Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about the Diseases of Clownfishes 18

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 19, Clownfish Disease 20, Clownfish Disease 21, Clownfish Disease 22, 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

Clownfish hlth., Actinarian involvement?   12/27/07 Hi guys, I've been a long time reader, but this is my first time asking a  question. You people are great and seem extremely qualified at answering my question, so here it goes : I have a 75 gallon reef tank, some anemones, <Yikes... what species?> hermits, lots of live rock  from Fiji etc. I have about 6 damsels, and 5 clowns in the tank. My water is excellent, and I am currently raising my salinity very slowly to 1.025 as I read in one of your posts. It is currently at 1.022. Anyways, here's my problem, about 2 months ago, I notices something really odd on 4 out of my 5 clowns. They are spots but aren't white. They look like they are under the skin, almost shining through. Very hard to explain, for instance, on the orange of the fish, the color of the circles/blotches are lighter orange, on the black of the fish, the blotches are a dark gray color, and so on. So, it seemed not to really bother the fish so I left it all on. <Good. Is what I would do as well> Now, about 3 days ago, I noticed one of my clowns stopped eating and more on the spots are appearing, he is staying in one area hovering just above the sand. I am extremely worried the rest of my tank is going to have problems. I have looked all over and I do not know what this could be. Thank you for your time, Angel <Could be a protozoan of some sort... Sporidean likely if so... No real "cure"... but may well subside in appearance with the increased, better spg, good general care. Another possibility is some sort of "dermal" reaction to the anemone/interaction here... You'd do well to read on WWM re their Compatibility. Bob Fenner>

Re: Clownfish hlth., Actinarian involvement? 12/27/07 Thanks for your quick response. I tried taking a picture of the clown fish, I'm attaching it to this email. It looks much worse in person but am hoping you can see the spots in the picture. <Not well> I am also attaching the picture of one of my anemones. One thing, the only clown using my anemones are the Clarkii's which oddly enough, are the only ones that do not have the spots. <Could be... simple stress> Thank you for your time and I hope you can see something in the pictures. Angel <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/part2.htm the Clownfish Disease sections, the bottom tray. BobF>

Help, my clown fish is vomiting? Data? Reading -12/22/2007 My maroon clown is acting very hungry but whenever I try to feed her she spits the food out! Also she comes to my fingers and pecks at my fingers - usually much stronger, but these days the peck is very weak. After try to swallow one pellet, she starts spitting out what looks like poop - really stringy stuff. Then it keeps opening its mouth and spitting small specks out. At this point I have no idea what to do. I have a 10 gallon saltwater with a refugium, and live rock and live sand. I have 2 snails, chocolate chip star, 2 serpent stars, and a couple of little blue legged crabs that keep on eating my snails. My choc. chip lost it's leg recently so I was wondering if maybe this is due to water conditions? The clown has an anemone (bubble tip) and that also recently gotten a little smaller in size. Please advice. Angel. <Mmm, could be an internal blockage... from... a tumour, parasite of some sort... infectious agent... No other fishes affected? No other symptoms? I would try a one-shot treatment with Metronidazole/Flagyl or compound containing... See WWM re.. The other organisms involvement points to something possible amiss with your system, water quality... or their causing such... Much for you to read, test for... I would read re Systems, Disease of all... and related back to me/us the sorts of real data (system, maint., foods/feeding, water testing...) that others have provided. This is too much of a guessing game otherwise. Bob Fenner>

Sick clownfish? Info.?   12/21/07 Hi Crew, <Jason> I am worried that one of my Ocellaris clownfish is sick. I've had a black & white Ocellaris pair for a year and a half. They have both been healthy and eating well throughout that time. Today, I noticed one of them was moving its mouth a lot and pressing its head against the rocks. Atypical behavior for this fish. They host in a Xenia colony, and the fish was coming out less than usual, though when it did, I did not notice any other symptoms of a disease (no spots, mucous, torn fins, or discoloration). The fish also ate. Is this an early sign of illness, or am I unnecessarily worried? What action should I take now, if any? Thanks, Jason <Can't tell from here... What re the other livestock? Water quality tests, foods/feeding? Could be the Pulsing Coral toxifying the fish... I'd take a read through WWM's Clownfish Health/Disease areas to give you an idea of what sorts of info. we need... Bob Fenner> Re: Sick clownfish?-12/22/2007 Hi Bob, <Jason> Here's some more relevant info, I hope. First, the only significant livestock change in the tank in the past few months (since summer, I think) is the addition of a new coral, a purple Montipora. If a disease came in, it probably would have been on this. I bought it from my LFS after they had it for a few weeks, did an Iodine dip, brief quarantine, then added it to my display. The store has a huge system of connected tanks (20k gallons or so) and I've never seen a sick fish there, but you never know. <Yes> Water: One change of late is that I have been slowly raising the salinity over the course of the past few days. It was down around 1.021 on 12/17, at 1.024 today (12/21). I did this by topping off with new saltwater (buffered Tropic Marin in RO/DI) instead of freshwater using my auto-top-off system. In the same way, I am raising my Alk and pH with buffer, since they were dropping; last week, the pH went as low as 7.8 and the Alk was tested at 6.9 dKH. pH 8.11 (varies from about 8 to about 8.2 over the day) Temp 79.8F (very stable) SG 1.024 Alk 7.5 dKH (was 6.9 four days ago) NO2, NO3, PO4 undetectable My tank is 90g + 20g sump/refugium. <Changes in the right direction... but still very rapid> Tankmates: no new fishes have been added in many months. Here is the list: the 2 clowns, 1 golden hogfish, 1 flame angel, 1 lawnmower blenny, 1 purple Pseudochromis, 5 blue/green Chromises. The clownfish seem to rule the roost and none of the other fish bother them (though they are protective of the Xenia and chase other fish away). They have been living in the Xenia for at least 6 months; there's no anemone in the tank. I usually feed the fish Pro Reef flakes and Formula 2 pellets once or twice a day. I have not fed anything else in the past two months. Let me know what you think. Thanks! Jason <Could just be the changes in the water make-up... I urge patience here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick clownfish? Spg change   12/23/07 Hi Bob, Thanks again for the advice. I am taking it and leaving the fish alone for now. I have set up a hospital tank, just in case, that I hopefully won't have to use! For future reference, what do you think is the right time frame for adjusting my water as I did? <No more than a thousandth of spg per day... and if this much change... no more than a thousandth every two-three days. BobF> Thanks, Jason

