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FAQs about the Diseases of Clownfishes 3

Related FAQs: Clownfish Disease 1, Clownfish Disease 2, 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

Velvet or Ich? what to do with clownfish Hello Bob, <<Actually, it's JasonC today...>> I am new to the saltwater hobby and I knew absolutely nothing before I set up a 55 gallon tank. I set it up with an undergravel, with 2 powerheads and a canister filter down below with about 30 lbs of live rock. Everything cycled fine and when my levels were good I added a hermit crab and a week later a maroon clownfish, then a week after that a purple tang whom I am guessing was the culprit with velvet. Unfortunately I hadn't found your incredible website or your book before I started and added fish and no one at the LFS ever mentioned quarantine. <<Odd... is a good opportunity to sell some more stuff.>> Well, I have searched over numerous FAQ's and read your book over the past month and feel a little more intelligent about what I am doing. Needless to say it was a little too late, I now have what I think is Velvet or Ich, not sure what the difference looks like. <<Ich presents itself as white dots, like someone shook salt on the fish - if it looks more like the fish was dipped in salt, then this is Oodinium and a little more serious. Velvet presents itself as a whitish sheen on the fish - like being velvet-coated.>> It first appeared on my Purple tang. I pulled the tang and did a freshwater dip with Methylene blue and put her in a hospital tank which I now have set up. She looked worse the next day so I treated her with CopperSafe, her breathing slowed down and the spots seemed to fade, although they are still there. <<Hmm... you probably could have waited a little while. None of these treatments take instant affect and need time to 'do' anything.>> In my main tank I have the maroon clown, who only showed a couple of tiny spots, like salt specs. So I got a cleaner shrimp and 3 neon gold gobies, I put one of the gobies in with the tang in the hospital and the rest I put in the main tank with my clown fish and hermit crab. <<Oh... well, you should have quarantined the gobies too... just because they are cleaners doesn't mean they don't need cleaning, so to speak.>> That was 4 days ago, while the clown did not get anymore specs, it appears that the gobies are covered with specs. Everything in the hospital tank is looking good, that goby has no spots and I have seen him cleaning the tang who has a very big appetite and is breathing regularly. <<Good signs.>> I didn't know what to do so I pulled the gobies and put them in the hospital tank as well. I had read that clowns were sensitive to copper so I didn't want to pull it out and put it in the hospital tank but I called the guy at my LFS and he said he keeps copper in all of his water including the clowns and that they are hardy and do fine in it, that is where I got the clown in the first place, so I put him in the hospital tank as well so that I could allow the main tank to go fallow for a month or two. <<Hopefully it's not too crowded in that quarantine tank.>> I left the cleaner shrimp and the crab in the main tank. Will the parasites die off with no fish but with the live rock, crab and shrimp in the main tank after a month or two? <<Most of the parasites should die, yes... those that remain should be manageable provided the fish you put in are in good health. It is really hard to eliminate 100% of these problems, but more possible to keep it under control.>> And how long can I leave the maroon clown in the hospital tank with the copper? <<A month or so should do... needs to be at least 15 days to be effective.>> I was hoping to leave the copper in long enough so that the tang and gobies were cured but I don't know how long that would be. <<I would stop treatment after 15 days... see how things are going.>> Should I take it out after 10 days no matter what? <<Again... anything less than 15 days copper treatment is likely a waste of time... go the full 15.>> I don't have any other place to keep the clownfish. <<No worries.>> I don't want to keep her in the main tank as she will continue the cycle of the parasite by being a host. <<You are correct.>> How can I tell when the copper has killed the parasites, are the lighter colored specs scars or still parasites that I see on the tang? <<That is correct... perhaps just give them each [tang, clown, and gobies] a pH-adjusted, freshwater dip before returning them to the tank. You can be pretty sure that if you use the copper as directed that after 15 days, most everything in the parasite realm will be dead.>> How come the gobies have the parasites now, do they not pick them off each other? <<They can, but typically parasites are like fleas on a dog, you might see one or two but there are a ga-zillion more hiding in the bed and the carpet. They reproduce well, and are already doing so when you see the spots.>> I am doing small water changes everyday on the hospital tank, adding copper to the water change to keep the level the same. I am also adding vitamins Zo?and Zoecon to the water. <<Sounds good.>> I am slowly reducing the specific gravity to get to 1.017 and I raised the temperature to 82 in both tanks. <<I wouldn't drop the salinity in the quarantine tank if I were you, will create more stress that is it worth and you can be assured the copper will work in time.>> Now I am wondering what else can I do. <<Be patient.>> Should I have taken the live rock and the shrimp and the crab out of the main tank and treated that instead of using the hospital, <<No.>> will the clown die in the CopperSafe, <<I don't think so.>> will the main tank be safe to put the fish, providing that they survive back in to after 2 months? <<Yes, chances are very good.>> Should I reverse what I have done and take the live rock and crustaceans out and put the fish back in and treat the main tank, <<No.>> would I have better chance of getting rid of the parasite that way instead of leaving it for a month? <<No... if you do that, you'd be better off starting from scratch and I don't think you need to do take such drastic measures at this point.>> Sorry for so many questions, I did try to get the answers first by looking over the website, I guess I just need some definitive answers to my specific questions to feel better about what I am doing. <<No worries.>> For the future I will always quarantine for at least 2 weeks but for right now I am just trying to save my 2 fish that I ignorantly put in my newly cycled tank without QT. <<Now you've learned a valuable lesson that we each have learned... usually the same hard way.>> Please help me. Thank you so much, Kylee <<You are quite welcome. Cheers, J -- >>

