into the hobby now with a 24g Nano Cube (currently cycling with "live" bag sand and live rock), future home of a
couple of gobies and a Pseudochromis or a Wartskin angler and other less vertebrate things.
Just wanted to say a lot in the hobby has changed so it was really neat to see WetWebMedia still a great resource. Have been utilizing your site heavily in my planning phase.
Thanks for all you do!
<Glad to find we're all still about Laura. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Heniochus chrysostomus 2 or 3?        5/17/17
Hi Crew,
Thank you for considering my question. In your information concerning the Heniochus butterflies, it was suggested they are most comfortable in a pair or more.
<Yes; depends on species... most as pairs>
I would prefer to get two, but would three be better?
<Of this species; two>
Specifically, if one were to die, there would be a large gap of time before it could be replaced with regard to procurement and quarantine. Would this time of solidarity for the surviving Heniochus be detrimental after having
had a partner or would it adjust until I can get another? I am interested in the Heniochus chrysostomus species specifically.
<All but H. acuminatus and H. diphreutes are best housed as duos/pairs in hobbyist sized systems. And these two in larger numbers only in huge tanks>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Stubborn Nitrites        5/17/17
Hi Bob!
<Hey Frank!>
Thanks for the help. Rust is out of the quarantine tank (Still have it in the DT as I believe the dry rock that was uncured is leaching phosphate into that system and I’m showing near perfect water parameters there so not too worried about it … unless you think I should be).
<As long as there is "some" HPO4>
I’m still reading no PO4 in the quarantine a week after removing the GFO and the Nitrites are still up at 4. Nitrates, however, have spiked dramatically. 100 or so was the last reading.
<Yikes; change water... daily>
Tell me if I’m wrong here, but with the spike in Nitrates, I’m thinking that something is definitely converting the Nitrites but the population just isn’t large enough to consume all of it.
The skimmer on the QT is weak but pulling out some gunk (not dark green, but still tan). The only source of ammonia is the 3 hermits plus whatever food they don’t eat. We don’t feed very much at all and ammonia is still at 0. Is this just a “more patience required” issue or am I missing something else?
<Can't tell from the data available>
I am about halfway to throwing a small sponge filter in the sump of the main tank for about two weeks before popping it into the QT in case this doesn’t come down.
<Oh, good idea>
Thought it might help now and in the future. I don’t really think I’m going to attack the Nitrate issue until I’ve dealt with the Nitrites because they’ll just come back.
In answer to your question about bio media/flow, there’s a small Hydor powerhead in the QT and the HOB BioWheel style of filter so I can’t imagine there isn’t enough flow/media. I am still running carbon in the back of that filter but will remove if you think that’s causing an issue.
<If it's old... more than a few days... I'd leave it>
We do have a small diatom bloom going on in the QT right now that happened after the GFO was removed. I suppose it’s possible that they’re consuming all of the PO4 and that’s why it’s showing undetectable. Have turned out the lights temporarily to see if starving them leads to an increase in PO4 and a drop in the muddy river look. We had a diatom bloom earlier which I dealt with through water changes and killing the lights, but I assumed that was from using diatom infused water from the DT that was a green/brown soup at the time (crystal clear now).
Not entirely sure all of that was relevant to this problem, but thought more information might help determine the causes/solutions. Thoughts?
<Keep your beer in cool, dark places>

Re: Question from Facebook. Comm. acclim.         5/17/17
Dear Mr. Fenner, Thank you very much for your answers! I'll write you all results after delivery (~ at June 5th-10th) Have a nice day.
<You as well Vik. BobF>

Oscar discoloration        5/17/17
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to assist me with the discoloration on my Oscar. I'm so grateful for the work that you do! I'm very sorry for the length of this email but I want to be as detailed as possible. My husband and I have researched this thoroughly and are quite stumped.
<The length is okay; the 6.5 megs of blurry pix not so much>
I have a 180 gallon tank stocked with two juvenile Firemouth cichlids (roughly 3" each), two juvenile jack Dempseys (roughly 3" each), an Asian upside cat fish (5"), a common Pleco (4"), a 10" marbled sleeper goby, a
10" tiger Oscar and a 12" red Oscar.
<A nice mix>
Ammonia reads 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, and Nitrate 20ppm. Ph stays consistently at 8.2. The tank has been running in my home since October and was previously set up for more than 3 years at my brother in law's house. It has two CFS 500 canister filters and a custom built 55 gallon sump with biological media and filter pads that runs
approximately 1800 gph. A 25-30% water change is done each week and if nitrates go higher than 20ppm (usually after the kids help feed the fish) I do a 10% water change daily until it is lower.
I use prime as a dechlorinator. We use cistern water in our home, the water parameters at the tap are 0ppm for nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia. The temperature is 80°F. The Oscars eat Jumbomin large floating sticks, gut loaded crickets and mealworms. Occasionally, the red Oscar will steal a shrimp from the sleeper goby. There was a slight Cyanobacteria outbreak, however, that was resolved by water changes and switching from t5ho to led lighting.
The red Oscar was rescued from a LFS, previously housed with two other red Oscars (also 12" in size) in a 75 gallon tank before being traded in to the store. The tiger Oscar was rescued from a Craigslist post. It was living in
a 125 gallon tall cold water tank. It was housed with a Bala shark and a wild caught Kentucky Bluegill. Both of the Oscars were rescued and added to this tank at different times in December.
The tiger Oscar started losing patches of color about two months ago. (I have attached photos of the progression in chronological order.) After water changes they will either clear up or get worse, it is not predictable. They are not upraised or "on" the scales and fin. They are also not pitted or sunken. It is as if some of the scales are losing color and becoming opaque on the fins. The fins and scales seem to be intact, no fraying or sloughing. There have been a few instances of a single gill and fin being clamped temporarily but no other symptoms. Even during the times with the clamped Gill and fin it had normal behavior. Still eating and swimming well, no gasping or lethargy. I treated with Prazipro and Maracyn
<Good choices here>
at different times as suggested by a couple of my aquatic enthusiast friends but have not had any luck in resolving it.
About two weeks ago, the red Oscar started displaying these spots as well.
It has not had gill clamping or fin clamping at this time.
After performing the usual water change this week, the patches have gotten dramatically worse. (This is the last photo attached)
I am unsure if this is something contagious or if it is environmental 
<A wise speculation... I discount the latter; and would REALLY like to sample these areas, take a look under a microscope...>
but I have had no luck attempting to find the answer on my own.
Thank you so much for looking in to this for me,
<Could be that this issue is protozoan or (still) bacterial... that Erythromycin/Maracyn didn't "get". I would lace taken foods with Metronidazole/Flagyl and treat in three doses... as gone over on WWM, the Net and in reference works like Ed Noga's. Bob Fenner>

Re: Violet goby ideas (Bob, Dwarf Lionfish at SG 1.015?)     5/15/17
Oh, and let me add Meghan, that you have another crepuscular predator option in the US trade; namely Butis butis, and beautiful species despite its “Crazyfish” moniker. Eminently suitable for life alongside Gobioides and *adult* Sailfin Mollies; will view bite-sized companions as prey. Please see attached for a photo of this underrated gem, a true brackish water specialist adaptable to anything from hard freshwater to full marine, but probably best in middling salinities. Adult length to 15 cm/6 inches; hardy, territorial but otherwise peaceful.
Bottom line, unnecessary to maintain (and possibly stress) a marine predator at suboptimal salinities when there’s a good range of brackish water predators out there to choose from!
Cheers, Neale

Re: Wrasse compatibility     5/14/17
Wrasse made his grand appearance shortly after your reply.
<Ah, good>
Who knows why he chose today to sleep in?
<Late night?>
Strange. Anyway, I thought you'd like to know!
<Thank you, BobF>

Violet goby ideas     5/14/17
<Hello Meghan,>
I'm still playing around with different ideas of how to eventually house my violet dragon goby. Currently it is alone in a 55 gallon brackish tank, SG 1.005 (varies a little with water changes).
<All sounds fine. Precise specific gravity doesn't matter at all. The main thing is that there's "some" salinity, and it's not kept in plain freshwater indefinitely.>
I was thinking about an enormous tank, but I'm concerned with the ongoing cost of marine salt - especially considering 10-20% weekly water changes.
<Weekly water changes won't be necessary if you lightly stock the tank. 2-3 week gaps between water changes will be fine. Monitor nitrate (make sure it doesn't go too high) and pH (make sure it doesn't drop too much) and use these as a guide as to when to do water changes. Fundamentally, water changes are about keeping nitrate low and preventing acidification. We don't do massive weekly water changes to outdoor ponds precisely because
they're modestly stocked and have "natural" ways of avoiding high nitrate levels and fluctuating pH levels. Oh, and one tip -- if you can get old water from a reef tank, that's usually easily good enough to use in a brackish system! Mix with tap water, of course, to get the right salinity, maybe one part reef tank water with three parts tank -- and you'll get something around SG 1.005 that'll be fairly low in nitrate without needing any expense on salt!>
So now I'm thinking about a much smaller tank. 55 gallons - 48" long is the minimum size for the goby.
<Correct, though it's lookalike species, Gobioides peruanus, is considerably smaller.>
I read that dwarf fuzzy lionfish can handle an SG of 1.015 and up. My goby should be fine with that, too. I can even add a protein skimmer.
<While these lionfish (and other, Pterois spp.) do occur in below normal marine salinities, I'm not convinced they inhabit such waters indefinitely.
SG 1.018 would be fine, and standard procedure for many (robust) marines in the 60s and 70s, but SG 1.015? Seems a bit low to me, especially when there *are* true brackish water fish of similar type out there, such as Notesthes robusta and Neovespicula depressifrons, this latter being very similar in size and appearance to Dendrochirus spp. That said, the Dwarf Fuzzy is certainly easier to get, so I will let BobF chime in here before I get too adamant about its suitability or otherwise!>
So I'm thinking about a 55 gallon tank with the goby and some dwarf fuzzy lionfish. I'd love some little blue leg hermit crabs, too, but I'm betting the lions would eat them, right?
<It isn't common, but it does happen, yes. A lot depends on the relative sizes of the lionfish and the hermit crabs' shells.>
Would a 55 gallon be sufficient space for my goby plus 3 or more of the little lions?
<I would think not; when keeping marines, more space is better, especially if you're trying to reduce workload/expense.>
And would live rock work at that low SG? And would the rough surface of the rocks be a danger to the goby?
<Live rock will in theory work, in the sense that once the bacteria colonise the anaerobic crevices, you'll get denitrification alongside nitrification on the aerobic parts of the rock. But the marine invertebrates and algae? Nope, they'll die at reduced salinities, except in a few cases which often end up as little more than green-brown algal slimes. Might as well just get Tufa rock, lava rock or "dead" live rock. Bacteria will colonise these just as well. Will they scratch the gobies?
Well, it's a risk, yes; given these gobies come from muddy rivers and estuaries, abrasive rocks and reefs aren't something they're programmed to deal with. So I'd be looking at bogwood, water worn cobbles, that sort of thing.>
Maybe I should go full strength sea water so I can try corals or something, too. Would the goby be happy & healthy long term at the higher salinity?
<Gobioides broussonnetii can/does live in fully marine habitats. Not coral reefs though, and it might well be stung/irritated by polyps and the like.>
My goby isn't an aggressive feeder - it let Sailfin mollies & guppies munch the food intended for it. That's why it is alone now. Would the lions cause the same problem?
<Keeping them with livebearers is ideal, given that Gobioides are primarily herbivores and detritus feeders in the wild, so they all eat the same stuff. Algae flake, Plec wafers, and a few offerings of small invertebrates such as brine shrimps ticks all the right boxes. Easy peasey. Adding a nocturnal predator complicates things, and obviously would view small livebearers as prey. But shouldn't be a threat to the Gobioides, assuming the latter was much too big to be viewed as food. But predators need meaty food, which means nitrate because a problem more quickly, which would in turn mean more frequent water changes. So do-able, yes, but optimal, probably not.>
Thank you for all the help with my questions!
- Meghan
<Most welcome. Neale.>

re: Violet goby ideas (Bob, Dwarf Lionfish at SG 1.015?)     5/14/17
"Dwarf Fuzzy is certainly easier to get, so I will let BobF chime in here before I get too adamant about its suitability or otherwise!"
<As Neale hints; the genus Dendrochirus Lions can be kept at reduced spg, but not this low permanently. Too damaging to their kidneys, other internal organs. Bob Fenner>

Eel (Gymnothorax melatremus ) won't eat on CP for 3 weeks      5/13/17
I recently had to QT my Kole Tang, Harlequin Tusk, and dwarf golden Moray eel (Gymnothorax melatremus) due to a velvet outbreak. I've been treating the tank with 45mg/gal of CP. Everyone looks good. No more flashing and both fish are eating. The tank is BB with PVC fittings.
Now to the problem, my eel hasn't eaten (that I've seen) for 3 weeks.
<Might be the CP exposure; I'd stop it now>
He ate a big chunk of mixed food the day before the transfer, because I assumed that no one would eat until they settled in. He is VERY active. He swims all around the tank at night. During the day he hangs out in his PVC
pipe elbow. If I try to feed him, he sometimes takes a sniff and then seems like he's scared of it. I was wondering if it's the CP messing with his sense of smell because of the metal taste.
<Something like this>
At what point do I worry? I was thinking about putting the carbon in the filter and starting water changes. Is 21 days enough to kill velvet (or Ich, but I am confident that it was velvet)?
<I'd soak favored foods in appetite stimulant; such as SeaChem Appevite... and keep offering daily>
I've tried fresh oysters, mussels, squid, clam, etc. He seemed most interested in a silverside before the tusk stole it. In the DT he ate every 3-4 days. When he was swimming around the other night I tried to feed him
thinking he was hunting, but he just hid when I opened the lid.
<Morays, most eels of "good (index of) fitness, can go for long periods sans food. Don't give up. Bob Fenner>
Re: Eel (Gymnothorax melatremus ) won't eat on CP for 3 weeks      5/13/17

Thanks for the quick reply. I will add carbon tonight and start partial water changes with un-medicated water. My original plan was a 28 day CP treatment to be safe, but do you agree that a 21 day regimen was enough?
<I myself would stop now... another week may be more deleterious than advantageous. Bob Fenner>

Chaetodon tinkeri      5/13/17
I have a C. tinkeri that after eating is temporarily reclusive and breathes heavily - what does this mean? He ate too much/quickly?
<Mmm; maybe... but other possibilities loom greater. Do you have sufficient dissolved oxygen...? No problems with allelopathy... fighting amongst... Cnidarians in this system?....>
I've had this fish for over a year, physically perfect, fecal looks good, tank temp 76.5-77.5F. There's some competition in the tank, my guess is he eats too quickly, this is a relatively new behavior.
Eating mostly seafood.
<Not a Thiaminase issue I hope/trust. Search this word on WWM. Read Marco's article Re.>
<Bob Fenner, out on Kona currently; perhaps seeing this endemic on the morrow.>

Re: Dwarf Gourami dilemma.      5/13/17
Hello Neale, Crew!
I hope this email finds all of you happy and well! It sure does me!
<Hello Kimberley,>
Some good news! Neale, your assessment, as ever, was correct.
My little Gourami has almost made a full recovery! He's still got some distension in his swim bladder, but it is no longer herniated and he is swimming upright and in full control over his movements.
A far cry from 7 weeks ago, when he was curled nose to tail on the bottom of our other tank!
We've had a few minor setbacks along the way, of course. After introducing him initially into his new home after exhibiting vast improvement in his cup (it was a clear plastic cup that I taped to the rim of the aquarium,
suspended inside the tank) he immediately decided to exact vengeance on all the snails in his tank. Apparently, he really likes to eat them.
<Some fish will, and Gouramis generally have a reputation for eating snails if sufficiently hungry. Dwarf Gouramis are also known to "spit" water above the waterline to knock down food, like Archerfish. Try floating tiny bits of food on the surface first, like minced prawn, then stick some small bits on the waterline and see if he'll go for them. That certainly worked for my Archerfish!>
I've had to remove him back to his cup to stop the hunting (and consequent intestinal stoppages, or so they seemed) on a few occasions, and this morning when I released him, I did not feed him, knowing he'd go for the
snails. (For the longest time, I couldn't figure out why his he shared with the BGK tank had no snails, and our other tanks did. Now I know!) He's been relentless in his hunting of them.
<He's unlikely to have trouble feeding on the softer snail varieties like Physa and Physella spp., but I would avoid Melanoides spp. because these have very tough shells that aren't easily crushed or broken and might cause
In any event, I just wanted to give you an update and let you know that so far all is well with my little guy; I'm glad I didn't euthanize him, and I'm glad I took your advice.
Cheers all, and thank you again for all that you do. WWM is the FIRST place (and usually last) I go to get information on my aquariums!
Have a wonderful day! Regards, Kimberly
<Always good to hear about happy endings, so thanks for writing. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Wrasse compatibility       5/13/17
Well, I added the orchid Dottyback last night. I drip acclimated for about 90 minutes after the lights went out in the tank. This morning, about 12 hours later, the Dottyback is out and about exploring its new surroundings.
The odd part is that the redline wrasse is nowhere to be seen.
<Yikes; check the floor, overflow/s>
He's usually zipping around as soon as the "sun comes up". Is the new addition the reason for his shyness?
I also got a mushroom rock about the size of a baseball that went onto the sand bed. Did I trap him underneath, or would he be able to wiggle out if that was where he had chosen to sleep last night?
<If it wiggled in, it can wiggle out>
On a semi related note, if there were going to be an ammonia spike after the addition, about when would that occur? (Both ammonia and nitrites are at 0 now)
<Within hours>
Thanks again!
<Welcome. B>

