Please visit our Sponsors
Daily Questions & Answers (FAQs)

All "framed" images are linked to desktop sizes.

We ask that, before submitting, you refer to...
Tips on Asking Questions, Ask the WWM Crew a Question,
Query Corrections Referral Page, FAQs on FAQs. EDFP, TBPFAQs, SWPOTD, Last Few Days Accrued FAQs,

Subscribe to the Daily Pics

Dischistodus perspicillatus (Cuvier 1830), the White Damsel. Indo-West Pacific. To six inches in length. Bali 2014

Desktop size download &Link to Archived Marine Daily Pix
General FAQs
Updated 8/23/2016
Other Specialized Daily FAQs Blogs: Freshwater,
Ponds, Brackish, Last Few Days Accrued FAQs
Daily Q&A replies/input from the WWM crew: Ian, Carole Stueben, Earl Clay III, Darrel Barton,
Neale Monks, Marco Lichtenberger, Lynn Zurik, Chuck Rambo, Bob Fenner, are posted here. Moved about, re-organized daily
Current Crew Bios., Not so current Crew Bios
Scorpionfishes: Lionfishes & Much More for Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

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

Crew Inquiry      8/23/16
Hello WetWeb!!!
I am inquiring about joining the crew! I was wondering if you could give me any information on how to do so?
Gabe Walsh
<Thank you for coming forward Gabe. We are always looking for help. Please send along a brief bio., and list of fields you feel comfortable responding to. Bob Fenner>
Re: Crew Inquiry      8/23/16

Thanks for the timely response.
My name is Gabe Walsh. I am 15 years old, and I am an experienced aquarist in Marine, Reef, and some Freshwater areas. PLEASE don't be discouraged by my age.
<Oh, we've had folks your age on the WWM Crew; and I started working in the trade years ahead of this.>
I have been keeping aquariums for as long as I can remember, and I truly feel I can contribute to the team. I would really appreciate if you at least gave me a chance. I am a Sophomore in high school and spend 99% of my time maintaining my aquariums. The other 1% is spent working in order to find my hobby! I would be willing to respond to all Marine and Reef fields, and the occasional Freshwater ones. I used to be a freshwater person, but I am now all saltwater. Let me know how I can help.
Gabe Walsh
<DO keep up w/ your studies...
Our log in:
Some input re conventions we use can be read here:
Answer what you can, feel up to... I'll make a folder for you as well.
I welcome you, BobF>

Re: Cloudy Fish Eye      8/23/16
I have a cat if that's what your asking and she likes to sit near the tank because its high up
<No hon, am referring to items in the tank itself. You mentioned a pink plant and an ornament if I recall. I would remove those for now. Later I will tell you how to test to see if they're possibly toxic. Also, I would add some activated carbon to your filter... to hopefully remove such issues. Do you have a LFS, stockist... that you can take a water sample to for them to test for quality? I'd like to know especially re nitrogenous wastes. Bob Fenner>

Red bumps/ sores on Bristlenose Pleco /RMF      8/23/16
I noticed today that my Bristlenose Pleco has two lumps/sores on it and wondered what it might be. It lives in a 240 litre tank with harlequins, rosy tetra,
<Best kept in a school, can be/come nippy>
phantom tetra, minnows, Oto's, Synodontis catfish,
<Mmm; which species? Might be picking on your Pleco>

Cory catfish, 2 small Pakistani loaches, 2 small clown loaches. The tank is 6 months old. Ammonia is 0, Nitrite is 0 and Nitrate is 20. The Bristlenose has been in the tank for about 3 weeks and is about 2 and a half inches long. I have tried researching antibiotics in the UK but do not know what is good to use if it becomes infected.
<Am referring you to Neale Monks here... he is a Briton... and think he will suggest eSHa's line>

There is nothing sharp in the tank. Thank you for your time.
<Saw your pic... could be a trauma at work here (as I suggest above); or?
Bob Fenner>
Re: Red bumps/ sores on Bristlenose Pleco /Neale       8/23/16

Sorry. I forgot to attach a picture.
I noticed today that my Bristlenose Pleco has two lumps/sores on it and wondered what it might be. It lives in a 240 litre tank with harlequins, rosy tetra, phantom tetra, minnows, Oto's, Synodontis catfish,
<As Bob has mentioned, Synodontis spp. can be boisterous. Much variation though. Synodontis nigriventris is a schooling species that is fine with Ancistrus spp., and even "gentle giants" loners like Synodontis eupterus are pretty good. But there are some species in the trade that are less reliable; Synodontis nigrita for example is often sold as Synodontis nigriventris when young, but grows twice the size, isn't sociable, and throws its weight around quite a bit!>
Cory catfish, 2 small Pakistani loaches, 2 small clown loaches. The tank is 6 months old. Ammonia is 0, Nitrite is 0 and Nitrate is 20. The Bristlenose has been in the tank for about 3 weeks and is about 2 and a half inches long. I have tried researching antibiotics in the UK but do not know what is good to use if it becomes infected. There is nothing sharp in the tank.
<Oh yes there is! That substrate looks horrific! Definitely not catfish friendly
. Catfish like to stick their heads into the substrate, thrash about a bit, and extract any bits of food they can find. Fine "pea" gravel or smooth silica sand are ideal. I'm wondering if these "sores" are actually more like cysts or blisters, perhaps even viral, but undoubtedly related to the environment somehow.>
Thank you for your time.
<I would recommend eSHa 2000 as a good all-around antibacterial. Don't forget to remove carbon (if used) while medicating. I'd also review the substrate and strongly recommend changing it. Not only is it much too coarse, it's a bright colour guaranteed to make your fish "fade" their colours and look washed out. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Red bumps/ sores on Bristlenose Pleco      8/23/16
Thank you for your response.
The catfish is a Synodontis Petricola which was sold as a Pictus Catfish.
He isn't aggressive.
<Indeed; definitely one of the better Synodontis. But does have rather specific environmental conditions. Hard, alkaline water for example, which makes it an odd choice for life alongside tetras! That said, if yours is thriving in soft or medium hardness water, then obviously not a big deal. Flip side, if your water is very hard, keeping tetras can be tricky.>
He lets the Pleco in his cave. The Pleco is still very small.
<Can we not call him a "Pleco" or "Plec"? He's a Bristlenose, genus Ancistrus. Although they belong to the Plec (UK)/Pleco (US) family, the Loricariidae, they're no more closely related (or similar) than, say, house cats are to lions. Much better to think of his specific needs rather than those of a "Plec". In other words, he's relatively small (to 14 cm), prefers coolish conditions (22-25 C), needs a secure hiding place, and feeds primarily on algae and tiny invertebrates rather than scavenging for leftovers. They're actually MUCH better aquarium fish than the Common Plec, but they aren't interchangeable. As your specimen shows, they're a bit more delicate. Whereas the Common Plec is able to survive in oxygen-poor habitats in the wild by breathing air, your Ancistrus comes from quite fast-flowing streams where the water is shallow, well-oxygenated, and as mentioned earlier, relatively cool. Ideal companions for tetras in this regard, many of which come from similar habitats.>
It is also very active. I was watching the tank in the dark and the only thing it avoided on it's endless laps around the side of the tank was the clown loaches. I have two and they are about 5 centimetres long. I had 3 but one died. I was told they are peaceful fish but these are new to the aquarium (3 weeks) and seem aggressive. Is it normal for them to attack
other fish?
<Yes. All Botiine loaches have the potential to throw their weight around. On top of that, Clowns are social (to the point they misbehave in groups smaller than 5) and get extremely big, certainly over 20 cm, and I've seen specimens 35 cm long and almost as round as dinner plates! While they do grow slowly, long term, 240-litres isn't nearly big enough for the
There are 6 black phantom tetras, 6 white finned rosy tetras and 6 rosy tetras. They generally all stay together. They are not overly aggressive but I have seen one go to nip a tail of a different fish.
<Quite so. Tetras are normally well behaved, but like a lot of schooling fish, can be nippy if bored. None of your tetras are serious nippers like Black Widow tetras or Serpae tetras, but if they misbehave, adding a few more of the species in question often fixes things. In a tank your size, I'd be keeping at least ten of each. Their impact on water quality will be minimal.>
The gravel is a pea gravel but seeing it enlarged so much in the picture I do agree it does look incredibly sharp and not fine enough for the catfish so I will change that.
<Understood. Garden centre smooth silica/silver sand or the finest grade gravel is easily good enough and very cheap. Just needs a lot of washing, and check that it's lime-free. If using sand, just a thin layer, a couple cm, is all your need unless your tank has rooted plants. Search WWM re: sand in freshwater aquariums for more. As for gravel, this is the substrate of choice for most, being nice and dark, and so bringing out the best in the colours of the fish.>
Other than the substrate is there anything else that usually would cause cysts or blisters that I should change? The water parameters are fine.
<Really hard to say. Blisters usually indicate either heat damage (such as burns if the catfish hides wedged by the heater) or else physical damage (including scratching on the substrate, bites from other fish, and even clumsy handling by the owner). Usually they heal in time, and while treating as per Finrot with something like eSHa 2000 is useful to stop any
bacterial infections, good water quality is the main thing. Viral infections (such as Lymphocystis) often go along with some type of environmental stress, from the wrong water chemistry through to heavy metal exposure. No actual treatment is needed, as these viral infections tend to clear up after a few months or so (sometimes a year or two!) but again, reviewing the tank is a good idea.>
Thanks again
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

