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Halichoeres dispilus (Gunther 1864), the Chameleon Wrasse. Tropical Eastern Pacific; Sea of Cortez to Peru, including the Galapagos. Solitary to small (three to five) numbers in a "traveling, feeding" group. Pick organisms out of the substrate. To ten inches in length. Initial phase. Costa Rica (Pacific side) 2011
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Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
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PLEASE: Write reviews of my works on Amazon! I need your input. BobF

 

New to fish, Rosy Barbs         /Neale          12/20/14
Hi All, This will be a bit of a long message as I'd like to describe the history of these fish. A couple of months ago I inherited 3 rosy barbs from my sister, who had bought them when tiny but found them too aggressive in her tank as they grew. I was able to house them in a planted tank which I had set up, which was probably way too small, but they seemed happy and
healthy and liked exploring in the plants. I've been feeding them flake, frozen "tropical community" food and sometimes mosquito larvae from my backyard pond. As they grew I removed plants from half of the tank to give them more room to move. As their tank was so small I did daily partial water changes and the fish followed my efforts to vacuum the gravel with
great interest; I really fell in love with their inquisitive nature! I did a lot of reading to learn about how to give these fish a healthy life (frequently ending up at WWM, thanks for the great info).
This led me to buy a bigger tank (120lt/35gal approx) for them as soon as I could, and I started cycling it using waste water from the small tank. I planned to get at least 3 more rosy barbs to let them school properly, then once everything settled down maybe some Corydoras. I set up plants in the new tank using ones removed from the smaller tank, and bought a few extra for more cover. By the time I obtained a water test kit, I was getting readings of 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite and around 10 nitrate. I decided it was time to move the fish into the larger tank as it was bordering on cruel keeping them in the small tank as they kept growing and growing. They took to the new tank with glee and were soon swimming up and down the lengths,
exploring the new plants, seemingly quite happy.
Well that only lasted a couple of days until something happened to spook them and from that point they spent the whole time hiding in the corner under their cloud of java moss or zigzagging about in a panic. I tried turning out the lights and then covering part of the tank, which helped a little, but as soon as they notice anyone looking at them they go and hide again. I resolved to set the small tank up as a quarantine tank and get some more barbs ASAP to let them be confident in a school; however when I was cleaning that tank out I found my original three had spawned at some point and there were 7 baby fish living there. So, that became a nursery tank and I had to set up yet another tank for the new fish. I had both a sponge filter and hang on back filter so the HOB went to the quarantine tank while the sponge filter stayed in the nursery - the big tank has a trickle filter built into the top.
I bought the last 4 rosy barbs in the store, they seemed healthy and active and acclimated to the quarantine tank okay. I had planned to quarantine them for a week or two at least but after a couple of days of continued appearance of health I thought it better to put them in with the stressed/spooked fish to try and reduce the stress levels in the big tank; the idea being that being in a larger tank in a larger school would be less stressful for the new fish too and better all round, additionally I didn't
have any other "established" fish that I needed to protect.
However this is when I noticed problem number one: one of my original rosy barbs was doing strange white tear-shaped droppings and seemed irritated while trying to pass them. It made me think of tapeworm segments as I saw a few droppings that seemed the same size each time, and they seemed a meaty white, not transparent. I started to wonder whether it wasn't worth quarantining the new fish in case they caught something from the old fish, however I really didn't want to prolong the stress of the spooked fish and ended up transferring the new arrivals across on the evening of Day 2.
Problem two: three of the four new fish started schooling with the original three straight away while the fourth one went off by itself.
<Hexamita and other intestinal parasites cause the gut lining to secrete extra mucous. That's the clear to off-white stringy stuff that you see from the vent of affected fish. It binds together the faeces, creating the classic 'stringy faeces' associated with Hexamita and certain other parasites. Normally fish faeces are short (few mm) and discrete pieces of brown material (or red, if fed colour-enhancing foods) that falls away quickly from the vent of the fish.>
The final fish still seemed active, healthy, no clamped fins or listless behaviour, it just seemed to hang back from the others. However the following morning this fish had died and was floating belly up. I had a look but couldn't see anything too obvious beyond a little bloating and the abdominal discolouration (see pic), which seemed to line up with how the dead fish was floating. This was the largest of the new fish so perhaps it was already a little bloated when I got it, I'm not sure. I was a little worried that this was something bacterial which would affect the other fish but the remaining fish are still alive and still seemingly healthy. I'd rather not throw random possibly wrong medicine at fish who might not need it but if there is value in treating the rest then I'd be interested to know what I should do.
<Swelling of dead fish tells you nothing. Pretty much all dead fish do this.>
The other fish do still spook very easily and hide in the corners, although the two smallest new fish venture out more than the rest. I'm being more careful with how I move near the tank, and trying to make changes in their lighting levels a bit less abrupt but I'm not sure what else I can do to help them calm down and not stress so much. Maybe they'll settle down with
time? In fact if I stand in the doorway where they can't see me, I can see them swimming around and picking at the bottom like normal, and when I fed them some more wrigglers just now they forgot to be shy altogether.
<When fish becoming nervous or easily spooked, it's often a clue there's environmental stress. Extreme pH and non-zero ammonia and nitrite are two common causes. Review, and act accordingly.>
My water currently is 0 amm, 0 nitrite, 5 nitrate, pH is a little higher than I'd like at 8-8.2 but the fish spawned successfully in it so I haven't worried about pH very much apart from trying to keep it around 8. Water comes out the tap at pH 9.5 here and is a bit hard, I use a water ager to treat chlorine/chloramine and API pH down to get the new water ready for
use.
<Water conditioner is good, essential in fact. But pH down products are pointless if you aren't also softening the water. Fish don't "feel" pH except insofar as they react to changes in it. But what does affect them is the osmotic pressure exerted by the medium around them -- in other words, the general hardness. Adding pH down products uses up carbonate hardness
(similar to an acid + alkali neutralisation) but the product is a non-carbonate salt, in other words, more general hardness! Do use your general hardness (degrees dH) test kit and see what you have in the tank -- it won't be "soft water" by any means.>
Back to the weird white droppings, its been about four days since I noticed them and the same fish is still doing them (and wasn't doing it back in the small tank). I have had a sponge over the filter inlet strainer but when I noticed one of the other fish pick at one of the weird droppings that was stuck on the sponge to see if it was food, I decided to take the sponge off
in hope that these droppings would get sucked away properly and not eaten by my other fish.
I've read that white droppings can be from stress, or constipation as well as worms. I haven't seen any stringy or threadlike droppings; and I tried feeding some smushed up pea which the rosy barbs all loved and fought over but the same fish has still done white droppings since then. I had the idea that they might have caught something from the mosquito larvae that I have
fed them from the back yard, although at this stage my pond doesn't have anything but plants and snails in it so not sure where a parasite would come from. I am not sure but I think one of the newer fish might have done a similar dropping since they've been in the tank together. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get a picture but I would say these droppings are the
same length as a grain of rice, about a quarter of the width, and are tapered for almost the whole length. If you have any ideas as to what this could be and whether it needs treatment I'd be interested to know. I'm thinking about putting a UV sterilizer in this tank to try and help sanitize the water a bit, hard to find non-sales information on whether these are worth the effort or not. Any opinions?
<UV filters do reduce certain problems, and prevent infections, but they rarely/never cure already infected fish, and are expensive to run as well.
In freshwater tanks, outside of retail situations, they're almost never worthwhile.>
A final word: I wasn't expecting any baby fish so soon, especially since I'd read rosy barbs prefer acidic soft water to breed in not alkaline hard water; and as far as I knew, my fish were too young or too small to breed, being about 4-5cm long. I already had a jar with some hornwort, Ostracods, copepods and snails in and I assume probably infusoria as well and have been using water from this plus some powdered fry food to feed the baby fish. I've noticed previously that copepod nauplii and paramecium seem attracted to light so I have a little LED light pointed at the side of the tank to hopefully attract all the food and the fry into the same place to help them feed. I'm keeping water movement low to keep it easy for them to
move around. Is there anything else I should do to successfully raise these fish? If they all survive and I end up with a big school of 13 rosy barbs I won't mind if there is no room for anything else in the main tank. The local fish shop kept trying to sell me tiger barbs instead of Rosies and didn't seem to know much about them, seemingly only keeping them as feeder fish but I love their personalities and think it's a shame that people don't buy rosy barbs to keep instead of goldfish as a first fish.
<Indeed. Rosy Barbs are great fish. However, they do need space (maybe 30 gallons upwards?) and they won't do well at high temperatures, 18-22 C/68-72 F is about right. So they aren't really tropical fish by any means.
They're also fairly boisterous and can be nippy. They don't like hard water.
I wouldn't mix them with Goldfish, though it has been done with the more briskly moving varieties such as Standards and Comets. In any event, rearing the fry isn't especially hard, but as with all baby fish, you have two key issues: Small portions of food multiple times per day (ideally, 6-8) otherwise starvation sets in very quickly, and secondly, frequent water changes, since nitrate is much more toxic to fry than adult fish.
Most early failures with baby fish (first week or so) come from starvation, while delayed failures (over the succeeding 6-8 weeks) come from poor
environmental quality.>
Thanks again for your time and your great site,
Bronwen
<Not sure there's an obvious answer to your woes. Bad luck aggravated by the wrong water chemistry would seem likely. Wait and see what happens would be my advice, treating as per Hexamita-type protozoan parasites rather than bacteria. Good luck, Neale.>
Fwd: New to fish, Rosy Barbs        12/20/14

