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FAQs about Fancy Basses, Subfamily Anthiadinae Health/Disease

Related Articles: Fancy Basses, The Sunburst or Fathead Anthias,

Related FAQs: Anthiines 1, Anthiines 2, Anthiine Identification, Anthiine Systems, Anthiine Selection, Anthiine Compatibility, Anthiine Behavior, Anthiine Feeding, Anthiine Reproduction,

Fish injury?     8/20/17
<12 megs of blurry pix?>
This morning, I had to move rocks in my reef tank. Before moving anything, I took some time to peruse the tank and plan out what I wanted to do. I know I looked over my fish and didn't see anything noteworthy.
As I was removing rocks, inside a rock was one of my lyretails. As the Rick broke the water surface, she gave a wiggle and dropped out of the rock and into the water.
After I finished everything, the fish began exploring their surroundings when I noticed several large, white clumps on the side of a lyretail. I can't say for certain it was the one in the rock.
The white spots appear to be pieces of my white substrate stuck to her side.
<Might well be>

I'm not sure if this is an injury, gravel or if I should do anything about it.
<Does look odd. I would do nothing treatment wise here. Bob Fenner>

Fish injury, continued     8/20/17
Dear Crew,
My last message was sent before I was through, sorry.
I wanted to add, the white marks seemed to be raised from the skin and run along just one side of the fish.
Thank you for any help you can give me.
<As you state/d; likely substrate. B>

Deborah Baran
re: Fish injury?     8/20/17

I think it was gravel some of its off already.
<Ah, good. B>

Sick Anthias      3/7/17
We acquired 4 Lyre Tail Anthias from a private party on 2/24. The male died within 24 hours of acclimation. The largest female had a small but noticeable bump beneath the scales on its side. This bump has grown and come through the scales. I've included a picture below.
<A very bad sign...>

- She is general population tank and her attitude is good
- We are daily dosing with garlic and Selcon
- Shrimp is cleaning her
- The area has gotten worse each day.
- Do we have to quarantine her?
<I wouldn't. This fish will soon be dead... VERY likely>

- Will the stress of catching him to do that be too great?
- Does he need antibiotics? what kind and how often?
- Can antibiotics be used in display tank with what we have. Fish, corals, stars, anemone, snails, shrimp, crabs and feather dusters.
- Is she contagious?
<Can't tell from the information provided. I'd leave all as is and hope...
Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick Anthias      3/7/17
Thanks Bob,
I appreciate you reviewing my email. Any general thoughts on what it is?
<A result of physical trauma, moving... Now bacterial>
Re: Sick Anthias      3/7/17

Can we does DT with antibiotics just in case?
<To be frank.... not of use. B>

Parasites?       12/22/16
Hi there. Worried my 2 female Ignitus Anthias have parasites? They have stringy white poop and are a bit emaciated....?
<This subfamily of basses very easily suffers for lack of nutrition... Need to be fed a few times daily, or better still; have a large, robust refugium and DSB with RDP lighting associated (plumbed in with) their main tank to provide live food items. At the very least an automated feeder can be hooked up to provide nutritious and palatable pellets during the day (Hikari and Spectrum are fave brands). Are these fish parasitized? Can't tell from looking... a fecal sample could be netted out, examined under a microscope... One could lace their foods with anti-protozoal (e.g. Metronidazole) and anthelminthic (e.g. Praziquantel) medications. These ideas are gone over/archived on WWM. Write back w/ specific questions if something is not clear, complete after reading. Bob Fenner>

Re: Parasites?       12/22/16
Fish are fed twice a day with variety of Hikari and SF brands: brine, mysis, Spirulina brine, plankton, PE Calanus, caviar, marine angel, marine algae, spectrum pellets periodically, 3 colors of seaweed, all sometimes laced with Selcon, but not always.
<I'd double plus the frequency here. Good food choices>
Tank is a Red Sea Max 650 (so ~175 total volume, 30 refugium), display is 3 inch sand bed,
<I'd add an inch here>
almost 5 years old, refugium with live rock, sand and macroalgae with red LED bulb running 18 hrs/day. Glass is covered daily with countless copepods.......Male Ignitus is very round and healthy looking, only the 2 females look poorly.
<Mmm; maybe they're being "run ragged"... I'd add two more to split up the aggression here>
Other inhabitants: yellow tang, regal blue tang, blue eyed Cardinal, fox face, Royal gramma, dragon goby, yellow watchman goby, mated spawning percula clown pair, green mandarin goby. I can try increasing to 3 or 4 daily feelings and using the Selcon soak daily instead of only sometimes.
<Ah yes; good>
I believe I do have some Metronidazole. Just wanted to be sure that was ok to use in display with all other fish, live rock, inverts, coral, etc.
<Mmm; am NOT a fan of such "shotgun" approaches. I myself would NOT be treating here>
I do have a quarantine set up and running at all times just in case if I need to move them...Thanks.
<Thank you again for writing so lucidly. Bob Fenner>

Re: Parasites?      12/23/16
10-4 got it. Thanks a ton Bob
<Welcome Julie; and please keep us informed. BobF>
Re: Parasites?      12/23/16

Will do, although I thought of one more thing, regarding adding 2 more Anthias, I'm wary of doing that as this male seems pretty aggressive.
<Yes; the larger part of why I suggested a higher female to the one male ratio. Your 175 should be large enough>
I had a single one when I added the 3 (it was leftover from a batch of 5 very small juveniles that did not survive) and within 24 hours he bullied that single one to jumping out of the tank and he was dead when I got home.
And this was months ago even before they were "sexed" really, they were only about an inch and a half when I got them. So I'm concerned if he bullied that settled one when he was a new addition to the tank, how much more so would he bully new additions now that the tank is "his" territory.....I may try increasing the feeding and using the Selcon every
day first for a couple months to see if that helps before adding more.
<Your concern is valid. I would (use two nets! Maybe a friend with another one!) net out the male and hold him in a plastic floating colander (spag. strainer) for a day or two, allowing the new females to settle in. Bob Fenner>
Re: Parasites?      12/23/16

Great idea. Thanks!
<Welcome Jules. B>

Chaos in my tank. Mysterious Anthias losses       4/22/16
Hi. I have a 90 gallon reef tank with a 30 gallon sump and roughly 110lbs of live rock plus more in the sump. Livestock includes two young black clarkii clownfish approximately 1 inch each, A small 2.5 inch Bluejaw trigger, a lawnmower blenny, a diamond goby, misc. snails, three emerald crabs, and a sea hare.
<What species is this Aplysiid? Most are NOT compatible for hobbyist, reef use. See WWM
A mixture of corals like birds nest, frogspawns, Zoanthids, and a few Acans.
<And READING re Zoanthids>

I was at the LFS and told the woman that works there that I don't have any swimmers in my tank. The Clarkiis never go far from the rock they are hosting. The Bluejaw trigger just chases his reflection in the glass on the left side of the tank all day. The diamond goby moves sand like he's building a skyscraper all day long. The lawnmower blenny picks at my glass or just sits on a rock and looks at me. None of my fish swim in the water. When people see my tank they think it's just corals and rarely see any fish unless they stare at it for a while. So I asked her for suggestions on a swimmer, someone who will be active in the tank. I told her I'm not a fan of tangs. She suggested a foxface Rabbitfish and a few Anthias. I usually take her word for things. (She's one of the most respected LFS owners in the area). So I picked up 4 square Anthias (1male and 3 females) and a foxface. I realized the next day while doing research that they require a larger tank in general, or at least the square Anthias do. I drip acclimated the fish (separately)
<I would definitely have run all through a SOP dip/bath; as gone over on WWM... to exclude external parasites>
and quarantined them for about a week. After the week was up a I drip acclimated them to the display tank. I put them in with the lights out. The foxface appeared to take the transition quite well. The four square Anthias were another story. Three of them did great and one just laid down in the bottom of the tank. I figured she just needed some time. This is how the tank stayed for the next two weeks. Everybody doing great except for the female Anthias was always laying in the bottom of the tank. She had no sign of illness and I had read that it can take them a while to feel comfortable so I gave her time since she looked healthy. I had an automatic feeder with NLS pellets feeding three times a day and I gave frozen Mysis shrimp every night. Everybody was getting food. The female laying in the bottom would never even try to get up and get food. I came home one day and the Anthias were nowhere to be found, any of them. The foxface was black and in the corner. I put some food in the tank to see if anyone would come out and everyone came out to eat except the Anthias. The foxface even turned back to yellow and came out to eat. I started looking through the tank and found the male square Anthias dead under a rock, then found two other Anthias laying in the bottom alive but seemed scared. The fourth one I have yet to find. I'm thinking the cleanup crew already disposed of it. Not knowing what's going on, I didn't know what to do next. The next day another Anthias died, and then... the last Anthias died. I spoke with the lady at the LFS and she said I have a bully.
I know Clarkii clownfish can be super aggressive but these guys are really young and small. The blue jaw has never messed with anyone and is scared of just about everything. She said it sounds unethical but by <buy> some cheap peaceful fish and see who is doing the bullying. I thought it was a bad idea but didn't know what else to do. So I bought five Blue Chromis.
<Not a hardy species>
I put them in two days ago. Two died the first night the other three died the second night. Then the foxface swam around the corner covered in what looks like ich. The foxface is now in the hospital tank in hypo salinity with ParaGuard and the heater set to 80°F. Everyone else is doing fine. All my water parameters are good Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate <10, PH 8.2. I'm thinking someone is being aggressive but I was keeping a close eye on the tank and never saw anyone not getting along. Clearly I have an issue. Any suggestions as to who my bully is or what step I should take next. Other than the Foxface, no one has shown any signs of illness and this foxface is the first time I've ever had ich in my tank and it's been running for 2 years with no issues. I quarantine everything before putting it in my tank and I reef dip my corals. This is the first time I've ever really had an issue and it's frustrating. Please help.
Thank you,
<My guesses, probabilities lie w/ the Anthias being weak to start with, further weakened by the quarantine process (this species is NOT "open water", but more inclined to hide); AND poisoning via the Aplysiid and/or Zoas. Please do the suggested searching, reading ON WWM; and write back w/ your further input. Bob Fenner>

