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Atriolum robustum Kott 1983. South Africa to New Guinea, Philippines. Small urn-shaped zooids of about an inch in height. Large and few oral siphons. Most are rust-orange or greenish shades. Often confused with Didemnum molle which has much smaller oral siphons. Color due to the endosymbiotic algae Prochloron. S. Leyte 2013 
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General FAQs
Updated 7/21/2014
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Ponds, Brackish, Last Few Days Accrued FAQs,
Daily Q&A replies/input from the WWM crew: Nate Guerette, Rick Novy, Bobby Rudro, Jordan Stari, Sue Garrett, Darrel Barton,
Neale Monks, Marco Lichtenberger, Sabrina Sharp, James Gasta, Eric Russell, Chris Perivolidis, Lynn Zurik, Chuck Rambo, Bob Fenner, are posted here. Moved about, re-organized daily
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Small Marine Aquariums
Book 1: Invertebrates, Algae
New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
ook 2: Fishes
New Print and eBook on Amazon: by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums Book 3: Systems
New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
PLEASE: Write reviews of my works on Amazon! I need your input. BobF

Issue with my Black ghost knife fish      7/21/14
After reading through your website about issues with Black ghost knife fish, I feel contacting you is a good thing to do.
<Go ahead>
I did a water change and cleanup in my 400 liter freshwater tank yesterday, and today my black ghost is acting strange.
<Mmm; how much clean up and percentage water may be the issue here. Best (per the SOP on WWM) to do these frequent, partial (no more than a quarter, 25%) change outs... WITH stored, pre-treated water. Municipal sources nowayears can be highly variable>

Yesterday he (as most, i don´t know the sex of the fish, but it´s a he to me) was fine, he hanged <hung> around his tube, doing his black ghost thing, he ate well (feed him red frozen mosquito larva and some pellets), and he seemed happy.
Today he is swimming just by the surface, as if not being able to breath, he wont eat and it´s worrying me. Only thing that comforts me is that he still has a great color and the "coat" isn´t showing any signs of any diseases.
<Again; my guess/bet is that the root here is the cleaning, new water>
Regretfully, I haven´t got anything to be able to test the nitrate or the like.
After a water change, can the water change so drastically that nitrate can appear in less than 24 hours?
<Not usually much increase; no>
I know a black ghost isn´t an easy fish to care for, but I must´ve been doing something right because he has been with me for at least 2 years and he is 35-40 centimeters long.
My apologies if any replies from me is slow, and if my description isn´t the best, but English is not my first language. (Am from Sweden)
<I understand you perfectly.>
I hope you can help me, for I have nowhere else to turn to right now.
Thanks in advance for you help
Best Regards, Malin Norberg, Sweden.
<If it were my system, Apteronotid, I would do nothing at this point... No medicine/s, water treatments will improve the situation. Only time going by will help. Bob Fenner>

To sanitize or not sanitize?      7/21/14
Background: I have a 50 gal freshwater tank (with a 70-gal canister filter)
that happily housed three goldfish until we moved about a year ago. When I set up the tank again, I struggled with water quality issues/bacterial infections (I assume, based on the symptoms) and ultimately lost the goldfish.
<Yikes; am wondering what the cause/s were here>

I know goldfish have their challenges--which is why when I decided to start again with new stock a few months ago, I went for tetras to start. Things were stable for a while, then I started losing them with similar symptoms: general lethargy followed by difficulty swimming, no signs of external parasites. On advice of the local aquarium shop guys, I treated the whole tank with a broad-spectrum antibiotic to try to kill whatever bugs were lurking.
That worked until a few days ago, when another tetra died following a similar pattern. This is getting to be pretty crazy-making for me, and I imagine the fish aren't especially thrilled either.
At this point, I'm contemplating breaking down the whole tank and trying to sterilize everything, which brings me to my question: should I?
<Possibly; do have some fish-friends come by and look... am wondering if there's something toxic in your system. Perhaps a geode... or metal containing something>
And if so, what method would you recommend to make sure I really, really get all the bugs--
<Bleach washing... here is an SOP: http://wetwebmedia.com/clnornart.htm
The same procedure applies for sterilizing a complete system. DO read through this thoroughly and get some help... Take CARE to not splash bleach on you or the surroundings>
because the only thing that might make me crazier would be going through that monumental effort and then having the problem crop up again.
Final note: current stock is 7 tetras, one angelfish, water parameters are good last I checked, and I do 25% water changes every 2 weeks.
<Ah, welcome. Bob Fenner>