Re: Sick clownfish? pH vacillation...   12/23/07 Hi Bob (and crew), <Jas> Thanks for your replies and advice so far. The clownfish is in stable condition -- not getting worse, maybe a little more normal. However, something strange is definitely going on with my water, which is probably related. I have a pH monitor (PinPoint), so I can watch the pH all day (fun!). I 2-point calibrated it in early Dec. The normal range in my tank seems to be 7.9-8.2 or so. As usual, the pH goes down in the dark and up during lights on. Lately, though, I have noticed the pH go DOWN at some point during the reef daylight. In fact, it's happening right now, not too long before the lights go out for the night. It is currently 7.93 and holding, though it dropped rather quickly (less than 1 hour) from over 8.00. <Mmm, there is/should be a small diurnal drop as this as well... usually early afternoon equivalents...> I just tested a few other parameters: T = 80.4 F Alk = 7.3 dKH Ca = 380ppm SG = 1.025 Top-off water has pH of about 8.1. Besides pumps, the only water equipment I have are a skimmer (EuroReef RS-80) and a phosphate reactor running GFO phosphate media and poly-filters; I cut circular pieces of poly-filter as padding for the top and bottom of the canister holding the GFO. Any ideas why I am having this daylight drop in pH? Thanks, Jason <Could be the phosphate removing gear... could be the probe needs recalibration... This reading, fluctuation should not be a problem though. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish, hlth., reading  12/19/07 Hi American Cousins and festive wishes from across the pond in Jersey (the island of 'old' Jersey not New Jersey!), <And to you> I have a possible problem with one of my clownfish. I have done some research and I'm not sure which way to go. My tank is 35 gallons and was until recently housing 2 juvenile clowns (Amphiprion ocellaris). I did however lose one up an intake tube leading to a canister filter during the night. The canister filter was only there to alleviate a small spike in nitrates that I had and has now been removed. Tank has been running for approx 4 months, only other inhabitants are a cleaner shrimp and some turbo snails and hermit crabs. Tank parameters are now ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates < 5, gravity 1024, and temp approx 80 during the day and 77 at lights out. The problem is that after the unfortunate loss I felt the remaining clown was lonely and purchased another mate for him (never heard that before, eh?). <Au contraire!> Although from the same shop, this second clown is slightly larger. <Better by far to add a smaller, subdominant individual> However, it is the colour difference between the two that has concerned me the most. The original clown is much paler than his new tank mate. At first I thought this might simply be a natural difference in colour. However, the more observation and research I have done, the more concerned I have become. The symptoms I have noticed now include some of the classic danger signs mentioned on your and other sites:- 1) Paler than new tank mate 2) Less active than new tank mate and less active generally than he/she used to be. Stays under a rock or close to substrate, minimal open water swimming. 3) Mouth almost constantly opening and closing (gasping). Does not go to the surface for air, though. 4) Lack of interest in food. 5) I have observed on at least 2 occasions stringy white faeces attached to fish. The course of action I am undertaking/considering is as follows:- 1) 30% water change undertaken yesterday. Small improvement today but nothing drastic. 2) Considering a change of diet. Only food fed at the moment is Nutrafin max marine complete food. Many sites mention good marine flake (but never mention what that is, or which brand), frozen food and live food and even garlic!? Any advice through this minefield would be appreciated as I have yet to find a webpage to simply state what a clown's balanced diet and feeding regime should be. I am sure personal choice and circumstances dictate, but a few pointers would really help. I am considering live brine shrimp, garlic soaking, vitamins soaks and frozen foods. 3) Treat for parasites/protozoa (considering) <I would... Metronidazole/Flagyl...> I am aware that I am the original 'fiddler on the reef' and usually too impatient, so I don't want to over react (as with the canister filter incident) and make things worse. I currently don't have a quarantine tank and I am aware that medications will have a profound impact on the inverts in my tank if they are copper based <I would NOT use copper period> but I just don't know if this fish is stressed due to tank conditions or whether diet is the problem or whether parasites are the problem. My instincts tell me that if fiddle too much (medicate) he may die anyway.. <You are correct> Richard <I'd read and observe a bit more. Start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clnfshdisart.htm and the linked files in-text and at top... Bob Fenner>

