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

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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Freshwater FAQs, Ask us a question: Crew@WetWebMedia.com

Updated 3/29/20
Other Specialized Daily FAQs Blogs: General, Planted Tanks, Ponds, Brackish, Last Few Days Accrued FAQs,
Daily Q&A replies/input from the WWM crew: Darrel Barton,
Neale Monks, Marco Lichtenberger, Bob Fenner, are posted here. Moved about, re-organized daily Current Crew Bios., Not so current Crew Bios
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Betta Success
Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Re: Questions for 2 Bettas - follow up, lost my original email thread      3/29/20
Good morning WWM, so I have a really bizarre update on this Betta. In the last week he has taken a turn for the better!
<Yay!>
His fins are growing back and his swim bladder problems (floating at the surface for him) are gone.
<Nice.>
This has happened over the past week. This morning I woke up and he is swimming at all levels of the tank like normal. I'm bewildered because I never expected a recovery, let alone something this fast. He is still very skinny so I am hoping if he is getting better, I can get some weight on him. If the mycobacterium suspicion was correct, is this sort of recovery even "possible" or maybe it isn't mycobacterium after all?
<Yes, though rare. There's no treatment for Mycobacteria infections, but some fish do indeed recover. Perhaps more likely some other problem, bacterial or otherwise, was at work. Constipation and exposure to airborne toxins are two such examples of things that can cause acute problems followed by spontaneous recovery. >
I just can't wrap my head around this sudden recovery.
<Stranger things have happened! Cheers, Neale.>

ADF Behavior, & repro. f'      3/29/20
Hello again Neale,
<Hello Hanna,>
I wrote to you perhaps around a week ago about my female ADF with cloudy eyes.
<Indeed.>
I followed your instructions, and she is almost entirely back to normal, and all tank mates are happy and healthy!
<Yay!>
However, perhaps I am making a problem out of nothing, but I had another concern I thought you would be best to ask you about.
<Sure.>
I've searched for any answers about this by scouring the internet but I did not find the information I was looking for. My ADFs are one male and one female, and as previously mentioned in another email I have had them for about 2 months. When I first got them from the pet store they were extremely small and underfed, so much so that they were almost translucent.
They have grown immensely in the two months I have had them, almost doubling in size.
<Not bad at all!>
The male developed his subdermal glands, and the female has clearly began to develop her more rotund and pear-shaped body. I would wager a guess that they are around the ages of 5-6 months each but it's hard to say.
<Maybe, but hard to know, as you say.>
However, they have not shown any inclination towards amplexus with each other.
<May simply be too young, or even of different species (there are at least two in the trade) so not willing or able to sexually engage with one another. On top of this, these animals are largely nocturnal, so we really only see a bit of their behaviour in the tank when the lights are on.>
I contacted a few other ADF owners, who shared that their little guys started breeding almost right away and took to each other quickly and a very young age. Perhaps my frogs are simply still not ready, as I know the average age of sexual maturity for these guys is 9 months, but I was curious nonetheless.
<Often people hear the males singing first. Sounds like a squeaky door to me, but apparently female frogs love it!>
My two have never shown any inclination towards amplexus, and I wanted to make sure that this wasn't a sign that something was wrong.
<Unlikely.>
Do some ADFs simply never choose to breed with each other?
<Indeed, just as with people.>
Are mine still too young?
<Quite possibly.>
There is obviously no need for them to breed, but I know that amplexus is often a sign of a healthy and happy environment for ADFs, and I became worried that I was doing something wrong.
<I'd not worry about this. If they're feeding and active during the daylight hours, those are the two best signs.>
Thank you for all your helpful answers and care!
Best, Hanna
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Re: sudden guppy illness after disturbing gravel a week ago      3/27/20
Hi again Neale,
Hope you are well :)
<So far as I know, but these days, that doesn't always count for much!>
The dwarf chain loach are going good except after cleaning gravel in my main tank and removing plants 2 of the females were behaving weirdly. Maybe they have a disease or could it be from male harassment?
<Kinda sort of. Female Guppies surely do get harassed by males in small tanks, and 70 litres would be small for our purposes. Once harassed, the resulting stress can make them more prone to the usual bacterial diseases, much as aggression might.>
I moved one out and treated it with general cure and fungus cure in the 70L tank. I also treated main tank with Praziquantel and then today I spotted the other female in the main tank swimming weakly, more like drifting around really but breathing heavy.
<These symptoms are pretty generic and could be all sorts of things.
Optimising living conditions, and medicating as per a bacterial infection is probably your best bet, ideally alongside something like Metronidazole to deal with protozoans that may or may not be Hexamita, but do cause 'wasting' type problems in Guppies.>
I moved her to into the 70L and medicated both tanks with general cure.
This is a video of the fish, any idea what's causing it or what disease it could be? I'm going to test the nitrate in main tank. The ammonia and nitrite was fine.
https://youtu.be/rw0RwnB4fxY
<Does look more like acute environmental stress if this came out of nowhere after cleaning the tank. Have seen similar with cichlids when adding too-cold water by accident. Recover with time if conditions appropriate, but if you've introduced a toxin, a series of water changes may be needed.
Likewise if you've messed up water chemistry, especially by either lowering pH or hardness in the case of Guppies, a similar thing may happen. Use a water chemistry test kit, and act accordingly.>
Thanks again
<Welcome. Neale.>
re: sudden guppy illness after disturbing gravel a week ago     3/28/20

