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Halichoeres trimaculatus (Quoy & Gaimard 1824), the Three-spot Wrasse. Indo-Pacific. To eleven inches in length. Adult terminal phase individual in Fiji. This species is used as food and occasionally in the aquarium trade.
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Unknown Betta Issue      11/21/18
My Betta fish has become increasingly sick throughout the past couple of months. I have tried a new filter, bottled spring water,
<Mmm; need to know about this... pH, hardness especially. You may be missing useful mineral content here>

stress coat, salt treatments, frequent water changes, Kanaplex and fungus clear, cleaning the entire tank and turning the heat up. Nothing I have tried seems to help, he continues to get worse. He still eats,
<What? Have you read on WWM re Betta health? Care?>
swims around and flares. He does not seem to be impacted by this much.
I have attached photos below from when it began until now.
Thank you in advance for any suggestions you have as to how to treat this or what it might be.
<... Please respond to my concerns above. Bob Fenner>

Last Hope for my Betta     11/21/18
I have a 2 year old Male Betta living in a 5 gallon planted, heated tank with a sponge filter. I am guilty of falling behind on cleaning the substrate and I think that might be to blame for his current condition.
<Oh? Do you use nitrate concentration as a guideline here?>
About 2 weeks ago I noticed he was unable to "catch" his food(pellets). He would keep trying and missing. I foolishly ignored this.
For the last 3-4 days he has been laying on his side at the bottom of the tank. Yesterday I moved him into a shallow "hospital" tank. I thought it was just his time to go at first, but his condition has lingered too long for it to be a natural death (I believe). He has no signs or symptoms other than previously mentioned.
Is there anything I can do for him?
<Yes! Check your water quality; switch out a good deal (like half) of the system water for new (best from another established aquarium); and add in a bit of frozen/defrosted food to the fish's diet>
If not what is the best way to euthanize him?
<Mmm; I am hesitant to suggest this at this juncture. I'd hold off. This fish may well rally... return to robust health. IF you feel otherwise, please read Neale's piece on the topic:
I can't let him suffer like this much longer. Thank you for your time and consideration.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Fwd: Last Hope for my Betta     11/21/18
<Little Dani>
Thank you for the fast reply! I gave up my tanks and all of my water testing supplies a while back. I adopted this Betta from a poor situation after the fact. Yes, I feel confident that nitrates are to blame for the issue. I am keeping the water in the hospital tank "safe" by using Seachem's Prime. I did acclimate him very slowly when switching over. I've rehabilitated fish in the past this way successfully.
<I see>
If he pulls through, I will absolutely make the diet changes you suggested.
As for right now, he is showing no interest in food whatsoever.
<Too likely there are "cycling issues" w/ the current situation. Just adding Prime won't do... I'd place this fish back in its water changed system w/ the filter, substrate...>
Is it safe to assume that the best course of action is to keep him in the shallow tank, continue daily water changes and hope for the best?
<No; see above>
He has been without food for at least 4 days, but probably longer since he was having trouble catching his food before turning lethargic. My fear however is that he is slowly and painfully starving to death :'(
Thank you again,
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Last Hope for my Betta
Will get on that right away. I just got home and noticed that he is looking a little "bloated" now. Is this a clue to a different issue?
<Likely all related to environmental stress. IF biological, secondary in origin. Bob Fenner>

Re: Crayfish turn green after moulting     11/21/18
My water's pH is 7.8 and her crayfish pellets should be giving her sufficient protein.
<I'd still be supplementing w/ a bit of animal source; AND iodide/ate added directly to the water weekly>
I think she's fine but I'm just shocked to see a bright, almost grass-green colour on this species because usually they don't turn green.
<Mmm, I worked quite a bit w/ Procambarus clarkii in college, on my own...
Crayfish can/do occur, change in shell color quite a bit... genetically, via env. and nutritional influences. Bob Fenner>

Crayfish turn green after moulting     11/20/18
Hey WWM,
<Howsit Darren?>
My female crayfish (Cherax quadricatinatus/red claw crayfish) moulted today and her head turned from her usual brownish blue colouration to a moss-like/grass-like green colouration. I tried searching for answers online but nobody seems to have indicated that their crayfish have turned green (only turn blue/brown). Do you know what might have caused this?
<Mmm; yes... "know" as in high enough confidence in my interpretation of facts/evidence>
My water parameters are good and she is living quite comfortably in her 10 gallon. The tank is very sufficiently aerated (you can even see bubbles in the water) and she is given algae wafers and traditional crayfish pellets.
Could it be the algae wafers (which was the only food she would eat prior to her moulting) or could it be something else?
<Such color changing, difficulties in moults are most-often due to nutritional and environmental (water quality) issues. These crayfish need some protein from animal sources, iron and iodide/ate... and a setting with sufficiently hard, basic water.
These requirements are gone over and over on WWM.
Provided all, your crayfish may well change shell color in time, with successive moults. Bob Fenner>

Help MASNA this holiday season by using Amazon Smile!     11/20/18
The latest news from MASNA.
View this email in your browser (https://mailchi.mp/masna/10-off-macna-weekend-tickets?e=2cb2da1c85)

SaraL returns to WWM~!     11/20/18
Hi Bob,
If you still need help answering pet-fish questions, I would be happy to come back to your crew.
Sara ("Sihaya")
<Ahh, I/we thank you.
The log-in is (still):
And on a personal note, I'd have you know you have inspired me: AM having Pete bid to enclose the patio at one of the rental houses... that has a large flat yard... and likely will have him build out a "fish building" there; and will move, have a pool built, sand v-ball... AND be more active, enjoy/ing m'self rather than too much time being inactive/sedentary. I think Bandita will like the new walking paths as well. BobF>

Restart aquarium     11/18/18
I had a FOWLR aquarium running for years until Hurricane Sandy knocked out power for 2 weeks and everything died. Tank has been laying idle ever since, still filled with water, sand, and rock. Pumps, skimmer, lights, etc have not been turned on in 6 years. I want to start her up again. Any advice?
<Rinse the submersible equipment in a 50/50 solution of water/vinegar for a day or two; put the rock and sand for 24 hrs in water with 10% bleach, after doing this, just rinse and add dechlorinator, then you can reinstall the
tank. Wil.>

Fin rot or aggression?     11/18/18
I have a Yellow Tang and Hepatus Tang whose dorsal fins seem to be eroding. The Yellow Tang's caudal fin is also in bad shape. Can you tell if this is fin rot or aggression from another fish?
<Looks like some fish is nipping both of your tangs>
The water tests out fine.
<I need more accurate information here, also what size is your tank, equipment...etc.>
The water is changed regularly. I feed high quality food with vitamins. The fins have been like this for several months. I am at a loss.
<I don´t think this is a disease, more likely, as mentioned above, aggression. Could you tell me about the other tankmates? species, size…>
Best regards, Steve DeFilippis
<nice weekend, Steve. Wil>
Re: Fin rot or aggression?     11/18/18

It is a 220 gallon tank. UV Sterilizer, Skimmer, bio sump under the tank, Reactor.
<Decent size tank, don´t think aggression(if that´s the case) is due to space>
Here are the fish:
3 Percula or Ocellaris Clownfish (I am not sure which) 2-3 inches
Naso Tang 8-9 inches
Yellow Tang 3-4 inches
Hepatus Tang 4-5 inches
Flame Hawkfish 2 inches
Royal Gramma 3 inches
Coral Beauty Angel 3 inches
Blue jaw Trigger 3 1/2 inches
Tail Spot Wrasse 4 inches
A few small crabs and one larger hermit crab
<All of them can coexist. have you see any aggressive behavior?...maybe during feeding or at night?>
Thank you.
Best regards,
Re: Fin rot or aggression?     11/18/18

