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Two things on my mind.....well 2 fish related ;p

Posted By: BB <nettech@bellatlantic.net>
Date: Friday, 18 December 1998, at 2:39 a.m.

It's ironic how things happen sometimes. Just yesterday I responed to a tread started by Michael O. by suggesting he may want to write to a magazine concerning the identification of a sp. Today I get home from work and guess what I find in the January issue of TFH. There were two questions sent in that I feel may have relevance on this form. I will paraphrase the contents of both questions and answers below. This information is derived from volume xlvii number 5, January 99 issue of Tropical Fish Hobbyist, mail call department pages 176 and 178.

Q: Sam Reed of Cheyenne Wyoming writes; "...purchased a blue loach. Dealer dosen't know scientific name." The description given was; "...blue body with red fins" "can you tell me the species, special care and size it can attain?"

A: "...probably Botia Modesta." Care instructions; "...similar to clown loach, with lots of rocks, caves, and hiding places." Appearance described as; "...yellow, blue, or green body color depending upon what part of Thailand it was collected. Fins are normally orange or red." I stop here for a moment and point out that up to till now no mention of yellow fins has been made. Would it be correct to assume that yellow fins indicates b. lecontei? I believe the fin ray count of the dorsal fin is different for each sp. Does the count suggest b. lecontei in everyones yellow tails? ...and b. modesta in all loaches with red or orange tails? Just a thought. I am leary to suggest this because of the statement "normally red/oramge". Normally means not always. Oh well, back to... There was an intresting tid bit about the name of this fish; "...no common name for b. modesta other than pla mu meaning "hog fish". This is derived from the spines under the eyes." The response ends with the telling of the agression of this fish. There is a nice photo by Marc Smith and the caption reads; "...allthough nondescript some sp. of this genus are remarkably colored ...some have been injected with dyes that are neither natural or permanent." We all know where we stand on that issue right? Next time your in the lfs and you see these announce loudly to the nice person bagging fish that this isn't natural and a cruel practice. Be sure there are lots of customers within earshot. They will no doubt spread the word and perhaps even sway somebody from purchasing one. I wish somebody had told me 6 years ago when I purchased mine :{ Live and learn I suppose.

The second question delt with that mysterious black spot that has been showing up on clown loaches here.

Q: Sue Huges of Pittsburg PA wrote; ..."I have a school of 13 black widow tetra." Three of the older fish (three years old) have developed areas of black pigment...I've looked through my books but can't identify....What is it?"

A: "...we are scratching our heads ..difficult to determine without seeing the fish ..could be bacterial or melanosarcoma, a miligant growth." Treatment perscribed was in the fist case; "a good antibacterial agent" and in the second; "perhaphs the most humane thing to do is freeze the infected fish" Don't panic yet because I have an opinion of my own. It is not uncommon to see WILD African rift lake cichlids with irregular sized black spots on the fins and body. In this case it is a paracitic infection. Excluding Wild africans I have only encountered this once in 14 years when my lab yellow became infected with black spots that showed up over the course of several days. I didn't panic because it looked just like what I had already experienced with wild sp. I did nothig for several months and it vanished all by itself. Strange but true. I try to add as little to the water as I can once I get it conditioned prior to adding to a tank. RO water, peat to lower and buffer, salts to raise and buffer, trace elements, and crused oyster shell for skeletal growth depending on ph. Modifying water for fish is like changing the air we breathe. Medications should not be taken lightly. The FDA does not regulate fish medications and it can be marketed without even being tested on fish. Food for thought. In this case I would just pay close attention to what is going on in the tank. Are the spots increasing in number or size? Is the fish eating? Maybe medications are the answer in these cases. I would treat for paracitic infections first tough. Antibiotics of any use in an aquarium will spank the biological filtration and lead to increased stress. Best solution is prevention. Of couse what are we supposed to do about this mysterious black spot when we don't know what caused it, if it's fungal, bacterial, paracitic. Anybody work