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Lactophrys (now Acanthostracion) polygonius (Poey 1876), the Honeycomb Cowfish. Tropical west Atlantic. To about nineteen inches in length. Cozumel 2014 pix.

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

Please send either prev. corr. or complete sentences.      3/25/15
Subject: More help
I've been at school all day and I just got home and checked on the Oranda... He's fuzzy... Is that a fungus? I don't know what to do to help him. We took the Pleco to the LFS, so he is gone now. Thanks again for all your help!

Re: re: More help.... GF trauma      3/26/15
I'm sorry,
I've been at school all day and I just got home and checked on the Oranda.
He's fuzzy where his scales had been taken off. Is that a fungus?
<Appears to be hyphae, mycelia... yes>

(His fins are also shredding more this morning)
I don't know what to do to help him.
<A bit of aquarium salt (1 tsp. per five gallons) is all I would do... that and check (daily) re water quality. You want NO ammonia, NO nitrite, and less than 10 ppm of nitrate>
We took the Plecostomus to the Local Fish Store, so he is gone now.

Thanks again for all your help!
<Be of good life, cheers. Bob Fenner>

Re[2]: re: More help      3/26/15
Ok put 1/2 tank water 1/2 fresh and treated water in my 5 gal quarantine tank with the 1 tsp per 5 gal of salt. What do I do daily to ensure no nitrates/ nitrites/ ammonia?
<Biological filtration, water changes.... See WWM re. B>

He's looking worse :'(
Re[3]: re: More help
Ok, is there a common name for the hyphae, mycelia?
<True fungal "threads" (structures), versus bacterial look-alikes>
One site brought up body fungus. also, do I need to worry about my other GF getting the fungus?
<Not so much>
Sorry for all of the emails... I am freaking out here!
<When in doubt, read. B>


Question for Bob Fenner: Polycarbonate safety       3/26/15
Hello Bob,
Hope this notes finds you well. I had the pleasure of talking with you at the GIRS event in early March in Waterloo. I was the fellow who had a mass serpent starfish spawn in my 90 gallon.
<Ah; I recall>
I have a question that I am having trouble in getting an answer, so I thought I would turn to you.
I want to use polycarbonate rods in a new aquarium to hold my rock work together. I know I could use acrylic, but can get the polycarbonate quickly and at a decent price.
<Okay; can be done>
Do you know if polycarbonate has any interactions with salt water that I should be aware off? I have looked on the web and really have not found much.
<All that I've seen and used have been fine; non-toxic. Some tanks, sumps, filters... are made out of polycarbonate>
Hope you have some thoughts....thanks!
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>
Re: Question for Bob Fenner
<Welcome Nish! B>

Re: Shipped fish      3/26/15
Good morning,
To answer some of the questions and make a few points:
1. Do I have room for all these organisms? No, some of these fish, went to the guy who bought my last tank. I myself have two big tanks for the bigger fish I ordered.
2. When looking for that acclimating article, I typed "gorilla" acclimation. Forgot about the other spelling for it.
3. The parrot, when speaking with this diver, said once they stop feeding, it's hard to keep them. But getting direct from ocean, with minimal airport and facility stops, he says improves your chances. We shall see I suppose, I can tell you he started pounding algae, krill and clams within 6 hours hitting my tank.
<.... Sparisoma... see WWM re...>

4 I spoke with this guy about the two who have yet to improve (black angel, atl blue tang) he said if they don't make it, he will replace them no problem.
<Fair of him>
Not a whole lot is said about what a parrot should actually eat as a staple once they are eating. Most places warn to stay away, any guidance would be appreciated.
<NLSpectrum pellets, large/r size, sinking.... and the reading>
And lastly, of all the fish I bought, my favorite is the 20 dollar pork fish (Anisotremus virginicus).
<A neat, and beautiful species... And good to eat>
Neat, confident personality, typical aggressive water column feeding and nice colors too.
<Best in a small group in a large system>
I think my days of the 200 dollar tusk fish, and 200 dollar achilles tangs are behind me.
Thank you
Re: Shipped fish
Hey Bob.
Came home from work to see the atl blue tank succumb. He was on bottom, and looked as if someone dipped acid on his body, welts, discoloration and just overall ugliness on the body. Sorta like someone used paint removed on a car.
Does that sound about right to ammonia toxicity?
Instead of getting another one, I may opt to use the credit towards something else. Perhaps a blue hamlet , some high hats or a few small grunts.
Seems to me like the atl blue tang doesn't ship well.

