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Removing Old Glass Window from Pool (Human Aquarium)     6/6/18
Hello WWM Team -
I know you are mainly about aquariums and not swimming pools, so this is not a typical question. But not every pool has a window in it. I have to say I was inspired to put one in after seeing Harry's Underwater Bar in Hawaii (long since closed).
After reading your posts, it looks like you guys have the expertise to recommend a solution to my problem.
I've attached some photos of the pool window in question.
>Some?//// 28 megs of pix Matt? Why do we ask that folks limit pix to hundreds of Kbytes?<
The current window is approximately 2' x 6' and is comprised of four 1/4" sheets laminated together to made a 1" thick window. It doesn't leak, but there are stress cracks that started to form in the interior layers so I need to replace it. The window sits on a brass plate and rests against a large 2" x 2" solid brass frame with a significant amount of silicone sealing it to the frame (as you can see in the photos).
<Ah yes>
It is important to not damage the brass frame in removing the glass since we would want to use it to mount the replacement window.
<Yes; agreed>
We had the pool tiled after the window went in and you can see that they installed tile on the pool side to frame the window. We have removed the tile to see what we're working with. At this point there is nothing on the pool side of the window that holds it in. Just the silicone seal that runs the width of the brass frame - 2" wide and about 1/8" - 1/4" thick all the way around. Strong stuff to say the least.
What would you suggest I do to break, dissolve or otherwise remove that silicone seal? Heat doesn't seem to be an answer. It seems like an oil-based product would help loosen the seal on the glass side, but getting a sufficient amount worked into it appears to be near impossible.
<Mmm; no solvent will work, and no to heat. What you need, want are sturdy, sharp tools... AND careful use. There are "razor blade" tools that can, will cut the Silicone away from the glass AND brass AND surrounding area. Most all this needs to be cut away to remove the glass, THEN single edged
razorblades (in a holding tool) to remove most all the rest, THEN a solvent (Toluene is my favorite) to remove all the remainder of the olde Silastic>
FYI - Our plan is to replace the broken glass with 1" thick acrylic.
<Okay... 1.5" would be better, deform less... I'd put up a sign on the outside asking folks not to touch (scratch) the acrylic>
Looking forward to hearing back from you. Any help or suggestions are welcome including a company or someone in the Southern California area that may be able to remove it.
<Mmm, there are fabricators that could find you help here. Call Ridout Plastics (www.eplastics.com/‎)  in San Diego and ask them>
Matt B
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

From outside

Re: Powder Blue Tang feeding      6/5/18
Hello Bob, thanks for the info. A bit of a moot point now as the little bugger decided to shuffle of its mortal coil within 48 hours of being introduced to the tank.
Never mind eh, the joys of a marine reef tank owner.
<Thank you for the update Eamonn. Again, this isn't an easy aquarium species. Look to other Acanthurids; reading on WWM et al. Bob Fenner>

A little help please: Sick Oscar      6/5/18
I think my Oscar is sick.
<Oh dear!>
I haven't seen him eat in weeks.

<Not a good sign.>
Originally ( a few weeks ago ) he was laying on the bottom with shallow breathing and raggedy fins... Over the past few weeks I have done more frequent water changes and have also treated for ich, protozoan parasites, and bacteria infection. (One treatment at a time).
<What did you suspect was the issue? And what medications were used?>
I used Melafix as well.
<Unreliable at best, and harmful at worst.>
His outward appearance has improved.
<That's good.>
However he is still not himself. He doesn't eat and floats vertically upright or face down most of the time which is unusual for him. He can swim if he wants to but he seems to like to just relax vertically these days?
I'm not sure if he's really sick or if I'm just not used to this new behavior... Please help!
<There's a bunch of things here. The first is the inevitable "have you given him feeder fish to eat" question. If the answer is "yes", then all bets are off. Feeder fish individually pose a serious risk by introducing parasites and pathogens, and used frequently cause serious problems through excess fat and thiaminase, both found in cyprinids (such as goldfish and minnows). The second question is whether your Oscar receives fibre-rich foods, such as peas, in its diet. Oscars are prone to constipation, and while they're not wild about veggies, they will eat them if sufficiently motivated (i.e., starved) and would do so naturally in the wild. Anyway, my default assumption here would be something along the lines of Hexamita if you weren't using feeder fish, and could rule out constipation because you were offering a balanced diet including a source of fibre. Hexamita is treated with Metronidazole, ideally alongside an antibiotic. Remember to remove carbon from the filter, if used. If you have been using feeder fish,
it's simply impossible to guess for sure what the problem is. Hexamita plus a Nitrofuran antibiotic would be a good starting point, but you might find you need to follow up with a dewormer in due course. But who knows? Feeders are called 'parasite bombs' with good reason, and it's hard to know what horrible pathogens they're bringing into an aquarium. Hope this helps,
Re: A little help please: Sick Oscar      6/5/18

Thank you Neale. Before he stopped eating he was eating and probably overfed Hikari pellets.
<An excellent and well-balanced food, but yes, avoid overfeeding because they contain little/no fibre. Do offer some green foods, or at least safe frozen or live foods gut-loaded with plant material; earthworms for example.>
Every time some one passed the tank he begged for food and I let all visitors feed him but didn't feed him any feeder fish prior to him being sick. I put some guppies in a few days ago.
<While Guppies don't contain fat and thiaminase, they are a potential parasite source -- unless you've bred them yourself of course, and know them to be 'clean'.>
He followed them around for a min but then lost interest. I didn't see him eat any. I assume they were sucked up in the filter...
Where can I purchase the Metronidazole and Nitrofuran?
<Seachem Metroplex is the standard Metronidazole medication of the hobby; a vet can also prescribe/sell this in countries where Metroplex isn't sold.
When it comes to Nitrofuran drugs, API produce a product called Nitrofurazone, Hikari something called BiFuran+, and Seachem have a product called Focus. I'm sure there are others, and again, outside the US, similar medications will be available from vets. In Europe and the UK, you may be able to get hold of something called eSHa HEXAMITA which isn't Metronidazole, but is available over the counter (rather than from a vet) and has been used with some degree of success against a range of Hexamita-type cichlid problems. Definitely worth a shot if you can't get Metronidazole easily. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: A little help please: Sick Oscar      6/5/18

Many Thanks Neale!
<Most welcome.>

Scar/healing question     6/4/18
Just got a large red sea purple tang and he has a small scrap on his body that healed a while ago but is noticeable. Was curious if fish tend to heal or if the scars permanent? Here's a photo as well, know any plastic surgeons?
James Williams
<Is the scar you're referring to the whitish spot twixt the dorsal and caudal? This may remain or not.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Scar/healing question     6/4/18
That was it, wasn't sure what you all at wet web had seen in your experiences so I figured id ask. Guess I'll wait and see.
<IF not too deep (as in a gouge from a mechanical injury), chromatophores, scales can/do grow back. Bob Fenner>

Odd spot on Betta, now fin rot?     6/4/18
I sent the message below last night. Later in the evening, I gave his tank a good cleaning (removed him to holding tank to get all algae out of tank, and all waste out of gravel on bottom), and I did a 50% water change. At least now I can see him better and he did not seem stressed by the process. Below is the best picture of him I was able to get. The white spot is raised, but I could not get a decent picture showing that. I have been thinking it was just scar tissue, but now I’m not so sure.. Also, his tail clearly looks ragged compared to the perfect half-moon it was in February. What do you suggest to treat my little guy?
<Maybe a regimen (three doses) of Kanamycin...>
He is still acting healthy and happy, but definitely has a problem. Thank you so much for any help you can give me.
<Please use the search tool on WWM (on every page) with the words "Betta, Finrot, Kanamycin". Bob Fenner>

Re: Odd spot on Betta, now fin rot?     6/4/18
Thanks. I’ve successfully treated fin rot on another Betta and I’ll check your web site.
<Good and good>
I was just worried WHY he got it with good water chemistry, weekly tank vacuuming and 20-25% water change I was afraid that white spot is something serious affecting his immune system. I’ll treat the fin rot.
<Mmm; perhaps genetic factors are at work here. Betta splendens are not what they used to be. Bob Fenner>

Corys       6/3/18
Hi there,
Wondered if you could help, one of my corys has developed a large cyst on its eye. It’s completely over the eye.
<Yowsers! That's quite the blister or cyst. Could be either, really. These are hard to treat satisfactorily, and prevention is really the thing to focus on. Corydoras are burrowing fish, and gravel isn't ideal. It tends to abrade their skins, allowing bacterial infections. The commonest symptom of this is the absence of whiskers, which on an adult Corydoras should be several mm long and distinctly narrow and tapering at the ends. Yours very obviously has abraded whiskers, which strongly suggests the wrong environment in terms of substrate. Of course sometimes Corydoras seem to do just fine in tanks with gravel, so there does seem to be a second factor at work, likely a generally unclean substrate that fosters the wrong sort of bacterial growth. Hard to say really, but I'd encourage you to look at your tank, especially the substrate, and draw your own conclusions.>
Other than the obvious, the fish is not acting any differently. Any advice?
<Treating cysts and blisters is difficult. Cysts tend to be solid, whereas blisters are (as their name implies) hollow with a tissue fluid centre, so may flop about a bit when the fish moves. Antibiotics can help with blisters, but cysts do tend to be viral, and there's really nothing you can do beyond waiting for the fish to get better itself. In either case, it's really about fixing the aquarium more than anything else, because there's no one parasite or pathogen involved, and therefore no "easy" solution you can buy from the pet store.>
Thank you in advance!
<You're welcome, Neale.>

Re: Apple Snail       6/3/18
Neale I found the earliest two photos of Rupert, both from late November 2015.
It's amazing how much he's grown, the shell colors change, how long his tentacles are now... boy was he a little cutie pie or what?
<That's actually pretty snazzy to see! Whether he's a cutie pie or not probably depends on your personal taste.>
And last night he made history - Rupee had his first cucumber. Washed, then blanched... it was something else.
<Might also try courgette / zucchini, another favourite with aquatic herbivores.>
Usually he's fed at the water line, where food can be easily put in his mouth.
<Quite so.>
Sometimes if he's grazing on a moss ball, I'll pop a crab cuisine stick on the ball, and he'll rotate it into his mouth. But with him having the whole tank now, while he was walking around on the ground, I put a wedge of cucumber, like a small slice of pizza, in front of him. Walla - an hour later and he had eaten almost the whole thing. It was a delight to see him genuinely interested in it.
<Curious behaviour indeed.>
When done I removed the small piece he didn't eat, and he looked bloated, sitting there motionless, his face retracted into the shell and his mass bloating out. I was frightened and moved him a few inches away, and he quickly brought his face out, and began cruising around the tank. It had been a lot more cucumber than I thought he'd eat. Two photos show his starting on the cucumber and shortly before he was done.
So I thought you'd like to know that, and your lettuce suggestion made me push forward to see if something green could become a reality for him. I will try spinach soon, but he's got more cucumber for the weekend.
<Apple Snails are herbivorous pests in the wild, so there's really no reason not to try anything green. But there are some of the more strongly flavoured varieties that may have chemicals like mustard oils that put off herbivores, and may even be harmful, so try a little bit first.>
The reason I like the idea of the liquid calcium over the cuttlebone is avoiding the uncertain other stuff that seems to be in the cuttlebone. Now when I went to get it most recently, it was not sealed, no label, and another store had it sealed with no ingredient breakdown... I'm not as comfortable putting that in, not knowing the precise ingredients (often has salt as one), vs. the liquid, which only has water besides the calcium...
<Understood. Anything sold as 'reef safe' should be fine with snails of all sorts, but avoid anything mysterious or not obviously reef safe.>
It's just a bit uncomfy wondering what else could be in the cuttlebone, vs. the Kent's it's only the one ingredient + water, and after talking to their tech guy for a while, it seems very easy and clean to add to his water.
<Indeed. Cuttlebone does also decay in the water, so isn't to everyone's taste as an Apple Snail supplement.>
For a month I'll do 1 drop per 2 gallons, testing KH and PH, and then if no bad effects, bump up to a drop per gallon.
<Seems sensible.>
Here he is last night after his cucumber.... https://youtu.be/TFNyuNnnlmA
Thanks again, Neale. Hope you dig the vintage baby pics! I'm so blessed to  still have him...
<Appreciate the photographs. Good luck with your experiments here, Neale.>

June calendar for WWM       6/3/18
Good morning Bob. Here is a calendar for June. Hope you're having a great weekend. I
<Thanks Mike. Will post w/ credit to you. BobF>

Powder Blue Tang feeding; using WWM       6/3/18
Hello Team,
I have read that the powder blue tangs like Nori Seaweed (natural/roasted).
<Mmm; insufficient nutrition>
Please advise. I am worried that my live rock does not have enough algae on it.
<Nor this. See WWM re Acanthurus leucosternon period, foods/feeding. I'd be mainly utilizing a good pelleted food (Hikari, Spectrum brands...). Bob Fenner>

Goby Update     6/2/18
Less than 24 hours after the second dose of KanaPlex, the Goby's tail is clear - no red veins! I'm still going to finish the 3rd and final dose as prescribed, but wanted you to know that we're battling back!
Thank you again!
*Renee *
<Ah good. BobF> 

Re: SPS issues.      6/1/18
I read you loud and clear. More food it is. Thank you Bob.
<Welcome John. Do please keep me/us informed re your Acropora health, measurable nutrient levels. BobF>
Re: SPS issues.      6/1/18

Sure will Bob. Thanks again.
<Cheers mate>

Kole Tang      6/1/18
Good evening Crew!
I have a 60G shallow tank, 60lbs of mature liverock with a very little bit of green hair algae growth. I've had my Kole Tang for almost 6months now, and I'm getting increasingly concerned over what I presume to be the fish's "thinness".
<Not much space to grow food in a 60>
I've had a Kole Tang before for years in my previous tank, and I'd say this particular fish's behavior is normal. He eats aggressively, and I typically feed frozen Mysis, Spirulina, brine, Spirulina, etc...
switching daily and feeding at least five times a week (if I'm out for the weekend) if not every day. The fish will consume until finally he ignores it and lets it fall to my Yellow Watchman Goby. I believe if the fish was still hungry, he'd continue to eat.
<Usually, yes. Six mo.s in captivity though... do you suspect intestinal parasites?>
On weekends where I can manage two feedings, I've fed when the lights first come on and then again at night, thinking he'd pack on a little more meat on the bones, but I haven't noticed a difference. Bottom line, when I feed... there's never an instance where this fish won't eat... he's always there consuming. Do you have any recommendations for me? Would an algae clip with nori be a good option?
<I do have a strong recommendation; for you to add a good quality pelleted food to your daily offerings. Hikari and Spectrum are my fave brands. These foods add a good deal of mass and food value compared w/ what you're currently using>
I don't think it makes a difference to my question, but the tank is lightly stocked with only two Picasso Clowns, the Watchman Goby, a Canary Wrasse, and then my clean-up crew.
<Good to have the data. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Kole Tang       6/1/18

Hi Bob,
I thought the same thing, adding a good high protein pellet. I've offered a small Spectrum pellet of appropriate size and the Tang has taken the odd one, but it mostly goes to the goby or else eventually my sandbed. Perhaps I should try a different kind?
<Yes I would... and mix in right before feeding with other types of foods in an increasing percentage>
How would I determine intestinal parasites?
<Mmm; sampling of feces, examining under a 'scope... is best>
Aside from looking skinny, there's nothing else that appears out of the ordinary.
<This is a bit of diagnosis itself. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ok, now I'm panicked     5/31/18
Thank you! And thanks for "hanging in there" with us through all this - it means a lot!
<Am very glad to share w/ you Renee. Stay diligent here and all will be well. Bob Fenner>

SPS issues.     5/31/18
Hello again Bob, hope this finds you well. I was wondering if you could weigh in on something for me. Over the last few weeks I’ve had issues with a few colonies of my Aussie Acros. In one case a colony of highlighter Acro about 6”x6” started bleaching from the bottom up very slowly.
The bleaching was kinda odd because the demarcation line was perfectly uniform across the whole bottom of the colony and worked its way up keeping uniformity. I had to pull it and frag it to save some. So far the frags seem to be ok.
Something that I am noticing is that most of my Acros don’t seem to have the vibrant colors they used to. They seem to be pale and muted color. My chemistry is as follows
CA 475
<Too high, esp. in rel. to [Mg]>

Nitrates 0
<Likely NO2>
Nitrates 0
<... absolutely necessary>
PO 4 is undetectable
<Also essential>

Alk 10 dkh (just won’t go lower with my reactor)
PH 7.8-8.0
<A little low... I'd shoot for 8.2 on the low side>

Salinity 1.025
Mag 1300
ORP 390 (ozone)
Temp 77-78
And I run Radions from 7am to 6pm at 90% intensity.
<Do you have access to a PAR or PUR meter? Need values at the depth of your Acroporas>
My flow is adequate. Several wave makers and power heads. Can you think of anything that I could be missing?
<The above; most likely nutrient starvation>
Anything I can be testing for? I was wondering if maybe I have low potassium?
I don’t have a test kit to check it yet. I will have one in the next couple days.
As always, thank you.
<I'd either be feeding more or adding chemical feeds for NO3 and HPO4.
Bob Fenner>
Re: SPS issues.     5/31/18

Thank you Bob. Do you have any nutrient feeding suggestions other than overfeeding the tank? Any product you prefer?
<Mmm; well... as this is a purposely public forum, I am wont to not state caution... Because you have a large volume/system, you are a candidate for direct chemical dosing... There ARE nutrient supplements one can either mix up (DIY) or buy commercially... and administer drop wise on a tested, daily basis. However, again, if it were me, mine, I'd add more foods... live, frozen/defrosted, dried-prepared TILL you had a few ppm of Nitrate and a few hundreds of ppm of soluble Phosphate. Is this satisfying? Bob Fenner>

