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Press Release - Canadian Lake Okanagan Freshwater Mysis Shrimp Cubes      10/16/18
Attached – please include in next issue or post
Chris Clevers
Hikari Sales USA, Inc.
Offering Hikari®, Bio-Pure®, Bio-Pure® FD, Aquarium Solutions®, Pond Solutions®, Reptile Solutions® & Takara Products
2804 McCone Avenue
Hayward, CA 94545-1663

Possible Betta Tumor?      10/16/18
Hi guys
I’ve been reading your page for a while and have managed to so far keep my three beloved Bettas happy and content... a few months ago one of my boys however started developing a black growth as you can see in the photo that is definitely getting bigger...
I don’t know if this is a tumor or something treatable?
<Almost certainly not.>
He seems active and just as daft as always and the tank is testing normal, regular changes and weekly tests etc all as they should be...
Is there anything I can treat him with or is it just a matter of letting him carry on until his quality of life reduces and then letting him pass quickly?
<Precisely. Tumours and other sorts of growths, whether benign or malignant, are not uncommon in Bettas. There's no obvious explanation beyond inbreeding, and certainly no clear treatment. Often benign tumours cause no immediate problems, and if your Betta is otherwise happy, I would not be overly concerned just yet. Cheers, Neale.>

GF ish, no data, reading...       10/16/18
Any ideas what is wrong with this fish? Dark spots and hanging out at the bottom.
<Mmm; appears to be septicemic... burnt... Water quality issue? What's your test kits readings telling you? What re set up, maintenance, foods, feeding? Have you read re on WWM? Do so. Bob Fenner>

Marine Velvet Dormancy      10/16/18
Hello Bob and Team!
<Hello Anik, Wil this morning>
Hope you are doing well. Like any reefer, I’m constantly reading about preventing any disasters.
<Like any good/responsible reefer!>
The topic of my paranoia this week is Marine Velvet. Some facts about my setup: my display tank is 100G mixed reef; shows no signs of marine Velvet and never has. There’s been a sign of ich once, which made itself visible on bullied fish but that cleared up on its own and everything has been clear since. Btw I QT everything, and medicate every new fish with PraziPro and Cupramine and observe after.
<Quarantine is fine but there´s no need to medicate if fish are not sick, treating healthy fish just makes any pathogen more resistant to medications and this could be a problem in the future if fish happens to get sick.>
Typically I QT for 3-4 months.
<4-5 weeks is more than enough>
The one time I didn’t was when I added a mandarin to my DT, no QT :(.
Current roster, two ocellaris clowns, male Anthias, melanurus wrasse, yellow Coris, yellow flanked fairy wrasse, flame angle and tiny blonde Naso.
<I hope you are aware that the Naso tang will need a bigger tank (a few to several hundred gallons) to have a long, healthy life.>
Anyways, questions; is it possible to have marine Velvet present in a tank but kept at bay from infestation by keeping water parameters in check and general conditions clean/healthy/happy to hold the velvet in check?
<Actually that is how it works; velvet as well as other diseases are always present in the system water but with good maintenance and feeding practices, you can keep them away of your livestock indefinitely.>
What I am getting at is can a fish have velvet for months and not be symptomatic until something triggers it?
<As I mentioned, disease is always present but only attacks your fish if its immune system is compromised.>
Depending on your answer, I may go against your advice from a few months ago regarding Ick in the DT (referring to that one fish mentioned above); I may just move all my fish to QT and treat them and run the tank fallow out of straight paranoia.
<I don´t see the need of treating your fish without been absolutely sure they are sick, you are going to add unnecessary stress. I wouldn´t move them to QT>
I have two wrasses and a flame hawk in QT right now and would like to plan my next steps to add them to DT...but would like to avoid disaster.
<If you have quarantined/observed them for at least 4 weeks, you may transfer them to the DT.>
Thanks Team! Anik
<You´re very welcome. Wil>

Royal Gramma Flashing     10/13/18
<Hello Tim>
I am looking for some insight and/or recommendations regarding the recent condition of my royal Gramma and Jawfish. This is my first tank, but I have spent countless hours reading books and reviewing forum posts on the hobby. There is just so much information out there and some of it is conflicting. Any thoughts or suggestions you can provide on my situation would be greatly appreciated.
<Let´s see>
- BioCube 32 LED FOWLR
- 3" of substrate
- Filter floss on top shelf of sump
<Hopefully rinsed VERY frequently>
- Large particle lignite carbon in bag on second shelf of sump
- Heater set to 78
- 1 powerhead w/ variable flow
- 20 lbs mix of live and dry rock (50/50)
- AccuraSea 1 Synthetic Seawater Mix - Two Little Fishies
Current Occupants:

- 2 turban snails
- 2 Astrea snails
- 1 Nassarius snail
- 1 cleaner shrimp
- 1 royal Gramma
- 1 yellow head Jawfish

- pH = 8.0 – 8.2
<Aim for 8.3 using a quality buffer>
- Ammonia = 0 ppm
- Nitrite = 0 ppm
- Nitrate = 10 – 15 ppm
- S.G. = 1.023
<A bit higher would be better,1025/35 ppm (natural sea water salinity>
Daily: Feed fish LRS Reef Frenzy; clean algae as needed; and monitor fish.
<A more varied diet would be better, have you try Spectrum pellets? "Thera +A" helps treating parasites; a vitamin supplement is also needed, either added directly to the tank water or by soaking the food.>
Weekly: Replace filter floss; check water parameters; vacuum substrate and conduct 5 gallon water change.
Monthly: Replace carbon.
<Must be remove when medicating the tank>

I started the tank approximately 5 months ago. The initial cycle completed approximately 3 months ago, (i.e., no ammonia detected for the past 3 months). I purchased the royal Gramma from my LFS about 2 months ago without a quarantine.
<The root of the problem, ALL fish must be quarantine at least for 4 weeks>
The Gramma was initially skittish, but it calmed down after about 48 hours. Gramma has been eating like a horse ever since and appears noticeably larger then when we purchased it. I then added the above CUC (no quarantine) to deal with some algae growth. I lost 2 Nassarius snails within the first week, but the other snails looked fine.
<What about calcium levels?>
I attributed the snail loss to my failure to conduct a drip acclimation on the snails.
The CUC has kept the algae in check. About 2 months ago, I purchased a yellow head Jawfish (no quarantine) from my LFS. The Jawfish was extremely skittish for about 24 hours, but he calmed down.
<Normal behaviour for new fish>
He has built some burrows for himself and has been eating well ever since.
A little over two weeks ago, I noticed the Gramma was flashing. Not much, but if I watched for about 20 minutes, I would see the fish dart around and then swim into the live rock or side of the tank multiple times in a row. The Gramma did not have any small white spots (ich), but I did notice some slight discoloration around the purple head and gill area. The Gramma was also hanging out a little bit more in the back of the tank. However, the Jawfish seemed fine at this time. My LFS examined pictures of the Gramma. They suspected some type of parasite, but they did not think it was ich.
<I agree here with your LFS, not a visible parasite but an internal one, this is why quarantine is a must, even if there is no noticeable illness.>
On the advice of the LFS, I did the following:
- Added cleaner shrimp (no quarantine)
<Not very helpful if parasites are internal>
- Increased thermostat to 81 degrees
- Lowered salinity with 2 gallon exchange of salt water for fresh water
- Dosed PraziPro for potential flukes
- Removed carbon from sump
- Attempted a fresh water dip for the Gramma, but he was too quick for me to catch. I gave up trying to catch him after 3 failed nights of chasing him with nets and bags. He is now terrified of the nets....
<Would be worthy to take out all the rocks so you can catch the Gramma Loreto and treat it with copper on a separate tank>
The above modifications haven been in effect for the past two weeks. While I have observed the cleaner shrimp briefly working on the Gramma (so cool), I have not otherwise observed any improvements with the Gramma's condition. In fact, I think the Gramma's discoloration may be even more pronounced now (see attached pic), and the flashing has continued at about the same rate. He does seem to be back in the front of the tank a little bit more now. In addition, I noticed the Jawfish is now rubbing his head in the sand occasionally, which is a behavior I have not previously observed.
<Disease is spreading>
I have only seen this a few times. The Jawfish otherwise looks and acts normal. Both fish are still eating like champs.
One other note, I think the Gramma and Jawfish may have had a little tussle about 3 weeks ago. I say this because I noticed the Gramma was occupying the main burrow built by the Jawfish. They seemed to have sorted this out now, because the Jawfish moved into a new home burrow. There have been no other signs of aggression (jaws wide open/nipped fins/chasing/etc) between the two fish, but I am not watching them 24/7.
<If aggression is taking place(even out of your sight),it could be an added factor, since stress is a direct access to most diseases>
Plan Forward:
My original thought was to setup a quarantine tank to dose the Jawfish and Gramma with copper and to let the display tank go fallow for 2 months. After researching on this site and others, I think this may not be the best option.
<Not the easiest but certainly a wise option>
The quarantine tank and meds will certainly stress the fish out, and I am not certain I am dealing with a parasite. My new plan was to reset the salinity and temperature to my original points and wait and see. I will still go ahead with purchasing the quarantine equipment for future fish/corals/invertebrates, but I will hold off on adding anything to the tank until this situation is resolved.
<It won´t solve with the current treatment>
Do you have any questions, suggestions or advice regarding the Gramma/Jawfish? Again, I am new to the hobby, and it is quite possible I am missing something basic here.
<Keep Reading...>
Separate/bonus question, would it be an overstock to have a 1 Jawfish, 1 Gramma, and 2 ocellaris clownfish in the BioCube 32?
<Bioload is fine according to your tank´s capacity>
Thank you in advance!
<Welcome Tim.>
<Same to you>

Re: Peacock Gudgeon Constipation?     10/13/18
Is there an antibiotic that you would recommend?
<Anything for Finrot worth a shot. Kanaplex is good, and the old Maracyn 1 and 2 combo is well regarded. Just avoid the "new age" medications such as tea-tree oils that really aren't very effective. Salt isn't much use,
either. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Peacock Gudgeon Constipation?     10/13/18

Is there an antibiotic that you would recommend?
<PS. Outside of the US, it may difficult to get antibiotics without a prescription from a vet. Here in the UK, I favour a European product called eSHa 2000 that's effective and tolerated well by even sensitive fish.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Peacock Gudgeon Constipation?     10/13/18

Ok thank you very much
<Most welcome and good luck. Neale.>

ACF Tadpole Die-off     10/13/18
Over the last few months I decided to raise around 80 African Clawed Frog tadpoles and for the most part, things have gone fine. 3 days ago, I was down to my last 4 tadpoles, in the 10 gallon tank, within 2 days, 3 of the
last 4 had died off and my last tadpole looks like this (see attached image).
<I see.>
In the last day, the end of the tail went limp like the other 3 before they died but in this case, the tadpole's tail end has essentially just rotted off, it's the only occupant of the tank nothing could have bitten it. All of the water parameters are normal, no ammonia, nitrites, nitrates,
<I doubt nitrates are zero. So if your test kits are offering these numbers, you probably should distrust them. Zero ammonia and nitrite are certainly possible, indeed, preferred; but since nitrate is the end product of filtration, it should accumulate over time between water changes.>
the GH and KH are constant.
<Constant what? As a reminder, neutral, medium hardness water is the ideal.
Water temperature should be around room temperature, 18-20 degrees C being ideal for the classic Xenopus laevis species most widely traded. Avoid excessively high temperatures, and similarly, avoid chilling and/or exposure to cold air. Xenopus tropicalis is less commonly traded, and requires warmer water (24-28 C) and prefers softer water chemistry.>
About 2 weeks ago, when there were 7 left, I altered the water change schedule to 50% every 3 days since the parameters were staying constant.
<Do remember water changes need to be more or less daily, and ideally twice daily. Xenopus tadpoles, like baby fish, are very sensitive to 'old' water, especially in small tanks. The easiest approach is to reduce the number of
tadpoles per tank, which puts less pressure on water quality, and in turn makes it easier to rear them successfully. Trying to rear huge numbers can be an overwhelming task. Do be ruthless about removing uneaten food and
dirt (turkey basters are ideal for spot cleaning) while also ensuring more, small meals rather than 1-2 big meals.>
The only issue I've had was the heat going out in the house for 3-4 days but the lowest the house dropped to was about mid 60s (F).
<Might be a bit cold, especially if there were cold draughts of air as well.>
As of 2 days, after the first tadpole had died and the others were acting sluggish, I restarted daily 50% (looking back, I would've gone with 30% but I've been a bit burnt-out these last two weeks) changes on the 10 gallon. My
thinking was that perhaps the water wasn't being properly oxygenated on the every 2 days water change schedule but now with this tadpole's Finrot-like symptom, I'm just baffled - each of the others had the same tail tip droop
but none of them lasted long enough for it to progress to more than a droop. (Note: the final tadpole just died early this morning but I'd still like to figure out what on earth happened to prevent anything like this in the future should I decide to raise more tadpoles at a later date).
<While the tail-drooping is remarkable, it may be more a reflection of general failure to thrive rather than some specific disease or problem.>
Additionally, I've fed them Xenopus express tadpole food daily for the past 160-odd days since the tadpoles hatched. Over the last few days, after the heat went out, the last 4 tadpoles all became lethargic and stopped eating/actively swimming. Each of them were receiving about 0.3ml of the tadpole suspension a day in the week prior every afternoon, Xenopus Express' feeding instructions assume you're raising the tadpoles in bulk and don't translate well to smaller numbers. I had almost no issues while I was dealing with a large number of tadpoles but once I was under 20, I found myself a bit uncertain of a good feeding schedule/amount, I'd welcome any suggestions on how much to feed a single tadpole.
Thank you for any advice.
<Hope this helps. Neale.>


