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Platypodiella spectabilis; Gaudy Clown Crab. To 1 inch. Roatan 2016.

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General FAQs
Updated 1/19/2017
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Ponds, Brackish, Last Few Days Accrued FAQs
Daily Q&A replies/input from the WWM crew: Gabe Walsh, Earl Clay III, Darrel Barton,
Neale Monks, Marco Lichtenberger, Lynn Zurik, Chuck Rambo, Bob Fenner, are posted here. Moved about, re-organized daily
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
PLEASE: Write reviews of my works on Amazon! I need your input. BobF

Note: BobF is off diving in Fiji till 1/27; hence the dailies may be sporadic in posting.

Re: How many T. ocellicauda can live happily in a 41 L tank?      1/19/17
Thanks so much!
Yes, I am purchasing two 2.5 cm-in-diameter caves to use for each male to have his own space.
<Good luck; sounds a very attractive aquarium you're going to have there!
Cheers, Neale.>

How to follow up? Re FW Dis; spec.       1/19/17
Hi guys,
<Hey J>
I was reading an article and exchange between Bob and somebody named Cindy for a fish health issue on an Oscar in 2014. I would *so* love to find out what the deal was because my fish seems to have the same parasite, and nobody knows what it really is. It was just my Blue Rams, but now it's my Angels and Boesemanni Rainbows> I have some rare fish in this tank and I'm deathly afraid they'll get this. One Pleco looks like it has Ich, but I think that's the beginning look of this thing. Bob suggested this issue was possible HITH, but it looks like white protuberances from the fish's head.
The other fish look like they have Ich.
<Mmm; near impossible to tell much re such issues w/o sampling and simple examination under a microscope. More often than not (ninety some percent of the time) the real issue here is environmental, NOT pathogenic. The protuberances, perhaps the spots may just be consolidation of (body) mucus... from something/s amiss water quality wise... And the "cure",
redress of the cause of the poor environment>
When my blue rams had it, they would get these raised white things (bigger than Ich). Those would seem to pop, and then the fish would get Popeye and die. :( It was *awful*. I'm sick about my angels now. Evidently this is in my tank and when there is stress, it hits some fish and not others.
<Again... rather than assuming this may be Protozoan, perhaps a "worm" parasite... need to study a bit, learn the aforementioned sampling and 'scope use>
Is there any way to find the person who posted the issues?
<Ahh, no. We don't retain peoples' email addresses>
It was under the
page called FAQs on Freshwater Angelfish Disease/Health 9, at the end. Re: Angelfish with white spots that don't appear to be Ick 2/6/14
Thanks!
Janice
<If you can furnish cropped, small size image files, this may be of use. Bob Fenner>

Re: Note: BobF is off diving in Fiji till 1/27; hence the dailies may be sporadic in posting.    1/18/17
What a great life you have Bob. :-) Enjoy.
<Thank you James. B>
*James G.*

PowerPoint on Allelopathy    1/18/17
Good evening,
<TT>
I have a green leather toadstool with patches of white opaque areas on the "face" that the polyps extend out of. It is opening and extending its polyps as it would normally and seems in good spirits despite the white patches. My first guess is that it is trying to "shed" as leathers will do, but I am more concerned for the safety of the other corals in the tank. If
you upset the leather it can secrete toxins so I want to keep it as calm as possible. Will send pictures if you like.
<Please do; well cropped... a few hundred Kbytes>
I remember reading that you had a PowerPoint on allelopathy but I can't find it for the life of me. Would you mind directing me to the link? If you have any suggested reading for me I would appreciate it. Thank you so much for your insight and your wonderful website. I've spent literally hours getting lost here.
<Don't think we have such a ppt... I put away most all... and have for twenty years.>
S pozdravem / Best regards,
Taylor Thrasher
<I suspect you're right re the Sarcophyton shedding... which they do almost continuously, then shed a bunch at times. I encourage you to triple dose iodide-ate, turn up your circulation, aeration; refresh you chemical filtrants (Chemi-Pure and PolyFilter are faves here... and keep your eyes on your other livestock for signs of stress. Bob Fenner>

RDSB Update    1/18/17
Aloha Bob and Crew, while the system did seem to stabilize with the addition of the 150g. Rubbermaid RDSB, I have been dealing with a diatom outbreak in the main tank that just won't stop.
<It will in time>

I held back in writing before figuring it would cycle away with my 0 Po4 reading, But no. Then I got to the bottom of that Caribsea sand it old you about, questioning the silica properties of it. Sure enough the "Florida sand" is actually silicate-based. I put two bags in my Dt before topping of with an inn of Crushed Coral.
Am I doomed?
<No... though you might consider augmenting the SiO2 with some calcareous material... this can be placed on top or mixed in>
Here's a pic but it's hard to tell with that clown constantly digging holes- isn't that no bueno for the DSB, btw?
<Likely no big deal>
Funny to watch him hammer the button lip of the RBTA so it reaches up to hold him better!
<Cheers! Bob Fenner, out your way in March>
Sky Kubby

How many T. ocellicauda can live happily in a 41 L tank?    1/18/17
Hello WWM people. I know Dr. Monks in your group keeps peacock gudgeons/gobies (T. ocellicauda), so if he's around, maybe he could help?
<Fire away!>
I have a new nano tank, 10.7 US gallons/41 litres, 45 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm.
<Nice.>
I used to have a larger tank (30 us gallons) that I had to break down and sell because I moved. Now I'm setting up this new smaller tank in my smaller living space. Peacock gudgeons are my favorite fish of all of the ones I've kept thus far, so I'd like to have just those in my new nano tank. How many can I reasonably keep in this tank, assuming it's moderately
planted and there are no other inhabitants? Filter is going to be a power filter rated for 10 gallons.
<Well, a single male and 2-4 females would probably be fine. Since they're not sexually dimorphic, it's not like you'd be stuck with there dowdy-looking females. But if you wanted pairs, I think you might be able to keep two pairs, but you'd need to be extremely careful about having hollow ornaments of some sort where the males could 'stake their claims'
without being in plain sight of each other. In 10 gallons, if the two males decide not to tolerate one another, there's not a lot of hiding space. So you want to pre-empt that as far as practical.>
I'd love to be able to keep a quartet of gudgeons if possible -- two males, two females, if at all possible. But is that overstocking it?
<Not as such; these gobies aren't particularly active or heavy feeders, so water quality should be fine.>
Please note there will be driftwood and plants to help break up sight lines.
<Good move. Cheers, Neale.>

R/O unit; coming out of years storage      1/16/17
I stopped using my R/O / DI unit for about 3 years, I just shut off the water supply to the unit, so I assume it still has some water in it, I started it up again this week, my question is what are the issues with a unit sitting this long without use, do I need to change the membrane <Mmm; perhaps; but if it were me/mine, I'd simply test the effluent/filtered water for TDS, chlorine... even just pH. Likely if you have a carbon contactor there is no need to change out the other
membranes>
and filters, what about the DI canisters, would the those be ok. I flushed the unit for 1 hour and the TDS was zero on the outgoing water.
<Oh! You're golden then. No worries>
not sure if this means its ok. is there any other tests I should do to confirm water is ok, a little confused.
thanks for your help.
Val Sammut
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Toronto,Canada.

Thank you for your donation to WWM     1/16/17
David; much appreciated.
Bob Fenner

Re: Pbt     1/15/17
You indicated to read but nothing was attached
<Where you've been referred to on WWM. Search just Acanthurus leucosternon... read all. B>
Eric
Re: Pbt     1/15/17

Thanks when I search Acanthurus leucosternon on your site it comes up with stuff just on pbt.. sorry a little confused on what you are telling me to look at.. sorry just confused.. do you know what this is.. thx
<Mate; I've responded re this, and told you where to find the resp. twice on WWM. Either go there and read or go elsewhere. B>
Re: Pbt     1/15/17

http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm
Ok again not trying to be hard..but told me twice to look up info on Acanthurus leucosternon.. correct.. that is the name for pbt.. correct.. I was just trying to id what was on the pics I sent.. I'm not sure if we were talking about the same thing.. sorry for the confusion
Eric

Help with Goldfish medication /Neale      1/15/17
<<I would support Bob's comments that "mixing and matching" medications isn't the solution here. We just can't predict how they'll interact with each other. I'd be looking at optimising environmental conditions, for example ensuring the water is clean, hard, alkaline, and not too warm (22-25 C is about the uppermost that Goldfish enjoy). Using salt can work well against Whitespot and Velvet, and can be useful when fish are stressed, but shouldn't be used indefinitely. That said, Goldfish are tolerant of brackish conditions, so even fairly saline conditions -- say, 3 gram/litre -- will do them no harm. Such saline conditions will eliminate most types of external parasite, and tend to be much safer than copper and formalin. Plus, salt can be used alongside antibiotics without risk of negative interactions. Even by itself salt can help reduce the risk of wounds becoming infected, though this assumes the fish's own immune system is basically sound; salt isn't really an antibacterial at these sorts of concentrations. The use of Epsom salt is another completely safe technique, up to a tablespoon per 20 litres being suitable for raising general hardness (which Goldfish love) while also having a mild laxative effect that helps against constipation. When herbivorous fish are off-colour, a good approach is to eliminate all meat-based foods, and focus entirely on algae, pondweed, canned peas, etc. Often fish won't show much interest at first, but don't worry -- they'll eat it when they're hungry! The more fibre, the better. It'll clear out their guts, and it's often constipation that causes Goldfish to swim oddly. In any case, with a healthier diet herbivorous fish will get the vitamins and minerals they need, and issues like bloating and even Dropsy can be reduced/cured. Hope this helps, Neale>>
Re: Help with Goldfish medication     1/15/17

