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Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Purple Matano Crab Breeding
Hello Wet Web Media Crew, I wanted to follow up and see about the
answers to my questions. Are you guys stumped like I am, or are you
trying to do some research of your own to better answer my questions?
<First I've seen of this question, to be honest!>
This is the first time I've waited so long for a response (having been a
week today), but I know these are advanced questions that I haven't been
able to find an easy answer to. That being said, take as much time as
need, just let me know what's going on, please. I might redesign the
system I'm planning to house them in if certain factors won't work out
or aren't necessary.
*Details of the planned system* I'd like to set up a system for these
crabs using 6 or 7 ten gallon aquariums that will be flow-through (since
I'm not sure what determines their sex), but am concerned with issues
with such a
system. For example, seeing as I plan to put a thin layer (half inch,
maybe) of pool filter sand, a structure of rocks along the back and
coming forward about 1/3 of the length of the tank (the tanks will be
situated to provide maximum possible number of tanks with the "ends"
[side panels] in the front and back instead of how is typically thought
of), and a nice piece of driftwood front and center, I want to make sure
the crabs will be happy and not have any water quality issues. The other
key factor of this is the DIY PVC overflow with the water level only
being a third to half way to the top (with a lid) to allow the crabs to
exit the water if desired.
With such a low water level, I'm concerned with the feasibility of
pumping water to the first tank and having an operating DIY PVC overflow
to transfer that water to each of the other tanks as per the King of
DIY's video on the subject.
<I agree with your concerns here. Even strictly freshwater crabs run the
risk of clambering out of a tank if they can -- in the wild even
saltwater crabs will leave rock pools in search of new homes if they
feel confined or
stressed. So while your basic idea is fine, I'd be working around the
idea of either (a) a single tank per crab with a fully enclosed
filtration system; or (b) a large tank divided up with egg crate or
cichlid tank separator to keep individual crabs separate but allowing
for a free flow of water between the compartments. This latter is how I
kept multiple Mantis Shrimps and works extremely well if done right.>
I also plan to have the seventh 10 gallon (or a plastic tote of larger
volume) be the filtration unit for this rack. The overflows will
transfer water from the front of one tank to the back of the next, with
the water exiting and forming a sort of waterfall on the stack of river
stones I plan to purchase and place. The pump will use a similar
methodology, except pumping water from the back of the filtration unit
enclosure to the back of the first 10 gallon in the series, as the final
overflow (on the sixth aquarium) will simply overflow directly across
(or down, if I keep the filtration below the rack) to save on resources.
<You *will* need to find a way to keep the crabs from escaping.>
*Concerns I'm facing, and some of why I asked the questions I did last
week* If the crabs' sex isn't based on a factor such as conspecifics
(other crabs of the same species) that are in the same area and their
sex, but is
instead determined by temperature, genetics, or other such factors from
a young age or during the prime of development, such a flow-through
system is entirely unnecessary. I'm providing the flow-through since the
sex might be determined by conspecifics in the same "area" (or rack, as
the case may be in my tanks). Not sure what would happen with a crab
that is completely isolated as far as developing into a male or a
female, but that's not
something I want to test with these parental generation crabs.
<Have these crabs been bred in captivity? I'm finding very little about
Syntripsa spp. reproduction. Freshwater crabs have wildly varying modes
of reproduction, from the basic model (march to the sea/river, release
planktonic eggs and hope for the best) through to species that brood
their eggs like crayfish do, releasing miniature versions of themselves
only when the baby crabs are developed enough to fend for themselves.
Without knowing about Syntripsa reproduction, I think it's really
difficult to plan a tank specifically for their breeding. My guess would
be (as lake dwellers) that they either brood eggs or release relatively
large eggs that quickly hatch into baby crabs, rather than having a
prolonged planktonic stage, but I really have no idea. This is something
you'll have to research. Obviously rearing crabs with a planktonic phase
is hard. Sexing crabs is fairly easy though -- females tend to be
smaller and have a broad flap-like 'apron' under the body whereas the
males have a much narrower equivalent structure.>
*Conclusion* These are all answers I hope to answer with every type of
freshwater, brackish water, and saltwater crab I might keep in the
future (though I may stick with just the freshwater ones since there's
along with many other questions I'm coming up with as things progress.
The distinct lack of scientific info and inquiry on many crabs we keep
in the hobby are why I've chosen to do this and focus on truly
for the time being, possibly expanding into brackish water and saltwater
in the future as mentioned. I fall in love with the Purple Matano Crabs
I currently keep on a nearly daily basis, so the passion is there. I was
just hoping you could help me out with some of this seeing as I would
like to keep them properly, breed them successfully (to study the
crablets, as well as having a source of revenue in the future), and
ultimately further our knowledge base of these wonderful creatures. That
being said, I completely understand if you guys don't know or can't
answer certain parts of my questions. It's been difficult to find much
info on these questions, but that's why I ventured to ask you since you
guys are expert biologists from my understanding and I just have my
Bachelor's in Conservation Ecology (BS from Arizona State University,
<A good grounding for what you plan to do, no doubt. I'd be hitting
Google Scholar, finding out about Syntripsa spp. in terms of
reproduction; and where lacking, making comparisons with its close
relatives among the Parathelphusidae.>
Thank you once again. I hope you can provide some insight into the
challenging questions presented in my previous email that I've expanded
on in this one to follow up.
Best Regards, Jacob
<Good luck! Neale.>
Re: Purple Matano Crab Breeding 7/26/17
Neale, From my understanding, true freshwater crabs are those that have
the suppressed larval stage.
<Seems reasonable, but recall that many freshwater shrimps have a marine
larval stage. I think you would need to confirm the ecology of your
chose Syntripsa species before planning on breeding them.>
Such crabs ... as you mentioned ... have fully developed crablets hatch
out of the eggs. Others that march to the sea may be classified in a
family of land crabs while not being truly freshwater since they still
fashion of saltwater to reproduce. I didn't know about the releasing of
eggs that hatch into crablets, though! I thought they all brooded the
eggs like crayfish.
<Since freshwater crabs evolved multiple times in many families, I'm
sure there's great variation. I simply don't know enough about this
group to be sure -- but as a zoologist, I'm minded to be skeptical of
I have tried the egg crate method of separation for these crabs in my
100 gallon. Unfortunately, as I was introducing them into the tank one
<Try tank dividers then; PennPlax make quite nice, easy to install ones.
If possible, combine with undergravel filtration because these do
restrict water flow, which undergravel filters bypass rather well.>
Several then followed suit (all except the largest could climb
I documented it in one of my YouTube videos. Once they get to breeding
size I might revisit it, but until then I'll likely just try to have
separate filtration with a mattenburg filter just behind the start of
Should be interesting to find out what the two juveniles develop into.
I hope I can figure out at what point to introduce the two crabs
together (male and female), as well as the technique I 'should' use so I
don't end up accidently killing the only female I know I have so far.
