Humblefish Blog

Humblefish

Dr. Fish
Houston, Texas

So, I just got back from Houston. I go there with my family about once a year to visit my brother who will never travel to see us. :rolleyes: Truth be told, I've got a love/hate relationship with Houston. Back when my wife had to work from an actual office we lived in Houston (very briefly) and were actually considering moving there on a more permanent basis. But the crazy traffic was driving us both insane (pun intended). ;) We would joke that it felt like being in that movie Mad Max: Fury Road. :p

But there are aspects of Houston that I really like: The downtown area, the museums and all the great restaurants. I LOVE Indian, Thai and Middle Eastern cuisine.. and Houston has an abundance of that. You also can't beat the LFS scene in Houston. Talk about a wide array of stores with awesome selection! I recently visited FJW Aquarium for the first time, and that place was loaded with corals. Aussie acros, gold torch, etc. and a lot of others you don't normally see except online. I'm also a fan of "City Pets" because as a kid I can remember bringing Discus back to New Orleans we bought from there. Yeah, that place has been around A LONG TIME. :)
 

DexterB

Well-known member
We were in Houston about 2 months ago. Unfortunately our friend @ MD Anderson was very sick, so we didn't leave that area. But we did notice the great variety of restaurants (we are " foodies"). Everyone told us the variety of cuisine offered is amazing. We want to go back sometime to check out the restaurants & various LFS there!
 

Humblefish

Dr. Fish
Giving advice

I'm sometimes conflicted when I give advice regarding a fish disease issue. Especially a bacterial infection, which the fish's natural immune system has to overcome anyway. Do I advise the person to pull and treat with antibiotics? Or tell them to soak the fish food with vitamins/probiotics, and hope for the best in the DT? Most fish are capable of beating an infection on their own (especially a gram-positive variant); clean water & proper nutrition just provide a helping hand to this end. So do antibiotics, but these can have bad side effects (namely destroys gut flora) which sometimes does more harm than good. The rule of thumb is pull & treat for a gram-negative infection, but leave in the DT for a gram-positive one. However, you can't always tell which is which based on photos/descriptions. (You have to take a scrape of the affected area and gram stain it.)

Sometimes I get it right, and sometimes I get it wrong. Meaning, sometimes the advice I give saves the fish and I'm a hero. :D Other times the fish dies, and I feel like ****. :( All I can really say is loss.gif.

Some fish disease problems are obvious with straightforward solutions. Your fish have velvet, so best to get them all in QT and go fallow; or risk losing most (if not all) of them. Other issues are not so easy to give advice on: Let's see here... You have Ich in the DT, but I see you have a really big tank. The "correct answer" is to tell you to treat all of your fish in a QT and go fallow in the DT for 76 days. However, with that much dilution I bet an oversized UV (or diatom filter or ozone or oxydator) + proper nutrition + avoid certain fish species (e.g. Acanthurus Tangs) might turn this into a manageable problem. What to do, what to do... ;)
 

Idoc

New member
Giving advice

I'm sometimes conflicted when I give advice regarding a fish disease issue. Especially a bacterial infection, which the fish's natural immune system has to overcome anyway. Do I advise the person to pull and treat with antibiotics? Or tell them to soak the fish food with vitamins/probiotics, and hope for the best in the DT? Most fish are capable of beating an infection on their own (especially a gram-positive variant); clean water & proper nutrition just provide a helping hand to this end. So do antibiotics, but these can have bad side effects (namely destroys gut flora) which sometimes does more harm than good. The rule of thumb is pull & treat for a gram-negative infection, but leave in the DT for a gram-positive one. However, you can't always tell which is which based on photos/descriptions. (You have to take a scrape of the affected area and gram stain it.)

Sometimes I get it right, and sometimes I get it wrong. Meaning, sometimes the advice I give saves the fish and I'm a hero. :D Other times the fish dies, and I feel like ****. :( All I can really say is View attachment 584.

