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Large system sump remodel
Ok, I’m looking for plumbing suggestions on a large system and I’m hoping you can help. I have a 220 gal (72”x 24”x 28”) mixed reef tank in my living room sitting on a stand with 26” interior headroom
<Thank goodness>
and I’m really struggling to work on anything down in the stand.
<Due to space constraint?>
The sump is an Oceanic #3 (50gallon breeder) and the 19.5” sides make access difficult. I’d like to expand the sump, which right now is acting as just a refugium,
<I do want to mention; that looking at your photo, I WOULD raise the refugium walls here; to give more volume, allow deepening of the DSB here, more algal culture space>
and I need to upgrade the protein skimmer. Below are the solutions I’m currently considering:
1) Just seal the inside base of the stand with 3/8” acrylic sheet to make a 12” or 15” tall sump, expanding my surface area and improving access.
<Interesting approach; worth considering. Would you have to take the tank down, insert the new sump from the top of the stand? Seems so>
However, the more I look at upgrading the protein skimmer, the harder it is to find a good one that will fit in the 26” with enough room to maintain it.
<You are wise, maybe just experienced (ha!) to consider this...>
I would also like to add an algae scrubber and a few more tools and I worry I just won’t have enough room.
<I myself would definitely leave a good 10-12 inches open space twixt the top of the sump/refugium and stand to get in/out work on/in it>
2) I have a basement and could place my filtration there.
<Ahh! Perhaps a large... Rubbermaid tote here!>
I am looking at upgrading my return pump anyway (currently a Mag 18 running externally), and I like the idea of being able to stand up while cleaning/maintaining, as well as the room to expand the sump, get whatever size protein skimmer I want, and incorporate an algae scrubber and a bunch of other improvements.
<Me too. Well worth the extra cost in electricity>
This would also give me a place for some of the DIY I’d like to try without bothering the cosmetics. However, directly below the tank is our “cozy room”…a 10’x15’ room built around a wood burning stove and the room routinely gets up to 150° F.
<?! Yikes; really? >
I could build in a small ‘closet’ (“Closet A”: see diagram) and insulate it but I worry I’ll be continuously fighting the temps…
<Mmm, I see the space to the hallway/stairs in your excellent diagram... and would build passive or active (muffin fans) air circulation there through in and out vents>
and I’m not sure my dear wife will go for the idea.
<Well; not able to help much t/here... Perhaps suggesting a trade off... something she's like in the way of home improvement... Maybe even unrelated; a trip to the Bahamas?>
I have a 7’x17’ work room nearby which is kept at 78° F that houses my reptile collection, and it has an unused closet 'cubby’ beneath the stairs (“Closet B”: see diagram), but that would put the sump 11’ below and 17’ away from the display, which seems like a long run with quite a few 90° elbows required, not to mention the holes in floor and walls. This also seems like the more expensive option and cost is king.
<I'd go with choice A myself; with the walled insulation you mention and the air venting I do. Bob Fenner>

High oxygen rates in a tank
I have a 70 Aquaclear on the back of a 38 gallon. The filter has a turnover of 300 gph. Is this something that is producing a high oxygen environment?
<Likely so>
or does current help even more as in from a powerhead?
<I do encourage redundancy in aeration... and filtration>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Celestial Pearl Danio with growing black spot on head    1/9/18
<Hello Jackie,>
You are the only people on the planet I imagine can speak to this issue and I very much appreciate your time and input. I have searched this forum and have found other references to different fish turning black but nothing seemed to match up to my fish.
<Indeed not! This is really very strange indeed.>
My question concerns one adult CPD with a black spot on the head that has been slowly spreading over about the past year (started out small-looked like a toupee).
<So a very slowly developing problem, it would seem.>
2 yr old 20 gallon long. Eheim 2213 and Aquaclear 20 with biomedia and Pothos. Weekly 25% water changes. Marineland LED strip light 12 hrs. Temp 76.3, Phos 2, PH 7.5, KH 5, GH 9, NH3 0, NO2 0, NO3 5
Sand substrate with java fern and java moss on 1 lava rock, Manzanita with java moss and java fern, and about 12 Cryptocoryne. Previous setups have had Fluval strata substrate
Varied diet: Frozen: Bloodworms, Daphnia, Daphnia with Spirulina, Krill (chopped); NLS wafers, Omega One Shrimp Pellets and Omega One Mini Pellets and Repashy when I can find it.
<All sounds fine. Might quibble a bit over temperature, suggesting keeping them a little cooler, around 22-24 C/72-75 F being optimal. But really everything else sounds spot-on here.>
I`ve had these CPD`s for about 2.5 years. They are in a tank with Harlequin Rasboras and Metae cories.
<Should be fine!>
The cories and Danios are spawning regularly and all appear healthy. I`m just curious if you have any thoughts as to what could cause this as I've not been able to find out from Google or my local forum. Look forward to hearing from you at your convenience.
<Black patches on aquarium fish tend to be caused by four different things. The first is ammonia burns, but I think we can discount those here. Check to see if there's any sign of white tissue (i.e., dead skin) or red/pink colouration (i.e., bacterial infection and congested blood vessels). Either of these can imply damage to the scales and skin. But in the absence of either, it's more likely the black colour is pigmentation rather than damage. The second cause of black colouration is some type of parasitic infection, sometimes called 'Black Spot Disease' and more commonly seen in ponds. For various reasons it's rare in aquaria and tends to die off after a while without causing any major issues, all else being equal. Again, I'd dismiss this possibility because your fish has a black patch, not lots of
small spots. The third reason is genetics, the issue really being one about the quality, or otherwise, of the parent fish. In this situation you usually have, say, a golden-coloured morph or artificial form (like, for example, a Midas Cichlid or a Goldfish) with some darker coloured fish in its parentage. For whatever reason juveniles were golden, but some of those darker genes express themselves as the fish ages, and dark patches appear.
Now, while it's possible the issue here is genetic, this species hasn't been line-bred yet, we're not really talking about a genetic 'throw-back' but rather a simple 'sport of nature' of those sort Darwin famously described. In other words, there's variety within populations, and mutations will sometimes present themselves as different colours, fin-lengths and so on. In the wild natural selection would work on them, favouring those that might be useful, or against such mutations that made the fish less successful. It's just possible we're talking about that here, and if the fish is otherwise healthy and happy, you've simply been lucky enough to watch "evolution in action", so to speak, with this fish having a
mutation in colouration that sets it apart from all the other Celestial Pearl Danios / Galaxy Rasboras on the planet! Finally, there's a developmental issue or some type of physical damage that has caused the fish to turn black. One example is nerve damage (perhaps from a physical injury) that 'jams' the nerves that allow fish to change their colours at will, rather like a stuck pixel on an LCD screen. The result is that the colour pigment cells are stuck in black (or whatever colour) mode, and you see a fixed patch of abnormal colour. Developmental issues can also be caused by vitamin deficiencies and certain infections such as Fish TB, but your aquarium otherwise sounds excellent, so I'm somewhat skeptical of this. So my gut feeling, without evidence to the contrary, is that this is a healthy fish with a genetic abnormality, and provided he's happy doing his thing, I'd not be concerned. Whether or not you want to breed from him is another question, though that would, perhaps, allow you to determine if it is genetic or merely developmental. Cheers, Neale.>
Sorry for multiple sends    1/9/18

Mea culpa.
My email showed my reply to be stuck in draft.
<No worries. B>

Re: Celestial Pearl Danio with growing black spot on head (RMF, any ideas?)    1/9/18
<<Physical/nervous damage would be my guess. B>>

Hello Neale,
I so appreciate you getting back to me and providing such detailed information.
<You're welcome.>
I don't see any white tissue or red/pink/colouration but I admit having difficulty examining such a quick and tiny fish. The only way I can think to look at this guy up close is to try and get good photos and zoom in on my computer.
<Understood. But do try using a net to trap the fish, and hold it very gently against the glass. Doing this allows you to examine the fish, and if you can, take a photo.>
There is a chance I have offspring from this fish, as there are 30 growing out in a 10 gallon-perhaps I can post a ground-breaking follow up in the future (?).
<Quite so! This is exactly how new varieties are produced. There's a 'sport' of some sort that appears in a batch of fish; people breed from that fish; and if the feature is genetic, it will turn up in some of its offspring. Crossbreed those until you get a line of fish that 'breed true' -- i.e., all have that feature.>
The fish were sourced from a popular shop here in Toronto (I'm told they are tank bred in Asia and shipped), so I posted this matter on the local forum to see if anyone else had a similar issue. Haven't heard anything as of yet.
With your permission, may I post your response to my post on GTAAQUARIA.com? Others would certainly benefit from your knowledge. Here is a link to my thread
<Be my guest.>
Thank you again for your time and for everything you do to help aquatic souls!
<And thanks for the kind words. But I might be wrong in this instance! Keep reading, and keep an open mind.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Help with jelly infestation on Coral system    1/9/18
Hi Bob,
I visited this weekend some friends that have a Fish and Coral store.
They are having some kind of Jelly infestation in their coral Beds and need urgent help.
<No fun>
I've never seen something like this before.
I took some small videos that show the issue. Is there a way I can send them to you so maybe you and other WWM experts can help with this problem?
I could send pictures but the videos show much better the problem.
<Please post on YouTube (or such) and send along the link. We have limited file space from our ISP>
Please help me to give them a solution.
Thank you.
Best regards,
Raúl Labastida
<I can tell you in general what the choices are... finding where the jellies are strobilizing from (rock usually) and removing them "by the roots" (scraping and vacuuming); and for ones in suspension, VIGOROUS water movement, mechanical filtration that removes them readily from the system. No chemical treatment, predators... will work here. Bob Fenner>
Estado de Mexico
Re: Help with jelly infestation on Coral system... Hydroids?     1/9/18