Thanks, Bob

Fresh/brackish/saltwater snail      3/26/15
I just thought I would share this because this snail is extremely hardy.
I've had it for about 4 years. It was in my freshwater tank that eventually became brackish for about 3 years and is now in a saltwater reef tank. It was acclimated slowly and has out lived all my other snails. I did not see it on the brackish list of inverts so figured I would share. It was purchased in fresh water section of lfs. I'm not sure the name of it but it is brown/black cone shaped about 2.5" long. Here a pic.
<This is extremely cool! A better picture of the shell would be helpful. At first glance it looks like one of the Tylomelania but I had/have no idea if these are brackish or salt tolerant... they are normally endemic to just one island (Sulawesi) and one system of lakes at that! There are various Pachymelania species, including Pachymelania byronensis, that have been
traded, and these are true mangrove snails. But they tend to have distinctive knobbly shells. Most mysterious! Cheers, Neale.>


Re: Swollen RTC zebra shovel nose cross      3/26/15
Hello again. I move him to a smaller more manageable tank, but used about 60% of the previous tank's water to prevent (or at least diminish) any sort of shock from water change.
I added two teaspoons of Epsom salt (it's a 10 gallon tank). I noticed a hard protruding "thing" here, directly in front of the skewer. I didn't know if it was a bone of some sort or cartilage, or if it was potentially something harmful.
<One of the bones of the throat. DO monitor water quality... RUN bio-filtration... NO ammonia or nitrite. Bob Fenner>

Re: Swollen RTC zebra shovel nose cross      3/26/15
I can't express my appreciation enough. Thank you SO much for the help.
<Welcome. B>

F8 puffer; beh.       3/26/15
Hi, my figure 8 puffer just had gotten his water change done today, done every couple of weeks. We had him for 6 yrs now, never a problem until today. He keeps staying on top of the tank, his SG is at 1.005, 0 nitrate and ammonia. What do u think?
<He may have swallowed some air. If he is floating, with skin above the waterline, you could try holding him tail down, head up, to see if the air comes out. He may puff up again though, but hopefully with water this time.
If he isn't floating and is wet all over, then you can pretty much let nature take its course. Alternatively, if you don't think air is the problem, review water chemistry and quality, as usual, check the heater is working, and make sure he's socially settled (nothing else attacking him, for example). High-fibre foods such as unshelled shrimps, live brine shrimp, or tiny snails can help relieve constipation, which is a real problem with puffers (in the wild puffers eat substantial amounts of plant material, something we rarely provide them in captivity). Cheers, Neale.>