Thanks so much for your reply Neale,
<Welcome.>
Its great you are well :) I heard P95 masks protect against the virus so if you could get some that's a start
<Indeed.>
The weird thing is the females I moved have improved but more fish in the main 130L tank seem to be catching it. Is it possible its hydrogen sulfide poisoning?
<H2S would cause immediate respiratory distress, such as gasping at the surface. Appreciable amounts of H2S are very unlikely in aquarium situations. You'd not only need a very deep substrate (at least 8-10 cm) but the water would have to be decidedly oxygen-poor, because otherwise the H2S reacts almost instantly with the oxygen in the water. Even those things wouldn't result in much H2S without bucket-loads of organic material being somehow inside the substrate and decomposing away from oxygen (so, for example, no plant roots to transport oxygen, and no burrowing snails to turn over the substrate and keep it clean). Nobody worries about H2S in ponds or marine tanks, and in marine tanks anoxic conditions are actively encouraged to help break down nitrate. I think the whole H2S thing is a bit
of a myth, really, and while theoretically possible, probably doesn't happen in typical freshwater fish tanks with plants and snails.>
Because when I was gravel vacuuming I noticed sooo much bubbles coming out of the gravel.
<H2S has a very distinctive bad egg smell. Furthermore, where it is being produced, the sulphides react with chemicals readily, the most famous reaction being the one that produces iron sulphide. If you've ever dug into sand at the beach, you'll have noticed when go deep enough, a layer of black sand and a bad smell. This is iron sulphide (the black sand) and hydrogen sulphide (the bad egg smell). If you're not detecting either of these in your aquarium, then H2S is not likely being produced in significant quantities. I think this also gives an indication of the sort of environment H2S production needs for quantities to become dangerous: very deep sediment, very fine particles like sand blocking the diffusion of oxygen, no plant roots, no snails, and no preventative maintenance of any kind.>
I moved almost all the females today even though only 1-2 extra were afflicted, and moved them all to the 70L. A male is afflicted but I couldn't catch him, he was hiding in an impossible spot.
<In theory, if the fish were exposed to H2S but survived, moving them to better conditions, or ideally, simply aerating the tank vigorously to drive off the H2S, should allow the fish to recover. Animals produce H2S in small amounts within their bodies, and have ways to deal with it. My understanding is that even in humans exposed to enough H2S to become unwell, treatment is essentially supportive, waiting for nature to takes its course. Put another way, if your fish are in better conditions now, H2S
poisoning would be a transient thing, and you should seem recover, slow or rapid as the case may be.>
I ordered more medication for the tank (metronidazole) as I'm out. It should arrive this week, its 25 grams this time which is loads more than I had before. The meds I added to main tank didn't seem to help. I also ordered Flubendazole incase its a parasite though I'm not sure how to dose it.
<Best to follow the supplied instructions on the packaging. Vets will prescribe dosages based on the concentration of the drug and the body mass of the fish. Everything else is hit-and-miss (especially the usual aquarium approach of X teaspoons per Y litres/gallons). Manufacturers generally provide a usage that is basically reliable for the average fish in the average fish tank, but you may find repeating the course of medication worthwhile, especially with de-wormers.>
I added carbon pad and PolyFilter to the filter incase it is hydrogen sulfide poisoning.
<Do remember BOTH of these will remove medications, so DO NOT use alongside medicine. Indeed, removal of H2S is best done by increasing aeration, since H2S reacts quickly with oxygen. If you truly suspect this is a problem, I'd remove the fish to a bucket, remove all the substrate (and any plants, if
present) and then put the fish back. Clean the substrate, and return to the tank. If you don't have plants, you only need enough sand or gravel to cover the glass, a 1-2 cm of this will not become anoxic. Still, if you have plants with roots, then H2S is very unlikely to occur because plant roots transport oxygen (the root hair cells are highly dependent on aerobic respiration) and some oxygen inevitably diffuses out into the sediment.>
Their water was already low ph pretty much.
<Do bear in mind acidosis will quickly stress Guppies; you do want hard water for them. As a reminder, 10-25 degrees dH, pH 7.5-8.0 is about right. If your water chemistry is unstable or soft, addition of marine aquarium salt works extremely well with Guppies. To say they thrive in brackish water is an understatement, but even a little salt, maybe 3-5 gram/litre, makes a tremendous difference. Breeding on fish farms often uses salt, simply because it's a quick and cheap way to keep Guppies healthy. Hardy
plants won't mind this level of salt, at least not up to 3 gram/litre.
Guppies also appreciate warmth, especially the fancier varieties. I'd be keeping them around 28 C, but bumping up the aeration as well.>
It may of gotten lower from the release in gases though I added some marble to the filter. The 70L is way harder water like 7.6 and all the females reacted well to being moved from the acidic tank to 7.6.
<I would imagine. Wild Guppies may well handle acidic conditions, being found across a range of environments from acidic swamps through to coastal marine lagoons, but fancy Guppies aren't as genetically diverse and tend to be much more finicky.>
So I think maybe it in fact is a toxin i.e. hydrogen sulfide.
<Toxins of other sorts, like paint fumes and aerosol cleaning sprays should always be considered, but again, water changes should eliminate these and you should see the fish recover thereafter.>
Also I tested the nitrate and it was pretty low, only in-between 0 and 5ppm.
Which is surprising as its stocked pretty high and has excess of snails and minimal plants. I'm thinking the gravel was doing anaerobic filtration.
<See above; only if very deep, very neglected, and very plant/snail free.>
This is the tank atm (foggy due to adding SeaChem pristine and disturbing gravel again).
https://youtu.be/duzAhUz8h4w
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
re: sudden guppy illness after disturbing gravel a week ago     3/28/20
Hi thanks so much for your reply Neale,
<Welcome.>
I think the females haven't actually recovered but they are no worse. Sadly an Endler male I liked must of died overnight without a trace. I noticed a yellow Endler has been missing ever since I moved it from Quarantine to the big tank.
I'm starting to think it is worms and likely not hydrogen sulfide/a toxin.
As a couple more guppies are being affected. Even after water changes.
<Camallanus worms are very common among farmed livebearers, but the symptoms are usually obvious, with red, thread-like filaments appearing from the vent. But if you have a bunch of fish, all suddenly getting sick, without any obvious symptoms pointing in a clear direction, it's a better bet to go with the environment. As we've discussed, Guppies are adaptable but do have firm preferences: medium to very hard water; pH around 7.5 to 8; gentle water currents; and a fair bit of warmth. Check you are providing these first, before a scattergun approach to medicating is undertaken.>
Though I don't know why suddenly it would strike them and spread.
<Indeed; see above. Check environment, top to bottom, first.>
Any idea what kind of parasite it could be?
<Not from the symptoms presented, no.>
I don't really feel like it's bacterial. I mean it is a possibility but I can't think of what kind of bacteria could cause these symptoms and also spread like this.
<Bacterial infections tend to be opportunistic. Some exceptions, but mostly things like Finrot and Mycobacteria make trouble when the fish is damaged, stressed, or otherwise unable to employ its normal immune system.>
Should I use Levamisole or Flubendazole (wait till it arrives later this week). I heard Flubendazole is gentler on fish but I don't know if I should wait till it arrives next week sometime.
<Both can work, but don't use them unless you're obviously dealing with worms -- i.e., visible from the vent, or at the very least there's abdominal swelling developed over several weeks or months together with normal behaviour and appetite but an overall loss of conditions. Worms do not suddenly take over a fish and kill it within days. Cheers, Neale.>
re: sudden guppy illness after disturbing gravel a week ago      3/29/20

