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FAQs about the Diseases of Clownfishes 4

Related FAQs: Clownfish Disease 1, Clownfish Disease 2, Clownfish Disease 3, 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

- Clown with Pop-eye - Hi I have two Nemo clowns and one of them has his left eye popping out now and is laying down a lot. Both of them seem to be gasping for air and breathing very heavy. I am not sure what to do. My salinity is around 1.022 with regular water changes. Please help I don't want to loose my fish.  thank you, James <James, the description you provide sounds to me like Exophthalmia or Pop-eye, which is usually due to some form of trauma to the affected eye, swelling in response. This can be aided by adding Epsom salts to the system at about one teaspoon per five gallons of water. This problem will go away on its own, but will take some time. As for the heavy breathing, you didn't tell me much about your tank or filtration so it's difficult for me to make a recommendation. If I were to hazard a guess, I would suggest you start by improving the aeration.  Cheers, J -- >

A Clown clowning around Hi! <Hi yourself Debbie, PF here tonight> I have had my tank up and running for over a year.  All fish were added over the course of several months after the initial cycle.  There have been no new additions for over 6 months.  About a month ago my false Perc clown began acting very strange.  For a week or so, it just hovered in one area of the tank rather than swimming happily about. <By any chance is this near a powerhead? Clowns will host to the darnedest things - powerheads, LR, mushroom corals, and once I knew someone with clowns hosting a to lionfish (!)>  This behavior has now progressed to it hovering in an almost vertical position in the same area of the tank. <Yep, sounds like hosting to me.> It is eating well and does swim about some during feeding time.  I cannot see any visible signs of illness -- no blotches/spots/fading/cloudy eyes etc.  I have not observed any aggressive behavior either to or from the clown.  Now, within the last week my two cleaner shrimp have died. <Sorry to hear that.>  One during the night, the other suddenly seemed very appetizing to my rabbit fish and was found dead in the morning.  Both bodies were removed as soon as possible. <A good practice.> (I don't know if their demise is related to my clown fish problem but I mention it because it is a "happening" in my normally stable little wet world.)   I do a 10% water change every other week.  Water parameters are all stable and good (ammonia, trates & trites all 0; pH 8.2, temp 78).  I do not test my calcium since this is a fish only with live rock tank.  Should I? <I would not think so, though what methodology are you using to buffer the water? 2 part additive?>  The clown fish was one of my first fish and both my husband and I are very attached to it. <I understand completely, my wife insisted on clowns.> I am completely stumped!  I have a 55 gal with Berlin skimmer, Fluval 301(maintained monthly), about 60 # live rock and live sand.  Inhabitants include 1 rabbit fish, 1 flame angle, 1 sleeper goby and my sick clown.  I also have multiple crabs and snails.  Any help would be sincerely appreciated. <Well, all your numbers look good, as does your setup. I suspect it's just your clown acting goofy, they're called clowns for a reason. Anyone else have any theories?> Debbie <HTH, PF>

The Clown That Bit Off More Than He Could Chew! Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I added a tomato clown (1" in length) 4 days ago to my 45"x18"x18" tank which already houses a 1" domino damsel and a 2.5" yellow tang. The first couple of days the clown was a little shy and hid in the shadows, but soon seemed more social and started eating. This morning during feeing it snatched a piece of fresh shrimp from the tang's mouth and swallowed it whole (the damsel usually shreds a piece while its afloat to bite sized bits) ......20seconds later the clown lay  flat on one side on the sand barely breathing gasping occasionally. Obviously this freaked me out cause he ate the same since the beginning and looked really healthy.20 minutes later he somehow swims to a corner and this time he's upside down for the next half or so. By this time I figured that I'm going to lose the little guy so I pull him outta the water thinking this might help (felt helpless looking at him barely breathe) he flapped around a bit so put him back. <I can understand your feeling of helplessness, but it's not a great idea to pull an already stressed out fish from the water! No harm done, though!> 3 hours later miraculously he starts swimming around slowly but still swimming..8hours later he's now zipping around the tank looking absolutely healthy and having a blast..... <Glad to hear that!> I was wondering what was that all about what could have caused it to act like that (and gimme a bad time) and how I could prevent it. I was thinking maybe smaller pieces......Thanks in advance for your help. Sachin. <Well, Sachin- it's hard to say what it could have been. It may be something as simple and mundane as some form of gastric distress...Maybe he "bit off more than he could chew", as the saying goes, and suffered temporarily as a result. About the only suggestion I could make is to feed the fishes smaller pieces of food, so that the fish can swallow them without the possibility of this happening again...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Sick A. percula >Dear Bob, >>Marina here to help you today. >I recently purchased two new clowns that are being kept in my 7 gal. Nano.  It has been cycling for almost two weeks after being set up with live sand and rock.  The morning after acclimating and introducing them to the tank, I noticed two bumps on the smaller of the two, one on either side of the dorsal fin.  In just one more day the bumps became more rash-like and has begun a growing patch that looks very irritated and discolored.  I did a lot of research and took all the precautions.   >>You haven't mentioned whether or not the Nano has actually completed cycling, nor have you mentioned use of quarantine.  Quarantine must be utilized religiously, and 30 days minimum is q/t protocol.  I will also offer that, in my own humble opinion, 7 gallons is far too little to house an Amphiprion species with which I am familiar.  I fear that they may have already polluted the tank and succumbed to what may possibly be a bacterial infection. >I have a feeling this clown might have come a little damaged and didn't show until it hit my tank.  Maybe stress related.  What does this rash sound like and what can I do?  Thanks, I really enjoy studying the info. on this sight.  Stephen >>I strongly recommend setting up a hospital/quarantine tank and removing *both* fish to it ASAP.  Then, just to be safe, I would also recommend starting a regimen of Spectrogram, if you can't find that then Melafix would be next.  The description given is "spotty", at best, so I can't venture a further guess as to whether or not they display signs of the ubiquitous Ich protozoan, but to be safe I would give each fish a freshwater dip to be safe.  The water used for the dip must be of the same temperature AND pH to avoid shocking the animals.  I will link you, as well, to some information on diseases on site, and would like you to seek the advice of one brandon429 to be found on http://www.reefs.org  I'm not sure if you'll have to register to send this person a private message or not, but he IS THE Nano guy extraordinaire. >>This is actually a link via which other helpful links are to be found http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm   >>Unfortunately, because of the nature and wide variety of diseases to be found amongst our specimens, I cannot offer more definitive advice at this point.  Good luck, though, and do keep us posted.  Marina

Re: Saddleback clowns Hi there I have another question about my saddleback. Tonight I got home and the second one was on the floor. I have talked to my LFS and they said it could be that there is a mantis shrimp in there spooking them and causing them to jump. Is this possible? >>A mantis shrimp *could* do this, but in my own experience they prefer to eat them. >I also have a Diamond Goby and two peppermint shrimps, as well as 150 blue legged hermit crabs. None of these are being affected. >>Mantis, unlike humans and certain other animals, are non-discriminating. > They told me to look for empty hermit crab shells. There are none. I am scared to add any more fish. Do you have any other suggestions to what could be causing this? >>It's *only* these two fish, that were moved from their established home...do you hear clicking sounds, like something firing away?  Most folks know pretty quickly that they've got a mantis.  And, as I recollect the story, you didn't add anything like live rock with the fish, did you?  This means that you've had a mantis in an established tank, and it waited until you had these two clownfish to emerge.  I am rather incredulous as to the likelihood of this scenario.  It makes more sense to me that there was something wrong with the fish (which should have been quarantined, it's really best--30 day min.) and that is why it is THESE fish, not the others, that have croaked. >Is what they are telling me possible? They (the, or their?) dead fish have had no marks on them what so ever.  (I'm going with their) >>It is possible, but is it likely?  In my opinion, based upon what you've told me here, I think that something happened to those fish.  The other possibility is that there may have been a real difference in some water parameter(s).  For instance, pH?  Here's a link with some acclimation information--> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm >>Marina
Re: Saddleback clowns
>>Great to hear back from Ian, we have more information. >This is a brand new cycled tank with 230 pounds of new rock from Kalane, I think that is how you spell it. My water quality is PH 8.3-8.4, amm 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 15, salinity 1.025. I always quarantine my fish but these were at the store for three years in their reef tank with no lid as well. >>Just for the next time, be sure to quarantine.  However, to be perfectly clear, the reason isn't so much to protect the new fish as it is to protect *your* established system.  Please define "brand new", though. >>I thought they would be alright. I do not hear anything in the tank clicking. >>So, along with no noises, no other fish being "driven" or spooked out of the tank, no missing invertebrates, you, more than likely, do NOT have a mantis in the tank.  Hhhhmmmmm.. >The first fish was home only two days but the second one was home for a week. I agree, the odds that the fish just happened to swim by one and just get spooked with nothing happening to then just jump out doesn't seem very sensible to me with out it catching one, as well as not getting anything else. The water quality in the reef tank at the store I don't think was really all that good. The  one guy I talked to there said that Nitrates were really high. I think the PH in there tank was around 8.0 and salinity 1.023. >>Well, Ian, I don't know about you, but this would further call the veracity of their statements to you into question, wouldn't it? >Could the difference after days really cause a fish to jump out? >>Ian, I SO doubt it.  In my opinion, they would prefer to make *you* the responsible party for their mistakes.  Your water is even better quality, plus the fish ended up being moved into two different systems in a short period of time (their mistake is my take on the sequence of events passed along by you). >Thanks again for all your insight. I have 3 other fish in quarantine (over a month), two tank raised clowns and a flame angel that are going to go into this tank, but I want to make sure they will be alright. >>You just finished my own quarantine protocol.  If the fish appear alright to you, I'd say it's time to start acclimation to the display, yeah?  Good luck, and please do keep us posted every once in a while.  Marina