Pink Gourami with growth in mouth. With photos       3/26/15
I have looked over your site hoping to find a similar condition mentioned, but didn't see any previous question regarding a blister-like growth inside the mouth.
First, my tank is 40 gallons, has 2 large, 6+ year old pink gourami's, 2 pictus cats, a smaller gold gourami and a clown loach. There's a driftwood (properly boiled), several plastic plants of various sizes for hiding among and medium sized gravel. None of these are new to the tank. I do a 25-30% water change every week, adding stress coat+. And lightly vacuum the gravel during that. I change the filter media every month or before as needed. I check on it each water change and may it rinse off if needed. I don't test the water myself, but I do take in samples for testing periodically and when something seemed off. It's always tested good. But I don't know what the numbers are or exactly what is being tested for. I will ask that when I get it checked again. Twice a day I feed TetraMin flakes, freeze dried bloodworms and shrimp pellets (though only 1 of the cats likes them). Everyone eats with no fighting. Here's the tank.
A brief history:
Had the 2 pinks in a 10 gallon tank by themselves for several years
until they clearly outgrew it. Had no illnesses at all during that time but there was a period of time when they seemed to fight a lot and did quite a bit of damage to each other's fins but that leveled off and there is not a clear dominant fish. They occasionally butt heads now, but no big deal. I don't know what their sexes are.
The 40 gallon has been established for over a year now. I first moved the pinks and they had it to themselves for a while with no issues. The first new tenants were 3 gold Gouramis and 2 pictus cats. Right from the start, one of the gold's seemed stressed and hid all the time and was the target of another's aggression. After a few days, I found him dead. Then the aggressor began attacking the other and he too died a short time later.
During that time, I asked about the fighting at my local pet store and was shown how to identify their sex and the 2 remaining were male. I'm not sure about the first one that died. They told me that 2 males may not fight if there is no female to fight over. Well, not in my case.
Right after the loss of the golds, I noticed ich on all of the fish (first time I've ever dealt with it). I went back to store and bought treatment and noticed their pictus tank had ich...
<Pimelodids are very susceptible>

Thanks for the ich PetSmart! Anyway, treated and cured with no deaths.
Cats lost whiskers, but they grew back.
Most recently, I've had issues with hazy, cloudy water coming on fast between water changes.
<Insufficient circulation, filtration>

I noticed tiny white specks all over my driftwood and floating in the water. Nothing on the fish. I tried a 60% water change at one point to stop the cycle, but it didn't work. Little specks just come back out of control.
These little things are alive for sure. I actually didn't look over your site yet for info on them because since adding the loach, (he loves them!) they are reducing in numbers. I have also taken over all feeding myself as I think there was some over feeding helping the population boom. I think I can keep those creatures in check. I'm assuming they are some kind of tiny
crustacean as I had done previous research on that issue, but couldn't find anything that gave a definite answer. Here is a picture of the specks at their worst. I have a video too that shows them crawling. Most of them are pretty inactive, but some crawl.
So now, several weeks ago, I noticed that the corner of one pinks mouth appeared cracked (It reminded me of how my sons mouth did that from badly chapped lips once). It just looked like a cut. I kept an eye on it and it has slowly become a lumpy, red area that is inside his mouth. I kept thinking it would surely take a turn to start healing up because he didn't seem to be affected by it in any way. Well, now I'm really concerned. He still eats normally, but for 2 days has been sitting on the bottom much more than normal and is constantly opening and closing his mouth. His gills are rapid. He definitely seems stressed now. He's still social when he is out swimming and whenever I go look at him he comes right up to me even if
he had been sitting in his hiding spot.
I'm clueless what to do about the bump. I'm afraid it's going to be fatal. Here is the bump from as many angles as I could get. No bump on the outside. But it's red.
It makes his mouth lopsided. It looks kind of fleshy and ragged like when you bite the inside of your cheek.
The best I could get looking into his mouth. He was a great sport showing me his boo boo.
This one didn't turn out as well, but you can see the affected side of his mouth compared to his buddy. It makes his lips protrude on that one side.
The other side of his mouth looks normal.
I have a video of how he appears to be "panting" (that's the only way I can think to describe it). And of the speck creatures if those would be helpful, let me know.
I appreciate any advise you might have.
<Well; the growth may be... a tumor of some sort... resultant from? Genetics, being housed for too long in too small a setting, chemical exposure... Treatment? None that I'm aware of. The usual good water quality and nutrition.
Bob Fenner>


