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Charonia tritonis (Linnaeus 1767), the Triton's Trumpet (or Pu ole in Hawaiian). To twenty inches. . Indo-Pacific. Used by the Greek God Triton as well as Hawaiian and other indigenous folks as a blow horn. Important as a predator on Crown of Thorns Stars as well as other echinoderms. St. Thomas 2014 TiffB pix
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General FAQs
Updated 9/1/2014
Other Specialized Daily FAQs Blogs: Freshwater,
Ponds, Brackish, Last Few Days Accrued FAQs,
Daily Q&A replies/input from the WWM crew: Nate Guerette, Rick Novy, Bobby Rudro, Jordan Stari, Sue Garrett, Darrel Barton,
Neale Monks, Marco Lichtenberger, Sabrina Sharp, James Gasta, Eric Russell, Chris Perivolidis, Lynn Zurik, Chuck Rambo, Bob Fenner, are posted here. Moved about, re-organized daily
Current Crew Bios., Not so current Crew Bios
Small Marine Aquariums
Book 1: Invertebrates, Algae
New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
ook 2: Fishes
New Print and eBook on Amazon: by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums Book 3: Systems
New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
PLEASE: Write reviews of my works on Amazon! I need your input. BobF

Purple mushroom problem... Just reading, using WWM     8/31/14
About 2 days ago I purchased a Sebae Anemone. He looked like he was doing well. He was not bleached, his mouth was closed tight, and he was opened up well. I ordered him through a friend who own a pet store who also has a passion for salt water. However my friend has no experience with reef set-ups only fish so he's not much help. Anyways, the anemone refused to eat. (Brine shrimp, dived silversides)
<These are poor choices. See/read the archived FAQs on WWM re Heteractis crispa foods/feeding/nutrition>

and if he did eat a little he would flip over
<Very bad>
onto his mouth and expel it. He hadn't attached to a rock yet.

Soon his mouth was gaping and eventually today I noticed he was disintegrating so I took him out immediately and did about a 40% water change
<Good move... I'd add carbon...>
to try to remove any toxins that may harm my tank. During this whole process of trying to acclimate my anemone I noticed my corals, (that are still mostly frags) were stressed.
<Oh yes; poor choice of tankmates... See Actinarian Compatibility on WWM as well>
They would not open up. My mushroom even expelled his indides for mabey 3 minutes after the water change. I just
want to know if my reef is going to be ok. My wife just went out to buy a fake sebae for the clowns to live in until I am more comfortable trying a real one again. Advice?
<Keep reading; learn to use WWM. Bob Fenner>
re: Purple mushroom problem

Hey thanks. Good info, I really appreciate it.

Re: Curious Chromis behavior     8/31/14
> On 31/08/2014, at 00:42, "WetWebMedia Crew" <crew@WetWebMedia.com>
> <Borja>
> I have a group of seven green Chromis (Chromis viridis). One of them has
> been with me for several years, and the other six (very small youngsters)
> have been introduced this week,
> <Let's hope they all get along>
No troubles so far. They were sharing a tank at the LFS, been there for a couple of weeks and there were no damaged fins or anything other sign of trouble. Everything perfect for now, and no trouble with the hermit Chromis
who usually prefers to be in what has been its shelter for more than two years, the space between two dead Montipora plates.
<I see>
It hasn't shown any aggression towards the new youngsters (the smallest one is 2 cm long) and sometimes it chooses to join their group.
I feed a lot, so there should not be quarrels due to food :)
> I also introduced some corals, one of them a Stylophora. Today I have
> noticed it has been nipped. I suspected the Centropyge bicolor or the
> Chelmon rostratus until, bummer! I saw that one of the "little grasshopper"
> Chromis is nipping at it. The bites are quite noticeable.
> <Mmm; yes... This Chromis species is on the larger end of the scale in
> terms of modifying branching corals... nipping them; essentially to open up
> the colony for their use, diving in and hiding>
> Is this common behavior?
> <Yes it is>
> Should I expect this kind of trouble if I introduce more corals?
> <Likely having more arborose (tree-like) species will actually help;
> diffuse the biting, damage>
> The problem is, the Stylophora is not large.
> <Perhaps a perforated cover over it for now... like a plastic strawberry
> basket inverted. Allowing for water, food, waste, gas movement; but keeping
> out nipping fish/es>
At least today it hasn't touched it I think, I don't see new marks. I wonder if the two Gobiodon histrio have "complained" ;)
<Could be>
I hope to introduce more corals soon. Two years ago I had a lot of crazy growth and, suddenly corals bleached and died out. After months investigating I found two badly rusting magnets. I've been going fish only for more than a year (I didn't want to reset it because I have well established fishes that have been with me for years) and for now (fingers
crossed) it seems that the corals are doing fine.
<Welcome. BobF>