I have not seen any aggression. That's why I am puzzled. Fin rot would also seem unusual given the quality of the water conditions. The Yellow Tang in particular had beautiful fins before this started.
<Then the only thing that comes to mind is that it is an environmental/nutritional issue, very likely HLLE, plus something in the water you´ve been missing or that test kits don´t measure; try doing a large water change(20% +), run activate carbon or Chemi Pure for a few days and add vitamins A,D,E enriched foods/supplements to the water.>
>>Ahh; yes; THIS IS a type of HLLE... nutritional, environmental (water quality) most often the cause. SEE/READ on WWM Re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/HLLESWCure.htm and the linked files above.
Best regards,

Amazing Website!     11/18/18
Wow, I am learning so much from your website.
Mostly, I am learning that I've been doing everything wrong!
<Oh dear. Well, I guess this is what they call a learning curve...>
I have a Betta who has been behaving very sluggishly. He's actually been "holing up" at the bottom of the tank, in a little "cave" made by the stones on the bottom.
For the past 2 days he didn't come out and I was sure he'd died. But no, today he's been swimming around and I was able to feed him. But this can't be normal behavior?
<Not really, no. Fish will often be reclusive for a few hours to a couple days after being introduced to a new tank. But if they're persistently shy, beyond what they should normally be like, then there may be something frightening them. Sometimes, it's bright light or unnaturally coloured substrates (such as white gravel) that alarms them. But other times it's the water chemistry. Fish will respond to non-zero ammonia and nitrite levels by behaving as if they're scared. It's kind of like when cats are sick and they hide. They don't "know" they're sick, they just feel pain,
and their instinct when scared is to hide. Fish do the same thing.>
I've been speaking with Petco, who recommended bringing the water in for testing, and they said it was just fine.
<I would suggest letting us have the numbers. Get a water test kit, at minimum, a nitrite test kit. Non-zero nitrite (or ammonia) levels are dangerous, potentially lethal after a few days.>
But now I'm reading on your blog that "just fine" isn't good enough, you need me to tell you the actual numbers.
So I need to get my own test kit. What do you recommend?
<They're all much the same chemicals, so doesn't really matter.>
I've also been told to do a 50% water change once/week, but what about what has settled in the stones at the bottom? Doesn't that need to be cleaned?
<Not beyond stirring gently before a water change, and then using that water change to siphon out any muck.>
I don't have a filter. Should I have one?
If so, what brand to you recommend?
<Again, doesn't really matter. Small internal canister filters from the likes of Eheim, Fluval and other well-known brands all do the job well. The Eheim ones are probably the best in terms of long-term reliability, easily running 20+ years if cared for, while the generic Chinese ones will do the job, but seem to fail after a few years. So it's really down to personal preference and budget.>
I do have a small pump which creates air flow, and of course a heater.
<A simple box filter or sponge filter can be connected to the air pump.
These would be perfectly adequate for a Betta, which actually prefers little water current, so an internal canister might not be the perfect choice if you can't tone down the water flow rate.>
Two heaters, actually, since my house is quite cold. It sits at about 74 degrees in the fish tank (which is 2.5 gallons). Is that warm enough?
<Long term, no; Bettas really need a consistent 25 C/77 F, and more to the point, cold air kills them -- they're air breathers. So make sure the tank has some sort of hood to trap warm air. I can't imagine why you need two filters unless they're really poor quality. Assuming this is a 5 gallon tank -- the absolute minimum for "easy" Betta keeping -- then something like a 50 W heater should be more than adequate.>
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Amazing Website!     11/19/18

Wow, thanks for the lightning-quick response Neale!
<Most welcome.>
For me, it all started with this:
https://backtotheroots.com/collections/top-sellers/products/watergarden So I guess my first problem is that the tank is only 3 gallons. So this is really not sufficient?
<It's tight. Here's the deal. While Bettas *can* certainly live in tanks this size, the margin for error is much less. The water cools down faster if the heater fails, the water quality worsens faster between water changes
(let alone if the filter dies) and there's less volume to dilute overfeeding if you have someone look after this fish in your absence (something almost never worth bothering with -- fish can go weeks without food). Given that a 5 gallon tank is still tiny, and won't take up much shelf space, but offers up nearly twice as much water as you've got now, it's still a worthy upgrade for the future. I'd also observe that 'hiding' a heater and a filter in a 5 gallon tank is much easier too, because you'll have more space for plants, rocks, etc.>
I quit trying to grow the seeds because they leaked into the tank and made a huge mess, so now I am just enjoying my Betta fish!
<Seeds? What seeds? For what it's worth, it's not worth bothering growing aquarium plants from seed.>
He's been in that tank for about two years, so there is nothing new that could be scaring him.
So it's back to water quality. I will get a test kit today. In the meantime, I just did a 50% water change.
I keep a lid on the tank to retain the heat, but the temp is never 77 degrees as you suggest below. It's more like 74. I live in Colorado and my house is pretty darn cold! So I will get a new heater today too.
<Assuming you've got central heating in this room, the air temperature in the room shouldn't really be much colder than, say, 20 C/68 F. If you look on the back of many brands of aquarium heater, there are tables describing
what wattage you'll need to elevate the water temperature 5 or 10 degrees above ambient room temperature. You can find these tables on line, too.
Anyway, something around 50 W should be ample for a 5 gallon tank, even if you need to raise the temperature a full 10 degrees above ambient room temperature. Don't go overboard though, and get a really high wattage, as
these may heat the water immediately around them much too quickly.>
I read about gravel siphoning devices somewhere on your website. Do you like those, or just a regular filter? Or both?
<I'd skip the gravel siphon. It's a device to facilitate water changes, sluicing the gravel through the water being sucked out. While quite useful, they'd be much too big for a tank the size of yours. A simple turkey baster
(new, or at least well cleaned!) can do much the same thing if jetted into the gravel at a few places, and any muck that emerges can then be sucked out with your standard issue hose pipe of the sort (I assume) you use for
water changes. Note that water changes complement filtration. They're not an either/or. Yes, Betta breeders keep their fish in jars without heaters or filters. But those jars are emptied each day, and the fish room is heated to keep the water at upwards of 25 C/77 F all day long. Much too expensive and labour intensive for a hobbyist!>
Thanks for the info about Betta's not liking a strong water flow. Thanks
for all the info!

Removing center brace     11/18/18
Good Afternoon,
<Hi Peter>
I have been a long time reader of WWM and appreciate the reefing wisdom!
<Well thank you!>
I am writing today because I am in the process of upgrading my 90 gallon mixed reef tank- established for 3 years which is currently sitting on a standard pine stand 48 in x 18 in. My issue is that I would like to place a large sump/skimmer combo but am unable to do so due to the center brace of the stand. I have seen conflicting reports of whether temporarily removing the brace with the aquarium set up as-is for the sump installation. What are your thoughts? Do I need to reinforce the piece once it is removed and re-installed? Do I have better options?
<Its too risky to remove the center brace with the tank fully filled, If it were me-my tank, I will empty it at least half, remove the brace, do the sump/skimmer installation and reinstall it before filling the tank again; otherwise you would have to empty it completely so that you can remove the tank without disassembling the stand.>
Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated..
<Kind regards. Wil>

Elegance coral, dying in/comp.     11/18/18
My Elegance Coral died so I removed it and did a water change. Same night I lost 80% of snails then 5 days later 2 clowns and a blenny started to act funny then passed. Do you think the Elegance dying could have created that
or a chemical. (all crabs and shrimps not affected)
<Almost certainly it was caused by toxins released by your Elegance coral dying; do a large water change,40-50% and use a Polyfilter pad combined with a high grade activate carbon or ChemiPure, a couple of days later try adding some "test" fishes like bluetail Damsels(Chrysiptera sp).Please keep us posted on how it goes. Wil>

