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Page 35
Comments & Replies
  If you enjoy reading the Comments and Replies on this page, you may also enjoy listening to The Bailey Brothers, DrTom and Nevin, discuss similar questions on Pet Fish Talk.

Click here to see the list of all the Pet Fish Talk Shows.


Customer Comments

I need help!  I have been following your advice on using the 6 steps for my stressed black mollies.  They are continuously sick or stressed and I loose one every so often.  After changing 20% of the water and using quick cure and raising the temp, they were looking better and eating better, but now I have one that is getting very thin and crashes to the bottom each evening.
Another has the white cotton spots which I usually treat with Myacin-II, but am not this time to see your 6-step method works better.  This same one also is starting to get an "S" type posture when viewed from above.  I read that this could be an internal parisite problem.  I seem to be doing everything you say, after reading your entire web-site, but never seem to get ahead of the game.
I am getting very discouraged!!  Is there anything you can recommend, or any other things that you can think of that would help?  If I loose these fish, I would like to just start over, but how will I know that what ever is contaminating this tank, wont just move into a "new" tank?  Someone suggested to me that Mollies have some problems that I might not have with other fish.
How long is it safe to continue water changes on a daily basis?  The fish seem to not like the quick cure after I put it in, is this unusual?  Can you suggest a good book about fish keeping?  HELP!!!!
Thanks so much!
Reply. Hello. I wonder if you have a layer of aquarium gravel that is more than 1/4" thick?

If so, clean your gravel and remove all of it, or at least get it down to where it's less than 1/4" deep.

Click here to read more about gravel.

I wonder if you have an undergravel filter (UGF)? They usually cause problems with fish's health.

If your aquarium has an UGF, I recommend you get the proper size Penguin Filter with a BIO-Wheel, run the Penguin for three weeks, then clean your gavel until it's spotless and remove your UGF.

Click here for more about Aquarium Filters, and click here for more about BIO-Wheels.

Test your water each day with you eyes, fingers, and nose. If your water quality is not excellent, work to improve it.

Click here for more about testing your water, and here for more about how to improve the quality of the water in your aquarium.

When your fish are in excellent quality water and get lots of good food but no leftovers in the the aquarium, then they should be healthy.

Maybe once in a while one or two of your fish will show a Sign of Stress and Disease, and then you can give your aquarium the Recommended Treatment. Don't get discouraged.


Customer Comments

Hi I really love your site. It's got great information and easy to move around.  I'm living in a small central city in China. I'm a complete beginner and was given some goldfish in a bowl, a month or so ago. I have since bought them a tank which has gravel (ooops - now only 1/4-inch like you recommend), a live plant and a free snail which came with the plant but ignores it in favour of the sides.  The tank is 65cm long x 30cm wide x 50cm deep. I calculate it takes about 40 L . So it is basically a ten gallon tank.  I have two goldfish in it they are still small, about 11/2 and 2 inches.  They are common goldfish  (actually I think one's a red carp (koi-like?).
I bought the only filter available in this small town.  It is, I believe from descriptions read, an old-style corner box filter with a sponge inside.  (If I was staying on I'd mail-order something else but, alas, I'm leaving China in a few weeks and must find a home for my beautiful fish.) The filter blows out a vigorous stream of bubbles into the tank and debris is sucked into the cylinder below and from there into a the box on top and through the sponge.  It creates a constant current through the tank.  I am concerned as I think goldfish like still water, even though my fish are good swimmers.
BUT if I don't run the filter constantly I run the risk of creating anaerobic conditions in the filter? I have been running it intermittently and possibly now have this problem as I am finding foam on the top of the water even though the water is clear.  So I'm following your instructions and changing a little water each day while this problem continues.  BUT what should I do? Will my fish get tired with a constant stream in their tank?  Can I create some stagnant water by buying a screen-like ornament they can hide behind?  Will I cause problems if I don't run the filter constantly.  And what about at night when they need to rest?
Medications and other treatments are minimal here.  So far I've been unable to buy non-iodized and un-treated salt.  It's illegal to sell it here for human consumption. I'll have another look in the fish shops for aquarium salt.  One fish may have ich - although she's had a tiny whitish blemish in the veil of her tail for weeks with no change - so maybe not.  I'm adding some local brand of water treatment that claims to be anti-bacterial/fungal and reduce fish stress.  It does not mention ich but then its translated from Chinese into Chinglish (so anything could be going on - it usually is in our China).  
Thank you for your wonderful pages.  I've come to love fish and I think I'll keep them again, so in future. I hope to buy something from you as you are doing a wonderful job giving people information. I'll also recommend you to others.
Thank you
Reply. Hello again Lyned, I appreciate your complimentary comment. Thank you.