Re: Apple Snail      5/31/18
Thanks for the reply, Neale.
<Most welcome.>
Rupert did very well with others-- it was fish outgrowing the tank, or others rehomed when I had a health crisis with one resident in the tank, and wanted to make sure they got to safety.
<Interesting. It's often fish such as barbs and tetras pecking at the 'antennae' of the Apple Snails that causes problems with bacterial infections.>
If that one fish hadn't been stricken down by me adding some ghost shrimp which brought disease and killed him, I'd consider other creatures for Rupert's tank, but after that horrific incident (and I'd had LOTS of ghost shrimp with no incidents for years affecting anyone), nothing goes into Rupee's tank now except his food and careful dosing of calcium. He has everything else he needs and I won't add stuff for my enjoyment.
<Quite a good approach, I dare say.>
I've been frightened away from ever putting anything in there again.
Especially since Rupert doesn't need a single other occupant, so I'm not taking a chance with my baby, as I'm sure you can understand. He's precious and all I've got; nothing is worth chancing his health. Shrimp never bothered him. Other little snails I find in there I pull out ASAP so they don't take his calcium. The only people that ever picked on him were a tiger barb and a baby Corydoras paleatus, inexplicably... Rupert lived with an adult of that species and they were always seemingly best buds, sitting with each other. Otherwise, no one ever nipped at him.
He's never paid any attention to the pieces of cuttlebone, but I hope the calcium helped.
<Will have done. The aragonite in cephalopod shells such as these will slowly dissolve, especially if the pH drops below 7, which in turns causes the dissolved calcium carbonate to buffer against the pH and raises the carbonate hardness.>
I am uneasy about the other ingredients in those - sometimes they come unwrapped or packaged with no details on ingredients, which is why I'm looking at things like the liquid, or even Zoo Med's calcium block for turtles, perhaps using a super small piece of one of those.
<Could be used, yes. But also bear in mind that things like krill and tiny bits of unshelled seafood will contain some calcium salts, and if your Apple Snail eats these, supplementing may be unnecessary.>
A person with technical knowledge of the product on their phone line said it could raise PH and knew nothing about using it for apple snails. Any ideas on that? Has calcium sulfate and magnesium chloride... the cuttlebone usually has a form of calcium and salt... so I don't like the additive part of the salt... the liquid appeals to me, since it's just calcium chloride and water...
<Both calcium sulphate and magnesium chloride should be safe to use, but I wouldn't bother. Providing calcium carbonate in the form of cuttlebone or crushed oyster shell is very much easier. Your Apple Snail only needs tiny amounts, remember; unlike crayfish and crabs, snails don't 'waste' mineral salts each time they moult, so all they need is enough to lay down the next layer of shell as they grow. Provided the shell isn't pitted, the pH and hardness of the water are adequate for maintaining the existing shell, and provided there aren't weird looking growth lines at the aperture (often dark and/or wrinkled) then the snail's diet are adequate for shell growth.
Your snail's shell looks pretty normal for an animal of its size and age.>
On that, I spoke with a technical rep on the 888 # on the Kent's. He was even more cautious and suggested cutting the dose to a quarter of that on the label, and starting with half of that... so it translated to 1 drop per every 2 gallons to start... then after a month if the PH is not affected, bump that to 1 drop per gallon, to be added when doing water changes. He gets about a 50% water change weekly.
I have a KH test kit and will check the water and get back to you...
I can't remember trying lettuce. I could try it.
<Definitely worth it. I largely reared baby Apple Snails on it, back in the day.>
Last night he ate a Hikari mini algae wafer and maybe 10 crab sticks, which have calcium, so I think they make an excellent staple.
<I bet.>
He was about a quarter size when purchased in Nov. 2015, so he's close to 3 years old, and I use the moss balls in there to help keep him from having rough landings, and he grazes off of them, too. I'm very proud of him and when I read your comments on few making it past a year of the folks you've interacted with, I wanted to share his amazing story with you, as he approaches three years. Aren't his blue eyes stunning?
<Definitely. Molluscs can have surprisingly nice eyes -- do look at those of scallops for example, not to mention squids and octopuses!>
Here he is last night... https://youtu.be/PFpx49-FdgI
<Real good! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Ok, now I'm panicked     5/30/18
Ok, good - I read a lot on your website, even when I'm not facing a crisis, and you've "prescribed" salt for other people for a variety of skin issues in a variety of species - so that's good. I'm still going to go down and get the Maracyn as indicated in the referenced post only because my aquarium supply store is 37 miles from my house.
<Wow; dedication, devotion>
I'd feel better having something on hand in case things get worse. I have KanaPlex, but I don't know if it would help in this situation and I'd rather use something recommended by experienced people.
<Well; there are a number of effective gram positive and negative anti-biotics... Am given to discount their use if not necessary>
So, obviously, if the red veins spread or the skin starts to look inflamed, I should think about using the medicine (maybe by then I'll be able to get a picture of it to send), but how long should it take to heal if the salt is working and if it doesn't heal in a certain period of time, should I use the medicine?
<A few weeks time. I would only treat IF/when the fish shows behavioral issues. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ok, now I'm panicked
Ok, thank you!
<Welcome Renee. B>
Re: Ok, now I'm panicked     5/30/18

He didn't eat last night (which is unheard of since I've had him) and he didn't come out of his PVC tube last night or this morning, so I am going to start an antibiotic this morning. Unfortunately, when I went to the aquarium supply store yesterday, they didn't have Maracyn or Maracyn 2 (they carry it regularly, they were just sold out), and because of the holiday, they won't get anymore in until next Monday. I don't think he can wait that long. I tried the big "chain" pet stores (my only other option around here) but they don't carry it. The kids at both stores had no idea what I was talking about when I told them what had happened and what the Goby was now suffering from - one of them even tried to sell me API Stress
Guard saying it was a general antibiotic. I left with a headache, but not the Stress Guard. So I'm going to start with the KanaPlex that I already have here at the house. It says it treats dropsy, PopEye, fin/tail rot,
and septicemia on the package and specifically says its for marine and freshwater fish. According to the directions, the treatment involves 3 doses, 48 hours apart.
<Ah yes; do change 25% of the water out before each re-treatment and monitor nitrogenous accumulation>
Hopefully it will work, but if not, I'm hoping it will provide him some benefit until my aquarium store is restocked with Maracyn. I have to ask, what are his chances of surviving?
<Good. B>

Ok, now I'm panicked /Neale      5/30/18
Today is the normal day of the weekly water change for the Goby tank and I don't know if what I saw just developed, or if it started after his suicide attempt and I just couldn't see it. He has red veins in his tail fin. Not in the body of his tail, but just his fin and the red veins do not go all the way to the body of his tail. However, he seems to feel fine and was busy "helping" me with the tank cleaning. He's also eating normally. As soon as I was done with the water change, I researched the red veins in the tail fin and found a WWM post as follows: "Fish didn't make the move, Violet Gobies (Gobioides spp.) 1/26/08:...<The fish has a systemic bacterial infection, likely caused by Aeromonas spp. similar to those that cause Finrot and bacterial septicaemia. These bacteria block the blood vessels in the epidermis and fins, and this is what causes the inflammation. After a while the surrounding tissues die. The bacteria get
in when fish are physically damaged or exposed to high levels of ammonia for extended periods. So either rough handling when you were transporting the fish, or else problems with filter in your new aquarium, were the triggering issues....". I'll go down to the store Tuesday (they're closed today for Memorial Day) if I need to get him the medication you referenced in this post, but, unlike the individual who started his post, my Goby has been in brackish water and I'm increasing the SG from 1.004 to 1.005 as of today's water change. Also, I've always used Instant Ocean, not/never Aquarium salt. Further, I knew I would have water quality problems immediately after the hose break (10 days prior to the suicide attempt) and began using Prime before the ammonia and nitrite began to climb and I'm still using it. So he shouldn't have been affected by the mini cycle.
However, his leap from the tank was from a height of about 5 feet (55 inches from the top of the tank to the floor - vinyl floor, no carpet) unless he first hit the lip of the stand. I wish I could get a picture of
his tail to send you, but all I get is a silver/blue blur. He does not have any redness in any other part of his body and does not seem to have any inflammation in his tail fin as the redness in the veins is very sharp and clear and the "skin" around the veins is not raised. I hate using medication unless its necessary, so I'm asking what I should do.
<I do agree that the use of antibiotic would be a good idea, just in case.
The red inflammation in the fins could be reaction to exposure to dry air for an extended period, and until things return to normal, an opportunistic bacterial infection is always a risk, as with humans. Do choose one safe in both freshwater and marine systems, to cover your 'brackish water' bases when it comes to efficacy. Given the fish is feeding and behaving normally, and in the absence of white (dead) tissue, I would not be overly concerned, but I would medicate, yes. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Possible swim bladder issue /RMF     5/30/18
Thanks Dr. Bob!
She is making an attempt to swim around a bit today but still spending most of her time on her side on bottom of tank (bare bottom). She mouthed some brine shrimp I held up to her mouth but not eating yet.
One development this morning, long stringy white poo. Does this sound like inflammation/infection of GI tract or parasites?
<Could be or not>
No other passage of normal looking feces.
<Mmm; do you have a 'scope of a few hundred power... ability to hook up to USB for sharing pix of a sample?>
Otherwise, Color good and still responsive to movement outside and inside of hospital tank. Ammonia and nitrite are zero.
Is the white stringy poo cause for concern or should I just give her more time with water changes and Epsom salt?
<For me, the latter. BobF>
Possible swim bladder issue /Neale      5/30/18

Hi crew!
I have a question about possible swim bladder problem with one of my long fin zebra Danios (female). Recently she has been subjected to non-stop bullying from a dominant female in the school of six. The affected Danio, who was discovered Sunday having issues swimming, has been removed to a hospital tank. She is exhibiting negative buoyancy. She will occasionally swim to the top with great effort but will return to the bottom where she will wobble to one side. She is alert and responds to movement outside of the tank (she will scuttle to opposite side of tank when I approach). She is healthy in all outward appearance with good color and clear eyes, but is slightly swollen in the belly with one side being slightly more pronounced. She may be slightly egg bound. Her respiration is normal. She has not accepted food while she has been in the hospital tank (since Sunday). Presently she is in a cycled 2.8 gallon tank to which I've added about 1/4 tsp of Epsom salt (one dose). The water temp is about 75-76°F.
I thought that she may have some sort of intestinal blockage as my Danios like frozen bloodworms and the larger Fluval bug bites I feed my larger fish. I know that the stress from the recent bullying could have predisposed her to some sort of GI infection/parasite. I know the prognosis is not great, but do you think that a course of antibiotics may be helpful? I have both Kanaplex and Metroplex on hand. Or should I continue with the Epsom salts? I was planning on a 50% water change tomorrow and replacing just the quantity of salts removed by the water change. I'm quite perplexed as to how to proceed with treating her.
Thanks in advance for your help.
<Hi Susan. Danios are social animals, and in small groups can sometimes bully one another. It's usually a male, but no doubt sometimes big females throw their weight around too. The best solution to this sort of bullying is, inevitably, adding more of the same species and hoping for the best. I've been in a similar situation with Danio choprae, and eventually ended up with just one male! But in the meantime, yes, Epsom salt may help with bloating and egg-binding, if these are the issue, and an antibiotic used against Dropsy can be useful. I'd not go crazy with randomly medicating where small fish are concerned; partly not worth the expense, and partly tends to harm the fish more than help them. So at some point, euthanasia tends to be the better option, as described elsewhere on this site, and after a week or two to confirm the remaining fish are healthy, the addition of sufficient replacement livestock to mitigate any social behaviour problems. Cheers, Neale.>

Apple Snail      5/30/18
Aloha Neale,
<Guten morgen, Dave!>
I was just looking through your site to find some info about caring for apple snails, and thought I'd write you a little note about mine, Rupert.
I've had Rupee since November 2015 and he was bought at a local fish shop in Honolulu for about 3.99 or 4.99. It was among the best money I've ever spent. After having a few kinds of fish in there with him over the years, and some who for one reason or another needed rehoming, Rupert now lives alone in a 10 gallon. 7.9 ph, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 10-20 nitrates... and until the last year no calcium additives, though for the first couple years there were quite a few sea shells in with him. For the fish's sake, I
removed them to keep the ph under 8, and now that he's alone, he's got a few in there.
<Nice. You're right about these snails doing best on their own, or even in groups. I dare say Nerite snails would work well with them, but I'd tend to avoid shrimps in case they pick at the Apple Snail.>
A year ago he started getting little chunks of cuttlebone in there, which I rub together between fingers each week after a water change to dissolve into his water.
<They do like these!>
Now I am starting Kent's liquid calcium, as well, more so I don't have to put the unneeded additives in the cuttlebone into the tank, and wanted your advice on how much of that you'd dose weekly or at what rate? It seems like a safe, clean way to get him a bit more calcium, and any advice on using it would be appreciated. Also any other specific calcium advice I'd appreciate.
<Oh, hard to say. I'd dose about half what's recommended for a marine tank to start with. Then grab a carbonate hardness test kit, and check the KH value. Something around 10 degrees KH is probably the ideal, but a little lower or higher no big deal. Really, so long as the shell isn't pitted, the calcium level is fine.>
He eats Hikari Crab Cuisine, New Life Spectrum Algae Max, and Hikari mini algae wafers. I've been unsuccessful at getting him eating veggies.
<Even lettuce? Mine loved that!>
Rupert is graceful, gentle, hypnotizing... the definition of peaceful. He is hand fed almost every day; no food is ever left in the tank. When he's sitting at the water line I open the lid, start talking to him in a nice
voice, and he usually starts looking up, and walla... into his mouth a little crab stick goes, or a piece of the other stuff. He can eat up to 30 of the crab sticks in one hour long feeding...
<Blimey! No wonder he doesn't want the greens. He's doubling up on the prime steak and skipping the salad.>
It's quite endearing to care for him and the videos of him are stunning. It was also the comment that few of these make it to tennis ball size that made me want to write.
<Yep. Can do. It's rare though because relatively few make it past 12 months in an aquarium, whereas I'm told the big ones are 4-5 years of age.>
Here is a video to see him... recent... and I have a ton more, if you wanted to see them!
<Sure thing.>
He is quite photogenic, as you can see... and I have dozens of videos he is about a tennis ball in size, closing in on three years old, and I love him dearly. Such an active, engaging, absolutely wonderful pet. Hearing others don't have this luck scares me! I didn't do much to specifically accommodate him, not intentionally but through ignorance, and now I'm going to try and do everything I can for him. I adore him. He is the light of my life, and has the most magical eyes.
<Wow! That's a cool pet for sure.>
Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for the all the great info, and let you know about this one very special Apple Snail - I think the canaliculata species... but he may as well be my son. I don't have kids and I love him like family.
God bless, Neale.
<And likewise.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Wrasse on wrasse hate      5/29/18
Thanks for the reply, I guess I've been looking at the wrong portion of your site.
<Ahh, please see here re the genus: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/thalassoma.htm
and the linked files (at top)>
Most of the information I've read is in email form like the reply I received.
<Ah yes; what we call/label as FAQs>
Also, I did research putting wrasses together but nothing really highlighted this issue other than to say they establish a hierarchical system and one person saying it'll only get worse even if I isolate the lunar for a while.
<This is likely so unfortunately>
In fact my research showed several people keeping 6 types together which is why I did this.
<Ahh; like many Cichlids, if/when crowded, aggression can be diffuse/d>
Anyway, I guess I'll keep observing and see about removing the yellow moon. Thanks again.
<Sensible; welcome. Bob Fenner>

Ok, now I'm panicked Ongoing BR Goby       5/29/18
Today is the normal day of the weekly water change for the Goby tank and I don't know if what I saw just developed, or if it started after his suicide attempt and I just couldn't see it. He has red veins in his tail fin.
Not in the body of his tail, but just his fin and the red veins do not go all the way to the body of his tail.
<To be expected... damage from the escape. A bit of septicemia perhaps>
However, he seems to feel fine and was busy "helping" me with the tank cleaning. He's also eating normally.
<Good signs>
As soon as I was done with the water change, I researched the red veins in the tail fin and found a WWM post as follows: "Fish didn't make the move, Violet Gobies (Gobioides spp.) 1/26/08:...<The fish has a systemic bacterial infection, likely caused by Aeromonas spp. similar to those that cause Finrot and bacterial septicaemia. These bacteria block the blood vessels in the epidermis and fins, and this is what causes the inflammation. After a while the surrounding tissues die. The bacteria get in when fish are physically damaged or exposed to high levels of ammonia for extended periods. So either rough handling when you were transporting the fish, or else problems with filter in your new aquarium, were the
triggering issues....". I'll go down to the store Tuesday (they're closed today for Memorial Day) if I need to get him the medication you referenced in this post, but, unlike the individual who started his post, my Goby has been in brackish water and I'm increasing the SG from 1.004 to 1.005 as of today's water change. Also, I've always used Instant Ocean, not/never Aquarium salt. Further,
<Good and good>
I knew I would have water quality problems immediately after the hose break (10 days prior to the suicide attempt) and began using Prime before the ammonia and nitrite began to climb and I'm still using it. So he shouldn't have been affected by the mini cycle.
However, his leap from the tank was from a height of about 5 feet (55 inches from the top of the tank to the floor - vinyl floor, no carpet) unless he first hit the lip of the stand. I wish I could get a picture of
his tail to send you, but all I get is a silver/blue blur. He does not have any redness in any other part of his body and does not seem to have any inflammation in his tail fin as the redness in the veins is very sharp and clear and the "skin" around the veins is not raised. I hate using medication unless its necessary, so I'm asking what I should do.
<Were it me, mine, I'd skip medicating; rely on time going by, good circumstances for cure. Bob Fenner>
*Renee *

Possible swim bladder issue      5/29/18
Hi crew!
I have a question about possible swim bladder problem with one of my long fin zebra Danios (female). Recently she has been subjected to non-stop bullying from a dominant female in the school of six. The affected Danio, who was discovered Sunday having issues swimming, has been removed to a hospital tank. She is exhibiting negative buoyancy. She will occasionally swim to the top with great effort but will return to the bottom where she will wobble to one side. She is alert and responds to movement outside of the tank (she will scuttle to opposite side of tank when I approach). She is healthy in all outward appearance with good color and clear eyes, but is slightly swollen in the belly with one side being slightly more pronounced. She may be slightly egg bound. Her respiration is normal. She has not accepted food while she has been in the hospital tank (since Sunday). Presently she is in a cycled 2.8 gallon tank to which I've added about 1/4 tsp of Epsom salt (one dose). The water temp is about 75-76°F.
<Good moves, conditions>
I thought that she may have some sort of intestinal blockage as my Danios like frozen bloodworms and the larger Fluval bug bites I feed my larger fish.
<Am not a fan of Bloodworms, though frozen are better than other formats. I'd sub Daphnia, Brine Shrimp for now; for their mild laxative effects>
I know that the stress from the recent bullying could have predisposed her to some sort of GI infection/parasite. I know the prognosis is not great, but do you think that a course of antibiotics may be helpful? I have both Kanaplex and Metroplex on hand. Or should I continue with the Epsom salts?
<For me, just the MgSO4>
I was planning on a 50% water change tomorrow and replacing just the quantity of salts removed by the water change. I'm quite perplexed as to how to proceed with treating her.
Thanks in advance for your help.
<Really just time going by and favorable setting will/should see this situation resolve. Bob Fenner>