Re: What happened?   Myst. fish loss       5/12/17
Hi Bob,
<Hey Eddie>
I’ve been thinking about your reply for a couple of days ago, especially the possibility of low dissolved oxygen.
<A very common issue with aquariums, particularly marine tropical>
I don’t think that is what killed this fish, because he was the only one in there, but I do have a lot of confusion about dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide and how it relates to ph and possibly temperature. I am concerned that I am not getting enough oxygen (or getting rid of enough carbon dioxide) to handle the eventual fish load that I will have in the tank—or I may just be confused.
<Can have too little O2 and/or too much CO2... the higher temp., less solubility and higher metabolism... In general, higher DO, higher pH, and the reverse for CO2, carbonic acid in solution>
Back in 2012, when I had my old tank, I had a very enlightening conversation with you about Ph that resulted in my reading all the Ph FAQs and learning a lot. In that tank I had high Nitrates (that I was blissful unaware of) holding the Ph down around 8.1. I came to understand that Ph is affected by the amount dKH, the amount of calcium and magnesium, the amount of nitrates, and also the amount of oxygen verses carbon dioxide. I know it’s way too simplistic, but how I kept it straight in my mind is that if you had dKH between 8 and 12, Calcium around 400 and magnesium in proportion, low Nitrates, and enough DO that your pH ought to come out around 8.3 or so. I realize, of course, that I may still be missing something.
<Mmm; you have a good grasp of the essential factors>
So now fast forward to my new tank. Ever since I set the tank up I’ve been trying to figure out why my PH stays around 8.0. Over the last 2 ½ months it has fluctuated from 7.9 to 8.1 (using two separate test kits—one brand new one). I have a dKH of 10 to 11 all the time. My Calcium has been at 400 or slightly higher. I don’t have any Nitrates yet (the live rock is taking care of them so far). The only thing in the tank during this time has been the live rock (and everything that came in with it), two snails and three blue leg hermit crabs that I put in the first week of April, and the cleaner shrimp that I put in with the fish on Saturday. So I concluded that I either wasn’t getting enough oxygen or getting rid of enough Carbon dioxide to get the Ph any higher. I proved this to myself the other night by taking a cup of tank water and aerating it for about 3 hours with a small air pump/stone. The PH was 8.2 or 3 when I was finished.
I was hoping to run my set up and some of the things I’ve tried by you to see if I am missing something. So here goes . . .
It is a 75 gallon tank, 30 gallon sump (90 to 95 gallons total) with a >1” sand bed 42lb of live rock and 35lb. of formerly live rock from the old tank. In the sump I have an Aqua C EV 180 skimmer running on a Mag 7. My return pump is a Mag 7. I have plumbed two pvc returns over the back—each with locline at the end. Initially I was getting around 325 to 335 total gph (after head loss). The loclines are positioned so that the return water breaks the surface some as it comes into the tank. In the tank I have twin circulation pumps run by a Wavemaker. The flow rate is adjustable from 175 to 2000 gph each. I have experimented with them several different ways. Right now I have them on opposite ends of the tank about four inches from the top set two notches below full blast with fairly short intervals. They are both pointed somewhat toward the surface and I have a fair amount of turbulence.
Much more and I would be nervous about it sloshing out. In fact this is why I had to make the new standpipe. The turbulence kept shaking the old one loose. I had them on full blast for a while, but a little lower in the tank and not pointed upward (again because I didn’t want any water sloshing out).
I have two drains with Durso standpipes—an inch drain and a ¾ inch drain (converted return on the 75 AGA). Both drop straight into the sump. The 30 gallon sump has three main sections. The first holds the skimmer (on a stand), the skimmer pump, and the heater. This section has all kinds of surface agitation/bubbles between the two drains and the skimmer return. Then, after a set of baffles with a bubble trap is the refugium. I was originally going to have a DSB in here, but I got too nervous because the sump was a used tank and I didn’t want to push it. I have less than an inch of sand in it now and am going to add a little crushed coral and live rock rubble and some small pieces of live rock to raise pods. I’m also going to add some macro algae to it when I find a store that carries it. I have a LED 15w Lights of America grow light suspended over it. For the last week I have been doing a reverse daylight lighting program with it. The last section of the sump holds the return pump.
Here are some things I have tried . . . I played around with the circulation pumps, but it didn’t make much difference. Opening the skimmer drain all the way seemed to help a little (I got a lot more turbulence in that part of the sump), but it also slowed down the skimmer production some (not that I’m getting a lot with a new tank without any fish anyway). I added an airstone with an air pump to the sump. I’ve tried several air pumps actually, and have the most powerful one that I have on it now. It was originally rated for 60 gallons, but it is old and may not be getting quite that much. None of this seemed to help much. I began to wonder if the problem is not aeration, but the inability of the carbon dioxide to escape.
Since setting the tank up I had glass panels on the top of the DT in the front half.
<This I was going to mention>
The back was open. I removed these the other day, but it didn’t help much (I intend to probably leave these off and make some lids for the front and back out of fiberglass window screen with eggcrate frames). This did help a little bit with my heat problem. I had had a hard time with the tank getting up above 79 degrees in the afternoon (I had it set on 78). I was concerned about this with summer coming on. Taking this glass off has helped with that. I have been able gradually to bring the temp down to the 77 range. I know decreasing temperature helps with capacity to hold oxygen. Does that mean that lower temperature would increase PH?
<To some extent; yes>
I think though that if there is a problem with not enough Carbon Dioxide out-gassing it is because of my stand cabinet arrangement. The stand is homemade. It is a frame made out of 2x4’s and 2x6’s with 1/4” Oak panels on the sides and doors on the front. The back (against the wall) is open. There is about a 1 1/2” gap between the stand and the wall where air can enter the inside of the cabinet. This is because I used a 2x4 as a mounting board between the stand and wall to leave room for my over the back return plumbing. When the cabinet doors are closed, this is the only way air can get in and out.
<Can you cut out some part of the door panels and insert some screening?>
Of course, most of my best aeration devices (the skimmer and the air pump) are inside the cabinet. One other thing that I did is I put a sheet of glass (23” x 9.5”) along the back of the sump as a shield for splashing from the drains & skimmer return. It is resting on the back lip of the sump, vertical on the long side, leaning against the drain tubes. Point is it blocks a good bit of the ventilation area at the back of the cabinet, but certainly not all of it. I’ve tried leaving the cabinet doors open overnight, and it seems to help a little—but I can’t leave them open all the time due to the noise of the pumps.
<May be time to trade these in...>
So I’m wondering if maybe the inside of the stand does not have enough access to good oxygen to get it into the water. My next step is going to be to remove the glass panel, but what after that? Should I put the air pump outside the cabinet?
<Worth trying>
Should I run some vinyl tubing from the skimmer’s air intake that goes out the back of the cabinet to fresher air? Would that mess up the skimmer’s performance?
<Worth trying again, and no>
Should I try a powerhead in the sump with a venturi tube running outside the stand? Do I need more algae growth in the system?
<Or an RDP lighting arrangement...>
I plan to get a dissolved oxygen test at some point, before I get too many fish, just to set my mind at ease. But if it tells me what I expect, how can I improve this situation. I thought setting this up that having a big protein skimmer would handle getting plenty of oxygen in the tank. That’s why I’m confused. I know I’m missing something here, but what?
I apologize for the length of this email. I didn’t intend to write such a lengthy discourse, but I wanted to describe the set up and everything I’ve tried. Thank you for your patience and all your help. Mere words are not enough to express my gratitude to you. Oh, and I hope you are having a great dive trip. I can’t wait to see the pictures!
<Am just out on the Big Island... in the water tomorrow. Cheers Eddie. BobF>

Re: Older Molly Fish in crisis questions       5/12/17
Thankful for your help, Bob. In terms of trying to assist in preventing anything spreading, would 1 tablespoon of salt for this 10 gallon be good to add for this situation, with a Corydoras paleatus, Synodontis petricola, Otocinclus, and a beloved apple snail?
<As long as your water quality is fine, I would leave off w/ the salt addition here. Of the fishes you list, none appreciate more salt (combinations of metals and non-metals)>
I heard it could be beneficial in preventing any illness spreading, but wanted to make sure it won't hurt the cats.
<... there is quite a bit to relate re "adding salt/s" issues. Again, I would not do so... though the source water here has little dissolved solids (including salts)... am out/up in Waikoloa presently... the ponds about A Bay were about filled in from the storm a few years back. Am hoping the ones near Kaloko fared better>
I am doing a 50% water change daily, room temp water (74/75) / same as tank, all stats are solid (0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 10-20 ppm nitrates, 7.4 - 8.0 ph), so would I add the salt after one of those water changes and just do it once? Thanks. No sign of anything but some of the Synodontis bar bells are a bright white. Also could be I never examined them this closely too. No white fuzz or patches I can see. Thanks so much. Be safe bro. Dave
<Maybe read Neale's short treatise here:
Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Got My First BGK
Thank you!

Wrasse compatibility
Hey crew!
<Hi, Earl here today.>
I have read your site exhaustively over the years, and I really couldn't be more thankful for the time and effort you've put into this. You've done so much to enrich our lives and the animals we've chosen to have stewardship
over. Thank you so much.
<Definitely has been a great thing to contribute to.>
Now to the business at hand. I have a fairly new 45 gallon tank that has been up and running for a few months. Ammonia 0, nitrite 0, 80 degrees, ph hovers around 8.0, calcium 480, dkh 11. Current inhabitants are: 2 ocellaris clowns, a juvenile redline wrasse (Halichoeres biocellatus), a blood shrimp, blue porcelain crab, various snails, various Zoanthids and a couple of leathers. Everything is doing great!
<So far so good. Maybe you can get the clowns to bunker up in the leathers and get that coveted host behavior, with luck. Seems you also have room for everything to grow.>
I'm planning for what will probably be the last fish inhabitant and I really want it to be another wrasse. One of the reasons for going with the Halichoeres biocellatus was their reported easy going nature. I don't think it would be appropriate to try to squeeze a Cirrhilabrus species into the tank. I know the Paracheilinus species aren't keen to be kept solo, so they're out. The Pseudocheilinus are too feisty for my tastes (especially in a tank this size). In my estimation, that leaves the Wetmorella species.
I do love the possum wrasses, but do you think they'd get along with the redline wrasse? They're so timid and docile (and awesome!). A pink streak wrasse (Pseudocheilinops ataenia) is a possibility, but they seem pretty
impossible to find.
<I have rarely seen the pink-lines for sale in my area (Chicagoland) but I am sure you could find one online, although probably seasonally, or try to have a local retailer look for one via their supplier. People don't buy
things because stores aren't stocking them, which is because nobody asks for them so they don't stock them for people to see and so on. If you are spending who knows how much money (and time, and effort) on a tank, I'd go
ahead and do everything I could to snag that perfect crowning jewel of a fish from my wish list!>
If there's not another wrasse you'd suggest keeping, is there a sociable, outgoing Dottyback (fridmani?), or basslet (Assessor flavissimus?) that you'd feel comfortable with?
<I would simply look adhere to the usual procedures here rather than being too hung up on specific species. Size, available cover/hiding places/breakup of sight lines, frequency of feeding, roominess of the tank, all these will be more important. If you are set on a wrasse, look for one of similar size and keep an eye on them for territoriality and competition for food. Multiple feedings per day will be a huge help to curb any aggression if that comes up. Simply be prepared to put one in the "penalty box" or as Bob calls it "time out" in a pasta colander. This is covered on the site in more detail. Bear in mind that we're talking about netting a wrasse, which as you're probably aware can be nightmarish. In short, my main concern would not be the specific wrasses chosen (within reason) but rather a backup plan should things go south. That said, with two smallish species, introduced as close together as possible, and an eye out for behavioral problems, you should be fine with any of the choices you
mentioned above.>
That was a lot! Sorry!
Thanks again so much for all that you do for the hobby!
<Wouldn't be here if we didn't enjoy talkin' fish! Hope this is helpful.>

Ich Issues
Ok Gents, first off great website and great info but couldn't really find anything on the following we have a 270gallon system with several predators inside. 4 eels (yellow head, Black ribbon and Zebra) 2 Stone fish
and a Volitans Lion fish. Also in the same tank some yellow wrasses (eventual feed for the stone fish) and quit a bit of Blennies a small Red Grouper and a small panther grouper both last additions.
The tank has a sand bed and some life rock though not too much.
Parameters are OK though Nitrates seem to spike sometimes but all the rest is OK. This tank has turned into the predator tank due to lingering ICH issues through the years which turned it into what it is now. ICH has never
been properly removed.
<Crypt is VERY hard to eradicate from a system once entrenched>
Now the idea would be to remove the entire sandbed leave the life rock and leave the eels and Rock fish only as they seem not effected by any of the ICH issues Both groupers and the Lionfish seem to suffer most from the ICH.
So remove all other fish and leave the tank without any other fish except for the Eels and Rock fish for about 2 months. Would this eradicate the ICH issue or can ICH survive with the Eels and rock fish inside?
<Won't; no>
I was of the assumption that ICH has no effect on those fish?
<They can/do act as reservoir hosts>
But can the ICH survive with them present so not that after 2 months we add fish (properly quarantined now) to the display and ICH breaks out again...?
<Can and will>
Please advise and Thank you as always from Thailand
<Take the long read on WWM re this ciliate. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Bellied Slider turtles       5/10/17
I need some advice on my two yellow bellied slider turtles.
<Sure! Seems like this message has been "maturing" awhile in somebody's inbox, but let's see if I can help...>
I purchased these two almost 3 yrs ago as a birthday gift for my daughter.
<Hmm... the usual reminder to other folks: pets make poor presents unless the recipient has specifically asked for them, and is able/willing to provide the necessary long-term care, which in the case of Sliders is something around 20+ years.>
She has decided to not keep them any longer at her father's house and I have moved them back to my place today.
<Thank you for taking them back. Shelters are overwhelmed with unwanted Sliders and other freshwater turtles.>
I noticed that the smaller of the two seems to be favoring the back right leg and the tail.
<May be injured, but "metabolic bone disease" (MBD) is more likely. Lack of UV-B lighting and insufficient calcium in their diet is a MAJOR cause of such problems in pet reptiles. Can be improved through better diet and
calcium supplements, though the actual damage might never heal 100%. So do review their (previous) behaviour and diet, and look to see if there are signs of physical trauma (a bite or bruise, for example) or else if everything looks okay from the outside, but the limbs aren't working properly. If the latter, then MBD is fairly likely. A vet can help, as can some reading, here:
Check the UV-B lamp is working/no more than 12 months old (they wear out within 6-12 months, after which point they might be "on" but not pushing out enough invisible UV-B to be useful. Revise diet as needed, adding a
calcium source to their usual feed.>
I have observed the larger of the two attacking the smaller one. I have tried to look for details as to whether the smaller one is a male and the larger one is a female, as I had requested two females when I purchased them as babies.
<Males smaller, but have longer claws on their 'hands'.>
However, I am concerned about why the one is tucking his/her leg and tail inside it's body. I see some scales hanging onto the leg. I am going to separate them for tonight by putting the smaller one in a plastic bin and
keeping it inside the main tank. However, I need to know if I should 1.
seek vet care for the smaller one or if this will repair itself
<Visiting a vet is always a good idea, funds allowing. Some animal rescue charities can help too, providing low-cost or free vet services.>
and 2. should I remove the turtle from the tank so that it can heal?
<If there's no obvious wound, then no need to remove from the water. If they're fighting, then separation will be useful, but if they're not fighting, then no need to separate them. Do bear in mind turtles aren't social, and they both need access to the UV-B lamp for some of the time each day. Sometimes creating two separate basking spots helps. Perhaps one under the heat lamp, one under the UV-B lamp. Even better to use two combo heat-UV-B lamps, but whatever works best for you.>
I read an article where if a turtle is injured that water only keeps it infected due to the bacteria in the water.
<If there's an open wound, then yes, "docking" is a good idea. But if there isn't a wound, there's no particular advantage to this.>
However, I am concerned about whether an aquatic turtle can survive outside of water.
<Yes, indefinitely, if bathed in water for 30-60 minutes a day for feeding and drinking (they can't do either on land, really) but will otherwise be fine kept dry.>
Please give me advice, otherwise, if my boyfriend has his way, he'll turn them into turtle soup (just kidding).
<Sorry if this is late, but hope of use! Have cc'ed our turtle expert just in case I've missed something. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Yellow Bellied Slider turtles       5/10/17

Thank you for your response.
Since emailing you, things have gotten better between the two. Bigger one has longer claws than smaller one.
<Likely the male.>
Smaller one is NOW fighting back whenever bigger one is aggressive. It will push it's claws into other's face and shove it away. Or it will tuck its back legs/tail and swim away. It will put its back away from the bigger one.
Leg looks better, no scales flaking off. So it seems that they are getting along better. I have a 75 gallon tank, so plenty of room to swim for both.
I have two docks under lights for both to rest on.
<Good. Just be careful with the UV-B; it's crucial, but often overlooked, and saves a lot of money in the long run.>
Their diet is 65% plant matter and 35% protein (consisting of crickets, super worms). Plant matter is organic kale, romaine, shredded carrots. As the greens come into season, I will add them to the mix.
<All sounds ideal. But again, do think about calcium. While there's some in leafy plants, there's not a lot, and very little in insects. What you really want to do is dust small bits of meaty food, like earthworms or tiny bits of fish, with calcium powder (easily found in reptile stores, or simply grind up some cuttlebone). This will dump lots of calcium into the turtle, and if you do this once or twice a week, you'll be fine. Some turtles will actually eat cuttlebone directly, so try putting a small bit in their tank and letting them have a nibble. I've seen terrestrial turtles
(tortoises) go for cooked bones from the barbecue, but this probably isn't as healthy.>
As for asking for turtles, my daughter had asked for them. I had consulted with the ex-husband to ensure that he would assist in the care of them.
However, they both decided to half-ass the care. So, they are back with me and doing well.
<Thank you for doing this. They're nice pets, but like reptiles generally, you have to do a fair amount up front to keep them healthy. Compared to cats and dogs, they're a lot less hassle over their lifespan, but it's the up front expense that often causes problems for less than perfect pet-owners.>
As for social, I had researched and asked the company that I bought them from about whether I should have two or just one. They said that two would be fine, so that is why I requested both females.
<Hmm... kind of sort of. The flip side to females is egg-binding; do read on WWM re: this topic. It's not common, but not unheard of either, even when females are kept singly. A single male is actually probably the easiest way to keep turtles.>
I realize that at the size they were when babies, you can't tell, so it is possible that they are 1. both males or 2. one male/one female.
Again, thanks for the response.
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Older Molly Fish in crisis questions       5/10/17
Aloha Bob,
Hilton passed last night. I was there, thankfully. Moments after I got home, too, like my Mom in Heaven had her wait until I could be there. Very heavy.
Thanks for all your advice and assistance in caring for her. I'm quite grateful.
<Glad to assist you Dave>
I am trying to carefully monitor her home 10-gallon tank to prevent a fin rot / Saprolegnia or whatever it is outbreak from occurring.
<Mmm; true fungal (many such labeled are actually bacterial) infections are actually quite rare; mostly very challenged fishes and/or poor environments are involved>
My Corydoras paleatus looks fine, but sometimes it's hard to tell if there is any growth on him due to his coloration and the way light affects it, so, since Hilton had lived in there, I have extensively cleaned it to remove decaying organic matter and any waste, including about 50% water changes each day since last Wednesday. Always same temp conditioned water.
Also removed some of the plants that created waste. From what I read the Saprolegnia and fin rot can be brought on by excessive decaying organic waste, including leaves, etc. from plants.
Stats in water are solid: high ph 7.4 - 7.8, 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrites, 10 - 20 ppm nitrates.
Any recommendations to ensure fin rot doesn't spread in there?
<Keep doing what you're doing... water changes and staying vigilant>
A big heartfelt mahalo. Sad days here. God bless you.
<Cheers my friend. BobF>


Unknown disease        5/10/17
I've seen my share of diseases and parasites since I've rescued fresh/salt water fish from LFS and people but this one is a tad different.
I have 150 gallon, sump with about 13 varying sizes of goldfish (Moors, ryukins, calico) Last week I lost my 6 year olds and blind Moor that rather unexpectedly but all the other tank mates showed no signs of distressed.
The Moor appeared to have a lump on the forehead/nasal area. I wrote it off as a tumor or an injury thinking he bumped into the glass but now 7 days later I see the same lump but now LUMPS on my Calico...the lumps almost
look like a fluid filled blister aand they are growing. The Calico shows signs of dropsy and I know the prognosis and will most likely put him down but WTH is this? I haven't introduced any new fish in over a year...guesses?
<... either genetic trouble and/or poor environment, and/or bunk nutrition.
You offer no information of use.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Unknown disease....       5/10/17
I offer no information of use? Just because I didn't include ammonia levels pH and so forth it's automatically genetic or environmental aka I don't keep a clean tank?
<GIGO... vague generalities in response to no data proffered>
Apparently you Bob aren't the expert
<Previously married, flow under pressure.... I stand or sit accused>
just as I am not because you can't identify the alignment.
<... ailment?>
...<Vulgarisms deleted. B>