Thanks for the extra input Neale. I am definitely going to pursue RO water but not with the company I thought I would. I did a bit more research and they have a reputation for being a grey market importer with occasionally very poor customer service. They have been the only supplier I could find for Metronidazole based medication and from what I read, I believe they tamper with the labels to get around the Metronidazole approval issue here in Australia. I used the "choose your weapon" page to try for a substitute.
I didn't have much luck finding similar products to those listed so I took a stab and guessed Protozin might be okay
<Possibly, but never found it much use myself.>
I found an alternative source for Praziquantel and in case Protozin doesn't work on Hexamita I've read that Epsom salt soaked food can help. Protozin's manufacturer Waterlife (I think?) don't publicise their ingredients but they claim it is good vs. Protozoans and fungus so I hope I was on the right track.
<Worth a shot anyway.>
As a temporary measure while I don't have RO water, would rainwater be a better (softer) source for water changes? I was hesitant to use it due to the possibility of dissolved metals from the tank or the plumbing but my sister has a polyresin rainwater tank which should not have this problem. I do think you are right and the hardness is an issue, I have been a bit lax
measuring the TDS of the tap water and was more concerned with pH thinking that 9.5 was too high and could burn the fish's gills or something. Our water comes 500km via pipeline from the treatment plant so it has plenty of time to dissolve solids before it gets here.
<Indeed. Certainly worth using rainwater. I use rainwater myself. There are variables and risks, but it can be economical and safe. Do read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwsoftness.htm
Essentially, provided the water is collected from a non-toxic roof (slates or tiles rather than chemically treated flat roofs for example) and channeled through clean gutters and into a non-toxic barrel, you should be fine.>
I have had success doing a water change in my nursery tank using a spare airstone in the tank for a kind of fry proof strainer on the front end of the airline as the siphon hose. I think I read about this somewhere so I can't take credit for this trick but I don't remember where. Every time I look there seem to be more fry appearing, the latest count is 12. They seem to be developing okay, some faster than others and I have been worried about starvation and have probably ended up in over feeding territory. I will keep in mind that it is important to keep their water clean.
<Quite so. Within a batch of fry it's often the case male fish grow faster than females, and if the smaller females lose out on food, you'll end up with very skewed sex ratios in the final batch of youngsters. Some hobbyists segregate fry as they age, successively moving the biggest fry to alternative quarters.>
Cheers once again for your excellent assistance.
Bronwen.
<Glad to help. Neale.>

CONVICTS RAPID GILL MOVEMENT        /Neale        12/20/14
Dear Crew
Recently brought a pair of convicts. Male hasn't eaten anything. But they laid eggs and they took care of the fry very much. But from 2 days, I observed rapid gill movement in Male convict and is hiding in the pot where the eggs were laid. Bullying female whenever it moved near to him. Luckily it is not chasing the other. But the water condition is good. The fry and
the female is doing so good. Even the female is not accepting pellets. This is the first time I have seen convicts hiding and not well. What to do? I am very much concerned about its health. Do some help. Thank you.
Pavan
<Very important to separate male and female cichlids after spawning if they no longer coexist. Sooner or later one will attack the other. Despite their reputation, stable pairs of cichlids don't stay together forever, and can "fall out of love" sometimes. Egg crate can be used to divide the tank, but ideally, move one to another tank. Assuming water quality and chemistry are
correct, they will both settle down and start feeding. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: CONVICTS RAPID GILL MOVEMENT

Thanks a ton. I will move the male to another tank.
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Brackish tank stocking        12/20/14
I have a 125 gallon brackish set up with a salinity of about 1.007. I plan on converting it to full marine in the next 5-7 months. The tank is empty, aside from three black mollies that I'm using for cycling purposes. I plan on stocking my tank with the following:
- five Mono Sebae
- one Ruby Scat
-three Target fish
-two Colombian Sharks
-one freshwater moray

With that being said, would I have enough room for a Black Volitans lion fish when the tank is full saltwater (assuming that i still have all of the previous fish in there already) In addition to the lion fish, i intend on getting some saltwater plants such as sea lettuce and other types of macro algae. The tank is 72x18x22 and I run two MarineLand 350 power filters that are rated for up to 320 gallons per hour. If i can't get a lionfish, could you recommend another saltwater fish that could possibly coexist with the other inhabitants in the tank?
<The jokers in this pack are the Moray and the Targetfish. The Scat, Monos, and Shark Catfish can all make excellent community fish, the catfish in particular being extremely mellow and more likely to be bullied than to cause problems. Scats are normally easy going but are pushy, while Monos sometimes throw their weight around a bit, but are normally pretty good.
The Targetfish are (in the wild) reported to be fin-and-scale eaters. In aquaria -- if well fed on an omnivorous diet -- they are usually okay with active tankmates, but a Volitans Lionfish might be too good a target to miss. This is especially true of the adults, which tend to be much more easy-going than the youngsters. So if yours have matured to the schooling phase, you might find them fine. The Moray is another one to watch. Echidna species are typically less likely to snap at tankmates than Gymnothorax, but there's not a lot in it, and even within species there's a lot of variation. So it's usually recommended Freshwater Morays are kept in their own system, either singly or in groups. Beyond the Moray and the Targetfish, the others should mix with pretty much anything, though Sergeant Majors, Snappers, Wrasse, Goatfish and so on would be obvious
suggestions in terms of needs and temperament. Shark Cats can look amazing in reef systems, though bite-size fish and crustaceans will of course be viewed as food. Monos and Scats are more or less reef safe, and neither are accomplished piscivores. Cheers, Neale.>

