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This web site contains information about Pet Fish Talk, the weekly internet talk show about keeping pet fish in aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds.
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Pet Fish Talk.
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Pet Fish Talk about keeping pet fish in aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds.
Pet Fish Talk about keeping pet fish in aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds.

Pet Fish Talk about keeping pet fish in aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds.

Pet Fish Talk.
     For the March 19, 2008 Pet Fish Talk Show
In this show the Bailey Brothers talk about the Fish in the News, Nevin's Fishy Factoid, then talk with callers and read questions from listeners.
Click here to hear this show.
Educators, this logo indicates that this web page contains educational materials. Click here to go to another page in this website with links to more educational materials.
As you listen to Pet Fish Talk, you can also follow other underlined links to related web pages with pictures, videos, and more information about the topics being discuss during the show.
Listening Guide with Comments, Pictures, and Links for this Week's Pet Fish Talk Show
Fish in the News. Each week the Bailey Brothers start the Pet Fish Talk Show with some fun and interesting stories about fish in the news.
Australian Lung Fish in an Aquarium.
At the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois,
The World's Oldest Aquarium Fish
We've been peeking through the glass at him since the year Franklin Delano Roosevelt became president. That makes Granddad, an Australian lungfish who has lived at Chicago's John G. Shedd Aquarium for 75 years, the longest-living fish in any aquarium in the world. "He was here when Model Ts were pulling up to the Shedd," said Roger Germann, Shedd's director of public relations. "Granddad bridges so many generation gaps." At 4 feet long and 25 pounds, Granddad is the color of a faded brown blanket, with charcoal age spots dotting his back. He was named by a Shedd volunteer years ago, and has gone on to become one of the aquarium's most popular residents. "Hey! See the one with the spots -- he's been here since 1933!" a Shedd visitor shouts to a companion, while dumping half of his popcorn bag on the floor in excitement. "I love Granddad -- he's so cool," coos a teenaged girl, pressing her nose to the tank. Click here to read more.
From The University of Chicago,

The Best Cure for Hiccups.

