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Cirrhitichthys aprinus Cuvier 1829, the Spotted Hawkfish. Bali 2014 

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General FAQs
Updated 2/26/2015
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Daily Q&A replies/input from the WWM crew: Nate Guerette, Rick Novy, Bobby Rudro, Jordan Stari, Sue Garrett, Darrel Barton,
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
PLEASE: Write reviews of my works on Amazon! I need your input. BobF

Re: Guess which one is freshly mixed RO/DI      2/25/15
Update on this case
1.) Fresh tap water is clean on test kit
2.) Removed D/I cart and tested right out of the R/O membrane. Better but still contained ammonia.
<Appears that there's something... biological (live or not) "in" the line or cartridge... time to systematically disassemble, bleach, rinse the lines, toss/replace the modules, media; including the tris membrane>
I’ve been suspicious of this coral-life flo II unit ever since I bought it last year. 4 stages new AquaFX filter media ordered (not from corallife brand).
<Mmm; not a fan... Here comes da rant: Since the co. was sold... the "consolidation" (a euphemism) in the trade... the new owners not into QC, innovation... other than marketing and optimizing profits>
I also bought a TDS tester to monitor. If TDS is nearly 0 ammonia should not exist, right?
I’m buying some jugs of water to do a water change before my tank crashes.
<A good idea>
I’ve read about ammonia leaching out of RO once it has been depleted by municipal water. It’s a scary failure mode since it’s supposed to be pure.
<Again; yes; I agree. Bob Fenner>

re: Unknown bubble.      2/25/15
OK I'll see what I can get.
re: Unknown bubble.      2/26/15

<10 megs of the same nonsense? STILL can't see. B>
Here are a few new pictures. I hope this helps. By the way, this is all the
same rock.
re: Unknown bubble.      2/26/15

Sorry. That's the best I can do. All I have is my 8mp phone camera.
<.... ONE well-resolved image, please. BORROW a camera. B>

Turtles; RES, beh. & Repro.       2/26/15
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have two red eared slider turtles, both about 2 years old since I got them. I believe one is male and the other is female, but I'm not completely sure. I notice one turtle (the smaller one) swims up to and I front of the bigger one and starts to *tickle* her face.
<AND he has long 'fingernails' - because he's a mail>
Well the turtle that I believe is the female has started becoming a little restless at night and is constantly swimming and looking around. I'm not sure if she is pregnant or not.
<The term is 'gravid' which is a $5 word for saying that she has eggs inside her>
She is only 2 years old, but she is actually quite large.
<And turtles get sexually mature by size, not age>
Her shell is probably about 6 inches or so, and she is kept in a 60 gallon tank. I read in a few articles and a couple videos that you could feel behind their legs for eggs, but my turtle is very shy to people and doesn't like you to touch her or pick her up. She immediately suck's in her legs and arms.
<No worries. Unless you are experienced it's hard to tell an egg from a bone anyway. Her actions seem to indicate that your suspicions are correct>
Also, she is aggressive. Not towards the other turtle, but mainly toward me. When I pick her up she hisses at me and if my hand is close to her head she will try to bite me. I'm not sure why she is acting this way.
<Some are like this naturally, they have their own personalities, but females also get that way around egg laying time.>
<Thing is, it's very hard to make a nesting box for a water turtle. I suggest that you get a dark sided plastic tub, approximately 24 inches by 16 inches by 30 inches tall (all these are VERY approximate). If you find a container the right length and width, you can fabricate higher sides even by using cardboard taped in place around the edges. Add a basking light just like the one you have on your tank. Make a mixture of Vermiculite, play sand (sandbox sand) and potting soil in equal parts to cover the bottom 6 to 8 inches deep, more if you can. Turn on the basking lamp and point it toward one corner of the nesting box, so that part of the substrate is HOT, areas around it are warm, and places further away are cooler.>
<Place her in the box and for most of each day, returning her to the regular tank in the evening. With any luck -- and a lot of patience on your part (this can take weeks) she'll figure out what she's supposed to do.>
<The hard part is that you have to notice when she has finally laid the eggs. Usually you can see a change in her demeanor -- she's calm again.
Either she laid the eggs -or- if she hadn't found the right spot and the eggs hadn't shelled yet (the hard outer shell forms last) she may reabsorb them.>
<If you get the eggs, here's what to do next:
http://www.xupstart.com/wwm/turtle_eggs/index.html >
Let me know!
re: Turtles

Thank you! I'll try it!

Tropical/Salt Mix Tank???  sys.       2/26/15
Hello, have been reading your site for 2 days. Very interesting.
<Glad to hear it!>
Have learned that mollies prefer a minute amount of marine salt in their water.
<"Minute" isn't really the word. They can live and breed quite happily in seawater. But yes, adding a little salt to the aquarium can make them hardier, especially if conditions aren't otherwise perfect.>
Also guppies can sustain some.
<Yes, quite true.>
Neons cannot have the salt.
Not sure about Bettas and angelfish.
<Neither appreciates salt.>
Ideally I would like to have angelfish, balloon molly (females), some guppy females, and if possible, female Bettas in the same tank.
<Doable. Don't bother with the salt. Medium hard to hard water, slightly alkaline pH. Farmed Angels will cope with this just fine, as will farmed Bettas. Wild Angels and wild Bettas would not though. Provided the water quality was excellent, and you kept nitrate in particular as low as possible, Mollies can and do do well in plain freshwater. Neons, which you mentioned earlier on, would be a bad addition. They are pretty much "temporary" additions to hard water communities, often lasting little more than a few weeks before they start dying off one-by-one. Plus, they're Angelfish food!>
Currently I have a total of 5 different tanks with a variety of fish mixed.
(do not yet have the angelfish - planning to next week - waiting to get their tank set up)
<Understood and wise. Angels do poorly in "new" tanks... would wait at least six weeks before adding Angels to any aquarium, and ideally more than that.>
Every fish I have (including male balloon mollies and male butterfly molly) are currently in fresh water only. Added the butterfly approx. 2wks ago. The balloon males have been in their set up for 1-2months. The guppies I have had the longest. I also have 2 male Bettas (in 2 different tanks) with dividers from the other fish in the tank. They have been doing well. All currently have heaters in the tanks. Again the male mollies seem to be doing well.
How important is the salt to the molly fish?
<Difficult to state precisely. Wild Mollies mostly live in freshwater, though some in brackish and even seawater. Under aquarium conditions though
Mollies (especially modern farmed Mollies) seem to much less hardy and adaptable as their wild ancestors. Same as Guppies, as it happens, which are also much less hardy than they once were. Adding salt reduces the toxicity of nitrite and nitrate, which may be one reason adding salt helps.
Salt also reduces the stress caused by soft or acidic water conditions, and marine aquarium salt raises the pH and hardness a bit too, helping Mollies even further. Put another way, if you struggle with Mollies in your freshwater tanks, keeping them in slightly brackish ones may be a lot easier. But if you have no problems with Mollies, and your specimens live several years without health issues, then adding salt probably isn't necessary.>
Can you provide me with any help or suggestions on direction to head?
<Hope the above helps. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Tropical/Salt Mix Tank???

Very helpful. Thank you.
Question re: neon. Have had the neon the longest with the guppies.
<Cool. But one Neon is par for the course... buy six, most die, one lives for years. A common story, unfortunately. No simple explanation.>
All fish in this tank are female. Have 3 Bettas. Several ghost shrimp Today added 1 balloon molly. The neon would be considered large. Will it still have a problem with the angel fish?
<So long as the Neon is too big to swallow, it should be fine with your Angelfish. But large (5, 6 inch length) Angels can, do swallow "bite-size" Neons of the sort sold in pet stores. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Sponge      2/26/15
Thank you!!! It came on a mushroom rock from LiveAquaria.
<Ahh! An excellent source of livestock... their suppliers in turn... "A" players>
It was so small I did not know it was there. I love it and it's a color u don't see too often. Happy diving
<And you! BobF>

New Crew Member??      2/26/15
Hi Bob,
I know this gal that's into to salt water pretty good. She claims to know enough about the hobby to answer queries. I have attached her photo for you. Can you use her?
<Can I?! May I?!
Heeeeee! Thanks James. B>

Good algae scrubbing technique.