Clarkii Clownfish Acting Strange - Possibly Stung by his Anemone? Injured Clarkii or Brooklynellosis? -- 12/13/07 Hi from Fort Walton Beach FL! <Hello Dawn! Brenda here, suffering through the bitter cold!> First of all I just want to thank you for such an awesome web-site! <You're Welcome! Thank you for the positive feedback!> My SW friend turned me onto it and I have passed it along to another SW friend. <Great!> The site is absolutely invaluable to any experienced or novice marine aquarist (like myself). Here's my stats: 125 gal. SG: In between 1.023-1.024 Nitrate 10 Nitrite 0 Alkalinity 300 PH 8.0 Phos 0.1 Calcium 400 Iodine .06 Magnesium 1400 <Temperature?> Setup: Proclear Aquatic wet/dry, Proclear Aquatic Protein Skimmer, Fluval FX5 w/nitrate & phosphate sponge, and charcoal, and 2 Maxi-Jet 1200's, VHO lighting. The 125 is an All Glass Megaflow with 2 overflows. Stock: Orange Spotted Goby, A mated pair of Firefish, 1 blue green reef Chromis, 2 Clarkii clowns, 1 Domino damsel, 1 Bi-Color Pseudochromis, 1 Brittle Starfish, 1 Anemone, <What species is the anemone?> 1 Mexican feather duster, 1 Atlantic feather duster, 3 Mexican Turbo Snails, 5 Nassarius Snails, Zoanthids, Xenia, Glove Polyp, Hammer Coral, Torch Coral, 2 Frogspawn, Candy Cane Coral, Bubble Coral, 110 lbs. of live rock and several pounds of Tonga branch. Back to the larger of the two Clarkii clowns. "Clark" took to the anemone right away and has been really tank mates with it since I bought it (about 4 weeks ago). <It is a pleasure to witness!> Yesterday, I noticed Clark was sucking the tips of the anemone, sometimes more than one tip at a time; and, acting out of character. I understand it is completely normal for clown fish to suck anemones (through reading articles on your site) however, when he was doing it he was laying sideways and panting heavily. Now today, I see some type of lesion (kind of looks like burn marks) on the top of his head and he is acting even more out of character. He has his mouth open the entire time with a more labored breathing and now he is hiding out, which he (she, you get the drift) has never done in the past. Could it be possible that the anemone stung him? <It is not likely for this to happen after 4 weeks. It is hard to say without a picture. I suspect one of two things, an aggressive Domino Damsel or Brooklynellosis. My guess is that it is Brooklynellosis. More information on Brooklynellosis here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm > If so, will they typically recover from such an event? I'm at a loss what to do here. <It can recover from injury and Brooklynellosis. However, it sounds like the Clarkii may be in the final stages of the disease.> Since I'm new at the hobby (less than a year), I still freak out when I notice something not right and test everything; but all is fine. <Did you quarantine this fish and how?> I have searched your site the past couple of hours and can't figure out what to do, if anything. I do have a QT tank if I need to use it. <I would remove the clownfish and place in quarantine. Read up on Brooklynellosis, and know how to treat. If it is Brooklynellosis, the chance of this fish being alive by morning, are slim. However, you may have more fish to treat. I would also keep a close eye on the Damsel's behavior. This fish can be very aggressive and harmful. Anemones do best in a higher salinity. I recommend slowly bringing your salinity up to 1.026 and reducing nitrates and phosphates to zero. Also, your lighting may not be enough to support an anemone long term. Can you give me more detailed information on this? How long has this tank been up and running?> All of the other fish seem perfectly content and normal. I appreciate your assistance in advance. Dawn <Good luck to you Dawn! Brenda>

Re: Injured Clarkii or Brooklynellosis? -- 12/13/07 Hi Brenda, <Hello Dawn!> Thank you for your response. <You're welcome!> Wow, hoping it isn't the latter of the two. I did read the article and it sounds like what he has. <Unfortunate, but it is not uncommon for wild caught clownfish.> Expect he is gasping for air at the bottom of the tank, not top. It's hard to tell with the lesions, but in any case, he looks worse this morning. At this point, he won't make it, I can tell. It's making me feel so bad. <I'm sorry!> Even though we probably both suspect Brooklynellosis at this point, it was odd that the Domino (yesterday) was swimming in front of Clark and fanning his tail at his face. Hmmmm, why would he be doing that behavior? <Domino Damsels can be evil! I have witnessed this myself many times. They are not welcome in my tanks.> I'm not sure what species my anemone is. If I had to guess, I would say maybe a carpet. <It is important to know which species, so that you can provide the appropriate care.> It is at the bottom of the tank and has burrowed his foot into the sand bed. He has situated himself under a ledge of live rock so only has minimal lighting and current in that location. <This is not good. It will not last long under these conditions.> I have not moved him because my experience is that they will just move themselves back where they want to. <Correct! It will move looking for a suitable environment. If there is not one available, it will deteriorate.> It is a kind of dirty pink color, around 1" short tentacles that have a green tip on them. Not the bubble tip shape. <The Bubble Tip anemone does not always have bubbles. However in this case, I do not believe that you have a BTA. It is likely an LTA or a carpet.> I did not QT Clark yesterday because I wasn't sure what to do. My QT tank is I'm sure, minimally acceptable. It is a tank on reserve that we don't use and keep for emergency purposes. It's a 5 gallon "eclipse type" tank (I can't remember name brand). It has a built in filter with removable media bag, no heater (though it would be easy for me to buy one) and just a compact florescent natural daylight tube. It doesn't have the ability to "cycle" as it doesn't have any type of biological capabilities. <If the clownfish is still alive, I would still remove. Take water from the existing tank. I also recommend getting in the habit of quarantining all new species, coral included.> I will work on raising salinity. Do all of the other corals/fish do fine at 1.026? <Yes, and is closer to their natural environment.> The lighting are 6' long VHO tubes. One is white, one is the blue light. We also have moon lights for night viewing. No halide lighting, etc. <This is not nearly enough lighting for this anemone.> My temperature fluctuates between about 77-80 degrees. <I would keep closer to 80 degrees.> How long has the tank been up and running. That's a loaded question that I'll explain. It was setup the end up July, 1st of August this year. I didn't have any inverts at this time. Everything was fine until October 4th middle of the night. We heard a loud "pop" and then an ensuing waterfall. <Oh my!!!> I knew what it was and I've been heartbroken ever since. <I certainly would be too!> That's right, the bottom of the tank cracked and all of the water, 125 gallons +, drained out in less than a minute. <Ouch!!!! Do you know what caused the break? Was the tank not level?> Our home looked like a beach with water and live sand. It actually ruined/flooded our entire home. I lost most of my fish. I actually started thinking once the wave of shock left me and reached into pick the fish up off of the sand bed and tossed them in the sump. I then over the next several days found temporary homes in my SW friends. <Good!> I tossed all of the live rock into a 55 gallon bucket with SW and a jet. I eventually got my hands on a borrowed 55 gallon aquarium that I set up in the garage (while we remodeled our home which we are still doing). With that being said, everything continued to be fine in the 55 gallon while we tiled our house and put up baseboards. We finally got the living area ready and moved back into the big tank, that was roughly a month ago. <This is not long enough for an anemone. They need an established environment, 6 months to a year, with one year being best.> At that time, we started adding corals, the anemone and the like. We also got our 2 fish that survived the disaster back; the goby and the blue-green reef Chromis. Sorry for the long winded explanation. We have all been through a lot lately. <I certainly see that!> This is another reason I'm hoping it isn't Brooklynellosis, because mentally, I'm still trying to recover from the above. <I hate to be the one to bring you more bad news, but you will have more issues in the near future with the anemone. It is best to remove soon and find it a suitable home.> Thank you in advance. Dawn <You're welcome Dawn! Good luck to you! Brenda>

