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Calyx podatypa Dark Volcano Sponge. Tropical West Atlantic. Smooth surface, w/ volcano-like osculae. Often infested w/ Zoanthids as here in Cozumel 2012 

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

I think I have a sick goldfish. No info. of use or reading        2/8/16
I have noticed for a month now, my goldfish will eat his food but will quickly spit it out and then have a mouth spasm.
<What are you feeding? Have you read on WWM re GF nutrition?>
I thought it might be the water, so I did a full water change yesterday and cleaned the rocks. The fish is still doing the same thing. What can I do?
<Read; send data... what re the system, water quality, history of the set up, maintenance, other life present....
Bob Fenner>
Thank you,
Monica Wayne

Acrylic tank reinforcements        2/8/16
Hey there,
Thank you for all the info you've put out there- very helpful.
I acquired a 350 gal tank in the shape of an irregular pentagon (photo below)
<Wow! Very nice. Let me make an important statement here (particularly for the many browsers that will read this: BE VERY CAREFUL re the stand, support here. IT MUST be PLANAR and LEVEL... check it as the tank is filling, with a long level and possibly a true board to support the level... "odd-shaped" tanks, particularly ding dang "L" shaped ones very often fail due to troubles w/o such support
The tank is 36" high and made with 1/2" acrylic.
<Mmm; I wish this was 5/8" or even 3/4"... there are different qualities of acrylic... Some imports are "soft">
The two largest panels are 48" and 56" long. When filled with water the amount of bowing on these panels and top frame made me uneasy.

I drained, placed 2x4s between the panels and the wall and refilled. Much less bowing! I'll also mention that I installed 1/2" square rod along the bottom and vertical seams
<Am relieved re this last. I might well do the same with the verticals, indeed all remaining inside seams
So the questions:
Is it safe to frame around the tank to minimize the bowing or will that simply place stress in another area?
<Am dubious as to the long-term structural value here>
Assuming the first scenario won't work, I will lower the water level. What would be a maximum recommend height for the water?
<Can't tell from here... again; I'd be using doweling in all corners>
Thank you!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Acrylic tank reinforcements        2/8/16
Bob, the quick response and advise is much appreciated!
<Glad to proffer it Miguel>
Even if the framing may not be necessary, it would make me sleep better at night��. What is a "normal" amount of deflection on a 36x56 panel?
<No more than a half an inch IMHO
. BobF>

Re: black tetras sick (RMF?)        2/8/16
Hi Neale,
Thanks for your reply.
I agree with everything you say as to the tank mates and there temperament.
Haven't had any dramas as far as that goes. All parameters are fine and all within the ranges that you specify. The copper is something I hadn't thought of though. Will look into it. As far as the water, only fresh rainwater is used, as town water has quite high amounts of chlorine in it.
<Including chloramine? Do perhaps switch water conditioner, or at least check it treats chlorine and chloramine. Perhaps increase the dosage 50%, and/or let the water sit for 24 hours before putting it in the tank.>
Will look at the oxygen as well i.e. putting a bubbler in. Also, will look at substrate as well. Have used same in the past in other aquariums, with no side effects. It is a rather high iron content substrate.
<Do you have any plants in the tank? Fast growing species? Rich substrates will promote either algae or plants depending on whether or not plants are there. If there aren't fast-growing plants, such substrates tend to cause situations where tanks bloom with blue-green algae in particular, and these can build up into organic detritus that will consume oxygen and cause
stress on your fish.>
Since I messaged you have had 1 more black tetra die with 2 more heading the same way. Have spent time watching the other fish to see if they carry the same symptoms, but to no avail.
Thanks again,
<Perhaps medicate with antibiotics or similar against bacterial infections, but honestly this doesn't sound like an infection of that sort. There's something amiss with the tank. Good luck, Neale.>

Re: Hole with red white strings on ghost knife      2/7/16
Thanks! He does have gravel.
<Check how fine and/or sharp the gravel is before panicking. But given they feed by exploring the substrate, anything that can scratch their snout or chin can easily turn into an ulcer.>
He thought a clown loach might be the one causing it.
<Not really compatible. Much too boisterous and likely to consume the same foods at the same time. Plus, Clowns are schooling fish, and a group of, say, 5 specimens will put a massive load on the biological filter. Much better to keep Black Ghost Knifefish on their own or with day active midwater species such as the larger characins (Silver Dollars, Bleeding
Hearts, Congo Tetras, etc.).>
I see just by reading your email he has several things that need to be corrected. Thanks for the info
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Zoanthids looking crinkled???      2/7/16
Ok. Thank you Bob. In the picture what looks like BGA on my rocks is actually a dark red coraline algae.
<Really? Is it soft to touch? Slimy? Do you have a low power scope (with a USB connection!?) that you can take a look/see?>
I don't struggle with nuisance algae problems anymore (for now). I'm going to do some more reading on where you directed me. Thank you, Kinley
<And... we'll be chatting. BobF>
Re: Zoanthids looking crinkled???      2/7/16

Hi Bob. Thanks for taking an interest in this. I do not have a scope. Although, It used to be one of my favorite hobbies as a child.
I think I may have to invest in one.
<There are some FAB ones nowayears, so much tech. for such low prices. See Amazon.com alone>
Your reaction to my strange coralline algae is very similar to the reaction of my reef mentor. I had him come over and take a look at it 6 months ago due to some comments that people online made about it being Cyano. He's been in the business for 40 years. In fact he was the one that gave me your book. I live in the mountains of Oregon and I have absolutely no resources here other than him the internet and my books. He also thought it was Cyano until he touched it. it's very encrusted on to the rock and not slimy to the touch at all.
He agrees with me that it is in fact a rare type of coralline algae. I've gotten used to it over the years. It started in my 10 gallon nano tank, seeded from some live rock probably and I guess liked the conditions. In my 220 gallon it has covered everything. I would be very curious to hear your opinion. I have found a few others on line who have this too. luckily there's a lot of purple as well which does sort of balance out the visual aspect.
As far as my Zoanthids go, I believe you're theory that the nutrition is probably the problem. I have not fed the colony very much and now it's so large I'm sure it needs more. I also really don't have many nitrates or phosphates right now which is also why I don't have an algae problem.. ugh...its so hard to find the right balance.
<But so necessary>
I'm sending you a full tank shot so you can see how this weird type of coralline has spread all over.
<No pic attached>
<Cheers, BobF>

Re: refugium change??      2/7/16
Dear WWM,
thanks for your response. I did some more reading on refugiums.
<Ah good>
Since mine I on the small side - 12 " x 24 " for a 90 gallon tank, I get the feeling it will be mainly for growing macro and copepods.
In my reading I found much about setting up a NEW refugium but did not find the answer to my main original question -
Is there ever a reason to take down an old refugium which has been up for 5-10 yrs?
<Lots of reasons; to re-fit, re-new the substrate... B>
thanks again for all your help.