Re: Tetra red patch     8/31/14
Thanks Bob,
<Welcome Helen>
I have (with many failed attempts and a fair bit of muttering under my breath) caught the injured fish out and put him into my quarantine tank.
I'll see what happens.
<Good... and do learn to use two nets (one in each hand)... much easier>
For what it's worth, I don't think the black on his tail is necessarily injury, as they all have that colouring, and have since I first got them as juveniles. I remember being really worried that they all had fin rot, but looking at lots of images of Congo tetras convinced me that some of them have that patch of black on their tail naturally. Maybe there are different colour variations with and without this?
Drs F&S looks like a great store, but I can't get fish shipped from them to Australia.
<Ohhh; yes. Thought you were in the States>
I think I'll wait to see whether this guy recovers or not (and keep a close eye on the others for possible other injuries) and then try my favourite online fish shop (in Australia, of course) to see whether they can sort me out some females.
<It's possible... that w/ growth it might become co-dominant... if there's room...>
Thanks again for your advice.
<Cheers, BobF>
Re: Tetra red patch     8/31/14

<There's another possibility... to breed and raise your own... I WOULD trade in the bulk of your males. B>

Yellow tang. Hlth., no data      9/1/14
I have a yellow tang that seems to act health but has a few small red dots on his dorsal fin ( see below ). Any ideas what this could be and the cause.
<Mmm; well... could use data... re the system, water quality test results, foods/feeding, tankmates.... the frayed dorsal fin and white chest patch... might indicate some issue/s with the system; perhaps bullying, lack of nutrition. Let's just have you read:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Soft Water / freshwater aquarium.       8/31/14
Dear Crew / Neale,
I recently was advised by Neale to use a pH buffer since my water is very soft : 'given how soft your water is, I would definitely use a pH buffer for pH 7.5 or pH 7.0'. To be honest, I'm not sure I really understand what he means.
<Out of context, nor do I.>
The water parameters for then were : ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 20 pH 7.6 (around that) GH 1 (as soft as it can go on the API test reading) KH around 4. A few weeks on, the water parameters are the same as the above with the exception of the KH, which is now about 8 - 9. Could you please advise me / suggest what article of yours to study.
<Have you added a source of carbonate hardness? Such as bicarb? That would explain the carbonate hardness (= KH) rise.>
Incidentally, with reference to the above, as I thought the water might be tad too soft, I decided to substitute one of the buckets of softened water in my water change for one bucket of hard water from the tap outside (treated with Aquacare water conditioner as is the softened water).
Of course, I didn't expect to see much of a change after just one 15 litre bucket, though the pH does look to be close to around 8.0 now. I also thought that adding a little hard water would be good for the plants re : minerals, & would help to raise the GH should we decide to add, for example, guppies or platys which, if I recall correctly, according to your website want more than 1GH (around 10?).
Should I be adding minerals to the water by way of a powder or solution instead (I already add a plant nutrient liquid 'TNC Lite' once a week)?
<Difficult to say without knowing that fish you want to get/keep. If you decide to stick with soft water fish (tetras, barbs, South American catfish) then doing 80-90% soft water with 10-20% hard tap water will work fine. Easy to remember, easy to do. Perhaps the best approach, so forget about hard water species for now. Do bear in mind some test kits are inaccurate, especially testing strips (the ones with drops are usually better). So in my mind, I find it easy to just do 50/50 rainwater and tap water without worrying too much about the test kit values. I know my tap water is hard, I know rainwater has no hardness at all, so I know a 50/50 mix will be medium hard, good community tank water. If was keeping just soft water fish, then one part tap water to, say, 5 parts rainwater would serve just as well. Stability is more important than test kit numbers.>