Re: Hydrogen peroxide     11/18/18
Good evening Bob. Thank you for your reply a few days back on the peroxide question. I’ve been dosing 1ml per 10 gallons of total water volume per your suggestion. I’ve been dosing now for about 10 days. The Cyano has been reduced by about 30%. It seems as though it’s holding and not reducing any further. I’d like to know if I can safely increase the dosage of HP to say 2ml per 10 gallons of water.
<Mmm; yes; you could. WITH careful watching that your ORP doesn't much exceed about 400 micro-siemens/cm.
I’m running ozone so I’ve been watching my ORP while dosing. The ORP drops about 80 points immediately after dosing but then climbs up to 380 within about an hour afterwards. What’s your thoughts on increasing the dosage? As always, thank you for your time.
<Cheers John. BobF>

Quick note     11/18/18
Hi all:
I just wanted to let you know that I’m a writer for reef2reef.com, and I mention Bob Fenner (kindly) under “Methylene blue” in today’s article here: https://www.reef2reef.com/ams/keeping-your-marine-fish-healthy-part-2-the-reef-aquarium-medicine-cabinet.526/ 
I’ve asked WWM several questions over the years, and you folks have always been wonderful. (I even asked a question a few days ago.)
Warm Regards,
Cynthia White
Vancouver Island
<Ahh, thank you for your timely and pleasant note. Oh how I wish I could spend more time tide-pooling off Vancouver, ala "The Outer Shore" by Ricketts. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hydrogen peroxide     11/19/18
Thank you Bob. Have a good Thanksgiving
<Thank you John. You as well. B>

Persistent Flashing      11/16/18
Hope all is well. I am having an issue with a few of my fish that are in QT. They are continuously flashing and am not sure why. I have had them for 3 weeks and my QT process is as follows:
<Mmm; flashing can be... "just natural" to extents, due to irritants of a wide array: Water quality and parasites most commonly>
Freshwater Dip to check for flukes
7 Day Metro GC for flukes and worms
14 Days of copper than ttm into display
<Ahh, could be just the copper exposure>
Problem I am having though is my fish show no signs of white spot but are constantly flashing at the gills. Tough to explain but my fang tooth blenny is also spinning in a semi-circle to clean its tail. Not sure what else to do? Is it a reaction to the copper, Healing from Ick or velvet, some copper resistant parasite?
<Could be any of these. I wouldn't be overly concerned. With conditions and health returning, the flashing behavior should subside>
Thanks for taking look.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Question about transferring marine fish      11/15/18
Dear Crew:
I read your website and questions and answers all the time.
I think you folks are fantastic.
<Well, Thanks!>
I have just one question, and I have read a lot of conflicting information about it.
<Will do my best to dispel any doubt>
I don’t have any tanks set up at this time, but after many years of freshwater experience and breeding cichlids, I am starting to set up a saltwater aquarium. This is my question: regarding marine fish, if you have to transfer a fish from one tank to another or from the bag he/she came in to a tank, and you’re in a hurry (let’s just say the sky is falling) what parameter is the most important to match between the water you’re moving from and the water you’re moving to? Is it the salinity or the pH or both or temperature or something else?
<The three of them are very important, but I would say Ph adjustment is the most critical, since this parameter is the one that causes stress shock in newly acquired/acclimated fish; secondly I will put salinity, fish are reasonably tolerant to slight variations. And lastly, water temperature; this one may be a bit different (preferably warmer) than the water containing the fish.>
Thanks very much,
Cynthia White Vancouver Island
<Welcome. Wil>

Hawkfish with "fuzz" on fins.     11/12/18
I recently noticed my healthy flame Hawkfish has developed what appears to be a white fuzzy substance on his pectoral fins. Am I looking at a fungal infection?
<Very doubtful... such are rare on marine fishes (unless dead, dying) and cirrhitids are very tough, resistant to such>
How should I approach this. He is behaving perfectly fine. I apologize for the quality of the pics.
<Something either to do w/ getting stung here or being chewed by a tankmate likely. I'd be observing this fish, system carefully. If you write again, do include a list of organisms present please. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hawkfish with "fuzz" on fins.    11/12/18
<Ave John!>
Thank you for the prompt response! Upon further examination it almost has cotton-like quality to it. I can see a “strand” or two hanging off.
<Mmm; could be a few things; best guess simply (body) mucus trailing the irritation>
As for tankmates, he is in with a Melanurus wrasse, Sixline wrasse,
<Most likely bully>
2 Percula clowns, a Blue/Green Chromis, a Bartlett Anthias and a large rose bubble nem.
<And if this is the sole Cnidarian here, the prime candidate for stinging>
I had wondered if what I am seeing was fish squabble related or from a sting but it looks so… strange. He is 2nd in charge of the tank under the Melanurus who pays him no mind whatsoever. Last thoughts?
<Again, not likely biological in origin... I would do nothing treatment wise; just simple optimized stable conditions (water quality, nutrition)... should see this fish improving>
Thanks again!
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Hawkfish with "fuzz" on fins.    11/12/18

Is a parasite possible? It definitely resembles no parasite I’ve experienced.
<... possible? Yes; probable, no. Please READ on WWM re such... need sampling, microscopic examination to af/con-firm. B>

Re: Flasher Wrasse Question     11/11/18
<Hey Charles>
Thanks for the prompt reply. I do plan to upgrade to a significantly larger system in the next couple of years (though I’m well aware of the danger of using that as a plan for fish size). Are there any particular signs in the tang’s behavior I should look for to indicate it has reached a size that is “too big” for its current home?
<"Jousting" so to speak... chasing other fishes, swiping at them w/ its caudal peduncle>
If I were to remove the tang and replace it with, for example, a purple tang, would there be enough space for the wrasses, or is this a case of either the wrasse harem or a tang?
<More time; yes. Z. xanthurum is "more calm" and doesn't get as large as the other Sailfin sp.>
Am I just all full at this point with species space in the tank?
<Per the livestock you list fish-wise, yes. Again... you can review what I stated earlier. >
I’d like to have one more species in there to provide additional movement and color.
<For me; I'd go w/ the Flashers, maybe switch the tang out for a Ctenochaetus species. BobF>