Cucs? Are they multiplying.      2/7/16
I'm new to the forum but have been reading your posts for years. A wealth of info for the reader. Thank you. This (Florida Aquacultured) LR hitchhiker seems to be multiplying. Arrived Thursday attached to a rock and didn't move. No attempt to filter LS or (new dry) oolite, he just stayed attached to a rock about a quarter of the way up in the tank. Yesterday I noticed
protruding ornamental-looking flowery tentacles coming in and out his rear end. I thought he might be expunging his guts, but after looking online, guts (and potential disaster poisoning) seems to be white sphetti-like strings (ruled out) this is not what coming out of him. So I left him alone. This a.m. there are two smaller versions of him where he was stationed and he's moved a few inches.
Mithrax crabs, stars, all other hitchhiking life seems unaffected by this event.
Upon inspection, I see two others of the same on the opposite side of the tank perched high on LR. Those two seem to be attached by one end, one end sticking up.
<Are these things actually moving?>

I want to know what they are and if they are multiplying. They are not sponges but seem to be some species of Cucs.
<Maybe one or t'other... if mobile, my guess is on the latter>
I think it's reasonable the two perched high on the rock, on the other side of the tank, crawled there overnight and are not related to the first one which moved a apparently left two small duplicates of itself.
I'm attaching photos for some visuals. I hope they display. This is the first forum post.
The first photo is the original hitchhiker. Note the flowery tentacles on the (right) end. They move in and out.
<Strange... would you be willing to sacrifice one to dissect it?>
The second photo is the new small (hard to see in photo) duplicates.
The third photo are the two perched on end at opposite side of tank.
Unrelated most likely to the duplication event. For better ID of species.
This tank is newly cycling. Ammonia was 1.0 yesterday, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 0. Today Ammonia 2.0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 0, pH 7.9,
<Low pH from cycling>

temp 80 degrees.
Note: Because of the abundance of life on this live rock that is cycling.
I did a 10% water change yesterday and I'm considering the 10% water change today. I understand it's unorthodox, but I don't mind cycling slower to preserve all the life on this rock.
<I would keep changing water; trying to keep ammonia under 1.0 ppm, and pH above 8>
Thank you.
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Cucs? Are they multiplying.      2/7/16
Thanks for the reply. Yes, the original animal moved to a new location two inches upwards on LR from where it resided for two days upon placing the rock. The duplicates move very slightly like caterpillars sometimes move, moving only one end, probing the water but stay in their spot.
<I see>
They are soft and fleshy with (soft) short exterior tentacles and a dark colored protrusion on one end.
<Strange. I'll admit, I've not seen this before>
The largest, 3" long x 1/2" thick "original" has a flowery ornamental curlyQ hind-end that protrudes about a 1/2" at times. The exterior body tentacles occasionally move, like a starfishes "feet" but not so much as to appear actively searching for a food source.
One of the "duplicates" is about 1" long and "active" but remains stationary to its place on the rock. There are two other "duplicates" less than 1/2" long that look pod-like with definite dark protrusions on one end, their other end appears "affixed" to the rock, in they have not moved from their position. I can see than tiny life-like body movements, enough to appear alive. They are definitely living creatures. None have shown interest in migrating to substrate. They prefer to be on rock.
The two "newly emerged" specimens, which seemed to migrate into their current upright position overnight are about 1 1/2" long, 1/3" thick, and are perched like pineapples at the highest point in the tank. They are the farthest possible distance from the "original" location wise. They were definitely not in that location yesterday nor did I see them at all before this morning so I assume these creatures are capable of climbing terrain and prefer it to sifting sand. These two have rather pointy ends sticking upwards with no dark protrusions showing. Their "base" end on the rock is thicker than their pointy tops.
I've found another, "vacationing" in a ledge.
The ones "sunning" (power compacts 76 watts total in 29 gal biocube) out in the open and viewable, have snail-like short trunks. I don't know the scientific term for this "snout". Photo provided.
They are all pink-gray in color and definitely the same species.
I will be happy to send one. Pls provide details. What cool thing will you send to me? : )
<Heeee! Maybe my sister>
Note taken on water changes.
<I'd definitely keep them; but... what are they? Pennatulaceans? Some sort of worm? New to me.


black tetras sick       2/7/16
Hi, i have a 400 litre tank that has been set up for 12 mths. In it there is black,
<Gymnocorymbus ternetzi? Usually a rock solid purchase, very hardy, but can be bit nippy if not kept in sufficient numbers.>
<Very nippy regardless of how they're kept! Would not keep with other tetras, to be honest. On the other hand, very hardy and quite lovely in their way.>
<Hyphessobrycon megalopterus? Peaceful and easy to keep, but doesn't like overly warm water.>
white tip tetras.
<Hyphessobrycon bentosi? Peaceful, verging on nervous; choose tankmates carefully.>
Also i purchased 3 Colombian tetras.
<Hyphessobrycon columbianus, Can be quite nippy if kept with small, slow-moving tankmates, and rather boisterous. Not too warm water important as well.>
They seemed healthy, just with a slight darker area, that i thought may have just been a different colour pattern. All where healthy when purchased and introduced properly. I maintain at least once a week, water changes filter clean etc. Started having the issue when 1 of the Columbians died, didn't think to much of it, as things happen. Then a second one died and
followed closely with 1 black tetra. Now, what we have, is 2 more black tetras becoming ill with black patches developing over the head, from the mouth to the top of the eyes. A slight bulging of the eyes develop, when looking head on it looks like it has thick glasses on. They then develop raised lesions on the body and hang in the water breathing rapidly.
Appetite is diminished, but, not completely gone. The last of the Columbian tetras is doing fine, and the rest of the tank mates are fine, healthy with good appetites. I am completely at a loss, any help will be greatly appreciated
<The fact there's a mix of species getting sick suggests the problem is environmental rather than, say, parasites. I'd be reviewing all the basics first. Start with temperature and water quality. Around 24 C/75 F would be okay for this selection of species. Zero nitrite, zero ammonia. Decent but not turbulent water movement. Lots of oxygen. Water chemistry not too hard; 2-15 degrees dH, pH 6.5-7.5 would be fine. Use carbon or some other chemical adsorbent for a few weeks in case the tank was contaminated, for example with heavy metals, and review any/all substrate and rocks in case something not sold for fish tanks has got in. Use a copper test kit if you can, or have a marine-savvy aquarist do this for you. Review any
medications used, and chuck out any old ones. Look around the house to see if there's a source of airborne pollution such as paint fumes. Really, keep an open mind about how well the tank is being maintained, how well it was put together, and how good the water is you're putting into it. There's nothing obviously diagnostic about a particular disease, which is why I'm
leaning towards environment. Cheers, Neale.>

black convict, Cory cats?      2/7/16
Heya! I'm new to your site but have poked around a bit. Lots of good information. I didn't see anything similar to my situation so here goes with my question.
I have a single male black convict in an established 20 g tank. No tank mates. Got him about 5 days ago. I was thinking of getting a handful of Corydoras cats for bottom cleaning.
<Uhh; not likely compatible>
It's not necessary, just thought they'd ease up the gravel trash and provide a little more interest. Is this a mistake?
<Too much chance the Convict will harass, kill them IMO>
Big Papa is about 4.5".
If I were to add Cory's should I do this sooner rather than later, before he gets too settled, or would that matter?
<Good question, but likely no different in result>
Also, I was leaning against dither fish if he would be comfortable enough. Could the catfish serve this function or is that strictly top dwelling fishes?
<I'd go solo w/ this Cichlid here... better for you, it... to rely on filtration and maintenance to keep the tank clean>
I understand you're busy and so appreciate your attention to this matter.
<Glad to share. Am a fan of this species, but realize how many singletons, especially large males can be. Bob Fenner>
Re: black convict, Cory cats?      2/7/16

Wow, that was prompt! Thanks so much for your advice. I will follow it.
That was mighty super of you and have a great day
<And you; BobF> 

Banggai Cardinals; hlth.       2/7/16
Good Morning,
<And you Sarah>
Our Banggai has been in our salt water tank fine for a year now. We wanted to get the tank a little cleaner than what we had been providing. We hired a reef tank cleaner guy and now a week later our Banggai is swimming sideways and upside down at times? Is he dying due to stress?
<Could be... though quite a few fish species, even families like Grammas do orient themselves at odd angles, the Cardinalfishes (Apogonids) do not>
He is only moving his white translucent side fins only. He also seem to have a few red lines in his tail (blood?).
<Possibly; and a bad sign>
Is there anything we can do to help him or will time take his life?
<I would cut back on the percentage of water changed here (no more than a quarter, 25% or so at a time; once a week); and if possible, practical, store the new water for a week or more ahead of use. I suspect the too-vigorous cleaning is at fault here... that or an unfortunate physical accident twixt the Banggai and a living or non-living component in the system>
Thank you so much for your time,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

For Neale Monks (and Bob Fenner)      2/6/15
Neale (and Bob, since you were brought into this discussion by Neale):
[Neale]: You could simply tackle the symptom with a UV steriliser. These work a treat, used correctly. Some people have dosed marine tanks with antibiotics to treat bacterial blooms, so that might be an option as well. Don't know the details myself... Bob?
I could buy a UV unit,....
<UV use is covered completely on WWM. Are you able to use the search tool or indices? B>

Re: honey gourami compatibility      2/6/15
Hello all,
Test kit came back 10 GH and 6 KH. I think that's about what we were expecting, yes?
<Certainly reasonable values for a general community tank.>
Also, do you have any opinions on silvertip tetras? I was thinking some more yellow might complement the Celebes rainbowfish colors nicely but I've read mixed things about their aggression/nippiness.
<Hardy fish, quite good with other barb/tetra-type things as well as small catfish and loaches. They can be nippy though, primarily when kept in small numbers (fewer than 8) and/or combined with very tempting targets (fancy Guppies for example, or veil tail Angels). I would look at the X-Ray Tetra as an alternative, Pristella maxillaris. There's a "gold" form as well as the standard sort. Both are very peaceful and easy to keep.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Reddish tint on gourami fins = ammonia issue?      2/6/15
Reporting back again... You guys and ladies are amazing... I have done alternate day 25% water changes this week like you suggested and have started feeding slowly (once and then twice a day, smaller amounts, one pellet after lights out for Corys instead of 2 at dinner) and everything is looking much better. Redness in fins is almost gone, Opaline is unfolding fins more, is more active, and is chasing the gold 3-spot relentlessly again (I know, only one per tank, I'm a believer now), their normal
dynamic. Gold 3-spot is still a little frantic but has better coloration.
More water changes, test for ammonia, less food, and patience... And never ever buy a vertical tank. I've learned my lessons from great teachers.
<Glad to be able to help you enjoy this hobby! Thanks for the kind words.
Cheers, Neale.>

Hole with red white strings on ghost knife      2/6/15
My buddy sent me this photo. His black ghost knife has a hole with red and white strings hanging out under his body near the mouth. I checked your site and the web and can't find anything on it. Can you help? Sorry pic is terrible .
<Indeed it is! But short answer, likely a combination of physical damage (scratched by rocks, nipped by tankmates, etc.) and environmental shortcomings of some sort (non-zero ammonia and nitrite for example). To be clear: most problems with Black Ghosts are down to three things: [a] the way they're kept, [b] the way they're kept, and [c] the way they're kept.
In and of themselves they're not particularly prone to disease or plagued with parasites upon import. But they are highly demanding fish. Let's go through what your buddy needs to provide. Firstly, a big aquarium, 55 gallons would be too small, 75 gallons for an adult a bare minimum, and anything up that much the best option. Juveniles don't last long in small tanks (20 gallons for example) and usually end up dead under such conditions, so even if this is a youngster, you'd be starting off with 40, 50 gallons and upgrading quickly. Next up, filtration. As fish from rapids and riffles and places around waterfalls, they like water movement and high oxygen levels. Big canister filters and the like are what you're after.
Turnover rates upwards of 8 times the volume of the tank per hour. Low nitrates are a plus, so regular water changes. Water chemistry itself isn't a big issue, so you can be liberal with water changes even in moderately hard water areas. Diet is a big problem for many folks. While they sometimes take pellets, they're mostly micro-predators and expect a varied
diet based around insect larvae, small earthworms, enriched brine shrimps and so on. A monotonous diet based on frozen bloodworms for example won't work though. Definitely no feeder fish! Because they can't be medicated with anything containing copper or formalin, you need to avoid situations where these might be needed. Quarantine tankmates (better yet, avoid them) and ensure there's nothing in the tank that could damage them (sharp rocks, for example). I'm guessing yours has some sort of ulcer, perhaps caused by gravel (don't use gravel, use smooth silica sand) or jagged rocks (provide
lots of smooth caves in the form of plastic or ceramic pipes). An antibiotic will be necessary, and don't use anything else unless it expressly states it's safe with stingrays (most aquarium store medications aren't). Remember to remove carbon from the filter while medicating.
Cheers, Neale.>


Zoanthids looking crinkled???      2/6/15
Hi Bob and crew! Thanks again for reading. Your site and dedication are the best.
<Ah, welcome>
I started this colony with just three polyps 3 years ago in my 10 gallon nano tank.
<Very nice!>
When I set up my 225 gal a few years back I transferred them over and they exploded. There's are hundreds of polyps. They go through changes and phases from time to time but this crimped or crinkled aspect that some of the colony has is very odd.
<I see this... could be a few things going on here: Some sort of nutrient deprivation (do you have N, P, K?; What do you feed?), allelopathy (fighting amongst themselves, other Cnidarian life there), toxic reaction from... maybe the BGA in evidence here....>
This had been going on for two weeks. They all open up. The picture was taken after I fanned the rock so I was messing with them. Although they open the skirts look so odd. Strangely the skirts with a lot of green fluorescence seem to be the ones affected. I have scoured the site and I can't seem to find anything about this exact problem.
<Oh, the above rather common issues are covered>
Just people who's polyps won't open. I figure that it may be from allelopathy. Also, I don't have any nitrates right now. Water too clean? But no other of my other colonies are showing sins of distress at all nor are my corals. Let me know what this might be. It would be so sad to lose this gorgeous colony.
<Please have a (re) read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ZoaDisDiagF.htm
and on to the linked files above in this series detailing Zoanthid Disease. Bob Fenner>

white powdery look... On Mithraculus, snail...         2/5/16
I have had 2 emerald crabs die. Both developed a white powdery looking substance on their bodies.
<Precipitation? From... supplement use likely>
I have 6 snails and a few have the same substance, 1 extreme. I have a pajama cardinal, a banded coral shrimp and a cleaner shrimp with no apparent issues. Any ideas?
<Stenopids will eat all other small crustaceans, snails.... were the bodies intact? Are you sure these weren't/aren't simply molted exoskeletons (the Mithraculus hiding?). Bob Fenner>
Thanks, Greg
Re: white powdery look         2/5/16

Thanks for the reply. No supplement use. Watched the crabs slowly die.
<Slowly? How much time; please describe their behavior. What do you feed?
Have you read on WWM re this species?
The one snail is covered with this. Would a picture help?
<Yes! As close up, highly resolved image as you can provide. B>
Thanks, Greg

Re: For Neale Monks (Bob, know anything about antibiotics to treat marine bacterial blooms?)         2/5/16
<<Mmm; generally not a good idea... better to seek out the reason for the bloom and fix (e.g. too much or improper food, inadequate filtration, circulation...) RMF>>
Thanks Neale, very much.
I’ll recap what we worked on previously to address some of the possibles you mention.
Silt. This issue was occurring with the previous fine gravel substrate, which had been in this tank for over four years when I changed it last October. This flashing/cloudy water issue has been around in this one tank for well over a year now, so I wouldn’t put this down to the newer sand. I don’t like liquid clarifiers but as a last resort a while back I did try Seachem’s Clarity which made things worse for days until I did a water change (the fish didn’t seem too happy with this stuff), but a few weeks later API’s Accu-Clear did clear it overnight. Not sure if this means anything. This cloudiness appears overnight, with perfectly clear water one day, and next morning hazy.
<Which sounds a lot like some sort of bloom. Which... hard to say. Do you have access to a decent light microscope? Diatoms are pretty obvious. Bacteria, less so.>
The temperature is extremely stable in this tank; it has an Eheim Pro II with the heating element, and the temp has never varied more than a decimal place or two (it is set on 24.5 C and it varies from 25.4 up to 25.5).
As for pH, on your advice I have buffered it with aragonite, and it has consistently tested 6.4-6.6 since last November. I no longer test every day since doing so for four weeks showed no fluctuation, and periodic tests since and prior to water changes have been the same. And I have two API test kits so the same result with both. GH is near zero, in all my tanks, and always has been for 15+ years here so I would not assume this an issue in only one tank, suddenly.
<I'm a bit freaked by the idea of zero general hardness whilst using aragonite (presumably to raise carbonate hardness). Your pH is also a lot lower than I'd recommended for casual fishkeeping. Of course, it's ideal for soft water fish, but do bear in mind biological filtration is sub-optimal below 7, and said to be close to nonexistent below 6.>
Copper we eliminated by my using the API Tap Water Conditioner, although I do add some in the Flourish Comprehensive Supplement, but my other 6 tanks are all getting the same dose per volume and with the same tap water and water changes. Last autumn I had stopped all plant additives on advice of someone wondering if there was some sort of chemical interaction, for 2 months, with no impact on the problem.
<How did the plants do?>
The tank is planted, and the plants are doing well, including the floating Ceratopteris cornuta that grows like a weed. I thin it every week during the water change (which is 60-70% of the tank now, normally 50%). Good surface movement from the filter should avoid any oxygen/CO2 issues (?). I sent you a photo last December, and you saw no issue. Another oddity. When I rebuilt this tank, I moved the fish into the 70g which had been running for several years with sand and plants. I had moved out the fish into other tanks (part of a plan to rebuild this and another tank) and as it was then empty of fish, I used it for these. Within a couple days, it too clouded up. Which suggested to me that the fish were “carrying” the problem, though again that makes little sense. ??
I don’t know what has not been investigated to date, but I must be missing something.
<You could simply tackle the symptom with a UV steriliser. These work a treat, used correctly. Some people have dosed marine tanks with antibiotics to treat bacterial blooms, so that might be an option as well. Don't know the details myself... Bob? Diatoms tend to settle down as other plants take over, but they can/do flare where something isn't right -- whether directly sunlight, nitrate, phosphate, pH, etc. Hard to pin down given what you've said, but the reality is that bacterial and algal blooms *aren't* normal in stable aquaria. Outside of newly set-up tanks, bacterial blooms simply don't happen in well-run tanks, only ones with serious (usually dead fish-level) problems. Diatoms usually bloom where there's some combination of excess light and excess nitrate, so again, usually not a problem in a healthy tank. One last cause is chemical interactions, typically those following the use of pH buffers, where some type of insoluble chemical (like a precipitate) has been produced, and that floats around the tank because it's too small to settle out. Now, the fact you're using a carbonate hardness buffer but have very acidic conditions surely indicates there's A LOT of chemical reaction going on between acids and bases, so I'd be tempted to phase out the aragonite in favour of a commercial Discus Buffer pitched at the same pH, 6.5, as you've got now. It might well be that the aragonite approach, for some reason, isn't working here, and the Discus Buffer approach will work better. For a start, I'm not sure I'd have recommended using aragonite to maintain a pH below 7; if I did, that was remiss of me. Carbonate hardness is useful in tanks above pH 7, and below pH 7, it's more logical to maintain a low carbonate hardness (say, 1-2 degrees KH) but using a commercial buffer to steady the pH between water changes. Make sense? Cheers, Neale.>
Re: For Neale Monks (Bob, know anything about antibiotics to treat marine bacterial blooms?)         2/5/16

Thanks again Neale. I am about to head out the door, so this will not be detailed but just wanted to respond to a couple things quickly. Will digest this fully tomorrow.
You did not suggest aragonite. You were wondering if the pH fluctuated. I had said that it has been running around 6.2 to 6.6 in this tank for months, and you said that may or may not be reliable, so I used the aragonite (which I have done some time back, also with dolomite which was better) and it has remained consistent at 6.4 to 6.6, which I am taking to mean the pH is steady and thus not fluctuating causing the problem.
<Indeed; this sort of pH is definitely "within the range" you'd expect in an aquarium. Aragonite, being CaCO3, will primarily affect carbonate hardness.>
I was using Seachem’s Equilibrium for a couple years, to add more hard mineral for the plants, and the GH then was around 6 to 7 dGH. The fish didn’t seem to have any issues. I only stopped this on the advice of another person, re the possible interaction of additives. The flashing and cloudiness was an issue then, for several months, and has not changed since I stopped the Equilibrium last September.
On the plant response to fewer or no additives, there was a noticeable decline, but not as much as I would have expected. I tested this out in the other tanks too, and have since eliminated the Equilibrium in all tanks, and reduced the liquid fertilizers or re-jigged them. I have no plant issues that bother me. I just want to get whatever is in this tank resolved. I just cannot figure out why it is only this tank, or more exactly, only this group of fish, that are having this issue. I have several smaller tanks with a pH around 5, or lower perhaps, can’t measure below 5, and zero GH/KH, and the fish are thriving, spawning all over the place. I’m raising pygmy Corys and Farlowella vittata, and fry of several species from pencils to tetras to Corys appear regularly, those that survive egg predation anyway, or get trapped in the canister filter and are rescued.
<All sounds great!>
More later, must dash. B.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Blueline Angel with sore/wound         2/5/16
Thank you for the quick reply. I was leaning towards a wound/injury but the whole bump thing turning into a wound was throwing me off.
<Mmm; actually quite common etiology>
This morning there was another open wound perfectly aligned vertically.
I am speculating the fish was blown into the edge of the opening at the top. The top has two openings in it and there is a Maxspect Gyre at one end pushing water pretty hard near the surface across the entire tank (I've turned the flow rate down).
I always soak food overnight in either Selcon or Vita-chem so we are good there.
<Mmm; at room temp., half an hour is about all the good you're going to do.
DO pour the supernatant (liquid) into the system as well>
I will be adding iodine today as recommend and will also slowly raise the salinity up (I use water from Scripps aquarium which is already at natural sea water levels so that should be easy to do).
<Ah yes; am a resident in San Diego; used their water (with storage, and/or bleach/dechlorination...) for many years. A very long time ago>
I will keep you posted on the recovery. Thanks again for you insights.
<Thank you for sharing. B>

Absorption of Medication... the general spiel re fresh vs. salt water organisms          2/5/16
I have a question about a tropical fish tank. I have always thought that putting anything, good or bad, in a tank would be absorbed by the fish in the tank.
<Mmm; differentially... not much in freshwater actually; and variably in marine>
If the fish are sick, then putting medication in the tank would be absorbed either through the skin, or water going through the gills.
<No; not really. Marines do "drink" their environment; but very little gets into fishes via their skin, gills>
Same thing with putting vitamins in a tank. Would they not be absorbed by the fish through the skin and/or gills?
<Not much at all; no.>
I've sort of had an argument with someone on this issue. This other person continues to say that freshwater fish do not "drink" water.
<Tis so; they are more highly solute laden inside their bodies; fighting if you will, the osmotic tendency for water to "leak in">
And even if that's true, I would think that medication or other treatments would enter the fishes system one way or another,
<Almost entirely by ingestion... or injection if/where used>
but I've been told that unless it goes into their digestive system, nothing will be effective. I was hoping you could explain to me how a medication works if it's not given through the food, if it does at all?
<Mmm; same as in humans, us... some medications are not changed much/at all taken orally, and pass through the G.I. tract's absorptive layers, processes into the blood stream; hence moved throughout the vascular body>
I just think it's silly to say that fish do not "drink" water ....
<Please read here for a better, more thorough explanation:
because if I put copper into the water, it's going to kill my fish by being absorbed through the skin.
I mostly keep puffer fish, so that's mainly what I'm concerned with. I just fail to understand why something would not work unless it's taken through the digestive system.
<Work? Oh, there are materials, like copper compounds, that do exert effects, though they may not get into the blood system>
This issue came up because I wanted to dose my tanks with aquatic vitamins.
I already soak my bloodworm in vitamins, but not all of my puffers eat bloodworm.
<Try soaking other foods?>
So I was thinking if I dosed the tank, the vitamins would be absorbed by the puffers through their skin and/or as passing through the gills.
<Well; vitamins do effect the overall health of a freshwater system, via their influence of microscopic life mostly.>
Thank you for your time to answer my question.
PS - Let Neale Monks know that I still have my mudskippers and that they are doing fine.
Kind Regards,
Suzanne Bateman
<Real good. Bob Fenner>

refugium (substrate) change?? Reading? Not yet; a whole bunch of Qs         2/5/16
I have done some reading on WWM but could not find answer to the following main question.
***Does one ever have to clean and change out entire refugium substrate?
other more minor ?s buried within(**)
<The short, simple answer is yes. USE the WWM SEARCH TOOL
for background -
90 gallon reef
Uses RO/DI water, ( 4stage ) circulated and oxygenated at least 24 hr
before 20 gal water changes every 2 weeks
Salt mix – Red Sea Coral Pro Salt
~15 gal refugium-( lit at night only) growing Chaeto with marked amount
of detritus on surface
In-sump ETTS Tower protein skimmer with Danner Mag Drive model 5 pump
Main pump- reef octopus DC 5500 in sump, about 5 ft below tank
inflows ->Circular
flow in tank with two inputs at opposite corners
Lighting – TWO 55 light 3w LED dimmable fixtures with blue, white,
yellow. white lights on 11amà7:30 pm ( 8.5hrs/day).
**How long can I have blue LEDs on? (will they bleach corals?)
<Depends on the PAR/PUR strength of the LEDs AT the point of light encounter with the corals AND what species, and condition to degree, these "corals" are/in>

Purple Tang- lateral line disease? ** any good tx?
<? See WWM>

Coral beauty- had recent white spots, 2-3mm flat. Now resolved.
Rock anemone . Occasionally target feed with shrimp.
Colt coral
Kenya Tree coral - growing VERY slowly high on live rock. Position?
<This too; all covered....>

Ricordea (2 - orange, green)
Green star polyps- no longer fully extend , ?light /flow levels?
<And this>
Yellow polyps- spreading. Please take some!
<I'll bet; no thanks>
Plate corals (2)- green and orange- occasionally fed raw shrimp
Zoanthids-** no longer fully opening.
<Trouble. See WWM>

Hammer coral and Torch corals-
Mushrooms- **recently smaller. Red and blue ones almost disappeared.
<Out competed... allelopathy very likely>
Leather coral – after months of being flat-topped/closed, now opens polyps fully and looks great. Why?
Grandis palythora- looks bleached since I got it ?change to lower light level?
Brittle starfish (2 in tank, 2 in refugium- one giant). Sea cucumbers (2)- reproduced in tank.
Recently had new condylactus. Did well for several weeks, grew, then disappeared overnight, never saw any "remains”
**Other questions-
What benefit is there to having live rock in one's refugium (along with plants) if you already have live rock in main reef?
SCWD or other inexpensive wave maker ?
any experience with use of nitrate remover called AZ-NO3?
Water chemistry-
Calcium 415
dKH 5.9 or 10 – >** big discrepancy between Salifert and
Hagen tests??- considering getting Hanna alk checker
pH – 8.2
sp. Grav – 1.026
NO3- tr
PO4- .02-.03
Mg – 1280
pH- 8.1
temp 80 degrees
<Keep reading! Bob Fenner>

Re: Sebae Health... more incompatible tankmates         2/5/16
OK. I've already read all of the suggested reading prior to posting.
<//// ? then why are you feeding silversides? Go back and re-read
The only thing I have not tried is force feeding the Crispa with a dropper and vitamin soaked mysis shrimp as a treat as it has been accepting silversides all along.
<I like popcorn too... but not good for me to eat it exclusively
Coloration is still very good but during day at peak lighting times it is shrunken and tentacles are deflated somewhat until my LED controller starts o diminish intensity around 4-4:30 pm. At this time the tentacles tend to inflate more and more so into the darkness hours. The oral disc remains normal I appearance and it is still buried well in the sand. If these new Kessil 360's can keep stony corals and the other soft corals and anemones in good health they should do the same for this specimen.
I have a well-established 55 gallon with live rock, led's macro algae and a pair of Maroon clowns that I am contemplating moving the crispa to in hopes that no other Cnidarians will be there to wage any chemical war fare and will recover.
It has been thriving for 3 months until now and nothing in the water parameters are out of line and all other specimens are fine i.e.. 2 bubble tip, toadstool , Torch coral, 2 small carpet anemones
<!? NOT compatible. SEE/READ on WWM re>

and a small rock anemone so maybe someone is not playing well .
I did clean my skimmer out as the fractionizing tube was dirty and it was not effective but with all the macro and live rock for the short period of time should not have hurt anything as even when at 100% it does not take a heavy amount of wastes out.
Maybe I should give him another 24 before moving?
<I'd move it stat! Bob Fenner>
RE: Sebae Health         2/5/16
On the silversides issue maybe I'm missing something? I see several recommendations that is a good source only maybe soaked in Selcon.
<...."ideal foods are very finely minced meaty foods of marine origin Mysids, shrimp, krill, etc. Please do research more about this anemone in the FAQs and articles on this our site www.wetwebmedia.com"
I did start using RO water from a filtration system I purchased and the
last 2 water changes have been using that and also same for top of water
which would coincide with the timeline of this slow decline but when
everything else is healthy as can be I keep coming back to ware fare issues
between specimens.

Puffer refugium; design reading          2/5/16
Mr. Bob and crew, I decided to go with a puffer since my tank was too small for the trigger I wanted. Tank is 150g. I am deciding between a dog face or porcupine. So far the research I have done my tank size will be ok. I am installing a refugium and other upgrades. I will be able to add a 29g refugium after hubs does a plumbing fix. I planned on pumping water up from the sump and gravity feed back into the sump. I remember reading if there is any critters in a fuge then it ain't a fuge.
>Mmm; not so in my book<
I currently have a dsb in dt. After seeing some videos of puffers eating I have a question. Wow! Messy eaters!!I know my water changes will have to increase. I currently run a sock but change it every couple of days.
Instead of pumping water from the sump, should I tee off my down spout into fuge with ball valve and add clean up crew in there.
<Not much diff>
I had intended on dsb, some rock and Chaeto and nothing else. . But can change plans to what you think best for a puffer.
<Posted on WWM... a DSB, RDP...
Thank you very much.
<Welcome as much. B>
Re: Puffer refugium         2/5/16

I am so sorry for the confusion! I will go back and reread the book again. it has been a while and I am so forgetful!
<Hate to state; but gets worse as time ticks to races along>
I got confused from posts stating stuff like they have corals, fish etc in fuge then it ain't a fuge. I will dust my book off and re-read before plumbing. Sorry for wasting your time :)
<Never a waste of time. Am glad, indeed desirous of making these ideas clear. Helps me as well.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Puffer refugium         2/5/16

Hi Mr. Bob again, I finally found my book! Last year we thought hubs was being transferred and some stuff has yet to be unpacked. I was up to 4 am going through TONS of boxes (with a 102 f fever due to flue)
<Yikes! Stay away from the fireplace!>

But now I am all comfy nursing my illness and reading. I plan on staying in bed for the next several days and read. So hopefully that will cut down on my stupid questions, lolThanks for your patience the past two weeks. I should be set now :)
<Do take care. BobF>

Keeping tank water in a good condition. FW maint.         2/5/16
Hi I have a 120ltr tank with 2 Dalmatian Molly's 8neon tetras 3 guppies, 2 female one male, I clean my tank every week and use easy balance to keep the water in good condition, is this enough?
<Alongside an aquarium filter and periodic water changes, should be fine.>
Please advise. The water is very clean, I don't clean the tank ornaments every week as the Molly's like algae, I hope I'm doing ok, the fish seem very healthy and happy, the only problem I have is one of the Dalmatian Molly's is attacking the neons and I'm worried that it will kill them, hoping to hear from you soon,
<Male Mollies can be aggressive, unfortunately. One problem is that Neons prefer different conditions to Mollies, and the two species rarely do well in the same aquarium because of that. Sick Neons are an easy target for aggressive fish because sick Neons become listless and move about very little.>
many thanks, Norma.
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Sebae Health        2/3/16
Ok have a 220 reef I have had this set up since 10-07-15. 1 Sebae which has thrived up until lately.
<Clown, anemone?>
A couple of months ago I introduced a rose bubble tip which within 30 days split.
The sisters are doing great. So is a large Toadstool coral a few very small stony's way up in the rock work, some Zoos,
<The Sarcophyton and Zoanthids don't play well w/ other Cnidarian groups. >

IF there is some sort of physical, chemical challenge in the system there could be real trouble here>
feather dusters and 13 small fish, 300lbs of live rock, 40 gallon sump/refugium and 3 Kessil 360 W lights. Water parameters are great. Run big Skimmer plenty of flow with double overflows and Tunze Wave Box.
The Sebae a bout 3 weeks ago started to get smaller at times
<Oh, so, Heteractis crispa>
so I started feeding a couple of times a week with Silversides
>See WWM re feeding this species<

only about the size of the mouth. Fed the bubbles at same time too and they look great but the Sebae wants to sometimes completely shrink up and go into the sand briefly which never worried me but it seems to be more inflated in the morning and evening hours or in darkness. At peak lighting times it's smaller and not extended as much. It does host an anemone crab
but has for 90 days at least. It is about 22 inches from a bubble tip and maybe 10 inches from the Toadstool coral which is very healthy.
I do water changes about every 3-4 weeks and do 3+ gallons.
<What volume is this?>

Everything looks great except the Sebae not as prolific as it should although color is very fine so I now it can't be the lights and it is not moving at all maybe 5 inches on a lateral move over 3 months but never came up out of the sand just got more focused under the light I think.
<Please, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/SebAnemDisDiagF.htm and the linked files above....>
I figure maybe not thriving due to chemical warfare or maybe I should back off the feedings.
<You should READ>
Comments? I know I pushed the envelope on the cycling but took it very easy on the bio-load with tons of live rock sand seeding and skimming nothing was stressed. The Sebae and 2 banded corals went in at 30 days after setup and never showed signs of stress
Thanks in advance
Mike Murphy
<Enjoy the reading. Write back w/ specific questions, concerns (should you have them), after. Bob Fenner>
RE: Sebae Health        2/3/16

Sorry meant to say 30+ gallons on water change
<Ah; that makes more sense. B>



RE: Worm Snail image - permission to use       2/4/16
Many thanks indeed!
All the best
<Cheers, BobF>
Harriet Wood
Curator & Collection Manager Mollusca

For Neale Monks. FW... fish hlth.... hazy tank...        2/4/16
Hello Neale,
I am following up on the issue we discussed in late November-December concerning the fish in my 90g tank that were flashing, simultaneous with hazy water. I followed your suggestion of one week with salt and elevated temperature, and as I reported thereafter, that seemed to help. You advised that some flashing might be observed until such time as the gills
were back to normal, so I have been monitoring this over the past few weeks.
The problem still seems to be present. It is three-fold: the water turns cloudy, such as a bacterial bloom; some of the fish remain in the filter stream; some begin flashing.
The barbs are the worst for flashing, but the loaches have begun again.
The barbs remain in the filter stream, as do the Lemon Tetra, but the Congo Tetra seem unaffected. And the water is hazy. All of this happens simultaneously, so there must be a connection.
You will remember that I have previously treated for gill flukes (Prazi-Pro) and ich/velvet (latest was the salt/heat), and used antibiotics over a period of weeks back in September-October to deal with assumed bacterial gill issues. Major water changes seem to help some, but only for a day. I also tore this tank down completely back in October, replacing all wood, filter media and substrate (thinking something might be present in one or more of these). Nothing has worked.
Should I do another salt treatment? Or something else? I am still puzzled as to how the cloudy water fits into this, if it is a parasite; how could a parasite cause cloudy water?
<Not that I'm aware of. Cloudy water means two, maybe three things. The first is silt. Usually happens when a new substrate is used, often sand. A filter aid (flocculant) alongside filter wool fixes this. The second thing is a diatom bloom. Commoner in marine tanks than freshwater to be honest.
But can happen in freshwater. Associated with strong light, lack of higher plant growth, and usually (but not always) unstable water conditions including water quality of course but also chemistry aspects too. Normally fades away but can often come back weeks later. A UV-filter fixes this quite nicely and quickly, but reviewing the causes and acting accordingly can work too. Finally, there are bacterial blooms. Very much associated with unstable water chemistry and varying water quality this is classically a symptom of new tanks. Difficult to tell apart from diatom blooms but often the situations are different. Again, UV can help, but oftentimes bacterial blooms die back when the filter matures or the tank settles down. Because blooms of either type are triggered by environmental factors that can also stress fish, such as fluctuating pH levels, blooms can be
associated with "flashing" behaviour and other signs of stress without actually causing the fish direct harm. Make sense? So I'd be trying to pin down what might not be stable or optimal in the tank, whether pH, hardness, CO2, O2, temperature, light intensity... potentially even periodic exposure to things like direct sunlight, copper in the tap water. The fact the fish
concentrate in the filter flow may suggest they're less than happy -- wild fish in the wrong situation will often try and migrate away, which is essentially what they thing they're doing swimming into the filter flow.>
I await your advice, with appreciation.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Clown Fish; hlth.; env.        2/4/16
I’m wondering if you could help me?
<Will do my best; as always>
I’m new to this hobby. I have a newly cycled 65 gallon tank with live rock, one coral, some snales/hermit crabs and two new clown fish. Bought them a week and a half ago. My water tests are all good. PH 8.4, Ammonia 0, Nitrate and Nitrite are 0.
<No accumulated Nitrate? Odd>
I did have an issue with the gravity as I had a faulty hydrometer and had to lower it from 1.30 to 1.25. I noticed that my clown has been pooping a white stringy poop and recently I saw a white speck under his eye. He is swimming around and eating fine. Wondering if anyone can identify what it might be? I'm posting pics.
<Can't tell from your images or writing what is going on here. Could well be that the too-high spg is all that is causing the marks here. I would do nothing other than read for now. See WWM re Clownfish diseases>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Clown Fish       2/4/16
Thank you, actually when i came home today the mark was almost gone.
<Ah yes; good>
Thanks for your help
<Welcome. BobF>

RE: Please help my axolotl!!       2/4/16
Hi again! My axolotl not interested in foods. Han become very thin now. I am so stress that he gonna to dead if he eat nothing. Is it maybe normal after operated?
<Likely so; have you tried small (earth)worms?>

How i can do or just let him be that way?
Best regards,
<I urge patience; and for you to read here:
Bob Fenner>

Blueline Angel with sore/wound       2/4/16
Thank you so much for providing such an overwhelming amount of data/guidance to the world. I've been reading and reading and I'm still not exactly sure what has developed on my BlueLine angel fish (parasite or wound or ???).
<Do you have a clear, well-resolved image you could send along?>
The sore appeared 2 days ago as a bump on it's side and evolved into what looks like an open wound. I have been testing water parameters everyday since the discovery and everything appears in line (350 gallon - Fish Only tank, Ammonia=0, Nitrites=0, nitrates=2-5ppm, PH=8.0-8.1, Salinity 1.018).
>Mmm; though it's popular to keep spg low; I would raise this up to near natural water concentration... 1.025 or so... over a week or mores' time>
The fish was introduced about 5 months ago (after a 1 month quarantine).
I have not noticed any behavioral changes and it is still eating everything(pellets, mysis, brine, seaweed, etc) . Any idea what this could be (I have provided some video links below)? Would you recommend I quarantine and medicate or at this point, would it be too stressful (also keeping in mind, the tank is large and catching anything usually takes a few days as it involves a trap and starvation)? If medication is advised what type? Also would freshwater dips help? I can provide any additional
info if needed.
Video 1 (15 secs): http://www.screencast.com/t/ol3Sb0l9Video 2 (30 secs): 
<Ouch! This appears to be a wound from a physical trauma. I would be soaking the foods you offer in a vitamin/HUFA mix ahead of offering; and triple dosing the system (water) with iodine-ate once a week.>
Thank you,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

re: Injured angelfish       2/4/16
Hi Bob,
Thanks so much for clarifying! I went on a hunt at my all my LFSs and not a lot of luck. All most of them had was MelaFix/pimafix/bettafix. One did have a very small range of medications by Blue Planet, none of them being medicated food (some Googling suggested there is no medicated fish food sold in Australia at all, Tetra brand or otherwise).
<Is possible they are restricted there; or of such small commercial demand that they're not carried>
The only antibiotic medication they had was called Aquari Cycline. It calls itself a broad spectrum antibiotic with tetracycline hydrochloride as its active ingredient. Should I try this?
<Yes; I would. NOTE that it/this (Tet. HCl) WILL change the color of your water... at least slightly orangish... This color will not permanently stain, and will decline with subsequent water changes and the addition of activated carbon>

The guy at my LFS suggested it was fine to use with clown loaches (he also told me MelaFix or a salt bath was better so i don't know).
As for my angel he looks well still. He's eating and behaving like nothing happened. His wound looks much the same, if not a little more closed over (hard to get a good look at it as he always looks at me front on when I go near the tank). His torn fins have almost completely healed. Over what time period should I expect/be checking for infection to occur?
<A few days to a week>
Thanks once more,
<Bob Fenner>

Re: Reddish tint on gourami fins = ammonia issue?        2/3/16
Following up! Both conditioned water (used Prime) and tank water tested 0 for all ammonia--no nitrite kits at LFS--so I guess that's not the problem?
<Looks like that's true, yes.>
Could last night's 25% have changed everything? 1 gourami looks a little better but the other seems worse, jumpy and a bit of shimmy, if those terms are correct.
<Water changes *do* indeed fix a lot of problems. A good rule of thumb is to see what happens if you do a big water change, 25-50%, keeping temperature and water chemistry the same. If the fish perk up, the problem is probably environmental, and medicine might not be needed if you can fix things quickly enough. Perhaps do a series of water changes, once every day or two, for a week, ten days. After that, good chance everything will be fine.>
Cherries and Corys seem fine. Haven't fed in a day and doing another 25% as I write, as you suggested.
<Cool; good luck! Neale.>
Re: Reddish tint on gourami fins = ammonia issue?        2/3/16

Thanks Neale! I'll report back in a week. You're awesome.
<Not sure the Mrs. agrees, but I try! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Lionhead goldfish - Is this a torn scale? /Neale chimes in         2/3/16
Drat! Hit the wrong button. Thought I had an image attached, there. Let's see if this works.
<Certainly looks like a loose scale. Goldfish lose these quite easily. Grow back quickly, and if water conditions are excellent, no need for medications. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Lionhead goldfish - Is this a torn scale?        2/3/16

Whew! Thanks, Bob & Neale. There's a relief. �� When I first saw it I didn't know *what* was erupting from this fish. �� Bob, you are so right about the "lost from physical action" thing.
<Ah yes; does happen w/ traumas, goldfish; but almost always the scale/s is/are lost, come loose, rather then a "hang nail" like here>
This fish is a bit of a 'nervous Nellie'. Easily startled and it's 'off to the races!'. I have no trouble believing that he'd charge out of the gate in a cloud of scales.
So, in your opinion, is it okay to continue with my plan to introduce him to "Eggsie's" tank now or wait until the scale drops of its own accord?
<I'd wait a good two weeks, maybe three in quarantine/isolation... to check for the more obvious large parasites (Lernaea, Argulus...) to show or not. BobF>

Re: HH ID         2/3/16
Thanks for the reply. I've attached another pic that's not zoomed in. The animal in question is sitting directly on top of the crushed coral and has a gray body color with some large black spots and some smaller yellowish/brown spots.
<Yes! This is what I thought... again, likely a Sea Squirt if not moving; a Cuke/Holothuroidean if moving... See WWM re... evidence of good conditions here>
Behind it and to the left is one of my snails. It looks similar to a small sea cucumber if I had to make a guess at what it
could be.
​<If motile... does it show feeding apparatus at the present left end? BobF>

cropped, spiffed

RE: Please help my axolotl!!        2/3/16
Hi again!
My husband and I tried to do what you have told and it seem it was so helpful. My axolotl has some pain in his mouth while we tried to took the brockie catfish out. Now the fish has taken and we took my axolotl back to aquarium. We just keep an eye on him. and my husband put the special salt (credozon) for him. Do you have some tips after treatment?
<Really to just keep the water clean... sulfa drugs might be suggested if there was an obvious infection, but I would not use medication/s at this point>
We thank you and really appreciate your help!
Best Regards,
Sasimaporn Skarstad
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
RE: Please help my axolotl!!        2/3/16

Thank so much! We will do it. :)
<Ah good>
Have a nice day!
<And you, B>

OZONE IN REEF TANK        2/3/16
<Please re-key and re-send NOT in all cap.s>
OZONE IN REEF TANK        2/3/16

<Mate; no.... Just use the search tool on WWM.>

Branching hammer coral not looking normal after splitting        2/3/16
Hello, I have a problem here I can't figure out that maybe you can help me with my hammer split about a month or two ago, and is now looking like all the fleshy bits under the polyps and center is missing and the skeleton is exposed?
<I see some of this in you pix>
Why would this happen?
<What re your water quality? Oh, see some issue below>

I thought at first it was a peppermint shrimp I had in the tank so I removed him, but the hammer does not seems to be getting better? What do you recommend?
<All life needs some N, P, K... You state you have zero NO3; do you have measurable HPO4? Need some of both. What are you feeding this Euphylliid?
Do you dose iodide-ate? Have you read on WWM re the family's needs?>

Water perimeters are: calcium 440 kH 179 ph 8.3 nitrate 0 nitrite 0 ammonia 0 tank size 30gal and my critters are 2 ocellaris clowns, 2 blue green Chromis, 1 Firefish, 1 purple Gorgonia, 2 small colonies of Zoa,
<These may be poisoning the other corals. See WWM re Zoanthid allelopathy>
1 organ pipe, the hammer, green torch coral and my clean up buddies. Any advise would be really appreciated. Thank you.
<The reading for now. Bob Fenner>

Re: Branching hammer coral not looking normal after splitting        2/3/16
Hello and thank you for your reply I do have measurable phosphates the last time check which was yesterday
the read at 0.25
<Ah, good>
and I feed them reef snow and I haven't dosed anything.
<Mmm; no to using "snows"; as these have almost no food value. PLEASE read here:

and the linked files above. B>
Re: Branching hammer coral not looking normal after splitting        2/3/16

Alrighty I will continue reading on and learning as much as possible.
Hopefully my little buddy pulls through. One more question, if I increase the amount of brine that I'm feeding the fishes will that be good for him to eat up or should I spot feed him brine or mysis? Maybe he's starving and I had no idea I just feel awful :-(
<... read>

Sebae Health        2/3/16
Ok have a 220 reef I have had this set up since 10-07-15. 1 Sebae which has thrived up until lately.
<Clown, anemone?>
A couple of months ago I introduced a rose bubble tip which within 30 days split.
The sisters are doing great. So is a large Toadstool coral a few very small stony's way up in the rock work, some Zoos,
<The Sarcophyton and Zoanthids don't play well w/ other Cnidarian groups. >

IF there is some sort of physical, chemical challenge in the system there could be real trouble here>
feather dusters and 13 small fish, 300lbs of live rock, 40 gallon sump/refugium and 3 Kessil 360 W lights. Water parameters are great. Run big Skimmer plenty of flow with double overflows and Tunze Wave Box.
The Sebae a bout 3 weeks ago started to get smaller at times
<Oh, so, Heteractis crispa>
so I started feeding a couple of times a week with Silversides
>See WWM re feeding this species<

only about the size of the mouth. Fed the bubbles at same time too and they look great but the Sebae wants to sometimes completely shrink up and go into the sand briefly which never worried me but it seems to be more inflated in the morning and evening hours or in darkness. At peak lighting times it's smaller and not extended as much. It does host an anemone crab
but has for 90 days at least. It is about 22 inches from a bubble tip and maybe 10 inches from the Toadstool coral which is very healthy.
I do water changes about every 3-4 weeks and do 3+ gallons.
<What volume is this?>

Everything looks great except the Sebae not as prolific as it should although color is very fine so I now it can't be the lights and it is not moving at all maybe 5 inches on a lateral move over 3 months but never came up out of the sand just got more focused under the light I think.
<Please, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/SebAnemDisDiagF.htm and the linked files above....>
I figure maybe not thriving due to chemical warfare or maybe I should back off the feedings.
<You should READ>
Comments? I know I pushed the envelope on the cycling but took it very easy on the bio-load with tons of live rock sand seeding and skimming nothing was stressed. The Sebae and 2 banded corals went in at 30 days after setup and never showed signs of stress
Thanks in advance
Mike Murphy
<Enjoy the reading. Write back w/ specific questions, concerns (should you have them), after. Bob Fenner>
RE: Sebae Health        2/3/16

Sorry meant to say 30+ gallons on water change
<Ah; that makes more sense. B>

re: Injured angelfish        2/3/16
Thank you Bob for your sage advice. I've been reading through the angel FAQs you linked as well as some of the articles on treating diseases and am, admittedly, a little overwhelmed.
<Let's review a bit at a time then>
I guess because a lot if this advice pertains to treating advanced infection and I'm not at (and hopefully my poor angel will never get to) that point. I wanted to run it by you before I dose my tank as I don't want to make a rookie error and cause a larger problem.
<Let's hope so>
I see a lot of FAQs recommending against things like Melafix, for example, but the Choose Your Weapon article indicated it can be useful as a preventative.
<Some folks believe so; I do not. These "fixes" can be trouble in terms of modifying water quality, stalling nitrification. At best they're placebos>
That said, it sounds like I'm better off looking for an antibacterial/antibiotic?
<Yes; a real one>
I'm doing a preliminary online shop at my local LFSs and can't find much of those listed in your FAQs (I guess cause I
live in Australia), will any antibiotic do?
<Mmm; no; some are better, more likely applicable... better to use none than just any>
I see it also says many medications are not good with sensitive fish like clown loaches (of which I have a few small ones and i don't have a cycled quarantine tank to put the angel in) so I'm worried about harming them.
<You should be; again, I'd skip adding any real or faux med. here>
Also worried about causing a recycling event in my tank by killing the 'good' bacteria so is there any specific medications to avoid for that?
<All to an extent can pose this issue>
Another article suggested that administering the medication via food was better than immersion, but that getting accurate dosages can be tricky.
<Yes; tis so>
My angel is still very enthusiastically eating (during their feed tonight he raced all the other fish to it and ate first as usual) so food is an option if its safer for everyone involved?
<Better to buy a pre-made medicated (dried) food. Can you obtain those made by Tetra there?>
If it's worth mentioning I've done a 25% water change (don't gravel vac any more since the tank is now planted but if i should to prevent infection please do tell) and am monitoring water conditions closely. Should I do daily water changes or is this only important in cases where a dirty tank has caused the infection?
<I'd stick w/ your routine... Likely weekly, no more than 25% change-outs>
Do you also have any advice of specific symptoms I should be on the look out for, or should I simply be watching out for anything and everything?
<Growths on the wounds; more importantly a cessation of feeding; other aberrant behavior>
Sorry for the barrage of questions from this panicked fish mum!
Thanks as ever for your patience and advice,
<Thank you for your careful reading, questions. BobF>

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