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More Recent/Older, Accrued FAQs


Maculosus/Red Sea lvstk, low spg      10/9/19
Bob -
Quick question....I noticed when reading Conscientious Aquarist that you stayed with Maculosus Angels salinity should be maintained 1.025-26.
<Mmm; yes... not lower as many people maintain captive marine systems at artificially low salinity, and not necessarily the 10% or so higher as seawater strength in the Red Sea itself... for various reasons>
I am in the midst of building a large fish only and was planning on running it at 1.020 (for lesser pathogen load, higher DO, and less osmotic load on fish).
<Yes... >
Is the “higher” salinity requisite for the Maculosus? If so I might rethink things for such a gorgeous animal!
<It is much better for all sea life originating from the/this area. Captive produced specimens are more tolerant of low spg (if you can find, secure them)>
Steve Offutt
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Re: New rainbow fish won't eat      10/8/19
Hi again Neale thanks for your reply.
The prawns started eating the snails so I rehomed them. The rainbows mouths are improving and eating much better now but I noticed a lesion of some sort on 1 side of a male neon. Maybe he got nipped by a prawn? Unsure I got a video what's your thoughts on what it could be? Do they look healthy aside from the mouth fungus stuff?
<Hard to say. Male Rainbowfish will fight, and sometimes fish bash into lighting fixtures and the like when alarmed. Certainly a marauding Macrobrachium might be suspect. I'd treat as per Finrot or Mouth Fungus (ideally, one med that does both) and see what happens. Cheers, Neale.>

Cardinal tetra with balloon like scales       10/8/19
Dear WWM,
My cardinal developed a single, large, solid white, ball-like spot on its flank about 2 weeks ago. It seemed completely active and normal otherwise and the single spot was unlike anything I could find pictures or descriptions of. After speaking to the fish store who didn't think it looked fungal, I decided to watch and wait. The "spot" disappeared after 7 or 8 days. At this point the fish developed some fluffy cotton wool like patches which seemed more classically fungal, and another in the shoal of 8 cardinals also seemed to show a small patch of something similar. I put the two fish in a hospital tank and started to treat with a treatment called Dessamoor, which contains copper sulphate, ethacridine lactate, Methylene blue, and Acriflavine chloride. I followed the dosing instructions accurately but when I checked in on the fish after about 4 or 5 hours (who had seemed pretty normal behaviourally despite the cotton wool), they had lost most of their colour. I guessed that if I left them there they would die. So I put them back in my community aquarium and just watched. Over the next week, the fish with the more obvious problems seemed to get more of the growth. The other one's possible cotton wool tuft seemed to clear up. Then I realised about two days ago that the scales of cardinal with the greater problems seemed to have swollen up hideously - see picture attached. I'm not sure when this started - it's possible that the 'cotton wool' appearance was an early stage of the process. It was a bit difficult to see well in a well planted 120 L tank.
I have now put this poor fish in a separate container (my "hospital" tank is currently occupied by an aggressive dwarf gourami). I will buy a new hospital tank for the cardinal tomorrow. I wanted to try salt but I've read that cardinals tolerate it poorly. I have just bought Melafix and Pimafix and was going to try these empirically - but having read other advice on your website it seems these don't do anything. So I am at a loss. I have no idea what to do or what the disease is. Oddly, the fish is active and until I separated it was behaving as normal and eating well. Now it's stressed, buzzing intermittently about its container, and won't eat, but I am pretty sure the latter is stress-related rather than due to the illness. The 7 other cardinals all look fine, as do 3 corys and an Ancistrus. I've a couple of dwarf gouramis as well. They occasionally seem to get agitated and brush against plants as if they are itching these past 3 or 4 days. But they have no external stigmata thus far, and most of the time look and behave normally and seem happy enough.
Finally, the problems seemed to start when over a 2-month period I cleaned the tank about 2 times only given holidays etc. Usually I do a partial water change (approx 30%) weekly. After separating the cardinal a couple of days back, in the absence of knowing what if anything to treat the main tank with I did a 70% water change and rinsed all the plants, driftwood, gravel. My water parameters are nitrite 0, nitrate 25 mg/L, general hardness >16°, carbonate hardness 20°, pH 6.8, Cl2 0.
Please help...!
<I am not optimistic here. The bubbles are epidermal tissue that has swollen up with tissue fluid, and now protrudes past the scales. It's the sort of thing we'd call Dropsy if the swelling was internal. There's no obvious solution here. A good antibiotic might be worth a shot. The use of salt, at 2 gram/litre, is perfectly safe with Amazonian fish such as Cardinals for short periods (a few days or weeks) and is actually much less stressful than traditional medicines such as formalin and organic dyes. It's a tough one. If this fish is stressed, then humanely destroying it will be the best move. But if it's feeding and otherwise behaving normally, you might elect to medicate. Good luck, Neale.>

Crypt, Angel...       10/6/19
Good afternoon,
I have a 3 spot angel in a 70g QT that had a mild case of crypt successfully treated with Cupramine . Eating pellets ( New Life Spectrum ) and anything frozen . Unfortunately after copper treatment developed cloudy eyes.
<Can happen>
Left greater than right . I am feeding pellets soaked in kanamycin , Nitrofurantoin , and metronidazole ( seachem). Doing better after 3 days .
Water changes daily . Nitrates 10. Anything else to recommend ?
<Mmm; not at this juncture. Have you lowered spg?>
I know this genus , species is tough to keep but this fish has been exceptional and do not want to lose him/ her ?
Thank you, Jimmy
<DO please search, read on WWM re Pomacanthids, marine angelfishes and copper use; other treatments for Cryptocaryon. Bob Fenner>
re:      10/6/19

Thank you , I am lowering the sg . I know this is a tough genus / species to keep . Thx, Jimmy
<Cheers, BobF>

Re: ADF      10/6/19
Hi Neal
I brought eSHa 2000 as advised in the previous email, we have a 50 litre aquarium, do you recommend half dose as they are frogs as a face book group suggested for other medications. Okay there's fish too but I'm more concerned for Zen and Rupert. As eSHa recommended 13 drops day 1, 6 day 2 and 3. ( from their dosage calculator for fish).
Just thought I would ask before I did anything.
<Understood. But I think doing half doses often allows the pathogen to multiply to the point where the fish (or frog) ends up dying because the disease is now too far gone. I'd personally go the full dose, and have never had any problems with eSHa 2000, even with sensitive fish like puffers and loaches. But if you want to be careful, add half the dose on day 1, and see what happens. If the frogs are fine, then go the full dose on days 2 and 3. Observe the frogs, especially the first couple of hours from dosing, and if there are any signs of distress, do an immediate 50% water change. Alternatively, do half doses all the way through, but if there's no sign of improvement, you may well need to do a repeat course (after a 50% water change) using the full dose on all three days.>
Yours sincerely
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Scatophagus Aggression      10/6/19
Bob, Neale,
Thank you so much for your time and advice. I went to the local fish store today and asked them to order another Silver Scat for me. In my experience it normally takes about 4 to 8 weeks to get in the fish I order.
<Not too bad.>
I don't believe my tank (at 125 gallons) can accommodate my current bioload and 3 additional Scats to spread out aggression, at least at adult size.
I'll keep an eye on the current Green Scat during this time and if the behavior gets worse I will trade him in once a new specimen is available.
<Understood. Hopefully with additional Silver Scats, the Green will mellow a bit.>
Thank you again,
<Most welcome. Neale.>

ADF /Neale         10/4/19
To whom it may concern.
<Hello Rosemary,>
Zen, my african dwarf frog, has a small white spot on his foot, I'm thinking of taking him to see a vet, I'm in Perth Scotland. However I thought I would ask you for advice first.
Yours sincerely
<Trip to the vet is never a bad idea! But in this case, if the frog is feeding normally, and otherwise looks healthy, try medicating with a reliable anti-bacterial medication first. My recommendation in the UK is a
product called eSHa 2000 that treats both fungal and bacterial diseases, and tends to be tolerated well by fish and amphibians. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Scatophagus Aggression /Neale        10/4/19
<<Will add this/these observations to BobF's comments re: Scatophagus and Selenotoca. Yes, aggression varies with age, older specimens tending to become more lazy and accommodating. But also it's more social jockeying than aggression. If the Scats are different sizes, a definite pecking order will exist. Scats are not the worst by any means, and you will see this with Archers and Monos to an even greater degree. This contrasts with Colombian Shark Catfish which school together amicably with any specimens too big to be viewed as food. Anyway, mixing species can help, and works really well between Monos and Scats, where Scats bludgeon their way through the squabbles Monos have, dissipating aggression while the Monos regroup.
In the absence of Monos, adding extra Silver Scats would probably work, the point being that pecking order aggression is most acute where the dominant fish can easily bully one or two tankmates. In large groups, five or more specimens, this gets harder. On top of that, Scatophagus tend to be much more pushy than Selenotoca, this latter species being really quite gentle and placid most of the time. (Indeed, it's a charming, underrated species with the looks of even the nicest marine species.) Scatophagus are, as you probably know, the "garbage men" of the reef and coastline, seemingly ignored by many/most predators because of their unsavoury habits, and because of that, they seem to "go anywhere, do anything" which gives them their friendly charm as pets, but can also make them a bit thuggish in
small to medium sized tanks. Cheers, Neale.>>

Re: What looks like the crypt but is not?        10/4/19
Dear Mr. Fenner,
What an honor to receive an email from you having had read SO many of your posts during research and hard times.
I failed to mention that we have been ich free for about 1 1/2 years, I am quite sure the we nuked the horrendous, dreadful mofo of a parasite...(throat clear)...
<Ah yes... very hard to eliminate, exclude from captive systems>
A skin smear is near impossible. And the only fish vet in the surrounding area will not come to the house though I offered extra payment.
<Easy enough to do by oneself; really>
The last time we went through this I ordered from Fishman Chemicals $350 worth of “pure” CP from America to Canada. It was a disaster. It was not effective and cost me the lives of my beloved fish. I have used CP before that a courteous and sympathetic LFS guy gave to me as a favor and it did wonders. But that is not available any longer, he may have got in trouble for giving it to me. I called every pharmacy in town, I couldn’t get it except from Fishman. We all paid a heavy price with lives and monetarily.
I think I will start with Cupramine, just dose the whole tank. Thoughts??
<A worthy product... will state for others/browsers; WITH daily monitoring, testing for free copper presence, cessation of chemical filtrant use, possibly turning down, off skimming or running on a punctuated basis (to retain more copper)>
Does the skimmer matter?
<Oh, yes>
Nopox with Cupramine? Does anyone have experience??
<In looking for the MSDS of this Red Sea product, I found this: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/carbon-dosing-and-or-macroalgae-right-for-me.426442/
I suspect the totality of the ingredients include water and No3-po4-X, it has acetic acid, ethanol, and methanol. I would hold off (not use) this or other treatments during the Cupramine administration.
Bob Fenner>

Re: What looks like the crypt but is not?        10/4/19
Many thanks Mr. Fenner,
<Ms. Monroy>
I shall indeed keep you posted. Ever thank you for your hasty reply to me.
<Ah, I thank you. BobF>
Kind Regards,
Re: What looks like the crypt but is not?        10/4/19

Ummm, even if a skin smear is possible and it shows what parasite it is, would the treatment still be Cupramine? If not copper then what?!
<I am (yes, olde) still a huge fan of (appropriate) use of copper/compounds. Have used actually hundreds of gallons (by four one-gallon packs) over decades time. VERY effective used correctly. B>

Synodontis big belly        10/4/19
Hello crew! Hope to pick your brain a bit... I have two Synodontis nigriventris cats that are fully grown and seem to have been healthy and happy for the past year. I’ve watched them double in size and they eat EVERYTHING; the larger one is so brazen that he “crawls” around the sides and tank in broad daylight when I make my way over! I have a pearl gourami and five cherry barbs, and I vary the diet in my tank daily... any combo of flakes, shrimp pellets, NLS Float pellets, Hikari algae sinking wafers, Hikari micro pellets, freeze-dried blood worms once a week as a treat, and a feeding day off every week. The attached picture shows my smaller Synodontis and a very swollen ”belly”, in my opinion. I know they overeat and their bellies bulge, but is this too drastic? If so, should I take action? I try to be very careful not to overfeed. Thank you in advance for your always helpful expertise! —Matt from NJ
<<Hello Matt. You might simply have a female, and if yours are anything like mine, the female looks a bit like an speckled egg with fins attached! Periodically she thins out, so I'm guessing there's some sort of egg laying cycle going on, but this species is rarely bred in captivity, so hard to know the details. In any case, if the Syno is some years old, I'd perhaps observe for the time being, and certainly avoid overfeeding. My specimens get actual catfish food maybe 2-3 times a week, one Hikari algae wafer per 3 specimens. The rest of the time I'm letting them eat softened green foods (peas, courgette, etc.) as well as algae and whatever snails they find in the tank (both major food component in the wild). They're chunky and something like 15 years old now, so presumably doing okay. I'm glad you're enjoying these cats, which like all Syno species, are naturally very nocturnal, but will become day-active once settled and happy. Floating plants are a great way to get them visible when the lights are on! Cheers, Neale.>>
Re: Synodontis big belly      10/5/19

Hi Neale... Great advice, thank you! I feel much better. And yes, I took your advice a while back about purchasing these guys in the first place, and the bigger one (not pictured) flies “crawls” the tank all day, as you said, because of the surface cover. Thanks again. —Matt
<<Glad to have helped, and good luck. Certainly my female is positively rotund, and it doesn't seem to have done any harm given her considerable age. Cheers, Neale.>>

Scatophagus Aggression      10/3/19
Good evening,
<Hey Joel>
I have a 125 gallon brackish tank, kept at 77F and 1.006 specific gravity.
The inhabitants are 5 Orange Chromides (ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 inches), 2 Silver Scats (7 inches and 3.5 inches), a Green Scat (2.5 inches) and a Green Spotted Puffer (3 inches). I do understand that GSP in general are not good community tank specimens but over the 4 years I've had this fish, he's been with snails, hermits, Damsels, Mollies, and Blue-Eyes (in various tanks) and has never nipped a single animal. He seems to prefer to keep to himself. He's not the issue in this tank.
My concern today is with my Scats. I've had my big Silver Scat for a few years since it was about an inch long and more recently picked up a second Silver to grow and keep company. Having read on WWM that Scats are best in odd numbers and are fine in mixed species groups, my next purchase was a small Green Scat. The Green Scat, despite being smaller, is very hard on the smaller of the two Silver Scats.
It used to be just some pushing during feeding times but over the past 2 months has grown more into antagonizing.
The small Silver still is out in the open, is eating well and not hiding, though is constantly being chased and I worry it's causing him to be stressed and is probably not helping my skittish big Silver Scat to
My queries are twofold:
1) Do you expect that they will mellow out with age or that it will get worse from here? I'm pretty sure it will get worse since it's already been going that way, but figured I'd ask. I understand I'll likely have to
rehome the Green Scat.
<My experience has been that scats do "mellow" as you state... in time>
2) In your experience, is Scatophagus more aggressive than Selenotoca? If I rehome the Green, I'd need to decide if I want to try and special order another Silver Scat or try again with an (easier to find) Scatophagus specimen. I've never had a single problem over the years with either Selenotoca I've owned, even though two animals isn't a great sample size.
<More an independent issue w/ Scatophagids. Have encountered some that are "mean" of all species. IF you are concerned... (I would) move the green to a plastic floating colander (yeah, like for straining the flying spaghetti monster) for a few days, leaving the lights off... This "time out" often acts to reduce aggression, allow the animals to reorient>
I really appreciate your time and advice.
Thank you,
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

What looks like the crypt but is not?      10/3/19
Good day everyone,
Love this sight, always have, you all do a splendid job here.
<Ah, thank you for your kind, encouraging words>
My heart was on the floor this morning when I saw my purple tang and regal tang covered in what appears to be Cryptocaryon irritans at first glance but is clearly different on a more closer inspection.
<Mmm; well, there are other parasites, even "just congealed body mucus" that may appear as such. The only definitive means of telling what is what is to sample, examine with a microscope; as gone over on WWM and most fish disease tomes>
210 gallon tank FWLR, stocked with angels and tangs.
Ammonia 0 of course
Nitrite 0, nitrate 12, phosphate 0.2
We run carbon, GFO, employ NOPOX and change our socks every other day. This tank was established from zero-the long hard way of bleached rocks and new equipment with a 2 month cycle.
We quarantine each fish as we have been rung through twice before.
<Hard to exclude the principal pathogens, but it reads that you've done your best to>
We did just add 4 new fish in the span of 3 months, all quarantined.
My question is what disease is similar looking to ich? And what can we do about it?
<I WOULD sample and examine as stated; in the meanwhile (ASAP) likely drop (slowly, a few hundredths per day) specific gravity... begin reading re your options (copper, anti-malarials...) on WWM:
and the linked files above>
Many thanks,
<Do please keep me/us informed of continuing developments, your actions, thoughts. Bob Fenner>

ADF, hlth. concern      10/3/19
To whom it may concern.
Zen, my african dwarf frog, has a small white spot on his foot, I'm thinking of taking him to see a vet, I'm in Perth Scotland. However I thought I would ask you for advice first.
Yours sincerely
<Mmm, I'd hold off (For what it is worth)... this may be a simple bump/break that will likely heal in time, not something pathogenic, nor directly "treatable". Simple good care... water conditions, nutrition;
should see this ADF to recovery. Please see Neale's piece here re:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

WWM calendar
Hi Bob. Here is an October calendar for the website.
Mike Kaechele
<Thanks Mike. B>

Re: Fungus Among us (RMF, Branchiomycosis?)      10/1/19
Hello, everyone. Morgan's energy level has returned to normal. His fins are no longer clamped and the only time he stays put is when he's sleeping.
There is no further evidence of fungus in the afflicted gill that I can see, however I am concerned because the gill in question no longer moves when he breathes. Do you think the tissue will rejuvenate/recover with time or has it been permanently damaged? This is likely going to be one of
those wait and see moments. It's just that even in the best of circumstances, a fish with one active gill concerns me. Is there anything more I should do for him?
Thanks, again.
<Gill tissue can regrow, but it takes a while. Good water quality will help, but in the meantime, extra oxygen in the water would help the fish.
Cheers, Neale.>

re: New rainbow fish won't eat; How do I measure alkalinity?       10/1/19
Hi Neale thanks for your reply
How do I measure alkalinity? Because I was buffering ph and kh? Yet the product mentions alkalinity a lot
<For freshwater systems, alkalinity and carbonate hardness are essentially interchangeable. Alkalinity is technically the ability of water to resist acidification, but in freshwater tanks, most of this capacity is down to carbonate hardness. Hence, no need to fuss over the difference. Low KH will likely be low alkalinity, and vice versa. Cheers, Neale.>
re: New rainbow fish won't eat; How do I measure alkalinity?       10/1/19
Hi again Neale Thanks for your reply.
I have just been working out keeping the other container with snails clean and doing some water changes on the main tank to remove the meds. Also added seachem Purigen. I was reading those 2 products and it seems the former has a lot more potassium than the later one. So yeah I will get the alkalinity one. The kh in my tank is 2-3 what am I aiming for? It seems pretty close to the tap water.
<Most New Guinean Rainbowfish are happy around 5-10 degrees KH, alongside moderate general hardness (5-15 degrees dH). So long as the pH is steady around 7.5, and the KH is at least 5, the water is probably fine, and won't need any further diddling around with. Cheers, Neale.>

Oiled Chelonian      10/1/19
Theres been a spill in the aquarium......baby oil?.... Yikes, will it harm our turtle?
<Not likely, no. As long as the turtle has not ingest a bunch, it should be fine. Wiping it and the insides of the emptied tank with paper towels should fix the mess. Bob Fenner>

Cupramine treatment duration      9/30/19
Good Morning , SeaChem recommends a 14 day treatment time with Cupramine at 0.4-.05 mg/L .
I have read the posts and I know that many of the crew have much experience with this Seachem product .
<Very familiar. Used many gallons of this fine product over the years>
With a one month lifecycle for Cryptocaryon is the 14 day treatment time adequate ?
<In the vast majority of cases, yes. Two "other factors" involved here:
1) That most Crypt infestations are initially single generation, only a week or two in cycle/life span.
2) Treatment beyond two weeks more often results in livestock/fish loss than better treatment results>
I run copper in my QT and new arrivals are treated with Cupramine.
<A good practice>
The fish are first drip acclimated in a large plastic colander and 2 gallon bowl, then transferred to another bowl with tank water and then removed with the colander and placed in the QT.
<I'd add a few steps here. Do see/read the link below>
Thanks, Jimmy
<My protocol re here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm
Bob Fenner> 

re: New rainbow fish won't eat      9/29/19
Hi again Neale thanks for your reply.
The fish are going great and eating so much more now.
<Good to hear.>
Though the fungus on the 5 neons lips is still there. Any ideas how to treat it?
<As per Columnaris would be my recommendation.>
I just wasn't sure if ParaGaurd is safe for my shrimp and snails since it has malachite green.
<It is unlikely to be safe. Remove some/all of these to another container for the interim, and return to the tank after the course of treatment is over and several water changes have been carried out.>
I suppose I will add the full dose then of the ParaGaurd. That is a good point.
<Glad you think so!>
What about a cuttle bone? Im guessing dolomite or limestone is off the table then as well lol.
<Cuttlebone no better or worse than limestone. Unpredictable and eventually covered with dirt or algae.>
Perhaps ultimate aquacare has a liquid ph/kh buffer i could add to my Jecod doser.
What's your thoughts on these two? What's better? They also have a gh one
<This latter would be my preferred choice given the warning the other one has about use in fish-only tanks, which is more or less the case with a tank planted with mostly slow-growing species like Anubias. But I'm struggling to see what the difference is, since they both seem to contain potassium carbonate! Cheers, Neale.>
re: New rainbow fish won't eat      9/29/19

Hi again Neale thanks for your reply. I didn't add the full dose of ParaGaurd. I will add carbon to remove it now.
<Good move.>
What medication should I use for the fungus that's safe for my shrimp?
<There aren't any that I'm aware of. And to stress again, Columnaris, so-called Mouth Fungus, is a bacterial infection.>
<Cheers, Neale.>
re: New rainbow fish won't eat      9/29/19

Hi again Neale Thanks for your reply. So what meds are there that would treat it?
<I use a product called eSHa 2000. Another good choice, probably better in fact, is Seachem KanaPlex.>
Or would it go on its own?
<Sadly not, if this is Columnaris. This disease is notorious in suddenly killing whatever fish is infected, because it can progress really rapidly.>
<Welcome. Neale.>
re: New rainbow fish won't eat      9/29/19

Hi again Neale,
What's your thoughts on me trying TriSulfa or seachem Sulfaplex for the mouth fungus?
<Yes, Sulfaplex should work. Do visit the Seachem website when researching their products; it is very clear.
Used as instructed, as an antibiotic is should not cause problems to snails or shrimps, but as ever proceed with caution.>
Is that a good idea? Do you think its safe for the large shrimp? I could move them to be with the snails tho
<Cheers, Neale.>
re: New rainbow fish won't eat      9/29/19

Hi again Neale thanks for your reply. I ordered Sulfaplex it should arrive by Thursday. Should I try to swab treat it or just treat in water?
<Use as directed:
Unless you happen to be a vet or microbiologist, disregarding the manufacturer's instructions is never a good idea!>
Do I add to food?
<No point if the fish are not eating it, but if they are eating, feeding moderately will do no harm.>
Should I stop feeding medicated food now?
<Again, see the instructions linked above.>
The food was medicated with Levamisole, low dose Praziquantel (was in same product) and Metroplex + garlic guard.
<Deworming medications should be fine with antibiotics, but I wouldn't be using them unless you have good reason to, just in case. Cheers, Neale.>