Cory breeding question        /Neale        12/20/14
Hi WWM! My name is Stephanie. I came across your site while I was looking for some Cory breeding information. I've had an assortment of cories in my tank for almost 2 years now, and have a few questions
1) I found around 80 Cory eggs over the course of 2 days. I moved them into a floating breeder with some java moss under the filter outflow. Two days later, four hatched. I moved the breeder into calmer waters. Over the next day, the eggs began to disappear, but still only four fry. Today (day four), there are only 2 eggs left and 10 fry total. Is it possible that some of these eggs just decompose?
<Yes. Non-fertilised eggs will surely decompose, and in community tanks, it's often the case other fish and even snails will eat some of them. If you have a mix of species, eggs fertilised by males of a different species may have a lower chance of developing. So given the situation, getting 10 fry isn't bad at all.>
I'm certain that they were viable, removed any that fungused (only about 10), and nothing has died or escaped. I'm just curious about the hatch rate I guess. I had hoped for more! Although, this is my first time with any species of fry!
<Corydoras are an excellent species for the beginner. By the standards of other egg-scatterers, they're big eggs, and the fry are comparatively easy to rear. Not quite as easy as livebearer fry, or looked after by the parents as well as some cichlids (such as Kribs) that do the work for you -- but still pretty easy.>
2) It seems that a few weeks will give the cories a good amount of time to grow, but I was wondering how soon you can tell what species they are? I have 5 different species in my tank. I assume it's the bronze, because I have 9 good sized ones, although they have just reached their maturity and this would be their first spawn, so I was surprised at so many fertilized
eggs.
3) What is the chance that a 1m to 1f ratio would produce fertile eggs?
<See above.>
I have 2 rabauti that I absolutely love and want more of, but cannot find them anywhere around here. I assume a separate breeding tank would be my best bet.
<Yes.>
4) I also noticed that one of the smaller bronze cories that I've had for a while has flukes on his fins. The others seem fine, aside from an occasional flash (i.e.: no visible symptoms besides behavior). I also have swordtails, silver dollars, and tetras which show no behavioral or visible symptoms. I assume I should treat the entire tank because I know I've seen them on other fish that I have since lost. Is medicating a tank harmful to the fry?
<Can be, yes. Best to remove fry. Methylene blue is safe with fry, and antibiotics too, and probably salt/heat treatments, but otherwise avoid medicating tanks with fry.>
I assume they are much more sensitive to it, but wasn't sure. To add on to this - I do have another tank that I can use, but I am waiting for 2 new sponge filters to get here so I have no filter or seeded media available should I quarantine the affected fish. Should I still quarantine and perform numerous water changes, or should I move the fry to the empty tank since I'm doing WCs for them anyway and then set up the brand new filter when I receive it? Too much going on at one time.
<Indeed. Rearing Corydoras fry in a breeder trap is doable for a few weeks.
Keep on top of feeding (6-8 small meals/day) and water quality (minimise nitrate; zero ammonia and nitrite). Set up the rearing tank. As/when it's ready, move the fry across with as much of the aquarium water as possible to minimise shock.>
Anyway, I appreciate any response as my web searching has not clarified these last few issues for me. Thanks!
<Do read:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/armcatreprofaqs.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/coryreproart.htm
Much else written in books, online about breeding this genus. Good luck,
Neale.>

Re: Fish Wasting Away        12/20/14
Hey Crew,
<Samuel,>
I took your suggestions and messed around with my CO2/fertilizer among other things. One good indicator is that my MTS spend all day in the sand/substrate.
<Indeed. See them up the glass with the lights on, and something is amiss.

If they're happy in the sand without showing their little faces, then all is well.>
My Ramshorn also haven't been hanging out around the top of the tank. As a precaution I dialed my CO2 back a little and refilled my drop checker (showing greenish blue before and after). I also had my CO2 off during both medication regimens, which were also sans ferts. Additionally I had my CO2 off for 4 days during thanksgiving when I was out of town. My CO2 shuts off at the same timer my lights do. To improve dissolved oxygen I started running an airstone at night. I neglected to mention I also dose flourish excel at slightly less than the recommended amount.
<So without CO2 did the fish behave differently or better?>
I ceased excel dosing for a week to see if the fish showed any improvements to no effect. I tested and I do have some day/night pH swings but not by much. All I've got is an API kit but the difference looks to be about 0.2 lights off to lights on. The LA tap comes out ~8.2 here and is moderately buffered. I haven't checked the TDS or conductivity but a local planted tank shop told me that he runs all his tanks on tap and dosing moderately shouldn't be a problem. The issue might be related to or exacerbated by organic matter in the tank. I typically do a pretty good job pruning old growth and removing dead plant matter, but there have been times where I get busy and let the tank go a bit. I started pruning old leaves a bit more heavily as a precaution and have been diligent about removing any dead/dying material. I also ceased fertilizing for a while,
but started again when some of my plants started showing pinholes on their leaves. Since restarting I've cut back to 2/3 of what I used to dose.
<Sounds wise.>
I won't rule out any issue with organics in my tank, as I have soil capped with sand and a lot of living biological material, but I decided to check if a sick fish could transmit the condition. I took two obviously sick Endler's and placed then with 3 swordtails my girlfriend was culling (1m/1f older adults and one juvenile). Within a week all 3 were spitting food. The
Endler's were removed and euthanized. Both older fish progressed to the point where they weren't even trying to eat so I euthanized them. The juvenile eventually recovered. I then set up a new tank and tested to see if the recovered juvenile could infect a female Betta and a couple other juveniles. The Betta seemed a bit under the weather and her shape got a little funky but never stopped eating and was added to the original infected tank with the survivor swordtail. Both of the new juveniles were infected and died. My latest suspicion is neon tetra disease, or some microsporidia.
<Perhaps, but both are difficult to diagnose without a microscope. Some fish health vets have stated about half supposed "Neon Tetra Disease" infections are actually Mycobacteriosis. In other words, you can't distinguish Pleistophora from Mycobacteria by eye. Really do need a microscope.>
My girlfriend was initially convinced (or just afraid) it was fish TB but after taking parasitology this quarter she agrees with my initial suspicion of this probably being protozoan.
<A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing! But since you have access to a microscope via your girlfriend, why not take a dead fish into the lab, take smears from the skin, inside the mouth, gill cavity, etc., and see what you can see. Presumably your university library has Ed Noga's "Fish Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment". That's the book you need.>
The fact that some species seem more affected is what really makes me lean that way.
<But isn't conclusive. Trust me. Pleistophora is classically associated with Neons but has been reported from fish as diverse as Goldfish and Angels, while Mycobacteria has been reported from just about every fish
someone's made an effort to examine. Very, very few fish infections can be truly identified to genus level by eye. Whitespot, Velvet, Crypt... maybe Columnaris, possibly Costia... but not much beyond these.>
One symptom I neglected to mention is that in really sick fish the spine starts to bend. I've only noticed this in female Endler's, and perhaps slightly in one Celebes who hung on to life for a long time. The sick female I used to infect the swordtails was severely deformed by the time I killed her. I should have taken a picture, but didn't think to at the time.
Moving forward I fear I'm going to have to euthanize a lot of fish and hope for the best. That or tear the tank down and start over. My endler population is now only juveniles, which gives me little hope for any of them surviving.
<On the contrary, often juveniles survive rather better than the adults if the problem has been exacerbated by long-term stress or dietary shortcomings. Definitely worth leaving them be if they're currently feeding and growing.>
I'm planning on euthanizing all of my Endler's and any currently sick fish prior to me leaving town for a bit during the holidays. I might try adding a couple new Celebes after I get back to see if there is any lingering infection.
<No! If all the fish die, then leave the tank fallow for a few weeks.
That'll break the life cycle of most common parasites. Bacterial infections are latent in most tanks, even Fish TB/Mycobacteriosis, and they only become a problem when the fish are stressed, so while you might run some antibiotics through the tank, there's no real point, and few work on Mycobacteria spp in particular. Keep the filter happy by adding a little fish food now and again (the snails will turn this into ammonia). Then, select fish wisely from the start, adding a few at a time, choosing species suited to your environmental parameters. If you have liquid rock water, avoid tetras and other South American fish, but consider livebearers (particularly the non-fancy varieties with better health, such as Heterandria, Limia, etc.) as well as Ricefish, some of the Rainbows, and the hardier/adaptable cyprinids, such as Cherry Barbs and Danios.>
In a month or so I should know if I've beaten this thing or not.
Thanks again, Samuel
<Cheers, Neale.>

 

The following is an ongoing dialogue twixt Dave Dart, a long-time (and excellent) marine livestock collector on Hawaii's Big Island (Kona) and RMF:     12/19/14

The Humane Society of the United States     12/19/14
Bob,
This lobbying group is pushing to ban AQ collecting not only in Hawaii, but everywhere. They like to hit hot topics with publicity for their money coffers. They probably will be coming at you in the future if they already haven't. David Dart 808-936-5821
http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/exposed-humane-society-united-states-fundraising-scandal
<Dave, as you and I talked on the phone re the HSUS is largely a money-making scam. You stated some four cents out of a dollar actually go to shelters et al., I've heard it's more like one cent. As I mentioned, interested/concerned folks should volunteer at local efforts and/or direct their giving to them. Oh, want to ask: would you mind if I archive our corr. on WWM? Am hoping for influence in the direction of reason. Bob Fenner>

Re: The Humane Society of the United States
Bob,
Yes by all means. David
<Again, I thank you for your efforts on all's behalf. The public, environment, industry and hobby are all well-served thus. Bob Fenner>
The Humane Society of the United States

CC Bill 318
Bob,
The county council sure assumes a lot in the first few paragraphs. David
<Yes; from the get-go... Am wondering if you know who exactly is in favor of shutting down the trop. trade there? As the points in this Bill are unfounded, non-factual, it's obvious that whomever is promoting it really just wants to see the industry fail. Bob Fenner>
Re: CC Bill 318
Bob,
It's a shut down bill plain and simple. SB and Umberger failed to get the state to act so now they are hitting on the CC with the support of the US Humane Society. They just believe in putting fish in captivity. D.
<Imagine you meant, "just don't" above. I do concur. B>

COUNTY OF HAWAII STATE OF HAWAII
BILL NO. 318

ORDINANCE NO.