Chloroquine Phosphate Question      2/26/15
Hi Bob,
Quick question. Used CP in a good sized system. Turned Carbon and UV off for duration of treatment. Made the mistake of turning them both back on at the same time. The UV has reacted with the CP and our water is now brown. Any recommendations?
<Water changes; readministration of CP.... RMF>

Is 29 Gallons enough for 1 goldfish?      2/26/15
Will 30 gallons with a sponge filter rated for 80 gallons be enough for 1 fantail goldfish?
<Should be ample. Be prepared to reduce flow rate through sponge to avoid pushing the Goldfish about too much if it struggles at all. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Affiliation offer!     2/25/15
Follow Up!
I have sent to you a paid ads request few days ago, you did not reply back yet, please let me know if you are interested then I will send you more details.
<No thank you. BobF>

My turtle     2/25/15
Ayee my name is amber I have 3 red ear sliders and I have had them for about 2 years now and they was fine everything earlier yesterday and then I took them out to clean their tank. And put them back in well I noticed the smaller turtle won't move he try's climbing the rich
in his tank and falls over on his back and I have to put him back over he can barely move. It's like he is weak or something. He has is head out and is blinking but won't move. I have the whole banking area and them uv light and everything. Like I said they was all fine b4 I cleaned the tank and no he is acting weird and won't move and when he try's he falls on his back. My mom says he does it all the time when they clean it he like to play died well I cleaned the tank at 9:30p.m. On February 24 and it's now 4:40a.m. February 25. I really concerned that my turtle is about to die and I don't want him to if u could plz help me I will so appreciate it.
<Hello Amber. You haven't provided anything useful here for a diagnosis. So let's direct you first here:
Then ask yourself the following:
Do you provide UV-B?
Do you have a heat lamp?
Do you provide a varied diet including fresh greens?
Let's also have you read here:
<Mostly, sick turtles get sick through something being wrong in how they've been looked after. Visiting a vet would be an extremely good idea. Often then can fix problems that without vet help will be fatal. This turtle sounds very sick, so don't hang about! Have cc'ed Darrel, our turtle ,,,, <<this is it msg. wise>> Neale?>

Unknown bubble.     2/25/15
OK I've looked and looked
<Stop; can't tell what you're actually referring to in this pic... is it the sort of white/grey spec.s in the approximate center? Re-shoot this, crop it and send just a well-resolved image of what you're looking at>
and I can't I'd this. Its been there a few months and hasn't grown a whole lot. But its one or more clear elongated bubbles.
The surface is very pearlesant. It doesn't seem to be an algae to me. Any help.
<Could be a poorly pigmented algae... like Dictyosphaeria:
Perhaps a couple of Ascidians, Poriferans... Need a better image. Bob Fenner>

sent crop

Re: Unknown bubble.
Its the bubbles coming out of the hole in the rock in the middle of the picture.
<My answer's the same. Still need a better photo. BobF>


Sponge     2/25/15
Hi there, I got this sponge growing in my reef tank for over a year now.
<A beauty!>
Its more of a sky blue then the iPhone pic shows. I was told it was toxic and could wipe out my system if it died. Is this true? Should I remove it?
<Mmm; it might be toxic; but IF it were my system; and was stable (which evidently yours is if it's been in there a year), and of size (a hundred gallons or more); had good maintenance; I would keep it. How to put this: Ours is not a zero sum universe: there are always risks... some too great, some not worth "it"... I'd keep, enjoy this Poriferan. Bob Fenner>

Guess which one is freshly mixed RO/DI     2/25/15
You bet it's the ammonia rest on the right.
What the heck? Water is about 24 hours old heated with aquarium heater in clean plastic storage box.
I'll test some in a new sample container, this is odd.
<I'd test the kit itself... with some distilled, spring... water of known zero Ammonia concentration... Hey; not by any chance do you happen to be standing in a litter box are you? Bob Fenner>

Red Claw Crab and salt      2/23/15
I tried to find a similar post on your site sorry if this has already been addressed.
My dad put together an aquarium for my kid and i wanted a crab, well i wanted a blue crayfish but those were $25 and the crabs were $3 and they were equally as cool if not more so.
<Quite so. Land crabs are nifty animals in lots of ways.>
ANYWAY i did do research beforehand and i DID know brackish is preferential if not essential.
<Something like that. Since these crabs are essentially amphibious, assuming the "land" is somewhere humid and warm they only spend part of the time underwater. Brackish water probably helps them, in the long term, but yes, they do seem to live many months with just access to freshwater. That said, their distribution in the wild is apparently coastal rather than inland. Their full common name, "Red Claw Mangrove Crab", is probably accurate, and being cynical for a moment, the missing word "mangrove" surely wasn't dropped accidentally by the exporters!>
Depending on who you ask.
<Indeed, the scientists who collect them versus the people selling them in pet stores!>
Well i got her anyway, as the petstore carrying them was keeping her in a cramped freshwater tank. So i justified putting her in my tank and opposed to the petstore or some more ignorant owner.
Now, more to the point, i was sitting on the floor staring at her for a while and i noticed a bag of rock salt next to me. Being the weirdo i am i shoved some in my mouth and then thought maybe i can give the crab some.
<Sure! Provided that salt is not iodised, it should be fine. Not as good as marine aquarium mix, but better than no salt at all.>
So the question is, can i give some to the crab?
Can i safely put a chunk on her rock and have her not die?
<No, you can't stick a chunk in the tank! Grab a cheese grater or a chisel, grind off or chip away some bits, allowing 6 grams per litre/3-4 teaspoons per US gallon. So if you have a 3 gallon bucket, then 9-12 teaspoons of salt is about right. That will create slightly brackish conditions (for reference: full seawater is 35 gram salt per litre, so what you're making is about one-sixth normal seawater salinity). Dissolve salty chunks in water completely before adding to the aquarium! Now, each time you do a water change, you can replace plain freshwater with a bucket of this slightly brackish water.>
It seems relatively safe and possibly beneficial to give her some to satisfy her dietary needs.
<Dietary needs are primarily protein and calcium! Bits of white fish fillet, unshelled shrimps, and even things like cooked peas and soft fruit. Iodine is the missing thing here, and a prime cause of deaths with crabs. You can buy "crab food" that contains iodine, but it's cheaper and easier to grab some iodine vitamin supplement as used in marine tanks, and dose at one-half the amount recommended on the bottle. Some "sea vegetables" are iodine rich including Sushi Nori and other seaweeds you can pick up in Asian food markets.>
But im no expert on crustaceans (though i do have a 17 year old hermit crab) Would this be a terrible idea?
<Dumping a sodium chloride lump in the aquarium would be catastrophically bad.>
Do you think she would know to "lick" it? Could she "lick" too much and die? I figure she'd be fine since she's in the water most of the time. Are they're any other options to satisfy her salt needs? Maybe a small dish with saltwater in it on her platform?
<Now you're thinking right!>
Thanks for any input.
<Most welcome, Neale.>

Coral goby dying of old age - possible toxin issue      2/23/15
Hi guys,
I wonder if you could help me with this. Our coral goby (Gordon :) )
has been with us for 8 years and recently stopped eating. He is not exhibiting any disease symptoms but just resting on the rocks, moving less and less often. I am pretty sure his time has come and it just old age but am also a bit concerned about the rest of the fish. Now, I am pretty confident my system is parasite-free. After an WS outbreak in 2013, the tank was run fallow for 13 weeks and the goby and my wrasse were treated with copper and the only survivors of the outbreak (I did email you for help then as the wrasse tolerated the treatment badly but fortunately he recovered and is still with us!). I have since then been quarantining not only fish but also all corals and clean up crew before adding to my DT (a great excuse to set up yet another tank!).
Now, since the goby has been poorly, I have noticed our yellow tang acting a bit odd. He is healthy and looks perfect but seems a bit stressed and his appetite has decreased, although he is feeding. He sleeps right next to where the goby is and I have just read that they can excrete toxins when stressed.
<Mmm; this genus; not much>
Do you think this could be affecting
the other fish? And what course of action would you recommend?
<My/the usual "blind general reaction" of water changing and renewal, placement of activated carbon (Chemipure) and Polyfilter...>
I would have thought the goby would be gone by now but he is still holding on :(
Looking forward to your reply
Many thanks for your time
<Perhaps it is senescence as you state, or maybe your little goby ate something that doesn't agree with it. I would not treat, and would not give up hope... the water changes and filtrants mentioned above is the route I'd go. Bob Fenner>