<I fear trial and error! But more realistically, large tanks might help
by reducing stocking density, as well as numerous hiding places so that
females can hide away when required. Ideally, if males/females very
different in size, burrows only the female can fit in. Much like
breeding aggressive cichlids, really.>
Would you recommend me looking into how others breed brackish and
saltwater crabs for such info on the technique of intensively breeding
<Worth a shot! Crab farming is a thing, so you will find info online
about Mud Crabs (Scylla serrata) and other species farmed in tropical
Asia and Australia.>
Do you know anyone I can contact specifically, or do you possibly have
advice you can give me from your own experiences?
<I know of none personally, and I would imagine that with these new
aquarium species, any aquarist who knows about breeding them would be
extremely secretive about it! But you could certainly try the usual
forums like Planet Inverts and Pet Shrimps.>
These and related crabs have little info at all that has been studied
scientifically using the scientific method, and likewise I don't think
such crabs have been bred in captivity.
<Nor do I.>
I'll definitely do more research into these crabs, though. Thanks again!
Hello, can you identify this fish for me? Cichlid of some sort
Someone is selling this fish in NJ, and they don't know what it is,.....it is
big, 8 inches she said and came to her all beaten up like this. I think she
rescued it. Now it's too big for her tank. It's been alone in the tank, and it
hasn't gotten any regrowth on the fins. I guess not all damage can be repaired.
She is looking for a new home for it, but unless we know what it is, how can we
find out about it's needs and temperament. So,....I'm turning to you all hoping
you can help. I guess it is a black or very dark color,... .they eyes seem to be
bugged out,....it has a huge mouth,....but I don't recognize it my self either.
Thank you in advance!
Mandy in NJ
<Hello Mandy. Short answer -- nope! -- no idea what this is. My gut feeling is
something Central American, though the head does look a bit more like a
Tilapiine of some sort. So who knows? I'm cc'ing Chuck, our cichlid expert, in
the hope that he'll be able to log into WWM and take a look at these pictures.
But in terms of healthcare, yes, the fins should regrow without too much
trouble. The eyes exhibit exophthalmia ("pop-eye") and the Epsom Salt treatment
should help here, perhaps alongside a suitable antibiotic.
The dark colour may easily be stress colouration, and in the right tank (shady,
quiet, nobody attacking it) the fish may well have some hidden colours we can't
see right now. I agree, it's mouth is very large, suggestive of an omnivorous to
carnivorous species rather than the dainty mouths seen on the more herbivorous
cichlids, but we can't rule out sand-sifting (see for example Amphilophus
species) so a certain amount of experimentation may be necessarily. That said,
few cichlids are strict carnivorous or herbivores, so the usual mix of good
quality wafers and pellets, bloodworms and other small invertebrates, and
softened vegetables like peas will probably work nicely. Cheers, Neale.>
Goldfish with red lumpy operculum 7/25/17
I have a 60-65 gallon aquarium with 6 comet goldfish, 1 black moor, and 2
Chinese or Siamese Plecos. I have a hang on side filter system for 85 gallon
tank and a submersible pump for circulation. There are variegated
philodendrons rooting in tank. When the tank was first started 2 years ago, my
daughter threw some crawdads and snails and mollusks from a creek in with the
fish. The snails and mollusks were eaten and the crawdads eventually killed off
each other. Saturday's are 10% water change and vacuum days.
<Good. I'd increase this to 20-25%>
Water conditioner is added with new water....sometimes distilled, other times
<Likely no conditioner necessary, and is the distilled nec... Oh, I see this
We have hard well water.
<How hard? GH, KH?>
Ph is usually in low to mid 7s. Ammonia is always less than or equal to 0.25
ppm. One in the past I noticed a fish with red streaking of its tail fin that
went away untreated.
<Ahh; then I WOULD keep using the conditioner, or store the new change water a
week in advance of use>
The black moor was a Wal-Mart guilt buy that brought ich to the tank a year ago.
It was treated with malachite green....something that turned water ugly almost
opaque green. It cleared up fast. Now. 1 week ago, the largest goldfish
had a lumpy red operculum on right side. Looked like a mass.
<I see this in your pix>
It wasn't there the day before....I remember because family was visiting and
looking at fish. Oh--temp of tank is around 70 in summer and cooler in winter.
By that evening the lump had spread like a thick red ring with extra slime (??)
at periphery of lesion.
I don't have an isolation tank. I added 1 tablespoon aquarium salt to each 5
gallons and put a heater in water....max temp it gets to is 78 degrees
Fahrenheit.... pulled out my charcoal and floss filters (2 of each.). The
initial site looks better if not pale with darker splotches. I thought it was
working but next day the red ring crossed over top of head
and to other side. The margin that advances is very red and highlights the
periphery of each scale. I don't know septicemia in fish but it's the closest I
can match image to. However, all fish are acting fine eating fine. No flashing,
rubbing. Only the one fish has symptoms.
<Thankfully; perhaps it has a/the weaker immune system>
We had one fat bivalve that was missing it's creature the day before I noticed
signs. It was only one and it hid in gravel under big decorative rock forms.
Can't swear fish ate it but they eat everything. I bought some quick cure.....
for what???? ....my daughter swore she saw ich and was frantic....so treated 3
days.....did 25 percent water change. The fish looks same except the ever
advancing red line with snotty margins.
<Mmm; I wouldn't use the Quick Cure here... too toxic, and won't help>
The first picture is day one....I know it's a side view but it really just
looked thickened. I thought is it a tumor?
<Yes; this is my assessment as well>
The second picture was the next morning. I tried to swab site and look at it
under a scope, but I wasn't sure what I was looking for. I know what dog
parasites and Protozoans look like but not fish. I saw little Coccidia like
clusters....ovals with a circle inside. I also saw a couple budding yeast like
ovals. This may be a wild goose chase though. I read many posts and went through
dichotomous keys....never found the answer.
<I suspect this is a tumorous growth, and not a pathogenic condition
(Sporozoan, Microsporidean...) as if the latter, most all fishes would be
Please help. I need to stop letting the kids put live edible wild caught
critters in tank. I need to cut back on number of fish, but don't know where to
move fish to....my husband is over more tanks. The water quality hasn't changed
really. It fluctuates little. There is small amount of algae on glass but not
<I'll refer you here to our generic "Goldfish growths FAQs":
and the linked files of the same name above.
Fwd: Goldfish with red lumpy operculum 7/27/17
Thought I'd update.... I did 25% water change and changed filters and charcoal.
The fish 24 hours later looks amazing relative to the day before.
The swarming margin crossed over to other side and all that is left is little
red ring. The right side - the original side - is discolored but not inflamed at
all that I can tell...pale operculum and a c shaped crescent of black pigment.
It truly looked like a mass and it changed so fast day to day. Thanks for your
time. I've grown quite fond of my daughter's fish. I'd hate for anything to
happen. I will do bigger percent water changes from now on.