Curing live rock/FJ       2/24/15
I have been re curing the Fiji live rock I bought on line at saltwaterfish.com for a week.
<Mmm; of the six folks that do marine collecting for export in Fiji, five of them are heavy in LR... and really only one (Walt Smith) does a good job of prep.ing ahead of shipping. I've seen some that just pick up the rock at low tides and stick it in boxes to ship.... Not good>
I did 2 water changed but the ammonia and nitrates never went up! Does this mean it's safe for me to place them in my established fish tank?
<Mmm; likely so... and this IS very probably a WSI product. I'd likely wait another week, to be sure; and to culture my own patience.... a HIGHLY necessary/essential personal characteristic for successful reef-keeping.
Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re curing live rock
Thank You!
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Howdy, howsit, a WSI mention on WWM     3/25/15

<Hey Walt!>
Many thanks for the words. I really think it’s time for a visit. I would like to catch up.
<Sure... when, where?>
The Labasa station has proved to be a very good move and the fish coming down are adding to our offerings in a very positive way every week. Politically it is not perfect but we have become very good at jumping the hurdles and they are slowly getting used to us.
<Yay and YAY!>
Our newest ReefRock2.1 is just hitting the market with some nice success but it is a little difficult with Real Reef already out there and establishing a foothold in this niche.
<As we both know... this all takes TIME! A few years usually... even if you were giving away gold bricks.... Do you have any written blurbs I might post on WWM re?>
I talked with Petco yesterday and they are very keen. We have established and registered a non profit called ADE (Aquaculture Development for the Environment) and a portion of each sale will go towards a huge reef restoration project in Fiji.
<Ah, great>
This product is linked to that. I would really like to fill you in on greater detail and have you help get the story out but some time together would be essential! Howzboutit?
<I say YES! Hopefully somewhere the water is warm and clear. Are you on the mainland? How 'bout hauling down for a week or so to... Puerto Vallarta the end of next month? Am scheduled to try out a new Iberostar resort... and Dressel Divers svc. Or....? BobF>
Miss the laughs!
<Oh yes!>
Howdy, howsit, a WSI mention on WWM    3/25/15

Hey Bob, All sounds good but I am in Fiji for a while now. Just got back a few weeks ago after a 9 week trip to LA, Seattle, Whistler, Chicago, Encinitas, LA and back to Fiji. Have to stay put for a while as the natives are restless.
<? Oh; can/will haul out if/when you have time.... could you spare a week to get out on a liveaboard?>
Regarding blurb, do a good scrub of our new websitewww.reefproject2.com and tell me what you think.
<Very nice indeed!>
Also our ads appear in Coral Mag every month.
<Yes; have seen these/them>
New products are hard to break in but that’s half the fun … right? Walt
<It is. BobF>

Shipped fish sufferin    3/25/15
hey Bob-
I shipped some fish in from the Caribbean. Shipping only cost me 45 dollars ups overnight.
<... only>
Everything looks great , except for large black angel (Resting on the bottom) and large atlantic blue tang. They looked iffy on shopping bags, and so I drop acclimated for 2 hours.
<.... what they do at times>
In my tank, the Atlantic blue is swimming upside down, sideways, near the surface, and at times bobbing at the surface.
I am in contact with the seller, however I do not like watching animals suffer. The shipper is telling me to give it time, and it should straighten out.
<He's, they're right>
How much time would you give it before thinking of using clove oil or another with euthanasia product.
<All the time in the world. B>
Shipped fish    3/25/15

hey Bob, thanks for the fast response, much respect.
It was 40 to ship 70 pounds of boxes over night,
<Wow! How many organisms?>
to my house; not to the airport. To me that seems very fair.
Fish seem to still be doing the same. I shut my powerheads off, seems they enjoyed floating around only to get stuck in them.
The symptoms I listed , does that sound like ammonia poisoning, lack of O2, or just flight stress?
<Likely ammonia burn mostly... see WWM re Guerilla Acclimation... for biz>

Thanks, and have a good evening
<Off to cook, serve at the Green Flash HHH. B>
Re: Shipped fish    3/25/15
Roughly 17 organisms.
<Wow! That's a BUNCH>
70 lbs worth of water, including a few big Angels (6 inches or so)
<... do you have room for all this?>
a few bigger tangs, a few large sponges and a ten inch stop light parrot fish.
<.... a poor choice. Viride's of this size rarely adapt>

