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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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eBook on Amazon
Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Re: Platy swim bladder problem 1/24/20
Just an update on the platy with the swim bladder problem - new pics, but no
real change to her condition.
Still basically the same, looks a little less 'bruised' under the skin now.
The red spot, I think in this particular pic is some part residual coloring
from having previously given her a swab of merbromin there (still not even
sure whether it's an external wound, or internal and showing
through the skin.)
<Nor I; while this fish does look normal in terms of shape, with no evidence
of raised scales or even obvious bacterial inflammation, the swimming
posture remains odd. On top of that, the paleness of the skin can indicate
excessive mucous production, something relatively common in ailing
I still don't know what originally caused that particular red spot. Like I
said in the first post, it appeared after she'd gone through a period of
tail-curling, looking like she was in pain and looking like she was trying
to reach about that area with her mouth.
<Indeed, and sometimes if there is something amiss with her offspring, such
as stillbirths or even decomposition of embryos within the uterus, it is
fairly clear the female fish is stressed.>
She's still eating (and pooping) normally. I pretty much only feed her
sinking food now, because it's easier for her to find and pick up. And she
still can be quite feisty if you try to catch her, she's still not acting
like she's ready to call it quits.
<That's promising, at least.>
I stopped the Epsom baths after 4-5 days because she's really not swollen;
in fact she is about as slim as she's ever been.
I'm also guessing that if there was anything still 'in' her to be gotten
out, she'd have gone septic long before now and died (given that she's been
like this for several months now, and is otherwise not acting like she feels
<Also seems about right; I would carry on what you are doing, though perhaps
focusing on laxative foods (Daphnia for example, or cooked peas) to help
rule out constipation as a complicating factor.>
Based on her behavior at the time that she was acting like she was in pain,
and what she looked like shortly after that, I'm guessing something might
have ruptured inside? Something not life-threatening - uterus perhaps?
<See above; can happen, but besides time, luck, and perhaps the laxative
effect of Epsom salt, there's not much to be done with this. It either gets
better or else decay of the embryos proceeds so far septicaemia occurs, in
which case the female fish dies. Likely depends on how large the embryos
were when they died.>
She did also pass something a bit larger than normal poop a few days after
that, something very dark (like necrotic tissue, or a dried blood clot,
<Or a miscarriage; more common with livebearers than many believe.>
Whatever it was, it was definitely not the same color as the food she was
getting. And at that time she was in a bare container being emptied and
refilled daily, so there was no algae or anything like that for her to snack
on between meals.)
I'm guessing that this is just how she is, at this point. As long as she's
not giving up, I won't give up on her.
<Nor would I; there is hope, especially if she's active and without evidence
of bacterial infection.>
I moved her into a large Sterilite container for this latest period of
observation, gave her lots more room to move around and also gave her plenty
of plants and smooth decorations to hang out under. She still
spends most of her time hanging out underneath something, but she isn't
always in the same place and usually does come out at feeding time. I plan
to set her up a permanent tank with lots of things to safely anchor herself
under, maybe some small Corys for company - since it seems she's intent on
sticking around, despite this handicap.
<And may yet heal.>
It's a mystery for the books, I suppose - and some evidence that it's also
not necessarily an automatic death sentence. Thanks for your time and
<Good luck and thanks for the update. Cheers, Neale.>
Loach ID 1/22/20
About a year ago I bought 6 loaches in petco, labeled as golden zebra loach.
Based on my research they looked like Botia histrionica. 5 of them died very
quickly, like within a week or two probably due to young age.
They were about half inch in size. But one survived and recently I decided
that he is a social fish and need a company. I went into the same store and
bought 4 more fish labeled as golden zebra loach. However when I brought
them home I realized my new fish look slightly different by color, stripe
width and shape. First picture of my old loach, which is yellow with thick
black stripes and round body. On the bottom, my new addition: white body
with thin black stripes and flat body. Are they even the same kind of fish?
Please help identify.
<Hello Mark, your photos are a bit small, but yes, I agree, these do look
like Botia histrionica, and have the distinctive five bands on the flanks
plus the vertical band through the eye and the diagonal one from the eye to
the mouth. It is worth noting that the species is very variable, and as it
gets older, its markings to tend to change. So if the new batch looks
different to the older ones you already have, that's not altogether
surprising. There are also some undescribed Botia species out there, and
it's entirely possible these get into the aquarium trade now and again.
What I would suggest is you visit the Loaches.com forum, sign up, and share
your photos there. It's possible someone might know better than me!
Sick Parrot Cichlid 1/21/20
Hello WWM Team,
<Melissa (little sweet one)>
I have a 9 year old parrot cichlid. He has been sick for 4-5 days. He
stopped eating & is not very mobile just kind of bobbing at the top of the
He is pale, and has a white spot on his side/belly.
<See this in your pic>
I took a photo of it & went to my local fish shop and explained what is
going on. They gave me Fluran 2. I am on my second day of treating the tank,
but he is the same. I am afraid he is going to die soon. I tested the water
& everything looked good.
I included a photo of him below. Please help , thank you for your time.
<Mmm; well, this looks more like a mark/abrasion from a physical trauma to
me... I'd check again re pH, hardness of the water and try to be patient.
You should see some emargination, healing in a week or so. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Parrot Cichlid
Thank you so much ��
<Welcome Melissa. BobF>
Re: Questions for 2 bettas 1/20/20
Just writing to tell you I decided to put down my SBD/constipated betta
down earlier than planned. He started to refuse food and was not getting
any better. I knew it would be better to let him go than continue his
life floating and hiding all day. My other guy is doing well, no sign of
any rot returning.
<Thank you for your note. BobF>
My Turtle; bleeding/shell
Hello, I thought my eastern painted turtle was shedding so i picked
the scoots and now it is bleeding, HELP WHAT SHOULD I DO?
<Will ask Neale to respond as well, but you should have searched WWM
re: Read here:
My Turtle; bleeding/scutes /Neale
Hello, I thought my eastern painted turtle was shedding so i picked
the scoots and now it is bleeding, HELP WHAT SHOULD I DO?
<Ideally, go to a vet. Honestly. That's the best and most reliable
approach here. If the cost is an issue, some charities exist (such
as PDSA) to help out. Failing that, 'dry dock' him; see about
halfway down this article:
Chances are good that if he's kept dry, the shell will heal over
quickly, assuming that there are no underlying problems (such as
Turtles are generally healthy animals, but there are some
non-negotiable things that people skip on, and sadly, once you do
that, it's not long before the turtle gets sick. Same with most if
not all reptiles. Good
review of the basics here:
Dojo Loach Selling and blisters: Suggestions for care?
Hi there- You were so incredibly helpful last time, I thought I would try
again. I have a scenario that I can't find any information on and I thought
maybe you would have insight.
<Okay; will respond here and refer this to Neale Monks for his independent
This is the second time I've gotten a Dojo (weather) loach into the rescue
with Edema (swelling) and blisters on their body.
<Mmm; yes. Unfortunately this situation is quite common. Something about
Misgurnis in captive conditions>
The first had been in that state for a year, after jumping out of her tank
and being mostly dry when she was placed back in the water. I had her for
six months before I put her to sleep because she had swelling all throughout
her body, and had trouble breathing and swimming. I tried everything from
Epsom salt baths 2x a day (for about 3 weeks), to antibiotics for potential
bacterial infections, with no change.
Recently, I got another Dojo in. He was sickly when I got him, but did not
have the swelling. About a month after being in the tank with goldfish and
Dojo's (150 g, 7 dojos, and about 10 adolescent Goldfish, 2x a week water
changes and quad filtration), I noticed he was swollen starting from mid
body to tail. I Quarantined him, along with all the rest of the loaches for
a few days to make sure no one else was showing anything weird (dojo's in a
150 are a tad bit difficult to keep an eye on), but he is the only
one experiencing this.
I have been giving him some Epson salt baths, though not as frequently as
with the other dojo, he shed his slime coat after the first bath, and then
developed the blisters, which have not subsided. He is still active, and
still eating- but the swelling has not changed and I'm not sure what to do
for him. He's now been in QT for about a month with no real change to his
edema. He also developed a small white patch on his head- not fuzzy or a
wound- just a pigmentation change from what I can tell.
I apologize that the photos are not better- it's not a well-lit tank and
he's a wiggly little guy- but hopefully, it's enough to provide some
suggestions? I can get better photos if that would be helpful, but they
would involve stressing him out a little bit, so I figured I would wait to
see what you needed.
The Fish Haus Aquatic Rescue
<I'll (simply) refer you to past replies (myself) as I have no new material
to add here:
and the linked files above in this series.
Thank you for your efforts. Bob Fenner:
Re: Dojo Loach Selling and blisters: Suggestions for care?
Awesome! Thanks so much. I'm sorry I did not stumble on this myself!
<No worries Andie. BobF>
Dojo Loach Selling and blisters: Suggestions for care? /Neale
<<Like Bob, I've seen this a few times with Misgurnus species. It does seem
to be environmental. One suggestion is that it's a form of the gas-bubble
disease you sometimes see in marine fish. If you expose the fish to sudden
changes in water temperature (such as adding too much icy cold water to the
tank) the saturation of gases in the aquarium water change, and if those
gases come out of solution within the fish, any bubbles that tend to move
outwards become visible under the skin. There may be some mileage in this
explanation, because Weather Loaches are habitual air-gulpers, so tend to
have more air inside them than the average fish. They're also more prone to
swimming rapidly up and down the tank, and while I can't imagine the
pressure difference is very great, it may be enough to make a difference to
the solubility of any gases in their blood. Another suggestion that's
perhaps easier to understand is these are mud-dwelling fish poorly adapted
to gravelly substrates. Their skins are easily scratched, and rather as you
see with Spiny Eels extremely commonly, secondary infections ensure. My
problem with this explanation is that the bubbles are apparently under the
epidermis, not abscesses or something working their way from the outside in.
Either way though, optimising the environment and using antibiotics
against a secondary infection is likely your best move. I'd also warmly
recommend Loaches.com as a website with a forum populated with people who
are very into loaches. You might find someone there who can help with more
certainty! Regards, Neale.>>
A White Cloud dies every few weeks
I wanted to follow up with you on advice you gave me several
years ago (below). In case it helps anyone with similar
issues, the end it was the Paraguard that did the trick. I treated
the whole tank (I removed the 2 nerites, one of which is 4 years old
now - I didn't know they'd live that long) and finally the WWMMs
stopped wasting away and dying. I was down to 3 fish and didn't
restock for a year just to make sure. I now have a school of 9 happy
WCMMs. I know they are schooling fish and are unhappy in small
numbers. It was amazing to see the difference in the 3 fish when I
added the 6 new ones. One of the males had completely lost his
colour, even the red in his tail. They were all quite pale. Shortly
after the new ones arrived, they coloured right up - amazing!
Anyhoo, thanks again for your advice,
Tracey (from frigid Canada)
<Thanks for the follow-up, and glad things worked out well in the
end. Does sound like you had a bad batch of fish, and once the
survivors were fixed up, they were very glad to see some new
friends. Lovely fish, and like a lot of minnows, the more you keep,
the better (and healthier) they will be.
So unless the tank is tiny, don't feel like you should hold back
more. A dozen would be fine in even 10 gallons, and the more the
<<29 October 2016 16:35
Subject: A White Cloud dies every few weeks
Greetings Fish Gurus!
I have a 15 gallon lightly planted tank that I have been trying to
keep White Clouds in, but they keep wasting away and dying one by
one. The tank has been set up for the last 18 months. The most I’ve
had in there at one time is 8 fish (currently 5), so I am lightly
Temp: 20 C (maintained with a heater)
<Depending on room temperature, a heater might not be needed. A
definite cool phase, around 18 C, in winter is a really good idea.>
pH: a steady 7.5
GH: 60 ppm
KH: 60 ppm
nitrate: < 5 ppm
Water changes: 20% weekly, conditioned with Prime
Food: mostly flakes, peas once a week, the odd algae wafer
<All sounds ideal.>
They start out active and with good appetites, then one by one they
stop schooling and eating and just hover around the tank. Sometimes
they seem to recover and become active and healthy again, but
eventually they fall ill again. I’ve made the mistake of restocking
a couple of times when I thought the trouble was over and wanted to
maintain at least 6 to minimize stress, but two weeks after adding
the new ones, someone stops eating and on it goes. Early on I fed
them live mosquito larvae harvested from my rain barrel (I stopped
doing that in case it was introducing something) and I did get one
(in hindsight) suspect fish in the very first batch that never ate
or schooled and died within a month. Attached is a photo of the
latest fish on death watch. It has withdrawn and rallied at least
once or twice already, but I think this might be it. I have never
seen a worm protruding from them, and I have used a magnifying glass
to examine them closely and never seen a mark or hitchhiker on them.
Medication-wise I have tried General Cure,
<A "jack of all trades, master of none" treatment that is *meant* to
deal with external protozoan and invertebrate parasites, such as
fish lice. Not nearly as "general purpose" as its name suggests.>
Prazipro (one dose per week for three weeks) and Levamisole (one
dose per week for three weeks), but the problem continues.
<These last two are de-wormers.>
Any thoughts on what the problem might be? I love these little fish,
but they keep breaking my heart.
<Two things to think about. The first is that none of the
medications you've used would seem to match your symptoms. So your
lack of success with them is not unexpected. The second is that the
symptoms you're dealing with sound a lot more like Neon Tetra
Disease (which can/does affect other species,
or at least, similar parasites do) or a systematic bacterial
infection (sadly very common in farmed fish produced to a price, as
with WCMM, Angels, Guppies, and host of other "bread and butter"
species). So, going forwards, probably your best approach is to
medicate as per a bacterial infection, something like the popular
Maracyn 1 and 2 combo, or better yet, the Seachem Polyguard and
Paraguard combo, which should treat just about everything treatable.
Make sure to remove carbon from the filter, if used (generally
redundant in freshwater fishkeeping) and provide supplemental
aeration, even if that only means lowering the water level a bit so
the filter outflow splashes a bit more than usual.>
<It's possible you've been unlucky, and/or the fish are sick because
of something going on at the retailer. You might leave the tank to
settle, and when no more WCMMs die, buy some more to restore the
school, but choosing from another retailer or buying online from a
trustworthy source. Your local/city aquarium club can help too. Hope
this helps, Neale.>>>
Guest Post on Your Website Wetwebmedia.com
I hope you are doing well.
I'm Emma Lewis, a professional article writer and Aquarium lover.
I would like to contribute a high-quality article by following all
guidelines provided by you.
I promise that I will provide HIGH quality content of 2000+ Words that
you won’t find anywhere else.
Here are my two ideas that will be the perfect choice for your website
*Learn the Basics About Aquarium Canister Filters *
*How to Make Your Pet Reptile's Love You *
What do you think about these ideas? Which one of them is more suitable
for your site?
<We only "do" aquatic reptiles...>
Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks
<You're welcome to make independent submissions. We pay $200 for
non-exclusive use/posting if accepted. Bob Fenner>
A woman in my angelfish group has a sick angelfish.
He's not bloated but he swims with his nose pointing up. Thanks
<Please do have them write us; with particulars re the system, water
quality measures, diet, and imagery if they think this will help.
Trichopodus leerii food 1/9/20
Hello Crew, hope things are status quo in your neck(s) of the woods!
Question—any suggestions for a (preferably low maintenance) daily
food supplement to give my Trichopodus leerii in addition to flakes?
<A good quality pellet, maybe frozen/defrosted crustacean...>
My last Trichopodus loved your NLS Float suggestion but this guy
spits them out, yet my cherry barbs devour them. Package says
“regular size” 1-1.5mm pellets—could these be too big for him?
NLS does not seem to sell a smaller, floating food, and he is too
slow to grab sinking food from other inhabitants. I have Hikari
micro pellets but they are smaller than flakes! Any ideas, or maybe
his “begging” is an act of dramatics? Thank you! —Matt from NJ
<I'd go with what I do... the frozen/defrosted food in addition
daily (better in the AM, use the dry in the PMs). I use (a lot) of
San Francisco Bay Brand brine shrimp; though Hikari's line are also
excellent. Bob Fenner>
Re: Trichopodus leerii food 1/10/20
Thank you for the suggestion, I’ll give it a shot.
<Glad Bob's suggestion of use. I find Gouramis tend to have "small
mouths" and consume smaller foods than you think, preferring even
tiny live foods like Daphnia and Artemia nauplii over chunky foods.>
Could his habit of staying up at the surface be a symptom of
<It is largely what they do; they are associated with floating
vegetation in the wild, and rarely stray away from such.>
My water quality has 0 ammonia and nitrites, and my filter media is
fresh. I have a steady air stone firing plenty of air through the
tank and my filter is keeping the surface moving. The tank is a
15-gal column with 2 synodontis nigriventris and three cherry barbs,
along with the pearl.
<S. nigriventris can be a 'fin nibbler' at times, but I think the
real challenge here is the tank. 15 gallons is too small, and it's
unlikely such big fish are going to feel comfortable in this tank,
especially when it's a tall design. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Trichopodus leerii food 1/11/20
Thank you both. Yes, I have regretted purchasing this tank since the
day I opened up the box... it’s a water quality nightmare... but
I’ve managed to keep it going for almost 5 years so it’s a personal
challenge at this point! I had a rock solid trichogaster
trichopterus for 4 years in there and my cherries and these cats are
years old (corys, as expected, grew sick of swimming to the top)...
so I think I’ve done relatively ok. I’ve always shied away from the
live foods out of both convenience (honestly) and fear of water
quality issues. Maybe it’s time to “dive” in. You and Bob have
inspired me. I will search WWM for some rookie tips on live foods.
<Understand your disappointment with the tank. Frozen foods can
substitute for live foods in many cases, so well worth trying these
out. Certainly Gouramis aren't too fussed about live vs. frozen
foods. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Trichopodus leerii food 1/12/20
Thank you! This gourami is not going to make it...
I’m on the third and final dose of Kanaplex after many water changes
and removing the carbon from the filter—I hate medicating my tank
but I thought it was necessary here—and now he’s showing fin rot,
lost posture, and rocking back and forth. If I lose him, and after I
let the tank sit stable for a while, do you think a smaller gourami
would work in my setup, such as a T. chuna?
<In a tank this size and shape, I'd be thinking perhaps of a 'bed'
of floating vegetation at the top, and then something smaller, like
Sparkling Gouramis or Croaking Gouramis. Both associate with
floating plants, and being farmed but not selectively bred, they're
pretty robust. Sensitive to cold air, like all labyrinth fish, but
the Sparkling Gouramis are tiny fish, and would be fine in a
columnar tank. They have lovely colours! Floating Indian Fern would
be an ideal plant to use, being adaptable and forming thick beds
several inches deep, if doing well. Do see BobF's piece on this
excellent species, here:
Re: Trichopodus leerii food 1/12/20
Great ideas all around, thanks so much!
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>
Freshwater Aquarium Articles & FAQs
- Set-Up: Gear/Components:, Set-Up, Tanks, Stands, Covers:, Water, Filtration of All
Sorts, Sumps, Refugiums:, Circulation, Pumps, Powerheads, Aeration,
Electricity, Heating/Chilling, Light/Lighting:; Types of Systems:,
- Livestock 1: Stocking/Selection, Biotopes, Quarantine, Acclimation.
Fishes: Stingrays, Inadvanced Bony Fishes, Eels, Tetras & Their Relatives,
Killifishes, Livebearers, Catfishes, Goldfish, Barbs, Danios, Rasboras,
Minnow Sharks, Loaches, Misc. Fish Groups
eBook on Amazon
What it takes to keep
goldfish healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Gouramis, Bettas, Cichlids, Fresh to Brackish Water Fishes,
Invertebrates (Hydra, Worms, Snails, Insects, Crustaceans...),
eBook on Amazon
Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
- Maintenance/Operation: General Maintenance,
Algae, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition, Disease/Health,
- Freshwater Aquarium Science:
Behavior, Topics, Reference and Aquatics Writing Business, Reviews,