Re: Baby Oscar     11/11/18
Thank you, Neale for all of your help.
<Most welcome.>
Yes, the 125 could turn into an issue. I bought the two larger as a shoaling pair. As juveniles, they have proved inseparable. Of course, that can change any day as they get older.
<Precisely. Juveniles are social, even, as you say, to some degree schooling fish. Presumably this is some sort of defence against predators. As they mature, this will change, and pairs of sexually mature fish will claim territories and drive away other Oscars. Very similar to most other monogamous pairing cichlids, e.g., Angels.>
There have been some displays of dominance like lip locking, but it hasn’t happened often.
<Good. Every Oscar is different, and they're intelligent animals with behaviours that can, to some extent, adapt to their environment. So I'm quite sure that sometimes two 'brothers' end up living together more or less amicably. Just don't bank on it!>
There have been mating type behaviors, though, too… (tail slapping, rubbing up against one another and cleaning a corner of the tank floor). They still actively shoal at 6”. So, at this point, young as they are, it’s a tough call. I have a cycled empty 55 on standby (hospital tank) so if things go south, I at least can separate them.
And you’re right about the baby. I shouldn’t have bought him. I don’t want to encourage the poor husbandry. I can’t go to those places.
<Totally understand your feelings and actions. Not saying I wouldn't have done the same -- but logically, as hobbyists, we would do the fish (overall!) a service by not patronising the scummy stores, and not buying the fish that shouldn't have been imported.>
He’s still not eating, but I will keep trying.
<Oscars (like virtually all cichlids) will eat when they're ready, and not a moment before. Assuming he's not in terrible shape, I'd simply focus on giving him quiet, darkness, and good water conditions. If live river shrimp are available, by all means stick a few in the tank since they're stay alive until such time as he eats them, so won't adversely affect water quality. Otherwise, feel secure about waiting a few days, even week or two before offering meals and seeing them eaten.>
Its hard to say, Oscars are wonderful sad sacks and have a tendency to “mope” when things change in their tank.
<Precisely. It's the flip side of their high level of intelligence. Just as with any other smart animal (dog, parrot, pig) that's been abused, they're not going to suddenly eat food just because it's there. It's Guppies and other mindless fish that do that! No, with these big, cuddly cichlids you need to get them on side first. Calm them down, get them feeling secure, and train them to recognise you're not a threat but a friend. Takes time, and repetition. For example, walk past the tank, say "hello", then walk on, without causing a disturbance by turning the lights on or opening the hood. He'll probably stay hiding, but so long as he doesn't dart away in panic, then it's steps in the right direction. Soon enough he'll figure out you're harmless, and since Oscars, like Goldfish and Koi, genuinely enjoy human company, he'll start seeing you as a friend and come to the front to see what's going on. Once that happens, offer a small, tasty meal. Bit of white fish fillet, an earthworm, whatever. Only a tiny bit, because it might not be eaten, and whipping out a net to remove multiple or large chunks of uneaten food will terrify a nervous fish. I find a turkey baster a great tool for removing small bits of food in a discrete manner.>
Or they don’t get the food they want. Or they haven’t seen you in a day. Or if its Tuesday. He was swimming around this morning, but has gone back into hiding during the day. My guess is he is trying to be sure there is nothing in his tank that would eat him. I tested his water, offered him food and left him alone for the most part. I will continue to offer food.
Thanks again!
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Help with black mollies     11/11/18
I have 2 black mollies I think one male one female one of them the skinnier one will sit at the bottom take a little bit and then held swim up and swim next to the other one and he let himself float down to the bottom of chain sit there for a little while and the other one is way bigger than the other ones skinny ones having the problem or if it is a problem I don't know but I'm just wondering if it's normal behavior or if it's something I should be concerned about
<Hello Mike. Let me have you do some reading first:
The thing about Mollies is that they're a bit disease prone when kept in plain freshwater. Certainly, hard water is better, and ideally, a reasonable amount of salt, maybe 2-3 teaspoons per US gallon, can make all the difference. On top of that, they're often maintained poorly by retailers and wholesalers, and the quality of farmed Mollies is very variable. So it's a bit hit-and-miss whether you get healthy ones or not.
Understanding their specific needs will help a lot. So yes, I'd be worried about a skinny Molly that wasn't swimming properly, but before medicating, I'd be checking water chemistry first. Simply maintaining them in saline conditions can make all the difference! Cheers, Neale.>

Spaghetti Eel... which reminds me of bugs bunny    11/9/18
Good day Neale, Marco and all you good people in WetWebMedia,
Neale, I remember this chat in fishforum, many many years ago (2006)
In the chat you are advising a brackish aquarist to get an Echidna Rhodochilus (I already have it) and/or Spaghetti eel.
<Ah, yes. Back when I had time to do online forums! A distant memory, sadly.>
Well, since I already have E. rhodochilus (a model citizen, very nice, stay small and docile),
<Yep, this is the usual experience.>
and I have given away most of my eels to other eel lovers (except for my E. Rhodochilus), I decided that I still have room for small slimmer non-aggressive eel, so I asked my procurer to get me a Moringua
What he ended up sending me are these two eels (pictures included), which a bit surprising to me. What bizarre eel, I thought, when I saw them first time. Body like Monopterus albus, paddle-like tail (like some kind of fish.. well eels are fish anyway), face like moray... but they behave more like Bugs Bunny!
<The paddle-tail is presumably to help with digging. As you're seeing, these fish are extremely happy when half buried in the sand.>
That is, not long after I plunge them to my aquarium, they immediately burrowing! I just turn my back for a short while, then as I look back, they already gone beneath the sand. They stuck out their head every now and then (like Bugs Bunny!), but every time I bring my face closer to my aquarium, they will pull their head back in and swim underneath the sand, making curious patterns. Even my white cheek moray got confused (I think ;) ) as it remained home and not coming out at all.
So, are they Moringua raitaborua? But they are not pink, their color are more like Monopterus albus. The smaller one is about 30cm in length, the bigger one is about 40cm. They have slim bodies, shaped like Monopterus albus... kind like spaghetti :D so the name is proper. They are caught in a freshwater river several kilometers away from the estuarium, and they were being kept in freshwater for months before my procurer bought them and send them to me. Maybe M. raitaborua change colors when they grow bigger? or maybe they are M. microchir? but isn't M. marine eels?
<It's really hard to say. The pale colour could easily be down to the light coloured substrate -- many fish adjust their colours, becoming paler if the substrate is pale. I'd be looking at the pictures on Fishbase for a start:
While both occur in brackish water, as you say, of the two, Moringua raitaborua is the one more associated with fresh and brackish conditions, and presumably the more adaptable in the longer term, Moringua microchir being more marine when adult. That being the case, I'd be maintaining the tank around 1.003-1.005, and seeing what happens. If the fish stop eating or get ill, upping the salinity may be required.>
Well, thank you for your time, and have a wonderful day with your fishes!
Best Regards, Ben
<And to you! Cheers, Neale.>


Re: Spaghetti Eel... which reminds me of bugs bunny      11/10/18
Hello Neale and all you cool people in WetWebMedia!
<Hello Ben,>
Thank you for the reply. The smaller eel immediately begin eating chopped shrimp and bloodworms, while the larger eel looks like it's not hungry yet.
Or maybe it's eating the bloodworms when I wasn't looking. Closer examination reveals that the larger eel actually does have a pinkish face.
It's the smaller one that is not pink. But both has the same morphology.
The smaller one is now more outgoing and will leave the sands for food, while the big one is still behaving like a mole or a bugs bunny.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHaDQgCWiZ0&feature=youtu.be So, maybe one of them is M. Microchir and the other one is M. Raitaborua?
Or maybe they are both M. Raitaborua, and simply changed colors when getting old! :D
<Could be either situation. I admit they don't look like the same species, and maybe their behaviour is different too. But you really can't be sure without contacting someone who actively studies this genus, or at least knows the common fishes collected in this area. Indeed, there may be other Moringua species (described or otherwise!) that we aquarists aren't aware of, and without photos online, we wouldn't be able to compare them to the fishes in front of us.>
My salinity is 1.005sg (fluctuating) at the last water changes, so I hope it's still within range.
<If they're eating, it's probably fine; with Moray Eels at least, refusing food is a good sign the salinity is wrong.>
These eels will hide under bright lights (just like my white cheek moray), but when I reduce the lights, they will eventually come out, especially when smelling food.
It is rather difficult to find more online info about these spaghetti eels, even though our local fishermen and procurers here are familiar with them and their behavior.
<They are extremely rare in the aquarium trade, in Europe at least. So likely very few experiences among the sorts of people who write web pages!>
They are known as agreeable pets, but not as desirable as morays (morays are considered more "beautiful"). And to catch them would require some patience as they only easy to catch in the rivers at certain times of the year.
<May well be migratory, by the sounds of it.>
Well, thank you for your time, and I hope my report will be useful for all you WetWebMedia fans out there who wish to know more about these spaghettis!
<Oh, I am quite sure this will help those luckily enough to obtain Moringua spp.>
Best Regards, Ben
<Cheers, Neale.>

