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More Recent/Older, Accrued FAQs

Re: Help with my fish telescope please     6/6/19
I wanted to ask for help with my telescope fish, which had a small point that moves during the day.
<A small point? I see murky/cloudy eyes... Likely due to issue/s w/ the
environment. Do you have water quality tests, data to share? What re the
set up, history of operation?>
I am enclosing a picture of my fish, please help me know what I can
have and what remedy I can treat. (in the lower part of his right eye)
Thank you.
Raúl N.
<This appears to be an inclusion of some sort.... does happen. Nothing to do re... not to treat. BobF>

Re: Trichopodus trichopterus changed eating habits?     6/6/19
Thanks for your reply and for your help!
I had no idea that the dry foods have such a short shelf life... wow.
<As I say, does depend on ambient temperature and humidity. But if your fish aren't eating flake that they liked before, and you can rule out disease or water quality issues, then it's worth considering if the food is stale. Certainly if the fish are scarfing down other foods, but ignoring the flake they ate before, it might have gone off.>
So much for expiration dates. The pellets are brand new, however... is it possible that they are too big?
<Can be, or too hard. The larger pellets meant for big cichlids can be impossible for smaller fish to handle.>
The last batch were fine and I bought the same brand/type. Perhaps the Gourami is just “over them”. Any ideas for another surface floating food that could fill her up? Sinking foods are lost to my two ravenous nigriventris :)
<Trichopodus are omnivores, so will nibble on softened plant foods, such as blanched lettuce leaves, cooked peas, sushi Nori, and so forth. So feel free to offer these if your fish seem peckish and you don't want to overdo the protein input and resulting water quality issues. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Coral And Marbled Catsharks     6/6/19
I am thinking about introducing copepods and amphipods to the tank, can't find any information on how they affect sharks, if at all. I doubt they would affect them, but just want to make sure. Do you know if they will affect the sharks negatively?
<Normally they don’t affect sharks unless they are parasitic pods; the ones infecting teleost fish and Elasmobranchs are mainly members of the order Siphonostomatoida. The most common pods cultured in aquariums and refugiums are harmless to sharks and rays. Wil.>

Re: Coral And Marbled Catsharks         6/6/19
It is in an open area. I often keep windows open also. Could the behavior
be due to hunger?
<Not likely, no...there must be something in the tank that discomforts him, just keep an eye on it, at times they exhibit strange behaviors that suddenly disappear. Wil.>

Question about sudden clownfish behavior change         6/6/19
<Hello Camille, Wil, here today>
I've been looking on the web and I can't seem to find an answer for my clownfish's sudden behavior change. I have a 30-gallon, 3-year-old established saltwater tank, recently my Firefish died, now the only inhabitants of my tank are my clownfish and a snail.
<Did the Firefish die with no signs of illness?>
While my Firefish and clownfish were together, the Firefish was quite shy and my clownfish was quite obviously the dominant one.
<Yes Clownfishes are very dominant / territorial>
He would always swim throughout the tank and was very quick to leave the rocks at feeding time and dash around to catch food. About a month ago my Firefish passed, and since then my clownfish has been hiding in the rocks and has been very timid during feeding, almost as if he is scared to come out.
< Have you check your water parameters lately?>
I believe is much too late to introduce a new fish to the tank, especially with a clownfish, but I'm worried about him.
<You may introduce new fish but rearranging your rockwork so that the clownfish “forgets” its territory, also, if you introduce more than one fish at the same time, it will be less likely that the clown nip at them, since aggression is divided in more than one target.>
Do you have any answers for what I could do to help him return to his old personality, or any answers if the death of my Firefish has anything to do with the behavior change?
<Hard to tell without more info about your tank, please send us more detailed information.>
Thank you so much!
<Glad to help. Wil.>
Re: Question about sudden clownfish behavior change         6/6/19

Thank you so much to answer your questions:
1. My Firefish did die suddenly, she is always very shy and I hadn’t really seen her, and when I went to feed the fish she was dead at the bottom on the tank. I checked the levels as soon as I removed her and they were perfect.
< “Perfect” doesn't say much, there are many other factors that may have been the cause of death, sometimes fish just don’t acclimate to an aquarium even under the best conditions.>
2. He is definitely quite territorial he has his 2 rocks that he’s always by - but more than usual lately.
<Probably stressed by something not seen at plain sight, maybe environmental.>
3. I just checked my water levels and they are all perfect.
<Please send us the exact readings>
4. I’m not sure if I really want to introduce new fish because I have had the tank for a while now, and once my clownfish passes I probably won’t purchase more fish for a while.
<I understand>
But would rearranging the rocks help my clownfish become more lively again?
<Perhaps...worth trying, I would make a partial water change too.>
5. Like I said the tank is 3 yrs old and very established, I have had my clownfish since the tank was ready (bacteria wise), it’s a taller 30 gallon, not a wider one. It has 4 dead rocks, no live corals or plants. A good heater, a solid circulation pump. And a new and more powerful filter I purchased shortly after my Firefish died.
<What type of filter?... do you have a protein skimmer?
Thank you for all your help!
<You’re most welcome. Wil.>
Re: Question about sudden clownfish behavior change         6/6/19

Hi Wil,
<Hi Camille>
My levels are:
Ph: 7.8
<Yikes!... that´s way too low! try to rise it slowly to 8.3 with a buffer product.>
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
<Have you check your test kit expiration date?... reagents go bad with time>
Salinity: 1.026
<1024-1025 would be just fine... is your Hydrometer working well?
I think I will do a partial water change and rearrange the tank.
<Please do>
My filter is a penguin bio-wheel 150, and I don’t have a protein skimmer.
<I recommend you to get a good skimmer>
Thank you!
<You´re welcome Camille. Wil.>
Re: Question about sudden clownfish behavior change         6/6/19

Sorry the specific gravity is 1.026, the salinity is about 34ppt.
<Ok Camille. Wil.>

Sorry to bother you again, but.... H. malu hlth.         6/6/19
Hi again, I need advice. I read Dr. Fenner's EBook about Anemone care on Amazon. (thank you for that!). But I still don't know for sure what kind of anemone I have or the exact care it needs. Lighting especially.
<This appears to be a Heteractis malu; mostly by virtue of the shape and pink tentacacular tips... the base appears healthy, but the tentacles, crown area badly bleached>
I purchased this anemone, which was supposed to be a BTA from Saltwaterfishcom.
<Don't think this is an Entacmaea>
They listed it as a purple base bubble tip.
<? I've never heard of.>
I wanted it for my clown fish, whom I had separated because they were fighting so badly over the
Quad BTA I bought for them. When it came it looked to me like they made a mistake I would swear it is a H. Malu anemone. But they have argued and argued with me that it is a special kind of BTA. OK. So I gave up fighting with them and decided to try to keep it alive. I don't think it's a H. Crispa. But of
course, I don't know for certain which species it is,.....so what do you think? And why does Saltwaterfish.com think it's a BTA?
<Can't respond to the last; perhaps just to make a sale>
Everything I've ever read about Sebae Anemones is that they are very hard to keep.
<Initially healthy ones are not overly difficult; though not as hardy as Bubble-tips>
When he got here he was in a very tiny bag,...but as I floated it he opened up and look ok. I placed him on a rock after acclimating and he attached. Here his is on the rock the first day. He is a beautiful
anemone, but I know that anemones aren't white unless they are bleached. So I was worried. After a few days he just crawled into the back of the tank and got as far from the LED lights as he could go. Facing the back wall of the tank.
<Not healthy>
I was afraid he might crawl back there and die! So I turned the rock so I could see him at least. He still hated the light and crawled back to face the black back of the tank. So, I decided to make a tank just for him temporarily, so if he did die, he wouldn't take out my whole tank. I had a tank where I was growing copepods, so I moved him there after doing a big water change,....at first he seemed better. But not for long.
So, now he has been in that tank for about 1 week and I am having to do frequent water changes to keep a small tank clean,....He is always better after a water change, and then goes back to looking terrible after a day or 2.
He shrinks down to a very tiny size and then also flips over on his face.
I almost removed him yesterday because I was afraid he was dead! But he grabbed on to the net and was not dead. When he is up and open, I have tried to give him a few F/Thawed Mysis shrimp,....but he never holds on to them.
And I have read that if they don't grab the food they are not hungry. So don't feed him. As you said " Underfeed!!". They are supposed to get their food from the Zooxanthellae, but a bleached one shouldn't have many of them left.
I am not sure why he's not hungry.
<Not able to process food...>
I have purchased a bottle of Zooxanthellae to try to get him some to take in It should be here tomorrow or the next day.
<Worth trying... or placing in a system w/ other photosynthetic life>
I also read that you can place the bleached one in a tank with another healthy one, like my BTA and he can acquire Zooxanthellae that way. Have you heard that too?
<Ah yes; tis so>
The thing I don't understand most is that he hates the lights. He's fine with the blue ones on, but the white with the blue he doesn't like. He is on the sand, which I have heard H. Malu likes better than sitting on a rock.
The live rock it right there if he chooses to move on to it. It's so light colored now it's almost translucent,...like a ghost. I'm don't know what to do to help it!
<You're doing, have done all I would have>
So, have you seen an anemone that looks like this one? Do you think it is a H. Malu? Or is it a kind of BTA? And why doesn't it like light?
<See above...>
While searching your pages on Anemones. I read one of the people had one too that kept hiding under the rock shelf.....it too didn't like the bright lights. But theirs was eating. I'd really like to keep this beauty alive and make it happy, but I don't know what exactly to do to help!
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Mandy in NJ
<I'd move this animal into a system w/ healthy photosynthates rather than keep it where it is and rely on bottle Dinoflagellates... And I would take up credit/replacement w/ Saltwaterfish.com. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sorry to bother you again, but....         6/6/19
Thank you again so much Bob,....I will move the little guy immediately.
I'll let you know if he recovers!
Mandy in NJ
<Please do Mandy; thank you. BobF>

Re: Crashed server?         6/6/19
Hey guys, ok !... hope folks resend their queries, have a nice day Bob and Neale !
<Me too Wil; yo tambien amigo... Salud. BobF>

Re: Question concerning sudden Columbian tetra death             6/6/19
Hi Bob,
Everyone is accounted for this morning and hungry. I see no signs of illness in any of the remaining 12 tetras.
<Ah, good>
I added some Stressguard to tank yesterday and the tetra with one swollen and cloudy eye is very much
improved. I found a second tetra with cloudy eye and it has completely resolved. I'm seeing some nipped tail fins and a lot of aggressive chasing among the tetras.
<To be expected>
If not fish on fish aggression, I'm thinking that I may have contributed to the one tetra's demise. I mix my water for water changes in a large trash can and I use a small pump to add water to the tank.
<I wager this is a good practice. It is summat what I do... heating, storing pre-mixed freshwater a week ahead of change outs... in totes in a greenhouse; moving the water with a pump>
I try to direct the water flow away from the fish but it's difficult with the top configuration of the acrylic tank and the fish are so curious. I'm thinking I may have unintentionally hit them with a strong stream of water. I may go back to adding the water in using a container.
The blood worms that I use are San Francisco Bay frozen cubes.
<Also an exemplary source, company>
I'm trying to give the Acara some variety as he refuses pellets and other than the cichlid flakes the blood worms are the only frozen food he will eat. I will discontinue if they are harmful for the tetras. They aren't fussy eaters.
I hope this smaller photo file goes through.
Thank you again for your help.
<This one fish... the spot... could be resultant from a physical trauma; secondarily bacterial. Bob Fenner>

Re: Question concerning sudden Columbian tetra death          6/6/19
Second pix from underneath.
Possible nip? Skin is open
<Good pix. Again; could be. BobF>

Trichopodus trichopterus changed eating habits?         6/6/19
Hi crew! Question—my three spot Gourami has enjoyed several years munching on a combo of flakes and NLS Float pellets. Suddenly, she spits out the pellets but still eats the flakes. She even “tries” to grab the pellets and “misses” them. The flakes were never enough for her so the pellets were doing the trick. Is it possible that she simply can’t digest the pellets anymore? She is about 4 years old (in my tank) and 3.5 inches long, if that helps. Thanks for all you do! —Matt
<It's more likely the flakes are 'off' or she just doesn't like them. She's not old at 4 years. Flakes and pellets have a shelf life of about a month, and much beyond that there is a risk of them oxidising and becoming rancid, especially in warm or damp conditions. Even if not actually nutritionally bad, it can lose the flavours that attracts the fish to eat it. It can be worth storing large tubs of flake in a cold, dry environment, and decanting out small portions to last a month or so into a smaller, separate container. If all else fails, starve the fish for a few days, and then offer something new, even human food like chopped up white fish or shrimp. If the fish happily consume that, but still ignore the flake, then the flake is probably bad and not worth keeping. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Angelfish with white bumpy fins - not ich!      6/5/19
Thank you very much. I was afraid that would be the answer. I guess I will just have to keep up with my water changes and hope for the best!
<Pretty much all you can do, unfortunately. It can clear up, but does take a while. It's all about the fish's own immune system responding. So just as with humans, optimising diet and reducing stress will both help. Perhaps even adding vitamins to its diet, via products such as Selcon. Certainly a balanced diet and frequent water changes. Cheers, Neale.>

