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FAQs about the Diseases of Clownfishes 11

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 10, 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

Sad looking Clown  1/1/06 Hi... and thanks for all of the information that you provide. <A pleasure, honor and privilege to serve> I have had 2 clown fish for 1.5 years now in a 55 gallon tank.  About 3 weeks ago, one of the clownfish was lethargic, laying on his side, breathing rapidly and not eating.  His mouth was always open.  I left him in the tank for a week, and then set up my first 10 gallon QT.   My LFS gave me Maracyn Plus, and my fish improved, but he still constantly had his mouth open and would not eat.  He also has that white stringy stuff coming out of his body.  I then tried MelaFix, but have just read on your site that it is pretty toxic.   <Not very toxic, but not much help in most cases> I don't notice any white spots, but his gills seem to be getting inflamed and are red.  Also, it looks to me like the sides of his mouth have become translucent (and his mouth is still always open).  I'm amazed at how long he can go without food!   In the meantime, in my state of panic, I also got some Metronidazole from our Vet as I thought that he was getting Hole-in-the-Head disease because of the translucent sides of his mouth.  But upon further reading, I think that I was mistaken. 1.  How long can this little guy go without food? <A few weeks> 2.  Can the Metronidazole be of any help? <Possibly... but not knowing much of root cause/s here... very difficult to assess> 3.  Should I quit the MelaFix and start the Maracyn Plus back up? <... I would use neither. I would lower your specific gravity (to about 1.018... over a few days time... this will alleviate some trouble in breathing and respiring...> Note also that my QT tank only has a heater and a powerhead.  Is it wrong to not get some sort of filtering device?  I try to suck up the food that I offer that he won't eat. Thanks a bunch! Risa K. <Though you have had these fish for a long period of time, I suspect something akin to a "time-bomb" here with the ones genetic make-up. Lowering the spg at this point and hoping will do about all the good you can do. Bob Fenner> Re: Sad looking Clown  1/1/06 WWM: I forgot to add to the below message that my clown fish's fins are also frayed. Risa K. <Mmm, only the one I take it... these "physical symptoms" are very likely related to a primary cause... The other clown doing fine though... discounts most all other than heritable traits/developmental causality. Bob Fenner> Ocellaris Trouble In New Tank - 12/30/2005 Salutations and (Merry Christmas if you celebrate it) Happy Holidays to the Crew, <And to you Doug! Sorry for the delay in response here, but 'tis the season and our time has been spread a little thin.>    I'm hoping that you can provide some insight regarding my situation. I looked through other answered questions on your site for quite a while, but I could not find anything that specifically answered my question. <Ok.>    I woke up this Christmas morning to see that one of my Ocellaris clown fish had died over night. Not the best way to start off Christmas. Well here's the deal. I am going to provide as much information as I can regarding my situation so that you can help me the best that you can, but I apologize in advance if I go into too much detail. <More is better than less!>    Well I am a beginner aquarist and my tank is very new. I have a 10gal tank due to space limitations. I started the tank on November 10th. When I started the cycle I had 5.5lbs of LR in it. Once the cycle finished (which was around November 28th according to my test kit) I decided to add 10lbs of marine sand (about 2in worth), 1 turbo snail, and 4 red-footed snails. I held off from buying fish because I had to move out of my college dorm soon after and wanted to wait until I got home to add some fish. <Commendable. Always like to hear that people have planned for the path of least stress on their fishes.> Well, last Thursday (December 22) I bought two Ocellaris clown fish. I used the drip-method acclimation procedure and I did this for about 1.5 hours. I made sure the room was very dimly lit throughout the acclimation procedure. <No QT I gather. Wild caught or captive bred? What was the difference in tank parameters for this acclimation?> When I added the fish to the tank they seemed to take to it very well. They found each other very quickly and paired up very well. <Not a pair when you purchased them? Too small a tank IMO to attempt/force these fish together.> They quickly began to explore the tank and seemed to be very healthy. The next day (Friday) I fed them Tetra Marine flake food and they seemed to eat a little bit, but mostly spit the food out. On the same day I added an airstone with a small air pump because I wasn't sure if my filter was enough to keep the water oxygenated. <Hmm...Adding the two at once would cause some change in the established cycle. Possibly there were some minute traces of ammonia, and by increasing the oxygenation (thus the pH) this would have a toxic effect.> The employee at the LFS said that it might be a good idea to add the airstone. I also added a peppermint shrimp. Well, last night (Saturday) one of the clowns was lying on the sand bed, not moving very much, and breathing rapidly. Shortly after he began to roll on his side and then pick himself back up. He continued to do this over and over until I went to bed. Before I went to bed I tested the water. PH 8.2; Ammonia 0ppm; Nitrite 0ppm; Nitrate 0ppm; SG 1.021. I used Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Inc. Saltwater Master Liquid Test Kit and an Oceanic Hydrometer. As I have already stated, when I woke up, the clown was belly-up. There was no sign of any external fungus or disease. The 5 snails and the peppermint shrimp seem to be doing just fine. <The rolling and such does sound like a toxic poisoning.>    My other clown is now acting funny as well. This morning he was lying on the sand bed falling on his side periodically. I decided to do a water change thinking that he was going to die if I did nothing to try to help. I did a 25% partial water change. When I began to put the water in, he perked up a little and began swimming along the top of the water.  He has been doing that ever since, but still does not look too well. He still floats onto his side so that he is parallel to the top of the water and then straightens himself out. He is breathing rapidly and has occasional bursts of energy. I tried to feed him. He went after the food, but simply spit it back out. I cannot see any signs of fungus or parasites on this clown either. The snails and shrimp are still doing well. <Seems the water quality would be the most likely issue here. Something isn't as it seems.>    I am going to bring a sample of my water that I took before I did the 25% partial water change to the LFS and see if they can tell me anything. <Also bring along a source water sample and current tank sample. See if they confirm your results.> I do not use an RO/DI filter. I just used tap water and add Stress Coat to remove the chlorine and neutralize the chloramines. I read that an RO/DI filter was not completely necessary. I am wondering if there is something in my tap water that is harmful to the fish. <Possible though not too likely. Are you prepping this water for use appropriately?> Maybe I should have just bought a yellow-tail damsel due to the fact that they are a little hardier (so I have read). <Best to work through this and find the source of trouble. A fish that takes more of a beating before death is still taking a beating.> Can you provide me with any help? I really want to correct any problems if they exist, but I need to know what they are before I can do that (obviously). It was very upsetting to see that my little clown had passed and I really want to try to save this one. <Well, my thought is on the water quality and tank cycle here. Something has not gone according to plan or did but was reset (as per above comment). Read here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/toxictk.htm and follow the links. Also read here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/index.htm under water quality, tests/testing, modification. Should shed some light on the intricate balance in a tank, not to mention a small tank.> I would like to thank you in advance for providing this service to the people that inquire. I think it is wonderful that you take the time to help aquarists. I commend you all. <Quite welcome Doug. Thank you for these kind words. For the record, I commend all who strive to understand and further this hobby.> Sincerely, Doug <Josh>

