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Rhopalaea sp. (likely R. crassa) Translucent cool colored groupings. Common throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific, reef flats and slopes. Predated by Nembrotha nudibranchs. Vertical whitish or brown lines are their sperm ducts. Bali 2014, TiffB pic 

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Updated 8/4/2015
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
PLEASE: Write reviews of my works on Amazon! I need your input. BobF

Re: Site Is Broken?        8/4/15
I'll try :)
<Ahh; good. B>
Jessica

Re: The (Pen)Ultimate Thread---Stocking 105 Gallon Semi-Aggressive Community        8/4/15
Dear Wet Web Media Crew,
I found some healthy blue Acara fish, but they were being kept with some skinny looking clown loaches. Would it be possible to place one in the quarantine tank with the clown loach I already have in there and feed medicated deworming food to them both? Or will the Acara attack the loach?
<Blue Acara are relatively mild fish and should cohabit well with Clown Loaches, assuming all fish of similar size. Feeding medicated food to each equally effectively might be a challenge though. I'd be tempted to risk the Acara in the main tank, feed them medicated food there, and quarantine the Clowns and feed them in that tank.>
He is small right now but he might strike the loach anyway. (I can monitor water quality and change out zeolite/water to keep ammonia zero. Together they actually are about the same size as Shortgill the silver dollar, so I think they should be manageable.) I also found healthy Boesemanni rainbow fish, but they were quite small. Will they do okay in the main tank or is
it too risky? They're too large for the silver dollars to swallow, but they aren't adult size either, and I know you said only large rainbow fish could do well.
<Subadults above 8 cm/3 inches should be fine, but introduce with the lights out, after giving all the established fish a good big meal. You don't want the young fish to look like live food and be treated as such!>
Thank you,
Lynnie
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: The (Pen)Ultimate Thread---Stocking 105 Gallon Semi-Aggressive Community        8/4/15

I'm not sure it will be easier to feed a blue Acara medicated food in the main tank. It would probably be harder due to the larger number of fish.
To be honest, I actually feel the medicated food might be more important for the blue Acara. They are being kept with possibly worm-infected newly caught clown loaches at the fish shop. The clown loach I have in quarantine now (named by my younger sister Tesla, btw) wasn't, and has been in captivity of another owner for a long time now (similarly to the other
clown loach Vladiloach I have had for a while).
<Ah, right, I misunderstood. I thought you wanted to buy both the Clowns and the Acara. Yes, absolutely, QT the Acara with the sickly Loach if that's the only option, but provide two shelters so they don't have the share a single hiding place.>
In any case right now Tesla isn't willing to eat the algae wafer I gave him, and has his spines erected, so he clearly isn't happy. If I get something to use as a cave will he be calmer?
<Flower pot is the 'standard operating procedure' option for this. Subdued lighting and floating plants also a plus.>
Right now I just have a big draping plastic plant.
Thanks,
Lynnie
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: The (Pen)Ultimate Thread---Stocking 105 Gallon Semi-Aggressive Community        8/4/15

Um...still misunderstanding. I'm not making it clear, am I?...sorry.
The clown loach in quarantine isn't sickly, he's just new. There is another in the main tank that has been there for a while. The new one in quarantine is of similar size and age as I am trying to give the clown loach in the main tank a companion.
<So: you have two loaches, same size, but one is new, and he's in the QT tank. Gotcha.>
I don't actually have the blue Acara yet. I just saw them at the LFS, and plan to get one.
<Yes. Nice fish.>
It is there that they are being kept with different clown loaches that look sickly.
<Cross-infection would probably have happened by now if a risk, and the usual advice is don't buy fish from tanks with sick/dead specimens. But if the price on the Blue Acara is good, and you have a QT tank, then might be worth a flutter.>
Right now in the quarantine tank the lighting is subdued and the tank is shaded by a dark background. It just is pretty bare right now save for the single plant, which provides some cover, but not really a hide.
<So you want to quarantine both the new Clown Loach and this potentially new Blue Acara in the same tank? Yes, doable, but will need hiding places each. Flower pots, ceramic or uPVC drain pipes, that sort of thing all good. Better yet if the new Clown is ready to move into the main tank or will be soon... is there a possibility to ask retailer to hold a Blue Acara
aside for a couple weeks? Cheers, Neale.>
Re: The (Pen)Ultimate Thread---Stocking 105 Gallon Semi-Aggressive Community        8/4/15

Well, in that case maybe I will spring for the rainbow fish instead for now, as they are kept in a tank at the store w/o sick fish. It will be a pain to have to deal with a sick Acara even in the QT.
I know I have asked this before, but I still am getting conflicting answers from the store and online reading. The LFS and some websites claim rainbow fish are sensitive to water quality and prone to "threading up" with columnaris if nitrates get high.
<Nitrate toxicity is difficult to pin down. It's not as simple as ammonia and nitrite. I've got a catfish tank with nitrate that must be well over 50 mg/l because of the types of fish kept and the minimal effort I put into maintaining it. Yet the fish inside that tank are thriving. The tank isn't heavily stocked, probably a bit understocked if anything, heavily filtered in terms of water turnover, and thick with floating plants. The fish don't get a lot of food, once a day, often skipped a day, and this week not getting anything at all (I'm on my holidays). So the fish feed extensively on the algae, floating Indian Fern, and to some extent snails. I'm not saying this tank is a model ecosystem: it's badly maintained in terms of nitrate because water changes are few, 4-5 a year in all honesty. But the fish do well. There's a complex interaction between biological filtration, plant growth, and nitrate level that I can't explain but offer as an example of why you can't simply put a number of nitrate and say that's a toxic level. I will observe than the one or two times I've kept cichlids in this tank they've done badly, whereas characins and catfish seem to be fine. I'd never keep cichlids in a tank as neglected as this one. They just seem acutely sensitive to nitrate. But Panaque and Synodontis aren't so fussed, at least in this tank. The Panaque is around 20 years old, the Synodontis nigriventris over 10. I would never recommend people keep fish this way, but at the same time there are many aquaria (and ponds) around the world with high nitrate levels but good fish health because other factors affect the toxicity of nitrate. Water chemistry perhaps, the species being kept, denitrification in the substrate, fast-growing plants,
oxygen concentration, salinity... many things like that. Are rainbowfish classic nitrate-sensitive species like cichlids. Not normally, but there is some variation and for sure some sensitive species (Threadfin Rainbows for
example) as opposed to others that are clearly very hardy (Melanotaenia fluviatilis and Melanotaenia splendida spring to mind, two old school species that established themselves in the hobby very early on).>
On the other hand, Bob Fenner claims they are very hardy, and there isn't anything written on Wet Web Media to indicate otherwise.
In my personal experience, back when the sole maintenance of the tank was done by the monthly service, at the end of the month a lot of my rainbow fish would get sick with gross bacterial infections and die.
<This is rare but does seem to be an issue with batches/fish farms rather than anything else. Rainbowfish are, if given good water quality and reasonably hard water, quite reliable. They do need a decent oxygen level, and rather than nitrate per se, I'd wonder if sluggish, low circulation water in overstocked tanks with a lot of decaying organic matter was the key.>
Other fish (like the silver dollars) were resistant to it.
<Yes, these old timey species famed for living a long time in "old water" are usually nitrate tolerant. Anostomus is my favourite of these durable characins, and a lovely fish if you have the right tank and tankmates.>
So this seems to validate those claims that rainbows are actually more delicate than cyprinids or characins.
<As a rule of thumb, yes, "primitive" taxonomic groups tend to be hardier in many ways than "advanced" groups. Characins, catfish and cyprinids are at the primitive end, with cichlids and puffers being at the advanced end of the fish hierarchy. Rainbows and livebearers are about halfway between.
Of course there are numerous exceptions, so I wouldn't push this rule too far.>
Who is right? Or does it depend on the species?
<And the batch, and whether wild caught vs. tank bred, and how the retailer handled/quarantined them. Complex stuff. Cheers, Neale.>