A newbie question about my newbies, Clownfish Illness 12/3/07 Hello Crew! Thanks for all of your wonderful information! <Thanks for using it.> My husband and I are new to the hobby. We purchased an Oceanic BioCube 29 gallon and added a protein skimmer and a MaxiJet 600. We have about 30 lbs of live rock and 40 lbs of live sand. Water parameters have been excellent! We do not have a heater, but the temp is 78-80 at any time. <Even at night? I would suggest getting one just in case.> Lights are on a timer for 13 hours. We have 7 Hermit Crabs and 7 snails (one is large turbo). We added 2 Peppermint Shrimp last week to clean Aiptasia that developed. They are thriving. We also have a mystery animal which arrived in the rock which appears to be some type of clam. <Many hitchhikers like this.> There is a small crab that showed up as well. We purchased 2 ocellaris today. They are swimming around they tank being very active. They have fed well twice. I am concerned about the (slightly) smaller clown. Tonight I noticed a small white spot on his right gill and behind the adjacent fin. He does not appear to be ill, but could this be an infection or a stress reaction? <Could be nothing, but might be ich, need to watch closely and be prepared to treat in a hospital tank.> Thanks for your advise! This site is amazing! Amanda <Welcome>

Clownfish with indentations  11/21/07 Hello, My Ocellaris clownfish, whom I have had for nearly three years, has recently developed two identical "dents" or indentations on both sides of the white stripe closest to her eyes. <Would you send along a close-up image of this please?> She has otherwise been behaving completely normal. She lives in a 20g long tank with 20 lbs of LR, a Tunze nano filter with Chemipure, and a couple of powerheads. I have checked the chemical balances and found them all to be where they should. I keep the salinity around 34 - 35 ppt. I use RO/DI water for top offs and water changes. She is fed formula one pellets with either Selcon, Zoë, or VitaChem along with garlic. Have you encountered these indents before? Do you know why they have appeared? <Mmm, perhaps a deficiency syndrome, maybe some sort of mineral imbalance... could be from a few influences... I would add a bit of live rock... to see if this condition might be relieved... The fact that you state it is symmetrical...> I found one person on your website that had asked this same question, and Bob replied by saying it was likely a genetic thing or developmental. <Yes... but this is not much of a useful stmt.... Does not lead to steps to correct, or even understand...> With the age of my fish, though, I am unsure if that is the case. <Clownfishes can live for about 20 years in captivity...> Thank you! It is much appreciated. Sincerely, Heather <I would try the LR... a refugium, "mud" filtration might reverse this situation. Please see WWM re FAQs on "Rationale/Use" of each of these technologies. Bob Fenner>

Re: Clownfish with indentations -- 11/21/07 I have attached the best picture I could get. It is a subtle indent and looks like a shadow almost (I hope you can tell where it is--it is the diagonal line near the top of the white stripe). There are no other odd/new markings on the fish besides these two dents. What sort of deficiency? <Don't know... the lower vertebrates share the same essential nutrient list as ourselves...> I recently did a 15% water change with IO salt. I thought water changes helped with that kind of thing. <Mmm, no> I did state in my previous email that I have 20 lbs of live rock. The fish came from Petco (my mistake) so if there is some sort of genetic issue at work here...I do not know if that should be ruled out. Thank you for your prompt response! Sincerely, Heather <I would do nothing more here... IF this is something awry, deleterious... so be it. The fish does appear healthy otherwise... and to be captive-produced. Cheers, BobF>

Sick clownfish but no way to quarantine 11/20/07 Hello, <Hi> I have read many subjects on your site but can't find an answer to my problem. I have a 20 gallon saltwater tank. The only fish that I have is OC clownfish. I have other invertebrates including a peppermint shrimp, snails, feather dusters. I have live rock. All of my water parameters are excellent. My question is my fish is sick. I have had him 2 weeks and 3 nights ago he started staying in the corner on the bottom of the sand. All of his poo is stringy white and his color is starting to fade. <Was it wild caught? Sounds like some sort of internal parasite.> He has stopped eating (his appetite before was incredible) and I feed Mysis, brine, marine formula mixture but he won't touch any of that. One of his sides it looks like white little spikes on his skin. <Ich?> The problem is I do not have a QT tank (I know fuss me out) and there is no way that I can possibly set up one. Trust me if my fish makes it I will not get another fish until I can set up a QT tank. <Get one either way, not much you can treat for without it.> Therefore, from all that I have read any medications that I could give him for possible parasites would kill my invertebrates. <Yep> Is there anything that I can do to help him and not kill everything else in the tank? <Keep up the water quality, offer quality foods, that's about it.> Please help me I don't want him to die. <Need a QT here, nothing fancy, but not much can be done in the main tank.> If there is something that I can do what names of medications can I use. <None that are effective and reef/invert safe.> If you suggest medicated foods how can I get him to eat it when he is not eating at all? <Look into the New Life Spectrum line.> Thank you Donna <Welcome> <Chris>

