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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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Updated 7/17/2019
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Betta Success
Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

German Ram Sick /RMF      7/17/19
Hi there
Hoping you can help me...
This is Grace my female GR and over the past 2 weeks she has developed whitish coloured raised looking lumps on the side of her head (pic 1) and behind one of her fins (pic 2)... she also has no pectoral fins, clearly a birth defect lol
<Or evidence of physical trauma... This fish is very/too thin...>
Water conditions are good all 0 and ph 7-7.2
<Better a bit lower, more acidic for this species>
Temp 26o.
<And this a bit cool... I'd raise to 27-28 C>
She shares the tank with 5 serape <Serpae> tetra and 3 bristlenose catfish.
She also has clear poop which you can see in the first picture (sometimes it has little brown specks in it). I have been doing 20% water changes every 2 days for the past week. She seems interested in food but looks like she struggles to eat it.
She takes it in and spits it back out. I feed flakes and micro pellets.
<... I'd try meaty foods, live if possible, practical. Several times per day. Along w/ the water quality issues mentioned above, this fish should be eating>
She seems to take little bits of watermelon and brine shrimp when offered. I have also noticed tonight she seems to be flicking her tail almost like she’s trying to get rid of the poo!
I have read so many things it could be that I don’t even know where to start!
<Let's have you read, here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/rams.htm
and the linked files above; including ALL the Ram Disease FAQs. Bob Fenner>
German Ram Sick /Neale       7/17/19

Hi there
Hoping you can help me...
This is Grace my female GR and over the past 2 weeks she has developed whitish coloured raised looking lumps on the side of her head (pic 1) and behind one of her fins (pic 2)... she also has no pectoral fins, clearly a birth defect lol
Water conditions are good all 0 and ph 7-7.2
Temp 26o. She shares the tank with 5 serape tetra and 3 bristlenose catfish.
She also has clear poop which you can see in the first picture (sometimes it has little brown specks in it). I have been doing 20% water changes every 2 days for the past week. She seems interested in food but looks like she struggles to eat it. She takes it in and spits it back out. I feed flakes and micro pellets. She seems to take little bits of watermelon and brine shrimp when offered. I have also noticed tonight she seems to be flicking her tail almost like she’s trying to get rid of the poo!
I have read so many things it could be that I don’t even know where to start!
<<Not going to add much beyond what BobF has already shared. He's quite right that extra heat (around 28 C) is the aim, and the Serpae Tetras really can't be trusted with any slow-moving fish. What I will add is that the use of Metronidazole together with an antibiotic can work wonders with cichlids. The copious clear faeces is a common symptom of Hexamita infections, so if you live somewhere (like the EU) where Metronidazole and antibiotics are only obtainable from a vet, then a product called eSHa HEXAMITA could be useful. It's had some good reviews, though I wouldn't expect it to be as effective as Metronidazole. So if you do have access to Metronidazole, that's the best bet. Indeed, Metronidazole together with Nitrofuran is widely used as "standard operating procedure" when dealing with ailing cichlids. Cheers, Neale.>>

