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We ask that, before submitting a query, you refer to Neale Monk's: Before You Write; A Checklist of Common Problems with Freshwater Aquaria, Bettas, Goldfish, and Freshwater Turtles (Terrapins), Tips on Asking Questions, Ask the WWM Crew a Question, FAQs on FAQs. EDFP, TBPFWFAQs, Last Few Days Accrued FAQs, Subscribe to the Daily Pics

Astronotus ocellatus (Agassiz 1831), the Oscar. To seventeen inches (45.7 cm). South America: Rio Amazonas basin in Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Northern Paraguay and French Guiana. Freshwater: pH range: 6.0 - 8.0; dH range: 5.0 - 19.0, temp. 22 - 25°C. Wild type at  the Shedd Aq. 2015 
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Freshwater FAQs, Ask us a question: Crew@WetWebMedia.com

Updated 7/20/2018
Other Specialized Daily FAQs Blogs: General, Planted Tanks, Ponds, Brackish, Last Few Days Accrued FAQs,
Daily Q&A replies/input from the WWM crew: Darrel Barton,
Neale Monks, Marco Lichtenberger, Bob Fenner, are posted here. Moved about, re-organized daily Current Crew Bios., Not so current Crew Bios

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Betta Success
Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Herps help      7/20/18
Neale, howsit?
Would you take a look/see at Darrel's in-box, the turt f' on our webmail...
See if you can reply to any of these queries? I don't know enough re.

Yellow-belly aqua terrapin      7/20/18
<Hello Maria,>
Sorry to bother you.
<Not a problem.>
I found your site after searching on Google and I would like to ask you a question about my terrapin if possible.
<Sure thing.>
The problem is she cannot swim anymore, she cannot stand the water not for a minute and she is always basking. (temperature is right). It is not a respiratory problem either no fluid or anything wrong found in her lungs because I took her to a vet specialist and he took an w-x-ray and he told me that this is not the problem. he run some blood tests in order to see if it is an infection or something and i will have the results this coming Monday-Tuesday, he also gave her some liquid antibiotics for a week (she started them 2 days ago- i don't think they really help but let's hope so).
<Right. Now, when terrapins struggle to swim, it's often a build-up of fluid inside their lungs. Respiratory tract infections may be difficult to diagnose, but often the sick turtle will have a runny nose, may wheeze when it breathes, and may be lethargic and disinterested in food. The fact your vet ruled this out is positive, but I'd still keep an open mind, especially if you see some of the other symptoms mentioned. Other reasons for problems with swimming include constipation, egg-binding, and possibly some type of
neurological problem or bone injury.>
By this time what should I do? She likes to sit on the floor all day, dry and the only time she gets in the water is when I put her in my bath tub, put a very small quantity of water and feed her. she is still eating but with great difficulty due to the small amount of water but I can't put more because she is panicking and freaking out.
<Terrapins don't "need" to swim as such, provided they have periodic baths and access to drinking water. Of course it isn't normal for them to avoid swimming! But once they're happy and healthy, they will swim. So rather than forcing a terrapin to swim, it's a good idea to try and establish why it isn't swimming. It might be a health issue, or it might be an environmental issue. If there's another terrapin (such as a larger male) it might avoid going into the water at the same time. If the water is too cold, it will stay on land under the heat lamp. Conversely, if the water is too warm (perhaps you're using an under tank heater or a glass aquarium heater) it won't go into the water either. Focus on the terrapin and its happiness, and when it's ready, it'll go into the water.>
I wanted to tell you that for a very long period of time I've been giving her dry pellets to eat (i don't thing they are Koi pellets) - I will try to buy these next time, and a large quantity of different fruits and vegs. it
seems from what i have read that i wasn't doing well?
<Opinion is divided on products like ReptoMin. Most people think they're a good staple food, but some turtle-keepers think they're expensive for what they are, and substitute Koi pellets. Others prefer a diet based on fresh greens, such as Pondweed (Elodea spp.), with dried foods used only sparingly, if at all. Either way, you aren't likely to be doing any harm with ReptoMin, but you probably should add at least some fresh greens now and again. Fresh greens helps provide fibre, which prevents constipation.>
fruits are full of sugars and she must not eat them but very rarely? once a month ?
<Something like that. While terrapins will certainly eat fruits, they're a now-and-again thing, maybe once every couple weeks.>
Can you tell me if this is maybe the reason of her bad buoyancy in the water and maybe she has internal bacterial infection that can cause gas bubbles in the abdomen?
<It would seem unlikely. Assuming a diet based mostly on ReptoMin (or some similar, turtle-food product) with occasional fruits, your terrapin should be perfectly healthy. A little constipated perhaps! But ReptoMin has calcium and phosphorus, so its bones should be fine, and the fruits should provide a top-up of vitamins as well.>
If that's the case the blood tests would be able to show it?
<Hard to say; your vet will be able to advise here. But personally, I'd review diet, review the environment, finish the antibiotics as prescribed by the vet, and then see what happens.>
Thank you so much for an answer. I really appreciate it. My terrapin is 15 years old. I've had her since she was a baby.
<15 years isn't bad! So clearly you must be doing something right. Good luck, Neale.>

Herps help     7/14/18
Neale, howsit?
Am concerned re our long-standing turtle et al. helper, and helping. I've written Darrel a few times... sent the queries his way; no resp.
Do you know of someone who might help us; join the WWM Crew?
Re: Herps help      7/15/18

Hi Bob,
<Sir Neale>
One person. Have written. Will see if he responds. A retired teacher and before that mosquito scientist. A decent chap. But might not be his cup of tea.
Cheers, Neale
<I'll hope he's willing, able to join us. Cheers, B>

Unexpected Dilemmas...    7/11/18
Dear WetWebMedia Crew,
I spoke too soon when I asked about what sorts of fish to add to my aquarium ... several new issues have come up.
<Oh dear.>
1. One of my weather loaches has developed two black eyes, one of which has a whole ring of black skin around the eye. This eye lost its sclera after the accident that wiped out all but four of my fish last year, but the loach’s other eye was fine. Since the fish’s behavior was otherwise normal, I did not treat him for anything. I just noticed yesterday that the damaged eye got this black ring around it, and both eyes have turned black.
<Hard to know what's happened here. Loaches push with their heads into the substrate, and if the substrate is something coarser than sand, there's a risk they'll damage their eyes. Given they're nocturnal fish, they probably don't use their eyes much, so can likely get by just fine with partial or even no vision at all. Medicating for eye damage is hard since the eyes rarely heal back from serious damage. But good water quality, and perhaps antibiotics, will help, especially if the damage is only superficial. You might also look at the tankmates. Cichlids have a tendency to bite the eyes of bottom-dwellers they perceive as threats. I would not keep fish as benign as Weather Loaches with anything overtly territorial that 'camped out' at the bottom of the tank, whether cichlids, suckermouth cats, or even a more aggressive loach species.>
2. My female blue acara developed some pale patches on her forehead between her eyes after the accident last year, but again, nothing else about her body changed so I did not do anything. She did become more lethargic and hid a lot after she lost her mate, but has since become more bold and willing to grab food before the silver dollars do.
However after last week I did not thaw out some frozen food completely, the nitrates spiked to ~30ppm and the patches seemed to get localized to her sensory pores. I did a 70% water change after that but I’m concerned this could be the start of a Hexamita issue. I did see some slimy feces on the floor of the tank, but it also had some undigested green bean pieces so I was unsure of what to make of it. She also occasionally rests on the floor of the tank, but still eats and swims normally as well.
The concern is that I have given her two courses of Metronidazole and other anti-parasite foods when I first got her because she seemed underweight (one of these foods killed my Geophagus after he butt in and ate too many of them by mistake, if you recall). I’m not sure whether I could give her another dose...
<I do agree that the Metronidazole plus Nitrofuran approach is probably best here. Cichlids do get these off-colour patches on their bodies, together with wasting and lethargy, when stressed. The Hexamita parasite may be involved, or it may be something else. High nitrate and low oxygen levels are two stressors I've come across. Review the tank, improve diet (fresh greens that offer vitamins seem to be one key to keeping Hexamita at bay) and then medicate as suggested.>
3. I found out my family has been changing the water only every two weeks, not every week while I am away. I’m not sure whether I should just give up on cichlids at this point and keep only non-nitrate sensitive fish until I am done with grad school and can be home enough to ensure the water is being changed enough...
<Understood. I don't bother with cichlids in 'semi-neglected' tanks where water changes are likely to be sporadic. There are some tough cichlids that don't seem to mind, but most of the small and pretty species seem to be sensitive to old water. Catfish and many of the 'old school' characins and barbs are far less sensitive, and so long as the tank is basically set up properly without overstocking, they're indifferent to nitrate.>
I will send you pictures later today.
<Sure thing.>
Thank you,
<Most welcome, Neale.>
Re: Unexpected Dilemmas...    7/11/18

Dear WetWebMedia Crew,
I attached photos of the female blue acara and the weather loach's heads (yes I give my fish silly names. Sorry).
<My catfish was named Claire by a young friend. I tend to call her Clarabelle. Depends on my mood!>
I'm planning to give the acara to my LFS which specializes in cichlids. I could give her the Metronidazole food + Nitrofurazone bath treatment in the main tank, a quarantine tank, or just give her to the LFS and have them treat her (they treat their sick fish). What would you recommend?
<If the LFS know what they're doing, and have everything to hand, then it's obviously more convenient to let them treat the fish. But moving fish is stressful. I'd tend to treat at home, probably in the main tank since the medication shouldn't harm the filter.>
I think you're probably correct about the loach's eyes having been injured at least. As you can see the gravel is coarse and full of empty MTS shells.
The loach also has some warped fins, perhaps also caused by the substrate.
<Agreed; might simply be some sort of Pop-eye type thing. Epsom salt (1-3 teaspoons per 5 gallons/20 litres) can help, ideally alongside an antibiotic. The Nitrofurazone you're already using should do the trick
here, so I'd leave the Loach in with the cichlid and treat all the fish with the Epsom salt, the Metronidazole, and the Nitrofurazone.>
The reason I have not gotten rid of my coarse gravel is that it is part of my undergravel filter, so I don't want to mess with it, especially after the biofilter crash last year that wiped almost all my fish.
<Understood. But nothing to stop you replacing the gravel in stages, perhaps one-fourth the substrate every couple of months.>
As far as fish to get instead of cichlids, would tiger barbs be doable with the elongate fin rays of the male silver dollars, or should I try ruby barbs instead? And are Rainbowfish very nitrate sensitive as well?
Furthermore, are there any bottom feeding fish that would tolerate coarse substrates? My panda garra seems to do okay.
Thank you for understanding,
<Most welcome, Neale.>

Re: Unexpected Dilemmas...    7/11/18
Just a quick question: the Nitrofurazone packets all say they are a known carcinogen and have been shown to cause cancer in animals. How concerned should I be about this?
<Not. Many things are carcinogens when exposed to organisms in large amounts and/or across long periods. Not the case with a one-time course of medications used as described by the manufacturer.>
Do I need to wear goggles and a mask when pouring the powder into the water?
<Nope. I mean, I wouldn't. But consult with your physician if you're concerned. I'm a "doctor of rocks PhD" not an MD, so it's not for me to offer medical advice.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Unexpected Dilemmas...    7/13/18
On a related note...one of my relatives (who is a physician) claims that taking an antiparasitic drug and an antibiotic simultaneously is very hard on the body, and it would be better to give the blue acara the
Nitrofurazone powder and the medicated food sequentially.
<May be true for humans. But with small fish you might not have time to do one after the other, and overwhelming the situation here is that medicating sick cichlids this way works well, while delaying, or not doing anything, ends in their death.>
The medicated food I have contains both Metronidazole and Kanamycin, so maybe this would be too many drugs at once for the acara.
<A smaller risk than you think; i.e., compared with doing just one medication at a time.>
However I am concerned this might make it harder to fully treat her...do you or any other member of the WetWebMedia crew (like say Bob Fenner) know anything about this?
<I'll let Bob chime in.>
<<I know naught re Neale. B>>
I'm currently starting with the Nitrofurazone, because, quite frankly, the loach's condition is a lot worse (I found out yesterday he also has a fresh-looking wound on his stomach...I think he must have hurt himself all over pretty badly recently...unfortunately, I'm out of town most of the year so replacing the gravel isn't really an option for me at the moment).
It's hard to tell whether the patches on the Acara's face are HLLE or something else.
Sorry for all the questions,
<Hope the above helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Unexpected Dilemmas... (RMF, your input requested)<<>>     7/14/18
I’m most of the way through the Nitrofurazone treatment. The loach’s condition is improving, and the blue Acara's is stable, but now all of the fish in my tank (even the healthy ones) are spitting out their food, no matter what kind of food I give them.
<Stop feeding for now. Fish will feed when they're hungry, and stop when they're stressed. Spitting out food can mean the food's distasteful (perhaps an old tub of flake or the medicine masks the flavours) but as/when things settle down, the fish will feed normally. Since large fish can go a couple months without food, none of this matters just yet. The fact they're snapping at the food indicates they're still curious and alert, which is good.>
Is it possible the Nitrofurazone in the water makes food unpalatable, or is the antibiotic doing something to the biofilter?
<Possible; use your ammonia and/or nitrite test kit to check.>
Could it be killing the Malaysian trumpet snails in the tank and fouling the water that way?
<Melanoides are pretty tough, and killing them is hard; so while it's always a risk with medicines, unless the snails were making a bee-line for the surface of the water, I'd not be too worried just yet.>
I know I should do a water test, but Nitrofurazone dyes the water yellowish-green and I am concerned that would interfere.
<Can do. But some colour change should still be apparent.>
(It says it is not to be used in invertebrates, but you stated if the MTS were doing badly they’d be climbing to the surface of the tank, and they’re not.)
<These snails are tough -- they'd probably survive a nuclear holocaust! Cheers, Neale.>
<<I would do a series of partial water changes here, like 25% a day for four days; just in case this is a poisoning, environmental situation. BobF>>