<Incredible improvement... just by fixing the environment. Bob Fenner>
Medusa Pleco and stress 7/25/17
I have a couple of pieces of driftwood in a 38 gallon with a couple of
angelfish and a medusa Pleco. Just wondering if the Pleco needs another
decoration he/she can hide in. There is a piece of PVC pipe in there,
that is about 4 inches in diameter and about 4 inches long that I put in
there today. I was thinking of getting another 4 inch piece and using
aquarium safe glue to glue the PVC pieces together to have something
longer. Do Bushynoses really enjoy a good hiding place for the feeling
that they are safe?? Thanks
<Does really depend on the tank, but generally a male Bristlenose will
commandeer a single tunnel or burrow, and that'll be his home. He won't
need another burrow provided he can use and defend this one
Additional burrows or even rocky nooks will be welcome, particularly in
a busy tank with bright light. But in quiet tanks with lots of shade and
vegetation, Ancistrus are much less retiring. The main thing is that
each fish should have at least one home so that competition between
individuals isn't serious. Cheers, Neale.>
Jumpy Gourami 7/24/17
I'm back with another question. Thanks for continuing to help all of us
with our aquatic challenges! I have a 3-year established, 15-gal
column tank with an AquaClear 20 sponge/carbon/bio, housing one
3-spot Gourami, five cherry barbs, and one panda Cory with 3 bandit
corys in a QT almost ready to be added. My ammonia and nitrites are
zero. I feed flakes and float pellets most nights, a shrimp pellet at
lights out every few days, and swap flakes/pellets with freeze dried
bloodworm once a week.
<Ahh; do make sure sufficient high protein food is getting to your new
and old Corydoras cats on the bottom>
I change the water and swap out one of the media components regularly.
For the past few weeks, my 3-spot has become very jumpy.
This is new behavior since I have had her for three years. Whenever I
approach the tank, she cowers in the corner and/or darts to a corner.
She swims freely and openly at all strata otherwise and looks perfectly
healthy. Last night, she literally jumped out of the water in a frenzy
when I walked over. I do shower.
Since the behavior has sustained for a few weeks, I suspect something is
up. Any ideas on how I can help her? Thanks in advance! -- Matt
<Perhaps adding another Trichogaster trichopterus... there are quite a
few "sports" of the 3-spot, blue, gold/en... can be the same sex...
Please read here re:
Re: Jumpy Gourami 7/24/17
My apologies, I did not include a salutation in my last email. How rude!
Re: Jumpy Gourami 7/25/17
Thanks for the fast response. (1) When you mention high protein for the
corys, is the sinking shrimp pellet sufficient?
<Is a good start. I would offer other foods as well weekly>
I may increase to two once I add the others but I don't want to
(2) I'm leery of adding another 3-spot... I've done combos in the past
and one always takes over... I've had this one (female) drive two other
females into the ground and then I added a larger male pearl Gourami
which tried to mate with this one and then bullied her until he
sustained a physical injury chasing her, and died.
<Mmm; well; how about some ditherfish then? Perhaps a small school, five
individuals... of peaceful barbs (golds, checkers...), Danios or
I attributed the cause of this behavior to the limited horizontal space
at the top of this vertical tank. What do you think?
<Of a certainty, you are correct here>
Re: Jumpy Gourami 7/25/17
Thanks Bob. I already have five cherry barbs in there and actually now
that I think about it, two of the males (there are 3 and two females)
have mysteriously "developed" nipped dorsal fins.
<Ahh; maybe from each other; perhaps the Gourami>
I would see one occasionally but never two. Wonder if this is part of
the equation? Also, what kind of protein do you recommend?
<Hikari and Spectrum sinking pellets of small size are faves. B>
Re: Jumpy Gourami 7/25/17
Thanks Bob. I'll give them a shot and let you know if things progress. I
very much appreciate your ideas and responses!
<Cheers Matt. B>
My Mississippi Maps hatchling 7/23/17
<Hiya, Darrel here>
I have a Mississippi map hatchling and a Peninsula Cooter in a 30 gal
tank. Whenever anyone walks by the tank the maps turtle (Max) swims
super crazy away. Now my Cooter (Thor) is beginning to do that to. Every
day I pick them up and pet their heads and say there name and like hold
them to my chest then give them a treat.
<That’s probably why they swim away. Being handled by humans is
basically a frightening thing to them.>
I was wondering if the tank was too big and they don't feel safe or me
picking them up is too early and now they are scared.
<That’s exactly right. To them, you are this HUGE thing and comes and
takes them out of their “world” and does strange things to them>
<Although – they like the part about getting a treat>
Because I have a Red-Eared Slider that is bigger and when I put my hand
in the water he comes and swims into it for me to hold I'm and say hi
and then he knows he gets a treat. (its quite cute cuz he won’t get off
my hand when I place it into the water, and when I do he moves his arms
all crazy like, super excited for his treat. I also have a western side
neck turtle who loves it also.
<You have it figured out. The Slider and the Side Neck have learned that
you are a source of food and so they are excited by your presence.>
So idk what I am doing wrong with my babies and why they are so
skittish. please help me I don't want them to be upset or them being
stressed nor over stressed.
thank you so much,
<Rae, you already have it figured out. They are skittish because
they are scared. Remember that, in the wild, a baby turtle is
just a prey item. Bigger turtles, snakes, alligators and birds –
especially birds! And what does a bird do to a baby turtle? The turtle
is in the water, minding his own turtle business, thinking turtle
thoughts when along comes a HUGE monster that grabs the turtle and lifts
it OUT of its water …. Just before swallowing it! The idea that being
held close to another body is safe or nurturing is a mammal thing, not a
reptilian thing. To them it means being eaten or being crushed.>
<My suggestion is that you stop handling them, give them their treats in
the water until they associate you with food and good things and THEN
you can start to handle them and treat them more like family … just
keeping in mind that being handled will never feel like “fun” to them,
so a little goes a long way>
Stingray; FW 7/23/17
I have a newly acquired male motoro stingray and he seems to be behaving
weird. I have him in a 220 with a pair of clown knives , an
Oscar, a red devil, large albino iridescent "shark" catfish,
<Mmm; you know this fish gets HUGE I take it>
a red tail catfish,
a Lima shovelnose, a Florida gar and a common Pleco. I got him 3 days
ago and he is still not eating. I have offered tilapia and cod fillet,
chopped market prawns and earthworms, ghost shrimp and some pellets. All
items he was
eating previously. I have for the most part kept the lights off to help
him adjust. I have a custom built filtration system and do 50 to 80
percent water changes every other day. Tank is bare bottom and the
temperature is 79 degrees Fahrenheit.
<Mmm; well; you have a quite an "environmental mix" in fishes here...
what are your water parameters in terms of the testing gear you have? Is
your water very hard, alkaline?>
He keeps lifting his disc in front of his nose and placing it back down.