Clownfish with cotton like growths  -- 11/17/07 OK...so I Googled it, and all indications suggest that it's a bacterial infection that will clear up on it's own, but I figured I'd engage the experts :-) I have an oceallis clownfish who's been in my tank for around a month now, and doing well... however this morning when I said good morning to him (yes, I say good morning to my clownfish), <I engage my Goldfish in petty conversation... or should I state that they are kind enough to speak with me as long as I'm not too obtuse> I noticed a small, cotton like growth on one of his fins. It doesn't appear to be ich or any of the other common health issues I could find, and his behavior appears to be ok (although he was chilling a clot closer to a chunk of live rock than he typically goes)...so the question is this...with only my description to go on, do you think the info I found on the web is accurate: that is, just to let him be and his immune system will fight off the issue? <I would... perhaps bolstering the foods... with a supplement> Thanks WWM folks, as always! Mitch <Welcome. BobF>

Sick Ocellaris clown... reading Hello WWM crew, I recently bought two Ocellaris clowns from different pet vendors in my local area about 5 days ago. <Wild-collected or captive-produced?> The smaller one is starting to show trailing white feces and has not eaten for two days now. <...> I checked all my parameters today, Friday and found nothing out of the ordinary. Except for a nitrate of 12.5 everything else is 0 or normal. I believe I'm dealing with a parasite and would like to medicate. <I believe you haven't read on WWM, but are correct> The problem is I don't know if I need to medicate my entire tank or just quarantine my fish. I have 4 shrimp (2 cleaner and 2 peppermint) and a bunch of hermit crabs. I was planning on feeding my fish medicated jungle food (Active ingredients: Praziquantel; N-[[(N-Chlorophenyl) amino] carbon 1]-2,6-difluorobenzamide; Metronidazole; Acriflavine.) but I have read that I cannot use this product with my inverts. So what should I do? <... You seem to have a good grasp of the possibilities...> Could it be that my fish are still stressed from the move? If I quarantine my fish and put them back into my tank will they come down with the same parasite infection b/c of larvae within the tank? Thanks for your help brad <Need to isolate the Clowns... treat sequentially with protozoacide and dewormer... or the blitzkrieg med. above... in a treatment tank... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clnfshdisart.htm and the linked files above... till you understand your options... Next time... tank-bred specimens. Bob Fenner>

Raggedy Clownies... stung introductions Hey there! <Hi Tina> First off, thanks for providing this immense resource. I have learned so much from your site...I am a newbie to the saltwater hobby and couldn't have started without you! <Welcome> I have a 90 gallon reef tank that is about 2 1/2 months old. I run a DandD skimmer in the sump. <Hee... I read this at first as a "Dandy" product...> I use filter fiber to help pull particles out of the stream but don't use charcoal. There are about 90 pounds of live rock in the tank. Tank parameters are great: SPG 1.0024, <One decimal place off...> ammonia 0, nitrates and nitrites are 0, temperature 78. I have two false percula clownfish (juveniles) and 1 yellow Coris wrasse so far. I feed the fish pellets, Mysis shrimp, and brine shrimp. <Mmm, not too much of this last...> I also have a T. crocea, a sea urchin, emerald crab, many hermits and snails, 2 peppermint shrimp and a coral banded cleaner shrimp. Corals include xenia, elegance, candy cane, and very small frog spawn frag. So that's the inventory so far. The xenia is pulsing like mad, so I don't think water quality is an issue. My problem is that the clownfish have back fins that are looking ragged, and are slowly getting worse. They seem to be eroding away! I noticed this morning the pectoral fins are starting to look bad too. I don't think this is clownfish disease or another parasite, by all accounts these diseases move quickly and would have killed them by now. <Yes> I should note that they were in a quarantine tank for 3 weeks before I added them to the main tank, and I noticed a slight raggedness to the fins even then. I suspect a bacterial infection but I don't know how to treat it. Any suggestions? Your help is greatly appreciated, I don't want to lose the little cuties. Tina Henry in Connecticut <I fully suspect that your Clownfishes have been trying to establish relations with one of the Euphylliids... the Frogspawn or Elegance... with not much "stinging" success... Either the cooperating parties (the Euphyllia hopefully) will "partner up" and your clowns will heal... or they may be consumed or too damaged by coming in contact with the Catalaphyllia... I would somehow screen this last (maybe with a plastic "berry box" inverted over it... to keep the Clowns away... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clnfshanmfaq5.htm and the linked files above... and maybe re the olde family name Caryophylliidae re Compatibility... or the search tool (linked on the left shared border on the root and all subwebs re "Ask the Crew A Question" re "Clowns, Hosts, Disease" and read the cached views. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Sick Clown Fish... "Winnie the 'poo' doesn't know what to do...."   11/6/07 Hello, <Hi there> I have two small True Percula clown fish. I've had one for about a month and the other for about two weeks. So sign of any problems until a few days ago. I've checked through several pages of the Clown Fish Disease FAQ pages on WWM but I'm not finding a consistent pattern of what this could be or how to go about treating my clowns. In all of my reading, I learned a lot but not a direction to take with my Clown fish problem. I know that the one mistake I made was not setting up a Q-tank. I regret that now. <Ah yes> One has a very long (3") white stringy poop that won't break off. It just keeps getting longer. Both of their lips are puffy and they are not eating much. Their mouths are always open. It appears from their gill movements that they are breathing fast and generally are lethargic compared to just a few days ago. Both Clowns seem to be getting pushed around in the flow of the aquarium. My water quality appears to be very good: 34G "All in One" Aquarium with Fuge. SG: 1.025 Ammonia: 0 Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 3-5 Calcium: 400 Alk: 8 dKH PH: 8.0 Water temp: 78.5 to 80 (various from night to midday) Chaeto in sump is growing. All other fish <What species?> appear healthy and are eating and all CUC <?> inverts appear healthy also. <Again, what species?> I have protein skimmer in use and it is producing dark green skimmate. <Good> Does anybody know what the problem might be or if you can point me in the right direction as far as a general medication I can try. I really enjoy these fish and would hate to lose them. Thanks, Mike <Such "poo" situations are often a matter of some sort/s of luminal parasite issue... a concomitant or serial treatment with a vermifuge (Prazi-something is popular nowadays) and a protozoacide (often Metronidazole/Flagyl) usually "does it" if the animals are not too far gone health-wise... But, the other life in your system may be mal-affected. In other words, these Clowns need to be treated elsewhere... The compounds, use, treatment system are all covered on WWM. Please write back re specifics if you have further questions. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick Clown Fish  11/07/07 Thanks for helping out. I really appreciate the information and the service you provide on your website by answering so many questions. Sadly, before I could get the hospital tank set up, I lost both of my clowns. They went fast once they started showing symptoms of a problem. A Q-tank will be in my future if I decided to try True Percs again. Mike <Ah, good. Do seek out tank-bred stock. BobF>