Marine protozoa; trtmt.       11/10/18
Lots of questions for you!
I have a 55gal QT with a mappa puffer, queen angelfish, and harlequin Tuskfish at the moment, and unfortunately am struggling with some sort of protozoa. The symptoms are very different between them: the puffer seems to be behaving totally fine (eating, swimming about, being social), but is covered in white specs and has cloudy eyes - assuming ich. The angelfish and Tuskfish look fine, but are not behaving well (breathing 115 breaths per minute, lethargic, and won't eat) - marine velvet?.
<Perhaps either, even both>
I'm treating with copper sulfate (0.2 mg/L), but haven't noticed much of a change in 4 days!
Yikes. Considering something more aggressive.
<Yes I would... For one I would definitely (NOW) drop the specific gravity... to about 1.010... yes, drastically. AND do this ASAP. Not only will the lowered density help the fish breath more easily (they may be dead in a short while otherwise), the sudden decrease will impugn the parasite/s....>
Kordon's Rapid-Cure ingredients are listed as: Triethylene Glycol, Polyvinylpyrrolidone K-29, and Malachite Green. There's quite a bit of info online about Malachite Green, but I can't find any on the other two ingredients.
1. What does Triethylene Glycol do? Is it toxic to the fish? Will it kill the bio-filter? Will it kill both marine ich and velvet, and if so, at what part of their life cycles?
<Mostly is a carrier/binder... won't kill the parasites and should not impede nitrification>
2. What does Polyvinylpyrrolidone K-29 do? Is it toxic to the fish?
Will it kill the bio-filter? Will it kill both marine ich and velvet, and if so, at what part of their life cycles?
<Got me... PVP itself is used in quite a few all in one "dechloraminator" products... makes the fishes a bit more slimy. Don't know what the designation K-29 refers to... NOT an IUPAC descriptor; likely some snazzy commercial modifier. I WOULD write, contact Kordon-Novalek (or the Net; you may have to pay) re their MSDS with your concerns>
3. Malachite green: Believe it is toxic to the fish and will kill bio filter alone with all protozoa? What part of the protozoa life cycle does it kill?
<Can be useful in arresting protozoa; and yes, will subtend nitrification; and in strong doses, some conditions more/less toxify fishes>
4. Can this be combined with Methylene blue (to help oxygen transfer in the fish)? What about formalin? Copper sulfate?
<Methylene Blue is the safest... AGAIN, take out about half the seawater and replace it w/ dechloraminated new/freshwater. Formalin is a biocide... useful in some applications; better for dips/baths for hobbyists than direct application. CuSO4 is a fave for several applications. You can read
what I have archived on WWM re.>
My local fish store sold me a bottle of "Copper Sulfate".
1. Is Copper Sulfate (CU 2 I think) chelated?
<Might be; should state on the container... if just CuSO4, not chelated>
2. Is it correct that ammonia reducers convert CU 2 to Cu 1 which is very toxic?
<Mmm; not so much, or often an issue>
If so, will "API Stress Coat", "API Tap Water Conditioner", or "Instant Ocean Marine conditioner" do the same thing with the copper (since they're advertised to neutralizing chlorine and heavy metals)?
<They will do degrees precipitate out copper; more/faster non-chelates>
3. Can this be combined with Methylene blue? what about formalin?
<The former should be fine; I would skip formalin use: TOO dangerous, toxic>
I have four total ammonia testing abilities:
1. API Ammonia Test Kit (drops into 5mL water)
2. Seachem Ammonia Alert color wheel (always in the aquarium)
3. Seachem multi test ammonia free and total (drops and powder mixed in a little tray)
4. Tetra easy test strips (swirl strip in water).
1. How do you test ammonia if you're treating with something that dyes the water (like malachite green or Methylene blue)?
<Can usually see through the dye; there are other test moda, including strips... titration, send away (too slow) electronic methods>
2. Which ammonia test kits work when treating with Formalin? Copper?
<These don't interfere w/ colorimetric assays>
3. Will the dying protozoa add to the ammonia buildup?
<Not appreciably, no. HOWEVER (man that's big), the increased stress on the fish WILL be greatly contributing>
I use seachem marine buffer and in all the water I mix just to make sure the pH is where I want it. Is there a drawback to this other than cost of buying the product?
<Not as far as I'm aware, no>
Will it interact with any of the medications listed above?
<Will if added directly to the tank. BETTER by far to pre-mix synthetic, additives and store new water and use a few days later>
Thanks for the help. There's a lot of info out there, but it's a bit overwhelming.
<I do understand. IF it were me/mine I'd drop spg, READ re the use of quinine/s and use them instead of the med.s you list. AND do all this soon, as in ASAPractical. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Marine protozoa

Thank you so much for the detail and quick response. My fish appreciate it too! :-)
<The initial reaction from the salt/solids dilution will amaze you; and please them Val. Cheers, BobF>

ID Parrotfish      11/10/18
I’m thinking it’s at Quoy’s Parrotfish but not sure. Male? Female??
<Yes, it is a Greenblotched Parrotfish. Males are more colored than females.>
Kirk Lieberg EcoAquatica

Baby Oscar      11/10/18
I have two 6” Oscars in a 125 gallon I just hard reset to give them each a territory with lava rock and driftwood, caves with plastic flower pot liners inserted into siliconed rock surrounds, etc.
<Indeed; if these are two males, there's a good chance they WILL NOT cohabit in a tank this small once mature. I know 125 gallons sounds massive, but bear in mind that an adult male Oscar will be guarding a territory with a radius of some 6 feet around its spawning pit. For sure they'll sometimes ignore dissimilar tankmates, but a rival male Oscar has almost no chance of being tolerated. Observe both fish carefully, and be aware that fights can easily result in injuries that are very difficult to treat. The classic ones are eye injuries (which lead to pop-eye or blindness) or most distressingly, dislocated jaw bones. Once the jaws are damaged, usually through wrestling, the jaws never heal, and the fish starves to death.>
I have 2 HUGE canister filters and a HOB and will be building a fluidized bed sump when the rest of the parts arrive next week.
They are doing well, growing around 1.5” a month, love people (and haven’t even eaten the sacrificial plants I threw in there for entertainment). They get 25% water changes every other day and are water tested everyday. So, in short, I am a little familiar with the species. Today, while out grabbing some supplies for the house the hubby and I saw an inch and a half Oscar in a tank full of 3-4 inchers. It was in a store we all go to, but preferably NOT for fish because their tanks have a super-high mortality rate.
I knew what would happen if we left him there.
Sadly, I think we all do.
<Yes; but the flip side is plenty of animals much smarter than Oscars are bred and die on an industrial scale for human uses, such as pigs. Once you buy a pitiable fish, yes, you're saving that fish, but the retailer simply sees this as a successful sale and orders another. So while the humane act would seem to be rescuing such fish, in reality what you're doing is encouraging the overproduction of large, difficult to house 'tankbuster' fish. The logical thing to do is ignore the fish, and yes, it'll die, but the retailer won't order it again given money was lost on it. Make sense?>
So, I brought him home, knowing full well the mess of filters, water changes and probably the creepy crawlies he was bringing home. My friend owns a pet shop, so we popped by and threw together a 10 gallon hospital tank. We filled the tank with pre-heated, oxygenated R/O,
<Do be careful about making "good" water chemistry changes all of a sudden. If this beast was in hard water, slapping him in moderately or very soft water could do more harm than good. Best thing with water chemistry changes is to do them across several days.>
slapped in a filter with cycled media, air and lights (kept low to keep him calm). I set the temp to 84F and am giving him the first round of Paraguard. I know its probably stress, but he’s not eating. Is there anything I can try to tempt him with that isn’t crushed pellet, homemade frozen or pieces of prawn? Anything you think I should know about caring for a guy this young?
<Earthworms and small river shrimps are crack cocaine for Oscars, so these'd be my go-to foods. Earthworms are usually safe because they're unlikely to be exposed to water parasites. With shrimps, ideally gut-load them with flake food first. Frozen shrimp is okay, but remember it contains thiaminase, as do mussels, so long term causes serious health problems if it isn't used alongside thiaminase-free foods such as cod fillet, cockles and squid.>
(Oh, and please set your mind at ease about his future, I’ve already got a mailbox with his name on it outside the new 55 gallon tank sitting on my living room floor for this guy. �� )
Thank you so much for this site, when I first decided on Oscars, I read everything I could get my hands on, and I spent a ton of time here. I promise never to ask about the sex of an Oscar, lol.
<Indeed! Virtually unsexable.>
Thanks for all you do,
<And thank you for the kind words. Cheers, Neale.>

Flasher Wrasse Question      11/10/18
Good morning crew!
A quick question on stocking Carpenter's Flasher Wrasses. My current system is a 75 gallon reef (plumbed in line with a 30 gallon mangrove tank and 20-tall sump) - so total system volume around 100 gallons. My current fish stocking list is as follows:
Desjardinii tang

