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Toxotes jaculatrix (Pallas 1767), the Banded
Archerfish. The principal species used in the trade in the west.
Asia and Oceania; India to the Philippines, Indonesia, Vanuatu, the
Solomons, New Guinea, northern Australia. To one foot in length.
An adult in an aquarium.
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Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Juvenile EB Acara with sunken belly
I received a 3 inch juvenile Electric Blue Acara in mail (shipped overnight) two
days ago. He was acclimated by being briefly floated in my quarantine tank for
temperature acclimation and then netted out and placed into my tank (plop and
drop). He showed no signs of stress and was actively investigating the tank
within minutes. He accepted a small amount of mysis shrimp that night and has
eaten every food I've offered him (cichlid mini pellets, bug bites, frozen mysis
shrimp). I've kept the tank lights off until today to keep stress levels down.
I've been feeding very small amounts three times a day. The quarantine tank is a
10 gallon cycled tank
with substrate, some driftwood, java fern, a sponge filter and an Aquaclear 5/20
HOB. I've been testing ammonia and nitrite levels twice daily and they are both
0 ppm. Nitrates are around 5 ppm. Temp is 78°F. PH is 7.6 and gH is 8°.
<The pH is a bit high... I'd be mixing some RO, rain water or such lower pH
water to bring it closer to 7>
I noticed today (I turned lights on this morning) when he came out to greet me
that his belly is somewhat sunken which has me concerned. I don't treat my fish
in quarantine prophylactically as I feel it's an additional stressor if the fish
is not actually sick.
<We are in agreement here>
I prefer to wait and see if any symptoms appear. I have friends with African
cichlids who aggressively
treat all new fish with antibiotics and antiparasitic meds as a preventative.
<I do too... ofttimes mass-produced fishes are introduced to parasites; some
quite persistent, hard to eradicate>
Is the sunken belly due to fasting prior to shipping and his age or could he
have parasites even though his appetite is good?
<Can't tell w/o more investigation; sampling, use of a microscope; HOWEVER, I
would try lacing foods with both Metronidazole and Prazi/quantel or such (combo.
of protozoacide and vermifuge), and increasing the frequency and/or amount of
I've not seen any clear or stringy poo. Should I give him more time or start
treatment for parasites as my friends are advocating?
<See above... but, up to you>
The shipper is also the breeder and has an excellent reputation for quality
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Black ghost knife may be sick 4/19/19
My black ghost knife has recently transferred into a new tank but has so far
been comfortable and seems happy in his new home. He ate a few fish within the
first few days of being in the tank but otherwise has had a steady diet.
<Please do not use feeder fish! Indeed, eating any sort of live fish, whether
cheap feeders or pet fish massively increases the risk of health problems.>
Recently I checked on him at night when he was active and his skin appears to be
a greyish colour with white splotches. It's like that on both sides of his body.
Is this normal?
And if not how can I treat it, he is a very important thing in my life and I
would do anything to make him better if he is sick. Pleas help
<Grey patches of slime usually indicating some type of irritation to the skin.
It's similar to a human getting an inflammation or rash. And like a rash, it's a
symptom rather than a specific disease. Environmental stress can cause this, but
more often it's some type of infection. Costia (Ichthyobodo) is a common cause,
and often called Slime Disease because of this. Various medications exist for
this; I like eSHa 2000, but something like ParaGuard would be a good
alternative. Seachem recommend starting with one-half or even one-quarter
dosages with sensitive fish, and only increasing upwards to the full dose
as/when require and if you're comfortable the fish is tolerating the medicine
well. I'd support that approach, given the type of fish you're keeping here.
Issues With High pH, Suitable for Cardinals?
Thanks for your advice from a couple of weeks ago. I have completed
cycling my tank but am currently having some further issues with my
tank's pH. I would appreciate your advice.
I won't repeat all the details of my tank/water here but I guess the
pertinent info is as follows:
Total Ca/Mg: about 20 dGH
<A bit too high for Cardinals.>
Alkalinity: 216mg/l = 9.9 dKH
<Also too high.>
pH: about 7.3-7.8 after standing/aeration. I have noticed the tap pH has
increased in the last couple of days, perhaps the water company is
adding something to the water.
<Possibly. Best ask them.>
No detectable hardness on my test kit.
pH similar to the tap water.
<Should be around 7; ideally exactly 7 if the RO filter is working
Total Ca/Mg: about 7 dGH
Alkalinity: 108mg/l = 5 dKH
pH: 7.8-8.0 in the morning and up to 8.2-8.5 in the evening before the
<Interesting the pH goes up, but that can happen if there is a lot of
photosynthesis going on. Plants remove dissolved carbon dioxide during
photosynthesis, and since dissolved CO2 is carbonic acid, removing CO2
causes the pH to rise. Furthermore, some plants, such as Elodea and
Vallisneria, can absorb carbonate and bicarbonate ions from the water,
and use these as a carbon source for photosynthesis. It's called
'biogenic decalcification' and can cause the pH to drop as well. You
know plants are doing this in some cases because crystals of white
minerals (a bit like limescale) appear on the leaves.>
The tank is fully cycled but uninhabited. It does however contain a few
Cryptocorynes and a bundle of something that I think is Elodea that I
have left to float on the surface. These have been in the tank for a
week and a half and the Elodea in particular has taken off - some of the
roots that have grown from the stems have grown so fast that they have
actually reached the substrate and anchored themselves!
<Elodea is a classic "hard water" plant. It often does badly in soft and
acidic conditions. So if it thriving, chances are your water is (at
least) moderately hard and alkaline.>
I was aware it is a fast grower but it is astounding to see how vigorous
it is in reality!
<Indeed! Fast-growing plants can need to be cropped every week if they
are doing really well.>
The issue I am having is the elevated pH, despite using 50/50 RO/tap
water as you suggested. I had initially set the alkalinity to 9dKH with
additional baking soda but when I noticed the high pH I stopped this and
have now only used the RO/tap mix for water changes. This has not
lowered the pH although as expected the alkalinity is half that of the
As you may remember, I had planned to keep cardinal tetras (captive
bred) so I had the LFS test their system water. They report Ca/Mg at 5
dGH and alkalinity at 5 dGH, but their pH is 6.9-7.2 despite their using
a 50/50 RO/tap mix as well. Our tap water is unlikely to be much
different as the distance separating us is less than 5mi so I am unsure
why there should be such a large difference.
<See above re: photosynthesis. The use of a pH-controlled, automated
carbon dioxide fertilisation system can help here. But that's expensive
and fiddly to use.>
I can only think it is because either the LFS system contains a large
amount of organic acids due to their bioload (they don't use peat);
there is something in my water produced by the plants/algae/bogwood that
is alkaline in nature; or my plants deplete the CO2 in my tank water
faster than it replenishes at night (or all three).
<Ah; would bet on the third explanation.>
In any case, I am not sure what to do now.