Some fish disease problems are obvious with straightforward solutions. Your fish have velvet, so best to get them all in QT and go fallow; or risk losing most (if not all) of them. Other issues are not so easy to give advice on: Let's see here... You have Ich in the DT, but I see you have a really big tank. The "correct answer" is to tell you to treat all of your fish in a QT and go fallow in the DT for 76 days. However, with that much dilution I bet an oversized UV (or diatom filter or ozone or oxydator) + proper nutrition + avoid certain fish species (e.g. Acanthurus Tangs) might turn this into a manageable problem. What to do, what to do... ;)
Well, you win some and lose some! But, when a fish becomes sick, people just want some help and advice on how to fix the problem. Without the advice, there's probably a 75% morbidity rate...with the advice, probably 25% morbidity rate. I think when the fish is sick, I would lean toward treating with meds first to resolve the acute condition. But then for the longterm, the fish-keeper needs the information on how to change their everyday feeding habits and tank husbandry protocols in order to create a more healthy environment for sustained success!

So, your advice may sometimes result in a fish death...but, way more would have resulted in death without that advice!
 

Humblefish

Dr. Fish
Changing attitudes

So I've been doing this for a long time. Before the Internet. ;) Where I lived we had a couple of "local clubs" for people with saltwater and freshwater aquariums. I put that in quotes because it wasn't organized or anything; just a bunch of guys (very few lady reefers back then) who would gtg at one of the shops or in one of our homes. We'd check out each other's tank, talk all about the hobby and of course use this meeting opportunity to sell/trade equipment. (This was before corals were widely kept so not so much livestock trading.)

It was great. We had a sense of local community, and in general were a tight-knit group. If you had a problem or needed to move your tank, just call your aquarium buddies and they were always willing to lend a helping hand. You also understood that you needed to make time for the group, just as they allotted their time to help you. I can't remember once anyone ever getting screwed over by another hobbyist (although I'm sure it happened). It was understood that we shared a common bond and needed to look out for one another. It was true comradery.

Times have changed. Every "club meet" I go to nowadays is just a frag swap. People aren't interested in getting to know one another or learn about your tank/methods. They know everything they need to know from your "online presence". I remember going to a recent meeting, and everyone cleared out right after the free raffle prizes were dispensed. :confused: It is what it is, and I know there's no going back. It's just a shame that yet another thing had to get ruined by technology...
 

Idoc

New member
Times have changed. Every "club meet" I go to nowadays is just a frag swap. People aren't interested in getting to know one another or learn about your tank/methods. They know everything they need to know from your "online presence". I remember going to a recent meeting, and everyone cleared out right after the free raffle prizes were dispensed. :confused: It is what it is, and I know there's no going back. It's just a shame that yet another thing had to get ruined by technology...
A local fish store in our area is attempting to start their own "fish club" because of the main fish club's "banning" his store until he cleaned up his act. Evidently he didn't like being told that club members coming to his store didn't like purchasing from dirty tanks, coral tanks full of aptasia and dinos, etc... (I'm sure you visited it and would remember the experience while you were up my way a couple years ago, lol) Anyhow, his new "club" is just like you describe...stand around and wait for the drawings and then take off! Thankfully, our main fish club in the area is not like that...it is still like how you described your older experiences! But, I think a lot of that comes from the leadership and if they are willing to put the time into a good meeting, ie: scheduling topics of discussion, having extroverts as leaders in order to help introduce new people to others, etc... We just changed leadership...hopefully the new ones will keep ours going "the old fashioned" way!!
 

Humblefish

Dr. Fish
A local fish store in our area is attempting to start their own "fish club" because of the main fish club's "banning" his store until he cleaned up his act. Evidently he didn't like being told that club members coming to his store didn't like purchasing from dirty tanks, coral tanks full of aptasia and dinos, etc... (I'm sure you visited it and would remember the experience while you were up my way a couple years ago, lol) Anyhow, his new "club" is just like you describe...stand around and wait for the drawings and then take off! Thankfully, our main fish club in the area is not like that...it is still like how you described your older experiences! But, I think a lot of that comes from the leadership and if they are willing to put the time into a good meeting, ie: scheduling topics of discussion, having extroverts as leaders in order to help introduce new people to others, etc... We just changed leadership...hopefully the new ones will keep ours going "the old fashioned" way!!
A good local club can be such a godsend. We all need help sometimes, or just a second opinion about something going on in our tank. You can only tell so much from online pics/videos. There's nothing like having a real person look at your setup from a different perspective. I can't tell you how many times a friend pointed something out to me, and I just couldn't see it for myself because of tunnel vision.
 

Susan

Member
I tried looking up on line for one In my area. I couldn’t find anything. I don’t even know anyone with a tank except for the people at the LRS which is an hour away. I was so hoping to find some people in my area or at least in Greenville, SC. I don’t have a clue about stocking my tank. Coral placement for long term. If the aquascape is placed well enough so my fish/coral will be happy. It’s sad - but I’m glad I have access to y’all. I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t.
 