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 4, ARTICLE 1, SECTION 4- 1 AND ADDING

A NEW SECTION TO ARTICLE 4 OF THE HAWAII COUNTY CODE 1983 ( 2005

EDITION, AS AMENDED), RELATING TO TREATMENT OF AQUARIUM LIFE.

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE COUNTY OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. Findings. The Council finds that numerous factors including prolonged starvation, keeping aquarium life in less than one gallon of water for transport purposes, and carrying aquarium life in certain manners cause stress to aquarium life and contribute to their mortality rate.

Therefore, to reduce mortalities and improve the welfare of aquarium life held within  Hawai` i County to be sold as pets, the Council acknowledges and affirms the need to prohibit certain practices that increase stress and contribute to mortality.

Accordingly, to ensure the improved welfare of aquarium life held within Hawai` i County to be sold as pets and to prevent cutting short the normal lifespan of aquatic life, the Council must prohibit prolonged starvation, require a minimum water volume for transport purposes, and prohibit carrying or causing aquarium life to be carried in a manner that is likely to result in injury or death to the aquarium life.

SECTION 2. Chapter 4, article 1, section 4- 1 of the Hawai` i County Code 1983 ( 2005 Edition, as amended), is amended by amending the definition of" animals" to read as follows:

Animals," unless provided otherwise, include but are not limited to those animals that are customary and usual pets such as dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, honeybees, and other beasts which are maintained on the premises of a dwelling unit and kept by the resident of a dwelling unit solely for personal enjoyment and companionship, such as, without limitation, for a hobby, for legal sporting activities and for guarding of property; animals exclude aviary game birds [ and fish] as defined in the Hawai` i Revised Statutes.

Animal shall further mean any " animal," " farm animal," or " poultry" as those terms are defined in [ section 1. 31.] this section."

SECTION 3. Chapter 4, article 4 of the Hawai`i County Code 1983 ( 2005 Edition, as amended), is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

Section 4- . Treatment of aquarium life to be sold for aquarium use.

a) As used in this section, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

Aquarium life" means any type of saltwater fish, mollusk, crustacean, arthropod, invertebrate, or other animal harvested for aquarium use from Hawai`' s marine environment.

Aquarium use" means to hold aquarium life alive in a state of captivity as pets, or for public exhibition or display, or for sale for these purposes.

Sell" means to transfer, prescribe, give, or deliver to another, or to leave, barter, or exchange with another, or to agree to do the same to another for consideration."

b) Any person who sells aquarium life for aquarium use is prohibited from treating aquarium life in an inhumane manner. For the purposes of this section, inhumane treatment of aquarium life includes:

1) Intentionally or knowingly withholding food from aquarium life for more than twenty- four hours;

2) Transporting or causing to be transported within the County aquarium life in less than one gallon of water per each aquarium life with intent to move the aquarium life outside of the County; or

3) Intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently carrying or causing to be carried in or upon any vehicle or other conveyance aquarium life within the County in a manner that is likely to result in the injury or death of the aquarium life.

c) This section shall not apply:

1) To any person exercising those rights customarily and traditionally exercised for subsistence, cultural, and religious purposes and possessed by ahupua' a tenants who are descendants of native Hawaiians who inhabited the Hawaiian Islands prior to 1778, as protected by article XII, section 7, of the Hawai` i State Constitution;

2) To any government or nonprofit agency that specializes in the holding of aquarium life in a state of captivity within the County for education or scientific study, provided that the educational activity or scientific study shall not involve the sale of aquarium life; or

3) To any person possessing aquarium life for the purpose of transit through any port or airport within the County, provided that the aquarium life remains within the boundaries of the airport or port at all times while in the County.

d) Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall be guilty of a petty misdemeanor and shall be subject to a fine of not more than $ 1, 000, or imprisoned of not more than thirty days, or both.

e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit lawful fishing, including the lawful harvesting of aquatic life to be used for bait for fishing, for human consumption, or for sale for human consumption."

Emily Munday's Testimony‏
November 17, 2012
Re: Testimony in Opposition to Bill 318
Aloha County Council Members,
I am writing in opposition to Bill 318 regarding the treatment of aquarium life.
For my master’s research at Washington State University, I studied the West Hawaii aquarium trade from 2010-2012. Part of my study focused on holding and transport of live yellow tang in the West Hawaii aquarium trade.

My research on fish holding and transport indicated that the practices implemented by Hawaiian fish exporters do not cause mortality in yellow tang. In June of 2012, I collaborated with fishers and exporters in Kona, and caught 60 yellow tang from the reef, held them in a working export facility, and shipped them from Kona, HI to Portland, OR. The fish were then transported to the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, OR where they resided for 6 months. My study shows 100% survival rate of these tangs during collection, holding in the export facility, air transport, and after a 6-month holding period. In fact, the fish have now become part of an exhibit at the Hatfield Marine Science Center about sustainability in the aquarium trade and I have received no reports of mortality after 2.5 years.

In addition, I now would like to specifically address Sections 4b1 and 4b2:

Section 4b1 would prohibit the withholding of food from aquarium life for 24h. In my study, fish were withheld food for 96h in the export facility, and an additional 35h during transport. Withholding food serves a very important purpose for fish transport. Withholding food prevents fish from fouling their bags. If they are unable to “clean out” their system prior to transport, they will foul their bags, creating a buildup of ammonia, which is toxic to fish. Therefore, withholding food is a best practice to be used prior to shipping fish and any regulation prohibiting food withholding is uninformed and would be detrimental to fish health.

Section 4b2 would prohibit transport of fish in less than one gallon of water. In my study, aquarium exporters used the standard volume of water to transport the tang, and discussed above, no mortality occurred. The requirement of a gallon of water for fish transport is unnecessary and unfounded.

I would like to speak to the sustainability of the Hawaii aquarium trade. The exhibit I helped create at the Hatfield explains the practices of the Hawaii aquarium trade, and how Hawaii’s trade differs from other areas of the world. If we take a global perspective, Bill 318 is damaging to the ocean. This is because the demand for aquarium fish is not decreasing, and such a bill would simply shift the demand for aquarium fish from Hawaii where they are collected using nondestructive methods, to places like the Philippines where fishers regularly use cyanide to stun and capture fish and have a tremendously negative impact on reefs there. Though this might seem like just a local or state issue, the reality is that the aquarium trade is a global trade and Hawaii contributes a sustainably sourced product to aquarium fish hobbyists.

Thank you for hearing my testimony.
Sincerely,
Emily S. Munday, M.S.

Walsh Testimony
<And Bill's here. B>
Aloha County Council Members,

My name is Dr. William Walsh and I am submitting testimony in opposition to Bill 318 relating to the treatment of aquarium life which is scheduled for hearing by the Committee on Agriculture, Water and Energy Sustainability on Nov. 18, 2014.

In my capacity as the West Hawai’i Aquatic Biologist for the Division of Aquatic Resources I have been involved in the management and biological monitoring of the West Hawai’i aquarium fishery for over 15 years. While this bill may be well intended in terms of reducing mortalities in the aquarium fishery it actuality is neither necessary nor will it be beneficial. In all likelihood it would prove detrimental to the treatment of aquarium life.