Hi Bob and Neale,
<Cathie>
Thank you both for taking the time to read and respond to everything in my email.
<Welcome>
I did not know that canned Blood worms are bad. I had frozen them and cut it into small portions and was giving them a small portion every second day, but will throw them away now.
<Yes; I would>

Yesterday afternoon I noticed that the black Oranda with sleeping problems was looking quite shiny, even more then before, except for his top fin.
There were 2 small cloudy patches on his top fin. This morning he has a 3mm hole in the middle of the top fin, where one of the cloudy patches was.
I will do another 35% water change. I trust the Sterazin I put in 48 hours ago has either stressed him, or disrupted the water equilibrium and caused a bacteria spike.
<Possibly>
He also looks slightly more rounded today. No scales sticking out, just bigger around the rib cage just behind his head, but not at the back end.
I will not add any more Sterazin. I will swap to a completely greens based diet for the next 7 days, up the salt, and add Dr Tim's first defence, and continue with the water changes.
Should I also try Epsom salts which you mentioned to relieve bloating? It is a 255Litre aquarium, currently with 3 teaspoons of salt per 9 litres.
How much Epsom would be a good safe amount considering the current salt level?
<I would discontinue the aquarium salt use... You can search, see Neale and I's takes on its regular use. Not warranted. And yes to the possibility of using Epsom period>
Do you think the top fin hole is bacteria based from stress and will clear up on its own?
<Can't tell re origin, but yes to the latter>

Thank you again for your time,
Kindest regards
Cathie
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Help with Goldfish medication; hypo.      1/15/17

Hi Bob and Neale,
<Cath>
I did the 70 Litre water change this morning as planned. I will ease off the salt level gradually. I will try feeding just greens for a week and see if the black Oranda's sleeping position changes and if this reduces his/her slightly enlarged chest.
Tomorrow I will add a low dose of Epsom salts to the aquarium. (it will be interesting to see if it makes them do any super-pooping!)
I am writing back to you again because I just noticed the blue Oranda (the largest of the 3) has one small white lump at the tip of his anal fin, and one small lump in the centre of the same fin. I have gone through pages and pages of info from your amazing website and have concluded that the small white lumps are bacterial.
<Not necessarily; no. "Just" bumps at times... similar to humans>
I think that my initial panic of parasites may be a bit silly. Surely if they had parasites I would have known it months ago, and they would be lethargic, lacking in appetite, clamping their fins, have some sort of ulcers or specs, and not be active and social.
<The parasites would have had to come from somewhere... biological>
The only parasite that I could find that might stay hidden could be internal worms or external Costia. But everything I read says Costia causes clamped fins and a slimy coating, and that intestinal worms causes wasting. My fishes are not slimy
and they are quite fat!
I have always had a concern about bacteria though. Goldfish are water piggies and even with strict cleaning regimes, sometimes things can go astray, especially in warmer water, and when they are feeling stressed.
I apologise for all my crazy panicking, I don't have too much experience with sick fishes, prevention is better than cure.
But, I lost a fish to Dropsy,
<Or rather, a "dropsical condition"; numerous etiologies possible>

so I am definitely doing something wrong. If the Dropsy was caused by a bacterial infection (rather than parasites)
from either impacted eggs, or an impacted intestine from constipation,
would this bacteria multiply in the water and cause the fin issues that I am seeing now on my remaining fishes?
<Sometimes simply "weak genes". More common as time goes by with these mass-produced, too-inbred strains>
Now I think about it more, when I removed the Dropsy fish and put her into a quarantine tank, within hours her fins looked like they had been shredded. I just assumed her fins went like this because her immune system had given up because of the intense infection. I know that low levels of bacteria are always present in the water, and the fishes immune system usually keeps them at bay. This fin shredding bacteria would have been present on her in the main tank before I had a chance to isolate her. I hadn't thought about the bacteria that was on her fins until now, I was only thinking about the fishes eating her bacteria ridden faeces.
Do you think that any (or all) of the following is enough bacterial evidence for me to worry or warrant any form of treatments for my remaining fishes?

i.e.. (1) the sudden case of dropsy (+ her shredded fins) and consequent loss of this one fish 9 days ago
(2) all fishes displaying the stringy faeces, and crumbly not formed faeces
(3) the smallest Oranda with one small split in his tail (that has not healed at all in 6 days - strange because any splits caused by damage from netting etc seem to have healed rapidly in past experiences)
(4) the black Oranda with night time surface sleeping, and some surface chomping. (and possibly slightly weaker swimming action - tipping sideways in the water current when mouthing gravel, and getting knocked out of the way by the other fishes when they are "schooling" or in a foraging frenzy)
(5) the black Oranda with a slightly enlarged chest, best described as a slight "hump" under his/her chin, where the front fins join the body.
(6) the black Oranda with slightly dull/greyish patches on his top fin which turned into a 3mm hole overnight
(7) the blue Oranda with a new small white lump on the tip of his anal fin, and a lump on the centre of the same fin
<No>
I do have Myxazin, Pimafix and Melafix in my cupboard if any of these are needed, as well as (and I hope I never need to use these antibiotics: Octozin/dimetridazole, Tetracycline Hydrochloride, and Triple Sulfa). I will also soon have the API General Cure (Metronidazole/Praziquantel combo). Plus the Sterazin mentioned earlier.
<Am done responding to this. NONE. B>

The loss of a fish made be go a bit crazy buying a whole lot of "just in case" medicines.
Please let me know your thoughts, and thank you for all your time,
Kindest regards,
Cathie

Re: Pbt     1/14/17
Hi did you get to look at these
<Already responded re. See WWM Dailies if you didn't receive directly. B>
Pbt     1/14/17

Any ideas?? Is it ich? Thanks
<What? Read>

Having trouble identifying this Acro hitchhiking crab     1/14/17
Hi!
<Hey Daniel>
I recently bought a small Acro colony and it had 3 crabs.
<Neat! Evidence of good handling>
I knew there was one in the colony, it's part of why I chose it. But I didn't expect 3! This album contains the pictures I'm referencing, feel free to host them on your site though https://imgur.com/a/5b3LK I was able to identify the small one (3rd & 4th pictures) as a Hairy blue-eyed Acro crab (Cymo andreossyi) which as I understand it will pick on
polyps.
<All will/do to extents. I'd keep them all... not that damaging in most circumstances>
On large colonies they're supposedly symbiotic, but dangerous to small colonies, so I tossed him in with my P. ciliata mantis shrimp. I was able to identify the other (last picture) as a Tetralia crab, safe and symbiotic, and put it in the tank with the coral. But I'm stuck on the one pictured in the 1st and 3rd pictures. The color matches the coral closely, and the body shape reminds me of a Trapezia which makes me think that it's commensal.
<I agree on both counts>
It's legs are a little bit fuzzy though. One claw is slightly larger and a little bit sharper, the other is smaller and has flat tips, clearly intended for gripping and scraping. I've been Googling for a couple hours now and haven't been able to get a good ID on him. In the meantime he's in a critter keeper with an airstone. So, should I put him with the colony
or would it be wiser to let him test his fate with the mantis?
<As stated, I'd keep all>
Thank you!
-Dan
<And you for sharing. Bob Fenner>



 

Help with Goldfish medication (Neale; your input please)     1/14/17
Hi,
<Cathie>
A week ago one of my beloved Oranda Goldfishes suddenly ballooned up like a pinecone and passed away a few days later. The day before the "ballooning" I saw a small amount of swelling directly under her chin, between her front
fins. Then the next day she was really swollen. I treated her with Waterlife Myxazin (the only medication I had on hand at the time) + API Melafix, + API salt 0.3% in a hospital tank, but it was too late to save her.
<I see>
She had been having trouble on and off over the last 7 months with floaty issues and constipation, so she was on a special soft foods diet.
<I take it you've seen/read Sabrina's piece, the many "Related FAQs" on WWM re>
For the last 3 months she was slightly weaker in her swimming actions, and sometimes her top fin was droopy. Her appetite was always good though, and she happily interacted and foraged with the other fishes regularly.
I have a 255L main aquarium with 3 remaining 9cm Oranda Goldfish. The Aquarium is cycled and has a big external canister filter with both biological and mechanical media. I do weekly 35% water changes, and their parameters are:
PH 7.4, GH 180, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20, Ammonia 0.
<All good thus far>
The Oranda that died had been in the tank for 1 year, and the other fishes 6 months, 5 months and 2 months.
Since the sudden case of dropsy, I did a 35% water change that afternoon, a 25% the next day, then 25% again the day after, and now 30% changes every second day to reduce the risk of a bacterial spike.
<Good move>
Plus I checked and cleaned the filter. (Usually do the filter every 2-3 weeks).
I use a vacuum siphon to do the water changes to clean the gravel substrate. I also regularly use Dr Tim's biological products (First Defense during water changes, and Waste Away once a fortnight). I treat any new water with Seachem Prime, and also add 2 teaspoons of API Aquarium salt per 9 Litre bucket, and adjust the PH in the bucket, and add Seachem Replenish to correct the water GH. I live in Adelaide (in South Australia) and Adelaide water is highly chlorinated and is quite soft with a low GH and has a low PH of 6.8.
<All reads as good practices>
Because I live in South Australia the temperature over summer is quite hot.
My Aquarium is in my dining room, in the part of the house where the temperature is the most stable. However, the water slowly heated up during the recent heat wave to 29 degrees Celsius, which may be the stress trigger
for the fish I lost to Dropsy.
<Might well be a factor... I'd leave the lights off, the top raised on especially warm days... should reduce the temp. a degree or two C.>