Chase... Featherduster beh.; no rdg.       2/21/15
Hi we bout a Hawaiian feather duster yesterday and when we put him in are tank on the side of his tube their are cracks and some kind of thing connected to it like its skin and it stays open all the time I look at your web site just didn't find anything about the tube with cracks on it and like skin foting off it so please help
<Ah; highly likely this is just part of the Worm... and their tubes do crack at time, and are under constant growth/repair; even the feeding crown/duster is shed, replaced. See WWM re these Sedentariate Polychaetes... their "behavior FAQs".
Good water quality, applied nutrition will see this animal heal.
Bob Fenner>

That is were I placed him would that be okay?
<Only time can/will tell> 


Chase       2/21/15
You get the pictures??
<You do the reading?>

Okay and mine moves is that suppose to happened and are they suppose to context to love rock?? And so its usual that it doesn't go it when we move around??
<Keep reading>

No I can't read it because the enter net is slow all I got that works is this and messages and calls

Okay sorry to waste your time bye
Sent from my iPad
One last thing some sort of orange blob thing came out of the center of the feathers what's we do with that do we that that out or leave it in??
Sent from my iPad

Re: re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo       2/21/15
Bob as a ps- I know in my last note I went from the no hypo/copper to some level, but just trying to find something prophylactic till I get my hands on the right stuff.... Thanks so much again
<Figured, but thank you for this clarification. BobF>
Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo       2/21/15

Bob, thanks so so much for your super fast reply! I've read your articles and books for what seems to be a very long time! (I was a U of Miami grad in the 90s from the Marine Science school, went a different direction but never left the love of it!) I've read up before on Chloroquine, hear super things about it. Your support of it is even referenced in a Pufferforum
post. I even was able to get some Dr G's which i soaked shrimp in and feed the puffer with it while I got the QT set. Of course, Dr. G's only provides an internal medication, and does not treat the external parasite in the tank. That would require dosing.
<?... the quinine does treat for external Protozoans>
The problem I've had is that I can't seem to find anyone that carries it.
<... See here:
Most of the LFS's have never even heard of it. And the one that sold me the Dr G's, who swears that Chloroquine does wonders, doesn't carry it because he's just start up and dealing with start up costs. I can't quite understand why if it's as effective as I've read, it isn't fully commercialized.
<Meh... newer tech; the regulations... expense of start ups; lack of momentum...>
I'm going to see if I can find it somewhere, I haven't had much success on the web either. Any thoughts on where to find a product?
The LFS guy is trying to order some for me from a place in Gainesville, FL (we're in West Palm Beach) if he can. But he says it will be until Thursday before he could get any in. (he did say the market for this should open up, in his opinion it's been limited to commercial operations).
In the meantime I was going to try one of two options to get things going for the puffer. I dipped him in fresh water last night on the way to the QT for 10 min.s. 'Most' of the Crypto came off. He's swimming happily in the QT and begging for food. (note, all the other scaled fish will be placed in a separate QT and copper dosed, and the DT left fallow for 6 weeks). I am considering starting either a hypo treatment combined with a daily formalin dip and daily 50% bottom vacuumed water changes; or a half dose Cupramine regime, which I've read can be effective against crypto and if slowly dosed up correctly is safe for puffers (of course, keeping a close eye on levels and behavior to make sure). Any thoughts on these as
prophylactic while waiting for a Chloroquine supply?
Thanks again,
Scott Goorland
Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo       2/21/15

Got it! Fish Pharm CP. Not cheap but worth it! Will keep extra on hand (and thus also support the market growth!) Do you have dosing instructions on WWM?
If so I can do a search, or I can contact fishPharm. Will also look at that NLS Ich Shield Powder, seems to contain chloroquinine as a dip. Re your question of why I mentioned Dr G's for internal, what I meant to say (I probably could have said better) is as I understand it, the product works on the fish itself (internally and externally), but not on the tank water in the QT where the crypto will still remain unless I somehow treat that as well?
<Don't understand this statement... but quinines are not effective on free-swimming and off-host intermediates as far as I'm aware. B>
Thanks again for all you do Bob
Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo

Hoping to help spread the word, here's another supplier I found, no word on quality:
50-63-5 | Chloroquine diphosphate salt, 98% |
N4-(7-Chloro-4-quinolinyl)-N1,N1-dimethyl-1,4-pentanediamine diphosphate
salt | J64459 | Alfa Aesar| Alfa Aesar
| 50-63-5 | Chloroquine diphosphate salt, 98% | N4-(7-Chlo...Hazard
Statements ...
| View on www.alfa.com
<Thanks. B>
Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo       2/21/15

As I understand it, I can treat the fish with CP foods, but even with treatment if the off host intermediates are still in the water, unless I eradicate the off host forms as well, they'll just keep attacking the host.
If quinines don't treat off host intermediates, won't the problem just continue as a cycle until I find some way to treat those as well? Scott
<A few approaches can work here: Moving hosts to non-infested systems serially... in actual practice, IF one is dealing w/ a single (not multiple, over-lapping) generations of Protozoans, eradicating those on the host fishes generally effects a system cure. Reducing the numbers and viability of parasites off-host can be done in numerous ways... B>
Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo       2/21/15

Now that is great! Looking forward to the employment of the method! Thanks
again for all. Scott G.
<Ah, welcome. BobF>

Mangrove Plant help       2/21/15
<... your msg. was sent to the "junk" folder due to poor grammar>
hi hoping you guys can help. i have a 54 gal reef open top w 7 red mangroves coming out of top. had them about a month they came w/2 to 4 leaves on them. i have them lit at night on reverse from main lights with a small clip on LED light (so they r lit from side). The led has 1 white light in middle and 1 blue on each side. i noticed the leaves developing
rust colored spots
on leaves hoping you can help. i go heavy on the water changes too.
and i do mist 3 to 4 times a week
<There might be some sort of deficiency going on here... N,P,K mostly... but depending on which species... these are such touchy organisms; I would not move... perhaps the addn. of a complete fert. Bob Fenner>

Re: Omg my African draw frog help       2/21/15
I bought testing strips
It says
GH : 60
<Low general hardness. Not suitable for fish from hard water environments such as Guppies, Mollies, Rainbowfish, Rift Valley cichlids, etc.>
KH : 80
<Low carbonate hardness. Look out for pH drops between water changes. Also, animals with calcareous shells, such as snails and shrimps, may have a hard time. Snail shells may develop distinctive pitting where the shell
PH : 7.5
NO^2 : 0
NO^3 : 25
<Pretty low.>
Waiting for the thermometer a bit longer.
What do those levels mean.
<See above.>
Could they have killed my frog.
<Not directly. But variations in pH could. Nonetheless, some other cause seems worth considering/more likely. Improper diet/insufficient food, for example.>
I cannot afford a bigger tank for another few weeks. So no more froggies until then.
I did however buy air stones to put in the filter tube... the pet shop guy said it might put a little more oxygen.
<Sort of. But how they work is misunderstood. Airstones produce bubbles. As the bubbles rise they pull water upwards. This creates a current that circulates water from wherever the bubbles start (ideally, the very bottom of the tank) up to the top. Oxygen actually gets into the water across the surface. Hardly any gets in via bubbles. But splashing at the top of the water increases the surface area a bit, increasing oxygen uptake. So while bubbles help, for best results you want to make sure the bubbles are rising all the way up from the bottom of the water column, not halfway down the tank or just below the surface.>
Should I return them or will they help anything for now?
<Aeration is always helpful. It's noisy though, so I prefer not to use it in tanks where I want quiet, e.g., a bedroom. Better to not stock the tank too heavily and/or rely on gentle ruffling of the water surface from an electric canister filter.>
Also bought something called a internal filter ceramic ring. It says it helps maintain water quality by converting harmful waste into harmless compounds. What do you think? Try or return?
<Do you mean ceramic rings or "noodles", less than a half-inch in length and that you to stuff a bunch of them into a canister filter? These are certainly useful. But just dumped in an aquarium they won't do much. They need to be in the flow of oxygenated water to work. But an "internal filter ceramic ring" as such, I've never heard of.>
Can you please tell me what the water quality strips numbers mean, whats normal. How to fix if too high or low. The package wasn't very helpful.
<NH3, NO2 are ammonia and nitrite respectively. They must always be zero.
Anything above zero quickly becomes toxic and dangerous, 0.5 mg/l NH3 is lethal, and 1.0 mg/l NO2 lethal. NO3 is nitrate. Adequate filtration and not overstocking or overfeeding keep these at zero. Keep this as low as practical, certainly below 40 mg/l, and the lower the better. Basically, water changes keep this down. GH and KH are types of hardness, or dissolved
mineral content. In general terms, low levels of both is good for things like tetras and barbs from soft water habitats, and high levels for things like livebearers and Central American cichlids from hard water habitats.
The pH is the acidity of the water. Most community fish are fine between 6 and 8, so long as its steady, though soft water fish may not be happy above 7.5 and hard water quickly get sick below 7.0. There's more to the numbers, as you can find out here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwh2oquality.htm
For your Betta, you're aiming for zero NH3 and NO2, a low NO3, a pH steady somewhere between 6 and 8, and the two hardness levels aren't too important so long as they're not extreme (your current values are fine).>
Thanks a bunches
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: Omg my African draw frog help       2/21/15