Neale has been very helpful, and I would just like to add that I've followed his advice from my aquarium's first weeks of operation. The bronze Corydoras he recommended have been excellent; I recently added two Bristlenose Plecs, and these have been outstanding.
<Aren't they lovely? Why pet shops still sell Common Plecs remains a mystery to me.>
I've never seen such a ludicrously competent algae eating fish. They're actually almost too good. :)
Many thanks (& making a donation right now).
<Thank you.>
Kind Regards,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: platy foods and plants       8/31/14
You are a perfect fount of information. I've noted aquarium club and will pursue, William Innes book(s) and the website edis.ifas etc...so much to learn, as usual. Yes, to less travel and acclimated to local waters. That would be grand, healthier and less stressful all around.
Yes, back in the seventies, you could NOT get away from The Eagles on the radio. To the extent that I actually called a station and asked them to play something else. (They did not.) I thought I would 'go postal' ( a popular urban expression, based in reality, for a vigilante mass destruction) or, commit Hari Kari myself. It was truly maddening. really.
True Dat that one must be cautious of time and language on the internet, especially internationally, as the official listeners are trolling for buzz words.
Thank you for expounding on example of 'old school' and 'new school'. ALL the knowledge must be continually gathered and sifted. It seems, in the US especially, that our love of immediate gratification and lemming-like devotion to pop culture has some people dismissing information more than 6 months old!
<Perhaps. As Samuel Johnson stated: two sorts of knowledge, knowing things, and knowing where to find out about things.>
I have espied one remaining baby platy, wide-eyed under the leaves of a planted plant. I believe it is at least a week old and likely too big to be eaten, but is cautious all the same.
<Fun to watch/see. Have a tank of Heterandria formosa in the kitchen, and the adults are tiny, and you better believe the fry even tinier! But such little scraps of life seem remarkably well formed, agile, alert. In time... do look at "oddball" livebearers... very rewarding, often charming; do see the charming Xiphophorus xiphidium for example, the "Swordtail Platy", but in fact neither, despite being a bit of both. Micropoecilia species even better, more colourful... like the Guppies of old.>
I understand they take 2-3 months to mature to size. Hopefully at that point, you can determine the sex. Then, they are capable of reproduction in about 5-6 months.
<Males, even sooner.>
So, I have time to keep or trade away. Any special foods?
<Not really; the ideal is "little, but often" with foods like Hikari First Bites being perhaps the best/best value (do try storing in the freezer to maximise nutrient stability between batches of fry).>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Poecilia velifera Parasite or Bac. Concern       8/31/14
Thanks for reply Bob. These fish are quarantining in a tank just containing 4 female and 2 males sailfin Mollies.
<Ahh, thank goodness>
Really haven't noticed aggression towards any fish. The fish in question seems to be the most dominant fish in tank. Soon to be added to a larger school of strictly Sailfins. My water hardness hovers around 75mg/liter, ph of 8.3.
<Ahh; about what ours is>
What would be the best way to ID an internal protozoan infestation on a living fish?
<Sampling... and microscopic examination. A bit of this is gone over... on WWM>
Thanks for the help. Have a great weekend. Aloha Brandon
<And you, BobF>

Curious Chromis behavior; picking on branching Scleractinians       8/31/14
I have a group of seven green Chromis (Chromis viridis). One of them has been with me for several years, and the other six (very small youngsters) have been introduced this week,
<Let's hope they all get along>
I also introduced some corals, one of them a Stylophora. Today I have noticed it has been nipped. I suspected the Centropyge bicolor or the Chelmon rostratus until, bummer! I saw that one of the "little grasshopper" Chromis is nipping at it. The bites are quite noticeable.
<Mmm; yes... This Chromis species is on the larger end of the scale in terms of modifying branching corals... nipping them; essentially to open up the colony for their use, diving in and hiding>
Is this common behavior?
<Yes it is>