All fish with exception of two acting strange came in beautiful.
(Ps this guy, who seems very honest, said with his ups discount, shipped this order for 340 overnight. But his flat rate shipping of 40 is what saves the consumer) I could never justify 340 in the fish let along just the shipping.
I highly recommend this guy ( foxy tropicals ) for anyone looking for Caribbean specific fish.
<Ah, good>
I read that gorilla article a long time ago, couldn't find it today so that is why I asked.
<Use the search tool, indices... Guerilla...>
I see some people advocate bag floating for temp acclimating, and dropping fish in, no dripping. This seems in attempt to not arouse ammonia with rising ph.
<No.... read>
What is the green flash? Jersey guy here who doesn't make it out much.
<A local brewery; the Hash House Harriers... we have a monthly run there>
Thanks again for all you do.
<Cheers (and the reading as usual) B>


Bloated bellies       /Neale     3/25/15
<Hello Christine,>
I just got three female bettas 4 days ago. All seemed fine at first, but 2 days ago, one had a chunk of fin missing from underside. Then yesterday, same one had clamped fins, stopped eating & started staying at surface in corner or hiding at bottom under rock. This morning that same female had all same symptoms with the addition of a swollen belly. Now tonight that same betta's belly got more swollen & can hardly stay at bottom w/o being tail up, so I just put her in a floating cup in the same tank. And now the other two females have bloated bellies but no other symptoms.

I added Epsom salt at 1 tsp per gallon, turned up heater to 82, & fed peas, but only the two bettas with only swollen belly symptom ate. I stopped feeding any other food. Also, have done PWC for past 2 days. For the non-native betta, I even tried to soak the peas in garlic, but she won't eat.
<What do you mean by "non native Betta"? Are you in Thailand and comparing some wild-caught Bettas with farmed Bettas?>
Water parameters are good.
<Meaning what?
Your idea of "good" and my idea of "good" may be different, and Mother Nature has VERY strict ideas about what "good" should be! She has no interest in small dorm rooms, limited budgets and that sort of thing. To recap: a "sorority" of female Bettas needs a tank upwards of 10 US gallons, and since they don't really get on (yes, even the females are intolerant of one another) the bigger the tank, the better. Filtration should be good, but water turnover very moderate as these are swamp-dwelling fish. Air-powered filters are ideal. Bettas forced to swim against strong currents all day don't live for long. In short, zero ammonia and nitrite. Plenty of plants, preferably floating plants, to provide visual breaks between the fish so they aren't staring at each other all the time. Warm air above the tank is important; a hood will take care of this nicely. While water chemistry isn't a critical factor, extremes should be avoided.>
I thought maybe this was constipation cuz we feed 2xday & I bet LPS only fed them every couple days cuz they seemed starved! But I know there are other possibilities such as swim bladder or internal parasite.
<Almost always when fishkeepers mention "swim bladders" they mean they have a sick fish that can't swim properly. Swim Bladder Disease isn't really a disease. Occasionally there might be infections of the swim bladder, but I've never seen any evidence for such a thing, and even if it existed, there's no way to tell. To be clear, it's a made-up disease. So let's focus on what's really going on. Your fish have some sort of bacterial or possibly protozoan infection, and perhaps alongside poor diet and/or environmental stress, they're losing the ability to swim properly. Kind of like if someone has a serious fever they wouldn't be able to stand up and walk. You wouldn't say they had "leg disease" but instead flu, pneumonia, or whatever. Identifying diseases in fish is difficult, so you have to go with probabilities.>
Any suggestions?? I don't know what else to do? I do have Kanaplex but haven't treated. What do you think it is? What other treatments?
I greatly appreciate your time and consideration!
In His Love,
<Without real data about the aquarium, can't say anything sensible. An antibacterial treatment makes sense, but it won't do anything if the environment is the underlying cause. Review, and act accordingly. Cheers, Neale.>
re: Bloated bellies       /RMF    3/25/15
<Put the words "bloated belly Betta" in the WWM search tool (on every page) and read
. B>
These are some pictures of the one female betta that died! Was trying to show you some pics of that white sac coming out of anal cavity. Also she had seemed to get some more fin rot after dying. Is that normal??
Christine Sexton

