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Assessor macneilli Whitley 1935, the Blue Devilfish. Found on Australia's GBR and New Caledonia. To two and a quarter inches in length. House of Fins 2012.

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Mickey mouse platy maybe preggo?     /Neale
We are new communal fish tank owners (thanks to our 3 yr old son!! :-D). I LOVE watching them, they are very interesting :-) We have had the fish for about a month and my female Mickey mouse platy has gotten somewhat fat/wide and looks like she may be pregnant.
<If there's ever been a male alongside her in the last, say, six months... then yes, chances of being pregnant is very high. These fish are more or less continually pregnant when kept with males.>
The only 'dark spot' that I can see is behind the female parts on the fin, not very dark. (wrong terminology?!? Sorry!)
<No problems. The famous "gravid spot" only really holds true for Guppies and other small livebearers. It's not a patch of colour, but the expanded dark sac around the embryos being pushed against the thin muscle wall around the vent. On small fish, this dark sac is visible. But on bigger fish like Platies and Mollies, it's often not visible.>
The wide part looks somewhat dark when she is in the right light. We have these 2 male guppies (who are BFF's) and they just started showing interest in her within the last 2-3 weeks. They aren't mean to her at all, just follow her around.
<Indeed. Closely related, and will surely try and mate with her. No chance of fertilising her though.>
Anywho, I attached 3 pics, they aren't very clear-sorry the fish are quick and didn't want to use flash and blind/confuse them! Sometimes she will hang out on the bottom of the tank- not for too long- and she is very active, usually all over the place and seems very happy. I am trying to give as much info as possible! If she is pregnant, how long till she will have babies? Is she pregnant?
<See above. But also be aware of constipation and dropsy. The former is quite common when herbivores, like Platies, aren't given plant-based foods (Spirulina flake for example) and fresh greens (slices of cucumber to graze on are good). Can be treated with Epsom salt and more green foods. Dropsy looks similar, but the scales rise up so the fish has a pine cone
appearance viewed from above. It's a serious issue. Fluid retained inside the body, abdominal swelling, often related to bacterial infection. Both constipation and dropsy are covered elsewhere on WWM.>
I just don't know if I should get a breeding tank??
<Not for the female, no. Very stressful for them. But by all means corral fry into a trap for 2-3 weeks until they're big enough to swim with adults.
Some tetras (such as Black Widows) and most cichlids (including Angels) are very predatory towards fry. May need to keep the fry in the trap or ideally another aquarium for longer.>
Any info would help!! Thanks for you time!!!
<Cheers, Neale.>

Export suggestions. Actually: Sources of Ca reactor media
Have you ever heard of people Gavin <having> problems with using clean snail shells in a calcium reactor?
<I have not.... but am of the decided opinion (Diana Fenner distributed Knop Products including reactors and media in N. America for five years; I responded to queries re) that mined materials of more soluble Calcium and Magnesium Carbonate are far better that "shiny" shells. READ here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcreactors.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Sick Molly's; no data, rdg.
I am not sure if I am in the right area but I need some help my water is 0.05
<.... is this specific gravity? If so; likely you mean 1.005. What salt/s did you use here?>
I have mollies with some weird symptoms started out like dry looking patches and now looks like this orange one she is the only one that looks like this they start out like the balloon Molly and progresses there are only 3 I can see that look like this but only the orange that looks this bad I found 2 baby's with what looks like little holes in there head and one baby his eye was white and pooped out I believe
<... need more data; re water quality, system, maintenance, feeding, history of the system. Let's have you read here:
and the linked files above.... for input, and to grant you an idea of what sorts of info. we're looking for. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick Molly's

Sorry I am sick and not functioning on all cylinders myself it is specific gravity and it is 1.005
<Mmm; if you had other livestock.... than shown in your pix; I might well be raising the "saltiness" here>
I use marine salt by instant ocean
<Ah good>
tank is over a year old and cycled I use SeaChem stability and ammonia alert it's o it only measures free ammonia but I also checked with a ammonia tube tester it shows zero I use a biological cascade 1000. I do 15% water changes weekly. I test with high range ph test kit it is 7.5
Nitrite is 0 nitrate is 5.0
I have had issues with phosphates getting up between 1.0 and 2.0
<Meh; not to worry>
but use a phosphate remover, also by SeaChem. I only have 1 live moss ball in the tank it has really good oxygenation I have 1 Plato
<Pupil of Aristotle?>
1 shrimp a few zerite snails
<Zerite then>
it's a 45 gallon corner tank and 4 adult female mollies, 6 juveniles and honestly could not tell you how many babies my levels were fine so didn't worry about it I want to give them away but can't till I know what's up in this tank I got Molly's all at once never added any more snails were added after and shrimp feed omega one twice daily micro pellets for babies or
crush the omega one in a pill crusher I do both I have city water, use aqua safe to remove chlorine my temp is 80.2. I have used Metronidazole in the water it was by apI twice
<Don't keep putting this in: Toxic>
48 hour intervals then I started giving mixed 1/8 tsp api to 1/2 tbs omega one soaked in 1/2 tbs water for 30 min now I have started using life guard
<For what? What for?>
while waiting to find out if anything can be done.
<...> really <...>
I have not seen anything like the pics I have sent you, do you have any idea what this could be I believe my mollies came with whirling disease I had the whirled for a year I euthanized her when she finally stopped eating I kept her in a floating baby nursery with a nylon bottom lost a lot of babies to this disease it finally stopped I hope.
Colleen ^>,<^
<.... wish I had a microscope nearby there.... Do you have another system you can move just the mollies to; jack up the salinity? BobF>

Re: Adding a skimmer to my wet/dry system
Hi Bob,
<Hey Chad>
The day slipped away from me today, sorry for a late reply. Here's a shot of my wet dry. There's approximately a 12" X 8" footprint available on the right side of the sump and 30" in height. I can certainly squeeze one in there if you think it would be advisable.
<I'd put in with the pump if the one I'd like would fit>
Some more insight into the wet dry, it's a biofil1 rated for 125 gallons (not 30 gallons as I mentioned previously; that estimate was the total volume of the sump if filled to the brim)... This has been working great since installed. Again, looking to slowly upgrade to a reef system which is where the skimmer comes into play.
<Well.... I'd use the space you mentioned (to the right of the wet dry) to put in a refugium... tie/plumb it into the pump/sump with a couple of bulk head fittings, a section of pipe twixt, and run a slow input of water from the overflow to the 'fuge>
Again I really appreciate your wisdom and insight.
Best regards,
Chad Rattray
Sales Manager
<Bob Fenner, petfish kind of guy>

