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Cephalopholis panamensis (Steindachner 1877), the Panamic Graysby, Cabrilla. Eastern Pacific; Sea of Cortez to Ecuador, Galapagos. To twelve inches in length.   Adult in Cabo 2016 

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
PLEASE: Write reviews of my works on Amazon! I need your input. BobF

Note: RMF is out diving 3/25-4/2; hence the dailies postings may be erratic.

Re: Baby Elephant Nose with a damaged nose     3/30/17
Thank you! ��
<Welcome Renee. BobF>
Re: Baby Elephant Nose with a damaged nose     3/30/17

Hi Bob - the little elephant nose is still fighting, but its not looking good (lying upside down in the tank, not really swimming) but he's going to have to call it quits - and I'm going to keep going until he does. But I've never kept this kind of fish before so I was hoping to share my plan and get your opinion and suggestions.
The tank he's in is my hospital tank for plants, no fertilizers or anything, just my normal water additives (Equilibrium, Alkaline buffer, Acid buffer, and Stability) and a cup (in a ten gallon tank) of waste water from another tank per week for food for the plants.
But he's the first fish to be in there in 3 years. The water parameters show only yellow (no ammonia), blue (no nitrite), and yellow (no nitrate). I've read on your site that this species is sensitive to many common products used in aquariums such as salt, Prime, etc., and I haven't used anything like that in my efforts to help this fish. But I did a 20% water change this morning (I don't want leftover food hanging around in there), changed the filter medium, and that's about all I've done. I'm keeping the tank temp at 77 and keeping a towel over it to keep things dark and quiet for him.
I'm dropping small amounts of food near him, leaving it for half an hour, then vacuuming it out. Does all of that sound ok to you?
<I'd try the food only twice per day>
Is there anything else that I could be doing that would help?
<Not really; no. There are downsides to trying most everything. Bob Fenner>
Re: Baby Elephant Nose with a damaged nose     3/30/17

Ok, thank you. Whatever happens it means a lot to know I didn't miss anything.
<Ah yes. B>

Re: Ill/Injured Black Ghost Knifefish, Please Advise     3/30/17
Thank you muchly for the swift reply & probable diagnosis - I completely agree it could be either of these things or even a combination of the two. RTS has been picking at the poor BGK, so this morning I removed RTS to a temporary holding area while I set the 20 gallon quarantine. The bulging "sac" is now almost gone and it looks like mostly live tissue protruding from the wound, I also found a small piece of what could be intestine floating around near BGK.. Awful. It looks a tiny bit better, but of course now I worry if the fish will be missing necessary digestion components.
I have read heavily into thyroid complications/tumours and treatment using iodine/iodide (iodide being the safer of the two?).
<The latter; and/or the valence state which is iodate. In actual practice, common terminology iodide/ate is often labeled/named as elemental iodine (which they are not)>
Seeing the studies showing it's effectiveness in tissue repair/regeneration, I do believe it would be wise to treat the fish with a potassium iodide solution. Is this "Reef Iodide" from Seachem safe for freshwater use??
<Yes it is>
I assume you would not be giving me the wrong information, of course, just want to be sure. I've also found in my searches that salts or "Epsom" salts may be added to the aquarium water??
<Yes. Please see Neale Monk's piece re its uses in freshwater>
What are your thoughts on this in regards to my BGK?
<Worth trying. Relatively safe; and effective>
Would a small amount of salts or magnesium prove helpful as well?? Would this react badly to the iodide?
<Are miscible>
Chemistry, I'll admit, was not my strongest point. Another thought, I've seen/read that the addition of almond leaves may be useful for reaching more preferable water conditions for a BGK... Any thoughts on this?
<Can be of use in softening water, making darker/less transparent; which are of use>
I've been searching through my usual online supply shops and have not yet found the reef iodide from Seachem but I do believe I will order (it or a similar product) as soon as possible.
<Other brands/manufacturers also sell... Am just a fan of the SeaChem line... Real products, consistent>
Thank you again, so much, for your advisements
Jami Kai
<Glad to assist your efforts. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ill/Injured Black Ghost Knifefish, Please Advise /Neale     3/30/17