150l puffer tank       5/28/18
How are you?
<All good, thanks.>
I am setting up a new tank and wanted to check with your expertise before I proceed - hope you don’t mind!
<Fire way.>
I have now set up a new 150l.
<Good size.>
I want to put in medium-large-ish puffers.
<Ah, well, not really big enough for multiple puffers, except perhaps the fairly tolerant Carinotetraodon irrubesco, Dwarf Puffers, and perhaps a small group of South American Puffers. A singleton 'lurker' puffer in the 10-15 cm size range could work too.>
I’ve called a round all my local fish shops and my current option is:
One shop has in 4 twin spotted puffers (8-10cm) which I understand are nearly fully grown (probably two thirds of their full size).
<A group is not going to work in a tank this size.>
The shop have had them in for a few months in a tiny tank and therefore feel like it would be good to take them.
<Not necessarily. Purchasing fish, even if you mean to 'rescue' them, is taken by the retailer as a sale. Hence, the likelihood is that the order for multiple Tetraodon leiurus will be repeated again. If the fish languish in the retailer's tanks for some months, they'll be seen as a failure, and won't be re-ordered.>
My thought process is that it would be ok because :
Water quality - I have a good external filter with 11-12x flow rate per hour. I plan to do twice weekly water changes (15-20%) but probably do 3-4 times weekly in the first few weeks. The shop is apparently feeding them twice a day on bloodworms/mussels/prawns (I’d probably throw in a cray fish or crab on occasion for their beaks). This sounds like a lot of food though maybe it should be reduced to once a day but that may increase aggression?
<Possibly, but it's sex hormones and their innate behaviours that cause aggression. This species is not social, and should not be treated as such.>
Aggression - the shop have had them in for a few months and there has been no aggression between them. I know these are generally aggressive but if they have been fine with each other for now then I don’t see that this should change. Plus a group of 4 means aggression will be spread.
<Indeed, if you had a couple hundred gallons it might indeed be worth a shot. But 150 litres/30 gallons? Bit tight.>
Swimming space - no issue as these are more of a ‘lurker’ fish. Not quite as inactive as a humpback but nothing like some of the active puffers.
Ultimately I think this could be a good option but wanted to check with you :-)
<I would not do this without a concrete Plan B, i.e., 3 more tanks at your disposal to handle the puffers should things go wrong. Moving the fish to a new tank could easily trigger territoriality. It's really very difficult to feel comfortable that this plan will work.>
<Most welcome. I would try posting this idea up at ThePufferForum; they're very experienced, and might well offer a second opinion, or at least some work-arounds that might be useful. Cheers, Neale.>

Dragon Goby Concern       5/28/18
Hello Crew! First of all, feel free to set this post aside because I know you help a lot of people with problems more severe than mine.
Honestly, I don't even know if I have a problem, but this is my first Violet Goby, and his/her behavior has changed radically in the last week from what I've experienced in the previous almost two months of having him.
First, the recap; I had a hose split back on May 10th while I was outside, lost a lot of water, and threw the tank into what I believe is called a "mini-cycle." I've been using Prime in the tank throughout this event and we're coming through it as the ammonia spike is gone and the nitrite is going down. I told you about the failure of the heater and temperature drop in the tank down to 72 and you indicated that you did not think that was a problem. I re-read my notes from you and your web site and noticed you indicated that this species is subtropical and prefers a cooler temperature, 75 degrees being the upper end of that range, so I adjusted my heaters in that tank down to 74 - 75 degrees (from 77 - 78).
<Their geographic range extends into the subtropics, but individual specimens may be collected from tropical areas. If lowering the temperature elicits odd behaviours, then why not raise the temperature back to where it was and see what happens?>
So his "new" behavior started with the suicide attempt. I got him back in the tank and he seemed fine - behaving in the manner I'm used to - just casually swimming around the tank - until I turned the tank lights out that evening and it got dark. I guess it was about 10 pm that night when I noticed him swimming all around the top of the tank looking for a way out (I have about 10 lbs of rock sitting on top of the tank lid now, so he was disappointed). I thought the best way to discourage that behavior was to
raise the powerhead up closer to the top of the tank and create a stronger current at the surface. It kind of worked as he stopped hunting for the exit, but he started swimming, against the current, toward the powerhead. Once he got to the powerhead, he'd let the current carry him to the other side of the tank, and then start again (he was swimming like a shark was chasing him - really swimming hard). He'd keep this up for 5 minutes or so and then stop, glide down to the bottom of the tank for a minute or so, and
then do it again. He was still doing it half an hour later when I went to bed (I was exhausted just watching him) and this morning he's just hanging out in his PVC tube.
<I have seen this behaviour in brackish water fish before, particularly Ariid catfish, where it suggests a migratory instinct. It often goes away after a while, but can be a sign that a change in salinity or water current is necessary, usually towards a more marine set of conditions.>
He's eating in what I've experienced as normal for him - he eats his pieces of algae sheets (red only now - he won't touch the green or the brown) and his Omega One Veggie Rounds. I only give him blood worms on the night before a water change because while the Mollies will eat a little bit of them, he won't touch them - I always find most of them piled up in the part of the tank where the current deposits all the tank "debris". He eats Mysis shrimp, but I only give him those once or twice a week because of the
<Provided he's eating the other foods readily, I wouldn't worry too much about thiaminase. That's really a concern only where carnivorous fish are exclusively fed thiaminase-rich foods like prawns and mussels. Your goby likely gets thiamin from the algae wafers, which are designed to be a fully balanced food..>
I've put a lot of Prime in the tank since the hose burst, could I have used too much and its bothering him in some way?
<Possibly, but water conditioners tend to be quite benign.>
Is his behavior an indicator I need to increase the salinity in the tank (currently at 1.004)?
<Worth a shot.>
Am I leaving something out of his diet?
Or is this just normal behavior for this species?
<Could easily be. These are big fish that dig burrows. The males tend have to go out and attract females into their burrows (I assume, by analogy with other gobies).>
He looks wonderful, his color is stunning and I don't see any blemishes anywhere on him. Further, he's growing at a staggering rate (earning him the nickname "Moose") and seems to be of a healthy weight. If this sudden need for adventure and exercise is normal, that's great! But, as I said, I've never had this species before so I don't know if I have a problem.
Other than your site, the information on the Internet is useless (mostly vague or outright contrary to what I've learned from you and/or experienced
with this fish). Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.
<So long as he's feeding, I'd not be overly worried. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Dragon Goby Concern       5/28/18

Ok, thank you.
<You're welcome. Neale.>

Re: Betta fish       5/28/18
thank you for your response. i will try the Epsom salt and see what happens thanks again!
<Welcome, and good luck. Neale.>

Wrasse on wrasse hate       5/28/18
Hi, need some expert advise that the forums can't provide. I added a yellow moon and lunar wrasse some time ago and the two hung out with no issues.
<Genus Thalassoma wrasses are not generally a good idea to mix... territorial. Best to have one species per system, unless it's huge... with one determinate/male and the rest either initial phase/female or sexually undifferentiated individuals. This is gone over on WWM>
Later I added a blue headed wrasse and he was targeted a little by the lunar but handled it well.
The last time I saw him get bullied was when he had a krill that he refused to give up and ended up keeping it.
An era of peace descended on the tank for anything that didn't have a shell.
Then today I saw my yellow moon being chased at top speed around the tank by the lunar wrasse. Things subsided and they all settled back into their normal habits with the exception of some mean glances from the lunar which made the yellow moon turn the other direction. Then at bed time the chase
occurred again... Funny thing is these two are the same size, the blue head is smaller and seems unaffected by the fighting. Thoughts/what should I do/what's the crystal ball showing you?
<As above. I'd have these in separate systems... with more of their own kind>
Btw I planned on banishing the lunar to the sump but it dives for cover when I reach for the net. So I don't know that I'll be able to do that.
<Better by far to study ahead of acquiring livestock. Bob Fenner>

Re: Goby Trouble /Neale     5/27/18
Thank you!
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Betta fish     5/27/18
Hi there, my Betta has what appears to be a rectal prolapse. is there anything I can do to help him?
<It's honestly tough with this problem and these fish. But...>
He’s eating fine and swimming around and doesn’t seem to be bothered by it, I do 50% water changes once a week, feed him a varied diet. He lives in a 5.5 gallon tank with heater and filter, any ideas what could be doing this? Thank you
<Epsom salt is a mild muscle relaxant that can be useful when treating this sort of thing. It works as a laxative, with a dosage of 1-3 teaspoons per 5 gallons/20 litres being recommended depending on the severity of the case. Raising the temperature by a degree or two often helps by speeding up the fish's metabolism, and the use of fibre-rich foods such as cooked peas is extremely helpful. Spirulina-loaded brine shrimp or live daphnia are alternatives if your fish refuses cooked peas. The use of an antibiotic alongside the Epsom salt may help, Metronidazole perhaps being even better given its efficacy against some types of gut parasites. Hope this helps, Neale.> 

Re: Goby Trouble      5/26/18
So you think this was just the Goby's natural tendency to "wander off?"
<Yes I do>
I guess I was hoping the temperature was what set him off and that warming up his water would prevent him from trying this nonsense again.
<Mmm; no. Sometimes having floating plants (a fave, Watersprite, Ceratopteris) and/or quickly moving surface fishes (e.g. Barbs of size) will help deter such escapades... But/otherwise a secure/complete cover is the route to go. >
I've attached a picture of the "egg crate" lid I use on all the tanks (the one in the picture is on a different tank but I use the same stuff on the Goby's tank just cut to fit a bowfront).
<Very nice!>
I cut this material so it just barely fits and I have to push it down into place (maybe that's how he got out'; I may not have gotten it pushed down all the way).
<Mmm, likely about the hang on power filter... I'd cut a pc. of Eggcrate, put this on top of the current one, around the filter area>
The part of the lid I found pushed up was right next to the space I cut for the output hose and I made sure to leave no extra space around it. It's plastic and the squares are no more than 1/2" x 1/2". The Goby is 10 inches long and his big old head would never even come close to fitting through them. Plus there is a 48" aquarium light that sits on top of it. Anyway, I can't shed an eyelash around here without hitting a rock,
<Interesting saying>
so I'll bring some inside to put on all corners of the lids.
<Real good. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Goby Trouble      5/26/18

Thank you!
<Welcome. B>

Goby Trouble /Neale      5/26/18
Hello Crew! I'm a little rattled this morning as my Dragon Goby made a suicide attempt. I had come back in from taking the dogs out and found him on the floor (I got to him before the dogs did).
<Yikes! Never heard of this for a Dragon Goby, but always a risk with large fish, especially eel-shaped ones.>
He couldn't have been out long because he was not there when we went out and we were only outside for 15 minutes. I immediately got him back in the tank, he swam away, and now he's sitting on his PVC tube looking at me. He was not dried out when I found him, does not have any physical injuries that I can see, and his gills are moving normally.
<Promising. These fish can survive in damp burrows when the tide goes out, so should recover well, provided their skin has not dried out.>
I found where he pushed the tank lid up and set a fairly heavy rock on it.
<Good move.>
So a little recent background, back on May 10th (I keep a journal on all the tanks), I did the normal water change (about 20 gallons from a 72 gallon tank) and the regular monthly filter cleaning. Everything seemed fine when I was done but when I came back in from outside, the room around the tank was flooded because one of the hoses (the return to the tank hose) on the canister filter (those ribbed hoses on the Fluval 405) was split and gushing water. I got it shut down but, to my absolute horror, when I looked at the tank I estimated that I had lost about 40 gallons. So with the weekly/monthly maintenance plus the hose splitting, this tank (72 gallon) lost about 60 gallons in two hours.
I knew I was in trouble, so I replaced the water, checked the salinity (1.004 SG), added two capfuls of Prime, and hoped for the best. I started testing the following morning and have been adding Prime and testing daily ever since. For the first three days, everything seemed fine, but I knew better than to think it would be that easy. Sure enough, after day three, I had ammonia, only .25 ppm, but it was there. The ammonia never went any higher and turned over pretty quickly (about two days) and the nitrite started to climb (I'm using Prime daily throughout this and I still am).
It got to .50 ppm but has since come down to .25 ppm. Nitrate stayed steady below 20 ppm.
<Good. Again, these are burrow-dwellers, and like Mudskippers I'd expect them to have some significant resistance to ammonia compared with a lot of other fish.>
So after I got the Goby back in the tank this morning, I tested again and the ammonia is still zero, the nitrite is still .25, and nitrate is still below 20 ppm. Salinity is steady at 1.004 SG. But I noticed the heater
light was off, which is unusual because it's still very cold here in the mornings. When I checked the temperature, it had dropped to 72 degrees in the tank (this had to have happened fairly recently as I always check temperature during weekly maintenance and last Monday everything was fine).
I put in a backup heater and I'm now re-warming the tank to its normal 77 - 78 degrees. But in my constant quest for the "why" in everything, I'm wondering if the drop in temperature could have triggered the suicide attempt.
<Possibly, but Gobioides have quite an extensive geographical range -- from South Carolina to Brazil -- and can probably handle a reasonably wide range of temperatures. So with a bit of luck you'll be fine.>
This tank has a fairly tight fitting lid (egg crate)so he had to exert some effort to get out.
<Live and learn, I guess. Thanks for sharing this experience, and best of luck. Neale.>

Betta fish    /Neale      5/26/18
Hi WetWebMedia
I don't suppose you could identify this possible Betta disease? Please see attached images. Black band around body appeared gradually and fish appeared well so initially I was not concerned. Its now has a grey sheen to it so I am getting slightly worried.
Best wishes
<Really difficult to diagnose this. These dark coloured regions do develop on fish occasionally, and while they might indicate nerve damage from some physical cause, they can also be related to other types of problems.
Non-zero ammonia can cause burns, for example. There are also some external parasites, such as Costia, that cause excessive slime to develop on a fish, resulting in off-white to grey patches. The best advice is to review aquarium conditions (especially temperature and water quality) first of all, and maybe medicate as per Costia to see if that helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Undiagnosed disease.      5/25/18
I am deeply sorry.
<Yeah mate... no one could write in or send out half a day...>
I hope i haven't caused any major problems. The file is a video, in hopes of depicting the discus behavior.
<PLEASE load videos elsewhere and just send us the link. Like YouTube...>
The file size limits is in the Kb range, i don't think i can lower the video size to less than 5 mb. Hmm... maybe a picture will have to do. Is it okay to send?
<As above... just the link. BobF>

Re: Magnificent Foxface dying!      5/25/18
<Hello Liz>
He has been at the top of the water with his snout up. I did not see him scratching.
<These fish are very sensitive to low oxygen levels, do you have enough water movement(surface agitation)?>
At this point he is so weak that he's having a hard time swimming. The only thing that is different other than him not eating is how his skin looks and that he puts his snout out of the water.
<A symptom of oxygen deprivation>
I can't really see it being flukes or and nursing because there has been no new additions in about a year and no other fish (clown pair and royal gramma) are having any problems.
<These are more much resistant than the Foxface>
Thanks Liz
Re: Magnificent Foxface dying!      5/25/18

Hello again,
<Hey Liz>
Thank you for the reply. I really do not believe the problem was oxygen deprivation because I had my gyre running at a fairly high speed and my canister filter pump.
<Could def. be a factor. Siganids/Rabbitfishes are in the same suborder as Tangs/Surgeonfishes... both require high DO>
Unfortunately, he passed away some time last night. I had done a 20% water change last night, hoping this would help.
Thank you for all your help though!
<And you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Goby Trouble; sys., beh.       5/25/18
Hello Crew! I'm a little rattled this morning as my Dragon Goby made a suicide attempt.
<Oh yes; they are "escape artists">

I had come back in from taking the dogs out and found him on the floor (I got to him before the dogs did). He couldn't have been out long because he was not there when we went out and we were only outside for 15 minutes. I immediately got him back in the tank, he swam away, and now he's sitting on his PVC tube looking at me. He was not dried out when I found him, does not have any physical injuries that I can see, and his gills are moving normally. I found where he pushed the tank lid up and set a fairly
heavy rock on it.
<And cover over all holes large enough for it to get out>
So a little recent background, back on May 10th (I keep a journal on all the tanks), I did the normal water change (about 20 gallons from a 72 gallon tank) and the regular monthly filter cleaning. Everything
seemed fine when I was done but when I came back in from outside, the room around the tank was flooded because one of the hoses (the return to the tank hose) on the canister filter (those ribbed hoses on the Fluval 405) was split and gushing water.
<Yikes! Glad you caught it>
I got it shut down but, to my absolute horror, when I looked at the tank I estimated that I had lost
about 40 gallons. So with the weekly/monthly maintenance plus the hose splitting, this tank (72 gallon) lost about 60 gallons in two hours.
I knew I was in trouble, so I replaced the water, checked the salinity (1.004 SG), added two capfuls of Prime, and hoped for the best. I started testing the following morning and have been adding Prime and
testing daily ever since. For the first three days, everything seemed fine, but I knew better than to think it would be that easy. Sure enough, after day three, I had ammonia, only .25 ppm, but it was there.
<Toxic; debilitating>

The ammonia never went any higher and turned over pretty quickly (about two days) and the nitrite started to climb (I'm using Prime daily throughout this and I still am). It got to .50 ppm but has since come down to .25 ppm. Nitrate stayed steady below 20 ppm.
So after I got the Goby back in the tank this morning, I tested again and the ammonia is still zero, the nitrite is still .25, and nitrate is still below 20 ppm. Salinity is steady at 1.004 SG. But I noticed the heater light was off, which is unusual because it's still very cold here in the mornings. When I checked the temperature, it had dropped to 72 degrees in the tank (this had to have happened fairly recently as I always check temperature during weekly maintenance and last Monday everything was fine). I put in a backup heater and I'm now re-warming the tank to its normal 77 - 78 degrees. But in my constant quest for the "why" in everything, I'm wondering if the drop in temperature could have triggered the suicide attempt.
<Mmm; doubtful>
This tank has a fairly tight fitting lid (egg crate)so he had to exert some effort to get out.
*Renee *
<Bob Fenner>