Softshell Turtle Fungus       7/16/19
<Hello Kai,>
I have a spiny softshell given to me recently by a friend who got it at the market intending to keep it as a pet but realizing he could not really take care of it (not sure if this is a common occurrence everywhere, but where I live people tend to eat Softshells, not care for them).
<Understood. Spiny Softshell turtles, if by which you mean Apalone spinifera, are members of the Trionychidae, a group of long-necked, fast-moving, and rather vicious turtles that can be dangerous to keep. They also get rather big, shell lengths up to 50 cm or so in some cases, making them not only dangerous but demanding pets.>
I keep him in a 40gal tank with a Penguin 75gal filter, currently only river pebbles as substrate but once I found out sand was needed I ordered it online and it should be coming soon, and a basking dock and UVB light.
<Good. While Softshells don't come out onto the land much, particularly when they're adult sized, they do like resting on sloping banks with their back flippers and tail in the water, but the top half of their shell, and their head, under the basking lamp.>
I also keep some Marimo moss balls in the tank. Since it was such a sudden request for me to take him in, I had no choice but to put the softshell (Pancake) in the tank with my two young red eared sliders.
Fortunately, so far there has been no visible aggression and they seem to get along well, but I'm aware this is a risky living situation - I'm working on being able to buy another full set of tank, lighting, filter,
etc. for him.
<Indeed. Depending on how big the Softshell is, you might be fine for the time being. But when they get bigger, Softshells can become problematic (i.e., aggressive and territorial, not to mention well-armed and fast) so are best kept singly.>
Pancake has been doing badly from day one - his rough treatment at the market led to several wounds along his spine which are healing, but very slowly.
<Good clean water essential here, even addition of a little salt might help (2-5 gram/litre) since Apalone do occur in mildly brackish water.>
A few days ago he started developing a soft, slimy, white kind of gunk all over his shell. At the very edges, his shell is VERY soft and pliable, and almost completely white. This condition developed very rapidly. I began dry docking him as soon as I realized the fungus was an issue (I assume it's fungus rather than shell rot; it seems like it's primarily affecting the surface, and he certainly smells bad but I'm pretty sure this is just what Softshells smell like).
<Do scrub, clean gently. Turtle shells may smell wet, like a well-maintained aquarium, but shouldn't smell bad.>
However, I began the antifungal treatment with vinegar today, and despite the fact that I was barely touching him with the toothbrush + vinegar, he seemed to be in great pain and now there are small localized spots of dark red on his shell.
<I would not use vinegar then!>
They look like blood to me, though I've read they can also be bacteria, and they appeared almost immediately after the vinegar treatment. Should I continue the treatment, buy better antifungal meds, or take him to the vet?
<Do see above. Salt may help, but certainly regularly changing the water and giving the turtle time to recover will be the important things.>
Also, do you have any extra tips about dry docking a softshell turtle?
<Dry docking Softshell turtles isn't really necessary or useful. Bear in mind these turtles dehydrate much more quickly than Sliders or Box turtles, and their shell is more leathery skin than dry scutes. In some ways they're more like amphibians -- they're super-sensitive to poor water quality, and scratches and bites can become infected if the water isn't clean enough.
The use of salt can help in this regard, but to stress, clean water and the opportunity to bask _when it wants to_ will be the aim here.>
I currently keep a cold wet towel in his tub so as to try and prevent dehydration, since I've heard Softshells are much more readily dehydrated than hard-shelled turtles, but I'm not sure if this is enough.
<Dry docking while wrapped in a wet towel is a bit pointless, I think.>
Thank you so much for your help!
- Kai
<Have cc'ed Darrel in case he has a second opinion here. Cheers, Neale.>

Can freeze dried worms retain parasite spores?      7/11/19
Dear WWM,
Thank you for being there, the immense knowledge available here is priceless.
<A pleasure, honor, indeed calling to share, help others>
Question: can freeze dried Tubifex worms retain latent spores of the whirling disease parasite?
<Mmm; I doubt that Myxosoma can/do persist through the process of freeze drying. My answer: No>
I was wondering as I lost couple of established tetras to disease with symptoms of lack of balance and rolling over. May be they were due to other causes, but a rare feeding of freeze dried worms just a day before the onset is prompting me to cross check, correlated or coincidence?
What about freeze dried bloodworms? Can they retain latent spores of parasites they are vectors of when alive?
<Again, I think that the freeze drying process eliminates such Myxosporeans et al. Am not a fan of "sewer fly larvae" bloodworm use other than by a few processors (San Francisco Bay Brand, Hikari) as have seen suspicious troubles from their use.>
Thanks in advance.
Warm regards
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Can freeze dried worms retain parasite spores? /RMF

Dear Bob,
Thank you for a prompt and detailed response. It will help me take an informed decision going ahead.
<Ah, good>
Keep well.
<And you, BobF>
Can freeze dried worms retain parasite spores? /Neale

