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More Recent/Older, Accrued FAQs

My Ritteri Anemone      8/16/19
Hey Bob, I love the Ritteri Anemone. I know you don't promote having one.
<Hey Gary, yeah/nah, as they prove problematical in captive systems too often... Letting go, traveling about... getting stuck in intakes, overflows, stinging/being stung with other Cnidarians...>
That's why I have to keep one.
I think it's beautiful and I love a challenge. I have a MH light 250 watt right above him at 5 inches above the water and he is about 8 inches below the water for six hours a day. The rest is blue actinics and T12's (110 watt fluorescents)for a twelve hour lighting day. Also there are two 250 watt MH lights and he is right under one of them. My MH light is 20,000 K.
What is it that I need to change?
<Sequestering the animal so that it doesn't move easily, acclimating it to the light (much less the first days, weeks), and keeping your eye on it>
Do you think I will have good luck with that setup to keep him a few years? I really appreciate this Bob....Gary
<Please do read my survey piece re the species, here:
Re: My Ritteri Anemone      8/16/19

Does the lighting look okay as far as intensity. And do you think I need to go to 6500k MH bulbs? I like the way the blue shade of the 20k.
<I think the color is okay; the intensity high... much more than the wild I assure you. Do you know Joe Yaiullo? He has a group of ritteris in their big reef system he's had going for years... They are happy under much less light. I'd keep about 100 PAR, PUR... Def. under 200. BobF>
Re: My Ritteri Anemone      8/16/19

Thank you so much for all your help today Bob. If your ever in Albuquerque
give me a shout....take care, Gary.
<Thank you mate. Cheers Gary, B>

Re: Help identifying? Mar. invert.... spg?      8/16/19
Hi Bob,
No luck yet on getting a picture yet. Once the school year starts, I'll ask my colleagues if they have a camera attachment for the microscopes. If not, I'll acquire one. I'll get back to you in a couple of weeks. Thanks for your help and patience.
<Yeah mate. Do see here re my input on (the cheapy) scopes I have/use:

Re: Watanabei/bleeding stomach       8/15/19
Thank you. Didn’t realize that was still too small, I passed over 1 inch specimens for this 2.5 inch.
The lfs I acquired him from brought in two of these. The one I got, and another one, the same size.
That one is still alive. When someone like me sees the one I got dead, who came on same time as the one who is still alive (same size) can the hobbyist attribute that to the one I got had 1 more move and acclimation (mine) and that’s what did/ will do them in?
<Not enough sample size to state anything with certainty>
He offered me the other fish still there at reduced cost, but I am going to pass.
Thanks again, Bobby
<Welcome. BobF>

Marshall Island Wrasse ID help/request      8/15/19
<Oh yeah,
Halichoeres trimaculatus (Quoy & Gaimard 1824), the Three-spot Wrasse.
Indo-Pacific. To eleven inches in length. BobF>
Scott D Cohen
Sea Dwelling Creatures, Inc.

Drilling glass center brace (of a sump)       8/15/19
Good evening Crew!
<Hey Charles>
I'm in the planning stages for my dream aquarium (250-350 gallon display), and I would very much appreciate some advice on my sump plans.
The sump will be located in a fish room in my basement (unfortunately at the other end of the house, but it can't all be easy). I'll be using an old Oceanic 150 gallon aquarium as my sump. This has a hefty glass center brace. Would it be ok for me to drill this center brace and have my overflow lines from the display run into this? 150 gallon tank (sump) details: ~72" L x 18" W x 28" H Center brace - 17 7/8" long. Didn't measure the glass thickness (3/8-1/2"?) Seems quite solid I'm planning to have a total of 3 lines from the display (Bean Animal style overflow), each being 2-inch flexible PVC. So I'd be looking to drill 3 x 3" holes in the center glass brace for the lines, likely all in a row from front to back. Will this compromise the structure of this tank???? If so, could I just put 1 or two of these lines through the brace?
Since the 3rd is strictly an emergency overflow line, it could be placed in a different location. Based on my initial calculations for water in the lines and drain-down from the display, the sump would normally operate about 3/4 full (waterline ~6" from the top of the tank, with a little safety margin).
<Unless you silicon baffles near the center, which would add additional strength, do not drill the center brace, you could compromise the safety of the tank. Even though you intend to fill it only to 3/4, it may not be safe enough, you also have to think that in an eventual blackout, the level would rise and add more pressure, why don't you put the drains on one of the sides?>
Many thanks for your advice on this and throughout your website! -Charles
<You’re Welcome, Charles. Wil.>

A Kati/Ani system, selling?        8/14/19
Hi- I hope you can advise or direct me on how to dispose of a Kati/Ani system. It has been in my basement since the late nineties, in the original shipping cartons. My husband had reef tanks for several years, but took them down. Alas, he held on to a lot of equipment. I'm having a hard time figuring out what to do with this stuff.
I would really appreciate some guidance. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Kate Woodrow Hatboro, PA
<Likely the local (free) CraigsList will find you a ready buyer. I would look about the Net to ascertain what the units are selling for currently, and post it to the CL near you. Bob Fenner>
Re: A Kati/Ani system          8/14/19

Dear Bob,
Thanks so much for your advice and quick response. If I can't find someone willing to take it off my hands, can someone tell me how to get rid of it safely and without harming the environment?
<Yes, but no likely need to "just get rid of it". Do a Google search for "aquarium clubs" in your part of PA... and contact folks there. They will help you>
Once again, I thank you for
taking the time to answer me.
Kate Woodrow
<Cheers Kate. BobF>

Worm ID       8/14/19
Hi WetWeb!
<Hey Orlando!>
I have cultured daphnia for years and have currently run into a worm I have never seen before.
After water changes, I usually see the normal thin, white detritus worm wiggling around the containers.
But a month ago, I started noticing these clumps of red/pink worms at the bottom of my containers. The info I found online was that Tubifex worm is a type of detritus worm, but I failed to ID the worms I have.
If they are Tubifex, how would they manage to get indoors and in my containers?
<Mmm; well, from the looks/clumping and color... these do appear to be Tubificids, at least Oligochaete worms. Could be something like a bug blew in with the beginnings of the culture... most anything wet could. Do you have a microscope there, maybe one w/ a USB connection? I'd like to see these up-close. Bob Fenner>
Thank you Wetweb!


Watanabei/bleeding stomach       8/14/19
Hey bob, crew
<Big B>
Picked up this watanabei, 2 inch specimen two days ago.
<Mmm, really too small for Genicanthus Angels to be collected. Like Goldilocks and the tres Ursids and porridge ave. kinetic energy, there is an ideal range of size for gathering wild stocks... too small and they don't survive trauma, stress of netting, holding, shipping... too large they don't adapt to captivity...>
Had him in quarantine since, and on day 3 developed an odd swimming pattern.
He would swim head up, close proximity to surface. At times he would “pipe” at surface. Didn’t eat last day.
<Damaged likely>
Came home and he was dead about 6 hours later. An apparent wound or lesion in lower belly area, unilateral. Only fish in tank, no sharp rocks or edges other than pvc. Please see photo:
Would swim bladder issue present itself as a bleeding wound? I’m thinking it could be Uronema.
<No time for parasites... Likely as stated. Try a 3-4" specimen in good shape to start>
Thanks, bob
<Bob Fenner>

Snail ID      8/13/19
Wondered if you might be able to ID this snail I just found after introducing a plant to a new tank (not cycled yet).
I don't mind snails, just wanted to get one Nerite once the tank has food for it.
<Ahh, do see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsnailidfaqs.htm re Physa.>
Thanks, Tina
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Scribbled Rabbit Feeding Issue; Ogo to the rescue      8/12/19
Just wanted to let you know the fish is eating the live macro. Hopefully in time it will take to eating nori on the clip. I am still making it available daily but still shows no interest.
<Ah, thank you for this update. BobF>

Help identifying?      8/12/19
I have a one-year-old, 180 gallon, cold, salt water tank. The only organisms in the tank are two baby chain Catsharks, 1 brittle star and 1 sea star. I use the Seneye reef monitoring system and all levels are
good. The other day, I saw the organisms pictured below growing on some the rocks and sand. I make my seawater so nothing hitched a ride there.
I don't even know where to begin to classify these. Are they algae? Some sort of invertebrate? Each is about 1 cm tall. Any ideas to what they are?
<Only a guess or two, based on the pix and the info. provided. My first is that these are sponges... Likely Silicate based... could be other invertebrate life, algae... Do you have a low power microscope? Maybe one w/ a USB connection that you could dissect some, send pix? Bob Fenner>
Thanks so much.
Ross Henderson

Re: Help identifying?      8/12/19
Hi Bob,
<Hey Ross>
We have some new microscopes that might have a USB port but I’ve never actually tried that. I’ll take a look this week and see what I can find.
<Thank you. BobF>

Question regarding redundant filtration      8/12/19
Hello: I have a 180-gallon FOWLR tank that I'm trying to get as clean as possible. I have six fish: two triggers, two tangs, and a Foxface that are each 5-7 in. long, and a Maroon Clown that's about 3 in. long.
My water has been yellow for a long time, and I'm not sure why. Yesterday I changed about 65 gallons of it, and I now have five-yes, five-filters running: a Fluval FX4 canister, two Marineland Magnum Polishing internal canisters, and two Aqua-C Remora Pro protein skimmers (powered by two Mag-3
pumps). I also have a fair amount of live rock.
At first, I was just running the Fluval, then I switched to just the two Remora Pros because I got tired of cleaning the canister-and also I now believe that protein skimmers are a must. But the water remained yellow, so recently I added the internal canisters (both using micron filters) and reinstated the external canister (with its original filter media) as well.
My question is: is all of that filtration overkill to an absurd degree? If so, what should I remove? Thanks, RZ
<Hey Robert, The main problem with canister filters (applies for both, Fluval and Marineland) is that they should be cleaned very frequently, or they will become clogged with organics such as fish waste, uneaten food and many other things that produce DOCs (dissolved organic compounds) which give that yellowish tint to the water. I suggest using a high grade activated carbon to eliminate the yellow from the water. How often do you clean the canisters?... do you have a sump or refugium?, it would be a better option; as far as your protein skimmers, I’d say they are doing most of the work, leave them like that. Cheers. Wil.>

Re: Question regarding redundant filtration      8/13/19
Attached is a photo of my tank.
Thanks, Wil.
<Welcome, Robert>
I clearly haven’t been cleaning the Fluval canister often enough, although I can't say how often because I did it erratically. A LFS said I should do so about once per month.
<I’d say twice a month would be ideal>
I really hate cleaning it--tons of work,<Oh yes, it is annoying> including having to remove the exhaust hose and rinse it thoroughly, because otherwise it spews tons of waste when I reconnect/restart the canister. I just bought the Marineland canisters a few days ago. Right now the water still looks yellow, though otherwise very clean. OK, I'll add charcoal.
In principle, should the two Remora Pros be sufficient, given that I have a lot of live rock (I guess that would be the Berlin method)? They generally work well, although they frequently either don't produce any foam or way too much (sometimes, an almost legendary amount). Also, they're really noisy and ugly (and my tank is in my living room).
Yes, I've been thinking about starting a sump and getting rid of all of this redundant equipment. Any recommendations?
<Good idea. Any sump that fits in your tank cabinet will be fine, try to get at least a three-compartment sump so that you can accommodate in it:
1. Protein skimmer
2. DSB (deep sand bed)
3. Return pump>
What would be the best skimmer for my tank, were it to go in that sump? Something low-maintenance (at least in terms of adjustment) and long-lasting would be nice.
<There are many brands and models that produce very nice, reliable and easy to operate units, do a google search to see which type of skimmer will be the best for you.>
FYI, my two skimmers are probably about six or seven years old, and the Fluval canister about three years old, so it's not like they're recent investments.
<I really like Aqua-C line of skimmers but if you don’t want them anymore for the reasons you stated, try another brand.>
I suppose the Marineland canisters could still serve some purpose down the line--or maybe I should just return them while I can?
<If you can still return them or change for other equipment, great . >
Thanks, Robert
<You’re most welcome. Wil.>

Identifying a possible plague     8/11/19
Hi Bob,
How are you? I hope you are doing great. Can you help me to identify something?
The picture is from a User that doesn't speak English.
Thank you very much.
Best Regards, Raul
<Hey Raul. These oblong pellets look to be fecal material... could be gastropod eggs. I'd vacuum out.
Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Identifying a possible plague     8/11/19
Thank you Bob,
Do you think snails can damage zoanthids?
<Oh yes; some snail species predate Zoas>
Because that is what my friend is looking to solve. His zoanthids are disappearing.
2 questions:1. If we want our logo (triton) in the top of your web page what are the options?
<Oh, easy to answer. All sponsors on WWM receive equal random showing at the top, banner and bottom spaces for their linked logo pix. The cost is $300 per month for universal placement; which because Triton makes, sells products for all types of systems would be best: http://wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/wwmsponsors.htm>
2. Can you also identify the attached things in the rock in the attached picture?
<Yes; pretty confident that these are gastropod (snail) eggs. Bob Fenner>
Thank you.
Best Regards,
Raul Labastida
Triton Distribución Latinoamérica

Re: Identifying a possible plague     8/11/19
Thank you Bob
Raul Labastida
Triton Distribución Latinoamérica
<Glad to help Raul. Cheers, BobF>

Hi; in search of missing pond plumbing     8/11/19
We have a pond with a rock waterfall. Apparently, while we were away, Some kids took the hose from out waterfall and now I am having a hell of a time finding the passageway for the hose through the rock waterfall. Any suggestions? I cannot find where it goes through the lining into the rock waterfall.
Thanks so much!!!!!
Best Regards,
John McIntosh
<I'd get a piece/length of white/schedule 40 PVC pipe, and use this to poke about under the rock berm and water fall... somewhere twixt the rock and water there is a gap or through put to accommodate the discharge line. Push about, maybe have someone help, hold a flashlight, and you'll likely find it. Oh, do wear old tennis shoes while walking in a (liner only) pond... to prevent slipping as well as tearing the liner. Bob Fenner>
Re: Hi      8/11/19

Thank you, I will give it a try!
Best Regards,
<Cheers John. Oh... have done this a few times myself! BobF>

Re: Thank you for agreeing to speak to the Sacramento Aquarium Society      8/10/19
Hi Bob,
Not wanting to be a pest, but I want to make sure everything we publish for your visit has your approval. Here's how I plan to promote your talk to the SAS. Remember, this is just an exact title and a very brief summary of what you'll be addressing. It's not supposed to itemize all points from your talk. If I'm using any vocabulary incorrectly, please make edits here and send it back to me as you'd like it to appear. If it's fine as is, just say so.
<Looks great Eric.
Oh, does the club want to purchase the air tix, or shall I look into (SWA likely)?
Is there a contact person whose cell I might have re pick up or...?
Cheers, BobF>
The Sacramento Aquarium Society is excited to host Robert (Bob) Fenner, who will give a presentation entitled, "Coral Compatibility: Reducing Captive Negative Interactions Between Cnidarians," discussing the problems that can occur between different corals when building a reef aquarium, the causes of
those problems, and how you can reduce them to create a beautiful healthy reef tank. This is our first saltwater talk in years, and it's going to be a good one. Don't miss it!
About the speaker:

The diversity of life has always fascinated Bob Fenner. More than any other animal group, he was blown away by the expansiveness and mystery of fishes and aquatic life. Bob was born in Rhode Island, but grew up in the Orient as his father was career military. There were very few jobs "on base" for
the "dependents" but Bob was fortunate to secure employment at a fish store that was associated with a restaurant in downtown Sasebo. Other vainglorious work overseas included two years working for a Betta culture business, and collecting/processing marines in Manila. Back to the U.S. in the late sixties, Bob was a retail clerk and a livestock wholesale worker (for Pratt's in San Diego), then eventually formed his own aquarium service business with a school friend. It grew into an employee-owned corporation with aquaristic retail outlets, fabrication (principally large acrylic systems), water feature construction, manufacturing and distribution divisions. Later, Bob also worked as a consultant and buyer for PetCo, during their bid to upgrade stores by incorporating livestock.
Bob has been an avid hobbyist since his first memories: Active in the local SDTFS from the sixties; helped in development of all three goldfish/koi clubs in San Diego. He sees no difference between what he does for money and for a living. He writes articles and books for the diving/underwater natural history and ornamental aquatics interests, and manages rentals and securities. A/The central thread to everything Bob does in writing, presentation or action in the interest has been/is "to enhance people's
love of their own lives through an appreciation of the living world".
Looking forward, Bob sees the hobby/business evolving, with a real interest in biotopes, the underlying science, understanding the technologies employed.
Cheers, Eric

Re: Sexes guppies        8/9/19
I wood like to send a few more pics if that's ok to help me with there sexes
<Kosha; howsit? What shape is the anal fin here? Fan or tube? BobF>

Re Thank you. Possible prolapsed colon on baby porc puffer        8/9/19
Waste/jelly thing passed with him really wiggling against the glass for about 5 minutes. He was able to pass what looked like a hard ball of poo which was attached to now what appears to be mucus. This could be IP
related or some other reason his internal organs are making mucus. But luckily it's over. He still bottom sits and I'm going to wc and begin treatment w a rid ick product which has safer on my puffers. I'll continue to feed the anti ip med on his krill.
I stopped the kanamycin for now to let him deal w that blockage but if his bacteria infection is not fully healed should I start up again with the kanamycin until it is?
Meds I'd be using in overlap in treatment would be Kanamycin for the bacterial infection, the Metroplex on food but not dosing in tank and Kordon rid ick plus which is a formalin type product w Methylene blue.
Do you see any contradictions with these? Thank you again.
<Mmm; no; but do take care w/ the formalin... a biocide; very toxic. Best to use in a dip/bath fashion; NOT added to the system water itself. Bob Fenner>
Re: Thank you. Possible prolapsed colon on baby porc puffer        8/9/19

Ok ty. Can you advise how long to do a bath for him? The rid ick doesn't kill it on the fish but kills it in tank and in larval stage on live rock..
<Please search on WWM for formalin, baths and Cryptocaryon. B>

Pike cichlid ID/question        8/9/19
Greetings, WWM fishy folks …
<Hello Linda,>
I have a bonded pair of pike cichlids I got as juveniles (about the size of an average index finger when purchased) from a local big box store — they were unhelpfully labeled ‘pike cichlids’ and of course the staff had no idea what species they were or proper care instructions for them.
<My first introduction to Pike Cichlids was much the same.>
I raised them among other SA cichlids at around neutral pH, and they are now between 20-25 cm long (the one I believe is the male is larger) with the approximate girth of a hefty banana. Internet resources have had a lot of conflicting information, and I haven’t been able to determine whether I have C. strigata or C. sp. “Venezuela.”
<I do not think these are the true Crenicichla strigata, which probably aren't imported much, if at all. But do agree we're looking at the Crenicichla lugubris group of species, which includes both C. strigata and C sp. 'Venezuela'. I suspect that given the hazy understanding that scientists have of this species group, and the hopelessly muddled (and misidentified) photos in the aquarium press, pinning down the precise species would be difficult. Indeed, if these were tank-bred species we might even be dealing with hybrids.>
The male in the photo has his ‘threat dress’ on, which he adopts whenever he’s trying to warn me away from taking photos; the lateral stripe is usually absent similar to the female.
<Yes, and the rosy belly on the female is indicative, too.>
Have you any idea from the photos what they might be?
<See above; Crenicichla lugubris group, but precise species hard to say. But if I was pushed, I'd probably go with the C sp. 'Venezuela' sold as Crenicichla strigata over the years, but probably not that species as such. Crenicichla lugubris itself is another option, but the lack of red would seem to indicate against that.>
The pair currently reside in a 180 gallon tank with a silver Arowana and a young giant gourami who, as you might observe, is an avid photobomber. There used to be an adult short-bodied marbled bichir in there as well, but the pikes began harassing her as they seemed to want to claim the entire tank bottom as their own — at least the parts with hides — so I moved the bichir.
<The smaller Bichirs are rather too gentle to keep with potentially aggressive cichlids; indeed, have seen such Bichirs stripped of their fins when kept with "peaceful for Mbuna" Yellow Lab cichlids.>
Recently, however, the pikes have shown what I believe is nesting behavior.
<Oh dear!>
They’ve been digging out hollows under logs and spending much of their time there, and over the past few days the larger of the pair has been harassing the gourami and even the 18” Arowana when they comes near their burrow. So far there hasn’t been any damage inflicted (except when the Aro got startled and jumped into the center brace, knocking off a few scales), but I worry that if they do start spawning they might cause major havoc in the tank, particularly with the Arowana being naturally prone to jumping.
<A correct analysis. Breeding Pikes is not something to be undertaken lightly. They produce large broods of eggs, potentially thousands of them, and the market for juvenile Pike Cichlids is tiny, at best. So it's arguably not even worth doing. But yes, once defending their eggs, the Pikes will attempt to destroy anything that gets too close. Your problem with moving the Pikes to a smaller tank is if they're stressed enough to de-pair, there's a risk of them becoming aggressive towards each other.>
Would a 75 gallon aquarium be large enough to isolate them long enough to finish spawning provided they get frequent water changes?
Thanks in advance for any assistance you can offer!
Linda A
<Good luck with these fabulous and evidently very healthy fish! Neale.>

Re: Thank you for agreeing to speak to the Sacramento Aquarium       8/8/19
Hi Bob,
<Ave Eric!>
Okay this is great. I'll put together an event on Facebook to promote your visit.
Cheers, Eric
<Ah, good. BobF>

Re: Coral And Marbled Catsharks      8/8/19
Hey another update.
<Hey Kasey>
My sharks are still doing well, both grew about 1" since the last time we spoke.
I'm now wondering about how they would be with more fish around them. I will be avoiding wrasse, angels, and puffers (or basically any other carnivore), but I wanted to add some tangs. That rock I added must've leached phosphate and lead to a nasty algae outbreak.
<Was the rock fully cured?>
Phosphate levels rose to .25 ppm, nitrates are ~15ppm. I wanted to add a kole and Tomini tang to combat the algae along with upgrading my sump to 75 gallons. Also adding a refugium, carbon reactor, and a ton of Purigen.
<These will work, ... will your refugium have a DSB to deal with Nitrates?, Chaeto algae would also help to keep phosphates in check.>
Do you know if tangs (or any other fish besides the ones I mentioned) aren't compatible with sharks)?
<You can add the tangs and possibly a few others like: Grunts, Goat fishes, Basses...there are many species that you may mix with sharks; avoid poisonous fishes at all costs, and those that may nip your sharks’ eyes and fins.>
Once again thank you for your time and advice.
<You’re welcome. Wil.>
Re: Coral And Marbled Catsharks      8/8/19

