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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
| PLEASE: Write reviews of my works on Amazon! I need your input. BobF
Re: Wavering Towards Fish 10/28/14
I didn't quite understand one of your comments:
3) 1-2 Nemateleotris sp., perhaps N. decora.
Does that "could" mean "yes", or "with reservations"?
<The latter mostly>
I have read that said Firefishes they can be quite the escape artists,
<Indeed they are>
and are semi-aggressive (will not be happy sharing with various Gramma species
,hence, I won't be attempting this), but is there anything else implied in there
that I am missing?
<Nope; this is/was it>
<Welcome and thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Thanks for the rapid reply: 1 hour! I really appreciate it.
[You don't need to publish this bit. I've been browsing WWM for quite some time
now, and with the help you've provided, I think it most definitely deserves the
small donation I've sent over to you. You'll probably also save me many times
that amount in terms of not killing livestock. :) Keep up the dedicated work!]
<Much appreciated Wesley. Cheers, BobF>
Re: Anemone ID please 10/28/14
Thanks for your insight, I have been thinking about this for a couple
days now. Would it be beneficial in my
<Mmm; a tough (good) question (as I don't really know the answer). Most
likely yes... the exception being if it becomes too numerous, sheds or
gets chopped up in a pump... broadcast to, through the system. B>
Preserving a shark egg case?
I work at an aquarium and today I found a non-viable zebra shark egg
I would like to preserve it to use as an education prop. I've seen the
finished product before but I can't find any info on the process.
Do you have any info or links? I would really
appreciate your help!
Best to You,
<Mmm; I wish I had online access to some of the larger biological
journals (to look up); am guessing that either 40 plus percent (80
proof) alcohol or formalin (10%)... let me refer you here:
Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Angelfish deaths 10/29/14
I have a 75 gallon tank that had six rainbow fish. One male Boesemanni
rainbow with a female, three turquoise rainbows and one plain Australian
<Indeed. I believe we've discussed this tank before.>
The female Boesemanni died of what looked like fungus a few weeks ago,
the rest are doing great.
<Good. Generally a reliable species in moderately hard water.>
We went away for 10 days and the pet sitter fed the fish four times in
that time period, no overfeeding.
<Still, I'd not feed the fish at all for such a short period of time. No
real need. Healthy, well-fed adult fish can go weeks without food. In a
planted tank even nominally predatory Angels will nibble at algae and
plant leaves if they're sufficiently hungry, which is probably good for
I had a large black angel who I noticed was starting to show signs of
cotton like fungus on the day we left. He/ She died a few days later,
along with a much smaller angel who was dead when we got home. The last
angel in the tank was moving slow when we got back and just died this
evening without showing any other symptoms. It seems that when the large
black angel went the others followed. Before we left all the fish were
zipping around and doing fine. I think maybe the angels all died of the
same thing without showing the cotton stuff on them.
<Was it on the fins or mouth? Classic aquarium fish fungus may appear
anywhere but usually starts on fins because it sets in after physical
damage. It's just possible the Angels are being harassed someway by the
Rainbows, whether deliberately or merely spooked by them as they dart
about. Farmed Angels are normally pretty phlegmatic, but if the aquarium
is very open or very bright, they may become more nervous than usual.
Then there's Columnaris, so called "Mouth Fungus" despite being a
bacterial infection. It doesn't exactly look like the classic fluffy
white threads of fish fungus. It's more often greyish slime or growths,
sort of halfway
between fungus and Finrot. It is treated with antibacterial medications.