The cichlids haven't touched him and the red tail catfish just pushed
him out of the way and occasionally dog piles on top of him but this is
the most extreme I have witnessed. I am aware of how big my fish get and
have a suitable home under construction for them. Is this
normal for my ray?
<It is not unusual for Potamotrygonids to not eat for days after being
moved; and they really don't like being prodded by other livestock. Do
you have habitat where this fish can get out of the light, away from the
What does it mean? How can I get him to eat? Thanks
<I would be patient at this point... keep offering foods via a dowel
(wood or plastic), right down in front of this fish daily. It should
start taking food w/in a week. Bob Fenner>
re: Stingray 7/23/17
I do know my water has high PH around 8.2 but didn't
expect it to be an issue as the water he was in before also had higher
ph of around 8.2 , 8.3.
<Mmm; how long was this fish here? This is way too high period. The GH,
I don't have another set up at this time that would be adequate for him.
Ammonia is 0 and nitrates and nitrites are 0 as well.
<How are Nitrates rendered zip? Highly unusual w/ biological filtration,
such large fishes>
I am just nervous as he is my first stingray and I spent years
researching before my purchase but assumed since he was 8 inches across
he would handle the catfish as he spent his days dog piling with
leopoldi Ray's. Is the disc behavior a large concern at this point?
<Not a large concern, but the environment is BobF>
re: Stingray 7/23/17
As of right now the room I keep the tank in is lit by day light through
one window and the tank has a small 5 inch LED light bar on it set to a
midnight blue on one corner of the tank, where he chooses to be most of
the time. I have 2 large pots forming somewhat of a barrier at opposite
ends of the tank but nothing to where only the ray can access.
<I would be providing. B>
re: Stingray 7/23/17
He was there for the first year and a half of his life.
<Ah; good. This is a long period to become aquarium-tough>
Nitrates rendered 0 because I just replaced the biological media after a
system malfunction during a power outage. It previously sat at 20 which
is where I expect it to return to.
I am unsure of KH or GH at this time
<I'd be measuring; lowering if too high (by addition of less hard
re: Stingray 7/23/17
What could you recommend that I construct or purchase that only the ray
<Perhaps a raised up few inches PVC pipe array... made of tees or elbows
and pipe sections>
An underwater sand box on one corner of the tank to wear he can bury
<Mmm; no; not necessary to have substrate>
Not too creative with what could be built or bought that only he could
enter. I prefer bare bottom so I always know where the barbed venomous
fish is and it's easier to clean but I want to make sure he is healthy
re: Stingray 7/23/17
Have you heard of any other projects that could be built for him to
<Wood and rock suspended overhangs>
I'm not sure if it'll work if the red tail decides to rest on top of it.
Just nervous about his well being. In addition to it being one of a few
capstones of a monster fish keeper, and my first ray, they were
essentially black listed in my country and now are not allowed to be
imported or transferred over state lines. Just want to succeed.
Am I likely to have success with this specie of ray with my set up and
food I offer?
<I'd try blackworms, grass shrimp...>
Is there anything I could be missing in my set up to make him
comfortable in terms of lighting or decor?
<... Please read here:
You're not likely to have success given the mis-mix of species
here... The Pleco, other cats... Bob Fenner>
I do have a strong current from the return out of 2 canister filter
hoses and another from a sump return and a fourth from a wave maker.
Re: Super soft water 7/23/17
I'm experiencing pH swings. 7.2 in my mixed aged pre tank water after
adding a small amount of rift mix and allowing it to sit overnight.
After adding the water, the pH goes up steadily over a few days to 8.2.
GH is 8
KH is 8 ammonia is 0, nitrite is 0 and nitrate is less than 20 in
TDS is roughly 100 over what it is before it goes in. Generally around
some tanks are bare bottom, some are small bare containers, some are 3
gallon bare containers. A few have either planted tank substrate or
Some have matten filters, some have canisters and some have sponge
Small containers have no filtration.
What can be causing these massive pH swings?
<Hi Amanda. Two things come to my mind here. Firstly, be sure all the
minerals used in the Rift Valley Salt Mix are thoroughly mixed in.
Leaving overnight should do that, but check. Secondly, if pH goes up too
much for your needs, reduce (maybe half) the sodium bicarbonate, because
that's the bit that affects pH the most. The recipe isn't perfect, and
will depend a lot on how big your spoons are, so some experimentation is
necessary. One other thing -- if pH goes up in an aquarium, there's
often two reasons. The first, and most common, is something calcareous
is inside the tank, dissolving slowing, raising the pH. Coral sand,
seashells, and limestone rocks are all possibilities. The second is very
rapid photosynthesis, which will remove CO2 (which acidifies water)
raising the pH. If you compare day and night pH levels, or better yet,
before the tank lights come on compared with just before they go off,
any pH change will likely be down to plants.
Re: Super soft water 7/25/17
Ah. Ok. So it's the baking soda action that continues to raise the pH
over several days?
<Not if dissolved properly, no, the pH of a bucket of Rift Valley salt
mix aquarium water should be relatively stable. But if it's added to a
tank with a low pH because of background acidification, a certain amount
increase is not impossible while the sodium bicarbonate neutralises
I just assumed it stopped after it was mixed in.
<In a bucket of water, yes, it should more or less be stable. But an
aquarium is a dynamic system, with acids being created all the time
(which lower pH, of course) while calcareous materials (like seashells)
will raise the pH as they slowly dissolve. Within reason, small pH
changes are normal and not a problem. Moving, say, 0.5 on the pH scale
(e.g., from 7 to 6.5) across a week is no big deal for most fish. But
larger swings across a few hours or a day are more worrisome.>
I will reduce the baking soda. Is there a more stable product that can
take the place of baking soda in raising KH?
<Nope. Almost by definition, carbonate hardness is what raises the pH of
an aquarium because carbonate and bicarbonate ions are the principle
chemicals that neutralise acid chemicals.>
Perhaps a mix of calcium carbonate and bi carbonate?
<Possibly, but personally I would not experiment here. Merely reduce the
sodium bicarbonate and see what happens.>
Thanks again for all your help.
<Most welcome. Neale.>
<Hiya, Darrel here>
My name is Kori and my boyfriend and I already have a baby Eastern
Painted Turtle named Archie. We saved him from my Aunt's garage during
our Memorial Day party. They do have a rather large pond at their house but they
also have very large fish and significantly larger than littler Archie turtles.
My Uncle is also trying to have a specialist come out and catch the huge
snapping turtle they have. So we figured we'd take the little guy home.
<Good thinking. Archie would be just a snack for a snapping turtle>
When we first rescued him he was almost about the size of a quarter. He has
grown some but not a significant amount as we've only had him for a short time.
He seems to love his tank and the setup and is always swimming over to say hello
to us! Anyways my boyfriend was wondering if we could purchase another
baby eastern painted turtle around the same size and be able to keep
them in the same tank. If so at what size/age is best for introducing them? I.e.