Anthony Calfo        8/4/15
I am trying to connect with Anthony Calfo to discuss a potential project in Hawai'i. Can you provide me with contact information for him?
Mahalo.
Lanny Sinkin
<Will try bcc'ing him here. Otherwise, do try the link here (on his site):
http://www.readingtrees.com/consult/main.html
Bob Fenner>
Inquiry        8/4/15

I sent an email earlier today requesting assistance in contacting Anthony Calfo. I then learned that this website is Bob Fenner's. I had Mr. Fenner on my list to contact as well.
<Oh!>
I am just beginning a process of bringing two governments together in Hawai'i to initiate a coral regeneration program. We have a wide range of coral challenges that include rapid die off of at least two well established coral reefs off of Kauai', bleaching of coral, and coral destroyed by pollution.
<Seen this>
I am attaching a copy of the draft proposal we are working on for presentation to the governments.
<Nothing attached. Maybe you mean the statements below>
I am looking for people who are active in the field who might serve as consultants to get this project initiated at a site on the Island of Hawai'i. The Book of Coral Propagation excerpt on the web is fascinating and informative, so I thought I would be begin my search with you and Mr. Calfo. Would you be such a consultant? Can you recommend others?
<Depends on the specialty expertise you're looking for/needed.... have you spoken w/ Ken Nedimyer?>
I am also working on a budget for the first three years of the project. Perhaps after reading the proposal, you could assist us in estimating the financial cost of starting up and operating for three years.
<Mmm; yes; likely so. Send along what doc.s you have and spread sheets for income/expense; and I'll go over. Bob Fenner>
Mahalo (thank you) for considering these requests.
Lanny Sinkin
The Coral Regeneration Project
The proposal is for a joint Kingdom/County of Hawai’i project, open to other public and private entities to become participants.
Purpose
The purpose of this project is to address the loss of coral reefs in the Hawaiian Island. The components of the project would be:
-- A coral census to determine the status of coral reefs around the populated islands first. The census will document the types of coral present, the condition of the various types of coral, and any degeneration taking place in specific areas.
-- An analysis of potential causes of coral degeneration, with a particular emphasis on which causes are preventable locally (pollution from the land), which are generic (global warming), and what are likely changes in such causes in the future (sea level changes).
-- Establishment of a laboratory facility to study which coral are most likely to adapt or are already adapting to the planetary causes of coral loss. The facility will also study the relationship between the different coral and the other ocean life, e.g. food preferences of fish and structural construction of habitat.
-- The facility will include propagation facilities to begin growing the most resilient coral.
-- The project will include open water seeding of propagated coral with an ongoing monitoring to determine growth rate, health, adaptability, etc.
The Kingdom of Hawai’i will provide initial funding of this project, including funding to bring coral regeneration experts to the Island of Hawai’i to discuss the project and funding to expand existing facilities as needed to accommodate the project.
The County of Hawai’i will provide space within the existing facilities at Richardson Beach Park in Hilo for office/laboratory and access to Richardson Beach Bay for propagation facilities.
The Kingdom and the County will jointly assist in facilitating the project through hiring of staff and sharing the information developed in the project throughout all the islands and the rest of the world.

Rude black skirt tetra        8/4/15
I just put 4 cobra guppies in my tank with 2 black skirt tetra
<Ohh, not compatible. See WWM re BSTs... Gymnocorymbus.... nippy little so and sos>
and one off the guppies top lip when I got up it I went to bed it was fine got up it lip was damaged and couldn't move its mouth
<... what's that song refrain? "You gotta keep them separated." See WWM re. Bob Fenner>

To Bob Fenner... A bioluminescent Eunicid!         8/4/15
Hello Mr. Fenner,
<Hey Vic!>
I´ve read this thread recently:
http://carolinareefers.com/showthread.php?4747-Crazy-hitch-hikers-Bioluminescent-Eunicid
<Really neat; and big>
... and I´m writing you because I´ve been able to record the bioluminescence of an *Eunice sp.* worm.
Here´s the link to the video: https://youtu.be/lbkU2DIXiwU
<I see this... and... it appears voluntary... >
It´s a pity because when it was in the aquarium, the light was so powerful that it seemed some kind of electric powered device. It even released a luminescent mucous.
Regards from Spain,
V. Tovar
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Cupramine leeching        8/4/15
Thank you, thank you. Now I have a clear course of action.
<Ahh! Am always (most of the time really) querulous whether I/we provide sufficient direction, background to aid others in resolute action>
I will have to wait a day or two until I can be home all day to execute the plan and observe the results. I have definitely learned a lot from this, including a new appreciation for tank size and aggression.
<Outstanding>
My gramma was fine with the bicolor blenny in the 55 gallon tank, but in the 20 with few hiding spots....not so much. I had to get a tank divider
after a particularly scary lip lock between the two. Since I witnessed the gramma seek out and stalk the blenny, I have placed the blame upon him. I think I will be putting the blenny into the display tank a couple of days before the gramma. I know blennies can be aggressive too, but so far, not mine.
One more question......".crypt is to degrees most everywhere tropical fish are".....Are you saying that eradicating ich in my main system is unlikely even after 72 days fallow?
<Unfortunately; yes. Some residual, resident population is likely to remain... not to be (too) teleological, but "waiting" for environmental, nutritional, social.... strain/stress, weakened "immunity" of host fishes.... to manifest itself as infestation>
I've always known this a possibility, and now I am wondering if I should just put the two fish back into the main system after the dip.
<Is likely what I would do...>
Rather blenny, then gramma to follow. I don't think the hospital is a particularly great place for either one of them. But still, I am willing to keep them there for the full 72 if you think it beneficial.
<There is a "tipping point" where isolation and what it entails encompasses/overwhelms its benefits... as opposed to being placed, left in a more stable setting>
Side note....I was wondering, in your diving experience, which fish was the most unusual, rare, or surprising one you every encountered?
<Heeeeee! So many!! Likely a couple of great hammerheads I met up with at about 200 feet doing a bounce dive in the Red Sea (looking for some wrasses for a friend; Tanaka-san)>
Thank you, thank you. -Alyson
<Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: progress report.. Platy hlth!          8/3/15
Mine are all Platys, but I take your points carefully.
<Ah, misremembered. But still, Platies need hard water, and won't be happy in soft (mostly RO) water. The harder the better.>
As I'm taking a water sample in today for review, I will review 50-50 RO/tap water (ours is especially hard here in the desert and I myself do not drink it as most people don't)
<Might not be tasty, but should be excellent for Poeciliidae generally. But yes, testing a sample is good, and making dramatic changes to existing water chemistry isn't wise. Any changes you decide to do should be phased in gradually, over a month even.>
and will remove mould and gunk plant.
<Cool.>
I spoke with a fellow yesterday who'd had a salt water tank for 4 years and it was his declaration that the more you paid for any piece of plant life, the more resistant it is. Any thought on that?
<I do agree to some extent. I'm sure there's some science that explains this, maybe the cheap plants being the fast-growing species, and these in turn being the most demanding in light energy to power that enhanced rate of growth. On the other hand, the slow-growing species like Anubias and Java Fern are going to be expensive to sell because producing sizeable
daughter plants from cuttings is harder (takes longer). But as these plants need less light energy, they are less demanding in terms of care, and perhaps have other advantages such as needed less nutrients/minerals from the soil/water. On the other hand, certain cheap plants, in particular Vallisneria and Ceratopteris, are very easy to grow.>
Best,
Grace
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: progress report..         8/3/15

