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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Wrasse Having Difficulty Getting off Bottom of TANK    3/20/20
Looking for some thoughts/options. I have a 65 gallon mixed reef tank. Very stable tank. Weekly water changes/husbandry done.
<Ah, good. Am a huge fan... I spend a couple of hours every Sunday doing them>
Water chem is stable and fine. I have had this tank set up for about 4 years and have never had many losses. All of my fish go though a QT. So over the last few days I lost 2 fish and one is not looking good.
1) lost a one spot fox face that has been in the tank for about 2 years.
2) lost an algae eating blenny - newest fish added, has been in tank for about 2 months.
3) Hoeven wrasse, is alive but constantly laying on sand. Wrasse has been in tank for about 3 1/2 years. Bought mature so could be getting old.
<Mmm... so far this reads as some sort of environmental issue... not pathogenic (involving a disease-causing organism).
To be honest - I did take blenny out of QT after about 10 days of QT. Treated w Cupramine and Prazi. I do usually do a good 2 weeks but there wasn't much algae in qt so I felt like he needed to eat more. (might be the problem but since no visible sign of parasites on other fish it's hard to say)
Fox face was showing some damage to tail fin but seemed consistent with backing into rocks. Other fins were healthy. Always ate well no issues.
I'm primarily writing about the wrasse. He has always been healthy- if it were wrasse alone I might think his time is just up. He has been w me for about 4 years and I bought him mature. However, since I lost 2 fish so I'm not so sure.
I was able to look at wrasses fins closely with magnifying glass. Seems fine, nothing on fins. No white dots. Fins seem very healthy but breathing seems a little laborer. Very tired Don't think it's Ich but maybe in gills where I can't see.
<Again; I don't think this is infectious, parasitic>
The MAIN issue is that he has difficultly getting off of the bottom of the tank. He is able to swim around but it’s a struggle. After swimming for a few minutes he resorts to laying on the sand bed. My though is that it’s swim bladder. I have him in QT and started treating with Maracyn 2, but not sure if that’s the right move???
In addition I have another 8 or so fish- flame, damsel, 2 clowns, jawfish, basset, 3 cardinals. All have been w me a while. As of now all look good.
I have a bunch of mixed corals, all healthy, good growth.
Any thoughts from experienced people would be very much appreciated.
<At this juncture, given your description... if it were me, mine, I'd default to warding off possibilities of poisoning... biological and not. Do read re some other instances here: http://wetwebmedia.com/envdisf13.htm
and the linked FAQs files in this series (in blue, above)
I'd stop all use of supplements and chemical feeds, and use PolyFilter and a granulated activated carbon product (ChemiPure is a fave) in your filter/water circulation pattern. Please do write me/us with your further observations. Bob Fenner>
Re: Wrasse Having Difficulty Getting off Bottom of TANK    3/20/20

Thank you for your reply. Someone else suggested that it could have been hand sanitizer from overly using due to current pandemic.
<Could be... there (appears to be) is no pattern, considering the fishes you list, what you've lost, in order... in terms of indication of the type of poisoning (low oxygen let's say, or high metabolite concentration)>
Although I’m not really sure I did start running activated carbon in my filtration. I have been dosing BRS 2part and vodka for over 2 years without issues. I did start dosing Kent magnesium 1 x a week. Should I stop dosing?
<Yes; as I stated in your last email>
Also, do you think that it could be chem warfare between corals?
<A possibility; but again; other fishes would likely perish first>
I have Zoas, leathers, Monti caps & birds nest that are all getting quite big. Also have some mushrooms that are starting to get out of control. Do you think that this could be poising the fish?
<.... yes>
<W. B>

