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FAQs about the Diseases of Clownfishes 22

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 19, Clownfish Disease 20, Clownfish Disease 21, 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 Anemones, Breeding Clowns,

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

Help With ill Clowns? Lack of data, Reading 1/29/10
Hi I'm new to the marine aquarium game at present in our River Reef 94 litre we have 2 black and White clowns (been in the tank 2 months) and have just introduced 4 blue green Chromis,
<These really need more room than this>
we also have hermits, cleaner shrimps and turbo snails. At present the clowns seem to be showing fin rot symptoms
lethargic ragged fins and not feeding.
<Very bad>
Within the last 24 hrs we have had filter trouble a blockage causing dirty water ingress after cleaning of the filter and a water change the Chromis are still showing regular behaviour but the Clowns have started to show the symptoms listed above one other symptom shown by the larger clown is the loss of colour under blue light which re-appears when the white light is turned back on is this a common occurrence?
<? Don't know what you're referring to here. Some colour change occurs initially when going from light/dark and vice versa, and fishes do appear differently under different lighting>
Any help and guidance you could offer would be greatly appreciated I do have a zoology degree and background in biology so please be as in depth as possible.
Tim Harris
<Mmmm, need more data than you've provided... mostly re water quality tests. Please read here:
Mostly the linked files above under Disease Identification... for input re what we're looking for. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish has grey spots 1/25/2009
Hi guys,
Recently my clownfish has started having grey spots on her body. Attached is a picture.
<I see>
Other than the spots, she seems fine. She has been eating voraciously and swimming about. No labored breathing or change in behavior.
The other clownfish I have doesn't have the grey spots either. It seems that she only has these grey flecks on the white portion of her body.
What is it? I don't believe its Brooklynella, correct?
<Could be a few things, but not Brooklynella no>
My parameters:
ph: 8.5
sg: 1.025
nitrite: 0
nitrate: 0
ammonia: very close to 0
<Most likely some aspect of water quality... like NH3... or mal-interaction with a Cnidarian...>
I also did a 5g water change yesterday on the tank (34g).
Any insight would be very helpful.
Thank you,
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clndisenv.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Query pertaining to "grey spot" on clownfish <id>, Bob's input 1/26/10
Hey Bob, and crew, hope everything is well with everyone! I must first start by saying, as usual, a BIG thank you goes to everyone here for making the marine hobby attractive and not rocket science!! My question is simple, in the dailies yesterday {1/25}, there was a pic of a clownfish with apparent grey spots, tis the neatest clownfish I've seen in a while.
Was this a "Picasso/true Picasso" clown?
<Yes; tis labeled so>
I couldn't find a real good match but the ORA sight had a few resembling the one from the query. I know that no two Picassos are marked the same but couldn't tell enough either way. Bob, thank you for any input you can provide. I might want to "repick" the type of clownfish I go with to whatever this was. Hope everyone has a great day.
<And thou. BobF>

Red Spots on Clown Fish -- 01/17/10
Hi, I have been trying to research for about 2 hours now but can't seem to find anything that looks quite like the spots I see. I am house-sitting for a friend and noticed red spots on the head of the two clown fish. I have attached a picture. Do you have any idea what it might be?
<Looks to be "stung"... but by what? Are there new stinging-celled life (corals, anemones) present? If the fish behaves "normally" otherwise, I would not be overly alarmed; would place it back in the main/display tank.
Bob Fenner>

Bloated Clownfish 12/18/09
<Hi there>
I hope this e-mail finds you well. Today I woke up to find my Ocellaris Clownfish with a swollen belly and swimming (really more like hanging out in one spot) at the top of the tank. I noticed yesterday that he ate a large amount of frozen Mysis shrimp
<Completely defrosted I hope/trust>
when I fed, but that usually isn't a problem. Could this be the cause of the bloat?
<Mmm, yes>
Tank parameters are normal - 8.2 pH, 1.023
<A bit low. See WWM re>
salinity, 0 nitrates, 80 degrees F... I just added a Coral Beauty Angel and Royal Gramma yesterday, but they had been quarantined at my LFS for several weeks and showed no signs of disease. I also have a Blue Star Leopard Wrasse, a second Ocellaris Clown, Mandarin Goby, Skunk Cleaner Shrimp, Harlequin Shrimp, Sally Lightfoot, and a handful of snails and blue-leg hermits in my 38 gallon tank.
<Too small for the Centropyge, Macropharyngodon...>
Thanks in advance for your assistance.
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/FishInd2.htm
the last/bottom tray. Bob Fenner>

