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Genus Cladiella: Cauliflower, Tree Leather Coral. Knobby lobes on stalks that are low, hard to make out. Small, uniform polyps can quickly withdraw into the surface. Cladiella sp. Common, but never abundant where found in the Indo-Pacific. Not as easily kept as the more common Alcyoniids, not easily fragment reproduced. Notable for their knobbiness and capacity to change color quickly when touched.  Here in Mauritius in 2016. Pic by DiF   Desktop size download &Link to Archived Marine Daily Pix
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Re: HELP with an Australian Frog! Missing pic      8/19/17
Ah, thank you Neale. B

Re: Convict fry      8/19/17
No, this fish has been living SOLO in this 10 gallon tank for about 5 years. I know this is the craziest thing.....I have searched the internet for 2 days now trying to find anybody that has seen such a thing with cichlids.....
<Mmm; am going to ask our resident cichlid expert, Chuck Rambo, to chime in here. Chuck, are there such parthenogenic events in Convicts? Bob Fenner>

Re: African Claw Frog      8/19/17
WOW it IS beautiful there. What time is it your time? It's 2:37pm here.
Which you may already know.
<UK is, what, 5 hours ahead of Eastern?>
Yes everything you said makes sense. I think it is best to get the information from one source when possible on this type of thing. I rescued him from impending doom. They are really amazing.
<Xenopus are neat animals indeed. Did you know the reason they're kept at all is because they were used as pregnancy test kits? When exposed to the urine of women who are pregnant, tiny amounts of the hormone HCG in the urine caused them to lay eggs!>
I have to ask, how is the ACF eyesight???
<Mostly there to help them avoid predators, hence the eyes on the top of their head. Amphibians have sensitive eyes (e.g., detect movement well) but poor resolution (i.e., don't really see sharp images) so in general are
early-warning sensors rather than used to find food or probably mates.
Smell, touch and hearing are the key senses, as they are for most aquatic animals.>
I feel like he can see me but at the same time, I sometimes feel like he's only smelling out his food, which I had read about the sense of smell...
<Quite so.>
If I'm emailing too much or asking too many questions let me know.
<Nope, most welcome.>
Do you have castles there?
<In Nether Stowey? Sure, there's the ruins of one! England's littered with castles, in all honesty. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African Claw Frog      8/19/17

Actually what I had read was that the ACF was genetically modified at some time by (idk whom) that their eyes would glow when pregnant.
<Nope. Xenopus were used at least as far back as the 1930s. No GMOs then!
It's simply the fact they were easily maintained in aquaria, and sensitive to HCG, that made them special. Lots of animals tick one or other of those boxes, but Xenopus ticked both. They are still extremely common organisms
for use in labs because they are so easy to keep.>
More questions for you too- What is the best way to go about catching him when I change his tank full change.... I think I've traumatized him a couple times trying to get him into his holding bucket. I don't want to do that but he's a slippery sucker and fast too!
<As with active fish: use two nets, or a net plus a plastic container. Use the net to drive the frog into the other net/plastic container. Then remove. While the frog is aquatic, it is fine lifted out of the water for a few seconds, so there's no risk carrying him out of his tank and into a bucket filled with aquarium water.>
I would love to go to a country with castles....
<It'd be lovelier without quite so much rain...>
I am going away for a week but I'm not done asking questions so thank you for dealing with me...
<Glad to help, and have fun on your holiday! Cheers, Neale.>

Identification of Growth on Live Rock      8/19/17
Hello Bob-
<Hey John>
Can you please advise on what's growing on my live rock in this picture?
Is it mushroom colonization or propagation or a type of sponge growth?
<I'd put my small moolah on the latter>
I am guessing the later maybe due to extra nutrients in the water as I've had a number of predator fish in this 265 gallon but recently thinned it out with some transfers.
Thank you,
<Nice pic and beautiful growth. I'd keep it. Bob Fenner>


Strange Invader ID      8/19/17
Hello, I'm wondering if you can help me identify this strange thing in my tank? I haven't added anything in a month or more, but just noticed it a week or so ago. It was small - like a bit larger than the head of a pin,
but is growing quickly. It doesn't ever seem to be anywhere but on the glass. I know the picture isn't great, but I don't have a good camera.
Any ideas? Thanks.
<Need a better (more resolved) pic... is this thing moving? Some sort of worm or Nudibranch might be my guess if so. Not moving? Perhaps a sponge of some sort. Bob Fenner>

orig. and crop

Re: African Claw Frog /Neale      8/18/17
Thank you! I have a heater and it maintains his water temp as it says it should be. I will get a filter before I go away.
Thank you so much!
<Most welcome.>
He has a mug and rocks and at this time fake plants in his tank. The sunlight was too bright, I blocked the direct light with a pillow case for now. I don't have another location to put the tank yet.
<Xenopus actually like to bask in bright light sometimes. So provided the tank doesn't overheat, and the humidity of the air above the tank is sufficient (e.g., the tank has a lid) the frogs don't mind light too
Again, thank you!
<Cheers! Neale.>
Re: African Claw Frog     8/18/17

I feel really terrible not being there at my usual times to feed him.... My son doesn't believe he won't die while we are away..... Anything you can just say to me to help me feel better about this?
<Frogs aren't humans. They're not even mammals. Unlike us, they don't expend huge amounts of energy keeping warm. Frogs therefore need only a much smaller amount of food, and being relatively inactive animals as well,
it's not as if they're burning many calories moving about. Assuming the frog is well fed, its fat reserves will be adequate for many weeks, let alone a few days. Indeed, hibernating frogs may well go 3-4 months without eating, perhaps longer. It's very important when keeping animals to not think of them as "little people" but for what they are. There are things frogs need, like filtration and heat, and things they are completely indifferent to, such as being given a nice name or told they're loved! By all means treat animals well, and with affection if you want, but focusing
on their specific needs first. A week without food would be abuse to a human, or a warm blooded pet like a cat or rabbit, but completely harmless to a cold blooded pet like a snake or frog. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African Claw Frog     8/18/17

I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER....thank you!
So he doesn't hear me when I tell him I love him? lol. I'm just kidding.....
<I think of it like this. True love for animals is about making an effort to ensure their wellbeing. Providing what might be called their 'creature comforts'. If you love a dog, you take it for long walks, ensure it eats healthy meals, provide toys to keep its teeth clean, that kind of stuff. Giving it a Facebook page, or cutsie hair cuts, or expensive collars might be a way a person thinks they're expressing love -- but if the dog isn't getting walks, the right food, etc., that's really an empty kind of love. Make sense?>
Thank you thank you thank you again...are you in the US?
<Nope, in England, and right now spending time in the picture-postcard beauty of Nether Stowey in the Quantock Hills. Look 'em up! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Need help diagnosing disease in Ram cichlids     /Neale      8/18/17
Thanks Neil and Bob.
Fish shop owner recommended the little rams as good community fish for my planted tank along with Cory cats and tetras. I now see that because of their special needs they are not. If I go get cichlids in the future it will be a species only tank and I will definitely use the Discus buffer.
<Cool. Do look at Apistogramma cacatuoides and Mikrogeophagus altispinosus as two undemanding South American dwarf cichlids. Both are happy in medium hardness water, and both like normal temperature (25 C/77 F) so work great with midwater community fish. Mixing with Corydoras is always doable, just keep an eye out for bullying if the cichlids feel cramped. What sometimes happens is cichlids bite out the catfish's eyes, which isn't nice!
Bristlenose Plecs are safer bets.>
Thank you for the great info on the sand and cycling. The shop owner was impressed with your wealth of knowledge. We both learned a lot. Sad lesson learned, but now he can advise other customers and prevent future fish losses.
You guys rock!
<Thanks for the kind words! Neale.>