Should I expect this kind of trouble if I introduce more corals?
<Likely having more arborose (tree-like) species will actually help; diffuse the biting, damage>
The problem is, the Stylophora is not large.
<Perhaps a perforated cover over it for now... like a plastic strawberry basket inverted. Allowing for water, food, waste, gas movement; but keeping out nipping fish/es>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Tetra red patch       8/31/14
Hello again WWM crew,
I wrote some time ago about a problem I'm seeing in one of a group of Congo tetras.
<I recall>
The fish in question recovered fully, as far as I could see anyway. But then a couple (maybe a few) weeks later he was injured again. In the same location. That healed up too. Now it's happened again.
<Mmm; this male... is being beaten... the trailing edges of caudal and anal fin are chewed, and blackened... >
I'm assuming it's the same individual each time (though of course they do look alike, so I could be wrong).
Now it seems to me that the chances of the same fish being injured in the same place, in the absence of any other signs of injury on any other fish (i.e. nobody's tail or fins seem to have been ripped, no other red patches or sore looking anything), are pretty slim. So I'm thinking that the original problem has never actually gone away but is partially recovering and recurring. (Either that or other fish are attacking this one in the same spot each time because it looks sore to them too?).
<This is a subdominant fish/specimen... you have a larger, more aggressive male>
I have been considering pulling this one out to a quarantine tank recently, but decided to hold off a couple of days to see if he was healing again.
Partly because I figure it can't be good for a schooling fish to be alone and partly because I quail at the idea of trying to net one particular fish out of this school in my planted tank. But tonight looking at the fish
again his injured side looks worse.
<Needs to live elsewhere>
There is a definite white lump near the middle of the injury. It looks raised. It doesn't look very fluffy/cotton wool like to me, but I can't swear it looks smooth either. Maybe a bit of fluff? It's hard to see.
It certainly wasn't there before, and now I'm more worried.
I'm attaching the best photo we could get, but it's not great. The black arrow points to the white patch I'm worried about. And, as you can see, the rest of the injury looks worse than it did when I last wrote about
this guy. The main area also looks worse to me, actually, as though there may be scales missing or something (again it's really hard to see - these fish are kind of translucent, making them hard to look at clearly, if that makes sense.
You mentioned the idea that the problem might be male-make aggression given that I have 10 males to 3 females in this group.
<Oh yes>
While agreeing with the
idea, I have not been able to source a group of females to add to the tank.
<You may well have to order a bunch (25) and grow them up yourself... sell off the excess males>

Among other reasons, this is because the local aquarium shops are all pretty bad. I buy most of my fish online, but that doesn't allow me to
walk in and choose particular fish.
<Mmm; I'd write to, chat with the fine folks at Drs. F & S re their sorting through, just sending you females: http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=747+870+905&pcatid=905
I could get a group of juveniles but they might also be mostly male, so no guarantee that this would solve the problem, if that is indeed the problem. I don't ever actually see these fish acting aggressively to each other, though of course I don't know what they do when the lights are out.
Do you think this could be something other than a physical trauma?
<No; I do not... the primary issue here is mechanical injury... from the other male/s>>
Could the white patch I'm worried about be sign of a parasite (seems unlikely given I've added nothing to the tank in ages), or a secondary infection.
<Poss. this last>
Would you isolate the fish in a breeding net, or a quarantine tank?
<Another system>
(My quarantine tank is 20 litres - I can make sure it is well filtered, but it is too small for the level of activity these fish have).
<Better than naught>
Would you medicate? With what?
<No; none>
I have salt and tetracycline and that's about it (I can get other things, but in Australia we only have access to a very limited set of fish medications).
I'm worried I'm going to lose this guy. And I'm worried that he's suffering now. Any advice you can give me would be welcome.
<Have repeated myself enough I believe>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: platy foods and plants. Actually FW disease; life      8/29/14
Not quite the same as Word Up. Word is the recipient's statement that a truth has been spoken. Word Up is most often used as a question; asking what's going on or what truth do you see/know. Ah, street jargon...
The newest girl, Oray, lived only 3 days. I found her, after I'd been gone for a few hours, at the bottom of the tank. It's my fault. I never should have selected her. When I went to look in the tanks at the store, first
thing in the morning, there were 2 dead fish at the surface. They get their deliveries Wed. I was in on Friday. Because they were floating, gases had had time to develop causing the bodies to rise, meaning: they'd been there too long. I don't know what I was thinking. Not thinking, in fact. They declared their filters should filter that out, but maybe....
<Aquarium shops can prevent some transferral of pathogens... UV sterilisation is fairly widely used, and dipping nets in disinfectant between uses should be standard. But if the fish are sickly when sent out from the farms, there's not a lot the retailer can do... a common complaint here in the UK among retailers fed up with poor quality Guppies, Neons and Dwarf Gouramis.>
I was sad. They returned my money. I left without further purchase. I figure to simply allow the tank to calm down (and me too) before introducing any further fish, snail or plant. I did remove and replace about 2 1/2 gallons of water. This happened mid week, before the weekly 3 gallon exchange. Not sure if I should replace I more gallon or all 3 as usual.
<Routine is best. So stick with the standard 20-30% weekly water change.
Good approach not to buy new fishes for a month, six weeks. Certainly used to be "standard operating procedure" in old school aquarium books.>
Hope all is well with you and yours,
<Yes indeed. Baby scan today; went well.>
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: platy foods and plants      8/29/14

