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FAQs about Roundheads, Family Plesiopsidae

Related Articles: Roundheads, Marine Bettas, Comets

Related FAQs: 

A Marine Betta or Comet, Calloplesiops altivelis  in captivity.

Re: Dipping Procedure. Crypt on an Assessor?      10/25/19
So after being in therapeutic copper for 14 days I transferred all the fish to a new sterile QT tank. In between the transfer all fish went through a 5 min FWD and 30 minute bath in Methylene Blue. All fish have stopped flashing but one of my assessors developed these white spots. I attached a picture and a link to a video. It looks like marine ick and honestly I am not sure how it is possible.
<Well, whatever this is appears more "discrete" in your video (than the still)... I'd want to sample, look at a bit of slime from the area to ascertain whether this is a pathogen. From the clustering and location it appears to be more of a wound site, mucus to me... from a "bump" into something. Gauging from the activity, behavior of the individual I would NOT further treat this fish. The whatever/mucus should go of its own accord. Placing an erstwhile cleaner organism might well speed this along.
Bob Fenner>

Marine Comet injured; and fdg.       2/16/17
Hey Crew!
My marine Betta (comet) seems to have an injury. It's a gash above his eye with some flesh hanging off. Here are some pictures https://imgur.com/a/cYUCO  . He's about 8 months established and still eating readily and acting like normal. I know marine Bettas are somewhat famously hardy, should I be worried? And what might've caused this?
<A physical bump from something... perhaps a gash against the top, rock.
I'd hold off on any treatment; wouldn't move this fish
The only thing I can come up with is a Kole tang I added ~2 weeks ago.
Oh one more question since I've got you and I haven't been able to find a good answer: is there any danger to feeding a marine Betta frequently? I feed him a decent amount of frozen food ~3 times a week and he's pretty fat. I know some predators like lionfish can get fatty liver disease if fed too heavily and frequently, would it be wise to cut down?
<Likely no issue, though I'd cut this back to twice a week. Bob Fenner>

Marine Betta Experience, fdg., training marine fishes    4/25/12
About 8 months ago, I purchased a Marine Betta, and found getting him to eat anything but live foods to be quite a challenge.
<Often the case w/ Plesiopsids>
 I did a lot of
research, including on your website on feeding them. I thought I would share my experience because he is now trained on New Life Spectrum pellets, because others would likely welcome the same information.
<Ahh, I thank you>
I started by feeding him enriched live shrimp, with the goal of weaning him off as soon as possible. The first tip I would have is not to spoil them.

I made this mistake early on when feeding him live foods too often. I then decided to try frozen Mysis, which he would not touch. I fed this to my fish about twice a week and covered it in a garlic supplement. He would not touch it until I used the garlic additive. He then tried it a few times, and spit it out. But after a week of that, he finally ate the frozen stuff.
I then included frozen Mysis and the new life spectrum pellets. Again, I tried the garlic supplement (I think it was called GVH fish food soak). In about two more weeks, after alternating frozen Mysis and new life spectrum, he finally started eating the pellets. I know where he hides in the take, so I put the pellets in a stream of water where the pellets would end up in front of him. Before long, he would come out when I fed the other fish. He will only eat the large pellets, while the other fish eat the smaller ones.
He is now fully trained on the pellets.
<Ah good>
I will say, I have had lionfish in the past, and training him was similar to them. He will also go on periodic hunger strikes, much like they will.
Although he hides a lot, those periods where he comes out make having him worth it.
Hope this helps someone,
<Indeed. Many others. Bob Fenner>

2 questions/Firefish compatibility and assessor issue  10/31/11
Good evening,
I have spent an hour on your site tonight researching this question and I have learned a lot but thought I would check with you all anyway. (For reference, I have kept purple Firefish for years, always singly). A friend of mine is moving and has broken down her Nano and unexpectedly I have a beautiful Helfrich Firefish. He is in my 29 gallon Nano. He is fine, already eating, but there is a red Firefish already in there (has been there for about 1 year). I am reluctant to pull the red Firefish because I would have to take him to a store or throw him in my 90 gallon that may be a tad rough--wrasses, a butterfly, an angel==however, I will do so if you think it best.
Obviously the red one is a much less valuable fish.
Right now they are completely ignoring each other (have all day) but it appears from your site that could suddenly change.
Although elsewhere on your site it states that various Firefish can live together,
<If there's room... not here likely>
there also seems a lot of evidence to contradict that. ( it also seems like it might be the story of the Banggai cardinals that I had in my 150 gallon, where I started with 4 and after a year or so, I had two and then for the past three years, just one (alpha) Banggai. )
Thanks you guys, I am going to cross my fingers and risk one night until I hear from you.
Second question, my yellow assessor (have had him 2 years in afore mentioned Nano) has developed what I will call whiskers. They almost look like the little "antenna" that are on a Tailspot (or similar) blenny but they are new and clear and very small. He is still eating and seems fine but wanted to check. Let me know if you would like a photo.
<Do please send along... most likely these "whiskers" are spines from Bristleworms>
I appreciate all you do.
Thanks again.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Gold assessor Basslet hiding   10/21/11
Hello Crew,
<Hello again Sabrina>
I have 2 ORA Gold Assessor Basslets in my 55 gallon tank.
<Ahh, a neat fish>
They were the first fish I added to the tank. They had been doing just fine, eating and coming out being rather comfortable for about 2 weeks. I had been looking for some golden fairy wrasses (Cirrhilabrus rhomboidalis) for a little while and finally found 2 (male and female) that had been living in captivity for a year and doing really well and also for a good price. I picked them up and added them to the tank this past Saturday and they have been eating swimming and doing really well. Up until this time I had seen the assessors everyday and they had been eating but I haven't seen them since, its been about 5 days.
<Mmm, being frightened by the velvet wrasses>
I have been reading and found some people said they can stay hidden in their caves and die... I do not want this to happen. So, I was wondering what I should do? Should I go in search of the fish? Try and force them out and risk freaking them out more? Should I try and put a divider in the tank to keep the wrasses on one side so they will feel more secure?
<I'd give all more time, and try feeding the assessors just after turning the lights off>
I have an idea as to where they may be, but I am unsure if they are still in the same area, so I would have to find them (freak them out more by hunting for them in order to do this). And if I do this is it possible that even after long term separation (2 to 4 weeks) with a divider that they will hide once it is removed? Water tests are within normal range. Ammonia 0 PO4 0 Nitrates 10 (doing 5 gallon water change today) Ph 8.0 Salinity is 1.023.
Thank you for your time,
<I urge patience here. Bob Fenner>