The aquarium temperature has now lowered back to 26.5 degrees Celsius (which is still quite warm). I have tilted
the spray bar slightly higher to increase surface agitation and added another bubbler to try and increase oxygen levels whilst the water is so warm.
<Ahh; very good>
I am worried that a hidden internal parasite may be present, or possibly some sort of bacteria. It makes sense if it is a parasite, which could have been lurking waiting for the weather to warm up.
<Mmmm>
The 3 surviving fishes are all looking reasonably healthy, no raised
scales
and have plump bodies with no injury or sores, and their fins are not clamped. No visible lice or external worms or spots either.
<Then... I would NOT treat the water, fish>

One fish has a small split at the end of his tail fin, and it has been there for the last 5 days.
<Not likely pathogenic per se>
2 days ago I saw one of the other fish have a brief involuntary twitch in his front fin, but this only happened once.
The third fish in the last 5 days has changed his sleeping routine. He now hangs at the top of the tank in the back corner at night. In the warmer water, the oxygen levels are lower, so if he is weakened by something, it may be why he is now sleeping at easiest place to sleep. I have also noticed he is chomping at the surface eating bubbles quite often now too.
When he knows I am watching, he swims to halfway down the height of the aquarium, then presses his face up against the glass and chomps at me pretending he is hungry. But, when he can't see me, and he is not at the surface, he forages in the gravel and does something that might be of importance. After he finishes a particular section of gravel "mouthing" he rotates to his side, swims along the bottom on his side then turns back upright. I don't know if this is "scratching", because I don't think that he actually touches the gravel surface. It could be because he is extremely top heavy with his large Oranda wen and chubby cheeks, and the water current could just be moving him sideways. I don't know for certain though.
As soon as I get close enough to check, he sees me, and swims to me.
<All normal behavior>
He is a black Oranda and I also noticed that some days he looks more matt black with a slight frosted white appearance, and some days he is more shiny. There is no visible shedding of slime coat, he just sometimes looks matt black, and sometimes more shiny.
<Again; normal>
The other 2 fishes are still sleeping normally, halfway down tank height, occasionally paddling.
During the day all 3 swim normally though.
<Good>
However, worryingly they have all been producing strange faeces. Sometimes it is long white faecal casts, and sometimes it is pale crumbly disintegrating bits. And sometimes it is just crumbly in the colour of the food. Quite thick and not firm or well formed. Definitely still not normal, almost like their food hasn't been processed at all. In the mornings I often notice clear long thin strands draping off of an ornament. I trust this is some sort of faeces too.
<I would not panic; but would add more greenery to their diet... Pellets, Anacharis/Egeria/Elodea... blanched zucchini, peas>
They have had occasional white casts for months now, and I didn't think too much of it, and just added more greens to their diet.
<Ahh!>
They have a quality varied diet of Hikari mini sinking pellets (pre-soaked to soften), blood worms,
<I'd delete these>
spinach, Spirulina, softened de-shelled peas, occasional fruit, and Vitalis sinking pellet. I give them 2 small meals a day.
<Very good>
But, now I have lost a fish to dropsy, their faeces is constantly irregular, either trailing long and loose, small and crumbly, or in long white or clear casts. I am worried something is not right internally - possibly parasite or bacteria.
<I discount this, and caution that treatments themselves are stressful; toxic>

It has been 8 days since I lost my fish to dropsy, and I have been closely monitoring all 3 remaining fishes. Frequent water changes, smaller amount of foods (some pellets soaked in freshly crushed garlic) and mostly greens, and a slightly higher salt level was my first plan, rather than throwing meds in straight away.
<Good>
But, the black Oranda with sleeping issues might possibly be getting slightly distended in the chest, directly below his head, almost like his chest is getting bigger. He doesn't look swollen outwards, just slightly downwards, and it could just be his body shape changing, but it seems an unusual place to be growing a hump. Because it is a gradual change, it is hard to tell, but it could be the presence of an internal parasite growing inside him causing this, or maybe a fluid build-up from something bacterial.
I don't have good access to aquarium meds due to my location in Australia, so all that I had readily available in terms of parasite options was Waterlife Sterazin. I had to order it online, and it only arrived yesterday. I started the course of Sterazin yesterday and have added this to the aquarium as a precaution to try and eliminate the possibility of external parasites.
<You would see these>
But I am concerned they may have ingested some bacteria contained within the faeces from the Dropsy effected fish before I had a chance to isolate her (they seem to like eating each other's poop!), or they may have been exposed to bacteria in the water.
<All are continuously. Again; I would not panic>
I have now managed to buy API General Cure from eBay, which will hopefully arrive in the post in 2 or 3 days time. If the General Cure arrives quickly, can I continue to treat the water with Sterazin, and at the same time add the General Cure to the water too?
<I would not... I would NOT use any of this, but continue with efforts to keep water temperature low, constant, address water quality and nutrition as you've been doing>
From internet research, I believe the ingredients of both meds are:
Waterlife Sterazin: malachite green 0.08%w/w, formaldehyde 0.2%w/w, Piperazine citrate 0.34%w/w and Acriflavine hydrochloride 0.055%w/w. API general cure: >80 Sodium Chloride, 1-10 Metronidazole, 1-5 Praziquantel, 1-5 Silica Amorphous, fumed crystalline free Are these chemicals safe to use together?
<They are... but formaldehyde is a biocide (kills all life) and there's really no need to use two Anthelminthics. Last time, I would NOT use these here. Without sampling (slime, feces) examination under a microscope... You're simply poisoning your fish, the system
>
Or, should I just complete the course of Sterazin, wait 48 hours, do a large water change and use carbon to remove any remaining meds for a couple hours, then begin the course of General Cure. Or should I switch to General Cure as soon as possible?
<None of the above>
I want to eliminate both bacteria and parasite possibilities.
<... You're "shooting in the dark".... A poor idea, practice>
But, adding so many things to the water can affect the biological filter and stress the fishes, and I won't add anything that isn't necessary.
<Yes>
I appreciate your time and would love some assistance,
<Glad to render my long-experience with goldfishes>
Thank you,
Kindest regards,
Cathie
<Welcome. DO write back if something isn't clear, you'd like clarification.
Bob Fenner>

Blind crosshatch trigger - Urgent      1/12/17
Hello
<Sandip>
I've been an avid and appreciative fan of your website and its direct and sage advice for over 10 years.
<Glad to hear you like our site. Thanks for choosing WetWeb>
This is my first question to you. Sorry for the urgency.
<No worries. Hopefully I have responded in time>
I have a crosshatch trigger that has been in my tank for about 3.5 years direct from LFS and seemed happy until it slowly seems to have lost its sight to the point in the last few days it stays hidden in different spots than its favorite spot and when it comes out it is bumping into everything and is not eating (I hand feed it).
<What have you been feeding? Any thoughts as too what happened? Did you witness any trauma?>