Ok, according to Neale's article in regards to salts/Epsom salts and their freshwater use, am I supposed to be putting 34-68 teaspoons of salt in this water?! It claims in the chart that as a prophylactic treatment, one should add salt at 1-2 g/l? That would equate to approximately 34-68 teaspoons in a 55 gallon aquarium, as per the instruction given. Yikes. If a BGK is sensitive to water quality changes, is this a wise addition? Should one be scaling down the dosage for such a sensitive fish? Is a small amount of salt better than none or too much?
<You need to review the concept of concentration. If I threw in 27,000 tonnes of Epsom salt into an aquarium the size of the Atlantic Ocean, and stirred thoroughly, that wouldn't have any discernible effect at all. The pile of salt was big, but the amount of water was much, much bigger. Your aquarium holds 210 litres; so to get a concentration of 1-2 gram per litre, you'd be adding 210 to 420 grams. I'm doing this in metric because it's easier. While one teaspoon is approximately 6 grams of salt, for this quantity I'd still be using kitchen scales, and even in the good ole US of A, kitchen scales have metric as well as Imperial units. So it's a no-brainer to do it this way. Add the salt to a bucket of warm water, stir thoroughly, and once it's all dissolved, add in stages to the aquarium, perhaps 25% of the bucket every 15 minutes. This will give the filter enough time to push the salted water around the aquarium evenly. There's absolutely no point using smaller amounts of salt because even at 1-2 gram/litre you aren't going to stress most fish, and lower amounts aren't going to have any effect.>
In this article is also explains how Epsom salts are useful for tanks holding hard water fish... Is this "hardness" not stressful for a soft water fish??
<Sure, long term. But we're using the Epsom salt here as a short-term fix, and can phase it out once the fish is/are healthy again.>
If I were to add almond leaves in the water, would that counter-act the hardness created by Epsom salts and create a better environment for the fish? Or would this neutralize things, rendering both ineffective?
<A fair question, and I'd suggest removing anything likely to acidify the water, at least temporarily. That said, the impact of almond leaves is probably trivial. Use a pH test kit to monitor, if needs be.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Acrylic tank lifespan     3/30/17
Hi, I am rather humbled to ask, but what is the "lifespan" of acrylic aquariums for both larger and smaller models? I ask because I have been in the tank maintenance business for 25+ years, and some of my clients tanks are that old or older.
<A well-made system of small/er size (hundred gallons or so) should last twenty years or more if kept on a level, planar stand>
Also, if an acrylic tank starts to get the "cloudy spots" in the seams, or any other tiny leak, will those seam leaks grow?
<They will unfortunately. IF there are whited out areas that approach half the seam width, a good idea to drain, have corner doweling solvented in all inside seams>
Thank you in advance
Bill Thomas
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Jellybean Cichlid; foods, fdg.      3/30/17
We have a jellybean cichlid along with 2 jewel cichlids in a 55 gallon tank. They all get along fine but my jellybean is always begging for food.
We feed them the cichlid flakes since they never took to pellets. Is there something else I should be feeding him so he's not always begging?
<Ah yes; need more sustenance, substance than flakes; I would train them on nutritious, palatable types of pellets, possibly laced with frozen/defrosted foods. Please read here:
Thank you
for any input.
LeeAnne Degler
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

FH snuggling?      3/30/17
Hey Crew,
<4 megs....>
I got this FH around Valentine's Day. I'm not sure how old he is but he has quadrupled in size (about 5inches + tail) since I've had him and has grown and considerably large hump, and from which I've read seems to be a sign of good health.
<Mmm; not necessarily, no>
Before getting him I already had a large, 8 or 9 inch Pleco. At first the FH would "attack" the Pleco, I think soon realizing that he has little effect on him the "attacks" decreased, now, he just kind of muscles him around. However, now he's doing this weird almost snuggling thing with him.
<Social animals; actually crosses>
At first I was thinking maybe the water temp and went down and they were trying to keep warm with body heat, but I just don't know.
<Are poikilotherms... no heat to be had>
Is he trying to mate? (Sorry if the picture is too big, I don't know how to resize). It's about a 45gal tank btw, and I know both of my fish are probably too big for it.
<Just like Gilligan's Is.; looking for a little buddy is my guess. Bob Fenner>