Re: Unexpected Dilemmas... (RMF, your input requested)     7/18/18
I changed the whole aquarium volume of water over the last few days, and the fish are eating normally again, with the exception of the blue acara.
I have tried giving her the medicated Metronidazole food, but she sucks it up and chews on it for a few seconds before spitting it back out. She does the same for normal food as well...what could cause this?
The loach’s wound has been healing and his eyes haven’t gotten worse but I am concerned he might have fin rot on his tail now.
I’m not sure whether there is any other medication I should put in the water for the loach and acara, given how the Nitrofurazone put all the fish off feed for a while. I don’t want to risk poisoning the healthy fish.
Last week 90% of the water was changed and the undergravel filter was cleaned, so I doubt water quality is an issue at the moment.
P.S. For future reference what sort of fish can tolerate rough substrates well? I did not know this would be an issue with the weather loaches when I got them many many years ago...
<I'd cease medicating this system; only do 25 % water changes at any given time; add carbon filtration for now and rely on good conditions to effect a cure. Bob Fenner>

Facial growth/white stringy stuff on Betta    7/11/18
I have had a male Betta for about a year now. Yesterday I noticed he had a decent-sized bump/growth between his mouth/nose and right eye.
I did a 100% water change last night, and this morning I noticed some white stringy stuff on his head, and the bump on his face seemed a little larger.
<... environmental>
I took some photos this morning (attached) trying to get a good shot of his head.
I just mail-ordered him a 3-gallon filtered tank over the weekend that should come next week, but he has been in a .7 gallon heated tank this whole time (no filter/pump). I hope he isn't too sick to make the move to a better environment!
<Me too. 0.7 gallon is too little and unfiltered? Won't work.>
Tank temperature is kept at a fairly consistent 80-82 degrees F. I have been doing daily 50% water cycles and 100% water changes every 2-3 weeks to try and keep the water from getting too gross. I use Imaginarium Betta water treatment in warm tap water. His tank also has a Marimo ball in it.
He is fed a small pinch of Betta flakes with shrimp and about 3-4 dried bloodworms per day.
His behavior still seems normal so far. He is active, comes to the tank to greet me, and vigorously eats his food. He flares and swims around rapidly when I put his mirror toy in the water.
<Ah, good signs>
I'm guessing he has some kind of fungus or bacterial infection going on (white stuff), but I have no idea what's up with that facial growth. I am hoping it's not a tumor! I have never had a sick fish before, so any and all advice is appreciated. I have a Petco very close to my house so I can go pick up medication or whatever is needed fairly easily. Thanks in advance for your help!
<Well, I'd have you read here:
and where you lead yourself with the links at top. This fish REALLY just needs a viable environment. You might consider it expedient to treat the system... Bob Fenner>

Re: Facial growth/white stringy stuff on Betta    7/11/18
Thanks for the quick response, Bob! I have been browsing through the links on the page you recommended.
<Ah, good Deja>
Little Buddy was a juvenile when we purchased him for my 10 year old daughter--she also picked the tank. She soon tired of the constant maintenance, so I inherited him. The tank seemed to work okay when he was smaller, but he definitely needs more room now that he's grown. I was hoping that Petco carried the tank I wanted in stock, but I had to order it.
<I see. Do move the water, gravel et al. from the old to the new system>
Since the new tank won't be here for a week or so, I was planning on picking up an antifungal from Petco on my way home tonight (someone on your site mentioned Mardel's Maracyn tablets for fungus but it looks like Petco carries Kordon Rid Fungus instead) to treat the tank/fish with in the meantime to hopefully get rid of the white stuff or at least keep it at bay. I have been researching online and the white stuff appears to be fungal rather than ich (stringy, no spots). I know my photos aren't that great, but do you also think the white stuff is fungal?
<Likely bacterial... most "fungal" infections of fishes are actually bacterially mediated>
I am concerned that the bump on his face is Lymphocystis--I've been doing some research and read that since this is a virus it basically has to run its course and all I can do is keep the tank water as clean as possible and not stress him. I wish I had been able to get better photos of the bump, but he kept turning the side with the bump away from me when I tried to photograph it.
Is there anything else I can do to make him more comfortable until his new home arrives?
<I'd add a modicum (like half a tsp.) of non-iodized salt here. Dissolve in some water and pour in.>
I already do 50% water cycles but I can do more than that if it would help.
I can also do a full water change again over the weekend. I just don't want him to stress any more than he already is by upsetting his habitat. Thanks again for your help! Deja Lee
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Facial growth/white stringy stuff on Betta      7/12/18
Good morning Bob! I wanted to give you an update. I got some freshwater aquarium salt, 5x1 testing strips, and antibacterial drops from Petco last night.
I tested the water before I started and it seemed pretty good overall: pH 7.2, nitrate/nitrite/chlorine all 0, hardness 75 (which is a bit high I think?).
<What units of measure?>
I wasn't too surprised since the tank had been cleaned less than 24 hours prior.
When I did the 50% water cycle, I added 1/2 tsp. salt to the new water and put the drops in at the end. I noticed when I got home from Petco that the white stuff was gone, so maybe his slime coat was just reacting to the 100% water change?
<Likely so>
He is still frisky and got excited when I checked on him this morning. The bump seems unchanged so far but I am assuming it takes time for the medicine to start working. Have a great day!
<And you, BobF>
Re: Facial growth/white stringy stuff on Betta       7/12/18

Hi Bob! Sorry, here you go: pH 7.2ppm (mg/L), nitrate/nitrite/chlorine all 0ppm (mg/L),
<? Zero Nitrate? I'd check this again. IF the system is cycled, cycling there should be appreciable NO3>
hardness (GH) 75ppm, and alkalinity (KH) 40ppm.
<All the rest of the values are fine>
I tested again and got very similar results, so I'm just going to replace what evaporated and call it good for tonight. The bump seems a bit larger today, and appears to be white in the center. Thank you, Deja
<Improved environment will yield perceptibly enhanced health in time. Bob Fenner>

Re: Facial growth/white stringy stuff on Betta    7/17/18
Hi Bob,
<Hey Deja>
I have attached a photo of the test strip guide so you can see what I mean when I say '0' for Nitrate. Basically, that bit of the test strip wasn't turning colors at all. It was staying white.
<Mmm; yeah. These colorimetric assay strips can be inaccurate and imprecise. I encourage you to "check the checker"... Likely a tropical fish store will check your water with other gear; ascertain NO3 differently here. Established systems almost always have increasing Nitrate presence>
It turned light pink yesterday. Most of the other tests were pretty similar to how they have been this whole time, though Alkalinity was around 80-120, which the test strip guide says is 'ideal'.
<Is fine>
This morning when I looked at Buddy, I noticed two white spots on his tail that weren't there last night. I have attached some photos of that as well.
It also looks like that bump on his face is still growing. It's the same color as his scales except the top is white. His behavior still seems normal for the most part.
The Bacterial Infection remedy I got (Imagitarium Bacterial Infection Remedy)
<Umm; am not a fan of "alternative, natural remedies".... They're not effective by and large. PLEASE see WWM re Betta health, treatments. Too much for me to go over here. I would NOT be medicating this fish, system period.>
instructs to use it every other day for 3 treatments. I did the last treatment yesterday, so I'm not sure what the next step should be. I appreciate any advice!
The new tank is supposed to be delivered today, so barring any damage from shipping hopefully I'll be able to get Buddy moved into it by the end of the week (I still need to get a heater, more gravel, and some live aquarium plants).
Thanks, Deja
<Am sure all will be fine w/ the move to the better world. Bob Fenner>

Breeding German Blue Rams     7/10/18
Hi again Neale,
I have a question about breeding German Blue Rams this time.
<Very soft, very acid water; lots of heat; minimal nitrates. The Rams will do the rest, albeit the 'fancy' forms do not seem to have particularly high fertility or good parenting skills.>
If you remember, previously I had Bumblebee Gobies together with my 2 Rams and Neon Tetras. I have since then relocated the BBGs into their own tank (60×30×36). Still freshwater for now.
Since then, I have had 2 spawnings 10 days apart from the Rams. The first batch I removed from the tank (the Neons were overly interested in the eggs) and hatched them out separately.
<Neons and Rams need much different water temperatures. So bit confused why you're keeping them together. Do you mean Cardinal Tetras? These are fine at the 28-30 C that Rams need; Neons prefer 22-25 C, and tend to be sickly when kept too warm for too long.>
I managed to get the eggs to free swimming stage for 2 days then they all suddenly died overnight. Water parameters were all fine.
<What numbers? Let's be clear, Rams need very soft water to breed successfully, maybe 1-2 degrees dH, at most. In harder water (even "soft" by aquarium standards, e.g., 5 degrees dH) the eggs become fungus-prone, or the fry simply wither away.>
I use JBL 6 in 1 test strips and results were in the green o.k. range.
<I don't know what this means. What are the actual numbers?>
Second batch I left the eggs with the parents and removed the Neons to the BBG tank. I added a foam filter and switched off the HOB once we got to the wriggler stage. Female Ram was all motherly, guarded the fry and kept the male Ram away from them. This morning the fry were all gone. Eaten by one or both of them.
Would appreciate any suggestions and directions on how to keep the fry alive. Which would you suggest, letting the Rams raise the fry themselves or would I get a better survival rate if I hatch the eggs out separately?
<The parents will (usually) look after the eggs reasonably well, and better than the average fishkeeper! But some pairs are better than others, it's true.>
Will it be better to set up a separate spawning tank and move the Rams over when the female gets fat with eggs? Will a 45x30x36 do? I understand that it is really difficult to breed rams but I'm hoping to get at least a few.
<They're not difficult to breed in the conditions outlined above; in others, yes, they're a struggle.>
And for the BBGs, do I leave them freshwater or would it be better if I slowly turn the tank brackish? (Will move the Neons back to their original tank) I'm also thinking of adding some mates for them, what would you suggest? I know guppies and Endler's would work, how about Mollies?
<If the BBGs are happy and feeding well, I see no point to moving them. But if you want to, go ahead! They're a bit peaceful to live with Mollies, but Endler's should work nicely.>
It seems that this hobby involves having more and more tanks in the house but the pleasure and feeling of content derived is none other :)
<A well known problem, yes.>
Thank you, Effie
<Most welcome, Neale.>
Re: Breeding German Blue Rams     7/10/18

Hi Neale,
Thank you for the reply.
Water parameters currently in my Rams tank are as follows:
No3 - 10mg/l
No2 - 0.5mg/l (can't seem to lower this. Even fresh water from the tap shows this reading)
<Non-zero nitrite could easily account for problems with eggs and fry. Extra filtration should eliminate nitrite. Perhaps a larger sponge filter? I would not increase turnover rate (these cichlids dislike strong currents) but more bacteria would help.>
GH - 4°dGH (too hard?)
<Quite possibly.>
KH - 3°dKH
<Also a bit high.>
pH - 6.4
<Could be lower, maybe pH 6, if you can get some Discus Buffer to maintain a safe and steady pH level.>
Temperature - 28°C
I live in Singapore where water temperature stays almost constant 28°C all year round. What would you suggest to soften the water?
<Ideally, rainwater or RO water; though I admit that urban/city rainwater is probably too polluted to be safe to use. So perhaps better to use RO if available.>
Indian Almond Leaves, peat or Blackwater?
<Indian Almond Leaves may soften the water a bit. Blackwater extract doesn't. Peat can, but it's ecologically difficult to justify, so I tend to recommend against it.>
I do use Eiho 6.5 buffer to stabilise the PH.
As for the Neon Tetras (yes I'm sure they are Neon Tetras), I can remove them from the Rams tank and have them in my other community tank but short of having the AC on 24 hours a day, I don't think I can lower the water temperature.
<Understood. Yes, they'd probably be better in the other tank.>
Thank you. Effie
<Most welcome! Neale.>

Bristlenose Plecos sick      7/8/18
Hello, I really appreciate your attention in this time of need. I have been struggling with this and come to no solution - would not want to risk more damage, so I feel I need experienced help. I have been into aquaria for three months only. I set up a 150-liter tank, with two juvenile (3 cm) Bristlenose Plecos, 6 gold barbs, 3 corys, two snails, some shrimp (of which 2 survived) and later one xypho. I used JBL Manado for a substrate, which is just finely rough. I have used Aquael 3 plus as a filter, one that is nominally capable of filtering up to 250 l. First, I lost lots of shrimp due to an ammonia peak. 2 corys got fin rot, which I treated. They lost most of their barbells though. Later, I used some sand that I got from a creek - this caused algae and agitation in the fish, so I got it out.
Everything seemed fine, except for the algae. For that, I got two SAEs, reduced the lighting, scheduled a siesta, and all was fine. Then, suddenly my two SAEs died (haemorrhaging around one gill in one of them, haemorrhaging on the belly in the other), and my other fish got sick. Since I read a slight ammonia peak, and people told me the filter was insufficient for a substrate tank, I added an external filter with 1 liter of Sera Siporax, and ammonia and nitrites came down to 0. The sickness didn't go away though. Most symptoms - sudden movements, rubbing against object, torn fins in the Plecos, redness in part of the body, weight loss - pointed to flukes, so I treated that - first by universal solutions with formalin and such, then with Praziquantel, taking the Nerite snail to a smaller tank (other invertebrates are fine).After 2 weeks, after a treatment with Prazi repeated on day 6 and 7 there is no improvement in my Plecos (see the pictures - redness in varius spots, weights loss, ripped fins, large reduction of movement). The corys have a slight rosiness on their bellies, the barbs a more pronounced one, and are all unhappy. Could they have a different parasite? Could it be bacterial? Could it be just starving (no algae) in the Plecos and a natural behaviour in the others? I have no nitrate test, but have lots of filtration now and a large external plant sucking up nitrates having its roots in the water...I deeply appreciate your help. best Aron
<Looks like an opportunistic bacterial infection, likely caused by the ammonia peak. As always, avoid 'general' cures as these simply waste time. Formalin is toxic, while Praziquantel is specifically for treating worms, for which there's no evidence here. The fact it's the catfish generally that are struggling is a good clue that the problem is environmental. Rough gravel can scratch catfish and loaches, and poor water movement along the bottom of the tank means a lack of oxygen, which means scratches quickly become infected with opportunistic bacteria such as Aeromonas and Pseudomonas. These cause inflammation of the skin and ultimately the death of skin tissue, especially around the fins and whiskers. The disappearance of the barbels on your Corydoras is an extremely reliable sign that this is the problem. So bottom line, review the aquarium! Is the gravel nice and smooth? Ideally, use smooth silica sand. Also remember some 'plant friendly' substrates are too sharp for catfish. Next up, ensure there's a
good strong flow of water along the bottom. Plenty of oxygen needed! Once these issues are reviewed and fixed, then a standard issue anti-Finrot medication (such as eSHa 2000) should do the trick nicely. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: re: Bristlenose Plecos sick    7/9/18
Dear WWM, dear Neal, thank you for the kind answer. I will look into this.
best Aron
<Glad to help, and good luck! Neale.>

Freshwater black leeches in tank      7/8/18
They must have come in on plants. I read that getting rid of them is impossible. Have been removing gravel, but eggs will remain?
<Hard to say.>
Never knew such a thing existed. Identification is definite: inch long extended, collapse to about half inch, black, hang on with mouth end, can wiggle through water but mostly hide.
<Do bear in mind many of the common leeches you find in clean freshwater are carnivores on small invertebrates, and pose no risk to fish. So there's no need to be completely paranoid about them.>
What do eggs look like?
<Varied; small, often nondescript; do see Google Images, re:>
Will my weather loach eat them, especially with less gravel for them to hide in?
<Yes, but I wouldn't completely rely on it to get rid of all of them.>
Any other fish eat them?
<Most fish that eat worms will eat leeches if they can.>
Also have mystery snails....will they be contaminated by them?
Any chemical solution that won't hurt snails, loach, tetra in tank?
<Anti-helminthic medications should work, such as PraziPro, but these may harm invertebrates such as snails and shrimps. I would remove the Mystery Snails to another container for a few days while using such medication.>
I really hate these creeps. Have gotten evil pleasure washing gravel in small batches in very hot water and watching dead leeches flow away.
<Leeches are important predators on genuinely annoying organisms such as mosquito larvae, with very few species actually posing a threat to humans, and even then, they're more of a nuisance than a health risk. Modern medicine doesn't use them as much as in medieval times, but they still have value in reducing certain types of swellings and inflammations better than anything else. So while few people want them in their fish tanks or ponds, they do deserve a bit of respect, even appreciation!>
But I know this is only reducing population. Does this harm eggs?
<Anthelminthics should handle worms and their eggs.>
Thank you.
B Burg
<Cheers, N Monks.>
Re: Freshwater black leeches in tank    7/9/18

You are awesome.
<Nice to know!>
Thank you so much.
<Most welcome.>
Yes, I am aware they can be very helpful in micro surgery cases. But I have watched/loved African Queen movie...
<Ah, great film.>
Again, thank you so much. Google actually confusing, could find no photos of eggs, much non-info.
<Oh? Well, simple small off-white to grey spheres, maybe 1 mm across.
Different for different species.>
Yours the best.
<Glad to help, Neale.>

Identity my fish please. FH, sex...      7/6/18
Hi I have a Flowerhorn fish. I am a newbie. Please tell me what type of my
fish. Female or male sir. I really need a help .
<Hi, could you send us a picture?(few kb´s resolution please).>

Bichir hlth.      7/4/18
Dear Sir/Mdm
Please help as my bichir seem to have infection near both its gills.
Please see attached pictures.
Thank you for your kind understanding.
<Hi Wendy. What's in the tank with this chap? His pectoral fin has a bite taken out of it. This, together with the damaged gills, suggests a combination of physical injury alongside a secondary infection. Water quality could be a factor too -- it usually is where external bacterial infections are concerned. So, what I'd be doing is as follows:
(1) Remove aggressive tankmates. Bichirs are predators but easily harassed by cichlids and other territorial or nippy fish. I've seen even "good" cichlids (Yellow Labidochromis) strip the fins from Polypterus palmas at a pet store.
(2) Optimise water quality. Non-zero nitrite and ammonia are essential, otherwise Finrot-type infections will never fully go away. Being big, predatory fish, your (lovely!) Polypterus ornatipinnis really needs a
jumbo-sized tank with robust filtration. I'd be thinking upwards of 450 litres/120 US gallons, with filters providing at least 4, and preferably 6-8, times the volume of the tank in turnover per hour.
(3) Finally, medication as per Finrot. Ideally a good antibiotic, but failing that, a trusted antibacterial such as eSHa 2000. Don't use general tonics or things like tea-tree oil as these are far too mild.
Hope this helps, Neale.>