Neale, thank you. 'The guy' surmised the same, that I should add more tap water and do it gradually.
<Sounds a good "guy"!>
The plants apparently could also use nutrients and more light.
<Often true, and lack of light a common reason aquarium plants fail.
Indeed, probably accounts of 95% of plant failures (other than simply being destroyed by the fish). Lack of nutrients will cause plants to appear yellow (for example) but rarely holds back plant growth dramatically, because at least some nutrients will be present in tap water, as ammonia from the fish, and from decaying organic matter in the tank. So adding nutrients improves plant growth, from 'okay' to 'great', but is almost never the reason for complete failure.>
I don't want to add plant nutrients at this time. I'd like to wait a month to let Terme come around some more and to introduce more tap water. That seems like enough fussing around with the tank....
<Understood. Choose floating plants (which absorb fish wastes very effectively) if you can. I use Indian Fern, and pull literally armfuls of the stuff out of my 180 litre tank every few weeks. Never use plant nutrients. Alongside these, Anubias will thrive no matter what, and its requirements are so minimal that fish waste is enough nutrients usually.>
Best,
Grace
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: progress report..         8/3/15

Splendid, I will check in, in a week or so...have taken notes, as I do...
Best, Grace
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Re: Unexpected Demise of a Silver Dollar         8/3/15
Dear Wet Web Media Crew,
I am happy to report that the silver dollar has fully recovered. I put him back in the main tank and he is schooling with his friends again.
<Excellent news!>
I was wondering what I should do with the now unoccupied quarantine tank. I was thinking of using it to quarantine some new fish I was hoping to get. How should I prepare the tank? Do I need to empty it and clean it out thoroughly, or could I just change out the water and filter media?
<If it's going to have a biological filter, then you need to leave in running, occasionally adding a source of ammonia (bottled is fine, but you'll need a test kit to work out a sensible dosing among to get between 1-5 mg/l after dosing every couple/few days). But if you can remove the biological filter and leave in running in the main tank, or alternatively plan to use zeolite (ammonia remover) instead, then yes, you can strip down the tank and store it dry. Simply set up when needed, and move the mature biological filter in (or install the zeolite filter) as needed.>
Whatever that silver dollar had I don't think it was infectious. (Also the giant Danio who disappeared jumped out of the tank. I found him like a dried anchovy. I'm not entirely sure when or how he did it, but I suspect it was when I was changing the water.)
<Or being frisky towards a female. But yes, they're jumpers.>
Thanks,
Lynnie
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: Unexpected Demise of a Silver Dollar         8/3/15

I am actually planning on using the quarantine tank tonight or tomorrow. I plan to still use zeolite (I found an amount to put the filter every few days + change-out frequency that works reasonably well), Could I just change out the filter media/zeolite and some of the water so the ammonia is zero, and add the new fish to it,
<Yes.>
or do I need to strip it down and clean it out?
<No. The job go a quarantine tank is to be easy to clean when it has to be, but doesn't need to be sterile. Typically a filter, heater, flower pot for shelter, and no substrate. Such a tank can be 'vacuumed' during water changes and any dead/decaying material removed more easily than in a regular tank. Make sense? Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Unexpected Demise of a Silver Dollar         8/3/15

I purchased one of those trade-in loaches and placed him in the quarantine tank. He is healthy apart from a split in his tail fin, but I know from my past experience even healthy clown loaches can develop ich when you first get them. How long do you recommend I quarantine him for?
<A week should be enough for Whitespot to reveal itself, but a couple of weeks is better.>
(I will confess I didn't get a chance to change out the zeolite yet, but I will do it tomorrow morning. I tested the ammonia levels and it is the same "mostly 0 but maybe not quite" it always is, including in tap water...should that be okay?)
<Yes. Assuming no change in ammonia when tap water and aquarium water are compared, you can assume that this reading is the neutralised ammonia or chloramine in the tap water and not a problem.>
In any case, thank you guys at Wet Web Media for everything! You've helped me save so many of my fish now.
-Lynnie
P.S. Shortgill says hi:
<Nice looking collection of the fish; is that an Acarichthys at the bottom there? Neale.>

 

Tongue coral tissue recession.         8/3/15
Hi, I am hoping you can give me some advice about a tongue coral I recently bought. I noticed at the shop where I bought it that it had a little bit of receding tissue at one end but I thought that since the exposed bits were dark, rather than fresh white looking, that it was old damage and the coral would be ok. It is about five inches long and seems to be doing well in my tank so far, my "plan" was to feed it well several times a week to help it recover. It does eat well when I feed it Mysis and small pieces of scallop.
It is on the sand in bright light and medium flow. Can you let me know what else I can do to help it along or if I made a mistake in buying it and they don't recover from tissue damage?
<Mmm; yes. Have you tried a few times (over) dosing of iodide-ate? Not to worry re the initial high/er concentration... I would do this rather than a bath/dip procedure. Also... Fungiids really prefer finer substrate; even much... rather than coarse sand. Do please read what we (WWM) have archived re the husbandry of this family>
I have attached the best picture I could get of the damaged end.
Thanks, Chris.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner

 

180G mixed reef with sudden low pH issues, pls help!         8/3/15
Hello! Long time listener, first time caller. I have a problem that I can't seem to find the answer to and its starting to have an effect on my aquatic charges as well as my psychological well-being. My setup is a 180g mixed reef (fish, LPS, SPS, softies). I use an Vortec MP40 and a MaxiJet 400 to supplement the circulation that comes from my Reeflo Hammerhead.
For lighting I have 3x Chinese Black Boxes. I use a protein skimmer, a Phosban reactor and NPX biopellets to control waste
<Mmm; these chemical media do have downsides>
and, occasionally, a filter sock.
<Needs to be cleaned/switched out; daily>
My problem is my pH.
<More likely alkalinity, alkaline reserve eh?>

