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FAQs about the Diseases of Clownfishes 21

Related FAQs: Clownfish Disease 1, Diseases of Clownfishes 2, Diseases of Clownfishes 3, Clownfish Disease 4, Clownfish Disease 5, Clownfish Disease 6, Clownfish Disease 7, Clownfish Disease 8, Clownfish Disease 9, Clownfish Disease 10, Clownfish Disease 11, Clownfish Disease 12, Clownfish Disease 13, Clownfish Disease 14, Clownfish Disease 15, Clownfish Disease 16, Clownfish Disease 17, Clownfish Disease 18, Clownfish Disease 19Clownfish Disease 20, Clownfish Disease 22, Clownfish Disease 23, Clownfish Disease 24, Clownfish Disease 25, Clownfish Disease 26, Clownfish Disease 27, & FAQs on Clownfish Disease By: Environmental Stress, Nutrition, Social/Behavioral/Territoriality, Trauma/Mechanical Injury, & Pathogens: Lymphocystis, Infectious Disease (Bacteria, Fungi...), Protozoans: Cryptocaryon/Ich, Amyloodinium/Velvet, Brooklynella (see article below), & Mysteries/Anomalous Losses, Cure, Success Stories, & Clownfishes in General, Clownfish Identification, Clownfish Selection, Clownfish Compatibility, Clownfish Behavior, Clownfish Systems, Clownfish Feeding, Clownfishes and AnemonesBreeding Clowns

Related Articles: Clownfish Disease, Clownfishes, Maroon Clowns, Marine DiseaseBrooklynellosis

Clown Fish, beh., hlth.  04/02/09
I have recently started setting up a 180 litre marine aquarium. I allowed the tank to mature for 2 months and the tank contains 5kg of live rock. I added my first fish last weekend, 4 yellow tail blue damsels and one clown fish (captive raised). the 4 damsels appear very happy. The clown fish is very active, very socialable, but he won't eat. He is obviously hungry as any food that is put in the tank he will take the food in to his mouth, but then spits it out again. I have tried a wide variety of different foods, dried, blood worm, daphnia, Tubifex work, spinach, tuna and he does the same with all of them, takes a bite and then spits it out.
<Some of this behavior is normal, typical.>
I noticed last night that his colour is starting to go dull.
<Well, that's not good. I suspect you might have some serious water quality issues adding so many fish at one time! That was not a good move. I would do a big water change asap... and run some activated carbon too (if you can). I hope that you have something more for filtration than just the 5kg of liverock. What is the temperature of the tank? >
I do want more clown fish, unfortunately when I bought this one he was the last one in the shop. I was told that they would have some more in this weekend and I was going to buy some more, but I don't want to get more if he is ill or something.
<Good idea to hold off for awhile if you are concerned. Also, your tank is a bit small to have 4 damsels in with a percula clown fish. You might be at your stocking limit already.>
I have checked the water chemistry, and all is well, I've even conducted water changes just to be safe. 0 nitrates and nitrites , pH 8.4, specific gravity 1.22.
<I think you meant to type 1.022 (I hope!). If so, I would raise your salinity to closer to 1.025.>
Many thanks
Robert Dixon
<De nada,
Sara M.>
Get £25 off a case of wine - http://www.tiscali.co.uk/wine
<Hey... cheap vino! woo hoo!><<Methinks you've had quite enough. RMF>>

Re: marine whitespot-ick... more idiocy    3/20/09
Wild caught specimens have alot
<No such word>
more colour and beauty.
<Mmm, a trade off... Most don't live well or long... almost all have significant parasite loads, cumulative stress....>
Also I have found your emails very good and helpful except for in this one. I don't want you making comments or giving criticism you should be answering my question not being an ignorant $**%.
<... please... go elsewhere>
And by the way they don't have the spots and don't think I'll be using your emails again so...
there you go. I hope you can take this into account the next time you answer a question. Alright so I get it, sometimes it can be a little frustrating when people have completely stuffed something up and you have to help them
<You are mistaken here as well... I don't "have" to do anything...>
because they haven't done sufficient research, well it doesn't matter and they want your advice and answers not your criticism and judgments.
<Good luck, good life, good riddance. Go grow up. BobF>

Sick/dying clowns -- 03/03/09 Hi Crew, <Tim> I have a bit of a problem/ situation that I'm hoping you can help me out with. <Me too> About a month ago I purchased a pair of wild caught clowns <Mmm, captive produced are far superior... and not enough room likely... what species?> from quite a reputable store for my 20 gallon tank (Approx. guess on the gallons as we use litres over here in Oz - 87 litres if that helps). All was good for the first 3 weeks until I noticed that the female clown had an abrasion on the last white stripe before her tail ended, which seemed to be bleeding, and the black part of her tail had gone a whitish colour. From what I could see the damage to her tail looked to be physical at this stage and presumed that she may have been hit by a fallen piece of live rock that I found laying in the sand bed. After consulting a staff member at my LFS, he suggested I give her fresh water baths to prevent infection/disease, <Returning the fish to the same system...> and to keep an eye on her to be sure her situation didn't change. About three days and a few baths later, she seemed to be fine... the whole time eating and acting like her usual self. Then about 2 days after this her tail around the area started to deteriorate and she lost about half of it over night. I bathed her a few more times over the next day and a bit before finding her dead. The whole time she was sick her partner was fighting fit and showed no signs of the sickness that his female friend had. When I found her dead she seemed to have white spots all over her body so I kept a close eye on the male making sure that he didn't contract anything from her. A week had passed and he looked just as healthy as ever so I bought him a new mate - a wild caught clown around twice his size. This was 6 days ago. I am still relatively new to the marine side of things although I have had fresh water tanks for quite a few years and have been reading up on your site as much as possible and have learnt quite alot of things from you and you wonderful team. I don't have the resources at the moment for a QT tank but, as suggested in many of you FAQ's, gave his new tank mate a fresh water bath before placing her/it in the tank with him. <Good> The next morning, much to my disappointment i found him hardly breathing and with white spots all over his body and his new tank mate with a few spots on her body. Unfortunately they both passed away :( <...> The reason(s) I am writing to you is 1. Could the problem with the first female clown have been a disease/parasite that she had before I got her and not from a possible landslide in the tank? <Of a certainty, yes> 2. Could this parasite have been living in the in-between her dying and her mate getting sick? <Could> & 3. If the answer to question 2 is yes... How can I eliminate the problem? <... a few possibilities... the most sure, bleach the existing system, in place... rinse, refill, rinse, refill... Add new seawater, have time go by... Other possible protocols include treating the water or not, having weeks go by sans fish hosts...> I am very persistent with my tank maintenance and all levels of Ammonia and Nitrites are Zero, there is the slightest trace of Nitrate but not anything that I could see being a problem. SG 1.024, PH is a little low at between 7.9 - 8.0 and temp. at 25 degrees C. Any light that you could shed on the issue would be greatly appreciated and I look forward to your response, Thank you in advance, Tim, Newcastle, Australia <If it were me/mine Tim, I'd go the bleach route... and either secure tank-bred clowns (Ocellaris or Perculas in such a small volume) or run wild of the same species through dip/baths before introduction. See WWM re all topics. Bob Fenner>

