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FAQs about the Diseases of Clownfishes 10

Related FAQs: Clownfish Disease 1, Clownfish Disease 2, Clownfish Disease 3, Clownfish Disease 4, Clownfish Disease 5, Clownfish Disease 6, Clownfish Disease 7, Clownfish Disease 8, Clownfish Disease 9, 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 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

Percula Health, using WWM 10/28/05 Hello WWM <Howdy> I have a question about the health of a True Percula Clown. I bought the two a while back with the intentions of pairing them up. I placed them in a quarantine tank together for about 2-3 weeks. It didn't take long for them to pair up and eating was never a problem. Their health was 100% during quarantine.  After introduction to the main tank, I noticed a little bump on the larger Perc, it was located on the last white strip. So far the bump has grown double in size, and is now turning to a light brown color and looks as if something is trying to eat its way out from the inside. What possible steps could I take? <Posted on WWM> Both Percs are acting normal, eating very well, and not shy around anything. Should I pull from the tank and go back to quarantine (they would be easy to catch) for future treatment? I don't mind leaving in the main tank as long has it is not a parasite that will soon be released into the tank. Any Suggestions help as to what this is and what to do? Take a look at the picture. Thanks Bryan <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and the linked Clownfish Disease FAQS above, the links provided in turn. Bob Fenner>

Clarkiis 10/25/05 Hi there have got two lovely clowns, two weeks in a 100 gallon set up one suddenly dropped into darker colour, presuming it's just maturing although it is chasing the second like mad, wasn't sure if it is just establishing dominance? <Likely> Wasn't too concerned until yesterday where there is now on eye a perfect white spot. Could consider a cataract, small raised circular peak, behaviour appears normal other than being chased, both the same size the chaser with the darkening looking a little bigger so am presuming this will be the female. <Likely> Planning on treating with Myacin but could do with advice.  <Would not "treat" at all... likely the spot is resultant from a physical trauma... will heal on its own> Tank conditions normal, present with a cleaner wrasse <Not a wise choice... please see WWM re Labroides species> and lemon peel all others fine. Should I remove him to a quarantine? Can't figure out this white spot I feel more a fungal thing doesn't look like a parasite. <Very unlikely it is... please read through Clownfish Disease FAQs files re.> Ill be grateful for any help Jonathan <Bob Fenner> 

Clownfish Coloration  - 10/13/05 <<Hello Jon,>> One Last question because I am definitely losing my mind. <<I bet. Isn't this "hobby" a blast?>> My female Percula Clown, is very healthy and eating actively, swimming etc. I  was observing her the other day and I saw that on her gills, (which if you look hard at are kind of frilly looking) have some black toward the bottom. Jet black. I am assuming that this is genetic coloration since she isn't exhibiting signs of parasite or disease. <<Take away her cigarettes. She is fine.>> Ps. My male who is in QT, is being treated with Jungle Parasite Clear, since he wont eat any medicated food. <<Could not find Hex Out I assume.>> I observed on him that he has some brownish spots beneath his skin behind his pectoral fins. Plus, it looks like his upper body toward the dorsal is getting a little blackish. Any more suggestions? The packaging does not explain how long to continue dosage so perhaps you may know? <<I am not familiar with that product as I tend to stay away from that brand for personal reasons. I would follow their dosage instructions and just keep an eye on him. Let him dictate your treatment schedule. I would suggest removing the medicated water and replacing with water from the main display before re-medicating him though. This give him fresh stable water while decreasing the chance of over dose and gives the display an excuse for a water change.>> Thanks for all you do! -Jon <<TravisM>> 

Sick percula clown - 10/13/05 Hello everyone, sorry to bother again. <<Hola>> First off, thank you so much for your time. You people are a godsend. <<Blushing>> I've attached a picture of a male percula clown who, after being quarantined for 4 weeks, was placed in my display tank. One month later, he has developed some strange symptoms, but his mate seems unaffected.  He will sit almost unmoving in their anemone, unless I put food into the water. (He is still eating vigorously) Just in front of his dorsal fin, in what I would call his 'forehead' he has a strange swelling, mostly along his horizontal axis, but somewhat upward also. It almost looks like he has a marble stuck in his head. The scales over this area stick out slightly, and the skin seems stretched, and the entire area is slightly clouded by a thin layer of mucous or some other light colored film. His lateral line in the area has turned rather black. <<Hmmm, I don't see the picture and I will need it to get you a definitive answer. Was there any trauma to the clown? Any blood? It there any white hairy/fuzzy outcropping on or around the lesion or is it more of a slimy white coating?>> The picture is bad, but I outlined his dorsal fin and then the bulge area (which you can see the white cloud on). Tank parameters: Am, NO2: 0ppm NO3: 10ppm Ca: 415 pH: 8.0 O2: 7ppm The tank is inhabited by this fish's mate, a twin-spot goby, a frogspawn coral, three rocks with Rhodactis mushrooms, two Ricordea floridae, one cleaner shrimp, and one peppermint shrimp. Assume this is something environmental, I'm doing a 5% water change daily, and am writing to ask you if you can diagnose what this is and how I should proceed to treat it. <<Until I see what we are talking about I would not worry too much. Feed him well and keep the water maintenance up and it will hopefully clear on its own. Most fuzzy white head bumps do.>> Thank you very much, Benjamin Kratchmer <<TravisM>> 

Clownfish - 10/12/05 Hi Bob and guys :) <<Hello, TravisM here.>> I had emailed you a while ago about my yoyos "odd behavior" and you guys put me at easy with their weirdness. I've been enjoying them ever since and they are all still living and doing well. <<Glad to hear that.>> I have since started a saltwater tank that has been up and running for a few months. I have a true perc and a dwarf pygmy in there that I have had for about 3 weeks. My fish store is a mom and pop place and they had the true perc at their store for 6 weeks before I took it home. It was their pet. (I had bought a false perc but it died.. the whole batch did.. bad batch so he gave me the true one). He has been eating fine and doing very well. Both fish get along great and surprisingly swim together a lot. Yesterday, I noticed the true perc had some white stuff on it. It's not ick I don't think, it's more like a patch of dry skin on his "forehead" and on his side. I've been reading a lot and I've read through your pages on clownfish. He has also started doing something he has never done before. I have the return in the middle of the tank and 2 power heads, one on each side. It's a 55g by the way with live sand and live rock, 20g sump underneath, skimmer etc. He has been swimming upwards where the current meets, in the middle of the tank. He'll do that a while and then go and swim normally around the tank and then go back there and swim upwards. This morning, I turned on the lights and he was laying on the sand. I don't really know what he does the other mornings but I don't remember him laying on the sand. It's too early for me to think about it and I'm usually in a huge hurry, running late as always.  I fed him to see if he would eat but he didn't really budge. I finished getting ready and then by the time I left, he was swimming around the tank. I noticed that the white on his side is gone, his color was good and on his forehead, it's almost gone. I also have some polyps and some zoos in there. What's wrong with him? Is the behavior normal, swimming upwards? <<Lets hope nothing. Yes, they are clowns and do some crazy things like swimming into powerhead currents. I call it their treadmill workout.>> What could be causing the white patches? I thought of marine velvet but I was unable to find pictures to compare and I'm pretty visual but it doesn't sound like it would be that. <<Fish can get some weird benign things that spontaneously go away. Do keep an eye on him though, if you notice rapid breathing and the white patches look like the slime coat is coming off odds are that your clown has brook (clownfish disease) and you will need to treat him and the angel with formalin immediately.>> Oh ammonia, nitrate, nitrite were 0, salinity was 1.025, temp was 82. Sorry this was so long and thank you!! <<TravisM>> 

Sick Clown!!! - 10/15/05 Well, Here's the sick clown update. Last night at 7:00 I put a fourth of a Jungle Parasite Clear Tablet in the 2.5 QT tank. He pretty much acted the same.  However earlier in the day, he developed brown or black marks under his skin behind his pectoral fins and it looks as if he is blackening along his lateral line and it does not look natural. He did at one point begin flicking at the bottom of the tank on his side.  So anyway, put the stuff in last night. Sat all the way up until 3:15 today when I got home and found the water very cloudy and filled with stringy slimy stuff I take is his mucus. It all gathered around the airstone. So I changed all the water and gave him fresh water with no medicine in it right now. (just finished). <<Good idea.>> I'm not quite sure what to do next, being I don't want to OD him on Metronidazole. <<Have you noticed changes with appetite or feces?>> Really don't want to put the Quick Cure in either since I really don't see any specks on him. <<Good idea. Never blindly medicate.>> Nor do I see anything that looks like velvet. His eyes are still clear, but he still won't eat anything. <<Have you been trying different foods? Frozen brine or Cyclop-Eeze?>> -Jonathan <<TravisM>> 