Apparently that rock was not fully cured. I let it cure for 6 weeks, which is about half of what it should've.
<Mmm... could have been the cause of the rise in Nitrates and Phosphates>
I also am on the fence about DSB refugium, I've read the sand can get dirty quick. I was under the
impression that Chaeto would reduce nitrates and phosphates.
<It gets dirty if you don't prefilter the water before the DSB, still you should siphon debris from the top layer frequently. Chaeto reduces both PO4 and NO3 but with a DSB you increase the biological capacity of your filter, not to mention the beneficial micro fauna that grows there. Wil.>

Pls help. Possible prolapsed colon on baby porc puffer      8/8/19
I do rescue. And my first love are puffer fish. A baby came in about a week ago. He had flukes and I treated his hospital tank w PraziPro. The flukes disappeared and a small bacterial infection arrived on his back where the flukes had been. I used Kanamycin to resolve that.
All has been going well he eats well and is active but today he had a large jelly type mass hanging from his bottom.
<Yikes; see this in your pic>
It was quite long and I was able to touch the end of it and hold it. One piece broke off and it does not feel or look like waste. I was concerned it could be internal but there is no redness or swelling around the bottom. He still eats and swims to get his food. I'm hoping it could be parasites exiting but I'm still very concerned it could be prolapse. It is not pink but clear or almost tan colored. It is a variety of shapes. He is bottom sitting and breathing a bit hard but still eats.
In the week he's been here he's been alone in a hospital tank eats well but as I clean his tank I dont see alot of waste. My larger puffers expel solid waste that I vacuum up but I haven't seen much with this little puffer. He is about the length of your index finger. Any guidance on how to help appreciated. My reef shop owners I know have not seen anything like this.
Here is a short video..
<Mmm; just the still, which is fine>
I'm feeding a krill w Metroplex to assist if this is internal parasite related and also with some new life spectrum probiotic pellets and garlic oil.
<I do hope/trust that this is either some sort of distended waste or part of the G.I. that will waste and decompose outside the animal, or be returned. I would continue on the treatment regimen you list.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Electric Blue Acara       8/7/19
Update. He's still alive and active but won't eat. I've had him in fresh clear water since we last talked.
He still isn't eating, even live fry. He popped once and it looked normal. Pooped yesterday and I found a little normal and then a lot of the attached pic (stringy white).
I would say parasites but I've heard constipation and also not eating can cause white stringy poop.
Any suggestions?
<Hello Michelle. The white, stringy spiral faeces is mucous, and indicates that the guts are irritated and expelling (at trying to, anyway) whatever is irritating them. It's quite commonly seen in two situations: Hexamita infections and during treatment for intestinal worms. Constipation, for obvious reasons, has the reverse effect: absence of faeces and general bloating of the fish as the intestine becomes stuffed with waste matter. Constipated fish usually still eat readily, which is why the main treatment is increasing the amount of fibre in their diet, ideally cooked peas, but failing that, small algae-eating crustaceans such as Daphnia and Brine shrimp. Epsom salt is often used alongside the change in diet. Dried foods are not used at all, because they can cause constipation in some fish, and it tends to be that dried foods are fine with small predatory fish (such as tetras) but more of a problem with omnivorous or herbivorous fish that would naturally consume a lot of roughage (generalist cichlids and goldfish are the classic examples). Anyway, I don't think that's the issue here.
Copious faeces is the precise opposite of constipation, and I think you're either dealing with Hexamita (common in farmed cichlids generally) or else intestinal worms. No reason you can't treat for both simultaneously. By the way, don't expect your cichlid to eat much if he's sick: they often don't, and won't get their appetite back until they're getting healthier again.
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Electric Blue Acara       8/7/19
What would you recommend? I have general cure in the tank right now.
<I'd be treating as per Hexamita; i.e., Metronidazole plus a suitable antibiotic, Nitrofurans most often recommended in this combination. Outside of the US, or anywhere antibiotics are only accessible through a vet, you may need to use a one bottle Hexamita treatment, such as eSHa HEXAMITA, though these are likely less effective than Metronidazole. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Scribbled Rabbit Feeding Issue, Ono Ogo Let's go!       8/6/19
Is red Gracilaria a good choice for feeder algae?
<In general, yes>
Right now I am feeding the fish 4 times a day to compensate for its lack of algae eating. Hoping
some live macro will do the trick.
<Might well. BobF>

Re: Thank you for agreeing to speak to the Sacramento Aquarium Society      8/6/19
Hi Bob,
Okay, so I looked at this web page. From what I read, it seems like you'd cover a general concept like, "if you want to put corals together to build a tank, you have to know that these corals don't get along with those corals. And here is how you put them together so they don't create problems. is that a fair summary? (not for our website, but for me so I can imagine what we're talking about).
<Ah, the gist of it; along w/ some substantive examples of mechanisms (chemical, physical, behavioral), and practical insight as to how to avoid undesirable negative interactions>
If you gave this talk, I'm trying to gauge how long it would be. Our meeting structure allows a presentation of about 45min-1 hr long.
Would your presentation fit that time?
<Ah yes; have given this talk a few times; once at MACNA.>
If so, let's go with it. If not, please give me some guidance. Keep in mind that what I'm thinking of is a good talk for people who are either just starting a frag tank or who want to start one.... or for people with some personal experience but perhaps not a lot of technical knowledge.
Does that sound about right?
<Indeed. Most of my talks are gauged (produced, cloze tested) to appeal to a wide interest, ability and experience group... I've spoken at MARs a few times the last decades>
Cheers, Eric
<And you, BobF>

Scribbled Rabbit Feeding Issue      8/5/19
I have had a Doliatus Rabbitfish for a month. It's a smaller guy, around 2 inches.
<Too small to be collected...>
When I first got it, it would devour algae off the clip. For the last week it hasn't touched it. It is still eating LRS reef frenzy without any issues. Any ideas on how to get this fish grazing again?
<Time, patience, hope. B>

Re: Thank you for agreeing to speak to the Sacramento Aquarium      8/5/19
Hi Bob,
As for lecture topic, you and I have discussed previously a talk about hobbyists putting together a community tank of coral frags and you (I think) have a talk on compatibility (and incompatibility) and how some species do things to inhibit other species from growing. Is that a fair description of that talk of yours? I'm not a SW person myself, so I may be using the lingo improperly.
That is the talk we'd like you to give. I looked up the subject on your website. It's an interesting subject. So what we need from you is exact title and not just subject/theme description.
<Mmm; do see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/CorlCompArt.htm
This is a copy of this talk cell to cell. You might want to lift the first couple of paragraphs as an explanation of the topic. BobF>

Re: Coralline Algae, Cyano, or ???     8/4/19
Ugh. Terrific article. Thanks Bob!
<Cheers John! BGA is defeat-able, avoidable... Like steering a large ship w/ a small rudder; takes a while, but... slow and steady is the route to go. BobF>

Curacao Soft Coral ID     8/4/19
<Hey Joe>
I sent Bob an image earlier of a soft coral found in Curacao that has escaped my ability to identify. He requested I send the image here so I have attached both a daylight and blue spectrum photo. Cheers!
<The Zoanthid at top? Protopalythoa grandis - Giant Sun Polyp, Sun Zoanthid... Cheers BobF>
<Oh, and per your ID on Facebook: Isaurus tuberculatus, another Zoanthid for the organism below>
Joe Oliver

Re: eye “thread”     8/3/19
Thanks for getting back to me. So I should attempt to remove the thread from the eye, like is normally done per anchor worm?
<I would not.>
That freaks me out a little, tweezing something from the eye.
Can you direct me to any reading on technique? .......
<I would use medications as per Anchor Worm; removal creates wounds that need sterilising (e.g., with iodine) which isn't practical here.>
Also, the sheatfish do not bother anyone who is too big to eat--they have been in there for two years. The euthanized praecox was sizable at about 5 years old.
<Perhaps. But even if the catfish didn't kill the Rainbow, it's activity at night could have been enough to startle said Rainbowfish into a startled escape response -- and from this the damage to the eye. As a I say, pop-eye on one side tends to be physical damage (both eyes tends to be environment) so assess and act accordingly.>
My error was indeed putting the female killie in the tank, thinking she was large enough. She was about 2". The male is over 3" and I chose this species because of its larger size, with the male reaching 4-5 inches. And interestingly, I have albino Ancistrus that have spawned, and I returned 10 one-inch fry to the display tank (after selling 128 to my LFS), and none were predated, now all over two inches. The sheatfish eat exclusively off the substrate, which I found odd, so I was concerned for the small Ancistrus. But there was no problem. These observations led to my error in assuming the 2" killie would be safe. I was wrong.
PS. While the sheatfish were sold to me as Kryptopterus cryptopterus, they most certainly are not that species; they have a pronounced nuchal concavity. My best estimate is that they are K. parvanalis. Many thanks for this public service that you provide.
<Interesting. Ompok app are quite commonly seen in the trade, so do look at these too. Indeed, so many Kryptopterus and Ompok species out there, and the two genera being difficult to separate, that I'd tend to be very open minded about any name offered by retailers. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: eye “thread”

Got it. Many thanks.
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Best Antibiotic for Fin Rot in Hard Water?     8/3/19
Dear Crew at WetWebMedia,
A few days ago one of my silver dollars got a chunk of his dorsal fin bitten or torn off, and shortly after the fin tissue started turning grey and eroding, leaving behind the bony rays, and the scales at the fin base might have peeled off as well. As such I suspect it might be fin rot.
<Sounds likely.>
I’m not sure why it got infected as ammonia and nitrite are zero and I am doing 50% water changes weekly, and the other silver dollars are completely normal.
<Sometimes just back luck or bad genes.>
But it clearly seems to be, so what would be the best antibiotic to use?
<My medication of choice for clean Finrot is eSHa 2000, which works fine in hard water.>
I don’t want to use nitrofurazone because in the past it made my fish refuse to eat and I have heard tetracycline does not work well in hard water.
<If you must use an antibiotic, then choose one advertised as safe in both freshwater and marine aquaria, such as KanaPlex. If something works in saltwater, it'll be fine in hard freshwater.>
Thank you,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Coralline Algae, Cyano, or ???     8/3/19
Hi Bob -
I am stumped trying to figure out exactly what's growing on my glass and rocks in my 265 gallon FOWLR tank. I've attached a few pictures. It doesn't come off very easily at all. Frankly, to get it off the glass you have to use a scraper with some force, then to get it off the rocks, good luck as a tooth brush will very slightly thin it out, but if I really wanted it off, more likely it would take a steel brush with some force to get it off the rocks. Further, when I scrap it with force off the glass it comes off as a dust, not in sheets.
Thus, based upon this hard consistency my gut tells me it's Coralline Algae, yet I am used to Coralline algae being pink or light purple, not red in color. It's a dark, burgundy red, similar in color to cyanobacteria, but I definitely can't siphon it out like you can with cyanobacteria. Should I be concerned?
Thank you,
<Hey John. Coralline (encrusting Reds, Rhodophytes) are very different to the touch than Blue Green "algae"/Cyano... The latter are slimy; and of many different colors. Reds are not slimy, but hard, crusty... From your description and photos this appears to be BGA...
Yes to being concerned... conditions that allow, encourage BGA are deleterious to most all other life forms as are some of the metabolites of Cyanobacteria.
Please read here re the several approaches to control: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm
and the linked BGA Control FAQs above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Cory Catfish with stubborn fin rot.     8/2/19
Hi Neale,
A lot has happened since I received your answer, which is why you have not heard from me in so long. I very much appreciate your reply!
<Most welcome.>
I am afraid that "Stubby" is slightly worse.
I have moved my albino aeneus (+ 5 fry) and trilineatus to a new 40 gallon (total 9 adults). I then moved the sterbai (and 3 harlequin rasboras, fry I found when rehoming the adults a few months ago) out of the hospital tank and into the old albino tank, where the former occupants prospered and spawned. Temp is 78-80F. I broke down the old sterbai tank. At one point I was planning to put all the catfish in the 40 (albino, trilineatus, and the sterbai) but because of temperature differences I guess I should keep
them separate? The sterbai don't seem very active although they do eat fine, and I believe I have 2 ladies because they are getting chubby. They are not too lively though, and I feel they must be bored with only the 5 of them. I'm afraid to get more because I don't want this problem, whatever it is, to spread to any new fish. If I put the sterbai in the 40, would they benefit from having a bunch of buddies, despite the temperature difference?
I keep the 40 gallon at 76F. During the summer though, it can get up to 78F.
<Do add an airstone, and be sure the water level is low enough they can easily swim to the surface to gulp air; generally, Corydoras shouldn't be kept in depths greater than 30 cm/12 inches, and ideally less.>
I am still keeping them partially covered but have stopped changing water every day thinking that maybe it's stressing them out more.
<Possibly, but weekly water changes should be maintained.>
I did 2 days of Furan-2, but had to stop treatment because one of the fish stopped eating and was hiding. I did water changes, ran carbon, and he's fine now. I guess the medication was too strong.
<Possibly, but antibiotics shouldn't really affect fish in any harmful way.>
I now change the water every 5 days, although they've only been in their new tank about 10 days. Plus, we had a 4 day power outage last week, so they ran on a single sponge and water changes every other day. I can't win with these fish! I have sent two new photos, the best I could get...Stubby is slightly worse. I think Chuck must be better because I can't figure out which one he is now.
Their new tank has a Tidal 35 hob and 1 large sponge filter. The hob is pretty gentle, and the albinos and 3lines never had a problem with it. I have the 3 rasboras, but they love to peck at each other and never bother the catfish. They've been moved around a few times and have lived with the albinos before the sterbai and were never a problem, not even the 9 adults I used to have. I know the rasboras need buddies or rehoming. I think I'll probably try to find them a new home.
It is very weird :/ I always make sure everybody has their barbels and that they're long and pointy.
There is no whisker damage on any of the sterbai. I can't think of anything else I can do except to put them in the 40 with more friends, or get more sterbai and put them in the 20.
I thank you very much for your help and patience! I'm so in love with these catfish, I want them to have the best lives I can give them. I have included 2 new photos of Stubby. I apologize for the bad quality of the latest pic, I am keeping them with low lighting for now.
<Hard to tell the colours of the fish because of the low light, but do see the fin damage. I'm wondering about Red Blotch disease, a bacterial disease that can plague Corydoras, particularly newly imported (i.e., stressed) ones. Tetracycline or Minocycline are usually used to treat this, with varying degrees of success. Nonetheless, provided the fin damage on 'Stubby' is clear, without evidence of decomposing tissue (off-white) or congested blood vessels (orange or pink) then I'd not worry too much about his fins. Clean fin damage should heal, given time. Cheers, Neale.>

eye “thread”     8/2/19
<Hello William,>
I have a male blue gularis killifish. He was in quarantine for a month with no problems. I moved him to the display tank about a week ago. I now notice what seems to be a single, small, white mucus-like filament coming from the exact center of each eyeball.
The filaments are less than the thickness of a human hair and about 1-2 mm long. I tried to take pictures, but none captured it. My first thought was Anchorworm, but nothing of what i have read says they can embed in the eye.
<Indeed, but there are other crustacean parasites that certainly can. Diplostomum (a fluke/worm rather than crustacean) is another eye parasite, though internal, so results in a cloudy eye.>
I also thought of a Columnaris thread, but it does not look like any Columnaris i have ever seen. The killie is otherwise happy and healthy, feeding and playing (even though his female companion was predated by a 7” blue sheatfish in the first hour she was in the tank!!)
<Why is there are large, predatory catfish in the aquarium with these small Killies?>
Two days ago i euthanized a praecox rainbow who has been sick for a couple of weeks, hiding, labored breathing, and had unilateral PopEye that was dark and cloudy.
<Pop-eye to a single eye usually indicates physical damage. If there's a predatory catfish in there, or at least one trying to be predatory, that could easily have alarmed the Rainbowfish, who then swam into a rock or something else and so damaged its eye.>
Tank has been running for about 7 years, with several inhabitants still alive from the beginning. 400gal total volume (inc sumps), stable ph 7.7, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate ~30. 70 gal water change each week.
If you have any thoughts, let me know. Thanks for the great information.
<The threads on the eye sound most like an Anchor Worm-type parasite, i.e., an external crustacean, and my immediate suggestion would be to treat as per Anchor Worm. Diplostomum (or "Eye fluke") is unlikely to cause a thread to emerge from the lens, but is worth considering. Similarly, fungal (as opposed to bacterial) infections can produce threads, but you'd expect to see them across the fish rather than just one specific place on each eye. Cheers, Neale.>

Sexes guppies      7/31/19
I have a female guppy who looks like it for be a male chafing my one male I know is make almost to rough all the time how can make sure of what sex the bigger guppy is can to help me? The big ones is what I don't know.
Tracy Nilson
<The shape of the anal fin is definitive in Guppies... Males have tubular gonopodia (for gamete transmission), while females have fan shaped anal fins. Your pix show two males and one female (the one w/ fecal material attached). Bob Fenner>

RE: Electric Blue Acara        7/30/19
Neale!!! Was able to catch video footage!!! Here's what we're dealing with.
<The things on the glass? White wiggly things? Could be harmless nematodes, or could be parasitic ones that have been evacuated from the host fish by anti-helminthic drugs. Hard to say. The former is, to be honest, more likely, since these worms do exist in varying numbers in many tanks. Still, a reliable anti-helminthic should kill them off (though sometimes multiple courses are required). Cheers, Neale.>
RE: Electric Blue Acara        7/30/19

Neale!!! Great news. While I was doing a water change, I observed the little white strands I mentioned in the tank and they for sure are worms of some sort. I found one still wiggling. Now that I have been able to identify that, what would you recommend? This is a pretty amazing revelation if you ask me. At least now we know what we’re dealing with.
<Or at least part of the problem. Intestinal worms are very common in farmed fish, and likely harmless in small numbers where the fish's own immune system keeps them in check. Put another way, this could be a secondary problem separate to what actually ails your fish, so keep an open mind. Cheers, Neale.>
RE: Electric Blue Acara        7/30/19
I’m sorry, I didn’t see your reply.
They also have a head on one side of the worm and when I looked it up it looks like flukes. Best med to kill flukes in you mind??? I’m sorry for the bother, but I have the fish in the salt bath container until I know what to add to the quarantine tank.
On hand I have Lifeguard,
<This should treat skin flukes, Platyhelminthes.>
<This for treating intestinal worms, Annelida and Nematoda, if you believe your fish is suffering from a worm infection.>
Kanaplex, EM Erythromycin, Tetracycline
<Antibiotics, for bacterial infections.>
and Ich X.
<Treats Whitespot and Velvet.>
All left over from that one sick fish and that one dose needed that leaves you with 15 more does. Lol.
<Lol, indeed. Be sure to choose the right medication for the pathogen you're dealing with. Over-medication can cause harm, and inappropriate medication wastes time that allows the fish to become sicker. Cheers, Neale.>
RE: Electric Blue Acara        7/30/19

The worm in the background on the black part of the tank is what I was referring to. And yes, the little flea like things hop from the bottom to the sides.
Correction, on gill flukes, I checked the tab I have open and they look identical to anchor worms.
<Anchor Worms require specific anti-Anchor Worm medications, such as Waterlife Parazin. Despite the name, these are crustaceans, not worms, and any medications that kill Anchor Worms will kill shrimps, crabs, etc., too. So be careful when using such medications. Cheers, Neale.>
RE: Electric Blue Acara        7/30/19

There are also little white flea like creatures in the aquarium that I cannot see without the sunlight behind the tank. Since he isn’t eating how can I treat these intestinal worms? I separated them into two different clear vases and tried PraziPro in one vase and lifeguard in the other and neither medication seems to be killing them. Any suggestions?
<If the little white flea things are stuck to the glass, they're likely harmless crustaceans. Commonly seen in many tanks, particular older or somewhat neglected ones. Cheers, Neale.>
RE: Electric Blue Acara        7/30/19

They are free swimming, not on the glass.
<Could be anything, really! If long and thin, with no obvious legs, then would seem to be worms of some kind. Whether harmful or not, hard to say -- so treating with anti-helminth drugs worthwhile. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Anchor worms in a freshwater aquarium        7/30/19
Wow! Thank you so much for the prompt response Neale, that was amazing to wake up to and so reassuring when going through stressful situations like this...
<Most amazing.>
What wasn't so amazing was finding another adult on one of my male guppies (I hope I am not going crazy and seeing things). I caught the fish and tried to pull it off, but all I got was the tip...much harder to pull off, so I think this anchor worm must had still been alive.
<Agreed, and when they're alive, if you pull at them, they're more likely to "dig in" and thereby cause wounds. So approach with caution. Guppies can handle seawater for long periods (wild ones, indefinitely) so a seawater bath for 5-10 minutes would stress, if not kill, the Anchor Worms, and
maybe make things easier to do. 35 gram/litre non-iodised salt will replicate seawater adequately well.>
I am going to bring that guppy back to the place and not accept a new fish in return, they can't give me enough store credits to make up for this incident, that they will more than likely smugly brush off as my problem and not a problem with their livestock (that are sold out of ponds). I have been buying fish here for a long time and I have never experienced this before. I included a pic of what I pulled off today.
<Indeed, does look like part of an Anchor Worm.>
I am hoping that daily 50% water changes and prompt removal of adults will fix this problem without having to break down the whole tank and start over.
<May do, but I'd be medicating. Cheers, Neale.>

Adding Nassarius Snails?        7/30/19
I spoke to you about compatibility of the Humu Picasso Triggerfish, Blue headed Wrasse and the Red Coris Wrasse and that was fine; but now I have another question, please. Can I add about 5 Super Tongan Nassarius Snails into the mix?
<Mmm; only if they dive into the substrate and stay there. Very likely the Rhinecanthus trigger and Coris wrasse will devour them, sooner or in time>
I really want to make sure that I have a stable tank and I do not have anything planned for algae control other than making sure my chemistry on target.
<Other approaches... Do consider a sump/refugium... See WWM re RDP, macroalgal culture, DSB there>
I am just concerned that these rather (potentially) aggressive fish in with the snails. If you have another suggestion; I would appreciate it very much! I thank you in advance!
<As stated. Bob Fenner>
Re: Adding Nassarius Snails?        7/30/19

Thank you very much Bob. You are an incredible resource for me; I really appreciate your help! Sincerely, Jen
<Welcome Jen. B>

August Calendar for WWM        7/30/19
Hi Bob. Here is an August calendar for the WWM website. Hope all is well with you.
Mike Kaechele
<Thank you Mike. B>

Re: Hitchhiker snail?      7/29/19
Oh wow thank you for the advice! Glad I kept him isolated. I will remove the hitchhiker. Again thank you kindly for your wisdom!
Dani ��
<Glad to share w/ you Dani. BobF>