Ocellaris Clownfish with Pop eye. The usual: lack of data, not reading, using WWM  -- 2/21/09 Hello. I have a 55 reef that I just added a beautiful radiant wrasse to. One of the wrasse's eyes was blue; I didn't think anything of it (it was clear and the fish acted healthy), until my ocellaris developed popeye and the eye turned blue. Other than that he seems normal. I heard that popeye can be caused by gas (specifically microbubbles) getting stuck behind the eye. Is this true? <Mmm, yes... to be clear/er... this "condition" (Exophthalmia) can be caused by several factors> I did run a new protein skimmer that created many, many microbubbles right before the condition developed. What do you think the cause of the popeye is? <W/o data... can't tell...> How should I proceed? Thank you so much for your time and your consideration. <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PopeyeCause.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Brooklynellosis... not likely  2/16/09 I have two clowns and a baby Sailfin in a 29 gallon. <Mmm... oh, I see below> (the baby Sailfin is going in a 150 gallon when he gets big enough, but right now he's far too small to be will the bigger fish...I'm talking maybe the size of a half dollar.) <Wow. Tiny> Well I introduced him into the tank with my two clowns about 2 weeks ago. I notices yesterday that my larger clown has a spot on his left side... It is white and it almost looks like he got stung, or its a fungus of some sort. He hosts a frogspawn and always sucks on the tentacles, his lips get swollen on occasion. I was just wondering, could my Sailfin could have introduced a parasite into my tank? <Mmm, one spot? I'd not jump to conclusions> My other clown is fine swimming around but the larger one is worrying me. He never really swims away from his frogspawn...could he gave gotten stung? <Yes> I might be jumping to conclusion I was just looking for expert advice. <Let's see your next email. BF>

Brooklynellosis 2/16/09 The spot I'm pertaining to is located behind his middle stripe <Too blurry to tell what this is. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clnfshdisart.htm and the linked files above.
Bob Fenner>

Brooklynellosis 2/16/09 Should I qt? He was swimming around last night, and he's still alive this morning...he ate. Suggestions? <Read>

New Captive-Bred "Clownfish Disease"? 02/09/09 Dear Crew - <Marty> Bob Fenner has spoken of the phenomenal vitality of captive-bred Clownfishes. I don't doubt that tank-bred clownfish have a much better overall survival record than wild-caught. But experience now teaches me that some issues are creeping into tank bred populations - at least those supplying shops in New England. I recently acquired a group of ocellaris clowns as a starter for a 300-gallon marine tank. While initially all seemed healthy, after a couple of weeks I noticed that one specimen was exhibiting lethargic behavior and very rapid breathing, and moved it to a hospital tank. Within a few days, three more had to be moved. Soon I observed long, thin, white feces hanging from the afflicted fish. I have now gone about a week with no problems manifested by the display tank fish, but have had no luck with the hospital tank. <Mmm, do you have access to a low-power microscope? I'd like to see images of this fecal material> Meanwhile, I returned to the retailer and studied the remaining individuals in the tank from which I purchased my group. About a half dozen were in extremis, with exactly the same symptoms as mine. No visible external symptoms at all. Cryptocaryon, Amyloodinium and Brooklynellosis are out. I spoke with the owner of the shop. He said that, from time to time, he receives a shipment of clownfish that are afflicted in this way. Always captive bred. He has had little or no success treating the affected fishes. He suggested that the only effective treatment might be formaldehyde (not formalin), but was pessimistic even about that. <Mmm, this won't work... the problem is lumenal...> Meanwhile, I have used Cupramine, PraziPro and metronidazole - all with no success. <Dang! How were these administered?> Now using formalin (first as a bath, now in the hospital tank) plus Epsom salts (to loosen fecal material), but the rapid breathing continues. <Time to try quinine compounds> Obviously, I'm looking for treatment ideas, but I was also curious whether this is a phenomenon observed elsewhere. <I have not seen consistent reports re this... Are these fish from a particular vendor/source? E.g. ORA?> Finally, I am looking for thoughts as to how long the display tank should be watched (with no new victims) before any new (fully-quarantined) fish are added. I'm thinking at least a month. (I've considered the "go fallow" approach - removing all remaining fish to another tank for a month - but since I have no reason to believe that the agent survives anywhere but within the fish themselves and intend to keep my lovely healthy specimens, I don't see the point.) Thanks in advance for any help you can provide. Marty <Again... am wanting to see photomicrographs of the stringy waste... Bob Fenner>

Black and white clownfish color loss... lack of fdg., data  1/15/09 Okay so... I have a black and white clownfish about 2 years old eats pellet and mysis hates flake. So this week I noticed that she had a white stripe from arm fin to start of tail fin about half and inch wide. Not so much white as it is a pale black discoloration. <Stress coloration... Something/s amiss here> She is still eating spectrum pellets but puts the mysis in her mouth and spits it out? <Another bad sign> I tried to catch her to put her in a qt but she wasn't having it. I've done searches and don't know what this could be? I've had ick before and velvet and I've seen a clown with brook.. it doesn't seem like any of those. The fish is not slimy in anyway just like she was tagged on both sides in the exact same spot...so what gives?? Please help I don't want to lose her. Thanks, Alyssa <Let's default, check on the most likely cause here... water quality... Test for accumulated metabolites... For most folks this is just Nitrates... at any length, serial dilutions (water changes), the use of GAC (carbon)... are useful. Send data please... water tests. Bob Fenner>