I have an Aquacontroller that have used for several years to provide constant, real-time pH and temp readings. It has been a great way to quickly assess the goings-on in my tank between testing. Recently it required a cal and afterwards the pH was much lower than I expected. At first I suspected a bad cal, but a second electronic meter as well as the
API drop test (and a THIRD lab grade electronic meter) corroborated the result. Here is a 'snapshot' of my parameters after my photoperiod:
Temp
pH

SG
Calcium
KH
Mg

80.4
7.85
<This is low.... I'd keep 8.2 at a min.>

1.025
420
13
1400

I'm sure a pH of 7.85 by itself doesn't spell immediate disaster, but at night I am dipping much lower, like 7.65 just before the lights come on. As a way of "QC'ing" my probes I mixed a new batch of Red Sea Coral Pro sea salt @ 1.025 SG and boom, 8.2 pH. Both my total and carbonate hardness test kits read in the 12 dKH range. I was running a CO2 reactor, a habit I
have suspended until I get my pH squared away again.
<Good>

I tried mixing 2 tsp of Kalk in 1 gallon of RO/DI water and dripping it all in at night, to very little effect. I'm getting a white haze on my glass, so I'm thinking I am hitting saturation for my nocturnal pH.
<Mmm; yes. I would NOT use Kalk here>

My corals look stressed and I've started to lose some of my SPS (1 bleached, lost tissue, died, 2 bleached but are... recovering?, 2 sloughed off ALL tissue overnight). Most other LPS/softies/inverts/fish look and act fine but I'm getting very little growth/polyp extension.
<Water changes for now.... and using (for the short term) a commercial product that is heavy on the carbonate side. See SeaChem's line here>
Apart from RO/DI & Red Sea Coral Pro salt 15% water changes, I've tried adding baking soda,
<Mmm, bicarb. won't raise the pH here past where it is>

Kalk, 2-part, and aerating the tank with outside air (my sump is in my garage with an open window, but I've also run my skimmer intake outside as well). Interestingly my last 20g water change with 8.2 pH water seemed to drive my pH down about 0.1... I don't want to add anything more because, simply put, I don't think my water can hold it.
My tank in its current manifestation is about 2 years old but some of the live rock and sand is as old as 10. I've changed some pieces of rock and some sand out periodically, but I'm sure some of the old stuff is still in there.
<I'd switch out more>
I was using crushed aragonite
<And use crushed coral>

at about 2-3 inches, but I switched the right half of my tank to a finer grain size when I re-re-homed a friends corkscrew long tentacle anemone.
I'm wondering now if the particle size on the remaining aragonite on the left side is too large and harboring too much funk.
<Could be a factor>
It isn't visibly dirty, but I'm sure if I stirred it up there would be a reckoning...
Do you have any ideas regarding my pH situation?
<Oh yes; all sorts. If it were me/mine, I'd do the above AND be reading re RedOx measure.... I'll bet yours is bunk low
>
I can't imagine a 7.6 pH is conducive to coral growth and development, and the sudden onset of the situation accompanied by my loss of coral has me in a panic. The situation only seems to be worsening and I'm not sure what to try next.
Matt, St. Pete, FL
<Consider the changes mentioned and the addition of an ozonizer. Bob Fenner>
Re: 180G mixed reef with sudden low pH issues, pls help!

Thank you so much for the ideas, I think I will remove the crushed coral (not aragonite, sorry) sand I have and replace with 2-3" fine grain,
<Good>
clean the live rock, then do a significant water change (50%?).
<Okay; with pre-mixed>
I've ordered an ORP module from Amazon, but finding an ozone generator has been a challenge.
<Oh; they're about. Try Dr.s Foster and Smith>
I only use my filter sock intermittently, 1 day at a time so that shouldn't be too much of a problem. I just use it during cleaning and water changes to catch what I kick up.
<Ok>
With respect to the Seachem product, would you recommend the Reef Carbonate
<This one>

or Reef Complete, or the Marine Buffer, or some balanced addition of multiple products? I ask because I am reluctant to ever just add one side of the equation and I didn't quite follow that piece of your advice. Should I be aiming for a higher KH
<Mmm; not higher, but a mix of agents that will trend to keep the pH higher>

or ‎did you mean for me to just try a different supplement for now?
<Going forward; we need to find out what the real source/s of lowering pH are at work here and solve them. I'd pull the Carbon pellets and Phos remover for now as well>
What goal should I have in mind, I guess is what I mean.
<.... a pH twixt 8.2-8.4... >
Also, I try and use the Phosban and NPX sparsely, but would you recommend I discontinue their use?
<Yes; these products may well be nicking your ORP to nada, dropping not just pH, but the systems capacity to support life en toto>

Thanks again,
Matt
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Cupramine leeching... plus copy f'/Trematodes         8/3/15
Thanks again. My question regarding the seaweed clip....what I should have said was...Will the seaweed absorb the Cupramine and then maybe leech back into the water?
<It will absorb and re-lease very little copper. Not a worry. Again; there is some cupric ion in all life.... it, the element is an essential, albeit "micro" nutrient>
But before I read your reply I began to realize that my babies probably don't have ich at all. I think you are right about this being a case of Trematodes. My blenny's two fin spots have never changed location, only changed a bit in shape. I think I assumed ich mostly because of the scratching both fish were doing before I hospitalized them.
<Ahh! Saw a BUNCH of Flukes on fishes last week in Curacao.... more on more species than I've ever encountered in the wild. Tellingly, much more prevalent on fishes resident in some "environmentally modified" (polluted) locations>
I don't ask questions I don't want the answer to...so I will, in the future, use a quinine compound with good aeration as you suggest.
<Heeeeee!>
But......since I have been putting them through two weeks of Cupramine already, I think I will continue the course at least another week as a preventative measure (unless, of course, you tell me to do otherwise). I think it would still be wise to leave my display tank fallow for 72 days since I can't be sure ich isn't there somewhere.
<Well; not to bum you out, and ignore your self-admonition above, but Crypt is to degrees most every where there are tropical marine fishes>
After the Cupramine treatment is over, I think I should remove the Cupramine and dose PraziPro?
<Sure; or could do now. The two compounds as "mix-able">
Does a freshwater bath fit into this equation at some point? I have a bicolor blenny and a royal gramma.
<Better a FW bath, pH adjusted w/ formalin and aeration... see WWM re such SOPs and their specific use in eradicating external Trematodes>
Interesting that you saw an increase in Trematodes in the wild as I don't believe I have ever dealt with this pest in the last 15 years of fish keeping.
<Mmm; very common on (imported) angels, butterflies, tangs..... sharks>
I've dealt with ich before, and the spots always visibly disappeared after a couple of days in copper. I think I blamed my poor little clay pots for rendering my Cupramine ineffective, but all along,
<I have used hundreds of gallons of this fine product in commercial settings. It does precipitate (disappear) by about half every day... interacting with natural and synthetic seawater... MUCH more so if carbonaceous substrate/s is/are present. HAS to be assessed (tested for) and "topped up" daily or more often>
I misdiagnosed my problem. The lesson is always the same.....quarantine.
Thanks for your wealth of information and patience.
<A pleasure to relate/share. Bob Fenner>