Dear WWM,
<Hello Devakalpa,>
Thank you for being there, the immense knowledge available here is priceless.
<Thanks for these kind words.>
Question: can freeze dried Tubifex worms retain latent spores of the whirling disease parasite? I was wondering as I lost couple of established tetras to disease with symptoms of lack of balance and rolling over. May be they were due to other causes, but a rare feeding of freeze dried worms just a day before the onset is prompting me to cross check, correlated or coincidence?
<I would suspect the latter. It seems unlikely that any but the most specialised organisms could survive the freeze-drying process. Bacteria probably can survive freeze-drying, at least in some cases. But desiccation is often part of their natural life cycle. For more complex organisms -- I just don't know. I suspect not, unless you know the parasite is able to survive dormant on dry riverbeds for months or years (as, say, brine shrimp eggs can). When it comes to Neon Tetras, for example, there are so many
other reasons why they get sick -- Pleistophora, generally opportunistic Mycobacteria infections, even heat stress (they need water around 22-24 C).>
What about freeze dried bloodworms? Can they retain latent spores of parasites they are vectors of when alive?
<This has been discussed by aquarists at various times, both with regard to freeze-dried and plain frozen bloodworms. While parasites probably don't survive either, the often rather grim environments used to rear these bloodworms can expose them to things like heavy metals, and these will be in the food items produced from the worms. Bloodworms are to be used cautiously, especially if you're keeping delicate or disease-prone fish.>
Thanks in advance.
Warm regards
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Can freeze dried worms retain parasite spores?

Dear Neale,
Thank you for the detailed reply, your inputs are valuable.
<Most welcome.>
The fish I lost was not a neon tetra but a Diamond Tetra and though I am aware that even they (or for that matter non tetras also) are susceptible to NTD, the symptom onset was overnight, the fish lost balance completely and was dead in a day. In fact I wrote to you for guidance.
<Diamond Tetras are lovely fish. So good choice there! But they are a little sensitive to water chemistry. They do best in soft water, and may be disease-prone in harder water conditions.>
I have added some Bolivian Rams and was thinking if I could add some 'safe' 'once-alive' food to bring some variety to their and their tankmates' diet.
<Understood. But really, not necessary. Modern flake and pellet foods (like the brands you mention below) are perfectly adequate for small community fish such as tetras and barbs. No real need to add anything else. If you want to offer some variety, green foods are the best, such as cooked peas and spinach. Indeed, it's worth experimenting with vegetables and fruit, in small quantities, to see if they're eaten. Some fish will also eat cooked rice, which like vegetables, is perfectly safe. Another good extra is hard boiled egg yolk. Tiny, tiny amounts at a time because it mostly gets spread out in the water, but the grains are perfect for small fish like tetras. As well as these, seafood is a good choice. Few, if any, parasites from seawater fish and invertebrates can infect freshwater fish. While freshwater fish should be safe if sold for humans, there's always a risk of parasites that don't affect us being present in the fish, and these could, if you were unlucky, infect your tropical fish. Still, I've used defrosted slivers of tilapia many times without problems.>
Their standard spread consists of pellets and flakes from Hikari, NLS, Tetra, Ocean Nutrition, etc. I have come to suspect live sewer worms for reasons much elaborated in your website.
I guess personally culturing live food is the safest option. It is rather unfortunate that in a tropical country like India, we hardly get any commercially vetted frozen foods like daphnia, Whiteworms, blackworms, and like.
<In theory, if you place a bucket of water outdoors, it'll become populated with mosquito larvae very quickly, and your fish will eat these very readily! But culturing mosquito larvae in a country where Malaria is present will not be popular with your neighbours. So while do-able, I wouldn't bother.>
Keep well.
<You too!>
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Can freeze dried worms retain parasite spores?

Dear Neale,
Thank you yet again for all the helpful inputs.
I just love tetras, the Diamonds, Lemons, Pristellas, Emperors.. among my favourites!
<Ah, Pristella tetras definitely mine. Robust, adaptable, and impeccably well behaved. A perfect all-rounder for virtually all community tanks. The Emperor is another species with much to recommend it; exotic in appearance, but almost bullet-proof in terms of care.>
I regularly feed my fish parboiled spinach and other veggie tidbits and my Cories, Bristlenose and Whiptails just love them.
<Good to hear!>
I shall try the seafood, rice and hard boiled egg suggestions, thank you.
And indeed, not only neighbors' wrath, I shall attract the municipality health authorities' ire if I plan to culture mosquito larvae :).
<Precisely so. You could try Brine Shrimp though. Brine Shrimp tolerate a higher salinity than even mosquito larvae could handle, which would make this a safe choice. On a small scale you can use old 2-litre soda bottles for this, placing them on a windowsill to get the water green, and then adding the Artemia eggs. Outdoors you'd need some sort of salt-tolerant container, probably plastic or ceramic, since most metal would quickly corrode.>
Take care, and keep up the great work.
<Will try!>
<Best wishes, Neale.>