Group of Anthias in Distress; guesses; need data       1/21/16
I have an established 250gal mixed reef, ideal parameters & community fish. I quarantined 8 Anthias (as I do all fish) and they've been in the display over 6 months - haven't added anything wet to the tank in months. A couple weeks ago the Anthias began hiding then dying, the male was the first to go - currently 4 left. I don't see any behavioral or visual symptoms of parasites or disease, environmental stressors or malnutrition aside from hiding. I feed a variety of foods from frozen to flake and 2x/day.
Any suggestions?
<Are these one of the (many) touchy species of Anthiines (in other words, which one?)... Some, like Pascalus, do tend to simply die off as you relate. Otherwise, my guess is on collection, handling damage manifesting itself here. Many fancy basses die a few weeks later due to being mis-needled and other too-fast decompression influences. Do you have pix of
just-died specimens you could share? What other livestock is present in this system (poss. harassment)>
Many thanks,
<As many welcomes. Bob Fenner>

Bartlett's Anthias with one severe Popeye       4/30/15
<Am wondering why so many of your words are run together? Sticky keyboard?>
Hi Bob and crew, Thanks for all your work in answering questions. I have an Bartlett's Anthias with one severe Popeye. He is the dominate Male in a group of three. He had PopEye a week ago and it appeared to go away. Just today the PopEye was back and I wanted to see if using Epsom salt in the display tank is the proper course of treatment and how much to use.
<Yes; about a level tsp. per five actual gallons>
If not the proper treatment do you have any suggestions. I had recently added several new coral frags 9 days ago I added corals and a few days latter he got PopEye.
<Unilateral I take it... almost always due to physical trauma>

The PopEye looked like it went away and he appeared to get better. 4 days ago I added several other new frags and now he has it again and he is perching on my live rock. He has been dominate and chases the other Anthias around. I am thinking my moving things around may have caused him to get injured. Maybe ran into something or chases them different because of new additions.
Other things that may have been going on:
Other changes to the tank have been my calcium was 350 and my alkalinity was 8.4 DKH and I have been raising it up to 450 and I overshot to 490.
<I'd leave [Ca] in the 300s>
My tank has 116 gallons of water and I had added 20 ml of calcium on one day calcium went up to 400 and my alkalinity remained 8.4 DKH. I waited 2 days and added another 12ml and calcium went to 490 and my alkalinity went to 7.6 DKH. I did a 10% water change and my calcium went to 465 and my alkalinity went to 8.7 DKH. all my other reading were consistent Temp 77 degrees, PH 8.4, specific gravity1.024.
Will I have any issues using Epsom salt in my display to treat the fish? Is this treatment effective?
<Shouldn't and yes. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bartlett's Anthias with one severe Popeye....      5/5/15

Thanks Bob for all your help.
It turns out my sticky keys from previous post was due to writhing in word copying and pasting to my yahoo email, the conversion must have made the spacing erratic.
I measured the amount off recommended Epsom salt and it seemed like a large amount - 23.5 tsp - so I added the Epsom salt, but only half of what is recommended one day and added the rest the next day. The PopEye seemed to get better, but now is back.
<Ah; yes... exopthalmic conditions; when allowed to persist, can be the Dickens to reduce>
Searching the web it sounds like using the full dose is recommended and doing it everyday until it gets better. Should I try again and give the full dose?
<Mmm; not w/o changing some of the water out... the MgSO4 is still there; in solution>
Would you recommend doing it daily?
<Did I refer you to reading on WWM? Do you see the search tool? Use it or the indices. BobF>
For how many days? I am concerned about adding that much Epsom salt to the tank and what side effects it may have. Thanks.
Re: Bartlett's Anthias with one severe Popeye
Now: Bartlett's Anthias with Popeye both eyes           5/12/15

Hi Bob and crew, I have a male Bartlett's Anthias with Popeye. over the past two weeks he had Unilateral Popeye. so I treated the tank with Epsom Salt, just one treatment spread over two days. The Anthias' eye appeared to get better one day and worse the next and then looking better again. He appeared healthy, other the then Popeye, still chasing the females around and he has been eating well. Today when the lights came on he would not come out from the rockwork. After searching for him I found him perched under the rock work with Popeye in both eyes the initial affected eye being twice as big as the Popeye in the other . What would be a good course of action to take with this problem?
<Internal... action... bacterial most likely. Might have diffed (bonked on something) both sides>
And if you recommend qt any suggestions to get him out? Thanks a bunch.
<Mmm; hope... patience? Two nets... Bob Fenner>

How long in QT       3/16/15
Thanks for taking the time to read my email.
I have a sunburst Anthias & a Mandarin in my 33G QT for a month now.
<This is far longer than is prudent for these species.... the "cross over" point in advantage vs. not is about two weeks>

Both eat mysis soaked in Zoe & Zoecon and NLS pellets.
They have been through 1 round of Prazi too... They showed no signs of disease... Before I purchased them they had both been at the LFS for 6 months with no sign of disease as I had seen them there for that amount of time...
<Six months?! Wow>
I added a Moorish idol
<Yikes; not an easily kept species>

to the QT before I put the Mandarin and the Anthias in... The idol lasted a week after I put the two new additions in... The
Idol had no signs of ich.. Ate everything is sight.. His streamer was growing everyday. Then all of the sudden, over night I found him dead on the bottom of the tank...
<Very common. See WWM re Zanclus>

It has been 3 weeks now with just the Mandarin & Anthias... With what I have described to you, would you advise that the fish in QT would be ready for transfer to the main tank?
My main tank has been set up for over 2 years now... It's a 187G (60Lx30Wx24H).
Thanks for your time,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Anthias quarantine  and a new tank     11/20/13
Hi all I am doing a new tank build and have a few hopefully easy to answer question.  I am adding some new fish and placing some other dish from a different, 90 gallon, display into this new tank.
I have a new 93 gallon bare bottom tank
<I'd place substrate... rationale posted on WWM>

 with fully cured rock that I purchased as dry rock and cured
<... no need to cure dry rock>

 for 9 months. I have only added some Tisbe
pods to the tank, no clean up crew, no algae, no other inverts, no worms.
The tank looks great.  I purchased 3 Bartlett Anthias from divers den live aquaria and all three fish look health. <y> I decided to place them directly in the display tank.  The Anthias eat like pigs, sleep in the rocks at night and hand <g> out in and under rocks during the day or swim  around the tank in a group.  The Anthias will come out when someone walks by the tank looking to be fed.  I feed them 3 - 4 times a day.
<Good; but better if continuous live food supplied by substrate, refugium/sump>
 The Anthias have been in the aquarium for 9 days. They seem so good I added some of my fish from my other display,  2 small Picasso clown fish. I want the smaller clowns to get use to the new tank before I add other fish from my 90 gallon display all of which are healthy:  Yellow Tang, Sailfin Tang and Mystery Wrasse.
Additionally, I will be adding an ORA Randall's Assessor from divers den and a Hector Goby, the goby is from live aquaria, not dd,  and will be getting a separate qt.
I think this is a lot of fish but I do plan on doing 3 things
1  heavy skimming,-- still need to purchase skimmer so any recommendations would be welcome looking at vertex omega 150 or an RLSS 6 or RLSS 8 2  heavy flow to suspend waste and keep off live rock and future corals, looking to do sps
3. frequent water changes target water changes with a siphon hose.
so my questions
1. Do you see any problems present or future with my set up and have any recommendations ?
2. I am concerned the Bartlett Anthias may have flukes they look great and nothing seems wrong other than I put them in display with no qt, and no freshwater dip just drip acclimation to the display tank water. My concern is when things "seem" ok they can go sideways pretty quick when it comes to marine aquariums. 
Should I do anything with or to the Anthias or the tank?  Dose tank with PraziPro? Pull out fish and qt? 
<I'd leave all as is now... not worth the trouble, stress of removal, nor the addition of vermifuge at this juncture>
Thank you in advance.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Borbonius mark, scam product/s     5/20/13
I am worried about my borbonius Anthias.  He has a mark on his side and i determined that his spots are not flukes/Ich.
<Mmm, no; this is due to a physical trauma... the other mucus spots likewise... not patterned like neuromast destruction/HLLE... the fish either ran into something or something ran into it...>
 He had this mark for a month and is eating normal and acting normal.  The fish also has white bumps  by the eyes. I tried ruby reef rally
<Worthless... see WWM re this scam, co.>

to see if it would help, but all it did was lower my ph in which i lost a big xenia colony, a beautiful gorgonian, a plate coral, and my maxima clam.
<.... Arghhhh>
 I'm worried that this could get infected.
<Not likely...>
  My only guess that it could be a small bite mark from my clownfish (female). 
<Oh yes>

I do not see any real aggression from my clown, but she definitely bites me when my hands in the tank (she knows how to go between my fingers).  Anyway enclosed are some pics that i took when he stood still for me.  Lastly, my parameters are all normal (ph, ammonia, nitrate and nitrite).  My salinity is 1.026 and temp stays consistent around 78.  Thank you.
<No treatment advised; though you may want to move either this fish or the female clown... Separate them. Bob Fenner>


Anthias disease...      10/20/12
Hi Crew,
I read through the archives before messaging, but didn't find anything on actual treatment for disease in Anthias. I have a female Bartlett's Anthias that has several small white salt looking spots at the end of her tail only (suspecting Ich)
<Mmm, more likely flukes/Trematodes if confined just to the caudal>
 in a 10 gallon quarantine for 3 days now. I did FWD her before going into QT after purchasing. I know they are sensitive to copper so my question is what should I do next?
<I'd dose w/ Prazi/quantel or other vermifuge>
Can I use Paraguard? I have 2 Skunk Cleaner Shrimps, should I just put one of them in the QT with her before trying meds?
<Worth trying>
Should I continue to FWD her, if so how often?
<I wouldn't keep dipping>
Or maybe hypo @ what salinity?
<Nor this>
 She is otherwise healthy, eating Spectrum Thera-A and frozen Brine and Mysis soaked in Selcon. I have also read that the Anthias shouldn't really be QT'd for a full 4 weeks, so now with signs of disease I am unsure which path to travel.
<Keep your eye on the fish, the area calm...>
I will be getting her a male next week for company too!
<Best in groups w/ only one (alpha) male... I wouldn't quarantine more than one in a 10 gallon>
Thanks for any guidance! Have a great weekend, Ashley
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Anthias dis.     10/20/12