Press Release - Vibra-Bites     10/13/18
Attached – please include in next issue or post
Chris Clevers
Hikari Sales USA, Inc.
Offering Hikari®, Bio-Pure®, Bio-Pure® FD, Aquarium Solutions®, Pond Solutions®, Reptile Solutions® & Takara Products
PRESS RELEASE – For immediate publication
Hikari Vibra-Bites™

Hikari® is please to introduce its newest addition to its extremely popular line of tropical diets, Vibra-Bites™. Great for all types of tropical fish, this flavorful nutrient mix offers many unique benefits. From the pellet design, which mimics a blood worm moving through the water, to the incredible color enhancing ability which will help your fish glow with a flood of color, to the exacting nutrient balancing through extensive feeding trials that helps us offer growth and form you won’t believe, this is truly a new generation aquatic diet. The oxygen barrier package helps maintain the quality and perfection consumers have come to expect from the leader in aquatic nutrition worldwide. For more information contact us Hikari Sales USA, Inc. at fish@hikariusa.com or (800) 621-5619. You can also see more information on this item at www.hikariusa.com

Re: Peacock Gudgeon Constipation?     10/12/18
So far he is still fine. Still has a bit of prolapse, assuming it was a messy bite. Hopefully it isn't as bad and it can heal naturally. I have cherry shrimp in the tank so meds is off limits and catching him is somehow a pain, others I can catch with my hands, but this guy is very evasive. So QTing is pretty much impossible without destroying a bunch of plants just to catch him. Thank you very much.
<Understood. Antibiotics should be safe, even with shrimps and snails, though you could just watch and see what happens for now. Obviously yes, organic dyes, formalin and copper compounds are not safe with invertebrates. Cheers, Neale.>

What is growing on and near my live rock?     10/12/18
Hi folks,
<Hey Shawn>
I have been using your site for many years and it has always been a blessing and answered every question I had!
<Glad to know it has helped you that much!>
I have a 90gal tank with quite a bit of live rock and very few inhabitants currently (few small snails). Getting the tank ready to stock once again and (outside of some unwanted algae), I have some things that started growing that I have not experienced before. I can't seems to find exactly what these tree/twig looking things are that are growing on and next to my live rock. Kind of remind of Mangrove roots here in FL. Here is a pic of them in the tank and one that got temporarily de-rooted as I was
cleaning tank and bedding while readying for next participants.
<This is some kind of calcareous algae, looks like Halimeda incrassata.>
Regards, Shawn
<Have a nice day. Wilberth.>

Red Sea fish ID     10/12/18
Dear Mr. Bob,
<Hey Mohammed>
I'm Mohammed Hassaan from Egypt. Please I need your help about this fish ID
I searched a lot on Fishbase.org and could not find it.
Thank you, Mohammed Hassaan
<This is a juvenile Parrotfish, Family Scaridae (Labridae for some); I believe it's a Chlorurus gibbus. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chlorurus.htm
Bob Fenner>


Bichir with spinal deformity      10/11/18
Greetings, most revered and knowledgeable WWM crew:
<Wowzah. Howdy Linda>
I have a fairly young (<1 year old) saddled bichir that appears to have developed a spinal deformity.
<I see this in your excellent pic>
I know it just looks like she’s propping herself up in the attached picture, but her tail is always ‘bent’ in that manner regardless of position.
<Have encountered this before in Polypterids (and other animals); often ascribed to trauma, genetics, nutritional, environmental factors>
She lives in a 180 gallon community aquarium along with a hodgepodge variety of 3” to 5" cichlids — acara, parrot, salvini, geophagus, striped pike and jewel — along with an 8 inch chocolate cichlid and a ~1 foot silver Arowana who is rapidly outgrowing the tank (he will soon be rehomed to a 6 foot long 125 gallon by himself).
<With a heavy, complete top assure me>
In all, there are 14 fish in the tank including the bichir, who is currently about 6 inches long. The tank has a pea gravel substrate and is decorated with quite a few of large pieces of Mopani wood planted and moderately planted with Anubias and Bolbitis fern, which are the only things the jewels can’t uproot and the parrots (mostly) won’t eat.
<Ah yes>
It gets a minimum of a 50% water change once per week with remineralized RO/DI water (my well water sucks unfortunately — 180 ppm nitrates right out of the tap)
<Wow; glad you filter this>
— since I have such a wide variety of fish in there, I try to shoot for moderate water parameters: kH ~6-8, pH 6.5-7.5, temp 76F. They get fed a variety of frozen (bloodworms, Mysis, Spirulina-gut-loaded brine), fresh (store-bought tilapia/sole, shrimp and occasionally mussels), Hikari pellet foods (bio gold, bio-gold excel and carnivore food sticks), and the occasional treat of earthworms. The bichir mostly ends up eating the tilapia and shrimp, although she will pretty much eat anything that makes it to the bottom of the tank that she can get her jaws on — she isn’t a picky eater at all, and will happily eat pellets if that’s all she can find.
<Ah, good>
I got her (at least I think she’s a her) as a wee thing at about 3” long, and at that time her spine looked normal; she's never had any difficulty swimming or eating and has otherwise always seemed healthy. I realize that it may simply be genetics, but I wanted to make sure that there was not some sort of environmental or nutritional factor that I overlooked.
<Nothing "jumps out" in your recounting; likely is either a non-obvious break/trauma or genetic issue. FWIW, have seen these fish/es live long lives w/ this tweak>
I do think I will eventually move her into a 120 gallon along with the geophagus and Acaras, so that I can give them the sand substrate that they prefer.
<A good idea/move>
As always, any insight or suggestions you might offer are appreciated.
Cheers, Linda A.
<Mmm; the only statement I'd add is that I've become dubious re the use of Bloodworms as fish food; would delete them from your fish's diet. Bob Fenner, who is going to ask Neale Monks here for his independent assessment>
Bichir with spinal deformity /Neale      10/11/18

Greetings, most revered and knowledgeable WWM crew:
I have a fairly young (<1 year old) saddled bichir that appears to have developed a spinal deformity. I know it just looks like she’s propping herself up in the attached picture, but her tail is always ‘bent’ in that manner regardless of position.
She lives in a 180 gallon community aquarium along with a hodgepodge variety of 3” to 5" cichlids — acara, parrot, salvini, geophagus, striped pike and jewel — along with an 8 inch chocolate cichlid and a ~1 foot silver Arowana who is rapidly outgrowing the tank (he will soon be rehomed to a 6 foot long 125 gallon by himself). In all, there are 14 fish in the tank including the bichir, who is currently about 6 inches long. The tank has a pea gravel substrate and is decorated with quite a few of large pieces of Mopani wood planted and moderately planted with Anubias and Bolbitis fern, which are the only things the jewels can’t uproot and the parrots (mostly) won’t eat. It gets a minimum of a 50% water change once per week with remineralized RO/DI water (my well water sucks unfortunately — 180 ppm nitrates right out of the tap) — since I have such a wide variety of fish in there, I try to shoot for moderate water parameters: kH ~6-8, pH 6.5-7.5, temp 76F. They get fed a variety of frozen (bloodworms, Mysis, Spirulina-gut-loaded brine), fresh (store-bought tilapia/sole, shrimp and occasionally mussels), Hikari pellet foods (bio gold, bio-gold excel and carnivore food sticks), and the occasional treat of earthworms. The bichir mostly ends up eating the tilapia and shrimp, although she will pretty much eat anything that makes it to the bottom of the tank that she can get her jaws on — she isn’t a picky eater at all, and will happily eat pellets if that’s all she can find.
I got her (at least I think she’s a her) as a wee thing at about 3” long, and at that time her spine looked normal; she's never had any difficulty swimming or eating and has otherwise always seemed healthy. I realize that it may simply be genetics, but I wanted to make sure that there was not some sort of environmental or nutritional factor that I overlooked. I do think I will eventually move her into a 120 gallon along with the geophagus and Acaras, so that I can give them the sand substrate that they prefer.
As always, any insight or suggestions you might offer are appreciated.
Cheers, Linda A.
<<Hello Linda. As BobF said, this sort of thing isn't uncommon, and when seen in tank-bred or farmed fish, is usually down to a genetic or developmental flaw. However, Polypterus endlicheri isn't commonly bred, and isn't one of the farmed species as far as I know, so that is perhaps less likely here. Diet is another possible factor, though your specimen would seem to be getting a very varied diet that should have all the essential vitamins and minerals often lacking in the diets of predatory fish that only take one or two food types. I would make the observation that potentially very large fish are prone to skeletal deformities if they don't have enough space, and given that Polypterus endlicheri can reach well over 70 cm in length, that's always going to be a risk when keeping this species in home aquaria. Indeed, it's arguably not a home aquarium species given its size and predatory nature. In any event, there is no cure for crooked spine, but it's unlikely to cause any serious harm to the fish either, so long as its able to swim to the surface to gulp air easily. Cheers, Neale.>>

Re: Unidentified "bug" on Betta Fish - Ich/velvet/???      10/11/18
Wanted to send an update:
<Thank you for this>
After testing ALL my available island water sources, I am back original the RO. The spring water stressed him out so much he bit parts of his tail off even with only 10% WC and a drip over 5 hours.
<Yikes; my usual admonitions re using "bottled/spring... water"... A highly variable product around the world, w/in a country at times>
It’s been a week back on old RO and he is doing better. Most of the ich s now gone too. I ordered Equilibrium and will be adding that to his RO from now on.
<Tres bien!>
Right now all the water tests great - adding Indian almond leaves from our tree sporadically also. So far other than the hiccup when I changed the water he’s doing great. Still eats like a horse.
<Great as well>
I’ve been doing 30-50% WCs re-dosing Ich-X in new water
20 min baths in Betta revive while I do the WC
Temp at 82-84
<All sounds/reads as good Ad. BobF>

Re: Peacock Gudgeon Constipation?      10/11/18
Turns out it was a prolapse and it got ruptured by another male, he pretty much bit it off. Is it detrimental to the fish?
<Potentially; I would observe, ideally medicate as per Finrot. The issue isn't so much digestion as secondary infection by bacteria. With luck he'll recover, but losing part of your colon is pretty serious.>
He still seems to be fine.
<Fish are astonishingly resilient sometimes! Neale.>

Peacock Gudgeon Constipation?     10/10/18
Hello, my peacock gudgeon has some sort of parasite I think. He eats everything, but he has some sort of translucent bubble sticking out of the anus (looks like a fish egg, but it’s a male). He has had it for the past few days. What could that be? Thank you.
<Do start by reading here:
You might also have a peruse here:
Without a photo hard to be sure what the issue is here. I'd certainly offer a high fibre diet (Daphnia probably most likely to be eaten) but treating for worms with Flubendazole or similar won't be a bad idea at all. Tateurndina ocellicauda are sensitive fish, so checking water chemistry as well as quality are important. Hard, alkaline water causes health problems, as you probably know -- they need neutral, reasonably soft water to thrive. Metronidazole is a useful medication where unknown gut parasites are concerned, and can be used alongside anti-worm medications if needed. Cheers, Neale.>

White growth on escaped crayfish     10/10/18
I moved my crayfish into a 10 gallon tank and she escaped.
I'm not sure how long she actually out of water; she was in the tank when I went to bed and when I got up the next morning had to look for her. She was still moving when I found her so I can't imagine that she was out of the tank through the night. I rinsed off dust and fuzz from her under the tap and then put her back in her new tank.
It's been a little over a week now and she has not wanted to come out of her hide. I flash the light in and I could see a peek of some white growths
under her tail I have no idea what they are, I've been looking around on the internet trying to find some answers and I found nothing helpful.
I'm really hoping you can help me, is it an injury from the fall that's been infected?
How do I treat her? Thank you for any help you can offer....
Um. Trying to get a photo just now she... also has eggs.. ok.. Maybe they are eggs that are rotting and gathering fungus?
Oh my.
<Going to ask you to go visit this collection of FAQs, here:
Epistylis is a common external 'growth' on crayfish. Doesn't really do any harm so far as I know. Difficult to control directly without putting the crayfish at risk. Will also remind you that besides calcium in some form such as unshelled shrimp, iodine is also needed for successful moulting.
Hope this helps, Neale.>

Treating a new Porcupine Puffer with Ich; rdg., using WWM     10/8/18
Hi all,
I have a new 3 1/2 inch Porcupine Puffer in my 29 gal quarantine tank. I bought him from my friend who owns a local fish store, and the fish had been there for about 3 weeks and was eating well. He's been in my QT tank for about 4 days now, is eating fairly well (clams on the half shell and spirulina brine shrimp thus far), but has come down with a bad case of marine white spot disease (Crypt, Ich, etc).
Being a scaleless fish, I'm wondering if Cupramine would be too harsh to treat the Ich, even at half a dose (which is the min recommended therapeutic level for treatment by the manufacturer).
<This is one of the better copper-based medications. Persistent, consistent in concentration>
Freshwater dips won't be effective if the fish is put back into QT with Ich still in the system.
<Correct; the fish would have to be serially moved to a sterilized system>
Would you use a half dose of copper and see how the fish responds?
<Mmm; no; only a physiological dose will work>
Would a full dose spread over 48 hours likely kill the puffer?
<Highly unlikely... if the fish is healthy otherwise>
Any help you could provide would be appreciated.
<DO read on WWM re treating Diodontids, puffers for Crypt, the use of chelated copper products. Bob Fenner>