Cory Catfish with stubborn fin rot.
Hi All,
<Hello Lisa.>
I am at my wit's end. Please help! This will be long, I'll start from the beginning.
<Fire away.>
I had 5 Sterbai in a 20 gallon long, moderately planted tank (Anubias and java fern) with soft, fine play sand substrate. It's got a nice piece of Mopani driftwood they like to sniffle on. It has 2 large sponge filters and an air stone. No CO2. I later added a small water pump and they like to swim in the flow sometimes. I got them in April 2019, online, shipped from a reputable seller. Right out of the box they were healthy and eating and sniffling around. They lived alone, just the 5 of them. I did water changes
of 50% once a week, with sand vac. They get Fluval Bug Bites, Omega One Shrimp Pellets, and maybe once a week a mix of frozen bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp.
<All sounds fine.>
Around mid-late May, I noticed 2 or 3 of them were missing little bits of their fins. No fuzz or white stuff, no blackening of the ends of the fins, no redness or irritation, just missing bits. I "medicated" with Melafix for about 5 days. No change. I medicated with 2 days worth of Kanaplex. I waited a few days for improvement, there was very little to none. I noticed one fish had it worse off than the rest, I spot-treated him with Methylene Blue a few times, no improvement (but! no staining on his tail?! So he's
got intact slime coat), and within a few days it had gotten worse.
Meanwhile, for about 8-10 days I did 50% water changes every other day.
Still slowly worsening. Mind you, every fish is eating and swimming and playing in the bubbles, perfectly normal behavior.
I remove the one fish, I'll call him Stubby. His tail was slowly but surely disappearing, and it looked like a little "chip" was taken out of his dorsal fin. I put him in a 10 gallon hospital tank on 06/26/19. This tank
has a very thin layer of play sand and I put in a few mesh tunnels and some almond leaves for him to hide in. A day later I caught another fish (Chuck) that had dorsal and tail fin damage as well, not as bad, but it was there.
<The wounds look clean and uninfected, which seems to rule out Finrot.
Indeed, the holes in the fins look a lot more like what you see on wild catfish that have been victims of attacks by fin-biting predators.>
I proceeded to medicate with Methylene Blue in the tank for 5 days, following the instructions on the bottle. No improvement in Stubby, Chuck might be getting better, hard to tell. They are very shy and run when the camera comes by.
<Not unusual, especially if the Corydoras group is rather small. We usually recommend 6 or more, and in the wild, groups may number in the hundreds. It's hard to replicate that in home aquaria, but certainly the more specimens, the happier they'll be.>
From then on, I have been changing water every day, still 50%. Stubby seems to have gotten a tiny bit worse, while Chuck is almost healed. They have now been in the hospital tank for 16 days.
Hospital tank parameters: 77 degrees F., PH 8, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates 0. I do have 1 sponge filter and one box filter in there, both cycled. I keep the tank covered on 3 sides with a brown towel to keep them calm. No lights except when I do water change (desk lamp). I still do 50% water changes every day with sand vac. I make tea from Indian almond leaves, alder cones, and rooibos tea and add it every change. The water is a medium tea color. The fish, although understandably very shy, eat, sniffle around, and swim (when I'm not looking).
<Water chemistry sounds a bit on the alkaline side, though it's hard to imagine a pH of 8 causing the symptoms seen here. Similarly, while Corydoras sterbai is a bit of a hothouse flower, with 28 C/82 F usually recommended, 25 C/77 F is the bottom end of their range, and should be tolerated reasonably well. So while I'd suggest kicking up the heater a notch, I can't see why lack of heat would be causing what you're seeing here.>
I checked the 20 long where the other 3 Sterbai are, and yet ANOTHER fish has a little bit missing from his tail!
<It certainly sounds like physical damage. Are there no tankmates with these fish? An over powerful filter might have the same effect, but you mention a sponge filter, didn't you?>
I give up! I don't know what to do for Stubby, or any of them, really. I have asked in other places where to go from here, but I've only been told "water changes, water changes!" Obviously, it's not doing the trick!
Kanaplex didn't work, MB didn't work...where do I go from here? What medication can I use next?
<Assuming the fish are active, feeding, and growing, I would not continually medicate, certainly not until it becomes clearer what the problem is. If the wounds are clean, with no signs of Finrot (e.g., pink/white areas around the wounds) or fungus, I'd actually not medicate at all. In the wild fish routinely deal with bites and damage to their fins, and it's not a life-threatening situation at all. I'd perhaps move the
whole group to a bare-bottomed tank (just in case the sand is sharper than you think) so that they can convalesce together in a dark, shady hospital tank with ideal water conditions. Some flowerpots or similar for shelter would be fine. I'd provide a bit of extra warmth, too.>
I don't want to bomb them with too many meds but this has been going on too long without improvement for me to just leave it. Chuck seems much better, but I hate to take out Stubby's companion. I know they don't like to be alone. Should I just put them back in the 20 long and medicate that whole tank like I did in the beginning? What med should I use now? I'm at a loss, please help.
<In honesty, I can't see any obvious reason for what you're seeing here beyond fin-biting. It's interesting that only the tail fins are damaged, while the whiskers look fine, and it's the whiskers that tend to go first
if the substrate is 'bad' in some way. All very curious.>
Pictures are hard to get but I have included some of Stubby.
Many thanks for any help and advice you can provide, Lisa
PS: I have another 20 long with adult albino aeneus, albino fry, and trilineatus Cory catfish and there's no fin rot, same substrate, same water change schedule, and they spawn regularly. Temp 76-77F.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