Betta fish      5/25/18
Hi WetWebMedia
I don't suppose you could identify this possible Betta disease? Please see attached images. Black band around body appeared gradually
<As in days, weeks; not hours I take it>
and fish appeared well so initially I was not concerned. Its now has a grey sheen to it so I am getting slightly worried.
Best wishes
<Well; could be from mechanical injury (somehow) or genetic expression...
Not any parasite or infectious disease I've encountered. There is no "therapy", treatment for such; just your ongoing good care. Bob Fenner>

Re: Betta Breathing Hard     5/24/18
Good morning Bob,
<Hey Donetta>
I read about 90% on the Betta environmental FAQS.
It was eye opening! As suggested, I changed out the sand and replaced with cleaned gravel.
<Ah, good>
That was a lot of work! I cleaned and wiped down everything and changed out all the water. Not sure if that was the best, but I read that some people do that when their Betta's have fin rot.
<Yes; best to have a clean start>
I still have my cycle and it's held steady for 8 days now.
<Tres bien!>
After I put everything back together I couldn't believe that I still saw fine debris on the surface. So disappointed! I kept the filter media. I just swished around the sponge, floss and bio balls.
<Good move>
I believe the floss is the problem. I should have just replaced it, but I was afraid I would lose my cycle again. I replaced it last night. It's a little better, but now I have more debris again :(! I have two mini
internal filters with spray bars that I point to the wall on opposite ends of the 10 gallon tank. One filter has a sponge and three bio balls. The other has filter floss and about seven bio balls. Both are rated 45gph and are turned up to the max. There is basically no current, but I see that now I'm going to have to clean the sponge/ bio balls weekly and replace the floss weekly. It seems like a pain.
<Mmm; I'd remove, clean just one at a time; to discern whence forth the fine debris>
I'm thinking maybe I can get one of those corner filters.
<There are small power one>
I'll be able to have more bio media plus will only have to service one filter. Will this surface debris cause problems?
<Not likely; no. It can be dipped out (with a plastic pitcher on edge) or wicked out (with a non-printed, non-odorized paper towel)>
It just seems that I can't get rid of it. I'm not over feeding plus I did the 100% water change on Monday. So frustrating. I'm not scheduled to do another water change until next Monday.
Last Thursday I noticed more receding of Pety's tail. Two good sized areas are gone. It's just getting worse. I know this happened because of the ammonia spike. I can't see the tail getting better without medication.
What do you think? I have Kanaplex and Paraguard.
<Not the Guard... the issue isn't parasitic... there are other, better anti-Finrot med.s... Even just a modicum of "aquarium salt">
I don't want to hurt my filter. Plus Pety still breathes a little labored.
His tail is not deteriorating quickly, but it gets worse over time.
<... the environment; patience>
I know how to get rid of that debris. I can put my powerhead in the water with attached water bottle that has filter floss in it and let it rip for 15 minutes. I'll have crystal clear water, but I'd have to take Pety out the tank. Then he'll be more stressed out.
I appreciate your help. Thanks!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Betta Breathing Hard     5/24/18

I appreciate your responses and feedback. I'll try and be more patient.
How much is a Modicum of salt for a 10 gallon tank?
<A couple of level teaspoons>
Do I just add one time and then gradually water change it out or replace and keep in for a certain amount of time?
<All at once; replaced with the percentage of water changed out>
Thanks again,
<Welcome. BobF>

Re: Magnificent Foxface dying!     5/24/18
Hello Again,
I just realized that that I said I only had 10 pounds of LR. This was a typo. I actually have 170lbs.
<Ahh…big difference!>
The ammonia was zero before, but had increased to 0.1 after I cleaned the canister filter.
<You have killed some nitrifying bacteria in the cleaning process>
As soon as I get home today, I will put him back in the DT. Once he is in there, I will try to get a picture of him. I tried while he was in the bucket, but was unsuccessful. It is simply a mystery. If it was fin/tail rot or flukes, the other fish would have contracted it.
<I thought you said there were no new additions for about a year, so this is unlikely>
Thanks again, Liz
Re: Magnificent Foxface dying!     5/24/18

Hello Wilberth,
<Hi Liz>
No, there haven’t been any new additions for about 1 year. I was just thinking fin/tail rot or flukes because I am at a loss as to what is wrong with him.
<I think his health has been declining a while ago, this is not a recent problem, is just that it wasn´t visible. Sorry Liz but its hard for me to give you further information or a diagnosis without actually seeing the fish>
☹ I really hope he will make it. He still doesn’t want to eat anything either.
<Don´t try to feed him, he won´t eat, we have to focus on a healthy, stress free environment; a vitamin supplement added directly to the water might help>
I will send a picture when I get home. Thanks again, Liz
<Welcome, Wilberth>
Re: Magnificent Foxface dying!      5/24/18

Hi here is a couple pics.
<Hi Liz, pics are too big, just a few hundred kb please>
He's not doing well at all :(
<Ohh...I see, it looks in very bad shape, although your pics are not clear enough, I can see this fish skin peeling off, have you see him scratching against the rockwork, swimming with the snout out of the water?>

Lyretail Anthias      5/23/18
Hi Crew,
We recently got some Lyretail Anthias for our saltwater tank. We got a large male (4”) and two small females (1.5”) from the LFS. We ordered two more females online to make a bigger group. We have the 2 groups of fish in their own quarantine tanks since they came from different sources. The two females we ordered online are pretty big (2.5”) and one of them has a spiked/pennant dorsal fin. Does that indicate the fish has started turning into a male?
If so, would the process reverse if we housed that fish with our existing male?
<Likely so>
I’m a little worried about putting them together as I’ve heard males are aggressive to each other.
<I wouldn't be (overly) concerned>
Thank you,
<Welcome, Bob Fenner>

Re: Magnificent Foxface dying!      5/23/18
<Hi Liz!>
Thank you for such a quick reply. I just went out and bought a new test kit to see if this was the issue (I thought it could be since it seems that I would get varying results with the other kit even though it wasn't expired on the bottle).
<Happens sometimes>
My readings are now: Specific gravity - 1.026 Ph - 7.8 (low, I know)
<Try using a PH buffer to reach 8.1/8.3>
Ammonia - 0.1
<Even this relatively low measure can affect your tank inhabitants>
Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 0 Also tank equipment may be important: gyre, Eheim canister filter, 2 protein skimmers and a heater and about 10 lbs of LR.
<Seems like there´s not enough biological filtration here, try adding more cured live rock or some other means of nutrient export>
Do you think this issue could be caused by the salinity and low ph?
<Salinity is just fine at NSW level; the low ph you report affects to a certain degree but I don´t think it is the main issue here>
It's strange because the Foxface is the only one showing any signs of distress. Currently, he is still in the 5 gallon bucket and is not laying flat anymore.
<To small volume of water, try doing a 25% water change to the display tank and return the Foxface asap, this "quarantine" is stressing it more>
He is swimming a bit. The bucket has a bubbler as well. I cannot really get a picture of him. I will try to attach one if I can get one. Thanks again! Sincerely, Liz
<You´re very welcome, Wilberth>

Re: titan trigger and green moray eel       5/23/18
<Hi George,>
another question my green moray will occasionally just spin around. He may be in his pvc pipe and he is halfway out then just starts spinning. Is this normal behavior.<?>
<Muraenids common feeding behavior is to spin while biting their prey so they can tear apart pieces of flesh, pretty much like crocodiles “dead roll", in case your moray eel is not doing this as a feeding response, it may be something else, maybe some sort of parasite bothering it>
I have seen videos in the wild when they occasionally are doing it. Thanks again.
<Welcome, Wilberth>

Dwarf frog tank    5/22/18
I had a planted 10g aquarium with 4 African dwarf frogs. My ammonia levels were 0, nitrite 0, but my nitrate levels never came up-they we’re always 0.
<Understood. But zero level nitrates pretty unlikely in tanks with normal biological filtration, unless there's rapid plant growth using up the nitrate as fast as its made. Of course if there's no biological filtration going on, then nitrates won't rise either, and that's more alarming. But if that's the situation, you should see ammonia and/or nitrite rise between water changes.>
Unfortunately, I had a fungal outbreak which all 4 frogs succumbed to. I think they weren’t in the best health when I got them and the water issue with the nitrates just weakened them. Also, the 3 live plants also turned brown and died.
<Oh dear.>
My questions are, what is the best way to clean the aquarium to get new dwarf frogs?
<Remove and rinse the gravel or sand; remove any rocks and wood, rinse them under a tap; wipe the glass down with some paper towel; rinse the filter media with lukewarm tap water. Return everything back to the tank, and let it run for a day or two before adding new livestock. Assuming you haven't killed off the filter bacteria, it should be 'cycled' but if not, treat as a new aquarium and ideally cycle before adding livestock, but if that's not an option, do daily water changes to keep ammonia levels as low as practical while the filter matures. Expect cycling to take around a month. There are some commercial products that allegedly speed up the cycling process, but they're not entirely reliable, so using an ammonia or nitrite test kit to map the cycling process is helpful.>
Do I need to start with all new gravel, water, filter sponge?
<See above, and no, not really necessary.>
Will I need to go through another cycle or will the filter sponge have enough good bacteria in it to jump start the cycle with all new water?
<Possibly. Assuming the filter is treated gently, the bacteria will be fine.>
Will going with silk plants change anything?
<Not really, no. Live floating plants, on the other hand, are a great addition to any aquarium. They bring good bacteria with them, on their roots mostly, and also use up ammonia while the tank cycles, minimising the stress on the livestock.>
I want to be sure that my tank and everything is free of disease and ready for new froggies.
Thanks so much!
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: Goodeids    5/22/18
Thank you for that information, but if Ameca splendens become to aggressive to be put back into the wild, are they only going to live in an aquarium setting?
<There's nothing to stop you creating a half-way house setting, like an outdoor pond, where the Ameca splendens would have to feed themselves on natural algae rather than fish food. After a few generations you should get more natural foraging behaviour. So yes, if you just chucked domestic Ameca splendens into a Mexican stream that might cause problems, but people could breed more 'normal' Ameca splendens by actively selecting desirable traits, just as we do with any other animal.>
And is this aggression only found in this species of Goodeid or is it all Goodeids?
<I'm not aware of other Goodeids being so well studied, but I would imagine the basic risk of genetic drift in captivity exists for most if not all of them. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Goodeids

thank you again for all the information.
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Magnificent Foxface dying!    5/22/18
<Hi Liz>
First I would like to say that I have been reading your articles and information for years and it has been helpful. I imagine it will be too late by the time you get this email, but I am hoping it may not be.
<Hopefully not>
First things first - tank info - 150G FOWLR with a royal Gramma, a pair of ocellaris clowns, a magnificent Foxface, cleanup crew and possibly a peppermint shrimp (we only see him once maybe every 6 months). Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate all 0. Ph 8.3. Temp 80. No new additions for about a year. I have had the magnificent Foxface for 3 years. Now that you have some basic info, this is my situation: for the past 4-6 months my Foxface has had his tail fin slowly disappear. I thought it could be tail rot, but it took a significant amount of time for him to slowly lose his tail fin. Then, I thought maybe it was caused by the clowns nipping him.
Since this issue began, I have not had any water parameter issues.
<Are you sure your test kit has not expired? Otherwise you might get inaccurate readings and I suspect that something may be wrong with your water quality>
He continued to eat and act normal. Now over the past few days he has lost his colour and looks generally very ill.
<I wish you have send a photo to get a better idea of the symptom>
Today, I found him lying on a rock. We were able to get him out of the DT and into and 5G pail (I know not ideal but I couldn't set up my QT). I have dosed PraziPro on the off chance he may have flukes. The other problem is that the ammonia levels are now rising in the pail, but I don't have enough RODI and salt to make fresh water. I guess what I am wondering is, could this be old age?
<I don´t think this is the case as these fish are known to live 15+ years>
If so, should I put him back in the DT for now?
<If he stills alive, better put him back in the DT and switch off the lights to prevent more stress>
I am afraid to add Prime to the bucket since I just dosed PraziPro about 8 hours ago. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Sincerely, Liz

Clown Trigger - Whirling    5/22/18
Hello Bob -
I am perplexed. I've had a 5+ inch Clown Trigger in a 265 gallon for maybe the last 4 months or so and he's done fabulously. He eats very well, has always been one of the most actively swimming fish in the tank,
<The way they are... till lights out>
eager to see me, nice and plump, but not fat, just in beautiful shape and condition...etc. No other fish messes with him and he's been a model citizen with the other fish.
He's primarily been eating New Life Spectrum Thera A which all of my salt water fish gobble up and have done exceedingly well as a result.
<Ah, good>
Yesterday, as I've do occasionally, I gave the tank a treat with some Tetra A freeze dried shrimp. I fed several tanks this treat and have done so for years all without any issues, except yesterday my Clown Trigger, sometime after that feeding, I noticed started showing the signs of the "whirling disease."
Again, he's been perfectly healthy for the last 4 plus months. All of the other fish in that tank are doing outstanding with no issues whatsoever.
The water parameters are fine. Unfortunately, the Clown Trigger has since perished. What the heck happened?
<Mmm; do you still have this fish? Might be worth necropsying. >
Could it be a bad piece of freeze dried krill?
<I doubt it>
This would be really hard to believe as all of my other tanks ate that krill with no issues whatsoever and I've fed them all this freeze dried krill many times in the past for years.
Part of me thinks maybe it was some sort of poisoning which became a time bomb and that occurred possibly during capture months ago?
<Mmm; no; not after four months>
I've been told by pet stores that evidently Clown Triggers from Indonesia are still often caught with poisoning.
<At times, places; yes>
I don't know if that's true or not. However, it seems far fetched that potential poisoning from months ago would now be an issue, but I am really at a loss.
Thanks Bob for your feedback.
<Well; am given to speculate (as nothing really points to one, specific cause); could be this loss was due to genetic anomaly... perhaps latent expression of some mechanical injury, parasite... I can't tell from "here"; given what you state, w/o examining the fish. I would not be concerned re the rest of your livestock, system however. Bob Fenner>
Re: Clown Trigger - Whirling    5/22/18

Thanks Bob. It was most bizarre. The rest of the fish and tanks are doing fabulously.
<Good... these (anomalous losses) do happen. Cheers, BobF>

Re: Disease Identification       5/21/18
Thank you for your input! I did prepare the fin clipping as a wet mount, so the photos are taken with water supporting the body mucus blob.
It dried up within about 20mins of taking the photos and the blob shriveled to about a quarter of its original size. The fish hasn’t shown any more of them, so I’m unable to take another sample for you so far. I’ll send more photos of the issue resurfaces. Thanks again!
<Thank you. B>

Identify?       5/21/18
Hi Bob
Can you tell me what the yellow Lacy looking area is?
<A boring sponge of some sort Tracy... drilling into the coral. BobF>

Re: I need to understand Biofilm     5/20/18
Thank you!
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Columbian tetra with fin rot from nipping     5/20/18
Hi Neale and Bob,
You helped me save a zebra Danio who was badly injured from a bullying situation. He has healed beautifully and your suggestions on rearranging the tank and reintroducing the Danios solved the bullying problem.
<Well, that's a good outcome!>
One of my Columbian tetras appears to be the victim of fin nipping with accompanying fin rot now setting in. There are two spots visible (see photo). This school usually gets along great although they do chase one another on occasion.
<This species is prone to that. Bigger groups usually help fix the problem. In any event, medicate as per Finrot.>
I do weekly water changes of 20%. Water parameters are as follows: Zero for ammonia and nitrite. Nitrates around 20 ppm, gH at 7-8°, temp around 76°F, pH 6.8. I run a canister filter with biomedia that includes matrix and chemical filtration is Chemipure green. I also run a sponge filter rated for 20 gallons which is connected to a battery backup air pump (we have frequent power outages where I live).
Other tank inhabitants are a school of orange laser Corydoras and MTS (substrate is sand) and Nerite snails. Tank is a 20 gallon planted. I have upped my water changes to 10% every 3 days since I discovered the fin rot. It does not appear to be getting worse and the tetra is active and eating but I don't want it to progress further. I can't use aquarium salt because of the Corys.
<Who told you that? Low salt doses, i.e., 2 g per litre, for treating Whitespot for example, will do them less harm/cause less stress than traditional medications using copper or formalin. To be clear, catfish aren't "allergic" to salt. That's a myth. A lot of salt in the water will cause osmoregulatory stress, but trivial salt doses are perfectly safe, even with soft water specialists like Cardinals, let alone Corydoras.>
I do have SeaChem Paraguard on hand that I used to treat my Betta who had fin rot when I purchased him. Do you think its advisable to treat the tetra in the tank with Paraguard?
<I would.>
I can relocate the Nerites and the larger MTS who are active at night and visible on the substrate. MTS are expensive here and only available online so I would prefer not to kill them off.
<Understood. While Melanoides snails usually handle medications just fine, you could dump a few in a loosely covered food container with a bit of water and leave them out of the tank while medicating. They need little care and will go dormant when cool. The Nerites perhaps a bit more a gamble, being more sensitive generally.>
I can also transfer the tetra to a small hospital tank.
<Perhaps put the snails here?>
I had ordered Kanaplex with the intention of adding it to food with their binder Focus, but I was sent the wrong product so it will be about 5 days until the Kanaplex arrives. The Kanaplex was my backup plan if the water changes didn't help. What is the safest course of action in your expert opinion?
<Any medication for Finrot should be fine here. This fish looks in robust health, and really all you want to do is help knock back the bacteria a bit so it's own immune system can kick in.>
Thanks for your help (again).
I'm moving everyone to a 50 gallon planted tank that has just finished cycling once it was settled in and aged a bit. Hopefully that will solve the territorial problems.
<Understood. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Columbian tetra with fin rot from nipping     5/20/18
Thanks Neale!
I am happy to learn that corys can tolerate salt if I ever have to use it in my tank.
<To be clear, as a short-term treatment for Whitespot and Velvet at low doses (2 g/l, for a few days or a couple of weeks). Perfectly safe used that way. But I would not be adding salt as a regular addition to any community tank containing relatively soft water fish, whether Corydoras, tetras or anything else from the Amazon Region.>
Another myth busted.
<It would seem so!>
I went ahead and removed my snails and I'm treating with Paraguard. I will definitely follow your advice and increase my school of tetras once I've relocated them to the 50 gallon.
Thanks again for your help.
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Re: Puffer Fish/Tank Question      5/19/18
Thank you so kindly Neale for taking the time to reply to my query. I do have a couple of additional questions now.
<Fire away!>
How many 90% water changes should I do?
<Diminishing returns after a while. But 3-4 should be ample. Only a tiny fraction of 'old' water will be left by then.>
And I'm guessing that after I'm done those, then I should do the CupriSorb?
<Actually, the CupriSorb is more about copper being leached out of objects (such as rocks) in the tank. Plain vanilla water changes will dilute the copper in the water, but anything chemically bound with, for example, calcareous rocks will slowly leach out when the concentration drops in the water. What you want is the CupriSorb to soak up that copper before it has a chance to harm your fish.>
And how long after all of that should I wait before adding aquatic life?
<Certainly after your water changes, but alongside the CupriSorb should be fine. If you leave the tank empty for longer, that runs the risk of the biological filter dying back in the absence of ammonia for the bacteria to use up. Besides the CupriSorb, be sure to use a water conditioner that neutralises copper (and heavy metals generally).>
Also, for future references, what is a good "medicine" for puffers with fungal problems?
<I've used eSHa 2000 with my puffers several times, seemingly without problems. Methylene Blue is the classic anti-Fungus, and considered safe enough it's widely used with fish eggs and fry. It's debatable whether it's safe with Puffers (some aquarists have reported problems, but by no means all) so if you opted to go the Meth Blue route, you'd want to keep a very close eye on your fish, perhaps even half-dosing, and certainly upping aeration during the process.>
I haven't had any for years until the Suvattii got it, and while I've always had good results with the Pima and Melafix .... I respect and trust your experience, so would definitely try anything you think would work better.
<I'm open minded to both having some utility as preventatives, helping damaged fish resist infections via their own immune systems. They might also help against minor infections; certainly tea-tree oil has fairly
well-established antimicrobial properties. But I personally doubt whether either is a reliable heavy-duty treatment comparable to the classic medications once a fish is really sick and weak.>
Again, thank you ever so much for taking the time to help me here.
<Glad to help.>
I really didn't know who to turn to, as I don't trust internet information much these days.
<When it comes to puffers, ThePufferForum is a good place to visit. Those guys are very serious and have lots of experience. There's at least a couple of folks there who're WetWebMedia 'alumni', so there's that, too!>
Oh, and how do you feel about using Koi clay in puffer tanks? Yeah or Nay?
<Probably not that big of a deal either way. Koi, like Goldfish, appreciate hard water with an alkaline pH. So definitely, there's mileage in adding minerals to soft water conditions. We don't really understand how fish absorb 'nutrient' minerals from the water they're swimming in, but that may be just as important as the way minerals affect pH and hardness. But (freshwater) pufferfish from Southeast Asia aren't typically coming from heavily mineralised environments, so I can't see Koi Clay doing anything special.>
It was something suggested to me, but I really know nothing about using such a thing.
Kind Regards,
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Puffer Fish/Tank Question (RMF, anything to add re: fungus on puffers AND Koi clay?)<<Ah, no. B>>      5/19/18