I've kept various types of fish in aquariums with box filters since the 1960s.

It takes more skill because a modern Penguin Filter with a BIO-Wheel is a much better filter.

But you should be able to succeed with a box filter. Don't turn the air to the box filter off, or as you surmised the bacteria will suffocate and the filter will be a detriment and not an asset.

You need to develop your judgment on when to clean the sponge in the filter. The sponge needs to grow a colony of beneficial bacteria that will digest the fish waste.

To do this the sponge absorbs waste from the water and the beneficial bacteria grow on the sponge.

But eventually the sponge collects too much waste and will clog up, then you need to gently rinse the sponge.

When you rinse the sponge, it's best to use a little bit of aquarium water in a clean pan and then pour the dirty water on a plant, and put the sponge immediately back in the box filter.

It's fun and interesting to learn how to do this. But most people don't have the time to get this involved in aquarium filters.

So I recommend that they get a Penguin Filter with a BIO-Wheel.

When I use box filters, I send the air from the air pump to a two-way valve which sends some air to the box filter and some air just goes out the extra hole into the air.

In this way I can adjust the two-way valve to control the amount of air going to the box filter.

I have tested it many times in many ways, and I have determined that the bubbling is ideal, when I can just see the space between the bubble.

If the bubbles just all come gushing out, and I can't tell one bubble from the another, then I adjust the two-way valve so less air goes to the box filter down.

On the other hand if the air bubbles are far apart, as they exit the box filter, then I adjust the two-way valve to send more air through the box filter, until I can just barely see the space between the bubbles.

This adjustment provides good filtration with a moderate current that will not bother your Goldfish.

I realize you may have trouble finding a two-way valve in China to make this work. But then again anything might happen in China, right?


Customer Comments

My name is Sylvia. I have collected cichlid and other type of fishes wild and not. But everytime I try to find out something I like, I cannot find. I have a 55 gallon I'm working on and I saw in my book that there are a few fishes I would like to get that I don't have and mated for those I do have.
I would like information on a cichlid before I go and order anymore fishes. The one I like to know about is the Managua Cichlid (Jaguar Cichlid) I hope you can help me out with this.

Thank You

Customer Comments

Hi, my name is Sylvia and I wrote asking about  a managua/jaguar cichlid. If you have them and about them and haven't heard from you yet.
I have 2-55-gallons of cichlids, 1 with cichlid frys plus the baby tank too. This is cichlids only. I've ordered from you in another e-mail name. I like your site. Now I got another tank (100-gallons) that I want only cichlids. I need to pair the ones I do have too. Which the order will be thru your company. Happy with your delivery and prices plus information I could get from your site.
In my Tropical Fish I also see cichlids I do want and hope you can supply them. Right now I'm interesting on this one and know if you carry them, so when I get my order together I know what to order.

Thank You,
Reply. Hello Sylvia. I apologize for not answering your first email sooner. I have gotten behind on answering emails and I'm trying to catch up.

I know the Managuensis Cichlid, which is also called the Jaguar Cichlid, as you mentioned in your email.

The current scientific name of this fish is Parachromis managuensis.

Click here to go to another website with more information about this species and a picture of an adult specimen.

I have seen this fish grow to be over 15" long, which is much too big for most hobbyist's aquariums.

So we do not stock this fish, but we could probably special order it for you from one of the fish farmers that ships other species of fish to us.

I'll forward your email to another member of our crew here at, and you'll get another email with information about the possibility of special ordering this fish for you.