Rhinopias black spots      9/29/19
Hello again crew,
LONG STORY SHORT, I have had this Rhinopias for 9 or so months. It lived with a damsel (used to be 2 but one forced the other into striking range of the Rhinopias as it does to all the live mollies I add to the 50 gal dt) and a few lps. My quarantine procedure for the fishes entering this system had been ttm and PraziPro followed by two weeks of observation. Corals go through at least 35 days of QT without fish. I added another Rhinopias a couple months ago without the observation period post ttm (lesson learned).
I have generally found them to be very hardy. I noticed some black spots on the new addition a few weeks after intro into the dt but had not yet been as well read on the matter of black spots and assumed it was harmless pigmentation. A few days later there was abnormal cloudiness in one eye and a few days later the fish died. I also noticed similar black spots on the original Rhinopias (see photos). I removed the remaining living fishes (Rhinopias and damsel) about a 6 weeks ago and have kept them on separate QT since. Over all these weeks I have fw dipped with Methylene blue, Chloroquine phosphate at 40mg/liter for two weeks, lowered salinity to 1.010 for two weeks and PraziPro at the recommended dosage, 45 minutes of formalin and have seen no disappearance of the spots. I'm starting to feel like I put this fish through enough and don't have any other options. Is there anything else you might suggest before just putting this fish back in the dt and letting things run their course? So little *specific* Rhinopias
information on the Web. Thanks again for your general efforts!
<Well, this doesn't look like a pathogenic issue... nor general water quality, poisoning of some sort. My guess is on physical trauma... perhaps a brush w/ the mentioned LPS, a trauma from a glance with something hard in the system. I would NOT treat the fish further and WOULD move it/them back to the dt. Bob Fenner>

Re: New rainbow fish won't eat       9/28/19
Thanks Neale
I followed the instructions on the containers as I hadn't received your message yet. Ill test the water tomorrow. What kh and gh should I be aiming for?
<See previous messages, please. They're up on WWM Daily FAQ as of now:
Search for "Re: New rainbow fish won't eat" and your messages are all there.>
I ordered test strips incase something weird is going on with the test kit gh. I think the thing hanging on the fishes mouth is not fungus but a parasite of some sort. As I saw one fall out and hang by a longer strand then fall off a fish which was kind of weird and surprising. Maybe the medication is killing them off?
I noticed the fish are ravenous and eating more and keeping it down it seems. They are liking the Dainichi mini pellets. Though if it is a parasite Im unsure which med is the one that's killing them, the Prazi or the Levamisole? Hmm
<Hmm indeed. Keep observing, and focus on the water chemistry for now.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: New rainbow fish won't eat       9/28/19

Hi Neale when feeding my fish today they ate way more than usual and are very hungry.
The neons still have white thing hanging on their lips though. Any ideas what it is or how to get rid of it?
<I would assume Columnaris unless there were evidence to the contrary.>
Thanks. One of the neon males gills are flared and redder than the rest.
The neons gill are kinda red, the Kutubu and boesemanni look fine though. I think it may be a female Kutubu.
Wonder what could cause the red gills?
<As mentioned earlier, improper water chemistry is a stress factor, so focus on that first, and see what happens.>
Should i do another 3 day lights off and medicate with more Levamisole?
Should I do a water change and gravel vac?
<One or more water changes before a second course of medications is always a good idea.>
I still have Praziquantel in the water from last dose and Levamisole but the Levamisole has been light exposed so probably not in water much now? Or should I be doing a Methylene blue dip or something? Not sure
<Please don't randomly medicate while water chemistry is being dealt with.
Get water chemistry right, then observe your fish, and then medicate if a problem is positively identified. Cheers, Neale.>
re: New rainbow fish won't eat       9/28/19

Hi Neale just wanted to mention the male neon rainbow that has it the worse seems to breath harder and open and close his mouth a little.
<Could easily be acidosis.>

Im considering adding some aquarium salt to the tank at low amounts, would that be a good idea?
<Not especially, no.>
Not sure how much is ok for the plants
<Anubias handle salt well, especially at trivial doses as used for medicating against Whitespot, and they will even adapt to slightly brackish water just fine. But salt isn't a replacement for proper general and
carbonate hardness (except if brackish water fish are being kept) so focus on those parameters instead. Cheers, Neale.>
re: New rainbow fish won't eat       9/28/19

Hi again Neale Thanks for your reply. Ok I will continue to buffer water to ideal number. Is there anything I can add to the filter which will keep it buffered so i dont have to keep adding chemicals?
<Yes, but it's more work that adding tiny amounts of Rift Valley salt mix or equivalent to each bucket of new water. If you put small amounts of crushed coral into the filter these will slowly dissolve, but at an
unpredictable rate, and they'd also need to be cleaned every week or two otherwise they'd be so covered with much their effectiveness would decline significantly.>
<Cheers, Neale.>
re: New rainbow fish won't eat       9/28/19

Hi Neale thanks for your reply
The ph is 6.8 today.
<Getting better. Small steps towards the optimal pH, which is around 7.5 to 8, is the way to go. Don't rush!>
I was thinking of adding some crushed coral in the filter to boost kh and ph without having to mess with chemicals all the time is that a good idea?
<No, for reasons outlined previously. In the short term, what you get is an unpredictable rise in pH and hardness. Can I tell you how much crushed coral you need? Or how quickly the hardness and pH will rise? Or where the hardness and pH will level off? Nope. Crushed coral is best reserved for use in tanks where high pH and hardness is happening anyway, such as a Malawi, brackish or even a marine tank. In a standard freshwater tank, it's essentially the same as swinging a sledgehammer blindly around your head in the hope it'll hit a very small nail somewhere in the neighbourhood.>
Should I use half a cup or a whole cup?
<See above.>
Ok I didn't add salt but I added 1 cap of seachem ParaGaurd.
<Fair enough.>
I will add another cap later then to full dose. Is that a good idea?
<I always recommend to use the full dose for the full duration as stated by the manufacturer UNLESS you have specific reasons not to. Half-doses may be ineffective, and can also lead to antibiotic resistance, which we really don't need in our hobby.>
I read its good to help treat infection and parasites
<Yep, one of the better general purpose cures.
By no means 100% effective against everything, but a good choice when dealing with mild infections (i.e., the fish are active and feeding happily) to help their immune system do the job. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: New rainbow fish won't eat... Now shrimp ID       9/28/19
Hi again Neale I was wondering if you could ID this shrimp? I have no idea what it is. I thought it was A long arm Murray river shrimp but then after 2 weeks it went a brilliant blue color
<Most likely a Macrobrachium species, possibly Macrobrachium dayanum var. "blue", but hard to say. Cheers, Neale.>

clownfish compatibility question       9/28/19
Dear WWM,
Until recently, I had two tanks. One is a standard sized (6’ long) 125 gallon mature reef tank that houses 1 tank-bred ocellaris clownfish (2.5” long, 9 years old), 2 yellow tangs, 1 purple tang, 1 midas blenny, 1 solorensis wrasse, 1 Banggai cardinal, hard and soft corals, and 7 rose bubble tip anemones scattered from one end of the tank to the other. The second tank was a 29 gallon BioCube that housed a 1.75” long, 13 year old, wild caught (I think) percula clownfish.
I had to break down the leaking BioCube and so the percula is now in QT. Though small, the percula is slightly pugnacious…it guards whatever it’s hosting and sometimes nipped at me over the years when
I had my hand in its 29G tank.
On the flip side, the larger ocellaris will simply hide in/under one of the RBTAs when my hand is in the
<And this>
In your opinion, if I were to attempt putting the percula into the 125 with the other livestock I mentioned above, what chances of a death battle between the two clownfish do you think there will be, taking into consideration the size of the tank, the clowns’ respective sizes, temperaments and ages; and the number of RBTAs and other livestock?
<I give good odds of these two Clowns coexisting in the 125... due to the hosts available, the size, shape of the system, the other fish livestock present>
Is this a flat out bad idea…or in your experience is there a better likelihood than not that the other factors will mitigate any conflict between the two?
<I'd likely go forward. The system will be more interesting thereby.>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Porcupine Puffer Nose Down; data       9/28/19
Hello, I am in bad need of some help. Two days ago I noticed that our Porcupine Puffer, Porky, was swimming kinda weird. My girlfriend and I returned yesterday from her surgery to him sleeping in some of the live rock nose down.
<Yikes, bad>
I wake up this morning to her crying and saying he is dead.
I looked and saw he was in the same spot and position as yesterday. I immediately start taking the rock work apart very carefully but as fast as I could thinking I was getting her beloved puffer out to be buried. To my surprise, he started swimming. Only he was swimming nose down and in circles. I got him out of the tank and placed him in a tank by his self.
Continued to swim in circles and nose down at the top of the tank. He is still alive, how can I help him? I tried burping him, still no difference.
He has a lump on his left side rear. Please help me, I have gotten attached
to the fellow and my girl friend, well, loves him more then me I think.
<Need information: What do you feed this puffer? What other life is in this system? What have you done w/ this system in the last few days? Am thinking Thiaminase poisoning, or that possibly the fish has bitten off, swallowed something that's toxic... or been toxified by...? Bob Fenner>
Re: Porcupine Puffer Nose Down

His tank mates are three green spotted puffers, figure 8 puffer, dog face puffer, two clowns and that's it. I feed Mysis shrimp, blood worms, and they had two clams day of the start of the bad swimming. 75 gallon, 1.025,
ammonia 0, nitrite 0, ph 8.1, nitrate 20.
<I would cut the sewer worm larvae out completely and use less Thiaminase-bearing foods.
Please read here:
And search (the tool on every page) on WWM re Puffer Nutrition Disease FAQs.
Bob Fenner>

Re: New rainbow fish won't eat     9/26/19
Hi Neale thanks for your reply. The tank is stable at 25 degrees. They seem very keen on food and swim together. Theres no obvious signs of stress apart from spitting food out. When i got them they had tiny bit of white on some of their lips, ill see if it got worse tomorrow when i turn light on (the Levamisole is light sensitive).
<I would treat as per Columnaris, just in case it is Mouth Fungus.
Columnaris is quite common with Rainbowfish, and being a more aggressive bacterium, can quickly become life threatening.>
The long arm shrimp haven't harassed or killed anything.
I had a minor ammonia spike around 0.5-1 from an Oto dying (of starvation, they wouldn't eat).
<Otocinclus essentially only eat green algae and aufwuchs, and while some specimens will take algae wafers, it's hit and miss. Many do indeed starve, or are at least dangerous starved by the time they're brought home, and between that and any underlying infections, simply never recover.>
And maybe the tank wasn't cycled due to too much plants.
<Not how this works. If the plants are using up ammonia "in real time", that's perfectly fine and doesn't mean the filter won't develop.>
Unsure, the ammonia just never went up, its heavily planted with a lot of Anubias.
<Unlikely Anubias grow fast enough to absorb ammonia in real time. Conversely, being epiphytes, their roots are exposed to the water and harbour plenty of useful bacteria across their surface area.>
I moved the 2 mystery snails and all the ramshorn snails into a 10 liter container with a filter and heater for the meds because I think the Praziquantel was killing off Ramshorns.
<Can do.>
Ph is pretty low, kh also low. It comes out of the tap between 6.8-7. Kh it comes out is about 3.In my tank the kh drops to 0 and the ph was around 6.4-6.6I have to add minerals and kh buffer to keep it up. Could that be the cause? Ill do a test in a sec to see what they are now.
<Would certainly be something I'd be concerned with. Blue Rainbowfish really needs around 15 degrees dH, pH 7.5. They do not live long in soft, acid water. Boesemani Rainbows are essentially identical in requirements. The old Rift Valley salt mix should do well. Use at about one-quarter to one-half the recommended dose, i.e.,
Per 10-20 gallons/40-80 litres:
1 teaspoon baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
1 tablespoon Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate)
1 teaspoon marine salt mix (sodium chloride + trace elements).
Mix enough for your tank in a jug of warm water, but add in stages, across several days ideally, so that the fish are not exposed to sudden changes in pH and hardness. Thereafter, add appropriate amounts for each bucket of new water.>
The SAE is huge so I think the adult rainbows should be fine because they dont get as big as SAE right?
<Should be fine, assuming a true Siamese Algae Eater and not one of the more temperamental lookalikes such as the Flying Fox. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: New rainbow fish won't eat     9/26/19

Hi Neale thanks for your reply. This is video of the fish
<Nothing came through or was linked.>
Would Seachem equilibrium fix the hardness issue?
<No. Seachem Equilibrium raises General Hardness, which will help your Rainbowfish to some degree, but doesn't affect the Carbonate Hardness, so won't raise the pH much, if at all.>
I also have seachem kh. And benibachi mineral balls
<No idea what these are! But looking online they seem to be some sort of mineral that supposedly dissolves slowly in the tank, like a seashell or limestone rock would do. While theoretically fine, after these are coated with algae and bacteria, the minerals are isolated from the water. So their
effectiveness, especially if not cleaned frequently, is likely to be low.>
Im going to check the water parameters now
<The product you want (from Seachem, at least) is Alkaline Buffer. It even has a Boesemani Rainbowfish on the bottle!
While this should work very well, it's a lot more expensive than the home-brew mixture I described earlier. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: New rainbow fish won't eat      9/26/19

Hi again Neale. I tested the water:
Temp: 25
Ph: 6- 6.2
<Much, much too low for Rainbowfish.>
Ammonia: <0.25
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 1
<Very skeptical of this! Nitrate is almost never less than 5-10 mg/l in typical aquaria unless your tap water has no nitrate (unlikely) and the tank is so lightly stocked the plants absorb all the nitrate produced by the biological filter.>
Phosphate: 1
Kh: 0? Took the original drop to change
<That's why your pH is so low.>
Gh: 0? On first drop it was yellowy then added 22 more and it stayed yellow
<Again, you really don't want zero general hardness for Rainbows. Your aim is around 5-15 degrees GH, 5-10 degrees KH, and a pH around 7.5. Sodium carbonate provides KH, while Epsom salt is good for general hardness. Alternatively, you can use a commercial product like the Alkaline Buffer mentioned earlier. Should raise KH safely, and provided that is sufficiently high, you can largely ignore the GH. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: New rainbow fish won't eat      9/26/19

Hi Again Neale thanks for your reply
Its just because I already have Seachem Alkalinity
<For carbonate hardness.>
and Seachem Equilibrium.
<For general hardness.>
Could I attach them to a doser?
<Not sure I see the point.>
I have a Jecod dp 5 doser. How much at one time should I aim to raise the kh and gh? 1 degree or 3?
<Easiest approach would be to make a bucket of water to the right KH and GH, making a note of how much of each product required. Change 10% of the water in the tank today. Repeat the next day, and so on. By doing a series of small steps, the fish will adapt just fine, and you won't need to faff about with the exact numbers.>
Thats the video
<Nice tank, if a bit small for the species concerned, Your Anubias look better than mine -- sadly my Panaque scrapes the leaves so they look like a Swiss Cheese Plant! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: New rainbow fish won't eat      9/26/19

Hi again Neale in reply to the water parameters, tap water has 0 nitrate, 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite. and the ph ranges from 6.5-7.One time it was 6.5 and week later it was near 7.
<Lack of buffering evident here.>
Im using seachem matrix and marine pure in a AquaOne 800 nautilus. Maybe that's reducing nitrate?
<Not if it's doing its job, it isn't. Biological filters, especially canisters, generate nitrate. Some aquarists refer to them as "nitrate factories" which is a bit harsh, but not entirely wrong.>
The nitrate was dosed (using continuum) to 5ppm on the 14th and today on the 26th it is about 1 or less. Its pretty close to yellow. I dont know why all the minerals are so low. I think its the tap water it has 3kh and 0gh as well.
<Sounds like it.>
The plants eat up the kh.
<No, they don't. Some plants do biogenic decalcification, such as Egeria and Vallisneria, when kept in the hard water they like. But these are fast growing species able to 'tap into' that carbonate hardness as their CO2 source for photosynthesis. Your Anubias, even if they were able to do this (and I don't think they can) grow so glacially slowly that the rate at which they consume CO2 (or carbonate hardness) would be trivial.>
I also have a lot of drift wood so maybe that's lowering the ph, unsure. Or could be kh in general?
<Both. Wood creates acidic chemicals; absence of buffering, such as KH, will mean the pH drops between water changes. If your water has a low KH, the acids could react with that small amount of KH, as a neutralisation reaction, and very quickly you'd have no KH left.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Arowana Behavior      9/26/19
Hi Guys,
Please advise on the below.
<Have already replied. Do see here:
Search for "Arowana Behavior" and your question, and my reply, will appear.
Cheers, Neale.>

 Fungus Among us /Neale       9/25/19
Hello everyone. I would just like to say your site is the absolute BEST!
I have shamelessly stalked your content for anything related to goldfish and can honestly say that my finned babies would not have survived more than a few months at best had I not done so. Thank you so very much for sharing your knowledge with us. Having goldfish as pets is a lot harder than most people realize. That said...
<Thanks for these kind words.>
My apologies in advance for the mini-novel but I'm not sure where to begin.
Let me start by providing what I hope will be some useful background information. I currently have two fish tanks- a 20-gallon heated, filtered, moderately planted tank that houses a seemingly bored betta named Milo and a 40-gallon tank that houses three regular goldfish, the oldest of whom, Morgan, has been in my care for a little over nine years now.
The goldfish tank was heavily planted once or twice, but it's tough keeping live plants around goldfish because, well, they eat absolutely everything.
<Correct. Can be worth the effort, but these fish (and Carp generally) are natural bulldozers in the wild, uprooting plants and creating so much silt by their snuffling about the water gets too murky for light to penetrate.
So yep, mixing Goldfish with plants is a challenge, whether in the wild or in captivity. Floating plants (like water lilies) work best.>
Now they have what I like to call a water bush that quietly floats from one side of the tank to the other (likely to avoid being eaten). The 40-gallon tank has two hang on the back filters- one for tanks that are up to 50 gallons and a second for tanks that are up to 90 gallons. I do this for two reasons: 1) goldfish are very messy little creatures and 2) if one filter fails, I will have a backup to ensure that the tank remains cycled until the new filter has a chance to get established.
<Sounds wise.>
There is also a pond pump with an ultraviolet light lurking in one of the back corners of the tank. I check the filters once a week when I clean the tank, however I only replace the filters approximately every other month or so unless otherwise indicated.
<All sounds fine so far.>
The tank is fully cycled and has been for many years now. The ammonia and nitrite levels consistently stay at zero and the nitrate levels toggle between 10 ppm (at the beginning of the week) and 20 ppm (which is where I usually am at the end of the week when I clean the tank). I have never had
a pH reading other than 7.4 on this tank.
<Cool. Goldfish do prefer basic water chemistry, so around 7 to 8 is ideal.>
The fish are fed a diet that consists mostly of homemade gel food consisting of shrimp, raw garlic and fresh spinach that is supplemented with a variety of fruits (usually oranges) and things like sweet peas,
boiled sweet potatoes, roasted seaweed, etc.
<All sounds good. Probably better than what I eat!>
Loads of Anacharis are added to the tank once a quarter or so which the fish usually decimate over the course of a week. Once or twice a year the goldfish will get Life Spectrum pellets. I am thoroughly convinced that this diet has not only kept my fish relatively healthy over the years, but that it plays a crucial role in allowing me to keep my tank parameters in check (along with the weekly cleanings, that is). And now onto my problem...
Nearly four weeks ago, I noticed that my oldest fish, Morgan, had reddened gills (it was only visible to me when he was swimming away from me, though). The gill panels appeared to be perfectly fine, and everything else on this fish appeared to be completely normal including his appetite and behavior. It was the flesh underneath the gill panels that had me concerned. The color reminded me of either a ruby red grapefruit or a blood orange.
<The gill filaments themselves should look bright, almost cardinal red. Diseases gills tend to look paler, even grey or white.>
A quick water check revealed that the parameters were fine: ammonia:0 ppm, nitrites: 0 ppm, nitrates: 20 ppm with a pH of 7.4. The temperature was a little high (~81 degrees- I live in the high desert so there is not much I can do about that aside from setting my thermostat for 78 degrees for the entire summer). Erring on the side of caution, I did a partial water change taking great care to thoroughly vacuum every inch of the gravel and reprogrammed the lights on the tank to only come on for 6 hours of the day so that they won't overheat the tank. I also made a note to keep an eye on the tank in preparation for whatever was about to come next (because I just knew it would be something!).
<Oh dear...>
I didn't have to wait long. Less than a week later, I noticed that Morgan was sitting near the bottom of the tank breathing a little faster than usual. I also noticed that his left gill was inflamed. A quick glance
around the tank revealed that the other fish were looking and behaving normally. Morgan didn't appear to be in any other distress aside from being a little quiet (and to this day continues to eat like a pig), but I
knew this swollen gill wasn't normal. I immediately got out my API kit and checked the parameters which were exactly the same as they'd been the week before. It was another hot day though so I did a partial water change of 50% and started dosing with Tetracycline in case this was the beginning of
something bacterial. Once the treatment was completed, Morgan was a little perkier but he was still breathing faster than I would have liked. Not knowing the exact nature of his ailment, I opted to wait a day or so to see if more symptoms would present themselves so I'd have a better idea on how to treat this issue.
<Indeed; the right approach.>
Approximately one week later, I walked by the tank and noticed that Morgan had a long ribbon of something that looked like cotton coming from this inflamed gill.
I knew it was a fungus of some type but I didn't know whether it was a true fungus or one that was caused by a bacterial infection. Once again I immediately checked the water parameters (okay, after I stopped cussing like a sailor), and once again the water parameters were exactly as they had been the previous weeks. I conducted two water changes to get the nitrates down to 10 ppm, then I dosed the tank with API's E.M. Erythromycin. I had planned to also run API's Fungus Cure simultaneously
in case this turned out to be a true fungus but the only medication my local fish stores carried was that herbal stuff Pimafix and Kordon's Rid Fungus which did not interest me (I thought they would make things worse).
Within the first 24 hours of dosing the tank with E.M. Erythromycin, the trail of fungus disappeared.
<Odd. Fungal infections don't often respond to antibiotics.>
I thought I was on the right track with the Erythromycin but at the end of the treatment the gill was still inflamed. I saw no clear evidence of parasites (i.e. flashing, thickening slime coat, raggedy fins and/or damage to the body) and didn't want to further stress him for treating him for a phantom ailment. Do keep in mind that I am no expert on fish-keeping so I could very easily be wrong about this not being a parasite. It's just that my previous experience with parasites (ich) is that they breed like roaches. For every one you see, a million more are hiding in the tank- most of whom tend to make their presences known over the course of hours and not weeks.
<Whitespot/Ick is usually quite easy to treat. Salt/heat works well with salt-tolerant fish like Goldfish. Otherwise reliable Whitespot medications like eSHa EXIT are reliable and easy to use.>
A few days ago I grabbed a flashlight to see if I could better determine why Morgan's gill was still swollen despite all the antibiotic therapy. In the left gill just under the upper part of the panel is what appears to be a speck of something a little larger than the head of a pin that looks like a clump of white, fuzzy cotton or a spider's web. It looks like the mold you would see on old cheese or bread except it is white in color. Could this be a true fungus? (And if so, how did it get in this tank? I only ask because if there's one thing I've learned about fish care it's that prevention is the best medicine). I have ordered API's Fungus Cure online which should be arriving sometime today just in case. I have no other idea
what this could possibly be.
That's all I have to report for now. Aside from the fact that Morgan's breathing is still a little fast, he continues to eat normally. He even scavenges for food like his tank mates. Any assistance you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
<I'm thinking that Branchiomycosis is the culprit here. It's a fungus, and probably latent in most fish tanks. Ordinarily it doesn't infect healthy fish. But at unusually high temperatures, possibly also in situations where nitrite or ammonia are too high, or the tank overstocked, the Branchiomyces spores infect the gills of the fish, causing death of the surrounding tissue. Unfortunately there are no tried-and-trusted treatments.
Phenoxyethanol is probably the best bet, but any decent proprietary anti-fungal medication is worth a shot (though things like Melafix aren't).
Commercially, medications like Malachite Green are used to disinfect new stock, but honestly, treating fish once they actually get sick is very hit-and-miss. Isolation of infected fish is normally recommended to prevent infection of other fish, but that may or not be practical here, in which can prophylactic treatment as per Fungus may minimise the risk. FWIW, Branchiomycosis is quite common in farmed Carp and Goldfish, and you can find many photos (and doubtless horror stories) online. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Fungus Among us (RMF, Branchiomycosis?)<<Maybe>>       9/25/19