I still don't understand why the frog died.
<See previous emails; his environment was wrong. Something, sooner or later, would have killed him. Too much light, not enough heat, wrong diet, harassment by other livestock... impossible to say for sure what went wrong
in this instance. ADFs are somewhat delicate and easily starved.
While widely sold, most have a short life expectancy once they get shipped out to the retailers and passed onto the average hobbyist. They aren't community "fish" and don't do well in community tanks.>
The first snail I had died too.
I took it to the pet store they said he wasn't dead but minutes later his flap thing fell off.
<Been dead a while, then. The flap is called an operculum, by the way. Dead snails stink, so it's pretty obvious when they've joined the choir invisible. Pains me to say this, again, but Apple Snails aren't that easy to keep alongside other animals. Oddly enough, the frog would actually be a pretty good companion. But the Betta is a bit hit and miss. Even slight damage to the snail can lead to rapid, fatal infections.>
But it makes me worry because that snail only stayed on the pink castle I have. The fish doesn't touch it the new snail has been on it but he likes the walls. The frog would sit in it. Is there a possibility there Could Be lead paint?
<Virtually no possibility unless you've been opening up cans of 50-year-old paint and using it inside the fish tank. Seriously, lead hasn't been used in paint for a very long time. The number of aquarium fish killed by lead paint this century is probably zero. On the other hand, the number of fish (and frogs) killed by misunderstanding their basic needs is surely in the millions.>
Especially because it's pink. Do you know of that's even regulated in the us.
<No idea. But assuming the US has similar standards to the UK, then lead paint isn't currently sold.>
How would I even test for that?
<No need. Do also bear in mind that lead paint doesn't suddenly kill people. It builds up in the body, over years even, causing incremental problems. I think you're really grasping at straws here with the paint!>
Cause I have no idea why they both died. Cause if the water was fine then what was it? Could it really seriously be the tank is too small.
<Yes. Most of the fish deaths among casual hobbyists largely come down to the size of the tank, overstocking, or lack of adequate filtration. Really is that simple. Kind of like obesity in people. There might be some for whom there are genetic or whatever explanations beyond their control, but for the vast majority of people obesity comes from eating too much and
doing too little exercise.>
They're getting a bigger one anyways.
<Then it's an academic discussion. Review the needs of African Dwarf Frogs (nocturnal, fussy feeders, easily damaged) and plan accordingly. They're actually cute and rather loverly pets, the males even croak a bit in the evenings, but they aren't "easy" pets. Doubtless much written online, as well as here at WWM.
Cheers, Neale.>

Sick flasher       2/21/15
I obtained a small flasher wrasse (not sure if this is a carpenter or a yellow fin, maybe you can help identify)
<The more distinct markings on the caudal; though I can't see much darkening on the posterior proximal dorsal, I make this out to be a Carpenter's>
on Feb 13. I housed this in an isolation box with a lineopunctatus flasher (with dividers) beside it.
<Mmm; these fishes REALLY don't like being penned in...>

In the system also have 4 flavo anthiases which (the male is pictured) I think has been slowly losing weight (all 4 Anthias.)
<Common AND REAL trouble... Need to bolster nutrition, AND lace the foods with anti-protozoal AND anthelminthic med.s: Metronidazole and Prazi are my choices>

The anthiases have been eating Reef nutrition ArctiPods and Cyclopeeze 2x a day but I have noticed that they have large bellies and getting really thin.
<As stated; okay, hinted above; likely internal issues>
They sometimes swim slanted like "/" but sometimes normally, Im not sure if it is my high flow.
<Mmm; could be damage in collection... being brought up too quickly>
The system is around 40Galons total with sump/skimmer/chiller and some corals (it is actually a QT system)
<I'd rapid transit these fishes into a larger setting>
Anyway, just today, I noticed this lesion on my small flasher wrasse. Any chance you can help identify it?
<Appears to be physical damage to me... VERY common (am getting to not like these capitalizations) with these genera... JUMPING!>

Should I remove this wrasse to another tank so the sickness does not spread?
<Again... am NOT a fan of much/any isolation of these fishes in small volumes... Would rather dip/bath and put straight away into their main/display system>
I have read about myobacterium marinum, if this is the case, how do I rid my QT tank of it?
<Let's not go there this eve; too involved and not necessary>
Thank you.
<Welcome Michael. Bob Fenner>

Re: re: Sick flasher       2/22/15
Thank you for the fast response! This is another picture of another flasher that I bought. carpenteri or flavianisis?
<The latter... though you've misspelled flavianalis. B>



Re: Ich issue; still not rdg.        2/22/15
So sorry but it's me again. I don't want to be a pain but I still have some questions.
<No worries... for browsers and to remind me where to place this; the prev. corr. mentioned herbal remedies>
I lost my Atlantic blue tang 4days ago and I don't know if I am dealing with ich or velvet.
<Only can be ascertained by way of sampling and microscopic examination.

Have you read on WWM?>
My other tang and assorted fish seem to be doing ok other than a few white spots. I lost the abt during a fresh water dip. I think he was too far gone for this. If this is velvet would I be seeing symptoms on other fish by now or does it take time to show up?.
<Takes no time... all would be dead if this Dinoflagellate. READ>
The symptoms my abt had were loss of color, erratic swimming, and heavy breathing. I never did see spots on him so I was thinking velvet but am not sure. Other fish are eating fine, breathing normal and are not showing signs of stress at all.
<... could be "anything" at play here. NOT necessarily pathogenic.
Acanthurus coeruleus; not an aquarium hardy species. SEE WWM re this species as well. Bob Fenner>

Re: Guerrilla Acclimation procedure       2/22/15
Hello Bob
Thank you so much for writing back so quickly. I will definitely keep you informed about how it goes. Your work has been an inspiration to many of us and I applaud you for that.
<A pleasure to conspire w/ you, aid your success. Bob Fenner> 

Re: I don't want to raise the fry... Betta repro. f'    2/21/15
Thank you for your quick response Neale! I appreciate your kind understanding as well.
<Most welcome on both counts.>
I did go to the link earlier and just now but still don’t feel my concern has been addressed. It’s NOT you! If I am understanding you correctly, Garnet will most likely “shed” her eggs on her own without a male. I will download the book you suggested! Since I’m not a real computer wiz, it will be helpful for me to read the old fashioned way!
<Glad the book sounds interesting. Bob F owns this site and manages it, and his knowledge of our fishy friends is immense.>
I strongly feel she is not constipated as she looks just like the pictures I saw of a female ready to bred.
<Do indeed look similar. Treatment is essentially the same, the Epsom Salt and time, but really, egg-binding in fishes is very uncommon among aquarium fish except for fancy Goldfish.>
It’s always good to know good info as you suggested with Epsom salt! That stuff is amazing! I just used some when planting rooted cuttings this morning to help encourage the roots and help against shock!
<Never heard of that usage before.>
If I assumed incorrectly about Garnet taking care of her eggs on her own, will you be so kind as to let me know if there is anything I can do for her. I guess I could even “rent” my daughter’s boyfriend’s male Betta that he rescued! Some one abandoned him for about a year! The poor thing was on his side to be able to breathe as the water was that low! He has a good home now!
<Well, male and female Bettas don't really get on. If you do try cohabiting them, separate them for a while if possible, perhaps with a mesh that divides the tank in two. It takes a while for the male to build a nest and get ready to look after the eggs, and any female that comes into his territory before he's ready isn't going to be welcomed.>
Sorry for carrying on so…don’t get me started on dogs!
With thanks,
<Good luck, Neale.>
Re: I don't want to raise the fry...   2/21/15

