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Fish/Questions

SubjectDate AskedExpert
Tank Refresh with new fish3/5/2017Richard Hight
  Q: Several years ago, we upgraded to a 55 gallon fish tank (freshwater). We had various types of fish ...
  A: I didn't receive a notification email from the site about your question, so I apologize for the ...
Driftwood for tank...6/4/2016Richard Hight
  Q: I'm not sure how much you may know about driftwood, but I can't seem to find a proper answer... I ...
  A: First, I apologize for a delay in answering your question. I never received a notification from the ...
water circulation4/2/2016Richard Hight
  Q: I just set up a hexagonal 30 gallon and have a hang on back 20-40gal filter. The tank is over two ...
  A: There are 2 things I can suggest doing. 1)You can get an extension for your intake tube so that it ...
When will my pregnant platy have fry?3/4/2016Richard Hight
  Q: it disappeared presumably eaten. I caught the mother and put her in a tub as did not have a breeding ...
  A: When you moved her out of the tank, it stressed her out and she has probably aborted the birth. ...
Cichlid injured8/21/2015Richard Hight
  Q: I recently inherited a Cichlid (about 4 months ago) without any knowledge of fish in general. He was ...
  A: It sounds more like constipation rather than swim bladder. Swim Bladder disease can affect any fish ...
Plecostamus5/26/2015Richard Hight
  Q: I have a Plecostamus that is around 14 in long in a 75 gallon tank with 1 large tiger oscar (9" ...
  A: Well you do have too many fish in the 75 gallon for as large as they are. As for the Pleco, he could ...
Very sick betta and very confused owner3/17/2015Richard Hight
  Q: My little betta, Ozias Thelonius, has been quite sick this past week. He is constipated and has been ...
  A: For the constipation, don't feed your Betta for 2-3 days. He will be fine without food for up to 3 ...
Help with my cichlids2/5/2015Richard Hight
  Q: I'm fairly new to having cichlids. I have a parrot,red devil, jack Dempsey, jewel, and an Oscar. My ...
  A: In Cichlid tanks, there will always be aggression, there is no sure way to stop it. Things that help ...
Betta fish fin rot/fin loss1/25/2015Richard Hight
  Q: I have a Betta fish named Patrick. He's kept in a 2.5 gallon tank with a Tetra Whisper 10i filter, a ...
  A: My guess is he broke his fin on décor in the tank. His other fins look healthy so I don't think it ...
oscar fish1/13/2015Ron Coleman
  Q: fish that I can put in a tank that the Oscar wont eat
  A: Oscars can and will eat just about anything that is at all smaller than them. That is just what ...
Acara1/10/2015Richard Hight
  Q: I have 3 fish tanks two 125 and one 55 all mostly cichlids with a mix of catfish and sharks. ...
  A: The Blue Acara is generally peaceful with other fish of similar size, but can get territorial at ...
Electric Blue Acara1/10/2015Ron Coleman
  Q: I have 3 fish tanks two 125 and one 55 all mostly cichlids with a mix of catfish and sharks. ...
  A: I suggest you add some tetras to the tank, not the angels. The gouramis might work. I have no ...
Very constipated bet fish1/5/2015Ron Coleman
  Q: I have a very constipated betta fish. He was accidentally over fed A LOT of betta fish flakes a ...
  A: The white stringy poop indicates that he has an intestinal infection. You might try the epsom salt ...
Black Mollies Fish1/4/2015Ron Coleman
  Q: How do you tell a male from a female black molly?
  A: On livebearing fish, like mollies, the fine on the bottom (back near the tail), called the anal fin, ...
dalmation molly1/3/2015Ron Coleman
  Q: . I had to change them from three different containers because i broke the tank from trying to clean ...
  A: Often when fish are moved they stop eating for a while, even a week or more. Be patient. Make sure ...
fish sinking12/30/2014Ron Coleman
  Q: What do I do if my goldfish is at the bottom of the tank? He is moving his tail and his mouth but ...
  A: Unfortunately I am not an expert on goldfish but it sounds like your fish has a swimbladder ...
Goldfish Disease12/28/2014Ron Coleman
  Q: My tank is 29 gallon. I have 6 goldfish that have grown to an average of 8 inches each. Filter is ...
  A: Unfortunately I am not an expert on goldfish, but I can tell you that goldfish do get these sorts of ...
small tank fish12/20/2014Ron Coleman
  Q: I'm actually going to apologize for bothering you, I'm sort of looking for suggestions/advice. So, ...
  A: Small tanks are quite popular right now, mostly because they take less space. There are many small ...
question for breeding fish12/18/2014Ron Coleman
  Q: .. my name is bharat, i have a problem in breeding flowerhorn fish in 2feet by 0.5feet tank but the ...
  A: The key to working with breeding cichlids is to put "structure" in the tank, i.e., obstacles such as ...
gold fish ill?12/10/2014Ron Coleman
  Q: My daughters goldfish has developed some black patches near the base of his tail and black streaks ...
  A: Unfortunately I am not an expert on goldfish. For other fishes, that sometimes represents damage ...
Aggressive Plecostomus/Ancistrus12/4/2014Richard Hight
  Q: I have two Plecostomus' that I bought together from what I've always thought was a reliable pet ...
  A: In both images you provided, the Pleco that is closest to the cave is the Lemon Drop, and the one ...
very sick goldfish12/2/2014Ron Coleman
  Q: I have had my goldfish for 5 years now and he has always been very happy and healthy.all of a sudden ...
  A: Unfortunately I do not know much about goldfish. It certainly appears like your fish has some sort ...
My Well Water12/2/2014Ron Coleman
  Q: I know you're an expert on Cichlids in particular, but I have an urgent question about Betta fish. ...
  A: Any well water could have heavy metals but I would hope that they would be at very low levels and ...
gold fish food11/28/2014Ron Coleman
  Q: I have 9 fancy goldfish in aquarium. aquarium size is 11'*18' there is around 30 litter water 2day ...
  A: I do not recommend using "holiday food". Often it merely rots in the tank. The best thing is to ...
My fish in a pot?11/22/2014Ron Coleman
  Q: I have a betta fish and I want to treat him like in Thailand (because they come from Thailand) and ...
  A: If he is alone and tearing his fins, that means that his water is not in good shape. It won't matter ...
Betta male & females11/8/2014Ron Coleman
  Q: I have recently set up a small 25 litre aquarium to house 1 male betta. I was thinking of adding ...
  A: If you put a female in with a male betta he will naturally try to mate with her. If she is ready to ...
AFRICAN CICHLID11/3/2014Ron Coleman
  Q: The only fish in a 48h x 12.5w x 20h tank. It was my husbands and he has passed away. I think it is ...
  A: That does not sound like ich. Ich would be everywhere, i.e., all over the body, particularly the ...
Discus pH level10/20/2014Richard Hight
  Q: I added "pH decrease" a few times but it's still 7.2-7.4. What's the best way to lower pH to 6.5? ...
  A: I get asked this question a lot and the answer is to trash the chemicals you're using and leave the ...
Discus PH10/20/2014Ron Coleman
  Q: I added "pH decrease" a few times but the pH remains like 7.2-7.4. What's the best way to lower ...
  A: Discus are rather sensitive fish so the most important thing is that any adjustments you make to ...
Growth on Fish Head10/18/2014Ron Coleman
  Q: My Blood Parrot fresh water fish, is showing a growth on it's head. It has developed little 1/4" ...
  A: Most likely that is a disease called columnaris. Unfortunately it is rather nasty and hard to ...
Pregnant Leopard Molly10/13/2014Ron Coleman
  Q: How long are they pregnant for and roughly how many baby fish could there possibly be thank you
  A: I have not kept mollies, but most livebearers like mollies are pregnant for about 3 weeks or so. ...
Walmart Cichild9/25/2014Ron Coleman
  Q: My 5 year-old daughter wanted a fish, so her grandma bought her one and a fish bowl to put it in. ...
  A: He does not need a 50 gallon tank but he would be VERY happy in a 20 gallon tank. He will probably ...
Worried9/21/2014Ron Coleman
  Q: As I saw in other posts my EB jackd dempsey is spitting out the flakes for a couple of days now but ...
  A: The spitting out of flakes is very normal particularly if this is a new food. This is how fish ...
Black Convict Cichlid3/30/2014Richard Hight
  Q: i have a 60 gallon tank with about over 20 Black Convict Cichlid different sizes, since they produce ...
  A: I'll give you a list of fish that will go in this tank, but it's best to let this be a species only ...
adaptability of moving fish from 1 tank to another ( same water supply).3/28/2014Richard Hight
  Q: My son inherited a 20 gal. tank 6 months ago. In the fresh-water environment, He placed a lemon ...
  A: It is difficult to tell what may be wrong with the 20 gallon, other than it may have had disease in ...
Black fin sharks12/19/2013Richard Hight
  Q: it was stuck to the filter but he wasn't small enough to be sucked by it (not cause of death) on ...
  A: Could be a number of things, but it sounds like ammonia poisoning. You need to check your water ...
Betta care in a 10 gal12/8/2013Richard Hight
  Q: I'm thinking of getting a betta for my 10gal tank. My plan is to have silk plants and perhaps some ...
  A: A Betta needs a heater and a filter. The heater should be set at 78 degrees. I would also leave the ...
What to choose11/16/2013Richard Hight
  Q: It is very dull so I want to know what fish are colourful that will go well with them. Many thanks ...
  A: Discus are best in a tank to themselves. There are many colorful plants you could add to beautify ...
Leaking tank?11/14/2013Richard Hight
  Q: I don't know if you can help but I hope you could! I discovered last friday after cleaning my fish ...
  A: I've only had one tank in my life that leaked and it was under warranty so I exchanged it for a new ...
Leaking aqurium?11/6/2013Richard Hight
  Q: I know this might not be in your expertise but if you could help me that would be a relief. I have a ...
  A: I've never had a tank leak before. You must find out where the water is coming from....determine ...

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Ron Coleman

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Expertise

I am an expert on cichlid fishes, particularly New World cichlids. My broader expertise includes the behavior, ecology and reproduction of fishes in general. (I am NOT an expert on Goldfish). Please do not use abbreviations, such as "my GT has a swollen eye" because I don't know what a "GT" is. The more clearly you can explain your question, the better chance I have of understanding what it is that you seek. I keep fishes both as a scientist and as a hobbyist and I currently maintain about 140 aquariums.

Experience

I am an Associate Professor at the California State University, Sacramento in the Department of Biological Sciences, and I run a website, called the Cichlid Research Home Page . I also write for many popular aquarist magazines, and I was editor of Cichlid News magazine for several years. I am a scientist and I spend my time teaching fish biology, ecology, behavior and evolution and doing research on the reproductive biology of fishes, particularly cichlids. I do research in the laboratory and in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Mexico. My main interest is understanding the evolution of parental care in fishes. I am interested in encouraging greater public awareness, understanding and participation in science.

Publications
Cichlid News, Tropical Fish Hobbyist, Freshwater and Marine Aquarium, Science, Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, Copeia, Canadian Journal of Zoology, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, AUK, Environmental Biology of Fishes

Education/Credentials
PhD (Toronto, 1993) MSc (Simon Fraser, 1986) BSc (British Columbia, 1983)

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