Planted tank glass cover; poss. blocking light       7/21/14
I have a 58 gallon oceanic planted tank. I need a replacement glass cover which is unavailable as the company is out of business.
<Mmm, you can buy the glass and cut it yourself, or have a glass business do this for you. They can also show you how to Silicone some hinges in place and handles to lift the front>
I have a 36" aqua light with 2 96watt compact fluorescent bulbs that sits directly on top of the aquarium edge.
I am considering replacing the glass top with 1/8" pyroceram glass which resists heat. I think it would be safer. Pyroceram glass also blocks UV light. Will this be a problem for a planted tank?
<Could well be... I would use cheap float glass myself... or you can opt to leave the area where the light fixture straddles the top with this glass area open>
<Wc, Bob Fenner>

listing; Hobbyist SW info. site       7/21/14
Good day,
Would you be able to add my website to your listing? I have been running the site for about a year now. My url is http://www.livecoralreef.com and the site name is LiveCoralReef. If you could add it that would be great.
<Will look up your site to determine where it should be placed in our links and do so tomorrow>
Thank you.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Mini Carpet Anemone      7/21/14
Dear Sirs:
Earlier today I did a routine partial water change in my 100 gallon.
<Mmm; the water was pre-mixed, stored ahead of time? We've had a spate of "water change" queries, both fresh and marine...>
Everything was as it always is after a water change and acrylic scraping, all shiny, clear, and pretty. So this evening I notice that the water had become cloudy and there were many, many tiny white spots floating everywhere. The spots did not appear to be swimming like "bugs" might and the royal gramma was not chasing them like he would if they were "bugs".
They have lessened now and the water is less cloudy, but while all this is going on I notice something going on with the two mini carpet anemones that share a rock up high in the aquarium. In the more than a year that I have had these two, one green and one red, I have not seen them do this: Green was secreting long white streams of stuff. I am guessing it's not poop since the royal gramma ate one of the larger streams that floated by him.
Green seems to be finished with his business. Now, at the same time, Red is secreting tiny brown irregularly shaped pellets of something, I am guessing poop. No one is eating what he's secreting. They are coming from a tiny opening in his center. Oh my gosh, I just went to take another look to see if Red was still pooping, and I'll be darned, he shot out a huge amount of these pellets, like a volcano erupting!! Those white spots that are everywhere are coming from Red! This has been going on for a good hour or more. What do you think is going on and why haven't I seen this before?
<Sounds a great deal like reproduction to me>
Thank you,
P.S. he just did it again!
<Do keep your eyes on all... I'd mix up and keep ready as many gallons of new water as you can; as well as a back up of chemical filter material (GAC). Bob Fenner>
RE: Mini Carpet Anemone      7/21/14

Wow, that's kind of cool. So you think like male (Green) and female (Red), anemone version of eggs and sperm?
<Possibly; yes>
I will do as you suggest, change the filter media (I use Chemi Pure Elite and bags of GAC) tomorrow, and change some water the next day, using the water I mixed up this morning.
By the way, I think I was wrong when I said no one was eating Red's "poop".
I noticed one of the pajama cardinals hanging close as though waiting for the next batch to be expelled and the cardinals appeared to be eating too, in their corner of the tank.
Might I find baby anemones in the near future?
<Mmm; not from sexual union in aquarium conditions; no>
Thank you Mr. Fenner,
<Certainly welcome. BobF>

Sail in discoloration. Tang beh., no info.       7/21/14
My sail<f>in tang has sudden gotten weird looking. One side of his body is almost white and the other side is getting large areas turning white none of it looks raised so I don't think its rich.
<? Rich?>
Any ideas would be appreciated .... its hard for me to get a picture of him. He is also seeming to want so swim in front of the filter outtake and not eating as well as he usually does.
<... could be many things here... water quality, fright... You offer no real data. Read here:
scroll down to Zebrasoma... behavior FAQs and onward. Bob Fenner>

Baby goldfish color change age?
My 2 largest and oldest baby goldfish are going through their color changes. (Largest one in the lower right of the picture I sent.) What at what age do pond goldfish usually go through color changes? Thank you.
<A few months. B>
Thank you Bob! :)

Thalassoma quinquevittatum; stkg., sel.
Hi Crew,
I would like to know if three of these would pose a threat to a group of 6 gramma loretos already established in a 160g fowlr system.
<Not likely a threat unless the former were very big, the latter very small. This Thalassoma is even more energetic than the usual members of the genus... really zooming about. You'll want a "quiet end" (stack of high rock) for the Grammas to hide out in>
Would one or two be better instead?
<Likely so... especially if all started small... 3-4"... with just one "turning into" a male>
My goal is to see the color changes exhibited by the male wrasse. (I can't select a male since I live in the USVI
<Oh! Am headed out to St. Thomas next week... to do a bit of diving>
and order directly from a stateside wholesaler.) The smallest loreto is 1.5" and the wrasses will be ordered as "medium."
Also, is there any snail that would work?
<Not any that I'm aware of... too likely to get flipped, eaten>
Thanks. Your service is invaluable.
Chris Powell
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Thalassoma quinquevittatum