There are no studies, reports or empirical evidence indicating that current shipping practices in the Hawai’i aquarium industry are causing undue levels of shipping mortality. Two studies which have examined shipping mortality in Hawai’i (based on survey interviews) reported low levels of mortality ranging from 0.75-2% (Dierking, 2005) to 2-3% (van Poollen and Obara, 1984). In a 2012 study by Washington State University Graduate Student, Emily Munday, 60 Yellow Tang caught in West Hawai’i, held in an export facility, then shipped from Kona to Portland Oregon and subsequently held in captivity for nearly 6 months showed a 100% survival rate.

Scientific studies which have indeed found high levels of mortality among aquarium fishes have typically been conducted in remote areas with poor handling capabilities often involving the use of toxic collecting chemicals such as cyanide. That is clearly not the case in Hawai’i. As noted by a report from the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) “Where organisms are collected, stored and handled by adequately trained individuals, and transported in suitable conditions, estimated levels of fish mortality have been as low as a few percent” (Wabnitz et al. 2002). All indications are that this is the case in Hawai’i.

I’ll leave it to others actually involved in handling and shipping aquarium fishes to point out why the provisions of this bill would actually harm fish being shipped. The key is relatively simple; keeping the shipping water unfouled and well oxygenated – not a specific volume and certainly not requiring that the fish be fed before shipping.

In conclusion I would like to share with you some of the results of our latest monitoring efforts as they relate to the issue at hand. Two species, the Yellow Tang and Kole make up over 93% of all aquarium fish caught in West Hawai’i. Since the no-aquarium collecting Fish Replenishment Areas (FRAs) were established in 1999 (protecting 35% of the coastline), the numbers of Yellow Tang have increased in the FRAs by almost 65% while not significantly decreasing in the remaining Open Areas. In the 30’-60’ depth range alone, the numbers of Yellow Tang in West Hawai’i have increased by 1.3 million fish. Similarly Kole populations have increased not only in the FRAs (by 24%) but also in the Open Areas as well (by 28%). Kole populations in the same depth range have increased by over 2 million fish! Clearly resource management efforts are working in West Hawai’i.
Mahalo for your attention and I look forward to your continuing support.

Dierking, J. 2002. Socio-Economic study of the aquarium fish industry in West Hawaii. Cesar Environmental Economics Consulting (CEEC). 20 pp.
Poollen, W.H. van, and Obara, A.M (1984). Hawaii’s marine aquarium fish industry profile.
Studies on Marine Economics No. 3. Sea Ocean Resources Office Contribution No.
14. Grant College Program, State of Hawaii, Department of Planning and Economic
Development.

Wabnitz, C., Taylor, M., Green, E. and T Razak. 2003. From Ocean to Aquarium- The global trade in marine ornamental species. UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Center, Cambridge, UK. 64 pp

Final Testimony from AZA on Hawai'i County Bill 318
Dave- Here’s the testimony Dr. Carlson presented.
WjW
Final Testimony from AZA on Hawai'i County Bill 318
Just submitted by AZA. I will deliver this testimony tomorrow.
Bruce

8403 Colesville Road, Suite 710

Silver Spring, MD 20910-3314

301-562-0777 tel  301-562-0888 fax

www.aza.org

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 17, 2014

Dear Honorable Members of the Hawai’i County Council: 

On behalf of the 228 accredited member institutions of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), I would like to take this opportunity to express our serious concerns regarding County of Hawai’i Bill 318 that would purportedly improve the welfare of aquarium life within Hawai’i County by prohibiting appropriate fasting for transported animals and establishing an arbitrary minimum water volume for transport purposes.  We respectfully submit that if this bill were to pass, it would become impossible to ship fish and aquatic invertebrates in a safe and humane manner and thus, greatly impact the ability of accredited aquariums and zoos to educate and inspire millions of visitors with compelling exhibits that showcase the natural beauty of marine life and habitats, including coral reefs and coral reef fishes. 

AZA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of accredited zoos and aquariums in the areas of animal care and husbandry, conservation, education, science and recreation.  With over 185 million visitors to 228 accredited zoos and aquariums, AZA’s focus on connecting people and animals provides a critical link to helping animals in their native habitats.

AZA zoos and aquariums are committed to conserving the world’s oceans for future generations of Americans and people around the globe. We do this by educating our audiences about issues related to ocean health, and encourage them to join us in reducing threats to fragile ocean ecosystems and wildlife. This is very important as a recent National Research Council study found that people learn as much as 90% of their science in informal settings such as accredited zoos and aquariums.  We strongly believe that our message of respect, wonder and appreciation of the natural world contributes significantly to coral reef conservation and management.  

There are very few fish species that cannot be safely fasted.  For nearly all species, a two or more day fast is routinely done to clear the gut of food so the transport bag will not be fouled.  Fouling leads to toxic levels of ammonia, and reduced concentrations of oxygen.  Furthermore, non-fasted fishes have higher oxygen demands thus exacerbating the problem.  The provisions of this bill will not improve the standards for animal welfare; rather they will have the opposite effect leading to higher rates of mortality. 

Regarding the minimum water volume requirement, there are no published reports or scientific studies that we are aware of that support the proposed one-gallon per each “aquarium life” standard as specified in the bill.  This is an arbitrary and capricious “standard” which appears to be designed solely to eliminate all wild fish collections in the County.  If animal welfare is the true intent of this bill, it would be extended to cover the welfare of aquacultured aquarium life.  Those animals will continue to be shipped using recognized industry standards including fasting and appropriate water volumes for each species.  Passage of this legislation, will not only limit a fully sustainable trade, but would prevent the normal and ethical transport between zoological facilities under the best standards of practical care….including Hawaii-based zoos, aquariums and research institutions.  

The AZA community views itself as potential partners with the State of Hawai’i and its counties. We have the well-documented ability to speak to hundreds of millions of visitors annually about marine conservation needs. AZA accredited institutions agree that a common-sense regulatory approach that governs the humane take, the humane after-capture husbandry and humane and ethical transport of coral reef species in a fully sustainable manner, is a positive step in enhancing the coral reef fishery populations throughout the State. It is also important that legislation affecting this industry follow the best-methods standards established over decades of proven techniques and research.

 

Thank you for the opportunity to provide input on these important decisions. 

 

Respectfully, 

                                              

Steven G. Olson                                             Bruce Carlson

Vice President, Federal Relations                  Director Emeritus

Association of Zoos and Aquariums               Waikiki Aquarium

Robert (Bob) Fenner's input re Bill 318 provisions‏
December 19, 2014
Re Bill 318

Aloha County Council Members,

I am writing in opposition to Bill 318 regarding two elements concerning treatment of aquarium life.

I am a long-time investigator, academic and writer on issues of natural history, and use of native aquatic life. I am the author of The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, as well as more than a dozen other printed works on aquatic life, and several hundred articles in the field. My position paper on live yellow tang use in the West Hawaii aquarium trade can be found archived on my site: http://wetwebmedia.com/YTangUpdateArt.htm

My involvement in the ornamental marine trade spans the last fifty some years, mostly here in the USA. Further, I have owned properties in West Hawaii, and been involved in observing collecting, holding and shipping practices of fishes and invertebrates here.

The points I would like to specifically address are Sections 4b1 and 4b2 of Bill 318:

Section 4b1: It is a well-established world-wide practice to "clean out" livestock to be shipped a few days ahead of its bagging and transport. This practice greatly increases the preservation of health of aquatic livestock that otherwise is greatly stressed by the addition of noxious metabolites (principally their primary excretory product ammonia). The number one cause of loss of captive aquatics through all history is actually this "metabolite build-up". As stated, all aquatic biota produce ammonia, continuously, with more being present with increased feeding and subsequent wastes in the bag. Feeding fishes and invertebrates so soon (a day prior) to their shipment results in much higher incidental mortality; hence, the universal technique of ceasing feeding for a few days ahead, especially with fishes like Tangs (Acanthuroids) that produce copious amounts of wastes due to their mostly algal and aufwuchs diet.