Sick Clown Follow-up 10/15/05 Cool, Thanks again. <<Glad to help.>> This is quite the hobby. And I thought I would not exceed 300 dollars.  HAHA. <<Now that is funny... I don't care who you are!!! I about fell out of my chair, but it is an all too common misconception. Fish tanks aren't cheaper than a dog or cat. They are just quieter and less hairy.>> Do you think you might know what these spots behind his pectorals are?? <<Not 100% sure on that. Hopefully the external meds will clear it up. Clowns can also get melanistic spots, kind of like a rash, from brushing against corals.>> He actually is starting to flick the bottom of the tank :( <<No signs of ich?>> I really am not sure what's going on! There are under the skin, so it's not ich, but ahhh. The Parasite Clear has the Metronidazole in it and says it cure external and internal parasites. So what's your take on this. I don't want to add any quick cure to the tank, or do you think I should. <<Never mix meds. For your fish or yourself... Always treat the major issue first and then work on the smaller ones.>> This poor fish. He must beat this! <<Keep your chin up, keep his tank clean and he will have a good shot at it.>> Thank Travis. -Jon <<TravisM>> 

Re: Perc loss 10/20/05 Crew, <<Jon>> I want to thank Bob and Travis for the help they offered me while trying to treat my little Percula Clownfish with an internal parasite. Unfortunately, he has lost his color tonight, and is swimming around the surface so Am sure tonight will be his last night. :'( Thank you for all your help and all you do. It is truly appreciated. <<I hope this email finds him well. It is always hard to lose a fish when you know you have tried everything. Unfortunately, it is part of the hobby. The best thing you can do is learn from this and move forward. I hope our advice has given you many tools to use in the future and I wish you luck.>> -Jon <<TravisM>> Clownfish with internal parasites, medication - 10/15/05 Good news. <<About time... :p>> I got my hand on some Piperazine. <<That is good news. That stuff has been very hard to come by in the aquarium trade.>> I put a little bit into the tank (because its only 2.5 gal and 1 capsule treats 10gals.) After I did a total water change from the other crap. Let's hope this stuff works. <<If anything will this will.>><<TravisM>>

Clownfish diseased  10/5/05 Hi, I've been having a great time with my first (50-gallon) saltwater tank.  All the water parameters are perfect (8.0/0/0/0).  50# LR and 4" bed of aragonite. Our two ocellaris clowns survived quarantine for two weeks and have been doing well in the main tank for another two.  Last week we added a bubble tip anemone; the smaller clown has taken to it nicely. Today I've noticed an approximately 2 mm light brown circle on the hindquarters of the smaller clown.  He seems less active but is still flapping his fins.  Still upright, breathing OK, no other pathologic markings as far as I can tell.  The other clown is doing well. We're getting the QT ready again... needs bleaching though because a clownfish recently died during quarantine.  It'll be ready tomorrow night.  What do you think's going on? <Nothing> Should I be getting my hands on any medicines in particular?   <Why?> Should I perform a freshwater dip (and if so, when)? <I wouldn't> Thanks so much Daniel <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Clownfish diseased  10/6/05
Bob, Thanks for your response, and in general for being such a wonderful resource. <Welcome> Unfortunately I got up this morning and the smaller clown was flopping about uncoordinatedly.  His color had faded dramatically and it looked like he had a whitish thin film all over him. <Yikes... not good>   There were nips taken out of his tail; these I suspect were from the bigger clown, who usually was all chummy with him but now was attacking!  Aiming to avoid infecting the big clown with whatever the little one had, I removed the poor little clown and sent him to his septic grave.  The big one looks OK so far, but I'm going to watch closely.  Everyone else in the tank (inverts) looks good. Any idea what could cause such a drastic and sudden decline in the little clown's status?   <Need to ask a bunch of questions, know related items in turn... are these wild-caught fishes? Were they quarantined? Do you know what Brooklynellosis looks like?> Do you think I should be worried about the other clown, and if so do you have any suggestions regarding action(s) to take? Thanks so much Daniel <... have you read over the materials on Clownfish on WWM? Please do, and quickly. Bob Fenner>
Re: Clownfish diseased 10/9/05
Bob, I read WetWebMedia a lot. It's great.  To answer your questions: Tank raised. Quarantined for 2-3 weeks. I looked at some pictures of Brooklynellosis on the Web; I suppose the film on the dying clown did look a bit like that... but none of the pictures was really clear.  Anyway, the other clown appears to be doing OK. <The slime on the dead one could be "just" from stress> He has always liked to stay near the top of the tank, and is still doing that. He's got no spots on him and yesterday he ate immediately upon feeding. There is no other fish in the tank (just inverts).  Given that he's the same species as the dead fish, would you recommend empiric quarantine? Or can I just watch closely? Thanks so much Daniel <The latter. Bob Fenner> 

A Ocellaris - trouble with a move  10/5/05 My fish were stressed by a recent move.  Can you help? <We'll see> I moved my 46 gallon bowfront tank to a new house last Friday. The livestock and live rock was out of the tank and in transport bags for a little less than two hours.  I moved most of the original tank water in buckets and added about 15 gallons of "fresh" salt water so that I wouldn't have to add any of the water that the livestock had been transported in to the tank. <Better to add this water... if not too polluted> I've tested nitrate, nitrite etc. daily since the move and found the water conditions to all to be undetectable or very low, the same as before the move. On Sunday afternoon a noticed my female Ocellaris swimming midlevel in the tank, which was odd for her - she usually prefers the top.  By Sunday evening she was laying on her side at the bottom gasping.  I put her in a five gallon with some of her original tank water and an airstone - later that evening she started getting a white "fuzz" on the inside of her mouth.  My LFS suggested dosing the tank with iodine (the suggested does for a reef tank of Kent) and treating her with tea tree oil, <Worthless... I wish AP would pull these placebos> but by Monday she died and the white "fuzz" had spread all over her mouth. <Opportunistic, secondary...> I've been checking her mate for symptoms and found the bicolor blenny laying at the bottom of the reef tank gasping.  I can't see any of the "fuzz" on him/her yet, but... I know it is hard to give advice from a description over an e-mail, but what would you suggest to treat this fish with? <Mmm, nothing... perhaps vitamin addition, soaking foods in same> Should I go ahead and treat the male ocellaris even though he seems to be doing well?  Other than the bicolor blenny and the remaining ocellaris there is a diamond goby and a Kole tang in the tank. <No> The Ocellaris had been with me for a year (female) and eight months (male).  The bicolor blenny about three months and the goby and tang were the newest additions, from just over a month ago. Until the move it looked like I had a bunch of happy healthy fish. Thank you for your time! Leena <Let time go by, keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Tomato Clown Behavior  10/4/05 Hello Crew, Thank you for your very useful info regarding my Featherduster.  He's looking mighty fine these days.  But I have a question about my tomato clown. I have 120 gal, lots of live rock and sand, some coral, a percula clown, yellow tang, sleeping goby, eyelash blenny, a couple of damsels and some hermit crabs.  When I got the tomato, he did all of the usual tomato things:  commandeer the anemone away from the percula, chased away anything that came near the food, etc.  His "fondness" for the anemone killed it. <Well-stated> Since then, he's just been swimming around like normal.  All was well when he just "disappeared" one day.  He was out of sight for 2 days then just appeared one morning looking pretty beat up.  I have no idea where he was hiding, but his little wounds looked like abrasions (maybe he was trapped?). <Possibly> Anyway, he was acting just like normal and eating like a pig.  In the last couple of days he's been swimming strangely.  He kind of hovers in position with his head pointed straight up, kind of like he's standing on his tail.  He'll do that for awhile then start swimming around like normal.  Then he hovers again then starts swimming like normal again.  Is this normal or is he feeling ill?  Thanks in advance for your help. <Very good description... it does sound like this is a wild-caught specimen that is internally parasitized (very common)... it may cure on its own (doubtful), or you could attempt a cure... by feeding it foods laced with Metronidazole/Flagyl, and possibly a vermifuge if it's eating... these compounds, use, are covered on WWM. Bob Fenner> Percula clown lip/face rot  10/3/05 We purchased three percula clowns at the same time, one has something horribly wrong with his lips/face. It looks like his face is rotting away. It started with his lips and is slowly spreading (rotting) away more flesh. Is there anything that can be done for him? We have quarantined him. <Perhaps an antimicrobial/antibiotic treatment (through the food if the fish is eating), an immersion bath if not... Likely resultant from fighting damage on placement, by the other "pair"... Bob Fenner>

Anemonefishes and furans  9/30/05 hi, Bob :) When you have a chance... do you recall mentioning in CMA or on WWM that Anemonefishes were sensitive to Furans? <Mmm, no... as a matter of recent experience, saw new wild-arrival Amphiprionines being treated with such at SDC... last week when I was visiting with Karl, EricC... delivering NMA bk.s...> Steve Pro pointed to a BB thread where someone recited it and drew flak for it. <Mmm, I'll cc Steve here... am sans ref.s out in HI... but would check Noga... BobF> We are looking for sources/experiences to support it. grazie!
Re: Anemonefishes and furans  9/30/05
Noga simply says that in general Nitrofurans are carcinogenic, genotoxic, and mutagenic.  Additionally, catfish, loaches, and other scaleless fishes are sensitive, but nothing regarding Clownfishes specifically. I believe the questions came from this article, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm "C) Chemicals: Last and least. Be careful. Clown fish are like "canaries in a cave". They tend to be sensitive to the same toxins as their host actinarians (anemones). Copper, other metal salts, organic or metallic dyes, furan compounds, and organophosphate pesticides all have deleterious to disastrous effects. These substances in various formulations, comprise most of the "medicine treatments" available and used in our aquatics interest. They do have some limited, appropriate applications in bare marine treatment tanks. 'Nuff said?" <Mmmm, must have believed/read this at some point/place... do agree that Clowns shy on the more sensitive than average side (often related to organisms that cross phyla in symbioses) of fishes... Am out in HI, or I'd try to find where I got this. Cheers, BobF>