Although it can be treated successfully, it's notoriously persistent,
especially in bad cases. Luckily, it's pretty rare.>
Or maybe the rainbows harassed the smaller angel when the big guy died,
I don't know. I always like to know what causes deaths in the tank, but
I guess sometimes you can't
<Quite so. Where there's no obvious explanation, my advice would be sit
back and do nothing (apart from, of course, keep an eye on water quality
and chemistry). If the Rainbowfish are otherwise fine and happy, leave
the tank for a few weeks to see if anything else happens. You might
decide to avoid Angels, or avoid Angels from that particular retailer,
or go looking for locally bred ones. The Angel/Rainbow combination is
quite widely done, and usually works, so you may have been unlucky. On
the other hand, you might choose to try something else, such as Blue
Acara or Lace Gouramis, as your midwater specimen fish. Indeed, even
some of the peaceful Central American cichlids are an option, Rainbow
Cichlids being one combo I've seen, and if you have space and a sandy
substrate, even Firemouths could work!>
Regarding: Bout of swordtail deaths and Ill rainbow?
First of, thank you for the site and it's resources. I have a metre
square but a foot high pond that houses a number of stock that I am not
entirely able to keep track of due to it's semi planted nature.
<Sounds a lot of fun!>
The primary issue is that there have been a bout of swordtail deaths,
though I suspect that it could be due to the end of their natural
<Possibly; farmed fancy Swordtails seem to last 2-3 years these days.>
The swordtails have been here for about two years or so. Either way, I
have noticed some injuries on my rainbowfish, which I worry could be
<Possibly, and it's impossible to say by looking. It would be sensible
to isolate this fish if possible, medicate as per Finrot and Columnaris,
and see what happens. If nothing improves, humanely euthanise the fish
drops clove oil stirred into a litre of aquarium water works well; leave
it in there for 20 minutes and it'll definitely be dead). Mycobacteria
infections aren't especially common, but they do seem to be a problem
with some species of fish. Since there's no cure, the best and only
approach is to remove and euthanise affected fish before the bacteria
can spread. But with that stated, do bear in mind Mycobacteria are more
or less opportunistic, meaning they become a problem usually when the
fish is stressed.>
I don't exactly have the water readings at this present time but would
you have any idea about the nature of either case or whether they're
<Could be. Check water chemistry and quality are appropriate to the
species being kept. While deaths from old age and the occasional injury
can be expected, a bunch of sick/dead fish within a few weeks is
Thanks for all your help crew!
<Most welcome, Neale.>
Help with an anemone that will not open. Cold, small system;
chem. allelopathy 10/29/14
I hope everything is well.
<Yes; thank you>
I have a small ten gallon coldwater marine tank which I
currently keep "only" at 61 degrees as any lower and it
starts to have condensation problems on the exterior.
<Ah yes; some aquariums for this use have a double wall, the space
between viewing panels with a bit of drying agent>
My finny friends are an elegant blenny (Omobranchus elegans) and a
Catalina goby (Lythrypnus dalli). In the tank with them are an
unspecified hermit crab, some red macroalgae, some olive and black
turban snails and a number of anemones and Corallimorphs. I have
an orange beadlet anemone (Actinia equina), some white and orange
plumose (Metridium spp), some aggregating anemones (Anthopleura
<Am familiar with these Actinarians... studied them in college and dived
in their range many times off California>
and probably 50-100 of both the typical pink "strawberry
anemones" (Corynactis californica) and some bright yellow with purple
tip "jewel anemones" (Corynactis haddoni).
<Mmm; all this can't live together comfortably in ten gallons>
The problem is with none of the above I was simply giving a stock list
in case you think something might be a culprit. My problem is
with a previously large and beautiful "true strawberry" anemone (Actinia
I've had this setup for about a year possibly longer and everything is
growing well (although I feed the strawberry and jewel "anemones" some
little pellets about 3x a week and I haven't noticed a lot of expansion
of their colonies but neither are they dying. Some rogue polyps do
wander far from the colonies but the colonies' numbers seem to be
stable, so any tips here would be helpful). However, my true
strawberry anemone has stopped opening about 2.5 to 3 weeks
ago. It is mindboggling because it was a piggy always open and demanding
food for a solid year and was a good eater of silversides. It was full
grown when I bought it and I didn't want more than one "show" true
anemone of its color so I only fed it about half a silverside every week
to maybe twice a week some weeks. It stayed the same size, nice and full
always demanding more food for about a year.