Thanks so much for your reply Neale,
<Welcome.>
Its great you are well :) I heard P95 masks protect against the virus so if you could get some that's a start
<Indeed.>
The weird thing is the females I moved have improved but more fish in the main 130L tank seem to be catching it. Is it possible its hydrogen sulfide poisoning?
<H2S would cause immediate respiratory distress, such as gasping at the surface. Appreciable amounts of H2S are very unlikely in aquarium situations. You'd not only need a very deep substrate (at least 8-10 cm) but the water would have to be decidedly oxygen-poor, because otherwise the H2S reacts almost instantly with the oxygen in the water. Even those things wouldn't result in much H2S without bucket-loads of organic material being somehow inside the substrate and decomposing away from oxygen (so, for example, no plant roots to transport oxygen, and no burrowing snails to turn over the substrate and keep it clean). Nobody worries about H2S in ponds or marine tanks, and in marine tanks anoxic conditions are actively encouraged to help break down nitrate. I think the whole H2S thing is a bit of a myth, really, and while theoretically possible, probably doesn't happen in typical freshwater fish tanks with plants and snails.>
Because when I was gravel vacuuming I noticed sooo much bubbles coming out of the gravel.
<H2S has a very distinctive bad egg smell. Furthermore, where it is being produced, the sulphides react with chemicals readily, the most famous reaction being the one that produces iron sulphide. If you've ever dug into sand at the beach, you'll have noticed when go deep enough, a layer of black sand and a bad smell. This is iron sulphide (the black sand) and hydrogen sulphide (the bad egg smell). If you're not detecting either of these in your aquarium, then H2S is not likely being produced in significant quantities. I think this also gives an indication of the sort of environment H2S production needs for quantities to become dangerous: very deep sediment, very fine particles like sand blocking the diffusion of oxygen, no plant roots, no snails, and no preventative maintenance of any kind.>
I moved almost all the females today even though only 1-2 extra were afflicted, and moved them all to the 70L. A male is afflicted but I couldn't catch him, he was hiding in an impossible spot.
<In theory, if the fish were exposed to H2S but survived, moving them to better conditions, or ideally, simply aerating the tank vigorously to drive off the H2S, should allow the fish to recover. Animals produce H2S in small amounts within their bodies, and have ways to deal with it. My understanding is that even in humans exposed to enough H2S to become unwell, treatment is essentially supportive, waiting for nature to takes its course. Put another way, if your fish are in better conditions now, H2S
poisoning would be a transient thing, and you should seem recover, slow or rapid as the case may be.>
I ordered more medication for the tank (metronidazole) as I'm out. It should arrive this week, its 25 grams this time which is loads more than I had before. The meds I added to main tank didn't seem to help. I also ordered Flubendazole incase its a parasite though I'm not sure how to dose it.
<Best to follow the supplied instructions on the packaging. Vets will prescribe dosages based on the concentration of the drug and the body mass of the fish. Everything else is hit-and-miss (especially the usual aquarium approach of X teaspoons per Y litres/gallons). Manufacturers generally provide a usage that is basically reliable for the average fish in the average fish tank, but you may find repeating the course of medication worthwhile, especially with de-wormers.>
I added carbon pad and PolyFilter to the filter incase it is hydrogen sulfide poisoning.
<Do remember BOTH of these will remove medications, so DO NOT use alongside medicine. Indeed, removal of H2S is best done by increasing aeration, since H2S reacts quickly with oxygen. If you truly suspect this is a problem, I'd remove the fish to a bucket, remove all the substrate (and any plants, if
present) and then put the fish back. Clean the substrate, and return to the tank. If you don't have plants, you only need enough sand or gravel to cover the glass, a 1-2 cm of this will not become anoxic. Still, if you have plants with roots, then H2S is very unlikely to occur because plant roots transport oxygen (the root hair cells are highly dependent on aerobic respiration) and some oxygen inevitably diffuses out into the sediment.>
Their water was already low ph pretty much.
<Do bear in mind acidosis will quickly stress Guppies; you do want hard water for them. As a reminder, 10-25 degrees dH, pH 7.5-8.0 is about right.
If your water chemistry is unstable or soft, addition of marine aquarium salt works extremely well with Guppies. To say they thrive in brackish water is an understatement, but even a little salt, maybe 3-5 gram/litre, makes a tremendous difference. Breeding on fish farms often uses salt, simply because it's a quick and cheap way to keep Guppies healthy. Hardy plants won't mind this level of salt, at least not up to 3 gram/litre.
Guppies also appreciate warmth, especially the fancier varieties. I'd be keeping them around 28 C, but bumping up the aeration as well.>
It may of gotten lower from the release in gases though I added some marble to the filter. The 70L is way harder water like 7.6 and all the females reacted well to being moved from the acidic tank to 7.6.
<I would imagine. Wild Guppies may well handle acidic conditions, being found across a range of environments from acidic swamps through to coastal marine lagoons, but fancy Guppies aren't as genetically diverse and tend to be much more finicky.>
So I think maybe it in fact is a toxin i.e. hydrogen sulfide.
<Toxins of other sorts, like paint fumes and aerosol cleaning sprays should always be considered, but again, water changes should eliminate these and you should see the fish recover thereafter.>
Also I tested the nitrate and it was pretty low, only in-between 0 and 5ppm.
Which is surprising as its stocked pretty high and has excess of snails and minimal plants. I'm thinking the gravel was doing anaerobic filtration.
<See above; only if very deep, very neglected, and very plant/snail free.>
This is the tank atm (foggy due to adding SeaChem pristine and disturbing gravel again).
https://youtu.be/duzAhUz8h4w
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
re: sudden guppy illness after disturbing gravel a week ago      3/29/20

Hi thanks so much for your reply Neale,
<Welcome.>
I think the females haven't actually recovered but they are no worse. Sadly an Endler male I liked must of died overnight without a trace. I noticed a yellow Endler has been missing ever since I moved it from Quarantine to the big tank.
I'm starting to think it is worms and likely not hydrogen sulfide/a toxin.
As a couple more guppies are being affected. Even after water changes.
<Camallanus worms are very common among farmed livebearers, but the symptoms are usually obvious, with red, thread-like filaments appearing from the vent. But if you have a bunch of fish, all suddenly getting sick, without any obvious symptoms pointing in a clear direction, it's a better bet to go with the environment. As we've discussed, Guppies are adaptable but do have firm preferences: medium to very hard water; pH around 7.5 to 8; gentle water currents; and a fair bit of warmth. Check you are providing these first, before a scattergun approach to medicating is undertaken.>
Though I don't know why suddenly it would strike them and spread.
<Indeed; see above. Check environment, top to bottom, first.>
Any idea what kind of parasite it could be?
<Not from the symptoms presented, no.>
I don't really feel like it's bacterial. I mean it is a possibility but I can't think of what kind of bacteria could cause these symptoms and also spread like this.
<Bacterial infections tend to be opportunistic. Some exceptions, but mostly things like Finrot and Mycobacteria make trouble when the fish is damaged, stressed, or otherwise unable to employ its normal immune system.>
Should I use Levamisole or Flubendazole (wait till it arrives later this week). I heard Flubendazole is gentler on fish but I don't know if I should wait till it arrives next week sometime.
<Both can work, but don't use them unless you're obviously dealing with worms -- i.e., visible from the vent, or at the very least there's abdominal swelling developed over several weeks or months together with normal behaviour and appetite but an overall loss of conditions. Worms do not suddenly take over a fish and kill it within days. Cheers, Neale.>
re: sudden guppy illness after disturbing gravel a week ago      3/29/20

Thanks so much Neale
<Most welcome.>
I added more marble to raise the ph slowly.
<Wouldn't be my recommendation. Do read WWM re: water chemistry; the old Rift Valley salt mix, used at about one-half dose, is ideal for Guppies and extremely cheap to make.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwh2oquality.htm
Gradually change the water chemistry in the tank by doing 20-25% water changes per day, with incoming water being treated using the Rift Valley salt mix appropriate to that volume of water, not the whole tank.>
Will add more in a few days. What temperature would you recommend for guppies?
<25-28 C is about right for fancy Guppies.>
Also all the tanks have rift lake cichlid salt in them too.
<Well, shouldn't need the marble then! Are you using enough? If you are using Rift Valley salt, the pH should be around 7.5. Ordinary salt, as in sodium chloride, WILL NOT change the pH, and is of no value. Carbonate salts add the KH, and Epsom salt (or equivalent) the GH; do read the above linked article.>
What would you suggest I do? More water changes? Every couple days? Or little water change after a week? Any thing else?
<Do please read first; after, if needs be, write. Cheers, Neale.>
re: sudden guppy illness after disturbing gravel a week ago      3/29/20