Thanks for your response. I only see the spots on the tail thus far... How long do I treat with Prazi/quantel if it stays on caudal?
<... just the one time likely>
 If it spreads elsewhere, then is it likely Ich?
<Highly unlikely this is Crypt... would be all over the fish>
 If so, do I treat with Paraguard or what do you recommend for Ich on Bartlett's Anthias and for how long?
<... see prev. email... wouldn't treat w/ this product>
Also I was planning on 1 male and 1 female, should this be fine or should there be at least 2 females and 1 male?
<The latter>
 I have a 30 gallon QT for them instead of the 10 too.
<Ah good. BobF>
Thanks Ashley

Anthias with Swim Bladder Concerns, needling      8/9/12
Hi everyone,
I am eager for some information on how to treat a swim bladder issue.
 I have a female Square Block Anthias in QT and it has a significant issue with its swim bladder. The fish has been in QT for three weeks and eating well during this time but has been swimming at a nose down 45 degrees. It also has a bloated appearance around the region I would expect the swim bladder to be.
Otherwise it looks healthy and is showing great colour.
<How long have you had this fish? If new, it was likely damaged in collection/decompressing or needling its gas bladder (post surface) for bringing it up>
My question is how to best deflate the swim bladder. Is there an angle at which I enter the cloaca and how deep would I need to go.
<Mmm, not so sure it's a good idea to do so, nor for me to write how to do this on the Net... a very fine (diabetes) needle (no syringe) can be wetted (with saliva), inserted thus a cm. or so... slight pressure applied to the fish's sides... obvious bubbles produced>
 Are there any other tips on this one. I fear if I don't do anything this fish is doomed to swim at 45 degrees and most likely suffer from this issue. There are no signs of any other issues.
Thanks for your help
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

QT Anthias - 5/8/2012
wwm: Evening Marc, Bobby here
I am in the process of building up stocks for my new 1200L aquarium and I have the first lot of fish in QT. I would like to purchase some Anthias (maybe lyretail or dispar). I have read up a bit and there is a lot of suggestion that putting them into QT will cause more harm than good. I am however very concerned with the risk of Ich getting into my new system (especially with the tangs I am putting in it). I have a number of 100L QT tanks available for quarantine.
wwm: A valid concern
What risks do I run with adding Ich to my new tank if I don't QT these fish.
wwm: As much a risk as any other fish
If I QT am I able to hypo the Anthias or will this cause other issues.
wwm: Hypo is certainly a good way to treat for the Cryptocaryon parasite although I have found that many people struggle to maintain the salinity correctly as well as fight potential PH issues
I am almost at the point of not adding them to my tank if they create even the slightest risk of adding a disease. Thanks from an over concerned aquarist and thanks for all the help you give out with this service.
wwm: One of the concerns with treating Anthias in a quarantine scenario is making sure they are fed enough and that water quality and oxygenation levels remain high. I have treated many different species of Anthias in Qt with Cupramine and have never had an issue. That being said, they were fed 3-4 times a day (Watch the ammonia levels), good water flow in the tank, and weekly water changes in a cycled QT tank. The Good news is that the Lyretails that you mention, (Pseudanthias squamipinnis) are a very hardy species and a good one to start with. Make sure you start with individuals that are eating
wwm: Bobby

Swim bladder issue 2/20/12
Hello Again Bob and crew!
Took a chance on a couple borbonius Anthias and one is suffering from swim bladder issues. He's trying to get down but he's stuck on top. Looks bloated with red splotches on body around bloating, is there anything that can be done to help him?
<Mmm... I'd needle this fish... via the cloaca... BobF>
Mike Snyder
Re: Swim bladder issue 2/20/12

Thanks Bob, another reminder of why I'm in the coral biz! A small syringe work?
<One for diabetes... the needle only>

I appreciate you setting me straight, I've been told it will correct itself to hold fish vertical mouth up in water and slowly squeeze belly..
<Don't do this!>

Just want to give poor fellas his best shot at making to my clients 360g system!
<Understood. BobF>
Re: Swim bladder issue; collecting damage and Anthias hlth. f's 2/21/12

Hi Bob,
Sorry to bother you again! Helped the one down into the rocks and he's been hiding ever since, haven't tried to get him out to puncture the bladder.
Both are already accepting Mysis shrimp, can the fish regulate without help or is it a given this will have to be done.
<Physoclistous fishes do have mechanisms for filling/emptying this hydrostatic (and more) organ... but ones that are so damaged as to have trouble, floating, often are much aided by needling. This is a stock procedure in the collecting of many tropical fishes at depth>
On a lighter note was hoping you'd be out for Reefstock next month, going to get on Jake to get you back out here!!!
<Ahh! I have a new "pitch" (presentation) on setting up a new collecting station in Fiji... including a whole bunch of needling...>
<And you. BobF>

Sick Anthias 12/15/10
Hello crew,
I have a sick Anthias.
<Is this your only specimen?>
At first, I thought it was injured, but after perusing through your website, I'm afraid that it may be infected with a Mycobacterium.
<Mmm, "what came first...?" This fish appears undernourished>
Please see the attached photo. My apologies for the off-focus, but I think you'll be able to see the lesions. New lesions seem to be developing daily. It comes out when I feed, but it is not eating. Presently, it is hiding in the live rock. It has shown the lesions for about a week.
My question is, how imperative is it that I remove this fish from the tank?
<Might be>
What is the risk of infection to the other fish, and how would the infection be passed?
<Mycobacteria have been demonstrated to be quite prevalent in captive systems... How to put this; most all aquarium fishes "have" some present, but below symptomatic concentration/degree>
I do have a UV sterilizer running - might this prevent the infection from spreading?
<Indirectly it may well help, by improving water quality>
Is there any chance that it will recover?
I've had the Anthias for just a couple of months (from LiveAquaria). It arrived looking very healthy. My other fish are: Blue-green Chromis, Pajama Cardinal,
<These two are also shoaling/schooling species>
Lavender Tang, Foxface, Pygmy Angel (Flame), Lawnmower Blenny (in a 110 gallon reef tank).
Thanks for your time and help.
Laurie O.
<Mmm, well... the one fish may just be lacking nutrition (I'd supplement foods, add vitamin/HUFA mix directly to the system/water as well), it may be overly-stressed by being kept solitarily, in too small a volume... It might have gotten stung or being poisoned by your Cnidarian life... I would not move it, but would try the supplementation. Are you familiar w/ searching on WWM? Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick Anthias 12/15/10
Hi Bob,
<Hello Laurie>
Thank you for your quick reply. I am feeling more hopeful about my fish.
<Ah, good>
I will look into supplementation as you have suggested. Yes, I am familiar with WWM searching. Searching through the site yesterday resulted in some pondering on my part. It is in regards to feeding, both generally, and specifically to Anthias.
I always thought I was a little heavy-handed when feeding, thereby creating excessive DOC and resulting in nuisance algae (been scolded by other aquarist), but I saw on the site that one aquarist who was feeding one frozen cube a day (same as me, for about the same number of fish) was told that it was not enough.
<Anthiines/Fancy Basses feed almost continuously during light hours, particularly on incoming currents that bring zooplankton... They need food a few times a day, even better, fed more or less continuously through large, bountiful refugiums>
It seems to be difficult to determine exactly what the proper amount is.
<Best gauged through the appearance, behavior of the livestock. As mentioned, your fish has a low index of fitness>
I do have two hang-on refugiums on the tank, and the Anthias used to hang out at the refugium outlet grabbing the 'pods as they came through.
And it also comes out at night when I feed the corals twice per week (Reef Nutrition ArctiPods and RotiFeast).
<Unusual to be feeding at this time, and a further indication that it is starving>
Well, it seems I made a mistake thinking that this particular Anthias species (Bicolor) would be fine as a solitary addition.
<They are not really. All occasions I have found them in the wild they have been living in groups, never alone>
That conclusion was based on the information from the LiveAquaria website.
<Usually reliable>
When it was feeling better, it would hang out with the Pajama Cardinal (who is the last of a group of six from way back. Same for the Chromis - I have two left from a group of six from several years ago.)
I guess now the challenge is to try to get it to eat.
Thanks so much.
Laurie O.
<Welcome. BobF>

Pop eye in school of pink Anthias 5/19/10
Hi WWM Crew,
Thanks for a very interesting site.
I have a school of 7 pink Anthias in a 40g quarantine system.
<Mmm, am a big fan of expediting the processing of Anthiines... They badly suffer for being in small, unstable bodies of water>
The water quality is good, with 5g changes twice a week, and the system has a great skimmer on it and a UV sterilizer. They've been in there for about 2 weeks. About a week ago one of them began to show some tail rot,
and a few days later a different one got pop eye in one eye. Now three of them have pop eye, one of them in both eyes. The tail rot doesn't seem to be getting any worse (and that one doesn't have any pop eye). They are all still eating well.
<Could be "just stress"... or hypersaturation of gas... likely via the skimmer>
My relevant water parameters:
Temp: 78
SG: 1.025
PH: 8.2
NH4: 0ppm
NO3: 0ppm
I don't think this is environmental,
<I do... that there is more than one specimen thus afflicted points this way>
and I don't think it's trauma related. So that means either bacterial or fungal, right? My question is: how do you recommend I treat this?
<If these fish are "clean"... which is very likely the case, I'd summarily move them to their permanent quarters>
The internet does not seem to have a consensus opinion on how to treat.
<I would not "treat". Bob Fenner>

Question regarding Lymphocystis -- 3/31/10
Dear Crew,
Your site has been immensely helpful to me as I get underway in saltwater.
I've been in the hobby for 8 months and am having my first brush with disease. A week ago I had three female lyretail Anthias delivered to me.
One of them came with some white "stuff" on the edge of her tail that I didn't notice until she was already in the tank. I was hopeful that it would clear up on its own being in the clean water, but the white "stuff" has grown even more.
<I see this>
At first I thought it was fungus, but then I read online that fungus in saltwater fish is extremely rare. After doing some internet research, I came across Lymphocystis. I think that's what it may be.
<I do too>
It looks like cottage cheese on her tail. She is very active and eating well. I read that Lymphocystis is not extremely contagious; but whatever this is, is definitely spreading quickly in my tank. My female flame wrasse, as well as pygmy angel, have some white spots on their side fins,
<Mmm, these spots on the other fishes could be something else in addition>
and my male clownfish has some cream/pink-ish lumps on his side. It has spread this much in a week's timeframe. Do you think it could be Lymphocystis, or does it sound like fungus?
<The material on the Anthiine pictured is likely Lymph, the others... not. Judging by your descriptions and the rapidity of growth>
I've enclosed a photo of the Anthias. It is not the best, but it's very hard to get a clear picture of an active fish! Again, the white on her tail looks like cottage cheese, and the round parts keep growing larger.
Any help and advice you could give is greatly appreciated! Thank you for taking the time to read this.
<Mmm... where to begin? Likely at the beginning... of disease/health...
ID, prevention and treatment: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm
Peruse at your leisure... Do send along your further observations, keep good notes of your actions. Bob Fenner>

Re: Question regarding Lymphocystis 3/31/10
<Big K>
Thank you so much for your quick response! I will read up on that link you sent me and will let you know how my Anthias and other fish are doing.
Thank you!
Katherine (Kacy)
<Welcome! BobF>

Re: Question regarding Lymphocystis - 4/1/10
Hi Bob,
Just wanted to give you an update on the Lymphocystis situation. The Anthias with the Lympho. on her tail still looks the same.
<This viral syndrome often takes months to resolve, given even excellent conditions, nutrition. Please read here:
and the linked files above>
The growths haven't gotten any larger (thank goodness!). The flame wrasse looks better as well, so I think you are right, and she has a little case of something else. However, my clown is getting worse. He is covered in beige/pink patches and wart-like bumps,
<? Is this fish being stung by something? Please send along well-resolved images>
so I do believe he has the Lymphocystis.
<Mmm, doesn't "look" like this>
He was always thin and kind of sickly, so I'm not surprised he would catch it. So far no one else is showing any signs of the virus.
Thank you for all your help and providing me the links to those pages. They were very helpful!
<Welcome. BobF>

White spot on Anthias (not Ick), Lymphocystis 3/4/10
I cannot seem to determine what is on my female Lyretail Anthias. I have three small females in a qt tank for 6 days now. It appeared on day 2 and seems to be increasing a little? They are all super active and I feed them vitamin soaked Mysis three times a day. It appears to be a little white bulge, maybe similar to a little piece of cauliflower? I have furan two by aquarium Pharm, would this be helpful to dose? I included a picture, not super good but after 40 pics it's the best I got :)
<Looks like Lymphocystis to me, a viral infection that the furan will not be effective against. While there is no real treatment for this disease it does not usually cause problems unless it grows over the mouth or gills which is not the case here, and most likely will eventually fade as the fish's immune system catches up to the infection.>

Re: White spot on Anthias (not Ick), Lymphocystis 3/4/10
Thank you very much for the reply.
From a little research it seems my best course of action would be to leave all three females in qt until there are no more signs of the virus so this does not spread to my main tank?
<Lymphocystis is not terribly contagious, so there is not too much risk there. If they are otherwise healthy at the end of the QT period I would add them to the main tank.>

Dispar Infection 1/20/10
Hi Guys
I Have a question for you regarding bacterial infection on Anthias. I have been through the FAQ and I would like to show you the specific problem I have as its not talked about in depth. The Pictures are attached.
<I see one>
The tank is 3000L, and I have 4 x bicolour Anthias which have been unaffected, eat anything given. The 4 x Dispar have been in the system for 3 months, and also did eat according to what the bicolour Anthias have shown them.
<Well-stated and related>
All the sudden, without warning, they developed a bump/line down their right side, in the same spot on all fish, and then it went red within a day or so, and now they are dropping off 1 by 1. As I said the Bicolour are unaffected.
I have a few tangs in there, but I don't suspect a wound first and then infection, as the damaged area is exactly the same spot on the dispars, and I doubt this coincidence. Is there some sort of bacteria that affects these fish, that seems to arise in the same area or maybe internal organ?
<Mmm, I don't think so... given the time frame... having these 3 months as you state>
I had a square block Anthias months ago which developed the same red line, on the same area as this as well.
<Mmmm, me no likee>
They contract this problem very quickly and die within days.
Any thoughts?
<Am tempted to suggest some sort of "rapid onset" (bacterial) necrosis syndrome... borne of "stress"... the markings (though hard to make out) do remind me of Mycobacterium (marinum)... DO take extreme care if/when placing your hands/arms in the tank in any case... and DO see the Net, WWM:
re. As to "cure"... perhaps improvements in the environment (aspects like ORP are greatly useful as measures), boosting the immune systems et al. nutritionally (have you tried Spectrum pelleted foods?) may be of use here.
Otherwise, I do encourage you to prepare, save, and share the deceased specimens with a fish pathologist... There are a few about... Have you access to a large library, college, with a life science dept.? A cursory read through Ed. Noga's "Fish Disease, Diagnosis & Treatment" is highly recommended. Bob Fenner>

Is My Anthias Sick or Just Lazy? (most likely the first, unfortunately) -- 11/14/09
We have 3 female Lyre-tail Anthias that we put into our tank about 2 weeks ago. 2 of them appear absolutely fine and swim about all day long. However, one of them tends to just hang upside down (mouth toward the bottom of the tank, tail up) and just stays in one spot, but she is capable of swimming, if another fish comes into her area, she'll swim away normally. She is also taken to sitting in among the live rock of the tank, not looking sick, but just being very still.
She also doesn't rush the food like the others. She might have a tiny piece or 2 when they are fed, but not the way the others eat. Overall, she looks fine, but her behavior seems abnormal. None of the other fish in the tank (clown, 3 bar gobies, blue damsel, bi-color angel and scooter blenny) seem to be picking on her.
<<Or at least that you have noticed>>
I just wonder if I should be concerned about her.
<<Probably, though there's little you can do here. This fish may have been somehow damaged during capture/transport before you acquired it 'or it may be suffering from an internal parasite 'or it may be the target of the very normal conspecific aggression displayed amongst this family of fishes and especially among this particular species; and something that is worsened when these fish are kept in a 'too small' display. There is really nothing you can do for the first two conditions at this point other than to continue to provide optimum water conditions, and maybe a 'parasitic treated' food, though this latter is moot once the fish has stopped eating well. The third condition can only be improved by placing the group in a suitably large display (at least 6ft in my opinion) if not already, along with increasing the number of conspecifics (2-3 more individuals) to further dilute aggression. Though this species is considered on of the 'more suitable' Anthiine species for aquarium keeping, it is by no means an 'easy' fish to keep. For most hobbyists, especially if new to keeping Anthiines, I like to suggest Pseudanthias bartlettorum (Bartlett's Anthias) as a smaller, hardier, and 'slightly more social' species of Anthiine which can be kept in a small group (5 individuals) in smaller systems (75g). Or if simply looking for a schooling fish then try one of the much easier to keep, in my opinion, social species of Cardinalfishes (e.g. - Apogon leptacanthus, Sphaeramia nematoptera, etc.)>>
Thanks for any advice or thoughts you an offer.
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>

Bartlett's Anthias dying 7/23/09
I need help with my Bartlett's Anthias. I have two groups of these fish, 1 male and several females in each group plus three separate males. They were brought in directly from Hawaii.
<No... this species doesn't occur t/here>
They arrived in great condition and every one was drip acclimated to the quarantine systems. Each quarantine tank
<Most Anthiine species I would not quarantine... better to at most dip/bath and place in their permanent setting... Much more to lose than gain by keeping in small settings, in small groups...>
was 30 gallons and each received at most 7 Anthias (1 male in each group) which are all on the small side. From day one they have been active, beautifully colored and eating 4 - 5 meals a day, rotating between mysis, enriched brine, fresh chopped shrimp, clam, several types of flakes and marine pellets. For the first several days everyone was fine. After about a week, one fish started to sit on the bottom, colors darkened, still eating.
Put into a hospital tank for observation and it died overnight. Two days latter same scenario. Three days latter everyone was swimming and eating still looking great, than literally from one minute to the next another fish was sitting on the bottom, same as described except the fish had red blotches along the abdomen that looked like bruises, within an hour gone. a few days later another fish has the same red marks but the skin looks as if it were sliced with a knife, This one went into a hospital tank, Kanamycin, erythromycin dead in half an hour. All the other fish still look great and eating everything offered. A week later everyone still looked good and I am thinking the problem has stopped. I just gave them their third meal and 15 minutes later another fish is sitting on the bottom, with red bruise like marks. I just turned of the lights, I am disheartened by the whole thing, at 47 years old with more then 27 years of keeping marine fish and corals I still cannot take the fish or for that matter anything else dying lightly.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
<Perhaps, along with "simple stress", some delayed "bruising" from collection, holding, shipping... Could be expression of a bacterium (Myco...) or even a protozoan (need a 'scope...). At any length, the added stress mentioned above could be avoided... I would not isolate this subfamily... Bob Fenner>
Re: re: Bartlett's Anthias dying 07/23/09

Thanks for the response,
I didn't mean that they were from Hawaii, rather the exporter is from Hawaii, I got them as part of a bigger order tangs flames etc.
I put them in QT because I figured he is holding them and they were exposed to who knows what.
As a rule should I avoid these fish, I have a newly set up 300 gallon system and I wanted to add them.
Also the one fish sick right now, the red area is deepening into the skin and the breathing is much faster, until I hear from you I guess I will add Kanamycin,
<... misspelled. Please, read: http://wetwebmedia.com/anthidisfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. BobF>
Also the females that are with him should I add them to the tank, leave them for treatment?
<... read>
Thanks again

Anthias question... hlth. 4/15/09
Hey crew! I recently purchased 3 Anthias from my LFS.
<Species? Sexes?>
I brought them
home and kept them in qt for about 8 days. All fish were eating well and looked fine so I acclimated them to my display tank. Now three days later I have noticed a spot on the male Anthias:( It is only a small grain on
the lateral line of this fish. Is there anyway you could tell me what it may possibly be?
<A spot>
My display is a reef set-up, and I would hate for it to be anything serious. Once again all fish are acting normal, eating and swimming normally. This grain like spot is the same color of the fishes skin, and
about the size of a grain of sand. Any help would be much appreciated.
<I would not over-react at this juncture... But perhaps be reading on WWM re parasitic disease of marine fishes. Bob Fenner>
Re: Anthias question 4/16/09

The species is Dispar, and it is a male.? Paired with 2 females of the same genus and species.
<I see... a good captive choice and sex ratio for a hobby system. I would still hold off treating, moving. B>

Hunchback Lyretail Anthias ~ 01/07/09 Hello, <<Hiya Mike>> I am having a problem where my female Lyretail Anthias are developing a "hunchback" kinked spine. <<Mmm'¦>> These fish were purchased about a year ago from Live Aquaria. <<A reputable vendor, in my opinion>> I have kept groups of Anthias in previous tanks successfully and never saw this problem. <<Neither have I>> When I noticed the problem, the Anthias in the tank consisted of 2 female bimacs, 3 female Lyretails, and 1 male Lyretail. Their tank is a 90g reef. I noticed two of the female Lyretails developing the condition - one was definitely worse than the other. The condition slowly progressed for months, until one finally died in the fall. Now the second fish's condition is deteriorating to the point of the first fish I lost - I expect to lose it within weeks. I believe the final female Lyretail is also starting to develop the issue. The male and the bimacs are unaffected. <<Thus far'¦ Will keep fingers crossed>> The effected fish are still eating well, but they spend a lot of time resting on the substrate. When they do swim, they swim with clamped fins and by wiggling the body. <<Very bad signs>> The body is not carried horizontally in the water column like it should be. I'm not sure if something happened to these fish before I got them, and it is developing as they grow, or if it is because of something I am doing? <<The condition could indeed be genetic (especially if these fish were collected from the same group in the wild), but perhaps this could also be a bacterial infection causing the curvature or *hunching* of the spine. This is often the case with freshwater fishes, and though I haven't seen it in marines (that I recall), I suppose it could be so. In fact, I have heard that with freshwater fishes this is sometimes a result of a TB virus infection. The best course here is likely to euthanize this and any other fishes displaying similar symptoms. There are several ways to accomplish this which you can read about here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/euthanasiafaqs.htm . You should probably also consider wearing gloves when capturing/handling these fish>> They get fed a huge variety of foods. <<Vitamin/nutritional deficiencies did also cross my mind>> Until recently I was feeding a cube of frozen food per feeding, twice daily. <<Just a single cube? I would feed more. I would think at least two cubes for the Anthiines you listed, alone. And depending on your overall stocking plan, likely more. You will find that your fishes will be healthier, more colorful, and probably less aggressive, if *well* fed>> Basically I buy every type of frozen food and cycle through them. I use Sally's San Francisco Bay Brand (SFB) Emerald Entree, SFB Plankton, SFB Spirulina Enriched Brine Shrimp, SFB Marine Cuisine, SFB Mysis, Hikari Bloodworms, Hikari Daphnia, Hikari Krill, Cyclop-eeze, Roe (from an Asian grocery), <Mmm, not likely Cyclops roe/eggs... but the adults. RMF> Ocean Nutrition (ON) Prime Reef, ON Formula Two, ON Angel Formula, and ON Special Formula VHP. I have them all in a stack in the freezer and work my way through the pile. <<Very good'¦ And this is an excellent assortment of foods. But do consider feeding *several* at a time>> Recently (about 2 months ago) I also added an automatic feeder feeding an additional 4 times daily with a similar variety of dried foods (mix of various Ocean Nutrition, Spectrum, etc pellets and flakes). <<Ah, excellent'¦ Hopefully these additional offerings are accepted by all'¦>> This is a mixed reef with a focus on SPS, so water conditions are pretty good. 35ppt, 420 Ca, 9 Alk, 20ppm nitrate (been trying to get this lower for a while to no avail). <<Yes'¦ Doesn't (actually shouldn't) be zero, but should be less than half this reading for this tank>> There was a time in the past about a year ago, around the time that I got the Anthias where the nitrates were much higher, enough to take a toll on some of my stony corals. <<Uh-oh>> Not sure if that could lead to something like this. <<Not directly maybe but the stress on the fishes re, with subsequent depression of their immune systems, may lead to such complaints>> Stray voltage was suggested, but I've tested and the readings are low (also have a grounding probe). <<Hmm, yes'¦ Another possibility here then I think'¦ Consider the possibility the ground-probe only worsens such problems by *completing* a circuit and providing a continuous path for the electrons. In other words, a *current of electricity* as caused/provided by the ground is worse than any *stray voltage*. Have a read here and see what you think: http://avdil.gtri.gatech.edu/RCM/RCM/Aquarium/GroundingProbes.html >> I'm not sure whether this is a disease and could spread, or is environmentally caused, or simply out of my control all together. <<Not out of your control'¦ Just need to determine the cause to come up with the best solution. Right now, considering you do say you show stray voltage in the tank, I would remove the ground probe and see what develops. If the fish continues to worsen then I think you should consider removing and destroying>> I attached some pictures of the fish - notice the exaggerated curve in the beginning of the lateral line. <<Yes, I see this. Definitely something amiss>> Sorry for the long email, thanks for your time. Mike Meyer <<No problem Mike. I will also ask Bob if he sees this to add his spin on the problem here. Regards, Eric Russell>> <Other than the probable influences mentioned... lack or mal-nutrition, genetics, infectious disease... possibly "old-age" is about all I would add as a conjecture. RMF>

Concerns about carberryi Anthias 10/23/08 Dear Crew, <Carolyn> Am at a loss to how to help one of my fish and can't find anything in the FAQ that fully covers it, so here goes... About 2 months ago I bought a shoal of 4 carberryi Anthias (1 male, 3 females), all of which went immediately into QT <Mmm, most Anthiine species are iffy in terms of such isolation... there is a question of balance, are they better off so accommodated or is it better to hasten them along, place directly into the DT?> with a Copperband bought at the same time. The Copperband showed signs of illness within days and the Anthias removed to a second QT in case there was any infection (the CB later died). All was fine, all Anthias eating voraciously and on lots of different prepared foods (krill Pacifica a firm favourite). <Good> About 2 weeks into QT, the male Anthias began to look as if he was having swim bladder problems, not feeding as well and swimming against the side of the tank as if for support. On Bobs advice, all four were moved to the display tank at that point to give them access to pods etc. <Good> The male has never recovered and seems to be slowly starving - his belly is now almost concave and his colour is very pale. <Rats!> The dominant female has now changed sex and he together with the two females are looking very healthy (good bright colouring, eating very well, fed twice daily + a third time if I can work from home), plus all three are growing well. Its the little male I'm worried about. I've come to the conclusion that he'll probably never improve and will eventually starve to death. <Is a common result...> He shows no interest in food at all even when fed in isolation (which we've tried in conjunction with SeaChem Para Guard which was recommended as a good all round treatment?). The tank/water details are: ammonia and nitrite 0, nitrate <5ppm, temperature 26 Celsius, SG 1.026 (tank size 120 gallon). Is this also your opinion? If so, how is the most humane way to deal with him - I don't want him to slowly die from starvation. <Am given to not giving up... do you have a refugium that you can move this fish to? This is what I would do. BobF> Many thanks in advance, Carolyn

re: concerns about carberryi Anthias 10/23/08 Dear Bob, Many thanks once again for your help - we do indeed have refugium, as part of the sump system under the tank, so will move him across and see if we can't bring him round! Carolyn <Ahh! Good. Let us hope the food, respite there will help this fish to rally. Thank you for this follow-up. BobF>

Unsure how to treat ill Anthias? 9/24/08 Dear Crew, <Carolyn> Apologies if this comes up elsewhere - I've had a read through the FAQs and articles but can't find the answer! <May not "be there"> I currently have 4 small (2-2.5in) Nemanthias carberryi in a QT, they've been in for 2 weeks but I'm intending on keeping them in for another 3 (they were originally in with a Copperband which died within 1 week of a suspected infection, the Anthias were moved to a separate tank and the QT restarted). All four fish have been feeding very well up until this morning, when I notic ed the male wasn't showing any interest in food. <Mmm, a couple of things... this genus is found in large shoals (social animals) and don't generally do well in quarantine. By and large I'm an advocate of perfunctory acclimation, placement of Anthiines> He looks slightly paler than yesterday and his eyes are definitely paler than the females (sex difference?), <Maybe> and he's remaining in one spot rather than swimming with the others. I managed to get a good look at him and he has brown tips to his caudal fins. He seems to be breathing more rapidly than usual and has very slight red marks on his snout. The tank is only small, approx. 30-40l so I do fairly large water changes daily (taken from the display tank) <Good> to keep water quality good. Ammonia and nitrite are 0, nitrate is approx. 10-15ppm. pH is 8.3, temperature 78 Fahrenheit and specific gravity 1.025. Despite eating the fish don't seem to be getting any fatter. Is this a case where all I can do is keep water quality high and hope for the best, or is there something I can do to help this little guy? Many thanks, Carolyn <I'd move into the main display. There may be somethings re this here: http://wetwebmedia.com/anthiselfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: unsure how to treat ill Anthias? 9/24/08 Dear Bob, Thanks for the reply - once again I owe you and the rest of the crew my sanity! You truly are a mine of information, and I have to say I'm looking forward to my next dives even more for learning about each species through this hobby. <Ahh!> Best wishes, Carolyn <And you, BobF>

Re: Angelfish in large aquarium, Anthias hlth., Damsel sel. 8/13/08 Well, the other reason I'm hesitant to go the Anthias route is quarantine. <By and large I would not quarantine this subfamilies' members... Summarily dip/bath and place> I know Anthias are typically hard to feed at first and require some room, I'd hate to try to quarantine a school of 10 Anthias without having any live rock or a big tank. I've got two 29g tanks I can use as quarantine, so I could put 5 in each but still with them being such poor frozen food eaters I think I might have some bad luck there. Although my Lyretail Anthias I've had in the past always ate frozen meaty foods just fine, I didn't notice them doing it for a month or so, most of them just seemed to live off what was in the tank and once they got really comfortable, then they started chasing around my frozen bits of meat. I guess I better go read in your Anthias section, again :) I haven't perused that section since I first discovered WWM 2 years ago. <New/er all the time> Larger species of schooling damsels? Can you give a name or two of specific types so I can do some research? <See... WWM... Perhaps just common Chromis viridis> Now, not that I think for a minute you don't know what you're talking about :) but I've got Semilarvatus B/F (2) in the tank, a purple tang, a Desjardini sailfin tang, checkerboard wrasse and hopefully soon to come a Emperor and Queen angel. Is there really a species of damsel that wont frighten the B/F? <? Oh yes... there are several (from the ME meaning many) schooling species that are relatively easygoing> They are only about 3 inches right now. Very piggish and healthy eaters, but I've just heard such bad things about damsels. <Avoid the territorial "individual" species...> I'll definitely send some pictures along of my efforts. It might still be a while until I do some rock bommies but it will make a good winter project. I wont be putting the two bigger angels into the tank for at least another month, more likely 2 or 3, so I've got some time to decide what course I want to take, or even if I want to attempt two angels, I might still just stick with the Emperor. <Ok> I don't know if you ever get tired of hearing it, but I sure appreciate the work you and your crew do. I've learned what scientists term "a freaking ton" and learn more everyday. My fish and I both appreciate it, the former more than the latter I'm sure. Grant <Ah, welcome! BobF>

Anthias community ailment, 3/22/08 I'm losing Anthias (p. squamipinnis, I had 4), and am trying to figure out why. The setup is a standard 120g SPS reef. It's 6 months old, but all transferred from a 3 year old 38g, plus some new live rock. Parameters have been very stable and what you'd expect for a hard coral dominated reef. The only hiccup, and I bring it up in case it's potentially related, was a recent dip in alkalinity (as low as 6dKH) when I changed to new calcium reactor media, which wasn't as efficient with the existing bubble count. Problem solved, back at 11dKH over a few days. <Shouldn't be a factor...> A week ago, I lost 2 of the Anthias. One male, one female. That left two more females. I later found one of their carcasses inside a hitchhiker crab's cavern. The crab is unidentified, but clearly a meat eater, with cerated, sharp claws. I had assumed he went hunting, <Mmm, not Anthiines... and not two at once...> but tonight's events lead me to consider otherwise. Tonight, another female died. She hadn't left the sandbed all day, and had been gasping heavily and listing. She seems unscathed cosmetically, completely normal looking. This made me wonder if the crab was only an opportunistic scavenger. <Very likely so> Either way, there are no signs that the crab has made any contact with this third Anthias. Currently, the fourth Anthias remains active, but won't come out of the rocks much. <Mmmm, are social animals...> I am forced to look at internal health issues. All Anthias were eating wonderfully up until they were missing. Colors were vibrant, bodies were nice and fat. Do you know of anything that would systematically wipe out an entire community of Anthias? <No... not really... Can speculate though> The only other three fish in the tank (Anthias were actually added first) are a mature Copperband butterfly, juvenile Sailfin tang (a. veliferum) and small Foxface (s. unimaculatus). These three fish are behaving completely normal, and appear to be in perfect health. There have been no signs of aggression in the tank. All fish have been perfectly, socially active. Disease? Parasite? Pathogen? Another water quality issue? This was all so sudden. Thank you for your tireless efforts, Jason Wedehase <Mmm, due to the healthy presence of the three other fish species... and the lack of other symptoms, I'm given to guess re the possible involvement of food here... What 'zooplankter' equivalent do you feed? Has it possibly "gone bad"? Bob Fenner>

Re: Anthias community ailment, 3/22/08 The Anthias and CBB have always received the only thing they would eat, frozen mysis, specifically PE brand. This is the main staple of the tank, and every fish eats it as their primary diet. This is also the exact same batch I use to feed an Aurora Goby in my nano. Is there a chance the Anthias are more susceptible or "weaker" than all the other fish? <Mmm, not much, no> I started using this last batch less than two weeks ago, and in this batch I mixed in a little bit of Cyclop-Eeze powder. Perhaps the powder is bad. I'll replace the food immediately, just in case. <A good plan... I would "enlarge" the food selection here in any case. Mysis (is it relicta?) are not nutritionally complete year in year out. B>

Anthiinae Placement/Chaetomorpha Growth -- 02/08/08 Hey crew, <<Hello>> This is my first time writing, though I've been visiting your web site for almost a year now. <<Welcome then'¦ How may I assist?>> Because of WWM and very a helpful LFS (ALL ABOUT FISH in Concord, CA) my 125g long is a thriving soft/LPSs reef. <<Ah, very nice to know>> My current stock: 1- 6" Blonde Naso 1- 5" Emperor Angel <<Do be aware, this tank is not large enough for the above mentioned fishes for the long-term. As these grow they will need twice this volume to preclude developmental/behavioral/health issues>> 1-2.5" Purple Firefish 1 large Colt Coral 1 med Frogspawn Misc. mushrooms, hermit crabs, snails, etc... I have a 40g 'fuge (Chaetomorpha) <<Excellent>> Euro-reef RS100 skimmer <<I do like this brand of skimmer'¦ I have an (old?) CS12-3 that a couple of the Sedra pumps just died on. I replaced all with a trio of the ER-modded Eheim 1262 pumps and WOW 'falling in love with this skimmer all over again! '¦but enough about me [sheepish-grin]>> There are no water quality issues; I do 20g weekly water changes, sometimes more. <<This 'is' about the single-best thing hobbyists can do for their systems>> My Emperor and Naso are my "Pets" and will readily eat out of my hand. <<Yes, can become quite 'personable'>> After several months of waiting, my LFS received 9 Bartlett's Anthias (1 male, 8 female). <<A very aquarium hardy species>> Would this be too many? <<Right now, no 'but do keep in mind the future requirements of the tang and angel>> How long to qt? <<I don't recommend quarantine for Anthiines'¦best to place directly in the display>> I have a 29g FOWLR (6 months old or set up my 55g (would be bare) what would be the best protocol? <<As stated>> Also I have read/heard conflicting facts on the growth of Chaetomorpha algae. I have a very slow growth rate. I have 40 watts of PC lighting on a reverse cycle. PO4 is undetectable, NO3 10-15 (API and Red Sea test kits) any thoughts or suggestions? <<A couple'¦ Try boosting both light intensity (65w+) and spectral quality (5000K-6500K), and flow (add a small powerhead for circulation) to the refugium. Regards, EricR>>

Help with possible bacterial infection? Anthias hlth., sel. -11/18/07 Hello crew, <Harry> I had purchased 3 Bartlett's Anthias from a LFS. They were eating fine at the store and looked healthy. I brought them home and put them in my 10G QT (small I know) but I didn't know that Anthias need a bigger QT, I do now. All was well for 5 days, then they stopped eating and were staying down at the bottom and they were rapidly breathing and 1 was flashing on the bottom of the tank I think. they showed no interest in food at all. <I hope you moved them post haste> Someone suggested maybe it was stress related due to the small space, so I moved them to a spare 40g holding tank that has live rock, mushrooms and various other coral that I don't know what to do with yet. The morning after I woke up to find that 2 of the Anthias had no tails at all. It was like they rotted off or something ate them off. Someone suggested maybe it was Marine velvet. <Mmm, no. IF Amyloodinium they'd be dead> I looked up the symptoms but I'm not sure. Could it have been aggression related. <Only barely> The first Anthias to die out of the 3 looked normal its tail was intact, no visible injuries. the other 2 who's bodies looked like they were rotting away died the day after. Could it be bacterial in nature? <After effect, yes... as in decomposition. Root causal, no> I'm hoping that it is Marine velvet because a fallow period in the 40 will eradicate it. Now what if it is bacterial or viral what do I do with all the live rock and coral that is in the 40 that I infected. How do I treat the rock and coral with out killing it. Will a fallow period work with bacterial infections. Any information on what it could have been would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Harry <I have high confidence that the "cause" here is/was simply stress... Anthiines almost always need larger quarters to feel safe... and Bartlett's are a highly anxious species... By and large I advise simply placing them sans other protocols, including quarantine, dipping... Bob Fenner>

Re: help with possible bacterial infection? (Bob Fenner), Anthiines hlth. 11/19/07 Mr. Fenner, <Harry> Thank you for the great information. I'm surprised that they would just "rot away" over nite due to stress <This sort of rotting can proceed surprisingly quickly... is aided by decomposers> but with this hobby I learn something new everyday. What minimum tank size would you recommend for QT'ing a species like Anthias that is more sensitive. <Mmm, of this size animal... at least the volume and shape of a 29 stock... A/the forty would be better> Also do I have anything to worry about in the 40 that they were housed for 2 days before they died regarding "bad" bacteria. <Mmm, no... with a few weeks time passing, these will "die back" both in numbers and virulence> The 40 is where they basically started to rot away a day before they died. I have items that were sitting in there that I want to place in my main tank. <I would hold off a week or so in placing these> Regards, Harry <And you, BobF>

Re: help with possible bacterial infection? (Bob Fenner) 11/19/07 Mr. Fenner, <Harry> Thank you for all your help. it is greatly appreciated Regards, Harry <Welcome my friend. BobF>

Strange Growth on Dorsal Fin, Lymph likely 11/1/07 Hello Crew, <Ed> I have attached a photo of my Bartlett with a strange growth on her fin. It has grown slightly larger over the last couple of weeks. It doesn't look like Lymphocystis to me, wondering if you had any clue what it could be and what I should do about it. Thanks, Ed <It does look like Lymphocystis to me... that or an idiopathic tumour of some sort (not parasitic or infectious...). I might try purposeful cleaner/s, bolstering immune systems nutritionally, or plucking the material by hand... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/lymphfaq2.htm Bob Fenner>

Fairy Basslet in hiding 7/8/07 Hello WWM! Long time reader, First time poster <Welcome. We are strangers but once> I have had 2 Bartlett's Anthias for 3 yrs now. The male appears in poor health. <Mmmm... like most Anthiines, better to have in a larger number grouping... but this/these may well be reaching senescence... old age> I have a 120 reef system with sump, skimmer, good flow produced by close loop with sequencing unit and chiller. I do bi monthly 20% water changes. Tankmates include a Majestic Angel, <Mmm, this species needs more room than this... by about a minimum of twice> 2 Ocellaris, 3 Chromis, 2 Banggai Cardinals. I feed 2x a day every other day a mix of Mysis, Formula 2 frozen and Cyclop-eeze. (small amounts, slowly....a 6 yr. routine) I also add locally cultivated reef stew to my tank once a month.... yummy treats! My problem is this, for the past 3 days the male Anthias has been hiding in rock crevices around the bottom of my tank. <Perhaps age... maybe something to do with the other fish/es...> The first day, he came out to eat. Yesterday he did not come out during feeding time; however, he did move about, but ate nothing ( I fed out of schedule to entice him out ). Today, he is MIA. I assume he is in the back rockwork not visible to me. <Maybe> I did notice that his color became more intense during this time. The pink hue almost a hot pink. I thought that perhaps his breathing was labored as well. I did look closely at him and noticed NO evidence of injury or outward sign of bacterial infection. I was hoping you would be able to shed some light on my experience. Thank you for your dedication. Kim <Mmm, if there were room psycho- and physio-logically in this system, I'd suggest adding three or five more females of the species... As it is... just waiting. Bob Fenner> Re: Fairy Basslet in hiding -- 07/08/07 Thank you for your reply Bob, <Welcome Kim> The male Anthias has indeed found hiding in the back of the tank. I shooed him to a crevice in the front of my tank. If/when he dies, I would like to easily remove whatever portions my Jumbo Nassarius snails do not devour. <Okay> As he was swimming to the front, he wasn't really swimming, he was more like shimmying with his tail down and snout up. He is still fat as ever and his color is extremely intense, I would say at least 2x or even more....it's almost as if he's running a high fever 0_o <Good desc.> Regarding possible harassment between tank mates. I have a peaceful community for the time being. <Ah, good> I have often thought about trading to my LFS the well mannered (reef tank) Majestic that I have had for 5 yrs. (small for his maturity... maybe 6" in length), <This is likely "it" size-wise here... Has been "bonsaied" by the size et al. restraints of this system> I just don't know if he'll be placed in a better environment and this bothers me. I have arranged my tank in such a way as to provide the most possible lateral swimming area. I have taken much grief on forums for my approach as I use less LR than is popular today. I have 110lbs in my 120 AGA and 20 gal sump. <I see> Using island and arches to provide the hiding spaces needed; I like to keep my rock completely surrounded with brisk current keeping pores from clogging quickly, not to mention more surface area for the biological filtration process to take place. <Well stated; and done> Apologies for my long windedness.( I could have gone on and on :) ) Thank you for your time. Kim <And you for sharing. Bob Fenner> Anthias problems, incidental mortality 4/10/07 I have searched a great deal of information from your website with a lot of success. I am starting to run out of ideas for my current situation. Two months ago, I placed 19 disbar Anthias in my 265g reef tank. I have two males and seventeen females. <A good number, ratio...> I placed seven Anthias in the tank for one week, then added 12 more one week later. Two weeks ago, I found two dead Anthias. The following week I noticed that one Anthias started to die after another. I now only have 10 left. I been feeding them Cyclop-Eeze, mysis shrimp, and flake food at least twice a day. <Mmm, yes... best to have a thriving refugium, other means for providing food organisms almost constantly> They all appear to be eating quite fine when I feed them. The other inhabitants in the tank are 6 blue/green Chromis, green mandarin, and a purple fridmani. The other fish don't seem to bother the Anthias at all. I have a 50g refugium and pumps that circulate 1200 gallons of water an hour. I have approximately 400lbs of live rock in the tank and three 175 watt metal halides for my various corals. The current temperature in the tank is 74.6, the alkalinity is 90, and the calcium level is 420. I really don't know what else to do. I would greatly appreciate any help that you can provide. Thank You. <This reads like a/the not uncommon situation with this subfamily... "Something"... perhaps an internal parasite, starvation (previous to your acquisition), other challenge resulting in the inevitable loss of a number/all members of a group... Does happen, as stated, quite often... How to avoid? If there's facilities for holding a population before your transfer... to assure their health... At this point, bolstering food value by soaking in a vitamin/HUFA prep. (e.g. Zoe, MicroVit...) is a good idea... Bob Fenner>

5" Bicolor Anthias in a 19 gallon QT 10/27/06 Hi Everyone! First I just want to say how great your site is, I've been lurking for 4 months now and have learned a great deal from all of you! My problem is I have a really big (5") Bicolor Anthias and 1 2" Flame Angel in a 10 gallon QT and the tank gets cloudy after just one day! I read that they need to be fed 2-3 times a day because of their metabolism and he is eating everything I give him and whatever he doesn't like the Angel is taking. How can I keep the tank clean? <Mmm... I see your statement below re water changes... pretty much this/these and perhaps more bio. and mechanical filtration... Adding a hang-on open power filter> Besides doing 30% water changes daily of course. Second problem is that he is a very picky eater, so far he'll only eat brine or Mysis shrimp. I did all the testing this morning in tiny quantities to see what he likes. Flakes and pellets, he picks up but spits out right away. I tried 2 small chunks of frozen plankton (Hikari brand) spit that out too. I know brine and Mysis shrimp are not good staples but I don't know what else to try. Luckily the angel loves it all! How long should I keep him in quarantine if he looks good? Louise <At least two weeks... unless circumstances, appearances indicate that otherwise the fishs health will be impugned. Bob Fenner>

Disease Anthony, <Steven Pro in this morning before running off to MACNA.> I purchased some Bicolor Anthias from Marine Center, unfortunately since they claim to QT their livestock I added them directly to my main tank. <They should have still been QT by you again. There is always the additional shipping trauma to get them through.> The 3 that I purchased from them died within less then a week. Now the 2 that I have had for more the 8 months are looking bad. <The first three that died could have had some initial conditions, but living eight months points to something going on in your tank.> 1 is in my QT tank, he has medium to large white spots where the color has faded, and is not moving much. The other went in the rocks and stills looks ok but isn't as active as it has been for the last few months. System water test ok: Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 10 pH 8.2 Cal 425 KH 11 System temperature 79 degrees <All seems well> Any suggestion, yes I know that I should have QT the incoming fish but I always heard good thing about MC from your web site <As have I, but like I mentioned above, being put in a little plastic bag and shipped across the country is stressful. QT gives then time to settle down, put on some weight, and show any signs of disease, before going into the display where they have to compete. Now to your problem, nothing jumps out at me. You have witnessed these guys eat, no one is picking on them, you have a refugium, and plenty of room for everyone?> Thanks, Mark Johnson <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Sudden Anthias Deaths Hello, <Good evening! Scott F. here tonight!> I haven't written you guys for quite some time, thought I had learned a lot and had things under control. You guys helped me save my purple tang and maroon clown from a bad case of ich. I just returned them a week ago to my main tank after two months of leaving it fallow and everything is wonderful in there, so I decided to purchase new fish. <Glad to hear that!> I bought a pair of lyretail Anthias last night. I put them in a freshwater ph adjusted , methyl blue dip, temp. 78 for 10 minutes which is what I had dipped my other fish for and I watched the Anthias the whole time for any signs of discomfort but they seemed fine for the entire dip. <Great procedure> Then I put them in my quarantine tank which I had tested and all levels were great. Ammonia and Nitrite were zero, Ph 8.2, temp 78 and salinity 1.023. Soon after I put them in the male kept floating a little to one side and then leveling himself out, then I came to look at him again and he was upside down, I thought that was a very bad sign, but then he righted himself again. Anyway the point of the story is that today they are both dead and I thought I did everything right. My question is did I leave them in the freshwater dip too long, or were they sick from the get go? The guy at my LFS said they were doing good at his store and were a healthy pair, they looked good to me as well, although they kept hiding under the rocks at the LFS. What did I do to kill these fish overnight, please if you have any idea, let me know so I don't do it again. Thank you, Kylee Peterson < Well, Kylee- first of all- don't be too hard on yourself. Your procedure was excellent! Initial dips and quarantine are excellent ways to prevent a variety of problems. Please don't let this experience change your diligent efforts. The possibilities here are numerous. It's really hard to say exactly what caused their sudden death. Typically, sudden events like this are the result of some form of shock, brought on by environmental changes, disease, or even poisoning. Perhaps they fell victim to osmotic shock as a result of the dip...Sometimes, even the use of prophylactic medication, such as copper, malachite green, etc. can be toxic to these fishes. There is also the possibility that these specimens were stressed or in the process of contracting a disease before you even purchased them. The fact that they were hiding in the dealer's tank was a possible tip-off to some kind of condition. It was certainly not your fault that the fishes died. It was probably a combination of several factors, which combined to create this unfortunate result. Don't be afraid to try again with these fishes, but do select some individuals that are actively swimming about the tank. Perhaps that might give you the "edge" that you need to be successful with this fish. Good luck!>