<Well, one approach would be avoid using plants that grow too rapidly,
particularly those capable of remove carbonate and bicarbonate from the
system. So reduce the amount of Elodea, and Vallisneria if you use them.
Of course removing plants means algae can take over, so I'd suggest at
least some floating plants that use CO2 from the air but minerals from
These suppress algae quite effectively. Failing that, plants that are
less adapted to high hardness conditions, such as Hygrophila, might work
I am not keen to forcibly adjust the pH with acid or buffer and I also
want to avoid a CO2 system because it is a lot of work and I don't think
I am ready for that.
I guess peat filtration might be an option but I am also reluctant to do
this as I understand this is hard to control, will deplete the
alkalinity, and the water staining may impact my plant growth. Do you
have any other suggestions for lowering the pH, or should I just leave
it alone and focus on keeping the alkalinity stable?
<As the tank stands now, pH is cycling in quite a normal way, up and
down through the day/night cycle. Alkaline condition fishes would handle
this fine. Your Cardinals mightn't be so happy though.>
If I am unable to lower the pH significantly, should I abandon my plan
to keep Cardinals?
<If you don't change the tank, perhaps you should try something better
suited to alkaline conditions.>
I haven't been able to find much on whether they can be kept in water
with this particular chemistry (low/medium hardness and alkalinity but
high pH) and I don't want to force my fish to live in conditions that
will make them unhappy or stressed. If you have any other suggestions
for similar shoaling fish that would be happier in these tank conditions
then I would also be grateful for those.
<It's actually not the pH that matters, but the hardness. Fish don't
really care about the pH anything like as much as people think. Provided
the hardness was low to medium, farmed Cardinals could adapt, regardless
of the slightly basic pH. I just can't be 100% sure.>
Many thanks for your time and advice.
<Hope this helps. Neale.>
<<A brief/kibitzing note to look for cultured (orient) specimens rather
than wild-caught (Amazon) Cardinals here; as they may well be more
hard-water tolerant. BobF>>
Re: Issues With High pH, Suitable for Cardinals?
That has not entirely been my experience, Bob. What they gain in
adaptability, they seem to lose in exposure to Pleistophora. My avowed
preference is for wild-caught Cardinals, isolated from Neons at all
points, and maintained in soft to moderately soft, more or less acidic
to neutral water chemistry.
<I see; and only have much experience w/ ones produced in Singapore;
always disassociated w/ Neons>
If medium hardness (or more so) water is inescapable, there are much
better options: Pristella maxillaris, False Penguin Tetras, and Emperor
All these handle medium to hard water well. Do also rate the old-timey
Cherry Barb as an excellent Southeast Asian alternative.
<Thank you (as always) for sharing. BobF>
Diamond Tetra swimming erratically
Hope you are doing fine. Thank you for maintaining this excellent site, a great
help to us hobbyists.
<Thanks for the kind words.>
Question: One of my 6 Diamond Tetras have started swimming erratically since
yesterday. They are established fish, in the tank for almost 2 years.
There is no bloating, no injury marks, no loss of sparkle, no excess mucus and
all the fins are intact. It just kind of topples over or at times fall sideways,
try to regain posture and the cycle repeats.
<Understood. This does happen, and usually indicates environmental distress if
sudden. There's no real treatment, beyond ensuring stable, ideally optimal
conditions. Filtering the water with carbon should help, and if the carbon is
older than a couple weeks, then change it. Carbon should remove things like
insecticide sprays that can be used in the home but unfortunately are highly
toxic to fish. Otherwise, this sort of erratic swimming can indicate Whirling
Disease (Myxobolus cerebralis) but this is extremely rare in aquaria because of
its complex life cycle. Of course erratic swimming can be a symptom of things
like White Spot, Velvet, Dropsy, and Finrot, but it should be obvious if this is
the situation here.>
Tank is heavily planted 29 gallon, in its 8th year. No Ammonia or Nitrite,
Nitrate 25. Filtered by three 500l/hr HOB filters filled with sponge, bio balls
and ceramic media. Also a small bag each of Seachem Purigen and Carbon. Another
pump works a chiller. pH 7.6, TDS 300ish. Tank mates include other tetras,
Pencilfishes, Corydoras, BNP, Ram cichlids, all other fishes looking absolutely
Points worth mentioning: I had a sudden surprise attack of Ich after years, 2
weeks after I introduced some Cardinal Tetras which themselves had no visible
spots and were claimed to be quarantined by a reputed seller I have dealt with
in the past. The spots affected only some Green Neons. I went the high temp way
and allowed the tank to reach 31 C over the last 5 days.
The spots are almost gone now. No fish is showing any signs of Oxygen hunger, no
gasping at the surface, there is good circulation and surface agitation. I
usually maintain the tank at 25.5-27.5 degrees C with a chiller (this is an
I fed freeze dried Tubifex worms yesterday, which I do rarely. Else their diet
is from various flakes and pellets from Tetra,, Ocean Nutrition and Hikari.
I added the regular weekly dose of Seachem Flourish comprehensive and Flourish
Iron yesterday, a practice I have followed for years. I also add 5 ml of a DIY
macro mix every other day as per the recipe from James's Planted Tank.
No use of paint fumes, aerosols, pesticides, etc. near tank. I have made a 40%
water change today but no improvement in conditions.
I replenished my dried Almond leaves 5 days ago, these are self collected.
Is this whirling disease?
<As stated above, extremely unlikely. The parasite needs other animals such
birds in the environment for the life cycle to complete, which really isn't
Or some kind other neurological issue?
<Certainly a possibility, if some toxin was present in the environment.>
Maybe the heat stress?
<Can be, though usually when tropical fish are exposed to cold. When too warm,
you normally see gasping behaviour rather than loss of motor control.>
Do I euthanize in case it is contagious?
<Almost certainly not contagious.>
Thanks in advance and keep well.
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Diamond Tetra swimming erratically
Thank you for the detailed reply.
Unfortunately the affected fish passed away last night.
<No surprise, really. But always hopeful!>
I isolated it after mailing to you. Rest are fine as of now.
<And to you, too. Cheers, Neale.>
Dwarf snakehead query
Hope you are well,
On my travels the other day I found an amazing group of dwarf snakeheads (Chana
brakanhensis or something- photo included below for ID purposes).
<Looks like Channa lucius to me, but I'm no expert.>
It was a group of 6 and I think this would make an amazing breeding project.
<Indeed they would.>
Currently the only tank I have with room that would accommodate this group has a
10 inch silver Arowana and a 9 inch Xingu bass.
<Yeah, no. Not going to work.>
I am very attached to those 2 fish and don’t want them to move on.
Will I be able to add the snakeheads to this tank? They are fully grown between
6 and 8 inches.