re: Bloated bellies    3/25/15
Thanks for responding.
Unfortunately, the one betta that wouldn't eat died. Weird thing is she was at bottom of floating cup belly down flat on surface, tail up. She also had something white protruding out of her anal cavity (almost spherical, like a sac or something)? I also noticed the other two have same thing coming out of anal cavity, but 3x smaller? I viewed under magnifying glass, but didn't see any movement?
Is this normal for females to have, because we have a male in another tigi??
Are they full of eggs?? Is it possible that we over fed them??
<More likely a bacterial infection; but resultant from what? At times such "wipe outs" occur with imported batches... from... "too much stress", change in water conditions apparently>

We have a 5gal tank that we fully cycled ( PH 7.0 AMM 0. NITES 0 NIATES 10.0 ) but we found planaria in it (it got introduced to all of our tanks somehow, maybe via a new plant?)
so we did 100℅ water change & rinsed tank, equipment, etc. with aged water. Also rinsed filter & some other filter
material we had inside the actual tank laying on bottom very lightly with aged water. Then a couple days later added the 3 female bettas (only fish in tank). Unfortunately, after the 1st day when we checked water parameters, the Nitrates dropped a lil to about 5.0. Did we kill all the good bacteria?? -
Because, later on that night PH 7.0, AMM .40,
<Yikes; toxic. "This could do it">

NITRATES 5.0. So we did another PWC & got AMM to .15, and kept doing PWC's to make sure ammonia levels stayed extremely low to non-existent. All other water parameters stayed consistent. We also use a 50 watt heater & Prime as
a water conditioner, etc.
Hope this info helps. Thanks again!!
BTW, the other 2 girls seem to be doing a little better (their stomachs have gotten a little smaller and they are still eating a couple pieces of peas only (being fed no other food). Also, still active, although no one pooped overnight. However, after I did another PWC (adding/replacing the ES), one did poop, as there was a piece at bottom of tank. Water is at 82°.
<Good. BobF>

Toby Identity    3/25/15
I wondered if you could confirm if this is a Canthigaster solandri.
<Mmm; maybe: http://wetwebmedia.com/tobies.htm >
My friends if more orangish and this one has a darker body without the lines on the top of the body. I wondered if that was because he was a juvenile. One is a flash at night (green dots) and one is him during the day. His eyes appear green. Very cool little fish and I love him! He doesn’t seem to bother the other fish and him and my engineer goby like to play tug-of-war with the scallops I feed them. He also eats to the point of looking like he is going to pop! Crazy little thing! Thanks!
<Looks more like an Ambon to me. Bob Fenner>

Re: Toby Identity    3/25/15
Yes, I thought C. ambon as well, however there are no radiating lines from the eye area like C. ambon.
<This characteristic is variable geographically and size wise... smaller, younger specimens don't show it>
Also it seems that mine is more dark brown, similar to the darker version of C. solandri which was confused with C. papua at one time. Can you tell me if this is a male or female? I thought male because of the larger spots.
<Am going w/ your guess. Bob Fenner>

Swollen RTC zebra shovel nose cross    3/25/15
Hello, I have a baby RTC zebra shovel nose cross breed about 4.5 inches long in a (temporary) 55 gallon aquarium. He has always acted weird by swimming upside down, positioning himself in awkward, vertical positions after eating and sometimes during the day. I keep water conditions good and a clean tank. Last night he was acting no different than usual, and this
morning I awoke to him with a GIANT stomach.
<Mmm; anyone missing?>

I didn't feed him yesterday since I keep him on an every-other-day schedule, and I have no missing tank mates, and I'm used to seeing him after a big meal so I can safely eliminate a stomach full of food as a reason. It looks just like a balloon and I'm honestly afraid it is going to pop.
<Perhaps swallowed substrate...>

He's floating upside down which indicates to me to be a swim bladder issue. There's about .5-.75 inches from the water line to the top of his stomach above the water. The bulge goes from the bottom of the base of the head to a tiny bit past the anus. I had a parasite issue earlier but before I could identify the parasite and treat it (a red thing that attached to
fins and occasionally the body), it disappeared and never saw it again.
What's going on and how can I fix it?
<Got me. There are a host of issues w/ these Pimelodid crosses... Maybe send along a well-resolved image>
- Andrew
<Bob Fenner>
Re: Swollen RTC zebra shovel nose cross    3/25/15

I'm afraid to move him but I can take another photo if he moves himself.
Thank you so much
<Yikes; I'd likely administer a teaspoon of Epsom per five gallons and hope for the best. No sense placing antibiotics, antimicrobials. BobF>

Re: Swollen RTC zebra shovel nose cross    3/25/15
Thank you for the recommendation. I'll be sure to let you know how it all turns out but I can't say it looks promising.
<Agreed; most such cases... the animals perish>
If he did eat the substrate (fertilizing clay, definitely large enough to get stuck) could that be the issue?
<Yes; perhaps with a bacterial issue subsequent>
I feed him bits of various meats,
<... what sorts? Have you read on WWM re the family?>
but i also feed the other tank mates pellets, and I've seen him get aroused by the smell of the pellets. Is it possible he caught the scent of one that fell to the bottom and tried to eat it along with the substrate?
And if so, is there really anything I can do?
<The MgSO4... time going by; good water quality. Bob Fenner>

Please re-size your images (max. a few hundred kBytes) and re-send all    3/25/15
Subject: Yellow bellied sliders. 13 Megs.... auto deleted

Snail question; ID     3/25/15
Hi Folks,
As usual you continue to do a great job helping all of us out in the aquarium lands. I have a snail question today, I have reviewed the previous postings concerning "bad" snails but am unsure if the guys(and gals) that are infesting my tank fall into that category. Most of the "bad" ones seem to be a flat spiral type shell, mine are similar but not as "flat". I am inserting a pic or two to hopefully aid in identifying them. They never get much larger than about an 1/8 or maybe 3/16 of an inch.
<Appears to be a Nerites of some sort.... Bob Fenner>

Please send either prev. corr. or complete sentences.      3/25/15
Subject: More help
I've been at school all day and I just got home and checked on the oranda... He's fuzzy... Is that a fungus? I don't know what to do to help him. We took the Pleco to the LFS, so he is gone now. Thanks again for all your help!

Sea Cucumber for my 11 year old, please help!      2/24/15
<Miss M.>
I have an 11 year old son who has been studying sea cucumbers and really wants one for his Birthday. However, as I have been trying to research it has become overwhelming.
<.... Just focus on what is written/archived on WWM... it is sufficient; though certainly not complete>

We do not nor will we plan on having an aquarium that is very large or has many creatures. I already own a small tank that we had for some Beta fish several years ago.
<.... there are no freshwater Sea Cucumbers>
Is there any chance you could give me a list of exactly what I would need to buy (including which type of sea cucumber) to give this to him as a gift?
<Livestock makes for very poor gifting... Might I suggest... a book or perhaps a gift card instead?>
I would really really appreciate your help.
Thank you.
Meg Card
<The reading on WWM. Do you need help using the search tool, indices? Bob Fenner>