NTD     7/10/19
I think I had Neon Tetra Disease in my tank where I had neons barbs, Otos and variety of shrimps. Neons and barbs all died, while Otos and shrimp seems to be ok. My question is: can shrimps be carrier of the disease?
<Theoretically, for short periods (e.g., if moved from one tank to another within a few hours) then any wet object, be it a snail, shrimp, plant or rock, can potentially carry the motile stages of any parasite that survives for a while outside a host. But the Microsporidian parasite involved here only passes between fish and intermediate hosts (such as Tubifex worms) and back again. It doesn't, so far as I know, linger outside of either host for very long.>
So if waited month or so and decided to put new stock in, would they get infected through shrimps?
Anybody knows what should I do?
<There really isn't a 'perfect' way to manage Neon Tetra Disease. It can be imported to your aquarium in a very wide range of species, nor just Neons or even tetras, but even species such as Danios that aren't closely related to Neons at all. But because we do know the parasite seems to pass directly
between infected fish (e.g., cannibalism after the death of a host) or else via live foods (such as Tubifex) it is possible to break the cycle by removing infected fish, quarantining new livestock, and avoiding live
Many Thanx,
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Constipated Betta     7/10/19
Hi it’s Donetta again,
<Hello Donetta,>
Needing more help with my Betta Chester. He’s a lone fish in a 10 gal, heated, filtered, planted, bare bottom tank.
<All sounds fine.>
I gave him the concentrated Epsom salt bath on Thursday’s suggested. I’m feeding him a variety of frozen food with the added vitamins every other day and he has BMs every other day. He’s not bloated, but he was starting to float with his tail raising up so I gave him the bath. The floating went away by the next day.
<That's good.>
In addition, he tore three of his fins on his Anubias plant roots.
<Seems deeply unlikely. Anubias aren't sharp, and the roots curl around rocks, so he'd need be doing something real peculiar. More to the point, fish fins are slippery, and don't easily catch in anything much.>
They didn’t heal up, but developed a little rotting.
<Which underlines the reality that some sort of Finrot or equivalent opportunistic infection is at work here. Damaged fins aren't a problem for healthy fish in clean water -- they heal with little more difficulty than your hair grows back after a trim.>
He tore them in May. I added stress coat to the water, but they still didn’t heal.
<Stress Coat is one of these products sold to aquarists that sounds like it's magic -- and that's always a good sign you're looking at marketing rather than science! It's a good water conditioner. Buy beyond that, stuff about aloe vera and so forth really doesn't mean much. What you need when dealing with Finrot is an antibacterial or antibiotic. In the US, antibiotics can be purchased in pet shops, for example Maracyn II and Kanaplex, while outside of the US you're need a prescription for equivalent products. So outside the US we tend to use reliable antibacterials, my favourite being eSHa 2000, but Waterlife Myxazin is another popular choice. Basically, avoid anything that sounds like a cheap cure-all: salt, tea-tree oil, aloe vera, etc.>