Updated Sick Clown Question - 01/03/2006 I am relatively new to salt water aquariums. I had a 55 Gallon tank for 6 months last year and lost everything in. <Happens often.> Not sure why. I took it apart got rid of everything and restarted a year later. I am trying to do everything by the book. I cycled or aged the tank for 1 month with live sand. My pH was off so I  got a pH buffer and everything looked good. I got 4 Blue Damsels and a Diamond Gobi and cycled for another 1 months. I got snails and crabs to help with algae and waited another month. I introduced 2 clownfish and everything seems OK. I get 4 more clowns (store had for 2 weeks and treated them) after cycle and the trouble began. <Treated them for what? 6 clowns in this tank is already asking for trouble, not to mention the presence of the other damsels. Adding groups of fish like this (more than one or two at a time) impacts your cycle/water quality. Things get offset and need to restabilize.> My damsels started getting aggressive so I pulled out 2 and took  them back to the store. The tank was peaceful again. All levels still OK. <An ok measure is really not helpful for us.> Then the trouble. I started to lose my clowns 1 at a time. The first started hiding a lot and it was Christmas time so couldn't get to the store for help. I do not understand a lot of what is written on these sites for self help, so I just hoped for the best. <Don't understand in general, or when it comes to medications and such?> It stopped eating and died. <Not surprising. Clowns need an environment that is low in metabolic wastes. This constant cycle readjustment has not helped. Skimmer? Filtration? You do not mention these.> I noticed that its color seemed faded. Then another one started hiding and not eating and I noticed a long white string from the bottom of the fish. <Feces. Color indicating likely an internal bacterial infection.> If I put the net in he would drop it but it always came back, <Uh...Has to go somewhere.> its color faded and he died. Now I have 3 left and one more is  isolating itself, seems to eat a little but color fading. Help I don't want to  lose everything again. Nitrate slightly elevated to 40 did 25% water change. <40 is not a slight measure. Your poor water quality is causing this. I would do a 60% water change today followed by a 20% change tomorrow. From here, 10% weekly. Avoid using freshly mixed water if possible. Begin feeding a quality food containing a broad spectrum antibiotic.> Store suggested I treat with Quick Cure malachite green and I did for 3 days and it still has a string hanging. <If you don't know what you're doing here I would stop this. It can be quite toxic. Try the above and see if things begin to get better.> Eats very little and still shy and not himself. <I must say, even with your action now, this may be too late for you. Meaning don't expect a miracle turn around. You're going to have to be very diligent in your care here.> Oh I also got a fire-shrimp at the same time of the clowns and he died 3 days later, store said I probably did not acclimate him long enough only 45 minutes she say should be 3hrs+. <Yes, very sensitive.> All my levels except my nitrates (still 40) are perfect. Salt 1.021-1.022 <Uh...Specific gravity.> temp 78. <Am more worried about those "ok" parameters now. These are not to be considered perfect. I'd raise the spg to 1.024, slowly, no more than .01 per day. Nitrite? Ammonia?> Store says probably my tap water affecting my Nitrate and I tested it and it are slightly elevated off tap and very hard. I am starting to do water changes to better water tomorrow. And changing my Ehime filter media stuff (running a SeaClone as well). <You are keeping this filter clean right? Would do well to look into a more capable skimmer.> But afraid something is still wrong with my clowns. <Is.> Other 2 seem perfect but so did he until the other died. GOBY FINE, 2 DAMSELS FINE, CRABS AND SNAILS SEEM FINE I hear about FW dips what is this and will it help? <I'm afraid this pattern will continue for you until you buckle down and study. Don't make any more purchases until you understand better what it is you are doing. I would say similar cause are what happened to your first tank.> I will do anything HELP!!!! Any ideas what is going on? <Lack of knowledge. You need to read, study, google and cross reference until your head hurts. Take a 30, and do it again (after the water change of course). I would point you toward links but there are just too many you need to cover. I will point you to what will help immediately however. Here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/infectio.htm then on to the links above. - Josh>

Re: Updated Sick Clown Question, Josh Is A Jerk - 01/03/2006 I appreciate your feedback although it sounds a little sarcastic. <Hmm...I must admit I'm hopelessly sarcastic. I'm beginning to realize that it translates poorly through the net. I never mean it in a hurtful way, especially in such cases as this. I just seem to type the way I talk without thinking how it reads rather than sounds. I apologize.> I explained I was a new aquarium owner. <I understood this.> I came looking for help and I would think that is a good starting point. <I just meant to impart that the best starting place is from the "beginning", meaning before purchases, before these situations can arise.> I had gone to the store for info on everything and also I had purchased The saltwater aquarium book for dummies, not meaning I am one, before I started. <Such books are "handy" at best (for quick reference). I would advise you to purchase better, all around type books. "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Fenner, "The New Marine Aquarium" by Paletta would be a great start. As far as the LFS advise given, I wouldn't ask them for any more than a price check at this point. Six clowns. Just two that aren't mated are a gamble!> I purchased the filter and the skimmer they suggested I used the salt and live sand they said I needed. I asked many questions about compatibility of fish and quantity. <Understood. The main problem here is, with many LFS, you may as well just be asking them if your $20 and your $50 are compatible with their register.> I questioned aggressive fish and all the non aggressive fish. I started with what they told me and I only added fish as they said  I should. <They've betrayed your trust.> So I am not stupid, I am apparently misinformed by our store. <I agree. I was given some good advice on how to pick a store when I first started, maybe it will help you. Put together 10 questions that you already know the answer to without a doubt (make at least 5 of them real "toughies"). Ask the employees or owners these questions and see how they react/answer. It's a quick way to lure a snake out of the grass so to speak.> I felt very upset reading some of your comments to me. <Again I apologize. Just a draw back of this medium.> If my statements sound a little vague or a little to much in detail I was trying to hit everything that may have been important. I am worried about my fish and will take steps to correct any of my problems, but when someone comes to you for help perhaps you can be a bit more gentle. <Scouts honor, didn't intend to be a jerk.> It is already stressful knowing my fish are in bad health. I love my fish like people love their dogs or cats and it is distressing that you make me out to be an idiot. <I've got two dogs, a cat and my tank. Honestly, I love them more than most humans. I understand that this is an upsetting time and I stand by my advice earlier. Both on your fish and your studying. You really owe it to them and yourself to make sure no one can put you/them in this position again. Defend them like a crazed mother hen (it's what I do), but you must arm yourself first.> Thank you, Kimberly Nadeau, Realtor <I hope this sets us straight. Truce. - Josh>
Re: Updated Sick Clown Question, Josh Is A Jerk - 01/04/2006
NO harm no foul.  Thank you for the info and I am on it now. Thanks,  Kimberly <Good stuff. Be chatting. - Josh>

Dying clownfish   12/28/05 I want to thank you first for having such a great sight. <Likely site, but thank you> You are such an amazing resource for so many "marine dumb".  I have 2 quick questions for you though.  I have a 40 gallon tank that has been quite healthy and much easier to manage than I thought.  I recently have/had added 2 tank bred false clownfish and a carnation anemone.  At the time I had a domino damsel, a coral beauty, and a scooter blenny. <... you need a larger system...> The first day I added the new guys I saw that one clownfish had a injured eye. <... no quarantine?> He died the next morning and my pet store "kindly" replaced him.  I then had an outbreak of ich and added a cleaner shrimp how everyone but the clownfish took to quickly.  The domino then started to "befriend" the anemone and was rubbing against it all the time.  The clownfish had no interest in the anemone.  The damsel then stopped eating and turned a very pale color and was very listless.   <Likely mal-affected, influenced by the Domino's presence> After about a week of this getting worse we "put him to sleep".  The next day one clownfish started losing his color and not eating.  Within 3 days he died and this pattern was then played out with the last clown.  I have read a lot and believe they had Brooklynellosis... <Doubtful... tank-bred clowns rarely have, bring this... and none of your other fishes should have acted as reservoir hosts. More likely what you experienced is simply "stress"... from crowding, mis-mixing... the Dascyllus> My question is, can I add an another clownfish in the future and how long do I need to wait?   <Till you get a much larger system, remove the Domino...> All the water parameters are great, the coral beauty and scooter are healthy and happy.  I would like to add a clownfish in the future though. I can promise you I will not longer buy from that pet store again.  All the fish that died are from the same place and all the ones still alive are from another store.  I had a fish credit at the first store and wanted to use it us on "safe" fish, little did I know I was throwing away money one way or another.  Thank you for your time, I know you are very busy, but this tank has become my life's work for my little girl.  Thank you again. <Mmm, please do read, take heart of what is posted on WWM re proper acclimation, quarantine... Systems for the life you list. Bob Fenner>  

Injured, or Ailing clown? 12-06-05 This little guy and his friend were our first two marine fish. We've had them for about six months now. They have a fake anemone, but the friend is larger and has not yet offered to share; so, he often settles in in corners of the tank for the night, but today he has been in one spot near the center of the tank only moving to stay in place. He did eat, and became more active when I brought the camera to snap shots, but is not nearly as active as normal. Upon inspection his one and only white stripe looks worn off in a couple of places above his eyes. He doesn't show any signs of excess mucus, peeling, ich or anything of that nature, just two "worn" spots, one on each side of the head. They don't look like a typical ulcer, almost like his stripe is fake and paint chips have chipped/rubbed off. The tank is pretty peaceful. The newest addition is a Midas blenny who doesn't seem to go after any of the other fish, but our watchman goby has taken to some serious hiding, so maybe when we're not around the blenny is more aggressive.  We just did our regular water change. The tank parameters are all good. There have been some signs of scratching/flashing by the blenny and the clowns, but it's always when they're chasing food, so I'd dismissed it as food frenzy. They have proven fairly hardy, and maybe these are just scratches from a random mishap, but I don't want to take any chances. Any ideas of what this is and the best course of action? <Definitely could be just an abrasion or a normal color change. Do not worry about it and just feed him well. He will be fine. Travis> 

A. clarkii Disease  11/30/05 Mr. Fenner & Crew  <Brian/Karissa> Howdy from the North Pole (Alaska that is), I need help in treating an A. clarkii. I purchased two of them from my LFS in which I trust and am good friends with the owner and staff. In the LFS they were very active, beautiful, and eating like a happy clown does; however, that is the end of that story, at least for one of them.  Day 1 in the Q tank, just fine, mostly hiding, but did come out and eat.  Day 2: no activity and little eating.  Day 3: smallest guy out and about, and eating fine, but the bigger one, had developed over night what to me looks like a fungus or bacteria. Off I went into The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, reading and rereading Chapter 9 'Disease', and searching WWM as well, and I am still not sure what this can be.  To best describe it would be a whitish, pink, hairy, cottony looking matter than has covered the tips of the Caudal, Pectoral, Pelvic, and forward edge of the Anal fin. In additional to the fins, it has also covered the area around the vent, as well as the mouth and with tiny blood streaks on the lips. Behavior has declined, mostly just treads water in one place; however, on occasions will swim the length of the tank a few times. Breathing is not really labored; no gasping at the top or lying on the bottom, and of course eating has slow to almost a stop (1 or 2 flakes/shrimp a day).  Day 4: The matter on the caudal fin was gone, along with that part of the fin, the rest remains the same. The other clown is showing no signs of infection and is doing great. RO Water parameters are fine. Salinity is 1.023, temp 80°F, with 10% water changes on all my tanks (3) biweekly. Can you help me identify this illness and a possible treatment? Here are a few pictures.  <Bryan, for some reason I cannot view the pictures, possibly not in jpeg format? As for the clowns, do purchase a fungus treatment of some kind and do not use chemical filtration during the treatment. The clown should recover nicely. James (Salty Dog)> Thank you  <You're welcome> 

Brooklynella 11-29-05 Hi guys, <Hello> I am really desperate for an answer regarding disease. I have had 2 Percula Clowns in the tank for about 2 months now and they seem to have suddenly erupted in a fungus/parasitic infection. The white stripes are flaking and turning grey, and there are a combination of white bumps and white spots descending over the gill area. I have read many FAQs on Clownfish disease/disease but have a dilemma; I am going to place the two clowns into QT for treatment, however there is no way that I can include the other fish, due to territoriality and restriction of volume.  These are: 2 X Green Chromis, 1 X Andaman Damselfish and 1 X Royal Gramma. Could I please add that these fish are showing no signs or symptoms and are as full of vigor as ever. My question is, would it be too risky to QT the clowns but simply observe the others for a change in condition?  <Yes, the other fish will be carriers if they don't die and will infect the clowns when they come back. Use plenty of hiding spots in the QT and you can even use buckets to QT if necessary.> Secondly, tiny (about half a millimeter) clear sacs containing what look like eggs are sporadically stuck to the inside glass. I believed these to be Nerite eggs but am now wishing to know if they are perhaps parasites or spores etc. <Most likely snail eggs. Nothing to worry about.> Many, many thanks in anticipation of any help offered. Steve Morse. <Glad to help, Travis> 

Peculiar Perculas! 11-28-05 A quick question if anyone would be so kind to assist....  <Travis here with you.> I have consulted WWM FAQs btw, but cannot find the relevant answer. I have two Percula Clowns and had a little trouble with one (seemed to be some kind of parasitic infection which cleared up after QT and treatment).  Unfortunately, the condition seems to have returned - though I'm doubting if it's a problem with parasites after all. Around the first white band (about the gills) are what look like scales flaking off/small scars and the final band, around the tail, has gone a dark grey. The second fish now seems to be developing a grey band yet both fish are very lively and are showing no signs of distress (scratching, laboured breathing, listing etc). Please could you enlighten me as to possible causes of said discoloration and markings? <Some clowns will darken with age or in response to your lighting. As long as you are not seeing open wounds or signs/symptoms of disease I would not be alarmed.> Many thanks, Steve Morse. <Travis> 

Please help - clownfish is not doing well.... 11-27-05 First, I would like to thank you and your colleagues for putting together such a comprehensive and useful tool. I have recently entered the hobby and have spent countless hours on your site. I have an emergency and will try to give you all of the relevant info as concisely as possible. I am posting this in the emergency post board as well as sending it. MY EMERGENCY: my wild perc. (in QT) is gasping at the top of the tank and neither he nor his mate will eat anything! (please read below for details) Main Tank Set: I set up a marine tank 3 months ago.  Equipment: 30 gal display tank (3ft, 1.5ft, .75ft) with 15 gal sump, 40lbs+ live rock, RO water, auto RO top-up, Deltec MHE600 skimmer (rated to 700ltrs), two Hagen 802 powerheads (1500lph each), Eheim 1262 return pump (2,000gph but turned down) and two small heaters (one as a back-up).  Lighting: 4x39w VHO T5 14k and 1 Blue T8 about 2 inches above the water surface (very close fitting hood).  Water has always been tested for Ammonia, Nitrite, Phosphate, PH, calcium, and specific gravity. For the last 1 and half months, testing occurs every few days (temp several times and spec. g once daily) and Ammonia, Nitrate and phosphate have never been detectable, ph steady at 7.9-8.0, specific gravity .0021-.0022. Temp is a steady 76-78. I change 15 - 25% of the water every week and a half or so. Inhabitants: All relatively new. One and a half months ago, an urchin, some blue legs and some snails.  Five weeks ago, two wild percula clowns (read the problems below).  In the last four weeks, three Banggai cardinals, a flame hawkfish (great fish, star of the tank, very healthy, but never again will I impulse buy. I should have waited), skunk, shrimp, blood shrimp. Everything looks great and eats well, except my clownfish. I have a (presently) controlled hair algae problem, it think because of the extreme lighting and no consumers (I am trying to get hold of some 'super grazer' snails that apparently eat it. Any other advice on this not urgent topic would be appreciated.) My problem (emergency!): the original two wild percula clowns were the first residents of my tank (wild because of a perceived greater likelihood they take to an anemone. The anemone is what I am really after, hence lighting and water flow above.) The larger was about 1.5 in., the smaller less than an inch. Both were somewhat tentative in the new tank and after a few days were eating (though not voraciously, like the cardinals or the hawkfish, initially a lot of suck in, spit out). They stayed in their own small turf, bobbing up and down.  After about 10 days, the smaller of the two was dead in the morning. He appeared very thin, though he was eating. I called several LFS and they said he was small, it happens. Fair enough. I got a replacement wild perc., again smaller than the survivor (just over an inch). These two immediately got on well and were more interactive and adventuresome than the pair had been before. Again, eating no problem.   This Tuesday the trouble continued. In the morning, the larger clown (survivor of the first pair) was laying on the live rock/substrate, gasping and not really upright. With some prompting, she started swimming for a while, but then went back down. I immediately (yes I have a job, but pushed some meetings back) went the LFS and bought a QT (I know, I know I should have had one already) and went home and set it up. 5gal tank (Note: I live in London in a small apartment and my girlfriend would kill me if it was bigger) with 70% water from the main tank, 30% 'new' but aged water, a piece of live rock from the sump, a small heater and a air pump-driven sponge filter .  I scoured your website and determined that they must have an intestinal parasite. No visible symptoms except long, stringy feces that seem to stay attached for a few days. I though this was normal for clowns because every one of mine had it. Armed with this info I called a knowledgeable LFS who had seen the problem before and recommended an emergency ph/temp adjusted freshwater dip in Acriflavine for the sick one and QT with a course of Sterazin for both. The sicker clown was dipped for 5 minutes and survived only a short while longer in QT. I was determined not to lose the only remaining clown that had, to date, exhibited the same stringy feces but otherwise looked happy and healthy.  Once he was on his own in the QT, he looked very stressed and seemed to be searching for something. I (probably incorrectly) decided to get him a mate, pair them up in QT and re-introduce them into the main tank together after he recovered. I ph/temp adjusted freshwater/Meth. blue dipped the new clown for three minutes. She paired right off with my incumbent clown and he seemed much less stressed. They then proceeded to eat a little bit of frozen Mysis. Since then I have been treating them with Sterazin, changing 50% of the water with water from the main tank every other day and trying to get them to feed. He passed some long (2.5 in.) translucent, stringy stuff from his anus (worms?). <<Holy cow!  But, stringy feces can be a sign only of internal parasitic infection, also a sign of infection by other microbes.  MH>> All the water parameters are good (same as main tank, including temp). He is now gasping at the top of the tank and she is lethargically resting on the bottom (but upright) and neither will eat. She has exhibited none of the 'stringy stool', yet. I am tempted to abandon the QT and medication and reintroduce the clowns to the main tank, but I know this can't be good. Please help me save my clowns!!  <Alan, it sounds to me that your clowns are suffering from Brook. DO a search on our site for Brook aka. Clownfish disease. You will find a wealth of information on that disease and its treatment. Until the brook is cleared don't worry about the internal parasites. Travis> Many thanks in advance. Sincerely,  Alan 

Blackening ocellaris, the pH Kit is Acting Strange!  11/22/05 Dear Crew, <Peter> First, thanks for maintaining WWM. It's a wonderful resource. <Welcome> Background: On October 25 of this year, my girlfriend purchased a 20-gallon marine system. We both have had success in freshwater, but are new to salt. The seller said the tank had been running for a year or so. He hadn't been doing water changes and the tank's light had burned out and gone unreplaced.  The tank was running a hang-on Whisper power filter. The tank contained a ton of various algae, a two-inch layer of white sand, around 20 lbs. of live rock, a blue damsel, and an ocellaris clown (both looking healthy in spite of awful conditions). November 7, girlfriend added 2 more pounds of live sand, 4 more pounds cured live rock, and a 1/4" blue-legged hermit crab, which died/disappeared within a week. <Likely "used to" very dissimilar water quality...> Situation: My girlfriend has since replaced the light fixture with a two-bulb Coralife fixture, running one 10k bulb and one actinic, with little blue nightlights. She has added a BakPak CPR skimmer (with a pre-skimmer and without the Bio-bale media) which yields a cup of thin, dark skimmate every two days. <A lot of gunk for such a small system, eh?> She has also added a 125 gph powerhead for circulation. Test results: ammonia undetectable; between 0 and 0.1 nitrite ; 2.5 phosphate; between 75-110 mg/L nitrate (!). <!!!> The pH kit is acting strange, girl suspects it has been climbing, 8.5 - 8.7. Alkalinity 190-20 mg/L. Salinity had been at 1.018 and girlfriend has been slowly raising it over this month because she'd like to keep inverts eventually -- it now stands steady at 1.022.  Added 0.5 L Kalkwasser over 12 hours, couple tablespoons at a time, five days ago. Regimen of 20 percent water changes every 5-7 days since acquisition. Live rock is displaying Aiptasia and some little animals. Algae is still an issue (due to phosphates I think girlfriend said). Water change using distilled, treated with Prime water conditioner.  Problem: The clown is changing color on the top 1/3 of his body, from head to tail. It's as if he has a suntan -- it's an even darkening of his color, except for the white stripes, which remain white. He is turning black. The fish breathes, eats, and swims normally. He is sufficiently aware to dart for cover when I attempt to photograph his odd condition. This first appeared a week ago and his darkening is intensifying slowly but gradually.  I have read elsewhere on WWM that many clowns change color as they age, but I have never read about a blackening ocellaris. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks. -- Peter <Is "stress coloration"... too much change going on too quickly to suit this fish. I would hold off, not use Kalk in this size, type system... rely on water changes, vacuuming to improve water quality for a few months... Bob Fenner> 

Clown with cracked fins  11/17/05 I have a saltwater tank that is established with healthy fish for over a year. Since the fish are reef friendly, I decided to slowly introduce some invertebrates. I placed a long tip anemone in the tank a little over a week ago. My maroon clown hosted immediately. He appeared to be a little rough with the anemone but QUITE happy. In any event, the anemone declined quickly and is dead or at least very close. <Not uncommon> My question has to do with the maroon clown who appeared to have developed some white fuzz at the tips of his bottom fins. He also began to swish his body in the sand upon occasion. Now, the white fuzz appears to be gone from the fins but his lower and rear fins are split / cracked.  What should I do? <Mmm, not much... if anything... out of the ordinary. Should heal in time> Could this have been from the anemone? <Yes, likely related> Is there anything I can treat the water with? The only other things in the tank are a couple of gobies, a Pseudochromis, a Kole tang and some xenia.  Thanks in advance, Frank <Optimized, stable water conditions, decent nutrition... Bob Fenner> 

Clown Fish Problem  11/15/05 My Clownfish is struggling for air, seems bloated and his eyes are bulging - he won't eat and this is entirely unusual for him. I tested the water and everything is well within limits and the other 3 fish are fine, fine, fine. I have read about the Epsom salts thing, but I am not sure if this is the answer for my Charlie Brown (aka Clownfish). I cannot QT him because I really don't have the resources. What else can I do to help him? <I would try treating the fish in situ, with Epsom Salt. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and the linked (further) Clownfish Disease FAQs files. Bob Fenner> 

Got Man/Woman Trouble?  Nope, Clownfish Trouble  11/10/05 Dear Mr. Fenner, <Yes?> Two days ago I noticed a super small white something or other around the right gill area of my ocellaris. It is still there. However, yesterday I noticed a small baby pea size area of barely white (like bruised scales) on the ocellaris' body between the first white bar and the tail bar. I've also noticed both ocellaris swimming in and out of two caves and thought maybe the white patch? on its body could be scraped scales (actually hard to see unless you really concentrate). <Possibly... or the origin thereof> These ocellaris' are tank raised. Funny thing is, this ocellaris was not very active, sometimes hardly getting "enough" food in my opinion. Now, he (smaller of the two ocellaris) is very active, swimming around the tank more, and really going for its share of food! I've read through the FAQs and can't decide on my ocellaris' problem, hence not knowing what action to take. No velvety look, no white/ick spots, no Popeye.  The other ocellaris is doing fine, swimming and eating. I've had these two ocellaris now for 2 years with no problems. Other inhabitants of the tank are: l half-dollar size Regal Tang, 2 Chromis, 1 diamond goby, 1 small long nose hawkfish, 1 cleaner shrimp and 2 RBTA (originally l and then a split :) ). All the other inhabitants seem to be doing well.  <Yes...> Tank readings: 77.5 deg., dKH 10.2, Alk. 3.66, CA 410, SG 1.026, pH 8.0/8.1. Water change every week to week-and-a-half 12 to 15 gals. for a 55 gal. tank. CPR Bak Pak Reef ready skimming tank along with EHEIM 2215 filtering the tank. Am worried about my ocellaris and would like to take whatever action necessary to head off anything serious. Thank you for your time and looking forward to your help/advice.  Marilyn <Gauging from your stated conditions, types of livestock, the history... I would just try bolstering the immune system of the fish (and all else), by administering vitamins to the water and food... the former once a week, the latter daily. Bob Fenner> 