Hi Bob,
I call it jelly for not having any other way to call it. I don't know what it is.
As you can see on their first Triton Test (attached) from December 27 when this problem was starting their water parameters are not that bad.
<I agree>
Please find the links to YouTube for 2 short videos:
It's like gelatinous strings with bubbles that raise from the corals and all other surfaces.
<Mmm; this may be... a Hydrozoan... but need a much closer, better resolved image to tell. Preferably a few ten power microscope shot. Otherwise... there are MANY possibilities for what this might be. I don't see marks on the fishes... which leads me to think this isn't likely a very toxic thing at any length. But; do have your friends look up "Hydrozoan", "Hydropolyp", "Myrionema" for some input possibility>
Hope this helps to show you what I mean.
<Not really mate>
Thank you.
Best regards,
Raúl Labastida
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Help with jelly infestation on Coral system    1/9/18
Hello Bob,
Thank you for the info.
I took the attached pictures of the gelatinous thing.
You can see how its on corals like a spider web and it is white when is inside the water. But if you take it out it turns reddish as you can see on the other picture.
<... five megs of gelatinous....>
I will try to get better 10X zoom pictures tomorrow.
Let me know if the attached pictures help.
<They don't>
Thank you.
Best regards,
Raúl Labastida


Re: Help with jelly infestation on Coral system     1/9/18
Hello again,
Sorry for the size of the pictures before.
They sent me these 4 pictures attached.
This is the best I can get with the cameras I have.
But we will try to take a sample to a lab Microscope and get pictures.
<Good; these images are not much better; but another thought came to me re control. Do you measure RedOx? Likely increasing such (via ozone use, perhaps UV... at worst peroxide) to about 400 microsiemens/cm. will improve water quality, decrease the food et al. available to whatever this is. This is what I would do, and via O3 use. B>
Thank you again.
Raúl Labastida

Spiny boxfish    1/8/17
Hi there,
I was looking on your website and could not see anything that could help me. I have a spiny boxfish that has a clasped side after it had puffed up.
I came home to find him stuck under some live rock (not knowing how he got there)
<Scooted in little doubt>
I released him and he immediately puffed up but slowly started to go back down now he looked like he has an injured fin and collapsed side.
<Have looked at your next message pic of this Chilomycterus...>
I don’t know what to do, will he be ok?
<Likely so... puffers do rest on the bottom, go on hunger strikes... get seemingly bummed out at times; including having sides that looked caved in>
Is there anything I need to do?
<Perhaps a reading over Diodontids on WWM period... The usual upkeep of good conditions, nutrition; keeping your eye on the fish; making sure it's eating, not getting bullied>
Thank you
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>


January Calendar for WWM    1/8/17
A little late but here it is. Hope you are having a great weekend!
<Thanks Miguel. Will share. BobF>

Is this normal?    1/8/17
Hi crew,
<Hey Lisa>
My Plecostomus has been in hiding since moving to the tank
<Oh; not unusual for sucker mouth catfishes to hide; especially when new to a system>
and this is the first time I’ve seen it’s under side. Is this normal?
<Looks fine to me. What is worrisome is when the area is reddish>
Lisa Nelski
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Caring for a blind fish    1/8/17
<Hey Eric>
Happy New Year to you. My fang tooth blenny had a run in with a Bristleworm and unfortunately his eye is in bad shape. Its totally cloudy and puffy. Unfortunately it only had one eye so this is a very bad injury. Since the fish cant see I was able to get it out of the main tank and into a QT tank and am treating with erythromycin hoping it will help
some. I am assuming that the eye is probably gone but am holding out some hope that it may heal to a degree. Can a blind fish actually find food?
<Yes it can... particularly foods that move and have odor... and better in smaller volumes of course... for finding>
I don't think it will be able to compete in my 180 with all the other fish so worst case i can setup a nano tank for it. Would I just be wasting time though?
<I think you have a good idea here. I would move the fish to a nano. Bob Fenner>

Re: Me again on the Oranda with swim bladder problem     1/7/17
Thank you Neal! :) I will continue to try out the Epsom salt baths for a few weeks. Around perhaps 3 weeks sound good to you?
<Sure, but provided the fish shows signs of improvement, and it's able to swim and feed, I'd be prepared to go on as long as it takes.>
And I was definitely not referring to using Epsom salt to euthanize my fish. I was just asking if you thought I should euthanize him.
And you answered my question beautifully. Thank you so much for all the help both you and Bob have been giving me. And your patience has been a godsend. Thank you so much! I will let you know if he gets any better.
Thank you. :)
<Most welcome, and thank you for the kind words. Cheers, Neale.>

Help for my Laguna filter      1/7/17
Dear Crew,
I have a 700 gallon stock tank for a few red eared sliders. I have the Laguna Pressure Flo 4000 filter and a Cal Pump T1200.
<Mmmm; yes... for all, here is the pertinent Users Manual:
See towards the end of page 3 and page 4>
I can't close the locking band around the top of my filter without help from a strong person. The top is hard to push down. Is there a trick or some other solution?
<There may be a few things working against you here. The most common are that the seat area on the filter body isn't absolutely clean, the second, "Before applying the lid clamp (O), the lid (G) must be pressed down until the gap between lid and filter case is eliminated. The lid clamp must be latched, with the safety metal lock (Z) inserted correctly inside the latch slot (Fig. 3). "
the last is that the filter body o-ring isn't clean and well lubricated (swimming pool/spa Silicone is best here)>
Also, do I need the UV light?

<It does help with improving water quality, particularly in reducing free-living (floating) algae>
If it just kills the bacteria I've added, can I just not replace it when it burns out?
<It should be replaced per the manufacturer per the number of hours service it has run. The UV lamp will "burn" (show light) when it is beyond its effective life.>
Thank you,
*Lou Anne*
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Seahorse; sel., sys.       1/6/18
Hello, this is Jinoo Kim. I have always wanted to keep a seahorse However, I do travel a lot, so I can't keep one without being able to feed it. But I still want to keep one. I have a 29 gallon macroalgae tank full of copepods
and amphipods.
I dose phytoplankton to keep the population high. Are there any seahorses beside the dwarf that can feed off the microfauna?
<For how long? I'd add a live sump... refugium of good size here; w/ a DSB, LR, macro-algal culture... >
I will feed them when I can, but again I do travel a lot, so when I'm not there, I wouldn't have to worry about the starving. Thank you.
Jinoo Kim
<If you can't be about to check the system, feed the horses every week (several days), I would look for other livestock... that will accept dried prepared foods that can be administered via an automatic feeder. Our olde
service company used to maintain some accounts that insisted on large seahorses, mixed with other fish livestock... that made counting on the horses to compete for food impractical. We switched out the pairs of horses every week for another set kept at the shop. Bob Fenner>
Re: Seahorse      1/6/18

In this tank, I have a pair of red mandarins.
<Ahh; these have very similar food et al. requirements to seahorses>
This whole tank is basically a refugium. Tons of macroalgae, more than enough microfauna, and a dsb.
All I am interested is a seahorse, I don't want any other fish. There might be times where I might be gone for almost a month, I use a automatic doser for phytoplankton to feed the microfauna and automatic feeders for my other tanks. All of my fish do well during the times I am gone, even my dwarf seahorses do well as they just pick off the microfauna. However, I was wondering if there are any other seahorses that could just pick off the microfauna.
<... the word microfauna encompasses a very wide mix of organisms; the majority of which are of no use to fishes nutritionally as adults>
I know you said to look into other livestock as my situation is not practical for keeping one, but I just want to clarify my system in case there is any other species than the dwarf that live off of copepods and amphipods. Thank you.
<Which dwarf Hippocampus/ine are you referring to? You might well be able to add/keep a smaller specimen of a large Indo-Pacific or trop. W. Atlantic horse here, considering that you are able to maintain Mandarins. BobF>
Re: Seahorse      1/6/18

I currently have some Hippocampus zosterae in a refugium. They just pick off the copepods while I am gone. I am looking at Barbour Seahorse, however are there any small species you would suggest?
<... PLEASE read on WWM re seahorse selection. B>

Trying to treat my fish with the genetic swim bladder problem      1/6/18
I am preparing to treat my white Oranda for a genetic swim bladder problem.
I will be treating it outdoors as I have no room to treat indoors. And I live in a warm desert climate so temperature wise it should be ok. But I will not be feeding it at all because it is outside and it is currently winter. I was looking at using a method that involves 4 teaspoons of non-iodized salt and 2 teaspoons of Stress Coat.
<...? For how many gallons?>

But it also suggests using aged water. Should I put the recommended amount of Stress Coat in to make the water safe for the fish and the 2 teaspoons of Stress Coat?
<I would, but I'd use a good part (at least half) of the old pond water.
What is this treatment being done in? A tank? Of what size, how kept filtered, aerated, stable?>
And how long should I administer this treatment for? Should I keep it in the treatment tank for a few minutes or will it take longer than that to treat my fish?
<Will likely have to stay in for weeks>
Thank you.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Trying to treat my fish with the genetic swim bladder problem (RMF, am I being unfair here?)<<IMO, no>>      1/6/18