Thank you Neale and Bob for responding to me so quickly. I went ahead and dosed the tank with API's Fungus Cure last night before I received your response because I was just so anxious to do something to help Morgan, as he's been afflicted with this ailment for about a month now ( I have indeed seen all the pictures of fish who are afflicted with Branchiomycosis and I am keeping my fingers crossed that my little one does not have that).
<Let's hope!>
He's still breathing a little faster than I like but the inflammation has gone down quite a bit and today he was more active than I've seen him in weeks.
I guess all I can really do now is wait and see what happens next. If this treatment doesn't work then I will definitely try the aquarium salt.
<Salt for Whitespot; has no impact on fungal infections.>
Thanks, again for your responses. You guys totally ROCK!
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Best filtration for floating plants in Amazon blackwater       9/25/19
Oh man, even trying to go as simple as possible is complicated!
<Ah, but what we do is complex! Zoos stick one species into one enclosure.
Aquarists try (and often succeed) at keeping in a single tank a range of species from entirely different parts of the world.>
I have never seen Tatia perugiae sold in any shop in Vancouver; in fact it appears most shipments come from Asia, whether because of cost or more direct shipment, I have no idea.
<Nor I.>
This is why I chose the Corydoras sterbai, the "warm water Cory" (plus it's really cute); it is readily available here.
<An excellent choice for life with Angels.>
They did well with my angel, so if I can't find Tatia perugiae, I will probably go with them again. I'm very lucky that my local fish seller is one of the best and most ethical in the city. He tells me not to buy if he knows the stock is not good.
As for filtration, I guess under gravel is out if I want a sandy bottom for my cats, so canister with spray bar seems to be the way to go.
<Likely so.>
I must say, there seems to be considerable contradiction in the home aquarium literature.
<Often times, yes, does seem so. There are some excellent websites though.
This one, obviously! But my personal favourites are SeriouslyFish and PlanetCatfish, both of which are rigorous in their attention to detail.
Some other websites tend to either regurgitate stuff from older books, or else rely on personal experiences that may or may not be misleading.>
Thanks for your time, Neale; you are a gem of information!
<And thanks for the kind words. Neale.>
Re: Best filtration for floating plants in Amazon blackwater /Red Alder Cone use       9/25/19
Hi guys,
I just have one more question, as I've been doing some online research on blackwater tanks. I see that red alder cones are beneficial both for the tannins and for anti-fungal, anti-bacterial functions. Where I live red alder is very common and I could easily access them in forests well away from pesticides and pollutants. Would you recommend this for my tank? I know you are a bit skeptical about adding locally found driftwood and I don't think I will try that again; I'll buy it, but since I have a good local source of collecting alder cones, I just wondered what your feelings are.
Thanks again!
<Alder has been used in aquaria, and the cones in particular are traded as such. However, I'd suggest using them sparingly at first to see how the fish react. If all seems well after a couple weeks, then maybe try some more. But initially, try out just a few twigs or cones, and look very carefully at your fish to see they're still happy. Decaying organic material will also reduce the pH quite quickly if the water has low levels of carbonate hardness, so again, another reason to start carefully, monitor pH every few days, and if needed (very likely so if KH is less than 5 degrees) use a commercial pH buffer of the sort sold for Discus tanks to steady the pH at 6.5 or 7. Cheers, Neale.>

Arowana Behavior       9/25/19
I recently bought a Green Arowana (small guy) from my LFS.
<Hope you have a big tank!>
I also got a pack of freeze dried shrimps for feeding him. I have had him for a week now.
<Shrimp is fine for a while, but contains thiaminase, so use sparingly.
Better foods are insects (such as mealworms and crickets) together with small bits of white fish fillet (such as tilapia).>
One thing that I have observed from his behavior that he swims up searching for food at particular times. I break a piece of shrimp into two and he then eats the pieces. Once after he has had may be around three to four pieces, he goes back down again and sits at the bottom of the tank as if resting and swims at the bottom.
<Not normal.>
Is this a known behavior?
<How big is the tank? How strong is the filter? Arowanas will misbehave in cramped conditions or still water.>
He looks healthy and doesn't seen to be looking weak or ill. When checked with my lfs, they suggest to give feeder live fish during the weekends and shrimp during the week.
<Terrible advice. Never use live feeder fish, unless you want a sick fish!>
Can you please advise what would be a good feeding pattern (if any) and also on the behaviour of the fish.
<See above. Wild Arowana mostly eat insects when young, so that should be your start point.>
Thanks and regards,
<Cheers, Neale.>

New rainbow fish won't eat       9/25/19
Hi I noticed as soon as I got my new rainbow fish they weren't eating. They take food in and spit out 90% of it. Doesn't matter what it is.
<Assuming the food is palatable and appropriate, "spitting out" food is usually a symptom of some sort of stress. Might be stress from moving, might be water chemistry or quality, might even be existing tankmates. But once fish are happy, they will eat whatever appropriate food is offered. So your real job here is to see what's bothering your fish.>
I messaged the place I got them asking what the supplier fed them and mentioned the issue and they just ignored me.
I have a 130 liter tank, the new fish are 5 dwarf neons, 2 very small boesemanni, 1 Kutubu rainbow. All pretty young juveniles.
<Rainbowfish are sociable, and in small groups can behave oddly. While your mixed group might well work for now, adult males of the two bigger species might become aggressive, or conversely, in the absence of their own kind, Rainbows kept in ones or twos can become nervous or skittish.>
Other than that I have 2 Siamese algae eaters and 2 long armed shrimp and 2 mystery snails.
<Long-armed Shrimp (Macrobrachium spp.) are not trustworthy with fish, so be careful here! Don't have a lot of hope for the Apple Snails either, which tend to do poorly in tanks with anything likely to peck at them.
Observe for signs of damage or stress.>
I've tried all 3 types of Fluval flakes and pellets, New life spectrum pellets and flakes, blood worms and Repashy's food. They just spit everything and of they keep any down its not much. Iv tried dosing
Praziquantel incase they have gill flukes, now Im on a course of Avitrol plus tabd incase its internal parasites. I feed their food soaked in garlic guard with Metroplex and agar agar. I have no idea what's going on.. are these fish doomed or have I overlooked something?
<See above. What's the water chemistry? Rainbowfish tend to prefer neutral to slightly basic water chemistry, around 10-15 degrees dH, pH 7-8 being typical. Some variation among species and even collecting localities, but for the most part avoid acidic conditions. They dislike very warm water, and do appreciate moderate water flow and lots of oxygen. They do need open swimming space though, and your tank will certainly be too small for adults of the two larger species.>
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Best filtration for floating plants in Amazon blackwater      9/24/19
Hi there,
<Hey Christine!>
My tank is approx. 100 litre tall bow front. I have just broken it down for a year of travel, but already I want to set it up again, correcting some of my mistakes. For the last couple of years I had a pretty healthy tank with only 3 sterbai Corydoras and a beautiful healthy wild-caught angel. I felt so bad that the angel was alone so I took all four fish back to my LFS. I am lucky to have soft slightly acidic water straight from the tap (Vancouver, Canada). When I set the tank up again next year, I want a low maintenance tank with no plants other than floating.
My plan is:
a fine sand substrate with only bogwood and a few rounded river stones, OptiBright 24"" LED 15VDC, 0.5A max. lighting possibly some cosmetic water colouring rather than trying to maintain a true biotope
<I'd use some "real" colouring... as in tannins, flavins from either adding extract (e.g. Black Tonic Water) or leaves for same... in the tank itself... or in the filter>
6-7 cardinal tetras
6-7 sterbai Corydoras
6-7 Otocinclus (possibly)
Frogbit and (possibly) water lettuce
I’d like to leave a couple of inches of air at the top of the water column
<Yes; especially needed if you're going to try Water Lettuce... DO use a less bright LED fixture... or one that the intensity can be dialed down>
So my questions are:
Do you recommend ditching the idea of the Otos? I’m worried about not being able to provide the huge schools they form in nature, and about keeping them fed.
<If you can secure some "full bodied" (i.e. not skinny) specimens, I would try three at first... After this system has been up, running for a month or more>
What filtration would work best for this set-up?
<In my opinion, canister filtration would suit all best here. Am a huge fan of Eheim personally... quiet, dependable... and you don't want splash, spray on the floating plants. I'd have the discharge along one side of the tank, right below water level.>
I don’t like the noise of the waterfall from the HOB filters and I wonder if it was part of my bad luck with Frogbit. I’d like to go with the old-fashioned undergravel filter, but would it matter if (because of the bow front) it would not cover the entire bottom of the tank?
<Not a problem that all the bottom isn't involved; no>
Also, would it provide the high quality water the cardinals need?
<The canister would be much better... you could run both>
What about a sponge filter? Is a canister filter overkill?
<Ahh, it is not>
I’ve found keeping the bioload low helps enormously in keeping the fish healthy.
<Umm, yes!>
Thanks so much in advance.
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Re: Best filtration for floating plants in Amazon blackwater      9/24/19

Thank you, Bob! Just the answers I needed.
<Oh! Welcome. And I'm asking Neale Monks here to respond to you as well. BobF>
Re: Best filtration for floating plants in Amazon blackwater     Neale's further input/      9/24/19

<<To add to Bob's comments. Firstly, Otocinclus prefer cool, fast-moving water (rather like Corydoras, say) so make poor choices for a sluggish blackwater stream with floating plants! There are other alternative catfish you could investigate, Tatia perugiae for example, but essentially choose species that (a) don't need fresh green algae, since that won't grow in a dimly lit blackwater tank; and (b) aren't dependent on high oxygen levels.
So far as the floating plants go, most, likely all, such plants inhabit habitats with little/no water movement. While that isn't really practical in an aquarium, air-powered box and other such filters do provide good
levels of filtration without generating strong currents. Plain vanilla under gravels are good too, if connected to air-stones. Air is ideal because while it moves the water up quite well, it doesn't create much current going sideways, so you end up with the sluggish sort of water movement you're aiming for. The downside to air is that slower water flow means water pressure through the media is reduced, so you have to ensure generous amounts of media to compensate. Undergravels handle this effectively using fine gravel by providing a vast surface area, but can't be used with sand, which would be the ideal substrate for most Amazon-style set-ups. Box filters and sponges are less good, particularly with regard to mechanical filtration, but they're okay with small fish under moderate stocking levels. With that said, canister filters of any sort can be used, just ensure the outgoing flow of water is spread out using a spray bar to ensure turbulence is minimised. More than likely the plants will still end up shoved into one end of the tank, but they won't at least be constantly splashed with water, which tends to cause their leaves to rot. Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>>

Lighting refugium from side glass      9/24/19
Hi crew
<Hi, Srinivas>
I am facing issues with evaporations from my refugium. The sump is covered and there is limited space on top. I place the lights for the refugium on top.
<Is the tank placed in a well-ventilated area?... what is the system’s water temperature?>
However, due to evaporation, the light fittings become moist and gives away. I tried with water resistant panels which lasted more but eventually ended up same way.
<Ah yes, saltwater in particular is very corrosive and always ended up damaging nearby equipment even if it is not splashed directly.>
I was wondering if I could place the lights on the side glass
<You could >
Was worried about
1. Glass being heated
<Not likely if you use LED’s>
2. Algae issue on glass
<Perhaps >
Please advice . I would be using a LED set with heat sinks.
The sump dimensions are 20”x12”x15” ( LxWxH)
<I’d add additional ventilation to the tank’s room if needed. Cheers. Wil. >

Fungus Among us, GF dis.      9/24/19
Hello everyone. I would just like to say your site is the absolute BEST!
I have shamelessly stalked your content for anything related to goldfish and can honestly say that my finned babies would not have survived more than a few months at best had I not done so. Thank you so very much for sharing your knowledge with us. Having goldfish as pets is a lot harder than most people realize. That said...
My apologies in advance for the mini-novel but I'm not sure where to begin.
Let me start by providing what I hope will be some useful background information. I currently have two fish tanks- a 20-gallon heated, filtered, moderately planted tank that houses a seemingly bored betta named Milo and a 40-gallon tank that houses three regular goldfish, the oldest of whom, Morgan, has been in my care for a little over nine years now. The goldfish tank was heavily planted once or twice, but it's tough keeping live plants around goldfish because, well, they eat absolutely everything.
Now they have what I like to call a water bush that quietly floats from one side of the tank to the other (likely to avoid being eaten). The 40-gallon tank has two hang on the back filters- one for tanks that are up to 50 gallons and a second for tanks that are up to 90 gallons.
<Good to have such over-filtration and redundancy>
I do this for two reasons: 1) goldfish are very messy little creatures and 2) if one filter fails, I will have a backup to ensure that the tank remains cycled until the new filter has a chance to get established. There
is also a pond pump with an ultraviolet light lurking in one of the back corners of the tank. I check the filters once a week when I clean the tank, however I only replace the filters approximately every other month or so unless otherwise indicated. The tank is fully cycled and has been for many years now. The ammonia and nitrite levels consistently stay at zero and the nitrate levels toggle between 10 ppm (at the beginning of the week) and 20 ppm (which is where I usually am at the end of the week when I clean the tank). I have never had a pH reading other than 7.4 on this tank.
<So far, great>
The fish are fed a diet that consists mostly of homemade gel food consisting of shrimp, raw garlic and fresh spinach that is supplemented with a variety of fruits (usually oranges) and things like sweet peas,
boiled sweet potatoes, roasted seaweed, etc. Loads of Anacharis are added to the tank once a quarter or so which the fish usually decimate over the course of a week. Once or twice a year the goldfish will get Life Spectrum pellets.
<Am a huge fan>
I am thoroughly convinced that this diet has not only kept my fish relatively healthy over the years, but that it plays a crucial role in allowing me to keep my tank parameters in check (along with the weekly
cleanings, that is). And now onto my problem...
Nearly four weeks ago, I noticed that my oldest fish, Morgan, had reddened gills (it was only visible to me when he was swimming away from me, though). The gill panels appeared to be perfectly fine, and everything else on this fish appeared to be completely normal including his appetite and behavior. It was the flesh underneath the gill panels that had me concerned. The color reminded me of either a ruby red grapefruit or a blood orange. A quick water check revealed that the parameters were fine:
ammonia:0 ppm, nitrites: 0 ppm, nitrates: 20 ppm with a pH of 7.4. The temperature was a little high (~81 degrees- I live in the high desert so there is not much I can do about that aside from setting my thermostat for 78 degrees for the entire summer). Erring on the side of caution, I did a partial water change taking great care to thoroughly vacuum every inch of the gravel and reprogrammed the lights on the tank to only come on for 6 hours of the day so that they won't overheat the tank.
<Good moves. I'd leave the lights off during all daylight hours>
I also made a note to keep an eye on the tank in preparation for whatever was about to come next (because I just knew it would be something!).
I didn't have to wait long. Less than a week later, I noticed that Morgan was sitting near the bottom of the tank breathing a little faster than usual. I also noticed that his left gill was inflamed. A quick glance
around the tank revealed that the other fish were looking and behaving normally. Morgan didn't appear to be in any other distress aside from being a little quiet (and to this day continues to eat like a pig), but I
knew this swollen gill wasn't normal. I immediately got out my API kit and checked the parameters which were exactly the same as they'd been the week before. It was another hot day though so I did a partial water change of 50% and started dosing with Tetracycline in case this was the beginning of
something bacterial. Once the treatment was completed, Morgan was a little perkier but he was still breathing faster than I would have liked. Not knowing the exact nature of his ailment, I opted to wait a day or so to see if more symptoms would present themselves so I'd have a better idea on how to treat this issue.
Approximately one week later, I walked by the tank and noticed that Morgan had a long ribbon of something that looked like cotton coming from this inflamed gill. I knew it was a fungus of some type but I didn't know whether it was a true fungus or one that was caused by a bacterial infection. Once again I immediately checked the water parameters (okay, after I stopped cussing like a sailor), and once again the water parameters were exactly as they had been the previous weeks. I conducted two water
changes to get the nitrates down to 10 ppm, then I dosed the tank with API's E.M. Erythromycin. I had planned to also run API's Fungus Cure simultaneously in case this turned out to be a true fungus but the only medication my local fish stores carried was that herbal stuff Pimafix and Kordon's Rid Fungus which did not interest me (I thought they would make things worse).
Within the first 24 hours of dosing the tank with E.M. Erythromycin, the trail of fungus disappeared. I thought I was on the right track with the Erythromycin but at the end of the treatment the gill was still inflamed.
I saw no clear evidence of parasites (i.e. flashing, thickening slime coat, raggedy fins and/or damage to the body) and didn't want to further stress him for treating him for a phantom ailment. Do keep in mind that I am no expert on fish-keeping so I could very easily be wrong about this not being a parasite. It's just that my previous experience with parasites (ich) is that they breed like roaches. For every one you see, a million more are hiding in the tank- most of whom tend to make their presences known over
the course of hours and not weeks.
A few days ago I grabbed a flashlight to see if I could better determine why Morgan's gill was still swollen despite all the antibiotic therapy. In the left gill just under the upper part of the panel is what appears to be a speck of something a little larger than the head of a pin that looks like a clump of white, fuzzy cotton or a spider's web. It looks like the mold you would see on old cheese or bread except it is white in color. Could this be a true fungus?
<Possibly... I suspect it is secondary... >
(And if so, how did it get in this tank?
<Mmm; funguses are all about... from the air likely>
I only ask because if there's one thing I've learned about fish care it's that prevention is the best medicine). I have ordered API's Fungus Cure online which should be arriving sometime today just in case. I have no other idea what this could possibly be.
That's all I have to report for now. Aside from the fact that Morgan's breathing is still a little fast, he continues to eat normally. He even scavenges for food like his tank mates. Any assistance you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
<My best guess is that this fish's trouble originated w/ a physical trauma... bumping in to something hard... the fungus/bacteria a result of opportunity. I'd stop the medicines you list and try simple salt treatment.
See Neale's piece here re:
Bob Fenner>

Cardinal fish not eating      9/23/19
Good evening,
<Hey Travis>
I have a Banggai Cardinal fish that isn't eating. He has been in our 20 gallon tank for approximately 2 years (he/she was our first fish.) We haven't added any new fish or changed good recently. We did notice was looks like a bump behind his eye.
<I do see this in your excellent photos...looks like physical trauma, it should heal in a few weeks.>
He seems to be swimming fine, although he is only using his clear fins to swim, but he is upright and moving around. Any advice on what to do?
<Without further information is a bit difficult to help, could you please send your water parameters (numbers)?...Wil.>

Re: Moray Eels and Coral      9/23/19
Hello Bob, Wil, Marco,
<Hello Iishan. Wil here>
Thank you all for taking the time to respond to my email.
<You're most welcome>
Here are the latest measurements from my 32 gallon Biocube:
Nitrate 0.0 ppm   <<? RMF>>
Phosphate 0.0 ppm
pH 8.0
<A bit low, I’d adjust it to 8.3>
Alkalinity 7.2 dKH
Magnesium 1215 ppm
Calcium 375 ppm
Salinity 1.027
<A bit high but not of concern, even though 1025 would be ideal.>
The temperature fluctuates between 79 degrees Fahrenheit in the morning and 81 degrees at the end of the day.
I have no protein skimmer. Do I need one if the nitrates and phosphates are at 0 ppm. I measure these two things often and they are almost always at 0, even after feedings. A few times it has gone up to about 3 ppm.
<Proteins skimmers remove wastes, proteins and other organics that can’t be measured with conventional test kits but that are still there, so it would be a beneficial addition to your tank, you’ll be amazed of the improvement on your livestock with the use of one, still you can get by without one, provided you do very frequent water changes.>
The tank (Coralife biocube) has a small built in rear sump. It is very small, less than 5 gallons. I have a small carbon filter in it and that’s all.
<If it were me, I’d consider upgrading the system to at least twice the current water volume, this way you’d have a more stable, healthier ecosystem.>
Bob, you had asked for numbers regarding lighting and feeding. I feed it fish that I catch in tide pools at my local beach about one every two weeks. These fish are about an inch long. It also eats some pellet food that I give to the hermit crabs. I drop a pinch once every two weeks (alternate weeks) as well. The eel eats some pellets and the hermit crabs do too.
As for lighting I suspect there may be issues here as well. I have a retrofit kit I bought from a company called Steve’s LEDs. They specialize is Biocube lighting upgrades. I think I turned them up too bright, slowly over time, because all the coralline algae on the rocks that are exposed to the light turned white. I am slowly decreasing the intensity. I have no way of measuring the lighting other than the percentage of output and using the provided manual for a guide.
Thank you for sharing your experience with moray eels and corals.
<Glad to share. Wil.>

Tanganyikan spiny eel skin problem      9/23/19
A few weeks ago I acquired 3 recently imported Mastacembelus ellipsifer Tanganyikan eels. They're all about half grown, 8-10" TL. I'll move them to larger quarters before long, but at present I am keeping them in a 55-gal aquarium with a couple of inches of fine, smooth sand and much artificial rockwork.
<Good... do you know how these Mastacembelids were treated ahead of your receiving them?>
I use untreated private well water which after being aerated and warmed to aquarium temperature settles in at pH 8.2 and is quite hard; my Tanganyikan cichlids are thriving in it. One of the eels started eating frozen mysis and krill immediately, a second joined in soon afterward, and the third finally started eating only a few days ago. It's that third fish that concerns me.
This fish arrived with what appeared to be a few slightly damaged dorsal spines, and now that it spends more time in the open and I can see it better (it was quite shy for the first couple of weeks), I believe they look somewhat worse, maybe even with a very slight white cottony look to them.
I have also now noticed at least one white dot on the fish's side near to the damaged spines.
Aside from maintaining best water quality, which I do assiduously, what would you recommend I do to treat this fish?
<In the trade years (decades) back we used to treat all incoming spiny eels w/ 250 mg.s per ten gallons with a "Furan" compound... changing half the water every three days, three times... the water quality/color is strikingly disimproved by this treatment>
(Actually I'll be treating all three eels together, as their present aquarium serves as my quarantine
tank.) Salt? Medication? Both? I much prefer to get on top of problems/solve them quickly and completely than to wait and see how they go, and it is my understanding that spiny eel skin problems can get very serious very rapidly.
Also, the more specific your advice, the more I and my eel will benefit from it. :^/
Thank you very much!
Gerry Binczik
<Not knowing the make-up of your well water makes me leery re advising adding salt/s. I would go w/ the Nitrofurantoin or such alone. Bob Fenner>