Thanks so much Neale,
<Welcome.>
Last time I checked the ph it was 6.4 which was actually an improvement.
<Yes, but still far too low for Guppies; this alone could explain their distress and death. No need to invoke pathogens.>
But I added slightly more marble, I think there's about 1/3 of a cup in there now maybe slightly more.
<The thing with marble is that while it does dissolve slowly, raising the KH and pH, it's slow and unpredictable. Adding Epsom salt (for GH) and sodium bicarbonate (for KH) are instant and accurate. Just stir into a bucket of water, test, and off you go!>
I will check the ph tomorrow and see how my fish are doing :)
The temperature is 26-27
All the females are in the 70L with a higher ph I think its like 7.6.
Ok I will add a bit more rift lake cichlid salt too
Thanks!
<Cheers, Neale.>
re: sudden guppy illness after disturbing gravel a week ago      3/29/20

Hi again Neale,
<Hello Sarah,>
Just a quick update, I was checking my guppies and saw one that is affected has stringing clear/white poo.
Does that mean parasites or bacteria?
<All it means is that the intestine is shedding extra mucous. The mucous binds the faecal particles together into long strings, and the greater the proportion of mucous, the paler the faeces. Extra mucous in the digestive tract can happen for a variety of reasons, from inadequate fibre through to certain types of gut parasite. You can't rule worms in or out without examining the faeces under a microscope, where worm segments and/or eggs will be apparent. Hexamita is another parasite associated with stringy
faeces, but again, you can't confirm without microscopic inspection. A bacterial infection, though possible I suppose, is unlikely to cause this particular set of symptoms; to the best of my knowledge, anyway.>
Thanks
<Cheers, Neale.>

sick eel... Need data       3/22/20
A friend asked me to hold his tank and fish so I don’t know what kind of eel he is but they’ve been settled in at my place for 5 days give or take. The eel seemed fine at first but his breathing has been very labored, he opens his jaw to full capacity and now sometimes he opens it all the way and keeps it open for 10-15 seconds at a time. Don’t think he's ate in a few days and the other fish are eyeballing him. What do I do
<We do need some information here. Freshwater or Marine? Do you have a photo of the eel to help us identify the species? Moray Eels for example do breathe in what seems a rather laborious way. There's a nice video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylza7oVWb1U
But really, your message doesn't tell us anything useful. We do need to know whether we're talking freshwater or marine; what the water chemistry (freshwater tanks) and salinity (if marine) are; how big the tank is; what the other fish species are; and what sort of food you're offering. Cheers, Neale.>

Black spots on silver dollar      3/20/20
Hey I have noticed black raised dots on 2 or the 4 silver dollars. They seem fine though. I’m worried about medication because I have a Mbu puffer as well. Is this normal or should I treat?
<Yeah; apparently these are Cercariae, (larval) stage of Flukes/Trematodes... Can be treated for... though are not likely (very) deleterious now that the fish is in captivity. No determinant host to pass on, complete the life cycle. Do read re Trematoda...
http://www.fishelp.io/en/online-hospital/d/cercariae-black-spot-disease-black-ick-diplopstomiasis-16
If I were the aquarist, I might well do nothing treatment-wise here. Bob Fenner>
-Sony

Is my turtle ok     3/19/20
This white spot showed up a few days ago I thought that it was just something on him and after looking closer it looks like it his skin.
<Hard to tell from your photo. If it's dry skin flaking off (looks like sunburn on a human) that's normal. But if it's part of the living skin, that's not normal. Dry docking is a good first approach:
https://yarmouthvetcenter.com/dry-docking-turtles.pml
Keep the injury clean and if it looks to be healing, just carry on until the turtle is better. Do read the above link, especially with regard to drinking, feeding, and defection.>
I don’t know what it is should I be worried about him or will he be ok.
<Cheers, Neale.>

BLACK GHOST KNIFE FISH and RED TAIL ALBINO SHARKS, comp.    3/18/20
Greetings.. Thank you for an informative website. Are black ghost knife fish and red tail albino sharks compatible in the same tank? Kind regards, Phillip Chapman.
<They can be; that is, I've seen them kept together. Both need room... this minnow shark can get big (and mean). They are fine in terms of water quality conditions. One needs to make sure the BGK has enough hiding space (a tube is great)... And you need to make sure that both species are getting food. The "sharks" can be very aggressive feeders. A good idea to place food (frozen/defrosted or live... meaty) in two areas at the same time; on the bottom. DO read re both on WWM. Bob Fenner>
Re: BLACK GHOST KNIFE FISH and RED TAIL ALBINO SHARKS     3/19/20

Many thanks for the info. It is greatly appreciated.
<Welcome Phillip. BobF>

ADF cloudy eyes      3/16/20
Hello, I've become the caregiver to two African Dwarf Frogs (one male, one female) in the past two months, and up until about two weeks ago, they have been very healthy and happy. I made sure to read up on them quite a bit before purchasing, and tried to give them everything they may need. They
cohabit a tank with a tiny male Lyretail guppy, and they get along wonderfully. They have been together from the start, and have never had a single issue. Their tank is 3.5 gallons, which is indeed quite small, but as they get bigger I intend to upgrade. The tank is heated and filtered, and I am sure to regulate the times the tank is lit, and the frogs are fed.
They have a diet of two types of frog sinking pellets, and freeze dried blood worms (for treats), and are fed every morning.
However, the female ADF suddenly had very cloudy eyes one morning. They look very milky, but she still seems to be able to see as she reacts to things that startle her. She has no bodily discoloration, no signs of a bacterial infection, and appears physically fit. At first I was concerned she had become blind and perhaps her eyes had been scratched, but I'm sure it is likely due to something about her environment. The male is completely fine, and has no signs of anything but perfect health. He is just as active as ever, but she has become more withdrawn, and tends to stay more close to the surface, which is very concerning to me. They are both quite young, as the male just reached sexual maturity, and I suspect the female is either younger, as she is still the same size as him (or perhaps even a sexually
undeveloped male).
Is this an infection due to the water quality? They have had quite the move lately, as I just had to evacuate my college dorm and travel back home, so perhaps it is due to this trauma? Could it be the pH of the water? They had to have all of their water changed for the move, besides the smaller containers they were transported it, but the water they were eventually put into was sat out for 48 hours, and treated as well. However, she was having these cloudy eyes before this move, so maybe it is the water quality as a whole? I am extremely concerned about her well being, and want to do whatever will help. I was concerned that some of the treatments you can buy at pet stores may do more harm than help if I got the wrong one. Should I wait to see if she regresses more before taking action? I didn't want to
isolate her as that may cause her more trauma, and I felt that letting her remain in the home she has known thus far would be best.
Please get back to me as fast as you can! Best, Hanna
<As a rule, if both eyes are cloudy, you should expect environmental conditions to be the problem (one cloudy eye often means physical trauma).
So, that being the case, the first thing is to review the environment. As you correctly state, 3.5 gallons is much too small. An 8 to 10-gallon tank would be my minimum for this species. On top of that it needs heat and good filtration. Use an ammonia or nitrite test kit to check the latter. Both should be zero; if not, that's why fish or frogs get ill. Temperature should be around 25 C /77 F. You're right to steer clear of hokum medications like salt and Melafix, and really anything that advertises itself as a cheap cure-all. If cheap cure-alls worked, nobody would need to visit their doctor or vet, would they? I'd probably go with an antibiotic right now. Maracyn 1 (erythromycin) and Maracyn 2 (minocycline) are both safe, with the latter being best if you can't use both simultaneously for some reason. Follow the instructions carefully, and remember to remove carbon, if used, from the filter. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: ADF cloudy eyes        3/17/20