Ich on Purple Tang? Video attached    3/20/20
Hello Bob and Team;
Hope you are well! Bob, I have attached a video of my purple tang. I am in between transferring my old 100G to my new 180 gallon. Before restocking the rock and coral, I decided to go nuclear, and copper treat the fish because there was some Ich flare ups a few months ago.
<Hmmm; hard to eliminate entirely... >
I went 30days with copper power at 1.50+ppm and started removing copper as the fish looked good no signs of anything.
Until yesterday. I noticed the purple tang had some specks on him, looked like ick but I’m not sure. He’s actively eating, swimming and fins look good.
Could this be ick again?
<Ah, yes; could be>
I’m aiming for an ick free tank so I’m willing to go therapeutic again for another 30 days but wanted your advice.
<I myself would not do the copper exposure another 30 days... Too debilitating. There are adjuncts to remedies... the use of Vitamins, HUFAs, garlic, lowered spg... that I would try/use instead here>
The guidance I was given was that 30 days copper at therapeutic will sufficiently kill off Ich knowing that I won’t be moving the fish from the treated tank afterwards.
<Well; as I first stated here; Crypt is really hard to eliminate from a system once the parasite has cycled through life cycles... Can be done with livestock itself; in bare tanks... but really takes effort, time>
Let me know what you think.
Thank You!
<DO please use the search tool (on every page of WWM) to search re Cryptocaryon AND the terms I've listed above; and DO please write me/us if the path you decide on is not clear. Bob Fenner>
Ich on Purple Tang? Video attached /Wil    3/20/20

Hello Bob and Team;
<Hello Anik, Wil here>
Hope you are well! Bob, I have attached a video of my purple tang. I am in between transferring my old 100G to my new 180 gallon. Before restocking the rock and coral, I decided to go nuclear, and copper treat the fish because there was some Ich flare ups a few months ago.
I went 30days with copper power at 1.50+ppm and started removing copper as the fish looked good no signs of anything.
<Did you do this in a separate bare bottom tank?>
Until yesterday. I noticed the purple tang had some specks on him, looked like ick but I’m not sure. He’s actively eating, swimming and fins look good.
<Maybe it was not entirely eradicated>
Could this be ick again? I’m aiming for an ick free tank so I’m willing to go therapeutic again for another 30 days but wanted your advice.
<It is too risky to treat again; copper is very toxic.>
The guidance I was given was that 30 days copper at therapeutic will sufficiently kill off Ich knowing that I won’t be moving the fish from the treated tank afterwards.
<There’s no guarantee that in 30 days Ich will be completely eliminated, usually it stays dormant on gravel, decoration and other surfaces, been this one of the reasons to quarantine on a separate bare tank and let the DT go fallow for at least a month.>
Let me know what you think.
<I suggest trying hypo salinity and making sure to provide a good stress-free environment (via perfect water quality, a varied diet and vitamin supplementation), this way your fish immune system will be able to cope with the possibility of a new outbreak.>
Thank You!
<You’re welcome. Wil.>

Re: Wrasse Having Difficulty Getting off Bottom of TANK; Now question re something on wrasse snout    3/20/20
Thank you for your reply. Someone else suggested that it could have been hand sanitizer from overly using due to current pandemic.
<Could be... there (appears to be) is no pattern, considering the fishes you list, what you've lost, in order... in terms of indication of the type of poisoning (low oxygen let's say, or high metabolite concentration>
Although I’m not really sure I did start running activated carbon in my filtration. I have been dosing BRS 2part and vodka for over 2 years without issues. I did start dosing Kent magnesium 1 x a week. Should I stop dosing?
<Yes; as I stated in your last email>
Also, do you think that it could be chem warfare between corals?
<A possibility; but again; other fishes would likely perish first>
I have Zoas, leathers, Monti caps & birds nest that are all getting quite big. Also have some mushrooms that are starting to get out of control. Do you think that this could be poising the fish?
<.... yes>
<W. B>

Please Help!     3/20/20
First off, I’d like to thank you for all of the effort and contributions you have made. We are so lucky to have you available as a resource . Also, thank you for providing accurate, informative, and educational information. It is very much appreciated. :)
<Thank you very much for your words, we are really glad to help hobbyists.>
Moving along, I’ve had a 55g marine DT that had been established (and was running very smoothly) for a little over one year. Two days ago, this all changed when I purchased a dog face puffer from my LFS.
Please keep in mind that I’m still a newbie at this and have researched quite a bit but still have a lot to learn if and when I ask a stupid question.
So, two days ago I bought this dog face puffer (which appeared to be healthy and happy and no visible signs of stress or infections) from the same LFS and have never stumbled upon an issue until now. my puffer has ICH and velvet.... ��
Ignorantly I was under the impression of Hospital Tank was for diseased animals not taking into consideration that preventative methods are the best cure. STUPID! But now I know. I set up a HT for the DFpuffer, the radial filefish, and a Valentini puffer. The water parameters were within range for a FOWLR with the exception of the pH being low (testing at 7.9)I’m going to leave my DT FALLOW for 78 days but in the meantime I am treating the three fish in a 20 gallon HT with KORDON’s RID- ICH plus and API stress coat. I’m keeping the salinity low at 1.019.
<A very good product, but better used as a preventative/prophylactic resource, not when fish are already sick, I would use copper instead, but since you already start the treatment... low salinity is fine>
It is only day 3 and I am following the manufactures instructions on the back of each bottle only using a lower dosage because I don’t want to stress the puffer.
<I understand your concern but the downside of under dosing is that the treatment may not be as effective as when using the exact manufacturers recommended dose.>
I do a 50% water change daily and have given him a seven minute freshwater bath both days. It really seems to help but it does stress him out. He is almost visibly clear of the white spots. However he is acting very strange. I’m concerned and I could really use your advice. He is breathing heavily, not eating much, and is very lethargic (except for these semi-aggressive bursts. He’ll push his face up to the wall and shakes his body rapidly and whips his head back-and-forth as if he was trying to get something out of his gills.
<This are signs of acute stress>
I also found him rubbing up against the glass and spins or rolls over very fast crashing into the other side of the tank HARD! The parameters in my HT are
salinity: 1.019
PH 8.2
Nitrate 0
nitrate 0
Ammonia 1

<What about water temperature?>
(I know this is high. I’m doing at least a 50% water change daily and I’ve cut back on feeding. I am curious to know if I could add KENT‘ S pro ammonia detox with the Rid-ICH treatment? And/or if it would help any).
<I would keep the water changes instead of the Detox and add plenty of oxygen to this tank, an air stone or two in addition to your current set up>
He looks a lot healthier today than he did prior to treatment but I’m concerned about his behavior..
Do you have any advice/ for me so I can help him feel better. We both would very much appreciate it. Thank you!
<Please do a good reading on the following link and related http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm >
Blessed be!
<Cheers. Wil.>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Re: Mycobacterial Infection      3/27/20
Thanks. I am going to try and fast the fish or limit the feeding of the tank for a few days. May also try feeding some peas and using some Epsom salt in case its bloated from eating. Otherwise it's still acting 100% normal and is the most aggressive eater in the tank.
<Sounds good Eric. BobF>

Sponge ID Help Please      3/27/20
Hi Wet Web Crew,
I had a Q on sponge ID and I was hoping you may be able to assist.
I found this in my tank, the rock has been around for five years and in this tank for two, but this is the first time I realized this was a sponge.
I thought it was coralline until tonight, when with normal lights off, it became apparent that the darkest splotches amidst the purple / near black were conules.
<All right>
Googling has given me the below possible similar IDs, but was hoping you may know more than me.
Thank you,
<Can't tell from your pix; other than this does appear to be a Sponge/Poriferan. Bob Fenner>

Re: Algae Identification     3/26/20
Curious as to what your recommendation would be to get rid of them.
<Posted on WWM>
After my tank was riddled with the Ostreopsis I raised nutrients way up, nitrates 40/ phosphates 1.02, and blacked out the tank.
<... won't do it. What's going to happen w/ these and other nutrients?
They're still there... once light is available, like Ahnold, they'll be back>
At least under the microscope the Ostreopsis is no longer there. From my understanding Chyrsophytes share a similar mechanism as Dinoflagellates. Should I bring the nutrients down?
<Yeah; a few ways to go, and other... read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algaeconMar.htm
and the linked files above. BobF>

Mycobacterial Infection     3/26/20
Over the last month this wrasse started to get a really big belly. I thought it was just to being overfed a pellet diet as I was trying to gotten up a skinny Kole tang. Its looks a little hump backed though right? Obviously with my past experience Fish TB is always on my mind.
<Mmm; well... don't know re Myco- or other bacteria here... could be some sort of retention (fluids?), an internal growth (tumor?)... I would (myself) not move or "treat" this fish in any way; but continue to maintain it as you're doing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Mycobacterial Infection     3/26/20
Did you mean not remove the fish?
<Ah yes. Correct. B>

Algae Identification      3/25/20
How are your algae identification skills?
<Much better decades back when I was actively taking phycology classes in college>
I had a confirmed case of Ostreopsis in one of my tanks that I thought I was able to eradicate.
Recently the slimy snotty algae started to come back but it doesn't look like dinoflagellates under the microscope. Any ideas what it may be?
<Need more magnification to see flagella... Doesn't look apical nor clear on one end to be Ostreopsis... have you tried staining (with iodine et al.?) to determine storage food?>
<Bob Fenner>

Re: Algae Identification      3/25/20
I haven't. The yellowish photo was taken 40x which is as powerful as my scope is. It definitly doesn't move. I am thinking it could be some type of chrysophyte.
<Maybe; not as common as Dinos. B>

Tang id      3/22/20
Hey guys how are we doing today just got a very interesting one in from our diver in Hawaii this was imported in with the black tangs and Scopas hybrids
<... this fish came from, was caught in Hawai'i? Lo dudo>
Did not know if you had any extra input on what type of hybrid this is but it does not match to the other scopas hybrid have this one as you can see has banding going from the top to bottom of the body and has a very nice vivid electric blue ring around the outside of the body could this just be that it’s a half inch smaller?
<Yeah, have seen quite a bit re this apparent hybrid on the Net the last week or so. The principal story is that the purple tangs they're culturing at Bali Aquarich are housed, mixed with yellows and scopas; and a few striped ones with purple and yellow are resultant from crosses between Zebrasoma xanthurum and Z. flavescens. Time/growth, poss. genetic testing may tell. BobF>

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

Glass tank and wave maker       3/21/20
Hello crew!
<Hello Thanasis>
I have a 300 liters reef tank and I use a Vortech mp40 pump for circulation. Is it safe to use the wave mode since my tank is rimless?
<It is safe, but there are a couple of things you must consider:
•Water movement produced on wave mode generates more stress to the joints and requires the tank to be well reinforced.
•Without a rim, the tank is not as sturdy as it is with it, besides...the water may spill out unless you also lower the level a bit.>
Secondly, the tank is 16 years old. Should I worry about leakages?
<If the silicone in all the joints looks even and thick enough, you can use the tank as is, otherwise you would have to remove it and apply new silicone to the whole tank.>
Thanks in advance,
Thanasis Papavasileiou

ΑΠ: re: Glass tank and wave maker
Is there a way to support the tank by using external support? For example, by putting a metal string to join the opposite glasses of the tank (I have seen it in a commercial aquarium) or by sticking metal supports on the corners ?
<Actually, metal / aluminum frames is how commercial tanks where constructed in the past, and some manufacturers still do it that way. Euro-brace bracing is a relatively new very reliable technique which also looks aesthetically much better than the old-fashioned metal frames; either of both will work for your intended idea.>
any other idea in order to be safe with wave mode ?
<Please do read the following link and related: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/glstkbraces.htm >
Regards, Thanasis. Give my best regards to Bob and Anthony (Thanasis from Greece). <<Ah! RMF>>
<I will pass your regards. Cheers. Wil.>

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

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

Re: Questions for 2 Bettas - follow up, lost my original email thread     3/19/20
Thanks for the input on it possibly being Mycobacterium. I did some more research with the actual scientific name instead of 'fish TB' and it is adding up more.
<Yep. But we tend to avoid the Fish TB term because it technically belongs to a single Mycobacterium species, Mycobacterium marinum, and more specifically, once the Mycobacterium has crossed the species boundary and infected a human. But yes, the name Fish TB is widely used, though rarely by vets.>
Do you happen to know anywhere that I could test him post mortem?
<Not where I am, in England, at least. If there's a local university with a fish biology or microbiology department, that's perhaps your best bet, especially if there's a scientist working on this sort of pathogen.
Otherwise, you could ask a vet, but I wouldn't get your hopes up.>
I'd be interested in results. I have considered a fish vet for him as well but around here, the prices are a little wild. At this point I am content to let him live as he is since he is peppy enough.
<What I'd do, too, until there were signs of distress.>
Thanks for everything.
<Most welcome. Neale.>