progress report.. What?       8/2/15
Hello Neale,
<Grace,>
Well. Terme was in her quarantine container with meds for (8) eight days, (2) without added meds.
It was time to syphon and deeper clean the tank, which I did, complete with water change and change of filter.
I let that 'rest' for 24 hours and for 2 days following that, changed out the water in her container by 1/2 'fresh' tank water and 1/2 whatever meds remained in her container. Same the second day.
Today, she is returned to the tank. I placed a tank divider in there. She has 4X the space of the container she was in, can socialize and be in the filter-flow of the tank.
She is much perkier, she is interested in food and I do see some fin repair.
<Good; these are both signs you'd want to see in terms of her getting better.>
The abdominal fins are still thready, thus it's difficult to *target* her food as she otherwise might. I figure to keep her in this new confinement for at least a week just so she doesn't have to compete for food.
Is that a good amount of time? more? Will the fins, in fact, repair?
<Yes, but the time thing is difficult to say. Likely within a month they should be more or less back to normal. That being the case, and assuming there's no sign the fins are getting worse, and some evidence they're getting better, putting her alongside peaceful companions in a gently filtered tank is not a bad idea at all. But do keep your eyes open for possible signs of stress or damage.>
I've added a bit more 'Stress Coat' to the tank (it's mostly aloe vera) at the suggestion of the directions themselves!
<Indeed, but the accent is really water quality; in good conditions, fish heal damaged fins back without needing medications.>
Your good thoughts are appreciated as always.
Best, Grace
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: progress report..      8/2/15

Yes. water quality. I'm taking a sample in tomorrow to have it checked by 'the guy'.
I would be perplexed if something is amiss as I do regular water changes every 10 days (3) per month - change the filter out twice a month - and syphon the tank once a month.
One of the plants has a goodly amount of the black moldy stuff but, other than it being unattractive, no one seems overly concerned with it. There's a piece of Mopani wood in there. Can't think of what else would shift the water quality.
<Would remove any sort of mould or gunk from the tank, removing infected sections of plants if needed; while these might not be harmful in themselves, decaying organic matter uses up oxygen and can produce additional dissolved metabolites that affect water quality and chemistry.>
At each change, I use 2-3 gallons (15 gallon tank). I use 2 1/2 gallons of RO water and the other (less than 1/2) of tap water.
<Would remind you that soft water is bad for Goldfish; balance your use or RO water alongside tap water carefully. Anything more than 50/50 seems pointless and risky to me. You're aiming for moderately hard to hard water, with a pH around 7.5 to 8. That's optimal for Goldfish, which really do prefer hard water to soft.>
Hence, the Stress Coat product which de-chlorinates as well as soothes.
<Cool.>
As usual, thank you for your support and insights!
Grace
<You're welcome. Neale.>

Re: Revised: Betta Can't See Food & Laying on Side (RMF?)      8/2/15
<Whoa! Will look for this corr. and respond there. BobF>
You are no Bob, Neale. Far from it. So, stop sXXXXing on his legacy.
Cheers.
> Subject: Re: Revised: Betta Can't See Food & Laying on Side (RMF?)
> I know all about Bob that's why I reached out. Don't worry about it Neale.
> I spoke with owner in-person of my LFS today to resolve. Wouldn't want you
> to upset yourself any further with my case. Trust me, I will never contact
> wet web again.
> <Far from upset. There's an old saying that you can lead a mule to a well
> but you can't make it drink. I've told you what's wrong, but whether you
> want to act accordingly is entirely up to you. Bob's around, so feel free
> to write to him expressly. No hard feelings at all. Cheers, Neale.>
Betta Can't See Food & Laying on Side /<<RMF>>      8/2/15

Hi There,
Can't find any of your recommendations to treat the following ... Betta lives in 1G vase with 100% water changes every 3 days.
<<Ahh, had thought this "fad" had long since passed. Bettas need larger, filtered, purposely heated environments. Please read here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm
Won't live long or well in vacillating temperature, waste-laden water
. Bob Fenner>
<That's your problem right there. Without getting into an argument -- for which I have no time or interest -- unless the tank is 5+ gallons in size, heated with a heater, and with a simple, air-powered filter, you're keeping your Betta badly. I don't care that breeders have fish rooms (heated to 25-30 C/77-86 F) and keep their Bettas in jars. Those guys undertake a
massively demanding (time, money) approach that isn't practical for someone owning a pet. I don't care if "the guy" in the shop said Bettas can live in jars because wild Bettas live in puddles (they don't, they live in ponds and canals). Unless and until its environment improves, this Betta will continue to sicken and die.>
Always been very active and super healthy.
<Often are for some weeks, even months when kept in jars assuming air temperature reasonably warm. But long term, nope.>
Several weeks ago he started missing his food, as in he can't catch his pellets or bloodworms.
<Bettas, being tropical animals, need a high temperature for their metabolism to work. Below 24 C/75 F, Bettas quite quickly become weak with time, and early symptoms of this (just as with humans suffering hypothermia) is loss of mental "alertness".>
He sees the food, swims around it and tries but can't grasp his food. If I feed him in his mouth off a wooden skewer he will eat the food. He normally eats 2-3 Newlife Spectrum pellets am OR 3-4 frozen bloodworms am (varied).
He is underfed because I went through a swim bladder issue with him last year and wanted to avoid that. Here's the scoop: He floats on side and is very inactive now. He arches his back now when he moves around or gulps for air and also has a slight S curve to his spine too. It sounds like swim bladder but he is NOT overfed. OR TB?! I put 1 teaspoon epson salt for 1G tap water (with conditioner) plus 5 drops Seachem Paraguard. Today is the FIFTH day with Epsom salts and Paraguard (two 100% water changes w/in these 5 days). His fins also just shredded significantly overnight.
<Finrot.>
The Paraguard treats Bacterial, Fungal, Viral and Parasitic conditions (maybe externally only?). Do I need to get him an antibiotic at this point?
What else can I do? He has no other external body signs except now his gills are expanding a bit larger since the water change this am (they are black). I have also re-read all of the common Betta fish diseases and none of them describe this except for swim bladder yet he is not improving on the Epsom salts. Do you recommend aquarium salt at this point which I
believe you've told me before you are not a fan of. As always, thank you very much for your attention to my Betta. All the best, Kristy
<Kristy, I' m sure you're mean well for your pet and want him to thrive. But you're trying to keep your Betta in a way that won't work, and instead of biting the bullet, you're looking to throw small amounts of money (salt and Epsom salt are both pointless here) in the hope that magically your Betta will respond. I sympathise and understand. But Bettas just don't live in 1 gallon tanks for long, and the horrible myth that they do has led to a great many Bettas dying prematurely. They aren't magic fish able to survive in jars any more than Goldfish can live in bowls. Sure, some do, but just as with Goldfish, for every Goldie that lives ten years in a bowl there are a hundred that don't live ten weeks. Start by grabbing an ammonia test kit and check water quality. If that's non-zero, then that's why your fish is sick. Add a air-powered filter, and short term, do regular (daily) water changes of at least 50%. Don't feed it. Spend the next few days shopping around for a tank 4-5 gallons in size. Trust me on this. It'll be worth. Buy a suitable small heater too. With luck, and anti-Finrot medication, your Betta will get healthier. And if he doesn't, at least you can buy another with some good chance of success. Also do read:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/betta_splendens.htm
Follow the links therein. Cheers, Neale.>
Revised: Betta Can't See Food & Laying on Side      8/2/15