Customer Comments

Hello there. First and foremost, I would like to thank you for providing a wealth of information! Unfortunately, I discovered the site AFTER I had purchased my aquarium and fishes. Hopefully, you will be able to help me correct my mistakes.
I currently own a 12 gallon Eclipse tank with 9 Neon Tetras, 2 Black Mollies and 1 Swordtail. I didn't do any calculations prior to acquiring my fishes, I just bought what I thought were nice looking fishes and asked the pet stores whether or not they were compatible.
Luckily, according to your website, the Mollies & Swordtails were listed together, but am I okay with the smaller Neons? I knew that my fishes were tropical, but no one informed me that I needed an aquarium heater nor thermometer. My tank has already been established and I want to add a heater without causing too much stress to the fishes. What should I do in this situation?
Additionally, I am not sure if my Molly is pregnant. Your site said that female Mollies typically are pregnant and are a bit plumper than males. I can't tell whether or not mine are male or female. One is larger than the other (male?) and the smaller is kind of a little bit puffier. (female?) Can you give me some additional clues since I can't seem to make a 100% distinction on the (gender) and pregnant concern? I definitely want to prep if I will have babies soon.
I am also interested in live aquatic plants. I currently have the typical plastic kinds, but I want ones that will actually add "value" to my tank. Since I wanted to avoid algae growth, I do not keep my tank in direct sunlight. The only direct light source is the one coming from the Eclipse light hood. What plants do you recommend that consume lots of nitrate and can survive in low lighting? Thanks in advance for you guidance!
Christina R. (novice aquarium keeper)
Reply. Hello Christina, I appreciate your complimentary comment. Thank you.

I don't recommend keeping Neon Tetras with the Swordtails and Mollies.

Click here to read about compatible tank mates for Neon Tetra, which are small delicate fish that must be kept with other small mild tempered fish.

As you mentioned, all of your fish are warm water fish and need an aquarium heater in your aquarium to keep the water at about 78 degrees F.

Click here for more about aquarium heaters and thermometers.

If you want to save some of the baby Mollies, you will need to get a baby saver net.

Click here for more about that.

You asked for a hint to help you determine the gender of your Mollies. Male Mollies have a modified fin called a gonopodium.

Click here to see a pictures of a male Swordtail and a female Swordtail, that illustrate their different fins.

Mollies are related to Swordtails, and each male Molly also has a gonopodium, which makes them easy to distinguish from the female Mollies.

I recommend the Java Fern and the Aponogetons. Both of these plants are very hardy, very beautiful, and do well in low light.

Click here to see both of these Aquatic Plants on our Plant List.


Customer Comments

Hi! Great site guys! I have been a cichlid keeper for 7 years and have been breeding various fish for about 5 years. It started by accident (convicts) and I ended up loving to breed these fish. I have now successfully bred Green Severums, Green Terror, Jaguar cichlids, Texas cichlids, Yellow Labs, Brichardi, Frontosa, and Discus.
I am attempting to start Breeding some more interesting Tanganyikan Species (A Calvis "white" and J. Marlieri). Before I order numerous fry to create pairs ... I have an interesting question. I have found that with most of the fish I've bred, the LFS do not want any of the fry! It seems that I've raised cichlids that are abundant everywhere and I end up shipping my fry across the US for free just to get rid of them.
I was hoping that the 2 mentioned species would be fish that my LFS's would be glad to take off my hands. I love to breed, but don't want to end up with hundreds of fry I can't sell/give away. Could you tell me if A. Calvus (white) and J. Marlieri are! a good choice for the hobbyist who breeds and needs to get rid of fry on occasion?
I have spent lots of time and money (it's part of the hobby and I love it) but would like to breed something that will be a gem for the LFS's in my area when I do have fry.
I appreciate any comment/suggestions you might could give. Thanks so much! Sorry about the re-post ... mis-spelled my own email addy!
Brian Kilpatrick
Reply. Hello Brian, I appreciate your complimentary comment. Thank you.

Congratulations on the list of Cichlids that you have spawned.

You have confirmed your skill as an aquarist by spawning these fish.

You asked about Cichlids that you can enjoy spawning, raising the fry, and be able to sell to cover part of your expenses.

The best such Cichlid is the Angelfish. Fish stores always need good Angels.

My brother and I raised a huge number of Angelfish over a period of several years. We never had trouble selling them.

I remember one time we sold 1500 Blushing Angels to Long Beach Fisheries.

We delivered them, and then had a two hour drive home to San Diego.

When we got home my dad said that he'd gotten a telephone call from our customer, who said they'd sold all of the 1500 Blushing Angels and wanted another 1500 as soon as possible.

My dad said that he'd talked with the buyer and determined that they really needed more Angels like the ones we'd just sold them.

My dad talked to me about this experience and emphasized the importance of what he called, "meeting your customer's needs."

If you discover and meet your customer's real needs, then your customers will often support you.

I found that our Angels helped us sell other types of fish. The fish stores always needed good Angels that had preferably been raised in the local water.

I'd also raise a few Angels to a bigger size, and the stores really loved to get a few of the these larger Angels.