Re: Adding a skimmer to my wet/dry system
You’re a gentleman and a scholar. Thank you Sir!
<Well; a bit of both perhaps. Cheers Chad! B>

Re: Possible reciprocal connections?
Link and logo now on this page.
about 2/3 down
<Thank you; your site name and link on most all "Links" pages. BobF>

Chloroquine/sulfathiazole or Chloroquine/Cuprazin(50%)copper, formalin, malaquite, NNS; Crypt
Dear crew,
In my aquarium, that have for about 5 years now, I have a Naso for 5yrs , one blueface for 2yrs, one Apolemichthys trimaculatus for 4years now, one Zebrasoma flavescens (around 10 years now, came from another aquarium I had) and now a Choerodon fasciatus from Australia.
Well, this 500liters tank is a mixed of fish, inverts and some corals.
Very good water quality, very good light, very good skimmer and for some extra control some months ago a 55W UV (AquaMedic).
Well the problem is i have some, very few signs of crypto. The Naso have one eye with a little cloudy white circle one one eye but very little, already for 2 weeks aprox. Only with the 250W on we can see this signs.
Yes, the Choerodon fasciatus is for sure the reason, maybe indirectly. Of course, 4 weeks on quarantine tank before i put this fish at the DP tank, at the first time he show some stress, after two days he went again for the qt tank and one week later he went again in de DP tank, with more confidence.
Well, even with these measures, he wake up some ict of the thank and the pectoral fins of this fish are now with some white areas.
So, all invers and coral went to another tank (yes, these fishes are my top concern and I prefer to treat the DP tank like I did some years ago and after treatment, water changes, SeaChem resigns and after one month, the inverts and coral can go again, with some live rock (also quarantined) to.
In another situations for sure the fish should go to another tank, be treated and the display for at least 8 weeks without any fish. In this situation, the Naso elegans is already with 30cm, and I prefer to maintain all the fish in the same tank)
I changed the specific gravity to around 1.012, and Chloroquine at 15mg/liter (i have a kern 440 21N to weigh fish drugs).
<Ah, good>
After two days, no much betters signs in any. No Ammonia at the thank and all SeaChem resigns was retired, uv off etc.
When I change water I add the proportional amount of Chloroquine.
Well because I still have no positive signs of, I am thinking of also put half dose of Cuprazin (have copper, formalin and malaquite) or at least, add sulfathiazole with the Chloroquine.
Normally when the fish have cloudy eyes or some skin red areas like one Zebrasoma some years ago, I use sulfathiazole, alone, at rate of 1gr /100 Liters for 3 days. Do you know if sulfathiazole can be used at this ratio, simultaneously with 15mg/liter of Chloroquine (Resochina)?
<It can be.... but I'd first or only try adding the CP to foods rather than the water... at a higher dose possibly... as the real drug strength does vary quite a bit.... and getting the drug INTO the fishes is what you want>
Many thanks
Manuel Dias
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Chloroquine Phosphate
Before I begin, I am continuing to attempt research before, further, application of Mr. G's anti-parasitic fish caviar. The active ingredient is Chloroquine phosphate but without a percentage listed, as well as vitamins, amino acids and garlic. I am trying to treat what appears to be classic marine ich, crypt parasite. It is limited to a few spots on the single hippo(regal) tang that was freshwater dipped but not quarantined, kill me now.
<You're learning; don't give up now>
He is a smallish member of the tank, eats voraciously, makes use of cleaner shrimp and aside from spattering of parasite appears healthy. The only other fish inhabitants are two tank raised ocellaris clowns and a yellow watchman goby with no symptoms after two weeks. There will not be any more fish added, ever, if we can pull thru this calamity. However there are a variety of corals and invertebrates. So this concoction purports that it is entirely "reef safe" but it seems counter intuitive that any chemical could avoid complications.
<You are correct here; NONE are completely "safe">
The directions state to feed this slurry, as much as fish will consume in 3-5 minutes, for three weeks. I fed a few drops to gauge response and all the fish gobbled it down. I only did this once but would like to boost the tang with the included vitamins and such for further health and immunity concerns. If the Chloroquine is contraindicated perhaps an immunity boosting supplement?
<Yes; a good idea; always... akin to vitamin prep.s for humans>
He eats frozen mysis and algae sheets currently. Do you have any experience with this product?
<I do not personally. Almost always I encourage people to buy CP or other drug/s to make their own mixtures>
Is it different than quinine(when using search indices for Chloroquine these quinine faqs repeatedly recur)?
<There are a few different quinine compounds used, of use; only one Chloroquine (di) Phosphate>
Are there foreseeable dangers if any of the product were to get by the fish(or after digestion)?
<Minimal; acceptable dangers>
The lfs would quarantine the fish in hyposalinity but the stress on the surgeonfish might be it's undoing and as far as I have read the parasite now exists in my tank. As usual yours is the opinion I most highly regard, and this is yet another instance where a quarantine tank would have averted disaster. Regrettably reacting.
<You seem to understand the situation. Don't catastrophize.... won't help. Focus on your positive actions, probable outcomes. Bob Fenner>

Yellow tang not eating. Env.
Hello. My name is Russ and I have had a 55g saltwater tank running for about 1 year now. I have 70 lbs of live rock and keep it lightly stocked.
I only have a few corals and though I research it has been mostly learn as I go.
I had a problem with my RO water system that went undetected for a few water changes. Had brown algae rapidly grow through the system, but the parameters remained stable. I bought a new RO/DI system and did a 50% water change. There was so much algae that I also did some cleanup of the walls and the rock that was without corals attached. I had consulted with several people on a forum I belong to, and the information I got was mixed as to whether I should do that, but there was so much that I felt my corals were in danger. Anyway, done is done. That brings me to my problem, which I am also getting mixed info on.
Up until I cleaned the tank my Yellow Tang was doing fine. It was healthy and active and it's appetite was good. But now (last 4 days) it is not eating and just stays in one cave structure. I see no signs of disease other than weight loss, it is getting very skinny. I am moving it to my sick tank today.
<Likely a cascade event... the algae profusion; its removal, poisoning the corals, they in turn reacting, poisoning the Tang.... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/toxictkendof.htm
Can you inform me on what to do, and what to look for?
<Yes; I'd be moving the fish as you mention; continue doing regular water changes, using chemical filtrants (GAC, Chemipure) to remove metabolites, keeping my skimmer spiffed up... and hoping for the best>
Could this just be stress?
<Oh yes; big time: Chemical, biochemical>
I would appreciate any information I can get at this point.
Thank you, Russ.
<Read on! And welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Help! 2 New sick mandarins, Ichthyobodo and Tea Tree Oil
Hi Bob!
Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly! I just wanted to give you an update, and perhaps offer a theory? I was able to order Crypto-pro (Chloroquine phosphate) which came in two days later. Unfortunately, one of the mandarins didn't make it that long. I began treatment on the surviving mandarin as soon as the medication came in with a single dose at 15mg/l, although by that time his breathing was already labored. He lived for 4 more days, and a post-mortem skin scrape showed he was heavily infected with Ichthyobodo.
So since at that point I had the medication on hand, I figured I'd try again and ordered 2 more mandarins, figuring I could cure any infection if I treated it early. When they arrived I found the parasite in the bag water, again, this time both were breathing heavy from day 1. I immediately dosed CP at 15mg/l, but one of the mandarins died just 2 days later, the other was excessively slimy, breathing heavy, and did not appear to be improving. So I put some carbon in the filter and did a 25% water change to remove the medication. Then as I was combing the internet for ideas on what to do, I read that mandarins are sensitive to medications (like copper) and can cause them to produce so much slime that their gills become congested and they suffocate. I also know that tea tree oil is used on people to dry out wounds like cuts/scrapes/blisters/acne (take a good whiff and it'll clear your sinuses too!), is found in Melafix and is considered safe to use on most fish. Now, I know how you feel "natural" treatments like this are pretty much useless, and I completely agree with you, but I may have actually found a use for it!!! I thought if I could dry up some of the mucus to decongest her gills and help her breathe, then maybe her immune system will be able to fight off the parasite?? So I grabbed some 100% tea tree oil from the pharmacy and put 2 drops in the tank (10 gal) while she was sleeping. By morning she had shed some of the mucus and was able to breathe normal again! She still wasn't eating so I did this for 4 more days, and now she is very active, healthy, and eating like a pig! I finally have a happy mandarin! I'm sure the tea tree oil didn't directly kill the parasite or anything, but maybe it at least helped
her breathe? What do you think??
<Got me.... as all anecdotal accounts go; it's impossible to sort out cause/effect w/ one trial and multiple factors>
I'd love to know your thoughts on this
Thank you for all your help!
<Thank you for your report. Bob Fenner>


Re Trumpet Coral Problem, caused by Yellow Encrusting Sponge?        10/6/15
Hi Bob,
Thank you for your opinion on why my trumpet corals are recessing.
Here is some more info:
The anemones are not near the trumpets.
I do add iodide.
I target feed the trumpets and feel they are getting plenty of nutrients or else they would not be multiplying so fast prior to this mass recession.
(2 to 400 heads in 8 years)
The refugium is full of macro algae and I battle hair algae in the overflows.
Allelopathy could be part of the problem.
My latest thought is in relation to the Jaspis serpentina sponge which is slowly taking over my tank. A few weeks ago, I was scraping it off the back glass and trying to dig it away from taking over some Zoanthids and birds nests. Would the small sponge particles within the water column cause the trumpets to die off?
<Yes; could>
Would you recommend removing rocks that have this encrusting yellow sponge on it?
<Yes I would... rinse, chip off; possibly bleach... but at least allow to air dry for a week or more before re-using>

There is a LOT of yellow sponge in my tank. What does happy yellow sponge indicate about the tank?
<Propitious circumstances; at least for it. BobF>
Thank you,

Adding a skimmer to my wet/dry system        10/6/15
Hi Guys-
I really enjoy going through all of your forums and FAQ’s. I have been scouring your site for an answer to my question but don’t seem to see anything directly related… which is why I am now reaching out.
I have an 80 gallon saltwater tank that has been set up and thriving for about a year now. Despite everything I read about wet/dry’s being a nitrate factory, my levels are consistently at zero.
<There are possibilities of "striking balance" w/ such use.... enough "reverse reactions" occurring in live rock, substrate, care in what's fed and amounts; partial water change outs....>

Nevertheless, I understand the importance of skimming (thanks to reading through your many, many articles and responses on the subject), and want to put one into my system. My aquarium has a built in center overflow that goes down to a 30 gallon wet/dry sump. The bio media is in the first chamber and my return pump and heater are in the second chamber. I also have an air pump with two stones under the bio media. There is room to put a skimmer in the second chamber, but I’ve also read on your forums that the skimmer should be skimming water straight from the tank and not after bio filtration.
<It matters very little here. MUCH more important for instance, that the contact chamber of the skimmer and perhaps the collection cup be kept clean, than where the skimmer is placed>

Is there any way to add this in given my current set up, or do I need to slowly remove the bio media (handful every couple of days or so…) until all media is removed and then add in the skimmer in that first chamber?
<Yes; as stated, can be situated wherever you have room>
My long term plan is to convert this ecosystem into a reef environment which is why I feel the need to get the skimmer in the mix. If buying a new sump is inevitable, that’s okay, but I’d prefer not having to.
<Can't tell w/o a good photo or look... if a decent skimmer will fit in the current one; that is where I'd place it. However, I would be reading re how you might modify this sump to add a refugium, lighting et al. here>
What’s my best course of action?
Current bio-load is:
(1) small blue tang
(1) arc-eye Hawkfish
(2) medium blue-green reef chromic
(2) medium Bartlett's Anthias
(1) small foxface lo
(1) green bubble tip anemone
(5) dwarf hermit crabs
Other than my wet/dry filtration I’ve got:
(50lb) live rock
(40lb) live sand
Thank you very much for your help!! It is appreciated more than you know.
Chad Rattray
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Adding a skimmer to my wet/dry system        10/6/15

Thank you very much for a quick response and your insight, Bob.
I will get a photo of the sump so you can take a look at it. I’ll measure the footprint available for a skimmer and let you know so you might advise something you know of that can provide descent results.
Thanks again!
Best regards,
<And you; BobF>
Chad Rattray

Overwhelmed by Ich        10/6/15
Dear Crew,
After 7 years since my last dealings with ich, my complacency has come to bite me in the butt. I just ordered a bunch of fish(Flame Angel, Regal Tang, Sailfin Tang, Starry Blenny, two Banggai Cardinals, and a McCosker's Flasher Wrasse) to add to my current 265 gallon residents (pair of Ocellaris, Royal Gramma, Pygmy Angelfish, three Pajama Cardinals, four Green
Chromis, and a female Pink Square Anthias (her fellow friends didn't make the shipment)). It appears the Regal Tang is affected the most, but the Sailfin and Flame Angel also have spots.
I have spent the last 10 hours reading about options, outcomes , and I really want to crawl in a corner. On the bright side, the idea of a quarantine tank seemed like a huge undergoing, but I know now how simple it can be! I have read much about hyposalinity on your site, and it seems to have merit by some, but the majority of you don't trust it. I removed most
of my inverts to my fallow tank. I was planning on dropping my display tank salinity down to 1.012 at least until I came up with another plan.
<Good idea>

Maybe I have this wrong, but my interpretation from all of my reading is that hyposalinity is a good way of controlling ich but not eradicating it. My plan was to then set up a quarantine system on my lanai (hoping that October in Tampa Bay Florida will sustain an adequate temperature) in which I could treat them with copper, if that is what you would suggest. Perhaps a
quarantine for two months of a salinity of 1.009 could rid the parasites without copper?
<Doubtful; but possibly your fishes might develop sufficient resistance...>

After two months I could then drip acclimate my fish from their 1.009 to the display of 1.012, and then everyone up to 1.025 over the course of a few days. My concern with copper is the lack of biological filtration and all the problems that would create. I read to help maintain proper ph during this time that baking soda is the better way to buffer rather than the two
part system I currently use, correct?
<... not necessarily; no>
Would UV help or merely add to my dwindling funds with little return of results?
<Would help.... Do read re the use of Quinines>
Please forgive my rambling. I am horribly unfamiliar with this and would hate to make a really bad scenario WORSE because I misinterpreted research. Please help!
Always grateful, Alyssa
<The hypo for now; and more reading.... and use of your spelling/grammar checker going forward. Bob Fenner>

Mickey mouse platy maybe preggo?        10/6/15
<Eight Megs...>
We are new communal fish tank owners (thanks to our 3 yr old son!! :-D). I LOVE watching them, they are very interesting :-) We have had the fish for about a month and my female Mickey mouse platy has gotten somewhat fat/wide and looks like she may be pregnant. The only 'dark spot' that I can see is behind the female parts on the fin, not very dark. (wrong terminology?!? Sorry!)
<I understand you>
The wide part looks somewhat dark when she is in the right light.
<Oh! Tis not the fin itself that changes color, but the vent area (communal opening for sex and excretory products) immediately above and behind the anal fin... clearish itself, w/ the babies eyes appearing as dark, small dots near parturition>
We have these 2 male guppies (who are BFF's) and they just started showing interest in her within the last 2-3 weeks. They aren't mean to her at all, just follow her around. Anywho, I attached 3 pics, they aren't very clear-sorry the fish are quick and didn't want to use flash and blind/confuse them! Sometimes she will hang out on the bottom of the tank- not for too long- and she is very active, usually all over the place and seems very happy. I am trying to give as much info as possible! If she is
pregnant, how long till she will have babies? Is she pregnant?
<Just looks fat to me; but female livebearers are often permanently pregnant...>
I just don't know if I should get a breeding tank?? Any info would help!!
Thanks for you time!!!
<You could acquire a bit of live or faux floating plant.... See WWM re Myriophyllum, Egeria, Ceratophyllum.
Bob Fenner> 


Sea Star Trauma (from power head)       10/5/15
Hello Crew,
Last night, I noticed that this starfish was crawling around the inlet to the protein skimmer pump. My display is a 40 Gal with a HOB Protein skimmer. I've had this star for months now and it's been doing great in the tank. Always on the move.
Today, I saw that the star had wrapped itself around the intake of the skimmer. I thought that it might have found something that it wanted to eat there. After a couple of hours of no movement, I powered the pump down and saw that the star had been stuck.
I moved it to a piece of liverock and it sort of wilted and has sat there for the past few hours. It is clearly missing flesh from 2 legs. Is there
anything that I can do for it? Any chance that it will recover?
<I would be double, triple dosing iodide-ate, like Lugol's.... and redosing weekly. And yes to hoping it will recover>
See photo attached.
<W. Bob Fenner>

Refractometer Regulation       10/5/15
Hello and much admiration of your knowledge and expertise. I hope you might have the answer to a question about my RedSea refractometer. I have used it since onset of my newer (six months) aquarium but as of recent it reads very high. The directions specify to clean using reverse osmosis water and I do so consistently.
<Have you tried rinsing it; as in overnight, in freshwater? >
It seems though whenever I measure my aquarium water the refractometer reads at or above 1.030. However my lfs read the same aquarium water on the same day as 1.025. The tricky part is that if I rinse the refractometer under hot tap water it adjusts back to 1.025.
<Ah yes; salts crystallization in the unit>
My question is whether it is acceptable to rinse (not submerge) the unit?
<Yes; should not cause trouble>
Is this a normal process of getting stuck like a plastic hydrometer?
<Mmm; yes>
The refractometer advertises that it is calibrated for reef aquarium temperature, not that I accurately understand, but I'm trying. I don't want to make any rash changes though, all inhabitants appear satisfied and water tests seem to confirm. The issue of basic salinity is of obvious concern, does this sound like something the manufacturer could assist with?
<Oh yes>
It came with a tool for calibration but also claims to come already adjusted.
<It is>
Do refractometers typically require fine tuning and what indicators for this might appear?
<Good ones do NOT require calibration, nor adjustment>
Your assistance is invaluable. One other silly thing, when measuring salinity or getting a sample for water test tubes is it pertinent to take the water from a certain depth or area (65 gallons if relevant)?
<In modern set ups it is not; as they are circulated such that thermal et al. stratification is discounted>
Or is it accepted to just take the upper layer of water to avoid inserting my hands unnecessarily?
<The surface should be fine. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick Indian roof turtle      10/4/15
Firstly, thank you for the prompt reply.
<You’re welcome, I’ve been traveling much lately and don’t have access to the internet.>
The vet shifted from 3 doses of Enroflaxin to 7 doses of cephalosporin, plus nebuliser. After that and continuation of dry docking, we can see that there is quite a lot of improvement in Begum's health now. The swelling of the soft parts between the legs has gone now and the gasping has stopped.
<That’s good to hear>
However, she is still not eating. We are continuing giving her cod liver oil once in three days - as you suggested.
<Appetite goes away when you’re sick PLUS these treatments, while necessary and obviously working – are an assault on Begum’s system. Let’s wait a little longer before we worry about appetite. Next visit to the vet, ask for a Vitamin A, D & Calcium injection. Just one.>
She had her eyes closed for a day. The vet recommended applying Moxifloxacin ointment on the eyes. She has now half-opened them, but still sleeps a lot.
<she’s weak, that is not surprising or unexpected>
Plus, we can see some mucusy and bloody mixture at the corners of Begum's mouth, which she releases into the water whenever we let her in her tank (only for 5-10 minutes, twice a day). I have attached an image of the same.
<that’s fine, don’t worry about it>
Also, her shell is deformed and I suspect it is metabolic bone disease (after going through some forums and websites). I have also attached an image showing the shell deformation. What treatment do you recommend for that?
<Calcium (note the injection above) – but worry about that AFTER she beats this illness>
Also, we noticed that her nails have grown very long in a very short span (of two days!). Is it a cause of concern? (Image attached)
The stools that she passes are very hard and rubbery. Initially, we panicked as we thought it looked like some organ. But it later disintegrated in the water. Is this because she is only having the cod liver oil? (Image attached)
Earlier, we did not put a UV light above her basking area. She used to be in direct sunlight for two hours, basking for about 4-5 hours and otherwise in water. Also, her diet was only lettuce leaves - she refused to have turtle / fish food. Now, we have got a UVB lamp (Hagen exo terra reptile UVB 100 13W). However, the website does not guide us regarding how long should the UV light be kept on. Could you advise on that?
<For healthy turtle care, I match the UVB light to the daily cycle in my area. For Dry docking and treatment, you could leave it on for 24 hours if you want – 18 hours at least>
<Lettuce is a really bad diet!! It contains no nutrients at all and is likely to be what led us here in the first place.>
<Some turtles are known to ‘fixate’ and accept one kind of food and refuse all others. Box Turtles (Terrapene Carolina) are notorious for this. I had one that would only eat strawberries. We fought for over a YEAR. For a solid year she would turn away from the food I offered and every day I wondered if she would die … and for almost 400 days she ate nothing AT ALL… until one day, like it had never happened, she start to eat the earthworm I’d offered. During that time she had several injections of glucose, Vitamins A, D and E and Calcium … but no solid food for over a year.>
<Let’s get Begum health first then worry about diet>
There is very little information available on care if Indian roof turtle (Pangshura / Kachuga tecta). Is there any specific I should think of while caring for Begum?
<Yes, I agree. We know much more about their skeletal arrangement than how to keep one alive. My suggestion is the basics: Clean Cool Water, Warm Dry Basking, Low-Fat, High Protein Diet and UVB>
<one thing, several biologists had reported them as poor swimmers. If this is the case then any aquatic environment I would make would have a least one sloped side so Begum could just “walk” up the slope to breathe. At least, when Begum heals and it’s tie to return her to a normal cycle, I’d START with that to make it easy on her>
Also, when I put Begum in water for some time, she starts floating. Im really worried.
<She shouldn’t be in water deep enough to float!! Just enough to cover her cloaca and enough to let her drink.>
Warm regards,
<Dhruvang – you and Begum still have a long road ahead to full recovery. Be patient and consistent>

Re: Sick Indian roof turtle      10/4/15
Just got your reply, but I have sad news. Begum passed away on 30th September. She was really slow and not responding since morning. By afternoon, her eyes were looking sunken in and there was no movement except breathing. I suspected she was dehydrated and kept her feet immersed in shallow water, but either it didn't help or it was too late. She breathed her last at around 3pm, exactly 15 years and 6.5 months after we got her.
And the house doesn't seem the same without her.
I want to thank you for putting up such a great website forum that help people like me who do not have access to vets specialising in reptiles and amphibians. Also, for your replies in trying to assist Begum's recovery.
Thanks a lot!
<On behalf of Bob Fenner, Neale, Sue and the entire crew, we're sorry for your deep loss. This is the problem with reptiles and fish ... by the time an illness is noted it is usually so far progressed that recovery is extremely difficult. I will say that with a caring person like you, Begum most likely had a longer and easier life than she would have had in the wild, so should another turtle come into your keeping, that turtle would be very, very lucky.>
<Again, sorry for your loss>


Re: injured Indian flap shell turtle please help      10/4/15
HI! its me again (sadly).......
<Hiya – Darrel here again as well>
I noticed yesterday that my turtle had red patches on his skin I am a bit concerned about it I have a couple of pictures (not good quality) they are the best I could get I have circled
the areas (they look brown in the picture because of bad camera)........ his behaviour is normal his eating and basking fine there are no other signs of distress !!!
<Well, we’ve been through a lot here and there’s been tremendous progress. On one hand I don’t want to dismiss a possible symptom … but a turtle that is acting normally, swimming, basking, eating … active and alert … especially one that has been very, Very sick … I’m tempted to leave it alone. The stress of diagnosing and then treating what appears to be a small symptom is harder on him than the treatment may be worth.>
<Soft Shell turtles are very susceptible to water quality issues and thus skin infections, so if the spot gets bigger or more of them, take him out, let him dry off, dribble a topical antibacterial (such as Povodine or Betadine), let THAT dry on the patches … meanwhile make sue his water is really clean.

Hey everyone! So, quick question. Is fin-nipping normal in an African cichlid aquarium.       10/4/15
I have a 60gal heavily hardscaped aquarium with some vegetation, water parameters are all excellent.
<Helps to be specific here.>
In the tank i have 7 yellow labs, 3 kenyi cichlids, 1 electric blue johanni, 1 red fin shark, 1 bristle nose Pleco, and 1 Senegal bichir. The reason I ask is it just seems like there is a little more aggression than i would expect at such a young age (all the cichlids are under 3 in.) 1 of the smaller yellow labs even having a small chunk of his dorsal fin nipped off. (currently
treating with MelaFix to help healing process.)
<Be ready to  quarantine/relocate this fish...whatever injured it may be unlikely to stop.>
It's really only the bigger yellow lab male terrorizing the smaller ones,
<Try isolating him in a spaghetti strainer/colander floating in the tank where he can see and smell the others but not reach them, it may calm him down and curb territoriality but be prepared to remove the fish permanently if not.>
and occasionally the johanni (though I expect it from him). Now before you say mention tank size and occupants, allow me to dispel your worries. The red fin shark is the largest fish currently in the tank, as he is the only one who is fully mature. Right now he occasionally terrorizes (though mostly ignores them)
all of the cichlids, and they do what they can to avoid him. He will be moved once they get bigger than him and the roles reverse. As for the bichir I am aware of how large they get, and that he will need to be moved into a larger tank eventually. I have a 150gal on standby in my garage, but seeing as he is only about 2 inches,
<Well, why not set it up sooner than later? Better for all concerned including your own enjoyment.>
I don't feel the need to get it going just yet.
<Best to be proactive rather than wait for the situation to inevitably escalate, imo>The cichlids leave the bichir alone, almost to the extent where it seems like they are afraid of him. They will clear a path whenever he swims by and do their best not to be in front of him. So any help would be greatly appreciated, as well as any tips of what to expect with maturity.
<I would utilize your access to a larger system soon, much of this aggression would be curbed. Hope this helps! Also check out http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/afcichbehfaqs.htm  EC3>

Honestly i just don't have the money to get the 150gal up and running yet.
I still need to get the filtration system and heaters, decor, etc. The tank itself was a gift. I've been putting money away for it, so it'll definitely be ready by the time they get big enough, but not anytime soon. Im a 23yr old college kid, not exactly rolling in cash yet.
< Ahhh yeah been there, done that! It seems like the tank is the 3big expense but of course it ain't so unfortunately lol. I do a lot of DIY on my tanks., as with anything there is speed, quality, and costliness, pick two hehe.>
XD ok, I'll definitely use the spaghetti strainer idea, though my gf may kill me when she finds out.
<It'll stay between you and me :)>
Lol thanks for the quick response, ill keep yall updated. :)
<Please do, your experience can help others down the line.>

Re. Moray ID       10/4/15
I think you're spot on !
<Glad to be helpful.>
The reason I am saying this is because of the yellow eyes. I have spent hours searching for a small moray (this one is about 5 inches) with yellow eyes and found nothing. Thanks and that's why I love the WetWebMedia site !
Regards, Edwin
<Thanks for your kind words. Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Dragon Eel, Dogface puffer, Volitans Lionfish question      10/4/15
Everything seems like it's back to normal...hopefully I don't jinx it by saying so! My eel is eating, swimming around, comes out to greet us Everytime we go to the tank. Ammonia levels still holding at 0. Thanks again for all your insights...Evan <Good to hear! Keep water quality up and you seem to be out of the woods.>

Possible reciprocal connections?      10/4/15
If you have any time to have a browse then a look at the following sites may be of interest ? - especially the first two for marine fishkeeping information?
Would be happy to add links to your brilliant site.
Gerald Jennings
<Have looked and I take it the first and third are mainly sites of historical interest. Will def. post/link IFOCAS.
Thank you for your efforts. Bob Fenner>
Re: Possible reciprocal connections?      10/4/15

What link (with a banner if you can) would you like on IFOCAS?
(The third site published a series of seawater formulae - hence the approach after seeing your data)
All the best
<Ahh; the upper left corner of the HP: http://wetwebmedia.com/
Again, I thank you. BobF>

Re: Community fish recommendations; plus Betta beh.      10/4/15
My apologies for exceeding the attachment amount on my last communication.
I assure you, it's not the case today.
Thank you very much for your previous reply about community tank mates for my beta. He really is a docile creature for the most part and only seems to assert dominance on any new residents. Once they learn their "place" in the tank, he leaves them alone if they leave him alone. I took the pictus back to the LFS and the first response they had was, "What fat catfish those are!" Yes, yes, they were since they ate everything!
<Ah yes>
My purpose for writing today is that every since adding the 6 Harlequin Rasboras and 3 Otocinclus Affinis, the beta has been getting more and more lethargic to the point that yesterday and the day before, he just lies on the gravel in the bottom of the tank as if he's bored or depressed. He doesn't have anything physically wrong with him that I can tell . . . no velvet, no ick, no super red gills, no laboured breathing . . . just nothing.
<What temperature is the water here? Bettas are "just slow" movers most all the time; only get up and going when they perceive another Betta>
Tank numbers are straight on right now: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrates/nitrites.
Just for kicks since it's in my kit, I checked pH as well and it's a touch higher than previous readings but I don't think that's an issue. Two days ago, I did a 30% change, day before yesterday, another 30% change and yesterday, a 50% change just to ensure that water quality wasn't an issue.
I used Prime for the dechlorinator. I have buckets specifically designated for this task so they're not used for house cleaning or anything else.
This tank is about 3 weeks old and knowing that it's still cycling,
<Shouldn't have fishes in it then>
I've been keeping up on numbers and water changes. (I know now about fishless cycling and have a 20L in the works right now for these guys once it's done.) Tank temperature is about 80.
<Ah, this is fine for all>
I have a TopFin 10 power filter on this tank. (The 20L has a Marineland Penguin 100 power filter.)
I feed rotating foods same as detailed before with the exception of the carnivore wafers. Beta has also decided that feeding from the bottom is a good way to go. He started this behavior when I first obtained Pleco and started dropping sinking veggie wafers. He's also decided that he likes Pleco's broccoli as well and attacks it vigorously . . . well, at least previously he did. Now, he'll come up for food if he knows it's there and is a vigorous eater but then just goes back and lies on the gravel again.
He swims up for air and goes and "lays down" again, so to speak. It's almost like a bored teenager just flopping in whatever position (s)he happens to land in on the bed.
I've been reading (lectio) and have come across a couple examples of "lethargic betas" but this seems to typically be the beginning of an illness which, unless it's internal, I've not observed in this one.
Another article I read on WWM said that betas can actually get bored with their settings and sometimes rearranging the furniture might help. Whenever I've changed things in the tank, he's one of the quickest to adapt to the new settings, to be sure. Could it be as simple as this?
<Really just their nature>
My other thought is that he's upset because the Rasboras feed on the same strata that he does but everyone certainly gets enough (at least I feel so, especially since betas can go every other day for food.)
I know you folks aren't fish psychologists but any insight at all would be greatly welcome. Thank you for all you folks do and I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend.
<You might want to try placing a reflective device (mirror or such) periodically, every now and then... in or outside the tank. Bob Fenner>

Camallanus Consequences? Something else?      10/3/15
Hi Crew! I hope you are all well! I'm hoping you can give me some advice.
I did have a good 5 weeks or so after the Camallanus outbreak in late July, the infestation stayed gone in the initial tank, none of the fish in my secondary tank were affected and everything seemed fine. However 2 weeks ago one of my beacon tetras started looking a bit wobbly in the water, head up/tail down and taking a lot more effort to try and maintain position.
This had actually happened once before, prior to the Camallanus incident, and that time I isolated the affected tetra in a breeder box (one of those 2 lt hang-on style ones) so she couldn't eat food when I wanted her to fast, and wouldn't have to fight a strong current etc. It was around a week maybe(?) but not long before she was visibly better oriented and buoyant
again in the breeder box so I put her back in the main tank, and she was seemingly fine.
I'm not sure if the more recent sick tetra was the same tetra as before, but definitely one of the newer ones that I got to keep my original beacon tetra company. Her condition rapidly deteriorated and within a day or two she had an almost complete loss of buoyancy. At this stage she was still able to swim but it was obviously very difficult and tiring so I isolated
her as before. The deterioration continued until she was laying on her side, completely disinterested or unable to eat food but from there she got no worse. She could still swim when disturbed or startled, and was quite vigorous, i.e. to the point of still being a challenge to catch her in a net, but after a burst of activity she would go back on her side again. Always the same side. Eventually the downwards side got a bit dirty and irritated looking so I tried propping the breeder box dividers diagonally so that she would at least be less on her side and a little more upright. The downward side looked a little red streaked so I tried some antibiotic which did clear that up. But the buoyancy issue never improved. I tried moving the tetra to a bigger hospital tank once the "bottom side" of the fish cleared up, and every now and then she would make the attempt to swim around and even seemed interested in food again. But by now, she had become very wasted and skinny, still couldn't swim well enough to aim for food, still ended up on her side most of the time and was starting to become permanently curled (away from the side touching the bottom of the tank). I suspected whatever swim bladder issue she had was now permanent and after 2+ weeks she was not getting any better so I decided it was time to euthanize her rather than let her linger on the bottom of the tank; I used clove oil. At this point my suspicion was that she had suffered some internal damage from the Camallanus infestation earlier on, since one of the beacons had a lot more worms than the others. Initially I was concerned
that the floating pellets I'd been feeding (due to beacon tetras not eating anything in the bottom half of the tank, once a food item drops lower than half way they lose interest and won't chase the food) might have contributed but the progression looked much worse than constipation.
Nonetheless, I stopped feeding the floating pellets and have not used them again.
Anyway the reason I am writing is that today I have noticed another beacon tetra with the initial signs of swimming at an angle, struggling a bit to maintain buoyancy, and I am wondering if there is anything I could do differently to save this fish from ending up in the same condition as the one I euthanized.
<Other than standard "good care"; I know of nothing>
Alternatively, does any of this sound like an untreatable tetra disease and should I be removing affected fish and doing anything to treat the tank they are in?
<If this were a commercial purpose... breeding facility; I don't doubt that such fish would be removed, destroyed summarily>
The tank currently has beacon tetras, rosy barbs, guppies and danios. Is it possible that it is dietary related?
<Mmm; wouldn't other fishes be affected similarly? Ans.: I doubt it is dietary>
The fish get a variety of food (not all at once) - community frozen food, frozen brine shrimp, chopped frozen mysis shrimp (thawed before use), Spirulina + other stuff pellets, sinking shrimp pellets, mashed pea occasionally, and very occasionally flake food. Plus the barbs constantly pick at duckweed. I've been worried about overfeeding so once or twice a week I only feed very lightly or not at all. It is hard to tell whether the beacon tetras are getting enough food though because they are a little more shy than the barbs/danios, I try to get around this by feeding at both ends of the tank at once so the feeding frenzy isn't all in the one place.
<Your careful observation is the best assessment tool here>
The current parameters in that tank are: GH 8 KH 5 pH 7.8 Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate somewhere between 20-40 (a little higher than I'd like).
<I'd keep under 20 ppm. See WWM re control of NO3>
I've cleaned a lot of gunk out of the filter today and did another water change (I'd done one earlier this week), I'm going to go back to de-gunking the filter every time I do a water change instead of every second time since I think that experiment contributed to the current high nitrate level.
Anyway you've helped me a lot in the past and I realise that there might be no clear or easy answer this time but please let me know if anything obvious stands out that I could try or that I should be wary of.
<Nothing jumps out...>
Thanks for your help and advice!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Help!! GF, still no useful info.       10/3/15
We did water changes each day, but the fish's condition deteriorated quickly...
<?! Strange.... and just this one fish>

His fins continued rotting off, and he developed the septicemia :( we euthanized him this morning. When we tested the water at the Local fish store yesterday,
<... see WWM re.... water changes with time, moving. You SHOULD have your own test gear>
they said the parameters were great...
<Which means nothing to/for me>
So what could have caused this?
<Can't tell w/ the lack of data provided>
And how do we prevent this?