Humblefish

Dr. Fish
I tried looking up on line for one In my area. I couldn’t find anything. I don’t even know anyone with a tank except for the people at the LRS which is an hour away. I was so hoping to find some people in my area or at least in Greenville, SC. I don’t have a clue about stocking my tank. Coral placement for long term. If the aquascape is placed well enough so my fish/coral will be happy. It’s sad - but I’m glad I have access to y’all. I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t.
And we're very happy to have you here. :)
 

Humblefish

Dr. Fish
Upcoming H2O2 Experimentation

So, as many of you know H2O2 has my full attention right now. Without going into a lot of technical detail, this will tell you most of what you need to know: https://humble.fish/community/index.php?threads/hydrogen-peroxide.21/

And also read this: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/my-struggle-with-velvet-and-peroxide-as-a-promising-tool.459126/

Basically, I want to start off by treating fish infected with Ich, velvet, brook, uronema, flukes, turbellarians with a 30 minute, 150 ppm H2O2 bath. And then transfer into an observation tank (with black mollies) to see if symptoms return. After I see what the bath can (and cannot) do, I want to move on to dosing H2O2 in both a FOWLR and reef environment. I don't want to completely show my hand here, but I wouldn't be willing to invest so much of my time on this (and even put my business on hold) unless I was confident of signifiant results. Simply put, I think H2O2 will change not only the way we approach QT but also change the hobby forever...

The challenge is going to be to find sick fish, with obvious symptoms, to experiment on. The tricky part is they have to be infected, but not so far gone that they're going to die no matter what you do. Petco has always been my go-to place for finding these specimens. :p Hopefully I can establish a good relationship with the manager wherever we move to next. ;) It's hard to swallow paying full retail price for a fish that might die in the bag on the way home. :eek:
 

Jessican

Active member
I'm definitely looking forward to seeing your results with the H2O2 experiments. An actual effective, reef-safe treatment for all of those diseases would be such a game changer.
 

Tamberav

Active member
Changing attitudes

So I've been doing this for a long time. Before the Internet. ;) Where I lived we had a couple of "local clubs" for people with saltwater and freshwater aquariums. I put that in quotes because it wasn't organized or anything; just a bunch of guys (very few lady reefers back then) who would gtg at one of the shops or in one of our homes. We'd check out each other's tank, talk all about the hobby and of course use this meeting opportunity to sell/trade equipment. (This was before corals were widely kept so not so much livestock trading.)

It was great. We had a sense of local community, and in general were a tight-knit group. If you had a problem or needed to move your tank, just call your aquarium buddies and they were always willing to lend a helping hand. You also understood that you needed to make time for the group, just as they allotted their time to help you. I can't remember once anyone ever getting screwed over by another hobbyist (although I'm sure it happened). It was understood that we shared a common bond and needed to look out for one another. It was true comradery.

Times have changed. Every "club meet" I go to nowadays is just a frag swap. People aren't interested in getting to know one another or learn about your tank/methods. They know everything they need to know from your "online presence". I remember going to a recent meeting, and everyone cleared out right after the free raffle prizes were dispensed. :confused: It is what it is, and I know there's no going back. It's just a shame that yet another thing had to get ruined by technology...
I used to live in Duluth, MN (hope to move back)... home of Matt Peterson!! He runs the local club there, it is very tiny but it was always fun and personal. We would have chili cook offs and I won one year (flex). The club was putting all its funds and sponsors into the local zoo to build/run their reef tank. We would all donate frags to bring to the frag swap a few hours away once a year to raise the funding. It was a great.
 

Humblefish

Dr. Fish
I'm definitely looking forward to seeing your results with the H2O2 experiments. An actual effective, reef-safe treatment for all of those diseases would be such a game changer.
It won't treat internal diseases (flagellates, intestinal worms, internal infections), but those can usually be dealt with even in a reef environment provided a binder is used for the medicated food.
 