tilted tank: fast flowing fresh water fishes idea      8/23/16
I recently saw South American bumblebee catfish at my LFS and started researching their needs. According to my research, they come from moderately quick flowing streams with bare stony bottoms (no aquatic plants) with overhanging vegetation on the banks. Also, it seems, they are difficult to breed in captivity.
<Hi Meghan. Bear in mind that closely emulating nature, while a laudable goal as a rule, is not necessarily desirable in every instance. This is a good reason amongst many others for a species tank. In other words, a setup designed around a specific animal catering to its needs, rather than the typical "one fits all" approach usually seen. A more standard planted
aquarium is suitable for several species but not necessarily ideally suited to one species. An extreme example would be some large, predatory fishes (or for the daring, big mantis shrimp and such). I am a huge fan of these, especially done the way you seem to be leaning towards: a biotype tank! An Amazon style tank with native animals and plants from a specific area is awesome. :) So, this seems to be what you are thinking of and should read about further. >
The recommended set up for them in a home aquarium seems to be vastly different from their conditions in nature. Lots of aquatic plants and a sand substrate.
This got me thinking - maybe they're hard to breed because of these differences, and maybe they (and other fish that come from similar natural settings) would do better in a specially built "stream" instead of a traditional glass aquarium.
My idea is to take a long, shallow plastic tub (the "stream"), elevate one end, and add drain holes at the opposite end. Then set it inside a larger plastic tub (the reservoir). Situate it so the water exiting the stream pours through a basket filled with a layer of filter floss over a layer of filter foam. The water then drips through the bottom of the basket and into
the reservoir where it is pumped back into the stream tub at the elevated end. Add a few shallow "pool" type areas to the tilted stream to keep water in the stream (and keep the resident fish alive) if the electricity fails and the pump turns off as a safety net. Add an aquarium heater (if needed for the chosen livestock) in the reservoir section. (I've attached a sketch
of my basic idea for clarity.)
<This sounds to me like a bit of a Rube Goldberg device; needlessly complex and too many things in motion, if you follow me. What you are basically thinking of here is a "raceway" setup, used often in marine tanks, such as for growing coral, or sometimes Tridacnid ("giant") clams. You can find a wealth of info on the subject and there is little reason the same principles cannot be repurposed. The long and the short of it (ha!) is that you have a long, usually shallow, tank, maybe 8' long, 4' wide, 1' or 2' deep (obviously you'd want this scaled down quite a lot!).
There is a walled-off chamber on each end. One end has drains (standpipes, usually) leading to a sump (which you reservoir in your design). All the heaters, pumps, filtration, and other unsightly gear is located there for accessibility and so on. Then your pump pushes water from the sump back into the other end of the tank into the chamber, which overflows into the main raceway/body of the tank. The limit to the flow rate is the speed of the overflow plus the power of the return pump, and this can also be increased simply by adding powerheads or similar. The ones I see are usually acrylic and purpose-built or even concrete (in commercial breeding operations) but there is no reason you can't DIY this with some ingenuity.>
Put about 2 inches of organic garden soil into the bottom of the reservoir tub so tall aquatic plants can grow up and overhang the edges of the stream. Also add tropical plants in pots (on top of "feet" to prop them up out of the water) along the sides of the stream for extra overhanging vegetation.
<There are many neat ways to set up plants like this, sky's the limit but consider the amount of light they receive and how you will provide this yet allow the "riverbank shade" you'll want.>
The overall goal is to create a stony stream with 4 - 6 inches of water depth with overhanging plants along the "banks."
I have a large, shallow tub that holds about 30 gallons (currently housing feeder guppies) that is perfect for the reservoir and a three foot long, narrow, shallow one (designed for holding gift wrap rolls) that holds about 12 gallons that could work for the stream. I also have a box of pond pumps, powerheads, tubing, pipe, etc to play with.
<I love pond pumps in aquaria but they can add a LOT of heat to a smallish system, unpredictably, so monitor that closely.>
Do you have any advice to help me with my build?
When it comes to livestock, my local water is very hard and the pH is around 7.5 - 8.2 depending on the time of year.
<This needs to be stable and consistent when it enters the system, please see WWM for info on pH.>
I was thinking of stocking dwarf Neocaridina shrimp in the reservoir and maybe bumble bee catfish in the stream.
Are there any other aquatic critters (or plants) you recommend?
<Part of the enjoyment of a dedicated setup like this is making a plan for stocking in advance, then slowly adding things as you go along. With a biotype like this, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you check out public aquariums for inspiration. They present natural biotype systems as a matter of course due to the educational (vs. strictly ornamental) purpose of public aquaria. Also look up paludariums, they embody a lot of the concept you are after here and would allow a nice mix of animals (I have a friend who raises Amazonian frogs in a setup like this). Hope this helps!>
Thank you for your time!
- Meghan Miller