Clownfish sick... aquarist ignorant 9/29/05 So much for a healthy happy clownfish.  My clownfish has some white stringy stuff coming out of his underside. A cottony coating starting to grow on him and he does not look to good the other one is fine. bottom fins are tucked in. The pet store gave me PimaFix. <Worthless, correction... worse than worthless> My water quality is great they said for a 6 gallon nano No nitrates etc. <... this system is too small for keeping this/these fish> The sea spider <... what?> is sitting on the rock reaching out for the fish I guess waiting for a meal. I think it's a spider lat white with 5 white tentacles with red tips???? Anyhow what can I do to save the fish????? <Get a much larger system, study re what you're up to... at least on WWM. Please start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/part2.htm Scroll down toward the bottom, read re Clownfish Systems, Disease... Bob Fenner>

Sick clown follow up:  10/3/05 You guys are awesome thanks for answering all my questions. I am obsessed with your site but sad to say my clown has passed and my daughter thinks I flushed him to the deep blue.  The culprit clown that I did not QT that got my other clown sick is still not eating and now has stringy poop.  I am too much a novice to try and save him. (Particularly cause I think it's Brooklynellosis only because after the fuzzy stuff fell off, my other clown had a red ulceration on him.) <Can/could be treated with one go with Metronidazole/Flagyl> Question is how long do I leave tank empty so whatever it is can die.?   do I change filters bioballs etc.? <... no> Will inverts carry disease or parasites? <Can, but unlikely> what about live rock? <Ditto... leaving the system fish-less for a month will likely "solve" any pathogenic problem> Unrelated------- also what are the flat white things that slide around on 4-5 tentacles they are carnivorous I think. I have a few, worried they are parasitic or such. <Highly unlikely that these are parasitic... could be worms, crustaceans, cnidarians...>   When first clown was dying they kept trying to get a hold of it? <What?> may be unrelated.  I promise to dip new fish in PH adjusted water when I figure out how to adjust PH? I use R/O water do I still need to adjust it??? <Maybe> Enough questions for now.  the little guy is hanging on I wish I could help him. Thanks again guys and the LFS guy told me he never heard of Brooklynellosis and that I was reading too much on the net! MB <Keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Sick true Percula  9/28/05 <Please... the beginning of sentences are capitalized, proper noun "I"... Percula...> hi, I purchased three false percula's recently and I had a very bad incident. when it came down to it, one was actually a true Percula (the smallest of the 3). I had them in a 30 gallon with only one other fish a sixline wrasse, 5 snails and 5 hermits, <Too crowded...> 1 RTBA, hammer and a fox coral. <Incompatible... my friend. You're setting yourself up for a disaster. Please research the needs, compatibility of livestock before acquiring it...> I have been cycling a 60 gallon for about the last 3 weeks with about 90 lbs of live rock, 2 green cromis, 10 snails and 10 hermits. yesterday I transferred the pair of false to the bigger tank, <Ah, good> they are doing fine. my smaller clown has 2 bumps on each side of his first stripe and this slimy film (stress????) <You are likely correct here> he refuses to eat. my wrasse is a pig. I went to look at him and I have noticed that he is swims in one part of the tank, very lethargic. my parameters are excellent nothing out of range, I do a 10-15% water change weekly. what am I doing wrong? <... too many possibilities to delve into here... Please take your time, read over the set-up, maintenance articles, Clownfish Disease, as many of the FAQs files as you deem necessary... on WWM. Do you have a "complete" marine aquarium book? You might gain insight from a cursory re-reading. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Percula  9/30/05
I apologize for my grammatical error, I didn't realize it was that important. <Sometimes... mostly as "object lessons" for all... but also for clarity of communication> I have a 2 year old that was trying to get my attention. I do have a question regarding my pair of false perculas, ever since I moved them to my 60 gallon tank, the female has a slime coating. She is active and eating. Again, I think it's stress. <Agreed> I think that it may have started when I removed them from their host anemone. Can you tell me your thoughts? I am only 3 weeks into my cycle and I refuse to move the anemone to the new tank for about another 2 weeks. I do love your site, it's very informative. Thank You Again, Gina <... my thoughts are archived re marine set-up, Clownfish behavior, disease on WWM. When you have time, please read there. Bob Fenner>

Internal parasite?  9/24/05 Hello there, just one quick question.  I have 2 True Percula clowns in a 90 gal with a Kole tang, 2 Banggai Cardinals and 2 skunk clowns.  There is no fighting at all.  Ammonia and Nitrite 0, Nitrates 5ppm, Ph 8.1 in the morning 8.2 in evening. Anyway, my question is about the Percs.  Three weeks ago I noticed a white string of feces trailing from one of them, and a few days later, the other one had the same.  They were both feeding, swimming and acting normally, with no rapid breathing.  They also had no external symptoms of anything wrong.  I quarantine all of my additions to the tank for 8 weeks, as I am choosing to learn from other's mistakes.  No fatalities so far! <Congrats... you're in the superlative minority>   I asked my LFS and read on WWM, and I came to the conclusion that perhaps they had an internal parasite. <Mmm, unlikely> Hard to really believe though, as they are both rather plump and have grown to 1.5" from <1" since I purchased them 5 months ago.  I quarantined them after this 'diagnosis' and treated them by feeding Anti-Parasite medicated fish food for internal parasites by Jungle Labs, as per the instructions.  While I did this medicating, they had no white feces, and they continued to umm 'go' normally for the next week (treatment consists of feeding only the medicated food for 3 days, then regular for 4).  I chose to treat them for only 1 week as opposed to 4, because they began to be more lethargic in the QT, and I'm still not convinced that they even had a parasite. <Good>   After acclimating them back to the main tank, the perked right up again, and were just as before... including the white poo!!! So I guess my question to you guys is this: considering all this, and that no other fish have this, could this be nothing more than a digestion thing? <Yes> I rotate green seaweed flakes, Mysis, brine, squid, krill and pellets...please help! Lisa <Nothing to help. Not to worry. Bob Fenner>

Sick Onyx Clownfish and Calcium/Alk  9/24/05 Hello Crew, I have a sick Onyx clown that I have had quarantined for over a week. I looked on your site and tried to find out what the little guy has but really to no avail. About two weeks ago his mouth started to hang open and he looked stressed so I placed him in the quarantine tank with copper so my other clowns wouldn't be exposed to him. <Will/would affect all if biological, pathogenic> After a week of quarantine he really didn't look any better and some kind of white lump formed under his mouth, so I have been giving him a daily freshwater dip with formalin-3 cause I thought it was clownfish disease. <Uh, no... the lump likely "just" stress, the move, treatment> He started to look better but the lump has come back and I am wondering if you guys have any clue as to what this is. He also isn't able to close his mouth, kind of looks like he has something holding it open but of course nothing is there. <Most likely genetic (defect)> I am worried cause as you know this is a rare and expensive clownfish and I'd hate to lose him. He doesn't seem to be breathing all that heavy but he doesn't really go for food either. Should I just continue with the freshwater dips with formalin and hope? <I would move the fish back to the main tank and hope> I was also thinking of lowering the salinity in the quarantine tank. I have 4 clowns total, 1 onyx who is this ones mate, and two percula clowns and they all seem fine eating and swimming, so I am assuming I got the sick one out in time to avoid further damage thank god. One more question if you don't mind, my tank is a 46 gallon reef tank which has been setup for 3 years, but I am having a heck of a time raising my calcium level which is about 200 meg/l. <Please read on WWM re calcium, alkalinity, replenishing live rock in aging systems> The alk level is off my charts and my test only reads to 5meg/l which is the norm, I'd say mine level is almost 10 meg/l!!! <...> I have read on your site that the calcium and alk level are always opposite each other (one low one high). <Good way of putting this> My corals and the coralline algae are spreading and look fine but I want to get the alk down and the calcium up to 400 meg/l, and I can't afford or have room for a calcium reactor. I add liquid calcium just about every day following the bottle directions and the level always stays at 200 meg/l. When I add the calcium my corals close, I am assuming that this is bad. <Yes> I am thinking that when i add ph adjuster (about once a week) the alk level keeps going up, keeping the calcium level down. <A clue here> The coralline is growing all over the back of the tank, rocks, powerheads, and overflow and even some in the refugium, so I  am debating if I should even mess with it cause the tank seems very stable and don't want to start stressing it out but I could be wrong on that. My levels are ph 8.2 alk 10 meg/l (estimate) ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 0 to 5 ppm cal 200 meg/l magnesium 1300 meg/l phosphate 0 <Mmm, the coralline are taking up available calcium, you're likely out of balance with magnesium... you're bolstering alkalinity....> Here is my live stock: the clowns 1 yellow tang 1 painted fairy wrasse 1 sandhopper blenny 1 neon Dottyback 2 peppermint shrimp 1 huge cleaner shrimp approx 50 lbs of live rock 4 inch crushed coral/live sand bed 1 pink leather coral 10 red zuma mushrooms/ 5 fuzzy mushrooms about 3 zoanthid colonies 1 torch coral with about 5 heads 1 frogspawn coral with 4 heads 1 Alveopora (not doing to well) 1 cool neon orange plate coral Sorry this is soo long, but I value your opinion, Thanks, Jim Stephen <Keep reading. Bob Fenner>

