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FAQs on Centropyge Angelfishes 3

Related Articles: Centropyge Angels, C. loricula/Flame Angel, Lemon/y Dwarf Angels, A Couple of Lemons; the True and False/Herald's (nee Woodheadi) Centropyges, Potter's Angels, Reef Safari! Keeping Multibarred Angelfish By Alexander Thomasser,

Related FAQs: Best FAQs on Centropyge, Centropyge Angels 1, Centropyge Angels 2Centropyge Angels 4, Dwarf Angel Identification, Dwarf Angel Selection, Dwarf Angel Compatibility, Dwarf Angel Systems, Dwarf Angel Feeding, Dwarf Angel Disease, Dwarf Angel Reproduction, Marine Angelfishes In General, Selection, Compatibility, Systems, Health, Feeding, Disease.  

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Golden Pygmy Angel Please tell me a little about C. aurantius. I love the fish, and am considering putting it in my 75g reef tank. I'd like to get a Pomacanthus because of the color morphing, but I fear my tank is too small for any Pomacanthus. Therefore, I have decided on the golden pygmy. I've read that a properly handled specimen will acclimate, and the dealer I would get it from would be Marine Center, so I wouldn't worry about that. I will make it the first fish in the tank and give it plenty of time to become established. However, I don't want it if it is going to hide all of the time. I've never been able to observe one in person at any LFS.  <You probably won't have a problem as long as you have plenty of live rock and remember to always quarantine.  Also try to get him to eat right away and offer many foods.  Give it a month or two before adding anymore fish after him to make sure he is well established and you should have a pretty outgoing fish.  These are awesome fish and one that you will enjoy.  Cody> Thanks for your help and info!

Bicolor beauty mark? <Hi Mike, PF here this PM> I just ran across your site and could not find specific info on my dilemma with a newly acquired bi-color angelfish.. this beautiful fish was introduced to my 60 gallon tank last Thursday and was healthy looking to my untrained eyes.. I covered the tank with the lights off for the first 24 hours. <Good procedure> I did not attempt to feed this fish until the next day... it has been one week now and this fish still hides in the live rock and only eats algae, or so it appears... my most urgent problem is a pink wart like growth by one of its gills, size looks to be about 4mm in size. I have since noticing this growth added Melafix, a Melaleuca tea tree oil as this has always helped the fish's skin to retain bacteria resistant "oils"?. do you have a name for this growth and possibly a solution for this most elegant fish?? in advance, thank you for your help... mike <Well Mike, digging through the FAQs this is what I found: (here's the FAQ btw www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/disease. tm ) From Bob on a wart like growth on an angel: (Sound familiar?) <Well, thanks for the last comment... and thanks for causing me to get out all my older and latest "fish disease" reference works... To sum up: Idiopathic epidermal proliferation (i.e. the type of tumor you're describing) have no direct cause-effect relationship... many authors cite water "contaminants" as probable cause... and yes, there are incidents and suggestions that when such "neoplasm's" occur on the outer surface of a fish that some sort of surgery might/has proven worthwhile... If it were me though... I'd just attempt to improve and hold steady your water quality, and if (I know the species and it is a good feeder) the animal is still feeding, apply a vitamin, iodine mix (these are made for fish foods as well as humans) to its food immediately before offering it. I wouldn't "try" anti microbials, or anti-Protozoals... And I would try to be upbeat. Bob Fenner > <Hopefully this helps. You may want to feed it Mysis, or perhaps live brine (this is basically water flavored shrimp, but they love it, it's ok as an occasional treat - think of it as fish junk food) to get it feeding. You can gut load the brine with vitamins such as Selco, that wouldn't hurt to add it to it's diet. Have a good evening, and good luck. PF>

Potter's Angel Problems... Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. <My pleasure! Scott F. here again today!> I have a couple more questions, so I'll cut down your reply: I'm using an aquarium pharmacy tap water filter (you know, the big tube thing with carbon, and green stuff that turns to blue) as my source.  I assume this is a DI unit. <Yep> BTW, do I need to always use this to make new water, or will tap water in a bucket suffice?  I've been erring on the side of caution  and always using the filter for source water. <I'd continue with that practice...Quality source water is a key to long-term success> I checked the water coming out of the filter, and, the output of the alkalinity/hardness test (good thing I was in PetSmart and bought one of these yesterday, purely by accident :) was: hardness 25 ppm alk 20 ppm So I assume I need to add buffering. <Deionized water does need some buffering, due to it's inherent instability (lack of carbonate hardness)> <Ok, how do I do that?  Arm and Hammer, SeaChem 8.3? I'd tend to use the commercial product for this. SeaChem and some other companies make "reconstitution" products to stabilize purified water.> B) Given that both eyes are cloudy, although not at the same time, how long do I wait before I have to assume it's disease, and what else should I look for? <I would not give it more than a week. Keep on the lookout for other potential problems/symptoms, like "scratching" behaviors, excessive amounts of body slime or mucus, "shimmying", clamped fins, or any other signs that something is not right> <I wouldn't wait too much longer, frankly. I'd keep up the water quality and monitor for a few more days, before beginning treatment> <That sounds fine to me> Ok, should I remove the live rock in the QT to the display tank before treatment, or just assume I'm going to lose it from the medication (the display tank is fallow). <Well- a minor correction here...Do not put live rock, sand, or other natural materials in a quarantine or hospital tank. They can "absorb" (for want of a better word) medications, making it difficult to maintain proper therapeutic levels. Also, these items have no place in a quarantine tank, for many of the same reasons. A quarantine or hospital tank is not a permanent feature, and should be broken down after each use. I wrote a piece on the quarantine process that's on the WWM site and which was in the March issue of FAMA, which may answer some of your questions on this> c) Are Epsom salts warranted yet? <Sounds like you're dealing with a disease, rather than injury, so I don't think that Epsom salts are the best course of action here> Ironically, the buffering in the tank is 300 ppm.  Maybe I shouldn't have changed the filter so soon. <Keep monitoring the water chemistry, and adjust as you need it> Thanks for all of your help and encouragement. I'll let you know how it comes out. Rob <Please do, Rob- I'm sure that things are going to go just fine! Keep up the good work! Regards, Scott F>

Potter's In Peril? Hi again, crew <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> thanks for your response. The Potter's seems to be eating its angel food and grazing off the live rock. <Good to hear that> In response to your reply: A) I put the live rock in based upon the QT setup in Michael Paletta's book. I even let the QT cycle (stupid newbie, I know :) b) Fishbase didn't help me with determining the sex of the potter. Since there were pictures of just brown potters, and ornate potters, I'm going to assume that since my Potter's is ornate, it's a male. <Well, according to several texts I've read, the most reliable external indicator is that males seem to have more blue> But, I have a more important matter. Last Thursday (3/27), I noticed that the left eye was getting white and puffy. After reading through your excellent website about Popeye/cloudy eye, that it could be caused by a) running into things (sort of like a black eye in humans) b) poor water conditions c) disease. Please correct me if I'm wrong! <Nope- you got it right...!> The next day, the other eye started to puff (although not as bad). <Hmm...sounds like Popeye, perhaps?> I had been removing salt and adding fresh in an effort to turn the QT into a low salinity quarantine, especially after reading about how susceptible these fish are to ich, velvet, etc. (BTW, what are your thoughts on that?) <I think that hyposalinity is a potentially effective preventative/treatment for parasitic diseases (Paletta also touches on this in his book, BTW). I'm not convinced of it's effectiveness on bacterial or fungal diseases. Just my opinion, of course, but I'd prefer more "traditional" methods. Potters, like many Centropyge species, are susceptible to the gamut of parasitic and fungal diseases. They require highly stable water conditions, and a varied, healthy diet. Stability is very important> From my notes: 3/20 added Potter's Angel, performed H20 change every 3 days of approx 1 gallon (QT is 15 gallons) to reduce salinity) <Good procedure, if you're using this technique. Changes should always be made gradually> 3/27 (after I noticed the puffiness): Replaced Biomatrix filter (polyester/carbon) 3/28:temp 79 ph 8.0 (yikes!) ammonia > 0.8 mg/l (yikes!) nitrite > 1.0 mg/l (yikes!) nitrate ~ 20 mg/l S.G. 1.018 3/30: temp 80 ph 8.1 S.G. 1.015 ammonia 0.4 mg/l nitrite 0.8 mg/l nitrate 20 mg/l 3/31 (6 hrs after 5.5 gallon H20 change, 50% salt, 50% fresh): temp 77 S.G. 1.015 PH 8.0 (yikes!) Didn't do all the tests this morning because I was in a rush to get to work. I added a little less than a teaspoon of SeaChem 8.3 marine buffer. Haven't done any tests tonight. <It's good that you're testing regularly...> So, my questions are: a) I assume this is a combination eye contusion/water quality issue. What do I do to fix it? Will adding the SeaChem/doing partial water changes every day or so will help. <Well, as mentioned previously, stability of water parameters, including pH, is of great importance with these fish. I'd take whatever measures are necessary to assure stability. Is your source water buffered to an acceptable pH? Just a thought...> b) Given that both eyes are cloudy, although not at the same time, how long do I wait before I have to assume it's disease, and what else should I look for? <I wouldn't wait too much longer, frankly. I'd keep up the water quality and monitor for a few more days, before beginning treatment> c) Are Epsom salts warranted yet? <Epsom salts are effective if you're dealing with an injury (usually in one eye). If it's in both eyes, it's likely Popeye, and requires medication to treat, IMO> And, finally, what happened to cause the tank chemistry to get so out of whack (so I can avoid this happening again if it's the root cause). <I'm going to hazard a guess...Perhaps the biofilter was not fully established yet (hence the measurable ammonia and nitrite levels)...Really hard to say...The other thought is that the source water is not buffered sufficiently (RO/DI?)...> Again, I'm a newbie, so be gentle in your answers :) I'm just trying to learn/fix my mistakes. Rob <Rob, you're doing fine, questioning and learning...I'm pretty certain that you'll keep doing the right thing with this fish...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Hyper-beauty (Dwarf Angel on speed) 4/2/03 Probably a strange question, but here goes....!! How active are Coral Beauties?  Mine, who's about a week old in the tank, has become Speed Racer and zips around!!   <not at all normal for the reclusive dwarf angels... most any fish. Often caused by stress (low pH, e.g.) or even excessively bright lights (MH) or a mirrored reflection in the glass (causes pacing back and forth with reflection). Many possibilities here> No aggression with the other fish (who seem mildly appalled from time to time at his antics), looks great, eyes clear, eats like a horse, and is very personable when he catches me watching.  He doesn't look ill, and water parameters are fine.  Other fish in tank (only 2 smaller guys) look great and are eating well too.  Is this just normal behavior? <not really> Also...odd little story. have a very small tank-raised Common Clown (adorable little guy) who for the three months I had him in the big tank seemed a little retarded.  Never saw him eat, hung out in a top corner, sometimes head down like a vampire, sometimes floating on top of the water with one fin waving feebly.  Every day we thought was his last.  Finally, one day he actually went after food (we were shocked) and apparently caught the attention of the Yellow-tailed Damsel (nasty thing) who began to chase and nibble on him.  I promptly took him out and had him in a fishbowl w/ airstone until he went to the Great Reef in the sky.  Well.....he loved it....swam, ate, interacted with me etc.  So, now he lives in a 5g tank with BioWheel, live rock, and a blue claw hermit for company...and is healthy, eating like crazy, and very cheerful.  Go figure!!! <rather shy it sounds <G>> Anyhow, thanks for any info on above question...I'm still fairly new to this, but am reading everything I can find, and thoroughly enjoy your website!! Allison <no worries... you are very observant and conscientious... kudos to you, my friend. And best regards, Anthony>

Lemon peel angel >Hi Bob, >>Hello, Renee?  No!  It's the ubiquitous WillC!  Marina (a.k.a. "Seamaiden") here. >I am writing you in regard to my lemon peel angel. I have the true lemon peel with the blue markings.  Anyway, I guess I'm one of the lucky ones, I got mine at my local fish store for $20. >>Great deal!  And how's he doing?  Read on... >I brought him home 4 mo.s ago and he has been a riot ever since. He eats like a pig, but only if I hand feed him. If I toss the food in he just ignores it, but as soon as I grab the food he's right there eating it from my hand. >>Cheeky bugger. >He isn't aggressive, as I have an eiblii angel in with him. He schools with my green Chromis, and even does the goby routine with my pistol shrimp! >>I think you sent a picture in, yeah?  Or you posted it on RDO.. it wasn't very clear, we'd all love to see it, though. >I love this fish and I was just wanting to enlighten you with a successful story of this fish. If you ever need behavior info or some pics let me know I would be happy to share. >>Thank you, more information is ALWAYS of great help. >I was also wondering how big these guys get? I have read up to 6" I'm hoping this is true as mine is already 4 - 4 1/2" and I would hate to think he's at the end of his rope. >>IIRC, 6" is about the max. >Also I was wondering if the 2 pic's were the different species or if that was the difference between male and female? >>I'd have to see the pics, Will, but it should be easy enough to look up "sexual dimorphism in Centropyge flavissimus", yeah? >I noticed in the pic it looked like the anal fins were different, mine looks more like the first pic either way. Thanks for your help. BTW I got your name and website from Seamaiden. I'm not sure her real name but that's here "handle" on reefs.org. >>It's my nick on WetWeb (Sea Maiden there), too. as a matter of fact, I'm Seamaiden everywhere I go.  So, IIRC you *just* got that C. eiblii, right?  I will suggest you slow down, mostly because I'm concerned that three Centropyge species may be problematic.  The Flame angel is my biggest concern here, they can really get pugnacious and quarrelsome.  Also, I'm assuming that *everyone* is going through q/t as well, so just be ready with introductions.  They may get along just fine being so differently colored, but I'm really wary of the Flame.  Good luck!  Marina.  (See you on RDO!)
Re: lemon peel angel
>not to worry my flame is in my 90 reef not my 125 fish. I might get a half black angel to put in with these guys as I have read a lot on how they interbreed. I'm not to positive yet. I still wont be getting any new fish for at least a month as I want to let the tank settle in more. >>Ah!  Well then, it sounds as though you're on the golden track, so to speak.  A month between additions is generally a fair amount of time to wait, this allows the normal q/t period as well as allowing the tank to adjust.   >>I would expect the eiblii and the lemon peel to get along fairly well (or more properly, to have little reason not to in a tank of that size), though I think we discussed that both get rather large for pygmy angels, on the order of a whopping 6" or so.  If they're in a 125, I see no problems.  Be sure to look up the Zebrasoma Scopas, you'll see how (uh oh!  Fish Fashion alert!) beautifully sublime its coloration is, which will match quite smartly with the coloration of the eiblii.  LOL!  No, really, I'm not kidding!  Marina

Rockin' In The Rubble! (Creating a Rubble Zone For Centropyge) Crew: Current setup: 55gal FOWLR w/inverts (snails and hermits), 39lbs. LR, 4-6" DSB, 800gph flow, 10gal QT. I am interested in two Centropyge Angels: loricula and flavissimus.  I have formed the opinion that they could both work in my aquarium (feel free to insert rebuttal here). <Rebuttal: It can work in a large tank, but in a tank less than 5-6 feet in length, it could be a constant battle between the two fishes...I'd be hesitant to try this in a 55> On your Centropyge pages it is written: "Habitat: Consists of coral and rock rubble, with lots of caves and crannies."  I would like to add some rubble to benefit these fish (if not for the sheer joy of saying "rubble" every time I show someone my tank ;D). <Dude- you're speaking my language! I always refer to one of my tanks as a "simulated rubble zone" (yep- I'm a fish geek...)> Should I: a) buy it packaged? <Nah!> b) "hammer" out my own from live or base rock? <That's what I'd do, or get smaller pieces of LR from your LFS- they'll love you for it when you buy 10lbs of 2-3 inch pieces of rubble...you'd be surprised at how much rubble it takes to get a pound of live rock rubble) c) use crushed coral that I already have? d) don't bother, it's a waste of time/nothing but trouble? e) none of the above? <Again, I'd either buy some smaller rubble-sized pieces, or take out a hammer and smash out some on your own> Also, what is a good "rule of thumb" (not that again!) for number of "caves and crannies" for my aquatic animals?  Is 1 or 2 hiding places per fish good enough?  Thanks a million, Rich. <I'd create as many nooks and crannies as you can to offer numerous territories and hiding places for your fishes, even if you're just going to keep one Centropyge (I'd go for the Flame Angel myself..). And I DO encourage you to keep just one in this tank...but you could add some cool blennies and other small fishes for an interesting rubble setup. Rock on (I couldn't resist that one)! Regards, Scott F>

Centropyge Rubble & How Many Crannies, Granny? >Crew:  Current setup: 55gal FOWLR w/inverts (snails and hermits), 39lbs. LR, 4-6" DSB, 800gph flow, 10gal QT. I am interested in two Centropyge Angels: loricula and flavissimus.  I have formed the opinion that they could both work in my aquarium (feel free to insert rebuttal here).   >>Be certain to add the lemon peel first.  I'll be honest, though, and tell you that you should expect interspecies aggression.  Be prepared. >On your Centropyge pages it is written: "Habitat: Consists of coral and rock rubble, with lots of caves and crannies."  I would like to add some rubble to benefit these fish (if not for the sheer joy of saying "rubble" every time I show someone my tank ;D).   >>LOL!! >Should I: a) buy it packaged?  b) "hammer" out my own from live or base rock?  c) use crushed coral that I already have?  d) don't bother, it's a waste of time/nothing but trouble? e) none of the above? >>By coral and rock rubble, I believe Bob means that you should have good amounts of live rock that has lots of "hidey-holes", not necessarily bits of rubble on the tank floor.  Use a minimum of 1lb./gal, up to 3lbs./gal as a start. >Also, what is a good "rule of thumb" (not that again!) for number of "caves and crannies" for my aquatic animals?  Is 1 or 2 hiding places per fish good enough?  Thanks a million, Rich. >>No, one or two per fish isn't going to cut it.  Use the amount of live rock I outlined above, then arrange it so that there are not only the hidey-holes, but lots of openings for the fishes to swim through.  This will help the hapless avoid aggression (though this *is* your job to ensure they don't have to work hard to avoid aggression) and give them lots of exploring places.  This is good for them mentally.  Good luck!  Marina

Fading Angel? Hello guys: <Scott F. your guy today!> Thanks for the great site (I'd like to rant on, but I really need some advice quickly.) <No problem!> I have had a Centropyge eibli (about 3") for about a month now.  I really love her (well it acts like a "her" to me!!)  spunk, intelligence, and beauty. <Yep- definitely a chick...LOL> Unfortunately, I have not been able to get her to eat enough of the food that I offer.  I have tried Formula One, both of the major Angel mixes that I know of, flake food, and my own formula of fresh seafood and Kombu/Nori.  I even tried the "freshly opened clam trick" from Bob's book, but she was not interested. My tank has been set up for about seven months and has some algae and detritus accumulation that she munched on during the day, so I thought she must be getting enough to eat that way.  Now, I'm not so sure.  Tank water parameters are good as far as my test kit will read.   <Well, if she is nibbling on some detritus and algal material, that's a good start, but she probably needs to get some other, more nutritious foods for long-term health> This morning I could not find her and she had jammed herself under an overhang and wouldn't come out. I finally coaxed her out, but she is acting totally lethargic (kind of swimming as if she were a little drunk).  I don't see any other marks on her (yesterday she looked and acted fine except a bit more shy than most days).  The other fish seem fine.  I moved her to my refugium earlier.  It is completely overgrown with all kinds of goodies.  But now she is not nibbling on anything.   <Not a good sign here. Observe her carefully now.> The only other real change has been that I added some "Fiji frilly" Corallimorphs. <I doubt that there is any correlation between the addition of the Corallimorphs and the behavior that you are witnessing> I am afraid that she is dying and was wondering if you guys had any advice for emergency action that I might try?  Could the new 'Shrooms have poisoned the tank with something that does not show up on the ammonia testing?  Are Centropyge particularly sensitive to this in some way?   <Always a possibility, but seems unlikely. In my opinion, Centropyge angels do not appear to be any more sensitive to metabolic poisoning than any other fish, but that does not mean that they are invincible! Do re-check water parameters regularly> If it is lack of nutrition, is it too late? <Well, it's never too late, if you can get him to eat. You may even want to use some liquid vitamins in the water, such as Vita Chem, which the fish may absorb by drinking...Perhaps this may provide some supplemental nutrition and stimulate the fish to eat> Sorry if these are silly questions, but I don't know how else to ask.  This is so sudden!  Damn I hate to think of losing this beautiful fish!  Please let me know.  Thanks again for all your help and this incredibly valuable resource. Greg PS:  I'm not sure where she was collected from.  Could this be cyanide poisoning, or would that have shown itself earlier? <Well, if it is cyanide poisoning, the fish would have probably died shortly after its first meal, and would have displayed some disoriented behaviors, and unusually bright colors, too. It could, however, be a delayed result of collection trauma, or some type of internal disorder. Check all environmental parameters again, and correct any that need it. I'd suggest removing her back to the quarantine tank for further observation, and possible treatment, if it becomes necessary...Good luck with this fish! Regards, Scott F>
Fallen Angel (Pt. 2)
Scott F. (or whomever for the follow-up): <Scott F. again today> Thanks for the response.  Unfortunately, she died sometime last night. I tried adding a bit of vitamins and a little Selcon to her water, but to no avail. <I'm really sorry to hear that> I really wish I knew what was wrong for sure and whether the other fish might also be in danger.  I rechecked all the water parameters and they seem good (0 amm. -0 nitrite -5 nitrate).  She had no outward sign of illness (at least nothing overt that I have encountered or read about). I think that her overall body color (aside from her markings) may have been a bit darker gray than usual yesterday, if that tells you anything. I feel terrible because I believe that she probably starved to death, but I tried to get her to eat everything that my experience/reading told me she might like.  (With/without garlic...with/without Selcon.)  She would never do more than eat a bite or so.  More often, she would "sniff" the food and turn away.  (Except that she did munch on the live rock/detritus.) <So many possibilities...really hard to ascertain exactly what the cause was. Many times, as mentioned previously, delayed traumas resulting from the rigors of transport and acclimation to captivity result in the fish refusing food...You did your best, which, although unsuccessful, is the most that anyone could have done> Anyway, the reason that I went through all that is to ask whether there is anything that you guys would recommend for me to try in the future that I did not do this time.  Or, whether this may be some illness that I missed the signs on...?  I know that last one is hard to answer, but...?   <Well, it sounds to me like you did a good job on this one. Just remember to quarantine for at least 3 weeks, provide a good mix of foods, and a stable environment, and your fish should be fine. You may want to verify where the specimen was collected from, to ascertain that it was not collected from a region where drugs or chemicals may be common. You may want to try Marine Center, which offers fishes from collectors who use proper techniques to assure healthy specimens> At a minimum, I think that I will let my tank grow in a lot more before I try the angels again.  Losing them is like losing a work of art...that was alive! Thanks for trying to help!!  Take care, Greg. <Good idea to wait for the tank to "mature" a bit more. Hopefully, this unfortunate occurrence is an experience that you will learn a lot from. Good luck!  Chin up! Regards, Scott F.>

This Beauty Is Acting Goofy Hey guys, <Hi there! Scott F. your guy today!> I tried to get to the chat room to post this question but it seems to be down this morning? <Not aware of any problems...I'm sure that we'll check it out> Anyway I got a question about my coral beauty. She seems to be acting a little out of the norm the past few days. She cleared out a area in the back of the tank and won't let any other tankmates go near it. She also has been acting grouchy with the other tank mates and not feeding as well as she used to. This is really unusual for her because she is normally very peaceful. The only signs of anything is her fins are a bit frayed probably from her clearing this nest like area. There are no signs of any parasites or anything and all my tank levels are normal. Thanks for any advice you can toss my way. Rob. <Well, Rob- as far as the "nest" is concerned-this is somewhat unusual for a Centropyge angelfish to do, but certainly not unthinkable. This fish may just be trying to establish a "home base" of sorts to retreat to when he/she feels that it is necessary. I would not be overly concerned about this behavior at this point...Just keep an eye on her to make sure that there is no injury resulting from the "clearing" behavior. Regards, Scott F>

Clams and Dwarf angels 3/14/03 I would like to know if my maxima clam can live with my lemon peel angel and flame angel can you give me a rate where 1 is the lowest & 10 is the highest on the safety of my clam and/or 2 angels. Thank you <I would rank the lemon peel as a 3/4 (rather risky) and the flame as a 7/8 (rather reef-safe). The lemon peel with other reef invertebrates like coral however is even more dangerous. Some behave, but most are nibblers. They are one of the first dwarf angels to rule out of a reef tank when considering the genus. Best regards, Anthony>

SICK FLAME ANGEL I just purchased a flame angel from the most reputable fish dealer on the net. Fish looked great in the bag, very bright red. Unfortunately, I had to move the aquascape after I released him into the tank. I did not quarantine the fish because it is the only fish in the 75 gallon tank and based on where the fish is from I've never needed to<You always need quarantine even if it is the only fish in the tank. > I now see where I was wrong. After 24 hours, the fish is pale white on the sides and scratching against rocks like a madman. It has no apparent ich spots on fins. Do I need to set up a quick quarantine tank, stress him out further, or is there a chance that him being the only fish in a tank that big he can kick it on his own with time?< Leave him where he is for now but if he does start to show spots he will need to be treated in a separate tank and your main tank will need to go fishless for at least four weeks, a cleaner shrimp would be beneficial > All levels are zero, and he has absolutely no competition. He picks at the liverock, but won't even chase Mysis shrimp. I'm really in a bind because this fish is so beautiful. It's a tiger striped variation of the flame. HELP! <Try feeding him an angel preparation such as the one made by Ocean Nutrition.  Please read through the pages highlighted in blue below for more info on quarantine and the flame angel. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htmad http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/loricula.htm Hope this helps, Cody>

Lemon peel beh. Is it common for these fish to lay on their sides. Mine keeps going between the live rock and lays down on it's side. At first I thought it was cute now I'm concerned. Thanks <I've kept dwarf angels before and have found that some of them "rest" leaning on live rock.  But never for long, they are mostly active.  Is yours breathing heavy?  Is it eating/what are you feeding it?  What else is in the tank?  The Lemon peel Angel needs a tank with established live rock.  As they like to graze it looking for food.  If it's laying flat on its side I take this to be a sign of distress and would test the water to see if everything is really in order.  Hope this helps!  Phil>

Cherub Angel and other questions.... Hi WWM crew..... I have a couple of questions concerning the Cherub Angelfish (Centropyge argi)....First of all, would it be o.k. in a 20H tank with 3 other fish? Inhabitants are:2 ocellaris clownfish(1-1.5"),and a Catalina Goby(1"). <I would not place this dwarf angel with two clowns in this small system> I realize this is a coldwater species, but he was in the LFS "tropical "tank for appx.3 mths.. and he's been in mines for 3mths.,so I guess I got a "rare" Catalina goby..... <It's life will be greatly foreshortened> Would a cherub angel pick on any of these fish or make my tank overload? <Likely the other way around> If I can't add a 4th fish, which would you recommend removing, so I can add him? <The clowns> Would it pick on my corals? (xenia, zoo's, mushrooms, bubble coral, candy cane coral, Kenya tree, GSP, sand polyps, or clove polyps) What's the diet? Also how big do these guys get? Any additional info. is appreciated.. BTW, filtration is 2 Skilter 250's if this helps...My tank also contains a lot of LR...... <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/index.htm and the FAQs files beyond (linked, in blue, at top) re these questions. Bob Fenner>

When Life Gives You Lemonpeels.. Hello, I recently purchased a 2 inch lemon peel angel, a medium size powder blue tang & an arch eye Hawkfish. I put them all in my 20 gallon long QT. <Great procedure!> All three fish began eating well after about 2 days, especially the tang. I noticed the lemon peel rubbing itself on the bottom of the tank, but I didn't see any signs of spots on any of the fish, so I disregarded it until it continued for a couple of days. There were still no spots, but fearing ich (at the encouragement of my local supplier) I treated the tank with copper, SeaCure to be specific. <Well, if it is ich, it was not a bad move...but may have been premature> Almost immediately the lemon peel stopped eating. The very next night I read an article about lemon peel angels being hyper sensitive to copper. <Centropyge angels do tend to be sensitive to copper treatment. You should monitor copper levels very carefully when using this treatment with any fish, of course> I didn't do anything initially thinking it might be ok, but the angels eyes became hazed over. I immediately did approximately 35% water change and put in a poly filter to try and draw out the copper. I added the copper on Saturday, did the water change on Monday & by Tuesday his eyes were back to normal, but today is Wednesday and I haven't seen him eat since Saturday and he seems to stay in the top corner of the tank near the heater all the time. He looks fine and is not even rubbing any longer, but I wonder how long he can last without eating. I've tried Spirulina pellets, marine supreme, flakes for angels, even brine shrimp. The other 2 fish are eating fine, however I did notice the tang rubbing on the bottom today. I guess what I'm asking is what would you do concerning the angel not eating and treating for ich and for how long. They've been in QT for 10 days and no visible spots. I was thinking of using formalin, but how long should I wait because of the copper. I also now know I should have never tried to introduce 3 fish  at one time !!!! Thank You, Gary <Well- Gary- you're sure learning a lot from this! At this point, I'd continue to execute regular (2 or 3 times a week) small water changes in the QT tank. Keep trying to get this guy to eat. It may take a while. You also might want to introduce a vitamin supplement, such as Vita Chem, into the QT tank. Since marine fishes do drink, this may provide some nutritional "encouragement" for the angel, until he comes around and start seating. I'd hold off on any further medication unless the need arises. Keep a very close eye on things, and I'm sure that the fish can recover. Best Regards, Scott F>

Re: possible hybrid I caught a angelfish and it looks to be a hybrid angel a cross between a flame angel and a coral beauty.  Was wondering if it has a name and if it has been discovered before? <Mmm, a coral-flame angel? There are many examples of Centropyge crosses. Don't think I've seen or heard of this one. Maybe give a look at the newest Allen, Allen and Steene Angel/Butterflyfish book... or a quick jaunt through the scientific literature. Bob Fenner> Terry

Angels (system) the "Rusty Angel" in direct comparison to the Coral Beauty for my 29g tank? <Both species need more room. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/index.htm and the FAQs beyond. Bob Fenner>

Treating a Flame Angel for Ich Hello.  I have a flame angel in quarantine that I just got two days ago.  The fish looked and acted fine at the LFS,  with no signs of illness.  But yesterday he developed ich and wouldn't eat any flakes or frozen brine shrimp.  Your site seems to recommend the use of copper as a treatment, but I have heard that flame angels do not do well with copper because it eats away at their internal organs.  I can't seem to find any information on the procedure for using hyposalinity effectively.  Since the flame angel isn't eating, I don't think that garlic would work.  Should I go ahead and treat with copper?  I'm at a loss... any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Lisa    <Hey Lisa, good call using the QT tank.  You are correct, copper is not good for dwarf angels.  Try treating with a formalin based medication and freshwater dips.  -Gage>

Potter's Angel Hi, all, Thanks to Bob for his quick reply yesterday about possible disease on a potter's angel at my LFS. Moving on to potter's angels in general, WetWebMedia's information on them lists them as very difficult fish; I was curious specifically what the experience with them was. Scott Michaels actually lists them as hardy as any of the Centropyge. <He's wrong here. Less than one percent live more than a couple of months from capture> However, word of mouth indicates that are one of the touchier Centropyge species but I was curious as to just how touchy. In your FAQs, there are hints that these fish seem to do well and then just keel over. I'm familiar with two kinds of "touchy" when it comes to fish: the basic type where the fish just never does well from day one (like leopard wrasses ;-) and the second kind where they may seem to be doing reasonably well but long term there is a chance they will drop dead for little apparent reason or go into irreversible decline after seeming to do well for months. <This species falls into both categories> I had thought that the potter's fell into the first category but your FAQ suggests but isn't explicit that it is more the latter. I ask specifically because the fish we discussed yesterday seems to be behaving quite well (active grazing, aggressive eating of Mysids and Formula II) which suggests that he will probably make it short term but if the risk with these fish is more long term health, that doesn't necessarily mean anything. I've kept a number of Centropyge in the past (argi, fisheri, flame, coral beauty and others) but never a potter's so I have no direct experience with them. Marc <Once again, hopefully with more clarity. If there was a person to take on this apparently very good specimen, it's you Marc. Bob Fenner>
Re: Potter's Angel
Hi, Bob, <Marc> Thanks for the comments about the Potter's angel (and the kind words). I saw a response in your daily FAQ but never got the email for some reason. <Bizarre...> In any case, I've purchased the Potter's angel and will try to see if I can make a good home for it. I'll let you know if the nodules turn into anything interesting or fade quickly. <Real good> One of your FAQ entries indicated a survival rate for these guys after a few months in the single digit rate so from an ethical point of view this was a bit of a conundrum. I don't doubt that the fish is better off in a more experienced hobbyist's hands but if the survival rate is really that low, it makes some sense to never purchase them period, to discourage retailers in stocking them. But I've always loved the look of the fish and don't have the heart to pass on it so here goes. <Understood. And agreed... if some folks didn't take risks, try "difficult" species we would be nowhere... Am so old (relative to the hobby, okay, the planet as well) that I can remember when no one could keep "wild" angels (Pterophyllum, freshwater) alive, then discus... corals... Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Marc

Reef-Safe Pygmy Angel? (Or-How Much Does Your Xenia Mean To You?) Do you see any problem with the Coral Beauty nipping the Xenia? <Well- I have to say, IN MY EXPERIENCE (!) that I have never experienced a Coral Beauty nipping Xenia. Which is, of course, not to say that your won't totally devour your Xenia colony within 2 days! An equal number of hobbyists will tell you that it's the worst mistake that you could make in a reef tank! Really depends upon the specific fish that you get. My tip when using Centropyge angels in a reef (hasn't failed me yet) is to select young, healthy specimens, and to keep them very well fed on a variety of foods. Not only do they adapt better to captive conditions and food, but there is a good chance that they have not yet developed a "taste" for your corals! Worth a shot!> Did you feed more than once a day to "keep" the coral beauty reef safe? <I feed all of my fishes twice daily, which works fine for me. The angels, in particular, spend a large part of their day foraging for microalgae on the rockwork, which I'm sure supplements the feedings. I guess it's never 100% whether an angel will ignore your desirable inverts, but I'm a fish nerd first (a coral nerd second!), so I developed my priorities a long time ago! :) > Is a 29 gallon QT enough for the angel/gamma or angel/blenny combo? <Oh, yeah- should be more than adequate! Good luck with your new fishes! Regards, Scott F>

Angel On The Rocks? (Or In The Rocks?) We have a  small bicolor angel in our tank with live rock.  We have had it for two weeks.  I never see it eat except for when it is nipping at the rocks.  It is pretty shy and stays in the rock area. <This is fairly common behavior for Centropyge species, especially when new to captive life. They tend to hide and are very wary of disturbances in their immediate surroundings. In time, the fish will probably become more and more bold> We feed the rest of the fish in the tank pellets, Spirulina, and krill. Is it possibly getting some of that even though I don't see it eating? <Possible...As these fish tend to forage and pick at detritus and other items, they may get what the other guys miss. However, you may want to try to target feed this fish if possible> We have a 125 gallon tank with various kinds of fish ......... one of the damsels was bugging it the first few days, but seems to have laid off the past week after a time out or two in a separate container:) <It's amazing what the "time out" can do, huh?> Thanks <and thank you for stopping by! Regards, Scott F>

Dwarf angel compatibility Hi David. The Bi-color has totally accepted the Coral Beauty. Here's the feedback to my following email.... just thought I'd share it with you. Thanks. <Great! Stranger things have happened IME. I hope the success holds...David Dowless>

Compatibility questions To whom it may concern, I just purchased a 3" Coral Beauty for my 180 Fish and Reef Tank. I have had Bi-Color Angel in there for quite some time now. I knew the Bi-Color being in the same family (of Pygmy Angels) would pick on the Coral Beauty for some time. The Coral Beauty is also about 1/2" smaller than the Bi-Color. Right now the Coral Beauty is hiding behind one of the powerheads. He has been chased around the tank all morning to exhaustion...as I expected. My question... is there a chance that the Bi-Color will eventually except the Coral Beauty as new tank mate? <Always a chance but unlikely> The Fish Store Salesman somehow convinced me that the Bi-Color Angel will eventually give up the chasing and then become compatible with the Coral Beauty. <It will...as soon as the beauty is dead!> Is it worth waiting a few days to see if they can adapt to one another or should I just return him? <Your call. Try it but don't wait more than a week or so...the fish's health will suffer. Frankly, I would carry it back to the salesman and trade it in for either store credits or a new, more compatible fish> I don't want to see him get killed by the Bi-Color. <Me either> Tell me there is some hope here. <Always hope...slim chance of success> Thanks. <You're welcome! David Dowless>

Compatibility To whom it may concern, I just purchased a 3" Coral Beauty for my 180 Fish and Reef Tank. I have had Bi-Color Angel in there for quite some time now. I knew the Bi-Color being in the same family (of Pygmy Angels) would pick on the Coral Beauty for some time. The Coral Beauty is also about 1/2" smaller than the Bi-Color. Right now the Coral Beauty is hiding behind one of the powerheads. He has been chased around the tank all morning to exhaustion... as I expected. My question... is there a chance that the Bi-Color will eventually except the Coral Beauty as new tank mate? <All are individuals with their own minds. If the beauty is accepted, it will be the exception not the rule. Don't count on this happening> The Fish Store Salesman somehow convinced me that the Bi-Color Angel will eventually give up the chasing and then become compatible with the Coral Beauty. Is it worth waiting a few days to see if they can adapt to one another or should I just return him? <The fish man sold a fish didn't he? You can wait a few days to let the fishes adjust to each other but don't let the beauty get too stressed. Its health will suffer> I don't want to see him get killed by the Bi-Color. <Yeah...Your call on this one. But don't wait too long. Trade him back to the guy that sold it to you!> Tell me there is some hope here. <Uhhh...Always hope but don't hold your breath too long> Thanks. <You're welcome! David Dowless>

- Big Macs all the Time - Hello WWM, <Hi, JasonC here...> I was hoping you can help me out again, your previous advice proved to be useful! I have had a flame angelfish for about 2 weeks now, he is in a 55 gallon with a small percula clown and blue fin damsel. They all get along fine but I never see the angelfish eat! When I feed them the angel swims out to the food but at most only eats a very small piece of flake and swims away. He seems fine, good color and he hasn't lost any weight as far as I can tell but I don't really have that much algae growing in my aquarium, just some purple and green stuff on the live rock. I feed them formula 2 flake, any ideas on this guy? thanks! <I would at least start by trying some other foods, and non-flake ones at that. Try the frozen Formula One in addition to Pygmy Angel Formula and Mysis Shrimp. There are two secrets to success with these fish. One is a varied diet... this is key for a number of reasons, most importantly that no one food is good for you if it's the only thing one eats. Second, in the wild these fish constantly pick at micro and macro algae growing on the rock. Your best bet is to try an simulate this with a healthy crop of live rock. You can read up more on pygmy angels here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/index.htm Cheers, J -- >

Flame angel and Trachyphyllia Dear WWM Cheers, my friend> In the new year I am thinking of trying a Trachyphyllia brain coral. <very fine, hardy, low light, sand-dwelling (free-living- never place on rock), feed 3-5 times weekly minimum with minced meaty foods... long-lived> I have one that has been reserved at my LFS for 2 weeks. I am going to pick it up in the new year. However I have a flame angel in my tank. He has been resident for about 5-6 months in my tank <hmmm... I see. Very good to hear about the hold on the livestock. Goes a long way for acclimatization into captivity (rather that frequent moves on import)>> I have read that a few other reef keepers have had trouble with this species nipping Trachyphyllia. I also currently have pulsing Xenia, Favia and Caulastrea (candy cane) coral in there. <yes... all are somewhat at risk of dwarf angels in general> These have all been left alone by my flame. Is there a chance he will nip my Trachyphyllia? <no guarantee, alas> Also I might like to add that I feed my angel on granular food in the mornings. <A Very concentrated source of food... good to hear> Its called tetra prima granules (red granules). if you need to wean marine fish onto dried food, this stuff is really excellent (if you guys get it in the USA). <agreed! An excellent staple and color enhancer. I believe that this product has gone through a marketing evolution of changed names over the years. First it was called Discus bits, then color bits... now prima? Perhaps I'm mistaken. Still... Tetra makes some very good dry foods. Thanks for sharing the tip!> Here's a pic of the tank by the way. Cheers for all your help. Regards, Jim <Happy holidays :) Be chatting soon. Anthony>

Flame angel in reef Thanks for the ph meter answer.  Turns out my system was 8.4 not 8.8. The meter needed calibration and cleaning. Coralline algae was covering one of the electrode ports.  Anyway, all is fine.  I have one question though...  the xenia in my tank is my pride and joy.  However, I've wanted to add a flame angel ever since I've been in this hobby.  I've heard mixed opinions on how reef safe they are. <most dwarf angels are a decided risk... some more than others> What are the odds it'll be a problem?  A nip or 2 on my xenia or polyps isn't the end of the world, but a total mauling would not be cool.  Thanks once again. <hard to say, but easy to test... place small specimens of Xenia with the angel in the QT tank during the 4 week isolation period  before adding to the main tank. A month of untouched Xenia in a bare tank is a very good test. Trade or rotate angels until you find a behaved one. Still no long term guarantee, but a good test/trick. Anthony>

Angel In The Mix? Hi Bob, <Scott F. with you this morning!> Back to your site again as usual and thanks for all your help. I have a 60 gallon tank fish\invert only with live rock. I have a small panther grouper, 2 damsels and a small size yellow tang. I'd like to add another fish in there. About 6 months ago or so I added a coral beauty and didn't last few days. Yellow tang was too aggressive and stressed it out. I had to return it. Then I got a bicolor angel and that didn't last as well. I'd love to have an inexpensive angel family fish in my tank. <Well, you have to realize that the tang will probably "inspect" and possibly harass any new additions to this tank. By tang standards, it's a fairly small aquarium, and with the Panther Grouper (which can reach almost a foot in length), it's a potentially crowded one, too. DO think long-term about these fish, particularly the grouper. They can and do grow quickly if well cared for, and they can mess up tanks really fast with their heavy eating habits. He'll need a very large tank to live anything close to a natural life span, and will have to be moved to such a tank in the near future. I'm actually a bit hesitant to recommend adding another fish into this tank, but I suppose for the short run you could try. It may be best to re-arrange the tank's decor to break up the existing territories, perhaps reducing the tang's territorial tendencies a bit. The limited tank size will still be a factor, however, and occasional skirmishes will still occur. Just keep an eye on everyone.> >I get my fish from this place called Aquatic outlet ( http://www.aquaticoutlet.com) in Los Angeles. The reason I'm mentioning the place is because I knew that you were visiting LA's wholesale areas and I'm pretty sure you have probably been there. Great place, clean fish and people are somehow helpful except the owner....or he'll be very helpful if you spend more than $100.00 - $200.00.........hehe <Been there myself a few times. They do get large quantities of pygmy angels from time to time, but you do need to observe potential purchases carefully, and quarantine all> They have told me that the Flame angel would do ok in my tank. But again I didn't want to take my chances so I wanted to check with you. Is that fish aggressive enough to get along with my other fish? If not what kind of fish would you recommend for my setup, especially if I can add another angel family? <On paper, yes- it should mix well with your current inhabitants...but the tank size is going to be a continuing factor in any community dynamic. You may also want to consider the cherub angelfish (Centropyge argi). It's small, but feisty. However, its small size could make it a potential snack for your Panther Grouper when he starts getting larger (can you tell that I think this guy needs to be moved to a larger tank?). >Thanks again and Happy Holidays. Sam... <Keep studying and learning, Sam. I think that you can do well with this mix, but a larger tank has to be in the picture for the very near future. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Bicolor Angel Woes - I first want to thank you in advance for your help!!!!! <Well... let's both hope that I actually can help then...> My Bicolor Angel has not eaten in a week. I just bought him a week ago and he is so shy and will not eat. I am trying to feed him flake food and Brine Shrimp and he will not eat?? What can I do to get him to eat? Its one of the most beautiful fish I have ever seen! <First, I would suggest you read up on these fish here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/index.htm Then, I will just quickly paraphrase and say that these fish are among the more difficult of the pygmy angels to keep. You've picked yourself a good challenge. Your best bet would be to obtain [if you don't have it already] some really healthy live rock with a good crop of micro- and macro algae that this fish can pick at. Most all pygmy angels constantly pick at these food-stuffs in the wild, and bringing in similar fauna will promote your success. If things don't turn around very soon, or if you can't get the live rock, try taking a frozen food like Pygmy Angel Formula - thaw it out, and then press small chunks of it into a piece of rock or smooth [dead] coral. This will simulate their natural food source and likewise their natural method for feeding. You can prepare several rocks in one sitting and re-freeze the ones you don't use immediately. Cheers, J -- >
- Re: Bicolor Angel Woes -
Thanks for the quick response! <My pleasure.> I will go out tomorrow and get some healthy live rock. When you say "similar fauna" what do you mean... <Micro and macro algae> I'm sorry for asking so many questions. <No worries.> In the mean time I could do as you said and get the frozen food and put it in some of the rock that I have. You are a life saver and thank you for your time!!!!! Merry Xmas to you and yours!!!! <And you as well. Cheers, J -- >

Waskly Wabbits! (Rabbitfishes) I have a 65 gallon reef that needs a good algae eater.  I am told that tangs shouldn't go in a tank this size. <I think that's pretty good advice!> I also understand that Rabbitfish are a very good herbivore.  Is there a Rabbitfish that would be comfortable long term in a 65 gallon tank? Fred <In my opinion, Fred- not really. Pretty much every available Rabbitfish in the hobby reaches a minimum of 7 inches or so- these guys need space just like tangs do. They also are very sensitive to less than optimal water conditions, often being referred to by hobbyists as "ich magnets". I'd stick to some of the less "space-demanding" herbivores, like blennies...For example, the "Lawnmower Blenny", Salarias fasciatus, or the "Redlip Blenny", Ophioblennius atlanticus (a neat fish, but sometimes can nip an occasional coral or clam mantle...never happened in my tanks, however). These guys can do a nice job on algae, and although they can get over 4 inches, they don't have nearly the requirements for space that tangs and Rabbitfishes do. Also, some people use pygmy angelfishes (Centropyge) for herbivores (Now- I don't want every reefer out there to freak out and say that "Scott is suggesting using a Flame Angel for algae control!"). These fishes come with a variety of personalities and tendencies, including a propensity for nipping and eating corals in some cases! However, a large percentage of their diet is comprised of vegetable matter, so I include them here for completeness. In your tank, you'd definitely want the smaller "models", like C. argi, or C. acanthops. Both of these little guys can be feisty, however, so choose tankmates carefully. Use the wetwebmedia.com site for more research into herbivorous fishes. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Japanese Dwarfs... (Angels) Hi all, I am currently planning my next setup. This will be a glass 90 gallon tank and I will utilize my current 29 gallon as the sump. I have the hardware lined up and will build the stand and canopy myself to match the furniture in the new house (getting married in March). <Congratulations!> So I have been setting up some outlines of livestock that I would like to build this tank around including SPS corals, Clown pair, Royal Gramma, maybe a Regal Tang if I can hand select a nice specimen (still up in the air on this one due to tank size). I definitely would like to include a Centropyge sp. into the system. So I've been researching a bit and came across the Japanese Angel/Centropyge interruptus. In the article "Perfect Little Angels" it was stated that the C. interruptus was a hardy specimen and suited well for the aquarium. I found a photo on FishBase.org and was blown away at the beauty of this fish. I was wondering if you knew were I could find more information on this fish in aquarium use either online or book/article wise. <I would just hit up the search engines. I got 108 links on Yahoo using Centropyge interruptus.> I also can not find a retailer online or local that carries this fish. I would definitely like to know if this is a highly expensive fish before I get my hopes too high up. I am just at the planning stage and will look towards purchasing in about 6-8 months after building, cycling and....oh yeah marriage (JK of course). So I wasn't sure if these fish are imported "seasonally". < http://www.themarinecenter.com/ specializes in rare fish. I would check them first.> I was also leaning towards the Rusty/Centropyge ferrugata if the Japanese is rare in the trade (definitely one or the other). Additional information on this guy would be nice too. <You can find more on www.WetWebMedia.com> Do either of these fish have an appetite for corals, mainly SPS and LPS? <All Centropyges fall into a gray area in regards to compatibility with corals. They are all known to nip at LPS, soft corals, and clams. Generally, SPS are safe, but no guarantees with any Angelfish.> Do you have an opinion on either of these fish or another Dwarf that is particularly dear to your heart? <My favorites are the Coral Beauty and Flame, Centropyge bispinosus and loricula, respectively.> What are your experiences with these two in relation to aquariums of the size/type I am planning? <A 90 gallon would be fine for one Centropyge.> I hope to hear from you guys soon. Have a great Holiday Season! <Thank you and you too!> Thanks, Kurt <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Coral Beauty Chow...? Hey guys, <Scott F. da guy tonight!> I was wondering what to feed my coral beauty. He picks off the rocks all day and gobbles up brine but won't touch the frozen pygmy angel formula I bought for him. I know angels require a special diet and I was wondering if you have any suggestions as to what to try? Thanks, Rob <Well, Rob- like most Centropyge angels, the Coral Beauty derives a good percentage of its nutrition from algae material. As you have observed, the fish will spend a good part of its day picking detritus and algae from the live rock in your system. You may want to try a variety of foods, such as Mysis shrimp, finely chopped seafoods (squid, clams, etc), and an algae based frozen food, such as Ocean Nutrition's Formula II, or perhaps Nori sheets or other macroalgae, such as Gracilaria. Another thing that you can do is place some small live rocks in a brightly lit aquarium, where you can encourage green algae growth. Then, place the rocks in your tank for the fish to pick at. If you keep trying a variety of foods, you should have no problems keeping this fish in prime condition. Good luck!  Scott F.>

Strange Angel Color Change Dear Bob and Crew: <Scott F. with you this evening> I am sad to report that my pygmy angel is losing his  dark blue coloration on his body and the yellow "under color" is showing through.  It's like he is shedding - that's what I'd call it if he were a dog or cat.  We have had him for nine months, got him full grown so I don't know how old he is.  He is eating and swimming as usual and this color thing just started this afternoon.  His tankmates appear to be fine. Water stats: Salinity:  28  (specific gravity 1.0215),Alkalinity 3.2, Ammonia 0,Nitrates 0, Calcium 450 ppm Please let me know if he is sick or what.  He has no spots on him, but as he is from the sea and not tank bred he could have parasites that I don't know about.   Connie Cavan PS =: As I finish this note, his color appears normal again.  What is going on.????  Hope Bob, you can help, he is named after you.!!! <Wow, Connie, any fish named after Bob deserves our best...! I'm a bit curious about this color change; there could be a number of reasons and causes. First, I am assuming that you are referring to Centropyge argi, the "Cherub Angelfish", or Centropyge acanthops, the "Flameback Angelfish" (Do check the wetwebmedia.com site for FAQ's and articles on the genus Centropyge for a firm ID on your fish)? The reason that I ask is that both of these fish are basically dark blue with yellowish "faces", and, in the case of C. acanthops, a yellow dorsal region. As such, these are normal color variations. However, a sudden color change could be anything from a stress reaction to the onset of "Head And Lateral Line Erosion" ("HLLE"), which is thought to be a "disease" brought on by dietary or environmental deficiencies. Without seeing this for myself, I'd have to go out on a limb and say that it's probably some kind of stress or fright reaction, especially when you consider that he was eating well and that the color returned quickly. In the absence of other obvious disease symptoms, I'm going to suggest that you continue to observe him, provide excellent water conditions, and a varied diet rich in vegetable matter. Monitor the environmental factors regularly, and be prepared to act should some more serious disease symptoms arise. Let us know if we can be of any further assistance! Good luck! Scott F>
Angel Shifting Color (Pt. 2)
Hi again Bob and crew: <Scott F. here this afternoon> Bob is a Centropyge argi and when we got him nine months ago we didn't know that he was an adult.  He hasn't grown at all since we got him.  He is swimming and eating today, but is no longer speeding around the tank.  As I don't know how old he is, I can't be sure, but isn't it possible that he is dying from old age? <Always a possibility, but I think that you'd notice a gradual decline in health and activity if this were the case> He has slowed down tremendously in just one day and his mouth is open slightly. He still shows interest in chasing the dithers, but not like before.  Our tank is in prime condition, we have live rock and all sorts of critters that have grown from them.  I do a 10 gallon water change once a week and it's a 60 gallon tank.  I don't see any signs of lateral line disease. However, I feel it's possible that he has parasites, as he is from the sea. <Well, the fact that his mouth is partially agape is of some concern. I think that some type of parasitic infection is possible, but hard to tell from here. I assume that he showed no signs of infection during quarantine?> We have a royal Gramma we got about the same time from the same place and she was also fully-grown, so we have no idea how old "she" is either. I don't want to stress him further by removing him (HA) from his environment, but if you think I should be treating him for that I don't know how to do it except to remove him.  I don't think he is strong enough to weather removal into our "emergency room" 10 gallon tank. Catching him would be something else, but certainly would remove all rocks etc. if you think he should be treated.. <Wow- tough call here. What I would do is pour over the disease FAQs and resources here on wetwebmedia.com and see if there are any pics of a fish with the condition that you've noticed. I certainly don't recommend just throwing medication into the tank (or QT tank, for that matter), so I think that, in the absence of other disease signs (i.e.; rapid breathing, obvious spots, fin tears, etc), I'd observe him a little longer. If these unusual symptoms persist, and the fish appears to be on the decline, you should remove him to your hospital tank for more observation, and possibly treatment for whatever condition you get a positive ID on. I am always concerned for the other fish in a tank where one might be Ill.. sometimes everyone needs to be removed for observation or treatment, as is the case with ich.> You can see our test results of our water in my first note.   I should add that we use ROWAphos, along with 2 carbon filters in our Fluval 404. We >have been using it for 3-4 months and it has really helped the quality of our water. I'd appreciate any comments you have on this. <Not familiar with this product, but your H20 quality seemed high last time> >We also have a CPR skimmer and two powerheads. Am not crazy about the CPR, but aside from wanting to replace it in the future, everything in the tank is fine except Bob.  We have a low bioload and have never had water problems since we got the phosphates  well under control. <It sounds like he may need to be removed for some TLC in the QT tank soon. You'll have to make the call on this one, unfortunately! Sorry to be so long-winded, but nothing has scared him, he is king of the tank, and with his color back he looks fine,  but he really has slowed down. Thanks for your time and effort. Connie Cavan <Thanks for writing, Connie-keep me posted...Wish that there was more I could tell you at this point...Regards,  Scott F.>

Angel Losing Color Dear Scott: It's me again re: Bob.  He seemed to pick up energy as the day went along, but tonight during feeding he lost his color, but it almost immediately came back. This is the second time this has happened (that I have noticed). He was in quarantine for about a month and he was fine.  Several months later I noticed a long white fecal kind of thing coming out of him and he scraped it off on a rock. I have read Fenner's book and picked up from that book that most wild fish do have some kind of parasite. This was several months ago and he has been fine ever since.  His mouth is no longer agape but his color fading and then returning so quickly is really weird.  His tank mates, the royal Gramma, 2 immature clowns and 3 baby Chromis, all seem fine.  The clowns are tank bred but all the others are from the ocean. I guess this will play itself out, but if you or any of the crew have any ideas on this I would appreciate hearing. Thanks much for your concern. Connie Cavan <Well Connie- this certainly is interesting, to say the least! It seems unlikely that a parasite from the wild would still be manifesting itself this far down the line...Not impossible, but unlikely. With regard to the "color loss and return" thing, I still think that there is some sort of stress or mood related color change going on here.  Could even be a day/night color shift...If this is a regular occurrence, you might look for some type of factor here- like harassment from one of the other fishes, a territorial dispute. anything that could trigger some sort of stress reaction in this fish. Again, in the absence of further, or obvious, disease symptoms of some sort, I'd still be inclined to keep an eye on him, with the intent to take immediate action if disease does manifest itself. Hang in there-keep observing! Good luck! Scott F.>

Pygmy Angel Hi WWM Crew, <Hi Matt> I have a quick question about compatibility that I would appreciate your advice on.  I am thinking of buying a Flame or Coral Beauty Angel and was wondering if they would be compatible in the following tank? 30g 20lb live rock 1 Flashback Pseudochromis 1 YTB Damsel 1 Perc. Clown 1 Coral Banded Shrimp 2 Hermits This would be my final addition to the tank and all of the other residents have been in the tank for at least a month. Thanks in advance for your time. <These fish are really wonderful but they are variable in their response to tank mates, etc. I bought one some time ago and he is reasonable enough but he hassles everyone in the tank (Purple Tang, Clown, Blenny, shrimp, etc.).  They are individuals and some get along and some don't.  I wish I could provide a more concrete answer for you.  Thank you so much for your support of WWM! Craig>

Coral Beauty Currently I have a Coral Beauty that I have acquired about a week and a half ago.  Two to three days after, I noticed that the fish had ich and so I had treated it with something the fish store had recommended.  Looks like the ich went away within a day or two after putting in the medication in the tank.  Now its eyes look kind of bulging and cloudy.  I'm still treating the tank for the ich but what would you recommend for the eyes? <It is probably a secondary infection of some sort. When you have both eyes bulging and cloudy, it is most likely the disease known as (no surprise here) Popeye. This malady is usually caused by bacteria, and usually is indicative of water conditions which need to be improved. This can also be brought on by parasites, but is less likely.  There is even the outside possibility that the "treatment" has caused this problem- but not likely. Treatment can be as simple as improving water quality in the treatment tank (you are treating in a separate aquarium, right? If not- you should be!), or, in many cases, treating with medication such as Maracyn. I never advise the casual "dumping" of medication into the tank-sometimes this does more harm than good! Do check the FAQs on disease on the WetWebMedia.Com site and verify if the fish does indeed have this disease, then take appropriate action. You should be able to save this fish with prompt treatment. Good luck! Scott F.> Is there something I can do to save the fish? Thanks, Mary Gonzalez

Coral Beauty Woes Hello crew member of the day. <Scott F. this evening> I have several  questions regarding a Coral Beauty I just lost.  I have a 55 gallon FOWLR with a Fluval 304, a protein skimmer, two cleaner shrimp, three fish (purple Pseudochromis, percula clown, and tomato clown, {and a late Coral Beauty}) and a few snails. My water parameters are pH8.3, temp 79, NH3 0, NO2 0, NO3 <10 ppm, Alk 10,salinity 1.023. <All sound okay> I bought the Coral Beauty a few weeks ago and kept it in a 20 gallon long quarantine tank by itself with a three pound piece of cured live rock for grazing.  I had no treatment in the Q-tank but the fish looked healthy with no spots and no trouble breathing and was eating the Formula two food I was feeding it like a monster. I put him in my main tank after two weeks of quarantine and he looked healthy for the first few days. <I'm very happy that you quarantine your new arrivals! But please make it a minimum of 3 weeks from now on, okay? This allows times for many diseases to manifest themselves before getting into your main system> This past Thursday, I noticed one small white spot pop up on his side.  I watched him very closely and he did not change his behavior and no more spots arose so I thought no problem that this may just be a piece of sand or dead skin. Yesterday, my cleaner shrimp jumped on the Coral Beauty and the fish opened his gills and mouth and the shrimp helped him for about ten minutes. The fish actually laid down in the sand while the shrimp worked.  Today, the Coral Beauty would not eat and would just drift over on its side. After observing this, I put CopperSafe in the bare 20 gallon quarantine tank and moved the Coral Beauty to try and help but I was too late.  I was shocked how quickly this Coral Beauty went down with no white spots showing up on the exterior of the fish.  I was cautious about premature treating for one spot and now feel terrible. Do you think I can conclude this was a work of Ich with the fish having one white dot show up and the fact that the cleaner shrimp spent so much time in the fishes gills? <Very hard to say from here, but your keen observation of the cleaning process leads me to believe it was some sort of parasitic malady. As you can see, diseases can manifest themselves even after a couple of weeks of quarantine, and don't always show dramatic signs. The reason for his death could have been something else entirely, for all we know. I think you did a great job of taking prompt action with him when he looked ill. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, a fish can die all to quickly?> I also have a few more related questions.  Now, my quarantine tank has 20 gallons of water treated with CopperSafe this morning and had a fish I presume died from Ich in it for several hours. If I go buy another fish tomorrow, add it to the quarantine tank, and let it stay there for 28 days, can I assume it will not be able to contract Ick and will be safe to add to my main tank?   <Good question, but please don't assume that a new fish cannot become ill in this tank. After every use, whether medication is used or not, you should break down the quarantine tank and disinfect it and any equipment used with it. Then you can set it up again. Remember, a quarantine tank need not be a permanent feature. Simply set it up when you need it.> Also, should I move my three fish from my 55 gallon tank that was shared with the sick Coral Beauty to the quarantine tank for preventive treatment with copper since it is already set up, or should I observe their behavior and move them only if needed? <Another excellent question! If you are convinced that ich was the cause of the Coral Beauty's death, then you would be wise to isolate your remaining fish in the quarantine tank. However, I would observe them in quarantine rather than just medicate. Copper is effective, but it can be hard on fish; don't use it unless absolutely necessary. I'd break down and reset the quarantine tank, then place the remaining fish in it for observation. The main system will go "fallow", free of potential hosts for the ich parasite for 3-4 weeks, and the parasite population (if present) will most likely "crash" during that time for lack of hosts. Better to err on the side of caution, IMO- ich can be tough to get out of your tank once it establishes a foothold.> Is it true that as long as they were healthy when I added the Coral Beauty and I do not stress them now, they will not be attacked by Ick? <Likely, but not guaranteed- hence my recommendation to quarantine/observe them.> IF I buy another Coral Beauty, should I quarantine them with copper as a preventative? <I would not use copper as a preventative. I like the idea of properly executed freshwater dips and observation for 3 weeks. Medicate if necessary.> I also have a question about a Yellow Tang.  I would love to buy a yellow tang but am confused about how to quarantine them.  In The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, Bob says for the yellow tang just do a freshwater dip with no copper or medications.  Does this mean no quarantine at all or do a freshwater dip and then quarantine for several weeks with no treatment and then go the main display tank? <No- he does mean quarantine the fish- just don't use copper as a preventative. Use the dip in conjunction with quarantine.> Can you use copper with the Yellow tang as a preventative? Is that bad news? <As above. Tangs have digestive fauna which can be damaged by prolonged exposure to copper, which is why Bob recommends only using it if the fish is actually ill. If the digestive fauna are damaged severely enough, the fish could die. Tangs, as you know, are big eaters and need to graze continuously.> Thanks for all your help.  I just don't want to lose any more fish! Amy <Your questions, observations, and attitude are outstanding! Just make the minor changes that I suggested and you should be fine! Don't let the loss of the Coral Beauty discourage you. Learn all that you can from this sad episode, and you will continue to be a successful aquarist! Good luck!  Scott F.>

Needles, Fish Bob, What do you know about treating fish which have been needled instead of decompressed?  <No real difference... it is hoped that the small puncture through the animals' integument, muscle, body cavity, gas bladder will heal of its own accord (which is generally the case... given no other damage... to organs...)... just "excellent care, good water quality"> I am particularly curious about this subject in regards to C. Joculator. Is there anyway to combat the miserable survival record of this fish? <Am curious... this is Canthigaster you're referring to? This genus (Sharpnose Puffers) actually has a very good survival history from capture to shipping... and is rarely needled... most are caught in shallow waters, brought to the surface with minimal decomp. time. What data do you have to indicate otherwise? Bob Fenner> Thanks, Josh
Re: Needles, Fish
Bob, Sorry...I was referring to Centropyge joculator.  <Oh... different species, spelling> Everyone has been telling me that their Jocs have been dying one to three weeks after being imported, usually from some sort of bacterial infection. <Not unusual... this isn't a very tough dwarf angel from the wild... Bob Fenner, who suggests wholesalers (and most retailers) run their Centropyge through a furan bath on arrival, and isolate/quarantine all for sale for two weeks> Thanks, Josh

Bicolor Angel Question Hello Mr. Bob Fenner, <<Hi Long, Craig here today>> I've been reading on the website and do appreciate all the help you've given everyone. Just reading everyone's questions and answers helps a great deal since I'm a beginner. I've read that the Bicolor Angel tend to eat mainly from liverock. I have a 40 gallon aquarium with 45 lbs of liverock. Other fishes I have: 1 Mandarin Dragonet, 1 Percula Clown, 1 Chalk Basslet, 1 Peppermint shrimp, 1 Coral Banded Shrimp. The one thing I wanted to ask you was whether I should get any hermit crabs and snails. I only have about 4 snails right now and 1 small hermit crab. I have quite a bit of algae on the rocks and was wanting to get more creatures to help clean it. I was concerned that if I got too many they would eat all the algae and the Bicolor wouldn't have anything to pick on. What would you suggest on this matter. Thanks in advance. Long <<I think you have some stocking issues here Long. You Mandarin needs a minimum of 75 lbs of LR to have a sufficient pod population to survive unless he is fed. This is difficult. I would look into getting him to eat Mysis shrimp, grow pods in a refugium, etc. He will slowly starve if he doesn't get enough food. Maybe return him to the store or sell him to someone who has the space and rock to support him. Your coral banded shrimp, if not well fed, will help himself to your peppermint when it molts. In a 40 your bi-color angel will need to be fed anyway as there isn't enough space or rock. He will assist in cleaning rock, glass etc. but can't rely on this for sustenance. The snails etc. do depend on this for their sole source of food. You can add snails if yours appear to not keep up. This runs in cycles so stock carefully. Hermits are a personal choice. Do check out the additional info on stocking at WWM and perhaps search for additional info on your angel and Basslet so you have all the information you need to successfully keep them. Lot's to do! Craig>>
Re: Bicolor Angel Question
Thanks for the info. I was wondering if you could give me more information on how the pods that you mentioned. Where would I go to purchase the seeds and how long does it usually take to develop. <<Hi Tran, Please search WWM for "Amphipods". These are small marine animals used for food by such fish as your Mandarin. You need a large enough aquarium to hold 75 lbs of live rock, or you need to have a refugium where these can reproduce and grow. You need to either feed your fish another kind of nutritional food like Mysis shrimp and see if he will eat them, or give him enough live rock to foster the population of amphipods needed to maintain their population and your mandarin to feed himself. Please see WWM and search for amphipods and refugiums, there is much excellent info there. Craig>>

Coral Beauty Sick. Hey Bob <<Hi Javier>> I have a 50 gallon saltwater tank running for over a year now and have not had any problems after a rough start. The tank has now stabilized and have not lost any fish in 9 months. The levels are good and I do bi-weekly water changes, keeping the temp @ 81 degrees and salinity at 1.020. I have 70 lbs of live rock and sand, a canister filter and protein skimmer.  <<What are the test results, this might help.>> The my stock consist of a yellow tang, a maroon clown, a coral beauty and some small fish (Chromis/Firefish). I feed them brine shrimp (frozen & live), formula 2 flakes, Wardley's marine flake food, Sera iodine enriched granulated food and Nutrafin Max food to keep their diet varied. About two days ago I noticed that my Coral Beauty was acting kind of strange just hovering near the LR without much movement. (Very unlike him). But I went about my routine of feeding them. Normally at feeding time all the fish dart around and head up to the surface and a frenzy takes place once I drop the food in. Everything went as expected except for the Coral Beauty. He did seem to be interested in going after the food, but once near it he just went for it, looked at it and just swam away.  Later that night I noticed him in the bottom right of the tank under some rock covering just chilling. (Having a private party). Having my tank for awhile I know each of my fish's behavior at feeding time, at night, w/light on or off, when frightened, during a territory dispute. and where each turns in for the night. Yesterday he was in the same spot at the bottom right of the tank under the LR covering pointing up and tail down. He looks like he has some white film forming on his mouth/lips? A fungus or bacteria?  <<Likely bacteria, but could be fungus. Please see: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/infectio.htm>> Please help. I did add some Melafix to the tank. Does this stuff really work, a waste of money or bad idea? What is your recommendation? Setting up a hospital tank for quarantine or let him ride it out and not stress him more? Javier <<Melafix is likely not necessary or useful. These problems are the result of poor water quality, nutrition, overall environment. I suggest water changes, green herbivorous foods daily (live rock with algae/microalgae is ideal). Please do follow and read the link above and also go to the FAQ's. Best of luck, Craig>> 
Re: Coral Beauty Sick. T
hanks, <<You're always welcome Javier.>> I'll check the water parameters again. I did one a week ago and they were normal. None of the other fish seem to be bothered or show signs of illness. I do a water change every two weeks. How much of a water change to you recommend? (Currently 75 lbs of LR & LS). So in volume I may have about 35 gallons? <<Depends on load, type of inhabitants. You have quite a few fish so likely somewhere in the 25-30% range, but this is dependent on many factors, husbandry, feeding, etc. I would assume your volume to be 40 gal.>> On a separate note, I notice strange creature in my tank. I have never seem it before in my tank and have not added any LR or LS since my initial set-up, which was cured. It is the size and of a quarter, flat and somewhat of a circular shape. It is black in color and moves like a slug or snail with two small tentacles/feelers. In the center of the body it has a small white slit, cat eye in look. Once I hit the lights if moved to the dark under the live rock. <<Hard to tell w/o a photo, and maybe not then either! Likely a snail, Trochus, Nudibranch, or limpid. Try this: http://www.tcnj.edu/~maughme2/faq.htm Yours, Craig>>

Acclimating Coral Beauty Hello Bob, I have on four occasions now tried to stock coral beauty's in my store but have always had very limited success getting them to feed. I have tried pretty much all of the prepared foods we stock. Do you have any recommendations on getting these guys started? <Yes... in well-established systems with plenty of healthy live rock... and a live sump/refugium in addition if possible. They nibble on algae, sponges, sea squirts in the wild...> All of the ones we received have been from QM and looked great on arrival. I have had great success with other supposedly less hardy dwarf species and am close to putting coral beauties on my "Do Not Order". <It may be that you're spot on here... the source your supplier is using may be "bunk" for this species. If you can, avoid ones from Indonesia and the Philippines... pay more for better specimens from elsewhere in the West-, South-Pacific. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Richard

Dwarf Angels, Copper Treatments I'm sorry to keep bugging you.  <<No worries.>>  Do I need to adjust copper dosage for dwarf angels or just proceed with normal dosage.  <<I wouldn't unless this particular fish is especially small and potentially a juvenile. Even then, I wouldn't reduce it by much.>>  Thanks Rich. <<Cheers, J -- >>

Re: Coral Beauty trouble Bob, Thanks for the advice yesterday, your advice was comforting. Could you tell me what I should feed the Coral Beauty once he is back to health? I know it will eat algae off of my live rock but could you tell me if it will eat meaty foods or if it needs Nori and/or Formula Two. Is the Coral Beauty like the Yellow Tang in the way of having getting HLLE if not given enough greens? <Not so susceptible to this largely nutritional complaint. This Dwarf Angel does eat a great deal of algae and assorted sponges, ascidians (hence the use of live rock in their systems), and do learn to take many types of prepared and frozen foods in captivity. Please read through the Centropyge Angel sections posted on WWM including the FAQs files, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/Centropyge/index.htm Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Amy

Stocking densities... (wrasse selection, and Centropyges, dipping, life) Bob, Thanks for the quick reply. I had a few follow-up and unrelated questions. In the smaller tank, I'm thinking of keeping a derasa clam. Which one of the three (Wrasses/dotty) would you recommend for parasitic snail and/or Bristleworm control? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudocheilinus.htm and the FAQs linked beyond, the sections on Tridacnids...> In the larger tank, I was following the capacity outlines of M. Paletta in the new marine aquarium- 2" of fish /gallon of capacity.  <I think this may be way off... Mike may have offered the "rule of thumb" of 1/2" maximum per gallon...> Given that I should easily be able to keep a 12" angel and tankmates. Is it a territory issue or is Paletta wrong with what he is saying? <You are interpreting a generality beyond it's utility... think of two versus three dimensionality... a given length of organism needs more space than its inches subdivided into increments... e.g. 12 one inch fishes are metabolically less than one 12 inch individual...> Also, with a six foot long tank, would I be able to keep 2-3 Centropyge angels?  <Likely so... of most species... they will interact, but given enough nooks, crannies, shouldn't cause any real damage to each other> I know they tend to fight, but I figured with that size tank, and enough rock work it should be O.K. I was thinking of a Hawaiian/Polynesian biotope with a flame and a potter's along with a Centropyge to be named later.  <Sounds like you've been doing your investigating> I would add native tangs, butterflies, a Picasso trigger, and a snowflake moray- any general problems with the design so far? <Not as far as I'm aware> Now for the unrelated questions- Can you recommend a good livestock source in the St. Louis area?  <Mmm, not familiar with the town, but do have a suggestion: post your question on the Chatforum: http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/ under the "Internet/Local Fish Store" category> They all seem to contradict themselves, and I don't know who to believe.  <Only yourself> One of them told me that you cannot use protein skimmer with the miracle mud product. Any truth to this?  <No... no truth... as in "what has been done"... The owner of this company (Leng Sy) and I are friends and discuss this "to be or not to be" issue quite often... mud/muck systems can be run with skimmers... better to under skim, or run in a punctuated fashion (on/off a few hours per day) IMO/E> He also told me that he has never been able to carry out a successful fresh water dip, and that quarantining is a bad idea as you stress the fish out twice. <Some validity to these statements as exceptions... but, by and large, these techniques/practices are of tremendous utility. Put another way, the vast majority of cases, individuals benefit tremendously through their employ> So far, he's somewhat low on the credibility scale. However, another shop told me to always dip my live rock in fresh water to eliminate bristle worms, crabs, and other pests. I would think you would ruin the rock by doing this. As you can see, I'm in a bit of a quandary. <But you're thinking... very exciting. Do consider all these opinions and ours/mine... and look further at the base rationale, factual understanding to all's points in making up your own mind.> Thanks again, and the website is great! Chris <Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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