I am preparing to treat my white Oranda for a genetic swim bladder problem.
<Can't recall how we concluded this was genetic, to be honest!>
I will be treating it outdoors as I have no room to treat indoors. And I live in a warm desert climate so temperature wise it should be ok. But I will not be feeding it at all because it is outside and it is currently winter. I was looking at using a method that involves 4 teaspoons of non-iodized salt
<Won't work. This is just sodium chloride. Could the writer of this offer any explanation at all about why it would help? Magnesium sulphate, on the other hand, known as Epsom Salt, can help with constipation and bloating, and to some degree, Dropsy too.>
and 2 teaspoons of Stress Coat.
<Again, no real reason how/why this will work. Stress Coat is great for use when transporting fish, or if they've been damaged in a fight. But it's really just water conditioner plus aloe Vera. About as much use for treating a swim bladder problem as wishful thinking, and the latter is a lot cheaper.>
But it also suggests using aged water.
<Why? Aged water is from the Palaeozoic Era of fishkeeping -- when people thought aquarium water magically became better for fish life as time passed. This made some sort of sense in the 1950s and 60s when people
didn't completely understand water chemistry, and didn't really have practical ways to check it. So doing small, infrequent water changes made sure the fish weren't exposed to big water chemistry changes. But nowadays
we appreciate that old water can be toxic because of the high levels of nitrate, so regular water changes are important to keep the tank (or even a pond) nice and fresh. To be clear, there's no medical reason why dechlorinated tap water with the same water chemistry and temperature as your pond should be any worse than the old water in the pond. In fact, it's likely to be better.>
Should I put the recommended amount of Stress Coat in to make the water safe for the fish and the 2 teaspoons of Stress Coat? And how long should I administer this treatment for? Should I keep it in the treatment tank for a
few minutes or will it take longer than that to treat my fish? Thank you.
<Don't see any point to what you propose, to be honest. So I'd do some more reading first. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Trying to treat my fish with the genetic swim bladder problem      1/6/18

The treatment is being done in a 3 gallon bucket
<... this won't work. PLEASE read WWM re goldfish care. NONE can live for days in such small volumes. B>
if my family who shares my house with me has anything to say about it.
Could I give it a bath there then release it back into the pond? How long would I have to leave it in the bucket for? And Neal recommended Epsom salt instead. How much do I use per gallon of water if I use Epsom salt?
Reply to previous email about fish with genetic swim bladder problem... Bath       1/6/18

I found this online regarding Epsom salt baths.
To give your fish an Epsom salt bath, pour half of the tank's water into a clean container. Add 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt for every 1 gallon of water. Have the fish swim in the solution for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove the fish promptly and return him to his aquarium if he appears stressed or relieves himself.
Would this Epsom salt bath be helpful to a goldfish with genetic swim bladder problems? Thank you.
<MgSO4 will not do anything of value here; no.
Re: Reply to previous email about fish with genetic swim bladder       1/6/18

Thank you Bob.
<W. C.>
Re: Trying to treat my fish with the genetic swim bladder problem       1/6/18

Thank you Neal. How much Epsom salt should I use per gallon of water?
<A tablespoon per 5 gallons is the usual recommended amount. I would recommend doing a big water change afterwards though -- while Epsom salt is safe for a few weeks, you don't really want it sitting in the pond indefinitely. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Trying to treat my fish with the genetic swim bladder problem       1/6/18

Thank you Neal.
<You're welcome. Neale.>
Me again on the Oranda with swim bladder problem      1/6/18

I tried an Epsom salt bath before you replied to me before. It could be just wishful thinking but he is swimming upright a little more than he has been recently. Or so I think... But he is still doing his headstands.
Should I try to continue the Epsom salt baths?
<Definitely worth a shot. If you can extend the baths for a few hours in a large bucket or even a Rubbermaid container holding a couple gallons, that's fine! Repeat daily for a couple weeks and see what happens.>
Some sites suggest that if nothing else helps to euthanize the fish.
<Epsom salt? Not really toxic. A good euthanising method is quick and painless. Epsom salt would have to be used in a massive concentration such that'd it'd kill the fish by osmosis, effectively like putting salt on a slug. Hardly humane.>
I have looked into everything I could hoping it was not a genetic problem but I fear it is. Should I euthanize the fish?
<If the fish is swimming and feeding normally, I would not; I prefer to euthanise fish only when they have no chance of recovery and their quality of life is low (e.g., they can't feed any more).>
Thank you.
<Welcome, Neale.>

Bubble tip; hlth.       1/6/18
On my baby BTA I have noticed what look like small white specs/calcium deposits on the tentacles,
<Ahh; have seen such bits from time to time; in captive specimens and wild.
Don't know what they are...>
where it split from the mother BTA. This baby anemone was once a part of a 60+ CM bubble tip. The
original BTA is clear of the white markings. The baby is about a year old, growing and seems quit healthy.
Are these specs harmful?
<I don't think so; have known them to persist in aquarium, aquacultured specimens, and just as likely fade away in time. I would not panic>
Thank you,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bubble tip      1/6/18

Thank you!

Re: Betta Sick and NOTHING is working      1/6/18
I don't quite understand your final comment, do you mean use no more medicine,
set up a definite water change schedule, not change as much water,
<Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water.htm
and testing the water regularly?
<Keep reading>
Thanks for the fast reply.
<Thank you for reading first. B>
Re: Betta Sick and NOTHING is working      1/6/18

Ok, I tested his water, there were low nitrates (5-10 ppm) 0 nitrites, and a small amount of ammonia, which I am unsure of how it has gotten there because of a well cycled tank,
<Likely from the water changes and med.s>
I did a 40% water change,
dialing it back a bit but since ammonia was present still substantial, added prime as well as a cap of stability to add more good bacteria. I will begin testing daily, if ammonia or nitrite is present a 25% water change as well as prime and
stability, and see how that goes for the time being. Once cycle is back on track I will do 2 25% water changes a week.
Thanks again.
Re: Betta Sick and NOTHING is working      1/6/18

Thanks again for all the help!

Daily ph fluctuation. 1/17/15      1/6/18
Hello Bob,
<Hey Bill>
Continuing our conversation re: Daily ph fluctuation. 1/17/2015.... About 6 months ago (June 2017), i put in the tank a few shards of "Pennsylvania Blue Stone", total about 1 square foot. Over the months, the ph slowly rose and i correspondingly backed off on the baking soda (for the last month or so, no baking soda at all was added in the daily water changes).
Ph is now "rock" solid at 7.8, which is bit higher than I want (a few fish are flashing too much, regularly; and i do have some soft water species in there, e.g., Farlowella sp.). Question: Over a period of months, can i "adjust" the ph down by removing some of the bluestone?
<Likely so; yes>
Say i leave in 4 sq in, will the ph drop, but not 'all the way'?
Or is it that that smaller piece will just dissolve at a faster rate and maintain the 7.8 ph?
<A matter of surface area, current, solubility of the area exposed... but less material, area, current (and a few other factors; time, temperature...), less effect>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Guppy age at 1/2 inch; repro.      1/6/18
I have scoured the web simply trying to find out if guppies at the size of 1/2 inch are capable of breeding, or at what size they will become viable for breeding. It seems like a simple question and yet I can not find any age to size ratio chart to know how old they are at 1/2 inch.
<Half an inch is a bit small; three-quarters of an inch (overall... not fisheries/standard length) is more about right; though the fish might be stunted and capable of giving birth. Bob Fenner>


Re: Tank Cycling Question, FW      1/5/17
(lol) That is really neat, but WAY out of my league for now!
But for the average freshwater aquarist, with plain old sand substrate, plastic ornaments, and a canister filter, there should be nitrate if the tank is cycled, right?
<Again; not always, but usually, yes. There are products that will greatly speed up both the forward and reverse reactions of nitrification. A person
could miss any/much accumulation of NO3 using these>
I can't remember if it was you Bob, or Neale, that I asked about keeping a large Oscar in a 55 gallon tank because I was being asked to care for the fish while its owner went out of town for training for her job. She kept the fish in a 125 gallon, but wouldn't let me care for the fish at her house or let me
bring the 125 to my house and care for it here.
<I do recall>
I ended up bringing the fish here and putting it in my 55 gallon and things have been working out fine (watching nitrates, doing an extra water change each
week and feeding moderately. But about a week ago, I came home to find another Oscar in a bucket in my mudroom along with an empty 55 gallon tank and other fish supplies.
<... was this a Xmas present from you know who?>
In the empty tank was a note from the first Oscar's boyfriend that he is joining his girlfriend back east, that they will not be coming back, and that his girlfriend told him to leave me the fish because I would take care of it. I'll spare you the drama explosion that came after I found this, but I was
able to do some rearranging and now both fish are in one of my 75 gallon tanks and are doing well. They are obviously familiar with each other and get along fine. I'm enjoying them (although I wish they'd quit biting me), but I believe two large Oscars need a bigger tank than my 75, so I'm trying to find them a better home.
<Ah, good>
I've had one persistent party who wants them, but his tank is only a 46 gallon bowfront. I told him the fish were at least 10 inches long, each, and
that I thought the tank was too small, but he insists that the tank is so well cycled that he has achieved 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 0 nitrate. He sent pictures of the tank and it doesn't have anything like what you mentioned in your reply (live rock, etc.). It just looks like a regular freshwater tank. I don't want the fish to miss out on a good home, but I don't want to give them away to someone who will put them in a bad situation and destroy their health (if not
outright kill them), so that's why I was asking if this is possible.
<They do need more room than a 46 gal. Bob Fenner>
Re: Tank Cycling Question     1/5/17

I also forgot to ask - you mentioned something about reverse nitrification and I'm really interested. I went through the list on the WWM site but
didn't see anything. Do you go into this on another area of the site?
<Perhaps... do use the search term/word "denitrification"... this is synonymous with reverse nitrification. BobF>
Re: Tank Cycling Question     1/5/17