Now it stays sunken in and unopened. It even appears to have shrunk a
bit from starvation but it could be just my imagination. It is not
splitting in two to my knowledge, just shrunk down into a tight ball of
Ping-Pong size. I can't see any parasites, "brown jelly" or anything
else that seems to show it's being harmed. It just simply refuses to
I've tried blowing water with coral food where the opening should be to
tempt it out and it just refuses.
<The best: move it or all to a much larger volume... Perhaps using a bit
of GACarbon in your filter flow path will relieve the likely allelopathy
Do have a read:
and as much of the linked files at top that it takes for you to
Re: New to saltwater, lots of questions. Stkg. 20 gal. reef
I appreciate the fast reply! I figured my stocking list could use major editing.
I know enough about marine fish that they can be nasty towards the same species
but not enough to know who is going to play nice with
relatives and who isn't yet.
<Best to be/stay tentative>
Between the two Basslets, which is preferable?
<More the Loreto... stays a bit smaller, more used to bright light... Oh, I see
below... the Swiss Guard, but not by much>
It's kind of a toss-up to which one I prefer aesthetically. I am disappointed
the blenny won't work, but I'm sure there is a good reason?
<Too mean... esp. toward similar niche-occupiers... and particularly in smallish
I just love that horsey face.
The (Heavily) Revised Stocking List:
* Mated pair of gobies (rusty or neon)
* Either the Swissguard or the Black-capped Basslet
I would like to add another fish or two max to liven things up a bit. Not sure
what would go well with that trio. The salty equivalent of dither fish. With
fairly heavy biofiltration and a skimmer I should (of course will have to be
proven by water quality and not guaranteed) be able to support 4 to 6 small
fish, depending on species. I plan on stocking slowly with appropriate
quarantine between fish, so I have some time to figure out what else I may want.
And time to figure out I am at my max before I crash my tank....
Just for clarification, are you suggesting no corals at all or just not the ones
I have picked as potentials?
<Better to do a bit more reading for now... perhaps introduce small Cnidarians a
few months later>
I definitely want a reef tank (eventually) but need to go slow due to not
wanting to crash my tank killing off $$$$ livestock and also because I am not
made of money! Nothing good happens in a nano tank quickly anyways.
I may be adding like a frag or two a month when my tank is stable.
<Very good. BobF>
Centropyge flavissima compatibility
Greetings crew! I have a question regarding C. flavissima, specifically
<Ahh! Highly variable nowayears... some times, from some source
locations very tough; others...>
I have a 125 gallon FOWLR tank that currently contains
a raccoon butterfly (C. lunula), a harlequin Tuskfish, and a Lemonpeel
angel. The tusk and Lemonpeel were at my LFS for quite a while, and I
have owned them for nearly a year, so I am fairly sure that they have
survived the shipping traumas that cause so many "surprise" deaths these
species are prone to.
I am looking to add a few more specimens down the road, but wanted to
get your opinion(s) regarding compatibility. I was wanting to do yet
another tank containing only fish from Japan, and came up with a list of
a few specimens that I am considering. The species I am interested in
are Arothron nigropunctatus, Thalassoma jansenii, Parupeneus
barberinoides, Melichthys niger, Euxiphipops navarchus, and Acanthurus
japonicus. I was hoping to add some combination of 3 of those listed 6
<Mmm; all but the Majestic Angel are good, hardy choices>
I realize that a standard 6' 125 gallon tank is considered a minimum for
<I'd say/state much larger; like twice>
and the puffer and would not consider mixing those. My worry is that due
to its small size and aggression
levels, the limiting factor other than tank size is the Lemonpeel angel.
It is my pride and joy and I would be quite sad to lose it. To maximize
swimming space, there are roughly 60-70 lbs. of mature live rock lining
the back glass of the tank, giving the fish caves to hide in, as well as
providing an excellent source of microfauna for the fish to forage. The
live rock comes from my 75 gallon reef tank and I cycle out pieces
periodically to give the Lemonpeel and butterfly more to forage through.
Although I have done a good amount of research on my own, but this is my
time personally keeping any larger, more aggressive saltwater fish, and
wanted to see if there were any species I should disqualify before I
continue researching further.
Thank you once more,
<I'd leave out the Euxiphipops for sure; and go with all the rest.
Cheers, Bob Fenner>
My snail :( (in)comp. w/ Bettas, tropicals
So originally I bought a Betta for my office at work.
<In a filtered, heated aquarium, I trust. I mention this
because a lot of the "executive" aquaria are too small (less than 5
gallons), too cold (need to be heated to 25 C/77 F), and too dirty (need
a filter, preferably a biological filter with a gentle current).>
I wanted to give him a mate so I received a golden apple snail.
<Oh dear. Apple Snails aren't good choices for life with aquarium fish,
having somewhat different requirements and in all honesty not living
that long kept with fish. Usually what happens is the fish (Bettas
included) peck at the antennae and breathing tube (siphon) on the front
of the snail.
Since Apple Snails need these organs, damage to them causes stress, and
more often than not the poor snail ends up dead. I'm sure there's the
odd exception out there, but unless you have another aquarium you can
move fish or snail too if things go wrong, it's not worth the gamble.>
My snail (White Shadow) was flourishing and very active, but my Betta
(Mr. Limpet) started losing his color and hiding in a plant I later
found out was hurting him.
<Does not compute. By which I mean, plants don't hurt Bettas. Quite the
reverse. Unless you've got some sort of mutant Venus' Fly Trap, your
Betta will appreciate floating plants of all sorts, such as Indian Fern.
provide shade and shelter, as well as somewhere to rest.>
So I removed all harmful plants and purchased a smaller tank for my
snail, as well as another snail to keep him company.
<Can I just state something up front before we get bogged down in
anthropomorphising pet fish too much -- Bettas don't want company. They
don't need company. They're solitary, territorial fish that view other
as either (a) predators, (b) competitors, (c) potential mates, or (d)
food. There is no (e) friends on this list because Bettas aren't social.
Adding companions is at best pointless and at worse a source of
problems, including stress on the poor Betta which physically and
psychologically just isn't adapted to living with tankmates. We've bred
them with super-long fins that make swimming difficult, so feeding and
hard, yet they still have this antipathy towards other fish, especially
ones that look like Bettas. What Bettas do want are (a) space, (b) heat,
and (c) clean, filtered water. Make sense? Virtually all problems with
Bettas come down to not doing these. Give them an aquarium 4-5 gallons
in size, with a heater than keeps the temperature around 25 C/77 F, and
install a small biological filter, and they're quite easy to keep.>
I washed everything really well and set up my tank for my snails
(Whiplash and White Shadow) then I went home for the weekend. I came in
this morning and found them both floating :( Whiplash smelled horrid and
was almost all the way out of his shell, and White shadow was partially
<Indeed, dead snail is a unique smell!>
When I removed White Shadow he seemed to pull back into his shell but it
was very slow, same as with coming back out. So I washed everything
again and I removed Whiplash (May he RIP) and I put White Shadow back
<Do a decent water change, check the ammonia or nitrite levels, check
the filter is running and not blocked with snail corpse. If ammonia or
nitrite aren't zero, be ready to do a succession of daily water changes,
Now it is still floating, it is coming out of his shell but I don't see
any of its antennas moving and he is just floating. Did I make a mistake
in thinking he was still alive?
<Dead snails smell... by all means remove to a separate container of
dechlorinated water and see what happens. Provided the water isn't too
cold (below 18 C/64 F is lethal for Apple Snails) you should be able to
tell if he's dead or alive.>
He didn't smell bad when I had him out of the water.
<Would have you review Bob F's writing on Bettas generally, here:
And also our general FAQs on Apple Snails, starting here and following
There's a good Apple Snail website too, called AppleSnail.net you may
find rewarding. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My snail :(
Thanks for the speedy response! My tank is not heated nor is it
<Yikes! Both essential. Not negotiable. Bettas are tropical
fish, so unless your office happens to be somewhere like Singapore and
doesn't have air conditioning, then the water is too cold. North
American and Europe for example are not tropical, hence Bettas are sold
as "tropical fish" for "tropical fish tanks".>
I have a little heater I have at home I could bring in.
my single Betta lives in a 2.5 gallon tank (I'm not allowed to have
bigger in my office)
<Ah, now things become clearer. Too much livestock in too little water.
Remember, anything smaller than 3 gallons is basically a bucket, and if
you understand that, you'll realise adding lots of creatures isn't a
and since I removed everything he is doing so much better. I should also
clarify that the plant that was harming him was a hard plastic plant
that didn't like to stay flared out. Now Mr. Limpet has two little silk
plants he can hide in and a castle he loves sleeping in.
And I am still unsure about White Shadow. He has come out further to
where I can see his antenna...but he is still floating so I'm not sure
if he is coming out on his own, or falling out. He still doesn't smell
Re: My snail :( 10/27/14
I will bring in my heater from home. I can't do anything about the
filter, but now that I know I should I will be changing the water
<Realistically, 10-25% daily if at all possible. Do bear in mind the
"Bettas in jars" you hear about are kept in heated fish rooms where the
breeder changes almost all the water in each jar every day, perhaps more
often than that. Such fishkeeping is very labour intensive, hence
filters being practically essential.>
White Shadow moved so I am no longer worried. Thank you for your
information and your site is a huge help :)
<Glad to help.>
Aquatic Experience 10/27/14
Thank you for speaking at Aquatic Experience-Chicago, we do appreciate
it. You are scheduled to present “Livestock Acclimation & Quarantine” on
Friday 4:30-5:30 in Nirvana B.
<Ah yes; am ready>
All sessions are located on the second floor. We would like to make you
aware of a special session we are presenting on Friday at 6:15, “State
of the Aquatic Industry Town Hall” in Nirvana C. We hope that all of our
speakers will join us for this new addition to Aquatic Experience and
ask our Friday speakers to promote
this event. Please see the attached Town Hall information.
<Ahh, will post on WWM (WetWebMedia); we have some 30-40k visitors per
Here is the schedule for the Saturday events located in the Schaumburg
Ballroom, we do hope you will join us!
Speaker Photo-6:00- in Schaumburg Ballroom East- follow the signs to the
Meet & Greet entrance
Speaker Meet & Greet-same location following photo- opportunity for our
Weekend Pass Holder to meet our esteemed speakers
Keynote and Banquet-Schaumburg Ballroom 7:00
Your badge and wristband, which will allow you entrance into all events,
will be available for pick up at Will Call which is located at the Trade
Show Floor entrance.
<Oh! Is there one for my cohort, Tiffany Bromfield? I've paid for her
air... she was there last year>
Please provide your cell phone number in case I need to reach you on
Thank you again for speaking at Aquatic Experience.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Director of Education & Programming
World Pet Association, Inc.
“State of the Aquatic Industry Town
Don’t miss the “State of the Aquatic Industry
Town Hall” with Julian Sprung, Marshall Meyers, Sandy Moore, Dustin
Dorton and Chris Buerner, moderated by Chris Clevers, Friday at 6:15.
This important Town Hall is open to all Aquatic Experience 2014
attendees and exhibitors. The panel will discuss important issues
impacting fish, corals and other aquatic creatures. Retailers will
learn how they can best communicate current threats to their customers
to get them involved and ways they can help turn back the tide (no pun
intended) in a coordinated fashion. This discussion will include
PIJAC’s efforts regarding the endangered species listing of Acropora
Coral, specific species of fish and the activities of the PIJAC aquatic
committee. Bring your questions and learn what’s happened, what
may be next and what all of it could mean to the aquatics industry.
Re: Fantail Goldfish lurking at top of his tank (RMF,
anything else?)<<Mmm; no>> 10/27/14
Thanks for getting back to me also. The tank is heated, as the filter
and heater combination was part of the tank. I may look at increasing
his temperature gradually though. It's currently at 19 degrees C. Maybe
it is a
metabolism issue as the thing I have noticed more today is the amount of
effort it's taking him to move down his tank. He's having to use his
tail muscle more powerfully when he's swimming normally. If he wasn't
exclusively confined to the top 10% of his tank, 90% of the time, I
would think he was being a bit quiet, but wouldn't really get worked up
I don't know if not feeding him for a day or two might be worth a try?
Could it be a digestive/swim bladder issue? I'm not sure if it's better
to feed him more peas to try and help or if it's just better to give his
digestive system a break for a couple of days.
<For sure worth a shot. Up the temperature, switch to an all-greens
diet, see what happens.>
He has come down for a little while from time to time, but it seems like
it's an effort and he sort of drifts back up quickly. It's just odd as
he's acting fairly normally today (not in one place like he was
yesterday) but is still stuck right at the top. He's still eating, which
is good, and still active, just in a very restricted area.
Incidentally, he used to be in with two others, a Black Moor and a
Veiltail, but I eventually had to separate them after they wouldn't
leave each other alone, leading to the smaller fish being very stressed.
Once I have sorted this issue out, it's something I would consider again
as both other fish have passed away since.
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Pond Stocking Recommendation
Greetings Crew, I'm stocking a 3 million gallon reservoir with
mosquito fish Gambusia affinis. How many fish would you recommend
Thank you so much for your help. Aloha Brandon
<Mmm... likely a few to several hundred "will do it" here; with good
conditions providing for rapid live-bearing increase.
Do ask help from the D/BLNR or vector control... they likely have a
ready stock for free.
Re: Pond Stocking Recommendation
I forgot to mention, the surface area is 80,000sf and 6ft deep. Thanks
again I do appreciate it.
<Well... a few thousand if you can get them cheap or free. Take care to
not introduce unwanteds... Bob Fenner>
Re: Pond Stocking Recommendation 10/27/14
Thank you Bob you the quick reply. I do have another question. I have a
fair amount of toad eggs. I've heard they are poisonous to fish
and most fish learn to not eat them. Is there any fish or
invertebrate that could
safely consume the eggs. Thanks again.
<Mmm; you're in Hawaii right? DO contact the Bureau of Land and Natural
I don't want to get you in trouble. BobF>
Re: Pond Stocking Recommendation 10/27/14
Unfortunately, DLNR didn't have any suggestions on tadpole removal,
except for manual removal. I'm a little confused as to how you could be
getting me in trouble. I would not able to import fish/inverts that
aren't conditionally approved. If you could shed some light on the
subject, it would be appreciated. Thanks for your time.
<Mmm; well... our old service company (Aquatic Life Services) did lake
management as well as ornamental basins, fountains... I was the
qualifier for the Pest Control Adviser and Applicator licenses... First,
blanche suggestion: Just leave the tadpoles be... dealing with them
biologically or chemically entails more problems than it's worth. B>
Re: Pond Stocking Recommendation 10/28/14
Thanks again Bob. I thought you had a secret biological control, you
didn't want to reveal, haha.
<There is none as far as I'm aware>
I was considering stocking Dojos, to at least compete with
tadpoles(these are marine toads) and limit numbers that way. I have
heard reports through out the state of toad invasions, the dry weather
maybe a factor. By the way this isn't my pond, I'm stocking it for some
else. I can't thank you enough for all the info over the years. You have
a lot of good karma coming your way. Best of luck. Brandon
<And you, B>
Fantail Goldfish lurking at top of his tank
Thank you for your great site as usual. I have spent some time reading FAQs
recently and it's always helpful and you have all been of great help in the
I have a fantail goldfish that is probably around 10 years old (had him for 8
years and he was an adult when I got him, so that's just a guess really. He's
about 4 inches long plus tail. He is on his own in a 120l tank. He is fed one
pea in the evening and three Spectrum New Life sinkers in the morning. I do two
25% water changes per week and his tank chemistry seems fine (Last week. he
tested at PH 7.9, Ammonia and Nitrite 0 and
Nitrate 10. The nitrate amount has more than doubled, but I haven't changed
anything recently, so I'm puzzled by that. It's still within reasonable
parameters according to here and I'm changing regularly.
<Bacteria come, go metabolically, population wise with small, subtle changes>
I have two filters, which I change every month or so in rotation (although
probably not as regularly as I should and the media is old). The only thing I
don't do that I probably should is vacuum the gravel, but I considered
that because the gravel layer is quite minimal it's not as vital here.
There has been algae growth recently because of the sunshine, but I have been
I noticed over the last couple of weeks he has been hanging around at the top of
his tank a lot more than usual. He has always done it to some degree, but he's
doing it to a more worrying extent now. About a week ago
he was sitting on the gravel for a while a few times, but I haven't caught him
doing that over the last week. He also seems very easily buffeted by the current
and when I pour water in during a water change and has a
slight lilt, like swimming is a bit of a struggle for him. When the filter etc.
is off if I'm changing him, he's very still. and just hangs there.
He's perky around feeding time, but his active times seem to be reduced. I
recently added an airstone to see if oxygen quality could be an issue, but that
seems to have made no difference.
<Do "wick off" the surface water... by dipping a pitcher... perhaps a thin oil
film (very common from indoors sources) is coating the tank top>
I haven't got any Elodea or similar in there for him, as I have been concerned
about it reducing the Oxygen content in the water, although I read some FAQs on
here which suggest if a fish is doing this, boredom
could be a factor.
I also thought perhaps I'm not feeding him enough, or feeding him badly, which
is giving digestion issues (another thing suggested on here that could be an
<Could try increasing... perhaps some pellets in the AM>
I can't find anything in the archives that really could be a cause here that I
haven't already thought of, any suggestions? Any help or suggestions
would be appreciated.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Fantail Goldfish lurking at top of his tank
Thanks very much for your assistance with this. I'm going to do as you say with
the clearing of the water around the tank top (any recommendation on frequency
for this?), increase his feeding gradually and get some Elodea in there for him
to forage in etc.
I use Aquamel dechlorinator, which I've seen Neale recommend on here a dozen
times and I'm very paranoid about hygiene/chemicals around him, so I would
struggle to see it's to do with anything untoward getting in the
water that way. K/H is fine as we're on limestone round here. The other thing I
thought of might be to do with the temperature. It's dropped a few degrees here
in England since October's kicked in and although his heater
is working fine and keeping him to a steady 18 degrees, it may be affecting him
or the water in some way.
<Yes; should make more sluggish>
I know this goldfish behaviour stuff is pot luck sometimes and I have enough
experience to know that even if everything chemically is right, then sometimes
they can have periods of odd behaviour for their own reasons or
for other issues we can't test or really prepare for like genetics. Like I
always say, fish first, ask questions later and hope it goes OK.
Fantail Goldfish lurking at top of his tank /Neale
Thank you for your great site as usual. I have spent some time reading FAQs
recently and it's always helpful and you have all been of great help in the
I have a fantail goldfish that is probably around 10 years old (had him for
8 years and he was an adult when I got him, so that's just a guess really.
He's about 4 inches long plus tail. He is on his own in a 120l tank. He is
fed one pea in the evening and three Spectrum New Life sinkers in the
morning. I do two 25% water changes per week and his tank chemistry seems
fine (Last week. he tested at PH 7.9, Ammonia and Nitrite 0 and Nitrate 10.
The nitrate amount has more than doubled, but I haven't changed anything
recently, so I'm puzzled by that. It's still within reasonable parameters
according to here and I'm changing regularly. I have two filters, which I
change every month or so in rotation (although probably not as regularly as
I should and the media is old). The only thing I don't do that I probably
should is vacuum the gravel, but I considered that because the gravel layer
is quite minimal it's not as vital here. There has been algae growth
recently because of the sunshine, but I have been removing this.
I noticed over the last couple of weeks he has been hanging around at the
top of his tank a lot more than usual. He has always done it to some
degree, but he's doing it to a more worrying extent now. About a week ago
he was sitting on the gravel for a while a few times, but I haven't caught
him doing that over the last week. He also seems very easily buffeted by
the current and when I pour water in during a water change and has a slight
lilt, like swimming is a bit of a struggle for him. When the filter etc. is
off if I'm changing him, he's very still. and just hangs there.
He's perky around feeding time, but his active times seem to be reduced. I
recently added an airstone to see if oxygen quality could be an issue, but
that seems to have made no difference.
I haven't got any Elodea or similar in there for him, as I have been
concerned about it reducing the Oxygen content in the water, although I
read some FAQs on here which suggest if a fish is doing this, boredom could
be a factor.
I also thought perhaps I'm not feeding him enough, or feeding him badly,
which is giving digestion issues (another thing suggested on here that
could be an issue)
I can't find anything in the archives that really could be a cause here
that I haven't already thought of, any suggestions? Any help or suggestions
would be appreciated.
<Bob seems to have covered the basics in his reply. I do agree with him that
boredom, or rather, lack of social interaction, could be a factor. Do bear in
mind Goldfish are gregarious, and though they don't necessarily
need to be kept in schools like, say, Neons, they do appreciate company.
Sometimes adding dissimilar fish with similar requirements can work, such as
Weather Loaches or even Variatus Platies (these latter assuming the water isn't
too cold, 18-22 C being ideal for them). Of course you can't add more fish if
the size of the tank and water quality don't allow it. On the other hand, adding
just one other Goldfish might not work if they don't get along -- to some degree
they're hierarchical animals, and if both want to be top dog, some chasing may
occur. Adding two additional fish, smaller specimens though not too small, would
be a better tack. 120 litres is 30 US gallons, just about adequate for 3 fancy
Goldfish. I recommend choosing the same or similar varieties because stronger
varieties can bully weaker ones (mixing Standards with Celestials for example is
asking for trouble!). But plain vanilla Fantails should mix with Moors quite
well, if you wanted some variety. Moors are often a bit bullish, so getting
youngsters about half the size of the Fantail should balance out nicely.
Secondly, I'd also consider adding some heat to the tank. Fantails, like the
other fancy varieties from Asia, are best treated as subtropicals. Contrast this
with Standards and things like Comets and Shubunkins that were specifically bred
within the coldwater (unheated) hobby in Europe and the US. You don't need a lot
of heat, but 22 C/72 F is ideal for them, particularly if you balance warmth
with oxygenation (i.e., filter-drive circulation of water all around the tank,
supplemented by splashing at the surface). If kept too cold, fancy varieties can
become lethargic and even more prone to things like Finrot as their immune
system works less well. Likewise, lack of warmth slows down digestion and
metabolism, which will mostly manifest itself as a general lack of vitality
rather than specific disease-like symptoms. In short, adding a heater and
reviewing water circulation could make all the difference here, and if it does,
you then have the option of adding some dither fish such as Variatus Platies to
help a singleton Goldfish feel more
at-ease. Hope this helps, Neale.>
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