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

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

Acrylic Repair     3/17/20
Hello, I was gifted a 55 gallon Clarity Plus tank (Score!!). The top right end seal between the arrows on the picture is completely gone (can sand between the sheets) and possible stress marks in other seams. After reading through a bunch of your information, I plan on getting some 3/8" square rods (the tank is 1/4") and solvent them into the entire inside.
My question is whether or not to use Weld-On 3 on the separated top piece first or not, especially since it goes completely around one corner?
<Likely a good idea... to use a more viscous product. Less viscous/gooey on the doweling>
Also, how does one reinforce the curved front corners?
<I would leave these as is. This tank should give you good service once the other repairs are done>
From the pictures, is there anything else I should be aware of? Thank you so much for your time and expertise.
<Mmm; nothing more. If this were my tank, and I intended to use it long term, I would proceed as you have detailed. Bob Fenner>


Re: Acrylic Repair     3/17/20
Awesome! I was planning on using Weld-On 16 for the dowelling.
<Yes; this would be my choice>
Should I clamp it in place first and let it seep in?
<Better to just use tape, if deemed necessary; will allow easier flow>
Or put it on first and place the dowels on afterwards?
<Mmm, no, put the cut/sized dowel piece in, one at a time, tilting the tank letting gravity help with the placement, then use a thin-tipped application bottle to have capillary action fill the gap. Takes very little material>
I was trying to find that answer on your website, but not running into it...
<I should get off my duff and make a YouTube presentation, or find one and link it re. Do ask about at your local fish store, aquarium club... plastic outlet/fabricator to see if someone who has done this work will show you in person.>
Thanks again,
<Welcome. BobF>

Copper panic... A timely lesson in the value of testing     3/17/20
Hello WWM Crew,
I've been a long time follower of this great site of yours, learned so much. And as always many thanks. I'm in a panic and I've read some FAQ about my problem but would like some reassurance. Yesterday I did my usual weekly maintenance, vacuum the sand, change filter media, floss, add a new PolyFilter in first chamber of sump after the skimmer, clean the previous PolyFilter and place it in the last chamber of sump. Then I do my water change about 22g for my 150g tank. I get home tonight and do my usual check to find my polyfilters have turned blue.
<? Interesting...>
I know that means copper.
<Mmm; not so fast w/ this assumption. Where would the copper come from? Oh, I see this below>

I checked my trash can I use for water storage to find one of the heaters was broken. The glass was intact, the coils and seal at the top were intact, it was broken off at the wires. I dumped the water that was inside the heater and black crud pour out. I had a test kit for copper and checked to find no copper reading.
<Might well have been absorbed by the Polyfilter already>
I immediately added another PolyFilter and another bag of Purigen. All fish are OK, I had 3 cleaner shrimp but can only find 2. Possibly one died.
I'm filtering water now ro/di but that will take 6hrs to filter, heat and aerate, then salt. Is there anything else I can do?
<Like the current SARS-CoV-2 virus; try to be patient. You've done all that I would have done given these circumstances>
Very stressed. Thanks in advance for your time.
<All will likely be well. Bob Fenner>
Re: Copper panic     3/17/20

Hello Bob,
Wow lightning fast. Thanks so much for your reassuring words. I feel more at ease now. What is in heaters that would cause that?
Are the coils made of copper and could leach into the water?
<Ah yes; and often the (bi-metallic) thermostats of yore, some wiring... BobF>

Re: ADF cloudy eyes        3/17/20
Hello Neale, Thank you so much for your prompt and helpful response! I have just ordered Maracyn 2, I got kits to test the water quality, and I am looking for a bigger tank. When treating my little female ADF, should she be put in quarantine when using the Maracyn?
Or is this a safe antibiotic to use with the male ADF and the Lyretail in the tank as well?
<Yes; and much the best approach in case the other livestock are infected as well. Antibiotics, used correctly, only harm bacteria. Fish and frogs should be fine. Do watch the filter, but the instructions will explain how to keep the filter bacteria safe, if relevant.>
Thank you so much! Hanna
<Most welcome. Neale.>

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

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

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

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

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  • Fishes Plus, Index 3: Marine Angelfishes, Tangs/Surgeons/Doctorfishes, Scats, Batfishes, Rabbitfishes; Triggers, Files, Puffers, Flounders, Halibuts, Soles, Really Old Fishes, Marine Reptiles, Marine Mammals,
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