Dear Neale,
Thank you again for your quick reply and additional help! I ordered the book on Amazon. I like and need pictures anyway!
<Hope you enjoy.>
So, until it arrives, I will continue to just keep a watchful eye on her.
<Pretty much...>
Thank you again for being “out there”! Shirley
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Re: Hair like worms ,not Planaria...   2/21/15
Thank you so much. I actually put 3 of them in a drop of water to observe their behavior towards each other when their environment was constricted enough to force them to be in close proximity to each other and I guess like everything else in the universe, limited space creates much tension.
<As Frank Herbert liked to point out, the most severe threat to a species comes from its own kind, not from predators or competitors. Limit the supply of oxygen, as you did, and it's every man (or worm) for himself.>
They literally began fighting each other, attacking, biting and violently twisting up within themselves.
<I'd be wary about reading too much into what your little Shai-Huluds got up to in there. Lack of oxygen and rapid increase in temperature under a microscope can cause many non-unicellular animals to behave very aberrantly, reflecting the severe stress such warm, bright environments cause on animals accustomed to cool, dark places.>
I take pride in my little 20 gallon tank taking 4 hours to clean it when needed, bi weekly 20% water changes, conditioners and I don't use medical chem.s normally. I have tried a Mediflex treatment for a minor fin issue from nipping, which helped but I don't like running a no carbon filter for 7 days. I really appreciate your rapid response and setting my mind at ease. I love my little guys and feel they are more than just fish as one major pet store chain tried to convince me of.
<Yikes! Glad your enjoyment of the hobby has developed and become more rewarding than this particular retailer might have supposed. Cheers, Neale.>

map turtle sleeps sideways   2/21/15
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have a map turtle which is a few years old. He has a 30 gal tank with heat and uvb lamps and a basking platform. He exhibits normal happy behaviour (seemingly),
<Yeah, well, so do I. In fact if you were to ask my neighbors, they'd ALL say "He seems like a nice guy, quiet, keeps to himself, always waves when he drives by ….">
basks normally, and is always a hungry fellow.
<Those are all good signs. Keep in mind that he SHOULD always be hungry. In fact all of us should be. Too much food is a bad thing.>
The only thing that worries me is sometimes I catch him kind of floating at a 45 degree angle when he sleeps. Not all the time and he easily corrects it. Should I be worried and have him checked out?
<Nope, Andy. Don't worry a bit. We're all unbalanced from time to time. As long as he doesn't try to buy a firearm or try to talk you into spending all your money on turtle toys, let him sleep sideways if he wants.>
<What is likely is that a he gas a small gas pocket in this lower gut an it moves around, sometimes being off center. As long as he can correct it … as long as it doesn't prevent him from submerging… it will most likely work it's way out over time>
Oh and he has a water heater that keeps the tank at mid 70's.
<I'm generally not a fan of water heaters. The water should be room temperature anyway, but since your heater is keeping the temp at the desired level probably should leave well enough alone>
Pic included
<Handsome guy!>

V. Lionfish Eye   2/21/15
Hi Crew. I hope this email finds you well.
<Ah yes; thank you>
I have a V. Lionfish that is around 10" long. I have had him for around a year.
He has a tiny white dot that looks deep inside one eye and the other eye is completely black. I think he has had this for a while. I am not sure when I first noticed it or if he always had it. It does not look like it is on the surface and it is tiny like a pin point. I have not noticed any change in size at all.
<Eye issues as yours are very common w/ Pteroines... they don't like the typical "too-bright" light intensity of aquariums, and folks are wont to provide sufficient shaded cover... And there are many cases of nutritional issues which lead to eye troubles... and damage from run ins with other livestock, system...>

He eats crazy still and I see no signs there are sight issues or parasites
Any ideas on what this is or anything I should look at doing.
<The above... More hang overs to get out of the light; food supplementation (see WWM, Lionfish in particular re... the search tool (on every page), indices>
He is in my 150 FOWLR tank. Other fish include a Harlequin Tusk, Porcupine Puffer,
<Not really compatible...>

and Snowflake Eel.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Cherry Barbs; spot concern
I have a thirty galleon tank with two little Plecs
<Mmm; have to ask that you check which species these are. Some get VERY large>
> <Mmm; have to ask that you check which species these are. Some get VERY
> large>
Yeah, these are the ones that get pretty big, but our local pet store has said that once they get bigger/too big (they're about 5cm from face to tail just now) they'll buy them back and sell us smaller ones as long as we let them know. They'll make money on it and it meant they won't get stunted/crowded.
and 13 cherry barbs in it. We have cycled the tank and ammonia, nitrate and nitrite are at zero because we also water change frequently. We had seven cherry barbs and recently added six more (all at once). One cherry barb has a little white bit between his eyes. I know all cherry barbs have a lighter stripe but I'm paranoid this could be white spot. Is it likely to be white spot due to new fish if it only affects one fish with one spot so far?
<Not likely to be this parasite; no>
Could t be any thing else and is it worth treating ASAP to be sure?
<Not worth treating if this is the only symptom; no. Just stay vigilant watching for changes in behavior. The one fish likely got bumped, like with a net, and the one-spot is a result>
> a net, and the one-spot is a result>
Okay, thank you so much!!
I hope this isn't a waste of your time or a stupid question.
<There are no foolish questions. We are glad to help you understand your situation, options.>
Best wishes,
<Best fishes! Bob Fenner>
> <Best fishes! Bob Fenner>
> Hahah exactly!! Thanks!

Guerrilla Acclimation procedure   2/21/15
<Hi there Heng>
I wanted to know if you could help answer a few questions.
<I will try>
I have been
reading your articles for a while now and I wanted to know if you could help clarify the Guerrilla acclimation procedure.
<Ahh; likely so. I've written and spoken about this technique many times over several years>
We're new fish wholesalers and we're bringing in our first shipment of fish and corals from Indonesia. I am planning on using your Guerrilla acclimation method and we're developing our SOP for the marine fish.
I wanted to clarify your procedure.

1. Float bags in Quarantine tank to adjust the temp for 10-15 minutes.
<Or bring up to temperature by simply opening the boxes>
2. Transfer livestock and shipping water to Trays with aeration
<After measuring for at least pH and free ammonia; yes>
3. Drip treated aerated RO water or treated tap water
<Not RO; just the tap>
into the trays (treated with PVP dechlorinator and Methylene blue ) - This mixing water is PH adjusted to between 6.5-7.2 depending on what the PH in the shipping water is.
<Yes; match this>
4. Do this until Ammonia is flushed out - usually double of water that's in the trays.
<Can't tell how much volume it will take... sometimes several times...  flushing mixed water to waste>
5. Now start dripping water from quarantine tank (which has PH of 8.2) into the trays to bring the PH back up - Quarantine tanks water is from system water.
6. Dip the fish in freshwater baths
<IF they're in good enough shape... otherwise, defer this step till later (a few days)>
7. Transfer to quarantine tank which has PH of 8.2
8. Dump out shipping water.
<All mixed water; yes>
Or do you skip step 5? If so does this mean that the quarantine tank PH is at the same as the shipping water PH (for example 6.5) and you bring this back up to the system PH over 2 weeks? (for example over 2 weeks you bring it back up to 8.2)
<No to skipping step 5; it is absolutely critical>
Do you have a SOP for acclimating corals?
<It is the same; except no freshwater dipping, bathing... And adding a good deal of iodide-ate during step 5... a few times the "regular dose"; not important just how much is used>
I was looking at doing the following which is similar to the one for the fish.
1. Float bags in system tank to adjust the temp for 10-15 minutes.
2. Transfer livestock and shipping water to Trays with aeration
3. Drip aerated RO water or tap water into the trays - This mixing water is PH adjusted to between 6.5-7.2 depending on what the PH in the shipping water is.
4. Do this until Ammonia is flushed out.
5. Drip water from system tank (which has PH of 8.2) into the trays over several hours to bring the PH back up
6. Dip the corals in Revive
<Ahh; or Revive if you prefer. I don't use, nor endorse "plant extracts" per se>
7. Transfer to system
Since this is our first shipment, should we just transfer the corals into our main system and monitor from there?
<... I would do all that you have time for through the SOP detailed above>
Thank you
Heng Te
<Do write back w/ your observations... this process is time consuming and will be very trying... Shipped livestock looks like it is going through triage often. Bob Fenner>