True percula clown with suspected HLLE disease  9/22/05 Good morning to whom ever responds. <Good morning Lucas> I have just  noticed that my true percula clownfish has a very small pit on the top of her  head. It is very recent and did not notice it a week ago. I feed my fish Mysis  shrimp daily and use flake food 2 times a week ( she eats like a pig ). All of  my water parameters are good, SG 1.024, Ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 0,   I do not test calcium as I do a 5 Gallon water change each week (30 g  tank). I do not think it is stray voltage. <Won't know without a test> I have just ordered Selcon from my  LFS and they tried to sell me some garlic extreme product. Can you use fresh  garlic to achieve the same effect? <No, the concentration is much lower in Garlic Extreme.>What are some known food additions I can  add?<The Selcon is a good one, look no further> I believe that my fish might not eat enough algae, what are some good  algae's that my fish may eat? <The fish you have aren't really algae eaters.> Are there alternatives to algae that might be  easier to obtain at my local grocer? <Sushi Nori at the gourmet department> Can it be my corals causing stress? <Unlikely unless they are dying.> Current  invertebrate inhabitants are, 2 green bubble tip anemones, a green tipped torch  coral about 300 various zoanthid polyps and 3 types of mushrooms, and metallic  green star polyps. Fish are, 1 large green Chromis, the sick true percula clown,  1 spotted mandarin, and a mated pair of yellow tail damsels. My clean up crew is  10 blue leg hermits, 4 turbo snails, and 1 Sallylightfoot crab. My  equipment is 1 marineland 300 series HOB filter, 1 red sea Berlin airlift in  tank skimmer, and 2 zoo med power sweep 220 gph powerheads. and 20 lbs of  Aragocrete and 24 lbs of pokeni live rock. The only thing I do not have, is a  RO/DI water filter. Am I missing any thing you can think of, as far as equipment  I may need? I appreciate ANY and ALL advice that the staff at Wetwebmedia can  provide. <I'd google the WWM, keyword, "maintenance" and read there.  James (Salty Dog)> Thank you, Lucas in Denver

Stressed or diseased Clarkii  9/22/05 Hello Wet Web, Bryan here <James here> with a question about my Clarkii and Long Tentacle Anemones, but my tank setup: 55gal, crushed coral substrate, 40lbs of live rock, Seaclone 100 skimmer, 330 BioWheel, MaxiJet 900 powerhead, 2 ea 110 VHO bulbs (1 Actinic 03 Blue and 1 Aqua Sun white) Fish include a Clarkii Clown, Purple Anthias, Yellow Tail Damsel, and a small Yellow Tang (Tang will go to a big tank when he gets bigger), Other life forms are a beautiful blue LTA and a Green/Purple LTA, 12 hermit crabs and 1 emerald crab Water conditions Ammonia-0, Nirite-0, Nitrate-10, Salinity-1.022, Temp-77 Alkalinity-260 to 280, pH 8.5, and calcium-500. Hope that sets the stage. First, I had a T/R Percula Clown but from the moment he was introduced he did nothing but tread water at the bottom front part of the tank, did not eat, developed white spots and died,<sounds like no QT used here.> never going to the top and gasping for air.  The white spots and death occurred with a 24 hour period.  At the first sign of the white spots on the Percula, the clarkii stopped eating, and started to tread water and breathing rapidly. Later on I added my LTA's that were on the way.  I placed the blue one on a rock and he took to it very well, as did the Clarkii after 5 hours.  Since then the Clarkii has not left the LTA for past 2 days and is still not eating.  I did notice a small bit of slime hanging off him, NO white spots, and his breathing is still rapid.  What is wrong with my Clown? <difficult without seeing.  Could be producing the slime coat needed for protection from the anemone's sting.> As for the blue LTA, he has moved, but has not attached to anything, just resting on the bottom fully open.  The green/purple LTA, is having a rough time, he can't seem to get settled, and looks like he is trying to hide in between rocks.  Is that normal for a LTA? <Upon introduction, yes> It did have some shrinkage, change in color, and expelling left over food, but now seem to be a normal color, just not settled in.  Should I be concerned with the LTA's not settling down and attaching to anything?  Just one more thing kind of off the health subject, is there something I can do to keep my Seaclone from sending tiny bubble back into the tank? <need some sort of bubble trap, even a piece of sponge.> I have tried to adjust it for 3 weeks now, and can't get it to stop filling the tank with tiny bubbles. <Your anemones won't be around much longer with your current lighting system.  No where near enough light.  See lighting and anemones on the WWM.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks, Bryan By the way, you have an excellent site for information! <Thank you>

Killer of Percula Clowns  9/21/05 Hello Crew, <Hello Doc> I have written in the past regarding my reef tank (120g), I have a question about my second dead percula clown. I have several other fish (hippo tang, yellow tang, flame angel, 2 fire fish, orange spotted goby, black blenny, royal Gramma, and a percula clown) they are all doing very well. I had a second percula clown that stopped eating, became very thin, and then subsequently died. I placed it in my sick tank and tried to treat it with Maracyn. Needless to say it did not work. It did not have any plaques on it, ich spots, or other noticeable changes. I am concerned because this is the second percula clown I have lost in about 2 months. The other clown (that is still alive) I have had for about 6 months and has been doing very good. Is it something I should get VERY concerned about or chalk it up as a percula clown thing? The other critters in my tank (several corals, shrimp, and clams) are doing very well. <Weekly/bi-weekly water changes help the overall health of fish along with a good diet.  Wouldn't be too concerned, were they tank raised?  They seem to fair much better than the trues.  Any harassment by other fish?  James (Salty Dog)> Dr. M Killer of Percula Clowns Thanks James. I do 10% water change every 10-14 days. The other fish in the tank did not seem to harass the clown, even while it was sick. I purchased it from my LFS and I have to assume it was tank raised. <Doc, I wouldn't assume that it was tank raised, could be the wild variety.  Sounds like the death of the clowns can't realistically be traced to anything, just one of those things that happen in this hobby.  James (Salty Dog)> Dr. M

Clownfish with Cauliflower Growth 09/17/19/05 Dear Crew:  HHHEEEELLLLPPPP! I noticed a growth on my large 2" clownfish. I have him quarantined and have medicated with Furacyn for 3 days with no results.  The growth is on the left lower side of his "chin" and looks like cauliflower. It is a dull white.  The clown acts normally, is eating like a horse, swimming and nuzzling his anemone.  Can this be treated and is this the proper course of action.<<Quarantine is the correct 1st step. The growth could be Lymphocystis. If it is lymphocystis, it will sometimes cure itself with improved tank conditions. Please see this FAQ (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lymphfaqs.htm) and search WWM for "Lymphocystis". Good luck - Ted>>