Fish in picture with electric blue Dempsey     8/18/17
Hi! I recently acquired some new fish and do not know the species. I see them pictured on your page housed with the electric blue Dempsey and am curious as to the species I attached a picture. Any help would be appreciated! Thank you
<Hello Michelle. Off the top of my head, nope, don't recognise this. It's got the build of a Hemichromis, so I'm guessing something West African, but it might well be something Central American. Similarly, while the pattern
reminded me of Tilapia buettikoffteri and/or Tilapia jokae, the oblique band through the eye is wrong for them. Instead let me direct you to an excellent cichlid identification forum:
Given there are something like 2000 cichlid species out there, few people know them all (I certainly don't!) but a group effort like that forum should be able to help. Good luck, and if you find out what it is, perhaps you'll let me know! Cheers, Neale. PS. Will cc our own cichlid expert, Chuck Rambo, for his input too.>

Fish suggestions     8/18/17
Hello crew,
I would like to ask few questions about my fish and the aquarium.
<Fire away!>
I want to buy an aquarium about 30 gallons
<A superb size for a starter tank. Big enough for large schools of social fish, plus a couple of specimen fish such as Angels or Gouramis, without worrying about overstocking. But not so large it'll be expensive and challenging to maintain.>
and will put peppered Cory fish in it to help clean the aquarium and its substrate.
<Peppered Corydoras are excellent catfish, but do prefer slightly cooler water than most tropicals; indeed, they can do fine in unheated tanks if the room is warm enough! Aim for fish happy at 22-25 C/72-77 F, and the Peppered Catfish will be happy.>
Also I want to keep a hardy small schooling fish with the Cory.
<Plenty of options. At the low-end tropical temperatures, things like Neons, White Cloud Mountain Minnows, Danios (don't mix with the Minnows though, as they bully them), Red Phantom Tetras, Black Phantom Tetras,
Harlequin Rasboras, and Golden Barbs will all be at their optimal living conditions. Swordtails and Platies also prefer cooler water, though they don't really school as such, the males being a bit feisty, so best kept in groups where female outnumber males, ideally by 2 to 1. Most Loricariid catfish like slightly cool water too, including Otocinclus and Ancistrus.
Really, what you're doing is avoiding those "hothouse flowers" such as Angels, most Gouramis, Cardinals and a few other species that do need plenty of heat to be happy.>
Can you give me a list of fish types that can live with peppered catfish and be able to support the Corys requirements such as (the pH level, temperature, and so on.) I've read that peppered catfish lives in a pH of
<Farmed Peppered Catfish are not at all fussy about water chemistry.
Provided the water isn't too soft or too hard, they'll be fine; 2-20 degrees dH, pH 6-8 is fine. Corydoras generally are adaptable, but what they don't like are high temperatures, bullying tankmates, and very deep water (don't make them swim more than 30 cm/12 inches to gulp air or they'll be stressed, even drown). A soft, sandy substrate (smooth silica sand, also called pool filter sand, is the ideal; avoid sharp sands often sold for planted aquaria).>
I haven't kept a fish before, but I know a lot about fish and their requirements. Also I did a huge research about many kinds of fish and I will keep doing that.
<You're making lots of good decisions already, so well done! Peppered Corydoras are tough enough for ideal first fish, Pearl or Zebra Danios being equally hardy and good first fish. I'd also avoid the "serial offenders" when it comes to healthcare and/or social problems like fin-nipping -- Dwarf Gouramis, Ram Cichlids, Neon Tetras, Serpae Tetras, Petticoat/Black Widow Tetras, Tiger Barbs.>
Any suggestions please.
<Let me direct you to some reading, here...
But if you want to discuss further, feel free to email us with some options of stuff you've seen on sale!>
Looking forward to hear from you.
Thank you.
P.s. I really like to know about all types of animals and nature. That's my hobby ( to do research about all animals).
<Fish tanks are what got me into studying zoology at university
. They're a great tool for understanding many aspects of biology, from how filters work (nutrient cycling) through algae control (eutrophication and primary productivity), not to mention how different fishes are related (systematics) and how they interact (ethology). Have fun! Neale.>

Frog help      8/18/17
Hey! Found this frog in my pond In SW Victoria Australia. Can you help me identify? I'm thinking pobblebonk but if so then what is wrong with it?
Toxins? Hormones?
Thanks for any help you might be able to offer!
<Hi Liz, I'm going to share this with Aussie friend of mine who might be able to help. But this is a bit off-topic for us! Your local Fish & Wildlife agency should be able to help, and yes, I agree, it does look bloated and unhealthy, especially around the hind legs. Are there any local herpetology clubs you can get in touch with? Cheers, Neale.>
More Re: Frog help     8/18/17

Hey! Found this frog in my pond In SW Victoria Australia. Can you help me identify? I'm thinking pobblebonk but if so then what is wrong with it?
Toxins? Hormones?
Thanks for any help you might be able to offer!
<My Aussie friend drew a blank here. To be fair he's an entomologist with an interest in amphibians and reptiles. He thought maybe Limnodynastes dumerilii, but the vertical pupils on the eyes are odd, and the nose seemed
too pointy for that species. That said, he agreed it looked pretty sick. He did add: "Sick frogs usually respond to being kept quiet in a cool, dark place in clean water - not too deep as many Aussie frogs can't swim and will drown!!"
Do also have a look here:
Cheers, Neale.>

RMF lost pic...

