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FAQs about the Diseases of Clownfishes 14

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

Malachite Green and Formalin... Be careful... only to be used either as a dip or in a treatment tank.

Clownfish Problems 11/12/06 I have just recently set up a 29 gallon saltwater tank. All the levels are correct and we started with two mollies that we converted to saltwater. <Better ways to do it, see WetWeb for more.>  Yesterday we added two percula clown fish and the smaller of the two is doing  great, but the larger sits towards the bottom and seems to be gasping for air  and moving his mouth rapidly.  He occasionally swims around, but for the  most part just sits in one spot moving his mouth? Is there something I need to  do, or what could be the problem? Or is this normal? <Not normal.> Thanks! Megan Miller <What are your actual numbers, the problem sounds environmental.  Move the sick fish to a QT/Hospital tank for observation and treatment if necessary.> <Chris>

Sick clown, insufficient data  11/12/06 Hi.  I'm relatively new to saltwater tanks--inherited a 30 gallon from a friend 2 years ago.  It included a large clown with 2 stripes (about 3 inches).  For the last several weeks he has seemed low in appetite, and just hangs around near the top of the tank near the air pipe thingies (sorry, told you I'm new).  I asked the guy at the pet store about it, and he said that they do that a lot, but to watch for anything showing up on his scales.  Well, his scales look fine, but he is lying on the bottom of the tank, upside down, <! Very bad...> with his mouth open, appears to be gasping for air (gills open wide).  Is there anything I can do, or is he past hope?  Thanks, Erica  (P.S.  both damsels and the starfish are OK) <This system is too small... but the one clowns behavior... indicative of something very wrong with the one specimen... Something stuck in its throat? A nutritional deficiency catching up...? You don't offer insights re water testing... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: clownfish  - 11/13/06
Ok.. Thanks for your reply <Please include prev. corr...> ...Here are the numbers.. Temperature-79 degrees Hydrometer- 1.024 ph is around 8.0 ammonia- 0 ppm nitrite- 0 ppm nitrate- 0 ppm A few hours ago I did a 20% water change. The 3 other fish are doing well though.  They all came up and ate a while ago, but the one clown did  not.   Tried adding an airstone, but that hasn't seemed to help. All the  fish stores are telling me different things, so I just don't know what to do.  Thanks so much for your help. Megan <Can't recall your circumstances... but best to encourage you to read, search WWM, discern fact from simpler opinion/advice, and make up your own mind. Bob Fenner>

Upside-down Clownfish - 10/27/06 I have 2 clownfish and one is male the other one is female.  The female and male were doing well for about 2 years until the female and the male were hitting there tails against each other but it wasn't violent-like. <<Okay>> Then about a month to two weeks after that, recently the male started to float upside down.  What is wrong with him? <<No idea (no information to go on)...possibly a problem with its swim-bladder...possibly something environmental>> Is he going to be ok?  It would be really appreciated if you respond soon. Justin <<Start reading here and among the associated links ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/infectio.htm).  Regards, EricR>>

Ill Percula - 10/22/2006 Hey Guys, <Hey, MacL here with you. Hope this finds you well.> I have searched you site but found nothing that really matches what is wrong with one of my A. percula.  I have pair of them (Tank Raised), and the female for the past month has been showing little interest in anything. About the only thing she takes interest in is food.  Other than that, she lays on the bottom of the tank all day long sometimes moving the sand with her fins, breathing is slightly elevated, about 90-100 Rep/min. and she also has to small patches of white just above the mouth, between the lateral line and the spiny dorsal fin, and on the top area between the caudal peduncle and caudal fin.  I have had the pair for about a year, got them when they were both small juveniles.  What has been happening lately has not concerned me to much until yesterday and today when she has been moving from the bottom of the tank to the surface in a more hose up position, kind of like a fish with a deflated swim bladder. Could this be the start of Brooklynella or a deflating swim bladder? <Honestly, what you are describing concerns me a lot because it does sound similar to what I experienced with my perculas. They fought it off the first attack but lost to the second one. I did use garlic and Metronidazole. I don't know which worked the best.> I have not had a fish with this, so I am not sure.  Like I said earlier she does still eat with everyone else, but then goes back to the bottom of the tank and lies down. <If she is eating that is a good sign. I would use the garlic and some vitamins if you have them. Anything healthy you can get into her is going to help her regardless of what it is.  Also, keeping the water as pristine as possible will help as well.> Also, I have not seen anything that would resemble eggs, so I pretty sure they have mated.  I attached a picture that shows the white area below the spiny dorsal fin. Any ideas of what I'm dealing with? <Unfortunately I can't get a clear view of the picture to tell what it shows. I would err on the side of caution and watch and do basic preventative measures, vitamins, garlic and clean water.  Good luck, MacL> Thanks,  -Bryan

Re: Spots (Injury?) on Clownfish - 10/13/06 I just wanted to say thanks and more importantly that the wounds on both fish have completely healed. <<Ahh, very gratifying to hear>> I really thought the one big clown was done for, since it had a huge open lesion on its body. <<Many of the animals we keep have amazing recuperative powers, especially when kept under favorable conditions.  Regards, EricR>>

Sick Clowns... no useful data  10/7/06 Hello from Florida, I have a 90 gallon reef and my clowns have developed a problem. When I arrived home I immediately noticed that there mouths are turning white. The female is the worst because it looks like her lips are disintegrating and the male was just starting to turn white. Any thoughts as to what it is because everything else in the tank actually looks great. Please help before my wife thinks that she is killing my fish. Thank You Andy <... how long have you had these fish? What re their system? Water quality tests? Tankmates and their (lack of) symptoms? Any treatment history? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and the (many) linked files above... to grant you some ideas of what you may have here, the sorts of information we're looking for to help you. Bob Fenner>

Clown black spots... Paravortex?  10/7/06 Hi everyone, <Alan> I have had a pair of ocellaris clowns now for about 4 years, they have had black spots on and off over this period.  I never really worried about it since most people say it is common. <Yes>   Lately though I got curious about it since it didn't seem to come and go with their ever changing choice of "hosts" in the tank.  I had read one account that said this was caused by a kind of bruising as they adjusted to their new homes. <Mmmm> In the last few weeks it was getting pretty heavy on them and I even saw a few other parasites on them.  Since I hadn't added anything to the tank in over a year, and QT everything that did go in I found it strange.  Thought maybe the two were connected somehow.  Now there were no spots on the white bars only on the orange portions of their bodies.  But to deal with the white spots they were taken out and are now in a 10 gal tank.  On the way in they got a FW dip for about 10-12 min.  Within a min or two all of the black spots were gone. <Interesting...> I have seen this before only at work in treating yellow tangs with the black spots caused by a parasitic flatworm. <Yes, these two might have been Paravortex> It was fast just like happens to them.  But everything I read says clowns are not likely hosts for this parasite, and neither the two spot hogfish (B bimaculatus), or the orchid Dottyback (P fridmani) were affected, <Mmm, actually... see Noga, Ed... Fish Diseases, Diagnosis and Treatment... some seven families, 135 species of fishes can/do serve as hosts> and this has been going on for years in their company.  Well I went to work, and we have a large pair of ocellaris, who also have had black spots for as long as I can remember, dipped them and they were gone in minutes.  My fish came from a different store about 100 miles away from the one I work at since I moved.  Seemed strange to me that maybe this isn't as harmless as is thought, and I wish I had more clowns to try it on.  I also wish there was some way to find out how long clowns with spots live compared to ones without. <This Turbellarian doesn't seem to be "too debilitating" as a "space parasite"... Or, imagine, there are many "levels" or teleologically "stages" to becoming a "real" parasite, and this flatworm is "just a beginner"...> But there is a question, how long should I let the tank go without fish how to starve out the parasites? <At least a few weeks... likely a month or more if the system is/was "well-established"... as I suspect that these "semi" parasites can live by other means...> And if it is a flatworm of some kind would something like flatworm exit do anything? <Most of these "remedies" are not... They're dismal fakery...> Or maybe Prazi? <Maybe> I have used that with good results on tangs that didn't seem bad enough to warrant a FW dip.  Anyways I am gonna be late for class, I apologize if I made a few grammatical errors in my rush. AJ <Mmm, au contraire. Thank you for this report. Bob Fenner>

Clown fish injured by frogspawn Anenome (?)   10/4/06 We just added a frogspawn anemone <... don't know this species... Do you mean the Euphylliid coral?> to our tank.  Our clown fish have been in it constantly even though they have bubble tipped anemones as well.  We were told by the store that if they got in they might harm the anemone but it looks like the anemone has harmed them.  They both have white spots on their sides and our larger one's mouth looks stuck open. <Yikes... bad signs>   We have had these fish for over a year and don't want to lose them.  Help.   <First need to know the species of cnidarians involved... Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/caryophyllids.htm It may be that your animals are suffering from "allelopathy"... toxic interaction... a mechanism that competing organisms employ to gain advantage in space, time... Please see WWM re this term. Bob Fenner>

Amyloodinium   9/26/06 WWM Crew, <Jeff> I received two ocellaris clowns via overnight shipping on Friday. After acclimation to a 20 gallon quarantine tank, I noticed that one of the clowns was breathing heavily and didn't quite have the sheen of the other. It displayed interest in flake food, and would go right up to it and sample it but wouldn't eat it. <A bit soon...> Through a magnifying glass, I saw very small white/gray spots on the upper half of its body. Technically, they were visible to the naked eye, but one would have to get very close to the fish to notice them. I suspected Amyloodinium <Mmm... I would have just waited...> and dropped the specific gravity over a few hours from 1.025 SG to 1.011 <Not a good idea with Clowns to drop so much, so fast> SG following the advice in Wilkerson's Clownfishes. <We are in disagreement here> Seeing no improvement the next day (Saturday), I dosed Seachem's Cupramine as suggested (2 mL to bring concentration to 2.5 mg/L). The next day I continued to see no improvement. <... It may well not be Velvet...> At this point, the sick clown was spending all its time near the bottom of the tank, with labored breathing, <Right. Likely just from the "treatment"> listing occasionally to one side or another. The spots may have been slightly better. I do not recall for certain. I again dosed the Cupramine and brought the copper concentration to the recommended concentration of .5 mg/L (confirmed by Seachem Copper test kit). This morning I awoke to find the sick clown heavily dusted. In addition, the healthy clown, which had previously had no sign of infection whatsoever, has begun to taste and spit out its food. It is otherwise active. A few quick questions. First, I understood from a Trevor-Jones article that copper kills Amyloodinium in the free-swimming dinospore phase. If this is so, does my seeing additional trophonts today suggest that the copper concentration isn't sufficiently high? <Mmm, possibly... need to maintain a physiological dose/concentration at all times> (presumably, today's trophonts were free-swimming dinospores last night when the Cupramine copper concentration was at .5 mg/L). <Yes> Second, is there something else I should be doing? Should I leave the water's specific gravity at 1.011 or begin to increase it over time? Thank you very much. -Jeff <I would... contact the shipper re this incident... all other clowns they have, have shipped are likely afflicted. And I would consider an immersion bath/dip in a volume of similar spg water and formalin... then movement to all new water (to cut the life cycle...). Bob Fenner>

Clown problems,,, help  9/25/06 I have just cleaned out my 55 gallon 10 year old tank, I'm now having a problem with my clowns that I have had approx. two years. All of a sudden two of them seem to have bloated up and are swimming side ways, <!?> it's like they can't swim and they seem to float to the top of the tank like they can't make it down to the bottom.      Any suggestions as to what my be wrong?      All the water tests are fine, salt is fine, temp. 77*.       Any help would be appreciated, I would have to lose them after all this time. <Something very wrong here... perhaps gas embolism... if so, these fish are likely dead by now... If not, please use the search tool and look up Emphysematosis and fish disease. Bob Fenner>

Clown Fish with white stringy feces   9/19/06 Hello Crew: I have searched for hours and cant find an answer that is specific to my question.  I have two Clown Fish in my 55 Gallon tank that are with a sixline wrasse and a Royal Gramma.  The last fish added was the Wrasse and that was about two months ago.  About a month ago I did remove 3 Chromis as they where getting beaten up by the Wrasse.  Upon removing them I noticed one of them had white stringy feces.  I thought it could be from the stress of being captured. <Maybe... but could also be evidence of lumen parasites> Everything has gone great but tonight I noticed that the larger clown had stringy white feces.  She acts normal, eats well and is basically the same as she has always been.  I did just start feeding frozen Mysis shrimp and Cyclop-eeze in addition to various Flakes, Formula 1 and 2 and Brine Shrimp.  I noticed the situation at around 7:30 this evening and it was gone within a few minutes but just before the lights went out at 9:30 I noticed another one was starting to appear.  Would you recommend that I do anything as this point?   Any advice is appreciated. Thank you, <Mmm... could ignore... and likely not have any real trouble/s... but I'd consider treating, consecutively with Praziquantel (or other vermifuge) and Metronidazole/Flagyl snuck in/on food/s. Both are covered on WWM... I would search, read the cached versions... Bob Fenner>

Clown with swollen mouth not eating. Sm. SW tank, over and mis-stocked...   9/19/06 Hi, <Howdy> First the needed info'¦~1.5 month old 15 gallon tall FO tank - Ammonia/Nitrates/Nitrite all zero ppm.  pH ~8.2, Salinity 1.024. Temp 84. /Over the back filter rated 30g/ powerhead 30-50g/substrate I purchased 2 percula clowns <This tank/world is too small...> from my LFS a week ago today.  The first few days they were spectacular, swimming all over the tank in their cute little wiggly manner.  They made friends with my 3 stripe damsel <Way too small...> but I had to get rid of him (the damsel)  because he was being quite the bully to the other yellow tail blue damsel <Still too small...> that was in the tank. As soon as I got rid of the 3 stripe it seemed like things seemed to go downhill quite rapidly.  The day after getting rid of him, the clowns seemed significantly more lethargic and the blue tail was picking at them a little. <...> A day goes by and the clowns will no longer eat, the hang out in the areas of the tank with little circulation and still won't eat.  At this point since both of them looked perfect, I thought that maybe the blue damsel had been picking on them a little too much, <Yes, likely> so I fished him out (no pun intended :-):-):-) ) and took him back to my LFS, after all these were only the fish used to cycle the tank. <And infest it with parasites? Not a good idea to use such fishes for cycling> So, I went home all happy expecting the clowns to have perked up, no such luck :-(  I decided to keep attempting to feed them (frozen Mysis shrimp & Emerald entrée which they had eaten with some appetite the first three days I had them) still no success. Yesterday I did a little more reading <Ah, good> and went out and bought a pink skunk cleaner shrimp'¦ Also, I thought they might be depressed because of losing their tank buddies. <Ahh, no> I had read about fish refusing to eat when they lose a companion fish, so I bought a 3/4' hippo tang <... no> in an effort to cheer them up. (Don't worry, I plan on getting a larger tank in the near future to accommodate the tangs growth) <Too late>   But'¦ the fish are still not eating, and the hippo has joined them in their strike (although I have only had him for a day, I'm hoping he may still be a little stressed and that could be the reason for his refusal of food.)  A lesson learned though, I feel victim to the newbie's 'I have to have that' syndrome. <Yes... seems so>   Shortly after bringing them home, I noticed one of the clowns going to the surface and attempting to eat the bubbles from my over the back filter. A bad sign, I know'¦ <Mmm, not necessarily> This morning: After looking at them closer, one of the clowns is definitely worse off then the other.  I have spent many hours searching the disease info for clowns on this website and others with no definite symptoms. <Is an "environmental disease"... Crowded and bullied from the get-go... never fully adjusted to their setting... and re-crowded further with the introduction of the Tang...>   The larger clown seems to be breathing at least twice as fast as the other and has an enlarged mouth.  By 'enlarged' I mean about twice, maybe three times as big as the clown with no observable problems (other than not eating.)  Both of them seem to have a very thin string hanging from their underside (sorry.. I'm a newbie to this, don't really know all the terms yet)  It does tend to fall off of the smaller clown, but remains on the one with the enlarged mouth. Their colors are still very bright, and their fins are not clamped to their body at all.  I'm really worried, I tried a freshwater dip with both of them, they seemed to improve a little bit (they moved out of the corner they were hovering in)  I don't know how much good it did though, I only left them in for one minute. Which I found out later today should have been fifteen. (sigh)   I called 4 different LFS's today and did some of the things they recommended'¦ a 20% water change and I also added a very finely minced/ground small garlic clove to the tank and tried to feed them dried seaweed. The garlic seemed to help a little, the hippo fell for it.  I saw him eating a few of the chunks that would come close to him.  The smaller clown seemed interested too, he swam up to a few pieces and ate them, but then spit them right back out again, same with the seaweed.  ( I told him to swallow, he didn't listen)  The Hippo seems to be breathing rapidly as well, <The environment...> although I can't tell if that's just because he is so small and it really isn't that fast for his size.    It has now been 4 days of the clowns not eating, the shrimp doesn't seem to be doing any cleaning on them.  One of the LFS's that I talked to said it's probably a phosphate problem because I have been feeding primarily frozen food and the other said to just wait and watch them to try and identify a disease. <...?> The first store suggested that I do a 20% water change everyday for the next three days to lower anything in the tank that may have accumulated. The mouth has become more pronounced since I talked to the stores, I don't know how fast I should act to treat this. I have a bottle of Kordon Rid Ich+  (ingredients formalin and zinc free malachite green) <Yes, thank you for this listing... toxic>   that I bought today from the advice on the disease pages.  I don't want to put it in the tank though as it would probably harm my shrimp/hermits/snails ? <Yes, will assuredly kill them... the rest of the tank in turn> I was thinking of setting up a small hyposalinity 2 gallon bucket or acrylic tank to put the treatment in.  Do you think I should put all the fish in this or just the large mouth clown or both since neither is eating? <None of the above> Also would I do this for 15 minutes everyday for a few days or leave them in it for a few days?  I was a little confused about this information on your website.   And, I don't know if this would help them or not, but I have a protein skimmer in a box that I haven't put on the tank since I got it.  I was told that my tank is too small and doesn't need one. <Incorrect. I would install and run it pronto>   It's a Seaclone 100.  Too big for a 15g?   <No> There also seems to be some brown diatom algae in my tank, not a lot. <Actually a good sign... the system is cycling still, more completely> My snail eats the majority of it.  And the last thing, the same time I got rid of the 3 stripe I added a fake anemone (rated for saltwater) that I purchased from the LFS, could this be causing the problem? <Yes... some of these ornaments were manufactured of problematic material... I would remove this> Just wanted to put all the info out there.  I really appreciate your help! - Nicole <Well... I would return the Hippo Tang ASAP, add the skimmer, keep up with water testing, be careful re matching spg with new water changes, add no more fishes (you're overstocked as is with the two Clowns), and forget re actual chemical treatments... Oh yes, and keep reading.... this last so you can make up your own mind re the science/factual base of your decisions. Bob Fenner>

Re: Clown with swollen mouth not eating   9/20/06 Hello again, <Cory> Since the main point of your e-mail was that my tank is way too small, we are now out shopping for a larger one. What size tank would you recommend for 2 clowns, 1 Hippo tang, a cleaner shrimp, white diamond goby, royal Gramma & a Foxface Rabbitfish as these are all the fish I would eventually like to have? <This is posted on WWM... per species... Likely about a hundred gallons plus for what you list here> Obviously the 1" of fish per 3 gallons that I have been told/read is incorrect. <Yes... Salty here (James Gasta) has a much more reasonable "rule of thumb" at one cubic inch of fish per five gallons of water> Every answer to this type of a question I have found on the internet is different as well, sometimes differing by 50 gallons or so.   - Nicole <Please... no "blame game"... See my rec. at the end of our prev. corr.. Educate yourself... these actions/decisions are yours, don't act out of bad faith and ignorance. Bob Fenner>

Thin, open mouthed clown   9/17/06 Hello - I have a very sick percula clown.  His mouth is constantly open, he can't eat, and he is becoming translucent.  This began three weeks ago and I moved him to a quarantine tank.  Initially he seemed to improve, but now it appears he cannot close his mouth at all. <The mouth condition may be from injury... or genetic endowment... a very bad sign/indication in any case>   He swims around, and responds to my presence. There are no imperfections in his body, just the open mouth, and of course, he has become quite thin.  Is there something I can add to the water to help him? <I might try applying some force (a blunt toothpick as tool perhaps) in "closing" the mouth here... it may be that it was somehow hyper-extended... and may be repaired thus. This is the only thing that comes to mind as a possible way to save this fish> He has been in my tank (with his buddy) for three  years and has been fine, the buddy is in the regular tank with no problems.  It makes me sad to see him like that, I am hoping you can help me.  Thank you.   Misty <Bob Fenner>

Spots (Injury?) on Clownfish - 09/11/06 Crew, <<Jason>> I have two true percula clownfish.  I have had them for about 5 months.  They are attached to a hammer coral and spend their whole time in the coral. <<Not unheard of>> They eat just fine.  The bigger one tends to pick on the smaller one whenever I am cleaning the tank or whenever she is spooked. <<Ah, yes...and sooner or later she will likely take a nip out of you! <grin> >> Some skin came off the smaller one towards his top and it resulted in a white circular spot about 2-3 millimeters in diameter.  This was about 2 weeks ago.  It seems to be slowly healing. <<Good>> Yesterday I noticed that the bigger one has these two strange looking pinkish spots on her body along with a white spot as well.  The pinkish spots look like they are under the skin or I might be mistaking their color for a somewhat of a see-through spot on the skin. <<Mmm...maybe so>> The strange thing is that the 3 spots on the bigger one are all on the same side.  I have done research on various clownfish diseases and nothing seems to fit the bill.  They continue to eat fine, breath fine, and behave normally.  My thoughts are that the spots are a result of injury from the bigger one nabbing at the smaller one and also maybe a reaction with the hammer coral since they rub up against its skeleton body all the time.  What do you guys think? <<Am in agreement...likely some physical injury...maybe even "stings" from the hammer coral.  Keep an eye on things, but the fish will likely be fine>> Jason <<Regards, EricR>>

Troubles, Clown in a ten gallon world... treated with copper... dipped... spotted... too young for beer!  9/4/06 >Hello :) >I have a 10 gallon tank with just one false percula, "Scoop." ><Good, may have to scoop it out> >I'm really new at this, and I live in a town where the only thing available to me is a PetCo. That's where I bought Scoop. >He seemed to be doing very well; he ate the Marine Pellets I fed him (just a few at first) and a little of the freeze-dried krill I give him once in a >while. He doesn't like the flake kind of food. >The pH, alkalinity, nitrate and nitrite levels are all where they need to be, temp around 81, specific gravity 1.022. ><I'd raise this to 1.025> >  I have an undergravel and a power filter. I do small water changes, 10% a week. >Nothing's changed, except for the tiny white spots on the tips of his fins and the end of his tail. He also has one starting in the middle of his tail. >I thought it might be ich (might be, because he still ate like a pig and was still swimming like normal), so I tried CopperSafe from PetCo. ><... in the one tank?> >The undergravel filter is off and carbon out of the water, the power filter just has the bag, minus carbon. I had no way to test the copper level, so I >drove for a while and found an AquaTropics. I asked for a copper test and told them what was up. >They told me to get rid of the copper in my tank. I did a 10% water change and added the conditioner they recommended, and tried a freshwater dip. >Like I said, I'm new at this, so it scared me. Scoop looked a little pale this morning, so I tried the dip (they told me double-dose the CopperSafe and >dip him in it, ten seconds, so that's what I did). >He was freaked, obviously, but he looked a lot better when he got back in the tank. The spots didn't go away like AquaTropics said they would, however. >The spots on his fins and tip of his tail look smaller (the one on his tail actually looks like it took a bit of fin with it), but the one in the middle of his tail looks bigger. There may be one started under his mouth. >When I put him back in the tank after the dip, he had a white string of waste hanging from him. ><May be indicative...> >I searched your site and found that it's something internal, a parasite? ><Possibly> >and wondered if that also explains the white spots. ><Could be related or not... the spots might be a reflection of environmental stress alone> >I also read the section on diseases, and I will keep looking and try a few things myself but if it isn't too much trouble, I wouldn't mind some advice. >Thanks for your time, >Alyssa ><Okay... Seems like you've started to read WWM, seek out input from elsewhere... get a bigger tank, never treat an established system with copper, keep beer in a cool place... Bob Fenner>
Re: Troubles, Thanks  9/4/06
As far as beer goes, I turned 17 this summer. <Is much overrated... but delicious at times, once accustomed!> Anyway, Thanks again for your time, Bob. I'm learning, I'm working on it, I'm sorry I sound like an idiot and thank you for replying anyway. -Alyssa <Mmm, don't sound, or read as such... and is obvious you earnestly care (very important... as this serves as impetus to further delving, involvement...), and am glad to be afforded the opportunity to share. Cheers, BobF>

Disease ID question w photos   8/29/06 Dear WWM, It has been a while since I have had to avail to your expertise.    Thank you for all you do helping out people like me - the site is always so informative and useful. I just got back from a week vacation, and found my false clown fish sporting white fuzz...  much to my dismay.  I have quickly done a water change (considering the algae growth on the tank, I suspect my tank-sitter tends to over feed a little), then got to searching through your site for help. My initial suspects were ich, velvet and clownfish disease, and none of those options are looking good... <As in accurate? I agree... the look of this mucus spotting looks more like an environmental response to me> But what I can see on my clown is more of a fungus like fuzz, not a pebble like spot, or velvet like covering...  it doesn't look like the pictures I can find on your site searching for the diseases.    There is a fuzzy growth on his chin and at the base of the very front of the dorsal fin. Is this fungus?  Is he a dead fish swimming?  (I hope not).  I am worried sick. <Not fungal, not dying yet> Any help would be greatly appreciated, I don't want to take the wrong tack, in treating - if at all necessary.  If it's something else, and better left alone, I would hate to medicate the poor sucker.  So far he is not otherwise exhibiting any difficulty swimming or breathing, and no other fish have any symptoms. Thanks a million - Hiro in NYC <I would not medicate... improve water quality (water changes, clean the skimmer, use chemical filtrants) and nutrition (supplement soaking, addition), and all should be fine. Bob Fenner>

Please HELP with a Ocellaris clown, please HURRY   8/29/06 Hi. First, your work at WetWebMedia is simply awesome. I have a special question about my loved Ocellaris clown, he has been with me for about six months growing in pretty good shape in a 20G living in a bubble tip anemone who has been growing too. <Yikes... very hard to keep such an animal in such a small, variable volume> This week he has been some strange, like if something was bothering him, today I finally realize what's happening, his mouth is wide open and I saw inside his mouth in a side, that there is growing a white ball, pretty solid, not like cotton, about 2-3mm diameter. Today he stopped eating. What's that ball?, <Mmm, maybe a tumorous growth of some sort... but could be an isopod... a parasitic crustacean> what can I do to help him?, is he going to die? I hope no, he deserves much better. Hope you could help me, I don't have any idea what to do, so if a don't get an answer I will just wait he gets better by itself. Thanks, please help my clown <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/isopoda.htm and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. An exploratory go with a fine tweezers might be worthwhile... Bob Fenner>

Ocellaris sick?  8/25/06 Hello, <Hi there> I have a nano cube 24 gallon.  Lots of live rock/sand/critters.  Tank cycled and ammonia, nitrite=0, phosphate .03, temp 79, salinity .0025, <Missing a/the 1, and with too many zeros> ca and alk 390 and 11 dKH. Mg 1290... all seems ok so far. <Yep> I bought 2 baby Ocellaris, one is doing fine, the smaller one.  The other, larger one seems off.  it has a white line across it's side,   maybe a scratch? <Perhaps>   and it is not eating at all and breathing real fast.  just hides in the rocks.  I've tried Mysis, and formula one foods... any thoughts? thanks so much. <Mmm, lots... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and the linked files above... for ideas... I would not "treat" this fish, system per se...> Also, have you heard good things about the Aqua C Nano Remora skimmer? Regards, Jenna <Mmm, not as yet... Here's MD's pitch re: http://www.marineandreef.com/shoppro/protein_skimmers_aquac.htm But I can/will vouch for the owner Jason Kim's veracity, quality of products. Bob Fenner>

Was stuck and now injured clown   8/24/06 Morning fishy helpers, <Gots to wake up>         I have a pair of ocellaris clown fish in a 55 gallon tank that I recently had to move. Thanks to you guys the move went very well and all inhabitants of the tank have been doing well the past five days since the move. That is, until yesterday. One of my clowns, the larger/female of the two, got stuck inside of a shell I have in there and was stuck for quite a while, (over night). <Very strange> Once I got her out, she was stressed and a little banged up but otherwise swimming and looking fine. Today I noticed that she had rubbed a good portion of her dorsal fin off, that he has a laceration on her head, and a new sore/laceration on her side that was not there after I freed her. My guess is that she's getting beaten up by one of my other inhalants <Heeee! Vicks?> but have not noticed any hostility myself. <Might just be resultant/decomposition from the "getting stuck" incident> My question is; should I put her in a breeding net that I have until she heals, and should I be dosing the water with any meds, or should I be putting anything directly on her? <Can't judge this fishs condition from here... If it were "bad enough" I would move the fish to a treatment tank> She does look quite a bit worse today than yesterday, and she has not eaten yet. I am quite worried since I was so proud of myself for getting the tank moved so well, and I'm quite attached to those two clowns, I'd hate to lose her. Water checks out fine, Nitrites-0, ammonia-0, Nitrates are barely detectable. I appreciate the advice in advance. -Heather <Mmm, where/when in doubt, a referral: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Was stuck and now injured clown  8/25/06
Bob and Crew, <Heather>         Thank you for the reply. When I got home last night she had a new abrasion and her tail was pretty much gone. Found out that the yellow tang was the culprit. <Ahh, likely the cause of the Clown "being stuck" as well> My guess is that when she became un-stuck, he sensed her being hurt and her vulnerability and started nipping. So, she is now in a breeding net/cube and is looking a lot less stressed, as you can imagine. My question now is should I be treating her with any meds? I feed frozen Marine Cuisine and Emerald Entre, soaked in Selcon and Zoe prior to feeding. Is there anything else I should be doing to aid in her healing? <Mmm, hard to say... I would not try anything if this fish is otherwise eating... just as likely to cause harm...>         Also, when it comes time to re-release her back into the tank, how should I go about doing this with as little stress as possible? <Remove the Yellow Tang for a week or so... float in a plastic colander at top... to allow the clowns to re-establish dominance> Her and the other clown have become a mated pair, will they "hook-up" again after she's re-released into the tank? <Very likely so, yes> Other inhabitants are; 2" Yellow Tang, Royal Gramma, and the other Ocellaris clown.         Before my forced move I was just getting ready to do the big switch into a 120 Ga. but at the moment have no room so that's going to have to be put off for 3-4 months, again. So, in the mean time, is there anything that I need to do when I let her out of her isolation net? Once again, Thanks in advance!! -Heather <Do the old switcheroo with the Tang... Bob Fenner>

Chaotic Clownfish... stung by a Siganid? Crowded for sure  8/17/06 I have a maroon clownfish that has been in my tank for the last two years.   He has always been very peaceful and healthy.  Yesterday I was cleaning some algae off the glass in the tank and he nearly jumped out.  Startled, when I looked back into the tank he was swimming wildly in all directions, upside down, sideways, summersaults... as though he had completely lost control of his body.  He was scratching himself up on the live rock and the other fish started to get aggressive towards him because he was swimming so erratically.   I quarantined him to a corner of the tank so he wouldn't hurt himself, but over the past day and a half his condition has not improved and he continues to swim sideways, upside down, and in circles.  I have tried to feed him but he doesn't even notice the food, and now his color is starting to lighten.   The only thing that I can think of is that when I was cleaning the tank the fish became agitated and he was somehow stuck with venom by the Foxface that is also in the tank. <Yikes... this would do it...> (The 40 gallon tank has a fox face, <This tank is too small for a siganid> the maroon clown, a coral beauty, <And/or too small for a regular sized species of Centropyge> a blue damsel fish, and a coral banded shrimp.  All the fish are about 3 inches.  There have been no new additions to the tank in six months.)  Please let me know if you have any ideas on what could be wrong with him or what could be done. Joe Tremblay <Mmm, I like your speculation if the other fishes don't appear affected... If all had spun out, I would guess that something to do with the algae/scrubbing set off a physical/chemical reaction. At any length, you/they need a system at least twice this volume/size. Bob Fenner>

Injured clown fish   8/14/06 Good evening  WWM Crew , After laying Eggs our clown fish was very  aggressive towards her other  tank mates and very protective of her " nest ", <Yes, very common> during this she got injured by our hippo tang , he sliced her open , about half of a centimeter long , the cut is between her head and dorsal fin . It looks really nasty and swollen , though she seems not be affected by it. I read a lot of your forums and  started  to worry about infection setting in , so we went to our local fish store and they gave us some medication for her (  Kanamycin). Now I also remember reading in your pages the danger of  med's. So here I am not sure to give it to her , or to wait and see if it heals ok If treatment should I treat her in main tank or move her over to a  QTank <I would leave this fish in place for now. Move it if you intend to use the antibiotic> , knowing that the two are inseparable, this could effect both of them , also this is now her third day with the cut , and like I said she seems her normal self other then that . Would love to get some help in this matter , don't want to loose her  due to my ignorance . Thank you guys for all your help and your  awesome website!!! God Bless , Monika    <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Clarkii clowns with black patches   8/12/06 I purchased two Clarkii's on july 15th. They now have black patches on their tail fins. <Arggghhh. is this a coding problem? Where are the spaces twixt your sentences?> One now has a spot on the edge of it's pectoral fin. they started out together now hate each other. One hosts a BTA ands the other a rock. <Mmm...> They are in a 55g Q.T. water is changed every few days with the display water. Should I be concerned about the black patches? Thanks for your time as I did not locate a similar description in the FAQs. Christopher <The patches could be nothing... or indication of some sort of complaint... Are these animals wild-caught? What re your water quality? I would not be overly concerned re moving these animals into your main system. Likely the melanization is not indicative of anything that is "catching". Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish tail rot? No useful data   8/2/06 My Clarkii clown developed two brown dots on his tail. Then his tail started to erode away, so I treated with Maracyn and his tail grew back. But the dots haven't left. <May be permanent... happens> So I used another treatment of Maracyn, then I tried Rally, <Worthless> then I tried Paraguard and the dots just won't go away. I know if I leave them alone, the tail will start to erode again. I am not exactly sure what is going on so maybe I have been treating for the wrong thing the whole time. The water quality is fine, and the fish has been acting normally throughout the whole thing. Please tell me what it sounds like is going on. <Can't tell from the paucity of information presented... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>  

Re: Clown Fish not eating (follow up)   8/3/06 Dear Bob, <Peter> Thanks sincerely for your reply to my query regarding my hunger stricken clown fish. I went to my local marine aquarist and had the water tested. There was an indication that Co2 levels were up. <Mmm... this is one of the more "changeable" qualities of water... needs to be tested "then and now" to be accurate> I bought a couple of tablets to put in the tank. <?> I also bought a bottle of Red Sea Vita liquid and added 5ml to the tank. Finally, I did a 1/3 water change and I'm slowly increasing the NSW strength. <Good... these improvements may "do it" here> Now I'm waiting. Both clown fish have herded themselves in a corner of the tank; they seem a little friskier but are still not eating. The bubble tip anemone is a clone. It split twice, which I'm told is a good indication of my water quality. <Yes... if all clones survive... Like domestic plants, and some animals, including Homo, they can/will reproduce as well in times, conditions of stress> I don't think the clown fish were stung because they've never been interested in the anemone, never even swam near it, much to my disappointment. <Mmm, this is a valuable clue as well... don't need to swim into much to have negative effect/s> The other fish in the tank are fine; no problems. So that's where I am at the moment. I'll let you know what happens next. Regards, Peter Johnson <Thank you for this and future input. Might I ask, as I have been thinking about this omission last time, are you sure these two fish were not sold to you with deformed mouths? This is not an altogether uncommon situation, with the deformity arising either genetically or developmentally in the course of aquaculture, shipping. Bob Fenner>
Clown Fish not eating... anemone interaction?   8/2/06 Dear Wet Web Media, <Peter> I have two clown fish who have strangely decided to stop eating. <A bad sign> This has been going on for the past six weeks. Their mouths are constantly open <Something awry with the environment... toxicity, a lack of dissolved oxygen, abundance of CO2...> and they are both getting very thin in the face and lethargic. The following describes my tank's environment. * Temperature 27C * Specific gravity 1.021 / water changed 1/4 per fortnight <I'd keep this NSW strength, 1.025> * Negligible levels of ammonia / nitrate present * Ph normal * Other fish: bicolour angel, two small humbugs (no fighting) <Oh! And these are not mal-affected?> * three bubble tip anemones <These are clones I hope/trust> * 15kg live rock / 120L tank / good lighting * Fluval 304 filtration * Protein skimmer * Food: OSI flake, brine shrimp, marine green flake What do you think? Regards, Peter Johnson <The only "thing" that sticks out are the Entacmaea anemones... these might well have stung/poisoned the clowns. If there were something delimiting in the environment or toxic, it would have shown in the other damsels, Centropyge... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/btacompfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Clown Fish not eating (update), Pimafix     8/6/06 Dear Bob, <Peter> I've now moved my hunger striking clown fish to a 5L medical tank (heater and small filter.) I felt that I had to do something drastic because they were laying on their sides at the top of the tank. <Very bad sign> I'm using API Pimafix remedy which, aside from being a fungal treatment, also apparently has an antibiotic in it, but it's not listed on the bottle because it would have a problem getting through customs to Australia, where I live. <Is a "homeopathic" ""remedy""... made from tree leaves... has some small antimicrobial effect... not worthwhile IMO> The aquarist recommended it because it doesn't knock fish around as much as a full on antibiotic. <Nor help> Right now they're buoyant again (sort of); still not eating, but their gills don't appear to be gasping as much. The one at the back is the sicker of the two. (see attachment) I'm adding 1ml of Pimafix per day for a seven day treatment. Regards, Peter Johnson <Something else is amiss, wrong here... have you read through our accumulated FAQs files on Clownfish Disease? Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick clown fish epilogue   8/6/06 Dear Bob, <Peter> Unfortunately we lost both clown fish today. Both went at almost the same time. Do they do that? <Yes> Will one hang on for the other? <I do believe so> I wonder if there's that much symbiosis, like that of the anemone? <I would not be surprised> The kids and I are quite deflated today. However thank you for your informed and helpful responses to my questions and concerns regarding this issue. I really appreciate it. Regards, Peter Johnson <Thank you for this follow-up Peter. Do seek out tank-bred, reared individuals as replacements in time... Bob Fenner>

- Clownfish Problem 7/24/06 - Hi <Good morning.> Here is my problem. I recently removed all my fish from the display tank and I let it go fallow for a month to disrupt the life cycle of marine ich. My pair of tomato clown did not fare well in the QT tank, they didn't eat often and their fins were always against their body and obviously they weren't happy. But they are now in the display tank with their bubble tip anemone and they are eating. However, I have noticed several white spots covering their bodies, especially the male and he is swimming with his fins against his body. Whenever I place the net near their anemone they will always swim up and bite the net. I'm not sure as to the best course of action because they ARE eating and acting normally except for the presence of white spots and the male's fins clamped against his body. All water parameters check out fine. There are no environmental stressors, the only other fish and inverts in my 55 gallon tank are: 2 flame anthias 1 copperband butterfly 1 royal Dottyback 1 bi-colour blenny 1 yellow clown goby 2 peppermint shrimps 1 sifting sand star 1 red star 3 hermit crabs I realize that letting the tank go fallow doesn't guarantee the total eradication of marine ich. I live in Australia, and cleaner gobies are not available, in fact the aquariums here have not heard of them at all. Cleaner shrimps retail for $140 up which is a very pricey investment. <No kidding... seems excessive.> My friend has an established cleaner wrasse he can lend me to help clean up the ich on the fish, is this a good idea? <As long as you can get it back out, but it's been my observation that most clown fish aren't very likely to solicit cleaning services from anyone.> He has had it for over 6 months mainly because its a very small specimen and has adjusted to captivity. Also, I am thinking of purchasing a UV sterilizer to deal with the water borne ich parasites. Are UV sterilizers most effective when the ich are in their free swimming stage where they will be sucked up by the sterilizer and killed? <It's really the only time a UV filter would be effective - adding UV won't do any harm, but you should oversize the unit and make sure it runs with a dedicated pump that will allow you to tune the flow rate.> One more Q, would a midas blenny be compatible in my tank? <Do think your tank is probably full, and for certain already has other fish that would see the midas blenny as direct competition.> Thank you for your help. Albany <Cheers, J -- >

Treatment for clownfish intestinal parasite?   7/6/06 Dear Crew,     I have a pair of clownfish, Amphiprion percula- wild caught, <Why not captive produced?> purchased 10 days ago and residing in my QT. After an initial day or two of poor eating, they did a great job gobbling down pellets and frozen food. Then, after I failed to vacuum uneaten food for a couple of days, there was a brief ammonia spike (fixed with a massive water change from my main tank and a good cleaning). And then, alas, two days ago the female has gone on a hunger strike and her feces have turned clear and stringy.     I'm fairly certain she has an intestinal parasite. <I agree> No skin lesions, no respiratory distress.     Question: I'm considering treatment with Metronidazole. What do you think? <The compound of choice here, yes>     I read it should be mixed with food... but she won't eat. Any tricks to stimulate appetite? <Mmm, there are appetite stimulants that foods can be soaked in... basically these are liquid prep.s of various vitamins... But this medication can be used efficaciously added directly to the water (marines "drink" their environment)>     I'm also concerned the antibiotic could wipe out my QT biological filter... any thoughts on that? <Yes, I wouldn't>     I'm considering a separate tank for prolonged Metronidazole dips. <Good>     Part of me is considering just waiting it out... keeping water parameters perfect, freq vacuuming and water changes, and hoping she'll just come around.     I would appreciate any other input.     Sincerely,     Russell in KY. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/metranidazole.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner, in SD>

What's wrong with my clownfish?  - 06/30/06 Please help me. <Okay> I have a 50gallon tank. Ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 10 salt 0.022 <Mmm, maybe 1.022... I'd raise this...> inhabitants are two ocellaris clowns one yellow tail blue damsel one yellow watchman two green clown gobies half a dozen turbo snails For the last week or so the two clowns had been clearing one of the rocks, and chasing the other fish away from it. <Reproductive beh.>   A few days ago the female (i think) <The larger animal...> started to breath quite heavily and stopped eating and started to hover just above the rock they cleared with the male staying close by I checked the water quality and it was as above so I gave her a freshwater dip for 15 minutes <? Very stressful> this didn't seem to make any difference as the behaviour continued I thought maybe they were starting to spawn, but a few days have passed and she is now near the top of the water and struggling to stay at the top so to save her straining I have placed her in a floating breading trap and she is still not eating. Everyone else in the tank is fine. What's wrong with my clown? Angela Scotland <Not possible to state with the information presented. Perhaps something else in the way of livestock, nutrition, your set-up. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnfshbrdfaqs.htm and the linked files above, in the hope that what others have discussed will trigger some memory of goings on in your situation. Bob Fenner>

Anemones...Ich Control? Hi WWM friends, <Hello in TN> Here in TN, some friends and I have been discussing somewhat of a theoretical question (at least to us because we don't know the answer).   So, I thought I would get some expert take on this idea.  If a clown has a  protozoan, ich, etc... and is in a tank with a host anemone, do some of the  protozoa get consumed by the filter feeding anemone if it drops off of the clown  during sleeping hours for example, when the clown is most likely to be  constantly in the anemone (from my limited experience).  My clown doesn't  have ich, nor does the other people that I've talked with (we QT!!!!)  it's  just something we'd like to know.   <If the idea is using anemones for ich control, they would be of little use.  Once the cysts are imbedded in the fish, they are unaffected by most anything, including copper. When the cyst divides and bursts, the new cysts will hatch and begin looking for a host and the odds of the fish being in the anemone at this time would be 50/50 at best.  Some of the cysts may stick to the anemone, but very unlikely would be consumed by the anemone.> By the way, just purchased an Exquisite Wrasse after reading that it was a fairly hardy fish, I would like your take on that as well, as I did find some   things that said that they are not very hardy.   <They are a hardy fish once acclimated and feeding.  If you are considering getting one, make sure they are accepting/eating food at your dealer as this can be one of the acclimation problems with this fish.> Thanks so much for the time and effort that you all put into this site, it is most helpful to everyone from beginner to pro...and by that, I'm not talking about Steven Pro either!!!  Blessings to you WWM  people! <Thank you for the kind words.  James (Salty Dog)>

- Established Clown ill, input requested 6/25/06 - Greetings team! <Greetings.> I have not written in quite a while, over 2 years actually! With your sage advice I have managed to keep my 200gal reef running without problems for going on 4 years. Part of my success, I venture, is that I have not added ANY new citizens to my little world in the last 2.5 years and only the best (IMHO) salt, food and additives (sparingly). <Not easy for many, but the smart road to take.> Everything has thrived and the only losses have been due to life-span issues mainly with the clean-up crew. Now for the bad news... I have 2 sets of clowns that have lived in happiness, breeding pretty regularly; one set of Maroons and a set of Perculas. The Maroons have lived in a LTA that is now approx. 12 inches across and the Perculas have adopted a large patch of polyps as their happy home. Both sets have lived in our tank for over 3 years including a ~3 months in the QT when I got them. About 2 weeks ago I noticed the mama Percula to be acting lethargically--sort of wedging herself in a small ledge within her polyps for about 3 days. I noticed a small "wear" patch right behind her left pectoral fin. A 1cm by .5cm area where her slime was apparently worn off. Then she started wandering aimlessly for about a day. After a about a week she was at the top of the tank in various states of disorientation; head up or head down. Apparently she could not regulate her buoyancy, I also thought that she was having difficulty in seeing, obviously a guess on my part. I attempted to shepherd her back to her polyps, on one occasion, the male actually came up and rubbed up against her until she got in the patch. (That display made MY mate well up.) But she did not stay there for long. She was soon back at the top of the tank or wandering aimlessly once again. (the percula not my mate!) <Better the percula in this case I suppose.> After about 3 more days of this(!) I could not find her in the morning, I feared the worst. However she had apparently jumped into the overflow and was in the bottom corner facing the wall almost motionless. I gently scooped her up, she regained her typical feistiness, and placed her back in the main tank. Her coloration varies, sometimes very faded, and sometimes back to normal. Now, over 2 weeks into this ordeal, she is swimming along the top of the tank in her normal orientation, quite vigorously, but still seems disoriented. I tested my sight theory by putting my finger in the tank in front of her and she avoided it so she can see. <Very good.> At one point, she was in a small patch of hair algae on the back wall of the tank that my 3 tangs graze on occasion. So that is where I am now. She's swimming, more or less vigorously, all along the top of the tank. She is in proper orientation but does not seem to be able to go deeper in the tank. Her fins are a wee bit tattered, more so now that my consist of 5 "Engineer Gobys" that are about 14 inches long have taken to nipping at her. Frankly I don't understand the Engineers' actions now as they pretty much keep to their "engineering." <Well... quite frankly, fish come from a fish-eat-fish world, and for some odd (actually not odd at all) reason you never see sick or weak fish in the wild - simply because someone eats them. Your gobies are doing what ANY other fish would do - testing to see if it's time. Obviously, this doesn't help your clown much and may be one of the factors that is stressing it.> My waste parameters are all below detection, the skimmer is healthy. I perform a 40 gallon change once a week or so. The only issue I had about 6 weeks ago was a spike in phosphates which resulted in the no-good, worthless Cyano rearing their collective heads when I neglected the RO in my auto top-off system. Once I changed the carts, rinsed the membrane and dumped the make-up water tank and refilled it, the phosphate returned to nil. I did use a phosphate sponge to clean up the water for about a week. I use carbon and ChemiPure regularly to keep the water crystal clear. As you can probably tell, I am attached to mama clown, as is my family. I have not put her in the QT because I, and this is silly, but I think she's happier in her home as opposed to the hospital. <Maybe, or would she perhaps be happier to recover in peace and quiet rather than take her chances with the engineer gobies? How can we know happy in fish? It may be less obvious than you think.> When she was caught in the overflow she seemed "down" until I put her back in the tank. <I don't think the overflow is a fun place, but would have been the ideal time to place her in a nice subdued quarantine tank.> The parameters in the QT are different than the main tank, I am sure. <Then empty it and refill it from the main tank.> I credit any success I have had with my little reef to my refusal to mess with it beyond custodial duties and the stability that my actions, or lack thereof, have afforded my tank's citizens. <This does work most of the time, but sometimes you just gotta dive in and deal.> I agonize at the thought of pulling her out of her home and introducing her to a new environment, and the commensurate stress, when she needs every ounce of her resources to fight whatever is ailing her. <Again... consider how you would recover if you had a sore arm and all your friends kept punching you in that same spot... at some point you'd have to isolate yourself from your friends if there was to be any hope of your sore arm recovering.> Your input would be greatly appreciated. Regards, Walter H. <Cheers, J -- >

Fish disease ... Clown in a tiny, unstable world... not for long... Another lost aquarist leaving   6/17/06 Ok.... I have a quick question.  I have a 12 gallon mini reef tank and I had just purchased one percula clownfish (the only fish i have in there).  When I first got it, I observed it and didn't seem to have any cuts or wounds.   The next day, I saw a white patch which i think is fungus growing at the base of the dorsal fin. <Environmental...> As time went by, it started to spread.  It looks like a person pealing from a sunburn but instead it is white.  It doesn't seem to have that cotton outgrowth as fungus do.  What Can it be?  The clownfish is fine and all.  Still eating, swimming regularly.  It is not ich for sure.  Another question, If a new fish were to be added, is fungus similar to ich where it stays in the water column and infects the new fish as well?  Thank you. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and the linked files above, and further on WWM re "Small Marine Systems"... Bob Fenner>

Clownfish with injured eye, swollen   6/17/06 I have been reading on this, and I have moved my two sebae clowns from their 55 gallon tank to a 220, it took me quite a while to catch the one that now has what looks like Popeye. Everyone else in the tank, Niger trigger, dogface puffer, Foxface lo, raccoon butterfly and domino damsel are all doing fine, and have been for the past 4 months, the tank has been set up for 7 months. I have had to treat this clown before for a swollen eye, in the 55 gallon tank, not sure what caused it then, there is a lot of live rock in the tank, it is possible that it bumped into a rock while chasing it's other clown buddy around that they do daily. <The most likely original "cause" here> Any ways I have been treating with gel-Tek tetracycline for the past two days. He developed the swollen eye two days after I moved him to the bigger tank. I have a skimmer going on the tank producing good amount of green colored waste. Have tested the water and all in check per the test kit that I have used for all my saltwater tanks. I'm sure it is from chasing the poor little guy around behind rocks then being caught in the net. Should I maybe try to catch him and move him to a hospital tank and treat him with Epsom salt. <Yes, I would> The tetracycline seemed to work last time, or maybe it was just the injury running its course and healed on its own. <More likely this latter> I have noticed that the color on his face especially near his eye has turned grey, and his eye is very cloudy like last time.  I just want to make sure that I'm doing all that I can. No one in the tank bothers <Seems to... likely the Domino and trigger are...> the little guy, when he isn't eating he is chilling out near the bottom of the tank with his hurt eye next to the glass so he can keep a good eye on everyone else. Thanks for your time and any advice that you can give me, Oh I have also been soaking all food that he eats in the tetracycline first then in Zoe. <Bob Fenner> - Little Percula Clownfish Sick/Injured 6/15/06 - Hey Crew, Attached is the previous problem I had with an ammonia spike that Bob and I talked about.   Since then I have moved and re-setup the tank(55g) from scratch because I unwittingly poisoned it badly...  I set it up about 10 days ago and added a pack of "Bio-Spira" nitrifying bacteria and let it stabilize for 5-6 days before adding/moving my fish.  Last Friday I moved my fish from my apt to my house where the tank is now.  Unfortunately my QT is still at the apt...  But, since I will be upgrading to a 140g tank in a month or so I left the 55 like a QT.  No sand or rock, just bare floors and some PVC pipe in case something happened and the QT was out of commission. Yesterday was really my first day in the house and the fish weren't supervised for a few days.  I checked in briefly a few times over the weekend as I was moving, and all seemed fine. I noticed my little clown was injured.  He has somehow lost his tail and stays in the corner of the tank at the bottom.  I don't know if he got it gnawed off by another fish (doubtful) or chewed up by a powerhead/mech filters.  He is quite curious of what's in the tank.  I checked the "clownfish disease" faq's and it doesn't look to be that.  I will keep an eye on it in case it is.  He was tank raised as well.  The other fish, mainly the bigger clown, check on him occasionally but seem to ignore him most of the time (is he dead to them already???) and just swim around like usual.  Usually the little one is easily the most feisty of the four, so it was easy to notice something is wrong.  The tail seems to be missing just past the third white bar.  He is breathing heavily (probably because he is having so much trouble swimming) and won't eat.  I put him in the big plastic bowl I use for FW dips and added a little bit of brine shrimp to see if I could get him to eat. The other three are such hogs, I figured isolating him was probably the best bet to get him any food.  Could it be tail/fit rot?  I know it is hard to tell without seeing him, but have any of you heard of this? <Not specifically "this" but I've certainly seen plenty of fish with no tail.> Is recovery possible or is the injury too severe? <Recovery is possible but would be best done isolated from everyone else.> Any ideas? <Likely some aggression during the move.> I was thinking of putting him in a fish trap/container and leaving it in the main tank or putting up a screen to isolate him. <Would do better to be alone in a separate tank.> I have some formalin if it does turn out to be Brooklynellosis. <Doubt it is this.> Water conditions:  temp 78F, spg 1.025, ph 8.2, amm 0, nitrite 0. Didn't test for nitrate.   Water is still a little cloudy.  Could it still be settling still? <Could...> I used Instant Ocean instead of Oceanic this time! <I prefer the Instant Ocean salt over the Oceanic salt.> The other fish seem to be ok.  The tang still looks a little stressed, should I add more cover? <As much as possible.> Thanks, Jeremy <Cheers, J -- >

- Little Percula Clownfish Sick/Injured, Follow-up 6/16/06 - When I came home last night, he had already passed on. <I am sorry for your loss.> But I do appreciate the response.  It happens... Time to move on and go from here. I do think it is aggression by the other fish. <I agree.> I noticed the bigger Percula had some nipped fins.  She has been known to incite it on occasion and I am sure taking her buddy away didn't help.   Thanks for your help. <Cheers, J -- >

Re: Fish with Popeye is getting better  - 06/07/06 Hi Bob,    <Tammy>   Thanks very much for your advice. I maintained the antibiotics and the Epsom salts and after a day of lowering the specific gravity, my clownfish's eye drastically reduced! It appears to be continually improving....looks like he is on his way to a full recovery, with his eye intact....I was worried       Thanks again,   Tammy <Congratulations on your success. Bob Fenner>

Goosing/Loosing my Percula Clowns... too much money, too little knowledge   6/1/06 I have recently purchased 2 Percula clowns good size and health and also a Carpet Anemone <... why? Not easily kept...> but the clowns were very reluctant to go anywhere near it and after a week and a half I found both clowns floating in my tank looking paralyzed !!! <... surprised?> all my other fish are fine but my local aquatics shop suggested that the anemone has stung the clown and was refusing to bond with them ??? <Maybe, sort of... they might have been trying to "get acquainted" out of fear/stress, challenge from the resident fishes... Were these clowns tank-bred?> as a new comer to marine I am after any assistance possible, <Best to research before... not look for help after...> I also purchased another 2 clowns a week later and the same happened to them but again the rest of my fish are fine??? <...> any assistance would be greatly appreciated, tank is a 180 ltr Juwel Vision with 25kg live rock all water is fine and currently have 3 shrimps/ 2 yellow tail damsels/ 1 copperband & regal tang <...> all doing fine. Regards Harvey <Harvey... please become acquainted with our site, WWM... the indices, Google search tool... search/read re all these animals Selection, Compatibility, Systems... Stop just buying and killing them. Bob Fenner>

Re: Loosing my Percula Clowns - 06/01/2006 I thought I was writing for help and assistance not to be patronized and receive nearly zero assistance,  I had asked allot of questions at various aquatics shops before I purchased the clowns and was told they would be a good fish to add to a new tank, I am not just buying and killing the fish as it upsets me greatly that someone would suggest this, <... is so...> I have spent many hours changing water ensuring perfect condition for my fish and all the other fish and inverts are flourishing, <Good> have you thought of changing your Q&A section to Q&P from your email I think this would be better, you have given me NO help at all just suggested I have too much money and don't know what I'm doing, In life GOOD HELPFUL people pass on knowledge. <... read where you were referred to. BobF>

Clownfish... wild-collected? Parasitized? Environmental issue/s? Not possible to tell with the info. provided    5/24/06 Hello I have a clown question for ya. I purchased a cinnamon clown 3 days ago and I have just noticed the its scales seem to be peeling throughout its body is seems injured or sick, kinda looks like skin is rotting. Any idea of the problem and maybe a solution!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks Chris P.S your web info is fantastic <Please use it: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and the linked files at top. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish... white feces not eating   5/21/06 Hi Crew, A week ago I bought two lovely Percs <Tank-bred?> both in excellent condition and promptly placed them in my QT. For the entire week they barely left one corner  of the tank and refused all foods. I called the shop from where the fish were purchased for advice and I was told to move them immediately to my main tank   because the isolation was unsettling them therefore stopping them from eating.   <...> They have now been in the main tank for three days but the problem continues, they swim in one place constantly, still won't eat and now the female has started producing long white stringy feces that seem to take a long time to detach. Otherwise, the fish seem healthy and don't appear to be losing any  weight or to be under any amount of stress. Thank you once again for your  advice. Sincerely John Fletcher <Much to say and ask here... Let's have you cut to the proverbial chase and read: http://wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm and the linked files at top, particularly the FAQs on Clownfish Systems, Disease... Bob Fenner>

Perks with Perks - 05/16/2006 Whaddup Crew. The problem I have is this, I have a 55 gallon setup which has been cycled and running for approximately six months. This is my first go at saltwater and I absolutely love it so far except I am having trouble keeping Percs alive. I have not had any trouble with any of my other fish and my water parameters are fine. I am starting to think that all the trouble I am having is my fault for I find that many problems that one has can be solved by simply looking into a mirror. Now that being said  I Know my biggest problem is that I do not have a QT tank; however I am setting one up this week. The issue that I am having is that I buy the clowns and within 2 days one of them die, and within a few days to a week after that the other one dies. Now from everything I have read I think the problem may be Brooklynella (forgive the misspelling). They always look good at the LFS and by the time I get them home, and acclimated and put them in the display, (remember I haven't got a qt yet *smack on the hand*) one of them is sickly looking and begins the whole I ain't gonna eat thing and then starts rapid breathing and swimming at the top of the tank. There is no visible signs of grains or white specks or anything like that, the only visible sign is they begin bleaching out and loosing fin edges. And this always begins to happen soon after placed in the tank. I don't know if it is a problem with the LFS considering that they have come from 2 different stores. (one of which my brother is the manager, don't hold it against him lol). This has happened four separate times now, and I purchased 2 more this weekend and of course one of them died, and the other is starting to look bad and refusing food. I have to water until at least tomorrow to start the qt tank and I have yet another problem. NONE of my LFS's have Formalin if the problem is Brooklynella, nor do they know anything about Brooklynella (which doesn't come as a surprise to me). So after the QT setup where should I start. Thanks Jeremy <<Jeremy:  New wild caught clowns can be very difficult to acclimate to a tank.  The fact that you do not use a QT makes the problem that much worse.  Many wild caught clowns will starve to death rather than eat prepared foods.  Once you set up your QT, I would suggest buying 2 clowns (if you spend the extra money to buy captive raised, they will already be accustomed to eating prepared foods).  To go through the proper QT, you should buy a refractometer so you can adjust the SG slowly down to 1.009.  Leave the clowns in the QT for 6 weeks at 1.009 and then you can slowly raise the SG back up to where your main tank is.  During the time, your clowns are by themselves in the QT, they will hopefully, eat, get to know one another and adjust to being in a tank.  After that, it's easier to introduce both of them to an existing tank.  Regarding feeding them, when you first bring them home, try hatching a batch of baby brine shrimp.  It takes one day and is really easy to do.  Even the most finicky clown will have a hard time resisting live food.  Once you have established that your clowns will eat something, then you can gradually expand your offerings and move them on to other foods (such as frozen brine shrimp, freeze dried brine shrimp and finally flake food, etc).  Most finicky clowns can go from live baby brine shrimp to just about anything within a few days.  The trick is to get them used to regularly eating something.  Best of luck,  Roy>> >Thank you, now to answer the other part of the question that I probably didn't clarify enough. Should I use any kind of medication during this time and also, not saying that I do but if I ever would  have a problem with Brooklynella and I need some formalin, exactly where can I get it if needed, or is their an alternative. Once again thank you very much for your help Jeremy <<Jeremy:  Here is a link to lots of info http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm  I'm not sure where you live; but, if you call around, many of the better LFS either carry the meds or know where to order them.  Best of luck,  Roy>>

Common clown little hairs?  - 05/10/2006 Hi, I have a 4ft tank that has been up and running for twelve months, I have two common clowns, tank bred which I've had from the beginning and one of them now has some little hairs sticking out of his face near his mouth, I can't see any other problems, no spots or anything. I can't seem to find what this is on your site, do you have any idea ? <Perhaps a worm or protozoan of some sort... can you send a pic along? Bob Fenner> Thanks so much for your help. Martin Cambridge, England

Clownfish... likely env. dis.  - 5/8/2006 I have a 29g reef tank, I had/have a black clown, an orange perc, and a Lemonpeel angelfish. <... not enough room for this species...> The Lemonpeel had visible ick so I got a blood shrimp to take care of the problem, well, a week later that died. Before that My two clowns started pairing up, the male (orange perc) came down with some sort of disease, I thought It was ick, but he just kept swimming erratically, breathing heavy, not eating and in the QT tank I put him in he would just swim at the bottom and not eat, towards the end his fins looked frayed. The black clown is now acting similar. It has a coating on the body that looks like an orange-ish color. fins are starting to fray and swimming erratically, no heavy breathing and is still readily eating (doesn't want to eat in the morning though) I took the black clown out of my display tank and gave a freshwater dip for about 10 minutes, then placed in my QT Tank and treated with CopperSafe and MelaFix. My question is, what can I do to make sure this clown wont die? Also, Is it Marine Velvet? Clownfish Disease? All the pics I've seen look nothing like what my fish has. <... no info. re water quality tests, testing... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and the many Clownfish FAQs files linked above... you'll "get it"... Bob Fenner>

Re: Clownfish... likely env. dis.           5/9/06     Thank you for the response Bob,    <Welcome>   I didn't know my tank was too small for the Lemonpeel, My fault. Anyways, My water parameters were all 0. I have been doing weekly 10g water changes and vacuuming of the substrate. I take my water to my LFS to get it tested. So I am not sure what sort of testing supplies they use. <FWIW, I'd have my own kits (samples change with time, transport), and learn how to use, what the results imply...> I do have a frogspawn, trumpet, mushrooms and green star polyps in my main tank along with shrimp and snails all have shown no signs of stress. The firefish I have in there is also healthy and showing no signs of stress. This morning the black clown was looking a little better and eating spectrum Thera A with Garlic Xtreme. Should I go a water change and slowly implement Hyposalinity in my QT tank? <... please see WWM re this technique. Bob Fenner>

Sick Clown? env.    4/25/06 Hello everyone, I have a 12 gallon fish only tank. It has a crushed coral floor, a b&w damsel, percula clown and a marble blenny. <... too mis-mixed, crowded...> I have checked all my levels so far and they all seem normal with exception of the hydrometer reading 1.026 (I just did a water change this morning to help lower it); <Do check, match old/new before changing out...> ammonia = 0; nitrites = 0; and nitrates = 10. The problem seems to be with my clownfish. He eats very well, I mix up the food between plankton, marine flakes and frozen fish foods. During the day I keep the light on from about 6:30 am to 5pm, at that time he seems to stay at the bottom of the tank almost motionless and sometimes leaning onto his/her side almost burrowing in the sand until there is what looks like a crater around him. Once the light is off, he retorts to the corner of the tank and swims upright near the filter. He seems to repeat this routine daily. <Not atypical> I have had him for about three months now. He did the same action when I first got him but I treated him with quick cure to get rid of ich and he seemed to do great. I have noticed a few "bumps" appear under his skin and he seems to open his mouth rather wide at times. What should I do? Is he sick? Lonely? What should I do? <... you need a larger system... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/part2.htm scroll down to the bottom, read re... Bob Fenner>

Clown on bottom   4/8/06 Hi crew, <Debi> I am worried about my clown fish.  I have two true percula.  They are alone except for snails, crabs and one sleeper goby.  I have only had them four days and the first two they acted fine.  When they were put in the tank there were two yellow tail damsels that immediately started to pick on them so I spent one evening trying to get the damsels out and the next day finally had to resort to calling the LFS to come and get them.  They came out and literally had to dismantle the tank in order to finally get them and by that time the water was so cloudy from debris from the rocks and such that I really couldn't even see the fish.  I was worried that this would be really bad for the clowns and asked them about this but was assured that it would  be fine and the water would clear up pretty quickly.  That was about six in the evening and by the next morning the water was looking much better, basically normal.  I was still concerned about the clowns being so new and all and maybe getting too stressed by all the upheaval so soon after arriving, but that day, which was yesterday, they both seemed to be okay. This morning though around 36 hours after this episode of damsel catching one has begun to stay at the bottom of the tank in the back corner sort of staring at the corner seam, (like he is in time out or something). <Not real unusual for Clowns... and they are as you state "very new", and have been stressed...> He is even sort of laying on the sand on his side occasionally.  The other one seems fine and will every now and then go over and nudge the one in the corner and then the corner one moves around a little but then goes right back to what he was doing.  The first day they were both swimming and playing all around the tank and around the top, now neither are doing that. <This system is cycled?> I just tried to feed them and both ate some.  The one in the corner came to the front corner and got some food and then went right back.  He doesn't look sick that I can see, the only thing I can see that is different than the other is that his little fin on top is down if he isn't swimming, when he is swimming it comes up.  If I go over to the corner he will respond and swim and inch or two up or over but then right back to the corner.  All my water parameters are good, PH 8.0, Ammonia 0 (I think), it was hard to tell if there might have been a tinge of green in it, but if there was if was very minimal, Nitrite 0, Nitrate between 0 and .25.   <I see> Could he just be stressed out from all the previous days activity or does he sound sick? <Likely mostly the former> Should I just wait and see or is there something I can do to help him? <Leave them be for now. More trouble to fool with potentially> By the way, these fish are very close to the same size, very hard to tell them apart, probably about two inches nose to tail so I have no idea what there gender is. <You will soon... one will grow much more quickly, become a/the female. See WWM for much more. Bob Fenner> Thanks in advance for your help.

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