Re: Got My First BGK       5/10/17
Hi Neale!
As we last e-mailed, I have put getting an Elephant Nose aside for now and I'm focusing on my BGK. I feel so privileged to be able to care and enjoy such an exquisite creature that I may be getting a bit neurotic, but I have
a concern, so here goes.
First of all, I had to take the Tetra dither fish out - they seemed to be bullying her away from the food - so they're back in their old tank.
<Understood. There are some very peaceful characins out there, to the point they're "boring" in many community tanks. Hatchetfish for example, and Pencilfish. Both ideal tankmates for juvenile Black Ghosts. As they get
older/bigger, and their predatory instincts become something to consider, there are possible tankmates, though placid catfish are probably the easiest to accommodate, Dianema species for example.>
The Brochis are on back-order so now she is sharing her tank with a 2 inch albino bristle nose Pleco - ONLY! They seem to pretty much ignore each other.
<Correct; the small to medium-sized Loricariids and L-numbers are ideal tankmates for Black Ghosts.>
So, despite the fact that I know my tank was cycled before I got the BGK, I've been doing water tests every few days and the biological filter is working well (never a hint of ammonia or nitrite, and nitrate is staying below 10 ppm as the orange color in the test tube is fairly translucent).
The canister filter and powerhead are keeping the tank clean and the water moving. I feed her Cyclops, daphnia, and now BABY brine shrimp, along with some mashed bloodworms. I defrost and rinse these foods and drop them in the tank at the top of both of her fake hanging plants (remember the blurry picture?) which allows the food to drift down and get caught among the leaves and flowers where she can get to them without the current taking them away to be sucked up by the filter.
<Sounds great!>
I feed her three times a day plus once at night just before I turn out the lights. She looks beautiful! The PraziPro did its job well and she has a nice roundness to her body around her pectoral fins.
<Glad to hear this.>
Her color is pristine black and white and her body and fin are perfect. So what's my problem? Well, every article I read about this species, here and around the internet, says they are nocturnal and don't come out at night; that they stay in their glass tubes or caves during the day. But my fish is not doing that.
<These fish are intelligent, by fish standards anyway, and perhaps more generally. They can and do adapt to daytime activity if there's something in it for them. Peace, subdued lighting, and plenty of food usually does the trick.>
I see her out multiple times of day (mostly in the afternoon). She's in her hanging plants looking for food or swimming between them. She swims through her glass tube and eats what she finds along the way but doesn't
stay in there. I don't see her out at night as the tank is dark, but every morning the food I put in before lights out is gone - nothing left. I know she's sleeping because if I look in the plant on the right side of the tank around 11am, I see her laying in a tangle of the plant's silk leaves. I guess she can hear me in the water,
<Correct; as members of the Ostariophysi, knifefish have excellent hearing and an ability to hear vibrations such as footsteps.>
or maybe she can sense me somehow, because if I say something she'll wake up and drift over to look at me to see if I brought more to eat. I believe she's doing well, but I don't know this species beyond what I've read and
she's not following the script. Do you see anything here that I should be concerned about?
<All sounds good to me! Cheers, Neale.>

What happened? Myst. Clown Loss     5/9/17
Hi WWM Crew,
I told myself last time that I wasn’t going to email with any more questions for a while, but I truly am puzzled by what happened this weekend, so here I am again. It was time to add the first fish to my system. I set the system up at the end of February, and I put in the live rock the first week of March. Then Saturday I went and got my first fish—a clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris). I also got a cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis). I brought them home and acclimated them as usual: I float the bags in the tank they are going into for 15 to 30 minutes, then I slowly add a little tank water to the bag, and pour out a little water from the bag into a bucket until the ph, temp, and Spg are the same, then I release the animal into the tank. This took a couple of hours. In this case I put the clown and the shrimp directly into the DT. I didn’t quarantine the clown because he was to be the first fish in the tank. I figured if he had a problem I could catch him for treatment. I didn’t expect to have problems because he was a tank bred clown, and I have kept them before without issue.
He seemed OK during the acclimation and when I first put him in the tank he swam behind some of the live rock where he remained for the rest of the evening. I had the light out, so I couldn’t see him well but he was swimming in the current back there—kind of swimming in place with that “waggle” that clownfish do. The next morning when I got up and checked on him, he was sitting in the sand upright, but not swimming. He had found a place against the glass where the current wasn’t as strong and was just sitting there. This concerned me, but not terribly because I thought he might have selected this spot to sleep in—I’ve had tank bred clowns before that have slept in weird places. I had one that would sleep at the surface of the tank, up in a corner, just floating there on his side—he did that for several years. But when I looked more closely at this fish I noticed that he was breathing really hard. I’ve never seen a fish pump his gills that fast. I couldn’t do anything with him at this point because I had to leave. When I got back several hours later he was dead. He died sometime between 13 and 16 hours after I put him in the tank.
My first guess was that something was wrong with the water, but the shrimp was fine (and still as), as was everything else in the tank: two turbo snails, three blue leg hermit crabs, lots and lots of little snails and starfish from the live rock, and a Kenya tree coral that hitchhiked in on the liverock. All my water tests came up normal (see below). Do you have any ideas what could have killed this fish?
<Only guesses. Might well be this one fish had some sort of trauma, predisposing genetic issue...>
Is there a problem you can have with your water that would kill a fish that fast, but not inverts?
<There are several possibilities here; yes>
Could it have been “clownfish disease” with a tank raised clown?
<Doubtful... perhaps it ate an organism that didn't "agree with it". Happens>
Could it have been the acclimation?
<Did you measure ammonia in the shipping water? See WWM re Guerilla Acclimation (techniques); rarely issues w/ locally purchased, transported livestock though>
I live an hour and a half away from the LFS, so he was in the bag for three or four hours total counting travel time and acclimation. I put the bag in an insulated container for the trip home. This was never a problem before when I got fish for my old system several years ago. I thought of one other possibility. I had made a new Durso standpipe for the tank. The bulkhead is a slip bulkhead and the one I had kept slipping out every now and then due to the current from the circulation pumps. Anyway, I had made it with pvc cement the day before.
<Actually; there is no such thing as PVC "cement"; the process involves a solvent... Nothing left between the pipe, fittings... and a day is long enough to cure>
I gave it more than 32 hours to dry and rinsed it thoroughly with water. While the fish were acclimating, I installed it in the tank. Could there have been something left over from the PVC cement that harmed this fish? It would have to be something that didn’t harm the inverts.
<Agreed; and not this>
Anyway, while I am devastated to lose this fish, my biggest concern is for the next fish that I get. If this was just one of those anomaly loses that sometimes happens, that’s fine, but if it is something wrong with my water, I need to fix it.
<I would "chalk the loss up" to the former and try another specimen m'self>
Water test and tank information:
· 75 gallon tank, 30 gallon sump (90 to 95 gallons of water)
· 42 lb. live rock and 35 lb. of previously live rock
· Spg: between 1.024 and 1.025
· Ph: 8.1
· dH: 10
· Am: 0
· Nitrite: 0
· Nitrate: 0 (live rock is handling this thus far)
· Calcium: 400
· Temperature 78
Thanks for your patient help with me as I re-venture into this world again. I know I have bothered you all too often, but you have always patiently helped. Thank you.
<Never a bother. Thank you for writing Eddie. Bob Fenner>
Re: What happened?     5/9/17

Hi Bob,
<Hey Eddie>
Thanks for the lightening fast reply. I did check the ammonia in the shipping bags, but I forgot at first. I had mixed in a little bit of system water before I thought to do that. It was fairly early on though. It came out zero.
<Ahh; well; worth asking... Might be that a sudden shift in pH led to too much stress through "ammonia burn">
I don't think this was it. It was only a couple of hours before I started mixing the water in. Also I requested a bigger bag with more water in it because I had so far to travel.
<Ah, good>
I always tried to do this when getting fish in the past. Anyway, I will try again in a few weeks.
<Is what I would do too>
I was curious. You said that there are several possibilities for what could kill a fish that fast but not inverts. I know disease might be one. What are the others?
<Nitrogenous issues, low dissolved oxygen; thermal shock... There are several more. Bob Fenner>

Question on Blood Parrot Fish - Red Gill Cilia     5/9/17
Hi Team -
I wanted to double check something with you all.( I have read all I can find related to this issue including posts you all have from a few years ago and find conflicting info)- I have two Blood Parrot fish in a 45 bowfront tank. I got them small, they are now about 5 inches long and getting pretty stout. I have noticed they have the red gill cilia hanging out of their gills now that they are bigger (one of them has it more so than the other), where it looks like a ton of short red tentacles hanging out. Was there ever a consensus that this is a "norm" for them since they are a hybrid? I saw some posting on it a while back, with pictures and mine look the same. I am regular with water changes ( every 4 weeks) and have live plants in the tank, water parameters good and temp is regulated about
76 degrees. No other issues with them.
Thank you :)
<If these "tentacles" are bright red and feathery-looking, they're almost certainly gill lamellae. They might be overlong, but what more often happens is that the gill covers (or opercula) are either too short, damaged, or become twisted in such a way that the gills underneath are visible. The intensively farmed Blood Parrot cichlid is much more likely to have this sort of deformity from birth than most other fish, but even (genetically) healthy fish can be exposed to physical damage, trauma, or environmental stress that causes the gill covers to become deformed. Look up "gill curl" on large catfish and Arowanas, where it is a very common problem that occurs when the fish are kept in a tank too small for them. In any case, in itself, exposed gill lamellae isn't usually a problem, but it does allow sensitive tissue to be exposed to the environment, and the reduction in pressure within the gill cavity does mean that gaseous exchange (i.e., ventilation) is somewhat compromised relative to normal. So keep these fish in a well-oxygenated environment, away from anything likely to peck at them, and take extra care when handling them, e.g., by using a soft, fine net rather than a coarse one. Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Question on Blood Parrot Fish -Red Gill Cilia     5/9/17

Hey Neale, thank you for answering so quickly – I wanted to shoot you a couple of pics right quick to take a quick look – I think the bigger of my parrot fish does have a slight gill plate curl of sorts on the left side, which is what the pictures are of – his left side – I have nothing in my 45gal bow front except these two parrot fish and a little lobster – he has his own little Stonehenge rock area and a small log he hangs out in – but I was considering taking him out and putting him in his own gallon tank to protect him, and my fish as they get bigger they might try to eat him but also don’t want to put them at risk if it isn’t a good idea to have t my lobster in there if my fish could be more prone to disease if the gill lamellae are much more exposed than normal fish?
<Crayfish are never really 100% safe with fish -- or vice versa when crayfish moult and aren't able to defend themselves. So moving a crayfish to its own tank is something I usually recommend. But you'll know your own fish better, and if you think he's safe in his burrow, and he's too small to harm the cichlids, he may well be fine.>
That being said, it sounds like I should perhaps add a long air bubbler wand or something to increase oxygenation to make things easier for them.
<I would. Or something similar, perhaps a spray bar for the filter outlet, that sort of thing.>
I have a BioWheel filter with two BioWheel for a 60gal size tank on their aquarium, and the water circulates a good bit, but will add an airstone wand if this will help them. I know they are hybrids and I hate that ☹ I took them as a rescue.
<Understood. Many fish in the hobby are hybrids -- Goldfish, Angelfish, Discus, Guppies, Mollies, Platies, and Swordtails to name but a few! But Blood Parrots do seem to have more than their fair share of detractors -- as well as some persistent health problems.>
I am sorry if the pics are big – they were the best I could get yesterday and just wanted you to take a fast look -THANK YOU Neale – you all are GREAT!!
<Glad to help, and good luck! Neale.>

Allelopathy: Sinularia+toadstool+Kenya tree = Too much?     5/9/17
Hi WWM Team:
Thank you for a brilliant website. I wish I had found your site earlier.
I've read through many of your pages on Allelopathy and believe I have identified that as the cause of significant LPS loss in my 108 gal tank.
I realize there is no quantifiable answer as to how much soft coral is too much.
<There is if you have a convenient mass spec.>
However, I wanted to get your reaction to the amount of soft coral shown in a photo of my tank attached, in particular the green Sinularia back left, the Kenya tree front left and toadstool in the center. There are also a number of mushrooms that are harder to see in the photo. I have no SPS but am interested in keeping LPS.
If this were your tank, how much of the soft coral would you eliminate?
<Maybe none here... IF you carefully introduce, acclimate new additions>
I would start with the Sinularia; would that be enough?
<From your pic; I'd leave all as is for now>
Thank you very much for any advice!
<Let's have you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
Do you utilize ozone? Chemical filtrants? Bob Fenner>


Re: Green Wolf Eel (Congrogadus subducens)     5/9/17
Hi Bob!
<Diminutive Jen>
Thanks for getting back to me again so quickly. I had been daily dosing Iodide for the few days since we originally spoke and I swear the bump went way down.
<Ah yes; tis a real cure>
Even now it's not very noticeable. However, some time in the past 24 hours, he's developed these white patches/sores. I searched a bit, and nothing is worse than looking up spot or white anything with fish. All I ever get back is Ich. I found a few things matching some symptoms, progressive lost of appetite, laying on side, lump, sore, but not all of them.
At this point, while I was hopeful for the chances of a recovery, I no longer am. His color has diminished, he seems incapable of moving the lower half of his body, the sores could only be the beginning, and I feel he's just in a state of suffering.
<Mmm; I would not give up>
He started off with the Snowflake Eel in my boyfriend's 55 gallon tank.
Which he upgraded weeks later to a 75 Gallon. My boyfriend's care in the beginning was typical of probably most beginners. He thought he knew enough and rules be damned. But Douche (Green Wolf Eel), and Snakey (Snowflake Eel), amongst others, roughed it out. Once I took over they grew and thrived, with rules in place and all advice taken!!
I just don't know in over a year what could have brought this on. I don't know it matters for him at this point. But if it has something to do with my care or a mistake I made, I couldn't live with myself. I've got others in my care and it just scares me that they aren't being given the care they deserve. From previous write ins to your website, I've never had a mistake pointed out. But, is it possible that he is suffering from something that just isn't affecting (effecting?!) the other fish?
<Possible...? Yes>
Everyone else has their appetites, their energy, we've had breeding of snails and cleaner shrimp, and I'm told breeding is always a sign of a healthy tank.
<Usually one end of the spectrum or t'other>
We've got a fair amount of hitchhiker type worms and snails as well as store bought. Growth on rocks and algae on the glass, another indication of a well off tank. The water clarity is good and my boyfriend tested this weekend and found the water parameters are all within the necessary range in the booklet (API Test Kit).
I know it's like literally just pulling stuff outta you know where for you to guess what's gone wrong. At this point I feel what I need to be focusing on is what to do next. His wounds in his condition regardless of origin in assuming just add to his diminishing chances. I've enclosed photos. From your experience, do these seem to be bite marks? I thought it looked more necrotic as the rest of his skin in the light just looked not healthy. I enclosed a photo of lump as well as his surroundings.
<Could be something internal, parasitic... genetic. Some Congrogadus do well, some do not long term>
I've noticed the Kole Tang hanging there as usual since it was his bed, but I swear he's got a malicious look on his face while he's over there. I'm currently keeping watch in our tank to see if I can observe anyone picking
on him. I know what puffer bite marks look like, and it wouldn't be Snakey, only other fish tank mates are a File Fish (Aiptasia eating kind, not sure of scientific name), and a Rusty Angel. I don't see how they could bite in that way.
My boyfriend suspected maybe bristle worms because he's been laying in sand for so long, but I don't know if I see them coming out of rock like that and onto him. I also stay up sometimes very late. I check the tank
periodically sometimes until morning and haven't noticed anything on him like that. I also don't think the Kole Tang has the guts, but I do think he's evil. If it does look like bite marks we'll be "locking" the tang up immediately.
So, aside from the frustration invented and desire for identification if what I'm looking at is necrotic flesh, or bites (please!), there's just one last thing I'd like to ask.
I'm thinking that because of his suffering and the state of his condition, perhaps euthanasia is best at this point. I'd want the same for a dog in this condition, and I believe my fish deserves the same consideration. I read your site and I know Clove Oil is recommended. I know you advised 30 drops. Is that the same with a fish this size?
<Yes; or more... >
He's 18 inches long and I'm not quite sure how to convey the girth properly. Also wondering, is it ok to just take the rocks apart and grab him, gently of course? We are due for a water change and I told my boyfriend to hold off. They stress me out worrying about it stressing my fish out. I hate the way some people and some in pet stores just stick their hands in and move stuff around with fish in there.
So naturally, thinking about how we get him out and it scaring him, scares me. I enclosed a picture to show just exactly his position. It's not going to be possible to net him as if he were moving, will it? I never netted the big ones so maybe I shouldn't speak to it, but he's just a big guy. I don't see we can do that.
<Easy to remove with a large net if this is what you want to do>
Should my boyfriend use his hands? Is it safe?
<Could and is safe, but I'd use a large net>
Should he avoid the wounds as much as possible? It's killing me to do this!! I know our Snowflake we have to watch out for if putting hands in because they have dirty mouths and can cause serious bites. But if it seems he can't move his lower half of his body should we be ok doing so?
I just do NOT want to hurt him and I hate the thought of scaring him before passing, but I just know if he's suffering it's the lesser of both choices.
It's the right thing to do. Would it be advisable to get a pair of those gardening gloves they recommend for handling the rocks? The really long ones that go past your elbows?
<Dishwashing gloves; long ones, are better>
Sorry for all the questions. I just don't want to do the wrong thing and cause him poor pain. As of now, all the fish are their normal selves, Douche was/is the hardy one, so I'm assuming it's unique to him. I know, you shouldn't assume.
Once we saw the wound though, my boyfriend thought maybe this was parasitic in nature. Warned me against putting my hands in the tank. I have to feed my angels (all the inhabitants of tank), so I stuck my hands in! Narrow
Lined Puffer, Douche, and Snakey are target fed with tongs. So far nothing's crawling out of me, so I'm assuming I'll live another day. If it were parasites, would they be a danger to me? If it were, would it have become so dire so fast?
<You won't catch anything from the fish, or tank water if you don't have cuts, breaks in your skin>
Just to reiterate, he stopped feeding a month ago except for a piece of food here or there. Literally, he'd have maybe 1 piece of silverside once a week or every two weeks. Then laying on his side, although could switch
positions, then to the lump and possible paralyzation of his lower half below the lump, to now having sores. All after the hunger strike started exactly one week ago.
I'm not worried about me so much as them and especially Douche's suffering.
So if you can basically just share with me your thoughts and opinions on what should come next. I want his suffering to end. It just kills me to watch this. He was a truly extraordinary fish. Truly. To see him so defeated is a somber reality check. Makes me think of the millions of fish in the oceans, all in jeopardy of a similar fate as the oceans get warmer and toxic.
I always try and remember how lucky we are to have these fish with us now.
I try and remember that while I don't necessarily agree with how many fish we take out of the water for the aquarium trade, and how careless some can be with them, that some of these species days can/are numbered. At least I get to witness it up close just how incredible they all are. Right down to the little peanut worms.
Thank you for help and kindness and understanding with my many questions.
Thank you for understanding that it always helps to have a pro tell you what the right thing to do is! I often worry I'm not educated enough to be taking care of them, so your guidance and that of your colleagues is essential to providing the proper care.
Take Care!
<The choice is up to you. I shy on the side of being conservative in such matters; waiting, hoping for the best>
PS: I wrote in months ago and had told you I couldn't find the option to go to the next page on the WWM Google search results page. When searching again I noticed it using my cell phone browser (Safari), and my tablet
browser (Chrome).
However, even though it looked the same as desktop, I figured that could be it. So when I requested a desktop site using Chrome on my tablet, the page reloaded with the page numbers showing on the bottom for me to get to the
next page of search results.
I just wanted to pass that along in case someone wanted or needed to know.
I know a lot of people probably use cell phones or tablets or iPads and may run into the same problem. Not a huge thing. Just helpful to continue browsing the results! Thank you again for everything.
<Certainly welcome Jenelle. Bob Fenner>

Cryptocaryon and Chloroquine Phosphate     5/9/17
Hello from Romania,
<Howdy from California Andrei>
I hope you are all well. And thank you again for your valuable help you provide for all of us.
<Thank you and welcome>
About my current problem : because of a terrible accident with my calcium reactor in September I have lost everything in the tank so I took that opportunity to restart from scratch in my 350 gallons system consisting of DT, and one refugium and 4 sumps filled with live rock in the basement .
So I dried and washed all the rock, changed the sand in the refugium, etc.
When everything was ready, I decided to start the system in the following way :
not having any critters at all, I placed all the system in hyposalinity (SG at 1.008 - 1.009 ) with the plan to fully stock with fishes, and then keep it like that for other 3 weeks and then get the SG at sea levels and begin to stock with corals and invertebrates. I also have at hand enough Chloroquine Phosphate to treat all the system if necessary. ( you have no idea hw hard is the find CP here) . So I begun to put fishes in : Acanthurus Leucosternon, Acanthurus Achilles, Acanthurus Sohal, Paracanthurus Hepatus, Zebrasoma Xanthurum, Zebrasoma Flavescens x2 , Centropyge Bicolor, Centropyge Loriculus x2 , Centropyge bispinosus, Odonus Niger, Pomacanthus Imperator, Pomacanthus Xanthometopon and some wrasses, gobies etc. For a period of weeks while I added fishes, all the Acanthurus were spotless.
Problem : I begin to lose some fishes ( achilles, one of the flavescens, the loriculus ) apparently the ones that were not eating active enough or were shy, or were the target of aggression. But I am not so sure anymore.
<Oh Andrei! How I wish you had added a handful of hardy Damsels to first check the viability of your system. It may be that the issue/s here are non-pathogenic>
The fishes that died didn't had any sigh of the disease, but the last week I have seen some white spots on the Hepatus and some on the Leucosternon, even though the latter eats voraciously ( just like the Sohal or Xanthurum or Imperator). I am planning to add some more fishes that are on the way :
Pygoplites Diacanthus, Zanclus Cornutus and Chelmon Rostratus. ( I know they sound pretentious, but before the disaster I have kept all these fishes for years and in good conditions ) So, what do you think I should do : stay at this low SG, add all the fishes and stick with the plan, considering that the spots I see are introduced with the last fishes and when they will reach the right moment in their life cycle they will day and the hypo works?
<Hyposalinity rarely (never) brings about permanent Cryptocaryon eradication>
Is the low SG that is causing fishes loss, or maybe the crypt that seems to be resistant to the low SG?
<Likely low SG has something to do w/ overall stress; and this is the root "cause" here>
And if the crypt is resistant, is there any other reason I should keep low SG? Or use the CP, turn off the lights and
If I use the CP should I do it at this SG or wait until I get at higher SG?
Should I use the CP now or after the other fishes arrive ( in about a week ).
<I'd NOT add more livestock for now. I would NOT pour the CP into the system, but administer it to the fishes via foods... as gone over in Noga (I and II) and on WWM>
I know that these are many questions, but it was the best way to describe my indecision, and maybe some others will benefit from the clarification of these problems. Also, the way I planned to start this tank, until now it seemed for me the perfect and safest way in the right conditions, but I am not so sure anymore, maybe you help me clear this out.
Thank you very much again,
Andrei Sbarcea/Romania
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: update on Betta with swollen belly. fin rot?       5/8/17
Thank you so much. I'll probably try the Maracyn 1+2 combo..
<'Tis popular. One handles gram-positive, one gram-negative bacteria -- so together should handle a very wide range of pathogens. Cheers, Neale.>

RODI; unit not working w/ membrane renewal        5/8/17
<Hi Devin>
Just a quick question on RODI. I have been using a 35 GPD six stage system for about five years.
I just changed the 35 GPD membrane to a 75 GPD membrane. I fired it up and it has been running for 30 minutes, dispensing waste water, but no filtered water. It has been a long time since I initially set this up. I have
changed other filters but never this one. Is this a normal amount of time to wait for filtered water?
<Mmm; something is wrong here. I would turn off the water and carefully retrace all lines... with your supplied instructions or online copy... Making sure each line is attached, going where it should be. Did the new membrane come with a sleeve on it? Did you remove this plastic? >
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: RODI       5/8/17

Hello Bob
Yes, I removed the plastic. Per your advice I went thru all the connections to make sure they were secure. Started it up again and now water is flowing! Thank you much.
<Ahh; possibly an air lock. Congrats. BobF>

Re: Older Molly Fish in crisis questions       5/8/17
Aloha Bob,
Yesterday I got: API master freshwater test kit, New Life Spectrum Algae Max, plastic food clips, and a small ceramic house.
Her previous carbon filter cartridge was not available, so I used a new one (these are Tetra small carbon filter cartridges). In place of carbon filter during treatment, there were two filter inserts; one made of material not
unlike the Tetra "bio-bag" material (which I removed), and the other a foam one (I rinsed off in home tank water and returned to her hospital tank filter, along with the new carbon cartridge).
I conducted a 25% water change with clean room temp dechlorinated water, though due to coming off her four-day Fungus Cure treatment, tank water level was slightly low, so in all, she received about 2/3 of a gallon of
this water (to her 3 gallon hospital tank).
Several hours later, I added a single teaspoon of salt, first mixed into about 8 oz. of her tank water and slowly/widely dispersed into her tank.
She soon began moving about frantically, swimming to the top and looking very animated or conceivably distressed, so in caution I was hurting her, I extracted one gallon of water quickly, put in a gallon of fresh regular
dechlorinated water, and she settled down immediately and was again completely relaxed. I keep many gallons of dechlorinated water at room temp/same as tank temp on hand and they always get water at the same temp they are in.
She has plants you suggested and a snippet of one other around and floating above. Food clips, though made for holding seaweed and other vegetables at meals, also work well to gently grasp/hold plants, so Hilton can have them on the bottom, a nearby roof of living greenery; she loved sitting under floating plants in her home tank. I hope you think that was a reasonable way to remove the metal plant weights, while still keeping nice living
plants close around her down there. She never was much for logs or hiding places, though occasionally did sit in a log, so I got a small ceramic one at the store, both as familiar decor and a potential place for privacy/exploration, and, it holds down another few snippets of the same plants.
She didn't eat the food during multiple feeding attempts, but thanks for turning me onto it. The home tank crew had it for dinner, and ate it eagerly. Should it be refrigerated for freshness?
<This is best; yes>
Test results: I did it yesterday and today. Yesterday was done a few hours after the initial water changes and before the incident with the salt, and were: ph 7.6, high ph between 7.8 - 8.0, ammonia .25ppm* (though keeping in mind the tank dyed water color following the API Fungus Cure was the exact same light fluorescent green color as the chart), nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 5.0ppm or less. Today, the test was nearly identical; the ammonia reading
has no tint of green, it is a lighter yellow than the card provided, so one could either say it's either 0 somewhere leading to .25ppm in closest match. It definitely is not the strong/darker yellow that the 0ppm is on the chart, but has no tint of green. Tank water color is much less dyed green now, too. Any advice on pulling down that ammonia or if the other numbers need to be adjusted is appreciated.
<All good here>
Thanks so much for the guidance and forgive my errors. I also do believe she is simply at the end of her life and nothing will get her to eat. Do you think 2 1/2 years is normal for a fish like her?
<Is about the regular lifespan, yes>
Living in that lagoon she'd never have lived until this age, I am convinced. They drain that thing constantly and condition it so people can swim in it, exposing the water to who knows what with sunscreen, etc. I love her.
<Be of good life Dave. BobF>

clownfish and Kenyan coral       5/8/17
Good Evening! First, let me thank you for all your help years ago (circa 2003) when I initially set up my little marine tank. I still have my 2 ocellaris clowns, going on 14 years now. They have moved across state lines
with me 4 times. I think I'm on my fourth cleaner shrimp. In 2011 I upgraded from my 20 gallon tank to a 36 gallon bow-front. That's all I have in the tank except for about 30 lbs of rock, sand substrate, and currently
a couple of tiny red-legged hermit crabs. I can't seem to keep any snails alive.
<The Hermits may be working them woe; or perhaps there's an alkalinity/Ca issue, BGA?>
I have a Fluval canister filter and a reef-octopus hotb skimmer. My question, which I attempted to research but couldn't find anything specific: I just visited my cousin and he gave me a small piece of a "Kenyan tree coral". In his words, it is easy to keep and doesn't need pristine water conditions, which is good because mine are not. I have to admit that over the years as my fish appear to have done well, I have slacked off on taking regular water quality checks. I do use R/O water from a filter I installed and Instant Ocean sea salt for water changes. I
thought the coral looked cool and would like some things in my tank to make it look a bit more natural than just rocks. I did research on the coral today and have found out that it grows fast and needs to be cut back often.
I cannot find anything that says whether or not it will harm my clowns.
<As long as the colony is healthy and not too large... all should be fine>
I currently have the little piece of coral in a hastily put together 'quarantine bucket' with a heater, a small rock from my tank, and a air tube on a small pump. If there is a chance that it will harm my clowns, I'm not going to put it in my tank. He had a couple of damsels in his nano tank that he took it out of.
<Ahh; Clownfish are Damsels>
The other thing that kept me from just plopping it in my tank (aside from not having had time to research it at
all be for he gave it to me) was that his large tank just got wiped out by a case of Ich that he says came from his lfs. I'm not sure about his tank hygiene practices, so I'm worried that even though the coral came from his other tank, there's a possibility it could be in both & he just doesn't know it yet.
<Better to quarantine it for a few weeks then>
If the Kenyan tree is compatible with my tank, how do I know when it is safe to put it in there? Oh, and one more thing, how do I get it attached to the rock I want it on? He said to just use super-glue?
<You can/could, or just let it set in a crevice; or pierce it with a plastic tooth pic into the spot you want it>
That doesn't sound right to me. Thank you so much for your help in the past and I look forward to your response.
Karen Garrett
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Stubborn Nitrites... Another case of zip [HPO4]       5/8/17
Hello Crew! Thank you for all of the advice over the years. Your site has been an invaluable resource.
<Ah, good>
I'm having a problem with stubbornly high Nitrites after (during?) a cycle for a quarantine tank and I'm out of ideas.
<Well; quarantine systems tend to be unstable, disallowing establishment and ready metabolism of beneficial microbe populations... Do you have sufficient biomedia, circulation about it to sponsor nitrification?>
QT is 20g, HOB BioWheel filter with bagged carbon and GFO (there was a Phosphate issue from uncured dry rock in the display tank).
<Is there still "some" soluble phosphate present? You NEED some for microbial conversion of Nitrite to Nitrate... Re-read that last statement>
Also has a small skimmer as I intend to follow the mantra "Quarantine everything, corals and all" with this new display tank (150g). QT is bare bottom except for some pieces of pvc for hiding spots and tests at 0 Ammonia, 20 Nitrates, 2 Nitrites, 0 Po4,
<Bingo: Here's at least part of the problem. Remove most/all of the GFO>

480Ca, 9dkh, and 1250mg.
We use water from the display tank for water changes (was an attempt to seed, but also a way of acclimating the critters to heir eventual conditions. Currently the only inhabitants are 3 Scarlet Reef hermits.
Nitrates are coming down (artificially high from early on when the both tanks were showing 100+ Nitrates.... DT now shows zero after water changes and a little impatient Vinegar dosing).
<Won't help>
What is NOT moving however are the Nitrites. They've been floating between 2-3 for weeks. The QT has been running for almost 2 months and they just won't come down. I've tried everything. I've even added SeaChem stability to the area behind the Filter wheel in an effort to directly add <sic, aid?> the bacteria necessary. It just won't come down (but isn't going up either). We are doing water changes, but only @10% weekly. I know that a
bare bottom tank takes longer to cycle, but this just seems absurd. I would have expected a spike and then drop over a longer time. Not a constant 2-3ppm with no movement. The kit is Salifert, brand new, and tests fine at 0ppm on the DT as well. I'm completely out of ideas. Any thoughts? I know Nitrites are not as bad for marine organisms, but I'm not relishing the thought of subjecting a really cool frag to Nitrites just because I can't get this thing to fully cycle.
<Your situation is very commonly misunderstood. "Some" phosphate is absolutely necessary to all life... part of DNA, RNA, Phospholipids in every cell... ADP, ATP energy transfer molecules... AND conversion of NO2 to NO3... The (over) use of chemical filtrants has killed more livestock than pathogenic disease. Remove the rust and you will find your nitrite gone in short order>
Thanks again!!
<Glad to help Frank. Bob Fenner>

Re: Angelfish       5/7/17
Thank you so much!!!!!
<Glad to share Jill. BobF>
Fwd: Angelfish       5/7/17

When do you think I'll see a different if it's going to work?
<Days to a few weeks. B>

Re: Green Wolf Eel (Congrogadus subducens)       5/7/17
Hello Bob!
<Hey Jen!>
L'il Jen here again! Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. So I did some research on your site about iodide. I was never good at chemistry so it's a bit confusing but I think I get the gist of it. We have been dosing
the tank with Kent Marine Iodide. Is this brand ok?
Is it the same as the link you sent me to the SeaChem version?
<Don't know re their specific formulation; but very likely similar>
The SeaChem description also spoke out against Lugol's Solution, which I believe you or one of your colleagues had actually recommended.
<Mmm; not I>
So should we be looking for a different brand? I saw some measurements listed in the FAQ regarding which Iodide to use. All I see in this bottle is a guaranteed analysis of 0.0794.
<? This number in reference to what?>
I'm not sure at all of this is relevant for you in determining if the Kent Marine Iodide is sufficient.
<Is fine>
We had been dosing weekly and not daily. But yesterday I did do a daily dosing and we plan on getting a test kit ASAP to check on the levels. Will switching to daily dosing actually make a difference?
<It might well do so. The material can/does leave solution quite quickly>
Will it help speed up any chance of recovery our Green Wolf Eel has?
<Hopefully yes>
It may be a coincidence but when we checked on him today the lump had gone down substantially. It is still there but definitely not protruding as much. Every so often he does try to move but it seems like the half of him
above the lump is the only part that moves. My boyfriend believes it maybe is causing some sort of paralysis to his lower half. I'm not sure if this even possible. Does it sound plausible to you?
<Can only speculate as to the causes here... is this chromaffin tissue
involvement? Derived from what? A nutritional deficiency like B12? Other?>
We will continue doing daily dosing of Iodide once we test the levels going forward unless you advise against. I just am curious, if we find this may have been the problem, how quick should we expect the recovery to be?
<Days to a few weeks>
Would it happen right away? Slowly? I just want to be able to find some hope that it's working. Seeing him lay on his side like this is just devastating and a horrible feeling not to be able to comfort them!
<... slowly as in stated above>
I also read that if only one fish is showing symptoms similar to an Iodide problem (should I be capitalizing that word?), then you could actually rule Iodide out as a cause. Do you agree with this statement? I figure it's possible that he's just sensitive more than the others to it, and perhaps there are other symptoms that we may just be missing at the moment.
<Spelling is fine...>
One last thing, if you don't mind! Our Kole Tang has always slept in the little stone cave we bought at the store which is next to our Green Wolf Eel's cave. The Kole is not a sweet fish, like not ever. Or Green Wolf Eel
has always had the patience of a Saint when it comes to the little fish playing tough, another trait that makes him so special.
In the past, when the Green Wolf's head was too close to the opening of the Kole's "bed," the Kole would "fin slap" him repeatedly. Even with the Snowflake next to the Green Wolf, this Kole will shove his "tail fin" right
in there mouths to try and push them back. It's shocking and always shows just how passive our Snowflake and Green Wolf can be.
Since the Green Wolf became sick as I told you previously, the Snowflake has not left his side. Which means he's taken over the Kole's bed in order to be able to fit. The Kole does have another spot he alternates between at
night, so he can feel safe and is safe. He's just sort of a horrible fish.
Him and our tiny Rusty Angel run this tank. With two large Eels, the little fish are in charge. It's terrible!
Now that the Snowflake is in the Kole's home and our Green Wolf Eel is pretty stuck right at the opening of the Kole's home, he's been relentless to our poor guy. He is nonstop in both their faces, but mostly the Green Wolf. He's kicking up sand in his face, sticking his "tail fin" (right word?), literally sitting on his body, and he even pooped on him!!!
I know they can get territorial, but he's a bully, and this is crossing the line! I've had to spend time watching him and making sure he cuts it out.
Usually a finger point has always controlled my fish enough to know to cut it out. This one though, he just stares at me and keeps doing it. So my question is, what can we do!? He's clearly not a threat to the Kole and the Snowflake runs and hides quick, but the Green Wolf can't move. My boyfriend and I were thinking of moving him. I believe I read on this site about a timeout box. Using a small container of hermit crab tank. We do have one but I'm not sure how easy and stress free it'd be to take him and stick him in there. All though the idea of sticking him in a timeout box in front of all his minions, enthralls me.
<I'd catch (use two nets) the Kole and give it a "time out" in a plastic floating colander (like for spaghetti) for a day or so>
The Green Wolf is about 18 inches long. He's under rock work right now. I'm not sure how we'd go about picking him up on a good day, let alone when he's seemingly suffering from something. We don't know if that's safe to do
or even the right thing to do. He doesn't seem to bothered by the Kole but I just can't stand it. He's bullying and I hate a bully! I would go so far as to say his behavior is eerily similar to our Undulated Trigger, and they
are known as being psychopaths. He was placed elsewhere a long time ago.
Thank you again so much for this website. I again cannot express enough how helpful this website is and how nice it is to find others who understand that neurotic panic we can get about our fish. Some people point out it's
not the same as a dog or cat but it's nice to be among people who know that's not true and take it seriously. I also love your tell it like it is approach with some who can be a bit difficult. Especially the ones who refuse to follow grammar rules!
I hope my grammar is up to par! I may have jinxed it now. I also want to point out I may have kept saying him with the Green Wolf and previously her in the last email. The color indicates it is a female. However, we've
always used the pronoun him and I try to be accurate when writing in, but can easily forget.
Thank you so much and I hope you enjoy your weekend. My fish give a big thank you too, for your care and help to all the fish everywhere!! I apologize for all the words in this email too. I always try to say just a little, and it never works out. I'm Italian and from Jersey so it's a very talkative combination. I apologize!
Take Care!
"L'il Jen"
<Cheers dear. Bob Fenner>

Update on Betta with swollen belly. fin rot?       5/7/17
*Inserted your latest reply at the beginning here so you might easily recognize and find the previous associated correspondence. Betta likely with virally mediated tumor that developed about four months ago. 4/25/17*
<Thank you; edited out in this reply for clarity.>
So I tried the Epsom salt recommendation. 3 tsp's in his ten gallon for a week. Thank you. Also making sure pellets are thoroughly soaked before feeding and alternating between pellets and I thaw him a new food, "Emerald Entree" frozen food to help with his digestive issues. His tummy swelling is gone! :)
<Well, that's a plus.>
He still has the tumor/cyst on his side, but at least the additional bloating in his gut is resolved.
Pretty much cleared the Epsom salt from his tank with several 50% water changes over this past week.
<Understood, but it isn't toxic/stressful for fish, so feel free to use at the stated concentration for as long as necessary.>
But "now" he's got some fin rot!
<Not uncommon after some types of infection.>
Soooo frustrating. Swelling is down and much color was returning after Epsom salt and diet changes, as he was quite bloated, faded, and blotchy looking before treatment.. But now fin rot..? Two steps forward and one
step back.
<That's still progress.>
He has lost a small amount of fin tissue.. mostly at caudal fin. maybe 20%, and anal finnage is red/pink tipped at the ends of about 8 of the rays.
<All can grow back quickly.>
It is not streaked from his body.
<Which is a good sign.>
Anal fin is pure white with red/pink dots at the very tips of the rays.
Immediately checked all parameters with API master kit.. 0 ammo.. 0 nitrites. 10 ppm nitrates. temp 80 F. All these are the same as usual. LFS recommended another course of Kanaplex? I protested that he recently "had"
two courses of that antibiotic to address the tumor/cyst a couple months ago without any positive results. "shouldn't I try something else?" I asked. IDK what best to do.
<Antibiotics in themselves aren't dangerous to your fish, or if used correctly, your filter bacteria. But at the same time, it should be understood that each aquarium antibiotic contains a different drug.
Kanaplex is Kanamycin, Maracyn 1 is erythromycin, Maracyn 2 is Minocycline, Furan 2 is Nitrofurazone, Ampicillex is Ampicillin and so on. Each antibiotic drug treats a slightly different set of bacteria; this is just
as it is the case with humans, where penicillin might work in some situations, but your doctor might use erythromycin in another. So, if one antibiotic you buy from the pet store didn't work as well as hoped, you
could try another. A lot of aquarists use the combination of Maracyn 1 and Maracyn 2 together, for example, as the two drugs involved cover a wider range than any single one of them. Alternatively, use a non-antibiotic
medication like eSHa 2000 with a good track record (as opposed to the decidedly hit-and-miss teat-tree oil and other new-age products out there).>
So I added 10 tsp's API aquarium salt to his ten gallon after his weekly tank vacuum and 50% water change this afternoon. Please.. Any ideas on what I might do for this new fin rot problem?
<Salt in itself won't help with Finrot, and can stress freshwater fish if overused, so do be careful here. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Older Molly Fish in crisis questions     5/6/17
Thanks so much, again Bob. Distilled questions/comments for easier response here:
A.) I will be very careful and pre-mix the sodium bicarbonate in what will be new tank water.
B.) On returning her to her main tank, her mate and some Endler's males are in there; they will pick at her; she is vulnerable and it will cause stress. In her state, I don't think she could continue to heal with fish that are harassing her; she is largely calm and secure from that where she is. I don't think she is strong enough to take it yet. She would be a sitting duck. When she first went into this hospital tank, she ate regularly through her first two Furan-2 treatments and was very relaxed.
After moving her mate Poco out, I briefly reintroduced him to see if it would be positive for her, and he was a complete a-hole, trying to nip and behaving as Mollies (and Endler's) typically do toward vulnerable fish. He was out in under 20 minutes.
<Rats! Any way to add more decor, break up the environment... confuse the present status quo/dynamic that might allow her return? Another system?>
C.) So in lieu of moving her, am I reading from your comments that I should change 50% of the water Saturday morning, when I put a new carbon filter in?
<I'd only change these out every few weeks... the carbon does what it does... and bio-filtration added/established is better>
D.) I do measurements daily as is and Saturday will have the kit, as well as the spectrum pellets if available at the store. What else can I do to improve her current tank environment?
<Mmm; nothing really>
E.) I will remove the plant weight. Any suggestion how to keep plants down safely?
<Let them float is better... See WWM re Egeria/Anacharis....>
F.) On the salt levels for her, forgive me but I don't know how to employ the "middling value to accommodate all life" thing; should she be receiving salted water, and what amount, in teaspoons or tablespoons, should I provide per gallon when I do the water change tomorrow/Saturday morning? I will mix it before adding.
<A level tsp. per the system... half for half of it>
G.) Are there any other medicines, water additives or products I should buy tomorrow?
<None recommended. More harmful potentially than useful>
H.) Are any plants valuable for her to have in there to make it a better environment? I have some hornwort, like the lily pad-looking plant with light green in the left center of this stock photo; fox tail... some others I don't know the name of, all in her main tank, which I could move to her hospital tank. Or I could buy some at the store...
<The Elodea/Anacharis you have is ideal, as well as the Ceratophyllum mentioned>
Thanks so much Bob. I'm trying my best and am grateful for your expertise.
<Glad to have a conscientious, compassionate person on your end. Bob Fenner>
Fwd: Older Molly Fish in crisis questions     5/6/17