Life Changing Bounty! Congratulations.
<Thank you,>
I live in the Southwest US. Our stock comes from the state of California, just west of here. California prides itself on organic foods, farming and, in general, more 'complimentary ' forms of living, medicine, etc.
<Pretty sure there's an Eagles song about that!>
Apparently, the fish are anesthetized (some blue liquid), shipped on overnight status, arrive at the warehouse, remain there a day and are then placed at the store. Then, you pick and travel home and acclimate etc. It's a lot of movement for them and drugs in addition. It's a wonder any of them survive. She advised me to 'come on Friday' because 'if they're going to die, they'll be dead by then." Lovely....why not wait until Monday to stabilize and detox from anesthesia?
<Indeed. To be fair, the use of sedatives (you don't knock 'em out, just calm them down) in aquarium shipping has been done for years. It isn't universal, but it can be beneficial; there's a decent review here:
That said, it's even better if you can procure fish locally. Many large cities have aquarium clubs, and their auctions are often excellent (and notoriously inexpensive, batches of lovely fish going for a dollar or two).
The less the fish has travelled, and the fewer aquaria it's passed through, the better. Needless to say, locally bred fish are usually acclimated to your local water chemistry too, so that's one less thing to worry about.>
They do use disinfectants for the nets. Thank you for affirming the routine of full, weekly water change. If 'old school rules', and I think it does, I say, tell me more.
<Many old school rules were/are excellent. But the problem is that in the 1970s people kept a much smaller range of (usually very hardy) fish, and even those that were kept, such as Angels and Guppies, hadn't been inbred for nearly so long, so they were inherently less likely to have genetic flaws. For example, one old school rule was to change as little water as practical, perhaps 25% a month. The idea was "old" water had beneficial properties that tap water lacked. For sure understanding of water chemistry management was less then, so by minimising water changes, you didn't expose fish to dramatic changes. But nitrate levels were often very high, leading to problems with sensitive species such as Mollies and cichlids. One reason
adding salt to freshwater tanks was so popular then was to deal with this, salt detoxifying nitrate to some degree. We now understand how beneficial frequent water changes are, not just for the fish but also the appearance of the aquarium (less yellowy water, less algae, less silt). In short, while you'd learn a lot picking up a 70s-era aquarium book at a flea market for a dollar or two (and some older books, like the 1930s era "Exotic Aquarium Fishes" by William Innes are still extremely useful, beautiful and well worth buying even for $10-20) you'd have to temper what you read with more current trends in fishkeeping. The importance of low nitrate is perhaps the biggest change in our understanding. Older books often called
in "harmless" but we now recognise that simply isn't true. Better stop now... this is about the time RMF gets antsy about "chatting" on the Daily FAQ; it wastes pixels or something!>
Congratulations again on the ultrasound news.
The Best,
<Cheers, Neale.>