Hello Neale, Thank you so much for your prompt and helpful response! I have just ordered Maracyn 2, I got kits to test the water quality, and I am looking for a bigger tank. When treating my little female ADF, should she be put in quarantine when using the Maracyn?
<No.>
Or is this a safe antibiotic to use with the male ADF and the Lyretail in the tank as well?
<Yes; and much the best approach in case the other livestock are infected as well. Antibiotics, used correctly, only harm bacteria. Fish and frogs should be fine. Do watch the filter, but the instructions will explain how to keep the filter bacteria safe, if relevant.>
Thank you so much! Hanna
<Most welcome. Neale.>

What happened to yabby     3/15/20
Hi
<Cecilia>
I found my yabby not active and he was dead the next day . His colour changed to green . What is the cause of his death ?
<Mmm; need more/information. What re this animal's system, food, water quality? Please tell me/us about the system, filtration, maintenance... Have you had this crustacean long? Bob Fenner>

Questions for 2 Bettas - follow up, lost my original email thread     3/15/20
Hello again WWM, I have a follow up question for Bob or whoever could give input. Back in January I emailed about 2 of my Bettas, one of which had some nasty fin rot. I don't have the email but the discussion is "*Questions for 2 Bettas" that is here-
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BettaHlthF39.htm 
<http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BettaHlthF39.htm>*
*The Betta with bad fin rot (his name is Khonsu) went thru another bout of losing fins, likely to due to some poor water chemistry since the doxycycline nuked his good bacteria. I corrected water conditions and stopped the rot pretty fast. He looks absolutely horrid. He has almost no tail, and has yet to see fin regrowth. My main concern is he is very skinny. I don't have a good pic of him but if you imagine the gaunt face of a starving person, that is him. If you look at him from the front you can see grooves on either side of his head that shouldn't be there (his skull?). From above he is almost paper thin. He's been skinny for a few months as well but I was so caught on his fins I didn't notice as much. He also has swim bladder issues and has been floating for months. Despite all this, his energy levels compared to January are outstanding. He is no longer lethargic. He loves to greet me and swim and do as much normal Betta activity as he can. When I first emailed WWM, he spent most of his day sitting on a leaf and rarely swam around. His color is still good as well- no loss of color at all. He doesn't have any loss of scales, lesions, bumps, etc.*
*I am concerned more for his skinniness than his fins or SBD honestly. He has regular poops and isn't bloated at all. His tummy/underbelly appears concave/sunken in. He eats heartily, twice a day. I feed New Life Spectrum mainly, and have been raising white worms for my fish. I feed him no different from my numerous other Bettas. I have debated parasites with other people but I figured I would have seen something by now. He was treated in the past with PraziPro. I haven't medicated him for almost 2
months. I have been letting him live his life since he acts happy, expecting him to drop dead any day. I'm curious what you believe this may be and if I should try anything, or just go on as I have been and leave him alone. I loosely call it 'wasting disease' as I have no idea at this point.*
*He has me absolutely stumped, in all my years in this hobby I have never encountered a fish with these issues, let alone for this long (almost six months). *
<PraziPro, or Praziquantel, isn't an especially reliable anti-wormer. It's well worth trying something else, such Levamisole, to see if there's any benefit. In any case, this does indeed sound more like a type of 'wasting disease' usually attributed to Mycobacteria, and this is effectively untreatable. Usually such infections kill fish quickly, but not in all cases, and death may take weeks or months. His own immune system may be helping to some extent. The bottom line is that if you've de-wormed, used antibiotics, and perhaps used an anti-protozoan medication (Metronidazole is the best choice) there's really not much left over. Good water quality, vitamin-rich food, plenty of warmth, and that's about it. Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Questions for 2 Bettas - follow up, lost my original email thread     3/19/20

Thanks for the input on it possibly being Mycobacterium. I did some more research with the actual scientific name instead of 'fish TB' and it is adding up more.
<Yep. But we tend to avoid the Fish TB term because it technically belongs to a single Mycobacterium species, Mycobacterium marinum, and more specifically, once the Mycobacterium has crossed the species boundary and infected a human. But yes, the name Fish TB is widely used, though rarely by vets.>
Do you happen to know anywhere that I could test him post mortem?
<Not where I am, in England, at least. If there's a local university with a fish biology or microbiology department, that's perhaps your best bet, especially if there's a scientist working on this sort of pathogen.
Otherwise, you could ask a vet, but I wouldn't get your hopes up.>
I'd be interested in results. I have considered a fish vet for him as well but around here, the prices are a little wild. At this point I am content to let him live as he is since he is peppy enough.
<What I'd do, too, until there were signs of distress.>
Thanks for everything.
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Baby Mbu puffer /RMF      3/14/20
Hey so I got a Mbu puffer 3-4 inches, he’s eating and pooping, swimming around the tank chasing ghost shrimp. Just getting to know more about this fish. I know they tend to carry parasites. So I can’t tell if the underside of him is food or parasites and I should start treating.
<Mmm; I personally would hold off on carte blanche treatment (for parasites) here. Rationale? It's too easy to do more damage with exposure to vermifuges, protozoacides than it's worth>
Also what’s your opinion on PimaFix & MelaFix? Is it good to use?
<These Melaleuca plant extracts have some bactericidal action (so does alcohol, soap...), but rarely treat anything effectively. In short, IMO/E, they are placebos at best. DO just search these API products by name on WWM>
If you want to see a better clearer video of the fish to get a better idea, you can click this link.
https://youtu.be/vkGi-QabmxQ
<Ah, thank you. Appears to be a fine, healthy specimen>
Thank you in advance.
-Sony
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Baby Mbu puffer /Neale       3/14/20

Hey so I got a Mbu puffer 3-4 inches, he’s eating and pooping, swimming around the tank chasing ghost shrimp. Just getting to know more about this fish.
<Uhh... you do realise they get gigantic? As in, the size of a small dog? Do read:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mbupuffer.htm
Unless you're a millionaire, the chances are you won't be able to afford the literally huge tank (1000 gallons) they need as an adult. While fabulous fish, and I applaud your excellent taste, these fish are very difficult to keep properly. Most end up being passed onto public aquaria. The dental work they require is just one of many challenges ahead of you.>
I know they tend to carry parasites.
<They can do, and deworming isn't a bad idea. Levamisole or Praziquantel are perhaps the ones most often used. But most parasite risk comes from people feeding them live foods, particularly feeder fish. Do not do this! Cannot be stressed how dumb the use of feeder fish is. It's an unnecessary risk for most pet fish. Live shrimp and crayfish should be safer, but neither is 100% safe, so if you can use marine fish and shellfish (which won't have parasites likely to survive in freshwater fish) you're doing the right thing. Gamma-irradiated frozen foods, as used for marines, are the ideal.>
So I can’t tell if the underside of him is food or parasites and I should start treating.
Also what’s your opinion on PimaFix & MelaFix?
<Unsuitable for a family audience.>
Is it good to use?
<No.>
If you want to see a better clearer video of the fish to get a better idea, you can click this link.
https://youtu.be/vkGi-QabmxQ
<Does indeed look adorable.>
Thank you in advance.
-Sony
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Baby Mbu puffer      3/15/20