Sorry. Forgot to attach this stock photo I refer to in line H, Bob. Forgive me.
<Ah, no worries. B>

Re: Older Molly Fish in crisis questions     5/6/17
Aloha Bob,
So sorry for the delay in replying; trying to work and it's a bear of a day.
<No worries Dave>
I don't think I can put her back in her home tank due to nowhere to put the other fish that will peck at her. Right now, she is sitting on the bottom of the hospital tank, not having eaten since at least April 10, so I just don't think she is strong enough to be in there being harassed as opposed to recovering with peace and security, despite the smaller space. I know it sucks, but in the 3 gallon she has no one to bother her, and I will have to try to make her comfortable in there. I will change the water as much as you suggest each day, starting Saturday/tomorrow.
1.) With that unfortunate reality in mind, relating to tomorrow morning when the Fungus Care treatment is officially finished, what should I do for her water? I didn't understand your comment below that said <I'd only
change these out every few weeks... the carbon does what it does... and bio-filtration added/established is better> Does this mean don't do a 50% water change, and stick to the directions that call for a 25% water change?
<The 25% is best>
Also, the directions say return to a fresh carbon filter. I can use a fresh one, or the one she last had in there before the treatment, which was only a couple weeks old. I can also add the current sponge filter to that, if
you think it would be beneficial. Again, there is also a Tetra filter cartridge sleeve filled with substrate from her home tank sitting in there, too. Please tell me which filter cartridge to use, and if any shells, rocks or other objects could be beneficial for her in the 3 gallon.
<Wait another couple weeks on changing any/all>
2.) I will remove the plant weight and let the Anacharis float, plus will try to find the entry on your site you refer to below about plants.
3.) On salt, to be clear, are you saying I should put 1 level teaspoon in of salt for the entire 3 gallon tank, or if changing half the water, half a teaspoon for the entire 3 gallon tank?
<One level tsp. for the entire volume; part for part>
4.) Per your advice, she will not receive further medicine but I will get the spectrum pellets, and any other food you advise. I will continue to try enticing her with algae pellets and the frozen bloodworms, both alternately
dipped in garlic guard (and all of it cleaned out after she ignores them).
5.) I can add the fox tail Ceratophyllum and also the lily pad-looking plant in this attached photo, the plant in question is immediately to the right of Hilton's head in the shot; I have plenty of that, the fox tail, and the Anacharis. Should I add all of these to her 3 gallon?
<If there's room; yes>
Any advice on how much of them to add, should they all be allowed to float, and should I buy any more of these or other plants at the store tomorrow, or any better contraptions to hold them down?
<... let them float>
I could buy her a little house or cave of some kind, too, if you think it would help her.
6.) After the initial water change (which I asked for directions on above), what should I do each subsequent day in terms
<... weekly changes unless there are water quality issues... known from testing>
I am so sorry for all the questions. Forgive me. I value her like a child; I have no children, and will never buy another fish or capture a wild one like I did with her, I am so traumatized by this situation.
I cry every day about it, Bob. However, I seriously doubt she would ever have lived this long in the Hilton Hawaiian Village lagoon. So she has had a great life, and still is very lively. God bless you for shepherding my
dear little friend and her terrified keeper through this. You are doing a huge service for good in this world.
<I REALLY like the anchialine ponds there and all along the Kona coast... and the life in them.
Be of good cheer Dave; you're doing all that can be done. Bob Fenner>


Angelfish.... trouble      5/6/17
Hi! I've searched, read, treated, observed, been patient but I'm stumped. I bought some angelfish online that all died within about 3 weeks. A couple were dead on arrival and they just kept dying. I threw everything away from
the tank. In the process of this, I spread something to all my other tanks.
The fish now have small white dots on filaments of pectoral and ventral fins, fins are frayed and separating between the filaments, most have lost their scales, "pinkish fuzz" from (see picture), along with fin rot. I've
treated with Furan 2 for 2 weeks, then Levamisole one treatment, then CopperSafe for one month. Treatment hasn't cured. The fish are eager to eat, act healthy but very hypersensitive at times. What should I treat with?
<Metronidazole... Flagyl... and hope>
See pictures
Thank you
<Bob Fenner>

Advice on new tank compatibility; 75 FOWLR      5/5/17
I'm in the process of setting up a saltwater tank. The tank will be 75 gallons. I've had saltwater tanks before but I'm in no way an expert. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated!
<Glad to share>
75 gallons -acrylic tank, with drilled overflow, 100 lbs, (probably more)live rock, two 165 watts led lights, adjustable with moonlight, three powerhead, auto top off, considering an Neptune apex system 30 gallon fuge - maybe some live rock, Chaeto, don't have light for the fuge yet, can you recommend?
20 gallon sump - we haven't purchased anything here yet, can you recommend anything?
<Leave the twenty as is for now. Maybe use for the skimmer...>
The following is a list of items that we are interested in keeping in the tank. Our local fish store has given the thumbs up on the list, with an understanding that the anemone could eat the shrimp/slow moving fish and that water would have to be kept pristine. Do you see anything here that would be a problem?
Ocellaris clown pair
Neon goby pair
Green mandarin - I'm aware they need a mature tank with lots of pods, is a 30 gallon fuge too small?
<Is not, but would hold off stocking the Mandarin for a few months>
<Three or more>
Yellow tang
Peppermint shrimp
Cleaner shrimp
Sexy shrimp small colony (I know they won't be easy to see)
<Or keep; try to purchase WITH the symbiotic anemone>
Rose Bubble tip anemone
Sun coral
Pulsing Xenia
Star polyp
Dragons breath
Thanks in advance,
<All of this, these will go together and fit in your system... Evidence of much reading, planning. I would like to see your list presented of what will go in order, first, mid and last. Bob Fenner>

Green Wolf Eel (Congrogadus subducens)     5/5/17
Hello Crew!
<Li'l Jen>
I just wrote in last week regarding an unknown hitchhiker and as always received quick and prompt replies. Thank you again and in advance!
We've had our Green Wolf Eel for over a year now. She's been the model of health and as hardy as promised. However, maybe slightly less than a month ago she began to turn down food. She would eat but seemed to go slower when swallowing as opposed to just inhaling pieces in one big gulp.
<I see... in your pix>
I had read a while back on here an old FAQ regarding the same animal turning down food. I had remembered reading you'd seen them go off foods for months and advised the person to add vitamins and keep trying. I've
done just that and since this started she'd take a piece here or there. No where near the amount of silversides she normally ate.
I know behavior is a tell tale sign with fish as well as water conditions and other signs in tankmates. However, we've been doing our regular maintenance, conditions have all been at the ideal range and tank mates are all normal as usual. Even she was. I noticed even a week and then two weeks after starting to turn down food, she still stuck to her daily schedule.
During the day her and her Snowflake Eel BFF would leave their cave, move to the other side of the tank, hang out for a while, then move back when it was dinner time and stayed through the night. I decided to continue taking
the advice and just waiting things out. While the food was a sign of something, she still seemed exactly the same.
However, as of two days ago she slowly started laying oddly, moving in quick motions as if it was uncomfortable to love, and shortly after began laying on her side as a fish does when something is wrong. She had slightly
labored breathing.
<Likely related to the tumor here>
Our Snowflake Eel has become very big and no one told him. So he tends to shove himself at any cost into the tiny spaces our Green Wolf will lay.
Ever since she's been laying on her side he hasn't alternated his sleeping spots, as he usually goes from "cave" to "cave." He's made them all over the tank. He hasn't left her side since then. I thought it was possible because he was shoving himself in with her, that she had no choice but to lay on her side.
This morning when I finally took a look at the tank, she was still on her side with occasionally lifting up her head. She'd lift it like she was going to move the way she normally does, just switches positions, but never moved an inch. Not since this morning.
This evening I noticed a large bulge. Very large. I had read another post on here about a Green Wolf Eel with a bulge in a similar spot but the picture shows the Wolf Eel upright and color looked good. You alluded to a goiter condition. What exactly is that?
<An endocrine tissue growth related to deficiency in iodide-ate>
Is it something that just happens so suddenly? Is it fatal?
<Is very likely either a goiter or other tumor>
I know you can do a diagnosis on a picture so I won't ask for one. If you see the picture and read the description and get an idea on anything I can try, that's all that matters to me. I just want to know what I can try to do without being positive on what's going on. She seems miserable. She has been so hardy this whole time.
I do know vitamin deficiencies can cause problems like this.
<Yes; particularly B's>
I have a difficult time getting both "Eels" to take vitamin soaked silver sides. They are so picky down to what part of the fish they get and even how I position it on the tongs to hand it to them. He gets vitamins, but I took it as all food should be soaked and that's not the case with them.
Would that still happen this suddenly if a vitamin deficiency?
At this point I doubt I can reverse this if due to vitamins. Since she's refused food for so long and now can't get up. Also, I couldn't find a diagram of their organs. Could this be eggs?
<Mmm; no... gonads are further down the body>
I mean, it's not your typical little fish so I'm not really sure where they would have... lady organs. It's weird to realize I don't know what organ is there and that could probably be a big clue.
Any advice or suggestions on what to do for her and how if any way to make her more comfortable I'd really appreciate it. Breaks my heart to see this happen and our Snowflake gets picked on by everyone in the tank. Everyone.
When she sees she snaps at them as he runs away. I don't know how he's going to be ok without her. I do know all of a sudden he's shoving herself in these figure 8 positions just to be next to her since this happened. I feel they have a 6th sense on these things.
The Snowflake also doesn't get bullied to a point it's dangerous. He's afraid of everything. My hermit crab, our cleaner shrimp, our Tang doesn't like to let him eat, he's an easy target. However, he's doubled in size so he always gets his food. I just sometimes have to give bribe food to the little fishes so they let him eat! No worries!
Thank you so much for just having a site where we can write in these questions and concerns. I wish there were more experts available for these fish. Dog or cat you just take them to a vet. But with the fish it's easy to feel helpless in these situations, so thank you.
Take Care!
<I would get and use an I2 solution like:
with or w/o actually testing. Applied directly to the water... Bob Fenner>

re: Question water and Rams.     5/5/17
So, I just tested the water from my well directly from the tap, I use 5 in 1 test strips. And it comes up in the middle in general hardness 60. And 80 for carbonate hardness. Ph 6.5 to 7, In the middle really.
Is that alkaline water?
<Mmm; the term alkaline is unfortunately confusing... as used for both "hardness" and pH... this water is slightly "alkaline" in terms of the former, and slightly acidic per the latter (pH). It is of use for the keeping of the species you and I have discussed>
The problem with looking for fancy guppies in my area are they no one has the really nice ones with the amazing tails. But I'll try.
<Perhaps the local fish clubs, Craigslist... might help you find folks involved in their culture?>
Thank you,
<Welcome. BobF>

Re: Older Molly Fish in crisis questions     5/5/17
Mahalo, Bob, so much. It can be overwhelming searching your vast material, so those direct links are great. I got the sodium bicarbonate for raising the KH (for her 3 gallon tank
<Do take care... such small volumes shift very easily in terms of water quality... >
that is just a dusting in a teaspoon-- Like barely anything in it, correct?).
<Pre-mix in other water... change out the water itself Dave>
Fresh photos are attached as well, just taken tonight, and low file sizes.
She is going into her fourth day of her 4-day API Fungus Cure treatment which started Tuesday at 10am, and ends Saturday at 10am. Hilton has not eaten since at least April 10. It has been a very upsetting time since then
so I really, really appreciate help.
What do you recommend I do after the API Fungus Cure treatment ends Saturday morning, if she is still with us?
<I would move this fish back to a larger main/display system. Too stressful, toxic in a small one>
If you think I should not be continuing with that or that I should be modifying her treatment in some way now, please advise. Saturday morning, per the Fungus Care package instructions, I will be putting in a fresh new
carbon filter cartridge, and changing at least 25% of the water, unless you thought differently.
<You may need to change a good deal of the water here daily, every other day. DO measure for ammonia>
Her 3 gallon tank has, for the past few weeks, had gradually increased salt in the water, and I read the article by Neale, thanks again, including measurement details to conduct the heavy (not recommended) anti-fungus treatment; but looking at her and her case, what would you advise as a level of salt for her water going forward from Saturday morning, in teaspoon measurement?
<Per Neale's work, some middling value to accommodate all life kept>
In the tank, there is Anacharis/elodea held down by a small metal plant weight,
<Ahh! Yikes. Get rid of the lead. Pb is toxic to all; including the plant/s!>

a small moss ball, a Tetra filter sleeve with some substrate and a shell from her home tank in it... and that's it. Plus the airstone cranking air and the filter (now there are two foam filters in the carbon's place during the treatment). Tell me if more plants, less plants is better. The tank is bare as you can see; I baster out every object, and try to leave her food in there for only a few minutes each time, before getting it out of there and any crumbs.
The areas that previously had the white fuzzy patches have now turned black; does this reveal anything to you?
<Yes; generally a good sign... healing>
As you can see in the pics, the areas on the tail that previously had the white fuzz have this black and there's no fuzz; also an area on her face has gotten the black marking in just the last 24 hours, on the left side; is that a sign of the treatment working and it is dead skin or something worse?
<The former>
I imagine you've seen this before, and this reveals something to you about the nature of what illness she has; is it a fungus or do you think you have a diagnosis on what I am battling?
<Was, is environmental more than pathogenic. Perhaps a read here:

Since you IDed the species, do you know the lifespan?
<A few years... to a handful>
I am curious if this is a part of her being old...
<Could well be>
I'm buying the API master test kit Saturday; her test strip tonight said 40 ppm on nitrate, 0 on nitrite, 150 or hard / close to very hard color 300, 40 on total alkalinity, between the 7.8 and 8.4 on ph. Can ammonia still be present if nitrites are 0 (pad totally white)?
 Otherwise I wondered how during the day the nitrates went up so much.
<Measure the new water, change out half and check 24 hours later...>
if there's anything else, any medicine, or anything you think I should/could buy that would help, or direction on follow-up to the Fungus Care treatment starting Saturday morning (or a change before then), I'm so grateful for.
<Really; just improved environment... nutrition of a good deal of greens content (I really like Spectrum pellets)...>
Dave Lawrence
Honolulu Host, All Things Considered
Hawaii Public Radio
<Oh, I listen to this show/segment on KPBS here in San Diego on 89.5. Bob Fenner>

re: Sexing Colisa       5/4/17
Thanks very much bob :-) I know who's the real fish expert now and it's not this guy on fish forum lol
<Mmm; is just a considered guess Gemma. BobF>

Re: Dragon morays      5/4/17
Thank you Bob,
<Welcome Brad>
-Pond pump ( 2700 gph) is a sealed unit much like an aquarium pump no metal and only 30watts.
<Ah, good; and a bargain watt-wise!>
-I keep the temp @78 maybe I should lower it?
<Yes I would; at least for now... 74-75>
Water quality is as follows ( 0 ammonia , 0 nitrites and below .005-.010 Nitrates.
and rarely ever changes.
<How are Nitrates rendered thus? You may have a toxicity issue w/ chemical filtrants>
-I will read up about BGA
But tank overall has very little algae.
<The purplish red material on the rock is my concern. Need to sample, look under a scope...>
GAC will be added in sump.
<In a bag (likely Dacron/polyester), in the water flow path>
The lighter eel has always been like this but otherwise acts normal.
I do have the returns pointed to the surface and there is a lot of turbulence/ gas exchange.
<Good; this and the skimmer should render DO at saturation (7-8 ppm)>
There is one more thing I didn't mention. I have a auto top off which is feed through a 3 stage carbon filter. I do not have an RO unit. But I would suspect a ton of algae of my phosphates were over the top though.
<Mmm; not necessarily. Again, it may be that other real algae (Thallophytes) are being displaced, outcompeted by the Cyanobacteria>
I work in the auto field and understand trying to diagnose people's issues without actually seeing everything so I appreciate your willingness to give your opinion and expertise.
<Heeeeee! Don't you and I know it/this!>
And yes I will most likely have to re-home one of my beloved eels. Like Marco I absolutely love morays especially Enchelycore sp. thanks again Mr. Fenner.
<Cheers Brad. Will share w/ MarcoL. Bob Fenner>
Re: Dragon morays.     Here's Marco!      5/4/17

Hi Brad and Bob,
both eels breathe rather fast for my taste, especially the lighter one.
As Bob notes , that's not an Enchelycore thing. I'd try slightly reducing the temperature and increase the water flow on the surface even more. In addition, check the pH. Should be at least 8.0, better 8.2-8.4.
Also, ensure that the basement itself gets enough fresh air.
<Thank you/Danke Marco. BobF>

Re: Frog bit question      5/4/17
Thank you! I'll give it another shot.
<Good luck. One my favourite species, though like you, I've found it hit-and-miss at times. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Cory health in 15-gal column tank      5/4/17
Great advice, thanks Neale. I think I might give the whiptail a shot, as you suggested. For this columnar tank setup, so you think I should go for one or two?
<Definitely more fun kept in groups. Males hold little territories (like a crevice in a bit of bogwood) when breeding but otherwise Rineloricaria species do seem to be sociable much of the time. Singletons can do fine though, they just aren't as much fun. Do note that Whiptails are day-active, and prefer sandy substrates where they can bury themselves in at times. They will also change colour on sandy substrates, which is very cool to see! Underrated fish, I think because they *look* delicate -- even though they're actually quite hardy animals.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Berndt's Moray Eel (Gymnothorax berndti)      5/4/17
Dear WWM crew,
<Hi Bill. Sorry for the late reply. Don't know why your email got lost.>
Hello, how are you? I'm trying to get info on Berndt's Moray Eel (Gymnothorax berndti), tried everywhere on the web but very little info on these species. Like to know if they are a cold water eel since they are found in deep water,
<Temperate at least.>
how big they get,
<About 1 m or 3 feet and a few inches.>
how aggressive are they,
<Well... they are 3 feet (and a few inches) long predators of fishes and crustaceans.>
what do they eat,
<Fishes and crustaceans.>
anyone ever had them in the aquarium trade?
<Oh, yes. A few years ago they appeared in trade a number of times.>
Any info would be great since I have a chance to get one. Thanks for your help again! Bill
<Welcome. Marco.>

Question water and Rams.      5/4/17
I have a question about water: can you have water that is very hard,....it's full of Manganese here, and also have a moderate ph?
<Mmm; you can; though it's rare. Typically, water containing much Mg (and or Ca) and being "very hard", also has a high pH>
Most of what I've read about water is in regard to cichlids, as I have 3 golden rams and 3 Bolivian rams in a 45 gallon tank with Corys and fancy guppies.
<Well; IF the Rams altogether are cultured (very likely); they may well be more tolerant of high/er alkalinity, pH... the Corydoras are likely fine (unless one of the much more soft water directly imported species... which I doubt); and guppies enjoy hard, high pH water>
I see after reading your site about Rams, that if the water was warm enough for the cichlids it'd be too hot for the other fish. I didn't realize they needed it so warm.
<The upper seventies F. will/would likely work for all species here>
I don't even have a heater in there right now, my girl friend's ended up malfunctioning and cooked her fish, so after the winter is over I put mine away. it's just spring in NJ.
<I definitely would get/use one; swings in temperature; too much too fast, can be debilitating>
I do every now and then lose a fish, most often a female guppy, my males are thriving. Not sure what's up with that....I have to keep buying more females or maybe it would be better if I just kept males, but I love having baby
guppies. It's getting hard to find female guppies these days, pet stores are always out of them.
Just a few days ago all the fish were inhaling froze blood worms. Today one of my 3 golden rams is just listless. Leaving the other 2 alone,.......The Bolivian rams are very aggressive,.....and do tend to chase the Golden Rams
somewhat. But not so much so that any one has nips or wounds.
Did I make them sick with the blood worms? Are they bad for Cichlids?
<Bloodworms, sewer fly larvae, have been implicated in freshwater fish disease. I'd only feed them sparingly; though frozen ones s/b parasite free. Hikari Brand is>
The Guppies just love them! Much more than flake food.
The Cichlids do too.
(The reason I feed blood worms is I have a Pea puffer in a small take by himself and I feed him 1 worm at a time,.... it takes about 6 to give him a round tummy, then he's done. What I have left from the cube goes to the fresh water tank/or Salt tank every other day.)
Last year I had the same 3 golden rams outside with my goldfish in a small man made pond and they did very well,....came in in the fall with very bright color, I am guessing from the natural light?
<More than this>
They were all fine though. So how did they do so well in water with goldfish, a huge feather finned Squeaker cat fish, and not heated water? But now, with no goldfish, water changes once a week of at least 50 percent, and lots of space am I losing one of them?
I'm so confused.....because my water doesn't fit the norm. It's very hard, but the ph is in the middle 6.5-7. I am not sure what to do for the little fella....he's not a newbie, he's gone through many water changes with no issues,...there are lots of hides....But the hardness is very hard.
I can add Mopani wood and try to soften the water,....not sure if that will help?
<It should over time, but better to blend in some less hard water. Do you have RO for potable uses? I'd mix this half way>
And I hate the tea colored water, even after soaking and boiling the wood it still makes the water in the tank look like tea.
I know this is a long rambling email,.....I am sorry. But if anything jumps out at you besides the temperature, let me know. How warm can the Cory's and guppies and 1 bristle nose live in with out cooking?
<Yes; should be able to>
Or do I need to separate the cichlids? Why now? I've had them for more than a year now,... they have grown big and beautiful. The only change is the substrate,....I took out the old multicolor one I hated. And after through rinsing slowly added an off white one that is more like sand. It's very nice. I even have snails working away in the sand eating left overs if there is any.....
I just don't get it.
Thank you! Mandy in NJ
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
re: Question water and Rams.      5/4/17

Hi Bob,
<Hey Mandy>
Well the Golden Ram is dead this morning, as I thought she would be. She was almost white with gold edges,....almost sounds like that Neon Disease.... listless, no eating, color fading,.....dead.
<Mmm; well... cultured Rams are too easily lost nowayears>
Yes, I'm sure they are aqua cultured,...I ordered them online a year ago.
I Will go easy on the blood worms, these are not Hikari, although that is my normal brand. My daughter got these for me.
<I see>
She didn't know any better and we were out.
Have you heard of any current problem with female guppies in general?
<Yes; like the cultured Rams, they just don't have the "oomph" genetically of Guppies from decades back. My strongest suggestion (for both, all really) is to seek "locally produced stock" if at all possible, practical.
The mass-produced imported from Asia stock is abysmally weak
They never seem to make it more than a few weeks, and I always watch to be sure they aren't being Harassed to death by the males,....and get to eat. They also never have babies,....used to be you had 2 guppies and soon you had
hundreds? What is up with that?
<As stated... this part of the trade/industry has gotten MUCH worse>
I'm getting old I guess, things are changing, and not for the better!
Guppies aren't as strong and healthy as they used to be. Even Endler's.
I've tried them too,....still no luck.
<Mmm; we should go back here... Start at square one as the saying goes. You do have moderately hard, alkaline water? Medium temp.? No ammonia, nitrite, little nitrate?>
Thank you for your time Bob,
<Am very glad to help, share with you Mandy. We can/will discover and right whatever the issue/s are here.
Bob Fenner>

Older Molly Fish in crisis questions      5/4/17
<Dave; 11 megs of pix... Ughh mate; we ask that folks limit....>
Aloha and thanks so much for being willing to offer thoughtful advice to people caring for animals they love.
<A hu'i hou!>
I'm writing about Hilton, the fish I've had the longest, acquired as a centimeter-long speck of silver from an outdoor lagoon next to the ocean at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in December 2014. I estimate she was born in early December 2014.
<Oh! headed out that A Bay way next week>
Several photos, including a recent one, are attached. I suspect from research that she is a Molly fish of some kind, considering where she was born; perhaps you can make a concrete ID.
<Mmm; at one time this molly (non-indigenous) was considered Poecilia sphenops Valenciennes in Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1846... now a hybrid>
She very briefly lived in a brackish water container before spending the rest of her life, until now, in a freshwater 10 gallon tank, no salt added, with no health problems until earlier this year, as she edged into her third year of life.
Early in 2017 I noticed a small white fuzzy patch on the side of her tail; soon thereafter I spotted a similar small patch on the edge of her tail.
The "Hilton May 2" photo shows the erosion that second patch caused.
<See this>
She was quarantined along with a male also acquired in the same place in May 2015, though he had no symptoms (I did this so she'd have some company/normalcy). First she received Furan-2 for a four day treatment.
<Mmm; is the system water hard and alkaline? I'd make sure and likely add salt per Neale (Monks) input on WWM>
When the patches disappeared, they went back to her home tank, only to have a spot on her right side near the dorsal fin develop a small wound of some kind, and another fuzzy spot develop on the left side of her tail. She and the male returned to the hospital tank, and underwent an 8-day Furan-2 treatment. At that point I decided she would live permanently in this tank so I could provide further care if needed. While the fuzzy patches went away, they first sort of turned blackish, the erosion on the edge of her tail slowly continued. Soon, she developed a disinterest in eating, not
swimming away from the bottom of the tank, and at that time underwent a further Furan-2 treatment. Poco was removed to the home tank, as he often attempts to mate with her, and that seems to be a stressing her. Following the subsequent Furan-2 treatment, she has continued to refuse to eat. I began researching things to try and cure the illness and make her comfortable, and started salting her water for the first time. It is - I assume - marine salt, since it was bought from a fish store sometime ago, in a 3 pound bag and otherwise unmarked; cost maybe $3-4?
<Can't tell from here>
Something like that. I started using about a teaspoon of it per gallon in her 3-gallon hospital tank and have bumped it up to about a tablespoon. She also went through a five-day medication of Jungle Lifeguard, before another round of Furan-2, all with her water salted. There is such conflicting information as to the amount of salt I should put in each gallon of her water to try and heal her; that is one thing I could use advice on.
<... See, as in read... WWM>
Bittersweet, the wound on her side has healed a great deal recently; it has no fuzz, appears much smaller (evidenced in the May 2 shot) and there is none elsewhere on her; the spots where there had previously been white patches on her tail have a slight blackness to them; there are no current white fuzzy patches visible, even with a magnifying lens.
After folks at a pet store viewed a recent video from April 22
https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=qDDl3lgi2vc , they suspected it was a fungus and recommended API Fungus Cure, which she started yesterday, now on day two. May 1 I shot a second video
<This issue is baseline environmental. No sense treating w/o fixing the water quality>

I am extremely concerned at her lack of eating. It is at least three weeks.
There is a small amount of Anacharis and a moss ball in her hospital tank which the pet store folks said was a good thing. I've attempted to coat algae pellets (among her favorite foods) with garlic (including Garlic Guard), tried other bottom feeder pellets, peas, frozen bloodworms, live brine shrimp... all to no avail. Freeze dried worms are her favorite, but she won't leave the bottom.
Any suggestions you have regarding what I can or should do, I would greatly appreciate. In two years of fishkeeping, this is the first encounter with something like this, and I love her very much. If there is a way to save her that I can manage, I will try. Forgive my long email.
Thanks so much and I apologize for all my apparent shortcomings as a fish keeper.
Dave Lawrence
<Water quality measures please, including temperature. Bob Fenner>

Re: Older Molly Fish in crisis questions       5/4/17
I am so sorry about the large image file sizes. Forgive me, and am so grateful for your help and speedy reply. God bless you guys. I will reduce sizes anytime in the future.
<Ah, thank you>
So she is a Molly; thanks for the details. I've never seen anyone with her shape in a pet store, or really in photos online, so it's always been sort of a mystery, until now.
<Oh, there are quite a few species and many sports, hybrids of Mollienesia/Poecilia... Do a quick Google search re the genera, common name>
The water is tested with Tetra test strips (I will buy an expensive liquid test kit after reading about the strips), and they report the water is hard to very hard, with low to moderate alkalinity 40 - 80ppm KH , at the lowest level of nitrates and nitrites (nitrates always kept at the 0 or far left pad color, and nitrites at zero or up to .5 or the second pad on the left, at which point I make a water change with same-temperature pre-dechlorinated water).
<Ahh; need to improve, increase biological filtration and/or decrease the amount of food/wastes being processed. There must be NO nitrite or ammonia present>
How could I increase the alkalinity?
<There are a few ways/means; the safest, easiest is to add a bit of baking soda
(sodium bicarbonate) to the new, change water... when you do tank maintenance every week. Read here:
The temperature is 74 in 24 hour AC apartment. The heaters I've seen available nearby raise the temp to a potential 78, +/- 2 degrees.
In terms of the salt level, I've read so many posts with so much detail it's hard to find a direction for how much I should use; is 1 tablespoon per gallon appropriate to create a healing environment, or if not, how much, preferably using teaspoons or tablespoons for measuring?
<I would JUST read, follow Neale's pc...
How long can she live without eating and what would you recommend I do next?
<Read, then act... B>
Thank you again.

Hybrid and Betta imbellis      5/3/17
I wonder whether you can help.
<Will try.>
I had a pair of Betta imbellis that I got in January. They went into a cycled tank. Ph 7.6, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0 and Nitrate 30. They were put in a 57 litre Fluval Flex. After a few days they spawned. The babies were removed as the tank was not suitable for them and I was not expecting them to spawn straight away. The babies had a high die off and I am left with 3 healthy looking 10 week old babies.
<Various reasons for problems with Betta fry; cold air perhaps the commonest. Do also review the usual suspects like airborne pollutants, non-zero copper levels in tap water, ammonia spikes, etc.>
After a couple of weeks of having the Imbellis the female died. She was active and swimming around and then I noticed she was struggling. I went to get a bowl to float her in. Came back and she was dead. My male got very
depressed and was recommended that I got another female. I did that and he perked up. One day she did the same thing and died with no outward signs of sickness. I chose not to get another female without knowing the cause of the deaths and as to whether the male was doing something and killing them off without me noticing. He again became very withdrawn and died a week later.
<Oh dear. Shame, as these are nice fish!>
I also have hybrid Bettas which are a cross of Stiktos x Samaragdina guitar x Mahachaiensis.
<That's quite the hybrid. At what point are they simply mongrel Betta spp.?>
The water parameters are the same as above and both have consistently stayed the same and have had the water tested weekly before a water change.
My male on one pair a few days ago became lethargic and started breathing heavily. He was put in a tub so that he could reach the surface and has died today. No fungus, no bloating or signs of constipation or parasites.
No marks on the body. The two tanks are in separate parts of the house and no equipment is shared.
Does it seem that there is something that I have done wrong or are these fish generally weaker?
<Hybrids can be weaker, yes. With Bettas, I've no specifics on this. Often we talk about hybrid vigour, but that isn't always the case. Some crosses aren't viable (fail to fertilise eggs, or the fertilised egg fails to form a healthy embryo, or the development of the foetus fails in some way). But I'm sure there are situations where hybrids are born but aren't as vigorous as either parent species.>
I do not want to loose my imbellis baby or the female to the pair that died or my other pair of hybrids. All tanks have IAL kept in their tanks, kept at a temperature of 28, filtered and 30% water changed weekly. They are fed
on Spectrum pellets, frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms and daphnia.
<Which all sounds fine.>
I am not new to Betta keeping and have over 50 plus tanks of fry and cannot see that I am doing anything different that I know of that can be making them sick.
I also wondered if you knew whether the remaining female hybrid could live with the other pair of hybrids I have or is that likely to cause aggression between the two females and need the same ratio as a sorority tank?
<Hard to know. In theory females should all get along. But a male of one Betta species will certainly view most, if not all, other Betta species as a potential threat, and this of course includes females since the males alone guard the eggs. Now, Bettas in one species can communicate, and understand things like threat displays, but hybrids or different species may not understand the signals sent by a male from one particular species.
In short, there are so many variables here that you might want to err on the side of caution, at least while you're down to a small number of valuable fish. As/when your breeding population is replenished, some experimentation may be worthwhile.>
Thank you for your time
<Welcome. Neale.>

Frog bit question      5/3/17
I have a 26gal. bow front high tank with three schools of tetras, 10 each (emperor, rummy nose, and neon) and three Corydoras. A few of the female emperors are being bullied a little, and look like they want hide near the
top of the tank. I'd like to get some frog bit for them, but I've tried it in the past and haven't had much luck with it, even though it's supposed to be easy.
<Does sometimes depend on the batch, to be honest.>
At one time I had yoyo loaches, and I discovered they were eating it, but they are gone now. The other possible issue is that I have an aqua clear hang on filter, and I read that it can disturb the floating plants. I don't want to change the filtration. My water parameters are soft and 6.4 pH.
Would it be worthwhile to try frog bit again? Anything I can do to help it grow? I have led lighting.
Thanks for your time!
<Good lighting, fresh flow of air through the hood, and nothing damaging the roots (such as herbivorous fish) all seem to be keys. Would also be aware of allopathy -- some combinations of plant species don't work, for reasons not fully understood. Good luck, Neale.>

Cory health in 15-gal column tank      5/3/17
Hello Team, I searched the archives and I can't find this one.
I was hoping for some help with Corys in my tank. I have had a 15-gallon column tank for two years, with a single Opaline Gourami, five cherry barbs for a year (three m, 2 fem), and two (avg.) non-dwarf Corys. I feed flakes and float pellets once daily, a sinking shrimp pellet every few days, and freeze-dried bloodworms once a week. My ammonia and nitrite levels are zero and my temp hovers around 77 degrees. I filter with an AquaClear 20.
<Mostly sounds fine...>
I seem to only manage to get a 6-month lifespan from my corys, regardless of the breed. This seems short; when one passes, I buy a new pair to avoid loneliness, and the cycle continues. Just today, I have a single one again. (1) should I purchase a single or a pair more corys if any, and (2) am I doing something wrong or are corys simply a bad idea in this configuration?
<Corydoras are basically sound fish, but they do have a couple weaknesses.
Firstly, they're low-end tropicals. A good temperature range for most species is 22-25 C/72-77F. Corydoras sterbai is the one widely trained warmer water species. Anyway, the warmer the water, the more oxygen they
need. This brings us to the second point, their need for air. If the tank is too deep, they can't easily swim to the top to gulp air, and this in turn leads to stress. I don't think a 15 gallon tank is likely to be too deep, but if there's something stopping them swimming, like a strong current or aggressive/nippy midwater fish, it might have an effect on them.
Finally, there's the oxygenation of the substrate. If the bottom of the tank has poor water movement, the substrate can become anaerobic, and together with microscopic scratches to their whiskers and fins, Corydoras become sickly, listless, and may well die. So short term: I'd clean the substrate, I'd check the water flow, I'd lower the water temperature, and I'd check none of the other fish are harassing them.>
I know they should be kept in larger groups but I don't want to crowd them on the small floor. Should I choose another scavenger instead?
Bristlenose catfish seem too "dirty".
<They are not messy at all, given their size; but they're also pretty rubbish scavengers, being more or less algae-consumers. I find Whiptails a much better substitution for Corydoras. Standard issue Rineloricaria species are sociable, hardy, and long-lived.>
Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for all you do!
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Worms in my tub!      5/3/17
Hello! Can you please tell me what kind of worms these are?
<Video Link HERE>
I found them in my bathtub after giving the kids a bath! We live in northwest Indiana if that helps any.
<These look like insect larvae; likely hatched from "flies" getting into the house, some bit of water left in the tub... no worries. Bob Fenner> 

Dragon morays      5/3/17
Hey Crew,
I'm a little concerned about CO2 and O2 levels in a basement tank. Set up is a 180 gallon 72x22x24 acrylic tank with 60 gallon sump large skimmer and lots of live rock in sump and display tank. My return pump is actually for
a pond.
<Hopefully w/ no metal to corrode, leach into the system>
I have to restrict it with a ball valve to control water flow.
<Mmm; I'd be checking (the stamp AND consumption directly) re watts here. I live in a town w/ very expensive electricity. You may be better off investing in another pump>
I also have a large chamber in the sump with a mass of Cheto to control Nitrates. In habitants are two dragon morays
<Will need more room than this in time>
and a hand full of damsels, snails and crabs. So my one of my dragons has always had a faster respiration then the other but both breath harder at times then other morays I've kept? Is this a Enchelycore thing?
<No and no; s/b about the same>
My tank is in my basement should I be concerned about C02?
<I hope not; but I would check, AND install a CO2 meter>
Not sure how to post videos for you to actually see what I'm talking about
but here is a link?
<Ah, good>
<Mmm; the lighter colored animal IS respiring too quickly to suit me...
What is the water temperature here? I'd lower it to the mid 70's F...
slowing metabolism, increasing DO...), and the rock here? Appears to have a bunch of BGA on it (likely too toxic)... See, as in READ on WWM re limiting this. Do you have a DO test kit? I'd procure one ASAPractical and test here... AND in the meanwhile use a pound or two of GAC in your filter flow path and a pad or two of PolyFilter. Bob Fenner>
As always thank you not only for your reply but also for your service.
You guys are awesome.
Sincerely Brad.

Hi Bob... you've been recommended to help me sex my guormi :-)       5/3/17
had conflicting advice so far. Hope you can help :-)
<Appears to be a male below left and two females above. Bob Fenner>

Goby compatibility       5/2/17
Hello Crew,
Today on a fish shopping trip I came across a pink bar/aurora goby. I really really like it, it was all I could do not to bring it home but I learned a long time ago impulse buys are not suitable for this hobby.
<You are wise here>
I am wondering what you think of the compatibility with my current pink spotted watchman? He is quite large (5 or 6 inches) and the biggest of 3 pink bar at the fish store was about 3-4". My tank is a 75 gallon, 48".
<Mmm; well; I wish the tank was six feet in length; but I still give you good odds these would cohabit>
Also anything else of importance you could tell me about the pink bar would be appreciated (I'm quite familiar with gobies so any out of the ordinary facts that might make me not want one.)
<I know naught more re the genus, species than we have archived on WWM>
I have attached photos of both my goby and the gobies at the fish store so there is no confusion with the common names.
Please feel free to use my images.
Thank you
<Cheers Nic. Bob Fenner>

Re: Rainbow BTA not doing well after tangling with Bristleworm       5/2/17
Sad, since LFS and online forums have told us all of these were fine together in a 29 gallon.
<... I do understand. Take a look where I've referred you; or see my book on captive husbandry of Actinarians... or catch my pitch at this year's MACNA... on the same topic>
We have tried various sizes of food ranging pea sized to grain of rice size and she rejects all food.
We have a 75 gallon in the works but that is a couple weeks off before we can begin the cycle. I will move the frogspawn to another tank is there anything else that can be done?
<Reading... the use of GAC for now, perhaps overdosing iodide-ate>
Is the Acan bad also?
<Not as much so; no>
Also I forgot to mention a small sun coral
<Tubastrea likely; also moderate. B>
that is also in the tank. Thanks for the link.
Re: Rainbow BTA not doing well after tangling with Bristleworm       5/2/17

The link does not work.
<... it does for me... you likely didn't take out the carat....>

Re: Rainbow BTA not doing well after tangling with Bristleworm       5/2/17
Sorry to bother you, I have one more question. Is the frogspawn ok if it is on the opposite side of the tank?
<See WWM re Euphyllia compatibility>
The anemone is currently on one end and everything else is at the other end.
<Smaller specimens/colonies, larger tanks... less chemical warfare. B>

May Calendar       5/2/17
Hi Bob. Here is a May Calendar for the WWM website. Let's get together soon for a beer and a chat.
<Thanks Mike. Will post on the morrow. OH! IPA night tomorrow eve at O'Brien's? B>

Help please. GIGO/vague questions/responses re water quality; source water filtration /RMF     5/1/17
I have just got a LifeSource water filter system for our house installed..
<For the whole house... They offer a few systems: https://www.lifesourcewater.com/elite-scalesolver.php >
Was wondering if I could bypass the RO system I have for making water for both my freshwater tank and also reef tanks?
<Mmm; you can, could... given... the make up of your source/tap water AND the range/tolerance of water quality of your livestock
... Can't tell any of this as you haven't provided useful data>
Hope you have a chemist on staff J
<Some of us here have considerable chemistry and physics backgrounds>
Would really be great to not waste water, but most importantly I do not want to harm my pets
Rick Smith
<To repeat: NEED to know what is in your water... AND what organisms you're keeping... and to some extent, what you're hoping to do with them. Bob Fenner>
Help please (RMF, comments re: reef tanks please) /Neale      5/1/17

I have just got a LifeSource water filter system for our house installed..
Was wondering if I could bypass the RO system I have for making water for both my freshwater tank and also reef tanks?
Hope you have a chemist on staff
Would really be great to not waste water, but most importantly I do not want to harm my pets
<I'll let others comment on the situation for reef tanks. But so far as freshwater goes, you do not want to use RO on its own for freshwater fish.
Indeed, water from standard issue water "softeners" shouldn't be used in freshwater tanks at all, because the water produced uses a method that simply replaces lime scale (so-called temporary hardness or carbonate hardness) with sodium salts. That's fine enough for washing, but not good for drinking (hence the bypass tap in the kitchen) and completely unsuitable for most freshwater fish. So, if you've got an RO system, you want to either (1) bypass the RO system and use your as-delivered tap water for the aquarium, choosing freshwater species that will tolerate your local
water chemistry; or (2), if finances allow, use RO water, but add either Discus Buffer (for soft water species) or Rift Valley salt mix (for hard water species). I will meanwhile direct you to some reading, here:
FWIW, if you're keeping those species that love liquid rock, such as Mollies, Goodeids, and many Pupfish and Eurasian Killifish, some of that waste water from your RO system might well make the right conditions for them with little or no further adjustment. Crack out your water chemistry test kits, and find out what the pH, general and carbonate hardness levels might be. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Got My First BGK     5/1/17
Thank you!
<No problem.>
Have a wonderful day!
<And you! Neale.>

Re: Got My First BGK; multiple Mormyrid stkg.      5/1/17
If you can stand yet another question from me, I was hoping you could clear up some information (or, possibly, misinformation) I found on the internet.
I have read that you cannot (or at least should not) keep more than one mormyrid in one tank.
<Does depend on the species. Some are quite sociable, and do well in groups of 6 or more specimens. Indeed, most of them probably are social in the wild, certainly the class Elephantnose seems to live in big schools, but the sheer size of the standard Elephantnose makes this very difficult to accommodate at home. Singletons can do well, becoming fairly tame if looked after well. A big group should be fine too, but unfortunately in twos or threes they tend to squabble unless the aquarium is very large, so they're rarely kept in groups outside of public aquaria.>
They say that the electrical impulses these fish use to find food would conflict and potentially cause both fish to starve.
<Correct. Dominant specimens hog the best frequencies, forcing weaker specimens to use less effective ones, making it harder for them to navigate and find food. Not a problem in the wild where a big school of them couldn't be dominated by a single specimen for any length of time, but in the aquarium, it can be a bully's paradise with so little space available for weaker fish to move out of trouble.>
I have no intention of getting any more BGK's, but I keep thinking about the little Elephant Nose. I'd love to have one, and their water parameters are consistent with the BGK, but I don't want to cycle up another tank right now.
<I would not mix Elephantnoses and Black Ghosts in the same tank, at least, not without a Plan B if it turned out the two species didn't get along.>
Also, I'm concerned that because the BGK comes from fast moving waters and the Elephant Nose lives in slow moving water, that the Elephant Nose would suffer in the same tank.
<Quite so.>
Again, this is not something I plan on doing in the near future as I have my hands full with the BGK. I guess you could say I'm just starting to research.
<Do review some of the smaller, more sociable members of both these groups. The Glass Knifefish (Eigenmannia virescens) for example is fairly widely traded, and small enough that maintaining a group in, say, a 55-gallon tank
wouldn't be impossible. Such a species could cohabit with tetras and catfish, if all were chosen with care. Similarly the Baby Whales (various Pollimyrus and Petrocephalus species) are smallish relatives of the Elephantnose that are viable in groups if you have the space. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Got My First BGK     5/1/17

Thank you again! But I've got my heart set on an Elephant Nose.
However, given your advice, I think its best that I just focus on the BGK for now and put off getting the Elephant Nose until sometime in the future when I'm able to set up a tank just for that fish.
<Wise. Although good community fish in the sense of cohabiting well with small African tetras and the like, their special food requirements do mean they're poor choices for rough-and-tumble set-ups alongside species such as
non-herbivorous catfish and loaches that might compete for food. They can be picky eaters, but not excessively so, and will adapt to a range of foods. I memorably saw an adult specimen consuming vast quantities of baby brine shrimp!>
Thank you so much for all you do!
<Most welcome. Neale.>

7 year old female clown holds mouth open and won't or can't eat.     5/1/17
I just noticed that the ridge on her back looks a little ragged compared to his. Here is another video and photo.
<This fish's mouth appears damaged... either from trauma or genetics. Not much you can do other than be patient and hope. Bob Fenner>
7 year old female clown holds mouth open and won't or can't eat.     5/1/17

> Here is a video and photo :

Rainbow BTA not doing well after tangling with Bristleworm     5/1/17
I have a 29 gallon,
<Mmm; large Indo-Pacific Anemones need (much) more room than this... Too unstable.
with 165w full spectrum led, 8 month old tank with a RBTA, one clown, one Firefish, one cleaner shrimp, one peppermint shrimp,
<Shrimps may be eaten by the Anemone in time; as well as the Firefish.>
<Incompatible... too allelopathogenic w/ the Anemone>

a small maxima clam, scan,
<? Acan?>
pulse and Sinularia. Everything is doing well except the BTA.
<Losing; per the statements above>
One day about a month ago I woke up to find some bristles stuck in her. She was deflated, disc shaped, I removed the bristles and hasn't reinflated
since. She is getting smaller and eating less each day. We try to feed her krill and shrimp but she isn't really interested.
<... how small are the pieces?>
Now she has moved about a half inch closer to the light and will react a small amount when the lights are on.
Nitrates 0,
<.... sigh; all chemosynthetic life NEEDS some N, P, K...>
nitrites 0, ammonia 0, ph 8.4, temp 76.2. Is there anything I can do for her?
<Please read here:
and all the linked files above. You've set yourself up for failure here; do educate yourself>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Got My First BGK      4/30/17
Hello Neale! This is an update with a question I couldn't find on the site. The BGK seems to be doing well. I put the PraziPro in the tank last Wednesday and today I think I may see a little bit of rounding near her pectoral fins.
A friend of mine stopped by a little while ago to see her and give me his opinion (he raises all sorts of predator species). He was very shocked to see how small she is and when I pointed out she was 3 inches, he explained
that the glass of the tank and the water creates a magnifying effect and he didn't think she was that big. Anyway, I told him about her eating most daphnia and Cyclops and not paying a whole lot of attention to the bloodworms and how I'd seen her eating bloodworms at the store. He didn't doubt that she ate the bloodworms, but believes it was a struggle for her at such a small size.
He suggested I start mashing up the bloodworms for her, which I will do immediately, and then he recommended that I hard boil an egg, and feed her small amounts of the yolk (only the yolk) to help support her at this stage in her life. I wanted to know what you thought about his advice.
<Hard boiled egg yolk is old school, and works well. It's a bit messy, as the particles mostly end up in the filter rather than the fish, so best done the day you do a water change. But apart from that, yes, many/most fish will eat egg yolk. Indeed, whenever I'm cooking eggs, I save a little for them! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: re: THREE SPOT GOURAMI      4/30/17
Thank you for contacting me. I have only one Gourami and three 1 inch very young albino Corydoras, there is no other fish in the tank. I have clear for life 20 gallon tank. Recently I put gravel in the tank, before that I have bare bottom tank. Maybe the gravel is the problem, my ammonia is 0 and nitrate Is 0. Nitrate barely 10.
<Which all sounds fine, and I can't think why gravel should be a problem.
It can be for burrowing fish like Spiny Eels, but not midwater things like Gouramis.>
I maintain this tank very well I try to do everything right. The pH is 7.2
maybe I am doing something wrong I don't know that's why I contact you guys.
<I'm drawing a blank here!>
I have this Gourami for 5 years she never was sick in till now.
<So not too old.>
She was living along in 20 gallon, I thought she was lonely so I buy 3 albino Corydoras,
<It's possible they brought in a disease with them, such as Whitespot or Velvet. This, in turn, can lead to Finrot if not treated. I would medicate for both, and hope for the best. Will make the important reminder to REMOVE CARBON from the filter; oftentimes, when people medicate and their fish fail to improve, it's because they left carbon in the filter! Carbon
removes medication, preventing it from having the desired effect.>
The temperature fluctuating, at night when was cold drop even 5 or more degrees and I have good heater so I don't understand.
<Indeed. How big is the heater? While a 50W heater is fine in a warm room, if the room gets cold at night, the "next size up" would be better, so 75W.
For one thing, a heater that has to work very hard (stays on for longer) is a heater that'll break down more quickly.>
She's progressing a lot her front fins it's almost clear, but tail stays little bloody. Is longer I am on the Gourami subject What can I use with gouramis and Corys, I really don't know what medication could be use with them since they are labyrinth fish.
<Both Corydoras and Gouramis will be fine with all the usual medications. I would tend to avoid copper and formalin with more delicate species, such as loaches, but the aquarium companies will have tested their products against the commoner fish like yours.>
I was searching all over the internet can't find anything. I would Like to treat them with more natural approach. I have Ich attack which is 100 % herbal.
<Unfortunately, these "natural" products don't work reliably. Melafix for example probably does more harm than good because by the time people write to us, their fish have gotten no better, even worse, after a week or two of
treatment using Melafix instead of an antibiotic. So, break out the good stuff! In the US, the old Maracyn 1 and Maracyn 2 combo works well against a range of bacterial infections, while Whitespot and Velvet medications of
all sorts are in the shops. Here in the UK, I use two European products, eSHa 2000 for Finrot and eSHa EXIT for Whitespot and Velvet.>
Can I use that with for Corys and gouramis? And can I use salt with them.
<Yes; the old salt/heat method will work well against Whitespot and to some degree Velvet; do read:
Do understand salt will help against Whitespot and Velvet, but has little/no impact on bacterial Finrot.>
Thank you so much, Sincerely Angelica
<Welcome. Neale.>

THREE SPOT GOURAMI... red fins      4/29/17
Hi I need help with my three spot Gourami , recently I treat her with Seachem Paraguarí and she get more sick after the treatment. She had little ragged fins and sometimes flash against the decoration so I thought she has
some kind of parasite, so I treat her with SeaChem Paraguarí.
<Not a bad choice at all if you're dealing with White spot or Velvet (the usual reasons for 'flashing') and Finrot (the usual reason for raggedy fins). So if used as directed, you should get good results.>
After the treatment its over she still seats in bottom of aquarium facing the back of the aquarium. Only comes out when was feeding time. She develop red fins and tail, but to extreme redness .
<This sounds very like Finrot. Let's recap: Finrot is something that happens after something else has damaged the fish (often fighting or fin-nipping, but can also be environmental, for example exposure to water that is too cold for the species being kept, or non-zero ammonia and nitrite levels, which can bring on Finrot very quickly). Finrot is basically just bacterial that otherwise consume decaying organic matter infecting areas with dead/dying cells, such as wounds. These wounds become congested with blood because of all the bacteria, and what you see is red patches alongside white patches (dead tissue) and decay (raggedy fins).>
She stop eating , I don't know what to do., I change the water very often now so she gets little better but the red fins stays.
<Something is causing this. While Paraguard and other anti-Finrot products usually work very well, they can't stop the problem re-occurring if the conditions aren't right. Review, urgently. Water quality problems are
probably the number-one reason for Finrot; any ammonia or nitrite level that isn't zero is bad, and even "low" levels can cause Finrot if the fish is exposed to them for extended periods (i.e., days or more). The second
most common reason for Finrot is fighting and/or fin-nipping. Three-Spot Gouramis are mildly aggressive, so if you have two or more males, they will sometimes chase one another if they feel cooped up. Other gouramis and even cichlids like Angels will sometimes interact this way too, so review your stock list and look for possible problems there. Next up, fin-nippers.
Serpae Tetras, Tiger Barbs, and Black Widow/Petticoat Tetras are probably the "top three" fin-nippers aquarists buy without understanding this, though a few other tetras and barbs will sometimes be nippy if they're bored or not kept in sufficient numbers.>
Her front fins was flicking fast sometimes and she still flashing against the decorations. she's in separate tank right now I'm doing partial water changes everyday . Please help me, I really don't know what is wrong with
her. you think maybe she was poisoned by the SeaChem Paraguarí, or maybe she's sensitive to this medication?
<Do see above.>
I will really appreciated if somebody contact me its really URGENT
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Question Help! Ongoing SW HH....     4/28/17
Hello Bob!
Thank you for trying. I really appreciate it. I understand you cannot confirm an ID based on the photos
<... why don't you crop the images?>
and any guess would just be speculation.
If I notice any more growth, we'll remove the rock or place it closer to the glass for a clearer picture and hope it leads to an ID.
Maybe because I see it in person, I'm really seeing a "worm-snail." I just read an article in National Geographic about them and thought the thing I'm looking at seems very similar. The biggest tip off is the web I see it frequently dangling from it as the vermetids do. My only pause is the size compared to all the others.
National Geographic Article Referenced:
The National Geographic article refers to a specific species. However, I'm wondering if it's safe to assume this is just another species that grows a bit larger?
<... see prev. corr. NOT a vermetid if growing quickly and not moving>
I took some close ups today of one of my run of the mill vermetid snails, and picked out nearly identical antenna and I think what was a mouth.
<.... can't make out any of this in your poor images>
So my question is, could I be looking at at just another species similar to the vermetid snail? I've enclosed a picture to make sure the word I'm using is correct and not a name given to different species. I still get confused on various classifications. My other question would be, is it normal for a vermetid to get that large, even if it's just one? I'll enclose again a picture with "the thing" and a vermetid for size comparison.
I figure if it walks like a duck... I mean similar body, web shooting out and being reeled in, it stays stationary, although you did say vermetids can move. I shined my light on one today for pictures I didn't notice movement. I have seen them come and go in certain spots but I've never actually seen that tube like structure move.
The National Geographic article referred to that species as setting up in a certain spot for life, which made me think since this one has not moved no matter how many times I used my light to take photos, maybe it's a relative
of vermetids and a "worm-snail" I've yet to match up.
Thank you again, for taking time to look at the various photographs. I understand no ID, I just would like to hear from you if my way of thinking is logical or a little off base.
I've also got a tiny question that should hopefully be an easy one, since I have your attention! If you want me to rewrite it in a separate email just let me know and I'd be happy to if it helps with filing the questions correctly on the website.
I'm having trouble finding information on Green Wolf Eels
aka Carpet Eel Blenny aka Dotty Back Eel, etc. I'm not sure if it's the various names this species goes by or the Eel confusion. Even on your site I've found
questions and some General information but nothing to really go into the raising and care.
<See WWM Re... Congrogadus is covered there>
There's just little things about mine I'd like to look into or read about to understand better. They are the only ones I just haven't been able to find real solid information on. I find it odd since I see them frequently at the fish stores. I'll see a good chunk of info on one website and then it contradicts the next good chunk of info. I struggle to find solid information and some of it as basic as where they are found! If you know of any websites or books or forums I'd really appreciate being pointed in that direction. They are such great fish and so impressive, I can't believe more people aren't studying them and collecting information (if they are, I can't find them!).
Thank you so much again. I always write too much, so I appreciate the patience in going through my emails and the promptness in response!
Take Care,
<And you, Bob Fenner>

full size crop...