mantis shrimp ID      8/29/14
Hello Crew,
I bought this piece of live rock today, and while I was acclimating it, I noticed a critter poking out of one of the crannies in the bottom. At first I thought I had gotten a cool hitchhiker, but the more I looked at him the
more suspicious I got. I shined a flashlight into the hole, while holding it in the air, and He looked like a hermit crab without a shell, so I referenced the Conscientious Marine Aquarist, and noticed his mobile eyes
and thought it might be some sort of tiny lobster, because it didn't look as colorful as the picture on page 387. So I dipped the rock in some RO water and the critter jumped right out of the rock. I filled up this 500ml pitcher from the tank and dumped the critter in there and took these pictures and this video so I could ask the experts (that's you guys). I don't want to kill him if he is something beneficial and cool. Thanks guys.
Your site has been helping me out for years.
<Hello Ben. The pictures aren't quite sharp enough, and one of important clues, the shape of the claws, isn't obvious at all. Do recall Mantis Shrimps come in two flavours: spearers (e.g., Squilla spp.) and smashers (e.g., Odontodactylus). The former have raptorial appendages equipped with jagged blades (if know what a Klingon bat'leth looks like, you'll be able to imagine these rather well). The latter group have appendages that end in heavy knobs used for bludgeoning prey, in some cases even smashing through
shells. The commonest "stowaway" Mantis Shrimps seem to be Gonodactylus species; I worked with Gonodactylus oerstedii and a cuter, hardier little critter couldn't be imagined! Lovely beasts, but as I'm sure you realise, essentially incompatible with aquarium fish, but easy enough to keep even in rather small, basic systems (we kept ours in small "pens" within a 30-40 gallon tank equipped with nothing more than a heater and a canister filter). Meantime, do have a look here:

And here:
And try and get a sharper, clearer photo if possible. Cheers, Neale.>

Wrasses. Mixing Halichoeres       8/29/14
I'm looking for some help. I would like to put a radiant wrasse with a Christmas wrasse in a Red Sea max 250. Would this be possible?
<If both were started small (3-4 inches overall length), as initial phase specimens; I'd give good odds of them getting along in this size/shape volume>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Wrasses      8/29/14

Thanks for the quick reply! Would you buy them together? Or which one would you put in first? It's a reef tank I'm planning on keeping them in
<I'd get and introduce at the same time if possible, practical. If not, either species a bit larger or decidedly smaller (more than an inch) after the other. BobF>
Thanks again
Re: Wrasses      8/30/14

One more question I know that these wrasses like a deep sand bed.
<Mmm; not so much this genus (Halichoeres)>
I'm planning on adding more sand to my tank. The only problem is my tank has been running for over a year. Would this cause a problem?
<Not if done "right". Please read here:
and the linked files above>
Thanks again
<Welcome. BobF>

Poecilia velifera Parasite or Bac. Concern      8/30/14
Greetings Crew, I've recently purchased(2 weeks ago) a few Sailfin Mollies.
I have them in 40g breeder quarantine tank filtered by a small aquaponic grow bed(7 gal), homemade interior filter and air stone. One female has a large stomach with no gravid spotting and does have a very slight prolapse in rectum.
<Mmm; perhaps a bit of Epsom Salt>
This fish is mostly clear(in coloration) and I've noticed a black, some what blotchy pigment spreading under skin. It started behind gill plate, down toward stomach and slowly progressing backward. The fish seems healthy aside from conditions mentioned, feeding well, active, etc. No other fish are showing symptoms.
<What other fish/es (species) are present? The water is hard, alkaline... salt/s present?>
The other females have delivered fry except for this one. I'm considering treating for parasites and/or bacterial infect.
<Mmm; dangerous to just add medicines w/o knowing specifically what you're treating>
I have Metronidazole
<Toxic... just one dose. See WWM re>
on hand and was considering using it. I also have Furan and PraziPro. I do have access to Oxytetracycline, if need be. Which would you suggest, if any at all?
<Again; none w/o better knowledge of cause/etiology here>