Re: Long Spine Urchin with Zebra Moral Eel; plus BGA eater      9/22/19
Bob -
Thank you very much you're most helpful as always! Your feedback definitely helps me properly plan some aquatic living arrangements.
<Am so glad to share, aid your efforts... promote the proper/appropriate use of resources John>
Here's a photo of the pin cushion urchin I previously referenced with a smaller long spine that shows some cyanobacteria (red) removed from the rocks (see rock closest to the gravel).
Thanks, John
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Cory lump     9/22/19
Hi can you tell me what this lump is and how to treat? I’ve had him for 2 years. The only change to the tank is I bought a new plant about a month ago and found one snail from the plant. Water perimeters are good. It’s a 20g tall tank with live plants. I feed every 3 days. I have lava rock and a sponge filter on the intake. I do a 50% water change monthly. I have a gourami and a rubber lip Pleco and some shrimp. All other fish are ok besides the Cory. Thanks
<Hi Kelly. This may be a blister, may be a tumour. Hard to say from these photos, or really, from anything short of a thorough examination. Blisters tend to be associated with reddish bacterial infections and show signs of dead skin around their edges, whereas tumours often grow from deeper inside the fish, pushing outwards, but otherwise have the colouration of the surrounding skin unless actually so large they're stretching the skin. Blisters are caused by a variety of things, but abrasions with coarse sediments and rocks are the most likely if on the underside of the fish. Treating as per Finrot can help, but the main thing is to fix the sediment by replacing with something more catfish friendly. Smooth lime-free sand is the ideal for Corydoras. Do also ensure there's adequate water flow along the substrate. Pop a bit of fish flake there and see if it gets shoved along briskly. If not, there's likely pockets of still or sluggish water that can stress bottom dwelling fish like Corydoras, and this in turn can manifest itself in the form of Finrot-type infections. Review, and act accordingly. Cheers, Neale.>

Clownfish Hyperventilating     9/22/19
Good Morning, this morning I woke up to my clownfish on the bottom of the tank hyperventilating as soon as it saw me he tried swimming up. It’s been an hour and he is still fighting whatever it is off he maintains itself upright. I checked my perimeters <parameters likely> and they’re fine I’m lowering my salinity little by little I’m not sure it yesterday I saw stringy poop or not so I’m not sure if he’s sick with parasites or just sick. I have had the tank for 4 months and the clownfish for 3 months he was doing just fine until today. I need help please!
<When, where in doubt, water changes! I'd switch out a quarter or so of the tank water, via gravel vacuuming... Stat! Unless you have another established, suitable system to move the fish to. Bob Fenner>

Green terror, not eating, parasites?      9/21/19
Good afternoon, crew.
I've had an Andinoacara rivulatus for over three years, had it since it was about an inch. He's about 7 inches right now. A proud father, he's in a 50 gal with its partner. They get along fairly well.
He stopped eating about 3 days ago, normally a glutton and i mean a fish which would eat until it was swollen like a balloon, i am wary.
<First thing, check environment. Moderate water changes and extra oxygen will often perk things up if fish aren't ill but merely stressed by something in the tank. Also try slightly cooler water than usual to see if that helps, with low-end tropical temperatures between 22-24 C probably ideal for this species.>
I've started to do small water changes ( 15%) daily as the green terror tank water had parameters of 6.0 Ph and 4 Kh.
<A bit low for this species. More neutral, medium hardness water is probably ideal for this species. On the other hand, given its age, any water chemistry changes should be made slowly.>
Fairly soft as it's partly in my yard and rain falls on it. Tap comes out at 10 Kh and 8.0 Ph, so water changes are small. ( he's lived half his life in tap and half in this rain/tap mix).
I noticed translucid, stringy poops out of him ( not white nor yellow, but transparent), he's alert, is still chasing the female ( they lay eggs every 2 months and its about time now) colorful and responsive, he chews food but spits it out. I checked his body for flukes or Hexamita and none of it are present. So I'm not sure if it's parasites or maybe stress?
<Unlikely to be parasites if you haven't added anything new in the last few months. That said, Hexamita may well be latent in most farmed cichlids, so treating as per Hexamita isn't a bad idea.>
Too soft water?
Thank you very much, i will be waiting for your response.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: Coral And Marbled Catsharks; Edible tankmate comp.       9/21/19
Hey Wil, Kasey here again.
<Hey Kasey>
Sharks have been doing well, and consistent.
5 days ago my macleayi ate my clownfish, at night.
<Geez!...and how do you know it was the Macleayi?>
The clownfish was a considerable size for this shark.
<Yes, these sharks have bigger mouths than it seems.>
He has not been swimming much now, I fed them both today, and my macleayi ate, but he did not immediately go after the shrimp. He ended up eating 2 pieces. Just less enthusiastic than normal.
<Bony fishes take a bit longer to be digested than crustaceans, give it time and it will soon eat with gusto.>
The clownfish didn't have any diseases.
<Good, nothing to worry about. Have a nice weekend! Wil.>
Re: Coral And Marbled Catsharks      9/21/19

I know it was the macleayi, because his belly was huge and the marmoratus
(which is 3" smaller) had a normal belly.
<Ah ok, well...better not to introduce "bite size" fish from now on. Cheers. Wil.>
Re: Coral And Marbled Catsharks      9/21/19

I suppose I had underestimated these sharks.
That clown was in there for months, I must've missed a feeding. Well thanks again for the info.
<You're welcome, Kasey. Wil.>

Long Spine Urchin with Zebra Moral Eel, comp.      9/21/19
Hi Bob -
Would a large long spine urchin with the body size of around a tennis ball be left alone by a Zebra Moral Eel that's about 2 feet in length? I've read Zebra Moral Eels feed on urchins, but I thought maybe the long spine urchin might be an exception.
<Mmm; I don't think it's a good idea to place morays in systems with sharp objects period... their vision's not all that good, and they have a habit of bumping into most all>
Further, I suspect a Zebra Moral Eel would eat a chocolate chip starfish?
<I don't think so, no. They mainly eat crustaceans in the wild>
BTW, I wanted to report back that your knowledge and feedback was correct on a question I asked last week. I've witnessed a large pin cushion urchin (close to 4 inches in diameter) has eaten cyanobacteria (red) off my live rock as you suspected might occur.
Thank you, John
<Cheers John. BobF>

Thread like Worms      9/20/19
<14 plus megs....><Link>
Hello, I have read through an entire page of "worms of all sorts" with descriptions and answers on everything worm related but couldn't find my exact worm I'm dealing with.
<Not surprising; there's a bunch>
These worms are peach/red colored. Round, from what I can tell. Squiggly swimmers.
<Good clues>
I did not see any in the tank, on the fish, coming from the fish, but discovered them after gravel vacuuming out several fish tanks. They look like Camallanus worms, but I have yet to find a fish with the tell tale worms protruding from the cloaca. I'm going to try and attach a video showing these worms. Please help me identify so I can properly treat!
<... very likely some type/species of Nematode... and not deleterious; but beneficial. To reduce their numbers I'd just do your regular maintenance... Weekly partial water changes incorporating gravel vacuuming.
Bob Fenner>

A small still, optimized

Coralline algae       9/19/19
Gorgeous photo of coralline algae!! Ahhh. LOVE the stuff. One small thing. Although some or many coralline algae species do bind things together, they aren't absolutely critical in all reefs. Reefs and reef zones, vary in how much CCA there is, and some species don't even seem to bind things together. We've got a reef flat in American Samoa that's covered with loose rubble, been that way for decades, and it has a fair bit of CCA on it. CCA is indeed an important contributor to reef building, but varies in how much it contributes. Reef crests in the Indo-Pacific that are totally exposed are often 100% CCA. They're not studied much because they are pretty dangerous places, a person can get ripped to pieces out there, though sometimes you can walk around on them at low tide. I've done that. Some reefs that have high coral cover don't have much CCA. Some that have a lot of CCA don't have much coral. Some have both. At this point we know that some species of CCA attract larvae from some coral species. We don't know how widespread that is among CCA species or coral species (I hope it is widespread among coral species at least, but don't know). We also know that there are a few CCA species that can grow over coral and kill it. I have a few pictures of that, but I've never seen it be common.
Anyhow, some of us think that algae, including CCA and Halimeda, contribute enough to building reefs that maybe we should call them "coralgal reefs" instead of "coral reefs." grin.
Cheers, Doug
Douglas Fenner
Ocean Associates, Inc. Contractor
NOAA Fisheries Service
Pacific Islands Regional Office
PO Box 7390
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799 USA
"Global warming is manifestly the foremost current threat to coral reefs, and must be addressed by the global community if reefs as we know them will have any chance to persist." Williams et al, 2019, Frontiers in Marine Science

A call to climate action (Science editorial)

New book "The Uninhabitable Earth" First sentence: "It is much, much worse than you think."
Read first (short) chapter open access: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/arts/read-a-chapter-from-the-uninhabitable-earth-a-dire-warning-on-climate-change
<Thank you for this note/addenda Doug. Would it be okay to share on WetWebMedia.com?

Re: coralline algae       9/19/19

SURE!!!! Thanks so much for spreading word like this! If there are topics you'd like me to cover, I may be able to do that as well. Cheers, Doug
<Ah my friend (and likely distant relative)! What might I do to encourage you to branch into the ornamental aquatics (dare I say "petfish") content provision fields?
I will gladly encourage you to write, help make submissions to the pulp and e-zines in the field.

Re: Black Long Spine Urchin Questions      9/18/19
Perfect! Thank you Bob!
<Ah, welcome John. BobF>

Travis Carter’s Mega Angel Tank      9/18/19
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Pete Giwojna’s article on Mr. Carter’s tradition- challenging tank! I would love to know if there is any follow up information out there about how this tank progressed long term did Mr. Carter upgrade to a larger system as was alluded to in the article. What was the long term effect of running in hypo?
<Ahh, wish I had a good email addy to ask Pete re. You might try writing him via Ocean Rider in Kona, Hawaii>
Is there any info out there! I greatly appreciate you help and run to WWM frequently for all my fish questions!!! Working on stocking a 650 FOWLR right now!
<Wowzah! Am not a fan of continuous hypo(salinity), but do know of a few service companies, retail, wholesale marine livestock outfits that use it. Some upsides (lower ext. parasite, infectious agent loads, cheaper using less salt, higher dissolved oxygen) and down (diminished "sliminess" and what it provides esp.)>
Best regards,
Steve Offutt
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Travis Carter’s Mega Angel Tank      9/18/19

Bob -
Thanks for the prompt reply! Will seek Pete out if possible. Look forward to seeing your presentation at RAP Chicago!
<Ahh, see you there! I just tried to look up OR, now: https://seahorse.com/
Peter used to write informative articles, answer seahorse questions for them. BobF>

Tenecor tank bow concern      9/18/19
Good morning ,I have a question about my fish tank . It has a 1/2 inch bow across the front top to bottom that has been present for a number if years . I.e. 1/2 at top and 1/2” at bottom and looks like a parenthesis ) .
<Like this description>
I have an acrylic 180g 72x24x24 tank that was purchased new from Tenecor and in service since 2001. It has “ rolled” front corners ( i.e. no seam ) . Front and sides and bottom are 3/8” acrylic as is the top brace ( with cutout openings for access ) .
<Mmm; well, I'd have made all of 1/2" at least>
The back is 1/2” . It sits on an acrylic stand .
I am concerned about the bowing and safety of the tank . The bow had been present for years . All the seams look good and there is very little crazing I note that just about all tanks this size now are made of 1/2 “ or thicker acrylic .
<Ah yes>
Tenecor has gone out of business long ago .
This tank is in our living room . Your thoughts would be appreciated
Thx Jimmy
<Well, all tanks "bow" to extents, and given your note of little crazing and good seals, I would not be concerned here. Put another way, I myself would (continue to) use this tank as is. Bob Fenner>

Re: Moray Eels and Coral       9/17/19
Sorry for the delayed reply, Bob! I am not aware of any negative impact of moray eel mucus on coral growth and have seen stunning systems with corals and moray eels, although those tanks were large and heavily filtrated. I suspect water quality and/or microbiology being the culprit here. Cheers, Marco.
<Thank you Marco; this is the experience Wil and I related. Cheers, BobF>

Black Long Spine Urchin Questions       9/17/19
Hi Bob -
I have two questions for you. I've searched the wet web media knowledge base but haven't found the answers. FYI, I've been working on eradicating cyanobacteria from a 265 gallon and 150 gallon (both FOWLR) with the methods you've outlined. Progress is occurring.
<Sure and steady is the way here. Fast approaches are dangerous; too often lead to anomalous losses to wipe outs>
Questions: Would a black long spine urchin eat cyanobacteria?
<Some, yes... do look (Google?) the genus Diadema re>
I suspect not, but not 100% sure. Lastly, would a green bird wrasse bother a long spine urchin?
<Doubtful; no>
I know they like snails, but thought maybe the long spine urchin would be OK with its venomous spines.
<This genus of urchins, not very venomous... mild; not harmful to humans.>
Thank you, John
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Painted turtle breeding question
<Hello. Apologies for the delay in replying.>
I’ve read Darrel’s write-up re turtle hatching and have a question. I’ve installed a pond in my backyard and have 3 painted turtles (+koi and gf) in it. Because I’ve lost a few turtles over the winter (Michigan; my pond is over 4’ deep, lined, in ground), I’ve started taking them inside now.
<Good approach.>
What I wonder, and can’t find via searching the internet, is because they’re inside now and don’t brumate, does this change the ‘breeding’ season?
<Not directly. But most reptiles will use day length (often specifically UV-A) to calibrate their internal clocks. Indoors this isn't possible, so breeding tends to be a bit more variable.>
Or will they still likely mate March through June as they did in the wild?
<To some degree, yes, more or less. Day length will be the main triggering factor.>
I ask because I would probably NOT know if my female actually laid eggs in the indoor holding pool I’ve set up for them. Which means, come summer, they head out to the big pond and a lot more space and I’d have to keep the indoor pool going JUST IN CASE eggs were laid. I also worry if I’m not allowing brumation and the breeding season is askew, that any eggs laid outside in the summer might not have enough days for gestation.
<Understood. If you keep the turtles relatively cool and with the amount of light over their tank limited, it's unlikely they'll lay eggs. Once moved into a suitable enclosure with higher temperatures, more food, and longer day lengths, this should trigger egg-laying.>
Another question; I have limited area where I’ve set up my over-winter pool so can provide only modest ‘earthen’ area for possible egg-laying. Is there a minimum amount for the female to actually feel comfortable? Or will she simply lay the eggs in whatever space I’ve provided?
<It needs to be big enough she can move about and dig comfortably, but that's about it.>
I currently have something equal to about 2 sq feet, about 12” deep.
<Sounds fine.>
And a final question; is there a optimal setup to make the earthen area conducive for eggs to hatch? Basic ground temp? Percent humidity?
<The sand needs to be steadily warm, around 28 C, and the sand should be damp but not waterlogged. The idea mix probably includes a bit of perlite or compost to hold some moisture. But at the same time it needs to be airy enough the eggs don't suffocate. Beyond that, the main thing is the sand isn't disturbed -- moving the eggs usually kills the foetus.>
Since I also overwinter orchids and tropical pond plants in the same room, I think I’ve got that covered but if there’s something I’m missing, please let me know.
<Sounds good.>
Anyway, I liked the write-up and hope either Darrel or another expert there can help out.
Thank you.
<Hope this helps. Neale.>
Re: painted turtle breeding question
Thanks, Neale; it does help. I was going to keep the lights on for 12 hours, do you suggest I lower that number?
<Yep. Treat as per winter wherever you live; but do ensure the UV-B light is on for sufficient time (at least 4 hours/day) for the turtles to get sufficient vitamin D.>
(it was mainly for the tropicals I’m overwintering with the turtles.)
<Understood. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Large Red Devil Cichlid with possible internal tumor
Thank you so much for your quick response.
<Most welcome.>
I kind of figured that if it is a tumor, there's not much to be done about it.
But I thought there might be a chance that the bump could be caused by something else, so why not ask?
<Understood, but I'm struggling to imagine it's anything other than some sort of cyst or tumour.>
The tumor is behind the vent, so hopefully it will be slow-growing.
My husband reminded me that when we do a water change every 2 weeks we use water from the outside spigot which comes straight from the well and does not go through the softener.
However, when I top-up the aquarium with 2-3 gallons of water to offset evaporation (about once a week), I have been using indoor tap water so I will stop doing that.
<Ideally, evaporation is topped off with pure (RO, rain or deionised water) because otherwise you're adding minerals. While I don't believe the softened water is the problem here, the use of domestic water softener water is risky because such water contains sodium ions, and the more you use, the more sodium gets into the water. It's the same reason people instructed to avoid sodium in their diet are told not to drink softened water. For sure the amount is very low, and for most people not a problem, but it's one extra factor getting in the way of a balanced aquarium, so best avoided.>
Please let me know if you have a blog or other source of information that I can tap into and learn more about freshwater fish and aquarium care, and thanks again for the help!
Best Regards,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Is coral stones harmful to beta fish if I boil it...its a 60L tank?
Hi i rescued one green tiger barb and he wasn't happy. He now has 7 barbs and loving company. I'm moving them to 60L tank. Tried sand but too cloudy..washed multiple times! I've purchased what looks like tiny wee pours golden stones but realised it's for saltwater. Will it harm barbs if I boil it first? In ratio to tank, it's not a great amount of gravel. Will they b ok with that?
Thanks Sharon
<Hello Sharon. Products designed for use in marine fish tanks are not always safe in freshwater tanks. If they are made of a calcareous material, such as limestone, they will harden the water and raise the pH. So short answer: nope, leave these out of your Betta's aquarium! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Mbu puffer tank
Hi Neale,
<Hello Nate,>
By way of update,
The MBU arrived and is settled and was doing really well. Eating well and water quality is going well ( I followed your advice to use the automatic water change system to only a little bit each day).
<Glad he's happy.>
I have been feeding just a few clams on the half shell each day to ensure he is not overfed. On Tuesday this week I was away and asked my wife to feed him. Without guidance she kept feeding him until he stopped (I understand she fed around 10-15 clams!!). He has not been right since.
<Indeed. This is more common than you'd expect. When they overeat, Puffers struggle to swim and will sit at the bottom until the food has been passed through.>
He has been sitting on the bottom not swimming much at all. He has shown some interest in food but not like he was doing and he seems to have a bit of poo constantly hanging out. (it looks like normal poo not like internal worms related, I am not concerned re worms as the person I bought him off had done multiple rounds of different worming medications and he shows now obvious signs).
I thought he'd be alright after a few days but he's still sulking a lot.
<First thing is do a decent water change. Overfeeding will spike ammonia and nitrite, and longer term, raise nitrate. Tetraodon mbu is fairly sensitive to nitrate, so ensure good clean water first. Next up, kick up aeration and oxygenation, if nothing else, by lowering the waterline an inch or two so there's more splashing. This will drive out CO2 and increase dissolved O2. Finally, don't feed him!>
Any advice? will he just ride it out?
<Eventually, yes. Meantime, remind your wife that fish don't eat a lot, and little fish can go two weeks, easy, without food, and large fish (like an adult Mbu) probably a month or more.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Acro Spots
So it seems like over the 48 hours after the interceptor treatment the bug population is down substantially. In fact I only see them left on one Acro. I am also not sure if what I am seeing are just small pods as they look a lot smaller and move a lot faster than the other ones.
Unfortunately I do not have an extra tank that can handle Acros. What I am going to do is remove the few pieces and the 1 that has active bugs and dip outside the tank.
<All right...>
I will then monitor from there. I can say though that my DKH dropped from 9 to 7.8 after the treatment so I am assuming the lower value was caused by the corals starting to grow again
<... or other effect.>
which shows the interceptor definitely had some impact.
<Yeah mate; it's a selective (more/less) poison. B>

Moray Eels and Coral          /BobF
Hello Crew,
Does the mucus from moray eels inhibit coral growth?
<Mmm; have not come across such statements... Marco?>
I have a 32 gallon aquarium with live rock, live sand, a small eel and four SPS corals. WWM
crew identified this eel as a Gymnothorax australicaola many years ago. It is about 8 or 9 inches long. The corals are two Montipora and two Acropora.
<Stony corals, Acroporids in this case, are easily influenced by metabolite accumulation...>
I am trying to learn why the corals are dying. If the water chemistry, lighting and temperature are OK, could the eel be causing a problem for the corals? I feed it a small fish about once every two weeks. The nitrate and phosphate levels are undetectable.
<Numbers please, for what you mention, lighting, feeding>
I have a professional do maintenance on the aquarium once a month and he does not know why the corals are dying. He suggested that the mucus could be the problem.
Thank you,
<Possibly... Bob Fenner>
Moray Eels and Coral        /Wil

Hello Crew,
<Hello Iishan, Wil this morning>
Does the mucus from moray eels inhibit coral growth?
<Not usually>
I have a 32 gallon aquarium with live rock, live sand, a small eel and four SPS corals.
<Not the ideal water volume, do you have a sump-refugium?>
WWM crew identified this eel as a Gymnothorax australicaola <australicola> many years ago.
It is about 8 or 9 inches long. The corals are two Montipora and two Acropora.
I am trying to learn why the corals are dying. If the water chemistry,
lighting and temperature are OK, could the eel be causing a problem for the
<The only thing that I’d blame the eel for, is that it may be toppling the corals while swimming or at feeding time and this may be stressful for your SPS.>
I feed it a small fish about once every two weeks. The nitrate and
phosphate levels are undetectable.
<Do you have a good protein skimmer? Eels are messy eaters that produce a lot of waste so, frequent water changes are required to guarantee the cleanliness of the water needed by corals, especially in reduced water volumes.>
I have a professional do maintenance on the aquarium once a month and he does not know why the corals are dying. He suggested that the mucus could be the problem.
<I don’t think the mucus produced by the eel is the reason of the inhibited coral growth, if your lighting, nitrates and phosphates are adequate, it must likely be an alkalinity and/or calcium issue, what are the levels on both?... you didn’t mention the ph level either.>
Thank you, Iishan
<You're welcome. Wil.>

