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Monodactylus sebae

A monodactylus sebae photographed in the tanks of Hydrocosmos (top) and feeding frenzy (middle and bottom photos). Click on the image at the top for a high resolution photo. G.J.Reclos /MCH

Q (Barret Hensiak) : Hello, I have recently bought a Monodactylus sebae, he's in a brackish tank kept at about 78-82 degrees, with the salt levels at about 9, he seems to be a little uncoordinated and slightly solitary, I also have another mono with him in the tank (he's pretty hyper,and wants to school). I cant tell if he's sick or just getting used to the tank, I've only had him for 2 days now, and the first day he ate well but hasn't ate at all today and like i said before, he seems to be sick or something, should I just monitor him and if he dies he dies? or what? or do you think I'm doing something wrong, he's a little guy so I feed him flake food for now, but any help or suggestions would be awesome! thank you,,

A (A. Kamarinos) : If Barret means that the fish is black or in a bad mood, this is obviously due to a difference in salinity between the tank he was in and the tank he is in now. Normally, if the difference is not great, it will recover quickly. If the difference is large, then the fish will probably perish. This fish should be fed frozen foods - at least for the beginning. You have to keep in mind that those fishes are not captive bred and, if it is newly caught, it needs a lot of time. Our practice, when we want to move them from fresh water to brackish or marine, is to start in the morning and transfer them at the end of the day gradually increasing the salinity. Another important issue is size. If a fish is large then the survival rate may drop to 10-20% while with young fish this rate can be as high as 80-90%. It should also be noted that it is much easier to adapt a group of them than one specimen since they live in shoals. I would call the acquisition of Monodactylus a lottery. It has happened to me to lose a whole batch of them for no apparent reason. All I can do is to apply all the precautions I mentioned earlier thus minimizing this risk. In short, Monodactylus belongs to the category of species that, if they present a problem, the situation is almost always irreversible.

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