Fiendish Firefish?  Unquarantined Clown - 09/03/2005 I have a well cycled (6 months) reef aquarium (keeping a Mandarin and Firefish with no problems- I <PLEASE, everyone - capitalize your "I"s!  We have to fix these errors, you know.  Takes forever.> breed Copepods for the Mandarin in separate culture tank). <Just be sure it's enough to keep the fish fat and happy....  Easier said than done.> The tank is only 30 gallons but I thought I should be able to keep about three fish. <Smallish, peaceful fish, yeah.> I just bought a false percula clownfish and it died 2 days later :(  The fish never seemed to be able to swim upright from the time I acclimated it and the fins deteriorated (or seemed to be tattered). I am wondering if the purple firefish I had may have damaged it (when the lights were out as I never saw any aggression during the day)?   <Whaaaaat??  You didn't quarantine the clown?  I mean....  that's a sure invitation for disaster.> I know mandarins are not aggressive in this way, but before I get another clown, I would like to be sure the Firefish wasn't the cause. <It is very highly unlikely that the firefish had anything whatsoever to do with this.  Just hope the clown didn't die of something communicable which has by now passed to the other fish in the tank.> Thanks for any info.  I think I just got a fish that had been moved too many times- the LFS store had just brought them in the day of my purchase. <Your next purchase really ought to be a small quarantine system.  It will save you money, time, grief, and work in the long run.> Darion <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>
Fiendish Firefish?  Unquarantined Clown  - II - 09/07/2005
Thanks for the reply. <Of course.> While upset about the loss, I (capitalized) <YAY!  Thanks....  Really!> am unable to keep a quarantine tank at this time having only a 30g with fish stocked from the same store- all of the LFS's tanks run off of a single large filtration unit behind the display so I didn't think much of it. This was probably stupid as every new batch of fish they get could bring in a new disease (smacks self).   <Yup.  You got it.  And since ALL the tanks are run off a single filtration system, if ANY fish in the store has ich....  then potentially all have ich.  See?  Quarantine Is Good.> Frankly, a quarantine tank would be almost as large as my main- and I'm moving to my first house in about 1 and 1/2 months. <Ahh!  Congratulations!> I already have 4 tanks to move ranging from 60g down (all others are FW).   <Believe me....  I feel your pain....> I understand the reasons for a quarantine tank and will wait until I can set one up at the new place rather than just replace the fish. <Very, very good.  This will save you time, money, grief.... life....> Hopefully it was just stress rather than disease :/  I'll be watching my tank closely for a while.   <A good plan indeed.> Thank you for your time. I just wanted to be sure a firefish is non-aggressive to clowns as some as the advice I have received from my LFS is suspect (sure a mandarin will be fine in a 30g with live rock- you don't even have to feed it). <The firefish should be perfectly compatible.  I do hope your copepod farm is very productive!  Wishing you and your fish well (and thanks for the punctuation/capitalization!),  -Sabrina>

Help with Clownfish... induced health troubles 8/18/05 First off, thank you again for the advice on my previous question.  I have since run a full treatment of Formalin <... formalin> on my 55 gal. system, performed a 30% water change, and purchased 2 more false perculas (1.75 - 2 inches in length) from my LFS. <... this size, not likely captive-produced...>   I did check with the owner about the specific gravity of his tanks (1.020) and now have my tank matching that.  Nitrates are nonexistent, Nitrites and Ammonia are very low, <... should be zero> pH is roughly 8.0, and the temperature ranges from 78ºF to 86ºF <... too much vacillation> (during the day with lights on) - yes, I'm thinking I need to get a chiller unit.  The lighting is a 300W JBJ compact fluorescent, 2 actinic bulbs run for 8 hours and the 2 daylight bulbs run for 2 hours.  I am feeding the clowns frozen Mysis shrimp, Spectrum pellets, and soon live brine shrimp (waiting on the first hatching now).  I am treating all the food with Seachem's Reef Plus Concentrated Vitamin and Amino Acid Supplement every several days. These two fish seem a lot healthier and more energetic overall (I've even seen the male "stutter" for the female while they were playing "tag").  Both are eating 2 - 3 times a day, (in the small amounts I feed them).  My concern, after the last fiasco, is that I have noticed some small spots on the male. <... you didn't quarantine...>   I've seen Ich before, and I don't feel that's the case here, these are small gray spots on the fish... about the size of a scale.  He has one on one side and 3 on the other (2 near the front dorsal fin and 1 near the rear of his back fin).  The male is the only one with these "dots," and none of them are pronounced, or raised off the skin like I have seen Ich do in the past.  As I mentioned, both fish are eating, swimming around the tank, interacting with one another, and are very vibrant in their coloring.   I'm hoping that this is nothing, <Maybe> I'd rather err on the side of caution after losing the last four clowns I had within a weeks time (before the tanks Formalin treatment).  Again, thanks for any help that you may be able to provide.... and keep up the great work with the website. <Please use it... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and the other linked Clownfish Disease FAQs files above. Bob Fenner>

Occasional stringy feces for months 8/15/05 I've had my ORA captive bred female black ocellaris since early January. To this day she and her ORA captive bred male counterpart (which I've had since late March) have show signs of stringy feces. They don't display it everyday, and they have had various types of feces (e.g., powdery reddish brown, to a clumpy brown, brown and stringy, and stringy and white). <Could be the food...> When they were in my display I fed them Spectrum Thera-A pellets, Mysis with garlic and Mysis with Metronidazole (for three days) <I would not repeatedly expose fish livestock to this anti-protozoal> in their food, and Pepso food per directions indicated on the package. None of these foods/medications made the feces consistent (still white and stringy on occasion). Early on, I also gave the pair several months of doing nothing (treatment-wise) to see if it would clear up on its own. <Mmm...> They have been in my 10 gallon quarantine tank twice for the months of June and August (In July I moved them back to the display to see if it was a water quality issue). In June I treated with two cycles of Pipzine in the water, and one cycle of hex-a-mit, <Also Metronidazole> also in the water). In August I treated them with PraziPro and saltwater Maracyn two in the water (per package instructions). Note that in between each type of medication I ran carbon for at least 48 hours and did a 50 % water change to avoid mixing meds. They have been very active this whole time, utilizing all levels of the reef (I have even observed the female biting on rocks). Their breathing is normal, and they have clear eyes, great color and fins are always erect. They are, and have always been hearty eaters, being fed 1-3 times a day. The female and male have also grown considerably (~1inch) since January and the female's face has gone from a bright orange to almost completely black. If they did not have the strange feces I would consider them perfectly fine. <They are likely "perfectly fine"... will not be if continually handled, "treated"> They are fed frozen Mysis, frozen Spirulina enriched brine shrimp, formula 2 pellets, formula 1 flake, spectrum Thera-A pellets, Hikari marine-S pellet, steamed broccoli flower tops, and Cyclop-eeze. <Wow! I want to live at your house> All foods have been soaked in Zoe (heavy Spirulina formula) and Zoecon and sometimes garlic. I don't think it is a diet issue, because my gold stripe maroon clownfish is fed the exact same items and does not have the same feces. <Different species> The parameters in the display: Amm: 0 Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 0 pH: 8.2 salinity: 1.026 temp: 80-81 The 10 gallon quarantine tanks has the same parameters except the salinity is ~1.024 and the nitrates may creep up to no more than 5-10. I have tried to contact some research institutions in my area for examinations. These include; Florida tech, Harbor branch, ORA, and have had no luck. (Harbor branch and ORA are about 20 minutes away from my house and i would be willing to drive there and pay for a fecal examination). I really like these fish and want them to live a long life and eventually breed. What should my next move be? Move them back to the display? Keep them in QT longer? Any suggestions welcomed. Thanks, Bryan <I would re-place these fish... very likely there is nothing wrong with them... Bob Fenner>

Ill Clownfish 8/6/05 Hello again Crew!         Thanks in advance for your help.         Four days ago I bought a mated pair of percula clowns, and after 36 hours I fed them.  The male would not eat, only go up to food and look at it, but the female fed well.  The male began to defecate, but produced a green stringy matter, which trailed behind him for several inches and slowly lost its color, but still left a hanging residue.     This morning, both fish are displaying this symptom, and the female has white mucous flaking off her in several places, and seems to have a light glaze of this over her whole body.     Assuming the worst, I'm giving them a formalin dip to treat possible Brooklynella, but am wondering what to do about the eating and pooping.  Is this a side effect of the protozoa, or is it internal bacteria? <... likely neither>     I was unable to find the crew's recommended Spectrogram or Kanamycin <Likely Kanamycin. RMF> at any LFS, is there a substitute if this is internal bacteria?  Would the Epsom salts work here to loosen things up?  Please advise.           Thank you.                                                               Ben <Please (re)read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and the linked files above... If these are wild-caught fish, they are likely suffering from simple "stress"... chemically treating them, handling them will only hasten their demise. Bob Fenner>

Maroon Clown is Vertical 8/6/05 Hello from the AZ desert- I have a relatively new (3 months) 300 gal tank. After cycling, damsels & a yellow tang, we just received an 8" queen angel, a 5 " powder blue tang and a 3" maroon clownfish.  After 24 hrs, they seem to be adjusting well, except the clown.  Though they all ate well, last night, it chose a far wall of the tank and has been in a vertical swim position it seems all night and this a.m.  Is this normal stress? <Likely so... could be a puncture/wound from decompression...> What else might I watch for in the event a problem is percolating? <Not much else to do, or that I would do... Bob Fenner> Clownfish with White Bump 8/5/05 Hi, <Hello there> I have noticed that my Ocellaris Clownfish has a white bump on the bottom side of his head. There is only one bump. I don't know what this could be as I have never seen it before. I have also noticed that a small part of the dorsal fin looks a little ragged & that part of the fin has white tint to it. My other clown in the tank is doing fine with no problems. Also My tank has been set up for 5 months. I have heard that a single white bump might be a viral infection <Maybe> but I don't know this for sure. Please let me know if this is cause for concern. This is my first saltwater tank ,but I have kept freshwater for about 5 yr. Thanks, Scott <Could be resultant from a physical injury... a bump... might be an internal complaint manifesting itself. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and the linked files above... There are several "anomalous" diseases of these fishes... most are best approached with an eye on simply improving the physical/chemical environment and nutrition. Bob Fenner>