A big "Thank you" to WetWebMedia and Neale Monks for helping me. Excellent advice and very much appreciated.
<You're most welcome! Neale.>

Re: Goodeids      5/19/18
<Hello again Lance,>
I'm sorry i wasn't more specific. I have already spoke to Greg Sage and he explained to me the tank conditions needed to maintain and breed the species and he told me that the GWG (Goodeid Working Group) is mainly a database for Goodeids and really doesn't do much in regards to actual conservation work.
On top of what Greg told me I learned about Species like Zoogoneticus tequila, Ameca splendens, and Characodon laterais. what i need to know is the higher taxonomy of split fins up to order and family.
<These three species all belong to the family Goodeidae, which is in turn part of the order Cyprinodontiformes, alongside a number of other families including the Poeciliidae (i.e., Guppies, Mollies, etc.) Aplocheilidae (i.e., the southern hemisphere killifish), and the Cyprinodontidae (i.e., the north American Pupfish). Most of these fish are small, freshwater species adapted for life in shallow streams, ponds, and so on. Broadly, these are the fish we call livebearers and killifish, so obviously some families lay eggs while others give birth to baby fish. Nonetheless, there are some half dozen killifish families, and at least three livebearer families, so it's a complicated picture. Do look at the Wikipedia page on
Cyprinodontiformes for more.>
I also have not seen anything about Goodeid conservation so anything you can tell me about it would help, like what are the specific trouble of introducing a species to the wild or if there are groups working on the problem and how they are going about it.
<If you do some research on Ameca splendens, for example on ResearchGate.net, you'll come across papers such as "Captive breeding promotes aggression in an endangered Mexican fish" and "Aggression in captivity and the implication for interspecific aggression between once sympatric species of Mexican Goodeid". In short, the idea is that in captivity fish get better quality food, so can get away with spending less time foraging and more time fighting. Over the generations, aggressive males are favoured because there's no cost to being aggressive, but a positive benefit with regard to passing on your genes more often. In the wild this wouldn't happen -- overly aggressive males would likely starve because they don't forage for long enough to stay alive. Anyway, over 30-40 years, this seems to have happened with Ameca splendens, which is much more aggressive than it was in the wild when first collected. So if we just dumped captive fish in Mexican rivers, they'd either end up starving to death, or more likely, they would be so aggressive they'd harm other wild fish that they're living alongside. We've also got the problem of reduced genetic diversity. Aquarists tend to favour certain genes, whether deliberately (e.g., nicer colours) or subconsciously (e.g., fish that mature and breed younger produce more fry over their lifetimes, which often means the adult size of the species ends up smaller after several generations). Reduced genetic diversity makes a species less adaptable to changing environments, reducing the chances of long-term survival. Make sense? Cheers, Neale.>

Disease Identification with Photos      5/19/18
Hello Bob and crew!
<Bri! Please re-size and re-send your msg.s WITH MUCH SMALLER files... you've crashed our mail server. Kbytes, not Mbytes. Thx. Bob Fenner>
Disease Identification      5/19/18

Hello Bob and crew!
<Hey Bri!>
It's been years since I've emailed you! I love using your site as a resource. I have a purple tang going through tank transfer (1.5 weeks so far) with recurring white spots. There were no spots for a week, but
yesterday a few appeared again. When I first got the fish, the original spots were concentrated on the ventral side, with only a couple on the rest of the body. There were maybe ten total. Fish breathing rate was (and continues to be) normal. Coloration is good. Appetite is fine. There were no spots for a week, but overnight a few showed up. There were only five spots on the fish this time, all concentrated on the left pectoral fin. I decided to clip a section of the fin and take a look under the microscope.
Attached are photos taken at 10x magnification. I'll try to attach a video as well.
<Please post the video elsewhere; perhaps YouTube, and send the link to it instead. We have limited mail server space>
Any thoughts on what this may be?
<From the size... looks too big to be protozoal... Perhaps just accumulation of body mucus... Happens>
Note in the videos that all movement is created by me changing the focus so you can see the whole cyst.
The organism was not moving at all and I did not see any cilia or flagella.
<Me neither... is this a dry prep.? That is, was there a slide cover over this specimen with water around it, supporting it?>
However, I just started treating with Seachem Paraguard 12 hrs before taking the sample, so maybe these parasites are dead?
<Mmm; maybe, but, could be as stated>
Or eggs of gill/body flukes perhaps?
<Not eggs... would be off the fish's body>
The fish has been treated with PraziPro, but only one round for 2 days. That was a week ago.
Thank you for sharing your ideas! I'd like to get more specific with my treatment protocol and your advice is much appreciated!
Lil Bri
<Do try removing the blobs from the spines, scales, put under a cover slip with a drop of water, and re-shoot and send. Thank you. Bob Fenner>
Re: Disease Identification with Photos      5/19/18

Oops! Sorry! I reformatted/resent the photos, but the video is only 3 seconds and I can't get it condensed to less than 1.8MB. Hopefully the pictures are enough for identification purposes! I thought that the
parasite might be Amyloodinium, but it's way too big!
<Yes; too big for any fish parasite I'm aware of>
The photos are only magnified 10x. Then I thought it might be the beginnings of Lymphocystis from stress?
<Nah; not likely>
It isn't pear shaped like the photos of Cryptocaryon on WetWebMedia, so I'm guessing not that.
<Agreed. BobF>

Sick discus need help      5/19/18
Hey ! My discus fish is not eating since 3days after the death of his tank mate and today he has clamped its fin.....and is in stress
<Yes, probably is stressed. May well be suffering from whatever killed the other Discus in your tank. Review the conditions in the aquarium. To recap, Discus need a large tank (for a pair, probably over 150 litres/40 US gallons) and certainly need good quality water with the right water chemistry. In other words, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and a nitrate level below 20 mg/l. Water chemistry should be relatively soft for farmed Discus: 1-12 degrees dH, pH 6-7.5. Wild-caught Discus are more fussy, and must have very
soft water, more like 1-5 degrees dH, pH 6-6.5. Water temperature should be relatively high, 28-30 degrees C. Discus are omnivorous in the wild, and need a varied diet in captivity. They are prone to Hexamita and Hole-in-the-Head diseases though, both of which are more likely if they are given monotonous, low-vitamin diets lacking fresh greens; cooked peas, for example, are usually eaten by hungry Discus without too much fuss. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: I need to understand Biofilm      5/19/18
I'm sorry, I should have been specific - the supplier lists this fish as Stiphodon ornatus. Or is that a subspecies o Rhinogobius spp (the Internet doesn't reference beyond Stiphodon)?
<Not heard of Stiphodon ornatus as "White Cheek Goby", but it is sold as the "Rainbow Goby". All Stiphodon are Hillstream specialists native to coastal streams and offshore islands around the Indo Pacific region, used to cool, clean water with plenty of oxygen. While freshwater fish as adults, they have a marine stage as juveniles, which means they're difficult to breed in captivity. Most, if not all, are wild-caught.
Together these facts mean they're relatively demanding fish. They do poorly in the average community tank, but will thrive in a steam setting alongside midwater fish (such as Danios or White Cloud Mountain Minnows) that aren't competing for food. Avoid mixing with benthic fish such as loaches that tend to cause problems either by stealing food or else becoming territorial and harming the gobies. Diet isn't a major issue provided the tank is sufficiently brightly lit there's a decent amount of green algae growing.
Together with green algae, they'll happily take the sorts of frozen foods offered to marine grazers (such as tangs and angelfish) that include Spirulina algae alongside, for example, brine shrimp. They may take algae wafers and Spirulina flake as well. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: long term. SW Protozoan... 750        5/18/18
Ahh. That’s a good idea. I didn’t think about using some of the display water in the QT system. So if I am understanding you, with a low exposure they can build an immunity to it?
<Yes; there is such a phenomena as acquired immunity here>
I did end up putting a 30 gallon hospital tank together and added copper. Unfortunately like I said I can’t get any of them trapped. But I guess that for new additions it’s in place now.
Would it be counter productive to add copper AND diseased tank water to the QT tank with any new additions? The answer seems like an obvious “yes” to me but maybe I’m missing something?
<... I would, in order: 1) NOT treat the new fish if possible, to allow them time to adjust to collection, transport, handling. 2) A few weeks later, consider treating; perhaps not with copper compounds as these are debilitating; perhaps too much so. 3) A few weeks later, start adding, mixing water. PLEASE read where I've referred you>
Thanks Bob.
Re: long term       5/18/18

Thanks again Bob. I appreciate the time and patience.
<Welcome John. Oh how I wish at times for something like the "Vulcan mind-meld". Cheers, B>

Puffer Fish/Tank Question       5/18/18
Hello WetWebMedia People,
I've emailed you in the past and have always been pleased with the knowledge you have, so you're my last stop. I've asked some different puffer groups and no one seems to be able to help, or want to help (I'm not sure).
Anyway, here's my issue. I kept a Suvattii puffer in a 30-gallon tank for 3 years. Then in late March I found that he'd developed some fungus on his body and near his mouth (but I don't think it was exclusively mouth fungus, which I know can be different). Anyway, when I've had issues with fungus
in the past, I've used Melafix and/or Pimafix and always had good results.
<Unreliable medications, at best. I fear they were a poor choice of treatment.>
I'm wary of using chemicals on my puffers, especially as that particular tank is planted with live plants. Anyway, after a few days, my Suvattii puffer died, the fungus had penetrated too far, and I'd caught it too late I'm guessing.
<See above. The pufferfish sensitivity thing is a bit overstated. While formalin and copper may well be toxic to them (indeed, they're pretty hard on most fish) antibiotics and many organic dyes work just fine.>
Well, I bought a couple of crabs and since I didn't want to move them into a planted tank, knowing that most crabs will shred plants. So I moved my Abei puffer into the tank the Suvattii had been in, and moved the crabs where the Abei had been.
<I see...>
The Abei was in that tank from about the 28th of March until yesterday.
I'd seen on Tuesday that the Abei had developed very small dots of fungus (I'm sure it wasn't Whitespot) and so I started the Pimafix/Melafix treatment. But yesterday I went to dose the tank and the Abei had passed away. Now, I did find some uneaten food mixed in with the plants, I know that isn't good, but what I don't get is that I have a tank or two that, if it were down to not keeping up with water changes and having issues, I would think it would be these other tanks, not this particular tank that has problems. However, something is obviously up with this tank since I've now had two of my puffer fish get fungus and both die on me. I cannot figure out what the exact problem is. I've been keeping puffer fish for at
least 11 years, and have about 9 different species at the moment with no problems with any of the others. It's something with this tank.
<Possibly. There's certainly an argument for giving the tank a big clean.
Flushing out the tank (i.e., do several 90% water changes) would be helpful. You should also refresh the filter. Save biological media, but chuck out any carbon, and if you can, use a high-end chemical adsorbent like CupriSorb (to remove any traces of copper) as well as fresh carbon (to remove any unwanted organic chemicals) should ensure good conditions in the tank. The plants won't appreciate the substrate being dug-up, but certainly rake over the top a bit, removing any organic muck. Basically, keep the filter running, but give the tank a really deep clean. The filter bacteria will need something to 'eat' of course, so a pinch of flake every day should take care of that.>
So, here I am with a nice big planted tank ... that clearly has some issue.
I don't want to put any other living thing in there until I know what's going on OR how to sanitize the tank so that it won't hurt any other fish or aquatic living thing.
<You can't sterilise an aquarium with plants and a filter.>
I am hoping you can help me out here. I'd really like to stay away from anything that may kill the live plants in the tank because I started out with just a couple plants to now having quite a few plants and it looking very nice.
Just to say, when the first puffer got fungus I did check the temperature of the tank, which was a bit high, so I adjusted the thermometer and now it's where it should be. I clean the tank at regular intervals and it's got a good powerful filter in there. The only thing of course was finding uneaten food among the plants (each time with both puffers). Also, and I'm not sure this matters, but that tank gets a fair amount of light from a window, though not enough to produce algae, so not sure if that matters or not.
<It can do. Direct sunlight will elevate temperature dramatically (lowering oxygen concentration) so that needs to be considered. Algal blooms are a common problem with direct sunlight as well, but this is less of an issue provided the algae is healthy and removed periodically. What you don't want is pea-soup water or clumps of blue-green algae.>
I'm really hoping you can help me with this. That tank is a nice size and while I have 13 other tanks, they are all happily occupied and I'd like to keep this tank and be able to use it. But I don't want to put anything in there until I can figure out what the issue is, because I don't want to kill any more fish, especially my puffer fish.
Hoping you can help.
Kind Regards,
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

11 year old Female Red Eared Slider Turtle       5/18/18
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have an 11 year old female red eared slider turtle and I let her roam around my house sometimes for an hour or so.
Well I just noticed that
1. She will literally climb out of her tank.
2. She will sit down on my floor and push her butt in the air and lay her head down and act like
she's swimming with her front paws.
Can someone explain to me what's going on?
<Yep - She's being a dork>
<She really shouldn't be able to climb out of her tank. Too many dangers there. Make sure she can't do that>
<I see that behavior once in a great while. On a textured floor like carpet, I always assumed it was an attempt to dig -- since that's exactly the position a female takes when starting to dig a nest. On a hard
surface, something they don't encounter in the wild, I think they may be trying to swim through it.>
<Either way, it's not an illness>

Re: Goldflake angel white stringy poop       5/18/18
Hi Bob
Just an update. I've sent the fish poop for microscopic test and the photos are attached as below.
<Mmm; can make out the copepods, not the single celled (circled) life>
I was only told that the protozoa are jumping actively. Currently I've re commenced to dose with Metronidazole and Praziquantel. By looking at the pictures, am I going the right direction with dosing with Metronidazole or more should be done? Thank you and much appreciated.
<Need more resolution... clearer, more close up, resolved pix. Bob Fenner>

full-size crop

I need to understand Biofilm       5/18/18
Hello Crew!
I think I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I was turning my 55 gallon tank into an "Eel Tank." That's done and the eels (Macrognathus pancalus according to the supplier) are doing well. I don't know if its because they are the only fish in the tank or if this is consistent with this species, but they are rarely under the sand (only when I do "scary" things like water changes - and sometimes not even then).
<Indeed; and floating plants even encourage them to hang out at the surface. Spiny Eels do vary in temperament of course, but when care for properly, they're not especially shy.>
They are constantly swimming around the tank and are a lot of fun. And I don't want that to change, but I need something in that tank to eat algae.
<I would stick with invertebrates, perhaps Nerites. Something that won't compete for food, at least.>
The tank is older and has some scratches which seems to accumulate algae that spreads out from there. But I don't want to put in an algae eater for fear of it frightening the eels and driving them permanently under the sand.
<Agreed, and again, Nerites are great at keeping glass and things like rocks clean. They're less good for clearing plants.>
So I've been doing some research and came across a fish called a "Rainbow Goby" aka "White Cheek Goby" (my aquarium store has one and they're "holding" it for me until I make my decision).
<This is Rhinogobius duospilus, a temperate to subtropical species from China. Not really suitable for tropical tanks. More a mountain stream biotope tank.>
I read that this fish feeds on "biofilm" and my research on biofilm defines it as "...a thin film on the surface of aquarium water, caused by the build up of protein from organic waste material. It is the structure bacteria build to support themselves growing on the surface where they get access to oxygen and the material...". Is this the type of biofilm this fish feeds on?
<Possibly. They're easily fed with bloodworms and the like, and aren't at all fussy. Most failures will come from overheating them.>
Does this fish feed at the surface?
Because the filter on this tank produces a moderate current and I don't see how the fish will be able to eat in that current when it only gets 2 inches long.
<Oh, gobies are fantastically well adapted to living in strong water currents.>
Will the tank ornaments and/or the sides off the tank accumulate enough off this biofilm for this fish to feed on? The Internet says this fish will "sometimes" accept bloodworms and such, but if I need to provide it with biofilm that's what I want to do. I don't want to get this fish and watch it starve to death so any information you can provide will be, as always, greatly appreciated.
<In this instance, biofilm probably means the same thing as 'aufwuchs', the combination of green algae and tiny invertebrates that develops on rocks in fast-flowing habitats such as mountain streams and rocky reefs. A combination of algae wafers, brine shrimps, bloodworms, and so on will satisfy Rhinogobius spp., and my specimens were really rather greedy! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Betta Breathing Hard      5/17/18
Hi again, I tested his water and couldn't believe it had .25ppm of ammonia!
That's the second time in 2.5 months that I lost my cycle. I did a 75% water change and added the Tetra Safe Start and 24 hours later, no more ammonia. Last week I did four water changes on my 10gal tank.
<So much change can disrupt nitrification. Hence my urging folks to pre-mix, store change out water ahead (a week) of use>