Two questions/yellow assessor and pearly Jawfish   12/18/10
Good morning to everyone and hope you all are having a happy holiday season!
<Thank you Jeanne>
I have two rather minor questions but couldn't find anything similar on your wonderful site. First, I have had a yellow assessor for a little over a year in my 65 gallon red sea. He is fine, but there are a few tuka and dispar Anthias, a small solorensis fairy wrasse and a leopard wrasse in the tank and while none of them appeared to harass him, he never seemed comfortable. (Not to anthropomorphize here)
<You are to be congratulated keeping these species in this volume, shaped system>
He never stayed in a cave, always in the upper right hand corner of the tank and appeared jittery and constantly darted out of the way of the other fish at feeding times. Occasionally his fins would be split. I decided to give him his own tank,
so moved him to a 28 gallon HQI Nano with nice rock and corals and only a small hi-fin banded goby and tiny pistol shrimp for company. Well it has been a week and he is eating well and has good color, but won't leave the top right hand corner of the tank (except to eat.) I don't mind, if that is simply the behavior of this fish, but I have read he is a cave dweller and I was expecting more royal gramma/Basslet-behavior.
<Which is typical for Assessors>
Do you think he
will eventually be comfortable enough to actually use the tank? :)
<I do hope so>
I just realized this was a long-winded rather dumb question but perhaps you or your readers have more experience with this fish. Although I have kept marine aquaria for years, this is my first assessor. I believe he was captive bred, if that helps.
<It does>
Second, in the previously mentioned 65 gallon, there is a pearly or yellow-headed Jawfish and he (or she) has been there 2 years and has recently (in the past month or so) developed some sort of jaw disorder. It appears the Jawfish is carrying eggs but there are none of course and the entire jaw area is distended and strange looking.
The jaw is still eating, although it appears to spit out more food than usual and still works on its burrow but (anthropomorphically speaking again) looks uncomfortable and may be breathing a little more rapidly than usual. I read elsewhere on your site that this species can live to 8 years of age or I would think it was starting to break down a little. I keep lots of corals and a few clams in this tank, so parameters are very good as far as nitrate, ph, calcium, etc.
Perhaps it damaged itself moving shells or rubble and an infection has set in?
<More likely the physical trauma possibility>
Any help or suggestions you can provide would be so appreciated.
I will attach a couple of photos. Please forgive me if they are not correct, this is a new phone.
<I would do nothing re actual "treatment" for this Gramma's condition; just wait and hope. Bob Fenner>

R6: Watanabei Angel...90g Stocking/Overstocking - 04/01/10
<<Hiya Chris>>
One more that I need to check out... Assessor macneilli?
<<Ah yes, the Blue Assessor (I believe I mentioned this fish in our first exchange)'¦can be pugnacious if pressed 'it may well be able to 'hold its own' in your 90g with the Sixline and Flame Angel (these two fishes being the most likely of the lot to be trouble here, in my opinion). Is a beautiful fish 'and a bit pricey too! It is a gamble still, but I think the odds are better than 50% in favor of this working out if your tank has plenty of escape routes and hiding places for the newcomer to utilize until things settle down. Or better yet 'remove the Sixline and Flame Angel to temporary quarters for a few days while the assessor settles in, if possible. Cheers mate'¦ EricR>>

Yellow Assessor and Blue Assessor together?   6/4/09
I've been a huge fan of WWM for some time now and I recommend people come here to find information. I'm finally stumped on something. I would like to keep a Yellow Assessor and Blue Assessor together (Assessor flavissimus and Assessor macneilli) in a 30g.
<Mmm... though diminutive in size, these Plesiopsids can be rather pugnacious if crowded>
I've read if one wants to keep a shoal to have them in a larger tank and make sure to have only 1 male. I don't want a shoal and want to know if the 2 species are different enough to keep together. Basically if they would ignore each other an go about their business.
<I don't "give you good odds" here>
A bit of tank history/information. I have about 25lbs of live rock with current stocking consisting of 2 yasha gobies with a red banded pistol shrimp.
I was thinking about maybe adding 2 Picasso Perculas at some point also.
<Mmm, this is about all I'd add here fish-wise>
Tank has been set up and running great for 3 months now (since mid-March). My live rock was cured in the tank in 2 weeks and I added my current fish in the middle of April.
Please let me know your thoughts on this scenario. Keep up the great work guys/gals.
<Thank you... Bob Fenner>

Upside down fish? 2/13/09 Hi Bob, crew, <Hiya> I visited the Aquatic Warehouse today to pick up some RO/DI water and I saw this fish swimming upside down. I know that ill fish go belly up quite frequently. But the weird thing about this fish is that it didn't appear to be ill and it seemed to have no trouble swimming at all. It darted behind things, swam from the top to the bottom, one end of the tank to another, all seemingly with no difficulty what-so-ever. It appeared to keep its balance perfectly... just always entirely upside down. It responded as any fish would when I waved my hand in front of it... seemed plenty energetic. Again, it seemed perfectly normal, healthy... just upside down! This struck me as very odd. It was labeled as a "yellow assessor." <Assessor flavissimus, neat little fish, and a common behavior for it.> Is this common? <Is> I figure it must be a swim bladder problem... but again, it didn't seem at all "off balance" nor to have any trouble maneuvering around the tank... so, what's going on here? Thank you, Sara M. <This is a common behavior for both the Assessor flavissimus and Assessor macneilli. Most likely related to their habit of hiding in caves, often perched on the ceiling.> <Chris>

 Ah, well, now I feel silly... thank you Chris! -Sara M.
Upside down fish? 2/13/09 Hi Bob, crew, I visited the Aquatic Warehouse today to pick up some RO/DI water and I saw this fish swimming upside down. I know that ill fish go belly up quite frequently. But the weird thing about this fish is that it didn't appear to be ill and it seemed to have no trouble swimming at all. It darted behind things, swam from the top to the bottom, one end of the tank to another, all seemingly with no difficulty what-so-ever. It appeared to keep its balance perfectly... just always entirely upside down. It responded as any fish would when I waved my hand in front of it... seemed plenty energetic. Again, it seemed perfectly normal, healthy... just upside down! This struck me as very odd. It was labeled as a "yellow assessor." Is this common? I figure it must be a swim bladder problem... but again, it didn't seem at all "off balance" nor to have any trouble maneuvering around the tank... so, what's going on here? Thank you, Sara M. <Yeah... Plesiopsids will orient themselves like this at times... but I suspect this one is/was damaged in collection... Not decompressed properly. Let's hope it recovers. BobF> 