<Yikes; will get MUCH larger in time>
Potters Angel
Helfrichi Firefish
pair of Ocellaris clowns
Tailspot blenny
I've been planning to add a small harem of Carpenter's Flasher Wrasses - 1 male, 2 females.
<Mmm; I wouldn't w/o re/moving the Zebrasoma first... not enough psychological/room here>
I finally found someone who has females in stock. I wanted to clarify a couple of things:
1 - I've read in 1 or 2 places that it is best NOT to quarantine these fish. I wanted to get your opinion on this. My usual quarantine is 6 weeks for all new arrivals. Thoughts?
<IF the fish/es are in good (apparent) shape, full-bodied, feeding, they may benefit from quarantine... THEY ARE JUMPERS! A small opening may find them out on the floor; more so in small/er volumes. IF they were mine, I'd likely utilize a dip/bath (see WWM re) and simply place them in the main/display>
2 - I've read that I should add the females first. Is that advisable, or would it be ok to add the females and male all at once. My concern is one of the females turning male while the male is in quarantine if I wait.
<For a trio... this setting, I'd place all at once>
As always, your input is greatly appreciated.
<Again; I'd trade out your Tang in advance of introducing the Wrasses. Bob Fenner>

Re: tiny chip on aquarium glass     11/9/18
Hello Mr. Fenner,
thank you. You made my day. I was freaking out a bit last few days.
<Ah, glad to be of assistance>
I really apologize about the pics size.
<Appreciate your message Matej. Cheers, BobF>

Tetraodon miurus availability     11/8/18
Hi Neale!
<Hello Nathaniel,>
How are you?
<Just fine, thanks.>
I have been looking for a few months for a Miurus (Congo/potato puffer) to add to my collection.
<Nice fish. Doesn't do much, but not difficult to keep.>
I have a tank that has been ready and cycled for a while now, but the Congo puffer season is nearly over and nobody has had them in!! I'm worried that the season is nearly over and I'll have to wait another year!!
<Quite possibly.>
I've even tried Keith at wildwoods and he's due some but as always with shipments from Congo it's proving tricky.
<I believe the civil war might have something to do with that.>
Do you happen to have come across any shops/individuals who are selling these currently??
<Well, the TropicalFishFinder.co.uk database suggests Wildwoods has them in stock. But that might not have been updated in a while. In which case, I'd have a quick peruse of the PFK readers' favourites from 2017, here:
The top scoring stores there are probably the ones to get in touch with first of all, Wharf Aquatics for example being regarded as the best store for oddballs (and indeed a very highly regarded store within the UK hobby).>
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Tetraodon miurus availability     11/8/18

Thanks Neale, I already tried all top 40 from PFK but no look :-(
Wharf are looking out but also struggling.
If you happen to come across one then please can you let me know :-)
Thanks again
<Your best bet might be social media. The Puffer Forum is a good place to start, but somewhat US-centric. If you use Facebook there might be groups of interest (I'm afraid I don't know any). One thing with social media is you can offer to rehouse an adult fish, which may be welcome if someone wants to change their focus or have to downsize their collection.
Maidenhead Aquatics is one chain of stores that routinely takes adult fish in and rehouses them, but I don't know if they have a central network that'd allow you to get in touch with all the branch managers
simultaneously. Worth asking, though. In any event, if Keith at Wildwoods can't get something -- it's probably not in the wholesale trade at the moment. He's really very, very good at this. Cheers, Neale.>

Tiny chip on aquarium glass     11/8/18
<... 16.6 megs.... we have a requested limit on file size...>
Hello WetWebMedia crew,
I am looking for answer from people who works with glass and i found your site. On my new and first aquarium I found a tiny chip about 3-4 mm (around 0.12 inch) big and about 0.1-0,2 mm (0.004-7 inch) deep. Sorry I am from Europe. So, I am aware that is really tiny. But it most probably happened
during transportation and unfortunately I did notice it after few days.
My vendor is not willing to repair/change the tank. Even though he is saying it is fine, the communication with him is really problematic, so I am looking for different opinion. The chip is on long front glass about 4inch from corner on the outside. The tank is 4ft long, 24 inch high and 20 inch wide (48x20x24) and glass is 3/8" (10mm). It will accommodate the turtle, so the water level will be up to 16".
<Ah good; and an important datum>
Possibly sometime in the future up to full. I tried to fill it up 16" for few hours and now its in 12" water
level for 2 days and nothing is happening (luckily). My question: is there any chance to find out if the damage and chip cause some glass structural integrity issue which can pop in future?
<Mmm; there likely are some invasive and not engineering means to assess this chip; but I'm not familiar w/ these. My habit/practice is to render best guesses based on long experience w/ such breaks>
My idea was to reinforce it with the 2x 5"braces on the side (basically finish Eurobraces, which cover the chipped part) and with the middle 5" brace. Right now the braces are only in the front and back side. Chipped site picture included in attachment.
Thank you a lot with your opinion.
I am looking forward to the answer.
Matej Fabisik
<I do think you'd be okay even w/o your planned added bracing, definitely so w/ this added support. As long as this tank is set on a level, flat stand I would go ahead and set it up, use it for the intended/stated use. Bob Fenner>

plus tape

Sick Jack Dempsey     11/7/18
I hope you can help diagnose this problem for me. I left my fish in the care of a friend while I was away for 3 weeks, and upon returning, the poor guy was almost dead :(
He is alone in a 75 gal. tank at 78 F. He has developed a very large white growth on his underbelly, lost most of his blue colouring, and won't eat.
There was a lot of uneaten, rotten food at the bottom of the tank. I immediately changed out half of the water, removed the rotten food, and put some Nox Ich in the water in case it was a fungus.
<Nox Ich has no impact on fungus. It's a Whitespot medication.>
Is there anything else you would suggest? He's an elderly fish of 12 or so, so I hope I don't lose him yet!
<A fair age of a JD, so well done!>
Thank you,
<Tonja, hard to say what the problem would be. But I'd be using Metronidazole alongside an antibiotic (Nitrofuran works well in this situation). Alongside these two, I'd be doing regular water changes,
increasing aeration without adding too much turbulence, and laying off feeding the fish for at least a week. Good luck, Neale.>

What is this?     11/7/18
Hey. Do you know what type of algae this is? It's an oddly firm texture and
grows in clumps varying in size 2-4" like heads of cabbages or something similar. Solitary clumps attached to the walls in refugium under a Kessil grow light where there is Chaeto growing but nothing else intentionally added. Thank you!
<Hey John! This is so reminiscent of the genus Colpomenia to me... A Phaeophyte for sure. Not harmful but likely scarfing up most all iodide/ate you're adding. I'd keep it trimmed back therefore.
Thank you for sharing, Bob Fenner>

Re: What is this?     11/7/18
That's interesting as the Iodine was low (icp test) so I dosed it and two weeks later there were these.
Thank you for the info!
<Welcome! BobF>

Re: Queen Angel bullying     11/6/18
Thanks Bob. Will do as you suggest.
The French is swimming much more freely and ate well this morning, now that its tormentor is in a different system. But he definitely got beaten up during the 16 hours they were both in the same aquarium. Hopefully no secondary infections, etc as a result.
Ideally both angels will get along well upon reintroduction. In the meantime, I'll use water from the main display to do the weekly QT water changes, as you recommended.
Appreciate your help.
<Glad to help. DO float the Queen... in a very large plastic colander in the 200 for a few hours ahead of release. BobF>

Carpet compatibility     11/6/18
Crew: I believe I have read most of what you have on your website concerning carpets, but I am not able to find an answer to the following.
Is the reason you do not recommend multiple species of anemones in the same tank, because of incompatibility when placed (or moved) near another one, or is it because of chemical incompatibility in a closed system.
<For the useful species, mainly the former>
I have healthy Rainbow BTA's at the top of the tank (90 gallon) and had a S. haddoni at the bottom for over two years and they seemed to get along just fine. I would like to replace the carpet with a larger one. Thanks Jim
<I would not do this... Even if the new carpet starts larger, it will likely shrink due to competition w/ your BTAs. Better to keep what you have. Bob Fenner>
Re: Carpet compatibility     11/6/18