He's still breathing harder since Saturday, but swimming and eating normally. In addition, the bottom of his beard is always sticking out.
There is salt in his tank. Not sure if I can do anything else?
I had been changing the water so much due to the debris as I hadn't gotten the sand cleaning down pat.
<I encourage you to consider switching this sand out for larger grade... gravel>
Also he has some splitting on his fins. This morning I noticed another small missing piece. I turned the filter back down. I read to do many water changes to improve this, but I can't if I keep losing my cycle.
<Changing the water out is not a viable solution.... You need a steady bacterial population... in filter media, gravel....>
I'm not even sure if it's rotting or just splitting. It doesn't look red, black, melting or infected but it's not healing. There's more and more splitting and tears here and there.
<.... the issue here is too much water change, ammonia>
I thought about putting him in a small tank and doing daily water changes. I did that with another Betta in the past and It worked. But that seems drastic and I know he won't like it, but at what point do I make
that step?
<Perhaps reading a few hundred responses on WWM re Betta splendens; environmental disease>
Plus I did that with 1tsp of salt per gallon. I'm not sure how often that is safe to do. I've had salt in his tank since Sunday.
Thanks for your help,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Undiagnosed disease.      5/17/18
Hello crew, i hope you are doing well, as always.
<Hi Roberto,>
With the coming of winter, and slightly colder temperatures, i started using heaters in my tanks. (it was getting below 22 C).
One day i woke up to a Columbian tetra caught between the heater and the glass. I dislodged him and he went onto normal, except that he had an horrible vertical searing wound. It looked pretty horrible. I observed the fish for the following days and he looked to be healing pretty well. When everything looked good, he developed white, round growths on his wounds. It started slow, and i tried to net him many times out, but netting him out of a 150 gallon heavily planted tank is... hard. I decided to just keep on water changes daily and keep clean filters, etc.
The growths disappeared, and he seemed to heal completely. a week after the growths came back more aggressively, but still advancing slowly. Maybe a new growth every 2 days or so. I finally netted him out and put him on quarantine. I am concerned between three different ailments which are listed on your website: Lymphocystis, fungus or Columnaris.
<It doesn't look like Lymphocystis from the photographs of the Mollies and the Siamese Algae Eater. Conceivably Whitespot, but more likely Fungus, Columnaris, or perhaps Costia.>
i treated him with tetracycline and Methylene blue (correct me if im wrong, this has formalin right?).
<Formalin may be an ingredient in commercial medications, but these two chemicals are specific things, and in themselves, not formalin.>
Not sure if the treatment worked, as it jumped out overnight...
Fast forwarding a couple days, both fish pictures, a black molly and a SAE, developed the same growths. They don't have any wounds, they just started developing the growths. It seemed as first that single scales were popping out, then in the place of the pooped out scale appeared the growths. Some growths have disappeared, but they have left red open wounds.
<Not good.>
I have the molly in a 5 gal and treated with tetracycline, Methylene blue.
<Methylene Blue is effective against fungal infections, but will have little/no impact on Costia or Columnaris (also known as Mouth Fungus). Fungal infections often set in alongside other types of disease, which can be why Methylene Blue seems to help a bit, even where the actual problem is a protozoan or bacterium species.>
It seems to be working, albeit slowly. I am keeping on water changes on both the main tank and the quarantine, but what do you think is a correct diagnose?
<See above. Costia is typically associated with off-white to grey smears (hence 'Slime Disease') and can develop extremely rapidly. It usually respond best to anti-Whitespot medications, albeit slowly enough 2-3 rounds of treatment may be required. Columnaris (or Mouth Fungus) is bacterial in nature, so antibiotics are ideal, but failing that, some type of antibacterial medication used for external infections such as Finrot. I'd perhaps be looking at something like eSHa 2000 in the first instance, as it's fairly broad acting, dealing with a range of external bacteria and fungal infections. It also works well (and safely) alongside eSHa EXIT, which is a very good against external Protozoans. Since both these medications are cheap and widely sold, they're my favoured combination for use against difficult to identify, though obviously external, diseases.>
I went out and bought an API medicine that is supposedly for fungus. It is Victoria green (malachite green?) and Acriflavine. I can get Acriflavine separately for cheaper. Should i add, this sickness doesn't seem to be stressing them, they are eating normally, even the Columbian was doing so, even when heavily infested, it is developing, albeit very slowly.
I will be waiting input, so far no other fish have developed the growths, but it has shown it doesn't need an open wound to do so.
As always, thanks, WWM.
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

long term. Infested SW systems      5/17/18
Hey Bob, good morning.
<Hi John>
This question is regarding marine velvet. My 750 got infected with it a few weeks back and devastated my fish population.
<I def. recall>
I have about 10 out of 30 remaining. About 1/2 of the remaining fish must be immune because they haven’t shown any symptoms. The other half are touch and go.
<I see>
I’ve tried to trap them with no success and with thousands in corals I can’t treat the tank. The question is this. If some of these fish pull through and clear the infection, will I ever be able to add new fish to the system or will the parasite always be present even on the healthy fish?
<I hinted re this before... You will need, be best served to select more resistant species (not Powder Blue, Brown Tangs e.g.) from better source countries, AND harden them ahead of introduction. The short version of this last involves isolation/quarantine to assure initial health, AND a bit of acquired immunity imbued by slowly introducing water from the main/display into the new arrival tank. Some folks might suggest prophylactic treatment/s as well. The reality is that nearly all captive systems are infested w/ parasite fauna of various mix; with the other two "factors that determine livestock health" acting as more drivers of outbreak>
As always, thank you.
<Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm
Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Mysterious nail   5/16/18
I was searching the web trying to identify some mysterious nails in my freshwater nano tank. And I came across a photo of the snail I’m trying to identify and it was tagged with your website on it. Could you guys take a look at this and maybe tell me what kind of snail I have in
my tank and whether or not it’s beneficial or not?
<Physa... your reading on WWM, elsewhere>
Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Mysterious nail   5/16/18
Thank you very much.
<Certainly welcome Martin. BobF>

Re: Request for an article.   5/16/18
Thank you again.
<Thank you Anupam. B>

Re: Goodeids   5/16/18
hi, I'm very sorry about the late reply. I'm doing a project on the conservation of endangered Goodeids and i was wondering what you might know about how to conserve a species (specifically freshwater live bearers).
<What have you found out so far? For sure I'd be happy to add some comments, though from the perspective of the aquarist. Yes, there are species that exist only (or at least mainly) in captivity such as Ameca splendens. But there are issues about simply releasing these tank-bred specimens into the wild that we can talk about in detail later. Conversely, livebearers introduced outside of their natural range can cause headaches for those trying to conserve other species of fish. Mosquitofish are well known (and well studied) in this regard. So anyway, if you tell me what you've found out about so far, I can throw in some extra details. In the meantime, Wikipedia is a good starting point, but the IUCN website is
probably a better resource. Fishbase another good starting point. All of these will provide online/print media links that you will find useful.>
also if you know anything about their taxonomy that would be helpful as well.
<Again, yes, I know a fair bit about their taxonomy. But I'm hesitant to simply write it all down for you without establishing what you've already learned thus far. Wouldn't want to waste each other's time. So where are you at in this regard? To what extent have you pinned down the families, genera or species you wish to review? Do bear in mind freshwater livebearers range from Poeciliidae and Goodeidae through to things like Halfbeaks and Stingrays, so there's a lot of diversity within this grouping. Furthermore, sub-species level taxonomy can be complex, with numerous subspecies, geographical races, even simple polymorphism evident (see Micropoecilia parae as a good example). Conserving a species often ends up more difficult that simply conserving the species generally, but ensuring each distinct population is conserved, and gene flow between them minimised. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: green spotted puffer help!  Now Topaz puffers   5/16/18
Hi Neale,
Whilst still deciding whether to add the figure 8’s. I’ve found a pair of Topaz puffers. I understand these are v similar to the green spotted and therefore may do better with my GSPs?
<Yes; virtually identical in terms of size, behaviour, diet, etc. Taxonomically, real scientists consider the two species almost impossible to separate by looks alone, hence their reliance on DNA markers instead. Hobbyists are a little more confident, but you'll find some specimens on sale with markings that might be suggest either species, so there probably is some patterning and colouration overlap between them we don't always take into consideration.>
Do you know much about their aggression level?
<Variable, much like GSPs. Some specimens fairly easy going, others more snappy. The average specimen is probably a bit more aggressive than the average GSP, but there's not a huge amount in it.>
The ones I have found are c 4-5inches vs. the GSP’s that are currently around 2 inches. I assume this wouldn’t work due to size difference?
<It's worth a shot if you had some egg crate you could use as a divider if things didn't work out. Depends a bit on the size of the tank too. In theory, the two species will cohabit given space, though neither is what you'd call sociable.>
I really like them so thought I’d email you on the off chance you know more about them and can comment in compatibility and whether I can make it work. I am aware various different species are called topaz so I have included a picture below to help. As you can see they look awesome :-) but don’t want to buy them if they’ll likely demolish my GSPs!
<Definitely photos of what the hobby calls the Topaz Puffer, Tetraodon fluviatilis, yes. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: green spotted puffer help!   5/16/18

It’s a 120 litre but I plan to upgrade in the next year or so - would that be too small and asking for problems or Ok to try?
<I'd not be keeping a 4-inch/10-cm pufferfish in a 120 litre tank, unless perhaps if it was one of the inactive 'lurker' species. 120 litres/25 gallons isn't a huge volume of water, and while it's fine for one or more juveniles, by the time you start adding near-adult specimens, water quality management is going to become much more of a challenge. Egg crate or similar (e.g., tank dividers sold for cichlids) are useful with aggressive fish if you can't be 100% sure they'll cohabit. Approach with caution. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: green spotted puffer help!    5/16/18

Thanks Neale - I'll avoid them then for now ��
<Cool. Cheers, Neale.>

Betta Breathing Hard; dis., sys. f'     5/15/18
Good morning All!
<Hey Donetta>
Glad you're still here! It's been a couple of years since I had a fish.
I've had my Betta "Pety" since the end of March. I got him from Petco. He was beautiful except for a little tattering on his tail. I figured clean water would take care of that, but it's still there in additional to a
little more splitting from excessive flaring and playing in the filter I believe. It took him a couple weeks to calm down. He was fighting his evil twin quite a bit!
My set up is a lone Betta in a 10 gallon tank with filter and heater set to 80 degrees. Plastic plants that are all Betta friendly and a few Marino balls. I had all Anubias but they got that disease so I pulled them out. My tank is fully cycled. It cycles in two days always with Tetra Safe Start which I love. My param.s are always 0/0/5-10. My ph is always high at 8 and I live in Southern Cali and my water is very hard.
<Ah yes; I'm in San Diego; we call the tap "liquid rock"...>
I always wonder if I should do a 50/50 tap and distilled water.
<Mmm; I'd just use the tap for what you have here. Likely the hard, alkaline water was a factor with your Anubias>
I read so many different opinions. Do you think it will make a difference? If so I'd like to give him the best home.
<Well; would be better w/ a middling 7's pH... But, the troubles folks have with such adjustments.... IF you're going the modification of pH route, DO such changes with new water OUTSIDE the tank, SAVE it ahead of time for use (like a week)>
This is the first time I've had sand substrate and I had a hard time learning to get it clean. I watched so many YouTube videos, but for a while I had this debris floating on top of the water with a little cloudiness. In addition there was also debris in the water column that looked like clear straight lines about 1/4th inch. I'd do 50% water changes 2-3 times a week trying to clear it up to no avail. I know it was not good for Pety to breath that in plus he had the tattering on his fins.
Also I think he lost a fin ray before I got him too. See it dangling on the side?
<Mmm; not really. This fish looks good/great. Very healthy>
I finished treating him with Kanaplex in his food a couple weeks ago.
Nothing changed. Before that I tried salt for 10 days nothing changed.
Maybe my water quality wasn't good enough.
For about the last 1 1/2 weeks he's been breathing harder. I thought it was due to all the floaties in the water. On Saturday, I finally kicked up the flow on the filters. I have two mini internals with spray bars.
Pointed at the walls they make basically no current. I turned one up to the water line. Said to myself Pety is going to have to get use to it.
It's still pretty tame though and he's doing ok. I finally tried a sand vacuuming technique that worked for me.
I hold the vacuum at an angle and let the back end touch the sand and glide across. It doesn't pick up any sand! And I got out the most poo ever.
Finally! I did a 75% water change. Right after, I tried this DIY technique from the DIY King on YouTube. I cut out a 16oz plastic bottle and attached it to a power head. Packed the plastic bottle with filter floss and ran it for 15 minutes. Finally my tank is clear!
However, I stressed out Pety. I cupped him and let him float in the tank to keep him warm while I ran the power head. However he was freaking out and moving side to side. So I took him out the tank and sat him on the counter and put a towel over him to calm him down. The whole process was 15 min. Then I released him back in the water. A little later I noticed he was breathing harder. This was on Saturday. On Sunday he was still breathing hard. Still swimming around as usual and eating, begging for
food etc. I then added 5 teaspoons of aquarium salt along with an air stone to help with his gills. I wonder if the breathing problems started because of the debris in the tank and escalated because of the stressful water change.
<What are your measures of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate? Temperature?>
This morning (Monday). He's still breathing hard. Looks like his gills are sticking out a tad. Could he have Gill Flukes?
<Very doubtful>
But he never flashes. I have PraziPro at home. I didn't want to just drop meds in his tank, but I'm very concerned over his breathing. And I'm concerned about his fins not healing, they are a little worse then the above pic now, but the splitting is not progressing it's pretty much staying the same. Maybe it doesn't heal because of the water quality.
<This IS the mostly likely cause>
Also I forgot to mention I keep Indian almond tannins in his tank and I've been using Seachem Stress Guard for his fins, but again no improvement.
<These are fine to use>
Thanks for your help!
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Restarting refugium     5/15/18
Thank you. One more question. How can I raise my phosphate? We already over feed our fish, pellets 2x day, Rod’s at night. We also add nori. In addition to the fish below we also have seven striped cardinals. I can only find Neophos as a supplement, but there has to be a better way. Some one said add more fish.
<You don't utilize a chemical filtrant? I'd add more fish then, and food; rather than adding soluble phosphate directly. Bob Fenner>
Re: Restarting refugium     5/15/18

<Big W.>
Nope, no chemical filtrants. Just skimming, ozone and carbon after the ozone.
<Oh, well skimming and ozone do their part in eliminated HPO4>
Now, what kind of fish can I have. I thought having a 300g would open limitless possibilities, but with our coral diversity it is hard to balance compatible fish. I would love a Heniochus, but they would eat my Zoas and Acans like skittles. Other fish can be to/o aggressive. That leaves me with Anthias. Let me know if you have other suggestions.
<? All sorts... Flasher, Fairy, Lined et al Wrasses, all Basses, Cardinals.... see WWM re. B>

Request for an article. Re "exotic" BTAs      5/15/18
Hearty greetings.
This is a request from just one amongst all the earthlings for an article by the Veteran if & when he is pleased, to solve the eye boggling mystery for the simple minded laymen behind the unrealistically eye candy avatars of the much favoured Cnidarian (E. quadricolor) emanating seemingly from some sorcery or discovery of some sort.
The following link shows one such specimen-
<Hey Anupam. If you're hinting that you'd like to see me/someone here on WWM pen such, it won't be me. (Again) I don't know the origin of these Entacmaea, but I fully suspect they're man-made (not natural)... Have seen comments re "Rainbow" et al. Anemones since 2007 or so... "From China?"
Until I see these "varieties" underwater myself or see reports by credible people re...
Bob Fenner>

Re: Ropefish collecting in the wild questions      5/15/18
I finally found where they were taking about the wild catching on here and it was bob Fenner can you forward this convo onto him?
<I don't have any further useful input. BobF>

Restarting refugium      5/14/18
Hi. I hope you and your tanks are happy.
<Thanks Will>
I have 2 problems, not a good thing
1: We had a ozone reactor over flow. We just had it dialed in wrong after some changes. We had to make the difficult decision to move our sump and dry out underneath it. We also needed to re-seal the drain pan, it wasn’t done as well as it should have been. The actual question what is the best way to re-start the refugium? Put all of the muck back in and suffer thru the mini cycle, or start fresh and slowly build it up. I think our tank can sustain itself w/o a refugium.
<I'd rinse whatever hard substrate (rock, sand, gravel) to remove "muck", replace all biota>
2. Dino’s are back. Not sure where the hell they came from.
<Cyclical... nutrient availability, lack of competitors, predators...>
We thought we had this battle won 3 months ago. I read that Chaeto is a favorite place for them to hide out, true/false?
<False. Can "get in" many ways, including just the air>
If so I just won’t put back what we had in the refugium. We have other macro algae in there. Just looking for 2 cents here, I think we have been thru everything thing. We are greatly reducing the light cycle for 2 days, the slowly ramping it back up
Details of tank
300g up for 1yr 3mo.
3 MP 40s in the tank
~200 lbs live rock
2.5 nitrate prior to removing sump/refugium
0 phosphate
<Biomineralizing life needs some>
9.5 Alk
450 Calc
370 ORP. Best I can figure, the other ORP probe shows 320.
Mg was 1250 a week ago.
Sump Trigger Systems Ruby 36 elite
Big reef-octopus skimmer (I can’t remember model)
Apex with too many probes.
Geos Reef ozone reactor
Poseidon Ozone reactor
4x Radion Gen 3 Pros.
Our Acros are FINALLY starting to grow.
<Need HPO4>