Thank you for the confirmation! Have a great day!
<And you, B>

Red patches on albino Bristlenoses     1/5/17
Just wondering why the light yellow Bristlenoses tend to have those red patches on them. Is it stress or just the fact that they are albino?
<Judy, if you're talking about the pinkish-red colouration most obvious on the underside, that's simply their blood seen through the skin. Albino and
leucistic (yellow) catfish lack skin pigment (except, obviously, yellow on the leucistic ones) so it's easier to see beneath the skin. See the
attached photo (that hopefully Bob can use on the website) of a perfectly healthy, but albino, male Ancistrus. But anything that looks like pink to
bright red inflammation, especially somewhere without a strong blood supply, such as the fins or whiskers, is likely to be incipient Finrot.
While perfectly treatable when caught early on, the easiest approach is to avoid such specimens. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Red patches on albino Bristlenoses (RMF, please see my attached photo)<Yes>

It is just a patch on top of the head.
<Do see my previous image and commentary; read; do draw your own conclusions from there. Cannot really say anything else without seeing the
fish. Neale.>

Betta Sick and NOTHING is working     1/5/17
Hello, so around 5-6 months ago my Betta became sick with a bacterial infection.
<Mmm; almost always such situations can be traced back to other, more primary influences... Genetics no doubt plays a role at times, but
environmental issues (low, fluctuating temperature, water quality, esp. biological pollution) and nutrition are where we find root causes; and cures
I assume it was due to bad water quality as I had gotten a bit lazy with water-changes as of that time.
As well, before symptoms occurred a mosquito eater insect somehow landed in the tank while I slept and grew white mold/fungi overnight,
the next morning the first symptom, PopEye, appeared. I immediately took action and cleaned his tank and did multiple water changes that day.
<... more than one in a day?>
I did some quick research and decided to order Maracyn two. Over the next 2 days his condition RAPIDLY decreased, his PopEye got so bad one eye was halfway out of his head and there was fungus growing in the open wound. I was extremely worried at this point because of the fast progression, he also began to get fin rot on his tail fins. He soon stopped eating completely and became extremely thin and lethargic.
Soon after starting his Maracyn 2 treatment there were already rapid improvements. The dead and fungus infested part of the eye fell off, his
eyes weren't swelled as bad, the fin rot disappeared in the back fins. He started eating again promptly, at the time his water was at 74-74 as I was
in the process of getting a better heater. He has stayed eating and without fin-rot in the back and not too bad of pop eye. However his PopEye never
completely healed, his gills stayed inflamed, and his side fins started to get fin rot. I tried daily water changes for a while hoping that clean
water would finish the process.
<Is this animal in a filtered, heated system?>
After that didn't work I tried a second run of Maracyn 2 in the tank, which also seemed to do nothing. I continued doing regular water changes around 2-3 times per week. I then tried treatment using Seachem Metro-plex and Focus in frozen blood-worms, I fed these for around 3 weeks with no change in his condition. I then tried Metro-plex dosing in the water itself to see if that would work, I am on about week 2 or the end of it and still see no signs of improvement. I am wondering if you guys have any idea what I can do to help my Betta.
<Need to state this; for you, and others who will read this in time:
Aquatic life is different than tetrapod terrestrial (mammals, birds...) in that it "cures" more slowly. Likely fixing the environment, improving
nutrition will fix your Betta. Too many water changes destabilizes biological filtration... DO you have ammonia, nitrite present here? How
much accumulated Nitrate? I would STOP the used of medicines, fix the environment>
Other Info: I house him in a 5 gallon Fluval Spec, with a pre-filter sponge over the filter so the water is peaceful for him.
<And a heater... the temp. kept near... what?>
I do 1-3 water changes per week depending on how much waste is produced.
<Should only change some of the water weekly... Please read here:
I feed him 1-2 New Life Spectrum Community Pellets each night, 1 when the water is being dosed since I can't change the water due to the medication. I use Seachem Prime on his water when I change it, I also do 75% percent water changes whenever I change his water. He is housed with a plastic stump hide, underwater artificial flower, sitting leaf, and a Marimo moss ball. I want to have more plants for him but cannot due to a weak light. He is on white sand that I gravel vacuum each water change, he appears to be very active a majority of the time. The filter has two different sections of bio-media and 3 different sections of sponge, his heater keeps his tank in the low 80's.
So, if you guys have any idea of what else I can do, I would love to know, if you would like to have pictures just say so. Although all of his
symptoms point towards a bacterial infection but nothing seems to be able to kick it. Thanks for the help,
Regards, Drew Meier.
<The reading, changing the interval of water switching, water testing/reporting, and no more medicine use is the route I would go. Bob

Re: Can I write for your site?     1/5/17
Hi Bob,
The word count for this article is 1200. Do you need more than that?
<Yes... thought I'd mentioned this; but submissions in the "world of petfish writing" are typically 2,200 words. Please read here:
and the citations/links to other articles at the bottom. Bob Fenner>

Re: Blue Ring Angel     1/4/17
thanks Bob !
<Welcome Jim>

ACF Not Eating, Seeking Recommendations     1/4/17
Hello, I have a 15 year old African Clawed Frog that has lost its appetite.
For about 3 weeks he showed a decreased appetite before simply refusing to eat for the last, going on 4, weeks and has refused ReptoMin, several types of worms, and pink salmon. For the last week, he's preferred to nearly
exclusively float on top or lay on the suction cup platform we have that lets him poke his nose out of the water. I've also seen him vomit more than once in the last week. Additionally, he's developed a curious habit of following us as we walk around the tank and swimming/diving away if offered food. About a week ago, I noticed he we stress shedding and had a tiny ammonia burn. After water changes and the use of API stress coat, the burn's gone and his shedding is almost completely gone (there's a minor bit on one of his toes) as of today.
When he first began to lose his appetite, ammonia levels were between 0.5 and 1.0 (for clarification, we use Seachem prime on our tap water due to its natural 0.5 ammonia content, PH is 6.6 out of the tap). About a week
ago, we had the ammonia spike to 2.0 and decided to move up the filter maintenance schedule by 2 weeks and replace 1/2 of the foam sponges, biological media, and carbon. In the meantime, we've conducted daily 30%
water changes to try to maintain consistent water conditions in case the filter begins cycling.
The tank conditions for the past three days:
Date | Ammonia | Nitrites | Nitrates | PH
12/30 | 0.5<->1.0 | 0.25 | 0 | 6.0
12/31 | 0.5<->1.0 | 0.25<->0.5 | 0 | 6.0
01/01 | 0.5<->1.0 | 0.5 | 0 | 6.0
To me it looks like the filter's in the process of cycling. I'm concerned about the PH, for months it was consistently at 6.5, which I believe is on the lower end of the range for ACFs, and I'm not quite sure what caused the decline.
Is there any way to induce the frog to feed? He's lost weight and seems to be weaker than before. Both of the younger frogs are behaving normally.
<15 years is a pretty good age for Xenopus, so you must be doing everything right for the most part! But the issue here is surely water quality and chemistry. Forcing animals to feed is rarely necessary -- if they're 'happy', they'll eat. So let's review. Xenopus in the wild exist in a variety of water chemistry conditions, but the farmed ones -- which have been bred in captivity for decades now -- are much happier in neutral to slightly alkaline conditions. Between pH 7 and 8 is about right, with medium to high levels of hardness, recommended. Xenopus kept in soft and/or acidic water do poorly, and older specimens may be more sensitive than younger ones. So some attention to water chemistry will be important here.
Given your water sounds soft if the pH is anything to go by, hardening it slightly will be helpful. Per 10 gallons/40 litres, try adding 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon Epsom salt. This should provide medium hardness water with a pH around 7.5; perfect for Xenopus! Do also remember that biological filtration works more slowly below pH 7, and below pH 6 may even stop altogether. Next up, the ammonia. Do make sure you use water conditioner to neutralise ammonia in the tap water, but also ensure the filter is up to the job. Really, there's no 'safe' ammonia level -- anything above 0 is bad. While neutralised tap water ammonia may still be detected, nitrite should certainly be zero (unless of course there's nitrite in your tap water, but that's relatively rare). Beef up the filter perhaps, replacing carbon (if used) with more biological media. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: Brackish moray ID      1/4/17
Hello Marco,
<Hi Ben.>
Allow me to continue our discussion,
I am thinking about other possible moray species that matches my eel, which are not Echidnas nor Gymnothorax.
In Fishforums.net a poster listed some species of morays that enters brackish & freshwater (I think this was quoted from WetWebMedia ;) One of the species mentioned, Uropterygius micropterus, is interesting, because when I see this picture here: http://www.tansuigyo.net/a/gao/x/551.html
<Not sure this is Uropterygius micropterus, but it's possible. Too bad the dorsal fin is not visible on the picture. Uropterygius micropterus has a light brown background color with a net of darker lines (see Fishbase).
Gymnothorax richardsonii has a more greenish color with a dendritic pattern. All Uropterygius spp. have a low dorsal fin limited to the area of the tail, while Gymnothorax spp. and Echidna spp. have a higher dorsal fin that starts behind and above the gill opening. The genera can easily be told apart with the eel in front of you by this character.>
Some of Mr. Eko's eels which he keep in his other brackish tank has the same patterns on the body with the Uropterygius Micropterus in the Chinese link above, though the coloration are different, that eel in the link
above are more dark brown, while Mr. Eko's eels are more grey-ish brown (except the one he gave me, it is green-ish brown).
<Compare to G. richardsonii, especially have a look where the dorsal fin starts.>
All of his small (<30 cm) eels he said were caught in brackish river, while the larger marine ones were from coral reefs around small islands. Price differences also reflect this, the colorful fully-marine morays costs a lot
more than the small brackish ones.
BTW, the small eel just ate a piece of thawed frozen shrimp. Interesting how fast it adapts with my aquarium, just a few days and it already ate frozen meal (smeared with garlic, thank you for your advice!), while my smallest E. rhodochilus still refuse anything else than live meal, even after living here for months!
Well, that concludes my observation today. Thank you for your kind attention & have a nice day!
<Have a nice day, too.>
Best Regards, Ben
<Cheers, Marco.>

