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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Re: Stringy white poop, many deaths      1/18/18
The directions that came with my Metro recommend 2 teaspoons per pound of food.
<That's a lot of fish food!>
I did the math and I need approximately 0.014 tsp per cube of bloodworms, which is just slightly less than 1/64, which is the smallest teaspoon measurement I have. I'll just add a little less than 1/64 tsp and be generous with the Garlic Guard.
<What's the garlic for? I would not be adding random 'cure all' chemicals alongside specific treatments.>
The math for Kanaplex will have to be done later and hopefully the fish will eat it. Perhaps they just need to be starved for a day or two as encouragement.
Alternatively, I could mix it with daphnia (only other frozen food I could find) but I think the hypan is more likely to eat the bloodworms, since eating the last dead fish more than likely infected him too. Do you have a preferred brand of Spirulina flakes?
<Not really; they're all good!>
New Life Spectrum is my go-to brand but they don't make them and neither does my second favorite, Omega One.
<Understood. I've used the Tetra brand, but pretty much any should work a treat.>
I hope you're having a wonderful day!
- Sabrina
<Off to donate blood now, so wonderful isn't quite the word, but hopefully useful! Cheers, Neale.>

Weak snick - Reidi seahorses; likely env., poss. nutr.      1/17/18
Hi, I need some help
<Let's see>
I have 3 males Reidi who have weak snick... they try to eat but no sucking happen... the tank have very little nitrates (4ppm) and I don't see why they would have catch this, I say catch because since all 3 of them got it at the same time, I think I can rule out the injury or ''something stuck'' as a cause
<Something environmentally off here for all three to be co-effected>
The only thing different is the food I gave them a couple days before it happen (still PE Mysis, but from a different batch) since then I bought some Hikari Mysis that are smaller, and hopefully easier to catch.
<... Mmm>
The only other thing that change is a rise in temperature from 21.5 to 23.5 in 1 day time.
Any idea what have cause this?
<Again; the environment. I would return the temperature to the lower value, effect a fifty percent water change via gravel vacuuming, possibly add a unit of ChemiPure and/or PolyFilter to your filter, flow path>
the seahorses are not trashing around or scratching, they seem really healthy and a really interested in food, but are not able to eat [https://static.xx.fbcdn.net/images/emoji.php/v9/fcb/1/16/1f641.png]
I try a freshwater bath, they did really good in it, didn't trash or look stress (15 min) but now it's been more than 48h later and no amelioration...
I heard about formalin bath, I have some (bottle containing 4.46% formaldehyde (11.52% formalin) with malachite green) but don't have the dosage for a bath and I'm not able to find the formalin 37% rapidly.
<Too toxic, dangerous; and not likely there is a pathogen at work here. You'll do naught but stress and poison the fish>
Someone told me that I could dose the main tank with this products,
that the cause may be Ciliates, and since they are in the main tank I should treat... but wouldn't it kill all the nitrifying bacteria risking an ammonia spike?
<You'll kill everything. DO NOT DO THIS>

so what should I do?
<As I've stated above>
- wait a little more to see if the freshwater bath worked
- do an other freshwater bath
- do a formalin/malachite green (with Methylene blue or not) bath or dose the main tank
- If the freshwater dip didn't help... would the formalin really do something more? maybe I should go more with Furan2?
<None of these you list>
any advise would be appreciate
info on my tank
65 gallons (with sump and UV light)
salinity : 1.024
temp : 22
nitrates : 4 ppm
no ammonia or nitrites
I have the Reidi since May 2017 and they are captive breed
Thank you for your time!
<Thank you for sharing. Do please keep us informed of your further actions, observations. Bob Fenner>

Re: Stringy white poop, many deaths     1/17/18
Thank you for your help!
<Most welcome.>
I have a small bag of Metronidazole. The tank is full of snails and shrimp and I can't set up the quarantine tank right now, so do you recommend mixing the Metro into some Repashy or bloodworms?
<Getting medicine into fish via their food is usually more effective than adding to the water. But dosing can be tricky if the fish spit out some of the food. I'd tend to follow the instructions on the package, or advice from the vet, rather than simply improvising.>
In terms of feeding greenery, I used to have Spirulina brine shrimp and emerald entre but they went bad during the move and I can't find any around here. Tiny town problems.
Would crushed algae wafers, cucumber, zucchini, lettuce, or broccoli suffice?
<The algae wafers are a useful staple for any community fish, and should be part of their regular diet. Spirulina flake food (sold for livebearers) is also an excellent staple. The other green foods, if eaten, are all good additions to their diet.>
I also have some Cobalt pellets with Spirulina and probiotics. In terms of antibiotics, I have Kanaplex, Furan 2, ParaGuard, and Fungus Cure (says it treats secondary bacterial infections). I've always been partial to Kanaplex, but which do you recommend?
<Kanaplex would also be my first recommendation here. The others are more or less antimicrobials rather than true antibiotics.>
The tank does have an air stone. In terms of water chemistry, ammonia and nitrites are always zero, nitrates less than 5 (usually zero. I dose a little for the plants), pH around 7.5, 10 dGH, 11dKh.
<All sounds fine.>
Thank you again,
Sabrina H
<Good luck, Neale.>