Re: black and white clownfish color loss 1/19/09 Hi- I have done all my tests and my readings are some what normal, except I need to lower my nitrates. <I see> Ammonia-0 Nitrate-30 Nitrite-0 PH- 8.2 Cal-480 <Ooh, this is a bit high... might be an issue... especially if you're Magnesium is far out of balance (should be in an approximately 3:1 ratio with Ca> KH-179 Do you think that any of these reading would possible make the clown have a white stripe on him? <I am doubtful that "this is it" in terms of root cause... Likely something else that is not mentioned (social let's say) or other chemical issue... When, where in doubt, I'd do some serial water changing... perhaps add some activated carbon and/or Polyfilter to your water flow path> Thanks, Alyssa <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: black and white clownfish color loss 1/19/09 Dear Mr. Fenner- <Just Bob please> I am almost certain it was my mean Cherub Angel. <Ahh! This could definitely be "it"> I have since pulled out the angel and the clown is looking better day by day. I thought enough time had elapsed so I placed the cherub back in the tank and he was okay for a little while, however I recently acquired a Mystery Wrasse. <A really neat fish... do make sure your tank is covered... the genus are notorious jumpers> I was warned the Mystery would be a bully, however it was quite the opposite and the Cherub chased the Mystery endlessly along with the clown. Needless to say the Angel is in QT and most likely going to be sold :(. As far as my numbers go, you are saying my nitrates are high? <Is a good idea to keep under 20 ppm... actually, the lower the better... Not necessarily toxic by itself, NO3 can be indicative of other metabolite accumulation, a loss of RedOx, low DO...> I do run carbon and a poly filter, however I have heard that these are Nitrate factories? <Mmm, can contribute if exposed to a good deal of waste over time> I also was feeding heavily due to the white stripe. I thought if I feed heavily it would keep up immunity. I have since then pulled the carbon and the poly filter due to my readings that they were Nitrate factories. I have done another water change and I was going to retest the water tonight. As for the Mag, I don't test for Mag? Should I be testing for Mag? <Mmm, not really... if you don't keep biomineralizing life... and don't supplement for such... Better for most Fish Only and FOWLR systems to rely on water changes to keep all about right/balanced. Please read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/maintindex.htm scroll down...> The KH was wrong, apparently I didn't divide by the number I should of and I had a friend help me. He said my KH was actually 10. <Ahh, a danger in not stating units of measure... I taught H.S. level chemistry and physics...> Please let me know what if any stats I need to lower. Thank you, Alyssa <Please peruse the above reference area. BobF>

True Percula Problem 12/18/08 Hi there, I hope you can help. <Will certainly try.> I recently bought two True Percula Clowns from my local aquatics store. I was told they are wild caught and already a pair even though only about an inch in size. <Better to get captive raised, generally healthier, more adapted to captive life along with the environmental considerations.> I didn't really want wild caught clowns as I know they are not as hardy as captive bred which I have now found out. <Yep> They would not eat and now one has died. I've tried everything I can think of to feed them, frozen, flake, pellets and live foods. Nothing seems to work. <Not a good sign.> My water parameters in my 30 gallon tank are all good except for a high reading of nitrate, <May be partly the problem.> but my corals and bubble tip anemone are doing great. <Be aware that combining corrals and anemones in this small of a tank can be problematic.> Could the high nitrate be the cause? <Doubt it is the root cause unless it is very high, but a contributing factor likely.> They were a bit sulky in the store, but I was told that was just because they needed an anemone, but I think I was silly to buy them in the end. <Definitely never buy a fish who's health is in question in the store, and clowns most definitely do not need an anemone to be healthy and happy.> Do you think my remaining clown can be saved? Or am I looking at wasting £60 ? Clint <With wild caught fish diagnosing issues such as this can be quite difficult. It could be just stress/damage from shipping and adapting to captivity, internal parasites, or a host of other more common diseases. See here for more http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnfshdisart.htm .> <Chris>

Re: True Percula Problem  12/20/08 Hi there! Thanks for the quick response! There is nothing physically wrong with the remaining clownfish other then the fact he is still not eating. His colors are still bright and he's still swimming in the top corner of the tank. Do you think there is a chance he will be ok and start eating? <Could once he becomes for accustomed to his environment assuming he does not have some sort of internal problem.> Sorry, but I really do want to do best by my fish keeping Clint <If you have not already try some live brine shrimp, often can stimulate a feeding response.> <Chris>

Hoping you can help - Clown Fish Ill  12/17/08 Hi Guys, <Alex> Hope all is well, it's been a long time and as a first for me, here comes a fish illness related question. By the way, happy holidays and all that good stuff. <And to you> So I have had a reef tank running for ~ 1 1/2 yrs. now and no outbreaks of anything what-so-ever. 3 Days ago, my perfectly healthy and ravenous clownfish stopped eating (frozen and pellets - he would destroy these before). I checked him out carefully and noticed, small white cloudy substances on his body. Mainly the front part of his head, but now is beginning to creep towards his dorsal fin and back body. It's not covering it or anything, but it is noticeable. He has the same (in a stripe) across his eyes, but not covering them entirely like eye cloud and certainly isn't pop-eye (my opinion). Param.s. are perfect. except for Trates, which are hovering at ~10 -15 (working on bringing those down as I type with a H2O change, the second one in as many days. So here comes my pitch as to why I need to save this little guy. He was my first marine fish ever and I can't imagine my aquarium with out him. What can I do? I read about Brooklynella (sp.?), but I'm not quite certain that is it. The pictures I see seem to make him look healthy compared to those fish, although he is certainly not my healthy fish of 3 days ago. Symptoms match, but the photo's seem to make it look a little different. <And... where would the initial infestation come from?> I read about a possible bacterial Infection that could be caused by an initial ammonia burn somehow, but my ammonia reads 0 on Salifert and Aquar. Pharm. Trites. are also zero, but just to be safe I have dosed with Prime. I cant' set a QT up tonight due to lack of Salt and a winter storm in NYC is preventing me from heading to the store earlier. My question I guess becomes, what can I do with the start of a new day tomorrow to help this guys out? Again, about 3 days in to his symptoms and lack of eating, is it too late to QT him and give him some baths in formalin? Should I do the bath (separately from QT obviously), but also add some Myacin-2 to the QT after his baths? <I wouldn't move this fish to quarantine... maybe to another established system if you have such... I suspect that this is NOT something pathogenic (organism-induced) but perhaps environmental... a run-in with something toxic, stinging in the system...> Symptoms to be as complete as possible: -Lethargic, White clouds on body, sits back in a corner when he used to swim the tank, does not eat, heavy breathing and gaping of the mouth, edges of his fins although in tact are cloudy, don't know what else I can mention, but ask away and I will provide immediate responses. What would you do? <Either move this fish to another setting, even a refugium tied in... or do my best to improve water quality, feeding, add a cleaner organism (likely a Lysmata sp. shrimp). I would NOT move this fish to a bare, new treatment setting (too stressful) NOR "treat" it with "medicines"> Thank very much! Alex <Welcome. Please make it known how this works out. Bob Fenner>