Anubias Melt      10/6/18
Hi Guys,
<Hello Ted,>
I have followed you for a long time. I wanted to ask about Anubias melt. It seems that searching on the internet there are very few hard leads to the cause. I have noticed it mostly in plants that were grown emersed in fiber glass.
<Which may be a clue. Not all Anubias species grow well, if at all, underwater. They are, after all, amphibious plants rather than true aquatics, often with their roots attached to wood or rocks that are
underwater some of the time, but the stems and leaves well above the waterline. Your standard issue Anubias barteri and its various varieties should adapt well though, and have been among the best aquarium plants for years, but other species seem a bit hit-and-miss. I'd also make the point that similar looking, but definitely not aquatic, plant species might be substituted by some retailers and eBay sellers. When I was a kid, it was fairly common for houseplants such as Spathiphyllum 'peace lilies' to be
offered as aquatics, and while some might last a few weeks or months, inevitably the leaves would soften and rot, and then the plant would die.>
There are few major outward signs which plants that suddenly turn to mush.
A few very green leaves might drop but little else. The plants are shaded by a large piece of drift wood and placed between rocks.
<Good; Anubias seem to dislike directly overhead lighting.>
The melt occurs in the first 2 weeks of being in the tank.
<This does sound like typical plant 'shock' rather than some specific disease. If possible, remove the dead leaves carefully, but leave the stolon in place. Do ensure the stolon is absolutely clear of the substrate or any sort of fibre glass wool. It should be placed on a rock or bogwood root somewhere that it is able to get some light so it can photosynthesise (that's why it's green) and after a few weeks you should see some new leaves. I find Anubias recover from damage rather well, all else being equal. Do review water chemistry, though Anubias barteri at least will adapt to a very broad range, from blackwater conditions through to slightly brackish. Other species might be more picky. Finally, do try removing one of the plants (or a cutting from a stolon) to another tank if possible.
Why? Because if you have some sort of allelopathy between plant species, you might find that the separated plant thrives, while the ones left in the tank do not.>
No other additions melt or lose leaves including my crypts.
<Anubias do enjoy similar conditions, and I've not observed allelopathy between Cryptocoryne and Anubias. Usually, they thrive when grown together.
Of course, that assumes the Cryptocoryne are placed in the substrate while the Anubias are not.>
Where else would you have me look to discover an answer?
<There are a number of good aquatic plant forums out there, such as ukaps.org, and these might be able to offer some extra help.>
<Hope this helps. Neale.>

Request suggestion on water conditioners       10/5/18
Dear Bob/Neale, I hope you guys are doing well. My question is regards to the water conditioners that one gets and those who claim to remove heavy metals from tap water. Now I know; that dechlorinator is something that everyone needs to add in tap water .
<Actually; I don't add unless am changing out more than a quarter or so volume of water for new. Sanitizers et al. in new/mains water appear to be "complexed" with materials/biota in the system>
now we have municipal water and we dont use RO systems or distilled water.
I have read that even though municipal water is well filtered but at times because it comes through cemented and copper pipes it may get leeched with metals like iron And copper which are deadly for fishes. so do u recommend use of the above mentioned water conditioners or maybe activated carbon ?
<Either, both can be useful>
Also over here fish shop guys have huge turn over of water and they dont use any water conditioners other than dechlorinator neither do they have any RO units so should I assume that its okay not to use water conditioners other then dechlorinators?
<In many places in the world this appears to be the case. Storing water for a week ahead of use will allow most chlorine based biocides and metals to dissipate. Short term water use is better done with the use of dechlorinator/dechloraminator, and/or activated carbon use.>
Kindly advise Thanking you Raj
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Better Fin Rot Swim Bladder Eating & Not Constipated       10/5/18
Thanks Bob, after 7 days of clean water should I try another round of Kanaplex with furan 2?
<I would not treat this fish further; no>
I do not understand where to find "WWM trouble” in your search box and not Google's search box.
<"Our" search box IS Google's... they provide the plug-in. They are the same>
So, what should to help him now?
<Return to once weekly water changes, and eliminated the bloodworms from the diet. BobF>
Fwd: Better Fin Rot Swim Bladder Eating & Not Constipated       10/5/18

Hi Bob, Again, when I put TROUBLE in your search box I get this page but I don’t see anything about how to help him today: <http://www.wetwebmedia.com/before/index.htm?h=trouble>
Other than clean water for 7 days (in-progress), should I do another round of Kanaplex with furan2? And you are saying NO blood worms … can I feed him just the garlic food now? He has fasted for 3 days.
<Not the garlic food alone. Some staple (pellets are best) and frozen/defrosted brine shrimp is what I'd use>
Thanks a million.
<As many welcomes>
Re: Better Fin Rot Swim Bladder Eating & Not Constipated       10/5/18

Thanks Bob, He’s dying today. Appreciate your help.
<Ahh; thank you. BobF>

Re: Please help AGAIN       10/4/18
Thank you for getting back to me, he is in a box I called hospital tank, a Interpet mini filter, without carbon foam, in operation, nothing inside, Nitrate and nitrite higher than normal,
<? What are the levels, values?>
can’t change much water as JUST finished Interpet anti internal bacterial 7 days course treatment, a little bit complicated, treatments as follow
About one week after the rescued, found this poor guy slightly bloat with white waste, so I set up a hospital tank and start with:
Treatment 1. API General Cure- Not success and condition stay the same.
Treatment 2. Interpet Anti internal bacterial - Not success and bloat a bit more.
Treatment 3. Waterlife (Hole in the head and bloat) tablets - Not success
Treatment 4. Repeat Waterlife medicine, nearly kill her, health condition much worsen (I blamed myself for listening to the Reviews from customer suggested 5 times more dosage.) now, whole body covered with black marks.
Treatment 5. Back to Treatment no.2, (Interpet) this time better, 80% marks gone as seen in previous photo I sent you, but his tail bends.
I think it is Malawi Bloat not Dropsy because he bloat with white waste, swims well and eat normal, but once again, I do not have any experience, I really rely on Google search.
Please help this poor soul, I just rescued him from an extremely poor water quality pond
<THIS is the cause of this fish's troubles. NEED good care, water quality, nutrition for weeks, months to recover, NOT treatments/medicines>
and the rescuing process broken my heart although I don’t really a fish person, I beg god he deserves a better life after all.
Kind regards
<Need data, useful information... as previously requested. BobF>
Re: Please help AGAIN... 13 megs of pix....        10/4/18

Sorry but what is nutrition? I really don’t know.
<Foods, feeding Nat. What are you using?>
Tank water is 35 litre, water depth about 6 inches.
I am going to change 100 %water as the NO 2 is at 1 and NO 3 at 5 according to API Test stripe result.
<I would skip feeding period if ammonia or nitrite are present>
Could you kindly tell me how to add nutrition in the tank?
<A low protein staple is best here. Pellets or sticks of small size. You can/could read about this on WWM>
As you can see there is another one behind it, it has black marks and cotton mouth, been treating with API PIMAFIX AND MELAFIX together for a month already, symptoms still exist.
Regarding to the tank, it has 50 litres water, I change 25% water every other day.
Also for both tanks, I put Interpret first aid salt + and API Stress Coat in the water.
Apart from the one being murdered by the heron that are the only two trouble ones amongst 60 of them.
Kind regards
<This fish simply needs good conditions, no treatments. I'd return it to the system the other goldfish are in. Being kept in a small volume, too much water changing... is not helping. Bob Fenner>

Better Fin Rot Swim Bladder Eating & Not Constipated. Betta        10/4/18
Hi Bob,
Hope you are doing really well! I’ve missed talking with you … but luckily, haven’t had any issues with my Betta who is now 4 years old up until now.
<This IS an olde specimen>
He has developed bad fin rot and swim bladder although he eats everything and is not constipated. Fin rot caused by a month of 100% water changes every 4-5 days instead of my normal 100% water changes every 3-4 days. 2.5 gallon tank, sponge filtration, tap water/prime, heater (78 degrees) and aerator. I apologize I’ve read your website for 2 days now and can never find any specific cases that apply to my scenario although common. I simply do not understand your web search feature!
<It's not ours but Google's... but GIGO; the arrangement of files is mine... key word/search terms should bring up all/anything that is relevant though>
The longer water changes caused the fin rot which advanced very quickly and to swim bladder because his tail is really short now.
<? Don't know re the water change influence here. Shouldn't be a factor>
Treatment over last month: 100% water changes 2X’s/week, 1/2 teaspoon aquarium salt (per gallon), Kanaplex (2 rounds per directions), seachem Paraguard dips during water changes, and Paraguard in tank during non-Kanaplex times, eats like a horse (frozen bloodworms
<Cut these out entirely. DO search on WWM re. Trouble>
alternated with spectrum A+ with garlic and never constipated. Current Treatment this week: 100% daily water changes no medication to give him a 7-day break. Stopped food for 3 days even though he’s not constipated which resulted in very slight improvement on swim bladder. What do you recommend I do now?
<As stated, drop the sewer fly larvae>
I felt that he was overmedicated/oversalted. Nothing is working so I opted for clean water only. Can I start feeding him the garlic food again? We are doomed. Thanks so much, Kristy
<... Bob Fenner>

Re: Tetra stocking-too many choices       10/4/18
Hi Mr. Fenner,
So the update on the process is this: I have most of the shrimp moved over thanks to the help of my 11 year old daughter, who has taken the task on due to the $3 paycheck upon completion.
<Ah, the ole profit motive eh?>
And so most are doing well, I have lost a few, not sure why, maybe just the stress of the move since all parameters have remained steady.
I went to the fish farm and purchased 10 ember tetras and 10 gold tetras. They have been acclimated and are all doing well and tend to school as one big group. I was at first concerned about adding 20 fish at once however I am keepers by a close eye and parameters are holding steady.
So as I’m getting ready to leave the fish farm the owner approaches me to show me the fish he just got in and he shows me the most beautiful Galaxy Rasbora.
<Neat animals>
So my question is this: what are the chances I can add them to my tank?
<Likely very good; as long as they're not much smaller than the new Tetras>
If I bump the temp slowly down to 77? He says they are locally raised so that wouldn’t be an issue but if I bump the temp down to 77 will this mix work?
<Again; probably so>
Also if I that is a possibility is 6 enough or is more better?
<Six or more; yes>
Thanks again!!!!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Unknown roundworm in aquarium     10/3/18
<Hey Cath>
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.
Sorry for the broken link. The video was uploaded as private, rather than unlisted.
Here's the new link: https://youtu.be/wd_PdDDcxLA
Please let me know if there are any problems with it.
<Oh yes; this is a Leech (yeah, yuck); possibly parasitic on your livestock. Remove it (w/ extreme prejudice)>
<Welcome! BobF>
Re: Unknown roundworm in aquarium     10/3/18

Thank you for the id.
So, if I'm looking at it correctly, the leech is moving backwards? It searches with the tapered end and uses the blunt end as an anchor.
<Hirudineans have "haptors" on both ends, and can move backwards and forwards using them and extending their bodies>
Thank you again.
<Certainly welcome. B>

Is Flex Seal safe for fish?     10/3/18
I've purchased an 8 ft. round galvanized steel stock tank to use as a fish pond. I want to coat the inside of the tank. Is it safe for fish to use Flex Seal rubberized paint? The product description says for use in
ponds and fountains, but doesn't say whether it's safe for fish!
<Mmm; they state so on their site:
But I would make sure it's well-cured and try a few test fish for a couple weeks>
I had originally planned to spray the inside with Rust-Oleum, but it says that it's not for use on galvanized metal. Would another paint be better than Flex Seal? Maybe Krylon?
<Don't think Krylon would hold up... there are other CR paints, applications, but the Flex Seal looks to be the real thing>
Thanks for your help! I really enjoy this website.
Sue Solomon
<Ahh, thank you Sue. Bob Fenner>

Re: Please help... GF hlth, no data     10/3/18
Could you please tell me he still have chance.
His tail suddenly gone bend
Kind regards
<... something/s wrong w/ this fish's world. What re water quality (tests) and nutrition?
Bob Fenner>

Re: Rosy tetra with hole in the belly     10/2/18
I hope you're well. I'm just writing to thank you I've followed your advice of what medicine give to my fish and it looks like she is now healed.
<Great news!>
She's left with the scar in the area but other than that she's absolutely fine. We will look to move them in a bigger tank soon too.
Thank you so much.
Best regards, Anda
<Glad this worked out, and thanks for letting us know. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: de-worming puffers     10/2/18
Thanks Neale - I’ll give it a try!
<Good luck, Nathaniel!>

Please help. GF trauma     10/2/18
Can you tell me whether this is caused by disease or attacked by a heron?
My finned friend was fine and found him died suddenly.
<Mmm; appears to be a trauma caused by something... Perhaps a predatory bird or mammal. See WWM re guarding against such losses. Bob Fenner>


Re: Dropsy-like symptoms killing fish     10/2/18
Thank you for your reply.
<Glad to help Rita.>
To check water quality, I used the test kit from API. Everything measured in the lowest color range, so I assumed it was 0.
I don’t think any toxins are getting in from our house. We don’t smoke and I am careful to wash my hands/arms when working in the tank. The filter pump and heater are actually in the aquarium, so I wondered if they could have something leaching into the water from them. One of the attached pics is the inside of the pump. This part is actually submerged so I wondered if this material could leach something.
<Unlikely; these motors are embedded for function and safety's sake in a chemically inert potted material; but the pix of the distal end of the heater and suction cup do make me querulous>
All the pics of the dead fish are the same fish from over 1 month ago. I was trying to capture different views of the abdomen. The pic of the fish with a string of white poop is a different fish from a month ago. This was the one that made me wonder if it was a parasite.
<Again, doubtful that the initial, direct cause here is biological; perhaps secondarily bacterial. There is/are some source of stress/or/s here debilitating your stock>
The last 5 pics are from recently. After 1 month with no fish I added 3 zebras.
<Good "test fish" I'd warrant. Brachydanio rerio are tolerant of broad (aquarium) conditions; used extensively as test animals for research; sort of aquatic fruit flies>
One already bloated and pineconed and died in 2 days. The other two are sluggish, not eating and slightly bloated. Because they are not eating, the food grows white fur if I don't get it out in time.
(FYI - The white breeder bag holds floating live plants to keep them from getting sucked into the pump until I can mount them on something to hold them in place.)
<You could; there are various "clip" products for offering foods mostly...>
The last 2 pics are the underwater heater. The growth on the rubber parts started almost immediately after I installed it several months ago. Not sure what it is or if I need to clean it off.
<I'd remove it period. This bit of plastic is intended to absorb shock should the heater strike something hard. Am concerned that it's being heated to the point that it's degrading, possibly a source of trouble here. Unplug the heater first if/when removing it from the system>
I'm sure this is more than you asked for, but I had the pics so I sent them on.
I have been trying to think of what might be causing the problem. Our local state university vet school has a service where they will test/autopsy sick fish and water samples for $55. Would it be worth taking a chance on this?
<Worthwhile if it will set your mind to ease>
Would it be able to point to a cause?
<Only the biological manifestations. Mmm; I have long-standing writing and ppts re the influences that determine livestock health. Do have a read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm
and as much of the linked files above as you find instructional>
Thank you for your time. I appreciate it.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Treating dropsy with salt     10/2/18
Hi, i wanted to ask your help in treating dropsy with salt.
<Epsom, better than table... >
i have a jewel cichlid who started to bloat and raise his scales 2 days ago. I read a lot about treating with salt{in addition to antibiotic} but there are tons of different recommendations about the dose, about whether to use NaCl or Epsom salt and whether using in a dip or in a bath. I would really appreciate your advice ,thank you
<The antibiotic and Epsom route is the most likely efficacious. Do read
here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/saltusefwartneale.htm
and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/dropsyfaqs.htm
Bob Fenner>

Unknown roundworm in aquarium     10/2/18
I saw this worm yesterday in my aquarium. Could you please help me identify it and whether or not I should get it out of my tank?
<Umm; nothing attached. No photo here>
It's currently in a 29 gallon planted tank with dirt (from a bag) and the tank is about a year old. The most recent addition in the tank was a pond plant. Could it have come in that way?
<Oh yes; roundworms, nematodes are VERY common; almost all are innocuous; not harmful>
It doesn't look segmented and seems to have a suction on one end (the back end). The back end doesn't look like an earthworm where it's tapered, but looks kind of blunt, like it was cut. I haven't seen it burrow into the substrate or crawl up the glass like other worms. It's brown and looks
"solid" rather than clear.
<Oh... this reads more like a leech, Hirudinean, rather than a roundworm; which are by and large smooth, tapered at both ends, light colored>
I've uploaded a video I took earlier today.
<Unfortunately this video isn't playing for me>
Hopefully the video is clear enough. It moves pretty quickly, but it's not shy. I could probably get another video or picture if you need it.
<Do please send the image, video link along>
Please let me know if you need any additional information.
<I'd be removing this worm>
Thank you!
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Is Ich possible in an established healthy tank? And Bloodworm feeding      10/1/18
Hi crew!
I noticed these white spots on my tetra's tail fin this morning. He/she is in an established 50 gallon planted tank with 5 other tetras. The tank contains only this one school of fish as another cycled tank (set up as a quarantine tank) houses one juvenile electric blue Acara and 4 Cory cat fish. Although they appear healthy, they will be in quarantine for another 3 weeks (total of one month). The main 50 gallon tank has been set up for at least 6 months and I've had these tetras for over a year. There has been no new plants introduced into the 50 gallon tank for months. The fish in the 20 gallon tank the tetras were originally from are all healthy. My tank parameters are excellent (ammonia and nitrite 0 ppm, nitrate less than 10 ppm, pH 6.8-7, dGH 6°, temp between 76 to 77° F. I do 20 % water changes every 14 days.
<I do these every week in my freshwater systems>
They eat a variety of flake, frozen and pellet food.
There are no clamped fins and appetites are good. There is some squabbling occasionally, but for most part they get along.
I don't see how Ich could suddenly show up in a healthy tank if no new fish or plants have been introduced.
<Hmm; well, does happen. A few protozoan diseases of fishes are well known to exist in resting stages, be present at sub-clinical concentrations... gaining numbers, virulence w/ concomitant loss of health to their hosts; mostly due to environmental stress/stressors; secondarily nutritional deficiency>
Could these tiny white spots be caused by something else?
<Mmm; yes; but this is likely Ichthyophthiriasis. You can/could sample and take a look under a low power 'scope. Certain features are near telling>
Should I treat prophylactically with something like Paraguard or just wait and watch.
<For me, mine, the latter.>
The tank is due for a water change on 2 days and I do have stress guard that I could add to the water.
Any ideas?
<Oh yes; smaller file sizes sent to us for one; raising temperature and aeration if problematic....>
I've never dealt with Ich but I've had friends who say it can be a nightmare to deal with.
<Some occasions, possibly "strain" differences can be trouble>
Thanks for any suggestions you can send my way.
<Have you reviewed what we have archived on WWM re? Please do. Bob Fenner>
I reached out to you several months ago about a long finned Danio with negative buoyancy issues. I followed your suggestions (plus one course of Kanaplex) and he fully recovered in about 6 weeks and is still healthy today with no sign of swim bladder issues. I stopped feeding frozen blood worms as per your suggestion, and I haven't had any problems since. I also had one tetra who always swam with his nose down, but once I stopped the blood worms he now swims normally.
<Ah, good>

Re: Is Ich possible in an established healthy tank?     10/1/18
Thanks! Sorry for large file size on photo. New phone.
<Ahh; thank you>
I will switch back to weekly water changes and try elevating the temp. It's interesting. I noticed that the spots on tail are lined up in a perfect semi circle. ???
<That is interesting. The "spots" from such external parasites are not the actual infesting agents, but rather the fish's reaction: body mucus. Perhaps the round "spot area" is/was a physical trauma here? Bob Fenner>

Baby Arowana, and Clown Knife     10/1/18
Hello, my husband keeps a 226 gallon tank. Im not sure of many specifics, has two canister filters. We do frequent water changes. We have two Arowanas about 3 in long, only had them for a week.
<Yikes; hard to feed small Arowanas in such a large system. I'd keep them in something smaller till they've grown a bit; a few inches>
I noticed one of them floating on the bottom this morning.
<Mmm; not good>
My husband tried some crickets and he ate a large one last night, I kind of thought maybe he ate too much.
<Yes; I would only feed small/er foods; unfortunately likely needing to be live. Like Brine Shrimp, Daphnia, Mysids....>
When I got home from work he was on his side. He's breathing but almost looks like he's gasping. But, he moved from one end to another end against a pretty strong current so I am assuming he swam. We weren’t sure if there was anything we could do to save him before it’s too late. We have also been feeding them guppies, krill, and blood worms I think.
Not sure if it is related but we also have 2 clown knives. The one seems to be losing it’s color. It still has his dots, but is very pale looking and was once the typical sliver brown. He seems to be acting and eating fine. I don’t know if the two problems are related or not. Thank you for your feedback.
<Is there any ammonia of nitrite present? Measurable? Bob Fenner>

Dropsy-like symptoms killing fish     10/1/18
I have an Aqueon 55 gal aquarium that came in a kit/box with a Quiet Flow 75 filter that has the pump that goes in the water. It also came with an underwater heater and 2 LED hoods.
I have installed all the equipment that came in the box along with Carib Sea planted aquarium substrate and live plants. The aquarium has been set up for about 3 months and water quality tests as good (no ammonia, nitrates, nitrates,
<No NO3? Unusual. I'd have your fish store check a water sample here. Nitrates should be measurable>
ph around 8.0 to 8.2). Water is clear and plants are thriving.
However, I am having trouble keeping fish alive in it. Everything I have tried to add (mollies, zebra Danios, corys) immediately develops dropsy symptoms and dies within days or a couple of weeks. Could there be something wrong with the equipment, e.g. some kind of toxin leaking into the water?
<The latter might be an issue. A household cleaner getting into the water, indoor air pollution from cooking, smoking.... What do the fish look like when they're dying, dead? Do you have pix to share?>
I have tried treating it with a high concentration of salt, frequent water changes, and leaving it without fish for a month after treating it with Praziquantel to allow any parasites to die.
<Mmm; I'd try a good deal of activated carbon in a Dacron bag (to contain it) placed in your water flow path. Likely inside your hang-on filter...
And adding more aeration (likely an air pump, tubing, airstone...)>
Last idea I was given is to remove plants, bleach and rinse everything, and start over. May have to try that since I don't know what is causing the problem.
<Might be worth doing this last... as the "poisoning" (if that's what the cause is here) could be due to noxious algae growing in the system itself.
I am a huge fan of having at least some live plants... to outcompete such and do a few other essential environmental improving things. Please see/read on WWM re live plant use... perhaps some Sagittaria,
Watersprite.... Bob Fenner>

Re new H. melasmapomus; beh.
Hi there! I had sent a email several weeks ago about the compatibility of a H. melanurus and a H. melasmapomus. I decided to get the H. Melasmapomus. He has been in my tank for two weeks today. He comes out of the sand every morning and stays out only 10 minutes or so. 
<A good start>
No aggression
from any fish in my tank. He comes out at basically the same time every morning, so I make sure and have Mysis thawed and ready to go.
<Ah, good>
He eats really well, and then goes back into the sand. I stare at the tank for the 10 minutes or so he is out, and he is ignored by all of my fish, which consist of several Leopard Wrasses. Will this behavior continue, and do you think he will eventually get comfortable to come out for longer periods?
<Almost assuredly this fish will become more evident over time. Likely out most of the time w/in a month or two.>
I have never had a fish do this. Thank for any thoughts and info! I really appreciate it!
<Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner> 

1st Saltwater tank stocking question        9/29/18
Hi there!
<Hey Kim!>
I've been doing freshwater tanks for most of my life and wanted to finally try my hand at saltwater. I have a 65g pre-drilled tank on order at my LFS that will be hooked up to the largest sump I can fit in the stand below the tank. I also was going to use a hang-on refugium for extra pod generation (the Large size of the CPR AquaFuge2 Hang-On Refugium on Amazon).
<Am familiar. Do leave space behind the tank to get about it!>
I'll be sticking to FOWLR; no corals. The issue I'm running into is that I keep getting wildly conflicting opinions on how many/what kind of fish I can stock. Below is my priority list of favorites that I'd like to try to put together a stocking list based off of:
Valentini Puffer
Green Mandarin
Flasher Wrasse (At least 1 male, ideally a M/F pair or trio if they'll fit)
A goby of some sort
<Mmm; all this will fit, go together. The Toby/puffer might bite the other fishes; and important to make sure all are getting food>
They all seem compatible from a temperament/tank needs perspective. I know the Mandarin will be a challenge due to their feeding requirements and plan on waiting 9 months to a year+ before adding to make sure the tank is stable and has ample pod populations. That said, what do you feel would be a good stock list from this?
<What you list is fine>
Is the Mandarin too much of a challenge for my first tank?
<I don't think so; no. Just pick out a healthy, not-skinny specimen that is eating>
If not, do I draw the cutoff line after the Wrasse or would they all fit? Are there any compatibility challenges you foresee?
<See above; all listed could go.>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

de-worming puffers     9/28/18
Hi Neale
I hope you are well,
<All good, thanks.>
I have a lovely collection off puffers (Fahaka, schoutedeni, irrubesco, Palembang just to name a few!!) - obviously all in their own tanks!!
I know they all need de-worming. I have tried different products based on the following meds : flubendazole, praquintozol, metrozindozol.
They all say on the packet about pouring the required amount into the water. However I have read online that it won't work to just pour it into the water, that the food needs to be soaked to target the worms in the stomach.
<You can use some products by adding to the water. May be less effective, but fish will swallow the water and consume the medication. Since it might be less effective, you may elect to perform 2-3 courses rather than just 1, with a water change between each. Flubendazole and Fenbendazole are both
pretty reliable used this way, albeit with multiple courses rather than a 'one and done' approach.>
I have tried soaking the food and tried adding garlic guard to make it more palatable , however whatever I seem to do gets rejected! They all eat well when the food hasn't been soaked but as soon as I soak it they wont eat it.
<This can be tricky. One approach is to soak some smaller food item, perhaps a bit of shrimp, and then stick that small bit of shrimp in something else so it's swallowed whole. The problem with Puffers is that
they're nibblers, and tend to spit out or crunch their food messily.>
Is it ok to just pour into the water? If so which do you recommend?
<I would indeed choose the in-the-water approach. Should work. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: re: Turtle shell issue     9/28/18
Thank you for your help! I guess I'll monitor to see if there are any changes, and go from there. As far as flagging the bad vets with some kind of administrative body, I'm not sure if such a body even exists. I'm a foreigner here, but from what I've observed this country doesn't care much about animals, and most things function on corruption and bribes anyway, so reporting bad care, especially bad animal care, is not going to do anything. I understand where you're coming from and I'd absolutely love to report...just about everything here, but it's just not viable with the country's general functionality.
<Understood. Meantime, I'm going to pass on a comment from Darrel, our turtle expert:
"Add two tablespoons of salt for every actual gallon of water in their tank and mix it in. Also take a half cup of lukewarm water and 1 tablespoon of salt into a shallow dish (enough for the turtles to be up to their shoulders) and place the turtles in there for a half hour. Then put them in the tank with the added salt solution. Check again in 4 days and we'll know a lot of what it isn't."
Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Discus compatibility /Neale's go      9/28/18
I have a 75 (Imperial) gallon tank, with a 20g sump underneath. I am busy planning out for discus (Over the years I have planned for discus and then fear has hit and I've never gone through with it!). I finally have an almost empty tank, except for a trio of scarlet breasted acara (should they stay or should they go?)
<I would not mix any other cichlids with Discus. It's not so much territoriality that's the issue, but competition for food, and even more dangerously, introducing parasites and pathogens. Quite a few cichlids carry germs that don't do them any great harm, but Discus seem to react very badly to.>
who have never shown interest in breeding and a little teeny tiny woodcat, (perugiae?).
<Fine with Discus.>
I would like to have six discus, twenty golden Pencilfish and perhaps ten Corydoras sterbai. Would this work? I love Pencilfish, but never too sure if they're too small or not. Also, am I overstocking?
<Pencilfish are at a slight risk of being eaten, but perhaps worth a shot! Cardinal Tetras for example are perfectly fine with Discus. Pencils are a little smaller, hence my concern.>
I intend to keep the Stendker type of discus, and know a reliable UK supplier. I don't know if that changes things in terms of stocking etc. Advice and opinions would be very much valued!
<Other than the above, the plan sounds great. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Flowerhorn/Red Devil Cross with swim bladder disorder symptoms     9/28/18
Hello Crew
I have a couple of questions again about my flowerhorn’s issue. I would really like to know more about the specific disease process that is occurring.
<So would I. But realistically, the symptoms are so un-specific that you can't tell. You would need a vet or microbiologist familiar with fish diseases to example samples of skin or mucous to have any hope of identifying the problem.>
There is obvious continuing displacement occurring internally to the point that the tips of the ribs are visible now. She looks like she swallowed a box. She appears to have no discomfort and is still eating. There doesn’t seem to be any information on how the process unfolds, only possible treatments. Any scientific papers etc that may have been written?
<Possibly, but without knowing the pathogen, it's all very vague. I will observe that Mycobacteria infections are a know problem in fishkeeping and present a very wide range of severe symptoms.>
We’ve given up on the harness idea - if it’s snug enough to stay on it’s hard on her skin even if the material is soft and stretchy. I know euthanasia is something we will be considering in the near future because of the condition of her side and I have read your article on the site.
I am wondering what your recommendation would be where she is so large. She is every bit 16 inches long and likely 3-5 pounds.
<Clove Oil should work, but the industry standard for killing large fish is MS- 222, with suitably buffered water chemistry (MS- 222 is acidic, so sodium bicarb or similar are used to prevent a distressing and stressful to your fish drop in pH).>
Thanks again for your time
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Turtle shell issue       9/27/18
Hello! My turtles have a sort of scattering of tiny white spots on the bottom shells.
<First thing is to check if the turtle shell smells. Remove the turtle from the water, dab it dry with paper towel, and have a sniff. Shell Rot is distinctly moldy in smell.>
Unfortunately, I can't take a decent picture as I simply do not own a camera that could adequately capture these tiny spots. They don't look like any type of shell rot I've ever seen, they don't smell, they aren't soft, they appear to be under the scutes rather than on top of them.
<Ah, so you seem to have checked what I suggest above!>
They can't be rubbed off with vinegar.
<So unlikely to be calcium carbonate or limescale deposits.>
They are pin-prick sized but scattered around most of the plastron. I can't find any images online that look like them. My first instinct is always to ask a professional, but there are no herp vets here, and there's really just 2 vets that will even see a turtle at all, one of them is terrible, the other has no equipment of any kind, so no tests can be done, and honestly, I'm afraid they might do more harm than good.
<Understood. But if the vets are really this bad, you should probably flag this problem up with your national veterinarian licensing body.>
I've dry-docked the turtles, and have already attempted treatment with iodine (in case it's bacteria), and since that has done nothing, I am now attempting an anti-fungal treatment. I'm starting to wonder if maybe it's nothing and I'm torturing them with treatments for no reason.
<I would certainly agree that this doesn't sound critical, and treatment probably isn't necessary.>
Should I maybe just let them go back in the water (I've disinfected the tank and everything in it and replaced the water, by the way), and see if the spots grow or change or...something?
<Let them go into their watery home.>
My only, and very flimsy guess is that it could be some kind of allergy to the new basking area.
<Conceivably, assuming reptiles have allergies -- not sure they do -- and if they did, I'd expect their eyes or flippers to be more sensitive, having thinner protection than the shell. The shell is, as you'd expect, pretty tough, and the scutes themselves don't have much of a blood supply once they've been hardened off into plates.>
They've had it for a while, but maybe the reaction took some time to develop. Does that even happen?
<No idea!>
Could a turtle's shell have an allergic reaction to a certain material?
<I would seem unlikely. It could be that scratchy materials create grooves or pitting into which limescale or bacteria can become embedded. But if there's no evidence of Shell Rot, and the turtles themselves appear to be well-fed (e.g., in terms of calcium) and getting adequate UV-B, then I'd put down any unusual colours in the shells to natural variation. Indeed, there may even be minor development glitches caused by life in captivity caused by diet, vivarium size, etc that we can't really do much about, but
don't actually affect the turtle in any significant way.>
Any help would be highly appreciated. Thank you!
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Stumped! Water Parameters       9/27/18
Good morning guys (and gals?)
<Hi Dave>
I've been in the hobby for 15yrs, but my new setup has me stumped. Previously, I had a reef tank with consistently pristine water, no algae, and everything grew spectacularly! So, here's the issues...
60 gallon shallow reef tank. It's placed in my hallway by the front entrance and it does receive direct natural sunlight for a few hours in the morning, and then in the afternoon it receives a little indirect light from the open room next to it. I've adjusted my lights accordingly, and for the first 16mths of this tank's life I had everything in balance. I have a single filter sock that's changed every two weeks or if it looks really dirty. In my other overflow, water empties into a refugium box with my Chaeto (it's the way Innovative Marine tanks work with built in refugiums). My bioload is two clowns, a canary wrasse, watchman goby, cleaner shrimp, banded star, diminishing cleanup crew of small hermits and a few snails... frogspawn, toadstool, some Zoas, star polyps.
<Decent bioload>
My tank's pumps turn the water volume 13X/hour, and on top of that I run an MP40 on a random cycle for plenty of water movement. I run a skimmer 24/7. I feed lightly, usually half a block of frozen (I alternate between four types of appropriate feed) or some pellets - only what they will eat before it sinks to the bottom. I do 6gallon water changes weekly. Should be good, right?
<Good, sounds just like how it must be done>
I went on vacation this summer in early July, and can't get my tank back in balance. High nitrates, ok maybe from lack of water changes in early July, but I've remedied that the past 10 weeks. I'm thinking high nitrates killed off some snails, including some larger Nassarius snails... maybe adding some ammonia...
<Could be in part>
Either way, over the summer I have one hell of a hair and diatom algae issue. I've stepped up my water changes, I've pulled as much of the hair algae as I can, removed anything that looks like a dead snail... I think my corals are starting to really suffer. I find myself having to use Red Sea N03:PO4 nitrate remover to stay in balance with low nitrates, but realize there's something else behind this I can't figure out.
<Since everything went right before your vacation, you must get things back to where they were; looks like you are doing things right, but it will take a while to put your system in balance again.>
Am I correct in saying the natural sunlight can certainly cause algae issues if my lights aren't adjusted accordingly; however, this should not be causing high nitrates?
<Natural sunlight can cause algae issues indeed but you didn´t have this problem before, so I will discard this option. Sunlight don´t cause a rise in nitrates, not at all >
I'm almost wondering if a cleaning lady is dumping something in the tank?
<Do you think this could be a possibility? >
Anything jump out at you as to errors in my way?
<Nope, the only “error” is your absence, I mean, your system was accustomed to a punctual maintenance routine. I recommend you to increase the amount of water changes and change the filter sock daily until things go back to normal>
Looking for a suitable algae eating fish that is a good fit for my 60 gallon shallow reef and won't harass my watchman goby (¿i.e. a lawnmower blenny is fairly territorial, right?).
<Lawnmower blennies are territorial but since it will be a “newcomer”, you can give it a try.>
Look forward to your expert help!
<Keep us posted Dave. Wilberth>

Discus compatibility       9/27/18
<Ave Joanne>
I have a 75 (Imperial) gallon tank, with a 20g sump underneath. I am busy planning out for discus (Over the years I have planned for discus and then fear has hit and I've never gone through with it!). I finally have an almost empty tank, except for a trio of scarlet breasted acara (should they stay or should they go?)
<Should get along w/ the Discus as long as there's not much size difference>
who have never shown interest in breeding and a little teeny tiny woodcat, (perugiae?).
<Maybe; also compatible>
I would like to have six discus, twenty golden Pencilfish and perhaps ten Corydoras sterbai. Would this work? I love Pencilfish, but never too sure if they're too small or not. Also, am I overstocking?
<Well; eventually the Discus might get too large here; and much more likely two will pair off, necessitating moving. I'd say this will be all the way stocked up though. I would definitely utilize redundant filtration and aeration>
I intend to keep the Stendker type of discus, and know a reliable UK supplier. I don't know if that changes things in terms of stocking etc.
<Mmm; it assures me that these will be good fish; well-cultured as captives>
Advice and opinions would be very much valued!
<Softer, at least neutral if not slightly acidic water, low 80's F... and all should be fab!>
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Re: Tetra stocking-too many choices       9/27/18
Ok Mr. Fenner I have a few follow-up questions....
<Let's go!>
I started moving the cherry shrimp over, assuming it will take a few days to complete the process.
I went to the fish farm to get a plant and they had some black and white striped bumblebee shrimp, I got 3. They told me they are very sensitive but that they are ok with the cherries.
<S/b fine. Likely the same species. Like blondes/brunettes>
I checked wet web and in my haste couldn’t find a lot of info but I took the chance. So far so good, any extra info on these would be appreciated. So in the tetra choices I have, which ones are least likely to bother the baby shrimp?
<All will eat the shrimp when they're very small; but some should survive; and adults will be fine.>
I know there’s always a risk but in your opinion which are the best bet
Also I purchased a very large “mother” Amazon sword. It is so large it has flowers and baby leaves growing off the top, so big I had to fold it over to close the lid and this is a tall tank.
What do I do to make the babies? Hahaha sorry.
<Pinch them off and plant them separately; or bend the stem down and plant it in the sand/gravel>
Thanks again, you are the best,
<Thank you for sharing Marya. BobF>
Re: Tetra stocking-too many choices       9/27/18

Great! Thanks again for your advice. I am still working on the process of moving all the shrimp and the Nerite snail, once they settle in I will head back to the farm for some tetras, I’ll keep you posted, thanks so much!
<Glad to share your adventure! B>

October Calendar       9/27/18
Here is the October calendar for the WWM website.
<Thanks Mike. Will post, share. B>

Eel lost his tail, looking for advice       9/27/18
So I ended up purchasing two black ribbon eels.
<Aye ya; not easily kept. The vast majority die in captivity due to stress, starvation, w/in a month of capture>
I know they are notoriously difficult to get eating but I was ready and willing to put the effort in.
<Ah, good>
I bought 2 because I had read they feel more comfortable in pairs and eat more readily. The larger one eats everything and anything you put in that tank now, to include my fingers which he has no problem
attacking repeatedly. The smaller eel was tougher, I had to work through every type of food I had until I managed to get him interested in a piece of silver side that had flayed a little and looked like a small fish. A couple of days later he took another piece with less coaxing. So after a month of work and getting very good at making dead things look alive I thought I was out of the woods, then the small one didn't come out anymore. I watched and searched but found nothing which wasn't like him, even when he didn't eat he showed up to linger in the water column.
Anyway, I started doing ammonia tests again and my kids thought they saw a green tinge and given that he only ate a little, along with the week missing even after moving rocks to look, I thought he had died in the tubes. Now I didn't want to kill him if he was alive, so I worked out a way to pull a dead eel out of these tubes without causing harm (so I thought). I evacuated the other eel and held him in a net and then put the largest siphon I could get in the PVC and started it. Within moments he passed through and was alive.
<How large/diameter were the siphon and the eel?!>
I was extremely excited and went to prepare a new home in the refugium where i could better target feed him and make sure he was going to make it. However, when I got ready to move him to his new home I noticed a section of him wasn't there anymore...
I can't imagine another fish did this, and I grounded all my rocks so I doubt he got stuck, but I can't believe a siphon was able to rip his tail off. He's still swimming but I don't know what to do to make things better for his recovery (if recovery is even an option). I'm reaching out to anyone and everyone for advice. Thank you for your time.
James Williams
<Likely the tail damage is due more to bacterial/decomposer action than anything else.
I'd be doing what you can to boost this fish's immune system (HUFAs, Vitamins, probiotics added to foods, directly to the water), and maintaining optimized water quality in the hope of tipping the balance to
your Rhinomuraena. Bob Fenner>

Re: Tetra stocking-too many choices       9/26/18
Thanks so much! Will keep you posted...
<Thank you. Hey have you heard/seen the Zamora Catfish, Auchenipterichthys thoracatus?
Re: Tetra stocking-too many choices       9/26/18
I have not, but I’m going to check it out now!
<It's a beauty! A bit exotic, but does make its way into the petfish trade on a punctuated basis. BobF>
Re: Tetra stocking-too many choices       9/26/18
Interesting. Will keep an eye out.

