For what it's worth I both agree with Linz's 'member perspective' and FF's 'mod perspective'. Two sides of the same coin and we're all interested in the same thing at the end of the day.
The mod's have to keep the peace, a difficult job at times and the undertaking can often be seen by many to be stifling progress or holding people back for the sake of cvility. I don't envy the job, not one bit.
My only issue in the past has been where moderation has been used to encourage a 'you can do anything you want' attitude which leads beginners on to things outside their current experience and abilities. All for the sake of not wanting to say no and/or hurting someone's feelings or leading them to go elsewhere. We should never ever be afraid to say no if we don't think it can be done, if we don't say no then we're just the same as every other site out there and we play no less a part in the industry wide abuse and ignorance that is so rife in the hobby. Unfortunately sometimes we will be required to defend our position, though I agree completely this should be done in a reasoned and rational manner wherever possible. People however, will be passionate about animal welfare, this is not a bad thing, if only more were...
I can understand we don't want people to go elsewhere, but I think perhaps we've lost focus on how we go about doing that. If you raise yourself as paragons in the hobby people will come. I dare say for every person that doesn't want to hear the truth there is another that doesn't want to see the same rubbish printed on every website on the net. Testament to this is the number of members who stay despite being told to reform their ways in comparison to the small minority that leave. A lot of people will go for the best right from the start, we know this because of the fact the majority don't just go into a shop and buy blind, they ask for advice...
It's clear the impact that LHG had on the site as I still see his name mentioned in threads all the time. I don't think some people neccesarily agreed with his methods but I'm not sure people really could understand how frustrating it would be to write an essay only to have it rebuffed because it wasn't what someone wanted to hear. LHG was a working example of what happens when you have the best advice, people come, people specifically requested his help, the guy must have been racking up more google hits than FK itself! His leaving can only be described as the tragic effect the human ego has on agents of progress.
I think at the end of the day the 'friendliest site on the net' hyperbole is meaningless to the fish we keep and their welfare. Sometimes you need activists to change things....
Many fish actually have a very acute sense of smell. Salmon for example are a prime example, refuted to have a sense of smell thousands of times more sensitive than a dog.
The lateral line is a very complex organ and I've no doubt that some of it's uses are still not understood. Primary functions however involve detection of movement, electrical impulses, magnetic fields, vibrations, water currents, pressure and it is often thought to be important to the social behaviours and co-ordinated movements of schooling fish.
Goldnugget wrote: Personally I would test a new batch of freshly mixed saltwater, if this reads the same as the tank and you can be sure of the quality of your RO water then I would suggest that your salt mix is to blame
~Unless the test kit is reading lower than it should
Yep, hence my recommendation in post 10 of getting another brand test kit to compare results.
If you have an API at present try a Salifert and compare results, or as discussed earlier have your water tested professionally for more conclusive results.
The easiest method is to re-examine your maintenence regime, remove high volume organic detritus before it de-composes. Increase volume and/or frequency of water changes to physically remove build up of dissolved organics.
Bioload may be an issue if you are over-stocked.
Personally I would test a new batch of freshly mixed saltwater, if this reads the same as the tank and you can be sure of the quality of your RO water then I would suggest that your salt mix is to blame (leave the test sample to rest for 24 hours before testing). If the mixed water reads ok (i.e. desirable pH etc) then test organics in the tank and go from there.
Do you leave your newly mixed salt water to rest before adding it to the tank?
Think about buying a Salifert Organics test kit, or having your water tested professionally. The organics kit will indicate the presence of a variety of organic compounds which are not easily (or cannot be) removed by skimming. Many of these such as Humic Acid can lower pH.
Might also be worth getting an alternative brand pH test kit and comparing the results.
Apart from the tissue damage and spots mentioned above are any other symptoms shown? Scratching/flashing? Shortness of breath/rapid gill movement/gasping? Loss of appetite? Lethargy and/or hiding away?
My thoughts too Cathie, hence my earlier query with regards to dosage of Exit.
Your EN's are Mormyrids, a family group of which contains many species which are particularly sensitive to medications and poor water quality. Mormyrids are scaleless, therefore I suspect that the skin peeling was a reaction to med toxicity more than a symptom of illness.
The really important thing to remember about medications is that you must have a confirmed diagnosis before selecting an appropriate treatment. You have to be in very little doubt what the illness is and weigh up the possible benefits of a cure with the effect the medication will have on the fish.
The symptoms shown by the EN were quite mild, and you were missing the primary symptom of white spot, a visible id of the parasite itself.
It is unfortunate you received such poor and unhelpful advice from your lfs, I would suggest taking your business elsewhere in future. The symptoms that were displayed in no way warranted a "nothing you can do"... He should have just told you honestly that he didn't know or wasn't qualified to diagnose.
I can only reiterate what has been said above, there are some serious stocking issues which should be remedied as soon as possible and a test kit should be top of the 'to do list'!!!