Section 4b2 Calls for shipping fishes in not less than one gallon of water. This practice is not only unwarranted; as again, the trade and science have determined that less water, using the space in the bag for more oxygen), is the best practice for assuring health in transit. More water not only introduces higher transport cost per fish, but gives the animals too much space to move about during transport. I urge you to read re the natural history of these fishes; at night time they "lay down" in nooks, crannies changing color a bit... to avoid predators. Similarly, livestock is purposely bagged, boxed in Styrofoam and cardboard boxes and taped shut for thermal insulation as well as to induce the "sleep phase" behavior. More water and room sloshing about will only damage this life in transit.

If you would like my input on these or other ornamental aquatics, fisheries issues, I will gladly consult as an independent fisheries biologist.
Sincerely,
Robert (Bob) Fenner
WetWebMedia
fennerrobert@hotmail.com
858 397 XXXX

Re: Ill Betta       12/19/14
Hi Bob,
<Hello again Emily>
Thanks so much for getting back to me. I’ll try some Epsom salts- I think I can get some this evening.
<Ah yes; are sold at all drugstores, most grocery>
If it makes any difference, I’ve just found a small, mucusy poop- does this suggest parasites?
<Not necessarily, no... Can be due to stress; foods...>
Most sites seem to say white poop for parasites but some mention mucusy too.
Thank you,
Emily
<Welcome. BobF>

CONVICTS RAPID GILL MOVEMENT       12/19/14
Dear Crew
<Pav>
Recently brought a pair of convicts. Male hasn't eaten anything. But they laid eggs and they took care of the fry very much. But from 2 days, I observed rapid gill movement in Male convict and is hiding in the pot where the eggs were laid. Bullying female whenever it moved near to him.
<I'd separate these two>
Luckily it is not chasing the other. But the water condition is good. The fry and the female is doing so good. Even the female is not accepting pellets.
This is the first time I have seen convicts hiding and not well. What to do?
<When, where in doubt; partial water changes! Do you have much ammonia, nitrite, nitrate?>
I am very much concerned about its health. Do some help. Thank you.
Pavan Gollakoti
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Cory breeding question       12/19/14
Hi WWM! My name is Stephanie.
<Hello Steph>
I came across your site while I was looking for some Cory breeding information. I've had an assortment of cories in my tank for almost 2 years now, and have a few questions1) I found around 80 Cory eggs over the course of 2 days. I moved them into a floating breeder with some java moss under the filter outflow. Two days later, four hatched. I moved the breeder into
calmer waters. Over the next day, the eggs began to disappear, but still only four fry. Today (day four), there are only 2 eggs left and 10 fry total. Is it possible that some of these eggs just decompose?
<Oh, yes>
I'm certain that they were viable, removed any that fungused (only about 10), and nothing has died or escaped. I'm just curious about the hatch rate I guess.
<These percentages improve w/ maturity of the breeders, conditioning (mainly feeding) and care in terms of optimized water quality>
I had hoped for more! Although, this is my first time with any species of fry!2) It seems that a few weeks will give the cories a good amount of time to grow, but I was wondering how soon you can tell what species they are?
<Mmm; depends on the mix of species... oh, I see you state below... but a month or two>
I have 5 different species in my tank. I assume it's the bronze, because I have 9 good sized ones, although they have just reached their maturity and this would be their first spawn, so I was surprised at so many fertilized eggs.3) What is the chance that a 1m to 1f ratio would produce fertile eggs?
<Okay; better than half, even three quarters>
I have 2 rabauti that I absolutely love and want more of, but cannot find them anywhere around here. I assume a separate breeding tank would be my best bet.4) I also noticed that one of the smaller bronze cories that I've had for a while has flukes on his fins.
<Really?>
The others seem fine, aside from an occasional flash (i.e.: no visible symptoms besides behavior). I also have swordtails, silver dollars, and tetras which show no behavioral or visible symptoms. I assume I should treat the entire tank because I know I've seen them on other fish that I have since lost. Is medicating a tank harmful to the fry?
<Depending on what is used, yes, can be>
I assume they are much more sensitive to it, but wasn't sure. To add on to this - I do have another tank that I can use, but I am waiting for 2 new sponge filters to get here so I have no filter or seeded media available should I quarantine the affected fish. Should I still quarantine and perform numerous water changes, or should I move the fry to the empty tank since I'm doing WCs for them anyway and then set up the brand new filter when I receive it?
<Best to go with this last plan; but do provide "squeezings" from the old/established filter to the new tank... and get all water from the old tank for the new>
Too much going on at one time. Anyway, I appreciate any response as my web searching has not clarified these last few issues for me. Thanks!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: confused ... id please ..sebae anemone??       12/19/14
Thanks Mr. Bob for quick reply,
<Welcome Anupa>
my god, didn't know they dye corals.. wonder how to find its natural colour or dye one.. had no clue when looked at it in LFS. Sorry for the pic size. will take care of the pic size next time on..
<Good>
Dying?? :( hope it have some chance of recovery?
<Small; not much>
any advice or care recommendation..
<The reading>
thought new to hobby, but will try my best to take care of these animals.. its a mistake i bought it in first place, have to blame my ignorance and impulse purchase..
Thanks again..
<And the false perceptions of the folks involved in making these animals, offering them thus. BobF>

Clownfish with protruding gill       12/19/14
Hello,
I searched WetWebMedia to the best of my ability for my Clownfishes particular issue. After I received the clownfish I immediately noticed a bright red gill sticking out from underneath it's right gill flap during the acclimation process. This is a ORA snowflake clownfish. I have had the fish for five days now. It is eating like a pig and is swimming around normally. The only problem I have observed, besides the exposed gill, is very rapid breathing. As far as my tank parameters go this is a QT tank.
Ammonia-0, Nitrite-0, Nitrate-5, pH-8.1, salinity-1.024, Temperature-80.4.
I hope the pictures I attach will work. Thank you for your time.
<Yes; a not-uncommon issue with tank-bred fishes of their size, type/species; Clownfishes do have "bent" gill covers... either from the process of growing up crowded (injury) or genetic expression. Generally such fishes live just the same... and there is no "treatment" for such. If you're very bothered, the fine folks at ORA will likely credit/replace this one specimen. Bob Fenner>

Re New to fish, Rosy Barbs        12/19/14
Thanks for your quick reply Bob. The tank is unheated and sits between 23C overnight and 25 C during the day.
<Ahh; I would definitely add a thermostatic aquarium heater here.

On hot days I add an extra air bubbler and prop the lid of the tank ajar to allow for better cooling, so far this has kept it under 26 C. I am going to try a fan on the waters surface for hotter summer days (the room will be cooled as well), and the tank should be cooler for the rest of the year.
I haven't yet successfully retrieved a suspect dropping from the tank. I turned the filter off for a bit during/after feeding time today hoping to catch one, and two were produced but before I could get them out they were eaten by other fish (ugh). I don't have a scope but I've had some success using a reversed webcam lens for magnified photography so I will forward a
picture if I ever manage to get a specimen.
<Good>
I'll have to do some reading to work out dosages for food, I was worried I might not be able to get those medications in Australia but I have found somewhere that sells Praziquantel (liquid) and Metronidazole (powder) for aquariums, and also conveniently stocks RO units. I had suspected RO water would be necessary for keeping anything beyond the most hardy beginner fish so your advice helped me make my mind up on that front.
<Well; there are not surprisingly some fishes and non-fish livestock (e.g. Rainbowfishes there, Malawi, Tanganyikan cichlids and more.... that really enjoy hard, alkaline waters of high pH... but better for many others to mix/blend as I state, and for your cooking, drinking uses... RO is MUCH better. What I/we've used for decades here in S. Cal. w/ our "liquid rock"
potable>
Thanks again for your help!
Bronwen
<Welcome. BobF>

Purple tang skin issues.      12/18/14
Hi folks at WWM
<Howdy Si>
Over the last week my Purple tang as started to show some kind of abrasion to the skin at its tail end,
<Yes; I see this... looks to be from an irritation... a sting, or scraping...>
I first thought it could be from rubbing against the rocks as it looks like the skin/scales have been brushed the opposite way. I have done a bit of research into this have read that carbon dust can cause problems so have now turned my phosphate and carbon reactor off.
<Good>
Also over the last 2-3 weeks I've been adding magnesium and calcium to the tank as whilst on my holiday the levels dropped off a little so I needed to bring these back in check, so I was considering these as a contributor.
<Yes; could be... I'd only add these to your pre-made/make up/change water... in advance a few days (a week if you can); not directly to a system>
I've attached a picture of the fish in question, the pattern is virtually identical on both sides, any help would be appreciated so i can quickly get the fish back to prime health. My parameters are all within the desired ranges with my Mag and calcium very slightly on the low side my fish are also fed a wide range of foods including frozen flake and pellets and are also given Nori 3 times a week.
Many thanks Simon
<I'd like to suggest (so am doing so), that you place a pad of PolyFilter in your filter/flow path... and see if it changes color... indicating perhaps some chemical cause. Bob Fenner>

Re: Purple tang skin issues.      12/18/14
Hi Bob Thank you for the really fast response to this. The magnesium and calcium were added to my auto top up, so have not gone directly into the tank mainly due to the size of the system, so this will be gradual thing.
<Ah good>
I agree with the irritation and do have a carpet anemone in the system
<Ohh! This is my next best guess as the root cause here>
but I assume all of my fish know to keep there distance and even if they do stray a little close the female clown is pretty quick in moving them along. I'll give the poly filter a go as that is a great idea, but I'm optimistic that this won't be the case. What would you recommend to do with the phosphate and carbon side of things as it is inevitable that they will need to be put back in action sooner or later. Thanks again for your time
Simon
<I'd use such media on a punctuated basis; every few days on. BobF>

Guppy Mystery? /Neale       12/18/14
I have a 35 gallon tank with approximately 50 guppies, fry included. One female really has me stumped and I hope you can help. Maybe a week ago I noticed her rubbing on objects and settling near the bottom of the tank.
She developed a red spot on her abdomen and it became pointy until it broke through her skin. What emerged was very pointy. I did isolate her and it fell off of her last night leaving quite an ulcer behind. Whatever she passed I scooped out and it broke in three pieces. I expected it to feel organic but it was stiff and sharp at one end. I can't find any literature that describes a parasite exiting this way? Any ideas what I'm dealing with? Thanks in advance for your ideas,
Angela
<FWIW, I wonder if this female swallowed something, a tiny shred of stiff nylon for example from a brush, mistaking it for a midge larvae. Over the last few days its worked its way through. I doubt it's a parasite as such.
The ulcer is the bigger problem. While fish have amazing abilities when it comes to healing, a puncture of this sort will be a significant risk of infection. Keep an eye on her, and ideally, medicate as per Finrot.
Cheers, Neale.>

Clowns, guppies, platies in 80 gal tank. /Neale      12/18/14
Question. .
We have an 80 gallon tank and it's been up sense Sept. We had 4 clowns and some guppies and a Chinese alge eater in it. LAST week we bought 6 platies and a couple more guppies. The fish were fine. NOW.... ALL the clowns are dead and so is the adult female guppy we had in the tank. All sense we got the new fish. Any ideas what's causing this? There are also baby guppies in there from before and they seem fine. Please help. HATE losing my fish with no ideas as to why.
Thanks!
Rhond
<Can't explain this one easily, I'm afraid. It's common for Clown Loaches to get Whitespot after new (store-bought) fish have been introduced. But to fall dead almost overnight is unusual. I'd definitely keep an open mind: perhaps the Platies arriving and the Clowns departing was a coincidence, and the cause of the Clowns demise was something else. Airborne poisons?
Anything else added to the tank, e.g., copper or formalin-based medication?
Do you have a copper test kit? Can you take a water sample to a retailer to have the copper test done? Cheers, Neale.>

Lobster; FW Cray, rdg.       12/18/14
Hi my name is josh I got a blue Lobster a few days ago its around 8 inches or longer. Its not really taking an interest in eat as of now. I was told to feed him beef heart cubes and peas. I don't know if that's an accurate diet.
<Is not. You should just search, read... Here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/crayfishfdgfaq.htm
Also today I noticed he's walking on his claws and front legs with his or her tail straight up. Is that a bad thing?
<... And read the rest of the files linked above... likely there are a few things amiss here other than nutrition... Iodide, alkalinity...ammonia/nitrite/nitrate>
I tried researching it a little and this site seemed to be the best.
Please email me back at XXXX.com and let me know somethings about it. I attached a picture also so maybe you can help identify the species as well.
Thank you for your time.
<Read on! Bob Fenner>


confused ... id please ..sabea anemone??      12/18/14
Hi, pls confirm whether this is sebea anemone..??
<It is a dyed yellow Heteractis crispa; indeed; dying>

Also let me know whether
it is dyed..?? Feeling sick to know it may be dyed from some online sources.. Please help..
<Help yourself. READ on WWM re the species; DON'T send us 8 megs of pix....
READ here; my piece on this scam: http://wetwebmedia.com/coloredanemones.htm
Bob Fenner>


Green side on bubble tip anemone      12/18/14
Hi,
<Hello Frank>
I have a quick question about a green bubble tip anemone that was sold to me by the lfs.
<Mmmm>
I never seen one with a green base on the outside. It is a bubble tip or something else.
<Could be Entacmaea; but my guess would be on Heteractis magnifica... at any length, this is a poorly specimen from its looks... is the basal disc torn? I'd be returning it pronto>
Enclosed the pic of the chartreuse side. Thank you.
Frank
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>