Re: Unidentified "bug" on Betta Fish - Ich/velvet/???       9/26/18
We only drink the RO. Never have drank the cistern.
<Yikes; well, don't use the RO on the Betta and aquatic plants. Would one gallon every few weeks be too much money to spend on the bottled (non-RO, DI) there? BobF>

Tetra stocking-too many choices       9/25/18
Hello Crew!
Thanks in advance for your time. I have had a 20 gallon long with fluorescent lighting set up for many years. It has been a peaceful community tank. Due to some pretty intense circumstances in my life the fish all dwindled away and it is now only home to a ridiculous amount of cherry shrimp who apparently are thriving in this neglected planted tank.
<Easy to trade in toward new livestock likely>
Now that things have settled down I have been able to purchase a 38 gallon bowfront LED lit tank. I set it up and it is currently cycling with janitorial ammonia, I have hopefully fast tracked this process by using a mucky (in a good way) filter cartridge from my old tank and some rocks and plants and such. As of now the parameters of the new tank are these:

Ammonia is reading at .25 however it comes out of the tap like that and I treat with prime so I am thinking it may be an ammonium reading, however I am waiting patiently, I know not to rush the cycle.
<Should be cycled w/ the NO2 and NO3 readings you're reporting... I think the NH3/NH4OH reading may be spurious>
So I intend to move the entire shrimp brigade over, (any suggestions as to how to get all the babies are appreciated) and break down the old 20 gallon.
<Net out most all, drain water down and SLOWLY and carefully scoop out gravel and place in the new system in scoop/batches>
I want to do a peaceful tetra tank. I love neons but don’t want to watch them die from NTD. So I would like to do a few schools of tetras that will work well. I live in Miami and there are “fish farms” here.
<Ah yes; how well do I know>
Basically giant cement outdoor tanks containing every fish you can imagine, so my problem is this- I have too many choices and I don’t know what to choose. The local fish farm has Rummynose, black neon, green neon, ember and gold.
<All these are good choices and would mix; but I'd limit the arrangement here to just two or three tetra species; add some catfish of choice, perhaps a show specimen or two>
They have many more but I think I’ve narrowed it down to these. I would appreciate any suggestions as to which ones would work together and how many,
<At least ten of each>
I’m assuming a few schools of 10 or 12 each. I really love the Rummynose but I’m not sure they will work with my parameters and the others.
<Should. All have been raised in local water quality I assure you>
Any advice is appreciated, I have researched every tetra but I’m overwhelmed by too many options/combinations. Thanks again for your time! It’s very much appreciated!
<Thank you for sharing Marya. Please do send along your further observations. Bob Fenner>

Re: Unidentified "bug" on Betta Fish - Ich/velvet/???       9/25/18
<Ah good>
Looking MUCH better today! I can only see a couple VERY tiny spots with the naked eye. Unfortunately a new problem is that he is biting his tail! Major damage done to it today. Likely stress.
I am looking at using my cistern water. I have PRIME to treat it however I can not have it tested for minerals unless I send it off island. 2-4 weeks and $120 per sample.
<If you drink it; it is very likely fine to use>
They test basically for coliform on island and send everything else off. The cistern is rain water filtered off of the roof (very clean and coated a year ago with plasticize). I also have access to SPRING water - the only spring on STT. The problem with that is that we are told not to drink it because sometimes septic tanks can leak and we are down stream of the spring, I also am concerned about pesticides. I am at a loss on what to do.
<Use whatever you utilize as potable>
I can not buy individual gallon jugs of spring water, that's not financially possible. So I am struggling - cistern water or spring water treated with PRIME and doing 5% Was over the course of a few weeks and see how things go. He is totally stressed out already but I do think the water is the problem.
I did take a photo of the water machine that states:
Sediment Filtration
Carbon Filtration
Multi Media post carbon filtration
<Should be fine. BobF>

Betta and fake "jellyfish"     9/24/18
I have one Betta in a 10 gallon and he is not very feisty. He was feisty in the store as they place them beside other male Bettas to better show them off. In the tank alone he is moving slow with a whatever attitude. I was thinking of getting Nerite snails as a "dither" but they die off in droves and have to be replaced at about $3 per snail. Would getting one of those "fake jellyfish" that move with the current, made of thin plastic be a thing a Betta would see as a "dither" that would be a one time thing to buy? Thank you
<Hi Judy. Can't think why your Nerites are dying, but will observe that most if not all species come from flowing water habitats, and will die if kept in overstocked tanks with low oxygen levels. A few species are brackish water specialists (Batman Snail and Spiny Nerites for example) and they won't last long in soft water, and perhaps not indefinitely in hard water either. So far as the fake Jellyfish goes, most fish ignore these. While they might be alarmed at first, they quickly treat them as inanimate objects much the same as air-powered ornaments or plastic plants. Will stress though that Bettas don't need friends. They've been bred for fighting across the last couple hundred years, and more recently, as fancy looking pets. Even in the wild the males are strongly territorial. They have absolutely no need for company, and indeed, may be stressed by other fish -- except, of course, for female Bettas during breeding. Cheers,

Australian Red claw Lobster help     9/24/18
I have an Australian Red Claw Lobster, about 4inchs. He shelled about 2 weeks ago and is normally really active and eats a lot of food. He is in a 200 litre tank, with a few fish being harlequins and catfish. Today I notice him not moving as much, hiding and leaning on his side. What might be wrong with him?
<Hi Katie. Crayfish have a couple important requirements: iodine and calcium. Iodine needs to be supplied, whether in the form of iodine-rich foods (marine algae, such as Sushi Nori is the classic choice) or iodine supplements such as those used in marine tanks (dosed about 50% what's on the bottle). Without iodine, they're very prone to molting problems.
Calcium is what they need for their shells. Things like unshelled shrimp and frozen brine shrimp will provide plenty of calcium, so this is easy enough to satisfy. Assuming the fish are fine, it's unlikely the aquarium itself has any problem, but do remember crayfish prefer (arguably need) water that is moderately hard and alkaline, and won't handle soft, acidic conditions well. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: ppt audio track Bruce Carlson high tech high!     9/24/18
And Koko and I are back too. The video just this minute finished uploading to YouTube. Play through it and tell me if you want to make any changes:
There is a “gear” icon at the bottom of the screen. Be sure to set the resolution at 720P or 1080P.
<Just back from Ms. B's and I's long walk Bruce!
Incredible Bruce. Thank you so much. Will post on WWM, FB... w/ credit to you. BobF>

Bettas and Epson salts      9/23/18
Is it ok to put a little Epson
<Epsom, Magnesium Sulfate>
Salts in a 10 gallon tank (1-3 tsps/gallon) for a new Betta in case there is a problem, like the fish left the store with possible parasites due to the conditions they were in or is Epson Salts something that is kinda hard on them and should only be used if there is an obvious problem? thank you
<Tis fine. Please see Neale's pc. re MgSO4 use here:
Bob Fenner>

Not a cry for help      9/23/18
Good afternoon,
<Hey Reese>
As you are busy, I'll try to keep this brief. Mr. Fenner, THANK YOU for the Corydoras information.
<Welcome! Have just gotten back into keeping them (and Brochis) cats myself>
I've been keeping fish for a year now (spurred originally by teaching science to high school students). The original 55 gallon tank, purchased for the classroom, is now in my dining area where I can enjoy it every day--the students make do with a couple of smaller tanks. This hobby has been highly valuable for my students--thanks for all you and the crew do to make it easier for novices like me.
<Ahh; the intense pleasure of your note; realizing that we've helped others>
Thanks, thanks, thanks for your insistence of correct grammar and spelling, and above all for being British. (My ancestors, sadly, did not value being British and rudely left the commonwealth above 200 years ago. But I digress.)
<Heeeee! Am a yank as well.>
I had given up on raising corys due to far too many deaths; now I see that there might be hope for their survival! As I can snatch the time from pedagogical pursuits, I will pursue my research on this delightful
site. I hope to be able to trumpet success by this time next year.
Did I mention that I am deeply thankful for your work? May your fish never falter.
Lisa Reese
<Thank you Lisa. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hawaii's Aquarium Fishery: MACNA 2018 presentation      9/23/18
et al.
Some of you have followed Rene Umberger’s comments on my YouTube channel concerning my recent post from my MACNA presentation “Hawaii’s Aquarium Fishery: What Happened?” We all know there will never be an end to point / counter-point arguments with her. Instead, I’ve have posted this short essay/commentary as a header on my YouTube comments section. I expect a lengthy reply will come back from Rene but there is little sense in further arguments so she will likely get the last word.
Here is a copy of my YouTube post (https://youtu.be/3src6k-4RG8):
This week I posted a presentation I gave recently at the Marine Aquarium Conference of North America. I figured this post would quickly make its way to Rene Umberger and her organization “For the Fishes”. It did, and she quickly responded with comments posted on my YouTube channel (the video resides on YT not FB). I moderate my own YouTube channel and I rarely delete opposing viewpoints, so I welcome Rene’s comments for others to read.

Coral Magazine (a hobbyist publication) has now published a link to my YouTube video and hopefully a much larger audience of hobbyists will now be directly exposed to “For the Fishes”, and some of their arguments (1,200 views as of September 22 vs. only ca. 200 at the live presentation at MACNA). It is very clear from Rene’s statements that “For the Fishes” should be renamed “For Some of the Fishes”. This is apparent by their silence on the photo of dead achilles tangs in a cooler of ice. Killing fish is apparently OK but efforts to keep fish alive and in good health for aquariums is demonized.

Equally revealing is Rene’s approval of venting for recreational catch-release fishing, but in opposition to the same procedure for aquarium fishes as inhumane and therefore illegal. Aquarium fishermen decompress their fish before bringing them to the surface whereas recreational fishermen do not. But excess pressure usually remains even after in-water decompression, and it has to be vented using a hypodermic needle. While recreational fishermen could do the same, in actual fact, I don’t know of any recreational fishermen who carry hypodermic needles for this purpose.

Recent research (Friedlander, et al. Human-induced gradients of reef fish declines in the Hawaiian Archipelago…Aquatic Conserv: Mar Freshw Ecosyst. 2017 1-12), has revealed that there have been significant declines in species fished for food (recreational and commercial fishing). Surveys reveal that about 30% of the population in Hawaii are recreational fishermen (the population of this State is about one million so do the math), whereas there are around 200 +/- aquarium fishermen in the state (or “were” since the fishery is mostly closed). Why is there a selective bias against aquarium fish collecting? I will speculate: first, they believe their own alternate facts; second, there are few aquarium fish collectors vs. recreational and commercial fishermen therefore aquarium fishermen are an easy target; third, in public testimony people argue that fishing for food is necessary, but aquariums are not. And last, the history of this conflict brings up the original dispute in the 1970’s between the dive industry and aquarium fishermen. In recent years this argument has all but disappeared, but a commercial interest to eliminate “resource competition” is still possible.

I am not opposed to recreational or commercial fishing. I enjoy eating fresh-caught Hawaiian fish, and recreational fishing has important benefits for kids and families. But let’s face it: most of those fishes die. Aquarium fishermen go to great lengths to ensure that all their fish remain healthy; if they do not, they lose customers and income. It is also clear from current research that many fish species on Hawaii’s reefs deserve greater management protection. So rather than continue this divisive struggle, I would challenge “For (some of) the Fishes” to join scientists and conservation biologists and broaden their efforts to ensure that ALL Hawai’i fisheries are sustainable. One of the best models of a sustainable inshore fishery has already been established by the Hawai’i Aquarium Fishery.
<Thank you for your efforts on all our behalves Bruce. BobF>

Re: Need advice urgently; follow-up on glass tank repair      9/23/18
Good morning ��
<Bon après-midi !>
I just thought I would give you an update on my tank that you were so kind to help me out with some advice
<Sure thing.>
The tank has not leaked at all since I set it up.
<Always a good thing when it comes to fishkeeping.>
And is running fully stocked with my all male Cichlid show tank ...... here is a picture of it now
<Looks good. You might try removing the plastic plants, letting them dry, then using aquarium silicone to glue on small pebbles or stones. Leave to dry for a couple days or however long the instructions say. Then put them back in the tank. Result: not only are the plastic plants harder to move and easier to root into the sand, they also look more natural, and even if they are uprooted, still look good. The stones or pebbles will act like anchors too, keeping the plants more or less vertical and in place.>
Please excuse the wire in the background as I’m having a background made for it at the moment
Thank you so much for all your advice ..... you guys are awesome ������ if it wasn’t for you guys I would of thrown this tank away
<I'm sure BobF appreciates your kind words and interest in our website.>
Kind Regards
<Cheers, Neale.>

Upgrade / Migration - Salt Water Tank      9/23/18
Hello Bob -
I am consolidating/upgrading 3 smaller FOWLR tanks into a new 150 gallon FOWLR tank.
I'll be re-using the well established biological media from each of the sumps for these tanks (Matrix and Xport N03) and the live rock (maybe around 100 pounds total).
<Sounds good>
Also, each of these tanks has a live sand bed of maybe 2 inches, which I currently siphon clean 1x a month. It's obviously not a deep sand bed and is mostly for appearance, however I believe it has some established biological filtering capability and I'd like to re-use it.
<I do agree>
My thought is that I would remove the fish and live rock, then thoroughly siphon clean the live sand and re-use it in my new 150 gallon set-up. My LFS said this should probably be OK since it's not a deep sand bed and I'll siphon clean it really well before migrating and re-using it. Is that OK or would I be taking on any risks in re-using my live sand?
<Not much risk at all. I would do the same here>
Last question, any major advantages if I were to keep some of the remaining left over water from these tanks (after cleaning the live sand first and removing that dirty water) to re-use in my new 150 gallon set-up or should I start off with new water?
Thanks, John
<Lots of advantages; instant "break in", greatly reducing microbial establishment period. I would do this as well: Siphon off the cleaner/clearer top water and save, move to the 150. Bob Fenner>
Re: Upgrade / Migration - Salt Water Tank      9/23/18

Thanks, Bob!
<Thank you for sharing John. Have recently bought, resealed, moved some
large tanks m'self! BobF>

Re: Berghia Nudibranch      9/22/18
Thank you for the advice I will be trying that this weekend. It's nice to
get another take on things.
Out of interest do you know how the commercial set ups you have seen would
raise the eggs into adults?
<Cups; Red Solo to Dixie for Nudis; kiddie pools to friends' tanks for food anemones... works! Bob Fenner>
Re: Berghia Nudibranch      9/22/18