Green Star Polyp blues...or purples rather     9/13/19
Hi Crew!
I hope everyone is very well. I have some green star polyps on a rock island that seem to be having issues. My tank was rebooted about 2 years ago and I have a garden of corals that all seem to be thriving except, believe it or not, my GSP.
I recently started to move things around in my tank and noticed my GSP seemed to be struggling...holes in the mat, recession, etc... I suspected a hitchhiking predator but after moving the GSP saw this dark purple growth. It looks like a sponge?
Very prevalent in a spot my GSP has retreated from. Is it possible this is the suspect? It looks pretty and I value all life but if it’s harming my GSP, how can I remedy this? Peroxide?
<Maybe... I'd try cutting most away (above water, out of the tank) and scrubbing away the sponge with an olde toothbrush... rinsing the area with sea water out of the tank... >
I appreciate all wisdom the I have definitely used for many years. Thank you for your time as always!
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Large Red Devil Cichlid with possible internal tumor       9/12/19
<Hello Terri,>
I've been reading your forum for awhile now and doing some research on my own, but I haven't found anything quite like the issue that is affecting my fish. She is a Red Devil cichlid and we've had her for about 12 years.
<A fair age, and assuming she's been healthy otherwise until now, yes, a tumour is certainly possible.>
Over the last few months she has developed a significant bump on her left side. I first noticed it about 4 months ago. It has always been about the same diameter (about 1") but has slowly grown so that it protrudes more and more from her side. The bump does not seem to affect her eating or swimming habits and she is just as feisty as always! I'm wondering if she might have some type of tumor, and if so, can anything be done about it?
<Likely not. If benign, as most of these tumours are, there's no immediate threat. The bump looks like it's on the muscle (flank) of the fish rather than the abdomen -- check yourself to see if it is behind the vent. If it is behind the vent, then it's likely a tumour in the skin or muscle, and there's really not much to be done. Neither is there much risk to the fish, beyond gradual incapacity if swimming ability diminishes. If the tumour is on the internal organs, as could be the case if the tumour is within the abdomen (and so in front of the vent) then things are more serious. Again, no real treatment, but the issue is that tumours can quickly obstruct the digestive system and other internal organ systems, and this can cause the
premature death of the fish, even if the tumour itself doesn't spread (metastasize).>
We moved and went from city water to well water about 6 months ago. We checked out the water thoroughly (for the fish and for ourselves!) The well water is of excellent quality. The tap water does go through a water softener with salt that has an iron-reducing additive in it.
<You should never use water from a domestic water softener in an aquarium, and indeed, it's generally not recommend you drink water from domestic water softeners either. RO water is fine, but anything that uses, for example, salt to soften water isn't going to produce "soft" water as
aquarists think of it.>
I don't know what the iron-reducer is composed of. I've looked on the bag of salt and online and can't find an answer. The city water that we used in the past was also softened water, but did not have the iron-reducing additive. The city water had chorine, and we used chorine remover before adding water to the aquarium.
<I don't actually think the water softener is the problem here, but rather age and inbreeding, which make tumours more likely. That said, the extra sodium ions in water from domestic water softeners is a stress factor.>
Other than the water change, she is in the same 75 gallon tank (alone) with the same filter, gravel and decorations that have been in her tank for years. The tumor might be something that cannot be treated, but I'd like to know if anyone has seen something similar that could be treatable.
<These tumours aren't treatable as such, but if slowly developing, the fish may well live a normal life.>
<Sorry this can't be more hopeful. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Nuked tank; puffer poisoning...        9/11/19
Hi Will,
<Hi Dirk>
might not have enough time do that what you propose
<I understand>
Today also died a blue tang, Emperor Angel, Bannerfish, Picasso
<Oh, sorry to hear/read that>
What more info is out there about that toxin? how long does it stay in the tank and how to get it out effectively
<Hard to tell how long it stays in the water... As stated, water changes and activated carbon>
Now with only 5 fish left in that aquarium I am actually thinking just take out all the water and start all over new..???
<I do not think It would be necessary to empty the tank but yes to let it fallow for a month or so and put the remaining fish in a quarantine tank >
Can this toxin get fixed onto the resin also or into the life rock that is in the sump underneath the aquarium?
<The toxin is mostly in the water; not usually absorbed by substrates or other surfaces.>
The fish still alive will be dying too or can they recover from the toxin as I read it is a nerve toxin so I can imagine once effected they suffered serious nerve damage and will all die sooner or later?? Non of the surviving fish right now look its own normal behavior all showing skittishness and just hanging against that rock work.....Dirk
<At this point, I am not sure the toxin is the culprit of the loses, most likely some kind of disease not visible at first sight, might have been introduced inadvertently to the tank...please do take a look at the following article, it is worth reading... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm Cheers. Wil.>

Re: Acro Spots       9/11/19
Treated the tank last night with Interceptor.
Lost a few hermits but my large shrimp and crabs made it through.
<... better to treat the stony corals outside the main system to avoid such crustacean losses>
Unfortunately so did the bugs. I am assuming the next course of action is to do a larger dose over a longer time period?
<Mmm; no. You DID turn off all mechanical filtration during treatment? The skimmer, contactor/s, UV...?
I would re/treat ONLY at the standard dose/regimen.>
I did the standard dose over 6 hours. Is it feasible to try and treat one of the infected pieces in a separate bucket to gauge what dosage will actually work?
I cant catch my shrimp so was trying to do my best to make sure they made it through okay.
<... again, do you have another established system, container you can/might move the Acropora to after treatment outside this system? Bob Fenner>

Re: Vintage Aquarium       9/11/19
Thanks so much for the speedy reply, Bob!
<Welcome Wes>
I have one more question if you don't mind. I will keep it short. Found chip in glass, wondering if its an issue and what I should do about it if so. If you think it's not an issue, is there something you would recommend filling it with for peace of mind? Images attached. Pics with blue are from inside, without blue are of outside. These were the best I could get. The tank is 45Gallon. Also, there is an image with a green dot showing approximate location.
<Nice/good images. Given the size, shape of this chip I don't think you'll have trouble with the tank structurally. Filling it in w/ silicone won't help structurally or looks-wise. There are some glass repair products that might... but I don't use them on aquariums myself. Bob Fenner>

Re: My snails seem to be filtering the top of the water       9/11/19
Hey, its Alex again. Just wanted you to know that my snails are happier than can be. So happy i discovered two of my snails becoming parents tonight! Thank you so much for the advice. They still do the weird tunnel thing with the surface of the water but it might just be a weird habit that my snail children do.
<Fab. Thanks for the report Alex. BobF>

Nuked tank  >>RMF comments<<        9/9/19
Hi Guys and good morning from Thailand here,
<Morning Dirk!>
would like to bring the following story with an uncertain outcome and hope you guys can follow me in my process of elimination and see if I took the correct route and what more I should be doing now....Yesterday walking into the my customers place taking care of his 1200Lt fish only (with full resin rock and coral setup) we noticed several fish deaths (Harlequin Tusk, Blue Lined Angel, Valentini Puffer, Large boxfish, Tomato Clown and several regular clowns,..) All other fish seem to look struggling big time hanging to rock and barely swimming around. Only 2 fish not effected seem to be a powder brown and a big eye Soldierfish.... My first thought went out to a longer power-cut and a failing of the installed backup system as it looked like all fish behaving as in an oxygen shortage....checking on all logs from installed Alexa and other electrical appliances in the house it seem like nothing had logged any kind of power outage so I guess that was not it.... My second thought was 2 of the Heteractis >>RMF would have used Entacmaea...<<(added about 3 weeks ago to get some (10) Clowns requested by the customer and to protect them a little from too many predators in the tank) had gone into any kind of nuke mode? Though it seemed that they didn't move at all so sure not ended up in any power head or anything and that could not have caused the death of all clown fish in the aquarium (included the tomato which was housed in one of them) so I guess I could eliminate that as well as a cause..... MY 3rd thought was with adding the 10 clownfish about 5 days ago I have introduced an aggressive form of any kind of disease (Velvet maybe??)
<Maybe. Should have been quarantined>

Though some of the fish showing signs of itching when and if swimming around no visible signs of any parasite was visible...Only fish showing any external signs was an Emperor Angel showing red marks on his body.....So I contacted the supplier but doubt that is this was the case as supplier is a very well maintained breeding farm here locally in Thailand and the supplier who I know very well mentioned he is not aware of any disease or parasites in his closed breeding set ups....but then again can one be ever 100% certain...?? Now I came to the thought of could a boxfish been hit by any of the anemones and got so damaged he released his toxin....As I knew they could be toxin but can they be so toxic wiping out a tank?
<If it released a large enough amount of the toxin, yes.>

Now with discussing this thought with my helper he mentioned that when removing the death boxfish from the aquarium he seem to have been stock between one of the resin rock and the side of the glass and was completely covered in a thick white dust like substance....signs of the toxin maybe?? maybe he got stuck between that rock and the side got in such a panic slowly dying not moving and releasing his toxins in being super stressed...?
<Very likely this is what happened.>
Anyway, I decided to go that route, so did a 50% water change immediately and added a huge bag of activated carbon to the system.....
<Good moves>

Guess I will go check later this morning on how the surviving fish reacted and if they are all a bit more active now? So what you guys think do you think my last thought was the correct one and did I handle appropriately or didn’t I do enough to get rid of the toxin yet and should I do more water changes??? How long is that toxin active for as not a lot (just that they are) is available on the net on boxfish toxin in aquariums
<You did the right thing, though I’d do smaller (20%) water changes until things get back to normal, I also advise you to add a high grade activated carbon to your filter, this will help in eliminating the toxin remains.> >>RMF would have and still would move the surviving livestock to another established system<<
... Thank for your guys thoughts...Dirk
<Cheers. Wil.>>>Note, both Wil and RMF have worked for several years in the aquarium install and maintenance business. These "wipe out" events do occur.<<

I'm flummoxed and hoping for help       9/9/19
Hi WWM Crew,
<Hi Craig>
My question first: What would cause my Yellow Tang and Regal Tang to display display what looks like difficulty in breathing (mouths open and fast gill movement), and my Royal Gramma to open and close its mouth too?
<Normally, oxygen deprivation>
I realise this is a question with broad possibilities, so what follows are the circumstances... Four weeks ago upgraded from a 4ft to a 5ft tank. I used ATM Colony and transferred all fish on the same day. Ammonia spiked briefly at 2ppm or so the test kit suggested, but did drop gradually over the next 7 days. It is now undetectable (or under 0.1ppm) using a Salifert test kit and another I cannot remember the name of. Unfortunately, when I transferred the inverts a week later my small BTA who seemed to have had a purchase met it demise in a gyre that evening leaving nothing to clean up.
I immediately placed carbon in the sump and left it there for a week. I experienced a waterborne algae bloom which lasted a week while all fish were in the tank, helped along with a UV steriliser. Things were uneventful for the next two week aside from algae growth on rock and diatom on sand.
Then I introduced three additional Anthias. Three days later the additions were dead as well as another. Then my shrimp goby died. My fish are the two tangs, two clowns, royal gramma, a wrasse, 4 Chromis and 1 remaining Anthias - not a huge bioload, or is it?
<Not a huge bio load but this system is clearly not mature enough.>
At the same time I noticed the difficulty in breathing. I immediately caught all fish apart from the Chromis and remaining Anthias and put them back into my old tank and they returned to normal within hours.
I have plenty of surface movement created by two gyres, but had turned off the skimmer due to over production of bubbles two weeks before this incident.
<I would not have turned it off>
I turned it back on when I thought this might be an oxygen issue. Noticing that the Chromis and Anthias were unaffected overnight, and that the other fish had recovered, I transferred them back again. Within hours the Regal had its mouth open and gills going, as did my Yellow Tang? They are now back in my old tank - apart from the Chromis and Anthias which still appear to be perfectly healthy. They have now recovered in my old tank. I have had what appears to be the beginning of dino, although my Mexican snails seem unaffected, as do my conches, so without putting it under a microscope I cannot be sure. Both tanks are as follows: Salinity 35 Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 PH 8.2 KH 8.3dkh Ca 410-430ppm Mg 1410 - 1430ppm New tank has undetectable NO3 and PO4 Old tank has undetectable PO4 and NO3 at 5ppm I have decided to leave things as they are, let the system mature for a few weeks before I try anything again but cannot put my finger on what might be causing the breathing issue?
<Good call, leave it for at least a couple more weeks without introducing anything, be sure to keep the skimmer operating at all times and do a water test ahead of placing your livestock back and if needed, do a partial water change.>
Any pointers would be welcomed. Many thanks, Craig
<Hope this helps, cheers. Wil.>
Re: I'm flummoxed and hoping for help       9/9/19

Thank you very much for your input Wil, much appreciated.
<Glad to help Craig. Wil>

Vintage Aquarium       9/9/19
Hello WWM Crew,
I recently pulled an old metal framed aquarium out of an outdoor shed at my parents house. I'm having difficulty finding information on it. It is extremely heavy and I believe it has a piece of glass on top of slate with a DIY silicon job that my dad must've done...
<Someone did, yes. This is a Metaframe (co.) tank... likely from the 1950's>
I found a page on your site that talked about restoration of older tanks so that is how I found you. I've included a couple pictures and am hoping that you could tell me a little more about when it would have been manufactured, brand, tips on resealing, etc.
<Mmm; to make it authentic would require cutting out the silicone, removing the added glass bottom and (trying to) reseal the inside corners w/ "Pecora" or such... heated asphaltum. Instead, IF I were to attempt a repair (to set up, fill w/ water), I'd cut out the existing silicone and reseal with black (color and it is a different consistency) silicone as someone has tried here. Yes, I'd remove, reseal without trying the existing, AND fill outdoors, make sure the new seal is working before moving the tank indoors>
Also, if its important, I believe, based on measurements, that it is a 45 gallon long. There is a small oval indention in the frame on the bottom edge of the front and back that looks to be where a badge with the brand may have been located but it has since fallen off.
<Yes; tis the case. Look up/Google "Metaframe" and you'll find examples of the type of slope-cut frame, bracing here, oval for label>
Please feel free to forward this along or to refer me to anyone that may be a good source of information!
Thanks for the time!
<And you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re: accidentally cut into seam between glass while resealing an aquarium       9/9/19
Hello Bob-
<Hey Les>
Thank you again for your wisdom and experience. I don't mean to plague you; this is my last question on this tank (which after all this I am kicking myself for purchasing). I resealed the silicone, discovered it skinned faster than I was ready...and completely redid it (after removing all old silicone again...). The final result of the second attempt is not a professional job by any means, but I feel like it should work.
<Yeah, looks fine. Could trim up (w/ a single edged razor blade) a bit more>
I used a larger bead than recommended to be on the safer side (though areas are probably just at the recommended thickness.) A put it on a flat level board in a friend's garage and confirmed level and planar with a 48" level.
<Good; I see this in your pix>
Then I filled it up almost to the frame with water. After doing this I looked closely at the seams. (This tank does have glass that is 3/8" thick.)
The glass seams in the front right, front left and back left have white sections to about halfway the thickness of the glass. These are mostly at the top and go about half way down.
<Yes; better there than lower>
The right front and back left have the white toward the inside of the aquarium. The right left has the white part more towards the outside of the aquarium. These go about half way down more or less. The other seams seem fine.
I know you mentioned that the silicone in between the glass panes is actually possibly not even needed since the silicone bead is so strong.
That is very encouraging. I chose the RTV 108 version since people said it was quite strong and was a high choice of aquarium builders. (It was a nightmare to get off once it dried the first time, lol.)
<It/that is an old/er brand (RTV) that I/we used to use... less money than the specified "for aquarium use" products>
At this point I'm thinking if it passes the fill test for 24 hours that it is still safe to put in my apartment and run as a freshwater tank. I really would love your input and thoughts on that if you've got the time. I do
have a level sturdy stand in place. I just need to confirm this tank is fine to use in my apartment given what I'm seeing in the seams with it full of water (assuming it doesn't leak overnight). I will have to move it in the bed of my truck to get to my place once I empty it; I intend to transport it on the same piece of wood it is on now for testing.
Thanks bunches!
<Well; I am not much of a "gambler" (asking gals out, trying to take photographs is about it), but I would go ahead and use this tank as is (rather than scrapping it, or taking entirely apart and redoing/siliconing.
Cheers, Bob Fenner>


Quarantine; Cu use       9/8/19
Good Morning,
I have 3 fish in quarantine that will eventually go into a 180G Fowlr.
Juvenile Emperor Angel 3.5", adult Majestic 5.5", Saddleback Butterfly.
They have been quarantined for about 6-8 weeks in a 70g bare bottom tank (with PVC fittings for hiding places .) Initially in hyposalinity 1.009 sg. since that is how they were purchased. Looked like the saddleback had mild crypt. After 2 weeks of hypo at 1.009, I began to raise the salinity and dosing with Cupramine. I slowly raised the salinity to 1.013 over week one and two while slowly adding Cupramine to maintain a level of .2-.25. ( I use the Hanna copper checker ) By the time the salinity had been raised
to 1.017 ( 4 weeks ago ) the Cupramine level was at .3 . At 2 weeks ago Cupramine level was .3 . For the last 7 days SG has been at 1.022 and Cupramine has been at 0.45-0.50. The angels are eating like crazy and look to be doing great ( new life spectrum pellets, nori, mysis ) but have developed mild cases HLLE. The saddleback is another story . It looks great but I have not observed it to eat anything.
<Not surprising... stress, copper exposure, low spg>
It has had some small white spots on the black part of its coloration that have not changed since the start of quarantine. I am thinking that these may be Lymphocystis and not crypt. Do you think it is safe to start
removing copper from the QT ?
<Yes I would>
After the copper is removed, how long should I observe in quarantine ?
<Maybe another week>
I am hoping the butterfly will start eating after copper is removed from the QT. ( I have tried everything, from garlic, brine shrimp , mysis, nori etc to entice this fish ) Any suggestions ?
<An open bivalve... you can buy either frozen/defrost, or live>
The 180g FOWLER display that they will be going into has 2 damsels , a percula, an aggressive 16+ yr old large Heniochus butterfly , 4 shrimp ( 2 skunk cleaner shrimp , 2 fire shrimp ) and 2 brittle stars. I recently lost an Emperor Angel after 12 years and am hoping to successfully introduce the fish from the QT. Should I remove the butterfly from the display before introducing the fish from QT ?
<Maybe... I'd at least rearrange the decor, introduce the new fish with the lights off toward evening>
The 180g has been up and running since 2002. The QT since 1990 .
Parameters are as recommended for FOWLER for both ( except the copper treatment for the QT ) .
Thanks Jimmy
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine, Cu removal       9/8/19

Thank You, I started using a Polyfilter and even though copper levels are dropping , it is slow going in the 70g QT. By my calculations and measurements for a 70 gallon bare bottom QT at a .5 ppm starting point ( which translates to 125mg of copper in the water column ) a fresh Polyfilter that sees 250gal/hour flow removes about 10mg copper daily out of the water column.
<Interesting; in that I intuitively would guess this would me much more, faster>
That is approx. what is in 20 drops of Cupramine. The Poly-Bio-Marine site states that 8 sq inches or 1/4 of a poly filter will remove 285 mg of copper ions, both chelated and non-chelated forms. Visually, the poly filter looks like it is removing more. I imagine there must be an equilibrium process going on. Water change looks like the most efficient method of removal . Any thoughts?
<Time going by; you continuing to measure...>
Thank You
<Thank you, Bob Fenner>

ADF Hlth.           9/7/19
Howdy! I have an adf that has lost 3 of his toes. It’s a little bit red where the toes came off. Should I be concerned?
<Yes; will direct you to some reading:
The section on Red Leg is relevant here.>
Will it kill him,
<Yes, can do.>
or will it get infected?
<Highly likely.>
Any help is MUCH appreciated.
<Some further reading, here:
ADFs combine poorly with fish, and do need an aquarium with a heater and filter. As with all amphibians, they're a lot easier to keep healthy than to medicate, so aim for prevention rather than cure.>
Thank you so much!!
<Good luck! Neale.>
Re: ADF Hlth.           9/7/19

Ok. Thanks for letting me know. The toes coming off is not from an infection.
<Perhaps. But if that's the case, you need to ask why. In any case, there's a risk of infection, and you should act accordingly.>
He got his foot stuck under a rock in the tank and when he jerked, they broke off.
<That really doesn't sound likely at all. Think about how small (and weak) these frogs are. To break off its toes, it would have to force the rock up, wedge its toes in the gap, let the rock go, pull its leg, and lose its toes in the process. That doesn't sound likely at all, does it? Think about the human equivalent: if I was to lose my toes under a rock, they'd need to get wedged in their first, which would demand the rock be lifted up first, and then rolled onto my foot. Simply kicking the rock would result in a stubbed toe, perhaps, but in no way could the toes become wedged under the rock.
Now, a rock could roll on top of the frog, but again, assuming you decorated the tank properly, with rocks securely placed on gravel and sand, that shouldn't happen. Usually what happens when frogs lose their toes is either physical damage caused by fish biting them, or else some sort of ongoing infection caused by poor water quality or diet. That's what you need to be thinking about. Not 'accidents' that really aren't at all probable.>
With that kill him?
<See above and previous message about Red Leg. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Demande d'autorisation d'utilisation de votre photo. Request permission to use your photo.          9/7/19
Hi Bob,
The photos were requested only to illustrate our species web presentation, not to be use in our books…
<? Why would you show images you don't provide in your guides?>
We don’t sell the access to our data base, we let it free for anyone, the fact that we sell book is another thing and it is our real job; we are publishers…
Thank you for your answer anyway
<Ahh, for this purpose I do grant you free use of my image work per my/our posted Content Use Policy:
Bob Fenner>

Re: Acceptable temp drop        9/6/19
Thanks bob, calmed my nerves a bit. Was talking Fahrenheit.