I'm very concerned. It used to really enjoy the MP 60's and swim in front and the full length and width of the tank (78x36x28). Last few days it tries but knocks into everything including corals and glass. It is starting to look banged up.
<Yikes>
I've thought of catching and setting up in a portable hospital tank but I am concerned of over stressing and don't know what to medicate. I have a 3 ft long 35 gallon hospital tank.
<I would QT as soon as possible in an empty tank, i.e. no decorations or excessive rock work. This will prevent further injury>
My mainly SPS 340 gallon display tank has been running for about 4.5 years.
Some fish and coral and water were transferred from by 90 gallon mixed reef set up for 9 years. I also have an 80 gallon refugium with Chaetomorpha, 60 gallon sump, 80 gallon frag tank all plumbed into same system.
<Sounds like a nice setup>
I QT and medicate all fish entering my tank for 4 weeks minimum (PraziPro and Cupramine) and make sure the fish are eating well before they are introduced to the DT. About two years ago I pulled out the trigger to a 90 gallon QT and feed it medicated food hoping it would clear up one of its eyes that appeared cloudy. I ended up keeping it there for 7-8 weeks and the eye didn't get better. So I returned it to the DT hoping for the best.
<So it sound like this problem started a few years ago? If you dosed for eight weeks, the eye should've gotten better if it were a disease or infection. Could be an issue with the fish that it was born with or had some sort of physical trauma beyond repair>
Water parameters: Alkalinity 7.5-8.5, calcium 350-450, magnesium 1350-1450, nitrates 6 ppm, phosphates 0.16 ppm, temp 76-80 (winter and summer), salinity 1.025-1.026.
<Sounds like the water is fine>
Water changes with regularly maintained RODI every 7-10 days 10 percent of total water volume. I vacuum the substrate in the DT when I do a water change. On average 1/2 to 3/4 of substrate in the DT. About 80-100 lbs of
live rock with some very large colonies of SPS. I use a calcium reactor and Kalkwasser stirrer and have started dosing Randy's baked baking soda for magnesium. I have also started to supplement with calcium chloride after each water change. I use a large skimmer. I occasionally use carbon in a high flow sump area until I replace monthly when I'm using.
<All sounds good>
The only time I've ever medicated my tank was about a year ago with sentinel (3 treatments a week apart) to get rid of red bugs. It was successful and I didn't notice any ill effects on the fish or coral.
Snails were fine but I certainly lost as expected a lot of micro fauna.
The trigger has generally been in apparent good health and has not had any symptoms of disease. Eyesight is the only thing that has gradually gone and more rapidly in the last few months. Now to the point I'm very concerned as the fish won't even accept food when it is held directly in front of its mouth (last few days).
<Is it not accepting the food, or is it not seeing the food? It could be battling some other type of disease on top of the blindness>
Trigger was almost 4 inches when I got and is about 7 inches now. I hand feed him daily Selcon soaked squid and scallops and the tank is fed New Life Spectrum pellets 6 times a day on auto feeder. I hand feed to the tank Spirulina and other flake food and Nori every 3 days. He doesn't eat the other food as he cant see it (this has been in the last few months, prior to that he would eat everything.)
<Keep trying to hand feed. You might try soaking the food in garlic as well. This should help>
None of the other fish bother him except for a captive bred male percula clown fish if trigger ventures too close to his space. Other fish in tank (and size in inches): purple tang (6), yellow tang (5), regal tang (7), powder blue (4.5), two dwarf angels and a majestic angel (4). Also Mandarin, Shrimp goby, two Banggai cardinals, a leopard wrasse (5), and a pair of captive bred clownfish and a skunk clown with a bubble tip anemone.
<All sounds good. The tangs may be bullying the trigger. I'm surprised you haven't had a problem with all of them yet>
Lighting is 250 w de MH fixtures with a couple of T5's and 3 ReefBrite LED's.
<Sounds good>
Thanks for reading through this lengthy email and look forward to your advice.
Sandip
<Sandip, it sounds like your Trigger experienced some sort of physical trauma that can't be helped by medication, as it isn't an infection or disease. I suggest you either put it in QT or make room in another tank for it. Use minimal rock and decorations. Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do for the blindness, but you can prevent more injury due to bumps and bruises by moving it. Again, minimize decorations so there is less to bump into. Let me know if you have any more questions. Cheers, Gabe><<Perhaps Thiaminase poisoning here. RMF>>

 

Re: Blind crosshatch trigger - Urgent     1/13/17
Gabe thanks for your help! Thanks team also in case anyone else responds.
Really appreciate your dedication to helping us out!
<My pleasure, Sandip. I'm glad I could help>
Sorry for long response!
<No worries :) It gives me something to do during boring school lectures>
I think even in another tank trigger will bump into the glass constantly though admittedly not sharp coral.
<It will bump into the glass no matter what, but it won't crash into sharp corals and rocks if the tank is mostly free of decorations>
This fish needs a lot of flow and wants to swim all the time.
<I am well aware of this, and it will be important to maintain a good flow rate if/when you move it>
I wonder if it's giving up in a way.
<Possibly. I have had fish that have done this in the pas. It is unfortunate, but it does happen>
I haven't seen a trauma event occur.
<It may have/probably happened when you weren't around>
I will try moving to another tank and garlic.
<Great choice. This will be better for the Trigger to spend its final time in>
The tangs have from time to time shown aggression to establish pecking order with each other (purple with yellow, purple with PBT when it was introduced a few months ago) but not current tangs with the trigger.
<This is all about body shapes with tangs. Sailfins fight with Sailfins (Purple and Yellow), and Naso-shaped fight with Naso-shaped. Powder Blues on the other hand fight with everything. I had a PBT go after a grouper one time, and the grouper was almost twice its size. PBTs are evil...>
I feel like the purple may keep the PBT from becoming a tyrant.
<Maybe, I have witnessed fish keeping PBTs in check so to speak, but the peace time usually ends when the peacekeeper dies>
It's stopped picking on the PBT. I've seen TOTM and large tanks on RC with more tangs in smaller tanks with a lot more other fish too.
<Yikes!>
They seem ok for the moment.
<Emphasis on the MOMENT>
I may move some out as I've been thinking of a small imperator (I realize they get big! This would be the largest in my 340) and want to reduce potential aggression.
<They get enormous! I have a juvie in my tank right now that has grown three inches in about four months>
I also wanted to get Tinkeri or a few butterfly potentially.
<Tinkeri are expensive, so make sure you find a healthy specimen. They also enjoy picking on corals>
I love the dwarf angels and would like to get a midnight black in addition to the flame and potters I already have. I'd also like to keep the PBT.
Do you think it would make a difference to remove purple, yellow and regal tangs ( the yellow and regal do a good job of cleaning the rocks...)
<It could. Depends on where you put them. It would make the PBT more of tyrant, but if that's what you want you're good>
I had a Sohal which grew from 3 to 10 inches which used to get picked on but became the alpha. One day I saw a clear bite mark the shape of the triggers teeth on the Sohal and had to lol. I guessed Sohal took a swipe at trigger and found out it shouldn't have.
<Never mess with a trigger>
I moved the Sohal out as it would purposely take a bite out of my arm and draw blood when I vacuumed the tank. Never bite the hand that feeds!
<Haha! I wish my eel would learn this. My Tesselata moray bites me all the time. That's why I bought some chainmail-Kevlar gloves. Moray teeth aren't the most comfortable things to have touching the bones in your hands>
Your thoughts appreciated!
Sandip
<Hope everything goes well with the trigger. We'd love some pictures for the site. Let me know if you have any other questions. As always, thanks for using WetWeb. Cheers, Gabe>
Re: Blind crosshatch trigger - Urgent     1/13/17

Gage See comments below please
Here are some pics of tank (not great just iPhone) since you asked. Hope not too big I will send in another email too.
Thanks
Sandip
Sent from my iPad
> On Jan 12, 2017, at 12:50 PM, WetWebMedia Crew<crew@wetwebmedia.com> wrote:
>
> Gabe thanks for your help! Thanks team also in case anyone else responds.
> Really appreciate your dedication to helping us out!
> <My pleasure, Sandip. I'm glad I could help>
> Sorry for long response!
> <No worries :) It gives me something to do during boring school lectures>
what are you studying?
> I think even in another tank trigger will bump into the glass constantly
> though admittedly not sharp coral.
> <It will bump into the glass no matter what, but it won't crash into sharp
> corals and rocks if the tank is mostly free of decorations> right I will move him
> This fish needs a lot of flow and wants to swim all the time.
> <I am well aware of this, and it will be important to maintain a good flow
> rate if/when you move it> will do
> I wonder if it's giving up in a way.
> <Possibly. I have had fish that have done this in the pas. It is
> unfortunate, but it does happen>
> I haven't seen a trauma event occur.
> <It may have/probably happened when you weren't around>
> I will try moving to another tank and garlic.
> <Great choice. This will be better for the Trigger to spend its final time
> in> agreed
> The tangs have from time to time shown aggression to establish pecking
> order with each other (purple with yellow, purple with PBT when it was
> introduced a few months ago) but not current tangs with the trigger.
> <This is all about body shapes with tangs. Sailfins fight with Sailfins
> (Purple and Yellow), and Naso-shaped fight with Naso-shaped. Powder Blues
> on the other hand fight with everything. I had a PBT go after a grouper one
> time, and the grouper was almost twice its size. PBTs are evil...> I've had my eye on a blonde Naso for a few years but I've read they just get too big and I think it would be hard to part with and the wrong thing to do knowing a 340 sps tank is too small? I would love one though!
> I feel like the purple may keep the PBT from becoming a tyrant.
> <Maybe, I have witnessed fish keeping PBTs in check so to speak, but the
> peace time usually ends when the peacekeeper dies> or leaves the tank so maybe I shouldn't remove purple .... I just didn't want to create a
stressful place for imperator as I've read they are sensitive
> It's stopped picking on the PBT. I've seen TOTM and large tanks on RC
> with more tangs in smaller tanks with a lot more other fish too.
> <Yikes!>
> They seem ok for the moment.
> <Emphasis on the MOMENT>
> I may move some out as I've been thinking of a small imperator (I realize
> they get big! This would be the largest in my 340) and want to reduce
> potential aggression.
> <They get enormous! I have a juvie in my tank right now that has grown
> three inches in about four months> wow! I was also planning a juvie 2-3inches as I've heard they might adapt better than an adult. Though I've heard if I can get a small adult with its colours already showing it would guarantee the spectacular adult colour which is not guaranteed with a juvie turning adult?
> I also wanted to get Tinkeri or a few butterfly potentially.
> <Tinkeri are expensive, so make sure you find a healthy specimen. They also
> enjoy picking on corals> yes this might be a pipe dream based on cost. Bryn Roberts TOTM July 2015 has them and says they pick a bit but no damage like my dwarf angels and possibly large imperator.
> I love the dwarf angels and would like to get a midnight black in addition
> to the flame and potters I already have. I'd also like to keep the PBT.
> Do you think it would make a difference to remove purple, yellow and regal
> tangs ( the yellow and regal do a good job of cleaning the rocks...)
> <It could. Depends on where you put them. It would make the PBT more of
> tyrant, but if that's what you want you're good> don't want a tyrant so maybe I'll just keep the tangs as they appear peaceful to other fish and each other until they stop
> I had a Sohal which grew from 3 to 10 inches which used to get picked on
> but became the alpha. One day I saw a clear bite mark the shape of the
> triggers teeth on the Sohal and had to lol. I guessed Sohal took a swipe at
> trigger and found out it shouldn't have.
> <Never mess with a trigger>
> I moved the Sohal out as it would purposely take a bite out of my arm and
> draw blood when I vacuumed the tank. Never bite the hand that feeds!
> <Haha! I wish my eel would learn this. My Tesselata moray bites me all the
> time. That's why I bought some chainmail-Kevlar gloves. Moray teeth aren't
> the most comfortable things to have touching the bones in your hands> LOL
you are braver than me!
> Your thoughts appreciated!
> Sandip
> <Hope everything goes well with the trigger. We'd love some pictures for
> the site. Let me know if you have any other questions. As always, thanks
> for using WetWeb. Cheers, Gabe>