Got some killer stuff from WWC on their sales. The Jello Shot is too cool for words.
My big concern is that we got one of the Biota Mandarins last week. It is so small!! We keep it in Marine Depot RF200 Acclimation/Quarantine box in the main tank with some macro and the porous live rock. She is doing great and is eating frozen food.
<Ah good>
Other live stock: powder blue & yellow tang, ruby fin fairy wrasse, goby/pistol pair , lots of snails.
The main question go buried above, What is the best way to restart the refugium. Put all the old gunk back in at once, or slowly add new stuff over a period of time.
<Rinse out the gunk>
Thanks for your help and patience over the years of my addiction.
<Glad to share. Bob Fenner>

Re: Unusual BTAs/names      5/14/18
Thank you Mr. Fenner.
<Welcome Anupam>

Acrylic tank HELP      5/13/18
Hi Bob,
I noticed some splotches on the used acrylic tank that I recently purchased. I'm wondering if I should be concerned about them or not.
There are also some small visible Nick's that I can feel with my finger nail.
I'd really appreciate your help. Thank you so much for even having the FAQ.
<The "whited out spots" in the joint of the tank aren't problematical. Do keep an eye on them over the years to make sure they don't grow; make up more than half the joint. The vertical fracturing/crazing you are likely referring to as noticeable w/ your finger nail is more concerning. IF you find yourself at a time with the tank empty, dry, completely clean, I would solvent a piece of doweling or cut piece/sheet of acrylic in this corner... the entire length of the crazed side. Do you understand? Please read re on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Goodeids, gen.      5/12/18
Howdy WetWebMedia,
I was wondering if there was anything else that you could tell me about Goodeids, besides what is already on your site.
<What do you need to know? Which species are you interested in? There are a fair number of species, and while the group is pretty consistent in some ways, there is some variation among species. Cheers, Neale.>

cloudy 2 year established goldfish 30 gallon aquarium     5/12/18
I've had fancy goldfish and Orandas in a my aquarium for two years, all of a sudden the water is staying cloudy and I lost one of my goldfish. The goldfish had been swimming off and on upside down for 2 months or so and then one evening I notice he was staying upside down more than upright and that his fins were very ragged. I flushed him because he wasn't breathing very well either. Soooo I checked the ammonia levels a couple of weeks ago and it was perfect, now its out of the scale of high....its blue...... I've used Prime and did 1/3 water change, changed the filter and put in ammonia chips with filter and still cloudy. today I put ammo lock in.....WHAT DO I DO???Thanks, Donna
<Donna, let me have you do some reading first:
Cloudy water usually indicates either filtration problems or water chemistry problems. If ammonia is high, that suggests the former.
Substantial, daily water changes will certainly help; and don't feed until the tank has settled down. Zeolite (ammonia removing chips) can help in the short term, but longer term, you need to figure out how the existing filter failed. Often simply adding a second filter can help, especially if the tank was fine when the fish were small, but now they're bigger, the tank has become more difficult to maintain. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: cloudy 2 year established goldfish 30 gallon aquarium     5/12/18
thanks!!!! they are getting much bigger! second filter and water changes......here I go!
<Ah, right, seems like you have a plan. Cheers, Neale.>


Carassius pop eye     5/12/18
Hello, I’m Maite, and I have a fish with a strange bubble in the eye, I search everywhere to know what It is, but I didn't find anything. So I write to You, if You know something about this. It is acting weird this days, it stays hidden behind the filter, and the skin is getting whiter.
This is an image of my fish
<The eyes of fishes are highly vascularized... lots of blood vessels, flow there. This fact is capitalized on in the "breeds" of goldfish with bulbous eyes. Yours here may have suffered an injury, but I suspect it is just of poor genetic stock. There is no sure cure for this condition... You might want to try Epsom Salt (see WWM re).
If the fish doesn't cure... it will likely perish.
Bob Fenner>

Adding Julidochromis to existing tank     5/12/18
Hi crew,
I have an established tank (about 5 years old) with Neolamprologus multifasciatus colony (total 9 fish). Do you think I can safely add pair or maybe even single Julidochromis transcriptus or other similar Julies
species. Photo of my 20 hexagon tank is below.
<It is going to be dicey, to be honest Mark, but not impossible. Julies operate strictly in terms of surface area, not depth. So they'll be expecting a certain amount of real estate somewhere among the rocks. Your 20 gallon tank (assuming that's what it is) will be taller rather than wide, which puts a premium on the types of habitat the Julies will be after. Your little Neolamprologus work much the same way, albeit favouring shells or burrows. If you can rearrange the tank in such a way there are a nice mix of shells towards the bottom, and a raised mountain of rocks up the back, say, where the Julies can make their territories, you might be okay. You'd want one of the smaller Julie species of course, simply because
of the size of the tank, and bear in mind all Tanganyikans are sensitive to water quality issues, so you can't compromise in this regard. Of course both kinds of fish are zooplankton feeders, so in that sense at least you shouldn't have too many problems. Cheers, Neale.>

Black ghost knife fish, glass catfish, and neon tetras     5/12/18
Thank you for your website. It’s very informative.
<Hello Vicki, and thanks for the kind words. However, sending 20 MB of attachments completely messed up our email box, which causes some people's messages to be sent back to them as undeliverable. We do politely ask people keep attachments down to a minimum size, around 500 kB for images, by resizing them in a graphics application of their choice.>
I have queries about 3 fish species.
<Fire away.>
I have a BGK (see photos attached). Out of its anus this pink growth has suddenly appeared (happened 4 days ago). At times what appears to be faeces still is coming out so don’t think it’s a blockage. It’s behaviour remains unchanged. It’s still appears happy and is swimming around and eating. I’ve read on your website not to feed it blood worms (unsure why?). What else can we feed it other than bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia? I have been feeding it bloodworms and brine shrimp and it has also been eating vegetarian food I put out for my bottom feeders (such as spinach, broccoli, carrot, shelled peas, couchette, cucumber, and pellets) and flakes. I apologise for the grainy photos but it is very difficult to get clear images from a fish tank.
<I'm not sure this is the anus of the fish. Looks a bit far forward. The anus should be well past the gill covers, and close to the front of the anal fin. But if it is what you say it is -- and you can see the fish better than me! -- then a prolapse may be the issue here. Various reasons for this, but often internal protozoan parasites or worms at the cause. Medicating with Metronidazole alongside a good antibiotic such as Nitrofuran would be my first move. Deworming is worth a shot, for example with PraziPro. Sometimes prolapses are triggered by dietary shortcomings, so review this aspect alongside medication.>
One of my glass catfish appears to have white spot? I’ve been treating it with Melafix and Pimafix for 6 days and it remains unchanged. Same with the neon tetras who have had continuous growths and damage to their fins since we got them (8 weeks or so). We’ve been treating them with Melafix and Pimafix in a hospital tank but they don’t seem to be getting better.
<These are both somewhere on a sale from unreliable to useless.>
We’ve even tried “tonic” a mixture of Methylene blue mixed with malachite green. It didn’t work.
<Indeed not; neither of these is considered first-rate anti-Whitespot medications. The old salt/heat method works well if this truly is Whitespot (2 gram salt/litre water, plus water temperature raised to 28 C) but many aquarists simply prefer to use a commercial anti-Whitespot medication, such as eSHa EXIT.>
We have even tried feeding them with their flakes soaked in Seachem garlic guard. We don’t want to keep treating our fish and would like these issues resolved.
<Again, nothing about garlic treats Whitespot.>
Other fish that live with the BKF and glass catfish are Plecos, Kuhli loaches, black neons, clown loaches, chain loaches, striata loaches, varies Gourami, female Betta, golden tetras, albino shark, bristle nose catfish, and Colchis blue (I think they are called).
<No idea what that last fish might be! But in any case, Black Ghost Knifefish, most catfish, and most loaches are very intolerant of copper and formalin, so choose medications very carefully. The salt/heat treatment is safe with them, as are Metronidazole and true antibiotics.>
We use RO DI water and all our parameters are perfect.
<I'd prefer the actual parameters over your interpretations, to be honest. But providing you have fairly soft to middling water chemistry (1-12 degrees dH, pH 6.5-7.5) this mix of fish should be fine. I trust you are not using pure RO water, but are adding something to it, whether hard tap water or commercial Discus buffer? Straight RO water is not helpful.>
Tanks are well oxygenated as well.
Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks,
<You're welcome, Neale.>

Re: Black ghost knife fish, glass catfish, and neon tetras     5/12/18
Hi Neale,
Thank you for your prompt reply. I apologise for sending through large photos. Will know for next time.
I appreciate your help.
<You are most welcome! Good luck, Neale.>

New? BTA varieties?     5/12/18
It's the new variety of rare bubble tip anemones like Inferno, Flame, Sunburst, Lemon drop, Rainbow. Where were these pretty color strains earlier and how did they come about all of a sudden, is my question. Could you throw some light in this regard?
<Strange... after decades in the trade, I never heard these names applied to Entacmaea...
Looked on the Net, and do see such...
Know nothing regarding; have never encountered in the wild; though other bizarrely colored specimens that I make out as BTAs.
See here on WWM:
I say "let the buyer beware". Bob Fenner>

Re: Tinfoil Barb      5/11/18
It does help! Thank you!
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Re: Dragon Goby      5/11/18
P.S. The Dragon Goby that you helped me with that I got in back on April 6th (he was about 6 inches long then) has been responsible for me getting a lot of "guff" from members of the local aquarium club.
<Well, that's good, isn't it!?>
They thought I was wrong to feed him seaweed (green, red, and brown - he loves them all!) and only the occasional bloodworms and Mysis shrimp - they insisted he was a carnivore and needed an exclusively "meat" diet AND a freshwater fish.
Well, they're eating their words now as he has grown to more than 10 inches in just a month and his girth has quadrupled.
He is absolutely stunning with his silver and cobalt blue coloring (I keep trying to get a picture of him, but all I get is a silver-blue blur - I'll send you one when I get it) and he swims around the tank strong and bold as brass day or night, tank lights on or not.
<Quite so. Their other common name, Violet Goby, refers to this lovely colouration they can develop under good conditions. Healthy specimens might not be pretty, as such, given their weird proportions, but they are certainly impressive.>
Now everyone wants to know where I got my information on feeding this fish correctly and I gave them the address for your site.
Thanks for setting me straight on caring for this beautiful fish!
<Ah, and thanks for this kind, informative and very welcome update. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Violet Goby       5/11/18

Yes, it is good! What's even more fun is to see peoples' reaction when they see him. They don't just stop talking, they stop breathing for a bit (no one as fainted yet!).
<They are certainly distinctive pets!>
I've been looking for more specific information about the different seaweeds that might shed some light on the Goby's menu selections, but so far I haven't been able to find anything (and the nutritional information on the package says they're all the same as far as percentage of protein, fat, fiber, etc.).
<Oh, I would not worry too much: while there is some variation, the essential nutrients in seaweed, such as iodine, will complement nicely the nutritional composition of things like algae wafers and frozen krill.>
But he definitely has his preferences; he always eats the red seaweed first, always.
<Yum! This group, the Rhodophyta, includes many of the ones humans consider most palatable, including Nori and Laver.>
Then he'll eat the green or the brown as he seems to like those equally, unless I have put a Algae Wafer or Veggie Round in the tank - those are preferred over the green or brown seaweed. I'd love to understand why (there I go again with the "why").
<Algae wafers will contain nice smelly proteins that attract fish to eat them. Red algae may well be extra tasty in the same way that your Japanese sashimi wouldn't be as good without the Sushi Nori wrapped around it!>
Anyway, I almost didn't get this fish, which would have been my loss, because the Internet says they are very difficult to transition to frozen foods. Now I know why.
<A common story with many oddballs. They're not difficult; they just can't be kept in a community tank and fed flake. Once you get past that, oddballs offer up some really fun pets.>
Maybe my experience will help someone else make more informed choices and be able to enjoy this incredible gift of nature.
<Quite so. Regards, Neale.>

Re: Ropefish collecting in the wild questions      5/11/18
I know they have been bred a few times with the offspring making it about 18 weeks at the longest before dying of unknown causes.
<Indeed, these have been less often bred than Bichirs.>
So I’m trying to figure out if simulating wet and dry season will help keep the offspring alive.
I’m also trying to find any info I can on how they are collected because I feel like something that is happening when they are collected might be hurting our chances of tank breeding them.
<Ah, a good way of thinking. I would also have you look into their actual ecology. Erpetoichthys is increasingly recognised as an amphibious fish rather than a fully aquatic one. Waterlogged vegetation, swamps, and other complex habitats are where they live, and their familiar sidewinding locomotion is precisely how they move across wet land. They are well adapted to breathing air, can spend hours on land so long as they are wet, and may well actively avoid clear water where competition (or predation) from other fish is too strong. In other words, we're looking at something more like a Mudskipper than a typical fish. I'd use Google Scholar to learn more. There's plenty of information out there.>
And I’m wondering if they have different techniques in different areas where they are caught. Similar to how some fish are sedated for shipping and thing like that having an impact. I appreciate your fast response and am excited to see if anyone else has any more info or a connection to someone with more info I can talk too.
<One thing I'd be thinking about is their clearly obligate need for air rather than water. Newly hatched fish may well be adapted to very shallow water, well away from predators, but in turn, reliant on being able to locomotor to the surface to gulp air. It may well be you'd want to hatch the fish in very shallow water, maybe a couple cm, maybe even less, to replicate this ecological niche more accurately. Warm and humid air will be part of the mixture too; if anabantids are any indication to go by, breathing cold or dry air can have a strongly negative impact on survival rates.>
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Ropefish collecting in the wild questions      5/11/18

That actually helped a lot.
I really do think that the dry season in particular must have the most to do with fry survival.
<May well be.>
I have added a “turtle” dock to my set up and covered it with moss.
<Ah, yes, sounds about right to me.>
I have observed them leaving the water onto the dock and eating terrestrial insects offered on the dock such as wingless fruit flies.
<Indeed, does seem a substantial part of their diet in the wild includes terrestrial insects collected during such excursions.>
I also have “jungle” style plants that allow the ropes to rest at the surface by sitting on the plants trying my hardest to simulate the reedy swamp like condition of their natural environment.
I really am having a hard time finding video or pictures of them in the wild and also finding the “poison” used to catch them and exploring if that is discouraging tank breeding.
<Can't help here, I'm afraid. I'm not aware of 'poisons' being used to catch this species.>
I’ve been doing a lot of research on the ecology of the fish and find that some of the studies on locomotion and oxygen intake done in the 80’s have been the most helpful. I had not however thought about the humid air they breath as fry might have something to do with the success rate.
<Good luck! Neale.>
Re: Ropefish collecting in the wild questions      5/11/18

The only reason I say “poison” is because I don’t know what they are using. The only info I’ve gotten says they are collected by people using a fence like structure to fence off a reedy area and the “use a chemical to sedate or knock out” the fish so they can be easily collected. Any ideas on the exact way they collect this species.
<None, I'm afraid.>
Sent from my iPhone
<Cheers, Neale.>

Leaf fish not eating      5/11/18
<Hey Ash>
I have a *Taenianotus triacanthus *that I've had for about 3 months.
<Oh, one of my faves. Am always looking for them while out dive traveling in their range>
He lives in 37 gallon tank with three *Hippocampus erectus *sea horses, two Hawaiian feather dusters, plus about 30 pounds of liverock with some hermit crabs and snails, small sponges, and macro algae. Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are all zero and pH is about 8.2. Water temperature 75*. He's been
eating ghost shrimp and small mollies which I keep and feed good food for at least a week (only live).
About two weeks ago the leaf fish's eyes started to go cloudy and he stopped eating. I tested the water again to make sure everything was still ok (it was), did some research and decided he was probably about to shed since his skin also looked a little dull. He did shed a couple days later but the cloudy eyes stayed and he still wouldn't eat. I tried a freshwater dip (pH adjusted) to check for eye flukes but nothing came off.
<Mmm; and this fish does have places where it can "get out of the bright light" I take it>
Since a week and a half ago he's only eaten one ghost shrimp. I was worried maybe it was vision problems so I tried moving him into a smaller container while feeding to make it easier to catch food, but still nothing.
He still seems to act the same in the tank - staying in his same perches, sitting upright, moving around (although I still think he's having a hard time seeing). I can move him to a quarantine tank but am not sure what to treat him for. Do you have any suggestions?
<I do; considering your test readings, the other livestock doing well, that you dipped the fish w/o resolve, I'm wondering if your Leaf has a nutritional deficiency/syndrome. Easy to treat w/ marines; I'd add both a complete liquid vitamin and an appetite enhancer; like SeaChem's Vitality product... directly to the water as well as soaked on foods just ahead of offering.>
No sign of anything wrong with the seahorses, by the way.
Thank you!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Leaf fish not eating      5/11/18

Thank you. He does have shadowy places to get out of the light (which is not especially bright), including a couple of caves in the LR. That said, his favorite perch is actually at the top of the LR about 2/3 up the tank, out in the open.
<Ah good>
I'll try the Seachem, thank you.
<Welcome. BobF>

Algae id      5/11/18
Im cycling a marine aquarium and this algae has grown i can id if it is Bryopsis, Derbesia or something else.
Are you able to help?
<Does look like both these noisome genera... I'd be reading; considering "nuking" (bleaching) this system... to start over. Bob Fenner>

Spam Note      5/11/18
Happy Friday Crew!
<Hey Gabe!>
Logged into the email this morning and saw a new (to me at least) type of spam email. The subject line said "FAQs on the Flowerhorn Cichlid", so I assumed it was real and opened it.
<Mmm; yeah; there are more sophisticated bots that can, do lift names, related info. to get folks to click>
It was just another spam message about dry ice from China or something, with a bunch of crazy attachments that my computer tried to download.
Figured I would give you all a heads up to make sure you don't accidentally download any malware to your computers. Looks like we are going to have some spam that is pretty well disguised. Hope all of you are doing well :)
Bob- feel free to post this if you want. Wasn't sure the best way to get this info out to everyone else.
Gabe Walsh
<Thank you; will share. BobF>