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING!!!!!!???? Clownfish disease  11/9/05 I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS!!!!!!  My BRAND SPANKIN NEW Clowns have once again, stupid white specs on their dorsal fins (along clear part).  I don't get why this keeps happening. I am treating the entire tank with Kordon's Ick Attack because I have heard many success stories with it.  <<Cannot find what is in this stuff, but they sell as a "cure-all", am incredulous with all such products whose  manufacturers make such claims.  MH>> Plus, the Clowns are still active and eating and I don't want to further stress them with catching, copper etc.... Any input is greatly appreciated Thanks! Jon <Mmm, these spots could be "nothing"... if other fishes appear unaffected, infested, I wouldn't panic, treat with anything. Bob Fenner> 
Re: WHY IS THIS HAPPENING!!!!!!????  11/9/05
Thanks Bob! So do you think that I should just do a water change and put my carbon back in? Leave it alone. <Yes. This is what I would do> The Royal Gramma appears to be fine, but then again I can't always get a good look at it.  My last clowns got the same issue and they are dead. The Ich attack says it will not affect animals unaffected and that it can clear, fungus, flagellates (sp), and other infections as well.  <Mmm, I don't know how such a thing is possible...> I just don't want to have to deal with another two clown deaths here. That would mean 6 clowns. Yea, its sick. Thanks for any help. Jonathan <Are these clownfish tank-bred? You might want to look around for another source. Cheers, Bob Fenner> 
Re: WHY IS THIS HAPPENING!!!!!!????  11/9/05
Yes sir. Tank bred. I have bought each pair at a different, reputable dealer. Obviously its something I am doing wrong. <Mmm, not necessarily Jon. Many difficulties "show up later" that are of little cause of purchasers... for instance "chilled" livestock... that has been subjected to cold may look fine for a several days to weeks, but can be doomed no matter what you do.> Thanks for your help! Jon <Welcome. Bob Fenner> 
Re: WHY IS THIS HAPPENING!!!!!!????  11/9/05
I suppose. By the way, I just picked up your book. Great read. Best one I have read yet!  -Jon <Glad you are enjoying, gaining by it. BobF> 
Big Oops! Reading time!  11/9/05
Ok, Its Ich. My Gramma has it now, so what course of action do you think I should take. I just put carbon back in the filter and did a water change. This just keeps happening so I really don't know what to do. I only have a 10 gallon tank which could be used as a QT and I don't know how suitable that it. I would have to get a sponge filter too. <... Uhhhhh> This is getting so stressful. I cannot believe that I did not QT the Gramma. AHHHHH Never again will I do that. What if I treat all the fish with Clout. I'm just terrified to use copper. <<I'd be more inclined to use copper rather than Clout, that is strong stuff.  How about hyposalinity here?  Marina>> <Take a few deep breaths... a few more...> Thanks so much for your help in my mistakes. I am a stubborn SW novice. -Jon <Well... be an informed stubborn SW novice. Read on WWM re ich/Cryptocaryon, its treatment... Bob Fenner> 
What Do You Recommend?  11/9/05
Would you recommend the Medication, Clout?? Thanks! -Jon <I recommend reading> 
Hello!  Read, Read, Read, Because It's all Here!  11/9/05
Hey, Earlier I inquired about using Clout to treat Ich because I really prefer not to use copper.  The Ingredients in Clout are Phenylbenzylindene, dimethyl, phosphonate, methylnitro and inert ingredients as non-toxic binders. What do you think??? Now, I know this is a stupid question but I should not just remove my crabs and starfish and treat the whole tank because It will kill my Live rock and Sand, Right? Or pose other problems in the long run? Thanks!

A longwinded question about a very sick clownfish  11/7/05 Hi, I looked through all eleven Clownfish Disease FAQs, and found quite a bit of helpful information, but still have a few questions. <Okay> A bit of background first: The clownfish in question is an 8 1/2 year old Clark's Clownfish that the previous owners of the tank essentially said, "Either take the fish with you, or we'll just flush it." <The not-so-new American morality... "we're bringing peace and freedom to the world by persecuting and murdering their citizens". Disgusting> So, we took the fish, and about 25 gallons of the 42 gallons of water in the aquarium with us (as well as the aquarium and accessories, of course!).  The clownfish is now in a 10 gallon hospital tank that's got a submersible Fluval 1 filter and an airstone that I turn on for 30 or so minutes a few times per day and an AquaGlo 18000k full spectrum light. Temp is kept up around 80-82 degrees. However, the problem started in the larger tank, so I'll give you the info on that one: It's a 42 gallon tank, Magnum 220 canister filter, 330 powerhead, Typhoon Hang-On Skimmer, temp around 80-82, about 15lb of live sand, 35lb of live rock, a chunk of Chaeto. algae, a Scopas tang, a Bubbletip anemone, a green hairy mushroom anemone, 6 small damsels,  <Too many...> a pencil urchin, 6 or 7 hermit crabs, about 30 or so cleaner snails, and various life forms that pop out of the LR from time to time. Water readings as of about 45 minutes ago (I tested before even bothering to write, just to make sure it wasn't a severe water quality issue). Nitrate: 0ppm Nitrite: 0ppm Ammonia: 0ppm Phosphates: 0ppm Salinity: 1.023 pH: 8.1 Calcium: 390 mg/L Iodine is dosed on a daily basis, so the levels should be good. <I would only does iodine once a week, and/or during water changes... not daily> <<Not to mention the issues inherent with the practice of dosing a strong chemical/mineral without testing for levels prior to and after said dosing.  Marina>> Readings in the hospital tank are the same, save for the calcium which I haven't added as there's no LR or coralline.

Very ill, and very thin Clarkii clown.

Initially, the clownfish had Popeye when we got him, and as he was the only thing in the tank (no inverts or other fish at that point), we treated with Maracyn and it seemed to go away.  He was all right for several months, and just this past week he's stopped eating regularly, one eye is HUGE and looks like it's got the big 'gas bubble' and the other is just popped out. He's also started swimming in circles. He seems to try to eat, but can't quite manage it so I do try to help him out a bit. <If unilateral, I'd move the fish back to the better conditions of the 42 gallon, without the other damselfishes> We feed a mix of Emerald Entree, frozen bloodworms, frozen brine shrimp, live black worms, live brine shrimp, beef heart,  <Don't feed beef heart to marines...> chopped squid, and fresh vegetables.  Right now, however, I'm feeding the clown anything that he shows interest in; even though he does eat a little, he looks like he's starting to starve.  He's taken, in the past 24 hours, to swimming in circles with his tail end up and head down, and when he's not doing that, he's floating on his side at the top of the tank. <Move this fish... soon> Since he's in the hospital tank, we're thinking of treating him a bit more aggressively than we did when this happened the first time.  <... treating for what? This fish very likely has nothing but an environmental complaint>

Thinness of this fish is most notable in this view - "caved" in just behind eyes, along dorsal edge & body.

I, unfortunately, can't find any Phenoxyethanol anywhere around here. I looked for it in every LFS that deals in salt and fresh water in about a 40 mile radius; none of them had even HEARD of it. We do have a local vet who treats fish, but he told me he only deals with freshwater fish. I wonder, however, if injectable antibiotics would be more effective than antibiotics in the water? I would, of course, have to find a vet who knew how to dose it, but I have syringes and Baytril around (we have rats as well, my exotics vet sold me the bottle so I could deal with any myco flares without having to bring them in every time) but as I don't know proper dosing and don't even know if Baytril is safe to use on saltwater fish, I certainly wouldn't do anything like that without consulting a proper vet. So, after all that rambling, here's the question: We were thinking of a combination of Maracyn, Maracyn-Two, Tetracycline, MarOxy, and Coppersafe. Right now, we were just trying the Maracyn again as it seemed to work the first time; this time, it doesn't seem to be doing much and it's been about four days. Does this seem like terrible overkill? <One way of putting it> Is there even a chance that it'll be effective? <Not much> I know the clown is getting rather old as clowns go, but I'd rather not lose him if I don't have to.  I've tried to get some semi-decent pictures (which are attached; the water is not cloudy, my digital camera is rather old and doesn't deal with aquarium pics well. It tries to auto-focus on the glass), and also took a video of his swimming behavior (also attached). Thanks! Amanda <Return this fish to the main tank, move, give away, return the other damsels. Consider adding simple Epsom Salt to the water as a curative. Bob Fenner>
Re: A longwinded question about a very sick clownfish  11/8/05
Well then, that was a lot simpler than I was making it! <Ahh!> I figured I had too many damselfish in the main tank, and really it's my own fault. I made the mistake of listening to the pet store in that instance.  Same thing with the beef heart; that'll be removed from their diet. Thank you! Amanda <Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Follow up question Re: A longwinded question about a very sick clownfish  11/9/05
Hello again Bob, <Calleo> We got the clownfish back into the 42 gallon tank, and for now five of the six damselfish are in the 10 gallon (temporary measure; we're planning on a new either 100 or 125 gallon tank next pay day). Only five of six as one managed to hide so well that I didn't even notice I hadn't found it until it came out from a bit of hole filled LR later that afternoon. So, right now it's the clown, the scopas tang, one damsel and the inverts. <Okay> I'm not sure if the clown is doing any better or not though; <Takes time... days, weeks...> sometimes he seems very active, swimming normally, I've seen him eat and pass waste, normal breathing rate, brushing on the anemone, and all looks normal except the popped eye. <May take months, perhaps never improve> Then, on other occasions (such as 5 minutes ago), he'll go up behind the skimmer and will lay on his side, tail drooped, one eye OUT of the water, and gasping for air.  Water readings, as tested this evening (as an aside, I also tested the 10 gallon that has the damsels, it's doing all right as well), are all perfect and we have been adding Epsom salts to the big tank to try to help him out. <Good> Is there anything else we can do for him, or is this one of those cases where we'll have to keep waiting and hope he pulls through? I'm sure his age doesn't help matters, but that's life I guess.  <Have you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/popeyefaqs.htm> That also brings up the question on whether you think it might be best to euthanize the fish? <Not if it were me... am a stickler for holding out for hope> I'm not suggesting that I'm about to do that by any means, though I have euthanized sick fish with a quick decapitation in the past, but if he's suffering and if it doesn't seem like he's going to pull through I've found myself wondering if it would be best to just let him go (so to speak). Thanks again, Amanda <In the final synthesis each must decide for themselves. Bob Fenner>  
Re: Thanks! Re: A longwinded question about a very sick clownfish  11/13/05
Bugging you once again. :) <Howdy> Just a thank you this time though, after a few days in the larger tank with just the tang and the one damsel that managed to avoid capture, and the clownfish's eye is almost back to normal. It just looks like there are two tiny gas bubbles on the affected eye, but it's gone back 'in'. <Outstanding. Great to hear of the improvement> He's swimming a little better and has fewer periods of 'floating' behind the skimmer as well, AND he's eating a little more. Looks like he'll pull through. Thanks for all of your help! Amanda <Congratulations on your success. Bob Fenner>

Bloated Clown 11/6/05 Hi, <Hello there> Am a new convert to marine aquariums and find your site a great help and a terrific resource. <Ah, good> I have a problem with one of two Percula clowns that I have had for 3-4 months now.  The clowns were purchased as a same size pair and have grown at different rates until one is now twice the size of the other (as they do).  <Yes> All has been well in the tank until about 4 6 weeks ago when I noticed the belly of the smaller clown started to become bloated in appearance. I initially thought it was a pregnant female until I researched some and found that the smaller fish is usually the male! <Yes> Since the discovery the clowns belly has got more extended on both sides of its body, to such an extent that he looks very, very pregnant or about to burst!  The clown appears perfectly normal (apart from the pot belly), eats, swims and behaves as normally as one would expect. Have some concerns for his future tho.  Any thoughts? <Perhaps some type of gut blockage... I would try feeding foods with laxative effect, most esp. Brine Shrimp/Artemia, and add a level teaspoon of Epsom Salt per five gallons of system water... to "loosen things up". If this doesn't do it, there may be an internal parasitic problem... calling for successive treatments with an anti-protozoal (my choice Metronidazole) and a vermifuge... Praziquantel, or? These are covered on WWM. Bob Fenner> 

Clown fish with red bulging eye 11/6/05 I've searched the site and can't seem to find a similar case. I have a pair of true perculas that have been in my 90 gallon reef tank for over a year. The female's left eye has all of a sudden turned red and begun to bulge She doesn't seem to be eating either. Any ideas as to what it could be from or if I need to quarantine her? Any ideas greatly appreciated. Thanks. <Is likely "unilateral exophthalmia" as a description... and likely due (originally) to a physical trauma (bumping into something)> P.S. Now it seems that my other fish (presumably my tangs) have started picking on her. She has some bites out of her tail and fin. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/popeyefaqs.htm and #2 linked file above. Bob Fenner>

Ailing percula, Paying Attention to the FAQs - 11/4/05 Our male percula is not doing well. We noticed a developing problem about four weeks ago when it looked as if there was a small pebble under the skin on his forehead. The size of it would vary a bit over the coarse of the day. We wrote you about it then and followed your advice to just watch and wait and see what happened with this 'head bump'. He also seems to have a rapid breathing rate--mouth open, gills pumping away. <Evidence of something amiss in the environment... is your water quality near sea water? E.g. spg?> Until three days ago he would eagerly approach food but would actually eat only one or two minute pieces of plankton or Mysis. Swallowing seems difficult or something. Now he isn't eating at all or showing interest in the food. The area behind where the bump was, just near his dorsal fin, has now opened up and he seems really weak, too.  He seems to use his anemone to support him most of the day and yesterday began hosting in a different anemone on the sand bed and actually laying on his side for a few moments every now and then before returning to his regular home.  We gave him one freshwater/Methylene blue dip a week ago, but didn't notice any marked improvement. Perhaps we should have repeated the dip? <For what reason/s?> Tonight we did a saltwater and antibiotic dip for 10 minutes and I gather from WWM sites that we should repeat that at least daily. Is that correct? <... Why?> Can you suggest any ways to get nutrients into this ailing fish while we try to help him heal? <Perhaps vitamin supplementation, addition to the food, water> Our water parameters are good, SG 1.025, and the rest of our tank stock seems healthy. We have a skimmer and sump set-up. We are fighting Cyano with frequent water changes, increased circulation and careful feeding.  <An indication of varying, poor water quality...> It's a 75 gallon tank with about 70 pounds of live rock; button polyps; <Can be toxic> 3 various mushroom rocks; 2 Ricordea; a frog spawn coral; a Condylactis and a Macrodactyla. (We now understand it was not wise to get these different anemones. <Correct... their chemical interaction (war) is also a factor here> Fortunately, they have chosen homes far from each other and seem very happy/healthy.) <They still "reach" each other through the water...> We also have a clean up crew: 10 hermit crabs, a couple of snails; a cleaner shrimp. Perhaps this is more than you needed to know. I so appreciate any advice you can offer for helping our percula. He really seems to be suffering...... Thanks in advance. What a blessing your knowledge and dedication is to us trying to establish our own little piece of ocean in the middle of Iowa! Kathy PS I checked out the 'format' button on my email and switched this from 'html' to 'plain text' just for you. That ought to show you I'm reading my daily FAQs! <<OH, THANK YOU!!! (I could kiss you, Kathy.)  Marina>> <Appreciated. A bunch to related, most of which I've barely hinted at above... you might try chemical filtrants (e.g. Polyfilter, activated carbon) in your filter flow path to remove nutrient, some of the reactant products of your cnidarian mis-mix... Bob Fenner> 

Re: ailing percula 2 11/6/05 Dear FAQ Crew, Thanks for your prompt response to my question.  I see I left out some really important details from my first query: We did the Methylene blue & freshwater dip because the bump on the percula's head got 'fuzzy' and we decided from WWM reading that this treatment was appropriate. <I see> He did begin to eat a bit after the dip, but because we saw no improvement in the bump we didn't repeat the dip thinking the stress of being netted and dipped maybe did more harm than good. <You are wise here> In hindsight perhaps we should have repeated the dip---that he started eating again was a big improvement.  When the wound broke open into a 1/8" round pit a few weeks later the edges of it were 'fuzzy' and by this week his eyes were beginning to bulge and one was a bit cloudy. We thought this was a clear indication of bacterial issues and so did the antibiotic & saltwater dip. <... hard to state/reason what the origin of this "bump" might be... but not likely pathogenic... that is, induced by an infectious or parasitic organism directly> I am sad to report the percula died this morning, but so thankful for your input on water quality and the chemical warfare (cw) likely going on in our tank. I read an article on WWM about cw but foolishly thought that as long as things looked good/healthy that it wasn't an issue in our tank. <Would like to (re) make a statement here re... Most all life in the wild "looks good" till about the "last moment"... masking illness, susceptibility to predation... lest it become a meal or displaced.> We will look for a good home for one of our anemones as well as the button polyps, and pursue the other courses of action to improve our water quality. <Ah, good> Just so you know, thanks to WWM, we are now practicing a basic marine husbandry tenet that so many of us newbies seem to miss: research before you buy AND have a long term plan for stocking--not piecemeal.  <Excellent!> We, and numerous creatures in LFS's everywhere, thank you for being so good at what you do! Kathy <Thank you. Bob Fenner> 

Constipated Clown? or bigger Issue 10/29/05 Hello All, <Amy> I'm fully prepared to ensure that she's protected when/if she returns to the main display and I'll buy another setup for my puffer.  I'm wondering if you might be able to help. Please bare with me, it's a long story. I've used the site as a reference for years, and most recently when my beloved clown started to get ill.  I have a 4 year old clown who about 2 weeks ago that came down with what looked like Brooklynella. <Out of the proverbial blue? Odd> I noticed she was acting strangely and promptly removed her from my main display tank. I knew she'd need to go into  Quarantine and decided to give her a fresh water dip according to the specifications on your site. When moving her from the main tank to the dip I noticed there were some bubbles on her right side near her tail and her breathing laboured. One of her tank mates (puffer) had bitten her tail a bit when she fell ill. So I was also trying to have that wound heal at the same time. I'm fully prepared to ensure that she's protected when/if she returns to the main display and I'll buy  another setup for my puffer. I combed through the site (and Bob's book) and I felt that it was either Brooklynella or marine velvet. After a few days of dips with no improvement and her breathing growing more laboured I decided to add formalin to the dip but not to the quarantine tank. <Good> I followed the instructions and within about 3-4 days she was looking a bit brighter but now wasn't swimming normally. She was swimming almost vertically (I felt something was off with her swim bladder but as long as she was looking comfortable and eating that we'd get through it) I was/am fine with having her that way as long as she appears bright and comfortable. Of course after all this time (4 days at this point) I was most concerned that with her not eating she'd starve to death before I could cure the Brooklynella or whatever was causing the issues.  I soaked some shrimp in Kent vitamin mix and fed her with an eyedropper. She ate! and she would eat every day since.  I stopped using the formalin as soon as there was improvement as I'm not crazy about using it in the first place. <Very toxic> There have been some very dark days with this clown during the past 2 weeks and she's been through a lot in her life and she actually has survived my ex's tank splitting at the seams. So I am fighting like crazy for her, and so is she. She still makes eye contact with me, and tries to visit with me and with the eating I know she's got some type of appetite. After about 5 days in quarantine I noticed that it looked like she had some bruising under the skin. She still wasn't swimming normally and now that I was finished with the formalin and her breathing was back to normal I wanted to treat her with antibiotics to fight any infection with the tail and also in case the bruising was hemorrhagic septicemia.  I decided to use Furan-2 in quarantine and followed the directions for a full course of treatment another 4-5 days. She  started to look brighter and I felt that we'd turned a corner. Her breathing had improved, she was eating, her tail was healing, the bruised areas seemed to improve -but still not swimming properly. I saw some excrement early on, it was whitish and I know that's not good and can be a sign of internal parasite but that was 5 days ago. I haven't seen any excrement since (but if could be caught in the filter, etc. I have been looking but haven't found anything). Now that all medication was being removed from the water I added some Epsom to see if I could try to have her to have a bowel movement.  She's still not swimming normally (she is in a u shape with head and tail pointed down) she has been very bright up until the past 24-36 hours. She is no longer eating regularly (she had a bit to eat tonight, still the vitamin soaked shrimp) and now has a swollen/bulge area on her side (the side that's pointing up) around that bulge there's a bit of bruising that's appeared (again in the past 24 hours) I don't know what to do.  Do you have any recommendations, do you think it's constipation? <Very likely just the side-effect of exposure to medicines> or should I continue medicating with Furan for another course? <I would not> I don't want to drag out her life if she's not comfortable and I have been prepared throughout the past two weeks to euthanizing her (with clove oil) but every time she seems to pull through. I'm prepared to do whatever it takes, even it if means we hit the end of the line and I have to euthanize her. I just want for her to be comfortable. <Mmm, I would just "leave this animal alone" at this point... and hope that it recovers of its own accord> The levels in her quarantine are zeroed out across the board. I've obviously made every attempt possible to make the water quality as pristine as possible to assist in her recovery. I just don't know what to do. Should I massage her with a gentle gloved hand? <No> is there any other recommendation you may have? <None> Have you heard of this before? is there another course of treatment you'd recommend? <Don't know what the root cause/s were here, don't favor guessing even with photographs> I don't want to give up on her, and want to ensure I've tried everything. Any help would be amazing. You guys are always so wonderful and always seem to manage to make me feel that I'm at least trying to do the right things. Thanks in advance, Amy <At this juncture, the fish will either recover or not. I believe you have done your best. Bob Fenner

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