Compatibility Question Please      7/29/19
I have just gotten my 125 gallon tank cycled and I am ready for my buddies.
I am not sure if the fish I have chosen are indeed compatible. I am getting a Humu Picasso Triggerfish for sure; but I want to add the Red Coris Wrasse and the Blue Headed Wrasse together. I only want the three fish so I need to know if these three will get along?? Please advise as I plan on purchasing soon and I do not want any issues or fatalities. I thank you in advance.
<I do give you very good odds of these three getting along fine. I would start the trigger an inch or so smaller than the Coris and Thalassoma wrasses. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Compatibility Question Please      7/29/19

Dear Bob,
Thank you so very much; I really feel better now, and these are the three I really love! I appreciate the peace of mind. I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!!
<Thanks much Jen. BobF>

Re: Electric Blue Acara      7/29/19
Thank you so much for your quick response.
So I continued the General Cure to give it a chance and although the fish hasn’t gotten worse, I would say he’s not getting better. The fish is still not eating, even when I throw an earth worm in the tank. Here are my questions:
<Fire away.>
1. Are you ok with me giving him a Epsom salt bath for 30 min 3xs a day?
<Sure. Won't do much on its own except reduce swelling slightly and provide a slight laxative effect. It is quite useful alongside suitable medications though.>
2. Finished full coarse of General Cure and would like to try Lifeguard as you suggested. I put carbon filter back in, will do a 25% water change in the morning. When can I start Lifeguard?
<New medications can be added immediately after water changes, and all organic medicines (as opposed to salts, etc.) can be assumed to 'used up' after 24 hours. So if you need to add a second course of medicine, doing a water change and waiting 24 hours should be safe.>
3. I have 1 tbsp of aquarium salt in the quarantine tank, is that ok?
<Doesn't do much. As stated elsewhere on this website, doses of 2 gram per litre (about 0.25 US gal) can be used against Whitespot and Velvet. But other than this dosage and usage, 'aquarium salt' doesn't really do much.>
Additional info:
1. He finally pooped after being in quarantine for 4 days which is a good sign to me.
2. When I look in his quarantine tank with a light, I can see little strands floating around about 2-3mm long. They are all identical in diameter (similar to a strand of hair) but some slightly longer than others and they are very pliable. I’m wondering if it is some kind of dead parasite making its way out?
<Might well be; see Nematomorphs and Nematodes, for example. But could be other things too.>
3. Can’t tell if the white puffs of smoke that come out of his gills and mouth have stopped because it only happens when he eats, not when he is breathing.
Thanks again. Is there a way you accept donations to your site? I’d like to support your efforts. I really appreciate your help.
<We do have a tip jar somewhere on the front page (http://www.wetwebmedia.com) that goes towards running costs, so please do feel free, though by no means obliged.>
<Most welcome, and glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Electric Blue Acara      7/29/19

Thanks again. I read everything on the link you sent me, so you are in agreement with me trying Lifeguard?
<Up to a point. It's better than nothing. But any product that's advertised as curing everything (from skin flukes to fungus, no less!) is unlikely to be especially good at any of them. The most effective meds are designed specifically for one particular type of organism. So I'd be skeptical, though as I say, better than nothing.>
Or do you think something else would work better?
<With cichlids, the old Metronidazole + Nitrofuran combination is usually the best approach if you don't know precisely what you're treating.>
I'm slightly concerned about destroying his kidneys but it sounds line you really are knowledgeable so I want to move forward with your recommendation.
<Fish kidneys aren't like ours, and correct use of different medications,
with suitable water changes and time intervals between courses shouldn't
cause problems. Cheers, and thanks for the kind words! Neale.>

Anchor worms in a freshwater aquarium      7/29/19
Hello Crew,
I want to start by saying what a great resource your website is for everything you need to know about keeping fish and more. I have spent hours reading through articles and FAQs about parasites and swordtails.
<Thanks for the kind words.>
Although I did learn a bunch, I couldn't find an exact match to the odd situation I am experiencing. I have been keeping planted aquariums for about 7 years. I have had this 25 gallon setup for a while...only 1 male guppy and 2 shrimp have been in here for quite some time. I sold my 120 gallon tank, so I revamped my 25 gallon with some plants and driftwood from the big tank (and a Fluval 405), and set out to buy a few fish from a local fish place that sells its livestock out of outside concrete block *ponds*.
<Understood, and the outdoor maintenance does indeed explain the Anchor Worm situation.>

I bought fancy guppies, crystal shrimp, long fin Bristlenose Pleco, and 3 Kohaku swordtails (1 male, 2 females). Everyone is happy. A couple weeks later I am staring down the male swordtail as he's munching on some Repashy, and I notice this whitish/greenish thing dangling...so well camouflaged next to his white anal fins ...after some research it turns out to be an anchor worm...which is common in *ponds* and in koi...and my fish came from a pond but aren't koi...so after a round of treating with API general cure and nothing happening (better or worse), I realize whatever chemical would kill the crustacean parasite will also kill my beautiful shrimp (and/or plants)...
<Correct. Anchor Worms are very difficult to treat without specific medications, and these are, as you understand, toxic to other types of crustaceans as well, including shrimps and crabs.>
So I caught the fish and pulled the worm, it came out easy, so I think the worm was dead. I have been doing 50% water changes every day since (3 days) I pulled the worm in hopes to remove any eggs/larva swimming in my system...I also started treatment with Maracyn for 2 reasons.
<Won't do much for Anchor Worms, but yes, can be useful if infected wounds are a risk. Antibiotics have a low level of toxicity towards fish and invertebrates, so your main risk is making sure the filter bacteria aren't bothered. Always worth doing a nitrite test every few days following use of antibiotics. Mostly you'll be fine, because these antibiotics are formulated for use in aquaria, but it's worth checking even so, especially if you see evidence of filter problems, such as fish gasping at the surface.>
1. Because of the tiny wound the parasite left on my fish from being removed and because 2. ever since I bought the swordtails, their gills have the slightest red coloring...not sure if it's their normal coloring or an irritation from the anchor worm larvae or another annoying bacteria/fungus/parasite. I also have 5 guppy fry that are getting pretty big and starting to swim among the adults. The male swordtail is recovering nicely and his wound is barely noticeable anymore. So after that long winded story, I guess my question really is, can or would this parasite keep living in a tank vs. a pond?
<Anchor Worms switch between a free-living juvenile stage and a parasitic adult stage. Provided the juveniles are not removed by the filter, they can swim about and either infect the same fish or some other fish in the tank. This is different to the case with many other pond parasites that have a second host, such as a snail or fish-eating bird, that the parasite needs to go through to infect another generation of fish. So short answer, yes, Anchor Worms can and do reinfect fish under aquarium conditions.>
Most of the information I find online is about anchor worm in koi ponds, not fish tanks. I am starting to hope they just won't complete their life cycle in the aquarium setting as this seems to be quite a nasty bugger to deal with.
<Among the nastiest, and a major problem to fish farmers, let alone aquarists. There are some highly effective medications, but you will need to remove the shrimps while they're being used. After the full course of the treatment is done, a series of water changes, plus the use of carbon in the filter, should return the tank to being "shrimp friendly" but I'd suggest only putting a few shrimp in first to see how they do.>
I am so worried I am going to come look at my tank one morning to see everyone covered in anchor worms. What else can I do besides water changes?
<See above. The old school approach of using potassium permanganate is deprecated nowadays because this stuff is rather toxic and difficult to use safely. Likewise, physical removal of the adult Anchor Worms is difficult without stressing the fish or exposing the wounds to secondary infections.
If all you had were livebearers, then making the tank brackish for a while (5-10 gram/litre; 4-6 weeks) would probably kill off all the Anchor Worms, and this sort of approach is similar to what fish farmers do when moving trout in and out of sea lochs to kill off skin parasites of various kinds.
But your catfish won't appreciate salty water. Generally, the safest approach is to use specific Anchor Worm medications, but as we both understand, these are toxic to shrimps. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Incredibly well-done       7/28/19
Thank you, Bob!
<Thank you Neale.>
Re: Perception, cognition and emotion in fish       7/28/19

Hi Neal,
Many thanks!
<Most welcome.>
That’s a very thoughtful summary. Will find these books.
<Hope you enjoy.>
I have lots of anecdotal observations of two goldfish behaving playfully with one and other (doing a side by side dance, not the mating chase). Only these two individuals, not the others. I can tell as all my 8 goldfish have very different colourations. Kept in a pond, of course.
<Indeed, and there's some evidence that over the generations, fish behaviour among captive specimens changes when compared with their wild relatives. In Ameca splendens for example, we have a fish that is almost, perhaps completely extinct in the wild, but has been kept in aquaria for decades. Unfortunately the captive fish are more aggressive than the wild fish, since selection pressure allowed them to do so, because there were fewer risks to such behaviour (such as not spending enough time feeding on low quality food). So it's likely impossible to simply release captive specimens back into the wild without first going through the reverse process of selective in favour of foraging and defensive behaviours and against aggressive behaviours.>
Also, goldfish, who have also been coming to feed avoiding me (not coming up to feed) after I had to net them for transfer to the other pond for observation or treatment.
<Given that Goldfish have been domesticated for several hundred years, it's really hard to know if their behaviour is in any way natural. Anglers will tell you that Carp are smart fish that can learn to avoid lures very successfully -- something that increases the challenge to catching them! It's much like the situation with dogs. We know they're smart; we know wolves are smart; but are they smart in the same ways? There's an increasing understanding that mutations among wolves that caused them to be better adapted to living around humans, including being more trusting and less aggressive, means that they domesticated themselves through natural selection. This is the opposite of the old idea that humans took wolf cubs, somehow trained them, and over centuries domesticated them.>
And a male platy only interested in one female even when many other females are around.
<Most curious!>
I have also seen platies ‘visit’ and ‘sit with’ and other unwell platies of the same gender. And gently poke them but leave them alone if the other doesn’t respond. And just ‘sit’ with them.
<Seen similar behaviours, and it's hard to determine what the selfish advantage would be to this behaviour, and unless a behaviour helps the individual in terms of survival, there's no reason it should evolve. In the wild, staying with a sick or injured fish would be rather dangerous. Of course in aquaria selection pressures are different, and if there's no penalty attached to this behaviour, it might persist.>
But as I said, it’s all anecdotal, can’t necessarily prescribe human intent to their behavior.
<Indeed, and part of the issue has to be to try to understand their behaviours through their own eyes, rather than ours. That's easier said than done, though!>
Best wishes,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Hitchhiker snail?       7/28/19
Hi Crew!
I got these ninja snails and one has this weird hitchhiker on it. I thought it was a Stomatella but doesn’t quite look like it. Would you be so kind to identify? Thank you in advance!
<Mmm; no image attached! BobF>
Hitchhiker snail?       7/28/19

If I had to take a guess—maybe a limpet?
<Mmm; looks otherwise-shaped>
It seems to not move, just sits on it. Just worried if it’s parasitic and possibly harming the snail. ��.
<I do agree; think this may well be a predator on other snails. There are several. See here on WWM:
I released the others I got, and I have him isolated in a container for now till you can let me know. Thank you again in advance!
<I would carefully examine all the snails you want (have put in here) and remove the hitchhiking ones. Bob Fenner>

Re: Patches on Sailfin tang       7/28/19
Many thanks for time to time advise you have been providing all as part of the big "Marine Life" lovers community.
This is only a thanks message for your timely advises you have been providing to me.
<Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>

Hitchhiking Crab       7/28/19
Hi! Your forum is great!
Can you help identify this hitchhiker crab? Attached a vid and a pic.
Spiny, banded legs, blue dots on the face and claws... thank you!
<A beauty, though can't quite make out distinctive (Decapod family) features.... I shy on the side of conservativeness with crabs in marine systems; usually urging folks to remove them. DO at least keep your eye on probable predation, and bait/trap this animal (maybe put in a sump, refugium?) if it proves too predatory. Oh, and take the long read through our Crab ID FAQs files: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/swcrabidfaqs.htm
and the 22 linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Electric Blue Acara      7/27/19
When he tries to eat seems like he can't swallow his food and puffs of white cloudy stuff (looks like smoke) comes out of his gills and mouth.
<Electric Blue varieties are notoriously disease prone
. Going to direct you to some reading:
As a general rule, avoid them.>
He's sluggish and won't eat most of the time, not even blood worms so I got a live garden worm today that he attempted to eat but again, the clouds of whitish stuff puffing out the gills and his mouth.
Getting worse by the day. In quarantine now with General Cure day 2.
<A good choice re: Hexamita, but do remember to remove carbon from the filter, if used, when medicating. Medicines might work inconsistently in old, mature tanks with a lot of organic material. A hospital tank with few decorations beyond ceramic caves is best.>
Have tried conservative treatment first #1 salt and higher Temps (82),
<Would be careful about higher temperatures, given Acaras tend to prefer cooler conditions than cichlids in general. Certainly provide plenty of aeration.>
#2 bloodworms soaked in PraziPro, #3 PraziPro in the water (all separate treatments over the last 2 weeks) and currently the General Cure.
<Understood, and these will help re: worms, but not much else.>
All water parameters are good. No different at all in the discharge from gills.
<Velvet is the classic infection of fish gills, but white spots on the body would be apparent as well. Hexamita is the ubiquitous threat to farmed cichlids, but again, your symptoms are not typical. Gill parasites are difficult to diagnose without examining pieces of gill tissue under a microscope. Dactylogyrus is one common example, but really, its guesswork.
Tetra Lifeguard is a product that treats a variety of gill infections, and might be worth trying.>
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Re: Ever seen this? Puffer... parasites?       7/27/19
Thank you.
<Welcome. Wil.>

Marine Velvet surprise attack      7/27/19
Hi WWM Crew
Please help me figure out the cause of our disaster. We are in total shock. Five dead fish today and two others with obvious signs of velvet.
Two days ago everything appeared fine. Last added to tank was 2 pajama cardinals about 6 months ago - quarantined prior to putting in display. They appear unaffected at this point. All other residents range from 11 years old (Flame Angel) to 3 year old Blue Chromis.
In 2014 we did have a devastating strike of Velvet and lost many fish. Several fish did survive - the aforementioned Flame Angel was one. It was quite a long time afterwards until we added anything to our display tank and subsequently have been diligent regarding QT any new additions.
It’s been 20 years of owning reef tanks and five years since the mentioned outbreak.
How could the parasite survive so long without any afflictions to the fish all these years?
Any insights?
Regards, Brenda Brush
<Mmm; well, Amyloodinium can/may be introduced on most anything marine/wet... foods, water from an infested system, live rock and sand, non-fish livestock... There is some possibility that this Dinoflagellate pest/parasite (and others, e.g. Cryptocaryon), can be resident... even in systems that show not even clinical symptoms. There is indeed a balance of favoring, disfavoring factors that can tip a system (via its potential hosts) toward infestation. I'll offer a link to an effort I've penned to describe such: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm
Bob Fenner>
Marine Velvet surprise attack Wil’s input      7/27/19

Hi WWM Crew
<Hi Brenda>
Please help me figure out the cause of our disaster. We are in total shock. Five dead fish today and two others with obvious signs of velvet.
Two days ago everything appeared fine. Last added to tank was 2 pajama cardinals about 6 months ago - quarantined prior to putting in display. They appear unaffected at this point. All other residents range from 11 years old (Flame Angel) to 3-year-old Blue Chromis.
In 2014 we did have a devastating strike of Velvet and lost many fish. Several fish did survive - the aforementioned Flame Angel was one. It was quite a long time afterwards until we added anything to our display tank and subsequently have been diligent regarding QT any new additions.
It’s been 20 years of owning reef tanks and five years since the mentioned outbreak.
How could the parasite survive so long without any afflictions to the fish all these years?
Any insights?
<It is not uncommon to see these outbreaks from time to time; even in the most established tanks that have no new additions for a long time, it may happen. Amyloodinium as well as Cryptocaryon are always present but in a dormant state, and just like in the case of humans, these parasites/pathogens are waiting for the immune system to be compromised to launch an attack, the worst part is that they don’t need just live fish to thrive, they can survive in almost any wet surface, so it is possible to transfer them in all wet gear commonly used in maintenance chores (nets, hoses, buckets, etc…) Hope you find this helpful- Cheers. Wil.> <<Thank you Wil... I swear we're two different people! B>>
Regards, Brenda Brush

Perception, cognition and emotion in fish      7/27/19
Hi Crew,
Reading through your site, I’ve noticed a few comments mention experience of pain and perception of colour in fish.
Do you know of a site or book or do you have a collection of advice on how fish perceive the world, what they understand, what emotions they might experience?
<Limited range available to non-specialists. "Fish Behavior in the Aquarium and in the Wild" by Stéphan Reebs is probably the best. His website is also highly relevant (http://www.howfishbehave.ca). "What a Fish Knows" by Jonathan Balcombe is another, and I feel a bit easier to read. "The Diversity of Fishes: Biology, Evolution, and Ecology" is my pick as the best all-around fish biology book, being surprisingly readable for an academic textbook, and covers everything in real depth, from fish feelings to fossils! Highly recommended if you want a more holistic approach to understanding how fish live.>
For example how do fish experience pain?
<Highly contentious topic within science. Lynne Sneddon has been the most active worker in this field, since some key experiments about 15 years ago that showed that fish would avoid using (temporarily) damaged parts of their bodies, in much the same way as mammals avoid putting weight on, say, a twisted ankle. This flew in the face of the accepted view that because fish lack pain receptors as mammals have them, they cannot perceive pain as such. This experiment and her other, subsequent ones have been criticised by other scientists who maintain that because fish brains are so different to those of mammals and birds, we cannot assume they "feel" anything in the same way we do. This in turn is criticised by Sneddon and her supporters who argue that fish can have evolved different structures that do the jobs of sensing and feeling pain. My analogy would be this: while you can argue birds fly because they have feathers, you couldn't say bats can't fly because they lack feathers.>
Do they experience joy, fear, sadness?
<Here's where things become even more difficult. How do we "experience" any of these? If you assume our conscious experiences all come about from the way our brains process information received by the senses, the differences between us and, say, fishes comes down to the complexity of that processing. We can further assume a spectrum of stress from a very basic level (reflexive swimming of a minnows away from a shadow cast over their stream) through to the very complex (existential crisis as a I lie in bed wondering about how I'm going to pay all my bills while retaining my sanity). At what point do simple stimulus-response reactions pass into more complex, thought-based evaluations within the brain? Animal biologists can't really answer this because we can't ever really know what it is to be a fish, a lizard or a sparrow, so while we can make comparisons of brain complexity, this is just a proxy for what might be the right answer. We assume the more complex the cerebrum, especially the frontal lobe in mammals, the more complicated the thoughts going on within the brain. Since fish generally have no frontal lobe and limited cerebral complexity, the assumption has always been that they aren't really capable of thinking in the way mammals and birds can. HOWEVER, with that said, their brains aren't merely simpler than those of mammals and birds, but structurally put together very differently, even compared with pre-fish level vertebrates such as lampreys. So again, we have this situation where comparisons with mammals may be misleading because evolution took fish brains down another path compared with the one that led to mammals. Certainly, fish have extremely acute senses, including electroreception, and their brains had to become very sophisticated to deal with this volume of sensory input. A few fish have brain mass to body mass ratios comparable to mammals' Elephantnoses, often sold in pet shops, are a famous example, and one of the very few fish for which 'play' behaviour has been reported. Finally, at least one fish, a Cleaner Wrasse, has passed the "mirror test" of self-awareness.>
What do they remember and for how long?
<Cichlids are well known to have complex behaviour and an ability to learn and adapt. Broadly speaking, fish can learn and remember things about as well as the average mammal or bird, and if you watch the behaviour of fish when people approach the aquarium (immediately beg for food) vs. that of many small mammals, such as gerbils (flee in terror) it's probably fair to say that at least some fish learn and adapt rather better. Scientific tests are limited, but Goldfish apparently remember things for months, which is rather good by animal standards. I've got a Panaque catfish who hides from strangers, but comes to the front when I'm around, and will gradually learn to accept others, notably my wife. It took the catfish a few months to accept her, but if anyone else walks up to the tank, she goes back to hide in her cave.>
Do they form relationships?
<Again, depends how you define a relationship. Some fish form mated pairs that are loyal for life, which as with birds, probably indicates a need to trust their partner to rear offspring. "Is This Love?" asked Whitesnake, and for biologists, that's a good question. Is what we call "love" simply the sum of all the various emotional states and behaviours within our brain when choosing potential breeding partners? I don't know the answer to that, but if you suppose that it is, and our version is simply a high complex form (as demanded by a species with helpless, slow-growing offspring that needs pair bonds that are maintained for years at a time) then the relationship between some paired-off cichlids might be of the same order, if to a lesser degree. I will observe that some fish species enjoy human company, notably Koi, Goldfish, and the larger cichlids such as Oscars, which even when not hungry, will enjoy being interacted with and sit at the front of the tank to watch what's going on outside.>
I know there is a danger in anthropomorphising fish.
<Correct. And for the most part we should focus on water quality, water chemistry, swimming space, diet, and appropriate tankmates. Get these right and most fish will be happy, insofar as that means anything when talking about animals. But at the same time, thinking about how animals think can lead us to making their maintenance in captivity more successful for both parties involved. At university I had an animal behaviour professor who put it this way: Lions and Tigers are very different animals. Lions sit around waiting for either prey or rivals to turn up, and when they do, that's when they spring into action. Otherwise they mostly sleep. Tigers patrol huge territories all day and night. So in captivity, keeping Lions in relatively small enclosures isn't as cruel as it looks because the Lions wouldn't really do much with the extra space. Tigers on the other hand pace back and forth because they need movement and stimulation. So odd as it might seem, a circus could actually be more humane for a Tiger because it would be more active. Now, he was making the analogy here, and not arguing in favour of either zoos or circuses, but wanted us to think about the fact there isn't a "one size fits all" solution to understanding animal psychology, and as a result, how we handle each species has to be tailored to its specific needs.>
But we are trying to create environments where they can live a good life, that’s why it would be good to understand how they perceive the world.
<My thoughts exactly.>
Many thanks,
<Most welcome. Neale.><<Phenomenal response Neale. B>>