April 2017 Calendar     3/28/17
Here is an April calendar for the WWM. Still studying Web development. Are you out and about travelling?
<Very nice! Yes; down in Roatan presently. Will post. B>

Re: Two Curiosities (Cycle and Skimmer/evaporation)     3/28/17
Hi Bob,
<Hello Eddie>
I had a follow up comment to your responses to my email yesterday. I actually never got the email response, but I saw your comments in the daily FAQs.
<Bizarre... we respond directly to all. I don't like that you didn't get the msg. directly>
This may be because I accidentally sent yesterday's email through one of my work accounts. I'm sending this one through my personal email, which I have always used with WWM before. For your convenience I copied/pasted the email and response from the daily FAQs page below.
<Thank you>
Anyway, thank you for your response/endorsement of my plan. You said that you often suggest putting the old/dead rock under the new. I wanted to clarify that my plan is to do that very thing. Right now, as I add it a piece at a time, I'm putting most of the old rock in the sump. I have space reserved in there for a refugium that I haven't set up yet. I'm sticking most of the old rock in there. Once I get most of it in the system, then I will do my final aquascaping. This will involve (briefly) pulling the new rock out into a plastic tub containing system water (syphoned out for this purpose and to help prevent water sloshing out while I have my hands in there), pulling the old rock out of the sump and arranging it in the tank (I've already practiced this on a cardboard cut out and taken pictures of the way I want to arrange it),
<Neat; a very good practice>
and then arranging the new rock on top of it. I even have holes already drilled in the old rock and zip ties already inserted so that I can attach the new to the old.
Thanks again for all your help. I hope that your diving trip goes very well.
<Ah, thank you. BobF>

Ill/Injured Black Ghost Knifefish, Please Advise     3/28/17
Hello WWM Crew,
I am writing to you in desperation, I am at a loss. I have an 11-12 inch Black Ghost Knife Fish who has never been named, so we shall call him BGK for the time being.
Approximately 2 years ago, I found an add for this fish on kijiji and jumped at the opportunity. It seemed a perfect idea for my 55 gallon, as the fish was coming from 15 gallon housing and I assumed it wouldn't be much larger than 5-6 inches at maximum. To my surprise, I was given a 10-11 inch fish in an ice cream pail.
I got the fish home as quickly as possible, (didn't acclimate him properly at all) and got him set up in my running 55 gallon set up with a small rubber lip pleco that had been residing there since first water quality tests came clear. All was well and I had a magnificent fish in my 55 gallon (which I know is far too small as a "forever" home, I am currently planning to buy a 150-175 gallon upgrade as he is now finally reaching the 12 inch milestone, then perhaps a larger custom build in the future).
Through the next year, I brought home 2 blood parrot cichlids that were awful sad looking in the store. As well as a Red Tail Shark. All was well for a while. The cichlids grew however, as did their aggression. They were eventually rehomed due to aggression issues, I clearly should've researched more before committing.
Rubber lip pleco passes away for unseen reasons. I can only blame this on myself, the only explanation I can come up with is either he wasn't getting enough out of the algae disks I was feeding or the RTS bullied him. The RTS
seems to get along "swimmingly" with BGK. I should also mention at this point that BGK is totally peaceful and content unless of course there is a tiny fish nearby that would fit in his mouth.
Fast forward about a year. BGK is now approximately 12 inches and on the verge of outgrowing the 55 gallon tank. RTS is about 3-4 inches, doing well. Both have their own hiding spots in the tank, a cave for the RTS and a large 12" clear pvc tube for BGK. A midsize piece of driftwood provides extra cover and seems to be neutral ground. Water quality tests today show ammonia at 0, nitrites 0, but nitrates slightly high at 30-40. I do consistently weekly(sometimes bi-weekly) water changes of %20-%25 to keep nitrate levels at a semi-acceptable level, but our water comes out of the tap with Nitrates at 25-30. I have yet to find any kind of nitrate removal system besides live plants which are not yet an option with this set up. I realize that this high nitrate level causes stress to the fish.
<Yes; all a matter of degree and type>
I notice this morning that there are still pieces of bloodworm around the tank, highly unusual. BGK turns around to say hello and I see he's obviously wounded in some way. Under his jaw where there is usually the white spot, it seems like there is a deep laceration where the internal organs have begun to protrude. It looks like a large bubble, a sac of some kind.
<Looks to be a tumor of some sort. From the position, possibly of thyroid-equivalent; though could be part of the intestine pushed out.. a prolapsed colon >
It's awful. I can't tell if the organs pushed everything out or if it was actually a laceration that's letting things "fall" out. I don't know. It's awful. I have no idea how it could've happened, there are no sharp spots in the tank where he could've cut himself unless on the driftwood somehow but even then it's highly doubtful. I have cats and it's possible they could fit a paw through the filter gaps in the lid to go "fishing", but still highly doubtful. I've been through google searches and the WWM pages regarding all of it and I can't seem to find any other similar cases. I'm in the midst of preforming a water change as I'm writing this on and off. I don't know what else to do to help the fish, or if it can be saved. I almost feel like it should be euthanized if it's struggling so. I'm located in Canada with not much access to medications, any access will not come quickly as shipping is never fast out here. The BGK seems to be in pain, it's obviously uncomfortable, he's breathing rapidly with his mouth half-open kind of like he's panting. The RTS is now picking at BGK. I will attempt to attach some photos, I apologize in advance I'm sure they'll be a larger size than necessary (not sure how to downsize them on cellphone)
PS. I'm also dealing with a big brown algae bloom at the moment due to the arrival of spring and all the extra sunshine we've been getting - and no pleco to help clean
PPS. The tiny white spots you see on BGK are small air bubbles as he's sitting very motionless near the filter flow (also a sign of bad water quality, I know, those nitrates. but at least it's not ich cause that's about what it looks like in the pictures)
Thank you in advance
Jami Kai
<Do please search, read on WWM re "prolapsed colon" and the use of iodide-ate for thyroid issues. I WOULD treat (add to the water and foods) a useful "iodine" treatment (made for fish systems)... Possibly the SeaChem
product: http://www.seachem.com/reef-iodide.php
Bob Fenner>

Baby Elephant Nose with a damaged nose     3/28/17
I recently came across a baby (1 1/2 inches tops) elephant nose in the possession of an aquaintance that looked frighteningly thin to me.
<Very/Too common... under and mis-fed; stocked w/ incompatible life>
When I asked him about it he said the fish's proboscis was damaged but didn't elaborate on how it got damaged. I looked closer and could see that the animal's nose looks "different" but there was no sign of any external damage - it just doesn't look straight. It seemed to be trying to forage for food, but this guy's tank has a heavy current (29 gallon with two hob filters and a powerhead) and he has what seems like a lot of tetras and rasboras in the same tank. I told him the elephant nose was starving and that if he didn't do something it was going to die - he just shrugged. So I offered him $10 for the fish and he took it. The little guy/gal, that I've named Finley, is now (as of 15 minutes ago) in my 10 gallon by himself. This tank is heavily planted tank with only a 10 gallon filter on it. I've put in rotifers, daphnia, cyclops, and mashed bloodworms (small amounts) and he seems to be trying to eat it. My question is, is there any chance this fish's nose will heal as it grows if I can just get and keep him eating?
<It may well do so under your good care. Mormyrids have "remarkable powers of regeneration". Bob Fenner>
*Renee *

Red algae?      3/28/17
This appeared in my tank like 9 months ago The tank has been up up and running for 15+ years. Nothing has been added coal wise in 4+ years. No live rock has been added in like 10 years.
Just started grow out of the blue. And it grows very fast! Already cut some out. Looks cool but is it bad or good?
<Are there signs of poisoning... of your other livestock? This looks like a Rhodophyte, but might well be a BGA... esp. strange that your tangs aren't consuming it. Is it (very) slimy? Do you have a simple microscope that you can look at part of it under? I'd like to see pix if the 'scope has a USB conn. I would remove it as it grows... Look to the usual: nutrient limitation, competition, DSB/Refugium on RDP... perhaps the assiduous use of chemical filtrants (Chemipure, PolyFilter) monthly to limit. Bob Fenner>
Todd Washowich
A microscope? Dude I haven't used one since 6th grade. 😂. Is not slimy. And nothing has died in a long time.
My filters are just a butt load of live rock in my sump in the basement.
A protein skimmer as well. We do not do any additives at all and do 70 gal water changes I had a run of Cyanobacteria a month ago. Only thing added was what a slime X or what ever.
But this was growing long before. I may try to find a microscope though. But of course I would not know why to look at.
Am back to the Reds then... an unpalatable one (there are many). And the suggestion to remove on a weekly basis; cut off and siphon out; address the HPO4.

Stocking options for 600 gallon tank    3/27/17
Hello my name is Jason. You guys have a wonderful forum with plenty of information and I was able to learn a lot from reading them. I have a 600 gallon tank with measurements of 6ft length 5 ft width and 30in height. I am planning to keep a pair or trio of Scribbled angel (Chaetodontoplus duboulayi). The other fishes that I want to get are a trio of Golden Semilarvatus Butterfly, One Flame Angel (Centropyge loricula), Blue-stripped Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus septentrionalis), Blue-girdled Angelfish (Pomacanthus navarchus), Yellow-eyed Kole tang (Ctenochaetus strigosus), Blonde Naso Tang (Naso elegans) and Desjardin's Sailfin (Zebrasoma desjardinii). I will also keep a few Bartlett's Anthias (Pseudanthias bartlettourum) as a dither fish. Is it possible to keep a pair or trio of Scribbled angel in my tank with my other large angels and large tangs?
<Yes it is; given plenty of room, break up (bommies) of the environment.

Need to get/be out of eye-shot of each other a good percentage of the time>
What do you think of my stocking list?
<Should work. I'd introduce the Anthiines first; to allow them familiarity; feeding practice; the tangs next>
Thank you for your time for reading my e-mail.
Sincerely yours Jason
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Stocking options for 600 gallon tank    3/27/17

Dear Mr. Fenner,
Thank you for your quick reply. I appreciate it very much.
<Certainly welcome Jason. BobF>
Sincerely yours,

Two Curiosities (Cycle and Skimmer/evaporation)    3/27/17
Hello WWM Crew,
I am about a month into the set up of my new tank, and I have several curiosities that I am puzzling over. As you all are always here for me (and I REALLY appreciate that) I thought I would send them your way in the hopes that not only can you answer my inquiries, but also that they might perhaps help someone else as well.
First a little background. I have a 75 gallon tank with a 30 gallon sump. I filled the tank in late February, and on March 8 got 42 lbs. of really good live rock at a LFS that is about an hour and a half away. This stuff was well cured, large but light (very pours), and full of all kinds of life: sea stars, brittle stars, all kinds of pods and Mysis, sponges, worms, snails, clams, feather dusters galore. I took it home and stuck in the tank. The original plan was to put an additional 35 lbs. or so of (formerly) live rock (now dead) that I had in my tank four years ago that has been sitting in my basement dry in a 5 gallon bucket since. The plan was to let the old rock “feed” the new rock through the cycle period, and the new rock to fill the old rock with bacteria. However, I didn’t have time to put all the dead rock in and aquascape that day, so I just stuck the new rock in the tank for a few days until I was going to have time to do the rest. Having seen all the life on the new rock, I’m glad that I didn’t have time. Especially since on one of the rocks was a hitchhiking Kenya Tree Coral (it’s about an inch tall closed up).I didn’t even notice it until I was home. I had hoped to start the tank as a FOWLR, and eventually (maybe) move on to some soft corals. But I ended up getting thrust into the world of corals already. I didn’t want to go ahead with the original plan for fear that
it would kill the coral and a lot of the other cool life on the live rock. So, on the advice of a friend (who owns the LFS store where I got the rock) instead of going ahead and putting in all the dead rock, I am adding instead one or two of the rocks per week so that the bacteria can build slowly and handle all the dead stuff on the old rock. I have also washed them off really well—spraying them with a hose and also immersing them in water several times. All of the dead rocks except one are less than 5lbs. each and a few are really small. I’ve added four this way (less than 10 lbs. so far), and so far all is well.
<This is a good, workable plan; though I most often suggest and use old/dead rock under the new>
So now for the first curiosity. When I put the new live rock in the tank originally and left it for several days, I expected a brief cycle—it was well cured, but out of the water for almost two hours on the way home. But I never got one. For the few days that I left it in the tank by itself, I did “feed” it a small pinch of fish food every other day. In fact, I have had no evidence of a cycle at all—even putting in the four dead rocks so far (over the last two weeks).I’m not getting any ammonia or nitrite (which I didn’t expect to get), but I’m not getting any Nitrate either (and I have a brand new Nitrate test, and an older one too).It is just a standard Nitrate test (not a low level one), but it keeps reading 0—certainly not 5ppm (the next step up on the color chart).I would have thought that after having been in there three weeks that I would be getting some kind of Nitrate reading.
<Mmm; nope. You have a classic "balanced" aerobic/anaerobic setting currently>
I am getting some algae this week—some diatoms and a little bit of hair algae. I’ve had to use my lights more because of the coral. I did set up my skimmer (Aqua C EV-180) a few days after I put in the new rock. This is the first time I’ve used a skimmer (I didn’t have one before), but it was easy to follow the directions and install it. It didn’t skim anything at first (during break-in).It just churned the water, but after I put in the first of the old rocks it started skimming some dark gray water. It will slow down after a day or so, but then when I put another old rock in, it will produce some more.
<Par for the course>
So here are my theories on why I am not getting any Nitrates.1. The live rock is substantial enough (and the waste is still small enough even with the four old rocks) that the denitrifying bacteria in the live rock is removing the Nitrates as they are being produced.2.The Nitrates are being used up by the algae in the tank. In addition to the diatoms and hair algae, there are lots of coralline algae that seem to be growing before my eyes.3.The skimmer is removing a lot of the dead stuff from the old rocks before it can go through the cycle.4.All of the above. Thoughts?
<All three; but mostly 1)>
The other curiosity is mostly more of an observation. My skimmer, when it is producing foam greatly increases the rate of evaporation in the tank. In the period of time before I installed the skimmer, I thought I had the rate of evaporation roughly figured. This remained fairly constant while it was breaking in as well. But when it started producing foam and skimming the evaporation really increased. I'm losing a little over a half gallon a day. When I empty the cup and clean the tower, it loses the head of foam and takes several hours to build it back
up. During this time the rate of evaporation slows way down. I'm not losing that much liquid in the collection cup itself. It's evaporating more rapidly. I guess I was curious as to why this is the case?
<More surface area; more rapid evaporation>
Is it normal? And is this something that is common with all skimmers or just
the EV-180?
<Normal for all>
Again, thank you for always being there for me (and all of us).I have learned so much from your site and from the inquiries that I have sent in.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Mandrian; induced stocking troubles in sm SW sys.     3/27/17
Hello Crew,
<Hi Barbara>
I have a 25 gal. reef tank. Yesterday I bought a large mandrian that the store showed that he was eating frozen brine shrimp.
<Mmm; needs more than this. Please read here:

and the linked Mandarin FAQs files above>
He is eating them in my tank. I have a couple of questions. How often should I feed him?
<The reading; and soon. These fishes (Callionymids) need almost constant feeding to thrive... large, uncrowded, non-competitive settings>
I work from home and sit right next to the tank. The tank is a rimless tank that has no lid.
<Fishes jump out of these...>
I had a smaller size diamond goby and this morning it is gone.

I have looked around the tank and the back where the overflow goes and nothing. I can only assume it jumped but cant find it. The LFS said the mandrian and goby would be ok together.what are your thoughts on that?
<Not a good mix in such a small volume. The reading>
At the same time I bought the mandian I bought a yellow watchman and he is still there. My livestock currently is additionally a lubbock's fairy wrasse
<... see WWM re Cirrhilabrus systems... need more room and are superb jumpers>
and a gold nugget clown/small anenome

and 2 peppermint and cleaner shrimp. I don't plan to add anything else but I did enjoy the diamond goby cleaning the sand.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Indian Flapshell turtle shell      3/25/17
<HIya, Darrel here>
his wound seems to have gotten worse his scab fell off today leaving the open wound worse, is there anything I can do to make it heal at all?
Thank you in advance!
<Wounds of this type are very difficult to heal. They take time and patience. First thing of course, is that he needs to be dry-docked ... which is to say that he needs to be kept in a warm dry place while his skin heals. As long as he/she doesn't move around too much to the point where he wears the scab off, he can be left to roam inside whatever small container you use. If he's very active, frantically trying to get out and won't settle down after a day or so, then you will have to bandage the wound so he can't damage it as he moves. Another alternative is to
confine him to a small container ... so small that he literally can't move ... for 5 to 7 days until the wound starts to heal.>
<Warm & dry. Betadine (Iodine of some variety) every day. Perhaps a good wash with Hydrogen Peroxide first and again once a week. Read here:

Would you settle an argument and maybe save a Black Ghost Knifefish's Life; filtr.      3/25/17
I have a friend who has a 72 bow front. It is completely empty and he wants to get a BGK to be the solitary fish in the tank. His set up is perfect (according to what I've read on these fish, I've never owned one) except for one thing - filtration. I've repeatedly shown him the WWM postings that state that these fish need a high water flow - as much as 8 - 10 times tank capacity every hour, but he insists that is only for adults; that a juvenile will do fine in the 72 with his Cascade 1000 (I think the gph for that model is around 267 gallons per hour) until it has matured. He believes that a higher gph rate would leave a juvenile plastered up against the side of the tank. He has agreed to abide by your response to this post.
<The Cascade won't do... the ratings for power filters are generally way off in terms of what they really deliver. He'd need three-four of these hang-ons to move enough water, provide biological filtration. Perhaps adding a large canister filter in addition. Bob Fenner>
*Renee *

Re: Rock flower nems... Time to separate, sell        3/24/17
What are your thoughts on a sand bed for the rocks vs. bare bottom
<For just holding? Bare or carpet... like Quality Marine>
Also what is this Cipro
<The UN sponsored antibiotic?>
Would this help any?
<Not here; no>
Mouths are still gaping and some are becoming soft
<Do you have an ongoing reef system you can use to provide water for these Anemones? B>
Re: Rock flower nems    3/24/17

Yes just started changing over to our 5 year old reef for the water changes and was working on discontinuing the extra iodine and simple sugar treatment based on your advice
<Ah, good>
Re: Rock flower nems    3/24/17

Updated pictures with filters
Should I be worried about the mouths still being open like that?
<Not really; no>

Re: Rock flower nems    3/24/17
Ok thank you again for sharing more priceless knowledge with me.
<Glad to be of help. B>

My fish's tail... Lernaea?     3/24/17
So I have attached the best picture I could take of my fish's tail. It is clear, but as you can see there's a white line on it, she never had this before, I've had her for about a week and saw she had it today. What is it?
<Can't be absolutely sure as your large file is blurry, but this appears to be an "Anchorworm"; crustacean parasite... common in imported livebearers and goldfish raised in ponds.>
And are my other fish at risk?
<Mmm; yes... There are a few approaches to treatment... Please read here:
and write back if your path is not clear. Bob Fenner>

Saltwater questions; reef circulation     3/23/17
<Hi there>
I had a 110 gal saltwater a few years ago but moved so sold it. I have a couple of 125 gal freshwater tanks now but the saltwater pulled on me until I got a small one. It is a 25 gal Innovative Marine. It is 7 weeks old. I
recently bought a wave maker wanting to make the tank realistic to the ocean. I just don't know for sure if it was the best for the tank or not and wanted someone else's opinion that I respect. Here is a video of it (Link: Video wave maker). I have it on the lowest setting there is. Thanks so much!
<Your animals look healthy; not too tossed about by current. I WOULD move the Goniopora and mushroom further apart though... to avoid them fighting/allelopathy. Bob Fenner>

Re: Emperor angel mouth reddish in colour    3/23/17
Bob thanks so much for your prompt response!
<Welcome Sandip>
Reason why I had emperor in QT so long was to see if I could get away without medicating beyond the freshwater dip before it went to QT.
<... I understand the theory; but would have all understand that beyond two weeks quarantine, there is more damage than good to be had likely>

I should give up in this concept and just medicate and have a maximum qt experience of 3-4 weeks.
<... Not recommended. I suspect that there is nothing pathogenic wrong with this fish; that its problems at this point are induced>
However week 5 issues (ich I think) arose which went away after using the recommended length of Cupramine treatment.
<Pomacanthids have low tolerance to copper. I DO NOT recommend that they be exposed to unnecessarily>
Also reason I was doing water changes so much was to keep water quality with the amount it was eating. 35 gallon for a 4.5in emperor but I was concerned about nitrates...
Emperor is looking a bit happier after the water change. The meds must be part of the issue. However I noticed some white patches raises from the skin -cotton like. You can see on the fishes left side at the bottom below
the fin around the breast. Photo doesn't show it very well but it is raised like cotton. I will send photo in a separate email now. Also the ends on the bottom fins look like they have lost skin.
I could put into my frag tank (attached to same system as Display) in a container so it can acclimate to display conditions with no one picking on it. I have a yellow tang and a Bellus angel in the 80 gallon frag tank. I could observe to see if it's getting better. The display is about 1.025 so I think I'm supposed to slowly raise from 1.021/1.022 to 1.025 over three days?
<If necessary>
Or should I just do over a day and get in frag tank?
<Yes I would>
I worry about spreading the cotton though...I can't imagine this is velvet as it didn't show in first 4 weeks, it's had 14 days of Cupramine too, and no new fish additions.
Thanks again for your advice!!
<Just stating what I would do given similar circumstances. Bob Fenner>
Fwd: Emperor Angel mouth red Photos of cotton on skin (I sent another email today referencing this photo)

> Photo not showing cotton very well but on the breast below fin. White patches and discolouration.
<Move this fish. B>
> Should this be medicated before putting in display system? Cupramine should have cured... not sure I have anything else to medicate other than Methylene Blue and Metroplex. I know you have expressed concern over
medication so far...
> Thanks
> Sandip


Rippled Coral Goby    3/23/17
<6.5 megs?>
Odd question for you... my green Rippled Coral Goby has taken a liking to my Colt Coral over the past week. During this time, his coloration has lightened dramatically. I'm curious if this some ill effect from the coral, or if this is some adaptation/camouflage type ability? Here's some before and after photos.
<Can't tell the cause, but this light coloring is not good. I would move this fish if you have another suitable system. Bob Fenner>

Re: Rippled Coral Goby    3/23/17
So sorry about the file size, I didn't realize at the time. This Rippled Coral Goby remains an aggressive eater, and I only noticed the color fade since he began roosting in my Colt. Color aside, he seems fine. This particular Colt Color is a very light pink. When I turn my pumps off - the signal for food! - he quickly swims to his roost up on the liverock and will jump in on the feeding action against my two clowns. None of my fish have been seen fighting one another, it's a pretty peaceful tank with a Royal Gramma and a yellow watchman goby.
<Well; up to you of course. Color change alone is not reason to fret.
Re: Rippled Coral Goby    3/23/17

Thanks. Will monitor closely. I guess I was just curious if the Coral Goby would slightly alter color to surroundings,
or if hanging out in corals could be harmful.
<Not likely; no. B>

Origin of the name cichlid.    3/23/17
Hello, crew, hope you're doing well.
<Yes; thank you Roberto>
I am writing to you today not for a problem with my fishkeeping, but rather, more on the scholar side of the hobby.
Here in El Salvador
<Ahh; will be flying back, forth through the capital enroute and returning from Roatan, 3/25, 4/2>
we have a small club of freshwater aquarists, where we share basic, proper fishkeeping practices to novice, intermediate and even advanced hobbyists.
Even though our country is well behind in equipment, practices and knowledge, we, as a club (and me as one of the administrators) strive to share the passion for the hobby and make fishkeeping enjoyable to all.
This month's meeting will be the first about a series of expositions about cichlids, starting with our native central American cichlids. However, we have not found any information regarding what the word cichlid (or its Latin family name Cichlidae) stand for.
<Actually, derived from a Greek word>
So, my question is, why are cichlids, called cichlids? So far we have the fact they all share the single lower bone structure whereas other fish families have it divided into two right?
Yet there is no real conclusive linking of the word cichlid to a specific characteristic. Could you share some knowledge with us? it would be nice to start of the first club meeting on cichlids with some basic technical stuff.
Roberto Mejia
<Lifted from Fishbase.org: Etymology: Greek, kichle = a kind of fish ( Ref. 45335). http://www.fishbase.us/summary/FamilySummary.php?ID=349
Bob Fenner>

Re: Spiny Eel Compatibility        3/22/17
Thanks again!
<Welcome. BobF>

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