PBT... Hlth., env.      1/13/17
Hi I have a PBT that has been in my DRT for about a year….he started getting little hair like filaments coming off his body….looks like a man who has not shaved for a day… like stubble…. He also has some larger white masses on his fins that have come and gone….. He is eating…and it does not look like ich… you can see the little strings/stubble on his skin….any ideas…thanks
Eric
<Mmm; could you send along a well-resolved pic of this? Have you read re Paracanthurus disease on WWM? This reads like an environmental response issue rather than something pathogenic (a biological disease). What other life here? (always a good clue), foods, feeding... Water quality test results? Maintenance, set-up? Bob Fenner>
Re: PBT

Thanks I will wait for my lights to come on.. 1.026.. n 1ppm . P says nd
<? Phosphorus is not detectable?>
but know I have some.. mag/ca/ are at Red Sea pro salt levels.. alk too.. ph is low 7.7-7.8..
<Yeeikes! This is critically dangerously too low. The pH scale is a base ten log... this IS the likely cause of your/Tang trouble>

run a ca reactor..
<? What is the effluent pH? NOT lower than 6.6-7 I hope/trust. You may need different, better media to melt down>
have a rsm 650.. do about 10 percent weekly changes.. but have been doing large changes past two weeks since this showed up.. did dose tank with prazzi..
<... I'd be sampling... first; not using an Anthelminthic>
I'll get you a pic when I can.. mates... clowns, tiny purple tang, hawk fish, Anthias, 2 cardinals
<.... Please read your emails, messages before sending them. BobF>
Pbt     1/13/17

Here are some picks about 1.5 weeks ago.. these seemed to resolve but more have shown up.. thanks
<.... Eric... the fish would be dead by now if this were pathogenic. READ on WWM re the husbandry of Acanthurids. FIX your water quality here; THIS is what's wrong with this fish... The mucus coming off of it is from poor environment. Bob Fenner>

A curious case, but lots of mistakes. Please advise. SW hlth; env. likely      1/13/17
Hello, hoping you can advise me on the correct order to fix an infection.
>Let's see<

Setup: 45 gallon saltwater reef tank. Probably about 8 months old. Same fish since the start.
What changed? I purchased 3 Emerald Crabs
<Three? See my and others opinions re these... archived on WWM. Search by the genus; likely Mithraculus will be most productive. Like other crabs they become predaceous... and three?>
& 1 Sand Shifting Starfish from the local LFS. I didn't quarantine them, because I searched and couldn't find anything that said these invertebrates harbor fish diseases & such.
<Mmm; anything wet can serve as a vector for pathogenic, parasitic disease>
I also purchased 2 new pieces of coral. I took the items from the bags & put them in my tank. LFS water was, as always, discarded down the sink drain.
-ALSO- Tampa, Florida had it's annual 2 day winter. The weather dropped into the 30's and the house, along with the tank dipped dramatically in temperature. I put a heater into the sump tank to try and warm the water, but it was pretty useless.
<Yikes!>
2 days later after it had warmed up:
My smaller clown fish was lying on it's side and showing difficulty to swim. It had a red streak above it's nose like a varicose vein under the skin. It's sides were a hazy white like it was losing it's color. It had a few tiny white spots on it's fins. I also happened to need to add some top off water, so I opened the door to the sump, and noticed another clown fish lying on the bio-balls. Yes, I had a clown fish in my sump from like 4 months earlier that I thought had died and the crabs ate. It was hiding in the sump under the bio-balls this whole time. Don't ask me how it got in the sump
<Overflow likely>
or survived, and yes, it is embarrassing and bizarre at the same time.
This escapee was showing the same exact same symptoms as the small clown in the tank. I also have another slightly larger clown (it's body is nearly all black though, so prob a different species) and it was babysitting the small clown but completely fine.
Attempted treatment: I have a 1 gallon small cube and put some pre-mixed saltwater in it with a small water recirculating filter. I put both sick clowns in it quickly.
<Mmm; the issue here is not likely "biological" so much as environmental. I would NOT treat>
I didn't have copper for formalin, but I did have some of that "reef safe" stuff. I have since read on your site that it is essentially snake oil & useless.
<Ah yes; most are>
I also had some ich remedy stuff on hand. Yes, I know now it was all useless - and both fish died in under an hour anyway.
<Too likely the handling pushed them over the edge>
Both of them would no doubt feel themselves slipping away and would wrestle the strength to try and move in a frenzy, only to end up floating upside down and then settle on the bottom. Horrible to watch and I couldn't help them. :-( I watched the smaller clown fish take it's last breath like a final sigh. It was really sad.
For the past 3 days, I have been watching my tank closely. The Yellow Tang seems fine, The Snowflake Blenny seems fine, The Flame Angel seems fine, the (2) Blue Chromis are fine, but the 5 line wrasse is darting around the tank like he is losing his mind and can't sit still. His belly looks distended and a bit white. I read that clown fish disease can affect
Wrasses. That would mean that everyone is at risk if that is what made it into my tank.
So, what should I do?
<Maintain optimized water quality and good nutrition and be patient is what I'd do>

I don't want to kill my coral or my invertebrates. I have a large cooler, the small 1 gallon cube and the 45 gallon tank to work with. As I have read on your site, the main tank is the problem and infected with something. I need to isolate my coral and my invertebrates and treat the tank.
Proposal:
1) move the coral & macro-algae floss ball to the cooler, add a power head, air stone & stick the LED strip on top
2) put the snails, crabs, cleaner shrimp, narcissus snail & sand shifting star into the 1 gallon cube
3) leave the live rock and fish in the main tank and treat it with something. What? I don't know.
<I would NOT move the animals NOR treat>

Does this seem like the best course of action to you? What would you recommend to me other than to isolate EVERYTHING next time?
<All gone over and over on WWM... some animals, items are best expedited, MOST should be isolated for observation for a few weeks, GIVEN the means of adequately maintaining them>
Also, based on the obviously related symptoms of both clown fish, what chemical should I treat the tank with?
<None>
How do I treat the Invertebrates since this may have been where the infection came from... or could it have come on the coral? I'm not sure if the cold snap had something to do with it too, but I don't want to stray from the point.
Thanks for your help. I'll wait for your answer before I start doing anything else dumb.
Cindy
<What would Doug Adams likely write? "Don't Panic!". When, where in doubt, read, take deep breaths, walk the dog/s... All should resolve itself here in a few weeks. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick 9 year old Oscar     1/13/17
Soooo, the miracle Oscar lives into 2017. He's all cleared up, but still seems to be having swim bladder issues.
<Likely damaged permanently>

He spends most of his time vertical in the corner. I don't know what his vent is supposed to look like, but he definitely seems bloated between his pelvic fin and vent. Poor buddy. He eats about every other day. A local fish keeper recommended we feed him Koi food, as it is higher in fiber.
<A good choice>
We have continued weekly 25-30% water changes and biweekly filter replacements.
<Good routine>

Temp's remained steady at about 77F. Anything we can do to help reset his swim bladder or relieve his apparent constipation? Amy
<There is a safe, and often effective "lavage" sort of Epsom Salt treatment that I'd consider. Read here re:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
Hansen
<Bob Fenner>

Re: Assisted Living Community Tank       1/12/17
When it comes to maintenance it pretty much falls on me.
<Oh!>
I have kept haps and peacocks before and ha e done fairly well.
<Cool. While Haplochromines are much less aggressive than Mbuna, they're socially a bit more tricky. Females a bit plain, so while a harem would appeal to an expert fishkeeper intent on breeding, casual hobbyists either get just males (which speaking as a male myself sounds rather frustrating!)
or else pairs, and the females have such a hard time they often die prematurely. Tanganyikans are less sexually dimorphic; Tropheus for example would be an outstanding choice in a really big tank because they're extremely beautiful but also less prone to aggression in large groups. One thing about Tropheus is you basically can't mix them with anything. Partly it's because of the need for large groups. If there's space for another fish... add another Tropheus! But partly it's their diet. They must have virtually only algae-based foods. Easy enough with the right flake food.
But if you add anything else for other types of fish, such as bloodworms or standard pellets, they're prone to bloating. Anyway, Google "Tropheus" to get some idea of the range of colours. Some, like Tropheus Moorii 'Ilangi' are as colourful as any marine fish.>
Have been out of the cichlids since 2005 when hurricane Katrina whipped out my tanks. Water changes will be 35-50% every two weeks. Myself and another employee will be responsible for day to day maintenance of the tank and we
will have a company come in once a month for major maintenance. Two filters will be cleaned alternately with water changes. All the buffering chemicals will be on hand. Everything has built in double redundancy in the tank. Two
filters, two heaters on separate thermostats, two battery backups and the circuit the tank is on is also on a 500kw generator that will run for 5 day as I have kept fish for 15 years and I know about water chemistry and all that fun stuff. I tend to plan for worse case situations and also discuss all the options. I've discussed South Americans and goldfish and Africans is the way the company is wanting to go. I appreciate the very detailed response and I will surely try again.
<Welcome. Neale.>