Tank Cycling Question     1/4/17
Hello Crew!
Happiest New Year wishes to all of you!
<And to you and yours Renee>
You have settled a few arguments for me over a variety of aquarium related topics, and I'm writing tonight to ask if you'll do that again. I consider myself an amateur aquarist with a lot still to learn, but from what I have learned I believe that if you don't have nitrate in your water, your tank is NOT cycled; that there is no way to have a cycled tank with zero (0) nitrate. Would you consider that accurate?
<Actually; there are set ups, conditions... like with good live rock, inoculated sand of depth present, where immediate balance is struck amongst aerobic (nitrate producing) bacteria/events are effectively countered by anaerobic (nitrate reducing) microbes... where one doesn't encounter appreciable NO3. Neat eh?
Bob Fenner>
*Renee *

Re: Can I write for your site?     1/4/17
Hello Bob,
Please see the attached expanded article with the image placement. Please let me know if this is fine with you. Thanks!
<You're still some 1,000 words short... I encourage you to come up with examples to share; if possible with graphics. Bob Fenner>

Re: Brackish moray ID      1/3/17
Good day Marco,
<Hi Ben.>
Sadly you are right, I cannot get any better quality pictures with my current cell phone. Also, my kitchen _is_ dark. Good for the morays, not so good for photography :/ So, I will try to find a better equipment to make pictures. I can take the eel out , bring it outside and take pictures, but I don't have the heart, it's such a cute little eel... When I can borrow a better camera or cell phone, I will make pictures again.
I checked out the Fishbase list and also this article below:
I observed the pictures of Bakasi (G. richardsonii) on the article above, indeed the color and body-patterns are not similar with my eel. The Bakasis has brownish and grayish color and beautiful body-patterns. Mine are plain.
Also, the Bakasis are described to be caught on the coastal areas.
<Also known from estuaries when young.>
Mine are caught in a brackish river, several kilometers from the sea. My eel has the same body type and color with E. rhodochilus (brownish green/greenish brown) but it has no white blotch on the cheek, just white blotch on the mandible. Most logical explanation that it's a freak baby E. rhodochilus that has white blotch on the mandible only.
<Probably E. rhodochilus if it's uniform brown to green with a single white blotch.>
Or it's another species that happen to live in the same environment & behaves similarly & has the same color.
Anyway, Mr. Eko said I can keep the eel for as long as I wanted, see if it could live well and happy in my1.008 sg. If it thrives, he will let me have it. If it doesn't look happy, he will take it back. So it's a good deal.
<Sounds good.>
I joked to him, If it's a new species, I'll name it Muraena ekonii after him ;)
The Fishbase article is very useful, thank you for sharing! I have seen some of the morays described there. Interesting that Fishbase mentioned some morays as living in both marine and brackish (like Gymnothorax pictus)
and even all three environments (marine, brackish and freshwater) like the Gymnothorax meleagris. Maybe most Gymnothorax species
<and many Echidna spp.>
are capable to enter brackish and freshwater from the sea, but not all has the adaptability to thrive long-term in non-marine environments.
<That's what I think. Especially the young, the adults not so much.>
Well, thank you for the advice & discussions, I learn something new everyday!
Best Regards, Ben
<Cheers, Marco.>

MASNA Speaks engagement     1/3/17
Mr. Fenner,
<Hey Daniel>
My name is Daniel Walden and I am the education chair for the Indianapolis Marine Aquarium Society. We have our annual frag swap scheduled for March 17, 2018 and have planned to host a speaker the morning of the swap to
kick things off.
<Rats... am out dive adventure traveling then... No croc tears for me... in Fr. Polynesia>
I would like to check your availability and interest in travelling to Indianapolis to be featured as our Educational Speaker.
When reviewing the MASNA Speaks database I saw your name and thought you would be a perfect person for our swap presentation. A bit about our swap - we have a history of over 500 attendees and continuing to grow.
We will be hosting the swap at a new location with a large footprint and separate classroom available for the presentation. Coupled with a speaker before the swap, we will have 2 foods trucks available and a raffle that
typically exceeds $12k in value. We expect to have a great turnout again this year with people from multiple states coming to spend a day trading and learning about our hobby. Regarding the topic, I thought something more general
to the hobby like discussion of the supply chain for fish and corals would be a good education topic for everyone but we would be open to something you think would apply well or of specific interest to you.
Thank you for your time and consideration and I look forward to your response.
<Thank you and the Indianapolis Marine Aquarium Society for thinking of me.
Perhaps another date.
Bob Fenner>

Toxic fumes in mixed reef     1/3/17
I have been contacted about installing a mixed reef containing live corals, fish and invertebrates in a printing and special coating finishes on business cards etc. company's office. However, the fumes from the printing processes are extremely strong and I was wondering if you thought that they might kill the reef inhabitants or corals.
<I hope not... but can't tell what the chemicals, their concentration may portend. I will relate that our business installed systems in many commercial settings... some of which had strong industrial fume issues, and didn't have issues. I AM a huge fan of Boyd's ChemiPure... we used to go through a gross a month or so... rotating the units new in, oldest out, every month. I want to give credit to this use for help in this matter>
I have searched and only found information about latex paint fumes ( which are supposed to be relatively ok).
The aquarium would be covered with a glass canopy and there would be an open sump in a cabinet enclosed on 3 sides underneath. Is there anything in literature or in your personal experiences or hearsay that you know about these toxic fumes affecting the aquarium.
Thank you for any input you may have.
Aquarium Environments
<Ahh! One of our old DBAs as well. I would try out the system here myself.
Bob Fenner>

So in the past week this has appeared on the under side of all my rockwork.      1/3/17
I can not find any info online about it. Salinity= 1.024Temp= 78.7NH 3&4= 0
KH= 8.5NO3=5MG/LNO2=0PO4=0
Please respond to Jason_
<Uhh; your email is deleted. Re-send with a file of a few hundred Kbytes; not 35.4 Megs. B>

Blue Ring Angel. Pop-eye      1/3/17
Hello you all and thanks for all you do for us out here!
<Welcome Jim>
I have a ten year old Blue Ring Angelfish. A couple of times in the last year or so one of it’s eyes have bulged out. About a month ago, same eye bulged out again, now this week the other eye bulged out.
Any idea’s ???
<Mmm; yes. The general term for eye bulging is exophthalmia... can involve a few parts of the eye; and a few etiologies. Most one-sided (unilateral) events are due to physical traumas; bilateral cases can be a matter of too much gas (embolism) in the system, bacterial and protozoan complaints, and various water quality and nutrition issues.
Do you have data to offer?
Bob Fenner
Re: Blue Ring Angel     1/3/17

Hi Bob, thank your for writing. I've heard you speak and admire your knowledge.
When you mention gas in the system do you mean in the water ???
<Ah yes... Emphysematosis. I have an olde koi pond article re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/PdBblDisease.htm
I don't bubble the 60 gallon tank its in I use the return water from a Magnum 350 canister filter aimed at the surface to add oxygen to the tank.
<Ahh; only a guess... one doesn't always see the supersaturated gas... like cold water in a glass when it warms...>
Only other occupants are a powder blue tang an a clownfish.
<These would likely show symptoms as well. BobF>
Re: Blue Ring Angel     1/3/17

Bob, neither the clownfish or the powder blue tang show any signs of eye bulging, only the blue ring angelfish.
<Yes; understood>
So am I to understand that you feel there is too much gasses in the water by my return flow from the canister filter breaking the surface constantly??
<Mmm; no... again, this was just mentioned as one possibility>
That is could be the cause of the bulging eyes?
<Not likely as the other two fishes aren't showing exophthalmia>
After reading your pond article this is what I’m understanding. Sorry I lack the water testing equipment. I rely on monthly water changes. This has been my success maintaining the aquarium and angelfish.
<Re-read my initial response. Some sort of bacterial condition exacerbated by water quality, nutrition is likely at work here. Proffering foods soaked in vitamin, HUFAs, probiotics, improving water quality (look to RedOx as a window here) are the best avenues for improvement. Bob Fenner>

Invasive polyps... Stoloniferan control     1/3/17
Hello Bob, hello Crew,
Hope you had a great time during the holidays and wish you all the best for 2018.
<Thanks a bunch>
I have been fighting (and losing) against tiny polyps which look like some kind of Clavulariids.
<Indeed; agreed>
The polyps are 2-3 mm and spread everywhere to the point of suffocating corals.
<Not uncommon>
Here is a picture of what used to be a thriving Caulastrea. with 6-7 polyps
I tried every solution I could find on the Net. Putting the infested stones in the dark saw them come back as soon as the stone was back in the tank.
<Yeah; won't "do it". Need to be isolated from the get go (on their own rock, bommies); and once getting around, either removed by scrubbing (outside the tank), or the other livestock removed to elsewhere. Really, this is it>
Fenbendazole did nothing to them.
My Centropyge bispinosus and Acreichthys tomentosus are not interested at all. A paste of calcium hydroxide did work but the area was recolonized in a few weeks. I suppose I can brush the stones in a separate tank but it will be complicated for stones with attached corals.
<See above... >
I was also thinking of taking the stones out and using a steam cleaner but that only will be safe far enough from the corals. And these solutions mean I need to take out at least half the stones in my tank (I have 400 pounds of them) and I'll never get rid of all of them.
<... extreme action needed at this point... T'were me/mine, removal of all rock, Breaking, cutting off desired life, bleaching, air-drying, using extant rock as base... placing "some" new LR about/above it>
Would you have a suggestion on a predator, an action on the water parameters or an additive which could get rid of them once and for all before I lose my corals and (possibly) my mind ? Thank you
Best regards and a huge thank you for all your help to the reefer community
<Certainly welcome. Wish I had some magic formula, wand, pill... As far as I'm aware, there isn't any. Bob Fenner>

