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An unidentified burrowing crab in Costa Rica (Pacific side) 2011 

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Updated 1/29/2015
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
PLEASE: Write reviews of my works on Amazon! I need your input. BobF

Unidentified moray      1/28/15
I have a question regarding the species of a moray that someone local is looking to find a new home for. My knowledge on moray species is better than average, but I can't seem to pin this one down, and I thought the ever knowledgeable crew at WWM might be able to help. I don't know much about this animal, only that it's approximately 3 feet long, fairly girthy and has been in captivity at least 2 years. It was also kept with numerous damsels and a large crab with no casualties. Other than that I have two pictures until this weekend. I'd appreciate any insight you might have into what exactly I'll be picking up. Thank you in advance!
<Mmm; at first my guess was on Gymnothorax undulatus... but... looking through the pix on Fishbase's coverage of the family... the age, size, the "spotted-ness"; am sending this to MarcoL who penned a book on Muraenids... BobF>

Re: Unidentified moray       1/28/15
I have a question regarding the species of a moray that someone local is looking to find a new home for. My knowledge on moray species is better than average, but I can't seem to pin this one down, and I thought the ever knowledgeable crew at WWM might be able to help.
<Will try, but is difficult from the pictures sent.>
I don't know much about this animal, only that it's approximately 3 feet long, fairly girthy and has been in captivity at least 2 years. It was also kept with numerous damsels and a large crab with no casualties. Other than that I have two pictures until this weekend. I'd appreciate any insight you might have into what exactly I'll be picking up. Thank you in advance!
<At first glance it looked like a G. meleagris, which often have yellowish heads and snouts. The second picture does not seem to show a white mouth.
So, this one can be ruled out. A few years back a few Enchelycore nycturanus appeared in the aquarium trade. They also have yellow heads and white round spots, but their heads looked quite Enchelycore-like, while your specimen looks like a typical Gymnothorax. Aside that, G. johnsoni is the most similar species I can think of. Nothing you see every day. Maybe
you can send better pictures if you decide to pick it up. Cheers, Marco.>
Re: Unidentified moray       1/28/15

G. meleagris is one species I'd thought about but I'd never seen one with any more than a small amount of yellow on the tip of the snout. The white spots usually carry all the way to the tip of the snout as well from what I've seen. The lack of a white mouth is most diagnostic of course. Is there a good website with decent pictures of G. johnsoni?
<I am not aware of one. I know it mostly from scientific literature without good pictures, just descriptions. I can rule out the other white spotted Gymnothorax species coming to mind. Too bad it is unknown where it was caught. Might even be a new one. There's a number of moray eels still waiting for their first descriptions.>
I haven't been able to find much on this species and most pictures are of dead specimens. I'll be picking this fish up over the weekend and I'll make sure to send you the best pictures I can. Thank you, Paul
<Eyes, gill spot (if there), tail and a good lateral picture would be good.
Looking forward to it. Cheers, Marco.>

displaying dead coral and seashells in water       1/28/15
I started collecting coral and seashells for non water projects. I love them so much that I would like to display them in a small aquarium without fish. Even using a filter and an air bubbler I am getting cloudy water. I have cleaned the coral and the shells with chlorine and removed the scale, so is there anything I can do for this effect without keeping fish?
<Mmm; yes... there are simple deflocculants (water clarifiers) that one can buy commercially, or make oneself (buying the chemicals)>
I have been very careful not to take new ocean samples. I buy them at estate sells from older people who got them many years before we have the problems of toady.
<? What is this word usage?>
And I love it when I make a new small tank but it always turns cloudy. I am using a 2 1/2 gallon tank with filter and led lights . Any advise would be lovely.
Thank you, for your time,
<Do you want specific recommendation/s? Do you have a pool/spa? If so, you may already have a "floc" on hand. Bob Fenner>
Re: displaying dead coral and seashells in water       1/29/15

Thank you for your time Bob.
<Glad to share Carol. Our olde service company kept a few such poisoned systems... some institutional. We/they didn't want to use bleaches, copper compounds... for their deleterious effects. We used "flocs" as mentioned to keep the water clear, free of algae. BobF>

Acclimation Question, comm., SW        1/28/15
Hi Bob,
I have a retail store stock acclimation question. I've been using the guerilla acclimation technique in all aspects other than instead of flushing out the shipping water right away I've just been treating it with prime.
<Mmm; can be done; but I wouldn't use this... better to slowly flush the ammoniated et al. water out>
We are shipping from Quality Marine
<The "A" player in the trade in the US>
generally in LA from
<to I'll take it>
<Oh! I'll be back up visiting the marine club there in a few months>
and fish are usually well packed and in boxes for about 14 to 18 hours.
I've had semi high mortality rates
<... unusual>

and I've been chatting a lot with the husbandry team at quality marine and they think I'm making the acclimation too long and too complicated given the time the fish are in the bags.
<Interesting... as the acclim. SOP I detail is largely adopted, adapted to that of QM from many years back... when Phil Shane and Mike Ibaraki owned and ran the place>
The pH is generally around 7.2-7.4 in the bag on arrival. And usually a couple hours before it's up to tank. They recommend the following method:
"We recommend that boxes should be opened and fish be acclimated in low light to reduce fish stress. For most species, bags should be floated for 20 -30 minutes in the tanks that will house them to compensate for water temperature differences. However, if there is any indication that the water has fouled, it is recommended that the bag is floated for no more than 15 minutes and the inhabitant should immediately be released to clean water.
It is always recommended that you have an idea of the Salinity and pH of the water used for shipping. This will allow you to adjust your system as necessary. Drastic changes in water quality greatly reduce survivability.
For sensitive species, such as starfish and ornamental shrimp we recommend drip acclimation; a process in which water from the system is slowly dripped into the bag. This precaution allows the organism to slowly adjust
to the change in water conditions."

<Mmm; well; am going to stick w/ my protocol. IF there's detectable ammonia in the shipping water (there is assuredly; even IF the organism/s have been shipped w/ the very best technique), I would match the flush water pH to it, and drip/acclimate the organisms with the new matched water till there was NO ammonia present, THEN I would drip/acclimate them with system water (of 8. whatever pH yours is)>
This seems, well, like it would be awesome, but definitely different than what I've ever done or researched. What are your thoughts.
<This is such a VERY important topic/subject that we should go over and over it till we are very sure of everyone's input. THEN you must decide. Quality handles more pieces/individual organisms in a week than most retailers will handle in a life time in the trade; but I too have processed hundreds of thousands of fishes and non-fishes. They themselves (QM) use
the identical SOP as the acclimation protocols archived on WWM; which are very tried/tested and of use. Bob Fenner>

Re: mixing CopperSafe and Chloroquine phosphate       1/29/15
Here's an update on my use of the Chloroquine phosphate and some particulars about this tank. Its 55 gallons and I keep it running as a quarantine tank so there is always 2 or 3 fish in the tank. It has an aqua c remora pro skimmer and an AquaClear 100 HOB filter. Tank has live sand and I have several of the replica signature corals that I use for decoration. I have
always used CopperSafe to treat in this tank and have had good results in the past.
<Have used many gallons of this product (and some other coppers by other manufacturers); it is a very fine product; consistent and it works>
To remove the CopperSafe after treatment I use PolyFilter in the AquaClear and water changes. I added the Chloroquine phosphate at a dose of 80mg per gallon or 1/4 tsp per 10 gallons per instructions on the medication. Within about 2 hours the fish were looking great and the hippo tang had hardly any of the velvet left on its body...... it was like a miracle drug. The tank still had the CopperSafe in it also and the skimmer was turned off. About 2 days later I noticed the algae was beginning to die off and the hippo tang had stopped eating and was looking rather pale. I tested the water and discovered that the ammonia was at about .5 I have read that the Chloroquine phosphate can cause an ammonia spike and I'm not sure if it was from the dying algae or my good bacteria dying off.
<Could be either, both or even an effect of the copper presence>
There's no live rock so there was no die off of crustaceans or other life as far as I know. I did a 20 gallon water change and added a new PolyFilter and fresh carbon to remove both meds and I also turned the skimmer back on. Heniochus was eating normal during all of this but was just looking pale. I did another water change the following day of 12 gallons and then an 8 gallon change the day after that. The skimmate was very dark and there was a lot. I suspect that was the dead algae. Water still remained very clear this whole time. My ammonia was still reading .25 to .5 I put a large bottle of Instant Ocean Bio Spira in the tank that’s supposed to be good for tanks up to 75 gallons. The next day the ammonia was at zero and both fish look great. Hippo tang is still not eating but swimming normal<ly>. Heniochus is eating and looking great. I did read on Bob Goemans site that the Chloroquine phosphate can be dangerous for hippo and powder blue tangs. I'm hoping my hippo comes out of this but perhaps he has permanent damage.......Time will tell.
<Yes; thanks for the news. Bob Fenner>


Re: Green Spotted Puffer- Gill Problem (Bob, any other ideas?)       1/29/15
<<A mix of Metronidazole and Praziquantel added to accepted foods... blitzkrieg, blind approach. RMF>>
Thank you so much for your response!!!
I have been doing the suggested full marine baths (did the first as soon as i got your e-mail) once a day at SG 1.025, 77 degrees F, for 30 min.s and then placing back into his hospital 10 gal tank SG 1.008, 78 F (everything like his normal tank) and have been doing a 40% water change to his hospital tank every evening. I have not seen any improvements in his
behavior, gill function, or color and he has lost his appetite over the last 2 days and will not eat a thing.
<Hmm... not good.>
There are still no signs of any parasites on his body (white spots, bumps, wounds) and his fins are still not frayed or anything. I have attached some photos of my poor Mr. Puft (idk if this helps). His color is more brownish now than in the photos i took 2 days ago (attached). I was wondering you have any other suggestions i could try to help him?
<A good move could be Metronidazole alongside an antibiotic. Together these give a good broad action against internal protozoan parasites (such as Hexamita) as well as systemic bacterial infections.>
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

My Electric Yellow is skinny between the fin and tail       1/29/15
I recently changed my tank from community fist to Chichlids and last Saturday I bought a couple baby African chichlids for my tank.
<Cichlids, not the gum sounding name>
The following day I noticed one of my electric yellows was looking really skinny. Between it's fin and tail it is very skinny.
<I see this in your pic>
Can you please help? I have spoken to the pet shop and they don't know what is wrong with it. I can not remember it looking funny when I bought it though I can not see how over night it would end up like this. I have attached a pic and in the pic you will see both my electric yellows. The bottom one is the one I am concerned about. I have since separated it from the tank incase it is bad but it is now only hiding and hardly eats. I am not sure if it was eating well when I first bought it. What should I do?
<Not panic... there might be some sort of pathogen, infectious or parasitic involved here, but more likely than not by far this one fish is simply "starved". Your good care (feeding and water quality) will see its rapid improvement. I'd be feeding a high quality small pelleted food (e.g. Hikari, Spectrum) three, four times per day; making sure the water is hard, alkaline and not too warm... as gone over and over for Malawians on WWM>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish lying on top of each other       1/29/15
Hi there! I recently became the owner of three small gold fish in a 10 gallon tank.
<Won't work... do you have test gear for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate?>

The water is clear and hovers at about 75 degrees, they have lots of plants and distractions, eat all the time and are quite active. Recently however the fish have been laying at the bottom of the tank on top of each other (I mean directly on top!). They are not aggressive towards one another so I think they might be mating but I'm not sure of their gender. Any help would be much appreciated!
<... can't live here for long or well. GF are just too messy, get too large to live in small volumes. Let's have you just read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm
and the linked files above till you understand what it takes to fix this situation. Bob Fenner>

bumble bee snails; squigglies on shells       1/29/15
Hello WetWebMedia~ My name is ty~ Ok I have some bumble bee snails(been in there forever) I also have Ceriths(that laid eggs, and now i have hundreds. lol) I know this to be unlikely, but Believe it. Anyways The bumble bees shells have become(started with just one) covered with what looks like small white spiral clusters. I Suspect these might be copepod egg masses
<Mmm; not how this crustaceans reproduce... fertilized eggs (from a sperm pac placed on the female by male/s are released to the water or attached to the female body till they hatch>
(i have Tons of copepods in my tank) But in reading about bumble bee snails, I've learned they are "potential parasites carriers".
<Most all snails are; really>
Could that be what they have on their shells?
<All sorts of possibilities; likely small encrusting worms or snail eggs. Look at under a 'scope or magnifying glass, loupe>
I also have Mex Turbos(2) Nassarius(20) Ceriths Adults(8) Cerith babies(possibly 200 lol) None have the white spiral clusters the bumble bees have on them. Any Idea what this might be?
<Mmm; yes; these other snails eggs. See WWM re LynnZ's treatment, IDs:
and the linked files in this series/above>
And should I remove them?
The bumble bees seem to be fine, other then being covered with the white clusters. Thanks for any info you can give me.
<Learn to/use WWM. Bob Fenner>

turtle question, beh. of Emydids       1/29/15
hi name is Mickey
<Hey Mick!>
i have 3 turtles in a 75 gallon tank
i have a western painter, yellow painter and red ear slider
i have noticed my turtles sleep horizontal. is this normal behavior for them

i have 2 females and a male.
my 2 painters are females and res is male
also they love sleeping on the heater, not sure why and they all sleep like attached to each other.
<Perhaps they're cold>
i know some things about turtles but i need a little more info
<Take a long read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/TurtsAmphibsInd.htm
Bob Fenner>

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