Liner Bubbling    7/26/19
I was concerned that I had a slow leak in my 500-gallon pond. It is formed with a liner. I could not find a leak, but out of an abundance of caution, I drained it and just placed a new liner over the top of the old one.
<What made you think it was leaking?>
Then I refilled and turned on the water feature, overnight several whales <?> developed in the liner. Seems clear enough that the water feature <?>
is getting water under the new liner and causing the bubbling. Tearing apart my waterfall will not be fun. I have procrastinated for several weeks, but have noticed the whales are not dissipating. That leads me to believe my original liner may not have had much, if any, leaking problem at all.
So, here is my question. Is one possible solution here to poke a few holes in the new liner at the whale points? Wouldn't that even out the water pressure all allow the whales to be settled permanently with rocks?
<More likely, the liner below could end up broken too>
I envision rocking the bottom of the pond to hold the liner in place and cover the bottom of the pond. Bad idea? Good idea?
<Mmm... I would drain the whole pond. I know is not the easiest solution but certainly the safest, make sure the floor/foundation is even, then place one or both liners perfectly stretched and aligned. Regards. Wil.>
Josh Dickinson

Mystery deaths!    7/26/19
I’m writing because I feel I’m doing everything properly, but am still dealing with a lot of deaths. Obviously I’m doing something wrong, I just don’t know what.
Here is my situation.
I have a 35 gallon planted tank, that I originally set up as a betta sorority. It housed 6 female Bettas, 9 neon tetras, and Two African Dwarf Frogs.
One by one my Bettas Died off, most of which had the same symptom, Dropsy.
My neons were disappearing also!
<They do tend to. They're a species I recommend against. The quality of farmed stock isn't great.>
I did notice one of my ADF got a white bump on his nose. After some online reading, I figured she must have burned her self on the heater. Since she was still acting normally, and eating well, I wanted to let her be. I did however replace my heater with two smaller heaters that make less of a foot print.
<Not sure I understand this.>
I did a fishless cycle before added anything to the tank. Once I did add life to the tank I was doing water test about once/twice a week, and always had 0Ppm Ammonia, 0Ppm Nitrites. If the nitrates were close to 20ppm I did a 20% to 30% water change.
<Sounds fine.>
About a month and a half ago, I installed a uv sterilizer to my canister filter in the hopes that any pathogens would die off.
<UV doesn't really work this way. UV is useful in industrial settings (like fish shops) by slowing down the rate at which motile pathogens can pass between tanks of livestock sharing the same filtration system. UV can also be useful in killing off algae that lives in the water, such as diatom blooms. It doesn't do much for anything stuck onto fish already, or bacteria latent in most tanks, such as Mycobacteria and Pseudomonas. Indeed, UV is pointless for most casual freshwater aquarists.>
Then about a month ago, I figured there might be a parasite, or harmful bacteria in the tank, so I pulled my last two tetras out, and put them in a 2.5 gallon tank.
<Much too small, except perhaps for quarantine purposes.>
I had just gotten a new betta, but put her in a separate 5 gallon tank, For both of those tanks I used filter media from the problematic tank, and have had no issues.
The only thing left in my tank are my two African Dwarf Frogs. Normally I would have pulled them out as well; but they were actually doing well and I didn’t have another tank for them.
Recently, one of my adf has stopped eating, and she is getting skinny. They also spend a lot time at the top of the tank. This might be due to my apartment getting much warmer.
Their tank now sits at about 82 degrees,
<Much too warm.>
I installed an ac, in the hops to keep it down. I have had mixed results.
<Floating a plastic food container (like the ones you get Chinese take-out food in) filled with frozen water can do a quicker job.>
I have NO IDEA what is causing all these problems. Do you know what I can do to save my ADF, and how I can get my tank to support life.
There is only two other things I can think to mention.
1. I had grapewood in my tank. I’ve read that it rots really quickly and can cause problems in a tank. I removed it 3 days ago.
<Good. Always worth "controlling all the variables" by removing stuff that might be suspect to see if it helps.>

2. The person who had the tank before me said they used cleaning products on the side of the tank before he sold it to me. Before I added anything to the tank, I scrubbed the glass with Vinegar, and siliconed it with aquarium safe silicone, I also added a carbon filter for a bit, just incase
<Carbon will remove medication, so you can't use this while medicating.>
Any advice helps! Thanks
<My suspicion is bad luck more than anything else. Perhaps a bit of questionable stocking, with African Dwarf Frogs in all honesty rarely doing well for long when kept with fish. Starvation is a real risk with ADFs, and if they only eat one thing, say, bloodworms, then vitamin deficiency can become a problem even if they seem to be eating fine. In any event, I'd focus on the 35 gal tank for now, and basically leave it alone to sort itself out. Some livestock may die, in the case of the Neons especially, but that's probably not your fault -- though do remember Neons need cool (22-24 C) water and low hardness (1-12 degrees dH, pH 6-7) to do well. I would not medicate UNLESS there were obvious symptoms you could use to determine a specific disease. Even then, I'd avoid anything "broad brush" like Melafix that doesn't really do much. Antibiotics are often recommended in the US, but elsewhere, reliable antibacterials such as eSHa 2000 would be a better bet. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Mystery deaths!    7/26/19

Thank you so much Neale.
I should mention that in my first e-mail I said he used chemicals on ‘side of the tank’, but I meant, the ‘inside’ of the tank.
<Understood. But realistically, if a tank is rinsed properly after cleaning chemicals are used, it's highly unlikely enough will remain to kill off any livestock.>
I have only been feeding my Adf’s Blood worms, but I know when they eat because I always feed them with tongs. Also, I just started feeding them Tubifex worms also. The sick one has had some, but not a lot.
<Tubifex, especially live, are not considered a safe food. Bloodworms are a grey area, and there's some concern they may harbour diseases. If gamma-irradiated frozen, both should be safe in terms of disease.>
I was able to find a cheep 10 gallon tank, so I put my sick ADF in there.
<Should work well.>
I assumed the warm water was strictly due to the weather change (where I live, our summers are crazy hot, and our winters are crazy cold), but yesterday I tried turning down all my heaters and that seems to make a difference. The water since yesterday has been sitting at about 79 degrees. I will try freezing some water tonight.
<Sounds good.>
Have you heard of grapewood/vine causing massive die off?
<Sometimes it's not the wood itself, but chemicals used to spray them, such as pesticides. Have made this mistake with rose plant wood collected from a garden. Almost all the fish died within hours, and those that survived, once the wood was removed and water changed, went on to live happy lives -- the catfish is still with me now, some 25 years later!>
What else should I be feeding my Adf’s?
<Small live foods are good, tiny earthworms probably the best. Live Daphnia are safe, as are live or frozen brine shrimp, though live brine shrimp only last a couple hours in freshwater, so add just a few at a time. Tiny pieces of prawn, cockle and white fish fillet may be taken.>
I live in Canada, I can’t get antibiotics without a vet, and there are no aquatic vets near me. I’ve called every pet store, vet, vet college I can think of, and none of them are able to help me find something appropriate.
<If you Google the likes of "Xenopus" with "disease" or "health" you will find a lot that is relevant. Xenopus are ubiquitous in biological labs, so there's a vast wealth of information on their care. While Hymenochirus are obviously a low smaller, their healthcare is essentially identical. Start, for example, here:
The main thing to remember is that Hymenochirus are tropical animals and more prone to damage because of their size, but other that that, they're much like scaled-down Xenopus.>
Thanks again!
<Welcome, Neale.>

Freshwater Bugs Identification and course of action needed    7/26/19
Good Afternoon. I have a 100 gal freshwater tank with male peacocks, giant danios, and Synodontis petricola. Tank is established with canister and sponge filtration, lightly planted, and no new fish have been added to the tank recently. Parameters are good, a little high on nitrates but adding extra water changes. I found a number of extremely small critters just above the water line that appear to be feeding on a flake of food that stuck to the side of the glass. They move around a good bit, appear to fight with each other, but I just would like to know what they are and make sure they are no threat to my tank. The photo enclosed is very magnified.
Thanks, Cindy.
<Hello Cindy. These are probably members of the Collembola, colloquially known as Springtails. They're completely harmless, and as you observe, feed on organic detritus in damp areas. Most aquaria have them, but sometimes they do 'bloom' if there's a lot of food for them. If you regularly wipe down the glass above the waterline, and avoid overfeeding, you can control their numbers, But in all honesty, I'd ignore them! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Camallanus worms and Flubendazole question     7/26/19
Hi Neale,
Many thanks for your reply. Very much appreciated. I have to say I’m 150% impressed with the quality of information on your site and of the advice. I have an environmental science degree and I find the information available on many other fish forums very ‘anecdotal’ and low quality. So thank you!
<Most welcome, and thanks for kind words.>
About the environmental factors in the tanks, The ammonia and nitrites are 0, nitrates are 10. GH and KH is around 13 deg (I have naturally hard tap water). PH is around 7.5. So that should be both hard and alkaline - ok for platies, right? Or does this need adjusting?
<Nope, sounds fine. But if you struggle with livebearers, adding a little non-iodised salt, maybe 2-3 gram/litre, can help.>
About the temperature - normally I keep it at 24 C. Assume that’s ok based on your description?
<Yep. Unless you have Variatus Platies or some 'breed' based largely on them.>
Yes, we have a heat wave at the moment tank temp is up to 27 C during the day... I keep putting ice blocks in the tank, although that only lowers the temp by 1 degree C.
<Overall, yes, but the fish will swim in and out of the cold water sinking down from the ice block if they want to, so the effect is rather better than you might think.>
Is there any more efficient way of lowering the tank temperature for large (130 litre) tanks? Do I just need *a lot more* ice blocks?
<Increasing evaporation will help, i.e., opening the tank and placing a fan nearby to blow air across the water. Keep things safe though, and don't put the fan somewhere it could fall into the tank! Don't do this if you have 'jumpy' fish though. If the tank receives direct sunlight, that can cause real problems, so avoid that by drawing curtains or even placing foil on the surface of the tank exposed to the light.>
Thanks for advice on anti-worm drug. I’ll do 4-5 more weekly treatments with the Flubendazole. What other anti-worm drugs (active ingredient) would you recommend if this doesn’t work?
< Medications that treat worms include Levamisole, Piperazine, Praziquantel, Fenbendazole and flubendazole. Of these, only Praziquantel and flubendazole are available as over-the-counter medications in the UK.>
Also, if I do a mid-week water change, do I have to redose with the Flubendazole? Or just once a week is enough regardless of how many water changes in between?
<As a rule, wait 24 hours after adding medicine before doing a water change, and then dose as per the whole tank, not just the new water, when you need to add more medicine. Why? Because after 24 hours the chances are good that most, if not all, of the medicine will have been absorbed and/or broken down by the biological filter. The exception here is where inorganic chemicals, such as aquarium salt or Epsom salt, are used.>
Finally, the white growth on the fry is probably a prolapse. I have read up about it on you wonderful site. I take it there is no treatment? I intend to let him live out his natural life as long as not suffering. Is this what you recommend? Or some other action I can take?
<In theory, a prolapse will heal itself in time. There's nothing you can really do about the prolapse itself, but if the cause is a parasite load, then treating for the parasites will speed things along. If worms are the issue here, then you should see some recovery as you medicate for the other fish in the tank.>
Many thanks and kind regards,
<And to you, too. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Chaetomorpha Strands clogging the outlet drain pipe     7/25/19
Thanks for the quick response Bob
It’s a small set up and hence am struggling.
<Ah yes; as stated>
My earlier setup (240 gallons) before my relocation was much stable and gave me better scope to work things around
Referring to your suggestion, Would like to state that reason I moved the Chaetomorpha away from the DSB to the chamber prior to it The DSB chamber has a. Lower water level
<Ahh... anyway to adjust? Move it, and/or the pump to another section?>
All other factors being common, I would face the same problem in the DSB chamber as well as It has a similar drainage arrangement.
I would still like to try that. Is there any added benefit of having the microalgae in the DSB chamber?
<Macro; and yes... organisms coming out, into the sand/substrate can/do make use of the algae as space, food. B>

Camallanus worms and Flubendazole question     7/25/19
Hi Crew, :)
<Hello Kate,>
I have a 130 litre tank with 3 adult platies, 12 2 month old platies and about 40 1 month old platy fry. Recently lost 3 adult platies to wasting - assume as a result of Camallanus worms.
<Could be, but farmed livebearers are, I believe, prone to wasting. Whether it's exposure to worms on the fish farm, or latent Mycobacteria or even viral infections, I cannot say. It's often the same process though: loses weight, shimmying, off-white colouration on the body, and eventually death. I'm going to further suggest that the environment is often a causative factor because you often see so-called 'wasting disease' in tanks that aren't quite right for the livebearers in question. High nitrate levels (anything above 20 mg/l) seems to be one major factor, and I'd place farmed or fancy livebearers in the same nitrate-sensitive category as cichlids. So while most community catfish and characins will handle skipped water changes without problems provided nitrite and ammonia are zero, extended gaps between water changes do seem stressful to livebearers. Other factors include, of course, water chemistry (hard and alkaline for most livebearers) and with Platies and Swordtails especially, high temperatures. Platies are subtropical to tropical depending on the species, Variatus doing best at 18 C/64 F, while fancy Platies, which are mostly Common Platyfish genetically, should be kept around 22-25 C/72-77 F, with the lower end of that range being best. Continual exposure to high temperatures will dramatically shorten their lives, especially if oxygen is low. I mention this because -- as you realise, I'm sure -- the UK is basking in extreme heat, well above what Platies would enjoy. Increase aeration and/or floating blocks of ice can be useful.>
I also have 10 neon and cardinal tetras in the tank who seem well and healthy. The tank has enough filtration for about 300 litres. Shrimp and zebra snails were moved to a second tank for now.
<Sounds good.>
My diagnosis of Camallanus worms is based in the red thread-like worms protruding from one of the adult platy’s vent.
<Good call.>
I assume the others have it, too,
<Almost certainly true, but likely true for most farmed livebearers.>
so I have treated the whole tank with Flubendazole 48 hours ago and a small amount of Epsom salt to ease passing the worms.
My questions are as follows:
1. As far as I can tell, the worms are still visible protruding from the adult platy’s vent. Is this normal after 48 hours of Flubendazole? Should I try something else?
<Multiple attempts are often required, with a decent (say, 50%) water change before the second set of doses. Do also remember to remove carbon from the filter, if used. If after 3-4 rounds the worms are still present, switching to an alternative medication may be necessary, the worms being resistant to the drug used.>
2. Also, some pest snails appear alive and well. I understand the Flubendazole is toxic to snails, so is it normal the pest snails are unaffected?
<Does depend on the snails. Might also indicate the dosage was wrong (too low) or carbon was used in the filter (removing the medication so quickly it didn't do anything).>
3. Finally, one of the 2 month old fry, who is very small for his age, has a 3 mm long thick white wormlike thing permanently protruding from his vent.
It’s perpendicular to his belly and definitely not poop. It (the white thing) appears permanent day to day, growing week to week. What could it be? A nematode? If so, why is the Flubendazole not affecting it? Should I try something else?
<Might well be infected with worms, but could be something else, even a prolapse.>
I have attached a bad picture of the fry. Sorry it’s so low quality. Very hard to photograph the fry.
<Understood, and alas, the image isn't clear enough to be useful.>
Many thanks,
Kate from the UK
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Chaetomorpha Strands clogging the outlet drain pipe. Sump/fuge design      7/24/19
Dear Crew
Love to connect with you'll. Your advices are not only practical but also very reliable.
<Glad to aid your efforts; though I would/do advise you to seek other input: books, magazines, websites...>
Am currently facing issues with Chaetomorpha (referred to as Chaeto in some parts of my mail) in my 15 gallon sump arrangement.
<And difficult (compared w/ larger) to maintain such small biological marine volumes>
I have a four chamber sump with Chaetomorpha in the second chamber where it receives water from the skimmer chamber. The glass barriers in the sump are drilled and the water is passed on to the other chamber (DSB) through a bulkhead attached. Have a fine mesh on the bulkhead to block any big
particles to enter the next chamber hosting the DSB. I also have a small pump in the chamber to keep the Chaetomorpha moving/tumbling.
<Okay thus far. I understand your set up>
Am facing issues with the sump drain where I keep the Chaetomorpha algae.
It was all entwined when I got it from a fellow aquarist. Now it's in bits strands are floating independently.
1. The Chaeto strands clogs the drain pipe leading to overflow of the chamber to the DSB
<Hopefully you can fashion a large chemically inert screen to expand the period of time between having to address the algae clogging>
2. The Chaeto also gets stuck in the inlet of the pump used for circulation and is blown all over the chamber in small pieces/strands which then leads to clogging of the outlet drain
<Mmm, can the pump be better located; perhaps...?>
I tried attaching an elbow to the bulkhead (like a dorso setting) to avoid the Chaeto fragments to directly flow to the open bulkhead. The Chaeto still gets stuck under the elbow and clogs the bulkhead drain mesh.
Please advise how this can be avoided
Warm Regards,
<I might (even) consider relocating the Chaeto/macro algae to the DSB chamber... Bob Fenner>

RE: Please Help identifying this; now MACNA visit, presenting in Mexico      7/23/19
Thank you Bob
<Welcome Raul>
Hope to see you soon again.
Are you going to MACNA this year?
<Not likely; wasn't asked to present>
Raul Labastida
<Cheers, BobF>
RE: Please Help identifying this      7/23/19

Hope we meet again soon. Would you consider coming to present in Mexico? We are organizing the first Mexican Marine Society and the first meeting with the support of many important companies. Best regards, Raul Labastida
<Ah, si. Though my Espanol isn't good enough to present in other than English. BobF>
Triton Distribución Latinoamérica
RE: Please Help identifying this      7/23/19

Almost all the speakers that will present don't speak Spanish. We will have simultaneous translation. Raul Labastida
<Ah! Que bueno! RobertoF>
RE: Please Help identifying this      7/23/19

It will be in México City. I will send you more information when I have dates and I hope we can have you on the Program. Best regards, Raul Labastida
<Real good Raul. Have a friend I'd like to visit there. BobF>
RE: Please Help identifying this      7/23/19

It will be in México City. I will send you more information when I have dates and I hope we can have you on the Program. Best regards, Raul Labastida
<Real good Raul. Have a friend I'd like to visit there. BobF>

API medication vs. Prazi...      7/23/19
It will be rather hard to get my hands on API general cure,
<"500 mg Metronidazole and 150 mg Praziquantel per teaspoon.">
it might be easier to go for PraziPro.
<"A proprietary blend of water-soluble ingredients, Oxybispropanol (as an inert solubilizing agent) & <5% Praziquantel by Weight">
Would you recon it would be as efficient as General cure?
<... Not really... the API product has Flagyl/Metronidazole in addition to the Prazi they both contain... Prazi is specifically a vermifuge; acts only against worms... It that's all you're treating for, either will work.
Bob Fenner>

Worm crawled in my skin    7/22/19
Good afternoon
I hope you can help me. I recently went snorkeling with the manatees in crystal river Florida (brackish water) I was wearing a wetsuit and walking along the floor of the river near a small spring they call Jurassic spring. As I was getting ready to get back on the tour boat I noticed a tiny brownish colored worm crawling into the palm of my hand.
<... unusual>
Which I pulled out right away. Got up on deck and saw one on the top of my foot. It was probably a water inch long or smaller and lead pencil size in diameter. I asked the captain and tour guide if they knew what they are and they said no. I'm afraid this is a parasite and don’t know how to identify it without a sample or picture and after the episode I developed what feels like symptoms of pinworms about 4 days later. Now my cat recently went to the vet with tapeworm and roundworms as well. I was prescribed a medicine for fluke worm and pinworms but not sure that’s exactly what i have. I’ve yet to get a stool sample to submit for ova parasites. And I’ve seen no pinworms in my poop.
Thanks for any help here. I’m stumped!
<I encourage you to contact the folks at DAN (Dive Alert Network) w/ your concern. I don't think this is a "pinworm"; such are spread via oral ingestion of eggs. Bob Fenner> 

Salt water critter ID    7/22/19
Aloha, Mr. Fenner and staff, I have a 125 gal saltwater tank. The tank has been up and running for almost a year. I have a very little clean-up crew and have added four corals to the system about 1 month ago. yesterday I noticed little white pinhead dots on the tank glass. They do not feel hard and have tentacles (?) that move with the water flow. I did have a white cloud algal bloom that was taken care of with a few small water changes, but other than that all of my water qualities have been spot on. please see the attached photos. Thank you for all of your help. Michelle Nason
<Looks to be some sort of Medusoid life... Hydrozoan, Scyphozoan Cnidarian or Ctenophore; likely strobilation from part of the hard structure of your new corals or live rock. Not likely problematical; will be sifted out by your mechanical filtration. Bob Fenner>

Re: Salt water critter ID    7/22/19
Thank you very much.
<Welcome Mich. BobF>

Please Help identifying this    7/22/19
Hello friends of wet web media, Please help identifying the critter in the video. Thank you. Raul Labastida
<These appear to be vermetids... tube snails. Bob Fenner>
re: Please Help identifying this
Thank you Bob, it's great to be in contact with you again. How would you get rid of those? Raul Labastida
<See WWM re. B>

New Live Sand?    7/22/19
We have spent almost 1.5 years battling Ostreopsis. The tank is only 2.5 years old. We have finally reached balance with the dinos, now Cyano and diatoms invaded.
Scooping out sand and chemi-clean is straightening that out.
<Good product>
A Large amount of the sand has solidified, I’m breaking it up as I go. (Whew)
I need more live sand. I’m seriously thinking about removing as much as possible and adding new sand. Am I asking for trouble? I have to add some any way.
Any brand or type you like. Would the biota be a better choice over CaribSea?
300g, mixed reef aquarium.
<Personally, I prefer CaribSea but there are other good/reliable brands worth trying.>
Thanks, William
<Welcome. Wil.>

Fin issue    7/22/19
Hey bob,
Having trouble determining if my fish’s tethered fins are bite marks or fin rot.
<Can look very similar>
Make a long story short, I asked my lfs to bring in a small mustard tang. He did, was there 5 days, and ate strong the day I saw him.
<This species can be tricky to ship, acclimate to captive conditions>
As he was going to net him out, I noticed some portions of his back tail look jagged. As if someone took a pair of scissors and cut marks out up and down back tail.
I have him in qt, with copper as a preventative I’ve been using before going in display. Had him since yesterday, ate great yesterday, but not sure whether to let it go, or treat with kanamycin.
<I'd expedite this fish to your main/display... not much to gain by copper exposure, delay>
I will try to get a photo later today, but I hate to lose a $200 fish. Hindsight tells me I should have left him, but I felt obligated , being I asked to bring him in, when he normally doesn’t stock this fish.
Is their a general rule used to determine whether it infection or other fish just not playing nice?
<Species, size... origin of collection et al. specific, influenced>
Thanks , Bobby
<W. B>