Treatment of Fungal Problem Hi there, <Hi! Scott F. with you today!> It would really help if I could find that answer for it. I've clown fish for almost three weeks now it has cottony patchy white underneath its fin and hanging big white cottony like. now its growing towards its fin. I'm feeding as much as it consume so to fight with the disease which didn't as I always keep on eye for almost three weeks now. <Sounds like some sort of fungal disease> I'm so much worried if that fish will die and another fish I've. the other fish is fine with it no problem at all. <That really makes me think it's a fungal infection> So I'm trying to setup a quarantine tank ASAP. I need some suggestions how to cure this disease and setting up quarantine ASAP but I don't have any sump. This tank I've is Nano 15gal tank running for about six months now. <I'd set up a small container (like a Rubbermaid) to serve as a temporary "hospital" tank. You could use a broad spectrum medication, such as Maracyn> Therefore, if I need to setup a quarantine tank ASAP how would be the fastest way and better way would be great to know. <I'd do as above...> Thanks so much and looking forward to hear soon. Thanks much. Pradeep <Good luck, Pradeep...I'm sure that things will work out fine>   

Beating Brooklynella Hi guys, <Scott F. here today!> I need your help on this one. I have an established 55 gallon marine aquarium with Live rock, which was basically stocked with fish and a few inverts (mostly crabs and a cleaner shrimp).  I recently introduced several fish to the tank ( four blue Chromis) and noticed that within a day one of the Chromis was turning grey and starting to develop serious mucus, and expired within two days.  At first I thought it might have been stress that did him in from the mail order shipping, however within two days I noticed white specks all over several other fish.  Basically on the fins and mouth.  It looked too small to be Ich but larger than velvet.  I tried Kick Ich, Maracyn, and Rally over the past several weeks but more and more of the fish were becoming infected.  I did a little more research into various marine diseases and I now believe that what the infection was, was Brooklynella. <Yep, this sounds just like Brooklynella to me. Good pickup!> The infected fish showed no real signs of debilitation other than the spots for several days, then begin to hover near the bottom of the tank, eventually there eyes would get cloudy, mucus or what looked like scales/skin began shedding off of the fish and within 24 hours afterward they would be dead.  All that is left in the tank is a yellow tang and a percula clown.  For years I have never had any type of bacterial, fungal or parasitic infection in my tank, but now I am paying the price for not maintaining a quarantine tank. <Well, that's true. At least you are learning the value of the quarantine process, so this awful experience will not have been in vain...> I have several questions for you.  Tonight I set up a quarantine tank with some live rock and substrate from my main tank.  I have no idea if this will be bringing any of the offenders into the QT or not, but I needed something with some type of biological filtration. <Oops! Don't do this! The "hospital tank" (or your quarantine tank) should not have any substrate or rock. By bringing in substrate and rock from the main tank, you are very likely to bring the parasites into the treatment tank. Plus, having a substrate reduces the effectiveness of medications, such as copper sulphate, which tend to be absorbed by these materials. You can supply necessary biological filtration for a QT tank by running a sponge filter in your sump for a couple of weeks before you use it in the QT tank. In this case, I'd go with one of the "cultures" that you can get at the LFS, such as Cycle, etc. to "kick start" the treatment tank.>   I have read that if I raise the temperature of the QT tank to mid 80s, that the reproduction cycle can be broken. <Not broken, but sped up. Medication is required to nail this disease...And, let your main tank run fallow, without fishes, for at least a month. THAT will help break the life cycle of this nasty parasite.> Should I dip my fish in formalin or malachite green and then place them into the QT, then raise the temp up? <I'd give the affected fishes at least a 10 minute freshwater dip, then place them into the treatment tank, where you could administer a Formalin-based medication, per manufacturer's dosage and instructions.> Also, anything that seems to wipe out Brooklynella also destroys the biological filtration, is there any other treatment that I can use? <Honestly, I'd go with the old-fashioned, effective Formalin technique. It works!> If I remove the fish from my main tank, is the best way to clear up the infestation, just let it tank run (with the inverts) without fish for 3-4 weeks and hope they all die off?  If I go this route, what will happen to the biological filtration in my main tank?  Without the waste load of fish, will the live rock and the rest of the biological filter weaken or cease to exist? <Just let it run fallow, without the fishes. You'd be surprised at how well things will run during this time. And, continue to perform all regular maintenance during this period. Fallow tanks are no guarantee that the disease will be completely eradicated from your tank, but it is a big help.> Finally, around the time that I added the new fish, I also added a few pieces of cured live rock from the LFS.  After several of the fish perished, I noticed very, very small white "bugs" crawling on the glass.  I can't give more of a description as they are so minute in size (probably 15-20 would cover the head of a pin).  The owner of the LFS feels that it was probably something living on the live rock before I introduced it into my tank.  He thought it was not the cause of the tank apocalypse.  Can you tell me if Brooklynella is an animal that could be seen with the naked eye? <Very unlikely that you could see the parasites. Sounds like some kind of other life form that you will find on rock...However, there is a possibility that the parasites did come in on the new rock, visible or not> Any help you can give me regarding this is much appreciated as it is hard to watch this destruction happen so quickly.  I am anxious to 'rebuild' but I want to do things correctly to ensure that everything is properly eradicated. I guess I will keep a QT tank up and running at all times from now on!  Thanks. Dave <Well, Dave- I predict that you will be a very vocal proponent of the quarantine process, just like yours truly! It only takes one experience like this to make you a believer! Hang in there...You can beat this thing! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Spotty Situation On Clown? Hi all! <Hi there! Scott F. with you today> I hope everyone is doing well.  I starting searching the site for an answer to this question, but it seems to me it's the kind of question that's tough to do a word search on, as everyone might use different words to describe it.  I tried "chin", and read over a recommended page on parasites, fungus and etc, but didn't really have any success. I tried a few other words but came up with nothing.  Anyway, I'll get on with it.. I have what appears to be a happy, healthy, hungry Percula Clown (named Pesci), in my QT tank, and he has something small on his chin.  So small, that I can't be sure what it is, as I can't get a good look at it.  He's only about 1" or so long.  I even tried corralling him into the small acclimation tank, and using a magnifying glass, but once in the accl. Tank, he just moves too fast to get a good look at.  Plus, when he sees my big fat head on the other side of the magnifying glass, he freaks out and runs away. <Can't imagine why that would scare a fish...LOL> I could try netting him, but I don't know if it's worth the trauma at this point. You can't even see this "thing" head on, only from his profile. I didn't notice it at all until I placed a light on the tank.  It may be white, or flesh colored, hard to say, but I think it is not completely round.  He's been in the QT tank for almost 2 weeks now.   <Good job- keep him in there for the duration> The water quality has been kept usually at about: AM=0, NO2=.025-.05ppm, and NO3=.5-.10 ppm., PH=8.2.   Had them climb a little recently (after I noticed the spot/abrasion problem) but water changes brought that more or less back in line.  Overall, I think the water quality is fine, and the 20G QT tank was set up just as recommended.  When I bought him, he was dipped in freshwater at the store, and then placed in water from their invert tank for the 1.5 hr ride home.  He was acclimated with proper method before being put in the QT tank. <Sounds great!> What I'm wondering is, how do I know if this is just a small, originally unknown abrasion/birth defect (something like that), or a parasite/fungus etc?  I don't see any other spots anywhere, and he seems fat and happy in every other way.  He is my first fish, and I have gone through great pains to quarantine, and prevent cross-contamination, so I don't want to screw this up.  If everything is fine, I planned to add him to the main tank in 2 weeks.  Is their something I can do to make sure this isn't a problem? <Well, if you suspect something that may be parasitic in nature, I'd consider more freshwater dips (once or twice a day, for several days). Chances are, this may be some type of parasite, which can be eliminated without the use of medication. Keep observing carefully, and  take any action that may be needed> Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.  Sorry for the long-winded e-mail.  I just wanted to give all the info I could Thank you, Eric <Eric, it sounds like you're doing a great job! I commend you on your quarantine process, your keen observation, and your patience. You're on your way to a really successful experience with your new fishes! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>
Spotty Situation on Clown? (Pt. 2)
Hi Scott! <Hello again!> Thank you for the reply.  I have some good news and may have gotten a bit lucky.  After you sent your reply, I fed and observed him, and I'd swear that spot is smaller (if that's possible).  So small that I'm really not sure that I can even see it. <Awesome! Sometimes, these traumas simply fade away and heal with your attention to good water quality> My eyes may be playing tricks on me.  Also, I think I may not have noticed anything at all, if I wasn't actively trying to see it.  (Darn guy plays and moves so fast it's hard to tell ;-) That being said I think I might hold off on the dipping.  I'm thinking it is of course a great tool when necessary, but I'm also thinking it has to be at least a LITTLE bit traumatic, and I don't want to put him through it if it isn't necessary.  Would you agree? <Absolutely. Although it is a relatively "mild" treatment method, there is still some trauma associated with it...The whole point of a freshwater dip is to provide an "osmotic shock" which parasites cannot tolerate as well as the fishes!> On another positive note, he wasn't feeding really the first week or so, until I switched for Formula One flakes (recommended by the nice folks in the chat room), and then he definitely started to feed over the past week.  I just fed him a small meal this morning, and boy does he go after it with gusto!!  He's crazy about it and has a great appetite now. <Awesome to hear that! By the way, as a note to our readers, the WWM Chat Forum provides a great way to interact with your fellow hobbyists. There are hundreds of talented hobbyists on the forum, who can often provide more support and feedback on things. I have found this a particularly valuable resource if you are trying to find out about a new product or technique...> He even likes it better than frozen Mysis shrimp. I guess that's a good sign, right? <Sure is! IMO, any fish that eats is a fish that lives! With good-quality foods, such as the ones that you are offering, and excellent water conditions, you'll have a terrific rate of success with fish keeping!> Thanks again for your help Scott.  Pesci thanks you too. Eric <Fooghheeeet about it! :)  Glad to hear that he's doing well! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Blind Clownfish? Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I found your website by doing a search on Blind Clownfish but was unable to find any information to help me with the problem we are having. Our percula is 4 years old and has always been very healthy until a couple days ago. He has just started swimming along the glass like he needed it for guidance. He comes to the top to eat but can't seem to see the food. His color is good, no visible parasites or spots of any kind, no fast breathing or anything. We checked the water and it is fine. Did a partial water change just to be sure but he still is swimming at the top wanting food but not being able to see it. I got him to eat by holding some krill in the corner. He is very hungry. <Well, a fish that eats is a fish that lives, IMO! That's always an encouraging sign> His eyes are very clear. Any ideas on what may be causing this condition. We can hand feed as we are doing now but I am afraid the problem won't cure itself. Thanks for your help. Scott <Well, "blindness" is potentially caused by improper nutrition or environmental factors. It's really impossible for me to guess what caused this "condition", but I'd do what I could to keep food coming his way, and maintain excellent water conditions. Try soaking the foods in a vitamin preparation, such as Selcon or Vita Chem, for added nutritional benefits. Keep a careful eye on this little guy and stand by him. If he is other wise healthy, and tank conditions are acceptable- he should live a long, healthy life. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Ocellaris behavior Hello, I recently obtained a pair of black & white ocellaris clowns. Brought them home, dipped in fresh water, then put them in my 55 gal quarantine tank with a cleaner shrimp. they lived in this tank for a little over 3 weeks and showed no signs of disease. I moved them, as well as the shrimp into my newly cycled display tank. the water parameters in the display tank are identical to those of the main tank, and I acclimated them to the main tank just as I'd done when I first placed them in the display tank. They are the only occupants of the tank. there is a ~3" spot of red algae on the sand with a very smooth top, and edges curling up. <sounds like Cyano> Since yesterday the female clown has taken to rubbing her mouth and belly (not gill areas) on the spot of algae. They show no white or red spots, are active, eat well, respiration normally, and have good color. Upon very close inspection, an area on the female's gills appears slightly larger than I think they should be, but only near the bottom, and VERY small. They are not hanging open, or red. Could be slightly swollen? <could be, keep an eye on it, watch for changes.> All water parameters seem to be good (0 Ammonia, Nitrite - pH 8.2 - SG 1.022 - Nitrate ~5), and temperature is a very stable 78. I'm not sure if she is sick, or just likes the algae (It is at the base of a large coral skeleton they have adopted as their home). Should I do anything at this point? If so what? <Unless you are worried about the health of your algae, I would not do anything besides observe at this point.  If you notice any other symptoms it may be necessary to move back to the quarantine tank for treatment.  It sounds to me like your clown has grown fond of its new spot of algae.  Best Regards, Gage> Thanks, Chris

HELP! Do I have Clownfish Disease? Hi, I've read your site extensively for about 2 days straight now, but am still not sure about this... I have just recently (2 days ago) gotten 2 False Percula Clowns.  They are in a QT.  The QT has been having problems with ammonia and I've been doing a 4-5 Gallon water change daily (its only a 10 Gallon tank) - with seawater aged overnight.  I have the S.G at about 1.018-1.019.   <I would raise this spg to about near seawater, 1.025 at a rate of .002 per day> One seems Ok but his appetite has dropped off, and the other is not eating at all and hides under the rock - looks at the food, but wont eat.  I've been offering Live Brine as a bribe ( I know it's not the best, but a good start to get them feeding? I've also tried a pinch of flake and a pinch of formula one frozen, but not takers)  My questions is this,  The both have come down with two different looking symptoms that I am unsure of.  1)  They both have a few patches on the skin that just look different - a little raised but not discolored, possibly extra mucus?, <Maybe... likely tied to the low spg.> I'm not sure.  2) whitish/tannish (more tannish looking) small clumpy spots more on one than the other running basically along the lateral line. <Does sound like Brooklynellosis> Also looks as if there could be some lesions (some redness along with it).  Doesn't look like typical Ick as "salt" grains.  I don't have a good LFS around so I got them through FFE - so most likely wild caught. <Maybe. Do contact them re> Is this Brooklynellosis (I know - spelled wrong - but you know what I mean) - or is this Ick?  A combo of both?  I have used OrganiCure (I know some of you don't like that either.. but don't currently have a test kit for SeaCure - can try to get one during the week) - and have done a daily Freshwater Dip in 1 Gal. <Copper compounds won't cure this protozoan infestation... I recommend formalin based.> of PH matched, Temp. matched w/ one drop of QuickCure (Formalin/malachite green) for about 5-10 minutes.  Is this Ok for them? <Should be, if they're healthy enough at this point... but not likely effective simply as a dip... need to be treated in the QT tank>   Should I continue this treatment?  Your help is greatly appreciated!    I don't know if I should but them in the main tank or not - as I'm also worried about damaging them with high ammonia levels in the QT. Thanks!  You people are wonderful! <Don't place these clowns in the main system... if they are carriers of other pathogens you may well spread these to your main system. Read more thoroughly re the causative organism (Brooklynella hostilis) and its treatments, then act. Bob Fenner>

Sick Clowns Please Help! <I'll try> I am new to salt water tanks. I got my fifty-five gallon tank from my nephew and he's had it for years. I also got a clown fish from him. I'd say she's four or five years old. In all those years he's never encountered any cases of Ich! I am so sorry I didn't find this web site before I bought the new fish... I bought three new clowns to keep her company. Now the new fish have Ich. I've read over your web site at least an hour a day. I am still confused. When I had my fresh water tank and got a case of Ich it was fairly simple to beat. I am not having such luck with the fight in a salt water tank. My original clown has not shown any signs of Ich. The smallest one has only a few spots. the two medium clowns have it the worst. I've tried Greenex. It has done little if anything to help. I also have LR and two hermit crabs with sand. I was thinking of moving the three new clowns to a hospital tank. All I have available to me is my old ten gallon tank. It has my original filter, long air stone, heater and fluorescent light. I was told I would have to add a bio wheel to my filter. Would this be good enough for them? (Was thinking of using copper, hesitantly so.)   Or should I just lower SG and raise temperature? If so what is good for my clowns? And for how long should I do this? I am sorry if I have rattled on I would be devastated if I loose any of my "babies". <Yes, the hospital tank is the best solution. Since you don't have any seasoned filtration, you should use water changes to help with ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. I would use quarantine, pH adjusted fresh water dips. Be very careful with copper as it may end up killing the fish before the Ich :( See here for more. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bestquarfaqs.htm I hope this helps, Don>

Parasite and clown WWM Crew, <Hi Bob, Don with you> I was hoping that I wouldn't have to contact you so soon after my last dilemma but I feel I must.  I have an Ocellaris Clown (sold to me as a Percula Clown) about 1 inch in size that is part of a tank-raised, mated pair.  She was breathing very quickly 2 days ago and not her usual jovial, fearless self, so I netted her out of the tank and placed her in my hospital tank for closer observation.  This morning (now a day and a half later) I noticed a long (several inches) white to translucent string-like thing protruding from her vent.  IM (inexperienced) O this is a tapeworm.  She hasn't eaten anything in a couple of days and her breathing is still quick and she looks like she is getting thinner.  Any ideas about my diagnosis and a potential treatment?  If she passes can I pair the male with another mate and have them get along?  Again, any help and/or advice you could provide would be greatly appreciated. <Likely a parasite. Treat with medicated food flakes and feed only that. Hope this helps. Up to nature to decide if another will pair, Don>   Bob Jones

Clown With A Green Sheen? Hey guys, I have looked all over your great website and have had trouble figuring out what is wrong with my little maroon clownfish. He has what looks like green on half of his body, mostly on the orange parts, but starting to get on the white stripes. <Interesting...> He is behaving just fine, eating and swimming normal but I'm worried because it seems like it is slowly spreading. The message board said it may be bacterial but I can't figure it out. I have had this clown for 2 months now and he was fine in quarantine, but the other female clown had a gray body fungus that I treated with Maracyn that went away in a week. Should I quarantine my lil clown and try Maracyn or can you recommend a better product for this? Thanks for all your help. Rob Holborn <Well, Rob, I also suspect a fungal or bacterial origin...I like Maracyn, and would give it a shot in a separate treatment tank. Hopefully, this should do the trick! Good luck! Scott F>

Spotted Clownfish? Hi there, <Hey! Scott F. here tonight!> I need your help with the diagnosis of my Clark clown's health. I have noticed small brown spots appearing on the bodies of both my clownfish. The spots are only visible on the brown areas of the body (The vertical bands are clear, also fins). The other fish in the reef tank seems fine. They receive a well balanced diet of krill, dry flake, brine shrimp and frozen "marine mix" that contains kelp. I also supplement by soaking in Kent marine Zoe Vitamins. <Sounds like a nice feeding regimen> I have looked at the usual diseases in my books and also your website & faq's but nothing seems quite like this......... What is happening ?????????????? A little help will be much appreciated. Hilton Johannesburg - South Africa <Well, Hilton, in the absence of other symptoms, I'd have to make an educated guess that there may be nothing wrong with the fish. Could be some kind of pigment variation...If the fish does not appear to be scratching, breathing heavily, or sloughing off mucus, then these spots may be some type of pigment variations...On the other hand, if the fish show any kind of discomfort, lack of eating, or other diseases usually associated with illness, I'd remove them from the main aquarium for observation and possible treatment (should disease begin to manifest itself). Keep a close eye on these fishes, and let us know if you experience any problems with this fish. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>
Spotted Clownfish? (Pt. 2)
Thanks for the reply. <That's why we're here!> The pigment variation sounds plausible , but would this affect both fish ? At the same time ? <A possibility-could be a "population" variation, "mating coloration", or just about anything.> Neither of them have shown any spots for the previous few months. They are still eating well and seem to be behaving normally. I will observe them closely and feed garlic soaked food ? <Sure- garlic is a great dietary supplement and has some possible antiparasitic properties (although I don't view it as a "cure"- more of a preventative)...Why not?> Keep in touch Hilton <Absolutely, Hilton. And do keep observing these fishes- let's make sure that they DON'T have anything...I'm sure it will be fine! Hang in there! Regards, Scott F.>

Clowning Around With Macroalgae Greetings, <Hi there! Scott F. with you> A few months ago, I moved from a 15 gallon to a 33 gallon tank (with the 15 gallon as a sump).  My clarkii clown, which is about a year old, recently started swimming at the surface, and can not seem to dive any lower in the tank.  Physically he is showing no other signs of disease.  This does seem to be preventing him from eating though.  There is obviously something wrong with him, but I don't know how to treat it. Could it be a problem with the swim bladder? <This is a distinct possibility. At this point, I'd keep a close eye on him. Look for the appearance of other symptoms-labored breathing, obvious skin blemishes, excess mucus, etc. If any of these are evident, remove him immediately for possible treatment for a number of possible parasitic infections. Another "way out there" possibility, but one that has actually been documented by clownfish breeders, is "floating bloat". Apparently, this disorder is brought on by the clowns eating buoyant floating foods, like pellets. A long shot, for sure- but don't rule anything out. Check his diet out and see if you're feeding lots of dried foods...> I have live sand and rock in the tank, and a pretty low bioload.  The nitrates are about 20 - 30 ppm (higher than I want, but shouldn't be hurting the clown).  Any suggestions?  I really don't want to lose this guy? <Well- I don't think that nitrate is causing this possibly malady. However, you may want to consider a deeper (3-4 inches plus) fine sand bed, chemical filtration media (carbon, Poly Filters), aggressive protein skimming, frequent (twice weekly) small (like 5% of tank volume) water changes, use of high quality source water (RO/DI), and just general good husbandry procedures.> Another question.  I have a bunch of Caulerpa growing in the sump, but I am not sure I am doing it correctly. <BTW- another good idea for nutrient export> I have two 15w strip lights over it.  Is that enough? <That should be fine> The Caulerpa is just floating in the water, but is starting to sprout roots.  Should it be anchored in the substrate? <Caulerpa will put down "holdfasts" into substrate, rocks, etc. It can float, too-but will usually seek a surface to adhere against> How do I know when to trim it?  How dense should it be? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Paul <Well, Paul- Caulerpa can be amazingly prolific once it gets going. You'll see it begin to "mass" into large aggregations- that's a sign that it's time to start harvesting. The best thing to do is to carefully pull fronds away from the main "mass" of Caulerpa on a regular basis (like weekly), taking care not to rip them, as they may leach undesirable substances into the water. For a lot of reasons, I'm not a big fan of Caulerpa. I think that you could do much better with other "purposeful" macroalgae, such as Chaetomorpha ("spaghetti" macroalgae) or Gracilaria ("Ogo")- my two favorite macros, and even Halimeda. They have many of the benefits of Caulerpa (rapid growth, high nutrient uptake) without the potential downfalls (leaching of undesirable substances, difficulty in eradication, etc). Give one of these other macroalgae a try...The Anthony Calfo slogan "Friends don't let friends buy Caulerpa" is my mantra, man! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Clowning Around With Macroalgae (Pt2) Scott, <At your service> Thanks for the reply.  I have since added Polyfilters and carbon, and changed about 12 gallons of water, but the clown has gotten worse. <Sorry to hear that> He is now no longer on the surface, but still having trouble swimming.  He seems to go aimlessly around in circles and bump into everything in the tank.  Yesterday, he also became "curled" to one side.  His eyes are sort of bulgy, but I cant recall if that is the way they always were. Since he is bumping into things and not able to get food, I have been wondering if he is having trouble seeing. No noticeable skin conditions.  I do have about 3-4" sand and a skimmer (a Berlin air-lift) in the sump.  Is that enough? <That sounds okay> Is there any medication that I could try?  I could put the clown in a small quarantine tank while doing so.  If not, I don't think that he is going to make it much longer... <Okay, Paul- it's time for some action! Because you indicated that the fish's eyes are bulging, I'm going to make the assumption that we're dealing with a bacterial infection of some sort. I'd place the fish into a separate aquarium for treatment with a broad-spectrum antibiotic, such as Maracyn. Follow the manufacturer's instructions exactly. I think that with quick action, you can save the life of this little guy. Hope this helps!> Thanks for the info on the Caulerpa.  It has been the only macroalgae that I have been able to find in any of the stores around here.  I'll start hunting for something else. Thanks, Paul <Yeah- Caulerpa is probably the most readily available macroalgae, but it's "dark side" makes it a lousy bargain, IMO! Do look into those other macros-you'll really like them! Good luck...Contact us again if the need arises! Regards, Scott F>

- Clown with ragged tail - Hi all, <Hello, JasonC here...> I have a maroon clown who has been fanning his tail in the sand, apparently digging a hole and picking up substrate in his mouth and moving it.  I read on this site that clowns will exhibit this behavior. <They sure will.> However, the clown's tail appears to be disintegrating at the edges and has a slice out of the body of the tail. It also has a light tan spot at the base of the tail--it almost looks like dirt.  Is this simply mechanical damage from the substrate or is this the beginning of fin rot or something else? <My first guess would be the mechanical damage from the substrate... give it some time and see if the condition worsens.> Thanks for your advice. Eileen <Cheers, J -- >

Clown died - for reasons I can't tell Hi, I have a 20 gallon live rock tank with some inverts. 1 small blue tang, 1 small yellow tang and until yesterday, 2 small clowns.  One of my clowns, who seemed fine the day before, died.  His head appeared to have skin tissue sloughing off.  His buddy seems fine with no signs of parasites.  I took the fish to the place where I bought him, to get some help diagnosing the problem, but they said it could be a parasite or bacteria, no help at all. My other fish, visible look fine, with no apparent signs of Ick or velvet. The water quality is good, temperature is a little lower than usual 70-73 (I live in Hawaii and don't use heater, however we have been having some record cold nights).  I was watching the fish for signs of parasites, The yellow tang has been swimming around excitedly and eating well.  I can't tell if he is in a good mood or is feeling irritation. There is no rubbing on rocks, skin sores and for that matter look any different than my dead clown looked the day before.   What would be my best plan? <Ohh, sorry about your clown. Continue to be watchful of parasites, rubbing, flashing, rapid gilling, listlessness, etc. Do get just a small heater to reduce temp related stress.> I was thinking I should take all my fish out of the tank, do a 10 minute fresh water dip, and then quarantine them for 4 days with Organi-Cure  Marine Fish Disease-1.5% copper and 17% formaldehyde. <I wouldn't recommend this treatment, as yet unnecessary at this point. Please read WetWebMedia.Com "copper treatment", "quarantine". Keep a close eye out for symptoms.> What do you suggest, as well as what do you think could be the culprit that killed my clown?   <Hard to say. Stress, internal disease, various maladies and diseases.  Not necessarily contagious.> Thanks so much again for your help again.  I wish my fish store was as helpful. Dawn <Wish we could help more Dawn.  Sorry about your fish.  Craig>

Ocellaris Clown (disease) Hello Sirs. Thank you again for all of the info. I'm writing to get your opinion on diagnosis/treatment of my false percula. After searching the site, I found a post that seemed pretty similar to my situation (as far as the symptoms). It goes:   Brooklynella, Microsporidium, or Lymphocystis? Hello, I recently made the mistake of purchasing a large (3") Amphiprion ocellaris (common clownfish) from my local fish store. They had just received the animal when I purchased it, mistake number two. I added the clownfish to my newly cycled reef tank (mistake number three, biggest one). Within 24 hours I noticed a white wart/cauliflower growth on the animal's right side, in the white band area, just behind the gills. The clownfish will not eat and appears to be stagnant although it is moving about somewhat. The animal does not exhibit any other signs of infection, no small white spots, glazed or popping eyes, scratching, fin rot, and the like. What has infected my fish? I've narrowed it down to either Brooklynella, Microsporidium, or Lymphocystis or ? ? ? What can I do to cure the fish and save my reef tank. Should I remove the infected fish to prevent the disease from spreading to the other tank mates (choc chip star, scooter blenny, 2 turbo snails, 6 reef crabs)? Please advise, I want to save my tank and the clown if possible. thanks, Dan Rose Thank you for writing so well, including with such clarity and humility... Glad to know that I'm not the only one who makes egregious errors in the hobby... I would almost bet that what you are seeing is indeed the Clown-attacking protozoan Brooklynella... And would in any case follow these steps. Do take the fish out and treat it in a separate "hospital" system... for it's sake, the use of the treatment "medicine", and the safety from the same of the rest of your system. The likelihood that the Brooklynella will affect your other livestock is minimal (there are no other Clownfishes...)... Copper is of little use if indeed this is Brooklynella, but formalin dips/baths are efficacious. Buy a stock solution (my fave retail brand is Kordon, but any will do)... generally a few drops per quart of pH adjusted (just with sodium bicarbonate, baking soda is fine) freshwater... and move the fish from the main tank into this solution for about ten minutes... either add an airstone, occasionally splash the water around for aeration), move the Clown to the bare-bottom (but still filtered, aerated.... with a hang on, sponge, box filter...) hospital/quarantine system... Dump the treatment water... repeat every day for three days... and stop there if there is no further visible sign of the disease... If it re-shows or persists, wait two days and resume the dip/baths... This will work....  Bob Fenner Well I thought that the "wart/white cauliflower" part definitely defined what has appeared on the very tip of the dorsal fin of my fish. I've had this fish about a month. 2 weeks in QT and 2 in main display. About 3 days after introduction into the main tank, I noticed a white spot about the size/shape of a grain of table sea salt (yum). Wasn't sure so I've been watching and reading in the meantime. In the last 10 days the spot has maybe grown by 25-50%, but has not spread to any other areas. It also has not spread to Pac Blue Tang. He (or she I'd suppose) was eating normally until yesterday when he/she started "sampling" then spitting out food (similar CMA recipe). Seems similar enough to enclosed post to warrant an email. Would this be a Brooklynella infection that would require the above recommended treatment? <Mmm, the wart-like growth on the Clown could be lymph, the spot on both fishes is likely crypt, tangs don't "get" Brooklynella> Other info: 125 gal, 90# LR (more coming when the $$ does), 200# LS, 240W NO fluor. lighting @13 hrs/day (MH with more $$ again), 2x Rio 1100 plus return for circulation, TF 1000 skimmer, sump w/ 55W PC lit 'fuge, airstone and active carbon. Today's parameters were pH-8.2, Ammonia-0, Nitrate- <5 ppm, Alk- 4.8 meq/L, Ca-350 ppm, Temp 77, SG-1.025 Other livestock: 1- Pacific Blue Tang, 1-sand sifting star, 12 bumblebee snails(?), 6-turbos, 12-astrea, 1- hitchhiker clam as of yet un-i.d.'d, misc hitchhiker polyps/sponges etc, and very soon 1- cleaner shrimp to be determined <I would hasten the acquisition of the Cleaner Shrimp/s... maybe get more than one> Hope this is enough/ not too much info. Thank you for your help and dedication to helping the rest of us become as informed as we can possibly be. <Perhaps add a Gobiosoma Goby to the Cleaner list as well... otherwise nothing "stands out" as real trouble/cause here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ocellaris Clown (disease, Lymphocystis?)
Just to clarify, the tang is clean. Only the wart like growth on the clown's dorsal fin. Off now to find out about lymph and get those cleaners. Thanks <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lymphfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Tomato clown Hello, I have a tomato clown that I am really worried about.  I noticed its head has began to turn a brownish color.  I also noticed that the dark areas are now on its body area. Also when it swims toward the top of the tank close to the light I can see a dark area inside the body.  Please give me some insight on what is going on.  I have a damsel, a false pec. clown, Condylactis anemone, and live rock in the tank. <Hello, it is hard to say without a picture of the fish.  Color changes are fairly normal in clownfish.  Check out the link below and see if any thing sounds familiar, if possible send us a picture.  -Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/clnfshdisfaqsii.htm  >

- Parasite Problems - clownfish <Greetings, JasonC here...> Hello, I have removed my maroon clown to QT and gave her a freshwater dip. But I am reluctant to start treating with medication because I don' t know what type of parasite this might be, if its even parasites.  The only symptoms she has are lack of appetite and heavy breathing, again there are no outward signs of parasites, no spots or velvet or patches to determine which type. I have read over your treatment protocol and I know that there are different treatments depending on which parasite it is.  My question is how do I know if I should treat with copper for Ich or formalin for Brooklynella, etc. without being able to see what it might be. <It's a very good question. I would think this is probably Amyloodinium... here's why: Ich is almost always visible, and velvet disease [Brooklynella] the same, but Oodinium can infest the gills long before you see outward signs. I would try treating this as Oodinium.> I will begin to lower spec. grav. and raise temp.  but as far as which medicine I am reluctant to start treatment what if I pick the wrong one?  This does not look anything like Ich that I had 4 months ago, she did not respond like this before. <Good and important observation.> Also there have been cleaner organisms in the tank and everyone has been healthy for 4 months and none of the other fish are breathing hard. <Well, also a good thing you isolated the clown. I do know from my own experience that cleaner shrimp and the like usually can't keep up with Oodinium. Good luck with the treatments.> Thank you, Kylee Peterson <Cheers, J -- >

- Ocellaris Getting Dark - Hello: <And hello to you... JasonC here.> You guys are invaluable.  Thank you. I have a small tank with two false percula clowns, among other things.  I noticed last night that one of the clowns appears to be turning darker or almost black around its dorsal fin.  I have tried to find what this could be, but no success.  Do you have any ideas?  Any information would be appreciated. <It is not unusual for these fish to either darken around the lines, tail, or dorsal fin as they grow older. Some varieties are almost entirely black in the same part of the body that most Ocellaris clowns are orange.> By the way, the fish is eating well, not breathing heavy and generally looks good.  I tested my water last night and the ph was around 8.1 and no detectable levels of ammonia, nitrite or nitrate were found. <You might try to bring that pH up a notch, but other than that, no worries.> Thanks again. Scott <Cheers, J -- >

Re: Sick clown Hello guys, Everything has been very good in my 55 gallon tank for some time now.  Yesterday morning when I fed the fish my maroon clown ate Mysis shrimp.  Then I did a small water change, 5 gallons, which I have been doing every week, except this week I added a small amount of Kent SuperBuffer dKH.  I only added half of the recommended dose, so that I could check the levels first before I added more.  When I tested yesterday 6 hours after the buffer was added the ph was 8.0  Now, I have fed the fish a couple of times since then and the clown will not eat anything, even the Spirulina flakes that she loves.  All the other fish are eating and are healthy.  The clown is breathing faster than I have ever seen her breathe and hanging out in the bottom corner.  But she doesn't have any outward signs of parasites, Ich or Brooklynella. <No outward signs but symptoms are there> I had Ich in my tank 4 months ago <Yep> and we treated in QT and allowed tank to be fallow for 2 months.  This maroon clown and a purple tang survived the ordeal and have been beautiful and healthy ever since.  I have a cleaner shrimp and neon gobies in the tank as well.  And like I said the purple tang and flame wrasse that are also in the tank look beautiful and act very healthy, I thought if I got parasites again that the tang would be the first to show, like last time. <Often times...yes. But not always> But this isn't like last time there are no spots or velvet and just the maroon clown has a problem.  I don't know what I should do. <Get him into the QT and begin a treatment protocol> I was thinking of taking her out and dipping her and putting her in QT but I don't know if that is too much stress, should I just leave her in the tank? <Don't just leave it alone. I'm, afraid the disease is all ready beyond the stage of self-healing> The aeration in the tank is good, skimming good, all water parameters tested fine, salinity at 1.023 and temp 78.   The only thing that is different is the small water change with the buffer and now she won't eat. <I don't think that's what caused your problem. It's the entrenched Cryptocaryon now reoccurring. Is your tank temp stable 24/7?> I love her so much, she is my very first fish and I want her to be her outgoing fat healthy self, please help me, she has skipped 3 feedings very unlike her.  Even when she had Ich 4 months ago, she still ate and she did not breathe hard, like she is now.  Its very unusual behavior for her.   I have been wanting to get her an anemone, which I have read up on and can meet their needs.  Would this help her at all, <No> I read in your FAQs that it helped someone else's clown. <Really?> Sorry this is so long, wanted you to have all the facts, and really want Ruby to live. <I want Ruby to live as well. Please consider removing this fish from the main display and into the quarantine tank if for no reason but simple observation. If it were me, I would begin treatments ASAP. To learn a treatment protocol, read the "disease" articles at WWM> Thanks, Kylee Peterson> <You're welcome. Sorry to hear of your difficulties...Parasites can be very frustrating. David Dowless>

Clowns Going Down? Hello. <Hi! Scott F. at your service!> I have a 50 gallon tank with live rock, 2 clownfish, a yellow tail damsel, a blue wrasse and a yellow damsel.  I have had the same set up the last year and a half.  My problem is my 2 weeks ago, my larger  3 inch clown started just hovering vertical in the water either head up or head down. And looked like it was struggling to breath.  It hardly ate also.  I separated it from the others and eventually it died.  Now my smaller clownfish is acting in the same manner and I am afraid it is going to die soon too.  I've checked all the parameters and they are good.  Their are no outward signs of any type of infection on either clown, just vertical hovering and struggling. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Rod <Well, Rod, it's hard to be certain from here, but it sounds to me like you're describing some symptoms of Amyloodinium or Brooklynella. Fishes with either of these diseases tend to exhibit difficulty in breathing, rapid respiration, and often hang near the surface of the water. Fishes infected with Brooklynella tend to develop a thick, white coat of mucus as well. Amyloodinium is a very lethal disease which kills quickly, often before any symptoms are visible. Treatment for both of these diseases must be undertaken quickly in a separate aquarium. Brooklynella responds well to Formalin, and Amyloodinium is treatable with copper sulphate preparations. Freshwater dips prior to the administration of the medication is helpful, too. Keep in mind that these are highly contagious illnesses, and may ultimately effect other fishes in the aquarium, so it may be necessary to remove all of the fishes for treatment. Amyloodinium is quite difficult to eradicate from aquariums once it is present, so be vigilant here. Read up on both of these diseases in the disease FAQs on the wetwebmedia.com site to confirm which of these your are dealing with. You can beat these nasty illnesses with quick, decisive action. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Re: a clown and a tang Hello! Thank you for these FAQ's-I would not have been brave/knowledgeable enough to start a marine system without them. <Ahh! A pleasure our work finds, helps you> I have 2 questions for you, but first a little background. I am new to saltwater and have a 90 gal tank, 70 lbs live rock in it for 8 weeks, 4" deep sand bed, 15 margarita snails and 15 blue legged hermits in for 4 weeks, 2 tank-raised ocellaris clowns (one is 1.75", the other about 1") in for 3 weeks.  I have a under tank sump with Excalibur protein skimmer, 700 gph pump, and bio balls (which I'll remove when nitrates increase), and 2 powerheads in the tank.  Ammonia and nitrite have been 0 for at least 6 weeks, nitrate is about 5 ppm, 1.023 sg, pH 8.4 .  I change 6-7 gallons of water a week, and feed the clowns a bit of flakes in the morning and frozen reef formula mix in the evenings, about twice a week soaking food in Selcon and once a week soaking in garlic oil.    Okay, here are my questions: 1) For the first 2.5 weeks my clowns have been doing great-paired off, eating, active (although since the second day the little guy has had "cauliflower disease"-Lymphocystis).  Starting about 3 days ago, I have noticed that the bigger ocellaris' tail fin is becoming frayed.  It appears to be a bit more frayed each day.  The little clown is not bothering him, and I have checked all the levels I can think of, and they are fine.  I have searched on your web site, but am confused about what is causing this as there are no other fish in the tank, and the hermits are very small and can't reach the fish where they sleep anyway.  Starting yesterday, I noticed that the little clown, who is usually active, kind of "zones out" for a long time in one place and just stays still.  Any suggestions as to what is happening to the clowns? <The "zoning out" is quite natural, no worries. The frayed fins and Lymphocystis point to "too much stress" (some, as with our own health is beneficial)... most likely preponderantly due to them being so new, along with the system... I wouldn't "treat" them particularly... but if you had in mind to add a cleaner organism (shrimp, goby), I would do so... this will help all "ease in"> 2) Two days ago I bought a 3.5" Naso tang (I plan to get a much bigger system in about 1.5 years) and placed him in my 10 gal quarantine tank (with a dirty sponge of bacteria from the display tank) .  My LFS held him for over a week before I took him home.  He is swimming well, eats, and comes to the glass to see me, but his white "fear spots" haven't completely gone away, although they've lessened.  Should this be a cause for concern? <Mmm, yes... more diligence, observation than worry. Do consider moving the new tang (through a pH adjusted freshwater dip) to your main system if it appears to disimprove>   Also, I am very worried because there was a big temperature change within the 5 hours after I got him home because the cheapo heater on my quarantine tank went a little haywire.  I had acclimated him to 78 degrees, then after about 3 hours the heater brought the water to 80-81.  I adjusted the heater too much, and five hours later the temp was 75!  Now I have a new heater and the temp is completely stable at 78 again, but I am concerned that I have done much damage to the Naso that will show up later.  Is there anything that I can do to minimize any damage? <Nothing much really. You are adding the Selcon to the foods offered this fish I take it. And would do so> Thank you so much for all your help-- I hope all of you have a happy new year! --Laura <Thank you. Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner> Sick Clown Hi crew, I have a problem with my a. ocellaris, Gacy. Night before last, I noticed he was swimming funny, and when I got up yesterday morning , he was swimming on his side. I fed him and he tried to eat, but couldn't seem to right himself to get the food. When I got home from work yesterday, he was still swimming on his side, and upside down sometimes. He was trying to eat again, but can't manage it. This morning, swimming circles, upside down.  He has no visible marks or injuries, and I was wondering...is it maybe his swim bladder? <Maybe... it's surprising to us (humans) considering that our reference is mainly companion animals, like dogs and cats... that many difficulties that are developmental "happen" in fishes months into their lives... genetic, ontogenetic...> I've had him for six months, and there have been no recent additions to the tank. I just did a large water change last week, but he was fine until two days ago. All parameters stable and normal, temp normal, slight slime algae problem, everything else peachy.  Oh, I've got some Aiptasia, but they've been there for months.  All other tank inhabitants are normal.    Please, is there anything I can do for him? I'm really scared to lose him...    Thanks in advance, <Other than excellent husbandry, not much to do. I am hopeful your fish will spontaneously cure. Bob Fenner> Jodie Hickerson

Turning The Tide On Disease WWM Crew, <Scott F. with you again tonight> You have been very helpful, but there are a couple of things I can't find any info about on the website.  Could you answer a couple more questions? <I'd be happy to> I am still treating the clowns with Neosulfex (dose two today) and I don't see much improvement.  Female still has white stuff on her lower lip and won't eat much at all...male still has red spot under lower lip (looks a tiny bit improved).  Is Neosulfex the best antibiotic I can use or should I try something else?  Maybe it just hasn't been long enough (I'm not patient.) <Yep- give it time. "Mixing and matching" different antibiotics, or any other medications together is not a great idea. Follow the treatment prescribed by the manufacturer and monitor your fishes carefully> Also, between yesterday and today, a small edge of the female's ventral fin has "disappeared" and has me even more worried!  These poor fish have been through it all. I think I told you before that the copper treatment almost killed my clowns.   I didn't know that they were sensitive.  The female's last white stripe turned a gray color during treatment while the rest of her color looks fine. Is this a consequence of the copper, and will it ever return to normal? <Could be- or could be a combination of things. If it is the copper, there is a good chance that things will return to normal once a cure is achieved, and the copper is removed.>   Two final questions....When setting up a QT, do you cycle it just like a main display? <Actually, what I do is run a sponge filter in my sump at all times, so it ready to go when needed. Then, I fill the QT with water from the main tank. If it makes you feel better, you could actually use some of the "bacteria in a bottle" solutions to boost nitrifying bacteria populations> Lastly, how do you suggest warming water for a water change so the main tank temp doesn't drop? <I prepare the water ahead of time and throw a small submersible heater into the container. Works like a charm...easy> Thank you SOOO much.  My fish thank you also. Lisa <Hey, Lisa- just keep hanging in there and doing the right thing...Your fish can make it! Regards, Scott F>
Turning The Tide on Disease (Follow-up)
Back to the drawing board!!!  Could I have more help? <Sure- that's why we're here> I thought everything was under control after six days of Neosulfex treatment.  Clowns were eating again and looked good...no evidence of any more bacteria.  I even added a few more days of treatment just to be safe and went to day 10 with treatment. Then I stopped.  Within 24 hours, both clowns are not eating, more fin parts are disappearing and the clear parts of their fins are now cloudy.  How can bacteria survive that kind of treatment? <That may be part of the problem, actually? Have you checked ammonia and nitrite in this tank? Perhaps the beneficial bacteria in the filter system have been substantially or completely destroyed, resulting in serious ammonia and nitrite levels...Metabolite poisoning? Just a thought. Do luck beyond the obvious here.> What now?  Should I use something stronger? <If it were me, at this point, I'd hold off on additional medication for a while...I'd execute regular water changes, employ activated carbon or PolyFilter in your system, and check all water chemistry parameters. Perhaps you may want to try some medium duration (3-5 minute) freshwater dips, say, 3 times a week.> Even after all of this treatment, I'm not sure the female will live...she looks pretty weak since she has not eaten well for over a week.  Help, Help, Help!  Thanks again. Lisa <Again, Lisa- I think that observation, good water quality, and judicious use of freshwater dips might be a better course of action than more medication at this juncture. At least give the fishes a break from the medication for a week or so before resuming treatment, if necessary. Hopefully, these steps will help. There is no 100% chance of success here, the fish may have suffered too much damage to survive-but don't give up. Keep observing them, and reviewing the disease FAQs on the wetwebmedia.com site for more information on possible causes of this condition. Good luck! I hope that the fishes make a full recovery soon! Regards, Scott F>

Black Percula Blues... Hi all, and thanks in advance for considering my e-mail. I have a 29 gal reef setup that is well established. One arc eye hawk has been a longtime resident, and about 3 months ago, I added a flame angel, black percula and bicolor blenny. I added them all at once figuring that since the hawk was well established, the chances of him harassing the new fish were slim. Well, I was wrong. He began harassing the blenny (the smallest of the 3) and I think that it eventually stressed the blenny out and he died. After this happened, I noticed that the black Perc began looking ill. His eyes became cloudy, and he had a fine white dusty appearance. His color was not very deep, especially in the face, where it was mottled. Also, there was a yellow band in-between the transition from black to clear on his fins. I wasn't sure if he had Ich or velvet, so I put him in a QT tank, treated him with Chloroquine (7-10 days) and hyposalinity (about 3 weeks). The eyes cleared up, and the white dusty spots went away. So I ran carbon and raised the salinity over a period of a week. However, his color has never returned and the yellow band is still there. I treated him with Maroxy for 5 days, just in case of a bacterial infection. He still hasn't returned to normal. I finally put him back in the main tank just to see if better water conditions would help (I was out of town and my wife was taking care of things, so the water quality probably hasn't been the best). All parameters in the main tank, ph, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite are within parameters. He has been eating, but when I put him in the main tank, he hovered a lot, at the top and bottom, and I even saw him doing his best imitation of a hawk, just sitting on a rock. I was even able to touch him with my hand when he was hovering at the top and he seemed to not even notice. I'm at my wits end, any suggestions? Jeremy Salda <Well, Jeremy- it's pretty tough to be certain from here, but it sounds to me like a parasitic infection called Brooklynella, an affliction which demonstrates symptoms such as faded body color, loss of appetite, a whitish body "film", rapid respiration at times, and usually results in the sick fish lying on the bottom or hanging near the surface. The illness is more common among wild-caught clownfish, and can be treated with a combination of a freshwater dip, and Formalin preparations (usually one drop per gallon, administered in a treatment tank, of course). Do read up on this illness on the FAQs on the wetwebmedia.com site to confirm that this is the illness that you are dealing with. Good luck in your efforts! Regards, Scott F.>

Nitrate and Clownfish Hello again! I hope this finds you all well. <Scott F. back with you again> I spent the day researching again, and decided on some "field work" to boot. I searched one of the LFS's that we like to use on occasion for more opinions (on your ideas) and for some comparison for my poor clown. I'm afraid I made a poor impression, but all is well that ends well, right? I told him of your suggestion for removing the bioballs upon addition (or a week or so after) of the DSB.....this had him pondering back and forth and finally he decided that he agreed with you, though he could not understand why it could not be a two inch sand bed, which I just had to let go, as I could not explain it to his satisfaction. That taken care of, I spotted several tanks of tank raised tomatoes and ocellaris that had some of the same markings on their white patches, which is what ours looked like at the start; I asked him what he could make of it, and I honestly believe that he had no idea, taking my "bait" with the marks having to do with the high nitrate levels....he was adamant that my clown's situation is indeed due to the high nitrates. I read every piece of Brooklynella information on WWM pages, and concluded that he is showing none of the symptoms for it. Still a mystery to me, any ideas besides Brooklynella? Daniel thinks that it could be Hole-in-the-head/HLLD...what do you think? <It's a distant possibility- this malady generally causes markings and/or pits in the skin due to skin loss; usually found near the no surprise here-head or lateral line area on the fish. It is rarely fatal, it just looks bad. All kinds of "remedies" exist for this malady, ranging from the addition of vitamins in the fishes' foods, to daily water changes, to grounding the tank from stray voltage, etc. This might even be "normal" coloration for this strain of captive-bred clowns?> I am very concerned even though he is still eating well, and behaving as usual. <Just keep a close eye on these fish and follow good maintenance practices. Be prepared to act decisively should the need arise>  The nitrates as of this afternoon are just under 20ppm by the way.) <definitely a positive trend. Good job!> I also asked him about the Caulerpa (which is all they sell) and if/when they might have other plant life available for us.....I'm afraid he thinks I'm crazy now, and we will more than likely not be using this store for any further saltwater related items. <Well, now you've crossed over that threshold into the realm of "fish nerd"-just like me, and there is no known no cure for that! :)> Our next research will be in the refugium section of WWM for better options. What *would* we do without you guys?! <Buy lots of Caulerpa, maybe? LOL> Thanks again immensely for your time, opinions and educated guesses. Kelly and Daniel <You're welcome. Feel free to contact us any time!>

Re: dips help Update: after water change, I bathed my clown and he actually seems to be doing quite well, except the sail-fin tang keeps harassing him (I've really got to get rid of him, he's grown to big). However, now my little coral beauty doesn't look so great. Can I bathe it too w/quick-cure and Furacyn? <Yes... but, restoring your livestock to health will require optimizing their environment, augmenting their food/nutrition... in possible myriad ways. Do you understand the gist of this concept? Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: Amphiprion clarkii Hi again, <greetings> Thank you for your response, it is very impressive that people of your experience would care about us less informed...  <it is actually an honor that anyone cares to know our opinion! The pleasure is ours> Now back to my Clarkii (Amphiprion clarkii). The black on his caudal fin starts at the tip and stops about half way through the fin. It doesn't look fuzzy or torn; it looks like the fin has lost color (typically yellow). Could this be some sort of fin rot or fungus?  <very unlikely> If so, how should I treat it?  <you might just try medicated food for now. 11-14 day feedings. Tetra makes flake and pellets for this> He has been recently seeking out my Peppermint shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni) for cleaning (although I don't know if Peppermint shrimp even clean parasites like common cleaner shrimp???)  <they do> Could I add common cleaner shrimp in this scenario (Lysmata grabhami or Lysmata amboinensis) with the Peppermint shrimp (30 gallon setup with 10 gallon sump)?  <the tank may be a little too small.. a slight risk> Is it a bad sign for the Clarkii to seek out shrimp, or is this natural behavior?  <somewhat natural but increased activity is indicative> I've read that Clarkii will sometimes eat shrimp (although the source was on the internet which is sometimes questionable).  <rare anomalies at best> In this situation he lines up perpendicular to the shrimp, spreads and flaps his fins and makes a weird motions with his mouth (fin language for clean me???). <hmmm... could be the precursor of an infection setting in. Try the medicated foods and be prepared with QT if necessary> Thanks again for your time and wealth of knowledge, Jeremy <kind regards, Anthony>

Sgt Major Damsel Hi Anthony, Ok, the Damsel is going out, but this very difficult, I've been 1 hour trying to net it and all I do is frighten the Tomato Clown and the Damsel just keeps going under rocks. (the Damsel is about 3/4 inch.) Any suggestions? <ahhh... yes! Either attempt in the morning when they are sleepy before the lights come on OR (my preference) use a clean plastic garbage can or some buckets and drain the tank almost entirely, just briefly, to catch the fish easily in shallow water and then use a power head to pump the water right back in. All can be conducted within 10-15 minutes this way and doesn't stress you or the fish <smile>> Another thing, the clown is always swimming against the glass? is this the Ich disease, because it appears he is scratching himself with the glass? <it may just be seeing its own reflection. Ich is often accompanied by the symptom of closing one gill cover while pumping the other. Also, Ich scratching usually occur against rough rocks... not smooth glass. Do review the many articles and FAQ's on this site for more information on diseases of fishes and how to recognized them: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/index.htm > Thank you. Julio <kindly, Anthony>

Sick Clown I have a cinnamon clownfish that I have had for about 4 months. He is very active and aggressive, and eats when fed. However, he has many small marks all over both sides of his body that look like missing scales. Also, his under fins look a little ragged. What is the problem? What can I do? He is with a yellow tang. << Assuredly something is wrong with your water quality and/or your nutrition of this fish... What you describe is sometimes labeled in various ways as "environmental disease"... I would check your water and systems regarding its optimization... and strive to include some fresh foods in the clown and other fishes diets... Bob Fenner>>

Saddleback Clown Hey Guys, What is it about the Saddleback Clownfish?  I can't keep one alive in my 125!  I have tried two, the first one died the evening I got it...it was all white in one area of its body, the second one was a little bit bigger about 2 and a half inches and was fine when I got it but no where to be found the next day.  I have a few hermit crabs, a Lawnmower Blenny, Naso Tang, Regal Tang, Green Bird Wrasse, Kole Tang, Long Nose Butterfly and small Juvenile Emperor Angel in the tank with it being well established. If the Saddleback which is my favorite is too difficult to maintain, what about a Gold Stripe Maroon or Blue Stripe Sebae or any other Clown suggestions?   Thanks, Howard Cushnir <The problem with the Saddlebacks is that more often than not they are wild caught imports.  You should be able to clean them up in a QT tank with something like "Quick Cure".  So the trick is to obtain captive bread Clowns if possible, and always QT them.  Check out the link below for more information on Clownfish disease. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm Best Regards, Gage>

Not Clowning Around! Dear WWM crew, <Scott F. with you this evening> I got 2 false Perculas and a long tentacle anemone from LFS five days ago. One died. He never stopped stressing in my tank and wouldn't eat and died : (. <Sorry to hear that!> Nitrites were a bit high. These are my first fish after cycling with LR for 4? weeks. Nitrites were not high when I got the fish, as the LFS tested the water and confirmed, then sold them to me. <I wish that they wouldn't have sold you the anemone for a brand new tank. Not that you aren't doing a good job-it's just that anemones require excellent, stable conditions and lots of light. Things that are sometimes lacking in new systems. > The anemone is doing great. Eating, was settled for four days and last night went on a trek around the tank... now in the opposite corner. <This is common with anemones. They will often move into a location that suits their needs. The LTA likes a deep sand bed to bury its foot or column in, so keep this in mind.> The clownfish that is still alive seems to be swimming around just fine, but has left the anemone since the other clownfish died. (When I originally put both of them in the tank with the anemone, this clown dove into the anemone and would not leave it, seeming to chase the other clown away. Seems like female clown behavior I have read about, but since her intended "mate" perished, she hasn't been with the anemone at all. She is the only fish in the tank. <Could be a lot of reasons for this> Should I worry about her not eating? I feed brine shrimp (am) and frozen shrimp (pm) and the anemones and crabs seem to enjoy, but clown ignores. She seems to be swimming fine and has ventured throughout the 29 gal tank, but prefers to stay in the area where the anemone was. <I would always be concerned when a fish isn't eating. You may want to try something other than frozen brine shrimp. It actually has little in the way of nutritional value for marine fish (even though they usually love 'em). try frozen Mysis, or finely chopped clam, squid, or other ocean "meats".> Is there a special food I should try? Just wait? Am I worrying for nothing? <No- you are not worrying for nothing. You are doing the right thing by trying to analyze what could be wrong! It's never good when a fish does not eat for extended periods of time. There could be a lot of reasons for this. I'd recommend that you test the water for ammonia and nitrite regularly for a while. There should be no detectable levels of either of these in your tank. Are you performing regular water changes? Is the temperature stable? Does the fish show any obvious signs of disease or discomfort? Take a good hard look at your tank and make sure that everything is in order. In addition to being a lot of fun, observing the tank carefully will allow you to get a feel for what is "normal" for your system, and to take corrective actions, when necessary, in a timely manner. Learn all that you can, get a copy of Bob's "Conscientious Marine Aquarist", which has tons of great information, and use the wetwebmedia.com resources. Make sure that everything is stable before adding any more animals, quarantine all new fish, and feel free to contact us any time. If you follow these simple rules, you'll be fine! Enjoy and Good Luck!> THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND ASSISTANCE! Diane Bedard <And thank YOU for stopping by!>
Not Clowning Around
I was told about your site and am very new to is so I am sorry if I should be sending this question to a different location but I really need some help. <Please don't apologize-that's precisely why we're here! Scott F. with you today.> I have a 55 gallon Uni-aquarium with the venturi skimmer (for what little help it really does) 210 watts of pc lites with full reef with a sm. maroon clown, sm. 6 line, sm .flame angel, sm flame hawk, dusky Jawfish, tiny harlequin wrasse and a 3" clown tang.  <Honestly, that's a pretty full load of fish for a 55. Also, please keep in mind that your clown tang will become a large, and extremely aggressive fish. He really needs a much larger tank to keep him happy for anything approaching his normal life span. Off my soapbox now!> I have had the tang for a few months now he eats off the rocks and I feed frozen cubes of a variety pack (ocean nutrition) his stomach is not thin or shrunk in as if he was not eating enough but the rest of his body is shrinking in. I also feed him live Ogo plant and just tried the dried red algae sheets assuming that he is not getting enough to eat or malnourished. <Your fishes diet sounds good. Keep feeding the macroalgae (Ogo) and other prepared algae products daily. Tangs graze constantly and need lots of vegetable matter to keep healthy.> The water quality is good no nitrite very little ammonia (.25) <Woahh! There should be NO measurable ammonia in an established aquarium. This is a definite sign that something is out of whack with your water. Do review your husbandry procedures here. Are you making regular H20 changes here (small changes of 5% twice weekly would be great!)? Are you putting in too much food that's going uneaten? Your protein skimmer needs to be cleaned weekly (or more frequently), and should be pulling out some dark, yucky stuff a few times a week, or its time to try a new model! As I mentioned above, your fish load is quite high. You may need to move some fish (especially your tang) to a larger tank.> and about .10 nitrates 8.2 ph please help I don't want to see this pretty fish waste away. Thank you, Jason <Okay Jason, a couple of things here. First, let's work on getting the water quality up to par. Execute immediate, regular water changes, keep the skimmer working hard, and feed carefully. Next, in the absence of other obvious signs of illness, I'd operate on the assumption that environmental factors are the problem here. Water quality and oxygen levels are vitally important to active fish, such as your tang. Do keep a very close eye on him. Be prepared to take corrective actions as needed. Read the wetwebmedia.com disease FAQs and FAQs on water for more helpful information. I think it's great that you test the water- this is a classic example of why regular testing is so helpful! Keep monitoring the water. It's a great way to keep tabs on environmental changes that can cause problems. You'll be fine if you take action here! Good luck!  Regards, Scott F.>

Clown Fish Disease Hello, My brother recommended that I write to you about this. I had two clownfish (tank raised ocellaris) die this morning in my tank. I took them to the fish store and they determined that it was clownfish disease (I think they called it Brooklynella?) after looking at it under a microscope. I still have a Coral Beauty in my tank as well as some shrimp and snails. What should I do to keep what I still have healthy? <Remove the Coral Beauty to a quarantine/hospital tank and begin treatment with Formalin. Please see here for additional information: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm> The Coral Beauty still looks healthy but he has been scratching up against rocks frequently. Thank you, Tyler Packard <You are welcome.> The clown fish looked fine all the way to last night so I am concerned about the same thing happening to the Coral Beauty. <As am I. Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Clown Fish Disease Hello, My brother recommended that I write to you about this.<sounds like a cool guy> I had to clown fish (tank raised ocellaris) die this morning in my tank. I took them to the fish store and they determined that it was clown fish disease (I think they called it Brooklynella?) after looking at it under a microscope. I still have a Coral Beauty in my tank as well as some shrimp and snails. What should I do to keep what I still have healthy? The Coral Beauty still looks healthy but he has been scratching up against rocks frequently. Thank you, Tyler Packard The clown fish looked fine all the way to last night so I am concerned about the same thing happening to the Coral Beauty. <Brooklynella is usually noticeable, it looks more like a bunch of soft, translucent, dead skin or mucus peeling/flaking off the fish. I would keep a close eye on the Coral beauty. Take a look at our information on disease to see if it is showing any other symptoms. You may want to consider removing the coral beauty from your main tank and placing it in a quarantine tank for a few weeks for treatment if necessary. I would not worry about the shrimp and snails. Also, test your water, make sure everything is as it should be. Check out the links below and get back to us with any more questions that may arise. Best of Luck, sorry about the loss of your clowns, Gage. http://wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm>
Re: Clown Fish Disease
I will get on that right away. Is it possible for other types of fish to contract Brooklynella from clown fish? <Yes> I was just wondering if putting my Coral Beauty in quarantine is precautionary or is he in severe danger of contracting the disease.<He is in danger of contracting the disease.> One other quick question, the shrimp I have are cleaner shrimp and the coral beauty stops and lets them clean them off every once in awhile. Is this something that could be helping resolve the situation with the Brooklynella? <The cleaner shrimp will do his best, but if you just lost other fish I would go with the QT method. Good luck, Gage> Thanks, Tyler

Re: Velvet or Ich? what to do with clownfish Hello Jason C. (possibly) <<Defiantly - greetings.>> I am still going ahead with treatment I told you of, CopperSafe in a hospital tank with a purple tang, maroon clown, and 3 neon gobies, I stopped lowering the salinity of the hospital tank on your recommendation. The main tank is fine with lowered salinity 1.019 and 82 temperature with cleaner shrimp and hermit crab. The problem I am having now is that the hospital tank is too crowded. <<Might be time for a second quarantine tank.>> I did a test kit reading and got 2 for ammonia, 5 for nitrite, and 80 for nitrate. I did a 50% water change twice and got the readings to 1 for ammonia, 2 or 3 for nitrite and 10 for nitrate. <<Makes sense.>> I will continue to do a water change daily as I have been doing, but my question is whether or not these levels will kill the fish. <<They will in the long haul, but continued diligence with the water changes should alleviate that.>> The guy at my LFS told me that they will definitely die and that I should put them back in the main tank and feed them well and let them fight off the parasites and that everything will level off and be fine. <<I don't agree. I do think your quarantine tank is too crowded... that is why the nitrogenous wastes build up so quickly. I would consider an additional tank - take the load off the first one.>> He said they are under more stress with the ammonia & nitrite levels than they would be with the parasites in the main tank. <<While that may be true, by leaving them in the main tank, you continue to promote the cycle of parasites which you have already observed - it's your choice.>> He also suggested using a product in the main tank with the fish put back in called kick-Ich an herbal remedy that he said was safe for invertebrates. <<In my opinion, this stuff is next to useless.>> Now I really don't want to put fish back in to a tank that I know is full of parasites, the plan was to let it go without fish hosts for 1-2 months so that the parasites would die off. <<And I agree.>> In the meantime treating the fish with CopperSafe for the 15 days and then just keeping them in the hospital tank until the main tank was ready. <<Yes, yes.>> But with the high levels am I better off putting the fish back in the main tank and let them fight off the parasites or continue with my original plan and hope that they make it through the next month in a tiny hospital tank and if they don't at least the main tank will have diminished greatly in parasitic numbers after a month? <<Again is your choice - you obviously have a good grasp on the situation here, so there are trade-offs for either course of action. I will again suggest that the simplest solution is to get another quarantine tank together. It doesn't need a complicated filter system - an air-lift sponge filter would be fine, but anything to take the load off the existing quarantine tank would help you get ahead of the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate with daily water changes.>> Please advise me and tell me if you have any familiarity with Kick-Ich. <<I am familiar and don't have any faith in it whatsoever.>> Thank you so much. Kylee <<Cheers, J -- >>
Re: Velvet or Ich? what to do with clownfish
Thank you so much for your help, I agree with you and will see what I can do about a second quarantine tank. Kylee <Very good. I wish you success. Bob Fenner>

Illness (Clownfishes... probably Brooklynella) Hi Bob, Anthony or who is doing the mail today. I have two common Clown fish and they are both ill. This morning I noticed one of the fish has what looks like long strains of cobwebs coming from his fins and body, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, and he is constantly swimming at the surface tail down. I have managed to look at one of them with a magnifying glass and it looks like their skin is peeling and swaying in the water from their bodies.  <Ohh, likely very bad I'm sorry to state> I have removed them from the main tank and put them both in a hospital tank, but what do I treat them with? Could you please help me? As I would hate to see anything happen to them. <Are these fish new? Wild caught? I suspect the answer is yes to both questions. You are likely experiencing a protozoan named Brooklynella... and very hard to cure. You need to act immediately, treating with a formalin/formaldehyde based medication... Please take a read through here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm and through the linked (in blue, at top) FAQs files on Clownfish Diseases. Good luck, life. Bob Fenner> Many thanks

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