*EDITED* Hoping you can help - Clown Fish Ill  12/17/08 Forgot to mention to the below: Dosed his food with Zoe and Kent Garlic Extract - this has been continual and not just since symptoms presented themselves (all I have as far as meds.) & no other fish show signs of any symptoms. Will be more proactive going forwards... Alex <This is well. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hoping you can help - Clown Fish Ill Hi Mr. Fenner, <Mr. Adami> Quite an honor to get a chance to hear from you, read your books and actually just put one down prior to writing you. I believe you just made my day considering I thought it was the dreaded Brooklynella. Although I know we can't be certain, I will follow your advise and not move the fish into a brand new QT as it would be a first-run set up and not a fuge or existing DT or QT. To answer a question of yours or two, I have not added any new fish or inverts to the Main DT in the last 4 months. <Ahh... even more reason to discount the presence of a Protozoan here> Happy with the three fish I have and do not want to over-crowed. My RO/DI water purification system was running a little off last week due to not being proactive with the necessary purchase of replacement cartridges (holidays and all - money went elsewhere) and I did notice a difference in him after the last initial H2O Ch. The only other thoughts that you have sparked in my mind are: 1) He came a little too close to my addition of Seachem reef builder the other day and may have gotten himself a little "singed" 2) went to a new filter media of Purigen from Chemi-Pure Elite both of these were done about a day before symptoms presented themselves. <Good notes... could be as you state> Finally, I did a fresh water dip/bath last night (PH and Temp exactly the same as MDT) and this guy was a trooper, this was his first bath in 18 months, since I put him in QT prior to the MDT. He sat on the bottom for about 30 seconds and them swam around in the current for the remaining 18 minutes. I could have sworn he was liking his fresh-water treatment, but certainly looked like he belonged - no worries there and he popped right back up when introduced back into the MDT. Lastly, I'm not certain I could get away with adding the shrimp you mention, I have two CBR's (sorry I forgot to mention that) they are a mated pair and well, territorial might be an understatement = )..but would be willing to try if you thought there was a chance he could make it. <Agreed. I would leave out this addition> So, to recap, I am thrilled to have heard back from YOU. I will do another H2O ch. Tonight with brand new cartridges in place, and will NOT treat with any meds. I will wait and monitor carefully and if symptoms become worse try to research another route. MANY THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HELP AND ALL YOU GUYS DO! Alex <Most welcome my friend. BobF>

Re: Hoping you can help - Clown Fish Ill Thank you again for your reinforcements - sometimes hearing others positive reinforcement solves the anxiety in one's head from spinning out of control and making rash decisions - which we never want to do in our hobby. My best for a Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year to all of you. <Ah, agreed and thank you> Aquatically yours, Alex <BobF>

Re: Hoping you can help - Clown Fish Ill 1/14/09 Hi Mr. Fenner and Crew, <Alex> An update on the below story. I am proud to report that my little trooper pulled through 4 weeks in the QT with Copper Safe, Maracyn Two and Formalin baths finally did the trick. BTW - My QT when set-up had Ammonia levels of 2.0 which I quickly locked up with SeaChem Prime, but I would NOT Recommend this, <Me neither... too stressful, toxic> I, unfortunately, had no other choice. There were days where I was reading about Humane Euthanizing as he was really bad, how much should I allow him to suffer for my own selfish reasons was the thinking behind that. Only to say to myself "give it one more day." After about three days of, giving it one more day, it was like he heard me or something, like he knew, I need to buck-up or it's the freezer and then flush city, because he started eating again, regained his color, his stamina and his frisky attitude. He is now back in my MDT fully healed and competing with my Tangs for food. Although he mostly loses this battle, he gets enough to eat regardless. <Good> So once again, even though I did not follow your advise as to not treat and QT, he is back to normal, and I thank you for your time and help. Regards, Alex <Thank you for this update, further input. BobF>

Dropsy Bloat in Clownfish 11/15/08 Hello Bob, I have a Black and White Clownfish that has all the symptoms of Dropsy Bloat. <... how do come about this diagnosis? And what do you figure are the net causes?> I was wondering what you would recommend to treat her. <Depends... on the second question above> She is still very active and eating well, i know she is not pregnant because she is still a juvenile. If you could help> me out it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks -Tyler Johnson <Perhaps a cursory addition of Epsom Salt. Please see WWM re. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish HyperMelanization ????--Maroon clown question - 11-12-08 Hi <Evening> Hope you can help with this as I am at a complete loss as to what is happening with my maroon clown. I have a 300ltr system, corner tank with a 50ltr sump and a 50 ltr refugium. All my water parameters are good and stable and the system is no 10 months old. <Numbers are always helpful> Two months ago I bought a maroon clown , a perfect specimen with no marks , clear eyes and full colour. Over the last six weeks I noticed dark patches on her skin and a loss of pigment on the fins. This has now deteriorated further. (please see pics). <Is the fish breathing rapidly? Are there any holes or pits on the head region? Is the fish 'fin clamping'?> Hope you can advise me what this is and if I can do anything. The rest of my stock , flame angel, watchman goby , firefish and two Banghi cardinals are all fine. <From the pictures, it seems there is a possibility of a bacterial infection, but also of a Brookynella infestation (parasite). The pictures aren't of high enough quality to tell for sure, and it would be difficult to obtain such pictures. I would remove the fish and place it in a separate quarantine tank, and treat for bacterial infection and parasites.  A treatment of methylene blue + a common antiparasitic will hopefully show improvements, and if not, a stronger/more effective mixed antibiotic may help. Let me know if this is successful or not> Venlig hilsen / Kind Regards <Hoop ik heb geholpen - did I get that right? ;) > Tim Percival <Feel free to participate in our forums if you are so inclined - we have a disease section that may be able to shed some light on your case: bb.wetwebmedia.com - M. Maddox>

My Black Ocellaris Clownfish Tremors After Eating 11/12/08 Hey Fish Masters! <I could get used to being called that...> My Name is Mario, <Hello Mario!> I've had my 29g tank for a year now. My water levels are good, I have a 120 gallon protein skimmer on it and have calcium and iodine supplements. My fish include 2 Ocellaris clown fish, 1 black Ocellaris clown fish, one firefish goby, and a black brittle star, cleaner skunk shrimp and 2 zebra hermits as well as 2 turbo nails.  Lately I've been feeding my fish flakes, but I like to give them brine shrimp 3x times a weeks and I always feed my brittle star and cleaner shrimp about half inch piece of krill every 2 days. <Glad to hear you're feeding the shrimp and brittle star. Do consider giving your fish a good pellet (I like the stuff from New Life Spectrum) or meaty food as well, like mysis, squid, or krill> When it comes to the fish the bigger of the 2 Ocellaris is always the one to eat the most with my goby staying in mid of the tank catch what they miss.  Lately, however my black Ocellaris has been beating every one to the food. My problem is that when his is done his gut is massive and he starts shaking around every where and sometimes even shakes while swimming vertically with his head pointing down toward. If I feed him more, he'll eat more while shaking around. At that point he's not as agile. After 2 hours everything's back to normal and when they eat for the second time in the evening the black clownfish starts again. What does this mean. <These clowns are opportunistic- food doesn't necessarily come by in great quantities on the reef, so they grab as much as they can, as often as they can. I've heard of these fish being fed until they literally bust their gut...to avoid this, try using a meaty food cut into many pieces...it may disperse enough in the tank to allow the other fish to feed without engorging your clown. You could also try feeding him in one corner of the tank, and while he's busy feed on the other side for the other fish. They won't get it the first few times, but you might be surprised by how quickly they catch on> Its too erratic to be a breeding dance. <Indeed. It is a "dear heaven my stomach hurts and I can't maintain proper buoyancy" dance...or perhaps some swallowed air because of the flake food.> Please give me your insights. Thanks! ph: 8.2, salinity: 1.22 <Ultimately, I wouldn't worry too much, provided your other fish aren't wasting away and you don't feed this fellow until he pops> <Benjamin>

Dissolved O2 and Clownfish 11/11/08 Hello, <Carrie.> Thank you for having such an informative site. I research before every live purchase here. <Great! Sorry for the slow response. Bob F. has been out of net service. Please do send all future queries directly to Crew@WetWebMedia.com.> Two days ago, I purchased the first fish (two Ocellaris clowns) for my 75 gallon aquarium. They were in the 10 gallon quarantine tank, filled with water from my cycled display. Within 20 hours the first had died, and the second was alternating swimming in the current of the filter and at the water line. The Ammonia/ Nitrate/ Nitrite were at 0, the PH at 8.4, specific gravity at 1.024, temp 79.1. The dead clown had no signs of trauma or disease that I could find. Could this be a dissolved oxygen issue? <Could be, possibly shipping/collection (if not tank raised) damage also. In the future to allow for more oxygen exchange to play it safe.> The tank is has a glass cover over all but one inch of the top to lower the risk of fishy suicide, and no skimmer. After the death, I am also worried about my main tank. It has the same water parameters, 75lbs of live rock a 350 Penguin filter, powerhead rated for 75 gallons and a Remora skimmer. The tank top is completely covered except where the water flows in due to my plan of having a Pearly Jawfish. <Less of a concern here with the skimmer. Do consider some breathable cover for the tank such as the fluorescent light diffuser known as eggcrate sold in most hardware stores.> I would like to order a replacement for the clown, so that they ago into the display together, but I will not order it if I am not reasonably sure I can give it the care/water quality it needs. <Aerate the QT tank a bit, it will be fine. Making sure you buy tank raised clowns will increase your success.> Also, can you advise on my current stocking plans? Currently I have: 3 cleaner shrimp 3 peppermint shrimp (that completely ignored the Aiptasia - you win some, etc....) 10 dwarf hermits 25 adult snails, (reproducing rapidly) 1 Ocellaris clowns (will have 2) Stocking plan (in order) 1 Threadfin (Auriga) Butterfly (around 3 inches at purchase) 1 Pearly Jawfish and 1 Orchid Dottyback 1 dwarf angel (still working on species) Is that about right for a 75? Or could I add a fish or two prior to the angel? <You could add some smaller fish such as gobies or cardinals.> Thank you so much for your advice! Carrie
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Clownfish Help  -10/25/08 Hello, I have a Ocellaris clownfish (Nemo's species). I have about 20 gallon Octagon tank, with a Whisper power filter for 20-40 gallon tanks, 1 turbo snail and 3 other snails I am not sure what species they are and a live rock. And a 13w fluorescent light. For the past week he has been swimming with his mouth wide open. <Has he been feeding like this, or has he stopped eating?> So I went to the fish guy were I bought my clown at almost a year ago. He told me to do a 3 gallon water change to my about 20 gallon octagon tank to see if it helped. So I did do that. Then went in to have the water checked. He told me that my salinity was a bit high. And to do a gallon water change. . So I did. It didn't help. <Not surprised> I had to wait a few days to go back to him but the day before I did. I did a gallon water change. He checked the water salinity and it was 1.023 and he said it was good. He said the Ph was good also. But my clown fish did not improve. He thought maybe it was depressed. <?? Human emotions to not translate to fish...> And since his last buddy died 5 months ago. We decided to see if a buddy would help. <Your fish store is good at making sales, but they clearly don't know huey about fish...you might try asking him how 'depression' causes lockjaw...one way or another, you're bound to get an interesting response.> They are getting along but, has not improved. So my mom took the fish to the fish guy to show him his mouth. Cause I've been worried about him. He said that it wasn't good that we took him out of his environment and that we may stress him some more. <This is true> But he suggested that we use Quick Cure to see if he has ick, or parasites. <Ich will not cause this symptom. Gill flukes or damage might...but Quick Cure is a very bad idea, for either problem.> We've been on the treatment for about two days now and his eyes seem to be shrinking. <Do be advised you've killed your bacterial filtration, and your rock is no longer 'live' in any sense...> I have a back up air filter in case the electricity goes out, i used that today to make sure hes not being deprived of air for a tad bit. <Wise...Quick Cure will deplete dissolved oxygen.> Am not sure if I should go to another fish store to get another opinion. <Fish stores are generally not a good spot for such information. Their job is to sell product, even if they mean well.> But if you can help me I would appreciated it. I dont want him to suffer. <Then get some carbon in your filter to remove the medication, and get some test kits. Make sure your tank has safe levels of nitrite and nitrate, as poisoning could be causing haggard 'breathing'- hence the open mouth. Also, see if you can observe anything stuck in the mouth. If the clown is still feeding, he's fine is this department, but he may simply have something stuck in his mouth. In addition, look and see if there are any strange protuberances or dents in the jawline; a dislocated or broken jaw could also be the cause here. In any case, clean water and time will heal the problem> Thank you, Amber <No trouble. Benjamin>

Re: Clownfish Help  -10/25/08 Sorry I forgot to mention that his color has lightened up. <If this was before you moved/medicated him, probably because of water quality issues; if after, I would chalk it up to stress> His mouth has a Rocky rocky balboa look to it. But he doesn't not show signs of deterioration nor cotton around mouth. <Probably physical trauma...'choking' or broken/dislocated jaw> He changed his pattern to where he usally swims in a waterfall figurine. To where he's either neither the bottom of the tank or top. But he swims around a bit now, too. Very sorry, <No problem> Amber <Benjamin> RE: Clownfish Help- 10/25/08 Dear Mr. Benjamin, Thank you for the help. <No problem> I just want to tell you that we did take the Snails and live rock out and put them into a separate area before adding the medicine. Also that the store that I go to only sells marine and fresh water fish. If I should go somewhere else to ask questions, what type of store should I look for? <I would recommend you simply research your troubles on wetwebmedia.com, and consider purchasing some literature on marine reefkeeping. There are some excellent resources available to you> And if he does have a dislocated jaw line is there nothing I can do to fix it or is it just a futile thing now? <Provided the fish is eating, he will most likely recover with time- and in the even it does not improve, it is unlikely to be fatal.> <Benjamin>

Sick clown? -10/28/08 Hi. I am taking care of my boyfriend's maroon clownfish. It has developed a translucent white film over the spines on his face. It wasn't there when I first had it. It has been there for about a month. It originally developed on both sides of his face. Since then, one side has gone away and one has gotten worse. It has not spread to his face, just the spines. The fish is 3-4 years old. I have had it for 3 months. When we first moved it to my house it dug around in the rock at the bottom of the tank a lot. (he also got a scrape on his forehead from this and it shows up in the picture, but that is healing). Maybe he caught something while doing this. He is the only fish in the tank. It is a 60 gal. tank. There are a few hermit crabs (I think 3) and a spider crab in the tank. I have never taken care of a fish tank before. The person who sold him the fish looked at it and said she has not seen the film on the spines before. She didn't think that it was anything to worry about, but it is getting worse. She tested the water and said that it was good. My boyfriend moved the tank here and used the same water that was in it before. (he saved it in sterilized containers). He showed me how to check the specific gravity and how to add more salt if it is low. I have only done that once. I have added regular water to the tank (cold tap water that has sat out) when water evaporated. Do you know what is causing this and do you know how to fix it? Thank You, Katie <Hi Katie, I'm sorry but BobF is out of the country until mid-Nov. The best advice I can give you is to check the water quality (test for nitrites and nitrates) and to search/browse the pages on WWM for a query with a similar problem. Is the fish otherwise behaving normally? Is it eating well? Best,
Sara M.>
Re: Sick clown? -10/28/08 Thanks for writing back. The water has been tested and it is fine (I don't know how to test it but someone else tested for nitrates, nitrites, and I think ammonia). The fish is behaving normally and is eating well. <I do think the clown is just fine. I don't see any obvious abnormalities and if he's behaving and eating normally, there's a good chance he/she is ok. I suspect that maybe she/he just rubbed up against something (causing a small abrasion). If I were you, I wouldn't worry unless it got much worse.> If BobF knows what is happening, I would love to hear from him when he returns. <I'm sorry, but he won't be back for weeks and likely won't have time to answer queries missed while he's gone.> Thanks again, Katie <Best, Sara M.>

Clown fish eye infection... Antibiotic use   10/1/08 Hi Crew, Can you recommend the best antibacterial to eradicate my Seabay Clown Fishes eye infection? <Mmm, yes: none> Tried several doses of Maracyn Plus, but the problem keeps coming back. <Need to discern, treat the actual cause here... not bacterial> Eyes are bulging to the point where it looks like the fish is wearing goggles! <...> Maracyn takes it away for a week and then the eyes start to bug out again. Please tell me a specific, name brand, one time treatment for this fish (which is now isolated in my hospital tank) so I don't have to keep on spending money on the wrong thing. Thanks! <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/Popeyecures.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: clown fish eye infection -- 10/02/08 Thanks Bob! I am going to try the Epsom salt treatment for my Pop-eyed clown first to see how that works. <Good idea> If need be I will then try the fresh water bath. Question on the bath; how long should the fish sit in the fresh water and how often do I need to do this procedure? <Posted... on WWM> Thanks again for the guidance. Lisa
<Welcome. BobF>

