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mr_mop mr_mop
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  • Posted on: 10/5/2009 10:34
Mystery thing attached to my WCMM #1
Hello,

First post, straight in with a question, bad form I know. Sorry :(

Anway, does anyone have any idea what is attached to my WCMM?
http://www.zen37496.zen.co.uk/fish/DSCF2894.jpg
He seems healthy enough, is displaying with the other guys to catch the ladies, but he has this attached to him and his body has gone a bit wonky shaped. A bit like a ~

Thanks

MM
EagleC EagleC
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  • Posted on: 10/5/2009 11:28
Re: Mystery thing attached to my WCMM #2
Hello and welcome to the site
It could be Lymphocystis which is where nodules grow on the fish as a result to nutritional deficiency and environmental stress or it might be an ectoparasite of some type.
There are a couple of other possibilities but I feel these two are most likely.
Could you tell us a little more about the tank and water parameters?

Size?
Volume?
When set up?
Fish?
Test Results(ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph, temp)?
Maintenance routine?
Recent changes?

Sorry about all the questions but they really will help narrow down the possibilities.
mr_mop mr_mop
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  • Posted on: 10/5/2009 15:11
Re: Mystery thing attached to my WCMM #3
Thanks for the reply EagleC

I'll try to answer you as best I can.

Size? / Volume? Its a 30L Biorb.
When set up? Its been set up for a good 4 years.
Fish? There a 9 WCMM.
Test Results(ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph, temp)?
Last pH test I did was around 2 months ago, and was around 6.5
I haven't ever tested any of the others.
Maintenance routine? I change around half the water every 3 months or so, with a new filter. I clean the sides of the tank every time algae builds up.
Recent changes? I introduced 3 new plants as the other two had been eaten/died.

Should I separate him from the other fish?
EagleC EagleC
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  • Posted on: 10/5/2009 15:50
Re: Mystery thing attached to my WCMM #4
hmm. Sorry, this might be hard to hear but ...

First off you're overstocked and without results for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate you don't know what effect this is having on the water quality. You need to get a decent liquid test kit as soon as possible. The API mini-master freshwater test kit is my favourite.

Second problem is that its a biorb, really terrible gas exchange and filtration. I don't think anyone has had a fish live a full and healthy life in a biorb, especially a 30L.

Water change of 50% is too much in one go and every 3 months is too long between changes. 20% weekly would be far better for them.

When you say you put a new filter in do you mean that you completely replace the filter as per the biorb instructions? This is actually very bad for the fish as the tank will have to cycle all over again and never reach any sort of biological stability. (see signature link for explanation on the nitrogen cycle)

What are you feeding them?

From what you've said so far I believe this is not a parasite but instead you are seeing the long term effects of biorb housing, nutritional deficiency, water quality and stability issues and cramped conditions. There is little that can be done except to improve nutrition and get a proper tank.

//edit//
all that said, can I finish on a positive note. The normal life span for a WCMM in captivity is 3-5 years so you're not doing all that bad by average keeper standards.
In the wild they live to around 10 years though and this is the guide that I believe we should set our standards by.
I can highly recommend a rectangular tank of 50L upwards with a good quality filter and large airpump.
cathie cathie
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  • Posted on: 10/5/2009 21:01
Re: Mystery thing attached to my WCMM #5
I'd second all that EagleC just said except that the main filtration in a biorb is undergravel filtration using the ceramic media, chucking out the sponge in the filter cartridge as the manufacturers recommend is unwise as the sponge also becomes supplementary biological filtration not merely mechanical filtration as the manufacturers assert, and can tip the balance when the filter is barely coping, so it is wise to cut it in half and change only half at a time, but it is not wholly disastrous in all cases e.g. if the biorb is very lightly stocked (must revise that article some time).
[url=http://www.bigfishcam
EagleC EagleC
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  • Posted on: 10/5/2009 23:12
Re: Mystery thing attached to my WCMM #6
Quote:

cathie wrote:
I'd second all that EagleC just said except that the main filtration in a biorb is undergravel filtration using the ceramic media, chucking out the sponge in the filter cartridge as the manufacturers recommend is unwise as the sponge also becomes supplementary biological filtration not merely mechanical filtration as the manufacturers assert, and can tip the balance when the filter is barely coping, so it is wise to cut it in half and change only half at a time, but it is not wholly disastrous in all cases e.g. if the biorb is very lightly stocked (must revise that article some time).