Ever seen this?      7/21/19
Good morning.
<Morning John>
I am sending you some attached pics of my box fish. This morning I noticed this white scale like cluster above his tail. I’ve never seen anything like it.. they almost look like large grains of sand. They look like they are just kind of glued on and I can see them flapping when he swims near a power head. Any thoughts?
<They look like flukes of some sort, I'd try a 5 minutes fresh water dip/bath and see if they pop off.>
As always, thank you.
<Welcome. Wil.>

Filter socks      7/21/19
Hi team
How important are the filter socks?
Can we do without it
<... w/o?>
Currently am having a low bio load and am worried about the regular cleaning the socks require.
I currently use a mesh bag and am able to pick out some solids I. A weekly cleaning cycle.
<Mmm; a good idea to develop a routine... or at least two sets, better three... of rotating such socks... in use, soaking in bleach solution/washing, air drying... Based on water quality>
Heard that the socks (100 or even 200) micron ones) would overflow by that time and requires intense cleaning ( including bleaching)
<May be>
Please suggest if that ( sock) is immensely important for functioning of the reef tank
<Can be a part of effective mechanical filtration. Need to be watched; cleaned... if the water is rising in them, time to switch out. BobF>

Spawning Figure-8 Puffer (Tetraodon biocellatus)      7/21/19
I apologize if im in the wrong place, but i wanted to ask if you guys had any info on figure 8s besides the common info.
My questions are as follows
1. What conditions are required to breed them.
<The species has been bred only very occasionally in aquaria. It is often stated that reproduction is cichlid-like, with the male protecting the eggs until the fry become free swimming. However, this doesn't agree with the scientific literature, which reports that the species scatters eggs and extends no broodcare at all "Spawning of eight Southeast Asian brackish and freshwater puffers of the genera Tetraodon and Carinotetraodon in captivity"). This report stated the eggs hatched after 5 days, used up
their yolk within 4 days of hatching, and became free swimming on the following day. Pufferfish fry are tiny and difficult to rear, and you will need suitably small live foods.>
2. What are the best methods to sex them.
<Again, unknown. These fish are almost certainly monomorphic, with no visible differences between the males and females. To be fair, you could predict the males would be more aggressive and more likely to defend specific patches of territory, given the breeding behaviour. But that's about it.>
3.what are the best conditions for them to thrive in?
<Low-end brackish conditions seem to be best, at least for aquarium maintenance and breeding. There's no question that the species also occurs in freshwater environments, even more commonly than in brackish water. But it doesn't do as well kept that way. The scientific literature includes at least one report on spawning, and that took place in brackish, not freshwater conditions. While the adults were maintain in quite strongly brackish water (20 ppt) for 'several years', they were moved in higher salinity (30 ppt) for a month, and then across the next month the salinity was decreased in small steps until it reached a lower level (9 ppt). By this time the female had become swollen with eggs. The eggs were maintained at this salinity after the adults were removed, hatching taking place as described above. The fry were initially fed brackish water Brachionus, and after 35 days, graduated onto Artemia nauplii. After 60 days they were moved onto the usual frozen foods such as krill, minced clams, etc.>
4. If i were to have a large group of them would that decrease aggression and allow them to shoal or school, boost the odds of them breeding? and what would be a good group size if so?
<Realistically, yes, you'd want a group, and you'd want to keep as many as practical. I'd suggest no fewer than 6.>
5. If you have good resources and info on figure 8s id really appreciate it.
<The paper described above is probably the only truly authoritative article on spawning these puffers. It is available via ResearchGate, for example.>
6. Thank you
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Re: Parasites      7/20/19
Hello, thanks so much for your help,
I have a powder blue dwarf gourami left, my fire just died, my honey died, and my neon died...
<These are all varieties of Colisa lalia, or at least hybrids between that species and Colisa chuna. Either way, not much to choose between them in terms of healthiness. All best avoided, really.>
I have an opal and another type I forget, but two are not dwarf, and a Cory catfish.,....
<Opaline Gourami is a different species, Trichopodus trichopterus, that is usually hardy but sometimes aggressive.>
They had clear poop lines, long, didn't eat..hid... Acted old and crippled.
<See previous emails re: this symptom. Cheers, Neale.>

New tank setup; FW stkg.      7/19/19
Hi Neale
I hope all is well,
<Well, sort of... but anyway!>
I am setting up a new 3 foot , 200 litre tank, and deciding how to stock it, I have narrowed it down to a few options that I'd like your advice on please..
1 - Tetraodon miurus
I know a lot about the 'ambush' puffers. I am wondering, could I try a group of 3 of these as it's a big tank with lots of cover and feed them regularly?. I know they are super super aggressive, but I know in the Congo where they export these, they keep dozes of these together in vats whilst they are waiting to export and they avoid aggression buy feeding regularly.
I do have back up options if this doesn't work (other tanks).
<I'm not sure 3 will be enough to eliminate aggression, to be honest. Yes, you're right, "overstocking" can prevent territorial fish from claiming their territories, and ergo, they're not able to move onto the next step in their programming, which is to defend said territory.>
2 - Tetraodon/leidon cutcutia
I know these are a little more active but still relatively sedentary, aggressive but not quite as nasty as the miurus - possibly a group of 6-8 of these as they stay fairly small?
<Possibly, but they're still a good 8-10 cm long when they're grown up, and that's quite a lot of fish to put in a 200 litre tank. Still, worth a shot if you have heavy filtration and a Plan B.>
3 - a group of 6 Channa bakanhensis
<Bit more risky, I suspect. Adult size is variable, but up to 30 cm, so a group of them would be much too much for a 200 litre tank. Juveniles should be fine as a group, mind.>
These only get 6-8 inches and I know of a shop that has a group of 6 who have been kept together for about a year, all are fully grown and no problems.
<Not convinced these are necessarily full grown, and in any event, the species does seem very variable in this regard, perhaps dependant on where they are collected from.>
My tank is bigger than the one in the shop in which they have been in for a year so this could work, and who knows, with the right water conditions may even eventually breed?
<Possibly. Breeding requires quite soft and acidic water, I believe.>
Please can you let me know your thoughts? I know some of these ideas aren't conventional, but I'm looking for something a bit different - happy to hear any suggestions you have. It seems that it is puffer season at the moment as I have seen suvattis, hairys, miurus, palembangensis etc all available.
<I'd suggest visiting and posting on The Puffer Forum. The guys and gals there have a lot of experience, more so than me, so I think you'd find a visit rewarding.>
I have seen schoutedeni, but I already have a big tank with a group of 10 of these. I am looking for something a bit more interesting that dwarf puffers or red tails.
<Understood. Unfortunately, Pufferfish don't really work that way.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Might be tuberculosis or something else /Neale      7/19/19
I have a new tank since March. I have been keeping track of the parameters and doing a weekly or biweekly water change as needed to keep ammonia down.
It is a planted tank with Fluval dirt and slow growing but varied plants.
<Adding some fast-growing plants will help control algae. Even floating plants will do! Slow-growing plants have little impact on water quality.>
When nitrates started to appear I slowly added fish 4 cories in a 60 gallon tank. I waited, watched, tested, and water changed as needed. At some points I did add bacteria in bottle (was trying to grow them naturally but got impatient to set up) as tank stabilized I added more. Right now it's July and I have my 4 Cories, some random amount of Ghost Shrimp, two Assassin Snails (to deal with pest snails that came with plants) an Oto cat,
<These are social and rarely last long kept singly. Indeed, they rarely last long in most community tanks given their need for copious green algae or its substitutes.>
and a Bristlenose, 6 Cardinal Tetras, 7 Glofish, 6 Von Ryan Tetras, one Platinum Gourami, one 2 Dot Gourami, and one Snakeskin Gourami. I had a Beta but he died. He has the same symptoms as my Snakeskin Gourami is experiencing. Losing weight, lesions, and the behavior is the one that has me puzzled. He bends and straightens into an s shape. He was mostly gasping at the top and not really moving but them would dart around like crazy. I was told by a couple of people he might have tuberculosis among other possibilities.
<Really hard to say. You're quite right that Mycobacteria infections can cause lesions, wasting, and spinal deformities. But so can a range of other diseases, including simple exposure to non-zero ammonia and nitrite levels.>
I'm trying to know what it can be.
<Understood, and probably impossible outside of a fish pathology lab.>
Obviously the Betta had it so it is contagious or if it is a parasite then goes top different hosts.
<Or both succumbed to similar stress factors in similar ways.>
I did put now the Snakeskin into a hospital tank and started giving him curative baths twice daily. I am dosing both the hospital bath and main tank with Melafix and have added salt
<Melafix likely not useful here, especially if the problem is bacterial.
Salt may help, though it's hard to say: salt can reduce the toxicity of ammonia and nitrite, and might reduce osmotic stress where lesions occur, but on the other hand it isn't even remotely a treatment for bacterial infections.>
He seems to have perked up and swimming around more normal.
<Good. If the problem is environmental, simply optimising water quality could do the trick.>
He is still bending into an S and straightening still. His color is looking much better but it's only been 2 days of treatment. The other fish right now look normal. Good color, healthy find and normal behavior. Can you tell me what he has?
Is tuberculosis the only possible disease that he would have or is there something else he might have?
<See above. Time, luck probably the best things to rely on here. If Mycobacteria, nothing short of the fish's own immune system will help. No medications sold to aquarists have any impact. But if environmental, as I say, optimise living conditions and things may improve. Cheers, Neale.>

Conchoidal fracture on inside Tank bottom     7/19/19
Hello Crew,
I have over the years searched this site for many an aquarium matter.
you, thank you, thank you for all that you do!
<Ah, welcome>
I began drilling the standpipe holes in a 100x60x80cm 1.9cm thick glass aquarium. As the tank is so heavy I was sitting inside of it drilling from the inside out. Much to my dismay, while pulling out the drill bit to clean out the glass dust I foolishly did not stop the drill-bit first and somehow bent the bit at the same time fracturing around the uncompleted hole.
<Ugh! Been there, done this... really have to take one's time... a good idea to tape the zone... run water or other coolant/lubricant, use a grinding type bit...>
As the glass is so thick and it takes so long to drill through I must have been in a daze focusing (or not, I guess...mesmerized?) on that drill going round and round. Anyway, you can see the fracture in the attached photos (the tank is wrapped with plastic wrap still).
1. Will/is this 2-3mm deep fracture be an issue in terms of integrity?
<Could be... such scallop chips can lead to catastrophic failure...>
2. If not, I am concerned about the seal of the gasket on the fracture. I await your counsel on this matter.
Thanks ahead of time,
<I'd at least Silicone a minimum of quarter-inch glass over the chipped area and surrounds (an inch plus overlap over the hole, area... and drill through this in addition. Bob Fenner>

API medication; and UV use
Dear Bob,
Would it be possible to use API general cure
<" 500 mg Metronidazole and 150 mg Praziquantel per teaspoon. ">
and furan 2 with UV sterilizer turned on?
<Mmm; I do think these compounds are not readily (too much) reduced by UV exposure here. I would say yes>
Other medications instructions clearly say to turn off the UV however I haven't seen anything in API manual.
Could you shed some light on this?
<From memory, what I see quickly on the Net...>
Kind regards
<And you, BobF>

Might be tuberculosis or something else
I have a new tank since March. I have been keeping track of the parameters and doing a weekly or biweekly water change as needed to keep ammonia down.
<Mmm, ammonia? It should be gone; your system should have long since cycled... are you referring to nitrate accumulation?>
It is a planted tank with Fluval dirt
<? What is this?>
and slow growing but varied plants. When nitrates started to appear I slowly added fish 4 cories in a
60 gallon tank. I waited, watched, tested, and water changed as needed.
At some points I did add bacteria in bottle (was trying to grow them naturally but got impatient to set up) as tank stabilized I added more. Right now it's July and I have my 4 Cories, some random amount of Ghost Shrimp, two Assassin Snails (to deal with pest snails that came with plants) an Oto cat, and a Bristlenose, 6 Cardinal Tetras, 7 Glofish, 6 Von Ryan <Rio?>Tetras, one Platinum Gourami, one 2 Dot Gourami, and one Snakeskin Gourami. I had a Betta but he died. He has the same symptoms as my Snakeskin Gourami is experiencing. Losing weight, lesions, and the behavior is the one that has me puzzled. He bends and straightens into an s shape. He was mostly gasping at the top and not really moving but them would dart around like crazy. I was told by a couple of people he might have tuberculosis among other possibilities. I'm trying to know what it can be. Obviously the Betta had it so it is contagious or if it is a parasite then goes top different hosts.
<A couple notes. Mycobacteria aren't parasites; this is a group of bacteria; and Mycobacteria are pretty much omnipresent in captive biological aquatic systems... becoming pathogenic (disease-inducing) under
conditions favoring them, disfavoring their hosts>
I did put now the Snakeskin into a hospital tank and started giving him curative baths twice daily. I am dosing both the hospital bath and main tank with Melafix and have added salt.
<Mmm; do search WWM re Melafix; not of any real use>
He seems to have perked up and swimming around more normal. He is still bending into
an S and straightening still. His color is looking much better but it's only been 2 days of treatment. The other fish right now look normal. Good color, healthy find and normal behavior. Can you tell me what he has?
<Not based on the information provided, no. The issues with the Betta, Gourami may be pre-existing (from the breeders, handlers before your acquisition), or infectious as you state. IF the latter there are
anti-bacterial, antimicrobial approaches to try...>
Is tuberculosis the only possible disease that he would have or is there something else he might have?
<Please search, read on WWM re Tuberculosis... and follow the references listed there re identification, possible potential treatments. Bob Fenner>
Re: Might be tuberculosis or something else

I have a new tank since March. I have been keeping track of the parameters and doing a weekly or biweekly water change as needed to keep ammonia down.
<Mmm, ammonia? It should be gone; your system should have long since cycled... are you referring to nitrate accumulation?>
~Well to begin with when there was no fish and not fully cycled but plants I would do some water changes so that the plants would not be burned by the ammonia.
<<... this shouldn't happen. Some, most plants can utilize ammonia as a food source>>
Once the nitrates started showing I knew that I had achieved a level of cycle and added my cories and I'm trying to remember what else. Maybe it was hasty but I had miss having fish. This did cause a bit of an overload of ammonia on my bacteria and was why I did some water changes to keep happy fish. Always the levels were low. Nitrates were always low but still did weekly water changes just to make sure they had fresh water.
Still watching levels every week I would add a fish but sometimes a  school.~
It is a planted tank with Fluval dirt
<? What is this?>
~[image: image.png]
<<Ahh, a commercial substrate>>
and slow growing but varied
plants. When nitrates started to appear I slowly added fish 4 cories in a 60 gallon tank. I waited, watched, tested, and water changed as needed.
At some points I did add bacteria in bottle (was trying to grow them naturally but got impatient to set up) as tank stabilized I added more. Right now it's July and I have my 4 Cories, some random amount of Ghost Shrimp, two Assassin Snails (to deal with pest snails that came with plants) an Oto cat, and a Bristlenose, 6 Cardinal Tetras, 7 Glofish, 6 Von Ryan Tetras, one Platinum Gourami, one 2 Dot Gourami, and one Snakeskin Gourami. I had a Betta but he died. He has the same symptoms as my Snakeskin
Gourami is experiencing. Losing weight, lesions, and the behavior is the one that has me puzzled. He bends and straightens into an s shape. He was mostly gasping at the top and not really moving but them would dart around like crazy. I was told by a couple of people he might have tuberculosis among other possibilities. I'm trying to know what it can be. Obviously the Betta had it so it is contagious or if it is a parasite then goes top different hosts.
<A couple notes. Mycobacteria aren't parasites; this is a group of bacteria; and Mycobacteria are pretty much omnipresent in captive biological aquatic systems... becoming pathogenic (disease-inducing) under
conditions favoring them, disfavoring their hosts>
~Yes I guess I was hoping for not tuberculosis. Everything I read about it sounds awful and before I nuc my tank I want to make sure it is what people are telling me it is. ~
<<Better to educate yourself rather than rely on hearsay opinions>>
I did put now the Snakeskin into a hospital tank and started giving him curative baths twice daily. I am dosing both the hospital bath and main tank with Melafix and have added salt.
<<Mmm; do search WWM re Melafix; not of any real use>>
~It was all I had on hand at time. I want to get what I need. I don't want to buy random stuff until I know what exactly will help my tank. I don't like to just jump and get everything everyone says I need. I have been told to get stuff to treat fungus and stuff I know is low bacterial cure. I did not follow that advise. I have some knowledge but have never experience with tuberculosis. This is why I'm reaching out to others with more knowledge than me.~
<<Read where you've been referred to>>
He seems to have perked up and swimming around more normal. He is still bending into an S and straightening still. His color is looking much better but it's only been 2 days of treatment. The other fish right now look normal. Good color, healthy find and normal behavior. Can you tell me what he has?
<Not based on the information provided, no. The issues with the Betta, Gourami may be pre-existing (from the breeders, handlers before your acquisition), or infectious as you state. IF the latter there are
anti-bacterial, antimicrobial approaches to try...>
~I do not know the breeder but I could find out. I buy all my fish from a mom and pop store. Good store, fish always look good and customers come from miles around because of the quality of stock. Would a video help? I was going to send one but thought it would be too big of a file.~
<<If large files, do park them elsewhere and send a link>>
Is tuberculosis the only possible disease that he would have or is there something else he might have?
<Please search, read on WWM re Tuberculosis... and follow the references listed there re identification, possible potential treatments. Bob Fenner>
Ok I will look again on your site. I was just wanting to make sure that it was tuberculosis before I start to destroy my beautiful tank.
<<Real good. BobF>>

Hello, great site, I am treating dwarf gourami for internal parasite,
<Which one? There are several different types! Each requires specific treatment. What works for worms won't work with Hexamita, for example.>
lost three fish, using tetra all in one treatment, been treating 8-9 days now,
<Anything sold as "all-in-one" isn't likely to be entirely reliable, anymore than a medicine sold at your local drugstore that promised to be a cure-all probably won't be much use.>
have malachite green but don't want to use in tank, maybe a dip if possible?
<Dips of any/all kinds are for treating external parasites. Of no value at all if you are genuinely dealing with internal parasites.>
Added salt,
<Again, useful for treating external infections in specific situations (Whitespot comes to mind) but otherwise either useless or even harmful.>
did a big water change
<Always useful, provided not diluting any medication: would recommend only changing water (at least) 24 hours after dosing tank, so that each dose of medicine has time to work.>
two days ago and continued using tetra , help is needed, I get bad info from Petco specialist.
<I'm sure there's variation, but on the whole, the big pet store chains tend to have sales clerks rather than actual experts, so unless the clerk you're speaking to is a genuinely experienced hobbyist -- and some are -- I'd tend to "trust, but verify" any information shared by most of their staff.>
Thank you so much, I'm Ray, hope to hear from you soon.
<Let's return to the sick fish, the Dwarf Gourami, what was called Colisa lalia for many years, but is apparently Trichogaster lalius. This originally lovely fish has been mass produced and inbred over decades, and the resulting specimens are very poor quality. Viral infections ("DGIV" or Dwarf Gourami Iridovirus) that cause wasting and lesions are extremely common, nearly universal in some cases (the ones exported from Singapore are notorious). There's no treatment. Furthermore, when stressed, these
fish appear to be extremely prone to Mycobacteria infections. Again, there's no treatment. Symptoms including wasting, lethargy, spinal deformities, loss of colour, and eventually death. Nothing you dose the
tank with will help. Now, you haven't told me what symptoms your fish has, nor what you suspect the fish to be suffering from, so I can't really offer any advice. But as a general observation, Dwarf Gouramis (unless locally bred) are best avoided in lieu of much hardier, but similar-looking, species such as the Thick Lipped Gourami and the Banded Gourami. Cheers, Neale.>

Skimmer run time       7/17/19
Hello Crew
It's always good to hear from you to confirm and re-confirm in case we read anything on the web.
Your encouragement and guidance matters a lot and many of my modifications to the set-up has been on your able advice.
I am currently running a 16 inch nano cube with a 25 gallon sump which sports a protein skimmer in the first chamber followed by space for chaetomorpha, a DSB and the return pump in the last chamber.
Currently have a couple of percula clowns with rocks in the display tank.
The water's clean and the livestock healthy.
I am working to turn this to a mini reef set up and giving it the time it requires. No rush at all.
Just wanted to confirm the run time for the skimmer. With the current load, I dropped down form running the skimmer full time to 12 hours shifts and then changed the shift to the night time when the tank lights are off and sump lights are on.
Is it necessary to run the skimmer 24 X 7 ?
<I would; yes>
Can you give me the options for the below scenarios along with the best time to run ( day/night)
1. Few small fishes ( marginal bio-load)
2. Fishes with a couple of soft corals ( medium load)
3. Fished with few corals (Full tank load)
<For all I'd run continuously. The skimmer does more (actually) than remove materials deemed undesirable... among other things, it increases dissolved oxygen, raises ORP... BobF>
Kindly advice.
Warm Regards,
Srinivas Manian

German Ram Sick /RMF      7/17/19
Hi there
Hoping you can help me...
This is Grace my female GR and over the past 2 weeks she has developed whitish coloured raised looking lumps on the side of her head (pic 1) and behind one of her fins (pic 2)... she also has no pectoral fins, clearly a birth defect lol
<Or evidence of physical trauma... This fish is very/too thin...>
Water conditions are good all 0 and ph 7-7.2
<Better a bit lower, more acidic for this species>
Temp 26o.
<And this a bit cool... I'd raise to 27-28 C>
She shares the tank with 5 serape <Serpae> tetra and 3 bristlenose catfish.
She also has clear poop which you can see in the first picture (sometimes it has little brown specks in it). I have been doing 20% water changes every 2 days for the past week. She seems interested in food but looks like she struggles to eat it.
She takes it in and spits it back out. I feed flakes and micro pellets.
<... I'd try meaty foods, live if possible, practical. Several times per day. Along w/ the water quality issues mentioned above, this fish should be eating>
She seems to take little bits of watermelon and brine shrimp when offered. I have also noticed tonight she seems to be flicking her tail almost like she’s trying to get rid of the poo!
I have read so many things it could be that I don’t even know where to start!
<Let's have you read, here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/rams.htm
and the linked files above; including ALL the Ram Disease FAQs. Bob Fenner>
German Ram Sick /Neale       7/17/19