90 Gallon Stocking        1/2/18
Hello Bob and Crew,
Do you see any issues with the following fish in a 90 gallon zoa garden with a 20 gallon refugium? The only existing fish is a Yellow Watchman Goby. I have an aptasia infestation, so I'd like to add a Copperband
Butterflyfish. I realize a 90 gallon is on the small size, and I plan to move the Copperband Butterflyfish to my 180 gallon if/when she outgrows the 90.
The other fish I'm considering are: Pink-Streaked Wrasse, Yellow Coris Wrasse (Halichoeres chrysus), Royal Gramma, and either a Bicolor Blenny or a Tailspot Blenny.
<Good choices>
I've read through the FAQ's, but I'm confused because my fish list contains similarly-shaped fish which I've gathered could be a problem.
<Mmm; considering the tank size, shape, and likelihood of many nooks and crannies, I think these will/can all fit here>
If all these fish work together, would you consider this a fully stocked tank, or could I place a Coral Beauty in the tank as well? I appreciate your site and your input! Casey
<The Centropyge would fit as well. Bob Fenner>

Re: Brackish moray ID (file size fixed)     1/1/18
Good Day Marco,
<Hello Ben.>
I tried to take better pictures. This eel seemed to change colors depending on its surrounding.
I hope these pics are clear enough for IDs.
<I fear they are not. I cannot see the coloration of the head and the pattern on the body with enough detail.>
This eel and his friends were caught in a brackish river in north Java, and has been living in a brackish tank for several months.
<Does your eel have the telltale white spots of E. rhodochilus or the dendritic pattern of G. richardsonii? You can also compare your eel to the ca. 65 species found in Indonesia here:
 If you try to take pictures again use much more light (will also help with sharpness) and maybe borrow another camera.
Thank you & Best Regards, Ben
<Cheers, Marco>

Re: Young Triggerfish Sight     1/1/18
Hi Bob,
<Ave Raul!>
It's a pleasure to get in contact with you. We met at the Last MACNA in NO.
I got your Book Triggerfishes for Marine Aquariums from Amazon :)
<Hope you enjoyed, gained by its reading>
Is this a good option for vitamins and HUFA supplement?
AminOmega from Brightwell Aquatics
Can you recommend a weekly or daily menu for a Clown Triggerfish so its never in risk of get sick due to a Bad nutrition?
<Indeed I can, will. Either buying, using a mix of seafood (bagged for human consumption) or buying commercial prep.s made of the same. San Francisco Bay Brand, Hikari, LFS, Rod's... along with a good staple pellet... Hikari, Spectrum...>
Thank you.
Best regards,
Raúl Labastida
<And you amigo. Bob Fenner>

Re: You think it might be swim bladder disease?     1/1/18
Thank you Bob.
Camron Buxton
<What do you gain from understanding Sabrina's article? B>
Re: You think it might be swim bladder disease?      1/1/18

What do I gain? Well, understand what the problem is a bit better. But I am having a little trouble clarifying the treatment in regards to ponds. Should I use Epsom salt in my pond like I would in an aquarium?
<You could. MgSO4 is very safe... and effective for what it does>
I think I ought to mention my fish has had this head standing issue for longer than 6 months.
And he has done this ever since I got him. Only now he is losing more of his balance. And I did have a goldfish with a genetic swim bladder disease once before years ago. But I kept that one in a tank not a pond. My current fish is stuck in the pond. I have no where else to put him. This is why I am asking if I should treat the whole pond. What are your thoughts on what I should do?
<T'were it me/mine; I'd stop feeding period as I've mentioned, and possibly go the Epsom route. B>
Re: You think it might be swim bladder disease?      1/1/18

Cool. Thank you so much Bob. It is much appreciated.

Re: Marbled cat shark     1/1/18
Okay! Well thank you so much for your help and reassurance! I’ll be in contact to let you how she’s doing here soon! Happy holidays!
<Please do read the numerous "shark" articles and FAQs files archived on WWM... Not much to understand their needs, but unless provided... dire consequences. Happy new year. BobF>

Re: Brackish moray ID      12/31/17
Hello Marco, I hope your weekend will be a splendid one!
<Hi Ben.>
When I look at the "mystery" eel and how similar it is to E. rhodochilus, I think there is a big chance that you are right. The morphology are similar with my larger E. Rhodochilus, and they even breath in the same rhythm.
<You can try to take better pictures (more light, acuity, more detail of the head) of your mystery eel. Then we can work out a better ID. The last pics were so dark and blurry, I can only guess its ID by a white spot I suspect. E. rhodochilus is easily IDd by its uniform green to brown coloration and a larger white spot at the rear part of the lower jaw which extends to the upper jaw below the eye.>
What are other possible candidate? Maybe G. richardsonii?
<G. richardsonii can be IDd by a dark green dentritic pattern on a lighter background color. Looks nothing like E. rhodochilus.>
I just read in a webpage that this species stay small, and also inhabit estuaries. Will G. richardsonii thrive in 1.008-1.010?
<I doubt it. Though it does occur in shallow waters with brackish salinity it's most often found in marine lagoons as far as I know.>
Are they as docile as E. rhodochilus throughout their lives?
<I kept G. richardsonii in the past. Mine could not be trusted with small fishes, but got along well with other small morays.>
As you can tell, I like eels, not just morays. Actually Mr. Eko offered me one of his newly-caught pike congers, the one with lovely blue-ish dorsal fins. Very beautiful fish, but I heard it's rather vicious when wild-captured, so I declined.
Back to our E. nebulosa. Mr. Eko told me that small E. nebulosus are frequently being caught in the estuarium, while the larger ones are more common on coral reefs and on rocky beaches. Maybe it's like what you said,
the younger ones hides in the estuarium, as they grow older and bolder, they venture to the sea. If that's the case, then it's a humane practice to keep them in full marine, as brackish is only a temporary hangout for them.
<I agree with that.>
Well, thank you for your kind patience and guidance. I will keep you informed about my findings. Best Regards, Ben
<No problem. Looking forward to your findings. Cheers, Marco.>

Marbled cat shark; sys., hlth.       12/31/17
Hi! My boyfriend recently purchased a shark for me for Christmas. I noticed about a week in that her belly started getting pinkish/red.
<Mmm; indicative of.... what? Some irritation likely... from the substrate? Being moved?>
The lady that sold her to him apparently had no clue what she was doing and sold us this very gravely type live rock.
He had no intentions of going and buying her so not much research was done which obviously wasn’t a smart move but she should have known because he sure didn’t. But we took that sand out and put a fine grain in there of the live and it still had a few shells and such in there that are hurting her belly. It was better for about a day before it got red again. What would you recommend?
<Mmm; how big and what are the dimensions of the tank, shark? Could you send along a well-resolved pic of all?>
Just taking all of the sand out or medicine or what? Your help would be much appreciated thank you!
<Glad to help; just need useful info. Bob Fenner>
Re: Marbled cat shark      12/31/17

I’m definitely thinking it’s irritation from the substrate. We just switched to the fine grain 2 days ago so we’re hoping if it DOES get better it’ll be by tomorrow or the next.
<Mmm; a longer time frame... perhaps a few weeks>
It’s seemed to have lighten up a lot it’s just kind of alarming. But it’s a 150 gallon. Which I know is small for now but we are looking into this 300 gal so it won’t be long before she is moved. She’s only about 6 months so she’s still small. I’m at work right now but I can send you s picture later!
<Real good. BobF>

Re: Marbled cat shark      12/31/17
This is the stuff they first sold to us.
<... inappropriate>
We also took the last be rock out for now. We had about a pound in there but just wanted any type of irritant out

Young Triggerfish Sight      12/31/17
Hi WetWebMedia Friends,
Do you know if young Triggerfish have poor sight and it improves as they Grow.
<Actually; they have good/great site as juveniles and can lose their vision with growth/age... from nutritional issues. See WWM using the string "Trigger blindness, Thiaminase>
I have a young Clown Triggerfish that seems to have poor sight as it sometimes misses it's target when attacks food attached to a clamp or even pellets that I put in the tank.
Or maybe this species doesn't have as good sight as other species have.
Thank you
<Mmm; I do hope this condition corrects itself with time. I would try soaking foods in a vitamin, HUFA supplement ahead of offering, and administer the same to the water. Do search WWM re these products as well
and write back if you require more input. Bob Fenner>

Re: You think it might be swim bladder disease? (RMF, second opinion please!!!)      12/31/17
He is doing his headstands again. He definitely seems to have a swim bladder problem. But how do I treat for the bacteria in my pond when I have no other real place to put them? Would the Epsom salt treat for the bacteria?
<Please re-re-read where you've been referred. B>