Dead Percula Clown 8/4/05 Hello Crew, <Dr. E.> I am in mourning, last night one of my percula clowns, I have had for 4-5 months, died unexpectedly. I noticed the night before he/she was swimming in place and breathing very fast and was not interested in food, which was a first. The next day I came home from work and it was getting its final cleaning from my skunk cleaner shrimp. My other fish (yellow tang, hippo tang, 2 firefish, royal Gramma, flame angel, and perc clown) are doing very well in my 120g reef tank. I checked my parameters (ammonia, pH, SG, Salinity, Alkalinity, Nitrate, Nitrite) they are all normal (or haven't deviated over the last 6 months). I haven't added any new fish in over 2 months. I have live rock and assorted corals and clams. Do you have any clues of what might have happened? <Mmm, not really... mysterious... but does happen with these fishes> I inspected the body of the dead clown and there was no evidence of external parasites or trauma.  I get a lot concerned when a fish dies, especially a hardy clown. Thank you. <Me too... I do suspect some aspect, internal complaint... not easily detected by gross necropsy... Perhaps a genetic disorder. From your writing, I take it you have at least another clownfish... and that it seems fine... I would replace this lost one with another of the same species, tank bred. Size, smaller. Bob Fenner>

Clown colour and filtration 7/30/05 Hi there WWM crew! <Hello Matt> Firstly, stellar job on your website. Stocked to the rim with golden advice, and always a pleasure to read. I have two questions, totally unrelated to one another. I have searched the web for answers to these, one of which I have found heavily contradicting info, the other zip. So, I thought I'd milk the teats of your mind and hope you gurus can shed some light :) <Slurp> Here are my specs to give you some background: 24 gallon (approx 18"x18"x18") tank just over one month old. 30 lbs of live rock. Two 36 watt high compact fluorescent lights (50/50 actinic). Saline Solutions 40 hang-on skimmer (counter-current airstone type). pH = 8.2, Ca = 450, Nitrite = 0, Nitrate = 0.2, Ammonia = 0, Gravity = 1.025, Temp = 83, Phosphate = 0.1, Alkalinity = 'High' (Red Sea test kit unfortunately doesn't give me a numerical reading). <Mmm, you might want to read over re synthetic salt mix brands...> I conduct weekly water changes of 10%. And twice a week I add Seachem Reef Calcium. <I would wait on the changes, supplements... for another month or so> On one occasion I added rotifers and phytoplankton. My livestock is: 1 Turbo snail, 4 Astrea snails, 2 Nassarius snails, 3 blue-legged hermits, 1 red legged-hermit, a brown brittle star, a Lysmata amboinensis cleaner shrimp, and a percula clown. I also just recently added a small frag of green daisy/clove polyps, to test my conditions. They seem to be doing well as they have grown about 5 new stalks in one week. My live rock when purchased was brown, and now it is nicely coated in purple and green coralline, and loads of life in every cranny. My plans are to add 1-2 more small fish, and some soft and LPS corals. <All in a 24 gallon system...> My first question relates to my filtration. My tank is a Nanocube DX. Its design includes an existing filter in the back housing that contains a large 16" sponge pad, ceramic rings, bio balls, and active carbon. The intake is an overflow that is governed by a power jet on the other end that provides a flow rate of 290 GPH. I recently added my skimmer (removes some nice gunk on an every other day basis) and was advised by a friend to remove the sponge pad, ceramic rings and bio balls. <I would also wait another month for this change... and not add any more livestock for at least this period of time> Leave the carbon in and place live rock in the chambers. To which I did. (slowly adding live rock, so not done this part yet). All is well so far, but I have read info on websites, including here, that advises people of similar tank sizes that they should add a hang-on filter when just using a skimmer. <Yes> I'm wondering if you feel my current setup is fine, or if I should revert back to the mechanical/chemical filtration the tank came with, while also keeping my skimmer going? <I would> Second question concerns my clown. When purchased he was a rich orange through and through. But as the weeks have unfolded, he has begun to darken. Starting at the top spinal area and it is evenly working its way down his body. <Stress... from the conditions, transitions of a new system> A dark brown colour. Smooth in transition, not splotchy. He seems in good spirits, curious and explorative. I'm wondering if this is a concern that needs to be dealt with, or if it is natural, and if so will it return to orange one day? Thanks so much for your time. And cheers to the whole crew at WWM! Matt <Thank you for writing so clearly, completely. Your clown will revert to brilliant orange with good care, nutrition and time. Bob Fenner>

Spotted clown 7/27/05 I purchased two tank bred ocellaris clowns a few weeks ago and they never got along well. <In how large, set-up, established system?>   For awhile I let them be hoping they would "work it out" as they are both juveniles.  The one who was constantly being picked on slowly started to develop black spots which I attributed to stress/melanism as the aggressor never developed any spots. <A good guess> This same clown would also have a ragged fin once in awhile, presumably from being picked on.  Last week the more aggressive fish would not stop biting and chasing him and he developed many (approx 10) black spots and was hiding in the corner with very ragged fins.  I separated them (the aggressor moved into my neighbor's tank) and both are doing really well now as they each have their own tank.  The poor little guy's fins have healed up and he is more active and eats well, but he has kept all of his black spots (no new ones, though).  He really looks funny! <Am not laughing>   Water quality has remained normal (amm, nitrate, nitrate =0, SG= 1.024, ph= 8.2).  Will these spots resolve or is he destined to be a spotted clownfish? <Will likely "go away" with time (a few months), growth, good care> He is now the only fish in the aquarium (12 gallon nano).  Thank you in advance for your knowledgeable advice.  Your site is what has guided me through this venture! -Becky <Look to larger worlds... Bob Fenner>

Clown getting better 7/29/05 Hello WWM Crew, <<Hello, Ted here>> I got the water tested and performed a water change. My clown got better. It has started eating a little. I wanted to know whether to use dechlorinated tap water or mineral water? My  dealer recommended I use mineral water. I would be thankful for your help. <<In the long run, you are better off investing now in a RO/DI filter. It is more money up front, but you can then filter and produce high quality water whenever you need it (which should be frequently since you should be regularly changing water). If you are going to buy water, buy RO/DI water (not mineral water). Use dechlorinated tap water as the last choice. Good luck, Ted>>

Clownfish Woes 7/27/05 Good day Mr. Fenner. <Mike G here, Bob's a tad busy lately.> I have a 10 gallon tank with coral sand+a powerhead+a rubber airstone. <Airstone is unnecessary, in my opinion. Perhaps a skimmer is in order, however?> I put a orange finned clown in the tank. <Cycled?> it is my first fish. <And a good choice at that.> It has been there for over a week now. It does not eat anything. <Not a good sign.> I tried almost every thing. <Which entails...?> Yesterday it got covered with white spots. <Related to an unidentified stressor. Take your water to your pet store to be tested, ask them for the actual numbers. Make sure your tank has cycled.> I increased to 30c.The white spots have disappeared but the clown does not eat any thing. <They'll be back, most likely. Since you don't have any inverts, why not dose a copper-based ich medication, coupled with a decent water change? Good luck, MikeG>

Re: Clownfish Woes 7/28/05 hello WWM crew <Mike G again> I will get it done as soon as possible. <Good to hear.> thanks for your timely help. <Welcome.> can I add a anemone and another clown. <Yes, you can add another clown (once this problem is solved), but you'd need proper lighting for an anemone. Mike G>

Help with clownfish 7/26/05 Recently, I did a renovation of my 55 gal. tank.  It had been running for several years, using UV Sterilizer, protein skimmer, standard wet/dry filter, JBJ compact Fluorescent lighting, and about 70 lbs of LR.  I performed a 75% water change, scrapped the algae off the glass, let that settle and vacuumed most all of the debris out, and scrubbed most of the filtration equipment with tap water and a rag.  After the revamp, I had a black and gold Chromis (the only fish that had been living in the tank, apprx. 2 inches long), and added 4 false percula to the tank (2 from a chain pet store roughly an inch in length, the other 2 were from a privately owned pet shop, about 1.5 inches in length).  After a modest amount of aggression from the Chromis, things seemed to be going well.  Then trouble hit, both of the smaller clowns died within a day of each other... now several days later, one of the larger percula's is laying on the bottom of the tank - with the occasional burst of energy, is not looking well.  All levels are great, salinity 1.019,<Salinity is a little low, Joe.  What was the salinity of the water where the fish were purchased.>   pH 7.9, ammonia and nitrite are non-existent, nitrate is about 40ppm, and water temp is 79 degrees F.  The one thing I did notice, once each of the 3 percula's started to swim a little funny (the latest was swimming almost vertical for a few hours today), they stopped eating.  I also noticed that the remaining, healthy percula doesn't seem to be eating either.  I've been feeding them mostly flake food (which they did eat when first introduced to the tank), some frozen brine, and just picked up Spectrum pellets and some frozen Mysis shrimp, which have also remained untouched. Taking the LFS owner's advice, I've separated the Chromis (using a freshwater breeder net I added to the tank).  Not sure what the cause for this is, but I'm at wit's end; short of disposing of the sand and LR, completely draining and restarting the tank, I have no idea what to do.  Thanks in advance for any help/advice you can provide. <Would like to know how the fish were acclimated and what the dealer's tanks salinity is.  Sounds like a shock problem to me.  James (Salty Dog)> Al