Anthias In Trouble... I recently purchased a pair of square Anthias from a trusted LFS (I say trusted because it is the only LFS that I have never had fish problems with). Anyway, I have them both in a quarantine tank, but the male (about 3.5-4 inches) is not faring well. Initially, he was not moving around very much, just remaining almost vertical near the side of the tank. Next he began to break the surface gasping for air, and spitting water. Too, I have noticed long strings of feces (sometimes brown, sometimes white) trailing off behind him. These problems have since subsided. <Possibly sign of an internal parasitic infection of some sort> Now it appears as if he cannot right himself, sometimes sitting on the bottom, sometimes sideways, sometimes upside down. Occasionally when upside down, he will catch himself as if surprised, and will swim normally back down to the bottom. <Hmm.. that sounds like an equilibrium problem of some sort, possibly caused by improper decompression/collection procedures...> I just noticed yesterday, that his right eye is swollen, and appears as if the bubble on the eye is full of water (as it glistens as if filled). <Well, that could have been some sort of trauma to the eye caused by hitting his eyes on the tank walls or some other object.> I have not seen the male eat, even when tempted (as suggested in one of your threads) with live brine shrimp. He is not at the top anymore, but just lying on the bottom, directly under the filter or next to an air stone, almost motionless, usually not upright. His breathing appears a little shallow. I do see him occasionally wave his fins about. The little female appears perfectly healthy. <Sounds like he really suffered during collection, and has had some possible medical challenges as a result> In the quarantine tank are 1 sponge filter, and three airstones (pumps). All parameters are perfect. I have been keeping the lights in the tank off. <All sounds great> Any suggestions? I hate to see this fish suffer. His mate tries to comfort him, but she gets no reaction from him. Thank you. <Well, as far as the swollen eye is concerned, you certainly can try Epsom salts in the tank to help draw down the swelling. On the other hand, it seems like the other possible problems that he is having are related to capture and collection. You will just have to keep up the TLC. Provide him with some more nutritious food options, such as Sweetwater plankton (a "fresh" product that comes packed in water in a jar. Good stuff!!! You can get it from Drs. Foster & Smith on line..). Keep your water conditions optimum, and the tank well-aerated...Don't quite on this guy...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Cloudy Eyes? Hi Guys <Scott F. your guy tonight> Done a search but after spending an hour looking couldn't find the right question/answer Had a Kashiwa Anthias with cloudy eye - Popeye - no eye. Water conditions as good as they are gonna be.......no other fish with problems. <okay...> Now another of the same batch of Anthias has developed a similar problem. Is this parasitic ?? I was of the understanding that this wasn't a contagious problem..........or am I mistaken. <Well, sometimes these types of problems are a result of water conditions. I know that you indicated that they were good, but perhaps this was a result of poor environmental conditions somewhere along the chain of custody from reef to store.> Is this likely to have come in on the fish (if parasitic) and what can be done to treat.........tank is around 1000G full of corals/inverts/fish so no chemical treatment and no way can the fish come out. <Well, this doesn't sound like a parasitic malady to me. Possibly you're seeing a bacterial infection of some sort. It may be possible to treat the affected fishes with antibiotic foods. Of course, I'd continue to maintain excellent water conditions, and quarantine all new arrivals for a minimum of 3 weeks.> Would love to hear your thoughts. Any sites or links to research on this problem would be appreciated if you guys know any. Regards, Steve. <Well Steve, I'm not aware of any specific sites that specialize in disease, but you can peruse the WWM site, or do a key word search on one of the larger search engines under "fish diseases", and see what you can come up with. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Lyretail Anthias Bob, I spoke too soon! Approaching the 3 week mark in the quarantine process. The male Lyretail Anthias has shown a 1/8" black spot on its right of the gill cover close to the mouth. It almost looks like an ingrown hair. The spot protrudes approximately 1/16". The Lyretail looks great and acts in a normal mode. Went to the LFS and was told to treat with Formalin for a day or so. Came home and then went to your Wet Web Media. Now I'm confused. Should I try to treat the quarantine tank with Formalin? The two females look fine. Or should I do a quick freshwater dip with Formalin for approximately 10 minutes? I am always open to recommendations. I was really hoping to place them in my mini-reef, but now I am reluctant. Thanks again for your help <IMO, emphatically just the dip and formalin... the Anthiines don't do well, neither do quarantine systems treated with formalin/formaldehyde... likely to do more harm than good as anything other than a dip/bath... and very likely the "black hair thing" is no problem... Do get these fish into a larger system, feeding ASAP... two weeks should be long enough for this protocol/quarantine. Bob Fenner>

Sick fish Bob My male Lyretail Anthias just showed up with a dark lump the size of a BB under his skin at the base of one of his fins. It is making the fin stick straight out affecting his swimming a little. He has seemed to have lost his appetite also. <Not good> This is so strange he was doing great yesterday. He is in a reef tank so there is no way I can catch him. Any idea what this could be and any suggestions for treatment that will not hurt my corals? Can this spread to my other fish? <Not likely catching... maybe an ulceration from a parasite (internal)...> Thank you for you help Jason P.S. How do you get compensated for all this work. Is there some place I can send you some money for all your help? <No my friend. Your participation, involvement, sharing here is more than enough. Bob Fenner>

Touchy fish acclimation and feeding Howdy Bob! <Howdy, Chief! Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob sits in a corner trying to crack brazil nuts open with his forehead> Because of all your good counsel and website information, my personal contacts are at least dwindling in their frequency. Thanks again, and I hope you will help me with a two-part question. < I shall do my best> Because my local LFS is dealing with some water-quality issues, and I still have a backlog of pre-paid fish coming in, I have taken to having them notify me ahead of their arrival (via air freight), and I go right down when they get them in, and bring them home. Naturally, this isn't as nice as if they had been living and eating there at the LFS for a period of time, but it is my present reality. <we do the best we can with what we can> Anyway, I carefully follow your guerilla guide to acclimation of my new arrivals, but it is my impression that by the time I remove them from their "combo-freshwater-shipping-water-with-blue-green- additives" mix, they appear more sluggish and 'wiped-out' than the ones from the same batch who go through an 'LFS standard' acclimation (of gradually adding tank water into their bags and then releasing). Watching my fish in their cat-litter-box they just seem to sit and sometimes their back end curls around a bit towards the front. I don't want to stress them further, so I don't poke & prod, and usually, after about 5 to 7 minutes, I gently transfer them to my lights-out acclimation tank. Sometimes they speed away when I put them in, sometimes they just seem to barely sink to the bottom, and hang out. <quite natural> So, part 1 of my question is this: Is this normal for a fish going through this kind of dip / acclimation treatment, and (just for reassurance) is it still better because of the reduced risk of disease than just mixing waters and releasing? <indeed...cannot mix waters> Part 2. In last night's delivery, I received a male/female pair of purple queen Anthias (they didn't have lyretail). I know they are much more touchy fish, but they were beautiful looking <Arrgghhh... not the best reason when unprepared> and I had spoken to someone who had had three in a very small and simple reef for a long while <more than a year and still fat at that time?> , so I decided to give it a shot. They are still sitting on the bottom of the acclimation tank, breathing OK, and watching with their eyes, but not real motivated to eat. I am going to try "first flake", <I'll eat your hat if they eat flake for you.. hehe. Need meaty food...may even have to resort to live> and Mysis shrimp, but wondered if you had any good ideas about how to tempt one of these pretties into eating? <frozen mysids and Pacifica plankton are good whole foods in the long run...a good specialized homemade recipe like in Bob's CMA will be better. In the meantime, try gut loaded live guppies or ghost shrimp if the fish are large enough, or enriched live brine (Selcon) if still small> Thank you so much for your help. Sincerely, Jim Raub <keep us posted please. with kind regards, Anthony>

Truncate Anthias Hi, me again. <Cheers, Anthony Calfo in your service> This time I have a question about an Anthias. His name is Felix and he's the coolest little orange fish you have ever seen, <I'll take your word on it although you really have no idea just how many spoonfuls of recreational drugs I've done and subsequently how many cool little orange fish I've seen. Of course, I suspect yours doesn't have hands with opposable thumbs...hehe> but he's not feeling well. <tell me about it, my friend> About a month ago I did my water change and filter change and there after he's been hiding. The water was a little cold as I use purified sea water and it had been sitting by the door. I usually wait about a day after getting the water but I had accidentally drained the tank too much and had gone to get more water letting it sit for only about an hour. Anyway he's hiding, and this fish was king of his tank before!!! All the other fish, inverts, and coral are doing fine, no one else was affected. One thing I should add is when the water was tested last week (I do this on a weekly basis) the pH was low. After adding some buffer Felix seems to be more interested in the world outside his cave. He's even come out to perch on the rock in the light. I can see that he has lost no weight at all so I figured he eats off the water column behind the rock (I have a pair of threadfin gobies that are doing the same thing). His color is still not great but at least he's still alive!!! (I love this fish!) My question is should I find another Anthias or should I buy a royal Gramma and try to play on his aggression <another Anthiinae may be tolerable (females) but never play on their aggression. Our tanks are too small. Try different food too. With Anthiines you simply have to try Sweetwater zooplankton (keep refrigerated). It is incredible for Anthias species> (My last one was kicked around the tank for several months before he was accepted!) (disappeared mysteriously after the addition of a new powerhead?) I ask this because I cannot find another truncate Anthias, Felix was a mix up as he came in as a purple queen. I would hate to add another Anthias only to worry about it not having a proper buddy. <yes. please don't mix species> I once tried to save a purple square Anthias from a LFS, and Felix loved him, when his attacks were ignored by the larger Anthias he decided this guy need love and attacked everybody else who got too close. Or do you think that I should try and see if I can't find another truncate? <try the food first and slightly warmer water...then maybe a buddy if you feel you must> My main concern is to keep Felix alive and happy, and while he's alive, he's not happy. Thanks again Kim <his behavior is not because of the single cool water event. That was coincidental. Some aspect of water chemistry (like pH which should be 8.3 to 8.6 daily) is the real culprit most likely. Best regards, Anthony>

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