I just ordered an 9x3x3 tank. I should be good for a while I believe.
<For a good while, yes, but keep track of nitrate, as that's the useful benchmark here. Anything above 20 mg/l is bad for these fish, especially as they mature. Also observe behaviour. It's pretty clear when they're bored or swimming up and down at the same spot all the time.>
1000 gallons is ideal I’m a little shy but I might okay I think. Yeah I did a lot of research prior to buying him. Most places said 500 gallons so I went more than that to be safe.
<Wise.>
I’m definitely not a millionaire not even close just a crazy person.
<Maybe a little fish crazy, eh? Not a bad thing: so am I!>
I would never feed feeder fish to my fish.
<Yay!>
I’m currently buying human grade frozen clams, Snow crabs, crawfish, frozen mussels, and ghost shrimp (pet store)for him. I’m also trying to grow snails in a separate tank for him.
<All sounds good. Minimise mussels and crustaceans, unless you use a vitamin supplement. Both these are high in thiaminase. Squid, cockles, and most white fish fillet (including tilapia and Pollack) are thiaminase-free.>
I bought PraziPro to treat Incase it is parasites but I have no sign that he is infected yet.
Thank you for your response.
-Sony
<Most welcome, Neale.>
Re: Baby Mbu puffer (RMF, any further commentary on Melafix?)<<Done>>     3/15/20

I bought vita chem to soak the clams in, but I have access to syringes and will prob inject the food prior to feeding once he starts eating more shelled food to maintain his beak. For puffers it’s hard not to feed bivalves.
<And no reason to stop. It's specifically the Mussels, i.e., family Mytilidae, you need to avoid (Mytilus and Perna species are the ones on the food trade). Clams, on the other hand, are good, including the widely sold Asian Hard Clam, Meretrix lyrata, and the Cockle, Cerastoderma edule. Both of these are perfectly fine, as are most other clams you're likely to see in the food trade. Scallops and Oysters are also good, if rather expensive.>
What else are my options? Crawfish and snails?
<Pretty much. Bear in mind that wild Pufferfish will be consuming a wide range of animal and plant foods, with freshwater species likely to consume aquatic insects, worms, algae, and probably small fish and carrion when the opportunity arises. Certainly, whole lancefish (easily obtained frozen, for marine predatory fish) will be consumed readily. There's really no practical way to prevent the teeth from overgrowing, because feeding puffers nothing but crunchy foods quickly becomes expensive. Still, if you're using a vitamin supplement, then thiaminase-rich foods like whole frozen shrimp become a lot safer.>
Do you recommend any specific vitamin brand?
<Kent Marine Zoe Marine certainly contains Vitamin B1/Thiamine, so is a good pick if we're worried about thiaminase in certain foods.>
I was searching for vitamin b1 or thiamine bottles but it was vague. Even vita chem doesn't say those ingredients.
I did read the article about Thiaminase on WWM
<Cool.>
-Sony
<Cheers, Neale.>

Help     3/6/20
Hi,
Could you please tell me what is wrong with my dwarf gourami? It's looking rather unwell, I have attached some photos. The tank has been setup for over 12 years, it's a 500 litre tank, we have neon tetras, tiger barbs, clown loach, red tailed shark, Raphael catfish, penguin tetra, common Plec, bristle nose Plec, mollies, all the other fish appear to be OK.
Many thanks, Jo
<Hello Jo. I'm going to direct you to a little reading first:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/dwfgdis.htm
Dwarf Gouramis are a difficult species. In theory they're great: small, colourful, very well behaved, and easy to obtain from almost any aquarium shop. However, the species is very commonly affected by a viral infection (known as Dwarf Gourami Iridovirus) as well as being prone to bacterial infections (Mycobacteria) that are difficult if not impossible to cure.
There may be an element of stress going on, Dwarf Gouramis needing soft, acidic water that's fairly warm (26-28 C) but without much current. But there does seem to be more to it than that, with vets finding the virus latent in large numbers of fish farms in Singapore. Short answer to your question then, unless you can find obvious evidence for something else -- such as Finrot or Fungus, neither of which your photos are sharp enough to reveal -- I'd not hold out much hope. Certainly, feel free to use a good
antibiotic (or failing that, an antibacterial like eSHa 2000, though these are even less reliable here). Optimise living conditions and diet, of course, and review your tankmates to make sure there's no aggression that could be causing stress or bite-marks. Beyond that, not sure I can offer any easy answers. Regards, Neale.>

Re: Help    3/7/20
Thank you for your reply email, I've taken another look at it and it's feelers seem to be much shorter, less than half the size of the other dwarf gourami, I've tried to get a better picture, the white spec is something in the water passing by not on the fish. Does fungus always appear as white marks on the fish?
Many thanks, jo
<Erosion of the 'feelers' (the pelvic fins) in Gouramis is generally taken as Finrot, and needs to be treated accordingly. But the white patches on the body are more similar to bacterial infections, including Mycobacteria.
DGIV is another possibility. Fungus invariably looks like patches of cotton wool, so is easily recognised. Regards, Neale.>

Aggressive male H. guttatus stressing my entire tank. Hemichromis comp.   3/3/20
Hello everyone and thank you in advance!
<Hello Sam,>
I recently jumped into cichlids after 10 years of keeping peaceful blackwater tanks.
<Understood.>
I set up a 75 gallon tank with a ton of hiding places. I added 8 silver dollars (honestly couldn't tell you the specie's but I've had them for 2 years now) as well as a few smaller Synodontis specie's.
<Silver Dollar taxonomy is a mess so far as aquarists are concerned, so no problem if you can't identify them. They're all much of a muchness, but do get big, and 75 gallons may start to feel rather cramped as they mature.>
I added 3 Hemichromis, 2 Lifalili from a professional breeder and a beat up guttatus that was surrendered to a local store. I also have two young blue Acara.
<Interesting combination! Jewel Cichlids are orders of magnitude more aggressive than Blue Acara.>
The heart of the problem is that my guttatus made a quick turn around and now "owns" the tank. He's been pretty well behaved if not a bit pushy but up until recently nothing's gotten physical.
<He or she may well have behaved while sexually immature or otherwise disinterested in spawning. All Jewels are borderline psychotic when it comes to defending their spawning territories. I say "he" or "she" because sexing Jewels is not easily done, especially with the farmed specimens that tend to lack the bright colours typical of wild fish.>
This past week he's killed 2 of my silver dollars and took a chunk out of my Acara tail.
<Yep.>
The Lifalili are pretty well behaved (both male).
<Again, do be skeptical about sexing. Also, virtually none of the farmed Hemichromis are pure-bred members of a single species. They're mostly hybrids, not least of all because people didn't even know there were so many species of Hemichromis when these fish were first kept and bred.>
My question is if I should move the Acara out until they get bigger, both around 3 inches right now, or if I should just set the guttatus up in his own tank at this point?
<Definitely move the Acara. They're nice fish, and can handle themselves up to a point, but not even in the same league as Hemichromis.>
I do feel guilty because I'm not oblivious to the nature of jewel cichlids but I was hoping given the space and structure that I could achieve a balance.
<Do-able perhaps, but not in 75 US gallons.>
I was also wondering if I'm overreacting and I need to let the fish work this out but given the body count I'm skeptical. I'll include pics of the tank, Acara and guttatus. Best regards, Sam
<Hope this helps, Neale.>