New to fish, Rosy Barbs      12/18/14
Hi All,
This will be a bit of a long message as I'd like to describe the history of these fish.
<Good>
A couple of months ago I inherited 3 rosy barbs from my sister, who had bought them when tiny but found them too aggressive in her tank as they grew. I was able to house them in a planted tank which I had set up, which was probably way too small, but they seemed happy and healthy and liked exploring in the plants. I've been feeding them flake, frozen
"tropical community" food and sometimes mosquito larvae from my backyard pond.
<So far...>
As they grew I removed plants from half of the tank to give them more room to move. As their tank was so small I did daily partial water changes and the fish followed my efforts to vacuum the gravel with great interest; I really fell in love with their inquisitive nature! I did a lot of reading to learn about how to give these fish a healthy life (frequently ending up at WWM, thanks for the great info).
<Welcome>
This led me to buy a bigger tank (120lt/35gal approx) for them as soon as I could, and I started cycling it using waste water from the small tank. I planned to get at least 3 more rosy barbs to let them school properly, then once everything settled down maybe some Corydoras. I set up plants in the new tank using ones removed from the smaller tank, and bought a few extra for more cover. By the time I obtained a water test kit, I was getting readings of 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite and around 10 nitrate. I decided it was time to move the fish into the larger tank as it was bordering on cruel keeping them in the small tank as they kept growing and growing. They took to the new tank with glee and were soon swimming up and down the lengths,
exploring the new plants, seemingly quite happy.
Well that only lasted a couple of days until something happened to spook them and from that point they spent the whole time hiding in the corner under their cloud of java moss or zigzagging about in a panic. I tried turning out the lights and then covering part of the tank, which helped a little, but as soon as they notice anyone looking at them they go and hide again. I resolved to set the small tank up as a quarantine tank and get some more barbs ASAP to let them be confident in a school; however when I was cleaning that tank out I found my original three had spawned at some point and there were 7 baby fish living there. So, that became a nursery tank and I had to set up yet another tank for the new fish. I had both a sponge filter and hang on back filter so the HOB went to the quarantine tank while the sponge filter stayed in the nursery - the big tank has a trickle filter built into the top.
<Am familiar... likely a Marineland product>
I bought the last 4 rosy barbs in the store, they seemed healthy and active and acclimated to the quarantine tank okay. I had planned to quarantine them for a week or two at least but after a couple of days of continued appearance of health I thought it better to put them in with the stressed/spooked fish to try and reduce the stress levels in the big tank; the idea being that being in a larger tank in a larger school would be less stressful for the new fish too and better all round, additionally I didn't
have any other "established" fish that I needed to protect.
However this is when I noticed problem number one: one of my original rosy barbs was doing strange white tear-shaped droppings and seemed irritated while trying to pass them. It made me think of tapeworm segments
<Did you look at these... proglottids... under a 'scope?>
as I saw a few droppings that seemed the same size each time, and they seemed a meaty white, not transparent. I started to wonder whether it wasn't worth quarantining the new fish in case they caught something from the old fish, however I really didn't want to prolong the stress of the spooked fish and ended up transferring the new arrivals across on the evening of Day 2. Problem two: three of the four new fish started schooling with the original three straight away while the fourth one went off by itself. The final fish still seemed active, healthy, no clamped fins or listless behaviour, it just seemed to hang back from the others. However the following morning this fish had died and was floating belly up. I had a look but couldn't see anything too obvious beyond a little bloating and the abdominal discolouration (see pic), which seemed to line up with how the dead fish was floating. This was the largest of the new fish so perhaps it was already a little bloated when I got it, I'm not sure. I was a little worried that this was something bacterial which would affect the other fish but the remaining fish are still alive and still seemingly healthy. I'd rather not throw random possibly wrong medicine at fish who might not need it but if there is value in treating the rest then I'd be interested to know what I should do.
<Nothing so far>
The other fish do still spook very easily and hide in the corners, although the two smallest new fish venture out more than the rest. I'm being more careful with how I move near the tank, and trying to make changes in their lighting levels a bit less abrupt but I'm not sure what else I can do to help them calm down and not stress so much. Maybe they'll settle down with
time?
<What is the water temp. here?>
In fact if I stand in the doorway where they can't see me, I can see them swimming around and picking at the bottom like normal, and when I fed them some more wrigglers just now they forgot to be shy altogether.
My water currently is 0 amm, 0 nitrite, 5 nitrate, pH is a little higher than I'd like at 8-8.2 but the fish spawned successfully in it so I haven't worried about pH very much apart from trying to keep it around 8. Water comes out the tap at pH 9.5 here
<Wow; I'd be using an RO device for my potable needs and blending about
 half of this RO with your source water for your aquarium>
and is a bit hard, I use a water ager to treat chlorine/chloramine and API pH down to get the new water ready for use.
<I see>
Back to the weird white droppings, its been about four days since I noticed them and the same fish is still doing them (and wasn't doing it back in the small tank). I have had a sponge over the filter inlet strainer but when I noticed one of the other fish pick at one of the weird droppings that was stuck on the sponge to see if it was food, I decided to take the sponge
off in hope that these droppings would get sucked away properly and not eaten by my other fish.
I've read that white droppings can be from stress, or constipation as well as worms.
<Yes>

I haven't seen any stringy or threadlike droppings; and I tried feeding some smushed up pea which the rosy barbs all loved and fought over but the same fish has still done white droppings since then. I had the idea that they might have caught something from the mosquito larvae that I have fed them from the back yard, although at this stage my pond doesn't have
anything but plants and snails in it so not sure where a parasite would come from. I am not sure but I think one of the newer fish might have done a similar dropping since they've been in the tank together. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get a picture but I would say these droppings are the same length as a grain of rice, about a quarter of the width, and are tapered for almost the whole length. If you have any ideas as to what this could be and whether it needs treatment I'd be interested to know. I'm thinking about putting a UV sterilizer in this tank to try and help sanitize the water a bit, hard to find non-sales information on whether these are worth the effort or not. Any opinions?
<Mmm; yes. Though I'd like to see some images of the fecal material at 400  power, I'd likely try lacing their food (to get a dose inside them) with both Metronidazole AND an anthelminthic (Prazi/quantel likely). You can read re both and this procedure on WWM>
A final word: I wasn't expecting any baby fish so soon, especially since I'd read rosy barbs prefer acidic soft water to breed in not alkaline hard water; and as far as I knew, my fish were too young or too small to breed, being about 4-5cm long. I already had a jar with some hornwort, Ostracods, copepods and snails in and I assume probably infusoria as well and have
been using water from this plus some powdered fry food to feed the baby fish.
<Very good>
I've noticed previously that copepod nauplii and paramecium seem attracted to light so I have a little LED light pointed at the side of the tank to hopefully attract all the food and the fry into the same place to help them feed. I'm keeping water movement low to keep it easy for them to move around.
Is there anything else I should do to successfully raise these fish?
<Can't tell w/ the information provided>
If they all survive and I end up with a big school of 13 rosy barbs I won't mind if there is no room for anything else in the main tank. The local fish shop kept trying to sell me tiger barbs instead of Rosies and didn't seem to know much about them, seemingly only keeping them as feeder fish but I love their personalities and think it's a shame that people don't buy rosy barbs to keep instead of goldfish as a first fish.
Thanks again for your time and your great site,
Bronwen
<Thank you for sharing. Am sending your note on to Neale here for his independent assessment. Bob Fenner>


Ill Betta       12/18/14
Hi WWM,
<Hey Em>
Just hoping you might be able to give me some advice about my Betta, and I apologise in advance for the long essay! He’s been happily living in a 20l (around 5 gal) tank since January. Weekly 30-50% water changes, filtered and heated, gravel substrate and usually a plant or two (main plants and snails are currently removed due to medicating).
<Looks good>
Around 6 weeks ago I put some pondweed in his tank (which he loves) and didn’t notice any problems until a week or two later when his belly looked rounder and a little swollen- I assumed he was constipated
<Yes>
and laid off feeding for a couple of days but wasn’t initially concerned. His behaviour was normal (zipping around the tank, nipping at fingers, rarely resting for more than 30s except at night when he rests in his tunnel).
The swelling kept getting larger (still perfectly round at this point, like he’d swallowed a marble) with occasional poops when I had him flare at a mirror, so after a couple of weeks of alternating between fasting for a few days and feeding peas I started panicking and bought various medications from the same shop that the original pond weed had come from. The assistant tried to be helpful but he seemed to know less than me about keeping fish (he thought aquarium salt was the same as Epsom salt)-
<...? Both are salts... combinations of metals and non-metals>
he did mention that their Bettas had similar symptoms at the same time and they’d been treating them successfully with swim bladder treatment,
<... there is no such thing>
so I wondered whether my Betta could have picked up a parasite or bacterial infection from the pondweed? A water test showed perfect parameters (although I had done a water change the night before).
<...perhaps simple gut blockage>
I did a 5-day course of ‘Medica Lifeguard’ which claimed to be a powerful broad-spectrum remedy, but this didn’t seem to help at all (he had shown a little fin rot by the time I went to the shop, and I think this got worse over the 5-day treatment). I also started feeding him pre-soaked pellets again as he seemed starving and possibly to be losing weight.
I’m now trying Interpet swim bladder treatment (exactly the same as their internal bacteria treatment, but higher concentrations) and am on day 4 of the treatment, but he’s got slowly worse. I also tried soaking a few pellets in medicated water (higher concentration) each day and he took them happily- he always seems very hungry.
HIs belly is now asymmetrical (worst on the left side) and he is much more lethargic, sitting on the bottom a lot and not whizzing about as normal. I haven’t seen him poop in the last couple of weeks but it could just be that I’m missing it (I rarely see it anyway) so I’ve put him in a clear plastic bowl suspended in his tank to try to monitor it- 24 hours now and no sign of poop, even when flaring at a mirror, unless he ate it overnight. I fed him some pea last night and a little again today (no pellets).
I’m not sure what to try next?
<MgSO4>
He’s definitely taken a turn for the worse, especially over the last day or so, although is not pineconing (yet) and I’m hopeful of a recovery. Any advice you could give would be gratefully received! I have been internet searching more than ever but have yet to come across successful advice (Epsom salt seems common but there are conflicting views- should I try this?)
<Yes; read here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/EpsomSaltUseF.htm
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/SaltUseBloatF.htm
I have attached a picture of his tank in its current ‘floating bowl’ setup, and also some images of him with a swollen belly- not particularly good ones I’m afraid as he’s a trickster to photograph.
Best wishes,
Emily
<And you, Bob Fenner>

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