Sick Golden Severum      8/23/16
Hi. My golden Severum is sick. He swims to one side. Lays on the tank floor on one side or faces upwards. He has not been eating well. I have tried giving him green peas, veggie pellets and spinach but he has only eaten a few peas. Not interested in other food. Heater is at 22.5 degrees and working,
<Too low; crank this up to 25 C at least, ideally somewhere between 25 and 28 C.>
I have done a 1/3 water change.
Phos is normal. I do t gave a notate test.
<I don't know what you mean with either of these, Jo! But let me recap:
ammonia (NH3) should be zero. Nitrite (NO2-) should be zero. If either of these aren't, then they're why your fish is sick. Nitrate should be low.
Big cichlids are very sensitive to nitrate. I'd suggest nitrate (NO3-) should be less than 20 mg/l, and certainly no higher than 40 mg/l for long.
Above 40 mg/l, you find cichlids become very prone to all sorts of health problems, such as Hexamita, Hole-in-the-head Disease, Bloating and Dropsy.>
No other fish in the tank are sick. There is a black mark towards end of his body in second video you will see it when he turns around
<Indeed; does look like some sort of physical injury, perhaps a heater burn. The clamped fins are a worry, too, indicating some type of stress. In this case I would treat with Metronidazole (ideally alongside an antibiotic) and optimise living conditions, especially nitrate and temperature, and see what happens.>
I have included videos. Please help my fish! Thanks In advance
<Welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Question on phosphate-buffered chemistry      8/23/16
Bob - Thank you for that wonderful link! It did not exactly address my question, but it did provide a lot of fascinating and useful information, far more than any of the other sites I've found. I read it carefully twice and bookmarked it for reading again later.
<Glad you found it useful Tim>
However, that site made a statement that I find conflicts with information I've seen before and experienced myself:
"An important consideration of KH is that you can safely add the buffers (both freshwater and saltwater) that effect KH (Alkalinity) without sudden changes in chemistry, unless your freshwater KH is under 50 ppm (3 dKH) already."
<Mmmm? Don't know what they're referring to here. There are certainly "some" buffers (though maybe not commercial prep.s) that definitely WILL "raise pH dangerously" from here. Again, am guessing, but likely they're referring to products commonly sold for aquarium use>
I've seen many charts and even an online calculator that show the fixed relationship (after stabilization) between CO2, alkalinity, and pH. In particular, for any set CO2, there is a strong monotonic relationship between alkalinity and pH. When I started preparing for a freshwater tank, I set up a bin in the cellar with aeration and constant stirring. I would
add a small amount of SeaChem alkaline buffer, let it stabilize for a day, and then measure alkalinity and pH.
<A good S.O.P.>
Then I add more and repeat. I clearly got this relationship. If I added Acid Buffer later, the pH would temporarily plunge, and then slowly rebound up to the 'stabilized' value.
<Yes; to be expected>
So I don't understand the statement that above 4 KH additional alkalinity does not affect pH. This flies in the face of what I've seen online and experienced myself.
<I understand what you've stated, and agree with your observations. Do you get the gist of my explanation for their stmt. above?>
Anyhow, I've bothered you way too much, and I now have a lot of studying to do from that link you sent. I'll end with one quick question, if I may. I am keeping a 65-gallon peaceful mixed community tank. Rather than chasing pH, I just keep the alkalinity at a stable 4 KH (with small amounts of SeaChem acid and alkaline buffer at water changes) and the hardness at 8 GH (with SeaChem Equilibrium). I keep an eye on the pH but it appears to be stable, so I don't mess with it. Is this reasonable?
<Yes it is>
<Thank you for sharing. Cheers, Bob>

Three New MASNA Education Pages
The Marine Zoonotic Disease article (
The Zoanthids and Palytoxin article (
The Impacts of Releasing Marine Ornamental Species article (

Re: injured Indian flap shell turtle please help      8/22/16
Hey, I know I should have messaged earlier but I wanted to let you know he's almost perfect now!! I fed him the calcium block (i broke it into pieces) he really enjoys it ... also because you said he needs vitamin A I gave it to him orally through an eye dropper for 3 weeks and I gave him plenty of direct natural sunlight (which I still do) and he got much better
his limping reduced a lot and the swelling went down completely !!! he still has a slight limp in his leg still which I think will get better!! I don't know why but he loves prawns without their shell XD
<Just remember that will be a high fat diet, so feed them sparingly>
<We're all happy we could help!>

Turtle query. Hlth. concern; immotile       8/22/16
Hello and thanks for your time.
<Hiya, Darrel here>
I have a turtle, and he just seems to stay in one spot of the aquarium all day, near the bubbles of where water is coming out into tank (filter). Is this ok?
<It would be better if he moved around like normal>
Also, he can see his reflection in glass in that area, should I try and cover this up so he is not " mesmerized", as that's what I'm thinking is the problem.
<Could be, but usually it's a fear of leaving that safe spot>
Also, I've noticed that he never goes up on his dock. I spoke to pet shop the other day and they suggested a lamp, which I purchased. He went up on it one day, but I haven't caught him again doing it, just swimming in his bubbles.
What can I do to make him swim around his whole tank and go on his dock!
<First thing: read this article and make SURE you understand what it says -- AND THEN UNDERSTAND that he NEEDS everything it says.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >

Info: turtle. Baby, cut      8/22/16
<Hiya, Darrel here>
I read thru the turtle information on the website. I still didn’t find an answer to my question. I have a baby aquatic turtle who has a red mark under his neck right under his mouth? Its only been there 2 days? If you have info about this I’d really appreciate it.
<Well, that is almost always just a cut, or a sore from being irritated by sharp rock or such. Read here for treating cuts and abrasions http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm>
Best Regards,
Carla De La Rosa

Re: Question on phosphate-buffered chemistry      8/22/16
Bob - Thank you for the response! I really appreciate the work you and others do here.
I'm not a chemist, but I did take (and get A's in) chemistry 101 and 102 in college, so I have a reasonable background.
<?! Better grades than I got!>
I do understand well the distinction between 'alkaline' (high pH) and 'alkalinity' (ability to withstand addition of acid, minimizing pH change until all alkalinity is used up).
<Ah good>
Here's where I'm in the dark. I read somewhere seemingly reliable that the famous three-way relationship between alkalinity, CO2 concentration, and pH can be advantageously subverted by the addition of 'phosphate buffers' whatever they are.
<Mmm; not as far as I'm aware... and the carbonic acid (CO2 in sol'n) bit is throwing me... IF you use carbon dioxide (as a gas) to boost carbon availability... to increase photosynthesis in marine or freshwater systems... this would pertain. Otherwise its (acids) are the same ole proton donors, electron acceptors... Usually we (at least used to) state
their addn. as H+, Hydrogen ions....>
This, of course, can cause algae problems, but it does help keep pH more stable than just using simple buffers like bicarbonate.
<Well; there's a bit more to this. There are a few formats of "Phosphate", and really only the simpler, soluble HPO4 is of issue. Again, in very reductive settings (low pH's like in an anaerobic substrate w/ decomposing organics galore) this is not much of an issue. As prev. stated carbonates, bicarbonates joined with other metals can be easily found>
So I'm wondering what phosphate buffers are and how their chemistry relates to the non-carbonate ionic balance equations that are all over the internet.
<Mmm; let me take a look see for a link: Is this too general?:
<Glad to share, learn. BobF>

Help please! My Flowerhorn has a prolapsed rectum /RMF      8/22/16
Please help. My flower horn has a prolapsed rectum. I've been doing everything I can but nothing seems to be working. I'm not sure if you can give me any new advice, but I hope you can! I'm not sure if the problem has gotten too far to where it can not be healed. I have included an image below, please let me know what you think.
<Seen many times... put the words "Flowerhorn prolapsed colon" in the search tool (on every page) on WWM and read. Bob Fenner>
Help please! My Flowerhorn has a prolapsed rectum /Neale       8/22/16

Please help. My flower horn has a prolapsed rectum. I've been doing everything I can but nothing seems to be working. I'm not sure if you can give me any new advice, but I hope you can! I'm not sure if the problem has gotten too far to where it can not be healed. I have included an image below, please let me know what you think.
<Rachel, let me direct you to some reading. First check out the MANY instances of this we've dealt with, such as here:
Then let me have you review Flowerhorn care generally, here:
Almost always (in fact, probably without exception) the problem you describe is caused by problems with the environment and diet. In spacious tanks with good filters and frequent water changes, Flowerhorns given a varied diet including fresh greens don't suffer from this problem. The use of Metronidazole plus Epsom Salt can help to deal with the symptoms, but the bigger picture is fixing care/diet so the problem doesn't re-occur.
Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: Cloudy Fish Eye      8/22/16
The Medication we are giving it is called Melafix there is a photo attached it contains this is a quote from the site as i am not home currently
"Melafix contains active ingredient 1.0% Melaleuca (Cajeput or 'Tea Tree' Oil),
water and an emulsifier to blend the oil into the water."
<Not an antibiotic or actual medication period. A worthless sham. Try searching on WWM re the API rip-off>
I do a water change once a month as it is always quite clean but in a few days the antibiotics i am using said to change it every 7 days.
It seems his eye has worsened over night and it peeling and there is a hole in the middle of the purple area,
<STOP using this worse than placebo. It's toxic to nitrifying bacteria>
He lives in an Aqua Tank 24L there is a pink tree and a statue/orinamte in the tank and pebble rocks.
I have had 3 other fish in there since January 1 2015 he is number 4 the first one had a head problem and it had a friend in there with it so i got another 2 fish to keep him company and this is one of the 2 fish i brought around November 2015 there was something in the tank which killed the other two so he has been alone since march now and his water has been change a fair few times since then.
<Do please see/read on WWM re "frequent partial water changes"... s/b done weekly>
I am taking out the statue when i get home now as he is running into walls a bit because he can see through one eye better than the other.
Thanks again!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Cloudy Fish Eye