Sick Amphiprion ocellaris... actually mis-purchased, crammed into inappropriate setting 7/24/05 Hey folks: I have a wild caught Amphiprion ocellaris, he/she is rather mature and about 3 1/2 to 4 inches in length. <Wow, a big specimen> I am in the process of setting up a 70 gallon diamond tank and when I saw this unique looking clown (the white stripes do not fully circle this fish, they start at eye level and cover the top of the fish ending at eye level on the other side, kinda looking like a hat!) I knew he'd be perfect for the tank, but unfortunately the tank won't be able to support livestock for quite some time. So for now he's staying with some friends in my 28 gallon bowfront tank.  This tank is really peaceful, I have 2 smaller juv. ocellaris's (approx. 1" in length) a cleaner wrasse, a scooter blenny, a young coral beauty, bicolor blenny, a small yellow tang, and a small scopas tang. <Real trouble here in terms of crowding, aggression...> There are plenty of hiding places/caves, two anemones (Condy and bubble tip), frog spawn & flower pot corals. <Even more, worse troubles...> The problem I'm having is that the new clown has a greyish look to him, he's not a bright as the other two that I have (they all do get along), The clear tips on the ends of his fins are starting to disappear, almost completely gone on his tail fin. What can be doing this? <... mainly the fact that the animal is poorly adaptive, adapting to captive conditions, is housed with toxic cnidarians...> I was hopeful that he'd be fine for a few weeks until I can transport him to the other tank. I've tested the water and the only thing that outta whack is the nitrites (normally zero) they've jumped up to about 30. <Mmm, you've got this turned-around> The nitrates & ammonia are both perfect. The ph is at 8.2 or 8.3. Any advice or suggestions? Thanks, Ross <... large wild-collected marines of all species poorly ship, adjust... mixing anemone species, keeping Goniopora... in small systems is a recipe for disaster... I would "spread" these animals out, return/trade some in... quick. Please read on WWM re these species care... Bob Fenner>

Clownfish <actually, crowding, mis-stocking... iatrogenic disease> 7/20/05 I just purchased a clownfish from my LFS.  I also have one blue yellow-tailed damsel and a large hermit in a 20g marine tank. <... the last not to be trusted>   At first the clown was fine, but recently he has stopped eating and seems to swim vertically (his head pointed to the surface).  It seems that he has some trouble swimming as likes to hang out by the filter in the back of my aquarium.  I've been looking all over and I can't seem to find out what is wrong with him.  I would really appreciate your feedback.  If you could email me at XXXX I would be most grateful.   <... take a/the long-read starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm then on to the linked files above... re Clownfish Systems, Behavior, Disease... Bob Fenner>

Ocellaris with fuzzy fin 7/18/05 hey there. Every couple of days something fuzzy, cotton ball like, shows up on a fin. It will drop off within 24hrs, but takes a bit of fin with it. It looks like bites but i am sure it is not. She now has about 20% of her tailfin missing and a bit of dorsal and a bit of pectoral missing. Otherwise she is in excellent health. Tank conditions are 80-81 degrees, 1.025 sal, Am - 0, trite - 0, trate - 10, calc 400, ph 8.0-8.3. She lives with yellow tang, coral beauty, lawnmower blenny, corals, inverts, etc. She doesn't have an anemone, but she hangs out around the torch coral a lot. Any ideas? I haven't found anything like it in the posts. The loss of fin is outpacing the regrowth and i am concerned. should i dip?  If so in what, and how is a dip prepared (can't find recipes anywhere), thanks. <Bizarre... maybe this specimen is particularly prone to some sort of microbial trouble... I would hold off dipping it unless you have another system to move it to afterwards... the real root of the problem is likely the system itself... Something there. I would try the usual bolstering of the fish's health with vitamin soaking its foods... Perhaps see if slightly lowering the spg (a few thousandths) will favor the fish, not harm your invertebrate livestock. Bob Fenner>

Sick Percula 6/29/05 Hello ~ I have a percula fish who has recently displayed dark spotting on his face & front fins; his mouth is lined in black too.  Other than the discoloration, he appears fine.  I was hoping that you could please recommend a purifier or any other necessary measures I could take with the water and/or the fish to help him get well. Thank you so much for your help... Dean <Please read on WWM here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm and the linked files above on Behavior, Disease... likely there is nothing wrong with this clown, or your system... Bob Fenner> -

My Clown Isn't Acting Very Funny! - Bob, <JasonC here today.> I have a two plus year old tank and fish. We have check the salt level and pH and everything seems to be fine. We do however have a nasty green thick algae we have been fighting for 9 month's or so. Up until recently our two Clown fish have not acted any differently with the algae. Until 3 days ago, the female was at the top of the tank floating on her side, then the past two days she has been face down at the bottom, rear corner of the tank. She doesn't even come up for feeding. Our poor male just stares at her all day. I see that Clown fish have many different diseases to choose from, how do I narrow the long list to see what is bothering her. <Hopefully there is some external sign - spots for instance.> Help, we do not want to loose her. <Would suggest you start with a large water change. I'd start with a large change [50%] right now, and have another one prepared for a day or two from now.> 2nd question, what should I do about the algae, the pet store keeps telling me the water is fine and I just need to change it more often. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algaeconMar.htm and here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/avoidingalgaeproblesm.htm > I cycle out 20% per week and that isn't getting me any better results. <5% a week is plenty. Could be you're stressing the fish by changing so much water at such short intervals. Would make sure you go through the water you're adding to the tank to make sure it matches the tank water - pH, salinity, temperature, etc.> Sincerely, Debra <Cheers, J -- >
Re: My clown isn't acting very funny!
Me again, In speaking with our local water friend store they thought she possible has bladder infection. <What?> Now our second Clown is floating. Both now are floating on their sides, no signs of body fungus, fin & tail rot, Popeye or gill disease. <Water quality... what are you feeding them?> The recommend we give them Maracyn. <For what? This is an antibiotic...> We started that on Saturday and they both look worse. I think based on reading your website we have Clown fish disease. <...> Am I killing them with Maracyn?  I've spent hours on line reading about fresh water dips for Clown Fish disease. Should I do a fresh water dip.....HELP  I love my fish and I think I'm killing them. Sincerely, Debra T. Grobaski <Check your water quality, relate this and what you've been feeding these fish to me. Bob Fenner>
Re: My clown isn't acting very funny!
Bob, <Debra> Let me first say, Thank you.... <Welcome> Feeding: Omega flake food for Salt water tropical fish  (Pinch once a day for past 2-1/2 years) <Do try frozen/defrosted or live brine shrimp for a few days... and maybe a teaspoon of Epsom salt per ten gallons of water... and see if this relieves the floating, bloat> Specific Gravity right between 1.021 and 1.022   PH. @ 8.2 Temp. 77F What else should I check for you?  We do have the skin like green algae still (past 1 year) <Mmm, there are a few ways out of the algal blues... these are posted over and over on WWM. Bob Fenner> Sincerely, Debra T. Grobaski
Re: My clown isn't acting very funny!
I'm taking off early from work to give this a try. I love my little guy's and will do everything it takes. If you think of anything else I should try Do not hesitate calling me on my cell as I will be out getting the brine shrimp and Epson salt for my little clown's... Sincerely, Debra T. Grobaski <Ah, good... this ought to "do it". Bob Fenner>

A Real Life Nemo? -- A Percula Query Fest I've yet to come up with an e-mail title that you all choose to actually implement on your site. <Me? Am most times too lazy to change...> I'm crossing my fingers this time, but by all means, change it if you so desire. <Heee, a bard of fishes, oh boy!> Be it known, I've more than copious reverence for you all. <Hope this is a good thing> Here's the dealy-o.  I have a True Percula with one pelvic fin significantly smaller than the other one. <Happens... and not just in Steven Jobs stinky feet features> It's almost half the size.  Despite this, she gets around without complication.  The fish was purchased in this condition and has been in my tank for 3 weeks with no sign of regeneration or deterioration on the fin.  It's approximately 2" (The fish, not the fin. :P)...  Could this be a real life "Nemo", if you will? <... are we... serious?> Also, on the male Percula, I noticed a spot of darker colored scales dead center on his body.  This spot healed within 2 days but now I notice another one further back and a little higher.  I suspect it will heal like the previous one did but I am unsure of what this is and what could be causing it. The only other fish in the tank are a Yellow Goby and a Rainford Goby, along with the Perc's mate.  Possible culprits in the next few paragraphs... <Actually, very likely this is akin to "zits"... stress markings... will go of its own accord> I did have a slight nitrite spike recently with the addition of a 10 pound live rock.  The spike never rose above .2ppm and is now back at 0.  The duration of the spike was approximately 3 days.  While this corresponds with the dark spot temporally, I don't believe the nitrite is the direct cause. The only other thing of note is that my pH is a mere 7.9.  I've been using a buffer as directed for the past 2 days and anticipate getting it to 8.3 over the next week.  Perhaps this is the cause?   <This, the nitrite, being new...> I have a Fire Shrimp in the tank as well but the aforementioned fish has yet to "request" a cleaning. <Might not> So the question remains:  What the hell are these darkened spots appearing on my precious fish? <A temporary blemish, a tattoo of duress...> Thanks as always for the insightful input.  I don't know how you all manage to field the influx of e-mails you must receive but you do a fantastic job of providing intellectual, honest replies.  Do you accept donations? <Oh yes... we have an Amazon "begging bowl" on our home page, indices at the bottom... Thank you for writing... so well, thoroughly, whimsically... a delight. And not to worry re your Clown. All will be fine in time. Bob Fenner>