Help w/ clownfish; mouth open. Some input on helping oneself /WWM 11/26/09
Hi there!
I'm a new saltie. My 38 gallon tank is now in it's 8th week and the water parameters are in great condition (I do my own testing but the water has been almost perfect for the past 3-4 weeks, just to make sure, I brought some water sample to a local fish store on Sunday and they confirmed my findings: ph-8.4, ammonia - 0, nitrite - 0 and nitrate-0).
<So far, so good>
So, I've had two ocellaris since the 2nd week of starting up,
<?! Was this system thoroughly cycled by then?>
which I've named "Oce" and "Ris". Oce passed two weeks ago. Along with Ris now are: a small diamond goby, a lawnmower blenny,
<Mmm, I would have waited a bit longer on stocking such>
two small green chromis,
<Is a more social species...>
one small PJ (spotted) cardinal,
<Also social, live in groups>
one skunk (cleaner) shrimp - about 2 inches - the largest in the tank, 2 emerald crabs,
<Do keep your eyes on these... Mithraculus become eater uppers rather than cleaner uppers in time>
10 turbo snails, 2 Nassarius snails, 2 margarita snails and 3 hermit crabs.
Last week, I treated Ris from Ich using "Super Ick Cure" (API brand)
<The liquid form I take it:
a bit harsh, not my even third choice for treating Cryptocaryon...>
and it seemed to have worked.
<... your system is still infested, you know?>
I did about 25% water change just yesterday, the first water change since the treatment. Last Thursday, I bought a Percula Ocellaris, smaller than my current clownfish.
<... you placed this new fish in the infested system...>
I noticed that Ris has been constantly very aggressive towards the new clownfish (always darting behind it; the most action I've seen from Ris since I got it) and the new clownfish seemed to handle itself and would dart away pretty quickly. Sunday afternoon, I noticed that the new clownfish has some white almost scratches on its left body close to its left eye. I did see it hanging around the heater so I don't know if that could have caused the discoloring. Monday morning I noticed it get weaker and hardly ate and by lunch time it was dead. (My husband just saw the dead body in one corner of the tank then 20 min later he said the body was simply "gone".)
<The true and false (hermit) crabs no doubt>
Monday afternoon I noticed Ris has its mouth open and his mouth is abnormally white. I fed the fish just to observe if Ris would eat and it did manage to close its mouth and eat a few flakes but not as much as it normally does. After eating, its mouth stayed open and is still open this minute. The rest of my tank residents seem fine.
This is now the 3rd day his mouth is open and I notice that there are 2-3 vertical red marks on his bottom lip like dry blood. During feeding time yesterday and today, I've noticed that Ris wouldn't eat at all.
This is my first observation of the ocellaris having its mouth open constantly since I've had it. Do you think it broke its jaw from attacking the newer clownfish?
<A small possibility, no>
I have observed pretty big bristle worms in the tank and a small aiptasia (that I've been trying to get rid of using "Joe's Juice") that is attached to one of my small live rocks. Do you think any of those could be the cause?
<Even smaller likelihood, no>
What can I do? Is there a treatment for this?
<A better environment really. The exposure to the Malachite might be a/the principal cause here, but there are others>
I tried searching your archive but to no avail. I really would appreciate some feedback.
<Try using the standard search tool:
with the term string: "clownfish open mouth"
Read the cached views...
Welcome, Bob Fenner>

Does anyone know why I can't keep Ocellaris clownfish alive?? 11/11/09
Hello all! I have had two Ocellaris clownish and I have tried to keep an orange skunk clown. Neither of which survived for more than a about 4 months. I have tested my water and Ammonia is zero as well as nitrite, nitrate,
<Mmm, no, as in zero Nitrate? How is this achieved?>
PH is always steady at 8.2. I have a 55 Gallon acrylic tank with a Magnum 350 canister filter, a powerhead to help circulate water, as well as a bubble disk for my yellow tang. I have a protein skimmer as well. I have put bio-rings in the canister filter as well as carbon and phosp. filter pads.
<Ahh... I would not use such pads... or at least not to the point where there is 0.0 ppm of HPO4>
A heater, at which, I keep the tank around 76-78 degrees. I just don't know why they keep on dying!
<Might just be the chemical filtrant, but I would do a bit more to make the water, system more stable... Add some live rock, perhaps macroalgae>
I have kept all my other fish with no problem. I have a yellow Sailfin tang, bi-color blenny, coral beauty dwarf angel, three scarlet hermits, 5 ninja star snails, and three blue damsels.
<And these last three might be bullying the Clowns... or...>
I also have about 45lbs or so of live rock w/ live sand. I feed red and green marine algae on veggie clips, Spirulina flakes, brine and mysis shrimp (frozen and thawed) all varied. I always keep calcium and DKH in perfect ranges. I sometimes add Marine-C (and mix it with their foods) and always add essential elements and liquid calcium when needed. I add Iodine to help my scarlet crabs molt, which they do about every two months or so.
I feel that I have a good thing going. I do bi-weekly 25% water changes and I just don't know what else to do. What else do clowns eat that I am not giving??
<They should be fine with what you list>
I quarantine them for 6 weeks and they are fine. Maybe it's just something in my main tank.
<Yes... or...>
The orange skunk clown developed the "skinny disease"...
<Mmmm, is a symptom of a few root "causes"... but I think...>
he got rail thin and I took him out and tried to treat him him with Ich Away, as it treats bacterial/parasitic infections as well as it is all organic (so it says). None of my other fish ever got this disease and I have never seen anything else on any of the fish, as I watch it very closely every day. My fish are fat and healthy and have vibrant color. It is very frustrating and maybe I am missing something. Also I just received a small chocolate chip starfish. I have researched and read your WEB site about it. It does not like algae flakes or algae pieces. It will spit them out.
<Correct... tis a "meat eater">
It seems to like tuna and any sort of fish that I feed it in chunks. I want to feed it clam/oyster pieces, but I do live in Oklahoma and we don't have much of that around here. Know of any WEB sites that I maybe can buy some from?
<I would buy a "bag" of mixed seafood (for human consumption) at your grocery store... And defrost a bit... shrimp, bivalve, fish flesh... a couple times a week for this star>
Thanks for your time guys.
Jessica S.
<And last Jessica, perhaps it isn't anything you're doing or not doing, but the "luck of the draw" with these few specimens. I would try ordering, buying your Clowns from another source; the best, maybe someone locally who is breeding/rearing them for sale in the trade. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Black spots on false percs 10/11/09
Hi Bob,
I am writing to you guys yet again regarding my 54 G mixed reef tank. It has been largely successful thanks to you and your advice. The tank has 40lbs LR, sump filtration, with Deltec MCE 600 skimmer, and run carbon and phosphate remover (bulk reef supply) in a reactor. Parameters are as follows: SpG 1.026, Ph. 8.3, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0.5, Calcium 410, dKH 3.54, Magnesium 1200. 250 watt 10 K MH. Inhabitants include 2 false percs pair, six line wrasse, and a royal gramma. Corals include Acros, a hammer coral, various zoos and mushrooms.
Recently the clowns have acquired several black spots. The spots do not appear to raised at all, but more like heavily pigmented areas.
<Could be just this>
This did seem to appear overnight. Could this be the black parasite that typically affects yellow tangs?
<Not likely>
If so, is it a life threatening condition.
They appear to be healthy otherwise. The only recent changes to the tank have been: 1) the pair recently began laying eggs in the tank and have done this about four times. 2) There has been a recent large Vermetid snail "outbreak" in the tank...they are literally all over the live rock and have "smothered" some zoo colonies. 3) some area of coralline algae have been turning from purple to white. Could any of these things be related?
What should I do with the clowns?
<If they were mine... Nothing. I suspect the markings are "just" stress... from the spawning, perhaps other things going on biochemically in your system>
From reading prior posts I believe you recommend fresh water dips; or should I take a wait and see approach.
<For me, the latter. Cheers, BobF>