Secretive Jawfish--Menacing Comet? 8/22/08 Hi thanks for your great service....... <Welcome> (I currently Run a 65 Gallon Reef Tank) The Yellow Headed Jawfish is one of my favorites. I picked one up on 12/23/07. For 2 glorious days I witnessed the antics I was longing for. Christmas 2007 was the last time I saw the fish (sort of). After giving up the critter for dead, something made me check under the tank with a flashlight. To my surprise, I discovered an elaborate network of tunnels connecting through the substrate and going around the rock work. I was even more shocked to see a soft white underbelly and occasional glimpses of the Yellow Head as the fish slithered through its tunnels. <Heeeee!> This fish has been alive in the netherworld of my tank for 8 months---Though I see it moving underneath the tank on a daily basis, I've never seen it eat, reveal a burrow opening, or even "over ground) since 2007! I was a green newbie when setting up and stocking the tank. The presence of a Juvie Marine Beta "Comet" may have been the catalyst for the Jawfish to go underground. And believe me--the Comet is a Juvie no more! <Looks like it> I have a rare opportunity now: I am transplanting my original 65 into a nice 48" X 24" 120 Gallon. I purposely went with an external overflow so as not to lose the awesome habitat area of the 120. Clearing out the contents of the 65 will enable me to remove the Comet (I am converting the 65 to a FOWLER) and retrieve the Jawfish. A few concerns: 1) Can I cheaply quarantine the Comet "in tank" until the 65 is ready for inhabitants again? It seems all I need is a plastic container with holes in it. <Yes and yes> 2) As a Grouper, Is the Comet Hardy enough to tough it out from day 1 in the 65 filled with some rubble, sand ,rock and water saved from its original habitat (and maybe a pinch of bio-Spira?). .With the FOWLER I'll finally be able to have a triggerfish! <Mmm, strictly speaking this fish is a Roundhead, not a Serranid, but closely related... and to answer the question, IS tough, should be able to weather this transition> 3) How careful do I have to be when removing base rock and substrate to retrieve the Jawfish? I guess its used to pretty extreme conditions by being down there so long---but I am afraid its gonna get a real ammonia blast---I have a very DSB. <Careful, as in avoiding crushing the tunnels, animal in them...> 4) What can I do in setting up the 120 to encourage the Jawfish to hang out in the "tank proper" more often? <Mmm... a bit tougher... I'd make sure and set the live rock either directly on the bottom, or on louver or such to spread out the weight, while also providing stability... this may also largely block the Jawfish from burrowing under it... You can/could try placing some lengths of PVC pipe of small diameter to encourage the Jaw in using them, coming in/out near where you'd like to see it... Preventing bullying by leaving out aggressive tankmates (the Plesiopsid should be fine in this size, shape volume)> 5) Is the 120 such a large space that the Jawfish may stay on the surface even if I decide to keep the Comet in there? <Mmm, won't stay "on the surface", no... not a natural, healthy behavior> apologies for the na?et?thanks for the insight, Alan NY <A pleasure to share. Bob Fenner>

Calloplesiops altivelis questions   2/13/08 Hello Mr. Fenner, <Charles> I've been enjoying your website for over a year now, and am learning lots. Thank you for putting so much information together in one place. <Welcome> I've been researching Marine Bettas (Calloplesiops altivelis) off and on for a few months. In searching through the FAQ's on WetWebMedia, I found no reference to a site I just found that has some valuable information on sexing these beautiful fish (basically trial and error by introducing two individuals and seeing if they fight or not for forming pairs, but useful nonetheless). http://synchiropus.com/ has some great information in their forums from folks that appear to have been working with and breeding these fish successfully. There's a section specifically dedicated to Comets/Marine Bettas. <Thank you for this referral> I'm planning to set up a 72 gal bowfront with a pair of Marine Bettas. The tank will be a FOWLR, maybe some mushrooms or some such invert that will do well in the low light I plan for the tank (possibly as little as 2 40W fluorescent bulbs) to increase the probability that the Bettas will spend more time out and about. I'll have a 29 gal tank for a sump/refugium with a DSB, Chaeto for nutrient export, and a Mag Drive 9.5 for the return. I'll be using a single Koralia 2 or 3 for additional circulation in the tank. Currently, the protein skimmer will be a SeaClone type skimmer… I know, not that great, but my fish budget is currently broken (trip to Lancaster, PA and That Fish Place did it, but with a 20% off coupon, how could I resist…) <Nice place, folks there> I may undertake a DIY skimmer if need be to keep the cost down. <The SeaClone will work here> I hope to eventually breed these fish. <Has been done a few times... commercially even...> I know that the ideal situation would be a species tank, but my wife isn't crazy about the idea of just two shy fish in this tank. (have to keep the wife happy, she's my fish habit enabler =D) Do you have any recommendations for tank mates for these fish? <Somethings small, very easy going... maybe some Microdesmids, Gobioids, Blennioids, Anthiines> I was considering a Chelmon rostrata (I've wanted to keep one of these fish for some time, but it just won't fit in my 150 reef). <Do wait till the system is well-established here> My wife and I also like the snowflake moray, but I'm uncertain whether or not this eel would be a good fit with the Bettas or the CBB. <Mmm, not really> I was also considering some neon gobies for cleaning duties. I know…this is getting high on the stocking level. Do you think I could do without any sort of "cleaner" organism and just rely on my quarantine to prevent disease? <Yes> I'm reluctant to not have any cleaners. I've experienced one outbreak of Ich in my 30 gallon tank that wiped out half the fish. My 150 reef had been largely Ich-free until a few months ago. I must have brought some organisms in on a couple pieces of rock that came with some corals I added to the tank… that'll teach me to quarantine inverts as well as fish. My purple and sailfin tangs and Doctorfish get a few spots every now and then, but my three cleaner shrimp have kept it in check. Anyway… getting a little off track here. I know the Bettas will eat any shrimp, and that they are resistant to disease, but I'd like to have some kind of cleaner for any other tank inhabitants. <Do try the Gobiosoma/Elacatinus then> Lastly, regarding the Betta's tendency to consume inverts; does this extend to hermit crabs and snails as well? <No> Wow, this email got really long… Thanks again for all your hard work. I really love your site. -Charles Peguero <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Belonepterygion fasciolatum - Breeding!  10/26/07 Hello Bob and Crew <Hi, Sara here.> I was emptying out one of our old frag tanks the other day, into which, many months ago, we had put 2 Belonepterygion fasciolatum, when it was still operating as a frag tank. I never saw them again from the day I put them in (I now know this is the one problem with keeping these fish), even though I checked under all the rocks. When I received these Belonepterygion fasciolatum, I was very interested to see that they were different colours. One was a burgundy red, and one was grey and black. I was unsure of whether these were just slightly different species, or a male and female of the same species. From reading what I could find, it seemed to suggest different species. I did not think any more of it, apart from being a little sad that such beautiful fish had disappeared. However, when I started taking out some rocks yesterday, inside one I saw why looked like a huge curled up black Bristleworm..... until it looked at me, and I realised it was the black Belonepterygion fasciolatum. I frantically then searched this tank for the other, and found it - again curled up in a rock. Now this tank had been running with just a small amount of rock in it for some months, since we had removed all the livestock, and I have no idea what the parameters of the water were, but probably not that good. I had also not fed the tank at all, so these fish had survived in what was probably appalling water conditions, for about 4 months, just feeding off microfauna in the tank. What then made this all the more amazing was that there were bright pink eggs in this tank - they had bred!... and with some success it would seem, as all the eggs had identifiable tiny fry in them. <cool!> So, am I right in possibly assuming that these are the male/female variant of Belonepterygion fasciolatum, <Apparently so...> and is therefore captive breeding of these beautiful fish a possibility? <Well, getting them to lay fertilized eggs is half the battle. As for after that, you'll have to figure out what the little hatchlings will eat. Though I don't usually recommend web forums, I strongly suggest you post about your experience on http://www.marinebreeder.org/ They have a dedicated forum for Dottybacks and similar fish. Ask them for suggestions.> If so, would they follow a similar breeding guideline to something like the Pseudochromis fridmani, <Possibly> as these fish are very difficult to find information on. <True, but there are a lot of experienced people on the above mentioned forum. They might be able to help you. For some general information on the fish, see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/roundhdfaqs.htm and here: http://www.fishbase.com/summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=9230> Kind regards Claire <Good luck! Sara M.>

Marine Betta Not Feeding - 08/27/07 Hey yall, After some research and thought I bought a Marine Betta about a month ago. I read that they are shy but wow that's an understatement <Yes... all the Plesiopsids I've encountered in the wild were virtually under rock overhangs...> Beautiful fish, not to <too> skinny and no tale <tell?> tale signs of disease. I went ahead and quarantined it for about a month trying unsuccessfully to get it to eat. <Not likely in quarantine with this species... too "shy", easily stressed in such a setting> I Frozen Brine, Midis Shrimp, Flake Food, Pellets, Blood worms, etc. Then I moved on to live foods hatched some brine shrimp and then tried some ghost shrimp. Nothing enticed the big guy. So, when reading I ran into a suggestion to throw it into my main tank. <Yes... this is what I would do> They claimed that generally the fish will start eating if they saw other fish eating. See as the fish shows no signs of diseased I figured why not give it a shot. So a couple of days ago I threw him into my 250 show tank. Even though he comes out now and then when I feed to see what is going on he does not partake in the fishy feast I present. Any suggestions. <Hopefully is eating "incidental" foods from the substrate, rock... when you're not looking> I could move the guy back into my 100 gallon quarantine tank and keep throwing all kinds of food at him but.... Anyway, I hate to see the fish fast for too long though I realize our cold-blooded brethren can go without food much long than us. Also, I have this zoo ,or maybe rock anemone but it doesn't look like the ones you have pictured, that I can't identify I am sending a picture. <None here... please re-send> If you know what it is great if not no worries mates. Any help here would be appreciated. Thanks, Zach <Does your main display have a tied in refugium that supplies it a goodly amount of small crustacean and worm life? Can you see the Betta from time to time? I would not move it unless it appears to be getting thin... but continue to try to offer foods about where it generally hangs out. BobF>

I.D. Fish Banded Longfin Basslet (Belonepterygion fasciolatum)  3/30/07 Hi! Crew <Hi there!  Mich with you again!> I did my homework <YAY!!!!!> and all I could found <find> was the name of this fish "Belonepterygion Faciolatum" <(Belonepterygion fasciolatum) Oops!  Somehow you lost the "s" in fasciolatum.  You will find more doing a Google search when it is spelled correctly.>     Common "Banded Longfin Basslet", the text didn't say so much about it, just that was so easy taking care of this specimen. <Hmm, I have not seen this fish before.  Nothing on WWM either.  Some info here:   http://www.fishbase.com/summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=9230 > To me is a real beauty <I would agree!> and I feel lucky just to keep it in my tank without much of effort, so I was hoping if you could tell me something about it. <Surprisingly little info out there on this lovely fish.  I do wish you much success with it and thank you for doing your homework and the much-improved picture.> Thank you, you're the best. <You're welcome.  We try.  Thank you for your kind words.  -Mich>

Gorgeous pic of a gorgeous Plesiopsid.

Marine Bettas, feeding    12/9/06 Unfortunately, you haven't written a nice article or two on this beautiful fish. <I wish I had better pix of other Plesiopsids... but am going to (at your prompting here) add this to my writing projects list> <<Am starting today... 12/22/06 RMF>>   I've read through your FAQ's though.   I also found a few other brief sources on Marine Bettas.  My question is: Given a 200gallon tank with LOTS of liverock (200 pounds)... I have a 14" Snowflake Moray and will be getting a Radiata or Antennata Lion.  My other critters would likely be a tang, Foxface, wrasse, an angel...      I've read that Bettas can be finicky eaters. <Mmm, do have to be "catered to" as in being reclusive and not outgoing... but will generally take foods offered directly to them...>   IF I secure a specimen that will feed flake or frozen prepared foods at the store... and if this fish continues to feed from me during it's 3-4 week quarantine... should I have anything to worry about?   <Mmm, no> My worry is that this secretive fish may stay hidden during feeding time and get nothing.  I realize he is similar to that of a grouper... but will he feed more like a goby??? <Sort of in-between these examples> Waiting for the frozen/prepared food to float by and then lunge out to eat it up?   <Not much of a lunge-r> Do they typically come out for frozen or prepared food once willingly accepting these foods in a quarantine tank?   <If very secure/calm> I have a fear this fish potentially starving itself... staying hidden and missing the gravy train.  At the same time, sounds like many people keep them successfully?   <Yes> I will already be spot feeding my moray eel and possibly the lion.... Thoughts or advice? Regards, Dave Brynlund <Careful observation of intended purchases... Bob Fenner> Clownfish who are anti blue?? Comp.   8/2/06 Hi all, hope all is well with whoever gets this today. It would seem I have another question, which is baffling me as well as most of the other fish keepers I know in the area.  I've had some wonderful help from James (Salty Dog) and Bob Fenner in the past and am hoping that someone could shed some light on my newest dilemma.  I have a 120G with 2 Amphiprion ocellaris, a Priolepis nocturna, Amblygobius phalaena, Pseudochromis fridmani, Gobiodon rivulatus and Gobiodon okinawae.  I also have an Assessor macneilli who I've been attempting to unsuccessfully introduce into this tank.  My problem centres around my clownfish pair (the infamous black Amphiprion ocellaris)....again.  This time I'm happy to report they are about as healthy as fish can be.  They breed exactly every 14 days, like clockwork, (I could set my calendar to them) between 6 and 7:30 at night in exactly the same spot on their beloved standpipe every time.  The other fish involved in my problem is my darling little blue assessor.  I got him as an engagement present from my fiancĂ©?(he didn't just get him, he knew I'd looking one for a while, and organized with my LFS owner who really knows his stuff and is always really helpful, to get a healthy one for me, then sent me to pick him up and do it all my way when it arrived).  I've slowly been adding fish after the killer worm spree, and the Assessor was to be fish number 5 back into my 120G.  All fish are quarantined for at least 3 weeks, eating and healthy before added to the main tank.  After the worm problem I only had 3 fish left, my 2 clowns and my Priolepis nocturna.  I then added an Amblygobius phalaena... all was well.  Clowns happy, two gobies happy, all eating away and living in peace.  Enter my poor little blue assessor.  I put him in the tank and it was on, the clownfish chased him everywhere, followed him through the rock work, tore up parts of the tank to get to him and before I was able to get him back out of the tank I thought the poor thing was dead for sure.  It was missing its tail (thankfully the peduncle wasn't damaged so his tail has grown back beautifully) they had torn the middle of his dorsal fin out, partially skinning his back in the process, and the poor thing actually willingly swum into the net (the only place the clowns wouldn't follow).  He got returned to QT and I had a couple of touch and go days where I thought for sure he'd be a goner, but he survived, and most everything grew back (part of his dorsal fin won't regrow, but it doesn't seem to affect his swimming).  So I left him in the 40G QT, now no longer a QT but my assessor only tank.  I set up new QT and got my Pseudochromis fridmani.  After the assessor debacle I was a bit hesitant to add him, so partitioned the clowns in their corner, <Good> and let the dotty free.  The clowns could have cared less.  Partition came down 3 days later, still no issues, clowns, 2 gobies and dotty all happily eating and swimming and completely ignoring each other.   I thought "well I'll try the assessor again maybe the clowns were just having a bad day" partitioned the clowns this time, popped him in and they bashed the partition till I thought they'd beat their brains out to get him. <Mmm...>   So out he came and back into his 40 QT.  About 4 weeks ago the Gobiodon rivulatus and Gobiodon okinawae took my fancy and I got them after a bit of research to make sure they'd be compatible in my tank.  Did the QT thing, got them eating, then last week partitioned the clowns again and let them loose.  Nothing, the clowns didn't care.  I took the partition down and everyone was happily ignoring each other.   So, (you're wondering where the question is by now I'm sure, I just wanted to make sure I didn't leave out any detail to give you some idea as to why I'm so puzzled) how come my clowns want to kill my assessor, but could care less about any of the other fish? <Something... about its shape, color as you speculate... the part of the environment it occupies... that threatens the clowns...> I don't think it's the shape as the dotty is a similar shape and they don't bother her.  My only hypothesis is that it might be his colour as my clowns are black and white and he's blue (maybe see blue similar to black and that makes them territorial)?? <Maybe. Perhaps there is an "anemone predator" that appears similar to Clowns... > I'm happy to keep him in his own tank, I've grown rather attached to him and what's one more tank added to more then 50 already. <Good attitude> I obviously would prefer to have him in the larger tank for his own happiness (bigger, more stable, more room to swim) but as my clowns seem determined to kill him that obviously won't be happening unless any of you have a clue to why they hate him so much or something I could try to sneak him in and have them accept him. Thank you Amanda <Thank you for relating this account. Bob Fenner>

Lions and Marine Bettas 7/1/06 Hi there just a quick question.  Would a marine Betta be O.K. with a zebra lionfish in a 30 gallon tank. Many thanks. <No, both get too large for this tank.> <Chris>

Lions and Marine Bettas Part II 7/3/06 Thanks for getting back so quick. <Sure> Would there be O.K. in a 450L tank as will be upgrading in about 12months? <If you wait until you get the 450 they should be fine together.  However neither will probably make it a year in the 30G tank> <Chris>

Blue  Devil, Paraplesiops meleagris sel.   4/18/06 Mr. Fenner:  I am interested in purchasing  the Blue  Devil, Paraplesiops meleagris, which, as you know, comes from  Australia.  I know that they are rare and difficult to locate, but I  would assume that like the Marine Betta they would be quite hardy.  Do you  know what temperature they would do best at and any other info you could give me  as to their care. <See fishbase.org re temp. WWM re roundheads: http://wetwebmedia.com/roundheads.htm and the Related FAQs file linked above> Also, do you know of any company that sells this  fish.  I am assuming that they are quite expensive.   Any help you can  give me would be very much appreciated.  Thank you, Bob.     Dennis. <My first choice would be the fine folks at Marine Center (.com). They can/will special order, examine/hold on to your specimen to assure its health. Bob Fenner>

Unhinged Jaw on Marine Betta  - 04/05/2006 Hi Bob: <Scotter> Hope all is well with you! <Yes, thank you> I was wondering if you might be able to throw any thoughts my way on possible treatment for what appears to be an "unhinged" jaw on Nadine's beloved 3 year old Calloplesiops altivelis, which has lived a trouble-free life free from any illnesses to date. At this time, the mouth appears stuck in an open, gaping posture. <... not good> We noticed this malady tonight. There are no other signs of trauma or overt signs of illness. Is it possible or advisable to "manipulate" the mouth to get the mouth closed, or is this ill-advised? <If the fish is okay otherwise, I would not manipulate it.> Otherwise, is it best to just see if the fish somehow recovers on its own? Or, is the writing on the wall, so to speak? <Either of these... could be that this is a nutritional/developmental issue/difficulty.. may self-repair or "grow out of"> On a happier note- I was wondering if I might run some of the chapters in the Biotope book that I'm working on by you for your comments/thoughts/critique? I'd love to see have some of your feedback, as I know that this topic is near and dear to you as well. <Please do. Glad to give my input. Bob Fenner> Thanks Much! Scott F.

What should I do about my Comet/Roundhead that has a lump in its throat  - 03/09/2006 Dear Reefers, <Okay> I have a successful (with your help) 4 foot LPS reef tank with 3 fish. It was set up in August 2003, is a natural skimmerless tank, with 3.5 inch DSB, ample LR and a reverse lit Caulerpa sump. As far as I am aware all parameters are ideal. The first fish introduced in April 2004 was a Comet ( C. altivelis) . It started at 3 inches and is now approximately 6 inches long. In September 2005 I introduced a One Spot Fox Face (Siganus unimaculatus) in order to control Caulerpa and other algae in the main tank, which it has done superbly. Since then the Siganus has grown considerably and is now larger than the Comet. The Siganus has venomous spines (lots!) but as far as I know there are no other venomous inhabitants. The only other fish is a harmless little Kole Tang. The problem arose on 29 December 2005, when the Comet appeared unsettled and would not eat. Up until then it had fed every day. The next day it was hiding behind the rocks and did not come out at all for 5 days until 3 January 2006. It was breathing heavily, with its mouth permanently gaping. It also had a noticeable lump on its throat. <Good observation> Ever since then the Comet has remained in this apparently distressed state, and it appears that the lump is growing - it is larger than a pea. The Comet now only eats every 2 or 3 days, and its mouth is in a permanent gape. The other fish, corals, snails and hermit are all fine. I originally thought that the Comet had rammed the Siganus and been caught by one of its venomous spines. If so, would this not have cleared up by now? <Likely so, yes> Could it be that the Comet swallowed a Cerith snail or a crab and still has this stuck in its throat? <Possibly> If the lump is a cancerous growth, why did it appear to happen almost overnight? <... Another not-too unlikely possibility is a thyroid (actually diffuse Chromaffin tissues in fishes) anomaly... analogous to "goiter" in humans... From a deficiency (or surprisingly from an overdose) of iodine/ide... Do you dose Lugol's? Do you test for?> Please help me decide what to do now. How long do Comets normally expect to live in captivity? Is the Comet likely to recover? <Can live several years, can recover> Should I carry on feeding it until it dies naturally, or should I attempt to intervene and apply euthanasia? If so, is there a recommended method for fish of this size? Many thanks, Best wishes from the UK, Eric Brightwell <I would soak some of the types of foods this animal is feeding on in an iodide prep. prior to offering. Bob Fenner>

Marine Betta   1/31/06 Hello, WWM crew! <Hi Rebecca> I recently acquired a marine Betta for my 165 gallon reef tank, the smallest one I've seen in any LFS (but not that I've seen too many-they seem to be common and rare at the same time.) It's about 4 inches long total, so you know that means about 2-2 1/2 inches of body. I know it will eat invertebrates, but so far it has left the fire shrimp <Not for long.> and the hermit crabs alone-I think the shrimp is too big for it. <Will soon change.> I tried to make it eat frozen food thought starvation, but it hasn't worked. I probably didn't try hard enough. I didn't really leave him in hunger for that long-a couple days at a time. I had read a site that said to feed saltwater tolerant feeder fish, like mollies or guppies, until you can get it to eat prepared food. I realized, hey, why not just feed it guppies continuously since I've for a continuous supply? I have a 30 gallon freshwater tank filled to the brim with guppies in various stages of growth. (I started out with 5-2 female and 3 male.) So I tossed several babies in, after acclimating to saltwater. They were immediately eaten by the other fish, mainly the Chromis . So I tried again later, dumping the baby guppies with one hand while dropping in flake food at the other end of the tank. I don't know if you've ever seen a marine Betta hunt, but it is really neat. It kind of curls it's body around, so it's prey is confused by the eyespot, and it herds the fish into a corner so it can nab it. Anyways, my questions are, since I do have a continuous supply of guppies, is it okay to just keep feeding them to the Betta? Do I really need to acclimate them to saltwater first every time? <No, they probably won't last that long.>I've been just tossing them in one at a time, they don't last long enough to be too stressed out by the changes in temp and salinity. Plus it has other things to be stressed out about ;) How many should I feed per day? <Rebecca, it's OK to feed guppies/mollies as an acclimation food as the marine Bettas can be somewhat difficult to acclimate as far as feeding.  Once he has his appetite back, gradually introduced prepared foods (frozen variety).  Feedings of two to four times weekly are sufficient.  Hard to tell how many guppies to feed per feeding not knowing size etc.  Like any other food, feed until he no longer shows interest.  The Betta, once acclimated is hardy and disease resistant.  Do provide hiding places for him as in nature they are nocturnal and will need to get out of the lights from time to time.> Should I have the guppies soak in anything in particular first that would give more nutrition to the Betta? <Could feed the guppies brine shrimp soaked in Selcon or similar vitamin.> Do I have any more questions? Hmm...Nah, unless you can tell me how I get the Betta to pose for me so I can take a picture. <Tell him to say "cheese".> Thanks! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Rebecca

Marine Bettas  11/21/05 Hi Team <Tim> Quick question about marine Bettas (Calloplesiops altivelis). <Neat animal> I have found information regarding these on your site and advanced aquarist.  They say after spawning it takes about 5 - 6 days to hatch. They hatch out at about 3cm long. What would you feed these guys? Enriched brine shrimp, I <I> assume rotifers would be to small? <Agreed> Also do you have any other insights as to how to tell male and female? <No> I have noticed on the two I have (different tanks) the smaller one has finer white dots and more of them compared to the larger which has bigger dots, and not so many of them.  Could this be a way of sexing them or could it be more likely that they came from two different areas? <I don't know> Also, do you have any good links about breeding them? <Mmm, just the one piece that was posted in Aquarium System's "SeaScope" a few years back... I would "hit the stacks" at a large library re this, other citations. Bob Fenner> Thanks for the help.  Tim 

Query about Comet fish (Marine Betta) 8/5/05 Hello, <<Hello George - Ted here>> I am an Australian marine tank enthusiast with a 5x2x2 foot tank about 1 1/2 years old. I was told by my local aquarium supplier that WetWebMedia was an ideal site to perhaps find out some answers to my questions about introducing a second Comet fish (Marine Betta) into the tank. I trawled through some of your FAQ's, but couldn't find the answers, or indeed any bold references to Bettas, despite the Google search results listing some encouraging sounding references. So I'm contacting you directly to see if you can steer me in the right direction. I'm happy to pay a subscription fee if you'd like, but I wanted to first find out whether you'd be able to help me. My questions are as follows: Would the new Betta fight with the one that's been in the tank (albeit as a bit of a recluse) for the last 6 months?<<Marine Betta's are found singly, in pairs and in small aggregations in the wild so adding a second one is a possibility. Particular individuals may or may not get along. While fighting could be a concern, I would be more concerned with the ability of your tank to support the food needs of two Betta's? Betta's can be finicky eaters. Is the second fish already eating frozen or prepared foods? Is the established fish eating frozen or prepared foods? The population of pods and other infauna in your system may support one fish but may not support two.>> Would introducing a second one encourage the first to be less of a recluse perhaps? Is the sex of the fish important, and how would I ascertain the sexes of both the existing fish and the proposed new one?<<Betta's are reclusive and the introduction of another will not end the reclusive behavior. Dim lighting may induce less reclusive behavior. With time, some Betta's become less reclusive. Betta's have been successfully bred in captivity but sexing them is difficult. They may be hermaphroditic so that placing a large and small Betta together might increase the chance of getting a pair.>> I hope you can respond quickly, as the offer to accept the second Betta won't last long. Best regards <<Cheers - Ted>> George Lewin Byron Bay Australia
Re: Query about Comet fish (Marine Betta) 8/9/05
Hello Ted (and the rest of the WWM FAQ crew) for your prompt reply to my questions. <<Hello George and you're welcome>> I'd love to send you a donation, and will do so as soon as I've written this email, to help you keep up the good work. <<Thank you!>> Before making a decision on the second Betta, I plan to discuss your comments with my local aquarium supplier as soon as he returns from a few days off. In the meantime, does anyone there have any idea about what the worst case scenario might be if I introduce the second Betta - who I believe lives on frozen and prepared food, as does my current tank inhabitant. <<Both eating frozen and prepared food is promising.>> If there's insufficient food for both, am I likely to have two starved Bettas, or will Darwinism triumph? Or perhaps I should start introducing live brine shrimp and/or mosquito larvae as a means of fattening them both up, at least in the short term? <<You should quarantine the 2nd Betta (as you should all new arrivals). Use the quarantine time to fatten both Bettas up. When you place the 2nd Betta into the system, if either should succumb, you will have eliminated disease as the culprit and verified that the new arrival is eating before introduction to the main system.>> Fishing out a dead Betta would probably be quite tricky given the number of caves and hidey-holes in my live rock assembly. <<You can't be certain with individuals from any species, but knowing that you have started with two healthy, eating fish will go a long way towards success. With any luck, you won't be hunting for any missing fish>> Best regards George Lewin <<Good luck - Ted>>

Fish compatibility 3/11/05 Thank for the advice. I hear conflicting stories of the Marine Betta (comet). <they are generally well-behaved with anything they cannot swallow whole> He doesn't pay attention to the two smaller fish [right now] but like I said I am selling him back to the pet store as soon as I can get him out without causing chaos. <they really are some of the best and hardiest fishes for aquarium use... wonderful fish> He is really cool but not worth it. So now I just need to decide between clowns and wrasses! thanks Kim <all good... Anthony>

Marine Betta Buddies... Hi Guys <Scott F. your guy tonight> I am living in Bangkok, Thailand.  Previously Australia.  I have just set up my 270ltr (65 gallon) reef tank - about a month old.  Wow.. So much trouble to get reliable service and equipment here. I know it's early days but after learning some lessons setting my first reef tank up, I am planning well ahead to avoid the same mistakes. So I am seeking some advice in advance of stocking when the tank is ready. <Glad to help> The tank has no sump,  two Rio 3000 powerheads with split duckbill adaptors to direct the current, a Red Sea hang on Berlin venturi skimmer (noisy pump on that model - I don't recommend one - can u suggest a quiet pump to drive it), a canister filter will be fitted to filter for phosphate/nitrate removal, 2 x actinic 30watt and 2 x Clear marine fluorescent tubes that came with the tank Should I change them to 40 watts - the light seems to dim to me), <The more light the better, in most applications> a Resun CL-280 chiller (really efficient and super quiet, low heat output!).  About 1/3 of the tanks is taken up by the live rock reef which has lots of caves, good current flow and the base is crushed coral (the only reliable stuff  for a base you can get here). It's to be a coral tank mostly (soft and hard corals). <I think that your corals will fare better in the long run if you stick to one or the other (soft vs. hard corals).> Recently I saw a marine Betta (Calloplesiops altivelis) in a store here which the sale guy recommended as placid and reef friendly  (people here will tell you anything for a sale, so I am not sure to trust this).  Are they ok in a reef, what are some ok tankmates and a clean-up crew to house with them. <They will not harm sessile invertebrates. However, they will prey on small fish, if they can catch 'em. I have had one in my reef tank for some time, and he seems too slow to catch many of the small blennies and gobies that I keep, but I wouldn't put it past him. Also, being a secretive fish, you might only occasionally get a view of him, but it is always a spectacular sight when he emerges!> I was planning to  slowly stock the tank with a maximum of 6 to 8 fish.  1 feature fish (maybe the Betta)  to not exceed 6 inch and the rest about 2-3 inch max.  Is this too many  and are the smaller fish going to be in danger from a sea Betta?  Your Sincerely, Brett <As above. The Marine Betta can get pretty large (like 5 inches or so), when it can become a realistic threat to small fishes. However, most of the medium sized wrasses, Pseudochromis, etc. could be okay, as long as sufficient hiding places are provided. I'd draw the line at about 4 fishes, plus the Betta. Yes, it's a bit conservative, but I think it will serve you (and the fishes) better in the long run. Good luck, Brett! Regards, Scott F.>

Unfriendly Competition?  Hello folks,  <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!>  Does anyone have any idea if a Paraplesiops poweri will get along with a Calloplesiops altivelis? I have a 92g corner bow front with a lot of rock work. In there currently are 2 percula clowns, a small Hawkfish, a finger dragonet and a very small cow fish. Thanks. Tim  <Well, Tim- as you know, these fishes are similar in both habits and basic appearance. If it were me, I'd be hesitant to recommend keeping them in anything under a 6 foot long tank. Although both are relatively shy, they are predators, and require a certain amount of space and territory to be at their best. I would not label them as "gregarious" by any means, so I'd pass. They are possible competitors, and this is a good enough reason to avoid mixing them, in my opinion. Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F>

Marine Betta Hi, Would a marine Betta be compatible with invertebrates,<nope.. they are closely related to groupers and behave like them...that means they will eat shrimp/crabs etc> and live happily with a potters angelfish, regal tang, and 2 ocellaris clownfish.<If the Betta is big.. then I would not house him with clownfish.. if he is small then you might be ok> If it would, could I be able to keep it until it gets fully grown, or will I have to get rid of it? <I believe they grow to about 6"...you should be able to keep this fish through adulthood in a regular 55gallon aquarium (hopefully you have an aquarium at least this size, good luck, IanB> Regards Daniel...

Multiple Assessors - 8/13/03 Hello again- <hello... just called... to say... Hello [Neil Diamond loves us all]> Your site and advice is always outstanding! <we are all farmers indeed... out standing in a field> I have read conflicting advice on this and wanted to get a direct answer. I am thinking about adding 2 or 3 more blue assessors to one already in my 110 gal. Perhaps yellow instead. Will I have a problem ? <what few aquarium reports I've seen, these fishes are pegged at 100 gallon tanks with a lot of rockwork as being minimums for a chance at a shoal. The blue assessor is believed to be slightly better behaved in groups> Also is there a way to tell male from female? Much thanks as always. <none that I know of... read more here (follow various links on the page): http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=14960&genusname=Assessor&speciesname=flavissimus http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=12827&genusname=Assessor&speciesname=macneilli Anthony>

- Mating Habits of Assessor flavissimus - I have been looking all over the place for information on the mating process of the Yellow Assessor (Assessor flavissimus). <Lovely little fish.> I have 3 of them and 2 look to be fighting, I was unsure if this was to gain access to the female or if it was a mating dance of some kind. <I'd be willing to bet that those are your two males, and one is working to establish dominance over the other, and likewise access to the female.>  Here is a link to some pictures I do have more if so need them. http://home.comcast.net/~kc1891/wsb/html/view.cgi-photo.html--delay-5-SiteID-761324.html Let me know what you think. <Neat slide show - most certainly some aggression there. I'd consider removing the one that looks to be the weaker of the two, before it succumbs.> Thank you in advance,  Keith <Cheers, J -- >

- Assessor flavissimus Aggression - First of all I would love to remove one of them I would hate to see one die! The hard part is removing it, it has been several days since I took those pictures and they seem have clamed down not fighting near as much. <Well... just keep an eye on things. If the aggression steps up, you'll have to do something.> Is there any chance they will be able to live peacefully? <There's always a chance.> Do you think I have a good chance at mating these fish if so what do you think it would take? <Do know that the males are mouth brooders, but I don't know enough about the spawning habits of these fish or the needs of the larvae.> I hope to be moving them into a larger tank in a few months (60G to a 120G) do think it would be alright to add more to a 120. <If you want these to spawn, you'll need probably to leave them by themselves.> I am really not sure if they are like Chromis where if you only have a few of them they fight but if you have a large grouping the do much better? <I've not heard this about these fish, but am pretty sure they are found in groups in the wild.> Any ideas well be great. Thanks for your quick reply, Keith <Cheers, J -- >

Assessor flavissimus observation Hi, all, This isn't a question, just an observation on my yellow assessor (Assessor flavissimus). I had him in a fairly quiet tank (2 A. ocellaris who never leave their anemone), a Halichoeres leucurus(?), scooter mandarin. He only came out to eat but otherwise I never saw him. I added a trio of bar gobies (Ptereleotris zebra) and he suddenly started appearing all over the tank. At first I thought the gobies had scared him out of his lair but now it appears (to me) that he just likes having other fish in midwater. He seems pretty happy and there are no obvious signs of stress or aggression. Based on that, it would seem they do best with other free swimming fish. Anyway, since there isn't too much on Assessors in the WetWebMedia FAQ, I thought I'd toss that out. They are a nice peaceful fish for the right tank. For aesthetes in the crowd, the yellow assessor is not the brilliant yellow of many tangs or butterflies but it is fun to watch. While I'm at it, I tried one of the blue Assessors some time ago. It seemed to do fine but judging by its behavior (only out in dim light, before tank lights on and damn hard to see even with the lights on against a black background), I can't really recommend them unless you happen to like fish you can't see ;-) Marc

Roundhead addition Hey Crew, Last night I was at a local fish store and spotted the most unique looking "Grouper" that they were selling for $20.00.  Little guy caught my eye so after talking to an associate about his needs I picked him up to go into my 54 corner. Well.....  After doing a little research it looks like I have a Marine Betta on my hands.  He is black with white spots and has the (eye) near him top dorsal fin. I am a little surprised at the mistake from the store but now I am unsure of the needs of this fish. What do they eat?  Temperature?  Cover?  Tank mates?  Lighting? My tank is mostly a reef setting with lots on live rock and plenty of inverts. Any advise as to how to give this guy a good and happy home? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/roundheads.htm and the FAQs (in blue, at top) beyond. Bob Fenner> Thanks in advance, Michael Bukosky

Assessor macneilli Hey everyone hope all is well!  Quick fish question for you. <I'm doing fantastic! If only I didn't have to go to work tomorrow...<sigh> I am looking for some information regarding the Assessor macneilli but it seems hard to come by.  The only reference to it I could find on WWM was a picture and one person mentioned it in a FAQ as part of his livestock list.  Also there is no specific/detailed mention of it in Bob's CMA or Dr. Burgess's compendium of aquarium fishes.  Since I am unable to find any good references for this fish I am reluctant to purchase.  So far I have found that it tends to grow to a maximum of about 3" and that it is omnivorous and supposedly "reef safe" (we all know what a misnomer that can sometimes be).  I believe it is also considered a Basslet.   <Max. length is 2.4". Likes meaty foods, is reef safe, very hardy and suitable to aquarium life, can keep singly or with a group (use one larger fish and 3 or 4 smaller fish and add all at the same time), also not very aggressive. Ideal for quiet community tanks> Current inhabitants of my tank are: Various snails 2 or 3 hermits 1 T. squamosa 1 Entacmaea quadricolor 1 Premnas biaculeatus 1 Pseudocheilinus hexataenia It was the last bit of livestock I wanted to add to my clam/anemone only tank, along with maybe a few more snails from the Nassarius family.   <I think this fish will work out fine for your situation> Thank you in advance for any advice! <You're more than welcome! David Dowless> RVM

Marine Betta Was offered a Marine Betta-----I have a 55 gal. tank, occupied by sm. tang, two med. clown fish. Will they be ok together?  ( Betta is about 8",s )   <Your tank is a bit too small... the Clowns might go after the Betta... I give you about 50:50 odds (if there's a large enough rock cave for the newcomer), but about 100% if the system was more than one hundred gallons. Bob Fenner>

Marine Betta Mr. Fenner, I work at a pet store and about a month ago we got a box shipped to our store that we did not order. One of the fish that was inside was a marine Betta. After a bit of begging the manager let me take him home to my 125 gallon reef. He is an incredibly shy guy but if I turn the lights out in the room and sit for a bit he comes out and displays in front of the glass for me rather nicely. The problem is that even though he looks great and hasn't lost a bit of weight I haven't seen him eat at all. I have about 150 lbs of live rock that I have had for three years and I was wondering if maybe he has been finding stuff off of that to eat. If you could give me some kind of feeding information on these fish I would appreciate it greatly. <Since he is so shy, start him off with some gut loaded live foods, such as ghost shrimp. Then wean him onto other foods, like frozen krill and eventually prepared Formula-types. Look at the WWM site for info on training groupers and lionfish to eat prepared foods. A varied diet is best. -Steven Pro>

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