My water supply is "hard"
<How hard?>
and I do add marine salt.
<Ah; good... IF your other life can/will tolerate it>
Do you think I could omit the salt without any negative consequences?
<Can't say w/o knowing more... the other life present mostly>
Thanks for the great site. Aloha Brandon
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Hi. Euxiphipops ID, and avoiding unwanted HH on DIY collected LR       8/30/14
Hi Bob,
A couple of questions which are not so easy:
1. I live near a coral reef and wanted to take some live rock for the various different type of coloured algae on the rocks. However I learnt the hard way before as my small fish were eaten by crabs that came inside the rock and ate the small fish at night in my tank.
<Yikes; yes>
Therefore if I fresh water dip the rocks and shake them for about two minutes hopefully this gets rid of the crabs which drop off but will it also kill all the lovely coloured algae defeating the whole object of taking them in the first place?
<I'd go another route here. Isolate the new rock in a separate system.... and try to bait/trap out unwanted hitchhikers for a few weeks. Such techniques and gear are discussed in the "Compatibility FAQs" of each group... e.g. Crabs, Bristleworms....>
2. This is a very difficult question: I have a tiny Angel which is about 1 inch. He is all good eating, swimming and is currently only in the tank with a tiny Emperor who is all good too. I intentionally did this so they can acclimatise and get to know there way around the tank. The problem is having looked extensively online and been an expert myself in this, is he a Blueface or a Sixbar. The Blueface has light blue bars between the white bars and the white bars of the Blueface are narrower compared to the SixBar Angel and the Blueface has three/four blue lines in the tail, which is not always the case as pointed out on your site back in 2009. Anyway my question is perhaps I have already answered it that there is not certainty
but when the Angels are this small do they get the white lines first and then the blue lines later?
<Usually the white is obvious first>
Maybe I am been too hopeful but he looks like a Sixbar but I am happy as he has the electric blue around the edge of his fins and still looks excellent but also online have seen pictures of what looks like Sixbar starting to change to Bluefaces.
<Ahh; only time can and will tell here>
Kind regards,
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Hi, and thank you so much for such a helpful website! I have read, I believe, all of your information and messages concerning Convicts, but still have a question.
<Go ahead>
It is apparent that Convicts are not your favorite fish to keep,
<Au contraire! I kept these as a youngster and still would. Exemplary hardiness and interesting behaviorally... beautiful to me>
but, I keep them because they are such survivors. I have only had one die in over 2 years, and this was a juvenile that became lodged in the filter strainer.
I have even had two that were happily living, for months, in the bottom of my canister filter. My water is full of minerals, and the pH is rather low. But, all I have to do for water changes is syphon and attach the
hose to my faucet.
<This describes my situation here in San Diego other than the low pH as well>
If I remember to throw in a little salt, that's great - but if I don't, the fish don't seem to mind. So, I consider their relatively drab decor a trade-off for my not being able to kill them! I have a local breeder who is going to supply me with some pinks, and, also, what he calls "Calicos," which have multiple colors. I am looking forward to some additional color and interest in the tank.
My 55 gallon tank is constantly overpopulated (of course) while I attempt to rehome the offspring. I am in the U.S., and have some success with this on Craigslist. But, regardless, it's a pretty busy tank. The Convicts have adapted, and aren't as territorial as described on your site and elsewhere. The tank is located in a room that gets a lot of natural lighting, plus the normal tank lights. This, I believe, contributes to my
problem: ALGAE! Yuck! I cannot keep the sides clean, regardless how hard I try! It isn't feasible to move this tank to another location.
<Mmm; I'd look into Loricariid catfishes of use. See WWM under stocking/selection:
Considering my water quality, I imagine I am limited as far as what algae eaters I could expect to survive in this tank. I had two channel cats in there,
<Not "cleaner uppers", but more "eater uppers">
and the Convicts paid them no attention. But, I would prefer to not go this route again, as it was too sad for me to have to let them go, when they quickly outgrew my tank. I have never had any luck with Pleco's, and
they all die with some sort of velvety skin problem - I don't care for them much, anyway, and don't need the extra pollution. A Clown Loach didn't survive either, but, I wasn't aware at the time that it's much better to
keep several of them. I'd like to try them again, perhaps, if they would eat the algae.
Do you have any recommendations on fish that would survive under my conditions, and also curb my algae problem?
<Yes... http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmaintindex.htm
scroll down to the tray "Algae">
I would love to find something that could keep the algae under control, while adding some interest to my
tank. Or, are there any additives I can try, especially if there are no fish that would do ok under these conditions?
Thanks again for your dedication and support!
<Welcome and "Keep reading!"
Bob Fenner>

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