Re: black spots on false Percs 10/25/2009
Hi bob,
Wait and see worked well and the clowns appear fine. Quick follow-up question. My Vermetid snail problem continues to worsen. I've read the articles and I've tried most of the predators (unsuccessfully) except hermit crabs. In your opinion, which hermit works best for Vermetid snails (zebras seem to be mentioned most). Will these crabs bother any of the zoos, LPS, or Acro's that I have in the reef.
Lastly, are Vermetid know to be harmful to coral?
<Not really... can crowd a bit, but not toxic or predatory>
Are they're any other treatments other than natural predators that you are aware of?
<There is ablation... poking them with a metal prod... B>
Thanks again,

Sick Clownfish? No Information - 09/27/2009
After feeding my clownfish, the next day i
<"I". A note to readers and would-be queriors: please capitalize the letter "I" if you are using it as a pronoun to describe yourself. We're all volunteers here - please, please make our load a little lighter; it really helps us out. Sorry to make an example of your email, Jason. Next time, please do capitalize those "I"s.>
noticed that half of his stomach was still bloated (no growth on the outside or anything and he is still active). Inside the stomach I can see some black matter. Any ideas as to what this is and how to cure it?
<No clue; there's almost no information to go on, here. Maybe it's just that he ate too much. Maybe he ate something in the tank he shouldn't have. Maybe he has a disease of some sort. With so very little
information - absolutely no information about the tank, and no pertinent information about the fish - there's no way we can begin to discern what could be wrong. Please do read on WWM and elsewhere regarding clownfish health, feeding, etc.>
-Jason Quan
<Wishing you well, -Sabrina.>

Percula Clownfish, hlth. 9/22/09
Hi, I have scoured your site and many others to be honest, to come up with an explanation for what is wrong with our Clownfish. I'm coming up empty handed.
We have a 90 gallon saltwater reef tank. The system has been set up since 2004, and in the tank
we have 3 Hippo Tangs, 2 Percula Clownfish, 1 Damsel, Live Rock, Several Corals.
<Of what species?>
Our readings are on mark, all fish appear healthy in size, activeness, appearance, eating. Two nights ago, we noticed the larger of the 2 Clownfish acting strange, whereby, hanging out at the top of the tank, swimming lethargically, appetite is still great. No white spots are apparent, however he is now beginning to lose his color, and around its mouth seems more pale than his body. The smaller clownfish will not leave the other alone, "nit picking" for lack of a better phrase. The clown in question has been at times swimming sideways,
but not laying on its side. Both of the clowns occasionally do a "twitch dance" which I am aware is normal.
None of the fish have "ich", or white spots, or bubbles or lesions. There is no black spots, or clear blisters like spots either. The fins on all fish are fine, and so are the gill areas. I'm so lost!
We have not introduced anything new to the tank, and their diet has remained the same.
Please Help!!!!!!
Pulling at strings here!!!
Thanks so much
<Likely "nothing" if the other clown, other fishes are not showing symptoms. Perhaps the one fish nibbled on something in the tank that is not agreeing with it temporarily. I would not be overly concerned. Bob Fenner>

Re: Percula Clownfish 9/23/09
Thanks for getting back to me!
He is deteriorating, his color is super pale, and hanging out at the top of the tank, more so than not.
<I'd move to another stable set-up, stat!>
Corals include: Toadstools, button polyps, Tree Coral, Devils Hand, mushrooms.
<Could be poisoning...>
We have an anemone for the clowns, not sure exactly which one it is. But again, none of these things
<Oh... definitely allelopathy...>
have just been introduced, they are established in the tank.
<A mistake: Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
and the linked files above. Your system may well be on the verge of bio-collapse. BobF>
Silly as it may sound they all have distinguishing characteristics, and by far this is not like him.

Epsom Salts and Anti-Bacterials... Clownfish dis., reading 9-12-09
Yesterday I removed a common clownfish from my display tank to QT because she was not eating, was acting rather lethargic (hovering over the substrate in one place and not moving very much) and had long, stingy white feces that would hang but not detach. About 8:30 pm, she developed a swollen eye (one
eye, not both). I began a regimen of treatment with Instant Ocean Lifeguard (1-chloro-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-4-imidazolidinone) figuring the feces, lack of appetite and lethargy pointed toward bacterial infection.
<Mmm, more likely parasitic, or environmental>
Only other fish in the display is a purple Dottyback who is showing no abnormal behavioral signs. A check of the chemistry showed most parameters to be in check (Ammonia and Nitrite = 0, Nitrate was at 40 ppm,
<Much too high by twice...>
pH 8.2, SG 1.24). I performed a 20% water change prior to removal of the clown to QT. Clown's
quarantine tank is new seawater (purchased pre-mixed). My question is, would it be okay to use a bit of Epsom salt in the quarantine tank to reduce the swelling in the clown's eye while using the Anti-bacterial or will the two negate each other?
<Are fine used in combination>
I know that I have to continue the whole coarse
of treatment with the Lifeguard, less the clown develop a bacterial resistant strain from using it less than proscribed time. If I can use both in conjunction, what is the dose per gallon of Epsom salts?
<Posted... on WWM>
(quarantine tank is 2.5 gallon, using air stone and some old base rock that never sees a display tank, 50% water changes every other day, ambient lighting provided by the display tanks MH).
I appreciate your consideration.
<Appreciate your learning to/using WWM... Please read here:
and the linked files above where you lead yourself. Bob Fenner>