Zebra eel laying on it's side      12/29/17
<... 12 meg file; why do we ask folks to limit images to a few hundred Kbytes?>
Hello so I have had this eel zebra approximately 2 foot 1" diameter
<1"? Too thin>

he is currently housed in my 75gl tank (total water volume is closer to 120 with sump , while I set up and cycle a 250gl (total volume 350) anyways So I had a battle with Cyano, under dosed Chemi clean to clear it up , did a water change and then had a cold snap and temps in the tank dropped from 77-78 to 74 . slowly brought temps back up over a 12-24 hour period ...
but since then, my eel has been getting worse. He started not eating ( not uncommon for eels to go on strike ) but then he started listing side to side... now pretty much is always on his side
<... this fish appears poisoned (the Cyano, Boyd product side-effect/s, lava rock?). I would MOVE it NOW to another system>
Well today he was completely out of the rock work and on his side/back.
I checked water and came up with
Temp 78.2
Ph 8.2
Am 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 20-30ppm ( kind of my tanks natural area I'm not one to chase numbers I like stability)
Phos. 0.25
Again these are all pretty normal parameters for my tank.
The stocking in the tank includes
Zebra eel
2 large old clowns
Matted file
Cleaner shrimp
Diamond goby
Scooter blenny
Decorator crab
6 Trochus snails
And 2 uncatchable peppermints
Oh and a fu Manchu dwarf lion
So anyways
I looked over my eel and no cuts growths , marks , some old scars from before I had him but all and all a healthy (looking)
I noticed it's swollen around his......
Um. "Vent" ( natures exit hole)
And if touched in that area he does not approve ..
So I'm sure I am missing some sort of important info but it's been a week and a half and I'm getting worried
I have attached a picture of said eel and the area around his "vent"
<Bob Fenner>
Re: Zebra eel laying on it's side      12/29/17

<Move it; stat! B>

Mimic tang injuries (?) and a (possibly) nibbled Galaxea      12/29/17
Bob, et. al.
You are all amazing and I really appreciate all the excellent assistance you give! I came home to notice what look like injuries on my mimic tang. I didn't notice anything yesterday and I did rearrange the rockwork in the holding tank to allow more open space for swimming/observing, so I'm wondering/hoping he somehow got injured rather than suddenly expressing an illness.
The damage is only on one side. He is 3.5" and has been housed for 3 weeks in a 70 gal holding/QT tank with a 3.5" PBT, a 4.5" Z. desjardinii, 2" flame angelfish, neon cleaner goby, 1" Rainford's goby, and a .75" Pajama
<All these tangs are getting along here?>
I also noticed damage to the Galaxea coral polyp I'm using to gauge the reliability of the angelfish...does the central polyp look "munched" to you or maybe some other cause?
<Again; it's possible, but not likely from fish grazing. Oculinids, galaxy corals are VERY stinging>
I just moved the coral prior to the picture so it isn't particularly happy and I haven't ever had a coral nipper (knock on wood) so I'm not certain...
<I would not be concerned here re the fish livestock nibbling Galaxea. The Mimic Tang will heal in time, given good nutrition and a lack of aggression. Bob Fenner>



re: Zebra eel laying on it's side   12/30/17
No lava rock in my system , but once moved to a ht do I add any meds?
<No medications suggested; no. B>

re: Mimic tang injuries (?) and a (possibly) nibbled Galaxea   12/30/17
Bob, Thanks for the quick response. The tangs haven't shown *much* aggressive behavior, though the Desjardinii hides a lot when we're around.
<Good and not atypical>
I have lots of grazing opportunities in the tank and they're well fed. I did notice some flashing/aggression from the PBT the day previous, which is one more reason I suspect injury.
<Me too>
They've been in QT for three weeks without any signs of illness... Should I move them to the 220 gal DT even though they haven't finished out QT?
<If it were me, mine... I'd move the two, but leave the PBT for another week or two in QT>
Move the mimic to a 29 gal treatment tank to observe wounds/sores?
<I'd just place it in the main/display. Will heal on its own much faster in a stable environment>
Put the rock work back to the way it was before the sores?
<I'd leave as is>
Any other suggestions?
<Keep beer in a cool, dark place>
Thanks a million!
<As many welcomes. BobF>

mystery fish off Hawaii   12/30/17
Dear crew,
I photographed this fish near the Captain Cook monument off the Big Island of Hawaii. I can't come close to an id. My first thought was Lavender Tang, but no pictures I can find show it with a yellow tail or white fins.
Then, maybe, Yellowtailed Coris, but that seems to be all wrong.
Doug Sprugel
<This is a male/terminal phase Coris gaimard... named by and for the French sailors.... Quoy & Gaimard... females and juveniles are more common... but this isn't a rare fish in Hawaiian waters. Bob Fenner>

Re: mystery fish off Hawaii   12/30/17
Thanks. I've seen smaller ("female") yellowtail Coris many times but didn't recognize this as the mature version without the blue spots, bright colors on the body, and face markings (probably hidden in this picture).
<Ahh; here:

Re: You think it might be swim bladder disease? (RMF, second opinion please!!!)   12/30/17
Thank you Bob.
Camron Buxton
<Welcome. BobF>

Brackish moray ID (file size fixed)   12/30/17
Hello Bob, Neale, Marco, and all my WetWebMedia friends, a good Friday for all of you!
<Hi Ben.>
(Dear Bob, sorry for the large files, my bad. I have re-sized the file and re-send the message. I hope this time it's in the correct size. Sorry for the inconvenience).
<<Accepted. B>>
Marco, thank you for your kind explanation. Brackish water is fascinating, isn't it? I like the concept of brackish and near-freshwater estuarium as nursery ground for various juvenile marine moray species, so they could get the nutrients from freshwater and cover to hide from marine predators. Our estuarine waters are indeed dark and muddy in many places, unlike the clear bright waters of the coral reefs just a few kilometers at the open shore.
I have made plans in the future to visit some of those estuaries & rivers in North Java and in Yogyakarta & record their salinity levels & record the tales about morays from local fish catchers.
<Nice. If possible compare the salinity at the bottom of the estuary with the surface. Can be quite different.>
I will keep you informed.
<Very good.>
I am also interested in marine aquarium, but maybe later when I have more space. Space is a problem for me as I cannot find place in my house for another aquarium. I often found myself donating my pet fishes to other friends, not long ago I donated my Anguilla bicolor to a friend who has a larger aquarium, as it has grown almost to 1 meter in length & looking very stressed & cramped in mine. It had spent almost 3 years in my aquarium.
Currently I am also looking for a new home for my Monopterus albus, it has grown to 70 centimeter and has shown signs of stress, before it's very active, now it became lethargic, often perched itself on top of the filter (glad my aquarium is covered!) or bury its head on the sand (glad the bottom of my aquarium is sandy, not gravels!). I have
donated other fishes in the past as well.
<You seem to like all eels, not only morays. As far as I know, M. albus does travel into brackish waters, but prefers freshwater in the long care (and aquarium care).>
Well, today I went to my hangout at Sumenep, where fish lovers hang around.
I visit my friend Mr. Eko, a specialist of brackish water fishes. Not only catching fishes in our estuarium and rivers near the sea, he also quarantine them and acclimatize them then supply them to ornamental fish seller. He has cement pools for this purpose, as well as various brackish, fresh and marine aquariums. He is an aquascaper too. He showed me his lovely Echidna nebulosa, which is very fat and is an adult (about 50 centimeters). He proudly told me that he kept this eel for almost 2 years in this brackish water, and describe how the Echidna survived a jump out of the aquarium for 2 hours! It's the best eel for aquascaping marine tank, he said, because of durability, docility and beautiful skin patterns. His tank is about the same size with mine, but mine is a bit longer. I sampled and tested the water on the E. nebulosa tank with my hydrometer, it's 1.012-1.014 after 3 tests. He told me that it was originally the water from the river where the Echidna came from, but he does regular water changes to acclimatize the eel. His aquarium does not look so appealing, with no sandy bottom and only a handful of dead corals for the hideout of the Echidna.
But the Echidna does looks healthy. I wonder how that's possible, as to my knowledge, E. nebulosa cannot survive anything below 1.018, so is this an anomaly?
<Surviving and thriving are two different things. E. nebulosa are very hardy and it's not the first time I hear it was caught in brackish waters.
1.014 is already mid brackish to high brackish. It's well possible the eel will survive this for months or a few years, but nothing I can endorse for permanent care based on the biology of this species.>
Knowing my love for eels, he showed me a low-water aquarium full of small eels, he said they're totally brackish. I sampled the water and it's 1.008 - 1.010 after 3 tests, so rather similar to my aquarium. I asked about the Latin name of the small eels and he said he has no clue (kind of expected).
So he gave me one, and asked me to study the eel and tell him what species it is according to science, and I can give it back to him later. It's very very small, maybe only 15 centimeter, and when I put it on my tank, it looks comfortable and it snuggled itself under my largest Echidna rhodochilus. They looks compatible in the pipe, they're almost the same in color and I noticed it also has white blotches on the mouth. Is that a juvenile E. rhodochilus?
<Probably. Can't be sure. The pictures are rather blurry and dark.>
I look at Fishbase and noticed that Echidna leucotaenia also has white blotches on mouth. What do you think it is, dear Marco?
<Based on what I see: E. rhodochilus. Echidna leucotaenia has more and different white spots.>
Well, thank you for your time & have a nice weekend!
<No problem. Have a nice weekend, too.>
Best Regards, Ben
<Cheers, Marco.>

Common Bushynose Plecos and water current   12/30/17
I am wondering if the common Bushynose found in all the LFS need stronger current and the higher O2.
<As far as I'm aware, yes. In fact, good, aerated water quality is a common and overlooked requirement for all Loricariids>
I have noticed that every other Pleco out there has this requirement, so if this is the case keeping even the common Bushynose with angelfish is probably not the best idea?? If this is true I have been doing it wrong for quite sometime. Thank you
<Mmm; as long as the system is not overcrowded, well-filtered, circulated... Ancistrus should do fine here.
Bob Fenner>

HELP, MY EEL IS SICK      12/29/17
Hi, I was told to contact Bob Fenner about a problem with my Moray Eel that I have yet to fix or figure out. I'm afraid he's about to die. I will try to attach a video and pictures
<I've read your three posts... And am sending them to MarcoL for his separate response. We need more information: details re the system itself, tankmates, water quality tests, your history with this fish...
Bob Fenner>
Amanda , with sick Eel      12/29/17