Competition for space, food, light, or ?? Thanks for your help Jim Wedel
<All of these Jim. BobF>

WAMAS greetings; Aiptasia control and flower/rock anemones     11/6/18
I wanted to ask you two questions. When we talked I had asked you about Aiptasia control and flower/rock anemones.
<Oh yeah>
My tank has been inundated with the Aiptasia. I currently have a filefish in there now, but I think he has gotten too mature and only likes the frozen food/pellets I feed. I just ordered two smaller ORA filefish that I am hoping will help. You also mentioned raccoon butterflies?
<Yes; these are faves (both species)>
I think you mentioned that peppermint shrimp are hit or miss too.
<This is so>
I was thinking about throwing some money down the drain and buying some Berghias too. Inland
aquatics had a good article on what to do with them to ensure they survive vs. just throwing them into your display tank. Any further thoughts or advice?
<Like foxes and rabbits... you'll end up w/ some of both... The large ones will need being taken care of otherwise. Please have a read here:
and the linked files above.>
Also, I had mentioned to you my interest in propagating flower anemones.
I just got a bunch and have been spot feeding them. From my readings, they propagate infrequently, but you had mentioned some other ways to induce breeding. What do you recommend?
<Either stress (lots of current is a fave) or very good conditions... AND that universal ingredient patience>
Thank you again for your time and for coming to speak at our club.
<A pleasure and honor Scott. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Scott Friedman

Queen Angel bullying, TWA period     11/5/18
Good morning Bob (and team),
Yesterday I brought a 3 inch French Angel out of quarantine, where it had been for 3 weeks, and put it in my main display (200 gallon FOWLR).
Immediately my 5 inch Queen Angel began bullying it, and the French has a decent amount of fin damage this morning as a result.
<To be expected, anticipated. The size difference, size (small for the wild)... better to have had either the species or size reversed in order of introduction>
I knew I had to put a stop to it immediately, so I removed the Queen Angel (boy was that fun to take out most of the rock in a 200 gallon aquarium)
<I'll bet! Hopefully two nets, make that four, with another/friend to help>
and drip acclimated it back to my 29 gallon QT system. Both the Queen and the French seem to be doing OK at this point.
My question is, how long do you think I should keep the Queen Angel in QT?
I want the French to recover from its injuries, eat well, and establish some territory in the new tank before putting the Queen back in. I'm just not sure how long that typically takes. 3-4 weeks perhaps?
<Yes to about this time frame>
Given the size constraints I know the Queen can't stay in my QT tank for a long time.
<Do weekly or more often water changes, additions in the 29 w/ water from the 200... this will help introduce (chemically) the two Angels. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

I.D. Corydoras catfish       11/4/18
Hi, I hope you could help with an id on a Corydoras I picked up recently.
<Will try.>
The closest I could find was C. copei.
<Corydoras copei is rare in the hobby. Though I agree, it certainly looks similar in terms of markings. With that said, many species in this genus are notoriously difficult to positively identify. Books have been written on the subject (such as Fullers & Evers 'Identifying Corydoradinae Catfish') and several names in the trade are almost certainly used for the wrong fish (most if not all "Corydoras julii" are probably Corydoras trilineatus, for example). By the same token, Corydoras copei is quite similar to a number of other species, including Corydoras punctatus.>
Apart from the black in the dorsal the most distinctive feature is the black line which runs down from the eye but there is also an electric blue line that runs along side it. Also there is a black spot that appears on
the body just before the caudal peduncle, it comes and goes depending on mood.
<This latter feature is characteristic of Corydoras punctatus, but also appears on Corydoras copei, Corydoras acutus, and a few others.>
<I do think your guess is a good one, but would suggest positing somewhere like the PlanetCatfish forum where an expert on the genus might be able to help. In the meantime, rest assured that this species has all the same requirements as the vast majority of Corydoras; to wit, low-end tropical temperature (22-25 C/72-77 F) water that isn't too hard (1-15 degrees dH, pH 6.0-7.5) and not too deep (ideally 30 cm/12 inches at most). Keep in groups, on a soft, ideally sandy substrate, and provide brisk but not turbulent water current. Avoid nippy tankmates, but otherwise mixes well with community fish. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Nudibranch ID       11/4/18
Hi Robert
<Hey Otilia>
Thanks for the reply what would be the expected diet of this Nudibranchs so I can try to feed it adequately.
<Mmm; a tough one. Likely whatever it will accept is in your system, shipped with it. Many Nudibranchs eat types of Hydrozoans... but need to know what you have here exactly. My guess was just that; a guess>
It’s not in my main reef tank due to potential risk and trying to hunt it in a 6ft heavily coral stocked aquarium.
I would like to keep it and am happy to even give it frags
<Then I'd go ahead and place in your main display. Most nudibranchs don't consume/nibble on species aquarists keep.
Not at all likely to be problematical. Bob Fenner>
Re: Nudibranch ID       11/4/18

Sorry for a second email I just looked up that species. It says it is mainly from the northern hemisphere. I live in Australia.
<Ahh; not it then. The one mentioned is from off of the southern Caribbean on south>
We are not allowed to import live inverts including coral.
<Yes; am aware. Do take the long look on WWM re my pix of Nudis...
something similar look up the genus on the Net; Google, look at images. Bob Fenner>

Re: Anemone compatible       11/3/18
Thanks for your fast response. Thanks v/r.
<Certainly welcome. BobF>

Re: Mollie needs help PLEASE?       11/3/18
Well thanks for the education on mollies.
<We aim to please!>
Nitrites are at about the 30 mark
<Do you mean nitrate? Nitrite (with an "i") would be beyond lethal at 30 mg/l. Nitrate (with an "a") at 30 mg/l would be typical tap water, a bit high for Mollies (in freshwater, at least) and most cichlids as well, but acceptable to most other community fish (tetras, catfish, etc.). So fine for general fishkeeping, but not good for Mollies if you insist on keeping them in freshwater conditions.>
but I test after 48 hours of water change so water has time to cycle through biofilter.
<Nitrate will ONLY increase going through a biological filter. By definition that has to be the case, since what a biological filter does is turn toxic ammonia ions into less toxic nitrite ions, and then those less
toxic nitrite ions into almost completely harmless nitrate ions. Nitrate is the end product, so kind of like dirty plates in a restaurant without a dishwasher, as time passes, just as the pile of dirty plates gets taller,
so does the nitrate level in the fish tank go up. Nitrate is, in almost all community tanks, removed (well, diluted at least) through water changes. If your nitrate level is 30 mg/l out of the tap, then that's as low as it can ever go. It'll creep up to 35, 40, 45 mg/l as the weeks pass. Under experimental conditions, nitrate isn't particularly toxic until at least upwards of 100 mg/l, but that's based on work with food fish done in labs.
Some aquarium fish are equally tolerant, but cichlids, Mollies, and most marine fish are much more sensitive. They become sickly as nitrate creeps above 20 mg/l, and above 40 mg/l they often show severe health problems. In the case of Mollies, it's often over-production of mucous that becomes the most obvious thing, together with fin-clamping, rocking from side to side ("the shimmies"), and a tendency towards diseases such as Finrot and Fungus.>
I also use stress zyme plus when needed.
<Let's be clear here. API Stress Coat is a useful product for use when shipping fish or when introducing new livestock that may have been damaged in transit, but otherwise serves no particular benefit above that of plain vanilla water conditioner. So it's nice, but not essential. API Stress Zyme on the other hand is almost completely useless. It may or may not speed up the cycling process, reports are very mixed indeed, but what it doesn't do is magically improve the aquarium once the filter is properly matured. Of
course API will happily sell the stuff, and it probably does no harm, but it doesn't do anything a water change and filter clean won't do better.>
Bettas water is diff than the Molly tank.
<Good oh!>
Thx again. Going to redo something's. And I do have plants in the tanks.
Have a great day and again thx for your time.
<Glad to help. Neale.>

Nudibranch ID       11/3/18
Are you able to identify this Nudibranch that was found in a tank that has lps and Zoanthids and gorgonians
<Mmm; black rhinophores, gills, spots, yellow margin, white body, flattish; small for now... this at least resembles the Heterobranch Felimare kempfi (Ev. Marcus, 1971); was/is there rock in this system from the tropical West Atlantic?
Unless I saw it eating something valuable, I'd leave/enjoy it. Bob Fenner>

Re: Betta Question; attachment     11/2/18
WetWebMedia is an amazing website and I've just made a small donation.
Thank you, Bob!
<I thank you for your kind, encouraging words and donation. Cheers, BobF>

Re: Hello!     11/2/18
I can't believe I didn't attach those pics! I was really sleepy when I emailed lol. Sending now and looking into Microsporidian and see what I can find! Thank you.
<Oh! Another possibility is that these spots are resultant from reproductive, hormonal cause... "Nuptial tubercles"... These too shall pass if so. BobF>

Re: Hello!     11/2/18
Wow! Never heard of that! I will look into that as well thank you! I'm just glad that it will pass if so. I am rather attached to my fish and was really worried.
<I sense/d this; and am glad for it. These organisms are dependent on our care entirely.>
Especially considering that they are genetically altered. This has been my first time owning fish that have been altered in such a way.
<Aye; a bit of "jellyfish DNA" clipped on eh?>
They have been much healthier than I originally thought they would be with no losses as of yet. Quite hardy and comical little guys. Thank you very much for the insight!
<Glad to share. Bob Fenner>

Hello! /Neale     11/2/18
First I would like to say that this website has been a complete obsession almost for any little thing that I ever seem to have questions about. I haven't had to actually write more than once before now. You all are lifesavers! Literally. With this particular situation though I am completely stumped. I have gone through everything I can on here and have not found a match yet that I can see. I will start with a bit of history, not too much though and water parameters. This is a 30gal long, planted tank. Everything from stem plants to floating hornwort. Home to a shoal of 6 albino Cory's ranging from 1-3 1/2 years of age. A school of 6 Glofish (skirt) tetras also ranging the same age. A small school of 6 Glolight tetras. A pair of juvenile peacock gudgeons and a male Betta that is a little over 2 years old. Water parameters are in ppm... 0 amm, 0 nitrite, less than 10 nitrate, GH around 80ppm, KH around 50-60ppm and PH ranges between 7-7.2. I do use peat moss and air stones in my 20gal water tank that I keep cycled and full for water changes as my water here comes out a hard 280-300 GH, about 120-150 KH and a PH of 8.4-8.6. I top off with a mixture of distilled and spring water. My question is about one of my older tetras. She has developed 2 odd pimple-like spots on her but they have come up from under her scales and pushed them out. Its hard to get a good pic of as her scales reflect back the light and the 2 "whitehead" looking bumps are under. She is about 3 1/2years old and roughly the size of a 50¢ piece. She acts completely normal and is eating normally and such. I first noticed these 2 bumps about a week ago and they don't seem to have gotten bigger or gone down any. I thought maybe some kind of parasite but nothing I have read about sounds like this. The only new fish to the tank within the past year are the gudgeons and they have been added in the past month. They have settled in nicely and seem healthy. Idk if they could have brought something with them or if its unrelated. I am attaching the best pic I could get but getting her holding still enough for any length of time to take a pic is not an easy task. Any thoughts or help/advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks, Allie.
<<Bob's covered the basics, but will add an observation re: Hemigrammus rodwayi, the Gold Tetra. This species is actually silver in colour, but the ones in the trade are infected with a non-lethal trematode parasite. I believe this happens naturally, in the wild, rather than a manmade thing. Anyway, the parasite causes the skin to secrete extra guanine, and that forms metallic gold patches, hence the common name of the fish. Praziquantel and other antihelminthic medications have been used successfully against trematodes, though in the case of the Gold Tetra the fish itself appears to be unharmed so such treatment is rarely, if ever, done by home aquarists. Still, it's an option. Of course first of all I'd be treating as per Whitespot and Velvet, just in case either of those (or some similar ciliate parasite) are to blame. The old salt/heat method can work very well, and has minimal toxicity if done correctly. Otherwise, if the tankmates aren't sensitive to standard anti-Whitespot medications, you could try a couple runs of those (Velvet in particular seems to need two courses to be thoroughly dispensed with). Good luck, Neale.>>
Re: Hello!     11/2/18

OK, I don't have any salinity in the tank at all as the Cory's don't seem to like it.
<Soft water fish, including Corydoras, are just fine at the 2g/litre used to treat Whitespot. Just as a reminder, other medications often include copper sulphate and formalin, which are FAR more toxic than salt, particularly to catfish and loaches. Hence the old salt/heat method remains a very useful approach for handling Whitespot and Velvet in situations where other medications aren't an option. Do also note than 2g/litre IS NOT brackish water, and furthermore, the salt/heat method operates over a week or two. A lot of people get confused by the salt dosage, and assume it'll turn the tank brackish. It really won't.>
I do have both the API Aquarium Salt ( just incase ) and Instant Ocean ( I have a low end brackish set up on another tank ).
<The API tonic salt is the one you want. While the Instant Ocean salt would work, it'd also raise pH and hardness. Plain non-iodised cooking salt, or some aquarium specific alternative, only affects salinity, and has no impact at all on pH and hardness.>
I can treat with if necessary. The temp stays between 76-78°.
<Traditionally the temperature is knocked up a few degrees to speed up the life cycle of the Whitespot or Velvet parasite. Once mature, the motile stages burst out of the fish, allowing them to swim about looking for a new host, but crucially, this is THE ONLY stage at which they can be killed. They have little tolerance for salt, much less than fish, so the salt added to the water kills them. Anyway, 28-30 C/82-86 F is considered optimal for the heat/salt technique. Since warm water has less oxygen than cold, you need to up the aeration during the process, or the fish may become stressed.>
I have looked into the velvet and it doesn't seem like that but it could be I reckon and I'm pretty sure its not the Whitespot/ick.
<Velvet tends to be like powdered sugar, often resulting in a golden sheen. Attacks the gills first, so affected fish often gasp, breathe heavily, or look nervous and distressed. Velvet usually progresses extremely rapidly. Whitespot more like table salt, with visible pimples. Often develops more slowly.>
I have had a bit of experience with that over the years but I will definitely be watching close and will treat the tank if other fish start developing whatever this is. I haven't moved her to the hospital tank yet as I'm not sure if that would help or hinder the situation.
I think she would be really stressed by herself but I will do it if its necessary. I did notice today that she has 2 identical spots on the other side in the exact same places. Just not as noticeable. No other spots anywhere else and they are right in a horizontal line almost like its part of her spine or something. I thought the spine was higher up though. I don't have much in the way of meds on hand aside from Melafix.
<Melafix largely useless.>
The ones I had expired unused months ago and I just haven't replaced them yet but I will. I really appreciate you guys taking the time to respond! If you think of anything else please let me know. Thanks again.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Anemone compatible     11/2/18
Good morning
<Good morrow to you Richard>
I am trying to find out if a LTA and flower or rock anemone are compatible.
<They can be; given space/room around the two, propitious circumstances (food, light...) and determined, slow introduction (see WWM re Anemone Compatibility; the use of "quarantine" acclimation systems)>
I have a 55 gallon tank 2yrs old. I already have the LTA and would like to add a flower anemone only if they are compatible. Any info would be of great help. Thanks v/r.
<I'd hold the flower anemone in a separate system, add water from either system, mixing a bit (like a cup) every day for a few weeks for introduction; place the new one distal to the established. Bob Fenner>

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