So do you think that he could potentially die from this?
<Yes; more depends on the cause here. Is there something environmental as an important influence? Was the origin a simple trauma? B>

Re: Centropyge Deborae      8/22/16
hi Crew, Bob, and Walt,
Sorry late reply, and thanks for all the explanation, all the best
Peter Savona
Managing Director
Waterlife Exporters (Fiji) Limited
<Cheers Peter, BobF>

Hermit crab salt water.      8/21/16
I've noticed that when I mix the hermit crab salt water conditioner I end up wasting water making it.
Can I mix up the ingredients for the salt water and put it in a clean bottle so I don't waste it?
<Yes. Bob Fenner>
Re: Hermit crab salt water.

Thanks. Just making sure.
<Welcome. BobF>

Oh, crap...      8/21/16
We got rid of the mollies. But there's still some ammonia
in the 38 gallon tank - less than 1, more than 0.5. It looks like a ghost tank. We've lost two white skirt tetras, and now nobody is swimming.
<But no sign of Whitespot any more?>
Even the 12 neon are sitting towards the bottom in a clump, swimming a bit, but low in the tank. The remaining white skirts just hang and our platy is just sitting on the bottom.
<Do lower the water level a bit so there is more splashing. Is the water moving briskly? Is the water too warm? The fish behaviour could be related to low oxygen level. Review, and act accordingly.>
The pH is 7.2, no nitrites, a wee trace of nitrates, water is soft, alkalinity around 80. We have added ammo lock and bacteria. I'm afraid were going to lose the tank.
The other tank is fine, even though the ammonia has been higher. Could our filtration be too weak? Gah!
<A typical community tank needs to have a water turnover rate around 6 times the volume of the aquarium per hour. So if you have a 38-gallon aquarium, you'd buy a filter rated at 228 gallons/hour. You can find this value on the filter pump or the packaging. Pretty much ignore anything stating "suitable for tanks of 10-40 gallons" or whatever, because these
are really optimistic values assuming spotlessly clean filter media and very low stocking densities of small fishes such as Neons or Guppies. Much better to use the turnover rate. Provided you have that sort of turnover rate, and assuming the media is appropriate (i.e., biological filter media rather than, say, carbon), mature (over 6 weeks old) and properly
maintained (you don't clean the media under a hot tap) then the filter should be adequate. Check the ammonia level of a sample of dechlorinated tap water. If the ammonia level is identical, then the ammonia test kit is probably picking up neutralised tap water ammonia or chloramine, neither of which are a worry. I find nitrite test kits more useful because they're less likely to be related to tap water, though occasionally tap water does contain nitrite. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Oh, crap... it's ich      8/21/16

The white skirts have it. We see spots on their fins, looks like the pics we've seen. Everything we see about all this stuff is contradictory - one says do this, next one says do the opposite, third one says do nothing. And thus all started with those mollies.
<Usually Whitespot gets into a tank via the addition of new fish. Once eliminated, the aquarium is normally free from Whitespot until something else is added from the pet store. If this was me, I'd be treating using salt/heat, as described earlier, or else using a proprietary medication, my personal favourite in terms of safety and value being eSHa EXIT.>
So, 38 gallon tank. Four white skirt tetras, twelve neons, one platy, and a Pleco (algae eater). Live plants, which are replaceable. If you can give me one suggestion, one plan of action, maybe we don't need to turn the aquarium into a bookcase.
<See above. Assuming you don't have carbon in the filter, commercial Whitespot medications are very effective. So is the salt/heat method if done right (2 gram/litre of water; temperature up to 28 C). If Whitespot is the issue here, either of these will fix it. Once that's done, your aquarium should be parasite-free. As for the ammonia, do see my previous email re: ammonia in tap water.>
Maria's doing multiple water changes to deal with spiky ammonia levels.
<Don't change more than, say, 10-20% per day. And if the filter is basically functioning right and of adequate size, you should be able to scale these back within a week to the usual 20% change per week.>
Down to 0.5 - 0.75, not zero, but low. This is supposed to be fun and relaxing. �� Gah.
<It is fun and relaxing. Once a tank is set up properly and given periodic water changes, fish are BY FAR the easiest and cheapest pets around. Virtually no work. The problem is if the tank isn't quite right, and more often than not, that's through setting it up wrong, such as buying too many fish too soon, not getting compatible fish, etc. Still, compared to a sick dog or cat, fish are cheap! Have you visited a vet recently?!>
Sorry, and thanks.
<Welcome, Neale.>

Cloudy Fish Eye      8/21/16
Hi my name is Isabelle and your site was sort of confusing me so I hope you don't mind I email you.
<Tis what we are here for: to serve folks in need of help, inspiration>
My fishes eye looks like it does in the photo it however looks like his eye is hanging or something is hanging off. My mum got me antibiotics to put in the tank once a day 2.5mL a day
<What product, active ingredient/s is this?>

but it only looks to be getting worse it is the only fish in the tank and I was about to get another one but I will hold off until it gets better hopefully. its like a dark purple, blue, white colour and I am wondering if it is just a cut off of an ordainment and will heal or is worse?
<Need to discern the cause... and NO to cutting off>

The places I have gone to too see if they knew what it was said they had no idea.
Thank you for your time,
- Isabelle Brealey
<Let's start with your telling me, us about your system. Size, set up, history, maintenance. And your water quality, tests.
Bob Fenner>

I do see "Mela (non) fix" in the backgd. and it angers me.

Question on phosphate-buffered chemistry      8/21/16
Hi wonderful people. I have a question on freshwater pH, if I may. If anyone here knows of a good write-up somewhere, a link to it would be wonderful. If not, I'd be grateful for any comments.
<There are a few on the Net; ours:
and the linked files above>
I understand the non-buffered 3-way relationship between alkalinity, ambient/dissolved CO2, and pH. I've seen the charts that let you determine one of them given the other two. I believe I even pretty much understand the underlying chemistry, including the troublesome pH rebound when you add acid, which temporarily increases dissolved CO2
<Mmm; not this, but Hydrogen ion concentration>

and hence overshoots the pH until the CO2 stabilizes with ambient.
<More like "under" shoots, but let's go on>
But my understanding ends when buffering, such as phosphate buffers, enter the picture. I know it must be more complicated, but I'd love to know the basic chemistry and the practical implications (aside from algae!) of using phosphate-buffered chemicals.
<Ahh; very likely (common) is confusion twixt the terms "alkaline" (as in high pH) and "alkalinity" which is a measure of resistance (chemical) to change in pH... basically (pun) there are chemical species that limit up and downward shift in pH by interacting with a given presence of (whatever model you use for determining, designating) acids, bases. Aka "buffers", many in the petfish interest are bound onto phosphate/s (and some folks prefer other sources, like sodium (bicarbonate; baking soda, to avoid adding fertilizer to their system/s)>
By the way, before you say it, I do understand that STABLE pH is at least as important as CORRECT pH, and I assure you that I am not a wild dumper of chemicals.
I keep fish appropriate to my mildly alkaline water (7.2) , and tweak as necessary. This is mostly curiosity. Thank you for any information!
<Mmm; I need to know you (your scientific background) a bit more to likely be more helpful. I taught H.S. chemistry and physics (and bio. classes), and have tried for decades to describe, define these concepts... Soooo, make it known what is unclear, incomplete here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Betta with lump, hole, and fin rot; invoking deities        8/20/16
Dear Bob,
Thank you so very much for answering me so quickly.
I truly appreciate you and your advice.
I will do what you say.
Thank you.. And may the Lord God Almighty bless you, grant you and your loved one's needs, and give you peace of mind and heart. I ask this in Jesus Christ's Name. Amen.
Have a great weekend.
Yours truly
<Will accept kindly your good wishes. Not a fan of invisible friends however. Cheers, BobF>