On Saturday I moved him to a small 1.5 gallon tank so I could do daily water changes with added salt to help him heal.
<Salt is irrelevant here.>
Once in this small tank I really got to see his faded colors.
<I bet.>
I don’t think I’m feeding him enough with only 2 Brine shrimp, 2 blood worms or 2 Mysis shrimp every other day, but if I feed two days in a row he won’t have a BM the next day. He didn’t have a BM after the Epsom bath. I don’t think it’s anything else in there. He use to have a BM everyday. Is it ok for him to have a BM every other day?
<What's a BM?>
His fins looks somewhat translucent and He seems really skinny and week even with the added vitamins.
<See above re: treating bacterial infections.>
So I put him in the 1.5 gal on Saturday and started doing daily 75% water changes with 1.5 teaspoons salt per gallon the heal his fins.
<Salt doesn't heal fins. It has some value as a treatment against Whitespot when used at 2 gram per litre, but beyond that, the addition of salt is one of those cheap-but-useless things that won't do much.>
This worked well with another Betta I had and his fins healed in a week.
<I doubt the salt is why he got better. As stated above, a healthy fish will heal its fins back without problems. It's the equivalent of your skin healing over a cut.>
Well Chester was very lethargic on Saturday. He crashed at the bottom of the tank some. Then Monday he was better almost like his normal self. Then this morning he has clamped fins, yawning and darting some around the tank. Maybe he has a parasite. He yawns in the main tank sometimes too. I’ve done daily water changes on Saturday, Sunday and Monday so the water is clean.
<Good stuff. But do check ammonia and nitrite levels -- if these aren't zero, Finrot is a common symptom of the stress they cause. Goes without saying that non-zero ammonia and nitrite will slow down, even reverse, healing.>
I was thinking When I change the water tonight that I should remove the salt.
<Adding salt at trivial levels (i.e., below 2 gram/litre) does nothing much, so I'd discontinue this.>
After that I don’t know what to do.
<See above.>
I was thinking about using the Paraguard I have since his fins have not healed after two months. That medicine covers parasites, bacterial, fungus and virus infections.
<Paraguard is not an antibiotic, but it is a fairly reliable antibacterial (antimicrobial, even). So much better than salt and wishful thinking! It's not going to turn around a severe infection, but I think it's definitely worth a shot here. If your fish is still active and eating, there's a good chance he can recover.>
Here’s a picture with his tore fins, however his color looks good in the picture. He is definitely more pale and frail looking in person. However he has splits/ tears on every fin and it’s getting worse.
Thanks again
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Red eared slider shell issue     7/6/19
> Brent; howsit?
> Please resize and resend your msg. Your file is more than an order of
> magnitude too large.
> BobF
Sorry. Let me send a link instead.
<Thank you, BobF>R
Red eared slider shell issue     7/6/19