African dwarf frog help!       9/6/19
Hello, i got 3 adf about 2 weeks ago. They finally started eating!!!
They seemed to like the frozen bloodworms!
<They do. But they will need more variety, so be sure to add other items:
tiny pieces of white fish fillet or prawns, frozen krill, live or frozen daphnia, mosquito larvae, etc.>
However, today I realized that my youngest frog lost 4 of his toes on one of his back feet. Its a little red where they fell off. Will it get infected? Will it kill him?
<Very hard to say, but it is a bad thing. Frogs are prone to something called "Red Leg" if their environment is not ideal. It's essentially the same thing as Finrot, and can be treated with much the same antibiotics. But like Finrot, it's evidence of physical damage (e.g., sharp sand or gravel; rough handling; nipping by fish) or else, and perhaps more commonly, non-zero ammonia and nitrite levels. Let me direct you to some reading:
While Xenopus are the larger African Clawed Frogs, their healthcare is identical to the dwarf Hymenochirus species you're keeping.>
And if not, is there anything I can do to help him be less uncomfortable?
<See above.>
Thanks for you help!
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Demande d'autorisation d'utilisation de votre photo. Request permission to use your photo.       9/6/19
Bonjour, Wet Web Media
Nous sommes une maison dédition spécialisée dans des guides didentification despèces marine imprimés sur PVC.
<http://www.pictolife.net> www.pictolife.net
Cnidoscyphus marginatus
Seriez vos daccord pour nous laisser faire cela étant entendus que nous nen ferons aucune utilisation commerciale.
En vous remerciant davance
Antoine Dray
English translation
Hello, Wet Web Media
We are a publishing house specialized in marine species identification
guides printed on PVC.
<http://www.pictolife.net> www.pictolife.net
<Have looked>
We are redoing our website and we would like to use your photo to illustrate our species cards:
Cnidoscyphus marginatus
Would you agree to let us do this, understanding that we will not make any commercial use of it.
<? You ARE a commercial concern. I see you sell these guides>
Thank you in advance
Antoine Dray
<Can you use other images as well? I would bargain w/ you for a copy of your guides if so. Bob Fenner>

Fish Aggression, Green Chromis        9/6/19
<Hey Eric>
Out of nowhere my Green Chromis has decided to relentlessly harass my Orangeback Fairy wrasse to the point that it was only coming out to eat.
<Does happen; unfortunately>
The fish were fine for 17 months so not sure what triggered it. I put a mirror on the side of the tank and the aggression has basically stopped with most of the fish just staring at themselves. How long should I
leave the mirror on? A few days, etc? Any other tips?
<I'd try taking the mirror away in a few days... see what happens. Yes to other... using two nets, catch the offending Chromis and place it in a floating colander (plastic) for a few days... IF the aggression continues, trade it out. Bob Fenner>

Replace discus ? Selection, comp.       9/6/19
Hi Team,
Trust you guys a doing well.​
​<Thank you; yes; well enough>
Recently my canister started to leak in the middle of the week and I had to make alternate arrangements for my 50 gallon discus tank, until I fix it this weekend.​
​In the process I lost few of my guys, and now I have two big discus who are the leaders and a few 4 smaller ones, out of which one of them seems to be quite timid and likes to hide behind the rock and comes out very rarely and is not very active when it comes to food.​
​Now I have a few questions.​
​Is it a rule that you need to keep discus of the same size for a good bonding.​
<Mmm; well, close to same size is a good idea. IF too different and there are "problems", in small enough volumes (less than hundreds of gallons), the larger one can/may damage the smaller>
In that case do I need to replace my bigger ones for ones of smaller size, so my hiding discus gets normal.​
​<May be; or move all to a larger system>
Odd One Out.​
What is your suggestion in replacing my discus and move on to a set of monster fish as in: Oscars, walking catfish, etc. I understand this is a question of personal preference, but do you think its easier to maintain the monsters and that they would not need filtration like the discus need, and still look good in the tank.​
​<Yes to other fish species being more "poor water tolerant", but they will still require robust filtration, water movement, frequent (weekly) partial water changes. Bob Fenner>
Please advise.
Thanks and regards,
Shriram Natarajan

September Calendar       9/5/19
HI Bob. A little late but here is a calendar for the WWM website!
Mike Kaechele
<Thank you!>

Acceptable temp drop, during acclimation
Hey bob,
Is 3 degree temp drop considered steep for acclimation?
<F? No, C? Yes>
Fish came in today, floated for 20 minutes, placed fish in quarantine, same salinity.
Evidently 20 minutes floating bag was not enough, water in bag was 80, tank temp 77.
Would the 3 degree drop concern you?
Thanks, bob
<Welcome. B>

TURTLE CARE      9/4/19
I'm really puzzled at your answers to my questions.
Perhaps I am just not explaining the situation very well.
I have a box turtle that stays in an outdoor pen. She got an eye infection and a little shell rot so I took her to the vet for medicine. Now that she is well I just wondered if the wooden hide box or the plastic bowl needed to be treated with something before she went back to prevent reinfection.
<Shell Rot is opportunistic and the bacteria and fungi are all around anyways. Eye-infections tend to be caused by dietary problems, but can be caused by physical damage. Either way, while giving your reptile's enclosure a good clean periodically is a good idea, sterilising them is probably unnecessary. Still, if you're concerned, bleaching and rinsing the nesting box, and sticking the bowl through the dishwasher would be quick and easy ways to clean them.>
That's all. But thanks. Take care
<Will do. Cheers, Neale.>
TURTLE CARE      9/4/19

OK. Very well and thanks so much
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Question about female ADF, repro.     9/2/19
Hello, I think my female African dwarf frog MAY have eggs. Are there any signs that she has eggs and if she is about to lay them,
<Gravid females will be noticeably plumper around the abdomen. But we aware that overeating and even Dropsy can look similar.>
what should I expect?
<Not much. African Dwarf Frogs routinely lay eggs in aquaria, but the tadpoles are tiny, and either get eaten by other animals in the tank (including the frogs) or fail to find enough to eat. If you want to breed
them, here's a good summary:
The main challenge is ensuring you remove the eggs to a safe aquarium, and then once hatched, supply suitable microscopic food (called infusoria) for the first few days. If you've bred egg-laying fish with small fry, such as Bettas, you'll know the process, and it's pretty similar.>
Thank you for your help!
<Welcome. Neale.>

TURTLE CARE    9/2/19
Hi. I apologize for not being clear. Originally I was asking you how to treat shell rot in a box turtle.(I already have one I'm treating.)
<Shell Rot best treated by dry-docking the turtle periodically, and using Iodine to dab the wounds once or twice a day, leaving at least half an hour before rinsing the shell and returning the turtle to the water. Do read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turtshellrot.htm
All the details are there.>
The turtle I found is with the rehab and I will most likely never see that one again. Even if it heals. I was referring to my boxie that has been living outside for years in a fenced in area but has had some shell
problems and eye infection. She is doing well now and I would like to put her back outside. I didn't know if there was something I needed to do in there before hand so that it is good for her to go back. Just don't want her to run into problems again.
<Understood. Realistically, if a wild animal has been in your care for more than a few weeks, it is extremely difficult to return it to the wild. All kinds of issues. One is that it will have become at least partially tame.
Another is that it may or may not have enough body weight to survive winter hibernation. If it was sickly when you got it, it might not have eaten enough to put on the necessary fat as well as repair physical damage (bear in mind that a sick or injured animal is usually eaten, so 'getting better' isn't often an option). Consult with a suitable expert who can assess the body mass of the turtle. Indeed, I'd probably approach someone able to rehome and/or reintroduce wild reptiles, rather than do it yourself.>
Thanks again for your help
<Most welcome, Neale.>

Re: Red eared slider stopped growing    9/2/19
Thank you, I guess we’re stuck with a permanently extra cute little guy ...
when we first got him the kids named him Token as he was the size of a coin.
<That's cute.>
His name evolved into Tokapee ... he is just soooo cute ... we will give him as happy a life as we possibly can ... he is very loved.
<Sounds like he's landed on his feet. Hopefully he'll provide your family with entertainment for many years to come.>
Thanks again
<You are most welcome. Neale.>

Re: accidentally cut into seam between glass while resealing an aquarium    9/2/19
Hello Bob-
<Hey ya Les!>
Thank you so much for your wisdom and amazingly fast response. I will make use of the Donate to site button!
<Well, don't know about wisdom... friends and I have studied and studied; have some knowledge, little intelligence... and we're hopeful for wisdom!
Cheers, BobF>

Red eared slider stopped growing      9/1/19
A relative found a little red eared slider a few years ago on a riverbank and thought he didn't look too good, so he rescued him.
<Not recommended, but understandable.>
(We live in Trinidad .... an island in the Caribbean).
We've had him for over 2 years and he is 2 inches.
<Pretty small, yes.>
He eats pellets, lettuce, and occasionally, some mosquito larvae. His shell is well formed, no abnormalities or deformities, he basks regularly and his behavior and energy levels seem pretty normal.
My son thinks he's a mutation or some species of pygmy turtle
<Doesn't sound impossible to me. The thing with reptiles is that they grow their entire lives, but the rate at which they grow declines with time. If they don't prosper for the first two or three years, a Red Ear Slider may grow a bit for the rest of its life, but at a steadily diminishing rated, so it'll never catch up with those Red Ears of the same age but with a more fortunate start to their lives. So yes, bad genes can be a cause, but bad luck can be a major factor too.>
His tank is pretty small but that will improve when we move out of our apartment within the next year.
<Stunting can happen with some animals, but not Red Ear Sliders, which tend to outgrow small tanks rather than get stunted. That said, improving living conditions is always a worthwhile step.>
Do you think something is wrong with him?
<See above. Hope this helps! Cheers, Neale.>

TURTLE CARE      9/1/19
Hello again.
<Hello again Shirley,>
Just wanted to touch base with you to let you know that I found an animal rescue about 50-60 minutes away and brought the box turtle there.
<Good news.>
It looked like something took a chunk out of it's face and it was infected.
<Makes sense. Poor little guy!>
They took it in and will try to treat and save the little one and then return it back to the area it was found.
<Sounds the best outcome.>
Also, I want to return my box turtle outside after eye infection is healed.
<Understood. The main things are to ensure she doesn't become "socialised" to humans (which should be seen as dangerous by wild animals) and also to ensure she doesn't come into contact with anything likely to carry reptile-specific diseases (so certainly pet reptiles, but also equipment like buckets or boxes used around pet reptiles). The first is about making sure the turtle keeps away from other people and doesn't see them as sources of food, which can bring them close to roads, which are obviously dangerous, as well as pets, like dogs, that might harass or kill them. The second is because pet animals can carry diseases that may be treated by a vet, but lethal without a vet, which is the situation for wild animals.>
There is a wooden hide box and a plastic water bowl.
<Sounds fine.>
She hasn't been in there for about two weeks. Is there anything I should do to it before I put her in there?
<Access to shelter, food and water are the main things. But also that the turtle can move between warmth and cool easily. While reptiles do like to bask in the sunshine to warm up, they also need to avoid overheating, so use things like burrows or shady spots under shrubs to get away from the sunshine. If this enclosure is outdoors, ensure also that predators cannot get in: not just cats and dogs, but even things like coyotes, raccoons and even large birds can be a danger.>
Would you also know if white vinegar is a good cleaner?
<Yep, should be fine. If it's safe to eat, it's a safe cleaner.>
Thank You
<Welcome. Neale.>

Accidentally cut into seam between glass while resealing an aquarium      9/1/19
Hello! I found your site and it looks amazing.
I purchased a 80 gallon glass aquarium that was used for turtles/reptiles.
<DO check whether this was/is a tank "just made" for such; i.e. NOT intended to be filled with water fully (to the top); such tanks are made of much thinner glass. This 80, depending on height, out to be 3/8" thick plus>
I read the silicone can harbor pathogens, plus the storage and age of the tank are unknown, so I decided to reseal it.
<Good move>
I purchased Momentive RTV 108 silicone and scraped and used acetone to remove the silicone from the seams of the tank.
<The excess, remaining Silicone I'll take it, after removing the bulk of corner seam material w/ razor blades>
I realize now I was aggressive with the razor blade and was unaware of paying attention to the seams and most likely cut into the seams. As far as I can tell they look fine, but I am afraid of this leaking when I reseal and bring it inside. (Yes I will fill test outside first.)
I then read about rebuilding a tank as a way to fix the seams I may have damaged. I am worried about this process, that I may fail to do this correctly.
<Only way to tell... is to test>
What is my best course of action at this point? Should I seal with the silicone and presume to not need to fix what may not be broken (no, I do not want a new 'pool room.') Or do I recognize that the risk is too great and attempt to rebuild the tank?
<I'd test fill it out doors... the garage let's say, on a stand and surface making it level and planar>
The tank does have the glass brace across the top, and the plastic 'oak colored' frame on the top and bottom. At this point I have not tried to remove the frame- I wasn't planning on it with a reseal only.
<I wouldn't remove this frame>
Also, I'm having a heck of a time getting all the silicone off the plastic frame, though I have nicked the frame a few times trying to get it off.
I'm wondering how critical that part is (the top frame.) With the exception of me potentially slicing into the glass seam with the razorblades, the glass looks good with the silicone removed.
<Such frames are mainly for looks and assembling the tank... the bracing is important though.>
I suppose I should ask how I can tell if I have gone into the seam and how far I've gone and when is it bad enough to rebuild vs. reseam?
<Again, I wouldn't panic. Have seen modern, custom tanks w/ such seams cut into entirely... on purpose; demonstrating the strength, integrity of corner beads/seams>
Thank you so much for your time and valuable knowledge, I do wish I had figured this part out ahead of time.
<What two word phrase did the late Doug Adams popularize? "Don't Panic!".
Cheers, Bob Fenner>

I have some questions about my african dwarf frogs...       8/31/19
Hello! I recently put three african dwarf frogs in a cycled tank. Nitrites: 0 , pH: 7.5 , Nitrates: 0 , and ammonia: 1.5 but I have added API Ammo Lock to make it non-toxic for my little frogs.
<Possibly, but Ammo Lock is a product that neutralised the ammonia in tap water. It is NOT a magic potion that neutralises the ammonia created by your livestock, and does NOT replace biological filtration. So if you have an ammonia level of 1.5 mg/l, that's incredibly high, and potentially lethal to just about anything. Do PLEASE check the ammonia level in your tap water fish. If the ammonia level in your tap water is between 0 and 1.5, but the aquarium is at 1.5, then you have a serious filtration problem that needs to be addressed. Increased biological media and a larger aquarium (at least 8-10 gallons for Dwarf Frogs) are the two essential improvements. If the tap water ammonia is exactly 1.5, and your aquarium is 1.5, then the tap water ammonia can be neutralised with Ammo Lock, but long term you really do want to find a way to use an alternative water source, or else increase biological filtration, while performing frequent small water changes (rather than infrequent big water changes) so that the filter can remove some of that ammonia. Do check if your water supplier uses Chloramine, as some water conditioners turn this into ammonia and chlorine, and the ammonia is just as toxic to your fish as any other kind of ammonia.>
I have tried giving them freeze dried bloodworms and aquatic frog pellets, but they never eat them. I even put it to their noses so they can smell it, but they still never eat.
<They will not eat while ammonia is not zero. Indeed, adding food that rots will just make the ammonia worse.>
I don't think it's because they don't want to eat around each other, because they seem to love each other. They are always sleeping on top of each other. Haha.
<They are quite gregarious some of the time, yes. But sexually mature males can be aggressive, albeit rarely doing any serious harm.>
I also have one more question. I have 3 females and 1 male. They haven't been mating, but I feel like my female has eggs. Are there signs of the females carrying eggs that she is about to lay soon?
<Gravid females will become quite chunky, yes.>
Thanks for all of your help and support.
<No problem. Good luck, Neale.>
Re... ADFs?        8/31/19

Hello again. Haha.
<Ha ha?>
I just saw your reply and I thought I need to address some things I didn't previously. My water supplier uses chloramine, and I use water conditioner along with ammo lock to neutralize it.
And how often should I be doing water changes?
<Every week or two is normally fine for Dwarf Frogs, but that assumes adequate biological filtration and zero ammonia and nitrite..
I have been doing 15% water changes every couple of days.
Now I feel bad that I am making my poor froggies miserable.
<Indeed; but do focus on the filter, ensure it's adequate to the job, and with luck, your frogs will survive.>
I will continue trying. Thank you SO much for your help again, you are helping save so many
fish lives.
<Thank you for these kind words. Neale.>

Re: corner fracture       8/31/19
Good news!! It appears to have worked. I brushed #16 over the entire fracture. Let it sit for 24 hours. Filled the 55 gallons to the top outside. Let it sit for 24 hours, no leak. It is now in our living room looking beautiful except for the corner where the fracture is.
Thank you for your encouragement!!!
<Cheers Jack. BobF>

Your visit is posted on FB; SAS and MARs visit       8/31/19

BOX TURTLE      8/30/19
Hi. Thanks for the info.
<Most welcome.>
My turtle is living outside all warm weather.
<Direct sunshine should provide the UV-B, so you should be sorted on that front!>
It started with swollen eyes and then the shell started caving a little.
<Swollen eyes are the classic symptom of Vitamin A deficiency. Of course other things (such as bacterial infections) can be explanations too. But checking the diet of your turtle, and ideally, giving either a suitable Vitamin A supplement, or getting a vitamin shot from a vet, should fix mild cases. Do read, here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turteyedisart.htm
As you know, these turtles consume a lot of plant material in the wild, but will eat meaty foods in captivity almost to the exclusion of fresh greens.
This is what can cause Vitamin A deficiency.>
The eyes are pretty much all better and I've been treating the shell rot, but how do I know when to stop?
<Are we talking about the Shell Rot here? If the shell smells clean (Shell Rot smells musty) then beyond simply cleaning the turtles shell periodically (an old toothbrush works great) and keeping the aquarium/pond clean (water changes and filtration) should do the trick. Dabbing with a cotton bud dipped in iodine solution (as used in first aid) does a really good job of sterilising the wounds. After dabbing, leave the turtle 'dry docked' for at least half an hour, and then return it to the pond or aquarium. Dry docking involves keeping the turtle on land, but with plenty of drinking water, especially if it's a hot and sunny day. Do this clean-and-dry once or twice a day for a week at least, and you should see
There is no white or red there. It looks like the shell but is deeper.
<Turtle shells are, obviously, quite thick. It is possible for infections to work their way through to the bottom, but that is very uncommon.
Treating as described above should show marked improvement within a week -- i.e., the shell pits smell clean, there's no weeping fluid (sort of like pus) and definitely no sign of blood. If the wounds aren't improving after a week or so, I'd definitely have a vet take a look, or at the very least, an experienced reptile keeper who you trust to be able to diagnose diseases in turtles. As said before, treating reptiles is really best done BEFORE they get sick, or failing that, as soon as things seem amiss. Otherwise, once they get really sick treatment can become time-consuming and expensive in part because of their slow metabolism, which means medicines (not to mention their immune system) tend to operate more slowly than warm blooded animals.>
The turtle is very active and eating otherwise.
<Both positive signs. A quick trip to the vet to get some assurance he's on the mend would really be the best option here.>
Have any good ideas on how to get the turtle to eat more greens?
<Turtles will eat greens in the absence of other foods. So not providing anything energy dense, like reptile pellets or worms, let alone meat, is important. In a pond situation turtles will probably be grazing between occasional feeds from you, especially if you only feed every few days. In between the turtle should be consuming pond weeds (Elodea-type things are ideal) alongside general organic muck they'll dig up in the pond (roots, worms, carrion, etc.). In an aquarium situation just don't feed anything else, stick a bunch of Elodea, Cabomba, or whatever cheap pondweed is sold in your local pet store. With luck, your turtle will chow down on these.
Duckweed is another useful green food that people can grow themselves without trouble -- it's often a pest in ponds! There are some kitchen greens you can try, though pale green salads like Iceberg lettuce, while accepted, are nutrient poor and not especially useful. Better bets are things like Romaine and other dark lettuces, sliced courgette (zucchini), squashed cooked peas, and blanched kale or greens. You'll need to experiment a bit, as every turtle seems to have different tastes. Some will eat a little fruit, too, such as sliced grapes, but use these very sparingly as they have a strong laxative effect and aren't really a normal part of their diet in the wild. The key thing to remember is turtles will ignore greens if meaty foods are offered, much in the same way humans ignore the salad bar while there's still steak and chicken on the buffet counter. Cheers, Neale.>
BOX TURTLE      8/30/19

OK. Thank you.
So for a box turtle do you put the iodine on the shell and just leave it?
<Dab iodine onto cotton bud; wipe across hole in shell; allow to dry for at least 10 min.s. After another 20 min.s, you can rinse off the shell and then return the turtle to its home.>
On another note, I came across a boxie today and wanted to get a picture of it. As I came to it, Shell completely closed up. (normal) I sat on a nearby log very quietly for quite some time and the thing only opened up enough to see the face. I kept waiting and waiting and then I started to wonder if it was OK. I decided to take it home just to see if it IS ok.
<Almost never recommended by wildlife experts.>
It's in a cardboard box and it has been a couple of hours and I haven't seen its legs or head and neck. Is this a veeeeeery shy turtle, or is there possibly something wrong with it?
<Could be, but hard to say. Certainly a wild turtle transported from its wilderness habitat into a human home is unlikely to be eager to leave its shell. Best bet is to call your local Fish & Wildlife agency for their input. There are (wild) animal rescue charities about (here in England, St Tiggywinkles is the best known) that might also offer advice.>
I did see the eyes. They looked different? Don't know what to think. Any ideas?
<Without a photo, nope. Sorry! Neale.>
BOX TURTLE      8/30/19

I am hoping to get a look at it to see if it's ok. I took a large snapper, the size of my steering wheel, to a local vet because someone deliberately ran it over.
<Yikes! Poor thing.>
I hoped it could be saved but they said the damage was too deep (heart break)
<I would imagine. They're fascinating animals.>
I know I can bring it there because they will help if needed and then release.
The problem is I can't get a good look at the face and eyes. I might just call them and ask what they think. Thanks for your help on the other stuff.
<Most helpful, and good luck with your endeavours to help local wildlife!
Always good to know some people are trying to do good, not just messing up the planet. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Receipt sent from alaskaair.com, SAS, MARs (!) visit
Thank you.
I think I got something good worked out with the MARS group. They would like to have you visit their group too, and the nice thing is (we expect) both groups will meet at the same place.
<Fantastic Eric!>
Let me run this past you and tell me what you think. It's intended to have minimum impact on you and provide maximum effect for the two clubs.
Your plane arrives at SMF around 1:15pm. I'll meet you at SMF, check you into your hotel if it isn't too early, etc., and show you around to any LFS if you want to see them (or other sites if there's time).
<Ahh, much appreciated. Am already missing Capital Aq., "O"...>
MARS club members (people from MARS? :-D) will arrive at the Round Table about 3pm and they will start the business aspects of their club meeting. They will also do a raffle of some kind for their members interested in (I think) salt water stuff. About 3:30, I will bring you to Round Table to meet the people of MARS. They would like to have an open Q&A with you for about an hour if that's okay with you, so that they can ask you questions. You won't be giving a formal talk to them, just casual conversation. I imagine some SAS members may attend that also. The Q&A will end around 4:30pm.
At 4:30pm, you will have a over an hour to relax and get dinner of your choice (we can get you food at Round Table, or I can take you somewhere else if you prefer a different dinner menu).
<Ah, no. RT is fine... Heeeee! Have been around so long that I've thought their pizza was bunk, better, bunk... and now okay again!>
Shortly after 5:30, we need to be back in Round Table to get your PowerPoint (or whatever file format) presentation on our display system and tested to make sure it's projecting okay. The MARS people will stick around and join the SAS people, and we will have a combined audience for your presentation.
<Good; am sure both groups will enjoy, gain by the experience. The talk (as all my efforts) is geared to a wide audience... interest and experience levels.>
For the SAS meeting, we will have about 20-30 minutes of announcements and news before you talk, which should run from about 6:30-7:30, depending on when we start. We will take a 10 min break before our monthly auction and raffle which could last another 2-3 hours depending on attendance.
<Wow, the SDTFS here in San Diego... have been a member since the late 60's, the pres. for three years... has gotten into a similar "habit", but does their auction ahead of the presentation (Groan!) and shorter raffle at the end>
At any time after your presentation (Before, during or after the auction), I will take you back to your hotel for the evening. Many speakers will stay till the end of the night, but I think with the MARS group first, it will be a long afternoon for you, so I can appreciate if you want to go back to your hotel early. That will be your call.
<Let's "play this by ear"; will likely stay if not too tired; to socialize, observe/learn>
If this sounds okay to you, the MARS and SAS clubs will advertise your visit as a jointly sponsored set of meetings, and the clubs split the expense of bringing you here. The MARS leadership is very excited about the prospect of a combined meeting and getting to hear you present, and especially if they can have a Q&A time with you.
<THIS IS exactly what I had hoped for>
How does that sound to you? Please let me know if it's acceptable.
Cheers, Eric
<Thank you for your efforts on all's behalves Eric. BobF>

Freshwater stingray advice needed      8/30/19
I am writing on behalf of my employer. She is an avid stingray hobbyist, owning very many freshwater rays, half of which are black diamond. She is having problems breeding the diamonds though and asked me to reach out to anyone who might be more knowledgeable about ray breeding. I know it might be a long shot to ask for advice but I am a bit desperate.
<Mmm; have read quite a bit, written some re FW rays, Potamotrygonids>
The rays seem to be having pups fine, but the pups only last about two weeks before loosing some color, curling and then expiring. She gets maybe one or two out of every 20 that actually makes it.
<Yes... need to know, have information re mainly water quality (and maintenance therein) and nutrition here. How do folks treat the source water and what is its make-up? What foods are being employed and are they supplemented?>
Any advice at all would really be appreciated, thank you for your time.
<Data please. Bob Fenner>
Re: freshwater stingray advice needed      8/30/19

Thank you Bob for replying,
<Thank you for sharing Holly>
She has a large setup. It's a 2000 gallon system consisting of three large oval concrete tanks, 2.5 feet deep, connected to a small hatchery consisting of multiple 50 gal tanks.
<Ahh! Am wondering, concerned with the accumulation of metabolites here>
fresh water source is well water which flows in constantly.
<Ah, very good>
There are 5hp submersible pumps which feed into sand filters then degassing towers. There are aerators throughout and a bio ball filter before the pumps.
<Wow! Some electrical cost now!>
parameters are normally around or close to : Ammonia - 0.25
<Aye; this NEEDS to be zero, zip, nada. This value alone might account for the trouble here. I'd look into using contactor... resin, carbon... to eliminate all NH3/NH4OH>
nitrite - 0
nitrate - fluctuates between 5 and 20, rarely as high as 40