Treated fish     7/3/18
I bought some Molly’s
from a pet store, when I got them home two of them sank to the bottom of the tank. They appeared sick. I put them in their own sick tank and treated them. 3 days later and are acting “ normal “ and eating. When should/can I return them to the community tank?
Thank You
Denise Copper
<Mmm; good that you were so readily reactive. Your mollies likely need hard, alkaline water conditions with a modicum of salt, moderate temperature. What about your other livestock? Community organisms need to have an "agreeable" overlapping range of provided environment... without such, there will be trouble.
Please read over Neale's article re the genus Mollienesia here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollies.htm
And write back if your path is nor clear. Bob Fenner>

Quick questions re: likely whirling disease Myxosoma     7/2/18
Hi Crew! I hope you are all well. It's been a while, everything has been going pretty smoothly here for quite some time. So it was quite a surprise for me to come home to find a previously fine Rosy Barb whirling like a maniac. I did some quick reading before removing and euthanising the poor fish as he seemed to be in a hopeless state. The following is not my video, but my fish was making this exact motion almost constantly (I have included a link to the website I used to crop the video, hope this works for you).
After doing some further reading I think there is a good chance that all of my Rosy Barbs could be carrying whirling disease.
<That would seem likely. If just one fish affected thusly, could be physical damage to the nervous system, genetics, or some other non-communicable disease. But if one fish after another exhibits these
symptoms, with days or weeks between them getting sick, it does seem likely they've been exposed to something contagious. That said, fish will behave this way if exposed to some types of poison, such as weed killer, so if various fish behaved this way all at the same time, then an environmental cause would be more probable.>
While I don't feed live Tubifex, these barbs were originally feeders and were probably farmed in conditions conducive to the parasite living and spreading. Further evidence to support this idea is that one of the original fish had shortened gill plates, and many of the offspring have a combination of shortened or bent spines, short gill plates, and deformed skulls. I'd always put this down to poor genetics or poor conditions when they were fry but now with the whirling behaviour it adds up to a different picture. I don't keep these fish at a tropical temperature, their tank is heated to around 22 and it has been bitterly cold lately so the tank may have been getting colder than that at night.
<Exposure to sharp cold can cause tropical fish to lose motor coordination.
Do be aware of that. Given then are subtropicals, short exposure to mildly cooler conditions is actually quite good for them compared with continual heat, but prolonged exposure to, say, below 15 C is probably not good.
Could manifest itself in various ways, including developmental problems. On the other hand, outdoor maintenance even at mild temperatures could allow the intermediate hosts to become established in the tank or pond.>
I have had these fish for 3 or so years now and I think this also fits with whirling disease being a chronic disease with degeneration over time. Do you think this is a plausible fit? I'm in Australia and most of our fish are imported from farms overseas.
<It is possible, yes.>
I find myself wondering if it will be necessary to cull the rest of my barbs to halt the spread of the disease, or perhaps move affected fish to my outdoor pond to live out the rest of their days. I am not sure if they shed the parasite while living or if it is only released and spread upon death. I have a few guppies, Corydoras and Platydoras also in the tank and I have had trouble finding out which of these fish may be susceptible since so many articles about whirling disease are about salmon and trout.
<Since the Myxosoma parasite cannot directly infect other fish (so far as I know) then maintenance indoors, in an aquarium free of parasites and their hosts, such as worms, should break the cycle. Culling may be useful of course where some fish have poor quality of life or no chance of survival, but if otherwise healthy, the offspring of such fish in particular should be fine.>
If it has spread to my other tanks via shared equipment, I have rasboras, yoyo loaches, penguin tetras and peacock gudgeons which I am again not sure if it is possible or likely that they will be infected.
<Do directly, unless live Tubifex are present, which is easily avoided by use of a new tank and/or use of a vermifuge medication.>
Some of my reading suggests that maybe catfish do not catch or are not affected by this parasite so if I turn up the heat a bit and convert that tank to a catfish only tank, would the parasite eventually die out? Or even if I removed all the of fish, would it still persist due to using the Oligochaete detritus worms in the tank as a host? I suppose what I'm really asking, is can I avoid stripping this tank down, disinfecting everything and cooking the rocks/substrate? Could it be a matter of watch and wait, and remove affected fish as they become obvious?
<See above.>
Thanks for your help over the years, fish keeping has become a major hobby for me and I have even started to enjoy when things go wrong as there are so many fascinating things still to learn, challenges to overcome and practices to improve on.
Bronwen from South Australia
<And thanks for the kind words. Cheers, Neale.>