We have a female red eared slider about 8 years old. She is very healthy and is very active. She does bask several times a day for long periods.
Her shell has become more and more discolored and her scutes are peeling off in small pieces. It has progressed much more in the last year or two. In my home, which is the last year or so, I do have very hard water. I can't tell if this is fungus or just really hard water.
I have been scrubbing her shell with a brush and using some "hibiclense" to try and clear out any fungus or bacteria that there might be at least twice a week. I have only been scrubbing for 2-3 months but not seeing any progress. See the attached photos.
<<Her shell is not atypical. You can see the older scutes flaking off, but that's to expected when turtles get older. They're dead, rather like fingernails on humans, so don't heal. So as time passes, it's normal for
the scutes to get a bit scruffy looking before they slough away from the shell. Provided there's no musty smell or abnormal soft patches (which would indicate fungus or bacterial infection) then I'd not be concerned.
Hard water can cause limescale deposits, and these could very easily be the off-white to brownish patches you're seeing. It's important to understand that adult turtles do not look like the bright green youngsters, and this sort of mottled, dull colouration actually provides the turtle with useful
camouflage, so is more of a feature than a bug! Cheers, Neale.>>
Re: red eared slider shell issue      7/7/19

Thank you for you quick reply!
Yeah when we ran ph strips everything looked good but the water was about as "hard" as it gets.
<Not a problem for your turtle at all.>
Her shell is very hard and doesn't smell too.
<Sounds good!>
If it is limescale deposits, is there a way to remove it to get her shell looking "cleaner"?
<If you were so minded, a toothbrush used to scrub with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar would dissolve the limescale and brush it away. Rinse thoroughly afterwards, perhaps by using some clean tap water, to remove any remaining juice or vinegar. While neither are toxic by the time they're diluted by the aquarium water, if some splashed or otherwise got into the turtle's eyes before he was properly immersed in water -- could sting a bit! Still, the limescale is doing no harm and not something to stress
yourself -- or your turtle -- over. Longer term, you could choose to mix your tap water with distilled or deionised water to reduce its hardness. I would NOT use water from a domestic water softener though because these replace hardness minerals with table salt, and raising the salinity of the water isn't good for your turtle.>
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: red eared slider shell issue       7/8/19

<Everything Neale said!>

How Long Can a Canister Be Disconnected?     7/5/19
Dear WetWebMedia Crew,
I just have one more question...assuming I wanted to lower the water level in a tank below the intake of a canister filter...how long would be safe to turn off a canister filter and shut off the valves before the nitrifying bacteria would die and cause a mini-cycle? I’ve seen responses from people from 30 minutes to almost a day.
Thank you,
<Depending on a few factors, mainly temperature, about an hour. If/when in doubt, drain some water from it and test for ammonia. Bob Fenner>

Giant Gourami (small sized) along with Discus     7/5/19
Hi Team,
<Hey Shriram>
Everything has been peaceful in my tank so far.
I recently went to my LFS and saw a fully grown Giant Gourami, and was stunned by the size.
So as a trial I got a small sized specimen of the giant gourami to add to my existing Discus tank.
<Mmm; not really compatible... water conditions or temperament-wise>
So he first started chasing my albino angel like crazy. I though it must have been because of the same colour, as he was not disturbing my discus then.
<Oh oh>
Now I have moved my angel as his fins were torn and bit by the mean guy.
Now he has started to chase my discus, seems like he is the only one who wants to swim in the whole tank.
I have now started to worry if I should probably return him back before causes more harm.
Any advice and suggestions appreciated.
<I would return the Gourami>
Thanks and regards,
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

How to remove the Maconkey Agar in aquarium, FW algae control?        7/3/19
<... Maconkey Agar... the bacterial culture medium?>
How to remove the Maconkey Agar in aquarium that is a pathogen for my goldfish if it appears. Changing water, scrubbing tank just remove it but it will be back when the aquarium has some waste by foods, fish poops.. it makes water cloudy, sticking at the tank and stuck inside the filter but wipe the tank wall by the white napkin could see the pink color on there.
Could smell it through the top of tank, smells sour like the yogurt.
My tap water is softener, has very low Ph. I'm using Seachem Gold Buffer non-phosphate to buff Ph up.
<I would go outside your house... to a tap in the yard to get your aquarium water. It is highly unlikely that all water is being softened>
Changing brand new tank and brand new equipment, using chlorine disinfected and run the Nitrogen cycle again, using inline UV sterilizer and media reactor phosphate removal after the cycled done but it doesn't work.. It keep coming back..
<The algae I take it>
I have 3 goldfish being dropsy when Maconkey Agar appears. Where is that come from ?? ( tap water, fish, or in the house atmosphere..). How could find out what's cause this happen? How to remove/treat or control it for it not coming back and keep aquarium healthy?
<The algae spores can come from the air... or stuck on gear, foods. Best to "treat" by providing conditions that disfavor them, as you state re better water quality. Otherwise having competitors like other fast-growing plants...>
This is a negative -gram, how to treat if doesn't kill the nitrifying bacteria.. ??
It's challenge me, turning my fish keeping life more difficult.
<Let's have you read re freshwater algae control:
And the linked files (in blue) above. Bob Fenner>