African Dwarf frog help      6/5/19
I'm new to the hobby and started fishkeeping in January.
Since then, I've expanded from 1 10 gallon tank to 3 separate tanks. I just had an African dwarf frog die tonight after I placed it in quarantine
yesterday and I'm not sure why. I'd like to try to figure it out to make sure my other frogs are ok.
<Going to direct you to some reading first:
With amphibians (and reptiles) generally, most diseases are best prevented rather than treated, and under good conditions both amphibians and reptiles are remarkably hardy and healthy. Indeed, even if you do have a vet trained to handle amphibians and reptiles (what vets call 'exotics') things like frogs are often too small to medicate successfully or, more usually, not economically worth medicating when the medicine costs ten times more than the frog cost. So, bottom line, get the basics right, and life is better
for both you and the frog.>
Here we go.
<Fire away.>
The tank is a 54 corner bowfront. It was started at the beginning of April in the Walstad method. It is fully planted, soil base with gravel top layer. The gravel is aquarium gravel, definitely larger than all of the mouths of the fish. There is no filter. I have 1-2 powerheads circulating water at lowest setting. I use 2 100 watt heaters to keep the tank around 78-79 degrees F. There are two pieces of driftwood (Malaysian driftwood and Manzanita). After about 3 weeks, I had 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate. I added 4 African dwarf frogs and 2 clown Plecos. within a week, I lost one dwarf frog. I'm not sure why, possibly fungus as he had white cottony something on him.
<Cotton-wool like fluff can be fungal infections; the fluff are the hyphae infecting (secondarily) wounds caused by handling or aggression. Skin shedding is more like transparent sheets of tissue peeling away. It's very distinctive.>
It could have been shedding skin. He died before I could fully treat him.
no other frogs showed any problems.
<That's a good sign. Often with frogs there's an all-or-nothing situation.
If the other frogs are undamaged and uninfected, they will hopefully go on to live happy lives. That said, the flip side is that there are certainly fungal and bacterial infections that can be contagious. However, such infections are often (if not quite always) secondary to the frog being damaged, starved, harassed, or otherwise in some way having its immune system compromised.>
Fast forward now, my tank currently holds 1 male Betta, some rummy nose tetras, black phantom tetras, dwarf Corys, pearl Danios, snails. I finished treating the tank for ich about a week ago. I was using Metroplex and focus to make sure the invertebrates would be safe. I also just stopped running a UV sterilizer due to a pretty spectacular case of green water.
(before this, there was some blue green algae which I spot treated with hydrogen peroxide and some bacterial blooms). When feeding the tank, I feed once a day with 1 cube of frozen food. the frogs come to the front to eat and are able to find food amongst the chaos. I usually feed brine shrimp, a mix called emerald entree, daphnia, or bloodworms for a treat.
<All sounds fine, though I will offer the usual caution that mixing frogs with fish is rarely successful. At the very least, catfish and frogs will compete (especially at night) for food. Frogs are also easily scratched, and even a non-predatory fish like a small Plec or loach could potentially cause harm while fighting over food. Bear in mind that underwater fish wildly outclass frogs and newts when it comes to mobility and perception, and in the wild these amphibians will only be common in places where the
diversity and abundance of fish species is low.>
3 days ago, I noticed one of my frogs floating at the top for long periods of time. He also seemed slower to react. The day before and yesterday I was able to catch him pretty easily and he wasn't eating. I tested the water 2 days ago and found I had 0 ammonia, .25 nitrites, and 0 nitrates. I added a double dose of prime for the nitrites. I think what happened is when I did a water change, I accidently stirred up the dirt and increased the nitrite level in the water from the dirt. All other fish and frogs are showing no signs of distress. I have cardinal tetras in quarantine in a 5 gallon tank. They'll eventually go into my 54 to replace the fish I lost to ich. The QTank has an established sponge filter, a heater at the same
temperature as my main tank, and has been housing the cardinals for about 2 weeks. I caught the frog and placed him in the tank. He didn't eat at all.
<Sounds as if this one 'was a goner' by the time you noticed him. If he was newly purchased, I'd be tempted to put that down to bad luck (or at least, bad maintenance at the retailer, starvation and physical damage being two major risks for Hymenochirus spp. during the wholesale and retail phases of the journey to your tank).>
Earlier today, when I came home, he was starting to swim weirdly. he would almost swing in the water, like he couldn't coordinate his limbs to swim correctly. it was like this discoordinated side to side movement. He also would float on top or stay at the bottom. I just found him on the bottom of the tank, dead. I did a visual exam to with a magnifying glass to see what was up. The only thing I saw was red lesions along his underside, a little bit around his lower leg, and on his front claws. The red lesions looked to be like pinpricks, so maybe bruising?
<Possibly, or simply a secondary bacterial infection: Aeromonas, Pseudomonas, or something else along those lines. Although the following link is to a page detailing the larger Xenopus aquatic frog used widely in labs, the diseases and treatments recommended are identical to the situation with the dwarf Hymenochirus species you're keeping:
Red Leg is a common problem with both genera of frogs, though as those writers imply, easily preventable even if treatment can be difficult.>
There seemed to be no other problems with him. He didn't seem bloated or overly thin. I just want to make sure my other frogs and fish are going to be fine.
Thanks for any help!
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Ph and 02?      6/5/19
So was thinking about for increasing ph and coral growth would it be efficient and proactive for coral growth to use pressurized O2 off a ph controller and dissolve it in a reactor
<Mmmm; actually; having a bit more CO2 in solution (carbonic acid) would be more conducive during light hours for spurring coral (et al. photosynthetic) growth.... This injection is done by some commercial
concerns. Is documented in various areas. Bob Fenner>

Planted macroalgae display/ Mangrove tidepool ...      6/5/19
Hi WWM crew! I promise I've been through dozens and dozens of pages of the forum to get the answers I need but I'm only getting bits and pieces because I guess my idea is a bit odd. I'm currently setting up a 100 gallon rimless display tank (48"x24"x20"). This is what I want... 150lbs of live rock, 1.5" layer of miracle mud topped by 4.5" of fine and medium grade sand to grow both shoal grass and star grass as well as a large and varied variety of macroalgae and a few easy soft corals to fill in some gaps as well as mangroves. Lighting will be high end LED either 2x Kessil or 2x AI Hydras, looking for full spectrum with some flexibility in modifying colors. I'm running a 34 gallon Triton style sump because I
like the setup which has an 11gal refugium as the first chamber after filter socks, then to a skimmer, then return pump. And also a 10 gallon ATO.
Main inhabitants will be 3 multibar angelfish, 12 blue green Chromis, 20 yellow striped Cardinal fish, a pair of clowns, and possibly 4-6 butterflies (potential to destroy macros unknown) any idea how butterflies might do in a heavily planted tank?
<I'd limit the BFs here to two, maybe three individuals. Not enough psychological space for more>
I'm not sure of the full stock list but I do plan on a heavy bioload because of the massive amount of nutrients I will need to feed the natural filtration system. I'm not really looking for any very brightly colored or odd shaped or patterned fish for this tank, if you can't tell I come from freshwater, do you have any suggestions of other fish species that would enjoy a tank like this?
<Various gobies et al found in seagrass beds. You can search for such on the Net>
Does any of the above, although maybe unusual, seem completely undoable to you? If so, what exactly?
<Is all do-able; but have to start slow... be careful when disturbing the substrate... otherwise a big mess>
The next question is the in-sump refugium, I'm assuming I don't need another dsb or miracle mud but was going to run some live rock rubble and Chaeto on an alternating light schedule to help with
oxygenation/reduce respiration of macroalgae in display. Or should I run a full refugium with mud, dsb, and macro? I'm just wondering if this will be too much competition for nutrients for the main tank?
<Will not be; and I would run on an alternating reverse daylight period... one system lights on while the other is off>
Also what is the likelihood I will need to worry about regularly dosing nutrients in this system?
<After a few months test and see. Likely iron and zinc will become limiting in time>
I do understand that it is an unusual setup and I'm borrowing a little bit from a lot of different methods but in my mind it seems great! Am I
<No; or no more than I. Bob Fenner>

Re: Problem diagnosing disease.      6/5/19
Hello. Thanks for getting back to me.
I'm also inclined to believe this is of viral origin.
<Makes two of us, then.>
The fish in quarantine are healing their wounds but they still present the growths, some disappear and leave behind a small hole in the fish's body. These holes are what I'm focusing in healing, but I'm not sure if the growths can be stopped. SAE Looks better, Congo tetra is back again and feeding, Ancistrus is also healing.
<All sounds promising.>
I am in the process of tearing down the aquarium and a starting a new. I plan on keeping the sump running so the cycle is not completely lost, but part of the reason of tearing down the aquarium is removing any latent pathogens, think I should scrub the sump as well?
<Possibly, and you can use commercial aquarium sterilisers to achieve this. Alternatively, binning old media, gravel, etc. and replacing with new will do the trick, alongside sterilising what you aren't replacing. Flip side is anything that kills pathogens this aggressively will also kill filter bacteria.>
I have added a couple more pics. Cryptoheros sajica with said growths and the holes they leave behind. Also the Acara with the peeling skin. Please note, the Acara has what look like small bit of skin loose, but I'm also fearing they are actually something else, like anchor worms, I've never seen them live, I'm not sure how long they are.


<I don't think the holes look a lot like Hole-in-the-Head disease, but that's another thing to consider. Perhaps treating the cichlids as such, if they fail to heal under their own steam, would help. Cheers, Neale.>

African Cichlid Fin issues      6/5/19
I have a question for Bob Fenner, after reading through many if the help topics on the website.
<He's on his travels right now, but will cc him in case he has any input.>
I have a mixed group of African Cichlids, 150gal tank, two Fluval FX6 canister filters. I have about half a dozen fish with a charred, burnt black looked section on their dorsal fin. I don't think it's fin rot exactly?
<Black patches that appear out of nowhere are usually ascribed to ammonia burns or similar. Remember, at high pH levels, ammonia is much more toxic than in acidic pH. Something to do with the ratio of ammonium ions to ammonia molecules being different in acid vs. basic conditions. Anyway, the
point being that even 'trace' ammonia/ammonium levels that you'd ignore in, say, a soft water community aquarium would be much more lethal in a Mbuna community because of the high pH levels. While we tend to "overcrowd" Mbuna especially to reduce their territoriality, that does mean filtration has to be absolutely top-notch, and there's no point having lots of bacteria if you don't also provide them with plenty of oxygen. I'd also make the point that Rift Valley cichlids are a mixed bunch, and mixing Mbuna with, say, Tanganyikans or Aulonocara invariably causes problems eventually, and it should go without saying you'd not mix any of these Rift Valley cichlids with soft water species like Kribs or Jewel cichlids from West Africa.>
All the rest of the fins are in perfect condition. Looking for some help, I can also send photos once in contact with someone. Thank you so much
<Hope this helps. Neale.>
Re: African Cichlid Fin issues      6/5/19

By mixed, I meant the species, however, all are lake Malawi Haplochromis. I treat my tap water with Seachem Prime, Malawi pH Buffer and Cichlid Lake Salt. Attaching a photo of one of the fish. Hope this helps.
<Would still suspect environment, with the possibility of aggression between the fish causing some of the physical damage. Do check the pH and water quality; without these information, we can't really help much.
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Coral And Marbled Catsharks      6/5/19
Hey just an update.
<Hey Kasey>
Feeding once every other day, my macleayi gets 4 mouth sized pieces of food, and my marmoratus gets 2 mouth sized pieces of food.
The food alternates between shrimp and calamari (squid) both wild caught.
Also every other feeding they get half of a Mazuri vitamin (.19 gram for pups) the macleayi eats his no problem, (he is about 9 inches) the marmoratus always regurgitates his a few hours later (he is about 6
<Once a week is fine>
The food is very small, not sure why he is puking up the vitamin (he only pukes up the vitamin piece never any other food).
<You may have to dissolve- grind the piece of vitamin in RO water and inject it to the squid/shrimp with a syringe.>
I added another 50 pound cave of rock and started light acclimating them to my LEDS.
Started at 6 hours a day and I'm adding 15 minutes every day.
<Sounds good>
The macleayi is content with hiding in the cave all day while the marmoratus is moving about the tank a lot of the time. He often opens his mouth wide and swims to the top of the tank. No pink on belly and comes out to feed when food hits the water instantly.
<You can tell when a shark is stressed, not only because of the pink flush, but, as a general rule... "Pelagic sharks are stressed if they quit swimming and benthic sharks are stressed if they swim more tan normal", he may be suffering for oxygen deprivation, that is why it is swimming near the surface with the mouth wide open, check your temperature and test the oxygen levels in your tank.>
Sorry for the long message.
<No worries.. have a nice day. Wil.>

Cory’s      6/5/19
My female Cory has a yellow spot on her top fin, she has always been very active, and still is, what could it be
<Hi, could be many things, can you please send us a pic?... will be far easier to id the problem. Wil.>

Pistol Shrimp ID      6/5/19
Hey all!
<Hey Luis>
I’ve had a pair of pistol shrimp that hitchhiked into my tank some years ago - maybe 3-4 years. I would constantly hear them snapping away and would lose hermits and snails to them. A while ago I took out a suspect rock and gave it a FW bath. Some time later I found a pistol shrimp, unfortunately dead. This one was pregnant- so obviously a mate somewhere in the tank as well. Sure enough, the clicking continued.
Today, I finally discovered the second culprit. Rinsed a different suspect rock out, and found him. Tiny in size as you can see here. He survived the freshwater wash that blew him out of the rock. Any idea on the species? His mate was roughly the same size, a bit larger. Never grew bigger than this over all these years.
<Appears to be from the Alpheidae family, probably Betaeus sp. Cheers. Wil.>

Re: Patches on Sailfin tang      6/5/19
Hi Team,
<Big B>
You had been extremely helpful in guiding me every time in the past whenever I had been facing issues in my marine aquarium
<Ah, good>
I have two issues today and seek you expert advise in these.
I have currently the following in the tank
1. 1 Yellow tang 2.4 inch
2. 1 Purple tang 2.5 inch
3. 1 Sailfin tang 3.5 inch
4. 1 Regal tang 1.25 inch
5. 1 Percula clown small (1 inch)
6. 1 Fox face 2.5 inch
7. 1 Pink Anthias small (1.5 inch)
8. 1 Banana wrasse 2 inch
9. 1 Star fish
10. 3 hermit crabs small (1-1.6 inch)
11. 1 Tomato Clown 1.25 inch
12. 1 Copper Band 1.25 inch
13. 1 Fire Clown
14. 1 Power Blue tang
Four fishes sl no 11-14 have been introduced on 26th May 2019
Tank size 4 ft x 2 ft x 2ft. Water parameters are all ok . Ammonia 0 , Nitrite 0 , Nitrate between 0-4 ppm
<... a bunch of these fishes are going to get MUCH larger... likely will be trouble>
1. My percula clown (sr no 5) is not eating and hiding in a rock. What can be the issue.
<Intimidation by the Tangs likely>
2. My Copperband is not eating. Tried Mysis shrimp, Brine shrimp and clams once. No success
<As well; besides being picky feeders in captivity>
Please advise me.
<Have you read on WWM re Chelmon rostrata? I'd move the non-eating fishes to different/better circumstances. Bob Fenner>
Re: Patches on Sailfin tang      6/5/19

Thank you very much.
<Certainly welcome. B>
Huma Possible Swim Bladder Issue
Hi Bob and team,
<Hey Siena>
I have a young (barely 1”) Picasso trigger who has been in my system for 5 months and has recently begun exhibiting some concerning symptoms of what may be a swim bladder issue. It’s a bit of a mystery I’m hoping you can help me out with, so I’m providing a wealth of details. Brace yourself for a long read.
Some history: He started in my 50 gal DT and was the lone survivor (no symptoms) of a bacterial outbreak about two weeks after he was added to the system (4.5 months ago).
At this point we quarantined him in a 10gal for 30 days to let the DT bacteria die off, then he lived alone with inverts in the DT for 2.5 months. (No invert casualties, though we were prepared for that, and he did try. But I digress.) After putting some thought into his future, we started working on building a 120 gal system that would be a better environment for him, with the idea of going even larger down the road. Unfortunately its development course forced us to plunder the 50 gal, so we moved him to a 10 gal tank with live substrate, live rock, and wetted filtration media plundered from the DT. It’s up on the kitchen counter because he’s a very personable, curious fish and the only way I feel at all comfortable with having him in such a small tank, even temporarily, is by putting him in the middle of everything so he can interact with us constantly, which he does. He hasn’t exhibited signs of boredom that I’m watching for, like pacing or chasing his reflection. We hit some snags with the 120 gal plumbing, and he’s been in the 10 gal for 2 months now.
Four days ago he started exhibiting some unusual behavior - he usually wakes up when we do and comes out of his rock to demand food, but he started laying upright (belly down) on the sand in the front corner of the tank. It seemed to take him some time to wake up and then some time to gain buoyancy, though he never had any issues staying upright and was moving normally, if a bit sluggishly, once he was up. Two days later he stayed in the rock and only came out for food (Mysis and squid, which we soaked in Prazi that day as a precaution), which he didn’t eat as aggressively as usual. We tried a wavemaker to increase the current, air exchange and stimulation, but it was a bit strong, so we turned it off. This is his second day without eating. He was out today in that front corner and had trouble getting up. He started panicking when he couldn’t move and eventually got up okay, but had trouble controlling his pitch and yaw (up/down, left/right), though he had no rolling issues (stayed upright pretty okay). He bobbed the surface a few times like he was trying to jump or gulp air. Then he floated around with very little control besides staying upright until he made his way into his rock and has been resting there ever since. We’ve tested everything we can think of these past few days: Nitrates/ites zero, ammonia zero, pH ~7.8 which is within the wide range marine aquarium recommendation but slightly low for Huma-specific recommendations - thoughts on this? Salinity 1.022. Out of concern for oxygen content we just added an airstone. Unfortunately we did find out today that the thermometer that came with the tank he’s in reads 4 degrees F higher than it should, and was at 72 degrees the entire time he’s been in it. We’ve slowly raised that to 77.6, a little higher than I usually keep my tanks in response to the suspect swim bladder issue. He has no signs of physical injuries, no discoloration, his color swings are normal (light when he’s asleep, medium otherwise even when resting, less emotive with his colors than normal), breathing is normal speed and heaviness, no signs of parasites. His belly does look slightly bloated, especially considering he hasn’t eaten in two days. I haven’t noticed any abnormal poop, though he’s always seemed to poop when I’m not looking so I can’t tell you he’s actually pooping normally - constipation is a possibility?
<Mmm; not likely.>
To try and eliminate the one additional possible source of issues we did a 50% water change with DI water, instead of our usual tap water treated with Prime. An RO/DI system is on its way. We have three other fish in another tank fed off the same water system, and all have been very healthy except for one clownfish that today just gave a nice stringy white poop. They’re about to get some Prazi soaked food as well.
Of course in all irony, we’re finally in a place where we can move our Huma to a larger system.
<I would do so w/o reservation>
If his current condition is environmental stress/boredom related, this might be a good move. On the other hand it could easily stress him out more. Any recommendations on what next steps to take, medications to use, and at what point we should consider more drastic measures of getting him to eat? (I’ve seen one aquarist literally pick up his trigger and use a syringe to feed… Our Huma isn’t used to handling so this is a last resort option from a stress standpoint.) Also…after our initial round of bad luck we’ve gotten pretty good at shutting down the emotional side of losing fish, but this Huma holds a special place in our hearts and it would kill us to lose him. I appreciate any help you can give!
<I fully suspect the issue here is psychological... being in too small a world. I would be moving this fish, now. Bob Fenner>