After I got our Angels established in a store, and I new the buyer really liked our Angels, then I'd gently work to convince that buyer to stock a few of our other types of fish and to pay us a fair price.

I was fortunate that my father enjoyed talking about selling and about how to develop a good relationship with the buyers.

I found that I could sell just about any fish that we raised, because the fish store owners and the buyers developed confidence in our fish and in us.

We made it a point to be reliable, to make deliveries on time, to look professional, and be responsive to the buyers needs.


Customer Comments

I now have about a dozen fish with sores (ulcers on them). Looks like it is contagious. Looking for a cure. Please respond.
Thank you.
Gale B.
Reply. Hello Gale. I hope you have been giving your fish the Recommended Treatment every day because ulcers are one of the Signs of Stress and Disease that should immediately get the Recommended Treatment.

Click here for more about the Signs of Stress and Disease, and click here for more about the Recommended Treatment.

If the ulcers persist, like the ulcers that your fish have, then you should review your fish keeping methods. Here is a check list.

(1) Be sure the gravel in your aquarium is at most 1/4" thick.

Click here for more information about gravel.

(2) You are removing and replacing 20% of the water each day.

Click here for more information about changing water.

(3) You are cleaning your aquarium gravel every day.

Click here for more information about how to clean the gravel.

(4) The water temperature is 80 to 84 degrees F. for warm water fish, and increased by 4 degrees for cool water fish.

(5) Your aquarium has a modern external Aquarium Filter with a BIO-Wheel and does not have an Undergravel Filter.

(7) You feed the proper variety of foods. No uneaten food left in aquarium.

Click here for more details about feeding.

(8) You are testing the water quality each day, and the water quality is excellent.

Click here for more about testing water.


Customer Comments

Did not help much. You responded to what was my follow up since I had not heard from you. My original question explained that I had a 8000 gallon pond. I would think that this would be a whole different ball game that a small aquarium. Thank you in advance.
Gale B.
Reply. Hello again Gale. I want to apologize to you.

I've been behind in answering these emails, and I answered your second email, shown above, before I even read your first email, shown below.

I'll reply to your first email below.

The ad below links to this advertiser.

Customer Comments

Thank you in advance for your comments and assistance.
I have about 50-60 pond comets in my pond and have noticed that 5 or 6 of them have sores on their sides.  The sores are about the size of a dime (maybe a little smaller), and white in color.  I have been unable to find out from anyone locally what is going on.  I would like to resolve this before my other fish get the same way.
Do you have any ideals what this may be and how to resolve the problem.
I have had the pond 2 years and last year had no such trouble.  The pond is 8,000 gallons and has constant moving water with two water falls.  (If that info helps at all).
Again, Thank you in advance.
Gale B.
Reply. Hello Gale. Normally I'd have read and answered this email from you before I answered the two emails that are shown just above that were also from you.

Here is my reply to the email just above.

(1) First check your pond to see if there is any sort of contamination.

Maybe something fell into your pond and is difficult to see now. Check it out carefully.

(2) Check the equipment. Be sure the pumps and filters are clean and working properly.

(3) Remove 10% to 20% of the water in your pond and replace it with tap water from the faucet.

(4) Add one 50 lb. bag of salt to your pond. You probably can't get this much Aquarium Salt, which is labeled for use in aquariums and is sold in stores that sell pet fish.

So you could substitute rock salt that is sold for water softeners.

Use a clean plastic container to scoop the rock salt from the bag and toss it into your pond.

Spread the rock salt around evenly, so it is not concentrated in one part of your pond.

(5) Add 20 oz. of Quick Cure to your Pond. Quick Cure is available in 16 oz. bottles. If you can't get the Quick Cure, substitute formaldehyde, which should be labeled as 37% formalin.

Formaldehyde used to be sold in pharmacies, but now you will probably have to get it from a chemical supply house, which you should be able to find in your yellow pages under chemical supplies.

Both Quick Cure (and formaldehyde) must be handled very carefully, so that you do not come in contact with them or breath their fumes.

There should be details about how to handle these chemicals on the bottles that they come in. Follow those directions.

For example, you should wear safety goggles and heavy gloves of the proper composition and design.

Ask the chemical supply house about the methods and equipment needed to safely handle these chemicals.

If you have any doubts about your ability to safely use these chemicals, ask the chemical supply house to recommend a professional to do it for you.

When you add the Quick Cure (or formaldehyde) to your pond, be sure it is not concentrated in one part of the pond.