Humblefish

Dr. Fish
Other Forums

So, I have a confession to make. This isn't the only forum I hang out on. ;) Some of my favourites (and not so favourites) include:
  1. Louisiana Reef Club: Ahh, my home state's local forum. Lots of great memories, awesome club meets and good times. What other aquarium club does an annual crawfish/shrimp boil (photos here)? And I LOVE that we've been able to keep access to everything FREE for the 14+ years the club has been in existence. No premium membership, paid sponsors, or any of that stupid crap which turns it from a club into a business. :rolleyes: These will always be my people!
  2. Nano-Reef: I love what Christopher Marks has done here! A forum dedicated to nano reef aquariums, and the atmosphere is laid back and friendly. I don't know if I've ever seen a "fight" on here. I just wish the forum had more traffic, and I try to help/answer questions whenever I can. However, Nano-Reef has such top notch posters that anything I would add would often just be a moot point.
  3. Ultimate Reef: The UK's #1 reefing forum! I used to live in London, so I enjoy reading/interacting here. They are such a tight-knit group, and it's great to see how much they help one another. I've even made some lifelong friends here who have come to visit me in the US. :)
  4. Reef Central: So, I have a love/hate relationship with this place. :cautious: Yes, some of the posters (and even staff members) can be serious jerks. But there is such a wealth of information here - both past and present. Many of the things you read on other forums are actually people just "parroting" stuff they originally read on RC. It will always be remembered as the first major national reefing forum, and I am grateful for all I learned here.
  5. Reef2Reef: This place started off so great, but lately I'm finding it hard to login anymore. Over-commercialization and over-moderation have just killed R2R in my mind. Lots of great posters are gone now, too. Nothing lasts forever, but R2R has positioned itself as the dominant global forum and in all likelihood that's not going to change anytime soon. :(
 

Tamberav

Active member
I love nano-reef and have been on there since 2008!

I joined reef2reef this year, and it totally has a different vibe but it gives me some reading material when nano-reef is moving slow. I do notice people bickering sometimes but reef2reef has A LOT of people on it so that is inevitable. To be honest... I joined it so I could use their selling forums ;)
 

Humblefish

Dr. Fish
In the Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad)

So, I'm gonna channel my inner @Paul B and tell you about the LFS scene in the 1980s. :p Where I lived (New Orleans), the shops were large and many. I can remember at least 12 that carried saltwater fish & inverts. It was a smorgasbord, and I would often spend all weekend visiting them all. :D You gotta remember this was pre-Internet, so no online competition. Also, very few corals back then as the most advanced lighting was VHOs (the precursor to T5s). Inverts you might see included Coral Banded Shrimp, Cleaner Shrimp, various crabs, starfish (Chocolate Chip and Green Brittle Stars were popular), and an assortment of different anemones. Condylactis were cheap/common, but Carpets, Sebaes, Long Tentacle and even Ritteris were fairly common at affordable prices. Back then you picked out the clowns & nem you wanted because you saw them hosting already.

Fish you would commonly see back then included: Large angels, tangs, clowns, triggers, eels, lionfish, puffers, damsels/chromis and butterflies were very popular (no corals for them to eat). You didn't see many wrasses (flashers/fairies were non-existent), anthias, rabbitfish and small gobies/blennies. Diseases were less common because most LFS separated their fish from the inverts, and kept them in full therapeutic copper. Every now and then you might see Ich in your DT, but that was easily remedied by dosing copper (bring your inverts back to the LFS!) Most people used dead coral skeletons for tank decorations (photos at bottom), and bleached them every 3-4 months so everything stayed nice & clean looking. ;)

But not everything was peachy: Quality frozen foods were hard to come by, so most hobbyists I knew fed flake and eventually your fish started to look like Skeletor (HLLE). Equipment required more maintenance and almost nothing was automated. Undergravel and canister filters were common, and we all know how those can quickly turn into detritus traps. :rolleyes: The first protein skimmers were in-tank (ugly) and utilized wooden air stones (which had to be replaced often). There were no online forums (to learn / ask questions) and even books on the subject were hard to come by. Most of what you learned about the hobby occurred down at the LFS or from fellow hobbyists. Which sometimes worked out as well as learning about sex in the boy's bathroom. :eek:

 

Paul B

Well-known member
. Which sometimes worked out as well as learning about sex in the boy's bathroom. :eek:
I learned that in the girls bathroom. :p
I remember bleaching corals every couple of weeks and I also mixed in acid for cleaning bricks which made it really white. :eek:

The only fish available in the 70s were dominos, sergeant majors and blue devils. For some reason, we always had arrow crabs which are not kind of rare.

We didn't have VHO lighting when I started, we used whale oil lamps or the headlights from Model A Fords. :rolleyes:

Have a great Christmas, especially my good friend Humble. :)
 
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