Should we wait longer or is it better to have them together at such a young age?
<The younger the better, but it makes no real difference since all of the Emydid
turtles (what we call pond turtles, like Red Eared Sliders, Cooters, Red Belly,
Painted, Map, etc. – all the turtles with that same body shape) will usually get
alone fine as long as their sizes are similar. That said you WILL get turtles
that just have bad attitudes and that can cause problems.>
<Here is the secret to dealing with that: the SIZE of the enclosure is not as
important as how you have it set up: Just like with fish we try to create hiding
places, etc. for reptiles we try to create VISUAL PRIVACY. Place rocks, stones,
dividers or whatever so that they can get out of each other’s site if they feel
too much pressure. (Not a bad idea for people, too.) Usually basking sites are
neutral territory and we rarely see fights on land, so as long as they can swim
out of the other’s site they’ll learn to get along just fine)>
Also we believe that Archie is a boy because his tail is quite long as are his
claws. With that being said he is still a baby and we cannot know for sure. We
were wondering if we do get another turtle should we try for another male or a
female or if it is even possible to specify when they are so young.
<No, you really can’t tell at that age and they all get along fine anyway.
Here’s the thing; If you do get a boy and a girl, the boy matures before the
girl and annoys the crap out of her for mating … years before she’s ready. Just
get two (or three) and enjoy!>
Our last question is how large of a tank should we have if we end up with two
little cuties? Thank you so much we've tried looking this up but it seems to be
most about RES and we weren't sure if the same rules applied! (:
<Every rule for Red Eared Sliders applies in exactly the same way. They even
mate and produce babies if they get the chance. 100% same rules!>
I need help my turtles shell looks like as if it were shedding
please help me I don't know what to do
<Hiya, Darrel here>
It looks as if it were snake skin shedding from its shell plz help me As the
turtle grows the plates on the top of the shell, called "scutes" come off in
thin layers. Is that what you're seeing? If so that's completely normal.>
<here is everything you need to know about keeping him healthy and growing:
Best approach for current and O2?
Just wondering what is the best for a 38 gallon tall tank with two angels, 6
Glowlight tetras and one Medusa Pleco.
If I need current for the Pleco what is the best way to obtain that?
<Complete circulation... pulling water from the bottom, to top... and
redundancy. Two mechanisms at work at the same time. Perhaps an outside power
filter and... Oh, I see you answer the question below!>
I have nothing in there now, but the filter which is an Aquaclear for a 70
gallon. I am thinking of lowering the water a few inches to get splash.
Would that help like an air stone would?
<I would add the airstone here>
Just wondering what is best for the Pleco at the bottom and aeration overall?
<As stated. Bob Fenner>
Amazon Puffer 7/20/17
I've been thinking very hard of adding a trio of Amazon Puffer to what
will be a species tank of Clown Loach (5 to 6 total) which will include
1 Pleco (thinking of a golden nugget for algae issues and
general clean up --are gold nuggets decent algae eaters? I'm
finding conflicting information.)
<Assuming the Gold Nugget Plec you have in mind is Baryancistrus
xanthellus, this is a typical Baryancistrus; in other words, it's not a
specialist algae eater but actually a substrate sifter, a bit like
Corydoras catfish. In the wild at least, they not only scrape
rocks for aufwuchs but also consume mouthfuls of silt that they can sift
for organic material and tiny invertebrates. Under aquarium conditions
they are very omnivorous, happily consuming algae wafers and small
frozen foods, as well as soft vegetables like courgette. But rely on
Baryancistrus to clean the glass is optimistic. If very hungry they may
well suck onto the glass, but they aren't anything like as good as true
Hypostomus species or even Ancistrus spp. Bristlenose Cats.>
From my research I've found they share the same soft water requirements,
heat requirements, Ick or white spot vulnerability (hence UV
filtration), and reduction of medicine if needed sharing the small
scales dilemma, similar food requirements. I've found a vet who makes
house calls and would be willing to trim teeth (my largest concern.) I'm
also planning on adding a steady diet of nuisance snails (not Malaysian
<Baryancistrus xanthellus are Rio Xingu fish, and yes, do need soft,
slightly acidic, slightly warmer than normal water to do well. As well
as high temperature, the challenge is high oxygen level, which tends to
mean under-stocking the tank because, of course, the warmer the water,
the less oxygen it holds. They are challenging catfish ill-suited to
community tanks, but not hard to keep in the right sort of tank.>
I already feed a steady diet of live black worms, brine shrimp, and
ghost shrimp, occasionally frozen bloodworm, and some shrimp pellets (I
do not feed flake food because apparently my clown loach are spoiled on
live meaty foods and will not take the flake food unless apparently half
starved and desperate which doesn't occur).
I also know the puffers are not good with slow moving fish such as Cory
or Gourami since they can be fin nippers even though a fairly peaceable
fish. I assume, when not at rest, they tend to occupy more of the top
half of the aquarium and the clown loach tend towards the bottom half.
<Indeed, though they do sleep among the roots of plants.>
I have a 55 gallon aquarium now to get them started with plans of
increasing tank size within a couple of years (I'll upgrade to 100 plus
gallon custom corner tank due to space limitations) and I water change /
clean usually weekly.
<Sounds nice, but Baryancistrus xanthellus do reach a fair size, so
while 55 gallons might be okay for a singleton, the fact you've got
Clown Loaches *as well* does put space at a premium.>
My questions is will the clown loach, Amazon puffers and Pleco
coexist well in a tank together provided lots of plants, driftwood, and
<Amazon Puffers are, like all puffers, impossible to predict with total
certainty. What I will say is that I've kept them with Panaque
nigrolineatus without any trouble at all, Panaque having a tendency to
get their retaliation in first, so most fish learn to leave them alone.
I would expect Baryancistrus to be rather similar. So given suitable
hiding places, they'd reach an understanding where the Puffers left them
alone. The Clowns are a bit less of a certainty. While much bigger and
very fast, they're also more highly strung. Again, I've kept Cherry Fin
Loaches with Amazon Puffers, and they were fine. But I'm less ready to
"sign off" on the Clown/Puffer combo compared with the
Baryancistrus/Puffer combo. If you do try, keep a close eye on the
Clowns for signs of damaged fins especially.>
I dislike when my aquarium is not peaceful excepting the occasional
minor squabble. Is there anything more that I need to be aware of
regarding the puffers? Any information you may provide would be helpful
in making an educated and informed decision. I dislike and find it
distressing when I fail to properly provide a proper environment for
<Amazon Puffers are lovely fish. I'm glad you're getting a group because
they are nervous when kept singly, and groups tend to be a bit less
neurotic. While your water conditions should suit them fine, they do
need a lot of oxygen and are extremely active swimmers, so tweaking the
tank to have robust (rather than turbulent) water flow and plenty of
air/water mixing will be a plus. They like exploring things, floating
plants and leaves being particularly favoured. They aren't at all shy
once settled, and my specimens quickly became tame enough to hand-feed.