My Fish has a hole in its head....    9/20/08 Hi there, <Ben> At colleague at work recommended I email this question to : My Clownfish has been really active in the month I've had him (although I'm amazed how much time he has been near the surface). All the chemical tests I did at the weekend were perfect but slowly the top of his head started going weird. At first it looked like he was losing colour, now it appears to be transparent. I spoke to the aquarium and they said do a fresh water bath, so whilst doing that today I took this picture. Despite the look, it's not actually a hole there's a transparent layer where you'd expect the skin. Any thoughts are most welcome.... [cid:image001.jpg@01C91A78.4BCCF210] Thanks Ben <This Clown's flesh is being "eaten away" microbially, subsequent to some sort of physical trauma. I doubt if the effect can be reversed. Do read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clnfshdisart.htm the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Desperate Newbies - Sick Clownfish   8/12/08 Hello <Brenda... my oldest sisters name as well> I don't know where else to turn and I'm losing faith in my dealer . being brand new at this, we are hoping you can help. My husband and I set up a 14g BioCube to serve as a quarantine tank once our 90g arrives in a few weeks. In the meantime we got the small tank started and my husband was doing full water checks everyday and still is even a month later. Everything happened as expected - nitrogen cycle, all numbers became perfect as time went on. The tank has aragonite substrate, "tufa" rock <Mmm, some of this has proven problematical in saltwater aquarium use... I'd pull it... read re on WWM, elsewhere.> to create places to hide, and that is it. After 2 weeks we added 2 cleaner shrimp and 2 hermit crabs. Three weeks in we added 2 Ocellaris clownfish after drip acclimation over an hour. We searched for tank bred with no luck. Our dealer said we would have a hard time finding captive bred (hmm) <... No... are you in the United States?> and that the one's we bought are wild caught. In the first week of having them we noticed the larger one had white stringy feces - <Mmm, often indicative of lumenal parasites.> we did a partial water change, kept doing daily water checks, etc. After feeding I would watch them for about 20-25 min. to make sure feces were fine. We only saw the white feces the once and so deduced it was stress related. <Could be> They both were eating and behaving well. We have had them almost 2 weeks now and we noticed yesterday that the larger one again had white stringy feces and was somewhat bloated by the anus. She still ate however. We read info from "The Conscientious Aquarist" again and surfed your site, and decided to get Flagyl/Metronidazole as we believed it was parasites. <This anti-protozoal and either at the same time or sequentially, a vermifuge/anti-worm compound should be used> We spoke to our dealer who agreed. So, late last night we treated by adding the medication to frozen brine shrimp until it dissolved. She ate well and really perked up. We thought let's give the medication time to do it's thing, repeat it every other day over this week as directed, <... Too much... three days maximum is what I prescribe. Flagyl can kill fishes' kidneys with too much exposure> and see what happens. Unfortunately, this morning we found her lying at the bottom of the tank and she seems to be breathing hard - the bloating is down. We turned on the day lights and she perked up a bit, swimming around the bottom as opposed to laying on the bottom, but still not herself. I tried to feed with pellets and she made an attempt to come to the top but didn't eat anything. We are terribly worried. The numbers last night were Termp-24.5 C, SG 1.024, pH 8.2, Ammonia 0, Nitrate 10, Phosphates 0, Calcium 300, Carbon Hardness 9dkH, Nitrites 0. We haven't been able to get our hands on a Dissolved Oxygen kit yet as the entire city is sold out (how does that happen in a city of a million people?????). <Doubtful that DO has anything to do... in a system of this volume, make-up...> The numbers have been stable for 2 weeks now. My questions: 1. Do any of our numbers seem out of whack? <No> 2. What might be wrong with her given the symptoms (first stringy white feces, then bloating, then laying at bottom, breathing hard, not eating) <"Cumulative stress", likely internal parasite faunal activity...> 3. Should we continue with the Metronidazole? Treating the entire system or just in the food? <The food, three times max., the addn. of a dewormer (Prazi...)> 4. Is there anything else we can do? Did we overlook something? It's 7:30 in the morning and none of the stores are open for a while, and we don't know what to do next. Help! Brenda and Jim <Mmm, perhaps reading will grant you insight, solace... Start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clnfshdisart.htm and perused the many linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Clown fish with mouth open    8/8/08 Hi Crew, <Sara> I have a problem and was diligently searching the FAQ's when I found what might be the answer and I thought I would ask you to confirm. I know you've heard it a thousand times, but your site is awesome and the help that you provide us is much appreciated. To make a long story short, 3 weeks ago lost my entire livestock (tank was FOWLR) due to a ich outbreak that I didn't manage very well. The saddest part was losing my mated false Perc's who I had for 4 years. I let the tank sit empty for 2 weeks. <Mmmm, need to run fallow longer than this...> My tank is 75g, Salinity is 1.021, <Too low...> temp is around 78, ammonia & Nitrite = 0, Nitrate = 0.20 ppm (I change 10g per week, feed once per day, never seem to get this number to 0) I have a Rena XP3 canister filter <Mmm, not my choice in marine system filtration types> which I modded to work with BIOwheels, and an AquaC Remora Skimmer (HOT kind). I came across a tank full of juvenile black false Perc's at a LFS that is regarded as one of the better in southern Ontario, Canada. <A very nice town... for humans, LFS> I purchased a pair, they are about 1 1/4 inches. I 'dripped' them and added them to my tank (my poor cats had to stay locked up in the bathroom for this procedure :) ) They appeared to be doing great and ate some pellet food the next day. While admiring them swimming about the tank, swimming closer and closer to my skimmer intake I realized it was possible for them to get sucked up into the skimmer (probably both at once they are so small)... so in a panic I unplugged it. The next day one of the two started behaving oddly. When the lights are on, 4 x 65w PC's (2 10k's, 2 actinics) it swims near the surface, sort of hovering, not really doing the clown fish waggle, just sitting there. And his mouth is staying open. He doesn't seem to be breathing overly hard, but it looks funny cause his mouth won't close. <Mmm, likely genetic... a common defect in some lines of tank-bred clowns. Go back to the store and look at their remaining stock> Also he is not eating (my biggest concern of course). Then I read in one of the FAQ's where someone else had a clown with his mouth perma open, not eating, that I could be a sign of lack of oxygen... that would make sense in my case as I unplugged the skimmer in fear. He also seems to do better at night, is this because the amount of oxygen in the tank increases at night (I believe I read that somewhere)? <Mmm, doubtful. Just less stressful with the light off> Also I noticed that the only little piece of coral I have, some green polyps, don't seem to be happy either. Does that sound plausible to you. <Yes... with the skimmer off, water quality will suffer, mal-affecting all> What would happen if I take a small peace of foam or screen and use an elastic band to attach it to my skimmer intake? <Need less restriction than this... I'd find/fashion a strainer of sorts... contact AquaC re> Do you think this would do harm to the skimmer, or decrease its performance? <Yes> I do wish while I had my tank all apart that I had added a refugium. <Ah, great!> I have been in the hobby for 5 years with pretty much the same setup and it works for me, but every now and again I really wish I had a refugium, this is one of those moments. Thanks so so much for any advice you can give me. Sara Machen <I do hope your new Clowns don't contract the protozoan problem from the previous batch of fishes... Bob Fenner>

Re: Clown fish with mouth open    8/8/08 Thanks Bob, I hope they don't get the ich either. I was told/misinformed by a LFS that it would only take 2 weeks for the parasite to die off with no hosts. <Mmm, incorrect> I did turn the skimmer back on last night and also hooked up a new power head. <Good> However, the fish doesn't seem to be doing any better today. <Mmm, no... won't, if this is a heritable characteristic> I was reading a little more on here, and when I get home I will check to see if maybe there is a tiny isopod in his mouth? <Oh! Yes, another possibility> Wondering if I should try a freshwater dip? <I might> It is now 4 days since he has eaten. I figure he will die soon from starvation if I can't get him to eat. When I first put him in the tank I am sure his mouth was not deformed, it is something that has occurred since adding him to the tank. I will try to bring my salinity up slowly over the next few weeks with my water changes. Thanks, Sara Machen <Do ask the shop re the source of these fish please... and whether they're in a system mixed with wild-caught clowns. Bob Fenner>

Re: Clown fish with mouth open   8/9/08 Well, I came home and checked very carefully and there is nothing in the mouth of the fish. I soaked some brine and mysis shrimp in Garlic but he still didn't eat. He is not even interested in food, more like a hunger strike than can't eat. I have inspected him carefully and see no sign of Ich, but I will keep a close eye out for it. <Good> His swimming pattern does seem much better today. I spoke to the shop who told me they are tank bred fish and, of course, all the ones in his store are eating and he has suffered no losses. His fish are kept in a huge system that houses many fish including other wild caught fish but there are no wild clowns in his system right now. He claims to not sell cyanide caught fish, but how do you guarantee this?? <That's a/the bazillion dollar question in our industry... There is no way really... folks can, should do their best, but anyone dealing with more than a handful of specimens of fishes that can/do hail from cyanide-practice areas assuredly receives poisoned specimens periodically> Thanks Sara Machen <Thank you for this update. Again, I would keep offering food, try to be patient. Bob Fenner>

Possibly Sick Clown?  8/7/08 Hello! <Steph> I have searched through your site and much as possible, among other sites, and I have found nothing! <?> We bought two True Percula Clownfish about two and a half weeks ago. <Mmm, were these tank-bred or wild-collected?> We quarantined the little guys, and noticed no problems in their behavior or health. We checked the parameters of the main tank, and added them in. They both still seem to be acting fine, but the larger of the two seems to have a clear circle on her back tail fin where the color is almost completely washed out. I'd say it's 1/3 the size of her little round back fin. I stare at these little suckers for a few hours every night, checking their health and for Brooklynella, and I haven't noticed it until tonight. She still eats, swims, and I haven't noticed any heavy breathing. I looked for all the signs of Brooklynella, and compared them to this, but I haven't found any pictures or descriptions that match. <... these are on WWM> There is no peeling at the spot that has lost the color and the tail fin is completely intact. It's strange because the color loss is an immediate change, as if you drew a circle on her fine and it went from bright orange to translucent beige. <Have seen this... most all cases are due to "touching" of the fish, the wiping away of body slime... will/should "go away" in a few weeks> All our parameters (PH, Alkalinity, Nitrates, Ammonia, Nitrites) are all fine, as compared with all the advice on your site and elsewhere, with the exception of the calcium being a bit lower than I like (it is around 340.) The only supplement I add is liquid calcium, and so far it hasn't adversely affected any of the other chemical elements of the tank. Everything has been stable for about two months now. They are both hanging out with our Torch Coral. They were juveniles when we got them and very small. Could it be that their bodies are adjusting to the stinging from the torch? <Ah, yes> I am new at this, but constantly do my research, and this has been a confusing surprise. Any suggestions? <Really, just to be patient at this time, perhaps keep reading> Thank you so much for taking the time and I comb your site daily! Stephanie <Here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/SWFishindex2.htm the last tray... Bob Fenner>

Swollen abdomen...both my false clowns 7/23/08 Hi there...have read everything on your site that I thought was applicable to my quarry...but the picture is still a bit ambiguous. <Ok> I noticed about a week ago that one of my clowns (my largest) ab was swollen. My first impression was pregnancy. However, I believe it was the next morning, the ab was back down to normal size. A few days later...both clowns abs were swollen....next day or so, back to normal. Which brings us to. today...I noticed that they are both swollen again. Several things confuse me here. One. if I am dealing with some parasite. are they that coordinated that swelling/bloating occurs at the same time? <Seems unlikely.> Two. why would both be swollen, then go back to normal? <Something effecting them both, what are they being fed?> Three. have I just never noticed that this is what clowns do before they poop? So...really odd question. as I have never seen either of them poop...do their abs swell before they poop? <Not really usually.> Other than this...they are unremarkable. Have had them for almost 2 years. I have a 30 gal reef tank. Tested water this past weekend. All water qualities are excellent. Salinity 1.021. Blue tang, Cardinal are both excellent. <That tang needs a bigger home.> Thanks in advance for your thoughts. Mike <I would guess this is diet related, have you changed what you feed them recently?> <Chris>

Swollen abdomen...both my false clowns 7/23/08 I am looking to dbl up the size of the tank...unfortunately that has been put on hold for a bit. <Even then I would still stick with one, double is still pretty small.> I am feeding them Spirulina brine shrimp/mysis. <Drop the brine, worthless. Get a high quality pellet like New Life Spectrum, will be better off.> I am feeding 1/2 block every other day. <Probably too much for two small fish.> I have a feeling it should be more than every other day. <Is fine.> I am doing so b/c a worker at local saltwater store suggested it to get rid of the Cyano-bacteria. Now that it's gone, should I increase feedings? <Could, but less per feeding.> Thanks mike <Chris> Re: Swollen abdomen...both my false clowns 7/23/08 I will check out the food this afternoon. <Good> I have been feeding 1/2 block b/c all 4 fish eat the 1/2 block. Will the clowns, tang and cardinal all eat the New Life Spectrum? <Most likely.> Thx mk

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