REALLY NEED HELP !!!! A joke?      4/28/17
I had got a female goldfish recently around 2 days back from a nearby store but the problem is that she sends to be having eggs but when i tried to hand breed
<? What are you doing?>
she gave only 5 eggs i don't wanted to hurt her so i left her but i an really fed up cause she is almost 3 inch big excluding tail.
<Not producing eggs at this size>
Really need your help guys i want to hand breed
<? What? Goldfish, minnows are egg scatterers... takes two to tango. DO NOT "hand breed"!>
and have an experience of raising baby goldfish but with this problem i am just like pissed up i am sending you a image of the goldfish take s look and please do let me know what's the problem bloating or something like that :-(
<No image attached. Bob Fenner>

Trouble calculating my pond volume      4/27/17
I am trying to figure out the volume of my irregular shaped pond. I got 3 different measurements on it. One for the shallow end (2'Lx5'Wx0.1'D), my second deepest part (5'Lx8'Wx1.6'D), and my deepest part of the pond (3'Lx
6.9'Wx3'D). What is the volume of my pond in USA gallons?
<Mmm; multiply all three measurements... add for cubic feet, multiply this by 7.5 (gal.s/cu ft.), done>
I am having trouble calculating these measurements due to a math disability. Can you help me with this one? Thank you.
<Otherwise, time how long it takes to fill a given volume container (like a five gallon plastic bucket) and measure the time it takes to fill the basin. Bob Fenner>

Website Inquiry. Glossary link; online      4/27/17
<Hi Chris>
I am an avid reader of *wetwebmedia.com <http://wetwebmedia.com,* I found it very helpful!
Recently I've started a related topic project of mine at biologydictionary.net, which aims to provide useful explanations and examples of biology terms to students, teachers and researchers.
If you like my site, I am wondering if it is possible for you to add a link on any page or post, pointing to my site. I truly hope my site can help more people on their biology study and research.
<Will add on the morrow. Thank you for your efforts. Bob Fenner>
In case if you only accept paid link, please let me know, I only have a very small budget on it...
Dr. Chris Chen
Co-Founder & Editor of
Re: Website Inquiry      4/27/17

Hi Bob,
<Hey Chris>
Thanks for getting back to me and glad you like the site! It would be a great pleasure to see biologydictionary.net listed on WetWebMedia. Fingers crossed!
<Will be soon. Bob Fenner>

Re: Elephant Nose and Iron      4/27/17
Exciting news! Our new BGK is home! OMG! What a stunning fish!
<Quite so.>
Every time I walk past the tank and catch a glimpse of her, I have to stop and watch her for a while. Anyway, things seem to be going great! I see her swimming through the plants night and day and she seems healthy,
strong, but awfully skinny. Now, the aquarium store where I bought her had her there for almost 3 weeks while I was cycling the tank (and I know its fully cycled because I tested daily and watched it go from ammonia to
nitrite and then to nitrate. BEFORE I brought her home, I knew from my own testing that the ammonia was 0, nitrite was 0, and nitrate was 5 ppm before I went down to pick her up, but regardless of my own testing, I took a
water sample down with me and had them test to confirm my results. We were all good. But I digress! Anyway, the aquarium store where I bought her demonstrated to me that she was robustly eating bloodworms when I expressed concern for her looking so thin.
<I would be tempted to deworm, using an aquarium dewormer.>
They told me that many fish arrive from the supplier in a very thin condition. But she was with them for 3 weeks eating bloodworms and is still very skinny, but she shows no other outward signs of any problems. Also, since I've had her home, I've found that she LOVES Cyclops and daphnia (frozen) a lot more than bloodworms, Mysis shrimp or catfish from the grocery store (I still include those foods, but she ignores them until she's eaten all the Cyclops and daphnia).
<Do also try newly hatched brine shrimp; these are economical and very nutritious (unlike adult brine shrimp, which are basically popcorn for fish) if a bit of a hassle to rear. Frozen lobster eggs are also worth trying -- some marine aquarium stores sell them, and they're very calorie-dense, making them useful for "fattening up" new fish.>
So now I'm in a quandary. I don't like using chemicals or medicines unless I'm sure they're warranted, so I wanted to ask you if you believe it would be wise to worm this fish now or give her more time (and Cyclops, and daphnia) and see if she starts putting on some weight?
<Assuming she doesn't have worms, patience and numerous (relatively small) meals is the best way to return fish to healthy conditions. One or two big meals is less good than five or size small meals because fish have short digestive tracts, so tend to poop out a lot of the food they've eaten if "overfed". Deworming is a good idea though, such as Prazi Pro, if a fish is eating plenty but failing to put on weight. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Got My First BGK      4/27/17
Sorry, its early, haven't had my coffee! The picture is attached here.
<Indeed! Nice tank, if a bit blurry. Assume in real life it looks less blurry. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Got My First BGK      4/27/17
�� Only gets less blurry *after* I've had my coffee!
Thank you for the advice on the BGK! I have PraziPro here at the house so I'll get that in the tank today! Have a great day!
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Re: Need help for Species Identification... Phaeophyte ID       4/27/17
Oh I did and I identified it as Leptoplyngbya.
<Ahh, A Cyano...? Not. Bob Fenner>

Re: Pomacanthus, HLLE      4/27/17
Thank you very much for your reply. I will read on the link you sent and hopefulily I can get my Annularis back on track
<The sooner you start... the better. I'd move this fish to the main display NOW. Bob Fenner>

Re: Question Help! HH ID, SW       4/27/17
<Li'l Jen>
Per our original email, here is a link to a Google Photos Album of various pictures of "the thing." Google makes animations combining consecutive photos together so you'll be able to see the movement just as I did. I would have thought I was crazy without it!
<... these images are no better, useful than what you sent before unfortunately>
While it seems similar to a vermetid snail, it is so much larger and noticeably active. It is also growing alarmingly fast. Which you should be able to see the growth difference in the album. However, it does NOT move.
<Vermetids are slow growers and move quickly when frightened>

As you'll also be able to tell in the photos. The fish swim in that little area right in front of it and don't seem to notice. We have a Kole Tang, Rusty Angel, Narrow Lined Puffer, File Fish and cleaner shrimp frequently in that area.
An ID would be much appreciated! I do NOT like how fast it's grown and I hate not knowing what it is! Thank you so much for your help. I really appreciate you taking the time to look through the photos.
Take Care,
<And you, Bob Fenner>


Need help for Species Identification        4/26/17
Hi Bob! You've been a great help to me during my coral identification. I wonder if I could ask again for help to identify this marine alga?
My initial identification is Colpomenia sp. but I'm not quite sure.
Thanks a lot!
<Could be... where is this algae from? Do you have any microscope pix? Bob Fenner>

Re: Need help for Species Identification        4/26/17
It's from Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, Philippines
<Could be... does it feel somewhat hard to the touch? Though hollow? BobF>
Re: Need help for Species Identification        4/26/17

Yes it's hard and hollow.
<Ahh; do see/use AlgaeBase per the genus to examine possible species. Bob Fenner>
Re: Need help for Species Identification        4/26/17

I got no microscopic pictures and all I've got is this pressed specimen.
<Can't tell any more from this. B>
Re: Need help for Species Identification        4/26/17

I've looked through it but there was nothing similar to the specimen.
<Ahh; Bob F>


Coral ID        4/26/17
Wondered if you can tell me if this is Montastrea or a hidden cup, aka Phyllangia? It's from the Gulf of Mexico. Thanks
<Does appear to be Phyllangia from the shaped of the corallites, their clustering and extended polyps. Bob Fenner>

Pomacanthus, HLLE        4/26/17
Hello again WetWebMedia,
I really appreciate your site, it has helped me a lot in the past and I hope you guys can help me again with my current problem. I am currently in the possession of a 3 inch Annularis Angel that I purchased at my lfs.
He/She is currently in a 60-70 gallon QT. He/She has been with me for 4 weeks now and some time during the second week he started to develop White spots on his face.
<See this... neuromast destruction... HLLE>
At that time there was activated carbon in the tank to help the cycling.
<Jay Hemdal has recently written that he believes this (carbon use) is a/the principal cause>
The water parameters of the QT are ammonia at 0ppm, nitrite at 0ppm, nitrate at 0ppm, phosphate at .25 ppm and the water temperature is at 28 degrees Celsius. I have been feeding him/her different types of food Ocean Nutrition, Hikari and New Era. It does not recognize any frozen food or nori sheets. Then I left town for 8 days and came back to notice these white spots on this face. Then I noticed the bag of the activated carbon opened and spilled the carbon out in the sump. I immediately removed every thing and did a 20% water change. I am still
doing 20% water change every week. I have no idea what these white spots are if they are the beginning of HLLE, fungal infection or some parasite.
I tried to research on this but I have not seen anything that is similar. I have attached a picture of my Annularis for you to see. Thank you very much for your time.
Jason Bautista
<Please read here and consider the mentioned steps to HLLE reversal:
Bob Fenner>


Betta likely with virally mediated tumor that developed about four months ago.    4/25/17
<Possibly a tumour, in which no real treatment, but...>
Did ok in healthy 10 gallon by himself. Heater, filtered, stable water parameter. Though after about a month with tumor on left side, his "belly" began bloating as well. Also did ok, even with bloat for about a month.
But now he is getting much more bloated, losing some color, having more difficulty maneuvering to feed, and even "missing" food as he tries to strike at surface, as if he's having some vision problems too.
<I'd be trying the old Epsom salt treatment first, ideally alongside an antibiotic, in case this is some combination of constipation and Dropsy. These are quite common among Bettas.>
Last ditch effort it was recommended that the belly swelling could be separate issue caused by too much feeding, now that he's less active these days. Tried reducing food to three Hikari pellets a day for two days.
<See, the thing is that even offering fewer pellets won't fix constipation, because it's the dried, processed food that causes the problem. Much better to use Epsom salt (a mild laxative for fish) alongside something like cooked peas (if he'll take them) or if that fails live/frozen Daphnia or brine shrimp (more readily taken, but less effective than plant food). Do see WWM re: the use of Epsom salt and laxatives, here:
Although this applies to Goldfish, the basic idea holds for any/all aquarium fish. As with humans, there's a strong correlation between inactivity and constipation. Fish that cannot swim much, whether because of lack of space, lack of greens, or some type of inbreeding are especially prone to this problem.>
Then fasted for a day. Then three more days with only two or three pellets.. Someone recommended/ commented that he should be fasted " much" longer.? Please.. How much longer? And could fasting really have any chance of clearing his belly bloating.?
<See above. Fish can go without food for weeks, so starving is not a major problem. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Red Sea Max Leaking!!! Plus clownfish pairing       4/24/17
Must say again how much I appreciate your help, even researching this new product, above and beyond for sure! Since the area inside the wiring compartment of the red sea isn't really in contact with main tank water or fish, I may take a chance and try anyway, (even "AMA", against medical advice).
<Okay... DO provide plenty of air circulation... ALL the fans you can lay hands on easily, OPEN windows (the carrier has a strong smell while curing), ON a warm day!>
Actually I have only a few fish left after a disastrous heater failure about 1 week prior to detecting the leak. The original red sea heater failed; I woke up to see the tank at 70,F. and many dead critters, even the gorgeous 4in. female clown I've had for many years....very sad indeed. Put in two Ebo-Jagers I had lying around to provide redundancy in case of a repeat disaster.
She had a bonded mate, much smaller of course, who survived; they were inseparable and used to spawn frequently. She killed her first mate (typical I know), but these two were happily married, so my anthropomorhic fantasy is that he'll be bereft/lonely and I'd love any advice you might have about this dilemma since I've never seen clowns for sale on-line or at LFS anywhere near his size, about 2-3in., and I don't remember just how clowns mature and change genders. i.e. if I got a much smaller one, would it remain or become a female simply because of his presence?
<As you hint... procure a decidedly smaller one still; and your present male will convert to female>
Or best to find him a new home and get 1-2 smaller clowns to really start over? Many thanks again, Al
<One new male/sexually undifferentiated specimen is what you want. BobF>
Re: Red Sea Max Leaking!!!      4/24/17

OK, good to know!
<Please do send along your further notions, progress. BobF>
Re: Red Sea Max Leaking!!!      4/24/17

I sure will!
Thx again,
<Cheers Al. B>

Re: Time to panic? GLASS/Silastic seam concern       4/24/17
Hi Bob,
<Hey Eddie>
Thank you for your reply. I'm sorry to have panicked before.
<Mmm; well; the sense that a tank may come apart IS a reason to panic for sure>
I had studied the FAQS regarding Silastic seams before and these didn't look like a problem in that regard. My concern was that they were new or at least I hadn't noticed them before. I water tested this tank before making
it into a sump. I even sent you a picture of some bubbles on another corner. But I don't remember seeing these then or when I set it up. Of course, maybe I was so concerned about the other seam I didn't notice these. Anyway, I'm getting ready to put a DSB in the middle section of this sump, so I wanted to make sure it wasn't about to spring a leak or worse. Seeing something "new" scared me. Sorry about that.
<No worries>
I do want to clarify one thing about the previous email . . . This is a glass tank/sump. You linked me to the FAQS for acrylic seams. I didn't specify before that it was glass. I hope that doesn't change your answer.
<Oh; sorry about that... I should make sure I'm fully awake (a rare occurrence) before responding. But, same resp. I would not be concerned with this/these seams>
Thanks again,
<Welcome. BobF>

Bump on Black Ghost Knife Abdomen      4/24/17
Hi WWM Crew,
I purchased a Black Ghost Knife about a 6 weeks ago, and have become quite fond of it. I was feeding him today, and my roommate noticed that he has a strange bump on his abdomen.
<I see this... too far forward to be a "gout/thyroid" issue... perhaps gut blockage of some sort; hopefully not viral/tumorous>
There is also a smaller one on the other side.
One side looks a bit gray-ish though. I've attached a video (00:19 & 00:27 the larger bump, 00:38 the smaller bump) and a couple of photos. All of the water parameters look good, and he's very active. I feed him frozen bloodworms, some Hikari freeze dried bloodworms
<I would hold off or delete the sewer fly larvae (bloodworms); implicated too often in disease. See/search WWM Re. Sub. other meaty foods. See WWM re BGK foods/feeding/nutrition FAQs>
occasionally, and bits of Omega One freeze dried shrimp. Can you tell me what caused this bump and discoloration?
<Not w/o dissecting the specimen>
Could it be the gravel substrate? How can I help it go away?
<Eschew the bloodworm use and try Epsom salt is what I would do. Please read Neale's piece here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>​
​[image: Inline image 1][image: Inline image 3]

Re: Dwarf Gourami dilemma.      4/24/17
Hell again, Neale.
Your reply has greatly increased my hope! I appreciate the advice, my concern is forever first the quality of life that he may have, handicapped or not.
I can't imagine adapting to the way he's swimming, but I don't have the heart to euthanize him, since he doesn't really seem too handicapped by it.
<In which case there's no need to worry. Since this is an injury of some sort, it's not like we need to remove bad genes from the gene pool -- the main reason people euthanise fish that are weakened or deformed in some
way. If the fish adapts, he's like those dogs you see with a missing leg.
Handicapped perhaps, but not suffering, and in the right situation, a perfectly viable pet.>
He's such a spunky little guy! We have what we've dubbed the "Happy flop".. When he sees us, he flops around on the surface with his dorsal fully erect, and seems as happy as a clam.
I can't tell you just how invaluable your site is; almost every possible scenario is encountered, and each one is anecdotal to us all. High praise for the Crew; you've all done a marvelous work here.
<Thanks for the kind words. It's why any of us here volunteer.>
Have a wonderful day! Regards, Kimberly
<And you enjoy your day, too. Neale.>

Turtle Shell Problems       4/23/16
Dear Crew,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
Reading on your site I discovered that my turtles living condition is not ideal so I'll be changing that.
<Oh behalf of your turtle, thank you. SO MANY people don't bother to read the site until they have problems>
But my turtles shell is turning black in the "cracks" and the sides are starting to kind of curl up.. There are no odd places on her shell and she's acting fine. But I'm starting to wonder if something might be wrong.
<Not necessarily, Lakira. The cracks (properly called "margins") do turn darker as the turtle ages. A slight turning up at the edges is also normal as the shell grows. Significant warping of the edges have be a sign of metabolic bone disease (just add more calcium to her diet) or simple obesity (just cut a back on feedings a bit. Nothing sounds bad, but if you have more detailed descriptions I'd be happy to take another margin at it, Oops, I mean CRACK at it! LOL Ok that was a REALLY bad pun ...>

injured yellow belly slider       4/23/16
<Hiya, Darrel here>
I really hope you can help me. I have an 8-9 inch yellow belly slider named Morris. she has outgrown all of the available docks on the market so I followed a couple YouTube videos and made her one, which she refused to go on. I have made so many changes trying to lore her up- warmer lamp, different ladder, etc.
<She's handsome and large>
about a year or 2 ago I purchased the Penn Plax turtle topper basking platform but it was too small to fit on her larger tank. after all of my dock fails, I decided to try using the topper again and made a platform to hold it in place. long story short she refused to go up there and seemed scared, so everyday I would put her up there with treats so she could get used to it. a couple days ago I put her up there and she tried to back out down the ladder and got stuck. I ran over and freed her immediately but I think her leg may have gotten caught. she was fine for a day or 2 but this morning she refused food and was swimming sideways and looked miserable. I took her out and her leg is swollen... she's not using it to walk but also can't pull it into her shell.
what do I do??? �� below are pictures of her leg. thank you!
<Right now, just worry a bit ... and feel bad for her. I can't tell for sure without a physical exam and maybe even an X-ray. The swelling would indicate a sprain, or possibly even a fracture. The good news is that neither of those conditions are life threatening and in either case will heal on their own. I have a female slider that size who came to me after losing both her front legs to a raccoon attack and she swims, basks, thrives and even breeds with the other turtles.>
<So for the moment, I wouldn't worry about Morris's health, but you certainly have a challenge regarding her basking. I'm going to suggest that you think "outside the tank" on her environment. Something like an indoor pond, with a shallow ramped side?>

Re: Dwarf Gourami dilemma.       4/23/16
Hello Neale, Crew:
I appreciate your quick response, Neale. Prompt as ever!
However, my main concern about this poor little Gourami wasn't really addressed, and that is: what's your advice on the herniated swim bladder?
<None; there's nothing practical you can do, unless you're a vet, in which case you'd be more qualified than me to answer. All you can do is wait (and hope) for a return to normal function. Antibiotics as you're using them can
help if there's an infection there, but the swim bladder is not really something that can be otherwise treated. In physoclistous fish it's a sealed bag inside the fish, and empties or fills as determined by its blood supply and the needs of the fish. It's far too delicate to be manipulated by the fishkeeper, and even the slightest force will burst it. On the other hand, there's really nothing much to go wrong with it either, since it's basically a hollow bag. If it's 'overblown' the fish will, slowly, reabsorb that gas, and the bladder can return to its normal size.>
He's been okay in the inverted bowl at the bottom, with air inside and Amazon Frogbit. In fact, he actually looks a lot more calm, and seems to enjoy being there. I know, him being a labyrinth fish, he needs atmospheric oxygen, and the longest time he's been under the bowl so far is 7 hours with no adverse effects. In fact, he's swimming at the top of the tank, trying to get back down as I write this.
Again though, my main concern is the herniated swim bladder.
Just wait and see?
Medicate in case something crops up?
<Only if you perceive a bacterial infection treatable with antibiotics.>
I know he's not suffering, per se; he has no stress stripe, is color is good, he's not clamped, not gasping for air, very responsive to us people.
(Loves the turkey baster, for some reason.)
<Fish can, do adapt to life without a swim bladder. But as I say, there's nothing really you can do about it either way.>
I apologize for being a pest, but there is *literally* zero information on herniated swim bladders in ornamental fish.
Thanks in advance, Warm regards, Kimberly
<Just keep doing what you're doing, Kimberly. Cheers, Neale.>

Please ID this Wrasse       4/23/16
I recently purchased this fish from an online retailer. I believe I received something different than I ordered. Could you please ID this fish for me?
Thank you for your time and effort in this matter.
<Survey says!
Tapio Haaparanta A nicely Photoshopped C. pylei says me buddy Derek Clay.
Tapio Haaparanta Vanuatu variant possibly.
Janine Nealon C. Pylei
Brandon Knapp Hunter Hammond
Bob Fenner Thank you Tap, Jan, Bran... Will relay
<I agree this is a variant of a not-quite yet male C. pylei... NOT C. rubrimarginatus. Bob Fenner>

Re: Please ID this Wrasse       4/23/16
Thank you for your replies. I thought it was a Cirrhilabrus pylei, I ordered a Cirrhilabrus rubrimarginatus. I used my iPad for taking pictures. Other than zooming in, cropping or reducing size and maybe auto adjust, I did not change things. He is really very colorful, especially when directly under my LEDs. I understand he will probably fade that is okay as long as he does not become too aggressive, that is my only concern, Thank you once again. I appreciate your identifying the Cirrhilabrus pylei for me.
<Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>

Red Sea Max Leaking!!!       4/23/16
Hi, Any one have experience with this?
It's a fairly slow, oozing leak from the bottom of the vertical compartment that holds all the wiring at the lower right corner of the 34 gallon tank (130D). I'm hoping to find a way to fix without emptying tank but so far haven't found any caulking/sealing product that doesn't say "surfaces must be clean and dry". Thx in advance! Al Tribe
<IF the leak is coming from a seam, YES to draining, cleaning, drying.... and putting a new Silastic bead in all internal joints. I WOULD check first to make sure the water is not originating elsewhere... splash, spray,
condensation. EVEN if you go to the point of emptying, cleaning, FIRST fill w/ the tank being empty... over newspaper (to detect water) and piece by piece, put the gear back on... JUST to detect the origin of the leak/water.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Red Sea Max Leaking!!!       4/23/16

Dear Bob, Thanks so much for your quick reply, and on a wk-end too!
<Glad to respond Alex>
Your advice makes perfect sense except that I have no way to empty the tank with its critters, rock, etc. It would be a challenge even if I weren't recovering from recent shoulder surgery, having no extra tank available or
close-by LFS who could board everything.
<Mmm; are there other fish friends; perhaps a local club you could contact?
You NEED to borrow another system for your existing livestock>
The leak is only apparent at the bottom of that "wiring compartment", so, in desperation, I think I'll have to try a sealant that can be applied to wet surfaces.
<As far as I'm aware, there is no such thing>
It's not clear if the source is a seam but it definitely does not seem to be splash, spray, etc. I'll keep you posted. Many thanks again! Al
<Wish we lived closer to each other. Bob Fenner>
Re: Red Sea Max Leaking!!!

Wow! What a kind and "downright neighborly" thing to say! I did find something called Lexel which claims to be "instantly waterproof", sticks to almost anything, and sticks to wet surfaces. It's clear and I plan to try it tomorrow. Thx again, Al
<Seems to be a super product, but see here:
Note they don't suggest using on/around aquariums... Toxic. Bob Fenner>

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