Thank you. It is much appreciated
<Welcome Imo. B>

Growing macro algae      9/22/18
Hello there.
I was hoping I could ask for some advice. I have had a love for macro algae for some time now. And a few months ago i set up a tank to grow macro algae. The intention is it just to be for maximising growth of the macro to sell to pay for my reef tank and grow out some large plants to put in a future big seahorse tank.
<Okay; did take courses on algal culture in college, and my MACNA pitch this mo. was on the economics or business side of mariculture, including macrophytes. Oh, and visited places that do such culture for human food as well as ornamental aquatics.>
It is 250 litres and not very tall so its a lot of area. I have 3 powerheads producing a good amount of flow. Sand substrate. I have two surface skimmers to maximise gas exchange on the surface. I have several macro but am looking at doubling it.
<Mmm; better to just grow one variety per system. Often they produce chemicals that interfere w/ the growth of competitors>
And two Kessil h380 lights (cost a fortune). I feed them nutrients every day and they are growing ok but I do get a lot of. micro algae growth on the macro although it seems to be getting better as the macro gets bigger. I am monitoring the parameters and have a target range I found for a macro tank.
I have lots of Cerith snails and an algae blenny and they are the only livestock.
I wanted to ask what you thought about a set up like this. Am I missing something?
<Mmm; mention of supplement and monitoring processes. You'll want to have high, consistent alkalinity and alkaline earth content...>
I'm going to be adding a calcium reactor at some point.
<This will help w/ the above; and I'd look into the use of a comprehensive fertilizer as you state that you're shooting to "maximise" growth here>
I'm unsure whether I should add a canister filter I've done a lot of research but can figure out what the consensus is I added copepods and amphipods but my.surface.skimmer seems to have at least killed the amphipods.
I also don't know if there are any other inverts I can add that wouldn't eat the macro and be beneficial to the tank.
Thanks in advance
<I can't encourage you enough to visit a large college library, ask a reference librarian to help you search for current, pertinent literature. I have older, copied... as well as standard print works on algae, culture. You will benefit, save a good deal of time, effort, money by gaining insights by others who have done this work already. Bob Fenner>
Re: Growing macro algae      9/22/18

Hi Bob. Thank you for your advice I will get down to a library
<Ah, good Cory. This is THE single best use of your time here; invested in
seeking out the best available, most appropriate technology. Bob Fenner>

Shelf life thawed frozen foods in fridge      9/22/18
Hey crew.
How long can I keep frozen foods that have been thawed in aquarium water and stored in the fridge in a small plastic bottle?
<Mmm; likely a few days. Some foods are gamma-irradiated, others flash frozen w/ liquefied gasses... that sterilize the contents, slowing down decomposers; some types of "ingredients" are more/less susceptible to such... If it smells fine, I'd still use it>
I've found it more convenient to put a chunk of Mysis along with a chunk of Cyclops in a small plastic pop bottle mixed with some aquarium water and then store it in the fridge. However, after a week or so, it stinks when I open the bottle, even though it's stored in the fridge. I'm thinking it gets spoiled and the fish don't care for it too much.
<I'd agree>
I've been using a small turkey baster to suck out from the bottle and add to my two saltwater aquariums. I'm thinking my efforts to work smarter and not harder are not necessarily paying off here.
<If you're a nutrient limiter, I'd freshwater rinse defrosted foods before offering>
Thanks, Jason
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: African butterfly fish       9/21/18
There is nothing nipping at the fish as I can sea I am going to increase water changed to make sure 0 nitrates and ammonia the tests have said it is very low.
<Low is not zero; review, and act accordingly.>
When feeding should I keep to feeding it in the dark or get it back used to normal feedings.
<They are visual hunters, and active by day, but do prefer shade, so that should help you understand when and how best to feed them.>
Thank you
From Josh
<Cheers, Neale.>

Problems with "dragon scale" Bettas       9/21/18
We have Dragon Scale Bettas at the LFS here. They tend to have thick scales that tend to be shiny although I am seeing this less and less. Also the scales apparently can grow over one eye or both eyes blinding the fish completely.
<Indeed, just what the hobby needs -- another fish that's crippled by the mutant genes we've bred into it.>
The one I saw today had one good eye and one seemed clouded or maybe it was a thin scale over the eye. Does anyone know about these Bettas?
<The International Betta Congress are probably the best people for information about new Betta breeds.>
As in it maybe being a case of trying to breed for characteristics that backfires when it leaves the fish blind?
<Yes; so far as I can ascertain, all dragon scale Bettas are handicapped to some degree. Some fry die very early on, others survive for months or a year or two, but they don't seem to have the same 3-4 year lifespan of typical fancy Bettas. Even those that live some years will usually end up blind.>
Also it seems that when Bettas are inbred for interesting characteristics they seem to lose their feisty nature and tend to be slower and timid, not the usual "natural" Betta wanting a fight with another Betta. Thank you
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Flowerhorn/Red Devil Cross with swim bladder disorder symptoms       9/21/18
Hello again. I have an update on Jiana, our Flowerhorn/red devil cross with the balance issues. She has had a full 2 weeks of treatment (Metronidazole, Nitrofurazone, Epsom salts) and daily or every second day 30-40% water changes. She has improved as far as alertness and activity (playing again) but her balance has not improved.
My biggest concern is an area on her side about 2 inches by 3 inches that is always out of water.
<Not good.>
She is pretty good about moving around and keeping it damp and I have also used Polysporin on the area as well but it appears to be infected. Tonight it looks swollen, and there is evidence of skin breakdown. Do you have any suggestions about how I should go about treating this?
<Not really. Fish skin is meant to be wet. There's really not anything you can do to help it once it's in the air and drying out. For example, you can't rub skin cream onto the skin without some of it getting into the
water and greasing everything up, and potentially poisoning your fish.>
Her reactions indicate that it is painful for her.
<I bet.>
We have rigged up a harness of sorts and a weight to keep her below the surface of the water - not sure how long she will put up with that but she appeared to be fairly comfortable with the latest experimental
<Ingenious! Probably about the best thing you can do here, really. Do review diet (especially constipation) but I do fear that this fish is simply deformed. Flowerhorn cichlids are messed up to begin with, and a hybrid could be even less lucky.>
I am wondering about what I can do topically and systemically for her issue.
<Not much. There are products like Stress Coat that help the mucous layer on your fish, and they're worth a shot, but they're not really designed to help "a fish out of water" for hopefully obvious reason.>
Her tank has been treated today with Nitrofurazone but I am wondering if we need a different antibiotic for this.
<Worth a shot.>
Thanks for any ideas or help you can suggest. Andrea
<I'm not optimistic, to be honest. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Flowerhorn/Red Devil Cross with swim bladder disorder symptoms       9/21/18

Thank you for your input and honest opinion on her condition.
She has agreed to wear a wet gauze soaked in Epsom salts for 10 minutes at
a time this afternoon which has cleaned up the site considerably. The
Nitrofurazone also seemed to help overnight as well.
I will continue with the development of a harness and weight system to keep her below the surface but am also not very optimistic about the final outcome here.
<Nor I; but medical miracles do happen!>
Thanks again
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Threadfin butterfly; now Goatfish QT       9/21/18
I have one final question for you. I recently ordered a bi-color goatfish for my tank that will be here next week. Is this a fish that will be able to be quarantined when I get it or should I go ahead and add it to the main tank. I have the qt ready since I also ordered a yellow Coris wrasse and a couple lyretail Anthias.
< I strongly advise you to quarantine the goatfish too.>
<You´re welcome Stacey. Wilberth>

Berghia Nudibranch, culture, hlth.        9/21/18
Hello there.
I was hoping you would be able to help me with a problem with Berghia Nudibranch.
<I'll certainly try. Though I have not cultured this Aeolid myself, I have seen and talked w/ folks who have, some with commercial success>
I have started the process of trying to breed them several months ago. I spent 3 months on the Aiptasia to get it right. and. now have high producing Aiptasia cultures. But the Berghia is driving me mad andfrom.what i have read they are meant to be the easy part.
<Mmm; not that easy>
I set up a under sand filtration system. as described by Dene banger. And the adults have done well in there laying egg strands daily. The egg strands just never materialised into babies. After some 2 months I realised I was never going to see them. and did some. research as to why. From what I read I thought it might be because I was feeding the adults Aiptasia that was too big. And so I set up 3 separate 750ml jars and put one with big Aiptasia. One with big Aiptasia with the heads cut off and one with baby Aiptasia. And after a month there is still nothing. I have also left some babies in one of the modular filtered systems. with baby Aiptasia but it is just one week in so not enough time to tell if it's working.
<Stop here... modular filtered systems? I am wondering if the issue about the issue (ha!) here is centered on water quality. I would take extra care to use water that is well-used for your culture vessels, beakers... Siphon water from the Aiptasia system perhaps for this use>
Do you know where I am going wrong here as it's driving me mad. The adults are surviving in there but the babies not. And even in separate ones in. seeing nothing.
I'm willing to pay or donate for someone to spend some time helping me. out or looking at my system to check for problems or make recommendations.
Please help!
<Please provide basic test results information on the water in use.
Oh! And review Anthony Calfo's pc. on WWM re their culture: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aiptasiaantoine.htm
Bob Fenner>
Re: Berghia Nudibranch       9/21/18

<Hello Imogen>
Thank you for your quick reply it is greatly appreciated
<Certainly welcome>
So the modular systems are basically a container with a sand bottom that filters water through the sand into. another container and the water is. then extracted to a sump and sent back. The adults have survived well in it and the water quality is very good. Nitrates are below 5 ppm and no traceable ammonia or nitrites. Ph and salinity is also in the right range. The 3 breakers I set up are separate to this system and are just in a container with water that is heated to 24 degrees. I have done water changes every couple of days on the jars.
<Again; I'd be using the used water... from the system culturing the Aiptasia or another established tank. Young marines are very sensitive to many water issues.>
When setting up the 3 breakers I used water that had been mixed 24 hours previously, maybe it would have been a good idea to have used mature water.
<Yes; this IS the avenue I would take... use as standard operating procedure>
Do you know what sized Aiptasia I should be putting in the containers with the babies?
<I'd try some small specimens cut up, diced if you will, with a single edge razor blade>
I have read that piece by Anthony Calfo probably 20 times along with every forum with a question regarding Berghia and every other piece written by an author that I could find. I really want to figure this out
<Ah, me too. Bob Fenner>

Copper in quarantine tank       9/21/18
Hello WWM crew,
<Hey Dan>
Quick question. I have a Maculosus Angelfish (my favorite fish by the way)<It´s a gorgeous fish!> coming in the mail (via UPS) tomorrow morning. Ever since I lost my entire tank to a Marine Velvet outbreak one year ago I have quarantined everything that has gone in there. No problems since.
<Glad you fixed that issue>
I just did a copper test (Seachem test kit) and I'm getting a copper reading of about 0.25. Basically what Cupramine recommends for the initial dose. This is down from 0.5 after 48 hours of running activated carbon in the hang-on filter and doing a larger water change this afternoon.
My question is, will that level of copper harm the fish upon drip acclimation from 24 hours in a shipping bag? Would I be better off just adding him to my 200 gallon display or quarantining him for a few weeks with a minimum of a half dose of copper in the water? I'd rather quarantine him, but I don't want to kill him with the initial exposure to a half dose of Cupramine in the water.
<Seachem´s Cupramine will absorb any traces of copper. If you can still get it from your LFS today, that would be the route I would take. A second option though, will be to give the Maculosus a Fw bath previous to the addition to the display tank; even though I don´t think this dose of copper to be high enough to be toxic to your angel, please take enough time acclimating it.>
Thanks for your help,
<Welcome Dan. Wilberth.>
Re: Copper in quarantine tank       9/21/18
Thanks Dan.
I’m now a big believer in quarantine, so I think I’ll add some more activated carbon and do another water change, and then give the new angel a 2 hour drip acclimation to the quarantine tank.
<Good, just don´t let the water temperature in the bag to drop.>
Hopefully that will suffice.
<You will be fine, don't worry. Keep us posted on how it goes. Wilberth.>
Copper in quarantine tank       9/21/18

<Hey Dan, on a previous answer I advised you to use "Seachem´s Cupramine", my mistake; I meant "Cuprisorb". My apologies. Wilberth >
Re: Copper in quarantine tank       9/21/18

Thanks. No worries. I knew what you meant.
Unfortunately I won’t be able to get any Cuprisorb before the fish arrives. But I did double the activated carbon in the filter, so hopefully that and a large water change will lower the copper level further overnight.
<That will help for sure .Wilberth.>

Re: some mudskipper questions       9/21/18
The tank is starting to get together, going to extend the land area until i have a 75*40 cm land part, leaving me with 25*40 water.
<Looks cool.>
But i can't find a good source on how many mudskippers will fit. how many Periophthalmus novemradiatus can go in this tank?
<Overstocking is beneficial here, because it prevents males from establishing territories. Keeping just twos or threes often goes wrong. But in any case, I think you could easily keep at least 6-8 specimens, perhaps more. Mudskippers are much more ammonia tolerant than many other fishes because of their unique ecology.>
And i read adding fiddler crabs is a possibility, i might want to add a couple of them as well.
<These are a bit tricky to maintain. Do read up on their needs.>
I am still waiting for red mangrove propagules to get back in stock, and i am adding some java ferns, I'll put some rocks under the wood to keep it out of water to slow the decay brackish water causes.
<Indeed. Decaying wood isn't a problem for the Mudskippers, so long as the water is properly buffered against pH drops.>
The green hose will twice a day pump in some water from a sump, and then siphon it back out as the water level does not allow easy filtering in the tank...
<Sounds like a plan. I've used an internal canister lying on its side where water depth is very low. Good luck! Neale.>