<This too needs to be addressed. I'd keep NO3 concentration below 10 ppm at all times>
and PH - between 8.2 and 8.4.
<And this is way too high for wild-collected Amazonian rays>

The temp ranges between 81 and 83 Fahrenheit.
The well water was just tested for heavy metals, all came back looking fine.
My employer's friend keeps insisting it could be bubble sickness so she ordered a TGP meter. I tested all over and have seen it up to 95.4 % O2 and 103.7 % residual TGP in the concrete tanks. I can't seem to find much about what levels rays can tolerate but the more I look into it the more I don't think that is it. The rays don't look like they have any visible tissue damage.
<Gas/embolism is not a problem w/ these values. Supersaturation is... and with the use of the towers, likely most all excess gas is released>
I separate the baby rays from the adults into floating baskets when i find them. i have also tried moving them to their own hatchery tank as well but same results. I have tried feeding finely chopped earthworms, live Tubifex worms and finely chopped fish but they are reluctant to eat.
<Mmm; I would further experiment, and provide the young with softer, more acidic water. Do see, read on the Net, Fishbase.org re their natural waters. Quite different than what they're being exposed to here. There are simple/r, inexpensive means to modify water quality. The young will be better off kept in the 50 gallon systems either separate from the recirculated water or very slowly dripped/overflowed>
Thank you again,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: freshwater stingray advice needed      8/30/19

thank you very much, you have been extremely helpful. I'll relay all of this to my employer and try setting up a separate tank for the pups.
<Ah, good. I've visited a few Potamotrygonid hatcheries... your issue here is not uncommon, and easily solved. Bob Fenner>

Re: Mbu puffer tank      8/30/19
Hi Neale
By way of update, the mbu is now in and doing great.
I have invested in an automatic water change system that is being installed next week. That way he will have 30% water changes 365 days a year.
<Wow! Luxury, indeed.>
I plan to set it to do 5% every 4 hours, that way the Mbu will barely even notice the change taking place so will keep stress to an absolute minimum.
<Every 5 hours sounds overkill, but certainly being able to do 5% even daily should ensure really good water quality. Use a test kit: so long as nitrate stays below 20 mg/l, you're doing great. Doing excessive water changes is a waste of water, unless of course that water is being put to good use, e.g., to maintain a pond or water meadow. If it's just going down the drain it's expensive and wasteful, in my opinion.>
I have so far put in 30 guppies in but intend to increase that number significantly as the filter catches up. The guppies will be his only tank mates.
<For a while, at least!>
From my research these are the best tank mates for a mbu as he is peaceful enough to not eat him and move slowly so adds a calming presence to the tank so as to help keep him chilled.
<Indeed; and often Guppies are used for exactly this in public aquaria.
Very small fish are often ignored by big fish, but do provide that useful "dither fish" effect.>
My question is, male guppies do look better than females, but I am aware it is usually advised to keep a 2:1 ratio female to male. In a tank of 2000 litre with a 30 sq ft foot print + a group of 100+ guppies, is 2:1
necessary? Would 50:50 work?
<Academic, to be honest. After a couple generations you'll have hundreds of immature Guppies (some of the adults will likely get eaten) and likely a more or less 50/50 ratio because of that. Colouration will be difficult to ensure, because unless you can guarantee the females are virgin females of a specific variety, they'll likely revert to more or less wild Guppy colouration after a couple generations of cross-breeding.>
Thanks as always.
<No problem. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Mbu puffer tank      8/30/19

<Most welcome. Neale.>

BOX TURTLE     8/29/19
Hi. I have a box turtle that has places on her carapace that are like small craters. Is this shell rot?
<If the holes smell bad, then yes, very likely.>
And also on the plastron there are small spots that look like someone got flecks of slightly off white paint on her.
<Could easily be limescale. If you live in a hard water area, the dissolved minerals that form limescale in pipes and appliances and also form limescale on turtles. If you take the turtle out of the water, drop on a
little vinegar or lemon juice, limescale will bubble or fizz. Limescale is unsightly but harmless, and you can remove it with a toothbrush and a bit of vinegar or lemon juice periodically without any harm to the turtle.>
It is not soft. It does not come off easy at all. We have well water and it is hard water.
<Well there we go.>
I have some stuff for treating fungus and bacteria. There is no white stuff in the cracks but there are also a couple of small holes on the bottom shell. Same color as the shell just like the craters on the top. When treating how do you know when it is healed since I imagine that it would take quite some time for the shell to regrow there and what is the cause of the craters, holes and off white stuff? Thanks
<Going to direct you to some reading, here:
The important thing is to double-check your turtle has both UV-B light as well as a heat lamp for basking under (some premium lamps include both heat and UV-B) and a diet with sufficient calcium. Get these two things right, and you shouldn't have to worry about Shell Rot. As always with reptiles, prevention is both cheaper and easier than cure, and most (likely: all) turtle health problems come down to neglect. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Acrylic Tank seam crazing...     8/29/19
Hello, My name is Mike and I have a question about my 280 gallon 72x28x24 acrylic tank. On the front panel of my tank both side seams are starting to look like the photos below... Should I be concerned and is there a way to fix and or prevent from getting worse?
Thanks, Mike
<Hey Mike, could you please resize your pix to only a few hundred KB's and resend them ? Other wise you may crash our server. Wil.>
Acrylic Tank seam crazing...     8/29/19

Hello, My name is Mike and I have a question about my 280 gallon 72x28x24 acrylic tank. On the front panel of my tank both side seams are starting to look like the photos below... Should I be concerned and is there a way to fix and or prevent from getting worse?
Thanks, Mike
<Is the front panel bowed?...apparently the water pressure has weakened the seam/seal and it may worsen in time, unfortunately the route to go is to drain the tank and get some skilled, experienced person to reinforce it, please see the following link and above.
http://wetwebmedia.com/acrylictkreprfaq2.htm  Cheers. Wil.>

Re: Acrylic Tank seam crazing...     8/29/19
The front panel is slightly bowed, maybe a 1/8"... I was afraid some reinforcement was probably going to be needed luckily I am fairly skilled at working with / welding acrylic.
<Great that you are skilled Mike! Good luck with the repair.>
Thanks for your help!
<You’re welcome. Wil.>

Re: The hole     8/29/19
Thank you
<Welcome. B>

Emergency: fish in bad shape.       8/28/19
Hello, i hope everything's well.
<Hello Roberto,>
I'll get to the point this time.
<Sure thing!>
My 4 year old yellow acara jumped out of the tank and stayed out of the tank for what i assume 20... 25 min? The tank has a lid but it somehow busted out of it. When i found him i thought he was dead, parts of him dry. I put him in water because i always have hope and surprisingly started breathing. He also fell from a considerable height (one a half meters) . This was yesterday.
Right now he is very weak. He responds to stimuli but has trouble keeping himself balanced, a lot of the scales on one of his sides have peeled off, the tips of his fins are falling apart. I assume this is due the dryness his body underwent. What can one do in these situations? Photos are in links. I fear if i dont do something he wont recover.
<If her survives the next couple hours, you may be lucky. The dry skin will almost certainly be damaged, and Finrot and/or Fungus are both very real possibilities. You won't hear me say this very often, but this is one of those situations where a product aimed at preventing infections would be worthwhile, such as API Stress Coat or even Melafix. Adding a very small amount of salt to the water, perhaps 1-2 gram/litre, can also be useful. Either way, optimal water conditions, lots of oxygen, and no further stress (e.g., turn the lights off) will be essential. Long term, if the fish is still alive a day after the accident, he will probably live, so long as Finrot or Fungus doesn't set in. Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Emergency: fish in bad shape.       8/28/19

Follow up. I put him in an 8 gal with ample oxygen, Methylene blue and complete darkness.
<Not sure I'd have moved him into such a small tank, but I understand your thinking. The problem is that a small tank is stressful, and unless the filter system there is mature, you'd be exposing him to worse water quality than in the main aquarium. Always remember, a hospital tank is worthless UNLESS it has better water quality than the main tank.>
Besides hoping he would make the night, nothing else i thought i could do. He didn't make it.
<Oh dear. Sorry to hear this.>
After the fall he was stressed but swam normally. Next day he had problems with balance and low response to stimuli. Bacteria infected overnight in a highly stressed, open wounded fish perhaps? Should have separated earlier...
<Quite possibly what happened. Hard to say. Sorry. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: The hole       8/28/19
Giving birth?? What when she's still big
<Yes; guppies, Poeciliids can/do give birth over a period of hours to days.

corner fracture      8/27/19
Just got a 55 gal SeaClear aquarium. UPS must have banged the box so it arrived with a 2 fracture on one corner. The corner is a bent ¼ acrylic.
I have placed water in it and there is no leak. I was thinking I could take some weld-on #16 and brush it on the inside covering the fracture to let it mend any fracture edges.
Do you think this would work?
<Might... do this w/ the tank empty... IF the crack is too large, through the joint, I'd look into solventing a squared section of acrylic dowel in the inside corner. DO see/read on WWM re if you have doubts. Bob Fenner>

Re: Can you identify this tiny fish?      8/27/19
Wow! They can! And the one I have looks exactly like the Rainwater Killifish online! I wonder how I got it?
<As Bob stated, could've been collected along w/ other life, foods in the geog. area.>
Killifish can live in Saltwater????????????
<Yes they can, they tolerate different salinities from fresh to saltwater.

MASNA Press Release: The 2019 - 2020 MASNA Scholarship Recipients      8/27/19
** 2019 – 2020 MASNA Student Scholarships Recipients
Contact: Tim Lyons, MASNA Director of Conservation, Scholarship@masna.org
2019 – 2020 MASNA Student Scholarships to be Awarded at MACNA 2019
Orlando, FL. – August 19, 2019
At MACNA 2019, MASNA will be awarding its annual MASNA Student Scholarships at the MACNA Banquet on Saturday, August 31st, 2019. Two $4,000.00 scholarships will be granted, one to an undergraduate student and one to a graduate student.

The 2019 – 2020 MASNA Undergraduate Student Scholarship recipient is Lauren Block. Lauren is a full-time Junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (UHM). https://masna.org/masna-programs/scholarship-program/?utm_source=Public+BOD+Email&utm_campaign=f530a8746b-2019+-+2020+MASNA+Scholarship+Recipients_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_684126d033-f530a8746b-457263653

She got involved in the aquarium hobby working at a local fish store in her hometown. Her freshman year at UHM, Lauren began working in the Lenz-Hartline Lab culturing copepods (Parvocalanus crassirostris and Bestiolina similis) and phytoplankton. Since then, she has had the opportunity to assist in various other ongoing research in the lab including behavioral studies of copepods, feeding experiments of a sub-arctic copepod (Neocalanus flemingeri) in Alaska, RNA extractions, and the investigation of diseased copepods in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu. She has enjoyed learning a variety of scientific techniques through her involvement in various projects, and loves the problem-solving that comes with culturing copepods. She is currently developing an independent project with Dr. Petra Lenz to create a co-culture that allows for larval clownfish (A. ocellaris) and copepods (P. crassirostris) to be timed and raised together in such a way that the age distribution of the copepods in the tank mirrors that
of the feeding needs of the clownfish to maximize their growth and health.

https://masna.org/masna-programs/scholarship-program/Lauren's? utm_source=Public+BOD+Email&utm_campaign=f530a8746b-2019+-+2020+MASNA+Scholarship+Recipients_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_684126d033-f530a8746b-457263653 passion for fish, culturing, and the aquarium trade has led her to pursue a career in marine ornamental aquaculture. In the future, she hopes to develop new and feasible methods for marine captive breeding with the goal of providing a sustainable source of fish and invertebrates for the aquarium industry.

https://masna.org/masna-programs/scholarship-program/The?utm_source=Public+BOD+Email&utm_campaign=f530a8746b-2019+- +2020+MASNA+Scholarship+Recipients_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_684126d033-f530a8746b-457263653 2019 – 2020 MASNA Graduate Student Scholarship recipient is J. Alexander (Alex) Bonanno, a second year masters student studying Marine Science and Technology at the University of Massachusetts.

Alex received his B.S. in Marine Biology from Roger Williams University where he gained several years of experience researching and caring for aquatic organisms by working in the Roger Williams University’s CEED Marine Laboratory and at the Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s Nature Center and Aquarium. Alex’s undergraduate research was focused on marine ornamental aquaculture mainly by developing techniques to rear fish and invertebrates popular in the marine aquarium trade in captivity to reduce strain on wild populations and saving them from exploitation. Alex was also able to study abroad during his time at Roger Williams University in Townsville, Australia where he had the opportunity to assist in research on a local food fish called barramundi.

https://masna.org/masna-programs/scholarship-program/Alex’s current graduate research is conducted at the Intercampus Marine Science Graduate Program under his advisor Dr. Michael Tlusty of UMass Boston. Alex has dedicated his graduate work to preserving coral reefs by preventing a destructive fishing practice called cyanide fishing. He has teamed up with Dr. Andrew Rhyne and Dr. Nancy Breen from Roger Williams University along with researchers from Mystic Aquarium to develop an efficient and reliable test to detect whether or not a fish has been captured using cyanide. This test would allow for the screening of captured fish, giving law enforcement a way to crack down on the illegal practice. To achieve this goal, he has combined chemistry, toxicology, and genetics to study the toxicokinetics of cyanide exposure and traces of exposure up to several weeks post-capture. The development of a cyanide detection test will not only help preserve valuable coral reef ecosystems, but will also
significantly reduce the mortality rate of fish in the marine aquarium trade supply chain. Alex will continue to help answer questions critical in developing a verified detection method to combat cyanide fishing. While conducting this research, Alex will share his work through publications and presentations. After completing his M.S. degree, Alex is dedicated to advancing his efforts to protect and conserve the oceans whether that be through pursuing his Ph.D. or working in the industry.

Over the past 11 years, the Marine Aquarium Societies of North America (MASNA) has provided $68,000 in funding for undergraduate and graduate college students to help continue their degrees in the marine science discipline. The MASNA Scholarship Program has grown significantly to include applicants from North America and abroad. It has become a very competitive and esteemed award.

Applications for the awards are judged based on the applicant’s enrollment in a marine science undergraduate or graduate degree program, a G.P.A. of 2.5/4.0 or greater, and their proven contributions and demonstrated commitment to the marine aquarium hobby.

This year’s scholarship selection committee was chaired by MASNA Director of Conservation, Tim Lyons, and MASNA President, Dr. Kevin Erickson. The committee further consisted of Christine Rowe (MASNA Treasurer), Dr. Roy Yanong (University of Florida Professor and Aquatic Veterinarian), Dr. Liz Marchio (2015 – 2016, Graduate scholarship recipient), Mike Connelly (2018 – 2019, Graduate), Liz Groover (2016 – 2017, Graduate), and Kory Enneking (2016 – 2017, Undergraduate), and Zachary Ostroff (2012 – 2013, Graduate).

This year, with sponsorships from LiveAquaria, Ecotech Marine, and Two Little Fishies, MASNA is able to again award both a $4,000 undergraduate student scholarship and a $4,000 graduate student scholarship, and provide all expense paid trips for both recipients to MACNA 2019 in Orlando, FL.

MASNA would like to thank LiveAquaria.com, Ecotech Marine, and Two Little Fishies. Without them, the two $4,000 MASNA Student Scholarships would not be possible.

More information on the MASNA Student Scholarship program can be found at http://masna.org/masna-programs/scholarship-program/

Mantis shrimp ID      8/27/19
Hey I was having trouble IDing a mantis shrimp that was brought in. Could you help? My guess is G. smithii
<Hey Christopher, looks to me more like a Gonodactylus ternatensis. Wil.>
Re: Mantis shrimp ID      8/27/19

Thanks a bunch!
<You're welcome. Wil.>

Worms that came with Dwarf Horsetail      8/26/19
Hello WetWebMedia,
I ordered some Dwarf Hairgrass Bunches (Eleocharis parvula) from Florida for my fish tank, but there are worms in the bags. Do you know what kind of worms they are and if they pose any threat to myself or my fish?
Thank you!
<Mmm; appear to be some sort of Oligochaete (like earthworms); not likely problematical for you or your aquatic livestock. Bob Fenner>

MASNA Press Release: The 2019 MASNA Aquarist of the Year and MASNA Award Recipients 2019 MASNA Aquarist of the Year and MASNA Award to be Awarded MACNA 2019       8/26/19
Orlando, FL – August 26, 2019.
MASNA is proud to announce Dr. Craig Bingman as the 2019 MASNA Award recipient for his foundational role in understanding the chemical processes in aquariums, and Tom Bowling as the 2019 MASNA Aquarist of the Year for his recent achievements & progress in marine ornamental spawning and aquaculture development.
MASNA will be awarding its annual MASNA Aquarist of the Year and MASNA Award to the recipients at the MACNA 2019 Saturday Night Banquet on Saturday, August 31st, 2019 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel.
Annually, MASNA awards the prestigious MASNA Award and Aquarist of the Year Award to deserving individuals for their work in helping shape and influence the marine aquarium hobby in a way that positively contributes to the ongoing sustainability of the hobby to the future marine environment. Together with MASNA, previous recipients of the MASNA Award confer to decide who has given the most to the hobby and industry to be deserving of that years’ awards from a selection of nominees.
Dr. Craig Bingman, the 2019 MASNA Award Winner will be speaking at MACNA 2019 at 11 AM in the Neptune Speaker Room at the WDW Dolphin Resort on Sunday, September 1st, 2019.
Award Recipient Biographies:
Tom Bowling - MASNA Aquarist of the Year, 2019

Tom Bowling is a marine biologist and founder of Biota Marine Life Nursery in Palau. With an understanding of localized fish population behaviors, Tom perfected the use of wild gamete collection techniques to produce and raise many new species, not only marine ornamentals, but also food fish and threatened species for re-introduction to the wild. This includes the ever-popular Clown Triggerfish, Blueline Sea Bream found in public aquaria and the Bumphead Parrotfish. (Photo caption: Tatiana, Tom, and Maya Bowling at Biota.)
Captive-raised Mandarin Dragonets, various gobies, Aiptasia-eating Filefish, deep-water Borbonius and Yellow Tangs are among the 20 currently marketed ornamental fish species. Over a dozen asexually propagated soft corals and half a dozen species of clams are being produced under Tom’s leadership. Tom has also worked to educate both the public and interested parties in both Palau and greater Micronesia on the current state of aquaculture, including an understanding of sustainable practices that can be incorporated into their local reefs. Working with research facilities and other partners, Tom is helping further the knowledge and success of ornamental marine aquaculture.
Dr. Craig Bingman - MASNA Award, 2019

In his own words: “From the primordial ooze of the nascent internet, people with interesting and quirky hobbies found each other and formed online communities. One of those problems was ‘how to keep corals alive in closed aquariums, isolated from the ocean.’ A really amazing group of people self-organized and worked on this problem in North America, and across the globe. I was fortunate to have played a foundational role in understanding the chemical processes in aquariums.
It is my enduring pleasure to have provided solutions to several important problems that are still used today. This is the tale of the reef hobby in North America in the 1990s, when corals stopped dying and we achieved long-term success with these animals in aquariums.
Who am I? I was that eight-year old kid subjecting his first fish tank to way too much pH down and pH up, in his first real exposure to a chemical test. I was a member of that group of people who figured out reef aquarium chemistry. I was and am a biochemist, who uses incredible x-rays sources at National Labs to make pictures of the molecules that make life possible. I also love freshwater planted aquariums, orchids, and carnivorous plants. Most importantly, I’m the father of a two-year old. Watching his mind bootstrap and develop his own personality and interests is the greatest pleasure of my life. I’ve noticed he really likes clownfish...."
To learn more about the MASNA Aquarist of the Year visit: https://masna.org/masna-programs/aquarist-of-the-year?utm_source=Public+BOD+Email&utm_campaign=8383d884a8-2019+MASNA+AOTY+%26+Award_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_684126d033-8383d884a8-457263653
To learn more about the MASNA Award visit: https://masna.org/masna-programs/the-masna-award/?utm_source=Public+BOD+Email&utm_campaign=8383d884a8-2019+MASNA+AOTY+%26+Award_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_684126d033-8383d884a8-457263653
About MASNA, Marine Aquarium Societies of North America
MASNA is a non-profit organization composed of marine aquarium clubs, individual hobbyists and industry partners from North American and abroad, totaling several thousand individuals.