Hi Again, Temp of water always 80 degrees.
<<Really? Have never encountered a human-living space with such high, consistent temperature.
BobF>>
<How so without a heater? Can't see a heater working in 1 gallon without great risk of burning the fish. Too little water to dissipate heat evenly, and too little space for the fish to avoid touching the hot glass.>
Correction: The inner gill or gill membrane (NOT gill cover) is dark/black and swollen and looks like he's breathing heavier than normal. His head/body is not swollen. Thanks!
<Again, damage to gills is good evidence of ammonia toxicity. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Revised: Betta Can't See Food & Laying on Side      8/2/15

Just WOW Neale. Get hold of yourself! I have the utmost respect for Bob because not only is he amazing, he doesn't send negative or adversarial emails to his followers like you do.
<Want to bet!>
<<Heeeee heeee! He's right you know.... Some days, doozies!
BobF>>
You have been nothing but disrespectful to me with your feedback.
<I'm sorry you feel that way. Merely being blunt and accurate.>
Especially about throwing little money at this and how YOU don't have time to be irritated by me or my stupidity, etc. I waited all day for your response? But now I hear from you at 12:43am in Southern California?
<8:43 AM in the UK, which is where I am. I respond to these messages as soon as practical, despite being on vacation with my wife and 8-month-old baby. I try my best.>
And by the way, it is 85 degrees in my kitchen where he is located.
<At night as well? Seems uncomfortable and unhealthy for you if it is. But whatever.>
I have also worked diligently with the owner of my LFS and went to the store in-person today to go over the various options for him ... but this is what works and has kept his fins intact.
<Until now.>
In fact, the owner said some betas will not tolerate a tank no matter what the tank contains.
<S/he is wrong. I agree the WRONG tank isn't good for Bettas, but I can guarantee you I could create a good aquarium for this Betta with a heater, filter and hood.>
Maybe YOU should reconsider what you do if you cannot be helpful in a positive manner per this forum.
<I volunteer. Don't like the help you're getting, feel free to spend your money at the vet.>
Don't always underestimate the people you deal with.
<I don't. But experience has told me a lot across 10 years of doing sick fish questions for this web site and many magazines. For one thing, people don't always want to be helped. Sometimes they want justification for what they're doing. Not my job to do that.>
Because you're diminishing all the hard work, positive reputation, and relationships that Bob has built with his followers.
<If you feel that, then by all means write to Bob F and tell him so. You are absolutely entitled to tell him that I'm doing a bad job. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Revised: Betta Can't See Food & Laying on Side      8/2/15

Thanks Neale ... Understand your points ... BUT ... I had a 5 G tank for him and he shredded his fins constantly and was very nervous.
<Did you add some floating plants? What sort of filter? I simply don't believe a Betta is psychologically alarmed by being in more than 1 gallon of water. That simply doesn't make any scientific sense. In a big tank with aggressive tankmates, awkward reflections, or an electric internal filter then the Betta could be stressed by those things. But simply by having more
space? No, not logical; these fish don't suffer from agoraphobia!>
He almost died IN the tank. And that was WITH the very smallest current possible.
<You should be able to bleed off air from the air pump until the flow of air through the sponge is very low. This is absolutely the right thing to do. An electric filter won't work in 5 gallons, much too much current in a confined space. I've kept Bettas in 20 gallon tanks with electric filters, but this allowed the Betta to stay hidden among the floating plants.>
I live in SoCal at the beach and it's 80+ indoors all the time so I don't need a heater because his water is always 80-82.
<Not at night it isn't. Unless you live in the tropics, you won't be
experiencing this sort of temperature range 24/7/365.>
For a Betta like mine that will NOT tolerate a tank ...
<Not true.>
would you recommend an antibiotic at this point?
<As per Finrot. But what is the ammonia reading? Let's not dodge the issue here. If ammonia is not zero, then that's why Finrot is the problem. Medication won't result in a permanent fix.>
I am trying to help him NOW and putting him back in the tank won't work for the issues as noted above.
<Do see above, and READ the linked article from last time.>
Contrary to everyone's belief, not ALL Bettas will tolerate a tank.
<Sure they will. But the wrong tank, kitted out or stocked inappropriately is stressful, and many experts will say so.>
I have had several that did but this one will not. By the way, I have had this Betta in his habitat like this for 2+ years now.
<So he's middle aged.>
So, I am not doing anything wrong on the water changes every 3 days. In fact, I had changed his water yesterday but last night he shredded his fins and today I changed it again. So in last 5 days, his water has been changed 3 times with Epsom salts at 1teaspoon per 1Gallon.
<Salt and Epsom salt irrelevant. May make you feel you're doing something, but won't affect fin decay.>
Please advise on the antibiotic if you can.
<See above.>
IF you think it would be warranted at this time to add to Paraguard and/or which type of antibiotic you would recommend since his body looks perfect except for the shredding of fins last night. He does NOT have ANY history of fin rot because of how I take care of him. Thanks.
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Revised: Betta Can't See Food & Laying on Side      8/2/15

<<Will also ask BobF to comment, advise. He's the author of "Betta Success" among others, and is far more expert with these fish than I am. Http://www.amazon.com/Betta-Success-Robert-Fenner-ebook/dp/B00HFAACII
Cheers, Neale.>>
Re: Revised: Betta Can't See Food & Laying on Side      8/2/15

PS I live at the beach and nobody has air conditioning. Go figure. What an ass.
<Asinus spp., a most useful genus of equine; hardy, tough and long-lived. A compliment indeed. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Revised: Betta Can't See Food & Laying on Side (RMF?)      8/2/15

I know all about Bob that's why I reached out. Don't worry about it Neale.
I spoke with owner in-person of my LFS today to resolve. Wouldn't want you to upset yourself any further with my case. Trust me, I will never contact wet web again.
<Far from upset. There's an old saying that you can lead a mule to a well but you can't make it drink. I've told you what's wrong, but whether you want to act accordingly is entirely up to you. Bob's around, so feel free to write to him expressly. No hard feelings at all. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Columbian Shark Catfish        8/1/15
So stay with my instant ocean?
<As stated>
Can you recommend anything else for me to feed them?
<Small meaty foods, in moderation>
I've read and reread your archives, but I can't get them to eat regularly....
<Tis the environment.... needs to be/come established. Do you have friends who might come by, speak with you re aquarium set up?>
And buying a can of baby shrimp for 5 and throwing the rest out is very expensive....
<BobF>
Re: Columbian Shark Catfish... /Neale        8/1/15