Re: Huma Possible Swim Bladder Issue      6/5/19
Side note - he’s always flat out refused to eat anything with veggies in it like our Spectrum pellets, so I’m not optimistic about getting him to eat peas or anything if he’s not even eating shrimp. We’ve been considering forcing him to accept pellets by only feeding pellets for a few days, but we’re soft-hearted fish parents and haven’t gone to those lengths yet.
<Move this fish. BobF>
Re: Huma Possible Swim Bladder Issue      6/5/19

I just reread both of these messages 4 times and holy crap he’s constipated isn’t he?? Running to get Seachem Kanaplex and Epsom salts (I’m skeptical but why not). Also will move towards more drastic measures of getting him to eat anything, preferably peas and garlic.
<You could try a modicum of MgSO4... safe... B>
Re: Huma Possible Swim Bladder Issue      6/5/19

Just caught sight of him again, and now I’m second guessing. He’s a bit emaciated, which is to be expected with no food, and I’m not really seeing the bloat like before. He’s breathing a bit shallow and is on the low color end, and is very weak. He has short bouts where he swims stably, then will rest wherever he stops. I did everything I could to get him to eat, but I can’t tell if he took a few bites or was just twitching wanting to get away. At this point I’m thinking intestinal parasites. At some point I should be considering force feeding, right? I’m sure there’s a tube small enough for a 1” trigger somewhere I could find.
<... Please re-read my responses. B>

Help with my fish telescope please      6/5/19
I wanted to ask for help with my telescope fish, which had a small point that moves during the day.
<A small point? I see murky/cloudy eyes... Likely due to issue/s w/ the environment. Do you have water quality tests, data to share? What re the set up, history of operation?>
I am enclosing a picture of my fish, please help me know what I can have and what remedy I can treat. (in the lower part of his right eye)
<Please respond with useful information. Bob Fenner, Athens>
To your comments.
Raúl Núñez - Chile

Crashed server?      6/5/19
Hi Bob, hope you are fine; just a note to tell you, I tried to send two different answers today but the server (I guess), didn't allow me, both are in the "deleted items" folder and I can’t move them to another. Just wanted you to know, have a good night! Wil.
<Hey Wil. Yeah, the ISP only allows us 50 megs... hence our harping on folks NOT sending large image files... And EEYIKES! I deleted the deleted to make space for incoming... Umm; the one 19 meg query should have been summarily deleted by us. BobF>
Re: Crashed server?      6/5/19

Hello chaps,
Deleted a couple large messages and saved the photos to my own computer. Should be okay now.
Cheers, Neale
<Thanks Neale... I should be able to log on here... B>

Elephant ear Gourami - Osprohenemus exodon   6/4/19
Hi Neale,
<Hello Nathaniel,>
I’m the proud owner of a new custom tank with a 28 sq foot print. I’m looking to get a bigger fish and have identified a giant Gourami.
<Interesting fish. Very friendly, quite smart, but no looker, and massive!>
I have found a shop that claims to have a very rare giant Gourami - the exodon. It looks like one (a darker mark near its tail and looks to have a more open jaw with some small teeth).
<Osphronemus exodon; yes, the eyespot on the caudal peduncle is distinctive, as are the easily visible teeth on its jaws.>
It’s about 9 inches, so although well off adult size, big enough to get a good identification.
I can’t seem to find much about them other than they are extreme rare.
<Rare in the trade, at least; no idea how rare they are in the wild.>
I know with giant gouramis aggressiveness varies from fish to fish, but from my research, the ‘standard ‘ giant Gourami tend to be more peaceful and the ‘red tailed’ tend to be very aggressive.
<Not sure I'd call any Osphronemus peaceful, to be honest. They are generally tolerant of dissimilar fish (L-number catfish, for example) given sufficient space, but if cramped, they can (the males, perhaps?) become a bit spiteful. I'd call them unpredictable more than anything else, and would tend to choose either robust tankmates (cats, loaches, etc.) or else species far too active to be bothered by them (large barbs, characins). I'd tend to avoid similar-looking fish that might compete for space; obviously other large gouramis, but cichlids too.>
Do you by chance know where the exodon features in the aggression scale?
<Hard to say with so few of this species kept, but Osphronemus are mostly robust rather than overtly hostile, so long as tankmates are non-threatening.>
Will it like be able to tolerate tank mates?
<See above.>
I’m think of moving him in with a Florida gar I have and maybe an arowana / bass.
<The Gar is a good choice, given space, especially if 2-3 are kept (Gar are fairly gregarious). Arowana should be fine. Peacock Bass might be a bit too similar in shape.>
It is currently in with some smaller cichlids and I’m told no aggression, though sometimes it can be worse with bigger fish as they are seen as more of a threat.
I know it’s dietary requirements are different, but I’m aware of that and will plan accordingly.
<Not sure these fish are wildly different from other Osphronemus; a mixed diet, biased towards fruit and vegetables. Meaty foods used sparingly.>
Any other advice on how to identify it or generally about the exodon would be much appreciated.
<See above.>
Thank you very much in advance
<Most welcome! Neale.>

Turtle’s Problem   6/4/19
Hi, can u indicate what is wrong with my turtle?
<Not quite sure what you think is the problem here. The white stuff on the shell is probably a combination of limescale and the older 'scutes' starting to come off. If the shell smells normal (not musty) then I wouldn't be too concerned. Some people periodically clean off limescale with a toothbrush dipped in vinegar, but it really isn't necessary. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Feeding issues with Red tail catfish.   6/4/19
Is it possible to cure the bacterial infections in my red tail catfish and he is been critical.
<Do read my message please. If this catfish is in a 300-litre aquarium, it will be sick because of its environment. You have told me NOTHING about water quality, water chemistry, diet, tankmates (if any) so I really cannot tell you anything more than general information. I don't know how big this
catfish is, for a start. Or what other symptoms it has.>
Can I hope for the best??
<Nope; it will probably die if it is already 'critical' and you cannot tell me more about how big it is, water
quality, etc. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Feeding issues with Red tail catfish.   6/4/19

At this present condition what should I do??
<Tell me what I need to know.>
Please help
<I'm trying to. Neale.>

Tank Upgrade - Algae Issues   6/4/19
Good Morning,
How are you?
<Fine Brent, thanks.>
I have had my 30-gallon reef set up for a year and a half. Over the next 2/3 weeks I will be transferring to a 90 gallon.
<Nice upgrade!>
Over the last 3 months my 30 gallon is experiencing a bad outbreak of bri<y>opsis and Cyano. It has completely overtaken my rock and corals.. I have not done much about it aside from water changes because I knew I would be upgrading.
<Mmm... Nutrients must have been accumulating due to the lack of water changes.>
The Bryopsis came in on a frag I purchased from a local reefer. I didn't check the coral, I just put it in. So, my excitement/laziness got me in this pickle.
<Ahhh...laziness and anxiety always make us to double work at the end.>
My plan is to use the LR and put in in the sump to help the 90-gallon cycle quicker (if their would be a cycle due to transferring sand and water as well)...
My question is, Would you advise I use any of the rock, sand & water for the 30 or start from scratch to eliminate the algae issues I have been having?
<You can use all the rock after slightly rinsing it with old tank water and brushing the rocks covered with Bryopsis; I wouldn’t use the sand without rinsing it, again... with old tank water; you may use the water from the 30-gallon when the 90-gallon is fully cycled to slowly acclimate your tank inhabitants to their new environment.>
Thank you,
Brent Krahn
<You’re welcome. Wil.>

King Midas Cichlid Help Needed   6/4/19
<Hello Jillian,>
We have had our King Midas Cichlid, Midas, for 11 years.
<Nice fish!>
When we received him he might have been 2. So he could be 13 years old or older.
<Understood. Either way, he's a fair age.>
He is in a 75 gallon tank by himself. All of the water quality levels are within normal ranges except nitrate levels which we can never get below 20ppm no matter how much water we change in the tank.
<Likely your tap water has 20 ppm nitrate, so any amount of water changes won't fix that.>
We typically do a 33% water change approximately every 2 weeks and vacuum/suction/syphon the substrate. We have a Marineland Emperor 400 Bio Wheel Power Filter.
In January, he seemed to be loosing his tail to fin rot or something else, I'm not sure. We removed the charcoal filters, followed the directions on the box and treated him with API General Cure twice.
<General cure-alls are fairly unreliable. It's a good idea to take a bit more time to determine the disease and use the specific treatment. API General Cure includes Metronidazole and Praziquantel, so is primarily of use against protozoan parasites and worms, but won't do much/anything against bacterial, fungal or viral infections.>
It seemed to help and his tail healed and started growing back.
Now, the tail growth has stopped (but hasn't gotten worse) and he sits on the bottom of the tank during the day on his side breathing very heavily.
The only time he is active is to eat (he eats well) and when he sees children.
<Sounds familiar! My specimens was very 'friendly' in the sense of sitting at the front of his 200 gallon tank and interested in (attacking?) the students sitting on the sofa thing in front of his tank.>
He swims to the surface to eat and also as soon as he sees our daughter or nephew he becomes excited and active for a little while but then he goes back to laying at the bottom of the tank breathing heavily again. He has always been a picky King Midas Cichlid. He won eat vegetables like zucchini, lettuce or kale like I've see other people recommend. He won't eat brine shrimp or even pieces of regular cooked shrimp. He won't eat the bigger pieces of fish food that are meant for fish his size. He will only eat the very small 1mm size pellets. We feed him New Life Spectrum Cichlid Formula pellets 2-3 times a day. The only other thing he will eat occasionally are earthworms.
<All sounds fine.>
We have well water, so it's not chlorinated. We have had it tested, it is very minimally on the acidic hard side. After a water change we change the charcoal filter, add a 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to compensate for the hardness/acidity, aquarium salt, Boyd Enterprises VitaChem Fresh vitamins and sometimes stress coat depending on his health. That combination has always worked and kept him healthy until now.
<Indeed; they do need hard, alkaline water conditions, but beyond that general requirement, are reasonably adaptable.>
Is he just getting old or is there something I can treat him with to help him?
<Likely age is part of this, yes.>
I have been researching and the only other thing that seems that might fit is a bacterial gill disease. Could that be a possibility and what is the best thing to treat him with, I have read about various medications?
<Using an antibiotic isn't a bad idea. As per Finrot; something like Maracyn 2 (Minocycline).>
I feel so terrible for him and want to help him but I don't want to give him something that will hurt him or make him worse.
<Antibiotics are generally tolerated well if used as instructed.>
He has been truly loved and enjoyed all these years and we don't like to see him struggling and suffering.
<Understood. This is a great species with a high level of intelligence and personality. They should live 12-15 years in aquaria, but this does vary, and is surely a good deal less in the wild. So he's had a good innings either way.>
Thank you in advance for your time and response, it is greatly appreciated!
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: Red tipped macro algae ID   6/4/19
Hi Crew!
< Hi Dani! >
I know this thread is old but the unidentified Rhodophyte ended up actually being Fauchea! ☺️
<Great ! looks that it is thriving.>
<Thanks for the update! Cheers. Wil.>

Failed Seam?   6/4/19
Hey guys.
<Hey Cody>
I have a 250 gallon L shaped TRUVU aquarium that I purchased second-hand. I noticed that all of the seams kind of look like this. Lines throughout the seams and hazy looking. Are the seams failing or is this
<It is not normal; water pressure has weakened the joints. I advise you to reseal all the seams with a low viscosity Weld-On product... a professional or skilled person may do this for you.>
Thank you SO much for any advice,
<You´re welcome. Wil.>


Problem diagnosing disease.   6/4/19
Hello crew. I hope you are doing well, as always.
<Thanks. All good here!>
I was out for a week and left my aquariums in my family's care. I came back and noticed quite a few things off. This is all regarding a 150 gal peaceful cichlid community.
Before I left I noticed my SAE ( 5 year old, 8 inc long) had a bit of pale skin around his dorsal fin. I paid not much worry as they sometimes scratch themselves on wood, really minor stuff.
I came back and he's got several pale patches, a tiny bit of its caudal fin cut-off with a red patch and a small, cauliflower-like growth. Belly is flat. I moved the guy to quarantine. Other occurrences in this same aquarium: one of a school of 6 Congo tetras is dead, body half eaten so not much to see. Another one has the same pale patches near its dorsal fin, and has a chunk of flesh cut from his tail... small bit but cut off nonetheless, flesh strands and all...
An Ancistrus ( 6 years old, 5 inch long) has white skin and many cauliflower like growths... his behavior is as usual and is feeding normally unlike the SAE and Congo which are distressed.
Finally, my yellow Acara ( 5 year old, 8 inch). Has skin peeling off near its head and start of dorsal fin. He's feeding normally and all but it looks like its skin is just that, peeling, whitish.
The Ancistrus, SAE and tetra were moved to a 10 gal quarantine. I haven't been able to correctly diagnose the disease, it looks like many things listed online... Costia, Chilodonella, Columnaris... they all present whitening of skin and peeling but each fish shows unique symptoms...
<There's a bunch of things here, some contradictory. The cauliflower-lid growths, if on an otherwise healthy fish, can indicate viral infections. Such growths will be smooth rather than frayed or bloody. They are rarely associated with damaged fins and skin, especially if dead skin and blood are visible. These last two symptoms are more typical of bacterial infections and/or physical damage. Again, viral infections rarely cause rapid deaths, and may even spontaneously heal after months/years. Lymphocystis is the classic example of that, being caused by chronic exposure to some stress factor, such as heavy metals, but can be healed by prolonged good care. Bacterial infections, by contrast can/do cause rapid death, especially Columnaris (Flavobacterium columnare) also known as Mouth Fungus though neither a fungus nor specific to the mouth! Now, the reason for all this mayhem is the tricky bit to solve. One possibility is one of the cichlids is less peaceful than you suppose. It may have decided to hold a territory or even spawn during your absence, and while defending its eggs, damaged the fish that approached it. This is VERY common in community tanks with cichlids, with even relatively mild species, such as Blue Acara, being known to cause very real harm. Another possibility is overfeeding, such that ammonia levels spiked. If you're only gone for a week, it's invariably the best thing to simply not feed the fish at all. Maybe throw in some cheap aquarium plants (such as Elodea) and the fish will, if sufficiently hungry, nibble on that. Finally, exposure to some airborne or waterborne toxin is possible. This can happen when people use certain paints, or cleaning products, or very occasionally, accidental or malicious introduction of some toxic item into the tank by children or idiots. Hard to say, really.>
Quarantines is being water changed every day, treatment of salt ( 50% dose) Methylene blue and a treatment of 500mg daily of Amoxicillin.. I haven't wanted to try a specific treatment but rather went a generic route... SAE and tetra look more colorful and are feeding 2 days after but they still aren't quite recovered. The acara's condition is getting worse but just slightly... probably has 3-4 damaged scales...
<Water changes certainly part of the solution, and if toxins used/present, replacing as much water as practical, together with the use of carbon (or even some better chemical adsorbent, such as Polyfilter) will help. I'd suggest changing 80-90% of the water immediately after seeing an aquarium in distress, and then another 50% the day after, each time keeping water chemistry and temperature as close as possible to the original conditions. Replace carbon after a week, if not sooner, to prevent leaching of any chemicals back into the system. So far as medications go, a wide spectrum antibacterial (e.g., eSHa 2000) or antibiotic (e.g., Maracyn 2) would be useful.>
Rest of the fish are fine. No aggression whatsoever in this tank. Photos of SAE are in links. Will take pics of Acara in a while and send you.
The 150 gal has been running for 6 years and arguably its a tank where I learned about fishkeeping.. my "experimental" aquarium... as such.. I reckon its been plagued by several diseases through the first years. I haven't added a fish since last year. I reckon its time to strip down the tank and start anew, but that requires at least a week of preparing, but I must save my fish.
Thanks, as always.
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Angelfish with white bumpy fins - not ich!   6/4/19
Hi Crew,
I've been searching for three weeks, consulted my forum, spent lots of time Googling, and cannot figure out what is going on with the fins on these angelfish.
<I see these.>
The story: I bought a pair of Koi angels at my local fish store. I should have taken them back but here we are - I put them in my tank anyway. It's a cycled 75 gallon tank with just these two angels, 7 diamond tetras, and one tiny Bristlenose Pleco. The tank ran for four months with a 6" Oscar, who I traded in for these fish, which were all added together. The angelfish have these white...bumps... on their fins. They haven't changed or moved, none have fallen off and no new ones have appeared. There are no bumps on their bodies or on any of the other fish. They do not exhibit any symptoms - no flashing, no clamped fins, everyone eats GREAT and begs for food. They are all active and swim all over the tank. Just these bumps... on the fins...
I, of course, thought it was ich at first, and treated with Seachem Paraguard for ten days. When nothing changed, and at the behest of a couple of experienced breeders, I stopped treating since it didn't appear to be ich and I didn't want to medicate unnecessarily. I am doing daily 30% water changes. The only change I have noticed is the bumps appear to be yellowing slightly, but nothing else has changed. Calcium deposits and scar tissue have both been suggested. I just want to find out what it is and what to
do, if anything, about it. I've been reading your site for years and learned so much. I'm excited to see if you can help clear up this mystery!
<My gut feeling is Lymphocystis or some other viral infection. These are moderately common on advanced Perciform fish such as cichlids. There's some debate about whether they're "just one of those things" or (more likely) caused by some environmental stress factor such as heavy metals. Either
way, Lymphocystis is rarely fatal if it doesn't impact an essential part of the body (such as the mouth) but it isn't easily cured either. The usual story is that fish recover to varying degrees under their own steam, all else being favourable, but that recovery may take years. Lymphocystis classically has irregular, off-white lumps, sometimes with a cauliflower-like texture. Other viral infections, such as Fish Pox, are similar, and actually identifying the virus is well beyond the abilities of the average aquarist. What is interesting about Lymphocystis is that it evidently isn't particularly contagious, so there's no real need to isolate infected fish. Longer shot possibilities would include Finrot (if associated with raggedy fins especially) and Anchor Worms (these are distinctive little animals easily visible with a hand lens). Hope this helps, Neale.>


Please help...      6/3/19
Help I own both albino and zebra convicts cichlids and have for 2 years I have 3 running tanks and can't figure out for the life of me what is going on with my albino cant seem to narrow it down he has growth on pectoral fins and underneath his bottom gills it's always been there and never spread there are 3 others in the tank as well please help me possible diagnose what wrong so I can properly deal with it thanks in advance amber
<Most likely viral, though the blurry photo doesn't really help. If you can send a sharp photo up to 500kB in size, that would help. (We do ask for small images because our crewmembers are all around the world and reliant on mobile phones even satellite links, and really can't handle big image files.) In any event, viral infections are essentially untreatable. They tend to be caused by environmental stresses, such as chronically poor water quality or exposure to heavy metals. That said, inbreeding does seem to
make them more likely because viral infections are particularly characteristic of things like Bettas, Angels, and Koi carp, so there's probably an element of genetic predisposition at work here as well. Many viral infections will clear themselves up eventually, but this may take years, and of course optimal water quality and diet. On the other hand, viral infections are rarely lethal; while there are some exceptions that do kill fish quickly, these do not seem common in the tropical fish hobby. So provided the fish is not in distress, and it can move, feed, ventilate its gills, and defecate normally, there's no immediate danger. Of course secondary bacterial and/or fungal infections are a risk and will need to be
treated accordingly. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Tomini tang mouth injury     6/3/19
Happy Holiday!
<Same to you Cindy!.. sorry for the delay.>
The Tomini tang I wrote about last week has not improved and is doing worse. Although he seems able to move his mouth he hasn’t really been eating. He can’t keep himself upright in the water – for a few days he was “head down” but now keeps log rolling or just going belly up. I hate to see his struggles. His abdomen is visibly bloated.
<Bloated is usually caused by something ingested or gas accumulation..>
I tried feeding food soaked with commercially available Metronidazole/Praziquantel combo in case the problem is intestinal parasites or worms, but he doesn’t seem to be able to get the food. Per your suggestion I moved him to a hospital tank. When that didn’t work I added Praziquantel to the water.
If you have any suggestions I would be very grateful.
<If you don’t see any improvement in the next few days, administer Epsom Salt; as a laxative; at 1 teaspoon per five gallons of system water.>
Thank you,
<I hope this helps, Cindy. Wil.>

Re: Tomini tang mouth injury     6/3/19
Thank you for the reply!
I did try the Epsom salt, but he died the next day ?
<Ohh...sorry to hear that. >
Thank you so much for your assistance and knowledge!
<Will be here to help anytime. Cheers. Wil.>

Re: Feeding issues with Red tail catfish.     6/3/19
My red tail catfish has swim bladder disorder and he is floating in the water,
<There's really no such thing as "Swim Bladder Disease". Well, there might be bacterial infections, but really, nobody has to deal with these. When fish float it usually means they're under severe stress. May be bacterial, but in an opportunistic way. In other words, the fish isn't being kept right, and because of that, is now sick.>
How Can I cure this????
<Almost certainly caused by its environment. Red Tail Catfish are very sensitive to cramped conditions. How big is this specimen? Given adults are something between 1.5-2 m in length, such adults will need a tank around 750-1000 gallons (2800 - 3800 litres) in size. They are virtually impossible to keep successfully in home aquaria given their adult size.>
I think he is critical
<Understood. But without a proper home, there isn't much hope. If I recall from your last message, your tank measured 300 litres. This is far too small. Optimising water quality, providing plenty of oxygen, and perhaps using suitable antibiotics could stave off its death for a while. But long term, this fish needs a bigger tank better suited to its very specific needs. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Coral And Marbled Catsharks     5/27/19
I've been feeding them once a day (as much as they will eat in 3 minutes)
every other day. The days they don't eat they come out and swim a lot more,
I'm assuming they're hunting, possibly hungry?
<They typically wander around in search for food and in the case of sharks like Atelomycterus that don’t like bright lights, they could be looking for a darker resting site. If you feed them more they would probably swim less, but they may also become kind of “frustrated” because their purpose in life is to swim and eat, so imagine they have nothing to do cause their needs are already fulfilled...so, for their physical and psychological well-being, I advise you to always keep them a bit hungry, this way they will live longer/healthier lives. Cheers. Wil.>
Re: Coral And Marbled Catsharks     5/27/19

Ah okay I see, I haven't ran lights in the tank since I got them by the way. Also thank you for answering my questions you've been very helpful.
<Glad to help, Kasey. Wil.>
Re: Coral And Marbled Catsharks     5/27/19

Do you recommend any other equipment for sharks? I have a protein skimmer and uv sterilizer (someone recommended to me because of their extended time on the sand bed).
<A good (preferably overrated) protein skimmer is basic for these fish since they produce a lot of waste, regarding the UV sterilizer, it only kills pathogens present in the water column, but not those present in the sand and/or rocks. Another basic aspect on a shark system is the water movement, sharks demand highly oxygenated water which can be provided using wave makers or powerheads. Wil.>
Re: Coral And Marbled Catsharks     5/27/19

Oh yes my skimmer is rated 2x my tanks volume (Bubble Magus Curve 9)
<Very nice units>
and powerhead provides 25x turnover per hour.
My sharks don't have any red/pink on their bellies, I understand its very common in stressed sharks correct?
<Yes, very common. Wil>

Identification     5/27/19
I have had this top dwelling fresh water fish in my tank for 4 months. It has not grown in size, as promised by the pet store… lol…. I got it to see what size tank I would need in the future, but it has not grown and is happy eating bloodworms. Any thoughts? I thought it looks like a tiny Arowana or needle nose gar, but it has not grown.
Any ideas? It is about 3” long and very thin:
<Platinum Halfbeak is what these are called in the trade. May be Dermogenys siamensis or Dermogenys sumatrana, or even some hybrid between them. Males stay quite small, 3-4 cm, but females do reach a fair size, maybe 7 cm or so. Nice fish, but jumpy, and like all Halfbeaks, can be a bit finicky about food. Not too bothered about water chemistry, but neutral, medium hardness water is probably the idea. Will tolerate slightly brackish water too. Cheers, Neale.>

Platinum Half Beak     5/27/19
Found it! So sorry, I looked all over the website in areas that made sense to me but due to the fact I had no clue what this fish was, I didn’t know where to start and stumbled on to your halfbeak page. Sorry to bother you. :)
<Not a problem! Cheers, Neale.>

DIY cement background.     5/27/19
Hi Crew, your expertise has helped me so much over the years. I'm hoping you might be able to give me a little more help?
Around Christmas time I was lucky enough to acquire a 300 litre aquarium. I've had many over the years but this is the largest and I wanted to make it really special. I decided to construct a diy 3d background from polystyrene and cement. I did lots of reading beforehand and decided that I was happy to wait out the curing process so I opted for standard portland cement and got to work.
<... still have to cure it>
I was really happy with the finished product. From everything I'd read I was expecting a curing time of up to a couple of months (doing 100% w/c every few days) but it's now been nearly 5 months and the pH is still creeping up between water changes!
<Yeah; I'd be adding a dilute, not-concentrated acid of some sort... likely white vinegar is that's all that is handy... to remove more of the excess surface alkalinity quicker>
I'm getting so sick of having this dark, lifeless 300 litre box in my living room that I'm beginning to regret my decision to make this background (not to mention my discomfort with all this wasted water,
although I do live in the UK where its always raining somewhere!).
<Hee hee!>
I do have a bottle of phosphoric acid which I use for other applications and I'm starting to wonder whether I should use some to lower the pH?
<Oh sure; you could... I'd dilute it first (this isn't a high molar stock solution I take it).... a 0.1 molar diluted by a factor of ten in turn would be fine. >
In your opinion, would this help to speed up the curing process?
<Oh yes; it would >
FYI - the water comes out of the tap at pH 7.5 and currently takes about a week to creep up to 8.4.
The rise has definitely slowed down over the months but the pH is still clearly being affected. I have an external canister filter running to keep the water moving around.
Any advice or insight would be much appreciated.
Many thanks,
<Try adding the acid and see how much time it takes for the pH to creep up... Once it's tolerable... you're done. Bob Fenner>

Re: Constipated Betta     5/27/19
Hi again, I’m sending an email on this previous email so you can see the history of my communications with you. Let me know if I should start a new email for the future.
<Either way suits. A quick recap in a sentence or two might be faster though!>
Chester’s constipation is better.
I still add the 1/4 tsp of Epsom salt per gallon. If I feed more than two Brine shrimp at a time he won’t poop by the next day. So literally I’m feeding once per day two Brine shrimp, two bloodworms or Mysis shrimp and Daphnia once per week. All frozen food.
<Sounds good.>
He can’t tolerate pellets.
<No great loss, but if you're using frozen foods and no flake/pellet foods, dosing with vitamins is wise. Certainly, aim for as great a variety as possible.>
I use Harari Frozen food and the protein % is low at 6.9% for Spirilina Brine shrimp. Is this ok? Is this enough food?
<The low protein level isn't a problem. We feed fish far more protein than they need (much as we do when feeding ourselves) but lack of greens in their diet can mean vitamins are lacking. Flake and pellets have these added, but generally live and frozen foods do no.>
Do I have any other options?
<See above; vitamins are available, such as Selcon, and these will help out.>
I don’t see any other options or he’ll get constipated. His colors aren’t as vibrant as they use to be.
<Again, vitamins in the form of beta carotene are crucial to how fish make red colour pigment. Crustaceans are a good source, including brine shrimp; you can also try using needle nose forceps to offer tiny bits of prawn or shrimp. Fish will often take from these forceps because they are less threatening than fingers.>
In addition, he seems to be loosing scales on his face at the top of his head and on both sides of his face and under his chin area. The green coloring is gone under his chin.
He’s alone in a 10 gallon, planted, filtered, heated to 80 degrees, bare bottom tank. Fully cycled I clean the tank every week. He’s swimming around fine, but I do notice that he breathes heavily at times. His gills really move. However the Ammonia is zero.After I clean his tank, debris seems to settle on top of the water. I have two filters on both ends of the tank with the outlet pointed at the glass. The day or two after water changes I skim the top of the water.
I appreciate you giving me advice.
<Most welcome. Neale.>


Weird Turtle Shuffle and wetting     5/27/19
Thanks for taking the time and reading this.
I have a RES turtle roughly around 12 years old and have been letting her wonder around the house and getting ready to take her outside. I know these things aren't really recommended but I monitor her very closely and I'm willing to risk it so she can feel little less trapped.
<I do understand your feelings here, and yes, this does sound a compassionate thing to do. But always remember animals aren't people, and what seems like a good idea, even a kind idea, can expose animals to unnecessary risk.>
Anyway the reason I am writing is because she has recently been doing this weird shuffle with he back legs as she is trying to bury something and wetting the floor beneath her. It has only happened once however she continues to do it and only in one general spot in the house.
<She may be trying to lay eggs.>
I could not find anything really related to the wetting and the shuffling around, is this normal?
<When laying eggs, yes.>
Is she trying to pee or get something out of her?
<Sliders (and most other aquatic turtles) will usually void waste only when in the water unless stressed. So this option is unlikely, though
At first it appeared she would just be rubbing her belly on the ground but then we noticed the floor gradually getting more wet underneath her. We were a little alarmed and put her back in the tank but she does this thing when she wants out of the tank and she immediately wanted back out so I let her out she proceeded to walk back over to that spot and went right back to shuffling.
<Try placing her on/near a dish of dry sand. If she lays eggs, well, that's your answer! And before you ask, yes, turtles kept on their own can/do lay eggs. Obviously not fertile, but eggs nonetheless.>
Any idea what's going on?
Thanks again for you help,
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Tank upgrade and Sand-sifting Starfish       5/23/19
H I guys, thank you so much for your hard work and great site!
<Hey Lori, thank you for your kind words!>
I have been reading up on here for over a year now and have made almost every decision based on all of your advice. Anyways, back to why I’m emailing. I have just bought a new tank (120 gal, with 40-gal sump) and want to transfer my inhabitants from my 65 gal with 25-gal sump. I have been reading all the ways to do it and it all makes sense except I cannot seem to find out about my starfish. I know I really shouldn’t move my sand over but I’m afraid he will starve without the old sand in there.
<For how long you have kept this starfish?>
I have a deep sand bed (around the 5” mark) right now and plan on doing the same for my 120 gal. I already have about 120 lbs. of new sand to put in when I can spare a couple of days to set it up but unsure what to do with my sand-sifter. I do have a section in my sump with a DSB as well, about 7”. Would it be better to keep that running and put him in there for a little while?
<You can put it in the 7” DSB but it will consume the available fauna faster than the time your new DSB will take to be colonized with new organisms; I don’t want to disappoint you but these species doesn't last for long periods of time (a year at most) in home aquariums as they very often starve to death once all available food is consumed, you should have try a less delicate species but, since you already have it, let´s do our best to make it prosper. >
I waited for a long time to get him to make sure food would be sufficient for him to be healthy but never anticipated an upgrade and how it would affect him. And advice would be greatly appreciated!
< I recommend you to place it in the old 7” DSB and hold it there as long as possible, preferably 4 weeks to give chance for the new DSB to be colonized with new micro fauna and the biological filter to be mature; during that period of time try additional foods like Mysis, Spectrum small fish food (.5-1mm) sinking pellets plus some other meaty foods such as scallops and mussels finely chopped and carefully placed with a turkey blaster in the sand near the starfish, I’d continue this feeding regime once the starfish is placed in the new aquarium. Remember to keep a very stable nutrient free environment and maintain proper calcium, magnesium, alkalinity and ph levels.>
Thanks again, Lori.
<You´re most welcome Lori, please let us know how it goes. Wil.>

Re: Coral And Marbled Catsharks; coral in/comp.       5/19/19
Also what is your stance on keeping them with corals (only the low light peaceful)?
< I have kept them with non photosynthetic corals but you have to cement the corals to the rocks, preferably the upper part of your rock structure.>
I've seen it done before, yet a lot of people tell it can't be done, due to the sharks knocking them off the rocks.
<Yes, that's he reason many people avoid pairing sharks and corals. Cheers. Wil.>
Re: Coral And Marbled Catsharks       5/19/19

Is the reason you used the non photosynthetic corals because the less bright lights?
<Yes Kasey, these sharks prefer less illuminated tanks. Wil.>
Re: Coral And Marbled Catsharks; decor, env.        5/19/19

All the rocks will be cemented together will an epoxy.

Flame fin Tomini tang       5/19/19
Just purchased a flame fin tang and has been in QT for 4 days. I have noticed that the fish is not eating anything, wants to but doesn't.
He/she looks to have something in its mouth.
<Mmm; a growth... from... a physical trauma? Not uncommon>
I have asked on a couple different forums but only got the usual "don't buy fish from there" instead of any type of help. The only way I can describe it is, it makes the same motions that cichlid does when it has babies in its mouth. I can't really see into its mouth since it won't face me. Doesn't scratch, but does twitch a little when it looks like its trying to keep whatever in its mouth. I wondered if it had a piece of the substrate from the store in its mouth and its stuck. It is thin and would like to see it eat something. I have been putting Nori strips rubber banded to a square frag plug and also Mysis shrimp soaked in Selcon. Any ideas or suggestions?
<To continue to try offering different foods... am a giant fan of (perhaps surprising) good quality, highly palatable dried prepared foods. Hikari and Spectrum pellets (yes)... offered a few times daily>
Thanks for any help you can give!
Stacey Reagan
<And do read on WWM re Ctenochaetus spp. foods/feeding/nutrition FAQs. Bob Fenner>

Re: Coral And Marbled Catsharks, sys.      5/18/19
Do you think I can add cured and cycled dry rock (80 pounds sat in aerated saltwater that was dosed with ammonia for 4 weeks) to the tank without stressing the sharks out too much?
<If ammonia and nitrite readings in the tank containing the rock have already dropped to zero, you can add the rock carefully; Atelomycterus are powerful diggers capable of moving really heavy rocks, so be sure to build a steady structure and settle it to the bottom panel of the tank. Cheers. Wil. >
Re: Coral And Marbled Catsharks     5/18/19

I've read that they are powerful diggers, the rock structure I would be adding is 40 pounds, they wouldn't be able to move that?
<Not the whole structure but if the rocks in the lower part are not well secured, they can overthrow all. Wil.>

Re: Tomini tang mouth injury     5/18/19
Happy Saturday WetWebMedia Crew,
<Happy Saturday Cindy>
Just thought I would update you, my Tomini with the injured mouth is unchanged. I turned the lights down and fed Spectrum 1.0 and 0.5 pellets. The first day he got 2 pellets but nothing since then.
Yesterday he didn't even try. He is just sort of swimming aimlessly around the tank with his mouth open. I tried to get a good look but I can't see anything wrong from outside the tank. Fortunately the other fish
are leaving him alone. He isn't emaciated yet but surely will be soon.
<Fish can go for days and even weeks without food, so I wouldn't worry about the feedings...for now>
Do you have any other thoughts?
<Yes, do you have a quarantine tank or another stable, cycled tank where you can move the tang? maybe a friend's or your LFS;...sometimes fish improve just by moving them to another tank.>
Thank you, Cindy
<You're most welcome. Wil.>

Chaetomorpha experiment     5/18/19
<Hello Naomi>
I'm really hoping you are able to help me, and I would greatly appreciate your time in having a look at my question.
I have been doing some experiments where I have been looking at the growth of Chaetomorpha to find out the best environment for it to grow, for a bit of fun and to sell what excess Chaeto I might get.
<Sounds good>
I set up a 100 litre plastic container, Kessil h80, added a 2000lph powerhead in there, put a large (20cm) airstone in there just to make sure there was plenty of flow which I know they appreciate.
I then set up a feed of Gaillard's f/2 formula.
The growth was great, it started weighing at 30 grams, and grew incrementally to about 180, with me having about 10% growth daily.
However, when it hit 180 it just stopped growing.
<Ahh; something.. perhaps things became rate limiting. "Law of the minimum". Or OTOH, there might be a situation where some factor is too much in abundance that is forestalling growth. Could be a nutrient, aspect of water quality, allelopathy... many possibilities.>
I did checks on all the parameters, as I was wondering if it was lacking something that was stopping the growth, but no luck all the parameters were fine (and I checked a lot). They were actually really quite high because the Chaeto had not been growing but had still been getting fed daily with Guillards f/2,
So then I wondered whether it was because there was an excess of nutrients (though I didn't think this would be the case).
<Could be>
So I did a 100% water change, and continued feeding as I had done at the start, no luck, it stayed at the exact same weight, no dying but no growing.
<Mmm; good try, thought>
Then I did another 100% water change and started feeding it TNC complete in case the Guillards just wasn't the right mix of nutrients. still no luck, stayed at the exact same weight.
And then I cut it in half, took half of it out. and there we had it, started growing again at around 10% per day growth.
I'm stumped why this is happening, the only thing I can think of is that the water volume is too small to accommodate it getting past a certain size, though 180 grams is relatively not that big for a 100 litre container. And with the large airstone and large flow surely it should not by a carbon issue?
<It (the reason) might well be simply the crowding, concentration/biomass of the algae here. The practice of regularly removing, keeping this at some optimum concentration is a common element of Macrophytes culture. Algae, and other life, do produce sorts of "negative feedback loop" limiting their
further expansion in a given environment, space, conditions.>
Do you have any idea how I can make it to continue to grow past this volume with the container I have?
<I suspect you are "up against it" in terms of growth, amount of Chaeto you can grow under present conditions. I do know, have experienced folks growing this genus (in Kona, HI) in "tumble culture"... i.e. in large circular pools (set up above water), utilizing air bubbles exiting from a circular pipe set in and away from the side of the pool, to keep the algae in constant, slow tumbling, allowing all a chance at sunlight, access to nutrients, release of wastes; utilizing open addition of new water,
flushing out old>
thank you in advance
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Re: Chaetomorpha experiment      5/18/19

Thank you for your amazing insight. That was my guess so thank you for clarifying it's great to get another perspective. I might have a rethink of what I could do
<Again; thank you... Glad we could share. BobF>

Tail Spot Blenny, fdg.      5/17/19
I've been reading and reading a lot of Bob's replies to posts about Tail Spot Blennies not eating. And I'm confused.
You've been telling people to feed them Spectrum Small Pellet food, which I have been feeding all my fish forever. I feel like it's a good all around marine food.
<I do agree>
My Royal Gramma won't touch them though. And my wrasse won't either. Fish are frustrating to feed! The Engineer Gobies love them and the Mollies love them. But the Tail Spot blenny who has been with me for a few months now will not touch them,....and I feed several times a day. My Midas blenny (in a
different tank) loves them! But he's a chub chub, he likes to eat most things I offer. Much more of an "easy keeper" as dog people say.
This Tail Spot blenny isn't into any of the foods I've tried. Not Hikari Mysis, PE Mysis, Spectrum small marine pellets, Cobalt Spirulina Flakes, TDO Chroma Boost,....or algae sheets!
<May have to use frozen/defrosted... crustaceans... and maybe a bit of live to train onto>
He is always interested in the food. Watches it with a lot of interest and even tastes some things, but he always spits it back out. I can tell from his behavior that he is hungry!
He does sometimes scrape the rock or the glass, but not much. I'm surprised he's still alive. He is always looking to see if something might be edible.
That is the hardest thing,....that he looks so desperate and I can't seem to find anything he actually thinks is food.
<Must be eating the interstitial fauna...>
I don't see him chasing or eating my tiny crustaceans either, I have plenty of them running around the tank, I see them at night. What do these guys actually enjoy eating?
<Small infauna or zooplankton I suspect.>
Amanda Wilson
<Howsit? Bob Fenner>

Triggerfish tank question; stkg., comp.       5/17/19
<Hey Gil!>
Love your book and all the great information here at WWM. I have always wanted to build a predator tank and finally decided on a triggerfish as the one I wanted. I’m deciding between a Rectangular Trigger, a Picasso Trigger, and a Bursa Trigger.
<Neat animals>
The tank is a custom 93 gallon (48x18x25) with a ghost overflow and a 40 gallon sump. It’ll have a little over 70 lbs of live rock from my current reef tank (which will be broken down and sold off) unless you all feel I should add more. I will be skimming and running UV as well.
I’m considering a single tang, probably a Bristletooth of some kind, and a goatfish, toadfish, or something else to help with detritus.
<Mmm; not a Toadfish... too easily pestered by the Triggers, and not a good competitor for food>
So here are my three questions. One, will any of those species be okay long term in a tank of that size?
<Yes; all but the Batrachoidid>
Two, is there anything to tweak in terms of setup and aquascaping (I have read your article, but am looking for finer points of detail) that would make a Trigger happier?
<Some rock bommies (stacked rock piles arranged from the back) to make a course of sort, and allow for break up of the physical and visual environment>
And lastly, will the stocking list be feasible and would you have any suggestions to improve it?
<What you list is fine; IF you put more than one trigger in, likely one will become the alpha fish/animal of the system and may in time come to bully, beat others>
Thanks so much. I really appreciate the knowledge and help as I want to give my triggerfish the best life possible.
<Welcome... I would proceed w/ your present plan, and allow you some time to search out, add other livestock in time. Bob Fenner>

Re: acrylic crazing      5/15/19
The tanks 24" tall so your saying an acrylic strip on the side that runs top to bottom 24 inches correct?
<The whole height, yes>
Also what thickness of acrylic do you recommend and what #solvent would I be using?
<Quarter inch is what I'd go with and Weldon 16 likely>
Thanks man
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Coral And Marbled Catsharks.      5/17/19
I have a coral and marbled Catshark in a 220-gallon tank, very little rock work and plenty of open swimming room.
<These sharks are adapted to swim among the coral reefs searching for food in very tight places and crevices, in fact, they like and need hiding places, I hope your rock work is not too skimpy.>
I have been feeding every other day, twice a day. First feeding is wild caught shrimp and second feeding is wild caught calamari (squid). Every feeding they eat 1-3 pieces and every piece is soaked in Selcon (is this too much?)
<Feeding them every other day is fine but just once a day. Bottom dwelling sharks like yours have slower metabolic rates than more active sharks, thus feeding them too much, too often, may lead to health problems.>
Also they are frozen and thawed in RODI water. They are both very young, marbled Catshark is 8 inches and coral Catshark is 6 inches. They both get 1 Mazuri vitamin (0.19-gram tablet for pups) a week.
<Mazuri is a very good vitamin supplement>
If you possibly know, will this feeding be enough variation to keep them healthy their whole lives?
<This food is fine for now but as they grow you should add other sea foods to their diet, such as fish, crabs, octopus...>
Thank you for your time and reading.
<You’re welcome. Wil.>

Re: Tomini tang mouth injury       5/16/19
Thank you for the suggestions I turned the lights down to less than half, and fed some 0.5 and 1.0 mm Spectrum. The Tomini definitely was able to get a couple of the 1.0 mm so I will continue with that for a couple of days. His swimming seems improved and his fins less clamped, so that’s good I guess.
<Ahh good>
I don’t suspect aggression from the wrasses, they have all been in the tank together since I got the Tomini well over a year ago (ish). The Eibli, however, is new and is quite the jerk.
<Could be>
I’ll be re-homing him soon. I haven’t seen him go after the tang, and the tang is quite a bit larger, but I wouldn’t be surprised.
I have been suffering coral losses for several months without knowing a cause so SOMETHING is going on regarding water quality but I’ll be darned if I can figure out what it is. I test Alk, Ca, Mg, NO3, PO4 weekly or more and they are all within generally accepted limits for a reef tank. I mailed off a test, the only really notable outliers were low Iodine and Boron and high Lithium. I am strict with my 15% weekly water changes. If there is something amiss with my water quality, I can’t find it ☹
<Have you tried with another test kit? Reagents go bad with time and give erroneous readings, temperature and salinity also play an important role in the health of corals. >
As always, thank you for sharing your knowledge. I will update if any changes.
<You’re welcome Cindy, do please keep us posted. Wil.>

Pulverized Limestone as Substrate.       5/16/19
I've spent a lot of time reading on different substrate options for reef tanks. One that was mentioned was the South Downplay sand, which is apparently impossible to find now. As I was going through my local Menards, I saw some pulverized limestone and my curiosity got the best of me, so I looked it up. It appears like it could be a good alternative, but I'm not sure. I've attached a photo of the SDS for your review. Anyone have thoughts?
<Looks like a fairly acceptable composition, The problem with sands not conformed by crushed coral is that they do not usually maintain a constant and stable ph, plus the lack of other essential elements found only in coral sands; I personally prefer aragonite, despite the price difference with other alternatives like the one you mentioned. Still I think you can give it a try, do bear in mind that you should pay special attention to any swings or drops on ph as well as abnormal diatom blooms during the cycling period and the following weeks. Hope this helps, regards. Wil.>

Tomini tang mouth injury      5/15/19
Good morning,
<Morning Cindy>
This Tomini tang has been in my 75-gal reef for about a year and a half with no issues. I noticed yesterday that he was hiding in the rocks and didn’t come out for Nori as usual. During last evening’s feeding he chased food and tried to eat but his mouth seems stuck open and maybe a little swollen – it’s hard to say.
<Could be a physical trauma or something stuck in its mouth>
Today he is swimming in the open in a sort of bobbling fashion. His fins are clamped (I think), he is clearly in some sort of distress. Not picking the rocks or glass at all. Tankmates are several different species of wrasse, a recently added Eibli angelfish (I have not seen the two interact much, they have avoided each other though the Eibli has been aggressive toward other tankmates), a couple clownfish. Some smaller, innocuous fish, a BTA and a mini carpet ‘nem. There are no other signs of disease – no spots, gills not red, etc. All other tankmates behaving as usual.
<How about your water quality, maintenance practices...sometimes (more than we thought) it could be environmental>
I’m concerned, clearly he’s in distress and the other fish (notably 2 of the wrasses and the angel) keep swimming by him.
<Are you sure these fish are not bothering the tang at all?>
I am hesitant to remove and stress him further unnecessarily but don’t want anyone to get hurt.
<I recommend you reduce stress by dimming the lights for a couple of days and see if condition is reverted, also try feeding with Spectrum 1mm pellets, perhaps it will be easier for the tang to swallow than the Nori until it resumes normal feeding.>
Also, if there is treatment I would initiate it but not sure what, if any.
<I wouldn’t treat, there are no clear signs of a disease.>
Please share your thoughts.
Gratefully, Cindy
<Hope this helps, Cindy. Wil.>

Re: Mycobacterial Infection        5/14/19
Just wanted to let you know. Diagnosed was confirmed via biopsy results.
Definitely a Mycobacterial infection.
<Again; not uncommon, and not often trouble. Bob Fenner>
Re: Mycobacterial Infection        5/14/19

Right now I am running a Pentair 120watt uv sterilizer inline. Would adding an ozone unit be of any benefit?
<What's your ORP run? IF the UV et al. set up, maintenance... are yielding a rather high/steady RedOx state (300-400 usiemens/cu...) I wouldn't>
I haven't been able to find much as to which is better or more effective against bacteria. I know uv's are
certainly safer.
<Mmm; I think I've recently stated this... the better part of UV use is their O3 generation. Bob Fenner>

ID        5/14/19
Hi Crew!
Been a while since I’ve messaged you all, hope all is well. I was wondering if you could ID this red growth all over the corners in this tank?
<What a beautiful Rhodophyte. Perhaps a member of the genus Fauchea>
I volunteer for an aquarium and the curator says it’s a type of macro algae. Thank you in advance, I appreciate your time!
Dani ��
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

acrylic crazing        5/14/19
Is this fix able? What # Weldon would I use and how? Thanks so much
<Mmm; not crazing... but a failure in the seam/seal itself.
The choice up to you, but I'd likely solvent a (two inch or so acrylic) strip along the side (edge where the two pieces meet)... akin to glass/Silicone aquariums where the seal is (badly) compromised). I would
NOT add Weldon or other product to the existing seam as this may simply weaken the current bond. Bob Fenner>

Re: Could you please help me find a book?     /Neale       5/10/19
<<'The Living Aquarium' by Hunnam is certainly one that springs to mind. It was very definitely a book with a section on ecology and biology, but 'Complete Aquarium' by Peter Scott was much more biotope-focused, with six-page sections on each sort of biotope tank. Two pages of the complete tank, two pages of setting it up, and two pages of livestock. Although a bit dated now, this book is one I continue to recommend because it's so clear and easy to follow. There was another one, called 'Aquarium Design'
by Matthew Christian that was similar in aim, but in my opinion, bonkers.
Besides a range of naturalistic set-ups, there were these more sort of avant garde designs, often using weird materials (such as steel wire and plastic baubles) to create funky designs. Anyway, other classic books of the era included 'The Complete Aquarist's Guide to Freshwater Tropical Fishes' edited by Legg; the excellent 'Complete Aquarium Encyclopedia Of Tropical Fish' by Ramshorst; and (a bit more of a pot-boiler this) 'Practical (or Interpet) Encyclopedia of Freshwater Tropical Aquarium Fishes' by Mills & Vevers. Cheers, Neale.>>

Re: Hemorrhagic septicemia and ulcer issues      5/9/19
Thank you for your insights! Fingers crossed that everything works out well. Due to your help, I’m much more confident in handling the situation.
Thanks again,
<And here's hoping your fish gets better! Good luck, Neale.>

Strange anemone      5/9/19
Hi guys, I had a hitchhiker anemone (I assume it’s an anemone)
<Looks like it... to me>
from a coral I purchased that has been slowly multiplying. It is not Aiptasia and I don’t believe in majano either. It glows green and has feathery tentacles.
<Good description; somewhat arborose, tree-like; branching as they go outward>
Do you know what it is?
<Mmm; no; not off-hand>
It stung the top of my finger and left a welt and a stinging sensation, I have owned carpets, bubbles and Condys and never felt that sort of sting! Any ID on it? (Last picture has about 6 on it) And should I try and remove?
Thanks guys
<Doesn't seem to be stinging the other Cnidarian life nearby... Up to you.
Bob Fenner>

Bryopsis, Nitrates, Rose BTA - Frustration!      5/9/19
Good evening Crew!
I have a shallow 60g Innovative Marine Aquarium (i.e. the sump is actually a 6 wide chamber at the back of the tank and the display has a thick divider separating the two vs. having it underneath).
<Yes... really don't like these "integral" designs; hard to see, work on>
The tank gets a lot of natural sunlight through a huge upper floor window our house is a very open
concept 2 story.
<I have similar arrangement w/ some large systems backing up to a window and overhead glass in the rear sunroom here. Too much light about half the year>
Im not new to marine tanks, and Ill say my 200g predator tank, a 90g reef, and a 20g reef tank were successes at my old house as they operated pretty much trouble free, everything flourished, and I hardly even had to clean the glass because there was no nuisance algae. The first year of operating this 60g tank, I went through the typical new tank issues and learned to adjust my LED lighting to the natural sunlight the tank was receiving.
I had water parameters at untraceable nitrates and was using two filter socks that I swapped out weekly when I did my 10% RODI water changes.
I then swapped out one of the filter sock chambers for one of Innovative Marines refugium canisters and utilized Chaeto. All was well for another year. It seems as though last summer while on vacation the Chaeto managed to trickle through the bottom of the refugium and was shredded in pumps, etc. I needed new Chaeto and bought locally from a hobbyist. Ever since then, I have been battling a Bryopsis plague that Im sure was brought in via his Chaeto. About that time, my nitrates have been through the roof at
around 35ppm (Im used to operating all my tanks at 0ppm).
<I'd shoot for a few ppm, like less than 10; but not zero NO3>
I discovered this when most of cleanup crew inverts seemed to quickly perish over the span of a couple of weeks. I stepped up my water changes, doing 10% every 4 days for several weeks and used Red Seas No3P04-X religiously to get my nitrates down to within 10ppm.
<Oh! Good>
I understand that nitrates are caused by what is added to the tank, be it fish waste or food (not natural sunlight).
My stock: two percula clowns, yellow watchman goby, canary wrasse, royal gramma, and a coral beauty angel... two peppermint shrimp, cleaner shrimp, three green Mithrax crabs, one banded serpent star, 20 blue legged hermits, 8 Nassarius snails, and about 10 other assorted small snails. I also have a
BTA that isnt doing so well. I got the rose bubble tip anemone when my tank had been stable in around 18 mths, and now the anemone seems to have turned from a nice red to a very pale pink and he is only 1/3 the size he was before (he's also never split).
<You do have measurable HPO4?>
Nitrates... the only difference between my habits now and with my old aquariums is that I have filter socks. I've stopped using them the last month, and still Im at 35ppm nitrates. I currently really have no
as I had to turn my protein skimmer off because I am using Fluconazole for Bryopsis. I feed my stock ½ a frozen cube of assorted food about 4x week. 2x week I use a combination of pellets, ensuring that I only add enough pellets that are being consumed. I figure my bio load is average or even a little light for my tank? I have no intention of adding any other fish as I prefer not to crowd my critters. I do 10% water changes three times a month with RODI water. Awhile back Bob suggested I stop using filter socks,
<Or cleaning them daily>
 so I did. It seems unreasonable that Id have to continually use NO3PO4-X to keep nitrates in check, right? Its got to be something else?
<Yes... a source of ammonia, protein... Could you add another sump, refugium... w/ DSB, RDP, macro algae culture?>
Bryopsis... Fluconazole seems to work, but just when I think I have it beat, it comes back. I have read that if you pull or disturb it that the cells stay waterborne and the problem continues. Further research, never pull Bryopsis... use Fluconazole, so that's what I've been doing. Any other tricks you can think of?
<Maybe others have: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BryopsisF.htm >
The Rose BTA... I suspect that the health of my BTA is full on my nitrate issue?
<Can't tell from the data presented. There are variable and multiple factors possible>
Additionally, my colt coral that I was continually trimming is not flourishing at all, and my toad stool looks bleached. My Zoas and star polyps are doing awesome.
<These are winning likely... at the expense of the soft coral, anemone... see WWM re Allelopathy>
Thoughts here? If it matters, I am using just the plain old Instant Ocean salt with no other additives. My LFS told me Instant Ocean alone doesn't carry the appropriate trace elements to support corals, and its only good for FOWLR tanks? Any truth to this?
<Can, could be a factor...>
Look forward to your thoughts as always! My other tanks have been a joy, and this tank is the most challenging one to get my system in a happy place.
<The reading for now. Bob Fenner>

Re: Could you please help me find a book?       5/9/19
Dear Bob,
Thank you so much for the reply.
I know you are a celebrated writer and producer of books on ornamental aquatics, I have the pleasure of owning a couple of titles by you!
The suggestion of bookfinder.com is very helpful. I am using the advance search option to peruse the links individually.
<Ahh! A very useful site, tool. I use so often that it's on my faves toolbar>
I am finding that the same titles are often printed with different cover arts in different editions, so though the Dick Mills book you suggested did not trigger an immediate connect, I will explore it further.
<Yes; this does occur...>
As for the one by David Coffey, I have placed an online order for an used copy, as anyway it will be a nice book to add to my collection.
To my frustration I do not recall the cover art, but it was a large and heavy book, rather thick, a good way across (left to right), maybe 15 inches or thereabouts. I do not recall the author's name save a vague (maybe wrong) idea that the name sounded German or Dutch and thus wondered if the 'Complete Aquarium' by V. Ramshorst could be it. It was not, but again it is a nice book to have anyway.
<Well... you could also add browsing the listings (via covers) on eBay... re aquarium books; fun, but time-consuming>
I shall definitely await Neale Monk's valuable inputs.
Meanwhile I shall be 'at it' and update you if I nail it.
Thanks a lot for all the help.
<Cheers, BobF>

Could you please help me find a book?        5/8/19
Dear WWM,
Thank you so much for offering this incredible service to help us better our aquarium keeping skills. Much appreciated.
I have a rather odd query today, and I am turning to you with the hope that you might aid my search.
I am trying to recall the name of a freshwater aquarium book which I remember reading in a library (which I am no longer a member of) in my school days in the *late 1980s*. If my memory serves me right it was a hardcover book which was more landscape in format, like an album, (or at least square), pretty thick and had many colour photographs. I mainly remember the excellent biotope correct layout design illustrations (drawings) it had with inputs for applicable plants, fishes and invertebrates.
<Mmm; there are a few that come to mind. I collect printed works in the ornamental aquatics field (and write, produce them)>
I have tried searching the web, especially Amazon.com pretty extensively for images that may trigger a 'total recall' but it is still eluding me. I have purchased "The Living Aquarium' by Peter Hunnam, but it was not that.
With your vast experience, does the (rather vague) descriptions ring any bell?
<The late 80's, squarish, good biotopic presentations... Let's see, Takashi Amano's works would rate, but they were reproduced in English in the early 90's... Dick Mills' "Tropical Aquarium Fishes", David Coffey, "The Encyclopedia of Aquarium Fish"... Do use BookFinder.com and links there to look up these editions... Do you recall details re the cover art? Overall physical size? Publisher? Am cc'ing Neale Monks here as well... His short pc. on the topic mainly includes books past this date. Barring our input;
visiting a large library, cruising the "QL" section in the Dewey Decimal accord might prove fruitful.>
I would be much obliged if you can give me some concrete inputs or at least suggestions.
Thanks and regards
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Mycobacterial Infection         5/7/19
<Hey Eric>
I scraped my hand cleaning the back of the aquarium. 2 weeks later developed a large gnarly looking nodule with oozing and crusting right where the scrape was. Did a week of antibiotics and steroid creams and nothing. Finally went to the dermatologist as it is now a month later with no change.
<... what did the dermatologist say, speculate? Did they sample, culture?>
Preliminary diagnosis is Fish Tank Granuloma pending biopsy results and culture but really nothing else it could be. My question is shouldn't my fish be sick from this as well. This is basically fish TB right?
<Mmm; possibly. IF you don't think you're getting satisfaction, I'd look for another Dr. Bob Fenner>
Re: Mycobacterial Infection       5/7/19

Thanks for getting back to me. He thinks it's Mycobacterium Marinum.
Should I be treating all my fish with some type of antibiotic as well.
<Mmm; no... this gram neg., rod... bacterium is pretty much omnipresent in marine aquariums, the oceans...>
If the derm is right I must say I am pretty unlucky here.
<No as well; not uncommon. Bob Fenner>
Re: Mycobacterial Infection       5/7/19

Thanks Bob. In the future is it safe to put my hands in this tank? I am talking about gluing frags to rocks etc. Skin contact with water is okay right? The problem is with open wounds, etc correct?
<... Am a huge fan of keeping hands out of systems; ONLY putting in w/ full-length gloves. Bob Fenner>
Re: Mycobacterial Infection       5/7/19

Last question. I have read articles about having to break down tanks and disinfect everything. Also that splashing water and dried old water can still harbor the bacteria.
<Yes; that is my understanding as well>
I am a little worried about my kids here. Can this be inhaled and cause lung disease through siphoning?
<Mmm; that I do doubt. However, I am a big fan of "bleaching systems in place" to sterilize.
Do read here re the elements:
Bob Fenner>

Re: Mycobacterial Infection       5/8/19
So essentially I would have to euthanize the fish and corals, etc?
<? No; remove them, all other life you want to keep first. B>
Re: Mycobacterial Infection       5/8/19

Is it necessary that I euthanize the fish and coral and bleach the tank?
This us utterly shocking to me as I have had most of my coral for over a decade and most of my fish for over 5 years.
<... No... you mentioned disinfecting the system itself. Eric; perhaps a bit more delving, reading...
Microbes are all about, on, in us... most of them, and the vast majority of time, not pathogenic>
Re: Mycobacterial Infection       5/8/19

Thanks Bob. Must have taken your response out of context. So really I do not have to disinfect the tank unless I want to?
What I struggle with is what is the point of disinfecting it if really omnipresent and essentially will be added again at some point. Would uv sterilization and ozone be of benefit here?
<Yes; higher DO, ORP do reduce TBC....>
Seems like safe reef keeping with hands out of the tank and gloves is all that is needed. Do you agree?
<Indeed I do. B>
Re: Mycobacterial Infection       5/8/19

Is running ozone and oversized uv overkill? Is one more effective than the other?
<... too much O3 can be dangerous. Again; my advice; reading... On WWM, elsewhere. B>
Re: Mycobacterial Infection       5/8/19

Thanks Bob. Is there also anyway to figure out where I got this from. By that I mean I also have a QT tank with fish in it. I guess it's just as likely that I scratched my hand in my main display and the cut got infected in the QT tank. If the fish in the QT tank are asymptomatic do you think it's reasonable to move them into the display tank.
<? How would I know Eric....? Folks, aquarists do get such growths, infections... freshwater, marine, fisher-folks as well.

Re: 7 Year old RES acts perky but I’m worried about her shell and “ears”       5/7/19
Thank you for the quick and In-depth reply! I will make sure the bulb I’m using (a reptile light, of brand I don’t remember) utilizes UV-B! And I’ll definitely monitor her and make sure she gets completely dry when she basks. I appreciate all your help! Thank you so much.
<Glad to help and good luck! Neale.>

Re: Hemorrhagic septicemia and ulcer issues       5/7/19
Thank you, Neale!
<Mot welcome.>
I will treat the tanks for fin rot! Do you have any ideas as to what might be the cause of the ulcer at the base of the marbled angel's dorsal fin or are you thinking that this is fin rot as well?
<Could easily be. Finrot is a generic term of Aeromonas and Pseudomonas spp. infections, and doesn't specifically mean infections are centred on the fins. You can have Finrot anywhere the skin is damaged sufficiently to allow these opportunistic bacteria to get in.>
The ulcer is at the base of the fin, but it doesn't appear to touch any part of the fin/ all the fin tissue looks healthy. When I first saw it, I did treat the tank with Microbe-Lift Artemis for a few days, but stopped due to no improvements. Should I just continue the treatment for longer this time or try giving him a salt bath?
<Salt baths do little/nothing against bacterial infections.>
The potential fin nippers don't bother the angelfish at all as they keep to different layers of the water column for the most part.
<I'd still watch them, carefully.>
All the fish have their own preferred spots in the tank (there's lots of vegetation to hide in throughout the water column since I have shelves and cups for plants/ décor on the tank walls) and they only get aggressive when someone invades their favorite spot 'without permission'. It is strange to me that the ulcer is in the place it is, especially since all fins are in perfect condition with no nips or tears. Besides stress, which he doesn't appear to be under, what could it be from?
<Hard to say. Different varieties of Angelfish are somewhat more prone to disease than others, so there may be a genetic predisposition (e.g., a weakened immune system due to inbreeding) in some cases. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred these bacterial infections are caused by the environment. The tricky bit is determining what the underlying issue was. Optimising diet, water chemistry, water quality, oxygenation, and tankmates will tick off the most likely factors. You might also try to the old Metronidazole/Nitrofuran combo as a useful treatment against indistinct cichlid maladies.>
Thanks again,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Experimental Majano Tank Update!       5/7/19
<Hey Joanne>
I told you a few months ago I would be giving you updates on my experimental majano tank, so here we go!
<Ah, good>
To recap: I was curious about possible uses for majano anemones so I set up a small (5 gallon) aquarium to study them a bit.
Tank equipment: water circulation pump, heater, LED reef light. That's it! No skimmers, no nothin'.
Infrastructure: approx. 1" sugar fine sand, several chunks of live rock Livestock: 1 damselfish, several blue leg hermit crabs, several Nerite snails, 1 small decorator crab, some red Gracilaria (added a few weeks ago), and, of course, MAJANOS!
The tank is fed generously once or twice a day. Normal water change schedule is maintained.
I have to say, this has been the easiest tank break-in ever! During the initial break in period, there was a very small diatom bloom, which lasted less than a week. Apart from that, there has been no algae blooms, no hair algae, no diatoms, no red slime, nothing. Just a clean looking, healthy tank. Meanwhile, a much larger (30 gallon) tank that was set up about the same time frame has gone through all of the above, and still battling Dinoflagellates. And that tank is much more lightly fed than the majano tank.
The majanos originally came crowded on a piece of live rock. Since introducing them to the tank they have spread out, but it doesn't seem that they have actually increased in number. They were kind of overcrowded on the piece of rock and so many of them just detached and settled elsewhere in the tank.
They have not caused any trouble at all for the other tank inhabitants.
Of course there are no other corals, anemones, etc. in there, but the damselfish and other inverts are just fine. In fact they are probably in more danger from the damsel than the other way around, as the damsel likes to rearrange the sand and often dumps sand on the rocks (and over the majanos).
I am planning on moving the group to a 20 gallon long tank in the near future. I'd like to see how things go in a larger setup. Also it will be a good place to keep some critters that I really like but that don't
belong in a reef tank. I could call the tank "Bullies of the Sea", or "Tiny Terrors of the Deep", or some such, LOL.
I just set up a refugium on the other tank mentioned above (the one that has gone through all the various outbreaks). I am SERIOUSLY thinking of adding some of the majanos to the refugium.
<Yes I would. Have seen, read of folks using Glass/Aiptasia Anemones in such a way>
Main thing I am worried about there is that I want to refugium to supply the tank with pods, etc., and I'm not sure if they will get eaten by the majanos or what.
<Some will assuredly>
If I can figure some way of confining the majanos to just a portion of the refugium it might work. Or maybe just build a layer of loosely stacked pieces of live rock at least 3 or 4 inches deep. I'm guessing the majanos will stay at the top of the rock and sides of the refugium to get enough light, and the lower sections of the rocks will be a true refuge for the pods and other critters.
So that's where we are now. I'll see what develops once the group is transferred to the 20 gallon.
*Joanne White*
<Thank you for this update, input. Bob Fenner>

Re: Gramma with internal parasites      5/6/19
My gramma expired this week, but it put up an impressive fight, giving me a lot of time to *try* to cure it. I didn’t have the heart to autopsy it, which fees like a missed opportunity, but what’s done is done. Hopefully it’ll be awhile before I have to do any of this again, but I’ll be a bit more prepared next time. Thank you so much for developing WWM as an amazing resource, and for your expert feedback, Mr. Fenner. —Bob
<Thank you for this follow up BobM. Cheers, BobF>

Re: Popeye/Injury      5/6/19
Thank you for responding so quickly!
The Epsom salt and Indian Almond Leaf weren't able to perform a miracle overnight, unfortunately. I'm certain there's no saving the eye at this point and I expect it to fall off. Other than frequent water changes, are there any medications I should use to prevent infection?
<There are but... I wouldn't use them. Rainbowfishes/Melanotaeniids are generally "very tough", and most likely rebound from such injuries sans any medicine addition. My usual statement here re; in particular antibiotics, is that many more troubles and losses of captive aquatic life are caused by them than their non-use>
She's not interested in eating (I can't say I blame her), so would it be worth it to add Vita Chem to her water or would it just increase the chance of infection?
<The Vita Chem add would be fine, though it won't do much directly for the fish/es... as they don't drink their environment; better to soak foods (when the animals are eating) with such supplements>
If the fish survives she'll live out her life in a calm community tank separate from the breeding group.
Thank you,
Sabrina H
<Thank you for this further follow-up Sabrina. BobF>

Hemorrhagic septicemia and ulcer issues      5/6/19
Dear WWM team,
Some history-
I have had an established freshwater, 45 gallon tank for 4 months now. When I upsized from my 30gal, I poured about 15 gallons of established water from the smaller tank into the larger one and added another seven fish.
<Ah, do remember the nitrifying bacteria are not in the water, but attached to solid surfaces in well oxygenated areas. Transplanting filter media is the ideal, but floating plants with established root systems, or plants with feathery leaves, are almost as good. Even moving the topmost layer of
sand and gravel will help. But alas, 'old' water contains few bacteria, and while it'll surely contain some, the number will be so few that the cycling process will barely be abbreviated at all.>
In all, I have 2 dwarf gouramis, 2 cardinal tetras, 4 skirttail tetras (2 white and 2 black),
<If these are Gymnocorymbus ternetzi, they can be nippy. I mention this because aggression and physical damage can, will lead to Finrot and other opportunistic bacterial infections.>
2 mollies, a Redtail shark,
<Another potentially aggressive species.>
a common Pleco ( 4 inches) and 2 angelfish.
<Should also remind you that while sociable enough when young, adults are territorial. Mated pairs can work, but in groups fewer than 6, you can end up with bullying.>
I had another angelfish, though it died a couple of days ago from what appeared to be hemorrhagic septicemia.
<Angels are prone to this, or so it sometimes seems. In truth they are probably no more sensitive than any other cichlid, but unlike most other cichlids, they're popular choices among beginners and those stocking smaller community tanks, so commonly exposed to what are, to cichlids, stressful levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.>
After closer analysis of the other two angelfish, I think there may be the very beginning of the red discolorations to their fins as well.
<I would treat as per Finrot to start with.>
The 30gal tank now has my older 'establisher' goldfish, one molly and a common Pleco and that tank has been established for almost 9 months. The only new additions to the tanks were the angelfish and 4 new tetras, as well as some more Nerite snails, and that was several months ago. The tanks are planted, again with no recent additions, and the temperatures sit at a steady 78-80 degrees F. Mechanically, I upgraded the bigger tank to a canister filter with a UV light several weeks ago. The old filter for that tank then shifted down to the smaller tank which needed an oversized filter with the mess that 3 medium goldfish make. I also got the 30 gallon an independent UV light to help with some of the recent algae outbreaks from too much sunlight this time of year.
These are only 2 of my 6 tanks and they usually have the most cross contamination out of all of them due to location and the amount of work they need done to maintain them.
Admittedly, a decent amount of material from the bigger tank makes its way into the goldfish tank since the goldies like chowing down on some of the more delicate leaves I keep in the other tank until they no longer look nice. So, it comes to no surprise to me that the goldfish seem to have a slight discoloration (a pink hue) in their tails and pectoral fin articulations. I am currently treating both tanks with Furan 2.
<Don't believe the Angels are 'catching' something from the Goldfish, but if all else fails, isolate the two tanks as perfectly as possible. This would include separate nets, buckets, etc., or at least, the use of
sterilising agents in between uses, as done in tropical fish shops.>
The goldies had some flashing/ flitting fin and scraping issues a few months ago with no visible issues and so they have been through the gauntlet of parasitic treatments- Artemis, ParaGaurd, Anchorworm/Lice, salt baths. None seemed to work individually until I tried a concentrated salt bath for 45 min.s and then a week of ParaGaurd. They have been fine for several weeks until this new issue.
At least 30% of the water is changed either weekly, or biweekly depending on the water parameters and how clear the water is. I like my tanks to be crystal clear. The gravel is vacuumed thoroughly.
Nitrates are usually 0-10ppm (for sure less than 25 for the goldies even on a 3wk wait)
Nitrite 0
Carbonate 40-80ppm
Total Alk 80ppm
pH 6.5-7.5
CaCO3 50-120ppm
Ammonia 0
The issues-
The biggest angelfish has what seems to be an ulcer on the top of his head right on a dark part of his marbling. I found it one day after changing the tank water and rearranging the plants and decorations and I assumed that I must have dropped something and it hit him. But, he has had it for several weeks now and it seems to be growing as he grows. There is no inflammation or 'cotton' like fluff coming out of it, but there is a slight depression like something just took off a layer of skin. The subdermal area is dark in color like the black dermal area that used to cover that area. There appears to be a whitish periphery along the edge of the ulcer and it looks slightly lose and water logged compared to the taunt skin surrounding the area (a low-profile fungus?). Both angelfish appear to have slight pink markings that I don't remember being present even last week. On the stripped angelfish, it is easier to see a narrow, red vein that spans the distance on his dorsal region. Due to the demise of the other angel and the red hues he had all over, I assumed that all of my fish in the two tanks have been exposed and have hemorrhagic septicemia. All fish are acting healthy and happy with normal poop, appetites, fins, and begging behaviors.
My questions-
What is the 'ulcer' on the marbled angel's head and how should I proceed given that it has been allowed to advance for a few weeks?
Should I be assuming that every pink/ red mark on any of my fish is hemorrhagic septicemia?
<Red patches on the skin indicate inflammation and/or congestion of the underlying blood vessels, and just as with humans, such symptoms don't necessarily imply just one disease. Finrot is far more likely in the situation, and use of a reliable antibacterial or antibiotic would be my first move here. Septicaemia simply means a bacterial infection of the blood, but tends to be systemic (i.e., across the whole body) rather than small, discrete patches (which tends to imply local infection of skin tissue).>
Thank you so much for your time! I am a fish person and I have a decent amount of experience dealing with the common fungus/ fin/ ich/ parasite issues. But, this one is a bit above me and I want to make sure that I'm handling it correctly since septicemia is nothing to fool around with and I love my fishies! Plus, the marbled angel ulcer has really stumped me and I'm wondering if it could at all be related to anything.
Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated! Please don't hesitate to contact me if I can answer any more questions for you!
Most Sincerely,
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

full-size pix


Help with fish ID please     5/4/19
Greetings WWM crew,
My LFS just got in a group of cool-looking cats that they labeled as ‘spotted catfish’ but, so far as I can tell, it’s a descriptive rather than an actual name. Any idea what these fellows are? They are currently about 6-8 inches long and about 1-1.5 inches in diameter.
<What the?! This looks like the olde Albino Walking Catfish (to me); Clarias batrachus>
Thanks in advance for your help!
<I thought was still illegal nationally... in the USA. Invasive and hard to eradicate. Bob Fenner>

Re: Help with fish ID please     5/4/19
Hi Bob,
I KNEW they looked familiar! We used to get these suckers flopping down the street down in Florida whenever we had heavy rains. Yikes!
They sure are cute (at their current small size) but I don’t want a 1-m-long Hoover in my tank, even if they WEREN’T illegal!
Thanks for the swift reply!
<Thanks for sending in the pix of the plu duc dam... I think this is the olde Thai name. BobF>

Popeye/Injury     5/4/19
<Hey Sabrina>
I have 3 female praecox rainbows in their second week of quarantine and today during a water change I discovered one has a damaged eye.
<I see this in your excellent pix>
I'm positive it's trauma-related because the largest female is pretty aggressive and is constantly nipping the others. My biggest concern is how bloody the eye looks and the chunk of flesh sticking out. The pictures don't do it justice at all, it's truly terrible.
<I do agree w/ the trauma-cause... usually one sided (unilateral) popeye (exophthalmia) is due to such>
I have the fish floating in a container in the quarantine tank (I don't have anywhere else to put her) and I'll be doing water changes daily, if not twice daily, to try and help her heal, but is there anything else I can do?
<Perhaps addition of a modicum Epsom Salt... Do please see Neale's piece here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm>
Is it even possible to save her or the eye or should I euthanize?
<Is possible and no, I would NOT euthanize this fish>
I was thinking of adding a low dose of Epsom salt, something like 1/4 tsp per gallon, to reduce the swelling. I don't want to risk further damage to the eye by transferring her to another container for a stronger bath every day. I'll also be adding Indian almond leaves or alder cones to try to naturally fend off infection.
<Ah yes; I would go w/ your plan. Bob Fenner>
Thank You,
Sabrina H

7 Year old RES acts perky but I’m worried about her shell and “ears”    5/5/19
<Hello Avery,>
I have a red eared slider named Mikey (we didn’t know she was a girl when we got her ��) who is about 7 years old now. She’s not fully grown but is kept in a very clean tank, with both a whisper filter and biological filtration through ghost shrimp, a few feeder fish, some algae-eating snails and healthy, kempt green moss. Her basking spot gets her completely dry and at leas a couple times a month I get her out and very gently rub a soft toothbrush over her shell and apply some special avocado pit- based shell oil I got at Petco (I never apply the oil more than once a month.)
<Never heard of anyone using this product, but can't imagine it does any harm! Just be careful with turtle shells. They're not meant to be abraded clean, and loose scutes (the shell plate pieces) should never be peeled off but allowed to fall away naturally. Otherwise there's a risk of allowing bacteria and fungi into tiny cracks where the shell hasn't completely hardened off.>
I also make sure to use medicated turtle eye drops sparingly and occasionally (she had pink/inflamed eyes once when she was younger but that’s far in her past) and try to get any excess food from the tank when I feed her in there (she Houdini's her way out of our Tupperware and bowls now because she’s a big girl so it’s hard to feed her out of tank! ��)
She sheds her scutes occasionally but in a very irregular manner,
and her shell looks bumpy (it isn’t rot though) with all of the air trapped under her scutes that are in the process of shedding.
<Can happen. Provided the shell smells normal, not moldy, nothing to worry about.>
I feed her a variety diet that includes greens, reptile vitamin and various protein sources and sometimes Reptomin too, and tried giving her Koi sticks for a while since they’re said to aid in shedding. I worry that she’s going to get an infection because she doesn’t shed properly.
Also, on her red patches, I’ve noticed portions where her skin creases have Turned a slightly darker, more dull red or near-grey. Overall they’re bright red, just some concerning patches.
<Do review the three basics for turtle shell care. The first is calcium, whether in the form of Reptomin or some other calcium-rich foodstuff. The second is UV-B, which is important for all types of bone growth, not just the shell. Most commercial UV-B lamps last 6-12 months. Other than direct sunlight (i.e., not through glass) for 4-6 hours a day, UV-B is a non-negotiable, and lack of UV-B is an extremely common cause of problems. By the way, don't confuse UV-B with UV-A, this latter being useful for establishing day/night cycles, but otherwise not needed by most reptiles. Finally, there's dry heat. Turtles like to warm up on land, rather than in the water. Sitting on a large dry rock under the heat lamp will allow the shell to dry off, which helps to keep algae and bacteria from seeping into the cracks within the shell. Dry heat also encourages old scutes to dry out and pull away from the new shell plates below them, and in doing so ensures more even shell growth. You can buy combination heat and UV-B lamps, and while more expensive than plain heat lamps, they're very convenient, killing two birds with one stone. As the turtle basks under the heat, it'll receive the UV-B at the same time!>
She’s a peppy girl who likes to swim and explore and is the opposite of lethargic, and she’s not been sneezing or acting sick otherwise, but I’m just afraid that she has underlying health problems that could become something worse. I can send pictures if you are interested. Thank you!
Avery H.
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: QUESTION, turtle...      5/3/19
They don't act sick or have any problem eating anymore so its kind of weird. I haven't seen them fight before or really bloody feces so it just has me curious because the 1st time was a couple months ago the blood was on top of their floating dock just a little puddle then 3 months go by and it all in their water and then I seen those dark ball things which might have been feces I don't know I just know the male kept tying to eat it then spit it out & then I seen a weird slimy ball like thing floating around and he tried to eat that was well. Is it possible for them to be sick but act completely normal?
<I guess... but I'd still keep an open mind. Things that look red/bloody might simply be partially digested food of some sort, rather than actual blood. Flip side, do review filtration, heat lamps, UV-B lighting, and so forth.>
Thank you once again for your response!
<Welcome. Neale.>

Re: Chipped Glass     5/3/19
Still wondering if it would hurt to panel over the whole side?
<?.... not necessary, nor advised>
How thick do you put the silicone?
<Not much... thin beads... squished down... You'd do well to have someone help you who has experience Steve. Easy to do once you've seen it...>
Can I use black silicone? I am assuming you would not have any clarity even with the clear silicone?
<I'd go w/ the clear; as prev. mentioned. Bob Fenner>
Thank you,
Steve S.

Bizarre swimming of trigger   MOVie Link  5/3/19
<Hello Zackery!>
I need some help...My blue throat trigger started doing this very bizarre corkscrew swim pattern today. Appetite decreased 2 days ago. He has been fine before this and strong eater. All my water parameters are testing in the perfect range.
<I need more information about your system...size, tankmates, filtration, water data (test numbers), temperature.>
He seems to ‘get worse’ with this when attempting to feed..it’s almost as if he starts the  twirling/corkscrew movements when trying to go after food but he’s ‘missing’ the food.
<It appears to be disoriented; this could be due to numerous factors; water quality, nutritional deficiency, a genetic anomaly... read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/triggers/faqs.htm  and the linked files above.>
Other times, he appears fine swimming as usual with only occasional bouts of this ‘swirling’.
Attached is a video recorded during feeding this morning showing the erratic behavior.
<Could you please place the video in the cloud or other server like YouTube and send us just the link?... our server don’t support very large files.>
Any thoughts on a diagnosis or treatment would be greatly appreciated.
<You’re most welcome. Wil.>
Re: Bizarre swimming of trigger     5/3/19

Here is the video link on YouTube for you:
<Ahh...thanks! >
I have a 90-gallon fish only tank with just the trigger (5 inches) and 2 small Clarkii Clownfish (1 inch each). The tank is 3 months old.
Filtration: Eshopps sump 1000 GPH
<Sounds good, It appears to be stable an uncrowded.>
My water parameters are as follows:
Temp: 78 degrees F
Specific gravity: 1.022
pH: 8.0
<A bit low, aim to 8.3-8.4 by adding a buffer>
Ammo: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: <10
Phosphates: 0
<I suggest focusing on its nutrition. Even though Blue throats tend to be a little more finicky than other triggers, try to feed it a diet as varied as possible including vitamin supplements. Keep an eye on it and give a few days to see if this condition is reverted. Please read the links I sent you and keep us posted.>
<Cheers. Wil.>

Re: Chipped Glass       5/2/19
Would it hurt to do the whole side panel with a piece so it's not so unsightly?
<Meh; I'd do the strip and turn the side to the back, corner... Most folks will never see it>
I am assuming this will go on outside of tank , not the inside?
<Yes; outside>
Piece will then go in-between the top and bottom frame?
Sorry for so many questions, I just want to do this correctly.
<Ah, understood. No worries>
You all are great with your fast replies!! Thank you so much!!
<Welcome Steve. BobF>
Re: Chipped Glass       5/2/19

I had inquired about the whole panel due to not being able to turn that side of the tank to the back. It is a bottom drilled tank with a corner overflow.
Also should the 1/4" piece of glass be annealed, tempered, or laminated, etc. ?
<None of the above. Just plain float glass will do. IF any of these others, have the glass shop do the cutting for you>
What is the best silicone to use?
<See WWM re... all "aquarium intended" are sure bets; otherwise, shoot for one sans mildewcide>
Is silicone better than glues, epoxies, cements, etc.?
<Immensely better; yes>
Do I need to clamp the piece down when I silicone it?
<Not likely; no... IF the tank is empty, lay it down facing the non-chipped edge>
Thank you,
Steve S.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

QUESTION. Turtle blood in tank       5/2/19
Hi! I previously asked you sine turtle questions before and I have one more question. I randomly seen blood in tank a couple months ago but didn't see no physical injury to neither. Then i clean their tank then leave and come back 3 hours later and my mom told there was lots of blood but she didn't see anything. What would cause something like that?
<It's possible for blood to be lost from any 'end' of the turtle, and not really a good sign. If being vomited with food, or lost from the nose, those are not good things to see. Likewise blood in the faeces isn't a good thing either. Turtles aren't social animals, and if they are fighting, or you think they might be, isolate them for now. If the blood stops appearing, then great, you've solved the mystery! If it's still present, then at least you know which turtle is sick, and can narrow down your treatments accordingly.
Cheers, Neale.>

Unresponsive Turtle need help immediately       5/2/19
I have a Indian flapshell turtle named Snappy. Last night I noticed he wasn't moving much and he suddenly stopped to eating any piece of his food.
<First thing is check his environment. Is the water clean? Is his heat lamp working? Is the filter working? Is the water too cold or too hot?>
Today early morning when I got up he was laying at the bottom of the tank oppositely and wouldn't moving. So carried him out and he was limp but kind of moved his head. So i immediately gave him a sunbath in a bucket without water.
<Good. All freshwater turtles need some sunlight (or UV-B light) each day.
Turtles living outdoors use sunlight, but turtles kept indoors need a UV-B lamp (glass blocks the UV-B light, so a sunny window won't do if the glass is there!). Without some UV-B they tend to get sick over time.>
After an hour, when I put him back in the tank he just floated at the top and has been just floating all day occasionally lifting up for air. He hasn't eaten anything all day. Now i took him out again and put him into a Tub. He is not in a good condition. There is no veterinarians here. Please help him and suggest me what i should do now.
<Virtually all diseases we see in pet turtles are caused by environmental or dietary problems. Usually people NOT doing something they should have done. Let me direct you to some reading first:
Respiratory Tract infections are extremely common in turtles not kept correctly, and being internal diseases, may present few external symptoms.
Such turtles may be lethargic and disinterested in food. Over time they weaken and eventually die without treatment.
Hard to know your precise problem here, but double-check the UV-B lamp is working (or get one if you don't have one) and remember the lamps often only work 6-12 months. A vet really is your best bet for identifying the problem, and none of the symptoms you have here are characteristic of just
<<End of resp...? RMF>>

Re: Gramma with internal parasites       5/1/19
Will do the skin scrape and further reading on flukes and external protozoa. As ever, thanks.
<Glad to collaborate w/ you Bob/Bob>

Re: Patches on Sailfin tang; and now missing fish mysteriously        5/1/19
Hi team,
Many thanks for the advise you had provided me earlier on my Sailfin tang that had patches. Waiting for couple of days really worked. All patches disappeared. Thanks again.
<Ah, good>
I am faced with a new problem of fish disappearance. I lost one Powder tang, Smoke angel, copper band, one damsel and one neon damsel in just last 25 days. All just vanished next morning . I could see some remains only. The green carpet anemone was removed and shifted to refugium when I lost copper band assuming that it might be the eating culprit. But disappearance continues.
<Mmm; disconcerting for sure>
I have currently the following in the tank
1. 1 Yellow tang 2.4 inch
2. 1 Purple tang 2.5 inch
3. 1 Sailfin tang 3.5 inch
4. 1 Regal tang 1.25 inch
5. 1 Blue damsels small (1 inch)
6. 1 Fox face 2.5 inch
7. 1 Pink Anthias small (1.5 inch)
8. 1 Banana wrasse 2 inch
9. 1 Camel shrimp
10. 3 hermit crabs small (1-1.6 inch)
11. 1 Percula Clown 1.25 inch
12. 1 Sebae clown 1.75 inch
<None of these likely perp.s>
Tank size 4 ft x 2 ft x 2ft. Water parameters are all ok . Ammonia 0 , Nitrite 0 , Nitrate 2 ppm
When restarting wave maker after feeding , I sometimes notice transparent membranes floating in the tank
I am really concerned about my fishes vanishing.
What can be the possible reason please. Or where am I wrong.
Please help
Thanks & Regards,
<The usual suspects to mention... Large (and many) polychaete/bristle-worms; crabs, mantis... I'd be trying putting out a baited trap or two towards lights-out time to see what you might catch. Search on WWM re trap designs. Bob Fenner>
Re: Patches on Sailfin tang       5/1/19

Thank you very much Bob. Can u please send me the link on WWM re trap designs to make a trap. I was looking for the same on WWM but I am not lucky.
<http://www.wetwebmedia.com/results.html?cx=partner-pub-4522959445250520%3Ap7g47g81naq&cof=FORID%3A10&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=trapping+hitchhikers&sa=Search&siteurl=wetwebmedia.com%2F&ref=&ss=5416j2111552j20 >
Thanks & Regards,
Bodh Raj

Re: Chipped Glass       5/1/19
I tried to resize the pictures. The first picture is the side panel that has the chip, the second picture is looking at the front panel and the hairline on the seam is how deep the chip is. It is on the inside under
the silicone.
<Chips don't usually extend but cracks do; your photos don't show very clear if this is only a chip or there is also a crack that may compromise the tank´s security, therefore, if this were me/my tank I would silicone a glass strip all along the chipped glass just as Bob suggested. See this link and related: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/glsaqcracks.htm  Cheers. Wil.>
Re: Chipped Glass       5/1/19

I tried searching to find how to put glass strip on but after hour or so I could not find any clear information. Do I just put glass strip on the side panel that has the chip?
<Ah yes>
Can I overlay a piece of glass on the whole side panel for better appearance than just a strip?
<Just the couple inches, top to bottom, along the chipped edge>
Do I silicone it just on the edges or does there need to be silicone across the whole surface?
<Entire, the clear... >
Thank you
Steve S.
<Sorry re not providing a beginning link. Try here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aqrepfaq5.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

May calendar       5/1/19
Hi Bob. Hope all is well. Here is a May Calendar for the WetWebMedia website.
May calendar (2019 instead of 2018)       5/1/19

I just noticed the other calendar I sent was for 2018. Here is a May 2019 calendar.
<Real good Mike. B>

Shark question; sys.; Blacktip        5/1/19
Good evening Sir from Thailand
My name is Dirk
We are setting up a 4000+ liter aquarium being 3m long 1m wide and 150cm high.
The idea is to add 1 or 2 Blacktip reef shark in there.
<Mmm; not really large enough... can likely house them when quite small (Feed VERY sparingly), but will crash into the ends, damage themselves when much more than about half a meter plus in length. Not as exciting, but I'd look into other shark species, as gone over on WWM:
I have installed 3 cross flow pumps (Jebao CP150) into the display creating extra flow on top of the 2 18000 Lph pumps overturning the aquarium. The main pumps are away from the aquarium but was wondering if the magnetic motors of the cross flows could effect the shark in any way?
<Likely not too deleteriously. Again, the big issue here is overall volume (and shape) of the system. Needs to be much bigger, rounder....>
thank you for your advice
<I have a book in print re Sharks and Rays in captivity; available on Amazon.com. Bob Fenner>

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