"Medusa" Bristlenose Plecos      1/12/17
Hello:
Just wondering if the "Medusa" Pleco is one that will eat algae and will "clean glass" like the regular Bristlenose Pleco? The person at the LFS said this Pleco will, but that can be just selling. Thank you
Judy
<Yes, Ancistrus ranunculus, the Medusa Plec, is indeed as good an algae eater as any other Ancistrus. Nice fish, but a bit fussier than standard farmed Bristlenose. In other words, brisk current, plenty of oxygen, and good water quality. Nothing difficult; it's just not quite as bombproof as the farmed Ancistrus. Cheers, Neale.>

What's wrong with my Bettas (RMF, feel free to chip in)      1/12/17
I have two Betta fish I got from Wal-Mart 4 days ago and I think they are really sick I believe both are males they are in different tanks.
<Just as well.>
The first two pictures attached are of the Betta i have the highest concern about he doesn't eat well and just sits at bottom of tank no changed his water and one of his fins broke off
<Is this the blue fish?>
he's gasping for air and has a copper velvet look to his face and the other Betta seems ok but has discolor around his face and beard i have NutraFin Betta plus should I add to their tanks?
<A good rule is not to add medication unless you've diagnosed the problem.
Imagine if your doctor just picked out some random medications and gave them to you without asking what the problem was! Obviously not a good idea.
So, first things first, need to review the tank. Almost always, sick Bettas are sick because of their environment. I'm sure there are exceptions but I've never seen one. So, in other words, let's review the tank. At minimum, check the biological filter is working, and check the heater is working.
Let me be clear here: lack of filter and lack of heat are excellent ways to kill Bettas. Grab an ammonia or nitrite test kit, and test the water. Of the two kits, I prefer nitrite (with an "i", not nitrate with an "a").
Anyway, anything that is not zero is why your fish might be sick. Non-zero ammonia and nitrite kill fish, quickly or slowly depending on how much over zero they are. Secondly, look at the thermometer. Your tank should be about 25 C/77 F. Some unscrupulous fish shops will tell you a Betta can be kept in an unheated tank. Maybe spouting some baloney about central heating or placing a lamp over the tank. This is rubbish. Unless you keep the heater in your house set at 25 C/77 F (which is insanely hot!) your room is too cold, and Bettas are very sensitive to both cold water and, crucially, cold air (because they breathe air). So check the thermostat, and if necessary, turn the heater up. Cold Bettas become lethargic, their fins become clamped, they stop eating, and before long infections get hold of them, including Finrot.>
I also have Marcel CopperSafe medication should i treat both tanks?
<See above. Neither fish seems to have any obvious disease beyond stress, so my diagnosis would be environmental. Review; correct; wait for nature to take its course. Adding medications for Finrot or Fungus without fixing the environmental cause is pointless.>
Can i use these two treatments together? If so how much of each? I have attached photos of my Bettas and the treatments i have I'm urgently seeking a response in fear my fish will die soon thank u so much for reading this.
<Let me direct you to some reading:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/bettadiseases.htm
Aside from that summary, Bob's electronic book is probably the best $6 you'll spend if you're serious about keeping Bettas long term. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Blind crosshatch trigger - Urgent      1/12/17
Hello
<Sandip>
I've been an avid and appreciative fan of your website and its direct and sage advice for over 10 years.
<Glad to hear you like our site. Thanks for choosing WetWeb>
This is my first question to you. Sorry for the urgency.
<No worries. Hopefully I have responded in time>
I have a crosshatch trigger that has been in my tank for about 3.5 years direct from LFS and seemed happy until it slowly seems to have lost its sight to the point in the last few days it stays hidden in different spots than its favorite spot and when it comes out it is bumping into everything and is not eating (I hand feed it).
<What have you been feeding? Any thoughts as too what happened? Did you witness any trauma?>
I'm very concerned. It used to really enjoy the MP 60's and swim in front and the full length and width of the tank (78x36x28). Last few days it tries but knocks into everything including corals and glass. It is starting to look banged up.
<Yikes>
I've thought of catching and setting up in a portable hospital tank but I am concerned of over stressing and don't know what to medicate. I have a 3 ft long 35 gallon hospital tank.
<I would QT as soon as possible in an empty tank, i.e. no decorations or
excessive rock work. This will prevent further injury>
My mainly SPS 340 gallon display tank has been running for about 4.5 years.
Some fish and coral and water were transferred from by 90 gallon mixed reef set up for 9 years. I also have an 80 gallon refugium with Chaetomorpha, 60 gallon sump, 80 gallon frag tank all plumbed into same system.
<Sounds like a nice setup>
I QT and medicate all fish entering my tank for 4 weeks minimum (PraziPro and Cupramine) and make sure the fish are eating well before they are introduced to the DT. About two years ago I pulled out the trigger to a 90 gallon QT and feed it medicated food hoping it would clear up one of its eyes that appeared cloudy. I ended up keeping it there for 7-8 weeks and the eye didn't get better. So I returned it to the DT hoping for the best.
<So it sound like this problem started a few years ago? If you dosed for eight weeks, the eye should've gotten better if it were a disease or infection. Could be an issue with the fish that it was born with or had some sort of physical trauma beyond repair>
Water parameters: Alkalinity 7.5-8.5, calcium 350-450, magnesium 1350-1450, nitrates 6 ppm, phosphates 0.16 ppm, temp 76-80 (winter and summer), salinity 1.025-1.026.
<Sounds like the water is fine>
Water changes with regularly maintained RODI every 7-10 days 10 percent of total water volume. I vacuum the substrate in the DT when I do a water change. On average 1/2 to 3/4 of substrate in the DT. About 80-100 lbs of
live rock with some very large colonies of SPS. I use a calcium reactor and Kalkwasser stirrer and have started dosing Randy's baked baking soda for magnesium. I have also started to supplement with calcium chloride after each water change. I use a large skimmer. I occasionally use carbon in a high flow sump area until I replace monthly when I'm using.
<All sounds good>
The only time I've ever medicated my tank was about a year ago with sentinel (3 treatments a week apart) to get rid of red bugs. It was successful and I didn't notice any ill effects on the fish or coral.
Snails were fine but I certainly lost as expected a lot of micro fauna.
The trigger has generally been in apparent good health and has not had any symptoms of disease. Eyesight is the only thing that has gradually gone and more rapidly in the last few months. Now to the point I'm very concerned as the fish won't even accept food when it is held directly in front of its mouth (last few days).
<Is it not accepting the food, or is it not seeing the food? It could be battling some other type of disease on top of the blindness>
Trigger was almost 4 inches when I got and is about 7 inches now. I hand feed him daily Selcon soaked squid and scallops and the tank is fed New Life Spectrum pellets 6 times a day on auto feeder. I hand feed to the tank Spirulina and other flake food and Nori every 3 days. He doesn't eat the other food as he cant see it (this has been in the last few months, prior to that he would eat everything.)
<Keep trying to hand feed. You might try soaking the food in garlic as well. This should help>
None of the other fish bother him except for a captive bred male percula clown fish if trigger ventures too close to his space. Other fish in tank (and size in inches): purple tang (6), yellow tang (5), regal tang (7), powder blue (4.5), two dwarf angels and a majestic angel (4). Also Mandarin, Shrimp goby, two Banggai cardinals, a leopard wrasse (5), and a
pair of captive bred clownfish and a skunk clown with a bubble tip anemone.
<All sounds good. The tangs may be bullying the trigger. I'm surprised you haven't had a problem with all of them yet>
Lighting is 250 w de MH fixtures with a couple of T5's and 3 ReefBrite LED's.
<Sounds good>
Thanks for reading through this lengthy email and look forward to your advice.
Sandip
<Sandip, it sounds like your Trigger experienced some sort of physical trauma that can't be helped by medication, as it isn't an infection or disease. I suggest you either put it in QT or make room in another tank for it. Use minimal rock and decorations. Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do for the blindness, but you can prevent more injury due to bumps and bruises by moving it. Again, minimize decorations so there is less to bump into. Let me know if you have any more questions. Cheers, Gabe><<Perhaps Thiaminase poisoning here. RMF>>

Chaetomorpha and Hospital Tank     1/11/17
Hello-
Quick question, is it OK to use macroalgae, e.g.; Chaetomorpha in a hospital tank secured by an algae clip, for example during a Cupramine treatment?
<Mmm; no... the algae... most biota will "complex" the copper, other med.s as well... And the copper will kill the algae>

I realize that it's recommended to only use inert substances in a hospital tank, and macroalgae, isn't considered inert, however, I was wondering if it might be an exception?
<No; not at all. IF you were feeding it... and removing the part the animals didn't consume; that might work out. But I would not leave algae in a treatment tank>
The only purpose of having it in the hospital tank would be to help keep the nitrates in check beyond water changes.
<Mmm; better to keep switching out pre-cycled media... like filter pads, sponge filters... along w/ dilution from the water changes>
I would never move the macroalgae out of the hospital tank to the display tanks.
Thanks, John
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Chaetomorpha and Hospital Tank     1/11/17
Perfect Bob, that was my gut thought, but I wanted to check with the experts to be sure! Thanks again.
<Glad to share w/ you John. BobF>

Green nepthea coral... Nephthea newbie     1/11/17
Hi. I just bought my first coral, a green nepthea, today.
<Oooohh, am hoping this is a cultured specimen. Otherwise, not a beginner, or even moderately advanced aquarist choice>
After acclimating it and placing it in the tank, I realize I have several general questions that I haven't been able to find the answer to. The guy at the LFS said to stick it in a hole in the live rock, which I did (it was not attached to anything). It fit perfectly, but now I am wondering will it be able to grow rounder or will it be squished because it's in a small
hole?
<IF it lives (doubtful), this genus can grow out, over such spaces...
Needs... good water quality, additions to feed zooxanthellae...>
Also, the current causes it to hit or sway against the live rock behind it.
Will this irritate it, damage it, or cause it not to thrive because it's polyps won't open?
<Needs moderate... non-linear (i.e. chaotic) water movement; or a regimen of current changes (four) per day.. I STRONGLY encourage your studying re this soft coral. In fact, I urge you to return it for something much more
likely to live. See.... WWM, the Net, books... Re.>
Thank you so much for your time and help.
Trish
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Vitamin C Dosing, PH dips    1/10/17
Hello Crew!
<David>
Thanks so much for your website, it has over the years been an invaluable resource to me. So far I have found all my answers without ever needing to write.
<Ahh!>
I have been vitamin C dosing two marine tanks with great results ... initially.
<Mmm; why is this prompting memories of using Ascorbic Acid to keep CuSO4 pentahydrate in sol'n?>

I regularly test Calc, Alk and Phosphate. I had stopped looking at PH as it was always rock solid, so kind of boring. I thought (incorrectly) that it was impossible to have high Calcium and high Alk with low PH. Bad move that was! Have re-read and re-read Randy Holmes water chemistry and still don’t get “how” that can happen, as I thought Calc / Alk lowered PH.
<Usually the case; well, actually the opposite; lowered pH....>

Ho-hum, that was expensive.
<There are other means... reactors of various designs notably>

Wild swings in PH that I wasn’t testing started having bad results, but in a going along fine then fall of a cliff manner for my largest tank and caught just in time for my smaller.
I now moved from “normal” vitamic C to vitamin C buffered with Calcium and Magnesium. Some C buffered with Sodium is on route. However, even dosing the buffered C is causing a PH swing.
<Yes; in quantity; w/ low alkalinity in the system. What is your Alkalinity here?>
Specifically, a half teaspoon (2-2.5g) caused PH in my Percula 90 tank to PH 8.26 down to PH 7.7 in a seven-hour window. Before that – paused dosing – it was rock steady. I brought the PH back with kalkwasser.
<Yeesh; we have quite a bit to discuss. I'd consider... have you read re these issues; set upon just one path of either using two - part buffering products (a bunch of folks make/copy, resell these... SeaChem is a fave for value... and reality). Kalk is not the route to go here really... too much see-sawing and too-toxic in use>
I read that vitamin c is buffered by combining the ascorbic acid with an x-carbonate then making a salt.
<One way; yes>
So I was thinking about adding the vitamin C to my RODI along with extra buffer.
<Let's stop here: Might I ask, what is it you're adding the C for? Vitamin value? Carbon? How much are you actually adding and how?>

My concern is that my Alk is already high, and leaves me wondering why that isn’t binding to the Vitamin C that I am adding?
<Much more going on here>

I can handle reasonable sharp raises in PH and decrease the buffer added, but sharp declines seem much less inhabitant friendly.
<Yes>
As a test, I have added two teaspoons
<?! Why so much?>
of calcium buffered vitamin C to the RODI top off along with two teaspoons of buffer and a teaspoon of buffer / calc mix. My RODI is a 25 liter jerry can, no light getting in, that gets used up in four days (+/-)
Wondering if you might already know if this should work (I’ll soon find out I guess, but good to know in advance if I’m going down a dead end) and if there are any hazardous consequences over time (other than calc or alk going too high if I don’t test and adjust the mix)? I’m aware that as my corals grow (or die!) the demand can vary over time. Also I’m not totally sure if adding buffer will reduce the impact or efficacy of the vitamin C, as in my chemistry fuddled head there is a reaction going on between the acid C and the buffer to lower the PH, or not?
<Again; need to know the rationale behind your use of Ascorbic here... >
Much appreciate any pearls of wisdom that you can hurl my way, as I’m completely confused LOL!
All the best,
David
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Vitamin C Dosing, PH dips    1/10/17

Should have added, a Percula 90 is a 270-litre tank, which includes a sump-in-the back arrangement (so no extra water in a sump). In case it matters, I was dosing my C in the morning.
David
<I'd stop the dosing for now. Let's chat. BobF>
Re: Vitamin C Dosing, PH dips    1/10/17

Wow, I'm going to be reef-famous (albeit for the wrong reasons). Thanks so much for the speedy reply.
<Certainly welcome>
First reason, my phosphate was always too high. I have no mechanical filters, wool, carbon or anything in a sack, as I found these required much maintenance and am seeking a liquid or dosed solution.
<Mmm; am a bigger fan of biological mediation (methods), but will stoop to Lanthanum...>

Second, having started with C dosing my Zoas went nuts. After not great husbandry my phosphates levels went down.
I am trying to run a tank on liquid supplements only, large sand banks and mud.
<Mmm, mmmm... can be done. But MUCH to know, adjust chemically, physically... Best approach is "dynamic equilibrium" constantly offset w/ weekly water changes... such that not too much gets used up, precipitated... or accumulates to the detriment of livestock. Does this make sense to you? The serial dilution goes a long and BEST way of presenting a viable medium>

(I have a feeling I may be driving you nuts by now providing no numbers yet!)
<No; we can keep making general stmt.s for quite a while>
My tanks have mostly been OK, specifically better than anything I'll see in a fish store, but suffered from summer heat. Big tank cooler and small tank window blinds and air co. Change your whole house why not?!?!
Upstairs tank softies zoa/buttons/anemones, smaller DSB (room), ATO, no dosing (alk as and when).
Readings (thought this was an art ;-) - somewhat sloppy husbandry
Nitrite : between 0.05 ppm and 0.1
<Needs to be zip>

Nitrate : between 10ppm and 0.2ppm
Phosphate: between 0.05 and 0.02ppm
<This is not bad for soluble HPO4>
Calcium : between 338 and 568ppm
<.... the latter number is WAAAY too high. I'd keep near 400 ppm>

Alk: between 238 and 255ppm
Mag: too high 1450-1550
Sal: 1.025-7
Phosp: 41-159ppb
Iodine (started dosing a bit)0.2-0.6
Phosphorous 25-159ppb
Big tank 600L

Nitrite : 0.025-0.05ppm
Nitrite : 0.05 - 1ppm
<Again>

Phosph : 0.05-1.39 (high after meltdown, before high 0.1)
Calcium 394-564ppm
<Ditto>
Alk: 215-above 300,guess 375
Salinity : 1.027-1.030
Iodine : 0.2-0.5 (gently dosed up)
Phosphorous: occasionally under 200ppb
(Added FE+ and GRO at times)
Rationality is a big supposition, LOL!
Note if phosphate was too high I didn't test phosphorous
I replenished sand in my DSBs after reading that it buffered and was as such used up
My dream is a DSB buffering, lots of phyto and beasties, no mechanical filter, skimmer (on half off half? don't dare do that)
<Can be run saltatorily ONCE the system/s are stable>
, DSB
I also grow some caulerpa and harvest for my rubbish can.
<I'd dump this genus... See WWM for better ideas; by far. Stock Gracilaria and Chaetomorpha species are far superior and much less toxic>

Dream would be something the tangs could eat.
<See above and WWM. Do you need help using the search tool or indices?>
Hope that gives an idea of the sloppy kind of reefer I am. C was new because of the initial success, zoas nuts, clear water without carbon and laziness of liquid / powered dosing versus ugly, dirty, scummy sacks.
Hope this answers your questions. Maybe I'm just a reefer hoping it can be simpler than it needs to be?
<It can be; but better to go w/ more biology, less technology for most folks. The long and short of captive marine systems is that the myriad of factors to balance are too easily allowed to drift, or mis-altered, resulting in (at times catastrophic) losses. Bob Fenner>
Re: Vitamin C Dosing, PH dips    1/10/17

Mostly for the "reason" it's just that $h1t really started to happen in both tanks, LOL. Except the PH (I think) related issues.
I feel like I got so close yet so far.
Hey, I'm happy to fund some advice, as I'm sure you guys need to fund Xmas presents and wot not too.
<There is a donation function; at the top of most all pages>
Again, so thrilled to get a reply!
<Glad to render my input, impressions. B>
Re: Vitamin C Dosing, PH dips    1/10/17

Thanks again. Crack of dawn here, so I'll reread this with less blurry eyes again.
By Lathanum I think you refer to swimming pool anti-phosphate product?
<Lanthanum...>
Zero nitrates scares me: even when my tanks were running well, I never hit zero.
<Zero nitrates is fine, zero NitrItes is necessary. Re-read your post>

There was always the very palest yellow after swirling the test tube. My skimmers (Tunze) are over-rated by a factor of over two for both tanks. I barely change water and wanted to keep that approach, however it could be that this is just too ambitious.
Chaeto turned into glass noodles for me.
<Sigh.... was Caulerpa present?>
I'll look up Gracilaria and search WWM on macros.
Donation will wing it's way later!
<Allay lew ya! B>

Re: Assisted Living Community Tank(RMF, you're the Goldfish expert here!)
<<Two caputs are better than solo! B>>    1/10/17

Well yeah the cookie cutter thing was a different site. Sorry I get quite in depth in research sometimes and get completely lost on where it came from occasionally. Stocking. What African cichlid fish to put in this massive piece of glass to get the most bang for the buck...most color and most movement.
<<Hello Jacob. I will throw some general advice out here. When it comes to situations like retirement homes, hospitals and community centres, some thought has to be given with regard to maintenance. Some weeks the fish "carer" will be away for vacations, or move to another job, or be too busy to check the tank. It's a good idea to plan around the "worst case scenario" so that the fish don't suffer and the tank doesn't look unsightly. So while fish tanks can/do work great in this situation, I'd tend to recommend the tougher species that will tolerate things like high nitrate levels (inevitable in water changes are missed). I'd also choose adaptable species that don't require any particular water chemistry to do well (another thing difficult to manage, especially for beginners). Why mention all of this? Because Mbuna are quite demanding fish, and if the tank is somewhat less than perfectly monitored, what you tend to end up with is the hardier species, often hybridising, and resulting in a rather dull tank of indifferent looking fish. Mbuna need low nitrate and high hardness, so one question is how often will water changes be done? Another is what's your water chemistry, and do you need to add buffering salts to raise hardness? Not saying Mbuna aren't an option, but will stress they're not anything like a zero-maintenance option. So, with all this in mind, what might work nicely? A couple of definite options are cyprinids and characins, both of which tend to be more tolerant of nitrate (and "old" water generally) than Mbuna and other cichlids. On the cyprinid front, don't neglect Goldfish! Big, hardy, colourful, and out-of-the-box interested in human beings, these are true pet fish that provide countless hours of engagement to those sitting in front of the tank. A 200-gallon tank is an amazing volume of water, and would allow, say, 6-8 specimens of top-quality Goldfish to reach a very healthy adult size. The varieties on offer are amazing, personal favourites of mine including the Yellow Goldfish (which looks more like a giant golden barb than anything else) and the classic Black Moor (probably the toughest fancy variety in the trade, easily able to coexist with indoor strains). With 200 gallons Shubunkins really come into their own, their mishmash of colours working really well if kept as a big school on their own. Turning to characins, quite a few of the old favourites are tough as nails. A school of Anostomus anostomus for example is unlike anything else in the hobby, and with 200 gallons you could keep a big group without squabbling, and get to enjoy them differently to those of us who have to keep just one (which is what I have to do!). They get along great with robust catfish as well as active schooling fish like Columbian Tetras or Buenos Aires Tetra that have plenty of colour and movement. Again, a big tank provides space enough for big groups. Both Goldfish and the hardy tetras are adaptable with regard to water chemistry, making them especially easy fish to keep. Just some thoughts, anyway! Cheers, Neale.>>

Substrate for my fresh Water refugium    1/10/17
The
<The? Is there previous correspondence?>
substrate is made of organic potting mix (no fertilizers, at least as written on a bag)
<I'd be testing... by soaking, perhaps boiling a teaspoon or two in some water... testing the liquid>
- about 2 inch thick,
<?! This is a BUNCH of material; too likely to "float out"... a mess. I'd be mixing the soil with fine gravel...>

.5 inch of fine gravel op top of soil and 1-1.5 inch of smooth white sand (not aragonite) Do you have a tip,
<A tip? I'd be doing more searching here... on WWM, the Krib... Diana Walstad's works; maybe Takashi Amano. What you have done here so far?... Not viable>

I set up a fresh water refugium for plants and fry. I bought a bag of organic potting mix from Menards and put it in the middle chamber and it just floats.
<Oh yes; assuredly>
Above is from a blog I got from your site and read the same from others.
<Can't tell what is lifted without quotation marks, notes... Maybe have someone else read what you send out ahead of time to assure it makes sense.
Bob Fenner> 

Assisted Living Community Tank     1/9/17
Hope this e-mail finds y'all well. I am setting up a 220g (72"x24"x30") tank at a senior assisted living community that I work at in one of our memory care/activity centers as studies have shown the benefits of aquarium stimulation in seniors with dementia.
<Sure helps me>
The aquarium will house African Cichlids. Equipment on the aquarium will be: two 36" LED lights, two Fluval FX6 canister filters, two 500w titanium heaters with thermostats. First question with equipment, would a Hydor or
two be beneficial or not?
<Hydor is a manufacturer... they make quite a few products. I'll guess you're referring to their in-tank pumps... The answer here is yes; I'd use these>

Second the Lifegard external heater chambers, would they work, any experience with them and are they worth it?
<Mmm; can work... Am not a fan of most Lifegard products... not well engineered or manufactured (my opinion, history); IF you don't need to use external heater holders, I wouldn't. Instead, I'd place two two hundred plus wattage submersibles down near the bottom in the back corners. Folks won't see the cords, and the likelihood of air exposure (w/o turning off) and breaking is minimal>
Moving on. The aquarium will have approximately 200lbs of cichlid sand (white), 100-150lbs of lace rock, stacked in two separate piles one larger than the other (in theory anyways, we all know how much rock work gets moved) set on egg crate and possibly glued, and Black painted background.
The goal is to have as much color and movement as the aquarium would allow with all stated above equipment. Number of fish and direction is where I tap out.
<Okay!>
Thank you guys and girls in advance for your response. I am really striving to get this aquarium as right as I can for the benefit of our residents and their families.
Jacob
<Please send along pix when you're about done Jacob. Bob Fenner>
Re: Assisted Living Community Tank     1/9/17

Wow that was a quick response. Yes the Hydor I am referring to would be the in tank Koralia.
<Oh. Yes>
I will most definitely send pictures upon completion.
<Thx>
Tank was just ordered so another 2-4 weeks for glass and stand/canopy to come in. I've looked at some of the cookie cutter guides and well they just don't go to 220, unless I'm not looking right.
<?>
And I don't want to start just doubling, tripling, etc. because I know it doesn't always work that way.
<What?>
So I guess that's where I'm needing a little more assistance/guidance.
<With what? B>

Re: Identifying Knifefish     1/8/17
Thanks for getting back to me Neal,
<Welcome.>
I really appreciate it! I looked at the brown ghost knife and he does look similar however the stripe that runs down the body starting at the mouth is not the same on him. He has a very light line but it doesn't start until the back of his head and it doesn't run down his entire body to the tail.
<So I think we can agree he's related to Apteronotus leptorhynchus, if not quite that species.>
Also his coloring is definitely different than the brown ghost knife. He is black/grey with white splotches down the bottom half of his body. As you said he is pretty large and his width is 4 inches and he's about 11 inches.
I have him in a community tank right now because I started a new tank for him but I'm in the middle of cycling it right now and I don't want to put them in it until it's done cycling so he's in with smaller fish and he's very peaceful with them except sometimes they won't leave him alone going in his cave so sometimes he uses his head to ram them out.
<Standard operating procedure for most electric fish, to be honest!>
I also saw him open his mouth once and it's huge!
<Do please check Gymnotus as well as Apteronotus; the two are fairly similar in body shape, though their tails are different. Gymnotus has a big, big mouth -- as befits a confirmed fish-eater. Gymnotus also tend to be territorial and aggressive, which doesn't sound much like your chap, but on the other hand, a variety of Gymnotus species are commonly traded, most of which lack common names.>
I was wondering if it's at all possible that he's a hybrid?
<Possible.>
Would different species of knife fish spawn in the wild?
<Yes, but it's uncommon for all sorts of reasons. Still, it does happen.
What is more likely is a related but different species of Apteronotus, or a subspecies of Apteronotus leptorhynchus even.>
I know most don't care for the company of each other but he looks so different than any I've seen. His head kind of looks like a dinosaur.
Thanks again for helping me out with this!
Jessica
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Identifying Knifefish; now fdg.      1/8/17

Neal, thanks for such a quick reply. So I have one more question. I feed him live black worms which he happily slurps up. Is there any other foods I can give him?
<Definitely needs more variety than this! I'd be looking at earthworms and gut-loaded river shrimp as staples, and if he takes frozen foods as well, such as krill or Spirulina-enriched brine shrimp, that'd be great.>
Sometimes I have given him blood worms but I know they shouldn't be a everyday food. I won't do feeder fish as they carry parasites but what if I breed guppy's or something similar for him to eat or is this unnecessary?
<In theory home-bred Guppies are safe, but in fact not necessary, if for no other reason they're more likely to encourage him to view fish as food, which could cause problems for tankmates. In the wild Apteronotus are more
micro-predators than anything else, and benthic invertebrates such as insect larvae are probably their main food. They do have substantial appetites though, so do keep an eye on how rounded his belly looks.
Slightly convex is what you're after, rather than bloated, but shouldn't be concave either.>
I just want to give him what he needs and deserves.
<Understood and he looks a great fish! Big adult Apteronotus are impressive, and intelligent, animals that make rewarding pets. They can become quite tame, and electric fish often become rather quirky as they settle in, with distinct personalities. At least some species have brain to body weight ratios similar to mammals, suggesting a high level of intelligence, by fish standards, anyway. Cheers, Neale.>


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