Freshwater Angelfish egg surprise   2/21/15
I have four angelfish in a 75 gallon. Two paired up and today I found a bunch of eggs on the heater. This was a total surprise as I never had any luck with angels breeding.
Anyway I turned off the heater and put another heater in there. Do I need to put a little Methylene blue in the tank to prevent fungus?? I have a cycled 20 gallon long also. Maybe the pair needs to go in that. I don't know what to do
. Thank you
<Methylene Blue is usually used when the eggs are "pulled" and reared manually. If adult cichlids stay with their eggs, they will remove unfertilised eggs and any that become infected with fungus. The challenge for you is that Angels are usually lousy parents, having been farmed intensively for so long without any selection pressure in favour of good parenting. Sometimes Angels figure it out and become decent parents, but if you're desperate to get baby Angels, you may want to pull the eggs and rear them yourself. Moving the pair of Angels would almost certainly cause them to eat the eggs, so if you must remove some fish, removing the Angels that aren't breeding. That said, in 75 gallons they might spread out themselves,
and you can take a gamble on the mated pair defending their eggs successfully. (They have no chance of doing this against catfish or at night, so remove any Plecs and other nocturnal feeders such as loaches.)
Does this make sense? Cheers, Neale.>

Omg my African dwarf frog help   2/21/15
So I have a 1.1 gallon tank with a mystery snail a male crown tail Betta and an African dwarf frog his name is flippers.
<1.1 gallons is too small, too little water... his world is toxic, too much pollution in too small a volume of water, killing him...>

He was all fine swimming around earlier but I just found him upside down on the bottom of the tank so I scooped him put and put him in a tiny container with new water and stuck it in the tank but not exposed to the rest of the water just so he can get the heat from the light.
<Heat from a light? Hmm... how to explain... aquaria should be heated with an aquarium heater. Many are sold, of different designs and to different budgets. Angle-poise and other lamps with incandescent and halogen bulbs may produce some heat (but LED essentially none and fluorescents very little) but aren't strong enough to warm water evenly, and certainly won't
do so at night when they're off (obviously). Using lamps for heating is (a) dangerous because the lamp doesn't switch off if the water gets too hot, resulting in very hot surface water compared to the too cold water at the bottom; and (b) are inefficient, wasting you money because while they produce some (unreliable) heat, some electricity is used to make light as
well, which you don't especially need. Do please understand what animals need before buying them... giving pets names is nice, and I'm sure you care for your pet animals in terms of affection, but animals honestly don't give a rip about these niceties. Food, warmth, shelter and a safe (non-toxic) living environment are what animals need and care about.>
The beta and snail are fine,
<For now. To be fair, Apple Snails are subtropical and do fine in unheated tanks indoors. Bettas are tropical fish, and don't live long in unheated tanks, unless you happen to live in Thailand or somewhere like that.>
in fact my snail has grown a lot in the while I had him.
There's algae on my tank but I figured itd just a plant it wouldn't hurt anything. The frog isn't skinny I see him eat the Betta pellets and frog food.
<Not just dried/pellet foods though. I hope you add some live or frozen (not freeze-dried) foods into the mix. Otherwise constipation, bloating and more serious problems await you.>

What would cause him to go from alive and fine to dead with in like 8 hours. The tank is dirty with algae is that what killed him?
<The short (and blunt) answer is ignorance. The long (and kinder) answer is that you got the environment wrong. I know, I know, "But he was just fine for weeks/months and the guy in the fish store said that a 1-gallon tank was all I needed." So let's start with the basics. The three beasties you're keeping can be kept together with a bit of planning. Some Bettas nip
at Apple Snails, but if yours doesn't, great. But while the Apple Snail might be kept in 1-2 gallons (I have done so without problems), and some people keep Bettas in this amount of water as well (but I would not), the African Dwarf Frog is a much more sensitive animal and needs much more space. Shall we say 4-5 gallons? Something along those lines anyway. They
also need heat, lots of it. A steady 25 C/77 F, which is mostly easily supplied by a traditional aquarium heater. You can buy alternatives, such as under tank heating mats, but plain old aquarium heaters, specifically, a 25 Watt one in your case, could be had for little money and unlike the lamp, would last many years, would heat the water evenly, and cost very little to run. Next up, you need a filter. Some folks insist these aren't necessary for Bettas and frogs, but mostly those people have dead Bettas
and dead frogs after as few weeks or months, so we can ignore their advice.
For sure some people keep Bettas in jars, but they're breeders in heated fish rooms who change 100% of the water every day. Not practical if you're a casual hobbyist who just wants a pretty pet fish. Get a filter. An air-powered sponge filter is all you need, and better than a small internal canister filter. Don't get a hang-on-the-back filter because these have an opening through which Bettas often jump and frogs almost always escape, winding up as dried "carpet jerky" as we say in the trade. ADFs and other aquatic amphibians should never, ever be kept in open-topped tanks unless such tanks are only half filled. Seriously. The risk of them jumping out is extremely high. So, we've covered aquarium size, heating, what else...?
Basically, that's it, beyond varying the diet. Dried foods are all well and good, but just like humans eating processed foods all day, these concentrated foods do tend to cause constipation and worse. So mix things up a bit. Frozen bloodworms you keep in the freezer are convenient and work nicely, though a very few people (surely less than 1 in 100) seem to have a
slight allergy to bloodworms. You don't need to actually touch the worms, just hold the package over the tank, push out a block from behind, then return the package to the freezer. Wash your hands afterwards though. A safer alternative to bloodworms is brine shrimps. Again, you can get these frozen (or for that matter live) and because of the hypersaline places
they're grown, these are probably the safest food you're likely to encounter, including human foods! Does this all make sense? Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Omg my African dwarf frog help.... & Apple/mystery snail beh. f'    2/21/15

Also, not as important. I read that snails have breathing tubes. On my snail there's two little things like he has a moustache
<Sensory tentacles, a mix of touch and taste receptors, used to find out about his environment.>
but earlier it stuck this giant tube out of the water and did a heave like thing.
<Breathing. Apple Snails breathe air using a lung as well as having gills to extract oxygen from the water. Typically, the warmer the water, the more they breathe air. Sometimes it's a clue they're stressed, so if your Apple Snail does this a lot more than usual, first check water temperature (is it too warm, much over 25C/77F) and then check water quality (an ammonia or nitrite test kit is used for this).>
Whats going on?
<Biology. Cheers, Neale.>
re: Omg my African dwarf frog help   2/21/15