Hi there
Hoping you can help me...
This is Grace my female GR and over the past 2 weeks she has developed whitish coloured raised looking lumps on the side of her head (pic 1) and behind one of her fins (pic 2)... she also has no pectoral fins, clearly a birth defect lol
Water conditions are good all 0 and ph 7-7.2
Temp 26o. She shares the tank with 5 serape tetra and 3 bristlenose catfish.
She also has clear poop which you can see in the first picture (sometimes it has little brown specks in it). I have been doing 20% water changes every 2 days for the past week. She seems interested in food but looks like she struggles to eat it. She takes it in and spits it back out. I feed flakes and micro pellets. She seems to take little bits of watermelon and brine shrimp when offered. I have also noticed tonight she seems to be flicking her tail almost like she’s trying to get rid of the poo!
I have read so many things it could be that I don’t even know where to start!
<<Not going to add much beyond what BobF has already shared. He's quite right that extra heat (around 28 C) is the aim, and the Serpae Tetras really can't be trusted with any slow-moving fish. What I will add is that the use of Metronidazole together with an antibiotic can work wonders with cichlids. The copious clear faeces is a common symptom of Hexamita infections, so if you live somewhere (like the EU) where Metronidazole and antibiotics are only obtainable from a vet, then a product called eSHa HEXAMITA could be useful. It's had some good reviews, though I wouldn't expect it to be as effective as Metronidazole. So if you do have access to Metronidazole, that's the best bet. Indeed, Metronidazole together with Nitrofuran is widely used as "standard operating procedure" when dealing with ailing cichlids. Cheers, Neale.>>

Softshell Turtle Fungus       7/16/19
<Hello Kai,>
I have a spiny softshell given to me recently by a friend who got it at the market intending to keep it as a pet but realizing he could not really take care of it (not sure if this is a common occurrence everywhere, but where I live people tend to eat Softshells, not care for them).
<Understood. Spiny Softshell turtles, if by which you mean Apalone spinifera, are members of the Trionychidae, a group of long-necked, fast-moving, and rather vicious turtles that can be dangerous to keep. They also get rather big, shell lengths up to 50 cm or so in some cases, making them not only dangerous but demanding pets.>
I keep him in a 40gal tank with a Penguin 75gal filter, currently only river pebbles as substrate but once I found out sand was needed I ordered it online and it should be coming soon, and a basking dock and UVB light.
<Good. While Softshells don't come out onto the land much, particularly when they're adult sized, they do like resting on sloping banks with their back flippers and tail in the water, but the top half of their shell, and their head, under the basking lamp.>
I also keep some Marimo moss balls in the tank. Since it was such a sudden request for me to take him in, I had no choice but to put the softshell (Pancake) in the tank with my two young red eared sliders.
Fortunately, so far there has been no visible aggression and they seem to get along well, but I'm aware this is a risky living situation - I'm working on being able to buy another full set of tank, lighting, filter,
etc. for him.
<Indeed. Depending on how big the Softshell is, you might be fine for the time being. But when they get bigger, Softshells can become problematic (i.e., aggressive and territorial, not to mention well-armed and fast) so are best kept singly.>
Pancake has been doing badly from day one - his rough treatment at the market led to several wounds along his spine which are healing, but very slowly.
<Good clean water essential here, even addition of a little salt might help (2-5 gram/litre) since Apalone do occur in mildly brackish water.>
A few days ago he started developing a soft, slimy, white kind of gunk all over his shell. At the very edges, his shell is VERY soft and pliable, and almost completely white. This condition developed very rapidly. I began dry docking him as soon as I realized the fungus was an issue (I assume it's fungus rather than shell rot; it seems like it's primarily affecting the surface, and he certainly smells bad but I'm pretty sure this is just what Softshells smell like).
<Do scrub, clean gently. Turtle shells may smell wet, like a well-maintained aquarium, but shouldn't smell bad.>
However, I began the antifungal treatment with vinegar today, and despite the fact that I was barely touching him with the toothbrush + vinegar, he seemed to be in great pain and now there are small localized spots of dark red on his shell.
<I would not use vinegar then!>
They look like blood to me, though I've read they can also be bacteria, and they appeared almost immediately after the vinegar treatment. Should I continue the treatment, buy better antifungal meds, or take him to the vet?
<Do see above. Salt may help, but certainly regularly changing the water and giving the turtle time to recover will be the important things.>
Also, do you have any extra tips about dry docking a softshell turtle?
<Dry docking Softshell turtles isn't really necessary or useful. Bear in mind these turtles dehydrate much more quickly than Sliders or Box turtles, and their shell is more leathery skin than dry scutes. In some ways they're more like amphibians -- they're super-sensitive to poor water quality, and scratches and bites can become infected if the water isn't clean enough.
The use of salt can help in this regard, but to stress, clean water and the opportunity to bask _when it wants to_ will be the aim here.>
I currently keep a cold wet towel in his tub so as to try and prevent dehydration, since I've heard Softshells are much more readily dehydrated than hard-shelled turtles, but I'm not sure if this is enough.
<Dry docking while wrapped in a wet towel is a bit pointless, I think.>
Thank you so much for your help!
- Kai
<Have cc'ed Darrel in case he has a second opinion here. Cheers, Neale.>

Lights for Chaetomorpha       7/16/19
Hello Team
< Hello Srinivas>
I have gone through many mails in this very forum for the captioned topic.
However, the more I read; the more am getting confused. The sites and posts are full of technical jargons relating to PAR and lumen effects, which to my average brain, is too much to absorb as of now
In a simple layman language, Considering the current budget issues, I need to know if I can maintain Chaetomorpha with 6500K CFL lamps
<Yes, in fact you can maintain Chaeto with a simple, inexpensive 6500K light bulb from Home Depot or Wal-Mart, as long as you provide the required nutrients and proper magnesium and calcium levels to make it thrive.>
I would be upgrading to a 9W ChaetoMax LED from Innovative Marine shortly.
Until then, what should suffice to keep the algae alive and going.
<As mentioned above>
Warm Regards,
Srinivas Manian
<Have a nice day. Wil.>

Acro Spots     7/15/19
Are you able to see videos on YouTube?
<Sure; was just watching "Hot Ones" there last night>
I can not catch one of these bugs to view under a microscope and I can never find them in the bucket after dipping the coral. Been trying all day. I got a very close video of my slimer who lost all polyp extension. Is this an Acro pest or a pod? Item moves like a Red Bug but is grayish / black.
<Where is this in the field of view? Bob Fenner>
<Looked again, near the top ... there are two ... from the size, shape, and movement these do look like Tegastes to me. B>
Re: Acro Spots     7/15/19

I have noticed them on all my Acros. I should definitely treat the tank
with Interceptor right?
<Yes I would; ASAPractical. BobF>

Re: Fw: Puffer disease        7/14/19
Ok I'll try to find the ParaGaurd. The only part I do not understand is you say bring the gravity down. Are you saying to bring salinity down to lower level? Tysm!
<Yes, lower the salinity to make the parasites drop off the fish body. Wil.>

Marine aquarium Sump question        7/14/19
Hi team
Glad you’ll are here
<Hi Srinivas>
Just needed a confirmation.
Based on your recommendations, I have modified my sump used for my 16” cube. The flow sequence is as under
Display > skimmer > micro algae > DSB> return pump
<It is right>
Is there any issue in keeping a couple of live rocks in the skimmer chamber? My display cannot hold them
<You can place them in the skimmer chamber, the only problem would be if the rocks lose some fragments and these get stuck in the skimmer pump intake. Wil.>

Re: 55 gallon FOWLR tank stocking        7/14/19
Following up on our previous conversation. I was able to acquire 4 Pacific Blue Eyes (Pseudomugil signifer)
<A fave species; I raise them here.>
which I am currently in the middle of drip
acclimating. They seem to be doing well at this current time, hoping they get along with the Mollies and Yellow Tail Blue Damsel (Chrysiptera parasema).
<Hope the Damsels are small, the Blue Eyes big>
Besides that, I am currently trying some spare bits of Aegagropila algae in the tank to see if it takes off. So far, after a week it's still perfectly green, so that is a pleasant sign.
The store I went to did in fact have an available Talbot's Damsel (Chrysiptera talboti), at a larger size than my current Yellow Tail resident - 2 inches compared to 1.5. Given my Yellow Tail Damsel fought
constantly with the other Yellow Tails, is it likely it would also fight in a 55 with a Talbot's?
<Might; though most all Chrysiptera get along as individuals, between species>
Thank you as always for your advice,
<Glad to share. Bob Fenner>


Fw: Puffer disease       7/13/19
Tried to grab a video but could only send pics.
<Pix are fine thanks. It does look like Ich on its early “visible” stages >
150 g of fresh salt was put in this new tank then 150lbs of cured live rock and some turbo start. Water was tested and showed no ammonia and fish were added about a week later, which was Sunday.
<A week is not enough even if LR was cured and taken from an established system; you should’ve waited for nitrites to go down to zero too.>
Puffer had the dappling on fins coming into the tank. Eating well all food is soaked in Kent garlic oil and Selcon for 30 min before feeding.
Fw: Puffer disease       7/13/19

Thanks...puffer moved to 20g qt tank. Is not happy about that. Lessened dappling on fins today but slight discoloration around face which could be normal for this species. I've only had porc before never a dog face.
Anyway still no ick spots on body. Eating like a champ and very active in fact he's the <He is the?> bully of the tank and I like him less n less each day.
<Maybe you can trade it for a less aggressive fish once it is fully recovered.>
I have meth blue and malachite green here as well as a rid ick product and can get ruby reef ick product .do I do dip or treat his 20g? Which is least harsh?
< Since you already moved the Dogface to the QT, I suggest treating it there, Ruby Kick Ich is useless, try instead Seachem’s Paraguard, I have used it in the past for treating Ich in fishes like puffers and angelfishes that don’t tolerate copper very well, and I had excellent results. Do daily water changes to keep the ammonia/nitrites/nitrates under control, also bring the specific gravity down to 1.010 and keep the temp around 80° Add enough oxygen to the water with a water pump or an air stone.>
Also, I test daily no issues w nitrates
<Good, please keep us posted. Wil.>

Re: Porcupine Puffer with Possible Lockjaw       7/13/19
Just got back. I think the most important thing I learned is that I have a “wet vet” 15 minutes away. Dr. Kirsten Love in Lantana, Fl. Very valuable! Great experience, though harrowing in getting a 10 inch, 15 year old, sick puffer there and back (buckets, aerators, thermal blankets, etc). She wouldn’t do a home visit on first visit, but now having seen and treated him, she’s likely to going forward if necessary. She took a small tail sample and determined that there was no evidence of bacteria, but a full blanket of white blood cells, indicating his immune system had kicked in and was defeating the infection.
She also felt his left pectoral fin and found no structural damage and some of its own movement away from clamping. She suggests he’s in good shape and recommended stay the course.
<Ah, good>
I was in such a rush to get him home after that, I forgot to ask for how long, I have a follow-up email in. The visit was, of course, stressful to an already stressed puffer. Made even more so because during the sampling, I held the puffer in place while she did the sample. Despite my best efforts, when he predictably puffed up, he did get one bubble of air in which didn’t release. After giving it 15 minutes on the ride home, I had to burp him.
Then acclimate to the QT again. Needless to say, he had a hectic day (as did his owner). He’s getting some much deserved R&R now in the QT with the lights dimmed 95%. I still have the s.g. at 1.015, with an intent to slowly raise a degree a day after about 48 more hours. That really did seem to inhibit progression.
Thanks Bob, for all you and WWM Crew do for our community, you’re always there, and always responsive.
<Thank you for this update Scott. BobF>

Re: Can freeze dried worms retain parasite spores? /RMF          7/12/19
Dear Bob,
Thank you for a prompt and detailed response. It will help me take an informed decision going ahead.
<Ah, good>
Keep well.
<And you, BobF>

Can freeze dried worms retain parasite spores? /Neale           7/12/19
Dear WWM,
<Hello Devakalpa,>
Thank you for being there, the immense knowledge available here is priceless.
<Thanks for these kind words.>
Question: can freeze dried Tubifex worms retain latent spores of the whirling disease parasite? I was wondering as I lost couple of established tetras to disease with symptoms of lack of balance and rolling over. May be they were due to other causes, but a rare feeding of freeze dried worms just a day before the onset is prompting me to cross check, correlated or coincidence?
<I would suspect the latter. It seems unlikely that any but the most specialised organisms could survive the freeze-drying process. Bacteria probably can survive freeze-drying, at least in some cases. But desiccation is often part of their natural life cycle. For more complex organisms -- I just don't know. I suspect not, unless you know the parasite is able to survive dormant on dry riverbeds for months or years (as, say, brine shrimp eggs can). When it comes to Neon Tetras, for example, there are so many
other reasons why they get sick -- Pleistophora, generally opportunistic Mycobacteria infections, even heat stress (they need water around 22-24 C).>
What about freeze dried bloodworms? Can they retain latent spores of parasites they are vectors of when alive?
<This has been discussed by aquarists at various times, both with regard to freeze-dried and plain frozen bloodworms. While parasites probably don't survive either, the often rather grim environments used to rear these bloodworms can expose them to things like heavy metals, and these will be in the food items produced from the worms. Bloodworms are to be used cautiously, especially if you're keeping delicate or disease-prone fish.>
Thanks in advance.
Warm regards
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Can freeze dried worms retain parasite spores?          7/12/19

Dear Neale,
Thank you for the detailed reply, your inputs are valuable.
<Most welcome.>
The fish I lost was not a neon tetra but a Diamond Tetra and though I am aware that even they (or for that matter non tetras also) are susceptible to NTD, the symptom onset was overnight, the fish lost balance completely and was dead in a day. In fact I wrote to you for guidance.
<Diamond Tetras are lovely fish. So good choice there! But they are a little sensitive to water chemistry. They do best in soft water, and may be disease-prone in harder water conditions.>
I have added some Bolivian Rams and was thinking if I could add some 'safe' 'once-alive' food to bring some variety to their and their tankmates' diet.
<Understood. But really, not necessary. Modern flake and pellet foods (like the brands you mention below) are perfectly adequate for small community fish such as tetras and barbs. No real need to add anything else. If you want to offer some variety, green foods are the best, such as cooked peas and spinach. Indeed, it's worth experimenting with vegetables and fruit, in small quantities, to see if they're eaten. Some fish will also eat cooked rice, which like vegetables, is perfectly safe. Another good extra is hard boiled egg yolk. Tiny, tiny amounts at a time because it mostly gets spread out in the water, but the grains are perfect for small fish like tetras. As well as these, seafood is a good choice. Few, if any, parasites from seawater fish and invertebrates can infect freshwater fish. While freshwater fish should be safe if sold for humans, there's always a risk of parasites that don't affect us being present in the fish, and these could, if you were unlucky, infect your tropical fish. Still, I've used defrosted slivers of tilapia many times without problems.>
Their standard spread consists of pellets and flakes from Hikari, NLS, Tetra, Ocean Nutrition, etc. I have come to suspect live sewer worms for reasons much elaborated in your website.
I guess personally culturing live food is the safest option. It is rather unfortunate that in a tropical country like India, we hardly get any commercially vetted frozen foods like daphnia, Whiteworms, blackworms, and like.
<In theory, if you place a bucket of water outdoors, it'll become populated with mosquito larvae very quickly, and your fish will eat these very readily! But culturing mosquito larvae in a country where Malaria is present will not be popular with your neighbours. So while do-able, I wouldn't bother.>
Keep well.
<You too!>
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Can freeze dried worms retain parasite spores?          7/12/19

Dear Neale,
Thank you yet again for all the helpful inputs.
I just love tetras, the Diamonds, Lemons, Pristellas, Emperors.. among my favourites!
<Ah, Pristella tetras definitely mine. Robust, adaptable, and impeccably well behaved. A perfect all-rounder for virtually all community tanks. The Emperor is another species with much to recommend it; exotic in appearance, but almost bullet-proof in terms of care.>
I regularly feed my fish parboiled spinach and other veggie tidbits and my Cories, Bristlenose and Whiptails just love them.
<Good to hear!>
I shall try the seafood, rice and hard boiled egg suggestions, thank you.
And indeed, not only neighbors' wrath, I shall attract the municipality health authorities' ire if I plan to culture mosquito larvae :).
<Precisely so. You could try Brine Shrimp though. Brine Shrimp tolerate a higher salinity than even mosquito larvae could handle, which would make this a safe choice. On a small scale you can use old 2-litre soda bottles for this, placing them on a windowsill to get the water green, and then adding the Artemia eggs. Outdoors you'd need some sort of salt-tolerant container, probably plastic or ceramic, since most metal would quickly corrode.>
Take care, and keep up the great work.
<Will try!>
<Best wishes, Neale.>

Re: Porcupine Puffer with Possible Lockjaw          7/12/19
Thanks Bob, I got an appointment with a local fish veterinarian I found for tomorrow morning!
<Real good Scott. Do please relate what you learn. Bob Fenner>

Re: Puffer disease          7/12/19
Sure. But the puffer went into the 150g tank Sunday eve and already had the fin dappling. My tank was set up specifically for this group of fish which came from a salt water forum member who had surgery and felt unable to care for their fish while they recovered. The tank is 150g w 150 pounds cured lr
and reef octopus protein skimmer rated for a 300g tank. There are 6 fish total here. The dog face a porc puffer a flame angel a purple tang and 2 clown fish. All are active and the dog face is the biggest and most aggressive eater.
<It may be nothing serious; probably environmentally related, or it got bumped during handling, sorry to insist but how are your water parameters?
Are you supplementing the food with vitamins, have you done recent water changes?. If possible send us a picture of the fish and provide the missing info re your tank water. Cheers. Wil.>

Cory Catfish with stubborn fin rot.          7/12/19
Hi All,
<Hello Lisa.>
I am at my wit's end. Please help! This will be long, I'll start from the beginning.
<Fire away.>
I had 5 Sterbai in a 20 gallon long, moderately planted tank (Anubias and java fern) with soft, fine play sand substrate. It's got a nice piece of Mopani driftwood they like to sniffle on. It has 2 large sponge filters and an air stone. No CO2. I later added a small water pump and they like to swim in the flow sometimes. I got them in April 2019, online, shipped from a reputable seller. Right out of the box they were healthy and eating and sniffling around. They lived alone, just the 5 of them. I did water changes
of 50% once a week, with sand vac. They get Fluval Bug Bites, Omega One Shrimp Pellets, and maybe once a week a mix of frozen bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp.
<All sounds fine.>
Around mid-late May, I noticed 2 or 3 of them were missing little bits of their fins. No fuzz or white stuff, no blackening of the ends of the fins, no redness or irritation, just missing bits. I "medicated" with Melafix for about 5 days. No change. I medicated with 2 days worth of Kanaplex. I waited a few days for improvement, there was very little to none. I noticed one fish had it worse off than the rest, I spot-treated him with Methylene Blue a few times, no improvement (but! no staining on his tail?! So he's
got intact slime coat), and within a few days it had gotten worse.
Meanwhile, for about 8-10 days I did 50% water changes every other day.
Still slowly worsening. Mind you, every fish is eating and swimming and playing in the bubbles, perfectly normal behavior.
I remove the one fish, I'll call him Stubby. His tail was slowly but surely disappearing, and it looked like a little "chip" was taken out of his dorsal fin. I put him in a 10 gallon hospital tank on 06/26/19. This tank
has a very thin layer of play sand and I put in a few mesh tunnels and some almond leaves for him to hide in. A day later I caught another fish (Chuck) that had dorsal and tail fin damage as well, not as bad, but it was there.
<The wounds look clean and uninfected, which seems to rule out Finrot.
Indeed, the holes in the fins look a lot more like what you see on wild catfish that have been victims of attacks by fin-biting predators.>
I proceeded to medicate with Methylene Blue in the tank for 5 days, following the instructions on the bottle. No improvement in Stubby, Chuck might be getting better, hard to tell. They are very shy and run when the camera comes by.
<Not unusual, especially if the Corydoras group is rather small. We usually recommend 6 or more, and in the wild, groups may number in the hundreds. It's hard to replicate that in home aquaria, but certainly the more specimens, the happier they'll be.>
From then on, I have been changing water every day, still 50%. Stubby seems to have gotten a tiny bit worse, while Chuck is almost healed. They have now been in the hospital tank for 16 days.
Hospital tank parameters: 77 degrees F., PH 8, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates 0. I do have 1 sponge filter and one box filter in there, both cycled. I keep the tank covered on 3 sides with a brown towel to keep them calm. No lights except when I do water change (desk lamp). I still do 50% water changes every day with sand vac. I make tea from Indian almond leaves, alder cones, and rooibos tea and add it every change. The water is a medium tea color. The fish, although understandably very shy, eat, sniffle around, and swim (when I'm not looking).
<Water chemistry sounds a bit on the alkaline side, though it's hard to imagine a pH of 8 causing the symptoms seen here. Similarly, while Corydoras sterbai is a bit of a hothouse flower, with 28 C/82 F usually recommended, 25 C/77 F is the bottom end of their range, and should be tolerated reasonably well. So while I'd suggest kicking up the heater a notch, I can't see why lack of heat would be causing what you're seeing here.>
I checked the 20 long where the other 3 Sterbai are, and yet ANOTHER fish has a little bit missing from his tail!
<It certainly sounds like physical damage. Are there no tankmates with these fish? An over powerful filter might have the same effect, but you mention a sponge filter, didn't you?>
I give up! I don't know what to do for Stubby, or any of them, really. I have asked in other places where to go from here, but I've only been told "water changes, water changes!" Obviously, it's not doing the trick!
Kanaplex didn't work, MB didn't work...where do I go from here? What medication can I use next?
<Assuming the fish are active, feeding, and growing, I would not continually medicate, certainly not until it becomes clearer what the problem is. If the wounds are clean, with no signs of Finrot (e.g., pink/white areas around the wounds) or fungus, I'd actually not medicate at all. In the wild fish routinely deal with bites and damage to their fins, and it's not a life-threatening situation at all. I'd perhaps move the
whole group to a bare-bottomed tank (just in case the sand is sharper than you think) so that they can convalesce together in a dark, shady hospital tank with ideal water conditions. Some flowerpots or similar for shelter would be fine. I'd provide a bit of extra warmth, too.>
I don't want to bomb them with too many meds but this has been going on too long without improvement for me to just leave it. Chuck seems much better, but I hate to take out Stubby's companion. I know they don't like to be alone. Should I just put them back in the 20 long and medicate that whole tank like I did in the beginning? What med should I use now? I'm at a loss, please help.
<In honesty, I can't see any obvious reason for what you're seeing here beyond fin-biting. It's interesting that only the tail fins are damaged, while the whiskers look fine, and it's the whiskers that tend to go first
if the substrate is 'bad' in some way. All very curious.>
Pictures are hard to get but I have included some of Stubby.
Many thanks for any help and advice you can provide, Lisa
PS: I have another 20 long with adult albino aeneus, albino fry, and trilineatus Cory catfish and there's no fin rot, same substrate, same water change schedule, and they spawn regularly. Temp 76-77F.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