Sick leather A. Sinularia       9/21/18
Hello crew!
<Hey Cath!>
I've got a leather A. Sinularia that has, up until a couple days ago, been healthy and happy for the last 3 years. It had three big branches and it's on one side of the aquarium with not much else around it beyond some Ricordea and mushroom coral that have been in the vicinity since the aquarium was first set up. Only recent change was three weeks ago with the addition of a couple snails, a new pacific cleaner and a small Pocillopora frag that I'd placed on the other side of my 72G tank. Problem started a few days ago when I noticed once of the branches didn't seem to be as extended as usual. Took a close look at it today and there's a couple fingers that have turned dark brown at the tips. One of the three main
branches has condensed it's size significantly while the second doesn't have it's polyps extended as normal and has a single brown tip. There's still one of the three branches that seems 100% healthy and normal.
Initial research online makes me wonder if it's a bacterial infection of some sort possibly from the most recent introductions.
<Would be my guess too; stress of some sort (chemical, biological, and or physical) setting off an allelopathogenic reaction... the soft coral losing>
Question is, what's the best way to save it - I've seen suggestions like cutting any brown tips off and
dipping the coral (in something like Revive). My concern with dipping the coral is that I'd need to somehow detach the leather from where it's attached to the wall of the aquarium. I'm worried that may further stress it.
<I share this concern and would not be snipping and dipping just yet. Instead, I urge you to double to triple dose iodide/iodate w/ whatever preparation you use>
I've also read flow can help and I could possibly reconfigure things so my gyre pump provides more circulation around it.
<I agree re increased flow>
Even if I can do all of the above, is there something I should be doing to treat the entire tank?
<The I2 treatment is my "go-to" here>
I have a variety of Euphyllia who at least at this point seem fine but I did find a dead pulsing xenia which may be related.
<Oh. Yes>
I'm including a couple photos of the coral as well as an overview of the tank (before it started to get sick)
Once again, I can't thank you guys enough for being here when I've run out of places to turn for answers.
<Please do keep me/us informed of developments, your actions. IF it becomes expedient to snip to outright frag this Sinularia, DO so outside the system, AND place the specimen in another established tank for recovery for a few weeks. Bob Fenner>

Unidentified "bug" on Betta Fish - Ich/velvet/???        9/21/18
Hello gang. Friend of Bob F here
<Hey Ad!>
Long time SW keeper, first time FW fish lol. Well the second Betta I've owned.
I will start off with the shock factor: My Betta “Ting” has had this bug for FOUR MONTHS.
He is VERY active, eating like a horse, chases a laser pointer, loves hand fed swatted mosquitoes and overall acts like a perfectly healthy Betta. No scratching or scraping.
4gal planted bowl. Heater but no filter. Has been set up for 3.5 years with a 4 month break after I lost my three year old Betta last December.
Ammonia - 0 (always)
NO2/3 = 0
PH 7.6 using high range test - although I have added Indian almond leaves so it may be lower. Will have it re-tested tomorrow.
Gets 5 stage RO water from the 5 gallon refill station at grocery store. I have never add water conditioned until two weeks ago thinking maybe the filters in the unit aren’t being maintained and
<Interesting... that these plants are growing in... straight RO? They and the Betta do need mineral content... is this coming simply from the substrate, foods...?>
I went on a vacation in May for three weeks and had a house sitter. The heater in his bowl stopped working and when I got back he was lethargic and had a loss of color. I added a new heater and after a couple days, he perked right up.
I noticed at this time that he had what looked like very tiny ich. I started feeding him a little more - cheap pellets all we have here - and got some freeze dried bloodworms which I soak in water + minced garlic. I saw very little results so I upped the temperature of the tank to 86-87 for a week.
<Good. This IS the very treatment that I would suggest...>
This did nothing. I avoided adding salt to the tank but I did give him a salt bath 1tsp per gallon and then a second half saline second bath. He was visually stressed during this, breathing at the surface mostly so I only did one of these baths.
About three weeks ago I was able to get some good photos and post them on a Betta group. Several people have said this looks like velvet not ich based on size. It’s nearly impossible to see with your naked eye unless you have very good vision and only when the fish is head on can you see it on the sides of him - pic below. You can see it behind the eyes mostly, if you look VERY closely. The size said velvet BUT its NOT gold. At all.
<Don't think this is Velvet... small/er size than Ich, but usually very virulent; killing fish hosts w/in days>
Next I added Indian almond leaves. They grow where I live so I added a couple after cleaning and soaking. Temp still at 84
My LFS is VERY limited in supplies. I live in St. Thomas USVI
<Yes; have visited w/ you and Hakko there>
I was able to find Betta revive locally.
Ingredients. Water, neomycin sulfate (<10%), Methylene blue (<0.5%), proprietary polymer mixture, buffers, EDTA, malachite green chloride (<0.01%), cyanocobalamin and electrolytes.
<Worth the risk... if it were me, I would treat w/ this product, though... your plants are likely to show it>
I was able to order Ich-X
I added a full dose about two weeks ago. I didn’t realize there was carbon running in a tiny Betta filter that I had added (and since removed), so I had to do a large 90% WC (down to the sand) and re-dose. I do a 30%-50% WC every day re-dosing the new water appropriately. This is on the bottle of instructions. While I am doing the water change he is getting a 15-20 min bath in two drops of Betta revive in a 12oz solo cup floated for temp stability.
<I want to be reincarnated as your Betta>
My thoughts is too small for ich and too hardy for ich. So many people have said he would be dead if it was velvet.
<Yes; there are other protozoan external parasites; and this could "still" be Ichthyophthirius... the spots (white dots) are reaction to the actual ciliates... can be small depending on the nature... of the disease, conditions. As we e-chatted on FB, really need to sample, look at under a low power 'scope. Procedure is posted on WWM>
So maybe its an unknown. I don't really have the ability to use a microscope. I probably could but I do not feel comfortable doing a scraping.
<Ahh, I see>
He is not a calm Betta, always moving and as he gets better he is even more active, rocketing to the front as soon as he sees movement.
<Good signs. Does appear healthy otherwise to me>
I am attaching as many images as I can, and hopefully you have some advice. I would rather not QT him and I would rather not lose all my plants as they're very expensive here. My course of treatment IS working but its very slow and I worry about more stress and chemicals counteracting the treatment. I have ordered some better foods, bug bites and tomorrow I plan on leaving out some pitchers of water for mosquito larva.
<Mmm; well my choice in treatment is either Metronidazole/Flagyl and/or a Quinine compound... Either or both should knock this out if it's a Protozoan. Will likely have to be ordered/shipped to you.
Please keep me/us informed as to your actions, observations. Bob Fenner>


Re: Hawai'iʻs Aquarium Fishery: MACNA 2018 presentation     9/20/18
New version for distribution:
Thank you for all your comments. I have incorporated a few suggested edits and corrections, and removed some images that may have been an issue.
This version can be shared with whomever you feel should view it.
<Real good Bruce. Great to find the pertinent facts, folks in the know explaining what is really going on in a concise presentation.Will share. B>

My Betta; /Sav     9/19/18
I emailed a few days ago about my Betta and followed it up with pictures after asked to. I haven't received any word back yet and I was wondering if you found any answers. My Betta ripped his tail yet again. I'm really worried about his safety. The rips are getting close to his body.
Thank you, Savannah
<Yes Savannah; I did respond... Our corr. is archived here:
Scroll down... Bob Fenner>

African butterfly fish     9/19/18
You previously said about a fish losing its colour being bad my ABF occasionally loses some of its, about 2 months ago I had a problem while on holiday with an auto feeder over feeding my tank and not working properly.
<Yikes! They're a bit of a menace, to be honest. If you're gone less than two weeks, best simply not to feed your fish. Anything over that, have a friend add a tiny bit of food once or twice a week. Large fish (big catfish for example) can go 4-6 weeks without food without any health problems at all.>
My ABF now seems to be very skittish it was grumpy before a bit but just seemed like it’s personality as was eating aggressively from the food hole where I drop it in but it now seems scared and runs when I put food in or take the lid off, if the lights are off and the aquarium is closed it will eat a bit but is hard to monitor how much it is eating is there any solution to maybe why the fish is so scared, hope this is clear thank you for the help
<Sometimes fish become skittish if their environment has changed. Check water quality in particular, as non-zero ammonia and nitrite levels will certainly be registered as 'threats' by your fish (a bit like the smell of burning to humans) and they become more anxious and won't eat. Do also check the pH hasn't suddenly changed, as that will also cause fish to become nervous. African Butterflyfish are jumpy fish, particularly in small tanks or tanks with bright lights and no shade, so review and act accordingly. Do also check diet: while a varied diet of frozen foods or good quality pellets/flake should provide all the right nutrients, a monotonous diet or one including live feeders can introduce health problems, including thiamine deficiency and parasites of various kinds. Finally, look how any tankmates are behaving, including at night. While some barbs and tetras will nip at African Butterflyfish during the day, there are some nocturnal species, notably Synodontis, that can occasionally nibble at their fins during the night. So again, review and act accordingly.>
From Josh
<From Neale.>

Red tipped macro algae ID     9/18/18
Ah sorry, I was using an old email thread—thought it was still attached, here you go!
<Looks like some type of Rhodophyta algae>

Re: Chemical Filtrants: Too clean the cause of problems?     9/18/18
Hi Wilberth!
<Hi there, Dani!>
Yeah I have been trying the reduced water changed at 10% weekly for over a month. To my surprise, the tank seems to be more balanced that way with nuisance algae almost completely gone. That’s why I was thinking perhaps reducing the frequency to 10% bi-weekly
<Sounds good>
especially since I am having challenges attaining a nutrient build up anyway. The lighting on my system is equivalent to a 150 watt HQI 14K canopy system with PAR ranging from 120 at the bottom to 960 at the very top inch.
<Ok, a lack of illumination, discarded>
I was so doubtful, I actually double checked the tests with my local fish stores as well.
In the nano tank discussion group I am in, one theory is maybe because I house macro algae. I have a fast growing frag of blue Ochtodes, flame tipped dragon’s breath (softball sized), Caulerpa prolifera (runs along entire back of tank), a small rose petal macro, golf ball sized Padina, baseball sized Halimeda, a small bottle brush, baseball sized Codium, and the unconfirmed Rhodophyte which is maybe tennis ball sized gathered all together.
<Well, no doubt, that bunch of algae is using the available nutrients(phosphates-nitrates, in this case) for growing. Why don´t you trim algae to 50% and see if this way nutrients raise to required levels?

Apistogramma; head down       9/17/18
I have a dwarf cockatoo cichlid that has been breeding recently the last batch of fry were about 2-4 weeks ago but on the last week he has been acting strange by going vertical as the picture shows Amy ideas why he is behaving like this.
<I'm surprised if this fish is still alive by the time you get my message, to be honest. Usually this darkening colour and spiraling loss of control implies severe stress, if not imminent death. If the fish is still alive, I'd be doing the following: First, isolate from the other fish (probably best to remove that one, rather than stress the sick fish; if all else fails, a floating breeding trap can be used to confine the healthy fish for a few days). Second, ensure water quality excellent, with low nitrate and generous oxygenation. Thirdly, if after a few hours of improved conditions, the fish becomes more active and shows some signs of looking better, then medicating with Metronidazole would probably be a good idea. It's as close to a cure-all as there is for cichlids, covering a variety of possible problems.>
Thank you
From Josh
<Dwarf cichlids can be easily stressed, often by increasing temperatures, dropping oxygen, and/or elevated nitrate level. In addition, any sort of accidentally dissolved toxins, such as household solvents and aerosol sprays, including things like insecticide, can cause immediate stress and/or death. I've seen this myself with Nanochromis when placing a small piece wood into their tank that came from a garden that had, without my knowledge, been recently sprayed with weed killer. The pair of cichlids were dead within 20 minutes. If just the one fish is sick, and the other fine, then still keep an open mind, but do review environment, and think about how/why this particular fish might be stressed. Let me make an additional point -- Apistogramma aren't really "pairing" fish in the wild, most, perhaps all, are harem spawners to some degree. Usually the female guards the fry, while the male will defend a territory containing the smaller territories of one or several females. The upshot of this is that female sometimes decide the male is a threat, and will shoo him away. In a big tank, or the wild, that's fine, and he'll scoot off; but in small tanks, say, a 10 gallon breeding tank, she might decide that the male is still too close to her brood. She can then become very aggressive, harassing, even killing, the male. Review, an act accordingly. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Apistogramma      9/17/18
I am putting the fish in a breeding net as instructed, u said would die soon the fish has been like this and it’s colours for a while on further inspection it is the behind of the fish floating up causing him to be vertical
From Josh
<Obviously such behaviour is not normal, and must have some underlying cause. Constipation can cause fish to lose balance, but their colours generally remain normal and their behaviour doesn't change otherwise. So review my last message as a starting point, and act accordingly. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Chemical Filtrants: Too clean the cause of problems?      9/17/18
Hi there!
<Hey Dani>
I still have undetectable phosphates or nitrates in my 28g. I now have 7 fish, feed pellets 4x a week during day, fresh 2x a week, and broadcast 6x week 1 ml of zoo and oyster feast combo. I don’t feed on water change day. I removed the chem filtrants over a month ago and added more sand to my sand bed. My water changes were reduced to 10% a month ago too.
Do you think I should just broadcast more at night maybe? Or should I possibly try a bi weekly water change schedule?
<I advise you to change no more than 10% weekly>
My SPS are surviving but they are definitely not in any hurry to grow. Any advice would be appreciated.
<My guess here is that lighting may be a limiting growing factor too.>
Right now tank param.s are:
9 dkh
450 cal
1350 Mag
0 phos
0 nitrates
1.025 spg
<Have you try another test kit? readings are probably inaccurate with the ones you are currently using. I have not seen yet phosphate and nitrate levels that low with the stock and feeding regime you describe.>

Re: Red tipped macro algae ID      9/17/18
<Any guess here Bob?...>
<<Nothing attached. BobF>>
Hi there!
Just curious if anybody was able to ID this macro? I find it super interesting because how rigid it is. It’s still flexible but very strong.
For a moment I thought perhaps I had a dead sunburnt form of Gracilaria, but when I went to pull it off for inspection it had gripped the liverock lol.
If it’s rare I’d definitely like to try to grow more out. I appreciate your feedback!

Re: Rock Flower Anemone; torn base      9/17/18
Just an update, he didn’t make it ��
<Rats! BobF>

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