Im in central Texas.
<Ah, so too cold most of the time for tropical fish, at least at night. For most tropical fish, 25 C/77 F is the baseline, possibly a little warmer for a few (Bettas, Angels, Discus and Gouramis for example, which are good up to 30 C/86 F, a little cooler for a few (Danios, Corydoras, Platies and Neons, all happier around 22 C/72 F).>
And the snail is a mystery snail.
<Mystery Snails and Apple Snails are the same thing, for all practical purposes (there's some debate about which Pomacea species is which, but they're all much of a muchness so far as maintenance goes. Apple Snails seems to be the more popular name at the moment, and refers to their big shell (which can get apple-sized after a few years, though very few last as
long as a year in aquaria for a variety of reasons). Mystery Snails is a much older name, said to be because the baby snails (which are quite big, and hatch from eggs laid above the waterline) appeared in ponds seemingly out of nowhere. I recommend breeding them when you get the chance. It's a lot of fun, and the babies are rather cute (for baby snails, anyway).>
I've only had the frog for a month or so and no one nips at anyone, I don't have room for a much bigger tank.
<Could I suggest not keeping fish or frogs then? The Betta and the snail you'll get away with, assuming scrupulous care on your part. How to be clear on this? The smaller the volume of water, the faster temperature changes, and the quicker dissolved wastes (such as ammonia) cause problems. Tropical fish really shouldn't be kept in tanks smaller than, say, 8-10
gallons, simply because keeping them in smaller tanks is either unfair to them (e.g., you can't keep enough schooling fish for them to be happy) or else causes physiological stress as conditions go bad. Could I further suggest having a read here:
You do have some options for tanks upwards of 4-5 gallons, but they are very specific beasties, in some cases with very specific needs.>
It has an under gravel filter and it stays in the bathroom, which is the warmest room in the house.
<Good and good, but do see above re: temperature. Warm to you might not be warm to a fish from Thailand. The ADF is perhaps less fussy, and okay around 22 C/72 F, but no colder. Apple Snails are fine at room temperature, even in the UK, let alone Texas. Measure maximum and minimum water temperatures across the day and night using a thermometer, perhaps at
midday and again just when you're getting up and before lights/heating come on. If these fall outside the range required by the animals you're keeping, well, get a heater!>
And I never turned the tank light off.
<Yikes! African Dwarf Frogs are largely nocturnal. That's when they do a lot of their feeding. Also, light period (hours of light vs. hours of darkness) are important for the well-being of animals generally (keeping humans in bright light 24/7 is pretty close to torture, and at the least, disorienting after a while). Constant lighting will also cause algae problems.>

It really does keep tank warm. And its waaaaay better then the unfiltered beta bowl that the fish was in for a while.
<Ever have those discussions as a kid about which would be better, be hanged or having your head cut off? Perhaps just us Brits with our bloody mediaeval history! In any case, improving on a Betta (rhyming with "better", not "beater") bowl is nice, but doesn't quite "get you into the medals" as they'd say in sporting events. Truly, heating and filtration are both going to make your aquatic livestock significantly healthier in the long run.>
But uh thanks for the info....
<Aim to please. Or at least inform.>
Question: there is possibly a 2 to 5 gallon tank in my garage..... can I use the under gravel filter in that even though it won't cover all of the bottom?
<Nope. Water flows through the line of least resistance. So if you don't evenly cover the filter, the water will mostly go through the exposed part of the filter plate because that's "easier" than going through the bed of gravel. Make sense? Since gravel costs virtually nothing, a buck or two should be sufficient for enough to cover the undergravel filter plate here.
No need to go to an aquarium store to buy their expensive gravel. So long as its lime-free, not sharp, and you don't mind rinsing it thoroughly, then gravel from a garden centre will be just as good and a lot cheaper.>
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Re: In need of an ID   2/21/15
Thanks for the reply,
I had a good laugh at the name, but I guess it could be, I will keep an eye on it, do some reading on this, Sipunculid - Peanut worm.
My husband and I love your book. The book that turned us into reefers.
<The pleasure!>
Thanks again,
Sara Hartley
<Ah, cheers! BobF>

Re: tesselata compatible with large Zebra?   2/21/15
Hello Bob, Thank you very much for the immediate response.
Certainly prudent advice; have to admit, do love the morays. A large tesselata is a beautiful creature and would certainly be worth the investment of its own tank (I believe)...
<Ah yes; and in "putting away" our correspondence, I read over the accumulated Tesselata/Permistus accounts archived on WWM. You might want to read MarcoL's input there>
Chris Turk, very interesting (I use Ocean Nutrition foods regularly). Our family's name has not changed or been modified from the "old country", not sure if we are from same Old Country and there certainly are not a lot of Turks in the US....
<I see>
I will have to send him an e mail to see if there is a family connection.
Thinking maybe we can co-brand a moray specific frozen diet LOL!
I will update you if I find out.
Thanks again and best regards. Steve
<Cheers! BobF>

Ich/Puffers and Hypo   2/21/15
Hey crew, thanks for doing what you do!
<A pleasure, honor and life-fulfilling to share>
Question, I see that you don't recommend hypo treatment for Cryptocaryon (SW "Ich"). In the case of Holocanthus puffers, copper treatment is suggested to be potentially very harmful.

I'm just doing the freshwater dip now and heading to the quarantine tank.
Was set to hypo, but if you don't recommend hypo, what would you recommend for Holocanthus that you would consider a safe, effective treatment?
<Chloroquine phosphate is best currently. Use the search tool on any page on WWM...>

I did do a search using some terms but didn't come up with something (probably just didn't do it right!)
Thanks very much,
Scott Goorland
<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Goldfish       2/19/15
Yes makes tons of sense thank you for responding so quick!
<Most welcome.>
WWM forever!
<Scary thought!

Juvenile Clown Trigger hiding and not eating in jellyfish tank      2/19/15
Hello! I found your site and spent hours browsing, so I'm fairly certain already that I may receive some scolding about the size of my tank...
First, I am a very amateur aquarist. I have a special tank for jellyfish (from jellyfishart.com) that I think is about 6 gallons. When my last moon
jelly passed, I visited The Fish Store and asked for suggestions for a different fish for the tank; they suggested a clown trigger
<?!... no>

(with the caveat that I'd need to bring him back when he outgrew the tank) and I purchased a juvenile about 1.5 inches long in December. In addition to the round substrate at the bottom, he has a live rock about 3x4 inches, and I added a plastic arch for him to hide,
<Dismal. Return this animal>

after doing some research. Problem
is, for the past few days all he does is hide and he used to be pretty active around the tank. And, he hasn't eaten in a couple of days either.
Yesterday I removed the rock and the arch (I know, mean) and he wedged his face between the wall of the tank and the substrate. I admit to pulling him out by his tail (not nice again) and now he is hiding once again in the arch. The only thing I can think that I've noticed in the past few days is that there may be some substrate preventing the water bubbler from blowing as hard as usual; but there is still movement and some small bubbles breaking at the surface. I do a 10-20% water change weekly and siphon out as much debris as possible (P.S. I take the trigger out during cleaning  and
keep him in a little bowl, is that ok?
). Any advice is appreciated - even if it's to take him back to the store :-(
Lauren in Atlanta
<I do hope this message is a prank. Bob Fenner>
Re: Juvenile Clown Trigger hiding and not eating in jellyfish tank      2/19/15

Hi Bob, thanks for the quick reply. Not a prank unfortunately;
I just didn't know any better
<But the salesperson/clerk at the store did no doubt; disappointing>

until I found your site. Looks like I'll be returning him, thanks.
<Do see Neale's input on WWM re stocking such tiny systems. Cheers, BobF>

rock set up      2/19/15
Dear Crew,
I have been at a complete standstill in resetting up my 265 gallon tank. I didn’t like how my previous PVC frame held the rocks (it looked very unnatural). It has been months of me looking at a tank filled with water and live stand with piles of rock on the floor in front of it. I need some help to push me in the right direction.
<Get going!>
I need height, stability, and really don’t want to add too much weight. I purchased 10” black milk crates to create a base with the PVC, but attaching rock to it is giving me anxiety.
<Get some help... plastic ties, drilling if necessary... w/ mortar bits>
Initially I ruled out making my own rock out of cement because of the comments I’ve seen on your site. What if I coated the crates in the cement mix (this would end up like a hollow rock)and pushed actual smaller rock into the cement so I won’t be looking at hundreds of zip ties?
<Could be done. Do cure all before using the rockwork>
I could then place bigger live rock on top of this structure to finish the look and add bio filtration (plus the live sand). Would a better option be to use spray foam to stabilize my rocks?
<Mmm; is an option; but I don't like the foam long-term>
I’ve spent countless hours on the internet looking for good examples of what other people have done, but most of them look like a disaster waiting to happen.
As always, thank you for your time and advice. Sincerely, Alyssa
<Stacking rock is an art as well as science... with substrate to rest on, practicing arrangements outside of the tank... you should be fine. Bob Fenner>