WWM Plants Safe for Koi Ponds Broken Links, and a new link to add           7/12/19
I wanted to reach out on behalf of your pond links page
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pondlinks.htm Over the winter and spring I studied and worked extremely hard to build and maintain a koi pond. My backyard is now my favorite place to be, and I love my fish. They have gotten so big and the flowers around it are blooming just right.
<Ah, nice>
A few weeks ago, when I stumbled onto your page and bookmarked it because I wanted to find plants that could actually go in my pond. (Something other than lily pads.) So thank you for having all that information! It was the perfect start for me, and I appreciate it a ton! Although, I did want to let you know that I found a broken page, it's labeled "Koi Net." It's right at the top of the page. While I was searching, I ended up coming across another page that goes in-depth on the benefits of pond plants, I never really put two and two together, but the shade from the plants reduces the grow rate of algae, which is awesome!
<Will look... links pages are a bane of websites; requiring a good deal of maintenance>
I ended up digging out a small plant shelf and once I got the plants into the pond, I could tell my koi were interested. They started swimming all around and on top of the different plants, they look gorgeous! The page also gave a great list of plants, but more focuses on getting them into your pond. (Which I didn't have one plant die.) I thought because both pages were beyond beneficial to me, that your users might like the one I found, It's http://www.avasflowers.net/plants-for-koi-ponds and I think it'll make a great addition to your page, if you wanted to add it. My pond and garden is now my backyard oasis and I couldn't be happier.
<Ahh, thank you for this; will add>
Thank you again for all the help!
Michael Rivers
<Again; thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Unidentified Wrasse, Labropsis manabei           7/12/19
Bought this wrasse and the fish shop identified it as a Tulip or Two-lipped wrasse “couldn’t make it out”. Hope WetWebMedia can.
<Yeah; nice specimen. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/TubelipWrasses.htm
Bob Fenner>


Re: Identify Wrasse          7/12/19
Disregard - identified as Northern Tubelip Wrasse. Thanks .
<Oh! B>
Re: Unidentified Wrasse          7/12/19

Feel free to use my pic as it does show the wrasse better - was taken using my phone and is my tank.
<Okay; thanks. B>

Re: Porcupine Puffer with Possible Lockjaw      7/11/19
Hi Bob, I wanted to give you an update on Fugu and see if you could assist with a twist in the recovery. Since June, Fugu has been doing better and better with the Lockjaw. I hand fed him squid injected with VitaChem. He slowly improved and his mouth week by week was noticeably better.
<Ah, good>
His energy as well. As of two days ago he was fantastic, back to eating from tongs, mouth very much 80 percent back to normal, full of energy. But now there’s a new twist. Last night we noticed that his left pectoral fin was clamped at the top, wouldn’t open. We were concerned and kept a close eye. We thought it might be an injury of some kind.
<Mmm; might be; have seen this before... one pec not moving on puffers>
This afternoon we noticed that part of the fin was white, almost as if the skin was disappearing. The white continues up the caudal peduncle. Then we noticed his anal fin has the same and is fraying, as well as the tip of his dorsal fin. It happened quickly. He is more lethargic and hiding, though he still comes out to swim and has been feeding. My only guess is either an infection or perhaps I have been feeding him too much VitaChem and it became toxic?
<This last is highly doubtful. This (Boyd) product is very safe... and effective>
I’m pulling him from the display tank and moving him to my 30 gallon quarantine. I have Kanaplex and Metroplex on hand. Any additional thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated.
<I might move this fish, but not use the antimicrobials; instead, drop the specific gravity precipitously... like to 1.015. Will need to be raised back slowly, but the change in osmotic pressure may well arrest whatever the cause of "fin erosion" is here, and shouldn't harm the puffer. Bob Fenner>
Re: Porcupine Puffer with Possible Lockjaw      7/11/19

Ok thanks Bob. How quickly would you recommend the s.g. drop? Is it safe to do quickly?
<Yes; as in all at once; really. A bunch can be said, and found in books, and I imagine the Net re tolerance for spg. variation, change in Diodontids esp.>
One other note, he now takes in and spits out the food, refuses it. And i noticed one of his spikes is showing through the skin. Something is happening quickly.
<I'd be moving, making this change pronto. B>
Re: Porcupine Puffer with Possible Lockjaw      7/11/19

Ok on it now. Would i let him sit at 1.015 for a time like a day? and then bring up the s.g. hourly or daily? Thanks so much for your fast replies.
<Leave for a week or two... Please search WWM re puffer disease/s for general background. B>

Puffer disease      7/11/19
I had a set of fish who have been housed together for 5 years come to me sun eve. I had a 150g tank for only them and all were fine but the dog face had dappling on his fins. No spots on his body. Eating and moving well no other stressors. Did a fw dip but no lessen of dappling on fins. Any direction you can suggest I look in? This tank is w 150 pounds of beautiful cured live rock I cannot afford to have compromised. Ty
<Could you please tell us more about your tank?...water parameters (numbers), filtration system, Dog face tank mates... Wil.>

Can freeze dried worms retain parasite spores?      7/11/19
Dear WWM,
Thank you for being there, the immense knowledge available here is priceless.
<A pleasure, honor, indeed calling to share, help others>
Question: can freeze dried Tubifex worms retain latent spores of the whirling disease parasite?
<Mmm; I doubt that Myxosoma can/do persist through the process of freeze drying. My answer: No>
I was wondering as I lost couple of established tetras to disease with symptoms of lack of balance and rolling over. May be they were due to other causes, but a rare feeding of freeze dried worms just a day before the onset is prompting me to cross check, correlated or coincidence?
What about freeze dried bloodworms? Can they retain latent spores of parasites they are vectors of when alive?
<Again, I think that the freeze drying process eliminates such Myxosporeans et al. Am not a fan of "sewer fly larvae" bloodworm use other than by a few processors (San Francisco Bay Brand, Hikari) as have seen suspicious troubles from their use.>
Thanks in advance.
Warm regards
<And you, Bob Fenner>

NTD     7/10/19
I think I had Neon Tetra Disease in my tank where I had neons barbs, Otos and variety of shrimps. Neons and barbs all died, while Otos and shrimp seems to be ok. My question is: can shrimps be carrier of the disease?
<Theoretically, for short periods (e.g., if moved from one tank to another within a few hours) then any wet object, be it a snail, shrimp, plant or rock, can potentially carry the motile stages of any parasite that survives for a while outside a host. But the Microsporidian parasite involved here only passes between fish and intermediate hosts (such as Tubifex worms) and back again. It doesn't, so far as I know, linger outside of either host for very long.>
So if waited month or so and decided to put new stock in, would they get infected through shrimps?
Anybody knows what should I do?
<There really isn't a 'perfect' way to manage Neon Tetra Disease. It can be imported to your aquarium in a very wide range of species, nor just Neons or even tetras, but even species such as Danios that aren't closely related to Neons at all. But because we do know the parasite seems to pass directly
between infected fish (e.g., cannibalism after the death of a host) or else via live foods (such as Tubifex) it is possible to break the cycle by removing infected fish, quarantining new livestock, and avoiding live
Many Thanx,
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Personal Invitation: Leadership Roundtable Quick Livestock Survey     7/10/19
Dear Bob,
<Hey James>
I hope this finds you well.
<Well-enough. In for a back surgery on the 25th... >
Three questions for you:
• Where will the marine aquarium world be in the next 20 to 30 years — especially with coming changes to our sources of livestock?
<The continuing trend of aquacultured available species, specimens... Like freshwater; the majority tank bred/reared. New species and old favorites>
• Could the marine aquarium trade and hobby survive without wild collection and imports?
<No; not long or well. Again, there are some notable freshwater examples. E.g. most Symphysodon/Discus utilized in the ornamental trade are cultured; but some small percent of wild stock is still collected... and useful for genetic diversity>
• What do we need to do to ensure a healthy future for the keeping of marine aquariums?
<Mmm; well.... this is a very much larger, more complex question. Better PR, and by corollary less antagonism from the voting, vocal anti-trop part of the citizenry; legal movements to put the kibosh on the interest. Def. economies around the world that will/can choose to support the marine hobby... it's drifted from middle class to upper m.c., lower upper... with much more "other maintained" systems rather than home hobbyists. The usual plug for good/useful readily available information to slow down the rate of loss of hobbyists, consumers from "anomalous" losses... A bunch more could be stated>

We will be publishing a Virtual Roundtable of the opinions on this subject by a core group of marine aquarium leaders in the MACNA 2019 Program Book and online for the Conference.
<Ahh! Wish I was a speaker this year. Have an improved "Economics/Finance of marine ornamental aquaculture" program... spiffed up from L.V. last year>

Please join this very important, perhaps historic, exchange of views.
A quick, convenient Survey form can be reached at this link:
If you prefer, just send your email response directly to me by responding to this message. Your contribution is needed by the July 16th deadline, just one week from today.

Thanks for sharing your ideas and opinions.
<Cheers mate. BobF>
James M. Lawrence
Editor & Publisher
CORAL Magazine | MACNA Official Guide Book
Reef to Rainforest Media, LLC
Shelburne, VT 05482

Re: Constipated Betta     7/10/19
Hi it’s Donetta again,
<Hello Donetta,>
Needing more help with my Betta Chester. He’s a lone fish in a 10 gal, heated, filtered, planted, bare bottom tank.
<All sounds fine.>
I gave him the concentrated Epsom salt bath on Thursday’s suggested. I’m feeding him a variety of frozen food with the added vitamins every other day and he has BMs every other day. He’s not bloated, but he was starting to float with his tail raising up so I gave him the bath. The floating went away by the next day.
<That's good.>
In addition, he tore three of his fins on his Anubias plant roots.
<Seems deeply unlikely. Anubias aren't sharp, and the roots curl around rocks, so he'd need be doing something real peculiar. More to the point, fish fins are slippery, and don't easily catch in anything much.>
They didn’t heal up, but developed a little rotting.
<Which underlines the reality that some sort of Finrot or equivalent opportunistic infection is at work here. Damaged fins aren't a problem for healthy fish in clean water -- they heal with little more difficulty than your hair grows back after a trim.>
He tore them in May. I added stress coat to the water, but they still didn’t heal.
<Stress Coat is one of these products sold to aquarists that sounds like it's magic -- and that's always a good sign you're looking at marketing rather than science! It's a good water conditioner. Buy beyond that, stuff about aloe vera and so forth really doesn't mean much. What you need when dealing with Finrot is an antibacterial or antibiotic. In the US, antibiotics can be purchased in pet shops, for example Maracyn II and Kanaplex, while outside of the US you're need a prescription for equivalent products. So outside the US we tend to use reliable antibacterials, my favourite being eSHa 2000, but Waterlife Myxazin is another popular choice. Basically, avoid anything that sounds like a cheap cure-all: salt, tea-tree oil, aloe vera, etc.>
On Saturday I moved him to a small 1.5 gallon tank so I could do daily water changes with added salt to help him heal.
<Salt is irrelevant here.>
Once in this small tank I really got to see his faded colors.
<I bet.>
I don’t think I’m feeding him enough with only 2 Brine shrimp, 2 blood worms or 2 Mysis shrimp every other day, but if I feed two days in a row he won’t have a BM the next day. He didn’t have a BM after the Epsom bath. I don’t think it’s anything else in there. He use to have a BM everyday. Is it ok for him to have a BM every other day?
<What's a BM?>
His fins looks somewhat translucent and He seems really skinny and week even with the added vitamins.
<See above re: treating bacterial infections.>
So I put him in the 1.5 gal on Saturday and started doing daily 75% water changes with 1.5 teaspoons salt per gallon the heal his fins.
<Salt doesn't heal fins. It has some value as a treatment against Whitespot when used at 2 gram per litre, but beyond that, the addition of salt is one of those cheap-but-useless things that won't do much.>
This worked well with another Betta I had and his fins healed in a week.
<I doubt the salt is why he got better. As stated above, a healthy fish will heal its fins back without problems. It's the equivalent of your skin healing over a cut.>
Well Chester was very lethargic on Saturday. He crashed at the bottom of the tank some. Then Monday he was better almost like his normal self. Then this morning he has clamped fins, yawning and darting some around the tank. Maybe he has a parasite. He yawns in the main tank sometimes too. I’ve done daily water changes on Saturday, Sunday and Monday so the water is clean.
<Good stuff. But do check ammonia and nitrite levels -- if these aren't zero, Finrot is a common symptom of the stress they cause. Goes without saying that non-zero ammonia and nitrite will slow down, even reverse, healing.>
I was thinking When I change the water tonight that I should remove the salt.
<Adding salt at trivial levels (i.e., below 2 gram/litre) does nothing much, so I'd discontinue this.>
After that I don’t know what to do.
<See above.>
I was thinking about using the Paraguard I have since his fins have not healed after two months. That medicine covers parasites, bacterial, fungus and virus infections.
<Paraguard is not an antibiotic, but it is a fairly reliable antibacterial (antimicrobial, even). So much better than salt and wishful thinking! It's not going to turn around a severe infection, but I think it's definitely worth a shot here. If your fish is still active and eating, there's a good chance he can recover.>
Here’s a picture with his tore fins, however his color looks good in the picture. He is definitely more pale and frail looking in person. However he has splits/ tears on every fin and it’s getting worse.
Thanks again
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Sump question     7/10/19
Thank you so much Wil
<Glad to help, Srinivas. Wil.>

Sump question     7/9/19
Dear Crew
<Hey Srinivas>
For my 16" x16" nano display, I helped myself with a sump system to increase the overall volume.
Was modifying my existing sump to make way for my chiller pump and free the skimmer which seemed to be stuck ( had issues in cleaning the same).
I had a three chamber (nano)sump with the following :
* Chamber 1: Drain/Inlet from Display and live rocks
* Chamber 2: DSB and Chaetomorpha ( a very small bunch)
* Chamber 3: Return pump and Skimmer
<I’d place the skimmer in the first chamber>
The current flow is in that order : Display => Live rock => DSB/Chaeto => return chamber
Am adding an extra chamber and moving the skimmer out. That gives me space in the third chamber which would be utilized for the chiller pump and reactors if I use any in future.
Am also looking forward remove/replace some live rock from the first chamber and add the Chaeto in that. This is with the view that I would be able to monitor the DSB better.
The proposed flow would be : : Display =>Skimmer => Some live rock and Chaeto => DSB => return chamber
<Much better>
Please assist with your views on:
1. Can I keep couple of rocks and Chaeto together ?
<I’d place the Chaeto alone in a separate chamber... better if you could make it tumble with a small power head.>
2. Will the above proposed flow be Ok?
<Yep, it will work fine.>
PS: the current bio-load in insignificant. But am planning a reef set-up with softies
<It’s always better to plan ahead.>
Warm Regards,
Srinivas Manian
<Cheers. Wil.>

Re: red eared slider shell issue       7/8/19
<Everything Neale said!>

Re: Emperor Angel with swim bladder problem       7/8/19
Thank for your response.
<You’re welcome Jimmy>
I have yet another problem that has arisen with my Emperor Angel. The fish improved a bit but not back to normal swimming with improvement in water quality. 5 days ago, I noticed that the fish was laying down on the bottom of the aquarium in its right side .
<Not good at all>
Later on in the day it worked itself deep inside a live rock cave, once again laying on its side. Rapid respirations and badly discolored and very mottled. I did a 20% water change and checked tank parameters, all OK ( nitrates 20ppm ).
<10 ppm would be far better>
I monitor ORP (no ozone, monitor only) and it was 300. I slowly dripped in some permanganate over a few hours until the ORP reached 350 and then stopped. I fed the rest of the fish in the tank. Remarkably the angel came out and ate a couple of pellets ! When the fish ate I noticed that there was marked redness along the front third of the dorsal fin with tissue loss, an area of hemorrhage but no ulceration in the right abdominal area behind the right pectoral fin and red streaking of the right ventral fin and moderate PopEye both eyes. Tentative diagnosis = septicemia.
<I thought the same>
I went to my LFS and bought kanamycin as well as Nitrofurantoin powders, dissolved the recommended amounts in 7 cc of water and soaked a tablespoon of large pellets . As I fed the fish the emperor came out again to eat and ate 8 - 10 pellets fed one at a time. After feeding three times daily for 5 days, things are remarkably better. The fish is hiding less and always at the top of the tank for more food during feedings. The hemorrhagic areas are clearing up, but still swimming with a right tilt. I noticed at night that the angel would work its way into the rock where the skunk cleaner shrimp would be picking at the areas of redness, presumably debriding the dead tissue. Thus far it has been a real save ! The remarkable thing about this situation is that the fish never really stopped eating, so I was able to give antibiotics. If that were not the case I would have quarantined. I plan on continuing the antibiotics for 7 days and will hope the fish does not develop kidney failure as a result of the kanamycin. Is there anything else I should be doing at this point ? Any thoughts? Again, thank you. Jimmy
<It seems that what you are doing is working, I’d continue that route; just keep the tank lights dimmed for as long as the treatment lasts, this way you will reduce stress on the Angel and it will have better odds, please see the next link and related: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/maranghealth4.htm And keep us posted. Wil.>

Re: red eared slider shell issue      7/7/19
Thank you for you quick reply!
Yeah when we ran ph strips everything looked good but the water was about as "hard" as it gets.
<Not a problem for your turtle at all.>
Her shell is very hard and doesn't smell too.
<Sounds good!>
If it is limescale deposits, is there a way to remove it to get her shell looking "cleaner"?
<If you were so minded, a toothbrush used to scrub with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar would dissolve the limescale and brush it away. Rinse thoroughly afterwards, perhaps by using some clean tap water, to remove any remaining juice or vinegar. While neither are toxic by the time they're diluted by the aquarium water, if some splashed or otherwise got into the turtle's eyes before he was properly immersed in water -- could sting a bit! Still, the limescale is doing no harm and not something to stress
yourself -- or your turtle -- over. Longer term, you could choose to mix your tap water with distilled or deionised water to reduce its hardness. I would NOT use water from a domestic water softener though because these replace hardness minerals with table salt, and raising the salinity of the water isn't good for your turtle.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Red eared slider shell issue     7/6/19
> Brent; howsit?
> Please resize and resend your msg. Your file is more than an order of
> magnitude too large.
> BobF
Sorry. Let me send a link instead.
<Thank you, BobF>R
Red eared slider shell issue     7/6/19

We have a female red eared slider about 8 years old. She is very healthy and is very active. She does bask several times a day for long periods.
Her shell has become more and more discolored and her scutes are peeling off in small pieces. It has progressed much more in the last year or two. In my home, which is the last year or so, I do have very hard water. I can't tell if this is fungus or just really hard water.
I have been scrubbing her shell with a brush and using some "hibiclense" to try and clear out any fungus or bacteria that there might be atleast twice a week. I have only been scrubbing for 2-3 months but not seeing any progress. See the attached photos.
<<Her shell is not atypical. You can see the older scutes flaking off, but that's to expected when turtles get older. They're dead, rather like fingernails on humans, so don't heal. So as time passes, it's normal for
the scutes to get a bit scruffy looking before they slough away from the shell. Provided there's no musty smell or abnormal soft patches (which would indicate fungus or bacterial infection) then I'd not be concerned.
Hard water can cause limescale deposits, and these could very easily be the off-white to brownish patches you're seeing. It's important to understand that adult turtles do not look like the bright green youngsters, and this sort of mottled, dull colouration actually provides the turtle with useful
camouflage, so is more of a feature than a bug! Cheers, Neale.>>
Re: red eared slider shell issue      7/7/19

Thank you for you quick reply!
Yeah when we ran ph strips everything looked good but the water was about as "hard" as it gets.
<Not a problem for your turtle at all.>
Her shell is very hard and doesn't smell too.
<Sounds good!>
If it is limescale deposits, is there a way to remove it to get her shell looking "cleaner"?
<If you were so minded, a toothbrush used to scrub with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar would dissolve the limescale and brush it away. Rinse thoroughly afterwards, perhaps by using some clean tap water, to remove any remaining juice or vinegar. While neither are toxic by the time they're diluted by the aquarium water, if some splashed or otherwise got into the turtle's eyes before he was properly immersed in water -- could sting a bit! Still, the limescale is doing no harm and not something to stress
yourself -- or your turtle -- over. Longer term, you could choose to mix your tap water with distilled or deionised water to reduce its hardness. I would NOT use water from a domestic water softener though because these replace hardness minerals with table salt, and raising the salinity of the water isn't good for your turtle.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

How Long Can a Canister Be Disconnected?     7/5/19
Dear WetWebMedia Crew,
I just have one more question...assuming I wanted to lower the water level in a tank below the intake of a canister filter...how long would be safe to turn off a canister filter and shut off the valves before the nitrifying bacteria would die and cause a mini-cycle? I’ve seen responses from people from 30 minutes to almost a day.
Thank you,
<Depending on a few factors, mainly temperature, about an hour. If/when in doubt, drain some water from it and test for ammonia. Bob Fenner>

Giant Gourami (small sized) along with Discus     7/5/19
Hi Team,
<Hey Shriram>
Everything has been peaceful in my tank so far.
I recently went to my LFS and saw a fully grown Giant Gourami, and was stunned by the size.
So as a trial I got a small sized specimen of the giant gourami to add to my existing Discus tank.
<Mmm; not really compatible... water conditions or temperament-wise>
So he first started chasing my albino angel like crazy. I though it must have been because of the same colour, as he was not disturbing my discus then.
<Oh oh>
Now I have moved my angel as his fins were torn and bit by the mean guy.
Now he has started to chase my discus, seems like he is the only one who wants to swim in the whole tank.
I have now started to worry if I should probably return him back before causes more harm.
Any advice and suggestions appreciated.
<I would return the Gourami>
Thanks and regards,
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Shrimp ID       7/4/19
Thank you,
Henry C. Schultz, III
<Hey Henry! Looks to be a Gnathophylliid of some sort; though not one of
the Gnathophyllum species one sees (if you are lucky and look REALLY close)
in the Caribbean. Am going to share this w/ friends on FB for better input.
Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
<<According to friend Ellen Muller (on Bonaire), "Looks like a Roughback Shrimp, Trachycaris rugosa.">>

Bugs       7/4/19
<27 megs!!!!! WE have limits on file/storage size... READ before sending>
Would you please help to identify the circluar bug ? It has right arms is
clear/white with some horizontal fragmented black bands. Approximately .5
- 1 mm size. When it rains it looks like a jelly,on the glass it appears to
look like a star.
Thanks Harry
<Is a jelly, medusoid animal of some sort... Bob Fenner>