Of all the common freshwater puffers, they're the least aggressive, with
practically zero territoriality (I believe they're migratory in the
wild). But they do nip, probably more out of hunger than anything else,
and that needs to be borne in mind.>
Re: Amazon Puffer 7/28/17
Thanks and Hi, Neale,
I very much appreciate your reply.
I will move away from the Gold Nugget (Baryancistrus xanthellus) and
move towards a Pleco with more algae enthusiasm (perhaps the Green
Phantom (H. subviridis or B. demantoides) would be better suited?
<Well, Baryancistrus and Hemiancistrus are not really algae eating
specialists, but they'll eat some algae; do recall though that both are
warm water, high oxygen specialists, with fairly high water turnover
requirements, so do design the tank accordingly.>
I had a Butterfly Pleco which I lost to an unfortunate toxic shock issue
(LFS recommended adding Texas Holy rock to my aquarium to increase
extremely low alkalinity and ph chemistry due to all RO water and lots
of driftwood) the Pleco died suddenly within 24 hours of adding the
rock. I'm assuming the hollow under the drift wood had a sudden and
shocking change and the rest of my fish appeared stressed with fin
clamping which was quickly relieved by removing the rock and a water
change. I now add chunks of the Texas Holystone to my filter and monitor
my Alk and PH with positive results and look for educated opinions or
double check information outside of the LFS.
<Sounds a weird situation to me! I'm not a fan of using substrates to
modify water chemistry though. Such systems tend to be unstable or at
least unpredictable. Much prefer adjusting water chemistry, and then
using substrates that support, or at least have no impact on, those
He was a good Pleco and I miss his algae cleanup but would prefer a
Pleco that looks more appealing against my black sand bottom than the
camouflage Butterfly Pleco (I love the coloring of the Gold Nugget.) I
would prefer a smaller sized Pleco that is peaceable (but able to hold
his own) and is content as a single specimen as I will have the Clown
Loach competing for space. (My clown and the Butterfly did not care for
one another since he can be a little obnoxious, the Pleco held his one
preferred space though.) Any suggestions you may offer is appreciated.
<I'm not sold on any Plec being "the magic bullet" for algae, though
Ancistrus and Otocinclus species come close. While the larger
herbivorous and omnivorous Plecs will certainly help to keep the glass
and rockwork clean, their impact on plant leaves, for example, will be
minimal as they can't really latch on properly.>
I will keep you informed as to how the clown loaches and puffers do
together. It will take some time as I am transitioning to a new tank (so
the old tank can have seals replaced) and tend to be slow and cautious
in adding bio load to my tank (especially a newly cycled tank) so I
expect I'll have everyone and everything situated by December. �� As per
your thoughts, I plan on reinstating my other tank (after seals are
repaired) just in case fin nipping is a problem by the Amazon Puffers
and the puffers will be the last addition.
I also want to check if you recommend any prophylactic treatment of the
puffers, Pleco and/or loaches during quarantine for any potential
illness they may be carrying?
<I do not recommend, but do not object _per se_. De-worming is popular,
and probably harmless. I'm a bigger fan of quarantining new livestock,
providing the best possible diet while the new fish are away from
competitors so that they can put on some weight, and then medicating
only if problems become apparent.>
The LFS is recommending treatment due to wild caught and susceptibility
as well as difficulty in treating once ill for the puffers. They did not
say what meds they would recommend. One girl said she always treats
prophylactically for Ick for all her new fish but I found this confusing
as my understanding is Ick treatments only kill the parasites during the
cycle they are free in the water column not when they are either
internal (in a possible dormant stage?) or encapsulated as the 'white
spot.' If my understanding of Ick is accurate than it would not be
possible to prophylactically treat for Ick, correct?
<Whitespot/Ick can only be treated in its free-living stage. Once in the
fish, it's untreatable using hobbyist-grade medications. With Puffers
being extremely salt tolerant, the old heat/salt method is a no-brainer,
and probably worth doing during quarantine for the first week or so.
Clown Loaches are also prone, and being sensitive to some medications,
salt/heat might well be the better choice, if done carefully (the
standard 2g/litre salt concentration won't harm them, but careless use
of salt probably isn't good for them). Both Clowns and Puffers are
sensitive to copper and formalin, so these should be avoided. I have had
good success using eSHa EXIT with Puffers, but do prefer salt/heat for
Thanks again for your help, Neale.
update, and question (RMF, any thoughts on this?)<<I agree w/ your
Fresh-water... trtmt. 7/18/17
<Hello again, Byron,>
It has been over a year since our last correspondence on the problem of
flashing/cloudy water. It was two separate issues as we had worked out, and the
heat/salt cleared up the flashing (none since then).
<Cool. It's an old treatment, but safe, and as you report, often (if not
The cloudy water was an organics issue as you surmised, though I never did find
out why (we had gone through the possible causes at the time), but more frequent
filter cleanings has kept it at largely bay for most of this year. Anyway,
that’s all solved, with my sincere appreciation to you.
<Welcome. Sometimes tanks go through phases, and sometimes it's actually
seasonal -- the tank in my classroom receives hours of direct sunlight this time
of year, and turns pea soup colour within two days of a complete water change!
Nothing I can do about it, and since the Guppies and Limia are fine, I've
stopped worrying. By September it'll settle back down to normal.>
I have a question about water conditioners, and specifically the amount to use.
I am a very firm believer in not adding any substance to an aquarium with fish
unless it is essential, and then keeping these minimal.
I believe that everything added to the water does end up inside the fish via
osmosis through the cells or gills, and while these may not kill the fish, they
don’t benefit except for the purpose needed, like dechlorination of the water.
I have always used sufficient conditioner for the volume of the replacement
water. So in a 90g tank, holding an actual 70 gallons of water, if I replace 60%
of the water, I add conditioner for roughly 35-40 gallons, the replacement
<Sounds about right, but I'd err on the side of over-dosing water conditioner
than under-dosing. So if you think 42 gallons is being replaced (42 being 60% of
70 gallons) I'd round that up to, say, 50 gallons.>
I should mention that the replacement water is going directly into the tank from
the faucet via a Python, not being pre-treated.
<Quite so. Did exactly this process this morning, changing 90% of the water in
the aforementioned Guppy and Limia tank.>
Manufacturers like Seachem recommend adding the amount of conditioner for the
entire tank volume, and even exceeding this by two or three times “will cause no
harm.” Over on TFF, it has been suggested that the organics in the tank will
somehow nullify much of the dechlorinator when water is added directly to the
tank, so the conditioner should be for the full tank volume or more. I’ve never
had identifiable problems in more than 25 years of doing it minimally, so I
question this reasoning.