Can you identify this tiny fish?      8/26/19
<Hello Amanda!>
I am trying to figure out what this tiny fish is that is in my reef tank. I did not buy it. I found it one day when it was so tiny it looked like one of my Saltwater Molly babies. You know, a tiny head with a tiny
So I put it in a tank where no one would eat it. Then a month or so later I saw it and couldn't figure out what it was! It is hard to see in the pictures because it is very very careful not to be out in the open.
So,....I've taken a million pictures and these 3 are about the best I can get. I will also describe it for you, because I can see it better than the camera can.
<Smart elusive fish!>
It body is silver in the front with yellow eyes. Towards the back it gets more golden until you reach just before the tail where it is really very golden. The tail looks bluish. The bottom fins are salmon pink. The top fin is blue, mostly. But it has a stripe in the front that is first black then white,....then it's light blue with a tiny bit of the salmon color just before it reaches the body again. The blue is very pale, like the tail
and hard to see unless the light hits it just right. The salmon color on the bottom is much more clear. Is also seems to have speckles on the body.
Dark ones. I was hoping it would grow bigger so I could see it even better, but although it has a very neat coloration, it hasn't grown much at all.
It lives among the pulsing Xenias and comes out when it's mysis shrimp eating time. The rest of the time I hardly see it. It's not a guppy. It's no a Molly. I just have no clue what it could be. I've spent hours just staring at pictures and asking other salt people if they know and so far no one has been able to identify it. Can you tell me what you think it is? The top fin and the bottom larger fin are Halfmoon shapes. That rules out many small saltwater fish!
First I thought it's a baby cardinal fish! But there don't seem to be any cardinals that look like this. Then I thought,...maybe an Apistogramma got acclimated to the salt water! But once again, I can't find one that looks like this. So I'm at a loss.
<It appears to be a Rainwater Killifish (Lucania parva) but I'm not quite sure. Bob, what are your thoughts here?>
<<When I looked at this last night I thought it was some sort of Cyprinodont, Killifish... I do think your figuring is good. RMF. And yes, could've easily been collected along w/ other life, foods in the geog. area.>>
I so wish I could get a better picture!! But he's too smart for me.
I'm resending this, because I forgot to sign it! My apologies!
<No worries. Cheers. Wil.>
Amanda Wilson in NJ, USA 

The hole      8/24/19
Here is a beer picture of the how it's getting bigger
<Yes, this female guppy is giving birth... parturition. BobF>

Happy birthday, WWM Cal.       8/24/19
Happy birthday Bob. Here is a September calendar for the WWM website. Cheers!
Mike Kaechele
<Thank you Mike. BobF>


Help with a new Potter’s Angel      8/24/19
Hello WWM Crew,
<Hey Gil!>
Hope you all are well!
I am contacting you today with regard to a new Potter’s Angel. I purchased it from Live Aquaria Diver’s Den, and he will be going in a 90 gallon Hawaiian endemic SPS tank.
After doing some research on this site and elsewhere, I’m wondering if my normal quarantine procedures need to change for this fish.
<Let's see>
I typically only treat with Praziquantel, and observe the fish carefully for ich for another two weeks after completing the Prazi treatment. This is done in a 2’x1’x15” tank, with a seeded sponge filter from my sump, and the smallest piece of live rock I can safely remove from the DT. If I dose anything other than Praziquantel, I know these are both gone forever but the live rock makes too big of a difference in the fish’s health for me to ignore. There’s also a couple pvc elbows for hiding in.
I know this is not enough space for my new angel (2.75”) and Potter’s are prone to sudden stress related deaths. He appears healthy after 24 hours of observation, other than attacking his reflection most of the day. Do you think it would be wise to truncate the QT procedure and move him straight to display in this particular case?
<I do count this Centropyge as one of the species that is generally better to "expedite" through quarantine. UNLESS there is/are compelling reason/s otherwise (apparent damage, disease), the majority of times it is better to use a simple pH adjusted freshwater bath to reduce the possibility of external pathogens and place new Potter's directly to the display/main tank.>
<Some background re here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Help with a new Potter’s Angel     8/25/19

Hi Bob,
Thanks for the quick response!
I heeded your advice and the Potter’s is now in my DT.
Unfortunately, now I have a second issue- my Kole tang is rather furious about his introduction. Seriously, I haven’t seen aggression like this since keeping Mbuna Cichlids years ago. I’ve added tons of fish since having the tang and there was never an issue- frustrating it targeted such a sensitive fish!
<Happens... do occur in same areas, are competitors for space, algae... >
I’ve already tried rearranging aquascape to no avail. Any other tips?
<Catch the Kole (two nets, maybe two people) and place it in a floating plastic colander (yeah, a pasta et al. strainer) for a day... with the lights out. Likely will allow the Potter's time to become established, take some of the vinegar out of the Ctenochaetus. BobF> 

Better, difficult water parameters /Neale      8/23/19
I have a male betta in 5 gallons, filtered, WC every other day. My tap water has a pH of 8.5 and KH of 4. GH is 8-9.
<As you probably realise, pH is a bit high for this species. But that would seem to be a result of your water chemistry, though your carbonate hardness doesn't seem especially high.>
I can drop the pH by mixing with water from another tank that has organics, or mix with RO (current strategy) as aerating overnight does nothing to drop the pH.
<Indeed not. If there's a source of alkalinity in the aquarium, such as seashells or lime-containing gravel, or the water itself has some buffering capacity, any direct pH changes will be temporary.>
Regardless of the method, when the pH drops to 7.8 or 8, the KH has dropped to 2.5.
<Correct. Do you remember at school the old "acid plus alkali equals salt plus water" idea? This is more or less applicable here. When you add acid to a hard water aquarium, that acid is neutralised by the alkalinity in the water. Normally, this alkalinity is, in part or in whole, the carbonate hardness. So the acid reacts with the carbonate, and both are combined to form a soluble salt of some kind. The acid has therefore lowered the carbonate hardness. The carbonate hardness will continue to react with acid so long as acid is present, which is why carbonate hardness is a good indicator of buffering capacity -- it inhibits pH changes.>
I’ve tried the SeaChem products to buffer by bracketing and if the KH is at 4 or 5, the pH is once again at least 8.5.
<The basic rule is don't EVER try and change pH directly. It's pointless. At best it's a hit-and-miss approach; at worst you just fill your tank up with competing chemicals that produce unstable water chemistry that stresses your fish.>
Can my Bettas live comfortably in an 7.8-8 range pH with a KH of 2.5. ?
<It is not ideal, but tolerable if all else is positive.>
Is the pH or the KH the bigger problem?
<A-ha! You're on the right track now. When you decide to change water chemistry, you adjust hardness, whether KH, GH, or both. If you want soft, acidic conditions, your aim is to lower the hardness, because it's hardness (not pH) that matters to fish. If you have hard water, the question you ask yourself is where do you get demineralised water from? RO water or rainwater are the two standard options -- not domestic water softeners though! If you have "liquid rock" hard water with a high pH, a 50/50 mix with RO or rainwater will produce something that'll be fine for most community fish, including Bettas. The pH, while interesting, will be unimportant, so long as it's stable.>
These tanks are not cycled, I just do water changes every day with a drop of Prime. I have sponge filters cycling in a bucket, but not finished yet.
Thank you so much,
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Mbu puffer tank      8/23/19
For the last 2 months I have been cycling a 2000 litre aquarium for a mbu puffer (7ft x 4ft).
<A good starting point, but be aware of how big these fish can become. Some would argue even 2000 litres is less than ideal.>
I am finally collecting the mbu next week and just tested my water :
Ammonia <0.05
Nitrite 0.025
<These two really need to be zero.>
Nitrate 5
I know sometimes the test kits aren’t exact but I’m worried about the nitrite of .025 but should that be fine?
<Hard to say without knowing the brand of test kit or even how good you are judging the colours. Dip strip test kits for example are generally regarded as imprecise, and while this margin of error would be adequate for bog standard community fish, it might be risky with sensitive species such as a Mbu Puffer. I would be tempted to try the nitrite kit at least against one or more alternative test kits. Your local retailer may well offer this service, especially if they deal with expensive fish such as marines. I'd also check your values against your tap water. For example if you have neutralised (via water conditioner) any chloramine in the tap water, a test kit can register that as ammonia, even though it is harmless.>
I do 30% water change 3 times a week
<Sounds good. If the Mbu Puffer is relatively small now, say, 10 cm long, and kept in a 2000 litre tank with regular water changes, any slight backlog in ammonia and nitrite processing by your biological filter should fix itself over the next couple of weeks. "Fish-less" cycling methods are a bit unreliable, so while the filter may be more or less mature, it might be a week or two before it really beds down properly. Given the size of the tank, and the frequency of water changes, you should be fine with a small fish, much as you can finish off the cycling process of a community tank with a few Danios and not expect any major problems. Still, keep an open mind, and regularly test the water for at least the first month, and thereafter, at least weekly until you're 100% sure everything is working as it should.>
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: Mbu puffer tank      8/23/19

Thanks Neale,
<Most welcome.>
It is the JBL full master test kit.
<Should be decent.>
The ammonia of <0.05 is the lowest that is on the results pad.
<So can you assume it's zero?>
The nitrite is the second lowest, but it is very hard to tell the difference in colours.
<Indeed. I'd still compare and contrast with a second kit, even if just the once at your retailer.>
The tank itself has a large in built filter (it runs the whole way down the side of the tank, so 4 ft by 2ft by about 10 inches of bio media). It was not fishless cycling, it has had 3 baby giant gourami (about 3 inches) since week 2, though they are now about 5-6 inches. I plan to rehome them into my 1000 litre tank.
<Understood. Filter really should be mature then. Only things you might check are whether water current sufficient (remember, you want a filter turnover rate of something like 8 times the volume of the tank per hour) and whether the selection of media chosen are appropriate (i.e., more biological media, less chemical, especially carbon, which would probably be pointless here).>
The initial plan was to keep the gourami in the big tank until I found a mbu of a decent size, I didn't want to put a small mbu in as I hear they can be very unstable until a decent size.
<Possibly, but I think this is more to do with people tending to try and keeping juveniles in very small tanks, and keeping them in such small tanks for far too long, postponing the necessary upgrade. So net result is a juvenile in increasingly poor environmental conditions. In and of themselves, Puffers aren't delicate fish by any means, and it's notable that in marine fishkeeping, they're often regarded as among the toughest fish around. I certainly had far more trouble with Neon Tetras than any pufferfish species!>
I know it is hard to find MBU's of a decent size so wanted to make sure the tank was up and running, just happens that the opportunity to buy this one has come up.
<Correct. But even so, I'd tend to recommend the 40 cm Tetraodon species, such as Tetraodon lineatus, for people who want bigger puffers simply because their size demands are so much less. There are also some lovely marine species of similar size, like Arothron hispidus, that are lively, easy to keep, and quite peaceful. But if you're dead-set on Tetraodon mbu, you seem to be going around it in the right way, and have realistic expectations of what's needed. I'll direct you to an old article on this website from an experienced Tetraodon mbu owner, here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/mbupuffer.htm
While lovely fish, they aren't for the faint-hearted (or the financially challenged).>
The mbu is about 9-10 inches.
<And should get to well over twice that, aquarium specimens tending to level off around the 50-60 cm mark. Much bigger specimens have been reported in the wild, but I've never seen aquarium specimens bigger than 60 cm.>
Please can you advice whether you think it should be ok or best to avoid?
<See above. They are interesting pets, and if you have the space, time and money to set them up with the right tank from the get-go, they aren't difficult to keep. Your biggest challenge is keeping nitrate relatively low, especially if your tap water has high nitrate levels to start with.
Ideally, nitrate should be less than 20 mg/l, but certainly below 40 mg/l.
Other than running out of space, owners often run into the problem of over-long teeth. In the UK there's some debate about the legality of performing "tooth cutting" procedures on pufferfish. But certainly make yourself aware of how to try to keep your Puffer's teeth worn down as best you can, and if you can't find a vet capable of cutting the teeth, find out how to do it yourself. Obviously as the fish becomes so much larger than the average pufferfish, sedating and handling the fish becomes that much more complicated. I've used cuticle clippers on small pufferfish species, and clove oil to sedate them, but for the bigger species, power tools may be needed:
This sort of procedure is probably well outside what the British veterinary community would consider acceptable for untrained people, given the distress it will cause the fish. So realistically, while I'm happy to recommend cuticle clippers for the literally 10-second job of nipping off the ends of South American Pufferfish teeth, adult Tetraodon mbu will probably need a trip to the vet at some point if their teeth aren't kept worn down naturally.>
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Worm ID      8/23/19
Hi there!
<Hey Orlando>
Thank you for your quick response!
I finally received the microscope I ordered, but I am not too knowledgeable on how it functions quite yet. I managed to get some pictures and video but getting things in focus is proving difficult.
The other thing I noticed recently is that there are clumps of worms right at the very top of the waterline of my containers, which I imagine is due to oxygen levels (half the mass of worms sits outside the waterline).
I hope these pictures help you ID them. Since they are in my daphnia cultures, I imagine they are fine to feed to my fish?
<Very likely fine to feed. Do appear segmented... and by the motion, are Oligochaetes... the general (family) term Tubificids is still my guess>
Thank you so much for your help!
<Thank you for this follow-up. Bob Fenner>

Semilavartus with abdominal distention      8/23/19
Sorry to bug you but any recommendations for this semilavartus? Severely distended abdomen gradually worsening over 6 weeks. Still feeding/ behaving normally. Prognosis is grim from what I’ve read. Had the pair 18 mo.s and have done amazing until now. DT is 800 gal. Thanks!
<Mmm; is this a tumor of some sort/etiology? An ovarian et al. cyst? Some kind of gut blockage? I might try adding a modicum of Epsom Salt (yes, to the main/display tank)... see Neale Monk's article on WWM re MgSO4... Possible a vermifuge (like Praziquantel) (and Metronidazole?) added to the food (see WWM re)... or more extreme tries possibly that would involve moving this fish (aye yi yi re catching it here) to a treatment tank. Bob Fenner>

Question about African Clawed Frog      8/23/19
Hi, I was wondering about my Albino African Clawed Frog. It is turning black like it has dirt on it, but we just cleaned the tank that it is in.
<Hard to say without a photo. Couple of obvious things to ask. First, did you use a water conditioner? If not, ammonia or chlorine could be irritating the skin and/or causing damage. Secondly, was there a lot of
silt in the water? This can stick the mucous on the frog, but will wash away in time. Will direct you to some reading for now:
While popular critters and quite hardy, Xenopus are not without a few basic needs. These include relatively cool water (20 C/68 F) and adequate space (60 litres/15 US gallons). They rarely cohabit well with fish or other animals, and while a filter of some sort is essential, very turbulent water flow rates will stress them. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: quoyi parrotfish      8/22/19
Anytime, thanks to you Bob.
<Cheers my friend, BobF>

Better, difficult water parameters (Betta splendens)      8/22/19
I have a male betta in 5 gallons, filtered, WC every other day.
<Mmm; I'd do water changes just once a week>
My tap water has a PH of 8.5 and KH of 4. GH is 8-9.
<Got you>
I can drop the PH by mixing with water from another tank that has organics, or mix with RO (current strategy) as aerating overnight does nothing to drop the ph.
<Ah no; boiling might, but... I would not do this>
Regardless of the method, when the PH drops to 7.8 or 8, the KH has dropped to 2.5. I’ve tried the SeaChem products to buffer by bracketing and if the KH is at 4 or 5, the Ph is once again at least 8.5.
Can my Betts live comfortably in an 7.8-8 range PH with a KH of 2.5. ?
Is the PH or the KH the bigger problem?
<A bit of both at extremes... put more clearly (hopefully), you have to have/want "some" KH (or GH), and a pH that is neither too high, nor low... The values you mention are fine for "modern" Betta splendens (cultured; let's say versus some species that might be closer generations-wise to wild-collected)>
These tanks are not cycled, I just do water changes every day with a drop of Prime. I have sponge filters cycling in a bucket, but not finished yet.
<Ahh; I would cycle them, move the media when it is ready, go to the weekly partial (half) water changes. All will be well otherwise (given the water quality parameters mentioned here)>
Thank you so much,
Amy Larson
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Help identifying?      8/22/19
Hi Bob,
I got a camera attachment that fits on the microscope and was able to get the pictures attached. (the attachment was inexpensive and it worked reasonably well) I think your guess that my mysterious critter was a glass sponge might be correct. Those sure look like spicules.
The real question
- how did they get into my tank?
<Mmm; most anything wet, salty enough... Foods, any livestock introduced>
Should I be concerned - will they be a nuisance or just let them do their thing?
<For me, the latter>
Thanks again.
<Thank you for your follow up. BobF>

Re: Sexes guppies      8/22/19
Thank you
<Welcome Kosha/Tracy. BobF>

quoyi parrotfish, sel./stkg.       8/21/19
hey guys just seeing what info you may have on quoyi and how reef safe they are what's the risks
<Hey Tom, In my opinion, Green Blotch Parrotfish is not so suitable to keep in captivity, often dying "mysteriously" after a few months despite having been eating well. If you must try one, start with a healthy specimen and provide it with a large tank, 150 gallons or more; do bear in mind it will grow to up 15" in length and will produce lots of waste, being this one of the reasons why I wouldn't recommend it to keep in a reef system, other than that, I consider it to be reef safe as its diet, unlike other types of
Parrotfishes (which are coral eaters), is based primarily on algae. I hope this helps. Wil.>
Re: quoyi parrotfish       8/21/19

yes it does i am looking at them for a few of my clients that have 400-500 gal systems as were looking for something a little different how are they with starfish and shrimp?
<Nice size system for the Scaridae. It won't bother the starfish or shrimp.
Cheers. Wil.>
<<Well-done Wil.
Thank you for your sharing. B>>    

Re: My snails seem to be filtering the top of the water       8/20/19
Thank you for your email, i will make sure to do that.
<Ah, and please make it known how your actions unfold. Cheers, BobF>

Please help - sick puffer /Neale        8/20/19
Dear crew,
Could you please give me some advise on my sick puffer. It is a 3 inch Tetraodon nigroviridis.
It started after he ate some snails from another tank. He (or she) was pinching its tail and started to change colour. See pics I have 3 of them and the other two have no problems and are bright coloured.
This is about a week. I first put him in a small tank and treated him with ESHA2000.
<I'm surprised; my puffers have usually done quite well with this product.>
He didn't take that very well; started to float on its back so I took him out immediately.
<Fair enough.>
After a week (yesterday) I treated him with 'SERA BAKTOPUR DIRECT'
<Another antibacterial medication; reasonably good, if less good than an antibiotic.>
for 30 minutes and directly after that with 'EASY LIFE VOOGLE'
<Not familiar with this.>
Sometimes he's real 'lively' and swims around but often he's just apathetic lying on the bottom of the tank.
The water is good, other fish don't have any problems. Salinity is about 1.005
What should I do?
<One thing is to try increasing the salinity and see if that perks him up.
With any brackish water fish, this is a good first step. It replicates what they experience in the wild, and some simply seem to enjoy it. Another thing is to try increasing aeration. Sometimes extra oxygen helps, and this
in turn suggests the aquarium is perhaps less good than we thought. Many brackish water species prefer high oxygen levels that replicate the tidal or littoral habitats they prefer. Finally, and again a good step with
brackish water fish, is to review water chemistry. Most prefer high alkalinity and a pH well above 7; aiming for 15-20 degrees dH, 10+ degrees KH, and pH 7.5 to 8.2 is ideal.>
Kind regards from The Netherlands
<I will observe that GSPs are not really social, and while some specimens cohabit in pairs or trios, not all will do so. Look out for behaviour that might suggest bullying or at least antagonism. Your fish looks essentially healthy, and I would not be randomly medicating unless you have clear symptoms of a disease. Lethargy and dark colours on GSPs can mean nothing more than social or environmental stress. Review, and act accordingly.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: please help - sick puffer       8/20/19

Dear Neale, Bob,
I thank you for your answers. They are very helpful to me.
<Most welcome.>
I'll stop any medication and start increasing aeration and the salinity. I will also check the water parameters.
<Very good!>
Thanks again and have a nice day!
<You too.>
Kind regards,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Raising salinity       8/20/19
Hi crew!
<Hi Nicole!>
Hopefully an easy question for you.
I will save you the boring back story but how quickly can you raise the salinity for fish that have been in hyposalinity (1.010) for only a few hours?
I know if they have been in hypo for weeks it should be done gradually over
7-10 days but does the same apply if it's only been 6-8 hours?
<Is this the main tank or a quarantine?... How long did it take you to lower the salinity to 1010?... I'd raise it back over the course of a few hours, the drip method will work. Cheers. Wil.>
Re: Raising salinity       8/20/19

It a hospital tank. I panicked and put a fish in it thinking she had Brooklynella because she was breathing at the surface and swimming/acting funny but throughout the day determined she does not (I now believe I had a water quality issue which I am working to correct) and now she looks fine so I want to put her back in the display but wasn't sure how quickly I should raise her salinity back up.
<Ah yes, water quality issues often lead to symptoms frequently confused with diseases. Wil.>

Algae stages, SW      8/19/19
Hello Crew!
<Hey Danilo>
First of all I want to thank all of you, taking the time to answer questions—albeit probably some are very redundant I imagine LOL. Truly you all have patience!
<We do try>
I have a 28 gallon JBJ and sometimes I see what appears to be a little bubble algae or a tubes of green bubble algae but it transforms into hair algae when it matures.
Am I imagining things, or is this how some green algae develop and that seemingly bubble algae is in fact just hair algae in an early stage?
<I do think what you're experiencing is "succession", the one type/species (of green bubble algae) being overgrown by a different, filamentous species. Does happen. Aquatic environments can be very vivacious>
I appreciate your insight!
<Do see/read on WWM re all types of algal control if interested. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Please help - sick puffer     8/19/19
Dear crew,
Could you please give me some advise on my sick puffer. It is a 3 inch Tetraodon nigroviridis.
<I will, but am referring you to Neale Monks here as he is far more knowledgeable re these Tetraodonts>
It started after he ate some snails from another tank. He (or she) was pinching its tail and started to change colour. See pics
<I do>
I have 3 of them and the other two have no problems and are bright coloured.
<I see this as well>
This is about a week. I first put him in a small tank and treated him with ESHA2000. He didn't take that very well; started to float on its back so I took him out immediately.
After a week (yesterday) I treated him with 'SERA BAKTOPUR DIRECT' for 30 minutes and directly after that with 'EASY LIFE VOOGLE'
Sometimes he's real 'lively 'and swims around but often he's just apathetic lying on the bottom of the tank.
The water is good, other fish don't have any problems. Salinity is about 1.005
What should I do?
<Mmm; were it me, mine, I'd cease treatment/s... this fish may have a bit of "stomach ache" from snail shells... and there might be some value in adding a bit of Epsom Salt, but I'd just wait at this point. The fish doesn't look skinny, diseased nor picked on, and will likely be fine in days>
Kind regards from The Netherlands
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

My snails seem to be filtering the top of the water     8/19/19
Hi, a few days ago i noticed my apple snails taking their foot and what  could only be described as siphoning the top of the water while doing an eating motion whilst at the top of the water level. Mind you the tank is a 10 gallon tank that i have sitting out on my porch. So algae levels are great because of sun. I check the temp of the water every day to make sure its not too hot. Could it just be they are eating the algae film at the top of the water?
<Possibly, but there are other possibilities (see below)>
If you guys could help out by answering my question that would be great.
<This behavior is troublesome in that it may be resultant from a lack of oxygen... OR elevated pH due to the overgrowth of the algae you mention. I would execute a series of large/r water changes (25-30% per day) for a few days, removing a good deal of the algae, gravel vacuuming... and shading the tank to reduce further algal proliferation. Bob Fenner>

Re: Coral And Marbled Catsharks... Books?        8/17/19
Hey have you ever experienced/heard of tangs nipping sharks?
<Yes I have, some tang species are more likely to nip at sharks eyes and fins than others, please see the following link and related: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkcompfaqs.htm Cheers. Wil.>

Quarantine for new clams       8/17/19
Hey guys,
<Hey Jeremiah>
Thanks a ton for this site, it has helped me massively over the months I've been involved with this hobby.
<Thanks for your words, we are glad to be helpful.>
I currently have a Maxima clam and am getting two more tomorrow. I successfully kept the current Maxima for about two years and it has doubled in size and done very well.
I am planning on quarantining the two I get tomorrow in a ten gallon tank with a sponge filter and heater. I plan on the duration of the QT to be 4 weeks as the two I am getting are quite expensive and the one which I currently possess is the prize of my tank. I plan on situating each of the clams I am getting in their own piece of live rock (currently dry) on the bare bottom of the tank. The pieces of rock I have picked out should be pretty good long term homes for these guys. I will use a spare led light which is currently in my refugium to provide them light. It worked great up top until the blue lights burned out and then didn't look as good, but the white and other colors are what I need for the photosynthetics anyway. One of the new clams is about six or seven inches and the other is about two. I plan on filling the ten gallon tank, drip wise, with water from my main tank as a drip acclimation method.
<Good technique>
So here is where I'm not sure about the next step. How much ammonia do clams produce and how often should I change the water?
<They produce enough to quickly pollute small water volumes, especially when recently imported.>
I know they consume Nitrates and that leads me to think that maybe they shouldn't have water changes in the QT the same way a fish would. Is this true?
<Not completely true, Tridacna clams do consume nitrates but not harmful ammonia and nitrites. And like any other living marine organism, they produce them...not as much as fish, but they do, so you still have to do water changes during quarantine.>
Assuming I do change the water, my plan was to drain off the water to an inch above the largest clam and then drip water from my main tank into the QT to make up the new water. I was planning on doing this once a week, but obviously if I don't have to change the water I would rather not. I haven't found an answer to this question in your archives anywhere.
<I suggest using a HOB filter filled with old filter material from your main tank such as a filter floss or small pieces of live rock, anything that has been for at least a month in your tank/sump, this way you will allow nitrification to take place in your quarantine tank and ease the clams’ acclimation process, besides you can get by with only once a week water changes, don’t forget to constantly monitor your water levels.>
Thanks a ton for your time!
<Your welcome. Wil.>
Re: Quarantine for new clams       8/17/19

Thanks a ton!
<You’re most welcome. Wil.>

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>

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