The video I have is too big to send. He won't eat, he has these sores that keep popping up and getting bigger, he sometimes is on his side or at times his back for a short time and constantly gasping ( I'm not sure if the
gasping is a normal thing for them, I don't remember him doing it before)
<Not constantly.>
When I try to feed him he won't go to the food, and if he touches it to see what it is he shakes his head and leaves it. He's very lethargic acting
<Need more information. What have you been feeding? What are the water parameters (esp. nitrates, pH)? Tankmates? Looks like a bacterial infection at first glance. Marco.>


Re: a bunch of morays in a bucket      12/29/17
Hello again Neale, Marco and all you nice people at WetWebMedia,
Dear Marco, thank you for your kind and quick reply!
<You are welcome.>
Allow me to continue my previous story. After seeing what they have to offer me today, I told the guy that none of the eels that he offered me are the species I ask for, the brackish-freshwater Gymnothorax tile. I showed
him the pictures from WetWebMedia and that super-cute baby G. tile of yours, he said he will look for it & it doesn't look alien to him, he had seen those, though not as frequently as Echidna nebulosa, interesting eh?
<Yes, both are common eels in Indonesia.>
I remember discussing with Neale (or was it you or Mr. Fenner?) about marine morays entering freshwater (to look for richer nutrients). But, what I witnessed today, are very small baby morays from species which are
supposed to be fully totally marine and not brackish (G. pictus, E. nebulosa, G. richardsonii), and yet they are caught in a river (though admittedly still in the estuarine environment). What are those babies doing in the river?
<Mangrove belts and estuaries are kind of nurseries for many fish species.
The freshwater rivers are rich in nutrients (especially particles of small size), the mud can be used to hide in and the murky water makes it less likely to be spotted by many larger predators.>
How did they, marine morays babies, survived brackish water at such young age?
<So far we don't know the salinity of the water they live in. We also don't know how long they stay there.>
I look at Fishbase, it says that G. richardsonii is totally marine.
<Often occurs in shallow water, doesn't need reefs.>
So how did the baby of G. richardsonii ended up in the river? Chasing shrimps?
<Probably and also to hide.>
The procurer even told me, that if he lower his nets on the estuarium and nearby rivers, those baby morays are what he usually got, along with other eels and eel-like fishes (such as Ikan layur / Trichiurus, a popular food-fish here). He told me that "those from the river and river mouth are not so beautiful colorful, except for tiger eel (Gymnothorax polyuranodon).
If you want colorful ones, wait until I catch eels around the coral reefs in the islands nearby, I can get you belut pita (ribbon eels), very beautiful" Off course I told him that I don't want marine eels, as I don't want
to start a marine tank, and the marine eels that we usually encounter in the Java sea are the larger ones.
<I found marine tanks always easier to maintain. All my brackish eels sooner or later were transferred into marine tanks and lived there for around a decade or longer. Skimmers and live rock make it so much easier to
provide a high water quality.>
G. javanicus and its friends are huge and dangerous! And the legendary Strophidon sathete are also not very alien from our coastal areas and rivers as you know already, and to some people they are delicacies. They do get very big. An FB friend of Mr. Septian caught one of those 3 meters long Strophidon not long ago, here are the picture.
<What a beast.>
Tonight I am watching my eels and feel happy, we have the big fat Echidna rhodochilus on the left and the slim and slithery G. polyuranodon on the right. Now two of my Echidnas has been taught to eat frozen shrimps (thanks
to the directions from WetWebMedia ;) to dim the lights), but the smaller one, after almost 3 months, still prefer live shrimps, just like the new G. polyuranodon.
<Patience. All moray eels I personally knew accepted frozen food sooner or later.
As noted before, try feeding in the dark, try the very same food items they accept alive. Keeping them without tankmates and providing enough caves also helps.>
If there are certain vitamins to make them interested in frozen food, please let me know.
<You can try garlic. There is also hooking bait dip sold in fishing stores, but I would not put this stuff in an aquarium.>
So sorry for the length of the e-mail. As a closing message, allow me to thank Neale, you and all you excellent WetWebMedia crew for assisting me in enjoying my hobby as a brackish water aquarist specializing in eels. New
Year 2018 is approaching, and I wish you all a wonderful New Year!
<No problem. Have a good start into the new year.>
Best Regards, Ben
<Cheers, Marco.>
Re: a bunch of morays in a bucket      12/29/17

<Ben, am deleting your messages as your files continue to be too large. SEE as in READ our requirements. We have limited file space. ONLY send files of a few hundred Kbytes, NOT Megs. BobF.>

Request Advice on Water changes      12/29/17
Hi Bob/Neale,
Thanks for all the replies of my previous questions . really appreciate it .Request your advise on correct quantity/Method; of water change ;I have read at many places that huge water changes are not good for tank as it changes the water parameters drastically like temperature, PH etc which can be shocking for fishes.
<This is so>
I also understand that a Weekly WC of 25% is fine and is generally recommend as a safe bet .But its a know fact that fish shops and more of breeders do huge water changes to the tune of 100% every other day or also daily so my question is how do they do it without shocking the fishes ?
<They are paying close attention to water quality; assuring that the all-new is optimized>
is there any specific method involved in the same ?
<What is the same? Preparing new water? Yes... Depending on your source, sometimes only simple aeration, heating ... other times filtration, modification and storing ahead of use>
;I am asking this as I plan to increase my WC from 25% weekly to more as I have been told by someone that one at least needs to do more than 50%at one go; to make noticeable changes in ammonia.( specially for a
overstocked tank like mine, three blood cichlids, 5 inches and 2.5 inches in a 25 gallon tank)
<Ammonia should not have to be dealt with via water changes, but instead by prevention (not crowding, not over or mis feeding) and filtration. These hybrid Cichlids will need more than a 25 gallon system>
Kindly advise
Regards, Raj
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Zebra eel laying on it's side      12/29/17
<... 12 meg file; why do we ask folks to limit images to a few hundred Kbytes?>
Hello so I have had this eel zebra approximately 2 foot 1" diameter
<1"? Too thin>

he is currently housed in my 75gl tank (total water volume is closer to 120 with sump , while I set up and cycle a 250gl (total volume 350) anyways So I had a battle with Cyano, under dosed Chemi clean to clear it up , did a water change and then had a cold snap and temps in the tank dropped from 77-78 to 74 . slowly brought temps back up over a 12-24 hour period ...
but since then, my eel has been getting worse. He started not eating ( not uncommon for eels to go on strike ) but then he started listing side to side... now pretty much is always on his side
<... this fish appears poisoned (the Cyano, Boyd product side-effect/s, lava rock?). I would MOVE it NOW to another system>
Well today he was completely out of the rock work and on his side/back.
I checked water and came up with
Temp 78.2
Ph 8.2
Am 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 20-30ppm ( kind of my tanks natural area I'm not one to chase numbers I like stability)
Phos. 0.25
Again these are all pretty normal parameters for my tank.
The stocking in the tank includes
Zebra eel
2 large old clowns
Matted file
Cleaner shrimp
Diamond goby
Scooter blenny
Decorator crab
6 Trochus snails
And 2 uncatchable peppermints
Oh and a fu Manchu dwarf lion
So anyways
I looked over my eel and no cuts growths , marks , some old scars from before I had him but all and all a healthy (looking)
I noticed it's swollen around his......
Um. "Vent" ( natures exit hole)
And if touched in that area he does not approve ..
So I'm sure I am missing some sort of important info but it's been a week and a half and I'm getting worried
I have attached a picture of said eel and the area around his "vent"
<Bob Fenner>
Re: Zebra eel laying on it's side      12/29/17

<Move it; stat! B>

Mimic tang injuries (?) and a (possibly) nibbled Galaxea      12/29/17
Bob, et. al.
You are all amazing and I really appreciate all the excellent assistance you give! I came home to notice what look like injuries on my mimic tang. I didn't notice anything yesterday and I did rearrange the rockwork in the holding tank to allow more open space for swimming/observing, so I'm wondering/hoping he somehow got injured rather than suddenly expressing an illness.
The damage is only on one side. He is 3.5" and has been housed for 3 weeks in a 70 gal holding/QT tank with a 3.5" PBT, a 4.5" Z. desjardinii, 2" flame angelfish, neon cleaner goby, 1" Rainford's goby, and a .75" Pajama
<All these tangs are getting along here?>
I also noticed damage to the Galaxea coral polyp I'm using to gauge the reliability of the angelfish...does the central polyp look "munched" to you or maybe some other cause?
<Again; it's possible, but not likely from fish grazing. Oculinids, galaxy corals are VERY stinging>
I just moved the coral prior to the picture so it isn't particularly happy and I haven't ever had a coral nipper (knock on wood) so I'm not certain...
<I would not be concerned here re the fish livestock nibbling Galaxea. The Mimic Tang will heal in time, given good nutrition and a lack of aggression. Bob Fenner>

Re: You think it might be swim bladder disease? (RMF, second opinion please!!!)      12/29/17
Thank you Neal. I have been forbidden from keeping fish inside the house or anywhere but the pond. But the fish has not had a repeat of its upside down incident yet. Thank goodness. Thank you for your help and advice.
<Most welcome, and good luck! Neale.>
<<I'd have you re-read Sabrina's piece on "floaty Bloaty" goldfish...
Treatments for this genetic and often nutrition/food related syndrome are best done in temperature controlled aquariums, but you can likely do good by stopping feeding altogether (See, as in READ re pondfish feeding on
WWM); as the water temp. is likely too low to allow digestion this time of year. IF you'd like to try administering Epsom Salt to the pond en toto this may aid recovery as well. Bob Fenner>>

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