Re: Freeze Dried Daphnia/Brine Shrimp       7/3/19
The fish I am considering feeding the freeze dried daphnia/brine shrimp to are giant danios that aren’t bloated or blocked up, they just have poop that looks hard. Would it be okay to feed them the food without soaking, or is it too risky?
<As an occasional treat, once or twice a week, these freeze-dried foods are fine used "as is". But if you wanted to use them exclusively, then yes, I would soak them for a few minutes before use. Peas are a better laxative though, and most hungry fish, even Danios, will nibble at them. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: 55 gallon FOWLR tank stocking       7/3/19
Thank you as always for the quick response. I found two of the Chrysiptera
dead today, not sure if from aggression or illness, but in any case my stocking plans are on hold for a few weeks while I keep an eye on it and  do some investigating.
Scatophagidae is my favorite family of aquarium fishes; my 125 gallon brackish tank has two Selenotoca and one Scatophagus in it and they are wonderful pets. I thought about Toxotes spp. but those that can tolerate full saltwater got a little bigger than I really wanted and I feared they would eat my (mostly smaller) current fish.
<They rarely eat all but the smallest fishes>
I will look into some brackish fishes as well; the Blue-Eye Psuedomugil cyanodorsalis may be obtainable here, potentially Butterfly Gobies (Neovespicula depressifrons) as well. Would love Diamond Killifish but doubt I'll ever come across them. In any case, I'll speak to the stores and see what they can order.
Thank you again for your time,
<Do please keep us informed re your thoughts, activity here. BobF>

Return Pump with copper parts       7/3/19
Hi team
When in doubt, I always rush to you'll
Was just ordering a return pump for my 16 "x16" Nano reef tank.
Was going through the specifications and on one occasion landed on the copper parts used to make the pump more reliable/durable.
Though the parts are sealed/water proof, there can be leakages and go undetected till the pump breaks down.
The copper can then be hazardous.
<Yes and yes>
Please suggest whether there are any alternatives to these pumps and how to
select one without copper
Many manufacturers do not specify the parts and in most cases claim tem to
be safe for saltwater use
<Really? I would go w/ one with all plastic or ceramic impeller. There are
many on the market. are you familiar with Eheim and the Mag pump lines? Bob
Warm Regards,

How to remove the Maconkey Agar in aquarium, FW algae control?        7/3/19
<... Maconkey Agar... the bacterial culture medium?>
How to remove the Maconkey Agar in aquarium that is a pathogen for my
goldfish if it appears. Changing water, scrubbing tank just remove it but it
will be back when the aquarium has some waste by foods, fish poops.. it
makes water cloudy, sticking at the tank and stuck inside the filter but
wipe the tank wall by the white napkin could see the pink color on there.
Could smell it through the top of tank, smells sour like the yogurt.
My tap water is softener, has very low Ph. I'm using Seachem Gold Buffer
non-phosphate to buff Ph up.
<I would go outside your house... to a tap in the yard to get your aquarium
water. It is highly unlikely that all water is being softened>
Changing brand new tank and brand new equipment, using chlorine disinfected
and run the Nitrogen cycle again, using inline UV sterilizer and media
reactor phosphate removal after the cycled done but it doesn't work.. It
keep coming back..
<The algae I take it>
I have 3 goldfish being dropsy when Maconkey Agar appears. Where is that
come from ?? ( tap water, fish, or in the house atmosphere..). How could
find out what's cause this happen? How to remove/treat or control it for it
not coming back and keep aquarium healthy?
<The algae spores can come from the air... or stuck on gear, foods. Best to
"treat" by providing conditions that disfavor them, as you state re better
water quality. Otherwise having competitors like other fast-growing
This is a negative -gram, how to treat if doesn't kill the nitrifying
bacteria.. ??
It's challenge me, turning my fish keeping life more difficult.
<Let's have you read re freshwater algae control:
And the linked files (in blue) above. Bob Fenner>


Re: DSB for Nano tanks    7/2/19
Thanks for the assurance Wil
<You're welcome Srinivas>
Please suggest if I should increase the flow over the DSB through a small/mini powerhead
<Yes, but it must be very snall or you will disturb the sand bed, a single air stone will do the job IF the surface on the DSB looks stagnant, otherwise I’d leave it with the flow created by the main pump.>
Currently it is a drain system with 1" bulkhead flowing
<Enough pipe diameter for a 20 gal.>
Warm Regards,
Srinivas Manian
<Greetings. Wil.>

55 gallon FOWLR tank stocking    7/2/19
Good evening,
<Am here now Joel; howsit?>
I am new to saltwater tank keeping but about 6 weeks ago upgraded my 29
gallon high end brackish (1.015) tank to a 55 gallon FOWLR tank. Mostly, I
wanted to provide tankmates for my 3.5" Green Spotted Pufferfish (
Dichotomyctere nigroviridis) who I've had for about 4 years, waiting until
he exceeded 3 inches to start transitioning to saltwater per Neale's advice. I tested the waters - pardon the pun - with Mollies both in the 29 and the 55 and have found my puffer to be very mild, not biting or chasing any other fish at all during the time I've had him. He's even ignored the hermit crab hitchhikers that arrived on some live rock, who are still  happy and healthy to this day. Understood that he may eventually change his mind on the crustaceans, but for now their inclusion is nice.
Currently, the tank sits at 1.023, pH 8.2, temperature 77F with about 40
pounds of live rock and 2.5 to 3 inches of aragonite sand substrate. Given
my puffer's relatively mild nature, but understanding their potential to
be aggressive, I stocked fish that should in theory be able to cohabitate.
The stocking is currently:
1 Green Spotted Puffer
3 Mollies - 1 male, 2 females (Poecilia spp)
3 Yellow Tailed Blue Damsels (Chrysiptera parasema)
2 Electric Blue Hermit Crabs (Calcinus elegans)
I originally selected the C. parasema due to WWM due to the facts that
they are at the low end of the aggression spectrum, that they are suitable for
this size tank, and that I live in a small town that really only gets
Chromis, Clownfish, and "assorted Damsels". I would have gone for C.
talboti otherwise. I had 5 of the C. parasema, but two of them backed up
the other 3 Damsels and all 3 Mollies into a corner.... not unexpected,
but frustrating. I removed all the rock, caught the 2 offenders, and returned
to the store. The third biggest is starting to be pushy so I'm keeping an
eye on it and considering whether the last three should be returned to the
<I see>
In this case, I am at a loss for how to stock this tank. I've read enough
of the articles to know that some of the WWM believe Chromis viridis to be
a questionable choice in a 55 gallon, but would they be a better choice
than trying more Chrysiptera?
<Chrysiptera genus damsels would be better temperament wise>
I'm trying to go for a peaceful tank atmosphere and would prioritize peace over fis,h that are more  "classically beautiful."
Other than Damsels, I am not sure which families or genera to investigate.
I am avoiding fish that are sedentary or have long fins (like Firefish) to avoid puffer temptation but am looking for any nudge in the right  direction
to do research. I would appreciate any suggestions you could offer.
Thank you for your time,
<Well; you'll have to raise the specific gravity of the water for most
full-strength seawater species... there are (still) many choices. I'd have
you consider other brackish to marine groups for now. Perhaps Scats,
Toxotids... Let's have you peruse here:
Bob Fenner>

Sting ray help    7/1/29
I saw some stuff on the web and I hope maybe you can help. Any ideas what
may have caused this or how to make it better?
<Patty, going to need a lot more information here. Is this a freshwater
stingray or a marine one? What is the size of its tank? What are its
tankmates? What are the water chemistry values? What is the substrate?
Cheers, Neale.>

Dream Aquarium Stocking     7/1/29
Greetings my friends @ the Crew! You have all, from Mister Fenner and
everyone else always given me spot on advice in the past, and as always I
thank you! It is invaluable to all of us aquarists! Well, my kids are grown
and my wife has given me the green light and approved the budget to have my
dream tank/fish room built!
It will be in a separate structure from my home, climate controlled, etc.
The dimensions will be 24 feet long, 12 feet wide, and 8 feet tall
(17,235.12 U.S. gallons). It will be constructed onsite by Professionals
and include all applicable skimmers, pumps, powerheads, sand, rock, as well
as surround seating around the entire tank. My dream stocking list would
include a Clown, Queen, Undulated, Crosshatch, Niger, Pink Tailed,
Humuhumunukunukuapua'a, and Durgon Triggerfish.
<Do start the Clown and Queen small, under four inches... these species can
become intolerable mean, attacking, eating their tankmates; even in a huge
system. Do be aware they may have to be removed in time... maybe with hook
and line fishing, perhaps with a pole spear>
A French, Queen, Passer, Gold Flake, Emperor, and Maculosus Angelfish. I
would also like to keep a wide variety of aggressive and non aggressive
Tangs, Butterflyfish, and Wrasses. If possible, I would like to have a
small Barracuda to grow out.
<Could be done>
Lastly I was wondering if the acrylic would be safe from teeth gouges if I
added one, or a couple Parrotfish, and a couple of large Pufferfish as
well? Thank you again for your time and advice.
<Yes; have seen large Scarids kept in public aquariums, eating good quality
dried foods like Hikari and Spectrum. Bob Fenner>

DSB for Nano tanks
Dear Team
<Hey Srinivas>
Am sorry to crowd you with the same old stupid question..
<There are no stupid questions>
However, pot a lot of reads on various sites, the confusion seems to have increased many-folds
I previously had a 240 Gallon FOWLR
I had a sump and a DSB and it worked fine for more than 5 years until I was posted at a different location (Job Rotation).
Owing to space issues, I now made a nano cube. A diehard fan of the sump system, I build a 20 galllon ( net volume) sump.
Since the old tank was dismantled, I used the rocks and the sand in the
sump for a DSB.
The DSB chamber is 6 inches x 12 inches with 6 inches of fine sand. The
nano has been running for 9 months with only percula clowns.
Am planning to convert it to a mini reef and obviously needed modification
( lights and filtration)
The sump needs to be modified and am adding a new chamber to accommodate a
better skimmer.
Just wanted to check whether I can continue with the DSB or is it
hazardous for a nano system.
<I am a fan of using sumps with DSB, so I advise you to use it in the nano,
no hazard at all, it would be more beneficial using it than not.>
Warm Regards,
<Cheers. Wil.>

Freeze Dried Daphnia/Brine Shrimp     6/30/19
Dear WetWebMedia Crew,
<Hello Lynnie,>
Just a really quick question: would freeze dried daphnia or bribe shrimp still act as a source of fiber for fish if I soak them thoroughly before feeding, or will they cause constipation like freeze dried foods are said to do?
<If your fish are otherwise healthy, there's no reason to pre-soak dried brine shrimps. But if you're dealing with a constipated fish, then yes, soaking the brine shrimps a little while would be beneficial. There's always a risk that dried foods soak up water in the gut, expand, and slow down the movement of food -- at least, that'd be my concern! Remember, fibre in the strict sense is cellulose, and that's coming from plant material. Brine shrimps and Daphnia can help, but I think it's more their
gut contents than anything else, though the indigestible exoskeletons probably do help to some degree.>
Thank you,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Faded clownfish... beginner, chatting       6/29/19
Hi my name is Brian delp
<Hi Bryan>
I have a clownfish that I just purchased a week ago and yesterday his orange color has faded a lot and his he's swimming
around real fast up by power head and then he will swim in between heater
and the glass..he's been doing fine all this time and just like that total
change his swimming is very erratic and it doesn't seem like he's eating but
he was eating the day before he is being housed in a Nano 24 tank
<At first glance, I would say, it is stressed by environmental conditions but, I need to know more about your tank; water parameters, filtration, tank mates, maintenance practices...
Brian Delp
< You´re welcome. Wil.>

Yeah; some consideration now.

Re: Faded clownfish       6/29/19
2 clowns total and 1 red star fish so far
Ph is 8.2 ammonia 0 and salinity is 1.026 and the test after ammonia is 0
and the 4th test was in the middle < ?? > I'm not at home now my other clown is
fine which is the smaller of the 2 they were both fine yesterday morning
<How about nitrites and nitrates?...Wil.>
Re: Faded clownfish       6/29/19

The test after ammonia test is 0 and test after that was in the middle for
the master testing don't remember the 1 number
<Brian, please send us more accurate information of your water parameters, nitrites, nitrates, water temperature, and if possible an image of your clown fish; it is hard to diagnose with just ammonia info. Cheers. Wil.>
Re: Faded clownfish       6/29/19
Ammonia. 25, nitrite 1.0 and nitrate 20ppm,
<Too high, toxic levels, only nitrates are in a safe range>

Water temp 76 degrees just tested again to double check and I just did a
10% water change tank has only been running since may 7th it's a new tank
<I can see in your pic that your clown fish is stressed, I would do more partial water changes, also your water surface looks stagnant, do you have enough water movement/ oxygenation? What is your biological filter composed of, only live rock, how many pounds? Do you run a protein skimmer? Your tank is relatively new and may not be completely established. Wil.>

Dying FW Angel        6/29/19
Hello, I am Yazu Nakarmi a fish keeper from Nepal.
<Good evening from Neale in England!>
I've been on your website and I've found it extremely helpful. Being a fish
keeper, I'm facing a disastrous problem right now. My angel fish are dying
one by one.
<Oh dear!>
I've lost over six of them now. I just can't figure out the problem. Many
white worm like dots appear on the head of the angelfish and the condition
worsens everyday. I just don't know what to do.
<To be honest, nor do I. The photo doesn't really help. If this is
something developing over several weeks, I'd be looking at either a simple
Hexamita infection or something known as Hole-in-the-Head disease, which is
connected with Hexamita but possibly not identical. Either way, you'd treat
this with Metronidazole together with an antibiotic. Metronidazole is about
the only thing that works against Hexamita parasites. The antibiotic helps
clean up wounds and prevent secondary infections. Hexamita and
Hole-in-the-Head infections have complicated causes, and some argue that
the pathogens involved are latent in most farmed cichlids. So what triggers
these diseases? Seems to be environment: overstocking, leading to low
oxygen and high nitrate is probably the biggest issue. Frequent water
changes and lower density stocking will help. There may be a dietary factor
involved as well; in particular, the lack of fresh greens in those cichlids
that need them. Cooked peas will be eaten by hungry Angels, but failing
that, frozen Spirulina-enriched brine shrimp if you can get them.>
Your kind response and help would be much appreciated. Thank you!
<Most welcome, Neale.>

Re:       6/29/19
Thank you Neale. What's the dosage for the metronidazole?
<Will direct you to some relevant reading:
Quote: "Metronidazole can be administered orally at a dosage of 50 mg/kg
body weight (or 10 mg/gm. food) for 5 consecutive days.">
Also I've found thick white poop in the aquarium and all the dead angelfish
have red coloured heads.
<White, stringy faeces is a CLASSIC symptom of Hexamita infection.>
I think it is internal bleeding.
<I don't. Cheers, Neale.>

Boron and Cyano relationship      6/27/19
Hey guys sorry to bother
<Hey Tom, no bother at all.>
but we have been sending water samples to ICP labs and when ever our boron level seems to increase to about 40
<40 what??... Typical values in nature are 4-5 ppm while in aquarium systems can be higher.>
you know it’s a very drastic increase in Cyano in normally pristine Systems we also noticed that when I was boron level increases our Coraline bleaches and flakes off the walls
<It may have to do with your salt, although normally it does not come in high levels in the salt mixes commonly used for aquariums, so , it could be more related to buffer additives, do you use any?...I wouldn’t worry, IF your B level is in the normal range. You can return the Boron to safe levels via water changes.>
Never knew that Boron was that important and that detrimental to both of these.
<Oh, yes, could be an issue if it gets off the charts. Thanks for sharing. Wil.>

Re: Mycobacterial Infection      6/27/19
Sorry to open this inquiry back up. Not sure if you recall but I had also
sent you an email regarding polyp extension on my Acros. I was actually
going move all my soft corals and anemones out and setup a new tank for
them giving me more space to increase flow space out some of my sps
corals. This entire myco infection has got me concerned about
contamination of the new tank even though I know mycobacterium marinum is
omnipresent to a degree.
<Yes; but varying in "potency".... infectiousness if you will. As long as
your livestock is healthy, system optimized and stable; not much chance of
Would removing the coral not attached to rock and anemones likely result in contamination. I have read for hours and most of what I have been able to find pertain to zebrafish studies. I haven't seen any studies that apply to the casual aquarist in situations like mine.
<Not much science per hobby conditions, no. I would do your best to provide
good maintenance and try not to worry re Mycobacteria. Bob Fenner>

Re: Debate solving      6/27/19
Hey bob,
But what about the time from when they “fall” off the fish, and have to swim to the bottom and begin encysting?
<THIS and when they're swarming, looking for a host IS the copper sensitive intervals>
During that time when they are going from the fish to the substrate, are they prone to or protected by copper at this time?
Thanks as always and appreciate your thoughts .
<Glad to proffer them. Cheers, BobF>
This here answers my question thank you. The copper in the water, kills the ich , when it leaves fish to swim and find a suitable place to encyst itself, and then again when it hatches to go and find a host. It can’t kill the stages which are embedded on the fish, and when they are encysted waiting to hatch.
So in theory (from that) if you add a fish to a tank, with already therapeutic levels of copper, assuming the can stay ON the fish for 3- 7 days MAX (let’s say 10 in case not all of them want to play by the rules), then the copper can be removed since any ich that would have come off the new fish, would have had to begin to swim down and reproduce, however the copper would have killed them during there voyage from the fish to the ground .
<Theoretically, yes. The real issue is providing a steady (therapeutic level) of free copper at all times. Cu++ falls out of solution in alkaline settings like seawater; hence the use of "attached molecules" to keep it (copper) around longer. Even in systems w/o carbonate substrate/s, their presence as components of seawater salts involves having to check and re-add some copper solution every several hours. One HAS to have an appropriate test kit (per the type of copper solution being used) and checking, topping off every 12 hours or so. IF carbonaceous gravel, skeletons are present, this checking must be done more frequently still>
If true , this is invaluable, since I’ve noticed some fish can’t get passed the 2-3 week mark in copper. However if you add them into it, keeping them in just long enough until the app the ich leaves the fish to reproduce, (10 days playing it safe) then the recommended 30 days could be avoided.
<In general, yes. What happens is that folks make errors, adding other fish livestock, using contaminated catch gear...>
Thanks again for your help, Bob. Much of the literature speaks to it eradicating the theronts that hatch and find a host, but don’t mention the Protomonts leave fish and go bury themselves. This is the difference of using copper 10 days , vs. 30, which to me, is golden. Trying to use the minimal amount of toxicity as possible.
<Ah yes; I do agree>
Hoping next year they get you to speak at reef a palooza, this year Julian sprung was their, much rather have Fenner myself .
Thanks, Bobby
<Cheers mate, >
Re: Debate solving      6/27/19
Thanks again, bob. There is so much ill informed information out there people read and take as science. The majority of the message boards lead others to believe only the free swimming stage (leaving the cyst and finding the fish) is the only part of the life cycle they can be killed with meds.
I added my last 3 fish Saturday, already in 2.0 copper power. (I do check with Hanna meter every other day, level doesn’t fluctuate) I will wait 10 days, maybe 14 depending how brave I am, then begin removing copper. This way they will have been in high copper from the time they entered the tank, for at least 10 days after to kill all that could have come off while in there .
Thanks again. You taught me along time ago the importance of being open minded and read read and read some more. Even after all of that, there’s times when there is no clear answer, and it begs the question, is their ever really a clear answer carved in stone to be found. Cheers, Bobby
<Thank you for sharing. BobF>

Debate solving. Crypt Cu exposure sensitivity      6/25/19
Good evening Bob,
<Hey Bob>
I attended the reef a palooza show in New York (actually situated in NJ) , by to purchase anything but to gather some info and took first hand with the makers . (Or catchers if it’s pertaining to livestock)
I got into a friendly debate with two guys with tables adjacent to each other, one being an sps stick guy, another fish importer.
Discussing the usage of copper based medications, and length of time.
<A big topic; some decidedly divisive opinions and MUCH science here>
One thing they did agree on, like the literature says, is it kills the “free swimming stages” . But we couldn’t come to a consensus on what exactly the free swimming stage is.
<Temperature dependent, and again, scientifically described....>
We know when it’s on the fish, it’s not touchable , protected in the fishes body. We know it’s protected when it is encysted in the bottom , or in the substrate, waiting to hatch out.
<Yes; and can remain encysted at times for months>
We know the copper can kill during that phase when they hatch out and have to find a host.
<Mmm; not during encystment as far as I'm aware, unless Cu++ levels are VERY high>
But what about the time from when they “fall” off the fish, and have to swim to the bottom and begin encysting?
<THIS and when they're swarming, looking for a host IS the copper sensitive intervals>
During that time when they are going from the fish to the substrate, are they prone to or protected by copper at this time?
Thanks as always and appreciate your thoughts .
<Glad to proffer them. Cheers, BobF>

Algae ID     6/25/19
Good morning from Thailand,
<Hi Dirk from Thailand!>
I have attached some pictures of some algae I am getting very frustrated in and seem to be taking over this aquarium for the longest time now. Aquarium has no fish inside and only houses 2 seahorses which are only fed live brine shrimp and copepods. No food added ever to this tank for about 1year++Water tests show 0 Nitrates and 0 Phosphates. Top off is done with RO/DI water, I dont have silicate test kit so not sure if that's available. Have been putting phosphate remover in the aquarium added extra bacteria to try and out compete this algae but .....Shut of the lights for several days which seem to effect them slightly to just return in force as soon as light goes on. Tank has also a large toadstool, 2 elegances and some red ear and branch sponges.
<What are the dimensions of your system, water volume?... also, what type of filtration do you have, do you run a protein skimmer, ozonizer? These last two help by limiting nutrient availability which is used by BGA (blue-green algae) to reproduce.>
We have tried everything even at one point removing all stone cleaning them removing daily manually, phosphate remover......but this thing keep going and going.....added blue legged hermits, Turbos, Algae crabs, had a Seahare in it even for a while....
<Do you have a sump?... a DSB with macro algae in a reverse light cycle really helps on getting rid of this nuisance algae.>
Cant really seem to find any positive ID on the net either maybe you guys can help?
<This appears to be BGA (blue-green algae).>
thank you for any advice possible...
<You’re most welcome. Wil.>

Re: Algae ID     6/25/19
Hi Mister Will,
Blue green algae are they not to be Cyano bacteria rather then algae?
<Yes, that is how it is called and it is either blue, green, red or brown.>
Not sure if you noticed what I send on the pictures but what I am referring to what is taking over my tank is not a bacteria but rather a green looking plant....see again attached picture with marked what I referring to.
< Yep, it is BGA.>
As for the system yes a skimmer is present in the system though no extra space for a refugium is available.
<I suggest you to perform a large 30% water change, followed by weekly 10% until the problem is solved, please see the following link and related ones. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cyanocontrolfaqs.htm . Wil.>

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