Maroon Clown fish Hey Guys <<And hello to you, JasonC here...>> I have a 2.5-inch maroon clown fish that has started to get a chalky white film on his body and has been rubbing its self on the rocks frequently. <<Uhh-Ohh...>> There are 5 other fish in the tank that are not showing any sign of the same symptoms. My questions are what do you think this is from if it is an ailment how do I cure it and do you think it could spread to the other species in the tank? <<Well... clownfish in captivity quite often come down with a funk known as Clownfish Disease, of all things... it's rather common and also quick to take effect and often doesn't bode well for the fish. You will need to take rapid action to deal with this if you want to save the fish. Do read the following URLs which will detail the problem and course of action: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm As to your other question about the problem spreading... there is always that chance. Don't waste any time dealing with this and quarantine this fish.>> Oh also this fish's stripes have not yet changed to a gold color like the guys at the fish store said they would is this a problem or is this fish supposed to have white stripes? <<I have seen these fish in both white and yellow strips - not 100% sure why this is, but my guess is it will depend on the broodstock if captive raised or perhaps the region it was collected if not.>> Thanks Jason <<Cheers, J -- >>
Re: Maroon Clown fish
Hello again, <<And hello to you...>> I had read about marine itch both symptoms and cures it was my first suspect for this situation. "I do not want to argue with your expertise". However this fish is not showing signs of this disease he acts more then fine other then the white chalky tone and his persistent rubbing. <<The chalky tone and persistent scratching are both what I would consider serious preliminary symptoms. The ball is in your court now.>> There is no sigh of him gasping or staying towards the top of the tank, in fact he is very persistent in staying in his territory and not letting any other fish in the area. The only time that he comes near the top of the tank is when I feed flakes to the lot of them. So would the diagnosis still lean towards marine itch? <<I was never leaning toward Ich [Cryptocaryon irritans], but towards Clownfish disease [Brooklynella hostilis] which is a combination of problems of which Ich is not one of them, but still parasitic.>> Jason <<Cheers, J -- >>

Tomato Clown woes Good morning, I purchased a 3-4" Tomato Clown from my LFS about a week ago. My LFS store held her (I assume, based on size) for me 10 days previous to that, and I checked her several times during that period. <That is a good procedure, but not a replacement for a stay in a proper quarantine tank.> She looked healthy and ate voraciously when I took her home. After adding her to my 75 gallon, she seemed healthy, active, and ate well (Omega One flakes and Ocean Nutrition Formula One frozen). However, about 3-4 days ago I noticed a few patches of a white/gray sheen on her skin/scales. It was only noticeable when viewed from certain angles. She continued to eat well and remained active. I watched her carefully for the next day, and the sheen turned into "rough" looking scales, with a white-ish color. Thinking that it might be water quality issues (although all tests looked good: 0 NH4, 0 NO2, 0-2 NO3, pH 8.2, salinity 1.0215, Alk 3.2 meq, Ca 350), I did a 20% water change. It was nearing time for a scheduled change anyway. Unfortunately, things have gotten worse. This morning she seemed interested in food, but just mouthed it and spit it out, and the white/rough patches look larger. She also seems less active and is holding her fins semi-closed. After reading through your FAQs, I was immediately drawn to Brooklynella, but most accounts of that suggest that the fish would have been dead by now. <It is a fast progressing disease.> Are they any good web photos of a Brooklynella infection? <You maybe able to find a picture somewhere, but by that time it maybe too late. Your description definitely seems parasitic in nature, either Brooklynella or Amyloodinium. Both can be effectively treated with Formalin baths and removal to a separate quarantine/hospital tank. Please search through our website, www.WetWebMedia.com for more details on the suggested treatment.> I'd appreciate your diagnoses and treatment advice. Thanks very much, John H. <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