Is it fin rot? Clownfish reading   11/4/07 Hi <Hello> I wonder if you could help. we have just set up a new marine fish tank with live rock and sand. Water quality is good, ammonia, nitrate and nitrite levels are low. we introduced two clown fish a couple of weeks ago. The smaller of the two fish acclimatised well and settled into the new tank and was swimming around within a few hours. the larger of the two didn't like the acclimatisation - he was difficult to get into the net and when we finally got him into the tank he hid behind a rock for a good couple of days. <Happens. I take it these are wild-collected specimens...> after the initial couple of days he was swimming happily and feeding well so all looked fine. we've recently noticed a slight fraying on the larger fish's anterior dorsal fin. all other fins look ok and it is feeding and swimming well and breathing ok but we think this could be the start of fin rot. we are new to fish keeping but we did check fins etc when we bought them so we think this fraying is new, however it doesn't seem to be getting any worse. our question is, should we treat it now or wait for more symptoms, and if the former, what is the best way to do this given that this is a new tank? <Mmm, I would not "treat" this condition as yet> We also introduced a fire shrimp last Friday and they all seem to be getting along ok. <Ah, good> I'd be very grateful for any advice. regards <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/part2.htm the last tray at the bottom... Bob Fenner>

White spot on clownfish, using WWM   11/4/07 Hello WWM Crew, I have a pair of false percula clowns and I just noticed the larger one has a white spot on her fin. She is swimming fine, eating normally and acts like there is nothing wrong. On her bottom fin she has a fuzzy white spot forming on the edge of the fin. All the other fish are fine but I don't want to treat her for anything before knowing what's wrong. It is the only spot she has. I have a 75 gallon with the two clowns, LTA, a yellow tail damsel, Chromis, royal Gramma, snowflake eel, choc chip star, and Bahamian star. Everybody has been living together peacefully for 3 months. The system has been running for 6 months. I have 3 powerheads, 75-80 lbs live rock, crushed coral as substrate. Specific gravity- 1.023 <A bit low> Ph- 8.0 Nitrates- 0 Nitrites- 0 Ammonia- 0 Phosphate- 0 Temp- 80-82 I know its hard to diagnose without a picture. I tried to get a picture of the clown but she wont seem to pose for me. Please help so I can properly treat her! Thanks, ~Michelle <Please put the term: Clownfish, white spot... in the search tool here: http://wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm and read the cached views. Bob Fenner>

New entrant into the Saltwater arena, Sick Clown 10/31/07 Hi, <Hello> I'm back to trouble you. <No trouble> The percular <Percula> clwns and the maroon got on fine but now I am seeing something very peculiar. <?> One of my clowns has a red spot in front of its mouth as if somebody's boxed him is going round and round in circles as if his back bone is broken and hence looks folded up and at times keeps on tumbling round and round while swimming ( as mentioned on your FAQ's have seen this particular phenomenon from one of your readers ) More importantly this fish is not shutting his mouth continuously open. Pls. help <I'm not sure I understand what you are seeing. Your fish has a permanently bent spine and can not swim straight? Also he is unable to ever close his mouth? If this is correct I think he may be experiencing deformities due to Mycobacterium marinum, which is not treatable but is able to be passed to humans so wear gloves from now on when in the tank.> <Chris>

Re: New entrant into the Saltwater arena, Sick Clown 10/31/07 Hi, <Hello> It's not permanent bent spine but he seems to swim n circles - yes he cannot close his mouth now he was ok a couple of weeks back. <Seems to rule out Mycobacterium marinum.> . r u <Are you> telling me that this is non curable - then what do I do with my other clown, damsel and tang in the tank.....do I remove the infected fish.......... <Does not sound like Mycobacterium marinum with the new information. May be environmental, have you tested your water lately? Could be damage from another fish, genetic disorder, or bacterial. Hard to say for sure. Have you looked through here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnfshdisart.htm and the related FAQs for ideas?> <Chris>