<Too risky, in my opinion. Even if not successfully consumed, 'curiosity'
attacks could still damage your new, and at this point nervous, snakeheads. On
top of that, you're dealing with fish from rather different environments. Cooler
water, slower current, and ample vegetation, especially floating plants, are
what you need for Snakeheads. Arowanas need swimming space, swimming space, and
yet more swimming space, while Cichla species are all about robust currents,
heavy filtration, and of course swimming space.>
If this is a no-no, on a side point, is there anything else you can recommend
for this tank?
<Alongside the Arowana and Cichla? I'd be thinking something like a catfish,
Sorubim lima being my favourite among the Pimelodidae, but if you have the
space, the Giraffe Catfish is hard to be beat in terms of sheer friendly
personality (and goofiness). If your pockets are deep, there's any number of
large L-numbers that would be suitable, Acanthicus adonis being rather a good
choice being one of the carnivorous species, so a good cleaner-upper when kept
with predatory fish. I've a soft spot for Panaque nigrolineatus though, as one
of the most attractive, while easily obtained, L-number. It's also extremely
hardy once settled.>
Re: Dwarf snakehead query
Could I keep a florida gar with the Aro and bass?
<Gar have been kept with these species, yes. Gar are extremely gentle fish,
despite their size. It's more how the other two species behave towards it,
especially given how Gar damage themselves when alarmed. They're also a bit
fiddly at feeding time. My specimen thrived on Hikari Cichlid Gold of all
things, but I did use large forceps to feed it bits of fish periodically.
While they will pick food off the substrate, they're really clumsy swimmers.
Sick Fahaka puffer (RMF, any other thoughts?)<<Other than sadness,
My Fahaka puffer is sick. He is 4 years old. Attached few images of disease. It
all started like aquarium ich and it killed 6 loaches (fast breathing for a few
days then died). They looked like skin is peeling off
and excess mucus. Fahaka puffer got something else. It is looking like a bit
rough skin then just turns into white patch. He is not eating and fins are
clamped. What I saw is that excess mucus is made on him and today he was near
surface but not gasping for air just standing there (doesn't look he is
struggling to be there). After 2h he is down laying as before.
I have treated my tank with sera Omnipur and higher temperature (if it is ich on
<I do agree that treating as per Finrot, Velvet, and especially
Ichthyobodo/Costia would be a good approach here. This certainly looks like some
sort of bacterial infection, but the initial cause may well have been a
protozoan parasite of some sort. Costia is particularly sneaky, and causes what
is sometimes called Slime Disease. It's hard to treat, but I have found eSHa
EXIT alongside eSHa 2000 works well on pufferfish.>
and now started treatment with API general cure (metro and Prazi) because I
think it may be flukes.
<I'm not sure about that.>
Water is ammo 0, nitrite 0 and nitrate < 10. Tank has continual water
replacement (slow drip system) with a lot of bio filtration. I suspect on a new
fish being added 2 weeks ago.
Any help is really appreciated. We don't have veterinarian for fish in Serbia
and this fish is really dear to me. If you need more info just push one email
and I will answer asap.
<I would treat as per Ichthyobodoosis/Costiasis; this disease is common, can
kill fish quickly, and sometimes requires several courses of medication to
completely eliminate. Costia comes in several strains. If you're lucky, you have
a freshwater strain easily managed by exposing salt-tolerant fish
(such as freshwater puffers) to brackish water for extended periods.
Maintenance at a specific gravity of SG 1.005 will not stress freshwater puffers
at all, but if done for a few weeks, should eliminate freshwater ostia. The
salt-tolerant (sometimes called "Asian strain") is more
difficult to shift, and almost certainly requires medications as described
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Sick Fahaka puffer (RMF, any other thoughts?)
Thanks a lot for your reply. I will try to see what can be done further more.
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Sick Fahaka puffer 4/18/19
Just to pass more info. I manage to help him. Flukes were responsible for the
<Thanks for the update. Glad he's recovering! Neale.>
Central America Wood Turtle
I have a central American wood turtle , she about 7 or 8 years old, vie had
her for about 3 years. There are a couple thing that I am wondering about,
first is she been having watery eyes and yawning and she sneezes, but only
if she is in a dry area and she decides to sniff the ground....but recently
he has this clicking [sound happening every time she yawns it
happens when is about to close
<Hello! Going to send you to some reading first:
Your turtle almost certainly has a respiratory tract infection (RTI) given
the absolutely classic symptoms. A trip to the vet will be needed. This
isn't something you can treat yourself (unless you're a vet, of course!).
Antibiotics, likely a vitamin injection, and good healthcare thereafter will
all be necessary. As a reminder, RTIs are easier to prevent than cure, so be
sure you read up on the healthcare requirements for this turtle, compare
against what you're doing now, and make such changes as necessary. Regards,
Hi there, this may have been addressed but I couldn’t find it. My son got a
snail back in January and it’s been doing pretty awesome so far (I think?),
zooming around, eating the pellets they told me to get when we bought it, even
had babies. I’m not sure what kind of snail it is, we originally went in for a
Pleco to go with his tetras but they “couldn’t find them” (should’ve taken that
as a bad sign) and told my son he wanted a snail so we ended up with an unknown
snail. They assured me it would be fine with the tetras so we took Pointy home.
This morning when we went to feed everyone I noticed some strange red stringy
substance coming off of Pointy, it’s kind of coming out of the shell and Pointy
has barely moved. I’m scared it may be a parasite but I’m not sure where it
would’ve come from?
<It looks more like faecal particles within the mucous. Most likely from the
snail itself. Given their reddish colour, if you've been using a red-coloured
fish food (especially a colour enhancing food) then I'd be convinced these are
I keep their tank (10 gallons) clean and try not to overfeed so there isn’t a
ton of grossness. Should I be concerned that the fish could catch this?
<No. While snails can be intermediate hosts for various parasites, these
parasites rarely, if ever, manage to complete their life cycle within an
aquarium. Indeed, I'm not aware of any that infect fish directly from the snail,
though I dare say there are some.>
The babies all seem fine, but I am completely out of my depth with snails.
<Understood. With snails generally, there's no real "healthcare" in terms of
treatments, but what we have notices is that given good living conditions they
are astonishingly hardy and tend not to get sick.>
Sorry about the water spots on the outside of the tank, I splashed more than I
thought when I did their water change yesterday.
Thanks in advance, Samantha.
<Most welcome. Neale.>
UK aquatics shop - last minute tour route advice needed.
Sorry to both you again (I feel I have driven you mad the last week!)!!
<Not at all.>
Some last minute advice...
I have managed to get a last minute day off work on weds. There is some
rare fish at a shop in London I have been after for a while and so going
to drive down especially for them. I have decided to make it an 'aquatic
tour' day out. My planned route (subject to traffic) is as follows:
1. Wharf Aquatics (get there for as it opens at 9)
<Famously good store, much loved by PFK and a lot of the expert
fishkeepers out there.>
<Another classic. While the fish room isn't as shiny modern as your
average Maidenhead Aquatics, the stuff in stock is, on most days, like
walking into a fish encyclopaedia. Probably my favourite store, and fish
Lambert is an excellent person to chat to with a wealth of contacts
among collectors and exporters.>
3. World of Water Crawley
<I find World of Water a bit hit-and-miss, being more pond- than
aquarium-oriented, but I don't know this particular branch at all.>
4. Maidenhead aquatics Farnham
<Have been to this one a couple times, and got some nice fish there.>
5. Crowder's aquatics (I know it happens to be 5 min.s from Farnham)
<Don't know this store at all.>
Then driving back up to Manchester.
<Quite a trip!>
Is there any other particularly good shops near any of these or on the
route you can recommend?
<Since you're driving, you might see if you can bag Maidenhead Aquatics
in St Albans. Supposedly the biggest branch in the chain, it's quite a
good one if you're into smaller oddballs like killifish and Rainbowfish.
Not cheap though, even by MA standards. There's also an MA branch a
couple minutes up the road from Wildwoods you might as well visit while
you're there. Some other day/trip, you might think about the East of
there are two MA branches in Peterborough (one in the city, the other in
Crowland; it's this second branch that is absolutely essential visiting
if you're into rare fish especially loaches. The WaterZoo in
Peterborough is another brilliant shop. In fact, if you wanted a shorter
day, I'd have no qualms about substituting those shops for the London
trip. Cheers, Neale.>
Corydoras has tumors 4/8/19
To Whom it May Concern:
I have a Corydoras that looks like it has multiple tumors. There are more around
its topside and one on a fin. Some of the Cory's fins are split, but there are
no fungus-like films growing and it is eating and swimming normally. All my
other fish seem fine, even my ghost shrimp.
I have been trying to take a picture but the Cory is camera shy. :-/
What is going on?
<Very difficult to say. Benign tumours crop up in fish for a variety of reasons,
including exposure to toxic chemicals (particularly in the substrate) and
certain viruses (notoriously, Lymphocystis). Benign tumours are impossible to
treat, but the viral ones in particular sometimes clear up by themselves, though
this can take months/years. Provided such tumours aren't obstructing important
tissues or organs, they aren't life-threatening. Malign tumours do occur in
fish, for a varied reasons as they do in humans, and again, aren't really
treatable. A few diseases might be mistaken for tumours, such as Fish or Carp
Pox, Gas Bubble Disease (usually caused by over-saturating the water with
oxygen), and Dropsy. So it's worth researching these and comparing them with
What do I do?
<The short answer is a to judge quality of life while providing the best
possible living conditions. If the fish is not distressed, tumours are unlikely
to spread, so such fish can be left alone in the fish tank. A varied
(vitamin-rich!) diet, clean substrate, and good water quality can help promote
recovery. If the fish is distressed, then euthanising the fish may be the best
thing to do. Removal of tumours isn't really practical for small fish, thought
it can be done by vets under some circumstances, and may be an option with large
and valuable fish, such as Koi.>
Thanks for all your help!
<Most welcome, Neale.>
Re: Corydoras has tumors 4/8/19
Thanks for your help! I got a picture, finally. I don’t know if this changes
anything about your prognosis. Sorry, the picture is a bit out of focus.
<Indeed; not entirely sure what I'm meant to see. Do you mean the swelling
between the eye and the dorsal fin? Where the black and white spotted skin seems
to bulge outwards? Definitely that looks like a subdermal tumour of some sort.
Could be benign, could be malign, but impossible to say. Unlikely to be
contagious though, so no real problem leaving this catfish in with the others.>
Have a great Sunday!
<Alas, 'tis Monday already.>
Severums breeding without eggs? 4/7/19
Hi Wet Web Media,
I have a 125 gallon tank and have kept Severums for years. I have seen Severums
spawn in my tank, so I know what to expect. However, I've never seen a female
try to spawn and act like she's laying eggs, but actually lay
no eggs. I've scoured google and can't find an answer.
<This is quite common with South American cichlids. For a start, sexing them is
often very difficult. Famously, Angelfish sometimes get it wrong, to the extent
pairs of females will lay eggs, each expecting the other to
fertilise them! Severums are not much easier to sex than Angels, so it's
surprisingly easy to end up with two fish of the same sex.>
She went back and forth like she was laying eggs in row after row and the male
came in behind her and acted like he was fertilizing the "eggs." But nothing was
there! The female wants to stay paired, but the male no longer
has interest in her after the failed attempt at spawning and has started
courting the other female in the tank. Have you seen this happen before?
<Yes, though with Angels rather than Severums. Sometimes the female is immature,
sometimes the eggs were simply eaten before you saw them, sometimes the female
is actually a male, and sometimes the female is simply
infertile and incapable of laying. Of course the male could be the problem here,
not doing whatever he should be doing to elicit spawning behaviour from the
Some info on the pair: This is the first time either have ever attempted to
spawn in their lifetimes - i.e. got them when they were small - they're new at
this. They're about 4.5 inches (not including tail fins). Both are red spotted
Do you think it's a size/maturity issue? Or maybe she's infertile?
<Could really be either. While 4.5 inches is a decent size, Severums are big
fish, and giving her another few months to grow on could help. As ever, a good
start is to 'condition' the female with plenty of live/frozen foods, and since
these are omnivorous fish, some fresh greens would be helpful too. Isolating the
female (using egg crate, for example, so they can still see each other) can be
useful if it allows the female to put on weight without the male harassing her.
Next up, optimise water chemistry. That's an important aspect for egg layers.
Severums aren't too fussy, but water towards the softer end of the range is
needed for breeding.>
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Severums breeding without eggs?
Thanks for answering my question - and so quickly!
From your answer, it sounds like it could be for many reasons, so I'll continue
to monitor. Who knows, maybe a few more months is all they need - or maybe she's
secretly a male.
<This can/does happen with some cichlids. If kept with a dominant male, the
weaker males fail (or at least delay) exhibiting secondary sexual
characteristics such as the brighter colours or pointed fins we usually see on
male cichlids. In certain cases this is a deliberate ploy, allowing the weaker
males to stay within the dominant male's territory, thereby facilitating
'sneaker' male behaviour where the subdominant male tries to mate with a
She's definitely an odd fish - I got her and she was completely gold without
spots. Now she has almost as many spots as the red-spotted male!
It would be great to see them successfully spawn - so thanks for all the advice.
Ironically, she's the one harassing the male. All things considered, I'm not too
concerned as long everyone's getting along.
<Agreed. Really, the best way to sex cichlids is to observe their spawning
tubes. Males generally have longer, narrower, more pointed tubes that are easily
visible, sometimes all the time, but certainly for many days before spawning.
Females have shorter, blunter spawning tubes that are barely visible except
within a few hours of spawning.>
Constipated Betta 4/5/19
I’m having a problem with Chester again. The problem he had with his
open Gil in February has been resolved and has been doing great until
the last few weeks.
<Good to know.>
Chester became constipated because I over fed him. I fed him a variety
of foods i.e.. Shrimp, bloodworms, pellets one time a day, but now I
know I fed too much at a time.
I keep him in a 5 gallon, heated, filtered, lightly planted, bare bottom
tank so I can see when he’s pooped.
The tank has been set up since 1/24/19. Since 3/15 he has been having
the constipation problems. On 3/17 I added Epsom salt to his tank, which
I left in the tank until I did A water change on 3/20. Since then I had
fasted him a couple days and he’s pooped a few times. Over the last week
I started feeding shrimp or pellets one day and frozen Daphnia the next.
When ever I fed the Daphnia he would poop the next day, but would not
poop on the other foods.
<Daphnia are a 'high fibre' food of sorts because of their tiny shells.
Definitely worth offering on a regular basis to any small fish. Brine
shrimp work well, too.>
Now he last pooped on this past Saturday 3/30 and I last fed him Daphnia
On Sunday 3/31. So here we are. Now he’s not even pooping after the
Daphnia and he hasn’t eaten for three days.
I’m not sure what I should do next. Seems like fasting alone never makes
him poop. Don’t know if I should add more Epsom salt. If so how much and
<1-3 teaspoons per 5 gallons/20 litres; use indefinitely. Remember when
doing water changes to replace the Epsom Salt on a per bucket basis!>
If I should fast him longer.
<A few days is fine, but once using Epsom salt, things should get moving
I have Anubias in his tank too. Also I want to transfer him to a 10
gallon, as in my opinion the water chemistry is not that stable in a 5
I’ve lost the cycle a couple times. I’ve always kept Bettas in 10
gallon. Should I wait?
<Can't think why.>
I don’t want to stress him even more. I just added the plants to the
tank 3/15 cause his fins had torn on the plastic plants. But all healed
quickly though. So he’s gone through changes.
<Bettas are pretty adaptable fish. I'd change the tank, but put all the
old tank's water in it, and then add new water, so any water chemistry
changes are minimal.>
He’s swimming around fine and always exploring and begging for food. He
never had swim bladder problems. He is just a little bloated in front of
I appreciate your help.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Newt troubles 4/3/19
I have a eastern red spotted newt.. had him for months and he was
thriving.. checked him today and his tail looks like its rotten or burnt
not sure, i cant find anything on it and im freaking out please help!
<Newts are generally pretty tough, but they can be subject to bacterial
infections similar to Red Leg as seen in frogs. Assuming this is
Notophthalmus viridescens, one problem you have is that there are
aquatic tadpoles, terrestrial (bright red) "Efts", and then once more
aquatic sexually mature (and duller brown) adults. If yours are in their
aquatic stage, then treatment will be quite simple, as per Xenopus or
some other aquatic amphibian, as described here:
Treat as per Red Leg and you're probably doing the best you can. The
terrestrial "Efts" are going to be trickier to medicate because they're
not bathed in the antibiotic, so you'd have to feed it to them. I'd
recommend a vet if that's the situation here. Cheers, Neale.>
Red Terror cichlid/red tiger Motaguense cichlid Hybrid aka the (RED
PHEONIX KING CICHLID ��) 4/2/19
Im on here to tell you there will be 2 new EMPOROR cichlid aggression debates 1
my Hybrid (RED PHEONIX KING CICHLID��) aggression vs. the pure Texas cichlid
aggression. Who do you think is more aggressive over territory.
<Mmm; could be either one depending on sex, size, who was there first, their
relative health. Best to separate initially with a partition, grant sufficient
room for all. Bob Fenner>
I like Hybrid cichlids. 4/2/19
Do you like Hybrid cichlids
<Personally, I do not. If it were up to me I'd ensure they were always
labeled as such and avoided by advising people that they're what they
Do you like Hybrid cichlids 4/2/19
I just want to know do you like Hybrid cichlids.
<? As stated; I do not. BobF>
That terrible. Hybrid cichlids 4/3/19
That's terrible. Oh well I think my Hybrid cichlids are the GREATEST.
<I have no idea what this is a response to! Glad you're enjoying your fish.
1 more thing
Even If a Texas, Midas , red devil cichlid was healthy my hybrid would still win
<Indeed? This is apropos to what? Neale.>
To the greatest Hybrid cichlid of all time
This is propos to the greatest Hybrid cichlid of all time my (RED PHOENIX KING
CICHLID ��) which over territory can THRASH a Texas cichlid, red devil, and
<Oh. I see. Each to their own, I guess. Neale.>
To you saying you don't like hybrids
It was a response to you saying you stated you don't like Hybrid cichlids.
<I do prefer the wild-type species, yes, and don't approve of hybridisation that
causes a poorer quality of life for the resulting fish, as with Jellybean and
Parrot cichlids. Beyond that though, don't have strong
feelings. Many tropical fish are hybrids (farmed Angels, for example). I do get
cross when hybrids are passed off as a real species, as often happens with mixed
parentage Malawian cichlids, and sometimes with Central American cichlids as
well. Cheers, Neale.>
There's a guy there named Bob Fenner he said he also doesn't like hybrids.
<I'd imagine that BobF, like me, prefers the cichlids as nature produced them;
it's their evolution, their adaptations, and the way they work in their natural
habitat that makes them interesting. Deliberately producing hybrids with shorter
lifespans, greater likelihoods of disease, and worse swimming abilities, doesn't
seem to me, at least, very fair. It's the "wrong" sort of fishkeeping, to me
Which sites support hybrid cichlids 4/3/19
<Do use Google; do search for Flowerhorn cichlids and Blood Parrot cichlids;
have no personal knowledge or preferences to share. Cheers, Neale.>
Some FW Setup and Water Chemistry Questions; Cardinals,
It's been some years since I last sent you an email about my reef tank
on 23/04/15, (Bob replied). Unfortunately the tank proved too difficult
for me to maintain consistently because of its smallish size (I wish I
had the space to upgrade but unfortunately my house is too small) so I
ended up breaking it down and switching back to freshwater.
I am hoping one of you may be able to advise me on a few things relating
to water chemistry and my plan for what I intend to be a planted tank
with Cardinal tetras - I have done a fair amount of reading, but there
are a lot of different opinions out there and I am kind of still in
marine mode so I must admit I am a bit unsure if I am doing things right
(or maybe over-complicating things).
So first, tank details:
It is 82cm long, 56cm wide and 45cm deep, which is nominally 207L but
accounting for the glass, sand, driftwood and not filling to the top,
the amount of water in it is probably more like 160-170L.
I have 2 Eheim Biopower 240s in it as well as a Vortech MP40 running at
low speed - I think the nominal filter turnover is conservatively 560L/h
and the Vortech adding another 500-1000L/h.
Substrate is inert sand, I intend to fertilise with root tablets/clay
balls and liquid fertiliser if necessary.
<Good plan fert. wise>
Lighting 2x Fluval Plant 3.0 32w.
<May need more than this... or utilize low-light plants>
I am not intending to run CO2 at the moment but I may start to do so
once I have the tank settled.
It is currently cycling so it is uninhabited. My plan for the tank is to
have Cardinal tetras only (as a species tank) and at least a decent
amount of plant life (I am not going to choose plants until I have the
water chemistry sorted).
<Okay; and likely captive produced specimens (vs. wild-collected)?>
And my questions:
1) I have tested my tap water and it contains the following:
TDS: 495mg/l on my meter
Ca: 125mg/l = 17.5 dGH
Mg: 10mg/l = 2.24 dGH
HCO3: 216mg/l = 9.9 dKH
PO4: around 10mg/l
Fe: not measurable
pH: around 7.3-7.6 on my meter.
<Mmm; a bit too hard and alkaline for (esp. wild) Cardinals>
Would I be right in thinking this water is far too polluted with
phosphate for me to use for water changes, even diluted with RO?
<Mmm; should be fine. I'd try it and see... i.e. test the system water
itself over time (months) for soluble phosphate>
2) Assuming the tap water isn't suitable, I was intending to use RO
water hardened up using individual salts, i.e. sodium bicarbonate,
magnesium sulfate, calcium chloride and potassium chloride in the
appropriate ratio to make it up to the correct hardness.
<... for; the plants? Again, this source water itself is sufficiently
hard, alkaline for a host of regularly used/available aquatic plants.
Diluting it with some RO water for your Cardinals is the route I would
go. Likely mixing about half/half every week for water changes>
It seems to me this is no different to what I used to do with my reef
tank and I have seen postings on forums describing methods that sound
like this, but could I check whether you agree it is reasonable?
<The process, yes>
3) I understand I have to balance the Cardinals' preference for softer
water with providing enough minerals for the plants and general
Based on my reading I have tentatively decided on the following
composition for my RO water (assuming that you answered yes for 2)
Ca: 40mg/l = 5.6 dGH
Mg: 10.3mg/l = 2.4 dGH
HCO3: 217mg/l = 10dKH
This makes the total general hardness (Ca and Mg): 50mg/l = 8 dGH and
the Ca:Mg:K mass ratio 4 : 1 : 0.5.
Theoretically using the individual salts I mentioned above this would
make the TDS about 460mg/l, of which about 181mg/l would be Na and Cl
Is this a reasonable compromise, i.e. soft enough in terms of GH for the
Cardinals but with enough carbonate for a decent buffer?
<Should be; yes. Again, to hammer the point, there are wild/Brazilian
and captive-produced (orient) Cardinals. Your dealer should be able to
find out which they're dealing with. I'd use the captive produced for
this system, water>
What about the absolute levels of Mg and K - do you think these will be
high enough for the plants or should I increase these or otherwise alter
<These two are fine>
4) I have read that having too much NaCl is not ideal in most FW tanks
but I can't find much about what is considered a "safe" level. 181mg/l
sounds quite high though particularly for soft water (our water company
estimates our tap water has 120mg/l), any thoughts about this?
<I would not be adding any more sodium chloride here purposely>
I have considered substituting in some NaCl-free marine salt into my
recipe to reduce the NaCl burden but I don't know if this would result
in adding too much of the trace elements - what do you think?
<Best to avoid either more sodium or chloride unless you're diluting via
5) Assuming I manage to get the water chemistry right and things stable,
how many Cardinals do you think could live in this tank comfortably?
6) Is the flow rate too high? It's enough to cause a bit of turbulence
in places but not enough to lift or move the sand.
<Set the discharges from the Eheims and recirculating pump to generate a
gyre from the top/surface to the opposite end of the system; the
water/flow will be driven down from the opposite end.>
Thanks for your time and advice,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Some FW Setup and Water Chemistry Questions
<<Just to add some comments to BobF's reply, Wes. 181 mg salt in one
litre of water is literally one two-hundredth of the amount in seawater!
It isn't going to have effect whatsoever on freshwater fish. Remember,
seawater is 35 grams/litre, or 35,000 mg per litre. By comparison 181 mg
trivial, no? Still, not sure why you'd want to add salt, or for that
matter marine salt mix. Much easier to use a commercial Discus Buffer
salt mix, add that to your RO water, and off you go! Or else, mix some
RO water with your hard, alkaline tap water. A 50/50 mix is often fine
for general community fish, but you could go three-parts RO to one-part
tap, and see what you get. Use your test kit to determine carbonate
hardness (the important bit for pH stability) and the pH as well (though
likely this will
only be slightly below whatever the pH of the raw tap water was).
Wild-caught Cardinals would probably do best in RO water with Discus
Buffer added; farmed Cardinals less fussy, as BobF says, but don't do
well above, say, 10-12 degrees dH, pH 7.5. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Some FW Setup and Water Chemistry Questions
Dear Bob, Neale
Many thanks to the both of you for your helpful advice - there's so much
to read and learn out there, you've really helped me put some of it
<Glad to help.>
However, I think I must have been unclear in my original email with
regards to "salt": I didn't mean that I intend to add sodium chloride
(NaCl) directly to the water, rather that in using calcium chloride
(CaCl2) and sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) to raise calcium and alkalinity,
the side effect of this is to introduce both sodium ions and chloride
ions into the water. That said, I think commercial mixes are made by
combining similar salts together, so they probably all add Na+ and Cl-
to some degree depending on exactly what is inside them.
<Indeed; and at the amounts used, hardly likely to create 'brackish'
Just for clarity's sake, if I were to go ahead with my original plan and
use full RO water and harden it using individual salts according to that
recipe, then into the RO I would theoretically dissolve:
111mg/l CaCl2 which will provide 40mg/l of Ca2+ and *71mg/l of Cl-*
299mg/l NaHCO3 which will provide 217mg/l of HCO3- (i.e. 10dKH) and
*82mg of Na+*
51mg/l MgSO4 which will provide 10mg/l of Mg2+ and 41mg/l of [SO4]2-
9.4mg/l KCl which will provide 5mg/l of K+ and *4.4mg/l of Cl-*
I made a calculation error and this ends up at about 157mg/l of Na+ and
ions, not 181mg/l - should have double-checked my calculations - oops.
However it's probably well within the bounds of measurement and dosing
I was originally unsure because a good proportion of the dissolved ions
in this recipe are Na+ and Cl-. I know that we don't consider these when
thinking about water hardness but they are in the water and I was
that they would also make a significant contribution to osmotic/renal
stress. I assume such stress is broadly why cardinals don't like harder
water although I know very little about this in fish (my knowledge of
physiology is mostly confined to humans!).
<Agreed; while there are some ideas as to why fish like Neons and
Cardinals do badly in hard water, much of it is drawn from anecdotes and
intelligent guesswork. Scientists tend to work with either 'model'
species (such as
Zebrafish) or else economically valuable species (like Salmon). For
these we have ample data on what they can and can't tolerate in terms of
water quality and chemistry. With ornamental fishes, there are literally
thousands of species in the trade, and such data as exists tends to be
the experiences of aquarists. Controlling of variables is essentially
non-existent, so while there's a huge volume of data about what many
species like or dislike, much of it simply absent from the scientist
literature, it's not what you'd call solid, experimental data.>
In any case, I'll try out your suggestion of diluting tap with RO water.
My LFS has informed me their cardinals are captive bred and come from
the Czech Republic, and the tanks they are kept in are 50/50 RO/tap
so it would make sense for me to do the same at least to begin with.
<Absolutely. If fish will breed in something, it's unlikely to be
'wrong' for long-term maintenance. While you certainly could acclimatise
them to softer, more acidic conditions, I'd balance that against the
Biological filtration works less well as pH declines (apparently!) while
the cost of doing water changes goes up (which puts people off doing
them more frequently). On the other hand, ambient bacterial counts seem
lower in acidic water, at least so far as the pathogenic species go, and
there's (again, largely anecdotal) evidence that many blackwater species
are long-lived in very soft, very acidic water conditions but
notoriously disease-prone and short-lived in neutral, let alone hard
water. Licorice Gouramis are the famous example of these, but the basic
pattern holds for a great many 'blackwater' species.>
I will still add some sodium bicarbonate as my 50/50 mixes have 4-5 dKH
after being left to stand, although as Neale was expecting, the pH isn't
much different from standing tap water.
<Indeed. Often a surprise, but without something to actually acidify the
water, simply halving the tap water carbonate content doesn't much
change the pH of the water. It will, of course, be less stable, which
can mean pH
declines more rapidly between water changes.>
Red eared slider turtle 4/1/19
I have 5 baby red eared slider turtles they were good but one of my turtle stop
eating and it is not moving much.
<It's not a good sign when turtles stop eating and moving. Usually means they're
too cold (need a heat lamp for basking); but can mean they're sick (don't forget
a UV-B source). Let's have you do some reading, here:
Five Red Ear Sliders will need A LOT of space when mature, so be sure you
understand their needs. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Red eared slider turtle 4/1/19
But i can't understand what is going on with only one All the four are
good they eat & play
But only one is not looking good
Plzzz help me.....��
<You have not sent me any information. Tell me about their home. For example:
(1) What source of heat do they have?
(2) What sort of UV-B lamp are you using?
(3) What do you feed them?
(4) How big is their tank?
(5) Can they bask under the heat lamp easily? Same for the UV-B lamp?
READ where you were sent, and see what you ARE NOT doing right
-- that is likely the answer. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Red eared slider turtle 4/3/19
I have a water heater bulb
<Not sure what you mean here. A heat lamp over a rock is traditional. The water
can be room temperature. The turtle will warm up on the land, and cool down in
I don't use any uv-b lamp i provide direct sun light at least 4 hr per day
<So no glass between the sun and the turtle? That should be fine.>
My tank is 30 gallon
I have also 7 fish in it
<Not a good idea in a tank this small.>
I feed them aquatic turtles food sticks
<Should be fine.>
And i notice today it has discharge from mouth. Is my turtle dyeing?
<Hard to say because you haven't offered enough details. DO some reading, in
particular the sections on eye and respiratory tract infections; here:
Curing Collected Wood 4/1/19
This Ritesh from Long Beach. Hope you are well.
I was searching your website for articles in regards to curing, but I
wasn't coming up with what I was looking for.
I have only found one video on YouTube that had relevant information.
Because it stated that for wild wood to be considered aquarium wood it
would have to have been petrified in the wild.
<Mmm; well, not petrified; but at least to extents waterlogged>
I have collected some Orchid Tree twigs and a few seed pods without
I boiled the heck out of it. Wash it.
Sprayed it down with hydrogen peroxide.
The amount of twigs is about a hand full. And they were dry twigs that
died from the tree already. Same as the pods.
Is there a real method to curing the exact type [dead twigs] and amount
of the Orchid Tree? A long version and a short version?
<Likely just soaking in a large enough container, weighing the wood down
so it's underwater... After a few weeks seeing if it's still floats.
Possibly bleach washing it to clean it up... then washing/rinsing in
freshwater, maybe soaking it in more water with dechlorinator... >
Thank you Robert!
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>
New Nematobrycon palmeri in quarantine...
Hello WWM Crew!
I am coming to you with a question and hopefully a possible diagnosis for what
is going on with these guys. I recently received 6 Nematobrycon from a fish farm
that is usually reputable so I will keep their name to myself for now.
<Understood. Emperor Tetras are usually good value. They're adaptable and not
prone to disease.>
I Ordered these guys a few weeks ago but they were just sent this week. I got
them unpacked and into the quarantine tank when I noticed that 4 of the six had
strange looking (bumps/growth?) on their chin area sizes of the growths vary
from fish to fish. Not sure if it is some kind of birth defect, tumor or
<The fact all of them have the odd mouth defect is striking. I have seen the
occasional tetra with this sort of thing, usually in Neons, and put it down to a
birth defect or possibly the result of fighting. Whether such a defect is
genetic or caused by, for example, lack of some key nutrient during growth is
hard to say.>
It doesn't look like fungus to me, not cotton like or hairy. More like a
growth/tumor of some kind.
I did message the farm about it within minutes of getting them sorted in the
tank for inspection. That was yesterday morning and I have not heard back from
them as of yet (possibly due to the weekend) so I have been looking online for
any kind of answers. I have come up with nothing. I can send my tank info if
needed I just didn't think it was relevant considering this particular
situation. I am including the best pics I could manage to get as they are quick
little things. Some of them are eating but not all of them.
<If they're feeding, then a non-lethal birth defect may be the case here.
But I would still expect a full refund, even if sending the fish back is
pointless. No reason to destroy them humanely if they can feed, but neither
should you accept them as good or even acceptable quality Emperor Tetras that
satisfy your contract with the seller.>
I do not want to just start dumping meds into the water unless needed.
<Agreed; and without symptoms, any medication would be random.>
I do have Kanaplex, API General Cure, Jungle Fungus Clear and Levamisole HCI on
hand if any of those would be helpful. Any thoughts would be greatly
appreciated! Thank you in advance. Rene'
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>
Filter is only a couple weeks old.
<I don't understand this exactly. Do you mean you changed the old filter for a
new one? If so, then the new filter could be cycling and ammonia and nitrite
above zero. That could easily account for the problem. If you mean the tank had
no filter at all until two weeks ago, I'm surprised this puffer survived until
I know not to change everything all at once. Is he dying? I think I'll die if he
<My first step would be to check the salinity. Strongly brackish water will
help. If you're dosing salt in "teaspoon per gallon" amounts then you're not
doing it right. You really need substantial amounts of marine salt mix. For SG
1.005, at 25 C you'd be dosing the salt at 9 grams per litre (1.2 oz per US
gallon) which is quite a bit -- 9 grams is about 1.5 teaspoons of typical salt
mix. I'm also going to ask you to check the ammonia and/or nitrite levels. If
they're not zero, then that's a major problem that needs urgent attention. I'm
finally going to have you do some reading, here:
Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: New Nematobrycon palmeri in quarantine...
Thank you for responding so promptly!
I honestly hadn't even thought about asking for a refund as they arrived
alive. I will definitely look into that as its always a bit more costly
ordering fish directly.
<Indeed it is, hence the usual contract in terms of safe arrival of
Unfortunately we have no quality pet stores in my area, just a Petco and
you couldn't pay me to take home anything they have. That said, a birth
defect or possible injury from fighting is actually a relief to hear
considering the other possibilities.
I wanted to find out as much as possible as soon as possible as some
things are so time sensitive when it comes to most fish illnesses.
Aside from this they appear to be healthy.
<Good; and if feeding and behaving normally, this is a good reason to
assume a birth defect.>
Thank you again for your time and response. We really do rely so much on
this site and all of you when it comes to our aquatic hobby. Sorry about
the lengthy messages. Thank you again!
<And thank you for these kind words. Cheers, Neale.>
Now: AZGardens, not sending the right fish/replying to messages (Was:
New Nematobrycon Palmeri in quarantine...) 4/3/19
Re: New Nematobrycon Palmeri in quarantine...
Sorry to add on, but something else I notice is bothering me... I don't think I
was even sent the correct species.
<Does indeed seem the case with these photos.>
Once they settled in and I was able to get a better look at them. I would like a
second opinion. I am attaching a couple of new pics with them colored up, as
well as a stock photo of what I believe them to be.
The first thing I noticed was that they have adipose fins. If I remember
correctly Nematobrycon Palmeri (Emperor Tetra) don't have those fins at all? Or
am I mixed up in my memory?
<You are quite correct.>
So I was thinking maybe they were Inpaichthys kerri (Royal Tetra) except that
the markings and coloring do not match up, in the end I believe they are
actually Hyphessobrycon margitae (Red-Blue Peru-Tetra) ...
<Certainly seems plausible.>
I am sorry to bother you all with this but the farm still has not responded to
any of my emails and I am in the process of going through my PayPal to request a
refund as the farm (AZGardens) will not even attempt to work with me.
<PayPal often do help here.>
If you agree that these fish are not the correct species that I ordered and paid
for please let me know!
<Your photographs are definitely NOT Nematobrycon palmeri; they do not seem to
be Inpaichthys kerri either. Definitely something else. Whether precisely
Hyphessobrycon margitae isn't something I'm quite so sure about.
But Hyphessobrycon something, yes!>
I am finding through more research that this "farm" isnt as reputable as I had
thought after more investigating when they didn't respond to my emails at all or
even acknowledge them. Sorry to take up your time. Thank you,
<I don't know anything personally about AZGardens, so can't comment on their
reputation. But in this instance, yes, you seem to have been sent the wrong
species, and pretty poor quality specimens at that. Cheers, Neale.>
Snail id 3/30/19
I know nothing about snails, I looked around on the website and I found the
snail ID page but no info on helping me figure out what type of snail this is.
The eggs were orange/pink/yellow, I disinfected the plants using a bleach dip
and I soaked them all overnight before adding to my currently cycling tank. I
was not expecting snails because of the bleach as well as all eggs I saw were
thrown out. I’m happy with snails I just need to know what type it is so I don’t
accidentally kill it.
It has a brown shell but some of it is clear. Is it too soon to identify?
<The part of the photo with the snail is a bit small to be sure, but this is
likely Physa or Physella sp. These are often called Bladder or Tadpole snails
for some reason. They're generally harmless, so I ignore them. Of course if you
have some particularly delicate plants you might feel differently, but otherwise
these snails are among the good ones. They mostly graze algae from the glass,
and being relatively slow to reproduce, it's easy enough to control their
numbers should you have to. Cheers, Neale.>
Clown loach coloration issue
I own one clown loach that has been living in my aquarium for the past 20yrs.
Two month ago we relocated to a new house. I abandoned my old aquarium of 350L
and got a smaller one of 180L due to space restrictions. All the fish are fine
and had no issues until last week. I started noticing that the clown loach
behavior is not as usual, not eating and losing his colors pigmentation on his
body and fins.
I don't want to lose it after such a long time.
I'm desperate for any help
<My instinctive reaction here is something like Hexamita, or some other
protozoan infection similar to Hole In The Head disease as seen in cichlids.
That being the case, a combination of Metronidazole alongside an antibiotic
(Nitrofurans are often recommended) would be the usual treatment. Any such
treatment would need to be alongside optimising living conditions. The smaller
size of your tank could easily be the problem here.
Clown Loaches react badly to high nitrate levels, and in a smaller tank nitrate
levels would rise quicker than in the bigger aquarium. Could I also suggest you
post at Loaches.com. They're a great place for loach-specific help, and have a
free online forum. Cheers, Neale.>
Can I add a grown up Oscar in my discus tank.
Just wanted to know if the combination would work out or lead to
I have a 50 gallon tank with a few discus and some blood fin tetras.
There is a grown up Oscar in a ten gallon tank at my workplace which
doesn't seem to be kept in a very healthy condition.
In case I take home this guy and add him to my existing tank, is it
going to pose danger to my current tankmates or will they co-exist
without any major aggression.
Look forward for your response.
Thanks and regards,
<Sometimes we have difficult questions without easy answers. But
sometimes we get questions that are unambiguous. This is one of them.
Discus and Oscars are so different in behaviour that mixing them is VERY
Oscars are predatory, yes, but the problem is they are heavy feeders and
tend to be territorial. They need big, basically empty tanks with heavy
filtration and that can be cleaned easily and frequently. Discus are
highly sensitive to nitrate levels, dislike strong water currents, and
are so shy and nervous they can be scared by even much smaller fish. A
tank designed for one species will be hostile to the other. Oscars would
quickly pollute the still, warm water Discus prefer, while Discus would
be deeply unhappy in an open tank with strong filtration. So no, while
the two species are both Amazonian fish, any similarities end there, and
I would not combine them. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Can I add a grown up Oscar in my discus tank.
Ah, Thanks Neale,
<Hello again, Shriram>
Even I was not having the slightest idea or intention to mix them with
my growing \ settling down discus tank.
The mail was a result of feeling sorry looking at the plight of the
Anyways its..no more with us..
<Oh! As in, dead? Sad to hear because they are nice fish.>
Thanks and regards,
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