Regarding Zen the ADF with fungus      3/2/20
To whomever it may concern.
<That'd be me.>
Zen as previous emails had a three small lumps however since the last email, Zens back foot became clammed together so I took him to the vet but my vet said it could be cysts which may burst and become infected. Zen at
the moment is still swimming and eating and sits happily on the plastic plant near to the top of the water but he's not escaping or jumping out frantically. His sore foot was looking okay up to Thursday, Thursday I did a 50% water change, Friday morning I woke up and he had fluffy white fungus on his foot. I treated him with eSHa 2000, I have 1 more day to go, but to me it's not going away.
Please could you help.
Yours sincerely
Rosemary.
<First, let me direct you to some reading, here:
http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
You're likely dealing with what is called Red Leg, an Aeromonas infection, that can be difficult to treat in frogs without antibiotics. eSHa 2000 can help, but make sure to remove carbon from the filter, if used. But eSHa
2000 is inferior to real antibiotics, with Tetracycline-type medications being recommend. KanaPlex is another good choice. Fungal infections usually appear after a bacterial infection has started rather than alone.
Distinguishing them can be hard, but the fluffy white cotton wool threads of fungus look distinct from the dead white-grey tissue we see around bacterial sores. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: Regarding Zen the ADF with fungus      3/2/20
Thank you, he did have a fungal infection a few weeks ago, which eSHa help to cure, I think it may be another vet visit as it's got a bit worse.
Hopefully the vet will be able to describe antibiotics.
<I certainly hope so, too. Do ask her/him about Red Leg, and see if she/he thinks this may be relevant here.>
Yours sincerely
Rosemary.
<Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Regarding Zen the ADF with fungus      3/2/20

Hi Neale,
What can I do to help Zen in the mean time as he's got a vets appointment on Wednesday at 4pm UK time.
Yours sincerely
Rosemary
<Short term, not much. Doing a generous (25-50%) water change using a good quality water conditioner will certainly help. Using a little salt, 1-2g per litre, can help. I will also point you at a useful article, here:
http://www.tfhmagazine.com/details/articles/aquarium-science-diagnosis-of-chytridiomycosis-in-pet-african-dwarf-frogs.htm
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Regarding Zen the ADF with fungus      3/14/20
Dear Neale,
<Rosemary,>
I would like to thank you for your help with Zen, I took him to the vets who was able to take the dead skin off his foot. I was so happy, poor Zen didn't like it when he was put on the table for a few minutes for this procedure but he was okay.
<Actually quite impressed your vet could handle this sort of thing!
Respect.>
However the spot on his back erupted with fungus since Sunday and I had ordered Maracyn 2 as my vet suggested as it was Bacterial. It's going to take 3 weeks, unfortunately Zen died this evening, he was a fighter but nature took its course.
<Certainly sounds like it. Sorry about this outcome.>
I was going to call the vet tonight to ask to put Zen to sleep because I didn't want him to suffer any more. At least I know he's not in pain and I did everything I felt I could.
<Yes.>
I was hoping he was going to hold out until the antibiotics was here.
However I do have Rupert, I feel a bit sorry for him as he has no other frog to talk to.
<My advice would be, as per fish, to wait at least two weeks, and ideally a month, before adding any more livestock. A singleton frog will be fine. In the meanwhile, observe the remaining frog to make sure he's healthy. Also gives you time to run a course of the antibiotics on a prophylactic basis, to ensure Rupert is sound, before adding anything that might "catch" whatever the problem was. Does that sound reasonable?>
Once again thank you for your help.
Yours sincerely
Rosemary
<Welcome. Do not be disheartened: these frogs are basically hardy, provided they're not harassed or damaged, and also assuming they get plenty to eat. As with most if not all reptile and amphibian pets, prevention of disease is orders of magnitude easier than curing them once sick. Neale.>

African Dwarf Frogs; sys. hlth.     2/28/20
Hi!
<Alex>
I got two African Dwarf Frogs for valentines day, and I am already very attached. We did not do a fantastic job cycling the tank, not for lack of trying, but we got some questionable advice from PetSmart and we are first time tank owners.
<Ahh>
We had an ammonia spike last week, which killed one of our Platy fish in the tank. We assume that we do not have enough bacteria to support the 2 frogs and 2 fish. Since then, we invested in the API test kit and have been testing constantly and doing water changes. We got the ammonia down, and I noticed the nitrites were up which I guess means we have more bacteria than I originally thought. We did a water change, got our levels to zero, and then started adding Safestart and Prime.
<Okay>
We are now just trying to keep everyone alive while the cycle finishes, and we are really afraid of the lasting impacts of the water problems. We are trying to give the bacteria time to catch up, but I am worried that we learned about all this too late. The frogs barely eat (since the day we first got them), we started with pellets
<Don't eat generally>
and switched them to spot feeding with blood worms and they often swat the food away or just let it sit in front of them.
<... do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/dwfaffdg.htm , and the linked files above in blue.>
They are not really actively swimming anymore, either.
<Don't usually... just sit about most all the time>
They are just always in the gravel or under the moss ball, shuffling around sometimes. Sometimes the worm is literally on their head and they don’t bite. We also have one frog as of this morning that is shedding skin in small, shreddy pieces, which I have read is really bad news.
<Mmm; no; natural behavior>
We finally feel educated and ready to take on the cycling process correctly, we are on top of water changes but careful not to get rid of everything good in the tank.
<Good>
My question is, is it too late?
<No; as long as they're alive...>
I would hate for these guys to be miserable in our water, and I am constantly stressed that I will get home and they will be dead. I feel like we are doing everything we can, my boyfriend and I are both very committed to them and the tank, but how fatal are bad water conditions?
<Can contribute, cause mortality, definitely morbidity>
Will they be okay since we are controlling it now, or should I not get my hopes up?
<Likely will be fine>
Readings yesterday:
79 degrees, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates.
<Where's the accumulating Nitrate you referred to?>
pH was a little high yesterday, somewhere between 7.4-8 though I find the API test color rather hard to read.
<This is fine as well; I would not try to modify the pH here>
I haven’t tested today because we are full time college students, but we try to test once to twice a day, and we are now trying to cut down on water changes since we added the bacteria and prime. (Last week we changed 25%-50% daily just to get the ammonia down, since we couldn’t get our hands on safestart until 2 days ago)
<Patience... Feed very sparingly if ammonia is present; don't change much water till the system is cycled unless there is ammonia present that needs diluting>
Sorry for the excessive information.. we are just very worried about them all the time. BTW, the Platy and the Molly we have left always seem totally fine.
Thanks for your help,
Alex
<Thank you for caring, sharing. Bob Fenner>
Re: African Dwarf Frogs     2/29/20

Thank you for the reply! We will keep an eye on the water, the nitrites
<Nitrites, w/ two "I"s? These are toxic like ammonia... Nitrates with an "A" is what you want to see accumulating. PLEASE search/read on WWM re cycling>
are gone because we did a big water change before adding Safestart for the first time.
How long can these frogs go without eating?
<Many days if in good health otherwise>
They haven’t eaten all week (we try tweezers feeding with blood worms and sinking pellets) though we do wonder if they sometimes chew on the moss ball like our Molly does.
<Ah no... please read.>
Thanks for your informative website!
AL
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: African Dwarf Frogs     2/29/20