Re: New entrant into the Saltwater arena, sick clown  11/1/07 Hi, <Hello> I think that the reason he was tumbling around because his two small fins on the belly got kind off glued on to his stomach and after it became straight or opened up he stopped tumbling (this is my conclusion after 3 hrs of observation last evening) <Clamped fins are often a sign of environmental problems, check your water parameters.> and yes he does not close his mouth - although he is breathing (one can see the gills move) but the clown seems terrified . I now even have the yellow tailed damsel and the electric blue damsel scaring him off. <Damsels are quite aggressive and it is not surprising they are going after an injured fish.> The red mark below his lip remains - he does not seem to be eating - I presume because he cannot close his mouth . Please Help am really concerned. regds <I would guess that he has some sort of physical trauma. I would remove him to a hospital tank and see if you can get him to feed without the competition in the main tank.> <Chris>

Clown fish belly growth 10/16/07 About 6 days ago, a small white growth appeared by the anus of one of my tank raised ocellaris. He was added to the display tank 4 weeks ago along with another tank raised ocellaris after 6 weeks in quarantine with no apparent problems. I recently went out of town for 4 days, and had a friend watch my tank, and when I returned this "thing" had gotten quite large. It's hard to see, but the size is apparent. He doesn't seem distressed at all, and he eats well. He is just as social and active as he has always been. I don't know what this thing is or what to do about it. Should I put him back in quarantine? Medicate him? <Is a prolapsed colon... part of the G.I. tract outside the lumen...> The tank is a 90 gallon with 20 gallon sump, ~100lbs LR, 5-6 inch sugar grain sand bed. Sg 1.24, Ph 8.2-8.4, Ammonia 0, Nitrate 0, Phosphate 0. I do a five gallon water change about every 2-3 days. There is also a purple firefish, 3 green Chromis, Swissguard Basslet, yellow watchman goby, hermit crabs and snails. Variety of soft and hard corals as well. Nobody else has anything similar on them, but I want to be sure to keep it that way. Thanks as always for your insight! Josh <Real only time, good care can/will tell here... the gut section may/hopefully be retracted. Bob Fenner>

Re: Clown fish belly growth 10/16/07 I checked on the ocellaris again this morning, and sure enough the prolapsed colon seems to have withdrawn a bit. It is now only about half the size as is seen in the previously attached photos. I will continue to keep water parameters excellent. Should I be feeding him anything special? I currently feed a mix of 6-7 types of frozen food (once or twice a week soaked in garlic guard) and 2 types of flakes. I know that if I were having similar problems I would want to eat something that would pass easily - is this something I should worry about for him? <I would look into Spectrum pelleted foods as a staple... Completely nutritious and highly palatable> Thanks for helping me figure out what the problem was, and as always for being such a great resource! Josh
<Welcome. BobF>

Sick clownfish... more reading  10/16/07 I've been reading your forum since I got my clown fish 7 weeks ago. I purchased 2 clowns and added them along with some rock to my 55 gal setup. This set up had been established 3 months with 2 yellowtail and 2 blue damsels, <... likely staked out all the damsel territory...> and 5 hermit crabs. Both were feeding and eating very well, making use of the tank and generally doing well'¦ so I thought. After 4 days I noticed the smaller clown had started losing small chunks from its tail. After consulting your site and the aquarium shop I was told the damsels must be attacking them- even though I had not witnessed anything to support this. Them damsels didn't seem to both them at all. To make sure I removed the damsels from the tank as I was going to return them anyway, and set them up in my 10 gal tank. <Won't live there for long> 2 days later both clowns were still feeding well, enjoying the tank, but the smaller one appeared to have a grey coat forming from the fins back. I rushed to the shop and purchased MelaFix as advised, <...> but when I got back the bigger clown which hadn't shown any symptoms was dead at the bottom of the tank. I immediately quarantined the clown in the 10 gal and treated with the MelaFix. Next day smaller fish still alive but resting at bottom of tank on it's side and not eating. Shop suggested treating with ick cure ((formalin and malachite green)( carbon removed from filter). <... from bad to worse> And to try PimaFix with the MelaFix. <Ridiculous...> Fish slowly got a bit better but still huddled on bottom of tank, was never able to witness it eating or swimming. 5 weeks later I went away for the weekend, made sure levels we all ok and added a 7 day feeding block. <Of very little food value... more a source of pollution> When I got back 2 ½ days later grey coat started to re-appear. Nitrate levels had spiked really high. So immediately performed water change, changed filters etc. and retreated with ick cure, then MelaFix and PimaFix. Its now been 7 weeks and the fish is still very pale and doesn't move much. Recheck of levels are still same so cant work out why my clown isn't getting any better. Water levels are: temp 75.6f, spec. grav. 1.021, <Too low...> nh3/nh4 ammonia 0ppm, high range ph 8.2, nitrate no2 0ppm, nitrate no3 0ppm. Using air bubbler and whisper power filter. Live sand and 3-5lb coral rock. Must be doing something right as he's still with me, but am concerned he's not appearing to pick up? Any suggestions? Thanks. Tracy Brooks <... keep reading. Try going over the products you list here as treatments... the article and FAQs files on Clown Disease... Bob Fenner>

Clown with pectoral bubbles, no useful data  - 10/08/07 Hey quick question for you guys. I have a pair of clowns and they seem really happy. They are always hungry and respond well to human interaction around the aquarium always swimming up to the glass when your close. They will even come up to the glass when you lightly touch or tap it and check you out. Everything seems really happy. I noticed tonight after staring at the tank for awhile that my smaller clown (male?) has these bubbles around his pectoral fins. He cannot bring the fins flat against his body like the female does. He seems happy and hungry and swims just fine but the bubbles have me worried. They look like swelled tissue around the fins.  Any Ideas?  Here's a picture. Jason Hutchison <... the system? Water quality tests? Foods, feeding? History of your acquisition... Appears to be a wild caught specimen with subcutaneous growths of some sort... Might be parasitic... I would buy captive-produced only... And read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clnfshdisart.htm and the linked files above... And review other peoples queries... to gain insight to providing useful data. BobF>