The food chain; missing sm. angels       8/19/16
Hello there. I need some advise for risk managing predatory critters and the food chain in my two tanks.
The problem started a week ago when I introduced a 1" coral beauty to my 55 gallon (after quarantine), and he disappeared the next day. Then, yesterday, my established 2" flame angel completely disappeared too! I've
thoroughly checked everywhere, and am confident someone ate them.
<Mmm; don't give up just yet. Small Centropyges are (of necessity) masters at hiding>
I'm not quite sure exactly who the guilty murderer is:
1. 5-6" marine Betta
2. softball sized white spotted hermit crab
<Yeeikes! Any/All of the above might have consumed the Pomacanthids
Regardless, I moved the marine Betta over to my 180 (with a porcupine puffer, Rabbitfish, and zebra eel). I am still concerned about my 55 gallon because it has two clown fish (about 2" each) and a lawnmower blenny (about 2.5 to 3") in there with the hermit crab.
<Hermits are opportunistic omnivores, like their namesake Decapod cousins>
They have been all been tank mates for a year (including the 2" flame angel that was eaten by someone) with no issues, but someone has decided fish are tasty. So, do you think I alleviated my problem by moving the Betta, or are my clown fish and blenny still at risk of being eaten by the hermit crab?
<The latter... plus other possibilities. Could be that there's a big ole Bristleworm (or dozens); a hiding Stomatopod, Alpheid... and other predators a-hiding in your live rock>
Another consideration, which is probably bad, is to put the huge hermit crab in my 180 gallon, but I'm afraid my porcupine puffer (about 6" at the moment) will harm or eat him. Thoughts?
<Yes it will if it can get it out of its shell, or when the Anomuran is switching>
Maybe move the clowns and blenny to my quarantine 10 gallon?
<Or put the Hermits in a sump? >
Food chain. Argh.
<Keeps things interesting eh? Bob Fenner>

Re: Just a little suggestion...       8/19/16
So, what do you think of my suggestion?
<Oh! Added your email and link as stated. B>

Betta with large wound and fin rot       8/19/16
Please could you help me.
My Betta looks awful. I am really afraid.
I have had him for 5 months, and it seems like he has had Finrot that long.

He developed this lump on his right side. Under the lump it looks like an open wound. Now there is a big hole in his fin under that.
<I see this in your next -sent pix>
He is in a 10 gallon tank.
It has a filter and a heater.
The heater registers 76-78 degrees on glass thermometer and 82-84 degrees on the tape.
Daily AP Master Test Kit done daily -Normal
Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 0,
<Zero NO3? Lo dudo. I'd have your water tested w/ another kit
PH high- 7.8-7.4
Water conditioner- Prime
I do 25% water changes daily with partial gravel clean.
<I'd do these changes just weekly. Daily is too much... change, disruption>

Eats well - Hikari Betta Bio-Gold 4-5 tiny pellets 2x day
Snack -Betta Dial-A-Treat 1-2 pieces of Mysis or Daphnia, or Blood Worms every other day
Very personable
Breathing-good Gills good- I think
No PopEye, No swim bladder, no pineconing
I have tried Aquarium salt, Indian almond leaf, Metafix, <Melafix> and KanaPlex. These are what I am using currently, all except the Metafix. I am so afraid of hurting his liver or kidneys with all this stuff.
<You are wise here>
He has a few live and silk plants, cave and Betta hammock leaves.
Please if you have any other suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it. I don't know if this is a parasite because it seems the antibiotic doesn't work, and he is looking sicker. All the Pet store staff act like "well he is only a fish." But he is a living.
Thank you so very much.
<Your description covers most all the probable issues that folks have w/ environmental, nutritional causes of Betta trouble. Am inclined to (unfortunately) suggest that this particular specimen may have a weak genetic constitution. Betta splendens, like many other popular freshwater tropical fishes, aren't "what they used to be" from so much inbreeding. I'd try adding some good quality carbon to your filter; adding a bit more/changing some out every month or so. There may be "some chemical" issue here... that isn't mal-affecting the plants... and am hoping the carbon may remove it. I do hope this helps. Bob Fenner>

Betta with lump, hole, and fin rot       8/19/16
I just sent you an email asking if you could please help me. I forgot to include a picture.
Thank you so very much,
<I'd like to add two further suggestions: I WOULD dose this fish's water w/ an iodide-ate supplement
like this one: http://www.seachem.com/reef-iodide.php
in case this is a I2 deficiency issue... and lace foods (soak them ahead of offering) in a HUFA, vitamin supplement like this one: http://www.seachem.com/vitality.php
Cheers, Bob Fenner>

20 Gal Long Juve JD Cichlid-any other ok?       8/18/16
I am really wanting to put at least two more fish in my 20 gal long tank (I think its 29, but the BF thinks its 20).
<What are the dimensions? In the US, the standard 'long' 20-gallon tank measures 30 x 13 x 13 inches. The standard 29-gallon tank is 30 x 12 x 18 inches, so much deeper though similar in length. A typical ruler measures 12 inches/30 cm, so stick one of those next to the tank. If the tank height is similar to the ruler, it's a 20 gallon tank; if the tank is 50% taller than the length of the ruler, then it's the 29 gallon tank.>
I have about a 2 inch JD who is very aggressive.
<Not uncommon. This species is unpredictable; often fairly tolerant given space, but some are, indeed, extremely nasty. Hard to imagine a 2-inch specimen killing an adult (45 cm/18 inch) catfish though, unless it was armed with a chainsaw. Do check for other reasons the Plec might have died; not unknown for a fish to be described as killing another fish when it was merely scavenging on the corpse.>
He killed the plecostomus and another fish I left in with him (maaaaaaybe on purpose-an aggressive baby molly eating zebra Danio) he ripped its belly right out!
I would love to add a couple other fish for variety into the environment.
<All sorts of options, but all made of plastic, sadly.>
I just set it up yesterday and put him in there last night. Would I still need to rearrange the rocks? And what would be compatible? I wanted a Firemouth, but I read on your site they are too delicate.
<Far too delicate. Their jaws become dislocated in any sort if fight, and the Firemouth starves to death across the next few weeks. Horrible way to go, and no known treatment.>
Is this tank too small to house multiple juvenile cichlids? I am pretty sure mine is a male as there is a red stripe along its dorsal fin.
<This species is actually pretty difficult to sex, and both sexes can have colours on their fins, or none! Certainly a two-inch specimen will be impossible to sex reliably.>
Thank you very much!
<Ashley, I do fear this is a non-runner. You have a nasty fish here, and likely will need to be kept alone. In much bigger tanks (55+ gallons) it's certainly possible to keep JDs alongside robust catfish of similar or larger size, but your tank is just too small for that to work. Indeed, 20 gallons isn't really viable long term for a fish that should get to 6-8 inches/15-20 cm. Like Jewel Cichlids, there's a reason Jack Dempseys are ignored by most hobbyists despite being extremely pretty -- aggression.
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: How long is too long for dried worm eggs?       8/18/16
Hi Bob!
<Salud Sal>
Much appreciate your quick response ;) I wasn't too hopeful I would get bonus bristles, but I had to check with the worm guy. Really appreciate all the time you and the entire crew puts in at WWM. Just referred a friend today and expect he'll be scrubbing for info.
Be well,
<Thank you, BobF>