Re: Rams, Cryptocorynes, soft water and dosing      2/19/15
Dear Neale,
Thanks a lot for the fast and clarifying reply. I shall wait, watch and try to react rationally, I try to be not a 'chaser for numbers' but rather a 'keep it simple around what works' type.
<By far the easiest approach with plants. I tend to buy a variety of plants, see which ones work for me, and keep buying/growing those. Now and again I'll try something new, but if it doesn't do well, I don't go out of my way to change things in the aquarium. After all, those plants that like your water conditions and substrate type are the ones that will do the best for the least money and the minimum of fuss. Best way to enjoy fishkeeping is doing it cheap 'n' easy! Want to spend insane amounts of money? May was well keep marines...!>
Regarding the tank you refer to, were some webpages on your personal aquariums available on the interweb in the past?
<Still are... on my personal website, which has moved since Apple dropped hosting "dot Mac" websites...
If you look at the Freshwater Reef Tank in the Projects section, you'll see a previous version of this 8-gallon aquarium. The tank itself is something like 20 years old, and in its time it's been a reef tank, a coldwater tank, a planted tropical tank, and now a subtropical tank for Heterandria formosa and about a million Cherry Shrimps!>
I have a vague recollection of coming across a site/blog that most probably talked about your interests in ammonites, sky watching and aquatic life.
<That would indeed be me... erstwhile science teacher, occasional astronomer, former palaeontologist and verbose fishkeeper! Cheers, Neale.>

My beta fish needs help!  No data; child       2/19/15
Got my birthday I revived a blue male beta fish. His name is Minho. The problem is we have a cat, a cat who likes fish! While I was at school my cat got into the tank and I don't really know what she did! When I got home no his fins looked very droopy, and he's been staying at the bottom of his tank. I watched him earlier and when he tried to swim he barely moved!!!
Please tell me what I can do to help him! PLEASE!
<Is the aquarium heated? Bettas are tropical fish, and won't heal properly if conditions aren't right. Of course if you live in Singapore in an unheated flat, then ambient air temperature (around 80 degrees F) will be fine, but if you live in the US or Europe, then a heater is essential. Oh, and a filter too, and at least 4-5 gallons of water. Any aquarium that satisfies these criteria will have a hood or lid of some sort... or if it doesn't, you can get a piece of glass or clear acrylic cut to size to fit
on top. Simple. If you don't have heat, filtration or enough space, well, this fish was going to die sooner or later, and all the cat is doing is speeding up the process. Without wanting to sound callous, we do get a lot of "OMG my Betta is sick" messages and they're from folks who don't provide heat, proper water quality or enough space. Maybe you've met these people?
They keep Bettas in jars or bowls, stick them under an angle-poise lamp, that sort of thing. Maybe voice some baloney about Bettas living fine in jars (true, if you're a breeder in a heated fish room who changes the water daily, but not true otherwise). If you're teeth are on edge hearing such things, then great, you and I are going to get on well. Your Betta will recover in a heated, filtered aquarium. My advice: keep the hood on. Cats aren't good at opening aquarium hoods. If the Betta gets white or grey specks on its fins, they could be Finrot or Fungus, both common on damaged fish, and both eminently treatable. Something like Kanaplex will do the job nicely. Avoid the tea-tree oil remedies like Melafix as they tend to be good money after bad. Ditto salt; it's irrelevant here. Remove carbon from the filter while medicating. Keep the Betta nice and warm (in fact, upping the heat to around 82 F/28 C would actually speed the healing process up a bit). Hmm... does this help Maddie? Meantime, read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/betta_splendens.htm
In a heated, filtered aquarium your Betta has a good chance of recover. By the way, it's Betta to rhyme with "better", not "beater" or the Greek letter Beta. Comes from a Southeast Asian (Thai, perhaps?) name along the lines of "Bettah". Now you can impress your friends with your correct pronunciation of these lovely fish! Cheers, Neale.>

Please Help... NEED info.!       2/19/15
I have a convict cichlid that is losing his color and his stripes. All he does is lay on the rocks he will not move or swim around and he will not eat food either.
I had one of my other cichlids go through this same thing and about three weeks later he eventually died. I do not know what to do or how to make him better again and I really do not want to lose all my fish as they were all in the same tank together but right now I do have the sick on alone in a different tank that just cleared out for him. If you have any information or suggestions that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much
<... need data; useful information... Re the system, history, water quality, other livestock, maintenance, foods/feeding... HAVE you read on WWM re this species care? Bob Fenner>

I don't want to raise the fry...      2/19/15
…and I hope I do not sound cruel. I got a female Beta, her name is Garnet. I figure she is almost a year old now. I chose a female because I thought they may go over looked since they are not as “fancy". I just want one Beta but after reading as much as I can find online I believe she is full of eggs and ready to breed. I was told at the pet store that females can become egg-bound & get sick and perhaps die. I do not want Garnet to die! I’m willing to get a male if that’s the only way for her to have her eggs released.
<It's not.>
I am ignorant about fish breeding by choice, not apathy. I have very many other hobbies, one of which is helping my rescue dog be all that he can be after being traumatized by humans in some ways. I love my interaction with Garnet but I do not have the time to help bring more Betas into the world. This is why I hope I do not sound cruel.
<You don't. Bettas, and fish generally, rarely get egg-bound. It's a problem that happens quite often with turtles and other reptiles, but fish... not so much. Usually (and I mean, 99 times out of 100) when fish become bloated it's either constipation or Dropsy. Bettas are very prone to both. Tropical fish shops are often a bit hopeless on diagnosing problems... after all, to work in one you don't need to have gone to vet school or taken an advanced class in fish physiology. So to start with, let me direct you here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/betta_splendens.htm
Next up, let me recommend Epsom Salt (a completely different chemical to table salt, sodium chloride) which you can buy at pharmacies and online without much bother. Used at a dose of about 1-3 teaspoons per 5 US gallons of water, this stuff often reduces swelling and acts as a laxative, making it an ideal (probably the best) "first pass" treatment to swollen fish, especially if such fish are otherwise healthy (i.e., feeding). This trick is one of many in Bob F's excellent "Betta Success - Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy long-term" book that you can download from Amazon for about the price of a cup of coffee ($6.74 in PDF/eBook format!). Seriously, it's worth getting, and what you read and understand will help you keep Garnet healthy in the long term. Link's at the top of the page mentioned already.>
I’m sorry for this lengthy plea for advice and pray you can help us!
Shirley H
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

ADF Question; beh.       2/19/15
I have an ADF that seems to get violent spurts of energy after eating, he'll dive and rise really hard, hit the sides of the tank, and make me think he's been suddenly poisoned! Without any idea of what to do to help him, I find that he's still living after several more hours... He eats freeze dried blood worms, do you know if I could be doing something wrong that's making him freak out? My other ADF in a different tank, eating the same food, is docile after eating... If that helps.
<First off, let me direct you here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
Keeping ADFs isn't especially difficult, but there are some common errors.
Making the tank too deep is one. 20 cm/8 inches of water is probably the limit. They find it difficult to swim upwards more than that, and act a bit loopy if they have to. Next up, dried foods aren't the safest/best food for them. Imagine if you were fed just freeze-dried foods all the time. Once inside the gut they expand, and that can cause problems if they've eaten too much. Regular frozen or even live foods make most sense, alongside dried pellet foods designed for them. My guess would be a combination of difficulty swimming and some type of chronic constipation is causing what you're seeing, and fixing diet and/or environment will help a lot. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Wormlike wigglers in cycling tank      2/19/15
Thanks for the reply. I added what is now a very full and satisfied Platy to the tank.
<Heeee! I bet!>
The thing couldn't get to the little morsels fast enough. Happy to say that all wigglers are gone.
Thanks again.
<Cheers Mark. BobF>

Re: In need of an ID      2/19/15
<Mmm; thank you for providing the MOV... this is a worm of some sort...
will have to check when am not so tired.
Bob Fenner>
Re: In need of an ID      2/20/15

<Though it should be "in the substrate" the movement and oral appendages of this animal remind me of a Sipunculid, a Peanut Worm. Bob Fenner>


Percula clownfish. Singleton; mean       2/20/15
Hi I have a percula clownfish in a 55gal tank and he seems to be aggressive towards any other fish I put in there.
Is this normal?
<Can be.... better to have two... one smaller/larger>
I had a coral beauty in there and had to return it I was afraid he was going to kill it. I noticed the same pattern when I added a butterfly fish.
I moved the clownfish to a 30 gallon tank alone. What can I do and what could I put in the tank with him for fish?
<Either a mate... or trading this fish in>
Thank you
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

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