Freeze Dried Daphnia/Brine Shrimp     6/30/19
Dear WetWebMedia Crew,
<Hello Lynnie,>
Just a really quick question: would freeze dried daphnia or bribe shrimp still act as a source of fiber for fish if I soak them thoroughly before feeding, or will they cause constipation like freeze dried foods are said to do?
<If your fish are otherwise healthy, there's no reason to pre-soak dried brine shrimps. But if you're dealing with a constipated fish, then yes, soaking the brine shrimps a little while would be beneficial. There's always a risk that dried foods soak up water in the gut, expand, and slow down the movement of food -- at least, that'd be my concern! Remember, fibre in the strict sense is cellulose, and that's coming from plant material. Brine shrimps and Daphnia can help, but I think it's more their
gut contents than anything else, though the indigestible exoskeletons probably do help to some degree.>
Thank you,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Dying FW Angel        6/29/19
Hello, I am Yazu Nakarmi a fish keeper from Nepal.
<Good evening from Neale in England!>
I've been on your website and I've found it extremely helpful. Being a fish
keeper, I'm facing a disastrous problem right now. My angel fish are dying
one by one.
<Oh dear!>
I've lost over six of them now. I just can't figure out the problem. Many
white worm like dots appear on the head of the angelfish and the condition
worsens everyday. I just don't know what to do.
<To be honest, nor do I. The photo doesn't really help. If this is
something developing over several weeks, I'd be looking at either a simple
Hexamita infection or something known as Hole-in-the-Head disease, which is
connected with Hexamita but possibly not identical. Either way, you'd treat
this with Metronidazole together with an antibiotic. Metronidazole is about
the only thing that works against Hexamita parasites. The antibiotic helps
clean up wounds and prevent secondary infections. Hexamita and
Hole-in-the-Head infections have complicated causes, and some argue that
the pathogens involved are latent in most farmed cichlids. So what triggers
these diseases? Seems to be environment: overstocking, leading to low
oxygen and high nitrate is probably the biggest issue. Frequent water
changes and lower density stocking will help. There may be a dietary factor
involved as well; in particular, the lack of fresh greens in those cichlids
that need them. Cooked peas will be eaten by hungry Angels, but failing
that, frozen Spirulina-enriched brine shrimp if you can get them.>
Your kind response and help would be much appreciated. Thank you!
<Most welcome, Neale.>

Re:       6/29/19
Thank you Neale. What's the dosage for the metronidazole?
<Will direct you to some relevant reading:
Quote: "Metronidazole can be administered orally at a dosage of 50 mg/kg
body weight (or 10 mg/gm. food) for 5 consecutive days.">
Also I've found thick white poop in the aquarium and all the dead angelfish
have red coloured heads.
<White, stringy faeces is a CLASSIC symptom of Hexamita infection.>
I think it is internal bleeding.
<I don't. Cheers, Neale.>

Question about my albino African clawed frog     6/24/19
Could use some help. Included is a picture of my albino African clawed frog. As you can see it has a “blister” coming from it’s back end. It has been like this for the past 2 days.
<Medicate quickly; you have limited time here! Bacterial infections rarely fix themselves, and these frogs quickly sicken and die. I'm going to send you to some reading, here:
If you look at the Red Leg section, you'll see what you're dealing with, and the recommendation to try Maracyn II and Maracyn Plus. If antibiotics aren't available without prescription where you live, a vet may provide them if asked, or else you'll have to resort to a reliable antibacterial such as eSHa 2000.>
It is in a tank with one other frog who doesn’t have any issues.
<Yet! I'm a bit concerned by the substrate, which is much too coarse for these frogs, and could easily explain the damage. Standard operating procedure for these frogs is to use NO substrate at all, but alternatively, a very smooth, lime-free sand (such as smooth silica sand or pool filter sand) can be used. Avoid gravel because they can swallow it and that usually proves fatal if not quickly regurgitated.>
I have had them for 6 months now. I have tried google searching for possible diseases or fungus. Nothing appears to match my frogs symptoms. If you can please let me know what you think this could be and a possible solution to help it!
Thank you for your time,
<Hope this helps! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Question about my albino African clawed frog     6/24/19
Thank you for getting back to me. I am going to change the gravel & try to find the antibiotics today.
<Glad to help and good luck! Neale.>


Freshwater Aquarium  Articles & FAQs

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