Re: Centropyge Deborae     /Peter       8/18/16
Hey Bob,
How are you, been a while, I hope you are well, truth be told, Walt is a good man, (that is why he is Cc'd as well), and his explanation is fair, yes I do understand in principal, the reasoning, but* I must admit I find it wrong in principal, that a fish is named to anyone other than the diver who collected it, at the very least, and Ideally to the first discoverer
is not the norm!!.*
<Mmm; "dem are da rules"; and makes sense that a "science type" does the naming; as they are responsible for adequately describing. The times I've been involved in such... from collecting, supplying specimens on up; the
"namer" has sought out my input for the name itself.>
I do have a photo somewhere, but I really cannot say much beyond that, as I am not a scientist, or have the money or facility to do such things, maybe if it was in Charles Darwin's time I could have got away with it, lol.
And no Walt it was not in Suva.
Thanks, and regards
Peter Savona
Waterlife Exporters (Fiji) Limited
<Thank you Peter. Hope to see you about. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Centropyge Deborae    /Walt       8/18/16
Hi Peter,
<Hey Walt, BobF kibitzing here>
Thanks for the nice words.
Not to beat a dead horse but I must point out one simple fact …. Without documented proof of discovery there is no such thing as the one who saw it first. You must realize that even though I believe you to be an honest person there are many who are not. The fact remains that Dr. Bruce Carlson actually saw it first and has documented it on video but he brushed it off as a variant and he is an expert. This actually happens a lot and that is why the proof of finding must be documented so meticulously with spine and scale count (the old way) and in recent years with conclusive DNA testing against other closely related species. I also had to prove that there were no Centropyge nox anywhere in our waters which it so closely resembled. Then multiple specimens needed to be supplied to prove it was not just a one off.
All of this work and effort is supplied by the applicant for classification and the time and effort is very consuming. Finally, when the scientific authority has conclusive proof that it is a different specie they are able to name the fish. The original name picked for this fish was Centropyge fijiensis but they asked me if I would prefer another name and I chose to honor my wife Deborah. Also the fact is that several divers were involved in the collection but they had no idea it was a different specie. I recognized this possibility and the fish “belonged” to me since they were paid by my company so I had the right to follow through with the expensive and time consuming exercise of getting it named.
On another note, if you ever find another fish you believe to be different I will be happy to show you the ropes that I followed and perhaps there is a savonei out there somewhere. :)
<I'm very sure there is/are. I saw a few undescribed species while up in Labasa>
Also, did you spot this in Bligh or up north? It was first sighted by Bruce in Bligh near Namana but we first collected it North West of Raki Raki but we now collect them in Bligh off of Nabawalau. They are very plentiful up there where we collect more than 100 in a day but we do not do this too often because, to be frank, they do not sell very well because the color is not that interesting to the aquarist. We only collect them about 3 – 4 times a year and that is all the market will bear.
Also please look at my web site and you will see Bruce’s video of a pair of C. deborae mating but what I really want you to see is the other “different” angel I have there. We have found two of these fish several years ago and the scientist is waiting for more specimens but I have not been able to find any more. Dr. Richard Pyle and Jack Randal say variant but Bruce is on the fence and Dr. Gerald Allen is also not sure. I have heard there were other collectors in Suva (now long gone) that also claim to have seen many of these but there is no proof other than I did see it on live aquaria web site and it did not come from me since I only sent mine to the scientific authority that I worked with before. It could be a variant of C. heraldi (as some suggest) but I doubt it since I have seen three specimens exactly the same and the size and swim pattern is very different than Centropyge and more like Genicanthus. Please let me know if you have seen anything like this in your waters. There are many variants of heraldi, bicolor, lemon peel mix with black tails or black splotches but this is very different and precisely marked on each specimen I have come across which is not typical of variants.
See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJIPY4t4IYo <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJIPY4t4IYo&feature=youtu.be> &feature=youtu.be
Deborae pair here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnj0JHsAIzI
Take care Peter, right now I am in LA getting ready for MACNA.
All the best,
<Thanks Walt. See you soon. BobF>

Dog face puffer question...  Nutr. dis.   6/17/16
<Seven megs of uncropped pix; why?>
I have recently acquired a large dog-face puffer 9". He/ she seems very healthy except for the eyes, they seem almost swollen/ sunken in but very clear.
<.... if you had read>
I have only had it in my tank (125 gallon) for a few days. It hasn't begun eating yet but that is no surprise since he's still acclimating to his new home. I have however tried fresh clams, raw shrimp and squid. I know how important a fresh varied diet is for Puffers.
<Trouble.... vitamin B deficiency.... from this diet>

Attached are some pictures.
Also He did not inflate during transport or when being placed into the new tank and actually seemed to adjust quit nicely.
Any advise or insight would be very helpful.
<Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_6/volume_6_1/thiaminase.htm
Thank You
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Dog face puffer question   6/17/16
Thank you Bob.
What would you recommend ? I can only assume this puffer was feed primarily frozen krill for a good amount of his captive life.
<Trouble... possibly reversible>

I thought feeding fresh raw food such as Clams and Shrimp were the answer until I read the article and the relationship between Thiaminase and B1.
<Ah yes>
Would this be advisable-
Vita Chem soaked food ( squid/shrimp Live snails ( marine) Cockles
<Sub much (at least half) of the shellfish with whole small fish (not silversides), nutritious pellet staple. BobF>

And now, weird Molly behavior. Env.    6/17/16
Neale, I hope this finds you well.
<Likewise my reply, Tom.>
We have another problem - we have a Molly that is spending a lot of time on the bottom. She'll occasionally sort of raise her head and shake it back and forth and then stop and sit there for a while, until she does it again.
<Shimmies. Quite common among Mollies, and indeed livebearers generally, when stressed. Usually, fixing the environment will effect a recovery. No medications as such required, but if there's something else amiss, like odd
white patches on the body or sudden loss of weight, then treating as per a bacterial infection is a good idea. If the only fish in the tank are Mollies (or other livebearers) then adding salt, 2-3 gram/litre, can help a great deal.>
She was doing that this morning then started swimming like a maniac, sometimes stopping and wiggling. The male lyretail did that with her. Now she's back on the bottom. Ok, Maria just opened the top to get some water for testing and the Molly was up to the surface in a flash. Her appetite has been... vigorous this whole time. She just acts funny when she swims (swims into plant leaves, then backs up and swims around them) and spends a lot of time just sitting on the bottom in out of the way places. Poops a lot.
Water numbers:
pH: 7.4 - 7.5
<What sort of hardness level? Mollies appreciate very hard water.>
Ammonia: 0.75
<Still not zero! Mollies are super-sensitive to ammonia and nitrite in freshwater tanks.>

Nitrates/nitrites: 0
Water gets 25% change weekly, but we haven't been adding bacteria to the 38 gallon tank with water changes.
We just don't know if she's even sick, just acting funny. We had one Molly with some white spots that got lethargic and died and took another well-loved fish with her. (We quarantined them, added some conditioner and PimaFix for fungal infections, and the next morning the pH had dropped from 7.4 to 5.8. Both fish died.) So we're a little skittish, I guess.
So there's a lot of info. Any light you can shed on any of it, we'd appreciate it. Thanks a lot!
<Hope this helps! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: And now, weird Molly behavior   6/17/16

Good info, as USUAL - thank you so much! Hardness might be a problem. We have soft water. Would hard water be a problem for the tetras and the platy?
<Platies will usually thrive in the same conditions as Mollies, though Mollies do prefer more heat than Platies; Platies are optimally kept around 22-25C/72-77F whereas Mollies are more 25-28C/77-82F sort of beasts. But so far as water chemistry goes, both like hard, alkaline, basic conditions.
Tetras are predominantly soft water fish, with a few exceptions. Generally not good companions for Mollies because of this. That said, it will depend on your tetras. X-Ray Tetras, Black Widows, 'False' Penguins, and Emperor Tetras will all do just fine up to 20 degrees dH, PH 8, which is fine for Mollies. You can add baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, to raise hardness. Do read:
Something like a half teaspoon baking soda per 20 litres/5 US gallons would be about right. Use a test kit to check before adding any such water to your aquarium.>
These will likely be the last mollies we get. Sheesh.
<As I've said many times, Mollies really aren't community fish and shouldn't be sold/bought as such. They are very beautiful, yes, but quite demanding. Kept on their own though they can look superb! Big tanks with big groups are wonderful. Check out Liberty Mollies some time. I saw a group of them in a single-species set up, designed with lots of flat rocks for them to graze on. Really beautiful fish, and patriotic too if you happen to live in a country with a red, white and blue flag! Cheers, Neale.>

How long is too long for dried worm eggs?   6/17/16
Hi folks!
Been dry for almost four years, since Sandy. Just filled the 55 this week. I had my live rock in water with heat and PH the whole time (fed it now and then) and drained the tank after a quick clean-up, but I left everything dry. I was wondering, if there were any Bristleworm eggs in the sand, would they survive dry all this time?
I know brine shrimp can go a few years dry, but I have no idea about worms or any other critters that may have laid eggs before dying.
I am really stoked about getting this up and running, and I hope saving what I could will make it happen quickly. I'm getting a pair of A. ocellaris back from a friend of mine. I gave them to him 6 years ago, when they were just 4 months old, and now they've just started laying eggs. I don't expect to be remembered, but I had quite a bit of back-n-forth with
several of the crew in early 2010. To refresh your memories, the baby clown on page 5 of the clownfish breeding section is one of mine. Yep, I'm THAT guy, hehe.
<Welcome back!>
If you folks think the worms are gone forever, I'll see about getting a cup of sand from a friend.
<Yes, I would>
Very much thanks,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: photo permissions; Colossoma f'    6/17/16
Here is a link to my comic.
<Thank you, Bob Fenner>

goldfish issue      8/16/16
wondering if you could help identify this weird white growth with a big black dot in the middle on one of our goldfish.
<Appears to be a fungal growth... resulting from a trauma likely. Comet (variety) goldfish get very large (more than a foot long, lb.s weight): NEED large quarters, redundant filtration, circulation, aeration....>
It is a 40 gallon saltwater tank.
<? Saltwater?>
He is still very active, eats good… does not seem to be bothering him. We treated for fungus about a month ago for one of our other fish.
<Need to retreat, but first re/visit proper systems... I'd have you read re goldfish systems period, and fungal disease issues with this species... on WWM. Do you need help w/ the search tool, indices?
Thanks for your time.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Centropyge deborae      8/16/16
Hi Peter,
I just got this copied to me from Bob.
I know how frustrating it must be to think you might have discovered something only to find out later that someone else has claimed it.
As Bob points out, it is not about who saw it first but who takes the initiative to go through the long and tedious process of getting it scientifically documented. This process usually takes about two years and many specimens must be supplied to the scientist to insure it is not just a one off or variant. Only after the DNA is conclusive matching it against other closely related species and several sample are provided to prove separate identity can the "new" specimen be named.
In this case there was another famous scientist who also "discovered" this same fish before 1994 when he was a professor at USP. I am talking about Dr. Bruce Carlson and he actually has a video of a pair C. deborae mating which also appears on my web site. Bruce is a good friend of mine and we laugh about how he thought it was different but brushed it off as a variant and instead concentrated on another fish from the same reef which was also a new discovery that later became classified as the Cirrhilabrus marjorie (named after his wife Marj) which was found on the same reef. We often joke about how we both have fish named after our wives found in only one place on earth so far as we know. Up till now this fish has only been associated with Bligh water area so I am curious if your sighting was in Suva bay.
Just recently I thought I had another new discovery only to find out I was looking at a Cirrhilabrus nahackyi and then there is the other angel on my web site that still have not been confirmed as a new specie and some scientist believe it to be a variant and some say otherwise. Take a look at this as I compare it to the C. heraldi for size and swim pattern side by side.
All the best,
<Ahh; thank you for your complete, civil response Walt. Much appreciated.
Oh! And see you and Deb soon here in San Diego at the upcoming MACNA do.
Bob Fenner>

Oscar; algicide poisoned, then "Fix"ed...       8/16/16
I hope you can help me. I have a large Oscar who up until recently has been very healthy and a good eater. A couple of weeks ago I treated my tank for an algae problem
<Treated? As in what? Used an algicide? I hope not>

which I think originated from a faulty heater which made the tank too warm. I have since replaced the heater and keep the tank at 82degrees.
<Too high for an Oscar. I'd set the heater for the mid 70's F.>
I used an algaecide as directed.
<Toxic... Please read here re:
My tank is a 75 gallon and my fish is about 9-10 inches long. One morning I saw that he had an injury on his head. His only tank mates are a couple of housekeepers, also large but there has never been fighting among them.
<Oscars are forever "jumping", bumping into things>
When I researched the injury it looked whitish and like bites had been taken out. I ruled out hole in the head because it just didn't look like it nor did it seem to bother my fish, Big Red. I treated the tank with a bacterial medication (Melafix) for a week.
<Of no beneficial use. Search/READ on WWM re this sham>
During this time Big Red stopped eating, or when he did try to eat he would spit out whatever it was and with it came what looked like little white particles.
<Smell the API product.... >
He is still not eating and usually loved frozen peas, romaine lettuce, meal worms and shrimp also the cichlid pellets. I have offered everything and he appears to be hungry but the food comes out almost as soon as it is taken in.
Two days ago I did a 25% water change out which was recommended after the bacterial medicine regime. No change in his eating habits. Can you help me?
<Yes... change out about 25% of the water, lower the temperature, add a pound or so of activated carbon to the filter and try offering food everyday
Courtney Ashbrook
<Just need to clear out the mal-influences here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Oscar
Oh thanks. I am so grateful for your help. Just tonight I got him to eat a little.
<Ah, good>
Some nibbling at the Romaine a few Cichlid pellets and a couple of giant meal worms. I am optimistic he is going to survive this.
You were such a wonderful recommendation from the aquarium guy at my PetSmart. Thank you!
<Cheers Court. BobF>