Brown spots on my clown fish Hi, <Hello> I have a 55 gallon reef tank which I started about 4 months ago.  I currently have two clownfish in there and about a month or so a go I started noticing brown spots on one of them (on orange colored stripes only) then both of them became covered in these brown spots within a week.  The fish are eating aggressively as usual and are very energetic, everything seems normal aside from these spots.  The spots are not raised out of the skin and the fish's scales seem in good shape.   <I see this> I have attached a picture so you can have a look and maybe figure it out?  We feed them brine shrimp about once a week and Red Sea Marine Gro pellets everyday. I have searched for advice on the web and other sources and no one seems to be able to explain this. Some suggested that it might simply be a pigmentation anomaly? <Yes... this is what it appears to me> Anyway thanks in advance for the help and you have a great web site.  I have been able to found lots of useful info on there to help me out with my new tank! Nathalie.B <I would not be concerned here. In all likelihood this coloration will change with time, growth, and your expanding your fish's food selection to include more vitamins and protein. Bob Fenner>

Snail Search... Hi Crew, <Scott F. here today!>   Thanks for the reply to my last questions. I had an unsolved death a couple of days after I sent the last E- mail. On Sun. I noticed one of my clowns had a little nick in her tailfin. I had also noticed her swimming around the top of the tank in the current with clamped fins. She was eating well and she would come down and swim with her friend so I let it go. I also noticed her jerking forward a few times, other than the nick in the tailfin she had no visible symptoms of anything. I awoke a couple of times that night and checked on her. She was on the bottom, she was upright but would sometimes stop moving. I had seen both Clowns on the bottom after lights off ,so I did not find that too strange. What was strange was her tailfin was even more ragged. Still I waited, I was hoping she would swim up in the morning and I would get a qt ready. In the morning, however, she seemed more listless and breathing heavy. I moved her and ran out for some antibiotics. [I could only guess a  bacterial infection] I had read Clowns are sensitive to Furan compounds so I got Kanacyn. She died later that afternoon. I had her for almost five weeks and she had seemed fine. Its been a couple of days and so far the other fish seem fine. Any ideas? <Hmm...In the absence of visible symptoms, it's so hard to guess. The difficulty in breathing seems to be indicative of either a parasitic disease or an environmental lapse of some sort. I'm afraid that I could do little more than guess at this point.> They were supposed to be tank bred but now I'm kind of wondering about that. I stocked up on Spectrogram, Kanacyn and already had Furan-2. [the guy at the LFS said Aquatronics is going out of business?] I had added about 24 Nassarius Snails on Sat. but I believe the tailfin was already nicked. I was hoping to add another Clown if the other fish remain healthy. [ after 4 weeks in qt. of course] <Yes...quarantine is the way to go! Do buy form a source that can assure you that they are captive-bred.> Another quick question, if you don't mind. I made an E-BAY impulse buy! I had been on a role, I had already bought a [very] used 40 gallon for $25.00, a  new large hang on refugium with light and pump for $ 130.00 [ I really want to build a sump with one of my 30 gal. but I am scared, with my luck I would flood the living room] So my impulse buy was 100 Ilyanassa snails. I had read great reviews on E-Bay from other buyers and bought them, THEN checked your website. I did not find much. I have since read mixed reviews on another site. The bad I read was that they are predators, they carry Flukes, they don't live long in warmer waters. Then I would read the exact opposite! I put them my 20 gallon for now. Any info you guys have on these snails would be very much appreciated. Thanks so much, Kim <Well, Kim- my best recommendation would be to do a search on one of the larger search engines. To get the most accurate information on these animals, it may be better to turn to academic sources like university biology departments, etc. Sorry I could not be more specific, but this is a species that I have no personal experience with. Perhaps one of our other readers could share his/her experiences on this one. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

False percula this time 05/07/2005 Thanks for helping with my skinny yellow tang. fed her once with Metronidazole and she is fattening up after only 24hrs! Well the clown is in quarantine with another false percula. They have both been in the hospital tank for 14 days. Two weeks ago they were about the same size and temperament. One has eaten well and is growing fast, the other's eating has declined and has appeared to become very shy. They both exhibited signs of pairing. The smaller male will shiver on his side in the presence of the "female". They are still quite small, one just over an inch and the other smaller than an inch. Well the smaller clowns behavior has started to concern me. (The larger clown is very active and not at all shy, she responds rapidly to feeding - Mysis with garlic and vitamins) He spends most of his time hiding under the coffee cup, or pressed up against the side of the tank and resting on the bottom, or up in the corner pressed against the power head. He does eat some and can get perky every now and then. I just noticed tonight that his mouth looks a little puffy, white film or mucus, and one eye is a little cloudy, seems to be enlarged too. I can't pin it down to any one thing. Velvet, Brook, Nutrition, water quality? Two days ago, Chemistry was NH - 0, NO2 - 0, NO3 - 10ppm, PH 8.1.  Right now it is NO2 - 0.25, and NO3 - 80. PH is at 8.0.  I have been changing water (20%) once a week. and monitoring chemistry every few days. I don't know what caused the change. I have been slowly lowering the salinity, it is presently at 1.020. I will make a 25% change right now and see if this helps at all. I am changing with water  with cycled water with good chem. Do you think i should begin any medication treatments. <Is the female beating him up? Sounds like a recent problem I helped someone with where the female would just kick the crap out of the male.. Make sure to watch for that...> Thanks again. Robert <Yep EricS>

Now I REALLY Need Help! - 06/17/05 Thanks for the help, but my situation has gone from bad to extreme! <<Uh oh!>> The one clown that was struggling has died, and I couldn't find the body for a couple of days.  Later, I did find part of its corpse stuck to the sponge element on the hang-on overflow. But, during this time the ammonia level went from 0.25 to 8.0+ (the color test card doesn't go higher)! <<Mmm...am suspicious of your test kit, that little clown shouldn't have caused this kind of spike.>> I did a partial water change, added two bottles of Ammo Lock, and 17oz of AquaScience Ultimate (the LFS said this worked the best for ammonia). <<Not saying some of these products don't have a purpose...but depend more on large water changes (dilution) and good husbandry practices to reduce pollutants rather than on "magic in a bottle.">> All of this only reduced the ammonia level to 4.0. <<Try another and/or different brand test kit.>> I don't have a quarantine tank (I know I should though). <<Yes>> So, I have the remaining clown floating in a plastic bag with freshly made saltwater, and an air pump blowing air into it. I'm trying everything that I can think of to save its life. I'll change the water everyday in the bag, until the tank becomes safe again. <<Do this fish a favor and give it to someone or take it back to the store.>> The owner at the LFS said he's never heard of ammonia levels that high. <<Me either.>> Again, he said to add $500 worth of live rock, but I don't have that kind of money right now. <<You don't need to add ANYTHING to this tank until you determine what is going on and correct this problem.>> Then he suggested turning my sump into a wet/dry system, and that this would also solve the problem. Do wet/dry systems work that well? <<For FO/FOWLR systems a wet-dry can be quite useful...not recommended for reef systems.>> Also, how could the ammonia level go so high, so quickly? <<That's the $64,000 question.  Do try a different test kit to confirm.>> Sorry for the extra questions, but I'm feeling quite disillusioned marine tanks at the moment, and desperately need some guidance to keep my favorite hobby going. <<If new tests determine your previous measurements were correct, Then maybe changing out the rock is the best thing.  But I find it hard to believe that after three months the rock would suddenly cause this kind of problem.  Get another test kit (I like Seachem) and see what it tells you.  The we can go from there.>> Like I said before, you guys are the only people a trust with my fish. Thanks again! Derek. <<Will try to live up to that trust <G>.  Regards, Eric R.>>

- Clownfish Problem - I just purchased two percula clown fish today.  They were swimming fine at the pet shop, however when I put them in my tank, the smaller clown began gulping for air and stays at the top of the tank, in a vertical position with its mouth at the waterline.  I'm not sure what is wrong, can you help? <Time will tell... perhaps something you did in the way you acclimated this fish or even something in your water that is causing this fish distress. If you don't have the test kits, would suggest you take a sample of water to your local fish store and make sure everything is on the level. You may need to execute a water change if things are off kilter. Cheers, J -- >

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