False Percula Prophylactic Treatment: QT is fine. 9/2/2009
<Hi David.>
I have acquired a pair of false Percula Clowns to add to my 55G with 20G sump reef tank that has never had fish in it. They were identified as tank-raised, but there is no way to know what they may have come in contact with in the dealer's tanks. I have put them into a 10G quarantine tank. I want to avoid introducing disease to my reef tank. After reading a variety of articles on dips, hyposalinity, and various treatments. It is unclear to me whether, in the absence of observed symptoms, if the risks and trauma of treatments outweigh the benefits. Specifically, what course of action would you recommend?
<I would keep them in quarantine for the recommended period of 21 days. A pH adjusted FW dip with either Formalin or Methylene Blue isn't too stressful and will 'knock off' most if not all of the parasites the fish may have.>
<You have probably already read the article, but here it is again if you have any questions about the methods.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm >
Thank You
<My pleasure, do write back if you have any other questions.>

Clownfish not looking well: Likely Allelopathy Too many anemones and polyps in a small space. 8/6/2009
<Hi Anna>
Started our saltwater tank August 2008. We adjusted our tank slowly. We filtered our LR for a whole 30 days, then we added the sand. We waited an additional month and began to add fish and anemone. Knowing what we know now we would have waited longer to add the fish and anemone. We would have
tested our levels better and researched food.
<But you are learning.>
We seemed to be doing well until two months ago. Suddenly our Firefish became listless, not his usual zippy self. His mouth was open and he was gasping. He has been this way for two months now, still alive somehow. I have no idea how his feeding has been. We see him occasionally <Something in the water or some other fish beating him up.>.
Last month one of our percula clowns became listless as well. He laid on the bottom of the tank and just bobbed around in one spot. He didn't appear
to eat much. His mouth was constantly open and turning translucent. He began to lose color in his fins and his stripes began to fade a little into his orange.
<This is a telling clue here,>
He disappeared, we have been unable to find him in our tank. We did notice a spike in our nitrates and we did a water change to correct this last week. Now our other percula clown has developed the same symptoms.
She is listless, not eating, mouth open and paling....none of the fish had any substance come off of them when we performed our freshwater dips. They don't seem to have any dots or splotches on their bodies.
<No, this isn't a disease.>
We want to find out what is wrong before we lose another. We have been unable to find any information
on our fishes symptoms. What are we doing wrong?
<See below.>
tank: 55gallons, fully adjusted for almost a year pH and chemical levels: normal range
<Sorry, pet peeve - What is normal? Actual values make it much easier to diagnose.. salinity: normal <1.023 - 1.026?>
food: anemone- mysis shrimp and silversides, fish- flake food
occupants: 2 percula clowns, blue damsel, Firefish, blenny, mandarin, hermit crab, 3 snails,
<A bit crowded for a 55, but not too bad. The Mandarin is likely to starve in such a small tank though.>
BTA, LTA, and another type of anemone whose name I have forgotten, and numerous feather tip anemone, polyps, and corals.
<Ding! We have a winner. Too many anemones and polyps in the tank. You essentially have a chemical war going on in your tank between the anemones, and the various corals. Your fish are caught in the crossfire.
You will need to remove at least two of the anemones and likely some of the polyps.. Additionally, do run carbon in your filter to soak up these toxins.>
<Do read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/polypcompfaqs.htm >

Re: Clownfish not looking well: Likely Allelopathy Too many anemones and polyps in a small space. 8/7/2009
<Hi Anna.>
Okay, well the polyps and feather dusters and corals and sponge popped up out of nowhere (Hello! *LIVE* rock!).
At this time we have 4 red polyps and 4 yellow polyps. We have two 1 inch in diameter feather dusters, and many small ones (about 1/4 inch in diameter at most). We have patches of sponge and coral, varying from 1/2 inch in size to 3 inches in size. All of it just showed up once we established our rock and sand.
<Nice hitchhikers.>
We also moved in the beginning of June. We separated the fish (only one clown at this time) and (at the time) one anemone (2 inches across) into bags of salt water, kept our rock submerged in buckets of salt water, kept the sand under one inch of salt water. We moved the tank and its occupants and had it set up and adjusted within two hours. Everything was smooth.
Only our mandarin showed stress, but as soon as we provided fresh copepods, he was fine. Then one week later, Firefish became listless and began losing his color. I just saw him today eating, still not his zippy self.
<Ammonia spike or something toxic in the water...>
We have around 70lbs of live rock (guesstimate) and 60lbs of sand (2 inches deep). Most of our rock is small however, leaving our tank about 30% full.
Our pH is normal: 8.0; Nitrate is normal: 0; Nitrite is normal: 0; and ammonia is normal: 0. We perform 30% water changes every two weeks using RO water and we prime it. Last week, because of the sudden nitrate spike, we performed a 50% water change. We use Reef Crystals salt with calcium and keep our salinity at 1.024.
<This is a telling clue... Where did the nitrate come from? Nitrate comes from decaying organics Something in the tank caused the spike. Either the biological filtration was interrupted, or something is dead\dying.>
Since moving we have added a large rose bubble-tip anemone, about 6 inches when open. We just this week added a third anemone, a Condylactis I believe, about 4 inches when open.
These two remain on opposite sides of the tank, with our tiny 2 inch long-tip anemone in the center. They never bother one another and all eat very well.
<It is never a good idea to mix anemones, particularly ones of different species. They are aware of each other and are 'fighting' - even if you cannot see it. Another important thing to remember, anemones can and do sting, especially slow moving or timid fish - like Firefish>.
I also neglected to inform you that we also have a sand-sifting starfish.
I forgot about him as he is always under sand. We got him after the move, after we got our second anemone (6 inches across). He takes care of our slime.
<Another telling clue. where is the slime coming from? Also, sand sifting stars usually consume everything edible in the sandbed and then starve to death in systems less than 100+ gallons.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsiftfaqs.htm >
Now, whatever has happened to our Firefish and first percula clown happened BEFORE we added the new anemones and starfish. Now that the fist percula clown has died, the second is showing the same symptoms (listless, mouth gaping, not feeding, color blending through stripes).
<Again, since your water quality seems ok, we can only conclude that something in your tank is poisoning the fish, either by chemical release or by stinging>
All of the other fish appear fine and quite content.
If it helps any: we have two powerheads on opposite sides of aquarium, one directed up and one directed downward. We have a wave-generator in the center. We also have two filters. The water stays very clean thanks to our cleaning crew (hermit crab, 3 snails, and a starfish).
<Please read the articles I originally referred you to and do consider adding carbon to your filtration system in an attempt to soak up any noxious chemicals in your system.>

URGENT........Sick Clownfish 7/25/09
I am wondering if you have seen this on a clown fish, or any fish for that matter before.
<The interesting darkish band about midriff?>
We have had a suggestion it is some kind of Clownfish disease, however, she originally showed no signs of loss of appetite, and no lethargy, nor was/is she hanging out at the top of the tank as suggested gasping for air.
I have attached some pictures of the fish and the strange mark that has appeared.
It started on one side 6 days ago, a couple of mm's wide by about 1.0 cm long, when we got home about 10:30pm that night and it had spread across her whole middle section on both sides.
Fish was displaying no other signs of distress/sickness. We observed her slightly flaring her gills, but nothing that you would notice unless you were really looking hard.
The tank itself is in good condition, and none of the other fish are displaying any symptoms.
We have relocated her to a QT, with lower salinity. (Note: bringing the salinity back up gradually now)
In the last 4 days she has since lost all appetite and seems be struggling.
Laying on the bottom of the QT. the gasping has stopped.
<Likely mostly due to "just" being moved, acclimating to the new settings>
It seemed as soon as we moved her to the QT that is when she lost her appetite. I think it distressed her a lot.
The mark was going but has now stopped disappearing and the same colour is appearing faintly on her head.
We have treated her with Oodinium treatment and also an antifungal over the last 4-5 days with no improvement.
<Mmm, I would not treat this fish... I suspect the discoloration is either nervous involvement or some response to stress as you state... The "medicines" will do more harm than help>
If you could give me the heads up that would be great.
<This animal will likely self-cure in time. Bob Fenner>

Transient white patches on saddleback clown - like a bad paint job 07/20/09
I'm a big fan of your site and have learned so much from you guys. I did search the site, but can't find anything that addresses a specific problem that has arisen with my female saddleback clownfish. If I've missed something, please let me know.
I've had this fish for about 3 months, during which time she has always been bright, active, and has had a great appetite. She's about 3 inches long, and has grown a lot (nearly an inch) since I got her.
After I had her for about a month, she started occasionally having small patches of discoloration.
<Mmm, what other life is in with this fish?>
No fungus, no fuzz, no spots, no raised scales, no scratching, and the skin on these patches does not appear irritated or red. It's just as if someone just rubbed the black coloring off. They would disappear after a day or two with no apparent (at least to me) pattern.
About a week ago, I was startled to notice that the white patches were back and had gotten bigger. At one point, almost her whole right side was white. That went away after about 5 days, but today, she's got what looks like a sloppy racing stripe down her other side (if you daubed the stripe on with cotton balls). Honestly, it reminds me of the paint on an old Honda I used to drive that had lived through one too many Texas summers.
About the environment: About 3 weeks ago, I added a tiny (1" or slightly less) male. They paired up immediately, and have set up house in the LTA I bought with the female.
<The likely source of the stinging is the Anemone>
Absolutely no aggression.
Both feed aggressively. I give them frozen mysis, New Life Spectrum and Formula One and Two pellets, Cyclopeeze, Arctopods, and, a couple of times a week, the small leftovers from the squid, shrimp, scallops, krill, clams, etc., from what I feed the puffers and eels in another tank (yes, I suffer from Multiple Tank Syndrome).
The tank is a 40 gallon regular tank with a 29-gallon sump/fuge that's been running for about 4 years (former residents have gone on to bigger systems). There is no skimmer, but refugium is lighted and grows Chaetomorpha, and there is a healthy crop of halymedia in the display. Lights are 2x 150 MHs. I'm probably going to swap these to a LED system soon to save energy.
<Mmmm... I'd turn off one of the 150s myself>
The clowns' tankmates include a Bluestripe pipefish (which they ignore) and a rusty goby, along with three peppermint shrimp, a few hermits, and a brittle star that lives on the other end of the tank.
Corals are limited to a few softies - a long-tentacled toadstool and devils hand, and a couple of gorgonians.
<These are likely all fine>
I want to reiterate that the clownfish and all other inhabitants seem to feel fine. They're all eating and active. Any idea what this is and whether I should be alarmed?
Thanks for your time,
<Thank you for sharing, writing so well, completely... I would not be overly concerned here. I fully suspect that the stripe, discoloration are due to the hosting anemone, the behavior of the female, its interaction with the symbiont and conspecific. I would do nothing different here. Bob Fenner>

Toxic writing, needing to read re Clownfish Hlth. 6/27/09
hi i
have read through all 20 pages in the clownfish pages and still can not find a answer to my question. i have a newly acquired clownfish that has developed some sort of sore under its lip it is brown/green wart and has seemed to have gotten worse in the past few days. i have it in qt it first started with some white flakes over its body so i treated with formalin
<... too toxic>
and it cleared up and then it got a small scrape where the bump is now so i added some Melafix
<... worthless>
and then it turned into the bump now so i have treated with copper and it still seems to be getting worse so i am wanting to kno what exactaly it is and what is the best plan of action as of now.
<Cory... go back and re-read the Clownfish pages... and formalin, phony remedies... And run your writing through spell/grammar checking before sending it to us. RMF>

Clownfish question! Data, reading... 6/26/09
Hi there WWM crew!
We have a problem with one of our clownfish and we don't know if there is anything we can do. We have read some forums and your FAQ, but we are still worried and puzzled!
A few days ago we noticed that its mouth was open all the time and at first we thought (after some research) that it was just a case of lockjaw
that would eventually solve itself out, but yesterday we saw what it looks like some kind of fungus or rotting on the outside of the mouth and it looks like it is losing its color (becoming more and more transparent) and basically just falling apart. The fish tries to get some food and every now and then it manages to keep it in, if it is small enough. There doesn't seem to be anything stuck in its mouth and we don't have any corals or things that could have stung it. We have also tried changing the water, but no improvements.
We have had our clownfish pair for about 2-3 weeks now and they seemed to be getting used to the tank just fine, until the whole mouth thing happened - the other fish is fine.
Please help! we really don't want to lose our little clownfish!
Thanks a lot!
<... Need more useful data... Read here:
and the linked files above... for examples... of the sorts of input we're looking for. Bob Fenner>

Black and white male clown fish... Aiptasia or counter to it, mal-affected 6/25/09
Hi Guys,
<And gals>
I've gotten a lot of information from your site over the years. This is my first time asking a question though. I have been all over looking for an answer for this question and can't seem to get anywhere.
I have a 2 year old black and white clown pair. I had some huge Aiptasia in my 70 gallon reef tank.
<Mmm, Glass Anemones don't get all that big>
I have a guy that comes every two weeks to take care of everything and I know my water biology is good. He got the Aiptasia
taken care of the other day but, I think my male was stung pretty badly by the little suckers. He won't eat and he spends the entire day trying to swim down. He's badly bloated. You can see his skin prickly and his anus is real swollen. He is pooping white stringy stuff. I have never had a problem with these clowns before. Before he got this bad, he was acting as if he couldn't see to eat. He tried but never got any food. I know what is happening, he's not going to make it. I just wondered if Aiptasia could hurt a fish that badly.
<Can... might have eaten a bit, been poisoned by whatever your svc. tech. used... I'd be asking the service what they did>
Thanks in advance
Patti in Arizona
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: black and white male clown fish, hlth. 6/25/09
Thanks for getting back to me so fast!
The aquarium guy used Aiptasia X.
<A very good product in my estimation... Seems to be safe and very effective...>
It's what I had here at home. The Aiptasia were about the size of quarters, maybe a bit larger.
<Oh, this is about it size-wise... You stated they were "huge"... perhaps you meant your perception was that they were a huge problem?>
Still no dice on the stings though?
<Nothing to do... if this is what you mean... Just wait, hope, provide good care otherwise. Likely some were ingested by the one clown... Only time can/will tell. BobF>
Thanks again,

Fungus? 6/23/09
Hey all! Thanks for all your help!!
<You're welcome Scott.>
Can you help me identify what is wrong with this Clarkii clown. This "fungus" has grown over the course of several months, spreading very slowly. The other fish in the tank (another larger Clarkii and violet
damsel) seem unaffected. Has any of you seen anything like this?
<Not a fungus, is a bacterial infection commonly called fin rot. As the infection progresses and gets deeper into the tissues, the fish will become harder to treat. Eventually the bacteria will infect the organs in the
body cavity and treatment will most likely be unsuccessful.
Do read here.
Thanks for your help!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Mmm, or some sort of physical/chemical degradation? RMF

Sick clown! Can't ID problem! -- 6/17/09
I looked around Google, and your site and many diseases look the same.
Seems that most sicknesses show in some form of white growth on a fish, making it difficult to diagnose.
<Mmm, yes>
So, here's my problem. A few days ago I introduced a pair of misbar black ocellaris clowns, they were in great health and came from a local reefer that I know takes great care of his animals and has been in the hobby for years.
These are my first marine fish, and my tank has been running for about 5 months with soft corals, LPS and inverts. I have a great pod population, tons of brittle starts, snails that breed, coralline, all my corals are reproducing, etc - all signs of a perfectly healthy and thriving tank.
After 2 days in the tank, all was well, then I did a water change. This morning as I'm leaving for work I find that one of them (the smaller one) has one side completely covered in a white fuzzy coat. It's not located
anywhere specific like gills, eyes, etc, it's over the entire body on one side. The poor guy seems to have problems move his pectoral fin on that side as well.
The other fish is perfectly healthy. I've seen something similar in my Mbuna tank, once when it was cycling (didn't do a fishless cycle) and again later on when I think the fish was stressed from transport. Side note - don't transport fish in a backpack on a motorcycle, seemed like a good idea at the time - "Hey, lets take a ride to that great Cichlid place and pick up some zebras on this beautiful day!". Just like in the FW tank, this is only effecting the one fish.
So my experience with this in FW is that the fish is doomed, will be dead in a day or two. I had no time to do anything because I was running late for work, so on my lunch break I will be heading home to start mixing a fresh batch of water to place him in with a handful of live rock (for filtering) and a spare pump to try and observe/treat him. My best guess is that before I had these guys I was only spot feeding my LPS (this is a 24g nano reef btw) and now with these guys there's a daily feeding of about one full cube of mysis/krill/whatever (same amount I used to feed the corals) that maybe I pushed the tank into a cycle by overfeeding the tank, and this stressed the fish. I'm going to be doing some parameter testing when I go home to check, can't figure any other stress that's been introduced to these guys, and they've seemed happy and active for the last few days.
<Mmmm... a few possibilities>
I also used Aiptasia-X last night (before my water change) now that I think of it and I've heard of that causing problems in fish before, even though Red Sea I don't think has ever said so.
<I have read quite a bit re this product. I consider that it's involvement here is negligible>
Only other thing that MIGHT have caused stress is that the tank dropped 4 degrees overnight from 78 to 74 - this is a whole other issue since my heater was set to 76 and the tank was stable at 74, even though the heater was hot (but the little red light wasn't on). But I don't think a 4 degree drop over night is that severe and/or worse than what would be seen in a natural reef....?
Any help would be appreciated. I'll hopefully have this fish quarantined by tonight and ready to be treated. Time to start making up spare water I suppose. I'll try to follow up with a picture if I can get one.
<The larger possibilities are a "sting" from a Cnidarian/LPS, and a heater burn... Please send well-resolved pix. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick clown! Can't ID problem! -- 6/17/09
Bob, thanks for the response. I have a decent picture and an update with new symptoms and status. I will attach a pic to this email so you can get it at full resolution I apologize if it's a bit large and clutters what I'm sure is an already packed inbox.
<No worries>
I did some tests and got no ammonia, no nitrites, and 0-5 nitrates, so I think we can eliminate the possibility of mini-cycle induced stress.
<The photo is definitive... am quite sure this animal was stung... and quite likely the culprit is in the same pic... the Euphyllia in the background...>
When I got a better look at the fish earlier this afternoon, I noticed it had white feces hanging out of it. It wasn't as a string, it was more like a small ball, with a tiny thread attached to another ball that seemed to be going nowhere, as well as a white ball floating around in the water column that looked identical. I noticed the same thing late last night, so I started guessing that somehow it got a block in it's intestinal track, causing the swelling and leading to whatever is being shown outward. As of this evening, that feces is gone, and it's swimming around as if nothing is wrong.
<This fish may well heal of its own... even make friends with the coral>
It's left side (same side shown in pic) is still swollen, but I want to say not nearly as bad. And that white stuff looks like it's falling off now, for example the pic was taken at noon today, now at 6:40pm the white stuff is gone from the pectoral fin. The best I can describe it's appearance is like dead skin.
<This is so>
Yesterday was the first day I fed something other than mysis. I fed NLS marine pellets and a cube out of a "Saltwater Multi-Pack" by San Francisco Bay Brand pack that was a mix of brine, krill, mysis, algaes, vitamin supplements, etc.
I also adjusted my heater to be sure it would stablize the water at a higher temp, so now the water is sitting stable at 78.5.
The two clowns are now hanging out with each other and being very active, but this one still favors the one side when using the pectoral fins. My current plan is a quarantine and treatment for parasites, ich, and fungus using Ich Attack and Jungle Labs Parasite Clear tablets.
Would you think I could be better off just leaving the fish be in the display since she's acting normal?
The only other fish is the other clown, and it shows no signs of anything. I do understand it could have something lurking and just have no signs *yet *but my gut tells me that it is fine and in such a small system would have caught whatever this is already.
<Nothing lurking... not parasitic... a chemical/physical sting>
I'm going to forgo feeding for today just in case something I fed led to this and to allow time for further digestion if a blockage was the problem. I'll keep a close eye on things tonight though.
Thanks again,
<Welcome. BobF>

Amphiprion percula problem, 6/1/09
Hello WWM crew,
I would first like to thank you guys for providing such a wealth of information that I access and use quite frequently.
I have had a pair of wild caught true Perculas in quarantine for about 3 weeks now. They are for my tank at home, and I am aware of the risks with wild caught clownfish, but these were so nice that they were worth the risk.
<Just be diligent with the QT here.>
I noticed right off the bat the larger of the two had a small (what looked like) a lesion on her chin. This was a small red patch, and I figured it was some sort of cut or infection, and if it got worse I would treat it.
The portion of her chin that was red never got larger, but it began to grow some sort of white cotton like growth substance. I also noticed that the fish also had similar looking matter in her mouth also, and never quite closed her mouth fully. At that point I started treating with Maracyn plus, as I figured it was some sort of bacterial infection. During the Maroxy treatment I performed two formalin dips, at 1 drop per gallon for 20 minutes. After the formalin dips the cotton growth on the outside of the fish's mouth would shed, but her mouth was still full of it. With no luck after about a week of treatment, the growth didn't look better, but not
much worse either. With the Maracyn not fixing the problem, I switched to Maroxy, which is a 'true fungus' infection medication. I also used a gram pos and neg antibacterial in their quarantine (furan 2). This is their
current treatment and has been going on for the past week or slightly longer, with little to no improvement. Today I did a little more of an aggressive dip, which first consisted of a formalin dip very slightly overdosed, and then a freshwater dip for about 10 minutes. At this point, there is no cotton growth on her chin, but there is still some in her mouth. I performed the dip an hour ago and that's where I am currently.
<I had something that sounds very similar with a gramma years ago, white cotton like growths all over his face and mouth. After trying just about everything including copper and formalin and at last gave him a FW dip, which greatly reduced the growths and after a few more dips was completely cured. He is still with me today with no ill effects except for a tiny bit of scaring on his face. I should probably start calling him Pacino now.
Keep giving the pH and temp adjusted FW dips a try and see if they help here. Unfortunately at the time I never followed up on what it actually was but seems to be quite curable.>
The tank is a 6g with a sponge filter and an additional airstone, and 50w brand new heater. I do 65 to 75 percent water changes every 2nd day, and follow strict dosing instructions with medications. At this point she is not eating, but was up until about half way through treatment. I don't think she can get food past the growth to be honest.
<Try adding a little Selcon or similar product to the water, may give a little boost, most likely won't hurt as long as you don't go overboard with the dosing and foul the water.>
Below are two links to a forum with my thread and pictures.
Any help would be very much appreciated. Thank you very much.
Chris McCulloch
<Good luck and keep us posted.>

Re: Follow up on clown swimming oddly 05/23/09
Dear Mr. Fenner, and Wet Web Media crew,
<Howzit Ramona?>
My apologies that it has taken so long to send this follow up. Each day that passes, the maroon clown improves. He is eating quite robustly, and is swimming very normal. He definitely can see.
At this point, he is able to locate his food some of the time. I tend to think that perhaps it may be his sense of smell that is impaired. I am still undecided as to whether it was stray voltage that caused my fish of many years to die, or the fact that I couldn't do a water change for 4 weeks, or what. I may never know. I will say this, that you were right about this problem being corrected with better nutrition. I soak his food in Selcon for each feeding( will NOT accept Zoecon), and feed a different variety of food each day, as opposed to just flake food that I was feeding before, each day there is improvement. I wanted to send this to you so that others that have the concept that as long as they are feeding a good flake food ,they are providing nutrition for their fish. I only hope that he continues to improve. I will be putting him back in my big tank next week. I have other fish that have been in QT'S now for 2 months that I will be adding a couple of weeks after I put him in. I thought it would be lass stressful for everyone if only he was in there , and I needed to take him out again. May I be so bold to impose with another non related question?
I had my other fish( hippo tang, Foxface lo, purple firefish) for many years (6). I have always wanted a flame Hawkfish, but didn't think the others would let him in.
<Mmmm, is behaviorally compatible with these fishes>
I have one now in QT, and am concerned that he will have trouble in the 80 gallon, as I keep a lot of water movement. So far, he will eat ANYTHING !!. I run the Rio 3400 pump up through the sump, an Emperor 400 on the back, and an AP I60 GPH submersible filter behind the rocks. Will this be too much for him to keep up with? I must say that this fish has to be one of the most personable little cuties I have aver seen. He already comes right up to my hand, and will take food from it. I also have a hippo tang(again. I LOVE them.), and another Foxface. Both of these fish already have an insatiable appetite. I am worried whether these two HOOLIGANS will keep the clown and the Hawkfish from getting enough food. FROM THE HEART, thank you ever so much for reading all the emails I have sent on this subject. I hope this will be the last one for a while. Ramona
<I think you will be fine here with this added Hawk. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Sick Fish? Maybe? 09/20/09
Hello Masters of all,
<Mmm, not I>
I have a sick fish. At least, I think it is sick. This is why I have come to you. This fish has been in my current tank for the last 3 months. He has a female friend that is 3 times his size and is pregnant, or at least was.
<Not pregnant... no... not what Clownfish do>
Her egg sack seems to be getting smaller over the last 2 days. Could you help me identify this? It looks like a white tube growing out of the fish. It started growing out of the bottom of his mouth. There is now one coming out of the side of his gill. It's only on the right side of his body. There is also a spot on his fin now.
Thank you for your wisdom,
<Can't really make out what this is from the pix... What other livestock have you added recently? Live foods? Bob Fenner>