Betta recovery from flesh-eating nastiness.      8/16/16
Hello people very smart in all things fishy.
<Hey Dane>
I have a vexing (to me) issue with an admittedly elderly Betta. I inherited him from a neighbor, who had kept him for 6+ months in a 2 quart bowl. I don’t think water was changed very regularly, and by the time we got him one of his pelvic fins was completely gone, he had a bunch of pin holes in his remaining fins, and his caudal fin was looking a bit blackened at the edges.
We initiated lots of water changes, bought him a 6-gallon Fluval Edge (which we planted and cycled) and eventually put him in the new home. His fins healed (although the pelvic fin never re-grew and he has some permanent bubbles in his caudal), his colors deepened, and he has seemed to be thriving for over a year now. And I know, this puts him at probably at least 2 years of age, and that’s after a pretty rocky first year of life…
Until recently, his tank mates have included 3 small (3/4 inch) pygmy Corys and a handful of red cherry shrimp as clean-up crew (I don’t know exactly how many CRS, as they do seem to breed like bunnies). Again, the tank is planted and water parameters have been pretty solid for over 11 months— ammonia at 0, nitrites at 0, and nitrates between 10 and 20 (I can’t for the life of me distinguish between the API test kit’s shades of orange for 10 vs. 20).
<Me neither>
Water changes of about 10-20% each week, with a missed week very occasionally here and there. pH is a reasonably steady 7.4-7.6.
This little fish had been doing great until about 2 months ago, when he ripped his dorsal fin on a bit of the driftwood in the tank that had gotten a little pointy somehow (I have since removed that pointy driftwood). The rip was pretty dramatic, but I figured with good water quality he’d just heal over time. This assumption was wrong. Within a few days, the front half of his dorsal fin just died and fell off, and then he developed a darkening of the tissue at the base of that fin (all other fins looked and continue to look beautiful and healthy). Then, he appeared to be developing some kind of body rot in a saddle-shape I associate with columnaris, but without the white stuff, without the mouth “fungus,” and without any kind of open lesions.
I moved him to a heated (80 degrees F), filtered 2 1/2 gallon hospital tank and treated him just with some aquarium salt while I waited for antibiotics to be delivered. Within 3 days, his back looked like it was being eaten away– scales disappeared, he lost the rest of his dorsal fin, and he developed grayish tissue on his back that looked necrotic. Like something evil and yucky was just eating away at his flesh. But, he was still alive, so I started thinking “maybe not columnaris?”
<Some sort of aggressive fungus or bacteria>
Anyway, I did a course of Kanamycin (Kanaplex) according to directions (3 doses over 6 days). His appetite and energy improved but I didn’t observe any healing; in fact, the eating-away-of-tissue seemed to progress, albeit more slowly. So, I got some Furan 2 and after several days initiated a combo treatment of Furan 2 with Kanaplex; I kept that combo going for twelve days (12 days! Twelve is a lot of days!) without seeing any obvious improvement in terms of regrowth. But the tissue-eating did seem to stop, so there’s that.
We are now almost 8 weeks out from the initial injury. He now looks like a really handsome shiny Betta out of whom a tiny shark has taken a bite from the dorsal area. There is no redness or bleeding, just this pale grayish/whitish furry-looking fuzz in the indentation on his back. This fuzz does not look like the long-haired cottony fuzz of a fungus; more like a swath of pale dirty fibrous velour. I don’t see any exposed bones. His fins are not clamped. He is reasonably energetic (for an old fish), and he swims about, lies on leaves, flaps his pectorals when a human approaches the tank, flares at a mirror, and eats like a pig. Oh, I’m feeding him New Life Spectrum Betta pellets, in case that’s relevant.
<Tis; and a good choice>
Water parameters are still great (0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, <10 nitrate, pH about 7.6, but steady at that level).
So, any ideas what the hell this was/is?
<As stated... would have to sample, culture, examine microscopically to guess better>
And is there any chance he can rebuild the missing tissue?
<IF not eaten back to far (like the Pelvics; yes>
If so, how can I encourage that?
<Good care... water quality, nutrition. Time going by>
Over the past few (2-3) weeks, I’ve observed no re-growth of tissue, skin, or scales— he appears to not be losing any more, but not regenerating anything. 2-3 weeks seems like a lot of time to refrain from healing. Any thoughts/recommendations?
<Perhaps lacing/soaking foods in a vitamin, HUFA supplement>
He doesn’t seem stressed or uncomfortable, but the appearance of his back is rather dire. Is the velour-looking stuff a resurgence of whatever has been eating him alive?
<Can't say>
Or does healing tissue take on such an appearance?
<At times; yes>
I don’t want to euthanize if he’s not suffering or beyond repair, but I also don’t want to assume he’s not facing a potentially miserable end.
Thanks in advance for any wisdom, commiseration, or solutions you can offer.
<Thank you for sharing; your com/passion. Bob Fenner>

Can't get enough of that funky WWM stuff?
Link to: Last Few Days Accrued FAQs

Marine Aquarium Articles and FAQs Master Index

  • Set-Up 1: Types of Systems:, Gear/Components:, Set-Up, Tanks, Stands, Covers:, Water, Seawater, Substrates, DSBs, Electricity, Heating/Chilling, Aquascaping, Biotopes, Travelogues.
  • Set-Up 2: Filtration of All Sorts, Skimmers, Sumps, Refugiums, Plumbing, Circulation, Pumps, Powerheads, Aeration & Light/Lighting:.
  • About Livestock: Regional Accounts:, Collection, Selection:, Stocking:, Disease Prevention: Dips/Baths, Acclimation, Quarantine, Behavior:, Territoriality:, Reproduction:
  • Non-Vertebrate Sea Life Identification, & Microbes, Algae, Plants, Live Rock & Sand, Sponges: Hitchhikers, IDs, Marine Microbes, Plankton, Live Rock & Sand, Marine Algae, Marine Plants, Sponges, phylum Porifera,
  • Cnidarians I. Corals to Hobbyists, Stinging-Celled Animals 1: Cnidarians Overall; Hydrozoans: Jellies, Hydroids, Anthozoans; Octocorals: Organ Pipe, Blue Coral, Star Polyps, Sea Fans, Sea Pens and Soft Corals
  • Cnidarians II. Corals to Hobbyists, Stinging-Celled Animals 2: Anthozoans; Hexacorals: Mushrooms, Zoanthids, Anemones, Stony Corals, Tube Anemones, Black Corals
  • Higher Invertebrate Life: Bryozoans, Worms of all kinds, Mollusks (Snails, Nudibranchs, Octopodes), Crustaceans (Crabs, Shrimp, Lobsters...), Echinoderms (Urchins, Sea Cucumbers, Seastars, Brittlestars...), Sea Squirts,
  • Fishes, Index 1: Sharks, Rays, Skates; Marine Eels; Marine Catfishes; Squirrelfishes, Soldierfishes, Lionfishes, Stonefishes, Gurnards, Sculpins; Anglerfishes, Seahorses & Pipefishes, Blennioid & Gobioid Fishes, Mandarins, Clingfishes, Wrasses and Parrotfishes,
  • Fishes, Index 2: Butterflyfishes, Cardinalfishes, Grammas, Grunts, Sweetlips, Snappers, Goatfishes, Jawfishes, Big-Eyes, Basses, Anthias, Dottybacks, Roundheads, Soapfishes, Damselfishes, Clownfishes, Monos, Hawkfishes, Croakers, Emperors, Threadfins, Sandperches, Miscellaneous Percoids,
  • Fishes Plus, Index 3: Marine Angelfishes, Tangs/Surgeons/Doctorfishes, Scats, Batfishes, Rabbitfishes; Triggers, Files, Puffers, Flounders, Halibuts, Soles, Really Old Fishes, Marine Reptiles, Marine Mammals,
  • Maintenance/Operation: General Maintenance, Vacations, Moving, Water Quality: Tests/Testing, Aquarium Repairs, Biominerals, Supplementation, Marine Scavengers, Algae ID & Control, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition,
  • Diseases: Identification, Avoidance, Causes, Organisms, Treatments & Pests: Acclimation, Quarantine, Dips/Baths; Disease: Prevention, Identification, Treatment, Pests/Control, Aquariums and Human Health, Chemicals of Use/Dis- and Mis-use, Pest Flatworm/Anemones/Worms... & Their Control,
  • Marine Topics: Media Reviews:, Books:, References, Sources, Writing, Diving, Travel Adventure, Photography, Videography, Sources of Mortality on the Worlds Reefs, Schooling, Public Aquariums,

Site Navigation-The navigation through the site is designed to allow you to go through the pages following the blue links to get to the information you seek.

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: