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FAQs about the Diseases of Clownfishes 13

Related FAQs: Clownfish Disease 1, Diseases of Clownfishes 2, Diseases of Clownfishes 3, Clownfish Disease 4, Clownfish Disease 5, Clownfish Disease 6, Clownfish Disease 7, Clownfish Disease 8, Clownfish Disease 9, Clownfish Disease 10, Clownfish Disease 11, Clownfish Disease 12, Clownfish Disease 13, Clownfish Disease 14, Clownfish Disease 15, Clownfish Disease 16, Clownfish Disease 17, Clownfish Disease 18, Clownfish Disease 19, Clownfish Disease 20, Clownfish Disease 21, Clownfish Disease 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

What is that spot?

White prominent spots on clown    4/4/06 Hi, Aside from recently high nitrates, around 15-20, my params are all looking pretty good in my 24g reef tank: 0 nitrite and ammonia, SG 1.022, <I'd keep this about 1.025> pH 8.2. I have a 10g refugium as well.. I'm performing 3-5g water changes every other day to get the nitrates down. My two ocellaris clowns have white spots that can be seen to stick out of their body when they face me, maybe a millimeter. One has a blobby, sort of fuzzy spot on its pectoral ray which hangs on the edge of the fin. <... Brooklynellosis...> Both of them have spots on their body, particularly behind their pectoral fins. I don't think either of them have more than 5 spots, but they're multiplying. From what others have written here it kind of sounds like lymph, but usually people mention having this stuff on the fins or under the mouth when it's lymph, and not so much on the body. A buddy of mine who admittedly has more FW than SW experience saw a bunch of marine ich working at our LFS (he was the FW manager), and seems to think this is not ich. <I agree thus far> They seem healthy and happy, moving around and eating. I had been feeding them once every 2-3 days due to high nitrates, but I think I'll now feed them every day and keep doing water changes to help get rid of this stuff. I have a hospital ready to go but am waiting on confirmation before I do so. Would Para Guard help? Thanks, Gene <See WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm and the linked files above... Bob Fenner>

Re: White prominent spots on clown    4/4/06 Bob, Thanks for your reply, the crew is doing the world a favor. And hopefully you'll be happy to know that not only did I buy the CMA book before I put a tank together and read it cover to cover, I also bought it about a year and a half before I did so. I was really trying to keep the fish's well being in mind. It was really hard not to be impatient, however, and I failed a bit in that regard. I'm certainly not disputing your diagnosis, but can brook happen to tank raised clowns as well? <Yes... though usually transmitted via wild-stock, mixing...> Mine supposedly are, I'm now wondering if they really were tank raised. Also the brook appeared about 3 weeks after I put them in (w/o QT; learned my lesson). Muchos gracias, gene <De nada. Thank you. Bob Fenner>
Re: white prominent spots on clown  - 04/05/2006
Last question: should I quarantine/treat my YW goby as well? Thanks again. <A tough one... I would likely not... if Brooklynellosis, not at all likely to be afflicted... and hard on this animal to be manipulated. I would wait/see on other fish livestock for now. Bob Fenner>

Sick clownfish    4/3/06 Hey Guys and Gals, seemed lethargic and had not been eating for a couple of days. He has a Sebae anemone as a host. I removed him quickly and quarantined him out of fear of  a possible outbreak. I have a 135g with a powder blue tang, juvenile French angel, golden pygmy, and sailfin tang. All of them have shown no signs of problems and are eating well. I lowered the salinity down to 1.013 and raised temp to about 84 degrees. He had been breathing very rapidly in quarantine so I gave him a couple of formalin dips over a few days for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. His breathing has been getting better.  It's been about a 10 days still no eating and no outward signs of disease until today. He seems to have some white and a little red under his chin. <... likely from the formalin exposure, netting> Almost like he rubbed it against something although I know that's not what it was from. Also periodic white and green string almost like feces coming out from underneath him. <Ditto> His fins which are black seem to be fading to white.  Any ideas? <Stress... in a word> I didn't believe it to be ich, velvet, or Brooklynella due to no outward signs. Could it be bacterial or fungal. <Not likely... or your other fishes would show symptoms> Would that cause him to not eat for such a long period of time. How would I know if it is ich, velvet, or Brooklynella without any exterior signs. <Microscopic examination, and likely staining technique> My concern is how to treat him. I figured if it was any of the big 3 he would have died by now. I read copper is difficult on clownfish. I don't want to medicate until I'm sure, but I also don't want to be too late diagnosing the problem. Your website has been extremely helpful. I just can't seem to pin this one down from the information I have read. Thanks for your help and dedication. Much appreciated! <I would not expose this fish to metal, dye solutions... it likely has something internal... please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and the linked files above, till you've read enough re the use of Flagyl/Metronidazole and Epsom Salt. Bob

Sick Clownfish  3/30/06 Hi, <Hello.> I have a 30 gallon tank with a yellow tank, <I will assume you mean yellow tang, in which case the tank you are currently keeping it in is wholly inadequate for this animal. I would remove it ASAP.> blue damsel and a percula clown. <Okay.> All of these fish have been in the tank together for three years. <...It's past time for that yellow tang to go...> Over the last week the clown has been floating on his side and seems to be unable to right himself.  He is attempting to eat, but doesn't seem to be able to turn himself so that he can get the food. <Possibly a swim bladder problem.. I tried researching and asking my local pet store, but haven't been able to come up with anything.  He hasn't had any visible signs of damage or disease until tonight I noticed that one eye is bulging and cloudy.   <A sign of poor water quality or distress, is their any aggression.> I have tested the water and everything is normal. <In the future please be specific with readings.>   Any help would be greatly appreciated. <Search WWM re: clownfish disease, and marine water quality.> Thanks. <Adam J.>

Clown Fish Not Eating, Hovering Near Tank Bottom. Has White Poop.   3/28/06   Hello, <Hi there> I need some help with my clown fish. I have a tank-raised false percula that has been in my tank for about five months (the tank is six or seven months old) and has been perfectly healthy up until now. There are no other fish in the tank. A few days ago, he exhibited rapid breathing, but was not breathing rapidly by the next morning. Last night, when I fed him, he excitedly swam over to the food as it sank in, but didn't even try to eat it. Today, he would not eat either. Yesterday, he looked healthy -- he was swimming around and was alert. Today, he is hanging out very near the bottom of the tank and only swimming enough to stay off the bottom (usually, he would be happy swishing around in his big Hawaiian feather duster, which is his house and where he sleeps at night -- he even feeds it), but still seems alert. He doesn't seem very interested in going anywhere else in the tank. I scraped a little bit of algae of the front glass earlier so that I could observe him better, and he moved right out of the way of my hand (he even went up to about half-depth in the tank), but he went right back to his spot when I was done (his is not laying down on the sand, just swimming right above it). He is not breathing hard. The only other symptom I can see is that his poop is very thin and white, but I do not normally see him poop, so I don't know how different this is from the norm. From the labored breathing a few days ago, and the stringy poop, I was thinking that he might have parasites, but I am far from sure in my diagnosis. If it *is* parasites, why is he breathing fine *now*, but not eating and staying near the bottom, whereas he was eating (and, presumably, pooping) fine and swimming freely when he was breathing hard? <Something must have changed... perhaps a "bug" flew into the tank... a household cleaner, cooking aerosol?> The pH, salinity, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, copper, calcium, and phosphate levels are good (and, perhaps more importantly, the same as usual). The coral and invertebrates are both very happy. What could possibly be wrong? If it is parasites, could you please spell out the treatment (I am an idiot, and would very much appreciate a very clear answer). Thanks so much, Mike Sheffler <When, where in doubt, do a water change... and add some activated carbon in the filter flow path... Bob Fenner>

Re: Clown Fish Not Eating, Hovering Near Tank Bottom. Has White Poop.  - 03/28/06 Bob, <Mike> That's an interesting theory. Thanks for the quick response. I did a few small water changes  around the time that I noticed he was ill, and that didn't seem to help. <Something amiss though...> However, the fish mysteriously got better yesterday, so maybe it helped after all. <Good> He is sleeping in his feather duster again, and ate a little bit of Formula One last night. Maybe he was just a little blocked up? Either way, I'm happy to see that he is healthy again. Thanks so much, Mike Sheffler <Thanks for the follow-up. Bob Fenner>

Sick Clown? Your Guess Is As Good As Ours. No Info. - 03/27/2006 Hi there, <Hi Angela.> I have an Ocellaris Clown  for approx. 6 months. He is in a 350 litre tank with: 1 Foxface 1 Yellow Watchman Goby 2 Green Clown Gobies 1 Yellow Tail Blue Damsel Several dwarf Blue Leg hermits, Orange Claw dwarf hermits, Nassarius snails and Astrea snails. He was fine until two days ago, he stopped eating and stays on his side at the top of the tank near the filter (he normally only does this when the lights go out), <?> color and breathing are fine. All other livestock are fine, though approx. 2 weeks ago a Green Chromis started breathing heavily and died. What could be wrong with the Clown and could it be related to the Chromis dying? <Can't say for the lack of information here, but are likely related. Look to water quality. Do you have a skimmer?> Please help, I moved the clown last night into the QT tank. <Nothing more I can say just now. Closely observe, send us along more info. about your general husbandry and water parameters.> Regards Angela <Josh>

Black ocellaris with lesions on its head   3/25/06 Hello I feel like I'm living the saying "when it rains it floods". James (Salty Dog) was a great help in my quest for getting rid my fire/bristle worms, and I was hoping he or one of the other crew members could help me out here. Background: My tank which had the worm epidemic has just finished cycling (8 days ago to be precise) after I tore it down to get rid of the infestation. I was getting quite excited about being able to put my clowns and little Prolepsis nocturna back into their home (it's a 120g).  Unfortunately, that was put on hold as of Monday night. I was feeding when I noticed lesions on my female clown's head.  They weren't there on Sunday.  I stare at my fish entirely too often (my boyfriend teases me about it constantly) and in general I spend at least 2 hours a night just staring at my clown fish (I reckon they're a riot, I love the way they interact). Tank info: At the moment they are in a 40g tank, until I move them back into the 120. Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 5 Salinity 33ppm pH ranges from 8.29 to 8.32 over a 24 hour period I do a 25% water change approximately every 2 weeks.  No live rock in the tank just PVC piping.  My corals are hanging out in another 40g tank. The tank is filtered by poly filter (added when I noticed the lesions), regular filter material and charcoal which are attached to my power head which I am using for circulation (no way she could have gotten caught in the power head). <Any chance of a detailed/close-up photograph?> They get fed: frozen Mysis, frozen blood worms, Nori, chopped frozen fish (whatever my boyfriend's dad has caught when out on his latest fishing trip), green marine, chopped frozen scallops, chopped frozen prawns, and a pellet that I can't for the life of me remember the name of (am at work at the moment).  They don't get all this in one go, I do a rotational thing.  I'll start with Nori or green marine, feed my clown some of this, and then move on to the meaty stuff.  They've been fed on this diet for over 4 years.   <Sounds yummy> No fish has been added to this system in about 3 years. They had been breeding regularly (every 17 days like clockwork) for at least 2 years until I had to move them when the worms got out of control about 5 months ago. The male clown and the Prolepsis nocturna have no symptoms at all.  Both are very healthy and eating like troopers.  The female clown acts healthy.  I have literally seen no change in her behaviour at all.  She eats well, she swims well, and has started to breed again (she laid about 250 eggs on Wednesday night, after I noticed the lesions), but since Monday her forehead has looked horrible, it almost looks like she stuck her head in a meat grinder.  I've searched everywhere to figure out what she has and what to do to make her better and I can't find anything.  I've Googled all over WWM and the rest of the net every possible combination I can think of that could possibly relate to what my clown has and have discovered an amazing array of diseases which I have ruled out. <Mmm....> I refuse to just blanket treat without knowing what she has.  I've raised the temp in their tank gradually from 27 to 32, and am toying with the idea of dropping the salinity to 29 or 30. I am trying to get hold of a friend's digital camera so I can take a picture but at the moment I just have a description (sorry).  She's approximately 6cm long, <Small for this age...> the lesions run from her upper lip between her eyes to the back of her white head stripe and follow her head stripe about half way down either side or her body.  They are open wounds (not a cheesy or popped pimple look, more like she was scraped along a grater) and occasionally I have observed them bleeding.  Any articles or facts or anything you can point me to read or knowledge you have that could help would be great. <Think this is new> At the moment all I know is it's not ick, velvet or HLLE, it's not a protozoan that I've been able to identify as yet, there is no evidence of it being a parasitic copepod or anything of the like that I've been able to find on the net, and I'm pretty sure it's not a trematode. <Agreed... this reads more like a physical trauma... like the fish got its head stuck in a rock cave...> If you need any more information at all that I've left out, please let me know. Thanks Amanda <I might consider the physical/environmental manipulation you mention, and bolster the fishes (all of them) immune system with vitamin/supplement soaking, but agree with you re other treatments (I would not use). Time going by will likely do about all the good that can be here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Black ocellaris with lesions on its head
   3/27/06 Hi Bob, I included my original e-mail below. I just had a bit of a follow up. First, would my clown have been able to do that sort of damage to her head on a piece of PVC piping? <Possibly> The reason I thought it must be some sort of disease is because there isn't anything else in the tank that she could have scraped herself on.  I have their temporary home set up like a quarantine tank with no gravel and no live rock.  I set it up as I would a quarantine tank, since they weren't initially going to be in there long (it was suppose to be temporary until I got the fire worm population under control, but expanded to be much longer then originally anticipated, I am hoping to get them back to their original tank as soon as I make sure this thing isn't something I am going to introduce into my main tank). The area afflicted has gotten smaller since I e-mail Friday afternoon. It is now mostly centralized between her eyes the part that ran down either side of her head is nearly completely gone and it hardly looks like there was even any damage there, but what is between her eyes appears worse. <Am still of the opinion this is a physical trauma... and "it doesn't take much" to produce such apparent "scars"...>   I tried very unsuccessfully all weekend to take a picture of her head, between her constant moving and the scratches all over this tank (I got it three years ago as a second hand tank and there was a reason I got it for only $5) it was impossible. <I'll bet... I spend a considerable amount of time each year chasing living things to make pictures... not easy> I'll try again tonight however.  I've raised the temperature and am slowly dropping the salinity, and so far all three fish haven't changed their behaviour at all, so I'm hoping this does the trick.  I've also started soaking their food in a vitamin supplement. Cheers Amanda <I give you very good odds of complete success with your good care here. Bob Fenner>

Pale Clownfish - 03/22/2006 To whom this may concern, <Josh here, though we're all concerned about wet pet health.> I have a Percula clownfish (and a few in the past) that randomly turn from a bright orange to a very pale, almost white color. One clownfish died during one of these episodes...it started swimming and jolting around the tank spontaneously and then died. The clownfish I have now will turn pale and swim a little awkwardly but to a lesser degree than the other. <It sounds to me like this is related to poor diet and water quality.> I noticed that it will do it more so, but not always when I clean the algae from off of the glass. <Hopefully this is in fact just algae. If this is Cyano, then a massive "storm" could be toxic.> (FYI, I have a 10 gallon tank, started about 3 months ago and have a long-tentacle anemone w. some live rock). Is there any advice you can give me to keep this from happening again. Any help would be greatly appreciated. <Just the above thoughts. Read up on our Clownfish FAQ's and look at your general maintenance, the foods you are feeding.> Respectfully, Chris <Josh>

Skunk Clown with Bulging Belly   3/21/06 Sorry to bother you guys, but I have searched through the FAQ's and didn't find any answer to my question. I have a 150 gallon Reef Tank medium/low stock load. To get to my question.  I have a skunk clown that is a few years old, that looks as if its belly going to bust.  I  figured it may be full of eggs, but there is no mate for it.  Is it possible for the skunk clown to lay eggs (or to have eggs) without a mate?   <Is possible... I would move this animal to separate quarters and treat with Epsom salt to help alleviate the swelling... or egg-resorption. Bob Fenner> Guy Phillips

Clownfish behaviour and black spots - 21/03/06 Hi Crew, <Hello-- John here with you today.> I've been worried about my clowns.  They have developed a few black spots over the last couple of months.  After researching WWM and other sites, I thought it was from them hosting in a newly added frog spawn or a zoanthid near their hangout.  They were acting normal and the spots weren't spreading for several weeks.  I just got home after a 5 day trip and my clowns have many more spots and one is kind of twitching (spasms).  They seem to be hosting in the zoanthid and are very protective of their corner.  After reading more on  WWM I am now concerned about the amount of Zoanthids I have in my tank, some are spreading rapidly. <Have experienced a similar problem myself with mine. The black spots could possibly be a skin reaction to the zoanthids. I wouldn't worry about the "spasms" -- sounds like normal clownfish behaviour (all else being/testing normal.)> I have several varieties in different locations.  I was never told that they were poisonous by my LFS. <Somewhat species dependent, but yes, some zoanthids can be particularly deadly - including to humans and household pets.> I have tried to attach a pic of clown and zoanthid. <The attachment came through in Photoshop format, which I can't read. However, I'll move this to the appropriate place, and maybe the "FAQ-poster" will be able to convert it. No guarantees though.> Thanks! Linda <You're welcome! Thanks for writing. John.> By the way-is my tank too crowded?: tank is 75 gal w/ 35 gal sump/refugium and DSB 100+ lbs of LR 2 clowns 1 six-line wrasse 1 orchid Dottyback 1 Kole tang 1 flame hawk 1 fat, happy mandarin (plenty of copepods) 2 tridacnid clams 2 cleaner shrimp 3 peppermint shrimp various red-legged hermits 1 blue legged hermit 1 black brittle star 1 serpent star 1 very elusive pencil-sized (my hubby says Sharpie- marker sized!) fire worm misc macro algae

Brooklynella from Brooklyn, Ctenochaetus tangs   3/18/06 Dear wonderful WWM crew     First off let me thank you guys the best (and most time consuming) website in the world. <I'll say!> Unfortunately I found it a year in to the hobby, and it cost me literally hundreds of dollars worth of "stuff" and a big box full of that same "stuff". <Most all of us have these... I've got a few...>     Anyway, back to my questions. I recently made 3 purchases from my local retailer. The first I made was a juvenile 3-4" blonde Naso tang. After visiting it in the store for 3 weeks, I took it home and acclimated it. A little nervous at first but now 3 weeks later bold and an absolute pig! MY next purchase was a 3" tomato clown. Once again after 3 weeks at the retailer I brought him home and he was great for about 24 hours. Then I noticed him not interested in for and his eyes were cloudy. <... a wild-caught fish...> So I turned to your website for advice. Boom, 10 minute freshwater bath with Quick Cure (formalin and malachite) then re-introduced in the main tank. ( no means for quarantine) After that he still looked bad on one side of his body, so the next day I got a 10 gallon tank for QT/hospital. <Yay!>     This morning I did another 10 minute bath with the formalin and got great results body slime was gone but his breathing was still incredibly rapid and was not interested in food, so back to the hospital and treatment to be continued. How long should I continue the treatment until I try another one just in case this doesn't work? <I'd try to hold off until the breathing rate is more "normal"... fishes have real trouble with loss of packed cell volume (hematocrit)... Can/often die from the result of "not being able to breath"... secondary effect from... many influences> I am also concerned he has not eaten in 2 days, so I have been adding some Selcon directly to the water. How can I get him to even be remotely interested in food? <... posted... on WWM>     Next question, how long does it usually take Brooklynella to "appear"?. <A day to a few> The reason why I ask this is because I want to know if it was in the fish form the store, or in my tank from a clownfish death about a year ago. <Should be gone from a previous infestation if this long w/o a host> None of my other fish are affected at all (2 tangs, diamond goby, and damsels). <Oh! The damsels could act as reservoir hosts>     One more question before I go, If another fish came up with the same sickness , say a Pomacanthus angel, can they be in the same QT together? <Yes> Can I use the same FW bath water? <Almost always, yes... aerate it though>     Just one more comment, I bought a very juvenile Tomini tang (Ctenochaetus tominiensis) about one inch in length <Wow! Tiny!> and is now about 6 inches and I have to say this fish is absolutely the best algae eating machine in the world, that is on top of its beauty and want to "tell the world" about this rare beauty, everyone should have one. <You have done so>     Sorry about my rambling on and on, and thank you in advance for your response and advice. Thanks, Dino from Brooklyn <BobF in HI>

Royal Gramma Help... actually, an example of punctuated knowledge, learning in our species... A useful paradigm for military conflicts, government manipulation of the masses   3/16/06 Hi, I started a fish only saltwater aquarium about 7 weeks ago. I cycled the tank with damsels and removed them as I was told by my fish consultant when I was ready to get other fish. <Mmm, see WWM re this practice... the damsels may have left you a nasty (disease) surprise...> I bought 2 percula clowns and 1 royal Gramma. In about 2 days, one clown died and from the way I described it, my fish consultant believes it was clownfish disease. <There's more than one... Brooklynellosis? Should not have occurred if these were tank bred...> About a week later, I lost the other one. I am waiting about 2 weeks before I buy anymore clowns. <... in the meanwhile, please read on WWM re these animals needs> I have now had the royal Gramma for about 3 weeks and over that time I have added a Heniochus butterfly, a coral beauty angel, and a strawberry Pseudochromis. <... how large is this system? How filtered?> The Pseudochromis charged at the royal Gramma once or twice when I first added him to the display tank, and they have seemed fine ever since. <Will be unless this system is "at least four feet long"> I see no tension between any of the fish right now. They are all eating fine and look healthy, except the royal Gramma. A couple days ago, I noticed his top fin was a little rigid and had a tiny tear in it. I also saw that his left fin looks like the cartilage has been torn. <Likely from tussling with the Dottyback> He can still swim fine, but I am concerned. I also saw that one of his bottom fins looks like half of it was sort of snapped off. I also see 2 whitish lines back above his eyes, but I don't know if they were there before. Could these characteristics be from the Pseudochromis or could it be an infection of some kind? <Both, from one, then the other... will likely die if not removed, treated elsewhere> I am very concerned and if you have any advice, please let me know. Thanks! <... as time goes by you'll understand how little useful information you have provided here. Please, do yourself and your livestock the favor of educating yourself. Don't rely on a consultant, me... read. Bob Fenner>

Clown Fish in an Uncycled Tank Die - 3/14/2006 I have a 38 gallon tank I just got 6 weeks ago.  I had 2 clowns from another tank, and I put them in there.  After 8 days or so, one died, then a couple days later the other died. I did a good water change after I let the water set for a couple weeks. I did a water test water was fine. <<'Fine' is a relative term.  Without cycling your tank, you will not read ammonia, nitrites or nitrates, but that does not mean your water is 'fine'.  Google 'fishless cycling' on WWM.>> I got two more percula clowns.  After a week one started looking not as colorful, and was decaying around its tail, and losing its color fading and turning white.  I don't know what to do, I have now lost 4 clowns in 5 weeks, I did start 3 days ago the reef orange color medicine in the tank., I don't know what to do from here, please help. <<There are a few things you need to do.  Remove any fish in the tank, stop medicating as this is a water-quality issue, get your tank cycled before adding anything to the tank, and use proper grammar and punctuation when writing to us.  I corrected it this time, but will not continue to do so in the future.  Good luck.  Lisa.>> Tom

Clownfish Help... Perculosis? What a hoot mon  - 03/11/2006 Hi, my name is Laura and I started a fish only saltwater tank about 7 weeks ago. I let the tank cycle for a month with damsels and took them out when I was ready to get other fish, as I was told by my fish consultant. I started out with a royal Gramma, a coral beauty angel, who are doing great, and two percula clownfish. After two days, one clownfish died. I went to my fish consultant and from the way I described how the one clown looked before he died, he said it was probably perculosis. <Heeee! Sorry... this is a new one to me> I was going to wait and see how my other clown was for a while, and he looked perfectly fine, but he was kind of acting weird. At first he would hang out at the top a lot, then he would be fine. Then he would be at the bottom a while, then he would be fine. <Pretty typical behavior...> About 5 days later, I decided to get another clown to see if anything changed. He seems a lot better to be with a partner. Then, a few days later, I got a Heniochus Butterfly. <How large is this system? You're not quarantining new livestock...> The day I brought him home, I noticed a white string-like thing hanging off of both the clowns (underneath their bottom fins). I looked on the web and thought it could be a parasite, so I put a few capfuls of a Perma-Guard substance I have. <...? In the main tank?> I need to wait and see what happens, but I am still worried. Do you have any advice? Thanks Laura <Yes... study... don't rely on a consultant to make known what needs to be... You will not enjoy or have success this haphazard way. See WWM re Livestock Selection, Quarantine... and the needs of the animals you have, intend... Before their acquisition. Perhaps the reading of a good, general marine aquarium tome would give/grant you a good all-round understanding here. Bob Fenner>  

False percula question   03/07/06 Regards, <Howdy> I have had a pair of mated (sexed, but no clutch yet) for a little under a year. I got them after the first batch of livestock was lost due to a crash. They were the first introduction after re-establishment and have been with me since. They have been hosting in a BTA for about the last 8-9 months. They are still babies, only about 4" so far. <... this is large> I have never had ich, or any other disease/pests for that matter. Tank specs are; 55g, 75lb LR, 3" SSB, 15g w/c every week, mixed reef, coral beauty, yellow tang, lunare wrasse, cleaner shrimp, 2 blue/green Chromis, 2 Seio 1500's on timers. With that said, this morning I noticed what seemed to be two white protrusions coming from the area just above and anterior to the pec fin on the left side. They appear to be coming from just under the scales, and come out about 1/32 of an inch. They appear to be pointed, not really forked, but it's hard to say. These are NOT spots or sugar sized granules, and it doesn't look sprinkled like it's sprinkled with salt, which makes me want to rule out ich or cauliflower or anything,. There is no slime, so no Brooklynella. The picture attached is horrible I must say, I apologize. There are no outward signs of stress. The fish is eating and swimming normally and water params are kosher. I have though about FW dips and QT'ing, but I am reluctant to treat w/o knowing the issue. Thanks for your time, patience, and reply. -Ed Olson <Mmm, I am torn between making "blanket statements" here re whether to go the route of netting out, using forceps to extract this mass, daubing with a "Q-tip" and mercurical (like ones mom used to use), or simply waiting, watching... Do you see the Cleaner Shrimp servicing this fish ever? Bob Fenner>

Re: False percula question   03/9/06 Thank you for your timely response Mr. Fenner. As for the size, yes a bit exaggerated, only about 2-2.5 inches upon second look (with a ruler in hand this time). <Still good size> I know w/o a clearer picture that a blanket statement is really the only kind I could get. I have not seen the cleaner service either of the clowns. From fellow reefers in our local club (www.rasoc.org) I have been getting the same response, wait and see. A couple have suggested a scale bent back on the fish, as a diagnosis, from rubbing a rock or a little spat with the other clown. I have to admit, it's hard to tell whether it may be an injury or a disease/problem. I am no vet, but consider my little animals as an investment, So if I have to play Dr. Ed for a few then I will, with "proper training" of course. Is there any online literature describing the procedure of netting and dabbing? Again, thank you for your time Mr. Fenner. <Perhaps a try with these terms, w/ and w/o clownfish/es added on the Google search tool on WWM... otherwise Ed Noga, other fish disease authors have much to say on the topic in their in-print works. Bob Fenner>

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