Pour a few ounces here and there. Or pour a few ounces into the out flow from you pump from time to time.

Be sure it gets mixed through out your pond.

(6) Each day remove and replace 10% to 20% of the pond water. You should not pump it onto your garden or your trees, because the rock salt is harmful to vegetation.

Keep track of the amount of water you replace each day.

(7) Each day repeat step (5) above and add 20 oz. of Quick Cure or formaldehyde to your pond water.

(8) When the amount of water that you've removed and replaced totals 8000 gallons, add another 50 lb. bag of Rock Salt. This might happen about once a week.

(9) Continue this process until your Comets have recovered.

This is really just the Recommended Treatment.

Click here for the details about the Recommended Treatment.

I have calculated the amount of salt and Quick Cure (or formaldehyde) to put in your pond based on the volume of your pond that you gave in your email, 8000 gallons.

If the actual volume of your pond is different, then the amounts of salt and Quick Cure (or formaldehyde) should be adjusted accordingly.

Click here for information about measuring and calculating volumes.

If you use Quick Cure, it may kill any plants that are in your pond. You should consider removing any ornamental plants.

If you use formaldehyde, it probably will not kill the plants, but it will not be as effective in treating the fish.

I doubt your pond has carbon in the filter, but if it does have carbon, and if you use the Quick Cure, then remove the carbon for about one hour after adding the Quick Cure.

Let me caution you that treating a pond of this size is really a job for a pond professional.

This reply is intended for your information. Please do not hold us responsible for any consequences or results of using this information.

Click here to read our disclaimer.

I hope this information helps you. Good luck.


Customer Comments

Suggestion: More information or links for specific fish problems.
Comments: I have recently ordered three female bettas from you. The problem I am faced with at the moment is that they seem to be aggressive towards each other. I need to know whether to remove some of them from the tank or not. They haven't attacked each other yet, but they do chase each other in an aggressive manner. They are kept together in a ten gallon tank.
I have found that no matter how much room I give them they still manage to get at each other. Should I separate them? My next question involves breeding. How can one tell what age a betta is? Well, those are my only questions at this time. Please email me ASAP with your response. Thank you for your time.
Andrea B.
Reply. Hello Andrea. Thank you for your suggestion. Giving your female Bettas more room is probably not the way to quell their aggressiveness. Here is my suggestion.

Get a group of at least six Zebra Danios and add them to your aquarium with the female Bettas.

The Zebra Danios will serve as a dither fish and distract the Females from being overly aggressive to each other.

Click here to read more about Zebra Danios.


Customer Comments

I have become an addicted to your site and refer to it often in solving aquarium dilemmas. I have had a tragic murder within my aquarium comunity and cannot find any site anywhere that can tell me why. Maybe you can help?! I have a ten gallon heated tank with 3 glolight tetras,2 plectcostomus, 1 shark (I can't remember the variety) two black hi-fin tetras and two fancy guppies (one of which committed suicide) which left me with the "cobra" guppy.
My Hi-fins are bullying all other fish except for the shark. Today within a ten minute span, my guppy was happy, and then a Hi-fin chomped off his back fin and abdomen! I was careful to choose fish that would be compatible (per the Aquarium store's recommendations), why did my seemingly peaceful Hi-fin go psychotic?
Frustrated in Atlanta
Joanna S.
Reply. Hello Joanna. Large Tetras like your Hi-Fins are not compatible tank mates for Guppies and Glowlight Tetras.

Click here to read about compatible tank mates for Guppies, and click here to read about compatible tank mates for Glowlight Tetras, where it specifically says not to mix them with Large Tetras.

Large Tetras are much less aggressive when kept in a group with at least six other fish of their same species.

When you keep one or two, they are nervous and aggressive. So you need to keep more of them in a group, but even then Large Tetras are not compatible with Guppies and Small Tetras.

Click here for more information about Large Tetras.

Large Tetras, like your Hi-Fins, need to eat live Black Worms a couple of times a week. I feed my Large Tetras live Black Worms every other day.

I try to feed just a few worms to each Tetra. Like maybe three big Black Worms to each Large Tetra.

Click here for more information about live Black Worms.


Customer Comments

I am looking for a good price on 100, 2-3" comets to seed a few small ponds. I live near Syracuse, NY. can you advise?
Robert G.  thanks
Reply. Hello Robert, we don't sell 2" to 3" pond comets. I suggest you check in a local live fish store. These pond comets are usually rather inexpensive.
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