Clownfish illness - 10/07/2007 Dear Crew, <Kevin> Thanks for the great service you provide to all of us amateur hobbyists out there. <Welcome> Here's my problem. My friend and I recently introduced a small ocellaris clown into an established (3 year old) reef tank containing a yellow watchman goby, a fridmani Pseudochromis, and a large ocellaris clown. There seemed to be immediate attraction between the two clownfish and there was no overt aggression from the other fish. Unfortunately the small clownfish (who had been quarantined for 4 weeks) soon developed an eruption of something that looked like ich, which the larger clownfish eventually developed also. <Mmm, not the other fishes though? This is likely Brooklynella... looks very similar> We immediately put both of the fish into quarantine and treated them with a formalin/malachite green solution, which seemed to do the trick. After 3 weeks of quarantine we figured that it would be safe to reintroduce the clownfish (who had been doing very well in the meantime), since the two other fish did not seem to be affected at all. <Mmmm> This turned out to be premature... both clownfish quickly acquired parasites again after being reintroduced. <Yes... not enough time, and the other fishes may have acted as reservoir hosts> My question is about what to do now. It would be virtually impossible to capture the other two fish in the main tank without dismantling it, but they haven't shown any signs of disease and have been eating and behaving normally since this all began. Should we wait another 4 weeks and then try again, or are the odds that it is unsafe to reintroduce the clownfish ever, in case the other two fish are asymptomatic hosts of whatever disease has afflicted our poor tank? <I would remove all... even if this requires dismantling the tank> Thanks! Chris <Bob Fenner, out in the Bahamas... where the water is warm and clear, and the Net is sloooow>

Clownfish Not Eating, White Stringy Feces, Possible Internal Parasite -- 10/1/07 <Hello, Brenda here> Here are my specs before I ask my question: 30 Gallon Breeder Tank (setup since April 2007) No Sump Coralife 65g Skimmer 1 Yellow Watchman Goby 1 Firefish 1 Court Jester Goby 1 Percula Clown 2 Fire Shrimp 2 Sun Corals 1 Pom Pom Crab Okay, so here is my question. I work at a local fish store and I hand picked my Percula clownfish that I added to my tank. He ate well at the store so I brought him home 3 days ago. I acclimated him for 2 hours (I knew the water chemistry was very similar to mine because I test it every day at work). He has great colors, but he won't eat anything. So far in 3 days he's eaten 2 pellets. I've tried brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp, plankton, bloodworms, daphnia, Cyclop eeze, squid, even live brine shrimp and he hasn't bitten. What gives? Just getting comfortable you think? Anything else I should try? One thing that really concerns me is he has a whitish stringy poop. He hasn't eaten anything and stringy poop has always signaled an internal parasite or some illness in my experience. What can I do?!?! <It does sound like it may be an internal parasite to. I suggest using Metronidazole. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/metranidazole.htm Use only in a quarantine tank. Brenda>

Clownfish with furry spot on skin. Copepods?  10/1/07 Hi, <Hello> I have attached the best photos of the problem. My two Immature black onyx clowns each have a raised white cottony spot on their sides. <How long have you had these fish? Were they quarantined?> One by the gill (primo) and the other on the side (Segundo).  <I see these... and some are definitely telling...> Segundo has had it for the past 4-5 days and the other just developed today or we noticed today. It developed like a whit stringy or cottony mass and today the mass seems to have solidified into a cotton ball. It sounds like fungus. They are both swimming, eating and breathing normally. I called the LFS where they were bought and they thought it was cauliflower and suggested use a garlic soaked food. Can you help with prognosis and treatment? <At least two of the pix look to be copepod parasites... and perhaps the others are tissue mass resulting from same... I would formalin dip the fish... and use an organophosphate based med. in a treatment system... and add a purposeful cleaner organism (likely a Gobiosoma goby or a Lysmata shrimp) to the main system...> I am new to reef keeping. Please see water parameters below. In my 34 gal red sea max I have 2 young clowns, 1 Dottyback, 2 jawfish, <Need more room> many snails and crabs and numerous corals, mostly frags, one blue star one orange star, and two serpent stars. The tank has been up for 3 months, I use a chiller and UV sterilizer, keep the temp. at approx 75 degrees. We cycled the tank correctly, but in a hurry added fish over a 3 week period without a quarantine, <...> the clowns first, then the strawberry dotty, and this past week a mated pair of jawfish. I have a deep sand bed, a few days ago I added 2 cups of new live sand <This may be the source of the parasite> to my 40 pounds, followed the Carib-sea directions because I did not want to cycle anything and I was ready to make many water changes, mixed thoroughly with "old" live sand and had planned to do this over a few days to make a deeper sand bed for the newest of the fish added, the jawfish. A day or two later I noticed a lot of micro organisms in the sand and on the glass sides, look like Cyclops and some blobby ones, not sure what they eat or if they photosynthesize but I have no algae on the glass any more. I do regular W/C to keep the ammonia low, because I cant seem to get it to zero. The water chemistry went up with the new sand and I once I noticed the change I did a 20% water change along with 5% w/c for the last 3 days. I use tropic marine salt water mix with distilled water, not RO. I am not sure that one is related to the other, but the white mass may have been stress related. I am prepared to get a quarantine tank running and treat the sick fish if needed, but I don't know how much time I have and I don't want to infect the tank any more than it already is. Thomas Lloyd Cetta <Please read re crustacean parasites of marines, formalin... use on WWM... Bob Fenner>


Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: