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FAQs on Marine Environmental Disease/Losses 12

Related Articles: Environmental Disease, Establishing Nutrient CyclingMarine Water Quality, Maintenance,

Related FAQs: Marine Environmental Disease 1, Marine Env. Disease 2, Marine Env. Disease 3, Marine Env. Disease 4, Marine Env. Disease 5, Marine Env. Disease 6, Marine Env. Disease 7, Marine Env. Disease 8, Marine Env. Disease 9, Marine Env. Disease 10, Marine Env. Disease 11, Marine Env. Disease 13, & FAQs on Environmental Disease By Cause/Types: Environmental Deficiencies, Oxygen/Gas Problems, Poisoning, Mis-stocking: Psychological Challenges, ( Aggressive Behavior, Territoriality, ), Physiological Challenges (e.g. Metabolites, Allelopathy, Stinging), & Troubleshooting/Fixing

My Yellow Tang, hlth., env.    10/3/08 Hi! Ted K Here Thank everything that's wet your site exists. The problem is my wife think I read to much now. LOL I have been reading so many FAQs, and have come close to finding a description of the problem. I still haven't found the answer??? My tank is 110g tall 120lbs of LR, w/ inverts and fish. Water parameters are all good and have been for a year or so. I have a Yellow Tang that has been in the tank from the beginning and in the last few weeks he has been breathing very rapidly. His mouth looks like its stuck open he stopped eating and there are little red soars around his entire mouth. <I see this in your excellent photo> The soars resemble little red lines. I have attached a pic. If you need more info please reply. I hope you can help!!! Thanks in advance Ted <The reddening is termed "septicemia"... "dirty blood"... evidence of something/s not right water quality wise in this system... Perhaps other life poisoning this fish, maybe simply metabolite accumulation. I would be testing your water, changing a good deal of it, cleaning up your skimmer... Perhaps looking into long-term ways of making the system more stable, optimized. Please peruse WWM re: http://wetwebmedia.com/marsetupindex2.htm Bob Fenner>

New Tank Problems... env., iatrogenic...  9/8/08 Hi my name is Curtis. I set up a 95 gallon salt water tank a month and a half ago. I have 2 Magnum 350 canister filters on it with a strong Corallife protein skimmer (hang on version). I started the tank up with 90 pounds of live rock and a good 2-3 inches of live sand. <I would increase this to 4-5' for a true DSB.> After the first week I had good water conditions. I put a few damsel fish in and shortly after a Harlequin Tusk and Niger trigger. They seemed to be doing great. One week later I added a spotted Foxface rabbit fish. <You need a larger system for all of these.> Again things seemed ok. I then purchased a Passer angel. The angel did ok for a few days and then developed ich. It soon died a few days later. <This needs a larger, well established system. Even on its own.> I removed the angel and waited a about a week. I then came across a good sized Emperor angel and a large Majestic angel. <Ditto on the above.> After putting them into my tank a few days later the Tuskfish seemed very weak. The water tested high nitrite and ammonia levels around 1.5. <Deadly.> It was all down hill from there. The Tuskfish was the first to die. The angels got bad white spot and died. I removed the Niger before this happened because it was a bully. I am left with only the Foxface and 1 damsel. The ammonia is still a .25 or a little less and finally today nitrite is close to 0. <Anything above 0 on these is too high.> Nitrate is 20 range. The Foxface still seems to breathing fast and a clear discharge is coming off of its body from time to time. <This fish needs to be moved to a more suitable, stable system; even a quarantine tank until you can get the system stable. Do take care moving it, these fish do have venomous spines. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rabbitfi.htm.> Was this too much too fast and what can I do to get back on track? <Yes too much period and much too fast. You really need to take a step back and read about what is going on. Read up on cycling, quarantine and please do carefully research future additions regarding compatibility with your system and each other.> Thanks Curtis <Welcome, Scott V.>

New Tank Problems 9/8/08 9/9/08 Thanks Scott, <Welcome, happy to help.> Everyone at the fish stores where telling me not to do any water changes because my water had not cycled yet. <If it is not cycled, why add so many (large) fish? Are you utilizing any live rock, if so, water changes are in order.> I could not understand why I had nitrate levels within the first week if my water had not yet had cycled. <Some ammonia has made the cycle, not all of it. The sign of the cycle being complete is 0 ammonia (even wait a week past this), not showing some nitrate.> Thanks for the help. I have had tanks for 20 years and never have had problems like this. I want to have the best possible water conditions and environment for my fish. Most of my tanks have been reef tanks. They seem to be easy after a while. I believe that a once a week water change always keep thing pretty good. <It does.> I just did not know when to do the first water change during this big nightmare. <Start now!> Curtis <Scott V.>

Re: New Tank Problems 9/9/08 Thanks, <Welcome.> Should I do a water change? <Yes, likely a series of them.> Nitrite is 0 but ammonia is still .25 and nitrate is 20. My ph is 8.2. The tank has been going for about 7 weeks now. Also is my 2 magnum filters not strong enough? Do I need to increase my filtration? <The filters will be enough with an appropriately stocked tank; this is a stocking issue, not an equipment issue. Do read up on Cryptocaryoniasis, Ich. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm You really need to step back, let this tank run fallow for a while and research what you can and can't keep, within your system and with each other. Use the tools of WWM, other sites and books that are out there. It will make all the difference. Scott V.>

Porcupine Puffer Help... actually, just reading re mis-stocking, maint. of FO sys.   7/4/08 Ok, will start with my set-up. 65 Gallon, <A Diodontid needs more room than this> have a CPR BakPak and Red Sea Prizm Skimmers. Filstar Canister Filter rated to 75 Gallons, currently filled with live rock as the media. 2 Powerheads. Have 60-70 Pounds of Live rock and about 50 pounds of live sand. System has been running for about 6 months with 2 Volitans lionfish. <These also...> I had my water tested before adding my little porcupine and it read 7.9 pH, <Too low...> 10 Nitrate, 0.2 Nitrite, and 0.2 ammonia, <... both deadly toxic> Salinity was 1.018. <Too low...> The puffer is only about 4" right now. I am planning on getting a bigger tank, probably 125 within 6-8 months. <Too late> So I figured water was at good quality before adding my puffer, and I had time before getting my bigger tank for him to grow a little. I have had my porcupine for about a week now. The first 4-5 days he was fine and healthy just swimming about the tank checking things out. The sixth day was when he finally ate something, just a couple of krill. Couldn't get him to accept the silversides. On day 7 I woke up to the blue in his eyes gone, they are also larger than normal and slightly hazy, he also had a film coming off his spikes and around his eyes. <Good observations> He was swimming around bumping into everything as if he couldn't see. When he wasn't swimming and was laying on the sand he is breathing heavy and appears to "cough" every 5-10 seconds. Before today I had been doing about 5 gallon water changes every other day. I panicked a little and did a quick 7.5 gallon water change before testing the water. I then ran to my LFS to grab some meds. <... environmental> I was given a Malachite Green and some Maracyn-Two. I came home, set him up in a freshwater bath with the malachite green for about 20 minutes. While this was going on I tested the water. pH 7.9, 0.2 Nitrite, 0.15 Ammonia, 40-50 for Nitrate, and 1.023 for salinity. I then did another 7.5 gallons of water change. Put puffer back into my main tank and added the recommended dosage of Maracyn-Two to the tank (2 Packets per 20 gallons, so I added 6 packets). Also every water change has been with mixed RO water and salt to a 1.025 Salinity. The 2 lions seem to be in great health still. That's the story up to today. I think I have solved the stuff that was found on his spikes. As he coughs he is blowing the sand up around and onto his back. So it seems to be just stuff he is kicking up out of the sand. My question is this. How many and how frequent water changes should I be doing from this point forward to get him healthy again, should I be doing a daily freshwater bath with the Malachite Green, and should I continue with the recommended five day dosing of the Maracyn-Two. Any other meds you can recommend? Your help is appreciated. <... No "meds" needed, nor desired. But reading (by you) is... see WWM re the Systems for these species, Ammonia, Nitrite... You're headed for disaster... at a fast clip. Bob Fenner>

Hippo tang with Velvet? - 7/2/08 Hey guys, http://www.zaita.com/Images/Hippo01.jpg http://www.zaita.com/Images/Hippo02.jpg <I see> I noticed these marks on my Hippo today, she was fine yesterday. She seems to have a scratch in front of them going up her body as well. I thought maybe velvet, but I am thinking it's something more? <Mmm, something different. Twere this Amyloodiniumiasis, all your fishes would be dead> Maybe she got stuck in a rock and had to wiggle free? It is only on 1 side of her body too. <A possibility, but there is a much greater likelihood that this area is resultant from a "brush" with the Cnidarian life in your system... perhaps the Euphyllia just in view> Tank is 125g, 12months old. She was first fish introduced and is now about 15cm in length. No new additions for the last 12 weeks. She is housed with 2 Scopas tangs who she bosses around, a few smaller fish and a COB whom she ignores. She rules the tank quite happily. Her appetite, attitude and breathing all appear to be normal. She is fed Nori, enriched Spirulina and enriched frozen brine. She has previously had white-spot but it was only ever 1 or 2 spots that left after a week. Apart from that she has been a healthy blue tang. She was looking perfectly normal yesterday too. Thanks heaps guys, really love the site and it's an invaluable resource. Regards, Scott. <Thank you for your kind words Scott. I would "do" nothing extraordinary here. Very likely this area will heal w/in a few weeks, the fish all the smarter for paying closer attention to the "decor". Bob Fenner>

Compressed gas duster 06/06/2008 Hello WWM Crew, <<Hello, Andrew today>> Someone who will remain nameless used a compressed gas duster (the kind to clean off computer keyboards) on the hood of our saltwater Nanocube. They realized quickly that the compressed gas (along with its propellant such as difluoroethane) could have gotten into the tank so within 10 minutes all of the fish were evacuated into a very stable refugium of another tank, and the fish are fine. We've done about 1/3 water change (~ 7gal of 20gal) in the Nano). Our plan is to watch the (prolific) algae and (small white) starfish as a barometer of water quality before returning the fish in two or three days. Should we do more of a water change? Other suggestions? <<A couple of larger 50 - 60% water changes should suffice, and lots of monitoring of the tank, should all be fine>> Blessings, BJ Mora <<Thanks for the questions. A Nixon>>  

Bloated Fish now Blistered  6/4/08 Hi WWM Crew, <Joe> Again I am requesting your expertise on something that has seemed to stumped me and everyone else that has looked in on these pics. This is not my fish but someone else's. As of now it is in a hospital tank being treated with antibiotics but still no idea what is on this guy. It started when the owner noticed ich in her DT after moving everyone to a HT for hypo she noticed this particular fish looked bloated, keeping an eye on it for a couple of days it didn't get better. Then it stopped eating, she started treatment and also raising the salinity back up to normal. Total elapsed time from start of hypo to present day is 6 days, yesterday it apparently ate for the first time but not anything significant. The issue now is that the bloated area seems to have blisters all over. Any ideas what these blisters are and what caused them? Thanks in advance and I attached the best pics there were. -Joe- <Mmm, have seen this sort of blistering before... Looks like this fish was initially stung but good by a defensive/offensive mechanism of some powerful Cnidarian... Like a Galaxea or Catalaphyllia species... Hopefully will self-cure in time. Bob Fenner>

Re: Bloated Fish now Blistered -- 6/4/08 Ok, except this fish wasn't symptomatic until after it was in hospital tank with no corals for a couple of days. Can a sting reaction take that long to show damage? <Yes indeed; it can. Other possibilities abound... burning from heaters, an allergic reaction to foods, tankmates; idiopathic tumours...> Joe Brillon

Tank temp spikes and affect on Sailfin Tang 05/23/08 Hi guys, <including gals I trust> I love your site and have gotten many helpful hints on keeping my tank healthy. Everything has been great-until now. My set up: 120 gallon saltwater tank Euro Reef Protein Skimmer 2 Koralia 4 Powerheads 130 lbs live rock Phos-ban phosphate reactor to include activated carbon Wet dry sump with bio balls Livestock: 9 in. Red Sea Sailfin Tang <... needs more room> 7 in. six bar angel 2 in. maroon clown 6 inch Niger trigger 6 small blue-green Chromis Brown spotted goby 4 large turbo snails 1 red Pilipino hermit crab The inhabitants have been in the tank for over two years now and I have only lost snails when the crab got hungry. I currently live in Tampa, FL and went on a weeks vacation with my wife. We had someone come by to look after the house and feed and take care of the fish every evening. This time of year (May) it starts to really warm up, as you would expect. I maintain the temperature in the house during the day, to also help keep the aquarium cool. As luck would have it, my 2 year old A/C unit fizzled out, spiking the temperatures in the house to over 93 degrees and the tank almost as hot. Unfortunately, the house sitter couldn't get an A/C tech there, as it was the weekend, and did everything he could to get the temperature in the aquarium down. This included floating bags of ice in the top and adding cool RO water. He managed to get things down to 88 degrees in the tank, but obviously still way too high. By the time I got back into the country to fix the A/C, we still had all of our inhabitants (except a snail, who was eaten by the crab.) By the time we got home, the livestock had been subjected to at least three days of this-according to the sitter. To no ones surprise, everyone was hiding except for the Chromis. Everyone looked stressed, but are coming along with the exception of my Sailfin tang. The day I got home, he had developed large white spots (lesions on his head and around his eyes that almost looked powdery.) The day before I got there, the sitter said he appeared "fine." His breathing is labored and one side of his gills are enflamed and red inside. He is not eating and now the large spots seem to be almost peeling off in chunks, exposing soft pink underneath. I gradually got the water back down to 80 degrees F over the next day and the others are swimming around more and starting to nibble on food. I've been careful to feed just a little food after all the drama in the tank. I'm worried about the tang though as he seems to be exhibiting signs of HLLE-just a guess. In addition to solving my temperature issues, I did a 25% water change and removed the carbon. What do you recommend in addition? If this is HLLE, is my tang going to make it? <Likely will be fine... just take some time to heal> Help, Rich in Hot Tampa <HLLE, neuromast destruction syndromes are largely environmental... fix this and... Bob Fenner>

Marine Tank Mass Suicide 05/14/08 Hello, <Hiya Jeremy, Darrel here tonight> Love your site. Great information. <Thank you. I must say that you show a great deal of style, taste and dare I say it - intelligence for noticing!> I have a 75 gallon reef setup. All of my parameters are good: ammonia/nitrite 0, nitrates <20, temp at 78, s/g 1.026. The fish in the tank are a clarkii pair, diamond goby, clown goby, powder brown tang, and yellow tang. <OK -- except to say that "Nitrates <20" are very common words. As long was we all understand that lower is better and while "<20" is OK ... "undetectable" is better. Or, as I tell my son three times a week "You look bored, do another water change!"> Recently, the two tangs committed suicide. They were wedging themselves in spaces in the live rock that were much too small for them. I would come home from work, and they would be stuck and breathing heavily. I would free them, but they would do it again as soon as they were free. Needless to say, the abuse on their bodies finally caused their death. <Sorry for your loss, Jeremy> I attempted to replace the yellow tang, only to have him do the same thing after two days in the main tank (it only took one time for him to be dead). <This is one of those letter that conveys a lot of information from your perspective but actually leaves more to OUR imagination than you might imagine. TANGS are funny fish. They routinely wedge themselves into places that look in every measurable way too small for them. The Blue Hippo Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) is an incredible jokester, frequently laying on it's side and breathing irregularly, giving off every possible indication of imminent death ... sometimes as a response to stress and other times just apparently for grins ... only to swim off and swim "right" just as soon as they're sure we're properly worried.> <So the question is: How sure are you that they wouldn't have come out on their own? Much like cats, Jeremy. Ever notice that the trees that line your neighborhood streets aren't littered with the bodies of dead cats? It's because almost without exception a cat can eventually get down from any place it gets into. Same with fish. Scuba divers rarely find remnants of fish in crevices. I suspect that you are correct when you theorize that the process of freeing them was as damaging (and stressful) as whatever the root cause (if any). Unless I had a clear cut case of a fallen or shifted rock, I'd be inclined to let any fish that appears wedged in somewhere simply stay there overnight.> My question is - Is something or someone in my tank causing the fish to freak out enough to slam into the live rocks until they are dead? All my parameters are fine. Someone mentioned that maybe some of my equipment is shorting out sending electric current into the water. Is that possible? <Possible, sure. Likely? Not so much. Even minute amounts of current in the water would be detrimental to the system but you'd likely see aberrant behavior in all fishes, not just the tangs. The problem is that most digital volt meters you would be able to access measure in milliamps and you'd need micro amps to find a small leakage.> Help! I of course don't intend to add anything to the tank until I have this remedied, but I love the swimming motion of tangs and would love to have another one. <Tangs are about my favorite, too and most tanks would be blah without them, so I concur. How long was the last Yellow Tang in quarantine before it was introduced into the main tank? Was his behavior change INSTANT in the main tank? How long did you wait to see if he'd free himself? What, exactly, did you do to free him?> Thank your for you help on this! <Write back with those answers Jeremy, meanwhile I'll go fishing for suggestions (PUN ALERT) from my more learned colleagues> Jeremy in Omaha, NE saltwater fish behavior and cause of death... env. Ridiculous mix of species in too small system... too much money, too little knowledge   5/5/08 Hello. I have had my saltwater reef tank established for almost nine months now and just recently problems have began to occur. My tank consists of a few hardy corals, a emporer anglefish, clown fish with a anenome, <... the Angel name is tellingly mis-spelled, and need to know the species of Anemone> a sargassum trigger fish, and a kole tang. Its 65 gallons, <... you're not joking? This mix of species won't fit in such a small volume> with about 55 pounds of live rock, and a few snails and hermits. <... will be eaten by the Balistid> My trigger fish had begun to be very timid, hiding in the rocks for days, only comming out to eat, and now has died. All my elements are where they should be, but the alkilinity hasnt been very stable. Its not horrible but not where it should be. I'm wondering if that could be why he died. And now I've began to notice my anglefish displaying unusual behavior. He will often go to the right side of the tank, between live rock and the glass, and just hover. I really hope he is'nt going to die also. Could you give me any advice? Gayle <Read... re the needs of the life you intend to keep BEFORE purchasing it. What you list won't work. Bob Fenner>

Saltwater tank infection   5/4/08 Hi Crew, My tank had been up and running for almost a year now with no major set backs until the water level in my skimmer raised too high and began pumping water into the collection jug, overflowing onto the floor. <Yuck!> My auto top off replenished the falling water level overnight with freshwater and it took quite a toll on my fish. Sad to report I lost two fish almost immediately and three others gradually deteriorated over the next few days. One of those three is still alive and eating (yellow tang) but his future is uncertain. A clown fish, cleaner goby, chromis, inverts and corals seemed unaffected thankfully. I had recently introduced one of the fish who may not have been quarantined properly and my assessment is that following the shock of the freshwater flood, the remaining fish became susceptible to something the new addition introduced, hence the gradual deterioration over the next few days. <Well-described> Since it spread so easily to the other fish I'm assuming bacterial rather than parasitic. <Mmm, actually, there are some very "fast onset" protozoan conditions... as in overnight> The fish had no external sign of disease other than frayed fins, pale colors, stressed out behavior and toward the very end two of them had some sores or discoloration spots. From everyone I talked to I was best to keep the water param.s perfect and slowly raise the salinity back up rather than pulling out the three deteriorating fish and trying to treat with meds <I am in agreement> (and I was not convinced that any effective meds were reef safe to add to the display) in a quarantine, but I basically just ended up watching the two fish die (and possibly a third). Anyway- my question is this: once the remaining livestock seem back to full health how long should I wait to add new fish and/or are there any measures I should be taking at this point besides monitoring water parameters? <A month or so and no> And yes, I will make sure every fish is definitely quarantined properly before adding to my tank and fail safe the collection jug set up so it can't happen again. Thanks for the response. -Brian <Thank you for relating (and so well) your trial and thought-processes. You have saved many other organisms and heartaches thereby. Bob Fenner>

Green Chromis and QT ammonia 04/28/2008 Hello again crew! <<Hello, Andrew here this afternoon>> After reading your Chromis FAQ, I was unable to determine what course of action I should take. So I hope you can give me some direction, as I've read different opinions from the crew regarding my situation. <<Lets see what we can do then>> I bought (1 week ago) in QT (30 gal) 17 green Chromis, and 2 purple Firefish. These fish are all in QT now. The largest Chromis is 1", and the Firefish are maybe 1.5". These fish will be the first additions to my 210. <<WOW>> My QT parameters are... Ammonia (free ammonia)- 0, Nitrites - 0, nitrates - 2-5ppm, PH - 8.0, Salinity 1.025. I have several PVC fittings for the fish to hide, and am feeding Spectrum pellets, and Mysis Shrimp, and blood worms. All soaked in Selcon. I feed a pinch of pellets in the morning, and half a cube of mysis or blood worms at night. I've only done one 50% water change as my ammonia and nitrite levels remain steady. I did the water change just after the 2nd fish died. My ammonia test kit (Seachem) still works great as the reference sample confirmed. <<Ok....Feeding once per day is ample here>> After 4 days, I found a chromis dead with what looked like bruising behind its right gills. 2 days later another Chromis developed bruising on the top of its head, and died within 4 hrs. This morning, I found another dead Chromis. This one looked fine, and didn't show any signs of bruising or damage. <<This will be due to over crowding in the QT tank>> I did net these fish. Several different opinions from the crew were mentioned on your Chromis faq page...one said that netting could cause the bruising and ultimate death, another said the QT was too small and to quickly move them into the display tank, while another suggested to start medicating for "hemorrhagic septicemia". I'm not really sure what to do. Can you help shed some light on this? <<Cut the level of stock in the QT tank. This is far too many for such a small aquarium I'm afraid>> Also, the Seachem test kit says I only need to test for Free ammonia because Free ammonia is the toxic form of ammonia. The only other test kit I've used is from API. From my past experience, I'm sure this test would come back with ammonia of 1.0 or higher. From what the Seachem kit says, the API kit is testing "Total ammonia" which isn't toxic to fish, and therefore doesn't require a water change. <<In my opinion, both ways of testing ammonia are acceptable. Testing for Free-Ammonia id just -another- way / method. Personally, i use the API kits and find them acceptable>> Am I doing the right thing by only testing and responding to "Free Ammonia" readings? <<Yes. The only thing i see wrong is the stocking levels of the QT tank, and this does need to be resolved before more untimely deaths occur.>> Thanks for all your help! Wayne <<Thanks for the questions Wayne, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Grounding Probe Info 4/23/08 Dear Crew, I was doing a little research on grounding probes and came across this article written by a Georgia Tech professor, and thought I'd share: http://avdil.gtri.gatech.edu/RCM/RCM/Aquarium/GroundingProbes.html Basically, he educates the reader on the difference between voltage in the tank (not a problem) and current in the tank (a problem) and concludes that the addition of a grounding probe more often than not causes a current problem where none previously existed (the website also contains a good discussion about GFI outlets). Although I don't know the author and can't vouch for his wisdom, it seemed to make sense to me. This article was a real eye opener for me--not because I was moments away from wasting $22 on a grounding probe, but because every single catalog and every single e-tailer I see sells and touts grounding probes. <I do not... and have not... all these decades...> I assume that there are cases in which they have some benefit, but I came away thinking, gee, this is like "reef safe ich killer" and many of the other products I see you guys poo-poo as worthless snake oil--it's amazing to me that people can legally make tons of money off of hobbyist by selling stuff that doesn't actually work or even causes harm. Cheers, Andy <Agreed... and this is indeed a very fine piece... and the link to this gentleman's tank project period: http://avdil.gtri.gatech.edu/RCM/RCM/MICHELSONAquarium.html Thank you for sending this along. Will post/share. Bob Fenner>

Re: Grounding Probe Info... and the meaning/liability for the term/label "reef safe" Bob, <Andy> That guy's site is really interesting/insightful. Because I've never used anything that claims to be "reef safe", I've never had the opportunity to read the label or warranty (if there is one) on "reef safe" medications as to who bears responsibility when a hobbyist uses such a product and his/her reef dies (or maybe nothing dies because it's just colored water?). Something tells the manufacturer disclaims liability. <I have said on occasion that I do wish I had the time and/or money to hire someone in the legal biz to challenge (i.e. sue) the many folks who make such disingenuous products... "If only...". BobF>

Re: Grounding Probe Info Was that a subtle nudge?? ;-) <... always> Ah, we could spend many a keystroke discussing this topic. In some ways I am surprised it has not happened. Lawyers tend to have more money than the average Joe = bigger/more expensive tanks = bigger/more expensive crashes from use of dubious products = higher $ damages. The problem with your dream is that you need one of the following (i) a lawyer who's been personally screwed and is willing to shoulder the legal battle, (ii) a rich hobbyist willing to pay a lawyer by the hour (not likely) or (iii) a pot at the end of the rainbow for a contingency fee lawyer (i.e., a big enough class of plaintiffs who have been harmed that a lawyer's 35-40% fee is big enough to take the case). My guess is that the warning labels on these products make it clear that "we cannot guarantee that nothing will die from this. Of course it is best to treat in a separate hospital tank, and the hobbyist assumes the risk of adverse effects if used in the display." <Well put> Every consumer product comes with a warranty of merchantability (i.e., a warranty that the product does what it says it will do). Generally, a manufacturer cannot disclaim such a warranty in a consumer transaction. To pursue such a claim takes a lot of time and, if you hire a lawyer, money. The court system is so expensive and time consuming these days that it makes pursuing these claims difficult. There is always the state's attorney general/consumer protection division, but my experience is that regulators are loathe to take on such matters unless there has been a significant financial harm. <Mmm, our system of jurisprudence/litigation is the element of being a U.S. citizen that I "like" best/worse about America. Cheers, BobF>

Judgment question on changing pH... Umm, no... more basal questions re human motivation, thinking/learning processes. Mis-stocked system, iatrogenic errors/problems   4/16/08 Hello WWM Crew, <Jason> I have been extensively reading here at WWM and learned a lot, so thanks for all of the great work. I have a 100g marine FOWLR tank with three triggerfish (Undulated, Niger, Pink Tail) and one moray eel (Chain). <... troubles> I realize the conflict issues with having other fish with the Undulated, but I've decided to take the risk. The tank has been up and running for about 6 weeks now with no issues, aside from an arrow crab that ended up breakfast for the triggers (I figured it was worth a try) and a snowflake eel that escaped (the side of the lid with the heater and pump now has a custom cardboard cutout taped down). <... I do hope not to be reincarnated...> After all that reading I've come to the conclusion that sometimes trying to adjust the pH is more trouble than it's worth. <Okay...> My current pH is 7.7 - 7.8 according to the LFS and my API 5 in 1 test strips. <Not accurate> All other numbers are good, KH is just under 300 (I have a piece of coral that seems to keep the Ca levels up). Alk is around 10. From what I can find, the triggers pH range starts at around 8.1 - 8.2. Should I even bother trying to raise the pH? <Mmm, a larger issue than this... Should you attempt to keep them period? Depending on what gear you're employing, there is much more than pH that will need to be addressed in such a small volume... Re the pH by itself, yes to reading, understanding the relationship twixt it as a static reading and alkalinity/alkaline reserve as a driver, sustainer of pH... though it's not really the issue here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marphalk.htm and the linked files above> That leads me to my second (and less important) question. Sometimes the triggers (mostly the Undulated) swim around hitting the live rock. <Very bad behavior> I'm pretty sure it's not a disease as they are showing no symptoms. I think they're just being aggressive and checking which rocks they can move at their current size. I was wondering if it's because of stress or just typical trigger behavior? <Is symptomatic of real trouble here. Behavioral and physiological. You seriously need to examine your own psychological profile as an aquarist, perhaps more here... What is it you intend by jamming all this incompatible life together in such a small, unsuitable volume? Really. Do you understand what I'm stating here? Know yourself, then go out an act in the world... What you currently have is untenable. Won't work... Re-read on WWM re the Systems, Compatibility of what you have crammed together here... Trade, give most of it away. Formulate a work-able stocking plan. Bob Fenner> Thanks for the insight, Jason

Re: Judgment questions on changing pH 4/16/08 Hello WWM Crew, <Hello> First of all, thank you for responding to my e-mail. I'm writing in again because I don't feel like my question was answered. The more info I provided the more the response drifted away from my main question so I'll be direct. My Local Fish Store (not sure how you determined they're wrong) says my pH is consistent at 7.7 - 7.8 and the fish in my take need a minimum pH of 8.1 - 8.2. I understand the relationship between pH and Alk, as I said I've done much research. Question: should I attempt to raise the pH to within the range of the fish? <Yes, these are not freshwater fish which will tolerate a certain amount of variance in pH. Marine fish do not have this ability, they are adapted to live in the stable pH environment of the ocean. This pH change does still need to be done slowly though.> Now that I've directly asked my main question and hopefully receive a direct answer, I'm going to take a second to respond to a few of your points. I have had a successful trigger tank with a Niger, Picasso and one Arrow Crab so I did have reason to believe the crab could work. <Evidence would seem to indicate otherwise.> I knew eels are escape artists so I did put effort into keeping the snowflake in the tank but he was more resourceful than I expected. There was no intent to harm the animals. I'm not sure why my 'psychological profile' was brought up but I believe the WWM staff are professionals so I'm not going to take that digression personally. <Well, you are asking these creatures to go against their nature. Its thousands of years of stimulus/response here, and not likely to change.> I put the Pink Tail in the tank first, than the Niger, followed by the Undulated so by order of aggressiveness and size and the time they've had to settle in it should minimize the conflict as much as possible. If any of the triggers start to get beat up I will definitely be trading them in to ease the stress in the tank, but that isn't happening now. <Will happen, I am guessing the nigger first, the pink tail, the Undulated should be the last.> I am anticipating eventually having to give up either the Niger or Pink Tail as they grow. <Both, but by the time you realize it is time to get rid of them the damage will be done, behavioral and physical damage will already have occurred.> The Pink Tail and the Niger get along fine. <Not really, just their fear of the Undulated is probably distracting them.> All of the Triggers get along with the Eel. The Undulated stays by himself most of the time. <Big dog doesn't hide behind other fish.> I also have much live rock with many caves and hiding spaces for them and I keep them well fed. <At some point the weakest of the triggers will no longer be allowed to feed, then the next weakest, then perhaps the eel assuming the Undulated is the last one left.> I understand what you are saying but I also understand every situation is different. If the consensus is this setup is impossible, please advise on what could work. In order of what I want to keep it goes: 1) Undulated, 2) Moray Eel, 3) Niger, 4) Pink Tail. <One trigger and the Eel, although an Undulated Trigger may still decide to sample an eel. Basically your tank is not sustainable as currently stocked.> <Chris><< and thank you Chris... for this further resp. My BP can't handle much more. RMF>>

Fish health.... What? Env. dis, SW...?  -02/27/08 Hi again, it's me. I know getting a bit annoying. Anyway, can high ammonia and nitrite cause fin and tail rot or is it just from aggression and unsuitable water parameters? Thanks again for your wise words. <Well, nigh ammonia (and nitrite) can cause these illnesses BECAUSE they cause stress, reduced immunity to the infectious agents that do cause the fin and tail rot (same goes for aggression/over or improper stocking). Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/infectio.htm Best, Sara M.>

Has my leaf fish poisoned my tank?    2/16/08 Hi, <Hello Francesca> I had until today a pink leaf fish (Taenionotus triacanthus). Last night our skimmer went absolutely crazy for no apparent reason. <? something...> On inspection today the skimmer had calmed down but I noticed my Scribbled angel had dark patches surrounding his gills where the usual bright yellow stripe is usually found and was struggling to swim and the other fish were starting to nip at him. When checking the other tank mates, we discovered the leaf fish had died. It was hard to tell as it sat still for long periods of time anyway. I am now concerned that it may have released toxins upon its death. Are they known to do this? <Yes> So far only the Scribbled Angel appears to be affected and I have added some activated carbon to be on the safe side. Should I be looking at removing the livestock from the tank? <Perhaps... I would at least execute a large water change, increase aeration... But if you have other stable system/s...> I have removed the angelfish who is now swimming in a bucket full of tank water from my other marine tank and appears to be breathing easier. Thanks Francesca <Mmm, all Scorpaeniform fishes are toxic to some degree... Think how slow this species moves... makes sense that it would have such defense. Bob Fenner>

Caulerpa prolifera, bad exp. related     2/16/08 Hello Crew, After reading many of the WWM Caulerpa prolifera links and FAQ's I would like to share my experience with this macroalgae. Tank: 29 gallon - BioWheel filter, 3 powerheads bounced off walls and moved 1-2 times/week, Fluval canister - carbon and sponge media rotated weekly. Water parameters test normal - Ammonia 0, Nitrates always under 10, Salinity 1.023-.025, Temp - 79-80 F. Do not dose - weekly 4-5 gallon water changes with Instant Ocean salt. Excellent LFS test my water for other parameters that I do not test for and all are within normal range. (Because I don't dose, I don't regularly test for Calcium, phosphates, other trace elements - rely on the water changes and the LFS for tests every 1-2 months). The inhabitants are 2 false Percs., a mating pair (4 clutches of eggs since Dec. '07) and they have been the only 'fish' inhabitants for 2+ years. Until recently, I had 4 hermit crabs (some 2 years old as well) and an emerald crab, happily there for almost a year. Tons of purple coralline everywhere, about 25 lbs live rock, several forms of red macroalgae, 3 thriving colonies of brown polyps and one lone mushroom (Ricordea) - polyps and mushroom also 2+ years in this tank. Several other types of macros - mostly red and not nuisance (Identified on your site - thanks!) Now to the Caulerpa prolifera - On January 2, 2008, I added a handful of the weed into my tank, along with a properly acclimated cleaner shrimp from my trusty LFS. The shrimp very sadly died within 48 hours - like it was being poisoned. I did water changes immediately and did not want to introduce another shrimp or any other creature. Within 10 days, my emerald crab was MIA and now presumed deceased. I am down to 2 hermit crabs. Polyps and mushroom are shriveled up and only partially extend after the water changes. Thankfully, the clownfish seem fine - still producing a clutch - but not like they were prior to the introduction of the Caulerpa prolifera. After reading everything I can find on your site and from the countless hours monitoring the health of my little tank, I think the Caulerpa is killing my inverts. Plan to carefully remove all of it today, followed up with even more rigorous water changes and increased carbon. I'll keep you posted on the progress. With a 29 gallon tank, the Caulerpa may be too great a risk - simply not enough water volume to handle any toxins released - even with water changes. Any thoughts on this matter? <Is a possibility here for sure> The recent problems in my tank brings me to another question. I do not have a protein skimmer because of the low bioload and frequent water changes and because the original inhabitants have been thriving for so long. <Mmm, would help> However, recent events have changed my mind - scared me, really and I'm going to purchase an HOB/HOT skimmer. Choices are the Tunze Nano or Aqua C Remora Nano (rated for 25 gallons). There are many reviews on your site - any personal preferences? <Both are excellent here> Do you think the Aqua C Nano is sufficient? <Yes, likely so> Is the Aqua C Pre-bubble box required? <Might be... try it w/o and see> (I don't plan to add anything else except 2-3 hermits and a cleaner shrimp if and when the polyps unfurl/things get healthy again) Thanks for this site and all your work. Cheers, Kellie McIvor <It will likely take a few careful vacuuming/water change procedures to rid yourself of the Caulerpa... but I'd proceed. I do encourage you to skim out the weedy bits, turf them into your garden and not down the sanitary sewer... if yours discharges more/less directly to the sea... as this noxious weed can be too-easily transplanted in this fashion. Bob Fenner>

Linckia Starfish And Possible System Poisoning -- 02/15/08 Dear WetWebMedia crew (what should we do without you?), <<Hello Michael>> I have a question concerning my Blue Linckia starfish. <<Mmm, okay'¦but be advised, this is a species better left in the ocean>> I have been reading a lot of FAQs concerning starfish, and I must say that I am a little worried. <<Indeed'¦these starfish have a dismal survival rate>> I have an 80 G reef tank, with various fish and corals. I also have 2 Seastars, a Blue Linckia and a Fromia. <<The latter is a much more aquarium hardy species>> But for what I have been reading my tank is too small for a Linckia, <<Yes'¦but only one of many issues re the survivability of this starfish species>> and that if it dies it can wipe out my entire system? <<Can decompose and pollute a smallish system very quickly'¦and not likely to be quickly consumed/appreciated by the scavengers available in your system. But I'm doubtful of an entire tank wipeout here'¦though this is much dependent on existing filtration>> Should I remove it? <<Is up to you'¦maybe you can return it for store credit>> I have had it for 10 months. <<Well, I must admit this is surprisingly long'¦especially considering the size of your system>> Thank You, Michael Fick Denmark <<Happy to share. Eric Russell'¦South Carolina>>

Re: Linckia Starfish And Possible System Poisoning -- 02/16/08 Hello Eric, <<Good morning, Michael>> Thank you for your reply. <<Quite welcome>> Eric, let me ask you more directly. Would you remove the Linckia, if it was your system? <<Hmm'¦ Well Michael, considering this animal has been in the system for ten months now'¦with a good protein skimmer installed, I would leave it be unless it is showing or begins to show signs of decline (degeneration/loss of limbs)>> My system (my first) is a year old. <<I see'¦and was (still is) much too new when you introduced 'this' starfish. Yet, it is still alive after ten months in your system so I'm guessing you got one of those 'very rare' individuals that make the adaptation to captive life'¦and'¦you are doing something/there is something about your system that is keeping this animal healthy>> The plan is to upgrade the system to 140-150 G. <<Sounds great... Am sure you are aware but, do be cautious during the move and reacclimation to prevent exposure of the starfish to the atmosphere>> But that is not before in a year's time. <<Ahh, the anticipation'¦and good time for researching the livestock you think you might want'¦before you buy [grin]>> Thanks, Michael Fick Denmark <<Happy to help. EricR>>

R2: Linckia Starfish And Possible System Poisoning -- 02/16/08> Hi Eric, <<Hello Michael>> Thanks again for your (quick) reply. <<Always welcome>> Yes, you're absolutely (unfortunately) right, I knew very little about this starfish when I bought it, which is why I was a little reluctant to write, because I knew that I could come in "trouble" for that. <<Ah, yes'¦but only a minor scolding this time'¦just make sure you learn from the incident and don't become a 'repeat offender' [grin]>> But you are absolutely right, I should never have bought it without doing research first, and then I should still not have bought it. <<Untold animal lives and hobbyist anguish could be spared with but this one simple rule'¦and oh yeah, a comprehensive application of prophylactic freshwater dips for our piscine friends'¦>> And that is one of the reasons I really like you guys, I can trust you, you are not trying to make a buck off me. <<Indeed'¦and 'thank you' for the vote of confidence>> I am very happy that I stumbled upon this site four months ago, purely by accident; you have saved me a lot of grief, a thousand thanks. I am very grateful. <<We too are pleased you have found us and to be of service>> Michael Fick Denmark <<Be chatting, my friend. Eric Russell>> P.S Do you know when the new edition of Bob's book is out? <<Hmm, I believe I saw where he stated it had gone to the publisher some weeks ago'¦so maybe soon. Perhaps Bob will see this and elaborate. EricR>> <I know naught... should be any time now... RMF>

Micro-bubbles/gas-bubble disease  2/15/08 Hi, <Hello Ryan> I've been breeding marines for a while and I recently set-up a 10 x 55g system to house the majority of my common broodstock (clowns, Dottybacks etc.) and I have been having a bit of a problem with micro-bubbles. I have tried many things to try and rectify this problem and am starting to suspect that I purely have too much flow going through the system. I have 30,000 LPH at 2m head height, coming from a large Onga (aussie brand pool pump) magnetic drive pump. <Mmm... I would use something else... you don't need the pressure this device produces, nor to pay for it> I am going to order another smaller (23,000 LPH) <Again, I'd look into something with a different flow/pressure profile... see an outfit that sells pumps for other purposes than pools> to see if this fixes the problem but in the meantime I am concerned about the broodstock I have already added to this system. How serious is gas-bubble disease for marine fish <Very> and what kind of exposure to micro-bubbles over what kind of period of time causes this? <Just a small exposure in a period of minutes can be deadly> Are can't seem to find a definitive answer. Even on your 'bubble trouble' FAQ's one person is told that micro-bubbles really are anything to be concerned about where another is told that they could kill your fish. <Have seen the latter on a few occasions... There are papers written on the topic, gear devised to out-gas water...> I can't see any obvious physical problems with my fish. The micro-bubbles seem to come out different returns depending on what I fiddle with and while it doesn't seem to bother some fish in others it seems to really disturb the fish, decreasing their appetite and causing them to withdraw into their tanks/decor. Thanks in advance, Ryan. <Do look for "college level" general texts on aquaculture... both the issues of gas embolism/disease and aeration/gas saturation. Bob Fenner>

Saltwater Aquarium Water Quality Issues 01/23/2008 <<Andrew here>> I have a 65 gallon salt tank with overflow sump, Lighting system is a halide with 4x48 watt actinic. I have one damsel (large blue devil), 60 pound of live rock actually going purple, 40 pounds of live sand. I have two powerheads in the tank moving water, 2-blue legged hermit crabs(1/2"). <<ok>> Filtration consisting of sump with filter sock, protein skimmer and return in sump pump (moving 600gph) the connection between my sump pump and return hose is brass. <<Consider swapping the brass fitting for a PVC fitting>> Water and tank have been set up for four weeks, my LFS and my test kits are reading all 0s for nitrite and ammonia, pH at 8.4, temp at 78, SG at 1.0235, so we think we cycled. <<What about nitrATES?? >> Freshwater supply was City of Chicago tapwater treated with API dechlorinator. <<Consider changing to Ro or RO/DI water for better quality in the tank>> The damsel is doing fine, the hermit crabs are alive, and algae is growing albeit not at a fast rate. But I introduced turbo snails and a camel back shrimp yesterday and they (6 of them) appear not to have survived the night. Any ideas about what could be wrong? <<Osmotic shock sounds like the best candidate here. Did you acclimatize them?>> <<Thanks for the questions. A Nixon>>

Re: More ideas on tank devastation   12/31/07 You had mentioned the idea of a possible toxin in my tank being a type of metal poisoning. Would adding make up water via aluminum mixing bowl be a bad idea? <Possibly... more for the soap/cleaner possible contamination than the small short-term metal addition> This never occurred to me because it is new and clean but maybe I should switch to a plastic type? thanks~ Alan <I would... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/index.htm the sixth tray down on water... Bob Fenner>

SW fish eye Cond.s -12/22/2007 Hey There, <Rob> Need some help, please. My fish only saltwater tank had a drop in temp over the weekend and I noticed my Niger Trigger and Blue Face Angel had one cloudy eye. My local fish store gave me some Melafix to use <... do NOT pour this in... Almost no upside, and quite a bit down.> and I did per the directions. These two are the only ones with the problem, and everyone in the tank including these two are still eating great. Now it is time for my water change and the cloudy eye's have become better but definitely not a 100%. What is this and what should I do? Thanks. <Possibly simply env. stress... Is my guess as most likely> Rob Styron <Please read here re general marine fish eye complaints: http://wetwebmedia.com/pop-eye.htm for the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Recovering from catastrophic power loss-12/22/2007 Hello, <Deb> Up until a few days ago, I had a 9 year old 55 gallon indo-pacific soft coral reef tank with a coral beauty, a yellow-tailed blue damsel, and many small hermit crabs and various snails as a cleanup crew. My softies consisted of yellow polyps, green star polyps, orange Ricordea, orange Zoanthids, clove polyps, a mushroom leather and various other little critters that popped up out of my live rock. On Sunday morning, we lost power and didn't get it restored until Thursday. Disaster should've been averted, as I have a 20,000 Watt generator at my house, but it was never installed correctly and never came on. The house got down to 40 degrees for about 4 days, with nothing in the tank running. So, long story short, I came back to a dead tank. I started breaking it down yesterday and found that, in fact, some of the hermit crabs were actually alive! In addition, my yellow polyps are not extended, but aren't melting down either. They're staying "upright" as it were, so I think that they may be alive as well. So -- I disconnected my canister filter, completely cleaned it out, packed it with new media, including activated carbon, and hooked it back up. <Good> I have a SCWD system running in there for water movement, and I'm skimming the HECK out of it with a CPR BakPak. I've found and removed the only two fish in the tank, as well as all of the dead snails/crabs that I've found. I also did a 60% water change. My question to you is -- now what??? <Time going by> Is it even reasonable to think that I can rescue this tank? <Some of it, yes> If so, what steps do you recommend? <Observation, testing... possible water change-outs...> I'm making more RO/DI water as we speak and intend on doing a series of 50% water changes until it DOESN'T smell like the bay at low tide. I'm also going to continue removing any dead occupants as I find them and skimming the heck out if this tank. <Sounds good> Should I just return what's alive to a fish store and give up on this, or is there hope? <There is always... or should I state, there could always be hope> Should I try to remove any dead corals or let them disintegrate into the system. Will the cycling that's bound to take place destroy the other corals? <Mmm... I would hold out hope that some/all of the "corals" might have some living tissue that might rally...> Thanks for any advice you can give. Deb <Hang in there. Bob Fenner>

Sad Sad Day, Tank Restocking... env. dis f'  11/14/07 Hey guys, <Hello> I hope this email finds everyone well. <Yes, thanks.> I just had a terrible day, first we noticed a crack in the base of my tank. We did what we had too, got a new tank and began the switch to the fishes new home. <Not fun> Problem being the Tupperware container that the fish were housed in while we were setting up the new tank over heated (for some reason the heater did not turn off, water was about 90 degrees if not more). Unfortunately we didn't notice and a couple hours later all my fish are dead (3 Chromis, neon goby, tang, and 2 clowns I've had for 6 years) so sad. <Very> So here goes my question. The new tank is set up with our old water, I am just curious if there is any reason to wait to restock the aquarium. <I would, give it some time to settle in, moves like this can be more taxing than you think.> If so, how long should we wait. <I would give it a couple weeks, make sure it does not recycle and let things settle a bit.> To be quite honest I do not want to look at an empty tank for too long, to sad. Thanks for all your time and look forward to your reply. Thanks, Steve <Like most things in the hobby, a little patience here will go a long way. Sorry to hear of all your troubles.> <Chris>

Naso and Angel with cloudy eye's in a tanks with Yellow head Moray... Killing fishes with ignorance... hopefully w/o avarice Hello, my name is Matthew and I'm having a huge issue. I have had a 120gl for about Four month that I had transported form a pervious owner. I moved the water, sand, yellow head Moray, etc. <Whoa! Is this a Gymnothorax rueppelliae... of what size? Gets a meter long... a piscivore> For the first month there was just the Eel, then we added a Lion, Angel, Trigger, and Naso. <Uhh... this is a lot of life... and too much to add in a short while> We had the Naso, Lion, and Eel for about a month and then added the Trigger and Angel from a friend that's tank had broke. Everything was fine until these two showed up and sense then everything has been a issue. <Won't be fine...> Something happened two days after the trigger and angel were put in, the Lion loss color and got a slimy coat on him, the angel died, the Naso got the worst case of foggy eyes I have ever seen and I had a Harlequin Tusk lost his slime coat and almost died as well. <... too much, too soon... Too much wealth and not enough education> I had taken the Tusk and Tang to my Local fish store were there the had brought them back to life. <Env.> surprisingly through this hole ordeal the Eel never had a problem. We thought is was the filter <...> so I replaced the Bio wheel and Canister with a 120 sump with built in refugium, put a SuperSkimmer Protein Skimmer. I had let the tank be for a month with just the eel, and just this weekend brought the Tusk and Naso home. <Return them> Well the Tusk has been eaten by the eel, <...> the Naso has cloudy eyes and the angel gets white raised spot during the night and leave by day. I have changed everything on the tank what can be causing this to keep happening? Please any Help would be great. <... Please... read on WWM re each of the species you list... their Systems needs, Compatibility... You have too much of an untenable mix here... Won't work... You killed the lost animals by crowding them together... Bob Fenner>

Re: Naso and Angel with cloudy eye's in a tanks with Yellow head Moray... still not reading   11/13/07 Thanks for the fast reply, Yes I will admit I did do a little to much to <too> fast. The Naso eyes are getting worse again as we speak. The Passer Angel, Moray, and Naso are the only ones in there now and all seem to be getting along fine. <Matt... you're not understanding... there is too much incompatible life for the volume you have here> The eel and Naso even share the same cave. Should I take everybody out and leave it sit for 6 weeks or can I leave the eel and if so will this happen again. <...> After reading the Bio on these fish, the angel is 6in, the Naso 7inch and Eel 3ft witch <which>  if I'm reading write <right> there shouldn't be a big issue. Let me know what you think. Matthew <I think you should read as directed in your first missal, my response. BobF>

Re: Naso and Angel with cloudy eye's in a tanks with Yellow head Moray   11/14/07 WOW, you even spell check for me as well. I know you quite respected in your field and for that reason I reached out to you for help. Just for FYI I am not made of money and like most people in this hobby learn by trail <Yippee aye yo ki yay!> and error. <Mmm, just trying to wake you up, help you skip a bunch of the latter... Do you understand this?> Just a little nicer on the replies, I might help others not a knowledgeable as yourself not feel like idiots. Thanks for your time Matthew. <IF you had read you'd know that the 120 is barely adequate for the Muraenid... Please... study, THEN choose knowledgably what you think you can keep. RMF>

Re: Naso and Angel with cloudy eye's in a tanks with Yellow head Moray   11/14/07 Yes I understand, Just the same I have made a choice to give the Eel to a person that does tanks for a company called Color Wheel. He will have a huge tank with those of his kind. I have done some reading and this animal belongs either in a huge tank, by his self, or most of all in the ocean. And being that he can never go back to the ocean, I will give him away to someone that will give him the room he needs. <Ahh, very good> I'm sticking to clown and Tangs. If I came across harsh I apologize, I'm just frustrated. Thanks Matthew <Welcome. BobF>

Toxics Water?...More Likely Overcrowding, Lack Of Knowledge 10/15/07 I have a 40 gal tank that has been running for 3 months with a Three Striped Damsel, False Clownfish, Yellow Tang, Scopas Tang, Mandarin Goby, 2 Diamond Gobies, 2 Cleaner Shrimp, 2 Crocea Clams, Sun Coral, Frogspawn Coral, two Bubble Tip Anemones. One assumption <Assumption of what?> was the Mandarin Goby, after buying and doing my reading. I realize I shouldn't have it due to the lack of live rock (100lbs or more). <And the fact that your tank is overstocked by a good margin.> I have had her for about a week and she is doing fine, last night when the water was cloudy she turned very white in color and would swim near the surface on the water which I found to be very unusual for a Mandarin Goby. This morning I checked the mandarin and she is fine, good color and size. <and size??> Just to sum up a few things here it is. Recently I noticed that my cleaner shrimp was indeed pregnant, ok cool midnight snack. Second was the red slime algae, I treated that with the proper dose of Blue Life Red Slime Remover. It worked great. that treatment was 3 days ago, no more red slime after one treatment. <Not a cure, just a temporary band-aid. It will be back. Better to control the source of the problem. Read here and linked files above. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm> For the past few weeks the water quality has been good all except for nitrates. <Not surprising with the load you have in that 40.> It have been around 10-15 ppm. I added Algone <Another band-aid and not a fix. Go here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm> and have been doing 10% water changes every couple days to gradually bring them down. Last night I came home to my tank being completely cloudy and I had assumed it was maybe my cleaner shrimp giving birth so I left it as is. This morning the tank was clear but my Xenia was dead, so I did a water test. The first thing I checked was ammonia, it was way to high like 6 ppm. The Xenia is the only thing that died. This morning I did a 25% water change and the ammonia did not change. Any Suggestions? <You definitely need to reduce your fish load. I'd would find homes for the tangs, as your tank is much too small for them to begin with. Next would be the Diamond Gobies, they are not going to survive for long in that environment, and not a real easy goby to acclimate to begin with. And, the Bubble Tip Anemones, not good mixing these with corals. BTA's will move from time to time, and in the process, sting other animals along the way. Without a source of copepods for the Mandarin's diet, it too will more than likely perish. Never mentioned lighting, do not know what your lighting consists of, but the Crocea clams do require high intensity lighting to survive. It sure sounds like you have had very little direction or knowledge before setting up this tank. You mention nothing about using a filter and/or protein skimmer. This info does help us give a better answer to your query. In your case though, it is quite obvious that overstocking is the major problem here. Reading here and related linked files above, will give you a much better understanding of what is required to establish and maintain a healthy marine system. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marineSetUp.htm> Thank you for your time. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog(> Riley, Christian E.

Questions... SW env. dis.  10/3/07 Hi Mr Fenner, I have read your book and i must say it ¡s brilliant i have recommended it to all my aquarist buddies, and thank you for providing us aquarists with such a great web site. <Welcome> I have a couple of questions i hope you could answer for me. I have a 110 Gallon fish only set-up, with two canister filters, and an AquaC Protein skimmer. I currently have two Peculiar clowns, <Heeee!> a Long nose butterfly, Raccoon butterfly, Blue cheek Goby, Cleaner wrasse, Flame angel, Juvenile emperor (3¡¨) and a sub-adult Emperor in adult coloration (6¡¨). <Uhh...> And yes before you have a go at me.... i am going to upgrade soon to a 250 gallon tank. The two Emperors get on fine (for the time being ?º). I perform a 10% water change every week and also i never over feed, this has worked wonders for me in maintaining water quality. Now for the questions: My Raccoon has been scratching itself against the rocks and sand in my aquarium, and recently i have noticed its colour get very dark, also he is breathing intensely. Could this be a parasite problem? <Possibly> If so what action shall i take? Is Parazorine adequate? <I would isolate the Chaetodon... and observe for now> Also my flame angel has been suffering from a clouded eye. My local fish store told me it ¡s a fluke and they told me to give it a fresh water dip. <Mmmm...> I did and it eventually went away, i have noticed this morning that his eye is clouded again. What shall i do to eradicate this problem? <Improve water quality, nutrition. Get the bigger tank ASAP> I have also noticed the Juvenile emperor with the same issue. <Environmental issues...> I have recently set-up my AquaC protein skimmer and i have noticed that it hasn¡¦t been producing any froth, how long does it take for the skimmer to get through the break in period? <Weeks at times> Thank you for taking time out to answer my questions. Kind Regards, Kamal <The bigger tank Kamal... and not filtered with canisters... Read on WWM re my friend. Bob Fenner>

Strange fish deaths... nope, just env.  9/26/07 Hello and howdy, <Hi and howzit?> I have a question and I'll try and get straight to the point. I have a 170 gallon FOWLR aggressive predator set up. I have not added anything to this tank in about 6 months. Nothing has died and every fish ate a lot and frequently. About 3 weeks ago there was a ridiculous heat wave and of course my air conditioner broke. I blew fans across the water added bags of ice etc. Well sadly I lost a couple fish presumably to the heat. 1st was my XL fox face rabbit. <Do need high DO...> He/she turned pale and sat in the corner breathing heavy, and i woke up in the morning to find my rather large hermit crabs eating his eyes out. Shortly after it's passing my Porcupine puffer started acting strange and not eating just resting and breathing. Occasionally "freaking" out and swimming erratic. About the same time the heat wave subsided and my air was fixed and I brought the tank back to acceptable temp of 76. Well the puffer started turning "splotchy" and went the same route as the Fox face. At the same time i noticed my lion fish looking lethargic and refusing to eat ( offered krill, squid, silversides) I came home yesterday to find my lion fish floating sideways and gasping for air. Needless to say it died. Is it possible there is some parasite jumping from fish to fish? <Mmm, more likely cascade events from the ill-effects of the temperature swings, micro-biota here> My two reaming Triggers, Wrasse, grouper, and eel all appear to be fine and are extremely active. I removed the lion fish to a smaller tank and let it die there as a precaution. Could it just have been the stress from the tank temp that was just to much? <Yep, this and crowding> Thanks in advance for your help and advice Brian Atkinson <Bob Fenner>

Re: Strange fish deaths Thanks for your quick response. One question though, you mentioned the over crowding? It's a 170 gallon tank and only had 7 fish. I thought 170 was enough room for all them to grow. <Mmm, not the species listed, no> I have seen all to <too> frequently twice that many fish in smaller tanks. What size tank should I have to accommodate the below mentioned fish? <Overcrowding, mis-stocking is more the rule than exception. Read... fishbase.org, WWM re the likely maximum sizes, compatibility... RMF> Brian Atkinson Re: Strange fish deaths 9/26/07 That website is great thanks for the info. Guess I am gonna have to upsize my tank <Ahhh, very good. BobF> Brian Atkinson

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