So stay with my instant ocean?
Can you recommend anything else for me to feed them? I've read and reread your archives, but I can't get them to eat regularly....
And buying a can of baby shrimp for 5 and throwing the rest out is very expensive....
<Can I direct you to some reading?
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_7/volume_7_1/ariidae.html
Not difficult to keep in brackish or marine systems. Need a varied diet, but a standard carnivore catfish pellet makes a good staple, alongside white fish fillet and *occasional* mussels and prawns (these two shellfish contain too much Thiaminase, and cause all sorts of problems if used to excess). Gregarious, peaceful, but predatory, these are excellent fish in the right system. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Site Is Broken?       8/1/15
Sure thing! Though this won't happen soon, I'm afraid...
<Perhaps simply a manner of speaking; but don't be afraid of your future.... shape your own destiny boldly. B>
Jessica

very murky water       8/1/15
Good evening or morning that is wherever you are in this world for sure,
<PST now; back in S. Cal.>
Here is my issue. I have set up a very large L300cm x W100cm x H160 (about 11oo gallon) saltwater system which is situated outside the house in Thailand. I had the system set up with base rock (actually life rock we turned into base rock after a muriatic bath and heavy rinsing) and natural ocean water. I have 3 separate skimmers installed each rated at 600gallon.
The system has gone through a short cycle period of about 3 weeks (going through only a small ammonia spike an even smaller nitrite spike and is sitting now at a nitrate level of 10) without chiller without any issues of cloudy water. The system does get hit with direct sunlight for a period (through the front viewing pane) of the day but was not an issue at the
start. Now since a week I have added some small fish with about 18 blue green Chromis and 8 Anthias with the first week again no issues. Now all of a sudden the last 4 days the water has turned very murky which I think is an algae bloom as it has a bit of a green shine on it and not white which would mean a bacterial bloom right?
<Might be just algae, but likely a bigger mix of species; mostly Protists and Monerans... will clear in time... there are some "things" you can do to speed up; but I'd just wait if it were me/mine: Patience>
Now the question is this due to the still not installed chiller so the high water temperature (87F) the direct sunlight?
<The light, heat, the system being new.... not "settled in">
Now the chiller will be installed within the next few days turning the actual water temperature down to 80F initially. Will this resolve the murky water by itself or do you think there is more behind it all?
<The temp. being lower will help speed the clearing along.... again, this is part of the "run in" period.... or establishing "cycling" in new systems>
Should i run activated carbon in the mean time to help clear out the water or not effective in an algae bloom?
<The carbon will help as well. Yes to using it in the filter/flow path... in Dacron/Polyester bag/s if you can... ladies stockings if not>
Thank you
Dirk from Thailand
<Welcome. Bob in San Diego>

 

Re: injured Indian flap shell turtle please help; Darrel chimes in from the road     7/30/15
Sorry,
I've been traveling a great deal lately and I don't have access to emails.
This is a truly puzzling situation, made worse by the fact that a trained medical professional is closer than any of us and seems unable to find the source of the problem. In reading the emails I keep wondering if the turtle has acquired a parasite through the open wound and now the affected area has become so damaged that the irritation won't stop. In this situation I would take extreme measures about just dry docking: I'd soak the limb in a salt water bath (perhaps as much as 50 grams of salt to a liter of water) for 10 minutes and then remove him, dry the limb and warp it in gauze and tape -- essentially
immobilize the limb so that he simply can't bite at it. I'd repeat this process once a day for a week. If another trip to the vet is
possible I'd ask for injections of calcium gluconate and vitamins A, D & E -- as I've seen in Softshell turtles that a vitamin deficiency can inhibit healing of skin lesions.

Re: Display tank with Ich     7/30/15
What SG do you recommend?
<Please see WWM re Hyposalinity. Sorry, but have got to scoot to the airport; back from Curacao... will respond tomorrow. B>
I keep this tank (fish only) at 1.021. I feed the tangs Nori sheets 3x a day and soak the food in garlic, Zoë, and Vit C. The temp is kept at 76 degrees. The only ones effected are the tangs. My sharks do not have any parasites/disease. The tangs that are effected are my Acanthurus tangs only, not my Naso or vlamingii tangs. I have a cleaner wrasse in the tank and the tangs are all eating very well and acting normal. Advice I have received is not treat and just let them be and soak food (which I already do), treat with ParaGuard for whole system. I qt each fish before it is introduced into this tank but it is never guaranteed to always kill everything.
Re: Display tank with Ich     7/31/15

What SG do you recommend? I keep this tank (fish only) at 1.021.
<Have you read on WWM as yet?>
I feed the tangs Nori sheets 3x a day and soak the food in garlic, Zoë, and Vit C. The temp is kept at 76 degrees. The only ones effected are the tangs.
<Typical>
My sharks do not have any parasites/disease.
<Ah, no; they just don't show clinical signs...>

The tangs that are effected are my Acanthurus tangs only, not my Naso or vlamingii tangs. I have a cleaner wrasse in the tank and the tangs are all eating very well and acting normal. Advice I have received is not treat and just let them be and soak food (which I already do),
<One route to go; also covered on WWM>
treat with ParaGuard for whole system. I qt each fish before it is introduced into this tank but it is never guaranteed to always kill everything.
<Time for you to read. B>
Fwd: Display tank with Ich     7/31/15

> What SG do you recommend? I keep this tank (fish only) at 1.021. I feed
the tangs Nori sheets 3x a day and soak the food in garlic, Zoë, and Vit C.
The temp is kept at 76 degrees. The only ones effected are the tangs. My
sharks do not have any parasites/disease. The tangs that are effected are
my Acanthurus tangs only, not my Naso or vlamingii tangs. I have a cleaner
wrasse in the tank and the tangs are all eating very well and acting
normal. Advice I have received is not treat and just let them be and soak
food (which I already do), treat with ParaGuard for whole system. I qt each
fish before it is introduced into this tank but it is never guaranteed to
always kill everything. I contacted Seachem and this was their suggestion but I didn't know how correct this statement was:
Thank you for your email. You can use Paraguard to treat sharks, but we would recommend that you begin with a 1/4 to 1/2 dose and to slowly build to the recommended dose. This will allow the shark time to acclimate to the addition of the medication while allowing you to be able to monitor the shark for signs of stress.
<... not the route I would go; but thank you for sharing. B>
Thanks for your help!
Kate

Long-Fin Albino Ancistrus with a fin injury     7/31/15
Hello WetWebMedia,
<Jackie,>
Thanks to your wonderful knowledge I have been a fishkeeper for many years now. My favorite fish, a full-grown long-finned Albino male Ancistrus, suffered an injury this morning and I'm trying to determine which course of action to take. About a half-inch tip of one of his side fin rays seems to have been completely severed, but is still hanging on thanks to the clear fin tissue. Is it better to net him and clip this off?
<Nope. Will detach itself. Keep a close eye out for Finrot though. Normally damaged fins grow back without problems. Occasionally you'll see the membrane go a bit cloudy around the wound. But if you see small red specks on the fin membrane and a distinctive raggedy edge to the fin, then Finrot may be happening. In itself a little bit of bleeding might not be abnormal.
But when the blood vessels become congested with bacteria and dead cells they create reddish (often pink or even white) swellings. The lack of blood flow means fin membrane beyond the congestion dies, and the fin gradually erodes. This is Finrot.>
The severed end is a little less red right now, but earlier it was quite red and other fish (discus) kept coming near probably thinking it was a worm. He's smart so he swam away and doesn't seem to be in distress. I know Ancistrus with their claws can have trouble being netted, so I hesitate to do that. Will it resolve itself if left in perfect water conditions?
<Yes. Absolutely. In the wild fin damage is very common, through fighting, accidents, narrow escapes from predators, even bites from dedicated fin-eaters. All fish have the ability to regrow damaged fins provided the very base isn't damaged.>
Or is it better to net him and clip it off, then put him in a separate tank?
<Almost never a good idea.>
The back story is, a few days ago I added four 2-year-old Discus and two less than half-grown brown male regular Ancistrus to my long established 90-gallon tank. The big tank held 5 adult discus (parents of the additions) my long-finned albino & a Siamese algae eater. All seem to be getting along beautifully, but one of the little brown male Ancistrus is
kind of aggressive, always has been... Could that little bugger have bitten this damaged fin on a fish over twice his size?
<It's possible because they do have quite strong teeth. But it's more likely damage from some type of misadventure. Do bear in mind "long-finned" varieties of fish have been bred to have longer fins than they evolved to have. Consequently the things that maintain and protect those fins aren't there. The bones may not bone strong enough, and the behaviours needed to
avoid damage to extra-long fins aren't there either. Kind of like women who grow long fingernails. Might look good, but not natural, and hard to keep that length if you're doing manual labour!>
Or could it be that because I added all the tank decor from both tanks (to change the surroundings) he somehow hurt himself. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
Jackie
<Cheers, Neale.>
Albino Ancistrus solved his own problem!     7/31/15

Hi again WetWebMedia experts,
<Jackie,>
Just wanted to report that my favorite fish, my male Longfinned Albino Ancistrus, solved his own problem of the severed fin ray. It tore off once the transparent fin gave way, and he seems just fine. I'm so glad, I wasn't looking forward to chasing him around with a net!
<Cool. Should heal and grow back just fine, assuming good water quality.>
So thanks again for all your expertise, you have taught me so much. You are an unbelievable resource!!
Thanks for all you do,
Jackie
<And thanks for the kind words. Neale.>

Columbian Shark Catfish; gen. and fdg.      7/31/15
First, I want to say thank you for all you have written on your website regarding these majestic creatures. With that, I'm having a ton of issues and could really benefit from your expertise....
<Let's see>
First, I purchased this catfish Shark from Wal-Mart. How awful,
<How I wish that non-specialized mass merchandisers would either get out of the livestock trade/s period, OR at least get someone who knows to pick species that are suitable for use.... this fish, Green Spotted Puffers.....
Blah!>

I knew nothing and was ill equipped to handle this. So to make a very long story short with the specific issues at hand ... I have 2 left. I will upgrade the size of the tank when I know I can keep them alive.
<Oh! Neale and I and others have most all the pertinent husbandry  facts/FAQs archived (READ) here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_7/volume_7_1/ariidae.html
and
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ariidcats.htm
Brackish animals when small; full saltwater and large later>
I purchased a sub pump for my bow front 30 gal along with a bio filter and I aerate the water 1/day now. I have increased the salinity to 1.0005-6 in the last month but I can't get the water clear again.
<Be patient here>
I called instant ocean customer service and did what they said, but maybe I need to use more purified water, not just dechlorinated?
<The dechloraminated water should be fine>
I learned that they prefer sand, so, unfortunately I mixed some sand in the water And created a huge mess. Can I, while the tank is still going, scoop out the gravel and sand and add the aragonite for brackish water ranks?
<Yes; though perhaps better to siphon out over a few maintenance cycles and  replace>
Or should I start with a whole new set up?
<I would not>
My biggest issue is getting them to eat....they wouldn't take any of the pellet/flake/commercial food. I've bought scallops, whitefish and tilapia.
They finally ate a little of the latter provided a microwaved it for 13 seconds...they wouldn't eat it raw, and they wouldn't eat it cooked.
<No to cooking foods for fishes>
I tried canned Salmon, sustainable tuna,
<Don't use these... too messy; polluting>

and baby shrimp. They ate a few baby shrimp a little the first day, but none following. I bought red minnows (6), thinking live food might help, but, alas, I now have 6 very fat feeder fish. I bought 15 ghost shrimp, because, I thought, they ate the first 3 I purchased, but its like they just don't see them. They do smell them, but don't catch them. Then I bought black worms (which she told me to rinse out and keep in the fridge, and I think are dead now), and, they ate them, IF that skinny little worm hit them on the head...otherwise they are oblivious. And now, 2.5 days later, they are not eating them at all and I
have a blanket of worms on the floor of the tank, which, I don't know if are alive or dead. They stay in one spot waiting to be fed...I've tried chicken, seasoned and raw, and roast beef organic cold cuts (without success).
What do I do?
<Siphon out the mess; test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate....>

I have to go away for a couple of days and I don't even know how to get someone to feed them if they won't eat.
<Don't worry re... unless very small, thin they won't starve in your days absence>
It makes me neurotic.
Please help. thanks
Kris
<The reading when you have time, can make yourself calm. All will be revealed. Bob Fenner>
Re: Columbian Shark Catfish     7/31/15

And I also wanted to add...
What about Cichlid lake salt instead of instant ocean?
<Synthetic sea salt is better... the IO or another brand>
It would seem that better for brackish conditions....since these are brackish fish like cichlids....
<They are not.... salts are combinations of metals and non-metals chemically/physically. There ARE many types/kinds of salts. The ones that make up the mix of the Great Lakes of Africa that some manufacturers offer are NOT the same blend as seawater... which IS where Sciades hail from. BobF>

Clownfish the same size issue      7/30/15
Hi Bob,
<Frank>
I have a premium black snowflake clownfish for about a year and half from ORA. It is definitely a female. I saw a male from the Bali Aquarich lineage online that was beautiful (percula) and bought him. Unfortunately, he came in the same size as my female (both are 2.75").
<Oh! Both are females at this large size>

I can see the female is trying to show dominance to the new comer, but the male is not reciprocating the twitch as the female is displaying. There is no chasing in the tank, but my female is definitely getting some of her fins nipped. I know I am better off having a smaller clown to make a pairing easier, but in my situation... Do I let this play out more hoping that the male will become submissive or I'm just hoping for something that's not going to formulate.
<Not going to happen. Trade in one of these fish and get a much smaller individual (under an inch) and all will be well>
I tried to put them together in a smaller acclimation container to make them work. They are not killing each other, but I do see the female trying get the male to be submissive... I do not know if this is a bad idea. Thank you again for your help.
Frank
<Separate these two till you can trade one in. Bob Fenner>
Re: Clownfish the same size issue     7/30/15

I am enclosing a quick video... I was told that Bali Aquarich grows out the fish and they come in big. What's your thoughts on this observation? Thank you again
<Oh; was there last September; visiting w/ the owner/mgr. and touring his facility. They have all sizes (they breed them there... in N.W. Bali); and do/will ship smaller specimens. Again; all Ocellaris, Perculas over two inches in so in length are females. BobF>


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