One of the most perplexing and vexing of mild human afflictions is the hiccup, or as it is medically known, the singultus. Through the years, many (ineffective) remedies have been suggested, from holding your breath to scaring yourself. But a larger question remained unresolved: why do humans have these involuntary spasms of the diaphragm, which produce uncontrollable funny noises at irregular and inconvenient times? Now, University of Chicago anatomist, Neil Shubin, has provided the world with an explanation in his book Your Inner Fish. As described in the Guardian: Hiccups are triggered by electric signals generated in the brain stem. Amphibian brain stems emit similar signals, which control the regular motion of their gills. Our brain stems, inherited from amphibian ancestors, still spurt out odd signals producing hiccups that are, according to Shubin, essentially the same phenomenon as gill breathing. This is atavism, or evolutionary throwback activity, at work. Luckily, you do eventually stop trying to breathe through your gills when it dawns on your brain that you are actually a modern human, not a prehistoric fish. Click here to read more.
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico
Insecticides Change Male Fish
Traces of insecticides harm fish by a mechanism that has not been recognised until now: the chemicals make males less attractive to females. An insecticide-free male fish, shown above top, and one, below it, with traces of insecticides. The males of the amarillo (Girardinichthys multiradiatus), a threatened species of fish from Mexico, show off their large, colourful fins when they dance to attract females. The dance is a way for females to screen the genetic quality of partners and whether they had a disease-free upbringing, since big fins take a lot of energy to grow: thus the more flamboyant the males, the better. "We found that pre-natal exposure to minute concentrations of the insecticide methyl-parathion as those found in the field results in adult males which lack vigour, have small and dull fins, and are shunned by females," says Dr. Constantino Macias Garcia, who reports the findings in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences with Omar Arellano-Aguilar of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico. Click here to read more.
In Noboribetsu, Hokkaido, Japan,
First Permanent Mola Mola Aquarium Display.
A marine park here will begin operating Hokkaido's first ever permanent exhibition for mola mola, a large fish related to fugu puffer fish. The Manbo-kan for mola mola will open to the public on March 20 at Noboribetsu Marine Park NIXE. The enclosure will house two mola mola, large, round fish with atrophied tails that make them poor swimmers, though their puffy appearance is likely to make them popular with visitors. The fish at the new enclosure are a 1-meter-long mola mola caught off the coast of Shima, Mie Prefecture, and a 50-centimeter-long fish presented to the park by an aquarium in Ibaraki Prefecture. Both fish only arrived in Noboribetsu this month. The larger fish is still getting used to life inside a tank, but appears to be settling in well and looks poised to be a fan-pleaser. Click here to read more.
Australian Rainbow Fish in an Aquarium
In Sydney, Australia,
Eight Fish Guard the Health of Millions of People.
THEY are not angel fish, but they are Sydney's guardian angels. In a small brick shed in the Southern Highlands eight tiny fish stand guard, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, over the water flowing to more than 4 million people. Like the canaries that once sniffed the air in coal mines, the Australian rainbow fish are living proof that the city's water is safe. If they don't like what they are swimming in, they have the power to shut down much of Sydney's supply system. Although the Sydney Catchment Authority routinely tests for a wide range of impurities, the checks only guarantee water quality at the moment they are conducted. Khanittha Poonbua, a project engineer with the authority, said the the three centimetre fish provided continuous evidence that all is well. Their high-tech aquarium looks more like an automatic teller machine, or a space-age oven. Each lives in its own compartment, little bigger than a compact digital camera. Every minute a litre of water is pumped into the testing station at Broughtons Pass, near Appin. "We watch how they react, how they behave," Ms. Poonbua said. Click here to read more.
At Scripts Institute of Oceanography in San Diego, California
PVC Meets Stringent Rules for Aquarium Drainage.
PVC piping has long been used in aquariums to ensure the purity of the water circulating through the tanks, and it also proved the best choice for disposing discharge water at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. Anka Fabian, P.E., the university's principal civil engineer, chronicled the project in the February 2008 issue of Pollution Engineering.  In an interview this week, Fabian explained that Scripps had to change its 80-year-old pipe system because in 2005 the State of California imposed additional requirements, beyond those in Scripps' National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. (NPDES was created to meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act.)  These extra measures were to ensure that effluent from Scripps' seawater storage and research tanks would not alter the natural water quality of the biologically significant San Diego Marine Life Refuge off the coastline. Scripps had five years to meet these new requirements -- or else the operation would be closed down. Click here to read more.
In Wyoming
Man Catches Same Fish He Released 25 Years Ago.
A Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologist who was ice fishing at the Flaming Gorge Reservoir recently managed to catch a Mackinaw trout which he likely put there in 1983 while stocking the water, after noticing one of its fins was clipped. Bill Wengert said, "I may have actually clipped the fins on this very fish, and I know I was driving the barge when the fish were stocked, nearly 25 years ago." He has been working for the department for 35 years. He was 26 at the time. The 26-year-old fish only weighed 2.5 pounds, compared to a 17-pounder from 2004 that was also released in 1983. He said fishery biologists now have "an opportunity to learn more about fish genetics, age and growth of lake trout in the reservoir." Click here to read more.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia,
Weed-Eating Fish is the Key to Protecting Reefs.
A ravenous weed-eating fish might be the key to saving large sections of the Great Barrier Reef from destruction, scientists say. Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University researcher Professor David Bellwood said new research had shown the herbivorous rabbit fish - capable of stripping an area of vegetation - could fight coral-stifling weeds. "When a coral reef is weakened or damaged through human activity such as climate change or pollution or by a natural disaster like a cyclone, the coral will usually recover provided it is not choked by fast-growing marine algae," Prof Bellwood said. "The problem is that over the years we have fished down the populations of fish that normally feed on the young weed to such a degree that the weed is no longer kept in check - it can now smother the young corals and take over." He said the chances of coral re-establishing itself after such an event were small. But in a video study in which different fish were observed grazing in overgrown areas of the reef, schools of rabbit fish (Siganus canaliculatus) were seen chomping away at 10 times the rate of other weed-eaters. Click here to read more.
Callers during this Show
Todd from Germantown, TN, calls and talks about his call to Arline at ONEdersave Products.
Wyatt, who is Todd's son, asks about putting play sand in the aquarium with his Violet Goby.
Heather from Point Loma in San Diego, California, calls and talks about her very recent vacation in Hawaii, where she snorkeled with Manta Rays.
Evan from Colorado calls and talks about Jeff's recent email, shown below, to us about a sports drink that accidentally spilled into his 95-gallon reef aquarium.
Here is Jeff's Original Email.
Greetings! If there is anyway to get this question to THE Brothers :), then pls, pls, pls do so. Briefly: I have a 95gal tank w/ 30gal refugium mini reef. Everything was swell for about 2yrs, then accidentally knocked a health drink (carrot juice, barley grass, alfalfa grass, kelp, echinacea, other herb concotion that is listed as proprietary blend).
First death was within 15min- coral beauty. Faster than I could move to change water, other fish died within the hour. Crabs popped open their gills and killed over. Snails, inverts, worms living in rocks, all fish life, sea hare, etc. You name it it died. THe yellow tang lived on for a few days, through several water changes, and still died.
After a month of it sitting there, I changed water again, and put in a
couple of damsels, that died immediately. I took everything down,
scrubbed the tank, razor bladed the tank, dumped the refugium and did the same there, then put it all back together, put in new water, and tried a crab and a snail. both died immediately. Changed water again, tried a damsel, died.

Out of sheer frustration, went down to the beach and grabbed some sand out of the surf that would have some pods in it and some marsh grass and put those in the refugium. All pods died and any other ghost shrimp/marsh shrimp etc all died. Waited a week, changed the water, tried a damsel, died.

I went form a gorgeous, vibrant, healthy tank even with good sponge
growth, to this mess and dont have a clue on what to do. I spent 1200 on this tank alone, which is gorgeous annealed bowfront glass, and furniture quality cabinet.

Any ideas on where to go from here? I just dont want to have to buy
another tank.

Thanks so much,

Jeff's Second Email, Received after this Show.
Hello folks, thanks so much for your thoughts and advice. Im sorry i missed your live show. Evan is quite an impressive young man. I do highly recommend diving as Im an certified rescue diver.
I sure wish I had something bigger than a 5gal bucket at the time! well, thats called 20/20. I would have saved well into 1400.00 in fish-rock-inverts. Even my hand fed trained Peacock Mantis shrimp named El Diablo that ruled the refugium.
let me fill in some details I should have included:
When the tank went back up after the complete teardown and scrub- there was nothing from the prev tank put in there. there was no live rock put back in. I was way too scared. IN less than an hour i had lost everything and will never forget those images. All the fish had names, generally after friends who have the same personality as the fish in question. The fiji damsel named after a nosy friend who wont leave anyone alone is a good example. The mantis was called motherinlaw for a few short minutes.
However, after leaving the 140lbs of live rock in big bins, (newly purchased), i eventually drained the water off and the live rock is an ornament sitting in the sun. While that considerable investment in rock alone was painful to lose, I suspected it was a source of the continuing issue and decided to discard it. Everything was dead on it, including some odd hardbacked things that i never did identify.
THe neww water tested from day one good with no serious spikes. Adding some live sand aragonite and 15lbs of live rock, saw the normal slight rise, but now it is cycled and has balanced, all ph, ni/na, etc. Water is crystal clear. (Im on the 3rd 90% change post tear down, 6th change overall). Plant life in refugium is doing well. Macro algae in tank is doing fair, i suspect it needs food since there isnt anything going in the tank. Please remember, Ive been doing this successfully for over two years. Even this last year witnessing the coral spawn in august/sept. I have good test kits/equipment that have served well so far, so I think we are good there.
Bio reactions seem to be working as test damsels die and start breaking down as expected. I have filtered in some live sea water as we live near the beach.
Just tested again to be sure and all 5 tests are good. ph is slightly down. Currently, other than not being able to support animal life, all looks, seems well. Test damsel lasted 10minutes. Test hermit cleaning crews lasted 4 mins. Water is a little soft, but it is tripled filtered mineraltrap/RO/charcoal water which strips it pretty good. Ill continue to add the trace minerals as before. Skimmer isnt really pulling anything off, looks pretty clear.
From my point of view- this is a serious nuero-toxin (to fish- not to me I hope) that kills nearly on contact. Part of my wonderment is how else am I supposed to clean this setup to get rid of it.
I have also queried the local fish stores, everyone is scratching their head. Test water given to the fish store killed a test damsel in the jar as well. Just today, a test crab went in and twitched, writhed, and died a tragic death. Snails twist and turn in what looks like agony. A buddies' seahare- told him not to do it, within seconds of insertion writhed in what looked like the shearest of pain and changed colors and died.
As you well mentioned, prevention was the surest cure for this tragedy. Morning rush, feeding fish, in a hurry, never thought something like this would happen sure brought a lot of pain.
Ive contacted the manufacturer to get their thoughts on the possibility of toxins being in the glass. Their only recommendation was a complete tear down again. Replace all plumbing this time. Scrub the glass with baking soda and clay. Clean or replace all pumps similarly. If this doesnt work they are willing to sell me a replacement tank for 800.00 that will fit the cabinet.
Pls see some pics (shown below) of prev tank. Will take soem photos tomorrow of exisitng tank.
Thanks so much for your continued dedication to this hobby. It has been a rewarding hobby for my wife and I and has replaced the tv as the thing to watch. I had so many weird and wonderful things growing I never did get a chance to identify them all.
And thank you so much for bringing this issue into your discussion!
Kindest regards,
The Bailey Brothers encourage YOU to call Pet Fish Talk
during the show and talk about your pet fish.
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