Boesemanni rainbow w/ ich; treating tank w/ hyposalinity?      2/24/15
Hello Bob et al. from snowy Chicagoland!
<Brrr; was at O'Hare two wknd.s back on the way to GIRS, Iowa... six F...>
I just discovered that my single Boesemanni rainbow has come down with ich.
Currently he resides in a 44 gal heavily planted well established tank with one Siamese algae eater and one juvie albino Bristlenose Pleco. No ammonia, nitrites or nitrates, need to check pH and temp. There are also probably 3-4 small cories in the tank, not sure on the number because I never see them!
<Mmm; the plants and Corydoras make simple temp. elevation route more difficult, but this IS still the route I would go>
I am wondering if I can treat the tank w/ aquarium salt with the inhabitants as listed below. Any other suggestions?
<85 F, NOW>
I'd greatly appreciate a bit of help here. I've been fortunate to not have a sick fish for years so much of what I previously knew is buried somewhere in the great recesses of my brain;)
Many thanks, Jorie
<Cheers and hello to Chris. BobF>
Re: re: Boesemanni rainbow w/ ich; treating tank w/ hyposalinity?
Done and done. Chris says hello too!
How long to treat with raised temperature in this fashion?
<Ahh; please read here:
Thanks again,
<Sound familiar? Heeeee! B>
Re: re: Boesemanni rainbow w/ ich; treating tank w/ hyposalinity?
Very good, gracias!
<Poor Ralph Nader! B>

125 Gallon setup; FW; Oscars and more       2/24/15
Hi guys!
I just found your website recently - awesome treasure trove of information!
<Ah yes. Good folks, and been at this for a while>
I've been poking around doing research but have been finding vague or conflicting information so figured I'd ask the experts!
I got back into having fish in late September after I'd found a really decent 55 gallon with stand/etc. for free near my parents house while visiting. My current setup is using an API Filstar xp medium, Eheim heater and LED lights. I've got two tiger Oscars (one albino), a black diamond cichlid and a Pleco. They're all under 7 inches though they've been growing well. I'm planning as tax refunds approach to get on finding them their upgrade tank and am planning to go with a 125.
<Nice; and needed!>
When it comes to stress they have lots of hiding places and have great color, though they're the first Oscars I've had, having had them in the past, that are more skittish than curious so I'm not sure if it's just personality or if there may be something else going on (the black diamond is always ready to come up and eat when I tap my finger in the tank - the Oscars are a 50/50 chance if they respond or wait until I'm gone).
<"Just" natural behavior.... and a real NEED to get into more space>
It's a big assumption, but their pelvic fins are developing *very* differently and they stick together like glue 24/7 so I'm questioning if I may have a male/female pair (I know it's not really possible to sex visually, just how protective the larger is of the smaller one rather than getting territorial). The Pleco really could care less what's going on most of the time - he will just keep under his driftwood piece except for occasionally charging around the tank at high speed. Overall the tank seems pretty
healthy right now. With the size of the tank versus the fish I'm making sure to really keep on top of water changes and using me Eheim gravel vacuum (which is the best $40 I've ever spent, I wish I'd had one when I worked in pet stores).
I just wanted to reach out and see if you had any feedback for this type of tank that I should keep an eye on when I upgrade?
<Is a good shape, size for what you have now>
I've read a number of places that two canister filters are a good idea - I'm planning on buying  a Filstar XL, so could keep my medium as backup?
<I'd run both>
But I'm not 100% when sites say a secondary backup filter is needed for 125's whether they just mean in case one breaks or that both should be running. What's a desirable flow rate for a 125 gallon tank with somewhat messy fish?
<Really.... ten times plus turn over... what you have are very messy fishes>
I'm loving having fish again and want to do everything I can afford to do to make sure these guys all stay happy and healthy and reach their full football size! Few things as cool as full grown Oscars in my book (except maybe for clown knives).
Any suggestions greatly appreciated!
<Keep curious; reading, dreaming, and moving forward! Bob Fenner>
Re: 125 Gallon setup
Thanks for the quick response Bob!
When you say 10x plus turn over what would that look like? 125 gallons x10 - I'm assuming that's per hour?
<Ah yes>
And as long as it's not massive overkill it probably doesn't hurt to go more than needed right?
<You are correct!>
<Welcome. BobF>

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Marine Aquarium Articles and FAQs Master Index

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