Re: Betta fish sick - Bubba. help? Beh. f'      1/17/18
hey bob!
hope you're having a great day.
<Thank you; yes>
I noticed my fish keeps burping or puffs his gills out, I think there really is something internally wrong with him.
<Mmm; these are natural behaviors for Labyrinth fishes... not to be concerned>
do you have any idea why fish might burp or make small air bubbles come out from their gill (not bubble nests) ?
<Keep reading! Bob Fenner>
Esther Lee
Re: Betta fish sick - Bubba. help?     1/17/18

Oh I see. Maybe I should quit worrying too much, & think "less is more" with this new tank rescape. Haha! Thanks for your input! Appreciate it.
<Certainly welcome. Many Labyrinth fishes are also called "Bubblenest Builders"...>
*Have a wonderful day! *
Esther Lee
<Trying to! BobF>

Re: Brackish moray ID      1/17/18
Good evening Marco,
<Good morning Ben.>
Greetings from Indonesia!
I am aware that there are not much information about fresh and brackish water morays, so indeed, as an eel-enthusiast who lives close to the source, I'll share whatever information that I can gather from around here.
<Kudos to you.>
As for our mystery eel, I visited Mr. Eko this afternoon, and asked him a few questions about the eel. His answers are as follows:
1. The mystery eels that he has, were captured in the river in Java, a bit farther from the river mouth (estuarium), but he said this species are also known to inhabit not only on the river, but also the area around the river mouth and the beach. So, they can be found in both full saltwater and light brackish. They are from shallow waters, usually found in sandy beaches hiding in broken corals or under clamshells, or in the soft mud of the rivers.
2. They are known to hunt crabs and shrimps on the shallow waters of the beach and rivers. They can burrow their bodies in both soft sand and mud, but they are more active in swimming around, than other types of morays which spent much of their time burrowing or hiding. They could hunt during the day or during the night as they please.
3. These eels were usually not captured by fishing hook, but by submerged traps.
4. They are not territorial, plenty of them can be found together in a small area, often bunched together under a clamshell or a rock, like noodles.
So I thanked Mr. Eko for his info, and he promised to inform me if there are any other strange eels he captured or obtained. Before I left, he offered me to buy a pike conger baby at discount, as apparently he has one left. He told me that the pike conger were captured in the same area where they captured the mystery eel. But I declined (pike congers are known to be aggressive and has sharp teeth), and instead I bought another mystery eel from him.
So now I have two of these "mystery eels", I hope they will be happy in my aquarium. Mr. Eko took pictures of the conger and the second mystery eel, I attached it here. His shop is not as dark as my kitchen, so maybe these pictures are better for ID ing the mystery eel?
<Yes, much better. Can't see details of the head, but at least the body coloration is visible. It's definitely no G. richardsonii, G. tile, E. rhodochilus, G. polyuranodon. The coloration of the body matches Uropterygius micropterus quite well, so this ID is probably right. The ecology you describe above also concurs with what is known about this
species. Only that it seems to live so openly is something I had not expected from a Uropterygius species. I think this eel can be added to the list of moray species in captive care.>
That concludes my e-mail for now, I will share to you more from my research when I get new information.
<Thanks Ben.>
Warm Regards, Ben
<Cheers, Marco.>

Sea creature ID     1/17/18
I found this creature on the beach at Sorrento, a town on Port Philip Bay, near Melbourne, Southeast Australia.
It looks like a sea cucumber, but I have searched the net, including your site, and haven't found any that are white.
It measured about 15cm end to end.

Could it be an albino? Or not a sea Cuke at all, but something else?
<Looks too smooth to be a Sea Cucumber... my guess is on a worm group. Perhaps a Sipunculid, Echiuran.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Red Mandarin Breeding     1/16/18
Hello again, this is Jinoo Kim and I am updating my progress with the breeding, but I have a few questions however. I have a pair of mandarins and they keep spawning. I was able to rear the eggs and put them in my
friend's Kreisel tank. However, it turns out that The father is a red mandarin, while the mother is a green mandarin but she is borderline red (like a drab red mandarin). What color will be the offspring?
<Are these both Synchiropus splendidus? I am guessing that the offspring will be a mix of the colors of their parents>
Will their color be a mix between the parents' color, or will there be a variety of green and red mandarins?
<The former>
Also, how long will the eggs hatch?
<... let's have you read:
Anyways, I am really liking the progress so far, now I just need to building something that can feed these guys through out the day with pellet foods. Maybe an automatic feeder, with a funnel that goes down to an acrylic box where food can be available and away from bigger fish. Kind of like Marc's mandarin diner, except it's ALMOST set and forget. Anyways, thank you for everything! I have never thought I would accomplish this far!
<Keep on going Jinoo! Bob Fenner>