(Re) Stocking 105 Gallon; FW comm.
Dear WetWebMedia Crew,
As you recall last year, an accident wiped out most of my fish. I've since restocked some of the fish, but I am unsure of what else to add...currently I have six striped silver dollars, one female blue acara, two weather loaches, ten giant Danios, and one panda Garra.
<These are more or less robust fish in terms of personality, so whatever choices you make, they will need to be bold rather than nervous or shy, and at least not obviously bite-sized or fin-nippable.>
I'm thinking of adding one more larger fish or a school of small (giant-Danio sized) fish. Here are my options.
1. Some form of smaller Botia. Since I lost my pair of clown loaches, the Malaysian trumpet snail population in the tank has gone up. I added 10 assassin snails a few months ago, but they haven't really been able to keep up. My LFS claims loaches would consume the snails at a faster rate, but I am reluctant to add a fish just to control them. I am concerned if I ever have to medicate the tank, the snails will die and wipe out my water quality with them. Is this likely in a 105 gallon?
<Malayan Trumpet Snails have no real impact on water quality either way.
They're unlikely to die all of a sudden -- they're really tough animals, and 'make for the surface' when stressed, so it's very obvious if they're unhappy. Furthermore, they are first-rate scavengers (better than any catfish) and aerate the substrate. So they can have a slightly beneficial aspect in certain environments, such as tanks with deep sandy substrates.
No fish eats them reliably; they're just too tough shelled and too deep burrowing, so don't buy any fish on the assumption they'll control Melanoides populations! Much better to understand their numbers go up and down with food availability, and in a well maintained, clean aquarium their numbers should be low enough to be trivial.>
2. A male acara. The female was part of a mated pair, and I really miss their pair-bond behaviors. However, I'm concerned that since the new male won't have grown up together with the female, he'll just bully her. Is this worth trying?
<Try, yes; expect it to work, not a chance. Exactly as you suggest, there's a chance the pair won't bond, especially if the female isn't 'in condition' for spawning. Your best bet is to get a small, young male who can't physically bother her. As he matures, he'll be better able to assert himself, and she'll have switched into a more receptive mood by then. Even then, have a plan B ready if they need to be separated.>
3. A school of red-blue Columbian tetras. The male silver dollars have long tassels on their fins so I am concerned about nipping.
<Assuming these aren't some fancy version of the Silver Dollar with ridiculously long fins, the standard, 'red fin Metynnis' type will easily hold its own in a large aquarium with Columbian Tetras. They're pretty
similar in terms of behaviour, with both species apt to nip other fish if kept in too-small a group or alongside very slow-moving, long-finned tankmates like Angels and Guppies. Both have hearty appetites as well, though Columbian Tetras are more obviously insect-eating carnivores compared with the meat-and-two-veg omnivorous diet of the Silver Dollars.>
4. Some form of Rainbowfish (say dwarf neons or Boesemanni). Will they be okay with silver dollars or do they require live plants and/or cooler temperatures?
<Dwarf Neon Rainbows are a little delicate, so I'd approach those with some degree of caution. But the bigger Rainbows tend to be quite robust, particularly the riverine species with wide geographical ranges.
Melanotaenia boesemanni is a cracking species, and the farmed specimens are pretty adaptable. Wild fish (or even F1 captive bred) specimens are even more brilliantly coloured, but more expensive and a bit more demanding. I'd also look at a Glossolepis incisus as an interesting colour contrast to the silver and blue fish you already have, and don't forget an old time favourite, Melanotaenia splendida, a very variable species with all sorts in the trade. It's easy to keep, ridiculously adaptable, so a good choice for casual fishkeepers.>
...It's also okay if you think I should just not add any more fish. That's fine too.
<Oh, I think you could fit a couple schools of any of the species suggested here; 105 gallons is a lot of space for what is a medium-sized fish community, provided filtration is adequate.>
Thank you,
<You're welcome, Neale.>
Re: (Re) Stocking 105 Gallon     7/2/18

Thanks for the advice. There are a LOT of the Malaysian trumpet snails judging by the empty shells, but I think I can drop their numbers by cutting the vegetables I give the fish into smaller pieces (they really like the bits the fish don’t eat).
<Yes, this is exactly how you control Melanoides. Remove those you can see as often as practical; reduce the amount of food they have to eat through cleaning the substrate and careful feeding of your fish. Contrary to popular myth, Melanoides cannot break the laws of physics -- their numbers are not self maintaining, but vary (as with any other animal) on the amount of food available.>
I’m not sure how I can tell apart an immature male blue acara from a female one (these are the selectively bred electric blue type which is brightly colored in both sexes) but if I end up with two females they should get along, correct?
<In theory, yes. But keep an eye on them.>
The female blue acara I have is a lot less bold then she was before I lost her mate in the accident so I hope I can at least get her to stop sulking.
The silver dollars I have are adults of the “tiger striped” variety (Metynnis fasciatus) and the males have an enlarged ray on the dorsal and anal fin. It doesn’t trail like the fins on a Gourami or angelfish though.
Thanks for everything,
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Goldfish Palooza in SJC this weekend     6/29/18
Hey Bob,
<Hey Gage!>
I know you have a secret love (lust) for goldfish. Just picked up your success with goldfish book actually, it should be required reading for all new owners.
<Ah; tis purposely very simple... For beginners>
Flattery over, now https://thegoldfishcouncil.org/product/2018-west-coast-goldfish-palooza/ super cool event in San Jose this weekend for anyone who is curious about how deep the rabbit hole of “beginner” fish actually goes.

Genki Nishikigoi and The Goldfish Council are proud and excited to announce the 2017 West Coast Goldfish Palooza educational seminar, sale, and competition.

2018 West Coast Goldfish Palooza - The Goldfish Council<https://thegoldfishcouncil.org/product/2018-west-coast-goldfish-palooza/>
Genki Nishikigoi and The Goldfish Council are proud and excited to announce the 2017 West Coast Goldfish Palooza educational seminar, sale, and competition.
<Wow! Never heard of. Am going to share on WWM. Thank you, BobF>

Fiddler crab... Not FW     6/29/18
I assume my crab died. He was upside down yesterday and didn’t move that much. He would flip back onto his back if he was flipped over and also moved every so often. This morning he was moving but when my friends came over a few minutes later he wouldn’t respond. He is upside down with his belly/stomach opened up. Any suggestions on what may have happened? Or is he just dead.
Sent from Mail for Windows 10
<Hi there, is this a fresh or saltwater crab?>
Re: Fiddler crab     6/29/18

I believe it is dead now. Freshwater from Wal-Mart
<No such thing as a freshwater Fiddler Crab; they're all brackish to marine. So this may well be why it's dead. Wal-Mart, and other retailers, are in the habit of selling these crabs as 'freshwater' crabs because that tricks inexperienced fishkeepers into thinking they're easier to keep.
They're not difficult to keep in brackish water, but in freshwater, their chance for survival for long is precisely zero. Do let me direct you to some reading that might help if you want to try again:
A secure tank, shallow brackish water pool, humidity, plus an under tank heater or heat lamp are what you need. Think pet frogs, but with brackish water and a diet based on plants and bit of seafood, and you're all set.
Cheers, Neale.>

Stomach swollen don't know ifs a female or sick. eyes are getting more protruding than they were. stomach area real big and not eating. seems ok    6/26/18
Please help. I have had this fish for a about 4 year, It is pretty big .
Seems like it is all about the water quality? Debbie
<Debbie, would be happy to help, but not much info here. What sort of fish?
Is it a Goldfish? This does sound like a bacterial infection of the sort that causes Dropsy, and while an antibiotic will help, you are right -- water quality is often the triggering factor. So yes, medicate as per
Dropsy using an antibiotic, but do also review maintenance. Do let me direct you to some reading:
While these two are focused on Goldfish, the same basic rules apply to tropical fish, albeit with the extra requirement for a properly heated aquarium. Cheers, Neale.>