Nitrites with an I indeed, hence why we did the water change.
<I see>
From my understanding the bacteria broke down the ammonia into nitrites, which is the first step in getting Nitrates?
<A step; one pathway>
I have read an awful lot about cycling at this point, which is why we’re doing Safestart and Prime to try to get these guys through the cycle.
<... better to use other methods... Again; please don't write: READ>

Thanks for the info on the moss ball, that was wishful thinking I guess! We’re going to keep on keeping on testing twice a day and trying to feed them, hopefully they’ll come around.
AL

ID Sharks and saltwater?     2/27/20
Hello! I, like many others, purchased some ID sharks a few years back not being aware of the size they would reach; my mistake.
<Yeah; up to some 1.3 m in length. Have seen some four footers in public aquariums. The group at the Wilhelma Aq. in Stuttgart my fave ex.>
Now I am doing the best I can to accommodate them and keep them healthy and happy. They are
currently 9in at the largest (of 4) in a 100gal tank, and I have plans to get a 300gal very soon.
<And beyond this?>
My issue is that I've been running into a lot of conflicting information about the salinity they should be kept in...many sources say brackish, another senior hobbyist told me as adults they would need salt, but here you say strictly fresh. Please help me keep my babies healthy, I made the mistake of purchasing them, they shouldn't have to suffer for it. Thank you, Mareena.
<Good to check other references. Here's FishBase:
https://www.fishbase.in/summary/Pangasianodon-hypophthalmus.html
This is an all-freshwater species of some tolerance in terms of pH and hardness... The keywords here in terms of practical husbandry are OVER sized system, filtration, circulation, aeration... And UNDER feeding. AND good sized weekly water changes (like half). No need to add salt/s. Bob Fenner>
Re: ID Sharks and saltwater?     2/27/20

Thank you so much! Knowing I don't have to step up a marine tank actually opens up my current options for getting a larger tank than even the 300. I really appreciate your help!
<Certainly welcome. Do remember to feed sparingly, keep temperatures in the low to middling seventies F to forestall the time when you'll need to move these monsters! BobF>
ID Sharks and saltwater? /Neale      2/27/20

Hello! I, like many others, purchased some ID sharks a few years back not being aware of the size they would reach; my mistake.
<Understood. Iridescent Shark Catfish do get large, and while 1.2 m or bigger lengths are possible in good conditions, typical aquarium specimens, even in public aquaria, are more likely to reach around 70 to 90 cm. So while still very large fish, they are, just about, manageable in really, really big tanks. In some ways the bigger problem>
Now I am doing the best I can to accommodate them and keep them healthy and happy. They are currently 9in at the largest (of 4) in a 100gal tank, and I have plans to get a 300gal very soon.
<Sounds good.>
My issue is that I've been running into a lot of conflicting information about the salinity they should be kept in...many sources say brackish, another senior hobbyist told me as adults they would need salt, but here you say strictly fresh.
<The true Iridescent Shark, Pangasianodon hypophthalmus, is absolutely a freshwater fish. There is a species, Pangasius krempfi, that appears to have a brackish or marine stage in its life cycle. But otherwise, no, they don't need salt.>
Please help me keep my babies healthy, I made the mistake of purchasing them, they shouldn't have to suffer for it. Thank you, Mareena.
<Hope this helps, and best of luck. Neale.>
ID Sharks and saltwater? Neale, re ID     2/27/20

<<Does strike me that there may be confusion here with Colombian Shark Catfish, Ariopsis seemanni. These are estuarine catfish that migrate back and forth between the sea and large rivers. While not ridiculously big (20-30 cm is typical) they are highly gregarious which means a big aquarium is necessary to keep a group of at least 3 and ideally 5+ specimens.
Cheers, Neale.>><Mmm, B>
Re: ID Sharks and saltwater?     2/27/20

Mareena; per Neale's query... are these cats ariids or pangasiids? The first ARE marine as they grow. BobF
Re: ID Sharks and saltwater?     2/28/20

As far as I've been able to determine, they are true Pangasianodon hypophthalmus, three regular and one albino. I feed them sinking carnivore pellets, baby shrimp, and bloodworms on a rotation.
<Well, the two species are quite distinct... Had me going on reading Neale's concern, as you stated you'd had these fish for years... Usually very fast (VERY) growers. Cheers, BobF>
Re: ID Sharks and saltwater?     2/28/20

Ah, of course. The oldest two are 3 1/2 years now, the younger two are 3. I would say the longest is around 9-10 inches at my best guess. Their only tankmates are two 6in angelfish currently.
<They will eventually ingest the angels if kept together. B>

My guppies. Gen.        2/26/20
Hi, I’m a young fish keeper who started about a month ago, I used to keep fish a couple years ago but then stopped and picked it up this year, I have a total of three tanks soon to be four, one was a 10 gallon,
<Suitable for some very careful fishkeeping.>
a 2.5 gallon,
<Barely adequate for a Betta, and really, smaller than most buckets.>
and last but not least a 1 gallon.
<This latter not a tank at all, not even a bucket really. Could be used for plants and shrimps, but that's about it.>
I recently bout a couple guppies three of which were female, I split them up into different tanks and used my 2.5 gallon tank for pregnant females and baby’s until the female gets transferred into the big tank.
<Understood, but if you have very limited space, as you do, getting male and females Guppies was a bad idea. Sooner or later you get the babies. Easiest is to let nature takes its course, and most will be eaten. Better is to add floating plants to the 10 gallon tank, partly to shelter the females, but also as hiding places for the fry. As/when you see the Guppy fry, net them out into a floating breeding trap. Moving females into the 2.5 gallon tank is just asking for trouble.>
My problem is I had gotten a large tailed black female guppy of which I do not know the species, however what worried me was when I added her in with the other two females and my male, after four days everything seemed to be fine, until I noticed a decent sized white spot that was a little bit deeper than her scales. At first I though it could be the plants until I noticed none of my plants have sharp edges, I thought maybe it could be one of my other fish, i house two small Cory cats in the main tank and one neon tetra along with the rest of the guppies.
<All in the 10 gallon tank? Let's recap: Neons need cool, soft, acid water -- which Guppies would dislike. Hard water, which Guppies need, sooner or later sends Neons to an early grave. Corydoras do well with Guppies provided the water isn't too warm or hard, but since they're only happy in groups of 6 or more, you'd need a lot more space than 10 gallons for a large enough group of Guppies they didn't fight and a decent school of Corydoras. Without a photo, it's hard to know what the white 'blister' might be -- it could be Whitespot, but it could just as easily be physical damage or something else entirely. There are so many potential problems with your set-up, it's really difficult to say.>
Please let me know what you think could be going on, and what I could possibly do to improve their living.
<Do see above, and read:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_5/volume_5_3/stocking.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/guppies.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwset-up.htm
And maybe buy or borrow a book:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bksfwbrneale.htm
Cheers, Neale.>

Is my turtles shell ok       2/26/20
So I got a RES about three months ago and everything was ok until about a month ago and I just want to make sure he’s ok
And the same thing started happening with my brothers turtle too
I just want to make sure there ok and nothing is wrong with them
<The pictures don't seem to show any sign of red inflammation, so likely the shell is fine. But do read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turtshellrot.htm
In short, if after wiping with paper towel, the shell smells clean and there's no sign of pus or inflammation, changes to the colour of the scutes (the plates) are normal. Often down to limescale, age, or simple variation between turtles. Cheers, Neale.>

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