And what should we do if we see it again (because water changes didn't help)...
Thanks so much!
<Again; and hopefully for the last time here, the ONLY way we can help you is if you will READ. By reviewing other folks similar instances, perhaps somethings will open to your awareness.
... B>

Posting a question; Moray ID      10/3/15
Hi ,
I wanted some help with a moray ID but could not find a way to post.
Please enlighten.
<Oh; this is it. Marco? BobF>
Posting a question      10/3/15

Hi ,
I wanted some help with a moray ID but could not find a way to post. Please enlighten.
<Could be a Echidna delicatula like this one:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/8473381@N08/3797531634  But the picture does not show enough detail to be sure.
Cheers, Marco.>

Help!! Panic in Detroit; hoo hoo hoo hoooo!     10/2/15
I have this Ryukin and I'm not sure what is going on with his tail. He was fine yesterday or the day before, and we just noticed this right now. I don't think it was the filter intake at all, does it look like it would be fungus?
<Yes; of some sort, cause... bacterial most likely...>
What doe you suggest I do?
<Read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Everyone else looks great. I have a 200 g with the new Fluval fx6 and the water quality of good, we had it checked yesterday.

Re: Help!!     10/2/15
I am confused, if it's fungal, but caused by bacteria, do I need an antibiotic med or antifungal?
<.... you need to read>
Should I put salt in the quarantine tank? Do you think he can be saved?
<No and yes>
What can I do at this very moment to help him while I get meds?
Thanks again!
Re: Help!!     10/2/15

Ok so it seems that this is what I would need, however I've never seen it at the pet stores here... Is there something comparable that you know of by chance? I'll buy the esha2000, but it won't be here for probably a week.
<.... I would add nothing to this system... as the one fish only is affected... Optimize, stabilize water quality and provide good nutrition and this should fix itself. B>

Re: Dragon Eel, Dogface puffer, Volitans Lionfish question     10/2/15
So, just when everything is looking up...a new issue arises! I forgot how much fun new tanks were. I noticed the Dragon Eel was facing straight into one of my powerheads and appeared to be "gasping". Based upon past experience, I checked my ammonia level and found it to be around 0.5-1.0.
Nitrites were 0.0, and nitrates 30-40. I immediately changed out 40 gallons of water and got some SeaChem Prime and Stability to dose. The eel seemed more comfortable very shortly thereafter. Within a few hours, the ammonia level was testing 0.
<Seems a rapid change.>
Nitrites still 0, and nitrates down to 10. Today the eel just "isn't himself". Hiding a lot,
won't eat, doesn't come out to greet you like before.
<Not surprising all considered.>There was once where it looked like some strings of mucus came out of one of his rear nostrils, but hasn't happened since .I'm assuming this is all related to the ammonia...
<Eels have a mucus coat to protect against these situations, maybe just shedding some of that after its bad experience.> Just very upsetting to see him laying on the sand hiding in a cave now. pH is 8.2, dKH 8.2, temp 78 degrees F. Anything else I can do besides just wait and see?
<I would do the usual routine for a stressed animal...keep the lights low bit not completely dark in the tank and room, noise to a minimum, generally avoid anything that would stress it out especially any sudden water parameter changes ...keep it stable and do water changes when needed as a response.
"Only bad things happen fast". Tank may be experiencing a second cycle...more specifics about the system, its history, setup, filtration etc. would be helpful here. The powerhead thing implies a desire for oxygen possibly. Are you running a skimmer?> Anything else to look for? Also, why the sudden raise and then disappearance of the ammonia? Any info greatly appreciated!!!! <Keep a close eye on the parameters, look for any uneaten food and remove it if the eel doesn't consume it in short order. Ideally it will eat from a feeding stick on a schedule...same spot every feeding, 3 days apart. If it doesn't eat soon don't panic, they can go on hunger strikes. But do periodically offer food, rotating food items (silversides, squid, octopus etc.). Could try soaking in garlic or better yet Selcon (plenty of info on these on WWM). Eels are often pretty durable. It would not hurt to have a quarantine ready or some other safe place to put him in the odd event things go south in its display tank.>

FW Worm ID; no pic or rdg.     10/2/15
Was wanting to ask about a worm like creature I discovered in my tank internal filter inlet tonight it was about 3/4 inch brown in colour when I grabbed it it stretched to about 5-6 inches while attaching itself by a sucker mouth
<Ooh.... was going to key Oligochaete; now.... Hirudinean>
but only at one end though wiggling around attached to the glass as i couldn't get a grip I pulled it out got rid of it then I removed the fish some pregnant platies I planned to birth put them back in main tank the tank in question was used to temporarily house a juvenile breeding stock of expensive Plecos previously to this these have now moved to larger
setup along with some tetras and tank was empty of fish before the platies went in my main concern is will these be a risk of harm to the previously housed Plecos or have been transferred in anyway to the bigger Pleco setup if so how do I eradicate them also had a snail issue in this tank if you could advise me asap thanks Teresa
<Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/leechesfwf.htm
Bob Fenner>

Remote Deep Sand Bed Problems     10/2/15
Hello Mr., How are you?
<Fine; thank you Andrei>
It has been a while since I wrote, so greetings from Romania.
<Salutations from California>
Everything has been all right aquarium wise. I am glad to tell you that my Zanclus is doing fine after 2 and a half years in my tank, and so are the rest of the inhabitants. I now have a question about my remote deep sand bed that I have in the basement. It is a 1.5 meters long, 50 cm wide and 25 cm of 1 mm fine sand. It is in function for more than a year now, it
has Chaetomorpha growing on top and 2 Centropyge living in there. There are 3-4 large live rock pieces on top of the sand. The water movement is consisting of a gravitational feed from the sump above and an overflow on the other end that goes to another sump filled with liverock, maybe 4-5000 liters /hour. The thing is that I have always tried to never disturb the
DSB. Now, I see a lot of worms when the lights go on (reverse lighting for the Chaeto ), also from lateral side I see many channels that worms must have digged, a lot of pods and small crustaceans but nothing really big enough ( I think ) that could stir the sand.
<I would periodically do this.... to part; let's say half of the bed.>
I avoided putting sandstars or gobies in there so they don't eat the benefic fauna. But today, I have tried to stir the surface of the sand to see how clean is it and I can tell you that a cloud of detritus come out. A big one! Now, what do you think I should do?
<Vacuum part of it each maintenance period/interval>
Keep stirring it little by little? Or siphon it?
<A bit of both>
And what should I do for the future?
<Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dsbmaint.htm
should I put some powerheads to increase the water movement? Should I add some more critters , and if yes, what is in your opinion the best crew for a remote DSB. Any other advices on this ?Thank you very much, Andrei from Romania
<The reading. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

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Marine Aquarium Articles and FAQs Master Index

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