Danio O' Danio; disease      8/18/17
Good day!
<Hello Samantha,>
I've been reading about with many different forums, and probably passed a good hour of my time browsing through the zebra danio illnesses you have all replied to, but still seemed to be unable to find a bit of a bizarre
problem I've been having with my own danio. (Or danios I should say.)
<Fire away.>
SO. I'll start you off with a walk through the danio plagues, maybe they're all connected....
<Or not.>
I've had this tank for a year, 75 gallons understocked, and I have gone through a total number of 24 danios. All but one didn't survive. The poor quality of the lfs in my area probably have a big role to play, that's why I got my lone survivor from pet smart. Anywho. All died while I was gone, and they'd act fine before dying. I assumed they picked each other off.
<Does happen, though rarely with large groups of Danios; by contrast, get six, and yes, they can 'worry' each other to death, winding up with a single dominant fish left over.>
I never had a problem with any of my other fish in the tank dying. But it was my last batch of danios that concerns me. It looked like they had parasites to me.. but they died too soon for me to be able to do anything about it. They'd get the beginning of an ulcer, and the next morning I'd come back to a munched on carcass.
<Which is, of course, a good way for pathogens to get transferred... When dealing with a situation where one fish dies, then another, then another -- sometimes it's a good idea to remove the next ailing fish, humanely destroy
it, and then see if that stops the process (ideally, alongside some sort of appropriate medication).>
My read rainbow got a fungal growth on its side and had labored breathing with difficulty swimming, so i amped up the amount of air in the tank and added tank salt until he healed. Took about a week. I'm not a fan of medicating, I'd rather let the fish heal on its own, unless it's severe.<Understandable, but in some cases, the fish can't heal, and you need to act quickly to "nip the trouble in the bud".>
A few days after my rainbow recovered I noticed an ill danio. I personally thought it had dropsy. Swimming in tight circles, pine coning, bloat; but when I fished it out and dropped it into the toilet it exploded out the sides... it looked like intestines, but could have been parasites.
<Or simply Dropsy; pressurised decomposition; tissues of deceased fish giving way on impact, releasing that pressure...>
Gross. I did a 75% water change and kept a close eye on the other fish. 1 danio left. (Mind you she survived every other plague among the danios.)
Now she's always been a bit plumper, but after the death of the other danios, she just looks bloated. And she's been this way for months. I've given her peas, did heavy water changes, laid off the feeding... Three days of no food made her look a bit better... but not by much. She swims perfectly, likes to play in the current, and eats like a pig. Seeing as she only has three other fish to compete with for food. No rising scales, no lumps, only one smooth bump.
<Indeed. Doesn't look like classic Dropsy, but could well be intestinal
parasites, but also something like a Mycobacterium infection.>
Here, have a gander:
I feed her a mixture of meaty foods; brine shrimp, krill, blood worms, etc.
Sometimes they nibble on the remains of a chopped up dunia roach for my frogs... They really won't touch flake food much anymore.
SO any thoughts??
<Identifying what exactly when wrong here is impossible to say. The symptoms are too generic. So my gut reaction is that you were unlucky, perhaps buying a bad batch of Danios infected with Fish TB or similar. If the remaining species are fine, I'd leave the tank at least a month, and see if anything else gets sick. If all is well, I'd probably try something that wasn't a Danio -- or at least, wait until another batch of Danios arrives at some other store, so that you don't have a repeat performance. So far as medication goes, perhaps running a broad spectrum antibiotic
might be useful, or an equivalent product like eSHa 2000.>
I really appreciate your help!
<Welcome. Neale.>

Re: Convict fry     8/18/17
<Please do NOT send megabytes of files... we have limited space /ISP. Instead either re-size, or place elsewhere and just send links>
​Dear Bob,
Thank you for your quick response! I have included some photographs I took when I got home, a couple of the parent which as it turns out is more like 10 years old and a couple of photos of the fry. The parent fish came to me
when my son bought his own home and sold his 150 gallon aquarium. This parent fish was a baby from a mating pair he had, I used to sit for hours and watch the school of fry....It is as impossible for these to be another specie (there has been no other fish in this tank for 5 years) as it would seem for this one fish to have parented them.....However, I spoke with my daughter who has a degree in animal science and she explained that when she was in Australia studying at Macquarie University in a genetics class they studied species that in fact when they where close to extinction or feared for their survival, would change gender.
<Yes; some fishes are known to do this... but as far as I'm aware, Cichlids are never functionally hermaphroditic>
Apparently, this is common in reef
<A few families, yes: Labrids, Serranids, Amphiprionines....>
So, with all of this said I'm still shaking my head in disbelief but photographed it for proof. I probably would have never noticed them but the light one stood out and got my attention, so of course I looked for more and found one more that as you can see from the photo looks like the parent. My daughter also explained the genetics of the light one.... (way beyond me)
Now I would like to do all that I can to save these two babies.....(miracles in my eyes)
Thank you again,
<Does appear to be a juvenile Cichlid of some sort. Do you have other species present? A mystery for sure. Bob F>

What do you think? Looks like a pink Convict to me!

Re: Need help diagnosing disease in Ram cichlids       8/17/17
Thanks Neil and Bob.
Fish shop owner recommended the little rams as good community fish for my planted tank along with Cory cats and tetras. I now see that because of their special needs they are not.
<Ah yes... need quite warm, soft, acidic water... and as Neale stated, have real diminished genetic flexibility issues>

If I go get cichlids in the future it will be a species only tank and I will definitely use the Discus buffer.
Thank you for the great info on the sand and cycling.
<Will share w/ Neale>
The shop owner was impressed with your wealth of knowledge. We both learned a lot. Sad lesson learned, but now he can advise other customers and prevent future fish losses.
You guys rock!
<Be of good life Susan (Anima bona fac). Bob Fenner>

Re: My Betta Fish Hector       8/17/17
Thank you so much for your help!
- Deb
<Certainly welcome. I'd ask that you read (re-read?) this brief piece on Betta Care: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/betta_splendens.htm
to set my mind at ease that I've mentioned all the basics here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Corydoras panda whitens out       8/17/17
Thanks Bob. I have the tank at 74 degrees
<A good temp. for all>
and I did work hard to find larger corys when I got these C. metae fishes, in hopes their bigger fins could propel them more easily to the surface to gulp air. They playfully race up and down the sides so it doesn't seem like a problem for them. I don't recall reading on WWM that I should try feeding corys during the day, but I can give that a shot, then maybe I can make sure they get to the sinkers while the others eat at the surface.
I'll report back after my trip. Thank you!
<Thank you Matt. BobF>

Re: Butterflyfish compatibility question       8/17/17
Thank you very much For your prompt reply Mr. Fenner. Will keep my fingers crossed that I will be able to find these 2 species of Butterflyfish. I just have a follow up question about the Tinkeri .... is this fish better kept as a single specimen or as a small group of like 3?
<Best as an individual. In the wild almost always found solitary>
�� ( assuming I have enough budget to buy 3. They are quite expensive! )
Again, thank you very much. ����
<The genus, subgenus Roa are all worthy (but expensive) Butterflies. BobF>
Re: Butterflyfish compatibility question       8/17/17

Thank you very much Mr. Fenner. Will update you.
<Ahh, I thank you Kathy. BobF>

Convict fry (From single parent?) Parthenogenic cichlids       8/17/17
I have been searching unsuccessfully to find an answer to this question;
is it possible for a single convict to lay eggs and then fertilize them?
<Not as far as I'm aware. IS possible for a single Convict to lay eggs, or two females to lay eggs... but they will be infertile>
With GREAT SURPRISE I fed my convict this morning and saw 2 fry swimming around in the tank.
<?! Mmmm>
The original fish is around 6-7 years old and has been living solo in a 10 gallon tank for about 5 years. This has blown my mind to the point I photographed 1 of the fry because I couldn't believe my eyes. Help I'm baffled!.....
Thank you,
<I fully suspect this is some other life. Bob Fenner>

African Claw Frog /RMF      8/16/17
Hi. I saved an African claw frog from impending doom and experimentation where I work. I usually KILL living things like plants. My son is doing fine and growing up tall and well. SO I did that right...anyways, I'm going
away for the week Sat. to Sat. and I wanted some advise.
The tank is a ten gallon. No filter mainly because I rather clean it then have him bothered by vibration of it plus I couldn't afford one when I rescued him..... anyways, couple weeks back, it lasted almost 1.5 weeks before getting cloudy or dirty... I was surprised. Last week it was quicker. Anyways, he is eating well it seems. I thought maybe hungry too much. He hasn't died though...
Can I leave him for the week foodless or will that be too stressful?

The other options are even more stressful, which is live in a small bucket at work all day till like the day I rescued him from here then travel more and further with my coworker to her house then when I get back repeat...
What is your best advice? I don't want to come home to the house smelling terrible either....but if the food isn't in there making it smell it would be ok.
can he survive or is it too cruel to make him wait a week foodless?
Also, I read that people have a fasting day for their ACF????? I did not know this before hand. When is that? I feed him AM and PM daily.
<Given the above information; and having kept Xenopus for years... I would go with your choice of not feeding for the week (actually eight days), rather than the more stressful alternative you list. The eighth day is to
allow you to clean the tank from the previous day/s feeding/s, leaving the water clean/er. I encourage you to study up a bit re X. laevis husbandry and save for a small internal power filter going forward. Bob Fenner>
African Claw Frog /Neale       8/16/17

Hi. I saved an African claw frog from impending doom and experimentation where I work. I usually KILL living things like plants. My son is doing fine and growing up tall and well. SO I did that right...anyways, I'm going
away for the week Sat. to Sat. and I wanted some advise.
<Meantime, let me direct you to some reading, here:
Xenopus are easy to keep, but there are a few non-negotiables. Filtration, regular water changes, and taking care to not overfeed all spring to mind. Ambient room temperature is usually fine, so heaters may well be optional.
Substrate, decor, etc. can all be as your taste/budget dictates.>
The tank is a ten gallon. No filter mainly because I rather clean it then have him bothered by vibration of it plus I couldn't afford one when I rescued him..... anyways, couple weeks back, it lasted almost 1.5 weeks before getting cloudy or dirty... I was surprised. Last week it was quicker.
<Needs a filter; even a simple internal canister filter, less than $20, will do the trick, and don't vibrate like air pumps do. Of course air-powered sponge filters are cheap and work well, so they are an option if you can tolerate the noise. Without a filter, the water will go cloudy (polluted) increasingly quickly as the frog grows, not least of all because these frogs go through periodic "moults" when they shed skin.>
Anyways, he is eating well it seems. I thought maybe hungry too much. He hasn't died though...
<Good sign!>
Can I leave him for the week foodless or will that be too stressful?
<Two, three weeks without food are fine! Provided, of course, he was adequately fed beforehand and not skinny. Cold-blooded animals can go a LONG TIME without food, far longer than us warm-bloods.>
The other options are even more stressful, which is live in a small bucket at work all day till like the day I rescued him from here then travel more and further with my coworker to her house then when I get back repeat...
<I would not keep any animal like this.>
What is your best advice? I don't want to come home to the house smelling terrible either....but if the food isn't in there making it smell it would be ok.
<Filtration is the best antidote to smelly fish/frog tanks, plus water changes as often as practical, ideally 25% or so weekly, but a 2-3 week gap between water changes is fine if you're on vacation and the frog isn't being fed.>
can he survive or is it too cruel to make him wait a week foodless?
<Yes; animals like frogs are adapted to do so.>
Also, I read that people have a fasting day for their ACF????? I did not know this before hand. When is that? I feed him AM and PM daily.
<Fasting animals is standard practise in many places and situations. Few reptiles or amphibians will eat every single day, and some big cold blooded reptiles, such as pythons and crocs, may even eat just once or twice a month! Fish are much the same. So such pets are FAR easier to maintain if you go on vacation than, say, a dog or cat. No need for someone to feed them! Ideally, have some come in to check the filter is running if needs be, but otherwise don't fret. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African Claw Frog /RMF      8/16/17

Thank you so much! What is the husbandry you speak of?
<General care... See WWM, the Net, books Re>
I will consider the filter too. Maybe I can afford one before my trip even. What is the quietest one to use?
<As mentioned, a "small internal power filter"; these span the range of a few to several tens of dollars. Use the string of words here in your search tool.>
Also, I won't be there to turn on and off the florescent lamp. Typically I have it on till I get home than turn it off. I read 12 hours of light and 12 of dark.... he'll be ok without the light then?
<Yes; Xenopus are fine in subdued (natural light). Bob Fenner>
Re: African Claw Frog      8/16/17

Someone from the UK replied that he can't go unfed for the week...... you disagree correct?
<Yes; both Neale and I are confident that if this animal is in good "index of fitness" (i.e., not skinny), going a week sans feeding will be fine>
Also, I got a filter. Hoping that helps.
Thank you for your advice!!!
<Cheers, B>

Corydoras panda whitens out      8/16/17
Good evening (here), WWM Crew, I hope you are having a good week. Kindly allow me to emphatically state that this hobby is so fantastically rewarding but so frustrating sometimes!!!
<Oh, I concur>
My tank specs are ammonia/nitrite zero, 15-gal column,
<Mmm; not the better shape for Corydoras..
. which are facultative aerial respirators (come to the surface to breathe)>
everyone looking great and getting along fine. I have three large C. metae and one small C. panda, along with my mid- and upper-dwellers... the corys get shrimp pellets at night, a few times per week.
<I'd feed these (diurnal) cats during lights-on time>
I try to never overfeed. This morning the panda Cory's off-white skin was bright white and he was buoyant but visibly lethargic. Worst part--I had to leave for vacation. I decided that perhaps the big boys were boxing him
out for food, so maybe he was malnutritioned. I did a 25% water change and then moved the panda Cory--he did not put up much of a fight--into a floating breeder and dropped two different brands of shrimp pellets in for him. I figured if he wasn't eating, then now was his chance, and although now isolated, his stress level would have been high, regardless.
I removed most of the pellets before I left, leaving some crumbs. This way (1) ammonia from decaying small crumbs, at the top of the tank, wouldn't be too awful for the water (correct?)
and (2) if he still didn't make it, his body wouldn't become a meal for others. How would you have handled this one?
<Moved the fish to a different, established set-up if I had one>
And if this little guy does make it, do you have any ideas regarding his survival besides moving him to a new tank?
<This is about it. How warm is your water?>

Ideas are more than appreciated!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Fwd: Corydoras panda whitens out      8/16/17

I meant to attach this photo:
<As you stated, stressed... BobF>

My Betta Fish Hector      8/16/17
To Whom it may concern,
<Howsit Deb?>
I am concerned about my Betta fish. I got him last week like this and he is eating and behaving normally. I know for a fact that he has a mild case of fin rot though, but what I cannot figure out is whether the slight discoloration (brown spot) in his face is normal or a fungal infection.
<Mmm; may be "just" stress. Perhaps simply from being moved. Do you have measures for water quality? This system is cycled, filtered, heated?>
Please help, this is my second Betta Fish and I am doing everything I can to understand the situation.
I appreciate it.
<Need information. Bob Fenner>

Re: My Betta Fish Hector      8/16/17
Dear Bob,
<Hey Deb!>
The tank is heated and filtered and I used bottled water for when I first got him a week and a half ago.
<Mmm; what sort/s of bottled water? Is your tap/mains water real trouble?
Bettas do need some mineral, hardness... I would at least mix some (a quarter, half?) of such bottled water with tap>
He seems to be fine since he eats (I feed him two fish pellets a day) and also builds frequent bubble nests.
<Ahh! Good signs>
He's usually very active. I added aquarium salt in his tank about 5 days ago.
<I would leave all as is then... Again, being moved is likely the cause of the split dorsal fin, concern re facial color loss here. Treatment/s will likely cause more harm than good. BobF>

Help....!      8/16/17
I had high ammonia levels, and have been treating this fish in a 40lt hospital tank.
I don't want to loose him.
Been using prime and also API MelaFix.
<... the latter is of no help. I would cease using it>

Tank just has a heater 25.4 c and a air stone in it. Changing water every day and adding more API MelaFix.
Any ideas what I am dealing with?
<Appears to be an infected area resultant from some sort of physical trauma... Need a list of species, spec's on the system, water quality tests, foods/feeding... to render better (useful, accurate) guess/es>
<Data please>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Butterflyfish compatibility question      8/16/17
Hello Wetweb Media Crew! I hope this email finds you well. ��.
<Thank you Kathy; yes>
I am currently in the finishing stage of cycling my 560 gallon FOWLR tank. ( tank size : L 72", W 60", H 30")
I was wondering if I can put some golden semilarvatus and Tinkeri Butterflyfish together in this tank? In your opinion, would these 2 have a chance of co existing together?
<Yes; have high confidence (have collected both species... in the Red Sea and HI), that they will be fine together in a system of this size, type. I would MAKE SURE the system is completely cycled first>
And, given that the Tinkeri requires a lower water temperature , will the other fishes do okay with this?
<I'd shoot/aim for an intermediate temperature... the mid to upper 70's F will suit all; as will a "normal" spg/density of water; 1.025 or so at this temp.>
Future tankmates that I have in mind would be a red sea emperor angel or a scribbled angel and some tangs.
Thank you very much for taking time out to read my email. Your website has been a source of very useful information to me ever since I got into this hobby.
Sincerely yours,
<Please do report back regarding your ongoing stocking, observations. Bob Fenner>

Re: Need help diagnosing disease in Ram cichlids     8/15/17
Hi Neale,
Thank you for the quick reply.
I use RO water, equilibrium, Seachem Acid and Alkaline buffers and aim for pH of between 6.8 -7.
<That should be sufficient, but for Rams, I'd tend to avoid trying to trying to balance pH and hardness by using acid and alkali buffers (i.e., two products that do different things) and instead use commercial Discus salt buffers, which should create ideal conditions in one fell swoop. Rams come from water with virtually no hardness, and very low pH, so Discus-style conditions are what they want and need.>
I am fanatical about toxins, cleaning agents, body lotions, etc. anywhere inside house. So if something toxic got into the tank, it had to be something I intentionally put in the tank like substrate, plants or wood. I use CaribSea sand for freshwater aquariums. I'm good about stirring the sand every few days to prevent has build up.
<Actually not necessarily, and potentially damaging. Anaerobic conditions in the sand are what you want to reduce nitrate and create the right conditions for plants. Assuming healthy plant growth (roots specifically) and a few burrowing snails, enough oxygen will be transported into the sand to prevent it going completely anoxic. Stirring the sand allows too much oxygen in, and causes any hydrogen sulphide bubbles in the sand to suddenly come out of the water! Leave the sand alone and the hydrogen sulphide creeps out very slowly, such that it is virtually instantly oxidised when it hits the clean water above the sand, thereby becoming harmless. If you look at marine tanks or ponds, where anaerobic substrates are normal, they don't stir the sand at all, just let the clean-up crew, burrowing fish, and healthy plants do the required maintenance. Alternatively, keep the sand layer really thin -- less than 2 cm -- and anaerobic conditions won't develop.>
The plants and driftwood in the tank came from the same fish store. I'm aware that plants coming from Asia are sometimes treated with pesticides, but these have been in a display tank with catfish. I did soak the driftwood in water for about a week, but if indeed sprayed who knows. I'll check with the shop owner. He seems genuinely concerned about his fish and products.
<I would imagine. But if the water has little alkalinity (not much ability to buffer against pH changes) a big amount of incompletely cured bogwood can rapidly drop the pH. Also, do understand that when buffering capacity is low, plants will dramatically change pH if they do photosynthesis rapidly enough. That's why modern planted tanks use devices to sync CO2 addition to pH, so as to offset the absorption of CO2 by the plants under strong light, which can cause pH to rapidly rise. To some degree this is natural -- pH in ponds can go as high as 8 or even 9 during sunny days --
but in tanks it is generally not helpful.>
I have checked the water parameters every morning and everything stays at zero, but yes the tank has only been cycled for 2 months and you are probably correct in that the tank may be too immature for sensitive fish such as ram cichlids. Whatever it was, they were fine for the first two days and then started showing symptoms of stringy white feces.
<The thing with fish-less cycling is that you add ammonia, which stimulates growth of ammonia-using bacteria (nitrifying bacteria). But it does nothing to stimulate the growth of saprotrophic bacteria that break down organic matter such as uneaten food or fish faeces, or any of the other bacteria that process other chemicals such as urea into ammonia. This is why I like to combine fish-less methods with bits of seafood or fish food -- these help to jump-start these other bacteria alongside the nitrifying bacteria.>
I'm even questioning my post carbon filter on my 5 stage RO system. It is rated for 1800-2000 gallons and has had maybe 980-1000 gallons max pass through it. Our water company had a line break a month back and even though
the water has no odor or taste, I'm wondering what they may have added to the water to treat any resulting contamination. I normally don't use prime to treat my RO water but recently I've added a very small amount (because I'm paranoid). I've ordered a chlorine test kit to double check and I will test a sample of my RO water and I'm switching out my carbon filter early as a precaution. I did freeze the fish in case the shop owner wants to
pursue it further.
<Good idea.>
If it was stress would they all die within a week?
I know they can get territorial but their threats seemed harmless and overall they seemed to get along great for the two days before they started showing symptoms.
<Generally, yes; Rams are territorial but their home ranges are small, maybe a square foot or so. To some degree the males prefer to dominate a harem of females, given the chance, though not as overtly as Apistogramma species do.>
Thanks again guys.
I'll try adding some hardier fish in once I'm through treating the tank with Metroplex.
<I think this is wise; some hardier non-threatening species, such as mid to surface-swimming characins that enjoy similar conditions but aren't nearly so delicate, perhaps Emperor Tetras or Penguin Tetras. Corydoras sterbai
could work, enjoying the same hot, soft water as Rams, but in small tanks Rams tend to bully catfish, so be careful when combining them.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: tiny white anemone id     8/15/17
Hi Bob, Thank you for your knowledge! I'll move it to a spot where it won't bother anything. - Tracy
<Cheers, BobF>

Re: Question from Facebook; crooked dealings in Sri Lanka     8/15/17
Dear Mr. Fenner,
<Hey Vik>
Two months ago I found new company for us from Sri Lanka on your site (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aqbizsubwebindex/countrieslvstk.htm ). It was "Aquarium Marine Fishes" represented by the owner L A D A Samantha Appuhamy.
We agreed contract we paid for the animals on sum 2000+ dollars.
<In advance? I'd wire a credit... in advance of receiving animals, then authorize payment>
After payment this guy just disappeared. He doesn't answer calls and doesn't respond to e-mail. All documents are signed and approved. I can show all documents if you need.
<Ugh! I would write the department of fisheries and report this incidence, individual as well. I believe you>
Please place this information on your site. Maybe it will help for another customers.
<Will do so. Sorry for your troubles. Bob Fenner>
L A D A Samantha Appuhamy
Aquarium Marine Fishes.,
197/1 Padiri Pio Mawatha, Thaladuwa,
Negombo, Sri Lanka.
Tele:-0094 31 2223512
Mobile:-0094 77 3308380
Thank you.
2017-07-25 10:10 GMT+03:00 Viktoria Kotlyarova <sale@moryak.kiev.ua>:


Need help diagnosing disease in Ram cichlids       8/14/17
Hi Crew (and Bob!),
<Hey Susan>
I recently introduced 6 small assorted juvenile cichlids to a moderately planted cycled 20 gallon tank (pH 7.0 - 7.2, 5 dGH, 82°F, 0 ammonia & nitrite, nitrate around 10 ppm). My plan was to move the majority of them to a 30 long gallon tank that I am planning to set up. I realize my pH is high, but they were thriving in the shop's tank at 7.2 pH and I was working on gradually getting my pH down to around 6.8 which I thought would be satisfactory. The cichlids included 2 GBR, 2 Golden rams and 2 Electric blue rams.
The first day, after acclimating them for two hours, everything seemed to be going well; the rams were eating well and actively exploring their tank. No one seemed stressed as they all came from the same display tank at my local specialty fish store. The gentleman there quarantined and treated the fish before putting in his display tank and they all were active and healthy looking with good appetites.
The third morning I noticed a sudden drop off in eagerness to eat and one of the GBR's had stringy white feces. I contacted a friend who has kept fish for years and while not familiar with cichlids, she suspected an internal parasite and told me to try Metroplex.
<Mmm; maybe. Metronidazole can/will treat for Octomita/Hexamita; and some of the classic symptoms you list>
It took two days to have the meds delivered and by then 48 hours had passed and three more of my rams had the stringy white feces and by then some of the fish had begun to lose color and stop eating. SeaChem recommended I treat at the maximum dose, but despite treatment (and gentle partial water changes before each new dose) I lost all of my fish one by one. I lost my last little guy just minutes before starting this email. SeaChem suspected Hexamita and a site devoted to cichlids suggested Hexamita intestinalis. Seachem recommended treating the tank for at least three weeks and to not introduce any more fish until the tank is clear of cysts. Others have suggested prophylactically treating any new rams with Metroplex in case they were carrying Hexamita. From what I've read some fish can suppress the parasite and appear healthy until stressed?
The shop owner is questioning why pretreatment is necessary since he treats all new arrivals for parasites as they come in.
<How, and with what? >
He and I are also perplexed how his remaining rams are still healthy and why mine so suddenly succumbed despite similar water parameters and same food.
<Some stressor, factor at play here. Your water does have adequate GH, KH?>
I fed the same high quality flakes he fed plus the addition of frozen brine with Spirulina and bloodworms. This has been a heart wrenching loss. Is there any way this could have been avoided?
<Need to know more. It is querulous that the store didn't lose the same stock>
I am hesitant to bring any more fish into my tank until I have more answers.
Any ideas guys? You have always helped me with problems in the past and I'm hoping you can offer some guidance now.
<Am asking Neale for his input here as well. Bob Fenner>
Re: Need help diagnosing disease in Ram cichlids       8/14/17

More info if this helps.
dKH is at 3°, dGH is 5°, today tank testing at pH of 7.
<Mmm; these should be fine. Am wondering if you'd be willing to place a few test fish here... Perhaps some small Danios, barbs... a platy?>
Tank is adequately filtered with Fluval C3 HOB rated for 20-50 gallons plus I have a Hydor sponge filter rated for 20 gallons with air diffuser. Ammonia and nitrite always zero, nitrate at 10 ppm. Temp at 82°F.I
Twice weekly water changes of 15%.
<The mystery goes on. BobF>
Re: Need help diagnosing disease in Ram cichlids       8/14/17

Hi Bob,
Yes, I think that is a great idea. I am extremely careful not to introduce anything into the tank, toxin wise, but who knows. Should I wait until I'm done treating the tank with Metroplex to kill off any remaining parasitic cysts (?) before introducing the test fish?
<I don't think this is a pathogenic issue.
Re: Need help diagnosing disease in Ram cichlids /Neale       8/14/17

<<For what it's worth, I feel that Ram Cichlids are increasingly at the "garbage" end of the aquarium fish trade. They are bred to a price, rather than for quality, and like Guppies and Neons, a combination of inbreeding and widespread use of antibiotics on fish farms has resulted in fish that have a poor life expectancy. Medicating with the old Metronidazole and Nitrofuran combination is worthwhile, because Hexamita is an issue with them, though usually only becoming apparent when they are stressed, for example by high nitrate or low oxygen. Extended quarantining away from community fish is probably useful too. The photograph of your dead specimen is not especially useful, though the redness around the vent is sometimes seen when fish suffer from bacterial infections such as Mycobacteriosis.
All this said, if the aquarium shop specimens are still fine, and your specimens are all dead, that does imply some stress factor at work (as Bob suggests) rather than disease, which might be expected to pick them off one at a time across a few weeks, even in the worst case scenario. My one experience along these lines was with some Nanochromis, after introduction of some wood that turned out to have been sprayed with pesticide very recently. These cichlids all exhibited stress symptoms within a few minutes and were all dead within an hour. Other fish were stressed as well, but being things like catfish able to handle pollution better, so survived
following on a water change and removal of the wood. Anyway, that's an extreme example, but might there be something in the environment that could have had a similar impact? Possibilities might include airborne solvents
(such as from paint fumes or cleaners), toxins (e.g., insect sprays), or waterborne poisons like copper (e.g., in the pipes). Also, just to be clear, your water sounds relatively soft, but I hope it isn't from a domestic water softener, which produces water with high sodium levels not at all similar to "real" soft water, and this can stress fish and cause problems. It's not likely to kill them dramatically, but it's one thing to tick off the list. I would also be more circumspect about whether the tank is actually cycled. It sounds like a new tank, but also an empty one, and fish-less cycling methods, while they can work, are not 100% reliable.
While the tank is sitting empty, I'd be adding pinches of food each day, and once or twice across the next few hours, checking that the ammonia and nitrite are genuinely staying at zero. "New Tank Syndrome" can easily
result in the sort of problem you've had. Hope this helps, Neale.>>

Baby RES won't eat- really worried!       8/13/17
Dear Crew,
<Hiya, Darrel here>
Ok- so we got (2) baby RES about 3 weeks ago, They are only about 1.5 In. Have tried different types of pellets, live crickets, lettuce and tiny pieces of ham (read on website somewhere baby res like that).
<Not really. As hatchlings they tend to be carnivorous and become more omnivorous as they get bigger>
Take them out and put them in separate feeding container and leave them alone for about 30 min. Have not seen them eat anything- EVER- talked to pet store people, researched online and getting nowhere! Temp of tank is about 78
<A bit warm – tank water should be room temperature and requires no heater at all>
with good basking area (day and evening bulbs) and UVA/UVB bulb as well.
<They don’t need evening bulbs. They wouldn’t have one in the wild, would they?>
Also- now one of them has a little reddish tint/buildup and looks like couple small bubbles on edge of shell that were not there yesterday.
<It’s hard to say from way over here. The reddish tint can be a sign of sepsis, which is a technical term for an infection that has spread to the whole body -- but I’ve seen that from a tank that had a red brick in it too – even though the water stayed perfectly clear, so it may not be serious at all.>
<For feeding, I’d take them out of their tank and put them in a bowl with just a bare covering of water, not even up to their shoulders … and place a small amount (and I mean just barely enough to be picked up with a toothpick) and place it in the bowl. I usually don’t place it in front of them … if they are active I place it somewhere else and let them discover it.>
<Here is the explanation of light, heat and food. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm>

Help!!        8/13/17
<Hiya, Darrel here>
Today I was looking at my turtle and saw that he had these peculiar white spots on his shell. I don't know if they're anything to worry about, but I just wanted to get a second opinion before doing anything.
<I recently went to the doctor and he said I was becoming diabetic.>
<I told him I wanted a second opinion>
<He said “Ok, you’re ugly, too!” {thanks Rodney!}>
Could it be shell rot?
<Doesn’t look like it>
Also, some background information: he is in a fifty gallon tank, has proper heating and basking area, and a clean water with a filter. I think it might have to do with his diet, because I don't give him as much greens as he should get. Here are a few photos.
<It doesn’t look like a diet problem, either>
<Actually it doesn’t look like a problem at all. Three things to consider:>
<1. It’s a water spot. A plain old buildup of minerals from hard water. Nothing wrong, nothing to do, no worries>
<2. The scute is preparing to shed. As each scute grows in often becomes slightly discolored underneath before it eventually lifts off and sheds like a fingernail. Nothing wrong, nothing to do, no worries>
<3. As they become adult a Slider’s shell tends to become mottled in color and pattern and this is also normal.>
<The size, shape and placement of the discoloration doesn’t indicate that the cause is infection, damage or illness.>

Aquatic turtle shipping       8/13/17
Hi Crew
<Hiya, Darrel here>
Receive a warm greeting. Can you explain me how I need to package an aquatic turtle (Missisipi Yellow painted with about 4-5" of length) to send it to other state by plane
<Sure. First, as I hope you know, only certain airlines will accept live animals for shipment. Before 911 Delta Dash was our best friend, things may be different now. People who are not “regular shippers” often cannot just drop a package off at air freight.>
<In any case … to answer your question: Start with a cardboard box that is filled with crumpled up newspaper to make a generally cushioned space. Place the turtle inside a pillow case or similar soft wrapping and tie the end in a knot so he can’t get out. Place the pillow case in the center of the box. Poke a half dozen air holes, the size of your pinky finger on the top and sides of the box. Seal the seams with tape. Mark the box “LIVE HARMLESS REPTILES” and ship.>
<Your turtle will do just fine in a same day, overnight or next day delivery as long as the carrier knows that it’s a live animal (that has to do with heated shipping containers and not leaving the box outside in freezing temperatures, etc.>
<no charge!>

Eel id       8/13/17
Just seeing if you could help with this eel that our divers sent Collected out of Hawaii
<Neato! After diving in Hawaii for decades, I've seen most of the Muraenids of the "fiftieth State", but not this juvenile; likely Gymnothorax eurostus... HI IS the "land of the puhi" (eel), particularly Morays, with some 32 species. Have written articles on the topic. Thank you for sharing.
Oh, am going to ask MarcoL here for his ID help as well. Bob Fenner>

Eel id /Marco       8/13/17
Just seeing if you could help with this eel that our divers sent
Collected out of Hawaii
<Those pictures are really small and better pictures would be needed to be sure, but I agree with Bob: most likely Gymnothorax eurostus. Cheers, Marco.>

Mineralized water fish compatibility       8/12/17
Can you tell me if there's a food fish that will live in a mineralized solution of potassium, calcium, and magnesium? And at a specific gravity of 1.011.
I can get mollies to live in it, but they don't offer much in the way of food production.
<Artemia should... I'd feed these for a few days ahead of offering... to boost their nutritive value. What else? Neale, your input please. Bob Fenner>
Rob Gunnett
Mineralized water fish compatibility /Neale       8/12/17

Can you tell me if there's a food fish that will live in a mineralized solution of potassium, calcium, and magnesium? And at a specific gravity of 1.011.
I can get mollies to live in it, but they don't offer much in the way of food production.
<As Bob says, brine shrimp are surely the way to go if you must use such an oddball water solution! The usual reminder does need to be made that while brine shrimp nauplii are nutritious, adult brine shrimp are "empty
calories" and don't make a good staple diet as they come (frozen brine shrimp are often boosted with Spirulina and the like to improve their nutritional value). There are probably some Mysids that would work, but the
extent to which they are breedable under aquarium conditions is unknown to me. Can I ask why you want to grow fish or invertebrates in a non-saline mineral solution? You might experiment with things like Soda Cichlids or
even the hardier Tilapia if this was a research project, and there are certainly killifish (such as North American Pupfish of different kinds and some of the West Asian Killies) adapted to mineralised but not saline waters. How easy these will be to obtain I cannot say, but in the UK at least a few, such as Aphanius mento, that do get traded periodically. These are often adapted to produce small broods of large fry, so might be less useful than Tilapiines, which are highly productive, but their spiny fry aren't safe foods for those fish not adapted to consuming perciformes.
Cheers, Neale.>

Glowlight tetras "intimidating" two adult angelfish?    /Neale      8/11/17
I have two adult angelfish and six Glowlight tetras. I have found that since putting the tetras in the angels like to stay at the bottom a lot and the tetras get to the food first, the angels just let the tetras do this.
<Not uncommon behaviour. In the wild Angelfish consume things like mosquito larvae from the surface, so that should be their default. But under aquarium conditions -- and with decades of domestication behind them --
most feed wherever is easiest. If other fish get to the surface, they're happy enough to feed at the middle or bottom of the tank. While Angels are often fairly bold, this varies a lot, and you can easily find nervous or
shy specimens out there. It's also true that pairs tend to move shorter distances from their territory than singletons or schools of non-mated specimens. Cichlids are programmed to work as teams when mated, and a target fish, even a group of tetras, will elicit more defensive behaviour (and stronger bonding within the pair) than if those two fish are kept in an empty tank. It can easily be that your pair of fish view the tetras as a potential threat, and are defending their 'patch' more cautiously than you might expect.>
These angels have been in the tank for about a year and have never been speedy for the food, but are really slow with these tetras and must get most of their food from the bottom of the tank. The tank is 38 gallons. Is that small enough that the angels feel a little crowded by these tetras or is it ok to leave it as is, as they seem to be surviving?? or should I rehome the tetras, for the angels comfort? The angels never bred so I think they are two "laid back" females.
<Provided the Angels are not starving, I wouldn't worry. Be aware that lesbian pairs (for want of a better expression) are widely reported among Angels, right down to both fish laying eggs on the same leaf! So if they
work together, hovering about a certain plant or rock, it might well be they've formed a pair and are simply adapting their behaviour to match what they see as the threat level in their environment. Glowlight Tetras are not
normally fin-nippers, but of course that's a possibility, so look to see if there is any evidence of raggedy fins, which would again cause the Angels to be more reticent.>
Thank you
<Welcome. Neale.>

Rainbowfish disease     8/11/17
Read a post on your website by bob Fenner referring to the treatment of 'Rainbowfish disease'
In 1996 I submitted article to FAMA using Ceftin to treat this disease
It is 21 years later. I still keep rainbows
The treatment of choice is Kanamycin
Disease is gram negative Aeromonas or Aerobactor
Don't have any way to let bob Fenner or others know this
Perhaps you can pass on info
Anyone can contact me for details
Harvey Hammer, M.D.
<Thank you for sharing Harvey. Will post, Bob Fenner>
Subject: Rainbowfish disease

Inclusive of your email. B

Fish Tank Stocking    8/10/17
Hi Team,
<Howdy...Earl here this morning.>
I have a 20 Gallon tank which I think I have been having for almost a year now. I have lost many fish and (touch wood) the ones that are now kind of happy in the tank are
<Job One is determining the hows and whys of what killed the other fish...otherwise you're just rolling the dice, as it were.>
1. 1 ID shark( 6 - 12 inches)
2. 2 Blood Parrot (One Medium sized and one a little smaller)
3. 2 Kirin Parrot (albino) I think..
4. 2 Tin foil barbs (1 big and 1 small)

I would just like to know your advise on whether the tank is rightly stocked or any changes are required..
<In my opinion, a 12" fish in a tank that size is a no-go in any event. The barbs will be ok but that's probably too many parrots as they also get pretty large and due to the way they have been bred, their mouths are not
well equipped for competing with faster, more assertive fish when competing for food. More detail on your previous inhabitants, your water conditions such as temperature, lighting, test kit readings, are necessary to make any statements other than that it seems overstocked size-wise and I expect that you may have lost parrots before, yes? Hope this helps but more info is needed. -Earl>
Thanks and regards,
Shriram Natarajan
Re: Fish Tank Stocking    8/10/17

Hey Earl,
Thanks for getting back.
These were the only 4 parrots that I have had.
I had added other fish..I had bought a pair of small powder blue cichlids recently and lost both of them..no signs of disease was found. Just found them dead one fine morning..
<Aggressive fish, possibly stress out or harmed each other or other fish in the system perhaps?>
Same was the case with a pair of Blue Dolphin fish. They were perfectly fine for a couple of weeks and then died due to a power outage that lasted for half a day.
<Why did the power outage kill them? Temperature drop from the heater shutting off? Very unfortunate but sadly many of us have been in the same boat.>
I had 4 ID sharks earlier and lost three of them to a power outage.
Thanks and regards,
Shriram Natarajan

Glowlight tetras "intimidating" two adult angelfish?    8/10/17
<Hey Jude>
I have two adult angelfish and six Glowlight tetras. I have found that since putting the tetras in the angels like to stay at the bottom a lot and the tetras get to the food first, the angels just let the tetras do this.
These angels have been in the tank for about a year and have never been speedy for the food, but are really slow with these tetras and must get most of their food from the bottom of the tank. The tank is 38 gallons. Is that small enough that the angels feel a little crowded by these tetras or is it ok to leave it as is, as they seem to be surviving??
<Mmm; I'd guess that this arrangement of species, numbers, in this size/volume tank would work out. >
or should I rehome the tetras, for the angels comfort? The angels never bred so I think they are two "laid back" females. Thank you
<I'd leave all as is IF the angels aren't getting beat up, are eating... in the hope that as they grow larger, the Hemigrammus tetras will leave them be. Bob Fenner>

Geophagus /Neale       8/9/17
Hello Crew,
Firstly, thank you for such an informative site, and the time you take to help everyone, it's very much appreciated!
I have been researching Geophagus Red Head Tapajos and would like to dedicate my aquarium primarily to a group of 8, along with a small group of 4 Guianacara Owroewefi cichlids in my 460gallon aquarium. I am still in the last part of the cycling process but as I have quite hard alkaline water I know I will have to change this to soft acidic water soon, well before I add any fish. My question for you was, what are the appropriate GH and KH
ranges for these fish, primarily the Geophagus Red Heads? I keep finding very varied information online about this species and their water chemistry preferences. I have purchased a 4 stage RO unit as well as a triple stage
dechlorinator, heavy metal and nitrate filter so am prepared to set the water to the necessary levels. Lastly, I just wanted to check, are Geophagus Red Head Tapajos and Geophagus Orange Head Tapajos simply two variants of the same species or two different species? Many thanks,
<Hi Jake. Geophagus sp. Tapajos 'Red head' is one of the more widely traded Geophagines, and many if not most of the specimens on sale are farmed, and these are less finicky than their wild forebears. In fact most Geophagines are more bothered by water quality than water chemistry, even the soft water ones. Your real challenge is keeping nitrate as low as practical (I'd be aiming for less than 20 mg/l) and only secondarily worrying about water chemistry. Frequent water changes, light stocking, and high water turnover rates are all important, given the size, sensitivity, high oxygen, and high temperature requirements of the species. So provided you avoid really hard water, and keep water chemistry stable, anything up to, say, 12 degrees dH would probably be fine. Carbonate hardness should be lower simply to keep the pH down, but I'd still be aiming for a pH of about 7 simply to optimise biological filtration, in which case 2-3 degrees KH would probably be fine, or else appropriate use of a commercial pH buffer. There's simply no real advantage to faffing about with water chemistry if that's going to make water changes expensive or infrequent -- as I say, it's water quality that makes or brakes Geophagines rather than water chemistry. It may well be that a 50/50 mix of tap and RO water will produce something around 10 degrees dH, pH 7, that would be absolutely fine for your cichlids provided the nitrate was 20 mg/l or less. Finally, yes, so far as I know, Geophagus sp. Tapajos 'Red head' has been sold under a variety of names, including the ones you mention. Of course it could well turn out we're looking at a species flock of similar but geographically isolated populations of cichlids, but for the time being they're all assumed to be one, rather variable, species of cichlid. Cheers, Neale.>

Blood Parrot remains pale       8/9/17
Hello Crew-Neale
Yes , it is me AGAIN. I am terribly sorry to be a continued bother. My BP remains pale and relatively listless, continuing to spend time by heater but will come to front of tank for food.
<Where there's feeding, there's hope!>
She has refused all pelleted foods (will take in but spits out), will accept an occasional pea but mostly eats Hikari frozen brine shrimp. (
Hikari's 3-step sterilization process ensures unequalled product quality.
<I agree; Hikari foods are consistently excellent. There are other good brands out there, but they are my personal favourite brand.>
Free of parasites, harmful bacteria, and foul odor, Bio-Pure frozen diets are another example of Hikari's product quality commitment. Packed in pure water and available in "no touch" cube packs or flat packs, Bio-Pure frozen
foods provide maximum nutrition with minimum mess to you when feeding.)
<Of course the environments where many fish feed are less than pristine, but I agree with you that we don't think about the quality of fish food as much as we should. There's some speculation that bloodworms are really no safer than Tubifex are, and both should be avoided. Brine shrimps are probably the safest food because they come from briny lakes where fish, and therefore their pathogens, cannot live.>
It has been 2 weeks since last Nitrofurazone treatment. Water perimeters are within what you have advised. I have been doing weekly water changes of
30%-50%. Do you recommend I treat again?
<If she's still feeding, and not obviously getting worse, I would not treat just yet.
I would vary diet as much as practical, perhaps using vitamin supplements if available (often sold for marine fish, but perfectly safe
for freshwater fish) or else using "enriched" brine shrimps that contain things like Spirulina algae.>
Would you advise me to treat concurrently with both Metronidazole and Nitrofurazone products ( would be API "Cure All " and API "Furan 2"-the package directions for both medications, regarding dosing and water changing, match up nicely)?
<I would indeed use both medications as/when. They seem to work very well together.>
Keeping in mind I have a healthy Pleco and male BP in tank.
<Quite so; but these medications shouldn't harm healthy fish -- although I wouldn't overuse medications if the fish is healing itself, even if only very slowly.>
I am ever grateful for you ongoing assistance.
Lisa W
<Welcome. Neale.>

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