Too Much Tinkering In My Reef - Please Help!     1/16/18
Hi WWM Team,
<Really like your subject/header here>
I hope all is well in the New Year! I am going through one of those “tinkering too much moments” with my Red Sea Reefer 450. I have a mixed reef tank and decided to add a 3 ½” Achilles Tang and 4”Watanabei Angel within the last month. The fishes and corals are doing fine and my water parameters were fine as well. I decided to be proactive and thought it would be wise to add more biological filtration because of the new additions.
<Can never have too much Biofiltration>
I bought a box of Marine Pure bioballs and a bottle of ATM nitrifying bacteria (label states it treats up to 100 gallons – which is less than my total tank volume). I’ve added the bioballs and the entire bottle of ATM nitrifying bacteria into my tank last week. I turned off my skimmer for 4 days as per instructions. My tank was instantly cloudy once I added the ATM solution; I figured it is the bacteria in the bottle.
<Mmm; maybe secondarily>
As I wait for the bacterial colonization process, I noticed my Choati Red Leopard wrasse was missing for a couple of days. She was always active and eats very well. Again, I thought of being proactive is best and have to go into the tank to search for her.
<Not by disturbing the sand bed I hope/trust>
I don’t want her to die and decompose in my tank, especially during this tenuous stage of my tank. As I comb through the sand (about 1” sand bed),
<I'd increase this by at least twice>

I could potentially disturbed some anaerobic pockets – loosened some clumpy sand that had black residue rising up.
<Oooh, not good>
Long story short, I caught the Choati wrasse and relocated her to the quarantine tank (unfortunately, the Choati wrasse died in the QT last night). I tested my water in my main display and they are as follows:
Ammonia (Red Sea) = .2 ppm

Nitrite (Red Sea) = 0 ppm
Nitrate (Red Sea) = 16 ppm
PO4 (Hanna) = 0.06 ppm
PH (Red Sea) = 8.2
Alkalinity (Hanna) = 9 dKH
<All fine w/ the exception of the ammonia>
I decided to do three 20% water change in the last 3 days and added a dose of Seachem Prime to lock up the toxicity of ammonia until my mini-cycle completes itself.
<.... I would have just stopped feeding... >
I tested my water again, and it remains relatively the same:
· Ammonia (Red Sea) = .2 ppm

· Nitrite (Red Sea) = 0 ppm
· Nitrate (Red Sea) = 10 ppm
The water is still cloudy, which is surprising to me because I thought the water changes would have rid the bacteria bloom in the water column…
<And the loss of ammonia, likely bumped off a good deal of nitrifying population>
The livestock (both fish & corals) still looks fine - the fish are eating & active and the corals are fully expanded. Anyway, what would you recommend with regard to the mini-cycle and cloudy water?
<Just stop feeding till the NH3/NH4OH drops to 0.0 ppm>
As always, your insights and recommendations are extremely appreciated. Many thanks in advance.
<Thank you for sharing. Increase, mix in more sand when the system restabilizes. Bob Fenner>

Re: Choosing a S. American Exotic     1/15/18
I finally got some Uaupesi Apistogramma.
<Nice! Apistogramma uaupesi is, I believe, the Apistogramma 'rotkeil' that had some popularity a few years ago. Do bear in mind this is a true soft water species (Rio Negro habitat) and a bit of a 'hothouse flower' so a Discus-style environment is what you need for success. As with any dwarf cichlid, so watch your water quality, including nitrate. Any nitrite or ammonia will kill them, but even moderate levels of nitrate, 20 mg/l, are enough to cause serious health issues in the long term. In other words:
don't skip water changes, and don't overstock the tank! If you have a pair, you do want them breeding, but ensure plenty of caves, including some only the female can enter. Otherwise, the male can be a bit hard on her, and you
don't want to be stuck with a lone male! On the plus side, once they're breeding you should be able to sell the youngsters easily -- these are very desirable fish! Cheers, Neale.>

Stringy white poop, many deaths     1/15/18
I've been having a bit of a problem with my Dwarf Neon Rainbows and I'm at a loss at this point. I'll start the story by stating that through the whole ordeal ammonia and nitrite were zero, nitrate was less than 5, water
changes were done weekly at least and whenever else I thought they were needed. I ordered 9 online nearly 2 months ago; 3 males and 6 females all came alive but covered in ich. I was expecting ich, so they went straight
into a 10 gallon quarantine tank equipped with a cycled filter off an established tank. I raised the temperature to 86-87 and after 2 days all ich was gone but I left the temperature up for a week or week and a half just to be safe.
All fish initially ate well. I fed almost exclusively frozen foods (brine shrimp, Spirulina brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, etc. I had over 10 varieties) with New Life Spectrum, Hikari Micron, and Sera Onip fed on mornings when I was running late. After a week the male that got picked on a bit developed dropsy overnight and died within a couple days. Now, after having a bad experience at a local fish store with internal parasites I automatically treat all the fish I get. I treated with General Cure first (has never proven effective at treating internal parasites for me but it's proved useful for other things, so I use it before PraziPro) and during
that treatment, one of the males stopped eating and developed white stringy poop. He was like this for a few days before he began breathing very heavily then died. I researched and researched and everything came up as
internal parasites. I used PraziPro and at some point fed Hex-Shield (which I had forgotten I had) and the remaining 7 all had nice red poop. Yay! Or so I thought.
Some number of days later a female got white stringy poop, stopped eating, began breathing heavily, then died. Down to 1 male and 5 females. More research and forum exploration led to Hexamita or Malawi bloat. A Hexamita recommendation was to feed food soaked in Epsom salt. Everyone but one female ate. The recommendation for one that doesn't eat was to squirt the Epsom salt mixture down her throat. I figured since she would die as soon as she got to the heaving breathing stage anyway there was nothing left to lose. I filed the tip off a syringe I got from the vet, gave her some Epsom salt mixture, and the white poops stopped. Yay! Other recommendations were to use metro, so I ordered that just in case. I did it once more and then it was time to pack the fish up for a move across the state.
All rainbows survived the initial trip but the one female died the next day. They were kept in the ten gallon QT for a few days but since the remaining ones all appeared healthy and I really needed the tank off the floor, they went into a 20 high. One male and four females left. None of my frozen food made the trip. A relative lent me a cooler she swore was incredible, yet all my food turned to mush. Everyone got stuck with Repashy and pellets since finding pet stores here is hard, but at least that made looking for healthy red poop easy. The remaining 5 fish were all healthy in the new place for 3 weeks until the other day. One day a female was suddenly breathing heavily and bloated with white stringy poop. She didn't stop eating before then and none of the other fish, minus the initial dropsy case, had bloated before death. Now, I had been feeding pretty heavily because it kept them from decimating the shrimp population while the plants grew back (a bit of melt since they got packed up days before the move), so I fasted them. I was gone the entire next day and didn't look at my fish at all. Yesterday I counted 3 females and 1 male. The shrimp were picking at a small piece of white meat, the Hypancistrus was part way out of his cave (very rare). Clearly, the female was turned into a meal.
I'm at a loss as to what to try next. Your key leads to Malawi Bloat since there's no fungus or wounds appearing on the fish, but they aren't cichlids. They've been treated for internal parasites and every time I think everyone is healthy another comes down ill. What is there left for me to try? I have one male and 3 females left. They look healthy and the poop is healthy but I've learned that can change overnight.
Please help!
<Hello Sabrina. Like you, my gut reaction here (if you pardon the pun) is that we're looking at Hexamita or some similar intestinal parasite. While you have used Hex-Shield, this is a "good" food rather than a medicine.
While it contains vitamins and minerals essential to good health, it doesn't contain Metronidazole, which is the medication you want here. So that's where I'd be going. Something like Seachem MetroPlex, for example.
Epsom Salt is often used alongside Metronidazole because it does help to reduce swelling and constipation, but it isn't a medicine _per se_, so I wouldn't expect it to treat this problem as it is. Squirting Epsom salt into a Rainbowfish sound like a non-runner to me, more than likely causing severe osmotic stress even if the experience doesn't harm the fish psychologically. Ideally, use Metronidazole alongside a reliable antibiotic, Nitrofurazone being particularly popular among aquarists. If you have some other antibiotic kicking about, I dare say it'd be fine
though. At the same time, do ensure a number of other things. Firstly, lots of oxygen; secondly, appropriate water chemistry; thirdly, a varied diet with some fresh greenery (gut-loaded brine shrimp are handy); and fourthly, keep nitrate levels as low as practical. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Emperor Angel twitching head and scratching.     1/14/18
Thank you in advance.
<Welcome Vic>
I have an Emperor Angel and Powder Blue Tang in quarantine for 2 months now.
The powder Blue has been fine the whole time no signs at all but the Emperor has been scratching and shaking his head. Both fish showed no signs to begin with and both eat well, the angel was in hyposalinity (1.009 ) at the
LFS so I continued it with both fish for the first month.
<... this is a very low spg. This exposure alone might explain the Angel's behavior>
At the end of the month I started to notice the Angel flashing and twitching his head so I thought maybe velvet (thinking that the Hypo had kept it from getting bad) or Flukes. I read that fluke should also have died in Hypo so I treated with Quinine Sulfate for 2 week at 400 mg per 10 gallons.
<And the Quinine drug could be the cause here as well>
The first week was in Hypo at 1.012 and the second at 1.015. The fish eat well the whole time with no issue, the Angel seem to stop flashing (or it seemed) but at the end of the treatment I noticed it start up again. I now did a couple of water changes to bring get ride of the meds and bring the water to 1.020. AT this point the Angel was still scratching and shaking its head so I thought maybe flukes and treated with PraziPro for 20 days with water changes and new meds every 5 days. I has some rock in the tank which I removed half was through the PraziPro treatment since I was still noticing the Angel scratching and thought maybe the organics on the rock was keeping the PraziPro from working. All Treatment is over now for about 3 days and I have the tank at 1.025, I have not noticed the angel scratch but I still notice that it shakes his head and goes into the bubbles on the airstone. I am waiting to see if he scratches, but more difficult without the rock but I did add some PVC for them to hide in.
I am at a loss as to what could be causing this,
<Likely... nothing pathogenic here>

they both have been eating well the whole time and seem to get along. The power blue has not shown any
sign at all the whole time and the Angel has not had any spots or other symptoms other than the ones mentioned. The tank was already established (it had a pair of clown in it) so no cycle, I did notice a small ammonia spike in the first week from going to Hypo to quickly but it recovered quickly ( I managed that with Prime). The tank is only 33 gallons both fish are about 3.5 inches so I don't what to leave them in quarantine too long but can't add them to my reef if there is a problem since I will never get them out.
Any ideas could it be a little aggression from the angel maybe or is there something that I am missing I didn't treat for. T really don't want to add copper.
Thanks again
<Were these my fishes, I'd be moving them to the main/display system. With this amount of time in hypo, the medicine exposure, they are likely pathogen free externally. Bob Fenner>
Re: Emperor Angel twitching head and scratching.     1/14/18

Thank you for the quick response and the reassurance that I wasn't missing
something obvious.
<Cheers, BobF>

Re: Betta fish sick - Bubba. help?     1/14/18
ah snails... I see.
update: I just decided to upgrade to a 5 gal tank. used Poland spring water.
<Mmm; don't know what this is "made of"... Treated tap would likely be fine>
currently heating it up so I can put him in. just starting a nice clean environment. I made sure to use the existing gravel, but also got new pebbles!
I tested my water now & I'm back to 0ppm
Esther Lee
<Good. BobF>

Re: Major problem; acrylic crack      1/13/18
Thank you for your email replies. Now that you’ve seen the pics do you concur with my repair plan?
<As stated already; yes I do. >
Do you think I’m taking way to big of a risk?
<Mmm; hard to guess for sure, but not likely much of one>
Have you seen similar damage successfully repaired?
<Many times>
Thank you so much
<Certainly welcome John. Bob Fenner>
Re: Major problem     1/13/18

Bob I can’t thank you enough for your prompt replies and advice. Have a great weekend
<You as well mate. B>
Re: Oops.. forgot to ask..     1/13/18

Thanks buddy!
Oops.. forgot to ask..     1/13/18

Hey Bob. In regards to the acrylic patches I plan on welding them down with Weldon 16. Do I need to scuff both surfaces before applying the weld or leave them smooth?
<Just leave smooth John... They will REALLY weld right on... B>

Re: Betta fish sick - Bubba. help?     1/13/18
thanks for ur reply!
I'll try daily 50% water changes w.o touching gravel, etc. poor fish!
<Good. BobF>
Esther Lee
re: Betta fish sick - Bubba. help?     1/13/18
and, yes he was a young fish when I got him. an elephant eared Dumbo Betta (: I think he could've had a parasite. it was weird. one time I got an Anubias plant.. I didn't realize when I purchased it but it wasn't the best condition. maybe something infested the plant and got into my tank because there were some small white/yellow teeny eggs when I took it out. weird!
<The eggs more likely a snails>
regret! could be a mix of things. hope he makes it alive. I'll do the daily 50% water change like you recommended. thanks.
Esther Lee
<Cheers, B>

Research on Things to do in Australia      1/13/18
Dear Editor,
My name is Janet and I’m a writer at Your RV Lifestyle. I was doing research on things to do in Australia and just finished reading your wonderful blog post: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mudskipfaqs.htm
In that article, I noticed that you cited a solid post that I’ve read in the past: https://australianmuseum.net.au/fish-and-fishes I just finished writing a guide that is even more detailed, updated and comprehensive on the 100 Best Things to do in Australia. It is over 10,000 words and packed with practical tips and advice. You can find it here:
If you like the guide we’d be humbled if you cited us in your article. Of course, we will also share your article with our newsletter subscribers and followers across our social platforms.
Either way, keep up the great work.
<Will look over and post the link. Thank you for your efforts. Bob Fenner>

Betta fish sick - Bubba. help? 27 megs...    1/12/18
Esther; Pls re-send your msg. w/ a file size a few hundred Kbytes.
re: Betta fish sick - Bubba. help?     1/12/18

hi! sorry, this was my message:
<Ok. We have to limit file size for two principal reasons, dinky storage space by our ISP, and slow download rates while out traveling at times>
hello hello
my name is Es. my fish is sick! he's been sick since November. it all started with a black dot on his mouth area. then it spread to his top head.
<Unusual... such "blackness" is generally a matter of response to poor water quality (e.g. ammonia burn), neural damage (generally traumas) and some parasites... Is this genetic change here? Is this fish very young?>
now fast forward to today, underneath his mouth is turning white! like pale, lacking color. in Dec, parts of his fins started to become thin and rip. his gills underneath are blackish. he's a Betta fish in a 2.5 gal filtered, heated tank (80F).
I tried Kanaplex and dosed 3x but it killed my nitrogen cycle! (
<Ah yes>
new tank-
started it end of Aug, had my fish since then). didn't seem to work. also tried the All-In-One Remedy Marineland medicine where you drop it in the tank. I'm trying to feed less bc ammonia levels are around 1.0ppm.
<... need to be 0.0... I'd have pre-made new water available, be switching out half daily without touching the gravel or filter media, feeding VERY minimally>

i don't know what he has and would love any advice or feedback. please see attached photos.
<Nothing attached. Try sending emails to yourself to assure their attachment. IF the files are very large, upload them elsewhere and just send links along>
everyday that goes by, he's on the gravel more. but he still moves around, just doesn't seem as curious. he is still eating, surprisingly. I don't want to spend a ton of money and would LOVE to find the REMEDY! are you
able to help me save him?
<You've got to get the ammonia down...>
let me knew your thoughts...
Thank you very much,
Worried, helpless girl
<Try the water changes for now Esther. Bob Fenner>

Re: Brackish moray ID      1/12/18
Hello Marco,
<Hi Ben.>
Nice to hear that your winter is warm, I hope this is good for your tropical fishes!
<I don't think they care. It's the same temperature in the house and their tanks all year round.>
Sorry for the bad quality of the film. I hope to borrow a better camera later, to take a better picture of my eel, or a cell phone with a strong flashlight.
<This would be good. Maybe we can get a proper ID instead of just guessing wildly.>
In any case, if my eel is actually an Uropterygius micropterus as I assumed, it is already 20cm maybe more, so I guess it's near adult (not baby eel anymore), as maximum length of this species is 30cm (according to Fishbase).
So, if it's really U. micropterus, then we confirm what Fishbase said is correct (that it is both brackish and marine). It also seems to be happy in its 1.008 sg aquarium, and are very docile in temperament, it is very
friendly with the E. rhodochilus and G. polyuranodon, no aggression observed.
<Good to hear.>
When I am back to Sumenep, I'll ask Mr. Eko in which part of the river he captured them: Was it at the river mouth, or further inland, did he used a submerged trap or did he picked them up in shallow waters. This way we could have some more info about the habitat of the eel.
<That's a good idea. Most of such useful information is lost with export, it's great you are close to the source.>
Too bad this species is not so common as pets, as I think this eel could be one of the easier ones to keep. It is not as pretty as E. rhodochilus, G. polyuranodon or G. tile, but it is not so hard to feed and not so shy, mine seems to spend almost as much time swimming outside the pipes as waiting inside. It also does not run away from my hands when I am cleaning the aquarium, interesting eh?
<Yes, especially since Uropterygius species in general are reported to spend most of their lives hidden in rocks and mud, but to be honest: not much is known about the behavior of members of this genus at all.>
Well, thank you and have a nice day!
<You, too!>
Best Regards, Ben
<Cheers, Marco.>

Major problem. Acrylic crack      1/12/18
Good morning to you all and thanks in advance. I bought a 750 used acrylic tank from Bill Wann in Wisconsin (I assume you’ve heard of him?)
<Saw him give a presentation a couple months back at the Aquatic Experience in Chi town>
last week. The tank was shipped uninsured via freight carrier.
When I finally got it home after picking it up I took the wrapping off it to discover a damaged area.
The damage is at the bottom edge of the right side panel where the overflow is glued to the side wall. Hopefully the pics I provide will be sufficient for your opinion.
<Is any part of this impact discernible by touch inside or out?>
I plan on welding a 1/2” acrylic patch to the inside and outside of the area. I was thinking that the inside patch would be actually 2 pieces of acrylic at a 90 degree angle so I can weld it to the bottom as well as the side panel. The major concern I have is that the shattered area spreads across both sides of where the overflow is welded to the side panel. Basically that means I have to split my inside patch on both sides of the overflow wall. If I patch correctly do you think I’ll be ok?
<I do hope so. What you describe is the route I would go also>
The tank is 1” acrylic all the way around. It’s 10’ long, 4’ front to back and 30” tall.
<... IF it were me fabricating this tank, I would have sized up to 1.25" thick cell-cast acrylic... Even with a good job of top bracing there is going to be noticeable bowing here>

It sits on a custom 2” square stock steel stand. Thank you so much for your assistance and opinion.
<Please see our file size requirements... Folks are sending WAY too large images. Bob Fenner>


Part 2 major problem     1/12/18
Sorry guys but the first message wouldn’t allow me to attach more pics of the damage.
<Because you've exceeded our overall ISP storage. Argh!<>

Here they are. I also forgot to mention that the crack is on the inside and doesn’t go all the way through. I’d say it goes about 3/4 of the way through the 1” panel. I also plan on shooting some Weldon 4 into the crack as well as the other measures
<Good. I would do this as well... tis the reason I asked re being able to feel the damage. B>
I mentioned in my first message. Thank you.

Odd parasite or injury     1/11/18
Hi! I have a Pleco (I honestly am not sure what breed) who is about 15 years old.
<Likely Pterygoplichthys species of some sort -- by far the most common of the "Common Plecs" in the hobby.>
I rescued him in 2010 from a foreclosed on home in the middle of the Las Vegas summer. The previous owner had left a fish tank in his home in a living room in front of uncovered windows. For several months I would jog past this place and see the tank and decided to ask the bank if I could remove the tank, not knowing there was a fish in it still. It’s a miracle he was still alive.
<They are tough fish, that's for sure!>
The original owner’s children informed me he was almost 8 years old.
<Nice. They can live a long time, given good conditions, easily well over 20 years.>
Needless to say this fish has bonded to me.
<It's lovely when these Plecs become tame. They're so shy otherwise, and reportedly nocturnal, but once settled, they'll come out during the daytime. My Panaque is right now at the front of the tank begging for food. If there was anyone else in the room, or any noise, she'd be inside her cave hiding away.>
I have had no idea that a fish could have such an awesome connective personality, he sits in my hand, follows me from one side of the tank to the other and greets me when he sees me come home from work.
He even plays soccer with me with his own little aquarium soccer ball that he also sleeps on.
The problem is that he got a spot on his nose a few months ago and I treated the water with a multi-purpose fungus and parasite treatment. It didn’t go away but didn’t seem to get bigger. Then one morning it had a weird transparent mushroom bubble looking thing growing out of it.
<Understood. Bubbles or blisters under the skin are a sort of injury, with gas or liquid collecting underneath the skin, creating a sort of bubble. Sometimes they're caused by supersaturation of the water with oxygen. This almost never happens in freshwater tanks, but is slightly more common in marine tanks. Either way, it's caused by ridiculously too much aeration, so that too much gas dissolves in the water, and for some reason it comes out of solution inside the fish, rather like when you open a can of soda-pop and the bubbles all fizz out. The bubbles cause substantial damage to nearby tissues, and can develop into visible bubble-like growths just under the skin. Anyway, toning down aeration helps, and eventually the "gas bubble disease" fixes itself. Now, if the bubble is fluid-filled rather than gas bubbles, we call it a blister, and these are usually caused by a bacterial infection. They can respond well to anti bacteria treatments. The fact the bubble is around the snout suggests some sort of physical injury, such as the gravel being too sharp, and catfish generally are particularly prone to these odd problems because they rest with their nose, whiskers and belly on the substrate. So unlike other fish, which float, they're more prone to becoming scratched and/or infected with bacteria living on the substrate. It's more or less similar to what we'd call Finrot, and might be treated with the same medicines. But I'd also recommended reviewing the tank, cleaning the substrate as thoroughly as practical, and ensuring that there's nothing rough in the tank that the catfish might abrade itself with.>
I treated his tank again and it fell off or went away and he seemed happier. Then a month goes by and now there’s a new one there and the first one is back and is red like it’s full of blood. I have done so much research and can’t find any information on it. Can you give me some suggestions as to what this is and what I should do?
<Do see above.>
My buddy is in his senior years and I want him to continue to be healthy and happy. I feed him zucchini and algae wafers (which he doesn’t eat, he prefers the zucchini). I once gave him a piece of mango which he promptly spit out of the tank at me so mango is a NO! Spinach just became a rotting tank plant, so I supposed I have a picky eater. I named him Old Greg. I love him so!
<Do try some other foods to vary the diet. Algae wafers will be eaten, but also offer slivers of white fish and shrimp, bits of mollusk such as cockles and mussels, sweet potato, cooked or canned peas. A lump of bogwood may also provide useful fibre for Plecs of all types, even those that don't actually digest wood (as Panaque spp. do) and merely consume it while rasping away at any algae.>
Thanks for your help!
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Aquarium Service Business; ALS Ops Man.      1/11/18
Dear WWM Crew,
<Hey Nick>
Fist I would like to thank you for running such a comprehensive site. Its amazing, how much insight is here.
<Ah, welcome. Much time, effort of collected/directed interest>
I have been running an aquarium pond service biz since 2007 and recently took it full-time. I am always trying to learn more and build better systems.
With that being said, I have been searching for some content that was mentioned in this post. (Our old service company's Operations Manual)
<Oh; I am the originator of same>
Do these documents still live on the website?
<In parts, yes. Most of it is presented as articles on the business SubWeb of WWM:
"<Oh yes! Our old service company's Operations Manual is placed in sections of the WWM Business SubWeb... AND am in the middle of writing an introduction piece for Al Connelly of TFH re this part of our trade, my history/experience (Aquatic Life Services)>"
<<Oh! Yes... heeee! >>
Hello Bob. Aquarium Service Business 1/11/15

Hi Bob.
I have been having ongoing chat with James G who has been kind enough to give me info about my fish store start up I'm thing of doing in Toronto
<Ahh; good to get vendor info. for sure. I also have some friends in the trade there that you might benefit from chatting with. Oh, and will be there in May giving a talk at the CAOAC>
James said that perhaps you might be able to offer some insight into the tank maintenance side of the business as I am very interested in looking at all sides of the business and earning as much as I can before I commit.
<Oh yes! Our old service company's Operations Manual is placed in sections of the WWM Business SubWeb... AND am in the middle of writing an introduction piece for Al Connelly of TFH re this part of our trade, my history/experience (Aquatic Life Services)>
I have few questions for you and please add any insight you can as I am still learning what questions to ask about this.
<Sure; helps me to organize my thoughts for the above>
How do you find your clients.
<Best by referral from previous work; a decent presentation on your website... NOT via ads in directories. Sometimes through your store through requests for help with/installs, moving... BUT the "big" accounts (installs of tens of thousands, hundreds of dollars a month and more ongoing) don't come through LFS>
What is the rate that you charge per hour to have this maintenance done.
<At least 35 US/hour for actual work, 50/ supervision, 100 for consulting, two hour minimum... paying the service staff (or yourself) a percentage of the labor charge... thirty some percent to start... A good deal of the rest will be taken up by "indirect labor charges"... taxes, insurance, licensing... You'll see>
What is the average amount of time spent doing a maintenance per call.
<Counting loading up, travel, on-site, clean up and ordering/paperwork... an hour minimum, more often 2-3>
How often would you see a client over a month on average to do this maintenance.
<For marine systems, once a week or more... Freshwater; depends; but usually once a week>
Do you charge by test or item done or just by the hour.
<Two basic types of accounts: Inclusive (all included: tests, foods, salt, livestock...) and non-inclusive; billing the customer for all. NEEDS to be done in writing; via account folders (you'll see the forms we used at ALS on WWM>
How do you bill for this work.
<Monthly; we sent a billing statement and pay envelope via USPS>
Not sure but do you also sell fish and coral.
<We sold all products and services to do w/ ornamental aquatics>
Would you have any in sight to tank design.
<And fabricated up to 2" acrylic, had glass, cabinet work made by others... sold tens of millions of dollars worth over the years internationally>
Well that should get our conversation started.
<Heeee! I'll say!>
Thanks for your time Bob.
Aidan Dunstan
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Nick Tootill
Current Aquatics LLC
Aquariums | Ponds | Water Features
currentaquatics.com <http://currentaquatics.com/>
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Brackish moray ID     1/11/18
Hello Marco,
<Hi Ben.>
Warm greetings from Indonesia. How's Germany today?
<Warmest winter I remember.>
I observed the eel and see no visible dorsal fin that starts above the gill opening. So there is a possibility that this is an Uropterygius eel instead of a G. richardsonii or E. rhodochilus?
<If you don't see said dorsal fin on the eel in question, but you are able to see it on your Echidnas, the mystery moray likely belongs to the genus Uropterygius (Anarchias would be another option).>
<Sorry Ben, I can't make out any detail in the vid, it's too dark and blurry. You should use some additional light source when taking pictures or videos.>
Thank you and Best Regards,
<Have a nice day.>
Ben Haryo
<Cheers, Marco.>

Nuisance algae......or is it?!     1/11/18
Hi guys, been using WWM for at least 15 years now and always recommend it to new and experienced Aquarist alike.
Now I need some help though please. My 200gallon reef tank is about 18months old and has always had good pH (8.1 to 8.2), temp (26oC), alkalinity (8-10dKH), calcium (400-450ppm), magnesium, etc etc. My nitrates are always virtually undetectable but exist and my phosphates the same but show 0 on my Salifert test kit. I have a Tomini tang, purple tank,
magnificent Foxface, 2 Percula and 1 Chromis. Also several conch, sand sifting stars, snails, etc although no hermits.
I have different macro algae in my sump
<On an RDP light schedule I hope/trust>
and skim a nice cup of brown off every few days (Skimz mini 1000 skimmer).
I have a hell of a lot of turnover within the tank (2 x Maxspect gyres xf250 on lunar tidal cycle & 3 x all pond solutions synced powerheads putting out around 8000lph each on full. I also use an Ecotech L1 as my return pump set to about 50%). I have 2 main 180w maxspect r420rs on my DT and 1 x 60w r420r on my sump on alternate settings.
<Sounds good>
About 5 weeks ago I added some reeflowers white sand stuff and boom (!!!) I get the outbreak that can be seen in the attached picture. Do you think this is diatoms, Cyano or dinos??
<Most likely BGA, does it feel slimy? Have a look under a scope... Cyano lacks nuceli...>
If I turn over my sand then the brown
<Brown? This looks red in the pix. Might be something else. Again, READ on WWM re ID... iodine test, simple viewing under a moderate power microscope... will reveal simply>

appears back within hours and is now starting to spread on to my rock work.
<... can't tell w/o high resolution. The rock looks like a nice encrusting red in the photo>

I need to know what it is to try to combat it. I have performed all the general mitigation measures such as reduce feeding, increase flow, reduce photoperiod, increase amount of macroalgae but it doesn't appear to be shifting. Any identification and/or advise you could give would be very gratefully received.
<Uhh, read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algaeconMar.htm
and the linked FAQs files above>
I have also put a pic on of what my sandbed looked like before this outbreak!
<This looks like Cyano...>
Yours patiently, Martin Gorton
<Cheers. Do please write back w/ your further observations, efforts/effects. Bob Fenner>

Re: Invasive polyps; clav.     1/11/18
Dear Bob,
Thank you for your answer, not the one I was hoping for but at least now I know what I have to do !
Kind regards
<Cheers Thierry. BobF>


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