Thank you, Bob. I'll try two wrasses rather than three. The rockscape has two dense areas and dozens of small holes that the loretos use--endlessly fascinating. I'll rely on my three tangs, my two dwarf angels, and my cleanliness to control algae.
<Real good>
Ha, I am on St. Thomas. It would be a kick to meet you.
<Oh! Will be at Megan's Resort 7/25-31... Would you like to go diving with use? How to contact you? Via this email I take it>
I'm sure you have a full agenda, and I'm having the dreaded dental surgery next week--plus the new fish arrival on Thursday evening. However, toss me a line if you like. Maybe there will be a gap in common.
Cheers, back atcha,

Re: little worm in freshwater tank
Thank you for your reply, I'm relieved. Than i go and replant my tank :)
<Most welcome, Neale.>

Reef tank to FOWLR tank: Can I use spring water instead of RO/DI?      7/18/14
Hello, first of all thanks for all the knowledge you share with us, I have literally cancelled weekend activities to continue reading! I have a 2 year old reef tank with Caribbean fish, invertebrates and softies/lps corals. Have had no tank crashes and I kinda now my way by now, checking parameters
often and doing frequent water changes. I want to switch to a FOWLR tank to be able to have other fish species, and also to have to test for less chemicals (make it less time consuming). Right now I always use RO/DI water. My question is: Can I use spring water for the new FOWLR tank instead of RO/DI?
<Mmm; depends... on what exactly IS "spring water"... MANY companies filter, collect... and label such products. NOT a standardized item. But to answer directly; you can (yes) likely use this for aquariums>
(Of course treated for Cl and chloramines first). I spend too much money on cartridges (expensive in Mexico). If so, what parameters would I need to check in that spring water to see if it's viable for marine fishkeeping?
<Ahh! Good (the) question: Alkalinity, calcium and magnesium mostly>
And what are the "acceptable ranges" for those chemicals/silicates/heavy metals?
<Zip; not measurable with hobby kits for metals; Si compounds I wouldn't be concerned re>
The reasons for wanting to do this are (am I right?)
1. Maintaining a high DKH (8-12) and Ph (8.2-8.4) would be easier and maybe with no need for additives or buffers. (I add baked baking soda daily to my reef to keep ph and dKH in range)
2. No need to spend money on cartridges and resins, no time investment on changing them.
<Ah yes; I understand and agree with you>
I know the downside is the high phosphates and probably silicates which will fuel algae, but I was thinking I could control this with low lighting or no lighting when there is an algae bloom?
<Or a number of other methods>
Also keeping my nitrates in 0 dosing a carbon source and/or a denitrator?
<Either or both... but I would be testing your source and system water over time first and foremost>
What do you think, is there a way to do this?
<Oh yes; a few ways>
Thanks a lot for reading my novel haha I really appreciate it.
Best regards,
Hector (Mexico)
<Thank you for sharing. Nos vemos, Roberto Fenner>
Re: Reef tank to FOWLR tank: Can I use spring water instead of RO/DI?      7/19/14

Hola Roberto Fenner! Thanks very mucho for your response ;) by spring water I mean water that is pumped from the underground (my city, Guadalajara has a lot of underground water).
<Ah yes>
I've heard this water is really good quality and mineral rich since it is naturally filtered, my questions are:
1.Why should I check this water itself for Ca/Mg, if the salt mix will have it?
<The added biominerals in the source water may drive an imbalance in alkalinity among other disproportion>
(I would use Instant Ocean) Do you mean that if there's too much it will add up to the salt mix and get out of range?
<Can, could; yes>
3. If piping is made of copper, would small traces of it affect marine fish/bacteria?
<Could; but in actual practice, this is rare. IF the copper piping is new, and/or there's been a good deal of construction... shaking the pipe, making new "faces" for chemical, physical interaction; there can be "pulses" of free copper. Again, very rare>
4.Part of the project to migrate to a FOWLR, other than being able to keep non-reef species, is to simplify mi life, would I still need to continuously check/dose Ca/Mg as I do in my reef or would 30% monthly water changes be enough to maintain acceptable levels?
<Possibly... I would check, do the water changes weekly... And do READ re such matters as supplementation... there are a few options here>
(since this levels would be decreasing daily until the next water change).
Thanks again in advance, and may I recommend, scuba diving in Holbox!
<Ah yes... was just talking w/ some folks re diving there, in the Yucatan a few days back>
It's near Cancun and you can swim with the beautiful shark whales, in July or August, it's really paradisiacal.
<Te recuerdes y tienes razon!>
Best regards
Hector from Mexico (no era penal)
<Roberto al norte en San Diego>

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,

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