Forgot that, thanks for the correction
mr_mop mr_mop
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  • Posted on: 11/5/2009 8:15
Re: Mystery thing attached to my WCMM #7
Quote:

EagleC wrote:
hmm. Sorry, this might be hard to hear but ...


Not at all, I was prepared for the worst. I'm not an experience fish keeper ( hence the choice of Biorb ) and so any advice is taken gratefully.

Quote:

EagleC wrote:
First off you're overstocked and without results for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate you don't know what effect this is having on the water quality. You need to get a decent liquid test kit as soon as possible. The API mini-master freshwater test kit is my favourite.


Wow, I am certainly glad I didn't follow the manufacturers recommended maximum of 12 small fish. What is the most fish that can safely survive in the Biorb?
Right, I'll go out and get one of those kits straight away.
I guess I need the results before asking for advice on how to adjust.

Quote:

EagleC wrote:
Second problem is that its a biorb, really terrible gas exchange and filtration. I don't think anyone has had a fish live a full and healthy life in a biorb, especially a 30L.


Because of the small next of the orb? That's partly why I keep stocked with plants. Do they not help as much as I expected?

Quote:

EagleC wrote:
Water change of 50% is too much in one go and every 3 months is too long between changes. 20% weekly would be far better for them.


OK, I'll try to adjust my schedule. I think that will be possible, as changing 6 litres will be a lot faster and easier than 15.

Quote:

EagleC wrote:
When you say you put a new filter in do you mean that you completely replace the filter as per the biorb instructions? This is actually very bad for the fish as the tank will have to cycle all over again and never reach any sort of biological stability. (see signature link for explanation on the nitrogen cycle)


I'd read on here previously that changing the sponge was a bad idea, so I have been throwing away and replacing the charcoal/coral mix that's in the bottom and keeping the sponge.

Quote:

EagleC wrote:
What are you feeding them?


Flaked fish food made by Tetra.

Quote:

EagleC wrote:
From what you've said so far I believe this is not a parasite but instead you are seeing the long term effects of biorb housing, nutritional deficiency, water quality and stability issues and cramped conditions. There is little that can be done except to improve nutrition and get a proper tank.


OK, I'll get on with testing the water and adjusting as required. If you have to recommendation for food, I'd be glad to hear it. Thank you very much for the advice/help.

Quote:

EagleC wrote:
//edit//
all that said, can I finish on a positive note. The normal life span for a WCMM in captivity is 3-5 years so you're not doing all that bad by average keeper standards.
In the wild they live to around 10 years though and this is the guide that I believe we should set our standards by.
I can highly recommend a rectangular tank of 50L upwards with a good quality filter and large airpump.


That's a relief, with my bad efforts, I'm doing average. If I can up the effort, and have some healthier fish I'll be very happy.
mr_mop mr_mop
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  • Posted on: 11/5/2009 8:18
Re: Mystery thing attached to my WCMM #8
Quote:

cathie wrote:
I'd second all that EagleC just said except that the main filtration in a biorb is undergravel filtration using the ceramic media, chucking out the sponge in the filter cartridge as the manufacturers recommend is unwise as the sponge also becomes supplementary biological filtration not merely mechanical filtration as the manufacturers assert, and can tip the balance when the filter is barely coping, so it is wise to cut it in half and change only half at a time, but it is not wholly disastrous in all cases e.g. if the biorb is very lightly stocked (must revise that article some time).


Thanks for the advice Cathie. I'd been leaving the sponge behind and changing the charcoal/coral bits only after reading that advice here.
EagleC EagleC
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  • Posted on: 11/5/2009 9:39
Re: Mystery thing attached to my WCMM #9
For feeding I'd recommend having a look at this article:
http://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles_52/fish-diet.htm

Basically as much variety as possible of crisps, granuals, live, frozen, jelly-vitamin-enriched, freeze dried and fresh. Being very careful not to overfeed - which does become more difficult when you are trying to give them a more varied diet.
mr_mop mr_mop
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  • Posted on: 16/5/2009 12:07
Re: Mystery thing attached to my WCMM #10
OK, I got the test kit. Thank you for the recommendation.

Here are the results:

pH: 8.0
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 0
Nitrate: 180ppm.

I also checked the local water for nitrate, so I guess as you suggested I need to do lesser volume water changes more often.

I've also bought a variety of natural foods in jelly. Daphnia, blood worms and tubifex worms. Will suppleme ant their food with that to give them a better diet.

Thanks again for the help.

You mentioned that 9 is too many fish for a 30L Biorb. IYO how many fish would be a safe number?