<I think their rationale is this: When you add dechlorinator to a bucket, you
stir in the dechlorinator, neutralising all the chlorine before adding the water
to your aquarium. When doing the Python approach, you're adding new water
(including its dissolved chlorine) straight to the tank, which is a far bigger
volume than a bucket, and much less evenly mixed, especially if you turn the
filter off during water changes. If you add the "right" amount of dechlorinator,
it might take, say, 30 minutes to completely mix with all the chlorine particles
and neutralise them. Add two or three times as much, and you increase the
chances the dechlorinator particles collide with chlorine particles. Very
roughly, if you add two times as much, you half the time the chlorine is "free"
and able to hurt your fish; add three times as much, and that chlorine is able
to hurt your fish only one-third the time. Make sense? What the water
conditioner manufacturer is suggesting -- quite plausibly -- is that the
potential harm a triple dose of dechlorinator might do is less than the harm
free chlorine will do in the X minutes it's un-neutralised in the aquarium. I
honestly have no idea how long chlorine would take to neutralise in the
aquarium, but for some fish, even a few minutes exposure could cause damage,
particularly if this happens week after week after week.>
I’d be interested in your views on this. Particularly, am I correct in thinking
that substances dissolved in the water will get inside fish (whatever the
consequences)? And is conditioner for the replacement volume adequate?
<I dose extremely approximately using pond-grade dechlorinator. For all
practical purposes this stuff is extremely low toxicity, so I'd have no
reservations about using a double or triple dose. Conversely, if the plain
vanilla dosage has always worked for you, I'd see no harm in sticking with it.>
3 Polypterus species and sizes and tankmates
I have a 75 gallon tank with
1 Senegal Bichir 7”
1 Polypterus teugelsi 5”
1 African Feather fin Catfish 7”
<Lovely, peaceful catfish.>
2 Turquoise Rainbows 3” each
<I'd add a few more of these.>
1 Pictus Catfish 4” and
<No threat to all but the newly hatched Bichirs.>
1 Angel fish 4.5” tall.
The tank is well decorated with many hinding spaces and a 2” sand
bottom. I have recently found a 3’ Polypterus delhezi 3”. My question
is, how long should I allow my to get before I can add him to the 75
gallon tank., and will any of the other occupants cause a threat to him?
<I would not combine such a small Polypterus specimen with substantially
larger specimens. Once the little Polypterus delhezi grows to within a
couple of inches of the existing specimens, you should be fine combining
them. But very small juveniles, especially those with their external
gills present, are extremely vulnerable. Bichirs are snappy, and even
the smaller, more tolerant species like Senegal Bichirs can't be
completely trusted to leave smaller or weaker specimens alone. Use your
common sense here, even though the three species you mention should be
compatible, given space. Cheers, Neale.>
Blood Parrot -ongoing paleness
I'm so sorry to be taking up so much of your time, as this is now my forth
correspondence to you. To recap- I have a 47 gallon wedge tank inhabited by 2
(4year old) blood parrots and a Pleco(11 years old)on 5/25/17 became aware of
over fed polluted tank- broke filter while cleaning, waited week for new filter
<An effective and reliable if old-school unit.>
In the beginning male BP showed more stress than female until around 6/19 and
then female became pale , hanging by heater and poor appetite. Male now fine,
with no further issue. Pleco fine.
<Good and good.>
I have been keeping the water with Nitrate at or below 20%, pH 6.5-7.5
<Sounds fine, but would make the observation that pH 6.5-7.5 is an odd range,
slipping between acid and alkaline. Parrot Cichlids, being Central American in
origin, are best kept in medium hard, slightly alkaline water.>
6/29/17(per your advise) added 16 tsp Epsom salt and I treated tank with" API-
General Cure"(Metronidazole 250mg and Praziquantel 75mg) which is a 2 dose
product -treat wait 48 hr, 2nd treat wait 48 hrs, do 25% water change. I
replaced nearly 50% of water and I replaced 8 tsp of Epsom salts at that time.
7/3/17- my female BP appeared much better dark orange color returned and was
until 7/5 when she went pale again. Now no appetite (she will catch a skinless
par boiled pea, chew for a few then spit out. I have been removing uneaten food
<Indeed, remove food, then wait and see. Is the female isolated from the male?
If not, if they're together, what are their interactions like? Cichlids aren't
'nice' animals, and will sometimes bully weakened specimens.>
7/9/17- I began second round of API General Cure (waited a week between last
treatment per your advise)
7/13/17-today- I did an almost 50% water change. My water, before change, was;
nitrate <20% and pH 6.5 water temp 82. My water following change- nitrate
between 5-10% and pH 7.0 .
<Do feel the water is a bit too warm, and a bit too acidic. I would aim
to optimise -- use sodium bicarbonate to raise the pH and hardness (around 7.5
is an ideal pH) using a dosage of maybe 0.5 teaspoons per 5 US gallons.
Experiment with buckets of water, and once you get something useful, do
this for all new water changes. And yes, Epsom salt and sodium bicarbonate can
be used together -- the first affects general hardness, the second affects
What now? As you can see from photo- she is still pale, still hovers by heater,
still with no appetite, but will swim to greet me at front of
tank(occasionally)and will still harass the Pleco occasionally( she is not
completely with out energy). Since I changed nearly half of water, how much
Epsom salt should I replace(if any)?
<Replace added minerals pro rata -- per 5 gallons/20 litres, up to 1 teaspoon
baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and up to 1 tablespoon Epsom salt (magnesium
sulfate). So if your bucket contains 2.5 US gallons, then add up to 0.5 tsp
sodium bicarb., and up to 0.5 tbsp Epsom salt, to that bucket of water. These
minerals aren't 'used up' in any meaningful way, so you don't re-dose for the
whole tank. Just the bucket or buckets of new water being added!>
What I see when I look at her is a pale fish with a slightly rounded
abdomen(compared to male). Abdomen appears firm. Scales appear smooth. I do not
see any visible fin, scale, or gill issues. I do not see white stringy poop- I
do not see poop of any sort-and I have been watching. Well, I did see her
pooping following the original application of Epsom salts(6/29/17) but none
Should I now treat with" API Furan 2"(Nitrofurazone 85mg)- If I do, will this
product negatively impact my filter bacteria?
<It shouldn't do, but keep an eye on ammonia or nitrite levels, whichever test
kit you have.>
Additional, not sure if this has any relevance but these BPs are a pair and up
until this began routinely, about monthly, laid egg clutches( cleaned up nicely
I know how difficult it must be to diagnosis and treat a fish by the information
presented in writing . Please let me know if I can provide any more data or
photos to assist you.
I am ,as always , so very grateful of your efforts. Thank you. ❤
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Blood Parrot -ongoing paleness (RMF, any last-ditch ideas?)
I realize my Blood parrot is going to die, but I am in agony watching it.
<Understood, and I sympathise with your situation.>
She BP is still alive and still relatively active (considering). She looks
like she is working harder to breath than the healthy male, gills opening
wider and faster. She is still pale, still refusing food, still bloated but
still with smooth scales. She usually just hangs out by the heater. My water
perimeters are spot on. To answer your question about aggression from other
BP- he occasionally hassles her- but it is infrequent. I scooped her up (
very surprised at how "spiny" her fins are!)
<Oh, yes; a major defence that cichlids have against their predators.>
her bloated abdomen is firm ( I was very gentle )
<Does sound like Dropsy; can you medicate with an antibiotic? Ideally,
antibiotic food, as that's the best way to deliver such medicine into
aquarium fishes. Various commercial products of this type available in the
USA. Most other places, a vet will need to help.>
I don't understand why a couple of weeks ago she returned to normal color
and activity and even ate with vigor.
<Nor I. The problem with diagnosing sick fish via the internet, or even as
an aquarist, is that real diagnosis is done using tissue samples and
microscopy. What we're attempting here is what a GP would achieve if you
were sick, but only able to give symptoms over the telephone. Better than
nothing, sure, but still approximations based on experience and the law of
averages. So while we're pretty good much of the time, there will be
situations where a fish doesn't suffer from "the usual suspects" and our
best guess approach isn't going to help.>
Now she might be over by front of tank and when I feed the other BP she
swims away -over to heater .
<Sometimes sick fish will seek out warmer water; comparable to running a
fever in cold-blooded animals. Presumably stresses the metabolism of their
pathogens, as fevers do for us, hoping their own enzymes and cellular
processes are able to tolerate high temperatures better.>
I was wondering if since fish don't swallow the tank water which can be
treated, and since she is not eating, could I make up a solution of
Nitrofurazone 85 mg per packet and syringe it into her mouth.
<Nope. Adding antibiotic to the water will be taken up via the gills, and in
any event, in freshwater situations, fish are continually soaking in water
from their environment because their tissues are more 'salty' than the
surrounding water. Their bodies aren't watertight (like ours are) so
anything in their environment will, by definition, diffuse into their
tissues if it can. That said, this approach is very rough and ready, which
is why vets prefer to administer antibiotics in known concentrations via
foods or, exceptionally, injections. Aquarists lack the skill and tools for
the later, and the former isn't always an option if the fish is not eating,
hence we fall back on the adding medicines to the water approach instead.>
The problem with this idea is that I have no idea what ration of sterile
water to powder I should use. The packets directions state 1 envelope per 10
gallons. The product I have available its "API- Furan-2". It is designed to
treat a tank.
<I would always (unless you're a vet) recommend you go with the
Is there anything to be done? To refresh your memory this all began with an
overfed-polluted tank (the pollution was event rather than a "life style"-
though they lived with nitrates higher than 20% previously-I water changed
and fed cautiously) I'm sorry to keep taking up your time.
<Not a problem.>
<Good luck, Neale. Will appeal to RMF for his insight, if any.>
<<The Furan compound is what I would use (25 mg/gal, change half the water,
retreat every three days, three times) and Epsom Salt. BobF>>
Re: Blood Parrot -ongoing paleness (RMF, any last-ditch ideas?); plus
Furan cpd. use f' 7/24/17
Neale & Bob,
Thank you for this info. Let me see if I understand it correctly; I have a 47
gallon tank. You are advising that I dose furan compound at 1175 mg. The API
Furan2 doses 85 mg/packet- I will need just over 13 packets. I will add the
antibiotic- wait 3 days and change half the water.
I will than do the exact same thing 2 more times.
Should I add new dose of furan the same day as water change?
Re Epsom salt; If I change 50% water how much Epsom salt do I replace for 47 g?
(approx 16 tsp in prior to water change) and shall I add the amount you
recommend following each subsequent water change?
<Add half, 8 tsp., per the half of water removed/replaced>
I actually added Furan2 dose per packet instructions last evening ( 425mg ). I
will add the remaining 750mg today. I am leaving now to locate more antibiotic
This dose far exceeds the package directions.
<Mmm... as per here?
I completely trust your advise but just to be sure, this dose will not be too
much for my healthy male?
<Hopefully not... You've read over the MSDS for this API product?
<Lisa; I am concerned re the concentration of Nifurpirinols in this product as
well. I advise going with the manufacturers dosing instructions. Bob Fenner>
I am sorry to require such defined instruction, but the devil is in the
details.... I am so grateful for your advise and assistance, thank you for
patience with me.
p.s. it is hard to believe that I have kept these lovely fishes alive and well
these past 4 years with out issue, when I now feel so very incompetent.
<This "cross" has many issues... too much inbreeding... Bob Fenner>
Re: Blood Parrot -ongoing paleness (RMF, any last-ditch ideas?)
Thank you Bob and Neale!
<Hello again Lisa, and you're most welcome.>
You have given me some hope that she may recover. I feel like, in the least, I
am "doing all I can". Thank you again for your patience (Neale )
I have been boring you the details of our plight for over a month! I can
honestly say that I have learned a tremendous amount regarding tank hygiene and
water perimeters, my male BP will benefit greatly (as I hope I will be able to
say she will as well!) You are the best:)
<We certainly try!>
I will keep you posted on her progress,
Ever gratefully yours
<Good luck, to you and your fish. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Blood Parrot -ongoing paleness (RMF, any last-ditch ideas?)<<I
would stop "treating">> 7/27/17
Hello Neale and Bob!
I think things are improving. Last evening was the 4th and final dose of
Furan-2(each dose = 425mg Nitrofurazone). Today my female, though continues to
be pale, ate for the first time in over a week (thawed) frozen Hikari brand
Krill. Last evening I noted her pooping( brown pellets attached by what appears
to be a mucus strand). Her behavior is more energetic and more within her usual
with some tossing about of rocks and
visiting me at front of tank.
<All sounds good.>
What next? The Furan-2 directions states "treatment may be repeated if
necessary" Should I begin second round of 4 dose treatment?
<Personally, I'd wait a couple days to see if things continue to improve on
their own; but there should be no harm done beginning another course of
medication immediately afterwards.>
Should I re-dose API General Cure-Metronidazole 1,250 mg/dose ( this would be a
third round- the last given 2 weeks ago)
Should I add both together?
<Metronidazole and Nitrofurazone work well together; indeed, the combo is
"standard operating procedure" for medicating cichlids suffering from Hexamita.>
Should I do nothing?
FYI-My ammonia level today (pre-water change) is climbing a bit and is now
somewhere between .25 and .50% and Nitrate remains around 20. Tank water is due
to be changed at 8pm tonight.
<You MUST keep ammonia down, e.g., by substantial water changes prior to each
daily dose of medication -- no point changing the water after you add the
medication, as you can well imagine. On the other hand, after 24 hours
most medication will have done its work, and been broken down by the microbes,
so a water change 24 hours after adding medication usually does no harm.
Alternatively, use commercial ammonia remover (such as Zeolite)
and/or reduce food input to ensure ammonia stays low/zero.>
With kindest regards...and ongoing gratitude,
<Good luck! Neale.>
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