Clownfish with a growth/sore around its mouth 09/19/09
Hi there I have read through all of your other questions and tried to find answers but am still perplexed. I have a 75L tank that has been up and running for several months now. I have not added any new fish in recent weeks and all my chemical readings are fine.
<Need to see actual values>
I have two clownfish who were bought together about 13 weeks ago, one of which has developed what looks to be a sore underneath his mouth. At first I thought it was an injury of some kind as the other clownfish can be dominant at times, over the last two weeks however the growth has got darker in colour (although it has stayed the same size) and I have noticed the fish is having trouble eating. It seems to be unable to open his mouth fully but until this morning it was managing to eat normally but just small size flakes,
<Mmm, need much more nutrition than flakes can provide>
today however it was obviously hungry and went to eat a large flake and went absolutely psycho when the flake touched it. I am guessing this is some sort of reaction to pain maybe?
It seemed to be almost having a fit. After this incident it wouldn't eat anything else as it was obviously spooked. It kept looking at the food and going up to it but wouldn't eat, I don't know what to treat it for as I'm not sure if this is a disease or an injury as I have never had a fish with this kind of growth/sore before? How long do injuries take to heal? Please help.
Many thanks
Emma Brown
<Would you send an image please Emma... As well as your water test results? I will reiterate that such a small volume is untenable... in terms of sustaining good, consistent water quality... What you are experiencing could well be a developmental issue (captive produced clowns do have a quite high incidence of genetic troubles), or very likely as you speculate, an injury issue... But we need more data to make first order approximations. Bob Fenner>

Sick clown fish... no real data of use, reading 5/11/09
Hi, I have a black and white clown about 1 1/2 years old. He was growing and very active. all of a sudden He stopped eating and was acting different than normal but had no changes in his appearance. I removed him to a quarantine tank
and after a couple weeks he began to eat a very small amount but was listing and staying in bottom corner. It seems he can't eat flakes he can only swallow brine shrimp. He's been like this for 3 months and now his
face is loosing pigment.
<Maybe losing it as well>
Water quality is fine
<Oh, that's good>
and no other fish have been affected. Is it a internal parasite? How should I medicate him? Please help
I feel bad for him. thanks Mike
<... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clnfshdisart.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick clown fish, more reading 5/12/09
Sorry about the weak data in my previous e-mail. Prior to the clowns illness there was a newer fish i had to flush a few weeks before, with some white spots on his tail.
The clown had been aggressive towards that fish and had been nipping at him, maybe he ingested something?
<? What?>
No other fish in the main tank had developed any symptoms and are still fine. That's why i quarantined the clown, because i feared that something was spreading. After reading your chart of clown fish diseases, I believe the clown has either - Internal parasites (of the lumen)... usually protozoan (e.g. Octomita/Hexamita) or worms of various possibilities.
<Both of these are very commonly in/with Clownfishes... particularly wild-caught specimens or captive-produced ones kept in the same water>
Although the feces are not white they sometimes stay connected to the fish but appear to be brown in color.
<Could be just food/faeces>
After my clown didn't eat for about 2 weeks hew began to eat a 1-3 brine shrimp a day but no flakes. After eating like this for 1 week there was a very big black turd at the bottom of the tank which makes me think he is plugged up. His appetite has increased a tiny bit but his face is losing color and he's definitely weak.
What brand of medicated food if any do you recommend and where could I find it?
<I'd make your own... with Metronidazole and Prazi... unless you can locate a source of Levamisole...>
If I use Epsom salt how would I administer this?
Are there any other things i could do or look for?
Thank you in advance, Mike
<When in doubt, keep reading. Most all that is commonly known re captive husbandry is archived on the site. BobF>

Re: ? Dead, bloated Clownfish young 5/5/09
Hi Bob. I have some clownfish babies 4-5 months. A few of them have swollen over a few days ,week. Here is a pic. Any advise on what to do? Thanks in advance
Jackson Harkey
<? Only a few... something is very wrong here. Am wondering why only some would be so affected if there are a number of young in the same system. What are you feeding? Is there a source of fine bubbles in this system? Scary stuff! I'd carefully cut the dead ones open... with just a single-edge razor blade will be fine... Report back to me what you observe inside the body cavity (lumen) AND alimentary canal. BobF>

Disease? 4/25/09
Sorry, forgot to attach the photos the first time!
<No problem, we gots them now!>
Hey guys... been a while since I've had to pick your collective brain! I must be learning something!!! I have a Clarkii clown that has developed a black "stain" on a couple of his fins. You can see them in the attached pictures?
Is this a disease?
<Not likely.>
If so, or if not, what is it?
<Well, with the frayed fins it is likely a water quality or tankmate issue. So, what do your water test tell you, who else is in the tank, what is the composition of the system, in what time period did this develop?>
Thanks for the advice!!!
<Welcome, Scott V.>

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