Blobs/Bubbles/White; Crayfish hlth.      5/11/18
Apologies for emailing I was attempting to put up a post of desperation but could not work it out, my daughters crayfish "Mr. Sausage" who's she adores, was flailing around last night in his tank and lying on his side in what looked like an attempt to shed, he is around a year old and he has shed successfully many times. He just sits in his House not moving much, but these white/cream things have appeared to be oozing from underneath his shell, which the only way to describe is his under fleshy bits coming
though his shell. They have grown as the day has gone on.
The water is good had it tested this morning,
<Please send data, actual measurements>
could this be a failed shed or something else.
<Yes; easily. Most celebratedly a deficit of iodide/ate can/does lead to such issues>
He is moving but not too much and not often....worried he will be dead by end of day when she gets home.
Any ideas of what it is or how to fix it.
<The I2 supplement. Something like SeaChem's (reef) Iodide: http://www.seachem.com/reef-iodide.php
Don't be thrown by its marine use labeling; safe to use on Crayfish>
thank you for your help in advance. Couple of pictures attached
<I would have you read here re Cray health:
and the linked files in this series (at top). Bob Fenner>


Re: green spotted puffer help!      5/10/18
Hi Neale,
How are you?,
<All good.>
As an update - I started adding salt at my last water change and all seems to be going well!
Quick question - A local shop I noticed have figure 8's in (about 2 inches). My GSP's are 1.5-2 inches. From my research - they both like Brackish and come from similar environments - could I put a few in there?
Or best not to?
<While young, yes, they will cohabit reasonably well. GSPs tend to be a bit more snappy, while Figure-8s are perhaps a bit more active. But there's not much in it either way. As they get older though, GSPs do become substantially bigger and potentially more dangerous. Also remember that they're somewhat different in optimal salinity. Figure-8s are freshwater to low-end brackish, doing best at a low salinity, maybe SG 1.002-1.005; your GSPs, on the other hand, while perfectly fine at SG 1.003-1.005 for long
periods, perhaps indefinitely, are often kept in higher salinities, even full marine conditions.>
I know ultimately the GSP's will outgrow them, but the intention is anyway in 12-18 months to get a bigger tank.
<Ah, yes!>
At which point I'll possibly put the GSP's in the bigger tank and keep the F8's in the existing tank?
From my understanding it takes easily 2-3 years for GSP's to grow anywhere near full size anyway?
<Something like that, yes. Many specimens never get particularly big, though well-kept ones should comfortably reach 10 cm/4 inches, and be stocky with it.>
Even as juveniles can it be done? Or best to keep species only?
<See above. Yes, but with caution, and likely not indefinitely.>
<You're welcome, Neale.>

Tinfoil Barb      5/10/18
Hello Crew!
<Hello Renee,>
A few months ago, I took in a 7 - 8 inch Tinfoil Barb that my aquarium store took in as a rescue (they've helped me a lot and I wanted to return the favor). They told me that this fish had been in a 90 gallon tank that had been abandoned and the water got so bad that his dorsal and one pectoral fin rotted off (pretty lousy picture attached, but you should be able to see the damaged dorsal fin - the left pectoral fin is in the same condition); the rest of his tankmates died.
He had been at their store for almost 6 months when I saw him and was overwhelming their store tanks. They couldn't keep him in their big orphan tank because the majority of the orphans they get are aggressive, large cichlids who may take advantage of the Barb's disabilities. They were afraid he'd never find a suitable home so I agreed to take him and give him a bigger tank while we keep working to find him a home with a large tank (mine is only 75 gallon). But so far, no takers. Everyone, including the
Boise Aquarium, has expressed concern about his injuries, which seem permanent, and his ability to thrive with other big Barbs or other large, potentially aggressive fish.
<Understood, and the Boise Aquarium may well have a point.>
But I've had him a few months and he is a beautiful, happy, healthy fish - except - I think he's lonely. Not pining away, missing someone kind of lonely, but just needing other fish around.
<Quite possibly.>
So, for the past few weeks, I've been trying to find him a tankmate or two to swim with that won't overwhelm my tank as (the tank has two canister filters on it, one rated for a 75 gallon and one for a 65 gallon and a small powerhead). I've tried an Oscar, a Blood Parrot, and most recently, two Acara - but the Barb has been bullied relentlessly by every fish I've tried and I just noticed this morning that his one remaining pectoral fin has a tear (I'll be taking the Acara back to the aquarium store this morning). I don't want to get another big Barb as I'm already concerned about the tank size even with the filtration (but water parameters have stayed steady with no ammonia or nitrite and weekly water changes have kept the nitrate below 30 since he's been here). Can you suggest a fish that would give him someone to swim with that won't beat him up and is the least likely to overwhelm the tank?
<I would tend to look at species that stay closer to the bottom. Enough activity to keep him entertained, but lacking the swimming ability to either compete or the jaws to cause damage. I'd be thinking about, for example, things like Dianema spp. and Brochis spp. for starters, both of which are completely peaceful. Any of the Whiptails would be a great choice, being so gentle they even ignore livebearer fry. Some of the larger Whips, such as Sturisoma, are spectacular fish in their own right, and enjoy the same brisk, cool water your Tinfoil Barb relishes. I might even think about true surface dwellers such as the larger Hatchetfish which aren't a threat to anything because their jaws point upwards. Finally, you
might consider placid dwarf cichlids, such as Apistogramma, which may be territorial but will be so overwhelmed by the size of the Tinfoil their threat level will be low.>
He doesn't have much left in the way of fins and I don't think he can afford any more damage.
<Hope the above helps, Neale.>

titan trigger and green moray eel      5/10/18
hi all great site. very informative
<Hi George>
I just built a 450 gallon acrylic tank in my basement a month ago.
my basement entrance has always kept me from anything larger then a 180 gallon but building it myself has fixed this issue.
current occupants are a green moray eel and a titan trigger.
<One of the most aggressive Trigger species and it gets too large!>
all the filter media sand and live rock was transferred from my 180 gallon into this new aquarium, the eel is new but the titan has been with me for about a year in the 180
i<Caps> know the tank is to small for them once they get bigger, I am beginning the plans for a approximately 1000 gallon soon. the titan is about 9 inches and the green moray is 3 feet long.
<Keep an eye on the trigger as it is very mean with most tankmates>
i believe i have a year or so before the 1000 is necessary. contemplating whether to go acrylic or plywood this time.
my question is will the titan trigger get it’s adult coloration in a home aquarium?
<It will if good nutritional and environmental conditions are provided>
thanks George
<Your welcome Wilberth Gamboa>
Re: titan trigger and green moray eel      5/10/18
Thank You Very Much
<Welcome. Wilberth Gamboa>

Ropefish collecting in the wild questions      5/10/18
I have been scouring the net for months collecting as much info on Ropefish as I can find. I’m attempting a breeding project with them and I’m trying to write a very detailed paper. My question is about how they are collected in the wild. I’ve been trying to find someone to correspond with that has seen them collected or knows how they are collected and I really want to find pictures or better yet video of the habitat they are being pulled from. Also it would be nice to speak to someone about what the locals know about the fish and what they know about them breeding. I saw a post on here where Neale mentioned speaking to someone at Interzoo who was associated with their export from Nigeria and I would love more info on that.
<Actually, am pretty sure that was me relating the anecdote. If memory serves, the gentleman told me that a group places a fence of woven reeds about a shallow, emersed planted area where Ropefish congregate, and sometimes using a local/organic poison, narcotize the fish, pulling the plants out and gathering them for export>
I really appreciate any help you can give or anyone else you might know that I can contact. Thank you so much.
Hayley Cox
<Don't know re reproduction; but pretty sure they and some of the related bichirs have been captive-produced. Will ask Neale Monks re. Bob Fenner>

120G Oceanic Reef Ready Tank - Top Center Support Fell Into Tank
I have a 120G Oceanic RR tank, 48" x 24" x 24" with 1/2" glass panels that has been set up since 2011. Tonight my wife noticed that the glass center support separated from the back of the tank and fell in the water with the front still attached.
<I see this in your image; and the timely brace>
I am concerned of tank blow-out / leak without the center support in place. I am traveling for 2-weeks so as a temporary measure I had my wife put a clamp across the top of the tank to prevent any further movement / bowing, doing so with the tank full.
<A very good idea>
What are your thoughts on this and risk of tank leak / failure in current state?
<Less than w/o the clamp... Should be fine for now>
Is the fix to empty tank, clean off all glass & re-silicone?
<Yes; or to perhaps fashion another design... Like a Euro-Brace>
Does the tank have to be completely empty or is 50% drained enough?
<Completely empty, dry>
Separately in my searches I found a post where a Oceanic rep back in 2003 indicated on the 120g tank the sides were thick enough where the center support provided limited structural function as some people like to remove to optimize light coverage. They also built a series of 120g tanks, 1/2" glass without center supports from my research as well?
<... don't know about this. Have never seen their tanks w/o center supports>
I have attached a photo of current state showing center brace laying in tank and clamp across the top. Thank you in advance for your help / support.
<Am glad to assist you. If it were me, mine, I'd either replace this tank, re-Silicone the current brace (necessitating emptying)... or better, read on WWM re the Euro- idea. Bob Fenner>


Re: 120G Oceanic Reef Ready Tank - Top Center Support Fell Into
Hi Bob-
Thanks for the quick reply and reassurance on existing status. On top of all this, we are moving in ~2-months so I will have to empty and breakdown in near future (end June?) anyway. Do you think temporary brace will last that long?
<It should, yes. I would double this... add another next to it>
A few follow-on questions regarding bracing. As for repair existing center brace option - I assume you would recommend complete removal of center brace and re-silicone both sides?
If I were to upgrade to a Euro-Brace do you have any recommendations on source of glass, and how thick to go, assume 1/2" thick x 3" or 4" wide sections?
<The half inch thick and three inches wide>
I would have to confirm the Euro-brace would fit over the RR overflows and under the trim.
<Can be set down lower (in the tank); you might use black Silicone, and cut out in the glass can be made to accommodate through-puts>
Any tricks on getting the right lengths for the ID of the tank?
<Measure more than once>
For either repair what do you recommend for silicone cure time prior to refilling tank?
<Two-three days>
As always - thanks! Doug
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Discus eats only Tubifex worms. Using WWM
Hi Team,
I have a discus fish which I got for the lfs around 6 months back. He doesn't seem to have grown much overtime and does not seem to like the flakes.
<Mmm; Discus live in groups... not solitarily. And they don't live on flake food; rarely take any>
The only food I have seen him eat is when I feed Tubifex worms from the lfs.
He is all by himself in the tank and doesn't seem to be very lethargic though.
<... social animals. House with others>
I was thinking if I should feed him Tubifex worms may be twice a week with a one or two day gap in between.
Once I put a ball of those worms in, the fish eat them keeping them for a couple of days.
Can I continue this process till I can see some improvement in the discus.
<Please read here:
Please advise.
Thanks and regards,
Shriram Natarajan

MASNA is proud to announce the 2018 – 2019 MASNA Student Scholarships          5/8/18
To further our goals, MASNA offers the MASNA Student Scholarship program to help stimulate and promote the pursuit of marine science, in particular for topics that are current and relevant to the marine aquarium hobby.
This year there are two scholarships available; one $4,000 scholarship for a college undergraduate student (incoming and current undergraduate students) and one $4,000 scholarship for a college graduate student (incoming and current graduate students).
The 2018 – 2019 MASNA Student scholarships are made possible by our generous sponsors Doctors Foster and Smith LiveAquaria.com, EcoTech Marine, and Two Little Fishies.
For information on eligibility criteria and application instructions, please visit the MASNA Student Scholarship webpage at  masna.org/masna-programs/scholarship-program

University of Florida  Grad. student aquaculture oppty.       5/8/18

Re: Fancy Goldfish Mating behaviour?      5/8/18
Thank you for your help Bob.
I think I will control my excited anticipation and just wait patiently and see if anything happens this year or not.
Very much appreciate the feedback.
Kind Regards
<Certainly welcome. Your system is large enough, has sufficient plantings for the all-gold female to avoid damage. BobF>

Reason to worry?      5/8/18
<Hi Kelli>
I could use some help. Two months ago I lost an engineer goby to a bacterial infection. I noticed he wasn't working for a day or two (which was weird),wasn't eating great.
<Most fish meds also have side effects (appetite suppression being the most common)>
When he started swimming stiffer and I saw slime I QTed and went to the LFS to get help and they gave me Erythromycin.
<Should be quarantine from the beginning to avoid these situations>
I treated and thought he was getting better. But then he died in 48 hours.
Seemed to be the end of it and all has been normal for 2 or 3 months outside of some fading to my yellow tangs face about a week ago.
<Could be HLLE>
Three days ago I fed the tank Mysis in the morning as usual and that night my File Fish was dead (no sign of sickness prior). Since he was stuck to my carpet anemone I figured he had been stung.
<very likely>
But then I noticed my yellow tang of two years was sucked up to the circulation fan. I thought he was dead too.
<Fish don’t usually get sucked by common circulation fans unless they are too weak to swim away; I need more information about your water parameters, frequency of water changes, temperature, salinity and also about your filtration system.>
I bumped him off and he started swimming, really weak. He died the next evening. So, my question is I have a clown fish and long nose Hawk fish left, both seem normal with no sign of sickness. Do I do anything for them as precaution?
<I need more information about your system>
I am really not sure if the Goby and these last two cases are related, since they didn’t have evidence of a sickness. I thought maybe I had something on my hands when I fed that morning? I do have the clean up crew, a cleaner and an urchin also. I don't want to cause more harm or stress if I don't need to. My first time for anything to be sick so it is all new. I haven’t added any new fish in at least four months before the goby died so it all shocked me that this happened. Thank you for any help.
<Wilberth Gamboa>
<<Well done Wil. B>>

Importing coral      5/7/18
Hi Bob,
<Hey Branko>
It's time for me to start importing corals. Im still in my preparation phase, so I have no coral related questions yet. However I have one exporter related. Mainly I was looking for exporters out of Indonesia region, but due to recent coral export ban by there government I am forced to look elsewhere.
<Actually; as long as they have permits... exports of coral from Indo. are not banned forever.
Please read here re:
Could you recommend a coral exporter out of Malaysia or any other neighboring country that can legally export cites corals?
Kind regards,
<Unfortunately I don't know any outfits well-enough to endorse them in this way. Do you need, can you use a full can/LD-3, dozens of boxes; several hundred pieces? Instead, I would piggy back a partial order w/ someone not too far from you, your international airport and split a shipment from their known supplier. This is really an important step (becoming an importer); best to take in small, sustainable steps. Bob Fenner>

Fancy Goldfish Mating behaviour?      5/7/18
Good Afternoon,
I have just found your website and it is a wealth of information, thank you. But after a good search I still have some questions over my goldfishes’ potential breeding activity.
Info: I have a 250 litre tank, with 4 fancy gold fish. It has a jewel column filter and a good amount of real plants. I don’t use a heater, it’s just the ambient house temperature in my living room.
<This should be fine. Large volumes don't vacillate much in temperature, and indoors a house will be stable enough>
I do a 10% water change every week, using Tetra AquaSafe and Easy Balance, and change the filter. I use a dipstick test to keep the water in good condition. I feed them flakes and occasional fresh bloodworms and shrimps. I have had the goldfish for 3 years in that same tank and they are about 3 inches long excluding tails.
Activity: Last year all but the solid orange fish got breeding spots on the cheeks and leading edges of the fins. But I didn't notice any other breeding activity/behaviour. I assumed the orange was female and the rest male and they were just about coming into maturity.
This year (About 2 weeks ago as the May sun started strengthening- it hits the tank at dawn but the tank is not in direct sunlight for more then a couple of hours) - all except the orange fish came out in breeding spots again but this time they were chasing the orange fish in the morning. The orange fish also seemed quite keen on scoping out areas hidden in the plants. The orange one doesn’t seem that fat too me. But it appears to have more Common Goldfish in its ancestry then the other rounder Fancy goldfish, so maybe it is just more streamlined?
I guess it’s a bit ‘boxy’ though? Still I looked out for eggs but didn’t see any, and the behaviour died down and spots went off after about a week.
But now I can see the breeding spots coming back in again and the chasing has started again. I have included pictures. I have a video also, if the file isn’t too big for you.
<Best to upload it elsewhere, like YouTube, and just send us the link>
So questions: I am assuming the orange fish is female because of the lack of cheek spots. If so, is it actually ripe with eggs (I don’t know how fat that type of fancy goldfish might get) or are the males just chasing because she is the only girl. If she is ripe, did she spawn 2 weeks ago and they just ate all the eggs before I found them?
<Possibly... commercial breeders may separate the sexes>
Stories make it sound like the tank should be flooded with them but I didn’t see any.
<IF they spawned, some to many may be stuck (they're adhesive) to plants; hard to see>
Or does this behaviour come and go for a few weeks in spring before the actual event?
<May well occur a few times... your fish are not very mature at this size, age>
Or should I be worried that she is egg bound?
<Not unless the fish shows signs... very round, difficulty in swimming>
I am not looking to breed the goldfish for any purpose but if they do spawn on their own, I thought it might be nice to see if I can keep one. (I have purchased a hatchery and liquid food in hopeful anticipation and your page has plenty of helpful information but I thought it best to ask before further jumping the gun)
Any advice RE: my questions would be much appreciated.
Kind regards
<I urge simple patience and your continuing care, observation; nothing more. Bob Fenner>

Re: Goldflake angel white stringy poop       5/6/18
Hi Bob
<Hey Keith>
Thank you for the speedy reply. Much appreciated! Ok will continue to treat with Metronidazole (Metroplex Seachem) for the stated duration of 3 weeks days with each treatment 48 hours apart (approx 10 dosages). However can only dose in water as fish isn't eating :(
<Yes; again, for clarity; Metroplex by SeaChem can be used as a water-applied treatment, formulation, or added to food (as with their Focus product)
https://seachem.com/metroplex.php >
As to co treating with internal worms, what will be the preference? I was thinking of co treating with PraziPro together. Will you recommend it as the fish itself isn't eating but still responsive.
<Prazi is a good choice>
Thank you
<IF you're moving this fish, treating it in isolation I'd add Epsom Salt to the regimen. Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldflake angel white stringy poop       5/6/18

Hi Bob
Thank you. Will treat with Metroplex/PraziPro/Epsom salt all together concurrently. Tank is 120 litres, can I trouble you to advise how much Epsom salt should be needed ?
<... please use WWM... Neale's article>
I'm afraid of overdosing, if any. Will the Epsom salt be necessary to dose once off (Meaning i will not need to dose additional Epsom salt for subsequent water change).
<Some; just what is removed percentage wise>
On another note, because the fish was caught in the DT with its symptoms, will this be spreadable to others.
<Ah, good; can't tell re contagiousness w/o knowing what this actually is>
Thank you once again
<W. B>

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