True Percula Clowns Good Morning WWM Crew, I purchased 2 true percula clownfish (tank raised) on Saturday, and I currently have them in my 10 gallon quarantine tank before I put them in my 75 gallon tank with 100lbs live rock. I noticed a few white spots on one of them yesterday morning, so last night I started copper treatment with Cupramine. I lost 2 clownfish a few months ago to Cryptocaryon, so I want to get this treated quickly. I'm also in the process of lowering the spg to 1.018 and the temp is at 82. Is there anything else I should do? <Many other things you could do depending on your perception of the severity of the infection; freshwater dips, formalin baths, daily water changes, medicated foods, etc.> Should I be doing freshwater dips as well? <They are helpful.> I gave them a 5 minute FW dip with Methylene blue before they went in the Q tank. They seem to be eating fine so far (tetra flake and formula II flake soaked in Selcon). Also, I just noticed my copper test kit reads in mg/l, is there a way to convert this to ppm? <Due to the simple beauty of the metric system, ppm and mg/l are the same thing.> Thanks for your help! Dave Indianapolis, IN <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Perc Clown Death - Disease identification Hi Robert, Our 2 Perc clowns died on the weekend. I have looked through the clown FAQ and have been unable to get a clear diagnosis on what caused their deaths. We have had the 2 clownies happily living in a Magnifica for about 6 months. About 3 weeks ago the Magnifica started to lose its colour and began to shrink. <Oh oh... loss of the Anemone is likely tied to your Clownfish loss... either directly or serially... something "wrong" with water quality contributing to the anemone loss, and/or the anemone dying causing declining water quality, loss of the clowns> At about the same time the clownies stopped going into the anemone and started trying to go into other corals. They then started to get a light white furry look on their skin and it also looked wrinkly. All other aspects of their behaviour remained normal (eating & moving). Then the white stripes began to peel off. About 48 hours after this the male was dead. 12 hours later the female was dead. She was eating fine the night before she died. I missed a water change last month and the Nitrate got up to 60, however all other water parameters were good. All the other fish are fine. What could have caused this. <(!, sixty ppm?)... "Poor water quality"... need to make more frequent water changes, look into what is allowing your nitrates to be this high. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm, the links, on to the sections on water changing, water quality, here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm re what disease is... Bob Fenner> Regards, Michael.

Pogo is swimming funny... Hi to Bob, Anthony, Steve...whoever's answering this time!' <all three of in the same room this morning... Anthony on this keyboard> I've got a pair of tank-raised false Percs, which I've had for about six months now. They've been wonderful--no issues. That is, until now. The last couple of days, I noticed my female (Pogo) has hardly been eating. I thought she was acting funny too, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Then tonight it hit me. She seems to have lost the ability to swim forward. She can go up and down (with a struggle), but that's about it. If a piece of food comes near her, she appears to try to get it, but is unable. Physically she looks great. She's about two inches long, brightly colored, no spots or discolorations anywhere. She doesn't seem to be gasping or anything, but she has been sleeping at the top of the water lately (which freaked me out--I thought she was dead). Please reply as soon as you get the chance. I know you have a lot of people to help, but if she's sick, I need to do something right away. My Percs are the reason I got into SW in the first place, and I love them. Thanks in advance! Jodie <Jodie... symptomatically, no specific pathogen or ailment is indicated although some sort of difficulty or infection with the swim bladder is possible. We don't want to medicate a sick or stressed fish without having a fairly specific notion of the nature of the ailment. In this case I would suggest that you dose 1 Tablespoon of Epsom salt to the tank per 5 gallons of water and observe the fish's behavior for three to five days. Feeding medicated flake food to exclusion for the next 10-14 days may be of some mild help. Unfortunately, until we see specific evidence of an otherwise addressable condition, it would be best not to medicate blindly. If she seems to decline, do remove to a quiet quarantine tank. Best regards, Anthony>

Ill Clownfish <<Greetings... >> I recently have had quite a time with keeping my water quality at it's best after a filter incident. <<Filter incident?>> All of my levels have come back to proper ranges except I am still battling the PH (by adding buffer to it) to keep it high enough. <<Ahh... you might want to do further investigation to find the item that is pulling the pH down - a pH less than 8.2 will cause stress on your fish.>> Anyway, my main concern is My clownfish after this incident has gone into shock. She literally hid and refused to eat for a week. She finally came out today looking terrible! <<As would you or I if we didn't eat for a week. Very stressful.>> She is covered in what looks like dead skin. One of her eyes is cloudy, and she still refuses to eat. She seems to have regained her strength, and is back in her favorite place (surfing the water currents) but she looks unbelievably bad. I have read a few articles on Brooklynella and it seems to be about 50/50 close to the disease. The main points I read were Lethargy, difficult respiration, heavily parasitized gills, a faded appearance, sloughing off the skin followed by apparently damaged areas where the skin has sloughed off. As I said my fish was lethargic and hiding but seems to be recovering from that, her respiration appears normal, her gills appear normal. She does seem faded, and she appears to either have a slime coat or sloughing off the skin, but no apparent areas of damage afterward. She looks white under the aquarium lighting, but when I shine the a flashlight on her, the white is not visible, just the loose skin or slime. I am offering mainly flake food and Mysis shrimp for her food, is there anything I should do to hopefully help her out. I am very attached to her. <<My percula clown is really fond of frozen Formula One. You might try that and a couple other things too. While I'm not a big fan of this as a continuing source of food, you might want to try some live brine shrimp (rinsed off) to generate some eating interest...>> The tank is a 72 gallon reef setup, the only other inhabitants are a damsel, two small corals, and several snails and crabs. the damsel seems unaffected. <<Those damn damsels - they are really a little too bullet-proof sometimes. It sounds to me like your clownfish is in a downward spiral. Whether or not the fish will recover, I cannot say but recovery is certainly not out of the question. One of the largest, and unseen causes of these types of degenerative problems is stress. Prolonged exposure to stress will put the fish's immune system on the back burner, and once that's done all invaders both bacterial and parasitic have free reign over your fish. Once in this situation, it is very difficult to reverse the problem, but is not impossible. Clownfish are among those that deteriorate pretty quickly and quite visibly as you've observed. You'd be best advised to find the source of the low pH and start there as this is for certain a source of stress. Then you can move on to specific treatments for the clown if the symptoms persist. Give these URLs and the FAQs beyond a read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/toxictk.htm >> Thank you for your time-Kelly <<You are quite welcome. Cheers, J -- >>
Re: Ill Clownfish
I don't have any experience with shrimp, cleaner shrimp perhaps eat the parasites? or is there another reason to add one? <<That's it exactly and also why they're called 'cleaner shrimp'. Fish will actually idle up to them and allow the shrimp to pick off things you and I can't see. Here's an article on WWM about them: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/shrimp/cleaner.htm >> Also, is there any parasite treatment I can add to my tank (invert safe) that would aid in taking down this parasite population. <<None that I would recommend - the words 'reef safe' are typically a contradiction when printed on a bottle of medication.>> I have been told repeatedly that none of the invert safe treatments work at all. <<Well, they work on the parasites, but are not reef safe - kills the inverts.>> I was hoping however since there are no hosts in the tank, that they would have a better chance, I would prefer to get rid of as many of these little buggers as possible. <<no worries. Be patient and let the tank go without fish for five to six weeks and you'll be doing well.>> Are there any invert friendly treatments that work at all? <<There are many, un-friendly treatments that work.>> And do water changes aid or hurt the parasites? <<neither... water changes won't affect the parasites.>> Thanks Again! -Kelly <<Cheers, J -- >>
Re: Ill Clownfish
Thanks for your quick response. I recently have had quite a time with keeping my water quality at it's best after a filter incident. <<Filter incident?>> Basically I was told at a pet store when switching from a simple BioWheel and skimmer combination to a wet/dry sump style filter with protein skimmer built in, to wait for a day with all the filters running, before taking them off, instead of weeks like I should have. The tank clouded terribly like someone had poured powder into it. The worst parts were my Ammonia went as high as .04 and PH dropped as low as 7.8 and the few fish I had ,save the clown and the damsel, died. My corals seemed greatly affected which struck me as unusual, and had me worried enough that some sort of pollutant had made its way in the tank that I added small bags of Chemipure to my filters (when I returned them to the tank, luckily I had moved them to another cycled tank, than just emptying them out and setting them to the side). My corals looked so bad I after a few days moved them to that other tank and they seem to be recovering. Since then, the water has cleared and the levels are back to normal with the exception of the PH dropping. <<Wow... that is quite the 'filter incident.' You might consider firing the store that gave you that advice if you haven't already.>> > I am still battling the PH (by adding buffer to > it) to keep it high enough. <<Ahh... you might want to do further > investigation to find the item that is pulling the pH down - a pH less than > 8.2 will cause stress on your fish.>> I am at a loss to figure that out, any suggestions? <<What is the pH of both your fresh water and the water once you add the salt mix?>> My first thought was maybe more oxygen in the water would help, so I added a bubble wand, and it held steady for several weeks before this incident. I don't believe I am an over feeder, and I can't find anything else. I may be having more than one problem in a row, more than an overwhelming single cause. <<It would certainly seem that way.>> Anyway, my main concern is My clownfish. I lost her today, seems to be every time I find someone to give me advice it is too late. <<Ohh... I'm sorry to read of that loss :( >> > it seems to be about 50/50 close to the disease. to continue on my overall problem, I have also lost a tiny percula and a pair of pink skunks over the past few months. All looked pale when they died, which was very quickly, but showed no other signs of disease and they all were eating and acting healthy... they just seemed to die with little explanation. With all of those fish the water quality was fine, making me lean more towards a disease or parasite. <<Quite possible - are you quarantining these fish before you add them to the main display?>> After examining the dead percula today I also noticed what appeared to be a lot of damage around her gills on one side. <<Not good.>> Anyway, what I am curious is if it was a parasite/disease or some such, can it remain in the system on the damsel or with no host? (this reminds me, I forgot to mention in the first e-mail I also have a sebae anemone, that seems quite unaffected by all of the conditions, and for a while hosted the pink skunks.) If so how can I be sure before adding more fish (of course not until the system has been steady for a good while) it is gone? <<Well - now might be the time. It sounds as if your tank has a good sized colony of parasites, and by the description of gill damage, Oodinium would be a good and usual suspect. The best way to deal with this problem would be to remove the damsel and allow the system to run fallow for five or six weeks - no fish. You need to remove the damsel mostly to remove host possibilities, not that the damsel might get sick, which it sounds like it is quite immune, but still could be your Typhoid Mary, so to speak. The fallow period should drop the parasite numbers to a more manageable level. You might want to add a cleaner shrimp to the system, and the anemone can stay too. But no fish... and quarantine anything new you plan to bring in. It will give you the chance to eliminate these problems before they happen. Here's Bob's article on the subject: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm >> Thank you again for your time, you have no idea how reassuring it is when faced with such problems to have someone to help. -Kelly <<Glad I could be of service. Cheers, J -- >>

Sick clownfish Hello guys, how are you? <very well with all hopes that you are the same> Maybe you remember me...... Venezuelan Marine Tank? <yes, my friend> I have a 25 gal. eclipse 2 with a Fluval 304 an some light modifications. The water quality is perfect, and the first clown (very juvenile) I added is eating very good and the lateral line that was a little like sore.. maybe HLLE is getting better. It has adapted very well to a Condy anemone. Yesterday I added another Tomato Clown and today in the morning it has like a wound with a cotton like stuff covering it.? <hard to tell from pictures, but true fungus are VERY rare. It is more likely to be a viral infection like Lymphocystis or something else. Do send better pic if possible> This new clown is about double size of the one that was already there. So I don't think the juvenile clown did that, and I haven't seen them fighting. <agreed> What could this be? some fungus? contagious? I don't have a treatment tank (I know it's important, but I just can't.) Is there a way of treating this thing in the main tank? <alas...this and all fish should be quarantined first before being added to any aquarium. A hospital tank would be best now> Maybe some human anti-fungal? <actually, a combination like "Quick Cure" and an antibiotic like Furazolidone or Nitrofurazone should help. They are a good all-purpose combination> Thank you for your time, my friends. <our pleasure. With kind regards, Anthony>

Clownfish problem Hi my g/f has a clownfish in her 6ft marine tank with a few other fish: trigger, domino damsel, blue tang shrimp, etc. It has formed a mucus layer over its eyes and doesn't seem to be able to see.  <Not good. How long has she had this fish?> It just sits in the Anemone all day and breathes heavily some times. Someone seems to think it has scratched its eyes and has formed the mucus because of this but will be blind. She is trying to hand feed it because it cant see the food but is having trouble. Help. <Not likely as simple as scratching its eyes. Please read over the Clownfish sections on WetWebMedia.com... starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm on to the FAQs about their diseases and hence to the sections on treatments. Bob Fenner> Thanks.

Help confirming fish disease. Dear WWM Crew, My wife and I recently received an order from a mail order company containing a few corals and a pair of Percula clowns. We placed them in their own 10 gallon tank to "wait and see". Well our luck would have it (mostly bad) that one of the clowns broke out with something I believe may be marine velvet yesterday and is now totally covered with a white film, it's dorsal fins are clamped down against its body, and it's swimming, although active, appears odd.  <Does look like Velvet, Amyloodiniumiasis> Its Percula partner now also has a small patch of this film on one of its pectoral fins but otherwise appears normal. I'm enclosing a picture in the hopes that you can help identify the disease. I am planning to quarantine these two fish apart from the corals and begin with freshwater dips and lower the SG in their holding vessel as well as upping the temperature a bit to the range of 80 degrees. Please let me know what you think of my plan of action. As always, your opinions are highly regarded and appreciated. Sincerely, Mike Frazer Certified Percula Killer. <This is also very likely a wild-collected specimen... Not nearly as tough as the captive-produced ones... Quite often have real troubles with cumulative stress, epizootic diseases... and really should only be attempted by folks who have a "special need/desire" (e.g. to culture, harden them for aquaculture, set-up biotopic exhibits...). Do read through WetWebMedia.com re marine diseases, treatments... and Clownfishes. Bob Fenner>

Sick Clown, Brooklynella now after further observation, I've concluded that my poor clown's got Brooklynella. in which case what's your preferred treatment - dips, copper, other??? from my reading I understand that the grim reaper could come very fast. <Possibly but doubtful that this is Brooklynella... Please use the search tool on the bottom of our homepage: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ with the genus name... and read about this disease and its hosts, mainly the Clownfishes. Bob Fenner>

Percula Clowns Dear WWM Crew: <Cheers> I was hoping one of you could help me out with a problem I've had with tank raised Percula clowns. I've tried two pairs, but have not been successful in keeping them alive. The first pair was entirely my fault. I didn't quarantine them, and they died pretty much overnight. Since then, I've read your website (daily for over a year) and started using a Q-tank.  <excellent!> The last pair I bought two weeks ago. They did well for about 4 or 5 days. Then they stopped eating.  <did they show stringy white feces= internal parasites?> I was feeding Tetra Flake and Formula 2. About midway through the second week of quarantine, I noticed some very small white bumps on the fish in the morning, but the bumps would be gone in the evening.  <Ahhh... a conspicuous sign of Cryptocaryon... Ich> Finally they grew lethargic and died after 2 weeks of quarantine. <it gets in the gills easily and can suffocate/kill a fish without necessarily showing many spots on the body> I tried a freshwater dip when I first noticed the bumps, and I increased the temp to 82. As a last resort, I added some Cupramine, but no luck. <all fine> Should I have dipped the fish in freshwater and Methylene blue when I first got them? <usually a good idea but not a crime if you don't> The q-tank is 10 gallons with an AquaClear mini filter. I also have an airstone for added aeration. The water for the q-tank comes from my 75 gallon tank with 100 lbs of live rock. All water parameters are good. One gallon water changes done every other day or so.  <all excellent husbandry> This is really frustrating since I have some damsels and corals in my main tank that are all doing great. I just can't keep these clowns alive. Aren't they supposed to be hardy? <very hardy once established but ship poorly. Buy fish that sit in a retailers tank for at least a week before you take home. If same source for both pairs, change vendors/sources> Thanks for any help you can provide. Dave H. Indianapolis <Best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Blind Clownfish Hi Guys, <Cheers> I was hoping you could provide some advice. I have an ocellaris clownfish that came down with what I think was a parasitic infection. (I had placed an infected flame angel in the main tank not knowing - it came down with Ich or such and I lost it - had skin, eye symptoms). Yes, I will always quarantine a new fish from now on - learned my lesson (I'm new to marine fish/reef keeping).  <no worries... it sounds like you have learned this important lesson a lot faster than most folks. I'm grateful to hear it> Shortly after I removed the angel, the clown became ill. It did not show surface signs like the angel (skin, eyes, etc), but had white stringy feces and was behaving odd. Can't say for certain infections were related.  <agreed... white stringy feces indicates an intestinal parasite/protozoan. Use Metronidazole (Flagyl) for this> It would spasm and twitch at bottom of tank, not eating. I treated it with CopperSafe for 21 days in a hospital tank.  <hmmm... copper is most only effective against Cryptocaryon white spot... not much else and certainly nothing internal> After even just 5 to 6 days, it was looking good and eating fine so after the 21 days of treatment I placed it back into the main tank. <could have been natural immunity just the same> After about one week the symptoms came back worse than before.  <are we talking about only stringy feces or was there a body symptom as well?> I placed it back in the hospital tank and re-treated with CopperSafe. My local fish supply store said that no therapeutic monitoring is necessary with CopperSafe.  <wow... that was a stinky pile of misinformation. Copper is indeed effective against common Ich, but only within a narrow range... a little bit too little is ineffective and a little bit too much is fatal to fish. Test kits must always be used with copper> I followed the dosing directions exactly, very carefully. (I didn't dose the evaporation replacement water - believing that the copper was staying in the tank when the water evaporated. But of course I did re-treat any water change water.)  <the mfg recommended dose is irrelevant because each tank has various amounts of calcareous media (rock sand gravel) that absorb copper...hence to need for bare bottomed tanks and testing with copper> Also, do you know if CopperSafe is chelated or ionic?  <chelated> It appears to be chelated, I would say copper sulfate by the color. Anyway, after another 12 days of treatment with CopperSafe (21 days original, off a week while in main tank and back on 12 days) my clownfish is now blind. Maybe not completely blind, I believe it may be able to sense light, but can't see anything - running into tank walls, can't eat, etc.  <yes... the copper was misguided and perhaps excessive. Hard to say without having tested.> Swimming fast, being scared and confused.  <I am very sorry to hear it> Have you ever heard of CopperSafe doing this.  <many overdosed meds can... blindness may be temporary and return slowly within months> All other tank parameters were fine during the time frame. Could this have been caused by extended copper treatment?  <more likely the level of copper and not the duration. 21 day treatments are the norm. I personally can't stand using copper because of its narrow range of efficacy (in application and in scope of pathogen kills)> Or do you think may another problem. Well regardless of the cause, the advice I was looking for was how to feed the clown.  <if it comes to the surface sensing food have a hanging specimen cup or large net handy and scoop the little bugger up and feed him in there... don't forget about him though! Return him after 15 minutes or so> I thought about euthanizing it, but my local fish supply guy thought it could survive ok.  <yes... perhaps, and the sight may return anyway> It appears to be learning how to adjust a bit, but it hasn't eaten for 5 days (still fair in color and swimming well - no signs of original infection yet) By the way, I did an emergency 75% water change to dilute the copper the day I realized it was vision impaired.  <very wise> It obviously can't see the food. I trapped it in a net along the glass (easy to do, as to fact it can't see) and placed some fresh frozen food on a plastic wire and tried to get him to take it. I couldn't get him interested - very scared, even though he can't see - obviously knows it's trapped. Do you think eventually the hunger will over ride the nervousness and it will eat?  <I do believe so...> If you were in my position, what would you do?  <I would work hard at trying to nurse it for weeks to a couple of months with hope for improved vision and self-support. If not by that time, euthanasia may be an option> Any advice at all will be greatly appreciated. You guys do a great job on your website and email questions. Thanks so much! Bill Prevo <best regards, Anthony>

Where to go from here? II (Clownfish disease) Thanks Steve, The Clownfish had their fins covered in a stringy white substance and had a couple of white sort of pimples. Their fins were getting perforated, their skin was disappearing except for the supporting cartilage. They were lethargic, hiding in the PVC tubes and not swimming around to much except to eat. <Sounds like a secondary infection, bacterial or fungal.> This all happened in a 24hr period. The QT tank is in my office and I have been watching them like a hawk. This is what made identification of what was attacking them difficult, it looked like they had both Ich and velvet? <Yes, seen many times in combination.> After the 2nd sequence of dips these white substances disappeared, their behavior/energy levels improved, and the fins started to heal and grow back. <Good> As I started to dip the fish they would start out acting normal, swimming around in the large net, then started to try to torpedo out of the bucket, then they would started to roll over on their sides, not move, breath slow with long deep strokes, this is when I would remove them to the bucket of tank water. I would have a digital timer counting up during this process so I would know how long the dip lasted for. The odd behavior was after I would put them back into the QT tank and it was taking them more than 10-15 min. to stop acting sort of hung over and get back to normal behavior. Steve, if you can relate any of your experiences on these observations on what to watch for when dipping fish, it's more than welcomed. There is very little written on what the visible behavioral signs of a fish in distress are while in a freshwater dip and when to get them out. <Anthony has made a few observation for bad signs during a dip. They can be found here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dipfaqs.htm> I am just relying on my experience of what I have encountered from scuba diving and netting bait for saltwater fishing as far as observations of what nervousness or distress looks like. As I am new to saltwater aquariums I am probably erring on the side of caution due to my lack of experience and I have grown quite fond of these two little guys with their puppyish behavior, mock mating rituals, and overall congenial good nature. <Yes, a very personable fish.> The QT water has very slightly tested for the presence of Ammonia, just a slight tint of green not to the first reading of 0.25. N02 is just under 1.0. Probably due to the frequent water changes with Aquatronics Bacter Plus added and Protein skimming. Before this the readings were ideal 0-0-0. The Clownfish are still in the QT tank. Do I now keep the salinity at 1.011 for the entire 4 weeks, then slowly start to raise it back up to 1.023-.024? <Leave it low as long as the fish have any signs of disease. Once they are normal slowly raise the salinity to normal levels over the course of a week.> Should I give them more MB freshwater dips for another week "just in case" to make sure the very low SG has done it job? <I would leave them alone now, if no parasites are apparent and behavior is normal.> Thanks again, Very much appreciated, Bill Walters <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Maroon clown sick? hi <Cheers, my friend. Anthony Calfo in your service> I have read your clown fish FAQs and found them very useful. I have had a maroon clown for the past 2 weeks. he is roughly 2 ins long. it took him 2 days to settle down in the tank. I have both the long tentacle as well as club anemone, the clown seems equally comfortable in both. at first he fed very well eating both pellets and flakes. for the past 2 and 1\2 days however he hasn't eaten anything. he hangs around the anemone at the bottom of the tank and refuses to come up during the feeding time. he is the only clown in the tank, other inhabitants include damsels and a wrasse. externally there seems to be no problem (looks healthy, no parasites velvet or anything). am very worried please advice. thank you, Adi.  <it is hard to diagnose without any symptoms... but look for the prelude to a parasite infection (rapid breathing, closing one gill, scratching off of rocks, etc). In the mean time, experiment with different tempting food like Sweetwater plankton (glass jar). Else we must watch and wait. Best regards, Anthony>

Ich freaking me out what are these spots still on my fish today, slime kinda <likely a protozoan infection so common on clownfish... do read more about it and treatments (which you are already doing) at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm Let me encourage you to use the wealth of information in the WWM archives (articles, FAQs, photos and more) and use the Google search engine on the WWM to narrow your search if necessary (I prefer to just browse). Best regards, Anthony> <Looks like Brooklynellosis to me... Please see the Google search feature on WWM re "Brooklynellosis" and/or the FAQs files on Clownfish Disease: starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and beyond. Need to act, quick. Bob Fenner>

Clown Help!! I got 2 False Percula clowns that looked healthy at the time and had been fed just before my getting them. I put them thru a 10 minute freshwater dip prior to putting them in the tank. After a couple of days, one of them developed a red blemish and turned pale on one side. It died shortly thereafter.  <does not sound parasitic> The other one has just gotten 2 white bumps under its chin. It looks weird to be Ick but could that be a possibility?  <not if they are larger than a grain of salt or irregularly sized> Should I put it thru another freshwater dip?  <I'm more inclined to think antibiotics are necessary in a QT tank> I am feeding it alternately frozen Mysis shrimp and flake food but have yet to see either of them (now one) actually eat. My husband has seen it pick off the rocks rarely. It isn't getting skinny yet so it must be eating something.  <not true... they can go weeks without food> How long is too long before it eats with any gusto and what else should I try? <try Sweetwater plankton (glass jar) ro ask the dealer what they were feeding it>  I want to start getting the Chromis in but am nervous about getting them if something isn't right or would getting more fish stimulate the remaining Percula to eat?  <not a good reason to buy new fish.. and all fish should run through a basic hospital tank first in my opinion> My tank parameters are temp 76, ph 8.0, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 10, salinity 1.024, lights 12 hours/day.  <do try to get that pH a little higher... you are definitely on the low end> The rock looks happy as it is growing more crystalline algae and some green and large leaf algae. I also got red 3 hermit crabs but they have hardly moved since I put them in there with the fish. Thanks for any advice you can offer, Susan <best regards, Anthony>

Preparation F - for fish Bob, <<JasonC here, I'm afraid Bob isn't in the country at the moment - he is expected to return 12/7-ish.>> I hope you're in country! I know it sounds nuts but I think this fish has a hemorrhoid. I know the attached pick is a little less then stellar but you can see that it is apparently on the anus. <<attachment didn't come through>> I've had her for 2 years and she is paired with a sandaracinos. I noticed this nodule tonight. Could it be a lymphocyte? Is it a herniation of some sort? <<any/all of the above?>> This clown has been doing awesome but I have noticed it gets a little constipated and farts bubbles when fed freeze dried krill. <<hmmm.>> I have discontinued the krill. I feed Formula One and Formula Two with Formula two flake every day to simulate a plankton bloom. <<don't know about the plankton bloom part, but one of the problems that is endemic to dried foods is they are full of air - flakes, freeze dried krill, all like potato chips - not much there. You would do well to try feeding the same things in their frozen version - thaw some out and drop some chunks in the tank - my clown loves formula one frozen.>> Thanks again! Jeff Lawson <<Cheers, J -- >>

What's that On my Clown Fish? Bob, <<JasonC here, filling while Bob is away diving.>> I've had a very happy and contented clownfish for about 3 months now. He is the newest of my 3 fish (others are a damsel and yellow tang). Lately the clown shows two parasite looking things--worms perhaps, just 1/16 in long, close together on his head, behind his eye. Any guesses what this might be? <<isopod, perhaps>> I have been advised to do nothing about it, that clowns are tough and likely it will go away. <<perhaps just wait and see, and perhaps the isopods [if that's what they are] will grow to a point where you can pull them off with some tweezers.>> Thanks so much for writing a great book. Reading it has been nearly as much fun as my aquarium itself. <<obviously, I didn't write it, but Bob will be reading/reviewing all this mail and he will appreciate your kind remarks.>> Mark <<Cheers, J -- >>

Diagnosis for a sick clown Hi, I'm really hoping I can describe this well enough to get some ideas on a diagnosis. I have a false Percula who's just developed a lesion or maybe foreign body on its mouth in the last couple of days. She suddenly started hiding behind the rocks and stopped eating. I noticed a very small (1-2 mm). grayish white object on her skin just above the corner of her mouth and below the eye. It looks as if there's an incision /fold in the skin with this tiny thing stuck in the opening. No other lesions or odd behaviors. I'm thinking it might be a fluke or parasite of some sort, but I've never seen anything like it before. No new fish in the tank and the other 3 fish seem fine except a pair of Banggais today for the first time also weren't eating, but I see nothing odd in their behavior or on their bodies. All h2o parameters seem right on target. I'd appreciate any ideas on what this sounds like and what I can do for her I say "her" because I bought a mated, tank-raised pair a couple of months ago; she's three times the size of her mate, who seems just fine.) Thanks in advance! <Alas... it is difficult to diagnose even categorically (parasite/bacteria/viral). The very best treatment as usual is to capture the fish and observe/treat it in a small hospital tank. In quarantine, I would begin with a formalin/malachite combination (like Quick Cure) as prevention... and evaluate if it looks like an antibiotic is necessary. Some Selcon soaked live brine shrimp may not be a bad idea either. If you do not have a small quarantine tank, please do invest in one. Without it... adding fish to a display is a dangerous game with living creatures. Kindly, Anthony>

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