Help identify this eel    /Neale  6/25/18
Hi WWM Crew! I’ve been searching through your Eel ID photos and posted questions trying to find an example that looks similar to the one I just obtained from my LFS. The closest match I could find was a Freshwater White Cheek Eel. Do you feel that is most likely? Note the yellow/ green stripe that outlines the entire Eel body besides the head of this 14 inch Eel with a healthy appetite for krill. I just am hoping to know as much as possible about the new inhabitant of my 110g and appreciate any thoughts you might have.
Thanks in Advance,
<Hello Brad. This looks to me like Gymnothorax tile, one of several euryhaline moray eels sold as 'freshwater morays' in the trade. While identifying can be hard, at least their care is easy to pin down. Without exception these are brackish to marine fish -- despite what some retailers and even wholesalers suggest -- and need to be kept in saline conditions. For a youngster, SG 1.005 at 25 C/77 F may well be fine, but as it matures expect to increase that, especially if it goes on an apparent hunger strike (which almost always happens eventually when these morays are kept in freshwater). Let me direct you to some reading, here:
I've cc'ed Marco, our moray expert, in case I've misdiagnosed the species involved. Can I also remind you that a varied (no feeder fish!) diet has to be a priority with these, and indeed any carnivorous fish, and it's also important to remember these are not community fish and cannot be trusted with tankmates. Cheers, Neale.>

Help identify this eel   /Marco    6/26/18
Hi WWM Crew! I’ve been searching through your Eel ID photos and posted questions trying to find an example that looks similar to the one I just obtained from my LFS. The closest match I could find was a Freshwater White Cheek Eel. Do you feel that is most likely? Note the yellow/ green stripe that outlines the entire Eel body besides the head of this 14 inch Eel with a healthy appetite for krill. I just am hoping to know as much as possible about the new inhabitant of my 110g and appreciate any thoughts you might have. Thanks in Advance, Brad
<At first glance, I would have agreed that this is G. tile. I also once had a specimen with a faint greenish margin on top of the dorsal fin, but your eel looks different on the second picture. G. tile usually has white eyes, the picture shows orange eyes. Also, the body and head color remind me of Gymnothorax flavimarginatus, which has orange eyes and a brown to purple head. I've seen juveniles of them with the typical yellow to green outline of the fins (flavimarginatus=yellow margin). It vanishes with age and adults often don't have it anymore. Compare your eel to this one: http://www.saltcorner.com/AquariumLibrary/critterPics/G.%20flavimarginatus%20(BG).jpg Can you send better pictures? G. flavimarginatus can reach 1,2 m, they are really massive morays as adults and should be kept in a marine tank. Cheers, Marco.>

Wounded German Blue Ram      6/24/18
Hi Guys,
Let me start off by saying how educational your site has been for me. Thank you and keep up the good work.
<And thanks for the kind words.>
Anyway I have a pair of German Blue Rams that I keep in a 85 litre tank (Fluval c3 filter, sand substrate with rocks, java fern and moss) with 6 freshwater bumblebee gobies and 8 neon tetras.
<Interesting combo. Regardless of the optimal water chemistry requirements of these fish -- BBGs more often kept in slightly brackish water, though I agree this isn't necessarily where they live in the wild -- the big issue here is likely water temperature. Neons are low-end tropicals, doing best between 22-25 C; by contrast Rams are hothouse flowers, and really do need 25-28 C to stay healthy. The immune system of your Ram will be compromised if kept too cool, and few kept in the wrong conditions last more than a year. As a reminder, they need very soft (1-15 degrees dH) water that is not only rather warm but also fairly acidic (pH 5.5-6.5 probably best under aquarium conditions, but certainly even more acidic in the wild).>
They've been existing peacefully for almost 8 months now.
<Often the case with Rams, but it's the long-term maintenance that concerns me.>
This morning I noticed that the female ram had managed to wedge herself between a rock and the aquarium glass. Probably didn't realise she doesn't fit in there anymore. I have no idea how long she has been trapped in there. She was definitely not there when I went to bed last night. I released her and she swam back to her mate immediately. I then noticed that she has a scrape on her head and is now mostly just sitting on the substrate or rock.
Oh and her colour has really darkened.
<This is stress, and should clear up when she's happier again.>
What can I do to help her? I added some API stress coat into the tank (it says there on the bottle that it helps reduce stress in fish).
<About as useful as 'thoughts and prayers' from a politician, to be honest.>
Should I do a small water change?
<Never a bad idea.>
I'm just worried that fiddling with the tank will stress her more.
<Physical damage make a fish vulnerable to secondary infections because the mucous layer and possible the epidermis are lost. Best to treat as per Finrot, with an antibiotic, since you're trying to suppress the same sorts of bacteria. She may well recover under her own steam without medication, but an antibiotic should be safe to use. Be more cautious about other types of medication though: formalin, organic dyes, etc. These can do more harm than good if used unnecessarily.>
I have switched off the light to make it more comfortable for her.
<A good call.>
Please advice what else I can do?
Thank you so much.
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Wounded German Blue Ram     6/28/18
Hi Neale,
Thank you for the reply.
<Most welcome.>
Female ram looks a lot better now and is back to being active after a few hours so I decided to hold off with the finrot. The scrape has almost faded thank goodness.
<Good. Sounds like no further treatment required.>
I hear you about the weird combination for this tank. I started out with the rams a year ago and added the neon tetras a couple of months after. The gobies were added last 8 months ago (surprise birthday gift from a friend).
Since I live in Singapore, water temperature stays 26 to 28 degrees all year round. Also water in Singapore is very soft and I condition the water with Eiho buffer pH 6.5. Before joining the rams, I had the gobies in my other 182 litre tank with 6 baloon red eye tetras, 6 cherry barbs, 4 glowlight tetras, 2 panda corys (started off with 4 but 2 died of finrot), 10 pygmy corys and 1 very old guppy. I noticed the gobies were not getting enough to eat (tetras and barbs are fast) thus the move.
Should I relocate the gobies?
<If they are eating and happy, I would not worry just now. In the wild (i.e., Southeast Asia) Bumblebee Gobies are freshwater fish, even in quite soft water. I have kept them in soft water alongside Glassfish, another species supposedly brackish but in the wild truly a freshwater fish. It seems, to me, that Bumblebees and Glassfish live in both freshwater and brackish, and what really matters is if they're able to feed. As you've seen, they don't compete well for the small, planktonic food they need.>
I do have a small tank (30x30x36cm) from when I started my hobby with guppies. Is that too small for the 6 gobies? Would really appreciate any suggestions for the gobies.
<You could certainly keep a pair in this tank, but it's probably a bit small for a group of Gobies. Maybe try it with a pair, and see what happens? They're a fun species to breed, if nothing else. But as I say, if
your BBGs are happy now, leave 'em be!>
Thank you.
<Good luck! Neale.>


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